The Unprotected

Chapter 16

Joban was oblivious to Rion and Tiya approaching, and continued to talk to Lansa while every now and then kicking up a rock, or some fallen leaves. Finally, he glanced up casually and stopped. It was Rion! Joban squinted and brushed his hair away from his eyes.

Rion dismounted and ran to his brother, “Joban! Where have you been?” he cried, embracing Joban roughly.

Joban dropped the arrows that he still held in his hands and hugged Rion back, “I, I got lost. Sorry, I shouldn’t have gone too far.” He paused and looked behind Rion, “Where’s Brendor?”

‘Well, are we going to continue, or dawdle here forever?’ Lansa growled.

Rion jumped and stumbled backwards, covering his ears, “What in the world was that!? It was like a voice, in my mind!” He noticed the wolf again and backed up against a nearby tree, pressing his back against the trunk.

Rion’s eyes widened as he saw Joban stop next to the wolf and stroke its grey fur. The wolf rubbed up against Joban’s leg and licked his hand, just like a tame dog.

“It’s okay, Rion. Her name is Lansa and she knew Foron. She was just leading me back to the cave.”

‘Yes, yes.’ Rion winced as he heard the voice inside his head again.

“Oh,” Joban said, laughing, “She can read all of your thoughts and can talk to you too, using your mind.”

Lansa approached Rion ‘So, are you just going to stand there with your mouth gaping open? Or are you going to take your horse and follow me back to the cave?’ Tiya sauntered over to Rion as if Lansa had told her to.

Rion cleared his throat and smiled weakly, “Okay then.”

‘Good, now come along, boys.’ Lansa began to walk slowly between the trees, occasionally flicking her tail.

Joban shrugged, picked up the arrows and followed Lansa, leaving Rion staring in awe at the wolf.