We made it to our horses and through the portals without any incident. That didn’t sit right with me. Eira is too cunning to let a prize like me slip through her grasp that easily. If she doesn’t already, she will find out. After seeing the fury and hate in her white eyes, I’m almost as scared of her as I am of Kendra, which is a lot.
The easy escape also doesn’t sit well with Daemon.
“Why is it so hot?” I complain as soon as we arrive. It feels like stepping from a freezer into an oven.
Henki chuckles and stretches toward the sky. “I have not felt heat in many years.”
I roll my eyes and look around. This is a new place for me. I thought that the dimensions progressively became colder the deeper you went. But here we are, dimension number five, and it’s easily the hottest temperature recorded. Ever.
Though the entire place is illuminated with something like sunlight, there is no sun, rather the light seems to come from the entire sky. Grey-green grass stretches as far as the eye can see in every direction. The monotony is occasionally broken up by the scraggy bushes and tall, slender trees that rise above the grass. Different types of animals are all over, eating, sleeping, playing.
“Are they real?” I ask, watching two lion cubs wrestle beneath the watchful gaze of their mother.”
“They are the spirits of the dead animals on Earth. They live here as they would there, but they are safe here. No one will hunt them for sport or for their hide. There is no fear of overpopulation or running out of food or water because there is no saturation point for the souls that can stay here. It is the best sanctuary,” Henki answers. “The animals here also will not harm you. This is the only place where you can wrestle with a wild beast and there is no fear from harm.”
“Tis said that even animals that are extinct on Earth are found here,” Daemon adds from behind. “Parts of Jahanamu change to resemble different parts of Earth to allow for species from all over to survive here.”
“Extinct animals? Like the dodo bird?” I ask.
Daemon nods. “And dinosaurs and all other manner of creatures. If thou art lucky, mayhap Zuri will show thee her menagerie.”
My eyes grow wide and Henki and Daemon laugh.
“Come. Let us walk to meet them. They do not live far off from the portals so that they may quickly meet those who come here,” Henki says, gently pulling my arm. “And perhaps Maisha can help heal your hands and wrists without scarring.”