While he knew the dragons would be watching over him, and Mystical would be available of he needed her, it was his intention to make the journey on his own. He’d realized he missed Mystica, and her adopted daughters, Sunshine, Musica, Dream and Rose. Especially Rose. He didn’t know what it was about her that made him want to take a six-day journey just to spend a week with her and her sisters. But he didn’t really care that he didn’t know. All that mattered to him was seeing her again, and spending time with her, and her sisters.
Being around her just made him feel good. And every time he held her hand, well, he’d never felt anything like that before. And he wasn’t sure at all what it meant. But it sure felt good to him. So he was very excited to be able to visit Rose.
And Rose could fly. Could she ever. Little fairies aren’t suppose to be able to fly at all. But Rose could. She could fly better than he could. And she could fly almost as well as any full-grown fairy could. Sword thought he could watch her fly all day long.
Sword had never left the ocean on his own. Walking through the surf, onto the sand of the beach was a new experience for him. He found it surprising how the ocean waves sometimes knocked him over, and tried to pull him back out to sea. He tried to use his magic swords to anchor himself in place, but they didn’t really work. They couldn’t stop the waves. And they only held so well in the sand. But with a little practice, he learned to keep his balance, and when to step, and when to just stand still, and when to jump. It took him a little while, but he did make it to the beach.
As he walked across the beach, he felt the sand get hot under his feet. The sand never got hot under the water. But on the beach, where the sand was dry, the sun was bright, and it was hot, the sand got very hot indeed. And it made his feet hurt. That wasn’t fun at all. So he used his wings to fly short distances, and test the sand again.
As he crossed the beach, Sword saw ocean birds for the first time. Sea gulls, terns and pelicans. He watched the terns along the shore, running back and forth as the waves washed in, and out. Whole waves of them, racing toward the ocean, poking their beaks into the sand, as the waves washed out. Then, racing away as the waves came in.
He watched the seagulls as they stood on the sand. It was like they were resting. He also watched them as they flew over the waves. Sometimes they would dive into the water. He realized they were fishing.
The pelicans were the most amazing of the birds to him. They always seemed to fly in formation. One after the other. The way they flew so close to the water that their wings sometimes skimmed the surface.
Sword also learned about the vegetation along the shore. Sea oats and grasses. Wild flowers. And scruffy wiry bushes, and small trees. He noticed how the trees seemed to grow sideways, with short limbs toward the ocean, and longer limbs toward the land. They also seemed to grow taller as he went further inland.
As he moved further inland he saw rabbits, and more birds. Then, he saw some deer. He knew what they were. He’d seen them in pictures his mother had shown him. These were the first live ones he’d ever seen. And he found himself taking time to stop, and watch them from a distance. He found it really funny, the way the rabbits ate grass, their ears flopping, and their whiskers twitching, as stalks of green grew shorter and disappeared into their mouths. The way they moved about with such powerful hind legs, and such tiny front legs fascinated him. It was as if rabbits were built lopsided, and had learned to make the best of it.
The deer were just majestic. That’s the only word he could find to describe them. The way they walked. The way they ran. So very graceful. So fluid. He’d never seen anything like them. He watched them for quite a while.
After several hours, he came to some low hills, covered by a forest. His mother had told him of the woodlands that would become the Northern Forest. She’d also told him he should sleep high up in the trees. Out of reach of the wild animals that stayed on the ground. Things like wolves, and perhaps even bears. So, as he entered the woodlands, he used his wings to take to the trees. He used his wings sparingly to move from tree to tree, or to cover distances he could not cover just by jumping. And he walked along tree branches.
He stopped a few times to snack on the dried fish and seaweed in his provisions. And any time he found a stream, he had a drink of water from it.
As the sun began to set that night, Sword found a nice place to sleep in a tree, resting against the main trunk of the tree, and one of its major branches. He fell asleep that night, listening to crickets, frogs, and birds as they sang their songs. It was unlike anything he’d ever really heard. A wonderful music to his ears, that sang him to sleep.
And so ended the first day of his journey to visit Rose.