Beasts_of_Heaven anthros author-mrboo explicit

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Beasts of Heaven VI part 2

By MrBoo


I-Into the Valley

Kyr stood on the crest of the pass, the anabatic wind blowing his beard over his shoulder. Across the valley, far mountains stood, dreaming in a haze of distance, their snow-capped peaks floating in a field of pale blue. The valley floor was a mosaic of dark green forests, lighter green fields and through it all, the silver thread of a river winding along its course
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He took a strip of dried meat from his pocket and chewed slowly as he surveyed the path down into the valley. They had been forced to use the easier, established trade routes for the return trip, due to the sleds that they pulled, which would never make it using the path they had followed to reach the village.

The snow was melting quickly, even in the mountains they had come across. The valley floor looked devoid of any trace of white, which would make the sleds a liability. The coming of the warmer weather also meant that the trade caravans would soon start and they would have to be avoided if they wished to retain their secrecy.

Kyr turned at the sound of steps behind him. Bern came up and stood beside him. Dal had braided his long yellow hair and it hung down his back like a snake. He rested his arms on his axe and took a deep breath.

“I smell green growing things!” he exclaimed, “and none too soon. The heaven beasts are getting big and crowd their sled. They will be glad to get out and run free on warm grass.”

Kyr smiled, “I, too, wish to warm myself in the sun and be rid of these heavy clothes. But the snow can return as quickly as it left.”

Bern put his hand to his brow and squinted into the distance. “Is that a village I see, there to the left?”

“Yes, and I hope to resupply there. Maybe some fresh meat would be good for a change.”

They had been three weeks on the road and while they still had ample food, the sameness was wearing thin on all of them, man and big fluffy alike.

“I don’t think I can eat any more of that journey brick,” Bern grunted, “even if it did save us from having to stop and hunt.”

Behind them they could hear Gio berating the big fluffy stallions as they approached. Kyr and Bern looked at each other and shook their heads.

“He rides them, day and night,” said Bern.

Kyr nodded, “They can do no right in his eyes. We just need to make sure that we don’t leave him alone with them for any length of time.”

When the rest of the little caravan reached them, Kyr called for a short rest before heading down into the valley. The big fluffy mares went into action, picking up the heaven beasts one at a time and holding them at arm’s length.

“Time make poopies!” Lya called and the small fluffies responded by voiding themselves while dangling in the air. Once shitted they were snuggled back into the now crowded sled.

“Fwuffeh make gud poopies!” they were proud of doing so and wanted everyone to know.

Kyr had largely ignored the heaven beasts, allowing Dal and Lya to tend to them, which they did without complaint. As long as they were alive and healthy, he didn’t want to be concerned with them. He saved his concern for Gio. Gio’s dislike of the big fluffies grew each day and, more and more, Kyr found himself having to calm him down and disarm potentially dangerous situations. For their parts, the big fluffies did what was expected of them and never gave Gio cause to hate them. It was their very existence that he objected to.

As they began their descent, Kyr sent Gio to scout ahead, not because he was worried about what they might encounter, but simply to give the big fluffy stallions, Tur and Sem, a break from the harassment. With the heaven beasts tucked away, the others followed the smaller man down the path. The route was fairly easy, with several switchbacks. The only problem they faced was when the snow finally gave out half way down and the sleds began dragging in the dirt. Even though it was downhill, the flat-bottoms of the toboggans still dug in and the big fluffies found themselves struggling.

Kyr and Bern doubled up with the stallions to help pull, while the mares carried as much of the supplies as they could manage. With the sleds lightened, they rode over the dirt easier.

“I hope that we can buy carts with wheels in the town,” Bern said.

“If not, at least axles and wheels to convert these sleds.” Kyr replied.

They met Gio at the next switchback, where he was waiting for them. When he saw how the men had been forced to help pull the sleds, he smirked.

“I knew that these foul things were useless. Let’s slit their throats and be done with them!”

Kyr said nothing but cast a baleful eye at him. Gio put his hands up in a gesture of resignation.

“Fine, fine,” he said, “I’ll be up ahead. Don’t be too much longer, I’m getting hungry.”

As he stomped off down the trail, Sem, who was helping Kyr pull the sled with the heaven beasts in it turned to the man.

“Sem am sowwy, am twy to wowk hawd fo’ mistah Gio.”

“I know you are,” Kyr told the tan stallion, “it’s not your fault.”

By the time that they reached the valley floor, the day was almost gone. They found a place to camp for the night in a wooded area off the trail, near a small brook. The men set up shelters using the cloth sheets and ropes, while the big fluffies gathered firewood and started a fire. They were adept at fire craft and even had their own flint and steel.

