Again they went uphill, at the mill he gathered some more old flour, not entirely sure whether to make something edible out of it at a later date, or to use in conjunction with fire again. “I need a lot of water.” Serpentine slithered a few steps behind Gyle, he was a little familiar with the terrain hence he had the lead. “Normally I’m not out of the water for more than a day.” again with a reassuring smile on his lips he looked over his shoulder. “These mountains have lots and lots of water.” he winked while marching on.

Their route took them out of the narrow gorge, through a soft slope until they came to a high lying mountain lake. Satisfied he looked at the still water. There was a small hut near the shore. “The villagers once used it as quarters for the summers, when their sheep where gracing here. No village, no sheep, no occupants.” Serpentine stared at the lake.

They both knew that they would have to move on in a few days time. Autumn was nearing, and on their altitude autumn meant winter, the lake would freeze over and suffocate Serpentine even in hibernation, and Gyle would freeze in the hut that was not fit for winter.

But for a short amount of time they could enjoy carefree days under the weakening summer sun. Nights spent looking into the glistening, twinkling nightsky of myriads and myriads of stars, while talking about their lives, their impressions of and on aspects of life, their hopes and dreams.

Autumn lead the two far south, near the coast, but in respectful distance to the sea so the other Naga wouldn’t find her, avoiding human contact as well, as to not bring Gyle to harm.

Upon a steep mountain slope Gyle found what he had been hoping for. Thundering from the rocky mound of a cave was a waterfall, a narrow footpath allowed him to enter the cave as well. “We’ll stay in there for the winter!” he yelled over the deafening roar of the waterfall. Doubting his sanity Serpentine looked at the thundering water. The look alone gave her chills. Even though during an eventual hibernation she could survive low temperatures, the water shooting out of the rock looked too cold even for her. “Don’t worry, you can hibernate on land, I shall look after you!” Gyle seemed to have read her thoughts, or at least her expression. During the summery pause at the mountain lake Serpentine had told him that Naga could hibernate when temperatures dropped too low.

The cave extended vastly into the mountainside, in a dry and less noisy side arm they made camp. Serpentine led Gyle through the darkness, her eyes could still see when Gyles couldn’t. Relaxing at a campfire Gyle looked over to his unusual travel companion. They had nicked a cloak and some other warm clothes for her to wear. Still she was freezing most of the time. Following the smoke with his eyes he smiled happily, knowing she was too. The smoke slowly moved along the ceiling of the cave, washed clean by the high humidity of the water thundering through the central corridor, it was barely there when it exited the cave.