The weeks passed easily, with little activity from the forest. The fae seemed content to stay in their domain, so long as we didn't trespass, and even the marshal's men didn't cause any trouble. The one whom I'd taught a lesson had even taken to following me around the village as I went about my duties. I mostly ignored him, but still, I found it oddly endearing.
Everyone seemed to becoming very comfortable, but eventually, we'd have to retake the forest and the old rivalry would have to continue. It was the way of the world. The marshal would not be willing to go back to the sheriff though. I climbed up a tree on the edge of the two camps, well suited to keeping an eye on both sides and the forest beyond. The soldier stayed on the ground, Daniel, that was his name, I remembered as I scanned for Kate and Corin. Kate was sitting near the archery range, fiddling with something, probably making new arrows for her bow, though she already had well over two dozen in her quiver. Where was Twynam? There, training with the bow again. He was persistent. I'd never seen anyone with such horrible aim before. I slipped down the tree, Daniel hurrying to catch up behind me as I hit the ground and headed for the practice grounds.
When I was nearly there, there came a commotion from the trees where a patrol had gone to bring the last few things from the camp. A group of both soldiers and hawks came running out of the trees, their leader a soldier, who ran to the marshal and said something before running off again.
"What's happened." I asked as Twynam began to put his bow away.
"It seems the patrol came under attack." Corin said curtly, returning my own cold attitude toward him. "By giant wolves."
"Fae," I clarified, glancing at the trees. I could feel my spirits sinking as I realized that I'd been hoping this day wouldn't come so soon.
"He reported that two stayed behind to fight off the wolves. One of my men and a hawk, Norida, I think he said." I stared at the trees, swaying as if in a strong wind.
"Tell Kate where I've gone." I glanced at her, pointedly not looking at Corin as she sat with her arrows. "Tell her to get the hawks ready for battle, we might have to do that sooner than we wanted. You get your men ready" With that, I started running, entering the trees and climbing into their branches willingly. It felt good to get off the ground again, regardless of the danger in the forest now. I unslung my bow from my shoulder and tested the string before starting to climb through the branches toward the old camp.
A few times when I paused to judge my jump from one tree to another, I thought I'd heard something below me, but when I looked, there was no sign of the enemy, so I simply kept going. Dropping to the ground some ways away from the camp, I began to sneak through the undergrowth. I was about to cross the camp's boundary, when something grabbed my wrist.