It wasn't the same thing at all.
This beast was his to command, but the air was the beast's to command. That might seem a small difference, but he missed his carpet, which (barring the risk of a combat dismount) had almost made him into a flying unit himself. He wondered if King Tramennis could be persuaded to return it, as part of whatever bargain he might be able to strike with Jetstone.
The decrypted red and its warlord passed over the city walls, and Spacerock faded behind them. The pair flew alone, winging their way through the humid, apple-scented air above the orchards, and on toward the rising sun.
Habit required him to scan the ground and the skies for enemies, but he expected no action. This mission came under the Signed truces with both Charlescomm and Jetstone, the former a full armstice, the latter applying only to his mission. No other Coalition member except perhaps Haggar could feasibly strike him here, and King Dickie was inclined to negotiate.
Far from rankling him, this made him inclined to listen and learn. Gotti deserved to be Chief Warlord, despite his low level. The man could see things. Mistress Wanda avowed as much, but he sensed that she sometimes found Gotti's opinions disquieting.