Unwanted company

Scarlett was looking for an alley or a dark corner she could lead her stalkers to, although she had no luck. However, she did find the shrine, many shrines in one place actually. Because this town had no real temples, the townsfolk only built shrines to worship their deities. ‘This will be a short prayer. Pelor, forgive me.’ Scarlett was thinking while pulling out a small candle from her bag, lighting it and placing it next to the other candles. She then proceeded to lower her head in order to say her prayers. For a while, there was silence broken by the sound of birds chirping. ‘… and please look over Dylan as well…’ Suddenly, Scarlett heard a loud whooshing sound from her right; she immediately pulled out a small shield which she was carrying on her back, hidden under her cloak. She managed to block the speeding arrow, but had to move quickly as another one was on its deadly way. Scarlett moved quickly, in a zigzag pattern to avoid any other arrows, but before she knew it, she was jumped by a man wearing a black cloak.

Dylan was still searching the market, not looking for anything in particular, and only browsing. Suddenly, he had a sudden rush down his spine. Something was wrong, ‘I should better find Scarlet.’ He never liked to be separated from his sister, although he was the younger sibling, he always took care of Scarlett. Dylan picked up the pace and tried to shake the two stalkers. However, no matter how hard he tried, they were always there. ‘Darn it. I should lose them fast and find Scarlett.’ He thought that maybe if he lured them to the edge of the town, he could dispose of them quickly, and without witnesses. At the end of the market he took a left turn and hoped that he will reach some kind of a secluded area, hopefully a place where his stalkers could scream without anyone hearing them.

As the man in the black tried to slice open Scarlett’s throat, she managed to dodge in the last moment and kick the attacker’s hand, forcing him to drop a dagger. However, the man quickly pulled out another one. Scarlett tumbled back and fashioned a short mace, which was hidden underneath her cloak. She quickly started to mutter something under her breath and magical obscuring fog appeared around her from thin air, surrounding Scarlett and the cloaked man. Before the attacker even had time to react, Scarlett lunged and hit him in the face with her heavy mace. The man staggered back and spat out a few teeth and a mouthful of blood. “IN FRONT OF ME, HALF A METER.” Scarlett was surprised but did not lose her focus and prepared for her next attack, this time making sure it will be the last. The cloaked man was swinging his dagger, trying to sense where Scarlett would attack from next. When he finally sensed the change in air flow, it was already too late. Scarlett swung her heavy mace, aiming for the head, and almost hit her attacker. “NOW!” The cloaked man shouted without even trying to dodge her attack.

Roaming around the town, Dylan was slowly losing his nerves; he just simply could not find a quiet spot to dispose of his stalkers. He was at a point where he would openly draw his sword and just be done with it. However, Dylan respected his sister’s wishes. ‘Darn it all to the Nine Hells! Maybe I should go find Scarlett; she will know how to get rid of them without causing any trouble.’ So far, Dylan counted four men following him. ‘Maybe I should let the Sheriff handle this? No! My honour is at stake here too.’ The more he was looking for a quiet dark place, the more frustrated he got. ‘This town is too noisy!’ His inner voice was screaming.

An arrow swished through the air hitting Scarlett’s left hand, which was holding the mace, and making her miss. The cloaked man reacted quickly and plunged his dagger into Scarlett’s right thigh, she screamed out in agony. ‘I did not calculate this.’ This was the only thought rushing through her head. Meanwhile she fell to one knee, managed to block another dagger swinging. However, she did not have enough time to dodge the incoming arrow, which planted itself into her right shoulder. Even though Scarlett was prepared for pain, this stung too much, she let out another loud scream, but this time screamed: “DYLAN!”

Chills went down Dylan’s spine once again; he felt something is terribly wrong. ‘I need to find Scarlett, fast.’ Then he suddenly remembered that Scarlett was looking for a shrine of Pelor. The first person he came across was a cobbler. “Excuse me, could you tell me where I could find the nearest shrine?” The cobbler had part of his workshop outside his house, and was fiddling with some old shoes. Without even looking up who was asking him, he just muttered: “To your left… keep going… not far.” And with that he continued with his work. “Thank you.” Said Dylan and ran off quickly. He felt he was losing valuable time. As he kept running, he noticed that the street was rather long, but he did see a clearance at the end. The nearer he got to the clearance the more his heart was pounding. However, he did notice something at the end of the street, it seemed as it was foggy. Without even thinking he drew his sword and started running even faster. ‘I am coming Scarlett. Hold on.’

‘The fog will not disperse for a little while more, until then I can still use it for cover. I never thought they were going to be this strong.’ Her thigh was bleeding profusely, she tried but she could not stand up. She laid her right hand, with the shield still attached onto it, on her thigh and started muttering something, her hand glowed and the bleeding stopped immediately. With her right hand she took the mace and with her left yanked the arrow clean out of the wound. The bleeding would not stop though, ‘Just as I thought, poison. I will need more healing for this.’ Scarlett was thinking while she finally stood up. Unfortunately, the fog started clearing up. Her character was now visible, and as she was anticipating, an arrow was shot. She managed to deflect it with her shield. The cloaked man was visibly stunned by the fact that she was still standing. Without hesitation, Scarlett took the mace back into her left hand and swung it, hitting her opponent in the gut.

As she back off to assume a defending pose, she saw Dylan running round the corner, sword unsheathed and in hand. She felt happy and regained her confidence. He ran towards the archer that was aiming at Scarlett. Dylan swung his sword and cut the archer clean in two parts, he turned around to examine the situation: Scarlett was fighting one opponent, behind him three more showed up, one drawing a sword, another drawing a dagger, and one had a quarterstaff. Dylan remembered four of them chasing him. Then he heard Scarlett’s screams: “BEHIND YOU DYLAN”

By Dejan Vicai

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