After I finally got to bed last night, and tried to get some sleep, I had that strange dream again. It keeps happening. It feels odd, every time like it’s actually a different reality. A bit like I’m stuck in another strange world when I’m dreaming. It feels more real than lucid dreaming, more solid.
Anyway, I wake up to a hungry bearfolk wife, and an unresponsive Dryad. Lilia found a break in the canopy and is soaking up some morning light not too far away from our camp.
“Darling~, we finished the orc-child this morning, but we’re still hungry. Would you be so generous as to hunt us some more food?” Thinking about it… A litter of four or more children… Of course she’s hungry all the time. I have, this whole time, been thinking that she’s over eating or overreacting to the whole ‘being pregnant’ thing. Not only that, but how much weight has she put on? Despite the effort to grow those children, and the extra weight, she’s still marching around miles upon miles on foot each day. It’s a bit amazing that we’ve gone so far in reaching our destination, considering the circumstances.
“Yes, I’ll be back in a bit.” I smile at her, and start to walk away, but not before I catch her tilting her head in confusion. I must say, I am getting quite used to her interesting facial expressions. At first, it wasn’t clear to me what she was expressing, but lately, I’ve come to understand her gestures much better. It makes our interactions significantly nicer. I feel less insecure about her words, since they’re always haughty. That doesn’t mean she’s being arrogant or looking down at me. It doesn’t help me feel less oppressed, but it does help to know that she isn’t doing it intentionally.
After looking for a bit, I find another orc-child. It’s a bit unusual to find one two days in a row. I wonder if there is a colony or something nearby? Do they have villages? Do they even gather? I’m very ignorant of this world. I hope the Ursine Great Library can help with that. I keep thinking that must be the reason Gaia sent me out this way. Honestly, as soon as I heard about it, I wanted to come regardless. I really hope that it can help me figure out a great deal many things.
Hunting it was much the same today as yesterday. Single spear throw, drag it back to Dubhe. Accept her gratitude, eat some wildflowers, nuts, and fruits that I found the previous days. Apparently, bearfolk usually eat like this when there isn’t much prey. Dubhe, being pregnant, needs more nutrition and energy than such a diet can provide. Thus she focuses on meat, but she has been considerate enough to teach me what is and isn’t safe to eat.
And then we walk.
Just after lunch, however, we actually reach our destination!
This… Is not what I expected.
I expect a building of some sort, with books, and… books.
We walk into a clearing, much like the one Mika and I came into, post ascension. There is a Gaia tree in the middle, just like before.
“Sister, does Gaia know you have abandoned your tree?” A dryad. Rather, another dryad. This one looks very male. He stands even a head taller than the bearfolk women I’ve seen. Lilia shies away from him, behind me and leans into my back.
I sigh. She doesn’t seem to want to deal with him. I suppose that means I need to. “Lilia has Gaia’s permission to–” But I don’t get to finish.
“DID I TALK TO YOU?! SILENCE YOU IMPERTINENT HUME.” As he yells, he swats at me with fingers-become-vine-whips. I’ve seen enough of Lilia’s attacks to know these will be quite painful, so I deploy one of the rune defenses I have come up with.
I call it: defense by a thousand cuts. Yes, the material will still hit me, but that’s all, the force of his arm will hopefully be negated. It makes use of small, vibrating blades of compressed air at specific locations just a few millimeters from where the vines will hit my skin. I’ll get pelted with little bits of cut up vines, coming in at high speeds, but that should be significantly better than the whole force of his arm.
I wouldn’t use this on a bearfolk or Human, but this is a dryad. He’ll heal easily.
Sure enough, the finger-whips became like wood chips and wet sawdust at my feet. I’ll have welts where they hit, tomorrow, but they didn’t do much damage, nor were they able to wrap around me.
The Dryad looks at me with crazed eyes and speaks through clenched teeth. “You dare injure an apostle of Gaia?”
What nonsense is he talking about?
“If you lead the words of Gaia, then you would know that she isn’t supposed to touch me, by order of the Goddess.” While I’m not entirely sure that’s accurate, it should be close enough.
“Sister! Is this true?!”
Lilia peeks out from behind me and nods.
“Tch. Very well. What is your business here? Hurry and finish it so you can leave.”
Thanks for the support! I am in your care!
We will be going down to one chapter a week for the month of December. I’m sorry.
Editor has a heavy school load;
I have alot of work to do replacing all the electrical in my house. Google “Knob and Tube Wiring” if you want to know how my house is wired.
Hopefully it will pick back up after the holidays. I still have a few chapter ahead, so no worries about it dying, we just need to slow down the pace a bit so everyone can enjoy the holidays.
(Don’t worry, I won’t post this again)