Uh, so… They won’t eat me? Maybe if I just act like a rock, they’ll forget about me and go wallow in their own problems.
Maybe I should just go back to sleep.
“Lillia, what are your plans?” This Tristain hume is talking again… Almost as if this dryad has a reason to answer to him…? That’s an odd sight.
“Well, we have a hume daughter… And food Dubhe has an unlearned dryadite. I really like Food Source Tristain, as well. So I will be husband to Dubhe and wife to you, wherever you two decide to settle down. But, Gaia says I can’t do what you ask…” She is much more animated about this than I’ve ever seen any other dryad get before about… really, anything. Granted, I don’t get out much. Maybe the world has changed significantly since I last was awake? Maybe this dryad just lost it.
“That… Sounds complicated. So you’re going to stick around then. That helps at least. Uh… Hume girl? What are you doing after this? I plan on letting you free… I could use the help, but you’re not obligated to do anything for us. I’m not even sure how you got wrapped up in this.” That’s quite the nice deal for her. Freedom isn’t so easily come by.
“W- well, Um… I -I was a slave before, so I don’t really have anywhere to go… And… We’re at the bearfolk’s Gaia Tree, right?” She seems… very unreliable. Yet, her words make sense.
“Yes.” This male hume sighs before continuing. “If I help you get back on your feet, help hunt, help build a shelter, will you help take care of my kids? I think we’ll need help with the number of children. At least for a few hundred cycles.”
“Yes!” Oh, she seems quite excited for that. It is a pretty sweet deal, after all. Food and shelter for some work every day? Freedom to leave whenever? Sign me up. Wait, no. I don’t need any of that. Don’t sign me up.
The male hume look at the one named queen; and she clarifies for him: “Get the hell out of my territory.”
“Fair enough. That leaves us with only one loose knot.” What the hell does that mean?
Wait, why are you all looking at me?
“What was the deal you made with Dubhe?”
“You either choose to eat me, or choose the option I provide.” I like neither of those options, for the record.
“What was the option you provided?” He’s smiling a smug, little smile. It’s disgusting. Maybe a bit enticing. I don’t know. It’s complicated.
“I’ll be your wife and do… some of your requests.” Yeah, I’m not so sure about my statement earlier.
“Some? I thought it was ‘my deepest desires?’” Tch. He pays too close attention.
“Well, your deepest is only some, right? Some sounds good.” Let’s be clear here, I don’t want to do any of this. I just want to sleep.
“That sounds arbitrarily vague.” He catches on pretty quick too. Maybe I like him.
“I’m not sure how that’s going to work when you’re…” He’s gesturing with his hands wildly. “Big. Like, bigger than a house.”
“So you’re not going to eat me?” I need to be sure of this. I will not shed my body for some half thought out promise that someone won’t eat me. It’s taken me thousands of years of sleep to get this big, after all.
“I had no intention of eating you to begin with. I just don’t want to draw the ire of Dubhe for not following through with her plans.” Why is he afraid of some measly bearfolk female? This hume is so confusing.
“Well, fine. Hold on.” Ulg, I hate this. Shedding my body isn’t fun, isn’t comfortable, and takes bloody forever to grow back. I’m really not interested in fighting that dryad though. I could maybe take her if I shed my body, but like this, she is far more powerful. All of my energy is wrapped up in maintaining this amazing body.
“Wait, before I do this… No one is allowed to talk about this. Uh… Other dragonfolk might be mad if they found out I showed it.” It is really a secret. I don’t need any of the other dragonfolk coming for me because I revealed it.
“Just shut your trap and do it. It hasn’t been a secret since that infernal town came into being. Those humes hunted everything, and dissected them all. I didn’t believe it, so I asked the library. We all know now. Everyone knows.” That is some startling information, Queen. I’ll need to ask about that later. Humes hunting dragonfolk? I mean, maybe this hume. But most aren’t like him. His white runes are quite something.
Well, I guess I can’t delay any longer.
“That sounds… disgusting. And disturbing.” This hume male. Just be quiet for a while.
“Tristain, quiet. It’s only disgusting because you don’t understand the pleasure of tearing open your prey and eating their meat.” Dubhe… Thanks, but maybe don’t phrase it in such an upsetting manner?
Ah, I can feel the power of my runes coming back to me. Sleeping for so many years, all my power was sapped just maintaining my massive body. It feels so good to have that power back. I had forgotten how it feels.
Still, pulling myself out of my massive body’s back is a bit gross. I have blood and mucus dripping off of me.
“So, were you like… Piloting that body or something? That’s cool.” Can he shut up yet?
“No, that was my body. Now it’s just a husk.”
“So we can still eat it?”
“That’s probably insensitive, Dubhe. I mean, that was her body just a moment ago.” You’re one to talk, Tristain? Seriously. Everyone let me get out of this mess first.
Author’s Note: Thanks for the support! I am in your care!