The fresh air is exactly what OneStar needed. Peri, Wil, and Val is making the journey quite entertaining. The three constantly play jokes on one another. Wil replaces Val’s water with animal urine, Peri added a spice so hot that Wil and Val went running to the river to cool their mouths, and Val placed spikey thistle under Peri’s saddle that sends his horse into a fit from the sharpness of the thistle. To say that she didn’t laugh at every joke would be a lie.
“Oi, look thers’s a bridge up ahead!” Val shouts out while looking through his telescope. “Don’t see no body there tho”
“Maybe this will be easier then we though.” Peri says with his pipe in his mouth. Peri has a bit of a smoking problem, but is always present when you need him.
“Or more difficult you nitwit. Do you really think it’s going to be easy? It’s for a raid invitation half brain” Wil says as he laughs.
OneStar can’t help to smile at that. “We will observe the surroundings, and double check for traps before we cross. We will be prepared.” She says.
Val rides ahead to have a closer look. There’s a man unconscience on the ground near some shrubs. With speed, Val rides back to the group. “There’s aman there knowcked out on his arse.” He says almost breathlessly.
All four ride fast to the scene of the man. OneStar is the first off the horse. She lays her head on the mans chest. Small shallow breaths can be heard.
“He’s alive! Come brothers, lets sit him up and try to wake him.” OneStar goes into her magic bag and pulls out her healing potion. She takes the top off and pours a little into his mouth. This potion only works if the person is alive. The man starts to cough wildly taking in deep breaths.
“Where am I? What’s going on?” He asks in confusion, but is staring OneStar in her eyes.
“Oh, there he his. You sir, were almost a goner!” Peri says oh so elegantly.
“Nice one Peri, why not scare him to death, when he just evaded it.” Wil says shaking his head. “Don’t mind the knuckle head sir. What’s the last thing you remember?”
“I umm, I was about to cross the bridge with my horse…I don’t remember anything after that. ” The man says rubbing his head.
OneStar is staring at the man, but most differently the the others, this she is sure of. He has the bluest eyes with a crown of gold right in the center. His hair is oddly cut, at least its different from what she is used to seeing, but is pure black. While she had her head on his chest to see if he was breathing, she could smell the natural woods on him with a hint of ginger mixed in it. Not to mention how solid he felt when she touched his chest. So now she is just staring at him in another world, not paying any attention to what is being said around her. Well, that is until Val called her name, waving his hands in front of her face to get her attention.
” Yoo hoo! Sister? ” Val says
OneStar shakes her head to erase all the thoughts from her mind. “What is your name?” she asks ignoring Val.
“I think OneStar has love on the brain? yeah?” Peri asks laughing. OneStar punches Peri in the chest which sends him backwards to the ground.
“Oi!, Touchy are we?” Peri says through a grimance of pain. Val and Wil snikers, but quiets when OneStar looks at them.
“Your name?” OneStar asks gently
“My name is Rafe. I am from the guild, Knights of War.”
“I know that guild.” Val says. “It’s one of the outlaying guilds of the Kings Capitol. The city of Dreagon.” Val looks Rafe in the eyes and says. “If you are who you say you are, then you bare a marking of the guild. Show me.”
Rafe stand up, takes his shirts off and turns around. A grand mark covers his back, in the shape a knight holding his shield in front himself, and the words, Knight of War in the middle of the shield.
“What he says is true. In fact he is of ranking there to have obtained such a marking.” Val says inpressed
“Well, ain’t this all honky dory. Nice to meet ya Rafe, glad we could save your life, but off we go now.” Peri says as he mounts his horse.
Wil follows suit and mounts his horse. ” We do need to get going, ya know to finish this quest.”
“Wait.” OneStar says. ” We cannot cross. If we try without paying the toll, we will end up like Rafe here, almost dead.”
“This is true, but there isn’t anyone here to pay a toll to.” Val says. Then he has a thought. ” What if its a riddle?”
“Leave it to smarty pants to find a puzzle. Good job brother.” Peri praises Val.
OneStar is noticably staring at Rafe with his shirt off.
“Hey ah, sis. You ok there?” Val asks uncertain if he will get punched.
blood rushes to her cheeks, she can feel them burning. OneStar looks away. “Yes, just thinking of what the quest says.” OneStar pulls out a folded pieces of paper. “The quest says, each must pay a toll to pass. Quest 2 will be given to the last.”
