Oliver's Curiosity - Knowing the Wandering Soul (S.Flame & Ana) (closed)
Oliver was feeling much better as the days went on. Most of his muscle tissue regenerated, making them appear slightly bigger than normal, especially after the needed rest, and the vast amount of meals that gave him the proper nutrients for recovery.
He noticed that in getting out of bed, most of his bandages were re-wrapped. Even his regular day to day foot-paw to shin fighting wraps, and his claw to forearm wraps, were completely redressed and clean. His shoulders, chest, and upper body in general were covered with wrappings. His torn tunic top was rolled down to his waist, leaving him with his bare torso. He didn't mind this as he most likely was going to be alone today, or so he thought.
Oliver snaked his way through the open dormitory window and climbed gingerly down the vines on the wall. For a much larger, well muscled squirrel, he was quite acrobatic, and pretty quick when it came to climbing. A squirrels natural talent, one would say, would rarely be hindered by factors like that. He eventually made his way towards the grounds, noticing the sounds of arrows whipping through the air, hitting something hollow. Perhaps wooden targets?
One thing was for sure, Oliver was curious, and he wanted to know what was going on. The large creature climbed up a side wall and looked over to the sounds. He was close enough to see clearly who it was. "Lina?.." He thought to himself as he watched her go to work with the beautifully crafted Yew bow, hitting a bulls-eye each time with a well placed arrow.
He hung from the vine with one arm and hind leg set to the wall as a balance, looking in amazement at his new friend's skill being put into action. He kind of blushed, noticing her pretty face, and athletic figure. She was definitely a warrior maid that had his full attention.
The squirrelmaid's stature was perfectly poised, yew bow gripped firmly in her right paw, nocked arrow drawn back with the left. The feathered end of the shaft tickled her cheek, fluttering slightly in the gentle breeze sweeping lazily across the abbey grounds. She inhaled then exhaled deeply, slowly, before her paw loosed the projectile. It soared through the air, making a tell-tale whistling sound as it sped towards its target. Splintering of wood crackled through the air as it found its mark, driving itself directly into an arrow already embedded into the target.
A sly grin crept across the ranger's face, clearly satisfied with her work. She turned on heel to take several paces away from her target, turning her head upward to scratch at her neck. She caught Oliver out of her peripheral vision, doing a double take at the squirrel anchored to the wall by a vine. Her brow furrowed, head tilting inquisitively to the side.
How long has he been watching me? Lina thought to herself. She offered Oliver a wave, smiling. She didn't realize she had an audience. Turning back to face the target, assuming Oliver would come down to join her, she freed another arrow from the quiver on her back, setting shaft to string before drawing back the sinew to line up another shot. Lina fell still as a statue, focusing intently on the wooden target once again. Her ears flitted occasionally at the gentle breeze caressing her face, gauging the resistance her arrow would meet.
A brief delay, then the same whistling as before. The professionally fletched arrow zinged though the air, landing straight into an empty bullseye on another target. Lina continued to smile, rolling her shoulders as she tilted her head either direction to loosen her frame. She turned back to Oliver, giving him an expectant look.
Coming down? she thought to herself, her right paw falling to her side, bow still held firmly in it, as her left hand rooted itself on her hip. Bare footpaw tapped against the lush grass; she was obviously waiting for the squirrel to come join her.
The large squirrel noticed as she turned to see him, not once, but twice. He waved back with a free paw, but kind of in an embarrassed way, since he was caught. He was so amazed by her bow skills that it made him almost forget that he was hanging on the wall, watching her in action. Hiding his face into his giant bushy tail as a sign of embarrassment before climbing down the wall, Oliver finally made his way over to her.
"That's some mighty fine skill ya 'ave with that bow. I never seen anythin' like it!" He said having amazement in his voice. "I didn't mean to be rude an' stare, but I couldn't 'elp myself. Seeing some serious talent like that, I didn't think I would be able to pry myself from the wall. Yore really an expert with that thing." He said, scanning the bow that was in her paws. Now that he had a good look at it, he knew there was a fine craftsmanship to make a good strong yew bow such as that.
Oliver's eyes started to wander away from the bow and to the creature holding it. He caught himself looking at her eyes. The two different colors were alluring to him, and it was hard for him to turn away, but he did quickly in fear of his stammering to return. Wow.. she is such a beautiful warrior maid.. I haven't felt this way in seasons. I can't even keep my composure.. He thought to himself. To top it off he was still bandaged all over, his tunic top was still rolled down to his waist, and he looked like he just got out of bed. That didn't help him at all.
