Mystic Heart Odyssey
Part 5: The Cult of the Crimson Isles
After the big escape, it’s time for hiding and taking a little break from all the action. But where oh where can they hide~?
Lykou awoke with a slight jolt, but a pair of arms gently caressing him calmed him, especially when his vision got less blurry and he saw Kuna smiling down at him. It was already starting to get dark out, though. “W-… Oh, Ku. Uh… where are we?”
“Hey there, sleepyhead. We’re on the beach out past Hoku’s place, but far enough from the village that we should be alright. For the moment, anyway,” Kuna said, then frowned. “Thank fuck you’re awake. You really had me worried for a bit there.”
The konuul blinked a few times and tried to sit up, but immediately slumped back. “Woah, yeah… I… feel really... weak…”
“Yeah, you really overdid it this time. I can only imagine how much that took out of you, especially after everything else you went through today. I guess it’s a good thing I gave you that bit of essence.” Kuna picked a piece of cooked, salted fish next to him, cringing a little bit as he did so, then brought it to the konuul’s mouth. “Here, eat this.”
Lykou stared at him in surprise. “...that’s meat. Cooked meat. And you’re holding it. In your bare hand.”
“Don’t remind me. Just eat it, you goofball.”
The canid smiled up at him, then grabbed the fish with his mouth before reaching a shaky hand up to hold it while he devoured it, bit by bit. “I’m weak, but… not that weak,” he said after swallowing a mouthful. “But that’s really sweet of you.”
“I guess you’re still just rubbing off on me, big guy,” the sereva replied, smiling back. “Let me know when you want some water.”
“Sure thing.” Lykou ate in silence for a few minutes, with Kuna occasionally handing him some more fish. When he finally slowed down a bit, he gratefully sipped some water after managing to scoot up a bit more, resulting in something of a reversal of their usual cuddling positions. Neither of them particularly minded the change-up, though. “What… happened, exactly? My memory’s kind of a blur right now…”
“Lot of shit. We landed in the water and, in a spectacular turn of luck, Hoku and Kani were just coming back from another fishing trip nearby. So they helped bring us back to the shore, which is a good thing because it’s hard swimming in open water while pulling a soggy unconscious fluffball along,” he teased, booping the canid’s nose softly.
Lykou poked his tongue out playfully, then blinked a few times and turned his head to look around. “Where are they now?”
“They went into the village to get some food and stuff before the Order comes looking for us. We’re going to have to find some place to hide out until we figure out what to do next.”
“Fuck… right… wait, so Kalei went with them?”
“Nah. He’s got my hatchet and he’s out gathering some wood right now for a fire. We may end up slipping out to hide out on one of the other islands again to hide until we figure things out, so it’ll help to already have some firewood with us.”
Lykou blinked a few times as things started coming back to him. “Damn… all our other stuff is still back up at the shrine, isn’t it?”
“Yeah. What’s left of the shrine, anyway,” Kuna replied, then smirked. “I don’t know if you planned it in that… weird state you were in, but nice job wrecking the place on the way down. Good thing our stuff was in the front half and not the back. Maybe if we’re lucky we’ll eventually be able to fetch it.”
“…I… wrecked the shrine…?” Lykou asked in confusion.
“Well, the big rockslide you, er… somehow caused wrecked it, technically. Plus that demon asshole accidentally pelted it with some fireballs meant for us.”
“Woah… shit. I started a rockslide?”
“Mhmm. You don’t remember any of that? You did something new this time. Something I hadn’t seen from you.”
Lykou slowly shook his head. “The last thing I remember was you giving me that essence, and then… oh, fuck, then that bastard show up again and… and started transforming into… some kind of monster.”
“I mean I’d argue he was already a monster, but yeah. Guessing he was bringing out some of the demon.”
“Right… shit. An actual demon host. One that still has his mind intact. Guess not all of them work like ravagers after all.”
