Validar, Lana and Lachin at Leehar Creek
to rely on her sense of touch and, to her relief, this something felt like a human hand. She tried to pull it away from her eyes with both of her hands to see who was holding her but was only pulled closer to the attacker. Crushed and powerless against him, she could feel that his body was tense and vibrating. She didn’t know for how long this went on but was on the verge of fainting when the muscles of his body relaxed and the stranger eased his hold.
Lana angrily ripped the hands off her and looked towards where she expected the cloud to be preparing itself for the next attack. She saw only a pile of gray dust lying on top of the rocks.
Turning round to deal with the other danger, she met the calm and curious look from the dark brown, almost black eyes of a stranger.
“You scared me to death!” She cried out angrily. “I hope you are proud of yourself!”
The stranger said nothing and continued to study Lana with interest. Angrily she straightened her clothes and looked at the stranger for herself. His hair was as dark as his eyes, the face definitely needed shaving and his hands were not very clean. It appeared that he had spent a long time in the forest but he did not look like a forest Ranger.
Lana’s curious eyes rested on his clothes, noticing that the shirt had lost its whiteness and did not look new but was made from good quality fabric. He was dressed more like a knight from past centuries than a modern man, with the sleeves, the collar and the front of his shirt being decorated with skillful embroidery. His pants and jacket had lost their color and were ripped in some places but had been properly repaired. She thought to herself. “He has definitely seen better days, judging by the quality of the expensive fabric of his clothing, but now, for some reason, life has stopped favoring him and he must take good care of what remains. This man has somehow managed to destroy this horror and to save my life.”
“I am sorry that I was so terrified by what happened that I completely forgot to thank you for saving me.” She looked into the eyes of the stranger, waiting for his response but not a single muscle moved on his face and she thought. ‘What is wrong with him? Did he not understand me?’
“I am Lana. What is your name?” He did not answer but only continued to look at her with interest.
“Validar.” He finally answered.
Lana heaved a sigh of relief, glad that she had managed to move the conversation forward at last. “What are we going to do now?” She asked.
Validar shrugged his shoulders, to show that he did not understand, and walked towards Don’s dried-our corpse. He looked at it for some time, thinking, and then started to cover the remains with stones to make a grave. Lana, ignoring the sickness in her stomach, went over to help him finish the work while Validar cut a couple of branches of fir, joined them in the middle and inserted the long end between the gravestones. Then he froze, with a sorrowful look upon his face, and uttered a short prayer.
Having finished praying, he looked in the direction of the forest and shouted something. Immediately a large, brown horse, with white spots on his forehead and around his hoofs, appeared from under the branches. Validar jumped into the saddle and reached his hand down inviting her to join him.
‘Very well. Now I am going to be kidnapped.’ She thought, but didn’t appear to have any choice but to give her hand to Validar who lifted her up like a feather and placed her in front of him on his cloak which he had rolled up like a cushion for her comfort. He touched the horse with his heels and slowly moved the animal towards the river. As they approached the shore, Validar asked her something in his own language, pointing to the right and then to the left.
‘He is probably asking for directions?’ She mused, starting to search in her pocket for a …