We were all on edge when the rustling sounded behind us, nearly knocking us completely off.
A porcupine. I scowled and sheathed my double long-knives, muttering my disapointment in attempt to stop Valour's boisterous laughter. He'd attracted enough trouble as it was. He was about to spout something else out but Lace, seeing it ahead of time, cut in between our argument with a reasonable, "Let's continue on guys. No use standing around here."
I sighed; he was right. Look as us--two grown men bickering like little girls. I looked straight on and followed Lace, fighting myself to not react to the fiery glare Valour shot my direction.
There was another noise. Lace stopped in his tracks and we all bumped into him.
"Uh oh Jevin!" Valour laughed in his childish way, "Better go save us from the porcupine!" He shoved me forward and I stumbled over my own feet, somehow managing to draw one of my knives. Shaking my head to clear the angry thoughts, I gingerly stepped forward, deciding it best to get this overwith.
I cleared the foliage and my eyes widened. There, barely visible in the moonlight, was a ruby-scaled jaculus dragon--no taller than my boot. But what it lacked in size it made up in aggressiveness. Lucky for us, it was sleeping.
"Uh guys," I muttered, tiptoeing a few steps backward, "I think we have a problem."
"What is it?" Lace asked, stepping forwards. I swung my arm out to stop him just in time for it to leap out. It's tiny jaw opened in a yawn, bragging its glinting teeth and making the air around it quiver with the heat of its breath.
Then it's black eyes spotted us.
"Run!!!" Valour shouted, leaping into bird form and soaring away. Heh, easy for him to say.
"C'mon," I muttered, grabbing Lace by the arm and tearing off through the forest. But it wasn't long before he was nearly outrunning me. He had to be a well trained warrior or soldier of some sort.
Whooshhh!!! A stream of fire barely missed my cloak and left the scent of burning wood hanging in the air. The dragon suddenly flung itself from somewhere in the maze of treebranchs and onto Lace, knocking him to the ground with its small yet dense body. They both rolled a ways and I skidded to a stop to help him. It's spiked head reared as it gathered a wad of flame in the back of its long throat but luckily Lace was able to shove it off of him before it barbequed his face. Unfortunetly, it got my leg instead. I leaped away and gritted my teeth, convinced that this was no time for sympathy.
Reaching for my arrows, I aimed for its weaker underside, but Lace beat me to it by simply kicking it into a thick bush. I smirked and lowered my bow; that worked.
"Hurry," he said, rubbing his shoulder, "We need to find the others." I cringed, he must've been bitten--worse than Jaculus burn, much worse. But, just knowing his type, he wasn't about to let me help. Even had I told him the side-effects it wouldn't have daunted him in the least bit.
"The last I saw them was back at camp, but I doubt the stayed," I agreed.
"Then we'll start there and look for clues. They can't be too far."
I certianly hoped not.