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Fer chuckled at the aggrieved reaction of Cole. He smiled even wider when to show humbleness his friend put forth the example that he was one of the select four heroes. The young shield shook his head at how ironic the comment sounded.

In his world, in his time, it would be like saying. I am only a rich person who was given a lot of money and am able to spend it however I want.

Despite the silliness of the current train of thought, Fer had to agree with his friend. They seemed to have not been selected due to some special skills they had or because they were the best suited. Indeed, the young hero had wondered why they seemed to have been chosen.

Their lack of knowledge about the most basic things in the world and their lack of knowledge about the weapons they now carried made them more of a liability than an asset. If they were truly all that stood between the waves and destruction, then this world was putting way too much faith on them.

Fer stopped smiling as his thoughts turned to that particular topic. Both he and Cole had been trying their best. He could not say anything about the other two heroes but he would not doubt them if they looked out only for themselves.

Cole had bravely and selflessly proclaimed that though he owed no allegiance to king, country or world, that he would protect them. Having fought in many harrowing battles in his previous world and just recently at the farm, the young shield knew that the price of freedom and peace was high.

He gave Cole a pat on the shoulder. “Sometimes my friend, surviving is winning.” His tone was friendly and resolute. “But as we have already promised to each other. We shall bear each other’s burdens and fight along each other as the pair that our weapons are. I do not follow you out of obligation. I walk with you and beside you.” He patted him again. “You can lean on me for support and I know you will do the same with me.”

Fer nodded to his friend. “I am ready, lets go pick up our winged friend.” He smirked again and whispered playfully. “I need a pretty face to look at after setting eyes on…” the young hero motioned with his head towards the veteran gladiator and smiled again.
how dare Hans put you in with the same ilk as that lowly shield? Also, if the spear guy would have stayed I think your coordinated attacks would have been deadly @Whoami. Can you imagine two spears working in concert?
the question brought an almost silly confused face to the Master Mage’s face. The man had to work at hyper speed to try and figure out what the young woman was asking. The words were said and his ears received the sounds but the meaning was lost to him. A second passed then two as he tried how to best formulate first the meaning of the question and second how to formulate his response.

Normally articulate and sure of what he said. He often meant what he said and said what he meant. There was no mistake in his communication with his fellow squad members and even between him and Evander. However, in this particular situation he was not sure if saying what he thought in his head was appropriate or it would be well received. The debate lasted another second or two. Finally, the voice of reason, having been silent for too long during his recent interactions with the lovely Eilis, managed to settle the dispute.

He cleared his throat and began in as comfortable a tone trying to emphasize the veracity of the words he was speaking. “If I understand your question correctly you believe that the tattoos you sport have warped your features in such a way that you think you have become grotesque.”

He placed a hand on her head and gently brushed back a few unruly strands that have fallen on her face. He studied what he been asked to evaluate. To his eyes, all he could see was a lovely skin and two jeweled eyes that looked up half glazed at him, the last remnants of Dark Sight seeming to disappear.

“I would like to assure you most strongly that this is not the case.” He traced the lines of tattoos, two smaller ones framing a third thicker one. His finger gently followed the contours of the lines, his callused hand slowly traversing the soft skin. He started at the crown of her head just at the hair line and followed it down to the ridge of her nose and down one side to her check down to her jaw. He fought the urge to continue down journey down the neck. Instead, he moved his hand and traced upward from the sleeve looking tattoo up her forearm to her shoulder.

To break the quickly becoming awkward silence when he remembered that she still could not see clearly he addressed her again.

“If nothing else, Eilis. They are quite captivating. Please forgive me for saying this but where it not for their harmful origins and function, they would be suitable adornment for a lady such as you.” He smiled down at her as he cleared his throat further. “Even as they are, I have to admit that I find myself wanting to closely examine them.” He cleared his throat again a bit embarrassed at his forwardness but too much had transpired between them to pay attention to propriety.

“When you have fully recovered your sight, I shall find you a proper reflective surface so that you can make your own conclusions. As it stands, all I see before me is a lovely lady.” He said in his most amicable and truthful tone.

He added. “And that is the truth”
Tobi shrugged as Tyrhallan gave him the namebearer bit. The family name was not something so imperative in lesser families. While it was true that the young lad was the only male and the inheritor of the title and business, Tobi had never really had his heart set on it. Now with him being in the military and his chance of surviving until the end of his sentence, the probability of the name continuing was that much more diminished.

