"I don't think they plan on putting up much of a fight?" The voice came from Bulrik's left. Tarchon was eyeing the situation in the small clearing below with an intrigued expression. The thugs they had been chasing had apparently found some new entertainment to indulge themselves in. It did not bear thinking about what might happen to those people after they gave these ruffians all of their possessions. Judging by the state of them, that probably wasn't much. They must have been from a place deeper into the mountains than he had ever bothered to venture. Sure he planned on traveling to those distant areas eventually, but the payment he received for his service on the plains was currently the more enticing option. His crew would agree to that unless he convinced them otherwise.
A swallow's mating call sounded three times. That would be Gavrey, signaling that there were no other people nearby. Attracting unnecessary attention was not ideal in unfamiliar lands. "You're quite the observant one aren't you?" Bulrik retorted wryly. Tarchon "Longshot" was the best archer he had ever known, and calling him observant was more than an understatement. Though he did have a tendency to state the obvious from time to time. The archer simply snorted in response.
A cricket chirped twice from the south, Caryssa signaling that the men were set. It was odd to think that there were fifteen of them now. There had only been eight who set out from Makkan five years ago. There were roughly thirty men below, but that would not be a problem for his crew, especially with the element of surprise on their side. Haran knew Bulrik had been chasing him for weeks now. Apparently the idiot thought he was far enough ahead to have some fun on the way. He would be sorely disappointed.
Bulrik nodded to Tarchon, who immediately leaped to the next branch over as if it were the easiest thing in the world. If I didn't know any better I would think his mother was a squirrel. Eyes turning back to the scene unfolding below, Bulrik cupped his hands around his mouth and let out the signal to attack. The predatory song of the white falcon. Arrows flew a mere heartbeat later, deadly accurate, towards Haran and his thugs.
Brinisa could not bring herself to look up. These men were not here to help them, much to her dismay. They had no possessions, so what could be taken from them? She knew the answer to that, and refused to think about it. Why could Palako not have lived? He would have protected her. He promised to always protect her.
"Give me that one! She's pretty enough." shouted a rough voice. Brinisa felt hands grab her and she began to panic. No. It could not happen like this. She was tired and hungry, and the last thing she needed was to be taken by these men. The men who grabbed her all but threw her at the one who spoke, their leader she could only assume. She glanced helplessly back at Rhoslyn. But what could she do to help? Hardly any of them knew how to fight, and hardly anyone had weapons. "Yes, this one will do just nicely," came the voice in front of her as she was aggressively pulled against his chest.
Then came the arrows and with them shrieks of pain and surprise. Brinisa did not waste time thinking. The man's grip had loosened at the sudden cries and she quickly stumbled back to Rhoslyn and the others. Tears streamed from her eyes. When had that started? Suddenly there were more men in the clearing, brandishing swords and spears. No, she thought to herself, not more of them.