Waien showed me everything there was to know about a bow. He was a strict, but good teacher. He would correct my form, posture, and positioning. Over the next few weeks, I would learn how to correctly shoot an arrow, how much to pull back, and how to keep my arms from getting archers burn.
Put this on yer bow arm,” He told me handing me an pliable leather arm guard. “It’ll keep your sleeve from getting in the way, protect your arm when you release of the bow string.”
I examined it for a few moments. It was soft, but still stiff. Three little knots of leather had been placed along the edge and three other strips were placed along the other edge to act as fastenings for the guard. Carefully, I wrapped it around my arm, Waien helped me to secure it to my arm.
Did you make this?” I asked, taking up the bow again. Once more he had adjusted my position.
Aye,” he replied. “A Simple thing to make, but damn useful.”
Over the past several weeks, I’ve never once seen Waien lose his temper with me. There were times I had pushed his limits, but he just sighed heavily and grunted his displeasure. I didn’t see much of Mandrel, since my night at the bar. Not that I didn’t want to, but I was ashamed of myself for making a fool of myself. When I asked Waien about him, I usually got an annoyed look and told that I shouldn’t bother with Mandrel, because it was pointless. Yet I couldn’t put him from my mind.
“When you can have any distraction,” He murmured into my ear, one day during our lessons. He was standing close to me, an arrow in hand. “Not bother you. That’s when you know you’ve become a true archer.”
My arrow flew away from the target when I felt the feathers of an arrow flick against my ear. My head moved slightly, away from the feathers, Waien chuckled.
Again,” he told me.
Waien kept this up. Flicking my ear when I least expected, throwing my form and aim off completely. I would growl with frustration and take up the bow again. On the times he didn’t flick my ears, I would hit my target perfectly. But when he did, my arrow would fly in random directions. Maglor would often chuckle as he watched the lessons from the shop. He even took some of the advice Waien had given to me.
Weeks past and I was getting better at not being distracted. I learned to keep my guard up around Waien. It was soon after that his feathers no longer bothered me. Having finished my work early one afternoon, I started practicing in the yard. I took aim of the bulls-eye, the wind was perfectly still.
“Both eyes open,” I murmured to myself.
“Well, well, well,” A voice mused from the wall. My arrow flew into a wall, the arrowhead breaking as it made contact.
I turned my gaze to look at who it was and nearly fell over. Toeryn.
“W-what are you doing it?” I asked while he hopped off the wall.
“Is that anyway to greet your big brother?” He said. Toeryn looked different, his eyes darker, his skin paler. “And I’ve come to claim back my littler sister. We have work to do.”
“No,” I said firmly. “I’m not going with you. I don’t need you.”
Toeryn stepped behind me, his breath smelled of cheap rot gut whiskey.
“No my dear Ana,” He said darkly, stroking my hair before he grabbed the plait and pulled hard. “That is where you are wrong. You do need me. And here’s why.”
“Ow!” I cried out, trying to wrench my hair from his grip.
“You will come with me, or I will tell the knights that you were also responsible for the pickpocketing,” He growled into my ear. “And I won’t even tell you what they do to little girls in those places.”
My whole body shook with fear, if I pulled away he yanked back; sending pain shooting through my scalp and down through my body. I heard the familiar sching of his dagger being pulled from its sheath and then felt the cold metal against my throat.
“Do I make myself clear, Anarar’ithil?” he asked darkly.
“Y-yes,” I replied, afraid to move my head and almost too frightened to speak. I had no choice but to do as he said. If I didn’t, he would surely kill me.
Toeryn pulled the blade away from my throat and against my hair. I felt my hair fall away in a swift movement and then heard the dull thump as it landed in the dirt.
We left Malgor’s without a word of notice, Toeryn dragging me forcefully along by my arm. We moved down the streets quickly, I hadn’t been in this far away from the main streets. Try as I might, I would struggle to break free, futile at best, but I had to try. If I could get away from Toeryn long enough to find Waien, or even Mandrel, I might have had a chance. But Toeryn’s grip was strong. Silently I prayed someone I knew would recognize me and told Waien. Secretly I prayed he would save me.
No one came though.