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MHO - Chapter 18 by Lloxie

MHO - Chapter 18

Mystic Heart Odyssey, chapter 18. What surprises will these two find at the top of the mountain? ...or on the other side?



Lykou woke up the next morning to find Kuna still cuddled up against him, sleeping contently. He couldn’t help but smile. He’s too cute sometimes, the konuul thought to himself as he pulled the blanket back up over the sereva’s shoulder. Then he carefully sat up and looked towards the cave entrance. The dawning sun was just starting to shine through the parting clouds. The ground was still thoroughly soaked, and there was still water flowing down into the little gully outside the cave, but at least the actual rain had stopped.

The konuul looked back down at his companion for a moment, sorely tempted to cuddle back up under the blanket with him. But ultimately he decided against it, figuring it’d just further delay the start of the day. So instead, he went and checked on their clothing. Seeing that they’d mostly dried, he threw his shirt and pants on, then grabbed some salted meat from his bag to start munching on while he waited for the sereva to wake up.

Eventually, when the konuul had mostly finished his breakfast, Kuna began to stir. After shifting around a bit, he slowly sat up and rubbed his eyes, yawning some in the process.

“Morning, Kuna. Sleep well?”

“Mmhmm,” Kuna replied with a small, groggy nod. Then he looked over at his friend and perked up slightly. “Oh good, the clothes are dry?”

“Yep. Sorry, no more ogling for you,” the konuul teased.

Kuna smirked and rolled his eyes as he got up and walked over to fetch his own clothing. “Yeah well, same to you.”

“Well, at least I’m getting one last peep,” Lykou replied, earning a playful glare from the sereva.

“Perv,” Kuna said, putting on the poncho first before sliding his pants up in a way that his rear was pointed away from the konuul.

“Aww. I guess I’ll just have to hope you trip into a stream sometime today,” the konuul mused.

“I’ll be watching for you to try and trip me,” the sereva accused playfully, with narrowed eyes and a smirk, as he sat down across from the canid and dug out some breakfast for himself.

“Who, me? Never!” Lykou objected with exaggerated indignation.

They both snickered afterwards, then Kuna ate in silence as the konuul gradually packed away the rest of their things. At one point he paused and looked over by the cave wall behind Kuna with an odd expression. “Huh, that’s odd…”

Kuna raised an eyebrow. “What?”

“I don’t remember seeing those mushrooms there before,” Lykou said, pointing over the sereva’s shoulder.

Immediately, Kuna’s eyes widened as he remembered the last night’s little magic lesson. He quickly looked over his shoulder and mentally chided himself for not thinking to get rid of the things before he went to sleep. “Oh, uhh… y-yeah, all the rain and moisture in the air just made them grow quicker,” he commented nervously. “Probably also ambient spirit stuff, mountain of enlightenment and all, you know?” he added as he turned back around with a slightly unconvincing smile, then averted his gave and dove back into the food he was eating to try and avoid the subject.

“Uhh… yeah,” Lykou responded with one eyebrow raised. He would have eventually assumed something along those lines anyway, but he couldn’t help but feel that the sereva’s response seemed a little off. “That makes sense. Everything alright?”

“Hmm? Yup!” Kuna said after swallowing a mouthful of some kind of leafy stalk thing. He only glanced at the konuul briefly before looking away again. “Why do you ask?”

The konuul just stared at him for a moment, then shrugged it off, figuring maybe the odd behavior was just due to the sereva having just gotten out of bed. “Nothing, nevermind,” he said, then stepped over to the water spout to top off his waterskin. “Oh, I just remembered, we were going to see about doing something with those empty gourds, weren’t we?”

Kuna blinked a few times, then brought his palm to his face. “Shit, you’re right,” he said, both annoyed, but also relieved to have the subject changed. “We should have done that yesterday when we had so much time to kill.”

