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The rest of the trip was completely uneventful, and we arrived in Paten in relatively good condition considering that we had been traveling for over two weeks. Once we got there Emily and I said goodbye to everyone, especially Christopher; I am going to miss him most of all. After saying our goodbyes, we went to a nearby inn that Christopher had suggested to us as a place where we might find someone willing to follow us in our quest.
I bought us both room and board for a few days in the inn; then we both went down to the common room to mingle with the people there. We talked with many people and none of them seemed quite right as traveling companions, it took me a while to work out just what was wrong with each of them, but eventually I was able to pinpoint it. They were quite a bit older than me and Emily, and it just didn’t work very well to have someone so different in age as a traveling companion. So I started to look for someone my age in the room.
After a little while of searching the room I finally found the only other teen in the room. She was in a corner by herself, and people seemed to avoid sitting at the same table around her. I went to the innkeeper and asked him who she was.
“That’s Erin. She’s a quiet girl, but nice enough once you get to know her, if she let’s you that is. Most of the men in here have tried at one time or another to sit with her, she didn’t let them stay after they started to talk inappropriately to her though. I suggest you don’t if you want to be her friend.” He informed us.
“I don’t think I’ll have any problems with that…I already have a sweetheart, that’s not what I am looking for.” I told him as I pulled Emily close to me. She blushed and buried her head in my shoulder, which only made me and the innkeeper smile all the more.
I led Emily over to the table Erin was sitting at. “Hello, mind if we sit with you?” I asked as we came to her table.
“We’ll see I suppose.” She said. I took that as a yes and pulled a bench out to allow Emily to sit, then sat down myself.
“This is Emily,” I said, indicating Emily, “and I,” this time indicating myself, “am Luke.”
“I am Erin.” Replied Erin.
“We are strangers here so please forgive me if I don’t know about any customs you have here to do with greetings. Emily and I just traveled from the castle of Igral in Iglon.”
“Really?” Asked Erin, actually sounding interested, “I’ve never been outside Menelorn, what is it like there?”
“Well, it’s a port city, so there are constantly ships going through the port, and lots of strange goods being sold from far off places.” I started to explain.
“It’s near the sea! What is the sea like! I’ve never seen it!” Erin asked excitedly.
“Well, it’s so huge that all you can see is the sea all the way to the horizon, when the sun rises, it seems like it is coming right out of the sea. On sunny days, the sea is a turquoise color and the waves are tipped with white foam. On stormy days it is more choppy, it turns a darker green, and the waves get higher with a larger amount of foam. It really is beautiful.” I explained to her.
The whole time I described it Erin looked like she was trying to put each word into memory forever. When I stopped she reached her hand over to mine, “please don’t-“ She stopped abruptly as her hand touched mine, because I pulled it away violently and gasped.
“You are in so much pain!” I exclaimed, “How can you stand it!”
She stared at me blankly, unable to process the fact that I somehow knew that she was in s lot of pain. I reached out for her hand, “give me your hand.” When she looked hesitant about giving it I added, “I won’t bite, I promise.”
Erin smiled and tentatively put her hand in mine, looking at Emily to make sure it was ok, as she could tell we were together. Emily smiled encouragingly, as I took her hand, “I promise this won’t hurt you at all.” I told her, then immersed myself in finding where she was hurt, and healing what I could, simply taking away the pain where I couldn’t.
It was about an hour before I came back to myself, and Erin was staring at me with a stunned expression. “Did-did you just take my pain away?” she asked, completely stunned.
“I did more than that!” I said, “Just check your shoulder; there is no more bruise there. Nor is there a wound just about anywhere else on your body anymore, though I admit there were some places that I couldn’t heal without using way to much energy, I would be wiped right now if I tried to; so those I just took the pain from.” I told her, albeit somewhat smugly.
She stared at me for a while, and then her jaw started to work, as if she was trying to say something, but no sound came out. “It is a gift from the one true God, incase you wanted to know.” I said. Erin nodded and sat back, still trying to grasp what had just happened. Emily and I smiled.
“You know, we believe that God has given everything for a reason; and we have been told that I was given this ability in order to accomplish His purposes.” I told her, hoping that maybe, just maybe, she was already a Christian.
“I-is there any room in your mission for a girl like me?” Erin asked hopefully, “I really don’t want to go back home, not with father there. He won’t care if I leave, he’ll probably be happy he doesn’t have to take care me anymore.” She added sadly.
“Of course you can come!” Emily blurted. When I looked at her questioningly, she just looked at me meaningfully and said, “I know what it is like to have a father like that, and I think we should help her. You of all people should know just what he has done to her.”
