Finally another Misery in Middale! Had it pointed out to me that it's been nearly a week since the last installment and I'm sorry. Its getting there - it's just taking longer than I thought it would.
The dash through the camp was fast paced and Aylix was forced to apologise to numerous people who suddenly found they had dropped things or had fallen over as the Crowan tore through the crowds. They reached the healing tents in no short order and Greg demanding Doc Gretta's name soon had them confronting the old woman.
"Now look 'ere!" she exclaimed as they drew close, "Neither of yer look very sick, so what's all the rushin' about for?"
"My brother. Did you treat him? Father Crow Chrace of Kharach." Gregory blurted out, elicting a heavy sigh from Aylix.
"It comes to something when I'm the more politie of the two." he muttered, dragging the Crowan a couple of steps backwards. "Apologies for the keeness of my friend here, but... circumstances what they are and all that..."
Gretta tutted, flapping her hands and shooing the men to one side as she carried on treating patients. "Gives you no cause te rush in and start stirrin' up a fuss. 'Specially when there's actually sick people around." she picked up several herbs, through them in a pestle and started to grind them together with a mortar as she stood over a young man with a nasty cut around his chest. "Yer brother is fine. He didn't half take a beatin' but he's made of tougher stuff. It'll be many a year afore he meets 'is Lord." A smile broke over her wrinkled face, showing a dozen or more missing teeth. "Especially with Addy takin' a shine to 'im - she see no 'arm comes to 'im from the look in 'er eyes."
The two men shared a look before Aylix put foreward. "Addy?"
Gretta nodded. "Aye. Addison Taylor. Student of mine and one of Lady Lucks devotees. The lad didn't know where to put 'is face when she started talkin'."
Aylix smirked, which widened as he noted Greg's disapproving stare as the old womans gossip.
"Where are they now Doctor?" Gregory pressed, a forced calm in his voice.
"Addy's bedrool was behind these tents 'ere... your brother was further out..." she pointed. "Over there somewhere."
"Thank you Doctor." Gregory said, with a small bow as he set off, composure restored, towards Crow's small camp. Aylix echoed his sentiment with a smile and a wink.
"Oh! They may not be there at the moment - an Elf and a Dwarf caught up with 'em... they were lookin' like they were spoilin' for a fight with the weapons and armour they were collectin' together."
Greg just frowned and increased his pace.
The edge of the wood finally came and the four stepped out into the rising moonlight as Netherthong was bathed in the soft light. Fires had been lit and the camps were winding down for the third night of sleeping out in the open.
"Thanks the Gods for that. Bloody woods. If there's on'y one things I hate more than woods..."
"It's Elves." Eliana finished with a sigh. "I shall try not to be offended Grun."
Grundown glanced up at the Elf, slightly abashed. "It's jus' a sayin' lass... yer not bad fer an Elf." Eliana only smirked in return and lengthened her stride.
"I'll come to your camp Crow. I have things to do first." she called back, breaking into a job as she set off to join the camps more quickly.
Grundown frowned. "Aye... that's not a bad plan. May as well all gather together, and your camp is as good as any. Cya back there lad. I'll leave yer with your lady friend for a bit. Good work out there lass." he winked at Addy and stomped off towards the camp, leaving the humans alone.
Addy let out a large sigh and fell slightly against Crow, who looked alarmed. "Are you okay?" he asked, panicked.
"Actin' like I'm not scared about it all in front of your friends was hard." she said in a small voice, resting her head against his shoulder. "I just need five... I'm not... I'm sure I could ever be used to doing something like that."
Now that he was paying attention, Addy looked strained, the smile had faded and a panic had set on her face. "There's never anything wrong with admitting you're scared Addy." Crow said softly, pulling his face mask down and away from his mouth, "They aren't going to think any less of you if you are."
She shook her head dismissively, glancing up at him and kissing his cheek softly. "Thank you. Come on, let's get back to your camp."
She set off, pulling him after her, talking in a low voice as they crosses the fields surrounding Netherthong slowly - his arm around Addy's shoulders.
The camp in site, they started towards it when a shout went up from near the tent he had been given. It was just a few seconds more when the Kharachian saw his brother standing there, a smile on his lips. "Evening Shepherd." the Crowan called.
"Guardian." Crow smiled in return with a happy glance at Addy, increasing his pace to reach his sibling.