Rowen awoke to a dull slap on her back. She jerked her head up drowsily with a snort and a groggy “Wha’- wha’ happ’nin’? What’s goin’ on?”
She looked up through tousled hair at Jack, who was sitting beside, his face glowing in the light of the dying campfire. They were back under the shelter of the forest.
“You’re snoring.” He said, not managing to hide a grin.
“Am not!” Rowen replied indignantly, punching Jack in the arm. He laughed, but suddenly stopped short.
“What is it-” Rowen began.
Jack got up, loosening his sword in its sheath. He walked to the edge of their campsite, peering into the woods. “Rowen!” He whispered over his shoulder without turning around, “I think someone is coming…Roe? Rowen!”
Jack turned around, only to see Rowen was still laying on the ground, asleep again. “Sure falls asleep fast…” Jack muttered. He turned to investigate the noise he heard again, but something told him to turn back around. He walked over to Rowen and shook her shoulder.
“Rowen! Roe, wake up! Wake UP!”
“She’s not going to wake up right now,” Came a low voice from the woods. A cloaked and hooded figure strode out. Jack gazed angrily up at this new figure, then flashed his eyes back down. A small red dart was sticking out from the back of Rowen’s neck.
Jack got to his feet with amazing speed and drew his sword in the direction of this new stranger. “Who are you?” Jack whispered viciously, but the anger in his voice was so severe he might as well have shouted. “What do you want?” Jack raised his sword closer to the stranger. Instantly three more of the same figures appeared behind the first. “What’s the matter, elf?” The first said, “Where you going with her?”
“Your business is obviously with me, so leave her alone.”
“On the contrary, she’s what I’m here for,” A small grin flashed in the firelight form under the figure’s hood. Suddenly Jack charged at him and they immediately engaged in swordfight. They seemed equally matched, and neither made much advance on the other.
Only, while they were fighting, one of the other three backed up the one fighting while the other two went after Rowen. Jack gave a cry and tried to turn, but immediately he felt a sharp pain as a sword blade wrenched through his upper sword-arm. He gave a cry and his sword dropped, just as one of the cloaked figures picked up Rowen. Suddenly Jack threw back his cloak, and anger flared in his eyes. He picked up his sword with his left hand this time, instead of his immobilized right arm, and made a dash for the two making off with Rowen. His way was immediately barred by the two fighters. Jack viciously slashed at them and somehow he was a better swordsman with his left arm. They were taken by surprise his strength… and something else shocked them. Whatever it was, one of them was so surprised he dropped his sword and ran. The other backed up slowly, but Jack shoved him to the ground and drove his sword into the figure carrying Rowen. Both figure and Rowen dropped to the ground. Angry that he did not have a horse when he needed one, Jack went to pick up Rowen, only to have a vicious blow to the head. While Jack was down, another man grabbed Rowen and began to run. Suddenly the man screamed in pain. “Ahhhhhh!! My arm!!! It burns, it burns!!” Unnoticed, Rowen had awoken, and her hands curled around the man’s arm. The man dropped her with wide eyes. “How did you wake up? That dart would have put down a-“
The man’s statement was cut short as he fell to the ground. A knife was protruding out of his back.
Rowen suddenly found herself standing facing Jack, the owner of that knife. His face was dark and wicked, and his eyes were lividly a glowing red. Rowen gasped and froze, even though his eyes turned back to their normal black. Jack’s face softened and he reached out to comfort the shocked Rowen. She flinched and stepped back, then turned and ran.
Chapter 1: https://www.theonering.com/docs/9127.html
Chapter 2: https://www.theonering.com/docs/9141.html
Chapter 3: https://www.theonering.com/docs/9184.html
Chapter 4: https://www.theonering.com/docs/9263.html