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Chapter 7

 They were kept in the cell for many days, being fed only when their holders thought they needed it. There was a bucket that was emptied daily for a toilet and that was it. Leorin stayed silent all throughout that time, refusing to talk to Epona or answer any of her questions. Eventually Sacher returned and told them they would be going to see the counsel at the break of dawn. When the time came they were chained by their wrists and were made to put on cruel, rusty choke chains. They were led out of the cell and for the first time in more than a week they saw the sun. Epona and Leorin were roughly led through the dense forest until they came to a small cave. As the four entered it was obvious it had been used before as the rings in the wall were used to secure Leorin and Epona to the cave wall. During the night Leorin started to whisper very quietly to Epona. They were about 5 meters apart so she had to listen very carefully. “When I’ve stopped talking I need you to scream as loud as you can. Make sure you wake the Ilf and that drunken buffoon up. I need about 15 seconds so keep screaming” he looked at the floor and said “no matter what they do to you keep screaming, it wont be as bad as what their counsel will do if we’re taken there” he went quiet and started to wriggle ever so slightly, he nodded at her. When she screamed to two sleeping figure instantly shot up as if they’d been stabbed. Leorin started to tense and the chains started to stretch. Epona carried on screaming even as the men started hitting her with whips and bats. Finally the chains snapped around Leorins wrists and Epona fell silent but Sacher and the drunken man still carried on bruising and cutting her. The silent elf grabbed the chains that had been securing him and neatly put them round the two tormentors necks. He pulled the chain quickly and they fell to the floor apparently dead or in a coma. Leorin quickly undid Eponas chains and helped the girl to her feet. They ran outside but Leorin had to eventually carry Epona as the slash on her leg wasn’t getting any better after the days agonising walk. Even with Eponas weight the elf still managed to keep a steady pace. “ We’ll find a place to hide and stop for the night, I’ll answer question there” he said after she tried many times to ask a question but found it impossible with all the moving around. She nodded. They travelled for a while before a huge tree appeared in front of them. Leorin approached the tree and whistled a tune. It was a sweet tune that made everything seem relaxed. As she dozed in his arms she heard a creaking sound and soon she was being carried through a huge doorway into a tunnel. Gazing around she saw that it was the tree that concealed the doorway and that they had actually just gone into the tree itself. The tunnel slopped downwards until they reached the bottom where it flattened out. Halfway along the hallway they had just entered they met a man, wrinkled and bent over through age he shuffled towards them. As the two men came face-to-face Leorin fell to his knees and laid Epona on the floor. Whilst still in a kneeling position the old one whispered in an important voice “why have you come here? You risk the lives of your fellow kin by entering this sacred place uninvited. What if there had been the flying gales watching? You know they’re already suspicious of this place and you still thought of your own needs above the safety of the clan. Now, as it is so important, what is your business?”

 Epona looked over to Leorin and saw his eyes were full of tears; one lone one trickled down his face but was quickly wiped away by an angry fist. Who was this decrepit old man? And how could he make Leorin so upset? She wondered but soon her mind became foggy and her vision blurred. She fell back to the floor from the sitting position she as in before. She listened to the two men talk.

 “Forgive me, wise one, but I was not only thinking of myself. This girl is injured and losing her lifeblood, I feared for her life and this was the nearest place of sanctuary. I'm am terribly sorry and if I am to be punished please leave Epona in safe hands.” He stood up proudly but still had his head bowed “and I except any of the punishments for my thoughtless behaviour”

“This girl, Epona” the old man said, “why do you care so much for one life?” he chuckled at Leorins blushing. The man looked down at Epona and she could see he too was an elf. “I’d watch this one girl, or you might wake up with more than just a headache” he laughed again “well speak up boy, you obviously have something to say”

 “Well…uh…sir…it’s that she’s not a love interest but I believe she may be the one we’ve prayed for, for all these long years.”

 “We’ll see” the old elves face changed back to the sombre expression it had been when they first met. “For now just take her to your room, I trust you remember where it is?” Leorin nodded “and don’t try anything, you never know who’s gonna walk in on something embarrassing” he laughed again with the shocked face of Epona and the furiously blushing face of Leorin. As he went to pick her up she said, “I think I’ll walk” and to prove it she stood up fast and fainted.


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