We weave through the large morning crowd of people buying bread and fish from the local market. I follow Rune silently like a lost puppy and take this time to think.
Why am I here? I keep thinking this is just a dream…but a dream doesn't last so long…and it doesn't seem so real. And normally people don't tell you that you're their savior.
"Were almost there…We just need to go in the forest…So watch out." Rune warns.
We walk silently past little corner shops and stalls that sell food and medicine. Why do I need to watch out? I ask myself. It's a forest. What's the worst that could happen?
I stand in front of the entrance to the forest and am completely shocked at what I am seeing. A bush of flowers lay before me. But these flowers…are glowing. I watch with wide eyes as the flowers open and close sending purple sparks spouting around.
"How are you doing that?" Rune asks me and looks from the flowers to me. I reach my hand out to touch one and I jump when the flower stretches its dark green vine towards my hand.
"I…I don't know…" I whisper and smile at the flowers. Rune blinks hard and shakes his head.
"Let's go, Destry. We've got to get to Luther quickly" Rune explains and grabs hold of my hand. I don't fight it and follow him through the lush forest. Birds chirp about in the trees. I turn my head upwards to see a golden oriole perched up on a branch, chirping at me. I smile at it and watch as it spreads its wings and flies away.
We make it to a small hut with green palm leaves covering the whole top of what would be the roof.
"Is this it?" I ask Rune quietly and take my hand out of his hold. He rudely wipes his hand on his pants and looks at me with a smirk.
"Yep. It sure is." He says with a nod and leads me to the front door. "Luther! You in there?" He yells and knocks on the door. I hear someone walking towards the door.
"Who is it?" A deep voice calls out through the door. Rune puts his hands on his hips and sighs loudly.
"It's Rune. We got her." He explains through the door and lays his head on it. I hear a sigh from the other side.
"Password?" Luther asks. Rune pinches the bridge of his nose and laughs sarcastically.
"Let me in or Ill kick your ass" says Rune. Luther laughs loudly from the other side of the door.
"Wrong password." He says and cracks up. Rune's face turns red and he makes a growling noise. I sigh and grab Rune's arm.
"Can we just come in?" I ask. Luther gasps and he opens the door quickly to reveal a tall muscular guy around my age with long straight black hair and grey eyes.
"You're Destry?" He asks me. I nod and he pulls me into his house. "Wow! I never thought you would be the one to get her. And she's not bad looking either…didn't describe her too well."
I look between the two of them as Rune nods quickly and blushes slightly when he sees I noticed. "Why is everyone so determined to find me? And Rune said something about me being a…Savior?" I ask Luther since Rune won't really answer me.
Before Luther could answer the long sought question, he notices the shirt sleeve tied around my calf with dried blood dripping down my leg.
"Oh! I've got something that'll heal that right up, sweetie." He says with a wink and sits me down on a fancy-looking wooden chair.
I look Rune curiously who is too busy slightly glaring at Luther. Luther comes back with a bottle filled with a funky looking brown liquid and a cloth in his hand. He crouches down on the floor and pours some of the brown liquid onto the red cloth.
"This is gonna burn a bit…but it'll help a lot. Trust me." Luther says and slowly unties the sleeve from my calf and bites his bottom lip hard at the size of it. "It's about nine inches each cut…"
I look at the cut and wince as he softly places the cloth on the open cut. The burn starts to burn intensely and Rune holds my hand, which I am now gripping onto for dear life. I grit my teeth and growl in pain with my eyes closed then sigh when the burning soon becomes a refreshing tingling sensation.
"Whoa…what is that stuff?" I ask softly. I still hold onto Rune's hand just in case the pain comes back. Luther laughs and wipes any remaining gunk from the cut carefully and throws the cloth on the table.
"It's just, uh…Rat urine and feces with some roots…" he says carefully. I stare at the cut and at him with open eyes and stay silent for a few minutes,
"Uh…so why don't we just answer her question?" Rune asks with an awkward clap. I clear my throat and get up from the chair and stand against the wall.
"Yes…please answer my question…" I ask. "Because let me tell you, this is the weirdest dream I've ever had in my entire life." I say with a laugh and observe their shocked faces. "What?"
"You came here in a dream? Did they say that you were dead and were you with your mother and a doctor?" Luther asks me quickly. Rune watches me silently.
"Uh, yeah…How did y—" I say with my eyebrows furrowed. Luther presses a finger against my lips and I feel like gagging when I think about him not washing his hands after he put that stuff on me.
"We must take you to the Prince tomorrow." Luther says. Rune sighs and chuckles.
"Yeah. Like the Prince would accept three random people off the street dressed up the way we are…" he states. I nod in agreement at his comment.
"Well…that is true…We don't look rich at all. And why would I need to go to the Prince?" I ask. What is up with these people? First I'm a Savior, now I need to meet the Prince? Luther nods and rubs his chin.
"You two are right…It's a good thing I've been awaiting this moment!" Luther says and runs into his room. I take this moment to look at Rune who is looking through the small glassless window to see the beautiful sunset. I walk towards him and put a hand on his shoulder.
"Rune, are you alright?" I ask him in a whisper. He turns to me and scoffs.
"How would you feel if the four kids that were practically yours already, got killed?" he asks dryly. I look at him sympathetically and hug him spontaneously. He stiffens up for a second, but wraps his arms around my waist and lays his head on my head since he's so tall.
"I'm sorry, Rune…You must hate me." I say and close my eyes. He smiles a little and squeezes the hug.
"I just met you practically…and I feel anything but hate" he states shyly. I feel my face burn a little but I cover it with the long hug.
"So then you despise me?" I ask him and laugh. He shakes his head and let's go of the hug slowly.
