They traveled the whole night in silence and thankfully no attacks from their pursuers. Kali made sure that her strides matched Nate’s horses so they couldn’t tell there were two people moving. Somewhere during early morning they slowed so that Kali could freeze Nate’s leg. He didn’t scream out or even flinch when he saw the ice form around his wound; actually it looked like he was more relaxed that there was ice on it. Nodding slightly, Kali patted his un-iced thigh and quickly changed to werein form and took off about a hundred yards.
The men were close enough to Nate to see he was alone and that he was riding awkwardly. They decided to move closer in and get ready to rob him even though the smaller one with the bow said he wasn’t alone. Sunlight shone now warming up the surface of the earth. Drawing in on him two of the men drew their weapons while the biggest one called out, “Halt, sir!”
Nate slowed and turned around to look at the one who spoke. He had a portly but strong build and Nate knew if he tried to fight him he would lose because of his leg. The two other men came into the clearing. The archer was tall and lean with shifty eyes and a slight far away stance. The other man was not the smartest person ever, his eyes crossed and he hunched his shoulders forward.
“How can I help you?” Nate responded tartly.
“Just looking around, are you alone?” The archer asked.
“Yes, what are you looking for?”
“We are looking for someone to take advantage of, preferably a woman.” The third man slurred.
“And do I look like a woman to you?” Nate’s voice ran cold and loud.
“No, wait a minute, are you being cheeky with us? Cause I’ll tell you something right now we have the state of mind to kill you right now.” The first man stepped forward.
“I don’t think that is necessary. I will just leave you three to it.” Nate moved to mount.
“Not so fast.” The first man lunged at him and knocked him to the ground.
As he knocked Nate down the third man yelped and swiped at his rear. Nate saw a flash of red and smirked to himself, and then instincts kicked in. Get to your horse now and ride away to Rohan, remember the deal she said to go ahead. Crawling around he managed to get his hand on the horn of his saddle and swung himself up. As he headed off he took a slash at the portly man with his sword.
Kali let go of the man’s backside and readied to pounce again this time at the archer who was stringing his bow. She released her muscles and bit into his arm cracking the bone and severing his hand. Wham! The bigger man cut into her side with his sword and she let go. Slinking back she saw she was surrounded by the men. Crouching back up against a tree she couldn’t see a way out. They raised their weapons and Kali leaped trying to clear them.
She didn’t make it, the swords dug into her belly, but she kept going and landed hard about five feet away from the men. By the time they turned she had loped off into the coverage of the trees. Breathe you’re okay. Just keep going, Nate is waiting at Rohan you have to make it there so he won’t blame himself if you die. For hours she moved at such a slow pace she was getting bored.
We return to the forests again. Our hobbit friend has lost all faith and finds the true meaning of apathy by the end of this chapter. He is taken captive by a band of elves and one human. This chapter suggests that some of his past will be revealed soon.