Skysun held her breath as she felt the gaze of thousands of eyes peering at her and her herdmates from the trees. She rattled her feathers slightly, causing Oakfire to look at her in anger.
“Keep quiet, filly!” He snapped.
Leafcloud snorted at her brother, “She’s just a filly, Oakfire. Of COURSE she’d be terrified.” She nickered softly, looking at Skysun with compassion in her gaze. The big brown captain just snorted, continuing his trek.
“Leafcloud!” called out a voice from the tree tops. The appaloosa form of Viperwing dropped from the trees, relief flooding from his gaze as he nuzzled his mate. “You’re safe!” He nickered.
Leafcloud pulled back so she could look her mate in the eyes, a humorous gleam in her own eyes, “Did you think I wouldn’t be?” She challenged with a playful smirk.
Viperwing gaped, obviously at a loss for words, “Well…no…but I…well…you see…I uhh…”
Leafcloud placed her wing on Viperwing’s muzzle, giggling, “I was just kidding, Dear!” She nickered softly. She waved her wing in the direction of the group of weanlings. “And the weanlings are here too.” She nickered softly.
Viperwing nodded, his face relieved. Skysun could tell that the Over-Stallion probably hadn’t slept for some time. There were worry lines on his face that made him appear older than he probably was. From experience, Skysun knew that that meant a stallion who either cared deeply for his herd, or a stallion that worried for himself far too often. If Leafcloud was any indication, she was inclined to believe that he cared deeply for his herd.
Viperwing cleared his throat, “Split them up and take them to families, they can then care for them.” He nickered. He glanced at Skysun, “And I want that filly to be put with Hazelroot.” He nickered, “She still needs to be cared for.” He nickered, indicating to the injuries on her wing and body.
Leafcloud nodded, “I’ll take her there myself.” She nickered turning to her brother, “Split them up between the families who volunteered to care for the newcomers.” She nickered. The Lead Mare then turned to Skysun, “Come along.” She nickered, leading the way down a well beaten path through the jungle. Skysun followed, practically dragged her hooves, reluctant to go deeper into the jungle. Leafcloud, noticing this, dropped back and trotted beside her, “I know you don’t believe me, at least you don’t trust me MUCH.” She nickered, “But I promise, you will be well cared for here, and Hazelroot will care for you as well as she would ANY member of Jungle Herd. In FACT, she’s already caring for a Sun Herd colt who Tatteredfire brought here not too long ago.” She nickered, leading Skysun over to a shelter made of woven branches. As they approached, Leafcloud called out, “Hazelroot! You have a visitor!”
Answering to the call, a bay pinto mare poked her head through the entrance to the shelter, “Oh dear!” She nickered, “Another injured foal?” She nickered, shaking her head, “Those captains should know better then to hurt foals.” She nickered stepping out of the shelter into broad daylight. Skysun’s eyes widened when she saw that the mare’s wings weren’t the greens or browns of Jungle Herd, but a deep blue, more akin to Sun Herd. Skysun also noticed that her feathers were stained from the herbs she worked with all day. Coming closer, Hazelroot inspected the wounds, “It looks like Lotusroot did a good job…” She nickered, ruffling her feathers slightly, “I just hope I have enough herbs to care for you…” She muttered under her breath, looking at the Medicine Mare, “I’ll take it from here, Leafcloud.” She nickered, indicating for Skysun to follow, “Come along, young one.” She nickered, heading to the shelter, Skysun following nervously. Skysun froze slightly at the entrance of the shelter, her eyes wide with fear. After a few moments, Hazelroot’s voice called out from inside, “Come inside, I won’t bite! And neither will my other little guest. Will you?” She nickered.
“No! I won’t!” Said a strangely familiar male voice from inside the shelter.
She didn’t think much of it, and took a deep breath, walking into the shelter, which was lit up by light streaming in through the walls and entrance. Once she was fully inside, the voice spoke again,
“Hey! I know you!”