The sun beamed brightly down on the camp, warming my skin as I sat and polished the tip of my spear. The guardians and occasional Appointed bustling to and fro seemed extra peppy, and I longed to join in their conversations. Normally I'd jump right in and crack a few jokes, but I was anxious to know about the expedition sent out to fight ogres earlier that day. My close childhood friend was sent along and while that would normally be fine (he was an excellent fighter) I was almost certain that a few days before he had sprained his ankle while we were sparring. I had begged him to go stop by the hospital for a quick check, but he brushed off and tried to convince me he was fine even though it was painfully obvious he had to slightly limp home. Ugh. Men and their pride.
Reaching down, I ran my hand through the thick, chocolate brown fur of my companion Levi. He turned his wolf-like muzzle toward me, already sensing my anxiety. We shared a strong telepathic bond that had matured through the years; I'd worked with Levi since my first year of being a guardian, and here we are nearly four years later and still together. It was a rare bond -- It was already uncommon for people to have the ability of telepathy (I'll admit, I'm proud to be granted with such an unusual power), and even less common to see people who don't just use a creature until the job is done and move onto the next one. Perhaps the only reason I held onto the bond between Levi and I so tightly was because I had been gifted with a below average telepathic ability. I could only really communicate to creatures weaker than myself, and controlling them was out of the question unless they were, say, a squirrel. Needless to say, I usually didn't tell people that; I'd let them be impressed with Levi's appearance and left it at that.
A voice came from down the hill I was sitting atop, yelling my name. I snapped my head up, instantly coming out of my daydreaming. Squinting, I could make out the form of a fellow guardian running toward me.
"Aeris! Aeris! The troops from the ogre hunt are back!" I sucked in a breath, feeling my nervousness return. Slinging my spear back into its sheath, I ran down to headquarters, where the guardians and Appointed usually hung around for a bit to report the results of their expeditions. My friend, Ivan, was nowhere to be found. The hospital, Levi thought to me. He could've been carrying back the wounded. I nodded and turned to jog there, pushing back the images of Ivan, dead, that began to surface in my mind. I asked the nurse sitting at the front desk which room the latest injured were placed in and hurried down the corridor. The door to the room swung open, and two Appointed bumped into me after I assume taking records of who was hurt. Both were extremely intimidating (not to mention tall) and seemed to glare down at me.
"Sorry, sorry sorry sorrysorrysorry," I said, flustered but trying to peer around them into the hospital room.
"Watch it next time," the male said before walking off. I could feel my face heat up with embarrassment but rushed into the room and decided not to think much of it.
"Ivan!" I exclaimed, spotting him immediately in a bed near the edge of the room. He looked over at me sheepishly. "Oh gosh, what happened?" I asked, gesturing to the new cast wrapped around his arm.
"Well, you were right when you thought my ankle was sprained. I might have, you know, tripped as soon as the ogres started attacking us. That could have possibly broken my arm. But if you're in the mood for some BS, I was fighting valiantly when one of those scummy beasts attacked me from behind!" He waved his good arm around dramatically and I rolled my eyes. Playfully, I punched him in the shoulder.
"You should've listened to me, idiot."
"Oh, before I forget, could you give this to someone down at HQ?" he asked, handing me an envelope. "I wrote up my own mini report because quite frankly, I'm worried about what happened in the cave today. There seemed to be more of the beasts than usual, and they were full of blood lust. Makes me wonder what they're up to. An attack maybe?"
"Let's hope not. I'll get this to someone as soon as possible," I say, turning to leave.