Lifting her head at the words to see a handkerchief before her eyes, Wyllow wasn’t sure what was going on. She hadn’t heard the man approach and she should have with all the gear he was wearing.
Delicate fingers took hold of the cloth given to her as she only looked over it. He was a strange looking fellow but honestly anyone new to the town was considered such. Though after everything with Khondis she shouldn’t have been surprised. “Thank you.” She spoke lowly as she did nothing more than fiddle with it. Her lashes were wet with tears but she didn’t feel it was necessary yet to take them away.
Sighing some, Wyllow brushed past her hair as she rose to her feet. “Sorry, is there something I can help you with lord? Perhaps I can point you in the correct direction.”

“You, beautiful lass? Mayhap. I am here on a very important job you see. You wouldn’t happen to be able to show me to Copper Copel, would you? We recently received word that he was here, and well… It is very important that I see to it that he be met by my subordinates.” He picked a piece of dirt off of his jacket and flicked it away.
“I much oblige it if I could have you assist me.” He smiled sincerely. Deep green eyes gazed at the young Wyllow.

Her ears lowered at the name while being referred to a beautiful lass made the heat in her cheeks rush forward, “Copper Copel?” she shook her head. “Sorry, I haven’t heard anyone called that. I think the town has only had one man come through lately and well… his name isn’t Copper.”
Wyllow smiled softly, “Actually my master might be able to help you more than I can. He seems to always know who is who and what is what in this town. Maybe if he can’t help you the grouch of a man; Khondis can. He seems like he is worldly enough to be some assistance to you lord.” She offered the unused handkerchief back to the man, “Master Roris is at the blacksmith on the side of town,” she pointed. “I’ll be more than happy to lead you there Lord.”

“Khondis?” He paused as he put a finger up to his chin. Thin lips smiled some.
“Yes, I will take you up on your offer. Please show me to these men.” He nodded lightly before a slight look of shock came across his face. “My how rude of me… I haven’t even introduced myself, and here I find you being my guide this wonderful morning.”
“My name is Hunter, not to be mistaken for Guardian Hunter, a mere coincidence, I assure you. Hunter Goustone the Third.” He took up Wyllow’s hand and kissed the back of her hand. “Might I be privy to your name?”

Watching the thin smile spread on the mans lips, it was clear she had been right to direct him towards the blacksmith. Though before she could even say a word, the shock that rippled over his face was startling, that is until she started to giggle at him stating the coincidence of his name being relatable to Guardian Hunters surname. “I don’t think I would assume you are a woman, especially a guardian, Lord Hunter.”

Ears fell low as she turned shyly at the fact that he was acting like a true noble with sly catching words and the kiss to her hand. He was surely out of a story book. “My name?” Wyllow laughed nervously as she couldn’t believe she hadn’t told him her name. “Ah sorry, I am pretty forgetful to proper manners;” she closed her eyes briefly to rub the back of head, “Wyllow Difaror.” She smiled before she turned slightly on her heels. “It’s nothing more than a hop and a skip to the forge Lord Hunter.”

It was simply amazing how her spirits had been lifted with a quaint word from a gentleman that didn’t make her feel inferior with just a look. Eyes were watching them move through the town, though there was no hostility this time around but rather curiosity. Lord Hunter was surely a strange sight to all to see.

Weaving carefully through the streets, Wyllow would usher herself quickly up the steps of the cottage inn thinking that Master Roris would most likely be eating by now. Letting a hand fall to the brass door knob of the door, she smiled widely to the ecchial man before she pushed open the door. “Master Roris, we have company!” she called out before she would side step to press her back to the door to allow Lord Hunter inside. “Sorry about the house, its not the glory of my master as much as the forge, but it keeps the rain off of us.” She blushed some for the state of the home, before she blew her hair from her face. “I don’t know where Khondis is – probably making some child cry somewhere, or tormenting the chickens out back,” she muttered sourly.