The men set up three shelters, one for themselves, one for the big fluffies and one for the heaven beasts, which covered their sled. One of the big mares usually slept with them to tend to their needs in the night. They ate, then sat around the fire before crawling into their shelters to sleep.

Kyr watched Lya through the corner of his eye as she worked around camp, cleaning up. He hadn’t enjoyed her company since they had left the village, as there was no chance to slip away to be alone. So he stole looks when he could, relishing her gracefulness and biding the time when they could lay down together once again.

Dal had taken a liking to Bern, fussing over him, combing and braiding his hair, fixing rents in his clothes, serving him food first. Kyr didn’t know why she latched onto the tall, yellow haired man as she did. Maybe she and Lya had discussed it and each chose their favorite. For his part, Bern treated her well and never spoke harshly to her, unlike Gio. None of the big fluffies spoke to him unless it was a necessity.

Finally, with everything cleaned up, they went to sleep. It was Dal’s turn to sleep with the heaven beasts, and she snuggled in with them, gathering them to her bosom for the night. The night was warmer than they had experienced thus far, and as Kyr watched, the big fluffies stripped down before wrapping themselves up in blankets. Looking upon Lya’s naked body, seeing the curve of her belly and the sleek shape of her thighs, he felt a familiar stirring but forced his thoughts aside and lay back to sleep.

He awoke suddenly some time later. It was dark and quiet, the campfire down to embers. Rolling over, he noticed that Gio wasn’t in the shelter. Instantly alert, he listened for any sounds of a struggle. Drawing his dagger, he made ready to leave the shelter when Gio appeared.

“Where were you?” Kyr demanded to know.

Gio gave him a quizzical look. “Taking a piss. I’ll let you know next time, if you want to watch.”

The two men settled back down, but Kyr couldn’t sleep. He kept thinking about Gio hurting Lya and what he would do if that happened. He had known Gio since they were very young, but if he did anything to the big fluffy mare, could he forgive him? He found that he couldn’t answer that question.

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II-Valley Town

The next morning, Kyr decided that he and Gio would travel to the nearby settlement for supplies and a wheeled cart, and leave Bern at camp to protect the fluffies. After the morning meal, the two set out along the trail.

They walked through pine woods, which turned into hardwoods as they descended further into the valley. It was a bright, sunny day with a few puffy clouds overhead. After an hour or two, the forest gave way to cleared farm fields.

“We must be getting close,” Gio said, “strange that there’s no one working the fields yet.”

“It’s still early, a late snow might still be in the gods plans.” Kyr replied.

The other man grunted, “Huh, the way of the gods is mysterious, that much we know.”

Kyr looked sidelong at Gio, but didn’t answer.

Finally, they reached the town. It was larger than any place they had ever seen, excepting Temple City and Lake Town. Sprawling on either side of the road, the structures were rustic yet well built. The streets were busy with people out on errands, women carrying baskets and groups of children running and playing.

They passed a tavern that sported a wide front porch with several men sitting on benches discussing the business of the day. From what Kyr could overhear, much of the talk was of farming, although there was talk about an auction coming up. A few of the men had leashed dogs at their sides.

“What do you say we stop for a drink?” Gio asked, “I could use one right about now.”

Kyr nodded in agreement, “And maybe find a good place to resupply.”

They entered the establishment, nodding at the gathered men, while the dogs bristled and snarled at them.

“Sorry, mister, this ol’ hound don’t know how to be polite,” said one man, “He usually acts like that when they be shit-rats around.”

“Shit-rats?”

“You know, them fluffies,” he explained, “this here’s the best shit-rat catcher around.”

The other men laughed at his boasting. “He’s only the best since yore mama died!” said one.

Inside, they sat at a table and signaled for service. A tall, lanky man with gray hair came over to take their order.

“We got beer aplenty, there’s a little cider left or applejack if ya want stronger drink,” he said.

“Beer will do,” Kyr told him.

He returned with two bowls of beer. “Ya’ll are strangers. Come for the auction or jes’ passin’ through?”

“We’re travelers passing through, hoping to buy supplies,” said Kyr, “and maybe a cart.”

The tall man nodded, “A might early fer travelers, I’m thinkin’. Be careful with a cart, now, snow might catch ya yet.”

“I appreciate your advice,” Kyr said with a smile, “What is this auction you mentioned?”

“Spring plantin’s comin’ up, time fer folks to buy their farm hands.”

“You mean slaves?”

The gray haired man spit on the floor, “Slaves? I reckon, but they ain’t men nor women. Its them big fluffy bucks what’s up for sale.”

