Yoko’s pounding footsteps broke the natural balance of the forest, giving the earth below an artificial heartbeat. Had he lost it? Leaves blurred by in a spectrum of color as his pale, wiry frame dodged a path through the foliage on instinct. Not aware of anything except for the singular, vital need to survive. It was an all too familiar state.
White hair streamed behind him in a long flow, dirty and littered with bits of plan. The simple look he wanted to take and be sure that he was no longer being hunted was too great of a risk. If his eyes weren’t forward he could find himself in even more danger.
Ragged breathing hitched when his arm brushed against a spongy tree limb, misjudging his proximity to it when he subconsciously gave a, much more, dangerous plant a wide berth.
The raw and punctured skin on his forearm was the reason he was in this situation. How both Lavien and he missed the little floating Plodo frog before they were practically on top of it, was now just a painful mystery. The ballooned creature had exploded as soon as Yoko disturbed it’s flight, sending it’s small spines into the arm he had raised to shield his face. A highly effective defense mechanism for such a small creature, used to protect the marshy territories they called home from the hordes of other creatures that were larger than them.
They were just lucky there had been only one. Hundreds of the amphibians would converge in the same location, and there was no escaping the destructive cloud those little bodies could produce. But still, the unexpected attack caused far more damage than the single death of a Plodo frog typically would. The pained cry that was forced passed Yoko’s chapped lips was an unnatural sound on the land of only lizards and plants.
It was that sound that led the nearby Archos to them.