»When the wounds are clean, I anoint them and put a leaf over them to protect them. In two or three days the wounds have healed and you can brag about the scars to the women who like it,« she winked at him.
Magnus grinned, but when Shana cleaned the wounds with a tincture, he pulled the air through his teeth.
»Does it hurt?«, Ramloc mocked.
The Nordmann immediately shut his mouth and he made a throwing away gesture.
»Oh, no no,« he said.
»Well, that`s fine. That was just a little scratch on the shoulder. The wound on your leg is ›dageg›n much longer and deeper.«
When Shana was treating the wound there, Magnus had big eyes and he obviously forced himself not to let anything show. When Shana was finished, she went back to the little one. She took him in her arms again and started playing with him. The meat was also ready and she tried to see if the little one would eat the meat. She puffed the piece of meat coolly and held it over him. But the little boy had no teeth and Shana thought about how to feed her. Then she chewed the meat and gave it to him to eat. And low and behold, chewed up the food did not cause him any problems.
»We don`t need to worry about that. Who left you here in the middle of the wilderness?«, Shana asked.
In the early evening, the setting sun submerged the barren land in a variety of colours. From sunny yellow to orange, from red tones and even a slight purple was visible. The ochre-coloured rocks and the rust red of Konkoros`? With the country`s few green areas, scarring formed a contrasting and yet harmonious picture. In the distance, tall animals were to be seen that traveled through the barren land. The moons Karanthar and Segum appeared in brightly shining splendour in the darkening sky. Karanthar was twice as big as Segnum and they formed a pair of two dazzling balls. Karanthar had a copper-coloured tone and blessing possessed a very bright green glow. The big moon appeared in front of his companion, who a little less than an hour later shoved himself in front of Karanthar and overtook him in the course of the night and was the first to go down again. It was an intoxicating picture of natural beauty and elegance that only nature could create.
Ramloc and Magnus were still discussing what to do with their prey and Grayden sometimes looked over chewing to Shana and the child. Suddenly a spear crashed on top of them. Immediately, they all jumped up and took up arms.
»Ramloc! Magnus! Circle around Shana. Ramloc, can you see anything?«Grayden gave the usual orders.
»There are twelve or fourteen creatures coming towards us. Very large. Armed with spear and bow. I don`t know the other weapon and there are two Vrouwen,«the dwarf replied.
»How do they look?«, the Shieldmaster asked.
»Pretty wild. Tall, lion`s mane. »Place n before power.«
»Beastmen,« Magnus suspected.
At dusk they saw fourteen beasts running towards them. At a certain distance they slowed down and the adventurers were again impressed by the Night vision of the dwarf. Most of them wore long, feathered and furred spears that ended in a blade that was the length of a full-grown man`s arm. Some of them also carried heavy longbows on their backs. On the belts of the largest there were rings that reflected the light of the evening sun. Their faces were all framed by a splendour of hair that was truly the size of a lion`s mane. They were clothed with light shoes, a short apron, forearm splints and shoulder protectors. On the muscular chest with two of them had metal breastplates and they were the only ones with silver manes. Only one of them wore a fur cloak. He also carried the biggest spear and the largest of the rings. His hair had three red ribbons woven into it. The beasts circled the adventurers.
»He seems to be the chief or something,« Ramloc believed.
»Hopefully we all speak the same language,« Grayden said.
»I speak your language, man,« came the baritone answer of the tallest It was the voice of an experienced and noble warrior who seemed to be many years old.
»Now you know,« Ramloc said.
The beastmaster stepped in front of Grayden and raised his left hand. He pointed to Shana.
»I am the Rakshasa of beasts. Why do you keep my son imprisoned?«, the Rakshasa demanded to know.
»Caught? We`re not holding your son captive,«Grayden said.
»What`s my son doing in the arms of this woman? Give him to me. Immediately!«, The beastmaster stepped forward one more step and Grayden had to raise his head to look him in the eyes. Shana stepped forward and looked at the little one first and then at the beastmaster.
»We found him when he was attacked by lions and saved him,« she said.
