The recently married scholar held her brow in exhaustion.
There were so many things that could go wrong with this ‘fishing’ as the foreigners had called it, and though the term had been lost on Sorie at first know she knew better.
After the raid last night the scholar was beginning to look at herself as a worm on a hook was starting to come over her.
By morning the scavengers (both witches and wizards alike) had looted the human invaders of their weapons and more than one internal organ.
Overall, and Sorie would never say this aloud, the caravan trap had been incredibility lucrative.
That didn’t even count the other villeins and notorious outlaws who wanted to test the caravan’s defences, villeins such as Bumbling Cecil, Violent Yura, and two lesser fiends who had fallen into the honey trap.
In her carriage Sorie watched the carts full of disguised witches and wizards move at a snail’s pace.
Opposite of Sorie the Dean of Un Neill’s magic academy uttered a happy moan. “What’s wrong, love?”
Sorie turned her head to her mentor, her face twisted in a scowl. “I might be happier if you did not treat my new husband like a slave doll. What if somebody saw you?”
Vanasher was in the process of getting a foot rub from Sorie’s dear hubby. With each calculated pinch and prod causing the she-elf to moan and show a new shameful face, with each of her moans sounding naughty to the less experienced Sorie.
On his knees Jessy looked quite happy kneading Vanasher’s feet with his gloved fingers, his face showing a slight smile that made his wife knit her eyebrows.
Vanasher waved the issue off, it was not her fault that Sorie was too naive in the ways of finding physical pleasure, and that this Jessy liked to please.
Outside, a mother witch was forced to cover her child’s ears as Jessy located a particularly tender spot.
Sorie’s cheeks redened as her mentor’s awkward howls made her uncomfortable.
She crossed her legs and arms, but could not help her eyes occasionally laying on the scene. “How long until we reach the city?” Sorie asked.
“If no more road bumps occurs…” Vanasher performed the calculations. “Four days. By now our little messages will have reached the city.”
That was the price of a caravan.
Safety in numbers also meant things became slower.
Sorie looked at the thing that was massaging her old teacher and confidant.
The whole marriage was nothing but a shame. Politics, saving reputations, gold lust; Sorie’s drunken one night stand had gone completely out of control.
As the carriage bumped and rock as it felt like it hit every stone and pot hole on the road, Sorie just had to ask “Did you know you were going to sell me off when you set Hector on fire?”
For a moment there was a grimace on Vanasher’s beautiful face, but her angular features soon settled on a board expression. “I do not appreciate your tone.”
Though Sorie’s voice was soft her eyes displayed an anger ready to explode. “And you would make me a child’s whore to fill the Academy’s coffers?”
Vanasher spoke in the same way she spoke to a disobedient brat. “I should remind you that you were not against wiping clear your student fees and your father’s gambling debts.”
The frown did not dissipate from Sorie’s face but the shame was still clear.
Though Sorie would like to think she was beyond material gain. The moment a newly repaired Hector dumped a chest full of gold as her feet a spell bound Sorie was ready to settle down and commit her life as a child’s plaything.
Then there was Vanasher. The maid of honour at Sorie’s mercifully quick wedding.
Everyone knew of Vanasher’s ambitious nature. The woman had designs for being the Academy’s new headmaster, and once the students and a few staff members heard how she wiped clear their debts Vanasher was going to have many new and old friends.
One of whom would be Sorie.
“Do you want a divorce so early?” Vanasher smiled knowing how to shut this pouting child up.
Sorie grit her teeth.
To sweeten the deal, or perhaps to make sure Sorie didn’t have cold feet later down the line, once Vanasher got her new political power Sorie would become a well paid librarian.
Sorie’s hours spent reading and cataloguing books, just as long as she was happily married of course.
Sorie narrowed her eyes at Jessy, who was still happily rubbing Vanasher’s feet. “I don’t fancy child.”
If Jessy heard his wife’s displeasure with him, he didn’t show it.
The argument was paused as the carriage came to a sudden halt
With a command from Vanasher, Jessy jumped up with a speed that was peculiarly too enthusiastic and sat next too his wife. “I love you.” Jessy said his words not sounding right to either woman’s ears.
Vanasher shook her head as she steeped outside muttering something about shotty craftsmanship.
Inside the carriage Sorie glanced at the young man who she sat next to, the smell of straw tickling her nose.
Curious more than anything, Sorie was about to poke her husband’s face when without warning the carriage jerked and both Jessy and Sorie were thrown to the other side of the carriage.
The carriage continued its rampage with the horses outside crying in excitement as Sorie heard the crack of the whip.
