Chapter 4: Captured
The two clan members followed Yavir outside to the city stables, a large carriage waited by the side obviously packed with the merchant's goods. They headed over to the stable master and the merchant began to talk. "I need two more horses for those two." He said pointing over his shoulder at the teens.
Sara smiled politely while Raen was too busy playing with his new found friend. "Take your pick, that'll be and extra 40 gold." The stable master said to the merchant.
Sara immediately skipped over towards the horses, lined up in wooden stables, each given an appropriate amount of food and water. Raen soon walked in behind her and began looking at different horses with mild interest. He had seen horses before when people left or entered Larinskorp, but he had never been told anything about riding one, or even how to find a suitable mount.
"Raen!" Sara called from the opposite end of the stable.
Raen turned away from the tall black stallion he was looking at and walked over towards her. She was holding the reins of two horses, one was tall and chestnut brown in colour, while the other was slightly shorter and grey. "You take the brown one, it seems about the right height for you."
Raen placed the little cat in his supply pack where it sat quite happily as Raen tried to pull himself up onto the horse. He tried to jump up onto it but failed and fell onto his back. Sara giggled at him and walked over to help him up. Raen refused and pulled himself up off the ground, annoyed at her for laughing. "You do it like this, silly." Sara said, swiftly placing her left foot on the stirrup and swiftly hoisting herself up and swinging her right leg to the other side.
After watching his companion do it, Raen quickly managed to mount his own horse as Yavir finished paying the stable master. "Let's head out then." The merchant called before climbing onto the cart's seat and setting the horses off at a brisk pace, Sara followed leaving Raen to have to learn to control his horse.
Raen quickly caught up to Sara and the three began travelling along the rocky road from Ashdauer. "So first thing's first, what are your names?" Yavir said as he led the horses in the right direction.
"I'm Sara, this is Raen." Sara said while Raen just stared speechlessly at the rising mountains on the horizon and the open grassy plains surrounding the road.
"When my friend said he'd find someone for the job, I thought he meant more than a couple of children." Yavir muttered to himself. Raen shot a quick glare at the merchant but decided it'd be best not to say anything. "We're gonna have to camp out tonight so don't complain."
"I'm used to it." Raen said, his voice quiet. "So what kind of danger can we expect? I'd rather not be jumped by some unknown creature."
"Bandit's mostly." Yavir answered. "Then again, could be anything from your average animal like a wolf or a bear, to something much more viscous and deadly." Yavir turned to the teens and smiled. "But let's not worry about that, shall we."
"Agreed." Sara replied with a nod. Raen gave her a puzzled glance, not knowing the dangers of the world but Sara ignored him.
After hours of endless riding, the small group arrived at the edge of a large forest, the canopy of leaves above completely blocking out the light of the sun. Raen was thankful for the shade of the forest, the sun's heat had been torturous on his back and he hoped by the time they left the forest it would be night.
"Raen! Keep focused, the forests are dangerous!" Sara scolded him, causing Raen to almost fall of his horse at the sudden noise. His eyes drifted over to Sara noticing how she was clutching a bow in her left hand, constantly glancing between the trees.
Raen slowly moved forwards along the forest floor, twigs and dry leaves crunched beneath the horses hooves and the merchant's cart was hardly what you'd call quiet, The racket the wooden wheels made as they bounced over tree roots and ditches was horrendous.
After a little while Sara held up her arm signalling them to halt, Raen who was now at the back of the group, attempted to dismount his horse resulting in more of a tumble onto the hard ground. He quickly brushed himself off and walk over to stand next to Sara who still sat o her horse. "Well this could be a problem." Sara said not needing to explain what she meant. The forest path was overgrown and dense with thorns and stinging plants.
"Plan?" Raen asked not knowing if there was anyway around the obstacle before them.
Sara looked at him, then to his waist before speaking. "You got a sword, start cutting." Raen let out a long sigh before he unsheathed the fine blade he had been given back at the Clan hideout.
The sharp steel made quick work of the plant's but with little to no training Raen also began to grow tired quickly and the plant's became denser the further they went in. Another slash, another bunch of vines gone, another slash, more plant's destroyed. Raen was about to take another swipe of his sword before he heard a soft snarl within the bushes, however he heard it too little too late. The creature was on him, biting into his shoulder with it's short blunt teeth, it was clearly not and animal designed for ripping through flesh.
It was the size of a large dog but had sandy brown scales that glistened in the soft sunlight, breaking through the canopy of leaves above. Raen managed to push off the animal and stand up gripping his sword in his undamaged arm, He raised it up and brought the blade down through the head of the animal, it's blood splashing onto the ground at Raen's feet.
He shrugged of his backpack an gripped his sore shoulder. Whatever the beast had been, it had a powerful jaw. The bone in Raen's left shoulder was clearly broken and the skin was already a prominent plum colour, contrasting greatly against his normal pale skin.
"Raen, are you okay!" Sara exclaimed as she tied a bandage around his shoulder hoping to keep it in it's correct place, She also fashioned a sling out of another bandage to carry the weight of the currently useless limb.
"I could be better!" Raen said bitterly but stood up nonetheless. Sara took his rucksack and strapped it onto his horses saddle, then helped him climb back into the saddle himself, she then drew out her own sword and continued the work Raen had started.
They came across no more harmful animals in the undergrowth, merely a couple of birds and a hare that scampered off on sight. Eventually the plants returned to the hard earth covered in twigs and leaves. What little daylight there had been had now vanished and the air had chilled dramatically.
"I think it's night time." Sara said glimpsing a few shiny stars in the dark sky, the wind blew through the trees creating eerie noises and causing leaves to hip up around the horses feet.
