Unexpected Adventure, Part Eight
“Cloudwillow!” Regis braced himself against a shelf. With a grunt, he pushed himself off and tottered into the smoke.
Where could she—there, a darker lump amid rubble, where the stairs used to be. She wasn’t moving. He shoved aside pieces of timber, then dropped to his knees (remembering about his injury rather late). He felt for a pulse.
At his touch, Cloudwillow’s eyes fluttered open. “Aw, you care.” She clambered up, seemingly unhurt. “I brought your pack down, first thing after you left. I just came here to see if you were made of the right stuff.” She shuffled through smaller bits of rubble, then produced his pack. “This thing’s really sturdy. And heavy. Kind of like you.” An impossibly large smile shone bright amidst the murk.
Regis wondered if slapping the elf would be wrong. “You’re impossible.” He took his pack and slid it on. It was unusually heavy.
“Thank you,” she said in singsong. “Now let’s get going. We don’t want to be here when he comes back.”
“And they always do come back.” Regis sighed. Whether he liked it or not, he was stuck with the elf. “I’ll see what I can salvage.”
“Food shouldn’t be a problem; I packed.” She produced a sack; light cream and fastened with a bone of some sort. “And I got some daggers, and sleeping bags, and other camping stuff. That’s why your pack’s heavier.”
Regis stared at her. “Why do you seem more prepared for this than I am?”
She shrugged, swinging her shoulders. “Daddy says to always be ready for anything. That, and I’ve been reading about it for a while.” She gave a little squeal. “I just can’t believe it’s finally happening! Oh, and we’ll need staffs. Staffs are a necessity for adventurers.”
She dashed back into the library, and exited toting two long poles with strange pads on the ends. “These’ll work until I can finish healing you.”
“No. It will heal on its own.” Regis took the staff and levered himself up.
“Then let’s go already!” Cloudwillow bounded up the half-wrecked stairs as limber as a deer, and hopped through the still-smoldering debris.
Regis went out through the still-intact door.
The cold and strain stung his leg. To his surprise, it wasn’t bleeding. He looked to Cloudwillow, who was skipping in circles some distance ahead.
“Magic,” she shouted at him.
Regis waited to retort until he caught up with her. “Can magic give you your house back?”
The little elf made an “oh” face. She turned from him to the decapitated building. “I don’t think daddy’s going to be happy.”