A sky, dark and bland with nothing but stars. Stars are all he sees anymore. A brisk breeze fills the night air followed by the sound of leaves moving, falling, and speaking. The trees always speak but the words are never heard by anyone. Staring up is like looking into a bottomless abyss where only shimmers of lost souls glow ever-so slightly. The sound of leaves moving steadies until all can be heard is the sleeping sound of a horse. A heavy sigh escapes his mouth and sorely travels through the silent night. His horse neighs quietly and licks his cheek.
“Hey- cut that out!” He says softly with a slight chuckle.
“Yet another lonely night, huh buddy?”
The horse neighs in agreement, shaking his head. Silky stood up with his horse and put his things away. He thought it was about time they set off again to his destination. As silky mounts his horse he sees to the south a dim light heading his direction at a steady pace. He shut his eyes and concentrated his thinking in that direction to check on this light but the dark moon was out. No luck looking that direction, he hides himself and his horse and waits, looking towards the lights direction.
“Stay quiet. We might be in trouble.” Silky says whispered and breathy, petting his snout. What seemed like hours was only minutes as the light got closer. He saw a person on horse, but unsure what kind of person. Silky took a blueish stone out of a pouch and threw it out in the open quietly after speaking into it. A mirage of himself appears and speaks out.
“Hello? Who's there?” He exclaimed. A large neigh from the horse echoes softly through the night as the mysterious person dismounts and speaks in a hearty voice, deep and slightly raspy.
“Hello! Might you be Silky?” He spoke loudly.
“That would be I. What can I do you for, sir?” Silky replies. The man walks forward a few steps. He’s tall with a muscular body followed by rugged, short brown hair. His eyes have a shiftiness as if he’s always on his toes. He gives laugh that echoes through the trees.
“I’m from Kataran. It’s a small village south of here. My name is Ramor and I have been sent to give you a message by an old man that goes by Gerret.” He said.
“Gerret you say? What is this message, Ramor?” Silky Spoke. Ramor reached into his bag and pulled out something wrapped in cloth. Its elongated with a large bump in the middle.
“He said cryptically ‘It’s yours now. Take it to Yarnam but never use it alone.’ Do you know what he means?” Ramor said in a confused voice. The mirage of silky disappears as he jumps out of hiding and rushes towards Ramor, grabbing the item from his hand.
“Don’t just wave it around! Didn’t he tell you to be careful with it?!” Silky yelled. He quickly put the item in a bag and wrapped soft blankets around it.
“Now that you mention it, he did say to be careful. My-” Ramor was interrupted but rustling noises all around him and silky.
“Shh! Do you have a weapon?” Silky exclaims in a whisper as he takes out his small sword. Ramor takes out a dagger with a ivory hilt.
“What’s going on?” He whispered.
“I’ll explain later, quietly get on your horse and follow me. Put that torch out while you’re at it.” Silky replied. Ramor got on his horse after putting the torch out. Silky got on his horse and began going west slowly and making sure they weren’t getting followed on their journey.
“We’ll be safer when day breaks, which is close.” Silky spoke softly. Ramor didn’t speak a single word for a few hours as they traveled.
The sun began rising upon the horizon and started lighting everything around them. The brisk morning air blows on their faces and making their hair wave around. Silky closes his eyes and puts his arms out, embracing the wind. As the sun rises further, the dark moon sets and disappears. Silky feels energized from the moon's absence and breathes in deeply.
“I’m Silky by the way! But you can call me Silk. Once we get to this next village i’ll explain what’s going on. Breakfast is on me!” Silky says energetically.
“Sounds like a plan. I take it you’re a magic user? Could tell when the moon fled the sky.” Ramor replies. Silky smiles and nods at him.
“Thought you might’ve noticed. Also the reason I made us leave so quickly.” Silky said. “Why would that be the reason?” Remor said confused.
“Because I couldn’t sense where they were or what they were. Can’t talk about it too much right now.” Silky replied with concern in his voice. Ramor didn’t question it any further and just started humming. They traveled west for a few hours until they came upon a medium sized town. It looked full of shops, food stands, and clothing stores. It was bustling with people.
“This must be Para! Always wanted to go here. Heard they have amazing food!” Silky says while he drools. Ramor lets out a hearty laugh and almost falls off his horse. They enter the city and dismount their horse’s in front of a tavern.
