As I stood at the top of Pahghai Mountain and stared across the stunning scenery of the Chakra mountain range and the Pechi forest, I began to grow restless about the things that were going on here. It had only been 2 months since my father died and I had already been made to take his place as Guardian Messenger over the lands I currently surveyed. My role in the council was simply to notice and predict the problems that our community faced and to alert them when there was something wrong. I didn't find it too hard, but every time I thought of my father and the childhood I'd wasted with him my heart clenched tighter and tighter until I could barely breathe. But it wasn't only my father that made me angry, it was thinking about the whole damn, lazy council.
What I had seen while meditating had truly made me shiver, it was beyond abnormal and it made me question the strange feelings in the air that came from the lands below. No-one knew that I could enter people's thoughts when in meditation, and I truly felt like I had violated the privacy of Kan's mind just now. Kan was an exceptional friend, I had always made sure to be there for him when his father threatened to denounce him as his son if he didn't find his spirit animal. Well now he had, sort of. Oh Kan. I could understand why he had chosen to run off into the forest instead of ask for help. His father would go mental and probably try to slay him in blind ignorance of what has happened to him. Who knew that someone could join their physical self to their spirit animal? This was a revelation, a break-through. I had to tell the council, that was my duty. But I couldn't.
As my eagle-equal- Haphran- lowered me down from my levitating position 5 feet above the mountain peak, I took in the surroundings of the mountains one last time before I headed down the pathway to the council. Now what was the list again? Oh yes, there was the lack of irrigation in the northern fields, the dispute between the North and South clans over resources and Kan. The one thing which I couldn't talk about was the one thing playing in my mind the most.
I stepped into the dangerous forest path that split the main mountains from the village. Usually the animals stayed clear of me, but obviously not today. A wolf ambushed me from the side and bit deep and hard into my right shoulder. I yelled in pain as I spun round with enough speed to throw him off. Within a second of regaining my thoughts the wolf leapt at me again and pinned me down to the forest floor. As the wolf tried to claw out my eyes I grabbed its paws and it immediately winced, giving me the chance to throw it off. It lay there next to a tree stump staring at me with a terrified look in his eyes. But it wasn't directed at me. I looked down to see blood-red grooves running down his claws that looked as though they had been dug out by talons. I looked at my fingers, they looked normal to me. The creature winced in pain as it got to its feet and hobbled away from me as fast as it could, leaving me standing there in bewilderment of what had just happened.
Did I? Did I just...? No! Stop being such a fool, you're thinking the impossible.
But what if? What if Kan's condition was simply a more advanced version of...?
I shook my head at the silly thoughts that raced through my mind. I shrugged them off as though they were nothing and carried on through the clearing that now appeared before me. I heard a raw echo through the forest as birds screeched and flapped away from the growling voice deep within. Oh Kan, I thought. What are we going to do?
When I came back to the village I realised that the next meeting was just about to start.
"Ah, Dyami. Glad you could join us. So now, first, are there any updates on our current situations?" The chief asked me.
"Um, well the South colony is threatening to cease trades with the North unless they remove the dams that have recently been put in place. Clearly we need to take action on finding a negotiation as soon as possible."
"Naturally. Anything else? Or is there anything new at least?" All eyes were on me now, anticipating the positive or negative news that was to come. I swallowed hard.
"No. Nothing else." Carry on you idiot! "I mean we need to settle our treaty with the Northern clan on the resources they are allowed to access and for how long, apart from that, the valley's been pretty quiet actually." Nice save.
"Alright then." The man looked satisfied, I hoped he was too. Right then we heard a stifled scream unlike any other ricochet off the valley floor.
"The noise! Where does it come from? That's the second time we've heard it this past week! Dyami, tomorrow your role is to find and discover the source of that noise; you can bring some protection along with you if you like." I swallowed even harder.
My sister was becoming restless, and I was running out of ways to suppress what was happening to her in the cave below.