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The Hunt (Private with Ayato)

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The Hunt (Private with Ayato)

Post by Chrocey on Mon Nov 13, 2017 10:23 pm

“By Fae’ela, I swear you will not elude me this time,” Dirge murmured as she crouched down low, trying to blend in as best she could with the sand. She’d been tracking this camel for quite a while, hoping that it would at some point meet with its brethren. So far, it seemed to be aimlessly wandering from place to place without any sort of real direction.

The stupid camel didn’t even look like it was trying to find a herd! Part of the dragoness wondered if it was brain-dead from being in the sun for too long. Or perhaps it was somewhat of a loser amongst its kind, and had been sentenced to living as an outcast. Regardless, its presence only served to make Dirge more and more furious. As though it were taunting her with its continued existence.

“You stupid...humpbacked...lumpy pile of fur,” the red dragoness remarked with self-contained anger. Her claws flexed outward as she so badly just wanted to kill this prey...but the logical side  of her knew that one camel was hardly worth the the effort. If she could find and catch a heard, she would have gathered enough food to meet her quota for the day.

She hated logic, and how it constantly contradicted with what she wanted to do.

The camel lifted its head and looked off in the distance as though it heard something. Dirge’s ears perked, and her eyes lightened a little at the thought that it may have found more of its kind. In the mammal’s painfully slow fashion, it began lumbering off towards a sand dune.

The dragoness stalked behind him slowly, her tail lashing a bit in anticipation for the bountiful feast she was expecting.
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Re: The Hunt (Private with Ayato)

Post by Ayato on Mon Nov 13, 2017 11:01 pm

If you asked why go to all the trouble of hunting and preparing your own food when you could just buy one of the meats strung up for sale, Ayato would stare at you and ask if you were a particularly lazy dragon, and walk off without waiting for a response.

He had many reasons for not taking the easier path, one of which was that he didn't quite like eating food touched by strangers. Of course, even the slightest of implications that he didn't trust other Ki'Shans could lead to complications, so if you pressed, he would say, simply, that hunting kept him fit.

So here he was, at the outskirts of Ki'Shan territory, where houses were few in number. It was known to most that prey tended to have paths that crossed into this area, and setting up homes here would just scare them away. The ground rose and fell in sweeping sand dunes, the occasional breeze forming little ripples on the sand. Being an unfortunate blue that stood out against the tan of the sand, he had to hide behind a sand dune, tucking his wings close in.

Today he was tracking down one lone camel that didn't seem to know where it was going. It was lumbering into another direction, then turned and headed into another - Ayato perked and stood, creeping out of his hole, but movement at the corner of his vision had him glancing sharply at the dragon who was also focusing on the same target. An Ugaan... whose name he didn't know, because they didn't train under him.

Sighing, he took a step back, letting him or her take the prey, though he remained watchful, assessing how they hunted.
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Re: The Hunt (Private with Ayato)

Post by Chrocey on Mon Nov 13, 2017 11:51 pm

The slight winds of the desert made Dirge’s eyes squint, stinging a little as a small bit of sand got kicked into them. Her mouth was salivating a little, but she managed to compose herself so she didn’t look like a drooling buffoon. One of the many things she had to monitor about herself as she inched closer and closer to the camel.

The dopey creature wandered over the sand dune, with Dirge keeping a reasonable distance behind it. Much to her dismay, however, it stopped.

It stood there for a few minutes, but it felt like twenty.

After staring at the horizon, it looked back towards the way it came...then began walking back that direction.

Dirge let out a roar so loud that the camel wasted no time in running away.

“Are you kidding me?!” she shouted, “you just walked over there, and now you’re walking back?! Do you even know how to be a camel? Because you’re doing it all wrong!”

In a matter of seconds, the enraged dragoness found herself upon the camel. Her large talons held it down, and she crushed its neck between her jaws, killing it instantly.

“This is so stupid! I’ve done this a million times, and I’ve never met a camel as dumb as you!” The dragoness barked at the already dead creature. She stared at it for a moment before letting out a sigh.

