Advent of Equinox by Skyblaze, Taranea

Chapter 4 – All the Strange Strange Creatures, Part 2

Chapter 4 – All the Strange Strange Creatures, Part 2


The plane! Bring the plane under control again!”

“How?! What do I need to do?!”

Sonic and Shadow were shouting at each other as the black hedgehog gave his utmost to hang onto the controls and Sonic was busy trying to get a clear view of what the other was doing. The Tornado was roaring across the sky like ET’s bicycle on steroids and Sonic was only glad they at least weren’t flying over inhabited area at the moment.

“Let go of the stick!” Sonic screamed from his back seat. “I’ll fly!”

“How can you fly from back there?!”

“Like this!”

“Wha- your ARMS! What happened to your ARMS!”


Shadow didn’t reply anymore, but instead sunk back into his seat, staring, but trying to calm down again. Sonic had just…turned to rubber…the black hedgehog twisted his head to see the face of the other on the back seat, but the two big, dark-blue furred arms had suddenly tripled their length and were now snaking over his backrest to give the term ‘backseat driver’ new meaning as Sonic brought the plane under control again. Shadow had trouble to stop staring, even if he wasn’t sure why stretchy limbs should freak him out after he himself had just grown new ones only hours ago. His left hand also unconsciously went up to rub the fur ridge on his right shoulder that would never lie really smoothly and Shadow took a deep breath. He had seen stranger forms of body weirdness. This was relatively small fry compared to the rest.

The remainder of their flight was also rather calm compared to their explosive start. Shadow restricted himself to reading out the displays of the instruments to Sonic while the other steered the plane from behind, long limbs moving to the side of Shadow. The Ultimate Lifeform felt a bit odd to be framed by the two thick, muscular arms encircling him from both sides, but it wasn’t that uncomfortable…there was a chill this high up in the air, yet Sonic’s thick fur radiated warmth when it brushed against his own shoulders. Shadow could feel himself relaxing a bit, only unconsciously registering that it might not only have stemmed from the temperature and the fact that Sonic was flying the plane smoothly now, but also from the feeling of being almost held safe in someone’s arms for the very first time…

“Why didn’t you do this from the very beginning?” Shadow asked when they had nearly reached their destination only a short while later. The blue-furred limbs jerked a bit, almost as if Sonic had just shrugged his shoulders.

“I don’t like it much. It feels like your bones turn into chain links inside your flesh. It adds extra reach to my attacks but I avoid it when I can.”  And also it lets me feel like even more of some sort of freaky monster, he added in his mind but didn’t speak out aloud. No need for Shadow to catch a faceful of wangst this early in the evening.  

“I see,” the black hedgehog merely replied when Sonic brought them in for their landing, his tone not betraying whether he had caught on to the hero’s thoughts.

“Hold on tight,” Sonic instructed as the plane finally touched ground and the two hedgehogs bounced in their seats while the transformed Mobian wrestled with the controls to bring it to a halt. It screeched to a stop at the very edge of the landing strip in front of Tails’ house and the little fox was already opening the door to greet them when the two mismatched shapes climbed out of the Tornado.

“Sonic! Shadow! Did everything go - oh. It happened again, then?” he asked with a sympathetic smile as he jogged toward them, stopping when he could finally make out Sonic’s noticeably bulkier shape dropping to the ground with a thud! instead of landing gracefully as he usually would.

“Yeah,” Sonic replied with a growl and sigh. “We did manage to catch Shadow’s clone, though.”

“Ah. Good,” Tails nodded, before shooting a hesitant glance at the now wingless black hedgehog standing next to them. “So this is in fact the, uh, the real…?”

“Always have, always will be,” Shadow replied coldly, crossing his arms in front of his chest, crimson eyes glowing in the darkness like red-hot knives. “That faker didn’t stand a chance.”

“Great, happy to hear that,” Tails replied in what Sonic recognized was a just slightly too high-pitched voice along with a smile bordering on a muscle spasm. Clearly, his little buddy was still a bit uneasy around the deadly serious hedgehog. Not that Sonic could blame him…

“Yeah, we managed to get the Emerald it had stolen, but it escaped after a fight with Shadow,” the blue hedgehog explained as they made their way into the house, Shadow pointedly not looking at either of them when he was forced to remember the fight that could have gone so badly if Rouge hadn’t shown up…

She needs to teach me how to fly and battle. Urgently.

“So, any results from the tests?” Sonic asked as they filed into the living room. Tails nodded.

