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The Legendary Warrior Trilogy

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Lady Railly

Lady Railly

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Hello, and welcome to another of my threads! So this thread is a compilation and a collection of the three books I have written that are in the Legendary Warrior series: The Legendary Warrior, The Itav Initev Spy and Rumours of War. The table of contents of each will all be on the next post.
I have been writing for... well, since August of 2009, and that was when I started the first draft of The Legendary Warrior. Since then, my vocabulary and overall writing quality has improved, so I have created about five drafts of The Legendary Warrior. TIIS is on its second draft, and I only have one of RoW, because that is my most recent book. This thread will also, unfortunately, mark the end of an excellent series that I've written. I decided to keep them all in one thread for simplicity, and for the sake of only bumping one thread, not two/three. :P
I hope you enjoy them. :)

28-Feb-2012 19:26:30 - Last edited on 29-Feb-2012 17:30:34 by Lady Railly

Lady Railly

Lady Railly

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_¸,.‹-•/*°Table of Contents°*\•-›.,¸_

Chapter 1 (Posts 3-8 - Page 1)
Chapter 2 (Posts 9-3 - Pages 1 & 2)
Chapter 3 (Posts 4-8 - Page 2)
Chapter 4 (Posts 9-3 - Pages 2 & 3)
Chapter 5 (Posts 4-8 - Page 3)
Chapter 6 (Posts 9-2 - Pages 3 & 4)
Chapter 7 (Posts 3-6 - Page 4)
Chapter 8 (Posts 7-2 - Pages 4 & 5)
Chapter 9 (Posts 3-7 - Page 5)
Chapter 10 (Posts 8-3 - Pages 5 & 6)
Chapter 11 (Posts 4-7 - Page 6)
Epilogue (Posts 8-9 - Page 6)

The Legendary Warrior was started August 2009 and was finished September 2010.


The Itav Initev Spy (starts page 7 post 1):

_¸,.‹-•/*°Table of Contents°*\•-›.,¸_

Chapter 1 (Posts 1-6 - Page 7)
Chapter 2 (Posts 7-1 - Page 7 & 8)
Chapter 3 (Posts 2-6 - Page 8)
Chapter 4 (Posts 7-1 - Page 8 & 9)
Chapter 5 (Posts 2-5 - Page 9)
Chapter 6 (Posts 6-10 - Page 9)
Chapter 7 (Posts 1-5 - Page 10)
Chapter 8 (Posts 6-10 - Page 10)
Chapter 9 (Posts 1-4 - Page 11)
Chapter 10 (Posts 5-9 - Page 11)
Epilogue (Posts 10-1 - Pages 11 & 12)

The Itav Initev Spy was started October 2010 and was finished September 2011.


Rumours of War (starts page 12 post 4):

_¸,.‹-•/*°Table of Contents°*\•-›.,¸_

Chapter 1 (Posts 4-10 - Page 12)
Chapter 2 (Posts 1-5 - Page 13)
Chapter 3 (Posts 6-1 - Pages 13 & 14)
Chapter 4 (Posts 2-8 - Page 14)
Chapter 5 (Posts 9-6 - Pages 14 & 15)
Chapter 6 (Posts 7-2 - Pages 15 & 16)
Epilogue (Posts 3-6 - Page 16)

Rumours of War was started October 2011 and was finished January 2012.

28-Feb-2012 19:27:04 - Last edited on 29-Feb-2012 17:30:18 by Lady Railly

Lady Railly

Lady Railly

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~-~Chapter 1~-~


"You ready, John?"

"Of course, Jodie."

The two parents walked up the stairs and entered the girl's bedroom. There, lying in her bed, was Naomi, a ten year old girl. She was on her side with her puddle-blue eyes closed. Slowly, she opened them. "What?" she asked curiously, brushing some light brown hair out of her eyes to see her mum and dad clearer.

"Erm... we need to tell you something," her mum answered softly, sitting on the edge of the bed with her husband. "Tomorrow you're going to have to leave."

Naomi's eyes widened. "But...why?" she questioned timidly.

"We're sending you off to learn to fight. The beginning of a war is happening, and we think you have potential to be a fighter," her dad replied, looking down at the floor. "We also want to keep you safe from harm, so you learning how to fight will protect you in this war."

"We're really sorry, but it's the best decision," her mother added, a tear rolling down her cheek.

"I'll be fine," Naomi murmured, sniffing once.

~-~

Naomi woke up at 7 a.m; judging from the sundial outside. Her parents took her out of the house and went through a forest that protected them from the drizzle that was beginning to fall. They eventually came to a small hut.

"I think this is it," Jodie announced, almost with a sad tone. Her and John kissed her quickly, before exiting the forest. Naomi watched their shadows until they had completely dissapeared.

Timidly, Naomi knocked on the smooth oak door. She took a step back, a bit scared of who might greet her. The door opened...and a woman stood there. She was wearing a light pink dress at that time, and she had blonde hair with puddle-blue eyes, like Naomi's, complimented by tanned skin. "Oh hello," the woman greeted, smiling. "What's your name?"

"I'm Naomi," Naomi replied shakily. "Who are you?"

"Lucy," the woman answered, grinning brightly. "Do make yourself welcome inside."

So Naomi entered the hut.

28-Feb-2012 19:27:04 - Last edited on 28-Feb-2012 21:05:21 by Lady Railly

Lady Railly

Lady Railly

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It was elegant yet cosy, with a warm fireplace, a maple rocking-chair and some small stairs leading to two reasonable-sized bedrooms and a bathroom. There was also another room, the largest in the hut, and there were things in it Naomi didn't realise. She decided she would find about it later.

Naomi made herself welcome, as Lucy had told her to, and sat down on the wooden floorboards in front of the fireplace. Lucy sat down on the maple rocking-chair and asked, "Are you hungry?"

"Oh yes, I'm starving!" Naomi replied, feeling her stomach rumble. It was almost midday, and Naomi hadn't had any breakfast.

Lucy walked outside and a few minutes later she came back with some fresh goat's milk and some cheese sandwiches. She placed the items in front of Naomi. She took a bite out of the cheese sandwiches as the woman asked her, "Do you like them?"

"Yeah," she agreed happily, a smile on her face as she took another bite.

When Naomi had finished eating her meal, Lucy washed the plates in the stream nearby. It didn't take long, and when they went back inside Lucy told Naomi to follow her. Soon enough, they entered the room that Naomi was wondering about earlier. "Now, if you want meat, and I'm assuming you like meat, you have to fight for it, and that is quite difficult. It also comes in handy when you have to fight off robbers or poachers," Lucy explained to Naomi. "So you want to know how to fight, don't you? That's what you came here for?"

"Yes, but what is it?" Naomi queried.

"I will show it to you," Lucy replied, and pulled out two wooden swords.

Naomi stood like a statue, amazed. “Swords?” she thought. Lucy handed one to her and as she did so, she noticed the girl's face. "I'm sure you've seen these before," she said, raising an eyebrow.

Naomi nodded uncertainly. "Over there, at the right-hand corner, are some dummies for you to practice on," Lucy suggested. Naomi walked over to the right-hand corner of the large room and spotted them.

28-Feb-2012 19:27:05 - Last edited on 28-Feb-2012 21:06:00 by Lady Railly

Lady Railly

Lady Railly

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They were sacks full of wheat, but they were shaped like a human; they had four limbs and a head. Naomi looked at them and shifted from one foot to the other, wondering what to do next.

Lucy then followed Naomi and asked, "This is your first lesson of fighting. Are you ready for your first task? It's fairly easy."

Naomi stood still for a moment and then nodded. "Good," Lucy said, smiling. "Now, you need to chop off the right arm, then the head, and then the left arm."

Naomi took a few paces backwards, breathing deeply. “I'll probably be able to do it. She did say it was easy,” she thought. Suddenly, as if she was being controlled by some invisible force, she ran forward, chopped off the right arm with one swipe, chopped off the head, and finally chopped off the left arm without any trouble whatsoever.

"I did it!" Naomi grinned. Lucy clapped, whilst saying, "Well done, you're a natural! Do you like this?"

"It's cool!" she cried. "Can we have more lessons?"

"Of course!" Lucy answered, her expression full of pleasure. "We can have a lesson every day, if you want." Naomi stared at her trainer, a big grin crossing her face.

Naomi was unusually tired after a long day. She scampered to her bed and she went to sleep almost as quickly as she did the night before.

As she was sleeping, she had a dream. It was about her growing up to be a strong warrior legend and all the people in the land fearing her.

"Anyone who touches Lucy’s animals will die!"

"Really? You're just a little girl. How the hell will you be able to defeat me?"

"Let's see...Oh yeah!" and Naomi slashed off the poacher's head in one go. "Hah, I am victorious!" Naomi cried. "I have killed the poacher, so let that be a lesson to all those who-"

"Naomi? Naomi?" Lucy called sleepily, entering her room. "Why - why were you cheering?"

"Oh, I had a dream, that's all."

“Do you mind telling me about it?" Lucy queried.

Naomi sat up in bed and explained it to Lucy.

28-Feb-2012 19:27:05 - Last edited on 28-Feb-2012 21:07:22 by Lady Railly

Lady Railly

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She listened patiently while the young girl talked and then said, "Tell you what, Naomi. How about we make that dream come true? I would love to make you a good warrior, protecting my animals from poachers, and I would be truly amazed if you became a legend."

Naomi sat there like a statue, speechless. ~She's actually said that?~ Quicker than a sword swipe, she put her arms round Lucy and hugged her. "Aw, thanks!" she squealed.

"Hey, get off me!" Lucy protested, laughing. "Okay, enough with the excitement. You go back to sleep now. Goodnight."

~-~

Naomi sat up in bed the next morning whilst Lucy kindly brought her breakfast. It contained a scrambled egg, some bread and butter and another glass of milk. Once she had finished, Lucy questioned, "Shall we start our fighting lesson now?"

"Really? Now? Oh, yes please!" Naomi answered happily...

After a month, Naomi had learnt the ways of a skilled warrior. The poachers kept well away from her, as they knew what would happen if they didn't.

She was now on her 30th lesson and was carrying a steel sword, with a very sharp blade, about 40cm long. Lucy was at the other end of the room, with the same weapon as her.

"You ready?" Lucy called to Naomi.

“Of course,” Naomi answered, and charged at Lucy. Her trainer did the same thing. Just as Naomi was about to touch Lucy with her blade, she received a punch in the back, collapsing to the ground, before everything turned into darkness.

A couple of hours later, Naomi woke up in bed, Lucy sitting beside her. "Wha - what happened?" she asked, sounding shaken.

"I punched you in the back," Lucy explained, "and you went out cold."

"But how?" Naomi asked. "You were in front of me."

"You'll see about that later," Lucy replied, walking out of the room. Naomi followed Lucy out of the hut and into the back garden, where she helped her with the farming.

Later that night, Naomi woke up to the sound of rustling outside. Not just a leaf though.

28-Feb-2012 19:27:06 - Last edited on 28-Feb-2012 21:07:59 by Lady Railly

Lady Railly

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No, this was very different…

She then thought that it was possibly Lucy getting some milk for drinking. She wouldn't go out in the dark now though, as it was too cold and a little scary, as you could hardly see anything in the darkness. Naomi decided she would look out of the window and see what was going on.

She spotted the figure. It was nothing like Lucy, for the figure was too skinny, and wore a black mask and held a black sack.

She then realised. It was a poacher.

She knew what to do. She went down the stairs a bit too loudly, though Lucy didn't hear. She tip-toed round the back, and there was the poacher. Ready to pounce on one of the animals.

Naomi had taken her sword with her, so she crept towards the poacher. Eventually she was in line with the poacher's back, so that he could not spot her out of the corner of his eye. But Naomi had forgotten about shadows. Unfortunately, as there was a full moon out tonight, the poacher could easily see hers.

He whizzed round and pulled out a sharp-looking rapier, which was even taller than Naomi's 40-cm sword. Nevertheless, the girl drew her weapon and ran towards the man.

She tried hitting the poacher's right arm, which he was carrying the rapier in, but he was too quick. He reached for Naomi's left leg with his hand and managed to grab it. He then picked her up by it, leaving her dangling helplessly.

"Lucy? LUCY!" she screamed, hoping that her carer would hear.

Lucy came running to the window and saw the poacher with Naomi. "I'm coming!" shouted Lucy as she sprinted down the stairs and out the door. The poacher noticed and dropped Naomi headfirst onto the rough, hard ground. He began walking slowly towards the person who’d just interrupted his fun.

"So you look after her, do you?" the poacher hissed, keeping his eyes fixed on Lucy. "You think you can kill me? You must be kidding..."

The poacher was so concentrated on Lucy that the poacher didn't notice Naomi walking up to his back.

28-Feb-2012 19:27:06 - Last edited on 28-Feb-2012 21:08:24 by Lady Railly

Lady Railly

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Lucy took a quick glance at Naomi, and then looked back at the poacher.

“Well, we’re confident, aren’t-oooooorch!!"

Without warning, Naomi lunged and thrust her sword. The blade went deep into the poacher's chest. After a sickening groan, he fell to the ground, lifeless and dead. She pulled the sword out of his back.

“Whoa… thanks. You’re getting really good…” Lucy gasped as she walked towards her. "You perservered there. Even when he left you like that and you couldn't control yourself, you still didn't give up."

"I should be the one thanking you," Naomi sighed, dropping her sword onto the ground. "I couldn't do anything until you came to help and then the poacher completely forgot about me."

"Come on, you should be fast asleep now," Lucy whispered as she walked up the stairs with Naomi and sat on her bed. "I’ll clear up. You have a good sleep now. Goodnight."

28-Feb-2012 19:27:06 - Last edited on 28-Feb-2012 21:08:50 by Lady Railly

Lady Railly

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~-~Chapter 2~-~


Almost a year had passed, and Naomi was getting better each day. In a few of those days, she would be turning eleven.

When Naomi was asleep but it was still light, Lucy went out into the marketplace. She sold some cheese and milk for ten silver coins. Then, she went back to the hut and caught up on her own sleep.

~-~

Finally, the day came. Naomi was, at long last, eleven years old.

"Do you want to see what I've got for you?" Lucy asked the girl, walking towards her pillow where she’d kept the gift.

"Okay," she responded, a clear tone of excitement in her voice. Lucy shoved her hand behind the pillow and pulled out a couple of coins, their silver glinting in the light. "Are these for me...?" she wondered aloud. ~These...are all mine...~ she thought. After a moment, she embraced Lucy, thanking her.

"Hey, that's not much, you know," Lucy told her, her smooth face burrowing into Naomi’s light brown hair. "Now, I'm going to trust you to go off on your own into the marketplace, and buy yourself something nice and pretty. You need some new clothes, maybe that could be a good idea." She paused. Then she reached forward to Naomi's cheek and gave her a kiss. “Be careful out there!” she called.

Naomi turned out of the front door after grabbing her sword (just in case any bandits came along) and headed off towards the marketplace. Soon, she reached it. Looking around briefly, she spotted a clothes store, quickly walking over after seeing it. "How much is this, sir?" she said, pointing to a lovely silk dress.

The man, who spoke with a strong southern accent, answered, "That's only 5 silver coins."

Naomi was upset, as she had three coins less than she needed. So she replied hastily, "I'll be right back." She ran all the way back towards the hut, not stopping until she reached it. She wanted that silk so badly; it was beautiful.

When she reached the building, she opened the door so suddenly that Lucy jumped, spilling milk all down her front.

28-Feb-2012 19:27:06 - Last edited on 28-Feb-2012 21:09:23 by Lady Railly

Lady Railly

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"Now /I'll/ have to get some new clothes," she chuckled, scrubbing at it with some cloth. "Why are you here early? The marketplace is shut today?" she said, still dabbing.

"I've seen this lovely silk dress and it's only five silver coins, and I've only got two, so I was just wondering, have you got any more money?" Naomi explained as she got her breath back.

"Fortunately, I have," and Lucy reached into her pocket and pulled out eight more silver coins. "I only gave you two because I thought that would be enough,” she continued, putting the cloth down. "I'll give you some more seeing as you need some more clothes so desperately. And, while you're there, would you mind buying a new dress for me? I've heard they are only three coins."

With all the money clasped in her hand, she ran back towards the marketplace again. Unfortunately, she ran right into danger.

In a matter of seconds, Naomi was thrown to the ground. She couldn't understand what was going on as it was going so quickly. A rope was tied round her arms and legs and a cloth was tied round her mouth.

She tried to scream for Lucy, but her scream was muffled by the cloth, and even if she didn't have it round her mouth she was too deep in the forest to be heard by anyone. She then felt several blows to her back and head, and suddenly everything went black. Again.

When she woke up, she was in a completely different hut, hearing what sounded like bandits in another room. There was a scar across her cheek and her back hurt a lot. The bandits heard her yawning and strode towards her. They kneeled down beside the bed so that they were face-to-face with Naomi.

"You've got no escape now, girlie," they hissed at Naomi, their eyes fixed on her, "We've hidden your sword away and if you try to escape we will use it on you!"

"It's too bad old Lucy doesn't know where you are. She'll probably start looking for you, and when she tries to rescue you we’ll kill her!" they laughed.

28-Feb-2012 19:27:07 - Last edited on 28-Feb-2012 21:09:58 by Lady Railly

Lady Railly

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Naomi had her fists clenched underneath the bed covers, her face was red with anger, and hot tears were streaming down her cheeks. How could they do this to her?

"Oh look, little Lucy's girlie is crying," they jeered, "Too bad for you. Shame!" They laughed again, and returned to the other room.

Naomi decided what she had to do. Eventually, she had devised a plan.

She felt the knot. It was near the ends of her legs, and she could just about reach it with her fingers. Delicately she began to untie it. It seemed quite hard at first, but after a few minutes of fiddling she gave it a yank, and it came undone.

Her eyes began to swivel round the room, looking for the door. There was one outside, so she tip-toed over and tried opening it. Unfortunately, it was locked. She decided she had to do it at night. As quick as she could, she tied herself again, waiting for dark.

It was finally dark and the bandits, although Naomi did*’t know this, had left a key in one of the drawers in the third room of the hut; the room directly north of her. Her eyes snapped shut - she heard some footsteps approaching her. She felt the breath on her cheeks, they were standing so close to her, and she felt the blanket being lifted to make sure she was still tied up. She was, so they then went back into the room they were in before, leaving Naomi to escape.

With the movements of the bed making a sound that the bandits possibly could’ve heard, she quickly untied herself again. This time, as she had tied herself up, the knots were more loose, so she was quicker. She then got out of her bed and walked slowly forward, towards the room the key was in. The door swung open with a soft bang against the wall and Naomi started to search the drawers. Eventually, she found the key.

Then, she found a sword case lying next to the drawers. She opened it, and there was her sword, a little dusty, but still intact. She gripped it and then sheathed it, trying to find a way out.

28-Feb-2012 19:27:07 - Last edited on 28-Feb-2012 21:10:31 by Lady Railly

Lady Railly

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As she looked around the room she found a door that led outside. She unlocked it but as she did, it swung with a great clang that almost shook the whole hut. Naomi held her breath and waited for the pounding of footsteps and figures entering the room she was in. She heard voices, shouts, feet moving along the dusty floor.

Without hesitation, Naomi rushed into the cold night. She definitely wasn't cold; she was sweating with fear and her heart was pounding in her chest more than ever. She heard voices close to her at first but as she ran further away from the hut the voices became more distant. When she got to Lucy's hut she was so relieved to find it unharmed. She opened the door, ran in, and then slammed the door shut.

Lucy was woken up by the door slamming. Sleepily, she walked into the room, but soon woke up when she saw the eleven-year-old girl standing there, breathing heavily.

"By the Gods, it’s actually you!" she exclaimed. "Oh my, I've missed you so terribly. Whatever happened?"

Relieved, Naomi gave her a hug. "I've missed you too," she started. "I ran into the marketplace when suddenly I got knocked out and when I woke up I was in a totally different hut and I was captured by bandits and-"

"And you escaped?" Lucy asked, starting to smile. "Look, you've brought my old sword back!"

"I had to. I wouldn't leave it there!" Naomi responded. "It’s an important part of your family heritage, you told me!”

"Ah, you're such a brave girl," Lucy complimented proudly, continuing the hug.

"I will be more careful next time I go out alone," Naomi promised. She paused, and quickly but clearly questioned, "By the way, over a year ago you knocked me out in the training ring, remember?"

"Wow, I've completely forgotten about that!" Lucy answered, a look of surprise on her young face. "Also, you haven't had many lessons recently, with the birthday and the kidnap and all that, so don't you think I should show you tomorrow?”

28-Feb-2012 19:27:32 - Last edited on 28-Feb-2012 21:11:14 by Lady Railly

Lady Railly

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Naomi nodded in response, rather happily.

~-~

In the morning after breakfast they went together to the training ring, when Lucy explained, "Now, that trick I showed you a year ago that you've just remembered is called 'holograms'."

"Well, how do you do it?" Naomi queried curiously.

"Well, it's quite simple, but it takes practice," Lucy replied. "All you need to do is just say 'Disceptico Hologramico' in your head and focus on where you want to go. You need to focus very hard, and after some tries you'll get the hang of it and be able to do it." Lucy paused. "Watch."

She stood very still for a moment and she stood so still that Naomi thought she was still reciting the trick in her head. Suddenly, a finger tapped Naomi's shoulder and she jumped. She span around on her heel and there was Lucy behind her, grinning. "Now, try to touch that version of me," she ordered, pointing at it.

Nervously, Naomi stuck a finger out. Naomi shuddered as although the hologram looked very realistic; her finger went right through it. "See?" Lucy exclaimed. "Now you try it."

Naomi mumbled 'Disceptico Hologramico' in her head and thought that she wanted to go to the opposite end of the room. Suddenly, before her very eyes, she was at the opposite end of the room, with a hologram in the place she was before. She crept behind Lucy and touched her back lightly.

Quick as a flash, Lucy span round, although she didn't jump like Naomi did. “Or…maybe you just have some natural talent at spellcasting,” Lucy complimented, clapping. “That was an excellent try!”

28-Feb-2012 19:28:24 - Last edited on 28-Feb-2012 21:11:44 by Lady Railly

Lady Railly

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~-~Chapter 3~-~


That night, Naomi heard both a crash and shouting from nearby. Wanting to know what was happening, she went into Lucy's room. She wasn't there. The girl decided to investigate, so she went down the stairs and into the lounge. Her trainer was there, with a bunch of bandits attacking her. "Lucy!" Naomi screamed, but her voice could hardly be heard over the clashing of swords and the threatening shouts of the bandits. That was the last thing she heard before darkness descended over her.

~-~

Naomi woke up and recognised the hut from the first kidnap. "Not again..." she muttered to herself. She was able to wriggle around in the bed she was in, so that meant they hadn't tied her up this time - but she didn't have her sword with her. However, she could just about see the bandits’ bedroom, and there was something silver glinting on the tabletop. She then realised - they had stolen Lucy’s silver! ~Kidnapping AND stealing...That's it...~ she thought angrily.

Just then, the bandits came in from the lounge and stared at the girl menacingly. "Oh, Naomi. What do you think we're going to do to you? Murder you? Strangle you?" they hissed with evil grins, eyes still fixed on her.

"Something unexpected, which is what I'm going to do," Naomi answered back, and she jumped out of the bed. Now welcoming combat, she soon regretted the move; she didn't have any weapons except her bare hands and feet. There was only one thing she could do.

Naomi mumbled 'Disceptico Hologramico' in her head and without really thinking made herself teleport behind the bandits, so that they couldn't see her. This was when she realised (she had time to think now): Lucy didn't know that you could teleport to specific places using her mind. Lucy had only taught her to teleport in directions e.g two feet north. With this, she could say "Behind the bandits" in her mind and it would teleport her there. She would have to teach her this later, much to the trainer's surprise, probably.

28-Feb-2012 19:28:24 - Last edited on 28-Feb-2012 21:12:11 by Lady Railly

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Two of the bandits drew their rapiers and shoved them through the fake Naomi. Before they realised what was happening, the real Naomi made powerful contact with their backs and her foot, and kicked them, so that they all fell to the floor. The hut didn't have a floor; it was cold stone. Consequently, they all hit their heads on the concrete and got knocked out. This was Naomi's chance: she pulled one of the rapiers out of one of the bandit's hands and struck it into the middle of all the bandits’ chests.

Sighing with relief, Naomi wiped her forehead with the back of her hand and in a matter of minutes Naomi had put on all of the sheaths from the bandits, complimentary with the swords. Walking towards the door, she exited the hut, followed by quietly closing it.

When she got to her hut, she opened the door, and what she saw was sickening. Lucy's skull had been cracked open, and she was bleeding from the chest. Her limbs had almost been cut right off, and she laid in front of both the doorway and Naomi, unconscious. She was rapidly losing blood...

A while later, Lucy was lying in a tremendous hut, which was supposed to be a mini hospital. The staff had been working on Lucy for around three hours, and they, along with Naomi, were hoping she'd live. When Lucy opened her eyes, they didn't notice at first, but when Naomi heard a whisper of her name, she glanced in its direction. There, sitting in the hospital bed, was the smiling face of Lucy looking straight at her. "Well, we've saved her. Well done, guys," one of the doctors announced proudly. They left the scene, while Naomi attempted to hug the woman, happily murmuring "You're alive..."

"Hey, don't hug me, I'm still injured," retorted Lucy in a whisper, pushing Naomi away from her gently. "What happened? The last thing I remember was... well... it's too horrible to explain." She shuddered.

28-Feb-2012 19:29:09 - Last edited on 28-Feb-2012 21:12:44 by Lady Railly

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"I was pushed in the back too. I think," Naomi explained, and started to tell her about the kidnap while Lucy listened intently. "What happened when you came back to the hut?" her trainer questioned.

"I saw you lying on the floor, unconscious, and your chest was literally covered with blood," Naomi answered, shuddering as well. "Do you know how much longer you're going to stay here?"

"Maybe a week, maybe ten days, we'll just have to wait and see," Lucy said as she attempted then failed to sit up in the bed.

"So... I'll leave you to get some peace and quiet..." Naomi whispered, slightly sadly.

"Yes, you should. I don't know what's happened to my hut. It would be best if you looked after it for the time being," explained the trainer. Naomi said goodbye and began to leave. As she was leaving the mini hospital, a doctor who was previously working on Lucy approached her. "Um, I think I should introduce myself. My name is Genielli Berloris," he greeted.

"Wow. That's an unusual name. Where do you come from?" Naomi asked curiously.

"I am an elf," Genielli explained. "I come from a different place called Dnalfle. My parents named me something that no-one but they could pronounce, so when I came here, I learnt English and changed my name."

"So what does your name mean?" Naomi asked.

"It means 'Intelligent Herblorist'. I make all sorts of potions, but I mostly make healing ones."

*That could come in handy for Lucy,~ Naomi thought. "So what are the ingredients for the potion?" she queried.

"Oh, the healing one? Well, you first need some blackberry juice and then mix with it some frogs' legs, and lastly, some bark from the moaning tree."

"Where do you find the ingredients?"

"In Dnalfle. You can access it via a portal in the forest. It's green, so it's pretty easy to find. Say, why do you want to know all this?"

"Just in case something happens to Lucy while she's back in her own hut and I have to save her."

"All right. Goodbye and good luck!"

28-Feb-2012 19:30:14 - Last edited on 28-Feb-2012 21:13:10 by Lady Railly

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And with that, Naomi finally exited the hut. ~So, what was it again?~ she thought. ~Blackberry juice, frogs' legs and some bark from the moaning tree?~

Ten minutes later, Naomi spotted the lush green portal. Nervously, Naomi stepped through. The next thing she saw was a stunning planet. All sorts of elves were rushing to and fro from the woods, wells, houses... but she was ultimately lost. Curious, she decided to ask one of the elves rushing from the woods about the healing potion's ingredients.

"Well, the blackberry juice can only be found in the woods. Just go east, and keep walking directly east and you'll find them at once."

"What about the other ingredients?"

"Oh, well, you find a frog for the frogs' legs in the swamp near the wood, and you whack it on the ground so that it dies. You then rip the frogs’ legs off. There's a tree that you find at the very south of the wood, and it is called the moaning tree. Don't ask."

With that, Naomi thanked him, turned and ran towards the wood. Entering it, she quickly realised it was dark and damp but she knew she had to go through it to find the ingredients. First, she found the blackberries. She pulled one of the rapiers out of its sheath and dropped it on the ground. ~I don't need this many swords anyway...I'll just leave it there,~ she thought. She squeezed the blackberries and the juice went into the sheath. She then set off for the swamp to find a frog.

Entering the swamp, a horrible stench filled the air and her nose, but once again Naomi knew that she would have to go through it to find the frog's legs. Eventually, she found a frog and closed her eyes. She whacked the frog on the cold soil surface, then pulling its legs off, the girl wincing in the process. They landed in the sheath with a plop. Finally, she went back into the woods to find the moaning tree.

Later, she came to the end of the wood and spotted a tree that looked gnarled and old.

28-Feb-2012 19:30:15 - Last edited on 28-Feb-2012 21:13:36 by Lady Railly

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She walked over, pulled and ripped off a large part of bark easily; it was loose. It gave a heavy moan, before going silent once more. ~Oh, that's why...~ She put the bark in the sheath carefully; it was getting quite full. Naomi found the exit, left the woods, found the portal, stepped through, and soon she was back on her normal planet... now venturing towards the hospital.

When she got there, the first thing she did was find Genielli. "Hi again," Naomi greeted him.

"You're back!" the elf said with a smile as he turned round. "Have you got all the ingredients?" The girl nodded in response, showing him the sheath. "Gosh, where do you get all these sheaths fr- Never mind. Now you need to mix the ingredients together. Here," Genielli murmured as he gave Naomi a wooden spoon. Following his instructions, she proceeded to mix them. "Now, where's something I can pour it in?" Naomi asked, looking around the room.

"Oh, a vial? Here," and Genielli pulled out an empty vial from a pocket of his. Naomi thanked him, pouring the mixture carefully into the glass bottle. "I'm going to see Lucy now," she explained to him as she waved goodbye and went to where Lucy was.

"Hey, I'm back!" Naomi called softly, patting Lucy gently on the shoulder.

"Hey," Lucy answered. "Why are you still here? I thought I told you to check on the house."

"One of the doctors told me how to make a healing potion, so I got the ingredients and mixed them all together," she said.

"What are the ingredients?" Lucy questioned out of pure curiosity. Naomi stayed silent to this question. She didn't dare tell Lucy about the bark or the frogs' legs. "Well, one of the ingredients is blackberry juice..." Naomi answered hesitantly. "And the others?" the trainer asked.

"I - I can't remember." Lucy nodded, understanding. "So, are you going to drink it?" Naomi queried.

"I was going to," Lucy answered, proceeding to down the drink.. "This tastes strange. What are the ingredients again?"

28-Feb-2012 19:30:24 - Last edited on 28-Feb-2012 21:14:07 by Lady Railly

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~-~Chapter 4~-~


Lucy had since recovered completely and was allowed to go back to her house.

Lucy got out of bed and Naomi exited the room while Lucy began to get dressed into a green top and a short, lilac skirt which came up to just above her knee. Over her top she wore a light pink cardigan with her buttons undone so it hung loosely over her shoulders and arms. She then wore her black sandals on her feet.

Right at that moment, once Lucy had finished dressing, there was a knock at the hut door. Lucy ran downstairs and opened the door. A man was standing there. Naomi followed and stood behind Lucy, listening to every word of their conversation.

"I'm delivering a letter to a girl by the name of a Miss Naomi," the man spoke with a slight accent. Naomi stepped to the side of Lucy so that the man could see her easily. The man handed her the white, slightly crumpled and folded letter, and then left. Lucy shut the door and she followed Naomi into the living room where she sat on the sofa and unfolded the letter.

