Derek’s dark eyes shifted to the shimmering jewel as he prepared for the exchange. “I gather you’re looking for this in return for the gemstone?” Derek turned around and reached inside a pouch fastened to the harness of his horse and pulled out rolled up piece of tattered paper. The paper was bound by a black ribbon. “The map for the jewel; that was the agreement.”
“Not so fast!” Kaden quickly approached Derek’s horse. “Hand over the map so we can verify its authenticity.”
Olivia gave out a slight giggle.
Kaden turned his head slightly to his younger sister. “What’s so funny?!”
“I’ve never heard you use such big words!” Olivia smirked as Kaden shot back a look of annoyance.
“Very well then, I’ll open it up and you can see for yourselves.” Derek untied the ribbon and opened the map in front of both Olivia and Kaden. “The seal of Ronoh…” Derek pointed at an engraving in the upper left corner of the map. The engraving was of a dragon’s head with a small body and tail waving behind. Ronoh was an ancient city rumored to have held a society rich of dragon hunters and tamers. Long ago, Ronoh fell to a civil war between the hunters and tamers.
Avery threw his horn behind his back, stepped down to a lower, stronger branch and gave out a loud whistle.
Derek and his two companions looked up into the trees and to the direction of the noise.
Kaden pulled the map from Derek’s hands and tossed it to Olivia. Derek turned his head back around to Kaden pulling down at his horses harness, causing him to fall to the ground.
Just as Derek planted his face into the mud below his horse, a loud trampling noise was heard coming from behind his companions. It was a large, black horse. Not an ordinary horse, but Avery’s mystical steed, Shadow. Tied behind Shadow was a large log rolling sideways.