The master had finally told me I would never be strong enough to be a wizard. The best I could do was become a hedge mage. It was hard hearing that but I knew he was right. From the age of five I had been his apprentice and when I reached puberty I became his journeyman. Now I was sixteen and pretty much as strong magically as I would get.
I packed the wide chest and pulled it out and loaded it into the hand cart. I returned for the long pack like bag that was my bedding. I set it on top of the chest before looking at master Devlin and his tall tower. It sat beside a wide river in tall green grass with a few fruit trees around it.
I bowed before I turned and went to push the cart handles down and start to pull it after me. I waded through the tall grass I had walked and played in for years. I was heading away from the nearest city and towards a unused pass. It was unused because the dwarf city and mines had been invaded and overrun by goblins and orcs.
In the late afternoon I parked the cart and put the hand crossbow together. It was not very strong but more than enough for birds or rabbits. The darts were only as long as my hand and as thin as a bird's leg. The feathers were from a sparrow and the point ... the point was from the tooth of a large river fish.
It was carved and extremely sharp. Of course the ones I used for hunting did not have spells on them. I killed a rabbit after only a few minutes and skinned and cleaned it before hunting for roots and plants to have with it. I made camp beside the river on a sand bar. I used drift wood to build the fire and set the slim ward rods into the ground around the cart.
I might not be a great wizard but one of the things I was good at was imbuing spells into things. I could also use raw materials to create small basic items. I let the fire die after eating and pulled out a couple of wood and glass mage lanterns I had made. I sat and leaned against one of the cart wheels as it grew dark.
I wrapped a light cloak around myself and closed my eyes. I should have known better than to camp right beside the river. My eyes snapped open at the loud shifting and slithering sounds. I stood and turned to touch the top of one mage lantern. Light blazed forth and I turned and froze at the huge form of a dragon worm.
Dragon worms could grow to over sixty paces and this ones certainly proved it. I kept my eyes averted from the head and eyes as it hissed and slithered around outside the ward rods. I knew it was more than strong enough to break the wards and thought hard. I turned and opened the chest and pulled out a small dart pouch.
I closed the chest and turned as I cocked the small hand crossbow. The dart I slipped into the groove was imbued with the element of absolute cold. I followed the huge body slithering around outside the ward rods and aimed and pulled the firing lever. The dart struck the dragon worm in the ear hole and it jerked back.
The head swayed back as it began to coil and then it slowly stopped moving. I turned on the other lantern and then hesitated and dug out my hand axe. The dragon worm remained frozen as I touched the ward rods and walked out. I went around and had to climb onto the huge creature before I started to hack at the back of its head.
It took a lot to cut through the skin and then the spine. It took me over an hour to remove the head. I was thinking the whole time and when I was done I used sand and potash to make two tall and large glass containers. Next was a wide glass funnel that I fit over the flesh of the neck. I took a breath and began to speak the ancient mage language.
Sluggish frozen blood began coming out and filling the containers. I knew that as long as the blood was frozen it would be safe but if it warmed ... the air would cause it to ignite. Even the blood in the muscles was pulled out and into the glass containers. I skinned the sixty three pace long body and murmured a spell that cleaned, softened and tanned it.
The last part was harder, I used grass to make a cover for the head. I put a set of glasses on that would protect me from the dead gaze. I used sand and created a fist sized glass orb before removing the eyes. The spell to transfer and imbue the lethal magic from the eyes was not simple but I was strong enough to do it.
Last was cutting the seven rows of teeth out and carefully wrapping them up. The sun had been up for a couple of hours before I was finally done. I had sealed both huge glass containers and melted the huge funnel. I walked into the river and stripped and washed my clothes and then myself.
I dressed and then loaded everything and hoped the enchantment on the cart would hold. I walked away and up into the grass beside the river. Over the next few days I refined and extracted the essence from the dragon worm blood. The rolling hills changed and grew stepper and there were a lot more trees.