“Whatever,” she said, picking the camel up and throwing it over her shoulder. She’d likely take this one back, as shameful as that was. While it wouldn’t necessarily be the end of her reputation as an efficient hunter, dragons who came back with so little often got their fair share of ribbing. All she wanted to do was drop it off back at her camp and continue hunting before anybody noticed.
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Re: The Hunt (Private with Ayato)

Post by Ayato on Tue Nov 14, 2017 7:34 pm

The Ugaan moved quietly enough, disturbing the sand slightly as they stalked their prey, never catching the camel's notice. Either it was stupid or the Ugaan really was good at what they did. Watching closely, Ayato approved of the distance at which they stalked their prey, and moved on to scrunitise their posture, looking out for any unnecessary movements and observing if their tail was dragging along in the sand, if their wings were tucked in tight. Noting their level of concentration, whether they were distracted, eyes fixed on the target.

Any little bit of approval he felt, however, dried up when he saw their reaction to the camel's unexpected change in direction. The Ugaan begin throwing a little tantrum, her temper flaring up quickly and her emotions seizing hold of her maw. A furious roar, which was admittedly rather loud and could be intimidating, had the camel running for its life, followed by angry shouts (definitely female, he thought, and was briefly reminded of Athena) cursing the camel's behaviour. Ayato honestly didn't see why so much frustration would stem from this, but maybe he was missing out on something.

She moved fast, though, already upon the poor camel in the span of a few seconds, and it was dead by the next. Quick and efficient, though not very clean, blood staining the sand where the Ugaan's teeth pierced flesh. Its neck emitted a sad crushing sound as the Ugaan closed her jaws around it, its flailing body growing still and limp. She picked it up and began walking off, heading away from him.

Ayato stood and remarked, dryly, "That was a very good hunt. Which Aliugaan do you train under?"
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Re: The Hunt (Private with Ayato)

Post by Chrocey on Wed Nov 15, 2017 3:32 pm

At the very first word uttered by another dragon, Dirge froze where she stood. Her mind was immediately flooded with shock, anger, and embarrassment. Turning to face the one who had startled her, she was glad to see that it was someone at least a little familiar.

She’d never really met Ayato in any official manner, but any Ugaan worth their salt made sure to study the Aliugaan (or in Dirge’s case, she listened to others read aloud). This was a rank that perhaps one day she would attain herself, and fight for the tribe more regularly than she had been. Such a title was a dream for her, so much so that she swore to herself every night that she would be in that position someday.

The fact that she recognized Ayato as another Ki’Shan, Dirge bowed respectfully to him as she did with all members of her tribe. Soon after his question, however, she presented him with a somewhat smug look. “I don’t need an Aliugaan. I’m just naturally gifted at this sort of thing...I get it from my mother’s side.”

The dragoness shifted uneasily, feeling a bit self-conscious about the single camel that was on her back. Part of her wished she’d just buried it in the sand, but alas, it was far too late for that.

“And what are you doing here?" she said in her naturally aggressive voice, “you hunting too? ‘Cause if you are, then I’ll have to warn you that I haven’t been able to find a herd for hours.”
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Re: The Hunt (Private with Ayato)

Post by Ayato on Wed Nov 15, 2017 7:40 pm

It was as if invisible claws had coiled around the Ugaan's limbs, locking them into place. He could tell from the stiff set of her shoulders that it was likely that she was feeling embarrassed, having been caught with such a small haul, but she would see no judgment cross his expressionless face when she turned to face him, merely cool curiosity as to who she was, and what she would say to him.

He could tell from one look at her face that she was determined, ambitious, and likely to be aiming for Aliugaan like most other Ugaans he came across. Was it for the glory of such a high role, he wondered, or did she hold fighting capabilities, and genuinely wished to offer her assistance to the Ki'Sha? Ayato held back from telling her that it wasn't as easy as it sounded, though he was sure that she already knew that, and most certainly wouldn't appreciate him doing so.

She greeted him with the standard bow, no more, and after a few seconds offered a slight dip of his head. More of her personality was revealed in the next few seconds through her smug expression, her haughty words, uttered in a self-assured tone. He said bluntly, "Naturally gifted at hunting? I can give you that, considering that your kill isn't as sloppy as some, and better executed than most I've seen," and it was genuine, "but you're not the best at keeping your temper, are you?" His voice was edged with the slightest of sarcasm, but otherwise it was a casual question.

