Chapter Five: Ambush of Archers
"Where is Midnight?" Tado asked.
"He is meeting with the war council." Dragoslava replied.
"Can you take me to him?" Tado asked.
"No," Dragoslava replied. "The war council is no place for a child."
"I don't think Midnight would agree." Tado said.
"Give me one good reason why I should take orders from you." Dragoslava said.
"Your my guard, not my mother." Tado said.
"Fine," Dragoslava said. "I will take you."
Dragoslava pulled her hood up to conceal the defeated expression on her face, and took a bo staff leaning on the wall, and headed for the doorway with Tado close behind.
Dragoslava led Tado to a large blue tent with a banner with the image of a flaming sword on it.
"So we all agree," a voice said from inside. "We will give the boy the title of Golden Knight."
"I believe it is a wise choice." Tenndahl said.
"Wait," Dragoslava whispered. "Don't go in."
"Why?" Tado whispered back.
"I will go fetch him." Midnight said.
Dragoslava turned and pushed Tado back towards the barracks. "Go back, and be quick!" Dragoslava whispered.
The two of them hurried back to the barracks. Dragoslava leaned her bo-staff against the wall, and sat down. And Tado sat down beside her.
Midnight stepped through the tent flap.
"Tado, the war council would like to meet you." Midnight said.
Midnight led Tado to the council tent.
Inside the tent, Gryphonn, Tenndahl, Conall, and two other leaders one of which Tado recognized as a Ranger, were gathered around a table with several maps spread out across it.
"Tado, come here." Gryphonn said.
Tado hesitantly stepped forward.
Gryphonn drew his sword, the blade shining white-gold.
Midnight gestured for Tado to kneel.
Tado appeared confused, but dropped to one knee.
"Tado Meko, you have been awarded the title of Golden Knight, apprenticed to shield maiden, and Dragoncloak, Dragoslava, to be trained." Gently, Gryphonn tapped Tado's left shoulder with his sword.
A soldier stepped forward with a golden sword.
"You may stand." Gryphonn said as he took the sword from the soldier.
Tado stood, and Gryphonn gave him the sword.
"Dragoslava, if any harm is to fall to him..." One of the leaders Tado didn't recognize said, a threat hung in his voice.
"He will be fine Draco-...Sir." Dragoslava said.
"You must travel to Steepfall Pass, to find Maurus and Dougal. Then to the Northern Kingdom, to find Prabhu's temple. I believe it would be best if Tado spoke to him." Gryphonn said.
From the other side of the tent wall, Itzal listened intently. Not if I can help it. Itzal thought.
He turned and cautiously made his way towards the edge of the camp. When he was sure he had escaped sight, he looked back to check that no one had followed him. As Itzal walked slowly backwards, he felt cold steel on his back.
Itzal stopped and stood still as a listening deer. He turned to see a knight towering above him.
"And what may I ask, are you doing?" The knight asked.
"Erm... Just, uh... Checking around?" Itzal said.
"Is that so? It looks to me like you're sneaking out." The knight said.
Well this is gaining to be a delay. Itzal thought. Distract him.
"So, um... Have you seen Conall?" He said.
"If you want to speak with Conall, go wait for the war council to end." The knight said.
"Oh! Of course that's where he is!" Itzal said with mock embarrassment in his voice. "I'll just go wait over... There."
The knight watched Itzal run off towards the war council tent. He shook his head.
"They never train them the way they used to."
Itzal looped around the tent after the knight had left, then turned east, towards the Black Plain.
Tado, Midnight, Tenndahl, Conall, and Dragoslava had set off, and were now traveling through a forest.
"Did you hear something?" Dragoslava asked.
"No." Tenndahl said.
"It was probably nothing." Dragoslava said.
They continued walking for a few moments. Then; whizz
Something shot right by Dragoslava's head. She whirled around and ripped the arrow out of the tree it hit.
"It's poisoned!" Dragoslava said. "Get down!"
Another arrow whizzed right over Conall's head, and they all dropped to the ground.
A moment of silence.
Conall began crawling behind a large tree, and everyone followed him. Once they were hidden: "General Korg will not be pleased." A scratchy voice said.
"But how do you know that was them?" Another replied.
"Goblins." Dragoslava whispered.
"Don't be an bone head, Crag." The first said. "Who else would be traveling through these woods?"
"I don't know, Scrag," Crag said. "But I know some people are stupider than you." A snicker, then a loud SMACK.
Conall nocked an arrow to his bowstring, and fired. The arrow nearly hit Scrag in the side of the head.
Both goblins screamed, and ran off into the woods.
They sat there for a few moments before they were sure the goblins were gone, then they continued on their trek.
Although they thought they had seen the last of the goblins, they were wrong.
Arrows began flying from the trees, and several goblins with swords leaped at them.
Midnight fought off the foot soldiers and attempted to locate the source of the arrows, but the archers were skillfully hidden among the trees.
Tenndahl and Conall dove behind a large boulder, and Midnight followed.
"Tado!" Dragoslava ushered Tado after them.
Tado began to run after her.
He nearly reached the boulder, when an arrow hit him in the back.
"Tado!" Midnight shouted.
Dragoslava grabbed him, and pulled him behind the boulder.
Tado stumbled to the ground.
Dragoslava pulled the arrow out of his back.
"He's been poisoned," Dragoslava said. "They use a fast acting poisonous herb called-mind you, Midnight-Midnight Leaf."
"Will he survive?" Midnight asked.
"Not if we can't get him to a proper healer." Conall said.
"Where is the nearest town?" Tenndahl asked.
"There isn't one for quite a ways around." Conall said.
His life flashed before his eyes.
He could feel his heartbeat in his chest.
Slowing... Slowing... Stopping...
You may have noticed the slight overuse of the word "they", but I couldn't think of a word to replace it.
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