After raiding all of the buildings, Glen ensured all persons were both tied up and blindfolded, excluding Mika. He then starts to carry them, one at a time, into the center of town. He focuses on the men and children first, then the unrestrained women, leaving the chained women for last. I was surprised by that, although he did not bind the chained women, he did blindfold them. He says it’s for everyone’s well being.
There isn’t much for Lilia and myself to do, as we can’t ask sleeping people questions, or really solve any problems. After checking Mika for wounds, I took some woven fabric from a nearby building and started fashioning her some new clothes. Lilia is finding every opportunity to lean on me, lay on me, or situation depending, to notify me of her exhaustion.
Contrary to our carefree diligence, and Glen’s studious work, the bearfolk woman just stands and looks at the caged bear, watching. I wasn’t sure what she was doing, or, rather, why she was doing that, but she mutters to herself occasionally.
After completing a rough set of clothes for Mika, and having Lilia help me put them on her, I notice that Glen had acquired several chains and ropes. He is moving from person to person, tying their hands to the rope, and knotting it around their waist in succession. In this way, all of the townsfolk are linked in a single line. There was perhaps 70 men, and double that number of women, with some twenty or so children.
I wonder to myself: maybe the other men died in their subjugation of the wild beasts that roamed these lands.
The bearfolk woman starts to move while I ponder. She easily tears a hole through the wooden bars of the cage, shredding them to pieces with her claws. It looks as if they offer no resistance to her claws.
After entering the cage, she lets loose a roar at the sleeping bear in front of her.
At least, I thought he was sleeping.
But he isn’t.
In fact, he instantly gets up in a loose pounce, aiming for the bearfolk woman, replying with a roar of his own before his snout is smacked into the ground by the far smaller female in front of him.
It happens so fast, I’m momentarily stunned by the development. Regaining my composure, I start running to assist the not-so-little girl in front of the giant bear. While I started in a run, I slow to a walk, watching the events unfold faster than I can even hope to intervene.
First, the bear rolls to the side and swipes at the bearfolk woman. Her small frame hides an overpowering agility, however, and she hops onto his swiping paw. It is something I’d seen only in an anime. From there, she digs her claws in, and – faster than I would be able to run normally – she clawed-crawls down his back, leaving shallow wounds in her wake. She hops off his flank, and regains a battle stance.
The male bear is bleeding from several places at this point. He spins to face her and backs up to gain some distance. He starts rumbling to the bearfolk woman in some guttural throaty noises.
She responds by roaring, turning her back and walking out of the cage.
Just before she reaches me at the edge of the makeshift door and steps out, the bear engages in another pounce-and-swipe maneuver. This time, he covers much more distance than I had expected from his bulky frame. Instinctively, I grab one of the fallen poles, it is about ten or so feet long even after being broken. I prop one end into the ground anchored by my foot, and directed the sharper ends towards the bear’s flight path.
The pole shatters into small wooden splinters, scattering like shrapnel. The makeshift spear impales some solid blue barrier billowing from the point of impact, just a finger’s width before contacting the bear’s fur.
That got the ursine woman’s attention back to the bear attacking her. Taking the minute opportunity offered by my impromptu defence, she spins around and presses her advantage. Stepping into the bear’s injured side, from here, it looks like she stabs a fist through the bear’s nearest eye as he flies past. She then jumps over him before he crashes into her. Noticing the danger, I also jump out of the way just in time to avoid being crushed.
He collapses and doesn’t move further. She hadn’t just hit his eye. Based on the blood that went up to her elbow, I’m sure she had rightly killed him this time.
“W-what the…” I drop the splinters of wood that are still in my hand. She moved so fast at times, I wasn’t sure what she had done, or that it was even possible. My hands tremble a bit, and I brush off the remaining wood splinters.
Now, at this moment, a pillar of light descends from the sky, not more than a few feet away. This one is far larger than those before that had caused the sleep.
“I didn’t think it was necessary to show myself, but you had to go and kill someone, didn’t you?”
Thanks for the support! I am in your care!
The Good news: I bought a new (to me, it’s actually older) house! It’s bigger, and has 3 acres!
The Bad news: I will be moving soon, and I need to put some time into selling my old house (or rather, getting it ready to sell).
What does that mean?
At some point in the near future, I will disappear for a week, and you will get no updates. Maybe. I don’t know when this will happen. I am still waiting on the inspections, and surveys and banks involved to finish their details so I can sign paperwork.
In some ways this is a good thing! It will give my editor time to get ahead a bit (I burned through his lead with Saturday releases). This means the quality will likely go up, as I will have more time to think about the edits he makes. Also, I will need to give up my hopes of getting out the first “book” before December. This means, that I will slow my work on editing existing chapters in prep for publishing; and instead put some focus on writing the next chapters. If I don’t, there will be a big gap of no web updates.
Again, this is a good thing. It lowers the stress of an artificial deadline for my artist, myself, and my editor (aside from me, the other two have school commitments, and are having a hard time meeting my deadline expectations… maybe ‘hard time’ isn’t right, as I’ve made it clear that their school work is more important to me than meeting my expectations). Finally, the story will continue without a gap. And I hate re-editing… so my procrastination level will go down and productivity will likely go up.
Anyways, wanted to keep you guys informed.