Chapter 25. As Planned

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A nanosecond glance was all Incisor could allow herself to look down and into the pit.

It was a brief moment, but watching the the screaming Cali and Maverick thing plummet into certain death would later make the panther girl purr in satisfaction.

Till then, however, Incisor was in the middle of a stampede.

All around her it was chaos. The enraged omtwy were making the world tremble, the Cali were snarling and trying to bring down the large beasts, and Maverick and the hunting party’s leader had just fallen to a grisly death.

For those patient predators like the Cali and the Gapachu it was as if a flashbang grenade had gone off in their faces. Their instincts and sanity became polluted with fear and confusion, and they expressed this by in uncoordinated lashing out.

At first Incisor had been more than sceptical of Maverick’s less than brilliant plan.

First, the Cali would watch Incisor go into the trees. A planned which she immediately agreed to. After that things got tricky.

Next, while Maverick lead the Cali away Incisor had to go to the omtwy nest. Immediately Incisor took issue with the plan but was willing to listen to it.

At the nest Incisor would have to quickly get the omtwys’ attention anyway she could. Maverick suggested hitting the biggest bull in the balls with a rock. A humours but useless gesture that would only reward Incisor with aggravating a single omtwy.

The older male bulls were fiercely territorial during mating season, their behaviour common with bull seals who would ward off younger males.

Not willing to delve into the hows, Incisor had gathered water flasks containing several samples of male omtwy urine and then poured them onto a single leaf which she would use to lead the heard into the Cali.

It worked a little too well as territorial beasts howled and turned into a rampage in the pursuit of what they believed was an impudent adolescent.

After this Incisor had little problem locating Maverick. To Incisor, the clumsy teenager’s tracks were almost as easy to follow as a hurricane’s.

Incisor didn’t know if it was luck or divine act of the gods that she had tackled the Cali leader, but in their blind struggle she had placed the urine stained leaf inside Huna’s loincloth.

Oh, how Incisor wanted to snicker at how things had spiralled further into chaos. Instead she watched as the alpha bull and Huna were thrown into the great underground lake and then ran for the side.

The Cali, leaderless devolved into a mob, but to their credit, the Cali hunting party held their fear in and issued a blood curdling roars as they stabbed at the ungraceful beasts with everything they had.

The omtwy, however, didn’t care about spears or darts. They ran into the lion maidens and did not stop.

A Cali screamed in pain as an omtwy scooped her up by the leg with his jaws, and continued its stampede, even as the ground left its feet and it accelerated into lake, and shadowy monster that lay within.

Other omtwy were less interested in having a meal. They lowered their heads and impaled the line of lionesses with their impressive horns.

Incisor was already clear from the frenzy by the time the second omtwy was in free-fall. She ran around the edge of the pit, using the confusion and ferns as camouflage for her escape.

A close call with an omtwy with a spear in its eye nearly turned her back leg to pulp, but heart pumping fear boosted the Gapachu’s stride and Incisor launched herself up the nearest tree.

Careful to remain down wind, she leaped onto the branch of a neighbouring tree with an almost supernatural elegance.

There, safe within the leaves she watched the carnage.

There wasn’t really much to see at this point. The main herd had removed the Cali like filberts from some trail-mix.

What survivors there were attempted to stab the omtwy, but they only succeed in stopping the three bulls from going over the ravine and securing their attention.

The plan had worked. Though Incisor speculated that Maverick and Scratch-Ear might have a difference of opinion.

It was no matter. As far as Incisor was concerned she had struck a tremendous blow against her hated rival, and had made the jungle that much more safer. If it was to the cost of some strangers’ lives and that was just an added boon.

A large amount of Cali in this area had died this day, which meant that their pried was weakened and their territory was vulnerable.