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Chapter 26 - Open Sky

   This is a story about a man (Altair da Silva Videira) born on some on a planet much similar to what ours will possible be on 2062. 

   In 2090 Altair is transported to another Universe, against his will. Now he wants to travell and see this alien planet. At same time he is affraid. He fear this travell can change him, despite his best efforts do stay the same man.     

Chapter 26 - Open Sky

Chapter 26 - Open Sky
    Tongue was about ten steps ahead of me when another group of lizard men turned the corner. They were only seven, but by the time he reached the first two and killed one the lizard  in the reaguard was singing  the alarm. His song was beyond human’s hearing but his posture was clear enough to allow no doubt about our fate.
 
    I reached the fight in time to kick a lizard’s leg when it was about to attack my ally’s back with his sword. Then I jumped back, being remembered that unlike the wild nomad from the Zudin tribe I was unarmed.
 
   He took advantage from my help to kill the lizard before he could stand up, but two other lizard warriors decided to kill me before I could do more damage. My magical dagger had been taken taken by the lizards when I was captured, my blood drinker sword was lost before I enter the lizard men’s tunels. Even the monstrous right arm that had saved my life more than once in the past days now had transformed back into a normal human arm. I never understood why my arm had grew back as something so strange, it’s transformation back into a regular arm was equally inclear to me; by that time I only knew that I was feeling the lost of claws more than I would have tought possible.
 
    My way was blocked by the lizards we had been running from before we met their seven  fellows. In facing me were at least 50 enemies, organized in lines like a proper army would be. Those wild non humans were still dripping, they unshealthed swords in a single colective movement. The groups we had encontered before in this tunels had mostly stone axes and spears but those were red iron sword clearly made by some human ironworker from a civilized nation.
 
     They also had shields, and used them as Warriors from Shirshan would.
 
     We saw ourselves surrounded, me and my two pursuers. I escaped only because the well armed lizards where more interested in their cousins, who died fast by the way.
 
    I caught a stone ax on the ground, but before I could attack the enemies still fighting my ally their fight tranformed itself into a colective race. The lizard men from the lake were caming for all of us, and as soon as the tunels gave us a chance Tongue pulled me on a direction diferent from the one chosen by the more primitive lizard men. 
 
    _Has happen back there?  That’s a civil war of some sort?_ I asked the man who obviously knew much more about the lizards than me.
 
     _More like a proper war against diferent nations. I can’t say for sure, but looks like the people who builded this tunels, parents of the eggs we saw in the cold cave, are back. That’s bad for the other lizard, but can be useful for us.
 
     Thinking about the two groups I remembered  more diferences than just weapons and posture. The ones from the black lake were a little larger and more muscular, their scales had shape of diamont while the other group had them triangular and smaller. The ones from the lake also had bone plates on the top of their heads and on the back of their necks. In the poof light we had inside this tunels was hard to notice but the color  most of them had was a very dark tone of yellow with stripes in the same color old clotted human blood has.
 
    I found a sword and a shield  on the ground, near to a lizard corpse. The red iron weapons were nothing like the magical ones I has used to, but were still far superior to the stone ax.
 
   _Follow your friend and his slavegirl by smell make no sense! Unless you can find their exactly location with a spell we must leave, Altair. That’s as far as I go, if you stay I wish you luck.
 
    _There is one last place I would like to visit before we leave, after that I give up the search. Can you take us to the sigraxe’s room? I mean the place with the cages to imprison users of magic, the cages with doors made of glass.
 
     _That’s not in our way to the exit.
 
     _You more than fulfiled your part in our agreement already, I admit that. Let me suggest another deal. I believe my things were up there, at least the magical weapons and objects. Amoung those things are a magical dagger capable to generate illusions very useful to distract one’s enemies. You can have the dagger, if you help me to reach that room.
 
    _That’s a fair deal, a magical weapon is always a sharp and trustworthy one. Since I don’t have magical potential it will generate no illusions when used by me, but I can always sell the dagger for a good price.
 
