Elena: I'm back~~~~~! *looks around* Ok, no welcoming party…*sigh*

Stefan: Well, if you hadn't been gone so long then maybe people might still remember you…

Elena: Oh yes…now that you remind me…I'M SO TERRIBLY AND HORRIBLY SORRY!!! I didn't mean to be gone for so long! I was just, just, err…..

Stefan: Lazy perhaps?

Elena: *winces* not quite the word I would have used…but you're right. I was lazy, and busy, and occupied…but mostly lazy… *looks embarrassed* Oh and my computer got hit by a virus and everything got wiped out, including the half-finished chapter I was planning. So I had to retype everything.

Stefan: See, I'm right. *smirks*

Elena: *grumbles* Why are you acting like your brother now? I thought only Damon could be the main jerk around here.

Stefan: Well, we're twins…some of it is bound to rub off…which reminds me, where IS Damon? I haven't seen him for ages.

Elena: Oh, humph, that, well, I sent him over to KC's for a vacation…

Stefan: Aw man! Why didn't you invite me?! Hey wait, this is KC we're talking about right? The KC? As in Kenzy-chan?!

Elena: Yep. Got a problem?

Stefan: How could you do that to Damon!! To send him to KC….that's just plain mean! Not to mention evil…

Elena: Hey what's wrong with KC? She's perfectly nice, plus she gave me a new muse…*checks watch* who ought to be here later. I lent Damon to her so her male muse there could have some company.

Stefan: Yes, but, sending Damon to KC's is like sending a sissy guy to boot camp for the rest of his pathetic life!!

Elena: Oh just shut it will you? Damon will live through it, hopefully in one piece…

Stefan: Aha! There! You gave yourself away! Damon is doomed….

Elena: Whatever. It's not like he's irreplaceable. Just like you aren't irreplaceable either…And let's just stop blabbering and get on with the story shall we?

Stefan: *shudders* Right…Don't forget the disclaimer: Elena doesn't own BoF, its Capcom's. Got that? Let's go then.


+++~Change of scene~+++



*~Dream Sequence~*

The Dragon Warrior Chapter Six: Time to Begin?

^^Nina again, this time when she wakes up^^

            I felt…odd. That was the only thing I could use to describe the strange almost-out-of-body sensation that I seemed to be experiencing. My limbs were all jelly-like, and I felt really disconnected with whatever was happening. That sort of alerted me to my situation. The last I remembered, there was this nasty thing trying to tear me into little bits. A wyvern I think… Hey wait! Then am I dead now or something?!

            It was a chore to even open my eyelids. I felt like I was trying to swim against a very strong current. I felt something, no someone, prop me up and urge me to drink something. I was too weak to resist anyway, and I felt a warm, thick, liquid slide down my throat. It tasted, coppery, and there was a strange tang to it, but it rejuvenated me considerably, and I was subsequently able to at least open my eyes.

            The image I was getting was still blurred, but when the figure offered more of the strange substance for me to drink, I took it with no hesitation. If it could make me feel better, why not? Besides, I needed to be strong enough to return home to deliver the medicine to my Father. Wait, the berry! Did I still have it? With clumsy and sluggish movements, I tried to ascertain the presence of the berry.

            "Don't worry, you held on to that berry with a death grip even though you were out like a light. I'm almost surprised you haven't managed to crush it despite being able to cling on to it while being flung around like a rag doll," an amused male voice reassured me, a hidden chuckle evident in his voice. I relaxed immediately when I heard that, although I felt a little indignant that he seemed to be laughing at me. How could he still laugh at me when I'm injured?! The nerve of him!

            It took several minutes, but I felt a little more refreshed, albeit a little numb and strangely floaty. I could finally get a clearer view of my savior, who I was leaning on now. I felt my throat tighten, when I realized that the person who had most likely rescued me from the nasty wyvern to be the handsome blue-haired stranger. I didn't know why, but I was suddenly very nervous. I think he was too, as his face suddenly got a little apprehensive as he watched me with cautious eyes.

            It probably didn't help that we were currently in a semi-intimate embrace with his arm snaked around my waist, and me basically on his lap, in his arms. I was on the verge of blushing really hard, something I had failed to do many times before, which probably earned me my Ice Queen reputation in certain quarters. But I stopped myself. How could I, of the Royal House of Winlan, just start blushing because of such a situation?

            Still, it was an undoubtedly compromising situation. I suddenly froze as a sudden thought occurred to me. He didn't try to take advantage of me when I was out cold did he? But then again he didn't seem the sort. But I had learned long ago not to rely on appearances to judge character. Growing up in as royalty does that to you.

            I decided to take small tentative steps to sound him out. "So…what happened?" I inquired, my speech still slightly slurred from extreme fatigue, among other things.

