Star stopped running after what seemed to be hours. I had no idea where we were, but she seemed completely comfortable in the area and I was beginning to trust this animal more implicitly than I trusted any human. She’d managed to find some water and stopped for a drink. I dismounted, pulling Beneberak down with me and dragging him over to the spring.
“Drink,” I said before cupping my hands and dipping them into the water. The coolness felt incredible against my chapped, dry lips.
Benebarak’s beard fell into the stream as he plunged his entire face into the water. He pulled his head up and began to suck the water into his mouth, swallowing huge gulps.
“What the fuck was that?!” I proclaimed once I’d had my fill. I was still astonished and appalled by everything I’d witnessed. “How long have you been eating my men? You knew, didn’t you?! You knew you were feeding me, my own men!” I kicked dirt on him as he lay on the ground, catching his breath.
“Ye should be thankful, undergrounder. Ye’d ’ve died if’n ye had no meat. Meat keeps us with tha po’er to take care of the great mother.” He coughed up blood, holding his side.
Never in my life had I met a being so arrogant and so twisted all at the same time, except for my brother Ronin. In fact, it was as if I was staring at Ronin on the ground, telling me that I should be appreciative that he allowed me to eat bits and pieces of my own friends. But he wasn’t Ronin. In fact, I wasn’t sure that he was even human. I was at a complete loss for words when he let out a bellowing groan and coughed up more blood.
“I be dyin’, undergrounder. Ye need to heed my words.”