Crucible Vows

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Chapter 3

Another day passed and things seemed to go back to normal. I was no longer working in the tavern part of the Winter Tavern and Inn, and I moved to cleaning the rooms of the inn. I prepared fires for guests and set and washed bedding. Sometimes I would deliver food to patrons in their rooms, but not too often and they didn’t pay enough attention to me to warrant any worry from the Natale’s. As I brought in a fresh basket of laundry, Mrs. Natale asked me for some help.

“Elora!” She greeted with a smile. “We have a guest coming in soon. Can you go to room two and set it up for him please?”

“Of course.”

I set down the basket of laundry and walked up the stairs to room two. Opening the door, I began to work by setting the bed, starting a fire in the fireplace, and lighting the candles to brighten up the area. I began to set up a note to let the customer know what time dinner would be available. The door opened, and I looked up to see the new guest. A Knight of Obrenor. A leader by the looks of it thanks to his red cape.

Panic set in my chest and I began to breath hard as I backed up. I soon was against the wall and pressed myself into it, trying to disappear. He looked up at me, his helmet still on his head. I heard a sigh come from him and he just kept walking in towards the table. My body wouldn’t move. I stayed frozen in place as my eyes watched him.

He took one step too close to me and my hand reached for the closest thing. One of the tools used for the fire. I held it in front of me but my eyes never left the knight’s form. He saw my movement and looked over at me. He paused for a moment before saying anything.

“I am bested.” He said as he pulled off his cape and set it on the chair. “For my sword is no match for a shovel.”

I hadn’t even looked at what I grabbed. His words caused me to glance at my weapon and it was indeed the shovel used for the fireplace. The poker would have been better. But nonetheless, I held my weapon in front of me and stood my ground. Though my legs trembled even when I tried to stay still.

He pulled off his belt and set it, along with his sword on the table. He stayed watching me and began to slowly walk over. His hands remained open, trying to show he meant me no harm. As much as I wanted to hope for that, I was too scared to take a chance that he was being truthful. The chainmail clanked against his armor as he stepped closer to me. When he was close enough, I aimed the shovel to hit a sensitive spot for men, and he stopped it with his hand.

My mind wasn’t clear, and I saw that I was close enough to make another attack. I threw my head into his, and a searing pain came to the side of my forehead. I stumbled back a bit as sparkles filled my vision. Two hands steadied me and held me up while I was guided to a chair.

“That was brilliant.” A sarcastic tone came from the knight. He knocked on his helmet and looked over the damage.

While my head hurt, I noticed that he walked over to the basin and dipped a cloth into the water. He walked back over and placed it where my head hurt most. After a moment, he pulled the cloth away, and I saw red. My attack caused me to get cut on his helmet. And he was taking care of me despite what had happened.

“I don’t think this will leave a scar.” He said as he placed the rag back on my head. “But we need to get the bleeding to stop. Hold it there for me, please.”

He grabbed my hand and placed it on the rag so I would do as instructed. He grabbed a candle and held it in front of me as he opened one of my eyes a bit more. He moved the source of light in front of me and watched for any change.

“No concussion.” He said as he set the candle on the table. “I’m guessing your little stunt will just leave you with a good bruise and a small cut. But you should be fine.”

He reached into a pouch and pulled out a small vial. Pulling off the cork, he put a small amount of serum on his leather gloved finger. Pulling my hand away from the wound for a small moment, he applied the serum on my cut and placed my hand back on the cut. A small glow came from a crystal around his neck and the pain I felt disappeared.

“That should help stop the bleeding and heal the cut. But it will take a day or so.” He explained. “I’m going to be here a while. My name is Luna.”

I looked up at him confused.

I could only see a small part of his face through his helmet. Through the shadows, I could see dark eyes that looked genuine in expression. He waited patiently for me, but I didn’t respond.

“Is it too forward of me to ask to know your name?” Luna asked gesturing with his hand as he talked.

I looked away from him. “Why would you want to know an Elf’s name?”

He bent down to one knee and looked up at me. “Because you seem scared of me. And the best way to help you through that fear is to know that I am no threat to you. If you know me, you have no reason to fear me.”

I let out a pitiful chuckle. “I don’t think anything would help me through this fear.”

“We’ll have to see about that.” Luna said while standing.

“Elora?” Mrs. Natale called through the door. “Is everything alright?”

Luna walked over and opened the door to the inn keeper, allowing her in. She stepped into the room and let out a gasp when she saw the bloody rag against my head. She crossed the room in three steps and looked over the wound.

“What happened, dear?” Her voice was filled with concern.

Luna answered for me in a way I didn’t expect. “While she was caring for the fire, the shovel fell off of the stand and hit her. She’ll be fine. I applied an ointment that will help the cut heal.”

“Thank you, Sir Farrah.” She said with a curtsy. “I’ll take care of her from here. You must be tired. I’ll bring up your supper later.”

“Thank you, Noel.” He said with a small bow of his head. “Let’s talk later, Elora.”

The way he said my name was a way of saying he knew what he wanted to know. I still didn’t know if it was a good thing or bad thing. But for the time, I knew that I had to stay safe and be more cautious with him around.

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