(Del 4) (Jag vet inte om någon fortfarande läser då den här berättelsen är alldeles för lång. Men om någon fortfarande läser förtjänar ni att få läsa klart den, så här kommer nästa del efter flera månader.)
We walked the whole day. My feet started to hurt, and my body begun to ache. We found some mushrooms, fruits, and berries that according to Skye was eatable. I eyed one of the mushrooms skeptically. Its color was dark, a bit purplish, and its hat was all spiky and quite big. “Are you sure we can eat this?”
“Nah… Or yeah… But well…”
“Is that a yes or no!?”
“We can eat it.” He studied the mushroom. “I think,” he added after a while.
“That’s it! I won’t eat it!”
He sighed, and threw the mushroom away somewhere far away in the woods.
I didn’t know when I would get to eat proper food again. Maybe we could hunt some animals, but how much? I still didn’t know how much water we had either. If we wouldn’t get killed by the silver-eyes, we most likely would starve. I guessed I could just choose which way of dying fit me the most.
“Scarlet, they’re nearby.”
He hushed at me, concentrating his gaze into one direction. I turned my head, and far away I could see movements in the leaves. They were coming this way, stabbing violently through the woods.
Skye took off in another direction, and I followed him. We went through high grass and thicket. We jumped over a small stream and ended up under a bridge. Skye told me to be quiet, which wasn’t really necessary since I wouldn’t have said anything anyway. Then we waited. We both made ourselves as small as possible, hiding under our cloaks. Skye reached out a hand to me, and put a strand of red hair behind my ear. “Your hair is way too bright,” he whispered.
I could hear them coming now. I guessed there were about five of them. They were chatting happily, laughing and stomping. It felt as if they were even trying to be loud.
“There shouldn’t be any golden-eyes left now, right? We killed them all!”
“I’m not too sure… Did anyone see the dragon-girl? Or the prince?”
I couldn’t stop myself from shaking.
“I saw the prince. I was there to hunt him down. But he got away… Bran kept hunting him though.”
“And where is Bran now?”
They were quiet for a while. Then one of them said: “I found him dead. Killed by an arrow.”
“Oh… Well, at least we killed their King. I was even there, seeing him plead for his life! It was a sight I will keep in my mind for the rest of my life.”
I could sense Skye stiffening beside me.
The silver-eyes’ voices became more faint, and soon enough we couldn’t hear them at all. We waited for a bit more, before daring to come out of our hiding place.
“Skye… are you…?”
He didn’t look at me. He kept his gaze at the ground, letting his hair fall down and cover his eyes. “Let’s go.”
No one said a word until the sun was starting to come down, and the wolves woke up.
Skye was walking in front of me. He had this kind of dark aura around him, keeping the space between us. I wanted to say something, but what did you say to someone whose father had just died? I had never been of any use when it came to cheering people up.
That’s when I heard it. A loud howl filled the area. Skye stopped, trying to find the source of it. “Wolves,” he whispered quietly, but still loud enough for me to hear. He stood still for a while more, sharpening all his senses. “Blood wolves. That’s even worse.”
My heart started to pound harder because of the danger that awaited us. This wouldn’t be easy, I understood that much.
“Get your sword ready. We won’t be able to run from them. They’re too close and too fast.”
I looked down at the sword handle. I wasn’t ready for this. A fight between life and death using swords? I’d gladly pass that one. But this was reality, so no passing.
Beside me, Skye drew his sword.
“You won’t be using bow?”
“A bow is a weapon used at a distance, while sword is not. Since you’ll be using sword, I’ll do it as well. I feel that it’ll be easier to protect you if I’m close by.”
I nodded, showing that I understood. “I see… I’m totally capable to protect me myself though. Just saying.”
That made him smile. Not that amused smile he always had when he mocked me. It was that gentle and kind smile that in some way made me all warm inside. It didn’t reach his eyes this time, but it was enough to make me relieved, and enough to give me some hope.
I quickly drew my sword, feeling like one of those cool dudes from the movies. But something felt different. I could sense the power within me. It was as if a dragon was breathing inside, waiting to come out and show its true power. Fire was flowing through my veins, binding with the fire in the sword. I laughed for myself. “I have the urge to put the whole forest on fire. Is that weird?”
“Well, if anyone else would have said it, it would have been weird. When it’s you? Nah, I’d say it’s normal.”
My lips turned into an evil smile, making me scared of myself. “Let’s kill some blood wolves then.”
The howling came closer and stronger for each second. Drums made of paws hitting ground held a fast rhythm, drumming louder and louder. I could even smell the blood. Normally, I would have been disgusted by the smell. Now, it only made my adrenaline rush even more aggressive.
Come on now, before I explode of excitement. And so they came, crashing through the woods like a tsunami crashes through cities. They barely hit the ground. They just ran toward us, thirsting for our blood. They yelped and gritted their teeth. Blood was dripping from their mouths, and their eyes were glowing in red. Without slowing down a single bit, they came closer to us. They would totally run over us. I tried to think. We wouldn’t be able to hold them off when they came with that speed. Not with two swords, at least. Think. Think! Just when I thought they would clash right into us, Skye put himself in front of me, raising his hand. With his other hand he violently pressed down his sword into the ground. Lightning was escaping from the sword, as well as from the sky. The lightning from the different directions reached for each other, growing bigger and closer. Then they finally touched, and both of them exploded into a transparent wall shimmering in blue, stretching out far to the sides. The wolves clashed right into it. Judging by their behavior, the wall didn’t only keep them away from us, but also gave them an electric shock.