Still, he could understand why a person of the Knight Captain’s standing would care about passing on the legacy. The young mage had no doubt that the name carried with it all the weight of generations of great men and women.

There was a slight pause as Tyrhallan went through his ritualistic table setting and blessing. In his childhood his mother, a believer, had tried to instill in her children proper manners but had failed considerably of no fault of her own. Still, the young mage tried to be respectful and observed some decorum to the extent of closing his mouth to chew and not speaking with his mouth full.

Tobi listened to the silver haired man expose his own stance on leadership. A nod of his head after every point showed the Knight that the young man was still listening despite him shoveling bite after bite into his mouth.

The young mage did not really have any objections, but he knew that very few, if any, military leader, especially those of rank, followed what the lord was stating. Oh the gentry were quick to call up duty and responsibility when levying taxes or troops but often forgot those same tenets when it was their turn to protect and provide for their subordinates. Many nobles saw peasants as nothing more than expendable and labor.

Still, Tobi could appreciate that there were few that believed like Tyrhalland and his opinion of the man rose because of it. He shook his head when the Knight Captain excused himself as if this motion translated no need for apologies. After all, every man is at the very least entitled to their opinion.

He stopped chewing and became more attentive when Arn was brought up. The young mage dissected every word. Weighed every sentiment and took note of the tone in which the Knight Captain delivered his reasoning, but the mange found no lie or error in what was said. Finally, Tobi nodded agreeing with Tyrhallan that the current course of action was perhaps for the best.

The young mage offered his own sigh. He did not like the idea of parting from the side of such great a person as his reluctant mentor but he knew it was probably for the best. Swallowing his current bite of food the young man said in a melancholic tone. “You are right in both accounts. It is no secret that Captain Evander had it in for Master Arn. The fool thinks that there is this big plot brewing to embarrass him and seize control of the Shooting Stars. He has been looking for any excuse to send him to Court Martial. We both know that if that happens, it will not be a fair trail. A lowly noble he might be but Evander is still a noble. No offense”

The young man paused wanting to see if Lord Venray would come to the aid of a fellow noble. A few seconds passed and he continued, this time in an apologetic tone. “Regarding the young miss. I fear that I am not at liberty to say. But if Master Arn trust you as I think he does, the only reason he may not say anything is because he has given his word. He may not be a knight or of high birth but his word is his bond.” This last part was said a bit forceful as if to prevent or squash any comment to the contrary.

“All I will say is that I have never seen the man act the way he does. He may need help in the arena from somebody who is probably used to being around the female members of our society.” The young man offered a wink after his playful comment. But perhaps he was not too far off. Almost every member of the Shooting Stars knew that Arn had never even spoken to another female other than professionally.

Tobi was caught by surprise by the offering of the stone. He took it in his hand and looked at it. He turned it over a couple of times and traced the V etched into he stone. A look of puzzlement could be easily seen. Not wanting to cause any sort of embarrassment or affront he said in a almost confused tone “thank you?”

The young mage place the stone in his pocket. He was taking another bite when he noticed a familiar face in the crowd behind Tyrhallan. The young mage raised his hand and waved until he caught the attention of the other young lad, a Novice by the name of Lornian Carver. The flushed face showed he had been perhaps running. This was further confirmed by his gasps as he reached the table.

“huff huff. Where…the huff Hell have you been Tobi? Huff… Evander wants….your..huff ass. No, no, I huff mean he wants you …back now.” The young lad huffed away. Lornian was a bit on the chubby side and the strain has obviously been taxing.

Tobi chuckled “Catch your breath boy before you faint. Here have something to drink” The other pushed the cup away. “I..think huff he is serious Tobi we have to go”. Turning he suddenly caught sight of Tyrhallan and his eyes grew wider as he caught sight of the emblem in the chest of the man. He managed a stuttering “Pardon..my interruption Knight Captain..I I.”

Tobi placed a hand on the lad. “Its ok, relax Lorni. Captain Venray will not bite. He might give you a few days in the brig for the offense of not introducing yourself first but no more than a few days.” The other boy’s face turned pale and worried eyes regarded Tobi. “Relax man, I am just playing.”
Tobi then turned to the silver haired lord. “Please excuse me Captain Venray. I enjoyed your company and your meal. It appears I am summoned though. Please take care of Master Arn.” A questioning look started to form on Lornian’s face but Tobi just pushed the lad forward. “I’ll tell you later come on before Evander pops a vein and we have to clean up the mess.”

