the girl explodes in a nuclear shockwave
The girl looks towards him, with one hand pulling her hair out of her face and taking a step forward.
"You say to be friends, but you chase a helpless girl through the woods.. You say to be of no harm, but you bear arms and point your bows at me.."
Her voice is trembling as she speaks, there is still fear in her voice, but also determination and a will to fight..
And while saying the last few words she slowly raises her left hand in an almost beckoning manner with an open palm.. and with a flick of her wrist a ball of fire appears, a crackling sound filling the cave while the fire dances in the palm of her hand..
"Leave this holy place... Or show me you truly mean no harm."
Lowering her hand to her side with the fire still burning, she moves perpendicular to the man, watching him.. holding her hand as if almost ready for a throw.
Her amber-colored hair looks even redder in the light of the fire as she peers at the man standing in the entrance through the cave, fully focused on him, not on the surroundings...
Making way through the forest proved to be a rather simple task, as there was little underbrush and the going became even easier as the forest canopy got thicker and the underbrush even less.. And soon the road could be seen through the edge of the forest, empty and without life, a simple approximately cart-wide gravel path through the woods, with tracks going both directions..
The first thing noticeable was the trotting of hooves against the gravel, and the whinnying of horses followed suit. From the sounds a number of at least four riders came rolling in from the east along the road, at a trotting pace. Through the fog the shining of lanterns could be seen as they closed in, and breaking through the fog they could be seen:
Armed men on horseback, shortswords at their sides, pikes in hand and a crossbow hung on the horse, a lantern in one hand they patrolled the street. All four wearing the same clothing: A thick gambeson covered by chainmail and a simple helmet. On their pikes, directly below the metal points a banner flag was mounted and flying in the wind of the riders wake, the flag portraying some type of animal of golden color on a blue and black background.
The leading rider reigns his horse back, forcing it to slow down to a walking pace and looks around..
"What is it, Sire?"
He shines his lantern along the underbrush at the side of the road.
"I'm unsure. It seemed to me as if something had moved in the thicket. Keep a watchful eye."
The driver considers it for a second, then nods.
"Ah, you can't be too sure. Sorry for the suspicion, friends."
He puts the crossbow back on the cart.
"Do you need a ride by chance? It is quite cold out in these parts at night, as you must've gathered, and the next village is still half a day's march away."
He looks down towards the two, offering his hand to help them up on the cart.