"Oh? That must be really aggravating. I'll just have to come another time, then," he said, and after a brief pause, asked, "What's your name?" He had to give it to her, though: Whether her claim about being naturally gifted was true, the potential was there.
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Re: The Hunt (Private with Ayato)

Post by Chrocey on Fri Nov 17, 2017 6:58 pm

Dirge held her head high as the Aliugaan paid her a compliment. She took pride in her hunting, and felt even more validated when others spoke highly of her skills. A broad smile graced her maw, and she felt a little less insecure about her small catch.

That smile faded, however, as Ayato brought up her short fuse.  She glared at him for a moment before practically growling out her next words. “What’s that supposed to mean? You tryin’ to say I’m easily upset? Because I’m not!” she fumed.

At his mentioning of possibly returning later, Dirge cooled down a little bit. She huffed indignantly and responded, “yeah, you should come back another time. Trying to hunt here would probably be a bit too advanced for you, even if you are an Aliugaan.” Her tail twitched a little, sweeping some of the sand behind her off to the side.

“And yeah, my name is Dirge,” she remarked arrogantly, “and I could very well be the Ugaan who takes your position as Aliugaan someday.” She flashed the male a challenging smirk, “and ensure our tribe never loses a battle.”

The dragoness’ eyes flicked up and down the Alugaan’s form, as if she were sizing up an opponent, before eventually returning her gaze to his blue eyes. He seemed to have good posture, and looked like he would be a bit difficult to best in a fight (even though Dirge felt confident she could beat him). She couldn’t deny that it was tempting to challenge him, right here and now. Seeing what abilities he possessed would be very interesting.

Nevertheless, she refrained from trying to do battle with someone who technically outranked her. On top of that she wanted to be in perfect shape before she fought anyone. All of the time she’d spent hunting today was making her feel slightly exhausted.

“What about you?” Dirge said, “I know what you are, but I never could memorize your name.”
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Re: The Hunt (Private with Ayato)

Post by Ayato on Fri Nov 17, 2017 9:18 pm

At the Ugaan's protest, irritation flashed in his eyes, but he said nothing, merely stared at her flatly. What she claimed was the very opposite of what was happening – hell, her temper was flaring up already. What was with Ugaans and their need to respond to everything with aggression?

Much to his relief, she calmed down afterwards, or at least appeared to, and his gaze shifted from annoyed to... Well, slightly less annoyed. "Aliugaans are selected for their hunting and combat skills," he informed her, "and not for magically making prey appear. So yes, you are right, and I'll take your advice." He took on a tone that was as dead and flat as his gaze, as if he were mindlessly reciting something from memory. It was out of sheer curiosity when he said the last sentence. How did she react to a higher-up taking advice from her?

"Dirge, huh," he echoed, tilting his head slightly as if in thought, and rummaged through the array of retorts that had sprung up and begged to be used. He settled for a cool "Aliugaans are hard to replace, though it's possible to join our ranks. Do your best and you might end up there someday." He shrugged. "Meanwhile, you might want to practice both your tongue and temper in check." Pure advice, no sarcasm.

Her gaze flicked up and down, scrunitising him. If she were arrogant enough to pick a fight now, Ayato would not hesitate to shove her back into her place and tell her to try harder next time. Though, it was kind of refreshing to be challenged once in a while, and approval glimmered in his eyes now in response to her challenging smirk. A hint of his own smirk.

"Ayato," he said. Then after a pause, he asked, "So your mother trains you?"
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Re: The Hunt (Private with Ayato)

Post by Chrocey on Fri Nov 17, 2017 10:40 pm

“Yeah, yeah,” Dirge waved her talon almost dismissively as Ayato spoke about how Aliugaans were selected. It was in her nature to be a bit pushy when it came to certain things she already knew. Much to her disadvantage, this meant that she didn’t exactly make many friends. At least, no friends other than the ones she was likely not supposed to have outside of the Ki’Shan territory.

