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The King's Tribe by Kai Widdeson

The King's Tribe by Kai Widdeson

Author:Kai Widdeson [Widdeson, Kai]
Language: eng
Format: epub
Published: 2020-03-18T05:00:00+00:00


CHAPTER SEVENTEEN

“Get rid of the others, they’ll just slow us down,” a distant voice commands.

“Yes sir,” a different voice obeys.

I strain to force my eyelids open, grey shapes blur in the darkness through the narrow slit. The largest of them stops above another, this one horizontal at its feet.

“Please, no,” a husky voice pleads.

A brighter silver connects the two monochromatic figures with a wet slide before withdrawing again. The husky voice grunts before saying no more.

As blackness creeps back into my vision, rapidly invading from the peripherals, the figure straightens before shrinking towards other laying blurs.

I sink back into unconsciousness.

My head swings and connects with something solid, regular sides imprinting themselves against my cheek. At the same time a droplet collides with my forehead, proceeding to run down my brow. I raise my head as the world shifts into focus.

It’s still night time so I can’t have been out for too long, the shadows are thicker now, penetrated by the blaze of many torches and lanterns.

I am sitting on a large wooden floor which bumps and tilts randomly beneath me. Each corner of the board ends in a grid, rising a few feet above my head into a similar ceiling. A cage.

Orrian sits beside me, necklace hanging freely as he stoops over his knees. His alert eyes are fixed on his bare feet pulled up close before him. Blood is absent from very little of his skin, considerably too much to all be his. I notice that he has been relieved of his weapons, similarly, I realise that Edwyn’s knife has been removed from my waistband. I feel bare without it now, having had the comfort of it since we began our travels all the way back at the den. The knife had been one among dozens chucked into a pile in Edwyn’s outpost, a last-minute grab as I left, and yet I still mourn the loss of this last connection to the fallen hunter.

Several older tribespeople surround us, including Sage Malach, all with babes or young children in arms.

The raft that was under fire, it must not have made it out to sea. The sage’s clothes are clearly still damp, with no sun to warm them and the rain falling upon us it’s going to be a long night. He whispers softly to the young child in his arms, the girl is already asleep and yet he continues regardless. He tells a story, a tale of a huntress goddess at a spring deep in some lost valley. I notice that the other elders listen closely as he speaks, and several children’s eyelids flutter as they struggle to keep their attention. I listen curiously for a few seconds, thankful for the option to escape into another world if only momentarily.

The arrhythmic shuffles of many footsteps sound away from the direction in which we move, accompanied by metallic rattling. The survivors all march behind us, flanked by colony men occasionally cracking whips. They are structured into rows of three, I almost forget to breathe as I realise how shockingly few rows there are.



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