The Master and The Slave
The camp was in a state of panic, while Za and Grie try to gather everyone inside the caravans, so they can be far away from the danger. Nesto climbs out from his own wagons with Eilna saber in his hand. His eyes focus beyond the spike wall with anger and fear. He has to kill again, the thought of that cause him to tighten the grip around his saber.
He needs to fight to protect his master.
When he was about to head toward the wall, Neya grabs the bottom of his jacket stopping him. He turns his head to her with a confused look, Neya with a determined expression on her face while both of her boots planted on the ground to stop her butler.
"You don't need to fight," Neya said.
"Don't, Miss Neya. You and the people here are in danger. Let me fight, there is no other way," Nesto said.
"No, Nesto. I order you to stop fighting and stay here," Neya order.
"What?! What are you doing?" Nesto ask.
She closes her eyes and opens it again. Then she starts walking toward the spiked wall while her fingers dig into her palm. Her heart beat out of fear, nervous, and uncertainty. She needs to show him that there is a peaceful way to resolve things.
"Neya!!" Nesto call to her while his feet stick to the ground.
"I will you show that there are always other ways," Neya said.
Vizrez came back with her huge bone weapon on her back, she looks at Nesto and back at Neya.
"What's going on?" She asks.
"She orders me to stay. Go to her make sure she doesn't come to harm," Nesto said to Vizrez.
With a nod, Vizrez jog toward Neya. The ginger-haired elf girl stops when she felt close enough to the wall, she takes a long breath of air into her lung, and let it all out.
"We know you are there! Come out, so we can speak!" Neya yells out and hoping one of them speak the common tongue.
When Vizrez finally close to her, Neya turns her heads to the woman and raised her hand to tell the cyclops woman that she is fine. Vizrez nods her head, but stay beside the small elf girl. The cyclops woman tries to search for them in the trees, but couldn't spot one of them.
"Are you sure about this?" Vizrez leans closer to Neya and ask.
"I'm sure," Neya reply.
Out of nowhere, an arrow land in front of Neya feet, this prompt Vizrez to take her weapons out. The elf girl raised her hand to the agitated cyclops woman to calm her down.
"I'm just here to talk! Please, if you can understand me, I want you to know that we don't want to fight," Neya said again.
A rustle of leaves can be heard from the top of the tree, a shadow of a boy probably the same age as her, step into the light, and revealing himself. The boy was wearing some kind of leaves cover wooden armor along with a bark-skin wooden mask on his face. Between his gauntlet and chest armor, Neya spotted a line of body art on the boy skins.
"I. Speak. A few." the boy tried to say.
"My name is Neya, may I ask what is your name?" Neya ask.
"Vel. Novuz clan." The boy answers.
"Can I ask why are you here?" Neya ask.
"You came. Trespass. Bad." Vel answers.
"But we are seeking a place to live and to hide from the world. We mean you no harm," Neya said.
"NO! Elf. Liar. Slave. Everyone," Vel raise his voice.
"I'm not lying. Please, believe me. I'm trying to give these people a place they can live and be free," Neya plead.
"Liar! Elf. Bad. Evil. You. Same," Vel said again, his manner shows no sign of believing any words Neya said.
"If you don't believe me then let me show you, that I'm... the same as the others slave," Neya begin to take her leather glove off, one by one.
Vizrez raised her eyebrow, "What are you doing?"
"Don't worry, Vizrez. I know what I'm doing," Neya said.
Her hands reach the bottom of her dress, her heart thuds heavily from the nervous and the embarrassment she about to face. She pulls her dress up, taking it off in one swift movement, and throw it on the ground leaving only her black bottom undergarment on.
Both of her hair braids manage to cover the most important part of her small breast. She takes a long breath in, puffing her chest upward, and release it to calm her nerve. Then she rotates her body to show them the full view of her body.
"Look at me, this scar was done by my own kind. I was a slave just like them, torture just like them, and suffer just like them. Until a human saves me from that life," Neya said aloud while extending her arms outward, showing them the scars that she collected over the years of suffering.
Nesto was confused by his master sudden actions, he wanted to go to her and be by her side, but her order prevents him. He can't disobey her; his grips tighten around the handle out of frustrations.
"Please... I don't want us to fight," Neya plead.
