Revolve - Chapter 13
A group of four forest people traveled across the snow-covered forest. The snowfall, which started earlier in the morning, had continued even until midday.
“Arvus, I told you we shouldn’t have gone out in such weather,” spoke one of the four whose voice was almost inaudible because of the strong winds. Though he was sure Arvus would hear him.
“As soon as the sky clears up, it’ll be pointless to search for anything,” replied Arvus. Judging from his tone, it was obvious that he was out of sorts, but his fellows didn’t pay attention to it. The group knew the reason why the strongest of the warriors of their settlement couldn’t sleep well for a few days already.
“I know you won’t agree, but still…”
“Stop it, Vern. You can go, if you want. No one is keeping any of you here,” Arvus answered coldly. Vern could not refute.
‘We haven’t heard any news about them for four days now, but still, he can’t accept it… though, who am I kidding, if someone from my family were to disappear, I would be behaving the same way’ thinking about it, the hunter secured his hood and quietly followed Arvus in the snowy forest.
Four hours later, they were on the way home, but their hands were still empty, just as before. Among the four hunters there was a woman. She did her best trying to calm down their leader, who angrily clenched his fists, piercing his own skin with his claws.
“Calm down. After all, Corvus was with them, and he is more experienced than anyone of us. I won’t be surprised, if at the moment of their return, he will tell everyone how they were running from a black Gsarh all this time,” even though the woman tried to calm down Arvus, she herself didn’t believe in these words. However, she just couldn’t leave it how it is.
Arvus continued walking with the same gloomy expression on his face. Such situations have previously occurred in the past, albeit very rarely with a group of hunters. Each hunter group in winter would have at least one elite member. The role of each elite in these hunting parties would be to save inexperienced hunters from incidents leading to death in the party.
Additionally, given the heavy snowfall in recent days the party should’ve returned three days past. All four of them understood that the hunting party members were dead, but the forest-folk being a close-knit nation would never leave their fellows in trouble. That’s why they formed a search party for the missing hunters. They couldn’t abandon their leader, Arvus, with whom they shared lots of battles, in such a situation, and so they joined the search although it was doubtful that they would be helpful.
They were close to the city now; Arvus forced himself to return. He had always been restless, stubborn, and cruel. The group would always tell him he’s just special in that regard, though Arvus himself knew his own character.
The snowfall was still as strong as before. The violent wind was breaking long branches and scattering big clouds of snow. These unfavorable conditions were not able to prevent the grey-eyed hunter from recognizing a familiar scent.
Arvus paused, turned his head, and his group members put guard by his actions.
‘What’s there?’ thought the members. Each one of them implicitly trusted in Arvus, because in such things, their leader would never be mistaken.
“Smells like blood, and this is no beast,” said Arvus, dourly. Arvus slowly approached in the windward direction towards the smell.
Without a word, the hunters lined up behind Arvus and followed leaving a three-meter gap between themselves. None of them were able to sense the smell of blood, but they were very familiar with Arvus and trusted his senses through experience.
Each member, with the exception of Arvus held a bow in hand. Arvus equipped himself with armor and large daggers in each hand that he’d inherited to match his combat style. On approaching his destination Arvus sheathed his daggers back into his belt. The hunter closest to Arvus noticed it and immediately relaxed his bow followed up by his companions.
Upon closer inspection the hunters understood the reason. There was an absolutely naked body lying in the snow. Even though a thick layer of snow covered the body, it was impossible not to noticed the blood dyed snow atop the body.
“Hmm. White hair?” the female hunter asked naturally. All the forest-folk are born with green hair, but the body lying in front of her had short white hair as if it had merged with the surrounding snow.
She, and the two other hunters looked to Arvus.
One of the hunters crossed his arms, intending to pray to the Goddess and the spirits of the forest about the death of his brother, but he was interrupted by the voice of their leader, “He’s not dead yet.”
Hearing these words, the female hunter rushed to the body, turned it around, and found four large wounds on the stomach, the attack resembling the pattern of claws from a well-known beast attack. She picked out a flask of disinfectant from her belongings and poured it onto the wounds. Without a pause she stretched out her hand towards another hunter gesturing for another flask that she then applied in the same manner as the first.
“It’s a pity, we were not out for long, but we’ve nothing to cover him with,” said the woman while monitoring the weakened body checking his breathing and heartbeat. She tried every which way to wake him up and upon carefully tugging at his eyelids she froze up momentarily.
The eyes of the half-dead man were completely gray; there were neither pupils or impurities. Only a blank gray, the same as his hair.
“Stop messing around, He will surely die, if he lies there any longer. If not from the wounds, then from the cold,” said one hunter as he began to lift the upper body of the unconscious man followed up by his companion lifting the legs to move him.
“I wonder where he’s from?” the woman mumbled.
“What’s the difference? First off, we’ll need to save him.”
Arvus silently watched his fellows carry the wounded man, his moment of joy having faded in his grey eyes the moment he realized that he didn’t find who he was looking for.