Ned’s heart leapt. He put the bow on his back and dropped out of sight just as the soldier bounded through a clearing, heading in his direction. The boy ran from the warrior. Adrenaline pumped through him, but he kept a clear head. Panic now would be fatal. He ran hard until his legs hurt. His face and chest were soon soaked with sweat. Spotting a gorse bush, he dropped down. Sucking air in and out, he slowed his breathing down. Ned frowned. He was in mortal danger, and all because he thought he could make the shot. Getting up, he began to run again. As soon as he was on the far side of the hill, the boy swept Eastward toward the river. He pushed through the forest and kept going. Soon he could hear the flowing river ahead. Ned began to walk, with no idea of the soldier’s whereabouts.
He looked at the river, but the current was too strong to make it to the other side. On the river bank, he could not see any cover. Nothing. It was all rocky. He was running out of options. On the pathway, he looked South and ran in that direction. Maybe, just maybe he could get past the soldier before he made it to the river. Movement ahead. Ned stopped dead in his tracks. The warrior broke out of the undergrowth and stood on the gravel. He was colossal. His upper body chain-mail glinted in the sun. He wore a black helmet. The warrior looked rough. Hardened. His eyes glared as he stalked toward Ned and drew his sword. The sound of steel cut through the noise of the river.