This chapter is rather graphic, it contains mature themes such as violence, non-con, sexual situations, rape, slash and character death. If that is disturbing to you don’t read this, you are warned. The first half of the chapter isn’t that bad, the bad things happen in the last part.
The chapter is also quite long but splitting it in two didn’t really go well with the flow of the story.
Chapter two: In the hands of evil
In this world true evil may take
Either one of two forms
The first is deliberate and will full
A conscious choice made by the heartless and cold
The other is the evil of ignorance
And by those two…
The latter is often the worst
The misty mountains: Months earlier:
Gadlum was walking up the path from the small lake with slow steady steps, he was no longer a young man and did take his time. The path was steep and very slippery after a night of heavy rain and he didn’t want to risk slipping. His small dog ran in circles around him, eager to go chase rabbits and he smiled at the animal and nodded as to give it permission. The dog ran off barking like crazy and he whistled a sweet tune as he shifted the bag he carried from one shoulder to the other one. He had checked his nets and this morning they had been full of trout and he was happy he could feed his family for a few days more.
The valley was rather secluded and peaceful and he and his son in law made their living as hunters and gatherers, since he no longer was very fast on his feet he stayed close to home most of the time and did repairs or went fishing or helped the women gather nuts and berries. They had a couple of small wooden huts and a barn in which they kept two goats and a pig and some hens. That was all they had and it was all they needed to make it. Thankfully this area had been spared for the onslaught of attacks by orcs that plagued the rest of the countryside.
He was grateful, he was old and his wife had passed away two winters ago but he still had his daughters and his grandchildren and his family was a good one. Everybody knew what to do and were hard working and trustworthy, yes he was blessed. He had never gotten a son but he didn’t complain as some would have, he had never understood this weird obsession some had with getting sons, a daughter would take care of her parents way better than a son would.
The dog was scurrying around in the bushes, he could see the wagging tail and he grinned and whistled. The dog was a mongrel with at least a dozen breeds in it but it didn’t matter, it was a good hunting dog and it was gentle with the kids too. Suddenly the dog started barking like mad and it stared at a big bush with its tail raised and the hairs on its back stood up. Gadlum got a bit nervous, what was this?
There were sometimes snakes there and he had encountered badgers or even wolverines there, the dog should not try to engage such creatures in a fight, it could cost it its life. He whistled and the dog turned its head for a second or two as if to see if he had noticed that something was off, then it continued barking like before.
Gadlum walked forth, he had a walking stick and it wasn’t much of a weapon but better than nothing. The dog stopped barking and whined and Gadlum stared at the bush, it had formed almost a cave of some sort and something was in there, he was sure. “Is it a badger boy? Then leave it alone, it will bite that nose of yours off of you I tell ya.”
The dog just wagged its tail and barked again and Gadlum heard a sound from the bush that immediately made him tense up, it was a whimper and it didn’t come from no animal. He bent down, very slowly. In the darkness he did see two eyes staring back at him, very big and very scared. Gadlum grasped the dog by the collar, hauled it away from the bush and tied it to a nearby tree where it stood whimpering and growling in frustration.
He returned to the bush, kneeled down slowly and stared into the semi darkness, the creature in there was sobbing and he didn’t really know what to do. “I am not dangerous, fear me not. Won’t you come out? Is there something I can do to help? “
He made his voice soft and friendly and there was motion underneath the thick mass of branches and leaves. Slowly it emerged and he gasped and had problems believing what he saw. It was an elf, a male with long red hair and he appeared to be wounded and he was buck naked and looked absolutely terrified. Gadlum had the greatest respect for the elves and this one was surely in trouble. He was shivering and he clenched his right arm with his left hand, it was obviously broken and he had several bad bruises almost everywhere and something in the strange golden eyes told Gadlum that this poor thing was utterly confused and very much in need of help.
The old man tried to smile, reached out a hand. The elf stared at it with confusion, tears had drawn streaks down dusty cheeks and he whimpered and shuddered. Gadlum knew that his oldest daughter was rather skilled as a healer, she would be able to assess the damage but darn, this elf did need some help fast.
“What has happened to you mellon?”
He kept his voice steady and gentle and the elf tried to stand up straight but fell to his knees with a yell, he obviously had an injured knee as well. It was swollen and blue and Gadlum shook his head. “Do not move, I will help you.”
He went over and let the elf lean onto him and it felt a bit awkward, the elf was absolutely gorgeous and very inhuman in a way. Just too perfect to be real and yet there he was. The body was muscular and looked like that of a skilled warrior and he was shocked by how tall the elf was, he was closer to seven feet than any other person Gadlum had ever met before and towered above the rather short and stocky old man.
The elf cringed and closed the golden eyes for a moment, a grimace of agony lay on the fair face and Gadlum wondered what it was that had happened to this male. Elves are not easily hurt, and this one was severely injured. He had a bad gash in his right thigh and Gadlum blushed when he stared at it. The elf was very well made in every way, and very obviously male. A thin dusting of silky red hair surrounded his male parts and Gadlum wondered if they all were that perfect?
He let the elf lean onto him again and the wounded ellon’s skin was warm and soft and silky and Gadlum was in awe of the creature’s beauty. He had never been this close to one of the fair folk before and wondered at its scent, the ellon smelled of something that reminded him of turned earth and fresh moss. “Can you move? Walk? What happened?”
The elf just shook his head, the confusion within those very lovely eyes was painful to watch. “Fell”
Gadlum helped the elf take a few limping steps forward, he moaned with every one of them but there was no other way of getting around. They didn’t own a horse and with his son in law out hunting there wasn’t anybody at home strong enough to carry anyone either. “You did fall? From where?”
The elf just shook his head and placed a hand against the back of his head with a grimace of pain. “You don’t remember? What do you remember?”
The elf shrugged, shook his head again. “Nothing? Your name?”
The elf stared down, tears were running from his eyes again and he looked very young and vulnerable but Gadlum knew that he probably were hundreds if not thousands of years old. It was strange to think about that. “Well, I cannot just call you elf the whole time now can I? Is there anything you remember at all?”
The redhead seemed to think hard, he was limping badly but managed to get ahead, one step at a time as long as Gadlum gave him support. “Huna”
Gadlum cocked his head. “Is that your name? or just something you are called?”
The elf repeated it and Gadlum smiled. “Huna it is then, I will try to get you back to my home, you will be safe there and my daughter may help you with your injuries.”
