A mild breeze blew through the leaves and branches of the birch trees. The bushes rustling sounded alive in the crisp night air. A lone figure made it’s way through the darkness. They trekked along a river that separated a typical forest from the forest of birch. Another figure appeared from the darkness, on the opposite side of the river.
The figures stood still, staring at each other. The first figure reached into a pocket, and pulled out two objects. A stock, and a lighter. A few clicks, and the end of the stick ignited. With the light of the torch, the first figure’s shadow was cast away, revealing his appearance. He was exactly six feet tall. Fair skin, brown eyes, shoulder length straight black hair. He wore an orange sweatshirt, black sweatpants, and & black and white shoes.
“Hello, Helen,” he spoke aloud at last. His voice was low and guarded, but his eyes betrayed a small amount of happiness at seeing the other figure.
The other figure moved closer to the river, and hopped across the stepping stones that cut the current into four. They walked up to him, his torch revealing her appearance. A little more than 5 feet tall. Blonde, wavy hair that was dyed pink at the end, and fell about halfway down her back. Her skin was pale, and her eyes were a light shade of cyan. She wore a basic T-shirt, light yellow and pink colors. Grey shorts. White open toed shoes. She gave a small smile.
“Heya, Topaz,” she greeted. “Solo night patrol, I’m guessing?”
“Yep, you?” Topaz replied.
“Uh huh,” she confirmed. “So, how’s training been going?”
“Smoothly.” was his response. “Been trying to learn how to use hammers for fighting. It’s... fun.”
“Well, you can do that, but I think I’ll stick to basic broadsword slashes, for now.” Helen said with amusement.
“Well that’s all well and good, but just the basics of one weapon won’t do much for you in a battle. You can’t do much in a fight if you don’t have your choice weapon, and even then, the basics won’t do much for you in a fight.” Topaz stated, his tone suddenly very serious.
Helen blinked quickly, processing everything Topaz had said. “I mean, you aren’t wrong... but I’m still a few years behind you in terms of training.” Helen reminded him.
“Fair enough.” Topaz replied. “Well, as much as I would like to stay and chat, I need to finish my border patrol. It was nice catching up though.” Topaz gave a smile to his friend.
“Right, right. I still need to finish patrolling the outskirts of our territory, anyway. Great seeing you, Topaz!” Helen told him, before turning back to her territory.
“Take care.” Topaz said as she jumped back across the stepping stones. He stood around for a while, and looked up and down the river, before continuing to travel upstream.
After a few minutes of travel, Topaz reached a bridge constructed of birch wood. It connected both sides of the river, as the slopes were too steep to climb here. Topaz glanced at it, remembering the recent gathering, when he and the rest of his faction - GemClan - had met with the other 3 Clans, on the 28th of June. Their leader and his father, Topazstar IV, had declared the establishment of a new village on the outskirts of their territory, on a rockface plateau. And as all the Clans knew, more allies means more power.
Aside from that, the meeting had been pretty calm. Two of the CLans - FlowerClan, which was Helen’s faction, and TornadoClan - had promoted apprentices to warriors, and EnderClan had finally opened a small market of the metal pools that flowed on their territory.
Topaz abruptly snapped out of his thoughts when he heard a rustle behind him. He quickly turned around, but saw only the leaves of a bush shaking. He rushed over to check the bush. However, when he reached it, he found nothing. He looked up, trying to figure out what had caused that obnoxiously loud rustle. Too loud to have been a squirrel or something similar, and if it had been wind, more than just a single bush should have rustled...
After a few minutes, Topaz stopped searching, and made a mental note to report a possible intruder. He made his way back to the bridge, but instead of going across it, he walked along the gravel path that lead further into the birch forest. Every now and then, the light of the torch would catch on something other than the small rocks and pieces of flint - various gemstones. Jade, Onyx, Phoenixite, Sugilite... The list went on.
