Forgotten Past

I woke up, and remembered nothing. Remembered nothing, and yet was charged with the task of saving an entire race...

Yes, it's kinda like the forgotten and Only Hope mixed in together :) I liked both the stories, so for one of my possible stories for next year's Young Movellist, I decided to write this. Enjoy.


4. Chapter 4

I reached the village in the early hours of dusk, and, pulling the hood of my cloak over my head, proceeded to look for an inn. There, I could wash the blood from my hair, and get myself a nice good rest. 
And on top of that, innkeepers tended to know a lot of useful information. I'd find out if there were any good warriors in this village, and, if there were, then I would seek them out and ask for their assistance. 
But first, I told myself, I would clean the blood from my body, because there would be nothing worse than having the whole village too sacred of me to actually defend themselves when the soldiers came plundering. 
On the way here, I'd managed to scrub most of the blood from my face, but my hair, currently concealed under my hood, was still caked in it. My ears were currently hidden by my hair and my hood, so nobody would know who I was. 
Except, as I was to find out, Alvyss. 

After cleaning myself at the inn, I headed down to join all the others who were either staying at the inn, or had come there to drink. I swiftly surveyed the guests, seeing mostly groups of men, clustered around tables, drinking and laughing, and drinking some more. 
A couple of bards sat in the midst of the tables, singing and playing, and there were worn looking travelers filling up most of the other tables, along with a few couples who'd decided to go out for the night.
And then, sitting by himself in the corner, wrapped up in a finely made cloak and looking at me strangely, was a boy, who - judging from his build and face - looked about the age of fifteen; the age I thought myself to be. 
"Lots of weapon's you've got there," the boy said in a quiet, almost teasing voice, as I went to sit on the table next to his. 
"Yes," I said, on some strange impulse. "They're good for silencing people who enquire about such things."
"I'm not enquiring," he laughed, and I could feel more than a few pairs of eyes watching me. Most people had noticed how armed I was, and even some of the drunk men were looking at me in wonder. "I'm simply stating a fact." Then, as I pulled out a chair, he added, "Why don't you come and sit over here? We can discuss weapons, since you seem to love them so much," he grinned, un-sheathing a gleaming dagger from a scabbard inside his cloak. "I'll buy you a drink," he added, closing the deal. I wanted to save as much of my golden coins as I could, and a drink didn't sound too bad. 
Besides, I had nothing better to do. Taking the chair opposite him, I heard the words 'he never talks to anybody' running through the little gathering of spectators, and couldn't help but notice the amount of people who were listening to us conversing. Apparently, the boy had noticed too.
"Well, I've already seen a difference between us, Weapon-Lady." I could feel the eyes of the guests boring into my back. "See, while you may use your little friends to silence enquirers, I use mine to stop people from eavesdropping on every single word I say," the boy said, glaring around at everybody else as he did so. I couldn't help myself but smile, as the other guests quickly looked away, and went back to their own conversations. 
As the innkeeper went to fetch me a drink, the boy leaned in closer, lowering his voice and holding me in a steely glare. 
"I may not be able to see your ears, Elfy, but I can tell just by looking at you that you aren't human. Tell me why you're here."
My eyes widened in alarm. How had he known? What had given it away? And, if none of the other humans could tell who I was, then how come he'd been able to? He repeated the question, and I managed,
"I don't-" before he cut me off mid-sentence.
"Listen, Elfy, unless you want everyone here to know who you are, then you'd better tell me why you're here."
I didn't have any choice but to explain myself.
"There are soldiers coming to raid this village," I said in a hushed voice, glancing around to ensure that nobody had heard us. Luckily, nobody had.
"Oh, great," the boy muttered. "How many?"
"About twenty," I replied, not seeing any reason to lie.
"Well, this is brilliant. I'd heard that there were soldiers in the area, but I thought it'd only be a small party," he said, as the innkeeper walked up with my drink in hand. I nodded her my thanks as the boy tossed her a gold coin. Taking a sip from the ale, I spoke.
"So, why're you here? I'm Sitaryn, by the way."
"Alvyss," he introduced himself, brown eyes glinting curiously. "What I want to know is why you, an elf, would want to help the race you are probably sworn to kill. So tell me; what makes you want to save the humans?"
"It's easy," I replied, looking him right in the eye. "I don't agree with people preying on the weak like this. It's a small village, and I strongly doubt that it will last the winter with half of it's food gone. So when it comes to defeating bullies to protect the weak, I'll do it. Are you telling me that you wouldn't?" I asked him, my eyes boring right into his soul. 
"Oh, I would. In fact, it's the whole reason I'm here. But let me ask you, Elfy, what if it were the elves bullying the humans?" 
I took in his question, ignoring the fact that he was still calling me 'Elfy' like it was some kind of insult. What would I do? Side with my own, or side with the people who were in the right?
"It's different," I persisted, as he took a swig of his ale. Alvyss shook his head, but I continued. "The elves wouldn't do that!"
"Most wouldn't," he agreed. "But some would."
"Then... Then I'd stop the elves," I stammered. Alvyss raised an eyebrow. "The innocent come before the bullies," I continued, and a small smile touched the edge of Alvyss's lips. 
"You're not as cocky as I thought, Elfy," he grinned. Now it was my turn to raise an eyebrow.
"Oh, really? Then you're not as dumb, for thinking me cocky."
He laughed, and, for some reason, I joined in.
"Why are we laughing?" he asked, taking a little more of his ale. He looked at the alcohol as he put it back down on the table, and the realisation hit him. 
"Oh," he said, trying not to laugh. "Right."

When we finally sobered (which took a good half-hour of us arguing over whether my name was Sitaryn or Elfy, and then me explaining about my lost memory) we moved on to decide just how to protect the village. "How good are you with that bow?" Alvyss asked, after the innkeeper had just confirmed that there were no fighting men in the village, and that the travelers had no wish to involve themselves in combat with soldiers. 
"I don't know. I think I'm quite good, and I can shoot fast," I said, and Alvyss sighed.
"Right," he muttered. "You lost your memory. Well, let's just assume that you're an amazing shot, and you take down five humans and five rhinos, and I get the same amount with my own bow before they can get to the village. That still means ten men, and their mounts, for us to fight."
"Unless we prioritise killing the blood-rhinos at the front, and so they'll all have to stumble over that one, making them easier prey, and giving us more time to shoot. Plus, if we take down the rhinos rather than their riders, it'll give us more time to fight the mounted survivors of the arrows, because the blood-rhinos are faster than the men," I pointed out. Alvyss nodded, deep in thought.
"It might work," he said. "But we'll still have to fight some in close-combat, you know that, right?" 
"Yeah," I replied. I had a feeling I was good at fighting. If I was, there was a chance that we might live. 
If I wasn't, we would die. 

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