The Gods of Avondale

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Whatever sleep I did get was short lived. I was woken maybe an hour or two later by the mixed songs of Sanna and Śarat. I tried to ignore it and go back to sleep, but I soon found that was impossible.

I let out an irritated grunt as I wriggled out from between them. The moon overhead was cut in half, but slightly fuller than the night before, so I had some light to see by, but it wasn't enough.

I stumbled a few steps away before I tripped over something large and feathered. I groaned as I hit the ground, letting out a stream of curses under my breath.

Kendra? I looked at the shadowy figure I had tripped over, Nisvārtha. What are you doing?

I rubbed my eyes and face, Sorry, I was trying to get away from Śarat and Sanna. They're so loud that it woke me up.

What are you talking about? I realized my mistake and found I didn't care that much. Without their songs, Sanna and Śarat slept like the dead, making no sound.

I shook my head. Never mind, I sighed and rubbed my arms to try and warm them from the chill, God, I need to sleep. I'm so tired. I blinked my eyes rapidly to fight the tears of exhaustion, I had no reason to cry now, even if I was so so tired.

Well, you are certainly not sleeping in the cold, Kendra. Nisvārtha said softly. You will get sick if you try.

What do you suggest then? I snapped, but it had almost no bite, I was beginning to drift off as I sat on the cold ground. I'm....too tired to...move. I mumbled and curled on my side on the ground, my eyes closing

Nisvārtha sighed and I heard him move, before I could look I felt his body lie beside mine and his wing cover my body. The cold melted as his body heat spread through me, I trembled with exhaustion and relief, a small whimper escaping me.

Try to sleep, Kendra. He said softly.

Mmmhmm. I mumbled and quickly fell under. His song played in my head but instead of keeping me awake, it seemed to have the opposite effect. It lulled me closer and closer to sleep, all the instruments singing along with the voices, the voices that I'd never encountered in another dragon.

Then I heard a new instrument, it may have always been there and I hadn't noticed, but clear as the full moon I heard the sound of bagpipes. Those notes reminded me of home, and sent me to sleep.

* * * *

When I woke up, Nisvārtha was no longer next to me, and the sun was up. Everyone was getting ready to take off, food was being handed out, and those who were riding were getting dressed.

I kept Suruli's dress on me, knowing it would be very cold up in the air without it. So after I ate I hopped on Nisvārtha and we all took to the skies. Havala was dressed in Śarat's clothes, and Sanna had put on his pants and Nisvārtha's clothes.

As we flew, I expected Nisvārtha to mention last night and start an argument with his snobbery, but he didn't. In fact, the drake didn't say anything or even acknowledge my presence on his back.

I didn't have the willpower to care though, my body was so sore that it was painful to breathe. I had woken up this morning with my head hurting worse than before, and Nisvārtha's song seemed to be the only thing that lessened the ache.

Kendra? Suruli flew close enough to make eye contact with me. How are you feeling?

I gave a small smile, Not great. I'm trying to ignore the pain.

You could try meditation, Suruli suggested. Clear your mind of pain and distraction.

I held back a laugh, Actually, distraction helps a lot. With Nizvārtha's song playing non-stop, I didn't see meditation being an easy getaway. Could you tell me more about Avondale? That might help.

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