Chapter 2 - Grief (Jethro)

700 Words
I have surely been cursed, for my family does not believe in magic. Oh, how I will show the fools the truth! The village will cry out my name with exceeding joy, praising my brilliant decision. Alas, I am lost in this maze of emeralds. It’ll be a thousand years before they discover my body if I die here. As I stepped forward, I heard a faint click and hung upside down from a tree in the manner of seconds. The rope that immobilized me was thick like unto an oak and so strong that my knife could not scratch it. It captured me like a cat catches a mouse. I was powerless. I would have thought that careless hunters had set up the snare if I did not hear menacing laughter coming ten feet behind me. “You are cowards. You used trickery to capture me. If you weren’t, you would have fought me fairly. Woe be unto you! When I am freed, I shall raise a tempest the likes of which the world has never before seen!” “Your words amuse me, for you are like unto a cornered rabbit. You are not wise in wandering into the forest all alone!” a gruff voice exclaimed from the shadows. “Are you so hideous that you must hide? Let me gaze upon the monster I will soon slay. Your head will roll like a pig rolls in mud!” I shouted in a rage. “Your words show much courage, but your body is shaking like an autumn leaf. I sense terror in you. Seeing as you have no precious jewels or gold, we will make you our servant until you are returned unto dust,” the man spoke in a most cruel tone, finally showing his face. His nose was sharp like a dagger, and his eyes were green as emeralds. I sensed much malice in him. “And what if you were to release me, and I took your life and ran back home?” I asked with a tiny smile. “Then your entire family would be slaughtered like fatlings in the dead of night. They fear the Jadehoods throughout all the lands. So exceeding is their fear that not even kings would dare oppose us. We assassinated Prince Quintus III three years ago with death caps. Everyone thought it was an accident. You would be wise not to trespass against us, for if you do, our punishment will be but a splinter of yours. I will release you if you swear to obey our rules.” “I agree to the deal. Cut me down from this wretched tree so that I may move again,” I barked, spitting in his direction. The mysterious stranger cut my ropes with a jewel-encrusted dagger, and I crashed to the ground, falling on my side. Searing pain ran through my ribs, and it became virtually impossible to breathe. “Follow me. You are not to make any sudden moves,” the rogue said, giving me a calloused hand and walking deep into the forest. “Do you have a name?” I asked, curious who he was. “Isaac,” he replied curtly, jumping from rock to rock like a mountain goat. His agility impressed me beyond words. “You are a fool for telling me your name. I could tell the world about the Jadehoods,” I grinned. “Do you know your way out of here?” he asked with a smirk. “No, I am but a lamb who has wandered off,” I replied with a sheepish smile. “Thought so. Can I ask you a question?” he asked grimly. “Yes.” “Do you believe in magic?” he asked with a brilliant gleam in his eyes. “Why do you ask? Have you seen it?” I asked excitedly. “Yes.” “When?” I asked anxiously. “Ereyesterday, I was wandering the forest when-” A shrill voice at a campsite interrupted our conversation. “Our new servant arrived! Praise be to Yuna!” “I’ll tell you everything later,” Isaac said through gritted teeth.
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