The Kolarin Cycle, Book One: Wildfire

(Haven't edited yet, there may be a few mistakes)
I came up with the idea for Wildfire a while ago but i was busy at the time and i never got around to it, but now i've finally started so here it goes. Wildfire is about a boy named Castir who was abandoned by his mother when he was little, she had given him into the care of a travelling circus of thieves, he quickly learns the skills of an acrobat and starts being sent on more dangerous missions, but the death of a loved one followed by the biggest heist of his life could ruin his.

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18. Chapter 17 Prowling Through The Bushes

Snuffy prowled through the bushes, watching the prisoner, Aine. She had been appeared with Thyme, Rosemary and Oak, but had escaped before they woke up. Now Snuffy followed her wondering where she could possibly be going. She no longer looked over her shoulder, like she did for a while after she had escaped. She was content that she had escaped them and was now probably returning to her place in TaRin, then fleeing and going into hiding.

Aine found the edge of the forest, and began walking along a vast plain, attempting to find out where she was, a small village of about 12 houses and an inn appeared on the horizon with Snuffy following through the grass stealthily she ran towards the tiny town.

Aine asked the first person she met where she was, the dirty man wore old worn out clothes, and his face was covered in dirt.

'Why your in the town of Bertad, a small village on the border between Chun-ik and Bura. Might I ask what your doing so far away from the city, without a horse as well, you know what I don't want to know, just get what you need and leave this village, I suspect your not the best company to keep.' The talkative man explained.

Aine nodded her appreciation then walked off down the dirt street, towards the inn. The man sighed and walked into the closest house, it was single storey and a thick rope hung down from the ceiling of the patio. Strangely he didn't close the door but left it wide open.

He walked back out holding a long sabre.

The man pulled the rope, and a loud crack sounded through the town. In response people walked out of their houses holding bows, swords and spears.

Aine stopped walking and turned back to face the man.

'I'm surprised I didn't recognise you with all that dirt covering your face, and it seems you shaved your beard.' She observed.

'You may not have recognised me, but I knew who you were the second I saw you, what are you doing so far south?' He asked, the townspeople began closing in on Aine, circling both her and the man.

Snuffy strode from his hiding place and bounded between the legs of the townspeople, he found a hiding place under a woman's long dress, there was at lest four knives hidden beneath her dress, where Snuffy was hiding . He peeked out from under the hem to listen and see the events.

'It's good to see you Dorin.'

'Shame I can't say the same for you.' Dorin snapped. Aine held out her hands in a mock gesture of apology.

'I suppose your going to take me back to Bura?' She guessed. Dorin smiled then replied coolly.

'Naturally your going to resist.'

'Your wrong on that, how could I possibly hope to escape 30 trained and armed men and women, with no weapon? So you'll find no escape from me today.' Aine tactfully replied.

'How do I know you won't stab me with a knife the moment I let my guard down?' Dorin countered.

'You don't.' Aine replied automatically. Dorin frowned then turned to face the townspeople,

'I want three of you watching her at all times, one of you organise shifts.' He ordered then walked towards one of the houses.

'I want ten of you to stay here to look after the town.' He added, the townspeople began to move to do their tasks.

Snuff darted out from underneath the woman's dress and bolted to his hiding spot. He decided on revealing himself to Dorin when they got back to Bura, it would be better if no-one knew about a little extra help keeping watch.

* * *

Castir bounded through the trees with Rosemary, Naran and Sage close behind him, after Rosemary had blown apart the gates into the rebel stronghold Naran and Sage had begun to greet them only to be interrupted by a huge explosion of blue smoke and fire, then a second explosion in the same place as the first lighting up the night sky with a dazzling pale blue light. So then the four of them had sprinted off into the trees in the direction of the explosions. Oak had stayed behind to explain the situation to the confounded rebels, using his smooth tongue to ease the anger of the leaders.

Rosemary ran from the tree with an even stride, her long legs propelling her across the ground, Sage kept pace with them, but with a not so even stride, every now and then she would stumble, but after a second, recover and catch up with the group.

Naran and Castir however, were used to running for long periods of time, especially at night, they could easily have flown ahead, but they slowed themselves so as not to leave their friends behind.

Rosemary knew this and her pride rattled against the cage sense had put around it. Pride told her to shout at them for treating her like a child, but sense told her that Castir and Naran could have easily left her and her sister behind, and she would be even more angry if they had. Eventually her sense quieted her pride and she gritted her teeth and kept running.