In the trees line, a murmur can be heard between the Woodfolk. A foreign language that Neya never heard of before, it sounded gibberish to her, but the tone of their words shows seriousness. Vel heads glance to his left and right while the murmurs travel between the Woodfolk around him. The boy is trying to follow the discussions.
Neya crosses her arms over her breast, trying to cover her chest.
The murmur stops and Vel can be seen visibly nodding his head, "You. Elf. Cloth, Wear. We. Decide. Already."
Neya goes to her green dress, grabbing it off the ground, and starts to wear them like usual.
"A Chance. Prove. Me. Here. Watch." Vel said.
"Are you letting us live here?" Neya ask.
"Yes. But. Me. Watch. You. All. Guard," Vel said.
"Thank you," Neya said a smile form with her lips.
"I didn't believe it, your plan actually works," Vizrez said in disbelief.
From afar, Nesto can feel the presence of the Woodfolk slowly diminish. He was proved wrong by his master, it's just like she said, there is no need to fight with each other. Maybe she's right, killing is not the answers, why is it so good to feel wrong.
Nesto let out a manic laugh as he falls to his knees. Then he nods his head agreeing with her words. Maybe it's time for him to find others way to fight without killing.
Za sense the Woodfolk numbers are diminishing, and then he let out a loud cheer, so everybody can hear it, "Chief Neya did it!"
"Long life, Chief Neya," All the humans cheer her name.
Vizrez let out a small cheer, "Good work, Chief Neya."
"It was you, I should have known. It's you the one who starts calling me Chief. Now everyone is calling me that," Neya said as she let out a sigh accompanied by a smile.
"What's wrong with 'Chief'? It's a good title, do you want me to call you 'Queen Killer the slayer of Wyvern'?" Vizrez jest.
"Please don't," Neya reply.
"Only if you gave me your portion of the cupcake," Vizrez let out an evil grin.
"Wait, doesn't Nesto cook you a dozen cupcake just a few days ago?" Neya ask.
"Yes... but I already finish it," Vizrez shrug her shoulders while answering the elf girl question.
"How do you even finish a dozen cupcake in two days?" Neya asks while she looks at the woman with her left eyebrow raise.
"I got hungry while guarding the camp at night," Vizrez reply while rubbing her stomach.
"You can't keep using that as an excuse for everything, but fine... you can have mine," Neya said then start to let out a giggle.
The cyclops woman also joins in with a laugh before asking, "You know what we need?"
"What?" Neya ask.
"A feast!!" Vizrez cheer her answer out.
"More food?" Neya said.
"YEAH!! I'M HUNGRY!!" Vizrez yells out her hunger, so everyone can hear it.
"Sure... Why not," Neya gave in.
Later that night.
The cold and desolate night was combat by the cheers and joys of the people in the camp. They celebrate their young leader for taking care of a dangerous situation without any violence or any fight occurs. A few humans manage to make a makeshift instrument to accompany the lonely night with a good music.
The music was not just people playing instruments, there is also vocal sound accompany along with the melody provided by Za deep voice and Grie ability to reach a high note with his voice. The two duos almost look like brothers, singing side by side despite the fact they look nothing like each other. With the music surrounds the camps, and the people in it; Vizrez and a couple other young humans dance to the beats.
Their joyous face was inspiring other people to feel safe and fun while they enjoy the meatloaves Nesto prepared; something that they haven't experience for a long time. The realization of hope exists for them, that what hovering in their mind.
Neya notices the look the relieved and joy on their face, she sympathizes with them because she also had that same look after Nesto saves her.
In the midst of the people dancing, she could see the two kids 'Nel and Om' an upbeat young human girl and a shy young elf boy, dancing with each other. Inside Neya mind, she could imagine them growing up to be a cute couple.
"Enjoying the feast?" Nesto takes a seat beside his master with a plate of meatloaf in his hand.
"Looking at their joyous face make me feel happy and scared at the same time," Neya said.
"That's a given since they all put their hope and safety on your hand," Nesto explains.
She let out a laugh, "I was going to ask you whether I could do this or not, but since I know you and you will probably say that you support me fully," Neya said with a smile on her face.
"You know me too well, Master," Nesto said.
There was a short moment of silence between both of them before Nesto speaks again.
"You were right about earlier, I was surprised, but I shouldn't be. My master is the most amazing person I know," Nesto said.
