It was a peaceful day. Song birds of all sorts were singing in an impromtu, chaotic and beautiful chorus. Their winged antics produced a lovely show of color and hypnotic motions. The wind was just barely audible as whispering song bristling through the green leaves that were only just barely turning to gold. The glorious sun hung above in a cerulean sky spotted with airy white clouds floating serenly along the heat currents of world. Such a day was doomed not to last.
"FIREBALL!!!" The birds scattered as a great red blossom cut through the air, throwing aside trees and darkening the sky in places with a shroud of smoke. Then a huge reptillian form raised its head over the rise and let loose a great roar.
"ACKK!!!! ITS A DRAGON!!! RUN!!!"
"Enemies of justice, you shall fall!"
After about another minute the bandits were virtually all taken care of, except for one.
"And then on my tenth birthday, my father gave me a rattle...."
"And how did this make you feel?"
"What is it."
"What is she doing?"
"Something she read in a book," Jol looked down at the kage-kitsune. "Where were you during the battle?"
"I was doing what Xalan asked me to do." She said smuggly.
"And that was?" She wasn't lying, Jol could tell that, but then there was something she was hiding.
"Staying out of the way, after all, I'm just a weak little girl, what use could I be?"
"And what were you doing to stay out of the way."
"Sore wa himitsu desu." She answered smiling, then a large golden goblet slipped out of her pouch and clattered against a rock. Everybody looked at the goblet and then at Xina who smiled widely and sweatdropped.
"Xina-san, not again."
"Xina," Xalan said resignedly. "You're not scouting anymore."
"What? But I'm a good scout!"
"The point of a scout is to avoid battle not bring it." Val grumbled. Xina thumped the dragon's snout.
"Ouch, turn back to human form!" The dragon blushed.
"I....ripped my clothes transforming."
"Oh....uh." Xina blushed furiously while Xalan glowered.
Jol wondered away from the rest of them as the scene played out. They were getting close to Beleriand. Soon he'd have to deal with his old rivals again, and Tinuviel would probably stay home to write about her adventures over the last few months. She wouldn't have a desire to wander again for a while yet. He didn't really want to stay around much longer, except that perhaps Tinuviel would be there. He frowned, wasn't going off adventuring supposed to impress her in the first place? It didn't seem to have worked, but he had to admit. He'd acquired a taste for it.
"It was a beautiful day," a voice sighed next to him. He looked down at the young chimera princess.
"Are they still bickering," he didn't really need to ask. The noise was quite obvious.
"Xina 'misplaced' Val's extra clothes, Xalan's acting like he's going to explode and that bandit just had a 'breakthrough.'"
"Thar was good," Sherra sighed, tossing back a bone. It clattered in with all the others. She had finally remembered what a growling stomach meant, and since then had hunted down anything even resembling what she remembered humans ate.
~Do people usually eat bears?~
"I don't know, but if not, they should." She stood up and looked off down the path to where she could see smoke billowing up into the sky. "There they are!" She sprung to her feet and started running down the path. She imagined for a moment Xalan's face, so much like his father. Then there were was how he looked standing over his defeated opponent, confidant and dismissive. She closed her eyes and giggled.
"Huh?" There was a loud thud as she ran into a tree. "Owww. Do you think this human thing might be temporary?"
~What happened to "this is wonderful?"~
"Oh, just shut up!"
The innkeep cringed back away from the customer.
"She's dead, didn't you know that?"
"Don't be ridiculuous, she is merely hiding from her greatest and closest rival."
"But Lina Inverse has been dead for nearly twenty years! Some bandits killed her!"
"Blah, blah, blah," the woman ranted. "I know all about the story, she lost her powers and some thugs took her apart on road in the wilderness somewhere. Its just a lie like all her other pathetic excuses for eluding me."
"Well there have been rumors..."
"You see, I knew it! You can never just assume that a sorceress is dead. It is impossible to fool me. OHOHOHOHOHOHOHOHOHOHOHO!!!!" The forty year old woman sauntered out of the inn laughing hideously. After the laughter faded away the innkeep looked out the door and blinked.
"She didn't let me tell her what the rumors were..."