The youth's knotted shirt flapped around his waist. Muscles jumped around bare scapulae and white lines drawn by battle scars.
More carnage waited in the woods as they negotiated an old smuggling route, brushing aside strips of pelt snagged on tree limbs. Remnants of Yata and the nutrients they contained were gone, too precious to leave behind. HigherBrook idly counted Masari remains ripening against the ground.
Izzik squatted by a naked body, waving off flies and slipping a knife from his belt. "I promised Ghost a sample," he offered.
"What could Ghost possibly want from a dead Masari?"
"He didn't say."
The Yata shrugged off his pack and drew out sheets of oiled tent canvas, preservatives, vials. HigherBrook held his lantern closer and wrinkled his nose, cataloging the decay. He shooed vermin away from pooled blood.