76 Escape 2: Elven Soldiers

    By the time they got close to the cave, the big white tiger-pheonix beast stood outside watching its cub trying to catch a bird. As soon as Little White-Fire saw Astrid and Jareth, it stopped what it was doing and ran to meet them.

    She picked the little beast up and rushed towards its mother. Jareth ran past them into the cave to get their things.

    "Astrid, what happened?" The big white tiger-pheonix beast asked.

    "White-Fire, we must leave, now!" She said, stopping in her tracks, her eyes trailed to the cave and back to it, looking into its eyes.

    "All right, get your things then." It voiced back in her mind.

    Astrid gave a nod, dropped the little beast in her arms down by its mother's feet and scurried off into the cave.

    She quickly wore her cloak and packed her things into her bag, her hands and eyes moved fast as she did. Jareth rushed up to her with his cloak on and bag crossed over his shoulder. His sword was sheathed carefully at his waist, his quilt safe strapped to his back, he held his bow in one hand.

    "Let's go," he said to her.

    Without waiting for her response, he dashed towards the cave's entrance with Astrid behind, but the moment he stepped his foot out, an arrow struck on the ground near his feet.

    Both of them stopped in their tracks, his left hand spread to his side, halting her movement. His eyes scanned the surrounding from where the arrow flew from, Astrid's gaze wandered to the white tiger-pheonix beasts standing outside.

    The next moment, another arrow flew in towards them, he hurriedly moved to the corner of the cave, by the entrance taking Astrid with by her hand, with him.

    "They are here."

    "We must move Jareth, we can't stay here. How many days till we get to the forest peak?"

    "Two days if we are fast."

    "Two days? How did we use... I thought we had lost a lot of time due to my collapsing?"

    "Astrid, now's not the time. On my count, you make a run to the beasts and dash off towards northeast. I'll cover you."

    A flare suddenly shot into the sky.

    "All right. What is that?"

    "One, two... Go!" The urgency could be felt in his voice as he shouted at her.

    She ran fast towards White-Fire, picked up the little white tiger-pheonix beast and they ran towards the north eastern part of the forest.

    An onslaught of arrows came flying her way, Jareth rushed out, unsheathed his sword and repelled the arrows with it.

    The next moment four Elves, came out from behind the trees and charged towards them. He quickly wore his hood over his head and charged for them.

    Astrid stopped in her step, her heart pounding against her chest as she watched Jareth take on the four soldiers. They were dressed in uniform studded red leather greaves that came up over their knees, clinging tightly to the calf. There are no visible closures or bindings on the armor.

    They each had a sword in one hand, with their quilt and bow at their backs. It was not a fair fight, as Jareth seemed to be outnumbered. She desperately felt the need to rush and join him but a sound pulled her out of her thought and unto the situation at hand.

    There was a fifth soldier, he rushed from the trees where they were headed and lunged at her. "Astrid! There another one." White-Fire called out thought their mind communication.

    She dropped the little white tiger-pheonix beast and approached the incoming soldier. She controlled the earth and threw some blocks of earth at him. He didn't slow down still, but dodged each one of her attacks and ran in full speed towards her.

    She gritted her teeth, angry that none of her attacks met their target. He thrust his sword forward, she moved to her side and dodged the attack.

    He didn't relent, his attacks were sharp, precise and fast. She could barely keep up dodging.

    She retreated several steps back, giving space between her attacker and herself. Her hands lit up with a blue light and she shot her magic at him. She was now on the offense, while he tried his best to dodge and block her attacks.

    She reached out again to her powers and made an earthen man, he charged full force at the soldier.

    White-fire watched on, waiting for an opportunity to attack, when Jareth kicked one of the soldiers, pushing him away, it finally saw its chance. Before the fallen soldier could get up, it spat fire at him.

    The soldier yelled in pain, rolling on the ground to quench the fire on his back and hand.

    Another soldier saw this, in anger he took two arrows from his quilt and strung them on his bow, then aimed at the big white tiger-pheonix beast.

    Having one of the soldiers taken care of, Astrid rushed up to assist Jareth, but saw the other soldier release his hold on the arrows. Instantly they came flying towards White-Fire.

    She stretched her right hand and stopped the arrows in mid way, letting it fall to the ground. She raised both hands and controlled the wind, it twirled in her hands, then she directed it at him, knocking him out in the process.

    "Arrrhhhhh... "
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