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Equine 99yo Female, Average & Average Native 36 posts 0 Honor 698 ☪ Pyro
#1
She is just so bored. The dark bay mare is laying on her side a few paces away from the edge of the canyon at the base of the spiraling mountain. If her mind hadn’t created about a thousand scenarios of how she could slip and end up rolling down the cliffs if she tried to climb it, she might have been doing something interesting right now. But today fear and doubt had won over her need to explore and that makes her feel even more awful about herself. The sound of the water crashing at the bottom of the canyon is not loud enough to silence her mental berating. Finally, she’s had enough. Rising to her sturdy legs she gives the mountain her best glare. She has to become better, stronger, and the only way to do that is to show herself and the whole world what she can do whatever she sets her mind to. So here in front of no one in particular she is going to try to climb this mountain. And hopefully not die…
 
Her first few steps are strong and sure but as soon as the incline starts to rise her legs seem to weaken. Is the air thinner up here already? She could use a break, after all she’s probably half way up, right? Turning to look behind her she realizes she is but a few meters off the ground. “Oh blubber!” She says under her breath. The mare resumes her climb, taking her time to pick the next spot for each of her four hooves. This slows her down considerably but at least she is sure that she will not die. There better be a horse version of paradise up at the top for it to be worth all this effort. She keeps near the waterfall so as to not lose her future way down, the soft mist also keeps chase away the udane heat. A piece of moss catches her eye. She pokes it with a hoof and it springs up after the pressure is released. Water soaks the edges of her foot, it’s an impressive amount for that little piece of green. A small smile forms on her face as she plays with the bouncy object. Raising her eyes, she looks at the mountain with new eyes. Now it isn’t a great big challenge but a green playground to be enjoyed. Her smile widens into a grin as she continues the climb.  

@Juryoku
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Canine 312yo Male, Tall & Thin Immigrant 38 posts 0 Honor 721 ☪ Eclair
#2
JurYoku
And I hold such hope in a song that saved my life

Claws gripped onto rock, and his hind legs dug against the wall of this canyon. Within his maw was a large branch he retrieved from the river below. Now with it in his possession, he would climb his way back to where his little abode lies. It would be one of the few hideaways he’d have scattered about the sector. This would be a start—living on his very own. Death could no longer provide him company nor could he go running back to his grandfather. Regrets were spoken and promises made. He would find a way to make it, to become better than the disgrace he was to the elder’s eye.

His chest rose and fell with each heavy breath. Having made it to the top of the canyon, he tossed the branch over onto flat ground as he then pulled himself onto the mossy surface. While he paused to catch his breath, he noticed a creature lying farther up from where he was. Juryoku thought nothing of it, picking up the branch before him and carrying it off to his hidden abode. Though once the tree limb was put away, he was back out at the canyon, scanning the waters below for anymore supplies.

Steps would bring him upstream—the song of the waterfall growing louder as he drew near. Despite how it roared throughout the quietness of this territory, the calming energy it produced had helped his mind hush away those thoughts that whirred within it. How it could quiet his uncertainty, the fear that lingered deep inside. Snapping his attention back to reality, whiskers reached out to the spot where he had initially seen that equine creature. They took in a scent and wiggled in the direction where the trail went off to. Curious, he tracked down where this stranger had gone; his gaze soon falling upon the horse that attempted to climb this mountain.

Juryoku watched the mare struggle with an amused look plastered on his face. It seemed she hasn’t done much climbing before nor was a mountain animal by heart in general. With a light snort, the whiskered canine began ascending the mountain as well. Springy steps brought him closer as the soft moss and grass beneath his paws made the climb less taxing on the bones. Not a second later was he slightly above her, slowing himself to match her pace. “What awaits you beyond here?” he calls down to her with a tilt of his head. “Although slow, you’ve quite the spirit,” he chuckled, speaking loud enough so that the waterfall hadn’t drowned his voice.



