On the Safe Side

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Mixavia, Apr 9, 2013.

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  1. Talhad stared into the fire. It was very small and weak, but he didn’t dare to add any twigs to it. It gave little to no light, not to mention heat, but he decided to build the campfire anyway. It was risky, of course, but it looked like it gave his companion some peace of mind. And Gods knew she needed that now. He couldn’t sleep, besides, someone had to keep watch over her. He agreed to stop for a little while simply because the girl was exhausted, but they needed to move again soon. The man took a deep breath and winced when his lungs and ribs protested in unison. He didn’t have time to look at his wounds. But that wasn’t important right now.

    He looked into the bag he was carrying with him. It held a few supplies he managed to gather before they fled: a piece of bread, some apples, a bit of water and a simple, worn cloak. He checked his weapons. All he had now was a dagger and his spear, but the latter was in terrible condition. If they were going to survive, he had to do something about it. But for now, their main worry was to run away from the kingdom. Talhad knew the attackers were going to search the nearby forests for them, and so there was no time to lose. If needed, he will have to carry the princess but with his current state, he wasn't sure if that was going to make them faster or slower.

    After an hour or so, he stood up and damped down the single flame with his boot. It was still the middle of the night. Talhad moved to the girl and touched her arm. “Wake up. We’re going.”
  2. Celeste clung to her lion, unsure if she was dreaming or still there. She could people screaming all around her. Chaos everywhere she looked. People falling. Blood splattering. She never seen so much blood. She'd started running, wanting to find someone, to demand what was going on. No one had said anything about invaders to her. She found her mother. She didn't get a word in as she was told to go. All she had with her was what she had already been carrying. Her lion and small sewing kit tucked into one of the hidden pockets of her now torn dress.

    She shouldn't have looked back. Shouldn't have turned to see what happened to her mother.
    Celeste woke with a start at being touched. She gave the man who'd awoken her a look as if she had just been slapped for absolutely no reason at all. It took her moment to come back to reality. They were out in the woods. It had all really happened. She withdrew her arm from him, "Do not touch me" she spoke quietly, standing, "....how long have we even been here? It ca not have been more than an hour...."
  3. Talhad didn’t say anything, scolded by the young girl, he just took a step back and grabbed his bag. Under normal conditions, he wouldn’t even think about waking her up in such a manner, but these weren’t normal conditions at all. He knew that pushing the rules aside for now will only do them good, and hoped for the princess to think the same. Obviously, that wasn’t the case. But whatever was her opinion about it, Talhad was going to continue with his plan. And the plan itself was simple: get to safety.

    “An hour, more less. But that's all we can muster up.” He looked at the girl. He didn’t tell her once that everything was going to be just fine, because in the light of the recent tragedy it seemed extremely pathetic. Now Talhad was wondering whether the lack of consolations was really a good thing. He shook his head and checked the place again. They couldn’t leave anything behind.

    When he was done, the man looked at his companion, gesturing at her to move. “When we reach the village, please do stay in the woods. I’ll get everything we need and then we will keep walking.” Talhad was actually glad they could walk again right now, as doing so and listening to the sounds around kept him from thinking about the past. Even though he didn't lose his family, he left a lot of his friends and subordinates to die, just because he had to fulfill his duty.
  4. Celeste was by no means in a good mood. If it was day time, and she wasn't being forced to be there, she might have enjoyed a walk in the woods; not that she'd be allowed such an unladylike activity. "...I do not see why I should stay in this dirty place any longer than I have to" She huffed, holding her lion close. Very few people knew what she looked like, let alone that she was actually real. She never left the palace walls until now and hardly even went outside at all.

    Unconsciously, she started to nibble on the lion's ear, a habit her mother always scolded her for. This place was not the bright and happy setting she had read about in books. It was dark here, and uninviting. She didn't like it at all. She wanted to scolded her guide for leading to such an unnerving place.
  5. The knight shrugged, keeping the girl next to him as they walked. She was taking all of this quite well, but, really, what did he know? It might be due to her training, which she had undergone whilst being of a royal bloodline, but Talhad couldn't say for sure. And the girl had a point - the king was extremely cautious not to let anyone (apart from his most trusted servants) know about her. Maybe it was a stroke of genius, or maybe just an old man's crazy thing. He kept this to himself and pushed some leaves out of the way. "Right so; but your clothes, the way you walk and even your skin will alarm village folks." Talhad tilted his head slightly, listening to something. "It'll be best if you wait for me."

