She was bound within a circle, about a dozen artifacts glowing about her eerily. Their chants caused her heart to race, and her hearing caught the steady dripping of her blood onto the stone floor beneath her. An immense pain tore through her, and she screamed for all she was worth, "No, Raven!" Park's voice filtered into her hearing, she could hear the tears, the helplessness within it, "Let her go!"
"Not likely." Vazem, the demon lord turned to Park, his gaze slipping over the six people that stood firmly, yet weakly beside him in their charged prison, "I thank you, your
majesty." He spat at Park, "For bringing these to me." He waved his hands at the artifacts that were currently sending sparks of electricity through Raven's body.
Park's body quivered in rage, opening several nasty wounds in the process, "I won't let you hurt her anymore!" He shouted, beginning to throw his body against the barrier, "You can't do this to her!" His companions watched in silent pity.
"Stop it Park, you're going to end up killing yourself!" His younger brother, William shouted passionately, "Think about what you're doing!"
Park stopped only to glare at William, tears gleaming in his eyes, "I have to save her..." He murmured, "I have to save the woman that I love."
William gazed at him in shock, though he'd known it for sometime, "T-that's not going to save her!" He said, shaking himself out of silence.
"P-Park..." Raven's agonized voice filtered over to him and he snapped his gaze to her partially glazed eyes, "Don't..." The instant she'd finished speaking a brilliant glow emmitted from her body and the artifacts.
The energies converged above Raven, and pierced down upon her shuddering body. Her eyes widened and blood flooded her lips as the ground beneath her began to shake. A ghastly red glow filled the chamber, she could feel the release of an evil far greater than Vazem, something that made the air heavy as it penetrated the chamber. Vazem and his warriors bowed beneath a looming creature, and then a blinding light followed by darkness engulfed her.
Raven awoke hazily beneath a starlit sky. She was on the bank of a river, its current tugging at her limp body gently, washing away the everflowing crimson of her precious lifeblood. She strained to move her body without success, and instead cried bitterly against the mixture of sharp rocks and sand.
An erie tune filled the night sky as the river neared a bend and on a rock was a sitting figure bathing in the light of the moon, gently playing a silver flute. The personages eye's were closed and the nature around him was silent, as if listening to his hauntingly beautiful song. They paused in their song to catch a breath and their eyes opened, spotting something in the water. The moon's light caused it's eyes to seemingly glow silver as the person moved its scarf over it's mouth and lowered it's flute.
Raven eventually wiped her tears and gritted her teeth as she attempted once more to drag herself out of the water. The rocks bit into her palms, though these she ignored. She winced when she managed to scrape her body several inches forward and stopped to catch her breath and will away her dizziness.
Standing gracefully, The figure put the flute away in a delicate carved box at it's belt before picking it's way through the rocks of the river, cleverly staying dry as it hopped from rock to rock. Eventually it made it to her, looking down at her emotionlessly, only its silloette visible. The end of a red scarf fluttered in the air above her and finally it knelt next to her, delicatly taking a hold of the least injured places of her body and lifting her out of the cold water and holding her securely in it's arms.
She blinked in surprise, her vision hazing and spinning dizzily for several seconds at the sudden motion before she could finally see clearly. At first her voice stuck and she could produce no sound, merely moving her lips, before finally she inwardly scolded herself for being so weak. You expect to be able to take care of your people like this?
She growled at herself before attempting to speak again, "Who... are you?" Albeit the struggle, her words rang clearly on the air.
"Someone who is helping you." Replied a soft, but definate male voice through the cloth covering his mouth and nose. Silently he made his way among the rocks back to the safety of the forest, walking calmly and in measured steps, his legs used to walking great distances as he took her weight easily.
She looked around mutely as they moved, taking in the scene, nothing was familiar. Raven closed her eyes as another wave of dizziness swept over her, and when she looked up, realization dawned on her. The stars formed different patterns here- why weren't they the same? Back home she'd travelled the world and could still identify the stars- so why weren't they right? She gasped, "Where am I? What is this place?"
He looked down at her wordlessly for a moment, his eyes unreadable before he spoke, "We are in the forests surrounding Est'ara, in the forbidden realm." He continued walking after pausing for a moment before stating in a soft voice, "There are several predators that have caught the scent of your blood already, I must hurry." Speeding up his pace, a dim yowl rose above the trees causing the man's eyebrows to furrow.
"Est'ara, forbiddon realm? It makes no sense to me... the word is so foreign upon my tongue." Raven said, bristling at the ever approaching sounds, her next bit was spoken in a soft whisper, "Where have those foul demons trasported me? I recognize nothing... even the stars are as foreign as these woods..."
Looking down at her for a second at her words, the movement saved his life as the claw swept over his head, the palm of the beast glancing him. The blow threw him forward causing the pair to hit the ground hard, the man protecting her with his bulk from the rocks and roots of the forest floor. When they skidded to a halt he rose to his feet, a little dazed but uninjured and faced the creature that had hunted them down.
Taking out two decorated sticks, "Begone foul beast," The man said forcibly to the growling creature before him. It snarled back, it's fangs dripping saliva and its eyes were red and aglow. The creature had the body of an eel, it's slimy claws posed before it and it was obvious the thing had been in the water.
Shakily, Raven pulled herself up, bracing her arms beneath her as she took in the sight of the creature, its red eyes caused a tremor to race through her as she remembered the red glow of the demon's release. She took a deep shuddering breath and shook the memory off, that demon wasn't here, but she knew that she had to find it- she had to get home to save her friends, "Please don't get hurt..." She murmured softly.
The creature flew at him with amazing speed, time seeming to freeze as the man dodged its attack before planting on of his sticks to the side of its head. A sickening crunch was heard and a blade shot out of the other side of the creature's head and the thing fell heavily to the ground, twitching before laying still. The man pulled his weapon from the head of the beast and wiped off the blood with a piece of cloth and retracted the blade back into its housing. He turned to her, "Are you alright?"
"I'll be fine." She said slowly, bringing a hand to her lips as she coughed violently, "This creature did nothing to harm me though I can't say that it didn't try." She managed after her fit ended, a trickle of blood slipping out of the corner of her lips.
Gazing at her with only his dark eyes visible, the man didn't reply but he looked her over for a minute, taking note of every injury before nodding, "I will take you to the edge of the nearest village, then I will leave you." He walked over to her and was about to lift her once again to his arms before asking, "Are you fit to walk?"
Instead of answering Raven gritted her teeth and forced herself to stand, closing her eyes to steady herself and to force the dizziness away. She gave a watery smile, "Apparently so." Inwardly she winced, though she didn't reveal it outwardly, her wounds were a dull pulse that sent shocks of pain into her very core, "I... thank you for your aid..."
"I didn't do it for the thanks," He replied somewhat coldly, but thoroughly emotionlessly as well, "Thanks has nothing to do with it. I... cannot enter the village with you, but you are injured, the people there should let you in." He turned from her and began his tiredless walk toward the hidden village.
Raven blinked at his retreating figure for a moment before scurrying after him as carefully as she could, "Why can't you enter the village?" She asked somewhat curiously, frowning thoughtfully as she looked at his cloaked figure.
Hesitently he stopped and turned slowly to face her, his eyes showing anger and hatred before whispering in a cold voice, "Would you
let me in?" His scarf fluttered around his knees in a light breeze, the smell of the creature he killed flowing toward them unpleasantly.
She took a step back in surprise before hardening her gaze, and with a clenched jaw, Raven took a few steady steps forward, "You may sound threatening right now, but you very likely saved my life back at the river. Just because you're strange- different... and have an odd air about you doesn't mean that I feel threatened."
