Dark-gray smoke rose to the sky, blocking all sunlight from reaching down into the depths of the forest. The smell of charred flesh and gunpowder assaulted Glaedr's nose, and he sneezed. Seriously? he thought, quickly crouching behind a tree. Did they hear that? He listened for a few moments, his sword ready, but it stayed silent, save for the firings of machines coming from above the forest floor.
Glaedr let out a quiet sigh of relief. He was safe for now. He dropped his arm back to his side and leaned against the tree, taking a quick drink of water from his canteen. He sheathed his sword quickly, leaving it unbuckled so that he could easily grab it when needed. Where are they? he wondered, wishing he could see through the dense forest canopy. It was too crowded for him to see exactly what was going on in the sky. Glaedr hoped they were winning.
He set his canteen back into his backpack, and ran his fingers through his hair. It was only a matter of time before they would come down here. Would he even be ready for them? Glaedr rubbed his face, ignoring the dried blood that fell into his eyes. Would he die tonight, here in this strange forest?
Rustling a few feet away snapped Glaedr out of his thoughts. Were they here? Was now his time to fight... or run? No, he wouldn't abandon his people; they needed every man they could get to help fight in this war. He took a deep breath as his shaking hands found his helmet and lowered it over his head. Glaedr stood slowly, making sure not to stir the leaves littering the ground, and unsheathed his jade-colored sword. He would be ready for the creatures, the demons, the invaders.
He heard the quiet hissing sound and felt his blood run cold. They were here.
[ Glaedr is a real name in the Eragon (Inheritance Cycle) series by Christopher Paolini! 8D
I will eventually be a draik! For now, I am zapped and customized for fun. :) ]