    They kept moving. It really was dark and Talhad didn't agree to carry a torch, and even if he did, there was nothing to make it from. He was going to get everything they needed in the village, and some things that the princess didn't have to know about, too. He looked down at her - she was significantly smaller than him - and furrowed his eyebrows. She had to change from her clothes and cut her hair. Even though Talhad didn't have any experience when it came to dealing with fifteen years olds, he decided to keep his mouth shut about the last idea.The village wasn't that far away, and the sooner they got there, the better.
  6. Celeste blinked, "...I understand why my clothes would alarm them....but how on earth would my walking, or skin, have any relevance. Do villagers hunch over when they walk or something?" She was rather pale, being inside the majority of the time. She sighed, thinking. She had never been a very social person, hard to be when everyone around you is a servant, your own family, or a tutor, but she didn't like the idea of being in a forest by herself. She could do only think of one thing. "fine. You'll just have to get me some then" she spoke with an a matter of fact tone, forgetting to mention what she meant for him to get her.

    For that matter, what did they look like? She'd need references too. "also, I need pictures....and some sort of cutting tool......preferably scissors" She quietly wondered what sort of colors she could use.
  7. Talhad sighed. Without stopping, he started talking quietly. “You’ll see for yourself when we finally reach another village. You’re not one of them, and I don’t think you’ll ever be” He could just hope the girl would learn rather quickly. It would make their journey a lot easier. But at the sime time he knew that forgetting about the things that were important your whole life was not going to be easy. And besides, she was going to need everything that made her the princess later.

    They reached the end of the forest and Talhad told the girl to wait. The idea of leaving her scared him, but there really was no other way. Before going to the village, he checked the roads around it, trying to hear the familiar sound of running horses, but there was nothing. He ventured into the village. It was the middle of the night, but even in a small settlements like this one there was always someone happy to sell you things at any hour.

    He bought a simple, rather crude outfit that was more less the girl’s size. He remember she wanted something like scissors, but he ignored it. Cutting her hair with the dagger should do for now, and if she wanted to change the clothes, she will have to do it later, when the situation isn’t as terrible. When he was done shopping, his bag was filled with random supplies. He got a piece of rope and some rations, but if they wanted to survive, they’ll have to hunt.

    He was about to go back to the forest when he heard the horses. Without thinking, he pushed the door to the barn he was standing next to and slipped inside. People were waking up in the village, he could hear their sleepy and surprised voices when two riders started questioning everyone. Talhad didn’t believe in the shopkeeper’s good character. If there was information, there was money. He had to get out now. He managed to get to the girl, but one of the guards was there already, looking around. For now, he didn't notice them, but there was no telling what will happen. Talhad took his bag off as quietly as he could and lay down onto the ground, pushing the princess down as well, pressing his finger against his lips, telling her to be quiet.
  8. Celeste wanted to complain, about being left alone, and then about being pushed down, but even she understood the risk right now. She had noticed the guards as well, but, of course, didn't know what to do about it.

    She hid her face as best she col, holding in a whimper when dirt got on her cheek. How would her mother react to this? Would she be furious that her daughter was laying on the ground for fear of her life, or would she right down here with her? If her brother was here, where ever he was, he'd be able to get rid of the guards without too much trouble.

    Celeste covered her mouth, not wanting to let out any noise, thinking about them brought tears to her eyes.
  9. They remained on the ground for quite a long time. The guard was looking around, dangerously close, and Talhad couldn’t help but feel his whole body stiff up. He didn’t want to alarm anyone by killing the man, because that would mean his companion would come and check on him. Leaving a dead body behind meant even more trouble. For now, it was best to stay hidden, and then quietly run away when possible.

    But fate, of course, had different plans. Talhad didn’t know whether it was pure luck or something more than that, but the guard noticed them, or at least thought he noticed something. Whichever it was, the man opened his mouth as if to scream, which was what Talhad would probably do in such situation as well.

    The knight sprung up to his feet and with one swift movement, he swung the shaft of his spear, hitting the man in the throat and smashing it, but not before the latter grabbed his own weapon and cut Talhad’s forearm. It wasn’t a deep cut, but any new wound could be problematic at this point. Talhad swung the spear again, this time aiming at the heart of the enemy, and soon enough, the spear made its way there, silencing the man completely.

