It was raining heavily in the Jungle.
After the incident with Alira, Kai had led Kito back to the group of his own family. Zeta and Ruro were surprised when their youngest approached them, it has been a while since he did, but their conversation was cut short by the rain that suddenly pounded them from above. Everyone went inside then, and Kito remained outside as he watched everyone head for their homes.
Before Kai could take a couple of steps away Kito grabbed his arm to catch his attention. It worked. Kai turned his head to look at him and through the sound of the rain he said, “Yes?”
“Before you go,” he knew if anyone would know the answer to this question it would be him. He knew the Jungle as well as he did the village. “Have you ever seen two trees arch against each other in the Jungle? I... Am just curious.”
Kai arched his brow at the strange suddenness of the question. He didn’t question it though, he only answered it. “That way of the village beyond three large rocks lying against the other is two trees that arch over each other and intertwine. It is the only place I know that fits what you are asking, but watch out for the mud there. It is deep enough that your foot could get stuck in a hole, so go after the rain when it dries. It will be better that way.”
Kito nodded, “Thank you, brother,” he paused briefly. “And not just for the answer to that question.”
Kai nodded in return, “a word of advice, stay far away from Alira. She is letting loneliness cloud her mind of things that are not real, and she will become more of a problem than what happened before if you continue with her. She never learns when too far is too far, until it is too late.”
He left to go back home then. Kito stood in the rain and sighed heavily at his words. He turned his head slightly and saw Caji standing next to him and blinking curiously, confused.
“Go back to the hut,” he ordered with a calmer tone than he usually had before. “I will go back later.”
His ears lowered and he whimpered slightly. A stern stare from him forced the Kikera to go back in the direction of the hut and away from him. Kito was thankful he listened this time. He didn’t feel like shouting.
Before he would go back home himself he will see what Pasha was speaking about. So taking his brother’s direction he walked out of the village and into the jungle, the mud on the ground even more squishy as he walked over it and left deep tracks, and would only prove to get deeper. He didn’t care for them, instead, he continued on east to make it to the location he needed to go.
He knew where the three rocks that overlapped was that his brother had mentioned, and went around them to head forward, the walk much further than he had thought before. He would come into the thick vegetation occasionally to climb and jump but he never paid attention to every detail that Kai could. Perhaps if he could see color he could give it a second thought.
He didn’t fear the jungle at night or when the rain made the terrain harder to travel on. He was used to it, lived in the harsh conditions of the biome since he was little. This was nothing to him. Then again finding the two trees that intertwined was a bit of a problem and he even climbed a tree halfway up to get a better sight, his night vision sight very useful through this terrain.
It wasn’t his eyes that helped him find it.
It was his ears when he heard the faint sound of crying.
His ears perked and his head instinctively faced the direction of the weeping sound, if not for his good hearing he wouldn’t have heard it over the pounding noise of the rain. In the distance just beyond another rock, he could finally see it. Two trees tangled with each other as if it was hugging each other and left a large arch underneath from the ground, a small cover that any animal could easily curl under and hide in. His head turned and tilted when the sound of crying continued.
He had to check it out. The Warrior part of him needed to because it was his duty. And it was crying after all. No animal cries vocally like this.
He jumped down from the tree and landed on the ground easily, his knee just barely touching the ground when he did so, and traveled towards the trees that he can hear the weeping coming from. He needed to investigate, and when he was closer to it the crying was even more audible. His heart in his chest quickened when he realized it was the cry of a female.
Could Pasha had led him to his mate?
He didn’t question how this could have happened, he just ran forward until the trees were in his line of sight now and finally before him. He slowed down to a jog before he stopped, looking up at the massive trees that looked smaller when he was further away. He could hear the crying grow when he neared the entrance of the large curve of the trees that kept the rain out from what was underneath.
Although he wanted to rush inside to see who was crying his instincts told him better, cautiously stepping inside until the rain didn’t hit him anymore and his eyes readjusted to the darkness inside. He looked around to try to find the source of the crying that echoed inside.
He finally found it.
Inside laying curled up a corner of the thick branch, the crying section was a young human girl who was still wearing the strange otherworldly clothes. Her scent hit him, soon disappointed at the fact that the human was not his. Yet he was excited that it was another human that had appeared. It might mean more.
More importantly, his.
When lightning crackled the young girl caught sight of Kito’s shadow and veered around to scream.
He stepped forward and reached out, “Wait!”
She shoved herself through another hole that she just found, her fear had her fleeing. He couldn’t fit through the exit she went through and wasted the time to go around, his speed used to try to reach her around the tree before she could disappear. The rain would it make near impossible to track.
He made it around before he lost her and watched her run into the night of the Jungle. He chased her.
He knew that yelling after her wouldn’t help him. The human must be terrified to be in a jungle as large and different as this one, and he knew that when he caught up to her that getting her back to the village would be a problem. Human women were relentless if anything.
He almost caught up to her before her ankle itself was captured between two mossy roots of a large tree, she immediately fell into the squishy mud. No doubt twisting something. She compared with a trapped animal, sobbing and using her other foot to try to kick if he was near.
Kito was relieved when he saw the human trapped, it meant she can’t go any further. He didn’t have to chase her anymore and grabbing her would be easy, but he knew with her panicking the way she was he couldn’t free her ankle and take her back to the safety of his village. He crouches down to present himself in a smaller way and inches closer. “Hey, hey... Calm down.”
“G-Get away from me!” She cries while covering her face with her arm. “Please go away! I want to go back home.”
He could tell this human was younger than most, maybe even slightly younger than Mia. “I’m not here to hurt you, I want to help you. I can take you to a safe place. ”
“T-Take me home!”
“You can come with me, and once you are healed you can be sent home if you want to,” human women were always given that option to return home if they didn’t belong with anyone here. So far none had wanted to go back since each had been claimed and had their hearts set here so there was no need to return them. Luckily all the tribes were in one spot so it would be easy to find out who this one belonged to. He knew that she wasn’t his.
“Y-you will take m-me home?” How long has she been out here? She was shivering from the cold of the rain. She was even sick.
He nodded, “If you want it.”
He wanted to say more but ceased his words when he saw her head fall on the ground and her body shut down. She passed out, specs of blood under her bleeding nose. The air claimed her.
He sighed in relief as he pulled out his dagger without fear of startling her anymore. At least the Gods blessed him this much to make this easier for him. Perhaps that the Goddess’s intended for their lungs to be this way when requiring time to adjust to the air. She must have been in the jungle for some time it seems.
He cut the roots away from around her ankle without harming her and picked her up to position her on his shoulder so he could carry her back. Although this wasn’t his human he was still happy with the thought of one being here, one that was new and had come to this world.
Here for someone else, never for him.
What made him suspicious was that she was nowhere close to the cave of Blue Water where the path to their world comes from. She was in the middle of the Jungle. Had she appeared here randomly? Has Ser’avi or Kerrani made it where she can bring the humans to anyplace she desired? It confused him how this all functioned.
One thing was for certain, Pasha gave him a better answer than he thought she did.