@Klaia
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Equine 99yo Female, Average & Average Native 36 posts 0 Honor 698 ☪ Pyro
#3
She is still so enamored by the nature around her when she realizes that she is not alone. Perhaps it is that her horse nose is less sharp than the canine’s or that the mist coming off the water hides his scent, but Klaia does not notice the stranger until he is right beside her. Luckily even if her nose is not that great, her horse eyes are perfect for detecting any sign of movement. After all her ancestors had to run from predators. How tacky right? When she turns her head to find the tall grey wolf she nearly leaps three meters into the air. Instead she manages to dial it down to a surprised chortle. He seems at home in this mountain, moving with such ease that jealousy instantly clamps on the mare’s heart. If only she could excel at something like that. If only she could fake that everything was so easy for her, instead of being the lumbering sack of flesh she is. The wolf soon goes past her and she begs her limbs to move a little quicker. Blue eyes spark with determination.

His voice reaches her ears among the misty air, her audits rotating to hear him better. What awaits her? She had not really thought about the top. A mean little voice inside her head whispers that maybe she would not even reach it. Quick Klaia! Think of something witty and interesting to say. She clears her throat so that she doesn’t give away how breathless she truly is at the moment. “Have you never heard that sometimes the journey important than the destination?" She replies, her voice surprisingly smooth. The wolf then compliments her spirit but criticizes her speed. With a huff, the mare’s walls go up. “Some of us don’t have handy claws to hold on if we fall. I could totally go faster if I wanted to.” If she were any more of a petulant child she would have stuck out her tongue at the man. Even if her pride is bruised having someone else next to her keeps her mind off the difficulty of the climb. Since she does not want him to leave she decides to bait him with a question. “What are you looking for up here?” Maybe he just likes bothering horses and other creatures that don’t possess his swiftness. Well if he kept pushing it he would receive a very swift kick in the butt. At least mentally, because Klaia is unsure she could lift a foot and not roll down the mountain. Why wasn’t she born a freaking Pegasus? She’d love to see the look on the wolf’s face as she took off and reached the top in a few wing flaps. He would be the slow poke then. Unless he was a pegawolf too.

@Juryoku
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Canine 312yo Male, Tall & Thin Immigrant 38 posts 0 Honor 721 ☪ Eclair
#4
JurYoku
And I hold such hope in a song that saved my life

The sound to come from the horse made him pause with a look of bafflement. Had he really caught her off guard? Letting another small laugh fall from his lips, he kept climbing along with the mare. Without a word, Juryoku watched how the equine moved and the way she was planning her steps. He’d hold his tongue over the trivial things—any little missteps that had not truly mattered. His legs paused their climbing to allow the stranger to catch up with him. Until both he and her were even in place, the whiskered fellow would continue forth with just a few inches between them.

His gills expanded wide as he tried to take in the mist from this outpouring. Most had rushed through his nose with a heavy inhale, but it cooled and contented his core all the same. One of his ears swiveled back to give attention to the mare’s response. She was not wrong, and so he could not argue. However, her next set of words made Juryoku spout a deep “ha!” as a shake of his head followed suit. “Bighorns hadn’t claws either, but you don’t see them fearing a little fall,” he said with a small smirk. Although on a whole other spectrum than a horse, the male has seen how well those sheep fare without “handy claws”. It made him wonder if any were around here or upon Ourania—this would be a lovely place for them to relax about.

Juryoku hopped down onto the path the horse seemed to follow on this climb, taking the lead. As her next question reached his ears, a little hum had come before any words. Well, in all honesty, the canine was simply being noisy, not really looking for anything. But before then, he searched this territory for objects to bring back to his many hideaways he had spread about this place. So... “I’m looking for many things. Whatever seems useful. I hadn’t checked the summit so here I am,” the canine answered as he looked over his shoulder at the mare. Why not do two things at once—keep a look out for anything handy while also accompanying this stranger.

“What is your name? Watch your step here.” There were a few gaps in the path, but nothing major should the mare not misplace a step.