Ayato said he would take Dirge’s advice, and she squinted at him. As if trying to discern whether or not he was making fun of her. It wouldn’t have been the first time that she’d been teased by a superior.

Nevertheless, he seemed to be being honest.

This only made her ego skyrocket (as if she weren’t already confident enough in her own abilities). Instead of making her unbearable, however, she looked surprisingly uncomfortable.

“...huh...well, you’re...welcome?” In all honesty, she was a little flabbergasted. Normally when she spoke so rudely to others they responded with equal, if not more, aggression. He simply seemed genuine. As if everything he said served a purpose to support some sort of case that he was building.

The other dragon repeated her name. He then went on to say that Aliugaans were hard to replace, but perhaps she would join that rank someday. When he spoke about keeping her tongue and temper in check, she growled at him. Her tongue and temper were perfectly fine! How dare he say she needed some sort of attitude adjustment! If it wasn’t against their beliefs, she would have tried to flay him right here.

That fire in her eyes got extinguished quickly, though, when Ayato asked if her mother trains her. Dirge laughed a little and shook her head. “Nope! Never knew her. She was actually slain while I was still in my egg.” The dragoness looked up in thought, a pleased smile on her maw. “My dad would tell me all kinds of stories about her, though. Even how she went down in a blaze of glory for the Ki’Shan tribe!”

The dragoness opened her mouth to say more, but paused as she found her eyes locked onto the male’s once more. Her jawline stiffened and she swallowed her words. Nobody really cared about other’s pasts, why would this dragon be any different?

“...anyway, my parents are both gone. Such is how life goes in Nuira.” She tilted her head, “and you? Who trained you? Parents? A friend?...a blind squirrel?”
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Re: The Hunt (Private with Ayato)

Post by Ayato on Sun Nov 19, 2017 1:11 am

Dirge waved his monotone explanation aside, seeming uninterested in what she probably already knew. Ayato thought grumpily that there was no need to be so rude, but said nothing, instead settling for the satisfaction of managing to keep up the polite behaviour. Then again, he thought, scrunitising her, she probably didn't give a damn about being nice. Nor did she give any thought to their difference in rank, addressing him the way a dragon to another would.

Much to his surprise, Dirge didn't swell up with pride (well, at least not visibly) at his decision to take her advice; instead, discomfort and uncertainty were evident in her voice when she gave her reply, squinting at him suspiciously. Ayato kept his face blank and innocent, mentally filing away the information for later: Arrogant but not stupid. That was good, maybe she was actually able to keep up with her boasts, and would make a good Ugaan someday if she didn't react to critique with temper. Unless she honed it into a killing sort of fire... Then she could be deadly.

Then her temper flared up again, and Ayato stared at her, lifting his chin slightly. "Attack me if you really want to, you could even win, but what would it show about your temper?" he pointed out, sounding bored and annoyed. "I don't think the Kuz'a would be pleased if she caught wind of an Ugaan attacking her superior."

Curiosity lit his gaze when Dirge talked about her mother, seeming unaffected by her absence, but how could you miss something you never had? He felt no pity, only a sort of blank coldness. He'd lived through a similar tale. He didn't express his doubt in Dirge's belief that her mother had gone down gloriously in battle or whatever she'd been fed, merely listened and nodded.

"Life is so fragile," he said, a cold, bitter smile across his face. At least Dirge, even if what she believed in was a lie, had the opportunity to believe the best of her parents. His? He knew the truth and it was not very nice.

"What parents?" he continued, something in his tone saying that he didn't want to discuss further on the topic, "don't need nor know them. I trained myself." Something in his gaze warmed a bit at her mention of a squirrel, and he huffed, "Squirrels? I don't see them around much."


Last edited by Ayato on Sun Dec 17, 2017 7:27 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: The Hunt (Private with Ayato)

Post by Chrocey on Sun Nov 19, 2017 7:52 pm

Dirge was tempted, oh was she tempted, to simply assault Ayato as he propositioned that she attack if she wanted to. Unfortunately for her, he had a good point. It would speak volumes of her own lack of control, and most likely wind up with her execution for bringing harm to an Aliugaan.

