5 Chapter 5: An Unexpected Meeting
As Lothær made his way through the crowd within the streets of the market, he saw two young boys in rags against the tall grime ridden wall. He approached them to ask them why they were alone, but as he got closer, the two boys saw him and picked up their things and ran away. Lothær was confused by this until he remembered that he was no longer with his own people, the high elves here saw him as a monster due to his size and looks. He decided to keep walking towards the stables. After almost an hour of walking through the market, he had reached the stables. He went to the door to enter, but it was locked.
"Odd, it is a busy morning, I wonder why this door is locked," he thought to himself.
He decided to walk around the back of the stables and found the rear door swung open. As he got close to the door, he heard rushed footsteps from inside heading towards the door. He took a step back to attempt to hide behind one of the large grey wood pillars that supported the canopy over the stable-house. He waited to see who or what was running out of the house. After a moment, an old man tripped through the doorway. He scrambled to his feet, but as he got up, a man came from the door and kicked his back to knock him on the ground.
"Where is the money old man, don't make me carve it out of you!" the man said.
"You and your boss can burn in the gates of Drumorta for all I care! You aren't taking the money from me or my family!" the old man shouted as he came to his feet and held up his fists towards the younger man.
"You Ironbloods are all the same, to hard headed for your own good!" The younger man yelled as he raised his sword to cut down the old man.
As the man's sword came down, a bright flash of sparks burst from the sword, causing both men to flinch and look away. When they looked back, the man's sword was broken from the base of the blade.
"What? What just happened?" the younger man exclaimed. Looking around he saw a large axe embedded within the wall to his left, along with the blade of his sword.
Before the man could say another word, a large fist made contact with the right side of his face with such speed that it contorted his facial expression. The man was launched into the same wall that his blade and the axe were embedded in. the man looked up to see Lothær standing where he just was.
"Wh- Who are you?" the young man said.
"I am Lothær, the mighty king of the Darlarii. And I will not let you harm this man," Lothær replied angrily.
Lothær took a few steps toward the younger man.
"I will give you the same choice i gave the last man who tried to prey on the weak in my presence, leave now and never come back. Or die here like a pig," Lothær said as he got closer to the man.
The man scrambled to his feet and ran away so fast that he left a trail of dust in his wake.
"The boss is going to hear about this, and then you'll regret that!" the man cried out while running away.
Lothær turned back to the old man that now, was standing there in amazement of him.
"Are you okay sir?" Lothær asked the old man
"Tyril" the old man replied.
"What was that? Are you okay?" Lothær asked again, now confused
"Im fine, lad. My name- my name is Tyril, i am the stable master here," he said.
The old man invited Lothær in to the stable-house and offered to feed him. After a few moments of talk, the old man thanked Lothær and went to the corner of the room and looked at a small blue and yellow rug that lay uneven on the floor near the corner of the room. He then lifted the rug to reveal a secret door within the wooden floor of the stable-house.
"If it weren't for you, Frey's man would have certainly found them," Tyril said as he crouched down to open the hidden door.
He took a key out from his shirt and inserted it into one of the cracks between the wood of the floor and a small "T" shaped handle popped up from the edge of the door. Tyril grabbed the handle and turned it counterclockwise multiple times until the seal on the door popped, he then struggled to lift the door open and dropped a ladder down the entryway.
"You are all safe now, you can come out now," Tyril said down the hole.
Then the ladder began to shake as if someone was climbing up it. After a few moments, an old woman came from the hole, followed by a teenage boy, and finally a beautiful young woman. Lothær was shocked by the absolute beauty of this woman, it was near mesmerizing to him. She was different from all of the other high elves, she had bright pink hair that flowed like the most serene of waterfalls cascading into a beautiful lake that outlined her perfectly shaped face, soft gentle pink lips that seeped to be reminiscent of two distant peaks meeting perfectly in the center of her mouth , heterochromic green and blue eyes that seemed to hold a fire behind them, and soft, pale skin like a fresh and untouched morning's snow.
