The spirits that were not

while in the search of kidnapped children

What was he getting into?

First, a woman in hysterics running down the path, shouting that spirits had stolen her babies. Then, Ainon and Volmar behaving as if this was normal and offering help! Against spirits! Evil spirits! The lair that they found, trapped beyond imagination, with pits and spikes, as if brigands used it. And there he was, badly wounded, after all these… Brathki were dead. What were they? They were not spirits, they bled and died. But the dog-faced beasts were lucky indeed, supernaturally lucky he thought, seeing how his great axe slipped from his hands for no apparent reason at the mere start of the battle. They fought with fury, with Pyry on the ground and his companions almost taken out. Almost. Even while rolling in pain, Pyry could see Ainon singlehandedly disposing most of the foul-smelling animals and Volmar again displaying amazing strength. I must learn more about half-humans, Pyry thought, and he didn’t mean Ainon only; these monsters exhibited intelligence and were fighting over his axe, recognizing its value.

They were all covered in blood now, still in the cave. His wounds would take months to heal. But they still hadn’t found that woman’s children, and Pyry couldn’t even fathom what the dog-faces were digging for. Silver? Gold even? He had to sort that out and alert his tribe. But for now he had time for nothing more than a breath before continuing down the darkness of the constructed tunnels.



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