@Klaia
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Equine 99yo Female, Average & Average Native 36 posts 0 Honor 698 ☪ Pyro
#5
TELL ME SOMETHING I DON'T KNOW

Each laugh makes the pit in Klaia’s stomach deepen, she knows he means no harm but her mind cannot help but to take it as an attack. What truly bothers her is not what he thinks of her but what she thinks about herself and her self-confidence is not the best. She feels a little better when the wolf waits so that they can walk side by side up. At least he thinks she’s worthy company. The mare is determined to make herself and the stranger see that she is not clumsy mule. Equines of Ourania are known for being fast and swift, apparently those genes skipped a generation with her. The reply to her complaint about being clawless surprises and, frankly impresses her. But this does not mean she’ll let him have the last word. She searches her brain for anything filed under bighorns. “Surely they are using some black magic then.” The woman cannot think of a better comeback right now. She’ll be thinking about bighorns tonight as she tries to fall asleep. Anyway, she is much more interested in the answer to her question.

The hum causes her ears to flutter with impatience. His response is vague and mysterious in true canine fashion. What could be useful to him? After all, as the word said it required the item to have a certain use. There has to be something in mind for him to look for a tool. That information is not disclosed to her. Curiosity stirs in her stomach but she decides not to push the man on it. Instead she replied in a smooth voice, “Whatever is up there better be worth it. Not only going up but having to go down.” Honestly, she thinks going down will be tougher, a single slip and she’ll be taking the express train to sore butt station. He then asks for her name but immediately issues a warning that distracts her. She stops dead in her tracks. Looking down at the cracks, she tiptoes past them making sure each hoof is placed with laser-like precision. Once she’s past the obstacle she shakes her head to jog her memory. Oh yes, her name! “Klaia. My name is Klaia.” She says as her eyes rise from the floor to find the wolf’s face. “Pleased to meet you Mister …” Letting her voice trail off for him to insert his own name, she slowly speeds up again to resume her old pace.

@Juryoku
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Canine 312yo Male, Tall & Thin Immigrant 38 posts 0 Honor 721 ☪ Eclair
#6
JurYoku
And I hold such hope in a song that saved my life

He shook his head at what appeared to be a retort from the mare. A little snort found its way out of the canine; Juryoku then decided to let his company have her victory in this arising battle of remarks. He wanted her to focus on her footing for the time being, instead of getting the next punch in with what he had to say. For now, his tongue would hold the words that waited to roll off of it, burying them back with a chuckle.

This path was becoming intricate. While he searched for a better trail to lead the horse onto, another note left his maw when hearing her next words. What often rested at the top of mountains? He should know with having lived on the peaks all his life until now. There lie snow, rocks, some grass, maybe a nice little stream. Though, whatever unique discovery he had made did he make the best of it. Whatever is up here, it would be worth it. Whether the mare would take it well for what it may be right then and there, he was ready for a laugh.

Klaia is her name. He made sure it would be remembered—well, when has he ever forgotten such things? Juryoku waited for her to cross over those few gaps before continuing onward. She had a point in regards to climbing back down. There has to be a trail “safer” for descending, at least for a novice climber like her. The monochrome fellow would have to check for said trail once they conquer this mountain; but that will come later, for now he must look for a better route than the one they followed.

“Oh, Juryoku is my given,” he said, realizing he never answered Klaia as his eyes searched this mountain. “A pleasure to meet you as well.” Those words drifted with his mind elsewhere. They were coming a bit too close to the waterfall where things could get wet and slippery. He pivoted and hopped onto a different path that could lead them farther up and away from the falls—though it was one that would require some maneuvering. “You think you can do this, or would you like to take a gamble with a slicker climb?” he asked. She’d have to turn her body around to clamber her way onto this new path, so Juryoku allowed the mare to weigh her options.



@Klaia
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Equine 99yo Female, Average & Average Native 36 posts 0 Honor 698 ☪ Pyro
#7
TELL ME SOMETHING I DON'T KNOW


She’s glad the wolf stops the back and forth of arguments because she didn’t have enough self-control to do it and trying to split her attention between the path and coming up with excuses is tiring. The mare lets her focus drift back to keeping her balance as she goes up the mountain. It is getting harder to find good footing; the floor is more uneven and the incline steeper. Her breathing is becoming more labored but she tries to keep her same pace. Where she lacks air, she oozes willpower. The whiskered canine does not offer reassurance about what might be at the top of the mountain. Well she is already here so going down is not an option. Even if there is nothing at the summit there would be a place for her to rest and gather her courage for the descent. Her concentration is so great that the silence after she asks the stranger for his name does not affect as greatly as it usually would. Those formalities were just part of a conversation. Does a name really matter? Would they ever see each other again after this? She’s not sure.

