The Solitary Arrow Ch. 12bymack_the_knife©
Hyandai and Harlen followed the marching army for some miles before the army had veered off the paved road. Obviously they had slowed their pace, as well. Harlen saw them ahead, a drawn out and ragged line of troops now. Marching four abreast through woods was not easy and they had quickly given it up, moving instead in small clumps of men generally heading eastward.
The couple attracted a little attention from one of the smaller groups, but were quickly questioned then ignored. The sergeant saying that he would not be responsible for their safety. Harlen nodded in agreement and they all pressed onward. As night closed in on the army, it formed up into a ragged circle around the Harlen's mood was good as he built a small fire just outside the western edge of the circle. Several soldiers wandered over to their little camp to sit and speak with the elven woman, and ask for her blessing in the upcoming battle.
"Why do they think my touch is a blessing?" She asked him after another small group of men smilingly left their camp with her head cocked in curiosity.
Harlen shrugged. "Elves have always been good luck. So the legends say." He said, smiling at her. "I feel very lucky that you're with me."
She gave him a pleased look, but with an edge of sadness. "I wish I was good luck." Said Hyandai. "Then perhaps you would not have nearly been killed, then seduced into slavery."
He chuckled and came up behind her and pulled her to him. "I have been seduced into slavery, to you." He said into her ear, then began to kiss her neck. She reached back over her shoulder and stroked his cheek, grinning.
"We have more company." she said, giving his groin a gentle nudge with her rump. And he let her go talk to the soldiers, another group of half a dozen.
Soon after that a group of nearly fifty conscripts slowly came over, looking very nervous and hesitant. All the others had been regular troops, full-time soldiery. They stopped about fifteen paces from the camp and one came forward. "Miss Hyandai." He said quietly when he got within speaking distance. "We ask that you bless us, too even if we're not really soldiers." He said, with his hat literally in his hand.
She smiled gently and nodded, and they all queued up passing and receiving her touch to their forehead or cheek. Each moved off after with their head held high and smiling. One man came up with his hands on the shoulders of a very young man. "This is my son, Dannes, he just came of age yesterday and received his summons, Miss." He said. "We'd be honored if you would bless him for this fight."
Hyandai looked back at Harlen and raised an eyebrow. Harlen smirked very slightly and nodded minutely. She turned to Dannes, regarding the strapping, but very frightened youth with her now deep emerald eyes. "Dannes, you will fight with honor, and go home a hero." She said. She took his hands and pulled him to his knees, breaking his father's grip on his shoulders. He looked very confused for a moment, then she leaned forward and kissed him deeply. Grabbing him about the shoulders and running her slim fingers through his hair. She pulled him to his feet as they kissed for almost thirty seconds, and pressed her whole body to him.
Harlen was amazed that he felt no jealousy at this display of lustful behavior. He supposed that he knew where her heart lay, and that there was enough lust in that little elf to go around quite handily.
When she finally broke the kiss, she ran her hands down from his shoulders and over her quite obvious erection. "And take care not to let this get hurt." She said as her fingers gently slipped over his pants and the swollen cock beneath them. "For some girl will likely seek out its services after you're a hero tomorrow." She concluded. The boy had turned crimson even under the low lighting of the campfire and all the remaining conscripts cheered at Dannes' first conquest of the battle. The last twenty or so passed into the night and Hyandai looked at Harlen.
"Thank you for not being a jealous man." She said, kissing his cheek. "I can't help doing stuff like that. It harms no one and makes everyone, including me, feel good."
He nodded, smiling at her emerald eyes. "I know, my Betrothed." He said. "And I can deal with it well, as I know who's blanket you will share this night."
She grinned and said. "Even after this morning?" She said, raising one eyebrow. Then her face took one of deep consideration. "Well, if my man asks it of me..." She let the sentence drift off into the night.
About thirty minutes passed, and no more soldier came for blessings, and the couple laid down in their blankets. She cuddled up to him, and he said. "I would love to be inside you this night." He said quietly as he kissed her shoulder. "But I fear more people seeking blessings may come to us, and I'm not sure they need quite that much of a blessing."
