Bain awoke in a cold sweat. Grabbing his sword from its sheath, he jumped up and checked the surrounding area. Except for Dalzig, his black stallion, there was nothing alive in sight.
'Just a dream,' Bain thought to himself, 'even if an oddly realistic one.'
He placed his sword back inside it's sheath and grabbed an apple from his pack. Dalzig snorted excitedly as Bain offered up the bright red fruit to the large black horse. Dalzig snapped it up and started eating right away. For some reason, Dalzig made him smile. The horse always had since he was a foal. It was amazing that Dalzig could do it even when Bain's heart was breaking.
Bain sighed. Soon, he would reach St. Albans and Horus, and then he would get a cure for what ailed his wife. Elizabeth had already been distraught by having Abel taken away from her. Though Bain had little choice in that. It was possible that whatever ailed her was contageous. He wouldn't risk his child. Elizabeth was delirious, so she couldn't understand. She was in intense pain and her only hope, according to the docter, was the Miracle Healer Horus.
Bain took the time by the stars. With the fire just a smoldering pile of ashes, it was easy to see the stars and constellations. Bain had always loved to look at the sky and had even learned to tell their location in various times. It was beginning to be very useful on the trip.
He still had a few hours til he needed to move on. Bain wished he could leave right then. But if Dalzig didn't rest after being pushed so hard, then it would only take longer and possibly kill the horse. Bain sighed and went to lay back down. He might as well stay warm under the large furs while he waited.
Bain thought of his wife, before the illness took her. She was beautiful and intelligent with a rage to match Bain's own. Perfect for any lord. Bain was lucky he was the first to successfully court her. He was a lucky man. He even had a handsomebaby boy to carry on his name. Lord Greyman had jested and said it would be a girl. No Lord wanted their eldest child to be a girl. But little Abel came out a boy, so Bain was happy. Not to mention, he won a bit of gold from Greyman, who had bet money on the subject.
Bain smiled as he remembered good memories and drifted toward sleep.
Before sleep arrived, however, a branch snapped to Bain's left. Dalzig was on his right. That meant..
Another one snapped, this time closer. Bain waited and listened. If an assassin was attacking him, then it would be foolish to scare him away to strike later. Bain thought about grabbing his sword, but quickly rejected the idea. He needed information. No one was suppose to know where he was.
A slow and steady footstep sounded a few feet away. Bain resisted the urge to turn his head, and his long black hair covered his face. Dalzig, for some reason, just stared off into the distance. That was odd. The horse had been trained to be a warhorse. If there was any danger, then the horse would attack. Had the assailant drugged Dalzig?
Another footstep placed the unknown person just beside Bain, yet still out of sight. 'I'll have no better chance than this,' Bain thought.
Bain whirled his covers off and spun into a kick, hitting the assailant in the face. The figure was low to the ground, probably crouching, so Bain's kick that was intended for the person's chest, had missed. As the figure flew back, Bain sighed and jumped up. He probably killed the unknown assailant. Might as well-
Bain froze in midstep as he got a look at the figure huddled against a tree. A small cry came from it. Bain took a few more steps closer and realized it was a child with dark hair.
A child with a miniture bruise in place of a broken jaw.