Sage quickly ate/drank all the soup. "You know, thinking about it, I'm not sure he'd choose to live in the mountains. I mean he likes them, but it's tough hunting out here. Maybe he would have chosen somewhere easier to live. Or maybe he did choose the mountains to keep himself in shape or something. I don't know. Ignore me. I'm just thinking and trying to get into the boy's head."
"We're closer to the mountains than any other place you mentioned. We might as well head there." Thresh replied, hopping onto his horse. He started to ride, and by now most of the mountains were in view.
Sage followed after him, her horse snorting as it trotted behind his. "Whatever, I'm just traveling with you." She told him. "I don't have any real say in where we go."
"To be quite frank, you have a lot of say in where we go. Without you I'd have nothing but hunches and a few hints." Thresh replied.
"Well no, I can only tell you what I know. I have no say in where we actually search. I can just tell you where there is to search." Sage told him.
(Is it alright if they get attacked by bandits or something?)
Thresh shrugged as they passed a field with a few farmers in it. The men and women stopped what they were doing to stare at the two foreigners. Thresh was familiar with the look, he had been many places where he had experienced the same thing.
Thresh felt sorry for them, they probably had no idea of the higher machinations of the world. The who and the what. Their life didn't extend past their village.
Spurring his horse a bit faster, he whizzed past the villagers as they watched. The mountains seemed immense now, rising up and scraping the sky with their snow-touched peaks.
Sage followed him, noticing a few people who actually looked familiar. She hoped they wouldn't recognize her horse as the one Blood Rose once rode along this very path.
"How much longer do you think it'll take us?" She asked Thresh softly, only loud enough to hear over their horses. "I'm not used to taking this journey. I can't tell." She lied.
"About another eight hours, barring any delays." Thresh said, turning and watching the tall grass that flanked their path on each side. A light breeze made the grass wave like a lake. The sight soothed Thresh, until he noticed an oddity. There were a number of areas that seemed to be missing grass. And the holes had a formation to them. Hissing to Sage, he motioned to the wholes and hopped off his horse. Now that he focused, he could hear the slow crunch of footfalls crushing grass.
"Who goes there?" Thresh called, suspicious.
His reply was an arrow he barely avoided. With a snarl, he drew his blades, Ebony and Ivory, with a flourish. Muttering something in a foreign language, he waited. He did not wait long, as eight brigands emerged fron the grass with blades drawn.
It was reflex that Sage had thrown two poison darts at the men. She was talented enough they wouldn't even notice they'd been poisoned or even hit until too late. She played as a helpless girl. "Thresh...?" She asked, her voice weak and trembling.
Thresh whirled, looking at her. Two of the brigands seemed woozy, and their movements a bit sluggish. Looking them over, he noticed the two poison darts in their neck. They were injected almost exactly in the jugular. "Did you...nevermind. Here!" Thresh said, tossing her Ivory before turning to parry a brigand's mace. Spinning, with a flick of his wrist the weapon went tumbling from the man's grasp. A split second later, with another flick of his wrist Thresh opened up the man's neck. Twirling the blade, he ducked under a wide swing from another criminal's blade before sweeping the man's legs out from under him. Thresh immediately plunged Ebony downward, and the man stopped moving. The other two facing Thresh seemed skittish after watching him dispatch two of their comrades in three seconds. Finally, they both swing their swords simultaneously. Thresh parried, and slid back as one kicked at his gut. Then springing forward, Thresh planted his foot firmly one of the attacker's chest. Using it as a trampoline, he pushed off and swung his blade across the other man's chest. Landing with a thus, Thresh turned to watch his final attacker turn heel and flee.
"The hunt begins!" Thresh shouted, then heading back to Sage to help her.
Sage moved in and took out the two she poisoned with grace, although her lack of practice landed her with a deep cut in her arm. She ignored it as she plucked the darts from their necks and used a small vial of poison to ready them again before putting them away. She glanced at thresh, tossing Ivory back. "I've never been that good with swords." She told him.
Thresh caught it, immediately sheathing the blade. With a smile, he said, "I'm going hunting." Turning and starting towards the brigand that fled, Thresh began to run. When the man turned into the grass, Thresh did too. Now is where the real hunt began.
Sage rolled her eyes and watched him, swinging up onto her horse and grabbing the reins of his as well. "Are you showing off or do you just enjoy this?" She asked, more to herself, although who the question was about wasn't really clear to her.
Thresh ignored the question, listening intently. Any movement, and he'd hear it. And then, crunches. Someone was moving through the grass, very close by. Waiting a moment to triangulate their position, Thresh pounced. Bounding through the grass, he leapt at the last moment onto his prey. The brigand screamed as he crashed into the ground. Thresh snarled before raising his dagger and plunging it downward. The man stopped struggling and Thresh made his way back to Sage and his horse. Quickly hopping onto his horse, Thresh turned to Sage. "I do it," He said past wild eyes, "For the thrill."
With that, he spurred his horse, leaving the bodies of their attackers behind.
Sage sighed, following him without another word. She did it for the justice. For the sake of revenge and having no one else suffer what she did. She needed to kill the man oppressing their land, but she also needed to make sure it was for the right reasons. And still, she wanted to finish her revenge run first. Find the last man, kill him, and then worry about the other problem.
Thresh was silent for the rest of the trip, contemplating a thousand things at once. Either the Blood Rose had taught Sage everything he had known, or she had learned how to deliver a poison dart perfectly into someone's jugular. Either way, he wanted answers. Once they made camp in the mountains, Thresh set a fire and sat down, sighing.
Sage never spoke a word to him, caring for her horse with fondness in her eyes. A question occured to her but she refrained from asking.
Thresh watched her, he saw when she opened her mouth to ask a question. When she closed her mouth, he chuckled. "If you have a question, ask away." He said groggily, then sitting up to begin to cook dinner.
Sage grimaced. "Would you go back...? To the Dark Forest? Would you take someone with you? Would you take me?"