She returned the gaze of the Rakshasa who stared at her angrily.
»Saved him?« The beastmaster`s voice calmed down. »You think you saved my son from the lions?«
He took a look over his shoulder at one of the women. She sparkled angrily at him, but said nothing.
»Yes, we believe that,« said Shana.
Ramloc and Magnus stood there nervously and tense. Grayden kept his head clear and loosened the grip around his sword.
»Give me my son, and you will accompany us to our village. There we can talk in peace.«
Uncertainly they slowly lowered their weapons, ready to strike if this was a trick. Shana changed her gaze with Grayden, who gave her a nod to understand that she should do it.
»How are we supposed to know that this is really your son and not another one, for example your rival`s?« Shana wanted to know.
Grayden rolled his eyes. The beastmaster answered with a snorting snort. Ramloc`s hand moved imperceptibly. Magnus also prepared himself. The Rakshasa stepped in front of Shana and held his arm against her. She saw a discoloration of the skin on her left forearm. Then she understood and looked at the boy`s left forearm. He had the same discoloration.
»He`s my son,« said the beastmaster.
»Then take him, Rakshasa.«
She gently placed the little one in the arms of the leader of the beasts. In the massive muscles, the boy looked even smaller than he was already.
»Come now,« said Rakshasa.
»We have to abandon our camp first. It won`t take long,« said Shana.
They quickly stowed away their belongings and put out the fire. They took the reins of the Feren and followed the beasts. These formed a loose ring around the companions. Grayden couldn`t get rid of the feeling that he was being led away and he didn`t like the feeling. But the beasts showed no signs that they would attack, but Grayden remained vigilant.
»Where is your village?« he asked.
The Rakshasa looked at his son as he answered.
»We`ll be there in half a day,« he said.
»This will delay our meeting with our brother-in-arm.«
»You`re on your way to seek someone?«
»Yes, a fighting companion of ours.«
The beastman grumbled something incomprehensible, but the shield master did not ask for it, he did not want to endanger the ceasefire. However, he did not sensed that the beastman threatened danger. On the contrary. He was surrounded by an aura of openness and understanding. That, in combination with his apparent leadership strength, made him a trustworthy person who acted hard but justly. Only the woman who had looked at the Rakshasa during the conversation kept giving them vicious glances.
Ramloc was the first to notice, and he drew Grayden`s attention to it with a sharp sneeze to the left. In reply that he had understood the shieldmaster rubbed his nose.
»Who is this woman?«, he asked the Rakshasa in a muted tone.
»I`ll explain it to you in the village. However, if we keep going, it`ll take even longer to get there. You are not our prisoners, but if you do not give your word not to flee, you could step on your forrests and ride. Don`t worry if we can keep up,«he replied with a smile.
Grayden looked at everyone and gave his word. The Rakshasa tied a loop of leather, put his son in it and straped the leather loop around his upper body, made sure that it was firmly seated and gave a sign to his followers. Grayden and the group climbed on their horses and after a hesitant trot, they drove the horses to a fast gallop. The beasts ran beside them as the Feren needed breaks and the beasts showed no signs of exhaustion. No drops of sweat were visible on their faces. No puffing or Japs was heard.
»Amazing,« Magnus admitted. »Our dwarf would have fallen over just after a few minutes.«
»Watch out pebble, or I`ll show you when I`m exhausted.« sounded like the dwarf. »Namely, when I`ve trampled your rude ass to the Eastern Empire.«
The beasts looked at each other. They could hardly imagine that this little creature possesses such a power. The Rakshasa had to grin.
»The dwarf is a woofer bird.« the Biestmann stated.
»A what?« Grayden asked.
»You don`t know the wooferbird? This bird is about twice the size of a land mouse, but when in danger it can inflate its feathers. He makes a lot of noise and screams excitedly.«
The beasts started laughing.
»That`s right, a woofer!« laughed Magnus.
Shana fell into laughter. Even Grayden was grinning. The dwarf turned red and this was one of the rare moments when the dwarf was speechless.
»Let`s go,« the Rakshasa exclaimed.
to be continued …
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