The forest is made up of tall baobab trees with horizontal limbs reaching out in all directions. Birds and insects chitter among them, flashing and flitting from bough to bough. The gang slowly marches in formation, their speed arrested by Shyan and Fassn’s infirmities. The short grey princess, too, is no speedster, so the group’s pace is leisurely despite its preference to get away from the village immediately.
“So,” Cang says as they amble together. “How did you come to be captured by the humans of the village?”
“They rode in on their beasts,” says the princess. “The tall ones become taller. You understand,” she says, eyeing Cang, who’s not much taller than she is, though broader by far. “Their four-legged tall beasts snort and roar and there is nowhere to run. I offered myself to preserve the well-being of my family in my absence.”
Abia shifts in her gait uncomfortably.
“Then won’t they just come back?” Fassn asks.
The birdsong seems to die at that moment as all eyes shift to him.