    _I can not promisse you the weapon is up there. Logic dictates all my magical objects must have been taken to the place used to their sigrax and kept there untill he could identify the exact utility of each one. However, I can only hope the dagger was not given to some lizard by now.     
 
   _I understand. Let’s go, this fight between lizards will not last long, and when it end any non lizard still under the ground will find himself facing a serious complication.
 
   We reached the right corridor without trouble. The groups of lizards we passed by ignored us, because they were either in the midle of some battle or running to one. Our way was blocked only when we reached the entrance of the short corridor that leads right to the magical workshop.
 
    A conflict had reached a deadhlock. Outside was the sigrax recently arrived flanked by three alchemists carring magical weapons. Two groups of warriors from their tribe formed barriers betwee the magical battle and any enemy who intended to intervene. We cound not see the other limit of the short corridor from were we was, but the lizard sigraxe was obviously inside.
 
   _We can not wait here until they finish. A fight like that can continue for days, depending on the kind of spells used. I am sorry, we will not reach the dagger I promissed to you,  or my the rest of my stuff.
 
     _ Let’s go back, them._ Tongue agreed.
 
     Before we could move dozens of lizard warriors came from the corridor behind us. Seem us close to the battle they assumed we had joined forces with their enemies and attacked us without a instant of hesitation.  At same time the sigrax inside the magical workstation decided he did not liked long fights and attacked. With a energy spell, in form of lightning bolts he leaved the chambe, followed by one young aprentice and seven alchemists.
 
    I lost my ally in the chaos, being attacked by lizard warriors from both sides, and fighting back as well as I could. In some point my sword passed through a enemy, twice, and I understood that he was a alchemist using the magical dagger I had sold to Tongue.
 
    The center of all was the two sigraxes, now facing each other with no morer than six steps between them.
 
     A magical machete travessed my red iron sword as if it wasn’t there, almost severing my left hand in the process. Maybe was the pain, maybe the realization  that I would not last longer in the middle of that fight with a useless left arm and non magical weapon in the other, but my right arm turned back into the large monstruos tentacle I hated and needed so much.
 
   My wounds  were healing almost as fast as they were made, despite the fact that I wasn’t making any healing spell. The corpses of common lizards now were everywere, which is   normal during battles were warriors, does not matter if civilized or savage, fight side by side with people using spells and/or magical weapons.  The scene reminded me the fact that my ally had no potential for magic, and I looked for him. I kind expected to find the Zudin’s head somewere, far from his body. What I found, instead, was a circle of lizards trying to reach Tongue, who moved two red swords faster than my eyes could see, cutting both common lizards and alchemists and blocking their blows. 
 
     The swords were magical, I think, because non magical weapons can’t block attacks made by a alchemist with a magical weapon. In Tongue’s hands the weapons had no magical powers, but still resisted the blows that would have easly destroyed any non magical sword.
 
    The distraction caused both by the two sigraxes and by my ally allowed me to reach the short corridor and enter the workshop. Taking by the number of corpses the sigraxe and his apprentice had taken the chamber back from their enemies, a little more than dozen corpses of “black lake lizards” were here, none  in one piece.
 
     A fast look revealed my backpack, and the Maothi’s, in a stone that could be the sigraxe’s worktable. I looked for any other item easy to carry that seemed usefull, put all in the bags, and  was leaving when Tongue entered, with my ond dagger on his belt and one magical sword on each hand.
 
    _The bone head lizards have won the day! That was the definitive battle, will not take long for their sigrax came for us with. That corridor is no option now, good thing we have another way out. Were is the cage from were you reached the cold cave ?
 
    Until he ask I had not considered the subject. When I was captured and locked there was neither light nor time to look at the chamber.  Now, in the magical light produced by my magical stone, I was seem several doors of glass just like the one I remembered from my time inside the small hole used as a cage for magical prisoners. 
 
    _Well?? _insisted the desert warrior.
  
    _That is embarrassing...
 
    _What? You know were is the door we need, don’t you?
 
