Shit shit shit shit shit shit.
My chest heaved as I ran through the street, darting around people and desperately trying to not get grabbed by the guards who currently wanted my head. I spotted a particularly crowded area and a slim alleyway behind it. Perfect. My small size combined with my skill of getting out of tight places (literally and figuratively) made it easy for me to weave through the crowd.
I was just about to reach the alley way when something wrapped around my forearm and twisted it painfully behind my back. I bit my lip and turned to see the face of the crown guard staring down at me. Shit indeed.
“Nice try thief,” she spat at me. I squirmed around trying to get my arm free but any movement just made my shoulder twinge. I bit my lip, and gave the woman the best glare I could muster.
The crown guard just smirked before yanking me back and further away from the alley, I stumbled over my feet, earning a chuckle from the guards who were pushing the public away though they were crowded around us, “Do you know who you stole from?”
I didn’t give her the satisfaction of an answer, instead choosing to continue to glare.
“You stole from the king’s right hand.” Oh. Oh. That explained a lot. It explained why there had been so many guards that had watched the noblewoman. It also explained why she looked so familiar. “She had recognized you, from your previous acts against members of the court.”
That made my heart stop, I had never been caught before. Ever. How did she know who I was?
“Cerla, may I talk to the girl.” A voice sounded from behind the crown guard.
“Of course.” With that the woman I had robbed stepped up. She had an evil, possessive glint in her eye. A shiver went down my spine, whatever this woman wanted, it couldn’t be good.
Cerla nodded to some guards behind me, “Bind her.” Without warning I felt a course rope being tied around my wrists. It was tightened to the point where it bit into my skin. Then Cerla let go of my arm. My entire body was screaming at me, get away, run, get away from them. I was completely surrounded but I started running.
I only got a step in before I felt a hand wrap around my neck. Then I was lifted into the air. I struggled for breath as I was brought face to face with the woman. She was holding me so I was eye level with her. She was strong. The hand not holding me up came to stroke the side of my face, “What interesting eyes you have.” Her emerald eyes bore into my own purple.
My eyes were the only part of myself I couldn’t change the coloring of. I was a druid and we all had the ability to shapeshift, or shift for short. I had always been okay at it. Not the best, but not the worst. My eyes were my worst sticking point. It made hiding among the humans much harder. Our peoples had been in a state of war for centuries. We used to live in harmony, our magic and their ingenuity working together to create great cities.
Then the humans found magic of their own. It wasn’t drawn from light like ours was, but instead from darkness. We never figured out how exactly they created their sorcery, but we did know that it made them greedy and cruel. Without the need of our magic, they cast us out of our homes. We fought for months before fleeing to the forests. The humans seemed okay with our new residence for a while, but about 20 years ago they began chopping down trees and any of us they found.
The hand around my throat tightened and I squirmed and kicked trying to get out of her grasp. “Perhaps the king will allow me to keep you, you are quite a pretty little thing.” No. No way was I going to become this human’s slave, plaything, possession.
My struggle weakened as my airway was further constricted. Just as the last piece of darkness was going to click into place, Cerla spoke up, “Perhaps you should let the girl breathe.”
With that, I was dropped. In a split second decision I made out of desperation, I created a blinding flash of light, using my magic, blinding everyone in the vicinity. I ran. I ran faster than I ever had. And I only had one goal, the forest, I needed to get into our village. I dived into the crowd, the people screaming and gasping as I forced my way through. The guards stood dumbfounded, rubbing their eyes for a moment before I heard Cerla ordering them to get themselves together and to chase after me.
I was so happy that I was on the outskirts of the city, the forest just outside of the wall. I quickly found that running with your hands tied behind your back isn’t the easiest thing. Spying the wall, I sprang into a full on sprint. I knew my way through the forest like the back of my hand, and chose a cave that was nearly impossible to find, and was, luckily for me, almost right inside the opening of the woods.
As I was just about to exit the city, something plunged into, and through, my thigh. I gasped and looked down to see an entire lance sticking through my leg. Blood poured out of the wound. I forced myself to keep moving even as a lance spiked my shoulder. I groaned as I felt myself slowing, feeling the intense pain even through the adrenaline.
And then I saw it. The waterfall. If I just made it to the waterfall I’d be ok. Well, I wouldn’t be found. I would definitely not be ok. But that was a problem for future Kyrie to deal with.
With the last of my strength I stumbled into the shallow lake at the base of the falls, thanking the gods as the cold dulled the pain for a moment. I was almost to the water fall when I felt something wrap around my heart.
The noblewoman… She’s a sorcerer. Ah, fuck. I had only heard of this spell in legends. It ripped your lifeforce out of you. I pushed on even as I felt all of the light leaving my body. I made it through the waterfall and into the cave when everything went dark.