Reghan woke up slowly, everything hurting. She felt pain in the side of her head, sharp and sudden as she moved her head, and a wave of dizziness came over her. She looked around and slowly remembered where she was, and why she had come there, but not why she had been hurt. She saw a small drip of blood fall to the ground from the side of her face and knew she had some sort of cut or injury on her head, though she would have to find a pool of water to get a look at it. She could not remember what caused it, though, or that she had been in a fight or some sort of other trauma at all. She did remember, however, that she had company before she lost track of the world around her. The last thing she could remember, after all, was entering the clearing with Komboa and Rizardon.
“Guys?” she called weakly, her voice not raising very far. She was still greeted with a soft ‘shhh’ from behind her, and she jumped in surprise. Turning, and getting very dizzy with the fast action, she saw the source of the soft voice. It was a large lion, but not the one she had been hoping to see. She knew who it was, though, from descriptions and rumor given to her by her mother, and warnings to stay away from him.
The God of Chivalry, and one of the leaders of the pride. The King kept Talfrid close at his side, particularly now with the war brewing so dangerously. He was the protector of the pride, or so many said, but she had always known that the only ones he was really protecting were the ones he felt had the right to be there: his blood, his chosen. The Tokakinji, not the Druids. Not her. She trembled a bit at the sight of him, backing away.
Had he been the one to hurt her? What did he do with the others?
“I’m here, Reghan,” Komboa said from nearby, as if answering her question. She looked around suddenly, her vision fading in and out with the movement. She must have hit her head pretty hard, for it to be so difficult just to look around, but she was not concerned with herself right now. She was worried about her friend. Both of her friends, actually, but she saw no sign of Rizardon anyway. She spotted Komboa laying on the ground not too far from her, and she slowly got to her feet to make her way over to him, though she was all but crawling to do it. She felt like if she stood all the way up on her paws she might fall over, and walking felt like she was balancing on a very small branch.
She reached him, though, and nosed his shoulder gently. She could smell blood on him, and looked him over to see his side had been torn open by harsh looking claws. That injury, though, was covered in some sort of paste and leaves that smelled disgusting, but when she touched it with her nose it made it tingle. The paste must have been keeping the pain down, which was nice to know. She hated the idea that Komboa had been hurt, but at least something worse had not happened to him. At least, not yet. She did not want to consider that he could still die, if that wound got worse.
She moved to lay down next to him, and he looked at her feebly, smiling reassuringly before he closed his eyes and sighed heavily. It looked painful, and she winced to see it, then looked up at the God.
“Did you do this to him? Why did you attack us?! Where is Rizardon? They’re not even Druids, you monster! Why would you hurt them?!” Reghan found it only natural to assume that this had something to do with her lineage. She was the daughter of Morgana, after all, and that made her a target in the war, despite how much she wanted to pretend it was not even happening. She growled at him viciously, but did not get up from beside Komboa, protecting him from who she thought was their enemy.
Talfrid watched her with a patient and gentle expression, shaking his head slowly and offering her a timid smile.
“I tended to your friend’s wounds when I found him, and did my best to help you, as well. You two were here, alone, and it looked like you were attacked by someone or something, but I did not see who, I’m afraid. I could only do what I could to help you two, as I was afraid to leave you in search of your attacker. It has been a couple of hours now, and you’ve both been sleeping. I caught some food for you, if you can stomach it, but with a head injury like yours I would understand if you were not feeling well enough for it.”
The God spoke very gently, keeping his voice low and even because he did not want to upset her headache more than she already had to suffer. He knew she was probably not feeling her best at the moment, and without knowing what happened, she had to be on edge. He was calm, but only because he had nothing to fear in these two, even if Reghan did not believe him right away. He had no reason to hurt them, regardless of what she thought, and he was not the type of lion to take advantage of those that were weak or disadvantaged.
Plus, he was not a dangerous lion to anyone: his first effort was always peace oriented.
Komboa, with some effort, managed to open his eyes and look at Reghan again, hearing her growling lowly, though she was not openly attacking the God, at least. He knew she was still on edge despite his words, but Komboa had seen Talfrid helping them, and talked to him a little as well. It was not the God of Chivalry that had attacked them, though neither of them could remember what happened just yet. The memory would come back in time, he supposed, but he was worried that Rizardon was gone and no one seemed to know where he had gone.
“He is not lying, Reghan,” Komboa said slowly, taking deep breaths between a few of his words, “he is helping us. I don’t think I would be around still if he didn’t… Rizardon is gone, but Talfrid offered to go and find him when we were well enough… if he could.”
Reghan frowned and watched Talfrid nervously, shaking her head slowly. She had been raised to not trust in the Toka, but a symbol of their team, their blood, was standing in front of her and offering her help. It was hard to understand and take in, really, because of the conditioning she had experienced since she was young. When she broke away from her mother, to start living her own life, she thought she could be a bit more open minded about things, but her words stayed. It was hard to shake what had been made to feel normal.
Reghan took a slow breath, though, ears drooping back a bit in shame.
“I’m sorry, Talfrid. I’ve just… I mean, it’s…”
“You don’t have to explain,” the God said with a small smile, “I understand where you’re coming from. And I wouldn’t trust me, either, in your place. But I do not mean you or your friend any harm, and if I can find your missing friend for you, and find out what happened to you, I will do what I can to do so. I do not want either of you to have to suffer what you have in vain, and not know the reason.” And he knew that not knowing where their friend was would trouble them too much. He had to help them, as much as he could, as that was his duty as a God and as a knight. It did not matter to him what side of the war they aligned themselves to, when they were injured and helpless, and in need of aid.
That was what it meant to him to be the god of Chivalry.
“You two need to rest for now, okay? I will take care of you and then search for your friend when I am sure you are both strong enough to be left together. You will need to take care of one another, when you can. I want you to be safe first, then we will worry about what happened. Now, do either of you feel like food? If not, just try to get some sleep.” Talfrid padded a bit closer, dragging a zebra with him and pulling off a leg of it for them, putting it close so they would not have to struggle too much to reach it when they did feel hungry. Neither got up, though, so he shrugged the fabric he wore off of him and put it over the two of them as best he could, to offer them some comfort and warmth.
He would stay awake, and fulfill his promise.
Word Count: 1,550 in Google Docs