It had been three days since Bremmen had left the camp. He had reached the Winds of Muse the night before, and met many Trykers there... All silt sculptors... none of them were however able to tell him where he could find Derren Be'Lauppy... but at least he could sleep in a tent rather than lying on the cold sand that he had been forced to endure on his travels. His trusty weapon was proving very useful in converting the prowling cloppers to food.. His thirst he quenched from the water of the lakes. Still convinced that he had to impress the Corsairs, he continued to look for the scout in every possible location.
He spent five days this way. The sixth night saw him thoughtfully consulting his map, and drawing the last crosses... He was sure that he had looked absolutely everywhere and he was starting to believe that Codgan, the Corsairs' welcomer had played a nasty trick on him and he was deciding whether to walk and swim back to the camp and give him a piece of his mind. He made his way slowly through the many Cloppers, holding them off with his weapon. He had improved greatly in this discipline almost without realizing it from all of the cloppers he'd encountered in his searching. Emerging from the cloppers, he spied a man he'd never met, just behind a herd of Ragus. He was peacefully wandering around, and taking down notes as he rambled. Could this be the scout he was looking for? He ran toward them and began to speak:
"Hi! Would you be Derren, by any chance?"
"Hi young Homin" replied the strange Homin, agreeing with a grin.
Bremmen was so excited that he couldn't even ask Derren where he'd been the last few days but in a flash Bremmen realized something. This Homin was a scout, and a scout isn't supposed to stay in the same location. They walk the ways of Atys to observe the fauna, the creatures' behaviour, the outposts, the groups of travellers... Bremmen introduced himself and explained why he was looking for Derren. They chatted for nearly an hour. Derren was sympathetic, open-minded and very happy to help anyone sent by Codgy. Derren gave Bremmen a quest to fulfil: observe the Cutes around the area, and mark the location of their groups on his map.
Our young Homin began to patrol the area and tried to locate the Cutes. He had improved so much in holding creatures off with his weapon that his task only took him three days. Finally, the sole place he hadn't visited was Windy Way. He had kept this area for the very end, since he knew it was the most dangerous. Fulminating Ragus were a plague, and he hardly managed to survive the last time he went there. He hurtled forward, ducking through the crowds of Gnooffs. He lay low, crawling between plants, controlling the wind's direction to prevent predators from smelling him, trying to get closer to the southern pools where it would be safer.
Finally arriving, he glanced around the area, and noticed some other groups of Cutes. He went forward to examine them, camouflaging himself in the flora to write down their location. He was staring at one of them, studying its behaviour, when a scream froze his blood; another Cute was returning to the group and Bremmen was exactly in its path. He took out his trusty weapon, and shot several times, enduring the cute's assault without a word. Less than a minute later, our Tryker had managed to kill the attacking cute, though sustaining grave wounds in the process.
Danger was still present unfortunately, as he turned back to the group he spotted very big Cute advancing towards him. It looked different form the others, but Bremmen didn't hesitate. He sprinted for the water, escaping the Cutes claws with a dive into the welcoming lake. The Cute stopped at the waterside. Bremmen looked at him. "Like the Ragus", he thought. "It is afraid of water, so it must be closer to creatures than to Homins." Bremmen stepped out on the opposite side of the lake, and made his way back to Derren. He had all of the Cutes' locations, thus completing his task, so he was certainly eligible to join the Corsairs, now!
Just a few minutes later, he met the scout.
"Hi Derren!" He said.
"I've marked every group of Cutes on my map as you requested"
"Well, that's impossible young Homin. You've only worked for a few days, and the groups will move with the seasons... Come back in one year" Derren concluded with a big grin.
"What? You must be joking!"
"I am!" He said laughing. "Give me your map and I'll add your information to the ones I already gathered."
Derren took the map, and looked at it.
"The Cutes were hard to observe", Bremmen said. "They kept attacking me when I was close to them. I've even seen a very big one, different looking. I almost thought it was a Homin, for one second... But it attacked me like the others"
"Oh, you met Doren. Anyway, they only attack you when you disturb them. In fact, those creatures are more or less placid, but they feel threatened whenever you enter their hunting territory. So observe them from afar, and if you really want to talk with some of them, try to meet the Cuzans."
"The Cuzans? What are they?"
"Higher Cutes. That will be your next mission: get to their tribe, and come back to tell me what they prefer to eat."
"Where are they?"
"In the Lagoons of Loria."
"Good luck. And take care there, that region is not as safe as the Winds of Muse"
Bremmen was astounded. Having little choice if his ambition was to be fulfilled, he accepted the challenge and left the scout, heading towards the Lagoons of Loria.