“Hmm. To be fair, I’m still not sure what exactly to do with them, and it’s not like we could have gone looking for more materials to work with,” the konuul pointed out with a shrug. “Still, we should keep an eye out for anything we can use to make them better containers.”

“Yeah, good point,” Kuna agreed. “Need to find good material for a belt or something, and some way to keep them sealed until we need them open.”

“Right. Sounds good,” Lykou said, grabbing up his remaining decent spear. “Well, I’m ready to go when you are.”

The sereva finished his last bite, then brushed himself off as he stood up. He slung his bag over his shoulder and grabbed his walking stick, then joined the konuul by the cave entrance. “Well, off we go then. Oh,” he said, turning to the pile of rocks that’d been mostly still all morning. “Thanks again for keeping us safe.”

The rocks stirred slightly.

“Oh yeah. Anything we can do to repay you?” Lykou said, turning to face the spirit.

After a moment, the galdra started to stir a bit more and it projected a message of indifference.

“Okay, well… it was nice meeting you,” Lykou replied with his usual friendly smile.

“Yeah, and thanks again,” Kuna added, as the two of them turned to walk away.

Suddenly the spirit projected a message of caution, making them stop.

“Oh. Er. Yeah, we know to be careful,” Lykou said. “Don’t worry, we’ve learned our lessons about that. We won’t let our guard down up here.”

Kuna got a strange feeling it was trying to say something else more specific. But after a moment, the spirit sent another message of indifference, followed by something they interpreted as farewell. Then the spirit slowly got up and drifted out of the cave and started wandering off around the mountain in the opposite direction the boys had started heading.

“Well that was kind of strange,” the konuul commented.

Kuna shrugged. “Maybe. This is the first time I’ve ever actually had one talk to me before, so for all I know they’re always like that.”

“Fair point,” Lykou said as they turned to begin their upward, zig-zagging hike to the top of the mountain. “Maybe most spirits that aren’t ghosts or echoes are vague like that.”

“Nah, not all of… them,” Kuna said, catching himself after a moment. “Er, a-according to stories I remember, there are plenty that, you know, actually talk. To people. When they see fit to.”

Lykou gave the sereva a side-eyed look, one eyebrow raised. “Right… okay then,” he said after a moment. “Are you alright this morning, Kuna? You’ve been acting a little strange.”

The sereva glanced away and briefly contemplated breaking down and spilling the beans to his friend. But he didn’t want to piss off a spirit, especially one that was helping him to learn something he’d always only fantasized about being capable of. He just sighed and turned back to the konuul with an apologetic smile, trying to seem as sincere as he could. “Yeah, sorry, I guess I… I’ve just been sleeping kind of funny. Weird dreams and stuff. Probably something mystical about the mountain or some shit. Kind of messing with my head a little.”

The konuul continued staring at him a moment, then wrapped an arm around him and smiled back. “You can always tell me about them if it’ll help,” he suggested.

“I appreciate it,” Kuna said, reciprocating the side-hug, trying to repress the guilty feeling growing inside. “There’s not much to say though. They’re just weird.”

“Weird how?”

“Well, I don’t really r-” Kuna began to say, then paused and started to grin as he realized he might have a loophole to exploit in his promise to the spirit. He’d still have to be careful not to reveal too much, but it’d be a way to be at least somewhat more honest while also hiding the full truth. Hopefully that way he could avoid upsetting the spirit too much while also not feeling like he was hiding things from his friend. “I... don’t remember all the details, but I keep having vivid recurring dreams about being visited by spirits. Elemental ones. Except they can talk.”

“Oh? Sounds interesting,” the konuul said, intrigued. “What do they say?”

“In my dreams, they’re trying to teach me magic. Stuff about different kinds of energies and such,” Kuna said, carefully considering what to let slip.

“Huh. Well, maybe there’s some truth to it? It could be some kind of, I don’t know, mystical vision,” Lykou suggested. “Considering the mountain we’re climbing. Have you tried doing any of the things they say?”