"No. I l—" Rune says with a blush. Luther comes in and yells:
"I got us outfits! I've been savin' em for this day!" He looks at both of us and laughs awkwardly. "Did I interrupt something?" Rune butts in.
"No…nothing at all" he says. I look at him curiously and watch the red tint wash away from his tan face.
"Well, well. Cause we all know she's mine" Luther jokes and wraps an arm around my shoulders after setting the clothes on the table. I laugh and throw his arm off.
"I'm no one's." I state with a finger pointed at his nose. I smile and walk into Luther's room. "I'm gonna change to go to bed…"
After I close the door behind me, I grab my black bag and grab the nightgown.
"Well No One is pretty lucky!" Luther yells through the door. I hear him grunt like he's been hit and Rune whispering something to him.
As I strip off my armor, I take special care not to hurt the cut. Once it's off, I slide into the nightgown and walk outside.
Rune is sitting down on a chair with his head in his hands and Luther is rubbing his arm. I clear my throat and both of them look up at me.
"Where do I sleep?" I ask Luther, who has taken the liberty to roam my body with his eyes. Rune looks at me with a small smile.
"You can sleep with me. But since I know you'll decline my offer, Ill just let you sleep on the floor with a mattress with Rune. Who is very lucky. Too lucky if I may say…" Luther says and glares at Rune. This competition has really got to stop…
"Oh, okay…" I whisper and sit next to Rune who smiles at me tiredly with his eyes closed. I look outside and see that it's nighttime. Owls start hooting and stars twinkle brightly. Everything here is so bright and beautiful. Much more beautiful than the real world…
"Hey guys…the mattress is finished. Go to sleep. Tomorrow's a big day." Luther says with a yawn. I nod and get up with Rune to go to the mattress.
"Goodnight Luther. Thank you for the…pee and poop thing." I say with a laugh. He smiles and nods and Rune follows close behind. We walk into the room and slowly get into the bed.
"G'night, Destry…" Rune says. I turn to him and smile.
"Goodnight" I say quietly. He faces me and closes his eyes.
In the morning, I wake up to the sound of things shuffling around. I get up from the bed slowly so I don't wake up Rune. Before I stand up, I get a good look at his face now that he wasn't scowling. I bend back down and sit on the mattress next to him and bring my finger to his soft lips.
He slightly moves but stops moving quickly. I run my finger along his soft face and trace the shape of his chiseled chin. Before he could wake up, I get up blushing and walk outside of the room to see someone shuffling through our things.
I quietly walk towards the kitchen and grab a sharp knife and throw it in the direction of the person so that it lands right next to their head.
"What the heck?" the person yells and turns to me. It is a girl. She stares back at me with wide eyes and stands against the wall clutching her heart. "I'm Luther's sister! You crazy psycho!"
I walk towards her and grab the knife off the wall and look at her menacingly. "Why were you looking through our stuff?" I ask her sternly and spin the knife between two fingers. She looks down at the knife and swallows then brings her eyes up to me.
"I was just—" She says nervously. Luther walks into the kitchen shirtless to reveal a six pack and looks between the two of us and the knife.
"What's going on? Why do you have a knife, Destry?" Luther asks me and takes the knife quickly out of my hands.
I look at him and jerk the girl forward by her red shirt sending her pink hair sprawling out all over the place. She gets out of my grasp and pushes me.
"This is Destry? This is gonna be our Savior? Pft. So much for everyone living." She snaps and smirks at me. I laugh and look her in the eye.
"Tell me. Who was the one who was acting like a pussy just now? Me? Or you? And I think we both know the answer." I snap back at her. She rolls her eyes and crosses her arms over her chest.
Luther steps in between us laughing. "Girls, girls…calm down!" He says and pats us both on the shoulder. "Destry, this is Zashra." He says moving his hand from me to Zashra. "Zashra, this is Destry." I look at her and scoff.
"Control your pet, Luther." I snap and walk back towards the room to find Rune laughing at me standing in the doorway. I look at him and raise an eyebrow with a smile.
"What's so funny?" I ask him and laugh softly. He shakes his head and turns to Luther who is grabbing all the fancy clothes and put them in a green bag.
"We have to start packing for our trip. It's going to take a long time to get there. And we need lots of stuff to heal any wounds were definitely get and lots of food and weapons." Luther explains. I turn to him and furrow my eyebrows in curiosity.
"Wasn't the kingdom or castle or whatever in Gallup?" I ask him curiously. He turns to me and smiles with his arms crossed over his bare chest.
"No, sweetie. That's like the Prince's vacation home. His real castle is in Carram. We need to go through Coalfel, Azmar and then Deathfall. Oh, yeah and the Dark Forest." He says and grabs his bag filled with healing supplies. "Destry, just take your stuff. Rune, take the weapons. Zashra, take the food." Zashra laughs sarcastically.
"So the little princess gets to rest while we work out butts off? Heck no." She spits. Luther puts his bag on a chair and grabs Zashra by the arm and throws her in his room to talk with her.
I look at Rune with a smirk as I hear Luther yelling at her loudly in the room. Zashra is yelling back and eventually gets quiet. Silence returns when they both walk out of the room. Zashra's magenta eyes are slightly red around the edges and she is holding her arm. Rune clears his throat awkwardly and looks at Luther for what comes next.
"Don't look at me, Rune, look at Destry. She is the Savior. So she is the leader." Luther says with a nod. All of them turn to me and I feel my face turn red at the sudden attention.
"Well…if we have everything packed, we should get on our way. Luther, go in the front. Zashra and I will be in the middle of the group and Rune will be in the back to help protect us." I say as serious as I can. They all nod.
I'm slightly surprised that Zashra doesn't have any snappy comebacks to my orders. Luther must've done a good job…
Everyone grabs their bags and goes out the door. Luther looks back at his little home and waves goodbye as though it were a person.