Achingly familiar buildings trotted past, or perhaps it was me trotting past them. I couldn't tell. People I had once befriended looked on and smiled. It had only been less than a week since I had left and already I felt like these people were nothing more than vaguely recognisable strangers. They still knew and revered me, my battle feats were something of a marvel to them while being merely textbook to me and my kin. I found myself being taken to the castle I had once lived in with my family. Sensing this, Jibril pulled the horse to a stop and had hushed words with the captain. Nodding gruffly, he changed our course to deep into the village.
Instead, I found myself outside an inn with a picture of a white stag on a black metal board that creaked as it swung in the wind. The eeriness of the scene brought me half way back to my senses; I had missed the bad emotions like fear that were absent in the East forest. Jibril grasped my collar and steadied me on my feet before marching me swiftly to get me out of sight in through the large front door.
Inside it was very dark, with only the light of three small candles clustered on the bar and one on each worn wooden table. A few travelers grouped around these, muttering sparsely if at all. Most sat on their own, others in small groups with their hoods up. Many hid their faces from me. One figure sat hunched in the corner in a dark green cloak patched in many places who kept staring at us, though we could not see their eyes.
Jibril strode confidently up to the innkeeper who was leaning over the counter to talk to a traveler and coughed. He looked up. He was overweight, unshaven and generally grubby. I disliked him instantly and pulled Jibril's arm; I did not want to stay under his roof. But my friend held fast.
"Good sir, we require shelter for a night for three."
The innkeeper's black eyes flickered over to us and widened in astonishment. Our pointy ears, slanted eyes, graceful manor and posture told him instantly that we were immortals.
"No room." He grunted.
"But it says in your log book that there are five rooms free tonight." Jibril's icy eyes floated to the open parchment book on the other side of the counter, something a human's eye sight would not have picked up. I was just surprised the heathen before us could even write.
"Last minute booking I'm afraid." He clicked his tongue.
That drew me completely from my inner shell. Drawing my sword, I sprung lithely on the counter and pressed it against his throat. All conversation stopped and they stared at me, almost growling as I was. The hooded figure leapt to their feet and, with speeds faster than even an elf, had his hands on my forearms and i was so surprised the slightest pull from them sent me falling backwards.
"They are with me, Barat." The hooded man growled, pulling the hood of my own cloak over my face and dragging me through the bar.
I stumbled up the stairs at a quicker pace once we were out of sight of the humans with my companions following me.
"Oi! What are you doing?" Jibril was hissing, having drawn his sword.
The figure holding me did not pay him any attention and just kept traipsing up the stairs until I heard a door open and I was thrown inside. My hood came down and I could see were in a small room lit by a strong fire.
"Are you all bloody mad?" The man who was no more man than I was yelled, "Marching in here and expecting a room? You're off your rockers to think there aren't elfin spies looking for you!" He stormed around the room, drawing curtains and locking the door.
Jibril took my hand and we stood with our backs against the wall, for once terrified.
The man threw down his hood and we all instantly fell to our knees. This was no man; this was a legend.