“Time for breakfast.” Fathala’s words had a melody to them, fanning the flames of his anger anew. Growling, as if he was the wolf he had seen during the night, he rose, looking behind Fathala he saw his father packing up his belongings. “Weather is going to turn worse,” he mumbled, looking at the grey sky through the canopy of bare twigs and brown leaves.”Where we cone from weatger is always worse, father.” he sounded angrier than he intended, but not as angry as he felt. “True, but where we come from we know the land, we know every tree and every blade of grass, we know that nothing lurks in the shadows of our woods, and that there are no people around out to slay us where we sleep.” Eric rose as Leif at the bowl of nuts and berries that Fathala had collected while he slept. “At least bad weather slows them as well as us.” feigning interest Leif nodded to his father’s remark. Soon after breaking fast the three set out again, the forest did not change about them, Fathala kept to the muddy road, slithering along the tracks hundreds of thousands of carts had left in the ground, whilst Leif walked several paces ahead to the left of the road, while Eric krpt close to the Naga on the right. Although exhaustion caught up wih them at evenfall Fathala and Eric pressed on after Leif long had fallen behind them. Once again Fathala surprised her companions when she raised her left hand and a cold blue-ish shimmer flowed from it. Both men knew that it was not magic that caused that glow, but biology, a trait the sweetwater Naga had retained and shared with their saltwater cousins. “I’m exhausted.” Fathala sank to the ground leaning against a boulder, a small village that had been abandoned, or torn down, ages ago, was around them. The ruins of a few houses was to both sides of the road, the boulder belonged to the circle church that once had dominated the village mainroad. “My light exhausts me more than our march alone could’ve.” ruefully she looked to Eric. “No need for apologies, we have come farther than I had hoped.” he lied, he didn’t know how far they had come, nor had he any idea how far they could’ve come. But it was true that they had made excellent progress. Leif sank down leaning against an old apple tree that had grown in the churchyard’s gate. “Finally!” he sighed, normally he would’ve argued with Eric over the disapproving noise the.elder man made as reply, but within moments Leif had drifted off to sleep. Light sleep, but sleep nonetheless.Grumbling in annoyance Eric built a fire, sparked it like Fathala had, since his son was asleep he had no reason to hide his capabilities. Before the two had given in to their exhaustion they had entered the churchyard, but only two paces in Fathala had sat down, and as soon as Leif had caught up with them he had sat down too. Between the two Eric had raised his fire. Obviously neither his eunuch knight, nor the young Naga were used to tiring work and little to no sleep. From experience Eric knew he could go for another day full of hard labour, or equally exhausting march. Begotten to thinking he stared into the flames, undisturbed by the wolf that walked into view after an hour or two. Eric sensed the othera of his pack close by. For a little while the wolf wandered around the camp, his neckfur roughed up and pacing careful as it stayed ready to attack, or defend itself should the creatures of the fire launch an attack. Then the wolf sniffed reluctantly at both Fathala and Leif before it retreated into the night again. Dawn broke after another two hours after the wolf had.come to visit, and with dawn Eric woke Fathala and Leif. Neither was too thrilled.To his surprise neither objected. After leaving the village the road wound through hills, forest regrew where once farmland had driven off the trees. Judging by the thickness of he stems Eric concluded the fields had been abandoned for half a century longer than the village, which was left to decay about a hundred years ago. “How much longer?” Leif was annoyed by the lush forests, and lack of progress to his eyes. “Two weeks? One and a half if we make good way.” Fathala’s prognosis stunned him for words, clenching his jaw tight he marched on, racing ahead a few paces.Sleep, she knew, would come in scarce until hey arrived at the sweetwater sea. Perchance she persuade them to rest at Reedheim. Villagers there wouldn’t be all to thrilled to see the likes of her, but since Galnerra declared war on the Norsers they welcomed any guests with suspicion. She took solace in that.”Best we avoid Reedheim then.” Eric had elaborated to her that he couldn’t read any mind, but only the thoughts a magic wielder blurted out, and told her how to shield herself she had not heeded his advice. “Maybe. But we need the rest.” “We don’t need the rest, but I would like the privacy of a room with you alone.” she felt both his smirk and his arousal as if it were her own feelings. “I’m looking forward to it myself.” she too smirked, arousal stirred in her loins, confusing her with the intensity, she knew only from mating season.Apologetic Eric smiled at her, his mind withdrawing from hers. For Fathala it felt like an eternity until nightfall, since Eric was tiring himself she had not to put her light to use. Campfire chased off the darkness of the forest, Leif was soon off to sleep leaving her alone with Eric. Still she felt her loins ache for him, as he surely longed for her. “We can’t.” she sighed. “Not without walls around us, can we?” she stared into the flames, seeing him only peripheral. “I wouldn’t feel.comfortable.” he said, also staring into the flames. “Naga have done it almost only in the open. We’re not very accustomed to the indoors, although we sweetwater Naga dwell in caves and the Pyramid.” she had.learned another thing from Eric, how to reach out her mind with her powers. Walls seemed to appear to Eric, stone walls, entirely lit by the blue light of a Naga’s hand. “This is my home.” Fathala appeared out ofthe darkness beyond the light, which slowly turned orange, walls fading into the darkness of the woods around them. As she had before felt him, he then had felt her longing. Gently he grabbed her forearm and drew her into his arms, caressing her cheek with his other hand a she drew her closer fora passionate, yet soft, kiss. “Could you reach out to your wife?””No, she was not gifted with magic.” she felt his manhood pressing hard against her. “Then reach out for me, now.” her huge wings unfolded, pushing the two of them from he ground, several meters from the campfire’s stirred flames she landed, her hands immediately took on undoing Eric’s clothing, still locked in his kiss, it felt as if heir.mend were melting together. She felt his touch as well as touching her body, Eric felt her and felt as her. Slowly wandering farther away from the campfire, dropping clothes off of Eric along the way, they lay down on a clearing.

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