Each step the large bird takes leaves a bloody footprint behind him. He moves slowly, his wounds stinging with each movement. Every now and then, he can’t help a hiss from escaping him as a low hanging branch catches some of the wounds on his back.
He doesn’t see Ilia for a while, and begins to wonder if he’s lost her. What if she’s wandered off in the wrong direction? What if he hadn’t been paying attention, and was now lost himself? What if-
Finally, just as he was starting to imagine the worst, he spots her next to a small stream. He sighs, relieved that she was okay. Forgetting for the moment that she’d told him to stay put, and would probably be upset with him for moving around, he takes a few steps closer to the girl, wondering if she’d notice him.
Distracted with her task in the water, she doesn’t hear the noises of a beast heading her way. She froze when she heard the sound of a branch snapping.
She quickly wrung out the cloth and filled the bottle, corking it and shoving it back in her bag. She had to make sure Helm wasn’t in danger again, and that she wasn’t attacked herself. She had only turned around and took a few quick steps when she was face to face with a beak. She let out a startled cry for the second time that day.
A few seconds later did she realize it was Helm. She couldn’t help the sigh of relief. “I thought I told you not to move,” she said quietly, eying the bloodied footprints that trailed behind the bird.