   _I have some idea, but may take some time to find out exactly were it is.
 
   _That’s less embarrassing than dismal. You should start now, before dismal change to fatal.
 
    I faced de glass doors on the wall, but was distracted by the sound of fight. Four warriors had entered the chamber. Tongue was dealing with them well enough, with his preternatural reflexes. Them I saw a fifth lizard behind the warriors, a one of the alchemists. This alchemist had a magical staff of cold stone on his hand, exuding white vapor, and I guessed that would not go well for my ally.
 
   I throwed the first thing my right hand found on the alchemist lizard, without even look what it was. A green explosion sent small pieces of glass in all directions; a floating ball of green smoke cover the alchemist and dissove his body were he stand, waist to head bones; two lizard warriors try to escape, but fail, the smoke dissolving in the air does not catch them with all it’s power but is enough to eat their eyes and lungs. With two lizards still dying a painfull death Tongue of the Zudin killed the remaining enemies, beheading one with one sword and piercing the other in the heart at same time.
 
    He turned his back to the door, probably intending to boast.
 
    _Move, you fool!! There is still smoke in the air.
 
    The green tentacles of dead dissipated, but far slower than would be reasonable if there was no Xar in the mix. A nasty intentionality moved them in our direction, but since we were the only living things in the room I did not took it personally.
 
   _That was close. Thank you, men from Earth.
 
    The lizard surprised both of us. He was the young apprentice we saw before the fight, accompaning his tutor.  The sigrax who teached him was the same one who had me locked in a cage hours before.
 
   The sigrax apprentice was with the staff of cold stone, and we prepared to jump to avoid the blast.
 
  Instead of attack the young lizard felt on his knees, presenting the weapont to me.
   _I surrender to you, sigrax. Don’t kill me,  please, take me with you.
 
    I was too surprised to answer. Tongue helped me.
 
  _His side lost the battle, his tutor is dead or soon will be. His fate in this tunels is not a tempting one Altair, I can assure you that much. One can never trust a intelligent lizard, but I can use a slave like him if you don’t want the trouble.
 
   The suggestion of let Tongue slave someone who was and could stay free helped to speed my decision. I took the staff from the kid’s hands, and then a idea crossed my mind.
 
   _Show me were is the cage where your tutor had me locked, and I accept your surrender.
 
    I had to carry Yake throught the cold cave. Tongue explained to me that older lizard men are able to stay awake in low temperatures, with great effort. The cold slow them down, alot, but they can still function. In those like my prisioner, almost reaching what for a mammal would be puberty, cold inevitably causes lost of conscience.
 
    Lizard sigraxes must have spells to protect them against cold caves like that, but the boy had not learned any.
 
    _We must be prepared to fight our way out_ warned Tongue before we left the cold cave.
 
    _Why? I assume they  have more important thing to worry about.  Take care of their wounded, clean the house, that sort of thing.
 
    _Catch us will be their priority. If we escape the location of this tunels, and especially of their eggs chamber, will no longer be a secret. By now you understand how important those secrets are for them, I’m sure.
 
    _You are the one who know this tunels. Choose the exit you think better and we will try our luck.
 
    _Alea iacta est!!
 
   _You speak Latin !?
 
    _Just a few  expressions. I used to have a slavegirl from your planet, the daughter of some important Scholar according to her own oppinion. She was my favorite for a time.
 
   _What happened with the girl?      
 
    _Died. The Piwag is a unforgiven land, and she was not as young as the expression “slavegirl” suggest, but I never felt a death as intensely as I felt hers.
 
   Before Yake awake up, or we reach the exit Tongue had planed, a good surpise gave me a new hope. Near to a wall, in a tall chamber, we noticed a plant. By the aspect of it the twisted trunk had grow it way from the ground to open a hole to the surface above us very fast, because there was still remains or rocks and dirt soil displaced by the growing tree.
 
   _I saw that plant before, in the ruins of a temple near to a Silent Climber village. Maothi’s  magic did that, I’m sure.
 
