Chapter 53:

Chapter 53 The Escape Plan

Hermit's Diary

The hatchlings, their voices trembling with emotion, bombarded Kaka with questions, desperate for answers to the mysteries of Kaka's horrible injuries.

"What happened, Kaka? Who hurt you? Why so many ouwies? Who did you so? Why is Kaka hurt so?" they cried, their tiny voices rising in a chorus of anguish.

Kaka gathered the hatchlings around him, his voice soft and gentle despite the pain etched on his face. With a tender touch, he pointed to the acid-burned skin and missing flesh on his body, using his injuries as a cautionary tale to teach the hatchlings the harsh realities of life and dangers that lurked behind farms walls.

"Listen closely, little ones," Kaka began, "see these scars and ouchies? They're a reminder of the dangers that lurk in the realm around us. We must always be on the lookout and always keep our eyes open for nasties. I fell victim to a beast-eating plant. Its vines snatched me up and dragged me into its belly, ready to munch me alive. But by some stroke of luck, I managed to break free before it was too late."

The hatchlings nodded in understanding, their meaty ears perked up high in the air as they hung on Kaka's every word.

"But in my struggle to escape, I was seared by the burning spit of the plant," Kaka explained, gesturing to the acid-burned patches and his missing skin.

The hatchlings gasped in horror, their eyes wide with fear as they imagined themselves falling victim to the same fate.

 "It was a painful lesson, but one that taught me the importance of staying alert and aware of our surroundings at all times. So remember my little ones, always be careful, always be cautious, and never let your guard down. For in this realm, danger lurks around every corner, and only by staying alert can we hope to survive."

The hatchlings listened intently, absorbing Kaka's words like sponges, their young minds eager to learn from his wisdom. But Kaka's lesson was brief, he was in a hurry to make goblin medicine out of the herbs we collected.

With a sense of urgency burning in his eyes, Kaka wasted no time in attending to the injured hatchling. Every second counted, and he knew that swift action was crucial to the gobbie's survival. He shifted his focus away from the lessons imparted to us, his gaze now fixed solely on the tiny, trembling form lying prone before him.

The injured hatchling lay motionless, his fragile frame barely visible beneath a layer of dirt and grime. His chest rose and fell with shallow breaths, each one a painful reminder of the agony coursing through his tiny body. His cracked lips parted in a silent plea for relief, but no words escaped his lips, only the guttural moans of anguish that echoed through the tent.

Kaka extended his gentle arm to touch the injured hatchling lying in a pitiful heap, his tiny frame wracked with agony as every movement sent searing pain coursing through his shattered body. His once vibrant eyes, now dulled with suffering, fluttered weakly as he struggled to draw breath into his smushed lungs.

With each shallow inhale, a pained moan escaped his cracked lips, a haunting melody of misery that echoed through the cramped confines of the tent. His chest rose and fell with agonizing slowness, each breath a painful effort that seemed to sap what little strength remained in his fragile form.

Kaka wasted no time in springing into action, his hands moving as he retrieved the fresh herbs we had gathered earlier. With deft fingers, he crushed the fragrant leaves and stems, mixing the crushed herbs into a thick paste. 

Finally, with the healing balm prepared, Kaka turned his attention to the injured gobbie. Gently, he reached out and began to apply the soothing ointment to the hatchling's wounds, his touch light and tender against the raw, inflamed flesh.

At first, the hatchling recoiled in pain, his body convulsing with each brush of Kaka's hand. But as the cool balm seeped into his wounds, a sense of relief washed over him, easing the torment that had plagued him for so long. Slowly, the lines of pain etched into his face began to soften, replaced by a look of profound gratitude and relief.

With each gentle stroke of Kaka's hand, the hatchling's cries of pain grew softer, until they were little more than whispered echoes of the agony he had endured. In their place came the quiet sighs of contentment.

As the last of the balm was applied, the hatchling's body relaxed, his breathing steadying into a rhythmic pattern of calm. But even as the hatchling drifted into a healing slumber, Kaka's work was far from over. With a weary sigh, he turned his gaze to the remaining hatchlings, each one bearing the scars of their harsh existence on the breeding farm. With gentle hands and a steady resolve, he set about tending to their injuries, his touch a soothing balm against the pain they had endured.