Lorni managed a stuttering “Excuse us” and was pushed away into the sea of bodies who were just as vibrant as it had been since the King’s speech. And just like that, Tyrhallan was alone with only a plate and the remnants of a chaotic meal as evidence of Tobi’s existence.
Arn shook his head slightly at her self deprecation. How could she believe that? How could she not see how important she was? There was literally a group of high powered individuals who were looking for her. This may not be a very amiable point but it was logical. Also, his world had been turned upside down due to her. Had it not been for her, his life would continue to in the same straight and clear path that he was on.

Despite him being a collected and always composed person, the turmoil and uncertainty that she had brought in just the mere moments of knowing her stirred some deep need in him that he did not know he had. The mystery of her, her life, and the future was very appealing to the master mage.

His logical mind posed many questions and he wanted to follow each one but at this moment, he wanted to give her his full attention. Even this inner reflections, which he was used to doing all his life, seemed somehow in appropriate with her being next to her.

“Breathe Arn."

He smiled and he took a deep breath. His lungs filled with the air in the room and with something else. A slight hint of something else. Was it Her? He chasticed himself for the thought. It was not clear wetehr the feeling that she had arose in him were romantic. But he did feel drawn to her, connected to her, and he very much felt that not being with her would somehow be a great loss.

Yet, despite even the interactions which have brought them close and even opened doors into his soul that had been stuck shut, he still felt like a creep imagining that the sweet scent was somehow related to her.

To deviate his mental train from the current track which would only bring red flush to his face and quicken his heart, the battlemage decided to analyze the analogy she had presented.

“Bow and arrow?” He spoke the question softly more to himself. He was sure he had heard the words before but as the current world’s technology had more efficient and deadly munitions or projectiles, they had not been used in actual battle for millennia.

His quick mind searched through the archives of his mind for the reference in an over eager way to compensate for his previous thoughts. Immediately, his mind raced through references of military weapons. Putting all pieces together he understood what she meant. Alone, both were not very efficient. However, together they could be quite deadly. These were simple instruments and Arn liked nothing if not simplicity.

He smiled down at her and chuckled, this time more easily, at her mischievous glint on those eyes of hers. He could see his reflection in them and wondered if she would feel just at ease once her Dark Sight had passed. The master mage was not a vain person or even cared about looks but he felt that perhaps she may have an image in her mind that would dissipate once she actually beheld him.

He sighed in understanding. His own life was not something that he would gleefuly wish on somebody else. There had been many times in his young life when he wished him and his mother could live in a small house, she would wake up and make him breakfast and he would run along with his friends to some imaginary school.

He wondered if strife and challenges was all that people born with an affinity to magic could hope for. Here was a lovely young lady that had seen more pain that some soldiers and only those who had gone through similar circumstances could understand.

What he could not understand was the sudden concern in her face. Arn was glad she felt him trustworthy and safe. Was she perhaps doubting her own conclusions? What else could he do to reassure her. He wondered if he had said something wrong or something to bring up doubts in her. His own face morphed into one of concern.

"Forgive me, but I can't seem to let you go." She whispered before she leaned forward and closed her eyes placing a gentle kiss on his forehead.

The place where her lips touched his skin was the epicenter of a warm wave that spread outward to his whole body. He smiled at that. A warmth that was obvious radiated from his body. He felt a joy in hearing that. Eilis seemed to enjoy his company and not because of his destructive and weaponized potential. In fact he had done nothing more than be a human heating pad. Some part of his mind wondered at this phenomenon.

Normally it took concentration and tapping into the Aether to produce these thermal changes. Instead, the connection with her seemed to naturally cause a reaction that surpassed understanding. That analytical side of his brain wanted to study, to question, and to test. He wondered if their connection could work both ways and he could provoke changes in her.

His other side wanted to just stay still in the moment between them for eons. This side of his brain saw their connection as inevitable. Arn was not very familiar with this side. It made illogical and outlandish arguments. Yet, despite their definitive fallacy, the mage could not say they were wrong.

In the fraction of a second that the battle for control and command raged in his mind a truce was finally called and was embodies by a simple

“Nor I want to let you go either.”
Tobi had started to panic again as he caught the playful end of the Knight Captain’s jab. He was about to launch into an apologetic rant with as much groveling and penitence when he caught the teasing smile. The young mage smiled back. “Very well Cap, you may call me Tobi. My dad was the true Tailor, I just carry the name.”