    _Even if it was natural I would still climb to look for a way out.
 
    Was almost midday. The sheer sun brough Yake back to his feet very fast.
 
    _You must really keep that one under vigilance all the time. Don’t sleep without first bind him well, or you will wake up with blood spouting from your throat!
 
    _Was a pleasure fight side by side with you, Tongue of the Zudin tribe!
 
     _Likewise, Altair of Lutianen. I wish you well.
 
    _There is one thing I want to ask, before we take oposite directions. You told me that your tribe joined someone against my city. Was Shirshan, or your people will fight for king Zaiaz?
 
    _Neither, we joined a alliance of human tribes. They want to free Niore from your people. We want weapons, a district inside Niore, and maybe one vote in their assembly.
   His words persuaded me to look at him with more attention, and I noticed the pointy vulcan like years. The color of his head and eyes were obviously strange for a human, but I had assumed that was not important. By now I had met more uncanny types who are defined both by themselves and by other Sharitarnes as humans.
 
   _You are not human?  
 
   He looked surprised.
 
   _No, Altair from Earth, I am not. Your specie call us Blood Elves, that’s a name as good as any in my opinion.
 
    In the light of the information the way he moved sometimes made more sense. His reflexes were something beyond the possible for humans, but they were not like that all the time only when he needed most. Even when we were fighting  he moved as a human, a extremelly good swordsmen but nothing beyond the believable; he showed a diferent kind of deadly prefection just one time, when we needed most. Since there was no magic in him I shound have guessed his non human nature.
 
  Some giants can make themselves invisible, reduce their size, and read minds from distance. Sigraxes can do things like that too, if we have the proper spells, but giants who are not sigraxes and who have no potential for magic have the same chance to learn their natural powers the sigrax giants have. As far as the Mage Castes on Sharitarn are concerned there is no magic involved in the use of racial powers like the ones possessed by the giants. The same can be said about Tongue’s reflexes.
 
   _Altair,  you made me questions, and  I would like to  reciprocate. You had a skeleton leg when we met, then your right arm transformed into that big furry thing with black claws. What Magical Way is that? You are transforming yourself  in something very peculiar. How that end?
 
    _I can’t really answer your questions, Tongue.
 
   _Well, that does not surprise me. Involuntary immigrant or not you are a sigrax, and sigraxes like their secrets! I will not hold that against you.
 
   _I’m glad to hear that_ I could try to convince him that I could not answer his questions because I had no idea about how answer them. Does not seemed a good idea to pull argument on that direction, however. That because either he would not believe me or I would see myself forced to say much more than I wanted to about my participation in this war; more likelly both, I would share more war secrets than I should and he would still not believe me about how little I understood the magic affecting my body.
 
    The young lizard in the middle of his training to became a sigrax came with me. I gave him one backpack to carry, and experimented a feel topics for small talk.
 
    He was capable to speak with me thanks to a linguistic  ring. The lizard people has Language, but they don’t share enough vocal affinity with humans to use our words, and their sensorial systems deal with far too many sons below human hearing to allow us a fair chance to learn their Languages. Unlike the magic that allowed Xiirsh to speak Yake’s ring translated what he wanted to say, and what I had said to him.
 
    Hellicon, the mage responsable for the Welcome Tower of Lutianen, used a similar resource to talk with me when we first met; this kind of divination spell is his strongh hand.  Xiirsh’s magical stone on the other hand just make the human sounds her dragonlike throat isn’t able to make, she has no problem to understand the Merchant Language without it. 
 
    My reason to mention that particular information right now is the need to illustrate to you how great I am when it cames to make conversation. Despite all that amazing skills invested on him the lizard boy seemed adamant in his decision to not engage in small talk. I suspect his people has some cultural bias against chitchat, possibly religious commandment enforced by decapitation.
 
     Know my new partner of adventure wasn’t my only concern. Ideally I would be doing everything I could to find the Maothi and Kiva, that was the most important thing to do.
 