As he moved from one tiny form to the next, his hands deftly applying the healing balm, he took a good look at the injuries that marred their fragile bodies.

Most of the hatchlings, with their scrawny arms and legs, bore the brunt of the guards' cruel blows, their skin mottled with bruises and welts. With a gentle touch, Kaka applied the healing balm to each tender spot, his touch soothing the pain and easing the stiffness that had settled into their limbs.

With careful fingers, Kaka massaged the cooling balm into their beaten flesh, his touch gentle yet firm as he worked to alleviate the ache that throbbed through every fiber of the hatchlings' beings.

And as Kaka's healing touch worked its magic, the hatchlings began to stir, their breaths coming easier and their pain gradually fading into memory. In their place came a sense of renewed hope, a reminder that even in the darkest of times, there was always light to be found, if only one knew where to look.

With the hatchlings now tended to and their wounds beginning to heal, a fragile sense of peace settled over the tent. Kaka surveyed his young charges with a mixture of pride and sorrow. Despite the hardships they had endured, the hatchlings remained resilient, their spirits unbroken even in the face of torment.

But Kaka knew that their pain was far from over. The goblin breeding farm remained a place of untold horrors, its darkness and cruel guards a constant threat to their safety. And though he had done what he could to mend their wounds and ease their suffering, Kaka knew that there was no hope in the breeding farm for a better tomorrow.

As the hatchlings began to drift off to sleep, their tiny bodies curled up in makeshift nests of tangled limbs and meaty ears, Kaka remained vigilant, his senses attuned to the slightest sound or movement outside the tent. He knew that the guards would come eventually for their daily torture and he had to think of an escape plan to do whatever it took to keep his young charges safe.

But as he kept watch over the sleeping hatchlings, a sense of uncertainty gnawed at Kaka's heart. He knew that escaping the breeding farm meant wandering the perilous forest where unimaginable monsters, horrors, and adventurers teemed at every turn. 

As the night deepened and the silence enveloped the tent, Kaka's tired eyes fluttered shut, his mind drifting into a realm of troubled dreams of his escape plans. Beside him, the hatchlings nestled close, seeking comfort in the warmth of his body and the safety of his presence. And I, too, found solace in their midst, my tiny frame pressed against Kaka's warm side as I succumbed to the embrace of sleep.

As the first light of dawn began to filter through the tent's makeshift walls, Kaka stirred from his troubled slumber, his mind still heavy with the weight of his dreams. Beside him, the hatchlings slept on, their tiny forms rising and falling with the rhythm of their breath, their dreams a refuge from the harsh realities of their waking lives.

In the dim light of the early morning, Kaka's resolve hardened, and his thoughts focused on the task at hand. He knew that escape was the only option, the only path to freedom from the tyranny of the goblin overlords who held us captive in their cruel grasp.

Kaka turned his attention to my dug tunnel, a slender lifeline of hope buried beneath the earth. It was a risky gambit but Kaka was willing to take any chance, no matter how slim, to secure our freedom.

The tunnel was small, barely wide enough for a goblin hatchling to squeeze through, but Kaka knew that with a bit of effort, it could be widened enough to fit his larger frame. With the early morning hour affording him a rare moment of respite from the watchful eyes of the evil goblin guards, Kaka seized the opportunity and slipped outside, his movements swift and silent as he melted into the shadows.

Kaka's eyes flickered to the corner of the tent, where the faint outline of my dug tunnel lay beneath a thin layer of dirt and debris. It was a small, inconspicuous entrance, easily overlooked by the guards in their morning stupor. Lucky for Kaka, my tunnel was nestled in a hidden alcove, shielded from prying eyes by the ramshackle tents of other goblin slaves. It was a stroke of fortune that had saved him time and time again, allowing him to work in secret while the rest of the camp slumbered on.

Kaka wasted no time in springing into action. With the evil goblins still drowsy and lazy from their morning stupor, he knew that now was the perfect opportunity to seize the day and make progress on our tunnel. With every handful of dirt he dug, every stone he carefully removed from the earth, he felt the weight of his burden lift ever so slightly from his weary shoulders. Each handful of dirt brought him one step closer to freedom, one step closer to escape from the cruel clutches of our oppressors.