Off in the distance, where howling wind screamed echoes throughout eardrums like a really annoying pack of wolves having a ”Who can howl the loudest ” contest right outside everyones windows. Nothing but scoring sand that piles to the heavens were sent shifting against the strong wind threatening to topple and swallow a whole kingdom with one sweep. Second thoughts, it probably has already buried many ancient civilizations with just persistence and time.
In the eye of this bellowing frequent sandstorm, a hunched figure makes a determined skilled attempt through what she considers to be a major inconvenience. Her veil clutches tightly over her eyes and around her face as she pushes through the constraining sand, blowing past her. Her feet were sinking in the sand with each step she took due to her heavy precious load over her shoulder. At this point, she had shifted her whole weight against the wind and would immediately fall face first in the sand as soon as the bellowing winds stopped. But she knew from experience what to expect and was fully confident she wouldn fall for this sandstorm won be coming to an end, any time soon. She lifted her arm over her eyes to reduce the sand whipping across her veil, just struggling to see shapes in the distance.
Finally, her struggle was, at last, coming to an end when she finds gets a glimpse of a torch burning far off in the distance. With the last of her energy, she pushed on, scurrying into the cave which she called home.
Unknown ” Welcome back, Philomel. ”
A familiar voice immediately greeted her as soon as she was out of range of the really annoying winds. She didn notice him or rather couldn . She grasped the veil over her face, pulling it off with a sigh of relief, freeing her long flowing raven hair that fell to her waist as she took in deep breaths of sand-free air. The sand that stuck upon her veil, rained upon the floor. She dropped the heavy sack upon the ground as she just stood there for a moment, catching her breath as her free hand subconsciously dusted the sand from her slim fitted, right lapel, short sleeves, high johnny collar, flexible, double high slit dress. With a fashionable protective plate over her whole stomach area, right under her chest, and right above her waist.
Ah yes, she was quite a sight to behold in her blue, black-trimmed dress. Especially to the young man seated upon the sand, back leading again the cave entrance, a bit further from the entrance, standing clear from the rustling sand being blown in. Being a man that knows to … ”appreciate ” a womans beauty, he could help but be reminded of how the dress really showed off her thighs and legs. It was quite a pity that she chose to hide her sun-kissed legs behind fishnet stockings and close to knee-high, black laced, hard leather boots. Which he most likely feel the strength and durability of it against his face when she notices his stare upon her tights.
Remember that the young man did the wisest of moves and quickly averted his sight to the raging sandstorm outside. Pretending never to have noticed or be reminded of anything, the whole time.
Young man ” Quite a sandstorm, huh? ”
The young man awkwardly squeaked out feeling uncomfortable at the silence between them as he rubs the back of his neck. Silently wondering if she noticed and was staying quiet because she was plotting to punish him for it.
Philomel ” Huh? Oh, yes it is…. but definitely not one of the worst I have ever seen. ”
The young maiden answered, only now becoming aware of his presence. She frowned staring at the young dark red head before her as she rack her brains trying to remember his name. The maroon-eyed lad, couldn help but squirm a little under her sky blue gaze. Anticipating the heel of her boot, crashing down upon his face at any moment and wondering when to dodge. The young maiden noticed a spear leaning against the cave entrance wall behind the young lad.
Philomel ” Lance? ”
Her face scrunched a little as she gestures towards him with a pointed index finger, making an unsure attempt to guess his name.
Young Man ” Amon…. ”
He replied through a breath of relief that she was just trying to remember his name. Then it finally hits him, she had forgotten his name for the umpteenth time. He literally greets her each time she leaves and returns for the past year. And just as he opened his mouth ready to express his justified disappointment in her. She picked up her heavy sack, swung it over her shoulder, turns to face the flabbergasted young man.
Philomel ” Well cya around, Among. ”
She says in a cheerful tone, with a little wave and a bright smile before turning away and making her way down the wide pathway towards the village. Leaving a speechless slightly annoyed Amon.
The young maiden rushed deeper into the cave until it open up to a huge area that was bustling with life. The cavern was lined with limestone that emitted a blue glow through the entire cave system. Basking in all its occupants in a soft blue. It was like standing under a luminous full moon upon a dark gloomy night, that is if the moon is blue upon that faithful day. The cavern splits off, down many winding connected tunnels. Many signs hung above each path that was dedicated for a sole purpose.
Philomel rushed her way through the crowd, skipping, leaping, twirling around the busy villagers as if she was dancing her way through. But then again that probably still wouldn make her an expert dancer, a master dodger seemed more likely to fit her description. She made her way towards a pathway with a hanging sign saying ”organization ”. This was where everything was sorted and delivered to the branches where it would benefit the village the most. This was the very same place where Philomel was assigned her duties as a scavenger just earlier this year.
