The last part of Chapter 3.
Shanor arrived around midday to find his son deathly pale, laying on the cot with his leg wrapped.
“He’s alive thanks to Nyri,” Qhanna said,” but you may want to have Quosia remember where her poisoned traps are in the future.”
It had been several weeks since the incident.
He sought her out in the cave in the woods being careful this time to watch where he was walking. Small shadow creatures danced along the cave entrance disappearing as he approached.
“You still have a limp.” She noted, without looking up.
He nodded, “But it is a better than what could have happened. Thank you for rescuing me.”
It was her turn to nod.
“I know it was foolish to follow you, but I wanted to see for myself how you rid the borders of the villagers.”
“Are you satisfied now you know?”
“Yes. I see why they fear you.”
She smiled knowingly, “They only fear what they cannot understand. The creatures you saw a moment ago are nothing more than an illusion.”
“But seeing them come alive is frightening.”
“Only if you let it be.”
He paused as if wanting to say more, and then stopped himself. She gazed at him with curious orange eyes. As if she was trying to probe his very soul for the question he left unspoken. He quickly decided to change the subject before she found out his true question.
“I am going to GoldenCity to trade soon if you would like to join me.”
“I will consider it.” She said returning to drawing figures on the sand floor of the cave, with a slight movement of her fingers they came alive in the sand and then stretched to the cave walls moving.
He left as silently as he had entered.
The next day she appeared at dawn waiting at the outside of his hut.
“I didn’t think you would come.”
As they walked he made small conversation,”“Quosia was duly scolded as was I for tracking you. Qhanna commended. How did you know?”
“She a healer’s apprentice in her village, she has patched me up a few times.”
“You got injured?”
Her lips crackled into a slight smile, “I am not as immortal as Shanor believes me to be.”
“He fears you.”
“I know better than to track you.”
“Good. Qhanna is quite taken with you.”
“As you are with her.”
“She would be a good companion,” he admitted.” Since I have been refused twice, I now understand why, please forgive my foolish advances, you nor Kiera were meant for such things.”
“Qhanna has agreed?”
“I have not yet asked.”
“You should, your father would be pleased.”
There not was not a cloud in the sky to shield them from the heat radiating from the sun as they reached the stone walls of GoldenCity’s entrance. They walked along the cobblestone streets getting a few glances from some of the villagers, others simply went out of their way to avoid them. Shenlaer lead them into the heart of the city and there they came to the marketplace that was bustling with merchants, the carts and temporary stands filled with various baked and homemade goods. The air was filled with noises mostly of merchants advertising their goods. They headed towards the corner of the marketplace where a large wooden cart filled to the brim with bags of spices and piles of baked breads stood a hunchback of a man with beady eyes leaning heavily against his cart. A large nearly toothless grin appeared on the man’s face upon seeing them.
“Well, well, if it isn’t my favorite suppliers of animal skins. What have you go for me today Shenlaer?”
“Skins and meat as always.”
“Trading for spices and breads again?”
The merchant busied himself with opening various bags of fragrant spices, skillfully scooping measured amounts into small pouches which he placed in a bigger bag.
“I see ya brought a companion to-day.” He noted looking up with a crooked smile at Nyri.
The leader’s son blushed dispute himself.
The man chuckled, tying up the bags putting them to the side of his cart and then began to load loaves of bread into another bag. As he was handing over the bags of spice and bread loaves he saw Nyri’s eyes. The smile disappeared instantly and he turned pale.
“By the Goddess.” He whispered, crossing himself quickly, grabbing the skins from Shenlaer putting them on top of his cart and pushing it away from them, moving at such a clip that he bumped into a few other customers who expressed their disapproval loudly. He said nothing to them and continued on his way hobbling off as he went.
Nyri pulled the cloak over her face as they headed out of the bustling marketplace and into the city square. It was there they saw a familiar figure who was been sitting at the edge of a ruined stone water fountain in the city square. Upon seeing them the woman turned and approached.
“What you are doing here?”
“Trading.” Shenlaer supplied without being asked.
The former native scowled at him.
“Please accept my apologizes for being so forceful with you.” He cast his eyes down as a sign of submission.
A look of guilt swept across her features,” I shouldn’t have reacted the way I did.”
He looked up hopeful, “Then all is forgiven?”
“What are you doing here then?”
“I was hired as a bounty hunter for a pirate down at the docks. The pay is 75 gold.” She shrugged.
“More than you can make trading.”
“and with less effort. I see your arm is healing well.”
“Thanks to Qhanna.” He said blushing.
Something caught Kiera’s eye. “I better be off. I think I’ve found out where he is hiding.”
Dusk was falling in GoldenCity basking everything in an orange glow. As they neared the city gates Nyri paused sensing something was amiss, the air was completely still and almost stifling.
“What is it?”
She frowned, sniffing the air. As if to confirm her suspicions, a sudden pungent smell hit them at full force. It was the stench of decaying flesh and old magic. Shenlaer gagged loudly covering his mouth with his hand. She drew her sword and poked the air around her, the krisna were here, but they were cloaked. She muttered a quick spell of uncloaking and one of them came into view, it shrieked upon realizing it was seen drew its sword to block hers. She heard footfalls behind her thinking they were Shenlaer’s she turned slightly there were only more krisna coming towards her. She fought the first off, releasing the magic that held it to this world, its spirit returning to peace in the heavens. There were now five surrounding her and more coming from the direction of the marketplace, one of which was carrying something as they got closer Nyri saw the figure of a woman with golden hair. Suddenly her limbs grew heavy dropping her sword she was powerless to defend herself against the skeletal warriors that enclosed around her chanting. The last thing she saw was Shenlaer limping off into the woods.