“I will fall back. You will look after me, but soon continue on with the expedition, telling them of my demise.” Krajani instructed Whlana, which sat in front of her staring off into the distance. “And then?” Krajani stopped. “Nothing. Everything will continue on as if nothing else had happened.” Whlana reached to Krajanis pouch tearing out the message. “Under no circumstance intimate contact with other people!” she yelled at the eastern Albin waving the message before her eyes. “And though you think I had not noticed, I did!” she threw the message to the ground. Krajani stared at it, grinding her teeth she clenched her fists. Both of them knew that this passage was written on the grounds of the inscriptions in the jungle pyramid.

Both assumed it was a prophecy.

But neither wanted to say it. “You can’t run away from this.” Whlana sat back down. “I have analyzed you now. You always state how great our kind is, even when you know otherwise, you have no fear to brave danger, as long as you either return victorious or your attempt has no lasting effect. But as soon as you are called to responsibility, you become a coward.” still Krajani clenched fists. Releasing them slowly she assumed a tall composure. “You are right, but by sacrificing myself to the desert, both my conscience, as well as any consequences of my misdeed will be cleansed by both death and the sand.” she turned to leave, but stopped at the door as Bakir appeared there. “We have prepared your water rations.” he stated drily looking Krajani up and down. “I will be relieved to find you lush-landers out of the desert.” he turned and walked away. “As you should you sand-rat.” Krajani hissed also marching away, leaving Whlana shaking her head.

Krajani played the role she had inaugurated Whlana in from the moment the first Albin saw her. Coughing from time to time, she limped behind the group in an ill fashion. Unwilling but complying Whlana stayed with the group only returning to Krajani from time to time as the expedition returned to their comrades at the spring well. “You mustn’t do this.” Krajani continued playing her role although the others were well out of earshot. “I must, and you know it.” nodding to the caravan before them she signaled Whlana to return to the main group.

“Captain? Our leader is gone.” Whlana turned around, looking back. The warrior next to her panted heavily, he had rushed form the rear of the caravan to inform her.

Whlana squinted her eyes, glaring into the distance behind the caravan. “She told me that we have to move on.” she had to force herself to speak, not realizing she spoke very mechanically. “And not turn back to search for her.” she also mentioned their limited supply of water. The warrior also stared into the distance. “She was a hero.” he sighed pointing to the pouch Whlana carried with the root inside it before returning to his position in the caravan. Whlana waited until he was out of earshot. “She was a fool, but at least a successful one.” still having a few days to wander until reaching the spring on the pass she also returned to march on.

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