37 Special Beas
"We thought it was chasing you. It was running after you at like a wolf chasing its prey." Sel explained in a hushed tone as the small scouting party traveled on.
Anya turned to look at the drake, who seemed far too at ease with people around, considering those same people were all holding spears similar to the one that had been impaled in its shoulder earlier.
It wasn't like magical beasts to forgive such a slight, but Anya had already been surprised enough times by this special beast to feel much shock. She simply added it to her list of questions to save for later.
Right now, Anya's main concern was to return to her people and confirm their well being. She wasn't naive enough to believe they got away completely unscathed. She just hoped that there weren't any deaths, for any death of a tribemate was a tragedy.
Finn was in a great mood, so much so that being impaled by a flying spear did not damper his spirits in the slightest. When viewing their first meeting from his own perspective, it did indeed look like he was chasing after her, because he actually was.
There was no way they could have known beforehand that he meant the girl no harm, so it wasn't hard to let bygones be bygones. The fact that he fully recovered in moments also made forgiveness quite easy.
That being said, Finn looked around at the party of what appeared to be warriors. These men and women were eyeing him with clear hostility and distrust.
As they walked along, it didn't go beyond Finn's notice that they had slowly surrounded him, gripping their spears tightly. Clearly, they were preparing in case he made any move to attack them unawares.
Finn internally scoffed at this sentiment. If I had wanted them dead, they wouldn't stand a chance... This wasn't Finn being arrogant or looking down on them, but a simple fact.
With his unique danger sense, Finn could feel their power relative to his own, and there was no comparison.
In this group currently, the only one who actually posed a real threat to him was the girl he had saved. She was by far the strongest here, not including himself.
This simple truth helped connect some dots. Finn had noticed that these people seemed much more respectful to her than others, bowing when approaching her and hunching their shoulders back in a respective posture when talking to her.
It reminded him of soldiers addressing their commanding officer, a particular form of defference.
Body language was a great tool to determine who was important when you couldn't understand the language, and from the way these people acted around this girl, Finn could tell she held some sort of status.
The fact that she was the strongest also made this obvious.
Finn watched as the girl conversed with another girl who appeared similar to her in age. Her friend? From the way they giggled and laughed at eachother, it wasn't a difficult assumption to make.
Shuffling his shoulders a bit, Finn confirmed through the small palpitations on his back that his little friends were still there. Right now, they were in their invisible state.
They must be wary of being around so many people. I guess they are shy of humans... Finn was just content that they were with him and that they were safe. It was up to them to reveal themselves.
However, Finn did feel a little concerned about Shrimp. That rambunctious furball seemed to hold no fear towards anything.
Finn turned his head and looked at the spot where he felt them sitting. Although, I guess even Shrimp would get cold feet with this many people around.
People, ahh yes. It was good to see people again, despite it being bittersweet. Not being able to communicate was like a constant sting to his psyche.
I really miss intelligent conversations... Finn lamented his inability to talk. Even so, with Bryn he could at least speak through written word. Now, he was stuck with three year old level crude drawings.
Oh... Looking up, Finn could see that the group was approaching a small watchtower nearly identical to the one he had seen on the mountaintop before. Only this one was clearly freshly made and showed no signs of dilapidation.
There were two sentries armed with bows sitting atop it. From a distance, Finn watched them giving a series of hand signals. Turning his head, he saw the friend if the girl he saved making hand signals back, likely some form of secret communication. How interesting...
When they got closer, Finn could tell that they had finally noticed him. The duo started getting antsy, nocking arrows. It was only when the girl he saved gave a universal "stop" hand signal did they cease their actions, albeit grudgingly.
A majority of the party dispersed, gathering around the base of the watchtower where there were a few tents and tables set up.
This is like a small scouting camp... Finn mused as he watched several men and woman restock supplies and trade items with eachother. All of them were sneaking glances towards him, and muttering between themselves.
Hmm, whatever. Finn looked and found a patch of grass where the sunlight broke through the treeline. Heading over, he plopped down and curled himself around the warm patch of green.
Under the assumption that the group was collecting themselves and redistributing supplies, Finn figured he had time for a quick nap.
Placing his head down, he began absorbing sunlight. His little companions snuggled into the nook of his curled form, enjoying the warmth his afterglow produced.
Off in a secluded corner of the small scouting camp, Anya was discussing her tale with her friend.
"Anya, what you are describing makes no sense. Why would a wild drake save you?" Sel asked as she pointed over to the sunbathing drake.
Anya looked over at the drake with a twinkle in her eye. "I'm not sure, but I think it's different from other magical beasts. Not only did it save me, it even healed my wounds!"
Sel nodded distractedly. "Ok then, but what happened with the fire dra- wait!" Sel snapped her head back to Anya. "What do you mean healed your wounds?
Anya smiled brightly. "Maybe it was a blessing from the godesses. Maybe they sent this special creature to aid me."
Sel rubbed her chin thoughtfully. "Maybe it was. They are capable of amazing things after all, but even if they sent you aid, why would it be a drake of all things? Isn't it too ironic, considering it was a drake that drove us from our home?"
