I realize that it's been months since I continued this, so sorry for the inconvenience (-_-);
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Abnormal bleak weather, unkown to Zyldavia, was seen in the kingdom that day. Since the early morning, dark clouds began to fill up the unlit sky, blocking out the sun before he even awoke, as if the clouds themselves were alive. As slight darkness covered the lands this dawn, barely any animals could even be seen. The squirrels remained in their hollowed trunk, the birds in their nests, the bees in their hives, the ants in their holes. Living things there were unaccustomed to such strange weather, and thus decided to stay in the safety and comfort of their own homes.

The only living beings one could see up and about that day was man. Unmindful of the weather, the citizens contnued on with their daily tasks and chores. Only the gusts of cold wind that blew the dust and crumpled papers across the street made them sense that there was even something slighty wrong.

Then, it began to rain.... hard. Like scared sheep, they began to run for the nearest roof, seeking shelter from the rain that fell. As soon as the showers grew stronger, no person could be seen anywhere. The roads were completely desolate,wet and empty. No one dared to come out. Of course.... there are those who still seek to defy Mother Nature's wrath....

Rue, with only a small plastic sheet to cover his body, walks across the muddy streets alone.

"It's too dangerous. I can't let them come."

He trudges forward in the rain, barely seeing 5 feet in front of him. He heads for the carriage near the edge of town that was to bring him to The Verimhelion.

"Let's go. I need to get back. The sooner the better."

The coachman nods, and the caravan leaves the castle into the darkness of the day.

Rue stares of into space, impatiently waiting for their arrival. Finnaly, after 2 hours of uneventful travel, Rue succumbs to the boredom. And as he falls into a deep, peaceful sleep, the rain began to stop.

******** Dream ********

"She's gone now.....It's just you and me."

Rue hears a voice in the darkness. A voice.... so familiar to him.

"But..... mommy...."

"I dont wanna lose it..... again. It's all mine...."

******** Reality ********

"Master Rue, we have arrived."

The coachman wakes Rue, who is startled.

"This is The Verimhelion, sir. Shall I wait for your return?"

"Oh...uh... yes. Thank you. I shouldn't be long."

Grabbing all his things, Rue ventures forth. Taking one last glance at the coachman, he heads into the forest.

"That dream.... That voice...... I've heard it somewhere before..."

****************

Barely any light touched the forest floor he treaded upon. The thick foliage of giant trees and bushes made it as dark as night, and even more dangerous. The only signs of life he could here through the darkness was the chirping of birds and a few growls from nearby animals. Holding a large lamp on his left hand and following a narrow crude trail, Rue hacks at the thick branches in his path with his Arc Edge as he searches through the forest. A rather deep one, he thinks.

He walks on for hours and for miles. The vegetation semmed to lessen the deeper he went in, quite and unnusual thing. He reaches a small clearing beside a cave deep inside the wood in the late afternoon, tired and sweaty from his trek. He looks around, and sets camp inside the rather damp cave. Night was beginning to fall, he noticed, and ventured out again to collect some firewood.

*"Rue..... where are you....? So.... cold...."*

"Wha-what? Mint? Is that you? Where are you?"

*"So.... lonely.... help..... me...."*

He dropped the logs he was holding, visibly shaken with fear and amazement. He called out her name, hoping against all odds that she might actually be there.... somewhere....

"Mint! Mint! Answer me!"

Yet, no reply. He called again. No reply. He called once again, at the top of his lungs. Still.... absolute silence, with nothing but the sound of chirping birds as the night begins to fall on the lonely patch of forest Rue treaded upon. He collapsed on his knees, as tears streamed down his now pale face. Hope had struck him like an arrow striking the heart of a man wanting to die, only to be painfully pulled out before it could finally kill him. He knelt there.... and cried all night long.

****************

The gleaming rays of the sun shone on Rue's face early that morning, waking him. It blinded him as he opened his eyes, but quickly focused. He looked around as he lay there. He knew he felt asleep where he was.... where he last heard her voice. At least, where he thought he did. The sweet sound of a maiden continued to echo in his head. A voice asking for companionship, asking for help. A voice that was obviously in so much pain. How he wanted to help, but was completely helpless.

But he passed it on as a mere dream. There was no way he could have heard her voice otherwise. Still, how he wished he could hear it just one more time before he moved on.

"Mint.... I'm so sorry. But please, don't worry. You won't be in so much pain anymore."

White light flashed inside the cave that was behind him. He turned around and looked at it with much surprise. A white light that seemed so familiar it made him remember memories of his past, memories he would rather not recall at all. At that moment he knew what that light was. The light that brought death to all that he was and all that he loved. Ironically, he realized it would also be the light that could bring it all back to him. And with that, he walked into it, into the light that was his only hope.

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Months and months late. I'm sorry about that again. It was all because I actually lost all interest in finishing this *hangs head in shame*, but please don't worry as I promise to finish this as soos as I can ^_^

And yes, this is relatively short on content and "drama" (yeah right), since this is more of a transition chapter to the final parts. Don't worry though, I'll be sure to make the last parts good!

By the way, review my other story "Choices and Regrets" PLLEEAASSEE!! ^_^