“How long do we have to run? “, sylva was out of breath
“Just a bit more, hang in there”, I replied, while pulling his arm
“They should be around here… Spread out”, came voice of distant Persuers.
We need a place to hide, as soon as possible. If they catch us… We’ll be doomed for life.
I heard sound of an axe… It might be some villager, if I can persuade them… May be they’ll help us in hiding..
I followed the sound through the bushes, searching for that tiny glimmer of hope.
I ran and ran, when I saw that back of a man chopping fire wood… Not taller than 5’6″ I guess… Leather boots, brown trouser, white tank… And a jacket tied on his waist…
“Sir, would you please help us, some bandits are chasing us… “, I shouted as soon as I reached his hearing range.
” Huh?… Could repeat that from the start? “, he turned around, as he wiped the sweat from his forehead, his blue hair swayed in the wind, his childlike face had was tilted in doubt.
Wait a sec, isn’t he just a child… Maybe around 15 years, can he even help. No I need to grab on every sliver of hope I can get.
” Well, you guys look tired, let’s get in first, we can talk over a cup of tea. ” He hung the axe on his shoulder, and started walking away.
Isn’t he too calm, inviting strangers for tea. Should I actually follow him?
“Ya waiting for the bandits following you, nobles of Flarion? “
“W-what? “, I shrieked in surprise
” Let’s move before you fans get here”, he said without looking back.
I was not sure somehow, his back looked so reliable. We ended up following him to two floor wooden house.
He guided is to a round table with four chairs.
“I apologize for the messy place, I hardly get any visitors, but make your self comfortable”, he said as he scratched the back of his head. He went inside and came out with a kettle and some cups.
” I don’t have anything that could fancy you… But I hope you don’t hate this one “
He sat down serving tea.
“Aren’t you being a lil two casual with a pair of complete strangers, and that reminds me… How did you know we were from the kingdom of Flarion? “, I asked checking the tea for any possible poison, after making sure of it, I nodded to the silver haired girl sitting beside me, at which she took a sip of her own tea.
” Well, I’d say your chest says it all.. ” He said casually.
“W-what… M-my chest?” I hide my breast with my hands on reflex.. At which he chuckled a bit.
“Sorry, I meant the symbol on your chest plate. Isn’t that the symbol of a certain noble family from Flarion. ” He pointed at my family symbol on my chest.
” Ahem, I see. Your assumption is almost on the spot. This is Princess Kaira erl Flarion from the kingdom of Flarion, and I’m her personal body guard, Sophie . We were on our way to the Kingdom of Babylon, when we got attacked by some bandits. Every other soldier gave up their life in order for us to escape.”, I explained our situation.
“Would you be kind enough to help us? “, asked the princess with a slight bow.
” Oh, no need to bow to me princess. You can stay for as long as you like. Though… The rooms are a lil dusty, since no one except I stay here” He said, pointing out how no one else could be seen around
“What’s a kid like you doing in this wilderness, there’s not a single village for miles from here. I assume you aren’t a bandit.. Are ya?” I voiced my doubts.
“No no no…” He shook his head vigorously, ” I just came here to train before I join the magic academy “, he replied as he finished his tea.
“You’re a magician too, what type? what rank? Tell me, tell me, tell me” The princess shot with stars in her eyes, sigh, here we go again. She a mage maniac.
“Umm… I’m nothing to be written home about I have the smallest mana pool in the country, if not in the world. And well I use a bit of shadow type magic”, he said while scratching his temples, as if evading embarrassment.
Hmmm, shadow magic is quite rare, it’s used only for hiding. A magic that can erase one’s presence. Quite effecient for assassination… But other than that, no practical use available, in fact most shadow mages succumb to their own power and are swallowed by darkness.
Truly a path with more thorn than flowers.
And this lil boy is walking it bare foot, considering his low mana pool. Truly pitiful.
“Don’t be so glum”, he said with a radiant smile on his face, as if he read my thoughts just now.
” Sorry for thinking something rude”, I apologized for my rude thoughts.
“Don’t be, besides I’m used to this,.. Anyways, I suggest you stay the night and leave early morning tomorrow, the bandits mostly sleep in early mornings. Oh and the room on second floor belongs to my mother, so you might find a change of clothes there.”
“Thank you for your hospitality”, I bowed and headed to the room so as to clean it up for my lady and prepare a fresh change of clothes for her.
I had my doubts so I stayed near one if the windows to keep a lookout. It was surprising that none of the monsters were attacking this shed. Normally, such a place would be crawling with wild beasts.
Slowly the sands of time slipped by, and darkness covered the sky. The kid prepared us meals. It was nothing extra vagent, just some rabit stew over rice, might be some game he hunted. It was quite delicious though. And so, the day ended. My lady was sleeping soundly in her bed, while I was keeping an eye out the window.
The boy was just chopping woods outside, I guess I was warry of him for nothing. O decided it’s useless to suspect him, so I got up to leave, but, a sudden chill ran down my spine. I looked back, but the boy was nowhere to be seen. The situation was to peculiar to just sit and keep watch, I erected a barrier around my lady, took on my armor and weapon and went out to search for him. I went out but there was no clue of him, no mana traces, no footprints nothing, as if he just up and disappeared. But the was one clue, I was sensing familiar aura from within the forest, the aura of those bandits, but, there was something wierd about it. It was muddied, and in chaos. And it was disappearing one by one. I followed the aura as fast as I could. I soon reached the the source of the chaos. The vision I got was something straight out of nightmare, or may be even worse. There were no bandits there, just carnage, bits and pieces of human bodies spread across the horizon. The were no signs of struggle either, it was as if they were torn to shreds before they even got to know why. I followed the carnage, but the was nothing to be found. I went on and on, with my guard at it’s peak. I was hoping to see someth…
I had something tore through my guts, from behind. The warmth of the blood gushing out of the hole, the emptiness left by the organ that spilled out… My mind was going numb, looks like this is as far as I go. If only I knew this would happen, I’d have atleast escorted my lady to a safe place… I guess this is a regret I’ll be taking with me to the afterlife.
“What are you doing this late outside? “, came a voice from behind. I turned to get a look of my killer. To my surprise, it was the same boy, so I wasn’t completely wrong, I knew he was dangerous.
” You alright miss?, you look pale. “, he asked while tilting his head.
Does any of this look ok to you, you damn brat?, this hole I’m my st…
What the hell, I looked down at the wound I was holding with my hand, but there was nothing. No weapon tearing through, no blood gushing out, no organs spilling out, it was as if all that pain and terror were just a bad dream… No it can’t be, it was so real…
“What did you do, why’re you here? “, I held his shoulders pointed my sword at his neck
” If your answer doesn’t satisfy me, you’re dead?”
“Can you really do it? “, his eyes we’re blank, there was no hate, no fear, no anger, it was just empty. As if looking at a bug to be squashed.
” I’ll ask only once, what were you doing out, this late at night? “, I pushed the sword, as blood dripped from his neck.
” This is my forest, since when do I need permission from outsiders to do some clean up”
He casually brushed aside the sword. And passed by me, towards the shed. As if nothing happened. Was this the same boy from The afternoon? The aura is completely different.
I think I’ll need to use it on him.