"We're leaving already?" Luscious asked as Yael exited past him through the house. She moved swiftly. Time was important. Lucious turned to Yaname for the response he didn't get from Yael.
"Of course we are." Yaname said calmly to Lucious, she gave a slight smile and followed Yael without a question. Her pace was similar to Yael's and Yaname quickly caught up with Yael.
"Yael, you sure it's ok to start out so soon? I mean you just woke up."
Yael paused in mid step and then lightly sighed. "I know what you're insinuating Yaname." Yael said looking over and then smiling at her friend. She knew the hesitant voice Yaname had offered was with care. Yael looked around the town slowly, she needed to leave. She glanced over to a walkway heading out of the village and she squinted her eyes to see. The sun was strong today, brighter than usual. Was it possible her changes to her eye were letting her see more? "It'll be fine." She said looking back to Yaname. What she really wanted to say was 'Will Ata be resting? How likely would it be for him to take a break?' As long as they stayed here they were in-dangering the village.
"So long as you're sure." Yaname said quietly, touching Yael's hand and smiling. Yael returned the smile and gripped Yaname's hand tightly. Yaname had been Yael's only friend when she was little; they'd go out on trips to the Hak'u forest together. By the looks of Yaname's pack she'd been ready to go out and "adventure" as soon as the moment arrived. She had her bow slung over her shoulder and the quiver, as well as a traveling pack, on her back. Yael glanced back to the hut seeing the woman talking to Lucious attentively. He nodded and then was pushed forward toward the two waiting girls. Lucious looked back over his shoulder as the woman re-entered the hut.
"Took you long enough." Yael said slightly annoyed. She didn't know why she was always so brash with Lucious. He just annoyed her so easily.
"Sorry, I," He was interrupted by both girls grabbing one his hands. He glanced down to each of the hands and then up to Yael. She had her eyes closed and seemed to be focusing. They were now standing in a small circle.
"Don't let go you two. Especially you Lucious." Yael said she'd meant the last part to be a warning but it came out a bit wrong. With her eyes still closed, she began to chant. Snow pine, the fortress. Ata's fortress. Somewhere safe first. She hadn't been to that "safe" fortress in years. Safe was good, but the question came to, was it still safe? A lot can change in 5 years. Yael gripped Lucious hand a little harder then she should and she felt a reassuring squeeze back. She finished the last piece of the chant and they were suddenly pulled backwards, the air being pulled from their lungs. In the few seconds it took the teleport to transfer them over the large distances she felt the temperature change from warm, to hot and then to freezing.
The three landed in snow. Calf deep snow. They'd landed on the side of a snow coated cliff. Tall pine trees surrounded them, their branches covered in snow from days or weeks of snowfall. The snow had been left untouched and wasn't distorted except for the occasional animal track. Yael reacted instinctively to the cold, creating a bubble of warmth around her. It was just a simple flex of her muscles but the bubble reacted along with her. Forming to her body and, a little further out just for good measure. The snow within the bubble melted away in seconds. Yael flexed her fingers; the bubble also stopped the wind from touching her body. She looked up to her companions. Yaname looked very distressed, she was holding her arms to her body tightly, but yet still she was shaking hard. Lucious was in the same shape only he had a bit more armor on then Yaname. She should have warned these two that the weather where they'd be heading would be cold. Yaname would never have experienced anything like this, being an elf. She was used to warm fields, cool forests, but never snow. Yael didn't know about Lucious, humans lived in some of the weirdest environments.
"Here." Yael said reaching her hands out to touch her friends. As soon as her hands made contact with them she urged the bubble expand to cover both Yaname and Lucious. Yael could actually see her bubble expanding over them. It was a type of energy; she knew neither of her friends could see it. The sight was a mage thing. Yaname sighed happily and Lucious just smiled as Yael felt the bubble's close and separate from Yael's original bubble. Yaname glanced up to Yael and sheepishly mouthed 'Thanks'. She didn't like to be weak. Yael was the same way.
"The shield will move with you, just stay in my range and the shield will stay active." Yael explained walking forward. She needed to figure out exactly where they landed. She glanced up the opposite cliff wall.
"Ah." She said in a matter of fact tone. They were quite a ways down. She hadn't been here in years but she was very off with her teleport.
"Ah?" Lucious asked coming up behind her.
"We need to get up there." Yael said motioning up the cliff. "We're set on the edge of the pathway up to Snow Pine Fortress. We'll have to make our way up and around the mountain to reach the Fortress." Yael looked up the path that did head up and then wind around out of view. This might be dangerous. She could try a short distance teleportation spell…
"Fun." Lucious said sounding as if he didn't mean fun at all. More like torture. He muttered something under his breath which Yael didn't catch.
Yael turned back to Yaname to propose the short distance teleportation and Yaname wasn't there. Yael stood for a second in shock and then looked to the shallow path of recently fallen snow. She'd began to walk up!
"Come on Lucious." Yael called behind her as she ran to catch up with Yaname.
I wasn't too hard, Yaname was only walking.
"Hey, I was going to investigate first." Yael said as she showed to Yaname's pace.
"I. Hate. Snow." Yaname said tightly. She still had her arms wrapped around her even though she should be warm in the shield. She was almost radiating anger. She really didn't like weather changes.
"With the shield it just melts away thought." Yael said a little confused. Yael'd experienced snow before but she'd never been too upset about it.
"Its just that… I'm not supposed to ever be in snow. Can we make the human carry us?" She asked. Yaname tilted her head sideways looking at Yael from the corner of her eyes. There was the joking tone that screamed Yaname. Yael giggled along with her friend.
