Wednesday 12 November 2014

Scent: Part 11

After the first day of travelling the party stopped to make camp a way off from the beaten path. Reven groaned as he dismounted from the horse, his thighs and buttocks aching from the horse travel. Reven shook his legs out and made his way over to Fang to check him over. They hadn’t stopped since the late lunch they had taken and Fang had been running all day. He didn’t seem any worse for wear and greeted Reven with the now familiar licks to the face and the wagging tail. After Reven had stroked the hounds belly he helped Reynard and Aisha unload bedrolls and cooking implements from the horses. Reynard told Reven to fetch some fire wood whilst he and Aisha saw to the horses. Reven started picking up bits of fallen branches and twigs for kindling and Fang even came over to help tugging at whole branches. Reven started tugging at the branches Fang was pulling and soon fell into giggles as Fang yanked him around trying to break his grip. Their play was cut short by Reynard though, ‘Why not send the hound to hunt boy? We may get the fire lit this side of night that way.’ Reven looked at him confused, ‘I don’t think he knows how to hunt Sir. He’s only a pup.’ Reynard chuckled at this, ‘He’s born to hunt, to kill. Look him in the eye and tell him to hunt’. Reven dropped to a knee and looked Fang square in the eye. Fang was sitting there with his tongue lolling out of his mouth but as soon as Reven fixed him with his stare he stood, alert and focused. ‘Hunt’ Reven said and almost before the word had left his mouth the hound was off, running through the trees and quickly disappearing into the darkness of the forest. Reven snapped his head round and looked at Reynard pleadingly, ‘He’ll be alright won’t he?’ he asked. ‘Boy, there are very few things in this world that would bother your beast, he’ll be fine. Now where’s my wood?’ Reven brought the branches and kindling to Reynard and then sat and stared out at the forest as Aisha struck her flint and lit the fire.

Reven lay on his stomach and continued to gaze into the forest as his companions readied pots to cook over the fire with. Night had fallen and Reven was worried about his friend. ‘What if he doesn’t come back?’ Reven asked aloud to no one in particular. Aisha and Reynard exchanged a quick glance and then Aisha responded, ‘You don’t know much about war hounds do you Reven?’ Reven rolled over and sat up shaking his head before looking over his shoulder at the forest again. ‘Your hound has bonded with you, only death can part you now. It takes a special person to be able to bond with a beast. It’s one of the reasons we want you to go to Vardenfell.’ Reven looked back at her ‘Bonded? How?’ Aisha looked thoughtful for a moment, as if choosing her words carefully, ‘I don’t know for sure. Few people are able to do such a thing and those that can, not that I have met many, find it difficult to explain. The master of our order may be able to give you more details but suffice to say that you are a very lucky boy. Fang will be fine’ As if to punctuate Aisha’s words there was a crash and lots of rustling from the forest and Fang appeared dragging the body of a deer with him. His tail started wagging as he saw Reven and he dropped his quarry to rush at the boy, diving on him and again licking his face with abandon. ‘Dinner is served’ said Reynard as he got up and strode over to where the deer lay. Reven pushed fang off and wiped his face looking at the hound, ‘Good boy Fang’ he said as he wiped his face. As he made to dry his hand on his jacket he noticed it was smeared with blood. Fang had ripped the deer’s throat out and his muzzle was covered in sticky blood that along with his tongue had been wiped all over Reven’s face. Reven didn’t give this a second thought and wiped his hand on his jacket anyway and then used the coat to rub his face clean of the wettest parts. With that he sat next to Fang and watched as Reynard skinned and gutted the deer ready for dinner. 

Aisha watched the scene with interest. She liked this boy. She hoped he would be found worthy when they reached their destination. If he wasn’t Vardenfell would be the last city Reven would ever see.

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