“Still a murderous, blood-thirsty freak, but yeah. I’m guessing this one’s a lot more powerful, too. With all that fire shit,” Kuna said, then shuddered. “I’m just glad we got the fuck out alive.”
“Oh good, he’s awake,” Kalei said as he came walking out of the woods, carrying a decent sized load of firewood in his arms. He set it down nearby, then sat down heavily next to the two, eyeing Lykou with fascination. “Those were some amazing things you did earlier,” he said, then narrowed his eyes. “Be honest… are you some kind of spirit in disguise?”
After half a beat, Lykou and Kuna both broke into a snickering fit. “Well this is a first,” the konuul replied in amusement.
“Now you know how it feels,” Kuna said.
“What’s so funny?” Kalei asked in slightly offended confusion.
“Nothing, don’t worry about it,” Lykou said, then shook his head. “No, I’m not a spirit. If you’ll recall, I’m a fleshy, bleedy mortal just like you.”
“Hey, I still don’t know how Kuna does his magic, but at least I’ve seen something like it before. But what you did? That was something else entirely. So I had to ask.”
“Like I said, it’s just a thing he does without thinking about it at the time,” Kuna explained. “We know it’s some kind of magic, but that’s all.”
“Kind of hoping I can figure it out eventually, though. Would be nice to actually be able to consciously do it, instead of it just kind of… happening.”
“I’ll say. With abilities like that, you could probably fight an entire village of enemies without any trouble,” Kalei pointed out. “Although from what I saw, you’re a pretty nasty fighter already as it is, heh.”
Lykou frowned. “Only when I need to be. Wish I wouldn’t need to so much lately, though,” he said, then sighed. “Inkari’s such a piece of work for putting us through all this…”
“Inkari… oh yeah, Kuna mentioned her before,” Kalei said, scratching his head. “She’s the one that sent you on this wild journey and taught you magic, right?”
“Mhmm. It’s her fault we’re in this mess,” Kuna said bitterly, his eye twitching slightly as he stared into the distance.
“Well… I’m at least glad you opened my eyes to the truth about the Order and everything. But damn, what do we do now? The island’s being run by a monster working for a demon.”
“Yeah, that’s what we have to figure out. Besides probably blocking our path to the next arch, there’s got to be something we can do to stop the bastard….s,” Kuna said, adding the ‘s’ after a moment as he thought about it.
“Woah, hey, look at you,” Lykou chimed in with a smirk. “Usually you’re the one warning me about getting too involved in things.”
“Yeah well… this is a demon we’re talking about, after all,” Kuna said, squinting as he thought. “I don’t know what we can do, but I can’t stomach the idea of just… letting him continue his reign over this place.”
“Woah, hold on, time out,” Kalei said. “Are you actually suggesting we try and, what, kill him? Er, them. Whatever. That’s insane! They’ve got the whole order on their side, and even without them, together they’re an insane, powerful, fuckin’… demonic demigod or something. What can we do against that??”
Kuna sighed. “I don’t know, but… we’ve got to do something.”
“Hey, maybe we can ask Lana and Daisy,” Lykou pointed out.
“Oh hey, that’s true. They probably know a thing or two about dealing with demons.”
“Who are Lana and Daisy?” Kalei asked. “There someone else out on that other island I don’t know about or something?”
“Nah. They’re a long way away at this point, but we have a way of talking to them in the astral realm,” Kuna said, grinning at first, but then his grin faded. “Dammit. They’re probably back with our things, though.”
“Not necessarily. Remember what they said about those things.”
“Back up. What things? And what’s the ‘astral realm’?”
“The dream world, basically. Or part of it. Still a little unclear on the details, but it’s this place that’s kind of like… inside your soul that you can visit in your sleep. Certain people and spirits that are really good with the right kind of magic- like, really, really good- can visit the astral realms of other people.”
Lykou beamed. “And Aelana and Daisy are the only person we’ve met that can match Inkari in terms of magical power.”
“You mean people?”
