Yori felt himself slowly becoming conscious. He felt the sensation of lying on the ground, and he could feel something lying on top of him. But what was that smell…
Yori sat up straight, gagging.
“I can see that you’re awake.” Yori turned. The speaker was sitting next to a fire. The smell was coming from the meat roasting above it.
“Who are you?” Yori asked. The figure pulled back its hood. She had short white-blond hair that pooled around her shoulders. She had a round face and a small nose. Her black eyes shone with the bright lights from the flames. She looked about fourteen or so.
“I saved your life. You’re the one that owes me answers.” The girl’s voice was strong and commanding, the exact opposite of her appearance. She wasn’t scared, but she should have been. Many elves weren’t very welcoming of humans on their land.
Yori was about to demand that she answer his question, but something she had said caught his attention.
“Saved my…” He lifted his shirt. There was something white that had been taped on.
“You had been hurt. I had gauze in my bag.” The girl cocked her head. “I thought elves could heal.”
“Not with kimili juice in their system.” Yori threw the blanket off himself.
“I saw a lot of… bodies there too. What happened?”
“An ambush. I was attacked. How long was I unconscious?”
“About an hour or so. You were bleeding a lot.” The girl turned to the cooking food.
“You should probably eat.”
“I don’t eat meat.”
The girl’s eyes narrowed, “Dark elves aren’t so picky.”
This girl had met with dark elves? “They can’t have their magic tainted by eating it.”
The girl picked up a satchel and walked over to Yori. As she rummaged around inside, Yori realized how vulnerable he was. She could be bringing out a weapon right now. Maybe he should…
“Here.” It was an apple. Yori didn’t move and the girl sighed.
“Would I save your life just so I could kill you now?” He took it and the girl produced two more apples and an assortment of nuts and fungi, many of which had obviously been picked from the forest.
“I can see that you are familiar with these woods,” said Yori, picking one up.
“I am a messenger.” She divided up the food.
“How could someone so young be a messenger?” The elf bit into the apple.
The girl scowled. “I am sixteen years old.” She bit into the leg of what Yori had now identified as a rabbit, and he frowned, repulsed. They ate for a while in silence
“You never gave me your name.” She looked at him.
“It is Yoriai’thistiel.”
“You can call me Yori.”
The girl’s eyes widened. “The elfin prince?”
“Yes. So, what is your name?”
“Do I get a reward for helping you?”
“I won’t be able to reward you if I don’t know your name.”
The girl sighed and leaned back. “It’s Maya.”
“Well Maya,” said Yori, standing up, “When I return to my father and tell him what happened, I’ll be sure to tell him about you.”
“You’re leaving?” Maya’s voice sounded surprised. “But you’re injured and powerless.”
“I know many secret paths through the forest. Also, elves can heal rather quickly even without magic.” Yori picked up his sword from its place on the ground.
“Thank you.” He turned and began to walk through the forest, stopping every once in a while to catch his breath. Maya had only taken him a short way from the clearing, and it only took him a while to find where he and Zimirith had been stationed before. But as he neared the spot, he heard voices. To be safe, he hid himself behind a tree.
“You didn’t bring back the body?”
“I was going to, but it wasn’t there when I came back.”
“That means that he is probably alive. Send out a search party.”
The rebels had taken over the camp and now they were looking for him. He had to get away. Yori began to backtrack, but as time went on, the dull ache in him side grew in intensity. Apparently Maya had given him something for the pain. Yori sat on the ground and tried to do a healing spell, but his magic fizzled out. He wouldn’t be able to do magic for several hours, and that was ample time for the rebels to find him. He had to hide somewhere.
Yori stood shakily and began to climb the tree behind him, ignoring the pain in his side. When he had found a sturdy branch he lay down and closed his eyes. As exhaustion sweep over him, Yori hoped that he would have the chance to wake up.