We travelled easily, making good speed since I knew the way. We were not far from the village when we broke out onto the road.

"This is the easiest-" I broke off, startled by the sight of two dead men and signs of a fight. The ground was kicked up, the blood smeared on the ground. Talon moved closer.

"They're Freedom Fighters." he said quietly. "Looks like a sword here."

I scanned the ground, noting the tracks and marks.

"Theres a lot of blood, but it looks like there were only four people." I said, confused. I looked up at Talon "It looks like one of them was a boy-our age."

His face mirrored my confusion. The Freedom Fighters recruited boys our age and they had evidently been here, but why the fight? Only a fool would take on three Freedom Fighters in hand-to-hand combat alone.

"He must have had help." I declared. "We'll track round, then if we can't pick up the trail, come back here-theres more tracks heading North."

"Yeah, the others dont need to see this... Something isn't right." Talon muttered, still inspecting the bodies.

"C'mon then." I replied, helping him up. "There's a trail running parallel"

He nodded, following me as we tracked back to the others, who were a few minutes back.

"We'll go together for the last bit" Talon stated flatly. "Theres a trail, we're using it. Don't want nasty suprises." With that he walked off, going the direction I had pointed out earlier.

"Whassup with 'im?" Larn grunted, obviously peeved at his attitude.

I shrugged. "We aren't that far from the village now, keep your ears and eyes open 'kay?"

"You'd better catch up with your parabati. He seems to be in a hurry." Alex said in his calm voice. I grinned.

"See you in a while. We'll wait on the edge of the forest. See if you can spot us" I replied cheekily, keeping spirits up, before racing to catch Talon up.

"Hey!" I called "Wait for me!" He slowed down, letting me catch up.

"Whats the problem?" I muttered. "The others..."

"Later." He cut me off. "I'm really not in the mood."

"Whatever, I'm going in the trees, we're waiting for them at the edge of the forest, keep hidden-I don't want any ambushes."

"Yeah I know the drill." He muttered back, sliding into the bushes. I shook my head at his mood and began weaving between the slender trees that lined the trail. We didn't encounter anyone until we reached the edge of the forest. Hiding in the scrub in front of me was a skinny teen, filthy from the trail. I pulled out my bow, knocking a sharp-tipped arrow. I came up silently behind him, then gently pressed the cold metal tip into the back of his neck. He flinched violently and began to turn.

"If you want to live, do not move a muscle." The boy froze, shivering like a rabbit.

"Onto the trail."

He got up stiffly and walked slowly to the trail.

"Try anything and this arrow is going into your neck." I said harshly. Talon appeared from the bushes to my left.

"Whos this?" he said, looking at the guy like he wanted to punch him.

"Quinn.. I'm the mayor's son." he piped up. I jabbed him just to make a point, causing him to flinch again. "P-please! A friend of mine was taken.. Please you have to help Jarl!"

"Shutit." I said fiercely. I was tempted to jab the runt again. He looked about our age, but he was thin so it was hard to tell. "You are going to shut up until the rest of us get here then you are telling us what happened."

As if by magic, the others rounded a corner.

"Alright, start talking" Talon growled.

The End

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