The forest calmness was interrupted by violent sounds of fighting and screams of pain all over that made the nearer animals to escape using that instinct that they possess no matter the world they live in.
-Veronica!!- shouted Enrique seeing her fall to the floor with a pained expression.
He jumped to the responsible who was a werewolf that had slashed her. Using all his strength he smashed the shoulder of the beast and then grabbed its neck to cut it with the dagger on his hands in a fast way. Enrique didn't stop and ran to the other werewolf chasing them. He met with the monster in no time and tried to slashed him but the beast was faster and evaded the attack making Enrique be opened and slashed with all it had. Enrique shouted in pain but recovered and using the momentum kicked the beats in the mouth and pierced it in the eye that reached the brain and it fell down dead. Enrique knelt and laid down in pain while a lot of blood was emanating from the wound.
Meanwhile, Cynthia was running around while waving her dagger against the goblins that had come with the werewolves. She wasn't very skilled in the use of this weapon but Enrique had given the basic training and the goblins were not a threat to her due to her "shield" but she still seemed to be unaccustomed to kill so it was a slower process in comparison to Enrique. As for Yeny, she was in her invisible state now hunting the goblins who were trying to attack from distance.
One of those goblins shrieked after feeling its throat being slashed. It fell to the ground where after a while stopped moving without knowing what had happened. She then ran to the next one who seemed surprised to see its partner fall down but it couldn't react either and also died in Yeny's hands. She couldn't say she felt nothing at killing these beasts since they seemed to have more intelligence than regular animals, but she knew it was necessary and it wasn't as if she was killing people. She imagined herself killing animals to cook and this made her feel a little better about it. However, she hated being covered in blood after these battles and she really wanted to end it.
-This was the last one- said Yeny appearing from nothingness and holding a dagger in her hands, which like the rest of her clothes, was covered in blood. She knelt down trying to recover her strength- you ok, Cynthia?
-Yes- said Cynthia whose clothes had been tattered and was trembling a little after the last skirmish- I'll see the condition of Veronica and Enrique.
Veronica was crying holding her arm and Enrique was in a lot of pain while being covered in blood which was both his and his enemies'. Cynthia approach them with firm steps and prepared herself to use her healing powers, but her face showed how unwilling she was. She had been doing this too much lately and Cynthia had told Yeny that she felt her powers were less effective every time. She really needed a good rest.
-It's broken… wuuu… it's broken- said Veronica looking at her arm which was limp and in an unnatural angle - can you heal it?
-We'll see- said Cynthia using a cold and quiet voice- I'll count to three, ok?
Veronica nodded but Cynthia hadn't even started counting when she applied her power on the area focusing at the maximum.
-AHHHHHH!!!!!- Veronica screamed in pain and a crack sounded rose in the air- damn!!! wuuuu DAMN!!!
Cynthia fell to the floor looking totally exhausted and about to pass out. Yeny looked at her and tried to go but Cynthia made a sign with her hand saying she was fine.
-It worked!- said Cynthia who seemed very proud and happy with herself. She ate a piece of meat she had in her bag and ignoring the crying Veronica went to check Enrique who was really pale.
Cynthia walked tumbling and continued eating pieces of meat to recover energy. However, for her state one could say that it wasn't enough.
-Talk to me, Enrique- Cynthia said sounding impatient- where have you been injured?
-The worst ones are in my shoulder and right leg- said Enrique fighting the pain- the others are not grave...
The situation was out of control and Yeny had reached her limit. Just some minutes ago they had been ambushed by a mixed group of werewolves and goblins for the third time that day. Enrique and Veronica had been injured and she was now looking around to see if any of those damned animals were still around. Yeny felt drained and she really wanted to just lie down and sleep forever.
-Any sight of them?- Yeny heard Cynthia who was healing Enrique and she noticed that she had been really falling asleep.
-No- said Yeny who really didn't see anything and she went to the place where her friend was doing the healing- but we'd better move.
-Just give me a minute- said Cynthia healing the most grave injuries and leaving the other ones for later.
Yeny never got tired of seeing the process of the healing that Cynthia was able to do. She was sure that for any doctor or paramedic this number and type of injuries would be enough to intern the person in the hospital for months, but Cynthia was able to heal them in an instant in exchange of big quantities of energy. These wounds had been normal for them these last days and Cynthia had seem to become proficient in treating them as Enrique had become more resilient to the pain from them. However, Yeny knew there was a limit for all and Cynthia couldn't heal them again and again indefinitely.