The letter was handwritten, but written clearly so that Naomi could read it. She guessed it was purposely written that way. It read:

"Dear Miss Naomi,

I want you to meet me in the woods at exactly midday today. Do not worry; this is not a trick, just meet me in the woods at midday. And do bring whoever cares for you along too please."

There was no sender written on the letter. Naomi was puzzled why it was like that. ~It probably is a trick, but I'll probably be able to handle whatever that person's got up their sleeve,~ she thought. ~But why do I have to take Lucy along?~

Lucy read the letter over and Naomi glanced at Lucy's sundial outside. It was about 10:30am. They had just under an hour and a half to get everything done, including Naomi showing Lucy how to disappear and reappear in another place, but in more detail.

28-Feb-2012 19:30:59 - Last edited on 28-Feb-2012 21:14:42 by Lady Railly

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Naomi folded the letter up and ran upstairs, placing the letter on her bedside table. She ran back downstairs.

"Well, aren't you going to show me that disappearing trick?" Lucy asked.

"Oh yeah. Come on then."

Naomi and Lucy entered the training room. "You don't need your sword for this one," Naomi assured Lucy, but it was quite obvious.

"Okay," Lucy replied, standing to the left of Naomi. "What do you do first?"

"You close your eyes," Naomi answered. Lucy closed her eyes and Naomi did the same.

"Next?"

"Say 'Disceptico Hologramico' in your head."

A few seconds passed. "Then what?"

"Say the place where you want to go, and by that I mean the exact distance and direction."

Another few seconds passed. Nothing happened. Naomi opened her eyes and Lucy was in the same place.

"Don't worry if you don't get it right first time," Naomi reassured. "It just takes a lot of practice."

"Okay. I know what. I'll practice until the time comes for us to go into the woods," Lucy replied. She did practice, and by about quarter to midday she finally mastered it. Naomi smiled and clapped at Lucy, saying, "Well done. Now, I think that's enough practice and it's quarter to twelve already. Shall we go into the woods now?" Lucy agreed, smiling.

Naomi went into the hallway of the small hut and put her shoes on. Lucy opened the door and Naomi stepped through, Lucy following that action. They couldn't lock the door, as there was no lock. Naomi and Lucy set off into the woods with their swords just in case, going deeper and deeper until a faint church bell started ringing, showing that it was finally midday.

At that moment something happened which caught Naomi and Lucy very off-guard.

There was a rustling in the bushes and then two werewolves came out from them, growling threateningly with their teeth baring as they moved closer and closer to the pair. ~This IS a trick. I should've known,~ thought Naomi as she pulled her sword out of her sheath. Lucy did the same.

28-Feb-2012 19:31:35 - Last edited on 28-Feb-2012 21:15:10 by Lady Railly

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"What happens n-" Lucy started to ask Naomi when the second werewolf made the first move and struck.

The second werewolf tried to sink its teeth into Lucy's arm when Lucy used the flat side of her sword to push against its neck and push it away. Then the first werewolf attacked Lucy. Naomi was running towards Lucy, about to help her up when the werewolf jumped on Lucy's back and pinned her to the ground, her face against the dirt. Naomi, with her fast reflexes, quickly pushed the edge of the sword under the werewolf’s back and flipped it so that it was thrown onto the ground. Lucy got up.

"I'm okay," Lucy managed to say as she brushed herself off, seconds before the other werewolf leaped at her again. Lucy used the hologram spell - she closed her eyes, murmured "Five feet north," and waited. She was teleported to the back of the werewolf where she could easily make her move.

Tricked, the werewolf sat there for a moment, but then pounced on the hologram. Lucy then quickly slashed through the werewolf's back, cutting it in half so that blood spurted from it. The remaining werewolf backed away from Lucy but then turned to Naomi. It jumped on her instead, pinning her legs to the ground but fortunately leaving her arms free. She fumbled with her sword and then stuck it deep into the chest of the werewolf, making it instantly fall on its side.

Naomi pulled the sword out of its chest and a trickle of blood fell from the hole. Gingerly, she put it back in its sheath, deciding that she would definitely clean it later. Lucy still looked shaken after her attack. "Come on, let's get out of h-" Lucy started when she gasped and dropped her sword in surprise as three more werewolves came out of the greenery behind Naomi.

Naomi spun around, gasping too at the sight of them. "How many werewolves are there?" she thought aloud as one of them pinned Lucy down so she was helpless and the other two faced Naomi from opposite sides.

28-Feb-2012 19:32:08 - Last edited on 28-Feb-2012 21:16:49 by Lady Railly

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Naomi reached for Lucy's sword that she had dropped, picked it up and placed it in her opposite hand. She then made the deadly move that she had shown to Lucy a while ago, spinning both swords in each of her hands so that if any werewolf took a single step closer they would be instantly chopped to pieces.

Stupidly the werewolves, thinking they could get a way round it, stepped closer.

Meanwhile, Lucy was playing dead, thinking and hoping that would get the werewolf off her. Also, hoping the werewolf wouldn't notice, she moved her head slightly to the left to see the werewolves being chopped in halves, quarters, eighths, sixteenths, and then she couldn't count anymore.

Stepping towards the last werewolf with both rapiers pointed towards it, Naomi quickly gave Lucy a reassuring smile, the same one that she had used earlier in the training room, the one that made her completely calm.

Naomi used one of the swords, hers, to stab the middle of the werewolf's back. It grew still. "Slide back so that your legs aren't weighed down anymore," she ordered calmly and Lucy obeyed, sliding away. Helplessly, the werewolf dropped to the floor and Naomi stepped away from the werewolf towards Lucy and gave her her sword back.

Returning to the werewolf with her sword, Naomi pulled out the sword from its back and it looked like it was painted in red. She winced at the sight and then sheathed it.

"Very good," a voice from Naomi's right spoke. She turned her head but she couldn't see any silhouette or shadow. "The girl's got strength, determination, courage, and other qualities that are useful for us."

Another voice spoke. "Yes, I agree. And that woman isn't half bad either. She has common sense when it comes to life-and-death situations. I think she has potential too."

"Show yourselves," Naomi beckoned confidently, turning fully to the voices. The voices came out of the shadows and there were about six or seven men, each one of them wearing a circular badge that looked like

28-Feb-2012 19:33:31 - Last edited on 28-Feb-2012 21:17:29 by Lady Railly

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two Vs entwined.

"By the way, those werewolves were a test," the first man greeted, smiling in a way that made Naomi feel uncomfortable. "We heard rumours about you and wanted to see how strong you actually are, you know."

"Who spread those?" Naomi asked.

"Our friends who were killed."

Lucy stepped up from the ground, again brushing any dirt off her, and then turned to face the men. "And who are you people?" she asked calmly, not seeming to notice the quantity of the group and how tough they looked.

"We..." the second man said softly, "are the Vetini Vati."

28-Feb-2012 19:33:41 - Last edited on 28-Feb-2012 21:17:58 by Lady Railly

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~-~Chapter 5~-~


Quickly and softly, Naomi let out a gasp. "And we would be honoured if you would join our group," one of the men whispered.

"What's the catch?" Naomi asked, narrowing her eyes at the gang.

"Well..." the first voice answered. "If you join our group, there is no turning back. You cannot leave this if you join it."

Naomi diverted her attention to Lucy. "Well, what do you think? We have nothing else to do, and it seems like we would be more successful in killing enemies," she spoke quietly. Lucy agreed and nodded her head, showing Naomi she wanted to join their group.

"Erm...yes then. We'll join," Naomi finally said after making a quick decision in her head. The group cheered and hugged each other, which made Naomi and Lucy chuckle. "So, what's the objective of the group?" she asked, smiling and walking towards them.

"Well, we were allies of a former bandit gang who were killed by someone who was supposedly a legend," the first man explained.

Naomi's smile faded.

~What the...~ she said to herself, looking at the floor. ~Let me get this straight. They were the friends of the bandits who I KILLED?~

"We don't know who killed them, though," the second man added.

~How foolish of me! Well at least there's one fewer group of bandits in the woods now.* The word 'legend' also brought back memories for Naomi. She remembered Lucy's words that night, when she had that dream: "I would be truly amazed if you became a legend." She looked at Lucy and smiled.

But there was no turning back, as the man had said. "Well, come on then. Let's go to our den and we can introduce ourselves there," the man suggested as the bandit gang, Naomi and Lucy walked west, then north-west and then south to make a zig-zag.

Eventually, they reached their hideout. This was basically a large tree in the middle with its branches spread out at the top, making a waterproof roof.

28-Feb-2012 19:33:41 - Last edited on 28-Feb-2012 21:18:23 by Lady Railly

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There was one spot that was uncovered which someone had placed a jug underneath to collect rainwater. The floor was covered in leaves in all different colours and the place was dry so they could sit down on the floor if there wasn't room. There was a door in the middle of all this and branches camouflaged the sides of the hideout.

It was getting a bit dark so one of the men lit a campfire and the roaring flames danced before their eyes as they sat on fallen logs. Naomi warmed her hands, her palms facing the flames. It was getting quite cold too. Lucy buttoned up her cardigan.

"Alright, I think we'll introduce ourselves now." The man belonging to the first voice broke the ice. "I'm the leader of the gang. I'm called Jaques. The gang calls me Jack though." Naomi nodded, taking it in whilst Jaques continued. "This guy is my assistant. He's Naglad. You won't need to know the rest of the gang's names." Naomi nodded, deciding she wouldn't ask why.

Naglad took some chicken out of a basket and pushed it into the stick, holding the stick at arm's length in the fire. As the flames were crackling, it was soon roasted. Naomi noticed that Jaques was missing two front teeth. The rest of his teeth were crooked, brown and foul.

Naomi cringed at the sight of his teeth for a second but then relaxed, her eyes darting about and following the flames. Naglad pulled the chicken out of the flames, perfectly cooked, a light brown. He then ripped a piece off the chicken and began to eat it, passing the chicken to a unnamed member of the gang who tore a piece off and then passed it on until it came to Naomi. She only had a leg left as Lucy had eaten a previous leg so she ate it, having no other option.

Naglad was still eating his chicken. "Anyone want a drink of water?" he asked everyone as he walked towards the water container and picked it up, taking a few sips.

28-Feb-2012 19:34:41 - Last edited on 28-Feb-2012 21:18:53 by Lady Railly

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He sat down on the log and then passed it along to everyone like he did with the chicken, and when it was Naomi's turn she downed the rest. She put the jug back in its place and returned to her seat on the log. "Naglad's in charge of the nourishment," Jaques explained.

Naomi sat back, leaning against the branches that camouflaged the area, thinking about what the gang actually did. She went outside while the bandits weren't looking and went deep into the forest to allow some time to herself.

Suddenly, she saw an arrow flashing past her eyes and it hit the bark of the tree outside. She thought that was a one-off. ~That was a narrow miss,* she thought, sighing with relief. Then she heard more arrows being shot. Next she heard a squawk and a blackbird fell lifeless on the grassy floor in front of the girl.

Naomi had an idea. She scooped the blackbird up in her hands and sat down, slowly taking the arrow out of the bird's chest. The trickle of blood became larger as Naomi loosened it more and more. Finally, she took it out and the blood eventually dried up. It was fully night now, so she nestled the bird in a hole inside the tree. Hoping no-one would kidnap her again, she went to sleep herself. She needn't worry about getting kidnapped; she was a light sleeper so if anyone picked her up she would immediately awaken and fight them.

~-~

Naomi's hopes were fulfilled and she woke up in the same place she was before. She looked at the bird hungrily but couldn't eat it because for one thing, it wasn't cooked and for another thing, she had to continue with her plan to keep the bandit’s trust, to make them know that she could be trusted.

She walked back to the den, using landmarks she had seen before going to sleep. Relieved, she reached the den and walked through the entrance through the strong, beautiful door. Her footsteps crunching upon the dry leaves awakened Jaques and Naglad. "Where have you been?" Jaques questioned curiously yet sleepily.

28-Feb-2012 19:34:49 - Last edited on 28-Feb-2012 21:19:23 by Lady Railly

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"I was just getting our breakfast," she mumbled, no lying tone in her voice. Proudly she held up the bird. Her plan had worked. "Ah, we're getting ravenous just looking at it," Jaques replied, grinning. ~His grin isn't as bad as his smile.~ Naomi sat down where she sat the night before and Naglad began plucking the feathers off the bird.

When Naglad had finished, he stuck it on the stick and Jaques made another fire. There was a wood pile in the den which Naomi had not noticed before. Jaques threw that in the ashes and then rubbed flint together to make a spark. This lit up the fire and once it was going well, Naglad held the bird over the fire, the same way as he did with the delicious chicken the night before.

"Where do you get all the wood from?" Naomi questioned, folding her arms.

"Oh, there's loads of it lying around and if there isn't, we get our axes and chop it down ourselves," Naglad replied.

Naomi glanced at Jaques. He had greasy jet-black hair and a black bushy moustache too. He had a sparkling gold chain around his grubby neck and his green eyes shone like poison. He had thin, pale lips and very slightly pointed ears. Over his upper torso he had a ragged, torn cloth tunic which was a faded orange, tied together by his badge. It was sleeveless so his muscly arms showed clearly that he was very strong. Under that, round his waist, he had a brown sheath and his glinting silver sword was sheathed there.

His lower torso was covered by something that you couldn't tell whether it were shorts or leggings. They were a light, faded orange like his tunic and were ripped at the bottom. He was wearing black boots, the same colour as his hair and they were far too big for his feet. He was covered all over in injuries and his clothes were so dirty you could hardly see any orange in them.

Basically Naglad had the same look as Jaques, except for his facial appearance. He had short, messy light brown hair and aqua blue eyes, ending a centimetre after his fringe.

28-Feb-2012 19:35:35 - Last edited on 28-Feb-2012 21:19:56 by Lady Railly

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He had medium-sized red lips and a small nose. He had a slight beard and rounded ears. He wore a silver chain around his grubby neck. Naomi guessed the gold was for the leader and the silver was for the assistant. She then saw the other members wore bronze chains, and thought her guesswork was correct. The bird was cooked and they ate it.

"Can I learn from you how to chop down trees?" Naomi asked hesitantly.

"Sure," Naglad answered calmly. "Now, we've got no time to lose, so go out into the forest and we'll get our axes and follow you out."

Naomi obeyed and walked out of the den entrance, entering the cool, dark forest. It was about nine in the morning but there was hardly any sunlight peeping through the trees. The bandits did follow and Naomi was about to get her first lesson in being a lumberjack.

28-Feb-2012 19:35:36 - Last edited on 28-Feb-2012 21:20:17 by Lady Railly

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~-~Chapter 6~-~


They went into the centre of the forest, where the easiest trees to chop were. "I'll show you how to do it and you just follow me. I doubt you'll have any trouble, seeing as you're a natural to everything, but just do what I do. By the way, you may want to step back as this could hurt someone of our gang," Jaques said softly as he gripped the handle of the heavy, bronze axe in both hands and swung it at the tree. The tree started to drop at an angle and then its massive trunk fell to the ground with a sickening thud.

Naomi repeated that, and at the moment the blade hit the strong bark and fell to the ground, the bandits knew that she was a natural. "And then we get out our saws and cut the bark into pieces," Jaques said, getting out his chainsaw and halving one of the tree's bark in two. He handed Naomi his chainsaw and Naomi sawed through the other tree's bark with great strength. They continued sawing through these until it was almost time for lunch, which by that time all of the bandits had loaded their pockets and arms with pieces of bark and began the long walk back to the hut. They didn't have enough room between them for all the bark, though.

"What's going to happen to the other bark that we've left behind?" Naomi asked uncertainly.

"Well, we don't need that. We've got enough bark and someone else can take as much as they can from there if they wish." Then, they settled down to have some lunch, which was another chicken and Naglad lit the fire this time...

At about 10:00pm the bandits showed Naomi and Lucy the places they would sleep in. They were basically mattresses on wooden posts with a duvet and one pillow for each of them. Jaques saw Naomi and Lucy's faces. "Yeah, we know it's not 'luxury', but it's the best we can get," Jaques sighed as he walked out the room.

"Well, it is better than nothing," Naomi said, dressing into her nightie. She was just about to climb into her bed when it started to get immensely hotter than usual.

28-Feb-2012 19:36:30 - Last edited on 28-Feb-2012 21:20:39 by Lady Railly

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"What is that?" Naomi asked Lucy and she replied with a shrug. They went to search for Jaques in the other room but instead ran into Naglad. "Hey, Naglad, where's Jaques? And what is that heat?" Naomi moaned, opening the door and looking out. About a hundred feet away there was a medium-sized dot of red, orange and yellow. A trail of smoke was coming towards them and it was getting thicker.

"One of those damn idiots started a forest fire," Jaques answered, running into the room. "Why? I have no clue. But I know one thing, and it's that we should get shelter before it reaches us and burns us into ashes!" he added. "Now come on!" He ushered Naomi and Lucy into a hole that was about 50 feet wide and was covered by a metal grid. "You'll be safe down there," Jaques reassured. "Just stay there and you'll be completely safe."

Soon all of them were in and Jaques just managed to get Naglad into the hole when the flames licked nearer and the heat became hotter. Naomi crawled further down the hole, edging away from the flames. Jaques tried to get the grid off but then saw that the flames were only about twenty feet away and it was coming towards him, fast. He tried to give the grid a heave but it was stuck. Nervously, he looked around. There was no other option but to stay there. Even if he ran, he couldn't run for ever and the flames would soon catch up to him. "I know I'll die, but please, I think I know of one other person who could take my place. Please elect-"

There was a high-pitched deafening scream...and then silence.

The flames were about fifty feet from the den when it suddenly died out. "Well, the flames are gone, so that's one less danger, but now how are we going to get this grid off ourselves?" Naomi asked everyone. One of the bandits pushed with all his might and the grid slid off as if it was easy to get rid of. "Wow, you're strong!" Naomi exclaimed and the man smiled, nodding.

28-Feb-2012 19:36:30 - Last edited on 28-Feb-2012 21:21:02 by Lady Railly

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They crawled out, one by one, and they all gathered round the charred remains of...Jaques.
They later buried him in a hole near the shelter and they created a gravestone saying, 'R.I.P Jaques, the leader of Vetini Vati.' They then went back to the den, which was barely unscathed, and got a good night's rest. It was 11:30pm.
~-~
Naomi woke up at 6:30am. A feeling was urging her to go back to sleep and get a couple of extra hour's rest but the quiet whispering of voices led her away from that feeling. She pressed her ear against the door and it seemed as if the bandits were having a quick meeting. She quickly but quietly got dressed and went outside the back of the den. She then ran all the way to her old hut and wrote a quick, scribbled note. It read: "Naomi is not living in these premises anymore. Go west, then north-west and then south to find her."
She then was out of breath and walked back to the den. She then pressed her ear against the door leading to the main room and listened. Naglad seemed to be speaking at that moment.
"...and that is who will be elected. Everyone agree on that?" They all agreed and Naomi could hear Lucy's soft voice amongst them.
Deciding to catch them off-guard, Naomi walked into the room that was filled with bandits. Lucy stood out with her clothes among them. "Good morning, Naomi," she greeted her happily. "How do you feel today?"
"Fine," Naomi answered. "Why were you all in here?"
"We were just discussing a thing, that’s all," Naglad replied.
"Stuff like what?" Naomi asked, tilting an eyebrow.
"Stuff like who should be elected leader of our gang," one of the bandits blurted out. Naglad shot a quick glare at the bandit who mouthed, "Only trying to help" but then focused his attention again on Naomi.
"Well, aren't you going to tell me then?" Naomi asked them all.
"We can have our breakfast and then tell you, can't we?" Lucy answered, smiling as she patted the seat next to her, gesturing for Naomi to sit down.

28-Feb-2012 19:37:25 - Last edited on 28-Feb-2012 21:21:31 by Lady Railly

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"Sure...okay then," Naomi said through gritted teeth. She really wanted to know, but she didn't count all of the bandits so she wasn't sure if anyone wasn't there or not. Naglad started a fire and then pulled out some pork and began to roast it. There was one slice for everyone and Naomi got the most burnt slice - but she didn't care, she liked burnt stuff anyway. She took it off the stick and started to chew it as she handed the stick, which was covered in fat, back to Naglad. It was lightly raining and the rain pattered down into the bucket and onto the leaves.
Naomi then saw something which she had not noticed before. The tree's branches were tilted downwards, towards the bucket so that any drop of rain that fell onto the leaves would roll down them and into the bucket. Naomi liked that idea and thought about it as everyone finished their bacon. She then fell out of her daydream. "Aren't you going to tell me then?" she repeated again, rather impatiently.
"Oh yes," Naglad said, grinning. "Um...we were thinking, and uh...well... we would like, uh...you, to be our leader?" he asked, his tone of voice raising at those last few words.
"Whoa...really? That seems like fun! I'll do it!" Naomi responded as quick as a flash. Lucy chuckled at Naomi. "But you've got to understand that being leader isn't just a game. It's a rank of importance, and we think you have the qualities to be our leader, so..." Naglad explained. "We're happy that you've accepted our offer anyway."
"Thank you very much, though," Naomi answered back, smiling brightly.

28-Feb-2012 19:37:26 - Last edited on 28-Feb-2012 21:21:58 by Lady Railly

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~-~Chapter 7~-~

Later on, Naomi and Lucy were made officially members of the Vetini Vati bandit gang as they received their badges. They were discussing some things and they were proudly wearing their badges and showing them off to each other playfully when a loud knock on the beautiful door interrupted their conversations. Naglad opened the door and Naomi recognised the man who was standing there, his face - which was Genielli's.
"Excuse me, but I'm looking for Naomi?" Genielli asked cautiously. Naomi poked her head around the bedroom door so that Genielli would notice her, and he did. "Oh, there you are! Erm...I need to talk to you," he said quietly. Naomi nodded, narrowing her eyes in suspicion as she walked out the door with Genielli. "Go on, what is it? I'm kind of busy managing the camp," she said huffily.
"You know the city that I used to live in, Dnalfle?" Genielli queried. Naomi nodded. "Well...it's been over-run."
"Oh my goodness...Really? How do you know?" Naomi responded.
"Well, I went to Dnalfle to get some herbs for my hospital work and when I entered the portal it was in ruins. I saw loads of elves being taken captive, some of which used to be my friends before I moved here. The people wore badges that looked like multiply signs, like an X. I asked someone who they were and they said they were the 'Itav Initev.' They're a bandit gang."
Naomi took this all in. He continued. "What I came here for was, would you like to join my army with your bandit gang so that we can defeat them and get rid of them, sending them back where they should be?"
"Well...I don't really know," Naomi answered. "I'll have to discuss it with the rest of Vetini Vati to see what they think of the idea, but when we've made a decision we'll come back to you. How about you come to our den tomorrow and I can tell you what the decision is? That will probably give us enough time to discuss it. That okay?"
"Yes," Genielli said. "Goodbye and I hope you can help."

28-Feb-2012 19:42:11 - Last edited on 28-Feb-2012 21:22:43 by Lady Railly

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He teleported away, Naomi not knowing where he went to. Feeling like she wasn't needed anymore, she walked back into the den and shouted for everyone to come to her. They did and they sat down. "Who was that guy?" Naglad asked.
"One of my old friends," Naomi answered. "But there's a more important thing that we need to think about right now. Right, first question. Does anyone know about the Itav Initev?"
Everybody replied yes except for Lucy. Naomi asked one of the bandits what they knew of the Itav Initev. He replied, "Well, we used to be a hostile to them and we always hated them, and they hated us back. But when we had fights we won nearly every single battle."
"Why do you want to know though?" Naglad asked curiously.
"Because 'that man' who talked to me, Genielli, needs us to battle the Itav Initev soon at Dnalfle, his planet. Don't worry where it is though, I know where so you can stop worrying about that. So, how do you think of the idea?"
"Definitely!" the bandits cried in unison.
"Excellent," Naomi said, a big smile on her face.
~-~
The next morning, the group were packing up and luckily Naglad had some tents that they could fold away when they didn't need them, and all of them knew how to pitch a tent, as Naomi had done it when she was a bit younger. They had gathered all their belongings and had their badges shown clearly on their clothes so that if people would see them at any time during their travel, they would know exactly who the gang was.
Another knock on the door sounded. This time, Naomi opened the door. Genielli was standing there. "So, by the way you're packing, I'm guessing you all agreed to help?" he asked hopefully with a nervous smile on his face.
"Yes, are you going to come along with us?" Naomi answered.
"I don't know, is it alright with your bandit gang?" Genielli queried.
"It doesn't matter because I'm the leader of the group and they follow what I say," Naomi explained, a small smile on her face.
"Nah, I probably shouldn't.

28-Feb-2012 19:42:11 - Last edited on 28-Feb-2012 21:23:39 by Lady Railly

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I'll wait for you at the portal though," Genielli responded.
"That's too bad. Oh well..." Naomi sighed.
"I'll be seeing you then," Genielli said as he waved goodbye and walked off into the depths of the forest, only to be seen again when the bandits, Lucy and Naomi finally reached the portal. So Naomi and the gang set off, and left the den. They went deeper and deeper into the forest, the bandits not knowing where they were going but Naomi seemed to, even though she didn't quite know either.
"So where exactly is this Dnalfle?" one of the bandits asked Naomi.
"Well, I don't know where it is from where we are at the moment, but I know one landmark that might help us out..." Naomi replied as she started walking in a reversed 4 shape and then kept walking west. A straw hut appeared in the distance. "Oh!" A quiet gasp escaped Lucy's throat.
"Yep, you know what it is," Naomi said smugly. They kept walking.
"What IS it though?" Naglad questioned as he scratched his head thoughtfully.
"It was the hut that we lived in before we went into the woods for the werewolf attack. Basically, it's where the letter went," Naomi explained.
"Oh..." the bandit gang chanted in unison.
"Hey, I have an idea. How about, since we idiots forgot to bring any food, as I just realised, how about I go into the hut and get some food and clothes for us?" Lucy suggested. "Give me fifteen minutes and I'll get everything done by then."
"That sounds great!" Naomi said. "How about you, Naglad?"
"Fine by me," Naglad responded. The hut was a few feet away from them now, and they had stopped walking. Lucy ran into the hut and precisely fifteen minutes later her arms were full with food. "Put it into your backpacks and I'll go get your clothes which you can put in your backpack," Lucy said to Naomi as Naomi nodded and Lucy rushed into the hut again. Shortly after she entered, she exited the hut, closed the door and filled Naomi's backpack with clothes. She put some in her own backpack too.

28-Feb-2012 19:42:12 - Last edited on 28-Feb-2012 21:24:02 by Lady Railly

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They then carried on with their journey, albeit being heavier than before.
Ten minutes later, Naomi put her hand to her forehead and peered out into the distance. There seemed to be a faint green glow behind one of the trees, which was had a very thick trunk and was very rough-looking. "We're nearly here," Naomi muttered, smiling but loud enough so that everybody in the group could hear her. They kept walking in the direction that Naomi was going, following her until Naomi suddenly stopped. The green portal was very clear now...and a figure was standing next to it.
"Genielli!" Naomi cried excitefully. Genielli was obviously in a daydream and was not paying attention because when he heard Naomi's cry, he looked startled and Naomi was near enough to see his expression. "Oh good, you're finally here!" he said pleasantly. "Are you ready and fully equipped?"
"Yes, as far as I know. Vetini Vati?" Naomi turned to face the rest.
"Yes, yes," the bandit gang all responded.
"But I'm a little bit hungry," one of them said.
"Oh, you'll get to eat later. Right now, there's a slightly more important thing to do; help out the elves in Dnalfle and win this war. We have to give the elves back their home," Naomi ordered. Then Naomi noticed something. The portal was a bright, bush-green when Naomi first saw it back in the days where Lucy was injured and she was in the hospital. Now it had a slight greyish tint to it. "All right. So, are you ready to witness what Dnalfle looks like?" Genielli announced. Mixed mutterings and whisperings emerged from the group of bandits. "I'm taking that as a yes," Genielli said. "Just jump into the portal and the portal will escort you to Dnalfle."
So they, one by one, jumped in, Naomi being the last person to jump. They stood in awe at what surrounded them. They were in Dnalfle.

28-Feb-2012 19:42:21 - Last edited on 28-Feb-2012 21:24:20 by Lady Railly

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~-~ Chapter 8 ~-~

The planet was definitely not beautiful any more, as Naomi had last seen it. It was a complete grey with some parts foggy and some parts misty, and that moment the clouds were black and it was raining heavily, to match the scene. Naomi could see, in the distance, little green figures walking with weights attached to their backs with their hands tied together around the backs of the weights. She could see loads of little lines of them, and guessed that the Itav Initev had lots of members. That was when half of her brain began to argue the other side of her brain. Just because the Itav Initev could have lots of members didn't necessarily mean that they were tougher than the VV, though. They could all just be very bad fighters whilst Naomi's gang had few members, but they were very adept at fighting.
She turned her head to the right. There were the remains of what used to be the forest, chopped up and burnt to pieces. She felt quite a bit of sadness. Not just because the forest was burnt down which made lots of animals habit in that forest homeless and die. It was because the ingredients to the healing potion came from there, and if there wasn't any forest there wouldn't be any ingredients. That meant all the elves that were injured by this Itav Initev bandit gang had to be sent to the hospital, which was where Genielli worked. But since they could not get the ingredients to heal the people, many died in the hospital.
Then Naomi saw a person, who looked like a human, with his back turned to the Vetini Vati, standing and ordering the elves in front of him to do what he says. There were quite a few of the elves in front of the person. The man was wearing a cape, and it seemed to have a faint sort of symbol on it. Naomi put her hand to her forehead and tried to take a closer look.
The man was quite tall, about six feet in height, and he had long, black hair which was tied in a ponytail and wet because of the rain.

28-Feb-2012 19:42:21 - Last edited on 28-Feb-2012 21:24:48 by Lady Railly

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He had a short, pale neck and he was wearing a ripped light brown T-shirt with a black belt that was fastened tightly over it. Under his T-shirt you could see jet-black slightly baggy trousers, which were slightly ripped at the ends, showing his tanned ankles. Naomi thought this weird to have a pale neck and tanned ankles, but that was what he looked like. He was also wearing massive black boots that looked too big for his feet. Over his body that Naomi could see he had masses of scars, cuts and bruises, some big, some small, and he had very big muscles. Overall, he looked quite tough even from a back point of view.
The man had some, what looked like, black, heavy weights next to him, and next to those were two long pieces of rope for each of the weights. The poor elves were covered in black and dust, and they looked very thin and weak. "Now since you're too wimpy and weak to put on the weights yourselves, I guess I'll have to do it for you," the man huffily said. He had the first elf come forward. First, he made the elf bend back so that he could tie the weight firmly onto his back with the rope. The elf then tried to stand up straight but he couldn't because the weight was getting in the way and made him lean back down again.
Then the man ordered the elf to put his hand behind his back, over the weight. He did as he was told and the rough-looking man tied his hands together over the weight in a double knot. He sent that elf off and a bit later, all ten elves had weights attached to them and were being sent off to walk. He was about to receive another ten weak-looking elves when he suddenly heard one of the Vetini Vati whisper to another member of it. He turned around. "Hey...I recognise you, you, you...basically all of you except for the two girls. Where's Jacqueline?"
"Jaques died," Naglad explained, his eyes narrowing and he took a step forward towards the II member.

