To Yulia From Daath

One More Day

Chapter one:  Encounter in the dark

a/n: Found some more TOA notes, and in honor of the anime coming out I plan on finishing some of the TOA stories I have in archive.  I've only got one day to update so time will be slow, but I'll do what I can, when I can.  Due to circumstance I can not spell check this segment, I wil do so next time I get access to a public computer. KS

She'd given him the packet before leaving.  Having risked life and limb in a torrental downpour to see that he wouldn't do without the "nicities of civilization".  Her offering was a small white packet, so small it took less then half a man's palm to cradle it, the edges were tinted an pea green color.

Rolling the pouch in his gloved hand, Jade considered what she said it was, and what it could have been, he did this long after the Kimlascan Princess had fled out into the grey world beyond the shelter of his tent's canvis walls.

Some time had passed since the Kimlascan princess had come in his presence, packet of tea in hand.  Despite his hesitance in making the stuff the temperature had dropped to the point his "old" bones were begining to ache.  And so the Malkuth had gathered his courage and set the packet into the prescribed half cup of water. 

The vessel had been filled by nature's purest liquid and the "tea" (poisen might have been the better nominative) had stained the pristine waters a brown reminescent of rotting mud.  At that the Necromancer's omnipresent smile had thinned a bit, his red eyes following suit.  Jade Curtis was a military man, and as such he was supposed to be endure all manner of hardships for the name of his country and king, but there were limits...  A wave of his hand had set the stuff to a boil and the maisma that had rissen frim the brew was not the purple tinted Miasma that coiled under the very crust of Aldurant the boiling substance had raised a vile aroma. 

When the two celestial inclined children in his tent though began to maon in thier sleep Jade Curtis had descided to exercise his compassion, least it get fat and lazy.  He thrust his hand out of the tent flap, endurung the chill rains for all of a heartbeat.  Poisen dumped onto the ground where the rain would hopefully wash it away before it killed too much grass Jade thrust his arm back into the relitive warmth of the canvas sanctuary.  Arm numb from the elbow to finger tips, Jade Curtis craddled the limb, hugging it against the faded blue of his uniform.

The flesh was in shock of some type.  His arm shook as if it were suffering from accute hypothermia and what little he could see of the numb limb between protective layers of gloves and long sleeves was pale to the point of colorlessness.  Though in pain, Jade dredged up a grin.  Amused, as always, at his own detached analysis of the world.

XXX

Her shoes were ill suited to the rigor's of travel.  When she had jointed Luke she'd been ill prepared for the world.  Clad in a dress more suited to court than travel, packing foods doomed to an early experation, her shoes were the last remnant of that long ago time... A final hold to the vain little girl who had slipped out of a castle and into the sewers.  She'd braved that coiled like a placid serpant at the feet of Batical.  It stirs had been the clanks and rattles that rebounded in the dark of the earth, not bothering the people upon it's back.  She had wandered sewage slicked turns and weaves, sliping and stumbling, the unfamilair weight of her long bow tripping her up more than once in that dark descent.

Now she strode through a dark born of a twist of nature's whim.  She trod a ground that was treacherouslty soft and slick and rugged all in turn.  Practice had made her steps all the more secure since practice made perfect and she had had an abundance of practice.  Still, she shivered in the cold and wondered at the foolery of her actions.  The rain made a nearly impenertrable skein over the world, even having the bad taste to trickle into her eyes.  She blinked as often as she stumbled, and was for all intents and pruposes blind.  Jades' tent had been illuminated by an orange haze of the man's warming Fonic Artes, and that illumination had guilded her forward.  But Guy, Asch, and Natalia lacked the Colonel's talents with Artes.  Finding tents made of grey canvas, with a grey sky as a contrast would not be the easist task in the world.

Natalia had faced harder tasks before this.  She was not daunted.

It was only when a dark shape broke away form the tall silloettes on the edge of her vision that Natalia began to feel the familiar demon of doubt.  Whatever it is on first glance she discurned that it was tall, dark, and it slid towards her with a single minded determination.  Sensing the motion she stoped, pivioted, then took a cuatious half step back as she experienced the familiar shock of realizing that whatever it was it was after her.  When the jolt of shock passed a surge of adrenaline took surprise's place.  Her response to the dark shape's approuch was to reach over her shoulder.  It was only when her fingers closed over nothing that she remembered. she'd left her long bow behind, an act of prudence, really.  Natalia hadn't wanted to warp the wood of her bow or ruin the last string by exposing it to this muck.

A flick of her wrist released the dagger that Jade had gifted her some time back when he had begun teaching her how to hunt.  It was a skinning knife, a broad ultarian weapon that was short, poorly balanced, and thus poorly suited for combat.  Still, it would prove suitable for desperate situations, Jade had consouled.  Asch, hearing of the knife's exitsance, had agreeed with the Colonel's pragmaticism.  The God General then had taken the colonel's suggestion one step farther.  He had gifted her a leather band so that she could bind a knife to her forearm, showing her how to wind and twine the leather so that the device that had been designed to go over his arm would better fit over her slender limbs.

Her hand shook, and seeing that Natalia clenched her hands over the hilt.  The quaking stoped after that.  Perhaps seeing the glint of the blade in her hand the dark form hesitated for a moment... just a moment... before begining it's advance again.