“Otsu…?” Vancantly, Dubhe whispers his name.
Otsu grumbles while shoving his nose off to the side, then plants himself in front of the door, blocking it.
Dubhe looks agitated. “What do you mean ‘surprised to see you here’?”
Otsu grumbles again. Why isn’t he talking? I can’t understand him.
“No, don’t you lie to us, you were maimed, how did you get here?” Luckily Dubhe has children suckling. I can see her flexing her claws.
“Dubhe, I don’t know what’s going on, but you’re starting to scare the children.” Nanook has stopped feeding, and is hiding his face in my chest.
Otsu grumbles some more.
“Otsu, stop grumbling. I can’t understand you when you do that.” I chide him. Really, be polite!
“Mika?!” Dubhe stares at me bewildered.
“BWAhahahahaha” Melsy starts laughing loudly for some reason.
Looking back at Otsu, he’s acting weird: covering his face, leaning away from Dubhe, and groaning.
“Mika, uhm. Hun, uh. Do you know how bearfolk males talk?” Dubhe inquires with a pensive look.
“With their mouths like everyone else?” That seems like a dumb question. I look around at everyone else in the room. Otsu is hiding his face, Melsy and Tristain look like a pair of jerks watching with those smug smiles on their faces, Lillia is oblivious, but both Dubhe and the hume girl are staring at me.
“Well, that’s not wrong, but we think you don’t understand.” She puts a claw on her chin and looks up, I think she’s thinking. “Otsu, you can talk to Mika?”
Otsu nods, but doesn’t say anything.
“Hm, we shouldn’t be the one to talk, so we’ll leave it at that. Just understand that it means-” Dubhe pauses, flexing her claws a few times before continuing, “it means a lot to be able to talk to a bearfolk male. That’s all I should say. Otsu, properly explain to her, soon.”
Otsu nods, but is still covering his face. I’ll need to talk to him later, it seems like he’s ashamed or something? I don’t know. I’ve never seen him like this.
“Well!” Tristain fills the silence, “Tomorrow, we move out, the queen has agreed with the terms of the Arbitrator. Should be fun to have Otsu and Mika with us.”
“Otsu is coming?” Dubhe speaks up again.
This doesn’t make any sense, I’m struggling to understand. “Otsu, why are you going?”
“Hmmm…” Nodding, Dubhe speaks up. “We see.”
“Huh? What is going on?” Can someone let me know?
“Oh, nothing to be concerned with, hun. We figure, since Otsu is joining us, you will as well, right?” Dubhe puts down the last of the children to be fed, and stands up.
“I don’t understand what is going on! Can please someone explain?”
“We will, eventually. More importantly, with Otsu here, you’re coming, right?”
I look at Tristain, then Otsu, and finally Nanook. If I go anywhere else, both Nanook and myself will be in danger. If I go with everyone, Otsu will protect us, and we’ll be a part of whatever this ‘race’ is. I hate Tristain but I can probably handle it with Otsu around.
Honestly, even if I don’t want to go, the Arbitrator will probably force me to. It’s frustrating. I don’t want to be around Tristain but I know it will be much better than the other options.
“Fine,” I concede. There isn’t another way out of this one. At least, not that I can see.
“Yay! More family!” Lillia cheers in the back, before getting clobbered handily by Melsy.
“It’s not a family! Race! Stop giving me more competition!” They start wrestling on the ground. Tristain is just standing next to them, watching, grinning. I really don’t understand you. Do you like watching those you care for get hurt? Wait, I don’t understand any of you. The enclave was so much less complicated.
Dubhe takes control of the situation. “Everyone find a room to sleep in. We’re tired. Tristain, turn the lights off afterwards. Lillia, close the door. Melsy, I want a quiet night tonight.”
Melsy gets up and looks at Tristain, who shrugs and nods. She looks disappointed, but grabs Lillia, and pushes her into a room. Tristain goes into a seperate room, Dubhe, the hume girl, and all of the children except the baby dryads go in another. That leaves Nanook, Otsu, and myself in this main room.
Otsu just lies on the ground in front of the door, and reaches over, pulling us into a snuggle just before the lights go out.
I don’t think I could feel much safer with Tristain around than in Otsu’s arms. His fur is warm and comforting. He has a very sharp set of claws, and has declared that he would protect us.
Author’s Note: Thanks for the support! I am in your care! Second chapter this week!
I think this will be the last 2 chapter week for a while. Reasons: I need to get a bit more ahead, and I need to edit (rather, finish editing) Vol. 1. Granted, I don’t have the artwork for it yet, but I can’t very well complain about that when I don’t have my part even close to being done. Soooo… 1 Chapter a week for a while. Besides, Arc 5 is the last arc in this volume, and that’s almost done being written. Meaning: I’d like to finish my editing/expanding of Vol.1 before I start writing Vol.3.