Kyr stole a glance at Gio, his eyes warning him to silence. “Big fluffies? I have seen small fluffies before, but what are big fluffies?”

“Them shit-rats ain’t nuthin’ like the big ‘uns,” the tall man plopped down in a chair, “the big ‘uns are hard workers. Them lil’ ‘uns is jes’ a plague put on earth to punish man fer his wickedness. Tearin’ up the fields, sneakin’ into barns and granaries. Screamin’ holy murder when a dog catches ‘em. You see a shit-rat, you kill a shit-rat folks say ‘round here.”

“I see, but what about the big ones? Are they just regular fluffies grown large?”

“No sir, they’s a diff’ent animal, all together. More like, half man, half shit-rat. The size of a lil’ shaver, but not as smart. Good workers, though.”

“And every spring you auction them off to farmers that need new workers?” Gio asked.

The lanky tavern keeper laughed, “That ‘ud be all of ‘em. Only dams are kept alive over the winter, breedin’ new bucks for the fields.”

“I’m sorry, I don’t understand,” said Kyr.

“Ain’t no sense in feedin’ ‘em if they ain’t no work to be done. Every year after harvest we have the Feast, followed by the Sacrifice. It’s a grand time, it is.”

Another man entered and the tavern keep left to serve him. Kyr and Gio finished their beer and left. Back on the street, Gio started to say something, but Kyr cut him off.

“Not a word, Gio, not a word!” he cautioned.

They sought out the wainwright and were able to buy a wheeled cart big enough for the growing heaven beasts, then visited the general store. The pickings were slim, this early in the year, but they were able to find several bags of grain and more preserved meat. They also bought a couple of freshly killed rabbits for the night’s meal.

On the way back to camp, Gio finally had his say. “Why don’t we just sell the big ones here?”

“How much would they fetch here against what they might bring in Lake Town?” Kyr asked, “Besides, who would take care of the heaven beasts? Do you want to be the one to shit them and pull their cart?”

Gio had no answer and they walked along silently for a time. As they entered the woodlands, he spoke again: “I’m not blind, you know.”

“What do you mean?”

“I see how you look at the blue one. And I see how the gray one fusses over Bern. That’s what I mean.”

Kyr waved his hand at him. “You’re imagining things.”

“Am I? If you aren’t worried about your souls, I am. Yours and Bern’s,” Gio said, his passion rising, “You’re playing with something beyond your knowledge. The tavern keeper said that the heaven beasts were the god’s punishment for man’s wickedness. Well, I think these big fluffies were put here to tempt man into carnal sin.”

“Gio, trust me, they are just innocent creatures,” Kyr said, “Think about the gold we’ll get for them and let me worry about my soul, you worry about yours.”

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III-Forward Again

Back in camp, while the big fluffy mares prepared the rabbits for cooking, Bern showed the others his handiwork. He had made runners for the small sled, allowing it to slide easier over the ground, so they could bring it along in case the snow returned.

As the meal was being prepared, the big fluffy stallions placed the heaven beasts on the ground and let them run free. They sampled the strange plants, explored and played games, all under the watchful eyes of the stallions.

After they ate, Kyr announced his plans. “We will have to give the town a wide berth, their dogs are trained to sniff out heaven beasts and if the men in town saw the big fluffies, they might take them for the fields. This will slow us down, but it can’t be helped.”

They set off again early the next morning and once they came to the farm fields, they turned aside from the road and ventured into the forest. The new cart worked well and they were able to strap the heaven beast’s sled to the top of it. The other sled they left behind. The small fluffies were now big enough to stand and look over the sides of the sled and they stared at the passing woodland.

“Fwuffeh nebba seen dis pwace!” they said, “Su pwetty twees an’ su biggie! Fwuffeh wan’ wun ‘wound!”

“Hush, babbehs,” Dal warned, “don’ wan’ mistah Gio heaw.”

The mention of Gio’s name made the heaven beasts cower and tremble. “Mistah Gio am meanie mistah,” they whispered.

Eventually, they came to the river and had to go several miles out of their way to find a ford. Crossing with the cart wasn’t easy, but the big fluffies had no fear of the water and were sure-footed. Once safely on the far bank, they turned back towards the road and had regained it by evening.

The next few days were uneventful. The land began to slope upwards as they neared the looming mountains, and the weather turned cloudy and cold again. Kyr made sure that Dal and Lya kept the foals wrapped up, although one of the fillies, a bright red one with the beginnings of a yellow mane kept poking her head up to look over the side.