“Oh the details are always vague and impossible to remember,” Kuna quickly responded. “It’s, uh, probably just wishful thinking on my part or something. You know, since we got to see Nauja doing magic and all. And we were talking about it afterwards.”

Lykou gave the sereva a sympathetic look and gently squeezed his arm. “Well hey, maybe the dreams will get clearer and something will happen. You never know,” he said with a sympathetic smile.

“Hehe, yeah,” Kuna responded nervously with a slightly forced smile. “Mystical mountain, right? Who knows.”


“So uh, have you had any odd dreams?” Kuna asked, eager to shift the conversation away again.

Lykou looked thoughtful for a moment, then shrugged. “I guess there was this one the other night where I was a fish, for some reason…”

“Oh? Tell me about it,” the sereva encouraged him.


The day went by relatively uneventfully for the most part. To their relief, nothing attacked the boys on their way to the top of the mountain. There was actually relatively little wildlife that they noticed, though they did spot a few other galdra along the way. Around mid-afternoon, the two realized they were approaching the mountain’s peak. The trees and other vegetation were more sparse, and shorter. And the air was getting a little bit cooler and thinner, though not enough to give them any real trouble.

It took a turn for the concerning when they started noticing old bones, many of them cracked or broken apart, laying scattered around. Most of them looked like they’d been there for some time, but it was still worrying. Kuna kept close to the konuul, and though he was putting on a brave face, Lykou could tell he was getting anxious.

“I don’t like the look of this,” the sereva said quietly, eyeing the bones as they walked past them. “Maybe we should head back down…”

Lykou considered it for a moment, then took a deep breath. “Let’s just be very careful and keep our guard up. We won’t linger, but if there’s any chance of there being something up here that could help us find the way home, I want to see it,” he replied. “And if nothing else, we should be able to get a good long view off the other side of the mountain, and see if anything out there looks familiar at all.”

Kuna sighed and nodded. He was more than a bit wary, but the konuul had a good point. It’d be awful to come all that way only to turn back before reaching the top. “As long as we don’t have to deal with anything dangerous…”

“Don’t worry. I’m not looking for a fight any more than you are,” the konuul assured him. “We should be fine if we just stay alert.”

They continued onward, albeit slightly slower, as they tried to minimize any sound they made along the way. At one point, Kuna started to slip on a slick rock near a tiny stream, but Lykou caught him just before he fell. “Sorry,” Kuna mouthed with an apologetic look.

Lykou just smirked and pulled him up close. “That word again,” he whispered in his ear, then gently rubbed his back before they continued onward.

Kuna blushed and rolled his eyes up with a smirk as they continued.

Suddenly they rounded a large boulder and stopped in their tracks. There, in the middle of what was basically the mountain’s high point, was what appeared to be some kind of artificial shelter. A very crude, but also very large one. It looked like a collection of stones stacked together with entire tree trunks to form the base, then covered in various large ferns and all sorts of sloppily-prepared animal hides. Outside the shelter, there was no sign of a fire pit, but the number of bones laying around, and the sizes of some of them, were quite concerning. There was also what appeared to be an enormous, crude table set up across from the shelter. And off to the side was an equally huge, crude stone oven. All around the area was a ring of massive stones, like a makeshift wall. There was another entrance-gap on the other side.

After some hesitation, Lykou led the way, slowly and quietly creeping up into the seemingly permanent encampment. Kuna folded his ears down and nervously followed, wishing his friend would change his mind. When they were further up, they noticed a few piles of greyish-white powder with a few bone fragments laying among them. It confused Kuna at first, but Lykou’s eye twitched as he ushered the sereva away from one of the piles. Gradually, they both became aware of a faint, metallic scent that they were only too familiar with. Fortunately, the table was so large that they couldn’t even get a decent look on the top of it and see the many dark reddish-brown stains that covered it.

