Arapegol said, "Let us bring the urban camels further in under this low tree, toward the back, and when it is closer we must be quiet and not say anything or make any noise. I think this creature will move on toward the back of this valley where the structure I saw is located, without coming closer to this tree with going by. But if the creature does approach this tree we must have been discovered, and we who use the urban camels should mount, and flee, and you Gasha should transform to the beast form wiith which you can carry the others quickly from here. We will then hurry toward that city ahead along the road."
They did not speak any more, while they watched this huge hairy bipedal creature continue along the stretch of the valley where it was level between slopes, a good way still from the low tree they were under. They were really silent as the creature walked by, and it went a little bit further, and stopped, looking around.
That hairy erect bipedal creature stayed in that spot for a good while, looking in different directions. Arapegol and the riders with him had the urban camels further back on the other side of this low tree with great overhang, where they looked out from that side as they sat with legs folded under. Arapegol wondered if it these camels had been smelled.
The creature then moved closer and closer to the tree, still glancing around. It cued Arapegol and the others to each mount their supercamel who was used to them, with the things they brought, and Arapegol having the just acquired gem with his other articles carried together.
The creature came close to the tree. Suddenly Gasha in Jaydeen's original body started changing in the way that would appear as the very great beast that would carry the others. Seeing that the creature was now that close and the great beast was forming, Arapegol and the riders going with them had urban camels rise, and then go on in a hurry out toward where the valley opened near to where the road they had gone on went further toward the city they had seen. As they did the great beast that had formed appearing like a huge wolf rushed out from under that tree toward the hairy bipedal creature.
Arapegol, Iperanton, Jaydeen in the elfin body and Lucion and Trysina in each other's body, all on the urban camels, were quickly far from there as the huge beast which Gasha formed from what had been Jaydeen's original body made lunges at the great hairy biped, which now backed up to avoid the attempts to bite. The five riders rounded the curve of that valley and were then out of view from the tree giving shelter where they had been through the night. The sun then had just come up.
When they came up to the road where they would continue on to the city ahead where they could see a few structures that would be buildings, Arapegol said, "I knew from talking with that small creature, the gem armadillo, that this huge creature we saw would come, but the gem armadillo did not say what it was, and I did not recognize it with seeing it myself."
Iperanton said, "I have heard of such a thing from when there was education and instruction for us, but I don't remember what it was."
Jaydeen said, "It was what the people of Quadick call the Big Hairy. No one sees it around there. But those who have traveled further north through wilderness lands as there are in Terricana have spoken of this creature that some have seen. Some just see the huge footprints from where it has been."
Lucion in Trysina's body said, "Look, there is a cottage right over there. And the road ahead looks much better, from there on, where it is a smooth surface."
Arapegol said, "If everything went right where we left the others, Gasha in that form of a huge beast would then be carrying Klara and Galvishar, and the half giant should be coming with them. So we should remain ahead of them. Hopefully nothing went wrong with that Big Hairy overcoming them."
Jaydeen said, "We should not turn back now. It is better to wait for finding out when we notice them coming up when we reach the city, and not continue talking about them now."
Arapegol and those with him went on speedily on their urban camels, and they came to where the cottage near this road was right away. A couple of men were seen at work on trees in front of the cottage. Arapegol and then the others brought the urban camels down to a slow pace, and Arapegol called out to them, "Hello! We are from Tenoba to the south, and we are on an important mission. We would like to know what is the city ahead that we are coming to?"
One man there was a young man, the other man was seen to be significantly older. That older man said, "That city ahead of you is Diodun. You are strangers, and there are things you should really know about that place. There is a significant crime rate there, mostly burglary. And there is an upper class that strongly influences the rule over that city, keeping lower classed people in their place, forcefully."
Arapegol said, "This is something we should know. But it is unavoidable and we must go there."
The man said, "Then really be on your guard, and may the High Regdon be watching over you with providence."
Arapegol and the other riders thanked the man who spoke with them for the information. This man told them he went at times to sell wares, but had seen such problems that he with his family here now grew things to subsist on themselves and worked on making things for themselves, so he would not go to that city so often.
The riders excused themselves for their hurry was important, and they rode on with their urban camels, which went really fast. As they drew nearer to Diodun the city ahead, Jaydeen whose mind was in the elfin form said, "I wonder what that man meant with saying High Regdon would watch over us."
Arapegol who rode nearest to Jaydeen said, "I have heard mention of Regdon by a couple of others. I understand they think there is this high being that is most benevolent among beings higher than all of us who are in this world, who would answer needs when petitioned, yet still requires observance of rules, and seeks to promote justice. Most others around them dismiss their beliefs, though there are many others with beliefs just as strange."
