When I woke, the light was already beginning to fail. My head was aching; yesterday had been a long, hard day.
'You feeling better? You took quite the nock back there.' Dhan was staring at me through the campfire.
I nodded my head.
'You also took a fair amount of poison from that viper.'
I nodded again and started to get up, shaking my legs and stretching my arms out, shedding the grass and the droplets of mud from my gear. The sky looked like it might start letting loose some rain at any moment. It had been raining for the past weeks; hopefully, we would be seeing the last of it soon. It had slowly been getting warmer, but the spring weather was a ways off.
Dhan was a B class adventurer. He came from a long line of adventurers. His father was a C class, and the first rule of being an adventures son is you can't be a lower class than your dad, or you'll never live it down, so in that regard, Dhan was doing alright. Whilst you obviously need good skills and combat abilities, Dhan said the key to being an adventurer is 'having contacts'. If possible, try to find someone with a trade and make them your friend; the best way to do that is to let them accrue favours with you. A blacksmith is the best option; gear is always expensive, and complex jobs require custom orders. Having a friend with a forge is always beneficial. Leatherworkers, herbalists, and apothecaries are good too; however, stay away from sorcery. Healing magic is helpful in a pinch, but the lack of pain will dull your reflexes and reactions. Attack magic is powerful, but it will make you lazy.
Hard work will never betray you.
We were currently in the province of Algirdas, where I was born. A mountainous land with many lakes and grasslands. Dhan wasn't from here. He came from south of here. He says if I ever travelled there, I would believe it's another world 'seas of sand' and 'food to amaze.' Sometimes, if you listened very carefully, you would hear him mutter to himself in a different language, although if I upset him, he would quickly shriek at me in it.
'How old are you now?' he asked.
'I'll be 19 come august.'
'Getting old now. Dhan said with a grin. 'How much longer are you gonna bother me for?'
'Not too much longer,' I answered, 'Although I'm not sure you would be able to last long without using me as bait.'
He nodded in acknowledgement but then looked across at the forest path ahead of us as if he was listening for something.
Then he shrugged. 'I guess I could buy a dog or a pig, but I'm not sure I would be able to put them through that,' he said with a grin.
He stood up even with him straightening his back; the top of his head was just about level with my chin.
The grin dropped from his face, and he started to mumble in some foreign language. At full stance, you could see him in all his bravado. He had a black gambeson under a dark purple leather chest plate and black breaches; he covered himself with a long dark green cloak. Whilst he wanted to blend in with the background on assignments, he still wanted to retain his natural flair.
His chosen weapon is a composite bow, twin daggers and a cobalt Kunial attached to a cobalt chain.
A bit of his hair was sticking out from under the front of his hood matched his beard; it was dark black but had sprinkles of grey showing his age. His eyes were an ashy grey, the same colour as my own; they say it's an omen of a painful death. Dhan believed men only say that they can't be as unique as they're jealous.
I called over to him.
'How are we sharing on the loot?' interrupting his muttering
'Taking into account tax, supplies, equipment, we will probably have made,' He started to count on his fingers mockingly.' Six gold, seven silvers, and four copper.' He began to grin again, 'You take the four copper, and I'll keep the rest.'
'So I get four copper plus my danger pay of five gold', I laughed ' Sound's reasonable to me.'
'Ahh, so you noticed them.' He muttered, reaching for his bow
'Same as plan, as usual, I guess.'
He kicked over a pot without another word, spilling the contents onto the campfire. A vast cloud of smoke burst out, obscuring the area. I darted for my shield and sword; as the smoke started to clear, bellowing and shouting, I ran towards the forest path.
Arrows whistled over my head; dark shadows appeared to my left and right.
Breathe. Breathe. I said to myself; Time seemed too slow; what can you see. Block left, counter forward, Block right counter right.
Time seemed to relax back to normal; the shadow to my left shifted into the form of a person. An axe came down in a swiping arch. I lifted my shield to block.
The attacker then moved to block my path, but I had already struck out with my sword piercing straight into the man's chest. As he fell to the ground to my right, a spear jabbed out at me.
My sword met to parry the strike, and I smashed the but of my shield into my pursuers face whilst they were dazed. I brought now my blade into the nape of their neck.
Breathe. Breathe. I said to myself; time seemed too slow once again; what can you see. Run forward. Run forward. Turn left. Block.
Time once again sped up, and I ran forward to the path. As I entered the forest, the trail curved to the left. A woman dressed in all back with ruby red hair had taken position. Once our eye's met, she screamed out one word.