Not much of a set up for this War of Nytefall: Savagery excerpt. Just Clyde finding himself in another jam. Have fun.
Sitting on the tree stump, Clyde quietly munches on an orange that tastes like a banana and has no juice on the inside. He has given up trying to describe the sensation of biting into the snack and focuses on the real source of his frustration. Seven paths are connected to the circular clearing, which has a dome of thickly intertwined branches with shining leaves. Cool water has filled the hollowed half of the large stump and there is the faint smell of lavender wafting off the pool’s surface. Clyde finds that every sip helps him relax, but not to the point where he forgets what he should be doing. A yawn escapes from his lips, so he swiftly breaks a finger for a jolt of energizing pain and heals the injury in a way that gives him a rush of adrenaline. Hearing a familiar buzzing of wings, he angrily swings his arm to swat two of the crimson beetles out of the air. The insects slam into a tree that is immediately entombed by rose-bearing vines that sprout more of the hardy bugs. Popping the last bite of fruit into his mouth, the Dawn Fang rises with a grunt and flips a disc of wood that he has turned into a makeshift coin. He continues playing the game of chance until he is left with one path to take, which looks no different than those he has eliminated. Picking up one of the many fallen branches, he jams it into the ground at the mouth of the well-lit path to act as a marker.
Another yawn consumes Clyde’s senses and he practically roars to stop himself from succumbing to the brief moment of fatigue. Shaking his head clear, he picks Lost up and tucks her under his arm. The girl is snoring and her stiff body is curled around her bunny, which makes it easier to carry her than if she was limp. Reaching back, he plucks Orinak off the tree stump and tucks the unconscious fairy into his pocket. Not wanting to get stabbed by the horn, he has the creature’s top half dangling over the edge. Clyde stares at the tiny figure and worries that he could be inadvertently lost or crushed if trouble finds them. With no other ideas, he carefully slips Orinak into Lost’s arms and is relieved to see her instinctively grab the Karifan. A slap across the face stops a third yawn from emerging and creates a moment of clarity that helps the Dawn Fang consider his situation. Right away, he realizes that he will be traveling blind since the only one able to read the map is currently muttering about having acorn pie for breakfast. Not seeing any way to fix the problem, he finds himself praying for some help as he heads down the chosen path.
Expecting an attack, Clyde stays alert and repeatedly scans the silent forest, which is filled with pleasant birdsong. In the distance on both sides, he can see that there are patches of darkness created by dense clumps of trees. Beautiful flowers are found at every turn in the road and there are colorful swarms of butterflies every quarter mile. He spends an hour walking alongside a stream, which weaves through the trees. Frogs leap across his path and stop to glance at the travelers before continuing on their way. Whenever he walks beneath a gap in the canopy, Clyde checks the sky to see if there are any threats passing overhead or signs that he has walked into a trap. The clouds are different in every spot, but their movements are fast enough for him to expect such a change. Moving Lost to his other arm, he goes over the path in his head to get his bearings and is fairly certain that he is heading northeast. Making another gentle turn, he is relieved to see that he only has a short walk before entering an open plain with a small town on the horizon. As he steps out of the forest, the Dawn Fang shields his eyes from the bright sun fills his vision with spots that he has to blink away.
“What just happened?” Clyde asks when he finds himself sitting on the tree stump.