For the next three days the two tribes traveled toward the mountains far to the north. They had not been moving fast, instead sharing information and enjoying the time together; it was a pleasure they did not get to enjoy very often.

But, both groups went to work as they traveled into new territories. Bralla and her apprentice Prin memorized the lay of the land they had not taken time to explore before. Heena followed her senses and tried to find new sacred places, but none had been found so far.

“Why do you still search for the sacred places?” Dees asked one morning as they were eating breakfast in the dim light right before dawn. “Mother told us about the sacred places, but we only put the dead to rest there.”

Heena sat and concentrated on the point at the horizon where the sun was about to appear. “She told us to find them. I can sense them so strongly, so it fell to me to find them.”

Dees just shrugged. “But, you could do so many other things! Exploring fills me with more excitement than trying to follow a feeling.”

“The law is that we must put the dead in the sacred spaces,” Heena said, repeating in a reverent tone what their mother had told them many times. “Without sacred spaces, we would not be able to give them proper rest.”

“But, there are many sacred spaces,” Dees countered. “All the tribes are within a day’s journey of sacred spaces. Even explorers like us try not to stray too far from them.”

Heena smiled. “So, you need me to find more so you can explore more. And with mother resting in a sacred place, there was nobody else to carry on the work.”

Dees didn’t respond and let the topic drop. The two sat together in the waning moments of the night. Slowly, the sun peeked over the horizon, sending rays of light across the plains. The sisters sat in silence, watching as the light chased away the darkness, bringing the start of a new day.

“Where are you heading next?” Dees finally said after the sun’s spectacular arrival.

“Bralla mentioned some areas to the north that may contain sacred places. There are areas we have not seen yet up there.”

“Yes, some beautiful lands in the hills before the mountains,” Dees said, smiling at her memories of the area.

“We have some maps Bralla described for us,” Heena said. “And, you, where will you go?”

“We will go exploring!” Dees said with barely contained excitement. “The western areas are yet unknown to us. So, we will take Bralla and Prin there to remember the areas.”

“No other tribes have been there yet?”

“Not that I have heard. Bralla has no memory of those areas, and has heard no stories. So, we will go explore.”

“Perhaps find other tribes?” Heena said with a chuckle.

“Who knows? We may even find those other tribes from campfire stories.” Dees said, smiling. “I think they are out there.”

“I know. Do be careful, sister.”

“Oh, don’t worry, we can handle ourselves. It is our job to find the unknown!”

“Stay close to the sacred spaces. I think they can bring peace,” Heena’s voice trailed off.

“Bralla will keep the sacred spaces in her mind as we travel, and she will not let us go too far.” Dees playfully grinned at her sister.

“Perhaps I am worrying too much again,” Heena said, giving a half-smile in response.

“You are,” Dees said, standing up. She leaded over and gave her sister a kiss on the forehead before moving off to join her tribe.

Heena sat quietly and let the sun’s light warm her for a few minutes more.


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