“Drinks and food are on you like you said.” Ramor says with a smile.
“Of course! Least i could do after you traveled so far to find me.” Silky spoke as he walked in and sat down. The two spoke and ordered food and drinks.
“So, why don’t you tell me what’s going on?” Ramor says in a more serious tone.
“Ahh right… I’ve been followed for months now by a guild of bounty hunters. They call themselves the Patriots.” Silky says grimsley.
“What did you do to get them on your ass?” Ramor replied. “I may or may not have… ‘borrowed’ some gems and stones from them.” Silky chuckles awkwardly.
“That’s what you were speaking to at first. I didn’t know who you were so I used a mirage gem to project a image of myself.” Silky continued. Ramor laughed and took a big swig from his drink.
“An illusion! That’s brilliant! It completely fooled and baffled me. You’re one hell of a man.” Ramor said enthusiastically.
“You must be a Magi, if I may assume.” Ramor persisted. As he sat back, Silky closed his eyes, leaning in and speaking with a whisper
“Best not say such things aloud, Ramor. Don’t want to catch the attention of passersby, would you?” He nudges to the corner of the tavern where two men sit, staring and whispering. Ramor takes a slight glance and shut himself up quickly.
“Come with me for a moment, will you?” Silky says as he stands and heads to the back restrooms. Ramor follows behind reluctantly. He closes the door behind them and sighs. Silky washes his face and stares into the mirror and sighs in despair. In the reflection is a young man with hair a slight bit longer than Ramor’s. His hair a dark teal along with his eyes that have a ever-so dim hue of pink. His nose is crossed with freckles going from one cheek to the other with a scratch upon the bridge of his nose. Ramor gets a good look at his face in this small room which he can’t help but look at. He stares at it then shakes his head.
“Why’re we in here? Best not be up to something.” Ramor says.
“Keep your voice down. Those men are part of the Patriots but i’ve never seen that uniform. You calling me a Magi definitely caught their attention. I am one of those, but no master of the craft.” Silky responds.
“Got all your things, correct?” He continued.
“Yes but what is your plan?” Ramor exclaimed. Silky opened the window and climbed out and whistled for the horse’. Ramor followed and they got on their horse’. Silky put on a hood to cover his face and made Ramor to the same. They started going through town and buying the necessities such as food, clothing, water, and a seemingly well made dagger. As they finish buying their things, a crowd begins to form around a hanging platform. The people yell: “Unfaithful!” and “Heretic!” Throughout the square. Both Silky and Ramor dismount and tie up their horse’ to check amongst the comotion. As they approach they see who is to be hung. An old man wearing a tattered and ripped grey tunic. The two run through the crowd and climb up onto the platform and ask why he is to be hung. The executioner speaks up
“This man has spoken against god! He is a heretic and is to be banished to hell for this dire sin. He speaks of more than one god and that god is a false deity!” They climb off the platform and rush to the back of the crowd. Silky begins to think hard and seems to be lost in concentration.
“Sir… Can you hear me?” Silky speaks to the old man through his mind.
“Yes young man. Mighty brave of you to run up here like that.” The old man replies with haste.
“I will get you free. I’m already wanted so this won’t be any trouble.” Silky says with bravery. Silky raises his hands slightly, focusing on the rope around the old man’s neck and weakens it along with his shackles.
“I weakened the rope and your shackles so prepare to land. I will ride by with my horse and get you.” He said.
“Smart boy. Be careful” The old man says in a thankful tone. Silky gets on his horse and gets ready to ride, as does Ramor. The executioner pulls the lever which releases the old man. Silky begins to ride quickly as the rope snaps, riding right up to the old man. He helps the old man up and begins riding away quickly. The mob of angry people run after them yelling and screaming.
“So, where shall I let you off, sir?” Said Silky.
“Here is fine. I have a cottage about three miles from here I should be able to get to easily.” The old man replied.
“I’m Utorg by the way young man.” Utorg continues. Silky stopped the horse and let him off in the soft, grassy plains.
