Author Topic: Part 41: Enroute  (Read 9677 times)

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Offline Daen

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Part 41: Enroute
« on: March 17, 2023, 08:23:45 PM »
Moss was lost in thought as they made their way through the night. To the east, he believed, but couldn't be sure without the Core's light.

"At least I know why they didn't punish you right away, or me as well for revealing their secret," Char said nervously, with the artificial root still connecting them. "The trejuns had already figured it out. There was no reason to make an example of us after that."

Moss agreed silently, wondering what would happen the next time he had to bond with her. He'd felt her suspicion back there, and she was right to be worried. He was keeping a secret from her now, a secret which would come out the next time they were truly together. Could she forgive him? Perhaps. Despite all her burns, she had developed a kind nature. But would she?

"There's something I need to tell you," they both said at the same time.

There was a moment of confusion, during which Moss spoke. "You go first," he said, grateful for the distraction.

In answer, Char shared her senses, including something small rolling around the back of their cart. "The Ashers found this in the bed of our last cart. I think it was there since we first started out from the green lands. We were just so focused on survival and finding our way that we never noticed it."

Curious, he focused on it with his own damaged senses, and then stopped dead. It couldn't be!

They just rode in silence for a while, intent on it. Moss thought back to every place he'd been in the past two seasons. Praska had been sabotaged. The Arbormass had been destroyed. Kulik had been burnt to ash before he'd even arrived, and now Sharpcrag was most likely doomed as well. He destroyed every place he went to! He was cursed, and he had to get this thing away from him, as far as possible!

That was, if she didn't have plans of her own for it. "Is it… viable?"

"I think so," she said slowly. "I considered destroying it, but that didn't seem right. Not without your input at least."

"I'm glad you felt that way," he said faintly. "What do you want to do with it?"

"Well, I don't want to leave it here in the Orja. I'd sooner leave it for the Void to take. But doesn't your Union have some pretty strict rules when it comes to situations like this?"

He sent out an agreement. "They do. If you don't want to destroy it, then I suggest we send it to Grove Praska. My father is there, and he can keep it safe. I know, Praska is much closer to the front lines, but it's also not a target like the sandkin are."

She sent out some relief. "That sounds like a good idea. I'll make the arrangements once we reach Hightop."

Truthfully, he didn't know if he was relieved or not. He should be focusing on the mission: obtain sandkin aid, and this was a distraction to that mission. Maybe someday it would be something more, but now it was jut a liability.

"What was it you wanted to tell me?" She asked, after a moment, and he carefully hid his guilty twinge.

"Oh, nothing important. Nothing compared to this, anyway," he said smoothly. "Come on. We've got a few hours before we arrive in Hightop, and I'd like to get your ideas on how to address the sandkin. Despite our bonding, I'm still a stranger to these people."

She agreed easily, and helped him on the rest of their trip. He was doing the right thing, he told himself. Telling her would just distract her. It was best to wait until after the talks, and this new situation had been safely sent away to his father.