"This is my family, Lothær. This here is my wife Iidrasyl, this is my boy Wyneree, and this is my daughter Ayela. Frey, by some miracle, doesn't know about them. He seems to think that I am some kind of hermit!" Tyril said laughing.
"It is a pleasure to meet you all…" Lothær said, still entranced by Ayela's beauty.
"So, since you are here, I can only assume you are looking for a horse!" Tyril said
"Wha- Oh! Yes! A horse!" Lothær said, struggling to find words within his head.
"Ayela, would you care to take Lothær to the stables to show him our Rocksteid horses?" Tyril asked.
Ayela nodded and walked towards the stables with Lothær. When they had reached the stables, Ayela took Lothær to the rear corner to show Lothær the Rocksteid horses.
"By the gods, these are the largest horses i have ever laid my eyes upon!" Lothær exclaimed.
"They are my personal favorites, they have so much character compared to the rest. I've raised them since they were foals. What do you plan to do with them, if you don't mind me asking?" Ayela replied.
"I am taking a journey to the barren lands and need two strong horses to help move the materials and food for the trip," Lothær answered.
"Do you know how to care for horses?" Ayels asked.
"Are these horses special besides for their size?" Lothær asked in return.
"Yes, to me they are. I won't let just anyone have them, you need to treat them as if they were your own children," Ayela replied quickly.
"Well, what are their names then?" Lothær asked, trying to not be distracted by Ayela's beauty.
"This one is Jax, and this is Kamora," Ayela said as she pet the individual horses while introducing them.
"Well, it's nice to meet you both then," Lothær said as he went to pet both of the horses.
Surprisingly, both of the horses took to Lothær very quickly. As if they had already known him. This surprised Ayela, because these two horses are usually the rowdiest of all of their horses and don't usually take well to strangers.
"You are a natural I guess," Ayela said
"I like to pride myself on my connection with animals," Lothær replied with a huge smile.
Lothær laughed as he said this because animals truly do bring him great joy and comfort. Seeing this, Ayela relaxed slightly and told him if he was happy with the two horses that he should go back inside to talk to Tyril. Lothær agreed and walked back into the stable house and found Tyril hurriedly getting Iidrasyl and wyneree back into the hidden room.
"Where is Ayela? Frey is back with more men!" Tyril yelled as he say Lothær
"She is caring for the horses," Lothær replied, and before he could continue, they heard a scream from the stables. Tyril ran outside, followed by Lothær to find a tall, thin man holding a dagger to Ayela's throat waiting for them.
"Frey! Let her go, she has done nothing!" Tyril screamed.
"You never told me you had a daughter Tyril, let alone some a beautiful one as this fine woman," Frey said before letting out a little chuckle.
Lothær reached for his axe, but when his hand reached where it would have been, he realized that he hadn't retrieved it from the wall when he saved Tyril. He winced at his own idiocy for not being prepared for this.
"Is this the beast that had attacked you son?" Frey called out, then from all of the entrances, over 30 men came in, led by the man who Lothær had just attacked to save Tyril.
"Yeah boss, that's the guy," he replied.
Lothær locked eyes with the young man and became infuriated. The young man smirked and spat at him.
"Not so tough when your on the losing side are ya now, freak," the young man cackled.
"Please Frey, I'll give you whatever you want. Please just let her go!" the old man pleaded, falling to his knees.
"I think I know what i want, and it's not your money. I want this girl, and you aren't going to do anything about it unless you want her to lose her head old man." Frey stated as he drew the dagger closer to Ayela's throat.
The old man was now shaking with anger. As was Lothær, neither one of them knew what to do, if they moved, Ayela was dead.
"How could I be so foolish!" Lothær thought to himself, gritting his teeths and clenching his fists.
"I'll let you live, this time. Who knows, maybe I'll even send you a wedding invitation," Frey said laughing as he pushed Ayela forward toward the exit of the stable.
"I'm so sorry… im so sorry Ayela," Tyril said, now on the verge of tears.
Seeing this shook Lothær to his core, he decided that he would save Ayela no matter the cost, he felt to blame for this whole issue. He prepared to launch towards Frey, who now had his back turned to Lothær. But before he even moved. Frey screamed.
