Though he was nowhere near the volcanoes themselves, it was still hot. The heat coming from the ground made it difficult to walk along it. His steps were quick, almost as if he was trotting along, but he was simply walking. There was an occasional hiss when the ground got too hot for his paw pads, but he made no other complaints. He was meant to find a fire breathing dragon, one that would help him improve upon himself. Perhaps the quest would be easier said than done. Though he wasn't much for mentorship and learning, he did want to improve himself, become better. That was something he always wanted. He needed to become stronger, better, more efficient. His control, or lack thereof, needed altering as well. It took a toll on his body, as shown by the scars left along his right leg. He glanced down at it for a moment, flexing it as he took a longer step that he meant to. Sear twitched his nose as he took a hurried step, now breaking into a trot as he entered the ash-driven plains of the volcanic isle. As the ground shook, he nearly stumbled, but managed to catch himself before he fell. It seemed the volcanoes were ever active here. It didn't bother Sear at all though. What bothered him was water, whether it was deep or shallow. If there was a possibility of drowning, he didn't enjoy it. Perhaps that was something else he needed to grow from as well. His fears.. They plagued him.
Sear shook off the thought as he continued along, finding it more and more difficult to walk along his makeshift path the further he got into the territory. He wished Sunpaw was here with him, or perhaps Sprucenight. They were two of the people in the Veil he seemed to trust the most which couldn't be said for many others in his life. Though he was certain that this quest was something he could complete on his own, a bit of support never hurt anyone. Sunpaw had always been there for him, even when he hadn't. Sear wished there were more people like that that he could trust. The spiky-furred boy released an exasperated sigh as he maneuvered through the rocks and dried lava. It had long since been that way, long before Agrelos had even been inhabited by the current inhabitants.
It seemed he wasn't the only one to be stuck in this hellhole of a territory. A few meows captured his attention as he meandered along, his trot eventually slowing to a walk, a slow one at that. He was wary, even though the meows sounded quiet and weak. Perhaps they were from children, younger than himself. Concern wasn't often an expression written upon his features, but it was there as he approached the scene that lay before him.
Kittens. There were two of them, crouched and shaking beneath a rather large boulder. He simply stared at them as they peered up at him, realizing he was there. His paw pads were growing hot as he stood there. They began shifting in their spot, and he could somewhat read their expression as their eyes widened. Was it fear written upon their facial features? Sear's ears flicked back against his skull as he watched them, unsure of what to do. His gaze flickered from them to the large mountain that wasn't far beyond where they were all positioned. What he wanted was to grow stronger. He didn't want to keep some pets with him. He didn't want to have kids to watch after, not like Sprucenight, Ver, Mercy.. They were actual parents. They understood how to care for a child. Sear was angry. He wasn't the paternal type, nor was he a big brother to anyone. He didn't care for anyone, as much as he kept telling himself that. Deep down, he knew he cared for Sunpaw and Sprucenight, but they were the only names that came to mind.
"Mister?" One of the kittens questioned, her voice tiny, a mere squeak.
Sear's head whipped around to look down at her rather than her brother who remained silent. He, too, was quiet as he peered at them, uncertain of what to say in the moment. He hadn't ever been addressed as such, so it was odd hearing it from her. "Are you deaf or something?" The kitten inquired with a cock of her head, not meaning any harm by it, at least not from what Sear could tell.
"No, you idiot," Sear snapped at her in response, his reaction quick and harsh. She recoiled a bit at it, but didn't back down. He released a huff as he took a seat, attempting to ignore the heat from the ground as his tail curled around his paws. The tail tip twitched every so often as he stared at them, wondering for a moment why the brother was so silent in comparison to the sister. "What are you two doing here? Don't you have a mom?" The spiky-furred boy questioned them as his gaze narrowed, crimson optics turning fiery.
"I don't know where she is..." The girl responded in a quiet voice, almost meek in nature. Sear's lips curled back in a frown as he wondered what to do with them. He longed to go after the dragon, to find him and ask him for aid, but these kittens obviously needed help. Did they need his help though? Perhaps someone would be along, though from what he could tell, there was no one to be seen or found in the volcanic isle. The Darkseeker was silent for a long moment, his ears pricking forward as he observed the kittens. He felt horrible. This was a decision he didn't want to make, especially since he cared for himself more so than others.
Sear sucked in a deep breath as he finally stood, staring down at the kittens. It was the time to make a decision. He nearly began walking off in the direction of the dragon, but instead stood in place. To him, this would be one of the worst decisions he would have ever made in his life. To choose between growing stronger, becoming more like himself and caring for two strangers he didn't know? He couldn't believe he was doing this. "I know a place you can call home. Follow me, you little assholes," Sear told them firmly, a curt tone to his voice as he eventually began turning away from them. Now would begin the long trek back to the Shadow Veil. It was a wasted opportunity, but one he wouldn't realize would cause him to grow as well. It wasn't the way he wanted to grow, as he wanted strength, power, control, but it was something nonetheless. A tired look passed over his features as he peered towards the horizon, his crimson eyes losing that fire for a moment. He glanced back at the kittens to see if they had moved from their spot, and thankfully, he found them at his heels.
This was going to be fun.