Benoni scanned the road ahead as best he could through thick sheets of falling snow. He was glad that the wind had died, but he could not see very well at all. The ground below reflected a bit of light from the sky, but the silently falling snow limited his vision to about ten meters .
Blizzard's steel shod hooves stamped loudly on the ground compared to Bears soft footfalls. Benoni worried that demonspawn would be able to hear them. Volar told him that demonspawn often had heightened senses, a gift from their animal ancestors. He hoped he would be able to hear them before they were too close. He did not want to end up like Goldie.
The mountain road was covered with four inches of snow that kept piling up. Perhaps the new snowfall would cover their trail. He doubted it, though. The snow was not thinning any, but even with the snowfall it would take at least an hour to cover their trail. He did not think they were an hour ahead of the demonspawn that would be chasing them.
His dad made it clear they were not to make any unnecessary noise, so Benoni did not speak. He listened to the snow falling and Blizzard's thumping hooves. He strained his ears, closing his eyes for a few seconds, trying to hear something that would give him an indication of which directions the demonspawn would come from, assuming they were not already surrounded.
He felt Bear pick up the pace a bit, and Gerry kicked Blizzard to keep up. Benoni could hearing noises from behind them to the north. Kados was still a great distance from here, and for the first time, Ben thought that they would not make it. Fear threatened to overwhelm him.
"They are not far." Ben whispered.
"I know." His dad answered quietly. "They have not yet found our trail, though."
"How do you know?" Benoni asked.
An inhuman howl pierced the night, filling Benoni with fear like he never felt before. Nothing of this world could make a noise like that. It sounded like the dying wail of an otherworldly monster. It chilled them all to the bone, and Blizzard shuffled nervously. Bear turned around, eager to fight the monster that threatened his master. Ben looked up at his dad, who was trying to calm Blizzard down.
"They have our trail." Gerry whispered fiercely. "We must go."
He kicked Blizzard to a noisy full gallop that Bear easily kept pace with. Benoni's heart beat wildly with fear and excitement. He had no idea that being in mortal danger was so exciting. He could hear the growls more clearly now. They were not far behind at all, and could be heard even above the thundering gallop of Blizzard. Another howl echoed through the trees. He had heard the howls before, but always from behind the black walls of Kados. Here, the sound was definitely more terrifying. How in the world did the Shinto's live out here, unprotected from the demon influences of Ghena.
Bear nipped at Blizzard's heels, urging her to greater speed, but now Benoni could hear snapping twigs and branches as their pursuers closed. Ben did not think Blizzard needed any urging.