“I'm trying! I'm- I'm not built for the air..!”
“It's ok, I won't leave you, we just need to keep moving at our fastest, whatever that is, ok?” His voice wavered like candle flame, but his gaze was steadfast.
Kamon nodded, sucking in as much air as he could in each twin breath.
“Nolous, look!” Caloi cried from the front, her voice carrying the tone of hope. Ahead of them, the world faded back to normal, as if the canyon was not changed into a completely different place and all was as it should be. In less than a minute they exited the field of altered reality, the night's cool air pressing against their skin. Kamon was too out of breath to smile, and Nolous noticed he was lagging farther and farther behind.
“Caloi, we're landing now!” He called to his familiar, brushing the tip of his wing against the edge of the finned dragon's as she looked back. On the ground, Kamon wheezed, hunched over and gasping- he had been sprinting in flight for longer than he should be able on adrenaline alone, and it was taking its toll.
The crane's eyes flashed between concern for her friend and apprehension. She wanted to keep moving, but she didn't want to leave him, and knew with no doubt Nolous would refuse to even if she was heartless enough to insist. Her master still got the message from how she shifted uncontrollably. He touched his companion's back with his tail.
“Kamon... we need to keep moving. Can you walk?” He asked softly. The red-finned dragon still couldn't speak, but he nodded. “I'm going to need you to take the lead, alright? You know the area, we need to get someplace out of the open, so we can hide as we move. Is there anywhere like that?” He nodded again, looking up in the direction of some hills. Nolous couldn't see it in the dark, but he remembered that there was a forest covering them, which would be perfect. His partner stood and started in the direction, still winded but somewhat under control. The dark dragon motioned at his back, to which Caloi, her characteristic glow gone, responded by gliding over and perching on him. It was a thing they had begun doing before in less trying times, to keep an eye out for anyone trying to come up from behind- those times, it would be for bandits or wild animals, things they could be expected to win against.
They trudged for a while in silence, adrenaline and terror still trickling out of their systems. Nolous kept thinking of how he and Caloi had berated Kamon for coming to them, it felt like such a petty thing now that he looked back on it. In all likelihood, he was right, that strange dragon could have been responsible and they might be alive right now because of his instincts. He wanted to say something, but was unsure of how to break the heavy silence- to his surprise, he didn't have to.