Chapter IV

     Tim wasn't certain he should trust the rickety bridge, but Psycho and Drum Boy took to it without thinking twice, so the boy nervously followed.
     "This overgrown path leads to a small village," spoke Psycho. We should be able to hunt something for dinner along the way and then find some shelter there. In the morning we'll set out for the tower."
     "Oh, so that's where you plan to take us? I should have realized," spoke Drum Boy.
     "Where?" asked Tim.
     "Hold on," stated Psycho. He stopped and listened. "Something's approaching. Get your weapons ready."
     Psycho and Drum Boy turned toward the tall grass readied their axe and mallets. Tim stood nervously and reached behind himself for the sword Jester had given him. It wasn't in very good condition, but Jester had done his best to sharpen off the rust and polish the blade, and it was certainly better than nothing. Still, Tim had only had about a week's worth of practice with such a weapon. He learned how to handle it correctly, but an actual battle was far beyond his experience.
     After a few seconds of anticipation, Psycho called out "Dinner!" and the two charged the deer-like creature which stepped out from the plants. Tim was bewildered. They were merely hunting an animal. Looking at the blade he held and the bloodied creature his companions were pummeling, Tim put his sword back into its scabbard and went back into his thoughts of the preciousness of life.

     "We're going to need some water," spoke Psycho who was starting a flame for the cooking of the dead creature.
     "I think he was talking to you," spoke Drum Boy, "the one who didn't help kill it."
     "Well sorry, I..."
     "He's not used to this kind of lifestyle," completed Psycho. "Earth is much less focused on individual needs. They have communities where only a handful deal with the acquisition of meat. Here, take this pot and fill it with river water."
     "OK." Tim walked back toward the bridge and climbed down to the water below.
     "You go follow him," commanded Psycho.
     "What? Why?" questioned Drum Boy.
     "We're protecting him from the Prophets, remember? He can't protect himself yet."
     "So if he dies, there's no chance of escape to Earth. That is why you decided to join us, isn't it?"
     "Fine, but I'm not going to do this kind of thing every step of the way," he warned.
     "Suit yourself, then." Psycho went back to tending the fire.

     The river was a good fifteen feet down below the bridge. The bank wasn't very steep, but tricky enough that Tim wasn't sure how easy it would be to ascend while carrying a full bucket of water. "I wonder what else he's got in that backpack," he spoke to himself, looking at the heavy basin he was now carrying.
     Tim approached the river and prepared to collect the water when he felt a strange feeling. It was as though someone was watching him. Setting the bowl aside, he listened. All he could hear was the rushing water before him. But then, and he was certain now, he heard a stone cracking its way down the bank as it fell. Someone was there. Cautiously, Tim reached for the handle of his sword. Grasping it, he quickly pulled it out and turned to be face to face with... Drum Boy.
     "Ahh!" shouted Tim, falling backwards into the water in shock.
     "Careful!" suggested Drum Boy, offering him a hand. "This trip will be a lot less comfortable with a wet hindside."
     "Why'd you do that?" panted Tim. "I was ready to attack you!"
     "And if I'd meant you harm, you would've been too late," assessed Drum Boy. "Always watch your back. C'mon, I'll carry the water. Better wipe the moisture off that sword or it'll rust."

     Tim could hardly bear to eat his soup for the thought of the animal it was comprised of, but hunger won him over. It turned out to be quite good, his moral beliefs set aside. He figured it would just have to be another of those things he needed to get used to.
     The three arrived in the town Psycho had spoken of just before nightfall. They gained residency for the night by Drum Boy granting the owner a sort of illusionary performance Tim could not understand in the least. Some sort of dancing cattle which caused the man to break into laughter. Whatever it was, the three were allowed a room.

[Chapter III] [Chapter V]

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