I walked away from the clearing until I could no longer hear their voices. I climbed up into the nearest tree and started running. I had no destination or goal. I just ran and ran. Running helped clear my head. Helped remove the images of what had happened to that poor creature after its death. Helped to subdue the anger and hurt that coursed through my veins. It would not be proper to kill ones saviour yet I wanted it more than anything in the world. To feel my blade sink into that flesh would be a heavenly release. It would be justice in its most raw form, an eye for an eye.
When I stopped running I was panting. I must have been running for a long time for that to happen. I looked around me but didn’t recognise my immediate surroundings. I turned and slowly made my way back to the clearing hoping to track the group’s direction of travel from there. When I reached the clearing it was as I expected. Empty. I dropped down from my tree and walked slowly over to the darma corpse. Its eyes were still ajar so I gently pushed them shut and offered a small prayer for the poor beast.
Tracking the group did not require much effort. The smell of that disgusting being, Valenstar, was still hanging in the air. It overpowered the scents of the rest of the group. It filled my nostrils and made me feel ill. There was something…off about it, about him. He was not normal. But he was not good either. There was the distinct smell of an evil undertone in his scent. He was not to be trusted.
I followed the group through the forest but stopped when I reached the edge of the forest where a town started. I could see the group in the town talking to a large man with a half made sword in his hands. Suddenly the sword was at Valenstar’s throat. In that instant I strung my bow and notched an arrow, ready to strike down any who dared touch Lyra. Even when the sword was dropped in didn’t lower my bow. I didn’t like this situation. I was too far away to help her if many humans tried to harm her. I could kill several from the trees but not a whole village. I unnotched the arrow and dropped from the tree. I crouched down and silently made my way around the first few buildings being careful not to be seen. As the group walked away from the man with the sword I got Lyra’s attention and pointed back to the forest. She nodded and I vanished back behind the buildings.
I waited just inside the forest for Lyra. When she arrived I took her hand and ran off into the forest. I stopped a few minutes later and let her catch her breath. Even when she was panting for breath she looked beautiful. When she caught her breath she moved closer to me and I gazed down into her eyes. I could see she was worried from the look in her eyes.
“What is it?” I asked. She looked away for a second, hesitating.
“Why did you react like that when he did that to the darma? Why did you leave me?” she asked with a hurt look on her face and in her eyes which cut right through me as effectively as any blade could.
“I…I was angry. What he did was wrong”
“But you left me. Why?”
“I didn’t know if I could control myself. When I was walking towards the darma with that sword in my hand I had to fight to not kill him that instant. I didn’t want you to see that. I didn’t want you to think I was a monster. I understand if you don’t want me to talk to you again. But I didn’t mean to hurt you.” I turned away from her and closed my eyes. I could hear her take a small breath. I felt her delicate touch on my arm as she turned my body to face her. I opened my eyes just as her soft lips gently pressed against mine. I lifted my hands to her face and kissed her back. It was the most amazing feeling ever. Her skin was soft and supple.
She broke apart from me and dropped down onto the soles of her feet again. I looked deep into her eyes and she blushed slightly. Just then I heard a twig snap. I didn’t even think about it. I grabbed her hand and ran in the opposite direction. I stopped and grabbed her around the waist with one arm and used the other to climb up into the tree. I strung and notched my bow again ready for any threat. I tested the air and got a faint smell of Valenstar again. We waited in the tree top until nightfall, not a word spoken between us, just her arms locked tightly around my waist.