Tightening his pony tail he smiled at Wyllow as she had shyly shown him into the well aged home. “This is wonderful, thank you for your kindness Wyllow. If you would be so kind as to wait here, I will gladly go find Khondis. I’m sure he is waiting around here somewhere. As he turned to wander into the Forge an older elf came thumping down the stairs.
“Another visitor, who did you bring home this time Wyllow?” Roris paused as he took a long look at Hunter. “Well, it certainly seems you learned your lesson fast Wyllow, you’re already bringing higher class men home.” Hunter only smiled lightly at his remark.
“Hunter Goustone the Third, pleasure to meet you. I presume you are Roris, I have heard a lot about you as of late, it’s nice to put a face to gossip.” He smiled towards Roris as he cleaned off his coat.
“Aye…” Roris nodded skeptically.
“I apologize, I have been vague. But I have very important business; please can you point me to Khondis?”
“Well… When you ask like that, I’d be happy to oblige, but I haven’t seen him since this morning. I was upstairs filing paper work for Casbael.” Roris stitched his eyebrows together as he looked over to Wyllow.
“Oh, Casbael? For Mistress Rera no doubt—” Before Hunter could finish a loud struggle thundered through the forge doors.
“Sir, we found him out back sharpening the sword.” Three well equipped beings pushed through the door with an apprehended Khondis. He grunted and groaned as he struggled to fight off the three warriors. Though all three were female, evidently they were still too much for Khondis to handle.
“Get off me damnit!” Khondis grunted as he throttled back and forth. It took all three girls to keep him at bay, but without his sword at hand, he wasn’t much of a threat.
Hunter turned to look at the four beings that had just entered. “Ah, leave it to my best Elite Guards to handle the task without my aid, thank you girls.”
“Elite Guards?” Roris piped up. Hunter turned to look at Roris and Wyllow.
“Why yes. I am the Master of the Sitra Temple, I serve directly under Rera, the Fierce Draglynn Guardian. Does that come as a surprise?” He placed a hand in his coat pocket and pulled a scroll from it, pulling a small eyepiece from his pant pockets he began to read.
“I Rera, hereby declare that the being known as Copper Copel is to be brought to execution for his misdeeds and theft of Casbael Property.”
“You bastard Roris, you played me.” Khondis had been pushed down to his knees by this point with his head pushed down almost so low it was touching the ground. “You just wanted the bounty on me the whole time…” He grit his teeth as sweat dripped off of his nose. The ferocity in his eyes was hidden behind his longer hair.
“Now see here,” Roris interjected. “I had a scroll directly from Casbael stating the boy was to work for me and that if he was to fulfill his duties, his crimes would be wiped from memory!” Roris swiped at the air, visibly perturbed by the situation.
“A mistake I’m afraid. That letter is forfeit; I have orders straight from Rera. Khondis is to be hung this afternoon. So I bid you farewell, and sorry that you had to come into contact with this degenerate. I do hope you have a wonderful day. Come along girls.”
“I don’t understand…” Roris questioned.
“Oh, and one more thing,” Hunter paused at the entrance way. “His sword, can I please have you send that back to Guardian Rera along with your next work order. We will send out your supplies, just as we always have. Thank you for your hard work and dedication; I highly regard you and your apprentice, farewell.” He bowed and with a fell swoop of a bow he dispersed out of the door, the three girls toted Khondis along behind him.
“I’m sorry Khondis…” Roris muttered. “I did not intend for it to be like this.” He shook his head. Khondis only glared as he was taken away.

