If one thing can be said, Alptraum's skill at flying and Tulani's skill at flying vary considerably. Where Tulani can fly for long distances with ease, she can't match Alptraum's ability to aerial dance. She learns this because when she went after him to retaliate for his teasing kiss … she found him an extremely challenging person to catch. The two soar for miles, each trying to out maneuver the other. And eventually, the cultivated lands below them fade to wilds. Even once it is wild, they go a bit further, just to be safe that any 'hunting' doesn't endanger the locals or the two. Alptraum lands into the brush with a pained huff. "Bah, you only were able to get me that last time because I'm tired!" the Eeee complains.
Hot on the Eee's heels, Tulani lands herself almost directly behind Alptraum, practically tackling him in a tight hug, proclaiming "Got you!"
"Grgk!" goes the Eeee. His method of defense is to try falling backward on the sphynx. "Yeah, yeah, what are you going to do about it?" he taunts.
Tulani topples over from the unexpected weight, holding on tight and taking Alptraum with her. She grins however at his taunt declaring with a grin, "Oh, I was thinking something like this!" and proceeding to lick the edge of the Eee's nearest ear, and then chuckling as she releases the Eee, "There! Now, on to the hunt?" she says more quietly.
"Gah! Cat diseases! I'm going to die!" wails Alptraum the moment after his ear is licked. Even after he's released, he doesn't roll off immediately, but seems more disposed to bounce a few times before rolling off and then sitting up. "Right, hunting. Well, I think we're far enough out for you to go hunting," he says.
"Well, if we can't catch anything, I can just chew on you some more instead… " The Sphynx quips back with a grin before scanning their surrounding area.
"You could try," Alptraum teases and makes grabby motions at her with his chitinous hand. "But who's to say I wouldn't get you first!" Now the Eeee gets up and dusts off his pants, then cants his head to the side, listening. "I hear some movement around here. Probably wild hogs," he notes, "So, I guess it's as good as any place if you feel like being an evil beast."
"Alright, but this time I'm saving my clothes." The Sphynx states as she turns away from the Eee and proceeds to remove her clothes, not even bothering with going behind a tree or bush, simply using her wings as a bit of a curtain. Folding her clothes neatly and setting them to the side, a familiar mist starts to gather on Tulani's body, and after brief moment of liquidity to her form, a silvery colored dragon is left in her place, rumbling happily.
"Oh sure, hide behind your wings," Alptraum teases. Though … he turned away too to give her privacy. Upon hearing the rumble, he looks over his shoulder, then asks, "Feel better? You do realize we can't fly back into town like that, right? You'll have to re-shift in town. Otherwise we might have pitchforks … and that would be bad." He grins.
"Of course… ah, but I almost forgot about that. We're meeting those two 'Lapi' in costume later… hmmm… " The silver dragon says, prowling back and forth for a minute, "We can cross that bridge when we come to it, which direction do you hear movement?"
Alptraum closes his eyes and listens for a minute. He raises his right hand, then points off in a northeastern direction. "A couple hundred feet that way, I believe," he remarks distractedly.
"Silver is conspicuous in the brush, easier to sweep down from the air." Tulani states, spreading her wings and looking off in the noted direction, but before she takes off, the dragoness tilts her head towards Alptraum asking, "Are you alright?"
Alptraum's eyes open. "I'm fine," he says, "Why do you ask?"
"You seem distracted… and uncomfortable. Are you really okay with going to that monster ball? I mean, if you really don't want to go, its okay, I didn't mean to stress you out… Or is it just because you're going with a guy? Or do I have this all wrong and something totally different is causing you problems?" The dragoness slowly asks, still poised to take off.
"Well, can't say I'm thrilled I'm going with a guy," Alptraum comments as he starts rubbing the back of his neck, "But I'll live. As for distracted … well, I was listening to the woods. You probably don't realize just how much sound there is in the world. Takes a bit of concentration to isolate out certain ones, then figure the distance. I'm not even sure I could explain it well."
