Bameaf wasn’t a Bovaron that enjoyed working in the city too much. As miner of 10 years of experience, he got more used to stay most of the day in the recondite and dark mining caves of coal rather than seeing the sunlight. That didn’t do very well to him physically, specially regarding his vision, but he was not going to stop working just because of that. After all, he had a family that he had to feed, and this was the only activity he excelled at. The only aspect he would change about his job was that the way back home always felt eternal. Walking on the steppes during the night with his giant pickaxe on his back was pretty tiring for him, and with the years it could really become the hell of a challenge. Bameaf had his body covered in light brown fur, huge black antlers and he was covered in a black letter attire, specific for coal mining.
At least he wasn’t in the worst of the situations. The cave he had to work at was pretty decent. Some of his mates were sent to other caves, that were definitely not as safe as his. And that was not because of the cave itself, but because of its location: he had friends that worked near the Cursed Lands. Among the Bovaron, it was known that these places were full of remains of antique and

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ancient artifacts, that could probably release destruction all over their fields.  The Grand Council never decided anything about these lands, only that they were cursed, but Bameaf thought they weren’t brave enough to destroy every object in those ruins. He didn’t entirely blame them, as he was very scared of the unholy as well. Anything that could potentially represent the Gods of Death better remained untouched.
He sighed. In his mind, the thought of his best friend popped up. His best friend, Walcu, used to work as a miner near the ancient and evil ruins, not long ago. He was also cursed with curiosity, apparently. Once he went to work, and never came back to the city. Another miner of those ruins got to tell Bovaron that Walcu, instead of walking back to the city, went the other way around, because he wanted to see the ruins. Counting this day, it has been three winters since he disappeared. He looked at the sky. “Why did you let the cursed gods grab you, Walcu, I will never know” he thought. As a lesson, Bameaf decided to stick with the fact that he should never, ever, get closer to the ancient ruins. And thankfully he didn’t have to. Sticking to tradition is, after all, always better. If tradition is there, it was for a reason, and it was always to protect everyone else. His family, his friends, all of the Bovaron. Their community, their fields, their wooden houses, their miners, their farmers, their Grand Council. But some Bovaron seemed not to understand that tradition existed for a reason, and they decide to pursue their own egotistical, selfish purposes. Why would they even do that, he never knew. Still, it was a bit difficult for him to recognize that about his best friend, because he was a good person, he knew him well. And now he was absolutely gone. A second thought immediately appeared. What if he was drawn by the ancient objects and he didn’t really want to go there?
But, of course, there was no existing way for Bameaf to answer this question by himself, and he was sure that nobody would ever help him with this. Was he being curious about it too? No. He shook his head. He was only interested in what could probably have happened to his best friend, but nothing else. He would not let the Gods of Death penetrate into his mind by no means. But what if they did it with him like they probably did with Walcu?
He closed his eyes. Some questions are better when they are not answered. The night was falling upon him, and it started to get cold over the arid steppe.
Right before entering the city territory, where he could almost see all their wooden houses and proper Bovaron fields, something in the distance called his attention. Creatures were running, a group of about 20 or 30 people. They were not that far from him. He decided to hide behind a nearby rock, to see if he could make up anything about them way better. Then he saw it. A group of Leonians were running north of the Bovaron city. So, they clearly didn’t want to get into the city. Leonians, he thought. They were not from here. They came from the South of the world. He knows that because of some Leonian friends inside the city. Then, what was a group of armored Leonians doing near to the Bovaron Community?
When he got lost thinking about this, he blinked, and then the group was already too far away. Bameaf decided that this was enough investigation, and he stood up, and went right into the city. He wasn’t very sure if he was going to say anything about this yet.

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BOVARON JUGGERNATE

IMMENSE SUPERSTITIOUS HERBIVORE HAMLET-HERDS

WHAT IF by Maria Gabriela Orellana

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