The Death Bridge

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

Chapter 7 (v.1) - Cold Expression

Submitted: May 28, 2019

Reads: 52

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Submitted: May 28, 2019

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________Far from the Shadow Forest_______

 

A sharp wooshing sound echoes through the quiet night. A few strands of white hair slowly falls to the ground. The man had barely dodged the sharp blade of the sword.  The blade that was intended for his face reached a few strands of his long hair, that wasn’t covered by his hood, instead. The man lets out a soft growl as he watches the hair fall to the ground. He balls his hands into fists. Anger rising inside him. He looks up at the figures surrounding him. He was greatly outnumbered.

The biggest one of the figures stepped closer again and pointed his sword at the man. He pulled the man’s hood down with the tip of his sword. “I asked where a young scholar such as yerself be travelling to on a dangerous and dusty road like this one?” the huge figure asked. He stepped into the light of a light crystal. The average person would fall down on their knees and beg for mercy at the very sight of the giant of a man.  But the white-haired man’s expression remained cold and firm. Seeing that he wouldn’t get a response, the brute swings his sword at the man’s face. The blade smoothly severed a few more strands of white hair. Again the man watched as the hair fell to the ground. His expression turned colder and his blood boiled. He no longer cared about the many figures around him. He did not see their numbers, he did not see their weapons. He did not see their faces. His hands started shaking as rage filled his mind.

He felt the magic within him surfacing. His hands started glowing and his long white hair floated in the air. He let out a growl and lifted his head, looking at the slightly blurred figures in front of him, his anger rendering him blind. He seems ready to strike with all his power. But before he could attack, the men, who were prepared to fight, had already closed in on him. In his rage, he had failed to notice the men with their ropes. Before he knew it, the ropes coiled around his wrists and body and he was pulled to the ground. One of the men knocked him down on his back. They tried to hold him down but his unusual strength made it difficult for them. The giant man came over holding an iron collar. He pulled the man’s head back by his long white hair and placed it around his neck. Suddenly the man felt powerless and weak as his rage disappeared and realisation struck him like lightning. He could not use his magic anymore. He was dumbstruck and stopped struggling.

The men pulled him up on his knees, holding his arms tightly behind his back. The giant man walked up behind him. Well, I don’t think I'll be able to live with m’self if I leave a simple young man alone on this dangerous road”, he said to the white-haired man while his men cheered at his words. “Seeing as we are going the same way as yerself, I think it'll only be good manners for us to escort ya the rest of the way”, he said seemingly serious. “Don’t you worry, you’ll have the luxury of riding in our wagon. And let me tell ya, it's very comfortable back there”, he said, his men cheering and laughing. And then, using the hilt of his sword, he knocked the white-haired man out cold. The man’s head fell on his chest, his hair spilling around his face.

The brute laughed and walked away. “Take him lads and bring me his satchel”, he said over his shoulder as he disappeared behind the bushes.

______________A few weeks later_______________

The seasons changed. The trees lost their leaves to the cold winds that were announcing winter’s approach. The animals sought shelter against the cold wind and the snow. The forest was a picture of grey and white. The snow lay thick on the ground and the trees. The once dusty road that led into the forest was now barely recognisable with the snow concealing it almost entirely. Raven felt glad at this fact. That meant fewer people would find their way into the forest in the winter. That meant she didn’t have to patrol the road every day.

The food grew scarcer and scarcer. The only plants that provided food to the forest’s inhabitants during the cold months were the Fireberry-bush, the Stinger-tree and the Lushberry-tree. Raven’s precious bread barely lasted two weeks. She made soup from the berries and the Stinger-tree’s roots, and if she were lucky enough to find small animals, she’d add meat and grind dried Stinger-roots to make a thick broth. The food she prepared for herself didn’t taste all that great, but she had learnt that she shouldn’t complain but be grateful instead. “At least I have food. It’s not a kings meal but, it’s food nonetheless” she always reminded herself.

She had moved back into her shack. She decided to improve her shack. So she started to use the pelts from the animals she had hunted and laced the walls of her shack with them. Luckily she had many pelts from the animals she had hunted over the years, safely stored. A year or two ago another group of treasure hunters came into the forest with a wagon for their prize. They met their fate at the bridge. Raven pulled the wagon back to her shack. It took her a few days to move the heavy wagon, but she finally brought it to her shack. She tore it apart and used the planks to build a roof for her shack and she sealed it with Weeping-tree sap. And when it started to rain, she was happy to see that it didn’t leak any water. She used the few leftover planks to build herself a rough bed. She had placed pelts on top of the planks to make it more comfortable.

Inside the wagon, she had found many valuable things such as various pots, kettles, bowls and plates, cutlery, buckets, strange crystals and stones, gold coins, books, clothes and she even found a small rectangular table. She had also found a few tools and materials that were stored in the wagon for emergency repairing. She used the tools to make herself some armour from the bits and pieces she had collected after battles in the Inner Ring and she improved her weapons and managed to forge iron tips for her arrows. And with the proper equipment, she was able to make candles out of the fat from Shadow Beasts.

Luckily she had learnt how to read and write, so she managed to read the books she had found in the wagon. There were a few of them that were history books, telling the history of the entire realm and some of them were about the Shadow Forest’s lore. Others were about different things such as alchemy, smithing, strategy and war, cooking, crafting, sewing and some were just stories. Many times at night, she would sit and read through the books by a candle.

The sun began to set by the time Raven finished one of the walls in her shack. “Well, at least I’ll sleep a little warmer tonight with the pelts blocking some of the wind”, she thought as she looked at her finished wall. “After I am done lacing the walls with these pelts, I would be able to call this a home”, she thought as she looked around her.

Then she heard a shuffling sound outside her shack. She stiffened, her eyes moving towards the table where she left her weapons.

The shuffling grew louder and louder…

 

 

 

SOLI DEO GLORIA

 

 


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