1OMFG! I am actually updating this fic! Sorry, sorry, sorry for not updating it for so long... truth be told, I beat the game so many times that it suddenly became boring to me. Now don't get me wrong, I will continue to update this fic every once in a while, that is for sure... but it will be few and far between... Forgive me, but with all the other fics I have running around, with exams popping up everywhere, the craziness that is the holidays and everything happening, I have had very little time to even consider this fic... so sorry...

Chapter 11: On the road again

It was the morning after the goblin raid, a few of the houses still smouldering from the fires that had plagued them yesterday. All the caravaners were loaded up and prepared to head out again. Now was as good a time as any to start their adventures again. The wagon was loaded, they were all equipped and ready. Their first stop, they had decided unanimously, was the Goblin hideout. Though they doubted there were any Myrrh trees there, they needed to make sure that no more raids would take place.

Sano sighed as he took up the reins, all the people of the village waving goodbye to them once again as all ten of them, counting Mog and Mu, with their chalice in tow, headed out into the cold, Miasma filled world for the second time.

The day was warm, the weather fair, a soft breeze blowing over the landscape. The leaves above blew gently, as if waving hello to them, saying welcome back and such.

Angel took in a deep breath of the fresh air within the chalice. "It's such a shame... this world seems so wonderful, but... with this stupid Miasma everywhere, it's just so near impossible to enjoy it to the full extent."

Tenshin nodded gently, looking up at the cloudless sky. "It is a very big shame. This world of ours is filled with wonders, grand and small, and research is being done all over it one way or another. No one knows if the Miasma will ever fade or if the crystals will provide eternal protection."

Miko frowned a bit and pet Mu, who rested on her shoulder. "But this world of ours... it won't be like this forever, will it? If the Miasma doesn't fade, then eventually it might just end up eating away at everything, make it a dessert, like it did with that large island a while south of here."

Lydia lifted her head from her pouch. "Or it could end up like the volcanic isle next to that."

Mimi shook her head. "It's just too hard to think about. We have lived in this world all our lives, we have never known it to be any different than this. And... well, we don't really expect it to change at all."

Kino sighed a bit. "As much as we don't like it, all our races are short-sighted. We only focus on the here and now, we never worry about what will happen today, or tomorrow, or the next day, it is all about now."

Zen frowned. "And what is that supposed to mean?" he asked, his fist raised.

Kino looked down at the lilty. "Just what it sounds like, Zen... we are all short-sighted. Is that to complicated for you to understand?"

Zen growled a bit and crossed his arms. "Honestly, I don't even think you have a clue as to what you're even talking about."

Mu laughed. "He does sound a little too smart today, ne?"

Kino growled a bit at them. "Aw, to hell with you." He grumbled a bit and swung his racket as he dropped off the wagon and walked beside it a bit.

Tenshin fished through his pack and examined the map of the world he had brought with him. "According to my calculations, the goblin hideout shouldn't be too far from Tira. If I'm lead to believe what I've heard, that hideout has been around for nearly five centuries, a few hundred years after the Miasma started to swarm the world."

Sano frowned. "But this is the first recorded time that the goblins have ever attempted a raid of our village, isn't it?"

Lydia nodded. "The records back in town show absolutely nothing about any previous goblin raids at all."

Mimi frowned and looked at a few passing trees that looked like they would fall over soon. "Goblins by nature are very greedy creatures, I am rather surprised that they didn't try something like this before."

Miko pet Mu a bit more. "But if this is the first time... why not a year ago? Or ten years ago? What was so special about yesterday?"

Angel picked up a calender she had brought along. "According to the calender, there was no special holiday or celestial event yesterday, so that rules that possibility out."

Mu closed his eyes. "Miasma surge."

Zen turned to look at the monster. "What?"

Mu opened his huge eyes and bobbed his head a bit. "Miasma surge. When lotsa Miasma pours over an area at once, it makes monsters go crazy, makes them do things they wouldn't do."

Tenshin frowned again underneath his helmet. "So, if there was a Miasma surge yesterday, how come you didn't go crazy?"

Mu adjusted himself on Miko's shoulder. "Crystal. It blocks Miasma. I could sense it, but I wasn't in it. Goblins were outside the village when it happened."

Lydia nodded and wrote this information down on a piece of parchment she had brought. The parchment, much like many notes that Thenshin had, contained notes on everything that they had come across from before.

Sano looked down the road, sighing. Absolutely nothing to see for a long, long while. "Well, we're gonna be on the road for a while, obviously, nothing to do..."

Angel grinned a bit. She looked at Miko who grinned back. "Lime." she said.

"Egg." Miko answered.

"Grape."

"Eggplant."

"Tuna."

"Apricot."

"Uh... umm..." Angel stopped the pattern and frowned. "No fair, always choosing foods that end with T!" she complained, pouting a bit.

Miko laughed lightly. "There is absolutely no rule preventing me from using T, or any other letter for that matter, a certain number of times in a row."

Angel gave a lady-like hmph and sighed, crawling over to Sano, smiling a bit as she looked at the trail. "Rather peaceful out here isn't it?" she asked.

Sano smiled at her and rested a gentle hand on her shoulder. "It is... I am just sorry that we couldn't enjoy it altogether."

Angel smirked a bit, more mischievously than she ever had before. "Oh, don't worry... we'll find time to enjoy it."

Sano blushed gently at what she was suggesting, which earned a snicker out of several of the other group. Zen was the first to stop and his face turned stone serious as he saw that they were standing in front of a huge system of caverns... all drilled into something that was smaller than a mountain, yet larger than a hill. "I think we can safely say that this place is the goblin hideout."

They all left the wagon and walked over to the fortress. "No guards... this doesn't sit well with me." whispered Tenshin.

Kino shrugged. "Bah, don't worry about it, they're goblins. They aren't exactly noted for their intelligence, you know."

Miko nodded a bit. "That's true, but if there is one thing that goblins can do right, it is fight. Though they are clumsy by nature, they are extremely deadly to even very skilled adventurers. Don't get cocky, Kino."

Lydia chuckled. "Hey, if he wasn't cocky, he wouldn't be Kino."

Kino held his head proudly for a second. "Yeah, I..." he stopped, rethinking what that comment meant. "Wait a minute..."

By the time he had made this observation, all the others were already headed into the cavern. He followed closely.

Mu bristled gently as they entered. "It smells bad in here..." he whispered genlty.

Mog bobbed a bit with the chalice. "Yes it does, Kupo!"

Before anymore comments could be made, the exit behind them slammed shut and torches on the walls flared to life, bombs in cages dangling above them, much like they had been in the mines. An army of goblins stood before them, at least fifty in front of them.

In a flash, all weapons were drawn. Sano frowned. "This is not what I expected... did they see us coming?"

Angel frowned lightly. "How could they have? It was extremely dark in here and Goblins may have excellent dark vision, but they have horrible vision in the sunlight.

Mimi growled a bit as the goblins started to advance. "Less talking more slaughter!" she shouted, swinging her axe madly.

END CHAPTER!

Yes, it's a cliffhanger, but I just can't take it right now, I'm tired and I have a pounding headache at the moment, so this is all you'll get for now, but more will come soon, that much is for sure. This time I promise to update faster than a year.