The Death Bridge

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Fantasy Realm

Chapter 24 (v.1) - A bandit was born

Submitted: July 24, 2019

Reads: 44

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Submitted: July 24, 2019

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The next few days Raven didn’t see much of the white-haired man. She stayed in bed, resting and allowing her wounds to heal. During these days, when she didn’t sleep, Brongr kept her company. And the more he talked the more Raven started to realise that this big, rugged man had more to him than what could be seen. She could see the sadness that sometimes appeared on his face when he looked at her. So she had decided to ask him about it. He didn’t answer for a while. And when he finally had started his tale, she almost instantly regretted asking.

“Before I became a bandit, when I was a young laddie, I worked as a blacksmith in one of the big cities”, he started. “I met my bonny lass at the market place one day. We fell in love an’ married. I worked day an’ night tae make enough gold an’ we finally bought a haem. We were happy. Three years later, our daughter was born. Dark hair an’ brown eyes, just like ye lass. ‘er skin was ivory an’ ‘er lips the deepest red. She would’ve been the most beautiful maiden in all of Bregaldia. But, she and ‘er mother fell ill.” He had stayed silent for a while.

“It was a strange illness”, he continued. “No one knew whit caused it. An’ so I’ve gone tae the royal healers but they didn’t want tae help me. They only helped someone if th’ price was tae their likin’. I became angry an’ left. On my way haem, a young lass stopped me. She told me ‘at she had overheard me speakin’ tae the royal healers an’ ‘at she might be able tae help. I told her ‘at I couldn’t pay ‘er, but she said ‘at she didn’t want gold, only tae help my wife and daughter. Ye could imagine my surprise, a healer in that city ‘at didn’t want gold for healin’. Even though I felt sceptic, I agreed nonetheless. “

“For days the lass tried tae identify the illness, but in vain. She had tried various healin’ techniques an’ medicines, but naethin’ helped. Every day she came back wi’ somethin’ new tae try. An’ so it went on for two years. More an’ more people fell ill wi’ the same illness as my wife an’ daughter. Some died within a few days after they fell ill, while others lived longer.”

“The lass had gotten married in the meantime. ‘er husband was apparently some sort ay scholar an’ he was the first tae notice the blackness in my wife an’ daughter's veins. Poison, they said. They searched for a cure. But they didn’t realise ‘at th’ poison was spreading tay fast. A week or so later, my wife an’ daughter passed awa’.” 

“My entire soul was filled wi’ despair. I tried tae drown my sorrows at th’ tavern. Th’ lest ay my gold I spent there. But naethin’ helped tae take the pain away. I was lost an’ didn’t care abit th’ warld around me. An’ in ‘at very tavern, my life as a bandit started.”

“That’s where I had met Riggar. How it happened, I cannae remember but a fight broke out,” he had said with a chuckle. “I had nearly beaten th’ man tae death. But he made me an offer I couldn’t resist at ‘at time. He had offered me his leadership in return for sparin’ his life. I took th’ offer an’ became a bandit. For a few years everythin’ went well, I suppose. But slowly my conscience started tae work against me. Wi’ every stolen coin, wi’ every rin’ and necklace, wi’ every person we took tae sell off as slaves, th’ guilt in my heart became more an’ more. But I couldn’t just leave. Th’ bandits would surely have considered it as betrayal an’ would’ve come after me for revenge. Nae ‘at it would’ve mattered much, but I didn’t want tae look over my shoulder for the rest ay my life.”

“An’ so I started tae look for a way out. I knew ‘at Riggar was always scheming his way through life. So I had silently hoped he would have some kin’ ay scheme ‘at I could’ve used tae my advantage. But ne’er in my wildest dreams had I expected tae gain my freedom th’ way ‘at I did”, Brongr had ended his story with a chuckle. Raven had silently listened to his story. She understood the feeling of loss. She knew it all too well. But she couldn’t help but feel a bit thankful for what had happened. This rugged man had found a place in her heart. And if it wasn’t for the things that had happened, she would’ve never have met him.

