“If you wish to end my life, take your chance,” she spread her arms to sides, “just let me warn you that you are as damned as I am.” reluctantly Tophans hand sunk lower, the tip of his blade still pointed at the survivor. “Damned?” it seemed ages passed since last he spoke, how to utter words in the language the fungal survivor used seemed to only slowly rise from the depths of memory. “There is no way out of this forest, I have been here for weeks, and it would seem that whenever I try to walk a straight line I get either turned around, or the forest changes, wanders with me, brings my comrades with it.” she pointed at the corpses around. Looking up at the seemingly impenetrable roof of branches, twigs, needles. Only minute patches of sky seemed to make their blue appearance on the ground, flickering like stars in nightskies, as tiny as stars. “Soon night will be upon us.” she slipped from what once had been shoes for all sorts of terrain, now torn and ragged. Carefully she planted her feet in the ground, buried them in the soil. “From beneath the earth I shall hold my hand out to support you, prevent your fall.” she sighed, citing from the guards holy scriptures, “At least in my homeland that is the case.” she added with a tired smile, explaining to him that somehow the trees that had kilked comrades did ignore the intruders when the rooted to the ground, with the small bonus that she could keep from starvation that way, just like a floral could.

Feeling uneasy for a multitude of reasons Tophan quickly burrowed his feet as well into the soft soil of the forest, all the while his dagger ready as the guards woman was not far from him, one big leap and she could attack him, one big leap and he could attack her.One big leap to death.

Night quickly darkened the already dark forest, drowning the two enemies in pitch black darkness. “How many weeks?” Tophan couldn’t see her anymore, but sensed her that lethal leap away. “I don’t know exactly. We wandered in here in early spring, by your hair-color I recon it is late spring?”

Tophan nodded, recalling only after she stayed silent for a while that it was pitch black and she couldn’t see. “Yes. Early summer I’d say.”

“I guess our operation isn’t going so well, you running around with a guard dagger and all?” still the deadly leap was between them, Tophan felt tension rising up again in him. “Albin and Humans liberated us, but there still are some of you,” he paused, the mourns of the forest around them subsided, rose anew, and subsided again. In a twisted way it was as if the forest was breathing. “and we are also fighting you.”

Again silence spread around between them, around them, lying over the entire scenery like a thick layer of snow in the winter.

Crushing, heavy silence.

A silence that seemed to drain the very breath from the lungs, muffle each heartbeat to the point where it is uncertain whether it still beats. “I expected as much.” Although she was a hated fungal guard, Tophan felt glad to hear her voice. “From your relieved sigh I take it you are as glad to hear my voice as I am glad to hear yours.” Did Tophan hear fear in her voice?

Was she going insane?

Was he going insane?