As they entered the foothills, a light snow began to fall. “I knew that this might happen,” Kyr told Bern. “If it gets worse, we’ll make camp early. I hate setting up in the snow.”

Gio was keeping mostly to himself on the trail, rarely engaging the others. Even during meals he had little to say and sat apart from the others, his glance darting back and forth like a man hunted.

“I worry about Gio,” Bern said as they continued along, “he isn’t his normal self lately.”

“He’ll be fine,” Kyr assured him, “once we get some gold in our pockets.”

The snowfall persisted for the remainder of that day and into the night. By the next day, the sun broke through the clouds and they continued their ascent through the pass. Huge rocky crags towered over them on either side as they trees grew fewer and the cold wind blew. The pass narrowed near the top and the road they followed became increasingly steep as the slopes hemmed it in.

“How do the caravans ever make it through here? Is it worth the risk?” Bern wondered out loud.

Gio, who was nearby, said, “Anything for gold, isn’t that right, Kyr?”

Kyr fixed him with a stare, “There isn’t much I wouldn’t do for the right sum. Nor would you. If you say otherwise, you are a fool or a liar.”

“So I’m a fool, am I? A liar?” Gio turned to confront Kyr. Bern quickly moved between them.

“No one thinks any one is a fool or a liar, Gio,” he argued, “We’re just tired and anxious about returning home. Forget about it, both of you, and let’s get out of these mountains.”

Gio stomped off and the others followed. The big fluffies, who had been standing by nervously, took up the cart handles and moved forward again.

As they reached the summit, snow began falling again, heavier this time. The land before them was dotted with smaller ridgelines and ravines that the path wound through. They had no choice but to keep descending until they were in the trees once again. Here, they set up camp, building a large fire against the cold.

The heaven beasts were unhappy with the return of the snow and complained in their squeaky voices. “It am tyu cowd fo’ fwuffehs! Nu wike dis! Wan wawmsies, mummah Wya, wan wawmsies!”

Kyr set up a shelter over them to help block the wind. The foals snuggled together in a fluff-pile as he worked. He had them as close to the fire as he dared.

“Why am su cowd, nice mistah?” the red filly asked him.

“It just is,” he replied, “stay in your furs and you’ll warm up, soon enough.”

The three men continued setting up the shelters while the big fluffy stallions gathered firewood and the mares readied the evening meal. Suddenly a horrible sound came to Kyr’s ears.

“SCREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!! HEWP!!!!!!!!!!!WOSTEST BUWNIES!!!!!!!”

Whipping his head around, Kyr saw the red filly scrambling to crawl out of the fire, its back half completely engulfed in the flames. It was too small and weak to pull itself out with its shattered front legs.

“WHY WEGGIES NU WOWK!!!!!!!!! SCREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!! MUMMAH!!!!”

Lya, who was closest, rushed to pull it from the fire. She yanked it out but it was too late. The foal’s body was charred and blackened from the rib cage back, her hind legs now just smoking stumps. The filly was reduced to making chirps and peeps before mercifully dying.

“Lya, what happened?” Kyr asked.

“Babbeh jump,” she replied, her tears flowing, “Wya tyu faw ‘way to sabe po’ babbeh.”

Kyr moved the foal’s sled farther away from the fire. “Lya, let Dal do the cooking. You stay with the small fluffies and keep an eye on them.”

Sem and Tur returned shortly thereafter, laden with firewood. They both stopped and sniffed the air. “Dat smeww gud! What kin’ nummies dat?”

Gio spun towards them, his dagger in his hand, ready to strike. The stallions flinched as Bern stepped between them.

“That shelter’s not finished,” he said calmly to Gio.

After a moment’s hesitation, the smaller man sheathed his blade and went back to work, grumbling. Kyr let out a long breath and stayed close to the big fluffies for the rest of the night.

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IV-End Game

Two days passed and Kyr had had little sleep. His concerns about Gio kept him awake, wondering when the man would finally snap. His thoughts turned constantly to what he would do if that happened. What was of greater importance to him, his friendship, forged over years of adventure or the big fluffies? And where would Bern’s loyalty lay?

They were camped near the top of a low ridge, in a small clearing off of the caravan route. The ground had a light layer of snow and the sky was clear. Kyr thought that with one more day’s travel they would be out of the mountains and into the rolling grassland beyond.

Camp was quiet that afternoon. The heaven beasts had been subdued since the red filly's death. Lya was preparing the food, while Dal was sitting next to Bern, combing his hair. Sem and Tur were busy lighting the fire. It would still be light for another hour or so, so Kyr decided that it would be a good time to relieve himself. He told Gio that he would be back shortly.

