Keitaro lay in bed that night unable to fall asleep thanks to the talk with his uncle. He thought about the things he had said and down to his mother and wondered if he had still done those things if his father were still alive. Would he? It was a rather hard question. And it confused him. But after a while he decided to take Reidar’s advice and see if his mother would really let him travel to Crescent Forest.
What he didn’t know that he wasn’t going to be able to get a chance to talk to her.
Keitaro woke up in the middle of the night to Yelena’s scream. Flinging himself out of bed he rushed to see what the matter was. She was nowhere in the house so he quickly ran outside just in time to see his mother trying to keep three men away from the house. As fast as he could he went inside grabbed his sword and returned to the outside and ran to protect his mother. But he was too late.
Right before he made it to them one of the men’s swords was driven right through her heart. Her limp body fell to the ground and he stopped running for a minute before giving chase to her murders. What he didn’t realize was that the entire town was in flames! The small village of Darian had been ambushed!
He pursued the men into the Crescent Forest. At that time Keitaro was so angry that he didn’t realize where he was going and it wasn’t long before Keitaro had not only lost the men but had gotten lost himself. Quickly he found a good place to spend the night.
A few minutes later Keitaro found himself crying. Reidar was right. He was blind to what he had. He hadn’t realized it until he’d lost it. Now where did he find himself? In the place he’d wanted to go for years since they’d found his father’s body on the edge of the forest with no injuries what so ever. Whatever had killed his father had better be here still otherwise his planning will have all gone for nothing.
One problem… Keitaro had no food and so far he hadn’t seen an animal in sight. Hopefully there were non-poisonous berry and plants around here. If not then he was going to be in trouble.
Eventually sleep found Keitaro and he had nightmares galore.
The next morning Keitaro woke up to the snap of a twig and a yell. Hastily he stood up, grabbed his sword and slowly began in the direction of the noise. He used his sword to cut himself through tight squeezes between the thick plants. Finally he was close enough that he could see what was going on.
It was one of the men that had killed his mother. He was holding a long bow and had it pointed toward the other side of the clearing. Keitaro got his sword ready but that’s when he noticed that the man wasn’t alone.
There was a small figure up in a tree on the opposite side of the clearing. Who’s that? He thought to himself. He crouched down in the tall grass to avoid being seen.
The man drew back the string of the bow and got ready to fire. Suddenly an arrow flew from the tree where the silhouette was perched and struck the man in the heart. But when the man was killed it caused him to release the arrow on his own bow. There was a cry of pain and the figure fell out of the tree. Keitaro stood up and rushed over to the injured one and was shocked.
She was probably one of the most beautiful girls he’d ever seen. Sure she was covered in mud and her clothes where worn and old but that didn’t keep her looks from showing. Her black hair was cut to a length most girls found disturbing. “I’ll look like a boy!” was what they always said. She had long bangs that covered her eyes.
Keitaro quickly turned his attention to where she had been shot.
The man’s arrow had gone through her right thigh and it was bleeding badly. Gingerly he broke the arrow shaft and pulled the rest of it out of her leg. While he was doing the girl had reached to her belt and grabbed a dagger, threatening to stab him with it.
Once the arrow was out she tried to stand up but fell back down. Keitaro caught her before she hit the ground and gently laid her back down. He pulled a strip of cloth off of his shirt and tied it around the wound. Then he picked the girl up and brought her back to where he had stayed the night.