Raivis set Peter down a few days walk from the village on the theory that even with plenty of wandering he'd still end up home within a week. After making Peter promise that he really would come back n seven days he hugged his friend, then took off again, heading for home. Peter watched him go, waving from the top of a rock until he and his dragon were out of sight. Them he used his vantage point to get a good look around. He had every intention of returning in seven days, but only because he was certain he'd have found a dragon by then and would be able to fly back – he wasn't about to start walking home when the chances were he'd just hit the path of someone looking for him. Besides, how hard could it be to find a dragon out here? Clambering down, Peter decided that for now his best option was to find somewhere better than a bush to sleep in tonight, and maybe somewhere that he could have a campfire too. He set off heading even further away from the village with the coast on his left.
It took him about an hour and a half, but he eventually found a little overhang in the cliff. It wasn't perfect, and it was only just big enough for the boy, but it was sheltered from the wind, which had picked up. If it rained, as it was threatening to do, he should be mostly dry too. He could build a fire out just in front of where he was going to sleep, and in the failing light he quickly gathered up what wood he could find in the hope that it would be enough to last the night. He wasn't as good as Berwald at lighting fires, but after a few misfires and a few words that Timo would have washed his mouth out with soap for he managed to get it lit, and sat back against the rock, feeling very pleased for himself. No one would think to look this far out for him! And in this wilderness there had to be lots of dragons. He'd probably find a dragon by tomorrow and then be able to fly home triumphantly. That would show Arthur! Peter's spirits weren't even dampened by the drizzle when it started; he just threw a little more wood on the fire to keep it blazing and used his knife to heat up bread and cheese together. He was doing fine out here! He technically wasn't lost and he still had enough to eat for a couple of days, and he'd slept plenty the night before. Timo and Berwald would have to accept that he was old enough to look after himself after this! They'd never be able to tell him that he couldn't do anything again! He eventually lulled himself to sleep with dreams about being the greatest dragon rider in all the land – of Arthur finally bowing down to him and his parents being proud of him. He slept with a smile on his face.
As the days passed things slowly started to get worse for Peter. It drizzled constantly after the second night and without spare clothes or anywhere to hang them up he had to put up with the constant cold and damp. While it was sheltered in the trees he found himself stuck out on the cliff top half the time where the wind was strong enough to make it hard to walk and freezing cold to boot. All the walking hurt his feet and legs too. He was used to running around, but for short bursts and this was wearing him down. Peter did take breaks but whenever he had to stop he felt like a failure, like his dragon was slipping out of his fingers and Arthur's mocking laugh echoed in his head. He quickly began to run out of food, the biscuits and remainder of the bread ruined by the rain (though Peter ate them anyway) and though he was able to grab some berries as he walked it was hardly enough to keep a growing boy satisfied.
So it came as a relief on the fourth day when he came across a little stream that was practically crawling with fish. Peter had never been very good at fishing – he didn't have the patience that Berwald did, he could never sit still for very long. But he had been dragged along fishing so many times that he at least knew what he as doing, and it didn't take him long to assemble a makeshift fishing rod from a branch and a length of string. He managed to rummage up some crumbs from the bottom of his bag and hummed happily as he settled down on the bank to wait. The first couple of bites he wasn't quick enough to catch and he frowned to himself. Hunkering down, he stared into the water, finally finding his concentration. He was going to do this! A short while later, he got another chance, and within moment he was pulling a fish out of the water and onto the bank. He jumped up with a triumphant grin, spinning in a pleased circle. He'd done it! He'd caught a fish!
And then he paused, looking down at the fish as it flipped on the bank, struggling to breathe. What was he meant to do now? He sort of… he'd watched Berwald kill and gut fish, but never done it himself. What did he…
Someone – something was breathing down his neck. Peter's breath caught in his throat as he froze, forgetting about his prize. Fear filled him, and he didn't dare turn around. What if it was a bear or a wolf or – it could be anything! Then there was a flash of black as something leapt and it wasn't behind him any more. Peter stared for a moment as a black dragon with gold eyes snatched up his fish. For a moment their eyes locked, and then it took off, flying off into the trees.
"H-hey! That was my fish!" Peter yelled. He snatched up his bag and his rod and jumped over the stream, landing awkwardly on the opposite bank and having to scramble to his feet. He didn't make it very far at all before the dragon disappeared in the trees, far too fast for Peter to keep up with on the ground. The first dragon he'd seen since he left home and not only had he lost it, it had stolen his fish! Whining tiredly, he flopped to the floor. Now he'd have to start all over again.
Peter lay there for ten minutes or so before he finally dragged himself back over to the stream. He eyed the water and sniffed, before casting his rod again. After only a minute or so, though, he was suddenly aware of something landing behind him. He gulped and stared down at the water before finally looking back. There was the dragon, sitting on its hind legs like a cat, tail flicking eagerly as it watched him. Peter gulped again. For all that he had been dreaming of a dragon all of his life, this… this was scary. "D-do… do you want more fish?" He asked, looking back at the dragon. Of course, there was no response, just a quick lick of his lips, which Peter took as a yes. "All right. But I want to know where you're taking them!" He said, finding a little bit of his courage. The dragon just stared at him, and Peter stared back, before looking back at the fish. "A-all right!"