Kuna gradually started tugging the konuul’s hand more urgently, pleading with his eyes to leave. Eventually, Lykou gave in and nodded. He could only imagine what kind of person they might find living in such a place, and they probably wouldn’t be pleased with intruders whenever they returned to their little home. But as they started to slip out of the camp down the other side of the mountain, they started to hear a low plodding sound that was slowly getting closer and louder. Branches snapped as trees further down the side of the mountain shook and bent aside in the path of something very large that was approaching.

With wide eyes, Lykou and Kuna both quickly darted behind the rock wall and waited as quietly as possible. The heavy footsteps steadily got closer, until they were slightly shaking the ground underneath the boys. They could hear the giant’s heavy breathing as it trudged into its camp.

When they finally got a look at the camp’s owner, their hearts both skipped a beat. It looked vaguely like some kind of person, but a truly monstrous one. It was easily over a dozen feet tall, with arms as big around as a decent sized tree trunk. It didn’t seem to have any fur or hair anywhere on its body, and its flesh was a somewhat reddish-pink color. There appeared to be a set of large, slightly curved horns on its head.

It was wearing a very sloppily-made outfit consisting of numerous pelts from different creatures stitched together. Some of the pelts looked worryingly like they could have come from anthropomorphic bodies. In one hand, the giant was carrying an enormous, crude club made up of a large section of a tree whose base had been chipped and shaved, and perhaps crushed, down to a basic handle. The far end was splintered and jagged, and covered in blood, both old and fresh. The source of the fresh blood was in the creature’s other hand- the pulpy, mutilated body of what was clearly once a very large boar-like mammalian creature, larger than the biggest boars Lykou’d ever seen.

The giant lifted the bloody mess in its hand up and roughly slopped it down onto the large table. It then set its club aside and seemed to be moving some other unseen items around on the table. After a moment, it started roughly ripping bits of the carcass apart with its bare hands.

It was all more than Kuna could bare. He started to hyperventilate and look nauseous, and Lykou quickly grabbed him and started trying to help guide him away as quietly as possible. Suddenly, the noises stopped, and they both ducked into a small gap between the shelter and the stone wall.

The giant slowly turned around, allowing them to see its face for the first time. It was largely flat, with only three slits for a nose. It had three eyes, and an enormous mouth full of jagged teeth, hanging open slightly. An unidentifiable piece of meat was hanging from one tooth as it looked around warily, sniffing the air. Much to the boys’ horror, it was clear that the creature had become aware of their presence, even if it didn’t exactly see where they were yet.

Lykou gently nudged Kuna, then gestured behind him, and they started slowly moving further back into the gap they were hiding in, hoping to find a way out of the camp behind the shelter. As they nervously moved, as quietly as possible, they could hear the giant’s footsteps periodically plodding around.

Suddenly, after a few terrifying moments, the sound stopped. The boys, too, paused and tried to listen carefully. They couldn’t even hear the giant’s breathing. Somehow, that made them even more uneasy. Still, they weren’t getting anywhere sitting still, so they continued making their way around the shelter, looking around for a gap in the huge stones.

Finally, they found one, and quickly slipped through it. On the other side, there was a significant slope that they used to quickly make their way down, further away from the terrifying giant camp. When they reached the bottom of the slope, they both took a moment to catch their breath and try to calm their racing hearts. But that was interrupted when they suddenly heard the familiar breathing again- uncomfortably close.

Slowly, they looked up with increasing horror to see the giant staring right at them from a little over a dozen yards away, its club in hand again. They couldn’t quite read its facial expression. Its stare was intense, but it was neither smiling nor scowling, from what they could tell.

Kuna took a shaky step back. Lykou squeezed his hand and looked over at him, before turning back and trying his best to put on a friendly smile. “Um. H-hello there,” he said. “I’m Lykou, and th-this is Kuna. We were-”

“Talking…” the giant suddenly said in a low, rumbling voice. Its eyes glanced back and forth between the two. “Meats… never talk… before. Only… noises...”