Gio watched Kyr walk away, then turned to look at Bern. That gray abomination was playing with his hair, as if she were his wife. Imagine that, he thought, a foul creature such as that enjoying the company of a man as if it were natural. Didn’t Kyr and Bern understand that their very souls were in danger? He couldn’t believe that they would be so oblivious. And Kyr, had he actually slept with the blue one? Did he dare to blaspheme in such a way? There was more than gold at stake here, Gio was sure of it.

Now the gray one was rubbing Bern’s shoulders. This was too much to endure. Gio’s eyes narrowed as he watched them. It was more than he could take, he had to do something. With a shout, he leapt to his feet, dagger in hand, and charged at the gray mare. She saw him coming and with a scream of her own, turned and raced down the slope.

Gio chased her into the trees. Blood thundered in his ears as he ran. She eluded him as they left the trees and down a rocky, snow-covered grade, but he was catching up. He was almost on her when he heard Bern behind him.

“Gio, stop! For the sake of the gods, stop!”

The smaller man pulled up and waited for Bern to catch up. Dal stopped as well, seeing the larger yellow-haired man, come to save her.

“Gio, what’s gotten into you…”

Before he could finish his words, Gio jumped at him and plunged his dagger into his neck over and over. The hot blood that flowed forth made the handle slippery and he lost his grip on the knife, leaving it jutting out from Bern’s neck. A crimson fountain jetted out onto the snow and Bern fell, his hands reaching out feebly.

Dal screeched, her hands over her mouth, as she went to him. Gio seized Bern’s fallen axe and swung it at her, slicing her in the belly, nearly cutting her in half. The force of the blow sent her sprawling, her guts spilling out onto the ground.

Gio stood, breathing heavily, the smell of blood in his nose. He had to get back to camp and finish off the others before Kyr could stop him.

Kyr returned to camp to find Sem, Tur and Lya huddled together, whimpering. The sled with the heaven beasts was undisturbed, but the others were nowhere to be seen.

“Where’s Gio?” he asked.

Lya pointed down the slope. Kyr started running, following the footprints in the snow. He heard Bern’s voice while he was still in the trees, then a high-pitched screech. He drew his sword as he exited the trees and skidded to a stop. He could see Bern lying in a pool of red, unseeing eyes cast towards the sky and the gray mare, disemboweled, steam rising from her belly.

Then he saw Gio, standing between them, holding Bern’s axe. For a moment, the two locked gazes before Gio rushed at him, screaming. Sword in hand, Kyr ran to meet him.

They met with a clash, neither landing a blow. The smaller man was unused to the heavy axe and his swings were wild, putting Kyr on the defense. After several parries, his foot slipped on the snowy ground and the corner of Gio’s axe raked down his leg, slicing through the skin.

Kyr knew that he would not be able to contain the other man, that this was a fight to the death. He also knew that Gio would tire quickly and find it harder to swing the big axe. Kyr moved to the offense and opened small wounds on the other man’s arms several times, but was unable to land a killing blow. Finally, Gio took a mighty swing and missed wholly, leaving his side undefended. Taking advantage of this, Kyr plunged his sword into his chest, the blade passing through the ribs and into the lungs.

Gio stood transfixed on the steel. The axe fell from his grasp as blood poured from his mouth. Without a word, he fell, dead. Kyr had to use his foot as he pried the sword away. He felt no sense of triumph, no joy of winning, only a deep, deep sadness as he looked upon his friend’s bodies. He fell to his knees and let out a howl of utter despair, unable to save one of his friends, forced to kill the other.

Rising, he climbed up the slope and collapsed on a nearby rock. He wept at his loss, and railed against the gods, shaking his fist at the sky.

“Is this the punishment for my folly, that my friends should die for my sins? You almighty bastards! Are you pleased now? Did you get your revenge in the blood of two good men? Why do you tempt us, knowing we will fail?”

Bitter tears stung his eyes, but he knew that he was the only one responsible. The gods were callous and uncaring. He had chosen his fate, they had only brought it to fruition. His face darkened with the knowledge that the decisions he had made were his and his friends had paid with their lives.

He stayed like that for some time as the grief enveloped him. Only when he heard a sound behind him did he startle into action and he jumped up, wielding his sword once more.









Uploader MrBoo,
Tags Beasts_of_Heaven anthros author-mrboo
Rating explicit
Source Unknown
Locked No

Comments


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MrBoo: Not too sure if anyone is still reading this series, but I do have one more after this.

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IGotIdeas: Whatever goddamned planet these people live on needs to fucking burn.
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Anonymous1: I'm reading it and I love it A- only cuz bern and dal died