Tagu followed obediently, but not before grabbing a branch from the fire to use as a torch.
As Anquetiti led Nisher, Iskander, Saano, and Tagu through the scrublands, the bright half-moon was the only other light afforded them. Luckily, this wilderness of cracked red earth and shrubbery, proved easily navigable.
It did not take them long…
Anquetiti spied the lone boulder she had earlier used for cover and slowed, the others on her heels, Nisher chanting maniacally, Saano silent and focused, Iskander likewise stoic.
Anna gestured ahead and the companions could now see the outlines of some chimney-like natural structure, a misshapen specter of darkness against the sky, a hundred or so yards away.http://www.skianything.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/5242011-Capitol-Reef-Chimney-Rock-Trail-Tower-Web.jpg
As the companions slowed they could only hear their own breath and the now-distant sounds of grunting camels and neighing horses from their camp. The scrublands were otherwise silent. Even the cackling jackals had quieted.
“Some cave?” Tagu postulated and then tensed, awaiting Iskander’s further instruction, as he lofted his make-shift torch and stared at the sinister rock-formation ahead.
“We will make for the crossroads, get everything ready.” Bulvan muttered to one of his bodyguard.
“You noticed the Midnigh--?”
“Yes, of course. And he noticed me. No, I sense nothing of true
value is for sale here. And now, they chase monsters in the desert night! No, this is not for Bulvan. That—woman—was no woman.” He summarized with distaste in his mouth. “We depart!”
Moments later, the soul-merchant’s wagon shuddered and began its roll.
“Farewell, Zuan Coursi! Next time we meet mayhaps I will buy from you again!” Bulvan shouted as his caravan caterpillar-ed its way south in the near-darkness, pole-lanterns bobbing.