Huna just nodded and closed his eyes with a sigh, fatigue and terror was still visible on his face and Gadlum knew that the short trek down to his cabin would be an agonizing one for the elf. He could just pray that the ellon didn’t have any hidden injuries that were life threatening for his daughter did have her limits in spite of all her skills and talents.
They walked very slowly and the dog ran around them in circles whimpering and whining, it didn’t understand why its master moved so slowly. The elf almost passed out several times but finally they saw the cabins up ahead and one of Gadlum’s daughters were out washing clothes and she got up and stared before she gasped and came running to help. In just a couple of minutes they were surrounded by the other two daughters and his grandchildren and the elf looked even more frightened now, the golden eyes wide with fear and he was shivering like a leaf in the wind.
Gadlum’s oldest daughter wrapped her apron around the ellon’s waist to protect the modesty of her younger sisters and children and the younger women were blushing like crazy. She looked at her father with confusion.”Where does he come from?”
Gadlum smiled nervously. “I found him above the lake, he was hiding in a bush. He has lost his memory, can only remember his name, if that is what it is, Huna.”
She helped support the elf over to the cabin and Gadlum sighed with relief. Having the ellon leaning onto him for that long had caused his back to ache. He was surely no youngster anymore. “Can you help him Frin?”
His daughter nodded. “I can at least have a look at it, but I don’t think he has any life threatening injuries, if he had he would be dead already.”
They helped the elf into the cabin and the kids were scurrying around staring with huge eyes. Frin had seven children at the age from two to fifteen and they did really make their presence known. Her two younger sisters did shoo them out of the room as Frin and Gadlum gently placed the ellon onto the bed. He moaned and sweat was breaking out all over the shivering body, Frin bit her teeth together and started gathering her equipment and Gadlum sat down and held the elf’s hand.
Frin washed the shivering body with a cloth dipped in herbal extracts that minimized pain. She made a grimace and Huna had closed his eyes and tried to avoid making too much sound. “He has a fracture to his arm but it is a clean one, it will be easy to set and it will heal quickly. The knee has been twisted but it isn’t dislocated, just very swollen. Other from that he has taken a hit to his head and he has a lot of bruises but they will fade.”
Gadlum smiled and patted the elf’s hand. “Hear that? You will be alright.”
Frin sent the elf an apologetic grin. “I am sorry Huna, but this will hurt. I have to set the fracture but I will give you something for the pain first, it will take the worst of it.”
She went over and mixed some herbs into a small kettle of water that was placed over the fireplace, it smelled rather strong and she came back with a cup filled with a dubious looking liquid. Huna sniffed and there was a bit of reluctance in his eyes as she held the cup towards his lips as Gadlum held his head up. The elf sipped at the concoction very carefully and cringed, Frin made an apologetic grimace. “I know, it tastes awful but it is needed.”
Huna nodded and finished the medicine in two long draughts and winced and coughed afterwards. Frin grinned. “Well done, now just relax and let it work.”
After a while the golden eyes got a bit distant and glassy and his breath became more even, not so shallow. Frin went over to the door and called out. “Ida, Nell, I need your help”
The other two daughters entered and Frin told them to grasp onto Huna’s shoulder and hold back when she pulled the fracture back into alignment. They obeyed and looked at the elf with compassion, Gadlum took his chin gently in hand and turned his head away from what Frin was doing. “It is better when you don’t look.”
Frin had found a few bandages and a splint and she just grasped Huna’s arm by the wrist and pulled. The elf screamed, an awful shriek in pain but she got the two pieces of bone back together without problems and stabilized the arm with the bandages and the splint. Huna was panting and gasping and tears ran down his face once more, he looked very fragile and Frin hurried to wash the gash in his thigh and put a couple of sutures in it before the medicine stopped working.
She washed the bruises and the injured knee with herbs that stopped swelling and then she wrapped some thick blankets around him and placed the elf into a more comfortable position. Huna was so overcome by the fear and the pain he fell asleep, he was unable to fight it and Nell and Ida stared with disbelief at the rather empty glassy stare. “Is he dead?”
Gadlum shook his head. “No, he is sleeping, elves sleep with their eyes open.”
Ida was the youngest of the three daughters, just twenty, and she shook her head in disbelief. “That’s just weird.”
Gadlum grinned. “I bet they think we are equally weird.”
Frin sighed. “His injuries are consistent with those caused by a fall, but I cannot imagine from where. Was he climbing? It is cold outside now, I cannot imagine anybody, even an elf, climbing around in the mountains in his birthday suit.”
Gadlum had to snigger. “No, but perhaps he will remember more when he gets his strength back, he did look very confused and scared and I am glad there are no orcs in this area. They would have made mince-meat out of him in no time.”
Frin nodded. “Yes, but I can still not understand what happened, elves usually don’t have accidents.”
Gadlum stroked his chin, his eyes were distant. “No, you are right about that Frin.”
He had woken up in a state of absolute confusion, where was he, what was this? Then he noticed the pain and couldn’t stop a scream as he rolled off his broken arm and tried to get up. He felt empty, a terrible feeling of fear struck him and he fell back, whimpering and gasping for air. What had happened? Why didn’t he remember anything?
His mind was blank, he couldn’t grasp any memories, any knowledge at all as to who he was and why he was there. He was in a hole in the ground and he felt utterly lost. Tall mountains could be seen around him and wood covered roaming hills, nothing looked even remotely familiar and he shook his head as if to clear his mind. He froze and felt utterly miserable, the body shaking from shock. Somehow he knew it was dangerous to remain out in the open like that and he managed to crawl out of the hole, his body ached like crazy and he looked down and didn’t even recognize himself.
It was all gone, everything. Only a word lingered in his mind, faint and without meaning but he clung onto it, just to have something to hang on to. He managed to wobble forth, the grass felt soft underneath his feet and he felt how the wind played with his hair.
He raised his good arm, touched the long red locks and felt his ears, they were pointy. Elf, he was an elf. Good, there was something he knew, he looked down at himself, alright, he was male too. He knew two things for sure, he was an ellon. But nothing more than that, it was strange.
The pain soon became excruciating and he felt terribly weak, as if he had no strength left in his body. He had a faint idea of death in his mind, of something that was the end of everything and it scared him. He saw a sort of cave underneath a bush after a couple of hours and managed to crawl into it.
