The ranger girl


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4. a ranger

As she was riding back to the castle, Willow's trained eyes picked out a ranger, when he moved slightly from his position. "Castle," she whispered to her horse. Quietly as possible she dismounted. But her horse kept going towards the castle. She on the other hand ghosted into the shadows. She was really glad she wasn't wearing the gaudy colors that the women of the castle liked so much. 

She was willowy and ethereal, tall and slim. As a ward she was privileged, and she did very little work. Many people expected her to wear beautiful pastel colored dresses. She did wear a flowing white silken shirt with puffy sleeves. But there, what people expected, and what she did, clashed.  She did wear a corset, but she disdained the fancy embroidery with gold thread. Instead she wore a simple leather one laced up the front like a wench, instead of a noble lady. She did, however, have steel ribs in hers but for entirely different reasons than most ladies. Her steel ribs could prevent even a sword stroke, whereas most were just for making the lady look thinner. Her corset was tight but not tight enough to make any impression of being thinner than she really was. She disliked skirts and instead wore skin tight leather leggings that ended just below the knee. The boys liked it because it showed off her legs, and she did have really shapely legs, but that's not why she wore them. She loved the forest and leggings allowed her to move more easily than skirts.  The ladies of the castle hated this, and were jealous of the attention the boys gave her. They claimed as often and as loudly as possible that she was more trouble than she was worth, saying she flaunted her legs in public.  She hated satin high heels and glass slippers. So she wore soft leather ankle high boots. This resulted in her skin showing in between where her leggings started and her boots ended.  As much as the women tried to get rid of her, she qualified as a ward and therefore they couldn't. But they tried as hard as they possibly could to get her to dress like them instead of they way she dressed, she refused. 

The pastel colors would help ensure she was seen. But with her brown leather and green silk sash that went around her waist she might just be able to remain unseen. She ghosted toward the ranger slowly trying not to make any noise. In her defence it might be said that not many people would have heard her but he was a ranger and he heard her coming from a long way off. He resisted the instinct to whip around and look at her, so her had no Idea of who she was. And when she too close for his liking. He turn around and had his sword at her throat all in one movement

"That far enough for now" he said and for the first time got a good look at her. "Oh," he said and relaxed a bit "What are you doing here?" He asked and moved his sword from her throat.

"I didn't know rangers carried swords," she said.

"Most of them don't, now what are you doing here," his look told her that she'd better answer his question instead of asking another.

She shrugged and said "I don't know much about rangers. Most f the castle staff have ideas but I don't believe most of the rumors and wanted to see for myself,"

"Oh" he said. He sensed there was something more. "And?" he prompted.

"I want to take lessons, in fighting and unseen movement." she said.

"I think you'd better go" the ranger said coldly.

Her flare of hope about learning more about rangers died like and candle in the wind. She nodded and turn away she only had one chance and she lost it. "She fought to keep the tears from spilling from her eyes. Crying was un warrior like.

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