      The obvious way to find someone in a open field is by making a fire. Actually, that’s the faster way to be found by someone. I could not see the Maothi’s fire anywere, and he would not be able to see mine, because I wan’t going to make any.  The shapeshifter and his beasts would probably be still looking for us, to share their feelings about our past enconter. If not, the bone head lizards would be looking for us for sure. We had to find each other without be found by any one else.
 
      Feel the silver helmet once more on my head was a huge relief. The sensorial magic in it would make hard for anyone to approach me without being noticed.   That way we could keep walking after night fall.
 
    Yake’s eyes could do at least as much with the light of stars as they could do with sunlight. The way they people illuminate their homes made that evident to me.
 
     _The Thick-Skin are leaving the tunels by now, captor. The hunter hours begin now. _informe Yake.
 
      The sun was about to plunge  behind the red plains stained by green spots, all mixing now into the same dark blue. That was the time for hunt, according to the young lizard.
 
       True to be told, I had no reason to trust him. Except the assumption that he wanted to walk into the nearest “Thick-Skin” hunting party about as much as I wanted that, what is not at all.
 
      _What you would do now, if you were alone ? _ I asked.
 
      _ That’s their land, I would not be here alone. If I was hunting on Thick-Skin territory with a hunting group our leader would probably have a place in mind to hide us until the hunting time pass. However, I don’t know if that can be done by a hotblood like you: your kind is too easy to find.
 
      _My kind did just fine hiding from your tribe back in the Thick-Skin’s  tunels.
 
      _That’s different, you leave heat trails behind you in the tunels but they don’t last and we need to came close to were you was before it vanish to find the trail.  Up here there is no walls of stone, therefore the air can carry your smell far and nothing prevent your body’s  temperature to attract attention. My people is almost impossible to find when we hide, and don’t move.
 
      _Well, that’s good to know. You probably would have more chance to survive the night without a hotblooded nearby, right?
 
      _Of course!
 
      _ What would you do if you escaped them?
 
      He had no prompt answer to give me.
      _If I was not your prisoner, after I escape their land I would run to my home.   
  
      _Your family will be waiting for you?
 
     _ My people will be, we are all family to each other. Our leader died in the tunels, my tutor died as well. Any survivor will hide and run away untill the Thick-Skin loose their trail, then run back to our tunels. If no one else survived I woud be the one giving details about how they died, but the fact would be clear to all.
 
     _ To who would the facts be clear?
 
     _There is six guardians taking care of our eggs and keeping our tunels save. If no one came back they will be the only responsables for the new generation.
 
     _I was told that your young must eat people to learn how to talk. Is that true?
 
    _What diference it makes to you?     
 
     _Let’s just say I am interested.
 
      _ We don’t learn our words as easly as you do. Few among us would still be able to control their own memories, think about complicade issues, or use words, without eat the flesh of  animals like you.
 
      _How is that possible? The flesh of, let’s say, a human, or a giant, isn’t diferent of the flesh of a iapi or zudras. The diference between a talking animal and a non talking one is small, it is in very specífic structures in the brain which are made of the same nutrients found in any other animal brain originated from the same Universe.
 
   _If that’s true, how the vortex target more talking animals than any other living thing? How the potential for magic is found in every single talkings specie but no were else?
 
   _There is theories, but they have nothing to do with flesh and blood.
 
  _We have our explanations as well, they are not your business. Everything you are, everything that make your body and mind what they are, is hidden in every drop of your blood; even more vividly present in your bones. Same for any other animal.   
 
  Occurred to me associate that idea with the concept of DNA, but that would be me forcing my own ideas about reality where they did not belonged, in Yake’s point of view. What he was really talking about ? I could not begin to understand; the best I can do, right now,  is to admit that.
 
    Matter of fact: I was not just indulging my curiosity.
 
    _What if you are wrong? What if your people just think they need to eat people, talking animals, but in fact they dont? You cold be as intelligent as you are (“not much!”: but I kept that thought to myself) eating just low animals, you just don’t know that. 
 
