ATCv1 #3 of 25

28 02 2008

Please note that posts in this category belong to the old, discontinued version
and as such will not any updates nor corrections.

When Laiva woke up it was long after dawn. If she wanted to reach the
next inn before sundown she had no time to lose. She washed, dressed
and left the room with Mynor. Mrs Onilly was downstairs.
‘Good morning, Mrs Onilly.’
‘Good morning, little girl. Wait a moment, I’ll be right
back.’
She rushed into the kitchen and promptly returned with a
steaming bowl.
‘Eat, you are going to need it.’
She placed the bowl in front of Laiva, who hesitated. She
couldn’t pay for it after all.
‘It’s all right. I can’t let someone like you leave hungry,
can I?’
‘Thank you, ma’am.’

Another day was about to end. The sun was disappearing and Laiva
enjoyed the last rays warming her body; while it was still summer the
nights were already quite chilly. When the inn came in sight Laiva saw
smoke; it wasn’t coming from the chimney of the house, though, but the
inn itself. The roof had collapsed and so had parts of the blackened
walls. All over the place were signs of a fight, but it got worse when
Laiva found the origin of that sweet smell. In the ashes there were
the half-burned remains of several people. Laiva turned away and
choked. How could anyone be that cruel? Then she started to run; she
just wanted to get away, away from this place, away from what she had
seen. It was getting dark and darker, but she didn’t care.

About half an hour later she finally stopped and collapsed on the
ground. Tears were running down her face and still she couldn’t form a
single clear thought. For a few minutes Mynor had been carefully
watching the area, but now he turned towards her and pushed his mouth
against her head. Slowly she turned and looked into his face. Again
Mynor gently pushed her with his mouth and then she realized her
situation. Nobody could help those people, but now it was her life
that was in danger; she was easy prey. She stood up and tried to
compose herself, but it wasn’t easy. The scene had been too cruel and
she just wanted to go on crying, but Mynor didn’t let her waste any
more time. Firmly he was shoving her away from the path, between the
trees, and Laiva let it happen. When he stopped she sat down, leaning
her back against a tree; she knew she had to get her feelings under
control, but everything was so senseless.

Lost in the depths of her feelings she didn’t hear Mynor growling
until it was too late. From behind the trees several people had
appeared, people of the most evil kind – thugs, robbers, murderers,
scum willing to sell their own mother for a few pieces of copper or
even less. Laiva turned around, but only to face even more of them;
they were surrounded. It was easy to read in the faces of the men,
they had killed before and would do it again. A thought formed in her
mind: those must be the men raiding the inn and they wouldn’t hesitate
a moment to get rid of her as well. With the power of despair she
pulled out her sword and stormed towards the one standing in front of
her. Then everything happened very quickly. Laiva rammed her sword
into the stomach of the man, too surprised to defend himself. At the
same time Mynor jumped and brought down another one. After the initial
shock the others hurried to help their pals and Laiva received a few
blows by their fists, but since Mynor was bringing down one attacker
after the other, despite several deep cuts by their daggers and
swords, they didn’t have the time to finish her off. Then there were
arrows; one of them hit Laiva’s arm and everything went black. The
arrow poison was doing its job.

Slowly Laiva opened her eyes. She was lying in a bed; she didn’t know
what had happened, her last memories being that of a fight. Her whole
body was aching. She wanted to sit up, but couldn’t move. In fact she
couldn’t move anything but her eyes at all. Laiva panicked and wanted
to cry, but couldn’t do that either. Slowly she calmed down a bit and
started to inspect her surroundings. From what she could see from her
position, the bed she was lying in stood in a small room with walls
and ceiling made of wood. There was a small window to her right, but
all she could see through it was the green of leaves. What had
happened to her? Who brought her here? Where was she? And what had
happened to Mynor? The last time she had seen him, he had been
fighting for his life. And why did she still feel that tired?

Hours later Laiva was gently shaken.
‘Wake up, you can’t sleep forever.’
She was half asleep and it took some time before she could
make any sense of what was going on. A large, slim woman was standing
in front of the bed and talking to her. She had never seen her before
and somehow she looked odd.
‘Wh…’ Laiva started, but the words turned into a yawn as
soon as they left her mouth.
‘Do not talk right now. You are safe, we brought you to our
city.’
That didn’t make sense. The next city was days away from where
she had been attacked. She couldn’t possibly have slept that long,
could she? And there wasn’t so much green in the cities either.
Except of course… Laiva took another long look at the woman. The
slightly pale skin, the graceful appearance, the noble face – that
woman must be an elf! Realizing Laiva’s look the woman pushed the hair
at the side of her head back, revealing a pointy ear.
‘That was what you wanted to know, was it not?’
The woman’s voice was warm and comforting, yet sounded
strange. On the second look her slight accent had to be the reason for
this.
‘You got hit by one of our arrows, I am afraid. Can you move
again? The poison needs time for the effects to wear off…’
Laiva stretched a bit; it was difficult, but she could move.
‘Good, I will help you sit up.’
After doing so she put a pillow behind Laiva’s back for
support, then she gave her a small bowl filled with a blue glowing
liquid.
‘Drink that, it will make you feel better.’
Laiva emptied the bowl. The liquid was thick and tasted sweet;
it was as if it was going straight into her blood. Laiva could feel
her heart pulsating stronger, heard her blood rushing through her
body, her muscles seemed to be bursting from newly gained power; the
pain fell off her like a heavy coat and with it her sorrows, her fears
and everything she had ever worried about.

Mynor licked his wounds. He had received some pretty dangerous blows,
but he was used to it; not even the elven arrows had been able to stop
him. Well, the girl was safe for now and that was what counted; his
wounds would heal sooner or later and he was still strong enough to
defend himself against anyone or anything stupid enough to attack him.
Then he heard the chanting; it wasn’t loud and quite distant, but
Mynor’s keen ears enabled him to hear it anyway. He knew the words; he
should have known this would happen.

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