Outside there was the chaos of angry shouting as men on the backs of horses and tamed stags chased Sorie’s moving prison.
After another bump Jessy was knocked into Sorie’s lap.
“Get off.” Sorie said and went to poke her head out. “What…” she withdrew back into the carriage narrowly missing a low hanging tree branch that racked against the carriage.
As the carriage passed under a row of trees shadowy forms dropped down and onto the carriage’s roof.
There was a shout of “Thief.”
Upon the carriage roof the tribes readied their crossbows. There was the…
Thawk thawk thawk as multiple projectiles from both sides let loose their ammunition.
One of the bandits decided to secure the package. He swung down, his feet crashing through the curtains.
Sorie caught the glimpse of ratty boots and a mask, right before she caught the highwayman’s legs, and punched his hamstring giving the thief a dead leg.
“Ahh. You fucking bitch.” Came the angered shout of the highwayman.
He looked to his left and the bandit’s eyes went wide as another low branch tore into his body.
Sorie closed her eyes as her fingers dug into the man’s trousers, neither letting him leave or allowing him in. There was an awesome tug and the sound of braking wood but still she held on.
On the other side of the carriage another of the highwayman scrambled to enter.
Sorie’s new found instincts forced her body to act on its own. In a fluid motion she withdrew her wand and…
This new bandit stole the wand from her hand as through Sorie had internationally meant to give it to him.
Both Wood Elves stared at the stick of wood and copper, neither knowing what the hell just happened.
Sorie glowered and contemplated which spell to use. A fireball would be effective if Sorie wanted to commit suicide in a flashy manner, the enclosed wooden structure of the carriage being flammable.
Damn. There weren’t many close range combat spells, well… There were a few it was just that Sorie considered herself an academic and not one of those who got into magic because they wanted to get into bar fights.
The bandit didn’t need a doctorate in offensive spells to figure out what his prey was thinking. He aimed the wand at Sorie’s head. “Where is the bag?” The bandit’s voice was raspy, disguised to appear more menacing.
“You’ll get nothing from me.” Works said, but her eyes betrayed her moxy.
The bandit followed her gaze to the carriage seat, behind his mask Sorie could see a grin. “Ah. Thank you.” his eyes turned hared. “Open it., or your little human boy gets a second smile.”
The bandit thought about making the gesture of running the wand across his throat but thought better of it. Like a willy, wands had this tendency to have a hair trigger when you rubbed them the wrong way.
The bandit viscously took Jessy’s arm and dragged the boy to his arms.
The fear must not hit the teenager yet as he continued to give off a blank smile.
Sorie bit her lip and through the bumping and thrusting undid the magical lock on the seat
The box looked to be purely ornate with gold leaf symbols etched into structure. The heads of the caravan hand been told that the symbols were for decoration purposes, just nonsense to make the box seem more magical that it really was.
The bandit’s eyes glistened. “Open it.”
Sorie wanted to make the bastard swallow the highly destructive stick. “I can’t.”
The answer didn’t seem to appease the bandit, though it looked like he was expecting defiance.
He cut Jessy’s neck, “Do it.”
Sorie saw the cut and held her breath. “I mean I can’t. It’s safe guarded. Only Jessy can open it.”
The bandit snarled and pushed Jessy at the box. “Open it, maggot. Or I’ll show your little wife what a real man’s cock feels like. Then I’ll make you taste it.”
Any sympathy for the bandit, if there was any to begin with, was gone.
Sorie pressed her back against the carriage door, holding the limp body of the first bandit to steady herself. Her stern eyes stayed on her new husband. “Jessy, open the box.”
For the first time Jessy looked unsure. “I love you.”
Not wanting to second guess what she was about to do Sorie spoke the words, “I love you too.”
Her hand finally caught the handle of the door, and trying not to think about the consequences, Sorie jumped outside.
The bandit’s eyes went wide and he was unsure if he should kill or catch the crazy bitch. His mind was made up, however, as Jessy was making his way to the box unconcerned that his wife had just given him a divorce and left him with the bill.
The fall hadn’t been so bad. The landing, however, sucked balls.
Out of all the things Sorie could have hit, the wizardess landed in a thorn bush. “Curse the Gods.” Sorie screamed in pain as her ass felt like it had been shredded by the fucking foliage.
Tears being held back by… Not so much Sorie’s iron will as her childish stubbornness. Feeling extremely sorry for herself Sorie sobbed a “I wanna go home.”
A handful of angered witches and guards ran after the carriage.
“Over here.” Sorie shouted, but instantly regretted her action.
Yellow teeth and hungry savage eyes stared down on the bleeding wizardess, “Aint this a great.”