I stopped at a junction of trails, one old and long abandoned and the other from another higher pass. After killing a rabbit I made camp beside a stream and cooked it. I was not trying to hide and saw the wagon house and men as the sun set. I heard them making camp downstream as I relaxed against my cart.
I shifted when I heard something moving through the grass towards me. I hesitated and then cocked the hand crossbow and put in a stone dart. I stood and reached to the top of the chest and touched the mage lantern. Light sprang out and three men stood frozen in surprise before suddenly trying to rush me.
That was dumb and foolish if they knew who I was or I should say what. They crashed into the ward and I shot one man in the chest. I cocked the crossbow as the other two spun to flee and shot a second man in the back before he had gone more than a few steps. I cocked the crossbow and turned to shut the lantern off as I heard the last man yelling.
I removed the ward and started for the other camp. As I got closer I saw the small fire and two men. A third stood by the wagon house with a huge curved sword in his hand. I aimed at one of the other two and shot him as I moved closer. Like the other two men he stiffed as he turned to stone.
The other man spun and looked at me as I moved out of the dark while placing another dart in the crossbow. That was when I saw the second wagon that was just a cage. The man went to his knees to beg as I walked closer and I absently shot him while looking at the two naked girls huddled together in the cage.
I turned as the large man left the back of the wagon house. He sneering, "your magic will not work on me!"
I could see the lines of protection spells and reached into my shirt as he walked closer. I pulled out a small case and opened it and threw both eggs. The man growled when they struck him but a clear liquid splashed all over him, more than what should have been in the two tiny eggs. I pulled a small twig as he sniffed at the liquid, "magic might not work but this will."
I rubbed the two tiny runes on the twig and it ignited and I tossed it. The fumes from the liquid exploded and the man was engulfed in flames. He screamed and staggered around as he dropped the huge sword. I watched for a moment before walking to the sword and picked it up. The man fell and started rolling and I walked after him and lifted the sword.
I brought it down on his neck as hard as I could. His body jerked and spasmed as his head rolled to one side. I left the sword and looked around and then went to look into the wagon house. There was a wide bed and two standing chests and that was it. All the horses were on a picket line behind the other wagon.
On the top of the cage were sacks of supplies and legs irons. I touched the door lock and murmured while turning my finger. The lock clicked and I opened the door, "you can come out."
The girls looked at each other before moving towards the door. I looked around and went to a pile of bedrolls and brought back two blankets. They accepted them and wrapped them around themselves. I was not sure what to do and hesitated, "did they feed you?"
They nodded and I turned to look back towards my camp, "I ... you can come to my camp."
I glanced at the body still on fire and led them away. I had to use a lantern to find my blankets and laid them out for the girls to sit on. The light haired girl was Heather and the dark haired one was Tabitha. They had both been sold to the slavers by their fathers. They laid together and it was awhile before they slept.
I was wide awake and knew this had changed things for me or thought they had. I might be able to get close to the over run and infested dwarf city but with two girls ... it was hours before I laid on the very edge of the blankets. I woke to Heather trying to get through the ward and sat up.
She bit her lip, "I have to pee."
I looked around, it was a couple of hours before dawn. I stood and went to shut the section of the ward off, "do not go far."
She looked at me before she took the blanket off and handed it to me. She took a few steps and squatted and started to pee. Tabitha was suddenly handing me her blanket and moving out beside Heather. She turned to face me and squatted and opened her knees as she peed. Heather giggled and Tabitha grinned, "we might as well be whores if we want to survive."
I sighed and knew in that moment that they would be mine. I turned to set their blankets on the chest in the cart and started to undress. The two walked back through the ward rods and once I was naked and I went to bring the ward alive again. I turned and pulled the two naked girls down on my blankets and laid Heather back.
I bent and kissed her and felt her firm young woman's body, "your pussy belongs to me and is for me to use."
.... There is more of this story ...