She giggled and pushed back to him. "If you are certain, my lover." She said, feeling his organ swelling against her backside. She took his hand and placed something cloth in it. He opened the cloth and found it was her loincloth, and it was moist in the middle. "You do what you feel you must." She smiled over her shoulder at him, then wiggled against him a bit before settling.
He reached down under the blanket and caressed her bottom, loving the soft smoothness of her skin beneath his fingers. She squirmed to let him have better access, and he felt the crease between her lobes, and explored into it with his fingers.
She moaned as he found her puckered anus, and gently stroked at it. "I still think that might have been a bad idea." She murmured with a slight grin. "But I sure am glad I did it."
He chuckled and began kissing her neck again, moving her long hair out of the way to give him access to her fair-skinned throat. He felt her hand moving down his belly and then into his trousers, enwrapping his cock's shaft in her cool fingers. He moved one of his own hands down and unbuckled his belt and pulled his pants down enough that she had free access to his erect penis. She pushed back as she pointed him forward, and he felt her wet, hot cunt wrap itself around him, then slide up his shaft slowly as she pushed back to him. A small moan escaped her and she shuddered as he finally reached his limit within her. They laid like that, slowly moving him in and out with tiny motions. She let out a few small moans and he sighed quite a lot as he felt her clamp down with her internal muscles. Neither of them climaxed, but they slowly, after an hour, drifted off to sleep with him still inside her.
She awoke when his soft organ finally came loose of her body. She moaned at its absence after so long. She looked at the sky, almost three hours past midnight, by the moon. He had been inside her almost four hours. She saw sentinels moving near the large campfires of the soldiers. She found her loincloth lying near Harlen's hand and took it as she rose, his arm sliding off of her as she slipped from him. She put it on and adjusted it then picked up her bow and hyandai. She looked about quickly, seeing that she was unobserved and moved away from their little camp into the woods north of them.
She slipped between the trees and shrubs like an eel, sliding fluidly through the underbrush as she moved away form the camps of the army. She slipped past a large patch of underbrush and found herself staring at a large force of orcs, moving quietly with muffled armor. They were east of her, and moving directly toward the army. With a gasp of horror she started moving back toward the camp, rushing now, and worried that she might be heard. She had to get ahead of the orcs, though, or else they would fall upon the sleeping camp and take them by surprise.
She was an elf now, and her recent epiphany on that matter led her feet and hands. She bulleted through the trees and bushes. Barely disturbing the leaves as she passed. Suddenly, there was an orc before her, blocking her path. He held up a massive cleaver-shaped weapon. "Ho, little elf bitch." He said in the gruff tones of that race. "You thinkin of warnin the huma..." His voice was cut off as she never slowed down, drawing her hyandai and slitting his throat as soon as she was within reach. He had expected her to be stunned or to parley with him, he expected wrongly. He gurgled as he dropped to the ground, trying in vain to keep his blood from flowing forth in a great surge. Hyandai never slowed a bit as she moved toward the camp, with the orcs just a few minutes behind her. She ran at the camp once she broke free of the last bits of underbrush around the largish clearing. A overzealous sentry yelled something and then she felt an arrow pass near her left shoulder. She started screaming.
"Foes approach from the north! To your arms, soldiers of Morrovale!" She shot past the sentry who looked at her, stunned for a moment, as she knocked the bow from his limp fingers. She snatched the horn from his belt and the cord snapped as she kept running. Pressing it to her lips, she blew a long horn call, the call to arms for elven communities. Men began piling out of tents and rolling out of bedrolls and off of blankets. They seemed confused for a brief moment, then the sergeants began to take over. Echoed calls of to arms began to rattle through the camps, and men began donning their armor and picking up weapons in haste. By the time she reached the baron's little pavilion in the middle of the circle, several of the better-drilled units were already forming ranks on the north side of the circle.
It was none too soon, the orcs began pouring from the wood. A small group of sappers grabbed up large wooden tubes and set flame to the bottoms as they pointed them into the sky. Suddenly it was daylight as the mortars boomed and launched bright flares into the night. The orcs flinched at the sudden bright light to their night-sighted eyes. The men were heartened, though, and bows began to sing in the darkness. The flares would hang for only a few moments, but new ones were being launched constantly, keeping the sky lit brightly with their stunning brightness.
