"Shh. Mara. You're being a good girl. Can you be a good girl for a little bit longer?" Crag spoke low and soft, staring at the entrance to the alleyway the entire time. He cautiously pulled the blanket away from her face, though he kept her ears covered.
"Just for a little bit, Mara. Then you can walk around, alright?" Crag spoke very quietly. He reached up hesitantly to awkwardly pet Mara's hair.
Crag tucked the blanket back around her carefully, almost tenderly. He stood still for another moment before starting to move back towards the marketplace with a deep breath.
((Yes, it is))
Crag moved from stall to stall, carefully and quickly gathering supplies. A little food here, a map there, another blanket, sacks to carry the food in. All the vendors looked at him with suspicion and fear. He ignored it all as he gathered the items, keeping Mara in his arm all the while, despite the fact that his arm was beginning to tire even with how strong he was an how tiny she was.
As Crag finished up his purchases, he could hear commotion as the soldiers started to leave the tavern. From the sound of it, they were drunk very drunk. They sang and laughed and joked loudly an harshly. He ignored them, though his grip tightened on Mara and his stride grew faster.
Without a word, Crag brought his fist down on the soldier's head, punching him backwards before yanking his wrist away from Mara's blanket. He lowered himself into a defensive stance, shifting his grip on Mara as glared at the drunken soldiers.
"You will leave me alone." Crag said in a low voice. His words were steely, cold and hard like the metal of the knives on his belt. The knives that his free hand was slowly starting to move towards.
Crag immediately slashed at the soldiers, swinging his knife in a quick, precise, almost graceful arc. He pulled Mara away from them and let out a low growl, almost like an animal, as he took up a defensive stance.
Crag stabbed the knife down on the soldier's arm when he grabbed Mara, slashing at the soldiers that tried to pin him. He started to run, clutching Mara tightly and moving towards the soldier's horses.
Crag reached the horses before the soldiers. He swung himself up onto a random one, setting Mara in front of him and quickly using his knife the cut the horse loose before urging it on.
Crag spurred the horse on urgently, sending it into a gallop. He grabbed the reins in one hand and Mara in the other, holding the tiny girl onto the horse as he outran the soldiers.
Crag pushed the horse to move faster, not even daring to glance over his shoulder. He just held Mara tighter and steered the horse through the woods.
Crag gritted his teeth as they galloped along. Because of the soldiers, he had left almost all their supplies behind. All he was able to bring were the fruits in his pouch, the shoes he had bought for Mara, and some of the dried meat he had had purchased. He bit back a curse, holding tighter to Mara.
Crag kept the horse at a gallop for a while longer, until he could feel it's sides heaving as it started to strain. He slowed down to a trot, glancing down at Mara as he did so.
"Are you okay?" He asked in his raspy voice.
"It's okay, we'll stop soon." Crag said quietly. He glanced over his shoulder as the horse slowed down even more. He couldn't see any soldiers pursuing them, but that didn't mean they weren't. He urged the horse forward, just a little faster.
"I really am sorry, Mara. I'm sorry." Crag held her closer to him. "But we have to get far away." He stared straight ahead with a stony frown chiseled onto his face. "Then, we can rest. We can stop, and you can walk, or talk if you want. But right now, we have to keep moving." He spoke in a quiet voice, trying to soothe the little girl as best as he could.
"I really am sorry. I'm so sorry, Mara." Crag said gruffly. He could see that she was suffering, she was hurting inside. He wanted to scoop her up and tell her it would be okay. But he just set his jaw and leaned forward in the saddle.
Crag kept up the pace until he could feel the horse shake under him with the exhaustion. It was time for them to stop. He let out a weary sigh as they slowed to a halt, letting out a shuddering breath. It had been a long night, unbearably long and torturous. He closed his eyes for a moment, trying to push back images of the flames and the blood and the soldiers. He let out another tired sigh. He hadn't gotten much rest, and it was catching up to him.
Crag stumbled down from the horse, pushing himself to stay upright. He looked down at Mara on the ground, a deep sadness in his eyes.
"C'mon..." He mumbled tiredly. He bent down and carefully helped Mara up to her feet, taking the horse's reins in one hand and her hand in his other. He slowly started to move further into the trees, seeking some kind of shelter.