The Kingdom (Chapter Three - Song in the Night, page 1 of 6)

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My eyes opened only to see that it was still night, but there was enough light given off by the moon to see. We were camped on the flatness of the plain!

The reality of that fact had me coming to full awareness in short order. I looked around and in the faint moonlight I saw Kuri standing there. Then I heard the howl, which was soon followed by many more.

My heart had frozen at the first howl and it all but shattered at the sound of the voices of many. They had found us and we were without ability to take cover from them out here on the plain.

"Slip beneath the sand as you did before, Benaiah, and leave this to me," Kuri said softly.

"I can help."

His gaze turned to me and somehow I felt pressed back into the sand by the authority that he seemed to manifest at times, but even though his gaze was overwhelming his words remained calm, "I have not yet taught you how to fight Benaiah. To let you attempt to help me now, in your inexperience, would be to put your life at peril. Do as I say and trust in my protection until you are able to handle more."

I said nothing more and began to start scooping sand overtop my legs and then my torso. The frenzy of crazed yips had gathered in force out on the plain. Submerged under the sand I waited to see Kuri torn to pieces by the mob of glaring eyes that I could now see all around us.

There was no sense to these dogs. They were always starving and yet killing many. Why did they run in packs of 40 or more, when they ruled the night uncontested?

Their eyes glowed blue and their howls made me long for the sound of a wolf's howl instead.

"Remember to stay down, Benaiah, and do not speak." Kuri said. He stood alone in the dark as the snarling horde drew closer and closer.

What was holding them back? Why did they hold back from a man alone?

I heard the grate of steel leaving its sheath and my eyes opened to see Kuri pulling his sword free to hold it up before him. The moonlight glinted off the blade lending a sheen to the night as blue-eyed glares closed in for the kill.

Kuri did something then that I would never have expected. He began to sing. At first it was only a deep hum and then it rose into a wordless song. It's pitched resonance seemed to impact the sand around me, as if the sand wanted to join in with the rhythm of the song.

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