Bloodlines of the Ancient Pantheons Chapter 120: CXX. The Tracking
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Silence returned to the forest.
Dag picked up his hammer, put it back in its seat on his belt and with the axe in his hand, he walked towards his companions.
"You did it... Captain..." Reidar said in a low voice, still sore from shoulder and ankle injuries.
"Without your help, I would surely have died" Dag said, his face full of blood.
When Karl managed to move again, he crept towards Reidar and opened his box full of medicinal herbs.
Dag approached the torch to his two companions, to allow Karl to better see Reidar's wounds.
The bite wound on his ankle and the one on his left shoulder seemed minor injuries, but the one on his right shoulder was decidedly deeper.
It was the shoulder that for a few seconds had held up all his weight, due to which the claws of the bat had penetrated deeper.
"Bring the torch a little bit closer, Dag" Karl said, after tucking a thin black thread into a curved needle.
He put the needle closer to the flame to sterilize it.
"Resist, Reidar. This will hurt you, mate" continued Karl, who then threw a white liquid on his partner's deep wound: the liquid, coming into contact with the blood, began to emit a kind of white foam.
"Aaagh! Aaaaaaagh!" yelled Reidar as he tried to stay still.
Dag took the towel he had used to wrap his axe and gave it to Reidar, advising him to squeeze it between his teeth to hold back the pain.
After the white substance finished foaming, Karl slipped the hook-shaped needle into Reidar's flesh, starting to sew the wound.
Dag shook the hand of his companion, who strongly bit the linen cloth and lost tears from his eyes.
Within minutes, Karl managed to close Reidar's wound, keeping his composure and a steady hand.
"I'm done. Your wounds will heal soon, my friend" Karl said, wiping his blood-soaked hands, satisfied with his work.
Reidar released his jaw, removing the linen towel from his mouth and breathed a sigh of relief.
"Apparently the legends were true, Captain. Those bats were definitely bigger than average! Hahaha... *cough*cough*!" chuckled Reidar, coughing in pain.
"Yes, it is true. My mother warned me... and yet here we are, we are safe" Dag replied, as the Sun's rays began to enter from the stone ceiling that covered the forest.
"Dag, are you hurt?" asked Karl.
"No, I'm fine. Reidar sacrificed himself for me. As soon as he gets up and walks, we'll continue north. When the Sun lifts in the sky, we will be able to orient ourselves" Dag continued, pulling out a water bottle and sharing a sip of water with his comrades.
While they were fighting against the mutant beasts, their horses had become quite agitated, but fortunately, they had not managed to escape, because they had been tied firmly to the trees.
He spent about an hour when Reidar got up, moving his arms slowly.
Dag helped him get on the horse and then all three of them got back on the road.
"The north is this way" Dag said, beginning to ride in a precise direction. Karl and Reidar followed him without hesitation.
"Your orientation skill is high, Captain. I would have to wait at least another two hours before I could spot the North" said Reidar, astonished at Dag's qualities, looking at him with a smile.
The three adventurers rode for about 4 hours without interruption.
"I'm pretty sure the danger of mutant beasts is limited to night hours. I'm trying to focus on the sounds around us, but I don't hear anything, just the wind hissing through the trees" Dag said, looking ahead.
Karl took a notebook and a feather, which he dipped into a small bottle of ink.
"What are you doing, Karl?" asked Reidar, still sore.
"I do what you suggested... I take note of what's happening to us. This forest information will be useful to someone. We could sell them to the highest bidder!" replied Karl enthusiastically, thinking he could monetize their findings.
"Hahaha! I didn't think you had an eye for business, Karl" Reidar continued, as Dag made his way and listened to them.
After about 30 minutes of their chat, Dag suddenly stopped.
"What's going on?! Are there any other mutant monsters?!" asked Karl, jolting from the horse's saddle.
"No. Look there" Dag said softly, pointing his finger at the ground.
"I don't see anything" Karl replied.
"There's a toad" Reidar said, barely distinguishing the amphibian that hopped in front of Dag's horse, which, being light brown colored, blended in with the arid terrain of the forest.
"That's right!" confirmed Dag, who remained motionless, allowing the toad to pass.
"Dag... but what the fuck are you doing?" replied Karl, thinking that his friend had gone crazy.
"Karl, don't you understand? Where do toads and frogs usually live?" asked Dag.
Karl opened his eyes wide, after realizing what Dag was referring to.
"No... no... please continue to the exit before the Sun sets!" he pleaded.
"You promised me 24 hours to look for a swampy ground, right?" smiled Dag.
"Yes, it's true... but that was before two giant bats tried to kill us!" continued Karl, frightened.
"Hahah! C'mon! Let's go and see, Captain!" said Reidar, urging the horse with his feet and heading in the direction of the toad.
Karl snorted and then followed his two companions who went into the trees.
The toad kept hopping in one direction, heedless of the men who followed him.
"We keep our distance... let's not scare it. Let's see where it goes" Dag said softly to his teammates.
"Look what I have to do... follow a toad in a forest full of mutant animals ready to kill us!" whispered Karl to himself.
The Sun slowly began to lower, it was mid-afternoon when the toad finally reached its destination.
The three adventurers found themselves in front of a large pool of slime water, surrounded by unevenly grown wild vegetation.
"Hahah! Got it!" exclaimed Dag, glad he was right.
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