Two arrows slammed into Kade's chest before Nahal had a shield up protecting the orc and himself. He was stunned at this friendly fire. Kade yanked the shafts from her body and rose to her feet, rage pulsed through her as a few more arrows were redirected and landed harmlessly about the two. "Why are you attacking us?" Nahal screamed, making his head hurt even worse.
Rage vibrated through her the pain dulled from the wounds, she started toward the archer and was grabbed by Nahal. "No," he said. "Please, don't. You are not a mindless killer. You are smarter than this. He is provoking you into action for some reason." She stopped panting with conflict emotions and need to spill blood. "Let's just go. They don't need us. Kade," he said. "If you kill him then the vampire will be after us."
Kade gritted her teeth so hard she could feel them almost cracking under the strain, she turned away and walked to the wizard. "I have to kill something," she growled.
"Food, I need food," Nahal said.
Kade gathered her weapons and left in a run when the arrows ran out for the crazed ranger. Nahal dropped the shield and folded his arms in front of him. "What is wrong with you?"
Zane was on the ground panting. Tears streamed down his cheeks. "Orcs killed her." He shook his head.
Meanwhile, Isabel had awoken. The gash across er forehead was already shrinking thanks to the copious amounts of blood she had consumed recently. She was running towards Zane. "You idiot! You complete and utter idiot! She could have killed yo-" She broke off.
Zane was crying. As physically weak as he was, he never allowed her to see him cry.
"Listen, Zane. She isn't like the others. She wasn't there when Ellyn was killed. What happened was an accident and it was no one here's fault." Isabel looked at Nahal. "I'm so sorry. He just... He's suffered some traumatic stuff in his past. He has these incidents. The past day has been rough on him."
"I loved her. She was the one who truly understood me. Everything was wonderful and bright and happy. And the baby..." Zane was met with another burst of emotion and collapsed face down to the ground, beating his fists. Isabel looked at him sadly.
"Killed who?" Nahal asked glancing the way Kade had gone then back to the panting elf. His mind not connecting anything that made sense. All he knew that Zane was trying to kill his best friend, travel companion and protector. That was a big no-no in his book. The vampire come into the picture, he was about to question where she had been when he noticed the nearly closing wound.
Ellyn? Must have been a lover or mate of Zane, Nahal concluded. "Haven't we all?" Nahal demanded, he really hated being the strong one here. He wasn't, he always collapsed when it wasn't the best of times. The mention of a baby made him frown and the whole fists pounding on the ground was a bit over the top. "Good grief," he whispered rubbing his slender fingers on his forehead. "Is this going to be a nightly thing? You know trying to kill us because we have enough people attempting that."
The wizard sighed. "Kade is my friend, she is not like them. Did she not give you arrows? Did she not give you guys the money she looted off those bounty hunters? Would any of those other orcs do that? No, they would have cut you the moment they laid eyes on you and took what they needed and left you to rot."
Kade finally ended life using most of her rage that was built inside her, she snagged a pretty nice small deer for her trouble. She gut and cut what meat she thought they could use that night and left the animal for the rest of the forest to consume. The orc started making her way back to the river with a large chunk of meat.
Zane, incapable of responding, sobbed on the ground. Isabel took Nahal by the arm and led him a short distance away.
"Zane was once one of the best fighters in his kingdom... His magic immense, his aim - perfect. He met Ellyn in training and they went to war together. She was good at reconnaissance, he stayed back. While gathering information on the orcs, she was struck by friendly fire and died later. It was discovered that she was pregnant, but had kept it secret from Zane so that he could stay level headed in the war. He abandoned the army, his powers were lost, and now experiences frequent flashbacks. He needs me as much as I need him, though he doesn't admit it."
Isabel looked back at Zane sadly. "You need to understand that he cannot help himself when he insults your friend. He is confused, his mind is addled. He both jumps into battle and fears it." She shook her head. "He doesn't know I told you all this." Isabel reached out and grabbed Nahal's hand. "Please promise me you'll keep it a secret. He likes to appear strong in the face of danger."
Zane had stood up, washing his face in the stream. His cheeks were red and his nose dripping. He looked like a five year old who had given into a long temper tantrum.
Nahal let out a sigh, he didn't want to know all this stuff. He was happy in his little world with Kade fighting to stay alive, eating food she caught. He knew didn't know much about a war, he heard of something happening elsewhere that was about the limit of his knowledge. It was in a different kingdom thus it didn't effect his life all that much. Until now. "He sounds unstable."
Nahal turned around slowly before facing her again. "Well, next time I just might be able to stop her. She was ready to pound his face into sauce. He glanced at his hand that had been seized by her, he didn't trust them. He pulled away and folded his arms and shook his head. Wizards were suppose to be wise, he didn't that yet. He had no advise or gems of knowledge to pull upon for this situation. His mentor always told him that all of that would come in time. But it wasn't helping right now. "I'll keep your secret for now," Nahal's eyes went to Zane who climbed to his feet and splashed in the stream.
Nahal walked to the pile of things and found something to busy himself with.
Kade returned to the makeshift camp and set to work to build a fire near the taller embankments to hide it as much as possible. The two brought their things over to it and settled to cook the thick chunks of food there was seven of them all hanging on thin branches over the fire. It didn't take long for them to start to smell good, Kade ate her share before Nahal even began thinking of eating.
Nahal polished off two before his stomach had enough, leaving two left to continue to cook.
Isabel picked them off the branches and brought it over to Zane who was sulking by a tree. She slowly coerced him to eat, saying soothing words to him. When he had finally gotten his fill, about half of one chunk, she wrapped up the rest in one of their spare shirts and put it in the backpack. She walked back to the other two.
"Let's go. We can travel a little farther if we start soon. There will probably be more mountains upstream and we can find a cave there."
Zane was slowly standing up. He came over, his head bowed. He avoided making eye contact with everyone, especially the orc.
"We both want to get out of here. We've been stopped for long enough and hunters may catch up with us." Isabel continued as Zane took the backpack from Isabel. He rummaged through it to find one of his stolen trinkets to distract himself with.
Nahal was more than surprised the meat was accepted by Zane, but then an empty stomach was an empty stomach. He needed food just like the rest of them. He was still upset at the whole thing and kept his word to keep it to himself. Kade was busy with repairs to deal with anything else. He studied his book by sitting with his back to the dying fire.
Kade finished the several repairs by the time Isabel came forward, she strapped everything on her body soon there after. She kicked dirt on the fire and grabbed her pack glancing at Nahal who was gathering his own things and searching the space for anything that might have dropped. Kade shifted her pack on her shoulders and headed upstream, the wizard a step behind her. They traveled swiftly to make some time, as she went she searched for possible fall back caves if they were unable to find one farther up.
The sky was starting to lighten from the rising sun when Nahal found a cave in the high bank, Kade went in first to ensure it was safe. The place was wide and low, no one could stand up. Kneel with no problem but not stand. "Clear," she bellowed easing herself out of the backpack. Nahal slipped in and cracked his forehead on the low clearance. "Watch your head, it is low."
"Now you tell me," he hissed rubbing his abused face.