Chapter 10 - Help Me
Elena looked up at the man on a huge warhorse with frightened eyes. “Logan…” her voice trembled uncontrollably. This was the first time Logan had ambushed a village so close to the castle. The unbelievable, terrifying reality stole the breath from her lungs.
“I didn’t expect you to welcome me like this,” Logan said.
There was a crack, instantly followed by searing pain around Elena’s thin neck as Logan’s whip wrapped around it. He strengthened his grip and pulled, prompting Elena to stand up. Despite the horrible pain digging into her neck, Elena dug in her heels and held on. Logan made his horse back up, pulling her like she was an animal. Elena resisted being dragged, but she couldn’t help but trudge forward, gasping for breath when the whip began to inhibit her airway.
“I’ll take you like this and tie you to the bed,” Logan said, “If I tie you up without a thread on your body, you won’t be able to reject me anymore. I’ll happily make you my slave.”
Elena unsheathed her hidden dagger and chopped at Logan’s whip. His eyes went wide in surprise for a moment, but he soon sneered as Elena’s sharp blade failed to cut through his whip. “Raze this entire village before the castle’s reinforcements can arrive,” he spat out.
There were screams and the sound of horses moving around and violently trampling on the village. It was a nightmare, and amid the chaos, Logan dragged Elena ever closer. She resisted even as it suffocated her.
He would relax his grip slightly when her face turned dangerously red only to pull it tight again the moment her normal color returned. He had never encountered Elena like this during an attack, and he wasn’t going to let her go. He was going to take her to his estate and abuse her as much as he wanted. Logan smiled triumphantly as if he had already stripped her naked and was having his way with her.
Elena struggled desperately, holding the whip in a death grip. If she was forced to go with him like this, she was going to die. Rather, she would be lucky if she could die. Logan was going to give her a fate worse than death.
“Why don’t you stop being stubborn before I break that neck of yours?!” Logan shouted ferociously, yanking the whip.
The whip around her neck suddenly went slack, having been cut in two. Elena, who had been struggling not to be dragged by the strap around her neck, rolled backward.
Logan also lost his balance and almost fell off the horse, but he managed to steady himself in time. “Who the h*ll is interrupting me?! Do you have a death wish?” he shouted angrily, looking around.
“You’re the same as ever, Logan,” a masculine voice replied.
Logan couldn’t believe his eyes and ears. ‘Why would he be here…?’ he wondered in surprise, then called out, “Gareth?”
Gareth fiddled with the heavy bow in his hand, staring at Logan. Logan glared back at him for a moment, staggering backward as if to avoid Gareth’s cold gaze.
“Ha, I can’t believe we are meeting at a place like this,” Gareth said, relaxed. Despite him being a distance away, his voice made Elena tremble with cold.
To Elena’s surprise, Logan stuttered in response, “H-how d-did you end up here?”
“I wanted to sleep in comfort for once,” the man said in the same icy, relaxed voice.
Strangely, the man’s voice touched Elena’s heart. She had been out of her mind until now, but his voice was like a much-needed splash of cold water to the face. The acrid smoke stung her nose, making her remember what was important just then. She had to put out the fires and stop the villagers from running wild. She needed to keep anyone else from getting hurt, and she needed help to do it.
Elena ran to the man who saved her and grabbed the reins to his horse. “Help me!” she shouted.
Gareth glanced at her. The woman’s black hair was tangled, ash smeared across parts of her face. Her dress was covered in dirt. He looked at her neck, where the whip had left terrible bruises.
Elena cleared her throat, thinking that he didn’t understand her because her voice was half-lost thanks to Logan’s whip. “Help me, Sir. I’ll repay you if you overcome this crisis. Help me,” she asked again.
The man didn’t answer. Instead, laughter burst out from the men behind him. By the sound of their mirth, she apparently sounded patently absurd. Elena’s pale face burned red in an instant. She didn’t know why, but she knew they were laughing at her. Not wanting to waste precious time, Elena stopped clinging to the man and turned away.
Gareth silently watched Elena as she turned away decisively and picked up the fallen bucket. Then he asked, “How will you repay me?”
Oddly enough, Elena could clearly hear his quiet voice. When she turned around to answer him, she could see Logan falling back and sending out a signal. At his orders, the soldiers who were ruthlessly trampling on the village began to retreat in unison. As they did so, the ground began to shake again. It was probably the knights from the castle.
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Lantern Against the Wind
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