Welcome back, rare reader :D And here we have chapter three, written by the one and only QueenAlla. Me. Yes, wondrous, isn't it?
Anyways, I hope you enjoy :)
Up and down. Up and down. The rhythm of the horse galloping into the horizon was terribly uncomfortable. And that was an understatement. Glurglegum had never even seen a horse before, and so when Laddah revealed the large brown creature from behind a large boulder, he was mortified by the beast and attempted to hurl a nearby twig at it. Both horse and owner laughed at this.
By now, his bewilderment had passed and was replaced with a yearning desire to be rid of the creature and his sore backside. Laddah placed value on the fact that it was much better than having fried murloc feet and secretly pondered upon the idea of its tastiness.
Glurglegum had never truly realised the vastness of the Tanaris sands. It appeared that they were running across waves of golden water, a harsh, biting white mist scratching at their faces. He longed for the cool, gentle touch of the blue waters of his home, and it appeared the horse did too.
"Snoka?" Laddah eased on the reins and settled the horse to a halt. The creature was breathing in great heaves, and sweat trailed like water down its neck. "Poor thing. The desert is no place for a sweet mare like you. We've got to find some water."
Glurglegum, only understanding sparse words, didn't understand the problem. Nor did he realise that there was a problem. "Glurglegum home now?"
Laddah slid off Snoka and looked at the murloc anxiously. "No, not yet. Nearly, if Snoka can survive this."
She offered the horse the last of the water supply and a small patch of grass she had collected from somewhere, and led the two creatures by foot. Glurglegum marvelled at her endurance and unwavering determination. What was this creature? In comparison, he was merely a small, fragile, ignorant frog-thing.
I want to be like her.
Yet he did not know the things she had seen in her life. He had not seen the suffering, the unbearable decisions, the scars she had been cursed with. A hero's journey was no walk in the park.
On the periphery of his hearing, Glurglegum heard a low howl. He could not be sure he had heard it, for it was so quiet that he was certain it was the desert playing tricks on him. But naturally, over a sand dune rose a feral hyena, driven wild by the scent of its prey. The sound of its resistant paws pounding fiercely against the hot sand grew louder and closer, and when Glurglegum dared to look over Snoka's bare head, he saw that it was less than a hundred yards away.
All the commotion frightened Glurglegum to the point where he jumped down and buried himself into Laddah's pack mounted against Snoka, careful not to bash himself against Laddah's resting helm.
At lightning speed, a young female figure ran down the dune after the hyena just as Laddah took out her sword in preparation to strike. Three blades clashed against the leathery skin of the hyena, and Laddah looked down into the dangerously glinting eyes of a night elf girl.
"My treasure." She said, baring her teeth and daggers furiously.
Laddah backed up, raising her hands in surrender. "Of course, I was never going to-"
"YIPPEE!" The young night elf bounced up and down, cheering for Elune, an object in her palm. "Suck on my lockbox, Arthas-baby!"
Laddah looked insulted but decided not to speak further to the clearly-high-on-some-kind-of-potent-herb-night-elf. Instead, she walked back over to Snoka as if nothing had happened.
"What are you doing out in Tanaris, little girl?"
Said girl didn't reply for a moment. She had frozen on the spot, her dark blue hair glistening hotly against the sun. She slowly turned to face Laddah with blazing eyes, as if she had been possessed by some wretched demon.
"I. Am not. A little. GIRL!" With that, she rushed forward, daggers in hand, towards the trio. "TAKE THIS!"
The rogue was quick, Laddah would give her that much, but for all her agility, she was not fast enough to evade the blow of Snoka's hooves against her. Her light leather armour slightly shielded her from the blow, but she still fell to the ground in a crying heap. Laddah didn't know whether or not to pity her, after the assault she had just attempted on them. However she too, had experienced the painful kick of a horse, and so sympathetically went over to comfort her. Keeping her distance, of course. Rogues these days were tricky little devils.
"Do you need some help?"
The night elf growled pathetically at Laddah before continuing to sob. "I-I just hate it! Everyone thinks I'm not old enough to look after myself. They say I'm a little girl, but look at me! I have boobies!"
Laddah stifled a laugh. It was slightly true. If she were human, she would appear to be the age of around 13 or so, but she didn't know much in the way of night elf growth and so she relinquished the idea of speaking of the matter further.
"Look, I'm sure you're a very capable woman-" Laddah began again.
"That's what I keep telling them!"
"Just give it some time. Soon enough you'll be showing them all how capable you really are. In the meantime, embrace your youth and try to understand their perspective. If you're as much of a woman as you say you are, you'll understand."
The night elf got to her feet and pushed Laddah away. "You just don't get it! My little brother...He ran off somewhere. He's supposed to be with me in Gadgetzan but I took him out for a hunt and..."
Laddah nodded in understanding. Despite herself, she couldn't resist helping the girl in such a dire situation. If Snoka was facing it bad enough, a young night elf must be even worse.
"Let's go find him then. It's just wide open space out here, I'm sure he couldn't have gotten far."
The girl's eyes widened in shock. She clearly wasn't expecting such a good-natured invitation. "N-no." She tucked her short hair behind her ear and shook her head. "No!"
With that, she ran back into the distance; only after scavenging the last of the hyena's loot, however. Laddah frowned, unsure as to her next move. But when Snoka gave a faint, desperate neigh, she knew she had no choice but to keep moving forward.
Glurglegum peered out of the cool bag he was resting in and looked up at the back of the human's head.
"Hm?" She turned to face him, wearing an inquisitive expression. Her green eyes were light and innocent, yet the bags under them and the sweat streaming down her face betrayed her pretended comfort. She was exhausted and there was no denying it.
Glurglegum couldn't find the words he wanted to say. He wanted to help her, but such a deed was beyond him. Maybe if he were bigger; stronger.
"What is it?" Laddah asked again, her tone slightly worried.
Glurglegum saw the town now, on the very edge of the steamy horizon. It was little more than a speck, but it was enough to raise his spirits. They were going to make it.
"...Home now? Thirsty."