The Tale of a Mage (part 16)

They travelled all through the night and into the next day stopping only once for a quick meal. It was dusk by the time they finally made camp and the group was exhausted. Livia set off in search of food. Nyx glanced between Izzy and Cassandra making sure their attention was otherwise diverted before picking up her bow and heading after Livia. It was apparent she would never best Livia in outright combat. Livia had greater strength and better training. It was time for Nyx to make use of her personal strength, stealth.

Nyx slipped between the trees, keeping out of sight. She kept her footsteps light, treading soundlessly, eyes never leaving Livia. Before long Livia paused at a bush laden with scarlet berries. Nyx watched for a moment as Livia plucked berries from the bush laying them out on a piece of cloth. Once she was certain Livia did not suspect she picked up an arrow, fitting it into the bow. Slowly, she pulled back the drawstring. Lining up the shot she paused for a moment to take a deep breath. She only had one chance to get this right. Exhaling she let go, the arrow sailed through the air plunging into Livia’s back. Nyx waited with bated breath, watching as Livia struggled in an attempt to pull herself to a standing position. She was wounded but she wasn’t dead yet. Nyx would soon rectify that. She picked up another arrow and prepared the shot. She drew back the drawstring once more. However, her plans ended there as she found herself frozen to the spot, unable to move an inch, not even enough to release the arrow. Nyx’s heart pounded in her chest as she struggled against her invisible restraints.

“Have you taken leave of all common sense?” Izzy’s voice penetrated the fog of panic. “Irrespective of your feelings towards her I would have thought even you could recognise we need Livia. Neither you nor Cassandra are particularly skilled in combat and Cassandra has a long way to go before her magic will be of use to us. While I am skilled in both magic and the use of a sword my magical reserves have their limits and there are only so many soldiers I can fight at once. Livia’s skill set could well save our lives.”

Cassandra dashed past Nyx, falling to her knees at Livia’s side. She fussed as she examined the wound.  Cassandra turned to face Nyx, eyes wide.

“Nyx, how could you? You could have killed her!” Cassandra’s eyes flickered back to the wound, aghast.

“Well, that was the idea” Nyx muttered under her breath doing her best to ignore Cassandra’s horrified gasp.

Cassandra turned her full attention to Livia’s wound. Pulling a knife from her boot she gestured for Izzy to join her.

“I need fire.” The statement was made in a clipped tone. Izzy nodded and a small ball of fire appeared in the air just above her hand. Cassandra plunged the blade of the knife into the fire and held it there until she was satisfied it was sterile. She nodded to Izzy and the fire flickered out.  Ripping the fabric of Livia’s shirt from the area of the injury Cassandra tentatively cut into the flesh, she flinched at Livia’s pained grunt but continued widening the wound until the arrow could be pulled out without doing further damage. Once the arrow was removed Izzy took over placing her hand over the wound. A warm glow emanated from Izzy’s hand. When she finally lifted her hand she revealed healthy flesh. The only remaining evidence the injury had occurred was Livia’s torn and bloody shirt and the arrow on the ground beside her.

“Um… could you undo whatever you did to me?” Nyx grumbled. Izzy spun around to face her. Covering the space between them in quick strides Izzy snatched the bow from Nyx’s hands.

“Your actions have put us all at risk.” Izzy’s icy gaze bore into her “I have had to use magic both to restrain you and heal Livia. It can take up to twelve hours for magic energies to fully regenerate which means my abilities to protect us should a threat present itself tonight will be inhibited.”

Nyx sighed with relief as the spell was lifted and she found herself able to move again. That relief, however, was short lived. Izzy pulled a length of rope from her cloak and tossed it to Livia.

“Tie her up.” Izzy instructed, “It’s clear, for the moment she can’t be trusted.”

“With pleasure” Livia grinned.

“What?” Nyx choked “No! Cassandra, don’t let your girlfriend do this to me.”

“You could have killed her Nyx.” Cassandra whispered averting her eyes.

Within seconds Livia’s hands were on her, gripping her arms pulling them behind her back. Nyx struggled as Livia positioned her arms with one forearm resting on the other and began to weave the rope around them securing them to one and other. Livia made no effort to be gentle and Nyx whimpered slightly as the rope cut into her flesh. Once Livia was satisfied with her work she seized Nyx by the arm and began hauling her back in the direction of the camp. Izzy followed while Cassandra stayed behind to continue gathering berries.

Nyx struggled the whole way back to the camp. While denied the use of her arms she still had her legs and she made every effort to kick Livia. Livia ducked out of the way with ease chuckling in response to her efforts. Upon reaching the camp Livia pushed her to the ground at the base of a tree.

“Could you toss me more rope? There’s some in my pack.” Livia glanced in Izzy’s direction. Izzy nodded, reaching into the pack she pulled out the rope and handed it to Livia. Livia secured Nyx to the tree and stood taking a moment to grin down at her.

“Oh, I’m so looking forward to reaching the Dwarven Kingdom, little elf.” She smirked. Nyx huffed in defeat. She couldn’t believe she was back in this position. How could Cassandra allow this?

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