Bloodlines of the Ancient Pantheons Chapter 116: CXVI. The Locus
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"Weird? Why should it be weird, you just explained to us the scientific nature of this phenomenon" Karl said, approaching Dag, to observe the inside of the trunk up close.
"Karl... on this planet, millions of years ago there was not even an atmosphere. How could grow trees?!" asked Dag, arousing puzzlement in his companions.
"Do you think the Xis have anything to do with this place too?" said Reidar, trying to figure out what his captain was thinking.
"I can't be sure. In any case, the magic source of this forest is very strong, I can feel it on my skin" concluded Dag, who returned to sit by the fire, to warm up from the cold of the night.
"I propose to do the rounds again tonight" Reidar said.
"All right, but this time you start. I slept very little on the farm, I need to regain my strength" Dag continued, after resting the Red Executioner next to him, so he could lie on the ground, with his leather bag under his head.
"Of course, Captain. No problem, I'll start" confirmed Reidar, who sat by the fire while Karl also went to sleep.
A little less than three hours passed, when Reidar woke Karl, to ask for the change.
"I'm exhausted, Karl. Take my place, let me sleep a little bit" he said.
"Yes, it's my turn" Karl whispered, yawning and sitting in Reidar's position, lying on the ground and falling asleep within minutes.
After several minutes, Karl stood up to stretch his bones and avoid falling asleep again.
He walked a few feet away and when he was near a tree far enough away, he untied his pants, intending to urinate.
As he continued to yawn, he turned slightly to one side.
A large insect flew towards him, after being hit by a jet of urine.
"Aagh!" said Karl in a low voice, trying to hold back a scream.
He dodged the insect, which landed on the path.
Karl turned to his companions to check that they were still asleep.
"Where did you come out of? You're the first animal we've met since we've been in here" he whispered toward the locust as if it could understand his words.
Then he made his way to the fire, sitting next to Dag and Reidar and continued to look at the insect, stationary on the ground.
Its antennae moved sinuously and one of its little black eyes was pointed at the fire.
Karl opened the almanac, to kill time.
The locust, after standing still watching, opened its wings and flew back to the tree where it rested before being disturbed.
Karl raised his head, watching the insect move away.
A few seconds passed when he heard again the sound of the locust's wings approaching him.
This time it wasn't just one bug, they were two.
Karl pretended nothing, continuing to read.
A third insect approached the other locusts, then a fourth.
"What the..." Karl whispered, rubbing his eyes, believing he had hallucinations due to sleep.
When the locusts on the trail became about ten, he called his companions.
"Hey... guys... I don't want to disturb you, but there are bugs looking at us" he said.
Dag and Reidar opened their eyes, slowly rising from their sleep.
"What are you talking about, Karl?" asked Dag, as he turned to him.
Reidar said nothing.
"Look over there! First I went to pee and I accidentally hit one of those bugs, which never stopped staring at us... and it looks like it called the reinforcements" Karl said, closing the almanac.
"They look like locusts... But what are they doing still there?" asked Dag, who stood up to see better.
Reidar also stood up and looked around, fearing that someone or something was watching them.
"But I mean, is it possible that I cannot read in peace?" exclaimed Karl, rising quickly from the ground, full of courage after his companions awoke from their sleep.
He walked quickly to the group of insects, which remained stationary in the same position, with the antennas moving and trying to detect the danger.
"Wait, Karl... doesn't seem like a good idea..." said softly Dag, who was not sure of his words.
Karl waved the great almanac towards the insects, trying to drive them away: "go! Get out!"
When the locusts soared, they became a compact swarm: they flew a few centimeters from each other, moving like one body.
Karl stepped back, crushed by that vision.
"These big bugs are fucking lousy beings!" he said, returning to his friends.
Meanwhile, Dag was still looking at the swarm of locusts, stationary in mid-air.
Their wings turned of a fluorescent green within seconds.
"What's going on?" said Reidar, who was watching the scene, behind Dag.
"Karl, down!" cried Dag as the swarm flew quickly towards his companion, leaving a green trail in the air, dropping some sort of dust on the ground.
"Um?" said Karl, who, before lowering down completely, turned the other way.
"Aaagh! That sucks!" he yelled when he saw that the locusts were flying in that direction.
He lowered himself to his knees and covered his ears with his hands, trying not to hear that annoying hum.
Dag was about to run towards his friend, to drive the insects away from him, when he noticed that they weren't headed towards Karl.
The swarm pointed at them.
Dag retreated to Reidar, dismayed by what was going on.
They both rested with their backs behind the large tree in the middle of the ground, ready to kill the swarm of insects that flew towards them at great speed.
But as the locusts approached, they flew into flames.
Karl looked up, astonished.
Reidar and Dag kept watching the insects catch fire, not knowing how to react.
Amidst the crackle of the locusts' wings, thick green smoke began to rise from the bonfire, whose fire was about to extinguish.
"Fire! The fire is extinguishing!" said Karl, who stood up and walked toward his companions.
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