Snap! The tight string whipped back in place as the arrow pierced through the buck’s thin skin. Its beady black eyes widened, and then it fell with a soft thump.
Selena picked up the buck carcass, “That should be enough for dinner,” Selena decided, thinking of the does they caught earlier.
“Ok,” Gyra approved, as she looked at Selena admirlingly.
Selena had a light blue robe on, along with bracers, greaves, and leather boots, which was her regular hunting attire, when she was out hunting. She was an exceptionally dazzling high elf. Long golden hair rested below her shoulders. The robe made her gentle blue eyes sparkle. She had pale skin with a golden hue, and her cheeks had a warm pink undertone. Her body and face were embodiments of perfection. Selena was in contrast was well-muscled. She was also one of the best archers in Ar’koen, the land of the high elves, but was also very skilled in swordsmanship; endowed with the tremendous vitality of elvish bodies. Her glossy longbow and quiver were strapped on her back. A longsword with a sapphire pommel was sheathed and strapped to her belt on her left hip. A sharp dagger with an ivory handle was strapped on the other side.
“I’ll bet you that those deer are enough for to day’s meal,” Gyra pointed out with a grin.
Selena scoffed. “Yeah right,” as they both glanced at the heap of deer. “Rytak will eat up all that deer at dinner today, and still ask for more.” Selena smiled.
“Who’s Rytak?” Gyra asked.
“You don’t know him?”
“He’s the wood elf that always visits us. He’s coming tonight for dinner. My mother was best friends with his mother; but she died of grief over the loss of Rytak’s Father.
“Anyways, he’s young like us, maybe only 110 years old, and has wise judgment and a good heart. He eats a lot though.”
Gyra chuckled, “He sounds nice.”
Selena nodded, and they began trotting through the thick forest on their horses. Paran, which meant loyal and brave, was Selena’s horse. Ar’koen horse breeders mixed a light calvary warhorse, with a typical archer horse, producing a fast, but strong, white horse, while Gyra rode a standard horse with midnight colored hair.
The beautiful scenery became obvious to Selena as they got closer to Estithar. Birds twittered and sang, while the flowing of the river and heavy beating of the waterfall added a drum to the chorus. Small animals scurried among the underbrush. The green grass and trees swayed slowly back and forth, as if dancing to the natural music of nature. Everything seemed right in the world.
“So what shall we do today at Estithar?” Gyra asked. Gyra lived in Estithar’s neighboring city, Ka’sar, and was visiting Selena as usual.
“Hmmm. Well, I have battle training, and after we get back to my house I will do housework. And after Rytak leaves, then we can have some fun.”
After riding for 15 minutes, they arrived at back Estithar. As they climbed up the hill, a brilliant sight came into view. A glorious castle made of marble and stone stood high. Three beautiful, main towers were in the middle of the castle while the other smaller ones were more effective in war. Curtain walls stood high, with dozens of sentries armed with bows keeping watch of the colossal structure. Hundreds of structures and buildings surrounded the castle, creating a vast city that was protected by a long moat-like river.
“Wow,” Gyra said as she blinked several times, her mouth open in awe, “It looks more beautiful than the last time I was here. Did the architects change it?”
“Yes, they are always adding and changing it.” Selena answered.
They rode up to the bridge, which was well guarded by a troop of 20 soldiers, who were ready to eliminate any unwanted guests.
Gauran, who was head of the troop, quickly identified Selena.
“Hello Selena,” he said in a cheery voice.
“Hi Gauran, this is my friend Gyra, I think you’ve met her before.”
“Hello Gyra. I see you’ve been hunting with our best archer,” he winked as he looked at the deer stacked on the horses.
“Yes, quite so Mr.Gauran,” Gyra winked back.
“All righty then! Good day to you!” Gauran bowed as the soldiers parted to let them pass.
As Selena and Gyra traveled a few feet, they could hear the guards chattering in hushed voices about them.
“Great looking women they are, what I wouldn’t give to spend a few minutes alone with them!” a man said as all the others chuckled and whistled.
Gyra grinned, “Very rude they are!” she yelled intentionally.
The men instantly silenced. Out of the corner of her eye, Selena could see the men looking towards her and Gyra with shocked expressions.
Selena laughed, “Look at them! They were desperate for us, now they know they have no chance!”
As they entered the city, chatter began to fill the air. The streets were filled with people. Merchants, blacksmiths, farmers, and townsfolk sold various items and wares, while children ran and played across the streets.
“Fresh fruits for sale!” a woman yelled.
“Chicken for 2 Ocers!” a man standing in front of chicken cages hollered.
“Sugar pies sold hereee!” another man shouted.
“Momma! I wanna pie!” a child blubbered longingly to his mother.
“No dear, we can’t waste money on such sweets. We can only buy the important stuff,” his mother told him as she patted him on the head. She looked weathered and wary, black bags resided under her eyes and she had a tiny.
With his face falling, the boy said, “Ok”.
Selena told Gyra about the little boy and the sugar pies. “Go on,” Gyra said tiredly, Selena you do this stuff all the time give it a rest Gyra thought. Selena walked up to the little boy’s mother and said, “Excuse me Madam, Can I buy a sugar pie for your child?”
“Ummm, really shouldn’t, he’s had too much sweets today,” the woman said weakly.
Selena smiled and looked at the woman with her eyebrows raised, “I heard what you said to him. Please let me buy him a pie.”
“Oh, all right. Thank you for your kindness,” the woman said resigning.
“You’re welcome, and my name is Selena,” Selena shook her hand.
The woman said, “I’m Ivar, it’s nice to meet you,”
Selena tried to find the boy in the busy market. It was like trying to find an ant in a meadow. Resting on the wall of a store, the boy had his head in his knees.
