Mystique

By Devon Masterson

Incantation Eight

"What made her choose, Davila?" Lyle asked as they approached the city gates.

"This city was created by the elves themselves," Ihrie replied. "It's teaming with magical knowledge. Anyone who wanted to learn all there is could do it here."

"Elves actually existed?"

"They still exist," Ihrie corrected. "They're the spirits that give us magic. They gave up their bodies and now exist as essence."

"I didn't know that," he said thoughtfully. "I always imagined them to be like fairies when my mother would tell me stories about them." He flushed slightly. "I take it you studied here."

Ihrie nodded. "This is near where the old man found me." She balled her fist. This was where all the troubles started. "I've always hated this place. I haven't been back here in years."

"I'm sorry I brought it up," Lyle comforted then changed the subject slightly. "We need to come up with a plan."

"I'm fresh out of ideas," Ihrie sighed.

"Someone's coming towards us," Lyle said lowly. "A trap maybe?"

Ihrie nodded. "We better get ready. Just in case."

The man continued to walk towards them bearing his load. As he passed by, he tipped his hat and greeted. The two traveler sighed and continued on when the man paused. "You're that sorceress!"

Ihrie turned around quickly. "You must have me confused with someone

else."

The man shook his head and drew a weapon. "We've been warned about you.

You're not taking anymore of maidens and we won't let you keep deceiving the king here."

Lyle stepped in front of Ihrie. "Sir, this woman is not the evil sorceress that you are looking for."

The man lowered his head reverently. "No disrespect your highness, but you are under her spell. The Lady has informed us of that as well." He raised his weapon. "Stand

aside, your highness. I do not want to hurt you, but if it will free you and our maidens. I will."

"Then I guess I'll have to hurt you," Ihrie replied as she stepped out from behind Lyle. Moving quickly, she balled her fist and punched him in the face. She stood over the man's unconscious form. "I'm sorry." Lyle put his arm on her shoulder. Ihrie pulled away from him and leaned over the man to cover her burning cheeks. "Help me."

"What are we going to do about him?" Lyle asked as he help left the man onto the horse.

"We need to get off the road," she answered, "then we have to think of a plan to get into the city."

"Right," he agreed, "if this man recognized us then other certainly will."

"We need a disguise," she commented picking up the man's package. "And we need to do something about his memory. If we leave him somewhere, then people will come looking for him especially with a wicked sorceress kidnapping maidens." Ihrie rolled her eyes in annoyance.

"You're in no condition..." Lyle began.

"I'll be fine," she replied. "Besides we don't have another choice. I'll have to erase his memory of us and change our..."

Lyle shook his head. "No, there has to be another way. I am going to need you and we still have to rescue the others." Blue eyes met harden purple ones.

"I can use a potion to change our appearance," she sighed. "I am not very good at them, but I have to use a spell on his memory."

"Please be careful," he replied.

Hearing the concern in his voice was enough to make her melt. "I... we need to gather some things," she said shyly. She took a step back in an effort to stimulate clear thought.

Lyle smiled to himself seeing his effect on her. Was it possible that she felt the same way? "Ihrie...I...is there anything I can do to help?"

"I need ginger root and chameleon scales." She ticked of items on her hand. "The other ingredients, I will get myself."

"What about him?"

Ihrie looked toward the unconscious man. "We can leave him under the tree and then cast the spell. He'll think that he fell asleep in the shade."

Lyle nodded in agreement. "Then we'll meet back here in three hours." He lifted them man off the horse and leaned him against the tree then stood back.

Ihrie closed her eyes and she held her hands out in a v-shape. "Hear me Spirits of Time, let this man forget us by wiping his mind," Ihrie said lowly as she touched the man's forehead. A purple glow surrounded the man and he slipped from unconsciousness into a restful slumber.

"That's taken care of," she commented then stumbled into anticipating strong arms.

"Will you be okay?" he asked. He was trying not to worry; it was only annoying her. However, it was the only way to express his love at the moment. "When this is all over, I'm going to tell her."

"I'm fine," she replied reluctantly pulling away from him. When this was all over, she was never going to see him again. It was the least she could do. He did not need her and she would not be able to stand seeing him with someone else. It was better that way. "We better get going."

"Be careful."

"I will," she sighed. She wished that he trusted her a little more.

"I would like to accompany you, Ihrie." A smoky figure of a woman misted into their view.

"Is this another test?" Ihrie asked warily.

"Not of my design," she replied, "but having seen your heart, I wish to accompany you and assist if I can."

