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Lowenna 2 : The Secrets Of Light And Darkness, Chapter 5

Is Lowenna's luck about to change, has she seen the last of the Lawmen? Read on and find out

Chapter 5 the woman in the black hooded cape

Lowenna walked down the street until she found the turning and headed into the alleyway. She still felt a little apprehensive away from the crowd, as not only had she dreamt that a monster had chased and killed her in an alleyway, but she had also been attacked in the alleyways of Penbirth. She followed the path until she found the clearing. It was large with several doors and a stack of small wooden crates close to one end.

Lowenna had an uneasy feeling. These buildings didn’t look like shops. She looked around to confirm she was alone before approaching the green door. She was about to knock when she suddenly felt someone was behind her. Lowenna spun on the spot replacing her armguard on her forearm and looked at the figure that was walking towards her.

The figure was wearing a long black hooded cape. Lowenna couldn’t see much else. “What do you want?” She called out while stepping away from the doorway, her eyes on the hooded figure.

The figure stopped and removed her hood. Now Lowenna could see a beautiful slim woman with long blonde hair, smiling at her, but it was not a friendly smile, something was wrong.

The woman threw her cape back revealing two slim straight swords one in each hand. “So you’re new to Hymdale, no family, selling what little you have to survive,” she said and then laughed out loud. “You are a darling, ripped clothes, no shoes, no weapons but beautiful. We can make some money from you.”

Lowenna was totally taken aback by that statement. “Not interested,” Lowenna stated as she took another step towards the crates, hoping for something she could use as a weapon to defend herself with, or better yet a way to escape this unpleasant situation.

“It’s not like I’m giving you much choice. Oh, and I’m sorry, but this is going to hurt. Don’t worry I am not going to kill you.” The woman arrogantly said as she slowly walked towards Lowenna. One sword pointing at her the other defensively turned resting against her arm. “I am Carinthia, and you now belong to my associates and me now.”

Lowenna’s eyes narrowed. She was really at a disadvantage, but she couldn’t help saying, “I am Lowenna, pleased to meet you.”

Carinthia stopped moving, eyeing up the woman in front of her. The smile had vanished, and she looked a lot more dangerous now. She had tightened her grip on her swords before she ran at Lowenna.

Lowenna dodged the first strike and blocked the second with her armguard while taking a swing at the woman, but she was too skilled with her swords against an unarmed opponent. She caught Lowenna on the shoulder.

Lowenna vaulted back as Carinthia charged again, the smile starting to return to her face. This time, Lowenna blocked the first swing and grabbed her wrist, but Carinthia brought her boot up into Lowenna's stomach forcing her backward.

Lowenna hastily tapped her crystal. To her dismay, nothing happened she was still out of magic. She ducked under the next swipe at her then jumped over a low attack before spinning in the air and catching Carinthia’s hand with a kick, forcing the sword out of her hand, but this didn’t stop Carinthia thrusting the other sword at Lowenna forcing her back once more.

“Not bad Lowenna,” Carinthia said with a grin while shaking the hand Lowenna had just kicked. She jumped backward and stuck her sword in the ground. Lowenna didn’t know what was happening. She readied herself to fight, taking a defensive stance but suddenly there was a knife heading for her. At the last moment, she managed to block it with her armguard, backing up again. Now she was against a wall. More knives were flying at her. Lowenna dived behind the wooden crates for cover.

There was silence for a moment. Lowenna wondered if Carinthia had given up but suddenly the containers exploded throwing Lowenna off her feet. Lowenna landed face down on bits of wood and metal. More fell on top of her as what was left of the crates settled on the ground.

Lowenna knew she was hurt. She felt a throbbing in her leg and blood dripped from her forehead. Desperately she reached out and grabbed something. It was a long wooden pole, and Lowenna used it to help her get up, noticing blood running down her calf. She couldn’t put her full weight on her leg. The pole was almost as tall as Lowenna, and she could comfortably hold and lift it. She used it to help support her as she glared with disdain at her would be owner.

Carinthia had retrieved her second sword and without pausing, rushed toward Lowenna again, a look of glee and determination on her face. A small smile flickered on Lowenna's face. She had underestimated her, and now she had a weapon. She swung the makeshift staff upwards catching Carinthia by surprise, knocking her off balance. Lowenna then spun on her good leg swinging the staff hitting and Carinthia’s arm. The blow forced her to drop her sword again and cry out in pain. She jumped back throwing another knife, but Lowenna knocked it away with ease. She had her, and Carinthia knew it.

Carinthia screamed in rage and frustration. Recklessly, she charged again sword raised above her head. Before she was close enough to swing it, Lowenna threw the wooden pole at her, the side of it hitting her in the face. Lowenna was on her, in a flash, armguard to the face, knee to the stomach, elbow to the side of her neck. Carinthia tried to swing the sword, but Lowenna grabbed her arm with both of her own and, while using her momentum, threw her off her feet against the wall.

