The young Bear peered over the cliff, looking for signs of his missing friend, when he felt two hands push upon his back, threatening to send him flying from the cliff. The boy, remembering the drilling of his father's monk training, quickly pivoted around, grasping at the arm that shoved him. his fingers dug deep into his assailant's wrist and forearm, triggering key pressure points to weaken his opponents aetheric flow.
Before he fully grasped the situation, Bear held Wildred to the ground in a strong lock.
"Ah, Bear, it's me!" Wilred cried, "It was just a jest to scare ya, I wasn't 'bout to let ya fall!"
"I told you it was a stupid prank," Bertliana shrugged with an amused smirk on her face.
Bear released the boy. "Rhalgr's sake, I could have tossed you off the cliff, sneaking up on me like that!"
Wilred picked himself off the desert floor, wiping the sand from his bare chest. The boy was a summer Bear's junior, but already possessed a more muscular physique.
Bear admired his friend's body, or perhaps envied? He attempted to keep Wilred in his view, but became oddly conscious about attempting not to stare. He swallowed, but it felt like the hardest thing to do, cocking his head forward, he felt as though he could be heard from malms away.
"Hey, did Bertliana tell you about the tree I found?" Wilred asked excitedly.
"She said you could spy on the Amalj'aa." Bear replied.
Wilred raced over to the nearby tree, with the deftness of an opo-opo, he began scaling the branches of the large, desert swept tree.
"It actually has a really pretty view," Bertliana confessed as she climbed behind Wilred, "Come see it."
A strange, Southern wind blew odd clouds into the sky, as Bear followed his friends, shading the often merciless Thanalan sun. What few trees grew in Broken Water rarely stood as tall as this one. Bear looked out towards the Zanr'ak territory, the plains and dunes painted red by the dark sky.
"What's going on over there?" Bertliana chimed, pointing north towards Little Ala Mhigo.
Bear turned around to see a brood of peistes writing in the distance. At first glance, the creatures appeared to be fighting off some predator, but watching closely, Bear noticed an oddity.
"They're fighting each other?" Bear both answered and questioned.
The three children watch from their perch as the legged serpents bit and scratched at one another, their white necks becoming covered in blood and offal as they tore through one another.
"Why are they doing that?" an enticed Wildred inquired, the youngest of the trio leaning along his branch to catch a better view.
"Maybe we should get back to the camp," Bertliana suggested, her brows turned into a worried expression as she began to descend.
The three children were startled by the sudden crack of thunder. They quickly look up to see Dalamud slowly drifting north across the sky. Tempestuous clouds, more akin to smoke, swirled around the red, celestial body.
The three children raced across the desert sands. More winds flew from the South, sending sand flying through the air.
"It's a sandstorm, stay close!" Bertliana urged as the mountainous beacon of Little Ala Mhigo faded from sight. The red moon continued its move across the sky, slightly eclipsing the sun, making it even harder for the children to see.
Bear grabbed onto Bertliana and Wilred's hands, so as not to lose anyone in the storm as the eldest lead them. Sand stung their faces and eyes as they raced towards the encampment. The hissing of the sand in their ears nearly made Bertliana miss the large peiste lunging at her, baring it's massive, sharp fangs.
"Watch out!" She shouts as she quickly jerks Bear away from the beast's maw. The sudden reaction causes a small ripping sound, as a ligament in her leg tore from the bone. Bertliana let out a death curdling scream as she collapsed to the ground, holding her calf.
Bear falls to his knees beside Bertliana, "We gotta get her out of here!" he shouted to Wildred.
The youngest boy pulls a short sword from his hip, worrying about the nearby peiste hiding in the storm. He slowly backs up towards the other two as Bear forces Bertliana up, wrapping her arm over his shoulder as she sobbed in agony.
"You gotta help me!" Bear cried.
Keeping the sword in one hand, Wilred took Bertliana by the other arm, and the two boys attempted to carry their friend, but it was too cumbersome. Wildred lost his footing, bringing Bertliana falling onto him.
"Oh gods, it hurts!" Bertliana cried, tears streamed down her cheeks.
"What do we do?" Wilred pleaded to Bear, his hand on Bertliana's shoulder, attempting to comfort her.
As Bear looked down at his two friends crying out for him, tears began to form in his eyes. He didn't know what to do. Everything happened so fast. All of these distraction around him, Bear didn't notice the large, surviving peiste strike at him from behind.
A loud crunch sounded behind Bear as flesh was torn and bones cracked. Bear stood paralyzed for a second before collapsing forward onto the sands beside his friends. He quickly spun around to see his father.
Urban's strike was powerful enough to break the peiste's neck with a single blow. The Highlander, a steeled, determined look frozen to his face, quickly scooped up all three of the children and began sprinting towards the encampment.
The hissing winds died down as the children were brought into Little Ala Mhigo. A Chirugeon was quick to take Bertliana into his tent.
Wildred followed the healer, wanting to make sure his friend would be okay.
Overwhelmed by the ordeal, Bear collapsed to the ground and began to cry. He looked up briefly to see his father's disappointed face.
"Boy's don't cry." He demanded his son.
that's a very powerful write Bear. Very well detailed, I hope to read more yus yus!
It's only natural to cry. It's a reaction from the sudden shock. Great read.