"Allen, do you want to hold my guiding light?" asked the minotaur, holding up his everburning torch to one of the Shadovar soldiers.
The monotony of the rocky desert through which they now traveled was getting to the young minotaur, and he was thoroughly bored as he stood outside the tent, surrounded by a handful of guards. Leokas had "played" archery with the adolescent monster several times already, but now the elf wanted to conserve his remaining arrows for an actual fight. Leokas had also at last finished the large, composite bow he was crafting for the minotaur, its draw weight being so heavy that even the minotaur struggled to pull it back. Unfortunately, it also required longer arrows, and there was no wood available in the middle of the dry wasteland.
Allen was the soldier who had let the minotaur watch him saddle the bats. The man laughed. "We, too, have many such torches. There are several in our — what is the word? 'barrage'? — in our group tent."
"Why do you like so much dark?" asked the minotaur.
"Only the shades like the darkness," said Allen.
"But the big guiding light lets you see colors!"
"I know!" said Allen. "Neither had we color in the land whence we came."
Setting the magic torch down, the minotaur lowered his horns slowly toward Allen and waited for something. "What art thou...?" Allen began, but he instinctively moved his ranseur into a defensive position, which the minotaur took as engagement in a play scuffle. The minotaur swung his head with his horns, catching the ranseur in one of the curves. He shoved back, sending Allen nearly off his feet and back a yard.
One of the other guards immediately stabbed the minotaur in the side, which drew blood, but not a considerable amount, because of the minotaur's thick hide. The beast spun around to face the new "playmate" and attempted to lock horns with his ranseur, while a few other guards tried to stab him and missed, as he jumped about, snorting happily.
Allen shouted out something in his own language to the others, but then he heard a couple of the soldiers call out a foreign word forcefully. The minotaur felt a strange wobbly sensation for several seconds, and his thoughts grew cloudier than usual, which made him pause.
From the corner of his eye, the minotaur saw several of the guards fumbling for various items from pouches at their belts and speaking strange words. One of the guards tried to touch him with a hand glowing with sparkly red light, and a crackling beam of energy shot at him from one of the soldiers' hands, also missing. The guards pulled back. Then he heard the sound of a cricket. "Gulêt!" Allen commanded, and the minotaur lost consciousness.
The minotaur awoke to find himself lying on the ground with Hakam over him. "You were just asleep," said Hakam.
He heard Cassiera speaking to the guards. "He just wanted to play; the poor thing is bored. You didn't need to stab him."
"Anything you say, beautiful," said one of the soldiers.
"This I understood," said Allen. "That is the reason for which I caused him to slumber."
Cassiera tried to explain this to the minotaur. "You cannot play with the guards," she said. "We have to wait to play later. Why don't you play fetch with Leokas' wolf?"
The minotaur approached the soldier who had stabbed him — there was still blood drying on the point of his polearm — and patted him on the shoulder. "You play good!" said the minotaur.
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Posted on June 17, 2016 21:10