Lykou gulped and took a step back with Kuna. They exchanged a look, with Kuna’s eye twitching as he mouthed the word ‘meats’ back to the konuul.

“Uh… w-we’re not-”

“Usually… funny shouty… noises. Then… big squishy,” the giant went on. Slowly, a terrifying grin crept across its face. “Wonder if… talky meats… taste good…”

“Okayrun,” Lykou quickly said, with him and Kuna immediately bolting as the words left his mouth. Only moments later, they were nearly propelled in the air when the massive club slammed the ground right behind them with an enormous, loud thud. Fortunately, they were both fast runners. However, the giant made up for its somewhat slower movements with its enormous stride.

“Fuckfuckfuckfuck,” Kuna started repeating, frantically looking around for any place they might safely hide from the creature.

Lykou did similarly as he reached out to grab his friend’s hand again. “Over here, he’ll catch up if we keep going straight,” he said, pulling the sereva off down another, smaller slope. Behind them, trees snapped and crashed as their pursuer barreled after them. “Our best best is to keep changing things up. Try and confuse him.”

Struggling to keep his panic at bay, Kuna nodded. They briefly split up around a thick cluster of trees, then re-joined on the other side and bolted off to the side among a patch of bushes. The giant slowed down only for a moment before crashing through the stand of trees, causing the massive trunks to go tumbling down the side of the mountain.

They ran as fast as they could, darting back and forth among as many obstacles as they could. Eventually they started making some headway as they circle the mountain’s peak part way, and the giant slowly faded out of sight behind them. They ducked under an overhang and tried to catch their breath as quietly as possible. Once Lykou had calmed down, he looked over to see his friend clearly on the verge of a full-blown panic attack despite his best efforts to keep his fear under control. He quickly scooped the sereva into a hug and stroked his back, trying to comfort him as quietly as possible.

“Shhh, I’ve got you. We’re okay,” he whispered to the sereva soothingly. “As long as we lay low and keep quiet, we’ll be alright.”

Gradually, Kuna managed to stave off the impending attack, then slowly nodded. There were faint tears in his eyes when he finally pulled back, and he focused on steadying his breathing to calm down.

Lykou peeked out from their hiding spot and winced as he looked off the direction they’d run from. He ducked back into hiding before the giant could see him. He briefly peered around the other side, up the slope towards the top of the mountain. Apparently, they’d circled right back around to the gap in the wall they’d originally entered the camp from. “Alright, he’s still out there looking for us. He may be too stubborn to give up any time soon, so as much as neither of us wants to be near it, I think our best bet is to sneak up and cross back through his camp to the other side. He’ll probably be searching this side for a while.”

Kuna clearly didn’t like the idea of leaving their hiding spot, but he couldn’t argue with the konuul’s logic, either. After taking a moment to mentally prepare himself, he nodded to the canid, and they slipped out around the corner as stealthily as possible and started fast-sneaking up towards the encampment. Once they were within the boulder-walled area, they stood more upright and hastened their run as they made their way over to the other side. As they exited the far entry, they descended down the slope and finally got a good look at the other side of the mountain. It was a lot more bare than the side they’d climbed up. In fact, due to the recent rain, there were very large, slick, muddy patches all over the place, filled with the remnants of broken trees and buried brush. They could also see a large stream flowing down the side of the mountain, cascading over a few cliffs in a series of falls.

Suddenly, Kuna yelped and practically leapt into the konuul’s arms as he narrowly avoided a large rock that landed right next to where he’d been standing. As they looked back along that side of the mountain, they saw that the giant had come around and spotted them. It was a good distance off, but it’d started chucking things at them. Another rock roughly the size of Lykou’s torso landed a few feet away, making a small crater where it landed.

“Shit, let’s move!” he exclaimed, and they both started running in the opposite direction, again trying to weave among whatever trees they could find. They were gradually approaching the stream and jumped down the side of a ledge near it. The elevation difference gave them a moment to think. They both looked around frantically for something to use to their advantage.

