Trickery

Hunter sat perched in a tree, chewing on a blade of grass. Lucky for her the wind had picked up rustling the dead leaves, and swaying the water. The sound of her knife sawing away at the dead tree branch could not be detected over the sounds of nature and the drunks leaving the nearby pub. She studied the French men with intrigue. She had been following them unnoticed for the past couple days. They were both quick on their feet and seemingly ruthless. She knew that as a women a direct approach was the most viable idea. She had sent a letter requesting the presence of the Craes men, at this particular location, outside of the Riverbank Pub. The Pub was a rustic lean to sitting on the edge of the river at the start of the forest. Most of it's occupants were hunters and bandits.

The letter she sent with the carrier pigeon was signed with her birth given name Hunter Tiberias. The fools probably assumed they were coming to meet a man. The lies she had written in the letter also worked in her favor. She had told the cousins that she knew all of the possible dangers and shortcuts to the fountain. In all reality she knew very little about the fountain. What she did know was that Gogant Craes had kept a journal for noted research on it. That journal was her only hope.The key to finding the Fountain of Youth lay in Gogant's back pocket. She knew he wasn't going to hand over his secrets willingly, what man would?

Her original plan was far more ruthless as she intended to shoot the men down with her bow, not to kill only to wound them long enough for her to escape with the journal. However once the men stumbled out of the pub, drunk they had taken shelter under a large weeping willow tree. In minutes the cousins were passed out, forgetting about the meeting altogether. Hunter took advantage of the situation, sawing with her knife at a thick branch that hovered over them. She needed her arrows for whatever dangers stood in her way of the Fountain. Rigorously she sawed, breaking out into a slight sweat. She heard the sweet sound of the branch snapping, she jumped quickly out of the tree, coming to a rolling stop on the ground.

The Craes's instincts were better than Hunter thought. Before the branch could land both men awoke and rolled out of the way. Her eyes went to Gogant's journal. In the haste of escaping the fallen branch he had carelessly let it fall to the ground. Hunter concealed her slender frame behind a tree before she remembered that the Craes men had arranged for a meeting with a presumed man named Hunter, not a women.

This was all too easy Hunter thought smiling to herself. She cleared her throat as she stepped out from behind the tree.

“Heavens, what have we here?” She asked in mock surprise.

Gogant shook his head, he was still groggy from the alcohol.

“Say!” She said placing her hand on the hips. “Are you the. Craes cousins?”

Aurich stepped forward, “Yes, That would be us.”

Hunter tried to ignore how striking the the men were. Gogant looked like the figure of sophistication. He was poised and even in his drunken state his hair was swept back neatly. Unlike most drunks his clothing wasn't disheveled. Aurich looked intimidating, unnaturally bald, but he had seemed  more approachable than his cousin. She had expected them to appear more barbaric as assumed by their reputations. Only they seemed to be honest men, like her father was. She thought about her dieing father and all she had overcome to get here. She couldn't let anything distract her now.

She stepped closer to the men. “There is a man inside says his name is Hunter and wishes to speak to you.”

Gogant shook off his Stupor, his accent came out much thicker than his cousin's, “Zhat's right, I almost forgot. Zank you..... What was your name?”

“Emily.” Hunter said using her sister's name for an alias. “Go quickly.” She added before Gogant could think to check his pocket for the journal. “That man inside is growing impatient, he says he has more important matters to tend to.” She said her voice ringing of urgency. The Craes men smiled in appreciation before they turned away and headed for the pub. Once they were out of sight Hunter picked up the forgotten journal and ran, as fast as she could. Adrenaline fueling her way into the forest.

The End

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