Chapter 2: Into The Shadows
I was starting to regain consciousness. My vision was slightly blurry but I could tell night had fallen. The ground shook underneath me. I could hear the trees rustling with each shake; Something huge was stomping through the forest. I tried to get up but my body ached painfully from head to toe, I was lucky to be alive. I looked around but it was impossible to see anything clearly without a flashlight. The earth shaking footsteps continued slowly but they were getting closer. I forced myself to sit up with the little bits of strength I had left in me and I instantly became light headed. I noticed the ground had stopped shaking and my eyes widened with alarm. A series of foul smelling breezes blew over me and I knew I was no longer alone. I crawled over to a nearby tree and held onto it while I tried to stand. My legs were weak and shaky but I was able to stand, if I could stand, I could run.
I started to run North, following a worn down path, but I kept stumbling and nearly falling. The rumbling sounds were so close I started to loose my footing with each tremble. Suddenly the ground was hit so hard the earth slightly rose and I lunged forward, hitting the ground with an “oomph” sound. When I turned over on my side to face the unseen danger, There was a twenty foot tall, armored troll standing over me. I could tell it was an ice type by the light blue colors and vapors coursing through it’s skin and eyes. One of the troll’s hands looked like a rock covered, cannon while the other hand had a long chain with a spiked iron ball attached to the end.
It’s foul smell was stronger and even more unbearable this close. I didn’t have any magic, fighting skill, nor a weapon to defend myself. No one who came up against an armored troll without some good defense didn’t stand a chance. I closed my eyes tightly to brace myself for death but I heard the sounds of something shooting through the air, followed by loud roaring from the troll. I opened my eyes to see three fiery arrows stuck into it’s chest. I turned around to see the silhouette of someone readying another fiery arrow.
Malaika- Thank you!
?- Thank me later! Run!
The angry troll started to raise his cannon equipped arm and I scrambled to get up. My mysterious heroine let loose another arrow and the troll roared in frustration before shooting ice crystals out of it’s cannon. I couldn’t see the archer’s face as I ran past him because he had a half mask on and a hood over his head, but I would never forget his voice. He had a slightly deep voice with the faintest raspy undertones. A sharp crystal flew into a tree a small distance away from me making me pick up my pace. I didn’t know where I was running to, but I had to get the hell out of here.
My running turned into a fast, clumsy, walk once I cleared the forest treeline. I had came into an unfamiliar town and I knew I couldn’t let my identity be known. I put my shawl over my head to hide my face the best I could and decided to look for a place to stay the night. I didn’t have much but the jewelry I wore which would be more than enough to feed myself and pay for a room. My tiara had been lost during the accident which was good and bad. Good because no one would know I was a royal unless they could see my family crest brand on my body. Bad because I could afford my own horse and carriage plus a small army with it’s worth.
Not too far into the town I saw a sign that read, “Dane’s Pub & Inn” and I didn’t hesitate to go inside. There were people at every table having a drink or eating, the food smelled heavenly. I went over to the innkeeper’s counter and took off my gold bracelet that had sapphires embedded around the band. I placed it on the counter and the man’s eyes went wide with excitement.
Malaika- I need a room please.
Innkeeper- Well miss you are VERY welcome to stay here at Dane’s. You must be staying for a while by the looks of this fine piece of jewelry.
Malaika- No, just for tonight. Just give me a room and as much food as I can eat, it would be much appreciated.
There was something about this man that I didn’t like, but I couldn’t tell what it was. He swiped my bracelet off of the counter and shoved it into his shirt pocket before taking a few steps to the room keys hanging from the wall behind him. He came back to the counter and placed a small golden key in front of me with the number four on it. I quickly took it into my hand and went towards the staircase just off to the left side of the counter.
After a hot bath I felt a little better, I was bruised up pretty bad and my head still hurt but I was alive. I didn’t have any clean clothes to change into so I washed my dress and left it near the open window to dry. I was on my way to bed when I heard what sounded like someone being slammed to the floor in front of my door. I hurried to the bed and grabbed the sheets to wrap around myself. After a moment I heard knocking, then a familiar voice.
?- I have something that belongs to you…It looks rather expensive.
That voice, the archer?…Could it be? I went to the door and unlocked it before opening it just a crack. The Innkeeper was on the floor half conscious and a young man who was no older than I, held him by the collar of his shirt. I could see his face now and he had dark, almond shaped eyes set into a fair face. His black hair was medium length but cut shorter towards back. I saw in his other hand something shining in the light from the hallway. He suddenly held the item up for me to see and I saw that it was my tiara. I looked at him curiously to see a very serious expression on his prominent Asian features.
Norio- You can call me Norio, I think we need to talk.
To be continued….
COPYRIGHT 2015 ALEXANDRIA REEVES Original works.