Chapter VIII : The Iron Wall I

Chapter VIII : The Iron Wall

“ The End Begins “

The massive black mountains and volcanoes of the Iron Wall came into view just as the first rays of sunlight rose on the west. Errol, who had a sinking feeling in her guts for almost a whole day and a whole night, urged the townsfolk to move faster. She could not explain what she felt, but she had an idea as to what it was: her copies are on the move… towards them. Therefore, she was visibly relieved when the mountain range appeared beyond the forest.

“ But isn’t that place impassable? “ came a question.

“ That’s what I heard, but apparently, some towns were set up beyond it, “ was a reply.

“ Only because they went around the Wall, right? “ someone else joined in.

“ In any case, I heard that the other sea lies beyond that Wall… can’t we just go around it? “ some other human said.

The townsfolk’s fears were not unfounded, but the historians already agreed with the black-haired one and tried to explain: the nameless river connected the two seas, and it was the only assurance of survival for such a long journey. If they tried to go around the Iron Wall, there was no guarantee that they would have enough food and water for such a detour. That did not immediately quell the fears of the humans, but when the Captain reminded them that the desert snakes would escort them through the Wall, the townsfolk became more willing to go through that part of the World.

The sun was halfway up to its apex by the time that the humans reached the bottom of the mountain range. Their only guides were the black-haired brat Errol and the nameless river which became narrower as it passed through the black mountains. Every now and then, something bright orange jumped out of distant volcanoes as if the planet spat it out. The historians called it lava.

“ Stay together! “ Xing yelled to make sure that all humans heard him properly.

As the group walked on, the path became narrower until finally, the snakes could no longer stay beside the humans. Errol instructed Linnorm and the acacia to go at the front while the odd-eyed snake remained at the end of the line. The other snakes were scattered between the traveling humans and Errol herself stayed around the middle to keep an eye on everyone. The Keepers led the way as they followed the river, and the Captain and the farmers stayed at the end of the group.

Every now and then, shadows passed overhead. The tamers peered between rocks and stones for any signs of volcano wolves, the Iron Wall’s residents, but so far, the pass seemed to be clear. Therefore, it took them by surprise when rocks fell from above them and two massive slate grey boulders landed right on three humans. The victims were crushed beneath the boulders, which soon grew spikes.

“ T-that’s a volcano wolf?! “ one of the guards backed away as the wolves ripped their prey apart.

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