Wyllow would have responded to Master Roris about learning her lesson, but partly it would have been rude to inject her voice into the clear conversation between Hunter and Roris and secondly, it wasn’t like it was wrong.
She was easily impressed with how smooth Lord Hunter spoke with Roris that she was certainly sure that it caught him even off guard. It was difficult to find any man of any age or species with manners such as that. Her mouth opened to speak up about how she had left Khondis earlier in the morning to eat without her around, but found her mouth remaining open as the three fully clad woman came inside the house, not by themselves either; With Khondis in tow, surely a feat for any.
Inching her way close to Roris’s side, she couldn’t believe everything that was going on. So much chaos and turmoil that her head was spinning faster than coin spun on a table top. But it would all come crashing down the moment Lord Hunter stated the title of Master.
“A master here…” she touched her lips with her fingertips, as Lord Hunter began to read out the decree of Copper Copel being condemned to death. Her complexion paled at the sound of him losing his life. Sure he was foul and nasty to the core but did he deserve death? What property did he take from Casbael and how rare was it that even a guardian was willing to put a man to death.
It wasn’t until Lord Hunter had bid his farewells and mentioned the sword that she spurted back to life. The sword; that strange weapon was what they were talking about and yet… it didn’t seem possible. She had seen the weapons Sitra Temple carried and even a glimpse of Lord Kross’ sword when her and Roris had made a venture up to Vena but that sword… the one called Tondris didn’t even remotely match up to their style.
Before the door could close, Wyllow shot out of it only to hear Roris calling after her. “Lord Hunter please wait,” her fingers were already in her pocket as she pulled forth the parchment to present it to him. “Please, my master was not trying to pull the sheets over your head about the letter, every bit of it is the truth and it is all here. I think Khondis was to sign it this morning and it would have been delivered to Sitra but…” she looked sheepishly away, “I took it to try and allow him his freedom still. But this is absolutely wrong. How can you condemn him to death when he has yet to prove himself and his innocence?”
Wyllow shook beneath the stares of the three women, “If Casbael cannot even take the life of the Darkian, then should you not allow Khondis the right to work for Casbael instead? Is that not what the Darkian is doing? Mother Scarlet has allowed a full blood demoil to live inside the temples even after all the hell and chaos he brought and surely that was far worse than what Khondis has done.” She blinked the hot tears aside, “Please… let him sign that, let him try and work his debt clean from Casbael for Casbael… I’m pleading with you. Don’t… don’t kill him.”

“Wyllow… A girl of your beauty should not shed tears for this ilk.” Taking the parchment he opened it up inspecting it momentarily. Nonchalantly Hunter ripped it in two and packed it into his pocket. “This scroll is in fact pointless, I did not disregard Roris, and it’s merely that the Guardian has a different request now. I apologize, I am merely following orders.” He paused as he looked over to his Elite Guards. Khondis had actually calmed down, but the look of disgust had hardly left his face.
“Your point is slightly misguided with the Darkian, though… You have made a point nonetheless. You choose to save this boy, yet you know very little of him? Perhaps you see what I see in him, do you?” Hunter’s green eyes almost began to glow as he studied Wyllow, “look me in the eyes child.”
“Do you truly desire his life?” His eyes only grew more intense, the air around him almost seemed to wave as an intense heat radiated off of him. “What are your true intentions for this, are you being pure in heart, or are there underlying reasons, perhaps selfish reasons? Answer me. Be Decisive, I will know if you’re lying.” He brought a finger up almost to caution her.

