"She'd be better off on her own than with you as a guide," the boy taunted as he strapped on his pack and what looked to be a quiver of arrows. "I'll come too. At least I know my way around this ar...
Her bright blue eyes fluttered open to only be met by more darkness. She continued to blink until she started to make out some of her surroundings. She was lying on her back and staring up at the roof of what looked to be a cave. Without moving her head from side to side she looked around as far as she could see. She could make out no cave entrance but there seemed to be light coming from somewhere. She started to move her head to the side to see not too far away a fire was burning and the sound of feet shuffling against rock could be heard continuously. She groaned quietly when a splitting pain started in her head and the sound of the shuffling feet stopped. She could hear the sound of two men talking but she was still waking up and was having trouble making out everything they said. The sound of boots against the cold, hard stone was heard once more, this time coming towards her. She looked over in the direction of the said noise to see two brown hide boots and two black leather boots with silver buckles. She slowly lifted her head to look up as high as she could at the faces of the men that stood before her.
One had a worried and somewhat annoyed expression whilst the other looked quite intrigued. The one with the brown hide boots was wearing some simple cloth pants. On his chest he wore some plain brown armor held together by brown leather buckles. The light armor finished at his shoulders when the sleeves of a dirty white shirt could be seen. On his wrists he wore a leather straps that finished at his knuckles and at his waist a simple belt held a small hunting knife. He had a broad chin and looked to quite muscular, he had messy, sandy brown hair that finished just above his shoulders and deep brown eyes that looked forbidding. All together the boy looked to be no more than sixteen years of age.
The other; with the black leather boots, wore black pants that he tucked into the top of the boots and a dirty white shirt that was rolled up at the elbows. Over the top of the shirt he wore a brown vest that finished at his shoulders and waist. He too wore a belt, this one more finely made from leather and it held two short swords. He had a small, almost feminine, jaw line and a long, slender nose. His eyes were large and curved downwards more so than the other mans. He had straight blond hair, going beyond his shoulders but not much farther. His ears stuck out from his hair and ended in pointed tips, proving him to be no man but an elven male.
The human boy reached out his hand towards the dazed girl and she took it nervously after studying it for a moment. The boy helped her up and she blinked a few times, though it was not bright the light that came from the fire was bright compared to what it had been like moments before. She gave both the males confused glances when neither of them said anything.
"What's your name girl?" the elven male asked as he made he continued to stare at her; baring his eyes into her very soul as it seemed.
'My name?' she thought in worry.
She had no idea who she was; her eyes darted from both the males for a quick second before going back into her thoughts.
"Did you hear what I said? What's your name?" the elf repeated slowly as if he thought she couldn't understand him.
She continued to think to herself. 'What am I doing in the middle of a cave, is my family nearby? Is my family out at this moment looking for me? Do I even have a family? Who am I? Am I a peasant, or a noble?' But what disturbed her most was that she couldn't even think of her name. Then it suddenly came to her, she knew it was her name, it just felt right.
"Adriana," she answered quietly.
The two before her remained silent, expecting her to go further in her introduction but now they knew as much about herself and she did.
"And...?" the elf inquired.
Adriana didn't even know what she was doing in the cave in the first place, how was she supposed to answer their questions?
"Okay then, first of all start off with why you were sleeping in this cave in the first place," the boy with brown hair stated, trying his best not to hassle her to much should he scare her.
"I-I don't know," Adriana admitted in defeat as she let her shoulders slump.
"What do you mean you don't know?" the elf questioned. "Are you saying you have no idea why you're here in the first place?"
Adriana nodded her head slightly.
"Do you remember anything?" the boy with brown hair questioned, trying his best to help.
Adriana didn't answer straight away but tried her hardest to think of anything other than her name to help her piece together why she had woken in the cave. When she said nothing else came to her she shook her head in confusion and worry.
"Then how do you know Adriana is your name?" the elf asked with a slightly smug look that just made Adriana fell all the worst as this was yet another question that she didn't know the answer to.
"I don't know," Adriana answered before adding: "It just feels right."
The elf gave her a disbelieving look but Adriana couldn't read what the human boy was thinking from his expression.
The elf started to walk away and return to the fire, not a sound was heard from his feet as he gracefully walked over the stone instead of across it.
"Come, have something to eat and then I must be on my way," the boy said as he too joined the elf near the fire, though he did not sit near him.
Adriana didn't know what to do but she felt herself shacking in fear as she made her way towards the fire and sat as far as she could from the two males yet kept close to the fire for the warmth. That was when she smelt the meat cooking and realized just how hungry she was. She looked to the fire to see two slabs of meat sitting atop a piece of wood to cook.
"Are there any towns nearby?" she asked when the boy started prodding the meat with a long stick.
"There's a small human settlement not far from here," the elf explained as he picked something up off the ground.
"A day's travel on the east road," the boy filled in for the elf who seemed somewhat distracted.
Adriana nodded her head in understanding and they continued to sit in silence once more. She continued to stare at what the elf was holding. At first it looked to be just a long stick but at a second glance she noted that it was some kind of staff. There was a small black gem sitting on the top and it seemed to gleam unlike most gems would.
'The elf must be some type of magic user,' Adriana decided as she quickly turned her attention away when the elf realized that she had been staring.
The boy passed her a slab of the meat and then the elf leaving none for him; only for the elf to object to the meat and the boy to eat it for him. Adriana's eyes kept wandering to the staff and she noted that the elf had returned it to his side and out of her sight but she knew he still held it tightly.