    He turned around and with his free hand, he grabbed Celeste’s arm, pulling her up. He pushed her in the other direction, running after her. “Don’t stop until I say!” he wheezed out, following the girl.
  10. Celeste didn't move an inch. Terrified of could happen if they were caught. She feared the worst when she noticed Talhad moving. Her mouth being covered help muffle her gasp of fear as she heard the sound of metal clashing against metal, and then a groan as someone fell at the blow of a weapon.

    A hand was felt on her arm, dreading who it may belong to. She didn't have time to feel relief, seeing it to be Talhad, before she was told to run. Running wasn't easy when you were a female in the upper class. Stupid corsets. She could barely get enough air to run at all, let along any real distance.

    It wasn't long until Celeste collapsed, unable to get a good breath. Within moments of gasping for air, she fainted onto the ground.
  11. The man growled when the girl collapsed. He knew it wasn't her fault, but there really was no time for anything like that. He stopped, crouched and grabbed his dagger. It was difficult to breath, his lungs and ribs hurting with every little gasp of air he took. It was enough to look at Celeste once to know what was the problem - her face was red and she was fighting for air. He was glad he managed to get her new clothes, though he wasn't sure if getting her tow ear them was going to be easy. He pushed her and carefully, but rather quickly cut through her clothes on her back just a little bit, enough to give her the possibility to breathe. It was obvious, though, that he was going to have to carry her.

    His back protested when he picked her up from the ground. She wasn't heavy, but he had to carry other things as well, not to mention be able to drop everything in an instant if someone would follow them and there would be a need to fight. He picked up the pace. The forest was really dark and Talhad had to be careful not to trip and fall over onto the small girl. The mane of the lion she was carrying tickled his neck and he decided that the toy had to go. But Celeste was holding it, and fighting with her over that right now wasn't Talhad's dream.

    He kept running until he felt that a few steps more would cause him to collapse as well. After putting the princess down, he spent a few minutes simply listening to the sounds of the forest. Thankfully, that was all he heard. He took a moment to look at his forearm. It was bleeding, and when the knight checked the leaves and twigs on the ground, he soon found the warm and familiar touch and scent of the blood. He swathed his arm with a bit of clean cloth and looked at Celeste. "Better?"
  12. Celeste had only just regained consciousness a few minutes ago and was still getting her footing after being so suffocated. "....y-yes......thank you....." She found it strange how easy breathing was now. She also questioned why her back was so cold. She reaced arond and touched her back, feeling the torn fabric, she became alarmed.

    Before she could ask about that, though, she noticed Talhad's arm, "a-are you alright?!" Spoiled, yes. Heartless, no.
  13. Talhad nodded. "I'm fine" he said, though it wasn't entirely true. But seeing as Celeste knew nothing about medicine, worrying her with his condition wouldn't do much good. After bandaging his arm, making sure that no blood was dripping on the ground, he took his bag and threw it next to the girl. "There's a bunch of clothes, change. I can't carry you all the time and you can't run in this" he pointed at her dress. The time wasn't the best, but he had to do something anyway. Talhad stood up, leaving his spear on the leaves and taking the dagger out once again. The clouds moved a little and let the moon shine briefly on the forest. He was able to see, but that was about it.

    The good thing was that the forest was full of life. Every little creature was out trying to find food, and Talhad spot a few darker shadows on the ground. Catching one was vital for their survival, but without any trap or time to prepare and wait for the prey, the chances were low. The man tried anyway, but failed and finally jumped to his feet, cursing. He turned back and ignoring Celeste completely, he took the bag and reached into it. He grabbed a small piece of meat and placed it not too far away from them. Then he started rummagining through their things again, focused on finding something to make a simple trap with. "If you want, eat something. We won't be stopping for another few hours" he added, not looking at the girl.
  14. Celeste didn't believe Talhad's plea of being fine for an instant, but didn't press on about it. She jumped when the bag was thrown near her. She looked through the bag, getting out the clothes. Change? Where? She looked around. She wasn't about to change in front of him. She blinked at hearing him curse, "how rude...speaking with such vulgar language...........and where am I suppose to change anyway?"
  15. Talhad stared at Celeste when she accused him of being vulgar, but said nothing. There was no use in arguing with her about that, though he knew it was going to be a problem. Even though he was escorting a royalty here, the situation was dire and Talhad knew that he was going to swear from time to time. It was just his way of dealing with the stress, at least partially. He crouched on the ground and started making a very simple trap, using everything he needed from the bag. He didn't have high hopes. They could only stay here for some time and their only chance was to encounter a small and starving animal that would go for an easy treat. The knight put the trap over the meat and left it there, going back to Celeste.

