in which amadhay chooses wings
Now that Amadhay knew that the teleport wasn’t going to work, she was stuck with a difficult decision.
Actually, it wasn’t all that difficult a decision. She literally only had one choice. She could fly a pegasus or she could stay. Now, considering she had just killed Ribbon, it was pretty obvious that the second option was out of the question, which only left her with flying a pegasus out of there. She had already done her best to ruin all of the other modes of transport so that no one could follow her or continue with their plans. She had removed parts and tossed different things all into the machinery of the automobiles and the teleport. She had broken apart the wheels to the carriages. She had even let the normal horses, Feral dogs and Feral wolves free, which they had enjoyed. Luckily, they had chosen to just run off and not make any loud celebratory noises as they ran.
That left her with the pegasi. She had already tried to convince them that they were free. Apparently the pegasi liked the Palnoki, which she supposed she understood. Atlas treated them well. He personally took care of all six horses, feeding them, washing them, exercising them, making sure they were happy. She doubted too many others would do that.
The problem was, she only needed one to fly. If she left the rest, then that would leave five ways someone could follow her, get Darach, kill Monkey and Benjy, or any of the other various goals they were planning. She couldn’t allow that. Considering her night had already put a strain on her morals, she was having a hard time convincing herself that killing five innocent pegasi was worth it. They had never been anything but gentle with her. They hadn’t reared at her or bucked her off like normal horses, they didn’t attempt to scare her off or intimidate her into doing what they wanted. They were just simple, gentle, nice horses with wings.
Atlas’ pegasus, Ludo, nudged her with his giant head. He blew on her. Ribbon’s pegasus, Grits stayed close to her too. She couldn’t tell if they thought she needed comforting or if the smell of Ribbon’s blood drew them near. The magic of the blood had to be a beacon to all manner of magical creatures. Ludo licked her face.
Almost immediately, his demeanor changed from mildly comforting to furious. The horse reared onto his back legs and kicked at her. Grits got between her and the attacking pegasus with a loud, challenging squeal. Both horses screamed, brandishing their forelegs at each other before Ludo dropped back down. Grits stayed in front of her protectively, neighing at Ludo. Ludo huffed out of his nose and Amadhay was positive that the two horses were arguing. Grits stomped his foot and Ludo seemed to calm down. That, at the very least, decided which pegasus she was taking with her.
“I can’t leave you here,” she told the pegasi, squeezing the blade handle in her hand, trying to convince herself that she could kill the five beasts before her. Ludo snorted at her before giving a relatively loud whinny that made her flinch. All of the pegasi aside from Grits followed Ludo to the door, which he kicked open. And then they just left. Amadhay was too surprised by their actions to stop them, but in all honesty, she couldn’t figure out what was happening.
On the plus side, she hadn’t had to kill five giant, winged horses. On the down side, they were probably just going to come right back once she was gone. She knew she should chase after them, but decided not to. Chasing after winged horses to kill them in the air while on a winged horse did not sound like something she really wanted to do.
Grits snorted and butted her head with his own, making her wince. Her head was still sore from when Ribbon had slammed it into the ground.
“Well, I guess we should get going, huh?” she muttered, patting his flank. She stared at the horse, really not wanting to get on his back and honestly, not sure how she was going to get up there until the horse knelt for her. She paused, trying to figure out some other way to get out of Palnoki without having to fly on the horse. It had been one thing going a short distance with Atlas tight behind her to keep her from falling, but this time she was on her own.
Grits gave an impatient huff to tell her to make up her mind, and Amadhay did. Getting onto the pegasus’ back was as difficult as she had expected, given she not only had to get onto his back (and even with him kneeling, their height difference being over a foot made it incredibly hard) but she also had to avoid his wings, which he tucked into his body as well as he could to get out them of her way. Once she was situated on his back, however, it didn’t get any easier for her. The pegasus moved as though she should be used to riding him. She wasn’t and held onto his mane as tightly as she could.
The only good thing about this was that Grits took direction well. She only had to whisper the word ‘Tierdom’ and he took to the air.