His eyes lost their emotion before letting out a barely audible chuckle, "Your very action betrays you..." Turning again he began his trek once more.
"My actions betray nothing." She replied quite simply, "My response was honest." Raven continued moving behind him, "Where I'm from there are things that are far worse than you yourself could ever be." She said in a soft tone.
He didn't respond but softly began to hum a tune to himself without his flute, one of his strange weapons kept ready in his left hand in case another beast came after the strange girl he saved. In less then twenty minutes they reached a large wooden wall, the tops of the posts sharpened to spear points and he simply looked up and turned slightly to accomodate the curve of the wall.
"Is this the place?" Raven asked, taking an uncertain step backwards and bringing the fingers of her left hand up to touch her lips, "It doesn't look that inviting I must say..." She turned to look at him questioningly, "Why are the walls like this?"
"Because of the creature I killed earlier... and creatures of similar action." They circled around the to an entrance where a huge gate loomed out of the darkness. "Who's out there?! Speak or be killed!" Cried out a hard voice from above.
"There is an injured woman down here, open the gate!" The man raised his voice slightly, the yell seemingly unnatural to his sing-song voice.
With a loud crack the gate was pulled open and several guards rushed out and surrounded them with weapons before they paused confused before their aparent leader gasped in recognition, "Todd?!" The guard brought his spear closer to the man's face, "Leave Todd, the demons swallowed your soul, you are not welcome here."
Todd stood unafraid, even with a blade in his face as he casually lifted a finger to the woman at his side, "I found her, she needs medical attention..." With that said, he turned and ignored the arrows trained at his back and disappeared into the forest.
She watched mutely as his figure disappeared into the shadows, "Todd?" She murmured, "Interesting name I must say..." She turned her gaze to those who surrounded her, to those who held arrows trained after Todd, "What do you mean by his soul was devoured by demons?" She asked, ignoring the numbness that had begun to spread from her wounds.
Their weapon's lowered and the tension dissapated as he left and a surprisingly young man took off his helmet and ushered her inside the gate, "These are strange times miss... People stray into the forest and are killed, eaten, tortured..." The gate closed loudly behind them and everyone let out small sighs of relief, "We've sent searching parties out to look for them... but it was no use, only a few came back. Todd is a cursed man, he is the only one that survives out there and he brings people back frequently." The young soldiers gaze fell, "He cannot be allowed in."
"Why can't you let him in if he brings those whom you've lost back to the village? Don't you think that that man deserves a proper thanks for his efforts?" Raven asked, watching with a thudding heart as the gates closed behind her, she felt oddly trapped- a feeling that she'd never gotten even during the wars back home.
"Miss... a demon has his soul, there's no way he could survive out there if he was human. Now if you'll kindly follow me, I'll lead you to our healer." He smiled sadly at her before the rest of the soldiers dispersed and went to their own duties, "I'm sergent Jai, I'll stay with you till you get situated."
"My name's Raven." She said softly, "Can you really accept me here though? I've no money, and you can't possibly know of who I am. What if I could be some vastly evil being? You allowed me in here easily enough."
"Personally Raven if Todd were injured standing at our gate we would let him in, but we are under strict orders by our captain not not let him in otherwise. He is dangerous and we hear wild stories from the ones he rescues... they call him a demon." Jai led her through a maze of tightly packed building's before entering a small hut where a squat woman smiled up at her.
"That doesn't really answer my last question, but it'll have to do for now." Raven sighed tiredly, "To be honest I'm far too exhausted to argue with you right now."
The old woman stood, her height not making much of a difference if she was standing or sitting as she wordlessly took Raven's hand, "I'll take care of her Jai, you return to your post."
Jai bowed respectively, "Masiira." With that the sergent left the hut, leaving the two women alone.
"You must be one of Todd's rescues... you poor thing, and you're all damp..." Masiira smiled her toothy grin and brought Raven to a cot in the back, "Lay down dear and I'll inspect your wounds."
Raven complied and eased herself onto the cot and staired up at the ceiling, "He called you Masiira..." She struggled over the foreign name, "I'm assuming that you are their healer... I thank you in advance for your aid." She smiled softly.
"Yes young miss I am Masiira, stay still while I get you some dry clothes and some bandages..." Masiira waddled out of the room.
An erie sound lifted out of the forest and penetrated the small village, causing people to shiver at its song.
"That mysterious Todd..." Masiira said from the other room as the song met her old ears and she reentered the room with supplies.
"It's a beautiful song." Raven murmured softly, "I heard it earlier... when I first woke up on the edge of a river. I didn't know that it was him playing." She turned her gaze to Masiira as she reentered the room.
Folding a plain white shift over her arm, "Here you are dear, I'll let you change into these..." The old healer turned her back to her to give her privacy, "Were you able to witness his art of fighting?" She asked Raven, "I was once lost out there, looking for herbs when he slaughtered a pack of wild Rekiren to save me from them..." The woman sighed softly before chuckling, "Tis a shame... the captain of the guard is so wary of him Todd cannot even take a break from surving out there. At least here we are safe."
"Despite the fact that it is safe here... I don't think I can stay any longer than necessary." Raven said, slipping out of her damp clothes and putting on the drier ones, "I saw him fight only once, just after he rescued me." She answered the woman's question as she tugged her long hair through the neck of the shift.
Masiira giggled, "He's a stud that's for sure... now... onto the matters at hand." Her old hands were gentle as she probed the injuries while tsking softly. After a while of weaving slight healing magics through her skin the old healer paused for a small break, "You look like you have been through a battle... you say you were in a river?"
in a river." Raven said slowly, taking a shuddering breath as she gazed at the woman, "Before that I was in a terrible war against the demons. I fear, though, that the battles were meaningless..." She sighed and gazed at the floor.
"Meaningless.." Masiira repeated softly before returning to her healing, "Yes they are meaningless... the demons control the territory past that forest... that is why everyone fears Todd, he can survive where no one else can, that makes him something that the common folk come to think of when they think of the evil beyond our lands..." She sighed before stepping away from Raven, "Rest now dear, you are not in danger anymore as long as you do not overexert yourself. Rest and listen to Todds haunting song..." The old healer left the room and closed the door to the small room, leaving it dark except for the light of the stars and moon shining in from the window.
Raven sighed, she was restless and unable to sleep. After several long minutes she stepped gently off of the cot and moved over to the window, gazing off into the night, "I wonder why it is that I was brought here." She murmured softly to herself, "Why I was dragged away from everything that I've ever known to this strange and foreign land. I feel helpless now. I am vastly unable to aid my people... and my foolish brother will certainly lead them to death..."
The faint voice of Masiira and a man seeped in from under the door, whispers, "She is resting right now and she was a lot more injured then most brought in to me, you cannot see her." The man sighed angrily before growling, "You will hand her over to me tomorrow. I don't care what condition she is in, she is not from this village, therefore I have no regrets on killing her. Tomorrow she will lead us to Todd... or die." Masiira was silent for a moment before timidly replying, "As you wish captain."
Raven gazed at the door mutely before turning her eyes back to the window as though she were sizing it up, Not sure if I'd fit... but whoever that guy is... I'll be damned if he thinks that I'm going to lead him to Todd. She inwardly growled, leaping up onto the sill. She winced, grasping at her side as she began to shake and darkness crept into her vision. Raven fell soundlessly from the window, back into the room.