Eventually he does reply, it is an interesting name, maybe from another dialect for she has not heard anything like it before. Her lips stretch into a pleasant smile as a response. He said something about it being his given and that puzzles her. “Do you go by something else then?” Why would he give her a name he did not want to called by? Perhaps he had thought of the temporary character of this meeting as well. Her new acquaintance then changes paths, this new one goes further from the fall. At his question, her smile falters. Her eyes fly over to the rushing water. The falls were not only beautiful, they represented a way to go back where she came from. Her trail of crumbs. Could she trust him to bring her back to safety afterwards? No, probably not. But trying to climb near the slick wet rocks by herself would be a suicide mission. As long as there is no smoke where they are going she should not be in real trouble. Pursing her lips and giving a small nod she turns back to the wolf. “Ok, let’s go.” She says as she attempts to climb around him and take the lead on this new path.


@Juryoku
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Canine 312yo Male, Tall & Thin Immigrant 38 posts 0 Honor 721 ☪ Eclair
#8
JurYoku
And I hold such hope in a song that saved my life

With the mare’s choice spoken, Juryoku reached for a small ledge above and pulled himself onto it. It was to give Klaia enough space to climb without having to smash him into the mountain wall. He sat there and watched with a tilt of his head. The question she asked earlier replayed in his mind, wondering what she meant by “something else”. There was nothing else for that was his name. Perhaps how he spoke it wasn’t often heard upon this land. Either that or the formality engraved onto his soul had peeked out.

Looking back at the waterfall and breathing in its mist once more, he shook his head and chuckled. “There is nothing else. That is it,” he answered, standing up. Well, she could shorten his name, but the fellow wasn’t super fond of nicknames—especially from those he did not put his full trust in. As he let out a sigh, Juryoku waited for the equine to get a few inches ahead before hopping down from his perch. A part of him worried how his company would fare upon a sheerer incline, but if she had made it this far, was there really anything to worry about?

A switch clicked on in his core while they drew closer to high altitudes. His mind and body were far more at home now; the beating of his heart drumming up to his ears. A month it has been since he walked the peaks. The canine was tempted to remain up here for sometime, so he could cherish what all he left behind back at home. Crimson eyes gazed down to see remnants of the river in which flowed through the canyon. He took in the view from where they climbed, a few sweet notes leaving his maw in a small melody.

“Perhaps we should slow. You wouldn’t want to have mountain sickness when we get there, hm?” he suggested, looking up to see how much more they had to climb. “We hadn’t much more to go. We could... no,” he held the rest of that sentence. Juryoku forgets the mare wasn’t nimble enough nor had the claws needed to claw their way up to the top. And although it was easy enough for him to do so, he remained following Klaia.



@Klaia
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Equine 99yo Female, Average & Average Native 36 posts 0 Honor 698 ☪ Pyro
#9
TELL ME SOMETHING I DON'T KNOW



It seems so easy for the canine to move around on the mountain’s surface. To keep herself from feeling too jealous the mare tried to rationalize through it. She is bigger in size and therefore, it is harder to maneuver her body around the narrow path. Hopefully this is about anatomy more than skill. They manage to tiptoe their way around each other and soon Klaia is venturing forward. In her mind, she is a brave explorer taming lands unknown to her kind, Juryoku can be her loyal sidekick or the local guide that every hero or heroine needs to warn them of the dangers to face but lead them to summit anyway.

The man’s response to her question is very anticlimactic. He probably has a different way of life than she does. Maybe wolves, being the pack animals they are, pay special attention to what is given to them and what is earned. A name is a simple tag stuck on one’s forehead upon birth. Something that is more useful for others and oneself. What about her? Had she simply been given her name or did she earn it? According to her Klaia did not mean anything special. Hopefully that did not make her mother roll around in her grave, as it was her who had named the mare when she was born. Her dam had loved the name and had always commented on how beautiful it was. Was that all her mother ever saw in her? Just a pretty face. “Oh ok.” She comments and tries to forget about those dampening thoughts.

