Pheona walked through the forest, a Jerboa rat sitting happily on her shoulder as she walked. She occasionally reached up to scratch the small creature between the ears, which squeaked happily.
"Just a little further, Remmy." The girl said, moving her black hair from her face as the wind suddenly picked up, blowing the trees around her. She held the pouch slung across her shoulder tighter to her side, making sure the egg inside was secured and safe. Her keep was named Avalon Thicket- named after her favorite mythological land. She turned through a thick brush to a large light unicorn grazing in a clearing. At the sight of the girl the unicorn whickered happily and trotted over, sniffing her pouch curiously.
"Hello, Lir. Yes, it's a new egg from the stream. Did you want to take a look?" Pheona reached inside the pouch and pulled out a shining white egg, red scales glittering over its surface. "I can't wait too long though- if it hatches while it's not in water, we'll have a problem." She smiled, walking with the unicorn to her side to a pond in the middle of a larger clearing, three other eggs resting within the shallow water.
"How is the new capricorn doing?" Pheona looked over to the Naga Alabast, who was so graciously helping watch over her eggs while she had traveled to the stream.
"It is hatching within the hour. The first cracks started to form shortly after you left." The Naga looked up at her, its ice blue eyes amused at her sudden excitement at the news. "You always enjoy a hatching, don't you Pheona?"
"Of course- it's always exciting, regardless of how many capricorns I've hatched." She smiled as the egg wobbled within the water slightly, a small squeak came from within the shell as a small nose poked through. This Capricorn was special- one of the Darksea line, but in a rarer meridian color for the lineage. The Capricorn finally forced itself out, plopping out into the water outside the shell, looking around in confusion. Phoena reached down carefully and picked up the Capricorn, which squeaked happily in her hands, a small trill coming from it as it waved its fish-like tail around.
"That looks like an energetic one." The Naga smiled, turning and slithering back toward one of the Emerald Wyverns at the other end of the clearing.
Pheona looked down at the Capricorn in her hands, setting the hatchling down into the water to play with the other hatchlings further into the pond. Remmy squeaked on her shoulder, running down her arm and climbing down her dress to tackle a small female Jerboa rat waiting for him on the ground. Pheona stood with a sigh, stretching from her long walk.
"Pheona!" A voice yelled from behind her, and Pheona turned around to see her friend Marina running toward her, finally stopping in front of her, gasping for breath. Pheona waited for her friend to catch her breath, hardly able to contain herself- when Marina was in a hurry, it meant there was big news.
"Look what I got!" Marina pulled a large egg out of the pouch at her side, a small gray-blue egg with a large gem on it.
"Is that what I think it is?" Pheona yelled excitedly, making Alabast look up in curiosity.
"It sure is- Master Belmos told me to give you this one." Marina pulled another out of her pouch, handing a shining blue egg to Pheona. It was remarkable heavy compared to most eggs, and as she set it down into the pond with the other eggs, it sank slightly into the silt at the bottom.
Alabast slithered over to the pond, examining the new egg with unusual interest.
"I have not seen a blue crystalwing before, I wonder what this means? I suppose it is a newly discovered egg from the caves." Alabast said thoughtfully, examining the egg curiously before turning back toward his previous business.
Pheona and Marina looked up as a large phoenix flew down, a small leather canister strapped to one of its feet. It held out its foot for Pheona to untie the canister, opening it to find a small paper inside.
"It's from the city." Pheona said in surprise, Marina leaning over her shoulder to read as well
'Pheona, we have need of your assistance in Synara City. Please come to the fifth merchant lot in the city to get further details.
- Conintor Tyrna'
"I wonder what he wants?" Marina asked curiously after she finished reading the note.
"I have no idea- but Conintor is a merchant who's pretty capable of taking care of things. If he needs help, it must be pretty bad." Pheona sighed. "Looks like it's time for a road trip."
"I need to head back to the coast- you'll have to do this one on your own." Marina smiled.
"No problem, Marina. Thanks for bringing my egg." Pheona looked down at the large blue egg, scooping it up and setting it into the pouch at her side. It was much heavier than normal eggs, so made her lean slightly to the side. She definitely would not want to walk like this.
"Lir?" Pheona called out to the unicorn, who looked up after grazing next to his mate, the dark unicorn Amalthea. Lir trotted over gracefully, whickering curiously.
"I was wondering if you would let me ride you to Synara City? We're going to see Conintor. There will be a nice juicy apple from the markets in it for you."
Lir whinnied happily, snorting and nodding his head in eager agreement.
"Thank you, Lir." Pheona said, climbing up onto Lir's back, carefully keeping the egg close to her side as she held onto Lir's mane when he started galloping out of the forest, following the road east toward the city.