Crusader ~ Chapter II Part IIMature

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     We managed to escape the burning city by the skin of our teeth. Past the city gate, in startling contrast to the chaos of Derynn, there were peaceful, tranquil flatlands. The mountains loomed on the horizon, and trees dotted the landscape. The first stars started dotting the early night sky. The experience was akin to having your head over a fire, then dunking it in a bucket of ice water from the north. My head ached just the same as well. We spent the time staring back at the demolished city fading into the night, recovering from shock, and eating the few pieces of fruit left in the cart. No one spoke to eachother for the longest time.

       Katherin finally broke the silence. "... So... What's your guys' names?"

    I felt like going to sleep and forgetting about the past day's horrific events, so I didn't answer right away.

        The young man across from me responded after a delay. "... Alexander Swordhand." He stirred a bit.

   Katherin responded, "Happy to, Uh... Meet you. I'm-"

         "-Katherin Norric. I know, I came to your speech." Alexander interrupted, slightly annoyed.

    "Oh, that's right... You were the one who helped everyone get out..."

         Alexander went back to staring at the opposite horizon towards Derynn.

     "I came to listen to your speech, too." I said.

        Katherin turned and smiled at me, trying wearily to stay upbeat. "It's good to see that some people came to my speech... It was... Sweet... To see some people cared..."

     I didn't even get to hear her speech. I didn't even know her. My mind darted about. I didn't know anyone on this cart! I just wanted to go back to my dorm... But that was destroyed by a tyranical overlord's army. Why was my simple life turned inside-out like this? I leaned my head against the side of the cart.

         "... Here, Alex, take over." I heard the other Dragonborn say, and they switched places. Alexander seemed more competent when it cam to directing horses, and the vehicle stopped zig-zagging down the road. The previous driver sat down with Katherin and I.

   "What's your name, hero?" she said with half-sarcasm. I smiled a bit, more embarrassed than amused.

        "Lesovikk." I replied. "Lesovikk Droa."

    "Sheesh, with a name like that, you probably could have taken on the whole army yourself." She rolled her eyes dramaticly, clearly being sarcastic about being sarcastic. She smiled, but her look didn't lie. Even with her obvious don't-take-anything serious attitude, the days events had hit her hard just the same.

       "I'm Verranda Stoke, but we're on a strict first-name basis, ok? Formalities make my skin crawl."

    I nodded my head. Verranda may had been attactive, but even then I saw she had a reckless ego. It was going to be a long night with these three, I thought.

          Or long week.

               Or long year.

    Who knew how long we'd be on the run!? I panicked in my mind. The Orcs could be in the Oleem Valley by late tomorrow, and from there they could attack every major city in Lokotz. Or would Derynn be another city simply erased from the maps, becoming part of the Black Priest's ever expanding empire?

        "... Maybe you guys should get some sleep, because you're just making it worse pretending it didn't happen..." Alexander said from the driver seat. Verranda and Katherin seemed to give up, and went to their own corners of the cart.

     I leaned my head on my shoulder, and said my nightly prayer silently:

         As I retire for the night,

         I pray that the gods

         May never let evil shatter me.

         May Melora watch over me,

         And Moradin strengthen me.

         May Ioun guide me,

         And Erathis enrichen me.

         May Pelor provide for me, 

         And Kord fight beside me.

         May Sehanine care for me,

         And Corellon empower me.

         May The Raven Queen save me,

         And Avandra favor me. 

         May Stakus teach me,

          And Bahamut lead me,

          For ages to come.....

     Then my thoughts drifted till I fell asleep.

The End

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