He looked down at the meaty pink serving that the silver haired knight placed on his plate. It certainly looked appetizing. Much better than the dried meat and synthetic stuff they had to eat. More often than not, the squad ate dry goods or rations meant more to be nutritional than actually enjoyed to be eaten.

He hoped that the fish along with the rest of his bounty were worthy of being perhaps his last meal. He had managed to get different varieties of tubbers, some fruits and colorful vegetables. He basically piled his plate high.

The young mage hoped he could sneak some of this food to his buddies in the barracks but knew that it would be very strange and hard to do so in the company of Tyrhallan. Like Arn, Tobi, cared and looked out for others despite their detached attitude. This was one of the reasons why Tobi brought them news and suffered reprimands to give them a much deserved laugh every now and then.

Tobi followed Tyrhallan. People were starting to congregated in groups, no doubt to discuss the news that King Aldred just dropped on everyone there. The young lad was enough of a veteran that he knew that worrying on an empty stomach would do no one any good.

He signaled to the Knight Captain with his head towards a table that could seat both of them which had been recently emptied. He stood on the side opposite the knight and waited for the other man to sit. The young mage may be irreverent and rebellious towards his own captain but he would show this man no such attitude.

Their conversation had stimulated him as much as the ones he had with Arn in matters of magic and philosophy. Here was a man who could answer his question about what the other side of the military forces thought. It was an unwritten rule that mages and knights did not mingle but this interaction seemed just as natural as any he had with mages.

Tobi dissected and digested the information that the Knight Captain had provided. As he sat and absently took bites of various dishes, he mulled the implications in his mind. Finally, he finished his bite and offered his own musings to the other man.

“I read in a book that leadership is the ability to inspire others to surpass their own limitations and often even surpass those that are currently in leadership.” He stopped measuring up Tyrhallan with eyes that suddenly seemed older than the young face betrayed.

“I agree with you that the King is a great leader. Not because he called us to action but because even if he is to die, ,he cemented in our minds a last image of him that will enable those surviving to continue the fight.” He took another bite of a red fruit which was soft, sweet and also acidy.

“This is how we feel about Master Mage Arn. Many in the Shooting Stars consider him a hero. To us he is what a battle mage should be. I follow him into battle again and again not because he is a master but because he inspires me to do my best.” His voice was soft and respectful.

“I have to ask Cap. Other than pissing Captain Evander off, why did you request Master Mage Arn’s transfer?” The young man’s eyes were narrowed. It was not that he did not trust Tyrhallan but in a sense, he felt the man was taking something valuable from them.

“Sure the Master Mage is some heavy fire power and can cause quite some damage on the battle field. But so can a heavy pulse cannon and I reckon the cannon will be easier to handle.” He sighed. “If you have not discussed this decision with him, you may find he does not like others to make choices for him. Just ask Captain Evander.” A slight smirk appeared on the boy’s face.

“You appear to be an honorable man. So I am sure your reasoning is good but I guess I feel a bit protective of the Master Mage.” Tobi shrugged and put more food in his mouth.

******************************

Arn was taken aback by Eilis’s comment. It registered to him slowly that she had felt that his identification as a weapon was a deprecating comment. His smile widened and he actually chuckled. The sound was strange even to him. This made him chuckle even more. His chest would shake and rumble. He did not at all dislike the feeling and wondered why he hand not done that before. Perhaps he had nobody he wanted to do that for?

In his mind, his ability to be useful was a pillar to his existence. He had been born the bastard child of a whore. He had lived the first part of his life just surviving for his mother and when she was gone it had left a big blank in his life. The reason he identified as a weapon was because of the teachings of his sword master. The old veteran who had taught him control and restraint and the honor in fighting. It was he who taught him that the life of a warrior must have meaning. Otherwise, the warrior is just a killer.

It had been an old belief that a warrior’s weapon was their soul. So he felt he was the soul and the fighting spirit of all those who were powerless, beginning with his mother and extending to the fallen members of his own squad.

He was a weapon that would cut down evil and would defend freedom. The political implications of the side he was fighting on was the most virtuous was not in debate. Those were debates for higher thinking order. He was only concerned with the black and white he could see such as pirates and brigands that needed to be brought down.

"You are a reason worth living for."

His musings came to an end as those words were spoken. His breath caught in his throat and he even doubted he had heard correctly.

