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Morning Sunlight drifted down over two hares sleeping amidst the brambles of the pine grove fifteen leagues from the mountain of Salamandastron. A drop of dew fell off a blade of grass, waking Kailee when it hit her on the nose. The young hare yawned and looked around at her surroundings. It took her a moment to remember that she had left the mountain.
She looked at her friend and smiled, "I say sah, we’d best get a jolly old move on wot!"
Colonel Sham open one eye and grumbled, "Not without breaking our fast young’un. Imagine a hare marching for a bally abbey without a bite of brekkers
Not the done sort of thing y’know.
"Righto sah! Oh the jolly old fires gone out. Well I guess its oatcakes and barley water for breakfast sah."
"Oatcakes and barley water?" the Colonel said indignantly. "Thats very drab m’dear."
"Sorry sah but their all I brought in the way of vittles that don’t have to be cooked," Kailee shrugged.
"Oh all right, pass an oatcake."
The two friends broke there fast and continued on there journey. Around midday Kailee noticed that they were being watched and discreetly followed.
"Psst... Colonel, did you notice the creatures watching us?"
"Aye, thought I caught sight of one a moment ago. Big skinny weasel chap all dressed up in leaves, with his face painted. Best keep an eye on them m’dear. Have you brought a weapon?"
"Just a dagger sir."
"Well a daggers better than nothing at all"
They continued walking for some time before a strange smell seemed to sweep over the path. It was sickly sweet, and Kailee began to feel drowsy. Before she could say anything the Colonel passed out cold on the path beside her, and she followed suit moments later.
"Heeheheheheeehehe, lookit worra Flitchaye catcherd."
"Rabberts, lukukukuk, lotsa meat on’m."
Kailee came too and saw a small group of skinny tall weasels, with there faces painted and in ridiculous little skirts made from the leaves of ferns.
"Shhh... keep quiet m’gel, they get agitated when you talk to loud.
Kailee looked over and saw Colonel Sham tied to a pole over an unlit firepit. Anger flared through her and she ignored her friends warning.
"Untie him from that bally spit you mangy little twerps! If I get out of these bonds I’ll knock the blinkin daylights out of ya!"
One of the weasels, who appeared to be the chieftain looked at her with great amusment.
"Yik yik yik yik yik, worra you gonna do rabbert, youse knotted up realz good."
"Worra we waitin for Shavvalaggamakamak, lets cooker dem!’
The cheiftain tweaked the nose of the weasel who had spoken up, "You’m der Chief ‘round ere? We cookers ‘em when I says so, and nottafor!"
"I said let him down!"
The weasel looked at Kailee with a mixture of annoyance and barely concealed laugher.
"Yik... yik yik yi yik, thisun beez funny. We norra eaten thisun, she make Shavvalaggamakamak laugh long time.’
The other weasel’s laughed along with their boss, as Kailee frantically tried to undo her bonds, but they were too tight.
"Lighter de fire, we’m cooker up dis old’n he make good soops"
Kailee watched in horror as a smaller weasel took a lit torch from one of his comrades and threw it at the wood underneath Sham.
A figure swooped in on a vine rope tied to a nearby tree. He hit the Colonel and knocked him out of the way of danger. Then pulling one of many daggers from the sash over his chest he threw it at Kailee where it neatly severed her bonds. The strange figure then turned and drew two long sabers from his belt. He slew three weasels in the blink of an eye.
Shavvalaggamakamak’s creatures nerve failed them and they scurried off into the forest. The chief weasel tried to sneak away, but Kailee spotted him.
"I don’t think so laddie buck," she said as she threw her saviors dagger at the retreating back. The weasel was dead before he hit the ground, the dagger placed neatly between his shoulder blades. Kailee shuddered and fell to the ground sobbing.
The creature who had saved them looked over and said, "Untie yore mate, missy afore his paws get too swollen." he then walked away into the surrounding woods.
Still sobbing, Kailee crawled over too where Colonel Sham lay on the ground tied to the pole. As she untied him he offered some comfort
"Buck up m’gel, I know killing doesn’t feel right the first time or two, but bully’s is bully’s no matter how you look at it. I remember the first creature I ever slew, big stoat chap carrying a battleaxe and I slew him from long range with an arrow. I blubbered about it for a week or more, I thought that the way I’d slew him had been an act of cowardice, as I was so far away, but I got over it eventually.
"Thank you sah." Kailee said her voice still quivering, "did you get a look at the creature that saved us?"
"As a matter of fact I did young’un, he was a silvery sort of otter chap, he had a vast multitude of weapons, good thing he came when he did or I would’ve had more than the end of my nose burned."
Kailee laughed a little at that, "But sah, the bottom of your tunic is still smouldering."
"Aaarggh, why didn’t you tell me. Fancy sitting around and not telling a bod that his best regimental tunic was on fire, I’ve half a mind to report you ma’am. Quick, speak up, name your superior officer!"
Trying her level best to keep her voice steady, the young hare stood at attention, "Superior officer goes by the name of Colonel Sham De Fflorian Braybuck sah!:
"Very well, I shall report to him immediately... wait a bally moment!"
The young hare laughed.