Bonus Chapter: The Archer Boy

Knowing when to run and when to fight

Hagan let out a small breath, before releasing the arrow in his bow. When the arrow hissed through the air and hit its target, he smiled. Ever since he had taken an interest in the bow and arrows, he had been improving quite a lot. He walked over to the piece of wood that lay 70 ft away and took the arrow out of the wood.

Luckily, the arrow wasn't damaged, so he could use it again. He put it in his quiver and walked back home. He had enough practice of today. Hagan greeted some fellow villagers, but tried not to have a too long conversation with them. He had never been one to talk about extremely useless things.

He knew his attempt to walk to his home as fast as possible was rented useless, when one of his better friends, Pete, walked toward him with the goofiest smile on his face. Hagan sighed and smiled back. "Hey..."

"Hey Hage! Haven't seen you in quite a while", Pete said when he reached him.

Hagan rolled his eyes. Because I've been trying to get home early and now I can't do that, he thought bitterly. He didn't think it would be appropriate to say that though, so he just muttered a small "yeah".

"So, how are you?", the blonde before him asked.

He shrugged. "I'm doing alright, I guess..."

Pete smiled. "Still practicing the bow, huh", he noticed while gesturing to the bow in Hagan's hand. "Have you been getting better?"

Hagan smirked. He liked the way this conversation was going. "Yeah, I've just been practicing. I can tell that I've been improving a lot. Today, I had even hit the bull's eye from 80 feet away", he grinned, "I hope to reach the 90 tomorrow, though."

His friend smiled at Hagan's sudden interest in the conversation and ruffled the 14 year old boy's hair. This caused a lot of protest from the brown haired boy. "Hey!"

The blonde just smiled. "I'm glad you've found a way to get on track again, Hagan."

Hagan grimaced as he thought back at two years ago when his father had died. He had been killed by a bear that had interrupted him while hunting for food. His world had turned upside down and for a while, Hagan had been closed off from his surroundings. His great example had just... died. No warning or a final goodbye.

It was thanks to his friend and family, who had stuck with him through the end - even if he had been starting to get really annoyed by them and had been rude all the time -, that he was who he was now.

Ironically, after he'd been following his father's example by hunting and practicing with the bow and arrow, he had started to feel better. Now, he had the feeling he could take on everything in his path. And it was all thanks to them.

Hagan smiled at Pete and swung his bow over his shoulder. "I have to go now... See you!"

"Bye!", he could hear Pete saying behind his back as Hagan ran toward his home. He closed his eyes as he smelled the scent of his mother cooking something delicious called 'food'. His stomach was already grumbled at the thought of his mother's specialty; pumpkin soup. What? I love it!

Just when he was about to open the door of his home, he heard a girl screaming in the distance. He recognized the voice as Penny, one of his friend's little sister, when the girl screamed a second time. Hagan ignored his hunger and ran toward the voice.

What he saw made his insides boil in anger. There she was, Penny, being held by two men. No, barbarians, he judged from their clothes. He had heard of them attacking small villages for money and women, but he'd always thought they would never reach this village. How naive I was, he realized... More of them were gathered behind the two men holding Penny.

Hagan did the only thing logical; he attacked. He knew that he should have made a plan of some sorts, or least should have warned others, but he was outraged. He would never let anyone hurt the one's close to him.

As quick as he could, he pulled an arrow out of its quiver and pulled it back with his back. When he'd released it, he reached for another. One of the men holding Penny dropped dead on the ground with an arrow in his throat. The other followed his companion soon after.

The other barbarians had noticed him now and charged him. There was only one thing that he thought about, though. "Run, Penny!", which the girl did.

He retreated as fast as he could and could hear the village alarm bells ringing through the village. The barbarians couldn't care less and plundered people's home's, while others fought Hagan and some others.

The next few minutes was a blur to him. All he did was killing men with his arrows, while others did with their knifes and swords. He could see blood before his eyes, but couldn't see if it was his or his enemy's. The air around him had grown hot as the barbarians put the houses on fire. Hagan stood his ground, but felt himself tire fast.

Suddenly, his vision went black as he felt something had hit his head. How could I've been so stupid, he scolded himself before falling unconscious on the ground.

When he opened his eyes, he was confronted with his biggest nightmare. Everything was burned down to the ground. All that there was left, were the ashes and some small piles of wood. The place smelled like smoke, which wasn't abnormal, seeing his old village.

The other thing that surprised him, was that it was silent. The only thing he could hear was the sound of himself breathing. Not even the animals in the woods dared to make a sound, or were out of hearing distance. When he stood up, he met the truth: everyone and everything was gone. Killed or enslaved... Everything... The evidence was the multiple corpses on the ground.

A tear escaped his watery eyes, but he forced himself not to cry. He had to be strong for the others who had died for the sake of the village. He had no right to cry.

All he could do was mourn over his lost friends and family, as he made his way through the forest, telling himself to not let anything like this happen again.

[A/N]: Here's the bonus chapter! Dedicated to: awesomeness, for being the 100th reviewer of this story :)

'Till next time ^^

Xx Anny