I'm back! My laptop is fixed, so hopefully I'll be updating stuff more often, even though writer's block and school are against me.
Disclaimer: I don't own RA, Little Red Riding Hood, or The Princess Bride (where the inspiration for this came from).
Note: The underlined words are Will's and the bold ones are Halt's. I'm not sure exactly why I thought having Will and Halt talk the beginning of the story was a good idea, but I'm not getting rid of it.
Once upon a time, there was a very little boy named Will.
I am not that little!
Hush. Now, one day, Will's mentor Halt sent him to Redmont.
We live in Redmont!
I mean the castle. Now, Redmont castle was far away, and Halt told Will to take his horse, Tug.
"Will," Halt said. "I need you to take this satchel of documents to the Baron Arald. If he isn't there, give them to Martin. I want you to go straight there, which means you do not stop to play with that knight friend of yours or to feed that horse of yours any apples. That'll make him a fat little horse."
"I know. But what if there are curves in the road? I can't go straight if there are curves in the road."
"Just follow the road Will." Halt sighed. His apprentice could be a silly little boy sometimes.
Silly is one word for it.
Just as Will left, Halt remembered something. He called out of the door after Will, "Don't talk to any men who wear black velvet cloaks!"
"Who speak with lisps or cackle evilly!"
"And remember your-"
"Training! I know!"
Halt sighed again and hoped that his apprentice wouldn't get into too much trouble.
Foldar sighed irritably, leaning against a tree. Times had been tough after that knight brat had killed his boss, and that stupid Ranger legend Halt was watching out for him, along with the kingdom's armed forces. So, money was tight. Why, just yesterday he'd had to wash his own clothes! The indignity!
At a rustle, he looked up and his eyes widened. Why it was that blasted Ranger's apprentice! Will, that was his name. What luck! He could kidnap the simple little bo-
I am not simple!
-kidnap the simple little boy, and demand a ransom. After all, the child was a national hero.
...wait a minute. Was the boy...talking to his horse?
"-totally unfair, you know? He says be careful, and to remember my training, and I've been training with him for a year. It's not like it I'm going to forget it. Well, not quite a year, but I helped with the Temujai, so that has to count for something, right? It's not like I'm doing warmweed; I'm not stupid. You understand, don't you Tug?"
Yes, he's definitely talking to his horse.
Don't judge me! Halt does it too!
Wait, he was still going! Foldar, as quietly as he could, leaned forward to hear better.
"It isn't like he couldn't take these documents to the Baron himself." Will kept talking, but Foldar heard nothing after that. Well, well, well. There were plenty of people who would pay quite a decent sum for documents from a Ranger. The Temujai, for example. Or the Arridi, or the Scotti. They'd pay so well, Foldar would be able to buy his way into being a baron, and he'd never have to hide from the blasted King Duncan ever again.
A creepy twisted smile stretched its way across Foldar's face as a plan began to form in Foldar's creepy, twisted mind.
Will walked up the stairs to Baron Arald's office, all the while telling himself laugh at the Baron's jokes. He reached the office door, gulped, and knocked, expecting to hear Martin's exuberant shouting from the other side of the door. Instead, he heard, "Come in, young Will."
Will's brow furrowed. He'd never heard Martin speak quite so...quietly. And coldly. And more importantly, how did he know that Will was coming?
Will shrugged off his insecurities. If Martin had decided to be quieter, who was he to complain? He opened the door and stepped inside.
That was odd. The shutters and curtains on the windows were closed, leaving the room in shadow. Martin had his back to Will; he was stacking something on a shelf across the room from the door.
"Hullo Martin." Will said cheerfully.
Martin nodded. That was odd. Martin never passed up an opportunity to speak.
"Halt sent me with some files for the baron." Will continued, a little uneasily.
"Set them down on the desk." Martin was still speaking in that strange cold way. And he had a lisp, which made things even stranger.
"My Martin, what a quiet voice you have." Will said, without thinking.
"All the better for your ears, young Will."
There was something about the tone that was unsettling Will. Then he started noticing other details. "My, what straight legs you have Martin."
Now Will could hear a smirk in Martin's voice. "All the better to reach higher with, young Will."
Will, remembering something that Halt had said, gulped as he felt a cold shiver run down his spine. "M-my Martin, what an interesting lisp you have Martin."
'Martin' chuckled quietly. "All the better too...um...oh, Gorlog's teeth."
And with that, Foldar leaped out of the shadows, grabbed Will, and held a rather sharp dagger to his throat.
Will narrowly avoided gulping.
"Now," Foldar said. "We are going to write a ransom note for you and those documents, understand?"
"Uh-huh." Will said quietly, obviously terrified.
Foldar smiled creepily. "Good. Now-"
He got no further, because the door burst open, revealing Horace and Martin...who had nothing on but his underclothes.
"You!" Horace boomed, pointing his sword at Foldar. "Let him go!"
Foldar practically purred. "And what if I don't?" In his mind, he held all the cards. Everybody knew how close the Ranger's apprentice and Redmont's most famous knight were. IF he killed Will, he figured that the knight wouldn't be able to catch him because he'd be too busy grieving.
"Then you'll regret it for the rest of your life." Horace growled.
Foldar snorted. "Yeah, whatever. I'm smarter than that vengeful idiot Morgerath, so I think you'll find it harder to kill me."
Horace paused. He didn't really have a plan, since his first thought was saving Will. And Foldar did have a rather sharp dagger against Will's throat...
The bandit sensed Horace's confusion and smirked. "Exactly. Now, we're going to negotiate, so you'll get your silly, horse-talking little friend here, and I'll get-"
Whatever he was going to say next was cut off by a book to the head, said book thrown by Martin, who Foldar ignored since he didn't see him as a threat. Both Ranger apprentice and knight looked at the unconscious bandit, and then at the baron's secretary.
Finally, Martin said (loudly, of course), "Well? Aren't you going to tie him up and take him in?"
Will snapped to attention, producing a coil of rope from somewhere inside his cloak. He bound the bandit's hands and feet, after taking away his dagger and checking to see if he had anymore weapons on him. After he finished he glanced at Horace.
"Do you want to take him in, or should I?"
"Not sure..." Horace tapped his chin, pondering. "...we could take him to Halt and ask him what to do."
Will shrugged. "Alright."
Halfway through dragging Foldar through the door, Will remembered something.
"Martin, can you make sure the documents on the table get to Baron Arald, please?"
An hour after he'd sent Will out, Halt heard a dragging sound on his porch. When he opened the door, he saw Will and Horace dragging and unconscious Foldar up his steps.
"I can't wait to see how you two explain this..."
Review? Please? And if you're wondering why the quality of the story changes about halfway through, that's because I started writing this before my laptop broke down, and when I finished it, I didn't have as much inspiration.