Death March

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(Rui’s POV)

Six years since the boy was orphaned and taken away from home.  Six years and yet he kept going without reason or hope.  I’ve never once heard him cry or laugh.  Not a single smile.  The only hint of him having a persona was occasional sarcasm, or statements of opinion.  The elf boy himself looks quite regal for a clumsy brat.  Shoulder length silver hair with sharp features.  Over the years of his harsh training he’s gained a deceivingly lithe body build that hid enough strength to be a threat to even the deadliest predator.  As elves tend, to do he matured inhumanly fast; standing five foot, ten inches tall at the age of fourteen. (AN: Or 178 centimeters)  He appears almost twice his actual age.  Even stranger he’ll look roughly the same even after a century has gone by.

We are currently packing our small amount of personal items into traveling packs.  Sadly don’t have the skill or money to buy or make magic bags of holding so we’ll have to bear the burden of food and coin for traveling.  Although the terrain won’t be anything brutal we’ll have a long journey ahead of us.

After strapping the last of my luggage was stowed away I left the central cabin to search check if the boy would be ready for the morning departure.  He had built a crow’s nest in the top of the tallest tree within a mile of the lodgings.  I consider myself very capable in tree climbing though I wouldn’t dare climbing to the top of this monolith of a tree. Randir had set up a simple rope system that runs parallel with the trunk of the tree.  Randir flicks up and down the lines with as much ease as a humming bird flying through the air.

I can see the dot that is Randir steadily sliding down the line.  He is lying back in a fabric harness feeding ropes through a set of metal rings.  As he touches the ground he starts to stow his harness in a strongbox hidden beneath the trees roots.  Are his gloves smoking?  Before I could tell he slipped them away as well.  “Were you just playing nesting bird all day or have you already finished packing?”

“Relax Rui.  My meager possessions are safely bundled together in my travel pack.  I’ve also packed my tinder box, med kit, mithral lock picking kit, and several weeks worth of dry rations.”

“No need to get so defensive.  It’s getting dark so we’d better get some sleep before heading out.  We have a long journey ahead.  It would be a shame if we started off half dead from lack of sleep.”

“Alright.  Stenmar would have our heads if we left without being properly prepared.”

“Don’t remind me.  How can a dwarf like him be considered young, and still act like fussy grandmother.”

Chuckling grimly; Randir finished packing away his set of ropes, and started jogging towards the base.


 

The next morning came and went rather quickly.  I packed up my hammock, and kicked the brat out of his bunk.  Stenmar sent us off with a long, and underwhelming, speech that can be summed up by his last sentence of two words.  “Don’t die!”

“Alright Stenmar we get it.  We’ll see you again soon.  Thanks for everything.”

Although the send off was touching; I couldn’t feel any drama.  “What?  No tears! No pleas to not be taken away!  So boring.”

They just looked at me in confusion.  “Let’s just get going already Rui.  Without tears, or pleas.”

I was quite offended by his blatant criticism, though he does have a point.  “Fine let us leave.”

Our travel route involves a long and winding trek through the eastern mountain ranges of the continent.  These mountain ranges are filled with dense forests, and have mostly been uninhabited due to the large amount of deforestation required to build settlements here.  Randir’s former home, the town of Corevale, was an attempt of the continent’s elven population t0 build a community designed specifically for elves.

 We’ll be leaving the mountain ranges through the northern end of the mountains.  then heading for the small town of Jawix where there is often transportation available for travelers heading for Wodd, or Senphos.  Senphos being are destination It’s the fastest and most reliable path of travel from our starting point.


 

Location:  Outskirts of Jawix on the edge of the forest

Randir and I are currently  resting by a fire pit after setting up camp outside of Jawix preferring to not pay for the unnecessary extravagance of an inn.  Even though we’ve been traveling from dawn till dusk every day for over a week Randir hasn’t complained once.  He’s chosen to put up with it without even a grimace.  “Hey kid.”

“What’s up Rui?”

“When I was your age I wasn’t even nearly as calm as you when I first took this trip.  You’d better not be running yourself into the ground.  Just say the word and we can take a rest in Jawix, so you don’t kill yourself from walking.”

“I just can’t let myself lag behind until I repay my father saving me.”

“You’re an idiot.  How is running yourself ragged going to help a dead man?”

“I don’t see it as running myself ragged.  I see it as holding myself together.  Kind of like a wagon with a broken wheel.  If I stop moving I’ll fall over and not be able to finish my job.”

“And that job is?  You’re a kid not a wagon, don’t forget that.  I’m going to help you navigate your way through finding your way.  You’re not ready to take on that burden.”

“Maybe you’re right.  But that burden is mine, and it won’t let go until I die.  That’s enough of this depressing business.  The more I dwell on it the heavier it will feel.  I’m heading to bed.”

 

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