"Now, release your breath slowly and....,"
Without waiting for the rest of his instruction, I smoothly allowed the arrow to spring forward off of my bow, charging in a direct line toward the my target--a slim tree some distance away. I turned toward him with a confident smile as I confirmed that it embedded itself in the bark, still dancing with the force put behind it.
"It appears your training with me is complete, Lilyth," Laegron said with a mocking bow. I smiled slightly, strolling down the way to retrieve my arrow. I wrapped my fingers behind it and pulled at it, yet it failed to come out. When I finally put both hands on it and gave it one, more forceful, yank, it was broken and worthless.
I swore softly to myself, looking towards the limp item in my hand.
"Looks like your going to have to make new ones soon," he joined me at my side, taking the arrow in his own palms.
"I hate making new ones. They take such a long time and I do not have much spare time," I muttered. I need some new arrows anyways for my trip...but do I have the time? I just might have to make do with the few I have....
"I know," chuckled Laegron slightly. "But you could still use some of the material from this one, I suppose...here," he paused, pulling out a handful from his own make-shift bag that he strapped across his shoulder. "You can take a few of mine for now. I have plenty."
At first, I considered rejecting them. First of all, they were his, and I was leaving. Secondly, looking over that hopeful face of his, I was in no inclination to be in his debt. It was no secret that Laegron liked me in a particular way that I personally thought he shouldn't. All the other girls in the House giggled at me for it when they got the chance, giving me suggestive looks (that is all I could allow of them--they learned quickly when to stop pestering me). Of course, they also didn't know that I stole away with him so that he could teach me to shoot. If they knew that, it would be the end of me.
But I needed them. And I would never see him again...
"Alright," I took them hesitantly. "Thank you." He made sure to brush fingers with mine as I reached for them, and I held back the inclination to roll my eyes and shake my head at him. He smiled like a grinning idiot at me after I looked up--I only acknowledged him with a grateful smile. I had a suspcion that him and several other of the young men-servants of the House had made a bet for who could gain ground with me first, and I suppose I had permitted him to appear like the leader since he was the best shot and I wanted to learn from him.
"Well, we should return," I said, after putting his arrows with my own. I looked to my dress, the uniform gown of red satin which had been choosen to match the Hall's decor in which us maiden-servants worked. "Lady Arathica will be wanting her tea soon."
I had been working in the House of Hendrion under Lady Arathica ever since my Mother died when I was thirteen. For a year, I lived on my own like some beggar child--I learned to be unseen. It was easy for me, it almost seemed to be come natural. But one day, I was caught in Lady Arathica's stables, and, having no connections of my own, she took me into her household and trained me as one of her maiden-servants. I believed I should be thankful for her, for she provides to me and all of the girls a roof under which to live, food to eat, and appeared to treat us well for the most part.
Yet I longed to break free. I was old enough now. For too long I had been sick and tired of being one of these 'girls', all the same. Never did I fit in with any of them.
Too, I could not push aside my dreams. Since I was very young, my Mother had raised me to be true to myself, raised me with the stories of Dragons and their riders. She spoke as if she herself had done it, flying with the stars and racing with the wind. Onwards from that moment, I felt that my true self must be a Rider; I dreamed of flying, of Dragons, of Freedom.
And tonight, I took drastic measures. In the midst of the night, I stripped from my red gown in an exchange for one the dairywomen of the stable dressed, browned with stain and grey with age. I gathered my supplies and the small collection of treasures I had already stolen over the past times--magnificent jewelry, emerald rings, ruby necklaces on golden chains that would certain bring in something in the village. I could only pray that it was enough. If anything, I would sell the few, precious possessions I had received upon my Mother's death. It would be hard to part with them, but if I had to, it would be well worth it in the end if an egg hatched for me. What a great, dreadful 'if'--an 'if' which all my dreams relied.
With that, I shouldered my pack and my bow, along with Laegron's arrows, and left, a runaway in the night. If they came after me and found me, leaving before my promised, required years, I could be dragged back and punished severely, especially after robbing.
They will probably not even notice that I am gone, I thought bitterly. Perhaps the Lady will only find her jewels missing.
I looked for a last time upon the house, the great, imposing manor.
I will pay you back, Lady Arathica, for your assistance over the years, and for the jewelry, I thought to myself, something of appreciation coming over me as I glanced over what my life had been for the past years. For helping me on my way to my dream, even if you didn't know you did so. Eventually. One day I shall thank you proper.
Perhaps I will be able to, after I become a Rider.
If I become a Rider.