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    Yeoldebard
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.
Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 

The Elf's Hunt - 12. Kalen

Morning found them waiting outside the village of Kalen, waiting for the gates to open. Horton had led them through the night, trusting his guards’ vision to keep them safe on the road. Elluin had cast a spell on the trader just before they left Garysel, and though Hope and the elf were dead on their feet, Horton seemed more lively than ever.

Grey clouds hung in the sky, wind chilling the air even further. Hope wished he had brought his cloak from Four Pines, but he had been rather preoccupied. Maybe he could buy one today. It shouldn’t cost too much right?

He sighed quietly. Going his whole life with barely a silver to his name, and now suddenly having several hundred gold in his possession made him overly conscious of just how much he had spent already. More than enough to feed his family for a year.

Passing through the gate, Hope yawned as he turned toward Elluin.

“You should sleep, so one of us can stand guard tonight.”

“And leave you to guard the chest?” Elluin scoffed.

“You’ll have to trust me at some point. Just think of it as me pulling first watch,” Hope replied. “Here I thought we might be warming up to each other.”

The elf shook his head as the wagon moved through the waking town.

“Friendly or not, you are still a fiend. Once this gods damned charm is annulled, I never want to see you again. Consider the fact that you still live a gift.”

“Wow, so magnanimous. Note to self, tired elf is cranky elf.”

Hope grinned at Elluin, stifling another yawn.

“You know, I enjoyed bouncing on a horse behind you. Even while tied up. Maybe we should try it again-”

“I swear to Tyrma, if you do not shut up I will gut you like the bug you are.”

“I wouldn’t mind your sword sticking into me,” Hope winked.

Elluin’s hand reached for the hilt of his sword and the tiefling gulped, falling silent.

“Better…”

He dropped out of the wagon as they approached the marketplace, aiding Horton in setting up for the day. Hope watched the elf for a moment, a study in perfection, with his muscles straining, ass taut as he bent over to set a crate on the ground. Those trousers certainly didn’t leave much to the imagination.

Hope pulled a gold from the chest, jumping out of the wagon.

“I’m going to get a room for the day. This is coming from your share though,” he said to Elluin.

The elf shrugged, picking up another box with a grunt. Hope hurried away before he could be distracted by Elluin’s body again. That was definitely not safe. Maybe he just needed to relieve some tension. It had been a few months since he’d last had the chance. A private room would offer just the opportunity.

“Mister Cat! Mister Cat!”

Hope paused as a boy ran up to him, a group of other kids hanging back nervously.

“You see?! I told you he was real!”

“Am I though? Or are we all just figments of a writer’s imagination, made to do as she wants for the entertainment of gods?” Hope asked, kneeling to look the kid in the eye.

“Nope, I’m real,” the boy grinned, unfazed. “If I weren’t real, this wouldn’t hurt.”

He pinched Hope’s arm, the tiefling yelping in mock pain.

“Jaime! Get away from him!” a woman snapped, running over to grab the kid.

Standing, Hope shook his head as the group scattered.

“It must be nice having parents who give a fuck about you. Or having parents in general. I kind of wish I knew how that felt,” he muttered into the air.

The inn wasn’t far off, though it seemed rather small. At this point, the tiefling didn’t care. He just wanted a place to sleep. Entering the building, Hope approached a woman, his eyes shutting briefly.

“Any chance I could get a room for the day?” he asked.

“A private room? Fifteen silver for that,” the woman said with a suspicious scowl.

“Anything cheaper?”

The scowl tightened, Hope letting out a tired sigh.

“Look, I’m not going to steal anything or eat anyone. I just want a place to sleep for a few hours.”

“We have no room for you. Leave this place.”

The woman reached for a large cudgel leaning against the wall, and Hope made a hurried exit.

 

Water splashed on Elluin’s head, the magus grunting quietly as he observed the marketplace. It was quiet. No doubt because of the rain that was starting to fall from the sky. Not many were out, willing to risk getting wet in the hope of getting a shiny new trinket.

Without much to do, the elf unsheathed his blade, standing in an unobtrusive spot. He was exhausted, but he certainly wasn’t going to be sleeping in the rain.

Removing his cloak, Elluin began walking through a kata, the sound of rain plinking merrily on his blade, a direct contrast to his mood. But with his sword in hand, the mage was able to sink into an almost meditative state. He was conscious of everything around him, Horton staring in interest, a figure walking down the street. Turning, the elf lashed out with his blade, his moves almost a dance.

“I thought I told you to get some sleep,” Hope said sharply as he neared.

“I thought you went to get a room,” Elluin replied.

“They don’t allow tieflings.”

“Wise folk,” Elluin muttered.

“Yeah, well fuck you too.”

“You wish.”

Hope grabbed the elf’s cloak, using it to shield himself from the rain.

“I’m going to sleep. Wake me up when you get too tired to play with your sword.”