28-Feb-2012 19:42:22 - Last edited on 28-Feb-2012 21:25:09 by Lady Railly

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"Oh, by our forest fire! I knew it would work some magic!" the man exclaimed, a proud smile on his face. He was obviously pleased with himself for killing a person.
"YOU did it, Tienvak?" Naglad said furiously, taking another step forward.
"Anyway, who are these two ladies here?" Tienvak asked, looking in Lucy and Naomi's direction.
"The names are Lucy and Naomi," Naglad said quietly.
"So, Lucy and Naomi, why have you been brought here when you obviously don't seem to be fighting material?" Tienvak taunted, grinning.
"Oh, you haven't seen how Naomi fights yet-" Naglad started to say.
"Yeah, I bet it's not very good. After all, she's only a little girl. Don't worry, I saved your breath by saying it for you," Tienvak interrupted.
"I was going to say that she was excellent," Naglad growled.
"Oh, come on! How old are you, twelve?" Tienvak jeered, laughing.
"Eleven," Naomi answered through gritted teeth.
"Exactly! How could she be fighting material?" Tienvak asked, not expecting any answer, least from Naomi.
"Well, I could show you if you want," Naomi said, shrugging but then smiling nastily.
"Yeah, like that's going to do me any harm! Just go away, you're too unimportant for what I'm doing now," Tienvak sniggered as he turned back to what he was doing and called the other elves forward. He repeated the method he did before and the elves were sent off. Then he turned around to face them again after receiving the third batch of elves Naomi had seen.
"So where are the elves going off to?" Naomi asked, an eyebrow raising.
"They're going to work at - Oh, I'm never going to tell you," Tienvak replied, grinning again. "They're in a place which you'll never find them." ~We'll see about that...~ Naomi thought as a small smile crossed her face and the man turned back, revealing to Naomi's eyes the top half of a gadget which looked like it was made by an elf. She looked closer. It appeared to have the words "Village List" on it. She grinned.

28-Feb-2012 19:42:22 - Last edited on 28-Feb-2012 21:25:28 by Lady Railly

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Stealthily, she snuck up to the back of Tienvak and with her thumb and index finger, tried to prise the gadget out of his pocket and into her hands - but she was unsuccessful.
The Itav member must've felt it because as quick as a flash he turned round and caught Naomi red-handed. He pulled a walkie-talkie (which also looked like it had been made by elves) out of his other hand and spoke into it: "Right, I’ve caught member of hostile gang stealing from me, need assistance to kill them immediately. O-"
The walkie talkie dropped onto the ground. Tienvak was so focused on calling his fellow members to help him that he didn't notice what Naomi was doing, or what she was about to do. She did a swift side-stroke with her blood-stained rapier through the man's waist which chopped him in two, the upper body and the lower body separated from each. His life-blood spurted out from the cut Naomi had made and made a pool surrounding the dead Itav Initev gang member.
Gingerly, Naomi picked up the walkie-talkie and she heard a voice. "Are you there?" She guessed that was one of the other gang's members, so she spoke into it: "Hello. This is the new leader of Vetini Vati speaking. If we see you and you try to kill us then we will kill you like we did with your leader. Thank you. Over and out."
Then, Naomi picked up the "Village List" gadget in her hands and inspected it. As she explored it to see what it did, she found out that it actually listed all the population of Dnalfle and all the villages. She toyed with it a bit more and searched for "rich". She only found one result in the whole of Dnalfle; which was the royal castle. When she tapped the text "Royal Castle" she found its address and location, as well as its directions. "Come on guys! Before the rest of the Itav Initev catches up with us!" Naomi hissed at the Vetini Vati and they hastily followed her, knowing that she knew where she was going.

28-Feb-2012 19:42:22 - Last edited on 28-Feb-2012 21:25:51 by Lady Railly

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Some time later, they approached the castle and looked up at it in amazement. It was massive; tremendous, with enormous twin towers at either side of it. It was a dirty grey colour, showing it was very old and it was made of pure stone, cut into the shape that it was now. ~It must have been there hundreds of years,~ Naomi thought with a smile. Greyish-black clouds hung over the tops of the castle towers like black mist but Naomi wasn't scared; at least, she didn't look scared. There were no guards at the entrance to the castle; Naomi wondered if they had been taken captive like the other elves she had seen. "Come on then, let's go explore and see what we can find," Naomi beckoned to her gang. "Who knows, we might find something useful..." She and the rest of Vetini Vati opened the great iron doors with a creak and a moan, and they scrambled through.
What was on the inside didn't change much from what was on the outside. The hallways and rooms lining the corridors were all made of stone that was shapen, and inside all of the rooms there were different things in each; one of them had trophies and heads of different fearsome creatures; another had many weapons, larger than even Naomi had seen. But the thing that changed from outside to inside was the temperature. It was cold, damp, murky...it smelt horrible but the people who lived here must have got used to it.
All of the doors to the rooms that Naomi had opened were open; the rest were closed. Then Naomi found a rather large room, probably the largest she had seen in the castle. The door easily slid open and Naomi peered inside. There were the remains of an elf, a big hole in the centre of his chest.
Naomi ran forward into the room and inspected the elf's wounds and appearance. The elf was male, with blonde, almost white hair, just falling below his ears. However it was all messed up and stained with blood. His eyes were wide open, obviously in shock before he was stabbed.

28-Feb-2012 19:42:28 - Last edited on 28-Feb-2012 21:26:18 by Lady Railly

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They were a beautiful green colour, but they had a glint of fear in them, even though they couldn't work any more. He had a rounded, slightly tanned face and he was wearing a red cloak and robe, as red as rubies, and it had a white, gold and black outline.
His lower part of his robe was short and at the bottom of it was cropped and lined with the same colours as the upper part; white, gold and black. It was a few centimetres from knee-length, and he was wearing red and gold shoes. The rest of the gang was waiting at the door, wondering what the outcome of Naomi's inspection was. "Come look, come look!" Naomi called to Naglad, Lucy and the others, whom responded by running into the room, facing Naomi on the opposite side of the dead elf. "How did this happen?!"
"I'm thinking this guy's rich; that's why the other bandits, who I think did this, stabbed him to get his expensive possessions - or some of them, at least," Lucy responded, her eyes rising to the ceiling and slowly swivelling round the room. At this reply, Naomi took her eyes from the elf and looked around the room like Lucy. She hadn't paid attention to the actual room ever since she saw the dead elf in it.
Naomi spotted something on the shiny oak shelf. There was another pair of walkie-talkies. Lucy picked them up and gave one of them to Naomi. "Here. This will probably provide useful to you in case you get lost or separated from us or something like that," Lucy said, putting it in Naomi's pocket. There were also a few other expensive things; including a lovely jewelled sword. Naomi was completely surprised why the bandits didn't take it with them.
Then Naomi saw Lucy's eyes widen in shock and horror. "Naomi, look out!" Lucy cried out but it was too late.

28-Feb-2012 19:42:28 - Last edited on 28-Feb-2012 21:26:49 by Lady Railly

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~-~ Chapter 9 ~-~

Two of the bandits threw Naomi in a sack whilst the rest of them held Lucy and the others and kept them from helping Naomi out or fighting back. Then the second-in-command, whose name was Tivkean, said to the other bandit who had helped capture her: "Go to our underground prison north-east from here and keep her there. Once you've made sure she can't get out, come back here." Fortunately, it was a bit loud. The bandit member nodded and took her to the Itav Initev underground prison.
In the prison, Naomi woke up groggily. "Wh-Where am I?" Naomi asked.
"You're in the Itav Initev underground prison, just north-east from where the castle is and where I kidnapped you and took you here," the bandit explained. "Oops. I talk too much. Forget what I just said!"
~North-west would be from here to there then, wouldn't it?~ Naomi tried to figure it out in her head when the bandit started walking away from her. ~Yes! Now I can hopefully get out.~ she thought, smiling to herself. She got up and walked over to the heavy metal door and tried to unlock it, but it was locked. The lock was on the other side of the door. The walls of the room were too high for her to jump over though. She sat down and tried to think of a way to get out. Meanwhile, at the castle...
"So this is the new Vetini Vati?" Tivkean asked, folding his arms and raising an eyebrow in curiosity. "Like you'll be able to take down us. We'll beat you this time. I know it, I can sense it..."
"Oh, enough of talking! Let's get to it!" Naglad interrupted with fury in his eyes, fury in his speech, fury in his arms as he punched Tivkean hard in the chest, starting the fight. Tivkean responded with a punch which made a nasty big green and blue bruise on Naglad's face.
Luckily Lucy had put the dead elf under his bed before the Itav Initev arrived in the room.
Eventually, the Itav Initev proved successful and all the Vetini Vati had were bruises, cuts and sprains.

28-Feb-2012 19:44:00 - Last edited on 28-Feb-2012 21:54:53 by Lady Railly

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Worse, they had stolen the jewelled sword! "Ugh!" Lucy moaned after the Itav Initev had left, getting to her feet and limping towards one of the cupboards in the room. One of her feet had been sprained and the other had a massive cut on its ankle and it was bleeding, leaving a gruesome mess and stain over the wooden flooring.
She searched the cupboard and got what she was looking for - a first aid kit. She opened it, took out some plasters and a bandage, wrapped the bandage around the sprained foot and put two of the largest plasters over the cut. "Hey, what about us?" Naglad grumbled.
"Oh, sorry. I'll get the kit to you," Lucy murmured, limping over to Naglad but much less now. Carefully, she knelt down and treated Naglad's wounds and later to all the other bandits. That was when the walkie-talkie in her pocket started talking. "Lucy, come in, come in, are you there, are you there? I need you. Over."
"Yes, I'm here, Naomi. What do you want? We're kind of injured here. Over," Lucy spoke back weakly.
"Oh no, what happened?" Naomi sounded worried at the other end of the radio.
"Well, to cut things short, we got into a fight with the Itav Initev."
"Oh. When will you be able to come?"
"Well, give us ten minutes, and we'll come as soon as we can after then," Lucy replied. "See you."
"See you..."
Ten minutes came and went, and Lucy and the Vetini Vati were ready to go and find Naomi. They had heard where the prison was, but not where Naomi was in the prison. Nevertheless, they went north-east and came across a large hole in the soil in front of them, with a ladder poking out of it. One by one, they went down the ladder, made of steel, and they entered the underground prison. "Naomi, I'm in the underground prison now," Lucy spoke into the walkie-talkie.
"I'll jump up and wave my hand over the wall so you can see where I am," Naomi replied back in the crackle of the walkie-talkie. A short moment later a small hand appeared above the wall.

28-Feb-2012 19:44:01 - Last edited on 28-Feb-2012 21:55:20 by Lady Railly

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"We've found you!” Lucy said with a smile as she raced with the others towards where the small hand appeared. They unlocked the door to the chamber and found Naomi stood up, smiling at them. "Now come on! We've got to get you out of here!" Lucy whispered as she grabbed Naomi's hand and pulled her out of the room, closing the room’s heavy metal door and locking it to make it look like she had never escaped. They then ran towards the exit of the prison, which was a ladder leading upwards into the daylight.
They climbed out up the ladder and out of the hole, one by one. They made their way towards the castle again when they saw a circle of tents, around a campfire, in the distance. "Hey, what are they doing there?" Naomi asked everyone in the group, pointing a finger towards the tents.
"I don't know. Let's go find out," Lucy suggested, shrugging her shoulders.
"Well, we could, but then again, that could be dangerous," Naomi replied. "We better be quiet if we're going there."
And they did go there. It was a fairly long distance between them and the tents, but once they got there they hid behind a tree trunk. Some of them sat down, in fact all of them, except from Lucy and Naomi. Carefully, Naomi poked her head around the side of the rough, dark tree and took a closer look. There were figures now coming out of the tents and sitting around the campfire. Those figures were familiar to Naomi, and once Lucy copied her she thought the same too. "Guys, guys! It's the Itav Initev! They're staying here!" Naomi whispered to the Naglad and the other bandits. They nodded, saying nothing, and quietly - silently - stood up.
"Hey, I have a plan. Here's what we do..." Naomi hissed to the group and they listened intently whilst Naomi spoke words so soft and quiet that only the people surrounding her could actually hear what she was saying.

28-Feb-2012 19:44:01 - Last edited on 28-Feb-2012 21:55:43 by Lady Railly

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Later, once that they had discussed and made sure that what they were about to do would work, Naomi silently crept out from behind the thick-trunked tree, Lucy and the others watching. It was early evening now, and the campfire was empty except for one Itav Initev member who was still cooking his tea and watching the flames burst up and hit his meal, quickly devouring it in colours of red, orange and yellow. Naomi looked at the tents. They were all zipped up and didn't have any windows. She was sure that if she was silent, her plan would work.
She crept right up to the back of the gang member. She had already unsheathed her sword before she crept out of the tree. She then, with perfect aim, which was lucky, sliced him down the middle of his back, cutting him in half. Blood spurted from the back of the body, and the stick holding up the food with one end and was being held by the man on the other immediately fell into the flames and it was burnt to a black dust quickly enough.
Naomi then heard a soft snoring sound coming from all of the tents. They were asleep already. ~Just how I planned,~ Naomi thought with a smile. She turned to her gang and gave them a quick wave and a gesture to show that she was all right, and that everything was going to plan. She quickly walked to one of the tents, one that was directly north of the campfire, and unzipped it. She saw one of the rival bandits in his small, camp bed, fast asleep and snoring away. She tip-toed towards the bed and killed him, using her technique with that bandit as she did with the bandit at the campfire, except that she did it through the front. Blood poured out through his mouth and nose, as well as the cut she left in the middle of him, and the snoring noise was a lot less loud. She did that same thing with all of the bandits around the campfire. She then returned to the tree, where her fellow gang members were.

28-Feb-2012 19:47:49 - Last edited on 28-Feb-2012 21:56:03 by Lady Railly

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"Well done! You did it! You killed them all!" Lucy congratulated, patting Naomi on the back. She smiled and then they set up their own camp behind the tree, getting out their tents that they had packed earlier that day and getting out some food. Naglad set up their campfire and they ate some of the food. They then, when they were feeling tired, got into their tents and into their bed, thinking about what would come tomorrow, when they all finally drifted off to sleep.

28-Feb-2012 19:47:49 - Last edited on 28-Feb-2012 21:56:23 by Lady Railly

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~-~Chapter 10~-~

Little did they know there was one bandit who was still alive...Tivkean. He was seperated from the rest of the group who Naomi had killed because he was one of the important members of the Itav Initev - or rather the only one, since Tienvak had died. He was sleeping in a rather large tent in a patch of trees, close enough to the other gang members but not so close to be noticed immediately. That was where Naomi had gone wrong. She hadn't noticed him and thus thought that she had killed all of the gang members. However, Tivkean was yet to see that all his group had bitten the dust. When he did, he knew exactly who had done it because no-one else would bother to do it, and no-one could anyway because they were all in captivity. So he decided to get his own back, get his revenge, get even with them, whatever you would describe him as doing something equally as bad to them, if not, then worse.
Tivkean went towards the Vetini Vati and their camp, looking for any signs of people who might be awake. He then noticed the roaring fire, that hadn't died out yet. That was when he had an idea that replaced his original one. He picked up a piece of wood nearby that was supposed to be used for building up the fire. Next, he held one end of it and stuck the other into the burning mass of red, orange and yellow. It quickly, almost immediately caught fire and before it reached the rest of the wood and possibly him, Tivkean threw the burning piece of wood at one of the tents. It didn't reach the tent, but it was thrown near a tree instead and it quickly lit up the tree and the grass, the fire licking nearer and nearer to the tents. Before Tivkean was surrounded in fire, he quickly escaped the scene and left it like it was.
The flames eventually engulfed all of the tents and the woods nearby and the excruciating heat woke Naomi, Lucy, Naglad and the others up. Naomi looked from her point of view; it was scary, even for her.

28-Feb-2012 19:47:50 - Last edited on 28-Feb-2012 21:56:49 by Lady Railly

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Now that Jaques was dead, she didn't know what to do. However, she had an inkling that maybe Naglad would know. "Naglad!" she shouted through the roar of the colours. She could see little holes in the tent's material burning away. She could just make out Naglad's voice through the deafening sound. "Yes? I can't reach you. Where are you?" Naglad asked somewhere which Naomi could not tell.
Naomi unzipped what was left of the tent. Unwise choice. She saw flames everywhere. In front of her, to the left of her, to the right of her. "I have a plan! Can everyone hear me?" Naglad's voice shouted. There were muffled replies, but Naomi could recognise Lucy's voice in between them all. "Good. Now, we all have a bucket of water in our tents, don't we? Pick it up," Naglad was shouting. Naomi glanced behind her. The flames were nearly surrounding the tin bucket filled with water, and as she bravely crept to it, she saw that it was evaporating fast. "Now, we have enough water for all of us to make the flames die down enough so that we can get out for at least ten seconds for each bucket," Naglad was saying. "I'll throw my bucket of water first over the fire. Then we can escape our tents and run, and if we encounter more flames than we can use another of our buckets. Now, when I say go, we run out and we try to make our way out of the flames. Everybody ready? Three, two, one, go!"
Naomi, still carrying her bucket, ran out. The flames were a lot less stronger now than before, but she couldn't think of that currently right now as she had to get out before the flames became strong again. She ran towards what she could see as some black silhouettes, which were Naglad's and Lucy's. "Naomi? Naomi! Come on!" Lucy's voice encouraged as they ran with the rest of the gang towards some more flames. "Now, Lucy, use your bucket!" Naglad shouted. It was a lot louder than before as they were all together. Lucy did what Naglad said and they ran some more.

28-Feb-2012 19:47:50 - Last edited on 28-Feb-2012 21:57:22 by Lady Railly

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They followed this technique until they finally came to a clearing, which at that point they ran all the way to a place where they were sure the flames would not reach.
"Where are we?" Naomi asked softly, breathing heavily from all that running.
"I don't know," Naglad replied. "What I want to know is if we've got any water left."
"Oh, I have," two of the bandits replied. The rest of the group took the buckets from them and shared it with all of them, and when they had finished they held the buckets in their hands again. "That's better," Naglad sighed.
"That was close," Naomi said, referring to the fire; the second one they had had.
"I wonder who did it," Naglad responded, scratching his head thoughtfully. "You did kill all of the bandits at the other camp, didn't you?"
"Yes, I'm sure. Positive," Naomi assured.
"Well, we better get some more sleep then. I doubt we'll encounter that again tonight," Naglad replied, lying down on his side.
"Yeah, we should get some more rest," Naomi and Lucy agreed, lying on their backs. "Goodnight everyone." And they soon drifted off to sleep, despite their previous encounter with fire, which would probably be thought to keep them awake for a while, keep them alert, but it didn't.
~-~
The morning awakened the group, but Naomi was first to awaken. She opened her eyes, and as she was on her back at that moment she was staring at the bright blue sky, which was making her eyes water and close automatically. She forced her eyes open again as she put her hands on the ground behind her to support her balance and looked around. The rest of the group was sleeping, but Naomi needed to travel and win this war as soon as she could, with the help of the others, so she slowly went around the group and shook each one of them awake. "Ugh..." Lucy mumbled, her eyes still closed. "Thanks for waking me up. I was in the middle of a horrible dream where it was night and we had a forest fire, and we just managed to make it out."

28-Feb-2012 19:47:50 - Last edited on 28-Feb-2012 21:57:48 by Lady Railly

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"Er...Lucy, that actually happened," Naomi replied with a chuckle. Lucy then opened her eyes abruptly and got up quickly. "Damn!"
"Anyway, that's behind us now," Naomi continued as the rest of the gang woke up. "Right, when you're all ready, we can - Wait, we haven't had breakfast yet, have we?"
"Well, even if we wanted to, we still couldn't. All of the food and water we had has been either drunk or burnt by the fire," Naglad replied, standing up. Lucy and Naomi did the same, with the others.
"Oh. Well I'm sure we can get some if we go back to our hut," Naomi responded, glancing at Lucy with a look that asked without Naomi speaking if it was okay to do so.
"Yeah, we can," Lucy answered, smiling at Naomi. "Come on then. Let's hope we won't encounter anything bad along the way. We don't want trouble when we've only just woken up..."
They walked north, hoping and thinking it was the right direction to the portal - and it was. A few minutes passed and they could see a faint green glow in the distance, which meant that if they kept going that way, they would reach the portal eventually. One by one, they stepped through and a moment after they did, they saw Genielli emerging from behind a tree. The tree looked ancient, but it was beautiful compared to the others, which looked ugly - Naomi remembered the first forest fire and wondered if the trees' appearance came from that. Genielli looked quite worried from the expression on his face. "Hello Genielli. What are you doing here?" Naomi asked curiously.
"I saw this person with that same badge that was attacking my city, leading these humans, like you, into the portal whilst I was going towards the hospital. I crept behind the tree so that hopefully they wouldn't notice me, and luckily they didn't."
"Wait, just one person?" Naomi replied.
"Yes. Only one person with that badge thing."
"Anything else I should know? And the rest of Vetini Vati?"
"Erm...I don't think so. Anyway, I've got to run now. Bye."

28-Feb-2012 19:48:01 - Last edited on 28-Feb-2012 21:58:17 by Lady Railly

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And with that Genielli quickly ran through the charred remains of the trees, his silhouette dissapearing soon after.
Naomi sat down on a fallen log that was nearby, Naglad following that action soon after, and Lucy doing that as well. Naomi laid her hands in her lap, clasped together, and looked at the floor, head not bowing, her expression showing deep thought. "But you told us, and I thought, you had killed them all?" Naglad questioned.
"Well, at least I thought so. That guy could possibly be part of another group," Naomi suggested. "But they must be really strong and tough to capture humans..." she added. She stood up again and let her hands drop by her sides. "Do you think we should get the nourishment later?" Naomi asked everyone. They all agreed so it wasn't long until each of them jumped back through the portal and landed in Dnalfle again.
Naomi was leading the group. She was standing in front of them all and walking in a fast pace, eager to get to their tents again, but even though she was deep in thought still. She also wanted to make another fire, as it was quite cold. She was about half-way to the tents when she bumped into the back of a man. "Hey, where do you think you're..." the man's voice began as he turned around and stared at the pack. It was Tivkean.
~What the heck is Tivkean doing here? I'm sure I killed him!~ Naomi thought nervously, her right hand reaching down to grip her blood-stained rapier, but not quite pulling it out of its sheath yet. ~Surely he was dead-wait a minute...if he's all on his own...~ As quick as a flash she turned her head to glance at the rest of them. By their faces they were all thinking the same thing as one another and Naomi.
~...then maybe I killed all of them except him? Then why wasn't he with the rest of his gang?~ Naomi wanted to think about this but there was no time, as Tivkean was already gripping his sword and pulling it out.

28-Feb-2012 19:48:02 - Last edited on 28-Feb-2012 21:58:42 by Lady Railly

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"I knew it was you...you...you who killed my gang," he muttered, his eyes flashing with anger as he pulled his sword fully out of his sheath. That was when Naomi noticed something else.
Behind Tivkean there were probably a hundred, if not hundreds, of humans, all tied up in the same way the elves in captivity were. They looked exhausted and they also looked a bit beaten, as if Tivkean had whipped some of them or something like that. They each had ripped, torn clothes and were black and blue and green and any other colours that would be used to describe a bruise. But Naomi noticed two individuals. She recognised them somehow, but she didn't think they were like this the last time she saw them. Through their bruises and dirt Naomi made out two pairs of puddle-blue eyes, a head of long, dark brown hair and a head of light blonde hair. She then gasped silently, like she was gasping inside, as she finally realised who they were.
Lucy whispered to Naomi from behind. "Are they your...?" she hissed softly at her, but Naomi didn't answer as she was too gobsmacked to. That was when one of them, the female, waved gently to Naomi and mouthed, "Hi, sweetie".
"...My...parents?" Naomi whispered back, her lips trembling from those words.

28-Feb-2012 19:48:07 - Last edited on 28-Feb-2012 21:59:02 by Lady Railly

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~-~Chapter 11~-~

Tivkean looked at the couple and then back at Naomi, his eyes glinting with what looked like slyness. He then looked at his sword and then back at Naomi's parents. Naomi was watching all this and let out a quiet, almost silent gasp when he did that. Quietly Tivkean sniggered.
"Take one step closer..." Tivkean warned, grinning, "...and I will do this." He walked over to the pair of humans and swung his sword to the left of the couple, the dad's side, so that the sword was covering both their necks. Naomi's mum was horrified. Her eyes were filled with scare and plead and the blue eyes were beginning to get glossy.
Naomi gulped. ~What shall I do?!~ she wondered nervously, shifting from one foot to the other. She bit her lip inside her mouth and gently lowered her hand from her sword. She turned her head and gazed at her group. They were looking back at her, waiting for her response. Naomi said nothing, not knowing what to do.
Suddenly Lucy stepped forward and reached out, her hand gently touching Naomi's right shoulder. She took out her sword with her other hand and gripped it tightly, so tightly the tips of her fingers went as white as cloud. She looked at Naomi, her eyes showing a gentle expression. "I'll go," she quietly said.
"What?" Naomi whispered, looking at her sharply. "What are you doing? You can't do that." Tivkean was looking at them curiously, slowly but surely lowering his sword from Jodie and John's necks, thinking that they weren't going to fight him any time soon. He couldn't hear what they were saying, even though their speech was pretty clear to hear although they were whispering.
Lucy glanced at Tivkean, then at Jodie, John and then her eyes rested on Naomi. "I'll fight him," she whispered softly. "If you do you're sure to get killed and if you don't fight him there's a chance he'll kill them anyway. I'll sacrifice myself."
Naomi reached forward and gave Lucy a quick hug.

28-Feb-2012 19:48:50 - Last edited on 28-Feb-2012 21:59:17 by Lady Railly

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"Do you think you'll be able to fight him on your own?" Naomi asked.
"Well I should, but if I weaken these guys can help," Lucy replied with a smile as she turned her head quickly to look at the rest of the gang. They were watching the two, slightly smiling as if to say they were proud of Lucy for offering to fight him. She looked back at Tivkean, her eyes narrowing and letting her grip on her sword loosen a little. "Right. It's between you and me now," Lucy muttered as Naomi walked back to the group and gestured to get a distance away from the scene, but close enough to see what was happening. The gang followed Naomi to a rock about a metre in length and it was quite high so they hid behind it, their eyes looking out at what was about to happen.
"Now...let's end this once and for all," Lucy said confidently, holding the sword with both of her hands now, her left hand above her hand. She ran towards Tivkean, who was already surprised at what was happening and was taken aback, which meant he had little time to react.
Nevertheless he swung his sword and it connected with Lucy's, making a clash. Lucy tried to charge Tivkean again but he dodged it by leaping out of the way, the side opposite the humans chained up. Naomi peered out of the rock and between the captives and Tivkean. They seemed to have a chain attached to each other. She then saw a lock hanging from it, needing a key. She sighed and went back behind the rock, facing the rest of the gang. She discussed what they were going to do next for quite a while and they heard the two people fighting in the background. "Right. Let's hope Lucy wins this b-" She was stopped by the sound of swords clanging onto the ground and they didn't hear anything. ~That was sudden abruptment,~ Naomi thought curiously. She peered out of the bush again, with the rest of them doing so as well.
Lucy and Tivkean were both lying on the ground, their bodies caked in blood. Lucy's sword was in Tivkean and Tivkean's sword was...in Lucy.

28-Feb-2012 19:48:56 - Last edited on 28-Feb-2012 21:59:46 by Lady Railly

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Naomi gasped and for the first time in months tears formed in her eyes as she ran towards Lucy, her arms outstretched as if to hug her. She had never realised how close she had got with her. Naomi knelt down in front of Lucy, not seeming to care about how Tivkean was and his state. She had also realised that she had never felt sadness once since she had come to Lucy's fighting lessons...a year ago. Her first fighting lesson with her. Memories flooded into her mind as well as tears. She hung her head over Lucy's body, sobbing. The rest of the Vetini Vati looked dissapointed with their facial expressions but even their eyes were watering slightly.
"Naomi..." a soft voice came behind her. Naomi for one moment thought it was Lucy but when she turned round her mother was standing a few metres away from her. "Mum...Dad..." Naomi managed a soft smile even though some of Lucy still littered her mind.
"We don't know how you've become like this..." John exclaimed gently. "And how you've grown. We almost didn't even recognise you until we saw Lucy with you, and then we knew that little girl standing at the front was you."
"Well, do you want to be set free or not?" Naomi joked. Although she wasn't really in a joke mood she still managed one.
"Well yes, have you got the key to our chains?" Jodie asked. Naomi ran towards Tivkean and after bravely managing to search Tivkean's body she found a small key. She tried it on the lock and it fitted perfectly. She unlocked the chains and the weights they were carrying slipped down their backs and fell to the floor with a loud clunk. That was when she finally ran forwards to her parents and embraced them with a hug, sniffing. "I'm so glad I can see you again..." Naomi sobbed, the tear tap turning on again.
"I'm so glad you managed to defeat that guy who was keeping us chained up," Jodie exclaimed, her eyes not seeming to water. She and Naomi glanced at Tivkean's body once again, littering the road.

28-Feb-2012 19:49:35 - Last edited on 28-Feb-2012 22:00:12 by Lady Railly

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"Now come with me. I need to find the rest of the elves and set them free too," Naomi beckoned as she walked north and Jodie and John followed her, whilst the rest stayed behind and talked to each other, feeling surprised.
Naomi again, with her parents, saw elves standing up, not knowing where they were, in the distance. They just stood there which made it easier for Naomi to find them because if they were moving around it would make it harder for her. When she got there she saw they were exhausted. She quickly used the key to unlock the lock - this time it was on the first elf in the line - and they thanked her for that. She moved around the planet and eventually she set all of them free and she smiled at what she had done.
"You will be remembered forever," one of the elves said after Naomi had set them free.
"And what's your name?" Naomi asked, smiling and peering up.
"My name's Katy," the woman elf said timidly, shrugging slightly but still smiling.
"Well I'm glad I could help you. I wish I could stay but I've got to go back to where I was before I came here," Naomi explained sadly. "Bye." She waved and the elf waved back as the human girl showed her parents through the bright green portal before going in it herself. Then they returned to their own planet, and Naomi's parents showed Naomi the way back to her old home.

28-Feb-2012 19:51:30 - Last edited on 28-Feb-2012 22:00:36 by Lady Railly

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~-~Epilogue~-~
As Naomi and her parents got closer and closer to their home, she realised that it was in shambles, it was ruined, crushed. Her eyes slowly swivelled around and studied the scene before her. All the other houses in the neighbourhood were like that. She then slowly walked towards the remains of her home and then ran towards it, her mouth open in shock. Her parents walked behind her and they didn't look very shocked at all, they just walked towards Naomi who was kneeling down again and they each put a hand on each of Naomi's shoulders, Jodie's on her right and John's on her left.
"Oh no! What's happened to our house?" Naomi cried, looking at her mum and her dad respectively, her eyes filled with sadness.
"The bandits destroyed it," John replied, sighing and looking at the ruins in front of them. Naomi sat and lay her face in her hands once more, not crying this time but just...thinking...
~-~
Two years passed, and Naomi's parents had bought a new home. Naomi was now 13 years old and she looked a little different, a bit taller, a bit slimmer, but overall her features looked the same as she did when she was 11. They had just moved into their new home and Jodie was rummaging through her things, sorting everything out. However, she forgot to put one thing in the box, which was bigger than most. Delicately, Naomi picked it up as she had to be careful with it. “Where did she get this from?” Naomi thought as she stroked it gently.
It was a sword.
Naomi turned her back to her mother, studying it closely. Jodie looked up and glanced at her for a second – and her eyes laid on the end of the sword, that was sticking out from the right-hand side of Naomi. Her eyes lowered and she sighed quietly.
Later that day, Naomi was eating her dinner with her parents when Naomi asked, rather cheekily, “Hey, Mum, Dad, why was there a sword in one of your boxes?”
“…Oh.” There was a sudden silence coming from the room, after John had uttered that single word.

