Sage groaned and propped herself on her elbows. “You killed it.” She motioned towards the over sized bird corpse that Saffron was picking apart in his dragon form. At some point she would have to have address Baron about his kill before talk approach and teach Saffron some etiquette.. “It could have given you vital information.”
Baron shook his head, “It's a Roc. I've dealt with these creatures before. They don't have the brain capacity to cower in fear. I'm not entirely sure they can even think for themselves, usually they are under someone's command. If the bird was told to lie, than it would do so until it croaked.”
Regrettably Sage glanced over at Saffron and the bird corpse. “Than whoever sent for the bird-
“Is not far behind. I know,” He interrupted, before tugging on his horses reigns and prompting him into a fast trot.
Sage and Nera followed suit, and Saffron flew overhead. She had worried about him on this mission. He was a wild card, but for some reason Baron had trusted he would keep calm and not give away their position. It was hours, well into the night before they approached a land of grass and trees again. They stopped and hid behind a small wooded area. Baron dismounted and decidedly thrust a spare knife into Sage's hand. “I have my own,” she said stubbornly.
“Aye, but use this one it's much sharper and of better quality.”
Sage didn't argue with Baron. Somehow, he always obtained the most prestigious weapons.
Baron motioned for Sage to dismount and ordered Saffron to change forms. Luckily it was dark enough outside to conceal his nudity.
“ We are not as strong as the Syrian army,” Baron started. Sage scoffed if this was his idea of a pep talk he really needed to reevaluate his priorities. He narrowed his eyes at he and continued speaking, “However, we have the element of surprise on our hands.”
“What?” Saffron and Sage asked simultaneously.
A wicked smile returned on his face. “Aye,” he pointed at Saffron. “We have a witless drunk and a petty little damsel.”
Sage and Saffron wore matching glares for the demigod. “Seemingly,” He corrected, putting his hands up in a gesture of surrender. “Though, we all know that is not the case, well not entirely,” Baron's eyes shifted towards Saffron.
“I is not a drunk,” Saffron slurred.
“Right, well what they know about is your dragon counterparts, and Sage's fighting skills.”
“Or that I have powers instilled in me,” she added.
Baron nodded his head. “Only as a last resort. We don't want to offer up all are secrets in our first meeting.”
The three of them spent the next hour discussing their newly revised attack strategy. Baron ripped open one of his saddle bags, he held up a garment for Sage to dress in. It was a gold silk dress, with the insignia of the Syrian Empire stitched into one of the long and flowing sleeves. “This does not scream commoner of the Syrian Empire to me,” she warned Baron.
Baron didn't bother to look up, as he stifled through the saddle bag. “It is. The Syrians dress all their commoners in riches. Sadly that's one of the factors that lures people into their loyalty for Demitrius.”
“Demitrius?” Saffron asked.
Baron looked up. “Commander and ruler of the Syrian empire,” he offered.
“Can I ask why you have a dress from our enemy Empire in your saddlebag?”, she said as she concealed herself behind a tree to change into it.
“You can Siren, but you wouldn't like the answer. There are ways to collect information about our enemies that may seem a bit...unconventional to you.”
It took Sage a moment to figure out what he meant and when she did her skin began to crawl. She wanted to rip the dress off and burn it, along with some of Baron's most prized possessions. She gave him a disgusted look, but kept quiet until she was given the signal to fall into action.
Solemnly Sage and Saffron walked into the clearing. “I don't want to hurt you Lady,” Saffron whined.
“You won't it's just an act, remember that.” Sage reminded him bitterly as she fell to the ground. Saffron listened as the Syrian's drew nearer. He could hear the hoof beats on the land. He sighed before raising his dagger above her chest. Sage's nerves were on the fritz. She wanted Baron to remind her again how letting a mad man poise over her with a sharp dagger was a viable option, but it was too late. Their enemies would soon come upon the scene.
Saffron squinted in the distance. The men on horseback were being led by a group of sick and decrepit looking people. He titled his head, how odd, he thought. As the armed men grew nearer he gasped in realization. The dagger in his hand shook wildly.
“Saffron!” Sage hissed, trying to keep perfectly still.
He took a few, deep calming breath, he needed to focus. If he lost control now he would most likely change into the dragon and give them away. No, he needed to wait for them to come closer, not until he saw the whites of their eyes, as Baron had instructed.