Shaking his head, Todd watched her from one of the spiked posts for the healer's hut was right next to the wall and Todd always kept an eye out for the people he saved. She wasn't in a good situation and his keep ears had heard the stupid captain's words... "Moron..." Todd muttered under his breath, Raven's still form in the room still in his gaze.
"Park..." She muttered in her weakened slumber, her eyebrows knitting together as she curled into a tight ball on the floor as images flashed behind her eyes of a tall demonic figure- the one that she had inadvertantly released. The one that would most likely destroy everything dear to her.
Todd brought his flute up to his revealed lips and played a very soft and slow tune before putting it away and leaping from the wall into the darkness of the forest. Masiira open the door at the tune and rushed to Raven's form on the ground and muttering a thanks to Todd for the warning. Grunting as she lifted Raven awkwardly back onto the low cot, the healer whirled on the captain, "Out out! Come back in the morning!" When the man reluctantly left Masiira looked up at the wall, "Thank you Todd..." She whispered to the night.
She awoke near dawn, jerking her body into a sitting position as though just waking from a nightmare. She gazed down at the cot before looking over at the window in mild confusion, "How is it that I've moved from the window to the cot then?" She murmured to herself before standing, "I've wasted the night away with such useless slumber..."
Masiira entered then and was surprised to see her awake, as was the captain that was behind her. The armored man shook off his surprise before simply growling, "Come with me." The healer shrugged before looking on sadly, "Orders are orders little miss..."
"Its perfectly fine." Raven replied with a simple shrug, "This brute doesn't frighten me. But there's something else to be done before I go with you." She gazed down at her form, "I refuse to go out in these."
The man laughed, "You think I care?" He tossed her some sandles, "Be thankful I'm giving you those, now lets go." Several soldiers filed into the already cramped room and Jai was among them, frowning appologetically.
Raven scowled and threw the sandles back at his feet, "I don't need your generousity," She drawled sarcastically, "Might I ask what it is that you want from me?" She asked as though she didn't already know.
"You are going to lead us to that demon infested Todd, you're gonna lead us back to where he found you, if you choose not to... well..." He grinned evilly, "You're gonna wish you were being eaten, because it would be a lot better then what I would do to you."
"Oh really? And just what would you do?" She asked bluntly, "Because I get the feeling that I've dealt with much worse than anything you could ever do."
The captain frowned for a moment before nodding to the soldiers around her, "Lets go." Several spear ends poked her in the back.
Masiira touched Raven's hand as she walked out, "Goodluck dearie..."
Raven glanced back at Masiira and gave a soft, reassuring smile. She wasn't a fool, the minute they gave her any sort of opportunity she'd run or she would fight them. "Where to?" She said simply.
The captain had then parade to the gate where they opened it to face the darkened forest, many of the men shivering as they prepared to enter, "Lead the way girl, arrow's will be trained on your back so do not try to escape. Besides, we're you're best chance at surviving out here."
Raven rolled her eyes, and with a mock sigh of defeat she stepped before them, "This way, gentlemen." She muttered.
Inwardly Raven grinned to herself, she'd give them a run for their money... They didn't know her or anything that she was capable of.
The forest gave the soldiers the creeps, that much you could tell by looking at them. Every sound the forest made caused them to jump, even the captain, "Hurry up girl, we want to make it out alive..." Muttered the captain.
Jai walked ahead of everyone and kept pace with Raven, "I'm sorry he's making you do this..." the sergent whispered softly.
"Let me tell you something... he's not making me do anything. I'll be damned if I'm gonna take this creep anywhere. I'd suggest that you head off home though..." Raven said seriously in a soft tone.
"I... I cannot." Jai swallowed hard, "I'm under orders... I can't just leave, he'll not take a second thought on executing me..."
"I'm sorry then." Raven replied evenly, "I'd really rather not harm you." She tripped over some hidden root, and when she stood she turned, throwing a decently large rock at the captain as she began to run, weaving her way through the trees.
The two archers with them were so startled by her sudden movements that their shots went wild as the captain roared for them to catch her. It wasn't long before their commotion caused the forest to finally notice them, for predators to notice them. Looming from the darkness infront of Raven was a huge canine, it's fangs dripping saliva as it roared.
Raven skidded to a stop and looked around for something- anything to aid her in battle. She came across a relatively long stick and ran towards it, scooping it up into her arms before turning to face the demon in a defensive stance.
Jai finally caught up with her, "Raven! Wha..." He turned his helmeted head slowly and caught sight of the thing and yelped before feebly holding up his spear, "We should go..."
"I wouldn't suggest that." Raven said grimly, "We've a better chance of facing the brute than we do of fleeing from it. Besides, I have the sneaking suspicion that we'd be caught pretty quickly. I told you that you should have gone home when you had the chance."
There was a yell from behind them and it seemed that the monster wasn't the only one who had come to see what the commotion was. The captain stumbled into their area with a long gash in his arm as he spotted them. Before he could take another step a bonelike tail sprouted through his chest cavity, a similiar face to that of the huge canine appearing behind the captain, snarling as the captain died. The creature flung the corpse to the side as both beasts slowly approached them.
Seeing the sword glinting in the captain's dead fingers, Raven's gaze moved momentarily to her stick before she threw it forcefully at the canine before her. She watched with satisfaction as it pierced its left eye before running towards the captain. She stopped only long enough to grab the sword before turning to face the brutes.
Young and foolish, Jai followed her lead and swung his spear at the other one, hoping to get in a hit but the giant beast simply dodged his attack and struck with a lightning fast paw, striking Jai down and following up with clamping it's huge maw on his armored shoulder. It's teeth pierced the metal easily, causing Jai to scream.
"Jai!" Raven shouted, striking the great paw of the other beast as it leapt foolishly at her. The beast howled in pain, and she realized that it was the same that she'd struck earlier. The left eye was an empty socket, bleeding down its face. She slashed at its nose as it descended upon her before running towards Jai and the brute that was attacking him with the sword held high, "Get off of him!"
A slight whistling was heard and a whirring object flew past her and slashed the beast across it's muzzled before flying into a tree where it landed in Todd's hand. He leapt out of the tree and tossed his other blade at the creature and the beast had to let go of Jai to defend itself. The only difference in Todd was the dark goggles covering his eyes but other then that, it was the same stoic and dark man from the night before.
Raven looked at him for only a moment with mild relief before turning her attack back on the other one, whom had slunk up behind herself and Jai while she'd been focused on what was in front of her. She dove beneath its large paws and groping claws and swung her sword at its bony tail as it attacked her before leaping beneath it and jamming the sword as far into its chest as she could, its hot blood dripping down her arms, burning them.
The thing howled before sliding off her blade to the ground where the other looked at its dieing comrade before yelping and ran off into the forest. Jai sputtered on the ground, blood flowing out of his mouth as he looked around, not recognizing anything, "Ra... Raven? I can't see, why is it d-dark...?"
"Jai!" Raven ran over to him, burying the tip of the sword into the earth as she pressed her fingers over the wounds, trying to stem the flow of blood, "It's going to be alright... I'll get you back to Masiira so that she can help you."
Todd looked down at him before shaking his head and walked to a nearby tree and took out his flute, playing his familiar melody.
"C-can you go get her for... me? I cannot see... she will need help finding me..." Jai's eyes fluttered and he fought to stay awake, "That s-song I hear... is that Todd?"
"Yes it is." Raven said, "I'm not just going to leave you here. I... I'll carry you if I have to." She knelt down and hoisted him as best she could onto her back, "I'm sorry if this hurts... but you'll bleed to death if we don't hurry." She glanced up at Todd for only a moment before dashing off into the trees in the direction that she had come.
