Interlude I: Smolder

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i.*

“Silent winds, my friend,” said Hinte as she turned, waving her tail. While she appreciated Kinri’s help in the lake, she breathed relief at parting ways with her.  The exile had no appreciation of the thoughtful silence, always annoying her with unhatched questions.  But worse, she acted utterly apterous when she opted not to ask questions. As if her tongue were rubber and her frills were stone.
There were worse issues, however. Such as Hinte deciding to carry back all of those apes.  When she should have known the inquirers would return regardless, when she should have known the weight would have her helpless to fly. Or that it would put her at the mercy of thos rockwraiths Kinri had doubtless stirred up.  Hinte wasn’t helpless.
The apes had escaped because of her tonguelessness. If she had tied them down better, if she had ensured they held no surprises, if she had thought to remove their weapons, if she had brought more emergency mixtures, that incident could have been avoided.  She was better than this.  These were hatchling mistakes, and she did not have the exile’s excuse of being a hatchly sifter.  Her Dozent would be disappointed.
The dark-green wiver fell back on her hindlegs, crouched tensely, prepared to take off.  Then, she remembered.  Apterous rockwraiths.