28-Feb-2012 19:51:30 - Last edited on 28-Feb-2012 22:01:13 by Lady Railly

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“Well…” Jodie finally said, brushing her hair back with her hand. “…It’s a long story.”
“Well, go on, you can tell me here, now, can’t you?” Naomi asked, munching.
“Okay, I’ll summarise it,” Jodie said, swallowing. “Erm…you know when the bandits came two years ago? They left a sword with the remains. So we’ve kept it for that same period of time, and then, when me and your dad went shopping yesterday, we heard the town crier say that there was more of those bandits coming along. What was the name again, John?”
“The Itav Initev, I think,” the voice of Naomi’s father came from across the table.
“Ah yes, them,” Jodie finished – finishing because she really had nothing else to say.
“I still don’t get why you kept it,” Naomi replied, sighing. “Why?” she repeated.
“We thought it would turn out useful in the future someday – and it did. Because we’re giving it to you. As a really late birthday present,” Jodie winked as she walked from the table into the hallway where all the boxes and storage were. She opened one of them and took out the sword, sheathed, and handed it to Naomi once she got back to the table. Naomi looked at it again. There was a strange word carved into the handle of it. She read it aloud.
“Melior,” she said, sounding a little confused. Then she turned to her mum. “But why give it to me? Why don’t you keep it for yourselves for defence?”
“Because we know you’ll protect us,” Jodie answered, laying a hand on Naomi’s shoulder. Naomi gave Jodie a gentle smile that showed she understood.
“…I guess. Those bandits probably won’t come anywhere near us any time soon though,” Naomi said quietly, putting her plate in the sink.
She was wrong.

28-Feb-2012 19:51:39 - Last edited on 28-Feb-2012 22:01:37 by Lady Railly

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~-~Chapter 1~-~


This sight greeted Yorin every night.

The Vetini Vati's camp appeared to be small but very crammed. The tents were clustered together as if to shelter from the cold wind that was howling, howling straight in the direction Yorin was so that it blew his light blonde hair everywhere, making it hard for him to see. Nevertheless, he peered between the thick trunks of the trees with his sea-blue eyes and stared at the camp, trying to make out what the gang was saying.

The camp was much neater than the Itav Initev's was. Its logs were stood at an exact right angle, so it seemed, and the campfire's warm, welcoming glow was beckoning him in. Suddenly, the deep voice of the gang leader was audible. Yorin leaned closer in, trying to be quiet at the same time, and listened.

However, his eyes became droopy, and the leader's voice was so quiet that he fell asleep. He had a habit of doing that, and it was surprising the gang hadn't chose another person to spy instead of him.

He had slept through the entire meeting. By the time he had woken up, the leader was saying: "Is that clear, then?" The others of the group all agreed and they eventually started to walk back into their tents.

Yorin let out a quiet sigh and brushed his left hand gently across his forehead - knocking some bark off a tree as he did so. "Hey!" the gang leader shouted. "Is anyone there?" Unwisely, Yorin started running, his footsteps crunching on the icy leaves below him. As he ran past a tree, an arrow thumped into one of its branches, dangerously close to where he was. He kept on running, arrows flying past him and into foliage.

Outrunning them, he eventually reached his gang's base. As he reached the opening, he took a few breaths. He then entered it, sweat dripping from his scalp.

Yorin came in quietly, but not quietly enough to get past the rest of his gang. The leader of the gang was named Moshinon. He was looking at him with an expression of curiosity. He raised one eyebrow.

28-Feb-2012 19:53:07 - Last edited on 28-Feb-2012 22:03:32 by Lady Railly

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"So, what did you get for us?" he asked in his usual rough tone of voice.

Yorin said nothing at first. Moshinon was surprisingly patient with him, and waited. Eventually, Yorin confessed, "I'm sorry, Sir. I didn't catch anything they said. I fell asleep."

"Argh! You've let us down 'gain, Yorin," Moshinon complained, sipping his ale once more. "You always come back with li'l or no information each trip, because you nearly always fall asleep."

"I will strive to do better next time," Yorin replied solemnly. Moshinon snorted at that remark and blew bubbles out of his ale.

"Yeah, you keep sayin' that but you never do," argued Miradin, also known as Mirad. This was odd as Mirad was usually silent. Yorin looked at him with an annoyed expression.

"No, no, seriously, I will do," he promised, even grinning a little. Moshinon grinned back, possibly because of his ale.

"G'boy," he responded, patting Yorin on the back. "Now, me an' the rest o' us will discuss this while you get a g'night's rest. See you in the mornin'." Yorin obeyed as he left the room, walked north then west in the camp and then entered his tent. Sighing, he fell upon his fur bed, closing his eyes immediately, and then falling asleep in what seemed like minutes.

Moshinon was a Dwarvish term, literally translated as "no mush" but better understood as "doesn't dissapoint". Even though he talked in a rough tone of voice, and grumbled often, he had a Dwarvish accent. Miradin got his name from his famous father, called Aradin. He was too Dwarvish, and he worked in a gold mine. Aradin meant "Well dug", or "hard worker".

The name Itav Initev in itself meant "never beaten". This name was discussed by Moshinon and Miradin when the gang formed for the first time.

"Well, we didn't exac'ly get what we wan'ed," Moshinon started, having a slur because of the ale. "We told Yorin to get out, an' he came back with no information."

28-Feb-2012 19:53:07 - Last edited on 28-Feb-2012 22:04:03 by Lady Railly

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There was a short pause, and he was about to say something else when Miradin interrupted him.

"Moshinon, sir, I 'ave an idea," he said with a smile. "Why don't we get Yorin to spy durin' the night? It would benefit 'im because he could 'ear more, and be more covered up."

"Not so sure 'bout that idea," Moshinon replied, downing the last of his glass.

"Go on, give it a chance!" Mirad encouraged.

"Well..." There was a longer pause. The twenty more gang members were interested to see his response. "A'right then, but you give 'im 'is orders. I think I'll go t' bed now..." Moshinon ordered as he walked directly north to his large tent, where he flopped on the bed and fell asleep almost as quickly as Yorin did.

* * *

Yorin ran through the woods, his heart pounding. He could hear distant voices behind him. Arrows caught the end of his clothes and pinned him to a thick trunk of a tree. The Vetini Vati caught up with him, laughing in his face. The leader of the gang aimed his bow and shot an arrow right in his chest, digging in, very nearly piercing his heart. The leader frowned at Yorin still moving, so he aimed another shot. Yorin tried to scream, but-

"Yorin!" Mirad shouted, bursting through his tent. For once Yorin was glad he had woken him up and walked through without asking.

"What? It's the middle of the night!" he mumbled.

"Listen..." Mirad started.

"We're givin' you a special job t' do," he explained quietly. Yorin looked at him with a raised eyebrow, as if to ask what the heck it was. Mirad sighed. "Yer quittin' spyin' in the day an' yer startin' spyin' in the night."

"...Are you trying to tell me I'm starting that new job right now?" Yorin asked with a slight tone of nervousness.

"O'course not! You need some sleep," Mirad exclaimed. "You 'ave a g'rest and you start tomorro'." As he left the tent, Yorin tossed and turned over to face the side of the tent, leaning on his right arm. It was about 2am when he got back to sleep.

28-Feb-2012 19:53:07 - Last edited on 28-Feb-2012 22:04:28 by Lady Railly

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Moshinon woke up with an annoyingly painful headache. Groggily, he got up and dressed into a single crimson tunic, the texture of it being slightly rough as he clothed himself.

He walked out of his tent and to the log fire, the colour of the wood being black as coal. He threw the charred remains of the bark into the entrance of the woods as he entered them. He was searching for an animal to kill and bring back to the fire to cook, as well as some new firewood. It was roughly 4am so he had about three hours to do all that. If he didn't come back, the rest of the gang would be worried about him.

He soon found both a deer and a bird. The bird would be too small to share between the twenty-three of them, probably. However, the deer...

Moshinon felt for his pair of sheaths, where he had placed his twin throwing daggers. He took them out one by one, placing them in both hands. He aimed - and threw them at the deer. Unfortunately, the deer saw it coming, and dove out out the way, resulting in the two weapons digging into a trunk instead. The deer then sprinted off and eventually dissapeared into the distance. Moshinon sighed, retrieved his daggers, and continued searching.

Dawn was slowly coming, and the sun was rising. He found a flock of woodpeckers, about six or seven of them roosting in the trees towering above him.

Instead of attacking one of them at a time with both his daggers, he aimed and then threw one dagger at each of the birds. He then repeated this four times, as he only had two daggers. All of them except one hit, which was a little off-target. Moshinon then sheathed them, as he most likely wouldn't use those again in his trip. Next, he picked the birds up one by one and stuffed them in his sack. Turning around and going the opposite direction, Moshinon now found the entrance to the forest, or to where he was, the exit.

28-Feb-2012 19:54:05 - Last edited on 28-Feb-2012 22:05:00 by Lady Railly

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At the entrance (or the exit), he found that not only had the charred bark dissapeared but there was a fresh pile of sticks in its place. What was this? This had never happened before. Moshinon cautiously picked the sticks up as if there might be a monster inside one of them and placed some of them in his sack as well. There wasn't enough room for all of it, so he had to make do with holding some sticks in his left hand and holding a sack in his right.

He trudged along the muddy field seperating his camp from the forest. When he got back to his camp, the stick that was nailed into the ground reflected its shadow, and revealed it was 5:30am. He had just enough time to roast the birds, their breakfast, before the rest of the Itav Initev would enter the centre of the camp.

He stuck one of the bird's bodies onto one of the sticks. Blood spurted from the body and stained it. Moshinon didn't blink as he rubbed two pieces of flint together, which were lying by the fire, and created a spark. He repeated that near the pile of sticks that were now where the campfire spot was, and it eventually evolved into a roaring fire. He held the free end of a stick and held the bird over the fire.

He did this again and again with the other birds, but as soon as he reached the fifth one the Itav Initev members began to get out of their tents and enter the middle of the campfire.

"Oh, s'rry, I lost track o' time. I guess you'll 'ave to wait a li'l longer for your breakfast," Moshinon said to Miradin as he seated himself on a thick log turned onto its side. He was sat south of where Moshinon was at that moment.

"No, it's 'kay. I guess we can wait. D' you want me t' help?" Miradin asked as he flicked a piece of sleep grot out of the corner of his eye and approached the fire.

"I s'ppose," Moshinon replied as Miradin took one of the spare sticks and stuck the sixth bird onto it, holding the end with the bird on over the fire.

28-Feb-2012 19:54:06 - Last edited on 28-Feb-2012 22:05:26 by Lady Railly

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It was warm and comforting, compared to the frosty late-autumn weather. Once all the birds had been roasted Miradin went back to his seat on the log. By that time all of the Itav Initev members had left their tents and chose their positions to sit around the red and orange blaze.

Following the Itav Initev's arrival to breakfast around the fire, one of them suddenly rubbed his stomach. "Hey, sir, I'm still hungry," he complained. His stomach rumbled for a few seconds before going quiet. "Could we go to the forest to catch our breakfast? I know you took a lot of time to catch our food, but I'm starving. That woodpecker didn't really fill me up." The others, even Yorin, agreed.

"A'right, a'right, we'll go t' the forest huntin' area if it makes you happy. You'll 'ave t' catch somethin' t' fill you up until dinner though," came the reply from Moshinon. Joyful mumbles came from around the campfire and from the logs. "Gather up yer things an' let's go." Slowly the logs emptied and the men began to file into their tents, into their rooms, and gathered their hunting equipment.

They all had different weapons. Some had throwing daggers like Moshinon, some swords or arrows.

"Right, come on," Moshinon ordered sleepily as he with his gang trudged out of their headquarters.

28-Feb-2012 19:56:41 - Last edited on 28-Feb-2012 22:05:47 by Lady Railly

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~-~Chapter 2~-~


By now the men had caught their lunch as well as their breakfast, and it took every single one of them to carry two huge deer back to their camp. The deer's eyes stared blankly ahead in their white skin, their faces having no expression. Three arrows were stuck in different places around their bodies, revealing missed hits. But the deer were now both clearly dead.

It took a very long time to roast even one of them. By the time it had finished, a black bearded man walked towards Moshinon and handed him something. Moshinon stared at him with a raised eyebrow. "What d' you want?" he grunted.

"It's - It's a letter from the..." He briefly checked what seemed to be a letter. "...Vetini Vati." He said it slowly, as if it were some foreign language.

"An' you are? I've never seen y' before," Moshinon shot back.

"...I'm a message deliverer," the man replied. "...It's obvious."

"O'course it is!" the leader of the Itav Initev gang snapped. "But where's my other message deliverer?"

"...I don't know!" the message deliverer answered, sounding nervous and shaken. Before Moshinon could say anything else, the bearded man turned and rushed off quickly. Moshinon sighed and opened up the letter. "That damn Vetini Vati..." he muttered. "O' great. Come over 'ere, you guys, take a look at this."

The gang all crowded round the message and peered at it. It read:

"To the Itav Intiev,

We would like to make it clear that we know you have a spy infiltrating us. Previously we were uncertain about this, but now we know for a fact that this is the case. Let me make it perfectly obvious that if we have one more encounter with another of your agents, we will not hesitate to do the same to you; on a much greater scale.

So be warned.
Terak
Leader of the Vetini Vati."

"Dammit...they've caught our spy," Moshinon mumbled, tearing the letter into tiny bits and scattering them on the ground. He glanced at Yorin. "Y' better b' more careful when yer spyin'," he warned him.

28-Feb-2012 19:56:41 - Last edited on 28-Feb-2012 22:06:32 by Lady Railly

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The day went and passed, more quickly that Yorin had thought it would; as it was now nighttime. "I have to be more careful..." Yorin thought nervously as he climbed out of bed and reached for his equipment. "Otherwise...who knows what Moshinon would do as a punishment if he found out?"

He exited his small tent without a sound, walked through the muddy field, and entered the forest. It was darker than usual because this was Yorin's first time at spying in the night. Carefully, he made his way through the depths of thick branches and dry leaves, plunging himself into even more darkness, so he could not even see his hand in front of his face. Yorin then fell face first to the ground with a loud thump as he tripped over a branch that was lying on the ground.

He stood up and was immediately struck and brought to the ground again. Silhouettes surrounded him. They tied his hands behind his back with a rope, and they did the same to his legs. Then two of them carried Yorin whilst the others followed, to a clearing that had a stone altar in the middle. The figures lay him face-down on the altar so if he spoke it came out as a muffle. Yorin bit the cloth off of his mouth and screamed. The person who was standing in front of the crowd drew a knife, from what seemed to Yorin as nowhere, and let out a laugh.

That laugh was exactly like the one Yorin had heard before Miradin woke him up in his tent...

...and then he woke up, lying flat on the ground again. He had woken himself up with his own scream, and it echoed around the forest. Yorin rubbed his head and cautiously got to his feet, as if he was going to be pushed down like in his dream. The cold wind met his face and body, making goosebumps on his arms. He shivered but then heard heard distant voices, and saw a dot glowing far away. Relieved, he sighed, and Yorin continued on. A few moments later he was at the tree he was hiding behind the day before.

"I sent the letter out this morning," Terak was saying to his gang.

28-Feb-2012 19:56:42 - Last edited on 28-Feb-2012 22:07:00 by Lady Railly

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"I hope they've recieved it. We need to let them know about the plans." The leader peered round the outer area of the camp. "I hope no-one's spying on us now. Otherwise...well, they know what'll happen."

Yorin held his breath. Luckily, Terak continued speaking and didn't search. "So...nothing to report, except that they actually mean what they said in the letter," he thought to himself. He turned around, taking care not to make any noise, and walked quietly back to the Itav Initev camp.

When he was roughly 200 feet away from the camp, he spotted a figure, however he couldn't work out who it was. The figure was little in size, only about 5 foot 3, and it had long hair falling from its scalp like a curtain, hiding the back of its head. It had thin limbs and appeared to be peering through the trees, straight at the middle of the camp. As usual the Itav Initev were having their nightly meeting around a warm fire that lit up the ground with ease. They were talking, Moshinon doing it the most.

Yorin crept up to the shadow but kept a good distance away from it, so if he moved it wouldn't notice easily. He managed to crouch behind a bush and get a side view of the figure. There was something unusual about this person. Then Yorin saw a lime-green band around its torso. Yorin knew there was something strange about it. After seeing that, he realised who it was. He was surprised he didn't realise it earlier.

Slowly, he started to walk towards the figure, but because it was dark he couldn't see where he was going. The silhouette was near the fire, so Yorin could see it clearly. Consequently he tripped over a small stick. It made a noise, a quiet one so the Itav Initev couldn't hear over the crackling fire, but the figure heard. It turned to face Yorin and from that point he found the figure was a girl. Yorin could see the fear in her green eyes as she ran away from him. However, he wanted to know why she was there, so he chased after her.

28-Feb-2012 19:56:42 - Last edited on 28-Feb-2012 22:07:23 by Lady Railly

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He found her leaning against a single tree in a clearing, getting her breath back. But when she saw Yorin again, her breathing was heavier than ever. The fear in her eyes returned, and it was obvious she was scared. Yorin slowly placed a hand on her shoulder, hearing a final whimper from the girl before she was deathly silent. "Who are you, and what were you doing back there?" he asked.

The girl hesitated, but then after a few more seconds, she replied, "I'm - I'm Jasmine." She let out a breath. Yorin repeated, "And what were you doing?" Silence filled the air once more. "I - I saw this glow, s-so I went to it b-but then I saw these p-people a-and I was s-scared." Yorin looked at her again. She was only about eleven years old. "You weren't spying, were you?" he questioned.

Jasmine had a worried look on her face as she said, "No." but Yorin didn't know whether she was lying or not. Still, what were the chances of an eleven-year-old girl spying for the Vetini Vati? He shook the thought off and said, "Go back to my camp. It's..." He looked up to the stars. "...south-east from here."

Jasmine looked nervous. "But I'm too s-scared to go on my own," she replied. Yorin returned his eyes to the sky again. The sun was just beginning to rise, so what point would there be in going to spy now? He sighed and said, "I'll go with you then."

* * *

It took about 10 to 15 minutes to get back to the camp, and by that time the sun was clearly rising. By this time Moshinon would have gone to get food, but the deer from the night before hadn't been finished, so they were going to finish it that day. They were, however, going to have a extra mouth to feed.

The camp had gone into their tents from the nightly meeting before, but they hadn't woken up yet, so the pair silently walked into the camp. "Go to my tent and stay in there," he said the words 'stay in there' with extreme precision "and don't leave it until I tell you to. Okay?" Jasmine nodded and did as Yorin said.

28-Feb-2012 19:56:42 - Last edited on 28-Feb-2012 22:08:10 by Lady Railly

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Yorin followed her in to make it look like he was asleep.
Moshinon woke up, and the first thing that came across his mind was "Yorin didn't return back to camp last night." He pondered over it, and then thought, "Well, he was either caught, the Vetini Vati had stayed up extra late, or he was too tired."
He walked over to the logs, sat on one and began making a new fire. Whilst he did this, Yorin was watching out of the slit in the middle of his tent, and also telling Jasmine to be quiet every so often. When he thought the time was right, he told Jasmine to be silent one last time, unzipped his tent and walked towards the fire, pretending he had just woken up. By now a few of the other members had woken and had gathered, but not all of them.
Moshinon was surprised to see Yorin up so early - usually, he was the last to come out because he had been staying up all night spying. As he sat down, Moshinon asked him, "Why didn't y' giv' us any inf'mation last night, Yorin?"
One of Moshinon's theories proved to be true, as he said, "There was a lot going on at the Vetini Vati camp and when I came back, the meeting had finished. Sorry." Moshinon just chuckled and replied with, "A'right, it's 'kay, just wan'ed t' know why." As soon as he had finished talking, the deer had been recooked and they were helping themselves, but Yorin was leaving some untouched.
"Why aren't y' eatin' that, Yorin?" Moshinon asked curiously. Yorin had already predicted he would say that, so he simply said, "I want to save it for later." Moshinon nodded and went back to eating.
When they had finished, Moshinon asked, "S' what exac'ly did happ'n over there?" Yorin told the truth, and said, "The letter they sent was completely true. They were talking about it there." Moshinon nodded. "Anything else?" he asked. The gang were all waiting for a response.
They would most likely find out sooner or later that she was there. So he took a deep breath, turned to his tent, and called, "Jasmine!"

28-Feb-2012 19:57:34 - Last edited on 28-Feb-2012 22:08:39 by Lady Railly

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~-~Chapter 3~-~

As the small girl unzipped Yorin's tent and walked out timidly, Moshinon and his gang stared at Yorin in disbelief for a second, but then turned back to the girl. "Who's this then?" Moshinon asked Yorin, his tone one of surprise.
"I found her just over there in the woods," Yorin replied, turning and pointing in the direction he had spotted her. "I don't know what she was doing though." Moshinon nodded as the girl seated herself quietly on a small log that had no-one else on it. "How ol' are you, Jasmine?" he asked her, saying 'Jasmine' with a slightly mocking tone.
"Eleven," the girl answered after a moment of hesitation. Moshinon sat in thought for a few moments, then, looking at Jasmine curiously, he asked the same question as Yorin had a few hours ago. "Were you spyin'?"
"N-no, sir," Jasmine replied nervously, trying to divert her emerald-green eyes away from Moshinon. He didn't like that move, because he thought if someone looked away from him when answering a question like that, then they were lying. "You don't 'ave t' call me sir," he said quietly. "Look me in the eyes. Were you spyin'?"
This time, Jasmine raised her eyes so that they were level with Moshinon's, looked him straight in the eye, and firmly said, "No." She had to force herself to do that. She found Moshinon intimidating.
"Good," he said. Then his eyes lit up. "Where did you go before you came here?" he asked with a smirk. Jasmine's eyes dropped to the floor. "I don't really want to tell you," she replied quietly. At that instant the soil she saw on the ground was replaced with a shining blade, dangerously close to her. Terrified, she looked up and Moshinon was holding one of his throwing daggers under her chin. "Tell us," he ordered.
Jasmine opened her mouth, but no words came out as the sword was pressing too hard against her throat. Desperately, she pointed at the sword, then at her throat, then at her mouth several times. Moshinon loosened his grip on the dagger.

28-Feb-2012 19:57:34 - Last edited on 28-Feb-2012 22:09:02 by Lady Railly

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"I-I was running away from home." The words came out almost instantly out of Jasmine's mouth, mainly out of shock but also out of fear that she would get her throat cut if she didn't answer fast enough. At this, Moshinon's expression completely changed. He looked at her with an expression of curiosity. "You were runnin' away from home? Where is your home?" he queried softly.
"I think it's at the opposite side of the w-woods. I'm not sure though," Jasmine replied. Moshinon then had a visual image, so to say a map, of the woods. He visualised himself running through the forest. On his way he passed a clearing, the Vetini Vati camp, another clearing, a sort-of farm and then he came to an opening which led to some houses and a neighborhood. The street was in ruins though, as it was close to both of the gangs. Moshinon glanced at Jasmine and noticed she had rags for clothes, so he figured it was possible.
"Ah," he whispered. He spotted the extra food left in Yorin's lap. "Renav reen ren," he muttered to Yorin and Yorin passed his leftovers onto Jasmine. Jasmine started eating obediently.
A few moments passed, and Jasmine had finished her food and was patting her stomach in contentment. "Thst was good," she exclaimed softly. Moshinon smiled; a rarity. "Ara- I mean good." He corrected himself when he saw the confused expression on Jasmine's face. "If you're gonna stay with us, you'll 'ave t' learn the ancient Dwarvish language," The girl nodded. "What do I do now then?" she asked.
"Well, we're gonna try an' catch lunch," Miradin answered, speaking for the first time since Jasmine had appeared. Jasmine's face lit up with half-curiousity, half-delightment. "Can I come?"
Moshinon hesitated. "No, I think you'd be be'er stayin' 'ere, just t' be on the safe side." Jasmine sighed. "I do know a thing or two though." Before Moshinon could ask how, she added, "We get invaded a lot so we know how to defend ourselves."
Moshinon sighed. Eventually, he muttered, "Go on then."

28-Feb-2012 19:59:54 - Last edited on 28-Feb-2012 22:09:27 by Lady Railly

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As they had done countless times before, the gang filed into their tents and brought out their hunting equipment. Yorin went into his tent as well, and Jasmine followed him. He came out with an oak bow, held in his right hand, and a quiver of red-tailed arrows, slung on his left shoulder. As he was beginning to walk out of his tent, Jasmine stopped him. "What?" he asked.
"I - I've had archery lessons before. I'm pretty good with a bow and arrow. Could - could I please have a bow and arrow like you do?" she asked rather cheekily, but no expression of that sort on her face, pointing to the spare bow and quiver he had hanging near his bed. That gave Yorin another thought: he would have to give her somewhere to sleep.
Sighing, but not actually speaking, Yorin walked to his spare equipment, took them off the hook, and gave them to Jasmine. He now spoke. "Take good care of them," he warned her. "Those are my spares." Jasmine nodded and smiled reassuringly. "Don't worry, I will," she responded, with a slight tone of excitement in her voice.
Yorin and Jasmine were the last to come out of their tent. Moshinon and the rest of the men were waiting for them, their arms crossed. "We were goin' t' leave if you didn't hurry up," Moshinon mumbled crossly, his eyes narrowed and looking at the ground. As he raised his eyes, he noticed Jasmine finishing putting her quiver on. "What ar-" he began to say but the girl interrupted him. "I've had archery lessons before. I know how do use a bow and arrow quite well," she boasted, a smile forming on her face.
"Well then." Moshinon seemed quite impressed that a little girl of eleven years of age knew how to use a proper bow and arrow. "Where did you learn?" At this, Jasmine thought a moment, but then answered him. "It was near my town. It was a small hut."
Moshinon nodded, understanding. He had that visual image in his mind once again. "Ah. I see where you mean." He then realised what he was supposed to be doing. "Let's go then!"

28-Feb-2012 19:59:54 - Last edited on 28-Feb-2012 22:09:49 by Lady Railly

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About fifteen minutes later, they entered the forest. They couldn't find anything at first, but then one of the gang members noticed a dark, deep hole littered with soil at its entrance. The member pointed it out to Miradin and Miradin told Moshinon. From there, the whole gang circled the hole, waiting hopefully for something to come out of it.
A couple of minutes later Moshinon's legs were getting tired of crouching, but just as he was about to tell his crew to leave and search for somewhere else, a small head replaced the darkness of the burrow. It had small black eyes and brown fur - clearly a hare. The gang held their breath, not making a move nor a sound. As the hare started to crawl out further, Moshinon made his move and threw his spear (he had that in addition to his throwing daggers) straight into the south-west area of its heart.
Desperately, the poor thing escaped into the hole, looking for something that would save his life. Unfortunately, a minute later the gang dug the den out and found the hare dead, along with a still-living family. Meanwhile, though, Jasmine had to force herself not to rush to the hare and tend to it earlier, as she could see the sad look in its eyes. So the minute she saw the spear in the hare, she shut her eyes...until Yorin shook her violently and shouted at her to catch one of the members of the family of hares that were running in all directions.
She tried her best and she caught one of the babies. However, she looked at the rest of the gang and they were too busy trying to catch the others. She couldn't resist leaving the trembling thing under a bush, hoping it would survive on its own. As soon as she did that, the Itav Initev had stuffed the rest of the hares in the sack. Moshinon had laid his throwing daggers in such a position that if the hares dared to move they would get sliced.
What Jasmine had hoped was that the II wouldn't notice that one of the babies were missing. And they didn't, so they continued on their way.

28-Feb-2012 19:59:54 - Last edited on 28-Feb-2012 22:10:25 by Lady Railly

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As they continued on the gang, not just Moshinon, were beginning to get tired. But what was about to happen would make them have a massive amount of energy.
As they were walking, Yorin had spotted something out of the corner of his eye. Something he thought he knew. He then had his full attention on it. Instead of going the path the rest of the gang were going, he walked a different path, towards the thing. Moshinon noticed this, and called, " 'Ey! Wha' are you doin'?" He was about to say something else but then he stopped and noticed it too.
He noticed the face, the expression, and the badge.
The badge with the two V symbols entwined.
It was a Vetini Vati member. He had been spying on them all that time.
Quick as a flash, Moshinon ran as fast as he could towards the man. The rest of he gang followed, except for Jasmine. She was just standing there, her mouth open in shock.
The man was trying to run away, but Yorin's quick spying skills kicked him and he caught up with the Vetini Vati member. Yorin kicked him so he tripped up and fell, then leaping on his back and grabbing both hands, forcing them together. He managed to sustain this until Moshinon had come over. As Moshinon nearly choked the man by securing his arm around his neck, Yorin let go of the man's hands.
The man tried to push Moshinon's arm off him and attempted to kick him so that he could escape, but Moshinon didn't turn a hair. "An' what d' you think you're doin'?" he asked menacingly, as Moshinon's followers circled the VV spy, weapons at the ready.
Moshinon was pleased to see that on his face he had an expression of mercy and then it changed to one that seemed to say, "Please don't kill me! I'm innocent!" To this, Moshinon replied in speech, "O' really? We shall find out." With a almost evil-sounding laugh, the gang tied his limbs together, before dragging him towards the centre of the camp.
The man then caught a glimpse of Jasmine following them. Tears began to run down his cheeks.

28-Feb-2012 20:00:03 - Last edited on 28-Feb-2012 22:11:16 by Lady Railly

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~-~Chapter 4~-~

About half an hour had passed, and during that time the gang had carried the man back to the camp. His limbs were still tied together. Moshinon found a long, thick branch to tie the man to, and then laid the branch against a tree. "Well? What were you doin'?" Moshinon looked the man in the eye, waiting for him to tell him anything. He knew what he was doing, but he just wanted to see how honest he was. "Be honest, an' your punishment'll be far less painful than if you lie."
Moshinon looked at the man once more, and then realised he knew him well. He went by the name of Blaydon. Blaydon gulped and stammered, "I was getting information on your various plan-- I mean, tourist facilities..."
"Tourist facilities?! Why would anyone want to tour 'round this borin', smelly piece o' dirt?" Moshinon snapped, unconvinced.
"Well, erm, you see... I heard there were a lot of war prepar-- ahem, fun activities to take part in. Yes, me and my boss-- er, friend, were thinking of bringing home a couple of hostage-- cupcakes..."
"Ah, word o' our cook's extra-ordinary skills 'as spread, I see!"
"Wow, so they really do make cupcakes here..." Blaydon muttered to himself.
"Do we 'eck!" exploded Moshinon, "an' you're the worst liar ever!" He turned and beckoned two Initev. "Take 'im away!" he ordered, adding, "An' 'ang 'im at midnight!"
* * *
The hanging proceeded at midnight on the dot, but Yorin couldn't just hang around and watch. He had to do his job and go spy at the Vetini Vati camp. So he got his weapons and pieces of paper, and some writing equipment to write notes down with, and went on his way. He was afraid, though, that the VV had realised their spy hadn't come back, and therefore were in the forest looking for him. If Yorin ran into them, he would be without a doubt dead.
But he had to be brave, so he entered to forest. He went his usual route and everything seemed to be okay, as he didn't encounter anything unusual along the way. He reached the camp.