“I suppose I do,” I turned to Erin, “Before you commit yourself just know that the journey ahead won’t be easy, we don’t know exactly where we are going, I am just taking each opportunity as it comes along.” I warned Erin.
Her face lit up, “Then you’ll let me come?” she asked hopefully.
“Yes, it does; do you have any allergies or other things that we need to know about you before we leave?” I asked her.
“Um, not that I can think of, but if I can get my hands on throwing knives I can use them very well,” She offered, “if that will be any use to you.”
“Hmm, I think it’s time to go shopping Emily, what do you think?” I asked Emily, “We need a good horse, a roll of bedding, and throwing knives.”
“Yes we do, come on Erin, you are going to need to show us where we can get them.” She smiled.
Erin showed us where to get the bedding first, then she showed us a stables where we could buy high quality horses. Lastly, she showed us the weapon smithy where we bought an array of throwing knives as well as a belt for them. Then we went to a tanner and bought a saddle and saddle bags for the horse. Finally we were ready to find another caravan to join, so I went to the caravan master from the caravan Emily and I had traveled with to ask if he knew of any caravans traveling to a country other than Menelorn or Iglon. He brought us to another caravan master and recommended Emily and I to him. The Caravan master decided to let all three of us on as guards, and so we were hired.
As we mingled with the new people in the new caravan, we found we were headed for a city called Da Ming, in a country called Beledh which was about a week’s journey form here. The guards in this caravan didn’t look as kind as the ones in the previous caravan, some of them eyed both Emily and Erin speculatively as we passed them, I really didn’t like that. It would be just what we need for the guards themselves to attack us, I don’t want to kill them, but if they gang up and try to take either Emily or Erin, well, I don’t know what other choice I will have.
We eventually found the wagon we were assigned to and unloaded everything but our weapons into it. Then I sat on one side, Erin on the other, with Emily in between us and waited to see who would be coming with us in the same wagon. Whoever it was would probably arrive pretty soon because the caravan left tomorrow.
He arrived about an hour after we did. He was tall and dusky skinned. He looked like the people in my vaguest of memories from before my parents had died. His hair was jet black, fine, and very straight. His eyes were a brown so dark they were almost black. As he approached the wagon, he dismounted his horse, and walked the rest of the way. Once he reached the wagon he nodded to all three of us, he then proceeded to unload his stuff into the wagon. Once he was finished he came up to us and sat down next to me.
“Hi,” I said, “I’m Luke, this is Emily, and she is Erin.” I said introducing us each in turn.
“I’m Michael.” He stated in a low, smooth voice.
Did I forget to mention that he was our age too? I wonder if he would join our group. That would make two people in one day! What a catch that would be! “Ah, well, are you in the guard by any chance?” I asked him.
“I am.” He replied; a real talker this Michael is.
“What weapon do you wield? I asked him.
He was on his feet in an instant, an incredibly long, ever so slightly curved blade held in his hands. All three of us jumped back at his quick, fluid movements. “This.” He stated simply.
“Wow!” I un-shouldered my longbow and notched an arrow into it, fired it at a tree, and followed it with three more arrows in rapid succession. Each thudded into the tree about an inch below the last one I had fired. Both Erin and Michael stared at me in amazement; though Michael concealed his slightly better. I went to pull out the arrows, and had a hard enough time at it too, but I eventually got them and put them back in my quiver.
“Nice.” Michael commented as I came back to the wagon.
I smiled, “Took a year of practice. Nor is that all I can do. You wouldn’t believe the other stuff I can do.”
“Try me.” He smiled.
I took out one of my arrows and cut deeply into my arm with it. Michael gasped, “Why did you do that?” He asked; loosing his cool for the first time.
“Just wait.” I said, then I concentrated on the wound. Before his eyes, the blood flow stopped, and the skin knit itself together.
This time Michael didn’t bother trying to conceal his amazement. “H-How did you do that?” He asked incredulously.
I smiled, “Interested?” I asked. He nodded. “I was given this gift by the one true God in order to gather a following and save the world from a great evil. You can believe me or not, but that is what it is.” I told him.
“You are a believer too?” He asked happily.
“That depends on what, if you mean in the one true God, then yes.”  I told him.
Michael smiled even wider, and your friends?” he asked.
I looked at Emily and Erin, they both nodded. “Well then, I was assigned to the right wagon! Thank the Lord for His goodness!” Exclaimed Michael, “He has always provided; and He continues to do so.”
We all smiled and continued to talk through the rest of the day. When the sun had set, we got out our food, and Michael got out what little he had, and we had a shared dinner. After dinner we talked until we were tired, then we went to bed somewhat early, because we were starting out early the next morning so as to get as far as possible before the major heat hit.

The End

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