Ring Of Ice Saga

A Side Short Story

Sorry For Nothing

Launo gave a playful growl, darting at the arctic fox in front of him with a hand. The fox caught it and nipped down, careful not to hurt its friend too badly. "Ow," he yelped, yanking his hand out of the fox's mouth, more from shock than pain. "Fox-"

The animal leaped at him, pushing him onto the snow covered ground, and he sunk nearly a foot into the cold glittery powder. He laughed, "Hey, so not fair!" He pushed at the fox's chest to get it off of him, so he could shove it over on its side. "I was talking to you...!" The fox's tail whacked him in the face, and he got of mouthful of the white fur.

He spat it out and gave the arctic fox an annoyed stare. The fox looked up at him with glittering brown eyes, and he gave up. "You're too cute to be mad at."

The fox yipped and got back on its feet, looking like it was going to pounce again.

There were a few crunches behind him, and so he looked over his shoulder. But the second his head turned the fox landed on top of him, shoving his face and chest into the ground. It's claws lightly scraped his back, and it tugged at his hair.

"Launo! You get distracted too easily. That's why the fox is beating you!" There were a few chuckles that sounded afterward, and the fox's weight was pulled off of him, allowing him to breathe once more.

He pushed himself up on his elbows and gazed up at the person standing over him. It was the village's best hunter, Daman. He gripped the fox by its scruff and prevented it from knocking Launo over once more. The hunter smiled. "I can see why you don't really have a rank in the village."

"Hey. That hurts," Launo replied, standing up from the floor.

"Just joking," Daman said, letting the fox go. The animal looked over at Launo before running across the clearing and sitting patiently in front of a door to a hut. "I'm surprised that fox is still here."

The fox Launo was playing with saved him from a blizzard that lasted four days. Launo prefers to think that the animal dragged him into shelter out of pity, but he knows that the fox only wanted him as a source of food if things got harsh.

"Do you know how angry I was when you told me I couldn't kill that fox because it saved you?" Daman continued, annoyance very clear in his voice.

"Yeah, sorry about that," Launo rubbed the snow off of his clothing and made sure nothing was stuck in his hood.

Daman shook his head. "Well, anyways. I'm leaving for a few days with my squad. You still up for helping out my younger sister?" When Launo nodded he gave a short wave and started walking away, boots crunching in the snow.

*-o-*

Daman and his squad shouted in glee as they struck their target, the ox falling to the ground in a heap of meat and bones. The girl ran up to it, leaving the two boys in the dust. She gripped her dagger tightly, just in case the animal had survived the tens of arrows lodged in its back and the spear through its flank.

They had been hunting down this Musk Ox for the past three days, waiting for it to weaken and fall behind the others it traveled with before they went for the kill. It was big prey like this that they had to be cautious with, as a four hundred pound ox could easily kill you off.

She kneeled down next to it, the guys catching up and doing the same. The ox had stopped breathing, and blood pooled around it's wounds. She twisted the knife in her hand and started sawing off the horns on the top of it's head. They were smaller, showing that it was a female Musk Ox. A musty smell drifted up from it.

"Hey!" A loud shout from behind startled the three hunters, making them whip around and face the speaker. Daman grabbed his spear out of the animal's thick fur. "That was our ox!"The speaker was a Qinulis—sounds like Kin Less—is a demon with a bulky body and small wings that looked to be made of ice, their skin was a dark leather like skin.

"Well, we caught it first!" The girl spouted, holding the dagger out in front of her.

Daman held out a hand, telling the girl to stop. "I'm very sorry. We-"

"I don't want to hear your talk!" The Qinulis said, stomping over. There were no others with it, and it was easily outnumbered by the three hunters. "So now you give me it, and you can be on your way." The demon was now standing face to face with Daman

"H-hey. Please, back off. We didn't know you were hunting the Musk Ox as well," he said, holding up his hands in defense. "But even still. How could you have been hunting it, with only once person?"

"Because of our contract, you are supposed to give without question," The Qinulis shot back.