Suddenly, another massive rock collided with a tree on the other side of the stream, snapping it in half. The impact also knocked loose a huge chunk of its bark. While Kuna looked for another place to hide, Lykou’s eyes narrowed as he started to rapidly glance around down the side of the mountain, taking in the terrain on the way down. Slowly, a grin spread across his face and he looked up at another, similar tree nearby.

Without saying anything, the konuul leapt up onto the other tree and climbed up, intentionally getting within the approaching giant’s line of sight. “Hey asshole, you missed us again!” he shouted to the terror in the distance.

Kuna stared at him in shock. “What the FUCK?!”

“Get over here, quick,” Lykou said, gesturing to the ground next to the tree. “Trust me.”

Kuna’s eye twitched for a moment, but after a clump of dirt and stone exploded on the edge of the cliff behind him, he reluctantly bolted over as instructed. “What the fuck are you doing?!”

“Something incredibly dangerous and stupid,” the konuul explained as he jumped down just in time to avoid another enormous rock shattering the tree above them. “Hang on tight,” he instructed as he swept the sereva out of the way of the falling rock and limbs. Another, larger chunk of wood and bark splintered off and fell near the stream and started sliding down along the edge of the stream. Suddenly, he pulled Kuna and leaped onto the chunk of wood, causing its sliding to pick up speed.

Before long, they were rapidly speeding down the muddy, rocky side of the mountain on the banks of the stream on the chunk of wood. Once he was sure the sereva was holding on tightly, Lykou snapped his spear over his knee, then held one half in each hand. They started to rapidly approach a rock jutting out from the side of the mountain. Using a combination of shifting his weight and grinding the spear halves in the mud, he managed to steer the wood chunk clear of the rapidly-approaching stone.

Kuna held onto the konuul with a death grip. For a brief moment he actually wondered if he was any safer at that point than he would’ve been with the giant. But he hazarded a glance back up the way they’d come, just in time to see the monster sprinting angrily after them suddenly slip in the mud and trip, then go tumbling head over heel, slamming itself painfully off a number of boulders and outcroppings, and through several trees, before eventually coming to a stop at an overhang the two of them had narrowly slipped around a few moments beforehand. The creature twitched a bit, and blood flowed into the stream behind them. If it was still alive, it clearly wasn’t in any condition to continue its pursuit.

Which only left the path ahead of them to terrify the sereva. Somehow, Lykou managed to keep steering the makeshift board around obstacles while keeping the wood sliding in the muddiest, slickest spots on the mountainside. It looked like there had been a full-on mudslide the night before, and chunks of the forest were wiped away, leaving stumps and limbs protruding from the muck. Kuna was sure he could feel bits of bark scraping and chipping away underneath them, and he worried it was only a matter of time before the piece of wood broke apart and sent them hurtling into a painful death.

But somehow, Lykou didn’t seem bothered at all. In fact, when Kuna looked back up at the konuul, he was still grinning. He looked like he was, if anything, excited. Enthusiastic, even. Like it was all a big game, as jagged protrusions of certain death whipped past them the whole way down.

Grabbing Kuna with one arm, the konuul ducked, pulling him down as well, as they narrowly avoided being decapitated by the branch of a still-standing tree. Once they were both standing again- well, half-standing, anyway- he weaved the board back and forth between several more rocks jutting out of the ground. At one point, he actually aimed for one that was pointing the other way, using it as a ramp. For a harrowing moment, they were airborne, passing over a thick patch of fallen trees. They landed a bit roughly in a thick, muddy patch on the other side, then started picking up speed again.