But he had heard correctly. His sharp ears and sharp mind would not betray him so no matter how exhausted or in what pain he was in. in truth, his current health status had all but been forgotten and even the beeps and hums of the medical machinery had retired to the background.

Eilis’s confession had caught him unaware and hit him like a strong blow to the solar plexus. He felt he needed to breathe. The implication of what she was telling him flooded him like a wave of potent feelings. It was as if the damn had burst and a powerful wave of emotion fell on him like tsunami.

For a second, fear rose to the surface. Why would she say that? What did it mean? What was in store? Thankfully, a life of stoic and logical thinking managed to be the raft that navigated the feelings whirlpool that swirled inside him.

The senior mage took a deep, steadying breath. He looked down at the young lady. His eyes filled with emotion and tenderness. His voice spoke an almost choked but sweet tone.

“Eilis, all my life I have had a simple reason to live. I felt that I needed a reason to be alive. I felt that by being useful my life was not a waste. However, I did not know that I actually needed someone to live that life with. I am glad you are still here and that I got to meet you. This world would have lost too much with you gone.” He squeezed her hand.

This whole situation had escalated in magnitude that was hair rising and almost implausible but even to his pragmatic mind this all made sense. There was little else he was as completely sure about. “I will be by your side as I have already promised. It will be my honor to be your shield. Not as a disposable item but as a reason for my existence. I ask that you allow me this. I ask that you live this life it with me?”

He held his breath awaiting her response.

@Whoami not to worry. I mean Auriel has just been chilling at the library while me and Cole have been tackling the hard philosophical questions lol.
Arn listened, her story stirring the depths of his soul. The maelstrom inside him shifted from anger, to murderous intent, to pain and sadness for the young girl, to self-loathing for forcing her to relieve those painful memories.

Yet, he was also glad for them. They painted a picture of the girl who he now held in her arms. It had been hubris to think that she was defenseless and thus needed his protection. He had forgotten the admiration that the man who had witnessed described her actions. As he listened, he found more and more respect for the young girl.

She was kind and sweet. Her concern was always with others. Eilis felt the pain of the world and would hold herself to blame as if she was the only reason the world bled. Yet Arn had seen how cruel this world could be and so had Eilis. Perhaps, that is why she clung to her belief that her presence hurt the people around her.

Even her justified killing of her tormentor further showed how pure she was. Arn never felt remorse for killing those who he deemed deserving of death. Yet she regrated taking life.

Her story also shed light to the people who might be hunting her. Ruthless was the theme of her story. These were a group that were powerful enough to be ruthless and had the backing of the empire to do it lawfully. This meant that the forces which were at Belisio’s door steps could very well be fanatics more than willing to deal out death and destruction to achieve their goals.

This information was definitely sensitive because it meant that perhaps negotiations were not possible. This also meant that he alone would not be enough to protect her. A group with such sadistic tendencies often operated in cells. Only thought the assurance of victory could such group have the benefit of being so sadistic.

Arn squeezed her hand in support and assurance. She was no longer alone. She no longer had to run. If she decided to fight, he would be by her side. He was still not sure why he had been so drawn to her but whatever the reason, it had cemented in his mind the need to protect her and assure her happiness.

He noticed she realized that she was able to see again. For one illogical second he worried she would find his look threatening and would be scared of him. He had never wondered or cared about how he looked but for a fleeting second he whished he looked more like Tyrhallan who was the epitome of a knight in shining armor.

The mage waited a second or two to see if Eilis would continue. When the lovely refugee did not he began in a soft and reassuring voice. “You say you are a coward but I have yet to find someone more courageous. It takes an unbelievable amount of courage to refuse to fight even at the expense of pain and suffering. The valuing life is not a weakness. Valuing peace is not a coward’s idea.” He practiced a wider smile, his face tried to protest, the motion not something it was used to producing but finally managed a lopsided sort of grin.

“You feel you are a liability because you have people after you. However, I can assure you that those who truly care about you do not see this as a deterrent. Rather, your plight is much more of an incentive to help you. You asked me before why I helped you and I did not know what to say before. I know now. I pledge myself to help you because you deserve happiness.”

He brushed back a loose lock of hair as she lowered her head. “You may deny it, but you do the same for others. If I recall correctly, you were willing to suffer so that others in that frigate might live. There was no reason for you to do so. In this same manner, I ask that you let me be by your side.”