He didn’t want to die, he just knew it. He wanted to live, even if it hurt. He curled up, shivering and discovered that something wet ran down his cheeks. He touched it in amazed confusion, it was water? Tears, he remembered the word but why did he cry? He felt bad, that was why, he sighed and tried to calm down but he couldn’t.
Not knowing anything was almost a pain in itself. He felt so tired and slowly he drifted off into an unrestful sleep, he had a dream, or at least that was what he thought it was. Some huge bright thing was standing in front of him, piercing eyes were staring straight into his soul and he felt tiny, miniscule, worthless even. He heard a voice in his mind, thundering and strong and he cowered in fear. “Prove yourself, prove you are worthy, or else you will be lost”
The dream ended and he tossed around, groaning in pain. Prove himself? Prove what? He didn’t understand, who was the glowing figure and what had happened? He slept again, and it felt like a relief.
He had woken up suddenly, some strange animal was making loud sounds and it looked dangerous with white teeth and strong jaws, he gasped and curled up again, would it eat him? Then he heard a voice, and saw some person in front of the bush, it was a second born, a human, an adan. He knew the words but didn’t understand how. The adan was old, he could see it, carried no weapons and the voice was friendly, he removed the animal and sat down onto his haunches, said soft words once more.
It couldn’t be that dangerous no could it? Just one old man? He needed help, he just knew it. He couldn’t survive on his own with a broken arm and a bad knee. He crawled out with his heart thundering in his chest and he felt very uncertain and scared but had to take the chance. He understood the words the old man used, but just barely and he could only form a few words of that language but he remembered the word from his mind. Huna. He had no idea of what it meant, but it was a memory, his only one it seemed.
The old man helped him, there was help to be found, he understood that much and so he endured the trek down to the man’s home even if it hurt like hell. Suddenly there were humans around him everywhere and he felt confused and scared but they were children and women and so his fear subsided slowly. The cabin was warm and cozy and the bed comfortable but the drink he had to swallow was awful and it made him feel dizzy. But the pain did almost disappear until she set his arm, then he had to scream.
He hadn’t thought that such pain could exist at all. It did dissipate afterwards and he felt grateful but also worried. They were kind to him, but he was a stranger, what now? He stared at the adeneth and knew she was a healer, that demanded respect and the old man had found him and he had a feeling of reverence for the old. Why he did not know.
The two younger adenith were staring at him blushing and he felt a bit embarrassed knowing they had seen him naked. He had no idea as to why but he felt that it had to do with customs, that it was somehow improper? The two young females were pretty too, very sweet with corn blond hair and blue eyes and the children were obviously healthy and strong and very noisy. It was a family, and a happy one too. When he fell asleep he just hoped that his arrival wouldn’t bring them any trouble.
He woke up to the sound of children laughing, he shook his head and stared at a line of children’s faces at the end of the bed, they were staring back with huge eyes and he tried to smile at them. It was two girls and five boys, all with dark hair and blue eyes and the smallest one did barely manage to get his head up over the edge of the bed, Huna could only see a couple of big eyes and a crow’s nest of unruly hair. The children couldn’t have seen an elf before and he felt very self-conscious and a bit shy.
He had no idea of how he was to interact with these tiny humans. One of the boys looked a bit bolder than the others and he cocked his head. “You are tall!”
Huna pulled the blanket up under his chin, feeling nervous due to the many staring eyes although they were just curious. “Yes.”
He didn’t know many words and tried to be friendly, after all, these were children. “Taller than dad.”
The boy was digging into a nostril with a finger and his mother yelled at him. “Ron, don’t do that, you’ll end up with a trunk like an Oliphant. And don’t bother Huna, he is tired.”
The boy giggled and Huna had to grin, the other children stared at him again and the youngest of the two girls moved over and touched a lock of his hair. He tensed up and looked at her with a bit of confusion, what was she doing? “It is so pretty, you are pretty. Are you going to live here?”
Frin shouted. “Children, are you deaf? Go out and help your grandfather chop some wood. We need hot water. Shera, it is impolite to touch others without asking first.”
The girl sighed and lowered her gaze, she was very cute and he tried to smile but his face felt a bit stiff. “Sorry mister elf.”
Huna felt a light blush spread across his cheeks and he found the little one simply adoring. There was something about that innocent soul that just stole his heart. “Alright, it’s alright.”
She did barely understand him since he had a weird accent and problems pronouncing the words but her face did light up and she almost danced away from the bed to join the others. Frin came over to the bed with a plate and placed it on a tray. It was some meat, some boiled roots and wild carrots. “It isn’t much but it is food and I think you will need it now, to recover.”
He felt the smell of the meal, and it was wonderful. Suddenly his belly was growling and he pushed himself up and took the tray and the knife he was being offered. Frin left and he started eating with some problems, his right arm hurt so he had to use the left one and it felt a bit strange. Using a knife and his hand was also something he knew he was unfamiliar with but he managed without spilling too much. And to feel food in his belly again, it was so wonderful. It tasted so good and he ate a bit fast and had to slow down so he wouldn’t choke.
Afterwards he felt just stuffed and sighed blissfully.
Frin retrieved the plate and Huna allowed himself to doze off a little, he still felt tired and sore and his knee was throbbing but it wasn’t as swollen as it had been and he felt optimistic. There were sounds coming from the outside that indicated that firewood was being chopped and eager children’s voices were obviously engaged in a debate with their guest as subject. He just lay there, hovering in a feeling of relaxation and peace and Frin wondered at how innocent his face looked when he was in that state.
Huna woke up later in the evening when all the children were gathered for their evening meal, they were well raised and didn’t make much noise except the occasional little fight over who had gotten the best piece of bread or spilled their drink. He sat there watching the family interact and his heart felt strangely empty again, as if he missed something. Belonging, that was what he missed, a sense of companionship, of purpose.
The children were sent to bed up on the loft and the old man sat in front of the fireplace fixing some fishing nets. These were hunters and lived off the land, he knew that by looking at the equipment of the house and he knew they were simple but good people. Frin and the two other women carried a huge wooden wash tub into the room and started filling it with water, Huna stared at it in confusion and Gadlum just grinned. “The womenfolk plan on giving you a bath lad, just get used to the idea.”
Huna frowned, a bath? He stared at himself, his hair was full of dust and pine needles, he stank of dirt and wet moss and he had dried blood on his skin several places from minor cuts. Yes, he did need a bath, desperately, but was it really considered proper to bathe with females nearby?
