Sentence Prompt: “Well, if you had woken up properly the first time I kicked you, I wouldn’t have had to do it four more times.”
I had a lot of fun with this one, featuring Eral the Arbor Pixie! Just another day in the life of a bard’s handler/pixie drinking buddy.
The best thing about rescue jobs was the people, Elias would always say. Nine times out of ten, someone holding a hostage for a ransom didn’t really want anyone to get hurt. They didn’t do it for a fight, they did it for a quick coin. People like that were the easiest to deal with, so said the bard.
Eral didn’t really believe it, but he went along for the jobs anyway.
Elias was lucky he did. This time, the kidnappers were serious about it. Hired mercenaries or some such, they’d taken a nobleman’s daughter. The poor girl had been carted out to some old fortress and locked up in a tower, guarded day and night by the whole troop of bandits. Someone pulled out all the stops.
After meeting with the nobleman about taking on the rescue, Eral understood why. The guy was ridiculously loaded. The reward alone was on par with the ridiculous ransom they wanted.
Just figured that a guy like that would look for the cheaper option to save his own freaking daughter.
The cheaper option, this time, was to hire Elias Dawn and Eral the pixie to rush in and get her back. They’d figured out very fast that simply talking to the guys near the fortress gates wouldn’t work. Elias was fighting his way through the front courtyard and having way too grand of a time of it.
When that guy needed to let off some steam, he didn’t hold back. Eral could swear he saw those eyes glowing a bright blue as the demigod all but danced between his enemies, dual swords slashing and biting through the air.
Elias was good in a fight, but Eral wasn’t one to slack while they were on a job. He flew away from the main action while everyone was distracted, aiming right for that tower. He had his own part to play in jobs like this. He might not be able to carry the fair maiden to safety after making her swoon right off her feet, but he could at least get her ready to run her own ass out of trouble.
Chivalry’s wasted on someone six inches tall.
He reached the window of the tower with the bandits none the wiser. No one would listen for the buzz of his leafy green wings when there was a battle going on down below.
It was a shabby room, to be sure. Whatever fineries had originally resided in the tower room were long since gone, and only a few scraps of torn tapestries and splinters of roughed up furniture remained of it. Instead, the grimy stones were undecorated, and the floor littered with crates and debris. Eral found what he was after directly opposite the window, and rolled his eyes.
The girl, clearly with a taste for the finer things in life, had constructed the fanciest bed she could manage out of what she had. Crates were pushed together to prop up her scratchy mattress, and old struts from somewhere leaned against the wall. Threadbare sheets draped off of these struts, making the whole thing a ratty, two-poster bed.
Eral sighed exasperatedly. He’d never met anyone quite as superfluous as a rich human, and he traveled around with a bard.
He flitted over to the attempt at a fancy bed, grateful to find an opening in the curtain. He had a sword with him that probably could have cut through the cloth, but the less actual work he had to do, the better.
He peeked through the opening, glad to at least find the poor girl uninjured. She was asleep and her dress covered in mud, but it looked like she was okay. As far as Eral could tell, nothing untoward had been done to her.
So, he flitted over to her face to give her a light kick, right on her cheek.
She murmured something and her head shifted, and Eral thought that had actually worked. Then, the girl sighed and settled back into slumber.
“Really?!” Eral blurted. “You’ve been gods-damned kidnapped and you’re just gonna enjoy a nice snooze?”
The rhetorical question didn’t work any better than the kick, of course. So, Eral flitted closer and kicked the girl once more, his boot alighting against her cheek, then her forehead, then her nose.
When he finally kicked her chin, her eyelids fluttered, long eyelashes batting in surprise. Her blue eyes weren’t quite focused, but they spotted the green shape close to her face and she let out an inelegant yelp, pushing herself back the best she could.
A hand swatted out from her side, but Eral was ready for it. He dodged around it and buzzed higher, out of her reach while she stared at him owlishly. “Watch it, princess!” he griped.
“What … who are you? Are you with the bandits? Why did you just kick my chin?” she asked, confusion the only thing carried in her tone. At least she wasn’t getting haughty with him yet.
Eral smirked. “Well, if you had woken up properly the first time I kicked you, I wouldn’t have had to do it four more times.” He shrugged in midair. “Seemed like the quickest way to get you up and at ‘em. I’m here to rescue you.”
Her brow pinched. Eral took some pity on her when he noticed how tired her eyes were and how grubby her cheeks were from crying. Then, of course, she opened her mouth. “You? You’re going to rescue me?”
He gave her a flat look. “Haven’t ruled it out yet, sweetheart, but if you wanna try your luck on your own, keep talking like that.”
The sass kickstarted the self-righteous determination that Eral knew had to be in there somewhere. The girl huffed and sat herself upright. “W-well, fine, then, sir pixie. I thank you for coming to my aid.”
Eral smirked, wishing to all the gods above, below, and in between that Elias had been around to hear him addressed as Sir Pixie. “Attagirl. We’ll have you home by dinnertime.”