The soft sounds of the serene sea caressed Fenrir's ears, as he quietly trotted down the beach, the sand shifting slightly beneath his feet with each step he took. Water swirled around his paws as he unsuccessfully dodged a thin trickle of a wave, the tide swiftly pulling inward, towards the sun-bleached dunes, whose long, sharp grasses twisted and danced in the wind.

Cliffs had begun to rise up ahead, and the fox turned his head to look at the long trail of paw prints leading away from the darkened hills, far in the distance. Turning back to the stone walls rising from the sand and water, he broke into a mad dash, tail low, paws flying, sand thrown up into the air.

The scenery flashed by, a blur of green and blue and white, air flowing down his nostrils more quickly than he could burn it, burning air more quickly than he could breathe it. A mix of equally blended and messily contradicted meanings as his heart pounded and stopped, beat with wild ferocity and stalled like an old steer. In this state, it was not long before the foot of the cliffs became visible, and the full moon could be spotted behind their giant heights.

A cloud of sand flew as Fenrir stopped abruptly, sniffing the tangy ocean air. He sneezed, and shook his fur. Scratchy particles of dirt and salt fell to the earth, and his tongue lolled out of his mouth. Walking, running, it all dried him out. He trotted up to shoreline, fur hanging limply as he bent the front of his body forward to get a closer look at the smooth waves. They were cluttered with strange curling weeds torn from the seafloor and tiny, empty shells, precious to the eye but utterly worthless for eating, unless used as dishes or cups.

The fox wrinkled his snout. This was seawater, and not very good to drink, unless you didn't plan on living long. But he was a vulpine with a plan, and young, too. He couldn't risk poisoning himself with strange water.

A strange voice chirped up from behind him, in the cliffs. Startled, he spun around, eyes blazing. A shadow stood on a ledge pushed outward, one facing the ocean. This side was pockmarked with holes, even some caves, from constant wear on the rocks from waves and wind.

The ledge was low on the rock wall, and the creature sitting atop spread its...wings? They were similar to bat wings, membrane with an intricate pattern of veins running through and delivering blood to the muscles at its base, stretched between bony ligaments in the appendage. The odd creature spoke again, softly, though Fenrir could see that its eyes, glittering brightly in the starry night, were watching his every move carefully, calculating.

"I wouldn't drink that water if I were you. If you need some drinking water, I can lead you to a pool a bit ways inland." Its accent was curious, and unlike any of the shore side accents that the fox had been accustomed to, or the commonly used inland speech. It had a sophisticated ring to it, while sounding much like a child.

"And why would you think that I need to drink inland? Don'tcha think I can find my own water? There should be plenty of small pools around here, from the rain a night ago," Fenrir snorted, and flicked his ears back in irritation. "I'm not to go inland. I can't be sidetracked from my mission." He puffed out his chest at the last word, swelling with pride at having a cause.

"Mission, eh," the beast asked questioningly, turning on his ledge to get a better view of the vulpine, long tail whipping behind him as he slipped back into the shadows. There was a crunching noise, and the sound of small rocks scattering on stone. The fox's ears turned towards the noise instinctively, and his eyes followed. Stalking out of the darkness was a creature unlike any he'd ever seen.

Scales rippled like the sea under moonlight, covering the entire of his body. His face was long, the snout stretching out away from his eyes, with a blunt point and nostrils at the end of its length. Frills lined the back of his neck, running down his sides and over the strong fore-arms, which he used to support the front of his body, rather than stand on his hind legs. The stretchy skin continued along his body, between the large wings that Fenrir had noticed before, and all the way down the glistening tail, which forked at the end as the frill disappeared.

Fenrir gaped, his lower jaw hanging uselessly as he searched for words. The odd reptile smirked, a moistened tooth glinting from beneath the bluish scales, and sat, curling his tail around the forward half of his body. "What's bothering you? Catfish got your tongue?" His gaze suddenly went flat and dreamy. "Mmm, catfish...roasted, fried, or boiled...." A cheeky grin. "Usually boiled. I can't swim that well."

"Oookay...." The fox sat down, too, although it seemed a little abrupt. He mentally searched for a creature similar to this one, comparing his notes from when he was a school pup. Something popped up, and he stared at the scaly beast, hazel eyes large and wide. "You're a dragon! Dragons are extinct."

"You say that like it's a fact," snorted the young dragon, crimson slits glittering mischievously. "My name is Learain, no need for hasty introductions. I lived in these cliffs all my life, all thirty years. I counted them off on the wall. I can count really well."

"Thirty years? You seem really young," Fenrir started, before catching himself. Reptiles live for a long time, and far as he knew, they lived forever, or at least until something came along and wiped them out. No one knew what this was or when it happened, but just knew that it /did/ happen, and that an entire species was lost (or so they thought). "Anyway, I'm Fenrir, from Gryphion village, some weeks walk from here. Less if you can run quickly."

Learain giggled, digging his hind talons into the soft, moist sand. "You can come to my place, if you like. It's warmer than out here. Drier, too. I have some water there, fresh.

"And why didn't you tell me this before?"

"I didn't know if you were just some wild bird. Hey, what are you, anyway?" The question was honest, as was the look on the reptile's face. The vulpine blinked, and tilted his head.

"You mean you don't know? I'm a fox, /vulpus vulpus/. How long have you lived out here, anywa--oh, yeah, thirty years." The conversation was over, and the night was thickening. Stars, up above, glittered peacefully as rain clouds disappeared beyond the horizon. The two stood, and hurried off, nose to tail as Learain led Fenrir to his cave.


