Bink sat on the edge of the clearing. He looked to Epoline and walked over. "So what is your reasons for joining this thing anyway?" He asked. "You seem too pretty and too young to venture out here to your potential death." Alas, for poor Bink this was his attempt at flirting. Also his way to find out more about his companion.
Epoline evidently blushed. No one had ever complimented her in such a way before. "Well, it's a bit of a long story, but I was beaten by my father as a child. My mother passed away, mostly due to my father abusing her. I escaped, and was set out on the streets as an orphan. The princess took me in, and nursed me back to full health. I lived with her until I was able to survive on my own. After all the compassion and generosity the princess showed me, I felt as if it was my duty to protect her in whatever way I can." Epoline explained to Bink, gazing into his eyes.
"You're right," he said, standing up and starting in that direction. "Just... Don't put yourself down. Everyone's grateful for what you're doing." He got back to camp and quickly found Kerli. He eyed her suspiciously. She didn't look well. "You okay?" He asked, clearly inquiring about her current health.
Bink smiled at Epoline. "That is a vet honorable reason for your journeying," he complemented. He smiled at her blush. She wasn't half bad looking, though it was evident she could kill him quite easily if she wanted, he noted her muscular stature.
Kerli jumped. She hadn't noticed Procutteus come up. "I'm fine," she again dismissed the question. "Ready to practice?" She stood and walked deeper into the wood avoiding the area she'd had her episode. She eyed a small creature and turned to Procutteus. "Take aim but do not shoot. I want to see your stance," she commanded.
Procutteus nodded obiently, and drew an arrow, pulling back and holding the arrow in place, stretching his arm far out in front of him, pulling back with the other. There was a focused silence in the air around him. It seemed as if it was just him and the wilderness for miles.
Kerli looked him up and down. There was not much to correct and Kerli was pleased, however there was one glaring correction that needed to be made. "Relax," she said in a soothing voice. She placed her pale childlike hand on his shoulder and the other moved toward his wrist. When her cold bony fingers touched his warm skin she flinched. She'd hoped he hadn't noticed and put her hand over his. She relaxed his arm just slightly. She knew though it didn't seem like much, it would make a drastic difference. "Relaxation makes it easier to shoot a moving target," she explained in a smoother calming voice.
Procutteus silently obeyed, relaxing his muscles as best as he could. He heard the soft creaking of the bow as the string loosened a bit, and he finished relaxing himself. "How's this?" He asked, keeping his form up.
Kerli grinned from ear to ear. She released Procutteus and relaxed from her tippy toes to flat feet. "Kill it," she commanded. Before Procutteus could take then shot she hollered something and scared the creature. It bolted.
Procutteus hadn't expected this, and his pose instinctively tensed up and he let go of the arrow too soon, the arrow snapping against a rock in front of the animal. The little mammal jumped and ran into one of the bushes. Procutteus didn't hide the fact that he was disappointed with himself.
"That is okay," Kerli smiles reassuringly. She goes to retrieve the arrow leaving he r things with him. She gets too the rock and when she bends down to pick it up, one of her hands fly to get stomach doing nothing for the pain but worsening it, but it's an instinctive move. She retrieves the arrow and returns to Procutteus. "It takes practice, and giving you a heads up would not help you. If an animal senses danger they will bolt and you will have a split second to kill it. Let's go find another animal. You lead and find it," she panted.
Procutteus nodded, crouching and walking through the wooded area with soft, silent footsteps, his bow in his hand like an extension of his arm. He stepped onto a log and froze, his eyes locking into a rabbit down below at the bottom of the hill. "There," he said quietly to Kerli, slowly drawing an arrow.
"Relax," she whispered placing her hand on the crick of his arm. Once he relaxed she removed her hand. "Shoot," she said. This time she made no sound, n attempt to make the animal scamper away. They had to bring something back to eat, and now Procutteus was expecting it.
Procutteus relaxed even more, closed his eyes once he had the aim spot on, and exhaled as he let go of the arrow. The arrow pierced straight through the helpless animal, and it was thrown into the bushes. Procutteus started to head down to retrieve the meat when he saw something that stopped him. "Look," he said to Kerli, pointing in the distance. "It's a deer."
Epoline smiled, and nodded in response to Bink. "So, why are you here, big tough guy?" she teased, prodding him playfully in the arm. She eyed him up and down, curious as to what his answer might be.
Camden nodded shortly to Procutteus. He mumbled one last thank you, and headed back towards camp. When he got there, he sat on a rock. He did nothing but wait for everyone to return. Most people had gone out to hunt or get a drink.
Bink 's smile faded. He contemplated the idea of lying because the truth would errupt in a frenzie. He decided to be vague, though he couldn't hide the sadness that dripped off every syllable. "It was better than death," he said soberly.
Kerli looked at the animal with a kind of naturely sadness. She knew without a doubt that the rabbit would feed maybe two people. The deer however, would feed them all. She couldn't decide to scare it or not by the time the words came out of her lips, "Kill it."
Procutteus exhaled again, his focus entirely on the rabbit. He inched forward to get a better shot when his foot snapped a twig. The deer jerked its head in his direction quickly, and Procutteus quickly did as Kerli told him: relaxing and letting the arrow ly into the deers side. He took a moment to realize he'd gotten the deer, then smiled excitedly at Kerli. "I..." He panted. "Got it."
Kerli reciprocated Procutteus's smile. "You definately shot it," she nodded with approval. She walked over to the deer and kneeled beside it. "We should get this back to camp as soon as possible. We need to be leaving soon, and we're all starving," she said. She felt like a weight had been lifted off her shoulders. She didn't have to shoot anything, and nobody would notice she's struggling.
"Alright," Procutteus said, kneeling next to her, analyzing the deer. "You go get the rabbit. I'll get the deer." He slid his hands under the animal and hoisted, blowing out air as he wheezed. "Mmf..." He said, bringing the deer to his chest. "It's... it's a heavy one."
Kerli snatched the rabbit and slipped the arrow into Procutteus's sheath. "You can't carry that by yourself!" Kerli gasped. "Let me get someone to help you." She ran ahead and handed the rabbit to someone. She almost asked Camden to help Procutteus but she'd been so bipolar with him, she grabbed Margaph instead. She brought him back to Procutteus.
Epoline's smile faded, and her eyes had a saddened look in them. "Oh, Bink..." she whispered softly. "I'm so sorry, what happened?" Epoline asked timidly, not wanting to offend him. She was guessing the truth would be hard. While Bink put a smile on a face, and looked like a tough guy, she knew he had a softer side, and a rough past.
Camden perked up as Kerli entered the clearing. it looked as if she was going to ask him something, but she asked Margaph instead. With a soft sigh, Camden picked up a stick and began drawing in the dirt. His depressed persona had returned.