She notices the change in altitude as well but it is not as well received as with the canine. Looking down gives her vertigo, looking up makes her legs quake with fatigue. All that is left is to look forward and keep at it. Her ears twitch as Juryoku speaks once more, suggesting they slow down. Responding with a snort she turns her head to speak, “Horses have big lungs so I think I’ll be fine…” Her voice trails off as she catches a glimpse of the river down below, it looked as small and thin as a strand of hair. With a strained smile, she tried to reassure the wolf. Her guide begins to say something but then let the mountain air take away the words. “Then let’s move.” She puts all her effort into moving forward in the path. Her breath is jagged and her leg muscles are screaming at her, but she ignores all this. It seems like centuries have passed when she finally pulls herself onto the summit. Her legs fold under her and she settles down to get a much-needed rest. Even if she is really tired she has not felt so full of life since leaving her family. A real smile appears on her face as her big eyes take in the sight. “It’s beautiful” She says turning to see how her companion is doing.



@Juryoku
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Canine 312yo Male, Tall & Thin Immigrant 38 posts 0 Honor 721 ☪ Eclair
#10
JurYoku
And I hold such hope in a song that saved my life

Would that help? His thoughts were quick to pile, wondering if having larger lungs would indeed minimize the sickness. The mare hadn’t shown much signs, but Juryoku could see her beginning to struggle as they reach the end of their climb. His brows furrowed, and he sighed with a shake of his head. There wasn’t much more to go—he can hold the worry and bury it deep within.

With a mere meter now separating him from the summit, the whiskered canine decided to shimmy his way to the top anyhow. He laid there at the edge like a crouched cat, watching the equine climb on up with a smile stretching his lips; it then grew into a grin once Klaia admired the scenery. The chillier air overfilled and stung his lungs with each held breath he took. There were remnants of snow here and there, painting white blotches about this peak. It wasn’t home, but it held enough charm to offer comfort rather than another ache for his heart.

He rubbed his face into a puddle of melting snow and flopped onto his side once fully in it. After wallowing around in this nice cooling presence, Juryoku rolled back onto his belly and looked to his resting company. “Are you satisfied—do you feel this was worth it?” he asked, smacking his tail against the soaked ground beneath him. Of course, the equine wore a smile, spoke of the beauty present. But did it fulfill what all she has done? He’d tilt his head, kicking his hind legs out. The distant sound of roaring water—everything became blissful.

“What more is there to see, to hear, to hope,” he hummed as his nose nudged the air. The fellow then lain in silence, losing his thoughts to a reverie.


@Klaia
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Equine 99yo Female, Average & Average Native 36 posts 0 Honor 698 ☪ Pyro
#11
TELL ME SOMETHING I DON'T KNOW



Normally she would have been pretty pissed about being bested in the race to the top. But in those last meters the lack of oxygen and fatigue does not let her brain to anything but send signals to her heart to keep beating, her lungs to keep breathing and her legs to keep moving. And one she reaches the top she is enamored by the view and the ambience so all her worries are pushed to the back of her mind. The air is sharp and fresh, tickling her nostrils as she inhales deeply. She steps into a puddle of snow. Underneath her hooves the white substance makes an odd crunching sound that is somehow pleasant to her ears. The smile never wavers from her face, she turns to look at her hiking companion. He is interested in the snow too, but instead of merely stepping in it the whiskered wolf is rubbing his face in it, earning him an amused snort from the redheaded mare. At the question, she purses her lips and fakes taking her time to decide. “Hmmm.” She murmurs loudly enough for the canine to hear over the mountain winds. “Yes, definitely." A grin is plastered on her face and then quickly adds. “If I die on the way down I won’t even be angry.” Her eyes sparkle with humor, she is pretty proud of herself. She moves closer to the wolf but remains standing to admire the view.

