We had to plan before we decided to talk to the creatures. Fail safes if we exposed ourselves and they didn’t agree to help us. And we needed more time to decide when the right time would be to convince them to join us.
Before we started anything, though, I had to relieve Raphael. It had been a good amount of time since he had been put on watch. I told Kalama to fill him in on the plan while I was gone and to take care of herself.
I kept watch looking for the right time to walk into their camp. I saw an opportunity a few hours in. Most of their tents were in a semicircle against the cliff, with a small fire in the middle. Also, when they ate most of them congregated around the fire, facing the forest, setting their weapons down so they could eat. That would be the best time to walk into their camp. We would have to walk through the forest and come out around where I am now. I was about opposite the cliff.
It was about lunchtime now, they had started eating a few minutes ago, which meant that if I head back now we can pack up and put our plan into action.
I jumped silently off the tree, trekking my way back to the place we were staying. I still wasn’t quite sure what to call it.
I walked briskly to our room, ignoring the surprised faces of Raphael and Kalama when I walked in. “It’s time to go.”
Kalama looked at me questioningly but started to pack as I did. “Are they leaving?”
“No,” I shook my head.
“Then why are we packing up?” I turned to look at Raphael, who was still sitting where he was when I walked in.
I arched an eyebrow. “I assume Kalama filled you in on our plan?” he nodded. “Good. I found the perfect opportunity to put our plan into action. The window is coming soon, so I came immediately to start packing.”
Kalama briefly stopped packing to look at me. “When is this opportunity? I haven’t noticed anything that would allow us to put our plan into action.”
We all went to packing as I talked. “Whenever they eat, majority are eating at the fire. They have to set their weapons down to eat, which means we’re less likely to get injured or killed. Also, because the tents are in a semi-circle, there’s an opening we can walk into that will be easy to access and see, which will mean that they see me clearly and will be less suspicious of me to walk out from.”
I was packing up any weapons we had taken out, putting in my swords as I did so. “Blaze. Shouldn’t you have your sword on you?” Kalama asked.
I shook my head. “No. If they see my swords on me they’ll attack first and ask questions later. I’d prefer not to be stabbed first before I can say anything to them.”
“How are you going to defend yourself if they don’t agree to our deal?”
I hold out my palm, summoning a small flame to it. “I don’t need a weapon of I am a weapon.”
Kalama nodded. “Good point. I always forget that we have powers for some reason. Like they’re so normalized I don’t even realize how much we use them in our everyday lives. Wow. Sorry, I went on a bit of a tangent.”
“You’re right,” I say. “No one in Elamantti with abilities realizes how much they use them. It’s always a second option for me because I wasn’t raised here. So as much as I love my swords and would prefer to use them, I don’t want to get stabbed more.”
Kalama nods and continues packing. Once we’re done we shoulder all our bags and sign last minute out of the hotel. We had already booked another three days.
We make our way over the ravine, Raphael flying himself and Kalama over, and me flying myself over. We travel through the forest quietly until we reach a certain spot close to the camp. I take off all of my gear and divide them between Kalama and Raphael. They take opposing positions around the camp, ready to attack if I start getting attacked.
I look through the foliage and see the majority of them sitting around the fire, eating. I take a deep breath, preparing for what I was going to do. Then I start walking towards the camp, making lots of noise by stepping on leaves, bushes, branches, and whatever else I can step on. The camp still isn’t completely in my vision, so I don’t notice that the camp is empty until I step through a small thicket of trees. Then my mouth drops open as I see that the camp is empty, and they had already moved on.
I knew it was bound to happen, but I grit my teeth in frustration. I hadn’t thought they would leave so soon. Before I can go to find Kalama and Raphael I hear a bowstring let go. I drop to the ground on my hands and knees as soon as I hear it, but the arrow lodges into my thigh. Not a killing shot then.
I looked around, looking for Kalama and Raphael. I couldn’t see them but I had to move before whoever shot that arrow found me. I got to my feet, trying to ignore the pain lacing through my thigh. I limped over to the disappear into the foliage, finding a looser space to step through into some cover.
I hear someone making their way through the forest as I slide into a small pocket of shade. As they come closer, I get ready to summon fire to me. Once they get close enough I turn around the tree, summoning all the fire I can to shape into blades. They hover around me, pointing at the person. Before I can comprehend who it is they immediately stop walking, putting their hands up.
It’s Raphael, his wings still out, and his weapon still strapped to him. “What the hell happened?” I whisper yelled to him, extinguishing my hands as I lower them.
He shrugs. “I don’t know. They must have left earlier, and left someone to stay behind just in case someone was on their tail. They still know that we’re following them, so they could have been waiting for you to show up.”
I nodded along to what he was saying. It made sense. “Have you seen Kal at all?”
“No, I think she might have gone after whatever shot you. Talking about being shot, we should probably look at your wound. We need to get that arrow out and look at the wound.”
I shook my head. “Not until we find Kal. Right now the adrenaline is taking away the majority of the pain.”
He steps towards me. “Please, just let me-”
“I said I can handle it.” I snapped, sending him a glare. “First we find Kal. Then we can worry about it.”
He nodded. “Fine.”
We started trekking through the forest, Raphael following me. I remember the arrow came from behind, considering the fact that I could see the arrowhead sticking out of the front of my thigh.
Eventually, as we were walking in the direction I thought the arrow had come from, we hear footsteps. Raphael reacts first, summoning fire to him. Before he could incinerate anyone, I realized that the light footfalls were Kalama’s. I reached out to push id hand out from where he had stretched it out in defence.
“It’s Kal,” I said as an explanation.
Kalama came rushing through the trees, almost running right into us. She looked shocked to see us but soon started talking. “I think whoever shot you got away, but we can still follow them into whatever universe they teleported into. Also, we need to get your leg fixed.”
I rolled my eyes. “I know. I just wanted to find you first. Also, we need to get all of our supplies.”
She nodded and we started walking together, Kalama ducking under one arm to support the limp in my leg.
“What do we do when we get to the next parallel universe?” she asked.
I looked down at her. “We start our plan all over again.”
I know its been a while, and I'm so sorry for that. I just finished Chapter 24 and started writing Chapter 25. I will get it up as soon as possible, but I've been super busy. Hope you enjoyed this chapter.