Sorie stared up at the heavens. She should have been shocked, what were the chances. Then Sorie realised that it couldn’t be anyone else who caught her in her finest moment.
“Bancroft.” Sorie breathed.
Her straggly black hair barley hid the witch’s cruel grin. The woman who sold herself on the streets for food took incredible delight in seeing her… Love rival sprawled in a thorn bush, bloodied and vulnerable.
It would be so easy to gut the little, wizard trollop and hide body.
Sorie knew the spite of witches through second hand accounts.
Thinking it might be best to remind Bancroft of future consequences Sorie said “Kill me and your family won’t be happy.”
Living on the streets you had to survive by your wits and your reputation.
Bancroft didn’t give a shit about Jessy, but having a bookworm like Sorie taking her trophies and then being a scapegoat in public. That could leave a girl thinking about some harmful vengeance.
Bancroft’s grin turned into a sneer.
It was made clear to both witches and wizards that no Sorie no dowry; no dowry no giving the witches bribe money. And if a witch was willing to murder a man for a penny, losing one ton of gold would turn the most merciful old lady into a raving sadist.
Sorie could see Bancroft thinking to pass Sorie’s disappearance to the highwaymen.
That problem should fix itself.
The carriage shook but the bandit kept his eyes on his remaining captive and the box.
“Open the fucking box, or I’ll rip your guts for shoelaces.” The bandit snarled.
No sobs, no curses, Jessy pressed down on some hidden buttons and there was the snap of some dead bolts sliding back.
A crack appeared, enough of one that bandit pushed the foreigner away and forced open the box. The man frowned as he examined the contents.
Instead of gold, tubes filled with red and yellow viscous fluids were being pumped into a third tube.
The bandit’s eyes tried to grasp at the odd pneumatic and hydraulic systems but were unable to fathom the devices importance, the whole assembly was as alien to the man as a distant star.
His face contorted in confusion the bandit turned his head to Jessy “What trickery…” his eyes lowered to the cut he made across the boy’s throat.
Instead of blood, it was like the bandit was staring at a rag doll. Golden straw fell from the cut and fluttered to the ground. Jessy’s face was just as blank and unemotional.
The bandit’s face fell, “That bitch.”
In the distance fire spewed upwards. At first both women had thought on guard had thrown a fireball at the carriage, but that was before the shockwave came.
It was as if a heathen god had tossed down a hurricane in the middle of the forest, a great wave of heated air that backhanded the entire area, setting the trees closest to the initial blast on fire and sending any man close enough to either the ground or his maker.
The sound of the explosion caused Bancroft’s horse to buck violently, the beast screamed and stood on two legs. Bancroft, skilled enough on a horse to know where the shit came out of was flung to the ground.
“Morgan’s tits.” The witch cried as her back hit the muddy grass.
Bandcroft’s ears rang and her mind rattled with white noise, her brain felt like goo and she grit teeth. She opened her eyes and for a second wished she hadn’t as the stupid animal got ready to bring its hoof down her head.
Not caring how the mud solid her dress the witch screamed and rolled to the side, narrowly missing having her brains turned to pulp.
As the forest grew silent as every living thing in it had either had a stroke or shit its trousers, Sorie battled the thorn bush and succeeded in getting onto her feet. “Bastard bandits. Do they know how expensive a rag doll is?”
The horse wasn’t in a position to answer this, the spooked creature seemed to have had enough of Bancroft’s companionship and bolted for freedom. Sorie really couldn’t blame him.
“Stop.” Bancroft’s word were coated in a mesmeric power, her voice coated with her will to dominate.
The horse felt the word drilled mercilessly into his skull.
It wasn’t easy trying to dominate a horse, the things were as mad as hatters sipping mercury during the full moon. But just like men the trick with taming a horse was not by whipping it till it cooperated but by causing the animal to think that it was their idea that their rider was a cool accessory and that they suddenly wanted to go forward.
The horse, had this idea in its head that it wanted to stop. It’s fear turned into a sudden compulsion to seize all movement, another thought came into head and it returned to the elven woman. It didn’t much like the woman, but decided that if all the cool horses had such imperfect creatures on their back, it was not going to be left out.
“What was that.” Bancroft said, trying to keep her mental hold of the animal. She had no plans on walking back to the caravan train.
Sorie felt that she had left a vital organ or two back on the carriage. She could hear something pop as she stood straight, “You remember your granny telling you to don’t look in the box or there wasn’t going to be enough of you left fill a chamber pot?”
“Yeah.” Bancroft said uneasily.
“Now you know why.”