Chapter 24 - Help and Regret

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Everything seems to stop. Any noises that were in the Outlands - empty and silent except for my heart beat rising at a great pace as the knight comes running to us. It was when Ariella Greyford falls to the mud and she lets out a small, croaky whimper accompanied by cheers from the crowd that everything registers to me.

No, no, no, no, no, Ariella-

The blood rushes out of the wound rapidly, seeping into her fine silk dress, painting it a deep red. I kneel down and try to hold her, to do something that will prevent Ariella from seeing death but the knight pushes me away with his armored arm and I fall into the mud with a thump.

" Don't you fucking dare to be near her, Outlander, " he warns through his helmet.

Ariella is letting out whimpers, cries but she doesn't scream. She just clutches her wounded arm with her good hand as tears rapidly stream down her face from her hazel eyes. She is still in shock, still staring at the shining tip of the arrow that went through her arm though she looks like at the brink of insanity.

Some of the people - to my disgust - are cheering though they are many others that are covering their mouth and turning away.

Shaking my head furiously, I focus on Ariella who is still bleeding with the knight not knowing what to do. He starts to call out for the other knights - yelling out orders - but I know they won't hear him.

The knight is scared too, not knowing what to do to stop the bleeding and I let out a grunt. " Don't you know what to do?! " I yell, myself panicking at the ever growing blood stain.

" I'm not trained to be a fucking healer, damn it! " He replies, bringing his head to me and I can see the fear in his eyes.

I give him a glare of disbelief before scrambling to Ariella's feet and lifting up a little of her dress to reveal the other layers under it and I pull out the dagger from my waist. The knight is shocked and looks like he's about to pound me into the ground when I bring the dagger under her dress.

I cut off a big piece of the underlayer as fast as I can, heart pounding faster every moment and I hurriedly go to her wounded arm. I do my best to cut the sleeve of the dress from the rest of the dress and I pull the slick-blooded sleeve fabric off and throw it to my side.

I sheath the dagger back to my waist. Ariella lets out a wince when I place the fabric on the side of the arrow. The sounds are familiar; too familiar like the guard's screams when I stabbed his arm- the one that tried to take Laila. But my head makes the connection of Ariella's wince and cries of the animals' wheezes and croaks when I slit their throats. I do my best not to vomit.

Bandaging the wound around the arrow, I try to remember what Father taught me how to do this without touching the arrow and to stop the bleeding.

I wrap it once, then twice and then three times until the fabric is all used and seeped with blood - all while being careful not to tilt the arrow and bring Ariella more pain. When I was done, I take a half-second to look at my palms, once pale - now covered with my friend's blood.

To my relief, the red liquid has stopped dripping to the ground but I know my bandage is not enough. I bring my head to the knight who is still bewildered. " Take her back to the carriage and back to Valaria. Now, or she'll die. " I say, a voice of command.

" Cathellyn.. " Ariella whispers, tears streaming down from the corner of her eyes. I look to her with concern. Please do not take anyone from me again. Please, please.

" You'll be fine, Ariella. " I say though I'm not sure in my heart. She shakes her head weakly, not believing.

My breath starts to shorten at that and I look to the knight. " Take her! "

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