Frin felt the water with her hand and grinned. “It is ready, now let’s help you.”
Huna felt like protesting for a second or two, but the females just grasped onto him and he whimpered and stared at Gadlum with pleading eyes, was this right? They supported him and managed to get him over to the tub and the two younger women returned to their embroidery while Frin got the blankets off him and helped him into the water. It was hot but not unbearably so and she helped him sit down slowly so he wouldn’t hurt his arm or leg. It felt wonderful, the warmth and the smell of soap and everything.
He could just sigh with pleasure and Frin grasped a sponge and started washing his back and arms with gentle and yet powerful moves. If felt so good he wanted to weep, the dirt and blood disappeared like a bad memory and he felt drowsy again and closed his eyes.
Frin poured water over his head from a jar and massaged his scalp and he almost fell asleep until he felt some strange sensations he couldn’t identify. It was a sort of warmth and it settled itself within him and it felt good but in a way disturbing. What was this? The strong hands on his head rubbing soap into his hair felt just amazing and he knew that the two things were connected. She washed the soap out and then she grasped his leg and started scrubbing it gently.
He lifted it out of the water to be polite but he felt his cheeks burn and he couldn’t look at her. The warmth had slid down towards his crotch area and he had a funny sensation down there. The foam floating on the water hid everything and he discretely let his left hand slide down as if to just scratch or something. He almost gasped and for a moment his eyes got huge with shock, what the hell? What had happened? Why was it all hard?
He swallowed and put his hand back onto the edge of the tub but the quick touch had given him some strange and very tantalizing and yet frightening sensations. It had felt good, but in a way too good. He stared straight up into the ceiling and tried to ignore the sweet aching sensation it had left him with. Frin took the other leg too and gave him the sponge so he could wash where she couldn’t and he quickly did so with a blushing face and a flickering glance. What now?
Frin nodded. “That is good, now get up so we can dry you.”
Huna gasped and shook his head. “No.”
She tilted her head. “You don’t want to get out of the water yet? It will get cold soon.”
He bit his lower lip, looked down. “No, not yet.”
Frin stared at the flustered face and the strange expression on the fair face and she understood what the problem was. “Huna, I am used to men, worry not. My husband always gets a cock stand when I wash him so there is nothing to be ashamed off.”
He threw a glance over at Gadlum who sat with the net but he didn’t seem to react at all and so he slowly got up. Frin giggled a little. “Well, no doubt about it, you elves are really made to be perfect.”
She wrapped a towel around him and rubbed the water off his body and then she dried his hair. He just stood there, confused by her words and his own reaction. Why was that body part reacting thus? He didn’t understand at all and was happy when she helped him get back into the bed. It had to be a bed the two other women shared for they had curled up on some piles of straw near the hearth and he felt guilty for having stolen their place to sleep.
He did snuggle into the warm blankets and allowed himself to relax but that sweet ache was still there.
He did fall asleep and woke up all of a sudden very early in the morning, the room was dark and the embers in the hearth threw a very faint red light over everything. He stared up, frowned.
He had a weird sensation lingering in his body, a sort of heavy relaxed feeling that was good but he felt something wet too? He slid his hand down and yes, there was something wet on his belly, some sticky liquid he couldn’t identify but it had come from him and he cringed and choked a moan. What was this? He felt terribly ashamed all of a sudden, was this normal?
Frin had left some used bandages by the bed and he managed to reach over and grasped one of them, dried the goo of his skin with a grimace. But the feeling he had was darn good, he felt so at peace and he could not fight the sleepy feeling again. He went out like a candle and slept until he woke up from the shock of having a two year old jumping up onto the bed.
Frin lifted her son down and grinned, she held a huge tunic and a pair of pants in her hand and Huna sighed with relief, finally something to cover up with. “These are my husbands but I think they might fit you although you are wider across the shoulders and more narrow at the waist and hips.”
Huna just smiled and tried not to think of the strange incident earlier that morning. “Husband where?”
Frin smiled and turned around so he could put the pants on without embarrassing himself. The arm didn’t really hurt that bad now and he managed to get them on with relative ease. “Oh he is up at the mountain passes hunting wild goats, he’ll be back in a couple of days I reckon.”
Huna pulled the tunic on, it was a bit narrow across the shoulders and he needed a belt for the pants but it wasn’t too bad, but both garments were too short. Frin laughed. “Oh my, Davo is a tall man but compared with you he is a midget.”
Huna had to laugh a little and the children gathered around him again, he got up onto his feet with a slight dizziness but it subsided and he managed to limp over to the table. Most of the bruises had changed from blue to a lighter green color and they would be gone in one more day. He healed fast. He looked down at the kids who giggled and stared and him and he leaned down suddenly. “Boo!”
They scurried back like a pack of squirrels, giggling like mad and then they returned. He found them fascinating and he managed to smile at them with warmth. Frin placed some bread and cheese in front of him and a jug of goats milk and he ate with obvious hunger. Gadlum had finished his breakfast now and got onto his feet. “Well, it is about time I’d start the day, up to the lake and see if my nets have caught anything edible.”
Huna sighed, he knew that everybody probably helped out there and he felt a bit useless. Frin stared at him. “You cannot walk very far yet so I suppose you can help me weave some baskets today if that is alright with you?”
Huna nodded eagerly, he wanted to make himself useful, to do something meaningful and he followed Frin outside where her sisters already sat with their work. It was a sunny day and the air warm and the valley was very beautiful. He sat down and Frin told him to get the bark off the thin twigs they used and he started working with glee. Shera was helping out too, her older sister was out in the woods with the oldest boys gathering nuts and the younger boys helped their grandfather. The child was singing some jolly tune and Huna tried to hum along but he missed the rhythm rather often and it made her pout and grin. “You don’t speak much.”
Huna smiled, she was so charming and he shrugged. “Know few words”
Shera almost jumped up and down with zeal and her mother had to smile. “I can teach you, please? May I?”
Frin and Nell looked at each other and Ida giggled. “Well, I am not so sure, what if Huna gets tired again?”
He shook his head. “Not tired, ok, it’s alright. I learn.”
Frin petted Shera on her head and the little one grinned so widely he could see that she was missing some teeth. “Yes, you are gonna be so smart”
Huna just smiled and started repeating the words the tiny girl spoke and he found it strangely comforting. His hands were busy and so was his mind and the day went rather fast. Frin and the other two went inside to prepare dinner and Huna sat there and repeated words while the girl looked very important and aware of her duty. His head did spin though and he felt somewhat confused for there were no order in this, she just gave him words and explanations without following any pattern and by dinner he had learned a lot of names for household objects and a few words he was sure the girl’s mother would prefer she had been ignorant of.
