As he lifted me from the ground I could now see for myself how bad the damage was - patches of his fur were glued together because of the blood that was coming from his wounds, his chest plate could not shine at all now on account of numerous dents and scratches it received, and the blade of his axe was now visibly duller.
But what caught my attention more was how tall he was - I was close to six and a half feet tall, but looking at him from up close he was at least a foot larger than me.
I guess it was pretty uncomfortable for him to see my eyes running wildly inspecting him, so he quickly let go of my hand and turned towards the forest, after which, with his back facing me, he waved for me to follow.
The rays of light barely penetrated the sea of leaves above us, colonies of glossy and colorful mushrooms I'd never seen before were growing among the mountains of moss, and the chirping of birds have stopped completely, we were walking in complete silence - with the bear man holding his axe on the ready for anything else that may jump out.
It was quite tense, we were looking at every tree and rock with the utmost suspicion, every creak of wood instantly provoked us to take defensive stances, only to realize that it was just wind moving the tree branches.
The feeling of relief when we finally reached the town I can’t even explain.
Well, we reached the cleared out part of the forest before the town itself, and the sight before me was… Quite something.
Lots of tree logs were sticking out of the ground and the protective wall that was surrounding the town, with the part of the tower that was once stationed on top of it lying in ruins.
I guess the time of my visit wasn’t the best, but as I was thinking that to myself - the bear man was already walking towards the entrance gate, so shaking it off, I quickened my step.
When we reached the arch where the gate was supposed to be - there were only broken planks and a pair of hinges still hanging in place, in its stead was standing a wooden barricade, with a group of five armed beast men standing on the other side of it.
The first four were bears, with the remaining one being a wolf.
I could see smiles on their faces when they noticed us approaching, but as we got closer their reaction completely changed as they saw me.
“Gürn, we sent you on a mission to track down that damn magician, not to bring one more mouth to feed!” suddenly exclaimed one of the bear men.
I was quite surprised to hear English instead of animalistic growls until I noticed a necklace similar to the one I saw before, I guess it was supposed to be a translator.
Just as I was thinking that, Gürn started speaking to them.
I couldn’t understand what he was saying, but by the intonation of it I could guess that it wasn’t something friendly.
“So you did find the trace of where they came from huh? Alright, we will go to the commander and tell him you have returned, in the meantime deal with that fraud and meet us at the barracks” said the wolf as he was moving the barricade to the side so we could finally enter the town.
But as we were going in - one of the bear men caught me by the arm.
“And where do you think you are going? You are coming with us!”
Before I could react in any way - Gürn quickly punched him in the shoulder, causing him to release his grip on me, after which Gürn quite aggressively started talking again.
“You forgot who we are dealing with!? This bastard could very well be an undead servant of that magician!” said the bear man while holding his shoulder with his other arm.
I did look quite ghoulish because of lack of sleep and all the wounds.
With an annoyed sigh, Gürn quickly took out his axe after which he suddenly took hold of my arm and swiped my palm across the blade.
And as the blood was falling on the ground he started saying something.
With a partly shocked expression, the bear man spoke again.
“Fine, you have a point, but he is going to be under your responsibility”
With that said, Gürn took a piece of fabric and a bottle with some weirdly colored liquid, with those he washed away all the blood coming from my palm, after which he bandaged it as well as he could.
When he was done - he patted me on the back as he smiled at me.
I was supposed to be really angry that he cut it in the first place, but all my mind could process at the time was how I felt my wounds quickly closing and the pain following that process.