It was for this reason that Xaine left his hunting party to come to this spot. He sat on a grassy hill watching Saber graze nearby. He knew that he was probably early but he wanted to get his thoughts in order before they met. Xaine needed to validate his feelings or else invalidate them. He just had to know if what was on his mind was on his mind only.
Still, his request to meet was accepted so easily that he felt it wasn’t just him. He sat alone for quite some time and tried to piece everything together himself. He just couldn’t ignore what was going on.
Xaine finally saw her in the distance. Her stark white figure stood out against the different shades of green in the field. She moved toward him quickly and soon Xaine was able to even see her rider. Nab was indeed using the net that covered Evala as a makeshift saddle in order to avoid the spines on her back.
Once they approached close enough, Nab dismounted and walked the rest of the way with Evala by his side. Nab looked nervous once again like he had the day he had revealed Evala to Xaine. This did nothing to ease Xaine’s spirits. If anything it only confirmed his worries.
“Long time no see,” Nab said.
Xaine nodded not quite sure how to start.
“How goes the hunting?” he asked.
“You should know from the reports that have been sent, I sure hope you didn’t ask me all the way out here just for that,” Nab replied.
“Yeah they’re still going on,” Xaine said.
“What do you mean by that?”
“Well, just how many darkgons have you killed,” Xaine asked.
“Seven, I believe was the last count, but once again that should have been in your reports,” Nab replied.
“Yeah, it was one in the reports. My party has around the same, so has every other hunting party.”
“Isn’t that a good thing?,” Nab asked but Xaine could see something else underneath. As if Nab was just trying to avoid saying it first.
“Fine, I’ll come out and say it. There are four hunting parties out there. If we’ve all killed around the same number something doesn’t seem right,” Xaine replied.
“How so?,” Nab asked.
“It’s too many, Nab and you know that. We’ve killed almost the same number of darkgons as we fought in that swarm half a year ago. This can’t be right. They aren’t supposed to be able to reproduce anymore now that the orb is gone.”
“It sure seems that way doesn’t it,” Nab said, conceding the point.
“What’s going on Nab, they should all be gone by now. I don’t understand. Were you wrong about them all being female? Is there some other way they are reproducing?”
“Do you think it’s maybe possible that we miscalculated the size of the swarm we killed?,” Nab asked as if hoping to be proved wrong.
“I highly doubt it. Our trackers are usually pretty good at basic things like counting,” Xaine said.
“I think something is wrong,” Nab said finally.
“Noticed that did you? You’re just bringing all your powers of observation with you today aren’t you?,” Xaine said parroting his words back at him.
Nab looked back at Evala and stared for a few moments.
“What do you think? ” Nab asked her.
She tilted her head sideways as if in exasperation.
“Ok fine,” Nab said and turned back to Xaine. “When you sent me that request to meet, let’s just say I was thinking of sending you the same thing.”
“Why? What’s going on?,” Xaine asked again.
“Well, Evala felt something. Or really, she didn’t feel something. Or maybe continued to feel something. I don’t know how to put it really. But she didn’t feel quite like she should have when we destroyed the orb.”
“What do you mean?”
“Well, when the orb was destroyed she didn’t really feel quite as free as she thought she would. She didn’t feel entirely like the orb had gone.”
“Why wouldn’t you say something about that?”
“If you recall maybe five seconds ago, I just said I was contemplating telling you that before you sent me the letter,” Nab said sarcastically. “Anyway, we thought it would go away, that maybe it just took a little time. But it doesn’t seem like it’s going anywhere,” Nab said.
“What are you telling me?,” Xaine asked hoping he would get a different answer than he was thinking.
“That, most likely, there’s another swarm out there,” Nab said.
“Another, as in only one?,” Xaine Asked.
“As if we could use the word only to refer to another swarm of those things. But I don’t know if there’s only one more. We didn’t know there were more than the one, to begin with,” Nab replied.
Xaine didn’t speak for several moments. He wasn’t sure what to do. He was hoping that they would come and tell him that he was wrong. That the darkgons would eventually die out. But now it seemed that it really wasn’t over. But deep down Xaine already knew. He knew that what had happened had not fulfilled the prophecy.
“I was really hoping you come and tell me I was crazy, and there was nothing to worry about.”
“I was really hoping you weren’t going to call me a liar or try to kill Evala again. So at least one of us got what we wanted,” Nab replied.
“I sure hope there’s not many more of these things. We lost enough warriors just fighting the one swarm. We won’t be able to do it without help this time,” Xaine said.
“Let’s just hope we get it,” Nab replied.