Hauling the catch out of the water, he pulled it onto the bank where he was standing, then studied what was awaiting him, flopping around in the grass. It was a fish. Aster thought he might have caught something else, since it had been a while since he last made an attempt, and he hadn't ever fished along this particular stretch of river before. But it looked like he hadn't gotten quite as rusty as he feared, or that maybe luck was with him today.
Sure, the fish was a weird looking specimen with a long head fin, but it looked pretty edible still. It was a good size, at the very least.
The unfortunate part about this was that Nightshade seemed to think so too. The Wiurn, who had been relatively placid and well behaved up until this point, suddenly lunged for the fish while Aster was trying to remove the hook.
"Whoa whoa whoa! Hey!" Aster shoved the Wiurn's muzzle away with one hand, holding the fish as far away from Nightshade as he could with the other. He hadn't been expecting it, and it was only his quick reflexes and long experience in working with creatures of a similar size and body shape that let Aster keep the fish.
... Well. It wasn't like he didn't think about the possibility of this happening. But--- and it was a little funny for him to think this--- Nightshade was usually so... So well behaved, relatively speaking, for a creature who had almost no training to speak of. Aster did mean to work on it, he really did, it was just that there were always other things to do, and since Nightshade wasn't actively causing any problems... That training just ended up being put on the backburner in favor of, say, teaching Avander a few more things.
Granted, as of late there had been plenty of things to teach Avander. With the new body came a slew of new abilities, and Aster hadn't really pushed Avander to the limits of what he could do even when Avander had been a Sarane. They were slowly but steadily working their way there, with Aster teaching Avander new things little by little. Aster had a few combat trained creatures, but he still mostly relied on Avander to do the heavy lifting, metaphorically speaking, as well as on jobs where Aster needed more precision or specificity than his other creatures were able to provide.
... But there was something to be said for putting out fires before they start, he supposed. Or for spreading your efforts around, such as it were.
"Lay down," he said, bringing the only command Nightshade did know into play. That would keep him off the fish, at least.
Aster was going to have to figure out some way to keep the fish out of Nightshade's jaws if the Wiurn made a serious attempt to eat them. He had a bucket with him to keep his catches from dying out on the grass right after he caught them, but that was a storage solution, not something meant to keep out a determined Wiurn. Aster... basically had to hope that Nightshade would calm down like he usually did, or else they'd have to cut the trip short to pack up and go home.
... Or he supposed he could feed the fish to Nightshade if the Wiurn really wanted it, but at this point Aster didn't think he ought to be rewarding bad behavior.
Nightshade did lay down, at least. It was funny, actually, watching a creature of that size press his belly to the grass in a manner not dissimilar to a dog.
If Nightshade started wagging his tail, then he really would begin to look the very picture of canine compliance. But Aster wasn't sure he could stomach that, so it was probably for the best that Nightshade didn't do that. A Wiurn should have the dignity, or at least the... 'brutality' wasn't the word he was looking for, but the general air of a predator of their size, something to that effect.
And yet the two Wiurns that Aster had ended up with had been Avander, who even as a Sarane had never been particularly proud or brutal; and Nightshade, who was beginning to seem more and more like an odd duck than anything else. Aster didn't know what to make of that. Probably he just had strange luck.
But just in case, he firmly told Nightshade, "Don't you start squirming and wagging like a real dog, or I'll feed you to one."
Not that he really would, especially not considering how much he'd spent acquiring Nightshade to begin with, but he would really rather not have any more weirdness to deal with than he absolutely had to.
For his part, Nightshade merely stared at Aster, uncomprehending of the words being spoken to him. Aster took the opportunity while the Wiurn was still down to place the fish in the bucket just because it had nowhere else to go. This wasn't the solution that he wanted, but nothing better was really presenting itself, so it was the only solution that he had. At least this way the fish wouldn't suffocate in the air, which was something.
Honestly he ought to release Nightshade from the command, but he was a little curious to see how long Nightshade would stay down if Aster left him there. With one eye on the Wiurn, Aster took up the fishing rod again and cast it into the water.
It occurred to him that if he managed to hook something, he would then have two separate things to defend from a potentially plundering Nightshade, which didn't exactly help his odds. But the situation was what it was, he supposed, and he would just cross that bridge when he came to it.
And to Nightshade's credit, or perhaps as a testament to what an odd duck he was, he actually stayed where he was for quite some time. it was definitely a longer span of time than Aster had been expecting to get out of him. In tact, Aster was beginning to wonder if Nightshade had any intent of getting up at all when the Wiurn finally made his move.
The trouble was that by then, Aster had begun to let down his guard, since it had been so long that it was hard to keep up that same sense of anticipation.
Maybe Nightshade had fallen asleep, would that he would be so lucky. Unfortunately for Aster though, that turned out not to be the case. Just when he thought he could fish in peace Nightshade went for it, not for the fish like Aster would have expected, but for Aster himself.
He nearly jumped into the air as he felt a nudge at his back, only to belatedly realize that it must have been the Wiurn. Wheeling around, Aster looked for his would be assailant, and sure enough, there Nightshade was. And now that Aster was facing him, Nightshade pressed his head crest against Aster's chest again. At least the tendrils were tucked back this time, but that was only half the problem.
Aster pushed him away again. "Go on, " he said. "you're not a lapdog. What are you acting that way for?" But this time Nightshade wasn't deterred, and simply repeated the action.
Aster had to push him away a second time, and then a third when he didn't get the picture after that. He wondered what was prompting this kind of behavior from Nightshade. Was it some sort of ploy to seek attention?