Once the boy was finished his meat he stood up and made his way over to a pack that had been lying a few feet from him. "Well I must take my leave." He continued to glare at the elf.
"I think I'll stay and show Adriana the way to the settlement," the elf said as Adriana perked up in hope, all that worried her was the mocking in the elves voice as he said this to the boy; it seemed the elf did not want the boy as a companion.
It was then apparent to her that they were neither friends nor companions for that matter.
"She'd be better off on her own than with you as a guide," the boy taunted as he strapped on his pack and what looked to be a quiver of arrows. "I'll come too. At least I know my way around this area."
"I wonder why that would be," the elf question as a return taunt. "Why so interested in helping her now?"
"Stop it!" she yelled over the bickering two. "I would appreciate the help but I'd rather be by myself if you two are going to continue bickering so."
They fell silent at her sudden outburst and then looked at the two.
"I would be glad to help," the elf said as he smirked in the boy's direction when he didn't think she was looking.
"I will show you the way," the boy answered with a sigh as he picked up a bow and strapped it across his back along with the quiver or arrows.
There was something odd going on, there was something more too why the elf had offered to help.
'Why had the boy suddenly seemed so interest in accompanying her when the elf had said so?' There were so many thoughts running through her head at the moment, but they would have to wait. Maybe when she got to the town she'd start to remember something and she would be able to piece everything together. But in the mean time she had to focus all of her worry on herself.
The elf did a bow in Adriana's direction and then stood straight once more, staff by his side. "The name's Leecian."
"Rorie," the boy said quickly after with a roll of his eyes in Leecian's direction.
"Well Rorie," Leecian started smugly. "It seams that I can still hear those wolves that that 'other' ranger had with him. We're going to have some trouble getting out of this cave."
Adriana held a medium length piece of burning wood in her hand. So far just the tip was burning but if they took to long getting to the entrance it would start to burn down towards where she grasped it. She saw that Rorie was holding his bow with an arrow knocked at the ready and Leecian held a shortsword in each hand and walked with the grace that was expected from all elves. The staff that Leecian had been carrying was now showed inside of a small pack that he carried on his back. The top half of the staff poking out of the pack as it was too large to fully fit. One thing that Adriana was grateful for was that only memories of her past and who she may have been was missing, she could still remember all that was expected from most people. Adriana had no clue to her past and she held naught on her but the clothes that she wore, being a red above knee length dress and a black cloak with a hood over the top. Her feet were bare which Adriana knew she was going to regret once they got out of the flat floored cave and out onto dirt and twigs.
Leecian looked over at her and she knew that he wanted her to put out the torch. She frowned and shook her head and thankfully he didn't take offence to this and continued to make his way to the hole in the wall. Adriana was beginning to see the said hole quite clearly now. Yet it was still just a gap of light coming from the wall. The sight was soon accompanied by the sound of growling and claws scraping against stone causing Adriana to shake in slight fear. Leecian had briefly explained that there were three as far as he could tell and that if she wanted any further information that she was going to have to ask Rorie. She had decided that that wasn't the best idea as he seemed quite mysterious to her and she didn't trust him.
They all approached the hole and stared intently at it all silently thinking up different ways to get through without putting themselves in danger. Without warning Leecian dived head first through the hole and the sound of snarling increased before a whimper could be heard from one of the wolves. Adriana wasn't sure if she had seen right but she could have sworn that she had just seen Rorie wince at the sound of the wolves' pain.
"Are you coming or not?" they booth heard Leecian call from outside, his voice sounded cheery but the mocking tone still hadn't left him.
Rorie let out a deep breath and shut his eyes for a moment before climbing clumsily out of the hole.
"Bit of a tight fit?" the elf said with a bit of a ring to his voice as Rorie jumped from the hole with a grunt.
"We don't all have flexible bones," Rorie snapped back in anguish and annoyance.
Adriana waited a moment before quickly scrambling through the hole, having more luck than Rorie had as she was smaller than he. Adriana looked around in disgust at the sight of the mangled bodies of the wolves; one was still alive but barely. Its foot was twitching and it was letting out a quiet whimper. The other two were both dead, one due to a long cut down its rib cage and the other bore a small, yet no doubt, deep cut in the back of its neck. Adriana stared at the wolves in disgust and felt a sudden hatred towards the elf for killing them, even if it meant that they had gotten out safely.
"Care to do the honors?" the elf asked Rorie as Rorie continued to stare at the only living wolf of the three.
"You disgust me," Rorie spat as he aimed an arrow at the wolves forehead, letting the arrow lose a moment later, killing the wolf instantly.
Adriana would have liked to think that the killing of a creature to be vile and cruel but somewhere deep inside her she enjoyed the sight of the arrow sinking into the wolf's flesh and the death of the creature. She shook her head to clear her thoughts and gave a disgusted face at her line of thoughts when Rorie started to walk away.
"Are you two coming?"
Adriana started to follow Rorie slowly, Leecian close behind, his eyes darting from tree to tree. 'Why are they both together in the first place? It's obvious they don't get along, nor would they help each other if the need arose, so why are they trying to help me? Are they even trying to help me or is there something more going on?'
Leecian walked up beside Adriana and quickly whispered something to her. "Best be watching your back, this forest 'tis a dangerous place, but after dark there's no saying what you might come across." With that said Leecian fell back; walking a few feet behind Adriana so he could keep an eye on both her and Rorie no doubt.
Adriana snuck a quick look at the position of the sun and fear once more arose from the pits of her stomach, the sun was starting to set.
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