Two rabbits had been roasted and he knew that this family didn’t have all that much food so he didn’t eat that much but it felt good anyhow and did stop his worst hunger. He got a jug of ale from Gadlum and found that he liked it a lot. The feeling of emptiness was disappearing, he tried to remember anything but he couldn’t and so he resigned and accepted it.
When darkness fell they sat by the hearth and Gadlum told the others stories while the women did some knitting and Huna had gotten some leather strings he tried to braid into rope. He had to do something to show his gratitude. He felt guilty once more for having taken the bed but the two women didn’t complain and it felt good sleeping on a real matrass.
The days that came was spent working, healing and learning, Shera was constantly trying to teach him new words and he noticed how his language did improve a lot. He could speak now not just say single words and he was able to walk again although not very fast and the bruises and cuts were all but gone. The fracture was healing too and he felt safe there now.
He worked as much as he could and he even managed to make a simple bow for the oldest boy, the gift was highly appreciated and resulted in a deer being brought home that evening, He really ate his full and so did the rest of the family and he started to feel at home there. They were so welcoming, had accepted him as one of their own and that made his heart swell and he felt a bit shaky, as if he really didn’t think he was worthy of this kind of gentleness.
Davo did return and turned out to be just as nice as the rest of the family and the tall dark haired man was a bit in awe of the huge elf. Over the next days the two of them became good friends, Davo taught Huna about the hunting of different wild animals in the area and shared some good old stories too. Huna had managed to talk his way out of the bed and into the other cabin where he slept in the hay, it wasn’t quite as comfortable as the bed but good enough and with some nice blankets to keep him warm it was rather ok.
Shera would go for walks with him and give him the names of everything she saw and he was eager to learn as much as possible. The little girl treated him almost like her own property at times and was very proud of her task and Huna was very grateful and had grown very fond of the outspoken little one. She was so very charming and made him forget about his troubles and they spent a lot of time together. They were an odd couple though, she barely reached above his thigh and he had to bend down a little to hold her hand but it didn’t matter. He had a real friend in this little one and that was so very precious to him.
They would walk down to the river sometimes and one evening they passed by while Nell and Ida washed clothes, the women had tied their skirts up and he got a nice peek at their shapely legs and suddenly he got that warm strange feeling again. He hurried to get away from them but the feeling remained and he felt awkward and confused for the rest of the day.
When he went to bed that evening he still had that uncomfortable tight sensation in his crotch and he hesitantly touched himself under the blankets, just to see if he could make it go away. The sensation was insane, like a jolt of pleasure rushed through his nerves and he moaned and let go, in shock of it all. But the loss of the sensation was terrible, he hesitated for a few seconds, then he reluctantly repeated it, let his hand grip around the hardened shaft and he let out a small yelp and suddenly instinct took over.
He started moving against his grip, thrusting his hips back and forth and it felt so good he feared that he would pass out. There were some places that were extra sensitive and he let his thumb slide across the head and the drops of slick liquid that already flowed out of him made it even better, like thrusting into some wet tight grip even better than just a hand.
He gasped for air, his heart beating rapidly and he was in fact a bit scared, why did he feel like this? It was so good, it was so good it made tears run down his face and he felt how he made grimaces out of sheer pleasure.
It was almost too much, like an overload of sensation and yet he couldn’t stop himself. He hungered for something, for some kind of release from the pressure building up inside and he tightened his grip and increased the speed of his thrusts out of sheer instinct. Then something happened, he saw sparks and stars behind his closed eyelids and he bit his own lip so that he wouldn’t scream, his body tensed up and he felt how spasms rushed through his muscles and in special down there and it felt like agony but it was pleasure.
He managed to look down for a few seconds and saw how the contractions forced some white liquid out of him in short spurts and he groaned and rolled his eyes in a mixture of bliss and confusion. He just lay there gasping like a fish on dry land, half laughing and half sobbing and the sensation of relief was just insane.
But what had happened? Was it dangerous? Probably not, how could anything that felt so good be harmful? He just laid there and returned to normal and realized that there were a few things about this body he yet had been ignorant about, at least since he lost his memory. He had used the little outhouse to do his business without finding it awkward at all but this was entirely different. Somehow he just knew that it wasn’t something you spoke of and he sighed and stared at the beady strings of liquid that had landed on the blanket he lay on.
He wiped it away with some hay and made a grimace. It was disgusting but apparently it was connected with that wonderful feeling of pleasure. He had to touch himself again to make sure that things were back to normal and they were, he sighed with relief and allowed the floating heavy feeling to pull him with it into a deep peaceful sleep.
That night he dreamed again, a terrible dream of fire and death. He saw a battlefield, covered with many creatures who were fighting everywhere, like ants they appeared from above and he heard a voice in his head, like a pain it was and so strong and so demanding. “Kill them all, spare no one.”
The skies filled with darkness, with smoke and ash and screams and he shook his head, roared, no, he wouldn’t do it. He would not cower under his masters whip no more, he didn’t want to be a slave, to slaughter those who belonged to the light. He was too strong, too wild, the fire in his heart burned hotter than in any other. He turned against his own, forced them away from the battle and the last thing he saw in the dream was glowing yellow eyes filled with anger and hatred.
He woke up with a start as the rooster met the day with a cawing sound that wasn’t very pleasant at all. What had that dream been? A memory? A terrible one if that was so. He got up and combed and braided his hair and the family greeted him with smiles and he sat down and felt a warm and fuzzy feeling in his chest. He was fond of them all, they felt like his family and he wished that he could stay there and help them out for as long as possible.
After breakfast they went to the woods for firewood and since his arm was almost completely healed by now he was allowed to do hard work too. He was chopping up wood and carrying it and it felt good using his body, he felt sweaty and dirty but it didn’t matter. He was doing a good job and it was its own reward. He and Davo had laughed together and become good friends and the kids did love the elf, he always took the time to listen to them and help them with things and after yet another week Huna started hunting with Davo. The elf was deadly accurate with a bow and so they filled the storages with food for the winter rather fast.