28-Feb-2012 20:00:04 - Last edited on 28-Feb-2012 22:12:09 by Lady Railly

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He stopped behind his usual tree, and listened. As he had guessed, the gang were talking about the spy and where he could have possibly gone. Then he heard the words 'Itav Initev' and 'Moshinon'. He pulled out his piece of charcoal and began writing.
Little did he know someone was following him.
When Yorin was getting ready to go out, he had accidentally and without knowing woken Jasmine up. Curious, Jasmine had miraculously managed to silently follow him, and realised that he was spying. She was very sneaky, and actually managed to go past Yorin's view and enter the VV camp.
The gang members of the Vetini Vati immediately noticed that Jasmine had returned. Terak ran to her. "Where have you been?!" he hissed at her angrily. She looked him straight in the eye and said with a hint of confidence, "I have a lot to tell you." A smirk appeared on her face.
Yorin saw this and was hearing their conversation as well. He wrote down that 'Jasmine is a spy for the Vetini Vati and we should get rid of her' in quick, scribbled notes.
Jasmine told Terak and the others about everything - including the Vetini Vati's plans, how they kill things...and about the killed member. "They killed...our spy...?" Terak mumbled, his expression turning into a frown. "Our day spy, anyway. You're our night spy. But you have -" he said the 'have' with emphasis "- to make sure you're not caught and killed. Okay?" Jasmine nodded, biting her lip nervously.
"So, should I go now? I should be spying anyway," Jasmine asked. "Or should I stay here and then continue tomorrow?" Terak sighed. "Well, we don't want you to get caught that quickly, do we? So you'll stay with us here, and then you can start again tomorrow." Jasmine nodded and agreed.
Meanwhile, Yorin had written every word of their conversation down. Then, as the Vetini Vati were climbing into their tents and getting ready to go to sleep, including Jasmine, he took off and ran back to the II headquarters. Luckily HE didn't get caught.

28-Feb-2012 20:01:12 - Last edited on 28-Feb-2012 22:12:59 by Lady Railly

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By the time Yorin had gone back to the tents of the Itav Initev, they were already fast asleep. So Yorin found his tent, climbed into it, and laid back. But as he did so, he noticed the empty space next to his bow and arrow. The space that once contained his spare weapon. The spare weapon that he gave to Jasmine. That Jasmine had now.
That Jasmine had a weapon.
* * *
The morning came, and Yorin woke up nicely in time with the other gang members, who were getting out of their tents. Yorin joined the gang at the campfire. Moshinon then focused his attention on Yorin. " 'ey Yorin," he said. "You came back late last night, 'cause we didn't see you when we went back t' our tents. What inf'rmation did you get?"
Yorin looked down to the floor. "I have some terrible news," he said sorrowfully. "I found out last night that...Jasmine is working for the Vetini Vati. She told Terak everything, from our plans to our strategies. She's a spy for them."
"But we already killed the spy!" Moshinon responded.
"One of the spies. Jasmine's the night spy. I heard them say that and that's why I found her when I was spying in the middle of the night. We killed the day spy. They have two spies, you see."
"I don't believe you."
"But it's true, I - " Yorin was saying when Moshinon interrupted him, saying, "I don't care 'bout that! This is impossible! How can a li'le girl like 'er work for a gang as a spy? That's ridiculous."
Yorin sighed and shut up, not bothering to try and tell him any more. Miradin started the fire whilst Moshinon brought out the rabbits from the sack that they had caught the day before and stuck one of them on the stick. Once the fire was big enough he laid the stick over the fire and started to roast them. Whilst Yorin was waiting for all six rabbits to cook, he sat deep in thought.
How could he convince them to believe him? He had to get proof of some sort. He sat thinking about it until the food was passed round. He began eating, a little disappointed.

28-Feb-2012 20:01:12 - Last edited on 28-Feb-2012 22:13:46 by Lady Railly

Lady Railly

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Moshinon hadn't noticed that Jasmine had gone missing, so the day came and went, and the gang had lost so much track of time that it was late evening when they actually came back to camp.
"Guys, I know that th' time 'as gone, but we still need t' catch our dinner," Moshinon announced. The gang members grumbled and protested because they were so tired, but Moshinon suggested if they were all that tired they could miss dinner and have the things they caught for breakfast the next day instead. They agreed and so they went on their way.
They caught a family of badgers, about 3 in total. Moshinon stuffed them into the sack and that was their meal for the next day. As they were walking back to their camp, though, Yorin spotted a small girl (he predicted it was Jasmine) in the distance, walking the opposite way they were, and her expression seemed to be drooping, as if she was disappointed about something.
Yorin pointed to the figure and Moshinon ran forward towards it, whilst the others followed. As Yorin came closer to the person, he did in fact find it was Jasmine. Moshinon stopped when he was a few feet away from her. He then realised that Jasmine had been missing. He then asked, "Jasmine! Where 'ave you been? You've been missin' all day!"
Jasmine nibbled her lip, trying to think of an excuse. "I was...er..." she stuttered. As Moshinon turned around to face him, Yorin raised his eyebrows at him, as if to say, "Well? Told you." Moshinon turned back round and muttered to Jasmine, "Come with me." Jasmine's eyes widened. "Wh - Where are we going?"
"Back to camp," Moshinon said, having a strong grip on her wrist that Jasmine couldn't break free of. Miradin held her other wrist with the same strength. Jasmine's eyes darted around nervously, then settled on Yorin, who was looking at her, eyebrows still raised, arms folded.
Jasmine's eyes filled up with regret that she had ever trusted this person. "Did you give me up?" she mouthed angrily.
Yorin nodded, smirking.

28-Feb-2012 20:01:34 - Last edited on 28-Feb-2012 22:14:15 by Lady Railly

Lady Railly

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Moshinon snickered as Jasmine was tied onto a log and leant against a tree. "Why did you spy on us?" he demanded sternly. Jasmine gulped and said nothing. In response, Moshinon whipped out one of his throwing daggers, and pointed it at Jasmine's neck. "You must tell us!" he shouted.

"I - I had to," she answered timidly. The leader was getting tired now. "That's not a reason!" he snapped. He inched the sword closer to her neck. "If you don't tell me, I'll kill you!"

"T - That's what I had to do in order not to get killed at my home," Jasmine responded shakily. Seeing that he wouldn't have to do any slaughtering yet, Moshinon sheathed his throwing dagger. "Tell us more," he beckoned. Jasmine, determined not to share anything more with them, kept her mouth shut. So the gang leader drew his sword again, but this time drawing a thin line of blood against the girl's throat. "This is what you get when you mess with us!" he muttered.

"I'm only eleven! Please!" Jasmine pleaded, as Moshinon pressed the blade harder against her. "No! Please! You can't kill me, after all the pain I experienced from seeing you kill my own father!" Jasmine blurted out.

There was a sudden silence.

"...What?" Moshinon said, not quite understanding that.

"That spy...that spy you killed after that hare slaughter..." Jasmine explained, her eyes watering. "That was my father."

Moshinon stared at her. "Are you sure?" he asked. Jasmine nodded. "Really?" She sighed. "Yes!" she repled, annoyed. "Now please get me down from here. It's hurting my arms."

That reminded the leader of what he had to do. "Oh no," he muttered. "You don't get away from us that easily." Jasmine's eyes widened again, and the more she protested, the more likely she was to get killed. The gang had no mercy for anyone, anyone at all, even 11-year-old girls, especially those who are spies.

In the end, she was killed. It was quick though, and after that incident they entered their tents and fell asleep, quick as a flash.

28-Feb-2012 20:02:02 - Last edited on 28-Feb-2012 22:16:19 by Lady Railly

Lady Railly

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~-~Chapter 5~-~


Morning arrived, and as the gang were having their breakfast, Moshinon and Miradin made a special announcement. "Right, guys," Moshinon started off. "We 'ave seen many spy attempts over the last couple o' days, an' we don't like it, do we? So we 'ave declared war on the Vetini Vati." The gang gasped and started talking to each other nervously.

"We sent the message out this mornin'," Miradin continued. "An' they replied back sayin' they accept. So we 'ave t' get ready for battle now." Obeying, the gang each went into their separate tents and brought out their weapons. Yorin came out of his tent with his usual bow and arrows. He had his spare weapon back from Jasmine the night before.

Moshinon led the way, with Miradin following behind and the rest of the gang following him. They entered the forest and kept marching until they reached the tree that Yorin hid behind every night. They checked the camp and the Vetini Vati were only just getting ready to fight their rivals.

Seeing this as a weak defence point, the Itav Initev charged into their enemies' headquarters. This took them by surprise; they grabbed all they had at that time and retaliated.

Moshinon was 1-on-1 with Terak. The II leader used his throwing daggers to aim for Terak's solar palex, but he dodged and at that moment thrust his sword, aiming for Moshinon's stomach area. After doing so, he brought out another sword. Moshinon had neatly missed his attack, and Terak unwisely went forward to retrieve his sword that was lying on the ground. He thought he would be able to get it without being attacked.

Noticing him running towards it, Moshinon aimed - threw one of his throwing daggers - and it made a deep cut through the clothing and the back of Terak. The VV leader straightened up and groaned in pain, his front to Moshinon - allowing a chance for Moshinon to get a perfect aim with his other throwing dagger to Terak's heart. It did hit, and Terak fell to the ground, not moving at all.

28-Feb-2012 20:03:13 - Last edited on 29-Feb-2012 16:43:10 by Lady Railly

Lady Railly

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At this time, Yorin was against a tree, breathing deeply, catching his breath after that walking. Carelessly his eyes wandered around the clearing - and fixed on a bush. Although it didn't seem like a bush. There was a circle of grass-like plants surrounding a small, brown, flat piece of soil. It had a black grate in the middle, which looked pretty easy to pull off. Underneath was pure darkness.

"S-Sir," Yorin panted. Moshinon swivelled round, his eyes now on the man. "What?" he replied sharply. He lifted his hand and pointed to the circle of grass. The leader raised his eyebrows at him and walked over to it, peering downwards. "Well, well," he grinned, looking up at the gang members. "This might be it." He beckoned them over, before murmuring to Yorin, "Thanks."

Moshinon grasped the grate and pulled it off easily, before saying, "Climb into the hole 'n' make your way downwards." He glanced downwards again. He could now make out the faint shape of a ladder at the side. "There's a ladder there." One by one, the gang members slowly climbed down the hole. Moshinon followed them, and Yorin was the last to go. He pulled the grate with him and placed it over the opening after he climbed in.

Once they had all jumped off the ladder and were underground, they had a good look around. And what they saw shocked even Moshinon. They had never known about it, and they weren't surprised that they hadn't.

It was a huge underground complex.

It was a enormous room filled with a lot of smaller rooms. One part of it was the furnace and smithy, for creating weapons and armour. You could see all the VV's resources stacked in a corner in piles of type. Next there was a training arena. There were lit torches stuck in holes around the sides of the room for needed light, otherwise the trainees wouldn't be able to see what they were doing. It had sacks for melee and target boards for archery.

Moshinon's eyes darted in and out of each of the rooms, his eyes filling with frustration.

28-Feb-2012 20:03:13 - Last edited on 29-Feb-2012 16:43:42 by Lady Railly

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There was one last room that they hadn't explored yet. Moshinon opened the smooth oak door, and stared inside. It was the second-largest room after the training arena, and it was filled with different pieces of script, each one explaining the VV's strategies in great detail. He walked in fully and examined some of the notes.

He read through everything, not surprised by any strategy of theirs because he had done it all before - until he came to some spy notes. Raising his eyebrows, he noticed the rough, untidy handwriting of a little girl - most likely Jasmine. He had a read of them. Jasmine had always spied on them when they were having their nightly meetings - every single detail was laid out of the page.

As Moshinon continued reading, his facial expression looked as if it was about to burst into flames. When he had finished reading, he slammed the paper back down on the desk so hard that it wobbled. "I am so glad that I killed their spy..." he muttered to himself. He walked back out of the room, where his gang were waiting for him.

Miradin sighed. "What are we exac'ly goin' t' do with this then?" he asked. He paused. "Well, we could use it as our own, but it would be quite a while away from our headquarters, wouldn't it?" He scratched his head thoughtfully. One of the gang members smirked. "We could turn it into a giant sparring arena," he said to himself. Moshinon overheard him and spun around, quick as a flash.

"That's a great idea!" he exclaimed, grinning. "Well done, you. But how would we make it...?" he asked himself. The same gang member pointed to the piles of resources in the smithy and furnace room. Moshinon nodded. Yorin then suggested, "And wood. We can get that from the forest above us." Moshinon nodded at that as well.

"So...when are we goin' t' start work?" Miradin asked, shrugging. Moshinon scratched his chin. "...Tomorrow," he finally said. "Now let's go back t' camp." With that, the II went back to the ladder, exited the complex and left.

28-Feb-2012 20:03:31 - Last edited on 29-Feb-2012 16:44:08 by Lady Railly

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When the II were in the middle of walking back to their headquarters, they caught some food along the way; three nice brown rabbits. Moshinon stuffed them in his sack that he always had with him, and then the gang continued on their way, back to the camp.

Once they had reached the camp, they sat around the fire that Miradin lit this time, while Moshinon roasted the rabbits on the stick over it. Miradin had a knife with him to cut the skin off of any animals, so he gave it to the II leader who then deskinned all three.

They started eating, and when they had finished, they filed into their tents and went to sleep.

* * *

Earlier than usual, Yorin woke up. Someone was tugging him out of his bed. It wasn't time for spying yet, at least he didn't think it was, so why was Miradin or Moshinon waking him up now? He sleepily took another look at the figure. It wasn't one of the two at all. It was a total stranger, by the looks of it.

As he was still half-asleep, he didn't have enough energy to fight back and not allow the stranger to tug him out of his bed and tent, so he went along with it. He was silently dragged all the way to somewhere in the forest, out of eyesight and earshot from the II camp.

This was when the figure revealed himself, and under the moonlight Yorin could see him properly. It was in fact Oden, but he was covered with all sorts and sizes of bandages, some with blood clearly seeping through. Oden grabbed Yorin's shoulders as he stared at him worriedly.

"What are you doing?" Yorin hissed at him, angrily yet sleepily. It was Oden's turn to be worried now. "Nearly all of my gang members have died, from countless injuries. We're running very short of members, I was one of the few to survive."

Yorin's eyes showed hints of frustration as he listened to every word that Oden was saying. With frustration in his voice also, he muttered, "Well, what has it got to do with me?"

Oden stared into Yorin's eyes, and then slowly whispered, "We want you to join us."

28-Feb-2012 20:07:10 - Last edited on 29-Feb-2012 16:44:47 by Lady Railly

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~-~Chapter 6~-~


Yorin stared back at him, furious that Oden had actually thought that he would join them. "What do you think you're doing?" he muttered, folding his arms after brushing Oden's hands off of his shoulders. "I wouldn't join you, you're the rival gang of mine! If I somehow wanted to join you and did, Moshinon would kill me. Literally." Yorin's eyes dropped to the ground and he sighed. "I - I don't know why I haven't killed you by now. Then again, I haven't got a weapon." He managed a very small smile, even though he was still angry with Oden.

He looked up from the ground just as Oden produced a rather large sack. Where Yorin could see, he showed the opening and inside were hundreds of small gold coins. From that moment he found it actually hard to decide whether he should leave the II or not.

"Well?" Oden asked in a quiet murmur, slyly pushing the bag nearer to Yorin, so that he would be able to see how many more coins there were. "What do you say?"

Yorin found it hard to decide because he had never been paid anything for being a spy for the Itav Initev. He was doing it for free, and Moshinon had never given him any money at all, no matter how hard he worked or how much information he had brought back to the camp. But he didn't want to get killed...and that was more important than money. However Oden seemed to be able to read his mind.

"Don't worry, we will protect you. The rest of the gang and I will. And if you do decide to join us, then we will go to that town and recruit people from there, and we can train them with our underground complex!" Oden paused. "You do know about that, don't you?" Yorin nodded. "Good." The spy still looked unsure. His gang was going to turn it into a giant training arena. But what if they got loads of recruits and then met the Itav Initev down there, building their arena?

He decided he wouldn't tell Oden for now, but then returned to the original question: would he join the Vetini Vati? He was still unsure.

28-Feb-2012 20:07:11 - Last edited on 29-Feb-2012 16:45:40 by Lady Railly

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Yorin was finally able to say something. He spoke in a soft, doubtful whisper. "I...honestly don't know," he mumbled. Oden rolled his eyes and sighed. "Please," he pleaded. "I need gang members, and the ones left remaining are in crucial condition. I won't be able to recruit members by myself. I need someone else. So I thought the only other way was to get members from my...rival gang." He looked into Yorin's eyes, and once again brought out the bag of money.

Yorin broke the eye contact and stared at the ground. Okay, so maybe they would protect him. Oden managed to survive the conflict, didn't he? He was strong enough to do that. And he got money as well! Also, once the recruits got trained- The training arena. Which was now the Itav Initev's. Oh well. It's a pretty good deal anyway. And Moshinon was horrible also, treating him like dirt.

Yorin slowly looked up at Oden, then closed his eyes, and uttered a single word.

"Okay."

Oden's eyes and facial expression lit up with glee. "Thank you so much," he murmured quickly, grinning. He then paused for a moment. "But no turning back, okay? You can't change your mind now." He patted Yorin's shoulder as they began to walk in the direction of the VV camp. "You are now a member of the Vetini Vati. Congratulations."

* * *

The pair reached the Vetini Vati headquarters. The camp indeed had very few members still alive; with corpses still spread around the area, but the ones who had weren't in what Oden had called 'crucial condition' at all. They had a few bandages and sprains, but that was about it.

"Here's your new gang member, guys," the now-VV-leader announced, lightly pushing Yorin forward. The members of the Vetini Vati stared at the ex-II member, then at Oden. "But...but sir, he's a member of the other gang," one of the VV nervously responded.

"Well, I managed to...persuade...him to join," Oden replied slyly, now handing Yorin the bag of coins. "And we are going to protect him from Moshinon, isn't that right?"

28-Feb-2012 20:07:11 - Last edited on 29-Feb-2012 16:46:38 by Lady Railly

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The members obediently nodded as Yorin reached into the bag and pulled out a handful of those shining gold coins. He could not believe his eyes. As he was staring at them, Oden continued. "We need to protect him from Moshinon. Because you guys know him, don't you? If he finds out that Yorin here has joined our gang, which he probably will, he will hunt him down and try to kill him." Yorin was too busy pulling out more of the coins to listen to what Oden had to say.

The leader of the Vetini Vati turned to face the ex-spy. "Now, what you need to do, you need to go back to the Itav Initev and get some more rest for later. And when you get the chance to sneak past Moshinon and the others, you will, won't you? And come here." Yorin nodded in agreement. "Good. Goodbye!" Oden lightly patted him on the shoulder which was when Yorin turned around and started to walk back to the Itav Initev camp.

* * *

The morning came and Moshinon didn't ask what Yorin had brought back (referring to information) because there were too little members there that it wouldn't be worth it. They sat silently, eating what was left of the rabbits from the night before. Yorin then remembered his promise, and raised his hand slightly, as if to ask a question. Moshinon nodded to him. "I feel a little tired, to be honest," Yorin mumbled, breaking the silence. "Could I...go back to sleep? Please?"

Moshinon raised his eyebrows at his query, but then muttered, "Ah. I s'pose that you 'aven't 'ad much sleep with your spying an' all that. But this is just for a one-off, 'kay? Yes, go on then. But this is a one-off." Yorin nodded in a slight rush, not really paying attention to anything Moshinon said, and then pretended to walk sleepily back to his tent. Once he was inside, he just waited for the right moment.

As Moshinon took a long sip of his ale, he turned, his back facing camp, to face the other members. "Well... what shall we do today?" he asked, not really expecting an answer.

28-Feb-2012 20:07:12 - Last edited on 29-Feb-2012 16:46:52 by Lady Railly

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"Shall we go t' find some more food?" The rest of the gang automatically nodded as Moshinon started to tell them where they would go. This was Yorin's only chance.

He quietly undid his tent and crept out, nearly tripping over the bottom of the tent as he did so. He glanced alarmingly at the members of the Itav Initev, but they were too focused on Moshinon to notice him. He went around the tent towards the back, and then ran for it.

He ran into the forest surrounding the gang's headquarters, and then gradually went diagonally left towards the area where the II would usually set off hunting. No sign of them yet. He wiped some sweat off his forehead in relief, and then went in the direction of the Vetini Vati camp.

As he got nearer, he searched for any signs of people, as he couldn't see any from the distance he was at at that moment. The tents were all closed. They hadn't woken up yet! Yorin grinned to himself as he kept walking closer towards the camp.

When he got inside their headquarters, he sat on one of the logs around the now burnt-out fire, waiting for Oden to reappear. Fifteen minutes passed, and still no sign of him. That's when he heard a faint, familiar voice, but it was becoming louder and louder each second. He ran to the side of a tent and ducked to hide himself. It was the Itav Initev, going to hunt.

He held his breath and did not move until he had made sure they were out of earshot and they could not see him. When he was completely certain they were gone, he rose from the tent. As he was walking back to the log he had previously been sitting on, Oden appeared from the tent that Yorin had been hiding behind. He blinked at the ex-spy. "...Yorin?" he asked uncertainly. "When did you arrive? Just now?" Yorin shook his head. "No. I came here about twenty minutes ago."

Oden looked slightly guilty. "...Sorry to keep you waiting. We weren't expecting you here at such an early time." He turned towards the tents, and called out, "Get up, you lazy lot!"

28-Feb-2012 20:07:13 - Last edited on 29-Feb-2012 16:47:22 by Lady Railly

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One by one, the members of the Vetini Vati got out of their tents and into the middle, where Yorin and Oden were. The leader commanded them to sit down, and then he announced, "Today we are going to go into the town." in response to that, the gang mumbled amongst themselves, but Oden silenced them. "After all, we all need some new clothes. And Yorin has all that money to spend." Yorin had kept the sack from making a noise by wrapping it in his tunic, and now unravelled it to produce the sack.

"And we are going to protect Yorin, as well as possibly recruit members for our gang. So there are a lot of reasons why we're going into the town." He paused. "So, get your last-resort weapons, just in case we run into anyone...that we don't like," he finished, referring to the Itav Initev. Obediently, the gang members went back into their tents, and reappeared; some with daggers and some with a small shortbow with arrows, all with a bottle of poison or venom.

After they had gathered in their group once again, they set off. As Yorin was walking, he had a sudden thought. ~Maybe the Itav Initev had finished hunting by now... ~ he wondered. *But you never know. And if they have, they might have gone into my tent to wake me up... Only I wouldn't have been there, and they will be going crazy trying to find me.~ He glanced at Oden. ~They wouldn't have even thought of the idea that I could have joined the rival gang.~

By the time Yorin had finished his thoughts, he focused on the sight before him. It was the town, and he had been there before, but he didn't remember it like its current state.

28-Feb-2012 20:07:22 - Last edited on 29-Feb-2012 16:47:46 by Lady Railly

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~-~Chapter 7~-~


When Yorin had last seen the town, it was in ruins as it had been invaded by the Itav Initev so many times. Now, lots of the demolished buildings had been remade, and the marketplace was freshly stocked with all sorts of goods, each with a seller trying to persuade you to buy something, even if you didn't need it.

Oden led the gang out of the buildings part of the town and into the marketplace. This was obviously where they got their food from, they didn't hunt like the Itav Initev did. Fresh fruit, such as apples and pears, were pouring out of sacks on wooden tables. Fish were hanging lifeless by their tails whilst the seller shouted "Bargain! Bargain! Two salmon for one bronze coin!"

Yorin looked around at all of the offers around him, as he had never actually paid attention to them - he was usually just too focused on looting whatever he could on the rare times his ex-gang came here. Then his eyes rested on a man, in tatty brown clothes, in the distance shouting something unaudible. Making his way past the rest of his gang, he walked towards the person, wanting to know what he was saying. The man seemed to have his eyes on Yorin's sack - that's why he wanted to go further towards him.

"I have the greatest magical power ever!" he was shouting to passer-bys. "I will double all your cash! Just give me any type of coin, an' I will use my magic to duplicate it!" Most of the passerbys ignored him, but those who didn't just smirked and muttered amongst themselves. Yorin raised his eyebrows at the offer, but decided to try it.

He walked up towards the man, clearly spotting that he was still gazing at the sack like a malnourished person at food. Yorin opened it up and took out a handful of gold coins, taking care not to drop any on the floor as he didn't want people crawling underneath his feet to get them. When he had got a reasonable amount of coins in his hand, he asked, "Can you really duplicate my money?" The man nodded. "My speciality is gold!"

28-Feb-2012 20:07:22 - Last edited on 29-Feb-2012 16:48:24 by Lady Railly

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Yorin nodded, and gave him a full smile, before handing him the gold coins, all of them, to him. He expected the man to close his eyes and mutter some sort of spell.

Instead, he took off.

With the gold coins clasped in his hand, he made a run for it, grinning to himself, thinking, ~Wow. What a stupid person, falling for a trick like that!~ What he didn't realise was that thinking slowed his down, and Yorin caught up with him easily, the sack carefully carried on his shoulder. He quickly put his hands over the man's stomach and clasped them, before pulling him to him. "Give...me...the coins...back..." Yorin ordered sternly.

Some of the shoppers had seen this incident occur, so they too were running to Yorin and the man who had scammed him. "Please, just keep him still, while I get the coins back," he told them breathlessly, as two of the people held him under his arms. Yorin prised the man's fingers off the coins, and they fell to the floor with a soft clang. Quickly, he picked them up, and stuffed them back in his sack.

Yorin thanked them, before the shoppers dragged the man in the tatty clothes back to the marketplace. He managed to break free of them though, and he started running the opposite way to where Yorin was walking. Then the Vetini Vati caught up with the ex-spy.

"You shouldn't have left us," Oden told Yorin, sighing. "What happened?" Yorin's eyes dropped to the floor. "He nearly scammed me off some gold coins, but I managed to catch him and get the money back." Oden nodded. "Well, let's go back, and you can use your money on something worthwhile." Sighing with relief, Yorin brought the sack back down from his shoulder and held it with one hand, before walking back to the marketplace with Oden and the Vetini Vati.

When they had returned to the marketplace, Oden reminded Yorin to stay with them as he walked towards the fruit stalls. Yorin stared at the apples and pears stacked in sacks. He had never actually tasted one before, let alone buy one.

28-Feb-2012 20:07:28 - Last edited on 29-Feb-2012 16:49:11 by Lady Railly

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However, Oden was talking to the man at the apple stall then. The man had a dark brown beard, almost black, and wore a more bright colour than the scammer - navy blue. "I will have six apples, please," Oden was saying. The man brought out a rather small sack and placed six apples carefully into it.

"That will be six bronze coins," the man muttered as the leader of the VV brought out a small horse-leather bag and emptied the six coins into his hand. He handed it to him, and the man smiled and thanked him as Oden turned to what was left of his gang, noticeably Yorin. He laughed when he saw the expression on Yorin's face.

"Haven't you had one before?" Oden asked. Yorin shook his head. "Well, why don't you try one now?" The ex-spy shrugged and gingerly took one apple out of the small sack. He brought it to his lips and took out a bite from it, not too big but big enough to have the taste. Yorin licked his lips to get more of the taste. "That IS nice," he said, grinning. Oden grinned back. "Good. I'm guessing it's your first ever fruit?" Yorin laughed a little and nodded, taking another bite, bigger this time.

By the time they had moved over to the fish and meat stall, Yorin had finished his apple but grimaced as the smell of raw fish and chicken met his nose. However, it seemed that Oden was used to the smell. He walked up to the tables, with salmon and trout flat in lines on them. "I would like two of each, salmon and trout, please," Oden asked, flashing the woman a smile. The woman was wrapped in a very light green tunic, and she had light blonde hair, falling past her shoulders.

She carelessly took two trout and two salmon from the stall, noticing Oden already had a sack. "Would you like another sack?" she asked. He nodded and the woman shoved the fish into another bag and handed it to him. He smiled at her, before turning back round.

Yorin had been watching Oden do all this, when he felt his sack move by something else. He turned around and gasped in surprise.

28-Feb-2012 20:09:50 - Last edited on 29-Feb-2012 16:49:54 by Lady Railly

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There was a little boy tugging at the sack. But what surprised Yorin was the condition he was in.

The boy was probably around his teenage years, but really he looked as though he was an eight or nine year old; he was malnourished. His matchstick arms tugged at the bottom of the sack weakly, and as Yorin raised his sack up slowly, out of the boy's grasp, he looked at the ex-spy with eyes full of despair. And... Yorin was moved. He was actually moved.

His eyes darted from the boy to the sack, and back to the boy, and to the sack, and they kept doing that. The boy's legs were so frail and thin that he had to kneel down, and he was reaching up towards the direction of the sack, but obviously he couldn't reach.

Yorin bit his lip nervously, and then put a hand into the sack, rummaging for some coins. The little boy's face lit up with glee as Yorin brought out two shining gold coins. Looking at them and then at the boy one last time, he handed them to the malnourished child. The boy then gave a weak smile, a small exclaim, and then ran, or rather limped, back to his mother, who was sitting at the opposite side. She had watched the whole thing.

Yorin smiled at the woman as he walked over to her. She smiled back timidly, as Yorin spoke for the first time in a while. "You... seem to be short of money," he muttered, trying to think of something to say. The woman nodded. "But... you were part of that gang... who invaded this place. Why... are you with them? Why aren't you attacking us like you normally would?"

Yorin sighed, shifting from one foot to the other. "It's a long story. But I can't tell you now, I have to go." With a half-wave, he rushed back to the Vetini Vati, and Oden was smiling at him. Yorin looked at him with an expression, as if to say, "What are you smiling at?"

Oden's smile widened. "You've already changed, I can see that," he simply said. "You've gone from being cold and not caring about others, to..." He gestured at him, not able to find the words.

28-Feb-2012 20:09:50 - Last edited on 29-Feb-2012 16:50:24 by Lady Railly

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Yorin laughed and raised his eyebrows. ~...Really? Well, yeah, it's true,~ he thought, as he began following Oden towards the village, as he had heard him saying things about recruiting. ~It's time to get new members... I really hope the villagers aren't scared of me. After all, I was a member of the Itav Initev.~ That led him to an even more worrying thought. ~They would have found I was gone by now. What will happen when I go back, and maybe bump into them? Then again, Oden and the veterans of his gang will be able to protect me.~

He was snapped out of his thoughts when he heard a tinkle of coins drop onto the floor. He turned around immediately after hearing that sound, although in a way that was a mistake. More coins poured out of his sack. But how? He inspected it and realised there was a rather small hole in the bottom of it, but big enough for a single gold coin to fit through.

That was when he saw a man. A masked man, with a silver-coloured knife and a small piece of sack near him. He also had a coin in his hand. Well, quite a few coins, actually. Before Yorin realised what was happening, the man took off. Yorin contemplated running after him, but that would probably just make things worse, as there was still a hole at the bottom of his sack. And it would empty out even more coins.

As quickly as he could, and without spilling any more coins, he picked the existing coins that were on the floor up (he was surprised no-one had stolen them) and put them back in the sack, using the small hole. Then, he covered up the hole with the palm of his hand and carried it like that, one hand clutching the top of the sack, one hand supporting it from the bottom and also stopping any more coins from falling out.

He walked over to the Vetini Vati and had no need to tell them about the incident; they had seen it all themselves. "You've been in a lot of incidents today," said Oden, sighing. Yorin agreed to this, before walking straight into the centre of the village.

28-Feb-2012 20:09:51 - Last edited on 29-Feb-2012 16:51:08 by Lady Railly

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~-~Chapter 8~-~


As Yorin and the Vetini Vati entered the village, Yorin was a little surprised. He saw many homeless people clothed in tattered rags, but he also saw many buildings. They had obviously been remade between the time the Itav Initev had invaded the town and now. Oden turned to Yorin, and said, "Watch closely. We're going to recruit members now, and you'll also have to do it, so I'll give you an example." Yorin nodded and then proceeded to watch the event that happened before his eyes.

Oden strode over to a man covered in dirt and dark brown robes, symbolising he was poor. Very poor indeed. He crouched down so that he was face-to-face with the man. "You know the Itav Initev?" asked Oden. The man nodded sadly. "My house was taken away from them," he muttered. Oden sat beside him. "Well, if you joined us, then maybe you could get your house back. Nearly all of our members we lost because of them. And we're recruiting people now. So would you like to join?"

The man looked up and let off a small smile. "Well..." he said, sighing. "Okay. But how will I be able to fight? That's the whole reason I got homeless. I couldn't stand up to myself and I wasn't able to fight back." Oden gave the man a reassuring smile. "Don't worry. We've got a place where we can train you."