“It’s… complicated with those two,” Kuna said with a slightly awkward grin. “Wish we could introduce you, but like I said, they’re a long way from here.”
“We have these two magical… things they gave us that let us call on them when we go to sleep, and if they’re not busy, they come visit us in our dreams. But only one of us can use ours at a time and we can’t bring anyone else in with us.”
“And so far I’m the only one of us to use it,” Kuna said, then smirked down at the konuul laying in his lap. “Which means its your turn to explore the astral realm. And potentially get embarrassed.”
Lykou smirked back. “At least I’m not as easy to fluster as you.”
“Is that a challenge?”
“Embarrassed?” Kalei asked, confused. “What do you mean?”
“Yyyyeahhhh… since you’re visiting the inside of your soul, more or less, that means all your inner thoughts, dreams, fantasies, memories, etc. are out on display for anyone that’s visiting to potentially take a peek at them,” Kuna said, blushing slightly. “Plus, your surface thoughts have a tendency to announce themselves out loud even if you’re trying to keep them to yourself. Which can get pretty awkward at times.”
“Oh jeeze, I can imagine. Eesh.”
“Mhmm. So have fun with that, fluffbutt,” Kuna teased Lykou, grinning. “I expect to hear aaaallll about it afterwards.”
“I bet you do. Just remember, I can always find ways to fluster you right back,” the canid said, grinning.
Kalei glanced back and forth between the two for a moment as something started to occur to him, then he started to smirk faintly. He was a bit slower than others at picking up on such things, but even for him, certain things were hard to miss. “Wait, are you tw-”
“GUYS!” Makani called out in the distance, running up with a basket full of fish. Hokulani was running right along behind her with a box full of fruit and other supplies. “Guys get up, we gotta run!”
“Oh shit, this doesn’t look good,” Kuna said, straightening up. Lykou sat up as well, and the sereva helped him shakily get to his feet. “Are you strong enough to move?”
“Yeah, the food helped I think,” Lykou said, holding onto his friend as he wavered slightly. “Probably better not try to carry anything heavy just yet, though.”
“Oh good, hi Lykou!” Makani said as she reached the trio. “Good thing you’re up, we gotta run away now.”
“The Order already has scouts searching the coast. Apparently whatever you did up there has the Speaker fucking pissed. They’re searching everyone’s homes and everything, saying a group of demons attacked the shrine,” Hoku explained, then looked over at the konuul. “Glad you’re alright, but hope you’re ready to really move, before they get here.”
“Yeah, but where to? Can we get out on the water again fast enough to escape and get to one of the other islands? Even a little one?”
“No, they’re actively watching for any boats leaving the island. They’ve taken some for themselves and are already prepping them, just in case. They’d just end up following us wherever we go.”
“Oh fuck, this isn’t good,” Kalei said, clutching his head. “I was really hoping for a longer break from running…”
“They’ll probably s-search the forest a-around here thoroughly, too,” Kuna said, starting to get a bit panicked. “Shit…”
As the group debated and discussed what to do, Hoku glanced around warily. Finally, she interjected, “I know where we can hide.”
“Oh? Where??” Lykou asked.
“Ohohoh! Do we finally get to see your secret getaway place?!” Makani said excitedly.
“She sometimes runs off when she wants to be alone and nobody can find her for hours! One time she was even gone for a whole day!”
Hoku sighed and rolled her eyes up. “Yes, Kani, my secret getaway place,” she conceded, then glanced over at the boat, where they’d left a basket of their catch behind, just in case. “Follow me, and someone grab the rest of the fish. Kalei, you got some firewood, right?”
“Yeah, but we can’t light a fire anywhere around here or they’ll-”
“Trust me, just bring it.”
Kuna, Lykou, and Kalei shared a look, then Kalei shrugged and collected the firewood again, while Kuna fetched the other fish.
“You got that alright, Ku?” the canid asked.
