Chapter III

Willams mused over his beer, absently spinning the mug around in his tanned and weathered hands.  He had lived in Miyan for nearly ten years now, and he wasn't about to give up something so important to him.  Many of the other workers and farmers felt the same way, that is, jibbed from what they had rightly earned.  Ever since he could remember, Willams and his friends had tilled the land for food and living.  They had built their lives on it.  When Mayor Jorge announced that they could not own the land, like so many of his predecessors, Willams could no longer stand it.  They had to act, and the only way to do that was to become mayor himself, one that would completely understand the hardships that his people endured everyday.  In a secret poll conducted last week, Willams won in votes by population nearly 4 to 1.  Willams had filed a report against the mayor, but it went unnoticed.  He finally decided that the only way to get the mayor's attention was to organize a protest, one that would finally put the problem of land ownership to light.  But when that day came, Willams and his protestors were forcefully put down, even though none of them carried weapons of any kind.  Apparently, Mayor Jorge was determined to put down any uprising, even at the expense of his office title.  Finally, Willams made a committee that would determine the fate of Mayor Jorge once and for all.  A direct attack at the epicenter of Jorge's power; his palace, would be sufficient enough.  He would have to flee, and Willams would no doubt be announced as the new mayor.  Willams smiled to himself. No, he thought, no trouble at all…


End Part I

It was a battle, but the atmosphere in the camp seemed to be of total optimism.  Soldiers around her seemed completely unconcerned, they took their precious time putting on armor and getting their shields ready.  One smart-mouthed soldier even mentioned not needing armor.  Naga could not help but smile.  ^Ahh…to be young and naïve again…^ She sat in her own unadorned private tent, peeking out the little slit of an entrance.  Suddenly, a huge figure blocked it, and opened the flap, revealing Mayor Jorge's stout figure.

"Are you ready?"

"Since the first day…"

Jorge smiled. "Then we shall begin the preparations immediately." He snapped his fingers, and his right-hand man appeared out of nowhere. "Tell the captains to get ready, although I doubt we'll need much to hold these vagabonds back."

As he said that, a feeling of uneasiness passed over Naga.  She ignored it and shook it off.  She was entirely convinced that she wouldn't have to do anything. ^But maybe I'll open with some spell, just to liven things up a bit^.


Lina had never seen such a sad array of people before, save young Prince William's army of young, skinny and adolescent boys.  Everyone who could, brought axes and scythes, or maybe even hoes from farming.  She sighed and rolled her eyes.  If the Miyan army were fighting with only a quarter of their power, they would still beat these ragged soldiers.  Lina hated to be on the losing side, but she figured it would be easy money.  All she had to do was cause some explosions here and there, and then she would be free to do whatever she wanted to with the money.  ^*Buffet, here I come!*^ But the battle had to come first.

"Are we marching yet?!" She asked impatiently to the nearest man.

"We'll be starting soon…I thinking a couple of minutes," he answered, obviously excited.

Lina watched the young man walk off.  ^*If only he knew what real battle was…*^


Lina waited for the army of farmers to get well ahead of her. Then, with an unwilling sigh, she used a Raywing to join the men and women fighting.  She decided to keep lookout for the monster, looking for a huge group of people.  He continued forward, noticing that she was nearing a huge palace of some sort.  She sighed when she finally found the makeshift army, but gaped at what she saw.

Sure, the "monster" they were fighting was green, but that was only because the "monster" was wearing the colors of Miyan.  In fact, it looked more like a sea of moving figures than a single entity. ^*What exactly is going on?!*^

"Oh thank Cepheid, she's up there!" A middle-aged woman pointed upwards, and Lina found herself floating down to help. 

"Hurry! Look, the sorceress on the other side is getting ready to do something!"

Lina pushed her way through, but she really didn't have to, because people scrambled to get out of the way.  Lina had the second surprise of the day, because standing before her, was the White Serpent, Naga herself.


End Part II

"Freeze Arrow!"

Naga seemed to be enjoying herself immensely.  Even Lina could tell, standing twenty feet away from her.  Anyone who approached her ended up mostly as human ice cubes.  Lina found herself still gaping at Naga's figure and forcefully stopped herself.  ^*What are you doing?!*^ Lina asked herself. ^*She's your RIVAL, put a Fireball right in her face like you always do! *^ But she couldn't.  It was as if an arm, separate from her own, held her hand back.  ^*Besides, wouldn't it be more fun if I just snuck up behind her and gave her the fright of her life? She's concentrating so hard on her own spells that she won't notice at all.  Just look at her…totally oblivious…*^

Lina used Raywing again to float above the tress and used them as cover.  She smiled and snickered softly to herself.  She landed right behind Naga…and was about to use a fireball when Naga turned around and saw her.