Topaz moved past another bush. He paused about 3 feet from it, looking back at it warily. The earlier incident had made him paranoid, and he knew it. So when he had thought he had heard a soft intake of breath as he went past it, he almost ignored it.
Almost. But Topaz paused, and listened, keeping still. He heard it again. The almost silent sound of breathing, coming from the bush. Topaz slowly approached, and as he crept up to the bush, he felt his blood pumping. Adrenaline was kicking in, and Topaz was ready for a fight. As a result, when he reached the bush, and quickly parted the leaves of the bush, he felt rather disarmed to find not a n enemy warrior, but rather an unarmed, unconscious, badly wounded girl.
Topaz blinked a few times, his will to fight just straight up gone, but his adrenaline still flowing. Only now, his adrenaline was not fueling a will to fight, but rather a want to save. From the first glance, he could tell that the girl was in critical condition. If she didn’t receive medical attention quickly, he knew that she wouldn’t last long.
Topaz reached into the bush, and as carefully as he could, pulled her out of it. He looked back and forth, before taking off through the forest, along the gravel path. He ran as fast as possible, while being careful of his charge, not wanting to injure her any more than she already had been.
After a few minutes of running, his destination was finally in sight. At the top of a hill, many pillars of stone created a massive hollow. In the center of the hollow, a massive apple tree could been seen Nothing else was visible from their viewpoint. In front, and slightly to the right was a tall tower of stone brick, and at the top, several cannons were mounted. Further past the tower were several farms. To the left of the hollow was a wheat field, and a path that went behind the massive stone structure.
In front of the hollow was a man with brown hair, light blue eyes, and wearing a light blue and black patterned hoodie stood guard. When he saw Topaz, he smiled and got up, only for his face to fall when he noticed what Topaz was carrying.
“Scarpath!” He yelled into the hollow, as Topaz ran up the slope. Topaz rushed through the opening in the pillars, and laid the unconscious girl against the apple tree. From inside, you could see several buildings, and a campfire that were not visible from outside.
A middle aged man came out of one of the buildings that surrounded the tree. He indeed lived up to his name - he had scars from past battles everywhere. He had one good eye, which was an onyx black. The other eye was clouded over, and couldn’t see. Scarpath carried a wooden case with him as he rushed out. He set the box down next to the girl, and quickly started checking her injuries.
Topaz and the brown haired man watched his work with worried eyes. After a few minutes which seemed like hours, Scarpath spoke. “She has no broken bones, and I’m sure she isn’t internally bleeding. But her wounds are all deep. How did this happen?”
“I found her like this.” Topaz stated. “She was out cold in a bush, along the path that leads to the bridge.” Topaz stated. “I have a feeling she had an unlucky encounter with a ‘doomer.”
“A ‘doomer!? Topaz, you must be kidding!” the brown haired man exclaimed. Topaz merely shot the man a dark look. He reached for his right sleeve.
“Diamondwind, do you see that series of holes on her left arm? Does that not look... familiar?” At this Topaz pulled his right sleeve up, revealing an old scar from years past, which looked nearly identical to the one that the girl had. Diamondwind flinched, as Topaz laughed bitterly. “I guess me and her are a matching pair.”
As Scarpath worked, the wooden case now open, revealing bottles filled with various colored liquids, a few people came up a staircase near the entrance of the hollow. They slowly approached the quartet near the tree. One of them came up to Topaz. He was between five and five and a half feet tall. The thing about him that stood out the most was his eccentric mask. It was white, with 2 black dots where his eyes would be, and a mouth with a tongue sticking out drawn on. It had a black elastic strap, going around his head. Although his face was hidden, his hair still stuck out from behind. Straight, black hair. Light red and green striped T-shirt with white sweats.
“Topaz, what’s going on? Who is this girl” He asked.
“Hello to you too, Alex. And to answer your question, I found this girl badly injured. She’s out cold right now, so no idea who she is.” Topaz said. He looked back to where she was. Up until now, he had not actually analysed her appearance. He had been more focused on making sure that she would survive her injuries. Now that she was being tended to, Topaz took the momentary calm to observe.
