12 The Mysterious Watcher

Chapter 12

The Mysterious Watcher.

Despite going to bed late last night I awoke in the early hours of the morning. I lay in my bed for a few minutes then heard Catarina whisper to me from her bead on the other side of the room

“Serah,” she hissed, “You awake?”

I nodded then realising that she probably couldn’t see me replied “Only just.”

“You’d better get up. Hawkeye wants to leave before first light.”

I sighed, “Why.”

My eye’s had adjusted to the darkness now and I could see her dim form on the other side of the room. Catarina shrugged and began to dress, “Not sure.”

I sighed again and threw back the covers, shivering slightly as the cool air struck naked skin. I hurriedly began to dress pulling on the clothes I’d worn yesterday for the celebrations. White sleevelessshirt with a black leather midriff top and stand alone sleeves and a black belted, red skirt. Catarina had discarded her Ki’miri cloak and donned a simple silver-white robe that allowed free movement. A knock at the door announced the arrival of Dameon and Cassius, both dressed in the dark blue tunics, long pants, half-plate amour and black boots of Ki’miri warriors. Brandon and Hawkeye entered behind them. Brandon was clad in half amour and Hawkeye was dressed her tournament uniform again and had both bows slung over one shoulder.

“Are you two nearly ready?” Dameon asked.

I nodded lacing up my boots, “Almost.”

Cassius drew breath to say something but was interrupted by a knock at the door.

“Come in,” Hawkeye called. We all turned around as Luka, Alex and Rahm entered. Hawkeye rolled her eyes, “so much for an unnoticed exit,” she muttered.

“We’re coming with you, Luka and I,” Alex said, he was dressed in the same clothes he had worn a two days ago.

“Do you have permission?” Hawkeye asked.

“I an orphan,” Luka explained, she was dressed n the uniform of a Ki’miri Warrior Mage, a long sleeved blue shirt with dark white pants. She wore magically flexible amour and carried a staff topped with a dark purple gem “and besides, I passed the exams to become a Warrior Mage yesterday.”

Cassius glanced up in surprise, “Warrior Mage?”

Rahm nodded, “A Warrior Mage trains in all form of magical combat and as they gain experience they can learn to combine forms,’ he explained.

“Well, we’d be happy to have a experienced Warrior Mage on our side,” Cassius said.

“And your flute will no doubt be a welcome addition as well as your skills,” I added.

Alex and Luka let go a giant sigh of relief.

“Well, that’s a relief,” Luka said, “We were almost convinced that you weren’t going to let us come.”

“Well I’m not happy with it,” Hawkeye said.

An argument broke out between Dameon, who liked the idea and Hawkeye who said a smaller group would go unnoticed. After about ten minutes of arguing Hawkeye finally relented.

“Fine, they can come.” She turned away and stalked off.

“She’ll be back,” Brandon said, “She always does this when she doesn’t get her own way.”

“Are we leaving?” Cassius asked, picking up his belt and clipping it around his waist.

The rest of us hurriedly collected our weapons and led by Rahm exited the fortress by a back gate that led to the plain behind the mountain spur on which the fortress was situated. Far to the west the Thunderfoam River was a silver line in the distance. In the east the sky was starting to turn orange as the sun rose.

“So Brandon,” Cassius asked after a minute or two, “where are we headed?”

“The Elven capital of Silvermoon,” Brandon replied without turning around.

“Silvermoon?” Luka exclaimed, “The fabled lost city of the Elves.”

Dameon nodded, “Yep, I’ve only heard about it in legends.”

“It’s real enough,” Alex said, “I was there once visiting the royal court on behalf of my mother. She wanted an alliance between the Ki’miri and the Elves.”

“And they accepted?” Catarina asked.

Alex nodded, “Yes, after a while.” Alex shook his head as if dispelling some bad memories. “Do you know how to get there?”

Brandon shook his head, “No, I figured that we would just walk toward the Elven Kingdom and they would probably find us.”

Alex rolled his eyes, “Yeah, and don’t be surprised if we get attacked.”

As he said it there was a rustling from the bushes behind us. We spun around but could see nothing.

“What was that?” Cassius asked, hands hovering close to his belt.

“I don’t know,” Brandon said releasing his sword, “I don’t know.”

We continued walking in silence for the rest for the morning before stopping for a brief rest.Hawkeye had rejoined us by this time and was talking with Alex discussing their different experiences with the Elves.

“How do you know we’ll be attacked?” She asked Alex.

Alex shrugged, “I don’t know that we will be attacked but I suspect we certainly will.”

Hawkeye looked up at the sky once before replying, “What are the Elven rulers like?”

Alex shrugged again, “I don’t know. They changed about a year after the treaty was signed. The new leader’s made quite a few changes. One was to patrol their boundaries.” He looked up and gave a quick grin, “That’s why we might get attacked.”

Catarina and Luka were comparing the different ways they performed different spells.

“So you don’t need to use incantations to cast fire of other elemental spells?” Catarina asked.

Luka shook her head, “I don’t need to verbally use an incantation but I usually need to use a non-verbal one.”

Catarina frowned, “Usually?”

Luka nodded, “Usually, for the more complicated spells but for the simple spells of elements we don’t.” She paused as if thinking about something else, “For the spells of Illusional Reality we have to use incantations. Complex ones!”

“Illusional Reality?”

“The Ability to create reality from an illusion.” Luka explained, “It’s not something done lightly as it requires a great amount of energy. Also its not one of the most useful spells in a Warrior Mages arsenal.”

Our separate conversations were interrupted as Brandon stood, “we should keep moving” he said, turning to face us, “I want to reach Silvermoon by nightfall”.

We continued on and soon entered a forest.

“This forest marks the edge of the Elven Kingdom of Quel’Thalas,” Brandon explained. “We’re very close now.”

As we passed through a denser section of forest there was a rustling from the bushes behind us. Luka spun around and threw an illusionary rope into the bushes. With a flick of her wrist and a quick incantation she turned the illusionary rope into real rope. Luka spun her hand sending more rope into the bush rapidly winding it around whatever was in the bush. Wrapping one hand around the rope Luka pulled it free and with surprised yelp the eavesdropper was yanked into the clearing. It was a young Elven girl. She was dressed in a deerskin jerkin, knee length leggings and hiking boots of the same material. She wore a broad bladed dagger at the back of her belt and had a slim bladed throwing knife tucked into the left boot. She was slim but well built with long golden blond hair threaded through with eagle feathers and piercing ice blue eyes that regarded us coldly.

“It’s just a girl,” Dameon exclaimed.

“Not quite,” Alex countered, “She’s an Elf.”

“Which means she’s probably older than she looks?” Catarina asked.

I nodded but before I could speak the bushes around us rustled and two-dozen Blood Elf Archers rose from the bushes, bows and swords drawn.

“Freeze. Drop your weapons.” We slowly unbuckled or unclipped our various weapons and passed them over. The leader of the Hunters approached. “You are to come with us. Now.” He turned around and walked away. Hemmed in by arrows and sword blades we were herded after him.


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