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Inuna left the warm, damp forest. It was nice, it smelt nice. But she couldn't fly
She wandered out, trying to find an edge or clearing, and soon enough she did. The dove sprinted for freedom and launched into the air with a soft swish of her wings, and rose higher and higher, the afternoon sun dazzled her as she tucked in her wings and spiralled down a short way before catching herself on a warm breeze.

She glided towards the mountain range, keeping up with the invisible current. The sun was drawing its curtains, casting the world in pinks and oranges. The dove spotted a suitable place to land, not at the peak though. She didn't want to be buffeted by winds while she enjoyed this moment of peace.

She sighed. It was perfect. A brine laced wind lifted over the forest, the water glittering with a rare stillness. Nothing could take this from her.
It felt strange to be away from the salty water of the sea for any length of time, but exploration was far too alluring for her to resist. Asteria was young yet, and there was much about the world she did not know. That was, of course, why she had traveled here. Rumors had begun to leak back into Takela about this new place, and she was drawn in with the promise of a new life.

Not that her old one had been bad, but when she had reached her first year, she yearned to stretch her legs and see more of what was out there. Asteria had traveled for a few weeks now, and a shadow from above caught her attention: a winged wolf. She had seen them before, but they never failed to startle her. Like she was bound to the water, the winged wolves were bound to the air.

She watched as the other made her landing, and Asteria approached with cautious optimism. Speaking to outsiders had always been one of her strong suits, even though the place she had come from was rather recluse. With a wave of her tail, she woofed softly at the wolf.
Her landing was soft and easy. The rock stable and there wasn't a plethora of shingles scattering of the surface.
She had to land softly to save her bones from cracking. For being so fragile she liked to throw her weight around a little.

She gazed across the land. Wondering where she'd sleep for the night. Perhaps here, but it would be rather cold. Inuna would have to find an outcropping.

Those thoughts dissolved at the acknowledgement greeting. Her head whipped to the other wolf, making their way up the mountainside towards her. No, not wolf. The muzzle gave away that hint of heritage, but this was a coyote mutt at heart. The ears, long legs, sleek body. Inuna didn't feel threatened on the mountain. And not after meeting the dark forest wolf.

She returned the woof with a weak smile and a few soft waves of her tail. She was still anxious about others know her. Know ing she was here. But it could be worse, she supposed.
The winged wolf didn't immediately bolt, which was good news as far as Asteria was concerned. Sometimes strangers were skittish about meeting new folks, though the Nereides girl could not blame them. Not all canines were friendly, and those who weren't were often quick to flash teeth in an attempt to scare off any competition. Not Asteria, though. She knew that being friendly was an asset, even if she didn't intend to be "friends" with whoever this was.

My name is Asteria Nereides, she said. You are new to this land? She assumed as much, but she knew it better to ask. To let the other lead the conversation in whichever way she pleased.
Her face seemed to hold something like surprise. In her eyes, that glint of question. That made Inuna wonder if she should run or not.
Don't be so weak.

The dove steeled herself, lifting her chin a little. She would not cower.
Asteria Nereides. So formal. Her grey crown tilted, thinking for a moment. "Inuna," a tentative smile, "I am, are you?" Perhaps if she could gauge how many wolves could make it over. What type of wolves crossed.

She started to relax, not realising she had been so tense. Her wings slipping from being folded tightly over her back to rest easily against her sides. The sunset was starting to fade into twilight. Soon, darkness would shroud this land and the warmth would fade.
Asteria nodded, a small hum emitting from her throat. Have you seen them, the tall blocks of black that scatter this place? she asked. It was the most notable difference from Takela, the homeland, and Asteria did not know what their purpose was, although she was inherently curious about them. They appeared so... unnatural compared to the rest of the world, with their straight lines and glossy surface.

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