Lina continued to smile through the compliments Oliver showered her with, and the rapt attention he seemed to be giving her. She gave the squirrel a polite curtsy, turning to face her target again.
"Thank you," the squirrelmaid said in appreciation. "It was m' father that taught me 'ow t' use it," she reminisced, running her paws delicately over her weapon. It was apparent there were some fond memories tied to the bow, the way she looked upon it with unparalleled fondness. After a brief spell of gazing upon it, she looked back up at Oliver,
"Are there any bows 'round here?" she inquired. "Perhaps you'd like t' join me?" Lina gestured her head towards the targets, most of which had an arrow planted squarely in the center of the red and white circles. Freeing another arrow from the quiver on her back, the maid knocked it to the string. In the blink of an eye she had spun around, dropping to her left knee, followed by the twang of the string.
The tip of the loosed arrow had strayed only a hairsbreadth from the center of the target, the other arrow already in the center quivering back and forth from being grazed.
"Yore very welcome, Lina." He said, flashing a bright smile. The large squirrel listened to her again. "Yore father huh? Well, 'e definitely taught you well."
Oliver remembered there were practice bows stored somewhere as he listened to the squirrelmaid's question. "I'm not much of a bow user, but sure, I'd love to join ya." The large creature turned himself around and ran in a direction where the stored weapons were. "'Old on!" He noticed in the corner of his eye the shot she made in such a quick manner as he was off to where the weapons were. "Wow."
A few minutes later, he returned with a quiver of practice arrows, and a practice bow slung around his back. He had his favorite Oak tree staff in his paws, twirling it around effortlessly. It hummed through the air as he twirled in an attack like fashion around with his staff. Oliver jabbed at the air with great speeds, every jab going a few times every second. Besides his body throwing and boxing abilities, his second love was in staff fighting.
"I'm back!" He said as he let his staff spinning increase speed into its soft hum again. "I 'ope I can shoot this arrow off right, everytime I try I pull the string too 'ard an' it snaps.."
"Well, I can tell y' appreciate close quarters."
That was a stupid observation, Lina, the squirrel thought to herself, embarrassed by how much she had just pointed out the obvious. She kept her visage composed, and instead shifted her gaze to the bow Oliver held in his paws. It was a rather simple creation, but the needs of the Abbey when it came to fighting, she imagined, were likely staggeringly low. Not many people also invested as much time into her weapon as she did.
"If y' do, I can restring it pretty easily. I 'ave a lot of experience with bows, y'know," she giggled. Drawing another arrow from her quiver, she decided to be fancy in her display. She stayed facing Oliver as she nocked the arrow, drawing it back as her arm pivoted to make the bow face the target. She fired, the arrow sticking once again only a hairsbreadth away from the bullseye. She finally looked over at her work, a confident smile playing her features.
"See?" she said almost chidingly, as if it were a challenge. The squirrelmaid was obviously confident in her capabilities, and wasn't afraid to show it. "Your turn!"
He noticed her pause for a second after she spoke, but didn't think much of it. He just answered back to her remark.
"Haha! Why yes; my whole style is based on being as close as possible." The squirrel warrior said with a kind smile. He smiled more as she giggled from her next comment. It filled his stomach with the feeling of butterflies.
"Well if you can restring my mess, then I'm glad! But I should 'ave figured that anyways." Oliver looked over as he saw her arrow zip from her bow, in such a displaying manner too. He contained his amazement for the time being, dropped his staff, equipped the bow, and notched an arrow to it. He could manage that with no problem, it's the aiming and shooting that was hard for him.
"Alright, 'ere goes nothin'!" He pulled the string back effortlessly, but he drew it back hard enough for the wood of the bow to creak, splinter, and bend somewhat loudly from his immense pulling strength. "Oh no.." he let go of the string and the arrow flew out so fast that it went way over it's target. The string snapped in half in the process.
Lina almost fell over laughing as Oliver missed his target by a staggeringly high shot, followed by the keen snap of his bowstring. The squirrelmaid doubled over, putting her paws on her knees as giggled uncontrollably at the poor squirrel's misfortune.
"I-I'm sorry," she stammered out between her uncontrollable laughter, "But tha'… tha's just too funny." Slowly Lina was able to compose herself, paws moving to her sides to hold them from the aching. Slowly the laughter died down as she managed to calm herself, erecting her body to approach the dazed squirrel.