He did notice something strange though, Ida was often staring at him and there was something odd about her when she was near him. She would touch him rather often just by chance or so it seemed and she wore her best clothes more often than before. He felt confused and tried to keep his distance but sometimes she just got too close and there was a hint of desperation in her eyes that frightened him. One evening when they were skinning a deer Huna had killed Davo sighed and made sure that the women were nowhere to be seen. “I have noticed that Ida has taken an interest in you Huna.”
The elf swallowed and felt as though he was out on thin ice. “Ah, yes? She is acting weird yes?”
Davo sighed and turned his face towards the tall elf. “I cannot say that I blame her you know, you are after all very attractive and even a man who prefers women can be tempted by someone like you but by Eru, she is getting herself into trouble this way.”
Huna cringed, he looked down. “Sorry”
Davo rolled his eyes. “Sorry? You have nothing to be sorry about. It is she who should apologize. I understand it is hard for her and Nell staying up here with no available suitors but she is crossing the line. That skirt she wore the other day was way too short and she is trying to flirt with you constantly.”
Huna felt like a dimwit, he didn’t understand at all. “Flirt?”
Davo gaped, his eyes got huge. “Oh Eru, you don’t understand at all now do you?”
Huna made a grimace, felt very stupid. “No? She is weird yes?”
Davo sighed and sat down. “Huna, what I am saying is that she is interested in you, as in becoming your mate, laying with you, but a relationship between an elf and a human can only end with disaster since you are immortal and she isn’t. You understand this yes?”
Huna tried to understand, he really did but it was hard on him. Laying with him as in sharing a bed? “No?”
His voice was thin and Davo sighed and closed his eyes. “I am starting to think that you are as ignorant as a child, and whether that is because of your amnesia or not I don’t know but you know what mating is I hope?”
Huna bit his lower lip, he was starting to remember something about that yes, procreation, creating new life. He suddenly remembered seeing a wild stallion mount a mare on one of the trips through the forest and remembered that Gadlum had sniggered and said that it would be a nice foal next summer. It dawned upon him now, the reason why males were different than females, why that part of him got hard and why he felt so weird. He went beet red and gasped and stared at Davo with huge eyes. Davo grinned but it was a sad grin. “Now I see that you have understood yes. Ida wants to become Your woman, she wants you as her husband, as her lover.”
Huna shook his head, he felt scared and confused. “No, no, I cannot, not right, not at all.”
Davo petted his shoulder. “I know, I can see that you are trying to avoid her instead of encouraging that behavior. I will speak to her and tell her you aren’t interested but beware Huna, some females can get very persistent when they have set their minds upon something.”
The elf could only nod and he blinked and tried to not think about what he had felt when he was on his own and the thing he had seen in the woods. So the need he had felt was the need to mate, to procreate. It explained a lot but it did also create problems, Davo was right about that.
It wasn’t that Ida was ugly or unattractive in any way but as Davo said, it was a relationship doomed from the start. Huna just knew it then, he would have to leave but it was too late now, winter was coming soon and he would have to wait until spring. It would be some very long months if he was to avoid her attention.
Davo obviously spoke with Ida that very evening for her eyes were red and bloodshot as she prepared the table for dinner and she didn’t look at Huna at all. He felt guilty, he had created discord in this tightly woven family with his presence and he promised himself that he had to leave before winter even if that meant that he would have to cross the passes after the first snow fell.
For the next day’s everything was as normal but then a rider came by, it was a tradesman who changed furs for goods the mountain people couldn’t get by their own. Davo had a lot of squirrel furs and some wolf pelts too and he traded them for flour, salt yeast and spices and some rolls of cloth. The tradesman had several pack horses in tow and Huna felt fascinated by them, he somehow knew that he had encountered horsed before. The man stared at Huna with wide eyes and the elf felt a little bothered by it and went inside again, there was something in the man’s gaze that made him feel uncomfortable.
The man gave the children some candy and he even gave a pretty silk ribbon to the oldest girl Aliah but there was something about him that had triggered Huna’s instincts. He didn’t trust that human, not at all. The merchant left after a few hours and Davo grinned and sat down with a cup of ale. “Neels comes by here every year, at least twice. He is a bit of a scoundrel and you have to be rather careful so that he doesn’t trick you with his goods but he is all that we have got. No others dare travel this far into the mountains.”
Huna just nodded and felt a cold chill running down his spine. They stored the goods away and relaxed by the hearth since it was raining outside and Huna took a cup of ale before he went to bed. He feel asleep rather fast and felt more tired than usual but didn’t think about it at all.
He woke up in the middle of the night sensing something close by but he discovered that he couldn’t move. His body refused to obey and he whimpered and tried to squirm but a warm hand slid across his cheek and he recognized the scent of Ida. She always smelled of dried apples and he felt a surge of panic rush through him. He tried to speak but his tongue was thick and weird and there was an odd and very unpleasant taste in his mouth. She had drugged him!
The though hit him like a sledge hammer and he moaned and felt that she crept closer to him. He could just see the contours of her in the darkness and she sat down beside him and pulled the blanket off him. Huna wanted to scream, wanted to break free from this strange paralysis but he couldn’t and she opened his pants and pulled them down.
Eru, no! He fought it with all his might, it was just wrong, he didn’t want it, he didn’t want her damn it. Not like this, absolutely not like this. She was a sweet human woman and he was…he was tainted by darkness, he just knew it. And she would grow old and die and he would live on grieving her. No, this wasn’t the way.
She had started caressing him, in the darkness it was hard to see what she was doing even for an elf but she bent down and he felt something wet and warm embrace him and he whimpered and felt tears gathering in his eyes. She did get him hard in no time, his body wasn’t listening to him at all and he felt so helpless, so utterly humiliated. Then she got up and straddled his hips and he knew what she was about to do, he just understood it from her posture.
She got her skirts out of the way and used a hand to guide it right as she sat down and impaled herself upon him. She shuddered and moaned and Huna closed his eyes, tried to imagine that he was somewhere else but he couldn’t. That tight warmth just felt too good, it was much better than his own hand and he gasped as she started to move her hips.
She groaned and panted and her rhythm got faster and faster and he felt it, how his body tensed up again. He wanted to scream, needed to scream but no sound came from his throat. Ida threw her head back, her mouth open and her eyes closed in rapture as she reached her climax and he felt it, by Eru he felt it. Felt her pulse around him and he almost passed out as his own orgasm claimed him.