"That came out of nowhere," Neya said as her cheeks slowly turn a pinkish hue.
"If you were right about earlier, then maybe you are right about me, I will try to find a way to fight without killing. It's not easy, but I think I can do it," Nesto said.
"You will?" Nesto word took her by surprise and cause a spark of joy to rise in her heart.
She leans closer to Nesto and hugs him from the side. The man was surprised, he had to raise his plate of food before his master leans in closer for a hug. With one of his free hand, he pats the elf girl head. Neya body turn to soft as she felt comfort from his warm hand, it has been a while since he pats her head like this, she absolutely misses it.
"This makes me want to have tea," Neya let out as she pulls away from her butler.
"Let me get some for you, and here, enjoy the food," He gave the plate of meatloaf to his master.
With a plate of meatloaf in Neya hands, Nesto stood up and head to the kitchen area. When he was about to arrive, Vizrez hugs him tightly and carry him for a ride as she dances to the music. Neya could see Nesto trying to struggle out from Vizrez hug. She let out a small laugh when seeing her butler frustrated face against Vizrez huge breasts.
She let out a sigh and look away toward the spike wall. Then she remembers about the Woodfolk boy watching us. Her eyes went to the plate of meatloaf, then with a smile, she stood up and head toward the spike wall. The cold night causes her body to shiver as she walks away from the warm campfire.
After arriving at the spike wall, she looks up at the tree line and tries to spot the Woodfolk, but fail as it was too dark for her to see.
"Hello? I know you are out there— Can you come down, I have some food for you," Neya called out.
The leaves rustle and with a leap, the Woodfolk appear in the air while the moonlight shines behind him. He lands perfectly in front of the elf girl, surprising her.
"That quite an entrance," Neya comment with a soft tone.
"Tree. Close. Wall. Bad. Easy. Intrude... Questions?" The Woodfolk comment.
"I have some food for you, I think you will like it," Neya said while showing him the plate of meatloaf.
The Woodfolk look at the plate then look back at her. He pinches a small piece of meatloaf with his fingers, he brings it forward to the girl's face and gesturing her to eat it.
"What?" She said surprised.
"Poison. Make sure." The boy said.
With blushing cheeks, she eats the small piece of meatloaf off the Woodfolk's hand. The boy watched her slowly chew the meatloaf and swallow it. After making sure the food is not poisonous, the Woodfolk walk to the spike wall and take a seat on the ground with his back leaning on the wall.
He looks at the food and said, "Thanks."
Neya took a seat a bit further from the Woodfolk, but just close enough for the boy to hear her voice.
"I heard a lot of rumor about Woodfolk, but you seem different from what they say," Neya said.
"Rumor. More lies. Normal." Vel said.
"I don't want to be called a liar, so I'm telling you that I do have one slave, his name is Nesto. He is right over there, currently being hug to death by the big woman," Neya points out.
"Hmm..." Vel let out. To Neya it sounds like a judging tone, it annoys her for some reason.
"Just to be clear, if Nesto wants to leave, he can leave anytime. Even though, I don't want him to... But if he chose to, then I will let him go," Neya said.
"I see..." Vel said then he took off his bark skin mask.
Neya was surprised to see a handsome, dark-skin, chiseled face with a short blond hair underneath the mask. The moonlight shines on his face and reveals something else. Neya leans forward to see half his face disfigured. From her conclusions, it seems to be burn marks. It looks painful, there is a visible hole in his cheek revealing the teeth inside.
"What happen...?" Neya accidentally ask.
Vel turns his head to look at the surprise girl, "Elf. Fire... Family. Mine. Died."
"I'm sorry to hear that— Is that's why you hate elf?" Neya ask.
"No hate. Novuz clan. Live. Peaceful. Sad. Yes. But. No hate." Vel reply.
Neya bites her bottom lips as the conversation turned to awkward silence. "I should head back... They are probably waiting for me," Neya said.
"Wait. Conversations. Fun. Food delicious. Good company. More talk?" Vel ask.
"Sure," Neya said.
"Elf girl. From?" Vel ask.
Two of them spent time talking to each other about their life. Without her knowing, she had bridged the first peaceful contact with the Woodfolk and made friend with one of them. The night continued with the celebration, people were happy, new friends are being made, old friends grow closer, and newfound goals appear.