Mally slowed her pace as the pair reached a grove of trees deep in the woods. She turned to a leopard and leapt onto the first branch, looking back at Kyera slightly concerned. The tigress changed shape and with a powerful bound, jumped onto the branch Mally just vacated despite the pain. Playing a game of chase, Kyera followed Mally up the tree and onto a rather thick trunk.
Kyera was surprised to find in the fork where several trees met and tangled, large halved logs were laid across the branches, forming a makeshift floor. It wasn't a large space, perhaps Five or Six could sleep comfortably, with little room for anything else. A table that looked as though it might have been stolen from the palace sat in the center. A large log had been cut into small sections to form little round chairs. It looked like the village at the center of the forest, high above the humans heads.
It was well known that humans did not particularly like sleeping in trees, and hardly ever looked up for civilization. Huts like these, built into large trees were incredibly easy to hide. Mally spun around with both hands out as if presenting her masterpiece.
"Welcome to The Hallow. This is the main meeting house for the Rebellion." Mally told her proudly but Kyera tilted her head to the side completely lost. Mally chuckled at her friend. "I will explain more later. Come on, lets get some Sav rubbed on that arm." she led Kyera to the table and had her sit down.
Mally busied herself with tugging on and untiring vines until a brown leather bag fell into her hands. "Haha got it!" she explained walking over. "i keep it hung here in case i get stuck in the palace and someone gets hurt." she continued chattering aimlessly about the ingredients in the salv and Kyera let her mind wander. Normally she would be completely engrossed in any new medicine but… Mally forgot who had taught her the salv.
Kyera noticed there were other scents in this home, different animals mingled into the space with the strong pine scent. There was a hint of smoke and blood, but not violence. "The blood was probably from cooking a meal.' that thought trailed off as she remembered the little girl. 'I wonder if she ate anything when she got home…' she wondered, finding herself just slightly concerned. It made her a tad restless but since Mally was applying salv that should have stung, it blended into the moment.
Kyera decided still seeking any details in the room, occasionally nodding or responding appropriately to comments.At least... until she caught on.
"Okay." Kyera responded a second before her mind caught up. Her eyes shifted over to the gleaming eyes of the leopardess. Mally was biting her lip to keep from laughing hysterically and Kyera knew she had agreed at the wrong time.
"Where is your mind wandering too?" Mally asked, it left no room for denial, since the cat was already out of the bag.Kyera sighed,she didn't necessarily want to come out and say 'I'm wondering if the princess ate.' that would sound ridiculous.
There were a hundred servants in that palace, someone would feed her. Then again, by that logic she never should have ended up in the forest alone, or the market either for that matter. She rubbed her temples wondering if these humans just had no instinct with young ones.
"You know, when your trying to work around a problem, you still bite your lip. Only instead of being cute, its become seductive you little temptress." Mally teased and Kyera was surprised. She released her lip, having just realized her teeth had captured the bottom one in such a way.
"Sorry, Mally. I am just wondering what you have been doing. This place is magical but… it isn't home." Kyera pointed out with a concerned note. Mally smiled and sat down.
"Well, mostly working at the Palace and helping the woodland animals that are captured here." Mally replied motioning to the gardens below. Kyera nodded, waiting, sensing the continuation. "I missed home a lot at first. You and Verone, the village. My teacher." her eyes misted over a bit as she remembered all the things she had been so long without.
"Why didn't you come home?" Kyera asked tilting her head to the side. Mally looked ashamed.
"I couldn't." Mally replied, slowly rolling up her sleeve. As she did, Kyera spotted the faint golden lines on her wrist. A magic binding…
I hope you enjoy this installment. Things are starting to get interesting, don't you think?
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