“Shouldn’t you use your own cloak?” Elluin asked.

“Bite me!”

Elluin watched the tiefling crawl under the wagon, curling up like a cat once he found a spot he liked. Great, now his cloak was going to be filthy. He needed to get a new one anyway.

Sheathing his blade, Elluin nodded to Horton as he took another gold from the chest. He walked across the marketplace, to where a store sold clothing. Entering the building, he let out a quiet sigh, relieved to be out of the rain. The relative warmth of the building made him more tired, his eyes drooping slightly.

“Good morning. How can I help you?”

A young man stood up from a chair, frowning momentarily.

“You’re an elf…”

“That explains the ears,” Elluin shrugged.

“You’re from Do’Kalen?”

“I’ve been there.”

“I have a sweetheart from there-”

“Forget her. She’s forgotten you by now.”

“Oh… Yeah… I figured.”

The man glances downward.

“Uh, what can I do for you?”

“I am in need of a new cloak.”

“Of course. Are you looking for something fancy, reversible, a particular colour or cut?”

“Something functional,” Elluin shrugged. “Other than that, I don’t really care.”

The man pulled a long, deep purple cloak off a rock behind him, handing it to Elluin.

“This purple one would look good with your hair.”

The elf felt the fabric appreciatively. It almost felt like silk, though it lacked the shine of the expensive material.

“How much is it?”

“Nine silver.”

“It will do.”

Elluin handed the man the gold, receiving a silver coin in return. Throwing the cloak over his sword, the mage stretched the fabric slightly before pulling the hood over his head.

“Good luck with your friend,” he said, before leaving the store.

 

Hope winced as a bright light appeared in front of his eyes. He let out a deep groan, pulling his blanket over his face.

“Leave me alone…”

“You took my cloak. Oh, and Horton says if you don’t move, he’s going to run you over.”

“Fine… But turn off the light…”

The light vanished, Hope opening his eyes to a darkened world. Gradually the darkness faded as his eyes recovered from Elluin’s light. Crawling out from under the wagon, Hope flinched as chilling rain began falling on his head.

“Finally,” the trader grunted, climbing into the driver’s seat of the wagon. “Come on, I want to get out of this blasted village. Nothing good ever happens in Kalen.”

Yawning, Hope climbed into the back of the wagon, removing Elluin’s cloak.

“Thanks for letting me use this.”

“I hardly let you,” Elluin scoffed. “Keep the filthy thing.”

The tiefling frowned, but didn’t argue, throwing the fabric over his head once more.

“I’m going to sleep,” Elluin muttered as the wagon began moving. “You’re on guard.”

Shrugging, Hope opened their chest slightly, checking to make sure the book Elluin had given him was still tucked safely within. He wanted to keep practicing that spell, but with the rain that was pouring down around them and the dim light that would make reading a bit of a hassle, he decided not to risk it.

Instead, the tiefling pulled out one of his old arrows, settling against the side of the cart. He stared at the missile, trying to call up the heat of his fire spell. The feeling of the flames was different from the spell Elluin had taught him. The other spell had felt more free, reacting to his wants instead of staying rigid like the sparks. But he could not remember how to cast it.

His hand warmed, a spark traveling up the arrow. Hope let it burn for a moment, frowning as a raindrop put the flame out.

“Stop that,” Elluin said without opening his eyes.

“I thought I needed to learn this stuff.”

“Not in a wooden wagon with horses that are quite possibly afraid of fire.”

The tiefling sighed, replacing the arrow. He drew the cloak closer around himself, staring at Elluin. Even with the cloak covering him, the elf’s body still looked toned, a definite treat for Hope to look at.

“You know, driving at night might not be the best idea,” the tiefling said. “Yeah, we got away with it last night, but that was challenging on its own.”

“Don’t matter. I’m not staying here one more minute,” Horton grumbled.

“I’m telling you, we got lucky last night. We won’t get away with it again,” Hope promised.

“It’s raining. No one else would be riding in this weather, especially at night. Besides, I’m not paying another two gold for a room.”

The wagon pulled through the village wall, a pair of guards closing the gate behind them. Looking back, Hope swore he saw one of them shaking their head in disbelief.

He changed positions, his legs resting across Elluin’s. A lonely night lay ahead. The tiefling had no intention of talking to Horton unless he was forced to.

“Get your feet off me,” Elluin growled.

“There’s no space,” Hope shot back.

“Then get out and walk.”

“I thought you were trying to be nicer.”

“You thought wrong.”

Grumbling quietly, Hope moved his feet, kicking Elluin as he attempted to find a somewhat comfortable position. The light of day was fading fast, a rumble of thunder following a flash of lightning across the sky.

“Well fuck…” the tiefling sighed.


 

Copyright © 2020 Yeoldebard; All Rights Reserved.
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.
Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 
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