“Y-yeah. It’s a smaller one, I’ll be fine,” the sereva said, grunting as he picked up the basket. He visibly winced as he did so, but not from any physical strain. “I hope this place isn’t too far though.”
Hoku shot him a sympathetic look and walked over. “Here, trade,” she said with a smirk, setting the box of fruit down at his feet. “You’ll probably be the one eating most of this for now anyway.”
The sereva smiled appreciatively and handed her the basket, then grunted as he hefted the box into his arms. “Thanks.”
“No problem.” Hoku took a deep breath, seemingly trying to push off some anxiety. “Alright guys, follow me.”
They walked along the beach near the treeline, away from the village and towards the massive cliffs that loomed over the one side of the island. Along the way, Lykou picked up a branch to use as a walking stick to lean on and steady himself with. Kani continued asking questions about details of their past couple of days, which Lykou, Kuna, and a somewhat distracted Kalei did their best to answer. Kalei kept shooting nervous glances back over his shoulder, half expecting to see a group of red cloaks charging out of the brush after them. The only one that didn’t talk at all was Hoku. Kuna couldn’t help but feel like something was slightly off with her, especially when their path began meandering a bit.
So, while the others were distracted with talking, he slipped up next to her and lowered his voice. “Uh, Hoku? I don’t mean to pry, but I think we’ve past those trees before. You sure you remember where you’re taking us?”
The raptuva’s eyes darted around anxiously. “Yeah, no, I… I’m just not used to doing this after sunset is all,” she explained with a nervous grin.
The sereva was skeptical, but he didn’t pray. Their path stopped meandering and straightened out after that. Eventually they could hear the waterfall in the distance, though it wasn’t the direction they were headed. In fact, oddly enough, they ended up back at the beach, next to the cliff.
“Uh, this is a dead end,” Kalei pointed out. “Why are we back on the beach??”
“It, um… it’s n-not a dead end,” Hoku replied, then took a deep breath and set her basket down. She immediately began fidgeting uncomfortably. “I um… I just have to, uh… do something.” She gulped, then looked over at Kuna. “And… by the way, you and I should… do some more talking after this, Kuna. You’ll, um… see what I mean.”
Everyone gave her confused looks. “What are you-”
Suddenly, she looked out at the water and manifested a blue aura around her hands, stunning the others into silence. The water lapping up against the shore started to warp and flow strangely, eventually lifting up and forming a whirling tunnel of water. “...ta-da?” she said with a sheepish grin.
While the others gawked at her, Kuna slowly grinned, then started stepping forward ahead of the others. “I knew it. I had a feeling there was something special about you,” he said, then turned back to the others. “Well come on. I imagine this isn’t easy to maintain, so lets not keep her waiting, guys.”
“Ohmygoshyoucandomagicholyfrick!” Makani said, rushing over to her and bouncing with excitement. She then suddenly pouted. “And you were keeping this secret from me all this time?!”
Kuna cleared his throat. “Talk later, tunnel time now.”
“Yeahhh, Kuna’s right,” Hoku said, glancing back over towards the water. “I can’t hold this forever. F-follow me,” she said, then smiled appreciatively at the sereva as she passed. “Thanks…”
The group followed her down into the water until the tide was well over their heads and they were past the end of the cliffs that jutted out over the water. Hoku then turned and led them around the corner, with the tunnel opening ahead of them and closing up behind them as they went. It was a bit disconcerting to watch, especially with how dark the water was at night. The ground was also littered with slick patches of seaweed and the occasional profoundly confused and distressed fish, crabs, and so on wondering why their world suddenly got so dry. Fortunately, just enough moonlight was shining down through the water that they could avoid stepping on anything they really didn’t want to.
