A/N: aaaaaaaand so we have Dark Hound again… I just got a couple of books from the "local" bookstore. Actually, it's easier just to go into Austin than it is to go into San Marcos from Bastrop. w but, the Hastings bookstore is right next to a Hobby Lobby, so that's nice, plus the store's got some awesome stuff in it including awesome shoes! Also, it's like half price books, you can sell your old books and music and dvds to them, though I think they have to be in slightly better shape than what you can get away with at Half-Price.

Plus you don't get a discount on the stuff you buy like you do at Half-Price. w;; oh well….

Had an idea of something that I'm going to make happen. :3 Started it up in the rpg and well, I think it works. Heh heh heh heh heh…..

Chapter Three

Many years had passed for Cuchulainn. A young man now, he was far too handsome a man for the rest of the Ulstermen. They each went on a search through the tunnels for any young woman who might interest the lad, but he seemed very reluctant to look at their choices. He had actually found his choice, but her father wasn't having it. Emer, daughter of Forgall the Wily, was as beautiful as any woman could wish to be. Her father knew of how pretty the boy was and how much he enjoyed flirting with the other women, younger and older alike, that he did not want his daughter to associate with such a young man much less marry him.

That spurred an idea inside his skull. If the boy were sent off on a mad quest that might keep him out until the sunrise just to reach the place he was questing for, the lad might die and Forgall would die a happy man. And so, he took the young Cuchulainn aside and told him to go to the Island of Skye and learn the ways of a warrior from the warrior witch Sgatha. Forgall knew the woman alone would make minced meat out of the boy, who was still quite short for his age and very thin and wiry. Of course, that was if the boy even made it to the island. The water around the island was scorching hot all the time from the sun burning, yet the water and life inside the water always remained. Even during the night, the air cool and dew forming on plant life around, the water would steam as though it were sitting over a great fire pit.

And thus Cuchulainn was on this journey. He constantly cursed Forgall's name when he had been packing for the long journey. The end of the tunnel system would come soon and he knew it. He could see the narrowing of the tunnel as it made its way upward, stairs and wood railings built into the Earth. When he reached the end, above him was a hatch to leave through. There was no light coming through and the air was cool; the day had gone and night was about once more. With that, Cuchulainn pulled himself up through the hole and started running through the grassy countryside of Ulster's above ground.

Ever since Cuchulainn had reached a certain age, he found his mind far more muddled by thoughts of women and of what a difference between men and women there was. He knew it was normal for all men to go through, but it had puzzled him greatly when upon the first day of the full moon he had grown far more anxious than he had ever felt before. He felt like his skin crawled and that his body was practically screaming at him to do something, anything, to make it go. He would run on these nights, out into the night, far from home and hide under ground in one of the older parts of the Ulster underground. As he gazed up at the sky, he noticed that it would not be long before the moon was full once more and he would once again have to find someplace to disappear to before he went insane from a hunger so vast inside of him that he was uncertain he would ever be able to fill it.

After a while of running, he grew tired and rested against a tree, eating his lunch there. The moon was high in the sky and would remain so for a while he knew. When he finished his lunch, he started back up; he ran until he started to smell sea water. He had successfully run all the way toward the edge of the island and would have to go north to find the magic island that the warrior witch was exiled to for eternity.

Cuchulainn stopped when he found himself in what looked to be an old city. The metal skeletons of the ancient people's buildings stood like gargoyles trying to scare off those who would dare enter them. Plant life grew over their structures, glass continued to fall from their framed occasionally, hitting the ground with loud crashing sounds. He walked through the city and heard the noises of animals that lived in the buildings as they went about their routines. No human could live in this world, for it was far too close to the heat of the sun. Animals, he had realized long ago, were somehow exempt from the curse that seemed to be placed upon his people.

The sound of the animals was growing; his head was almost throbbing from the sheer number of them making noise. Had they noticed his presence and were disturbed? No, it was something else that had alerted them, he was sure of it. Was it a great big creature that was a predator to the animals that seemed to be alerting all the others?

Cuchulainn frowned and panted heavily, wiping his forehead with the back of his hand. He was terribly hot and felt like he was burning up from a fever. He blinked as he gazed at the ground ahead of him. The faintest glimmer of light was coming up, his shadow appearing very slightly on the ground. Panic rushed through him as he took off through the forested city. He knew there were several places around the area that people had made for themselves to hide in long ago before he was born, back when everyone had tried their best to find ways of getting out of the sun's deadly gaze.