"Argh! You Peasant!" Frey screamed as he was spun around.
Ayela had bitten his palm and gotten him to drop the dagger, then tripped him over her shoulder and ran back towards the stable-house.
"Get that woman!" Frey screamed as he lay on the ground holding his hand.
The other men all drew their weapons and ran in to attack Ayela. At this moment, Lothær launched off causing the ground around his feet to crack. He let out a mighty scream as he grabbed one of the men by their head and spun him around and threw him into a clustered group of the thugs near Ayela. He then turned his attention to the men surrounding her and dashed between a few of them, smacking them away as he went to grab her. Once he grabbed onto Ayela, he guarded her with his body and jumped back to Tyril and set her down. When he stood back up straight, his back was pelted with many arrows, causing Lothær to let out a pained breath. He looked at Ayela in the eyes before turning around to look at the 15 men left holding crossbows. Lothær then grabbed one of the wooden posts and ripped it from the ground and shouted "Come then, cowards!" the men were all frozen with fear and none of them moved.
"If you won't come for me, then I'll come for you!" Lothær shouted before dashing behind a portion of the men. He lifted the post and swung to the side, hitting the men so hard that the wood shattered and sent large splinters impaling some of the others. He was hit with ten more arrows before he dashed to the others to finish them off. He crouched down and swung his mighty leg into the center of the remaining men hard enough to nearly split the men in half. When Lothær stood back up, he saw that Frey had run away and the only man left was the one who had spit on him, on the ground frozen with fear. Lothær smiled devilishly as he clenched his fist and approached the man. The young man tried to get to his feet but he flailed his arms and legs fast enough to make him continuously fall back onto his ass.
"Leave me alone! You Monster!" the man cried out.
"You're right, I am a monster… the monster just for you kind of people," Lothær said as he grabbed the man by the throat and lifted him to eye level.
"Now, time to greet your gods, child," Lothær said before slamming the man head first into the ground, causing his head to burst as if it was a glass sculpture, sending bone across the stables.
Lothær let go of the mans now lifeless body and stood up and turned back to Tyril and Ayela and walked back to them to ask if they were ok, but as he got closer he felt himself faint and fall to the ground due to blood loss. After what seemed like and eternity of darkness, he opened his eyes to see a dim lit ceiling. As he went to sit up, he felt all of the wounds throughout his body burn. He grunted in pain and he head a voice call to him,
"Don't move! You're gravely injured, take it slowly,"
He looked to his side to see Ayela looking at him concerned. He just smiled and apologized.
"A lot of work you put me through today, Lothær" another voice called out.
Then, Aroyn walked out from the shadow of the corner of the room.
"It's a good thing this woman knows medical practice, you'd be dead otherwise," Aroyn said.
Lothær looked to Ayela surprised, she just smiled in return and told him not to worry about it. They had told Lothær that their trip now needed to wait at least a week until his wounds have healed a bit. Lothær shook his head in agreement.
As the week went on, Ayela took care of Lothær's injuries. And one day Tyril came to Lothær to ask him a favor.
"Take Ayela with you on this journey, she yearns for an adventure and i know i can trust you to protect her with your life," he said.
"She already expressed her interest in joining you two to me, i just want you to ask her to accompany you." Tyril continued.
"Will you do that for me?" He asked.
"Of course, I will keep her safe, even though she seems capable of handling herself well" Lothær chuckled.
"Then it's decided" Tyril said, thanking Lothær and then returning to the stables.
Later that night, Lothær asked Ayela to accompany Aroyn and himself on their journey to the barren lands. Her face lit up as soon as Lothær asked.
"Of course! I would love an adventure," Ayela answered.
"And then, two became three" Aroyn said from the corner of the room, looking down and smirking.
"Tomorrow, we set out make sure you have yourself in order by sunrise Miss" Aroyn said before walking to the door.
"Oh, and Lothær. Try not to get yourself killed anymore" Aroyn said looking back smiling.
"Of course," Lothær replied before falling asleep.