"I think he'd hate us for that." Yael said with a chuckle. She turned back to see Lucious running along the snow back, a pathway of melted snow forming behind him.
"Here's our pack mule now." Yaname whispered to Yael, causing her to laugh.
"What?" Lucious asked slowing to the girl's pace.
"Don't worry about it Lucious." Yaname said. "Yael's just teasing you."
"Hey!" Yael half-shouted looking to Yaname.
"And now I'm teasing Yael." Yaname said to Lucious putting an arm over his shoulder.
"Come on you two." Yael said taking a lead. "We need to keep some good time."
"So how long should it take us to climb up?" Lucious asked detaching himself from Yaname. He ducked under her arm and quickened to match Yael's pace.
"Not entirely sure." Yael muttered. "It'll take at least a few hours."
"Shouldn't be too bad." Lucious said giving a friendly smile.
The mountain path twisted and turned as the trio made their way up the cliff edge. Near the top, which actually attached onto another mountain range, it was easy to see where they were headed. A large fortress, which seemed to be made of huge slabs of stone.
"The stone's from the valley." Yael explained moving forward. Even though there was no water, a mote blocked the path to the fortress. Yael approached the dry mote that was filled with snow. She took a hesitant step forward and then jumped. She flew across the mote with ease and landed against the wall.
"Um, Yael?" Yaname asked watching her friend in disbelief. Yaname hadn't actually seen Yael do anything more than basic magic. Except for the teleport of course.
"She ever done anything like this before?" Lucious asked as he and Yaname watched Yael scale the wall.
"Nope, but I did last see her yearssss ago." Yaname stretched the "s" syllable on years to make it seem longer. Lucious had actually never heard an elf speak like that they were usually formal. It made Yaname a bit more human-like.
Yael pulled herself over the wall to come over just beside a soldier.
"Holy shit!" The soldier yelled and quickly tried to push Yael back. She fell from the wall and righted herself hovering in the air.
"Stand down." Yael ordered. "I'm a friend of Geroy's."
"Lord Geroy…?" The soldier asked tentatively.
"Yes," Yael said angrily. "Now lower the drawbridge solider and let my friends in."
The soldier stuttered for a moment. "Yes… Ma'am" He said moving across the walkway to the gate control tentatively. Yael hopped down from the side of the wall into the fortress. She faced a few soldiers who seemed to be a bit nervous about her being here.
"I'm safe boys." She said to the group who didn't seem to take her word for it. The gears from the draw bridge creaked as it was lowered.
Yaname came into view first followed by Lucious. Yaname was shivering again.
"Your shield failed Yael." Yaname said moving toward the building. She was quickly blocked by a group of soldiers holding swords and bows.
"Please ma'am's and sir. We need to get an acknowledgement from the lord." The commanding soldier said.
"For?" Yael asked.
"We need to make sure you three are friends of Snowpine." He responded.
"Believe me soldier, we're friends." Yael said. She knew he wouldn't take that as an answer though.
"I need to make sure Ma'am." He said strongly. If Yael really wanted to destroy Snowpine fortress, or kill its habitants, they'd be dead. "Please unarm yourselves, if you are deemed safe then the weapons will be returned to you."
Yael nodded and stood with Lucious and Yaname. They were surrounded by soldiers who seemed to be at unease. The presence of a Dryad usually made humans a little uneasy. Dryads were considered a bit… rare. A Human, Dryad and Elf traveling together was almost unheard of. Yael nodded again and pulled up her skirt yanking the dagger from its holster and handing it to the nearest soldier. Lucious grumbled as he un sheathed his sword and handed it off too. Yaname put her bow on the ground and slid it over to the group. The soldiers collected the weapons and held them awkwardly.
Yael watched as an old man exited from the main fort. She waved off his bodyguards and a smile cracked out onto his old face as soon as he saw Yael.
"Yael the grand mage!" The old human said putting his arms up to greet Yael.
"Lord Geroy." Yael said giving the old man a bow. 'Grand mage?' She'd seen him years ago and she couldn't be called anything but lower than average as a mage. When she looked up from her bow she was collected into a hug by Geroy. He was wearing some type of fur coat that looked like it was mostly for show. The edges were lined in some sort of soft fur and the main cloak was dyed a royal red. He smiled at Yael as he released, squinting to see her properly. A Solider offered him a pair of thick lens glasses but he waved the man away.
"Now, now Yael don't give me that. I haven't seen you in years." Geroy ran his fingers trough his white hair that seemed to be slowly balding. "We're friends after all." He glanced around and spotted the confiscated weapons. "Return their bows and swords to them men." He ordered, the soldiers quickly moved to hand the weapons back. Yaname muttered thanks to one of the men and Lucious grabbed his sword back quickly. He didn't seem to like being without it. Geroy turned to Yaname who bowed and then to Lucious. He squinted at Lucious who looked a little uncomfortable at the old man's gaze.
"Hmm and who might you be boy?" Geroy asked. Lucious looked a little confused.
"Erm, Lucious." He muttered.
"Brother to Darren?" Geroy asked. He smiled and then turned back to Yael. "Where is that strapping young soldier?" He gave a open-mouthed smile that Yael couldn't return. She felt cold and stiff. Yael was frozen in place. Yaname stepped forward.
"There was an, unfortunate turn of events my lord." Yaname whispered she held the gaze of the old man and he seemd to understand.
"Ah… unfortunate." Geroy muttered he nodded twice shuffling around to head back in. "Anyway." He then said to Yael. "The past is the past eh? Lets get you three inside and warmed up?"