Ned looked toward his direction of travel the next day. He could not see the waterfall in the darkness, but the foothills to the South-East led that direction. He peered at the forest on the South-Western shore of the lake. Fires continued to flicker in the woodland. Faint wisps of woodsmoke rose above the trees and the contrast against the night sky was just visible. It was careless. Then something else caught his eye from the North. Another fire, but this was moving. It went along the Western side of the lake toward the fires. It must be more Malaxians carrying a lit torch. Ned figured one troop must have gone for the lake to cut him off, while the other tried to follow his trail. He knew Kroll’s men were well trained trackers, so he had done well to evade them. But they were no longer clandestine. And at least Ned knew he had shaken Kroll from his tail. From now on, they were ahead so he intended to track them. Tomorrow was going to be different. Feeling sleepy, he curled up and settled down for the night.
He woke to a howling wind. Darkness still engulfed the land as he folded the blanket away and checked everything else was in his bag. He put the strap over a shoulder and ensured it was secured to his waist. He adjusted the pelt coat and tightened the straps. The wolf’s face was secure on his head. Before the first rays of sunlight broke, he climbed up the cliff to the top and hauled himself over the edge.