I huffed by the time the town was a mere spec in the distance. We should probably avoid that place on the way back.
All three of us struggled to breathe, so upon hitting the winding hills, we decided to take a break and sat down. A sour, paste-like substance filled my mouth in the place of normal saliva. Caw! Caw! After a quick flap of its wings, the bird descended to the ground just in front of us. The non-magical creature locked eyes with me.
I felt bile rise up my throat. Is this one of the town's scouts? While forcing myself to swallow, I stood.
The bird hopped around on one foot, dancing as if it were happy. "I've finally found you ... Master will be so relieved."
Ren hissed. "Worthless, feather dropping spy!"
"Ren!" My eyes felt like they were going to pop out of my head. "Watch your mouth!"
"Defending one of Maru's spies now?" Ren stepped forward.
"Yes! He often uses these brainless fools!"
The bird took a step backwards. "Message! I have a messa--"
Ren leaped into the air and pinned the bird to the ground. With his claws extended, he pressed his paw to the bird's throat. "I don't need to hear any of your filthy, feather dropping garbage!"
After squawking, the bird looked directly at me. "He has retu--"
Ren pressed his paw down and removed the bird's head. Blood poured out onto the ground and turned the grass red.
I leaped forward and knocked Ren off of the bird's corpse. While baring my teeth, I hissed. What is wrong with you?"
Cody stepped between us and shook his head. "Remember where that led us last time."
When I turned away from Ren, I began climbing the hills. Mom needed to be rescued. Besides, I wanted to be done with this task. The less time I had to send with Ren the better.
Next: Part 23