Copé had some trouble making it back to his feet. Concussions, having your arm ripped up, and falling out of a tree made it so. He waited until enough time went by before trying. Didn't want to risk the chance of the dark-skinned fellow and his dogs coming after him. That didn't stop him from being leery though. While he walked through a series of bushes, plucking out the small thorns out from his arm, every small sound was enough to startle him. If by some chance it would have been the man, he would've died then and there, and that would've been it. That didn't happen though. And instead, Secret limped on and on.
Rivers and rivers of rain water, blemished and polluted by nature's dirt, the appearance looked as though the Amisoic Sea had overflowed. Almost everything damp and soggy, aside from small hills of high land the rain drooled down. Copé fell to his knees. Blood on his arms from the thorns, but that was about the least of his worries.
His clothing dripping, the clothes, no longer even looked worthy of being called that of a peasant. Groveling through the soaked nothingness that encumbered the Unprotected Wilderness. His knees sinking down into the mud.
The rain had died down, but it's aftermath would be felt for the day to come. If nothing else, it cleansed him of his blood. His hair went over his eyes, but his present shock and feeling of decay made him immune to such nuisance.
He'd have to find shelter. His survival dependent on the fact's solution.
The water droplets descending off leaves and the rusting trees above of animals seeking the same gave a sense of urgency. A light from between branches of two adjacent trees showed the worst had concluded. The clouds dispersing, and the storm dying down at last.
He ascended back to his feet, and stumbled back down, falling first face into the sludge. Spat the grime out his mouth, gagging some, he at last fought back to a standing position, slowly looking for stability.
Onward, he trudged, his body ached, lessened only by his mind's sense of swimming cessation, telling him he was about to lose consciousness. He forced himself to keep on but stopped as he met a large creek.
The creek barred him, not overflowing, but a large-hollowed log had fallen over it, like a bridge. Unfortunately, Secrat felt himself wearing away, shriveling down, and knew he'd be unable to cross it.
A sound behind him. Copé turned at once, unsheathing the Sword of Tertius from his scabbard. He fully expected The Man and his Wolves to have found him. Instead, he saw a spotted hyena. Or, at least, he assumed it was spotted. It was completely soaked, looking small and harmless without its Secrat threatened the hyena with his sword, hoping it'd simply flee away from him. Instead, the bastard bared its teeth and snarled. Secrat held the sword, his own teeth grinding against themselves, far from in the mood to exert himself. He brought the sword back with vile intent.
But, in moments, some between trees and some through bushes, three hyenas, then four hyenas, came into vision. Traveling together, all of them in search of refuge, but once they took sight of Secrat, their attentions were on him.
“Fucking, God, motherfuck,” Copé said, turning his back to them and running toward the log over the large creek.
He could feel himself fading, and, knowing he'd be unable to balance himself in the predicament, he opted against running atop the hollowed log. The Thief crawled within the log's hollowed inners and faced himself back to the hyenas. Seated, he held the Sword of Tertius at the hyenas, ready to jab them should one attempt to come after him.
One did, and Copé killed it with the sword, driving the blade through the bottom of its jaw. The death was quick, neither a cry nor whimper of reaction. The only sound The Thief did seem to hear was of the hollow log beginning to sink into the mud.
It started out minimal, like sinking in quick-sand, but in mere seconds, the log fell through and Copé could no longer see the pack of hyenas. The hyena he had killed, however, was broken in half by the log's descend.
As one end of the log fell into the creek and the stream started to sway it, Copé crawled up fast. He could see the other send begin to lose itself. Quickening his pace, he leaped out the other end of the log and was planted down into the mud.
He pushed himself up, his eyes lent to the other-side of the creek. The hyenas stared at him. And, in that moment, he hated the Unprotected Wilderness, The Whispey Deserts, and Maharris as a whole. And thought how much easier it'd be to be back alongside his own pack of hyenas: The Red Flux.
The Thief needed to make right with them. It'd be the only chance at light beyond the branches. They wouldn't be far now.
The Red Flux & the Wunderkind THief
Chapter One (1 - 2 - 3)