-What the hell is happening?- said Veronica who was grabbing her just fixed arm and she was still feeling the pain. Cynthia could have also vanished this but she needed to save energy for the worse wounds- it's been like this all this freaking time…
Since the moment Carlos had vanished 3 weeks ago, as f some kind of divine punishment had fallen on them for abandoning their friend, they had been hunted relentlessly by packs of werewolves, goblins and other nasty creatures over and over again. The ambushes were not limited to day and now they couldn't even sleep quietly since they knew they could be attacked any moment. What's more, they had decided not to make fires since they had noticed the beasts hunting them would use it to locate them. What's more, the weather had turned for the worst and now it would rain practically every day, this made difficult to cook food properly and the lack of proper meals had weakened them and also had made to be in bad mood.
-Just how much more we have to advance before finding any human town?- wondered Yeny with a very fed up expression- or is it that we're the only humans in this world?
They had advanced a lot and they had started to have injuries in their feet. The forest was now more accessible that it had been before but it continued to be endless. The werewolves seemed to have taken very personal the issue of hunting them and it seemed it wouldn't end soon.
-Thank you- said Enrique standing up- that's enough, we must move… I'm sure more of them are coming.
Yeny really thanked that Enrique was there with them. He was the one who always fought at the front and he had become really proficient lately sometimes being able to kill a beast with a swing of his knife. He had also taught them the basics of how to use a dagger. They had used the claws of the dead werewolves to make simple knifes that were pretty effective in pierce the hard skin of the beasts.
-Is it just me? Or they're becoming better at this?- asked Cynthia running.
-They are- said Enrique frowning- they're not typical animals. They have intelligence so we have to be smarter.
As a group they have really improved and have even made strategies against them. Enrique would jump to the front attracting their attention. Veronica would try to hypnotize some of them and making them run. She had discovered that she could make them obey certain orders for a limited time so she would make some of them attack their peers. Cynthia would stay at the behind defending with her shield and attacking when possible and Yeny would become invisible and would kill the ones who would be farther. At the beginning, it had been really successful and they wouldn't have any problem. The problem was that they seemed to be learning and they had brought other beasts like the goblins who would attack from distance with small bows or throwing objects. Yeny then had to assume the responsibility to take care of this pests with the help of her invisibility.
-Damn!- said Enrique with fury- more are coming from the left. Yeny we must hide.
Yeny sighed and they stopped running and then they joined hands. Yeny closed her eyes and gathered energy on her belly. She then imagined becoming part of the air around her and she disappeared. She continued and imagined his friends joining her in the air becoming one entity with it.
-Good- said Enrique and Yeny opened her eyes.
She saw all of his group being in an area that had lost its color and was blurry. This was her invisibility domain and she had learned that scents were covered by it and that sound was reduced which was why she could get near to the goblins without them being able to detect her. Not very long after a large group of beasts passed them without noticing them. Only after they had disappeared on the distance Yeny canceled her "invisibility cloak" and fell to the ground totally exhausted. They managed to escape but Yeny knew they would return and maybe they wouldn't have such luck.
-We can't continue like this- said Veronica racking her brain to find a solution while they moved for the forest. we need to find a place to rest. Do you see anything, Enrique?
-Yes- said Enrique- there's a place that looks like a swamp. We could go there.
-Not monsters around there?- asked Cynthia who had long reached her limit.
-Not very sure- said Enrique checking the place- for some reason my sight can't reach too far inside the fog.
-It's risky- mentioned Yeny who didn't want to enter a swamp where beasts could be lurking around- Damn! Another one!
Hearing Yeny's alarm, Enrique turned around and threw the dagger to a goblin that had been looking at them from some bushes. The dagger caught the goblin in the leg and Enrique went to finish the job.
-They must be nearby- said Enrique who took his eyes- I'm sorry… I think I can't use my skill anymore… I'm too tired…
-There's no other choice- said Veronica- at least there we can have the fog covering us and the odors are so much I'd be surprised the animals can trace us. Let's go?
They entered into the area which was extremely swampy and muddy. As predicted there was a curtain of fog that made the vision difficult and the smells were nothing gratifying. After a while they could see the beasts looking for them around the swamp but for some reason it seemed they were not eager to enter the swamp and after a while they turned around and went away .
