Black Smoke & Bandits
“Look there, boy!” Tevarin said, pointing over the hill, “Smoke rising. Black smoke no less, this will be a good day!”
Neil turned around looking at the smoke, it seemed like every story of a raided camp or village he had ever heard. The oil burning the buildings and bodies the same. The smells and sounds of the carnage. His stomach turned a little, thinking of what waited for them around the bend in the road.
Tevarin put on her scabbard and sat waiting like a hunting lion with a smirk on her face. Her eyes scanned the forest on either side of us looking for potential bandits or other trouble.
“Have you ever been in a fight before?” Cade asked from the front of the wagon as he pulled his cloak on.
Neil shook his head, “I’ve only ever read about them.”
“Normally, I don’t enjoy the fight. At least, not as much as Tevarin, but when common farmers and village-folk need help, I’m always ready to lend a hand.” Cade said with a big smile, “You should put on your father’s armor, and pick up the sword you brought. You don’t want to be found by a foe defenseless as you are.”
Neil nodded, pulling the beaten leather from under his bag. He slid it over his head and began fixing the buckles that held it in place as a volley of arrows showered down on the wagon.
“Tueor!” Faleth yelled as a translucent dome spread across the top, stopping the arrows midflight. One, no less than a few inches from Neil’s face. He felt the first stab of mortality in his life at that moment. Knowing that he surely could have died had Faleth not protected him.
“Here they come!” Tevarin cried as she jumped off the wagon brandishing her two swords.
Neil watched in awe as four men appeared out of the treeline holding their own weapons. Tevarin cut into them without hesitation, expertly dodging and parrying their attempts to attack her.
“Cade-” Neil paused as the wagon came to a halt and he saw that he was alone in the back of it.
He could see Tevarin still fighting as Faleth began summoning bolts of fire and throwing them down the road at more men coming out.
“Get out here!” Tevarin yelled as she cut down a man and turned to the next, “If you sit there through this, I’ll write you off, and you’ll be walking back to your little village as a disgrace!”