The wall disappeared, leaving us exposed to the wolves. Skye pulled out the sword, swaying a little on his feet.
“Hey, are you okay?”
“Y-yeah… It just… Takes a lot of energy to use magic like this.”
The wolves were now focused on us again. They didn’t hesitate for one moment, but rushed at us and went to attack. Leaving us no time to think, we attacked as well. I let the sword sing out in the dark evening, swinging at the wolves. I was far from good at it, but it was enough. Due to a miracle, I managed to cut one of the wolves at the waist. It didn’t show any sign of pain, just turned more aggressive. Come on, you can do it. I swung the sword again, desperately trying to hit. The sword was easy in my hands, fitting perfectly. More to the left, a voice in my head told me. My own voice.
And so, suddenly, before I had realized what was actually happening, I cut the neck. Blood was spraying everywhere, covering my sight. What have I done? I looked away, shaking, letting the sword fall to the ground. This was horrible. Horrible. My eyes fell on the wolf, lying on the ground covered by blood. I couldn’t stop staring. I had done that. I was the cause of all that blood. The wolf’s eyes were wide opened, reflecting the moonlight. I went down on my knees, feeling the tears streaming down my face.
“Hey, it’s okay,” a voice came from behind, far away, as if a wall was placed between us. A boy with golden eyes and black messy hair covered the wolf from my sight, but I could still see it in my head. He embraced me, telling me that it was going to be okay, stroking my head with his hand, letting me rest against him. But I couldn’t believe his words, because the picture of the wolf kept flashing in my head.
“No,” I managed to say.
“You’re lying. It won’t be okay.”
“Let’s stay here for the rest of the night.”
I was half asleep. I was riding on his back, clinging on to his shoulders. Looking around, I noticed we were outside some kind of cave.
“Can you jump off? I have to go find supplies to light a fire. I’ll be back soon, okay?” I didn’t really want to do it. I didn’t want to be alone in the cold, letting him run off on his own.
“I won’t go far,” he said as if he’d read my mind. So I got off, feeling the warmth slipping away from me. I observed him as he disappeared behind some trees, not leaving a single trail behind him.
Slowly, I dragged myself to the cave. I leaned against one of the walls and exhaled. The picture of the dead wolf was stuck in my head, making me nauseous.
All my thoughts about this being a dream had disappeared a long time ago. This was actually happening. It was reality.
Another tear slipped out of my eye, and then another. As I cried, I eventually fell asleep, dreaming about wolves howling in a blood-red night.
When I woke up, the sun was up, its light reaching out to me. The remains of a once burning fire were placed in the middle of the cave, still smoking. I stood up. My head was throbbing, and I still felt nauseous. Slowly, I made my way out of the cave, looking for Skye. I found him outside, sitting against a tree while looking out through the forest. As he heard me coming, he turned around and gave me a gentle smile. “Good morning, Ginger.”
“Don’t call me that,” I muttered.
He chuckled. “Are you okay?”
I nodded. I sat down beside him, sighing. Looking at him more closely, I could see the bags under his eyes, casting down dark shadows on his too pale skin.
“Did you sleep any at all?” I asked.
“Someone had to guard, and keep the fire alive. Did you know that grilled berries are actually really tasty?” He laughed. “Maybe we should try to catch some fish… And grill it. With berries. And we should boil some water, since we don’t have that much clean water left.”
“You should have woken me up. I could have guarded some hours too.”
He sighed deeply, and turned his head up to the sky. “You needed to sleep.”
“You obviously needed it too.”
“Your needs are more important,” he said, more quiet than before. I stared at him. Why would he say that?
“They aren’t… If someone’s needs are more important, it’s yours. You’re a prince… The golden-prince. I’m just… Me. If it wasn’t for the fact that I’m a Dragonborn, I would be nothing more than just normal.” I stood up again, and turned away from him. “I’ll go to pack our things. We should get going.”
“I’m your knight, Scarlet.” I looked at him in surprise. He walked closer to me, before going down on one knee, as if he was going to propose. Eyes set on the ground, he talked, totally serious. “As long as we are on this quest, I won’t be your prince. I will be your knight, protecting you from whatever dangers we may face, leading you safely to our destinations, fighting by your side until the very end. I was assigned this quest to do those things. I swore an oath, in order to do those things. So, Scarlet,” he said as he looked up at me with his golden-eyes, “until this is over, you are the only one who matters. Scarlet Dragonir, I—Skyler Lionclaw—shall stand by your side until you no longer want me there, protecting you with my life if so is needed.”
I was speechless. What was there to say, anyway?
Skye’s lips shifted into a faint smile. “As you said, we should get going.” So we packed our things, and walked. We only needed a few more hours, before we would reach the dragon nests.