Lyle smiled. Though it was unusual, he liked the thought that she would not be scrounging around alone. He was curious about the fascination that the Truth Spirit had in Ihrie. "I think it's a good idea."

Obviously out voted, Ihrie waved her hand. "Let's go, we're burning daylight." She turned on her heel and headed deeper into the forest.

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L'Xanna smiled as an opportunity presented itself. Up until now Ihrie always had someone by her side and now Lyle was rummaging outside Davila by himself. She did not know why they separated, her magical mirror could not see into Davila because of the intense magical barriers. Why they separated did not really matter, though she figured that Ihrie started some sort of argument. She was good for such things, and the ragamuffin would not know how to behave in the presence of a king.

The real question was why Lyle was so interested in Ihrie. It boggled the mind. The dark haired woman was only fairly attractive, but her manners and decorum quickly destroyed that image. She was just unlikely for someone like him, but yet he was in love her.

The thought of them together really irritated L'Xanna. She stood to her feet and started to pace. Capturing him was not going to do any good, she could not make him love her and she was not willing to keep Ihrie around as a bargaining tool. Whatever plan, she came up with had to be final and on his own accord...at least he had to think that it was. She continuously paced the floor. It was when she caught sight of herself in the mirror that a plan to form in her mind. It was perfect and full of deception, just the way she liked it.

She pressed her hands to her chest and then pushed outward. "Spirits of deception heed my inflection, make them all see not their love, but their enemy and with this spell of deception I spin, turn their enemy into their friend." L'Xanna smiled as she looked into the mirror. She frowned slightly at her new reflection. Her new appearance was not that bad, nothing some make up and better clothes could not cure. Long dark purple locks graced back. She pulled on them and stared into the mirror from behind dark violet eyes. The dissatisfied facial expression was worn purely out of principle. Taking the face of her enemy was not part of the plan she wanted to play out, however if she wanted to win she had to be willing to do anything. "Now to test this out," she smiled.

==================

Ihrie grumbled as she began to gather the ingredients she needed for her potion. She would have rather cast a spell, but she knew that was out of question. Lyle just would not have it; not that she had strength to spare, but using a potion. Potions were the most archaic type magic there was. If it were not the fact that she came upon the concoction while cramming for another examination with L'Xanna, she would not even have that option. All of the potion's masters were dead and for a reason, a vial of fluid was not exactly handy in a fight. That was why the elves died out in the first place. Tree hugging and bottling got you nowhere, and now here she was going down the same stupid path.

"Something troubles you?" the spirit asked as she glided beside the dark haired girl. She looked down and inspected the specimen just before Ihrie put it away. "That renunculus root looks fine to me."

"What would you know about it?" Ihrie asked agitatedly.

"I am quite versed in potion making," the spirit answered.

"Figures," she mumbled. "And when were you going to mention this, before or after Lyle were killed by the villagers because I screwed this up."

"You underestimate yourself," the spirit replied. "I have seen your mind. I know what you are capable of and what you desire."

"Is that why you tried to get me to sacrifice myself?" she asked smirking. "Afraid I'll be a bad influence."

"On the contrary," the spirit answered, "your feelings are quiet obvious. It was Lyle that I was testing."

"What do you mean?" Ihrie asked balling her fist.

The spirit chuckled. "You still do not understand. There is so much power to your aura and yet you still do not under the stand the simplest…"

"Get to the point," Ihrie snapped as she moved on to the next item in her mental list.

"You mean to tell that you never noticed…" the spirit's sentence trailed as a bright light surrounded them and then dissipated. "This was unexpected."

"What just happened?" she asked looking down herself. Her clothing had changed. She was wearing a dress and cloak was draped over shoulders.

"You have been changed."

Ihrie frowned as she ran towards a small pond not far from them. She hated vague answers. "What the hell?" she yelled as she looked down at herself. Her clothes had indeed changed. Instead of her usual pants, shirt, and armor, she was wearing an elaborate crimson dress. It was the kind of outfit a lady would wear with a matching velvet cloak. How ever it was not the dress that set her off, but the flaming red hair that sprouted from her head and the green eyes that she now stared from behind. "That bitch," she screamed as she punched the water. Her new reflection rippled and Ihrie tore her eyes from it.

"What would she get out of turning me into her?" she wondered as she started to pace back and forth. She kicked her feet from underneath the long dress in agitation with each turn. "Lyle…" she whispered before breaking into a run. She had to get to him and warn him before L'Xanna did.

©2003 Devon Masterson

Another Bond Girl Blue Production

We all know who belongs to who…I own people who do not appear in the anime and everybody else belongs to someone who has money and will sue. I just do this for fun.