“Are you sure that it is this way?”
The deep throaty voice sounded unsure hidden underneath the thick cloak. Its features are hidden from the world. It looks forward while it spoke to another shorter figure by its side who wore no cloak but only a smile staring into the vast plains seeing the jungle just shy out of reach to the naked eye.
He took out a small object and held it up to his eye for a closer look at the vast land before them that was silent underneath the three bright moons and the stars. The sight was new to them and it was breathtaking. The boy’s smile only brightened, “That has to be. I told you this trail would lead us to it.”
“To what, exactly? You never told me what you are searching for.”
“Not what I’m searching for,” he lowered his small yet powerful spyglass. “But who.”
He didn’t answer. He adjusted his dark leather hat and reached his hand behind him to grab the ropes attached to the Ruchin pulling the nearly empty carriage behind him. His cloaked friend didn’t press further with the answer to the question but instead asked another, “tell me where we are going again?”
“Uh...” The boy held a puzzled look before shrugging. “One of the passing traders of this place said that if I am to find who I want to find is to be at this certain village within the Jungle, they say. I have never been in one before. I’m excited! I forgot the name of the place but the traveler was nice enough to mark it on my map.”
“And you trust that?” He saw the boy pull out his map to show his friend the black ink like markings and a circle of where they need to go. The map didn’t show much but only where to go towards this part of the Lands. Everything else that was drawn on was added by him himself and he kneels on the flat ground to display it more to his unassured friend.
“I think that if we keep going we can make it there by sunrise,” his eagerness shows as he looks ahead in the direction they were meant to go. “I do not doubt this.”
“You should go ahead and I will find somewhere to stay. My visit to the last village was...” The memory was still fresh in his mind. “Unwelcoming."
The boy’s smile went away at the memory as well. They had gone by another village that didn’t allow them to enter because of reasons unknown to them. The traveler they spoke to before left pretty quickly once they saw his friend. “That was that tribe though... This could be nicer.”
“I do not want to keep you from-”
“Stay calm,” the map was rolled back up and he stood and grabbed the rope to the still Ruchin. “We will figure this out."
The FORTH book in the ANIMAL KINGDOM SERIES. NOT a standalone.