The escort – Chapter 1/2

Noel examined the little man; he was breathing heavily, his mouth dry and chapped. While the deputy was trying to figure out what was wrong, the sheriff pulled Dylan over to the next room to ask him what has just happened. “Dylan, which part of lay low is hard to understand?! And what in the blazes happened to your sister?” Dylan looked into the sheriff’s eyes: “I don’t know, but whoever it is, they will pay!.” The sheriff shook his head and frowned: “No Dylan, you won’t do nothing of the sort. You’re job now is to get your sister back on her feet. And then wait for one of my rangers to return with the person you need to escort. Understood?” Dylan visibly got angry. “I will not…” The sheriff grabbed Dylan by the scruff of his neck “I don’t think you understood what I’ve just said. You will help your sister, and wait until I say it is safe. Otherwise I will see you hanging tonight. Are we clear?” Dylan just kept staring into the sheriff’s eyes. “ARE WE CLEAR?!” The sheriff yelled, he was losing his temper. “Yes.” Dylan said silently and pushed the sheriff back. “Good.” Said the sheriff while straitening his jacket. “Now then, Noel, what’s the damage?” Dylan hurried back to Scarlett who was getting more and more color back into her cheeks. “Scarlett, are you alright?” He asked while helping her sit against the wall. The deputy has just finished examining the little man, who turned out to be a halfling. “Sir, this little man seems to be … a halfling, I cannot get an accurate diagnosis, but I think that he is just extremely exhausted and dehydrated. We need to get him some water as fast as possible.” The sheriff nodded. “Alright, run along and fetch some water.” Then he turned to the boy and girl who were still standing in the infirmary, mesmerized by the unfolding events. “You two, you haven’t seen anything. You did a good deed. You saved this … man’s life. Now off with you.” The boy just nodded and took his fiancé and went out in a hurry.

Jacques stopped Ziel before they could have gotten close to the infirmary. “Why did you stop me? Maybe they need our help.” Jacques shook his head. “No. If the sheriff is there, believe me, the least they need is our meddling. Let’s just stay here and see what happens.” Ziel thought that they might be making a mistake there, but stopped herself from doing something unnecessary. ‘I still don’t know how the world functions around me. Everything is much different from what I have known so far.’ She just nodded, and followed Jacques; they stopped at the edge of the market, where they could oversee what was going on at the infirmary. “Now, don’t do anything foolish or rash. For now let’s wait for the sheriff to settle things inside” Ziel did not know why, but she felt secure, next to Jacques. “I have to ask you. Why do you keep protecting me? You said you would escort me to the town … and well here we are.” Jacques kept watching the infirmary, and said nothing. After a few moments of long silence he finally spoke. “For now, all you need to know is that you are safe as long as I am around.” Ziel, felt the familiar sensation of sadness overwhelming her once more. She also felt anger rising up in her. “No! I don’t want to be left in the dark. Tell me why!” Jacques looked her in the eyes, he saw the sparks of fire going off. “Trust me on this one. So far I have not mislead you, stay with me and everything will be clear soon enough.” Ziel frowned and started pouting but cooled off quickly. Jacques noticed a boy and a girl leaving the infirmary. “Now, let’s go to the sheriff.” Said Jacques as he pulled Ziel.

Noel searched the infirmary for water and other medication he could use to help the exhausted halfling. In the meantime Scarlett regained her consciousness and Dylan helped her up. The sheriff helped too, and as soon as he made sure that Scarlett was on her feet, he wanted answers. “Alright, what in the Nine Hells happened here? I know that you are exhausted Scarlett, but your brother is not willing to share. Care to explain?” Scarlett looked around, noticed the deputy treating a small man on the table. She tried to remember, but a sudden jolt of pain rushed through her head. “Are you alright?” Dylan jumped to help stand up straight. “Yes, yes dear brother.” She needed a few moments to recollect her composure. “Alright sheriff. To answer your question, I do not know what happened here in the infirmary, but I got ambushed when I was looking for a shrine in the town.” The sheriff turned his attention towards the halfling but he was still listening. Without turning his head back he kept nodding and continued his interrogation. “Ambushed by whom?” Although he knew the answer, he wanted to make sure that nothing else is going on. “I… I believe by some assassins?” There was a sudden knock on the door. Without even batting an eyelid, the sheriff readied his sword. Dylan’s first instinct was the same, but the sheriff gestured him to stay put.

“Who is it?” A deep voice could be heard from the other side of the door.  “Jacques. I have delivered the package. I’m coming in.” For a long moment nothing could be heard, the door opened only slightly. “Show me your blade.” Jacques unsheathed a dagger from under his cloak, it was a small blade, nothing out of the ordinary, however, the word Anima was etched onto the blade. The door opened completely, and the sheriff appeared, he also fashioned a small blade with the word Anima on it. They shook hands; it looked like as if they have known each other for a long time. “Good to finally see you back. At least someone bears some good news today. Come in, quick.” The sheriff rushed them in, closed the door and prepared to explain to the Crimson Siblings what their task was.

Noel came up to the sheriff. “Sir, we might have a problem. The halfling might have been conscious the whole time, what if he heard anything sensitive? Should we … dispose of him?” The sheriff frowned and racked his brain for a moment or so and smiled. “No, Noel, this might just work out fine. He could be the nimbleness this group needs. Help him recover fully.” The deputy did a short bow, and went on helping the halfling. The sheriff walked to the center of the infirmary. “Alright, I advise you all to head on to the Silent Stooge, I will meet you there as soon as I clean up the mess here and help our little friend feel better. Oh, and Jacques, make sure that you all stay in the inn.” Dylan kept glaring and grinning at the sheriff.

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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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