LaF round 1 - Lighting fires page 4 ENDHe had almost caught up on the bear by the time they reached the fourth floor, and with one last jump he reached out to grab it. Only to get a flurry of claws in his face. Azimuth scrambled back and lost his balance for a second.
"Stay back," the bear shouted and raced on to the fifth floor while the sheep got his foothold back. Azimuth was growing furious and sick of all the poor attempts to throw him of the chase. The Thief was probably still underestimating him, or this was just a test. He reached the fifth floor with ease, just in time to see the bear climb the last set of stairs and disappear through a hatch in the ceiling. He followed as fast as he could, not letting that toy get a head start again, and was met with a pleasing sight. The final room was simply a storage room, piles of old or broken furniture and other object lining the walls. It seemed to have no other exit than the hatch they had just gone through and some heavy windows, currently blocking the bear's path. It was
LaF round 1 - Lighting fires page 3Azimuth was just starting to head back from the cafeteria and through the lobby, carrying a plate of food for Cheese, when he caught the faint trace of a fresh scent, like the forest. Something like that could not be a part of this horrible hotel. It had to be his clue.
"That must be him." A soft whisper, barely audible through all the fighting noises and talking creatures, came from behind him. The same location as the source of the scent. "Let's do this. He can't be very tough."
Azimuth had heard enough and turned around, careful to not drop the food. Something he nearly did anyway upon seeing the pine tree now standing by the corner of a different hallway in the other end of the room. He could even see a small bear thing, like a human toy, among its branches. The bear, although lacking real eyes, was staring at him as if it was waiting for him to move. Azimuth took a few steps to the side, placed the plate very carefully on the counter and looked back at the pair.
"Is this a joke?"
LaF round 1 - Lighting fires page 2The halls leading down to the cafeteria were bustling with life. Some seemed to have waken up recently, others were already searching for their opponents, while a few were trying to find a good place to hide. Some had even found their opponents and were causing all sorts of chaos. A red ferret rounded a corner and disappeared from sight, a black dog with strange markings racing hard on its heels.
Several contestants were outside the main entrance, obviously frustrated for some reason. Azimuth noticed the wolf with the bandaged muzzle among them, aswell as a giant moth creature and many others. A crow was talking to them, not seeming to ease their agitation. Azimuth lifted one foot and gave the door a shove, but it wouldn't budge.
"That won't work." Azimuth took a quick step back and looked around. An old bipedal badger, seemingly covered in dust, was standing by the counter, looking at him. "Didn't you get the message? You're either inside or outside this round, no switching, got it?"
LaF round one - Lighting fires page 1How far from home have we really gone? It was a question Azimuth couldn't find the answer to. Last night, when he and Cheese had arrived at the hotel, he hadn't been able to see the terrain beyond the dense undergrowth, but up high in the hotel room there was nothing blocking the view. And even in the dim light of dawn he could be certain; nothing looked familiar. Where was the field they had crossed before reaching the final barrier of trees? Where was all the flat land? Azimuth couldn't remember crossing mountains on the way, yet here they were, jagged against the sky. There was clearly more revolving around this Thief than a simple game of trickery.
"Enjoying the sunrise, are we?" An all too familiar voice rang clearly behind him. Azimuth turned around with a glare on his face, staring directly at the Thief who stood in front of the closed door. The thylacine's pale eyes gleamed eerily in the dark room. A room which looked even worse after a quick glimpse of the outside world