Eventually they heard shouting and the signs of a fight. They were closing in on their target and began to slow down, saving the rest of their energy in the case of a fight.

The shouting grew louder and the group could here the splashing of fast running water, the crackle of fire, and the clash of steel on wood and the smell of smoke plagued the air.

* * *

Thyme and Seah battled back and forth across the scorched ground. They fought each other in the centre of the scorch mark Seah had created. The skilled fighters danced back and forth neither one landing a mark on the other. They were so absorbed in there fight that both of them were oblivious to their surroundings.

Twice Thyme bumped into a tree and it was almost her end, but she somehow managed to avoid Seah's attack. The trees on the edge of the clearing were soon burning brightly in the dark from the flames Thyme had nimbly dodged.

Emelra wasn't so lucky, she had already sustained two wounds from the cloaked figure whom she had challenged.

'Are you so scared of me that you must use magic? Why not fight me with a solid weapon? Or are you too scared?' She had mocked. Her strategy seemed to work and a sword of pure darkness had collected in his hand.

While he ran towards her, she collected her spear and ran forward to meet him.

Her first wound had appeared when she fell for a feint, thankfully she had recovered before he could finish her off, her arm was now covered in blood from where the sword had carved out a small chunk of flesh.

Her second wound had been a lucky shot from her adversary. She had lunged forward, he had attempted to sweep her spear to the side with his sword, but he got her hand instead, the spear had nicked him just under the ribs, because of his unsuccessful attempt at a sweep.

They were still attacking each other, neither seeming to lose any energy or vigour from when they started their bout. In all fairness, they were evenly matched, not once had another gained the upper hand. The fight could have gone on forever, had an unseen archer sent an arrowing whizzing into the leg of the man.

His hood fell off when his body collapsed to the ground in pain from the leg wound.

As soon as the arrow had made contact four familiar faces had hurtled into the clearing, startling Thyme and Seah out of their battle trace, and halting the caster of a rush of water. The water hadn't stopped though, it crashed into Birce and the force knocked him off his feet and smacking his head on the ground.

He lay there dripping wet and unconscious. More people entered the clearing from the opposite side. They were however unknown to Emelra.

The fighting stopped, and nobody moved except for the eight people who had entered the clearing after Rosemary, Castir, Naran and Sage.

'You two are under arrest!' One of them yelled, Seah's head moved towards the tall man wielding a broad sword.

'I think not. Nyt!' She ordered, and the man Emelra had faced spun in a circle, a cocoon of darkness surrounded him and his four companions.

But before they could capture their target. The cocoons disappeared.

The vines around the woman disappeared and she fell to the ground.

Emelra ran over and helped the woman to her feet, she wobbled and almost collapsed unconscious.

'We'll take her back to the base, she needs medical attention, it looks like her knee might be dislocated.' One of the strangers explained to her, after he had ran over looking concerned.

The man who had ordered Seah's arrest stood in the clearing, both his fists clenched around his sword. He looked up and noticed Rosemary standing talking to one of the people who had arrived with him.

'YOU!' He screamed, and began to advance on Rosemary.

'Not you again, we don't need your hocus pocus interfering with our job!' He shouted. Rosemary drew herself up to her full height. Although the man towered over her, she showed no signs of fear.

The man began raging about not being able to do his job without some "magician" interfering. He swung his sword around wildly, barely missing Rosemary in his furious rage.

He pointed the sword at her, with a look of malice etched on his face, Rosemary did nothing, she didn't have to because the man, who was obviously the commander of his troops, backed away when he noticed a young man, looking down the shaft of an arrow at him.

He glared at all of them then stormed off and started a heated discussion at the opposite end of the clearing.

Emelra ran over too Rosemary and was about to ask who the commander was when a loud gasp cut through the air. Emelra spun around to see Thyme on the ground unconscious, she had reverted back to her normal form. Wela was shaking her by the shoulder, trying to get her to snap out of it, but to no avail.

The group crowded around her, worried about their friend.

'Will she be alright?'

'What happened?'

'I swear a demon was standing where she is now.'

Nobody could answer the questions posed, Rosemary picked her up holding her like a mother would her child, she walked off in the direction of the giant tree.

After a moments hesitation, the rest of the party followed.

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