The other tribe had finally arrived later that day, and after a while of remaining in his hut in silence with Caji Kito had left to meet up with them, and there were plenty of new visitors to the Tribe.
The Chayeene, Maurea, and Rhuzeche had finally come. Even the Chief’s and their family.
The Chief of the Chayeene was a large canine Warrior by the name of Manik. He was tall, well masculine with the ears and tail of a wolf rather than a feline like the Xutashi. His eyes a deep brown while his hair a dusty blond that matches the color of his ears and tail. He had a mate called Tani, a tall female Chayeene with copper hair, tail, and ears that went well with her green eyes and dark skin. They had their son with them who also was a Warrior that Kito had met before many times. Even when they were young.
His name was Xain. The most hardheaded and foolish twenty two summers old Chayeene was as hot-headed as they came. He had reddish-blond hair and his ears on his head were like his fathers, pointed and straight. The Chayenne was usually a very aggressive race and is known to get angered instantly, which even surprised Kito how the Xutashi managed to be allies and keep the peace between them. Then again they were loyal, and they respected the Xutashi’s willingness to fight when provoked enough.
Manik and Tani were occupied speaking with Zeta and Ruro, Kito’s parents, and Kai was introducing Xain to his mate Mia. Xain’s dark green pupils that were shaped differently than the feline eyes the Xutashi eyes, they didn’t turn into slits. His ears still animalistic and the side of the round pupils could give away any emotion that Kai could find unpleasant.
Instead, Xain just gave Mia a half crooked grin that showed his white canines. “So you are the little human that took out the Jamati. My father was shocked when he heard the news of the Kikera retaliating and becoming allies with this tribe. I found it hard to believe since they always seemed to attack me when I go through the path on the plains. The scars I have from them I once bragged about.”
“They are very sweet,” Mia couldn’t help but smile at him, this was the first time she saw an actual Chayeene that she had heard about all the time. “Would you like to meet Caji? He is a Kikera we’re keeping here. Akil is also around, equally nice.”
“I’m more curious about the firstborn Kikera female since the Dark Times,” his eyes moved to Kai. “Word travels fast and I have been wondering if it’s true. Beared by a human female. Is anything even rare anymore?”
“Ivy, that’s the human’s name,” Kai said. “I saw Nuru take the cub to their hut for a time with her so meeting them will have to come later. How about the women in your village? ”
“We brought them. Tani thought it was a good idea since most of the Warriors refused to come without them. One even brought her pup for the Xutashi to meet. I like these human women,” he smiled. “A silent blonde one bit my finger when I tried to touch her hair, so cute. I want one of my own.”
Kai chuckled at his words with his eyes on Mia, “Perhaps don’t touch their hair from behind, and maybe you will be surprised one of these days, or at least not get bitten. That’s a good start.”
Kito walked by with Caji close behind him. Xain’s eyes locked with Kito’s as the golden Xutashi walked by without saying a word or even nodding, he strode by and Caji stopped shortly to give everyone a beaming smile before following Kito still. Xain was momentarily confused.
Zeta even tried reintroducing Kito to the Chayeene Chief but he only said a simple greeting before continuing to walk forward. He didn’t have anything really to say to them, all they would ask were questions he didn’t feel like answering at this moment. He was more focused on seeing Pasha who must be alone by now.
Xain left Kai and Mia to stand alone while he went to his father. They were staring at Kito’s back as they watched him walk off to the market area again. Caji was close behind him.
Kai’s ears lowered slightly and he sighed, “I remember those times myself...”
“He will get better,” she tried to comfort him by placing her hands around his arm and moving closer. “You did.”
He turned his head and looked at her over his shoulder, the sight of her turning his expression into a calm one, and his lips had a small smile that lasted briefly. “I had color because you gave it to me at a young age. I cannot say that I understand the world he lives in through his eyes but I do understand the feeling of loneliness. I can only imagine how dull everything must seem to him even if the whole village is covered in so many colors.”
She had forgotten that Kito was color blind. She became sad at the thought of how that would be like every day. “Not many humans came since that time...”
“I know,” he didn’t like seeing the solemn look that she wore and lowered his head to plant a small kiss on her head. He thought one would come sooner, but then again maybe he thought foolishly. Why would the Goddess just bring someone into this world herself? After all, Kito and Dahl went to her world to retrieve her, and the special bonus of Tina. “It’s a celebration of the Gods, mate. I’m sure there is something planned,” his voice lowered so only she could hear. “Sooda did say that he is luckier than he thinks. We should just be patient, later I may go speak with him. It has been a while since we talked.”
“I spoke with Tina not too long ago,” she smiled. “Valarie is so cute, Kai. I wonder why I haven’t had a cub yet. It’s been a year. And let’s be honest... It’s not like we haven’t tried.”
