[Story] The Hermit 10

Nimrathis looked into his basket to see there were only two dumplings left. He’d determined that they could last as long as two days. It’s possible they would stay good longer, but he hadn’t been able to resist eating them for more than that. And these ones were stuffed with spider meat, his favorite kind, so they’d be gone far more quickly than that. He took them out and ate them thoughtfully as he watched the town.

He hadn’t seen Bear yet today, and he was afraid to. He was afraid that Bear would be upset when he heard that he’d invited two of the sentinels to come with them. They hadn’t accepted — at least, not yet — but he’d still asked them. He didn’t know why, exactly. He just knew that Zhyra was upset with him, and he didn’t want that. But neither did he want Bear to be upset. It was much simpler when he only had to worry about himself. That had been his solution; that they could come along with he and Bear to Darnassus. At least he hadn’t told Zhyra where they planned to go after that. She said she couldn’t, she had responsibilities. Nimrathis pointed out, very sensibly he thought, that there were probably other orcs she could kill elsewhere. Besides, he could help them fight. He hadn’t survived this long in the forest just by hiding.

Zhyra probably believed him on that point, she’d watched him practice before. She’d also seen him practicing last night, and startled him with her gasp of surprise. Nimrathis was worried that she’d be scared, and run to tell the others, but she didn’t. She did seem surprised, though. He wished he could explain it better, but he wasn’t very good with words. Besides, would she even believe him? It sounded outlandish, even to his own ears. Part of him went elsewhere, while his body stayed behind, and it became so light that he could lift it from the ground. No, that was crazy. Heretical, as the priestesses would say. So he said nothing.

He thought they might decide to come along.  She seemed to consider it, at least. But then they could go back and tell the others where they had gone. Would they still send sentinels so far away, just to collect two runaways? Nimrathis thought they might. An angry sentinel was very determined. Then she surprised him by saying she would ask again about his camp. Maybe, since the orcs were quiet, he’d be able to return to his cave. Of course they’d all still know where he was, and still come to check on him, but Nimrathis agreed it would be better. At least he would feel at home again, and he could practice without all of the curious eyes on him. He would have to wait to see what news Zhyra brought.

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