For her part, Tulani does seem a bit surprised, "Oh, I'm sorry I mis-assumed Alptraum, I've just never really thought about it I suppose, since I don't have the same sense of hearing as you. Well, I'm going to head in that direction and see whats there to catch." she replies quietly before stroking her wings through the air and taking off.
"Good luck! I'll just stick to smaller things around here," Alptraum calls out after Tulani. The Eeee then fades into the background of the forest as the silver dragon takes flight above it and the direction of the sounds. The problem with being above the canopy is it's hard to see any real movement on the forest floor … but as she gets a few hundred feet away from where she left Alptraum, she can start hearing the grunts of hogs herself somewhere below.
Frowning in concentration, Tulani does her best to 'fly-silent' as it were, circling slowly in an attempt to better pin-point or spot her prey below.
When you're huge, flying silent isn't exactly easy, either. Dragons are creatures not built for subtle movement. The best way she finds she can manage silence it to do a lot of gliding. After several minutes and many circles, she has a reasonably comfortable feeling she's now circling right over the one that's grunting the loudest. But the two tones, she guesses there are two hogs down there.
Once she's fairly certain of the position of her prey, Tulani slips under the canopy of trees, claws bared, aiming for an element of surprise, and to use her weight to hopefully stun one of the hogs apparently there.
Tulani comes crashing through the canopy of leaves, hurtling down towards her intended prey! At the last minute, Tulani finds herself diving at a hunter. It's an Eeee, maybe no more than thirteen. He has his bow drawn back and looks about to shoot a hog no more than twenty feet away from him. Except what then he sees a huge silver dragon barreling down on him … well, his jaw nearly falls off. He doesn't even manage trying to turn and fire on her. He just … squeaks.
Eyes wide in surprise, Tulani's wings billow open and tilt, mist streaming from her nostrils as she attempts to break her descent and shift away from the Eee. At the very least if she can not stop, then perhaps she will hopefully hit the hunter with less force and roll off.
She's got too much momentum going to veer off … but she manages the next best thing, because the hunter falls over and Tulani lands over him. The poor kid is staring right up into her jaws and he just starts babbling, "Iwasn'tpoachingmyfamilyisstarvingdidn'tknowthiswasyourlandmisterdragondon'teatme!" He pauses to draw in a deep breath, then continues, "AndIdon'thaveanymeatonmybones. Allcrunchyandgristleyouwouldhateme!"
And then the kid starts to cry.
Tulani can't help but growl a little in draconic annoyance at the boys rapid, high pitched plea, snapping, "Your not my prey, but you'd best slow down, I can't understand a word your saying!" She doesn't move immediately, listening for the boy's reply.
"Don't eat me?" the kid pleads in a choking voice, "I didn't know this area had an owner. I won't tell anyone or send any guards after you if you let me go!"
"I do not own this area. I thought this was free land for hunting, just as you did. And I will not harm you… so long as you behave." The dragoness rumbles, leaning close, almost eye to eye with the boy. "If you promise not to alert any guards to my presence… I will even share my prey with you?""
"Okay," the kid squeaks. "I'm Verfolger," he offers politely, unsure of what else to say to Tulani, "But people call me Verf. Uhm, do you have a name, mister dragon?"
The silver dragon tilts her head back and forth for a moment, as though taking the boys measure before replying, "My name is not important at the moment… but I will remember you Verfolger… And I am not a mister so please stop calling me as such." she notes a bit stiffly as she backs off from looming over the young man.
"Oooh, I didn't know there were girl dragons," Verf says after sitting up, then promptly covers his mouth with his hands. He doesn't look back, but his ears flick backward. "The hog is gone," he whispers.
Tulani's head snaps around to stare sharply at the young Eee for his comment, but her expression softens slightly after a moment, "Well, youve been corrected now Verf, haven't you? Care to help me find another good piece of prey? I will share it with you as I said I would."