“Yeah. Shadow is definitely affected by the same condition as you, except the energy signatures I collected off him have the exact opposite values. So, if you are contaminated by Dark Gaia, he is afflicted by Light.”

“Okay. Anything new on the eclipse from today?”

“Nothing, I’m afraid. It is kind of strange that they haven’t even been able to find the object that blocked out the sun, though…I couldn’t reach Knuckles so far, either, by now I’m getting worried. Especially since the Chaos Energy field of Mobius is going haywire.”

“Yeah, no kidding, pixel brain” Sonic replied. “Even the Emerald we recovered from Shadow’s clone is about as dull as a conversation with Knucklehead on a good day,” he said, pulling forth the gem from Shadow’s quills with another reach of suddenly elongating arms, causing the Ultimate Lifeform to first flinch forward and then snap at him in protest.


“Yo, relax,” Sonic ignored him, instead holding the blue Emerald out to Tails. “See? No light in it anymore. Led to a pretty amusing Chaos Fail earlier.” The transformed hero grinned. 

“You’re positively begging to be impaled on a Chaos Spear,” Shadow informed him flatly, his hands on his upper arms briefly enveloped by crackling emerald flames. Tails privately wished Sonic would have the good sense to rile the Ultimate Lifeform up somewhere away from his more expensive equipment.

“Guys, please, not here,” he sighed, taking the power gem from Sonic at the same time. “I’ll put that into the locator I built, with it we can pin down the coordinates of the other six.”

“First of all, do you have any explanation as to why this is happening to the Emeralds? And some more information about the ‘Gaia Energy’ I keep hearing about will be helpful,” Shadow held the kit back before he could vanish.

“Hey, I tried to tell you!” Sonic protested, looking a little injured.

Shadow rolled his eyes, “Please, Faker, I’ve come across Dadaist haiku that make more sense than your attempts at explaining this.”

Sonic pouted, which looked… on second thought, Shadow didn’t really want to think about what it looked like, because the phrase ‘kicked puppy’ would inevitably end up in there somewhere.

“Ok,” Tails began, “You know how Chaos Energy is present in all living things?” Shadow nodded, while Sonic looked like this was apparently news to him, “Well, living things generate Chaos Energy – some more than others. But Chaos Energy doesn’t keep them alive; it’s just a natural consequence of their life-force.”

Shadow grunted. “Speak for yourself,” he muttered.

“Anyway, Gaia Energy is the life-force of the planet and since the planet is, in a sense, alive, it also generates Chaos Energy. But like with people and plants and everything else, if that life-force is disrupted, the Chaos Energy contained within it is also disrupted. My current theory is that when the Gaia Energy is disrupted, it looks for other hosts to store itself.”

Shadow considered this, absorbing the information. Sonic mostly looked a little lost, “All right, so we are currently playing hosts to a portion of the planet’s life-force. So what about the Chaos Emeralds?”

“Well, current theory is Chaos Emeralds somehow tap in to the Chaos Energy of the planet, acting as focal points. They’re tied together somehow. I think the Master Emerald is an exception, but until we can contact Knuckles, I can’t say for sure. But I’m guessing that re-energising the Emeralds will help re-balance the Gaia Energy, too.”

“Okay,” Sonic nodded. “That means we can go hunting for them tomorrow. Sounds like a plan.”

“We also need to find the Doctor’s base,” Shadow stated. “That clone was most likely his work and he might be making more.”

“Can do both,” Tails assured him. He turned to head down to the lab, but stopped. “Oh yeah, one more thing. About your wings…”

Shadow raised an eye ridge when the two-tail didn’t continue immediately. “Yeah?”

“They’re…you’re…well, I studied the feather and compared your shape and colouring to that of feral birds. It seems like you’re a…” he gave a small grin. “…an Elanus caeruleus, a Black-winged Kite. No wonder Sonic could pull you along so well.”

And with that, the two tails had disappeared downstairs so quickly he couldn’t even hear the ensuing growl and inevitable giggling of his older brother above.




“Fine,” Shadow grumbled later, drumming his fingers on the table. Sonic had suggested they grab a bite to eat since they hadn’t had anything all day and now the two mismatched rivals were sitting at the dining table in Tails’ kitchen, while the young fox was rummaging through the pantry trying to find anything actually edible. The Ultimate Lifeform didn’t usually require such mundane things as basic nutrition, of course, but the transformation earlier today had left him feeling rather drained and hungry. Still, at the moment he also felt rather restless.

