Since the princess never specified where I was to go, I waited for them all to split up and then went off on my own. I hadn't said or done much on this journey, still a little dazed from jumping into all the action. I had acted on impulse; Ukaor had killed my tutor, and any hopes of completing my studies, and my first thought was to get rid of him. And then there was the fact that Arien girl was standing there. For some reason I felt obligated to impress her.
Was it a foolish choice? I wasn't sure yet. All I knew was that I needed some time alone to digest everything.
The only other time I'd seen this town was through a carriage window on my way back from the school I'd had no choice but to leave. But I was probably too buried in my thoughts to notice much of it as none of it looked familiar. Most of the weathered buildings were topped with thatched roofs while the newer, and taller ones bragged their shingled ones. Their inhabitants bustled busily, but it wasn't a cheerful sense if business like the last town, rather it was more gloomy; as if they were all just trying to make it through one more day.
The crowd cleared momentarily and I spotted a small fountain and walked towards it. With a sigh of gratitude I splashed it onto my face and gulped it down my throat. It'd been a long time since any of us had fresh water.
I spun around at the grouchy voice.
"If you need a drink there's a well not far from here."
"Sorry sir," I muttered, "I'll remember that next time."
The short man only waved me away and muttered something about 'ruddy travelers' before resuming his business.
A deep cry of pain came from another direction and I turned to see none other than Jevin, Princess Odael in tow, racing down the avenue. The two sped right past me without even a second glance. And when I saw their brute of a purser I didn't blame them.
But I couldn't just keep standing here while my comerades were in trouble. Without much of a second thought I conjured up a rushing stream of air and knocked the guy onto his nose. Furious, he heaved himself back to his feet and whirled around to face me--just as everyone else within a ten-foot radius had.
Snarling, he ran a finger under his nose with a loud sniff and stomped towards me to jab me in the chest with it.
"Yes?" I challenged, knowing I was asking for it.
"Who do you think you are?!"
"That's for me to know and you to not," I smirked.
As if suddenly remembering, He jerked his head around to look for the two he'd been chasing only to see that they'd gotten away. Unfortunetly, I was still here. And, judging by the furious glare he shot me, he had some anger to let out.
He curled a fist and sent it flying towards my face but I side-stepped it and shoved him splashing into the fountain--attracting quite a crowd. He sent a foot into my stomach as he struggled to get out and I bent over, gasping for breath--or at least pretending to. Just as I expected, he grinned triumphantly and readied two fists to land right on my head. Down they plummeted and, at the last second, I reached up to grab them and, using a few extra strength spells, pulled him over my head and smashing onto the cobblestones.
There were a mix of cheers and jeers and I decided I'd best take my leave before I attracted any more attention when he grabbed my foot. Twisting it beyond its limits, he yanked me flat on my back. I screwed my eyes shut as my head hit the hard ground and opened them to see my enemy's leering face staring down at me.
I used another spell to shove him off of me and once again looked for an escape route when he dug his grimy fingernails into my shoulder, spun me around, and slammed that itchy fist of his right into my forehead.
I played dead as my undesicive conciousness slipped back and forth. It was the only strategedy I had the strength to pull off.
"That'll learn you to get in my way," the man growled.
I forced my mind to make sense of everything until I was positive he had left. Then, though it resulted in the mother of all headaches, I pryed my eyelids open. It was near sundown. I had to get back.
Using all the healing spells I had the stamina for, I managed to stop the bleeding, but it was still obvious that something had happened. Hopefully they'd all be eating or something and I could just slip into our room and sleep, saving all question-asking for later.
"Rerin! What happened?"
Heh, so much for that plan.
"I'll tell you in the morning," I groaned, pressing my palm to my head to keep it from bleeding any further, "Where's our room?"
"Third floor, first room" I heard Jevin's concerned voice, but his figure was blurry, "Are you sure you can make it?"
"Of course he can," Valour, "Quit worrying."
With someone's help, I managed to find my way up the stairs. I barely even remember hitting the cushion of the bed.