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Chapter Two – Ambush.

It had been a long night’s riding. Both Garan and Noi were exhausted now, and Garan had dismounted a while ago, and was now leading Noi instead. The sun was creeping up over the horizon, the land ahead was swooping grassy hills, with low brushes dotting them here and there. The perfect area to disappear in. If you stay away from cresting the hills, that is. They had left the main road some hours ago, riding through a small copse of trees, not nearly what you could call a forest, not even when you were a child. Garan had gone back to erase the tracks leading off the road, hoping that if the crew he stole from followed him, they would just see the many tracks on the road itself. Hopefully, they would also be in a hurry to catch up, and therefore not look intently after tracks. 

They stopped in a small vale between hills, the sun already burning off the dew on the grass. Noi snorted as Garan unhooked the saddle and saddlebags and pulled it off the horse. Then he spread out a blanket and the sun sat down with a tired sigh. Some minutes later, he pulled the saddlebags close and rummaged through them, finding some dried meat and a piece of bread he stashed away at the inn. Noi was already eating some grass, glad they had stopped moving from the look of her.

After eating, he arranged the saddle as a headrest, then lay down and closed his eyes.. “You keep an eye out for trouble now Noi” he said with a smile. Then he dozed off.

Garan didn’t mind sleeping outside like this. He’d seen his fair share of nights under the stars. Under much worse than that too. However, since he knew there were people after him, he was a bit more uneasy this time. He didn’t really have a choice though, if he didn’t get some sleep, he wouldn’t be worth anything in a combat, anyway. And if they found him, there should would be a scuffle. But potential trouble aside, his experience had him asleep in moments. Resting when you could was important as an adventurer. 

Garan woke to Noi poking her nose at him.

“Yeah, yeah.. I’m awake,” he said. “Any trouble around Noi?” He tilted his head listening intently, but hear only the wind in the brushed and tall grasses. Then he stood up.. “I’m sorry, I should have tended to you earlier, but I was tired. You understand.” He took out a brush and tended to Noi, relaxing in the motions as his mind wandered to the knife in his saddlebags. He would have to examine it more closely. But that could wait till he came to the next town. No need to waste time out here doing that. 

Half an hour later, he put the saddle and saddlebags back on the horse, and grabbing another piece of bread, he lead the horse around the next hill, then another and another. They walked like this till the sun stood high, then he mounted and they started riding again, still staying from the tall hills. Just in case. 

He had rested longer than he thought he would. Perhaps he had gotten a little drunk yesterday after all, even though he’d tried to minimize that. Nevertheless, the town he was aiming for, were definitely out of reach before nightfall. He had hoped to reach it before the gates shut, so there would be less talk of someone arriving late. Well, he might have to sleep one night in the wild again, just to better disappear from the people following him. 

An hour later, the moon crept into the sky, its blue light bathing the surrounding hills in an eery light. He was just about to look for a place to sleep when Noi snorted and whinnied. 

“What are you hearing?” he said, just as he saw 3 small silhouettes against the sky. Moonlight catching their blades. “Goblins!” He looked around quickly. They had found a good place to be. Right here, the hills were more stony and steeper. Garan wondered if they had actually added to the terrain to keep folk from escaping. There would be no pushing beside them, and as he looked backwards, he could see a couple of Goblins a hundred feet behind him as well. They would probably have bows or javelins, and Noi was in no shape to run at the moment. He accepted that his only choice was combat, and swung his leg over the horse, sliding off as he pulled his longsword. 

“Well, well.. A human with a long tooth.. Why don’t you throw it on the ground along with your money, and we’ll let you walk,” one of the goblins said in a guttural voice. 

“You really think you’re a match for me? Run now, while you have the chance,” Garan replied. 

Then the goblins charged.

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Read the intro textGo to Chapter One • Go to Chapter Three (coming)