Finding this one was going to be trouble. The rough lands towards Telse along the Bell’an Range is a good place to hide. Getting into the unclaimed hills is a way to avoid the Crinth-Aszel war and, probably more importantly, a way to find evade capture. Some rush to the front, where the number of Aszel soldiers and their dogs make hiding harder. But, those that rush to the front also stand a chance of finding their tribe.
Piyu took the other route towards sharp crags, forests, brambles, and streams. The goliath’s massive frames make hiding hard, in the Range and Upper Telse there is hope.
Kellamon does not care for Piyu’s hope. He doesn’t care for his ability to hide. This hunt already cost him Latarza. It wasn’t even violence, just a horrendous accident away from any help. A stupidly rushed river crossing so as to not lose the scent. Lat had the lead, a little slip and Bastos’ littermate is gone.
Pain had ripped through Kell. A companion of several years torn from his little pack. Losing the food, other traveling goods and time meant little. Latarza is gone. He was a damn fine dog. He’s gone.
That was two days ago.
Now Bastos cannot find the scent. There’s a narrow path, and it is likely that Piyu followed it. An abandoned homestead sits off to the west. Recent rains weigh down tall grasses, they may be some kind of grain gone wild.
A shadow passes over Kellamon as he’s bent to the ground inspecting trail sign. He glances to the sky and sees a massive eagle. It is circling. Bastos is several dozen feet away, and could be the center of that circle. Kell gave the whistle for come. Losing a second dog just trying to catch an escapee would be foolish.
The wingspan and that grand beast could cover a cloud. As it drifts off away, Kell wonders about the kind of place he’s in where a bird that large would be free. Kell, also thanked As that Piyu’s bond is just a heron. Piyu wouldn’t run out of food, but there’s nothing to scare Kell and Bastos. Impracticality would be Piyu’s downfall.
Dark clouds roll overhead, chasing the giant eagle to the mountains. The storm would be massive. Since the escaping goliath’s trail had stopped here recently, the abandoned shed could be shelter again. He’d lose little time to this soon-to-rage storm. Piyu could try to keep running, but these rains would slow him, the winds would threaten his bird.
Another night with no fire, but at least he’d be warm with Bastos curled next to him. Dinner is nuts, tack bread and some dried roots paired with a bit of fresh water. It was the best night of the chase, even if both he and Bastos were lonely.
Maybe tomorrow he’d catch Piyu or that damn bird. One would lead to the other. Maybe tomorrow he could start a journey home and grieve properly. For now, he could sleep. Tomorrow he’d recapture the massive goliath.