Scortia would likely not very much care for unnecessary bloodshed within the tribe.  

Ayato then talked about life being fragile, and that his own parents were not around. Her hard expression softened a little. She knew plenty of dragons who’d lost their parents, but she couldn’t say that she met one who also never knew at least one of them. As bad as it sounded, it was a little refreshing to hear that at least one person had gone through something at least a little bit similar to her.

“I guess that’s cool that you trained yourself, not that means you did it well or anything,” Dirge said in her own unique way of trying to pay a compliment.

Dirge stood there awkwardly in silence for a moment too long, constantly averting her gaze. She never felt right whenever she said anything that was relatively nice. Finally, with a scoff, she turned around quickly and started to walk away. “Anyway, I’d better get back to my camp. I’d love to stay and chat, but I’ve gotta bit more prey to--”

The dragoness’ sentence was interrupted halfway as there was a loud snapping noise, and she suddenly dropped into a pit that was dug into the sand. A thud could be heard a few seconds after her initial drop, and she let out a roar so loud that it scared off a few nearby critters.

Dirge felt her stomach sink as she fell, then felt an intense dull pain in her wing as it was forced into an awkward position. Her confusion masked the pain for the time being, as she looked around to discover that she had fallen into some sort of trap. It was either laid by another Ugaan, or someone else. Whoever it was, she intended to end their life swiftly.
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Re: The Hunt (Private with Ayato)

Post by Ayato on Sun Nov 19, 2017 8:57 pm

The fire in Dirge's fierce eyes roared into life, and then sizzled out when the truth of his words dawned on her. Ayato smirked then, but didn't say anything; provoking as he was, he rarely mocked someone unless he had a point to get across, and so he just waited patiently as she realised the harsh punishment awaiting her if she chose to attack him. It was, to say the least, satisfying, but it served a purpose as well, adding to his observations of Dirge. Hotheaded, but knows how to see reason.

They seemed to share a... kind of mutual understanding when it came to the topic of lacking parents to guide the way, and it... It felt good, and he could tell Dirge probably felt the same way when her expression softened, obviously able to relate to him. There was and would always be one difference though, that there was never any glory in his parents' death, just the cold bitter truth of it.

Her compliment was like touching a flower only to find that it was poisonous, but he guessed that was just the way she did it. So he ignored her little jab and said, "How do you know? You haven't seen me hunting yet."

Awkwardness smothered them like a thick blanket suddenly, both of them seeming to run out of things to discuss. Her gaze didn't meet his, the only visible sign of discomfort she showed, while Ayato's rapid blinks hinted at the emotion he shared with her. At last Dirge broke it, giving some excuse before turning and leaving, Ayato watching silently after her. I doubt you'd talk to me again.

Then she fell. Into a trap. In her defense, it was a clever little one, well hidden and blending in well with the sand. He stepped forward, testing the ground before each step, then stood at the edge and peered out at her. Her wing was forced awkwardly across her chest by the small space. There were no rope binding her to the ground, but that was because the hole was deep. Damn.

The only way he could think of getting her out was to tie ropes around her legs and pull her out, but she was big. She would barely have enough space to get to her feet, but if she could and jumped, maybe he could grab hold of her and lift her up, and said so to Dirge. "Try jumping and see how far you can reach."
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Re: The Hunt (Private with Ayato)

Post by Chrocey on Mon Nov 20, 2017 10:22 pm

The more that Dirge started to come to terms with her situation, the more the pain started the swell in her wing. The more that the pain started to swell, the angrier she got.

“Ugh...I’m so sick of falling into holes!” Dirge tried to climb upward, but the stone walls of the pit were a bit too snug against her. There was never a more appropriate time for her to wish she weren’t so bulky.

Looking upward, however, she was glad to see that she wasn’t impossibly far down. Additionally, it was somewhat relieving to see that Ayato had decided to to stick around and try to help her. Even if it meant he had to see her in a somewhat humiliating situation.

The brash dragoness tweaked her ears at his suggestion, then stood up on her hind legs with her front talons against the wall. She winced, every movement she made causing a pain to emanate from her wing. It hurt beyond words, but she fought through it as best she could.

