When the night fell, Lady Priestess took us to a cave within a lush valley for night rest. This cave was large enough to accommodate around sixty wagons. It was clean with the wall and palate covered with fluorescent shells.
This cave was used by travelers, merchants, adventures to take a rest; so, we could find many traces of camping activities. It has a spring, but only enough for drinking and cooking, it would take too long to collect water for bathing.
The children formed a circle, led by Marciano Frano – Marcia, and Alinafe Micha – simply Micha, both were the eldest among us. We called them the Double M.
Marcia the first one who opened the discussion, “Everyone, there a twelve of us, I believe we already introduced ourselves to each other along the way, so there is no need any more introduction.”
“We will rest in the cave tonight. We split into four three groups, one group to preparing our rest area to replenish our water. The second group shall look for anything for our campfire, while the last group will search for fruits, mushrooms, tubers and anything those are edible.”
No one disagreed. Ione and I got the job to replenish our water canteen since this duty seemed more suitable for children under five like us, and I wouldn’t deny the most comfortable offer.
Meanwhile, after setting some protection charm at the cave entrance, Lady Priestess were leaving the cave to guard the children who looking for firewood and foods.
Ione and I arrived in front of a small spring, which made us frown a little.
“Eiwa, it seems we would stay here for hours just to fill all the canteens here.”
I spread my spiritual senses around the spring until it reached the boundary of the cave and then continue for dozens of kilometers.
“How about it?” Ione asked me, “Can you make it generate more water, or make it into a small stream?”
I shook my head, ‘If we do that, all ecosystem around will be impacted permanently. Many other creatures depend their lives on one or more of this spring’s other branches. We only come here as guests; we should not disturb the balance.’
“Well, if that is the case, we surely cannot modify this spring. Can you split it equally so it can fill all these canteens altogether?”
‘It is possible, but these canteens should be guarded. I dislike waiting for that long.’
“We can summon a spirit to guard here.”
‘Yes, that is just perfect. I will summon the best spirit to guard this area.’
I almost choked, ‘What was that yell about?’
“No Eiwa, you are forbidden to do another summoning. Your summoned spirit might exaggerate. Who knows what you would summon next time, perhaps you would summon a hero from another world? Don’t add a burden of living to another person, please.”
It was not my fault that everything I do was nothing but excellent. Beside Lily never complain anything of so-called burden.
After I split the spring output so it can fill all the canteens at once, Ione summoned a couple of Earth Pixies and Water Pixies – which made me a bit speechless. Each of one of these pixies capable of flattening a small city, four of them enough to conquer a small dukedom, just don’t look at their tiny size – yet she summoned them to simply guard a spring. Who was here exaggerate in summoning?
After we almost crushed by that old senile lizard, I found Ione become more passionate and intense in her daily summoning practice.
“Come Eiwa, it should be enough here. We need to return to the campsite and cleaning the surrounding area.”
Ione seems very happy, perhaps this small journey became her first experience.
She took my hand and dragged me to the campsite. This place was already neat with only a bit dusty. She started to clean the bedrock, and I followed her.
We didn’t take it long, everything was in order, except for replenishing the water which would over in another hour.
The cave was a bit dark, gloomy, moist, and cold. I took some firewood from my personal thought-generated spatial dimension, and Viola, be there a light.
‘Ouch, why did you hit my head?’
“Why didn’t you say that we have firewood? You made people looking for firewood for nothing.”
‘Well, don’t blame me. I bring firewood stock only for emergency, it is not likely going to last forever, we still need to collect them from out there.’
“Oh, my bad. How much do you bring?”
‘Hmm… I think it would be enough to lite a small campfire for a month or so.’
The air was getting warmer, and we sat around the campfire.
Ione looked like thinking about something, while I grilled sweet corns and added some layer of honey and violet cane sugar.
“You really planned for a picnic, didn’t you?”
‘Well, we are on a picnic, aren’t we? Or do you wish this trip become a dull one?’
“Bah, just give one.”
I gave one of the roasted corns to Ione, and as soon as she gave a bite – I could see she loved it.
I moved to prepare some tea, bonfire without a sweet drink is not acceptable for a cute boy like me.
When the water just about to boil, both of us stood up immediately, as we heard hurried footsteps approaching the cave entrance.
What happened? Were they pursued by a high-leveled beast?
Ione and I looked at each other.
They entered the cave in an instant, and we finally saw the Lady Priestess carry something, while the others were following just right behind her, some with tethered and bloody clothes.
‘What the hell? Did they just storming a beast nest?’
At first, everyone including the Lady Priestess was surprised seeing a campfire with corns lingering around it. But she just ignored it and moved to the nearest bedrock, she put down that thing.
I gasped when I realize what that thing was, Ione even shrieked, “A treenos? An imperial family also?”
It almost made me deaf. But Ione was right, and the imperial family of treenos race, she looked gravely injured, if this news were spreading, it would bring conflict even perhaps war to our kingdom. So, it is not wrong for Lady Priestess to look nervous, she should decide the next step, which every step could bring about harm to many people.