Kyanoko's Travels Across the Paperverse: Blood on the Sand, Fire in the Wound

Chapter 1: Blood on the Sand, Fire in the Wound

Pavia Prompt 3- Chlorosaurs

Word Count: 1529


Kyanoko had never seen a desert before. She had such places described to her as an ocean of sand. Although they almost always have been described as almost wholly inhospitable and incapable of supporting anything but the most stubborn of life and having weak biodiversity. The tanuki had also heard that deserts were often bland and sunbleached white. Those tales might have been true, but they did not apply to Pavia.

She loved roaming the city the portal dropped her off in and checking out the interesting earth elemental-made architecture. The tanuki managed to get a few interesting trades and deals in with the vendors and she giddily clutched her new trinkets. Kyanoko felt like a fifty-year-old again exploring this new world for the first time. 

But there was a particular allure to the untamed deserts beyond the city. Kyanoko kept looking out to the vast sand sea amazed by the beautiful orange hue. She didn’t have to look far to see huge rock formations that breached the sky made with bands of color that the tanuki didn’t even know rock could be. 

She caught herself staring longingly into the desert one too many times and made the firm decision that she’d leave town and check it out. It’s not like Kyanoko had to go far to sate her curiosity. She bought new shoes to prevent her feet from sinking into the loose sand and adjusted her bamboo hat to cast a larger shadow over her face and headed out.

Kyanoko made sure that the city she roamed away from was always in sight, never going beyond the horizon or a hill. And if she absolutely must leave the line of sight that she had a viable landmark to keep her orientated. This rule would be thrown away when she heard distressing crying in the distance. 

She had been in the middle of picking up yet another rock that she found pretty when she heard the noise. Kyanoko froze, her ears perking to bring in more noise. There was silence for a moment, but then she heard the noise again. She turned once to see where the city was before cupping her hands on either side of her face.

“Are you all right?” she called into the desert, “Do you need help?”

The cry was carried on the wind shortly afterward. Kyanoko looked over her shoulder, the city already dangerously low on the horizon. The crying was further away, she’d certainly lose track of where she was if she wasn’t careful. Maybe she could go back and get- Another wail interrupted her thoughts.

The tanuki sucked her teeth and cursed herself. Her body felt frozen and her feet felt planted to the ground. For a moment she might have believed she actually was the earth elemental she was supposed to be. Another shrieking wail and finally she managed to make herself budge. She ran towards the crying, making note of landmarks as she went.

Kyanoko found tracks on the ground that looked as if something was being dragged. Her fur stood on end when she noticed the deep crimson color that stained the sand. Only the worst thoughts flooded her mind- all revolving around someone being killed. She hadn’t heard the screaming for a while. Oh gods above, she let someone die. She could have done something. Or maybe she would have died, too. She wasn’t as strong as she wa-

The cry broke into her thoughts again. It was nearby. Kyanoko sighed in relief. She quickly followed the tracks. The tanuki might not have her powerful forms anymore, but she had one of the most devastating magic at her disposal. She didn’t want to be violent, but she would be if she had to.

At the end of the trail rested a creature that resembled a dragon in Kyanoko’s land- a long and lanky scaled creature that soared the skies above. It was hiding under a rock, resting in the shade. Even still, Kyanoko could still see its scales shimmering. It reared at Kyanoko, releasing a distressed and angry growl as it bared its fangs at her.

She had briefly heard the locals talk about these flying serpents- chlorosaurs. One of the few things that Kyanoko gathered about them was that they’re supposed to almost always be in the air. There was nothing like a nest nearby. So something had to of brought it down unwillingly. 

Almost on queue, the clorosaur shifted and Kyanoko brought her hands to her mouth in shock. Just below its chest was a large gash. Dried blood caked its underbelly and fresh blood still dripped into the sand below. The chlorosaur tried to save face but shook feebly before collapsing into the sand with a whimper. 

Kyanoko’s heart pounded in her chest. She was terrified, yes. But she couldn’t simply abandon this creature. She could do something about this. Something that she was more scared of doing than she was scared of being hurt by the chlorosaur. Taking a deep breath, she slowly approached the wounded beast. She kept her posture low, keeping her hands revealed to it. 

It snarled at and made false lunges at her. She would stop, give it a moment to calm down, and slowly made her advance. The dance took a while to complete, but soon she found herself standing within arm’s reach of it. Slowly, the tanuki offered her hand out, palm up to the chlorosaur. It growled at first, then licked its nose, then sniffed Kyanoko’s palm. When it determined whatever beasts do when they smell something, it snorted into her hand and looked aloofly away.

Gently and slowly, Kyanoko placed her hand on the chlorosaur’s head. It growled at first but seemed to quickly realize she wasn’t there to hurt it. The creature acted cool at first, but then it began to push its head into Kyanoko’s hand. Eventually, Kyanoko had to almost dig her nails into the beast’s jaw to scratch as it put its weight against her hand.

Now that she had the chlorosaur’s trust it was time for the hard part. The tanuki with subtle pushing and prodigy had encouraged the creature to expose its wound to her. She pulled out a gourd that she had filled with fresh water from a merchant before leaving and used it to wash out the sand and other debris. The chlorosaur shivered and winced, releasing a high whine from deep in its throat. Kyanoko pets it to help calm it down.

“Okay, I’m about to do something. And it’s going to hurt. And I’m really really sorry.” Kyanoko grabbed the creature’s head and pressed it against her own. “And honestly, I’m really scared I’m going to do this wrong. But I have to do it to help you, okay?”

The chlorosaur only licked its nose. Kyanoko kneeled beside it, pushed her hat so that it lay against her back, and closed her eyes. She focused on the warmth of her hands and drew it out. She watched as her hands began to emit smoke, as she practiced. They began to sweat as she pushed the heat further and further. Her arms felt cold as the heat became almost unbearable. Her palms started to glow red like a hot coal and then, before she could think about it, she pressed her hands onto the wound.

The creature released a loud roar that Kyanoko was certain was heard throughout Pavia. She wanted to withdraw and cover her ears from the splitting scream, but she held firm. The creature thrashed away as smoke rose off of its chest. It retreated further under the rock formation, its scales barely glittering now that less light could find them. In the shadows, it snarled at Kyanoko from the betrayal it felt. She understood, but she still felt awful. 

After her hands cooled down, Kyanoko dug through her backpack and pulled out the leaf that held her cart. Typically this would be pulled by her giant raccoon dog self, but pulling in the bipedal form would have to do. She tossed the leaf into the air and it poofed into a two-wheeled cart. 

Kyanoko approached the chlorosaur, who offered only small growls for her. It didn’t lunge at her. Showing her hands, she let it sniff her. And again, she gave it pets and scratches. It didn’t allow her to get close to its chest, which was understandable. Slowly, but surely, she tried to pull the creature into her cart. The beast was lighter than she expected, but still large and cumbersome. The task was hard to do alone, but it was managed. 

The chlorosaur sniffed around the wagon and slowly got itself comfortable. Only then did Kyanoko attempt to move the impromptu vehicle. The wheels sunk into the sand and dragged. Kyanoko made a mental note to buy a sled if she was going to spend more time in the desert as she made the long and hard journey back to the city.


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  • May 23, 2023, 9:53:53 PM UTC
    this is awesome!! i love the use of fire powers for medicinal purposes<3 showing that fire isn't always for destruction
    • May 23, 2023, 10:28:04 PM UTC
      Thank you so much for giving this a read, I really appreciate that ;o;

      Thank you! It's been a creative challenge for me and for Kyanoko to come up with non-destructive ways to use fire. It's going to be a fun journey for both of us <3