Watching the paper being torn in two, it was almost as if her own soul had been ripped. She had put everything she had in that paper and yet… it now was nothing more than confetti.
Pressing a hand to her cheek she lifted her eyes up to Hunter though she did take note of the sheer intensity they held now. “I admit I know very little of the Darkian but…” she shook her head, but she made sure to keep her gaze on his. “Suppose that means little now.”
Having the choice though being pressed onto her, Wyllow shied her eyes to Khondis for a moment as she wrinkled her nose. “He is cruel, relentless and ignorant; a man fitting the pig pen rather than civilization. I don’t desire to own Khondis. That would be like me caging a rabid dog to my side which in turn would have me bitten or worse killed but…” Wyllow returned her attention to Hunter, “I don’t think anyone should be murdered Lord Hunter. I may not generally like Khondis but I do believe he is just angry at the world for something that was out of his control. I…” she straightened her back, “I want him to prove his worth and perhaps see through his own eyes that this world we live is not as foul and worthless as he makes it. Not every being that lives in the lands is a fiend and not every mind cannot be made into something great.”
She opened a palm as she leaned forward, “He behaves like he knows the world and how it turns and yet he doesn’t. No more than I do but how do we learn otherwise… we work, we grow and we live with new and old experiences. I honestly believe if you let Khondis work for Casbael, he will be become a great asset while he trains himself to see Flycoren as Casbael teaches; as a peaceful prized state with very little war and plagues.” Wyllow let out a soft sigh as she left the heavy hand of Roris fall to her shoulder as she didn’t realize he had sidled up beside her. “We were all saved from the chaos that was the Lightyun and I don’t believe anyone should have there life taken from them before they truly experience the wonders of the lands we are still able to walk. Even if Khondis is a horrid angry soul… any man deserves a chance to prove his loyalty and find his true purpose.”
She heard Roris hum calmly as if to say she had done well in speaking her mind, it was just now up to Lord Hunter to see whether he believed her or not.

Hunter wrapped a hand around his wrist and rubbed lightly as he continued to look at Wyllow and her Master Roris. “Truly those words came from the heart. You are a good person Wyllow. However I’m afraid that Khondis’ fate is not my decision. Though…” He paused as he looked up to Roris before returning his gaze to Wyllow. “If you were to come back with me and Khondis to the temple, perhaps Guardian Rera will think twice if you give her the same respect as you have shown me. I do believe she’s due for some company anyways…” a thin smile came over his face as he looked up into the lightly clouded sky.
“What of it Copper, would you choose life over death. Or would you much rather throw your life away like a foolish little animal trapped and frantic?” The Elite’s pulled Khondis to his feet. Looking through his bangs his silver eyes shone ferocity, and at the same time deep within he held fear.
“What use is it… you’re just playing games now, it matters not what I say, because everyone has their own motives and reasons. I am the folly of all of your actions, and yet I can’t control that. The only control I have is death at this point, and I’m not a coward.” Khondis grunted as he looked away from the three figures that stood distantly from him.
“Well, that was in more words than necessary…” Hunter scratched under his chin lightly. “But I would assume that means yes. Very well. Wyllow, if you are granted permission from your Master, you have my grace to visit the Temple. If you truly believe this boy deserves to live, then I feel this is the only way. Do you accept?” Hunter smiled sincerely towards Wyllow.

“The temple,” the words slipped over her lips with much fear and curiosity. She hadn’t ever actually entered the temple nor had she ever been face to face with Guardian Rera. She had seen the woman before, massive large, red and a temper that could probably rival that of a Darkian. But was she willing to do it.
“What do you think lass?” Roris tipped his head to the side in wonderment, as she knitted her brow with concern. In a way she was having Khondis life thrust into her hands and if she decided to not follow through with what Lord Hunter was proposing then he was as good as dead. “Wyllow?”
“Would you allow me Master, to leave your grace again?” she asked softly though she kept her eyes downtrodden in hopes not to show off her fear but that was a wish that she knew was not going to be granted.
His chuckled greeted her ears as the squeeze from a strong hand told her exactly what his lips didn’t. At first. “If you will keep a steady eye on her Hunter, then I think it would a wise interest for the young apprentice to speak and behold the grace of the Guardian, even if it is not in the name of our trade. The lad’s life is not forfeit yet and I believe Wyllow will convince the guardian of her truth.” Roris spoke with a regal fluid, “Plus it might do Khondis well to see the fear our guardian can create and in hopes turn his mind about to fear his own death like a man should.”
Wyllow hummed slightly, “I accept your request Lord Hunter.” She tightened her shoulders but allowed a brief glance to Khondis. Pressing her lips into a tight grim line, she gave a nod. Even if he thought little of her, she knew that Khondis needed some saving grace even if it was by nothing more than her juvenile hope.

Previous Page<-->Next Page