   _ What if you humans could breathe underwater, without spells, and you just don’t know that?
 
   _That’s not the same thing!
 
   _I grew up in a place were some people can eat ‘talking flesh’ and others can’t, because  we never can catch enough for everyone! That’s not fancy metamagic, I saw siblings loose their hability to think as persons and start behaving like what you call “low” animals !!_ my line of questioning had clearly dissatisfied the lizard people boy, somehow.   
 
   I gave him a little more espace. To be kind with him, and to be able to defend myself better if he decided to use his pointy teeths  on my human leg.   
 
    _My potential for magic placed me amoung the first to be fed since I was old enough to be tested by our sigrax, it gave me the chance to see what happens when we don’t have enough talking flesh to eat. I am telling you, men from Earth: you are chewing old-cold meat! We are what we are.
 
  _But still, what if you could keep your intelligence without eat “talking flesh”?
 
  _A  magical spell, you say? That work for experient sigraxes, but can’t be done for all tribe.
   _Suppose it could. Let’s just say you find a way, would your people start eating humans?
 
  _You make hard questions, human. Remind me my dead tutor.
 
  _I suppose that cames with the process of learn magic, don’t matter if civilized or wild. Try to answer the question.
 
   _Would my people all stop eathing yours?  I doubt. We would not hunt talking flesh as frequently as we hunt, would have more energy to fight our own kind for the better tunels and hunting grounds. Even so, we would still have to fight your people as well, and would still eat the ones we kill. There is also the problem of our sacret dates, some celebrations demant that we eat talking flesh: no one in my tribe would give up that traditions.
 
   _Not even you?
 
   _What are you saying, Al-tir? _ I jumped most mispronunciations, did that for all “etnic” tipes I met to avoid draw a caricatural picture of people who just don’t speak the Merchant Language in their day-to-day lifes. That is here because Yake’s magical ring gave him a perfect pronunciation, actually more according to the Mevrengau’s pattern than my own. He selected the wrong way to pronounce my name on purpose, to prove a point.
 
    _I would not give up the sacret dates, not all of them, is impossible to do so living in the tribe. Beyond that I could be convinced to eat talking flesh only when and if necessary to keep myself sane, but I will not be convinced to do that for free.
 
   _You want your freedom back, of course.
 
  _That would be nice, because the bone head hunters will find you soon; and they will kill us both, if I don’t leave your side before that.
 
     _I will make a spell, to be sure you will never brake that promisse. After that, you may go._ I was bluffing. Spells like that do exist, but I never had learned any.
 
      _To do that promisse I will need more than just my freedom.
 
     _Why?    
    _My tribe is almost all dead, to make it worse they lost their only sigrax. I was a good apprentice, I think, but will never be able graduate into a sigrax by my own. I want you to teach the necessary, if you escape alive.
 
    _That’s not possible! There us differences between civilized sigraxes and wild ones Yake.
 
    _Magic is magic.       
 
   _Magic is magic, but we don’t teach it like your people do. Wild sigraxes must learn how to teach magic, civilized sigraxes don’t. Few amoung us are capable to make possible for a student to turn raw magical potential into power to cast spells. I could not teach what you need to beace a sigrax if my life depended on it.
 
   I was not lying to this lizard boy. We civilized sigraxes have a huge advantage over our wild counterparts  when number and variety of spells are in consideration, that because we don’t invest  time and Xar learning how to teach magic. They don’t have places like Black Centaur Castle to count with, every wild sigrax is a University of Magic in one person, that take a lot. To them is the only way. Except for enemies most wild sigraxes will met only two other sigraxes in their lifes: the one who teached them when they  where young, and the one they had teached after they became old. 
 
    _You can show me the spells, can’t you?
 
   _Yes, but there is more in magic than that._ there is more that show spells in teach magic, but the other part was a lie, as you know. I had no idea if I would or not be able to make spells again.
 
    _That’s sad, because your life can actually depend on that deal.
 
   _What you mean?
 
