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   Chapter 50 The start of things

Bactine By Paul Kater Characters: 11604

Updated: 2018-02-11 19:03


Daniel walked along the corridor, to the room he was told to consider his own for the time being, when he heard a soft sound from Rayko's room. The door was open, so he looked into the room.

Rayko was sitting halfway up, a tonne of pillows in her back. She sat staring at a cup of something that was on a small table on her bed.

"Are you okay?" Daniel asked.

Slowly Rayko looked up. There was surprise in her face. "Oh... I had not expected..." She smiled. "I am not well, preacher."

Preacher? Daniel could hit himself. He was still in the Nahmyo preacher garb, and had not remembered that Rayko was following that philosophy. "I am-" he started to say as he came into the room. He stopped talking as he saw how she tried to lift a hand. "Do not strain yourself. You are still weak." He sat down next to the bed, the hood far over his head. He whispered, hoping she would not recognise his voice while at the same time he felt bad about fooling her.

"I am hurting. Inside and outside, " Rayko said, slowly, and clearly with problems. "I don't want to be a burden to the people here. Not even to..." she had to breathe a few times "that man who saved my life."

"What is your bother with him?" Daniel asked, hoping he was not too obvious.

"He is so..." another moment to breathe "so... rough. Impolite." Rayko closed her eyes and sighed. "I know I should not harbour these thoughts, preacher, but... he angers me. And I know I anger him. And still he risked his life for me. He could have died in that cellar with me." Her words ended in a whisper.

Daniel gently took her hand. "The ways of people are never explicable, or understandable." He did his best to make sense. He was sincere in a way he had never thought possible. "There are always motives beyond feelings. Actions that defy logic and emotion. Actions that transcend minds."

Rayko sat silent for a while, then tried to reach Daniel's hand with her other hand. She winced.

He reached out and touched her other hand. "Do not strain yourself." He put the hand he held in her lap. "Drink up. And rest." He got up again.

"Preacher?" she asked.

"Yes?"

"Will you come back and talk to me? It is important... it helps me. To make me feel better."

"I only convey the words of Nahmyo, " Daniel said, with a smile. "And I will come back to you. But now you rest."

"I will. Thank you, preacher."

Daniel walked out of the room and quietly went into his own. There he changed into his remaining suit, which had suffered quite a bit from the experiences of the days before.

-=-=-

Huajo left the carriage that had brought him to Clelem's house. He had made sure the man was at home by announcing his upcoming visit. Clelem had reacted a bit surprised about the call, but had invited his fellow ship owner over.

The fat man had some trouble getting in and out of the floater-carried basket. After was ordeal, he entered the reception building. Clelem himself was there to greet him, the way it was proper to do among equals.

"Dear friend, " Clelem said, "I must say I am still surprised about your announcement. Please, follow along to the house. My wife is looking forward to meeting you again."

"Thank you, dear friend. It has been too long ago that I paid you a visit, especially in this testing time, " said Huajo. He noticed the quick glance of Clelem that betrayed caution.

"I take it that you have heard that our child has gone missing, " Clelem then said. "Yes. We

did what he could to get the animal off her spot, but she had four big paws and her large tail and would not budge.

Two servants had come out to watch the strange wrestling match and whispered to each other. Daniel had noticed them come out but he did not spend any attention on them. The fight with the animal was too intense, too fascinating and too much a great distraction for him. It took his mind off things. All these things that were bothering him, enveloping him. All that counted now was to either wrench the wood from Kernak's jaws, or to pull her from her spot.

Kernak had no trouble with Daniel's struggles. It was as if she pulled exactly as hard as he did, matching his powers and not overgoing them.

After almost twenty minutes Daniel had to give up. He was soaking wet from sweating, from the fight. He dropped to his knees and laughed, laughed as a madman. "You are a rotter, Kernak, " he laughed, slapping at the animal who had dropped the branch. "You know how to distract people."

The big red head was close to Daniel's face. He could not resist. He put his arms around the thick solid neck and hugged the animal, still laughing. Kernak let him hug her, as if it was part of their game. Then Daniel let go and just lay down on the ground, catching his breath again. Kernak prodded him one more time with her nose, and then went back to her spot under the low tree.

Daniel felt free. He felt good. For a short time there were no attempts on his life, there were no plans and plots, no pirates and other nasty people. After a while he sat up.

The servants were still looking at him.

"I did not hurt her, you need not worry, " Daniel said to them.

"It is not her we worry about, Mr. Zacharias, " one of the servants said. "There has not been a human being who ever took down a Kotrvayk. It is a miracle that she wants you as a person to play with. This does not happen often, sir." They bowed and left him alone again.

Daniel frowned. Why had they bowed? People here were very polite, but so far nobody had bowed for him. "Weird, " he mumbled as he got up. Before he went inside, he kneeled with Kernak and petted her for a while. "Thank you, Kernak. This is what I needed. I owe you."

A deep rumble was his reward. Daniel went inside and found it was time for a bath.

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