That was, of course, until she tried to jump.

“Aagh!” she cried out. Her injured wing scraping against the side of the pit. She tried to close it against her body, but it just wouldn’t. It looked like it’d been a bit disfigured, and might need to be put back in place if she ever got out of there.

Naturally, her response to the pain was a slew of various expletives. “Snakebite, that hurts!” and “son of a scorpion!” to name a few.

Finally, she focused her attention on Ayato once more. “Do I look like a jerboa?! Jumping isn’t doing anything!” she shouted out of frustration. “Just...see if there’s something else up there you can use. There’s gotta be something I can grab onto.”

The dragoness let out a sigh, looking down for a bit. Suddenly, an idea occurred to her. “I know! Lower your tail! If I grab onto it, I might be able to pull myself up!”
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Re: The Hunt (Private with Ayato)

Post by Ayato on Tue Nov 28, 2017 8:31 pm

Sorry for the long wait! --

The hole was much too small for Dirge to move much, and her wing probably wasn't in much better shape, having been forced into a rather... odd position when she first fell in. Her situation looked painful, and he doubted that the maker of this trap had bothered to smooth out the stone, so it was most likely rough to the touch. After all, it was only meant to catch things, not to preserve them, and he hoped the dragon would come along soon.

At Dirge's remark of being sick of falling into holes, he rolled his eyes. It wasn't exactly something you could avoid if it was well hidden, and for all his watchfulness, he could've fallen in too. "What's happened has happened," he said, "now focus on getting out." He walked a circle around the rim of the pit, frowning and racking his brain for a way to get her out.

Dirge's cry of pain had Ayato surveying her injury more closely. It was probably yanked out of its socket when she'd fallen in, so a dislocated wing? That was going to be difficult. Then again, it wasn't like she could fly out, but her movements would be limited as well if she wanted to avoid more pain. Ayato was rather at a loss, but he certainly wouldn't let a measly pit get the better of him!

Much to her credit, she didn't let her pain get in the way, and tried to jump - but the hole was simply too small for her to jump properly. She was bigger and the hole smaller than he'd thought, and he sighed in dismay. "Well," he began indignantly at her comment on being a jerboa, "jumng is one thing, the space to do so is another! At least a jerboa would've been small enough." He huffed.

Was it Dirge's size the problem, or her inability to tuck her injured wing close enough to clear space for a jump? Maybe both.

His eyes widened at her suggestion. "You'll yank my damn tail off! That or I'll be pulled down along with you." But he obeyed and lowered his tail anyway, the lack of a better idea forcing him to do so. He could use his scarf, but he wouldn't like to see it torn into two.
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Re: The Hunt (Private with Ayato)

Post by Chrocey on Fri Dec 01, 2017 4:51 pm

“Just lower your tail, you screechy little sand-lizard!” Dirge exclaimed. And with that, he turned and lowered his tail for her.

The dragoness stared at it for a moment, sizing up the distance between her and the appendage. Perhaps if she could climb quickly, he wouldn’t have to support her weight for long. Then he wouldn’t either lose his tail or end up in the whole with her.

Considering their recent interactions, the last thing she wanted to do was be stuck in a hole with this Aliugaan. The thought itself was making her feel a bit claustrophobic.

“Alright, I’m gonna start climbing on the count of three!” shouted the Ugaan. “One...two--”

Her sentence was interrupted as she immediately jumped upward and grabbed  onto his tail.Her full weight pulled down on him, but she pulled herself up quickly enough that she was able to jump from his tail onto the ledge of the hole. Her talons slipped between where the sand and the stone met, and she scrambled back up to the surface.

The dragoness stood up straight, panting a little as the pain in her wing started to catch up with her.

“Rrrgh!”
she growled, holding a talon over her wing but not actually touching it. Now that she was standing regularly, it was clear to see that the wing been dislocated. One wing was at her side, while the other was stuck open at an awkward angle.

Though she was a selfish dragoness, she still glanced over toward Ayato, ensuring that he was okay after her escape.
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Chrocey

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Re: The Hunt (Private with Ayato)

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