They were waiting for Erin and Da'Karu to return. Chesed slashed at a wyvern as it screeched in fury.
They at least had the caves to explore. With spiders… and wyverns… and goblin things…
Chesed let out a triumphant shout as his sword cleaved through the last wyvern's neck. The creature fell to the ground twitching. No more horrid screeching, no more snarls and growls.
Someone let a gasp out from behind him. Chesed turned to follow the noise. Did someone find something? Was there another threat incoming? Was there…
Tomlin and Shalelu were staring at him with wide eyes.
"What?" he opened his mouth as a small panic hit him. What did he do? Why were they… staring at him in almost awe?
"What?" he repeated, feeling more ruffled by the stares than before. He let the raging power in his veins die down for the moment. They obviously weren't in danger.
"You had wings…" Shalelu breathed out.
And that was when Chesed noticed a feather drift past him. He started a bit and reached out to catch the fluffy white object. As soon as it hit his palm the feather dissipated from view.
"You had wings, Chesed," she responded, "You… didn't notice?"
"Cool…" he heard Tomlin mumble.
Chesed wiped his sword clean of the wyvern blood.
"You don't seem surprised…" Shalelu walked over to him.
"Well…" Chesed sheathed his sword, "It does run in the family… and I plan on keeping it going."
The elf snorted next to him, "Oh really?"
Chesed shrugged but grinned at her, "Yup."
"Can you do that again!?" the halfing appeared in front of Chesed with an excited look up at him.
"Sure?" Chesed wasn't sure if it would happen again. Never hurt to try right?
He headed for the cave entrance and let the raging power surge again. Tomlin followed with a skip in his step despite the heavy armor he wore.
Maybe it was a fluke. Maybe it wasn't. He took a deep breath in as he closed his eyes.
"That's so awesome," Tomlin commented.
Chesed opened his eyes. A couple feathers drifted to the cave floor as he turned in a slow circle. He flexed his shoulder blades and felt the new muscles respond in turn. He curled a wing around touched it delicately. Pure white feathers reflected the sunlight shining down from the open sky.
Wings… Just like his sister's. Just like… his father's…
Chesed was a bit surprised that he hadn't manifested dragon wings. With all the scales and fire powers, it made more sense that he would follow in his mother's footsteps. But it didn't seem to be that way now. He was definitely a mashed-up combo of both. And maybe that was what was so wonderful about it.
"Go!" Tomlin tried to shove him forward.
"All right, all right…" Chesed responded, "Pushy…" He stepped out of the cave with a mutter, "Didn't think someone else would be more excited than me…"
"What was that?" Tomlin tried to make him repeat what he'd said, but Chesed only grinned.
The rager raised his wings to the sky, and in a heartbeat was gone. Air streamed past him, cool and refreshing. The sun lit his scales and wings together in a white and gold dance of glittering brilliance. It felt good…
"Hey guys!" Erin called out as the three other members of the party approached the cliffside.
"Friends!" Tomlin called back. He waved frantically as Shalelu looked on. Darkclaw had successfully led them to their new camping place, though the worg kept a fair distance from the card master as they walked. Da'karu was between them, adding a wall to further split the two.
"We have returned," Da'karu nodded to the two of them.
"It was a pretty good run. Sold most of the loot," Erin filled them in. "I got everything split up back in Magnimar… and…" the caster stopped mid-sentence as he glanced around.
"What'd you do?" Shalelu asked outright.
"What did I do?! What did you do!?" Erin gasped, "Where's Chesed?"
"He's scouting," Tomlin replied.
Erin looked appalled, "You left him alone!?"
"Stop worrying," Shalelu huffed, "He can handle himself."
"You remember what happened last time we let him run in alone right?" Erin growled, "He-"
A gust of dust cut the caster off. Erin coughed as he heard the sound of wings beating the air. Chesed abruptly appeared in the sky over them before pulling up in a quick arc. The movement was a bit clumsy, but the the rager made up for it when he landed in a graceful crouch.
"You got your wings!" Erin exclaimed.
Chesed straightened up with a wide smile, "Sure did."
Da'karu nodded, though his expression was still a mixture of shock.
"You got your wings!!" Erin repeated himself like it was the only words he could think of for the moment.
"Still doesn't help the smell…" Darkclaw mumbled.
"Really?" Chesed commented.
"It's true, mutt," Darkclaw retorted, "I'm not lying am I?"
"No," Chesed shook his head, "Guess I expected something… else to come from you."
This made the worg chuckle with a low rumbling growl. The group was back together. They were ready to venture further into the caves. Hopefully the top one would lead them into the heart of the hidden library and they could bypass most of the giant army. Cut the head off the snake… They could scatter the giant army and save Varisia again.
"YOU HAVE WINGS!" Erin's voice grew in pitch.