Tails poked his head over the open fridge door. “Shadow, what would you like to eat?”


“Try it with some Cheerios, Tails, and he might lighten up a little,” Sonic’s voice came from the other side of the table, immediately followed by: “No wait, on second thought hold the cereal. The way he’s looking at me now would probably let the milk curdle.”

The fox briefly rolled his eyes at the unhelpfulness of hedgehogs in general, but was interrupted by a knock at the front door.

“Hey, boys! Anybody willing to let a girl inside?” Rouge’s voice called out and Tails quickly complied, the small kitchen actually getting quite crowded by now, especially with Sonic the Werehog taking up more space than usual. Well, they should probably be glad that Shadow at least was wingless at the moment…

“H-hi, Rouge,” Tails greeted her as he opened the door, trying hard to be polite and actually look at her face when she smiled at him. To the nine-year-old fox, she was actually a little scary, though in a different way than Shadow.

“Hey there, cutie!” The female gave him a dazzling smile, bending slightly forward and ruffling his head fur. “My, you’ve certainly grown a little since I last saw you, huh? Though probably not as much as your hedgehog friend, I suppose…” she said, striding through to the kitchen swaying her hips and carrying a sports bag, Tails, now actually blushing a little, hurrying behind.

“What’s that you brought?” Shadow asked as the bat pulled up a chair.

“Just a few things. GUN equipment for the mission to the doctor’s base, stuff to help you fly tomorrow, a couple of my things, clothes, and your toothbrush.” 

“My toothbrush?” Shadow raised a bit of an eye ridge, while Sonic already had to snort again at the slightly incredulous expression of the Ultimate Lifeform. The bat nodded.

“Sure. I figured we’d be staying here overnight, and we both know you have terrible morning breath.”

“I do not!”

“He has, take my word for it,” Rouge winked at the two other Mobians in the kitchen. Tails was snickering behind the safety of the fridge door, while Sonic’s lips twitched in faint amusement – but at the same time the blue hero couldn’t help but suddenly wonder why he felt a surprising slight sting at the easy manner in which Rouge was able to tease the black hedgehog and the familiarity between the two that resulted from Shadow basically living at her place. Were they actually…more than friends…?

“So, can you tell me what you eat? Shadow refuses to,” Tails piped up. The question was not an entirely unreasonable one. Because of the hundreds of species of Sapients on Mobius, diets could vary wildly; both in personal taste as well as what the Mobian in question actually was able to digest. The average human supermarket was able to fulfil about 90 percent of anything the three feet tall and fluffy population could want and for the rest either specialty or simply pet stores were usually sufficient. However, there were also always the usual exceptions and while Tails had felt pretty certain he would be able to cater for Shadow who was just another hedgehog, he had little to no idea what to give a bat.

 Rouge pursed her lips.

“Got any wine?”

“Uh, no, I actually don’t have any alcohol, I don’t like it that much…” the little fox rubbed his two tails together, a bit embarrassed, but the white treasure huntress just smiled.

“That’s okay, kiddo. I’ll just have some juice and fruit. Tall, dark and stripy over here won’t appreciate anything apart from cherries anyway, so you might just give him whatever you’re cooking up for you and blue boy. He says there’s nothing his stomach couldn’t hack in any case.”

“Okay…” Tails nodded. That sounded simple enough. “I was going to maybe have hamburgers for us. That fine with you?”

Shadow grunted in what could have been consent if interpreted benevolently, and Sonic nodded.

“Sure, sounds great. For me, hold the burger bun, though. And the salad. And mostly everything apart from the meat.”

“Yeah, I remember,” Tails gave a little knowing smile. Sonic’s usually balanced and/or fastfood-inclined tastes had shifted definitely toward the carnivorous end of the food spectrum the last time he had turned into a wolf. He usually also liked his meat barely flame-kissed when that was the case, but Tails still made it a point to make sure it spent at least a minimum time in the pan. He was pretty certain lycanthropy did not protect from salmonella and a werewolf with the runs was probably the last thing they needed…

“You not eating anything apart from fruit?” Sonic asked Rouge while the burgers were frying in the pan and the bat had already helped herself to some peaches. He leaned on the table a bit and gave a small grin that he knew usually let him look quite charming but was probably more along the lines of ‘All The Better To Eat You With’ in his transformed state. “Don’t tell me you’re on a diet.”

