Meanwhile, Rudolph was asleep on a thick and lavish carpet. Upon arriving at the dragon's cave, he had been deposited inside, the dragon flying off elsewhere. It had been very dark, and Rudolph had only just been able to make out a high ceiling, a shallow pool of water off to the side, and what appeared to be a fuzzy mass in the center. Being thoroughly exhausted, feverish and cold, Rudolph decided to explore after a short rest. He had headed straight for the fuzzy-looking area, found it to be a mass of carpets, pillows, and tapestries, and fell asleep at once.
And so, as Isadora ate her soup with Quin, Rudolph opened his eyes painfully. His eyelids had been gummed shut by heavy sleep, and he had had to use his fingers to pry them open. It was dim inside the cave, for the dragon had the entrance blocked by a huge boulder. Only from the corners of the cave did light escape the boulder and dance throughout the space. Rudolph was now able to see the cave's contents more properly. He was laying on the fuzzy-like mass of soft furnishings he had spied last night, and he saw more clearly the pool of water across from him. There was also a roped-off area of what appeared to be a fighting ring, for there were sharpened sticks and armor of all sorts amassed by it.
Rudolph flexed his fingers and toes. His body tingled with the pleasant warmth of a good night's sleep. However, the feeling was soiled by both longing for Isadora and a pulsing pain behind his temple.
He stood shakily, allowing feeling and strength to return to his limbs. He was about to let loose a great and hearty yawn, when he heard a soft rustle nearby.
Rudolph's heart slammed against his chest, goosbumps rising on his arms, legs, and neck. He dropped to one knee and peered out from behind a large folded tapestry. There, not ten paces away, sat a boy and a girl.