^^End Nina's PoV^^

^^Normal PoV^^

            "Well, I saved you from that wyvern, brought you back here to treat that gash on your wing, that's about it," Ryu half-shrugged, still painfully aware of her weight on his lap. That was not to say that she was heavy, just that he was uncomfortable with having a female that close to him. Plus, the lack of any human, female, contact for as long as he could remember made him awkward. He felt really out of his depth, silly even, especially when forced to confront this girl whose overpowering femininity weighed rather heavily on his senses. He was male after all, and puberty without sufficient human contact had left him rather introverted and with difficulties communicating his thoughts and feelings with others. But the sudden appearance of this girl quite suddenly brought him all the way back to the beginning stages of his emotional development during puberty. He suddenly felt like an awkward, babbling teenager. And he didn't like it too much.

            To one side, the old man smiled. He couldn't see the expressions on the children's faces, but he could clearly sense the tension in the cave. This would promise to be interesting, the old man thought. However, before things got more awkward than they already were, he decided to help Ryu out by going over to them.

            Nina turned her head at the sound. She was just that little bit surprised to see the blind old man coming over. 'What's someone like him doing here?' Ah well, I could apply that question to that cute guy too…oh wait what did I just think?!' Nina's mind was immediately scrambled by that little slip in thought. The old man smiled benignly at her. "Don't worry; you just lost a lot of blood. Normally it would take days for you to regain your strength, but you seemed to be in a hurry from what the boy here said, so we sped up your healing process a little. I don't think I need to go into details of what we did do I?"

            Nina was curious about the methods used though. She had always been interested in healing herbs and the like, and it was probably by sheer chance, combined with what were probably innate talents, that she ended up as a black magic user instead of a healer. She probably should have kept her mouth shut this time though. Some things were better left unknown after all.

            "You gave me WHAT??!!" Nina half-screeched at them. Both men, young and old, cringed a little. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned indeed. Although in this case, they did not actually subject the female in question to scorn, but Nina obviously was not happy by whatever they told her. Actually though, she was more shocked than anything else, although that began to wear off soon enough.

            She took a deep breath and clambered off Ryu's lap, reaching out as she did so to steady herself and prevent her self from succumbing to the sudden dizziness that threatened to overwhelm her. "Are you all right?" Ryu questioned anxiously. Nina grinned a little weakly, "Weak, tired, dizzy…and I feel like I'm gonna throw up any second. Aside from all those, I'm fine. Any other questions?"

            Ryu blinked. To cover up his slight confusion, he gave an almost flippant reply, "As long as you avoid throwing up on me that is. Now where do you think you're going young lady?" Nina gave him a strange look. "You are not old enough to call me young lady you…you blue haired twit!!" She burst out in a very un-Nina-like fashion.

            Sensing an imminent quarrel, the old guy stepped in to intervene. "He's right, Ms Nina. You are not well enough to travel yet. The, ahem, tonic, we gave you will speed up the recovery process, but you still need some rest for it to take effect. You should be able to travel the next morning, but you might not be strong enough to ward off any monster attacks. My suggestion would be for you to rest…" He had not finished his sentence when Nina held up a hand.

            "I MUST leave tomorrow. My father…he needs the herb as soon as possible. I cannot afford any delays." The old man frowned, deep in thought, then he seemed to come up with something.

            "Boy, you escort the lady home."

            Ryu's eyes widened to the size of dinner plates. "But, but, master, I…"

            Nina's jaw had dropped. She couldn't believe it! How would she be able to handle having this…annoyingly good-looking guy with her? Wait she DID NOT just think he was good looking. But you did… The annoying little voice in her head mocked.

            The old man sighed. "Ryu I cannot keep you here forever. The world outside is vast, and a youngster like you should be out there to search for your path in life, not staying here with an old man who has reached the end of his path and is waiting for death to come. Besides, you would like to know who you are and where you came from after all, don't you?"

            Those words struck a chord deep within Ryu's heart. All this time while growing up, questions had haunted him, questions of his own identity. It was one of the single obsessions in his life, his search for his past. He wanted, no, needed, to know who he was.

            "I'll go," 2 simple words slipped out, signaling, finally, the start of an epic adventure that would be the highlight of his life.

Elena: So there it is. Short chapter I know. I wasn't feeling too inspired. Well at least I finally got round to starting the whole story going… It was torture going through the dreary buildup scenes.

Stefan: Well at least you can begin writing the fun bits now.

Elena: Yes I know, problem is now to go through the process of gathering up the party and defeating random baddies along the way.

Stefan: Sounds like fun J

*loud crash heard in kitchen*

Elena/Stefan: What the???

*girl walks in from the kitchen*

Elena: Oh hi there. I thought you weren't coming. KC sent you right, Candy?

Candy: Yep, she said you needed female company because all you had were male muses.

Stefan: *blinks and stares at Candy*

Elena: Well I have only one of them with me now. I sent the other over to KC. Did you see happen to see him?

Candy: No I don't think so…unless you count some guy who stepped out from a FedEx delivery crate outside KC's…looked awfully like the twit that's staring at me now…

Stefan: *blinks and shakes head to clear it* huh?

Elena: Oh right. That would be Damon heheh. I shipped him off via express delivery. Well anyways, next chapter should be coming up soon. And it would signal the beginning of the adventure! Will Ryu find out who he is soon? Or do we have to wait more than 5 chapters? Stay tuned to find out!!!

Stefan: And now she sounds like a radio show host….

Candy: Shut up. *whacks Stefan*