Well, I finally got another chapter up! :) I'm not sure how often I'll be able to update, but I hope to keep it at least one or two updates a week. So that's what I'll aim for. Anyway, thanks to everyone who reviewed, and enjoy!
Daniel Walked along the path staring blankly ahead. "She's gone."
The words were muttered lowly, but still echoed out into the empty night. He had been traveling since he left behind his home. Daniel closed his eyes his mind repeating the same words over and over. She's gone.
The realization that his wife was dead had finally sunk in. Daniel blinked back tears; he would never again lay eyes on her beautiful smiling face, or wake up in the mornings to her cheery words. She had always brought a certain light and sense of hope to even the worst of situations and now she was gone.
For the most part, Daniel blamed himself for her death. On the way back to the main road, he had noticed the remains of two other soldiers he had known. They were well known for the rumors of their thievery when a soldier dies in battle. They would go to the fallen soldier's home and steal everything valuable. The fact that they were out in the woods dead could mean only one thing to Daniel. His wife had died because the world thought he was dead.
Daniel glanced up at the night sky. The moon had reached its peak and shone down at him, casting its pale silvery glow. Daniel returned his gaze to the road ahead. Logic told him he should rest soon, but he found himself restless. Will was out there somewhere, that much Daniel was all most 100% sure of. He wasn't sure how he knew this. After all, it was just as likely that Will was killed along with his wife and buried with her as well.
A pang filled him at this thought. "He's out there somewhere, he has to be." Daniel muttered, kicking a small stone with his foot.
Daniel had the strongest feeling that the Ranger had managed to find Daniel's home. How, Daniel didn't know, he couldn't recall ever telling the Ranger his home's location, but he knew, well more of hoped, that the Ranger knew his son's location.
A new problem arose in his mind. How was he going to find the Ranger? He hadn't really thought about it when he had initially set out in search of him. But thinking about now, Daniel realized that it wouldn't be as simple as asking around. In fact, he was certain that no one would even dare to mention anything about Rangers. Especially with the suspicions of the mysterious people using sorcery and black magic to make themselves disappear.
Daniel himself certainly didn't believe the rumors, but most folk did. When it came to the Rangers, Daniel couldn't really blame them. They certainly were intimidating. Finding the Ranger would certainly prove to be a difficult task. He didn't even know the Ranger's name.
Daniel sighed, his mind straining to come up with any idea at all to find the Ranger. For a while he simply walked in silence, frowning in thought. Finally, as the sky began to show the gloomy gray of first light, an idea occurred to him.
At this point it didn't really matter what Ranger he found as long as he found a Ranger. A Ranger would know where to find the Ranger he was looking for, or at the very least, might be able to him the name of the Ranger.
Daniel nodded, content with his decision. He would travel to one of the castles where it was most likely that the fiefs Ranger would have a cabin nearby. From there, he would simply handle it when the time came for it.
Daniel continued on down the road. He knew that the closet castle at this point was either going to be Castle Caraway or Araluen Castle itself. Daniel already knew that there wasn't even the slightest chance of him getting into Araluen and that meant that his best bet would be to continue traveling North to Caraway.
Daniel picked up the pace, determined to make the trip as short as possible. He traveled like this for days, stopping only when he absolutely had too, or when he needed to tend to his wounds. Most of the time he just continued on down the road at the fastest pace he could manage. He knew that this probably wasn't the best way to travel, but until he could reach Caraway and have the chance to purchase a horse, he figured that his way would work for now.
Finally after several days of this harsh traveling, Daniel reached the small town nestled outside Caraway Castle. As he entered the town, he immediately began scanning the buildings for the inn. He found the two-story building nestled in the center of the town. He entered, glad for the chance to finally rest.
He paid for a room and dinner and sat down at one of the tables. Up until the moment he sat down, Daniel hadn't realized just how tired he truly was. He leaned back against his chair and surveyed the room. Several other people were in the room, with mugs of what Daniel guessed was a strong ale. The small groups voices echoed around the room followed by the short eruptions of their laughter.
The serving came soon after the fifth outbreak of laughter, she carried a bowl of some type of stew and a mug of coffee. Daniel nodded gratefully before digging into the meal. He wolfed down the food, barely even tasting the savory stew as it passed through his lips. He was glad for the chance for rest, knowing that it probably wouldn't be too long before he once again set out.
Daniel finished his meal before retreating into his room for the night. He slipped off his bag and set it next to the bed before removing the jagged-edged sword from his side. He then slipped into bed and was asleep before his head touched the pillow.
Daniel awoke late in the afternoon the following day. He sat up stiffly, his muscles sore from his hard travel to Caraway. His stomach rumbled, provoking Daniel to get out of bed and head downstairs to order a meal.
He sighed in satisfaction as he finished the remains of his breakfast. Today he would search the area in hopes of finding the Ranger for Caraway fief. If he didn't find him today, he figured he would find him tomorrow. Either way, Daniel was determined to find as least some information out with the remainder of the day.
Daniel stood and paid for the meal before returning to his room. He reattached the sword at his side and grabbed his bag. He was pretty sure he technically didn't need it, but he figured it was better safe than sorry.
Daniel headed out into the town. People bustled about, some carrying bags, others simply conversing with friends. He ignored these people as he made his way through the crowd. He knew that there was no way that a Ranger would have his cabin close too close to the town and that he would most likely find it on the outskirts.
The entire time he moved forward, his dark brown eyes skimmed the area for any sign of a Ranger. Daniel searched for most of the afternoon without any luck. It wasn't until he moved further out towards the woods did he finally find what he was looking for. Nestled on the outskirts of the woods was a small wood cabin. On the verandah, a hooded figure sat. He wore the classic mottled green and gray cloak of a Ranger and had a longbow resting on his lap.
Even though, Daniel couldn't see the man's eyes in the shadow of the hood, Daniel could feel the man's eyes watching him as he approached.
Daniel paused once he stood in front the verandah. "Hello."
"What brings you here?" The Ranger replied, his eyes still watching Daniel carefully.
"I have something I need to ask you Ranger." Daniel began, staring up at the Ranger. "I..."
Daniel stopped. What was he going to say? I am supposed to be dead, but had met a Ranger in battle who I believe knows the location to my son? If he said that, Daniel would sound positively crazy.
The Ranger's voice brought him away from his thoughts. "Go on. What do you need to ask me? Few folk have the courage to talk to Rangers so it must be pretty important."
"I met a Ranger at the battle of Hackham Heath and was wondering if you could tell me the Ranger's name." Daniel said, sighing internally. It sounded better to him than telling the Ranger everything.
"The Ranger that was in that battle, I believe was Ranger Halt." The Ranger answered. "Is that all?"
Daniel started to nod before another thought occurred to him. "What fief is he from?"
The Ranger looked surprised. "He is the Ranger of Redmont."
Daniel nodded his thanks. "Thank you Ranger."
Daniel turned away and began making his way back to the town. He would stay another night in the inn and tomorrow he would purchase a horse before beginning the long journey to Redmont fief.
He went to be without dinner that night, knowing that he would need his money to purchase a horse tomorrow. Once back in his room, he slipped off his bag and sword and stretched out on the bed. He close his eyes, his thoughts drifting towards the Ranger Halt. He hoped that Halt really was the Ranger he had fought alongside and not just another Ranger who had been at the battle. No matter what, this was the only information Daniel had at the moment and he planned on using to find Will.
It shouldn't be much longer Will. I will find you. With those final thoughts, Daniel drifted off to sleep.