The boys continued their thing. We lost one out of the three matches.
Dylan and I went out into the wood after dinner. It was still light out, and I didn’t want to be out after dark. We went down into the valley and scouted around. Trent was pissed at us for leaving without him, but we told him the truth. He was hot headed, and someone had to stay with the boys. He wasn’t happy it was him but he agreed. I expected he and the boys would be following, but I hoped they’d stay put.
You could see the tops of houses from the tops of the treelines down in the valley, but that was about it. There was smoke billowing up but all else was relatively quiet. Dylan whispered, “I didn’t know this was here, how did you know?”
I shrugged. I didn’t have an answer, I just had a feeling. “It’s off the well beaten path.”
As we drew closer we could hear kids playing, and women talking. But there were no male voices. That didn’t bode well. I was about to mention it to Dylan when I saw the boy from the cave curled up next to the fire. He was being ignored by the women and the children. His wounds had healed but he still looked shaken. I didn’t blame him.
Dylan and I made our way back to camp after scouting the perimeter of the camp together. Once we were out of range Dylan said to me, “There were no men there.”
I was glad he’d noticed too. I nodded, “That’s not good.”
Dylan asked, “Why?”
“They are probably out hunting us, and they know exactly where we are.”
Dylan frowned and took off at a run. He was faster than I was, but in the woods he had to slow down. He outpaced me and by the time I caught sight of Dylan again, I heard war cries and gunshots and as I came into the view of the camp, I saw the wall of air keeping the boys safe, Trent was on the other side alone, and outnumbered. Dylan was pulling out his gun and firing into the mass of wildlife that was attacking. It wasn’t just wolves and mountain lions, I saw a bear, two tigers and a rare jaguar. It was mostly wolves that surrounded Trent and my make shift wall. The boys stood ready inside with their own weapons but unless someone climbed over the invisible wall they were safe, my wall was holding.
I couldn’t react fast enough as Trent’s gun clicked empty and he was swarmed. I swept Dylan aside with a weave of air, and I plowed through the therians with more air pushing them aside trying to get to the center of the pile. But the damage was done all it took was one bite for Trent to be fated to die.
Dylan was pounding against his own personal wall of air as the therians turned on me. All but the one who cradled Trent’s head in his mouth. It was the mountain lion from before, but he bore no wounds from being shot. And those that had been shot by Dylan and Trent were limping away. You can’t shoot a therian with normal bullets and expect it to stay down. Silver was only so good, but it was expensive and classed definitely didn’t get rounds. My weapons were on the inside of the wall of air, but I didn’t need them.
The mountain lion dropped Trent to the ground and roared loud. The therians retreated all but him. I nodded to the large cat and took a few steps forward, “We should talk, Darwynn Randall, before more of us die.”
None of them had died, but we were down one teacher. The odds were looking to be in their favor, not ours. The cat smiled and trotted off in the direction of their home. I waited until the last of the footsteps away fell into silence before I let down the shields of air. Everyone swarmed Trent’s body. I went and sat down by the fire. We were in for a long night.