As Yorin was listening in, he heard Oden's words. He had forgotten about the training arena by then. ~Damn, I still haven't told him...~ he thought to himself crossly. *But how can I now? He's in the middle of a conversation. And it probably doesn't matter much anyway.~ At that moment, Oden walked back to Yorin with the man following him.

The leader grinned at the ex-spy and Yorin grinned back at him. "See? It's that simple," he whispered in Yorin's ear. "All you need is a bit of encouragement in your voice, and they will eventually give in and join us. Don't worry, because we will take care of the eighteen others we need. Also, you need to be truthful. Now go find someone to recruit."

28-Feb-2012 20:09:51 - Last edited on 29-Feb-2012 16:51:44 by Lady Railly

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Yorin listened to everything and nodded to everything apart from the truthful part. That included the training arena thing. ~What if the person I'm trying to recruit wonders how he will be trained? What will I say then?~ he thought. ~Well, in Oden's eyes, it's truth, so yeah, I really should say it to whoever I'm recruiting.~

He spotted another homeless man just not too far away from where Oden's recruit once sat. Yorin walked over to him, and gave a reassuring smile. "Would you like to join our gang?" he asked him, the smile still on his face. However, the man in rags misunderstood him completely. His expression turned to one of shock. "What...?" he stammered. "You're telling me...to join the Itav Initev? Why would I ever do that?! They were the whole reason I'm homeless now!" He stared up at Yorin and his eyes seemed to utter one word: "Seriously?"

Yorin closed his eyes and exhaled. He wasn't expecting this, he wasn't expecting the man to completely misunderstand him. Additionally, he was surprised that he hadn't noticed Oden and the rest as the Vetini Vati, thus meaning that Yorin had joined them. "No...no..." he muttered, sighing once more. "I meant, join the Vetini Vati. I joined them, I left the Itav Initev, for a reason that...I can't explain now, sorry."

The man's smile grew again. "Oh, in that case, of course! They protect us as best as they can. But how can I be trained to be as strong and as skillful as all of you?" Yorin grinned slightly at his compliment, but then his worrying thought returned to his mind as he mentioned training. "We have a training area nearby, and you'll be able to train there, along with everything else there is over there."

The man, content with Yorin's answers, stood up slowly. His legs were rather thin, but not malnourished. He had a small pot next to him with some coins, them being silver, gold or bronze. The man noticed Yorin glancing at it and explained, "I use this to buy my food. I beg for money, sometimes by dancing!"

28-Feb-2012 20:11:00 - Last edited on 29-Feb-2012 16:52:15 by Lady Railly

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Yorin laughed a little. "You dance for money?" The man nodded. Yorin's laugh turned into a smile. "Wow. I never thought that's possible. You will never have to do that again. You will learn the skills of fighting, and hunting rabbits and other things for food..." He broke off when he remembered that was what the Itav Initev did. But the Vetini Vati could do that, he just had never seen something like that ever since he joined. But if they didn't...could that be another lie?

Yorin hated to lie; which is why he felt too stressed of possible lies and what could be possibly the truths, and he shook all thoughts relating to that off his mind. "Come on, let's go back to the leader. His name is Oden, just so you know," Yorin said to the man as he started to walk towards the VV. The man followed him, a smile still on his face.

Yorin then studied the current 'Vetini Vati'. The other veterans of the gang had brought the eighteen other members needed to the gang, so they now didn't need any other members. The man stood next to Oden's recruit. "Thank you," Oden whispered in Yorin's ears. "We've got all the others, so we can go back to camp. Which reminds me..."

The leader started to walk into the marketplace once more, and the recruits, along with Yorin and the older members, began to follow him. They watched as he bought some more fruit and fish - eighteen apples and ten fish, five trout and five salmon - and stuffed it into his already existing sack. "Right, we've got all the food we need," Oden announced to the gang. "Let's go back to our camp, and excuse the mess there. Some of our members were tragically killed, and we haven't gotten rid of them yet."

Oden started to walk back out of the marketplace, into the village, out of the village and towards the exit, which was where the Vetini Vati came out from when they first visited the marketplace earlier. Yorin walked faster than the rest of them so he could catch up with Oden, and then walked with him, sack in his hands.

28-Feb-2012 20:11:00 - Last edited on 29-Feb-2012 16:53:13 by Lady Railly

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The next morning, Yorin woke up, and immediately turned to the side to gaze at the lovely sack of golden coins he had - only it wasn't there.

Yorin rubbed his eyes violently to make himself fully awake, and then searched for where the sack might be. Nothing. It actually wasn't there.

His eyes widened as he got out of bed and unzipped the tent. He had woken up quite late, and the rest of the Vetini Vati, including the recruits, were sitting on the logs. Oden was cooking some fish over the warm, glowing fire. Each of the members were eating an apple. Yorin joined them, scratching his hair and the back of his neck sleepily. Oden greeted him with a, "Hello, good morning. You look upset. What's happened?"

Yorin sighed and sat down next to him, seeing as every other spot was taken. "I don't know what happened..." he muttered. "The sack you gave me... it's gone."

Oden stared at him in surprise. "It can't have," he exclaimed softly. Yorin nodded sadly and looked down. "It did," he argued. "It isn't there." As he looked up, he noticed one of the recruits had a guilty expression on their face. Yorin glared at him. "Did you steal it?" he asked, his tone soft at first, but growing louder each second. "Did you steal it?!"

"No, no, no...n-no, no, no..." the recruit stammered, shaking his hands in a swiping motion. Yorin stood up and walked right up close so that his face was next to his. "You DID! You're just denying it!" he shouted. Oden stood up as well and grabbed Yorin's shoulder. "Calm down," he murmured, before turning to the startled recruit. "Now, would you like to tell me what exactly is it you know? Over there?" He pointed to a spot that was far enough for Yorin not to hear.

The recruit quickly nodded, stood up, and rushed to the spot where Oden had told him to. They were muttering, and nodding, but Yorin couldn't work it out what they were saying. He really wanted to use his spying skills and listen hidden, but he couldn't. So, instead, he just waited.

28-Feb-2012 20:11:00 - Last edited on 29-Feb-2012 16:53:25 by Lady Railly

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As Oden and the recruit returned, Yorin was going crazy over what might had happened, and what the recruit had told him. "What did he do..." he muttered, closing his eyes, waiting for Oden to tell him that the once-poor recruit spent it all, or something related to that.

Oden laid his hand on Yorin's shoulder once more. "Well, it wasn't what you thought at all," he mumbled. "Actually, he saw someone take the sack at night, when you were asleep. The person made a noise, which woke him up." Yorin opened his eyes and stared at the recruit. "...Really?" he asked.

The recruit sighed. "Yes...I woke up, and I heard a noise. I looked out of the tent, and I saw someone running out of the camp with a sack in their hands. It looked pretty similar to the sack you had." Yorin nodded, and sat down again. This was when he realised something. "One of the Initev could've taken it..." he said, mostly to himself, but some of it was to Oden.

"How would they know you had a sack of gold coins?" the leader asked, looking curious and confused. Yorin agreed to this, but then he remembered when Oden first gave him the sack. It was at night, and he was still part of the Initev then. Which meant we would have brought the sack back to that camp...It seemed possible someone would have seen it and liked the look of it.

"Well, I brought the sack to the Itav Initev camp, didn't I? When you first gave me it. Which means someone would have seen it..." Yorin explained, sighing. "So...it's a possibility one of them could've taken it." Oden nodded. "We will have to confront them then, won't we?" Yorin agreed, just as Oden brought out the fish and shared it between the twenty-five or so members.

28-Feb-2012 20:15:09 - Last edited on 29-Feb-2012 16:53:57 by Lady Railly

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~-~Chapter 9~-~


The gang were busily eating fish; and there was an awkward silence. This made Yorin think a little, which caused him to remember what Oden had said.

"We'll have to confront them then, won't we?"

Or something along those lines.

Yorin decided to break the awkward silence by asking, in a rather timid tone, "Oden...Can we confront them after breakfast?" Oden didn't know what he was talking about at first, but then understood and shook his head. "No," he replied. "If we go to them now, they will see you, accuse you of being a traitor to them, and they will try to kill you."

Yorin sighed, continuing to eat and finishing his cod and salmon in a matter of minutes, along with everybody else. Then he realised something. "But if we don't confront them now, how will we be able to get to the sack before they spend any of the money that's in it?" he asked curiously.

Oden, of course, couldn't think of anything good to reply to this, other than an "I don't know". He didn't want to waste his breath on that, so he kept silent for the moment - until he thought of something too. "Fine," he started, but then warned, "But you might get killed if you do it now." Yorin let out a small grin. "When I was going to join - when you asked me - you promised you were going to protect me."

The leader then remembered that from the previous day, the day when he did say that - and sighed in defeat. "Fine. You win. We'll go," he muttered. Yorin smiled as the two of them stood up. "Come on," he murmured, gesturing to the recruits who were still sitting on the logs. "We've got work to do. Follow us." They obediently stood up, and walked over to a place a little behind Yorin and Oden. Oden then proceeded to lead the gang out of their headquarters, and started in the direction of the Itav Initev's.

* * *

They finally reached the Itav Initev's base after about a quarter of an hour. "Shh," Oden whispered to the recruits; they stayed deatly silent as he focused on the camp.

28-Feb-2012 20:15:11 - Last edited on 29-Feb-2012 16:54:30 by Lady Railly

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The Itav Initev were nowhere to be seen.

"Well, it was pointless coming here. They're not here, they're probably hunting for breakfast or something," Oden explained, sighing. He turned around - and saw the Itav Initev convieniently there, Moshinon's sack full of rabbit corpses. He dropped the sack to the ground, the top crumpling, showing clearly some parts of the dead rabbits. The rest drew their swords, bows and other weapons, focusing their full attention on the Vetini Vati, especially Yorin.

"KRALLA!" Moshinon commanded in a roar, unsheathing his throwing daggers and rushing at the gang, but mostly at Yorin, with great speed.

Yorin saw the attack coming; immediately knowing what 'Kralla' meant, and he dodged - but not quite in time to get out unscathed. One of the throwing daggers Moshinon had had caught the sleeve of his left arm, ripping it and making a reasonably deep cut on his shoulder.

Yorin had no weapon; he had not taken his bow with him from when he had left the Itav Initev, nor had he purchased one from the marketplace, the day before. So he was defenceless. He snapped a thick branch off the low part of a tree, and sharpened it a little using the bark of the tree. He then gripped it in his right hand, ready to attack back. His shoulder was indeed bleeding, but he didn't notice at that moment.

Moshinon twirled his throwing daggers around in a circular motion; a skill he had practiced for years, until it was perfection. He then ran towards Yorin, aiming to hit his chest area, but if he couldn't reach that for any reason, his stomach would be the next best thing. Yorin quickly reached behind himself and snapped off another branch, before holding them in an X to cover his upper torso. Moshinon reacted to this by moving his arms down to Yorin's stomach level.

They hit his stomach and ripped through his clothing, and at that moment Yorin realised what was happening. He stepped backwards - and the tree he had just snapped a branch off of was there.

28-Feb-2012 20:15:12 - Last edited on 29-Feb-2012 16:54:55 by Lady Railly

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He stood there, against the tree, whilst Moshinon stood before him, holding the daggers in his hands. The Itav Initev, who was once his allies, were standing around him, preventing him from any escape.

"Leave him. He's ours now," came a voice.

Yorin's eyes searched for the person who had that voice - and it appeared to be Oden. He carried a silver longsword, the blade being steel and the hilt being to look what appeared like gold. He unsheathed it, and slightly pointed it, in the direction of Moshinon. As Moshinon turned around, he pointed one of his throwing daggers back. He then raised an eyebrow at Oden's sword.

"Well, I've never seen that sword before. Where'd you get it?" Moshinon asked curiously. Oden lowered his eyes, almost glaring at the II leader. "I got it from Jasmine's father. He left it at the camp when he left, when you killed him. And therefore I'm using it now," he explained, sighing a little. Moshinon raised both eyebrows now, before lowering them. "Good t' know," he muttered sarcastically, before turning back to Yorin. "Now, why did you join them, may I ask?" he questioned in a more threatening manner, before pressing one of the daggers to Yorin's throat.

Yorin knew he had to be honest - he had watched Jasmine learn the hard way. "They needed members, and, well... they gave me some money if I joined," Yorin answered, a little shakily, but his voice was clear all the same. It was not until then that he remembered what he had come for - confronting them. "But it appears that someone took the money away, when I was asleep," he added, emphasising 'someone'.

Moshinon narrowed his eyebrows and eyes at him. "How d'you know?" he asked, pressing the dagger closer to his neck. Yorin took a desperate gasp, and then replied, "Who else could it be?" With that answer, Moshinon turned around again to spot the, rather anxious, recruits. "Perhaps one of the li'l new gang members you have?" he murmured, turning back to Yorin. "No, it wasn't them, it was you."

28-Feb-2012 20:15:18 - Last edited on 29-Feb-2012 16:55:41 by Lady Railly

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Moshinon sighed in an exasperated tone, relaxing his grip a bit on the dagger. "Well done. You are SUCH a good detective," he commented sarcastically. He grinned as he pressed the blade of the dagger even harder against Yorin's throat. Yorin hoped this was a dream, like the ones he had while he was spying, but it wasn't. "Now, this will be your punish-"

Yorin had his eyes closed, waiting for the moment where everything went black. Out of pure curiosity, he opened one eye. Moshinon had been knocked out, with a blow to the back of his head. Oden was standing behind the fallen person, his sword unsheathed in front of him. "Now, go back to camp before he wakes up," he muttered quietly to Yorin. He couldn't hear him but understood his gestures and took off, back towards the Vetini Vati. The recruits followed him back to the camp out of anxiety, leaving Oden alone with the Itav Initev.

"Now, run off back to your little camp, before I change my mind and kill you," Oden warned the rest of the gang, who were staring at him open-mouthed. They finally realised what he meant, and then ran back to their camp, dissapearing through the trees. Oden stared at Moshinon for a few moments. As much as he wanted to kill the leader of the II then and there, he couldn't. Miradin would hunt him down, and kill him, and he didn't want to die. Sighing, he decided it would be best to leave Moshinon where he was. With that decision made, he slowly walked back to the Vetini Vati camp.

28-Feb-2012 20:15:18 - Last edited on 29-Feb-2012 16:56:01 by Lady Railly

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~-~Chapter 10~-~


The minute Oden had arrived at the camp, he saw Yorin and the recruits sitting down at the logs again. Sighing, he said, mostly at Yorin, "There! I knew we shouldn't have gone! We didn't even get the sack back! That was pointless!"

Yorin nodded in agreement but in frustration as well, because he thought it would have been a good idea. "But...you DID protect me," he added, managing as small smile. "You knocked him out. I would've been dead by now if you hadn't." He sighed. "Thank you."

Oden smiled back, before seating himself on the log that Yorin was sitting on. Yorin was deep in thought about the recent events. ~Moshinon will more likely than not wake up eventually,~ he was thinking. ~And since he didn't manage to kill me the first time, because of Oden, he'll be after the both of us now! And I still need to get the sack. He stole it from me, it's not like I'm being selfish or anything. Well, someone in that gang stole it, anyway. But I just know it's going to be in the camp. That's the most likely place it's going to be, and if it isn't, it's going to be in that training arena.~

The second he was thinking that last thing, Oden broke the silence, by saying, to Yorin's dread, "Okay, guys. We'll start off your training today, so that you can become as skillful in combat as we are. We have a special arena, and other rooms as well, for your different needs. And we will go now." For a short moment, Yorin closed his eyes and wished this wasn't happening. However, he had to open his eyes eventually, and both he and the recruits followed Oden out of the headquarters, and towards the underground complex... the exact one that the Itav Initev were redoing.

* * *

The moment that Yorin was wishing would never happen, happened: they reached the trapdoor of the complex. "Here we are," Oden announced, sounding cheerful. ~He won't be at all cheerful when he goes inside...~ Yorin thought nervously as Oden pulled open the trapdoor and climbed down the ladder.

28-Feb-2012 20:15:19 - Last edited on 29-Feb-2012 16:56:58 by Lady Railly

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Yorin winced, and the recruits could clearly see this as he heard the things he didn't want to. "What the hell?!" exclaimed Oden. "That damn Itav Initev!"

He let the recruits go down first before climbing down himself. As soon as Oden could see the figure of him, he strode towards him. "Did you do any of this?!" he demanded. Yorin shifted nervously, and he took a few moments to look around the room. It was in completion - the Itav Intiev had started building on it already, even without his help - but he could clearly see it was supposed to be a giant training arena when it was finally finished. It had stacks of wood and stone everywhere, as well as a few rolls of rope. Yorin then properly thought about his question for a moment. He didn't actually DO anything - he didn't take part in the building process, they started when he first joined the Vetini Vati, it looked like. "No," he replied truthfully.

Oden sighed in exasperation. "Okay, let me rephrase," he muttered. "Did you know about this?" Yorin didn't want to lie; he hated lying, and only did it when he needed to, like when he was recruiting. Which brought him to another problem.

The man who Yorin recruited walked forward, out of the little group, and confronted Yorin, standing before him. "When you recruited me, you told me that there was a training arena. This means -" he looked at Oden for this part "- that he knew about this beforehand."

This was the whole reason why Yorin didn't want this to happen. "Fine. Yes. I knew about this," he confessed, sighing. He waited for Oden to explode with rage at his reply - and he did. Sort of.

"Well, why didn't you tell me about this when you joined?!" Oden questioned angrily. Yorin shifted from one foot to the other. "I didn't want you to get mad at me," he replied nervously, the expression clear. "I mean, if I had told you when I joined, you probably wouldn't have accepted me. Because you would have misunderstood that I was actually helping them, when I wasn't."

28-Feb-2012 20:15:19 - Last edited on 29-Feb-2012 16:57:19 by Lady Railly

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Oden listened, and then went through in his head what he has said. Eventually he sighed in defeat. "True, true," he mumbled, still sounding a bit angry. "I would, however, be less mad than what I'm like now. And I suppose we could anger Moshinon and his gang even more mad, by using their training arena once it's finished." His frustration seemed to disappear as he grinned at Yorin. The ex-spy returned it.

"So..." the leader started, turning around to face the recruits, who had been listening in to their whole conversation. "Obviously - as you can see - we can't train you here. That doesn't mean, however, we can't train you anywhere else. We will instead start training back at camp. Come on." The gang gave a groan and started to tramp back through the muddy forest and back into their headquarters.

When they had gone back to the camp, Yorin watched while Oden gave the recruits a close eye. He had handed them swords and bows to practice with - he didn't want them to get hurt on their first training lesson. When he was completely confident they were safe, the leader walked up to the spy. "You know you were a spy for the Itav Initev?" he asked him. Yorin nodded in response. "Well," Oden continued, "would you like to spy for us now? Seeing as we don't have any other spies." Yorin let out a big smile, and agreed. Oden, returning the smile, then went back to the recruits.

The ex-spy then leant against the dry bark of the trunk of a tree, watching the recruits train intently. He himself had never properly done this before; just a few lessons was all he needed, as his test proved himself to be better at spying than anything else. He was glad and all that all of them were learning the skills of a warrior or archer, but what if Yorin died in something? Who would replace him? Surely someone needed to learn the ways of stealth. But obviously Oden didn't think that.

Yorin kept watching, smiling to himself at times. He did this, not getting bored by it, until it was dark.

28-Feb-2012 20:15:19 - Last edited on 29-Feb-2012 16:57:37 by Lady Railly

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Yorin woke up in the middle of the night, his usual routine: his brain hadn't got used to not being a spy. He then realised, after looking out into the night and onto the solar clock (a stick driven into the mud that reflected the moonlight, showing what time it was) that he was rather early to be spying now. If he went at this time, the Itav Initev would spot him and murder him without a second thought.

He sighed, and turned over onto his right side, making his right arm slightly numb as the weight of his body pressed down against it. Because of this, he was facing the tent opening, and silently wondered which deceased member of the Vetini Vati slept in this bed before him. This made his mind wander to the recruits, which naturally turned to something else: his first test.

Once, many years before that day, he was sitting in that very same village they had got recruits from. He was poor, like the recruits; he was clothed in ragged tunics, like the recruits; he had been exactly like them. He remembered seeing this large gang of tough-looking men storm into the village and murder a lot of people. Several men fell to the ground lifelessly, blood pooling out of their back, legs or chest. They tried to murder him as well, but he quickly dodged out of their way, and went behind the leader (who was Moshinon back then). Moshinon reacted to this by turning around and trying to reattack him, but yet again he dodged. This happened several times until the leader gave up. "Wow...you're really good. Very flexible, very agile. I t'ink..." the leader of the gang murmured - Yorin remembered this word for word - "...you're good enough t' be accepted. You must come with us now."

Yorin didn't dare at that time to disobey him; he looked extremely intimidating, and he wasn't sure what would happen to him if he didn't. At best, he would get beaten up severely for not listening to instructions. At worst, he would get killed like the others he had seen.

28-Feb-2012 20:15:29 - Last edited on 29-Feb-2012 17:00:48 by Lady Railly

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Giving a quiet sigh - not loud enough for the leader to hear - he followed them back to the Itav Initev camp. He was automatically ranked to spy, and he had been that ever since - until he betrayed them and joined the VV.

That's when Yorin suddenly snapped out of his thoughts - he had to spy now! Otherwise Oden would be dissapointed with him. Sighing, he got up out of his bed, got his bow, arrows, parchment and lead pencil, and exited his tent. He then figured it might be better to take Oden's sword, just in case he got caught. He laid his bow and arrows back down, entered Oden's tent after trying to work out which one it was via the shadows, and 'borrowed' the sword. Finally, he exited that tent, and set off.

He was used to the darkness, and he had gone to the Vetini Vati camp more times than he could remember. He just had to go the opposite way, like he was returning to the Itav Initev to give them information. Soon enough, he was behind a tree in audible distance to the camp.

28-Feb-2012 20:16:01 - Last edited on 29-Feb-2012 17:01:35 by Lady Railly

Lady Railly

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~-~Chapter 11 - EPILOGUE~-~

The spy gasped in surprise as he realised that he had been forgetting one key thing. The sack! Now was his chance to get it back! But he had to be careful.

He crept out of his hiding spot and cautiously tip-toed towards the centre of the camp. He had already spotted that they were all in their tents - just as he planned, and he could see the silhouettes of them as they slept. He dared not breathe, making as little noise as possible as he unzipped one of the tents, seeing a faint shape of a sack in it. Frowning in disappointment and then widening his eyes in shock, he then realised it was Miradin's tent - with the sack of food. Edging away from the entrance, he then ran lightly on his feet towards the next tent.

He searched all of them, despite most of them not having a shadow of a sack, no matter what it was. The ones that did have a shadow of a sack, Yorin searched more, but alas, not the sack of gold coins. Yorin lowered his eyes angrily as he wondered whether they had actually spent all of the coins already. That's when he saw it.

A mound of earth - well, not exactly a mound. Rather a bumpy mini-hill of soil. The spy thought from that point onwards that they had buried the sack there - but what if that was just a trick? The sack could easily just be buried - and be empty, with the coins either spent or hidden somewhere else. Taking the risk, he slowly walked towards it, holding his breath. He looked over his shoulder and saw no people coming towards him from his line of sight. Without thinking, he laid his things down behind him, including the sword, his only weapon. Then, he started to scrabble at the small mound of earth. He soon managed, after a while, with soil right up his fingernails, to get into the hole.

It was empty.

It was a trick, like he had thought, but not that kind of a trick! He had wasted his time there - digging for something that wasn't actually there. Where else could it be then?

28-Feb-2012 20:16:23 - Last edited on 29-Feb-2012 17:01:56 by Lady Railly

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Sighing in frustration, he stood up and began to turn round- and fell to the ground. A pool of blood spread out around his body, his own sword stuck in his back.

"You'll never be able to find it. No-one will," Moshinon muttered as he pulled the sword out of Yorin's torso, the red liquid oozing out of the wound. He then noticed something, a word, engraved on the sword's hilt - something he had not noticed before.

"Melior."

28-Feb-2012 20:16:53 - Last edited on 29-Feb-2012 17:02:30 by Lady Railly

Lady Railly

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_¸,.‹-•/*°Chapter One°*\•-›.,¸_


"Come downstairs and get your breakfast now!"

"All right, all right, I'm coming!"

Naomi Yvak slowly merged at the top of the staircase. Her slim figure wore a deep red circle-neck with flowers and waves tattooed all around it. Below it she wore a skirt, the same colour, but it was fairly short, with the end reaching just above her knees. She was, and had been, thirteen years old, and it was around three months until she turned fourteen. Her bare feet thumped loudly down the stairs, her petite hand holding onto the rail as she did so. She glanced around for a moment, before focusing both her eyes and attention on her mother. Jodie had a hand on her hip, and an impatient look in her eyes.

"Now, you know me and your father been waiting a long time for you. We have been very patient, but we don't like how lazy you are. And somehow we can't wake you up, because you just don't respond, even if we shake you repeatedly. You shouldn't be sleeping in late on a day like this. You have to help us do the shopping, remember?" the dirty-blonde haired woman ordered sternly. Naomi left one hand on the rail in a relaxed fashion. "Oh, it's not that late, is it-" She glanced outside, seeing the stick in the ground. It was almost midday. "Ah."

"Now, eat your breakfast quickly. The sooner you do, the sooner we can buy the food we need. You need some new clothes as well," John, the man with the black hair and deep brown eyes muttered, folding his arms. Naomi had to do what he wanted; ignoring her mother was easy enough, but her dad...that was a challenge. Who knows what sort of punishments he would make up if she didn't obey him. "Fine," the young girl murmured, stepping into the kitchen. It was mainly white, except for a few marks where the chair had bumped against the wall, and many scuffs and dents where she had kicked the wall out of frustration.

28-Feb-2012 20:18:50 - Last edited on 29-Feb-2012 17:07:52 by Lady Railly

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She took a bowl out of one of the cupboards and poured some milk into it, and grabbed an apple or two. She ate and drank them rather quickly, and then with a loud clink of different china and glass clashing together, almost threw them in the sink hurriedly. "Let's go then," the girl said, exhaling once. Jodie, now quite content with Naomi's actions, opened the door. John followed her outside, and Naomi followed him. The three then set off towards the marketplace.

_/*\_

"Attention! Beware, all ye!"

The voice of the town crier boomed out throughout the marketplace and nearly through all of town, and that included Naomi and her family. John stopped his family and listened for more, them being quite near the crier.

"Beware! Death rates have gone up in this town! Be very wary out 'ere! All ye! Very suspicious!" he cried out. Naomi tilted her head slightly in curiosity and raised her eyebrows a little, interested in the matter. Her parents turned to her. "Would you know anything about this?" Jodie whispered with a questioning tone. Naomi shrugged in response. "Depends on who's actually murdering people," she replied confidently as she walked up to the town crier. She was about three to four inches taller than him; she loomed over him. It was like she was older than him. "Tell me more, please," the brunette beckoned, tucking some of her hair behind her left ear.

"Well, all I know is that everyone who 'as been murdered recently are teenage girls, and there 'ave been quite a lot in the town that 'ave lost their lives," the crier responded, looking up at the girl. "Wait a minute!" he suddenly exclaimed. Naomi was taken aback by this expression, and glanced at him as if to say "What?" The man had a smile on his face. "You're the girl who defeated the Itav Initev!"

Naomi smiled as he realised who she was, and listened intently while the crier continued.

28-Feb-2012 20:18:51 - Last edited on 29-Feb-2012 17:08:26 by Lady Railly

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"Well, my secretary is investigating the matter right as we speak, and I would like t' think that you would be good in helpin' 'er find out who exactly caused these deaths," he said, a smile still on his face. "You can find 'er in the forest, near a straw hut." Naomi nodded in reply.

"Come on then!" she murmured happily, turning to face John and Jodie. "Let's go and find her." Without waiting for an answer from the pair, she began walking in the direction of the forest. The parents looked at each other and shrugged, before following her.

_/*\_

Soon, the trio had entered the forest and Naomi led the two towards a straw hut - one familar to her. Lucy's hut. Nostalgia quickly overcame her but she fought against it, managing to walk eastwards to a proper house. Made of bricks. Well, it wasn't really a house, more a tiny office. When Naomi knocked on the door, a woman just an inch taller than her emerged. She was clearly an elf, and the bridge of her nose held part of a pair of small glasses. She looked to be fairly wealthy; she wore similar quality clothes to that of the young girl's. Additionally, she seemed pleased when seeing Naomi.

"Welcome! I'm sure Avael told you to come here. Well, come inside. My name is Valeven."

The woman side-stepped so that Naomi could enter through, and she did, quickly followed by her parents. The brick house was much cosier, in a way, than Lucy's was. On the other hand, though, it wasn't really a house, so Naomi couldn't really expect it to go up to the standards that Lucy's was. It consisted of a single, but large, room, decorated with an oak fireplace and a enormous table in the middle. On the smooth teak surface, there were a pile of papers stacked up, and then some scattered around. There was a single lead pencil carelessly lying on one of the pieces of paper. Valeven beckoned Naomi towards the table and she took a seat; there being two chairs, again made of teak.

28-Feb-2012 20:18:57 - Last edited on 29-Feb-2012 17:09:22 by Lady Railly

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Once Naomi had been seated, the elf woman walked towards her parents, who were standing rather awkwardly in the doorway. "Would you like to stay?" she asked the pair kindly. Jodie shook her head. "No, we'll go now. We just wanted to know where she would be staying," she explained. Valeven nodded with a smile and after a short moment Naomi's parents left.

"So..." the girl started, beginning to look through the papers, reading the writing on them briefly. "Do you know anything else about the teenage girls that have been murdered? Their specific ages, or their race? How many there were? You know their names, don't you?"

"Indeed I do," Valeven replied with a nod, sitting down again and gently pushing a single paper in Naomi's direction. She took it and read it over. There were a few key points that she took into consideration; she thought they were important. Those key things were their races, their specific ages and then at the far left were the list of names. They all seemed to be unusual, and when she looked at their race, they were all elves. This was unusual, too. She glanced up at the woman with a curious expression. "What is elven life like?" she asked, keeping her eyes on her. "I mean, you're an elf, aren't you? You'd know about life in Dnafle." Valeven adjusted her glasses so that they rested comfortably on her nose, and then responded with, "I know quite a bit, yes. But if you want some research on potions and medicines and all that, you'll have to see a friend of mine."

"Who's that?" Naomi asked, raising her eyebrows slightly.

"Genielli. Genielli Berloris," the woman replied, a smile appearing then crossing her lips.

With that statement, Naomi tilted an eyebrow. "You know him?" she asked, startled, her eyebrow still raised. The woman looked up from her paper she was reading.

28-Feb-2012 20:19:28 - Last edited on 29-Feb-2012 17:09:44 by Lady Railly

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"Yes, why? Do you?" she responded, her hazel eyes blinking behind their glasses.

"When me and Luc- my trainer - went to hospital, I met him there. He does make all sorts of potions. I never knew he knew you. I mean, he never mentioned you," the girl explained. "Where is he?"

"He lives near the portal to Dnafle. Just half a mile away or so," Valeven replied, smiling for a brief moment. Her eyes returned to the paper she was holding in her small, delicate hands. "Do you want to find him now, I'm guessing?" Naomi nodded in response, which the elf could see out of the corner of her eye. "Well, you know where the portal is, don't you?" Naomi nodded again, while the woman kept her eyes fixed on the sheet. "Half a mile south from there. You'll find a small house, almost like a cottage."