The baron came out of his tent and began mustering his knights, forming them into a phalanx and charging to the front to drive a wedge into the orcish line. Hyandai's own bow began to thrum as she fired at orcs almost a hundred yards away that had managed to bypass the main defensive line and were running among the tents seeking stragglers. Soon she saw Harlen, near the front line, hewing a massive orc with the sword he had gotten from the other orcs. She smiled and watched him a moment. "He is a warrior." She said to herself as she watched him do what he did best, which was stalk prey.
He would spy a particularly dangerous orc at some distance, watching for the fell creatures that seemed to be giving the defensive group the most trouble. Then he would move quickly and cunning toward him, striking quickly and delivering a careful killing blow. She glimpsed another orc in the camp itself, and fired an arrow into its chest, and watched it fall.
Within fifteen minutes the orcs fled the battle, suffering great loss from the pursuing soldiery and especially the cavalry, who rode them down in great numbers as they routed.
Harlen finally saw Hyandai, and moved to her. "What happened?" He asked, his face marked with concern. "I awoke with the horn call and you were not with me. I was terrified." He said. She smiled. "I felt something, and had to go look, my betrothed." She said. "The feeling was right." She pointed at the orcs lying scattered on the small field. "They were trying to sneak attack at night."
The baron rode up on his white charger. "Well done, elven lady." He said. "Were it not for you, that band would have done grave damage to our force." His sword was coated in blood, as was his horse up to its neck. "As it is now, only a small number of ours lost their lives this night."
"Still, that is a tragedy." She said, her eyes downcast.
He nodded. "It always is so, in war, lady."
The men were cheering though, heartened by their first victory. And it was caused by their unofficial good luck charm, men were saying, loudly enough for Harlen and Hyandai to hear.
"I only warned you they were coming." She said humbly.
The baron laughed heartily. He was one of those men that thrived on combat, not a bad thing in and of itself. It was like looking at a human with a fey of his own to deal with.
"You did just that, which we would not have known." He said. "Our patrols didn't expect such a large sending this far west, and were taken unawares, apparently. We will be more cautious in the future." He said, eyeing the dark woods suspiciously.
Hyandai nodded. "Please be so." She said. "Scant time was given me to sound the warning, for they move quickly when they seek to strike."
He nodded. "I underestimated their cunning. It will not happen again." The baron said. Then he looked at Harlen. "Protect this lovely creature well, Harlen, for she is a blessing with fiery hair."
Harlen smiled and said. "Would that I could keep her near enough to protect. And I often wonder, when I see her in action who is protecting whom."
The baron laughed heartily at that. "I can see she is no frail waif." He said. "But I meant her heart. Any man in this realm would give all he had for her love after this night."
He rode off to go congratulate his men and distribute praise for individuals worthy of it after the fight. Hyandai seemed very concerned searching through the throngs of men and looking around everyone before her. Harlen finally asked. "What are you looking for?"
She looked back at him, very worried. "Dannes." She said. "I know it is a little thing, but when I kiss someone, I hope they will live out the night." She smiled wanly. Harlen thought he kind of understood. Despite her huge love for him, from all he could tell, when she kissed or touched another, a part of that love was with them also. With that kiss Dannes had become important to her, and she was very worried.
Finally she spied him, standing with his father near some tents. The couple approached them. Harlen noted a change in her walk as she neared the two men, it had more wiggle again, and her stride grew longer. He smiled to see her, without so much as a thought, change into a totally different person as she drew up to them. "Hail Dannes." She said, smiling. "I see you made it through your first battle, though not unmarked." She eyed a deep cut on his meaty bicep.
His father was smiling far too broadly for a normal moment. "Milady, my son has done us great honor, and the baron has granted him his fee and freedom for his actions on the field." The lad beamed.
She smiled at him. "Really? What is it you have done, brave Dannes?"