He thought to what he knew about Wiurns, but couldn't particularly remember if they were the kind of creature that had parental instincts to begin with. Many creatures here didn't, especially considering the vast majority of specimen were raised by humans, regardless of whether the creatures themselves had interest in their offspring or not. It didn't feel like Nightshade was making a dominance display, though if he shoved a little harder, Aster might have felt more challenged. Maybe it was a learned behavior, but in that case he really did have to wonder what had happened with Nightshade in his previous situation that this was what he was like now.
After an excursion to the mansion that had turned out to be frankly a little more than Aster had been bargaining for, he figured he was done with that place for a while. Besides, if he was remembering correctly, this month the mansion was filled with water, and he wasn't sure if that was a place he wanted to take a trio of whelps. Or at least not without a long break first, to let himself recover from the ordeal of having been there with such a trio so recently.
He was, alas, still toting a whelp with him on today's trip, but it was just the one. He had learned his lesson with Nightshade trying to steal his fish, and had decided to bring a smaller companion who was easier to contend with this time, in case she tried to steal his stuff too. He felt confident that he could stop Rici.
She was small, and barely posed any threat to him even if she was trying her hardest. Or at least that was the case right now, anyway. When she got to her full growth... Hens weren't quite so angry as the drakes, but they were still predators in their own right, and a bite from an adult hen would do plenty of damage to a humanoid like himself. But then, that was true of most creatures that lived here, actually. Large, monstrous denizens were his bread and butter, and maybe he ought to feel more at risk when he was with them, but he had survived this long. After a certain point, it was kind of hard to be terrified of creatures that you worked with on a daily basis.
Besides that, he was pretty familiar with them now, so it wasn't like he was just some bumbling fool with no clue.
Even so, there was a difference between a creature that had been worked with and whom you knew in more minute detail what to expect from, and an untried creature with no manners that you barely had a relationship with. And while he and Nightshade weren't necessarily strangers, it didn't feel as though Aster knew him well. And Nightshade most certainly didn't have any manners to speak of. Aster ought to work on that. And he would... when he was a little less busy, maybe.
But it was starting to feel like that day would never come. He was running this way and that all the time, doing gods knew what. Raising whelps, mostly. After the kind of times he'd been having, one whelp with him on a fishing trip felt like pie in the sky. "Let's see what we can catch today, huh? Maybe you'll be good luck," he said.
He sort of doubted that would be the case, but hey, maybe he would be proven wrong. Were golds lucky? Ah, but Rici was a mixed breed, so maybe not.
She didn't put up much of a fight, actually, even though Aster was carrying her tucked under his arm like an errant football. She had put up more of a fuss in the mansion, though he supposed back then he had either been grabbing her jaw to force her to spit something out, or carrying her in an armful with two other squirming whelps. If you were bunched up with someone else who was struggling, it was pretty hard to stay still yourself, wasn't it?
Aster made the mistake of trying to imagine it for a moment, and couldn't repress the shudder that rippled through him. Just the thought of such close proximity with another person made him a little bit sick.
Zenjesi: Hey Silv - how do you pronounce Kodakai?
Nov 17, 2023 18:23:56 GMT -6
Twilight-Claw: Not to mention the baby mosca with wolf skin from Elvye and the sparkling owl of Xentus. <3
Nov 14, 2023 10:27:52 GMT -6
Twilight-Claw: I like the Donnor one not just with looks FF, but the description, funny as heck.
Nov 14, 2023 10:26:27 GMT -6
Zenjesi: yours both made me laugh, FF! They're very expressive
Nov 13, 2023 21:57:46 GMT -6
Fiera Ferella: Woooow Twilight, I love that witch drawing!!! :0 It's so pretty! And Zenjesi I think Spectral is my favorite out of yours lol. Just looks happy to be included. and silver now i wanna know which pets youd pick for the other legendary beasts. XD
Nov 13, 2023 21:37:45 GMT -6
Silver: Ah I'm so glad you guys enjoyed it! I love everyone's drawings they're all so cute. ;o;
Nov 13, 2023 17:31:37 GMT -6
Twilight-Claw: I like that one as well yeah, loved the old nootnoot image from quest prizes, so that one went perfectly with that particular costume being based around it. X3
Nov 13, 2023 15:23:13 GMT -6
Twilight-Claw: The jewelry on tail or at the head definitely tends to be their most recognizable feature for a Mosca, and sadly their pharaoh chin piece as well. XD
Nov 13, 2023 15:21:07 GMT -6
Zenjesi: Your peanut costume is hilarious and adorable too!
Nov 13, 2023 15:14:29 GMT -6
Zenjesi: Yes you're correct! I guess I did a decent enough job with the drawing!
Nov 13, 2023 15:05:27 GMT -6
Twilight-Claw: It still looks good on Synkka. She is a shaman Mosca I'm guessing? Its mostly the tail that makes me think of it.
Nov 13, 2023 15:00:42 GMT -6
Zenjesi: I definitely like Spectral's the most too! I sort of cheated by drawing Synkka with a cloak because I do not know how to draw feathered wings, haha ^^'
Nov 13, 2023 13:45:15 GMT -6
Twilight-Claw: Which one do you like the most out of the three you made?
Nov 13, 2023 12:09:48 GMT -6
Twilight-Claw: Thanks for that compliment! Though I know with the water it doesn't look entirely great, I love the latter one I made the most.
Nov 13, 2023 12:09:30 GMT -6