"Y' can't use strength with certain bows," she instructed him. "Some of 'em, like mine, y' can. That scrawny little thing is… well, a dibbun could prob'ly use it." Lina extended her bow out to Oliver, a gesture she rarely did with others.
"Go ahead. Take mine, an' try again. Bet y' won't break the string," she said reassuringly, with a confident wink. Lina knew the limits of her own weapon, and if she said that she doubted Oliver would be able to snap the string, it was probably true.
Oliver just stood there in disbelief. He made such a fool out of himself with that awful shot. Stupid, stupid, stupid! Why did I 'ave to go an' do that? He thought to himself, mentally hitting himself in the head, over and over with the broken bow. In reality, his cheeks became very red and had his tail cover his face, a classic sign of embarrassment by squirrels.
A big muscular squirrel trying to hide himself with his big bushy tail, holding a weapon meant for smaller creatures. It was quite the sight. "I-Its, okay." He said composing himself and trying to come back into reality with what just happened. He then heard her speak once more, about using her bow.
"You sure? I 'ope I can get this one right." He said, moving his tail away from his face, and happily accepting the bow into his paws. He felt the weight of the large bow and tugged on the string a bit to get a feel for it. "This is pretty 'eavy duty, I don't think I'll break the string either!" He notched an arrow to it and got into position.
He took aim and pulled the heavy string back. He pulled a little light so it was going slowly until he put some power into it. The string was drawn far back, not to the limits, but enough for Oliver to have full extension of his arm. "..'Ere goes nothin'." The arrow let loose, promptly zipping at a breakneck pace, and digging itself far into the target. It went so deep into the target from Oliver's hard pull that the arrow head started to appear out of the back end. It was the top part of the target, but he made contact.
"…YEAH!" He shouted jumping with excitement. He ran over to Lina, lifted her up into the air by her sides effortlessly, and twirled her around with excitement. "Ya see that? I did it!"
Lina's own cheeks flushed softly with a red hue as Oliver swept her off her feet, twirling her around in the air as if she were completely weightless. She couldn't help but giggle gaily at the same time, wrapping her own tail around her face one he had set her down. She turned away from him for a moment to regain her composure, finally swiveling to face Oliver once she had. Running a paw across her head, she gave the squirrel an endearing smile.
"Y'did!" she said happily. "I'm proud of you! Now, think y'could 'it it again? Closer t' the centre? she asked in a sarcastically challenging voice. Lina took her bow back from Oliver, removing three arrows from her quiver. Nocking them all to the string simultaneously, she took several wide paces back, holding her bow horizontally, aiming at the centre of one of the targets. She drew the sinew string back, emptying her lungs of breath to steady her shot. Her fingers shifted subtly, placing each arrow roughly in a 45? angle, and fired.
The three arrows whistled through the air simultaneously, and each one found a target. The middle arrow had landed in the bullseye once again, the other two arrows landing just outside of the bullseye ring on the two targets on either side of the middle one. Lina lowered her bow, scrunching her nose, her ears flitting, as she pondered her shots. Not what she had originally anticipated, but it had been a considerable amount of time since she had last needed – or chosen -- to use multiple arrows at the same time. Shrugging lazily, she approached Oliver again, holding out her bow.
"Beat that," she jested, giving him a sly wink.
After he set her down he realized what he just did and smiled, embarrassed once more. He could only rub the back of his head and softly chuckle as she turned around to cover the flushing in her face. "Oops, hehe.."
"Thank you very much! Hmm.. I could try. I'll see what I can do." He said as he watched her go to work, yet again, with her bow. He couldn't help but be amazed at how quickly and smoothly she notched the three arrows at once without having to adjust anything. Oliver then watched her as she drew the string back with all three arrows.
The large squirrel kept his cool, trying not to show too much amazement, but in his head he couldn't even believe what he had just witnessed. "Wow, that's pretty.. impressive!"
He knew there was no way he could beat that, but he had something up his nonexistent sleeves. He might have not much shooting skill, but with the wrestling, and the kick boxing, he had plenty of athleticism and balance. He took hold of the beautiful yew bow and notched an arrow to it. The warrior then placed his head on the ground and flipped his body upwards. Oliver took aim as he was doing a balanced headstand on the ground before pulling the taut string back. He stuck his tongue out, closed one eye, took aim, and let the arrow fly loose.
The arrow whizzed through the air like chain lightning, before striking the target. "Got it!"