I feel free. Like a child who has finally established himself apart from his parents. The jungle opens up before me, and with my companions I will conquer it.
The education we received from Bantish was brief, but expansive. I know what plants to trust, which snakes are poisonous, and what will counteract their venom. We have a curved instrument for drawing water from the trees, and another for quickly removing the leeches we attract in the creeks.
We will not starve, nor will we succumb to simple fevers or parasites.
My task has been reduced in neither complexity nor danger, but the tools I have to face it have been multiplied.
We made good progress today. I would estimate that we covered over ten miles. Now that we seek to follow natural pathways rather than cutting out our own, we meander more but make better time. This would be completely different if we were not able to travel light. Accomplishing a day’s work with a larger expedition here could take a week. Perhaps longer.
Telling our direction without stars or an easy read of the sun is still challenging, even with what tricks Bantish taught us. I feel more confident in our ability now, however. We should reach the old road in a week’s time, at which point we can turn due east and make for Graylag.
Bolton has started grumbling again. It’s good to know he’s getting back to normal, I just hope he has mellowed some through the experience of his illness. I have begun giving him small tasks to keep him busy, usually related to fetching water or gathering roots. He accepts the chores begrudgingly but I think he is just happy to be up and moving.
I too am happy to be moving. It is time to find Salisir’s corpse.