cue evil music
As the morning light crept over treetops the peaceful silence of the cave, barring the scratching of a quill on parchment, was interrupted by the rhythmic clanking of metal. The shadow of the soldier was visible before they appeared at the mouth of the cave, their silhouette blocking the warm morning glow as they pushed aside the shrubbery that partially concealed the entrance. With a final metallic clank, the solider stepped out of the sunlight, hastily standing to attention with a salute.
"Sorry for being late, Sir." she spoke, her voice muffled slightly by the metal face guard of her helmet.
The quill ceased scrawling as the elderly human gentleman who held it slowly raised his gaze from his small desk, improvised from several wooden crates, to meet the eyes of the soldier.
"What part of return before sunrise did you fail to understand?" He calmly replied, seeming taking great pleasure in holding each syllable on his tongue for several moments.
"A-again, I apologise Sir." The soldier said, a shiver rattling her armour slightly as it traveled down her spine. "I couldn't keep up my speed, I don't have the, erm, stamina that I used to."
The old man chuckled, tracing his fingers over his sharp jawbone, where a beard may have once been but had been lost to reveal pale skin that clung tightly over his facial features.
"You will get used to your new limits, and will find that they quickly exceed what you used to be capable of." spoke the man, his voice sliding into a whisper as he leaned forward in his seat, a glint of excitement in his eyes before quickly returning to his original posture and speech. "Even if you feel weak now, at least you don't need to worry about running out of breath."
He began to chuckle again at this last remark. The soldier, uncomfortably and halfheartedly, joining in before it was ended by a bout of coughing.
"Forgive me." he said after clearing his throat. "I couldn't help myself, now, do you have anything useful tell me from your overnight visit?"
"Yes Sir. I spotted several posters around town offering a reward for the wyvern's head. The most popular was the poster in the tavern, although it was mostly drunkards claiming they could defeat it with their bare hands at that hour."
"Now that is good news." he said, leaning back into his wooden chair with a sigh. "I was getting worried that the wyvern was doing too much damage and the townsfolk had either starved or fled. Anything else?"
"No Sir, that is all."
"Then you are dismissed until this evening. I might sent you out on more regular patrols to keep me up to date on who might've taken up this bounty, so rest and regain your strength."
With a final salute, the soldier marched into the musky darkness of the cave's rear seated herself on an old bearskin, and without removing any of her armour, became motionless in a matter of seconds.
The old man, seemingly content with what he saw, turned back to his desk and began muttering to himself as he wrote. "Strong, very strong she is... she will go far with what I have given her."
He remained focused on his work, pausing only for a moment as a shrill, reptilian shriek was carried into the cave by morning air, echoing for a few seconds among the craggy walls.
ooc: Just a reminder not to wait for me if I'm next in the posting order, unless I'm present in the scene doing evil things muhahahaaaa