He placed his fingers lightly on her chin so she could look at him, “Do not worry, love. That is the part that is fun about them is making them. We will have one soon enough,” he softly purred. “How about we walk back to the hut and try again, this time you should moan loud enough for Serane to hear and bless us. ”
She blushed at his daring soft words. Even now he didn’t fail with his lewd sentences. “I thought we already ‘tried again’ this morning.” His offer was still tempting to her though, it could be her close to her heart again. Strangely Heat was similar to a period, which she hasn’t had since she mated with Kai, and was replaced with Heat. Not that she complained. She would like it to know why that was, however. How it could just... Switch.
It amazed her after this whole time and every moment they spent together that the sensation, the tingles, and even the small fire that sparked in her at the mere thought of him would still be there. She wondered if there would ever be a day that she would have enough of him.
She hoped not.
“Nobody needs us right now,” he looked around with a boyish grin. “We will be back before anyone knows we were gone.”
No, they wouldn’t. Very seldom did he lie to her and when he did it was always sweet lies like that. If they went back to the hut they wouldn’t return outside for a while. She didn’t put up much of a fight with the idea and slid her hand down his arm and into his hand, fingers intertwined. “Alright. We’ll go back to the hut.”
His tail curled in eagerness and allowed Mia to be the one to lead him back towards the direction of their home.
Meanwhile, in another part of the village, Kito had made it to his destination which was the longhouse the travelers were known to stay in. Especially Pippie and his grandmother Pasha, an Elder he needed to speak to as soon as he could. She could be awake at this time. He wished she was. He opened the front large door and went to step inside, the presence of Caji behind him stopped him instantly and he turned his head. “No. You will wait outside.”
The Kikera lowered his ears and half pouted. He didn’t like to wait outside.
“Either you wait outside or leave, you will not be coming inside with me.”
His head lowered and he plopped himself onto a small wooden crate next to the door and his half pout became a full one. This wasn’t the first time Kito made him wait outside and was left out in situations and it was the only time Caji would show the more agitated side of him. His head low and a soft growl escaped him, looking away from the Xutashi with his arms crossed.
Kito ignored him and went inside and shut the door tight behind him and let his eyes adjust to the lighting.
It was always darker inside of this longhouse, beds filled one end that could fit many visitors and a campfire at the end. The wall was decorated with antlers and items from other villages that were brought here and hung to add a more comforting feeling of home. The Maurea mostly stayed here, resulting in mostly in their tribal decorations.
He spotted the Elder woman instantly standing next to a table crafting something that he didn’t care to continue watching. Pasha was a small woman who wore dark thin furs that were thinned down to keep her comfortable within the Jungle’s hot weather. Her ears were tied back and decorated themselves along with her pale, pale winter blue eyes so clear they could see through the soul. Blue with specs of white, the color of winter. When Kito stepped forward she could hear his footsteps but didn’t bother to turn around. She continued her work.
Kito opened his mouth to acknowledge his presence but she had beat him to it with her own words, “I was wondering when you were going to come, Na’Kito. I missed our little talks.”
“I can’t take it anymore,” he skipped the greeting and the small talk to get straight to the point, almost too desperately. It made her sigh. He rolled his hands tightly in a fist and growled more darkly than he liked and yet couldn’t stop it. He wasn’t growling at Pasha, but at the situation. Everything. “You gave Kai the answers too easily even when he was a cub before he even understood! I want to know my fate. My mate. I can’t take this anymore!”
He grabbed his hair after his words were spoken, he felt as if he would go insane. All the stares he gets from the harsh traditional Elders who wouldn’t open their minds and the pinch in his chest when he would see others with their mates. Each was happy with a color-filled vision, who enjoyed every sight and was happy. He was miserable. Lonely. He didn’t like being the oldest in the village to not have anything. No mate. No cubs. Nothing of his own but a hut and a young twenty summers old Kikera following him like a shadow. He felt like his time should just come already.
Pasha didn’t say anything at first, halting her small project and he watched her shoulders slouch. He lowered his hands and continued, “Tell me. Tell me what I need to do. Please, Pasha. I will do anything for something to change. Where is she?”
“Na’Kito,” she turned her head to get a good look at him. “Kai’Riba’s situation was much different than yours.”
“I want my mate, Pasha. The world is so plain and lifeless. I have lived like this for too long. Kai had Mia handed to him as an offering tied with a pretty string and he knew where she was since he was a cub. He never had to go through this.”
“What of the long time he had to wait for her to be brought here? He had his time as well, all males have their time, Ser’avi made it so. Yours is just taking longer than most. You are just impatient, but you were always that way.”
