The escort – Chapter 1/1

Jacques was riding with Ziel, they held a steady pace and in two days, the outskirts of Old Oberron was visible on the horizon. “Just a little bit more, we are almost there.” Jacques said with a relief in his voice. He knew that the dangerous part of their journey is only beginning but he was thankful for at least a few days of peace. With the corner of his eye he glanced back and saw that Ziel was fast asleep, even though she was still holding him not to fall down from the horse. ‘Just hold on a little bit more, soon you will be in safe hands.’ Because they were nearing the town, he slowed down a little, also he did not want to wake up Ziel. He wanted her to have peace, if nothing else at least for a few hours.

Near the town, a young couple was enjoying the fresh breeze and the bright sunny day. They decided that it would be nice to celebrate their engagement by having a picnic, just the two of them. The young couple found a perfect spot just outside, near a small patch of trees. Nobody in town knew what exactly had happened there, but for some reason the trees were always green, no matter the weather. Yet, they were not prepared for the surprise awaiting them. On the ground was a small body, they first thought it is a child. It was lying on its stomach and it was hard to discern whether it is a child or not.  The young couple was scared, but the boy was a hunter and he immediately drew his hunting knife. Carefully, he approached the body, and shook it to see if that someone was alive. No response. Then the boy turned the body over slowly, it looked like a small person. “Is… is he alive?” The girl asked with a faint and scared voice. “Wait, just stay back, I don’t want anything to happen to you. I’ll check if he is breathing” And then the boy leaned over the small body to check if it is still breathing, knife still in hand for just in case. “Diane, he is still breathing, maybe he is sick or someone attacked him. We should take him back to town.” Said the boy while putting his knife away and picking up the half-dead body. “Are you sure this is smart? What if he is some kind of an outlaw?” The girl was still scared; she did not like the idea of helping strangers so lightheartedly. “Don’t worry dear. We will just take him to the infirmary and be on our way, I promise.” The girl nodded, and helped put the almost lifeless body on the boy’s back.

“Sheriff come quickly! There is trouble in the town.” Without hesitation, the sheriff picked up his belt with the sword and ran off immediately following his deputy. ‘I hope the siblings haven’t done something stupid. Damn it, I can’t protect them from everything.’ As they were running, the sheriff asked his deputy: “What happened?”, “Apparently some people were attacked around the shrine on the other end of the town, they headed for the infirmary next, and so far haven’t come out yet.” The only thing going through the sheriff’s head was how he is going to fix this. ‘Damn it to the Nine Hells. I told them to stay put.’ The townsfolk around noticed the sheriff running, but got used to him handling every affair so they did not bother to interfere. After a few minutes of silence and running, they sheriff and his deputy finally made it to the infirmary. They drew their swords and burst through the door; only to find Dylan holding his sister and crying. “What in the Nine Hells happened here?!” The sheriff’s voice thundered. Dylan looked at him, with wet eyes and said with a smile: “They almost got her. But I saved her.”

Jacques entered the town and immediately looked for the sheriff’s office. “Wake up Ziel, we are here.” He gently shook Ziel until she finally awoke. “Wh… where are we?” She asked while rubbing her eyes. “We are in Old Oberron. We just have to find the sheriff and everything will be alright.” The thought of everything finally being as it should be made Ziel happy. They got off from the horse and continued on foot, finding the nearest stable to let their horse rest. When they left the stables, Jacques noticed someone running through the center. ‘Something must have happened. Maybe we should follow him, just in case.’ He knew that the person was the sheriff, and he also knew that there was trouble. “Come Ziel, we have an old friend to visit. Here hold on to this though.” Jacques handed her a short sword. “I don’t understand, what am I supposed to with this?” Ziel was caught by surprise, although she had a pretty clear idea what the weapon was for. “Hopefully, nothing. But hold on to it, just in case. And stay close to me.” With that they went in the same direction as the sheriff.

The sheriff looked around and saw the mess, and saw a dead body lying next to one of the cupboards. “What happened here?” He was getting angry. This was not something that he could cover up easily. “What in the Nine Hells did you do? Even though I specifically said to lay low! Damn it.” Dylan let her sister rest on the floor. “No… Dylan… don’t…” Scarlett was barely whispering. Dylan stood up; the anger in his eyes was still there, ablaze. “What happened you ask? We got attacked! Scarlett was only looking for a shrine. What about the protection you promised? Huh? You said nothing would happen!” Dylan was yelling with all his might, and as he stepped forward, closer to the sheriff, the deputy assumed a defending stance. “Don’t test me boy.” Dylan said while his hand was on the hilt of his sword, ready to be unsheathed at a moment’s notice. “Stop! There will be no more bloodshed. Who are those people anyway?” The sheriff yelled, calming down the two men. “I don’t know! Maybe some assassins.” The sheriff took a closer look at the body and noticed a distinct tattoo below the right ear. “I think you’ve done it now Dylan, the Crescent Death is after you and your sister.” The tattoo was a small reaping hook with the words Morte on the blade. ‘They must have found out what we are up to. Damn it. The escort of the girl will require more security.’ The sheriff was in deep thinking when the door opened suddenly. All three men drew their blades with lightning speed.

The boy with the small man on his back opened the door to the infirmary; he was surprised to find three blades pointed at him. “I just brought this person from the outskirts of the town. He seems injured. I just wanted to help him.” The sheriff without hesitation told the boy to come in quickly and close the door behind, only then he noticed the girl. “Who is she?” He asked while pointing his sword at her. “She is my fiancé, sheriff.” The sheriff sheathed his sword and the other two followed as well. “Dylan, I will deal with you later on. Now, deputy Noel, you had basic training in healing. Help that man.” The deputy helped the man onto one of the tables that was still intact. “He looks severely exhausted. I will need to examine him though.” The sheriff nodded. “Do what you must.”

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Deky

An English teacher with too much time and creativity on his hand. Help me help you open your imagination.

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