A few tears in the fabric of the tent allowed the morning sunlight to seep through, falling upon Marcus's sleeping face. The light hit his eyes, pulling him from his slumber. He raised a hand to shield the light as he sat up.
"*yawn* Morning, huh?" He muttered to himself.
He rubbed the sleep from his eyes, then turned and grabbed his pack of armor and got dressed. Once done, he exited his tent, and went to check if his friends had awoken yet.
He first found Mugg, sleeping on his belly under the shade of a tree. His reddish brown fur made him somewhat blend in with the dirt beheath him. The dog opened its eyes as Marcus appreached and yawned. "*chuckle* What kind of guard dog sleeps on the job?" Marcus said. Mugg let out a soft whimper. "Ha ha, just joking, ya old mutt." He patted Mugg's head. He let out a happy bark, and sat up.
Next he went to Lyandra, who was already awake at the firepit, cooking up everyone's breakfast. Her jet black, shoulder length hair was pulled in a ponytail behind her head, revealing her pale cheeks beneath her emerald eyes. "Morning." He greeted. "Mornin'." She replied as she stirred the pot.
"So, what'll our 'royal' breakfast be this fine day, madam chef?"
"Ha ha. Keep that up and it'll be nothing for you, ya jester."
"Hey, this 'jester' needs his meat! How else he have the strength to crush our opponents before they can even blink?"
"He'll duck, since one of my arrows is headed for the scoundrel about to stab you in the back."
"*sigh* You're no fun, you know?"
"Hm," she grunted triumphantly, "Cooked fish and rabbit haunches."
"It's almost ready, go get Zelli, would you?"
Marcus stood up and walked to Zelli's tent. However, he was suprised to find the tent empty. He looked around, but found no trace of her. Then a thought came to him.
"Oh no." He said, knowing what was coming.
"BOO!!!" Burst a deffining voice into Marcus's ear. He cringed and recoiled from the sudden outburst.
"Damnit, Zelli! Now my ear's ringing! I thought I told you to stop doing that!"
Marcus could hear laughter in his ear. "Yes, you did, in fact. But that just makes it funner to do it again! Ha ha!"
"*sigh* Zelli, get out of my ear already!"
A small speck flew out of Marcus's right ear. It hit the ground, shortly followed by a piller of light. When the light faded, Zalli stood at her full height of 5'10". Being a member of the Shrikk race, her skin was an exotic violet-blue color, her ears softly curved into points at the ends, and her sky blue eyes radiated a faint glow. Furthermore, all Shrikks had the magical ability to shrink themselves and those around them down to any size, as well as grow them back, just not any larger thst their original size. Zali loved to use this power to play mischivious pranks on Marcus and Lyandra, as she just had.
"For real this time, DON'T do that anymore," Marcus grumbled, putting a hand on his ear.
"Hey, not my fault your so volnerable when you sleep," She replied.
Marcus sighed. "Well, breakfast is ready."
"Yes! I was so hungry I was 'this' close to eating your ear wax."
He cringed. "Right, please don't say that while we're eating."
As the four ate breakfast (Mugg had a rabbit carcass), Marcus reflected on their travels so far. They'd been traveling for two days so far on thir way to Valvina, the capital of Nerlin. There was a guild there called "Knights for All" they planned to find work at. It would take today and tomorrow to finish the journey, but the pay off would be well worth it. They needed a way to make money, and this was the best option. Plus, the people of the capital had loads of problems they needed help with, namely by wandering blades like themselves.
Marcus chewed on his last haunch, then stood up and grabbed his pack. "Everyone ready?" he asked. Lyandra nodden. Mugg let out an excited bark.
"Wait, wait, wait!" Zalli cried. She suddenly shrank herself to two feet height, then jumped onto Mugg's back. He yelped, and growled.
"Uhhh... What're you up to?" asked Marcus.
"Well, I'm just munting my noble steed for the upcoming journey." She said with a smile.
"Hmm... Noble, probably. But also, 'unwilling.'" Mugg growled again.
"Oh, quiet down!" Zalli gave Mugg a light kick in his side. He yelped, then remained quiet.
"*sigh* Well, if he bites you, it's your own fault." Marcus remarked.
He then pulled his pack over his shoulder, and becan walking down the path once more. Lyanda followed next to him. Mugg lagged slightly behind, probably due to the "extra cargo". Zilla, meanwhile, burried he face in Mugg's fur, relaxing onto his back.
Marcus looked up at the sky. He could see birds flock off into the distance, not a cloud in sight. He wondered what the future held for him and his party.
He looked down at the sword at his hip. Ony one way to find out.