Sunlight warmed my back, a first since the incident and I welcomed it.
Reveled in its giving light.
But with the freedom from the tent came the bombardment of new sights and smells. Tents huddled in a certain abstract order that hurt my brain attempting to figure out. The smells of normal campsite were coupled with the exotic mingling of both Kakodaemon and Agathodaemon. As I passed a large pasture, I noticed both species locked in what appeared to be friendly sparring. Some even laughed and slapped hands with one another.
My ears twitched, my nose wrinkled and I shivered.
How could they frolic so easily? Didn’t they know they were enemies? Could it be that there was a capability to actually endure being around someone you are sworn to kill on sight?
Yet they didn’t kill me. I was more an enemy than they being from the outside world.
But as I did pass, some cowered and walked away from me. I did my best to ignore them and the feeling of wanting to be as accepted as they did to one another. A foreign prickling raced along my blood, coating it with adrenaline and longing. A pin-prick of aching for the same brotherhood curled itself along my heart threatening to blossom into a spark.
A spark I feared.
More tents rose skyward yet hidden expertly by the thick evergreens and, no doubt, any wandering Agathodaemon patrolling the area. By both design and placement I could tell that each and every creature dwelling in this camp had come from a background steeped in military training and prowess.
Each tent also looked identical. Color drained from my face. How would I find Kel’s tent if I didn’t know the foggiest of where it would be or what it looked like? In an Agathodaemon’s campsite we tended to keep our generals and important persons more toward the middle clustered around tents and soldiers that would give their lives to their leaders.
Was it the same here?
Staring at each tree and tent as I walked pass, I frowned. Where the hell was the center of the camp? There was no definite sign of going deeper into the camp nor could I figure out where the medical tent was should I give up and go back to recover.
“Well I’m just going to have to make circles until I find someone willing to speak long enough to offer directions.” Assuming they did not cast me off as an enemy and attack me.
“You look lost.” A smooth, tenor voice spoke from behind. The lilt within the tone crossed between wry sarcasm and friendly humour.
Friend or foe…
Taking a deep breath, forcing the lump passed my throat, I turned around readying to face whatever greeted me.