It wasn't long before Todd leapt into her path and stopped her, his flute still in one hand as the man stayed in her way, "He's dead, and in a few minutes you'll be too..."
She looked up at him stubbornly, "I wanted him to feel that perhaps... even in his condition there would still be hope for his life." She said as evenly as she could, "Now the least that I can do is return his corpse to his village."
"Perhaps you don't understand." Todd replied in a cold voice, "That beast's blood is going to kill you if you don't get it off of you very quick, the slowest I have seen it work was ten minutes." With that said he hastily put his flute away and grabbed her hand, forcing her to drop the body of Jai, rushing through the forest to some unseen location.
"I can't just leave him there!" Raven said in frustration, "He could get devoured by something! I don't want the body of someone who showed me kindness to become desecrated."
Todd abruptly stopped and faced her, anger in his voice and a tiny bit of a silver glow showed through his goggles, "Do you want to live or protect his body? Choose now while I care."
"Choose?" She blinked in surprise at his anger for a moment, "Look, you've got to understand my own position." She said slowly, "I've seen far too much death in my years. Many lives lost, and the bodies of my comrades desecrated by demons-" Her voice stopped working and she glanced down at her red-stained arms in silence. Well... this can't be good... She thought to herself as they began to feel hot, though she showed no outward sign of the agitation.
"And you think I haven't seen death?" Todd whispered back to her angrily before he saw her look down at her arms and cursed, "Oh you stupid woman." Todd muttered, his anger litteraly making him steam as he grabbed her around her waist, his cloak opening to reveal transparent silk and they opened to become wings, flinging him into the air. Once they were through the tree tops the lake where they had been heading before they had stopped to chat instantly came into view.
... Stupid man... She thought inwardly as she glanced down at the lake, He may have seen death before but he's been out here for much longer than I have... The war in my home was the first time I'd ever been witness to such horrid deaths... and it was also the first time I was on the brink of death... He is not the same as I though... so I cannot blame him for not understanding my predicament... Her gaze grew slightly distant, Minna... everyone are you even still alive? All of my closest friends... Kindra, William, Max, Midori, Calder, Jade... and... Park- I never got to tell you how I felt...
Dumping her uncerimoniasly into the water, Todd hovered over her and viciously washed her arms, his cloak and scarf skimming the surface of the clear water. It was only a matter of seconds before the water had cleansed her enough to satisfy the man and he plucked her out of the lake and glided to shore, his cloak covering his back once more.
She released a gutteral growl as she quickly squeezed the water from her hair, though sighed and gazed steadily at the ground. Suppose that I owe him doubly for this... She thought to herself.
Without another sound Todd cursed again and grabbed her before opening his wings once more. More of those huge wolves surged across the beach, howling loudly at them and Todd turned in the air, flying toward the island in the middle of the lake. "I hate this place sometimes... no wonder I'm a recluse..." He muttered to himself as they landed. "We're safe here... those things can't swim."
"That's good..." She murmured with a tired yawn, she was beginning to feel as tired as she had only once before- and at that time she had been drugged by her trecherous servant, Blaze.
Todd squeezed the water out of his scarf and cloak before eyeing Raven, "I think you already knew, but I'm Todd," He said emotionlessly through the cloth around his face, "And I'm nocturnal. I'm tired, saving you a bunch of times has made me more tired."
"Get some rest then." Raven said, "I'm sorry to have been a burden." She sat down and leaned her head against her legs, "I must say that... I'm pretty tired... too." Her eyes closed slowly as she spoke.
He watched her close her eyes and waited a moment before taking a second to loosen his scarf and sat down on the bank, revealing his handsome face to the world as he leaned back against a weathered tree and sighed heavily. He left his goggles on, for the sun hurt his delicate eyes and pulled down his hood, the feathered crests behind his ears flat against his neck as he relaxed.
A few minutes later Raven stood, though she was nowhere near conscious. Her slight figure made its way to the edge of the lake, and she stepped delicately onto the water, her feet barely leaving ripples on the water's surface. She moved soundlessly to the far shore, where her dulled gaze looked into the cruel eyes of one of the wolfen demons. It snarled, drawing its lips back, and leapt at her.
By that time Todd was asleep, being nocturnal it was hard for him to stay awake during the day anyways and he slid onto his side from the tree, unaware of the new events.
As it lunged she put out just one hand, resting it on the creature's muzzle. Almost immediately the snarl was gone, and it cowered beneath her, the red oozing out of its eyes to reveal an ocean blue. It whimpered as the red fell into the ground and vanished, and it caught Raven as she collapsed forward, cradling her in its front paws as it laid down and rested it's muzzle protectively over her.
Somewhere near sunset, the demon's prior companions found it hovering protectively over Raven, and the creature was forced to lift her in its jaws and start running, weaving its way through trees, occasionally coming back to the lake where it felt oddly drawn, though the fear of drowning kept it out of the deep waters.
It knew that it wouldn't have a chance if it kept running, and so, it turned to face its comrades, swinging its bony tail threateningly. Suddenly it lashed out, cutting deep into the throat of one, it fell with a gurgle of blood and the other two leapt at it. The demon turned its head to keep the other two from harming her. Around her still form it released a feral snarl.
Snapping awake on the island, Todd pulled his goggles off his face angrily when he realized Raven was gone. There was something about her that made Todd feel... mad whenever he was a little later then he had wanted to be when she was in danger, to well, rescue her. He had to protect her. He had no choice in the matter and the man flung himself into the air, forgetting to wrap the scarf around his face and to pull his hood up. It was almost dark anyway.
The demon whipped its blood-soaked tail back and forth in agitation as both of the others descended upon it simultaneously. It slapped one of them away with the tail and quickly latched onto the back of the other, holding tight with its claws as it tried to subdue it. The beast caught sight of Raven's form in its lips and growled, shaking off the sharp claws as if they were nothing and lunging once more.
Catching sight of them with his nocturnal eyes, Todd snarled at the beasts and landed roughly in front of the beast protecting Raven. The creatures around here all had red eyes, but for some reason this on had blue, not to mention it was protecting Raven from its own comrades. Pulling out his twin weapons, Todd's eyes glowed silver and his crests flew up in agitation, "Your opponent is me now!"
For a moment the beast snarled at Todd, though it eventually realized that Todd wasn't there to fight it, but to fight the other two. It sat back on its haunches, though nowhere near relaxed, and set Raven down between its front legs so that its mouth would be open to attack should they get past Todd. The other two beasts circled around the trio, snarling and occasionally snapping at Todd's weapon as they prepared to attack.
Todd held both of his modified pikes in either hand, the fingers hovering over the carved edges where the secret buttons to let out the blades were hidden. He watched the creatures warily, feinting occasionally to see if they were able to be caught off guard.
One of the two beasts grew anxious, tired of simply circling. It desired action, and when it noticed that its comrade was content with circling for now, it grew furious. Instead of going in for what would have better been a combo attack, the beast leapt forward on its own, lunging at Todd.
Using his filmly wings for lift, the man leapt up and hovered directly over the beast as it lunged under her, plunging his sticks into the back of it's neck before causing both of his blades to sever it's head from it's shoulders. Crashing to the ground, Todd flipped the blades to the side, flinging the blood of his kill into the surrounding foliage and prepared himself for the next attack.
The second beast curled its lips back in a snarl, still circling, still calculating. Like Todd, it was looking to catch him offguard with an attack, its saliva dripped into steaming pools on the ground, as, instead of leaping at Todd, it leapt at the other demon, biting at the front paws as it attempted to get through to the unconscious woman.