The girl had straight blond hair. Her clothing was tattered and torn, and stained red from her blood. But the spots that weren’t stained were white. She also had a blue ribbon that went around her, right above her stomach. She had pale skin - naturally pale, not because of blood loss. For whatever reason, she only had socks on. No shoes. Her clothes were ripped in several places, but fortunately for her, nothing was exposed.
Scarpath was still working. He was holding a bottle of an almost glowing red liquid. He poured a small amount into each would. Whenever the liquid made contact, she seemed to flinch a little bit, but the wounds that it was poured on quickly turned to scars. After Scarpath had tended to all her deep wounds, he put away the bottle of red, and took out one of pink. Like the last fluid, it almost seemed to glow inside it’s bottle. Scarpath opened her mouth, and began to pour a little of the liquid in. After a few moments, he stopped, and stroked her throat, causing her to reflexively swallow the liquid. After a few seconds,her smaller wounds started to close up.
Scarpath sighed. “Despite how horrid her injuries were, she will make a full recovery. However, she needs to rest. I’ll bring her to the medic center to rest until she wakes, at the least. With any luck, she won't take days to wake up. For now, I’d suggest that all of you get some sleep. As interesting as the random and injured is, you need to be ready for patrols tomorrow.
Diamondwind nudged Topaz gently. “Well, you saved a life today. You happy now that you’ve played hero again?” He chuckled at the glare Topaz sent his way.
“Hush. I’m no child, and I don’t ‘play hero.’” Topaz responded, an annoyed edge in his tone.
“Easy, kid. I’m just playing with you.” Diamondwind chuckled. Topaz’s glare was constant. Diamondwind sighed. “Okay, Topaz. I’ll stop. Now, let’s head for bed. You must be tired after the night patrol.”
Topaz felt the truth of Diamondwind’s words hit him. He yawned, the tiredness dragging his eyelids down.
“Go get some sleep, Topaz. You did good today.”
“Yes, mentor.” Topaz replied with a respectful tone. He past the campfire, and walked down a staircase that would be hard to notice if you didn’t know where it was. He glanced back at the girl one last time, before continuing down. Alex followed right behind him.
The duo entered the apprentices dorm, and were met by the other three apprentices. Each of them gave a greeting, and they all wanted to know how his patrol had went.
“Well, it was definitely more exciting than usual. After all, it isn’t everyday that you end up finding a mortally wounded girl in a bush and bringing her back to the Clan to save her life.” Topaz responded. This triggered a massive onslaught of questions from the others. Topaz recounted his story, and after finishing, he finally sat down on his bed. He felt exhausted, and craved sleep. However, the curiosity of the other apprentices was not yet spent.
“What did she look like?” asked a dirty blonde haired girl from her bed. Her eyes were a deep blue.
“Sort of like you, Lilly. Well, I mean, she was sort of knocked out, so I don’t know her eye color. But she had blonde hair, and her dress probably looked like something you’d wear before she got injured, at it cut to shreds...”
“Is she going to be okay?” asked a brown haired girl with piercing amber eyes.
“Scarpath said she would make a full recovery, as I stated in my recount of events.” Topaz said with a hint of annoyance in his voice.
“What’s her name?” asked a guy with black hair and pale ice blue eyes. His hair was a very dark grey - almost black.
“How am I supposed to know? She was knocked out! Her eyes weren’t exactly open, Trevor.” Topaz’s voice was slightly scathing.
“Whoa, why so aggressive? I was just wondering...” Trevor backed away, muttering resentfully.
Topaz sighed. “Sorry. Look, it’s been a long night. I’m tired as all hell. If any of you have any more questions, you can ask them after I’ve gotten a few hours of sleep, okay?”
Without waiting for a response, Topaz fell backwards, his head landing on his pillow. His fatigue hit him hard, and he quickly fell asleep.