    "Here" he said calmly. "I will turn around, do not worry. I know this is.." Talhad hesitated. "Different" was certainly not enough to describe the change in Celeste's situation. "..we need to take desperate measures, princess." With these words, he did turn his back to her and sat down on the ground, eyes focused on the trap nearby.
  16. Celeste watched him, waiting for him to respond to her question. She didn't know what he was doing, but figured there had to be a reason for it.

    She was in shock at what he suggested, "h-here? You expect me to change here? In the open?! You're more vulgar than I thought! Watching or not! I don't care about being desperate! I will NOT change in front of man. To do so would be so unladylike!" She stood up, and walked behind a bush, taking the clothes with her.

    Once hidden, somewhat, Celeste took a moment to try and figure out exactly how to undress. She had always been dressed by a lady's maid, either her own or her mother's, so she had never dressed herself in any manor.

    It took her a total of twenty minutes just to get her clothes off. With only her chemise and a blushing face, she tried to figure out the clothes she was to put on. They were ugly, by far, and the fabric was of horrible quality, but this was what commoners wore. She sighed, putting them on. This took another fifteen minutes, having to redo it many times until it at least looked like she had them on right. It felt so change not to be in a corset, and uncomfortable as well. Stupid corsets had a habit of weakening certain muscles, you see. Though she did enjoy being able to breathe properly.
  17. Talhad pressed his lips together, trying not to swear again. Even though he could understand Celeste’s behaviour, it still felt stupid to him, considering their situation. But the girl was raised as a princess, and changing that overnight wasn’t possible. He stared at her when she left with the clothes; he needed to know where she was, just in case. He’d rather be known as vulgar than as a knight who let the princess die.

    He regretted his decision soon enough. Whatever Celeste was doing, hidden in the bushes, took so much time that Talhad considered helping her with the clothing. He wasn’t even considering staying here for more than fifteen minutes – they were still very close to the village and even if no one found the body, which was quite an optimistic thought, staying in one place for long wasn’t safe.

    He didn’t manage to catch anything. He took the trap and packed everything. He was just done taking the bandages off of his arm and smearing the blood onto the leaves when Celeste finally decided to show up. He eyed her up and down and nodded. “Good. We should go, that took too much time.” He checked his arm once more and took Celeste’s old clothes, pushing him into the bag as well. “You didn’t leave anything, princess, did you?” he asked and without waiting for her response, checked behind the bush. He gestured at her and started walking, taking huge steps.
  18. Celeste pouted, not liking the new clothes, "these clothes are so stupid it would take anyone a long time to figure out how to put them on" She waited for Talhad to finish packing. At hearing his question about leaving something, she huffed, "only my dignity". She followed as quickly as she could, used to having to take smaller steps. She was still pouting, hating all of this. Her only real comfort was her lion, holding the stuffed toy close to her, nibbling it's ear as she often did.
  19. They walked for hours without stopping. The knight didn't listen to Celeste's occassional pleas for a break. Talhad didn't comment on Celeste's words, what was important was that she changed and now they had one thing less to worry about. He kept quiet, as usual. He never cared much for talking, because there usually wasn't anything important to talk about, and wasting one's breath to spat out some gibberish made Talhad mad. Besides, they were both having their own problems to deal with, Celeste's loss of family, and Talhad's loss of his king, friends and subordinates.

    The sky was pink and blue in the morning when Talhad let them take a break. He found a small cave in which he decided to make a campfire - it was still cold and they were shivering after the long walk in the woods. He gave Celeste something to eat, unsure whether she was going to accept the salty taste of dried meat, and after he was done with his own meal, Talhad took his dagger out. He gestured at Celeste's hair. "We need to cut it, princess. It stands out too much." That was true - everything about Celeste was different from the common folks, thanks to the amount of care she received since she was born. Her hair was much brighter and healthier, and women usually kept is short, so that it wouldn't be a bother.
  20. Celeste complained about her feet hurting, which they did, and being tired, which she was. As well as her back aching, which it did. She immediately sat down when given the chance, pulling off her shoes despite the cold. She rubbed them, warming them by the fire. She forced herself to swallow the overly salted meat, "ew...."

    She tensed at seeing his dagger. Wat was wrong now? Cut it? Cut what? Oh hell no! She grabbed her twin tails and held them close to her along with ehr lion, "you've humiliated me enough you low vulgar pathetic excuse of a man! You will NOT take my hair as well! Cutting a lady's hair is shameful on every level!"
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