He could see his shadow more and the heat on his back was overwhelming! His heart raced wildly as his body throbbed from the abuse it was taking at the hands of the sun. Then, as the sun seemed as though it was going to claim another victim, he grabbed a hold of a latch and dove right down into a tunnel, slamming the door shut and running deep into the tunnel until the air felt cool again. He fell to the floor on his face, crumpling as the adrenaline that had kept him moving wore off. He could not tell when he had fallen asleep, but he knew he had. When he did, it was a good, hard sleep that took him. For that he was glad.

The night sky was filled with clouds, the moon shining bright on a strange building that looked like a castle. As he gazed upon the building, it reminded him of the castle he had explored as a child. Cuchulainn gripped his arm as the old scars twitched. It wasn't the same building, he knew it wasn't, but he could not help feeling a small amount of fear at the sight of the massive building so high above ground.

The air seemed to move around him one moment and then he found himself inside the castle. Torches lit the massive hallways, large windows brought in the light of the moon to their darkness. Occasionally, Cuchulainn found himself seeing a child not much younger than him run past with a black robe on. He frowned and the air moved around him once more. This time, he found himself inside a chamber of sorts. There were several beds and one held a girl who was talking to herself while reading a book of sorts, a stick in her hand that seemed to have a fire on it, but it did not burn the stick away nor did the book burn from it. The girl he watched was a pretty girl, about the same age as him in fact. She had shoulder length blonde hair and pretty amber eyes that glittered like gold in the light from her magic stick.

The other beds had their curtains drawn, signifying that the persons in the beds were sleeping. As he made his way closer, he smelled the faint smell of many perfumes in the air. This was a room for women. Upon a closer look, he found strange undergarments strewn about beside some of the beds. When he moved closer to the bed with the blonde haired young woman reading by magic stick light, she looked up and around. Then, her gaze landed on him. A strange tingle went through his body as he gazed upon her. She was very pretty, but she was very thin and small. Was she really close to his age, or had that merely been his assumption?

Her gold eyes grew wide as she gazed at him. She pulled the stick up and shined the light at him for a moment before she gasped and screamed what sounded like the old words that the mages spoke to make their spells work. He moved aside to avoid whatever she had intended to toss at him and got onto the bed. He pressed his finger to his lips and shushed her softly. When she stopped and watched him, her face contorted as the world seemed to change before him. She grew older and he was no longer gazing at her from a bed, but from a new vantage point of a chair. There, the girl was a woman and she was pregnant, her small body carrying a huge weight in front of her that he could barely imagine a woman her size carrying. Beside her on one side was a red haired man who was fairly tall and muscled well enough. On the other side of her stood a man who fairly towered over everything else; his eyes were a deep, dark shade of blue and his hair a black that made his skin seem entirely too pale. Despite this, this man was clearly very handsome, his features chiseled and fine, his cheekbones high and his jaw decently formed. Both men seemed to be paying attention to the woman as though they were her husbands.

Cuchulainn watched as the scene melted before him and the woman was alone. When he moved toward her, it was as though he were moving through sand. The air melted behind her and grew dark and angry. She turned toward him and her eyes had grown cold, the pupils of her eyes disappearing entirely. A great big door appeared behind her and when the doors opened, many black hands and arms snaked out and made a grab for him. He fought them, but they kept coming to him. Then, they took him toward that black abyss of a set of doors. He fought still and seemed to gain purchase before a sickening sound erupted in his ears as pain shot through his body.

Cuchulainn woke up sharply from the ground where he had made his bed. His arm was in an odd position underneath him and was tingling and prickling with tiny needles as he attempted to move the numb limb out from under him. When he regained feeling, he looked up at the ceiling. Had he visited a strange world where humans lived above ground? Had he found himself inside a world with a woman who took his attention so abruptly that he fair forgot Emer? Or, had he simply dreamed it all?

He worked his way toward the entrance of the tunnel, always checking to see if he could leave soon. When it seemed the sun had indeed gone down, Cuchulainn went back on his journey to find the magic island.