Hello there! I am Secrets of The Moonlight! This is my first Ranger's Apprentice fanfiction so I just want to say that I do not own any of these characters. All of them belong to the wonderful author John Flanagan. Enjoy!
The ground was littered with bodies of the dead stretching from one end of the small field to the other. The field itself was located just south of Hackham Heath. Towards one end of the field, the bodies that appeared there consisted of large amounts of Wargal and the occasional human. One human lay in a ring of Wargal, a nasty gash on his left side and a smaller slash on his right side. His chest faintly rose and fell in quiet relaxed breaths. He stirred slightly, slowly opening his light brown eyes.
For a moment he was confused. Then memories of the fight prior to this began to return.
Wargals pushed toward him wielding their dangerous swords and maces. Daniel retreated backwards following the rest of his comrades. He knew that these men wouldn't survive much more of this. Their line continued to retreat having lost all hopes of winning their own fight with the Wargals.
A single black shafted arrow flew from somewhere behind the line stopping a Wargal in its track. Several more arrows followed, every one hitting their mark. Rapidly, the Wargals at the front fell dead onto the ground, tripping their companions and causing confusion.
A man began pushing his way to the front lines, with a shield on one arm and a saxe knife in his other hand.
"Come on! Follow me! Push them back!" The man's shouts rose above the chaos of the battle. The man was shorter than average and had dark black hair and alert dark eyes. Even without the mottled cloak of a Ranger, Daniel was positive that the small man was indeed one.
The Ranger reached the front and now faced the snarling squad leader of the Wargals. The Wargal bared his fangs at the Ranger as it swung its spiked mace horizontally. The Ranger ducked the blow and instantly came up and drove the saxe into the creature's ribs.
A sword swung towards him from the left, quickly the Ranger blocked the blow with his shield and sent the Wargal sprawling across the ground.
"Come on!" The Ranger shouted again, slashing down another Wargal. Swiftly the Ranger ducked, weaved and carved a path forward.
By this point Daniel had recovered from his surprise and moved up behind the Ranger, holding his spear easily with both hands. Daniel began to echo the Ranger's shouts. "Come on! Forward! Push them back!"
The Ranger glanced back at Daniel, taking in his stocky build and the spear he held. Daniel thrust his spear forward skewering a Wargal. He looked over at the Ranger with a grin.
"Keep going, Ranger! You're getting in my way!"
The Ranger turned his attention back to the fight, no longer paying attention the sergeant.
Daniel, with a grin still on his face, stabbed his spear forwards once more, catching a Wargal on the other end. He tossed it aside and continued to follow the Ranger deeper into the battle. As he moved up behind the Ranger, he noticed a Wargal drawing its ax backwards for a killing blow. His spear darted forward over the Ranger's shoulder and went easily through the Wargals throat.
"Thanks!" The Ranger called out.
Daniel ignored the call as he fought, no longer paying to much attention the Ranger. That was until he noticed that the Ranger no longer was carving a path ahead. He glanced around searching for the Ranger's smaller form. He found him laying on the ground, with a Wargal standing on the Ranger's shield. It raised its club for a killing blow.
Daniel darted forward and buried his spear into the Wargal's chest. The force of the thrust sent the Wargal stumbling backwards with a hoarse screech. Daniel leapt over the fallen Ranger and ripped his spear free from the fallen Wargal. He stood with his legs braced and protected the Ranger from all attacks. He thrust his spear forward again and a Wargal hastily retreated. From one side, a battleax slammed down and sent the spear head spinning away. Daniel momentarily glanced down at the two-and-a-half-meter spear shaft. He shrugged and whirled the shaft in a circle, smashing it into a Wargal's helmet. Daniel shifted his grip on the shaft, now holding it in two hands like a quarterstaff. He thrust underarm at an enemy, driving the end deep into a Wargal's midsection.
Faintly, Daniel heard the Ranger call out something from behind him. He was jerked off balance by a Wargal and a sword blade shot forward catching him in the side. Pain flared from the wound and Daniel could feel the blood flowing from his side. He didn't allow himself to falter. Daniel ripped his spear shaft free from the wargal and slammed it between the eyes of the Wargal who had injured him. The Wargal screamed and dropped the sword, bringing its hands to its shattered forehead.
Daniel quickly seized the sword, throwing the spear shaft aside. With blinding speed he struck left and right, slashing the Wargals aside. He parried a blow from a spear thrust, another Wargal slicing open his thigh as he did so. More blood flowed, Daniel killed the Wargal with the spear and slashed horizontally left and right slashing wounds in any Wargal within reach. A knife darted forward and slashed him in the side. Daniel grit his teeth and continued the fight and killed the knife wielder with a backhanded slash. Daniel cut his way forward, hacking away at the Wargals. Suddenly, the Wargals turned and began to flee in terror of the bloodied, death-dealing figure of Daniel.
