Chapter 28:


The Scorned

Walking out of the tent, I let out a long sigh and threw the hood of my cloak over my head. I didn't think I would be recognized in a place this big, but I didn't want to take the chance. I had no answers and didn't know where to begin, so I slowly walked through our massive camp. I hoped that something would take my mind off my problems, but everything was just so mundane.

Eventually, I saw a man struggling to pull something behind him. With nothing else to do, I slowly headed his way. When the man noticed me, he grumbled out, "Just as I told the last bunch, food will be ready when I am done with the unloading. You have to wait just like the others."

With an amused expression, I said, "Well, that sure is an interesting way to ask for help." The man finally stopped what he was doing and stared back at me. Squinting, he said, "I don't think I have seen you before. Forgive my manners, but I have been dragging this pig all the way across this damn camp in this heat. So I am a little tired and grumpy."

I only shrugged, then bent over and effortlessly picked up the animal carcass. Looking at the man, I said, "Well, lead the way." I expected the man to be taken aback by my display of strength, but he seemed only interested in his burden being lifted.

Soon the two of us entered a much larger tent with multiple people scurrying around. Following the man through the chaos, he lead me towards the back. With a tired smile, he said, "Thank you so much. Come find me when it is dinner time, and I will give you something extra."

I placed the pig down on the table next to me when I was hit with an idea.

I turned back to the man and said, "I have someone important to me, and I want to apologize for something. If I were to find something else, would you have time to cook it for me?" He was already working on the pig, so he waved me away and said, "Sure. Bring me what you need." I knew that he was just getting rid of me, but I planned on taking him up on his offer.

Walking out of the tent, I smiled, having a plan for the first time in a while. Selene had stated before that she could eat, although I don't think she ever had. She had helped me through a lot when I visited Rebecca, and I wanted to pay her back. I didn't have much to offer, so a nice meal would hopefully work. I just hoped that she didn't hate human food as much as humans themselves.

Looking around our surroundings for the first time, we really were in a dull area. We had left most of the trees behind us. The only thing that I spotted was a couple of rock cliffs far away on the horizon. Figuring I had no other options, I jogged in that direction until I was clear of the tents. Once I was happy that no one watched me, I put my head down and really began to run.

In no time at all, I stood in front of the cliff and looked up at it to see if anything caught my attention. After scanning the wall, I finally spotted what I was looking for, a small branch with a bird's nest resting on it.

Smiling to myself, I squatted down, then launched myself into the air. I ungracefully shoved my hand into the cliff, creating a hole to grab onto. Once I was sure I wasn't going to fall, I peered into the nest. Just as I had hoped, there were two well-sized eggs. I carefully grabbed both and hopped off the wall, slamming back into the ground. Checking on both eggs, I was happy to see that they were intact as I headed back to the camp.

Walking back into the cook's tent, I headed to where I had dropped off the pig. When the cook noticed me, he said in an annoyed voice, "Didn't I tell you to find me when it was time for dinner?" I ignored his rudeness as I held out my two prized eggs and responded, "Yes. You also told me to bring you food to prepare, and here it is."

The cook stopped what he was doing and eyed me suspiciously, asking, "Where did you get those? You were only gone a moment, and the closest place to find them is half a day away." I ignored his suspicion and asked, "Look, do you want them or not? There are plenty of cooks here. I'm sure they can help me. Besides, I only want one, so you can have the other."

The man slowly reached out and took both eggs, and nodded his head. Happy that was taken care of, I walked out of the tent, trying to find something to take my mind off things until Selene's dinner was ready.

With nothing left to do, I walked to one of the remaining trees and sat on the ground next to it with a sigh. I watched people walk around, oblivious to my presence, until I heard someone approaching me.

I looked to my side and was happy to see Selene standing next to me. She sat down beside me and with an annoyed voice, said, "I don't know why I get my hopes up. Every human is an idiot."

I snorted a laugh, caught off guard by her bluntness. Once I regained my breath, I asked, "And what is the reason for hating us humans this time?" Still annoyed, she replied, "First off, you are not a human anymore, so you can't say 'us.' Second, I decided that we were going to stay with this army and the old man got so happy. He blabbered on about how with us in his army, he can't lose, and he needed to go tell his commander. Like you and I will save this army as they march through this heat. There is no doubt in my mind that they will make it, but these numbers will take a hit."

I stared at Selene then said, "Well, I am deeply honored that you think I am above human scum." Selene's only response was to chuckle and roll her eyes at me.

Before either of us could say anything else, a loud bell began to ring. I got to my feet and extended a hand to Selene, which she accepted with a confused expression.

With a smile, I said, "Come on. Time to find out if you hate everything about humans."