Working on the way to Sabhail

A finely dressed man whistled as he walked along the empty road. The two mercenaries he had hired for protection trailed on behind him, no longer grumbling having grudgingly grown used to the young man’s overly jovial manner. His coin was good, that’s all that really mattered to them.

Llue’s tune became somber, composing as he walked. This new song was one inspired by his own recent events. Many of his original works were. Though of cause he would never admit to it, just leave subtle enough hints that a deaf man could figure it out.

Llue’s new song was about a young man who could sing a song so lovely any and all would fall in love with him. Of cause the hero would not sing such a song to anyone. No that is not the role of the hero. But one day he did sing the song, to a lovely young woman he saw in the market. Turns out she was the wrong woman to fall for and her husband chased him out of town. No her cruel husband chased him out of town, much better.

The bard chuckled to himself as he remembered the lovely young woman and his night in her manor house. He laughed out loud when he remembered the look on her older husband’s face. He just wish he had been able to see the man’s face when he realised a large portion of his savings was missing as well.

He quietly thanked them as he patted the purse at his belt. They had offered such a wonderful distraction and, of cause, payed for his protection. Oh but her skin was so smooth. Amazing how cranky old men always ended up with beautiful young wives.

Llue was shaken out of his thoughts by one of the mercenaries pulling him to a stop. The other moved in front of him, hand on his sword. There was a shape lying on the side of the road under a tattered and dirty cloak.

As the trio approached the prone form it moved slightly and let out a soft groan. The hood of the cloak shifted to reveal the smooth soft face of a young woman, her eyes barely open against the glare of the midday sun.

Shaking off the mercenary holding him back Llue started towards the woman.

“Care Llue, the roads are not safe these days.”

“Obviously this woman has been left here or escaped from somewhere, look she has shackles on her hands and feet. What kind of gentlemen would we be if we just left her here?”

“The chains are broken, she could be the bait for a trap, and run as soon as you spring it. I have seen its like before.”

“Then its lucky I hired you two isn’t it?”

When Llue approached the woman she was watching him. She had very pale, almost white skin, and black hair and pointed ears! An elf, his lucky day!

“My dear,” Llue said crouching down beside the woman, “are you injured at all?” He reached out a hand towards her. She flinched away from him but when it became clear that Llue would not touch her or get any closer she relaxed and eventually took his hand. He helped her to a sitting position and smiled his best smile. “Is there anything I can do to help you? Anything at all?” She did not reply, just stared blankly down and behind him. “Come with me. I am headed to Sabhail, there I can get you some food and clothes and get those shackles off you properly.”

She made no move to follow or any sign she was even listening. Then he realised that she was not staring at nothing but at his coin pouch. A knife appeared in her hand and she lunged for the pouch.

Llue thought he was a fast and dexterous individual, you had to be when you had his charm and appetites. Indeed that seemed the case now as the elf’s knife sweeped just past the bard’s belt hitting nothing but air.

They stood in the middle of the road staring at each other. The elf smiled a crooked smile. That’s when he noticed her eyes for the first time, they were almost completely white with pinprick pupils.

“What the hell!” Llue shouted. Or tried to, it sounded more like a gargle. Then he felt the sudden sensation of drowning. The last thing he saw was the blade in the elf’s other hand, dripping with blood.

Llue’s body hitting the ground snapped the mercenaries out of their shock. Neither one had see the elf’s other hand move, just the one that went for the coin pouch. Now she stood looking at them both, one knife dripping with the bard’s blood.

“Don’t move, I wasn’t paid for you. Would be a shame if I had to kill you too.”

The mercenaries shared a look before advancing on the elf. She backed away quickly, looking for all the world like she would turn and bolt into the forest a look of fear on her face. The mercenaries fell for it and charged her.

She side stepped the first mercenary, going under the swing of his sword. She held a knife in each hand and moved impossibly fast. As she spun out from the dodge the first mercenary stumbled to his knees, blood running from a wound in the back of one knee and second wound under his arm.

The second mercenary rushed her as she came out of her dodge. She managed to parry the first blow that came at her but the second swing scored a hit. She accepted the blow and continue forward into the mercenary knocking them both over. She used the momentum of the fall into a roll and come up crouching facing the two mercenaries. One knife in her hand. The other was still in the mercenary’s neck.

The first mercenary managed to stand and face the elf. His leg could not longer properly support his weight and he could not move his arm. The mercenary dropped his sword, weather he did that before or after the knife appeared in his eye socket is debatable.

The elf took the bard’s coin pouch. Normally she didn’t take from her kills, not a good idea in her line of work, besides for a job like this she always demanded money up front. This was a bonus for having to deal with the hired swords, she wasn’t told about them and hadn’t prepared.

She needed a new city, there was always more work in new cities. The bard had mentioned Sabhail, why not? She turned and headed up the road towards Sabhail.

Working on the way to Sabhail

Ameshirel: A World Undone BenScerri BenScerri