“Me? No way, I’d rather keep the volume of my…curves,” the bat replied, apparently changing what she had been about to say at the last moment after she had shot a quick glance at Tails still in the kitchen. She winked jokingly flirtatious at Sonic who was a bit startled, but soon lapsed into an easy grin himself, feeling relaxed that even his horrid appearance apparently still didn’t make him a completely hideous monster if at least Rouge behaved normally around him. He also shot a quick look at Shadow to see whether the black hedgehog seemed in any way disapproving of her behaviour toward him, but the Ultimate Lifeform was staring off to the side and didn’t seem to care for any of the antics at their table.

“Burgers are done!” Tails announced, carrying the pan over to the table. The blue hero could already feel the characteristic saliva of the wolf pooling in his mouth but tried his best not to drool when the meat was placed before him and the delicious smell hit his sensitive nose. It was only another aspect of his transformation – it invaded his psyche and even changed his food preferences – that he didn’t want to think about or be reminded of.

“You sure you don’t want one, Rouge?” Tails asked as he distributed the food among their three plates. The bat shook her head.

“No, thanks. I’m not that great with beef or bread,” she excused herself, taking another sip from her apple juice. “Fruit, chicken, dairy and a few vegetables is mostly all I can take. That and the occasional insect treat, of course,” she added, gesturing elegantly with her hand.

“Oh,” Tails said. “Well, we do have some of those, a dried crickets and mealworm mix, Sonic sometimes adds them to his cereal…”

“Yup, makes it extra-crunchy,” the transformed hedgehog informed the bat happily through a mouthful of burger, ignoring Shadow (who had grown up solely among humans and had been raised on canteen food) twitching slightly in the background.

 “Tastes fantastic, Tails, thanks a bunch,” Sonic said, licking over his muzzle as he had successfully wolfed down the last burger. He stretched on his chair.

“Alright, who’s in favour of hitting the hay?”

“Already?” Shadow frowned, finally opening his mouth. “Shouldn’t we be doing something instead of wasting our time sleeping?” 

“Well, a few of us actually have mortal needs like that, yes,” Sonic replied. “Besides, what would you actually be doing now? The computer’s running a search for Eggman’s base and the rest of the Emeralds and we really shouldn’t move out before you haven’t learned how to properly deal with your bird form anyway.”

The black hedgehog scowled, not used to Sonic actually making sense and also not happy to be reminded of his own weakness. And now to spend the only few hours of darkness that let him be his agile, powerful self in unconsciousness…?

“He’s right, Shadow,” Rouge agreed, briefly rubbing over the reluctant black hedgehog’s shoulder. “We need to be well-rested if we want to take the doctor on tomorrow.”

Crimson eyes closed as the Ultimate Lifeform briefly inclined his head.

“I suppose you’re right.”

“Good choice,” Rouge nodded. “So, Two-Tail, where can we sleep?”

Sleeping arrangements were quickly sorted, with Sonic giving up his room to Rouge in a slightly unexpected act of chivalry. Tails had likewise retired to bed, leaving Sonic and Shadow alone in the living room.

“What about you?” Sonic asked, directing a questioning glance at Shadow. The black hedgehog shrugged.

“I don’t particularly care. Anywhere’s fine,” he replied disinterestedly, but Sonic briefly thought he could also sense the other’s discontent at his situation for a moment.

As if the hero of Mobius couldn’t fully emphasize.

I’m sorry, Shadow…

Sonic disliked spending time in his shapeshifted form just as much as Shadow did and now he had argued (even if with good reason) that they spent the night at the house so he would be able to sleep and forget his problems until the sun would chase them away…but thereby also letting Shadow’s wings reappear. No wonder the black hedgehog was even gloomier than usual.

The rational part of Sonic’s brain insisted of course that Shadow had been through much worse and was more than capable of just sucking it up and get on with stuff, but there was also another side – Sonic once again realized that yes, he actually felt a bit sorry for the other and would like to cheer him up.

“Tell you what, you can have the couch. I’ll take the floor.”

Red eyes blinked, for the first time actually making contact, staring for a moment, almost as if the other wasn’t sure how to respond to that.

“…thank you.”

The words sounded a bit rusty, giving the slight impression that the black hedgehog had been trained a long time ago to say them but had never bothered until now. Sonic gave him a clawed thumbs-up.

“No worries. Come on, I’ll get us some blankets.”