She remained sitting on him and she breathed hard and then she got off and pulled his pants back on, petted his cheek just once before she pulled the blanket back up. Huna couldn’t move yet, he felt terrible, used. He was crying silently and she got out of the hay loft and disappeared. He just lay there, shivering with emotional shock and unable to really gather his thoughts,
After a while he did drift off into sleep again, just out of sheer emotional stress and he curled up in his sleep and wept for a long while without even being aware of it. He didn’t want to be a slave, he didn’t want to bow to the will of others but now he had. He had been used once more, and it felt like he was dying on the inside.
He woke up in the morning with a heavy head and a strange feeling, he had dreamt something? Or? He couldn’t remember anything but something had happened, something bad. He got up, his body felt strange and sort of weak, without strength. He was almost staggering towards the main cabin and Davo stared at him with a puzzled expression on his face. “You look far from well rested, haven’t you slept well?”
Huna shook his head. “No, bad dream.”
Davo finished his ale. “Too bad, eat now, we have to go and bring down some barrels of salted fish from the high lakes. It will be a long day.”
Huna did notice that Ida wasn’t even looking at him this day and he shook his head and tried to remember but he could not. He ate and they left bringing the two oldest boys with them. The barrels were hidden and heavy and they had to get them all down before the frost came.
For three days they carried barrels and Huna had great strength but even he felt tired at the end of the day. He worked so hard he didn’t have time to think about that weird dream or what it was.
It wasn’t until a week later that it returned to him. He and Davo and Shera were up in a side valley looking for tinder and they were just walking along the path chatting away about the rain and the coming winter when it all returned to him in a flash. Huna just froze, he stood there staring into nothing for a moment and then he turned around and fell to his knees retching violently.
Davo stared at the elf with huge eyes. “Huna, what’s the matter? Are you ill?”
The elf puked until his stomach was empty, then he rolled onto his side, a wailing cry escaping his lips. Davo was in shock, he had never seen anybody act like that before and Shera stood there with wide eyes and a shivering chin, she was frightened by her friend’s weird illness. Davo kneeled, grasped Huna and pulled him up. “What is wrong, have you eaten anything poisonous?”
Huna sobbed. “I remember, oh I remember. The night I thought I had a bad dream, it wasn’t a dream.”
Davo shook him. “What are you talking about Huna?”
The elf shivered, his eyes closed and agony all over his face. “Ida, she drugged me, I couldn’t move a limb, and in the night she came to my lair and…”
Davo went pale, he gasped and Shera sobbed. “What is wrong dad, why is Huna crying? Is he hurt?”
Davo tried to smile. “Yes, he is hurt Shera, aunt Ida did something very bad to him but she didn’t understand how bad it was.”
Shera stared at Huna and walked over, hugged him with a lot of heart and he gasped and returned the hug. “Don’t be sad Huna, I will make sure that she doesn’t do that bad thing to you again.”
Huna felt how that hug did lift his spirits a little, Shera was just an innocent child but she was clearly very smart. “Thank you little one, I feel much better now.”
He managed to hold his voice steady and the girl beamed with pride. Davo closed his eyes. “Huna, I am so terribly sorry for this, and she will be punished, it is the law.”
Huna stared down. “Just don’t kill her, she didn’t mean to do me any harm.”
Davo looked sad. “I know, but she did exploit you and took advantage of you while you were helpless and incapable of defending yourself. We return home now, she will have to leave right away. I do not want a woman like that around my children.”
Huna didn’t want to go back, didn’t want to confront Ida and the others with what she had done but he had to. There was no way around it now. He sobbed and got back onto his feet, Davo supported him and Shera took his hand. He managed to smile to the little girl. “Bless you little one, you are really a good friend.”
Shera just smiled and danced along and Davo felt how a feeling of deep anger grew within him. He knew that elves had a different view on sex than humans, to them rape was unthinkable, it just didn’t happen. It could in fact kill them since the shock was too much. Sharing one’s body with another was something they could do just for pleasure and fun but then both did agree and were open about what they wanted and if a couple had bonded they would shun all others unless they both wanted to add others to the relationship.
Huna had responded in a very elfish way and Davo felt very sorry for him. He was sure the elf felt desecrated and abused and used too and it couldn’t be a good feeling at all, in special for someone as proud as him.
They walked down towards the valley in silence and reached the meadow above the cabins where the goats grazed. Davo was about to ask Huna to stay there when they heard the sound of horses neighing and a scream from a woman. Huna froze, the cold feeling ran down his spine again and he froze. Davo went pale, he took a deep breath and then he ran. Huna wanted to shout at him to stop but if there were enemies there it would tell them he was coming, the elf turned around and grasped Shera by her collar. “No, don’t go down there, wait here until we come for you, alright?”
Shera pouted. “What’s wrong?”
Huna tried to think fast. “Nothing is wrong, listen, you know how to play hide and seek yes?”
The girl nodded eagerly. “Good, now you see those rocks over there? There are a lot of holes in them, I bet you can hide real well down there right?”
Shera grinned. “Yes!”
Huna smiled but the smile was pale, something was terribly wrong down there, he just knew it. “That’s nice, now go and hide yourself and I will come looking for you in a flash ok? Just don’t leave until I come for you or any other in the family, got that?”
Shera grinned even wider and ran over to the huge heap of boulders and disappeared like a weasel. Huna took a deep breath and started sneaking his way down the hill, he hid behind trees and bushes and then he heard a man scream, a terrible roar filled with rage and sorrow. Huna shivered, he just knew that was Davo and he felt his heart hammering in his chest. What was happening?
Then he saw smoke, thick black smoke and his heart sank even deeper, he started running. He knew it was dangerous but he had to see, had to do something. He dove down behind some rocks above the small settlement and what he saw made him whimper. The houses were burning and at least twelve men had been busy ransacking the home. All that was valuable was already brought out and packed onto a line of horses and the whole family was gathered in front of the burning houses. They were on their knees and Frin held the two youngest children to her tightly. The oldest boy lay on his back in front of them, a sword through his chest. He had tried to protect them and paid the ultimate price.
The leader of the group of raiders was a huge blond man with a nice wolf skin pelt and a great broadsword strapped across his back. He stood there with a rapier and the pointy end pressed against Davo’s neck. “Elf, I know you are out there. If you don’t come forth I will kill them all but come freely and I will let them go, nobody else will have to die. I give you my word.”