Eventually, they arrived at what ordinarily would have been an underwater opening at the base of the cliffs and entered. It led up a steady incline into a cave lined with glowing Pelenock Teeth. As they carefully ascended the slick stone floor, the water closed up behind them with a faint ‘glug’ sound. A bit further up, they entered into a more open area that also had a number of little slits and gaps in the rock on one side, allowing some starlight and moonlight into the chamber from the outside world. Hoku set her basket down as the others entered behind her, and leaned back against the wall with a sigh. Down another passage, they could hear the faint sound of water rushing. “Well… welcome to my secret little ‘getaway’ as Kani called it. Part of the falls leak in down that passage if you want to clean up or get a drink. Just be careful not to slip. An uh… make yourself as comfortable as you can, heh...”
The others set down their respective containers and Lykou carefully sat down against a cave wall himself. “Wow… this place is oddly beautiful, even as dark as it is.”
“I’ll say,” Kuna agreed, then turned back to Hoku as he sat down next to Lykou. “Thanks for bringing us here. And uh… sharing your other secret with us, too,” he added with a grin. “Water magic, huh?”
“Yeahhhh water magic,” Hoku said, holding herself with a sheepish, self-conscious expression. “I… kept it secret so the Order wouldn’t find out…”
“Well, knowing what we do now, I’d say that was smart thinking,” Kalei said as he sat down next to the firewood he’d set aside. “Still wondering how you knew, though.”
“I mean, when everyone that knows magic ends up getting taken away, you tend to get a little paranoid,” Hoku said defensively. “Didn’t it ever seem at least a little suspicious to you that somehow they all suddenly started being accused of ‘consorting with demons’ out of nowhere?”
“I…” Kalei sighed and rubbed his head, averting his gaze. “I’m… probably the wrong one to ask that, honestly.”
“Given the implications about what they wanted to do with me, I hate to think what became of them all,” Kuna said with a frown.
“Yeah, they talked about some ‘prison camp’ on the other side of the mountain for the ones that supposedly survived the... ‘purification’ thing, as they called it,” Lykou added, scowling. “But something tells me there’s no camp.”
“Still! I can’t believe you kept this from me, Hoku,” Makani said, crossing her arms and shooting her friend a pouty look.
“No offense, Kani, but you know how much of a chatterbox you can be. I couldn’t take any chances,” Hoku said, wincing a bit. “Believe me, I didn’t like keeping it a secret.”
“So how long have you been able to use water magic?” Kuna asked curiously. “How did that even, er… happen? I can’t imagine you had someone to teach you, what with the Order around and all.”
“Well, it’s kind of… instinctual?” Hoku replied, sliding down to the floor finally. “I started feeling the flow of water energy after a series of strange, vague dreams that happened after that… encounter I told you about when I was a kid.”
“Oh wow,” Kuna said with wide eyes. “Sounds like you were initiated into it by that… god-thing.”
“WOAH, wait, what??” Kalei asked. “God thing???”
“Ehehehe… yeahhh,” Hoku replied anxiously. “When I was a kid I had a very… dramatic experience out in the ocean.”
“Kuna mentioned it to me,” Lykou replied. “Sounds pretty scary.”
“Ohhhh, you mean that story you told me ages ago was real??” Makani asked, wide eyed.
Makani suddenly wilted a bit and gave her a sheepish look, then plopped down next to her and embraced her a little too tightly. “I’m so sorry I doubted youuuu!”
“Erk!” Hoku smiled a bit awkwardly and patted her friend’s arm as she slightly struggled to breath. “S’alright… air please, Kani...”
The other raptuva loosened her grip. “No, I should’ve listened! You’ve been telling me all these things for ages and I just thought they were stories, for fun, but now it sounds like they’re all real afterall!”
“Uh, can someone fill me in on this little story please??” Kalei asked, somewhat frustrated. “You can’t just say you met a ‘god-thing’ and not explain!”
“Er, right…” Hoku said, then sighed and proceeded to tell the story. “And, well… yeah. That’s around the time I started feeling water energy and figuring out how I could manipulate it.”
“Okay, so that makes two real gods that are still around, apparently,” Kalei sighed. “I guess there’s some weird comfort in that…”
Hoku forrowed her brow. “Huh? Two??”