   _There is a way to hide you until morning. Instead to go home empty handed to became a irrational beast day after day, I will die with you. However, if you give me a chance to help my tribe as their sigrax things will be different to me. Things will be different to my people. Things will, also, be different to you.
 
    That placed the whole subject under a new light.
  Right, I had never learned how to teach magic! Neither had learned how to teach magic the first wild sigrax who started a traditional line. Not untill he reach the point were he had to try, I mean. 
 
    Was not as if I had to lie in order to save my life, all I had to do was to promisse that I would try, “I will do my best”. I could say that, you probably would have done the same if you were the one looking for a place to hide that night.    
          
   After that I followed Yake until a circle of large rocks. Except that they were not rocks, but a  flock of large herbivores.
 
   _I can only go that far, they would go mad if they felt my smell. My people don’t eat those animals, but other kinds of lizards do. They are hard to hunt, not worth the trouble, that’s why all lizard people avoid their flocks. Cover yourself in their feces and stay with them untill they leave the bone head territory, you will be fine unless one of them step on you. Even if the enemy find you they will probably not have enough people to send right now, and will not send their sigrax before he rebuild their magical defenses.    
 
    _What about you?
 
   _I will hide myself, and tomorrow I follow them.      
 
   Last time I had accepted a advice about where spent the night given by someone who knew the land better than I do I almost ended eaten by a pafix. On the other hand, given the circunstances be eaten by a pafix was more desirable than many thing that could happen to me if I refused Yake’s orientation.
 
   Few animals moved to look at me, and they accepted my presence well enough. Between the large beasts there was many smaller animals, also sleeping. Those living islands of safety are looked for many species, including some day light predators. The flock only rejects the predators which pose danger to their cubs. They also seems to hate all lizards.
 
   One animal in those shadows attracted my attention more than the others.
 
   _Altair, is that you?_ whispered someone, trying to not disturbe our large protectors.
 
    _That’s me, yes. I am glad to find you in one piece, young fellow! Write to your mother telling her how I lost her only son unconscious in lizard’s hands would be unpleasant. I tried to start the letter in my mind several times but could not find the proper words.  
 
   _Your death would be a serious inconvenient to me as well, but you already know that well enough. We looked for you in the caves for as long as we could, but when things became too dangerous I was forced to leave. Since you are here I imagine you found my way out, and also found enough Divination magic to point you the right direction. That’s the safer place nearby, and I doubt you could imagine that by yourself without magic.
 
  _You are partially right. Did you saved Kiva?
 
  _She is here, sleeping. A lot happened since the last time we saw each other, the girl is wretched. Kiva is strong, seasoned, she will recover.
 
    That was not a comment I would have expected from a man born and raised on planet Sharitarn, expecially not when that man was a forest man and a wild priest-sigrax. She should be, to him, a slavegirl; beautiful and atractive of course, in need to be protected as well. He was supposed to keep her safe, and authorized to use her for his pleasure by the circunstances. He was not supposed to talk about a slavegirl as if she was a free person, with that kind of respect, even less when that slavegirl did not bellonged to him. By the unforgiven laws followed by the wild and by the civilized on this planet she was my property.
 
     I was happy to notice his peculiar inclination in that matter. Maybe would became an option to me free Kiva, after all. If the Maothi could be persuaded to carry the girl back to Parviprae, her home city and the only place were she had a fair chance of stay as a free woman, then I would be finally able to look my own problems, and forget both of them.  
 
     I still had a debt to pay with Lutianen for welcome me and teach me magic. Also owed my friend Fergus for save my life and give me the chance to travel with his crew.
 
     _Altair...?
 
   _Yes. What are you worried about, son of Violeta? _ I had not really started several times the letter to tell his mother about his death, but I was still a bit peeved with him for place us both  in the situation he created opening the entrance for the lizard’s tunels.  Bring the name of his mother in the conversation was a low blow, for many reasons, but to my shame I used it.
 
 The Maothi proceeded as if I had said nothing.   
 
_ ...why are you covered on feces ?  
 
      
 
 
  
 

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