[this is just a little thing. Nothing too formal. Just don't be stupid and post one liners please.]
Ematai sat on a low branch in a forest tree. She was staring down at a squirrel , following it with her eyes. Finally, after looking around about a dozen times, the squirrel dug into the semi-frozen ground. Ematai yelled in happiness, scaring the squirrel away, and jumped down from her branch. She walked over to where the squirrel just was, and dug further into the ground.
She pulled up a handfull of nuts and smiled. She gathered as many as she thought she could take without depleting the poor animal's storage, and stored them in her pouch. Walking a little more into the forest, she found some berries next to a small stream. Deciding this was a good place to stop for a while, she sat down and filled up her water pouch. She then eat berries and nuts before laying down and taking a little nap.
Peasant stumbles through the woods, still a bit singed and still bleeding from a couple dozen splinter shrapnel wounds. His is in a sorry state, his tunic is blackened and tattered and his right arm is bound in a makeshift splint. He needs to find water soon and is in dire need of medical attention. He stops to gauge his direction, examining the moss on a nearby tree.
Unfortunately, it is growing on all sides. Peasant is unable to tell which direction is which. He awkardly pulls a scratched and blackened dagger from his belt with his uninjured left hand and tosses it into the air. It lands pointing an unknown direction into an unfamilier forest. He kneels down to pick up his dagger and feels a small amount of moisture through the thin fabric of his trousers.
Listening and feeling, Peasant follows the trickle of water to a stream. He cupps his hands together and drinks deeply and rapidly. Exhausted he rests his head on a nearby rock. and is startled when it stirs and gives a slight moan in acknolegdment. He looks closer and sees a remarkably attractive, yet able-looking girl.
"Excuse me...", he says timidly, "Hello, are you awake? Sorry to disturb you, my name's Peasant. Who are you, may I ask?"
Ematai yelped as she felt something land on her stomach. Her eyes flew open and she let out another yelp as she realized that it wasn't a something, but a someone. She scrambled away, backwards on her hands and legs. Her bag fell off her body, where it was lying, and opened. The nuts landed on the forest ground. Finally, she regained enough sense to stand up.
In one fluid motion, she stood up, whipped out her sword, which was hanging from her belt, and pointed it at the stranger. Her eyes flickered away from his face and to his body. He looked a little bit banged up, considering all his injuries. Ematai's eyes loss a bit of their anger seeing this but her sword stayed pointing at him.
"My name is my own," she muttered, a little angry that her sleep was disturbed. "What is your business here?" her eyes one again traveled over his body, "How did you get your injuries?"
Peasant's eyes widen in surprise at her aggression and speed, as he slowly rose to a crouch.
"It's a long story", Peasant let out a long sigh, "...too long. Look, I apologize, I... thought you were a rock", he says while slowly backing up and standing; his hand resting on his worn dagger.
He takes a moment to consider the validity of that statement, aims a quizzical look at the ground and shakes his head as if to clear something from his vision.
Peasant looks up and meets the stanger's fierce gaze. He quickly sizes her up. Yes, he could kill her if he needed to. He is exhausted and can't afford to tarry much longer if he is to reach a civilzation before his wounds become more serious.
Peasant speaks with a certain finality:
"Again I'm sorry, I need direction to the nearest town, will you help me? You may keep your name."
His grip on his dagger tightens as he awaits her response...
Ematai stiffened a bit when he stood up, but kept her stance. Her eyes flickered to his grip on his sword. She narrowed her eyes and slowly lowered her sword so that it hung by her side. She still kept her grip on it, just in case.
"A rock? You thought I was a rock?" a small smile flickered to her face, then she laughed. She continued to look at him as her mouth remained smiling. "Alright. Well lets see. It looks like you need help with your arm there. And the nearest town you say? I just came from a small village that's about a days travel back." she pointed over her shoulder. "I can take you there. But first, lets take a look at your injuries."
Slowly, Ematai put her sword away, shoving it back in it's place under her belt. She glanced expectingly at Peasant. "If you want me to help you, we must trust each other. For the moment anyways. I won't harm you in anyway, as long as you promise the same." She hadn't taken her hand off the hilt yet, waiting to see if Peasant will comply with the deal.
Ematai kneeled on the ground after Peasant sat down. She picked up her warn leather bag and started to put her nuts back into them. She then refilled her water skin. Offering some water to the injured man, she started to look over his wounds.
"Actually, I've never had any training with healing. I'm sure that I won't be able to do a thing, but I feel better with at least trying," she flashed a smile up at him before bending her head back down, looking at his arm. She poked a bruise on his forearm and frowned. She wish she knew how to help him.
She sat back after a few more moments of looking over his body and shook her head. "Sorry, the best I can do is help you to the nearest town," she sighed and picked another berry. When Peasant commented about her being alone in the woods, how it wasn't safe she raised one eyebrow.
"Yes, I know it isn't safe. I can take care of myself pretty well though. And, these woods are pretty deserted. You are the first human I met on my travels after I left the little village," She turned her eyes to a bit of a glare for a while but then smiled as she surrendered her name.
"Ematai." She stood up then and offered him her hand. "Let us start this journey back to the doctor then, shall we?" she continued her smile.
Peasant cringes as the stranger pokes his bruised arm.
"It isn't just humans you have to worry about in the forest."
Ematai's smile returns as she cheerfully surrender's her name.
"Ematai", she says.
"Let us start this journey back to the doctor then, shall we?"
Taking her outstreched hand, he pulls himself up and glimpses her face closely for the first time. Her light green eyes sparkle as she flashes a brilliant smile at him. He gives a nervous smile back and continues to stare into her eyes.
