tagSci-Fi & FantasyCustom Pt. 03 - Misunderstanding

Custom Pt. 03 - Misunderstanding

byWhimsicalRepertoire©

Misunderstanding

--

Casiama crouched low with her bow drawn, a hundred yards from the pair of conversing humans on the beach. A small rowboat had come ashore, not two-hundred yards from her, and dropped these two off before returning to the larger craft. The unmarked ship - or perhaps an uncommisioned Imperial vessel - hadn't yet set sail, making Casiama paranoid that this was a temporary landing for the two intruders before her.

She cursed again under her breath, realizing that the vessel indeed must have spotted her fire or perhaps the small amount of smoke it produced. She spied on the pair of humans closely as they conversed, trying to gauge their intentions.

The red-haired woman, wearing a cloak, leather jacket, and tight leather pants showed every sign of being a sorceress. Casiama saw that the woman was wearing a ruby circlet and wore her hair loosely down her back, two signs of magical inclination. Additionally, Casiama figured she was performing some unknown ritual as she pushed grains of sand around with a stick. Casiama noticed the woman was far more shapely than she had any natural right to be.

The man, who was watching the sorceress draw her vile spells in the beach sand, was a bit more mysterious to Casiama. He wore unmarked dark leather over most of his body, and was equipped with a crossbow on his back and sword at his belt. His brown hair covered his neck as he faced away from her, but the elf's heart fluttered nervously at the sight of him.

"Inquisitors," Casiama thought to herself. They must have tracked her down after her identity was unmasked back in the town the humans called Kenilworth. She had been so stupid to let her hood down with her hair braided behind her head, but she had simply forgotten during a lapse of mistaken comfort. Several humans had started pointing at her, her ears specifically, before she had started running. Casiama had to kill three watchmen just to retreat through the town's gates, barely avoiding the remainder of the town watch in her escape and was thouroughly exhausted by the time she had finally reached the forests' edge.

That had been just six days ago.

"These inquisitors work quickly," Casiama admitted to herself.

She nimbly crept towards the Imperial inquisitors on the beach, her light steps subconsciously avoiding every twig and leaf which could give away her position. She stopped, ninety yards from her target. She would have preferred to be closer, but risked detection if she continued.

Casiama held her breath as she silently drew her bow, aimed at the sorceress, and exhaled softly as she released the string.

-

Talos heard the snap of a bow string.

From his perspective, the world was in slow-motion. Alanna, drawing a map of dubious quality in the sand, was standing not four feet to his left. The bow string had sounded from the forests' edge, Talos' eyes scanning the sky for the inevitable arrow instinctively.

He fortunately spotted the arrow in flightas it sped towards his companion. It made little noise compared to a standard shot, his eyes identifying the threat far before his ears had. His sword was already drawn without him thinking to do so, a confused look slowly forming on Alanna's face. He dove in between her and the incoming missile, deflecting the arrow with a deft upward cut. He quickly rose to his feet and ran towards the treeline, his instincts guiding his steps.

A second snap of the bow string, a second arrow speeding towards him. He ducked to the right, luckily meeting the arrow with a swift horizontal slash of his blade, all while charging ahead.

He spotted a lone figure in the trees rise from a crouch and turn, about forty yards ahead of him. The person started to run deeper into the woods as he closed the distance, regulating his breath with the instincts of an experienced sprinter.

-

Casiama's heart was racing as she fled from the man. She had just witnessed the greatest feat she had ever seen, twice, the man having deflected her silenced arrows with extreme precision. She was frightened for her life as she strode through the forest as fast as her lithe form could take her.

She vaulted over a fallen tree trunk, bounded through the thick undergrowth with sharp instincts and elven finesse. She could keep this pace up for almost an hour, and should eventually elude the man. Yet she heard her hunter's swift footsteps, keeping pace with her regardless. She turned her head just enough to get a hint of where the man was.

The man, not ten yards away now, held a crossbow aimed roughly in her direction as she tripped clumsily on an exposed root. She groaned and started to rise from the forest floor when something hard slammed on the back of her head, the void quickly consuming her.

-

Casiama awoke on the beach, laying on her side as calm waves lapped against the sand. She spotted the silhouettes of the two inquisitors as her eyes readjusted, conversing with each other in hushed tones. The elf felt terribly groggy and her head ached as it never had before. She tried to move, but only managed a weak roll as she realized she had been tied at the wrists and ankles.

"Look, she's awake!" the elf heard the sorceress exclaim. She was young, no older than twenty, her sensual curves jiggling lewdly as she hopped on her heels with the statement.

"A bit young to be an Imperial inquisitor," Casiama thought in a haze, the busty sorceress raising an eyebrow at her as the thought passed her mind. She heard footsteps in the sand from behind and knew her superhuman hunter was making his way towards her. He stepped in front of her and knelt down, an insolent smirk on his face. Casiama's heart pounded as if it would leap from her at any moment.

"Greetings, elf. Name's Talos," the man declared, offering his open palm as part of his greeting before realizing his mistake and withdrawing it. "I do apologize for the, erm, hard hit to your head back there. And being tied up now. Natural precautions, you see."

