The Hungry Luna

(This is part 2 from my post: Lupin Who Ran Away From Prison)

Lupin and Luna escaped the town that midnight with knowledge that the Empire men were already close on their heels. They would have to increase their length of travels a day in order to maintain the pace they were going in or they would get caught in no less than a day.

“It seems that the Empire men have been ordered to lessen their sleeps and breaks since the past few days. We’re in big trouble if we don’t do the same.” Lupin said as they left the little town a few miles behind them. Luna’s heart had not stopped thumping since the moment they left their little attic inn.

She did not how he managed to get them, but Lupin had given her a bow and a dozen arrows to protect herself with. It was not much of a use really, for she did not know how to string a bow at all. But Lupin had promised to teach her how to use them whenever they have a chance.

They travelled until early morning eastwards across the sandy plains of Ilirath, struggling against the dry coldness and fighting their tiredness. Luna, although much unhappy she was, tried her best not to whine and sulk along that journey. She was no less irritated with the fact that she had to lessen her sleep now that the Empire men were closing the gap between them, but she did not want to get captured and locked up in a dungeon as well.

Morn quickly crept into noon, and noon slowly turned to dusk, Luna thought both her legs would fall off any moment. She had completely emptied her waterskin and her tongue was as dry as the desert that they were walking on.  

“Can’t we at least stop to sit for awhile? Every part of me is tired sick and I’m thirsty!” she grumbled, finally unable to contain her discomfort any longer. Lupin simply glanced towards her, looking as tired but determined to continue with the journey.

“I’ve told you there wouldn’t be any source of fresh water for about three days on this path. We’re going through pure dry desert here and you had to be foolish and empty your waterskin on the first length of the journey!” Lupin replied a little angrily. Luna felt guilty for that but she was still very tired and hungry.

“Well, can’t we stop to eat then? I’ve never went through a journey this long without anything to eat. I’m starving!”

“You can always eat and walk.”

“But that’s inappropriate!”

“You must remember that the Empire men are going on horseback, which means they are travelling much faster than us. Since we don’t have that convenience, we must at least try to outlast them for a few hours or so. That, too, won’t give us any hope of gaining a little distance if not more, so we must keep going.”

Luna was furious, but she kept quiet. The better side of her told herself that he was right. However, she was still very tired and thirsty and hungry, so the unhappy, bad-tempered side of her took control. She thought he was being completely selfish and inconsiderate. Quietly, she took out a packet of pastry from her sack and munched on it devouringly, not even bothering to offer Lupin some. 

They continued walking for the next few hours until it was almost midnight again. Luna almost slept while walking, and she could no longer feel her legs. It was as if she was walking by instinct. 

As they reached a grassy area among the sandy stretch of panorama that did not seem to end, Lupin finally decided they should stop to rest. Luna sat and stretched her sore limbs and body. One more day she swear she would go paralyzed. 

"We will rest, but we must be on the move before dawn. First things first, let me teach you to use the bow." he said after quaffing down half of the water from his waterskin. Luna watched him with a frown. 

"No way, I'm too tired to even lift my arms!" she said. 

"Stop being childish! What's wrong with you?! All of a sudden you're so frail, and we've traveled all this way across the empire. Come on, it'll be a quick one."

Regardless of how thirsty and tired she was, she grudgingly obeyed and practiced her archery skills. It was a good thing too that she did, because she immediately learned that she was horrible at it. Lupin, slightly fatigued and hungry, patiently taught her how to string the bow and how to correctly aim at something. They used a lone gum tree as their target but Luna kept flinging the arrows all about.

As one of her arrows fell a few inches away from her feet, Luna became fed up and stomped her way back to the grassy patch of land. 

"I'm not in the mood for this. I want to sleep." she grumbled angrily as she lay her head down onto her sack. Lupin sighed and sat nearby, resting his head and back onto a large rock and slowly fell into half-sleep. 

(Again, I might or might not continue this story. For now, end of part 2)

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