The contract was that, the humans could share the demon's territory on the arctic tundra as long as they abide by the demon's rules. To them it was unfair, but to their ancestors it was a good deal.

"At least let us have half of it," Daman pushed. "We ran for nearly three days straight trying to catch it. We should at least get something for our effort."

He gripped his spear even tighter to not flinch when the Qinulis shouted at him. "No!"

"Hey. Come on! At least let us have a pound of meat and the horns. You can have the rest." He could feel rage bubbling up inside of him, being fueled by pure exhaustion.

The Qinulis came closer and shoved him back onto the ground with its wings.

And that was when Daman completely lost his cool.

*-o-*

Someone ran into the village, her voice echoing through the paths between each hut.

Launo looked up from the fox's fur, putting the rough bristled brush down onto the snow and listened to what she was saying. "Help! We need help! Where's the nurse!?" She kept darting to the few people out along the pathways, but they kept shaking their heads and muttering no's before going around and helping the girl search.

He stood up and chased after the girl, along with a few other people. "Hey, who do you need help for?" He asked, curious at why she was making such a ruckus.

"He's been hurt!" She cried, "He was attacked!"

"Who?" Someone else asked her, while another shouted that he was going to look for the nurse with the others.

"D-Daman!" She said, looking around the area for anyone in the familiar nurse clothing. She darted off before anyone could comment.

Launo froze for a split second before gazing about the area, just like the girl had done. He spotted Daman, carried by another hunter, being dragged into the village. Daman's clothes were torn and stained with blood and he was crying out from pain with nearly every movement, even though it was obvious he was trying to hold it in.

He darted over to them, then helped the hunter carry Daman to the nurse's hut.

*-o-*

The nurse wasn't there when they arrived, and they had no idea what they were supposed to do. They sat him down onto the bed and panicked a bit. After carrying Daman all the way there—which he was very heavy—Launo's clothes and arms were covered in drying blood. Daman had passed out on the way, which both relieved and scared him. He didn't have to listen to the hunter's cries, but he wasn't sure if he passed out from pain or blood loss. Neither one of those would be good, and it continued to gnaw on him as they looked around the room for anything they could use to stop the bleeding.

After a while, the awake hunter gave up and just tore the bed sheet out from under Daman and wrapped it around the worst of the wounds. He pressed down lightly, and the fabric was quickly drenched in warm, red liquid.

Launo nearly jumped and hugged the nurse when she ran into the hut. She bee-lined for Daman, not caring if she knocked some furniture around as she did so. "Out! Out!" She tried to urge the two out of the room, but the hunter refused to leave his friend. And Launo wanted to stay and try to help.

The nurse quickly gave up and started ordering them around. Telling them to get her a certain jar, or some fresh bandages out of a box in the corner. Several times, Launo messed up and gave her the wrong one. She had flushed and gave him a quick scolding before making him get her the right one. The awake hunter glared at him whenever he did so.

After a while, the struggle to get Daman fixed up, the nurse gave the overview to the people who waited outside. She seemed furious with Launo as she announced that Daman would be crippled for the rest of his life, as one of his legs had completely snapped in half and the joint shattered.

Once she got the people to leave and Launo, the hunter, and her were left in the room staring at the breathing form of Daman. She turned on Launo, her voice raised to a near shriek. "If you didn't mess up so many times I could have saved him!" Was pretty much the sum of the several minute scolding she gave him. There were many insults and cruel sayings weaved in with it.

Launo didn't know what to say after the mental beating. He just stood there, gaping with tears forming in the corners of his eyes. "B-but... I was just trying t-to help..."

"Well don't help next time!" She screamed at him, shoving him out of her hut.

"...Sorry for trying..."

Author's Note

Well... Got upset during school, so I decided to write a story that was based off of what happened. Okay, what happened was NOT like the story at all XD But it did have to do with helping someone. I was trying to help a student with her math homework and she said, "Why are you even talking to me? Go away." So... yeah. I'm sad now. :'(

Also, this is just a side story that doesn't happen in the Saga. Daman will still be well and be our connection to the village.