"So, what's this mission, anyway," questioned Learain, as he curled up inside the cave. "I've heard so little about it, and it was one of the first things you said to me."

Fenrir drew in breath, and exhaled quietly. The cave was moderately dry, the floor covered in absorbent grasses. There was little natural light; the tunnel leading into the cave from the cliffs below sea level during certain points of the day, while the room itself was just above the surface. The dragon had started a fire, though not in the way the fox had expected him to. Apparently, flint and stone were more effective for him than drawn breath. The rare reptilian creature was too young to produce little more than a few sulfurous smoke clouds.

"Well, you know the seas that surround this island, right?"

"Abberin and Kiloone, right? Neither of them touch this bay, though."

The vulpine's brow raised. He looked surprised, and gave a confused grunt in response. "Huh?"

"Well, Abberin is gray, and Kiloone is blue," the dragon patiently explained. "The bay is green. You haven't been here when the sun's out, have you? It's really pretty. So, anyway, it can't be part of the two seas, because it's not blue or gray. The seals told me so. They call it the Cold Fish With Many Silver Scales That Are Hard To Pick From Your Teeth Sea, but I prefer to call it the Junleen Sea, because it's a lot easier to say, and it sounds good. Seals are really weird, did you know that?"

"Well," Fenrir began again, looking flustered. "Well, anyway, the seas around this island are fighting again. They fought before, many thousands of years ago, but something put them to sleep...until just last year, around winter. No one has any idea why they woke up, but I'm going to find out, and stop 'em when I do. They've been flooding and raiding villages, and some groups of beasts have begun to pillage and steal from their own kind, because they think it's going to be the end soon. Somehow I gotta find a weakness, and stop 'em! Or destroy them. I'd rather not, though. My village needs the sea for fish, and---what the...."

The fox lifted one paw, which was sopping wet. Pools of water were beginning to swirl around on the sandy floor, the grass used to absorb moisture floating on the surface. The two glanced over to the entrance of the tunnel, and was brimming with seawater, completely /filled/.

"There's no way out," exclaimed Learain, pawing the wall nervously. "I can't swim."

"I can't swim that well, fur's too heavy when it gets wet. It just weighs me down. C'mon, we gotta find some other way out of here," Fenrir growled, digging at the moist earth with tiny black canine-like claws. Standing on his hind legs, he placed his forepaws against the wall, and pushed. Nothing moved, except for the seawater, which was rising rapidly.

Terror replaced the dragon's worried look. "It's the full moon. I forgot! I don't think the water's going to stop rising anytime soon!" He helped to search for a weak spot in the stone, hurriedly scrabbling and scratching the rock. It didn't give an inch, and the chilling waves began to lap against their hindquarters, swiftly moving above their tails and causing them to shiver when it touched their back-fur and -scales.

The frantic digging continued, claws pulling away chunks of dirt from the walls, only to find solid stone blocking their escape. They paddled as sand was pulled from beneath their feet, and struggled in vain as the water began to creep up their necks. Fenrir was panting heavily to stay afloat, while Learain had discovered that his wings made excellent paddles. Now, the undercurrent was tugging at the vulpine, as he was weighed down by the water trapped in his fur.

There was little air room left in the cave, and it became hot, the breathing heavy as they strained for air while the water covered their mouths, the heavy water that pushed on all sides of the cave and tried to sweep the pair beneath their waves, tried to tug them and pull them out of the tunnel, and into the outside world, where they would be pounded against the cliffs, pounded until they were little more than bloody masses.

A crack appeared in the wall, just as the fox's head sank underwater. The crack seemed to hesitate, then began to spread, sending lines of stress across the surface. Learain coughed and sank as the last bit of air was squeezed from his lungs by the freezing cold sea, just as the wall snapped. With a gust of artificial wind, and the roar of the sea, water broke through the wall, pouring the half-drowned beasts into a massive cavern.

Spluttering and sneezing, the dragon arose, spreading his wings as he shook off the water. The vulpine awoke shortly after, trembling as he brought himself to his paws. Vomit flowed as water, and was washed away by the new salty river flowing through the tunnels in the cliffs.

"I-I think it's over. I hope," Fenrir gasped, as he washed his mouth out with the murky water. He grimaced at the salty flavor, which carried just the right amount of mud to make it completely disgusting. It tasted a lot better than this evening's half-digested fish, though. "Do you think this cave leads anywhere?"

"To the surface. All caves here lead to the surface. You don't think just wind and water made these caves, do ya?" That cheeky smirk, again, like he knows everything. "We should be able to follow this tunnel until we reach moonlight." So they walked. The caverns were large, the walls high and sloped inward. Stalactites hung from the ceiling, dripping some sticky fluid not unlike water, stalagmites growing just beneath the beautiful hanging formations.

It didn't seem like long before the stale air was replaced with fresh shore air, and the sound of sea birds reached their ears. But it was longer than either of them expected...sunlight shone through gaps in the walls as they neared the exit.

As they stepped into the warm light, stretching their limbs and airing out their skin, Learain stopped, and looked over to Fenrir.

"I've been thinking, while we were walking...if the sea could do that, without the help of an army, then...we need to stop the two seas. I'll join you."

"Thank you." Grinning toothily, the fox began walking again, away from the cliffs, the dragon close behind. "Let's go get something to drink."