Lupin Who Ran Away From Prison

"Where did you get all that?" Lupin asked, obviously referring to the whole bundle of bread, buns, cheese, pastry and pie that Luna packed into her sack. The green-eyed girl with night black hair looked back at him with a sour expression.

"Do I look like I just raided a bakery shop to you?" she retorted. He was about to answer "Yes" before the more rational part of his mind stopped him. She did not seem like she was in a good mood. There was the grim air hanging all over her, and a scowl decorated her expression like an obvious painting. 

"That's gonna slow us down. We can't afford to get caught at this rate." he replied. He took out a map of that part of the land and started scanning the surrounding terrains. They were currently hiding in Starda, a little town in the west parts of Ilirath. He had calculated that the men from the empire would at least arrive in about two days. The longer they stay, the bigger the chance of them getting caught. 

"We have been on the run for weeks now. It's been a long time since I last ate proper food. You should remember that it is your fault I got dragged into all this!" Luna said accusingly, adding another packet of pastry and bun into her sack. Lupin did not seem disturbed by her remarks. He continued on devising his escape plan for tonight. He decided it was safer to leave the town when everybody else was already sound asleep and the army men would not be hot on their trail. 

"Look, we will leave at midnight using the west bridge. The road over there is less guarded. I noticed when I went to survey the surroundings this morning that the patrols don't go by the west part of town much. We should be able to leave town unnoticed." he said firmly, his eyes unmoved from the map. Luna's jaw tightened. 

For the last four weeks, Luna's life took an abrupt turn and transformed whatsoever. From a simple country girl hardly turning heads wherever she went, she became the most wanted criminal of the empire. It was all because of this man; Lupin. 

About five weeks earlier, she found him stranded nearby a riverside, badly wounded and unconscious. Sympathizing his condition, Luna took him to her home where she lived with her mother and a brother, and nursed him. He claimed that he had been attacked by a ferocious beast in the woods while he was hunting. Lupin was slowly recovering until the end of that week, when he suddenly barged into the house one morning from a stroll, sweaty and panicking. Mother was out buying some flour and milk to make bread while brother was playing at the forest behind their house with his friends. Luna was all alone when he said "Someone's coming for me. If anybody knocks on your door and asks if you've seen a man with a detailed explanation of my traits, tell them you know nothing." 

"What did you do?" she asked. 

"I have no time to explain. Just do as I say, and everything will be fine." he replied quickly and disappeared into her brother's room. At the same moment, someone was already rapping on the wooden front door of the small house.

Everything from then happened so fast. Luna believed that it had been her nervous expression that gave his cover away, but before she could do anything, the men clad in silver coat and armor with the red and gold symbol of the empire printed on their chests were already marching inside her house and inspecting all the rooms. There was a small fight and a commotion, and soon after they were already on the run. They escaped towards the forest behind her house and they ran from there eastwards to where they are now.

Luna had learned a lot about this man since then. She had been very shocked and disturbed when she first knew that he was an assassin who had broke away from prison. She had regretted saving his life at that time and wished she had just left him to die by the riverside. However, he kept on insisting that she did not know anything about him, so she believed that there was more to that prison-break story that he did not tell her about.

Lupin finished revising his escape route, rolled up the map and tucked it inside his leather vest. "You better have some rest. It's going to take about six days until we reach the city of Gregis. There won't be a lot of grasslands and rivers along the way, so it would be wise if we throw away unnecessary weight." he uttered meaningfully, referring still to her sackful of pastry, bread and pies.

"Well I beg to differ. I do not want to collapse out of hunger when we don't find any streams or waterhole later on." she replied sourly, suddenly feeling hatred swelling up inside her chest. 

"If you're a criminal, why didn't we just steal a couple of horses instead of wasting our energy travelling by foot? Wouldn't that have saved a lot of our time as well?" she continued a little angrily. Lupin sat on a chair nearby the iron fireplace in the middle of the room and took out a leather bound book from his own sack. The small room he rented was more of an attic, but he did not mind. It was only for one night, and they would be gone by midnight that very day. 

"That would be utter foolery there, young lady. Instead of having two people to feed, in which one of them having such a great big appetite for such a small person, we would then have two beasts to look after. Plus, stealing them would prove to be not much of a help to our reputation either. I might be a wanted criminal, but I am no thief." he said dryly, but with a point. Luna did not want to agree with him, but what he said was true. She sat on the bed silently, swallowing back the angry words playing at the tip of her tongue. 

After a moment of silence, Lupin looked up from the book he was reading and gazed towards Luna. He scanned her carefully as if a soldier might towards a prisoner. Luna could feel his eyes all over her, which made her stomach churn.

"What's wrong with you, really? You've been very unhappy lately." he asked.

Luna wasn't sure if he was honestly concerned or was it just another curious question. "Lately? I have been utterly unhappy since the day I left home. How kind of you to only notice after a month!" she replied sarcastically. 

"No, as a matter of fact I did notice all along. That is why I notice now that your unhappiness has grown into absolute grief and mourn since earlier this week. You have become very cranky and whiny and weak." said Lupin pointedly. The anger inside her swelled even more to those words, and she stood up and traced her steps across the room, arms crossed, looking even as cross as ever.

"What do you expect? I've been abducted by a villain, accused as being an accomplice and forced to set out on an aimless journey across the lands like a helpless hunted prey, and you expect me to cheer and sing merrily to my fate? That is absurd!" she exclaimed impatiently. The skirt of her dark blue dress ruffled and twirled as she walked back and forth between the bed and the window. "If it pleases you to know, I am homesick and extremely tired of everything. I never get enough rest nowadays and I can't even have proper food! What have I done to deserve all this?!" she grumbled.

Lupin tore his gaze away from Luna and towards the dancing flames inside the iron fireplace. He let out a heavy sigh before he answered "I thought so, but I know that is not all. However, though, you must remember that whatever you're going through, I am experiencing just the same thing as well. Do not be so puny, I assure you that you will have a little comfort as soon as we reach the next town." He said, placing the book on top of his face and lowering his position on the chair so that he could rest his head on the chair-back comfortably. "That is, if we arrive there safely."

(I might or might not continue this story. But anyway, end of part 1)

(Okay so here's part 2: The Hungry Luna)

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