Daniel fought until his companions had passed him before he dropped the sword, swaying on his feet as his knees threatened to buckle beneath his weight. Daniel's knees gave in and he sagged onto the ground. He painfully turned his head to look at the Ranger approached. Daniel smiled weakly.
"We showed them, Ranger, didn't we?" Daniel's voice was quiet and strained from pain.
"That we did. What's your name, sergeant?" The Ranger croaked out quietly.
The Ranger gripped Daniel's forearm. "Hold on, Daniel. The healers will be here soon."
Daniel shook his head. "Too late for me."
Daniel's eyes filled with urgency as he thought of his wife and child. He tried to rise but fell back.
"Rest easy." The Ranger said.
Daniel raised his head and leaned toward the Ranger.
"My wife . . . ," He managed to gasp. "My wife and the baby. Promise me you'll..." He coughed and blood rolled down his chin.
"I'll look out for them," The Ranger told him. "But don't worry. You'll be fine. You'll see them soon."
Daniel nodded and let his head fall back. He took a long shuddering breath and relaxed as he faded into unconsciousness.
Daniel shook his head, clearing away the memories. The battle was over now, he just needed to get home to his wife and son. Shakily he rose to his feet. His sides ached along with his thigh, but the wounds bleeding had stopped for the time being. Vaguely, Daniel wondered why he was still here. Did everyone think he was dead. Daniel could think of no other reason as he surveyed the field. He retrieved the jagged-edged sword he had used during the fight and sheathed it at his side. You never know when a weapon might come in handy.
He set out towards the north, walking along with an awkward limp. Daniel eventually found the north road. By this time, the sun was at midway, leaving him a while to travel. He traveled at his slow shuffling pace throughout the remainder of the day. As the sun began to sink out of sight, leaving behind the rosy pinks and yellows of a sunset, Daniel stopped to set up a small camp. He gathered a bunch of twigs and branches and set to work building a fire. Once he had the fire crackling happily he sat back and stared absentmindedly at it.
Daniel smiled softly at the thought of his family. He had left his wife and new born baby alone in their home before going off to war. Silently, he hoped that no news of his 'death' had reached her. Daniel stretched out across the ground and rested his head on his arms. He allowed his eyes to close and fell into a light sleep.
Around dawn, he awoke. The fire had resided to embers during the night and still glowed softly. Daniel sat up, stifling a yawn. His body was stiff and sore from the combination of spending the night on the ground and his unhealed battle wounds. Despite this, Daniel was filled with a sense of excitement. Before the end of the day, he should easily reach his small farm house where his wife and sun awaited him.
With this thought in mind, Daniel set off down the road, continuing with a slightly less awkward pace.
As he rounded a bend in the road, he began searching the sides of the road for the small side trail that would lead him home. Forty meters along and he found it. Daniel turned and set off down the trail. As he neared the farm, he could smell the rich, distinctive odor of a farm.
At the end of the trail he smiled as he saw the small thatched farmhouse where he lived. The smile disappeared when he noticed that there was no smoke from the chimney. Usually, his wife would've had a fire going by now.
Now concerned, Daniel rushed up to the house. Inside was a mess. Clothing and other household items were scattered across the floor laying in what appeared to be dry blood. The table was on its side, smashed halfway through the thin wall. Daniel slowly walked further into the room, the small cradle was empty without the slightest sign of the baby. Daniel glanced around the remains of his home and began collecting items he knew he would need. He grabbed several changes of clothes so he could replace the tattered remains of his current outfit. He also grabbed several of his most valuable things, including a simple necklace that had belonged to his wife. A sudden voice at the door made him turn.
"What are you doing here?" The voice demanded angrily.
Daniel looked at the person in surprise. "What happened to the people who lived here?"
The man in the doorway narrowed his eyes. "The wife was murdered and the husband died in battle."
Daniel felt a pang of sadness in his chest. So his wife was dead. But what about his son?
"And what of the baby?" Daniel asked. He had to know what happened to his son.
"Baby? There never was a baby."
Daniel dropped his gaze. "Oh."
He moved towards the door and walked out. His wife was dead and his son was missing. There was only one thing Daniel could think of to explain it. The Ranger. He had requested that the Ranger made sure his family was okay. If his wife was dead, then perhaps the Ranger could tell him what happened to his child. There was only one slight problem. He hadn't the slightest clue who the Ranger was.
Daniel set off down the trail once more. Turning his back on the small farmhouse he had once called home. If there was even the slightest chance that his son still lived, Daniel would search every corner of the Earth to find him. I'm coming for for you Will, just hang on. Daniel thought with determination. First he would find the Ranger, then he would find his son. Daniel was sure that nothing and no one would keep him from his son.