“Schvark,” he barked.
Cassandra laughed and blushed a bit at her absurd situation. “I’m not exactly dressed to meet new people.”
Riggit’s eyes roved over the curves on her hips, and he smiled appreciatively. When he noticed her watching him, he lowered his head bashfully.
“Do you like what you see?” Cassandra giggled at the feline’s sweet shyness.
Schvark nudged her hand, placing his shirt against her lowered palm. “Put this on or none of us is going to get anywhere.”
“Thank you, kind Sir,” Cassandra responded. She wrapped the shirt around her waist, covering her butt and furred slit.
Schvark mumbled, “You’re welcome,” but he smiled just a little when he thought she wasn’t looking.
Cassandra raised her arms spun in place, temporarily lifting her makeshift skirt and casting aside her modesty. “So this is the fabled Far Shoals. I never believed the stories were true. It’s beautiful.”
They were standing in a peaceful glade ringed in large gnarly trees. To Cassandra, it felt like she had just stepped onto the pages of a child’s storybook.
Riggit chuckled, “Well, some of it is beautiful. From our perspective, they tell stories about the Calm, where you came from, lovely lady.”
“Speaking of where I come from. What was that horrible monster, and is it gone?”
Schvark answered her. “That was a swampuk. They’re basically animated swamp slime from the marshes surrounding the castle of the Dark Dragon. I used to live near there, they are really tough creatures. It can’t get you now. Riggit closed the gate behind us.”
“Locked up tight,” agreed Riggit.
Upon closer inspection, Cassandra noticed that the designs patterned into his fur resembled the runes she had been studying and the same ones as on her artifacts. She threw herself into his arms in a sudden hug that made him squirm. Deep in his chest, a purr rumbled.
Schvark coughed, looking a bit dejected. Cassandra rounded on him, shoving his face between her boobs in an exuberant embrace. “You are both my heroes.”
“Mwo pwob,” he responded into her cleavage.
Riggit grinned, circling his arms around the both of them, and smooshing Schvark in between.
“There’s something I don’t understand,” said Cassandra when they broke from the group hug. “How did you know I needed help? How did you know to come to my rescue?”
“Riggit is a gatekeeper, it’s his job to open and close the gates. He’s been studying them for years.” Schvark explained. He indicated the patterns in Riggit’s fur. “See the runes, he earned those.”