This was not at all how she imagined her captors' interrogation efforts.

"Fact is, you attacked us first, and completely unprevoked at that. Care to tell me why?" he finished, his lips settling into a natural smirk. The sorceress behind him showed a brief facial sign of impatience, her squinting eyes boring into the back of the man's head as he questioned her.

Casiama simply refused to speak to the inquisitor. She spit at his boots, closing her eyes for the inevitable kick to the face. A kick didn't come. Her green eyes fluttered open again after five seconds of silence.

"I get it. Just a natural reaction to seeing us humans, I guess. I suppose most of us would return the favor in kind," he chuckled. The woman behind him stomped a foot as she spoke up.

"Talos! What's an inquisitor?" the sorceress asked tremulously, her impatience finally overwhelming her.

"Oh no," Casiama thought as she realized how wrong she had been.

The man rose into a low crouch, turning to face the voluptuous woman.

"That's a bit of a rude question in present company. Why?"

"Because she... thinks you're one." the sorceress said softly while pointing at her. "And me," she added with a squeak. Casiama raised her eyebrows as Talos took a step back, standing and pivoting so he was facing the both of them. She heard him sigh, then watched the man in anticipation as he rubbed his temple. He looked at his companion next to him.

"Inquisitors," he started tersely, "were humans employed by the Imperial crown to hunt down elven war parties during the war. After the war, the Emperor continued using their skills to..."

The man paused for a moment, contemplating something before continuing. His eyes shifted to her before returning to the sorceress.

"They hunted and murdered elves, Alanna. Any elf in 'Imperial territory'," he modulated haughtily as he air-quoted the statement, "was fair game for these guys. Though I imagine the history books try not to focus on the post-war pogroms." Casiama noticed the sorceress' quick shrug.

The man, Talos, turned his attention towards Casiama, "Elf, the inquisition has been disbanded for almost three-hundred years now." he stated matter-of-factly before sighing and turning around, "We're not hunting you." The sorceress Alanna confirming the statement with a quick shake of her head, frowning.

Casiama kept silent for several seconds, letting the moment overwhelm her. Not only were these two not Imperial inquisitors, they were humans being somewhat kind to her. The man Talos had every chance, every right to kill her when he caught her in the woods. She felt tears forming in her eyes and shut her lids to try to rid herself of them. It didn't work.

"I am so sorry!" Casiama exclaimed wobbily, emphasizing every word in a high-pitched voice she didn't recognize was hers at first. Talos had turned around at the apology and knelt before her, a stern look on his face. She noticed that his patience was wearing thin.

"No," Talos shook his head, "No, I can't accept that. You almost killed her," pointing behind himself where the sorceress stood, "and damn well came close to killing me, too!"

Casiama trembled before this man's booming voice. It came out of no where, freezing her in fear.

"Elf, human, hell, be a dwarf for all I care, killing indiscriminately is a fucking disgrace!" He was pacing now, anger consuming him as he shouted. "You thought we were the inquisition? Maybe next time you stay your bow, elf, lest you turn into a horror as villanous as the ghosts you hunt!"

The elf cried at the accusations, heart pounding with fear. "No! Stop, please. My name's... My name's Casiama. I'm only here to-" she gasped abruptly as Talos drew his sword from its sheathe, the sound of metal sliding against metal ringing in her ears.

-

Alanna moved quicker than she ever had to stay Talos' hand. She wrapped her arms around him, gripping his wrist as tight as she could.

"Talos, stop it!" she yelled in his ear. She had never seen him act like this, and it scared her just as much as it frightened the shaking elven maid on the ground. Alanna had been reading the elf, Casiama, since she had woken up. She wasn't the killer Talos accused her of being.

Alanna was flung to the sand roughly as Talos groaned. He took a step back and turned away before sheathing his sword. Alanna reached out to him telepathically as he walked away, realizing that he wasn't actually going to kill the elf and was merely trying to intimidate her.

"Good job at that," she thought to herself as the elf began to cry uncontrollably.

-

The elf awoke in the morning, having slept bound all night, unmoving from where she had regained conciousness the previous day. She had tried to conjure a knife to free herself when the pair had left her alone, but found she was unable to. A glowing necklace that was not hers had been fitted around her neck, a necklace which seemed to impede her magical abilities.

Casiama began to wiggle a tad more wildly to try to loosen her bonds, the need to relieve herself overwhelming her. Not a minute later she heard footsteps pacing towards her and the sorceress, Alanna, bent down in front of her.

"Hey," she greeted in a quiet voice. "Need to pee?"

Casiama just now noticed that the sorceress seemed to be capable of reading her mind, the first hint being the inquisitor comment, and now this. Casiama liked her, and imagined she'd be amicable company. She did save her life after all, making Casiama feel all the more guilty.

"Yes," Casiama replied curtly as Alanna repositioned behind her. The sorceress untied the bonds holding her ankles together and helped her pull her pants down to her ankles, slipping them off of her.

