The Bastard MountainsMature

In the daughter's reign the clouds threatened to pour their burdens on a territory known as the Bastard Mountains, a line of beings moved along the rugged edges, a path only the desperate took and Juol knew how desperate they were. It could have been better if the journey had been made on horse; however the fact that it was not accessible by horse was the exact reason that they had used it. Not even two people could move along this path side by side. Back home it was simple referred to as the ducks route.

"We are almost at the first kennel bothers, but our rest will be at the second one" Xhool intoned.

 He could only see the outline of the man's  clothes however what gave him the confidence was the fact that he could feel Xhool life force just a grasp away. Xhool had not been too happy about the choice Juol had made, but they had no choice in the matter, ever since they had rescued Milo, the number of nobles patrolling the secret routes had increased, they had been forced to use the most unpredictable route, he could feel the wind blowing, only caution stopped him from tapping into his ringmid to harness the abundant force of nature.

The waves hitting the side were rising so high that he could feel drops of water on his legs. None who hoped to see the next son’s reign used through this route, it was slippery and waves could reach greater heights. How had those nobles known all the routes and the exact time to block their escape?

“Don’t hold me viiiim” Milo barked from just a few inches from his ear.

Juol felt like telling the fool to just keep quiet but instead just kept to himself. Xhool had command of this journey and Juol was not in the right set of emotions.

He felt the wave raise high up his boot. He had better wrong about making it out here with all these people.

“Slowly, no need to hurry” Brother Xhool said

They had to be on Maragan before it drifted away, it had been docked at the cost of Rostou for last two weeks, and from what information Maan had provided it seemed like nobles were moving from Melton to reinforce those already here, just like before they had got it wrong on the location Maragan would take. Finally after waiting for two more weeks Maragan was ready to move, with the eruptions they had been seeing it meant she would be in the seas soon, if only they made it in time, if only he had been alone, if the worst came by he would have no choice after all what he had to tell Lady Harvester Mirabel was too important. Let me not have to make a choice ooh winds, because he knew all those with him would either perish or end up in the nobles’ grip.

He had insisted on using this route so as to lose any noble dredens trailing however it seemed they were at the mercy of the winds and waves. If they made it to the rejected bridge then they were home.

"Why don't we rest in the next kennel bother Ju, these children are tried, remember we have a cripple." Milo said.

Milo always complaining, now he was using the children  instead of saying he was tired, had the man forgotten that it was Juol who had insisted on bringing the boy even after Milo cursed  saying the boy was extra luggage.

“I know a little exercise would be good for them but right now...."Milo continued

"We have to get out of the nobles claws." Jucub spoke up.

 To think that someone had planted Milo in Rostou in the first place was beyond him.

"Brother Xhool next kennel" he sai

"Yah Ju" the tracker said he never complained much, even bringing them here when it meant not to see his family in Rostou for a long period of time.

“We take a dive…" Xhool said. “I am not stopping, so take it slower” then he paused, knelt and entered the small opening on the sides.

 This was why fat men could not walk along the edge way, and that was why it was perfect for Maragans they were naturally small bodied.

He entered next and started guiding the boy and girl one at a time; these were the children he was to take back to Maragan, and then came in a boy with quivering mouth that seemed to be talking even when he should be quiet.

"Hurry…" Jucub said.

He passed the last child to Juol, by this time Milo was already further into the kennel trying to get the most comfortable spot.

"Into the kennel you go boy …"Jucub pushed in the last boy. Juol saw the the bald head that came in first. The cripple was on Aaan back as they knelt to enter.

"Get some rest in a short while we shall be moving; remember we are not the only ones who use this route. Regain your strength we are not yet out of hell." Jucub told the three kids, who must been wondering if it had been a good idea to leave Rikon.

In few second Xhool had already set up a fire, Juol watched as the the boy and girl moved closer, no doubt to get a little warm, though the crippled one remained at the exact spot he had earlier been placed. He resisted the urge to harness biomass to himself; no doubt others felt the same. Jucub was holding his bracemid, Milo just looked at the fire with a hunger, no doubt wishing for his own pymid. Maybe Juol had been hard on the man; after all he had been through in the hands of nobles.

Was Ferol to go through the same, he could see Milo was clearly not right in his head, the man had not been this cracked before being taken in by the nobles. And they had traded a man like Feroll for a cracked one. The rocks knew what the man was going through, if Ferol broke that means that the nobles in Rikon were aware of this route. He looked at Milo and wondered if he would have dared a rescue if he had been aware of the outcome. He eyes moved past Milo to the cripple maybe they had gotten something from Harvest, yes there was something about the cripple, not even Milo had been guarded that much.

Juol looked and saw all were tired expect Xhool no surprise there, he was simply referred to as the noble drifter though he was a bit bigger, which was a case with those Maragans whose parents had left genearations ago. He was one of those parents had left Maragan before the reign of dredens. 

Aaan sat at the entrance drawing wind energy to warm himself. This made the energy levels shift in at the entrance. You had to give up for the man, carrying the cripple all that long.

"I don't think he will make it brother Juol, just look at him" 

Instead of looking at the cripple Juol glared Milo until the man looked aside.

