Holy crap guys, sorry it took me so long to update. I really appreciate all of the reviews you guys sent in – they mean a lot. I guess I will continue this, then. :) With finals coming up, this chapter is nowhere near as long as it should be, though…Considering it's been nearly THREE MONTHS…again guys I am so sorry. I promise the next update won't be in three months XD

Keep sending in reviews =)



A slight wind gliding through the trees. A quiet rustling of leaves. A slight tremor in the earth. Before she opened her eyes, Arya awoke, and though she saw nothing at all except the darkness of her eyelids, she knew all that went on around her.

She didn't have to use her mind to feel around to know that the forest she once thought was dead was very, very alive.

The memory of the familiar voice's sinister words spiraled around endlessly in her ears, repeating again and again and again. "A vampire"…"Weaknesses"…"We are strong"…"ten days"…

As much as she would have loved to find the being, wrap her fingers around his neck – and just squeeze- Arya decided that the less time she spent spend in the darkest section of the forest, the better. She finally opened her eyes, startled at first by the sharp rays of light shooting into her eyes. After closing her eyes, rubbing them, and opening them again, the light was less painful. The forest was not at all what she had remembered. It was not dark at all, nor was it quiet. It wasn't even cold. The sun's rays left her skin ticklish with sensation, which felt different because all of yesterday she spent shivering. She would adjust back soon enough. In fact, she was already feeling stronger – stronger than she had before. Though she was still tired and felt a bit drained, she was much more aware of her surroundings than she had been before. Snatching up her sword from where it had fallen, she sprang to her feet.

She was about to cast out her senses to figure out which way was home, when she noticed she had a slight pull towards what she sensed was life. Well, no, it could not have been life. The scuffling of wings and slight throaty snaps told her that there was definitely life all around her. Yet she didn't feel anything towards them. Casting out her senses, she, a brilliant user of magic, could not find any other souls or minds in the alternate dimension of magic.

Arya kicked herself again. Yes, the sooner she left, the better. Soon, she would be as superstitious as the Grimsborith dwarf clan.

As she began the run south-west towards Ellesmera, she racked her brain for mentions of vampires. Though it would have been foolish to think the creature was telling the truth, Arya was at least curious to know why he had mentioned them.

Arya had never really been interested in vampire-lore. She groaned at all dwarven myths, where the story of vampires had come from. The only reason she did not bitterly hate vampires was because the dwarves were very scared of their mystical power, and for that, Arya slightly appreciated them.

Vampires were said to not have blood running through their veins. Instead, they needed only to obtain a small amount of blood, just enough to barely wet the life-veins, and only every now and then. What else could she remember? She seemed to recall Gannel mentioning something about vampires and the sun…

It was hopeless. Though Arya normally would have been ecstatic over her ability to repress dwarven myths, she was slightly frustrated by it now.

Her skin was feeling hotter than it had been before now. Glancing up, she had to squint so the brightly blazing sun didn't hurt her eyes. She turned back to see that the change in scenery marking her entrance into the Dark Forest was just a speck in the distance. She risked another look at the sun to see it had not moved all that much…Probably only an hour or two had passed. It had taken her six hours running to get to the Dark Forest. Yet only an hour or two had gone by, and she was already halfway through her journey home.

Arya was puzzled. She didn't think she was travelling any faster than she had been going to the Dark Forest. In fact, she felt even more energized than she had been on her journey over, despite her obvious increase in speed. Striding back the way she came for ten or so paces, she knelt to the ground and inspected her light footprints. The space between them was more than what seemed reasonable. Staring at her smooth legs for a few seconds, she crossed out the idiotic possibility of her legs mysteriously growing. She began to run again, observing the way in which she moved. She noted that it felt effortless to push off of her back foot when running, yet she sprang an additional meter more than what was normal. She wasn't tired at all, even after an hour of this brisk pace. Not even an increase in heartbeat.

…Speaking of heartbeat, where was that familiar sound? Arya didn't hear it, though she could hear everything else for a mile around. Ceasing to run, she pressed two fingers to the side of her neck. It wasn't there. Becoming completely still, Arya desperately tried to feel even the slightest tremor going through her finger tips.

To her relief, Arya eventually managed to feel her heartbeat. She calmed down. She wasn't working very hard at all. That was probably why her heartbeat was so shallow.

She pushed herself to an even faster pace. With every leap she took, she bounded three meters forward. It didn't even take her a full hour to reach the capital of the brilliant Du Weldenvarden.

Pleased that her weird journey was finally over, she smiled as the gates of Ellesmera came into view.