short story, story promptKassen is an archer, not a scout. He’s gone to infiltrate the enemy base and they’ve lost contact with him. Is he still alive, or did he succumb to the sprites traps?


“You’re wrong!” Sylph shook her head, vehemently. “No! I don’t believe you. I won’t believe you! You’re lying to me!”

The Commander looked side-long at his second-in-command. “Sylph, he knew it was a risk. He chose to take on the mission in spite of that.”

“How could you let this happen? Kassen’s only just reached his one hundred and thirtieth birthday! He’s barely an adult!”

“Come on. Give him more credit. You’re the one who trained him. You’re the best of the best and he was the most skilled trainee we’ve ever seen. His youth doesn’t factor in to this. As second-in-command, I know you understand this.” He gave her a stern look. “You’re too emotionally attached to him.”

Sylph scowled. “I still can’t believe you lost contact with him.”

The Commander sighed. “I had no one else to send. You were busy with your own mission and this needed to be seen to immediately.”

“You should have chosen an experienced scout, not an archer!”

“Kassen volunteered. He was restless and bored and you know his stealth skills are some of the best.” His eyebrow rose. “Remind you of someone?”

“I know I was reckless in my youth. That doesn’t give you an excuse to let him take on a mission of this complexity,” Sylph said. “We don’t even know if he’s still alive.”

“Commander! Urgent news!” An elf burst through the tent flap.

The Commander signalled for the elf scout to continue.

“The enemy’s defences are offline! They’re scrambling to get them operational again, but they’re open to attack right now!”

“Sound the horn!” the Commander boomed. “We march on them!”

Sylph sat back in astonishment. “He did it,” she murmured. “Kassen actually did it.”

The Commander clapped a hand on her shoulder. “You should have more faith in your best trainees.”

Ruefully, she nodded. “I still don’t forgive you for sending him in. His extraction had better be high on the priorities list.”

“Right at the top. Now, get the archers prepared.”

Sylph nodded and darted out of the tent. She raced across the grassy field to where her elite archers waited for her.

“We’re finally attacking?” one of them asked.

“Yes. Kassen disabled their defences.”

A cheer went up from the archers.

“Listen, we don’t have any communication open with Kassen. We don’t know where he is in the enemy base, but if things start to go wrong, we need to make sure that he gets out with us.”

“Of course. There’s no way an elf can get in and out without being caught, right?”

Sylph spun at the familiar voice. “Kassen?!” She threw her arms around him. He grinned, hugging her back. “What are you doing here? How did you get back out? No one has ever managed that before! The sprites are notorious for their traps.”

Kassen shrugged. “I had an excellent teacher.”

She beamed at him. “Of course you did!”

He rubbed his hands together. “Now, are we ending this fight?”

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