"Raven!" Todd lunged forward and stabbed his weapons into the side of the beast, catching the tail in his shoulder he screamed in hate as his blood splattered the ground. Pushing, the beast was thrown onto it's side and Todd, in his battle lust, continued slashing and disembowled the demon, continuing to rip apart its body even after the tail had stopped twitching.
The demon protecting Raven whined slightly, sensing Todd's battle lust. It pawed the ground nervously before lifting Raven gently back into its jaws as it made its way cautiously over to him, blinking its brilliant blue eyes.
Todd snarled and turned, his eyes glaring in anger and his jaws dripping blood as he had discarded his weapons and had been pulling apart the beast's flesh with his claws and teeth. Blue eyes met blue and Todd's face slowly relaxed and he slumped forward onto his knees before letting out a soft moan. He had tried for so long to supress his species love of the kill for so long and in one fight all that had gone to the dumps. His scarf and cloak were covered in blood and viscera and he held his head with his bloody hands and cried.
The demon lowered Raven in a clear area and padded the few feet over to Todd, it nuzzled him gently before beginning to lick his shoulder wound clean. It whined softly, its bony tail switching back and forth.
Grimacing at the pain, Todd's eyes closed and he hissed softly to himself as he carefully removed his cloak, revealing his lean form and the sailor's shirt, a loose white shirt with an opening in the back where his wings sprouted from the silver tinged skin. Unlike Raven, he was not suseptable to the blood-poison of these creatures. Glancing in the fading light to Raven's still form, then to the blue eyed demon, Todd's crests fell to his neck and he relaxed fully. The wolf creatures were the top of the food chain in the forest, Todd had no fear of anything attacking them, for the moment.
The demon crouched down near him finally, resting its muzzle tiredly on its front paws. The beast had been moving since morning, and it was exhausted. Raven slowly began to wake, her eyes fluttering open in an unfocused manner.
Todd noticed her movement almost instantly and tried to bring his scarf to his face but instead got a faceful of blood. Spitting it out in disgust he grew nervous. No living person had ever seen his face before and even when he looked at himself in his reflection he still did not recognize himself. His species did not deserve to thrive, he could not be affected at all and that was why he chose to hide. Wiping blood off his chin, Todd put on a scowl and hooded his dark blue eyes.
Raven pulled herself onto her knees and gazed around uncertainly, realizing that she was no longer on the island and that the stink of demon blood pervaded the air, "What's going on?" She said softly.
In the light of dusk Todd realized that he most likely blended in with the demon's corpse behind him, except for his blue eyes, "You ran off and almost got yourself killed."
Raven blinked in confusion, "What are you talking about? I didn't run off... I went to sleep! Not to mention we were on an island and... well... I can't swim." She muttered the last bit of it.
He lifted his head and growled at her, "I woke and you were gone! This demon... seems to be protecting you and I fought his friends..."
"I didn't go anywhere!" She growled back fiercely, "I went to sleep... and that's the last that I remember!" Her gaze slipped over to the demon, "I thought these things were evil and bloodthirsty..."
Todd looked at the demon and snorted, "In the 20 years that I have lived here he is the first to have blue eyes... it even cleaned the stupid gash I managed to get from fighting the last one." The corpse behind him could barely be identified as the dead demon it had once been, "We'd better leave here, I wouldn't want to have to fight off all the scavengers." Lifting his cloak and bloody scarf he stalked off toward the lake.
The demon stood quickly and padded over to Raven, lifting her with its jaws and tossing her gently onto its back. She blinked in surprise at the softness of its fur, and the gentleness behind its jaws. As it bounded off after Todd, she leaned forward to hold herself on its back.
Todd quickly tugged his shirt over his head and threw it in the lakes water, as it had also gotten a fair amount of blood on it and then tossed his cloak and scarf into the water as well. He stood there shirtless and ignored the woman on the demon that came up behind him and simply bathed in the moon's rays, trying to regain his composure.
Raven took a slow breath as she tried to think about what occurred while she was asleep. Somehow she'd gotten off of the island, and the demon had been turned. It reminded her of something that Park had told her. "Park..." She said softly to herself, "I remember now... he told me that somehow I'd converted two deadly dragons from evil to good..."
He glanced over his shoulder at her and hissed to himself before voilently taking out of his flute and began to play an angry tune. His wings lay flat against his back, the flesh dormant until Todd wanted them to be active and with his shirt off his tailbone was visible, revealing his skinny, yet bushy tail.
"Do you have any sorts of bandaging or antibiotics so that we can get your shoulder wrapped?" Raven asked finally, unsettled by the angry tune.
Stopping his music, Todd turned his blue glare to her, "There is no such thing as antibiotics on this planet, yet, not even in this solar system." He put his flute away before grabing his cloak from the water and shook it, sending water flying. The fabric had initially been water proof so it was fairly dry now and Todd pulled it around himself and put the hood up. He was not proud of what he was and preferred to keep himself hidden. The shirt and scarf however were soaked and Todd drained them of what water he could before sighing.
"Nonetheless, you're injured." Raven frowned at him, "At least wrap the injury. I'd rather you didn't get an infection or anything of the sort..."
"I'm fine." He replied coldly, his voice harsh as he put away his flute and rolled his shirt and scarf under his arm before setting off into the forest.
She frowned, sighing, "Fine, I won't press it..." She said finally, pressing her face into the soft fur of the demon's neck.
After a few minutes of walking the man jumped into a tree, climbing swiftly to a large bough where a nest-like saucer of branches and feathers awaited and when he reached it he threw his things onto one end and practically fell into the nest face down and simply laid there, breathing slowly.
Raven glanced up at him silently, though she said nothing. The wolf whined slightly beneath her and sat back on its haunches. It stiffened suddenly and growled as a young woman slunk through the trees, her head held low and her clothes torn in several places. She had short, light brown hair that ringed her face. When she heard the demon growl, her head snapped up and she gasped, "How is it that you have tamed this demon?" She demanded of Raven, "They are a vile and black-hearted race."
Raven simply shrugged, "I honestly don't know- who are you?"
"My name is Phage." The girl replied simply, "And you?" She quirked an eyebrow questioningly, revealing grey eyes.
Two burning articles fell from the nest and Todd leapt down in a whole new shirt and scarf, holding one of his sticks in the direction of the new person.
She eyed him warily, her hand at her waist where one of her knives rested just in case he chose to attack, "And just who are you?" She demanded, her tone angry to hide the surprise his descent had wrought.
He scowled, though since he had his scarf up all it looked like he was narrowing his eyes, "Raven who is this?"
"She just came out of the trees..." Raven said glancing over at him before turning her gaze back to the girl.
"My name's Phage." She said simply, narrowing her eyes, "Not like it matters to you or anything."
"No," He replied coldly, "It doesn't." Todd lowered his modified pike and strode back to the demon holding his injured shoulder lightly.
Phage rolled her eyes and sighed, "I simply sensed a disturbance in this direction and decided to check it out." She said, moving her fingers away from her knife with little effort.
Todd took out a small oiled cloth and then proceeded to wipe down his flute while keeping an eye on on Phage.
Phage's eyes sparkled at the sight of his flute, "Can you play that?" She asked, trying to keep her tone low so as not to show her awe.
His eyebrow rose in response before he simply nodded then put the instrument away carefully, "I can."
She sighed inwardly when the instrument disappeared from her sight, "That must be nice." She said simply.
"Well..." Raven said at last, though she really hated to say anything at the moment, "Despite the fact that I enjoy your company, Todd... I've really got to search for a way to get back home."
"Where do you live?" Phage asked curiously.
"Somewhere far away from here." Raven said softly.
"We... need to get far... from here," Todd responded while he hissed and grabbed something from the air where it was thoroughly transparent, revealing a red eyed imp with small curled horns and a split tongue which hissed right back at the man before it exploded in his hand. When the mess cleared Todd held simply blood and long claws were sticking out of his fingers. "We have to go. There will be more of these things." Todd retracted his claws before dashing past Phage into the woods behind her.
Phage blinked as Todd tore past her, "Hey!" She said, turning to follow.
The demon beneath Raven stood quickly and bounded after the duo, sniffing at the air and releasing an occasional growl.
Todd took out one ornate stick, then the other before he let the blades loose and cut directly in front of him, creatures exploding on either side of him and he cut a way through the wave of nearly invisible creatures.
"What are those things?" Raven asked, as Phage drew a long knife and tossed it to her, Raven caught it deftly as Phage drew two more knives and started slashing at the creatures as well.
Todd shrugged while he ran, not seeing any of them for the moment, "I don't know, but it's better if you kill 'em before they explode!"
"Why?" Raven asked simply, swiping the knife expertly over several of the figures.
Todd hid his slightly bleeding hand behind him before muttering, "Bone shards..."
"Oh..." Raven said softly, realizing that he was perhaps injured.
She frowned slightly, wondering why so many demons seemed to be attacking as of late, though shook her head clear of thoughts as she swung her blade down and then to both sides, killing several more.
"They seem to be acclimated to your presence Raven," Todd commented while taking a few steps forward with a blade close to his chest before stabbing one in his path.
Phage grunted as she dove to the side, narrowly missing the bone shards of one of the creatures that her blade had missed. She hissed as she stood again, lashing out fiercely with the knife.
"That's something that I don't understand." Raven said as the demon beneath her used its sharp claws to rend the creatures to pieces, "Why they're so acclimated to me..."
"We'll know soon enough!" Todd growled, "Once we get to the mountains! Shreien will know what to do!"
Raven and Phage shared confused glances, but were quickly caught up in their own battles once more to question who he was talking about. Raven grunted as one of the creatures caught her knife, and she ducked low as it exploded over her. She felt its bones barely brush against her back.
Todd caught sight of the tree line just as a new surge of the demons came after them, "Once we are within a certain distance of Scheien we'll be fine..." then under his breath, "Not like I'm having a problem or anything..."
Raven nodded in understanding, "I see..." She said, her wrist growing tired with the constant slashing as she switched hands.
Phage scowled at the demons, "Stupid things are never ending..." She growled, slashing at them visciously.
The man glanced at the demon that Raven was riding, wondering if it would have a problem with Scheien's border but they would see soon enough. As they burst through the treeline a bright blue light flared up and all the red eyed demons that were following exploded against this light. Todd sighed, "Well, he know we are here now so we might as well go see him." He walked away from the huge spatter of blood against the 'wall' as if it were an everyday occurence.
Raven blinked back at for only a moment before following Todd, the demon beneath her whined, its bone tail swaying back and forth as it slunk a few steps behind him. "Who is Scheien?" Phage asked curiously.
"A very old Chaiosir..." When he turned to look at their blank faces he sighed before explaining, "They are a large equine race with a four spiked ridge on their forheads and long rabbit ears... and no mane either. I don't know how he got here but he seems to be able to repel the demons easily enough, the problem is though is that... he was locked in his cave by a spell by a very powerful demon. Scheien can still send his aura out to create a demon free area but nothing we can do can free him... besides, he is very old..." Todd grew silent after talking for so long and simply stuck to a path into the hills.
Phage looked thoughtful for a moment before nodding, "I see, he sounds like an interesting man, I can't wait to meet him."
Raven had to agree, she was rather intrigued by the man that Todd was telling them about.
He snorted, "He's not a man. He looks like a horse if anything else."
"I wasn't talking about his appearance." Phage snapped, defending herself.
It was Todd's turn to roll his eyes before he wrapped his injured hand in his cloak. Having to fight after his shoulder had been injured made the wound worse and as they walked he did not notice the blood trail he left behind.
Raven gazed at him in silent worry, and when Phage noticed the trail she sucked in a sharp breath, "You're wounded!" She gasped out, "You shouldn't allow such wounds to bleed so much..."
"I'm. Fine." He growled forcibly before trudging on, his feet knowing the path to the cave where Scheien was trapped.
"I agree with Phage..." Raven said quietly, "You bleed like that for very much longer and you might pass out... At least wrap something around it and put some pressure on it..."
Instead of answering them he simply picked up the pace up the trail. It wasn't long before they stood infront of a gash in the side of a mountain wherein laid a huge horselike creature, gray with age. It raised its massive head and opened pitch black eyes, directly starring at Todd, "It has been a long time since you have come to visit me, student of the legendary warrioress of the Oa." Todd flinched at those words before he quivered in rage.
Scheien glanced to the women before realizing his fault, "Calm your species anger Todd, I did not mean to expose you." The huge Chaiosir bowed his head, "I am Scheien."
Oa? Raven wondered, though she didn't voice her quries aloud. She smiled gently, "My name's Raven."
"And I'm Phage!"
"It is nice to meet you both. It has been quite a few years since I have had any person besides Todd enter my realm." The eyes narrowed at the blue eyed demon for a moment before asking, "How is there a demon, yet not a demon before me?"
Raven quirked her head questioningly at him, "What do you mean?" She asked finally.
He pointed with a large hoof to the wolf demon she rode, "Him."
"I knew you meant him... your question merely confused me is all." Raven said softly, "I honestly don't know..."
"He..." Scheien looked puzzled for a second before speaking, "He is of the demon blood, yet he does not have the demon mark..."
"What is the demon mark?" Raven asked as the demon laid down, resting his head on his paws.
Scheien growled low and deep, "The red bloodlust that is implanted into their very souls... not too different from the one that is within Todd, but his is natural, it's in his blood. But in the demon's case that is not so, the blood lust is implanted so it is unnatural."
"I see." Raven said, shrugging as she patted the demon's head gently.
Phage sat down cross-legged near Raven, "You gonna treat your wound?" She asked Todd.
Todd glared at her sideways and Scheien let out a very human sound of laughter, "The great Todd has a wound?!"
He growled in reply, "Two actually, and believe it or not, we Oa are not invicible."
"And as such you should wrap them." Raven said gently, "Or problems could arise in the future..."
His glare lost intensity but it was still a glare as he switched his gaze from Phage to Raven, "I'll be fine, it bleeds like hell but we... I have more blood then you do and my body is adapted to less oxygen." His voice gentled, "I am not human, you know that. Humans are a lot more fragile then I, or my species are."
"Yes, yes... I know you've not fainted just yet as most humans would, but still... I worry." Raven sighed, and Phage quickly nodded her agreement.
Todd looked at Raven, then looked at Phage, then back at Raven, "I..." He tugged on the end of his scarf before visibly swallowing before trying to clear his throat before swallowing again.
It was only a few seconds later that the trembling started and Scheien cocked his head, "Todd... are you alright...?"
Todd answered in a glare... before closing his eyes and falling face first into the ground.
"I knew it..." Raven sighed, "Phage, please go get some water and boil it, we'll need to clean his wounds before we bandage them, look for some herbs as well please..."
"Okay." Phage nodded, "Scheien do you have any pots for water?"
"And do you have some bandaging, or even some sort of cloth?" Raven put in.
