I moved cautiously and positioned myself in the shadows a meter or so behind two of the slavers and drew my bow. Mayli went to the other side and awaited my move. I aimed at the guard by the shore who was directing the entry on the Ferry. He seemed important so he was first to go and I shot him dead. In that same swift movement I flicked my bow around and thrashed it across the face of the slaver in front of me collapsing him to the ground in pain and I followed through with a knife to the others gut. He gasped and grabbed me but then slid off smothering the other in the mud. Chaos erupted and the travelers scattered. In the distance there was lights and haze followed by screams. I can only figure Mayli was enjoying putting her skills to use after keeping them restricted to practice for so long. A Union guard ran to the ferry and began to untie it from the dock. Drawing another arrow I prepared the shot and took him down but not before he released it down the river. A few rebels joined in on the fight happy to get revenge on the Union and the slaves rattled their chains in anticipation of being freed. A loud yelp ran out as a boy was struck down after harassing a guard. I ran from out of the shadows to the bastard which started him, causing him to fall back on his ass. He lifted his sword up in defense but I countered it by twirling my bow around the blade and tossed it out of the way leaving me free to kick his jaw deep into his skull. A grouping of guards were fighting other rebels. I vaulted over some cargo and as I landed behind them a bright glow erupted. I could feel my body tense up causing immense pain and I toppled to the ground. A weight fell on top of me and I could vaguely see the other guards fall around and on top of me. My ears rang and my vision faded white...
Trees. River to the west. A glow from a campfire. Soup rolling down my neck... Its all I can recall from fading in and out of consciousness.. I must have been out for a few days as I've created an odor that the flies adored. Finally finding my strength to sit up I looked around to study my surroundings. I realized I was in the slavers wagon. Shit. The battle! Things went terribly wrong. Where is Mayli? Fumbling around I made my way to the back. Becoming light headed I stumbled forward on the door and to my surprise it flew open and I fell right out landing hard on the road. I watched the wagon carry on a few yards then come to a halt. I could see a figure hop down and rush to me. I tried to move away and get back to standing but all I managed to do was slip and fall on my face. I lay hopelessly waiting to get grabbed and thrown back to the wagon but nothing. Taking what little energy I had left I pushed up from the ground and sat back on my heels and looked up. Mayli! I let out a sigh of relief then fell unconscious again.
I awoke leaning against a tree by a fire. Mayli was preparing lunch. We were in the same place from where I fell of the wagon and can see lines in the dirt where she dragged me to camp. Embarrassing! This trip is not going as planned. What even happened to me? Why am I so weak? I watched her cook as I slowly became more awake. After some time she presented me with some soup and thankfully I was able to eat it on my own. She ate opposite from me. After we finished she looked up and frowned.
"I'm really sorry about that. I haven't quite masted my skills yet."
Shocked I looked over and said "Oh no that's the best thing I've ate all week! Is there more?" And held up the bowl.
"Not the food!" She snapped back as she took it. "About what happened at the ferry. I..." She stopped and looked down at the bowl filling it. My brows narrowed and I stared. "The reason you have been out for a few weeks..." The words hung in the air. "...was because of me. You are so quick and sI didn't see you rush in to get those last few guards while casted my spell on them. After I saw you fall I rushed over and was able to use some of the resilient energy and divert it away healing you enough to live." She handed back the soup. "After it was all over I freed the slaves and in return they helped carry you inside and other gave us food and supplies and I had us continue south. I cast healing spells on you daily and did what I could to keep you alive."
I just stared with my mouth open. "That is amazing!"
"What? NO! its awful! look what I did to you!" She protested.
"No, you are powerful! To be able to put a group down like that and still able to revive me is impressive."
She gave a light smile. "Thanks, but I am still sorry."