Juryoku speaks some deep words that the mare tries to absorb but mostly she just nods. She then turns to face the male again, this time with a more serious look on her face. “Thank you for helping me get here.” Without him she might have not made it to the top of the mountain. She could have continued her original path and then slipped on the wet rocks near the waterfall and would have suffered a terrible fall. Maybe it would not have killed her but she might have had to wait until her supernatural healing, from being immortal, kicked in and that could mean days or weeks stuck at the bottom of a mountain. She does not include all her mind vomit in her expression of gratitude but hopes that her words can carry the meaning all on their own. IF she starts babbling she might not stop again and she does not trust another soul to really understand her inner world. Her family couldn’t so it seems impossible someone not related by blood could.


@Juryoku
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Canine 312yo Male, Tall & Thin Immigrant 38 posts 0 Honor 721 ☪ Eclair
#12
JurYoku
And I hold such hope in a song that saved my life

His ear flicked at the hum of the horse, a brow raising as if he were expecting a different answer. But once the canine heard honest words, he smiled and brought his head far back, whiskers waving at the sky. Red eyes hadn’t broke from behind lids yet, the world around him dark, but he need not see when he could feel. Claws gripped at the ground, and his nose wiggled to take in the breeze to flow by. All that rests upon the peaks were fresh and untouched by the motions of the ever changing lands below. Time seemed to grow slow here, but the days and nights were well welcomed guests. He missed it—all of it. However, reminiscing to the point of crying over it wouldn’t help with anything. This was a moment that should only bring joy as his company enjoyed herself upon this summit.

“Such a thing will not happen,” he chuckled with one eye peeking out toward the mare. The fellow helped her up here; he would help her find a way down as well. Until she calls him forth or has had enough with this view, he would come along to guide her, to look out for the equine. His heart already begun to ache for whenever that time will come, but he knew it was but a small tear that will heal. Besides, this mountain will always be here—unless for some strange reason they could move on their own. That thought amused him, holding back a small laugh to bubble in his chest.

At Klaia’s words of gratitude did he finally open his eyes. He looked at her, giving the mare a small nod. “It’s nothing, love.” With that, his gaze retreated from her and fell onto the distant land he could see from here.

Juryoku would laze about, continuing to offer his company to the horse. Should she ever become ready to descend this mountain, he’ll be right along with her.

~Exit~



@Klaia
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Canine 9999yo Genderfluid, Tall & Bulky Native 23 posts 0 Honor 99,395 ☪ Staff
#13


An Elemental Orb has been discovered!
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Equine 99yo Female, Average & Average Native 36 posts 0 Honor 698 ☪ Pyro
#14
TELL ME SOMETHING I DON'T KNOW



For once the silence between her and another body is not awkward and heavy. She is happy up here, in the cool mountain air she feels light and peaceful. The mountain seems to whisper. Pleading for her to stay. But the mare very well knows she is not a sedentary creature as she needs change and movement. She needs to run whether it be towards or away from something. Chasing away the deep thoughts, she lets out an exhale and allows her body to relax once more. How can the man beside her keep his eyes closed when there is so much beauty to see? The sunlight as it slides over the peaks of the snowy mountains, the birds that fly so close she could pick out a feather from their backs, it’s all too beautiful too miss. Plus, who knows when she’ll gather enough courage to return, if she ever does. At the canine’s words her lips spread into a smile but she does not argue. Her imagination is powerful enough to imagine a whole menagerie of catastrophes that could occur on the way down and yet the mountain scene gives her enough power to turn off those thoughts. Perhaps she could have left her old scared self at the base of the mountain or pieces of that Klaia fell off on the journey up here. Whatever happened she relishes the feeling of accomplishment this feat has given her, the strength she feels mentally and physically

The next words that drop from the whiskered wolf’s lips surprise her. Love? It is a tender word and she is caught between feeling awkward or warm and fuzzy. She gives him a sweet smile and lets the silence settle between them once more. Maybe she could trust Juryoku, for more than just a mountain tour guide. She could trust him to be good, to want nothing in return, she could believe there is hope for finding her place here. For finding her herd. Eventually the sun starts to sink and she rises. They have to leave while there is still light to let them see the path. Keeping the silence they move down. With one last look at the mountain peak, Klaia feels a little sad but not afraid anymore.

EXIT


@Juryoku
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JUMP: