White Magic - by InkedGirl, Chapter 5, Fantasy

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White Magic - by InkedGirl, Chapter 5, Fantasy

Post  InkedGirl on Sun Apr 15, 2012 4:05 pm

Chapter 5

“You’re not the neatest one, I see?”

Her eyes opened first, unsure of the owner of the voice. The small amount of sun that ran across her face told her that it was early morning. However, the sun never hit her face in the mornings.

When she realized that she was not in her room back in the castle, she sprung up from the bed. Sweat dripped down her collar and tendrils of slick, ice blonde hair were stuck to her pink cheeks. She was panting as though she had been running and her throat held a bitter, dry taste, that she knew could only be cured with a lot of water.

“Who are you?” She rasped, watching the man warily. After she had gained her balance and her wits from the rude awakening, she finally had a good chance to study the intruder who was now hanging her coat on an iron hook on the wall. Her gaze flitted ever so slightly to her belt. At least he had not taken that. He was a thief, she thought, that had to be it. Then, as she studied him closer, she recognized the features of the man she had encountered the night before. Had he somehow followed her back to the inn? That would be ridiculous. Of course, it would not have taken him all night to find her. What then was he doing in her room? She suspected the worst. He probably was a criminal or a thief bent on stealing whatever meager supplies she had.

“If you’re here for my gold I’m sorry to say that there isn’t much. There are only five pieces left in there which surely isn’t an amount to be worth killing for.” Ardis gave a strangled smile and held up her hands.

Instead of picking up her belt containing the gold, he stared at her for a moment before starting to laugh. “You’re a good one too, eh? Smart.” He stopped laughing when he saw the glare in her eyes. She had dropped her hands to her sides and cocked her head at him.

“Then what is it that you want?” She asked coldly.

“I simply wish to talk to you,” He stated, running a hand through his light hair, appearing suddenly serious. “To propose an agreement.”

“An agreement on what? I do not even know you,” She said quickly. Before she lost the nerve to do anything brave, she ran across the room and grabbed her belt. Better not get too close to him lest he try something, Ardis thought as she scurried back.

His gaze had changed to an accusing, and slightly curious one. One brow was raised. “Are you a noble?”

She instantly forgot her fear at the extremely odd comment. It was her turn to laugh. “Are you mad? Of course not.”

“Alright. Well, I need your help with something,” He stated. “That is, if you are willing to help?”

What would this strange man need her help with? He surely looked strong and skilled enough to take on any task. Why would a man need a servant girl’s help?

She decided to ask a question she had heard in one of her mother’s stories. It was of a jester who needed help creating a new show for his King. He asked a mouse if it would be willing to dance at the feast. The mouse had asked what the jester would be willing to give him in return for the deed. The mouse, of course, had always wanted to be a man, and therefore was willing to do the dance as long as the jester would turn him into a man.

“What would you give me in return for my assistance?” Ardis asked.

“Gold,” He stated simply.

“Right,” Ardis said, strapping on her belt. There was no one that she was going to get anymore sleep so the best she could do was get ready for whatever the day planned on throwing at her. “So what is it that we’re going to do?”

“So you’re in.”

“Of course I’m in,” She stated simply, throwing her cloak on. “I need the money.”

He nodded, still slightly surprised. “Alright. Well, I best not say anything until we get out of this inn.”

“Is what we’re about to do in any way illegal?” She asked, looking up at the tall man, fear once again growing in her gut. It was probably not the best idea to draw attention to herself while there was still some strange magic-saturated man chasing after her.

“Like I said, best we discuss it outside,” He said, motioning to the door.

She sighed and led the way down the stairs and out of the inn. She bit her lip when the chilly fall air hit her face. Surely it was the final end of the summer months. What a great time to start a journey, right when the weather was the least agreeable, she thought.

“We need to help my friend out of some…trouble he’s gotten into.” He explained as they began walking down the road and out of the small village. “He’s in the Norcott jail there and they’re going to hang him tomorrow if we don’t do something about it.”

A million suspicions formed in Ardis’s head. What was it that his friend had done? Was he a murderer or thief of some sort? She began to regret even listening to this mad man. What he wanted to do was bad, very bad, and it would most definitely attract attention. But then she thought back to her money. If she did not get more gold, she would not be able to pay for the rest of her journey. Her pursuer would most likely catch her and do whatever her mother had warned her that he would do. If that man had caused her mother to cast her out of the castle against her promise to the King then the man must be some sort of true threat. Money was her life at the moment, and if she did not remain undetected…well she may be as good as dead.

Ardis decided then that she did not care what the man’s criminal friend had done. She simply had to follow the man’s orders and she would be paid. Then she could make it to the next town and put more distance between her and her pursuer.

Then there was another thought that came to mind. Her mother had told her about the man that she had to help. Was this the man? If he was, then she had to help him regardless. She had better get it over and done with. The sooner the better.

“What’s your name?” She asked.

It took him a moment to register what she had said. His mind was elsewhere, it was obvious in the way his eyes were cast unmoving over the horizon. “Felix Brasston.”

“Alright, Felix, I’m Ardis and I’m the one girl you can count on to help you break a criminal out of jail,” She said lightly.

“He’s not a criminal.” He mumbled under his breath.

She felt light for a moment. “What do you mean he isn’t a criminal? Why else would he be in jail?”

He played with the silver hilt of his sword absently. Her father always said that a man’s sword says a lot about the man, and the sword this man held was quite polished.

“He tried to steal food for our friends,” He answered. “We were all starving for a bit, traveling from town to town. It’s not like it was during the Famine, of course, but a good loaf of bread isn’t easy to come by.”

“Why aren’t his friends helping him escape then?”

His response was quick. “Because they left.”

“You mean they just left him to his death?” Ardis shook her head, not quite understanding. “They’re the reason he got arrested in the first place. Why would they just leave him?”

“Because they’re rotten pieces of dirt that’s why. Good for nothings, that’s what I tried to tell Nixon, but no, he doesn’t believe me, always thinks he knows better.” He shook his head.

“But you stayed,” She finished.

“Of course.”

“Is it just you? Did a few more stay?”

“Just me. He’s my best friend and I’m his only friend,” He stated simply.

Ardis watched the man as they walked, worry crinkling his eyes. She had only known him for a short time, but already she decided that he was not at all a bad man, and neither was his friend Nixon.

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