“What have I done?” she whispered, looking at the lifeless body at her feet. She’d killed it. Though it was not human, it had been intelligent and she had killed it. She had never killed anything in her life and now that she had it filled her with emptiness, fear, and disgust at her actions. A rustling from behind woke her from her hollow victory and she turned, sword outstretched, to face her new attacker. Instead she came face to face with a man, his eyes firmly fixed on the tip of Reniko’s blade, which was touching the skin of his exposed neck. “Who are you?” Reniko asked, fierce and distrustful. “Lesh nah veye, noko vete loah mann noh,” he spoke. His words were as unfamiliar as the creatures’ had been before. “I can’t understand, though I gather the same is true for you,” Reniko said, not lowering the sword but backing up so that it was no longer touching his throat. She examined the man. He was tall, taller than she was, and clothed in a fashion that was common in the Middle Ages: loose trousers, tall soft leather boots, and a loose tunic, covered with a heavy cloak. His face showed wisdom and was heavy with travel – though he could hardly be Reniko’s senior – his voice was deep and soothing like a waterfall, powerful yet beautiful. He had rich golden eyes surrounded by a fall of chestnut hair. He didn’t seem threatening, but Reniko hardly knew what to make of anything she was seeing. “This is all a dream,” she said to herself getting a puzzled look from the man. She wished it was a dream, but it was all too vivid to be one. The adrenaline that had motivated her during the fight was wearing off and she was feeling the fatigue of let-down. She was trying to keep from shaking. She could feel the onset of shock approaching but she couldn’t afford that right now. She needed to find out what was going on first. “Orric ri keffa, le ma arri vah esha ra bae ma. Esha orra arri leesta nie,” the man tried once more, this time looking past her. Reniko looked at the man questioningly then followed his gaze behind her, regretting doing so instantly. Its breath was hot, and it looked a lot like a dragon. Reniko dropped her sword and finally overwhelmed, collapsed, leaving the man to deal with the new threat.