Argent got to his feet and surveyed the remains of the campsite. Would Argent ever have that sort of courage? His eyes took in the corpses scattered around Simon’s bedroll … and retched.
“Not festering likely.”
Argent looked around reflexively to see if anyone had caught him swearing and wiped his mouth. As soon as he realized he was smearing on as much weir blood as he was wiping off vomit, he retched again. He prayed Simon was right about his new resistance.
Pulling his water skin out from the pile of gear beside him, he drained it trying to wash his hands, mouth and flute.
What was he doing? Who knew where his next drinkable water source would be? He certainly wouldn’t have enough time to melt snow while on a trail. He could have just as easily used snow to wash up and kept his water to drink. He had been training for the day he would become a Warrior for years now. When it finally comes he’s wasting his time, water and energy sitting here vulnerable like a little kid when he should be out there tracking, what did Simon say, a wounded runt?
Argent started unsheathing Barwolfripper only to realize how pointless it was. Even with the silver edge it had, it would be nearly useless against weirhide until a smith had a look at it. The hilt had more or less shattered and the blade had lost much of it’s strength. He left the two halves on his bundle and armed himself with the silver dagger in his right hand and Argentum flute in his left.
He walked in the direction Simon had pointed before leaving. The trail was obvious because of how severely the runt must have been bleeding from where the left foreleg, still lying on the ground at his feet, had been torn off. Even a towny could have followed this trail and, as inadequate as Argent felt, he certainly wasn’t a towny.
It led him in a different direction than where Simon had gone. Argent started following it and felt his confidence building as he went. Even with its regenerative power this weirwolf couldn’t have much strength left after loosing this much blood. It would be looking for a place to hole up so it could hibernate and heal. With this much regeneration to do it would be almost impossible to wake from hibernation and should be easy to kill once he found it.
Argent continued following the trail as quickly as he could over the rough terrain. It was an obvious route with a definite destination in mind. Argent heard and smelt the glacial stream before he crested the next outcropping and saw it carving it’s way down the Mountain not twenty paces from him. The blood trail led right up to it and then stopped.
Argent came up to the stream and looked hard at the opposite bank. He thought he saw where the trail picked up again but couldn’t tell for sure. Now that his quarry had cleaned its wound it would certainly be harder to track … harder but not impossible.
He carefully filled the water skin upstream of where the blood trail ended, allowing the sun to finish climbing over the mountains before he tried fording the fridged river. Halfway across, since his clothes were already wet, Argent stopped and scrubbed himself, his cloak and flute. On the other side he sat down beside a boulder providing shelter from the wind while still allowing the sun’s warm rays to dry out his cloths and bake life back into his shivering body. He fingered his flute and decided he’d better give it a try to make sure it hadn’t been thrown off pitch by it’s ordeal. He started by going up and down the scale a couple of times but soon lost himself in praise again.
Argent knelt in the warren. The walls were alight with the glow of Argentum. Veins of it latticed through the stone walls, roof and floor of the chamber. It was hard to draw breath through the the quiet sobbing of lungs. He had never felt such love!
Are you willing to sacrifice?
Do you want to be my champion?
“Yes! O Yes, my Lord. I do now. I want to do anything you ask.”
Do you want to be a Hero?
“Yes! The things I will do in your name … I will bring you such glory!”
Argent held Barwolfripper above his head. The blade naked on his palms.
Argent came back from the memory fragment grasping, almost like he was trying to grasp the remnants of a quickly fading dream. He continued to play. When he gave up on remembering any more from the Warren he realized his cloths were dry and, upon glancing up, that the sun was much further along than he would have expected. He jumped up and walked back toward the stream and the, now colder, weir trail. As he moved around the boulder he nearly tripped over a mud stained girl huddled with her back to the other side of the boulder. She looked so filthy in her torn rags that he nearly mistook her for the weir he was hunting, particularly because she was also short a limb. She raised her head and there was something familiar about her tear stained eyes. Even then it took a few seconds for him to realize that this wretched, bedraggled soul was the same pretty redhead who had tied those knots for him in the pass.