Armes: A Human?

I felt the tension in the bow as I drew the string back to touch my nose.  Keeping both eyes open I focused on the target, aiming for the centre.  The muscles in my arms began to ache as I held the string, refusing to loose the arrow so it would hit its target.  I had to be strong.

My fingers loosened and the arrow flew through the air, hitting the target right in the centre.  There was a smattering of applause from the gathered crowd.  I smiled cautiously at the elves around me.  I liked being at court but I felt uneasy with so many people watching me.  Normally the princess was the centre of attention and I was happy living in her shadow, but now I had to endure the spotlight until the princess returned from one of her many disappearances into the woods.

As the next archer took their position at the target I slung my bow over my shoulder and crept away into the safety of the trees.  When I was far enough away from the gathering I ran, my skirt flying out behind me, the slits up the side revealing my legs as they pounded the ground.

Then there was a sound and I stopped.  I wasn't sure what it was but I knew everyone else was at the palace.  Or so I thought.  I slowly crept towards the sound, the whinnying of a horse and heavy footsteps.  Whoever it was wasn't trying to hide their presence.

I took an arrow from the quiver at my side and put it, waiting, on the string of my bow.  I looked through the foliage and saw a man.   Not an elf but a human.  I hadn't seen a human in many years and the presence of this solitary man both scared and intrigued me.  But his closeness to the palace made my protective instinct kick in and I acted.

Silently I lept from the bushes, drawing my bow and aiming it at the man's head.  'Don't move.'  I whispered.  'What is your purpose here?'

'I am just passing through, I mean you no harm.'  The man looked tired and messy but there was something about him that made my heart soften and I brought down my bow.

'What is your name traveller?'  I asked.

'Ramin.'

'I must take you to the King, Ramin.  Give me your horse.'  Reluctantly he handed me the reins and I led both him and his horse towards the palace.  We got strange looks from elves who were wandering around the palace gardens but I ignored them, focusing on taking this man to the King.

I gave the horse to a boy waiting at the stables.  'Treat him well.'

'Actually it's a she.'  Ramin corrected me.

'Pardon me.'  I led Ramin to the main hall where the King received his guests.  I knelt before his chair and presented the man to him.  'I found this man wandering in the woods near the palace your Majesty.'

The King waved me aside and I took my place at the side of the hall, watching all that went on.  The King was a generous man and it did not suprise me he gave Ramin some of our weapons.  It was my job to take him to the armoury and help him choose a weapon.

The End

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