Neli gazes at her homeland for the last time, fellow Darkspear walking the rows of dead lining the village’s edge. The five-year-old lets out a shill scream to the sea, warm tears rolling down to her tusks as she grips the railing.
“No!” she shouts, hands pulling her away.
“They’s with Bwonsamdi, watchin' over us.” whispers her mother, Jal'antu.
Neli takes in a shaky breath, remaining silent in Jal'antu's arms.
The shaman sets her daughter down, “Papi could use ya.”
Neli rips her eyes from the island, leaving her mother.
Jal'antu casts a grim look to their receding home.
“Papi?” she asks, looking to Maj’atal.
The hunter is cross-legged, head hung low to the floor.
Her eyes well at his mixture of grief, humiliation, and guilt.
Maj'atal's hands tense around his bow with the anger of losing his two raptors.
Neli wraps herself around his sides, burying her face in his stomach.