To Outrun A Tainted Arrow - Pt. 4: Death, Like Night, Silently Creeps In

Five Maab’tzen was left speechless. He had seen Bendavee before, but he had never seen them in action; never while the huge saurinas were stalking their prey or running past a threat without being detected. He found it short of absolute magic, and with him being an apprentice record keeper to a Maakab Circle and specifically a Xibainn, Five Maab’tzen was sure he had seen both aspects of magic at work. He was also pretty sure this was neither one of them.

Kan’tzotz, who was more than twice his size and over five times a mature buunkun’s weight, moved in near absolute silence and his tough, scaled skin gradually shifted colors, growing ever darker as the daylight faded and gave way to the night. Then, the buunkun saw one of the Bendavee’s sudden, deft spear strikes against one of the Ysvalian prowlers who had grown bold and separated from his knot.

For the look on his eyes, the bearded human did not realize he had been lured by the quarry he thought he finally had tracked down. His fear and surprise imediately evident as his chest was pierced by the spear’s obsidian tip, rendering him unable to scream for help or to sound the alert to the others. The Bendavee dispassionately looked at the dying human, no evidence of either joy or hatred in his cold eyes. Yet, as the Ysvalian scout began to crumble, the large saurian quickly grabbed the body as it went limp and gently put the enemy down on the ground, underneath a bush.

Yann nut xumanjiit,” Kan’tzotz whispered in t’chuunik Boa’a, a ceremonial inflection to the common tongue Bendavee used with All Others, making no distinction whether they were friend or foe and, Five Maab’tzen knew, reserved for momentous occasions.

“Why?” The buunkun caught himself asking and quickly nestled his head between his shoulders, expecting the huge scaly warrior to turn and squarely smack him in the head with the spear’s shaft. Still, the Bendavee just clicked his tongue a couple of times and signaled him to keep moving.

Even when Five Maan’tzen was no military strategist or a mediocre warrior even, he could now see how the enemy lines had now formed all around them and the lone tzikob they were so desperately rushing to reach, would quickly find itself at the center of a deadly circle of towering bearded humans and their screaming females, many of them mounted in those non-wuapu bears and most carrying the fearsome barbed spears their hairy kind referred to as “hua-eling harpuuhns,” The mental image depicting scores of brálaid throngs of the fierce Mig tainn skewered by these horrible worse-than-spears, made the buunkun’s sinewy knees grow weak.

As if sensing his companion slipping into despair and jehjehmocht, the weakness that killed the light in the mind and burned all hope in the heart, the Bendavee forester turned and put one heavy hand on the buunkun’s shoulder.

“Because,” came Kan’tzotz’s reply, “he will now feed the forest that feeds All of Us. Now breath, Colorful Brother, catch your breath and find your courage once again. We must reach our own and warn them of the tainted arrow dashing their way from the sea.”

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