Jaydeen answered, "You call others' beliefs strange. But I have heard you speak at times of the Great God. Who talks like that? Most know a name of some high being they appeal to, in the cities it is mostly Citra but there are those appealing to beings of other names. And some of us just don't go with any of that."
After a moment or so, as the riders on the urban camels went on quickly, now on the road here with a surface paved, drawing closer to that city they had come far to reach, Arapegol explained, "Certain of various people I know speak with faith in the higher being they trust and are ready to serve, all of them speaking of different names of that one they trust and would serve. I have really listened to them, and I became sure that they refer to the same higher being while with completely different names they use. To avoid favoring the name used by one group of people over any name of the others, while I see clearly there are other beings or images served that are not that one, I speak of the Great God, that this one I see is that same being those people of various groups trust and would serve known to them with the different names would still understand that one to be. This Great God is really greater than the other beings or what is conceived of with images with yet other names that others serve."
Jaydeen answered, "Maybe it is a composite you come up with."
They rode yet closer toward that city. Arapegol said, "Maybe. But I am sure there is the higher being that is the Great God, to trust and be ready to serve."
Jaydeen said, "Still how could that higher being you claim is there be troubled about any of the rest of us for doubting there is that higher being?"
Arapegol said, "I didn't say anything about that. I don't have any thought about how the Great God cares about those who doubt any of that."
Jaydeen said, "Certainly others can believe in what is different just as much as they do, so you can't have a basis to say they are wrong."
While they spoke back and forth, Arapegol and Jaydeen along with the others riding nearby on the urban camels as they continued along this paved road at a fast pace came much nearer to this city that they were informed was Diodun. The gate to the city within the surrounding wall came to be well in their view. Arapegol then said, "Once we enter, we should find a spot near to that way in where we would stop, and wait for a while, for the others to catch up, if any of them will still make it."
The others understood to do this, and they continued at the same rate, so that not much past the middle of the daytime they came to where the road went into this city. It continued as an avenue through this part of the city, with small streets crossing it ahead at intervals, interrupting the series of small to moderate buildings along the sides. There were a few wagons going along it in both directions, so they rode on the urban camels much more slowly.
Arapegol said, "That parking area there looks like the best stop for us to wait for the others to catch up with us."
It was almost a block into the city past the city gate. Still when they settled the urban camels they were riding in that bit of open space with buildings further from them, they could turn and view the gate hoping those they had left with what Jaydeen said was called a Big Hairy near them would still come, with the great beast carrying Galvishar and Arapegol's original body yet occupied. The riders could not be sure if those ones would come. But after a not very long wait, they saw the half giant with the elvish mind enter in through that gate, with looking around while going around the wagons along the avenue. Arapegol waved for getting her attention. After a little time with her looking carefully in different directions, she noticed them. She came right up then, with a look of relief. "Hereti ouyen reaen! En onderedwë."
Arapegol said, "But what about the others? They are not here still."
They all waited a long while, in that lot, and wondered if the Big Hairy which Jaydeen had heard of had overcome the others they had left. The half giant with the elvish mind, who Jaydeen could understand better than any others, told him she had been running after these ones waiting here as they rode on the urban camels which were so swift. She did not know any more about the others left behind. They could only wait, all the day if need be, to not lose the others should they still come but really late.
When it was the middle of the afternoon, they saw three figures coming together into this city through the gate, and they all then recognized it was the one with Arapegol's original body, the one with Jaydeen's original body, and Galvishar.
Arapegol and then the others with him waved at the three who had entered this city at the gate, and looked around. There was the block in between, yet those three figured out to look along the length of the street and spotted those others pretty quickly.
When Klara, Gasha, and Galvishar had walked the rest of the way and met with the others, Arapegol asked, "What then happened when that creature, which Jaydeen says is called the Big Hairy, came to you?"
Gasha said, "I met that creature as the great wolf form I managed taking on. I made clear with snapping to bite him that I was guarding those with me who rested under the tree. He called out, 'Leavin you alone!' This surprised us, and I stopped threatening to bite him. He backed away, and then said, 'Others come. They come bother me here.' Now I started to understand. This creature had been threatened here, and was not simply threatening us, but came to look if those of us there were ones that came after him before.
"Before I shifted back, Klara with your original body came our from under that low tree, and said, 'We are not those who come to bother you. We are on a journey and stopped here to rest this night.' "