Suddenly, there was a WHOOSH and the sound of a body falling. Leih? I opened my eyes to the taller of the two men slumped to the ground and an arrow in the back of his head. I used the confusion to slam into the other, knocking him off balance. Pawah bolted for the trees lest the next arrow find her. Leih put an arrow in the other's neck as he reached for his bow, then grabbed a dagger and cut me loose. It was around this time that none other than Silvairre bolted from his hiding place in the forest. There was no time for thanks or greetings as he tossed me my bow that had been left by my captors and bade us follow him after Pawah. We ran as fast as our legs would manage, carrying on through the pain of the swatting branches and small trees. This was our only chance. Leih led the way. If anyone knew where Pawah had run to it would be her. Before we knew it we were at the mouth of a large cave. There were hides drying on racks and horns carefully placed inside boxes, ready to be sent to trade. We all stood at the entrance, weapons drawn as Silvairre called out to the seemenly empty void:
"It's all over Pawah, surrender and I shall make sure the Adders go easy on you, if only slightly."
There was no response. We waited a few minutes and just when we were about to leave to search elsewhere, there was movement from the cave. Pawah emerged, hands raised and slowly walked towards us.
"It's over Pawah, please just come quietly. I don't want to hurt you." Silvairre tried to sound stern, but failed. Pawah's eyes grew large and teary, as if she was going to start crying at any minute. She kept her pace as she headed towards Silvairre, her arms outstretched in front of her. He lowered his weapon and she embraced him, pressing her body tightly against his. "Oh Silvey, let's go away from 'ere. Jus' you 'n me, what ya say? Forget them and take me somewhere we can be alone together, forever." His arms wrapped around her and she nuzzled her face in his neck. Leih and I stared in disbelief at each other. Surely he wouldn't? We stood there as they held each other, curious as to what would happen next. They stood there for a couple of minutes, oblivious of the world around them. Finally, Silvairre spoke:
"I'm not the same fool you tricked years ago. You never cared for me, even when you said you did. Why should I believe now that all is well?"
He took a feather from the top of his bow and stabbed Pawah in the back. She yelled and clawed his, almost out of instinct, and broke away from him, swaying drunkenly. Silvairre screamed out in pain and trained his bow on her as she moved, wincing everytime he had to move it. Finally, she collapsed to the ground and I ran over to Silvairre steadying him as he sat down by the dead fire.Leih disappeared into the cave and I carefully unbuttoned his clawed shirt and took it off, exposing his badly clawed back. He winced as the wind blew against his exposed back. I looked at him and saw pain. Not the physical pain he now had, but an emotional pain,one of broken trust and unrequited love. I quickly looked away. It was too heartbreaking to look at so I avoided his gaze as we waited. Leih emerged from the cave with rope and bandages. She tossed me the cloth as she passed on her way to Pawah, dragging a length of rope. I bandaged Silvairre as gently as possible and he gave me a gentle smile. "You must think me for a fool." He half-heartedly gave a laugh. "I really did love her, or at least thought I did. She only saw a gullible soldier with who she could bend to her whim." He put his shirt back on and started to button up. "That's right, the soldier they were talking about back at the pub was me. I used to be a Twin Adder, that is, until I let the infamous Pawah Mujuuk escape. T'was all because I thought she loved me." I looked at him and smiled gently. "No, I don't think you a fool, not at all." then stood up. It was around this time that Leih had finished tying Pawah up and came towards us carrying a feather in her hand.
"Cressie, it's going to be dark soon, can you help me move Pawah inside?" She handed Silvairre the feather and he put it back into his bow. I made sure that he made it inside the cave alright and followed her to find Pawah bound hands and feet. I looked at her chest, still breathing, and gave a sigh of relief. Leih must have saw my concern because she started to explain as we carried Pawah to the cave. "Poison made from Marlboros, just potent enough to knock someone out for a few, not enough to kill." "She's gonna wake up tomorrow with one monster of a headache!" Ugh, marlboros, I thought. They have them here too? We propped her up against the wall inside and Leih brought out some meat from a nearby stash. I brought the fire outside back to life and the both of us cooked over it in the twilight. Leih left to give Silvairre his supper and turn in for the night while I stayed staring at the fire. The wind made the grass rustle and the fire dance while the owls sang their nightly song. My mind went back to the nights I spent with you. The way we would lay on the grass and look up at the clear night sky, counting stars until we couldn't keep our eyes open. I missed the way you felt next to me as we slept. I wonder if you would even remember me if we met? Everyone in this world seems to have forgotten and who's to say you hadn't forgotten me? I needed to get out of Gridania, to travel the world. If you do exist here, I wouldn't find you staying in this town. My eyes grew heavy and I finally gave in to sleep.