“Oh. Yeah. Apparently Whironui is still around too. Or at least one of his little, er…” he faltered, scrambling for the right word. “...minions? is.”
“Minion has entirely the wrong connotation for Sunny, especially given how helpful he’s been,” Lykou pointed out. “I don’t know what the right word is, but that’s not it?”
Hoku stared wide-eyed at them. “Whironui’s still around too? And… you met a kikomanu??”
“Yep! We actually met him when we first showed up on the other island,” Lykou pointed out. “Of course, at the time we just thought he was a funny, charming bird. We didn’t know his background at the time.”
“We named him Sunshine, and he seems to like it,” Kuna added.
“Ohhhhh, I think I remember you mentioning those guys,” Makani said after a moment. “They’re like the other talking birds, but with special markings and extra-actual-smarts, right?”
Hoku nodded. “Yeah, basically,” she said, then turned back to the others. “I thought they were all gone though…”
“Well, there’s at least one left.”
“It’s thanks to him we’re even here, frankly,” Kalei chimed in. “He’s the one that made me see the light- pun not intended- and helped Lykou escape.”
“Yeah that little guy is really something else...”
“Where is he now??” Hoku asked, clearly fascinated with the prospect of seeing more actual, tangible evidence of the old stories she always loved.
“He flew off saying ‘report’ after we- er, mostly Lykou- dealt with the Speaker’s thugs guarding me up on the mountain.”
“Hey, he and Kalei helped,” Lykou insisted.
“Hah. We distracted them while you went murder-mode, big guy,” Kalei said with a faint smirk, then looked at the other two raptuva. “You should have seen this guy up there. He was a beast! Don’t ever get on his bad side.”
Lykou folded his ears down and looked away. “Ehehe… I guess…” he said, then frowned and wrapped an arm around Kuna. “Just… don’t ever try and take someone important from me.”
Kuna smirked and wrapped his arm around the konuul as well, cuddling up to him in return. “Hey, if you’re going to go all brutal-violence mode, at least you do it out of defense of those you care about.”
“Yeah, what he said,” Kalei agreed. “Didn’t mean to belittle the situation. But that was impressive as fuck, Lykou. To say nothing of that crazy magic thing you did afterwards to get us out of there.”
Lykou’s smile returned faintly. “Heh… thanks.”
“All that aside… if that kikomanu went to ‘report’ to Whironui after helping you guys, that’s a good sign, I think. Means the other old gods must still be around after all. Maybe they can help, somehow.”
“Well… maybe. But I don’t think waiting around waiting for spirits to solve things is a particularly productive idea,” Kuna pointed out. “They’ve got their own things to deal with. And if they could directly intervene, I’m sure they would have by now.”
“True…” Hoku sighed. “So what are we going to do?”
Kuna yawned. “That’s… a very good question. For now though, frankly, I’m exhausted beyond measure.”
“Same,” Lykou agreed. “Even on this hard floor, I’m about ready to conk out any minute here.”
“Yeah, sorry, I would have grabbed some cushions and stuff to sleep on, but we kind of left in a hurry,” Hoku said, rubbing her arm.
“Eh. We’ll make do,” Kalei said, then sighed. “I’m kind of used to a bit of discomfort lately anyway.”
“Still, tomorrow morning maybe a couple of us can sneak out and grab some more things if we need to.”
“Sure,” Lykou said, then stretched and yawned himself. “In the meantime, we should all get some shut-eye.”
“Sounds good. I guess just… everyone make yourself as comfortable as you can for tonight.”
Makani looked around, then picked a spot and sprawled out while the others adjusted their positions. “...at least it’s warm in here.”
“Yeah, I guess it’s a good thing too, since we don’t have any blankets.”
“Er. Why did I collect firewood by the way?” Kalei asked.
“We can start a fire if we need to. The smoke should go out the holes up there and nobody will notice it before it dissipates, because they’re on the sea-side of the cliffs,” Hoku explained.