The master mage looked past her as if talking to someone or even himself. “I have considered myself a weapon meant only to be used. However, now I see that I am to be a tool and a shield. I have protected some in my way. Now I have a reason strong enough to resolve myself to you.”

He cleared his throat. “I thank you for answering my question even though the memories are painful to you. I promise never again to ask you such a thing unless you yourself want to disclose them. You see, you are a mystery to me and if I am not careful I might cause you pain unwittingly.”

He sighed as he carefully selected his words. “But I promise you that I will do what I can to free you of these chains. To every lock there is a key. You deserve to be free.” He squeezed her hands in his. His voice firm but kind. “Would you let me help you?”
Fer considered the question posed to him. He had very little interaction with the spear who had left almost as quickly as he himself had appeared in this world. There seemed to be no animosity or bad blood in the departure. Indeed, the Spear had seemed level headed and even was able to pull an entourage with him which meant that at least some people of this world found him trustworthy.

He knew even less of the bow hero beside the comments of both Cole and Marcino. What he heard however, did not leave a good impression. As far as warriors went, apparently, she was very good. It was in the interaction between people that she seemed to be lacking. Fer was never one for sensibilities despite his usually calm and helpful attitude.

His friend was right, teamwork for the sake of survival, not just their own but of the world, would be critical. In truth, Fer had forgotten at times that two other heroes existed except for the time that Auriel or Cole mentioned them. He had enjoyed their small group’s dynamic. But his childish desires were trumped by cold hard real-world needs.

He sighed as he prepared to respond to Cole. His voice had a resigned tone that told of the unwillingness to do what his words said but his conviction to do it for the greater good. “IF there is a way to speak to them and IF we manage to get them to work with us in a sort of loose alliance. Our survival chances will increase. We do need more fire power Cole and just you and Auriel in the vanguard may not be enough.”

He paused for a second collecting his thoughts. If the bow was indeed such a jerk then her addition to the party might do more harm than good. But from what he had heard, the waves were named thus because they came in predictable and timed patterns. Perhaps there was a way to work with them during the waves and allow for the freedom of everyone following their own paths while in the lull between the waves.

“It would be great to have us work together in perfect synchrony but I don think that is possible. So, if we can at least fight in a loosely based plan with certain teams doing certain tasks then we should be able to fight effectively. It would take too much cooperation to fight efficiently but we can at least cover each other’s backs. I hope we can at least trust them enough for that.”

He looked at his fellow hero. “Do you think that you are charming enough to win them over to our side?” His tone was playful. “Or do you know them enough to perhaps offer some sort of deal or incentive?” Fer shrugged. “The least we can do is try and talk to them. If nothing comes of it, then we go back to being separate cells and hope that we survive.”
Arn sighed. He had figured that the young girl, a healer, would try to save this unknown human wolf creature. His instincts had warned him before yet now stayed silent. What had that voice in the back of his mind been warning him about? Could this strange creature be the reason? The forest was also eerily silent as if all eyes were turned to the three by the creek. Arn took a steadying breath as he slowly set down his bow and arrow in the ground next to him.

He had asked the girl for a decision and though it annoyed him to be the one to get in the way of danger, still it needed to be done. He weighed his options. If the humanoid creature behaved or thought as a canine, taking control of the head would be the easiest method. However, unlike dogs, humans did not posses strong neck or jaw muscles and their bite width was lessened.

If the creature however, was more given to be have like a human, then Arn had to deal with tactics and wrestling that would involve punches, kicks etc. whatever the case, he figured that his bigger stature and the creature’s wounded state might provide some advantage. Arn proceeded to take off his cloak of furs revealing his well-muscled and scarred body. The cooling breeze tickled at his skin.

There was a slight moment of embarrassment and vulnerability. His eyes looked at the young girl out of the corner of his eye. He grunted and then collected himself. “I will try to grab it. It may be hard to fix the leg. I will try to hold it.”

With that, he proceeded towards the creature with his cloak in front of him like a blanket. His aim was to throw it over the creature and then jump on it while holding it into a bear hug from behind. This would protect them from bite or scratches and will leverage his bigger frame.

He had performed this technique many times before. Animals tended to lunge at the furs, which would unbalance them and provide an opening for Arn to merely fall on them, wrap arms and legs around the animals and subdue them. Having the extra pair of hands from Gwendoly could also help if they needed to somehow tie and secure the creature.
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