Nervous claws clacked against the cave floor as Shore paced, tail lashing. The quill in his mouth had been long forgotten until a dragon walked into the library, snorting as he jumped.
"You got a little something there, Shore." The dragon, MantaRay (a name Shore knew by heart), said, indicating to his mouth, where the feather's downy barbs stuck to the corner.
Embarrassed, Shore pulled the quill from where it was hooked by his teeth, setting it aside and wiping his claws free of the spit. "Manta. To what can I owe the pleasure?" He asked, straightening up and trying to appear more presentable. It didn't work.
"I got relieved early from my post, so i thought that I'd swing by and pay my old friend a visit." The Seawing said as he sauntered in, looking around at the shelves of scrolls. He settled down beside Shore's desk, scanning the half-written scroll. "Working on something new?"
"No!" Shore dived forward, grabbing yanking the scroll from the desk and holding it to his chest to hide the writing. At Manta's surprised glance, Shore hurried to add, "Well, yes, but it isn't very good yet. Very much a work in progress."
And 100 percent embarrassing, he thought to himself before waving it off.
"I'm sure it's perfectly fine." Manta said, tilting his head with a slight amused sparkle in his eye. "I don't know what you're so worried about. I love your writing."
Shore's heart skipped a beat. "You do?" He asked.
"Of course I do!" Manta exclaimed, causing Shore to startle slightly. "You're like, the best author in all of Pyrrhia!"
Shore could feel his cheeks turn warm, as though the sun were shining directly on him, and he ducked his head. "Thank you." He mumbled, shifting. He went to put the scroll he was still
hugging to his chest down only to find he had to peel it off, eyes going wide with horror.
The ink had still been wet.
"Oh no..." He said, trying his best to wipe it off, only staining his talons black in the process. Manta burst into laughter, unable to contain it. It was a joyous sound, one that Shore longed to hear again and again, and he joined in too.
Once they had both calmed down, Manta let out one last chuckle, shaking his head. "C'mon, let's go for a swim. It'll clean you off."
Shore smiled. "I'd like that very much."