Veladryssa Lily likes this
Post by Fiore on Aug 7, 2019 20:36:22 GMT -7
This is a closed 1 x 1 mature fantasy RP between Veladryssa Lily and Fiore! You are welcome to read along!
He was crouched low in the brush, his shoulder scraping against the trunk of a tree as he nocked an arrow into place, pulling back and taking aim for the deer tip-toeing between the roots of the old oaks. The only sound was the gentle crunch of dirt under the hoofs of the creature in front of him, blissfully unaware of his presence as he waited for the perfect moment. He didn’t dare breath, arms steady as he followed the doe with the tip of his arrow, shoulders relaxed. The motions were familiar to him after years of hunting and every time he went out into these woods, just before he took the shot, there was always a moment of pure stillness. As if the world itself was waiting for him to let the arrow fly. With just the gentle movement of his fingers, he let the arrow fly loose, gliding seamlessly through the air before hitting its mark and lodging deep into the doe’s side.
He sprang from his hiding place as the doe fell and hearing it cry out, the animal falling to the ground with a tell-tale thud before he began closing the distance. Ha acted quickly as he never liked seeing the doe struggle, fighting to flee but with the arrow so deeply embedded it had no real chance for escape. He slid to its side, tossing his bow away momentarily and kneeling next to the deer while it kicked its legs wildly, but soon enough Sebastian took out his hunting knife and ended the poor things misery.
When all was said and done he was panting heavily, the intensity of the moment dissipating as the deer went limp in front of him. He whistled lowly, wiping his now bloodied blade against the dried leaves and earth of the forest floor in order to clean off most of the crimson liquid, before slipping it back into the small holster at his hip.
“Thank you old friend, I am sure the castle servants will admire your sacrifice,” Sebastian murmured, reaching for his abandoned bow and slipping it over his shoulder, the string resting across the middle of his chest as he adjusted it to sit comfortably on his back.
Looking over his catch appreciatively, he debated on whether or not he wanted to start the process of field processing the deer or not, but there was a chance he could attract more predators that way. He could always up and leave, he did have his horse with him after all, tethered not too far from where he had felled the doe. However, he didn’t want to leave the forest just yet.
He pushed himself up off the ground, standing for a moment while thinking over his options: he could leave the doe tied up here for a little bit and be back to the castle before dawn or he could just take the doe back to the castle right now. He could always use the opportunity to find another deer, just one wouldn’t feed an entire castle, even if this hunt was of his own volition to help the servants and staff. The prospect of returning so soon to the stony walls of his home wasn’t appealing to him in the slightest, he would much rather stay out for a little longer and explore the dense forest during the cover of night. Not to mention he really didn’t want to deal with his brother’s constant pestering- asking far to many questions about what Sebastian was doing and always trying to coerce him into helping with his brother’s schemes.
Dangerous though it may be, the idea of staying out to explore was more thrilling than it was scary as he began the process of grabbing a rope from his pack and tying it to the hind legs of his catch. He dragged the dear closer to one of the large trees, searching for a suitable branch to throw his rope over in order to hoist the dear upwards. Cold air stung his lungs as he panted heavily, the effort of pulling a roughly 150 pound deer up into a tree would tire anyone out, including a knight.
Once he had managed to tie the rope securely in place, getting the deer prepped enough to where it could be left alone for a while, he put his hands on his hips and tried to discern which direction he wanted to go. To the east was the way he would need to head to go back to the castle, so that was out. West there should have been a river that cut through the forest which ultimately led back to town. The north or south were both better options and he took but a moment to just pick one at random, starting an easy walk toward the south and exploring the forest.
He marked his path as he went with his hunting knife, cutting small notches into trees on his left so he could follow the path out when he chose to leave. His little nature walk was fruitful, spotting a family of raccoons skittering around the branches over head but other than that there really wasn’t anything noteworthy. Though the trees themselves were quite peaceful. The stillness of night was only interrupted every now and again by a gentle breeze shifting the branches, letting the light from the moon flutter between the leaves to dapple his path. He moved silently, easily avoiding branches with practiced ease as he strode confidently forward, not minding in the slightest that as the hour grew later the world around him grew colder.
As he continued his journey, he could distantly begin to make out the sounds of singing. It was an odd thing to hear in the middle of the forest and it gave him pause, straining to hear a low, sweeping voice. The melody bounced off the trunks of the trees, echoing an ancient tune that resonated in his chest and piqued his curiosity. Before he could really think about what he was doing he crept closer to the sound, moving steadily forward to an even denser portion of the forest. He was careful not to give away his presence, poking his head around a set of trees before spotting the source of the noise.
A girl, short in stature with vibrant red hair down to her knees was picking herbs in a small clearing. There was little in the way of grass but there were quite the collection of herbs scattered at her feet as she floated between different groups of them. She wore a dark colored cloak, but the hood was pulled back in order to let her hair down freely and he couldn’t get a good view of her face from his position- but she certainly sounded beautiful. She seemed not to notice him at first, completely calm as she tugged some sage leaves from the earth plant, moving to the next plant before pulling off more and depositing them into a woven basket dangling from her arm.
Sebastian was extremely curious, but didn’t want to scare her off, trying to wrack his brain for somehow to make himself known without completely seeming like a creep or putting himself in unnecessary danger. He didn’t know what she was up to after all, though he highly doubted she was any real threat to him with his years of combative training and service to the crown.
His brainstorming was cut short by movement to his left, a fox crouched low to the ground and peering at him with eyes far to intelligent for a normal animal. Sebastian was intent on holding still and letting the fox move past him, but the creature seemed to take an immediate disliking to him and leapt towards him, screeching as it pounced.
` Surprise, then panic flashed across Sebastian’s expression as he prayed to the gods this animal didn’t have some kind of disease. His only option to avoid getting bitten was to stand and move backwards, but he got caught by one of the gnarled roots of the tree, sailing backwards as he lost his balance.
Sebastian was so startled he stumbled into the clearing, falling on his back with the fox hopping on top of him, standing on his chest and teeth bared in a snarl with its fur standing on end.
“State your business- why are you lurking in our forest?” The fox growled, sharp teeth very visible as it spoke.
It was uncommon to find speaking animals, but not out of the question- though it certainly came as a shock to Sebastian to see one looming over him. Something seemed to click in Sebastian’s head in that moment: if the fox was speaking, that likely meant it was a witch’s familiar. And it suddenly made a lot more sense why the girl picking herbs was out so late at night.
“I- was hunting, nearby. I meant to introduce myself when I heard singing, I didn’t mean to lurk or cause any distress.”
Sebastian’s hands were awkwardly tucked to his sides, halfway up as if to surrender but with the fox on top of him he couldn’t really move. Though something told him that he was in no real danger- he could easily toss the fox off of him should the need arise but he didn’t want to frighten off the girl, nor did he want to piss of her familiar.
“My name is Sebastian, and I really am sorry for intruding.”
He wanted to look toward the girl from his spot on the ground, grinning sheepishly, but the fox on his chest growled lowly and pulled his attention back to it. Part of him was afraid that if he looked away the thing might snap at him, and that was the last thing he wanted- he didn’t really fancy having to explain to the other members of the guard how he had gotten bested by a fox of all things while hunting for a trivial deer.
“Soooo- come here often?”
Word Count: 1,679