***

One morning, Raven was woken from her sleep by a deep and commanding voice. “Get up! Your training starts today!”, Axil said as he pulled the blanket away. Raven looked up at him with sleepy eyes. “Wha-…what training?”, she asked, flustered. “Get ready and meet me at the stream when you’re done”, he said as he turned around. “St-stream? How do you know where it is?”, Raven asked as she sat upright, wiping the sleep from her eyes. “I explored”, Axil answered over his shoulder as he left the shack.

Raven got out of bed and quickly changed into her last set of clean clothes. “I really need to wash my clothes!”, she thought as she bundled up her dirty clothes. “What kind of training did Axil talk about?”, she thought as she grabbed her weapons and rushed to the door. “Woah, wait up…my leg…it…it doesn’t hurt anymore!”, she thought as she stopped to look down. She dropped everything and quickly removed the bandages on her leg. “No way!”, she thought as she looked at where the wound was. The only thing left was the scars to remind her of the wound she once had.

Astound, she removed the bandages from her shoulder and her side, only to find the wounds had almost completely healed. She chuckled happily as she picked up her clothes and weapons and left her home. When she reached the stream, she nearly dropped everything in her arms in surprise.

Brongr and Axil were sparring with each other. They seem to have agreed to an alliance for now. Raven chuckled and walked on. Brongr spotted Raven and momentarily let his guard down to greet her. “Mornin’ lassie! Ye seem to be feelin’ be-“, his sentence was cut short when he suddenly had to sidestep and parry a few blows from the white-haired man. “Don’t get distracted old man! You might just ruin your reputation”, Axil said as he and Brongr circled each other. “Yer not bad with a sword lad. But I’m still the best”, Brongr said.

Raven walked up to the two men circling each other. “Yeah good morning, old man”, Raven said mischievously. “Ach, not ye too, lass. I’m nae that old!”, Brongr said as he once more took his eyes off Axil and looked at Raven. Axil charged at the big man. Brongr couldn’t react fast enough and his blade was only halfway through the air when he felt the sword against his throat. Axil smirked at him. “Alright, lad. Ye win. This time…”, Brongr said. Axil pulled his blade away, still smirking. “So…what training are we supposed to do?”, Raven asked.

“I’m going to teach you how to control your magic”, Axil answered. “How? You’re still wearing your jewellery…”, Raven said as she pointed at the iron collar around Axil’s neck. “I’m working on that…it’s a difficult type of lock…”, he said and Raven chuckled. “Not difficult at all!”, she said. Axil looked suspiciously at Raven. “Well, then why don’t you remove it if you’re so good at picking locks…”, he said sarcastically. “With pleasure!”, Raven said. She unsheathed her dagger and came closer. “Make sure ye use th’ blade on the lock lass, and not on the poor laddie’s throat”, Brongr said jokingly. “Very funny old man”, Axil said.

Raven chuckled and examined the lock. “The key to opening this lock is to keep away from the keyhole”, she said as her fingers traced along the side of the lock. She finally found what she was looking for. She glanced up at Axil’s face. His eyes locked with hers almost immediately. “I might have to cut a hole in your neck…”, she said. For a moment she seemed dead serious but the Axil saw the mischievous glint in her eyes just before she turned her gaze down to the lock.

Raven brought the blade closer and carefully pressed it in between the two layers of metal. She twisted and turned the blade and after a few moments, the lock made a soft clicking sound. Raven sheathed her dagger with a triumphant smile. She removed the iron collar and tossed it to Brongr. “You can have it back now”, she said with a smile. Axil rubbed the place where the collar was. He slowly felt the power in his veins return. He chuckled. “I have no idea where you learned that but…thank you”, he said with a smile.

 

 ___________Author's note___________

Thanks for reading!

If you liked it, leave a comment and let me know

 

SOLI DEO GLORIA

 


© Copyright 2019 Adriana Lombard. All rights reserved.

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