Verf feels around on the ground for his bow. Eventually he finds it and gets up to his feet, though his legs are wobbling a bit under him. He never really takes his eyes off Tulani as he notches an arrow onto the bowstring, then starts walking backwards, ears trained backwards. "Well, it shouldn't have gone too far. It's probably hiding somewhere now… "
" Don't even think of aiming that arrow at me young man… or you will be in serious trouble. I have said I wont harm you, and I will hold to that so long as you behave." Tulani calmly reminds the Eee, before proceeding to follow slowly, looking around herself for any signs of movement that might indicate sizeable prey. After all, her eyes were a bit better than her ears.
There leaves are all still, so Tulani's eyesight is of no help at all. The Eeee pauses, then closes his eyes. A split-second later, Verf spins around and crouches. While his eyes are closed, the bows string draws back and then snaps forward with a loud *thwack! the arrow whistles off into the brush only to be followed by a thunk as it hits wood. That's not all it hits because there's a loud squeal and the hog comes tearing through the brush. The tip of its tail is bleeding, from where the arrow nicked it.
Making sure she to get somewhere in front of the young Eee so as not to hit him, Tulani crouches directly in the hogs path as it charges and allows her throat to quickly inflate. A moment later the dragoness belches out a freezing cloud of mist in the charging animals direction.
At close range, it doesn't take a lot of aiming to hit. A moment later, Tulani has herself a hogsicle.
One of Verf's eyes opens. "I've never seen a frozen hog," he admits, "Well, except the time auntie's hog escaped and fell in the river during winter."
The dragoness steps up to her now frozen prey, prodding it lightly with a claw, before unceremoniously snapping the ice-covered pig in half. The hindquarters get pushed in Verfs direction while Tulani takes a large bite out of the front half while its still cold and frozen, scattering crimson crystaline droplets of blood as she chews.
"So … I'll just leave you to your dinner, then. Bye!," Verf says a bit squeakily as he grabs onto one of the legs of the hog. Quickly slinging the bow over a shoulder, the Eeee displays an amazing amount of strength fueled by the urge to survive, he starts dragging the body off.
"Don't forget to behave yourself Verfolger, or your promise, I'll certainly remember!" Tulani swallows and calls out after the retreating Eee. The dragoness finds the flesh of the hog quite tasty, especially frozen, and does her best to wolf it all own before it thaws completely. Soon after she takes to the air again, attempting to find her way back to Alptraum.
The best guess Tulani can make is to backtrack the direction she went as she again can't see much through the canopy of trees. When she's gone what she thinks is the right distance, she descends. Turns out she was right, as she finds Alptraum crouching on the ground once she's through the leaves. He's holding his right hand in his left and flexing it slowly.
Landing heavily and shaking out her wings, Tulani slowly approaches Alptraum asking, "Did you manage to find anything prey for yourself Alptraum?"
"A few small things. Some decent for blood, another I tested kenning on," Alptraum answers, though he doesn't look up yet. "Sounded like you had a bit of an adventure, though. Was it necessary to scare that kid?"
The dragoness snorts at Alptraum's question, licking a remaining fleck or two of blood from her chin before replying, "I don't know him, neither you nor I can be sure of how far he could be trusted… And at least I can be fairly sure he's not going to go running to tell anyone what happened." Tulani calmly responds as she finds her clothing, before shifting back to her original form, allowing the chilly mist to roll off her body and then re-dressing herself. "Do you think I did badly?" she asks Alptraum with a slight, concerned frown.
"I think you need to control your 'virtues' better," Alptraum notes with an amused grin. "Or I may have to have Kaira come give you a lecture… "
" Bah! I even gave the young man half the kill, so I couldn't have been that bad?" Still frowning Tulani steps closer to Alptraum and then abruptly grins and licks the tip of the Eee's nose, "But if you think I'm having trouble I'll try to work on it."
Alptraum crinkles his nose. He reaches over and taps hers, adding, "I guess I should be grateful you didn't decide to kidnap him. Though, I suppose he wasn't a prince. Now, if he was, there's this Khatta girl who wants to be a knight and rescue some helpless prince … and if you weren't careful you could have ended up on the end of her lance! Well, when she has one in say, ten years."
Tulani can't help but chuckle and pats Alptraum on the back saying, "Well! Then I'll consider myself lucky! Anyways, let's go get ready eh? We still have a party to go to!"