"Get out of the forest, then we rest, it shouldn't take too long now." Yavir said, he was tapping his foot on the wooden seat of the cart impatiently. Clearly he was unhappy about the time wasted cutting through the plants.
"The sooner the better." Raen almost whispered, he was trying to stay alert but the hours of riding and his broken shoulder were taking their toll. Sara sped up her horse and the rest followed suite.
Yavir was right about it not being far, less than ten minutes later the miniature convoy was leaving the forest behind them. A huge black shadow against what little light the moon provided. "We rest here, I'll sleep in the back of my cart. You two sort yourselves out." Yavir said after they were a relatively safe distance from the forest.
"Alright." Sara began. "I'll light a fire and take first watch for a couple of hours, then I wake you. Until then, rest and don't lie on that arm." She said as Raen only nodded in response, he went to a nearby rocky overhang to lean against as he covered himself over with the rough, animal fur, blanket they had brought to sleep under.
Time passed slowly as Sara sat staring into the crackling bright flames. The surroundings were quiet, too quiet. Surely there'd be the hoot of an owl or the howl of a wolf, but no… nothing. Sara scanned the darkness but it was hard to see any further than a few meters, no further than the fires orange glow.
Then there was a soft snap, Sara swiftly got to her feet and drew her bow before having to duck underneath an incoming knife, she fired an arrow towards the forest where the knife came from but didn't get any sign of connection with the target.
The flash came to quick, from the corner of her eye she spotted the bright light before an electrical current was coursing through her body, her arm was burning when the flashing light had his her and she screamed in pain.
Raen was woken by the commotion and couldn't comprehend the view in front of him, Sara was thrashing on the floor violently as a crackling line of lightning appeared to be coming from the palm of an outstretched hand. Raen grasped his sword in his good hand and charged the man knocking him to the ground, stopping the electrical current.
Before he could run his sword into the man he saw a flash of green as an orb flew towards him knocking him square in the chest, he flew back onto the ground and slowly lost consciousness.
His eyes fluttered open as he woke up, it was daylight and judging by the sun he had been out for almost half a day. He tried to move but he was tied up, hands bound behind a tall wooden post, feet tied together and the distinct taste of cotton in his mouth. He took a look around his surroundings and spotted Yavir, tied up next to his cargo… No sign of Sara. Out of the two who attacked him, only one was nearby, a short girl with deep purple hair, she was going through everything in the merchants cart.
Raen wriggled about until the gag fell out of his mouth, he whistled loudly and caught her attention. The girl wandered over and knelt down in front of him staring into his emerald green eyes. "You gonna let me go?" He asked simply. He was rewarded with a punch to the face. Blood filled his cheeks and the girl grinned evilly. Angry at her he spat out the blood straight onto the girl watching her grin turn to a snarl.
"Why you little, arrogant, bastard! You're tied up and you think you're better than me!" She shrieked. "I oughta cut you open now and be done with you."
"Go ahead and try." Raen answered smugly, he had a plan, he just needed her to take the bait.
"I would if Aiken would let me!" She said in anger. Aiken must've been the male who had somehow electrocuted Sara.
"And you always do what you're told?" Raen said trying to provoke her more.
The girl grabbed the front of his clothes and pulled him towards her, "Now listen here you-" She was cut short as Raen's head collided with hers. He had head butted her straight on knocking her out with his hard head, not without his own pain though. Then with the girl unconscious at his feet he began to slide his arms up and down the wooden plank, though that didn't help his broken limb. The ropes binding him were thin and easily broken by the friction against the wood. He tried standing up but forgot his feet were tied and instead toppled on top of the lilac haired girl.
He searched her pockets and found a short knife blade, using it to cut the rope from his legs he was soon free and cut Yavir out of his bonds. "Where's Sara?" He asked Yavir who merely shrugged in response before he set about reloading his cart with what the two attackers had taken off it, plus extra.
Raen found his own equipment before he began searching the area, it was the scream that was his clue. The cry of agony was distant but her could guess it's direction, he ran into a white tent and noticed there was an obvious cave entrance at the back. Not thinking to be careful he dashed forwards and followed the cave trying not to slip on the moist, mossy floor.
The cave opened out into a large room and once again he saw the sight of Sara being shocked by the electrical current this Aiken guy managed to create. "SARA!" Raen yelled.
Alerted by Raen's shout, Aiken turned to face him. "Perhaps you'll be willing to talk… Where is the Clan of Aries hideout!" He almost yelled. Despite his attempts to hide it, his frustration was clearly evident.
"Fuck off." Raen said with a slight sigh, he flung the knife forward with his good arm in Aiken's direction. The knife flew past Aiken's head only missing by a few inches.
"Pathetic." Aiken said shaking his head. "Tell me, how did you even get into a Clan? Even if it is one as lowly as Aries."
Raen snarled, he began walking slowly towards Aiken, his hand on the hilt of his sword. Aiken raised his arm up in front of him and small sparks of lightning erupted from his fingertips before the blast shot forwards.
Raen span round as he ducked, knocking Aiken to the ground with a swipe of his leg. Aiken was about to retaliate with another blast when an arrow flew into his leg. Looking around Raen saw Sara stood behind him, bow out, with another arrow ready to fire. "Leave or die." She said.
Aiken stumbled to his feet and without question began to hobble out of the cave, the arrow still protruding from his shin. "Are you alright?" Raen asked turning to his female companion.
"I'm fine, come on we've got a job to finish, we'll report this to Exesh when we get back." Sara said as the both also began to walk out of the cave.
A/N: Long wait I know but hey I was occupied with other things, anyways hope you liked the chapter, leave a review letting me know what you think of the story so far. Also Check out my blog! There should be a URL at the top of my profile, i'll be posting new story ideas, and other info for stories on there (As well as random stuff about my daily life) so you should definately check it out! I'll see you all next time.