Moth Ch. 030byellynei©
Submitted to literotica.com by the author.
Keme saw movement out of the corner of his eye. Without turning his head, he moved his eyes to get a look. It was that kid again, the one that couldn't tell nightmares from visions, Vumanesco. Keme moved his eyes back to the target and released his arrow.
That annoying kid had been fluttering about since early dawn. He kept approaching him only to sneak away. At one point he had come close enough to speak, had said something completely pointless, and had run off.
Quite obviously there was something he wanted to say.
Keme released another arrow. He wasn't a baby-sitter. As far as he was concerned the weak boy was monster-fodder, a distraction whose possible death might serve to give Zoa, or one of the other excellent shooters, a chance to kill of the abomination.
The kid came closer, moved away, and again approached.
Keme ignored him and focused on his aim. He was as bad a bow-man as a beetle. He could barely hit anything while standing on the ground. In the air he'd be lucky not to hit his 'allies'. Keme wouldn't pull his bow once the fighting began. He'd be fighting with his sword. Up close and personal.
"Keme." Vumanesco's voice was as weak as his courage.
"What?" snarled Keme, releasing another arrow.
"I... I was wondering if you were thirsty."
"No," snarled Keme. If he were he wouldn't need to be served. The courier-kids were his army and his decoys, they weren't his servants.
"I'll just go away then," said the Vumanesco kid and trotted off.
Keme released another arrow and grabbed a fresh one.
It wouldn't be long now, just a few days. Then they would go, he would play his cards right, and Zoa's arrow would kill the beast, as it should have so long ago.
Something again moved in the outskirt of his vision. Keme moved his eye to its corner. It was the Vumanesco kid, again approaching.
Keme resisted the temptation to turn his bow on the kid. Chances were that if he aimed not to hit him, he would, and that would be counterproductive.
"Keme," said the kid, his voice quivering as if he was about to weep. He probably was.
"What?" snarled Keme.
"I know why we are going to attack too early," said the boy, his voice barely a whisper.
"We are not going to attack early," snarled Keme.
"It's because of me," persisted the kid. "We go early because I tell you about the vision I had last night."
"Vision," snarled Keme.
"Things are not happening the way you were told," said the kid Vumanesco. "Someone has interfered."
"You are just having nightmares," said Keme, forcing himself to look friendly and concerned.
"I saw the black spider," said Vumanesco. "He has been warned about us, he knows we are coming. When the right day comes, he, and his woman, and the man who warned them, will be long gone."
"That's not possible, Vumanesco," said Keme, retaining his friendly and concerned face and voice. "You really should leave the seeing to the real seers. The seer Evelin has more sight than any other. Her prophecy was very exact." Keme raised and arm and gave Vumanesco's shoulder a comforting squeeze, part of him hoped the annoying boy would be slaughtered in the fight.
"The seer Evelin would have foreseen the intervention of another seer," said Vumanesco, meeting Keme's eyes with his own fearfilled, tearfilled ones.
"There you go," said Keme, fatherly and friendly. "That's exactly what I've been trying to tell you."
"It wasn't the seer Evelin who told you when to attack," continued Vumanesco. Tears released from his eyes and rolled down his cheeks. "It was the ghost of another seer."
Keme's nails dug into Vumanesco's shoulder and the coward whimpered.
"Who told you that?" snarled Keme. He hadn't told anyone of the ghost that had entered Evelin's body.
"I dreamt it," whimpered the kid Vumanesco. "Just as I dreamt everything else, and if I don't convince you, the black spider will escape."
"What else did you dream?" asked Keme, forcing his fingers to pull his nails away from the kid's skin, and forcing his face to look calm, and forcing his voice to be friendly and concerned.
"I'm going to die," whispered the kid. "I have to take that arrow or Zoa will be the first to fall."
"You don't have to die," comforted Keme, making a mental note to keep the kid at Zoa's side. "Now tell me what you have seen. All of it."
"So this is her spare bow?" asked Valo, tightening the string of it as if holding an arrow to it.
"Yes, dad," said the spider, barely glancing up at him.
The abominable man had been packing and unpacking supplies since Valo had told him about the danger. It seemed he still had a very hard time figuring out how to cut down their needs to something which could be carried.
Valo knew how to travel light, but the young man seemed to need the distraction. Valo didn't fault him for his distress, he, himself, had had most of the summer to grow accustomed to the danger they had to flee.
There was still time and they had to wait for Lei to return. If they ventured out to meet her their paths might not cross. They had to travel very fast once Lei returned. By then there would only be two nights between them and their pursuers.
"It's as good as mine is," said Valo, making no effort to hide his pride. "Lei was always obsessed with bow-making."
"She still is," said the spider.
"Though how she got it into her head to make bows for beetles," said Valo and shook his head. "If you give a beetle twenty perfect bows he will tie them together and use them as a carpet weave. And, honestly, that is the best use a beetle can make of bows."
"I know," commented the spider, not sounding the least amused by the joke, "beetles have crappy aim."
The spider pulled a large, white, fluffy blanket out of his too large piles and threw it into a corner.
"Don't worry, Black," comforted Valo. "Between the two of us we will keep her perfectly safe. Lei has always been a feisty girl, and she has always had the strength to carry it. To her a year long flight will be nothing but an adventure."
"She's pregnant," snarled the spider, restlessly pacing his piles.
"Pregnant?" repeated Valo, his mouth suddenly dry. "How far pregnant?" With a slightly shaky hand, he reached for the bowl of juice the spider had offered him earlier.
"She hasn't bled for two moons," snarled the spider.
Valo took a sip of juice and put down the bowl. His wife had gone overdue several times when she thought she was pregnant, his oldest daughter too. It seemed to run in the family. Valo took a deep breath and calmed himself.
"Does she feel pregnant?" asked Valo.
"No," snarled the spider.
"Oh no," whispered Valo, his throat constricting. "We have to get rid of it."
"What?" snarled the spider and spun to him.
"She has to abort before it grows too big inside her."
With unbelievable speed the spider charged him and pushed his back to the floor.
"You're not hurting my baby," snarled the spider, waving, suddenly sharp-edged, legtips in front of Valo's face.
"If she flies in the late months of pregnancy the baby will die anyway," hissed Valo, staring past the deadly legtips and into the spider's beetle-black face and eyes. "And if she doesn't fly they will catch up to us and she will die."
"I'll carry her," snarled the spider and held one knife-sharp legtip to Valo's throat. "I will carry her to the end of the world if I have to."
"Son," said Valo, ignoring the threat to his life as best he could. "I love Lei. She is my daughter. I came to help."
The spider withdrew from Valo and went back to his piles.
"Whatever monster it is those termites have mistaken me for, I assure you, I am much more dangerous than it," said the spider. Valo noticed that the young man's legtips were no longer sharp. "If they ever catch up to us, I will kill them all."
Valo reseated himself and took a sip of the juice.
"There's too many of them, son," he said.
"You don't understand, dad," said the spider and turned his black face to him. "Death thinks I am beautiful."
Valo met the spider's gaze and took another sip of juice. Then he put the bowl down.
"Good," said Valo, and that was how simple it was.
Posted on literotica.com with permission of author: Nanna Marker; literotica ID ellynei.