When Max regain consciousness, he still lay flat on the ground. He tried to move an inch but the pain prevented the movement. He decided to stay still to ease the pain a little. He wasn't sure how long he had been unconscious, but he guessed it couldn't have been. A rustle to his left startled him and his heart started pounding in his chest again. He fought through the pain, taking every ounce of willpower he had, and pushed himself up. As soon as he stood, his head started spinning and he nearly fainted. He looked around searching for whatever had made that noise. Then, from behind a tree, a shadowy figure leaped out. It wasn't the tiger this time, but a wolf. The beast growled, its eyes glowing a dark red color. Max's first thought was to run, but he was still a bit disoriented from the pain in his back, and knew he wasn't going to get far before he passed out again. He damned his luck at that moment.
The wolf came closer, and unlike the white tiger from before, it showed no hint of curiosity in its eyes. It wanted food, and it wasn't going to hesitate to get it. It took another step closer, and then it cried in pain. Something had got him - an arrow - it had happened so fast, and it seemed to have appeared out of nowhere. The animal stared stupidly at Max for a moment, baffled and confused. When it sensed no more threats, it charged, not bother by the arrow embedded on it's hind leg. But before it took its second stride, another arrow sizzled through the trees. Max managed to glimpse it fly from the right. It pierced the wolf's stomach. The poor creature let out pitiful cry of pain, as yet another arrow flew in, this one hit its neck. The fourth arrow pierced its skull, killing it almost immediately.
Max's leg finally gave out and he swooned. When he came to - a few seconds later - he saw two figures above him. One of them - a guy - helped him up. "Are you alright?"
"Isn't too late at night to be out here by yourself, boy?" The guy asked. He didn't look that much older than Max. Maybe on his mid twenties.
"I-" Max started to talk but was interrupted by the other figure - a young woman. "Reks we need to keep moving." She said. "We need to put as much distance between us and Dyus."
"Right." The guy turned to Max. "You should come with us. It's not safe here."
Max thanked him with a nod - too confused and aghast to speak - and accepted the helping hand. "I'm Reks by the way," The guy said, "And this is my friend, Val." He added, pointing to the young woman.
"Well, Max, can you walk on your own?"
Max shook his head.
"Here, put your arm around me," Reks offered.
"Thanks." Max didn't know who these people were but they had saved his life. Maybe they could explain everything. Maybe they knew where he was. Maybe they could help him find a way back home.
"Lead the way." Reks said to the young woman.
"I don't think this is a good idea." She sounded a bit displeased by Rek's decision. "He'll slow us down and we need to make it to Vahhal before nightfall to get proper rest."
"Lead the way." Reks repeated.
Val murmur something under her breath, but did as she was told. "You happened to have a phone I could use?" Max asked minutes later but neither of them answered, they simply exchanged stares.
"What is that?" Reks asked.
"You're kidding right?" When he heard no response, Max sighed. "Nevermind."
About an hour later, the three of them had reach the end of the forest. Max was glad and relieved to be out of those damn trees. "I never thought I'd see the end of it." He said out loud. Reks smiled, and pointed to a small village in the distance "That's Vahhal up ahead. Only a few miles more and you'll be out of danger."
"Thank you." Max said. "If it weren't for you, I wouldn't have-"
"Reks is naive." Val interjected, cutting Max off in mid sentence. "We wasted to much time dragging you this far. We lost the lead we had on Dyus."
"Val says thank you." Reks said.
"Doubt it." Max looked at the young woman, who was surprisingly beautiful, he thought, and knew that she clearly did not like him.
"Let's just keep moving." Reks said.