 The fire Xhool had made was small enough for heat, keep away scorpions and rocks alone know what. The cripple started coughing and visibly shivering, well not that he was alone on that one but it seemed he was the only one who was taking a really hard. He removed his coat and passed it to the boy, but the boy’s eyes were fixed on Jucub’s wrist, whereas Milo had looked at the source of biomass with hunger Juol noticed starvation in this boys eyes as he looked at Jucub’s bracemid, the cripple's pupils were dilating. But that could not be, he had no pymid, was he drawing energy from Jucub’s bracemid without it being attached to his skin, interesting no wonder Jucub seemed to trying so hard yet little ended up with him.  Juol felt for Jucub’s bracemid and only felt energy being drawn from the outside by Aaan, but the cripples eyes kept on enlarging until they were all black, no, something was not right. Juol relaxed further distilling all energy being shifted in the kennel, he monitored the different negative forces active in the kennel that’s when he felt it, and slowly the flow was moving from Jucubs bracemid to the boy, without a pymid attached to his skin? The amounts were so small that he imagined even Jucub was not aware.

“May I” Juol asked Aaan as he moved near the man, he then reached out his hand outside the kennel and harnessed energy from the wind, he then stretched his hand and held the cripple, he converted the energy into heat and moved it to the boy, spreading it all over the weak body, when the shaking reduced .

Juol cleared his throat, he noticed a daring look from Milo and the rest, sorry for them they had to go. Missing out to be on the island when it left was not a choice.

"Well rested, so let’s get going" he said.

He told Aaan to check if it was safe, the man’s answer was that he could not feel any life force, which meant it was safe.

"Xhool let’s get movi..." he felt it, there was something; this could only mean one thing, nobles.

"We have company" he said

“But…."Aa’an began.

Then Aa’an concentrated after a few second to confirm his error, after a few second. “I am sorry harvester” he said with a heavy face.

“Not your fault” Juol replied

“I swear by the rocks he broke....bastard broke………never said a word, and there he is after a few hours and he is already spilling..." Milo stated rattling.

"Quiet Milo, you cannot be sure of that" Juol said

“He betrayed us………the bastard” Milo continued

“Dreden” Juol roared.

He noticed Milo looking around, what was the fool thinking about? An exit route?

“Xhool get everyone moving, Jucub, Milo and me have to shorten this tail."

"Me? I am still…ah weak" Milo groaned with an expression of extreme pain.

"Then Aaan stays, Milo carries the boy"

"What? I told you the cripple was extra weight, what do you understand, I was held for one week, week harvester”

"What, what is happening” the boy with quivering mouth finally managed to say.

He could see the look on the vims faces they were beginning to get the feel of the situation.

"Xhool, get them moving", the rest started moving out. The cripple remained looking at him.

"What about him Ju?” Xhool motioned towards the cripple.

“I told..." Juol began."Its okay, Dreden Jucub and I will stay to hold them back"

“You know I could carry him if I could but since...”

Juol placed his hand on the man's shoulder “It’s okay, my journey does not end here, get going. Let the boy remain we shall bring him with us."

As Jucub stood he knelt, it was the only advantageous fighting tactic over a single opponent. He had told Jucub to transfer all his energy to the dreden A’an. Jucub had seen no logic to shift all his reserves to A’an when he was the one to battle, but he had done it anyway.

His levels were also at minimum, but he was ready for the gamble. Just because one had stored more energy doesn’t mean the advantage was theirs.

Oh wind let it not be a harvester.

He felt them move closer, the first one was obviously an ordinary soldier but the next person in line had an aura of negative energy, a dreden.

The lead man hesitated; yes they had noticed him or noticed them. The only way to make it from here was through absorption.

He saw the soldier dither with each step, a sword drawn; thank the winds it was not a cross bow, Juol linked to the man and started draining his life force, the technique was especially difficult if you were draining from one person to another. However the unexpected happened someone linked to the first soldier which had to be the noble behind him, Juol struggled to have complete control but the noble was not letting him. That's when he forceful dragged the soldier to the left;the man tried to hold the rocks by seemed to find no holding,discovering it was no use he tried to hold on to the dreden but it was futile  as the dreden also dragged him off the edge,

“Noble dreden…please saveeeeeeeeeeeeee”

In seconds even the man’s shouting was drowned by the crashing waves. He felt the man in front of him as a mass of negative energy; he tried to but felt a barrier.

"Is that you Milo? You just give up, the noble Lord Kontel could have you forgiven…a quicker death like Ferol when he cooperated. What do you say?" The man spoke while preparing an attack. The noble thought to play him for a fool.

The noble quickly lifted his hands, and he felt a force as the man released blasts of energy, foolish noble these were basic attacks, he thought he was fighting Milo. Instead of creating a barrier as the man would have expected, he performed an absorption and felt himself mass up with negative energy which he immediately passed to Jucub; the noble released another blast he absorbed, though stronger this time, shoving him inches back, he quickly distributed most of the energy to legs and hands and passed the remaining to Jucub. By now Jucub had massed up energy, then Jucub struck with a blast of energy, which the noble blocked, Jucub created a force to attack the noble from a side, the man shifted his barrier to the sides.

It’s my turn, Joul stretched out his right hand, and harnessed wind and hydro energy from the waves and roaring wind. He felt his arm warm up and quickly become hot as he accelerated. When he was sure it was enough he stretched forth his left hand at the noble and slowly he shifted small amounts of his life force to his left. Jucub was having a hard time defeating the dreden, which was all the distraction he needed. He brought his hands together, and directed the force towards the dreden as lightening struck forth; everything seemed blurry as the murky night light up with a harvester’s fist. The jolt repelled him and he found himself supported by Jucub, until he regained his some strength.

The air reeked of burnt flesh just as quickly it was gone with the wind.

"I think we are ride of the nobles" Jucub shouted 

For now, thought Juol; for now.

The End

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