Crucible Vows

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Chapter 11

The next morning, Luna woke me up fairly early to get moving. As promised, at first light we set out towards Alovia. I knew it was West of where we were at, but I was glad that Luna had a good sense of direction. I wasn’t confident that I could make it on my own. The ointment I made as well worked effectively against my burn. The pain had disappeared when Luna did something the night before, I was glad to see it healing. Though I didn’t ask him how he was able to remove the pain, I did notice that he was more tender towards his hand that touched mine. Right when the sun was beginning to color the sky, Luna guided me out of the law house and pulled me up on his horse in front of him.

“Warm enough?” He asked as he adjusted the cloak around me.

I nodded.

“It’s going to get chilly as we ride.” He explained. “Just hold on and stay close to me. You’ll be fine. We want to try to get to the next town before nightfall.”

I nodded again.

Some light prodding caused the horse to take off in a gallop. My grip on the reigns tightened as we traveled, but when time passed, I relaxed. Luna’s around me holding the reigns gave me a sense of security as we moved. The longer we went, the pace of the horse slowed down. I could tell Luna was making sure to not exhaust the animal in the travels. By midday, we were at a steady trot. Luna pulled the horse to a halt and dismounted. Once he was firm on the ground, he turned towards me and lifted his hands to help me off. Naturally, his hands went to my waist and he lifted me until I slid off.

“We should rest for a bit.” He suggested. “Let Zealot get some water and food. And you need to warm up a bit.”

I raised my eyebrows. “Why do you say that?”

He let out a chuckle. “Because your cheeks and ears are bright red from cold.”

He pulled off his cape again and draped it around my shoulders. So many times, he had done that action and made sure I felt secure and comfortable. He was changing my perception on Obrenor Knights, but I knew that he was an exception rather than the standard.

“Aren’t you cold?” I asked as he turned and began to lead Zealot to a spot to rest.

He glanced back at me. “I’m fine. But if you’re so concerned, we could build a fire.”

A small smile came to my lips. “I don’t think that’s necessary.”

We were silent for a while Zealot munched on the small amount of grass available. I walked over and placed a hand on the horse’s side. He didn’t seem to mind and welcomed the additional attention. When I looked over to Luna, I found that he had been watching me.

“What?”

“I’m just curious?” He stated as a hand went to his hip.

I raised an eyebrow. “About what?”

He cleared his throat. “Well, I don’t know a lot about Elf culture. So, there’s a lot I’m curious about?”

I looked up as I thought. “Well, how about this. You ask me a question, and I’ll answer. And then we swap and repeat as needed.”

“You want to know about me?” He crossed his arms.

“We’re going to be together for a while.” I reasoned. “I might as well get to know you.”

He paused for a second. “Alright, I’ll play along. Ask your question.”

“Oh no.” I turned to face him fully. “You started this. So, you ask the first question.”

He sighed. “Fine. Is it true that all Elves are good with animals?”

I couldn’t help but laugh at the simple question. “No, it’s not.”

“Really?”

“We may do a little more with nature than most humans, but not many of us actually can work with animals well.” I explained. “I love all animals, but I don’t have the skills to help them or train them.”

“Well Zealot seems to enjoy you.” He said kindly. “You’re turn.”

I brought a hand to my chin. “What made you want to be a Knight?”

“I wanted to help people.” He answered simply. “Protect those who can’t protect themselves. The normal stuff. Doing good because it’s right rather than a reward.”

“That simple?”

“That simple.” He confirmed. “Okay, I’ve never seen your color of eyes before. Is that normal for Elves?”

My gaze went to the snow below me. “Yes, actually. Elves don’t have the same kinds of colors as humans. Ours tend to be more vibrant. Silver, gold, purple, white, bright blue, emerald green, the colors you only see in paintings are natural for Elves.”

“I’ve met some humans with bright blue or green eyes.” Luna added.

“Yes,” I agreed. “Sometimes humans get pretty bright eyes, but have you ever noticed that they’re somewhat dimmer in color? Elves eyes don’t really have that.”

Luna nodded. “Okay, makes sense.”

“My turn.” I responded. The only question that really intrigued me was how he was able to take away the pain I felt multiple times. I glanced down at the crystal around his neck, and he noticed.

“You want to know about this.” His hand went up and he tapped the crystal.

My lips pinched together.

“It’s okay.” He responded. “It’s no secret. Before I joined the Knights, a Mage from my home gave this to me as a way to help others. I had requested that I have something like this. Basically, it’s enchanted so I can focus on someone’s pain and take it from them. The downside is that I feel the pain they had instead. But sometimes it’s better that way.”

“You feel the pain that you took?” I was shocked. “Is that why you’re tender to your hand?”

He lifted up his hand and looked at it. “Yeah. But I’ve gotten used to it.”

I walked over to him and grabbed the tender hand. “I’ll prepare some tea to help with the pain when we get to the next town.”

“You don’t have to do that.”

“I know.” I nodded. “But I want to. You’ve helped me with so much. I want to repay the favor.”

He let out a breath through his nose. “Okay. We better keep moving. If we want to make it before sundown, we better get moving.”

I nodded again and it didn’t take too long for us to get on the horse again and to set off towards the next town. And like Luna predicted, we arrived before the sun touched the horizon. Luna guided Zealot to the stable and helped me off again. I was skeptical to leave the building. So, Luna said he would go get supper and bring it back to me. After eating, I fell asleep in the warmth of Luna’s horse.

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