"Alex, I think we should continue now," Gab commented as he filled up his water bottle. 'I just hope this water is drinkable,' went through Gab's head as he did so. 'Yeah, you're right,' Alex softly replied, standing up slowly from the grave. "Comrades, get ready to move on," he called loudly, and the group left the lake.
They followed along with one of the rivers that exited the lake. Loud dripping of water, as well as the screeching of animals, could be heard from afar.
"Get ready," Alex whispered as he raised his hand. The group slowly crept on, and the screaming grew louder and louder. In the distance, the group could see a fight between two jaguars, both of which were injured. " They are probably fighting over mating rights. Reload your crossbows," Alex whispered as the group slowly crept closer. They reached a distance of about 25m to the fighting Jaguarn before the firing order was issued.
Two arrows hit the face of the black jaguar, one hitting his eye. The other two were fired at the brightly spotted jaguar, with Luz's arrow piercing its ribcage.
"Not bad," commented one of the other two people Gab had yet to meet. Gab just nodded with a smile. The cheetahs' cries grew louder, and their pain could be heard by the group. Two of the group reloaded their crossbows while Alex and Gab had their swords and shields ready. The jaguars ran furiously towards the group while arrows hailed at them. The black one toppled over, while the light-spotted one lunged at Alex. Gab took advantage of the moment and slammed his ax against the neck of the jaguar. Gab's ax anchored deep into the jaguar's neck. "Shit, I can't pull my ax out," Gab shouted. Alex fended off the jaguar and threw it aside with his shield before severing its head from its body with a clean blow.
"Good shot," commented Gab. The group quickly reloaded their crossbows before entering the cave armed. Once inside the cave, they saw a jaguar nursing her younglings. "Shoot," Alex shouted, and the group started shooting without hesitation. The mother who saw this roared up and stood in front of her babies. Arrows pierced her chest, and she toppled over.
The jaguar died before she could fight back. Gab slowly moved towards her and saw her gasping for breath. He smiled before delivering a deadly blow that killed her. The babies screamed for their mother.
"What should we do with them," Gab asked as he pointed his ax at the babies. "They are still young and at the physical level where they can't see yet. They can just be bonded. But the question is, do you want to play mother right now in such a place where you can die anytime," Alex commented as he pulled his arrows out of the cheetah mother.
"I'd like to test it," Gab said. "Well, pick two. Do either of you want a jaguar," Alex asked. Both nodded. "The ritual works as follows," Alex stated as he picked up a striped baby from the ground and lifted it up. The baby howled slightly. "The first thing you do is make the animal drink your blood," he said while briefly cutting his finger lightly with a dagger. He then slipped the finger into the baby's mouth, which sucked greedily for it."Next, you must hold your skull against its and murmur the following phrase [Become mine]," Alex showed the group, which only nodded.
"and voila, it's yours. Don't worry about breast milk or anything. As long as it's attached to you, you can feed it pre-chewed food," Alex told us. Gab gave the others in the group a head start, and they automatically chose the healthier babies. When it was his turn, he chose a white and a black Jaguar baby. "Why did you choose the white one? He doesn't seem to be healthy," a voice asked him. "To be honest, just because of its color. White is a beautiful color, hehe. What's your name anyway," Gab asked while sighing.
"Oh, we haven't introduced ourselves yet," he said with a smile while glancing at the other group member. "Ok, this is awkward. My name is Evie, and that one's name is Luke," Evie replied with a smile.
Gab smiled back and introduced himself again. The rest of the babies were given a quick death by Evie. "Time we set up the camp here for tonight," Alex suggested while looking at the glowing crystals of the walls. "Gab do you want to help me with preparing the food," Evie asked. Gab quickly hurried to join her. The two cut open the bodies of the two jaguars, and Evie admonished Gab on each of his mistakes. "But Evie, we'll never be able to finish eating the bodies anyway," Gab sighed. "I don't care," she threw back, and Gab continued to cut the meat as best he could.
Luke prepared a fire with some broken arrows as well as the wood he found in the area. "We should be near the surface if there's wood here," Alex muttered while playing with the babies.
After a few hours of preparation, meat was smoked on one fire, and jaguar meat was grilled on the other. "And Evie, how did the new one do," Alex asked with a smile. He had been napping the whole time until just now.
"Well, he still has a lot to learn, but compared to you, he did more today," she tossed back at him mockingly.
"Oh, I'll be the first to keep vigil, of course," Alex assured her.
"Do that, or my arrows will literally pierce your heart next time," she said with a smile. "Gab, you better watch how you handle Evie. She's a monster," Alex whispered in Gab's ear. Gab just petted his cats and chewed the meat for them.
Luk just commented, "You're really going to raise them both as cannibals?" "Of course," Gab replied while nuzzling the kittens against his cheek.
"These two are cute," Gab murmured with a smile as he handed them the pre-chewed meat that they greedily devoured. "That's the first time you've ever been happy," Evie commented, and Gab nodded. "Evie, why are you here anyway," Gab asked.
"I used to be a noblewoman. I didn't want to end up as a political tool for my parents, which is why I escaped here one day with difficulty," Evie replied with a smile. "But when I think about it, it was a mistake," she continued, trembling. "My servants were probably all executed as punishment for my selfish actions. To be honest, I would rather have been married to a stranger instead of fighting for my life here every day. The only thing you see in this place is how all your new comrades die before your eyes, and you make no progress. I imagined freedom and adventure very differently," she continued while hugging her kitten tightly. Evie slowly burst into tears. "I'm sorry, Evie," Gab murmured back.
"It's ok. Everyone makes mistakes," Evie sobbed. "I've only come here because I don't have a future," Luke smiled. "What do you mean," Gab asked.
"Like Evie, I am a lower aristocrat. However, the number of my siblings is large, and the old man in the house is getting old. The fratricides have started, and my only chance of escaping was to flee into the tower with my younger siblings. They wouldn't have a chance either," Luke told us while a forced smile could be seen on his face.
After that, it was Gab's turn to tell his situation, how he went from being a simple older brother to ending up as a slave in the tower within a short time.
"Comrades. Let's leave our past, at least for now, in the past. You are welcome to deal with it when we get to a safe place," Alex interjected, and the group nodded in agreement.