"Sorry," Alanna whispered, "I doubt Talos'd like it if I untied your wrists." The woman pulled down on Casiama's panties with one hand, then turned around with a blush.

The elf wasted no time in relieving herself.

"And yeah," the sorceress continued in a low voice, still looking away, "I'm an enchantress. Empath. I don't know what elves call them," she explained, "but I can read minds."

Casiama had already finished her business, but wanted the company of the enchantress for a little longer. "Is the man, er, Talos, always like that?" She turned around to face Alanna as the sorceress did the same. Alanna shook her head.

"Never. He's usually..." Alanna looked down, pulling the elf's panties back up her legs with both hands so they covered her crotch once more, "you won't believe it o'course, but he's actually quite the gentleman." Alanna grabbed her pants as she helped the elf reequip them. "Though I never tried to killed him, so..."

Casiama was surprised to see Alanna smiling and blushing as she pulled the tight leather back to her waist.

Alanna looked back up into the elf's eyes and giggled, Casiama returning the gesture. Okay, she's possibly the nicest human she'd ever met. They sat together on the sand, the elf's feet still unbound.

"So what were you saying yesterday?" Alanna questioned softly, "You're here to...?"

Casiama opened her mouth to speak, then closed it as she noticed Talos walking back towards her. He held a knife in one hand, his expression unreadable. He spoke as he got closer.

"Greetings again, elf," he greeted sternly as he walked behind her. She felt him kneel down and grab her wrists, deftly cutting her bonds from her. The man walked back around to her front, offering his free hand in greeting as humans were accustomed to do.

"Let's try this again," He said. She shook his hand with a soft grip as she looked up into his piercing green eyes.

-

Talos set up a campfire just within the boundary of the treeline, only briefly removing his hand from his sword's pommel as he kept an eye on the elf. Casiama didn't ask for her belongings, knowing he wouldn't agree to such an ask just yet. Her chest fluttered whenever their eyes met, Casiama feeling a strange excitement that had been missing from her life as they conversed hesitantly.

They sat together, eating the cooked meat of an elk Casiama had killed the day before. They shared a few stories, learning a little of each other's past.

Talos regaled the ladies with a long saga of his time as a mercenary captain, reminiscing of the end of that particular career. He had freed the slaves of Bertrum's Revolt by refusing to attack them when commanded to by the Duke of Santaria, then signed a separate peace with Bertrum to grant them the time needed to escape to the southern continent. Alanna was amazed to learn that her man was that Talos she had read about in the histories, and the elf was surprised Talos was indeed the gentleman that Alanna had testified him to be. The elf was further impressed when Alanna explained that Bertrum's Revolt signaled the end to slavery in all the empire, by order of the Emperor himself a month later.

Talos and Alanna had discovered early on in their discussions that Casiama was headed to the same location they were, although for a different reason entirely. They mentally agreed not to share that information at that moment, which was forgotten when the lithe elf questioned them on the subject an hour later.

"So, you two never told me why you landed here. There's not much here but trees and wilderness." Casiama smiled, reminded of the pleasantness of their surroundings.

"Maybe we really like trees and wilderness?" Talos grinned, replying quickly before Alanna could answer truthfully. Alanna looked over at him with an imitated angry glare, then stuck her tongue out at him before answering genuinely.

"The, um, mausoleum you mentioned earlier? We were headed to the same place. I dreamt about it," she answered in a white-lie, deciding to omit Sigismund's story and the fact they were going to rob the place blind.

"You read minds and have premonitions?" the elf replied with surprise, her eyebrows lifting. Alanna shook her head.

"Nope, just uh... just the one," Alanna answered with a sweet smile, a quick charm being cast from her eyes to convince Casiama to halt any further queries on the subject.

"Speaking of," the man interrupted quickly, "What magic can you do, Cass? Can I call you Cass?" he asked with a smirk. Talos had a habit of shortening peoples names when they didn't want him to.

"Cass is... fine?" the elf replied inquisitively with a raised eyebrow. "Why would you think I have any magical ability? You saw what I could do with a bow," she continued, realizing her mistake in bringing up the subject too late.

Talos ignored the failed deflection, explaining quickly. "Two reasons Cass. One, the little pendant I put on you? It glows when you've tried to cast a spell," the elf looked down at the glowing amulet around her neck. Yep.

"Two, you don't have a backpack on you, yet you carried a shortsword, knife, bow, and quiver from the nearest town oh... fifty miles away?" He looked over at Alanna, expecting her to confirm the statement. The curvy sorceress merely shrugged. "No one travels with nothing but weapons unless they're on a suicide mission."

Casiama giggled as she stood up from the fire, nodding at the man. He was right, of course. She daintly removed the pendant and threw it over at Talos, him catching the necklace without looking directly at it. Her eyes scanned over the two humans as they continued sitting, waiting. All eyes on her.

"Well... I can do this," she said softly as she shut her eyes, outstretching her hands to the side with her palms open.

A bright flash of light consumed the elf before them, her form replaced with one of an angel.

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