“How though? Everything’s kind of… mildly damp around here. Not much for kindling.”
“I have a couple loose Pelenock Teeth around here. If you strike them together hard enough, they make sparks that-”
“Er, what are ‘Pelenock Teeth’?”
Hoku sighed and frowned. “...the things everyone insists on calling the ‘Tears of Tuimana’ these days. But especially now, more than ever, I say we ditch that fucking name.”
Kalei frowned. “Yeah, good point. But where did you get that name?”
“Really?” Hoku said, arching a brow. “Am I the only one that remembers the old stories? I figured you’d know if you knew about Whironui and such.”
“Hey, give me a break. I grew up in a mountain village. It’s a miracle I even knew that much.”
“Oof. Fair enough.”
“Pelenock were these really bitey spirit things that ate rocks and spat fire, apparently. After a while they’d spit out their old teeth as new ones grew in,” Makani chimed in, then grinned over at Hoku. “See? I do pay attention.”
Hoku smirked back at her. “Yeah, close enough. Appreciate it.”
Kalei looked at the glowing stone fragments embedded in the cave walls, then smirked. “Pelenock Teeth huh? ...I like it. Definitely less pretentious than ‘Tears’.”
“Right??” Hoku said with a grin. “Fuck… as awful as the situation is, it also feels good to feel vindicated,” she added, then sighed as her grin faded. “I hate to think of what happened to all those people the Order took, though.”
“Yeah…” Kalei agreed, looking away with a small amount of guilt. “To think I got swept up in all that…”
“Hey, the important thing is you’re a good guy now!” Makani pointed out. “And I mean, fuck, almost everyone believes in the Order’s nonsense to some extent. Even me, before now.” She smirked and shot her friend a playful look. “Not everyone can be as suspicious and smart as miss paranoid skeptic over here.”
Hoku crossed her arms and arched a brow. “Hey, it’s officially not paranoia if it turns out I’m right, you know.”
“She has a point,” Kalei agreed with a chuckle. He then glanced over to Lykou and Kuna, who had shifted away from the wall and quickly fallen asleep in each others’ arms at some point during the conversation. He smirked. “Hey, you two met them before I did. Are those two… y’know…?”
Makani grinned. “Oh they’re toooootally fuckin’.”
“Kani!” Hoku chastised. “Don’t go jumping to such wild conclusions!”
“I mean, they do look pretty… y’know,” Kalei continued, amused. “Can’t really deny that.”
Hoku glanced at the two, then smirked and shrugged. “If they are, they never said anything about it. But it’s rude to speculate.” She eyed them some more, then giggled lightly. “But yeah, obviously they’re pretty close at the very least.”
“Lykou damn near killed himself trying to break out of his cell and then went on a murderous rampage, all out of fear for Kuna’s well-being. And Kuna was willing to sacrifice his own life for Lykou’s,” Kalei pointed out, then grinned at the two. “And now look at them. I know I’m not the brightest ray of sunshine, but if they’re really ‘just friends’…”
“Like I said. They’re totally doing it,” Makani reiterated with another giggle.
“Or else they’re only fooling themselves.”
Hoku smirked and rolled her eyes. “Maybe. But like I said, it’s rude to speculate. Come on you two, let’s get some sleep,” she said, then looked over at Kalei. “From what you guys told us, I’m surprised you’re not already out yourself.”
“Eh. Guess I’ve gotten slightly used to sleep deprivation,” Kalei said, then thought for a moment. Slowly, a smile spread across his face. “You know, one big bright side of being out of the order and off that damned mountain?”
“...no more fucking assholes bossing me around,” he said with an elated expression. “Oh fuck yes. Rock floor or no, I’m going to sleep so fucking well now knowing I don’t have to wake up to some asshole shouting in my face.” He yawned and stretched, then flopped over on his side. “On that note, g’night!”
A little lull in the action and some overdue cuddletiem... and aomeone's got a secret to reveal~