A Marksman's Tale

Two: Distance Education

Level Nine Vagrant

By Aaerdan

"HOW are we feeling today?" the woman asks cheerfully. "That is a rather nasty bruise you have there," she adds, gesturing at the bump on his forehead.

Dunael Aaerdan nods weakly.

The woman – so big she waddles when she walks – frowns as she goes over what his physician had written about him and his injuries.

"My, been ambitious, haven’t we?" she remarks. "Nyangyangs, it says here."

"I didn’t think-"

"Obviously you didn’t," she cuts him off. "I don’t know what goes on in the heads of lads these days. Going after Lawolves, Feferns and Bangs when they can barely stand up to the resident ruffians. And they [i]all[/i] end up here."

"Bangs?" the youth repeats. He did consider going after the muscle-bound creatures, actually…

Be glad you took my advice and went after the cats instead, Darkflame says.

"I thought you were gone," Dunael whispers. "Thought you left me."

That’s not one of my abilities.

"No, I meant-"

"Are you listening, young man?" the woman is hovering over him, blocking out the light. All of a sudden the youth feels very small.

Somewhere a bell rings and she straightens up.

"They’ve brought me another one," she mutters as she reaches into the basket she came with earlier and procures … something. The youth could not quite make it out.

"What is this?" he asks when she hands it to him.

"Medicine. Now eat all of it and sleep," she instructs. "I have to see to whoever just came in."

Alone in the room, Dunael examines the … thing. It is grey with patches of green, feels like there is something soft and sloshing around within the hard shell, and smells like unwashed feet.

He sighs and aims it at the wastebasket outside of the room, on the corridor. He throws and the thing hits the edge of the basket before bouncing in.

Not bad.


The youth sinks into the bed, his eyes still on the wastebasket.

Care to share your thoughts?

"The Nyangyang … it was too strong for me," Dunael states. "Too strong."

That much is obvious.

"Each time I slash at it, it rakes back. All the healing draughts I took couldn’t work fast enough."

Uh-huh. You were bleeding a lot.

"But I need to get stronger, fast, and I can only do that if I fight creatures far, far stronger than me."

If I could sigh, I would, Darkflame remarks. What do you have in mind?

Dunael shuts his eyes and begins to visualise what he has in mind.

Are you going to tell me?

His eyes open. "Darkflame, I need to get them from a distance, try to weaken them before they get too close."

From a distance?

"Yes. I’m need to see someone about a bow."


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