Muddy Pups (Valeska is Searched)

Rubicon River Road
The hard packed dirt and crushed gravel road runs alongside but well away from the Rubicon River. Dense jungle foliage runs presses close, sometimes even surrounding the road. Very rarely the road needs to forge the river and a sweeping stone structure, tall enough for river shipping to pass under, is built. Sign posts indicate the distance and direction to holds and halls along the road.


There's barely space for a dragon to land beside this forested road, and yet somehow, someway, there's a cosmic-coloured blue trying his hardest to not scrape his wings on the trees that overhang the road. Down on the ground at the dragon's feet is one helmet-haired rider, cradling something close to his chest - something that keeps squirming and would seem to be hard to get a grip on properly, given how Am'ry seems to be struggling to not drop the wriggling bundle as he wrestles to keep it close to his chest. A closer look will reveal it's a pair of puppies, and Beauxth seems to be as interested in them as his rider.

As long as the dragon doesn't navigate his way into the mud puddle Valeska had just past the last turn, everything is going to be alright. The young woman trudges down the way, the whole front half of her body thickly caked in mud. Over her eyes, the mud was wiped away before it dried but the streaks angle upward, making her scowl more apparent. She huffs, one heavy step after another as she makes her way down the road but then she spots the blue dragon and stops, slowing to a gradual halt. Puppies. She's more of a feline person.

Feline person or not, Beauxth has spotted the mud-caked girl and his head snaps up, eyes whirling as they fix on her. Am'ry turns around, brows raised over his blue eyes as he takes in the whole muddy mess of her. "Shards, girl, have you been rolling in the dirt, or did your runner throw you?" There's a harrumph from Beauxth, and a squeak from Am'ry's armful of fluff. "I could do with a hand, but… well, you're mucky as sin."

Valeska takes in a deep breath and sighs, slowly closing in the gap between herself and the dragonpair. Her shoulders slump as she wipes her hands off on the clean backsides of her legs. "I stepped in a hole and it caught my foot, went face first into a puddle." Frown. The small shoulderpack behind her is swung around and placed on the ground with a thud. Val sits cross-legged on the ground since she's already dirty and after some shifting of sleeves and dusting of hands, she begins to dig through the small pockets on the outside. The young woman begins chewing on her lower lip in concentration as she leans to the left and the right as through it's going to expedite her search and a look off approval washes over her face as her hand pulls free a little bundle of braided cord and clips. "This isn't much, but…," she begins, making a series of knots. "Better than nothing. Something for a leash and to tie them off to something." She pushes herself to her feet and hands the items to the bluerider.

"Guess the mud didn't get into your head then, hrm?" Am'ry seems throughly impressed by Valeska's cord and clips. He juggles the puppies about so he can take the offered fastenings from her, while Beauxth watches on with whirling eyes, his head casting a shadow over the two people. "You're going to want a shower soon, unless you're used to being caked in mud… which I'm guessing pretty much no-one is. Or no-one should be, at least." The bluerider sits himself down on the floor with Beauxth's blue toe as back support, and his legs as puppy-barriers while he begins to whip up a rough collar. "I'm Am'ry, by the way. Of Ierne… no. Fort. Sorry. Recent transfer there, still getting used to saying it. This here is Beauxth."

"I would love a shower but I'd rather wait til I get to an actual place rather than the wilderness. I'll just get muddy again." Valeska reshoulders her bag and clears her throat. "I'm Valeska of no where specific but currently going back and forth between halls. Dolphincraft Apprentice. Well met to you and your handsome Beauxth," she says as she inches a little closer to the blue. Dragons have always been a daily staple but it's rare to get a proper meeting of one. She peers down at the collar progress and grins, "If you make one good tight knot, and a slip knot behind it, you can make a collar out of the leash. Will get tight enough they don't slip out but won't keep cinching on their necks. They… wiggle too much for that." Inferior creatures to their feline superiors.

Beauxth is probably a good dragon to have a proper meeting with - the blue is small, and from the way he lowers his head towards Valeska, with eyes whirling blue-green, he's clearly quite friendly, too. "Well met, Valeska. Beauxth is pleased to make your acquaintance too, and he asks that you please rub his nose, if you would." There's a big blue muzzle right by the apprentice's face by now. If she's not so keen to oblige, he'll just back up. Am'ry, meanwhile, tries to follow the advice he's given. "This all seems a sharding lot of effort put into two pups we've literally just picked up off the road," he grumbles, shaking his head as he tests the first slipknot. "See, Beauxth has this thing where when he sees something, he can't just let it go. He's got to have it… if it can be taken." The little blue snorts a warm breath, rustling his wings. "Speaking of. Once I've got these pups on a leash, we'll give you a ride back to… wherever. If you want? It can't be fun walking when you're all muddy like that."

Valeska definitely obliges, reaching up without hesitation as she runs both hands up over his nose, even offering a little scratch to a dry patch. She glances down at the puppies and snorts, her attentions to the blue still going. "Well, I'm sure someone would like to take in two pups. Protection and rodent control. Well, not that great at catching them but they'll atleast let you know they're there. Maybe the stores or docks or something." Val leans over, bumping her own nose to Beauxth, admiring the hues across his hide. "Well, other than muddy, I'm dry for the most part. I was trying to get passage to Kahrain, then from there to the seaport towards the sea hold outside of either Southern Boll or Fort's areas. My scheduled passage was a few months from now but call me impatient, and I was encouraged to go it alone in any case."

A deep, pleased sigh from Beauxth says it all: that feels good. "Fort, huh? We can take you there. You all ready to go now? Got anyone you need to report to before you head off?" Am'ry's got the pups secured now, and he gets back to his feet, allowing them to scamper about at the end of their temporary leashes while he dusts off his tush. "Beauxth's quite keen on you. You ever thought of giving dragonriding a go, or are you committed to dolphineering?"

"I'm ready, already carrying everything I own and already got the blessing for candidacy before I left. It's sort of added into the apprentice lectures." After a quick vigorous dusting of clothes and hair, Valeska gives Beauxth one more good pat and scratch before turning back to Am'ry with a crooked grin. "I've thought about it, and definitely willing. Definitely! I do love my dolphincrafting but why settle for just that when I can possibly do both?"

"Your masters are that sure you'll all get Searched that they give you the go-ahead ahead of time, huh?" That tickles Am'ry. "Well, I was going to ask you if you'd like to come stand, but it seems you've already decided that's what you want. So how's about I give you a ride there, and a white knot on arrival, and you hold a puppy for me on the way?" Beauxth wuffles, wafting a pleased breath over Valeska. "He's happy with that arrangement, at least…"

"I think it just gets asked often alot during the initial interviews if it's okay to accept search proposals so they just made it part of the orientation. Yes you can go to search since it's for a good cause, and yes you can continue your duties. Strongly encouraged to study to keep refreshed in the downtime incase we don't impress so we can hit the ground running when we get back." Valeska stops mid scratch, her eyes wide as she slowly turns them to the bluerider. "Really?" With a wide smile across her face, she steps forward and scoops up a hairball. "Yes! I'm willing! I'll do it!"

The other puppy is picked up by Am'ry, who grins and gestures to Beauxth's side. "Good stuff, candidate. Do you know how to get up there by yourself? Or would you like a boost?" Beauxth is obliging, crouching down as low as he can to make the distance as easy to climb as possible. "Candidate Valeska. It's been an age since we Searched someone… congratulations."


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