He looked down, suddenly self-conscious. "I killed a few orcs." He said meekly. The men nearby started catcalling and jeering him.
The father laughed. "A few?" He said with a look of shock on his face. "You slew at least a dozen!" He yelled and the crowd nearby cheered. He looked at Hyandai with his florid face. "He was a madman, milady, our group hadn't formed up properly and he and four other lads held off a small hoard of the fell creatures until we could form up and help them."
She smiled broadly at the lad, but Harlen could see a little brittleness in her expression. She walked to Dannes again. "Well, brave soldier." She said. "You are in need of fresh blessings." and she kissed him again. This time he kissed her back, at least he did more so than the first. She then put her mouth to his ear and said something into it. The crowd was cheering so boisterously that none save Dannes heard her words. His expression changed, though, and his embarrassed smile shifted to a considering one. She pulled back and then took his arm, blowing gently upon his cut, which looked bad, but was actually pretty minor. A few moments later she placed a gentle kiss on the new pink skin there.
She took Harlen's hand and led him from the camp. "What did you tell him?" Harlen asked.
She smiled back at her betrothed. "I asked him that if he goes and does insanely brave acts and then dies, how can I bless him further afterward." She said, then kissed Harlen's cheek. "You are a very patient man, I love you."
The managed to get back to their little camp, unmarred by the battle, save a flare's burnt out husk lying near their blankets, still smouldering. "I've never seen these before." She said, pushing it with the toe of her boot. Harlen nodded. "Since so many races other than us men can see well at night, we have found ways to mitigate that advantage." He said. He picked it up and dropped it into the fire, where it began to curl and wither. "Alchemists make the chemicals that go into them, then men called 'munitioneers' build them. She sniffed the sharp tang of the material used in the flare. "It reeks, but seems to help men at night, which is a boon, I am sure." She said, eyeing the withering husk dubiously.
They took off their weapons, and laid them very close to their sides as they crawled back into the blankets. They were both very tired, and soon slept.
They awoke with breakfast being served them by the baron's own cook. "By his grace's name." The cook said, handing each a large platter of delicacies. "He bids you good morning after helping him in his victory last night." They accepted the platters and the cook moved off quietly and back to the main encampment.
Quickly, the couple swapped out foods that each favored, he moved his fruits and vegetables to her platter and she moved breads and meats to his. They ate happily and talked about the night before. He did not bring up her nocturnal wandering again, though, feeling that doing so would show a lack of trust on his part.
After about an hour, the main camp was broken down, and moving eastward, forming into organized ranks again, only broken for trees and large stands of brush that had to be gone around. Hyandai watched the men. "So many humans." She said. "That small ducal army is almost as great as the entire standing army of Windir."
He nodded. "After what I saw you do last night with your bow, and you tell of in the wood." He said. "I doubt you need more than a couple of thousands of warriors to protect your lands."
She smiled. "If that were so, I would not be on my current quest, my lover." She said, a sad look in her eyes. "We are just so few in number, Harlen, we cannot take losses as a group that humans can."
"This is likely true." He said. "We humans are only bested by orcs on our talent for producing offspring." Then he realized what he had just said, and looked to her with worried eyes.
Her face darkened at that thought, but soon it passed.
They hefted their packs and weapons, and set off after the Grand Army of Morrovale, on its march east. After two hours, they left the main dense woods, and entered the scraggly hills. Soon, though, they saw the main orc army. Camped upon the leeward side of a large hill, hundreds of crudely-built tents, and orcs massing on the west side of the camp, forewarned of the army's impending arrival. The number of the orc host looked to be as great if nor more so, than the human forces that marched toward it. Hyandai looked over the army marching toward the main camp of orcs.
"Death will take many this day." She murmured as Harlen watched the army start to form into battle lines.
He had a look of sadness on his face as well. "I'm sure he will work long gathering souls after this fight." He agreed.
They had turned their cloaks inside-outward, and now blended into the gray rocks and dirty outcroppings of the hill country well. They watched in helpless horror as the orc host started marching toward the human army. Hyandai was crying. "Let us move, Harlen, I wish to not see this slaughter."