Ematai leans her head to one side quizzically, startling Peasant back into the present. He blushes slightly and drops her hand.
"Umm, yes, lead the way why don't you?", he says, flustered.
Peasant quickly regains his composure and follows at a brisk pace ,as Ematai leads him in a twisting path back through the woods.They walk in silence.
Before long, Peasant, curious of his new companion, breaks the silence with a question.
"You still haven't answered my earlier question. Why exactly we're you in the forest,"
And recalling her peculiar reaction when speaking of her village earlier he adds:
Ematai hummed slightly as she led the way through the forest. She was starting to wonder if she could find her way back when she saw a small deer path that she had followed on the way out. When the man whom she was taking back to the village asked about it, she paused in her strides and turned to look at him.
"No, why would you ask?" she subconsciously was fingering a small necklace that rested on her chest. When she noticed what she was doing, she quickly took her hand away from it. Thinking that that too might be suspecious, she stood up a little straighter, put on a slight confused look on her face, and quickly turned around and continued to walk down the small path.
"No, of course nothing happened. Ematai just was there a while, then decided to move on. Ya know how that goes. Right? She mean, what could happen that she had to run away? Not like she killed a man or stole something," she laughed nervously, stole a quick glance behind her at him, and put on a nervous look. She decided to change the subject when she realized that she was so nervous, she was talking in third person.
"While we have time, would you care to explain what happened to your arm?" she asked as she held a branch away from the path so that he could pass. She smiled as real as she could at him, hoping he would buy it.
Peasant raises an eyebrow at her sudden nervousness, but keeps his reservations to himself.
"Well, it's a long story....a very long story. To sum it up, I was chased for a generous distance, by a dragon, into a very desolate wasteland (a barren, gray place) and I managed to fall into a rather deep shaft into a large network of tunnels, inhabited by enormous, yet surprisingly pacific, scarabs."
Peasant pauses and runs through the order of events in his head. The order appears to be satisfactory as he gives a final nod and grins with pride. As an afterthought he adds:
"The fall is what broke my arm."
He grins again and looks up at his guide expectantly...
Ematai had stopped when he was telling his story and turned to face him. When he concluded, she raised an eyebrow.
"The fall is what broke your arm?" she inhaled then nodded before turning back around and continued her walk through the forest. She reached into her little pouch hanging on her belt and pulled out some berries. She popped them in her mouth a few at a time as she surveyed the land. She squinted at some gnarled trees to the left of the path and then smiled. She remembered those. She was still heading in the right direction.
"So how did you get out of the big hole then?" she turned her head to look at him while she asked the question, yet continued on her way. She felt like talking yet in her head she was trying to think if they would reach the village by nightfall or if they should stop soon to make sure they would get enough wood for a campfire.
Ematai was walking along the path, looking at the various checkpoints throughout the forest so that she knows when she should head off the deer path and go towards the jagged rock with a small tree growing on it. Ematai's body tensed up at the exact same time that Peasant heard the twig snapping.
She quickly turned around and gasped. For a few seconds she was frightened, but then she narrowed her eyes into a glare and she tightened her grip on her sword. She slowly pulled it out of it's holder as she stared at their attackers.
Standing in front of Ematai and Peasant were 3 big, burley, grown men. They were ragged trappers that had skins of all kinds of small animals hanging from their belts. They each held decent sized swords that they held at their side, though their grips were anything but loose. From all the way where Ematai was standing, she could smell the stench of ale radiating from them. With that smell, Ematai's fear heightened. She suddenly felt vastly outnumbered with only her and an injured man to fend off these three men if they decided to attack. Ematai hoped with everything that she believed in that they wouldn't.
"Well what do we have here men?" the largest of the burley men asked, his speech a little slurred.
"Looks like we got ourselves a little party," the man on the left said. He grinned at Ematai. Ematai's eyes widened as she thought about what they were talking about. Surely not...
"A little wench and her boyfriend. He shouldn't be hard to take out, not with his arm all slung up," the last one said. He was rocking a little, like he was standing on a piece of land that was having an earthquake. Ematai raised her sword and glanced at Peasant. Would he be able to fight back? She hoped he would as the men started to advance.
The man who had grinned at Ematai before started forward, his eyes only on Ematai. He payed no attention to the injured boy to his left. He saw his prize and he wanted it. Ematai tightened her grip on her sword and breathed deeply. She was ready to fight.
Peasant, pride slightly injured (but only slightly) at their meager appraisal, reacts with (what he hopes is) lightning speed.
Dagger in hand, he feints towards the nearest thug's head. As the man moves to block, Peasant recoils and slashes across, cutting deep into the man's thumb. Using the momentum from his swing, he spins around and kicks straight into the man's stomach and down into his groin.
Motioning for Ematai to finish him off, he begins to warily circle around the other two thugs...
Ematai quickly brought her sword around and brought it down for a killing blow on the man's head. She groaned as she saw blood spatter onto her cloths. She quickly forgot about the blood as she remembered the other two attacking men.
She brought her glance over to Peasant and saw he was holding his own. She made sure that the man at her feet was really dead before she stepped out of the pathway and started to circle around to the back, behind the men. When she got all the way around, she leaped at the one closest to her, hitting him with all the weight of her body on his back. The man turned around on her and growled. That had injured him badly, but not bad enough to kill him.
Ematai growled back and attacked him again, spinning with her sword, first slashing at his legs, then as she turned back around, brought it across his chest. He gazed at her with frightful eyes before he crumbled to the ground. Ematai knelt by the man, feeling for his pulse. She felt nothing so she started to rummage through his clothes.