Chapter 1: The huntress
I remained silent. My bow drawn slightly as I eyed the large buck near the brush. Breathing softly, I released the arrow, it's power driving into the buck's chest. He landed in the leaves under himself. I stood, unsure if he was really dead. The scar on my hand going up my arm showed that you should always check twice before picking up your kill. I slung the bow on my back, replacing it with the dagger from my boot. I stood over the buck and kicked it with my toe. Dead. I put my fingers to my lips and whistled softly. A good sized Exmoor trotted out of his hiding spot, his hooves rustling over the leaves till he stood beside the deer and me. I hulled the buck onto the Exmoor's back, pulling ropes over the limp body. I patted the Exmoor named Peter. My limbs felt heavy, the buck must have weighed over two hundred pounds at the least. Taking the leather reins in my hand, I lead Peter out of the forest and onto the main road.
Being raised by an Elf made me a wise hunter. But even though I spent years hunting for a living. I was starting to see changes in the forest. Peter was given to me by an old dying woman. I raised Peter as a foal. Which made our bond strong. Pulling the Exmoor down the dirt road, was making my legs weak from lack of food intake.
"Faleen! Faleen! Have ya got a good deer?" A little boy, Thomas, came up running to me. Smiling, I threw a glance over my shoulder.
"Aye, a big buck. But tell your mama it'll be in the shop ready to be eaten."I watched the boy run down the road in the opposite direction towards the cottages. Then continued my way towards town. "We won't get much out of the old buck, Peter. I have hardly got anything to feed ya with." Turning my head to him. He didn't say anything for a while. Then he nudged my back, his eyes darting to the forest. "I don't have a metal bow to be huntin' down a dragon, Peter. One day, old boy. One day." Sighing I pressed on, toward the town.
It was just as lively as always. Folk run around collecting goods and sell what they got. But even if it was a little, it still meant something. That's how I looked at it. I walked Peter to the butcher. Gabis, a plump fellow who kept to himself, selling his meat. My meat I should say.
"Hello there, Faleen! Brought me something good I hope?"
"Well met, Gabis. I have brought you a deer and-"
"Gabis, the black smith?" There was a husky voice from the back of Gabis's shop. There, a man I had never seen before, stepped out from the shop. Leather boots, which I do believe was bear hide. I had wanted bear hide boots since God knows when! I let my eyes take in his muscular figure. His face crisp and chizzled perfectly, his black hair hanging loose around his face and green pools surrounded by dark lashes. Taken back by his looks, I shook myself. I pulled the buck from Peter, then a large hand helped hold it up.
"Need a bit of help, miss?" He had a strong voice and a strong arm as he lifted the buck over his shoulders.
"I-you-hey!" I watched him take the buck to Gabis and lay it down.
"Faleen, could you show Robin where the black smith is? Oh here are ya coins. Be off with ya!" I turned before I could see Gabis cut of the buck's head. Shivering, I mounted Peter and let him walk. Robin was mounting a Dapple stallion who was now trotting after me. After he caught up, she pulled the horse into a walk.
"The smithie is off on your right. Don't bother the blindDwarf who has made his home near the door." I remember that run in. He nearly beat me to death for just saying hello to him. Plus he had a strong hit for an old Dwarf. Making a face at the thought, I tied my brown hair into a bun and set Peter off at a trot, leaving this Robin guy behind to forget about.
We stopped near the cottages, where a trough of water was set for stray horses or people. Dipping my face into the cold water, I washed off the dirt. I looked down at the rippiling reflection and sighed. My brown hair pulled into a bun and my delicate face with easy features seemed dull. My grey eyes were starting to go out. They didn't have the shine they used to. Slipping the waters surface I pulled Peter away. But there he stood, looking at me from behind the bushes, yellow eyes flickering under the hood - then they were gone.
"Wait!" I called. Running after them into the dark, misty forest...