Shadow followed the transformed hero through the house, catching the sheets Sonic threw at him while digging through the drawers of a cupboard at the stairs. He felt a bit oddly, hardly having been accustomed to kindness or hospitality before. Shadow once again looked at the form of Sonic rooting through the laundry, briefly realizing he wasn’t at all sure how he actually felt about the other at the moment. It certainly didn’t help that the hero of Mobius seemed to oscillate between genuine friendliness, lunacy, bravery and annoyance warranting Cruel and Unusual Punishment on a regular basis. But right now he had offered Shadow (and Rouge) the only other two sleeping opportunities in the house without a second thought just to make him more comfortable…

“There ya go,” Sonic indicated the green couch standing in the living room he had led Shadow back to. It was right next to a low sofa table, a fireplace and a bookcase – Sonic briefly left the room again and Shadow studied the titles of the tomes with faint curiosity.

The Arabian Nights, Knight of the Wind, Beyond Prophecy, The Legend of King Arthur: The Fall, Artemis the Fowl, which was the book series about that criminal bird boy geniusthe little fox was a fantasy nut. Who would have thought.

Shadow sat down on the sofa, stretching out tentatively. Black ears perked up when Sonic re-entered the room, carrying two pillows under his arm, one of which he tossed to Shadow.

“There. Try not to get too many spines stuck into the couch, Tails already threatens to have me de-quilled whenever he sits down on it and gets poked.” 

“Right,” Shadow replied dryly, taking the cushion and pulling the sheet over his body. “Where are you going to sleep, anyway?”

“Carpet,” Sonic stated simply. “It’s rather soft and one of the advantages of my current form is that I don’t actually seem to mind,” he added, edge of his mouth briefly twisting in sardonic gallows humour. He lowered himself in front of the couch onto the cream-coloured rug, actually having to resist the urge to turn once in a circle before lying down.

“Good night, Shadow.”

“…good night.”

“Try not to think about tomorrow too much.”

“Now that you reminded me, faker, it will surely work.”

Sonic chuckled. “Good point. In that case, then, try to think about tomorrow and imagine how we’ll crack that Egghead wide open.” He reached for the remote and switched off the lights.

It didn’t make much of a difference to Shadow, since the Ultimate Lifeform could see in near darkness, but it sure didn’t take long for Sonic’s body to succumb to sleep as soon as the lamp had been extinguished. The black hedgehog briefly looked down at the unconscious form of the hero on the floor after he had been staring at the ceiling for a while, noting with slight curiosity how Sonic had curled up more akin a feral dog than your standard sapient Mobian (of course, not that that was saying much. Shadow so far had encountered quite a few things when it came to sleeping positions, including Rouge hanging upside down from the ceiling, Espio curled around a tree limb and of course himself, waking up as a tight, spiky ball after a nightmare that had involved Doom’s Eye wearing a Maria costume and chasing him through the ARK demanding that he ‘Kill all the GUN soldiers for cake’. Rouge had suggested he should get his subconscious checked afterward).

Shadow looked at the hero sleeping on the carpet again, hearing his strong breathing and watching his flanks rise and fall with that rhythm. Sonic’s face was turned away from him, tugged in between his paws and the pillow. It looked almost…

The Ultimate Lifeform shifted a bit on the couch so he now lay on his belly. He wondered…a hand stretched down again and briefly brushed over the midnight pelt, dextrous gloved fingers at first tentatively, then more boldly stroking over the fur, which felt smooth and coarse all at once. Shadow couldn’t even explain to himself why he was doing this, only that Sonic felt…curiously warm…

Chaos. What am I even *doing* here? Shadow shook his head while pinching the back of his snout, simultaneously retracting his hand. I must be going insane. But then again, I DID turn into a bird today, so I might actually have reason to this time.

He rolled onto his other side on the couch, trying to finally fall asleep and closed his eyes, deliberately avoiding to think about what he had just done or why. But when he succumbed to his own exhaustion a few minutes later, emerald eyes were still staring straight ahead, the hero of Mobius yet quite unable to believe that Shadow had just petted him…




Shadow screamed when the agony came.

“What?! What’s going on!” Sonic was on his hands and knees instantly, having been jolted awake by the explosion of noise, the scream quickly turning into a tortured screech even while the blue hero still tried to get his bearings. He was in Tails’ living room on the floor, his hands were digging into the soft carpet he had been lying on, the arms supporting him were slim and peach-furred again, hands slender and bare and non-clawed, the light of the sun having already spilled over the horizon…

The sunlight.