“What do we give?” Wil asks “I’m alright in giving Peri.” He says with a laugh.
“Oh you would huh? How about I get off this horse and show ya a think or two?
‘Calm yourself brother, they wouldn’t keep ya. You stink terribly.” Wil says with a loud laughter. Peri dismounts and starts after Wil. the two chase around until Peri catches up to Wil and puts him on his back. “Give me away now will ya.” he says.
“Twas a joke ya big oaf! Get off!” Wil yells
“We pay what we deem of value individually. The last one of out group to cross will receive quest 2 directions.”OneStar instructs. “I will go first.”
“Wait! What of me? Let me go first in case you are wrong. I owe you my life.” Rafe says with sincerity.
“That’s not necessary. Thnak you though.” OneStar digs into her side pocket and pull out an old piece of fabric. It’s a piece of her mothers shirt. It was in her hand as they dragged her away from her mothers dead body. Then she walks to the bridge.”This is my most valued posession.” OneStar lays it at the beginning of the bridge. For a moment nothing happens, but then the piece of fabric disappears. Leading her horse behind her, OneStar places one foot in front of the other slowly.
“Becareful sister!” Val calls out
“Shhh, don’t make a noise. We dunno how testy this bridge is” Peri says.
“The bridge cannot hear us nitwit” Wil says, and gets smacked in the back of the head almost instantly.
Finally OneStar is across the bridge, and the piece of cloth in front of her. Picking it up give her relief to still have it. “Come on one at a time. Give what you believe is your most valued posession on you.”
One by one, each gave what they preceived as their most valued posession, and passed safetly. Rafe stayed on the other side, to allow them to finish their journey first. Also, he wanted to stare at OneStar abit longer. He had never seen a more beautiful creature in his entire life. She’s a warrior, fearless, and smart.
Val is the last one over. “Where’s the quest 2?”
“Did we read it wrong? Are ya sure the last one in our group gets it? Will asks
“Maybe it thinks that Rafe is the last of our group?” Peri says. Everyone looks at him with a cocked head.
“Look at you saying smart things.” Wil says laughing.
“Good show brother.” Val turns to Rafe across the bridge. “Rafe, the bridge thinks you are in our group, pay your toll mate!” He yells out to Rafe.
Rafe lays his toll, a feather from a prized peacock his family owned. Once he crossed, a column to the right opens and a scroll is there for him to take. Rafe doesn’t open it, instead he tries to hand it to OneStar. She declines. “You may be the only one who can open it. I don’t want to chance anything. Please open it, and read.”
Rafe opens it. “Quest 2: You must battle in the fight arena in the city of Laderine. All in the group must battle individually. Highest of all scores will receive a one of a kind prize.” Rafe looks up from reading.
“Looks like your one of us til the raid.” OneStar says with an even voice. Inside she is warm with feelings, knowing that they will be traveling together. This is new, these feelings of another. Also a weakness. She will try her best to keep this hidden, she has to.
“Let’s get a move on, we can set up camp after a few miles behind us. We all know Wil is a scardy cat with the dark. Peri laughs and trots off.
“Not funny! Peri! Wait up you oaf!” Wil mounts his horse chases after Peri. Val follows persuit, leaving Rafe and OneStar alone.
“Come, let’s get moving.” OneStar starts to mount, but Rafe touches her shoulder.
“Thank you, I didn’t get to say it earlier.” Rafe looks down. ” You’re beauty is almost blinding, I desire to be next to you very much, to touch your hand, or to touch your face. I’m not sure it is wise to travel with your company, I don’t want to be distracted or to distract.” You can hear Rafe not really meaning he didn’t want to come, only that he shouldn’t.
“Too bad. No matter what your feelings are, the quest accepted us as a group. You will come, fight to your best ability, get your invitation, and part ways. It is as simple as that.” Even as she said it, she didn’t believe it. It was words that he needed to hear though. Rafe walks past her to mount his horse. She takes in one last breath of him, and closes her eyes for just a moment.
Onward to complete the second quest for the invitation to the raid, Onestar, Peri, Wil, Val, and Rafe, ride towards the great city of Laderine, where it is told that the Queen’s sister adequately named, Pukka, rules with the fairest hand with in the seven cities of the Capitol. We shall see.