"You did not mean for it and its not like we had much practice fighting together. Well need to work on battle plans once I've got my strength back!" I grinned back at her, relived I had not fallen by an enemy. We sat quiet once more where I became aware of my awful stench again and cringed. After finishing eating I felt I hand enough strength to move. I thanked Mayli for the lunch and staggered to the river throwing my shirt off in some mud. I was too exhausted and dirty to care if she saw me bath and removed the rest of my clothes as I entered the water. Best I stay in view anyway if I pass out again. After going under a few times to rinse my hair and wash my face I opened my eyes to see Mayli on the shore laying out soap, and fresh clothes. She avoided looking at me, but I caught her peek back as I crawled out to grab the soap and she scampered back to the fire.
Feeling Fresh and energized I cleaned out the back of the wagon which still smelled like a hogs pen. I helped Mayli pack up camp and joined her in the front of the wagon and we continued south to Archers Grove.
We arrived at a huge tree. I was still a bit foggy headed but I believe we met with someone named Perlog who fed us then escorted us to the high rooms. Mayli went to at hers and I was led across the hall to my own. It was elegantly decorated with golden fabrics yet contrasted with woodsy accents. It was nice to for once be greeted as royalty and accommodated as such. This is the kind of life we should have already been living. I laid in the amazingly soft bed and fell asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow.
Mayli and I have been riding down the shoreline of the Misty River making good time on my horse... together. I can tell the closeness bothers her after our first journey where she was constantly fighting with me to try and free herself from the inevitable doom I was bringing her to. I'm sure shes grateful she isn't gagged and bound to my horse this time. She mocks me by saying "Yes my Prince" in a decrying tone after any of the few words spoken. It always brings a smirk to my face...
We stopped just outside a ferry crossing to the Southern Lands leading toward Merchants Towne. I tied my horse hidden from view and she grazed happily. Mayli and I scoped out the area, her never leaving my sight in case she had thoughts of escape. Would she? A Ferry turned around the bend of the river and eventually docked. It emptied common travelers, merchants and... slaves? A small troop of guards kept them in line as were transported to a nearby wagon. New travelers wanting a safe crossing were frisked and items of tribute were given and they were let on their way. Having given up my last job delivering Mayli meant I have nothing to offer the Union guards... but my bow and dagger....
After my kidnapping of Mayli, she doesn't trust me. How can I blame her? Being brought up a skilled mage only to be overcome by some bloody thief. Then to be dragged along on a long trip east and suddenly being told shes a princess and I'm her prince?! Ha! Castle Wolf is a disaster and couldn't convince a woodcutter's daughter of its noble history. Had I done more research and known that's who I was kidnapping things would be better. How could I be so stupid? I've left a lousy first impression. As far as I know she thinks I'm crazy and have stalked her and this was some sick plot to get after her. Non the less she still sticks around, curious I suppose if what I say does come from truth. With much tension between us I packed and saddled the horse and together we ride south along the Misty River to meet our new found allies. Mayli at least sees eye to eye with me on this cause against the Lord of Union
...I need to steal a horse for her soon...
I am Alden. When I was but a boy the Lord of Union attacked the Castle Wolf of Merchants Pass killing my family, the servants and guards all in attempt to kill what threatened them most. Me. I escaped through a secret passage opened by our dying wizard to save me. It led to his layer where I have stayed hidden. Throughout the years I had to fend for myself and I developed the skills as a thief and took odd jobs even that of assassination. While in my solitude in the decaying castle I researched why I was a target and found something astonishing. I am a prince, which explains a crest tattooed on my arm, all royalty has it. But why was such a young prince such a threat? The new born princess Mayli of the West Lands, to whom I was arranged to marry. This upset the Union Lord who thought his own prince should have her and the kingdom.. though he was far too old for such a consideration. In his rage he sent to murder me. Hearing about the genocide the princess of the West Lands was hidden. After being hired to kidnap a girl from the west temple by a secretive client I soon learned my target was her. Abandoning the job I took Mayli back to my castle and explained everything. I now must watch my back from the client known now to be the Lord of the Union. So we have joined the Guild of the Vow to help destroy the lives of those who have destroyed ours.