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Journeys End


Journeys End
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The summer was coming to an end. The trees were dropping their leaves in the wind and amidst them, a lonely figure limped in the forest.

At times the woman had thought she felt something in the woods but calling out to it had brought her no answers. Must’ve been an animal.

Her armour was weighing her down, making an already harsh journey even more strenuous.

She took support from what she could, but the fatigue was taking over. And the thirst… that was overwhelming. She hadn’t found a single stream or a puddle for days.

It was too taxing to take one more step, and so she fell. There was no more getting up.

Cold took her over an everything went dark.

Little did the woman know that she had been right.

Something had been following her for days already.

The Hunter was ready to draw his blade.

What was it? Another uninvited guest from the demon world, stomping all over His forest?

The demon approached the figure warily, his hooves barely making a sound on the soft forest floor. He was accustomed to moving in the wild, for he had been doing it all his life.

The Hunter lifted up the cape with the tip of his drawn blade: A human?

It had to be… Wearing metal in a place like this: only humans would be so foolhardy that they would come here in such things.

Nobody had been following her -save for the Hunter himself, there was no battle to be had here. There was no need to wear such a gear. Still, it was impressive it had gotten this far in such an armour.

But now the Hunter had a problem: if it died here, more humans would come. They always did. There was no such a thing as a lone human. They always had another to look for one. Soon, the human scum would stomp all over His forest.

This could not happen. He would not tolerate the peace of his home disturbed.

The demon grabbed the human woman.

And lifted her up on his shoulder.

****

The treck was long and through it all, the demon dragged the iron-clad human woman on his shoulder (though he wasn’t being especially gentle about it).

He jumped over dried streams, carried her along a riverside, let her armoured feet drag along the forest floor and all to get her here.

The demon set the woman down (not so gently) against a tree.

This was the closest to human settlements he ever came. If one stopped to listen you could hear them out there.

This was close enough, both for him and her. He could run into one of those polluting monkeys at any time, which was something he wanted to avoid at all costs.

If nobody found the human and it couldn’t find it’s way to the rest of it’s kind, it deserved to die.

And even if it did, this area was already polluted by them. The berries were eaten, the mushrooms were gone, there were human made paths in the area. A few more couldn’t possibly do any more damage.

If it wanted to die, here was fine.

” …”

*****

Something was different, she could feel it, even at the brink of her consciousness.

The woman slowly opened her eyes. It felt as though she had traveled a long way. As if someone had been there by her side, holding onto her.

Something certainly was different: this place looked nothing like the scenery she had last seen. There had been steep cliffs and harsh terrain.

Not only was she in a completely different place, there was a waterskin next to her.

The woman picked it up and looked at it. She had been right: someone had been following her. She had felt them from time to time but their presence kept disappearing when she tried to pinpoint the location.

The woman fumbled the cork open…

…and drank.

She emptied the skin and felt refreshed. Still weak, but much better.

Once the water was gone, the woman let her hand fall and she fell silent.

There was open space here but nobody in sight, yet she felt like she was still being watched.

But there was nobody there. She couldn’t see nor sense them. Yet there was no mistaking the feeliing of being watched. It was different from before: then, she had only gotten the feeling of not being alone from time to time, but not as though someone had been watching exactly.

Whoever it was, they had brought her here. She didn’t know how far she’d been taken but she could hear faint sounds of cars from the distance. There was a highway somewhere, and that meant people and the end of this wilderness.

The woman wobbled on to her feet, taking support from the tree.

Her weapons were still with her, she noted.

“Thank you. I am in your debt.” she vocalized assuming that someone was listening.

She couldn’t die, but she would not have been able to make it out alone.

The woman turned around and clumsily tied the waterskin on a branch (armoured gloves were not made for this).

“I’ll leave this here.”

She pulled up her hood.

Refreshed from the water and her spirits lifted with the sounds of civilization, she started walking again, despite her heavy armours, and headed towards a path.