OFG and Colonel Ti stood on the high hill and looked down on the enemy.
“The killing season is drawing to a close, Ti, it might be too late.” Observed OFG.
Col Ti harrumphed and lifted his long nose into the cold wind. “Be assured, we'll have one more frozen night. Perhaps two.”
“You're sure?” She didn't sound convinced. Her old companion simply cut his eyes at her. He didn't bother to reply - she knew he has never wrong about these things. Col Ti could scent the weather three days out.
“Very well.” OFG was still focused on the hogs milling about lower on the hill. “Recall Commander Zander and his rangers from the border.”
“And the Princess?” Col Ti narrowed his eyes, he was also following the movement of the hogs. They were enormous. The harvest would be full. The larders would be overflowing for months.
“No. It's better she completes her current task. It's most important to her.” Replied OFG as she climbed into her saddle.
“He'll leave soon then?” Asked Ti but this time it was OFG's turn to not answer. Scowling she turned her mount and trotted away. Ti knew he always left. The big man had stayed longer this time, but he always left. Ti watched OFG go but then looked back to look at the hogs. He breathed in their heady scent and smiled wryly. This would be a full harvest indeed.
Far to the north in the Lands of Snow and Ice the Princess Kai coursed thru shoulder deep drifts of snow. The icy wind poured over her as the sun dazzled blue-white on the frozen landscape. This land was foreign to her but the strength of her ancestors pulsed thru her veins. She felt alive, free, as if this was her purpose – her calling. She was a descendent of the BearSlayers, the Silent Hunters. Her size and strength proved the bloodline and soon she would confirm her name.
“Kai! Kai! Let it exhaust itself! Steady your pace!” Called a voice not far behind her. But Kai would not heed, the old boar bear was slowing. She was sure of it.
Kai's strong legs powered her out of the drifts and toward her prey. She was closing the distance.
They had roused the old boar bear from its den earlier. The chase had lasted most of the day. The old boar had been wounded well enough but the bear was strong so it kept running. If he made it to the open water the bear would be lost so Kai charged ahead. She wanted that hide before the sun set this long day. The value of a white bearskin cloak could not be measured. It would be the perfect gift for her father.
“Steady on, Kai!” But the wise old huntress knew her breath was wasted on the young BearSlayer racing ahead of her. She grinned wide and remembered her first bear hunt all those long years ago. Also of the BearSlayers she was older now, and slower, but Bandit's blue eyes sparkled beneath the glorious sky. She would teach this young Princess Kai the secrets of the hunt. High above them sea birds screamed into the wind.
And then Kai was upon the bear.
Editor's Note: New readers my find the back story here. It's now easier than ever to find our hero's adventures in one place - the Not Entirely Fiction link on the top of this page.