Selena walked up and tapped him on the shoulder. He looked up frowning, and Selena said, “Hi! Would you like me too buy you a sugar pie?”
The boy’s expression turned from condemned to Hellfire to having endless money.
Brightening up he smiled showing his small white teeth, “Yes! Thank you!” he smiled.
“My name is Selena, what’s yours?”
“Nice to meet you Tom, now let’s go get some sugar pies!” giving Tom a kind smile and a pat on the head.
Selena spotted the pie stand. They walked up to a small stand where fresh pies were stacked in neat rows puffing steam. Blueberry, apple spice, pear delight, cookie crumble, and chocolate puff were a few of the wonderful assortments. Selena spotted the sugar pies, they sat under a big sign that read Sugar Pies- 5 kurs!
“Here, you wanted a Sugar pie right Tom?” Selena gestured to the pies.
“Ummm…” Tom eyed the chocolate puff guiltily and suddenly became interested in his shoe..
“Or did you want the chocolate instead?” Selena smiled to Tom.
“Hello! How are you today?” Selena said in her normal, cheery tone.
The man behind the stand greeted her back with, “Ughh, you woke me up from my nap, what would you like to buy, get on with it then I can have some peace and quiet.”
Ok grumpy Selena thought
Selena tried her best to be polite after that unruly remark, “Sorry-
“You better be.”
“All right then, Could I have a chocolate pie?”
“Alright that will be fifteen kurs,” the man said.
“Fifteen kurs? I only have ten. I though pies were five kurs. Can I please pay you later?” Selena asked.
“Lady, I don’t trust you. You think I’m a fool to believe you? Stupid brat.” The main said with scorn.
The flames built inside Selena. What a foul man. He needs to learn respect. “Mister, all I wanted to do was buy a pie for this poor boy,” she pointed to Tom, “Please, I will pay you later today.” He man slanted his thick brows. His mouth turned into a frown. “Shut up lady, you either give me the fifteen kurs-”
“Excuse me, but may I pay for you, my beautiful lady?” a deep, masculine, but musical voice rang through the air.
Selena turned and found herself staring a handsome man. He had long light gold hair that matched his wonderful face; angular but gentle. His figure was muscular yet slender. He was tall as a young tree, lissome, and immensely strong. He wore a dark blue and green tunic and cape, with light armor, although he carried a great sword.
Selena blushed and said pleasantly, “Why yes! Thank you. I’m Selena.”
“Thank you for letting me pay, my names Cay'ron,” he said in his perfect tone.
“All right, here’s fifteen kurs,” Cay’ron said as he sorted some silver coins, “Now where’s the pie the pretty woman wanted?”
“She isn’t pretty, she’s just a stuck up brat.”
Another few drops of oil fuel Selena’s fire.
“Well old man your crazy, now could you give me the pie?”
“Shut up loud mouth, now the pies thirty kurs!” People started to crowd around the stand to see what all the commotion was about. Tom watched intently.
“What? That’s not fair? You can’t raise the price just because I called u an old man!”
Leaning forward, “You called me a crazy old man,” he flared, “and nobody calls me a crazy old man!”
He slowly pulled out a knife from under the stand, showing the sharp blade to Cay’ron. Slena held Tom and covered his eyes. With both hands on the handle of the knife, he raised his hand and jabbed downwards. Cay’ron stopped the man’s knife in air by performing a move called Halt Death, which was from Ar’koen battle training. With his palms and fingers flat out, thumbs interlocked, Cay’ron made a V shape. The old mans arms stopped in Cay’ron’s Halt Death. Swiftly, Cay’ron pushed him back, then punched him square in the face. The man dropped him knife, and Cay’ron picked it up. Punching him another time, the man fell, losing the protection of the stand. Cay’ron walked over to the fallen man. He kicked him in the face.
“Now it my time to return the favor.” The crowd gasped at those words.
Cay’ron unsheathed his great sword from slowly its scabbard. It was a handsome blade; the hilt had many green emeralds, while the blade was pure silver. Cay’ron followed the man’s exact moves, showing him the awesome blade.
“Now, if I were as jerky as you, I would stick this right in the middle of your head,” Cay’ron made a prodding movement with his sword, “But I’m not.” People sighed in relief. “Now let me buy the pie, for fifteen kurs, and I won’t hurt you. And you should never ever, call Selena a brat. Ever.”
Selena smiled and silently thanked him for that last comment.
The man wiped off the blood that dripped from the corner of his mouth and got back up from the floor. As he made his way back to his stand, Cay’ron dropped the coins on the countertop.
Staring at Cay’ron, the man said grimly, “Here’s your pie, now get on with it!”
“Thank you,” Cay’ron simply said.
Cay’ron took the pie and gave it to Selena.
“Here, your pie. I sure hope that old man won’t bother us again,” Selena heard the man grunt.
“Thanks. I have a feeling that man will stop for good, considering your skills! Hey, why don’t you come over for dinner tonight? We have fresh deer meat.” Selena offered.
Ummm, sorry Selena, but I have business to attend to. Maybe tomorrow?”
“All right, tomorrow at six in the evening.”
Ok then, where shall I meet you? How about right here at this very same place?
“Six in the evening tomorrow, right here. Got it.”
Selena’s cheeks flushed pink when Cay’ron took her hand and kissed it.
“Good day Selena.” Cay’ron bowed and left.
Selena replied after him, “Goodbye Cay’ron!” she yelled.
“What was that all about?”
“Oh, the old man who sold the pie said that a chocolate pie was fifteen kur. I only had ten with me, and this random man came up and wanted to buy for me. Apparently they got into a fight.” Selena shrugged.
Gyra smiled with eyebrows raised.
“What?” Gyra questioned.
Gyra smiled again and said, “This random guy?