-Why did they stop?- asked Cynthia.
-Who cares?- said Veronica- the point is we're safe for now and we can recover. Enrique, tell me if you see something dangerous.
Enrique shook his head saying that he couldn't use his skill anymore.
-I think the best is to use the trees and avoid being in the mud- said Enrique- afterwards we can… wait… what's that?
He pointed at a place and they started to advance cautiously. They arrived to a dry clearance in the middle of the swamp. They were surprised to find what seemed to be an abandoned camp where they found some vestiges of human presence.
-There must be people around- said Veronica smiling to this speck of hope- we must continue looking.
However, she fell to her knees feeling too tired to continue. She wasn't the only one since the rest of the group was in terrible conditions. They decided to stay in there until they had recovered their strength. Enrique was worried for the fact that the beasts seemed to fear the swamps for some reason.
-We should use the trees to rest- said he pointing at the branches of the big trunks that elevated for some meters- you sleep first… I'll do the first watch…
They climbed the trees and noticed how wide the branches were. Even so, they tied themselves for not falling and Yeny didn't need much time before sleeping.
-"I wonder how much more we'll be here"- wonder Yenny while losing her consciousness- I want a "Lomo saltado" or a fried steak.
She played with those thoughts until her stomach hurt. She was being a masochist but she in that moment she was more tired than hungry and she let herself go to that world where she could eat whatever she wanted.
She felt someone moving her and she frowned not wanting to wake up. However, the movement became more intense and she wanted to protest but her mouth was covered and when she opened her eyes, she saw Enrique who was making her signs to keep silent.
-Keep quiet and see below us…-he whispered.
Yeny almost fell down when she noticed what was happening down there. If another person would have looked down, at first they would have believed they were seeing a river of mud carrying many brown and shiny stones. However, they would soon recognize that those "rocks" were too shiny to be considered made of stone and they would be moving in a way that didn't correspond to the way a river carry rocks.
-"Are those...?"- Yeny focused its eyes and she saw that they were enormous creatures with shells that were moving in different directions- oh My Gosh! what are those?
Yeny's attention was attracted by the things they were dragging one after another. Many creatures and animals were being dragged and some of them were recognisable as the werewolves that were chasing them. The miserable beasts were fighting and trying to attack from the creatures but their claws were ineffective against the shells of their enemies. Soon they would be dragged to a certain point where the victim was torn apart by the hungry shelled creatures which Yeny recognised as a kind of crayfishes only these ones were as large as 2 meters or more. The crustaceans would dismembered their victims and eat them so fast that Yeny doubted they even noticed they were dead.
-Just how many are they…?- Yeny heard Veronica whispering in terror. Yeny also wondered since the death parade seemed to bring endless numbers of victims to the ever hungry crayfishes.
The victims were as diverse as one can imagine including goblins, werewolves, giant insectoids and even some beasts they had never seen before. The spectacle was terrible and didn't seem to be ended at any short point.
-This was why those hunters didn't want to enter here…
-What do we do?
-We can only wait until they are done and return to sleep and then we'll get out of here as fast as possible.
-How did they catch so many beasts?-wondered Cynthia.
-I suppose they hunt in the surroundings and then dragged them here to eat them.
-They can't climb, can they?- asked Cynthia a little pale while checking the surroundings.
-I don't think so- said Enrique activating his "Far Sight"- They should be fine there but we'd better keep quiet until they finish… Also, I'd be more cautious with spiders up here, but there's none around… they must be wary of these crayfishes… for now let's wait.
-Call me crazy- said Yeny to Cynthia looking at the crayfishes- but I really want to eat seafood right now.
Cynthia looked at her as if she was crazy but then she smiled and nodded like saying it wasn't a bad idea.
-With all that material we could eat for days- she said smiling- but obviously I don't think they'll like the idea.
Since Enrique hadn't slept at all he asked the girls to tell him when they finish and he just slept there not caring about the massacre taking place just some meters below.
-How can he sleep in this situation?- whispered Yeny
-Well- said Cynthia- how can you think about eating seafood in this situation?
Yeny smiled and accepted it was the same and she just kept watching and waiting with Veronica and Yeny hoping that no crayfish had the desire to look above and discover them.