Some people have a knack for finding strange things. Strange things always seem to find Zane Legends. Zane wished that strange places at least had water in them, as he continued to struggle across the desert. It had been a week since he had entered the desert, growing weaker with every step.
If he had been able to stop, to rest, maybe the trip across would have been less of an ordeal. But with every step, he was reminded of the woman who chased him.
The woman who would stop at nothing to drag him back to pay for his crimes against the crown. Crimes that he hadn't committed. Well. He hadn't committed most of them. At least none of the truly atrocious crimes. But they refused to listen to him, instead sending their best assassin after him when he plead not guilty and fled the kingdom.
He took a swig of water from his canteen, wry grin on his face. He was sure his pursuer was close behind, despite his best efforts. He had heard of her before, Lutgardis, the famous blind assassin. Her every step brought her closer to him, brought her closer to ending his life. His only hope was that she was outside her element, here in the desert, shifting sands, howling wind, and brilliant heat muting her abilities to track him.
Some days were easier, when he found small oases in the desert to hide in, drinking from the water as he rested for mere moments before trudging on. During the worst of the heat during the day, he'd take shelter, sleeping for as long as he dared before he awoke, traveling onwards. Each time he awoke, he'd be nervous, jumping at every shadow as he worried she had finally caught up to him while he slept.
Everywhere he looked lately, mirages of food appeared, taunting him, reminding him of what he left behind when he had fled. The only food he had on him anymore was the old pressed hardtack and water, so vile he almost didn't want to eat it. He still did of course, the thought of starving to death far too horrible to comprehend. He'd rather die by the hand of his assassin than hungry.
His heart stopped when he looked ahead, seeing a wall of fire and smoke approaching him.
“Oh sausages,” he whispered to himself.
He had heard of the silent destruction these things wrought, sweeping across the desert. Scrambling around desperately, he saw small desert mice fleeing nearby before disappearing under the nearby dunes. He followed them, diving under the dunes.
Tumbling down, he looked up to see a stone overhang over him, sheltering him from the outside. Just as he took a deep breath of the cold air, the face of his pursurer appeared, smirking as she stared down into the hole, unblinking.
“I know you're in here, Zane. I can smell you. Wha!” she shouted as he grabbed her, pulling her inside as the wall of fire advanced towards them. The wall passed over their shelter, the very faint shrieks of creatures caught outside reaching both their ears.
“There was a wall of fire and death approaching. I couldn't just let you burn to death,” Zane finally said as it passed. She frowned, reaching a hand up to the sand above them, sifting sand through her fingers. Small fused grains of sand fell through her fingers before she shook her hand off, wiping her hand against the black clothes she wore. Zane thought briefly about how she must be sweltering before he sighed, closing his eyes. “Please kill me quickly. I'm starting to get hungry, and I'd rather not die hungry.”
His eyes opened as she started to laugh, a wheezing, high pitched laugh. “I'm not here to kill you Zane. I'm here to serve you your papers,” she said as she pulled out a packet of papers, handing them to him.
“...you followed me for two weeks across the desert to serve me...papers?” he said, flabbergasted as she started to climb out of the small den.
“Yes?” she said. “It's what I was hired to do. Have a good day,” she said with a sigh before disappearing into the desert.
Opening up the packet of papers, he sighed as it told him he was required to appear in court for sentencing. He had been on the run for two weeks, starving to death, because the courts had sent an assassin after him to serve him his court papers.
He just hoped the town that should be nearby had some food better than hardtack.