"Ladies... I am sorry to be unable to help you... I am stuck here and I have not been able to move for sixteen years..." Scheien's black eyes closed and he bowed his head, "Todd has herbs and bandages in his pouch at his belt, about the water I cannot help you."
"That's fine..." Raven nodded, stepping over to Todd and pulling said objects from his pouch, "We still need water though, if only a little bit..."
"Well, this rock is a bit hollow." Phage lifted a fairly large rock to show it to Raven, "It might work..."
Raven nodded her approval, "Alright, that'll help to moisten the herbs once I get them crushed, they'll have to soak in hot water for about five minutes, so I'll build a small fire that ought to heat the water up just fine."
Phage set off immediately in search of water.
Todd groaned before opening one eye, "...Is she gone yet...?" He tried to move but failed, "Take my cloak off... while she's gone... please."
Raven nodded, "It might hurt a bit, I'm sure some of the fabric is probably stuck to your skin..." She said softly, gently starting to remove it.
"I can't let her see what... I am, I didn't want you to see either..." Todded hissed and shut his eye in pain.
Scheien glanced at them, "Todd is ashamed of his race... He does not want anyone to see what he is..."
"I don't care about the pain," He grimaced and his tail had circled his leg to keep from thrashing around.
"You shouldn't be ashamed, and besides, I need the water that she's going to bring for the herbs that I'll be rubbing into your wounds. First things first though- do you happen to have a sharp, needle or needle-like object? These are deep and need to be stitched..."
"No." He replied, "Just pack the wound with the herbs and it will be fine." A chill ran through his body and with his uninjured hand Todd removed his scarf, revealing his face and he reopened his eyes.
"It'll heal awkwardly that way..." Raven frowned, "And leave a nasty scar. If you don't let me stitch it then you're not going to be able to move around too much lest you reopen it. I'll go find Phage and keep her busy after she gets the water if you want, so that she won't come back before I'm done..."
Todd sighed heavily, "Scars do not matter to me."
"Just promise that you won't over exert yourself." Raven said, standing.
She made her way in the direction that Phage had gone, catching up with the woman as she was headed back, "Phage... would you do me another favor?" Raven asked.
"What would that be?" Phage asked, raising an eyebrow as Raven took the water from her.
"Well... would you mind perhaps catching some fish for supper?"
Phage's eyes lit up, "Of course! Fishing is my specialty!"
"Don't worry about time, take as long as you like, you can even prepare the fish if you like..." Raven said, turning to head back to Todd's aid.
Phage nodded and skipped off back to the water. Raven sighed and turned around. She set the rock down near Todd and quickly gathered wood. She touched a hand to the tinder that she'd set in the center and closed her eyes. After a few seconds they burst into flames, quickly catching the wood and creating a warm, crackling fire. She set the rock near it and quickly set to crushing the herbs.
Once the water had boiled she added the herbs, stirring them until they became saturated with the liquid, and finally she headed back over to Todd, "Alright, let's get these herbs into those wounds." She said softly.
The blood had seeped completely down his side, the wound open to the bone and the flesh was tinged a light purple surrounding the wound. "The tip of the demons tail... had poison I believe," Todd told her before shivering slightly as another wave of pain washed through him. "I have an immunity to most poisons..."
Raven frowned and set the herbal remedy down. She ripped off a bit of her shift and dipped it into the remaining clear water before gently scrubbing the blood from his flesh and attempting to clean the wound a little, "This is a terrible wound..." She murmured, "We'll have to keep an eye on it, I really don't like the purple surrounding it..."
Scheien looked on curiously, his large horse head bent at an angle so he could watch.
"My body is fighting the poison as we speak..." Todd whispered before closing his blue eyes and trying not to shudder from the pain.
"Yes, but, sometimes a body needs help fighting poison." Raven said, beginning to put the salve gently over his wound, "If you start to feel worse, don't hesitate to tell me."
Scheien's ears perked up as a spasm ran through Todd's body, "He's drooling... and I think he fell beneath the waters of instinctive thinking..."
It was true, Todd had begun to drool as the poison began to take full affect, his breathing short and shallow.
"Waters of instinctive thinking?" Raven quirked an eyebrow, "What does that mean?"
"He is unconscious." Scheien laughed briefly but became serious once more, "The poison in the tip of that demon there is deadly to a normal human, but Todd isn't human, but it's doing damage, its not often an Oa becomes unconscious." He explained slowly.
"I see... what can I do to help him?" She said, glancing over at Scheien.
The great beast shook himself, "I'll start to worry if he stops breathing, for now there's nothing you can do except make sure he doesn't kill himself by breathing his own spit..."
Raven nodded, "Alright..." She said simply.
Phage sat near the water's edge, humming to herself as she captured several fish.
Todd's tail had been twitching up to this point before it suddenly stiffened then went still and Scheien's eyes widened, "Quickly, roll him over, I think he's losing the battle!"
Raven nodded quickly and turned him over, "Is there anything else that I could do?" She asked breathlessly.
Scheien's black eyes flared and a black fire burst into flame. The fire sprouted around Todd's limp body, creating a ring around him and the fire hissed with power, "I have created a time rift around him, do not touch him until I say so... he is safe in a sense for I have stopped him in time, get Phage, you both will need to follow my instructions exactly."
"Okay," Raven nodded, running off in search of Phage, when she found the other woman she dragged her complaining back to camp without the fish and without a sound, "I've got her," She said breathlessly.
"When I release him from the time rift I have created you will need to remove his shirt. An Oa's heart is protected by a lot more muscle then a human's is, you will need one of you to hold his arms back and the other will need to punch him in the chest. Do not hold back in fear of hurting him, if you do not hit him hard enough he will die. There is a scar over the spot you will need to aim for." Scheien's eyes closed for a second before he sighed, "Please let him live, are you two ready?"
"Phage, get his arms." Raven said.
"R-right!" Phage said with a quick nod.
The black fire dissapated, "Rememember, aim for the scar, there's a lot of scars but the one you are looking for will catch your eye, its a perfect circle!"
Phage grabbed Todd's arms, being wary of his wings which tried to hamper her. Raven looked over Todd's chest before catching sight of the scar she was looking for. She drew back her fist, faltering for only a moment before thrusting it forward with all of her might, hitting the circular scar dead on.
His whole body jerked forward, his handsome face naturally turning into a snarl and his claws sprouted from his fingers. Todd's wings lifted at the ends but it was not enough for flight as his head fell to his chest, "Do not fear his reaction, hit him again!"
"Again?" Raven sighed and drew her sore fist backwards, ignoring the scraped knuckles as she thrust it forward once more.
This time Todd's eyes flew open, the dark blue glowing silver as he growled at her, his crests fully upright and he yanked his arms free from Phage. He roared, turning to the one that had been holding his arms and threw her to the ground. Todd landed on top of her and was about to slash her face with his claws before he stopped, his hand posed to strike and realization came into his eyes. "Wha..." His other hand went to his face as he realized what he was doing, that he was almost fully unclothed and she could see what he was. Todd used his wings to bring him upright and stumbled back a few steps.
"Whoa, didn't figure you'd attack or nothin' like that..." Phage said, stumbling to her feet, "We were just trying to help..."
"I..." Todd blinked his eyes for a moment before blushing furiously before mumbling, "I am more animal then I am not, I'm sorry... I didn't do that on purpose." He numbly bent to his scarf, wrapping it around his features before he made himself relax, "Scheien must have told you two what to do..."
"You bet he did." Phage said, nodding unphased.
Raven gave a soft laugh, "You scared us for a minute there..." She said.
