I know it's short guys, but it needs to be to set up the next chapter. Since you guys are so good at meeting and exceeding all challenges I make, I'm gonna make it a bit harder if no one minds. 110 votes in 24 hours, and I'll post a five page chapter!!!!
He sighed, popped his neck once more, then jumped from the wall himself, landing in the street to meet up with the others.
Phoenix walked down the street, ignoring the people who poked their heads out of their dwellings to get a glimpse of him. In the middle of the city, he, Ember, and Lindani met. Spedro emerged from the shadows a moment later, covered in some kind of white powder. Phoenix raised an eyebrow, and Spedro glared back. “It was a bakery. I landed in the flour.”
Ember snorted, trying to hold back laughter, and Spedro turned his glare on her. She noticed, and pushed out her bottom lip, grazing her teeth over it. Spedro sighed, and stretched out an arm, and she ducked under it, allowing him to pull her close. Ember sneezed, causing a little white cloud to rise from Spedro’s clothes, and Lindani laughed. They turned back for the center of the city, for the castle. No words were spoken of their failure, though the thing on everyone’s mind was who the assassin had killed. Twisting and turning through the city, they came upon Ahna’s dwelling, and the sound of rushing feet assaulted them from the west. The four turned to see a handmaid of Ahna’s, clad in a white nightgown, rushing toward them.
She stopped in front of them, and placed her hands on her knees, breathing heavily. Lindani opened her water skin, and pulled a small orb forth, sending to the maid, who drank deeply. A moment passed, and the woman recovered enough to speak. “Ahna,” she started, her chest still heaving. “She was attacked.”
Phoenix gritted his teeth. “Does she live?”
The maid nodded, and beckoned them to follow, then darted down the street with the four close on her heels. A few buildings down, a cluster of soldiers stood on a circle, looking down at something on the ground. Phoenix quickly noticed that on soldier was standing in a pool of dark liquid, and he feared the worst. Shouldering his way through them, he saw Ahna lying in the street, blood flowing from a wound beneath her right breast. Lindani appeared beside him, and dropped to her knees immediately, pulling more water from her skin. Letting the water swirl above her palm, she leaned close to the wounded leader of the city, speaking softly into her ear. “Ahna, can you hear me?”
Ahna moaned in reply, the agony she was being subjected to lacing the sound. “I am going to clean the wound, and stop the bleeding,” Lindani whispered. “I cannot pretend that it will not hurt, but it may save your life.”
Ahna nodded urgently, and Lindani beckoned Phoenix to his knees beside her. He complied, and she came to his ear, whispering so Ahna could not hear. “I am going to clean it, but you must use your flame to seal it shut. Ready?”
Phoenix nodded, and Lindani got to work. She gingerly grasped Ahna’s clothing around the wound and gave a sharp tug, ripping it so she could see the wound. A small but deep gash sat between two of Ahna’s ribs, slowly killing her. Arranging the clothing to give her access, but saving most of Ahna’s dignity Lindani began gently sending the water over the laceration. Lindani grunted when more blood spurted forth. Again and again she cleaned the wound, then pulled the blood from it, dropping it to the already slick pavement. The flow began to slow, and Lindani nodded to Phoenix, who lit his finger with a small torch that glowed brightly in the darkened street. Finally, Lindani split the water in two and used each small orb to push the gash closed, and Phoenix moved in. Tracing the red line as carefully as he could, he cauterized the wound, sealing it shut with an ugly mark. Ahna hadn’t made much noise before then, only whimpering in pain, but no more. Her shrill scream burst into the night, loud enough to wake the dead. Phoenix was astounded by her restraint however, because even as she screamed, she never moved. Finally she blacked out, leaving them in a heavy silence silence, only broken by one of the soldiers around them shuffling their feet. He finished his bloody work and stood, and Lindani cleaned his handiwork once more, then stood herself.
Grabbing the nearest soldier by the chest plate of his armor, she roughly pulled him to her. “Bear her gently to her room, and have me summoned when she wakes.”
“Y-yes ma’am,” the soldier stammered, then turned and enlisted the help of three others. Bearing her on their shoulders, the soldiers slowly moved for Ahna’s home. Lindani sank to the floor once they were gone, her leggings now covered in slick crimson blood. Phoenix stood beside her, and she lifted her tired eyes to his. “Will she live?” he asked.
“The morning will tell,” Lindani answered, wiping the sweat from her brow with the back of a bloodied hand.
“Come little one,” Phoenix said, slipping a hand beneath her knees and another behind her shoulders, lifting her to his chest. “The inn is not far. Rest, and I will have us there in a moment.”
She nestled her head into his chest, and he carried her quickly, all the way to the doors of the inn. Pushing through, he nodded to the innkeeper, who rushed ahead of them to open their room’s door. Giving the man his thanks, he kicked the door closed and laid the woman on the bed.