Chapter 18- The Hunt

As they went deeper into the forest, Nischelis couldn't help but wonder what was going through Isikan's mind.

As it was, the Reptilian archer continued to be a mystery to him, especially since he had decided to join forces with the Assassin demons.

The night before, as Isikan lay sleeping, Nischelis mulled over the day's events.

"Why is he doing this?" he wondered aloud.

"Probably because he's tired of being second fiddle to the princes," Tarnechis replied.

"No, that's Kysandior," Nischelis reminded him. "He's third fiddle."

"Whatever," Tarnechis grumbled.

"I think I will investigate more into this matter," Nischelis said.

"Go ahead," Tarnechis said. "See what happens."

"I will," Nischelis murmured.

"Hey! What are you talking about?" Isikan mumbled.

"Nothing," Tarnechis replied.

"I think you're still wondering if you should believe me or not," Isikan said.

"Should we?" Nischelis asked.

"Yes," Isikan said. "I'm tired of fighting against Niarchos."

"That's a bit of a shock," Nischelis snickered.

"I agree," Tarnechis said, laughing.

"Well, as I said, we'll give it a go," Nischelis said.

"Good. And if I fail, you have permission to murder me," Isikan told him.

"I think Nischi would give me that honor," Tarnechis said. "Or maybe Jinqui."

They all laughed.

"Pretty girls at 12 o'clock," Nischelis said, pointing at three women who appeared to have gotten themselves lost in the forest. "Who wants first pick?"

"I will," Tarnechis replied.

"Damn," Isikan muttered.

"Did you want to have a go?" Nischelis asked.

"Nah," Isikan replied. "Go ahead, Tanil."

"My pleasure," Tarnechis said.

A few minutes later, Tarnechis had trapped the three women and was beginning to feed from all three at the same time.

"Gosh, Tanil," Nischelis muttered, "couldn't you have saved some for us?"

Isikan began shaking. "I don't feed from humans."

"Oh, yes, that's right," Nischelis yawned. "You, like the princes and their lackey, prefer to have animal blood."

Tarnechis gagged. "Animal blood? That's such a disgusting thought."

"But it's what he's used to," Junquian murmured, suddenly appearing before the trio. "Lemme at all that delicious blood, Tanil."

Tarnechis moved aside and allowed his brothers to have their fill. "Just let me have whatever you don't want."

"Did I hear him say he prefers animal blood to human blood?" Junquian asked. "Sickening."

"What's wrong with it?" Isikan asked.

"Watery," Nischelis replied. "Need we say more?"

"No," Isikan said. "Acquired taste is all."

"As is human blood," Tarnechis interrupted.

"Okay, good point," Isikan replied.

"Enough," Nischelis said. "Everyone get what they can find. And Isiki, you bring the spoils from your hunt. We could use that for dinner."

"Sounds good enough for me," Isikan replied. "And then Irini can cook the meat after."

Junquian laughed. "Well, then. Guess it's not too late for me to say that there's Isiki's dinner—at 2 o'clock."

An elk suddenly appeared out of nowhere, catching them by surprise.

"Yeah?" Isikan asked. "Nice."

"Go for it, then," Junquian snickered.

"This I gotta see," Nischelis muttered.

It took Isikan a few minutes to subdue the beast. A few minutes later, he managed to drag it behind him.

"You were saying?" Isikan asked.

"Okay, we were wrong," Tarnechis said, throwing his hands in the air.

"Very wrong," Isikan joked.

"Anyway," Nischelis muttered.

"Why're you so sore?" Isikan asked. "Because I bagged this big son of a bitch?"

"As if he could do better," Tarnechis muttered.

"I heard that, you asshole," Nischelis hissed.

"Hey! Why all the fighting?" Isikan asked. "There's no need for that."

Junquian shook his head. "He's right. There isn't. Let's get back before the sun sets."

Isikan nodded. "That would be a good idea. Irini will be mad if we don't get this to him."

They headed back to the middle of the woods in silence. Once they got back, Nusqial greeted them.

"Where's Irini?" Isikan asked.

"With Inoue," Nusqial said.

"Not a surprise," Isikan muttered.

"What's a surprise?" Kolachin asked.

"That Irini's not here," Isikan replied.

"I'm here," Irinis shouted.

Everyone looked at each other.

"Oh boy," Isikan muttered.

"Was it something we said?" Nischelis asked.

"Guess not," Kolachin snickered.

"What's all the side talk about?" Irinis asked.

"Nothing," Isikan said. "This is for you."

Irinis stared wide eyed at his present. "Wonderful! I'll start cooking right now."