He glared at her before making his gaze soften with much effort, "Thank you both, you too Scheien, but next time... do not bring me back. I would rather die." Todd was about to put his shirt on to cover his lean frame before he hissed to himself, the wound still open.
"Look here." Raven frowned, "We did it because we care... and you haven't let me finish tending your wound..."
"Why would you rather die?" Phage asked quietly.
He turned his gaze to Phage, "I am a hated and cursed being. I have seen my species tear themselves apart, and I see that every year on its eve... I am a beast and I don't deserve to live. I am the last male of my species, and I will make sure of it that I am the last."
With that said Todd walked the few steps over to Raven so she could finish what she started.
"You shouldn't feel that way." Phage said, "Your species is what you are not who you are."
Raven finished salving the wound and then wrapped it, "That's right." She said, "I agree with Phage..."
"That doesn't matter!" He replied coldly, "It's my species anger, our hatred and our bloodlust. Its a part of me, and I've tried shunning, I have! And... its impossible!"
"Nothing is impossible Todd," Scheien said softly, "Remember Rika, she was able to supress it for Lisarrus, do not forget what she taught you."
Raven sighed, "Scheien is right, nothing is impossible. I mean, hell, I'm here in this place and alive..." Phage gave her a questioning look, though didn't voice her curiousity aloud.
Todd fingered his flute case for a moment before slipping his shirt, then his cloak on to cover his wings, "I'm sorry Scheien, but if the demons are to be stopped we can't stay here." He held his injured hand to his chest for a moment before shrugging, "It is too bad you can't join us."
The horse like creature laughed, "I'm used to just sitting here, fight the darkness with darkness." The hidden meaning caused Todd to flinch however the Oa turned away before raising his hood, "Goodbye Scheien."
"Goodbye then." Raven said with a polite bow, "Perhaps we will meet again."
"Yeah!" Phage said, then, "Hey! What about the fish? I spent so much time catching them..."
"She's right!" Scheien nickered, "You should at least stop by the stream before you leave... "
Todd nodded slowly, taking a few steps in Phage's direction and he kept his gaze on the ground.
Phage smiled, "Whew, I was afraid they'd go to waste for a minute there..."
"Are they raw still?" Todd asked her curiously, though it did not show in his voice or features.
"Well... yeah- Raven came and got me before I could cook them..." Phage replied.
He nodded before begining to walk in the direction he thought they were going to head.
"Well, he sure is in a hurry..." Phage pointed out.
"I... think he just wants to get done quick." Raven said, "We've got to get going, you know."
"Raven..." Todd said softly, "Before I found you, what happened?"
"I was... dying." She replied, "I was... supposed to die." She frowned thoughtfully, "I don't even know how I ended up in that river..."
"You don't look like you could have been dying recently..." Phage indicated.
"The healer in the village helped her," Todd said quietly before taking out his silver flute from it's box, fingering the acid sketched designs on it thoughtfully, "Why were you dying?"
"My life was being sacrificed. They called me... 'The Shard's Child'." She took a deep breath and revealed what had occured within that stone circle.
The man stopped walking, "Who did?"
"Demons..." She said, "Whom possessed the appearance of humans..."
He turned his glare to her before glancing to Phage, "Do you know what you are Raven, why they called you that?"
"That sounds exciting... Though dangerous... and probably... eh... frightening." Phage said, rubbing the back of her head, "I'm gonna start the fire for the fish!" She ran off ahead.
"Actually... I don't." Raven said, frowning, "I was never honestly told what it meant..."
"It explains why the demons kept attacking you, and why this one is still with us... You attract them. No wonder I felt the need to save you..." He said the last part to himself, "A Shard's child is in a sense the last bits of unused power that the universe does not need. The power has to go somewhere, so it randomly chooses a lineage and the power grows over each generation." He took a breath, not used to speaking that much, "You are born with more power then I, or even Scheien could dream of..."
"I... see." Raven said slowly, absorbing the information, "I wish I could have used that power to... save my friends. I don't know what's going on back home- if I'll ever get back there..."
"It's not something natural, like an Oa we are born with the ability to gain claws and kill something. All our power is physical, yours is mental I would think. I don't know, I only know a little about the Shard's children... they are very rare that I do know." He sighed softly, "I think we can find out more if we head into the demons territory."
"Yes... that sounds like a plan to me..." Raven said, forcing a smile.
He looked at her smile for a moment, trying to smile but he did not know how, not to mention his scarf was hiding his face. "I will protect you with my life, you are very important to protect, for if they finish the deed and kill you... whomever they were bringing into this universe will have full power in this realm, we cannot let that happen."
She shuddered at the memory of the demon, "If that was not it at full power... I fear the thought of its true release..." She said softly.
"I came here to aid those that rose up against the demon's reign... Although my sister and my mentor chose other paths, I knew I had to come here. Fate has a twisted method of fulfilling itself..." Todd sighed to himself and turned to follow the direction Phage had gone, "I hope some of the fish isn't cooked, I eat my food raw."
"I'm betting that she's still working at getting the fire started." Raven said with a chuckle.
They continued walking for a few minutes before they came upon the scene of Phage kneeling next to a smoldering fire.
"Fire's almost ready to put the fish in!" She exclaimed, turning to them as they approached.
"How many did you catch? If there's enough can you not cook two?" Todd asked her, his voice surprisingly gentle.
"That's no problem, I caught six of them... so that's good for two each." Phage said with a smile.
He glanced at her and sat next to the fire before fingering his flute once more, "Do you mind if I play while they cook?"
"I don't mind at all!" Phage grinned, "I love the sound of music."
Todd kept his gaze on Phage for a few moments before raising his hand to his scarf, pulling it down to his chin and then pressed the flute to his lips. The man's eye's closed as a beautiful melody took form, the song less erie then it normally would be.
Phage released a soft, pleased sigh as she tended the fire and began to roast hers and Raven's fish.
His tune changed in pitch as it was obvious he was trying something new, more of a faster beat and his foot was tapping out a beat.
"You're very good at that..." Phage said with a smile as she pulled the cook fish from the embers and carefully gave Raven hers before taking Todd's to him, "Here you are!"
Todd paused in his playing and put his flute away, "Thankyou." He took the fish from her and bit into them hungerily.
Phage simply nodded and moved back to devour her own fish. Raven ate hers slowly, lost in thought.
The fire's light caused Todd's pupils to glow, much like a deer or a wolf's as he watched them both, his gaze staying on Phage a lot longer then he would ever admit.
"MMm, definately one of my better catches," Phage said once she'd finished.
"Yes, they are quite delicious." Raven agreed, "Though they've got an odd taste... almost like a... spice..."
"That's what's so great about them." Phage said with a smile.
His eyes grew puzzled at her smile and he drew his scarf back up over his face as he turned his gaze to the fire.
Phage turned to the river, "We'll have to put this out." She said, lifting her arms in a fluid motion. A steady stream of water filtered over to the fire, and it sizzled and went out.
"Well... that's interesting..." The Oa commented, his voice hollow as he stood, some of his joints cracking and he stretched for a few moments before checking his weapons at his belt.
"Lead the way, Todd!" Phage said exuberantly with a smile.
"Wow, you're quite energetic..." Raven commented.
"Well, it's not everyday that I get to do this." She replied.
He glanced at both of them before growling, "Get to do what?"
"Get to be with other people, and head off on some dangerous mission of course." Phage replied easily.
"Hmph..." Todd glanced up at the stars before heading off into a new direction, "Once we are out of range from Scheien we might have to fight our way through... be wary."
"We'll pull through." Phage said, "We're a really good team after all."
The Shard's Child RP: Part 2