“I know you have seen something of me, there has to be at least one time that you have had a dream of her around me. All you have to do is tell me and I will find her myself. ”
“What makes you think I will know where a woman you haven’t even met is?”
“I know you’re smarter than what you allow everyone to believe, Pasha. I have known you since I was a cub, I have been friends with Pippie since he was too small to hold a dagger. You were the elder I came to for questions, so I know when I look at you I know that you know. You never like to speak of those things lightly.”
Another heavy sigh escaped her, her shoulders slowly falling along with her chest. She turned back around to her little project on the table, “When did you become so smart?”
“Tell me,” he half begged. “I need to find her. I cannot live in a world without color anymore.”
“Ser’avi’s intention isn’t for you to find her just for the color, sweet cub. It also is not that easy for me to just tell you. You know it isn’t that easy. Something worth it never is.”
“Do I have to travel around these lands of Syriya again? Further? Do I need to go to each end? Or do I have to go to the human world and search there? I know it won’t be easy but I will do what I have to do.”
She was done with her small hobby and turned to reveal it to him. It was a wooden carving she had handmade, a symbol for one of the Gods that was meant to be placed somewhere for decoration. “You have always been impatient... Do you ever wonder that you are having to wait longer because of that? And besides, others have waited much longer than you.”
She lightly chuckled and walked to him and place the totem in his hands. “If you are willing to do all those things you said to find her then you would not mind taking this to the Maurea Chief Skaal. When you are done come back to me and we will speak again. I will even make some Serba.”
His ears lowered and he let his aggravation show slightly, a look that Pasha smiled too and went back to the table. “You look too pale. How about you feed too? You stubborn cub. Starving will not make time go by faster.”
Kito said nothing. He usually said nothing to her when she scolded him for things like that. Instead, he simply turned and walked away with his ears low and a grim look as he stepped outside with the totem in hand. Caji saw him and stood up quickly with a smile and instantly curious about the totem. Kito handed it to him, “if you are going to follow me at least do something and hold that. I need to go find someone and after I do go somewhere else.”
He only blinked.
He rolled his eyes and started his way into the direction that he believed Skaal should be in. There were open sections that the tribe had kindly fixed up to allow all of the tribe to sleep in their area. Tents were set up instead of huts but they were large and had a fire inside and the tribe was already decorating it to make it more like home. Chayeene was beside the Maurea and that tribe was next to the Rhuzeche. It was all peaceful because the first day is supposed to allow everyone to settle, tomorrow night is when the celebrations started.
He was quick to make it into the Maurea Tribe to find the pale-skinned Skaal, who was crouched beside a regular campfire and poking it with a stick. Skaal remembered Kito from the times that he traveled to their village and would stay for a while with Pippie and Pasha, his friends, and stood when the golden Xutashi approached. A wide grin came to him.
Skaal was a grey elder Maurea with his long ears tied behind his head like a ponytail to decorate it, but the band that was used on his ears had beads to decorate them. Most Maurea preferred it this way. He looked like it was done by his youngest kits. It was.
He patted Kai’s arm with his pale hands, “It has been a long time since I have seen you, Na’Kito. You have grown a lot since the last we met. You are taller.”
“Greetings, Skaal,” he reached behind him to get the totem that Caji held and shown it to him. “Pasha told me to bring you this for your camp. I wish I had time to speak more but I must get back to her.”
“Is she alright?”
“She is fine. I just need to get back to her,” he didn’t have time to stay and speak with him and all the others in the tribe. He wanted to find out something important that only Pasha could give him. “I will come to speak with everyone another time.”
His eyes went to the Kikera that was still following close behind him. The contact the Maurea usually had with the kind was very rare, so seeing one without him attacking was a strange sight. The Kikera seemed peaceful, not the angry ones that they were known to be before.
The Dark Warriors that follow Shinto, the ones nobody wanted to anger simply because they had nothing to lose, but they remained passive when calm, and when Shinto kept his eye on them. They were still not in their right minds and they tended to fight amongst themselves, a reason why Shinto kept usually kept out of villages.
Kito didn’t waste any time returning to the long hut. He rushed so fast that when his hand landed on the handle of the door he remembered about her second term. He paused and his head lowered with a sigh. He had to go feed, yet he didn’t want to waste more time doing that.
He stood there and thought about where he would find a place to feed himself until a small grunt left Caji. The second noise finally turned Kito’s head to look at him, his eyes landed on the outstretched wrist that was being offered. His golden emerald eyes rose at the generous gesture of the Kikera. Did he look that unfed for him to offer his blood so freely?
He wouldn’t argue. He wanted his answers quickly and he knew the Maurea elder could give to him. He took Caji’s kind offering freely.