Anya grinned at this. "That is exactly why I think it was the godesses. Don't you think it fits their personality to do something like this?"
Sel thought about it and reluctantly agreed. Previous blessings from the godesses often manifested in unexpected ways, as if they were playing pranks on their believers.
Rubbing her temples in exasperation while sighing heavily, Sel brought up her first question. "Fine then, but what did you mean when you said it healed your wounds?"
How could a drake have done such a thing?
Anya gave her friend a coy look. "That's what is so special about it!" Leaning in a conspiratorial fashion, Anya whispered in her friends ear, to her friends surprise. "This drake's affinity... is that of light."
Sel recoiled in shock, the news too unthinkable. Beasts with a light affinity were notoriously rare, and for one to be a drake of all things...
Sel wanted to outright deny it, but before she could say anything, a loud commotion broke out by the tents.
"I say we kill it now!" A loud voice from a rather muscular man voiced his distrust towards the drake.
Brandishing his spear, the man continued. "We have hunted enough magical beasts to know some can be clever. I say this beast is acting docile, just waiting to kill us when the opportunity arises!"
Several nods all around gave the man a boost of confidence. Cleary, he was not the only one who shared this sentiment.
Before he could speak further, he was slapped on the back of the head by Sel, who had come over after hearing his shouting.
"Borg you idiot! Even if you wanted to kill it, do you think you can." Sel jabbed her finger in his chest.
Borg's face flushed for a moment. It was true, and he knew it. As a wind warrior himself, he understood that it was just as important to know when not to fight as it was to know how to fight.
From the minute waves of energy radiating off the drake, it was definitely at rank three. Being only a rank two wind warrior, Borg knew the only person here who could actually rival the beast was Anya, the chief's daughter.
Borg shook away his embarrassment. Beating his chest once, he declared his intentions. "I know I'm not strong enough, alone, but together with Anya we could win. There are enough of us. A rank three core is very valuable and could help our tribe!
"Enough!" Anya declared, having walked over and heard Borg's declaration. "Although it is a magical beast, and a drake at that, it saved my life. I will not help you, but you are more then welcome to try on your own..." Anya let the small taunt hang in the air.
Having already admitted he wasn't strong enough alone, Borg could do nothing but glower. Glancing over at the beast that caused all of this, Borg's gaze turned from angry and mistrustful, to full on shocked.
Other who had been watching in amusement, noticed this change, and swiftly turned their heads in the direction Borg was facing. Their eyes also widened in shock.
Curious, Anya followed the group's gaze and smiled when she saw the source of their astonishment.
Borg was the first to speak. "The drake... it's glowing!" The drake mentioned was radiating a golden aura of vitality, a side effect of its absorption of sunlight. Now focused, the group could see the grass around it growing at a speed nearly visible to the naked eye.
"What is the meaning of this?" Borg couldn't help but glance at Anya, hoping she would be able to dispel the confusion.
Meeting his gaze, Anya explained. "Borg, this drake is unique. It holds an affinity to light!"
Several loud gasps and cries of exclamation were echoed among the group. This was completely unprecedented!
To help alleviate their fears, Anya immediately headed over to the light drake. Glancing amongst themselves, the scouting party couldn't help but follow behind her.
When the group got close, they noticed that the drake was not sitting alone, there were four little furry creatures sitting in the book of his form.
"Se-seraphim foxes! A whole family of them!" Someone exclaimed when they identified what the little creatures accompanying the drake were.
They were so rare and timid that they were often classified as a mere folktale or legend. To see four of them sitting casually against a drake that happened to have a light affinity, it was simply mind boggling.
Finn was enjoying his nap, when something suddenly triggered his senses. Opening his eyes, he was met with many strange gazes.
With a question mark over his head, he looked down at his little companions. When they were busy mooching off the aura emitted by his body, they could not maintain their invisibility.
They were on full display, and Finn believed it was them that were drawing the group's attention.
Hmm? Finn noticed the girl he saved approaching tentatively, reaching out as if to rub his head. Snorting, Finn leaned into her touch as if to say it was fine before laying his head back down to go back to sleep.
To say the group was astonished at how docile the drake was would be an understatement. It was a drake! They were notorious for being bad tempered, and yet this one actually let the chief's daughter rub its head without retaliation.
Add that to the fact that it supposedly had a light affinity, and to call this all a miracle would not be wrong.
Anya sat next to the drake, basking in its warm aura that made her feel so comfortable. Finn opened one eye to observe before closing it again, returning to sleep.
Borg didn't know what to think at this display. Unable to curb his curiosity, he cautiously reached his hand out to "touch" the golden aura flowing off the drake's body.
For a few seconds, he felt an unexplainabley comfortable sensation flowing through his hand. Retracting it, he examined it thoroughly.
Borg's eyes widened. The training scars on his hand... they were gone! Vanished! Like they never even existed in the first place! In their place was smooth and fair skin as if he had never accidentally cut himself many times.
Glancing back to Anya, he wondered if there really was some higher power at work here.