“Nice to meet you. I’m Silky. Be seeing you again hopefully!” Silky rides off back to Ramor. He gets to the edge of the town before seeing Ramor heading his way with haste, the mob following him. “Run!!!!” Ramor yells. Silky turns around and starts running off. They start to swiftly head off towards the west but something began to feel off other than being ran off by a mob. Silky kept looking over his shoulder for about an hour and a half. Ramor caught wind of what he was doing and tapped on his shoulder.
“You okay, bud? You seem on edge. The mob stopped chasing us a while ago.” He said. “Do you see anything off about behind us?” Silky replied quickly. Ramor looked back and say a small distortion in the horizon and not just the distortion of the heat but something different.
“It’s them for sure. What will we do about them?” He spoke with a slight chill in his voice. Silky responded with only a gesture to be quiet and a shrug. The sun began to set and on the horizon was a orange and pink setting from the beautiful spectacle. He took out some beads from his pocket, wrapping them around his hand and beginning to speak a prayer. Ramor opened his mouth but quickly shut it wanting not to interrupt him and his concentration. They both set camp under a large oak late into the beautiful night and start a fire to warm their cold bodies. Silky throws gems far from the tree in every direction but making then look like discarded leftovers.
“Tis’ chilly on this fine night, am I wrong?” Ramor said in a drowsy tone.
“You're not wrong, but I must ask: why are you sitting so far away? Would it not be warming closer to each other?” Silky smiled and chuckled softly. Ramor gives a faint blush and stumbles his words around like a bad jester attempting to juggle.
“Ahh right you be, but would that not be awkward?” He spoke softly.
“Come now! We must stay warm after the fire goes out. No harm in keeping warm, correct?” Silky replies with cheer. Ramor gets up and sits next to him and basks in the warmth of the fire. Silky pulls him close and puts the big, warm fur blanket around them both. Ramor’s blush deepens, putting his arm around silky and smiles to himself. A few hours pass through the night. Silky opens his eyes and awakes to Ramor’s embrace. He smiles as he covers him up, but suddenly his vision takes to the gem he threw to the east. His smile disappears and wakes Ramor up and begins to put everything away quickly.
“W-What’s going on, Silky?” Ramor says in a groggy voice.
“They’re getting close! hurry and put your shit away!” Silky replies in a hurried whisper. They both grab their things and put them away, but before they could mount their horse’ they were surrounded by men bearing crossbows pointed at them.
“Well you’re in quite a sticky situation, are you not, Silky?” A man walks out from the darkness of this brisk night.
“Last time we met you took something from me, right? I hope you haven’t used them all.” The man continued. He proceeded to walk closer to them.
“I’m guessing you want your gems back?” Said Silky.
“Oh no no no. I would like your head on my mantle now! You’ve caused me a great deal of grief since you took them.” The man said. Silky threw him the bag of gems except on gem he kept in his hand.
“Why thank you! What a thoughtful gift! But… Open your hands for me if you would.” Silky opened both hands and the gem dropped to the ground. As the gem hit the ground, it exploded with smoke everywhere around them and the soldiers. “Fire!” The man said as he coughed. The men fired their arrows into the smoke and waited for the smoke to disperse. As the smoke disappeared, there was no trace of the two young men. Behind them was the hardened sound of horse hooves running away as he yells Silky’s name.
A few days have passed since Silky lost his gems to the head of the patriots. “So, Silk. Where are we headed exactly?” Said Ramor.
“To see Yarnam. I must deliver that object you gave me to him.” Silky says with a tiredness to his voice. Ramor laid back and looked up at the stars.
“What is the object? It must be important.” Ramor said softly.
“I can’t take it out of the cloth until I give it to Yarnam.” Silky retorted quickly. Ramor scoots close to Silky slowly then starts falling asleep. Silky looked at him and smiled, laying next to him and putting the blanket over them both. They both awoke at the break of day and packed up their things as a brisk morning breeze rolled in. They both put on light coats and began riding north-west for a few hours. Suddenly upon the horizon was a forest.
“Are we going through there, Silk?” Ramor asked.
“That we are.” Silky replied. Silky stopped at the entrance of the forest and looked and Ramor with a wary look.
“We must be very careful while we go through here. Stay close and do not stray away. Stay on alert at all times.” Silky said in a serious tone.
“I will do my best, Silk.” Ramor replied. They both look onward into the dark forest entrance, taking a deep breath.