Something strange flickered in Naga's eyes when she first saw Lina, standing there, with her right arm raised.  It could have been pure joy, or one of an amusing revelation.  But Lina would not find out then, because the boy that Lina had talked to before ran up to a distracted Naga, and thrust his scythe into the tissue of her right shoulder.  At first, the pain did not register on Naga's face, but as Lina ran forward, Naga fell.  Lina caught her at precisely the right moment before she hit the ground and formed a protective shield over both of them.  She knew she couldn't keep the shield up for long, so she escaped by taking flight upwards, again.  One person pointed and yelled, "Look, the sorceresses are leaving together! They're traitors…they were here only for the money!"

Lina did not hear anything else, because all she could hear was Naga's faint breathing and her own heartbeat.

Lina headed towards the nearest cottage she could find and settled herself to ask for help.  Lina could barely use white magic, and a wrong spell could prove disastrous for Naga.  She decided that a doctor in these parts would probably do a better job.  She carefully knocked on the door and leaned back to wait.  Presently, the door was timidly opened, and Lina started to speak, but stopped when she saw who it was.

"Niria?! Do you live here?!"


"Are your parents home? Maybe they could help me out…"

"Niria, who is at the door?" A plump woman stepped out from what Lina assumed to be the kitchen and also peeked timidly out the door.

"Oh, my goodness!" she saw Naga and her profusely bleeding shoulder, and gestured frantically for Lina to enter.

"Niria, call Dr. Regen to come over immediately. It's an emergency!" She turned to Lina. "What in Cepheid's name happened?!"

"We were in the battle up at some palace…"

"The fight against the mayor and Willams?!  You and your friend got caught in that?!  Oh, my goodness! I hope Dr. Regen comes soon!"

Lina did all she could to stop the bleeding.  In the end, she finally slowed it to a small trickle, but even so, Naga had lost lots of blood.  Finally, Dr. Regen arrived, and looked Naga over.

"Well, it seems that you friend has become extremely weak.  It will take at least two days for her to regain her strength.  She doesn't need a blood transfusion, but when she awakens from her fainting spell, make sure to give her plenty of water and make sure she eats plenty of food for strength.  Change her bindings once everyday; make sure to keep it from infecting.  If you hadn't gotten her out of there fast," he spoke pointedly at Lina, "then she would have lost more than just blood.  Take good care of her." With that, the doctor packed up and left.

Gradually, everyone left the room except for Lina, who stayed by Naga's side.  Naga didn't know that Lina placed a hand in her own, and nearly cried, hoping for the best.  Naga could not have known exactly what Lina was thinking when Lina pressed her hand to her cheek, urging the warmth the return.


Naga woke up quite late in the morning to find herself in a strange place and Lina sitting by a fireplace, sleeping in a chair.  Naga found that she could barely move a muscle, and forced herself to stare at the ceiling.  As the events of the last afternoon unfolded, she grimaced, feeling the pain in her right shoulder more intensely than before.  She glanced at Lina again, making sure she was actually there.  Needless to say, the shock of seeing her again hadn't worn off yet. ^Why does she always do this to me? Every time I see her, she throws a fireball or something else my way^.  But Naga knew it wasn't really Lina's fault this time.  ^But every time I see her…I always have this feeling at the pit of my stomach.  Its definitely not fear, not disgust.  It's…something that I can't explain just yet.  Maybe I need to sleep on it more…^


Lina suddenly opened her eyes to find herself snuggled under some soft covers and on a bed.  She sighed in contentment, and then sat up suddenly, remembering what happened to Naga the afternoon before.  But then she lowered herself carefully down. ^*This'll probably be the last time in a long while I'll be able to sleep like this…*^ She was about to fall asleep when she heard the door open.  Seeing Naga at the doorway, she unconsciously closed her eyes in a hurry.  ^*I don't want her to think I lost sleep over her…*^ Her thoughts here cut off by Naga's soft voice.

"Poor Lina, kept up all night…watching over me." The last three words were whispered softly, as if Naga still had to comprehend the meaning of the gesture.

Lina groaned inwardly, but she must have been too loud, because Naga asked, "Lina, are you finally awake?" as if she was just waiting to chastise her.  Lina lifted herself with one elbow, rubbing her eyes with the other hand. 

"Naga, what are you doing out of bed?!" To Lina's obvious surprise and embarrassment, Naga pulled her into a hug.  When they finally let go, both were embarrassed.  Both started to say something, but each other's "umm…"

But Naga looked right into Lina's eyes and started, "Lina, I…I have to tell you something that I've never told anyone before…" And Naga spilled the story of her childhood, the death of her mother, and why she was absolutely terrifies of blood.  She didn't, however, tell her about her little sister.  Lina listened calmly.  It wasn't until they both left the cottage together that Lina realized that Naga had told her a part of herself that she never showed.

"Naga…why…why did you tell me all that?"

"Because ever since yesterday, after you saved me, I have trusted you…completely."

Lina blushed slightly, and they continued to walk on, to where ever their adventures took them.