Why was everyone standing around staring at me? The elf was unconscious or worse and instead of doing anything they were just watching me curiously. I started out on my own not caring whether anyone came or not.
I would get the job done.
Then I had second thoughts. If Sigurd was magically afflicted then I would need a magician’s help and guidance. That meant I had to wait for Acaeb. He limped up to the group, but I didn’t waste any time on sympathy.
“The fog has consumed him! Is there any way to save him?”
Acaeb studied the elf for a moment then nodded and spoke, “There is a way to bring him back. But it involves killing the wizard who cast the spell.” Acaeb must have seen the determination, hatred, and disdain that crept into my eyes at the mention of the coward who did this.
“Let me state that this man is no joke, he could kill us all if we do not concentrate.”
Kaer gasped and I’m sure that the rest were having second thoughts. I wasn’t. I would die for the elf if I had to.
“What are we waiting for! Well. Dwarves? Anybody?” I was beginning to think that Iwouldbe going alone when the half-elf stood and said shakily “I shall assist.”
I smiled and felt my heart warm. I was hoping that he would be the first to offer help. We had been through quite a bit since the beginning. I didn’t give the rest a chance to think this whole thing over.
“Then it is settled. Dwarves you will be joining us as well. And you Neradin. I shall lead the party. Kaer, organize a sling so that we may bring Sigurd with us. Make haste now! We cannot afford to dwindle on this! Come now!”
Everyone pitched in on the sling and we had it ready in no time. As we set off I called Acaeb up to the front with me to discuss this wizard that would soon die. When he answered he spoke to the whole company.
“You may all know the legend. You may think these are just folk tales but theyaretrue. And now we must end the Legend of Merlin.”
So be it.
Acaeb continued on about the mage, his know powers, his suspected weaknesses, anything that might avail us in our fight. I continued my pace resolutely. Not stoping. Not showing a single moment of uncertaintity. If I did then our group would fall apart. I knew that most of the others did not want to be here.
I couldn’t give them a chance to hold us up.
After the wizard had finished we marched along in silence. I had the feeling that we were being tailed, and I always trusted my feelings. Without giving anything away I searched the forest for an intruder. I nudged the wizard and gestured behind with us with my head. He nodded. He felt it too. I touched my daggers, nodded back at him, and slipped away from the group, and off the path.
I took refuge in a bush and waited. Lo and behold along came the stalker. It was human.
It was female.
I briefly debated over how to catch up with her. It was windy so following her on foot was out. A stray leaf or twig could give me away. I decided on tree hopping.
I shimmied up the nearest tree and began jumping along the branches. I almost slipped a few times, but my finely honed reflexes kept upright and alive. I had caught up with the human and readied myself to jump and fight. I sent a thought out into the wind hoping that Acaeb might catch it. I received no reply but as the female drew a crossbow I knew I had to act no matter what.
I dropped under the next branch, grabbed it with my hands and swung forward. I landed on the female’s shoulders and had to the ground before she knew I was there. I could tell from the way she fell and twisted that she knew how to fight, and beforeIknew it I was flying through the air and she was racing at me.
She didn’t know what she was getting herself into.