Entering a Rumor: Chapter 4: Cross Fire

It was a little past dawn when the teen stirred, his eyes scrunching before flickering open. It took a moment for him to remember the events of the night before; the corpses, the fire and most of all, his dead twin. He jerked upwards with a panicked cry, his body crashing back onto the bedroll as his broken ribs and wrist flared in agony.

He felt a hand on his chest, gently restraining him from squirming too much, allowing the pain settle to a dull throb. “Easy there.” He found himself focusing on the soft tenor of whoever was hovering over him, flinching as the hand moved to his forehead. “Looks like your fever didn’t break yet.”

It took the teen another moment before his eyes flickered open, his emerald meeting sapphire.”Who are you?”

Isidore leaned backwards, his weight settling on his heels. “Its common courtesy to give your name before asking for another.” The teen frowned, his eyes narrowing into a glare. His good wrist settled behind him, taking most of his weight as he sat up. His vision swam and he didn’t even notice when a supporting arm slipped around his shoulders. “Moving might not be the best idea, kid. Your injuries are more serious than you think.”

The teen’s eyes slipped close, focusing on breathing rather than the pain that plagued his whole body. “What do you want?” Isidore frowned, choosing to remain silent even as he supported more of the boy’s weight. “Why did you help me?”

The Loner’s eyes closed, “What made you think that I would answer those questions when I didn’t even answer your first one?” The teen didn’t reply, letting an awkward silence fall between the two men, the elder supporting the younger. It was only after a while that Isidore glanced at the teen, chuckling quietly when he realized that the boy had fallen asleep. The blankets were shuffled and the blond tucked in his junior, concern flickering through his eyes for a brief moment before placing the wet cloth back on the boy’s forehead.

Isidore’s head swerved and his blade hissed out of its sheath moments after Phira neighed softly, warning of someone approaching. The sounds of hooves grew louder, the horse stopping moments after the rider saw Isidore. “State your business!”

“Isidore.” The Loner blinked in surprise, sheathing his as blade as the figure dismounted.

“Siven?” The newcomer nodded in greeting, running a hand through his short black locks. “What are you doing here?”

“Commander was worried when you didn’t report in last night. He gave you till this morning before dispatching people to locate you.” Isidore waved a hand, sitting down with his clan member. “Your turn. Who’s the kid?”

Isidore turned to stare at the immobile form that was being referred to. “Quite honestly I have no idea. I ran into him yesterday after I killed a few Protectors. They claimed that I killed a whole village and stole the ancient relic .” Siven frowned, a hand pointing to the relic that had been placed next to the bedroll. “The boy had it. And from the remains of his shirt yesterday, he’s a Protector.”

“Or Ex-Protector.” Isidore nodded, the two calling silent, pondering the repercussions of getting involved with the clan that was entrusted to guard the relic. “And he couldn’t be moved?”

Another nod. “He has several broken ribs with a few fractured. His wrist was broken and he had lost a lot of blood. Not to mention he’s still fevering.” Isidore took a sip of his flask. “He came to just a while before you arrived. He didn’t tell me anything but he’s scared. He’s suspicious right now and we’d be lucky if we could get an answer out of him that wasn’t a lie.”

Siven nodded, “Do you think he’d make the trip back? If he’s that badly injured, he will need medical attention further than what we could provide.”

The blonde shrugged. “I honestly don’t know. But I know that he won’t last much longer without it.” His companion nodded in understanding, “Lets give it a go and hope that the ride doesn’t reopen his wounds.”

I am currently a sophomore at Colorado School of Mines, majoring in Chemical Engineering. My hobbies include reading, writing, and playing tennis.

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