Chapter Snippet

An untouched berry tremored as it rolled one way, then another. Having had enough of spiders for one day, he raised his hand to smack it.

A sudden spurt of juice from the inside shot at his clothing. Where it landed on skin tingled in irritation, just enough to delay his action for the spiderling to burst from its shell.

Crunch! A woman’s sole crushed it from existence before it could launch itself at Jenario. The young man’s eye-level met a rather luxurious leg before traveling up her slender figure to the face. The ears were an instant giveaway, and yet he still gulped at that glare that read, “You’re pathetic.”

“Haven’t you done enough?” A cold tone added to her already aggravated stance.


Eyes narrowed at his response. “You will never fully comprehend our true purpose. Our leader risks his life for your kind, and you come here and upset everything from its place.”

Jenario blinked. “I…I thought they were berries!”

“And now we have to track where it goes from here, as well as the rest you’ve got hatching at your side.”

At this, Jenario froze. He had forgotten the ones stored in the bottle. As if right on cue, he felt it twitch along his side.

“If I were you, I’d remove that bag.”

“Easy now. Do it as smoothly as possible.” Providence approached while Jenario did so with trembling hands. The strap’s clasp was on his back, and was long enough to simply pull over his head. Yet in doing so he had to bring the bag even closer to remove it. The clinks of tiny legs tapping on the glass grew louder as he did, followed by several cracks in the glass.

There goes my herbs! He thought despairingly.

They don’t care much for plants, came a reassuring thought from the Healer. To the other, he nodded in greeting. “Sarra.”

That cold glare did not waver even with her leader stepped close. “You’ve been bitten.”

A shrug. “Nothing a day’s rest won’t fix.” To the young man, he motioned for him to move further back. Once out of harm’s way, the Healer curled a few fingers in the air in the act of magically unclasping the outer flap.

The moment it was open, an explosion of glass and spiderlings erupted from the bag.

“Hico anx lo d’hess.” There were no ribbons of color that flowed from the earth at this command. It was the language only that stopped the spiderlings in their tracks and turned their attention to the Lo-ans’rel leader.

Jenario counted twelve spiders climbing from his pack. Each was equipped with a set of fangs tipped with poison, and eager to hunt.

A distant screech drew new focus. Jenario was sure it was the parent calling to its offspring. At a slight nod from Providence the spiders skittered off in that direction. Finally, the young man relaxed. He had not realized how tense he had become until he slowly got to his feet. Letting out a sigh in relief, he let his shoulders droop.

There was a tired look to Providence as he rubbed his shoulder where the spider had bitten.


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