Huna panted, these men were evil, he just sensed it, merciless beasts with no heart. Why did they want him? How did they know about him in the first place? The man spoke again. “I give you two minutes, then I will start killing and I start with the kids.”
Huna just knew it, it was all his fault, he had endangered the whole family, these wonderful gentle people who had cared for him as if he was one of their own. He couldn’t let these men hurt them further, he just couldn’t. He got up, walked forth with his hands out and visible, shivering with fear and anger.
The men saw him and stared, the elf was a majestic sight and the tradesman hadn’t lied at all. He was gorgeous, a sight to behold. “I am here, let them go as you promised.”
The leader nodded. “Of course, I will let them all go as soon as we have had a little fun.”
The man had lied, Huna realized that the moment he saw something coming straight at his head, one of the men had a slingshot and a rock hit his temple with a crack and the tall elf fell over on the grass without a sound. The leader smiled viciously. “Yes, they may all go to Mandos, tie him up boys.”
Huna woke up with a terrible headache and he was dizzy and nauseous and his vision was blurred for a few seconds, he was laying on the ground in front of the burning houses and what he saw made him wish he was dead. He saw Davo laying on the grass just a few feet away, his throat had been cut and a pool of blood had formed around the body. Gadlum lay by the fence, skewered by a spear, his hands still clinging to it as if he had tried to pull it out.
The boys lay next to their brother, neither of them had been big enough to fight, their heads crushed by a Warhammer. He heard screams, piercing wails and he turned his head, even though he didn’t want to. They were raping the women, all of them. He saw the leader lay on top of the oldest of Frin’s daughters, the girl letting out terrible shrill wails in pain and fear, the man was thrusting violently into the still immature body.
Huna retched, again and again but his stomach was empty, he heard Nell screaming in agony as some huge brute grasped her and took her from behind, Frin was unconscious and didn’t move even when one man finished and another took his place. Ida was tied over a tethering pole, hanging with her head down and her skirt thrown over so she couldn’t even see. She was screaming as one of the men used the hilt of his dagger on her and Huna saw blood running down her legs in a thick stream, she would bleed to death soon.
Huna was unable to think, it was all a vacuum in his head, an echo of things he had seen and yet couldn’t remember. He screamed, an awful roar in anger and pain and one of the men kicked him in the gut. The elf gasped for air but continued to make keening sounds. He tried to crawl away, tried to make it all disappear but he couldn’t, it was happening there and now and there was no escape.
The leader had finished with a guttural roar and the other men immediately threw themselves at the girl, she had passed out from the pain and he hoped that she never would wake again. The man grinned and walked over to where Huna lay, put himself away and fastened his belt again. He stared at the shivering elf and the eyes were filled with sadistic joy. “Oh Neels didn’t lie when he said you were beautiful, he wasn’t even telling half the truth. You are gonna fetch us a good price, I know someone who will pay a lot for an elf.”
Huna tried to spit at the man but got a boot underneath his chin and he was tossed around by the impact. “You elves heal well, I don’t fear making marks on you, remember that.”
Huna just gasped and he was seeing sparks. One of the men killed Frin with his sword and laughed at it, as if it was something hilarious. Huna just knew what it was that they wanted, what fate he had to look forward to. He would rather die. The men had finished their raping spree and cut the throat of the girl and Nell, Huna could only hear a roar in his head, like something huge was screaming out. The leader waved his hand. “Get the stuff onto the horses and make sure that the elf is securely tied up, he is valuable.”
Huna got lifted up, he tried to kick and squirm but the ropes were too tight and strong and he was too weak, too much in shock to be able to break free. Then there were a scream, a child’s piercing cry and he felt that the ground disappeared underneath him. Shera had left the hiding place and she had come after him. The leader of the men turned around and grinned slowly. “Oh there’s the last of the whelps, get her boys.”
Huna yelled. “Shera, go away, run!”
The girl stopped, frightened by the sight of the smoke and the strangers and Huna’s piercing cry. She turned to run but one of the men ran and grasped her and the girl screamed again and tried to kick but the huge man was too strong and just held her at an arm’s length.
The leader chuckled, went over and stared at the girl, she was too young to be valuable and clearly the elf cared about her. The wild golden eyes were flaming with rage and fear and the leader grasped a string of leather from one of the saddles. “Now, let me demonstrate what it is that will happen to you if you try to escape.”
Huna wanted to scream again, wanted to curse them all but he didn’t manage to make anything except from a weird choking sound. The girl squirmed and tried to bite and the leader tied the string around her neck and she screamed and kicked and tried to get loose but to no prevail. The man tightened the string slowly, the child started fighting for air, her face turned red and still the man pulled.
Huna screamed, he did find the voice at last but it didn’t change anything. The terrible man strangled Shera right in front of his eyes and there and then he swore that he would kill that beast one day. With his own two hands. The man just threw the dead body away like it was trash and Huna found that he had no voice left, his throat raw. He had no idea that such evil could exist, how could humans be so terrible? He had never seen the secondborn as anything but good but he realized that he was very wrong.
The men laughed and the leader stared at Huna, the elf was panting and shivering and the leader grinned even wider. “I think we may break him in boys, teach him his new task. I think I will have the honors. After all, he is much more worth well broken than wild and kicking now isn’t he?”
Huna didn’t understand exactly what the man meant, he stared at the human who nodded to two of the men and they lifted him up and placed him face down over a rock, then they cut over his belt and pulled his pants down. He tried to resist, tried to fight with all of his might but there were several men holding him down, holding his legs. The leader stroked a hand across his ass, already breathing hard. “I bet this one is a virgin, and I bet he will scream really well.”
Huna felt tears cold as ice running down his cheeks, if this was some sort of punishment for sins he had done previously then he preferred death, a thousand times over. The leader grasped him by his hips and started pushing his way into his body even if he tried to resist, tried to clench.
He did scream, shamelessly and loud. The piercing agony was unlike anything he had ever felt and not even the thing Ida did to him could have broken him like this. He screamed until he no longer was able to make any sound, until he saw black spots in front of his eyes. The man was grunting and moaning and slammed into him with brutal force. Huna closed his eyes, felt his heartbeat slowing down, a strange feeling of being disconnected descended upon him. Was he dying now?
In that case he would thank the doomsman with all of his heart. He just drifted off as the leader of the raiders roared and shuddered in his release. He prayed that he never would open his eyes again and that the gods looked upon him with mercy even if he had caused the death of this family. If there only was something he could do.
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