Tribute to Galyx, featuring Lovebird ( DS-12471 ), and Chocolate Fondue ( DS-12407 ), with Rhiin ( DS-9644 ) as the companion.
Version with background and seasonal bonuses highlighted: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1ycLnQRoCEiMZY08gY61EtUmj1mYeSfIMTQ70rBKn5jk/edit?usp=sharing
It was daytime, the sun was higher up in the sky, and the forest was more lively than it had been in the previous hours. Lovebird had been scavenging around for some materials to craft things with, and after a while of gathering stuff, hunger started poking his stomach. He had had a few voles that morning, but the race he had been in with Rhiin and Fondue used up most of the energy breakfast provided, and he noticed he could really use some more food.
He didn't really want more voles– especially because they were small and he'd need more than a few to satiate his hunger– so he decided to go find his friends to help him hunt something bigger. He knew Fondue and Rhiin had left to rest for a few hours, but as soon as he flew past Fondue's nest, he caught sight of Rhiin arriving.
"Rhiin!" he called out, and flew over to her. "Enough sleep already?"
Rhiin smiled as she noticed it was her new friend. "Yeah. Although I must say that race left me exhausted." Lovebird landed next to her with a chuckle
"Is Fondue around?" he asked as they walked to the nest.
Rhiin followed close by. "You tell me, I just arrived myself. Do you think he'll be up to go hunt something?" Lovebird let out an elaborate whistle to check if his friend was there, but they didn't hear anyone whistle back.
"Maybe, unless he's still asleep…" Lovebird jumped up to a large nest, made of twigs and foliage, and covered from the sunlight by thick tree branches and leaves. "There he is." Rhiin jumped up after Lovebird signaled her to with his tail, and they stared down at the large Harpia, sleeping cozily at the center of the well-plushed nest.
"Hey, Fondue." Lovebird called out, but only got a snore in reply. "Chocolate." he tried again, but nothing.
"Let me try something." Rhiin walked into the nest slowly, careful not to make any sounds, and stopped once she was close enough. She gave Lovebird a mischievous grin before she turned back to Fondue, and poked him quickly with her antlers.
"I YIELD!" Fondue jumped up quickly, flying to the opposite side of his nest in utter fright. Lovebird exploded in laughter as he flew down to Rhiin's side, who had fallen to the floor laughing as well, both far too amused with the Harpia's reaction.
Fondue calmed down once he noticed he wasn't being attacked. "Oh, come on, that was low." he chuckled despite his words. "Are you two that jealous that I won the race?" he mocked as Rhiin stood back up, still laughing.
"You were just difficult to wake up." Lovebird explained. "Rhiin did a good job at getting you on your feet." Rhiin chuckled again, and Fondue shook his head in disbelief.
"She almost gave me a heart attack, too." Rhiin smiled innocently as Fondue finished rearranging his puffed-up feathers.
"Anyway, we wanted to know if you were as hungry as us." Fondue looked up from his feathers with an almost confused face.
"Hungry? It's not dusk yet?" he tilted his head before looking up to the sky, just to make sure he was right, and both Tytos looked at each other in disbelief.
"Didn't the race leave you hungry?" Rhiin asked, perplexed. Fondue tried thinking, almost as if thinking hard enough would make him hungrier.
"Not really, no. Maybe because I'm bigger, and I had a larger breakfast this morning, so the race didn't tire me that much." he smiled genuinely at his smart conclusion.
"You were sleeping." she pointed.
"I like sleeping."
Lovebird rolled his eyes. "Ok big bird, seeing as you still have energy, we're going hunting." he turned around with a chuckle, and took off, with the other two birds in tow.
The three Stryx had flown to a quiet area of the forest, where the sunrays barely reached, and it almost didn't feel like summer. They landed in a soft patch of tall grass, and walked quietly around the trees in look of their prey.
Despite their usual chattiness, none of them dared speak a word, all knowing how crucial their silence was to their hunt. After a few minutes, the more experienced one of them– Rhiin– made a tail movement to signal she had found prey.
She had her eyes locked on a healthy and young but robust stag, that had a small pair of antlers long enough to put up a fight, but not long enough to truly harm any of the larger dragons. It had its rear to them, entirely unaware of its imminent death, and was grazing peacefully on a clover patch that was illuminated by soft sunlight.
Although they could easily ambush the deer right there and then, the trio decided against it, opting to follow Rhiin's lead, and plan.
Rhiin signaled for the other two to flank their prey, which they did slowly– hiding behind trees and beneath bushes– until the deer noticed movement, and jolted up, alarmed. As soon as it noticed the large birds approaching him, he turned around– ready to flee– but was met with Rhiin's shining feathers, which had it paralyzing in fear over the flashes of light.
Rhiin flew over the deer with immeasurable strength, using the deer's initial paralysis to their advantage. Before she could land a claw on it, the stag tackled with its antlers, prompting Rhiin to do the same. The two animals got into a heated fight, locking antlers and swinging each other around. Rhiin had the upper hand in strength by a landslide, but the deer stood its ground with great determination, and proved to be a decent opponent nevertheless.
After a few minutes of harsh, unpredictable movements, the deer started losing energy, and Rhiin signaled for Lovebird and Fondue to step in. Fondue used his size and strength to lock his claws around the deer's back, pinning it harshly to the ground once it was tired enough to give in, and Lovebird used his sharp claws to end the act quickly.
The trio looked at one another in silence. They were all slightly tired– especially Rhiin, after the fight– but they were content, and a gleam of pride danced in their eyes at the accomplishment. They hauled up their prey together, before taking off back to Fondue's nest to share the meat they had just obtained.
The forest was once again unmoving and serene; untouched despite the event. The sun barely reached that area, and among a soft patch of grass, a couple of clovers grew peacefully.