” Hey! Mel! You
e late! ”
A gruff voice yelled from behind a huge desk. The much older, shorter and rounder dark elves frown at the young maiden. Slightly annoyed at the fact she took her sweet time for he waited for her return the previous night till the wee small hours. He debated the whole time with himself, wondering if he should send out a scout to back her up but in worst-case scenarios, the scout wouldn be of much use.
Worst case scenario, they would normally collect information on which captain is holding the scavenger, in which jail cell, and on what charges before returning and reporting. Which might as well be a death report for any dark elves caught by light elves would attempt suicide to prevent torture and revealing where their hidden village was. If the Holy Kingdom Luxtorious knew of their village, they would send all their holy knight to purge every last dark elf.
Philomel ” Im sorry, commander. Last night the entire kingdom went into a lockdown. ”
She apologizes with the sweetest smile she could muster hoping it might sway him to let her off with a warning.
Commander ” I know, I sent a scout after you. *Scoff* What a waste of time. He could get any information whatsoever! All he came back with was an assumption that you stole something priceless from a Royal. ”
The command huffed with annoyance before pausing for a moment and considering the assumption. His gaze turns into a glare as he points an accusing finger at Philomel.
Commander ” You didn steal from the Royals.. did you? ”
He questioned in a low harsh growling tone.
Philomel ” Of course not! If you don believe me then check the supplies. ”
She immediately denied it as she heaped the sack onto the desk with a huge *bang*. The impact sent a couple of the Commanders documents flying off the table.
Commander ” No point, only a fool would have hidden it on their personal. Remember Mel, stealing from a Royal especially a determined powerful Royal would only bring about doom to you and Crimtroy. They won stop until they recovered the stolen item and that the thief who stole it in the first place is laying dead before them or worst.
The difference between you and the common thief is that you steal what your village needs. Items that are hardly missed and hard to even notice that it has gone. A thief steals what they want for themselves. Thats the only code that keeps you from being a common thief. Remember that code well. ”
The Commander explains carefully as he goes through all the supplies. Berries, fruits, vegetables, rice, bread, butter, cheese, and fine slices of meat.
Philomel ” Yes sir, I shall engrave the code in my heart. ”
Philomel replied with a firm tone as she places on hand over her heart like she was taking an oath.
Commander ” Good girl. You had an excellent scavenger hunt. Heres your share for you and your family. ”
The Commander praises her as he gives her a sack containing not even 10 percent of what she stole. Philomel felt it was unfair but then again, everyone works for the food she stole. In return for her hard work, yes she gets much less than what she stole but in return, she gets all kinds of privileges from the village. Weapons, armor, clothing, furniture, anything her family could ever want they would get it first without any form of extra payment.
Commander ” I even put in a little something for your mother. ”
The Commander whispers to her with a wink. Philomel couldn help but smile at this.
Philomel ” Thank you, Commander. ”
” Same time next week, we
e sending you to Leigane. Its a little far from here so best pay a little visit to the beast tamer and get yourself a ride. Try to form a bond with the creature before the mission. They can be a little unreliable when they don trust you. ”
The Commander winched a little as he patted his arm before nodding towards Quinson the Scout who got trampled by his ride a couple of weeks prior for mounting the beast immediately without any form of bond nor introduction with the creature.
Philomel ” Ah… Right… ”
Philomel slightly winched at the memory knowing that it could have been anyone while reminding herself that these beasts aren horses, they are wild random desert beasts. The Command gave Philomel a little wave of farewell indicating she could go. Philomel returned the wave before heading back to the main cavern. It was still crowded but not as much as minutes ago, indicating to Philomel that the sandstorm must have died down.
Suddenly a sharp pain emitted from her scalp as she was pulled backward from the pain. As she stumbled backward and turned only then did she notice the towering young man that was laughing down at her.
Philomel ” Asclepius! ”
She spat out his name like the venomous snake his name represented.
” Is that really how you
e going to address the future chief? ”
He questioned in a threatening tone as he pulls her to an isolated pathway. His two lackeys, roared with laughter as they followed along. Asclepius shoves Philomel against the wall cornering her.
Philomel ” What do you want, Asclepius?! ”
She exclaimed as she rubs her sore head and runs a hand through her long hair.
Asclepius ” Do you have what I asked? ”
Asclepius questioned with a smile and an open palm.
” The seal of the high priestess? You
e kidding right? ”
Philomel said with a mocking tone. Asclepiuss smile slowly turns into a scowl.
Asclepius ” Do I look like Im kidding? I told you to get it. So where is it, Philomel? ”
He demands as his eyes slowly started glowing red. Philomel backs away just for her back to immediately hit the wall behind her. Reminding her she was already cornered.
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