Kuna watched it all in a mixture of terror and awe, then turned back to look at the canid. For a moment things felt like they were in slow motion. There was something in the konuul’s eyes he’d never noticed before. A hyper-focused, yet completely calm look. They darted around in small, rapid movements, presumably taking in everything around them at an accelerated rate. He’d seen Lykou fight fiercely and face danger before, but there was something very different about this. And as the sereva narrowed his eyes and studied his friend’s face, he got a faint feeling something else was going on, just at the edge of his awareness. He wasn’t sure if it was his imagination, but there was the faintest impression that the konuul’s features had a very thin, dull glow on their edges. Everything about him seemed radiant.

Come to think of it, he did remember seeing something like this one time before, although he’d been too distraught himself to consciously take note of it at the time. When Lykou saved him from the spiny, armored monstrosity near the gorge, that gleam had appeared in the konuul’s eyes. The spirit’s commentary on the konuul from the previous night briefly drifted back into his mind.

After a moment, Kuna turned back to face the direction they were heading and everything sped up again. Suddenly, despite the obvious dangers speeding past them- uncomfortably close on multiple occasions- he felt an odd sensation. The fear started to fade, and he inexplicably started to feel a euphoric excitement overtaking him. Despite the obvious, deadly danger whipping around them at a breakneck pace, he began to feel more alive than ever. It was comparable to the feeling he’d experienced at the end of his ‘astral journey’ or whatever the spirit had called it. It was all starting to feel almost like a dream.

Kuna found himself following along with the konuul’s leg movements to try and help steer the board. His grip on the canid loosened as well, though he still held on. Suddenly, they shot off another slope and he felt like they were flying. This jump was much longer, and they got a good look at the landscape ahead of them. The forest was starting to thicken in areas again, and there was a massive waterfall up ahead, pouring into a large, semi-circle shaped canyon.

When they landed, Lykou steered them into the stream. “Hang on,” he said calmly in the sereva’s ear, as he cast aside the spear fragments and pulled out his knife. The sereva tightened his hold again. They hit a rock, causing the board to finally break apart and toss them up into the air, dangerously close to some tree limbs that were hanging out over the water. In a movement so fast Kuna barely saw it happen, Lykou grabbed a thick vine hanging from one of them, severed one end of it, the knife gleaming brighter than usual in the sunlight for the moment it was out, and grabbed the other end tightly, wrapping it around his wrist for extra hold. Their momentum quickly unraveled the vine from the branch it was attached to, just in time for the pair to go sailing out over the edge of the waterfall.

Like the previous time over the gorge, they went soaring out over the falls- only in a much wider arc this time. For the brief, slowed-down moment they were out over it, the view was breathtaking. The entire canyon was full of rich, colorful life, with several other waterfalls along its edges. The sun shined down and refracted in multiple colors through the strangely jewel-like feather tips of a small flock of strange birds that was flying past not far away.

Kuna then looked up to see that the vine was fraying, though Lykou hadn’t seemed to notice, seeing as he was focused on holding on and getting ready to catch something on the return swing. Almost on instinct, Kuna reached up to grab the vine as well with one hand, and summoned up his connection to the flow of life energy, subtly causing the patch that was fraying to regrow. The konuul’s eyes never drifted up enough to see the glowing hand near his.

Finally, they came hurling back towards a large, stout tree, and they both landed their feet on an enormous branch, scrabbling a bit to stop before falling over the other side. Lykou braced himself against the tree and let go of the vine, shaking his sore hand a bit. “That. Was. AWESOME,” he blurted out giddily, then his grin turned slightly more concerned as he looked at the sereva, who was still clinging to him. “Er, you alright?”

Kuna slowly nodded, staring wide-eyed at him. “Y… yeah,” he said softly, unable to take his eyes off the konuul. His heart was still racing, but for once, it wasn’t just because of the adrenaline.

MHO - Chapter 18


Cross-posting catchup for Mystic Heart Odyssey.

For clarification:
Konuul = kind of a wolf + husky hybrid
Sereva = deer (with a little bit of Thompson's gazelle, primarily in terms of markings)
Ursaran = massive tiger + bear hybrid

Posted using PostyBirb

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Literary / Story