"Thank you," Naomi responded with a bright smile. She turned, with the piece of paper with the girls' names and other information on, and headed for the door. Once she was out in the cool spring air, she headed off towards the direction of the portal, which lead to that planet she and Lucy had fought on to save her parents just a couple of months before. When she reached it, she quickly turned south, heading for the house in the distance.

_/*\_

Soon enough, Naomi arrived at the small, cottage-like house. It was white on the outside, with black stripes going vertical and horizontal at some places. She knocked timidly on the maple door; it being a rich brown. A short moment after, it opened and whom she assumed was Genielli stood there. However, he didn't look like she remembered him. He was covered in great bruises and scars. The most notable and eye-catching were a zig-zag scar on his forehead, which went down to meet each of his pointy ears, and a large bruise which covered his ankle. It was almost completely blue.

"What happened?!" Naomi asked, both concerned and shocked at the same time; Genielli would be able to hear this from her tone of voice.

28-Feb-2012 20:22:56 - Last edited on 29-Feb-2012 17:10:07 by Lady Railly

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"Woah!" Genielli looked shocked to see the girl too. "What are you doing here?" Naomi could see that he was trying to quickly change the subject.

"Never mind that for now, but what's happened to you?" she repeated, looking up at him, an anxious expression on her face.

"It's nothing..."

"It is something! I'm concerned! Who is it? I'll kill them."

"No, seriously, it's got nothing to do with you."

"Tell me!"

"No! Leave it, Naomi. It. Doesn't. Matter."

~UGH!~ Naomi thought crossly as she stepped into the room. It was practically Valeven's room, except it was an actual house. This was the living room though. It was filled with all kinds of expensive wood furniture and silk cushions. For a moment Naomi wondered how he could afford all this stuff, when she remembered that he was a doctor. She took a seat without asking or being offered to, and Genielli sat opposite her. The girl couldn't help but stare at his bruises. He noticed this, but said nothing about it. Instead, he asked, "So what exactly did you come here for? Did Valeven tell you where I live?"

Naomi nodded. "Um, well, there are a lot of murders happening recently, so I went to Valeven, and she directed me to you." She gave a slight smile. Genielli nodded his head in understanding. "Why did she want you to go here?" he questioned. Naomi passed him the paper, while explaining, "Well, about potions. I need to know about different medicines and poisons you can make. What ingredients you use in them. That sort of stuff." Genielli was reading the paper as she talked, and when she was finished, he gasped in surprise, also finishing the paper. "Wow! I knew that some people were murdered, but I didn't know that many were killed!" he exclaimed. Naomi nodded sadly in response. "I know," she said quietly. The elf then went on to respond to her question.

"Well, I do have a few potions here for medicines and stuff. Just for emergencies, things like that," he replied, smiling at her.

28-Feb-2012 20:22:56 - Last edited on 29-Feb-2012 17:10:37 by Lady Railly

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Naomi couldn't stop herself smiling back for some reason. "But if you really want to know what poisons there are, and ingredients, and go more in-depth, we'll have to go to the hospital," he continued, letting out a quiet sigh. "Shall we go now?" He stood up as he was asking that question. Gently, Naomi took the paper back from him and placed it in her pocket, folded up, before nodding her head simply. "Okay," was the last word Genielli uttered before he opened the door once again. The young girl went through into the forest first, followed by the elf, and he shut the door. At last, Genielli walked in front of her and guided her en route to the hospital.

28-Feb-2012 20:22:56 - Last edited on 29-Feb-2012 17:10:56 by Lady Railly

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_¸,.‹-•/*°Chapter Two°*\•-›.,¸_


"We're nearly there, okay?"

"It's taking a long time. I didn't know you lived so far away from it. Must be a pain going to work."

"Yeah, it is. But I enjoy the job, so it doesn't really matter. Plus it's one of the only proper jobs around here."

Naomi and Genielli trudged through the forest in almost complete blackness, apart from tiny beams of light shooting out from cracks in between tree branches and small leaves. It wasn't as light as Naomi remembered it to be; well, that was explainable. After all, it was winter when she last went through that forest and now it was spring. In addition, the multiple forest fires had destroyed quite a few trees. The young girl was sick of trudging through the muddy ground and foliage for what seemed to her like hours on end - until a smile met her lips. She could see a faint building in the distance. It was painted white, and had a small red cross above the entrance, attached to the wood.

_/*\_

At long last they stepped through the entrance to the hospital. Immediately a human stepped forwards towards the elf. "Why are you here, Genielli? You're off shift," the man questioned, looking at him curiously.

"Mark, this is Naomi. Lucy trained her-"

Genielli had been explaining when Mark rushed forward to Naomi and shook her hand energetically. "By the Gods, it's you! I thought you had died in that Itav Initev fight! Where's Lucy?"

~Does everyone know about it or what?~ Naomi thought as she took a gulp, saying, "She's the one who died, sir."

"Oh..." The human laid a hand on the girl's shoulder. "Well, I'm sorry for that. You must have had a hard time when that happened, didn't you?" Naomi, having no other option, nodded in response. She also noted that Mark didn't react to Genielli's injuries; implying that they must not have happened that recently. He turned to the elf. "So, why are you here?" he asked.

28-Feb-2012 20:22:58 - Last edited on 29-Feb-2012 17:11:27 by Lady Railly

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"There have been a lot of murders recently-"

"Ah, yes. Heard of those."

"-and Naomi is going to help with finding the killer. She knows all about fighting and what tactics they may have used. We're here because she wanted to find out about medicines and poisons."

"Ah..." Mark muttered, for once letting Genielli finish. "Well, in that case, I'll leave you to it." He gave Naomi a smile. "Good luck." He then turned and left the pair, going into another room marked 'Staff Only'. Genielli glanced at Naomi, followed by turning fully to her. "All the things you need to study are in that room," he said, motioning to the room Mark had just gone through. Naomi read the sign again for a moment, and then reminded him, "Um...but that says Staff Only."

"Yeah, and I'm staff, even if I'm not on shift at the moment," the elf excused. "As for you... I can just explain to them why you need to go in." Naomi nodded at this, and then let him guide her to the doorway of the room. The guard let the elf through, immediately realising him. However, he didn't let Naomi through. The girl just stood there, frozen to the spot, while Genielli tried to explain to the guard.

"She needs to come through."

"She's not a member of staff. Therefore she is not allowed."

"You don't understand." The elf sighed.

"Why does she need to come through? What valid excuse do you have?"

"She needs to come because she's studying potions!"

"What do you mean?"

"She took part in the war-"

"Say no more." For a moment Genielli thought that that was the valid excuse he wanted. Unfortunately, the guard didn't react like Avael or Mark did. Quite the opposite.

"That doesn't give her any more reason to come through! She could kill somebody in there!"

"Please, just let me explain-"

"No. She is not going in, and that is final. If you try to talk me into letting her, you will have to leave."

"Fine," Genielli muttered. He glanced at Naomi, and mouthed 'One second'.

28-Feb-2012 20:22:59 - Last edited on 29-Feb-2012 17:12:06 by Lady Railly

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He dissapeared into the room, the door closing behind him. Naomi stood there, uncertain of what to do while she waited. She took a step back, not wanting to look as if she was trying to trespass into the room. After a few moments she could hear her friend's voice on the other side of the door.

"Can I at least take these to her?"

"Well..." the guard mused. "I suppose you can, because she's not going to be potentially harming people in there-"

As soon as he had said 'I suppose you can' Genielli twisted the handle and reappeared to Naomi. He ran out into the hallway, taking Naomi by the hand and not stopping running until he exited the hospital. "Why did you do that?" Naomi panted.

"I wanted to get out of there because I didn't want that guy to change his mind."

Understanding, Naomi nodded, and waited a moment for both her and Genielli to get their breath back. When they did, she took a proper look at the elf. His pockets were stuffed with glass jars, glass vials, and glass bottles, all with some sort of stopper or cork on them. One was a luminous green liquid, another was a light brown, the colour that matched the mud on the ground. They were all various colours though. "Wow..." was all Naomi managed to say. "Now, shall we go back to my house?" Genielli asked rhetorically. Without waiting for an answer, he started off back through the forest. Naomi followed him, listening to the the glass in his pockets make a muffled sound, watching them gently clang together.

_/*\_

"So, let's see these poisons, then?" the young girl asked, looking questioningly at the elf, waiting for him to produce the vials. Naomi was sat around the table in the living room, Genielli seated opposite. He pulled all of the bottles out one by one and placed them on the table, each one making a soft clang as the two objects came into contact. Naomi studied their appearances closely.

28-Feb-2012 20:23:02 - Last edited on 29-Feb-2012 17:13:56 by Lady Railly

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She could easily tell the poisons from the medicines; the bright green liquids were the former and any other colour was a healing potion. "Okay, so now I know what they look like, which'll help me quite a bit. But could you tell me exactly how they work?" Naomi asked, leaning forward and resting her chin against her hands, her elbows on the table.

"Sure," the elf agreed as he picked up one of the medicines. It was light orange, the colour of an apricot. "It gets its colour because we put orange juice in it - that is very healing. It helps against bites. Snake bites, fly bites, spider bites, you name it. Because the venom is opposite to the orange juice, it cancels it out and you will be healed by it." He smiled as he laid it down and picked up one of the poisons. "You put this on a dagger to poison it. We only have this to identify what caused a certain wound in the hospital. This will be very useful to you. I won't mind if you keep it." Naomi gingerly took it, holding the glass area around the cork. She slipped it in one of the pockets in her jacket (it was quite small so she could easily fit it in) and then diverted her attention back to Genielli.

"Thank you," she murmured, giving off a small smile of her own. "So, any more?" The elf was just about to pick up another, a deep crimson colour, when he heard a church bell in the distance. Naomi recognised it almost immediately; it sounded exactly like the one she heard before going into the forest and being greeted by werewolves. "Oh, I have to go to work now. It's midday. I would explain more of them, but I've got to head off to the hospital. Sorry. You know the way back to Valeven's, don't you?"

Naomi nodded uncertainly, followed by a small relieved sigh as Genielli hadn't noticed. "OK. See you," he said quickly as he exited the doorway. Naomi followed him, slightly surprised to see him waiting for her to get out, before he closed the door and ran out of the girl's sight.

28-Feb-2012 20:23:03 - Last edited on 29-Feb-2012 17:14:18 by Lady Railly

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She sighed again as she slowly started walking back, past the portal, towards Valeven's office.

The cold wind met her face and body, making her shiver. As she walked, she started to remember back to the time two years ago. She remembered the forest fires by examining the trees around her. She remembered the war in Dnafle by spotting the portal just a few feet away. Her thoughts then drifted to Lucy and some things she had thought before. However, she now wondered if her parents had recieved the news about Lucy's death. If she still had parents, of course. Did she have any family, after all? Maybe she was an orphan and fought for food herself, trained herself to?

At this point, Naomi snapped back into reality and realised she was going the wrong way. Quickly correcting her mistakes, she was on the right path again and was soon coming close to where Valeven worked. She knew this because she passed Lucy's old hut, which brought back more memories, as well as nostalgia. ~Stop thinking about it...~ she told herself as she willed herself to pass the hut, quickly spotting Valeven in the open window of the nearby building. Smiling to herself and now forgetting those times with Lucy, she walked up to the door and pushed it open, only now realising it wasn't locked or even closed properly.

"Hey Valeven, I'm back. I got some potions from Geniel-" Naomi started, walking into the room. She stopped both in tracks and speech as Valeven came into view. It wasn't as bad this time, because she had killed many bandits and she had seen Lucy get injured badly. Valeven was slumped over the table, bleeding from the chest and wrists. From her many experiences, Naomi knew what to do. It would be a difficult task though. With great strength, Naomi lifted the elf from under the armpits out of the chair, her head dangling dangerously. It looked as if her neck was broken as well. Carefully, Naomi lay her over her shoulder, and headed off in the direction of the hospital.

_/*\_

28-Feb-2012 20:23:45 - Last edited on 29-Feb-2012 17:14:42 by Lady Railly

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"My goodness, what's happened?!" came the voice of Genielli as he came rushing over to Naomi, who was just entering the building. Naomi shrugged. "When I went back, I just saw her like this," she explained calmly. She lay her down in a hospital bed, taking great care over her neck. She was bleeding quite heavily now. The girl felt her own shoulder and it was sticky with blood. Feeling a shiver come over her, she asked the elf curiously, "Well... what happens now?"

Genielli inspected Valeven's broken neck and sighed. "Damn it," he muttered, followed by turning in Naomi's direction. "We can't save her. She's lost too much blood, and her neck is very badly broken. Seems like you'll have to continue with the murder case yourself." He sighed again. "I really hope it isn't that person who you're trying to discover," he added.

"Me too," Naomi replied, not really knowing what else to say. "So... should I go back home now?" Genielli nodded, then turning to the injured elf and packing tissues around her neck, as to both stop the blood flow and act as a cushion. "Okay. See you," the girl quickly murmured as she exited the hospital. ~That was nearly as bad as Lucy's injuries,~ she thought as she headed down the path. Walking through the town's marketplace and poorer areas, keeping her head down as to not attract any people who might recognise her, she finally came to her house. With a quiet sigh of relief that she had actually got there, the girl slowly raised a hand and knocked on the wooden door, waiting for one of her parents to greet her in the doorway.

28-Feb-2012 20:23:52 - Last edited on 29-Feb-2012 17:15:02 by Lady Railly

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_¸,.‹-•/*°Chapter Three°*\•-›.,¸_


Naomi stood at the doorway of her parent's house, waiting for anyone to come and answer the door. She couldn't go in herself as she didn't have her own key. Wondering if they hadn't heard her, she knocked again. Ironically, this time both parents showed up. The girl had a smile on her face, and she was just about to happily walk into the house when-

"My goodness, what's happened to you? What have you been in this time?!" Jodie exclaimed. At first Naomi didn't know what she meant, and tried to get past her parent who was trembling in shock. Unfortunately, Jodie grabbed hold of her shoulder - the one that didn't have a crimson substance on it. "Where have you injured yourself?" she asked hurriedly, seating Naomi and checking her shoulder over. The girl almost shook with laughter, which her mother didn't understand at all. "Mum, it's fine, I promise. I'll tell you if you want, but it's quite a long story," she protested, a smirk still on her face. Jodie sat down and listened while the girl explained. John joined the pair as well.

So Naomi told them what happened, with her going to Valeven's, and then going to Genielli's house. Next, she told them what happened at the hospital (including the incident with the guard) and then returning to Valeven's, as Genielli had to work. Finally, she told them why her shoulder was bloodied: she had to carry the elf all the way to the hospital. After that, she had to return back to 'this house', in her words. Her parents sighed in upmost relief; they were so happy that she hadn't got in another fight.

"Okay. Now that you know what happened, please may I have something to eat? I'm hungry," Naomi moaned. John nodded and got her a glass of milk and some bread and butter. The girl happily accepted it, and ate it up in a short amount of time. "And also," she continued while munching, "I came back here to tell you guys that since Valeven has died, I'll have to investigate the murders by myself.

28-Feb-2012 20:24:42 - Last edited on 29-Feb-2012 17:15:30 by Lady Railly

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It's going to take a bit of hard work, sure, but I think I'll be able to do it." She smiled up at her parents, breadcrumbs lining her lips.

"Well, in that case, you won't have to go to Valeven's office thing, will you? You can investigate it right here," John murmured, almost to himself, a small grin appearing on his face as well. Naomi nodded in agreement, handing the plate and glass to her father, who put them both in the sink. The girl looked outside and it was black - she hadn't realised that she had been walking in that until that moment. Following her glance, she gently yawned and rubbed her eyes lightly. "Are you tired?" Jodie asked, to which Naomi nodded again. "Well, you can go to bed now," she suggested. Naomi nodded for the third time, surprisingly too tired to answer verbally. This was strange; from the moment she had looked outside she had felt extremely sleepy. "Well, okay, I wi-" she was managing to mumble as she started up the stairs. That was when she fell asleep - literally, falling down on the stairs into sleep.

Jodie and John looked at each other curiously, exchanging glances, and then went to help Naomi up. They carried her up the staircase and tucked her into bed, noticing that she hadn't woken up. "Wow... I wonder what's made her so tired," her mother wondered aloud, walking out of the room, with John following her. "I know, it's str-" he began to say, when he looked straight at the darkness outside. Jodie followed his eyes before she realised it was a mistake. Her parents fell to the floor, one after another, copying Naomi's action.

_/*\_

"Taga oy dora! Hoodar iva montav!"

Clouds crowded the sky as a silhouette was spotted. It seemed to be standing just outside the entrance to the town, and the streets, which included Naomi's house, could be faintly seen in the distance. The clouds brought fog and rain; but more importantly, darkness.

28-Feb-2012 20:25:20 - Last edited on 29-Feb-2012 17:16:05 by Lady Railly

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"Taga oy dora! Hoodar iva montav!" it shouted at the top of its lungs and then laughed triumphantly as it saw the clouds. It was now pitch-black, and its shadow could be seen no more. It smiled to itself as it could hear many thumps as the foolish looked straight at the darkness and fell asleep. The figure closed its eyes, as to not fall asleep itself, and began walking towards the streets, almost like a cat would do - a cat could see in the dark and have better senses in it than others, particularly humans. It crept up to the doors of the houses and began opening the doors of many. Then, it came to quietly creep in and, as many families were poor and did not have any upstairs, discover the sleeping ones in the hallways or the lounges. It would sigh, obviously disappointed; and then return back outside, closing the door quietly as to not worry the families when they eventually awakened. The stranger would repeat this with many houses, each seeming not to have the desirable thing that it wanted.

Eventually, it came to Naomi's house. The figure attempted to open the door, before realising it couldn't. This led to one thing; it was locked. Seeing as this was the last house on the roads, and every other house was - for one, not locked and for two, lacking an upstairs - this person knew that this house was special. Which led it to believe another thing. This was the thing it was looking for. With a half-smile, it made its way back into the forest, already seeming to be deep in thought.

_/*\_

Naomi's eyes fluttered open and then automatically closed again, as a reflex of directly looking into pure daylight. She turned her head slightly to the side and reopened them, now taking the time for her eyes to adjust and take in the scene. She was in her bedroom - but she hadn't remembered going there, for the last thing she did remember was sitting in her living room, talking to her parents.

28-Feb-2012 20:25:29 - Last edited on 29-Feb-2012 17:16:28 by Lady Railly

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"Hmm..." she murmured to herself, pulling back the duvet... and discovering she was still in her clothes from the day before. "That's weird..." Sleepily, she rose, and just at that moment a knock emitted from downstairs, shattering the silence that had followed her speech.

The girl opened the door, only to nearly trip over her mother and father who were lying in the hallway, fast asleep. Naomi - as another reflex albeit one that had developed only since she had taken fighting lessons - checked them both to see if they had any injuries. None. Good. She had realised that they were innocently asleep and was about to wake them up when she heard another knock, reminding herself just why she had got up and out of her cosy bed. This time, the knock sounded more impatient.

Hurrying down the stairs, Naomi noticed a postman at the door. However, this wasn't any old postman. She recognised him from when she recieved a letter at Lucy's, two years ago. ~Must be a regular around here,~ she told herself as she opened the door. "Yes?" she asked curiously.

"Are you Naomi Yvak?" he asked, seemingly having no expression to both his face and voice. The young girl nodded in response as she was handed a letter. The postman quickly left as she closed the block of willow and unfolded the piece of paper. Her lips formed into a smile as she read the contents.

"Dear Naomi,

It appears that we have not seen each other in two years. However, I am sure that you remember me. I am still in the Vetini Vati, and I would like to invite you to a reunion. This is because we need to tell you something... something that we think is too important to tell you over a letter. There is also the additional risk of someone finding the information instead of you, which we don't want as you wouldn't be able to know then, would you? You just need to meet us, at any time today, at our headquarters. Hopefully you will remember where they are! I hope to see you there.

Sincerely,
Naglad."

28-Feb-2012 20:28:18 - Last edited on 29-Feb-2012 17:16:52 by Lady Railly

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~I wonder what the important information is...~ she thought as she raced upstairs to shake her parents awake. This was done with ease, and her mother particularly was a little shocked as to why she was sleeping in the hallway. She asked the girl what happened, and she shrugged in response. John went downstairs to make himself breakfast. "But anyway, I got a letter from Naglad saying he's going to create a reunion and he's invited me!" Naomi exclaimed excitedly, handing her mum the letter. She read it over and even she smiled, albeit sleepily. "Hey, good for you," she mumbled, folding up the piece of paper and handing it back to her daughter. "So when are you going to go?"

"Can I go now?" Naomi asked hopefully. As soon as her eyes recieved the nod, she was out of the door - but wait. What if it was all a set-up? She bounded upstairs again and sheathed her sword, which she had called Melior due to the letters engraved on it. Before her mother could understand what was happening, Naomi had exited the house and had set off towards the forest. She could barely walk due to her excitement, but a miniscule part of her kept her on her feet as they were telling her that it might be a trick.

_/*\_

Naomi smiled to herself as she scooped leaves hanging off branches out of her eyes, coming quickly to the Vetini Vati headquarters. She had recognised the place from a fair distance – it was pretty easy to spot, with the fan-like canopy and the groups of thick sticks laid around the sides. She stepped forward a single step and reached out a hand to knock. Before she could, the door opened, and Naglad greeted her at the doorway.

“Naomi! It’s you! We’ve been waiting for you for a while now. I’m so glad you’re here. Please, come inside.”

The girl obediently took another step forward and a smile crossed her lips again as she recognised the fallen logs, the campfire in the middle, and the water pot in the corner.

28-Feb-2012 20:28:18 - Last edited on 29-Feb-2012 17:18:03 by Lady Railly

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This brought great memories to her mind, including some that had Lucy in them. She tried to keep them out, but she was unsuccessful this time. A single tear fell from her eye onto her cheek, staining it immediately. Others soon followed, and eventually she couldn’t control them. The girl almost collapsed onto the log, her head in her hands. Why was she crying like this? Two years had gone. She should have been used to it by now. Naomi kept telling herself that it was completely stupid to cry – she didn't want to look like a baby, she was repeating in her head. But somehow it wasn’t working.
“Hey, why are you crying?” asked a voice.
Naomi removed her hands to see something completely unexpected. A boy, around her age, was standing in front of her. His dirty-blonde hair hung over his eyes, concealing their appearance. He was clothed in a brown and white tunic, but it was mostly covered by his heavy iron armour. It appeared to be too big for him, but he seemed not to care. “Why are you crying?” he repeated.
“Oh, it’s nothing,” Naomi quickly excused, followed by scarlet cheeks. She was crying and a complete stranger could see her. ~This is horrible,~ she thought, sniffing and trying to regain her composure.
“Naomi,” Naglad called softly, stepping forward. The girl raised her eyes past the boy onto the co-leader of the gang. He laid a hand on the stranger’s shoulder. “This is the ‘something’ I wanted to tell you about in the letter. You’re still the leader of the Vetini Vati, but now you’ve got someone to help you. Meet Jalaise."

28-Feb-2012 20:28:19 - Last edited on 29-Feb-2012 17:18:25 by Lady Railly

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_¸,.‹-•/*°Chapter Four°*\•-›.,¸_

"J-Jalaise?" Naomi echoed, sounding uncertain. "Okay...That's a nice name." She smiled up at the boy, albeit shyly. "Um, so why couldn't you tell me in the letter about it? Why is it so important?" she asked curiously.
"I'll explain. I didn't explain in the letter because someone could read it before it arrived where you lived. Didn't I say that in the letter itself?" Naglad asked himself quietly, scratching the back of his neck. "Uh, anyway. We heard these sounds from an underground dungeon and we went down to investigate. What it was was that Jalaise had murdered the sleeping guards that were supposed to be looking over his cell. Apparently they had given him a search to eliminate any weapons he held, but miraculously he hid a dagger in his cloak."
"Ah. So that's why you wanted him to share the leader role with me?" Naomi questioned, a small smile crossing her face. As Naglad nodded, she turned to the boy. "Well, I hope you enjoy staying with us, and leading the gang with me," she murmured, still smiling. Jalaise grinned back, and replied, quite simply, "I hope so too."
After his response, the girl turned back to Naglad and the others. "I have a little announcement for you as well," she said as she adjusted her position on the log. Pulling the piece of paper out of her pocket and unfolding it, she then explained what was happening in the town. "I thought you would help me find the murderer," she said in conclusion, laying it on her lap.
"Yes, we will. We will put them in prison and give them a proper search," Naglad responded, smirking to himself. He snapped out of it, however, when Naomi pushed the paper into his face, ordering gently yet firmly, "Let's read it thouroughly over and then hopefully find the killer, shall we?"
_/*\_

28-Feb-2012 20:28:19 - Last edited on 29-Feb-2012 17:18:59 by Lady Railly

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Naomi had stayed for a while at the Vetini Vati headquarters, and consequently her parents had come over to see what was the matter. They talked, and Naomi was allowed to stay overnight, much to her happiness.
The sunlight peeped through the branches surrounding her bed, which soon woke her up. It was quite early, around six in the morning. Getting up, she clumsily walked into the main room and found Naglad and Jalaise still reading the paper they had given her.
They also had a look of shock on their faces.
"I thought you were going to bed shortly after I did? You guys need sleep," Naomi murmured in a concerned tone, sitting next to the other leader. Jalaise said nothing, but Naglad responded with, "We've been up all night, actually. We discovered something and then we wanted further evidence so we had to keep reading." He didn't look up at any time while saying that; it was as if his eyes were permenantly glued to the sheet.
"Well, what have you found out?" Naomi asked as she lowered her eyes to the list of names. Jalaise responded by pointing to the first letter of each girl's surname.
"Tinitavive," the human girl read out slowly, her eyes scrolling downwards as she kept reading. "What's so special about that-" As she reached the end of the list, she noticed something written in pencil at the bottom. One of the pair had drawn arrows from the letters down to the writing at the bottom, explaining how they rearranged it to make a word. A very familiar word.
The word read 'Itav Initev'.
"They have returned."
"N-no. They can't have returned. I don't believe it. It must be some sort of trick," Naomi muttered to herself, although it was more than audible for Jalaise and Naglad to hear. Jalaise gestured to the names further down the page, which led Naomi to read what the first letters of their names were. They weren't unscrambled.
They read "I am coming".
For the first time in quite a while, Naomi felt helpless.

28-Feb-2012 20:28:19 - Last edited on 29-Feb-2012 17:19:22 by Lady Railly

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She felt watched upon, stalked, followed.
She felt that if she didn't do something quickly, she would be next.
~How could they have returned?~ Naomi wondered. *Could one be left? I swear I killed them all, but obviously I haven't, so maybe there was a back-up member? A smaller gang who lives on the other side of town, who never comes into battle unless they are desperately needed? How could this have happened?~
"We need to do something," the girl urged, turning to Naglad and Jalaise as the rest of the bandits came in. One of the bandit members looked confused, and asked what was happening. Naglad explained to him. "Well, basically we've found out that the Itav Initev have returned, and that we need to get this news around. We'll start with the town crier," he said, already beginning to walk out of the camp. Naomi and Jalaise followed him, with the rest walking along behind.
_/*\_
"Avael, we need to tell you something."
"How did you know my name?"
"Valeven told me," Naomi replied as she brought out the folded piece of paper from her pocket: the one that had evidence about the gang's return. "The Itav Initev are returning, and we think that you can announce this to warn everyone about them." She showed him the piece of paper, with Jalaise's deep voice explaining how he managed to rearrange all the letters and what this meant. The town crier nodded, and hoping to shut Jalaise up, he quickly said, "Ah yes, I understand now. Thank you for explaining. I will announce this."
Naomi smiled at him, and Avael watched as she exited through the forest she came through.
_/*\_
It heard a knock at its home. Opening the door, it found the town crier standing there. He immediately strode inside, not caring for manners particularly at this time. Avael looked anxious. "They've caught you. They know," he greeted, sighing and taking a seat.
"What do you mean?" the figure questioned curiously.
"They looked at the killings and they've managed to unscramble it."

28-Feb-2012 20:28:26 - Last edited on 29-Feb-2012 17:19:43 by Lady Railly

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"Oh good. At least they're smart."
"You're not frustrated?"
"No, no. However, it depends how smart they are."
"Well, I know one thing. That is, I know where their camp is. It's near Valeven's - say, why did you kill her anyway?"
"I'll tell you later. Okay, from that I think I might be able to find her. However, it does actually depend on how smart she is for me to kill her. I mean, she could find my little 'surprise' - don't ask - and then steer clear away from the camp and places around there. Maybe she may even flee from the town. That would be actually quite good. Good riddance to her." The figure cursed under its breath in some ancient language, before focusing its attention again on Avael. "Well, that is all I needed to know. Thank you very much. Now you may leave."
"Thank /you/ very much," Avael answered back with a bright smile, before turning to leave.
_/*\_
Walking through the forest, the Vetini Vati were still wondering exactly who the murderer was. Was it all a prank? Was someone just messing with them, and making up the names? But then that piece of paper that Valeven gave her was official, so it couldn't have been just made up. Could it?
As she passed the woman elf's office-house, Naomi spotted something out of the corner of her eye. She turned, as the rest of the gang watched in wonder, towards the window of the building. There seemed to be a small, folded piece of paper lying on the table. Could it have been something that Valeven forgot to give her? It wasn't there before though. Curious, she walked towards the door and opened it, entering to find that the piece of paper was actually a letter. What was firstly notable about the letter was that it was sealed with blood; most likely Valeven's.
Tearing it open, Naomi slowly read the contents.
"Naomi Yvak, please meet me tomorrow at midday behind Genielli Beloris' home. There is something that I would like to give you there, and it can only be found there.

28-Feb-2012 20:28:59 - Last edited on 29-Feb-2012 17:20:28 by Lady Railly

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Please come there, and at that time, because it can only be given at that time of day, and on that day."
~No sender...~ Naomi thought as her eyes wandered down to the bottom of the paper. In small letters were:
"P.S To read this letter, you had to break the seal open, didn't you? The seal /was/ blood, so that means you're not squeamish."
Naomi had felt scared and anxious before, but now those emotions were growing at a rapidly increasing rate. ~How the hell does this person know who I am, where I am, and what direction I was going to be walking in at midday tomorrow? They must be a stalker...~ she thought as she turned to the Vetini Vati, who were waiting patiently for Naomi to announce what she had just read.
She quickly read aloud the contents of the letter, before concluding with, "Guys, AVOID Genielli's house at all costs tomorrow. It's for our own health."
_/*\_
The figure stood within the grassy fields behind the potion-maker's house as the clock's hour hand struck twelve. "It is time," it murmured to Avael, who nodded and stood silently as they waited. The wind brushed hair against their faces, concealing their vision; the grass were waves of green rippling against fences, but still they waited. For half an hour, they stood there, but alas, they could not wait for much longer.
"Where is she?" the figure curtained in charcoal robed demanded, sighing and placing its arms over its upper torso. "She should have been here thirty minutes ago. I knew this wouldn't work. Why did you have to think of this stupid idea?" It glared at Avael, who responded with the beginning of a protest, until he realised that it was silly to argue with his master. At last, the figure grew tired of waiting. "Right, let's go back to mine," it ordered as it began to make its way in the direction of the town, through the bothersome winds. The town crier, having no other option, followed them.
As it unlocked the door, it swung open with a heavy thud before being steadied by its hand.

