(Part 13) For a complete list of this series, please go here.
Aerissa tipped her hand in a mock salute at Tomber as he handed her the crate full of her purchases. She briskly trotted back to the Inn, feeling lighter on her feet. Whistling, she bustled in through the door and straight up to her room. She couldn’t wait to get out of her raggedy handmade armor and into the fresh new clothes she had bought. Locke followed obediently and jumped up onto the bed as soon as Aerissa opened the door.
“Going to take a nap already, Locke?” She teased, setting the crate at the foot of the bed.
It’s a well deserved lazy day, I think.
Aerissa nodded. She had no plans to do any chores or hunting today. She just wanted to take a bath and enjoy clean clothes. Well, not just any clean clothes, but new clean clothes. She went down the hall to run a warm bath while Locke drifted off to sleep in the room.
About a half hour later, Aerissa returned to the room wrapped in a faded towel. She hummed as she began unpacking the crate. She laid the casual outfit out onto the bed, nodding in approval. Picking up the blouse, she clutched it to her cheek, appreciating the feel of the soft cloth. After getting dressed, she sat down on the bed between Locke and the crate. There were still a few items left inside.
“What shall we do for the rest of the day? We can’t very well stay in our room,” Aerissa patted Locke on the head and scratched under his chin until his throat rumbled with a purr.
Aerissa decided it was best to finish putting away the new armor, arrows, and other supplies she had purchased today. She was about to slide the crate under the bed when she noticed the sheathed dagger laying at the bottom.
“Oh, I can’t forget this!” She reached in, grabbing the leather covered blade. She clipped the sheath to her belt. The feel of the equipped dagger was natural and made her feel more comfortable. “I still don’t know what happened to mine,” she said with a frown.
I wouldn’t worry about it. Locke looked at her then yawned. He rolled over onto his side, wanting to resume his cat nap.
Aerissa shrugged, thinking that he was right. She hoped she could still wield it as well as she used to. She recalled being very comfortable and handy with daggers. Aerissa rubbed Locke’s belly lightly.
“I think I’m going to go outside for a little target practice. Stay here if you want.” And with that, she shouldered her quiver and bow as she headed out the door.
* * *
“Hmpf, these new arrow tips are heavier…” She grumbled as she yanked the arrows out of the faded target.
The new tips were not flying as well, but she was not sure how to adjust her aim to compensate. She plopped down on a stump nearby in frustration. Furrowing her brow, she suddenly stood up and clutched the hilt of her new dagger.
“Ffss~ ow!” A whitehot pain shot through her left hip. She flicked her wrist, releasing the dagger. Her eyes welled up with tears. Sucking in her breath, she gingerly touched her left hip outside of her clothes. Nothing was torn. Nothing was wet with blood. What had caused that pain?
I felt your pain, are you alright? Locke appeared a few yards away, his eyes and ears alert.
“I-I don’t know,” she stammered, a puzzled look upon her face. She turned down the waistband of her pants. A small gasp escaped her lips.
What is it? Aerissa, are you all right? Locke bounded over quickly.
“L-look…” Aerissa lifted the bottom of her shirt as she held a bit of the waistband down. The jagged scar on her left hip appeared to be pulsing and glowing…. with pain.
I’ve never seen anything like that…
The pulsing glow dimmed and the throbbing faded away. The scar now looked like an ordinary scar, but still quite pink due to how recent the injury was. Aerissa looked down at it with bewilderment. She rubbed her hand over the scar, poking and prodding at it, but felt no pain.
What were you doing when you were hurt? Locke tilted his head to the side, staring intently at the scar.
“Nothing. No, nothing, really. I was about to throw…” Aerissa’s voice trails off as she scans the ground. She looks down at her feet, turning in a circle, but not seeing… “my dagger.” Her eyes rested on the target, where the dagger pierced the dead center.
Locke’s ears flattened back against his head as they both stared at the target.