The sun was setting behind the mountain the river came down from. Serpentine sat on a rock the sun still shone upon while the village was already cast in dusks twilight.

“I shall overcome my nature.” she sighed after the sun had disappeared behind the treetops, its rays casting light on two shapes in the sky. Quickly Serpentine plunged into the river, followed the stream upwards to the village, from where she wanted to seek out the mill Gyle had mentioned to her.

As she wanted to swim out of the lake a loud splashing noise drew her attention back to the center of the lake one of the two older Naga had dropped into the lake, the other followed a moment later. To Serpentines relief the two went to the village ruins right away, giving her the opportunity to continue her flight.

Crawling out of the shallow water of the river she remembered that she surely must have left tracks in the soft soil at the shore. Never had she anticipated her pursuers to appear in the mountains too. Quitly she slipped into the underbrush of the rivers shoreline. “She has been here. Find her!” one of the two ordered her companion.

Serpentine kept quiet, her wings wrapped around her body she made a successful attempt to climb into a large oak.

Faintly the smell of a campfire reached her nose, surely Gyles campfire. Concerned for his safety she glid from the tree, followed the direction the smoke had come from. The two Naga had found the smell as well, anticipating her at the campfire they followed it.

In front of a desolate house with a mill wheel, all covered with moss, a lone fire burned in the night. Slowly the two Naga approached against the wind, cautiously looking around.

“Might I help you two?” Serpentine was almost shocked as she heard Gyles voice addressing the two Naga. Clearly her fellow Naga were as surprised as she was. They came close to the fire, his shape peeled out of the darkness of the doorframe.

“You are not frightened of us?” one of them voiced their surprise. “Clearly you are not here for me, unless you are particularly frisky.” he smirked an artificial playful smile.

“We seek a young one. She’s vital to our survival, any help would be appreciated.” the other Naga stated in a tense tone. “I met her in the village ruins, she was as surprised of my demeanor as you were. But she stated she wanted to go further north along the coastline.” at first shock followed by relief waved through Serpentine. Emotions she barely had ever felt before.

The two Naga thanked the human, intending to leave. “Oh, I almost forgot,” the first Naga turned to him. “since she is the last fertile living Naga we can’t let a human roam free with knowledge of her whereabouts.” the two demonstratively swung their tail stingers. Although their mating days where gone they still had poison to spare.

Gyle sighed. “So you are frisky ones.” incredibly quickly he moved his right hand forward, a wave of fire engulfed the Naga closest to the fire. Neither Gyl nor the other Naga had a chance to understand the events that unfolded next, as Serpentine had hit the second Naga over the head with a large log.

“Is that you young one?” the first Naga screamed out in a mixture of pain and genuine inquiry. Gyle gestured Serpentine to remain quiet. “No still just me.” he hissed throwing a small rock he had picked from the ground, in another direction to confuse the burnt Naga. “Your friend is unconscious but still alive. You got a taste of my power. Challenge me again and you will suffer greatly.” another few rocks in other directions distracted the burnt Naga further. The rush of blood made it impossible for her to hear where his hissed words came from since they echoed from the narrow walls of the gorge. Quietly he grabbed for his backpack, gesturing Serpentine to withdraw to the village, still trying to find them with her ears the blinded Nagaga turned around. Serpentine and Gyle kept throwing small rocks in the near and far vicinity of her. As they where further away he brocke off a small branch from a tree and wiped the ground, clearing it of their tracks.