Recovered Property

Edmond waited for Soren to turn around before opening his arms genially.  "Miss me?"

In typical Soren fashion, the mage simply folded his arms and cocked his head.  "It hasn't even been a month, Ed.  Why were you following me?"

"It wasn't my doing, friend."  He lied,  "Kate here was on to something..."  Edmond pointed to the wolf, who was panting with excitement.  "And we were in the area.  Not to mention you don't tend to go about your business subtlety."

Kate barked in agreement, and licked Soren's palm.  Soren winced at first, but decided to pet her anyway.

The forest appeared to have gone back to normal.  Birds continued chirping in the foreground, accompanied only by the sounds of running water and silence.  If not for the singed flora and corpses scattered about, one would not have had the slightest hint that anything had occurred.

"Oh, and I almost forgot..."  Edmond walked up to his acquaintance. "You left this."  He pulled a small leather pouch out of his pack and held it in front of Soren.

For a moment, Soren just stared at it incredulously.  "How...  Where did you find this?"

Stole it from your pack.  "I found it on the road a few miles back.  That was when I realized it was you Kate had her nose set on."  He looked over to Kate and scratched her head lovingly.

The mage retrieved it gingerly from Edmond's hand, and looked it over carefully.  "I can't believe I dropped this."  A disconcerted glance at Edmond.  "Did you look inside?"

Numerous times, yes.  "Didn't really have the time, no.  I figured you were my first priority."

Soren nodded and placed the pouch inside his traveling pack.  Then he looked back up into Edmond's eyes.  "Thank you, Ed."

Edmond produced a comical bow.  "At your service."

Suddenly Kate barked and jerked her head off in the direction of the treeline.  Edmond caught sight of it, too: a surviving bandit, shambling into the forest.

"Oops, missed one."  Edmond pulled the large, white bow off his back, notched an arrow, and drew.  Releasing on a breath, the satisfying shwunk of the arrow hitting its target rang out through the woods.

Soren was still folding his arms.  A smile creeped up onto his lips.  "You're aim has improved."

"Shut up, mage."  Edmond punched him in the arm, cordially.  "At least my methods don't light up this whole damn forest like a flare."  He stopped.  "Now that I think of it...  We should probably get out of here if we don't want their friends to come back and get a few more potshots on us."

The mage was still standing there.  After a minute, he finally spoke:  "Wanna come?"

Thought you'd never ask.  "Sure thing."  The two began to walk steadily along the trail.  Edmond whistled, and Kate fell in alongside him.

"Where are we going, exactly?"  Edmond asked, putting away his greatbow.

With no further explanation, Soren pointed down the trail.

And so they went.

The End

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