There was a moment of calm between the women. Blood was running down Carinthia’s face, and her head was pounding. Lowenna had grabbed the makeshift staff again and was walking toward her. Carinthia was not beaten yet. She had one more trick up her sleeve. She sat up and pointed her clenched fist at Lowenna. The ring on her finger flashed yellow with magic. Lowenna smacked the wooden pole against her arm, and the magical bolt flew harmlessly into the air as she cried out. Lowenna spun again on her good leg, but this time, she kicked Carinthia in the face, and blood splattered against the wall and ran from her mouth. “Kill you,” Carinthia managed to gasp out, before collapsing unconscious.

Lowenna looked down at the young woman and shook her head in disgust, thinking of her former arrogance, “You? My owner?” She gave her a kick, to make sure she was unconscious. This was the second time a shop holder had tricked her into an alleyway. Lowenna was not happy about it. The first time had been Back in Penbirth where two thieves had tried to rob her, but this had been different. Carinthia had said, “You belong to my associates and me now.” This wasn’t about being a Lowenna, or magic, or even a simple robbery. This had been something else.

Lowenna was going to have to have a word with the shop owner. She knew she could be intimidating as she had left Mr. Griffin on the floor crying after urinating in his trousers. Lowenna grimly smiled as she looked at Carinthia again, “You were lucky, I didn’t kill you.” She said, before wondering why.

Lowenna looked down, at the unconscious woman then looked at herself. She removed Carinthia’s boots and tried them on. They came almost up to Lowenna's knees and although a little tight were a lot better than walking around barefoot. She then took the cape from her and placed it on.

Lowenna had no problem taking what she needed from people who attacked her or tried to kill her, although most had been dead when she had taken their possessions. The cape had a waxy feel to it. Lowenna assumed it was Kraken leather, which meant it was magical resistant and a lot stronger than conventional material. It also had several pockets and loops sewn in the back and two hoops at the front, which Lowenna could hold to keep the cape completely shut. Lowenna put the hood up. It rested just above her eyes hiding most of her face and her red hair. “A new look for me,” she thought in satisfaction as she gathered the knives, slotting them into the loops and pockets inside the cape and the two swords fit nicely in the seam, the handles slipping through the two hoops.

In the final pocket was a small purse with copper coins. Lowenna couldn’t help but smile as she headed back to the street where she had been before the confrontation with Carinthia.

Lowenna turned to head back to the shop only to see the owner heading toward her. “What took you so long?” He asked with irritation in his voice, “Is she back at the mansion?”

Lowenna allowed the hood to slide from her head “No she isn’t,” she retorted, staring angrily. The shop owner stood there, his mouth open in disbelief. He finally moved his hand to his sword, but Lowenna already had a knife touching his belly. “I wouldn’t do that,” she muttered harshly. The man quickly released his sword and pulled on the collar of his shirt. “I want to know about this mansion and where it is?”

The man tried to take a step back, but Lowenna had hold of his waistcoat. “I know nothing,” he whined, as he looked around for help.

“Don’t do anything stupid,” Lowenna said reminding him about the knife. “All I want to know is…” Lowenna suddenly stopped, her eyes opened wide. Walking towards her, she saw Erkut and a law woman. It could have been Zenith or Neara, but Lowenna didn’t want to find out. “We will finish this conversation later,” she growled to the shopkeeper. “And I repeat do not do anything stupid, or I will kill you.”

The shopkeeper nodded as Lowenna pulled the hood back over her head and slipped her hands through the loops to hold the cape shut. She hoped the threat was enough to stop the man telling the lawmen about her, or stop him making a scene that would alert them to her presence.

Lowenna rushed away from the lawmen’s direction. She hoped they hadn't seen her. They were moving pretty quickly. She had to get off the street. There was an open shop and Lowenna turned sharply and entered, slipping behind a clothes rail before looking out just in time to see Erkut and the law woman briskly walk past.

Lowenna allowed herself to breathe. She was not having a pleasant sun. “Can I help you miss?” the shop assistant asked catching her unawares.

“Err yes, I need some…” Lowenna looked around the clothes shop. It was small, with a low ceiling, but well lit. She hadn't even registered it was a clothes shop till this moment. , “Clothes,” she said with a smile, “and undergarments,” she added.

“Pick what you want, we have a changing room in the back. My daughter will be over in a moment to help you,” the man said nodding at Lowenna.

In Penbirth Lowenna had wanted to fit in, but in this place, she wanted to be almost invisible. She took some black leggings a black leather skirt, and a couple of plain tops before going to the back area. With a smile and a nod of her head, the young girl got down to the business of measuring her. Once done the girl went and got the appropriate undergarments, which Lowenna was very grateful to get.

While the girl went to adjust the trousers slightly, Lowenna slipped the new undergarments and one of the short-sleeved tops on, she placed her crystal over the top allowing her to see its grey colour. When the girl came back with the trousers, Lowenna finished getting dressed before replacing the hooded cape. Lowenna paid for the clothing, which only came to five dracnars and two nars, pulled the hood up and left the shop feeling happier and cleaner. “Now I just need somewhere to stay,” she said quietly to her crystal “Oh… and something to eat would be nice too.”

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Copyright © © 2015 by Robert Stevens All Rights Reserved

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