Sonic’s head twisted around only milliseconds after being startled awake and wide emerald eyes immediately filled with distressed sympathy as he beheld Shadow who had been sleeping on the couch. The black hedgehog was also on his hands and knees, face contorted into a mask of pain, midnight fingers clawing into the couch pillows in anguish as talons burst forth, shredding glove, pillows and flesh alike. Shadow was pressing his face into the sofa now, trying to muffle his howls and screeches as even his larynx was violently forced to transform. The Ultimate Lifeform was crouching like somebody in supplication, but there seemed to be no mercy forthcoming. Sonic could see his back arc and buck in muscle spasms, quills flexing arhythmically in pain and panic, until finally, the wings burst forth from the black-furred back and another ragged scream was torn from tan lips. To the horrified blue hero, it looked like a distorted version of a fast-forwarded video of a butterfly emerging from its cocoon for the first time, but the image in front of him was infinitely more awesome and terrible to behold. The black and white wings grew from his back as if they were magic, unfolding and jerking until they hit the ceiling, flapping while half-formed and trailing feathers everywhere, powerful and untamed and cruel and wild.

Sonic had no idea how long the procedure had lasted, had only been able to stumble backwards and slide away on his behind and hands, but then it was finally over, the shining new wings collapsed limply to the floor and over the backrest of the couch, half-covering the panting and exhausted body of the Ultimate Lifeform that lay twitching on the sofa. Sonic stayed sitting for another moment, stunned, only listening to the laboured breathing coming from his dark-look-alike before he actually managed to pick himself up and walk over.

“Shadow…” he asked, tentatively, wondering whether he could pick up one of the wings and move it to see the other’s face without causing him even more pain. The blue speedster noted with some relief that at least there was a lot less blood on the feathers than there had been yesterday, hopefully indicating that Shadow’s body had gotten used to the transformation process somewhat. Upstairs, Sonic could also hear confused footsteps now, indicating that Shadow’s cried must have woken up Tails and Rouge who were now coming down to look what was going on.

“Chaos, Shadow, I’m sorry – I probably should have thought about setting an alarm clock or something instead of just waiting for the sun to pop up. It reached me first because I was closer to the window, but changing back usually never wakes me up. I was an idiot for not thinking that for you it would be the reverse. Are you okay?”

Shadow at first didn’t reply, but then a groan issued from beneath the wing. Sonic waited for another moment and then finally the pinion was slowly lifted aside – revealing the most cranky and dishevelled Ultimate Lifeform imaginable underneath.

“Worst. Morning. EVER.”




“Alright, Shadow! You’re ready for flying lesson number 2?”

“If I said ‘No’, would it help at all?”

So grumpy in the morning,” Rouge tsked. “Really, Tails even made us pancakes.”

“I…didn’t have a very good start into the day,” Shadow replied stiffly, ruffling his wings briefly. Sonic had told him that the pain of the transformation lessened with time, but the Ultimate Lifeform was still wishing he wouldn’t even have to endure it often enough for his body to get used to it. They were standing on Tails’ house roof again, Sonic and the fox both watching Rouge and the bag she had brought with interest.

“Now, I’ve read up on this,” the bat announced cheerfully. Apparently, one of the more important things is that if your wings are made from feathers, they need to be oiled up.”

“What?” Shadow looked at her a bit disbelievingly, but Tails only nodded.

“Oh. Yeah, that actually makes sense. My mode of flying is totally different, but now that you say it I think I’ve read about birds having to preen their feathers to be able to fly properly.”

“The hell? How am I supposed to do that?” Shadow asked, already feeling frustrated. If he had been born an avian Sapient, these would be things he would know about, but he didn’t. Chaos dammit, he’d like to see some of those birds trying to deal with a head full of untrimmed quills each morning…

Rouge merely grinned. “Don’t worry, sweetie, you don’t have to. We will.”

She showed him three cloths and a bottle full of sunflower oil. Shadow swallowed.


To be continued…


Author’s note: - Skyblaze here this time. Wow, over 80 reviews already? Damn. Thank you to all of our readers. We’re so glad you’re enjoying this story this much. Neither Taranea or myself ever dreamed this project would be this successful when we first started. Thanks to you all for reading.


Be sure to stay tuned for the next chapter, where there will be flying lessons part 2, plus the start of the great Emerald hunt – with a couple of new twists along the way.


On a tangent, if any of our readers keep an eye on the  ‘That Guy with the Glasses’ site, watch out for my name showing up there soon!


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