28-Feb-2012 20:29:50 - Last edited on 29-Feb-2012 17:21:03 by Lady Railly

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Avael closed the door behind him and the pair sat down in two armchairs. "If she knows that something is up, why did we expect her to meet us?" it asked itself, sighing as it relaxed slightly. "We are so stupid for thinking that would happen." The town crier nodded uncertainly, wondering whether it was right to agree or not.
The mysterious figure and their partner sat for a few moments in silence, when suddenly it shot up from its chair. "I have an idea!" it exclaimed, smiling at Avael. "And this time, I guarantee it will work. If it doesn't work the first time, it will on the second try."
"What is it?" the town crier asked excitedly. The figure made a hand gesture signalling silence, before saying, "Let me think it through for a moment. I can assure you, however, that it includes something that wretched girl has encountered before..."
“Oh, stop hinting and just tell me the plan. I don’t know what happened to her years ago, so – Wait a minute. How would you know?” Avael asked curiously, raising an eyebrow.
“He told me about her. He told me about the test, and what she had to do in order to join that gang,” the figure replied, exhaling softly. “Right, I’ve thought it through, and I think that it will work.” It smiled as it disappeared out of the room for a moment, and came back with a long piece of wood; some people would guess it was a staff. Avael got up and moved to the far end of the room, just seconds before the figure started chanting.
“Gren krallav reen! Gren krallav der iva!” it announced. It spoke these words softly at first, but they got progressively louder as it repeated them over and over. Three wolf-shaped creatures began to form themselves in front of the pair, and as the chanter’s words got louder, they began to grow and produce facial features, and fur. It blanketed their legs and paws. It grew out of their backs and protruded from their chests. Their pale blue eyes were accompanied by a maroon-coloured snout and knife-like white teeth.

28-Feb-2012 20:30:27 - Last edited on 29-Feb-2012 17:21:47 by Lady Railly

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These creatures were werewolves.
“Hello, Stiun… Vak… and Weo(c)sch,” it slowly greeted the trio, as a half-smile escaped its lips. The three responded by growling softly, almost like a purr. “I need you to do a special job for me,” it continued, still wearing that same half-smile on its face. “I need you to find a thirteen-year-old girl who has light brown hair and light blue eyes. She is the only thirteen-year-old girl left in this town, so she’ll be fairly easy to find. Once you have found her, you need to bring her to me by following my scent and please bring her alive. I don’t want to be speaking to a dead girl. Okay, run along.” The werewolves exited the building and began to hunt for the girl, keeping an eye out for any passers-by who may spot them and try to capture them.

28-Feb-2012 20:30:28 - Last edited on 29-Feb-2012 17:22:06 by Lady Railly

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_¸,.‹-•/*°Chapter Five°*\•-›.,¸_

It was late evening, and so it was dark. Naomi had been busy trying to gather as many clues and hints as to who the killer and/or stalker might be. She was sorting pieces of paper out when she heard… were they howls? Placing the papers down on the table quickly but gently, as to not ruin any of her work, she stepped outside the Vetini Vati headquarters to discover what was making that awful noise.
Her eyes wandered up – and caught sight of two familiar-looking creatures coming her way. Immediately, she knew what they were and rushed back inside, thinking that it would be all right if they couldn’t see her. Unfortunately, that was not the case. They had already seen her.
Grabbing a random bottle of poison and smearing it on her blade, Naomi stepped outside to confront the animals. Had she took the time to read the label on the poison bottle, it would have said: ‘Puts out people or animals, and makes them unconscious. Any wounds will be healed. After six hours or if woken before that time, they will become aggressive.’
“Jalaise? Naglad?” she called, after turning to face the entrance to the camp. “I need your help here…”
“What is it?” a voice replied, Naomi finding it to be Jalaise’s as he came into view. He immediately saw what was going on. “What are they?”
“Werewolves,” Naomi replied, strengthening her grip on Melior, her sword. “Put some poison on your sword, get Naglad, and help me kill these things.”
He did as told, and soon came with a fresh, translucent coat of green on the edge of his sword. Naglad soon appeared, with his battleaxe.
As the werewolves inched closer to the trio, they realised that they weren’t outnumbered nor were Naomi, Jalaise and Naglad. They would have expected only Naomi, but it appeared she had brought extra food for them.
When the wolves were just inches away from Naomi, she slowly held out her sword, as if not to make any sudden movements to enrage the animals.

28-Feb-2012 20:31:23 - Last edited on 29-Feb-2012 17:22:30 by Lady Railly

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The werewolves’ eyes, however, caught the action, and slowly moved to the left side of the girl, without her knowing. When they were quite content with the area in which they were standing in, they jumped at her.
Since Naglad was on the right side of her and Jalaise was on her left, Naomi was protected in a way, seeing as the werewolves hadn’t pounced from straight in front of her. The animals were meant to have been in an angle that would have not been directly at Naomi – because of the sword that was sticking straight out – but at the same time not directly at Jalaise. This did*’t work. The werewolves launched themselves straight onto the warrior’s front and pinned him down, before realising this wasn’t the right person.
Naomi took this as her opportunity. Using her sword as a temporary throwing dagger, she slammed it into the skull of the first werewolf, the one that was lying on top of Jalaise. Blood trickled from the hole as she pulled it out, then pouring onto the chainmail her friend was wearing. The other two werewolves, Stiun and Vak, noticed their partner was dead and immediately were distracted by the murderer. Jalaise took his chance, and as the two remaining werewolves prepared to attack Naomi, he impaled his sword into the back of one of them. It grew still, signalling success for the man.
Stiun was the only one left. First, he backed up a little, to defend himself from the three that were still alive. It had completely turned around. He was the outnumbered now. As quick as a flash, he ran and proceeded to jump on Naomi, expecting her to fall to the ground because of his weight. As Stiun ran, Naomi timed herself so that she would crouch just as he leaped. As the animal jumped, she ducked and Naglad dealt a blow to the back of Stiun’s head. This gave him a push forward… into the flames of the blazing campfire that were giving the three humans light.

28-Feb-2012 20:31:33 - Last edited on 29-Feb-2012 17:22:56 by Lady Railly

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Naomi turned around after standing up and watched the werewolf slowly burn to death as he lay there, unconscious because of the blow with the battleaxe. “Thanks for helping me out with them, you two,” she said, smiling in relief. “I wasn’t expecting you to help, although I should have. You have a lot of experience with werewolves,” she added, looking directly at Naglad. Then she turned to Jalaise. “That was the first time I’ve seen you both defend yourself and attack. I think you’d do a pretty good job sharing the leader role with me,” she said to him. Jalaise grinned. “Thanks,” he simply replied.

“It’s getting late out here,” the co-leader murmured, beginning to walk to his tent. “If you guys want to stay up and watch for any more creatures that might infiltrate our camp, go ahead. But as of now, I’m tired, so goodnight.” He unzipped his tent and disappeared inside it.

~I’m not that tired, so I think I’ll stay here,~ Naomi thought, glancing over at Jalaise. He wasn’t appearing to be going anywhere, so she assumed he was thinking the same thing that she was. Eventually, she made herself comfortable on one of the logs circling the fire. She watched the flames engulf Vak’s body as she replayed what had just happened in her head. What did that label on the poison bottle say? Naomi was about to go and look for it but she couldn’t be bothered to. It probably did*’t matter anyway. However, as much as she told herself that it did*’t matter, she couldn’t stop thinking about it, and did*’t notice Jalaise taking a seat beside her. “Hey,” he greeted, glancing at her. Naomi smiled and returned the greeting, also returning her eyes back to the fire.

“I wanted to know about yesterday. I really wanted to know why you were crying like that. I mean, I honestly found it a little surprising to be sharing a leader role with someone like you.

28-Feb-2012 20:32:20 - Last edited on 29-Feb-2012 17:23:27 by Lady Railly

Lady Railly

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Naglad told me that you were this legend and all, so when I eventually met you and you were sobbing, it seemed a little opposite to what he told me.”

“Oh.” Naomi thought about what had happened yesterday, and her mind went to the bit where she began crying because of what she remembered. She contemplated not telling him, but since she was more relaxed now, she decided to tell him. “I haven’t been to the camp in months, maybe even years, so when I came back here there was a sudden rush of… nostalgia. My trainer died in the war against the Itav Initev, fighting instead of me. I was supposed to be there. And the fact that she sacrificed herself for me… well, it’s a little overwhelming if you think about it for too long.”

“So you were trained to fight?” he asked curiously, scratching his chin.

“Yes. I expected everyone was trained how to. You don’t just pick it up naturally, do you?”

“No, you don’t. I only taught myself how to use a sword, and how to steal, and I never met my parents. Later on, when I was older, I had been captured by a group of assassins because they had seen me pickpocket many rich people. I watched them practice with their weapons - they taught me a few things as well - and I managed to pick their skills up, and eventually killed the king of my country. I’ve been on the run ever since.”

“Why did you kill him?”

“He was out to find the assassins that I were being taken captive by, and because I was there, he would find me as well. Since I had been practicing with them, it would be an even worse situation for me. To prevent this from happening, I killed him first. The assassins were surprised because they were planning to do that, and so they taught me some more, but ever since I killed the king, I’ve had to hide in all sorts of places.”

“Wow.” Naomi thought he was showing off when he told her about pickpocketing the rich, but when he had finished speaking at the end, she understood. “How did you grow up?” he asked.

28-Feb-2012 20:32:27 - Last edited on 29-Feb-2012 17:23:54 by Lady Railly

Lady Railly

Lady Railly

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“I was just a ten-year-old girl, and one night my parents came and told me that I had to go to fighting school because the war was coming up. I went, and practiced with my trainer, and then we received this letter about having to go into the woods at midday. We went there, and then we had to fight off a whole hoard of… werewolves.” Naomi thought about this for a moment. Was this a coincidence? She’d have to tell Naglad about this. “Anyway, we defeated them, and then it turned out that actually a test so see if we were good enough to join the gang, which was this. I joined, and Jaques, the old leader, died in a fire and I was the new leader. Then we went to Dnafle, and the Vetini Vati were actually in the war, which I wasn’t expecting. This was when Lucy died, because instead of me fighting the co-leader, Tivkean – I managed to kill Tienvak, the leader – Lucy decided to go. Then we went back to my old house, and I got this sword, Melior. I called it that because of what it says on the hilt.” She stroked the hilt with the tip of her finger, before showing it to Jalaise.

“That looks interesting. When Naglad wakes up tomorrow, we’ll have to ask him about that,” he muttered, examining the letters on the sword. “Yeah, it is kind of strange.”

“Yeah, I know,” Naomi agreed, sighing. Slowly, she stood up and stretched, before turning, and beginning to walk to her tent. “I’m tired now,* she announced, looking back at Jalaise. “Goodnight.” She smiled for a brief moment, before turning back, and entering her tent.

Jalaise sat there for a few moments, watching the last of the werewolf burn. He sat there for another half hour, before deciding that if he were to stay there all night, he would sleep in the day, when it would be more likely to have an attack. Therefore, he got up, walked to his tent, and fell asleep.

_/*\_

“Where are they?” the figure demanded in frustration. “They should be here by now, really. With that girl.”

Avael also looked frustrated.

28-Feb-2012 20:40:58 - Last edited on 29-Feb-2012 17:24:20 by Lady Railly

Lady Railly

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“Look, I don’t know where they are, so stop putting the blame on m-“

The figure glanced at Avael, and then said softly, “You’re going to find them. Now.*

*What-“ he began to say, before the figure teleported the town crier to a distance where he could see what had happened.

Immediately, he saw the bodies of two of the werewolves. One was on the left side of the entrance to the hut, and one was on the right side. However, he couldn’t see the third one anywhere. As he tried to pass silently through the entrance to the camp, he stepped on the ear of the fallen wolf on the right side of the entrance.

To his amazement, the wolf woke up, even though he still had that hole in his head. It began to heal itself. The blood dried up and disappeared, that gaping hole was covered up with skin and fur. However, it had woken up, and was very annoyed. It snatched Avael’s foot with its claws and began tearing the skin off of it with his teeth, before dragging him down.

This happened to be the werewolf that Naomi had attacked using the poison on her sword. The one which she hadn’t read the label of.

By this time, the figure was tired of waiting for both the werewolves and Avael to come back. “What’s happened to him now?” it asked itself as it walked up the stairs and climbed into its bed. “If he doesn’t appear in a few hours, then I guess I’ll go and have a look for him.” With a sigh, it laid its head on its pillow and went to sleep.

_/*\_

Seven hours later, when the figure woke up, the first thing it did was search the building for Avael. There was no sign of him; nor were there of any of the three werewolves it had summoned the night before. “Right, I guess I’ll have to go and search for him then,” it grumbled as it brought out its staff that it used to summon Stiun, Vak and Weosch.

Without speaking aloud, it tapped its staff five times in quick succession, and five more werewolves appeared by its side. The figure chuckled.

28-Feb-2012 20:40:59 - Last edited on 29-Feb-2012 17:24:47 by Lady Railly

Lady Railly

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“She won’t be able to get out of this one…” it murmured to itself as it teleported itself and the five animals.

The figure was teleported high in an oak tree, towering above the Vetini Vati camp, so that it could see easily what had gone on, and what was about to happen. Its werewolves were stationed far below, on the ground.

The Vetini Vati were sitting around the fire, having their breakfast. Ironically, Naomi and Jalaise, as well as Naglad interrupting in a few parts, were telling the rest about the incident the night before and what to do if they came again. As Naglad was sitting opposite of Naomi, he could see what was behind her. Abruptly, he stood up, ending Naomi’s speech as she was curious as to why he stood up like that. Turning around, she saw the reason.

With a look of slight determination on her face, she drew the sword out of its sheath and slowly walked towards the five creatures. She felt quite confident about this. It was easy to kill the three werewolves last night, and that had less light allowing her to see. There were only two more, so how hard could it be, with the whole of the Vetini Vati with her as well?

As the werewolf in front jumped at her, Naomi brought her sword horizontally and drew it from left to right. It cut its neck deep and it immediately fell, stunned. The girl stood on its limbs and drove the sword into its chest, ending the life of the animal. However, she was too distracted by this one to notice the other four coming.

As the others ran at her, the figure in the trees laughed to itself. It brought out its staff, whispered the word “Monta”, and cast it at the remaining four. Two were fighting Naomi, one was fighting Naglad and Jalaise, and the last was fighting the rest of the Vetini Vati. “Come on, this has got to work…” the figure muttered impatiently as it squinted at the scene below.

Although it physically did*’t look like it, the werewolves’ strength increased, and so did their reflexes.

28-Feb-2012 20:40:59 - Last edited on 29-Feb-2012 17:25:11 by Lady Railly

Lady Railly

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Naomi had to be no match for them now. Eventually, the rest of the Vetini Vati fled as they watched one of their members get torn to pieces. Naglad and Jalaise, however, were very experienced, and since there were two of them, they managed to wrestle with the creature and give it a deadly blow on the head with, again, Naglad’s battleaxe.

They had killed it just in time to see Naomi fall to her knees. As she fell, almost in slowed time, Jalaise saw the bloodied scratches on her arms. Her sword was blunt. Rows of teeth marks covered each of her legs. Her head hit the ground, pushing her into unconsciousness. Her body slumped, and before they could realise what was going on, Naglad and Jalaise heard the words from far above: “You fools. She was all I wanted. You didn't have to come out here and risk yourselves being extra food for them, now did you?” As they glanced upwards, the figure teleported themselves some distance away from the pair.

It smiled as the wolves brought the unconscious body of Naomi to it. “Thank you, boys,” it murmured, having that smile still on its face. “Now, let’s go, shall we?” The wolves howled softly in response as the figure, the werewolves and Naomi vanished in a single teleport.

28-Feb-2012 20:40:59 - Last edited on 29-Feb-2012 17:25:28 by Lady Railly

Lady Railly

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_¸,.‹-•/*°Chapter Six°*\•-›.,¸_


~Where am I?~ Naomi asked herself as her eyes opened a crack, letting some light through. ~Wasn’t I just fighting some werewolves?~ She opened her eyes more, before discovering where she was. Apart from a dim candle giving light in the corner, every inch of the room had a blanket of darkness over it. The candlelight allowed Naomi to only see what was within a radius of a few feet of her, limiting her sight greatly. She could see, however, that she was locked up.

She attempted to walk, but her legs were chained to the wall, with steel rings around her ankles, weighting them down. For some reason, though, her arms were free of chains. ~Who would be stupid enough to do this…~ she thought, glancing down at her arms. Almost instantly, she noticed abnormally long scratches, in sets of three on each of her arms. *What the hell happened to me?~ she wondered. As she raised her eyes, she also noticed that the metal door wasn’t closed. It did*’t appear to be locked; it just seemed to be ajar. And since her arms were free… ~This person must be very stupid…~ she thought, laughing quietly to herself as she tugged at the handle.

Somehow, it was locked, because she couldn’t budge it one bit. When she tried to give it a heave, it set off an alarm.

“Oh, so she’s awake now, is she?” a voice exclaimed from the other end of the room. Naomi shot back into place, as if she had just woken up, to try to hide any possible clues that she set off the alarm. She quickly realised, though, that this was a futile attempt and the person had probably already worked out that it was her. Who else would be with her?

That’s when she realised. Where were the rest of her gang?

~Maybe this person isn’t so stupid after all…~ Naomi thought regretfully as the other voice spoke again. “I have been searching for you for a long time. In fact, I can’t even remember when I started killing all those girls just to find you.”

28-Feb-2012 20:40:59 - Last edited on 29-Feb-2012 17:25:47 by Lady Railly

Lady Railly

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“You were the murderer?” Naomi had suddenly found her voice, and then realised that that was a stupid question to ask.

“Of course I am. Who did you think?” the mysterious voice queried, laughing at her question. “I did it because I wanted to find you. I wanted to take revenge on you. As for why? That’s for me to know and for you to find out.” It laughed again. Naomi noted its voice. It sounded very feminine.

“Why were you going to-“ Naomi began to ask, before thinking of what it had last said. Why did*’t she listen more? To be fair, she was just a tiny bit nervous.

“As soon as I had killed around… thirty, forty girls your age, I kindly asked Avael to announce it. From what I’ve heard from him, you’re a regular around the town square and the marketplace. I told him to say it because it would catch your attention, due to you being a ‘legend’, as some people would say. I find it really unrealistic, that. What are you? Thirteen? Fourteen? Come on. Anyway, when you had got onto the case, he told me all about what you were doing, and I devised a plan to eventually get you where you are now. And it was successful!” It laughed again, almost taunting the girl. Naomi felt anger slowly building up inside her. She wanted to lash out and punch the stranger. Why did they want to get revenge on her? She hadn’t done anything wrong… had she?

“Oh, Naomi.” The figure stepped forward, and was for a moment illuminated by the candlelight. For that moment, the girl took the time to examine what it looked like.

She was indeed a female, and Naomi was pleased about that due to how feminine her voice was. But what surprised her was her appearance. Her crimson waves of hair fell upon her shoulders – in a tangled mess. Her hazel eyes watched the girl closely – but they looked tired and bags fell under them. Her clothes had brilliant colours upon them – but were torn and ragged. Her jewellery adorned her otherwise bare arms – but it was dulled by dirt and some items were broken.

28-Feb-2012 20:41:00 - Last edited on 29-Feb-2012 17:26:09 by Lady Railly

Lady Railly

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“You do not know how much time I have spent looking for you, looking to get revenge on you. This is why I am in this horrible state. I am exhausted from searching for you. I only got seven hours of sleep last night. That is the most I have ever had in my entire life,” she said, looking Naomi straight in the eyes. She took a step backwards, now being concealed by the blanket of darkness. “I was always telling myself, ‘Courtney, you’re going to get her and you know it,’ but I did*’t believe myself. Now that I’ve got you, I feel so much better!” she explained, laughing to herself in a crazed sort of way. Naomi kept quiet as she watched the woman. Courtney suddenly stopped, and stood still.

“D-did I tell you my name? Damn it. That was supposed to be kept a secret. Uh, forget you heard me say it please.” In her mind, she searched for a mind-erasing spell, but it was so clogged up with triumph that she couldn’t think straight.

“Hello, Courtney,” Naomi replied, saying her name with emphasis. She felt a little more confident, now that she had seen the person. She did**t look that intimidating; honestly, if it wasn’t for the voice, she would have been expecting a muscled man who was an expert swordsman.

“Don’t say my name like that!” Naomi was thrown against the wall, hitting her head hard. She searched for Courtney, but she couldn’t see because of the darkness. Did she have that strength to push her with her hands? Naomi was now a little confused. “Don’t say that again, otherwise the consequence will be worse,” the woman continued. “You seem a little full of yourself, from what Avael tells me.”

Naomi then remembered. The town crier! “How are you friends with him?” she asked curiously, hoping the woman would at least tell her that.

“Well, I promised to give him more, ahem, income for his job if he helped me with my plan to find you.”

Naomi was no longer confused now, she was in shock.

28-Feb-2012 20:41:00 - Last edited on 29-Feb-2012 17:26:35 by Lady Railly

Lady Railly

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She never knew that this woman could be friends with what seemed like such a friendly man. “So you bribed him?” she asked, to which Courtney nodded in response. She then snapped into her horrible mood again.

“Now, please, you’re distracting me with my real objective. Time for my revenge.”

Before Naomi could realise what was happening, the woman sent a spell her way, and her arms were instantly bound with chains, similar to the ones around her legs. She was pinned to the wall, and could not even move as another loop of thick steel fit around her waist and stomach, so tight she found it a struggle to breathe. Courtney appeared in the candlelight with a silver object, one that had a blade. As she held it closer to Naomi’s neck, it made Naomi feel determined to somehow escape from the cold steel that kept her fixed in that position; to escape from that knife that was coming towards her at a surprising, relatively slow speed. But she couldn’t move, no matter how much she tried to, the metal rings kept her in place and the knife was nearly at her neck, digging in. ~This is the end…~ she thought to herself, closing her eyes. She did*** want to see how she was going to die. ~What have I done to deserve this? I’ve been fighting for my own kind. I saved the elves in Dnafle from being captured by the Itav Initev who did nothing but trouble. Why should I be killed for that? That’s a good thing, isn’t it?~

She felt the knife touch her neck.

Then a familiar voice.

And then a clanging sound on the floor.

“What the hell are you doing?” demanded the voice. As Naomi opened her eyes, she noticed a sudden hole of light coming from the other end of the room. This lit up the whole room, enough to see who the intruding person was.

It was Naglad and Jalaise.

Naomi breathed out a sigh of relief despite her lungs having limited space to expand. “What do you think you’re doing, suddenly coming here? I told you two that I only wanted her.

28-Feb-2012 20:41:00 - Last edited on 29-Feb-2012 17:26:57 by Lady Railly

Lady Railly

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You’re just making her situation more difficult,” Courtney muttered, her eyes narrowing as she took a step forward towards the two.

“I’m sure you’re smart enough to understand that we’re her friends and that we would come and find her eventually. But I was wrong,” Naglad taunted, crossing his arms. “Now let her free or we’ll free her ourselves.”

“I may not have known her for as long as the rest of her gang have, but I’ve known her long enough to see that she shouldn’t be killed and that you shouldn’t be holding her at knifepoint,” Jalaise added. Jalaise and Courtney were busy arguing when Naomi made a gesture for Naglad to come over. He did while Courtney was in the middle of speaking, so that she would be distracted more. “What is it? Do you want me to get you out of these?” he asked, pointing to the chains.

“No, no. I was going to ask, how did you find me here?” Naomi queried.

“Well, we’ve had many people taken like this before, and it’s happened so often and the funny thing is that they always tend to end up in the underground prison. So now, we usually just go here as the first place we go to,” he whispered back. ~So I’m in the underground prison again,~ she thought, sighing silently to herself. ~When was I here before? Oh yes. When the Itav Initev captured me-~

At that point, everything came together.

This person obviously was a member of the Itav Initev.

How could that be possible though, when she was sure she had killed all of them?

As Courtney finally realised that something bad was going on behind her, Naglad jumped back into position as she turned around to face Naomi. They looked at each other for a moment, before she rested her eyes again on the pair. “You know, I find it really funny that you haven’t killed me yet. Why haven’t you?” she asked, slightly curious but mostly asking it to taunt them.

“Why? Do you want us to kill you?” Naglad replied, grinning and unsheathing his sword that he had brought with him.

28-Feb-2012 20:41:00 - Last edited on 29-Feb-2012 17:27:23 by Lady Railly

Lady Railly

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“We thought it would honestly be too risky, with you being-“

“Ah, okay.” The woman turned back to Naomi, who was now just standing in silence, a confused expression on her face. “What is it, dear?” she questioned sarcastically, chuckling a little.

“Am I missing something here? I don’t know who you are-“ She was cut off by the sound of laughing from Courtney, and even a little chuckle from Naglad. Jalaise stayed quiet.

“You haven’t known all this time? Sweetheart, I was the wife of Tienvak until you killed him.”

28-Feb-2012 20:41:01 - Last edited on 29-Feb-2012 17:27:51 by Lady Railly

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_¸,.‹-•/*°EPILOGUE°*\•-›.,¸_


“W-what?” Naomi was in shock. ~She must be joking…~ she thought. “Really?” The woman nodded, smiling slightly.

The pieces had fit together.

This was why she was trying to get revenge. She must have known, somehow, that Naomi had killed Tienvak all those months ago.

“How did you find out that he was killed?” Naomi asked. Courtney unfolded a piece of paper and held it to the girl’s face, which she read. It was a letter, sent to the woman, and she couldn’t read it properly because it was too close to her eyes, but she read something like, ‘I am afraid that your husband was killed in war’.

“Did he teach you how to fight?” she questioned. If he had… she would have an equally skilled opponent. If not… all would be well.

“Well, sort of. He did*’t teach me anything to do with swords and that sort of thing, but he taught me something else. He preferred swords to this way, but I preferred this and eventually I mastered it.” In the candlelight, Naomi watched Courtney bring out her staff. “This is what I used to make the werewolves defeat you. I chained up your arms using this as well. I know every spell you could have thought of.” She spun around suddenly, catching Jalaise’s shirt with her fingers.

He was holding his sword at the back of her neck, and if she hadn’t turned around at that moment she would have been dead. “That’s it,” she shouted, throwing him against the wall with a powerful impact, almost making the room shake. He groaned in pain, rubbing his head. “I may not be good with a sword, but my husband taught me that.” She smiled at him, turning around slowly to glance at Naglad, making sure he wasn’t about to kill her as well. Naomi stared at Courtney, thinking, ~Who would marry such an evil person like her? Then again, he was evil himself…~

“Now,* she announced, staring at Jalaise this time, “I will kill you first, so that your little ‘friend’ as you so call her can watch.

28-Feb-2012 20:43:28 - Last edited on 29-Feb-2012 17:28:22 by Lady Railly

Lady Railly

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So let’s get my friend called the knife out, shall we?” She drew out her knife and held it to his neck, while reciting a spell. Instantly, the man was tied with chains just like Naomi’s. “I feel rather lucky that you did*’t begin to kill me first. Because now I can kill you first.” She started pressing the knife against the skin of his neck, drawing a thin line of blood, which gradually began to thicken.

Naglad crept up behind Courtney, because, since both her hands were holding the knife, she couldn’t defend herself. He drew his sword, very slowly at first, while Naomi watched him, instead of Jalaise. She repeatedly mouthed, “Don’t! You’ll get caught!” but he took no notice. As soon as his sword was fully unsheathed, he placed his foot on the area on her spine and pressed down, making the knife fall through Jalaise’s shirt and onto the ground, as did she. Her knife was facing her way when it hit the floor, so when she fell, she made contact with it. It went through her eye. Naomi couldn’t help smiling just slightly as she heard the deafening, shrill scream.

Naglad kept his foot pressed on her back, and then knelt on her, placing his hand around her wrists so that she couldn’t get up. He was much heavier than her, and much stronger, which was a great disadvantage for her. “Let’s rid the last of the Itav Initev once and for all,” he announced. “You thought you could get rid of your husband’s killer, did*’t you? Well, if it wasn’t for her, the elves would all be in captivity right now. Think about how happy they must be, and think about how happy they will be when they find out that the last remaining member of the Itav Initev has been killed.

She killed your husband because she wanted to save her friends, her family, as they were in captivity too, and everybody in Dnafle. She only needed to kill one person, and compared to thousands, if not millions that would have been killed otherwise, that isn’t much. Well, as the saying goes, you can’t please everyone.”

28-Feb-2012 20:43:28 - Last edited on 29-Feb-2012 17:28:54 by Lady Railly

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With that, he drove the sword through the upper back of Courtney.

For a moment, there was silence.

“Thank you,” Naomi whispered, smiling. “Thank you for everything you’ve done to help me, to save my life… well, for everything, basically. I’m so glad I accepted that invitation, and even though I thought it was a bad idea at that time, I’ve come to realise that it was actually a good thing. I cannot thank you enough, honestly.”

“It’s fine. You’re our leader and our friend as well,” Naglad replied. Naomi then realised that her chains were gone – and so were Jalaise’s. “The chains must’ve disappeared when she died,” she murmured, stretching her legs and walking towards the co-leader. Jalaise did the same.

“Let’s get out of here,” Naglad said, smiling and getting up. He began to walk towards the exit, while Jalaise and Naomi tagged on behind him. Naomi looked up at him, and smiled. “Thank you for everything you’ve done as well. You’ve been excellent, being the leader with me. We haven’t known each other for long, but in the time that I’ve known you, you’ve been so nice to me. You’ve been so kind, patient and respectful.” Her smile widened, and the pair embraced with a hug. “You’ve been nice to know as well,” Jalaise replied. “You have an exceptional talent for someone your age.”

As they returned to walking, they realised that Naglad was already out the door, and so they quickly ran out to meet him once again.

Naomi’s parents were waiting right outside for her.

“Mum!” Naomi cried as she ran forward, embracing her mother and wrapping her arms around her waist. “Why… why are you here?”

“We’ve been here for a long time, waiting for you,” her dad replied. He had a slight tone of disappointment in his voice, but that quickly disappeared. “We stopped by at the Vetini Vati camp to see how you were getting on, and when Naglad told us that you had been kidnapped, we were so worried. So we decided to go along with him, and the other boy as well.”

28-Feb-2012 20:43:29 - Last edited on 29-Feb-2012 17:29:11 by Lady Railly

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Naomi stepped backwards from her mother, and embraced her father for a few moments, before stepping aside from him too. “Well,” she started, turning to face Naglad. “My work is done here. I’ve killed the last of the Itav Initev, so you won’t need me any longer, right?”

“Naomi, of course we’ll need you in case another war breaks out, but if you want to stay with your parents until then, we’ll be perfectly happy. After all, we’ve got Jalaise to run the camp,” the co-leader replied, smiling and glancing in the man’s direction. “It’s okay. Don’t feel guilty about it, right?”

“I’m fairly sure there won’t be anyone battling you for years to come, so I guess this is the last time I’m going to see you,” Naomi said, sighing. “So, erm…” She gave a feeble wave, before uttering one word.

“Goodbye.”

Turning to walk down the path, with her parents on either side, she quickly heard from behind her a shout of “Wait! You forgot something!” As she spun round, Jalaise was holding out her sword.

“Uh, thanks,” she murmured, smiling slightly. “Where was this?”

“I picked it up near the entrance as you were walking out. I thought you’d might like to keep it, as a little reminder of the events that took place while you were with the Vetini Vati,” he explained, smiling back at her. Naomi ran her finger along the hilt of the sword, whispering to herself, “What would I do without you, Melior?”

“Huh? Did you just say Melior?” Naglad replied, stepping forward to examine the weapon. “Where did you get this from?”

“We found it at our home, several years ago, and gave it to her as a present,” Jodie answered.

Naglad looked Naomi directly in her eyes. “You do know what Melior means, don’t you?”

“No,* Naomi replied, feeling slightly foolish.

*It means Legend.”

28-Feb-2012 20:43:43 - Last edited on 29-Feb-2012 17:29:34 by Lady Railly

Lady Railly

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Thank you for all of the ideas. I will warn you now, I have proofread up to but not including chapter 10, and I may just rewrite the whole story when I have time. Seeing as I started to write it in 2009, my writing has improved by a massive amount.

I love your ideas, by the way - I had never thought of Naomi finding another place to stay... and I could describe the poacher scene a little better too:P

16-May-2012 07:24:20

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