Chapter 6- The Natives

Rays of sunlight touched Maka's face, her nose wrinkled and her eyelids drooped further down her eyes to keep the invading light away. The sound of birds hammered in her ears and echoed to her head, which was already pounding with pain. Waves—like she was near an ocean—touched her feet, and when she shifted them away from the tickling sensation, the sand underneath her shifted into her loose clothing.

Her head turned to the side and a yawn forced her mouth open. She sputtered when she tried to swallow, finding her throat extremely dry and filled with sand. She rolled onto her stomach and stretched her limbs out.

Slowly, her green eyes slid open, the sun now directly on the back of her head, they adjusted with much more ease than her first attempt. She gazed down either side of the beach, and found it endless. In front of her there was a dense forest with tall trees that rivaled the height of the buildings in Death City. The forest was bright with life, birds flutter around the trees in hysteria, their calls barely audible from where Maka laid in the sand.

She pushed herself into a sitting position and cupped her hand over her eyes as she swiveled around to look at the ocean behind it. It was vast, just like the corresponding beach. The sun was just seeing over the gently rolling waves. Seaweed littered the coming in waves.

Maka jumped to her feet and backpedaled away from a rather large wave, it crashed at her feet with a roar, getting her bare legs wet. The tips of her skirt, already torn and dirtied, were now wet and uncomfortable as well.

Sighing in aggravation and confusion, she started towards the forest. If anyone there was going to be any intelligible life around here, she figured it would be hidden away in the woods, not in the steaming sand.

She found her body to be sore, and clothes ragged and destroyed. She couldn't quite remember how she got here, or why she was so disheveled but she did know one thing.

She was no longer in Death City.

A thin branch dragged across her face roughly. Grimacing, she pushed it away irritably, only for it to smack her again. Swearing to herself she pushed through the thick brush, sweat beaded up on her forehead, and when she wiped it away with the back of her wrist, she saw blood there as well. "Damn it." She hissed through clenched teeth.

The sun had almost disappeared, but the humidity was still extremely trying on her tired body. The forest was harder to get through than she initially thought, branches grabbed at her clothes and skin, ripping away at her like claws. It was practically dark in the forest now, so she couldn't fend the nuisances off, and instead decided on trudging her way through the grown-in woodland without regard for her wellbeing.

Her steps were light, and her breaths labored. Her ears aware of her surroundings and responding to every sound she heard. Weaving through a particularly thorny bush, she paused, her whole body going ridged in alertness. Squinting, her eyes strained to see in the darkness in front of her. Her body jerked backwards in shock when she heard another series of louder foot falls to her left.

She ducked into the thorn bush, ignoring the pain that shot up her arms and legs. Through a gap in the bush she noticed two small flames moving through the foliage in sync with the foot falls. They moved much more gracefully though the thick shrub layer of the forest than she had.

"Ego sententia Audivi quispiam super hic," A male voice echoed in a language she didn't understand. The footfalls came closer to her crouched form, and she ducked into the bush further, letting it shield her from the fire light a couple meters away from her, "Insisto mihi."

"Stop that, why do you insist on using that tongue anyway?" The other voice was much gruffer than the other and sounded more like a growl than a question.

Eyes wide, Maka's hands fisted at her side. The footsteps were a couple feet away from her now, and if they took another step they would surely step on the bush she was hiding in.

Much to her relief the one who was talking in a different language paused. She watched as his bare feet—illuminated by the dim fire light he carried—swiveled to face the other guy walking slowly behind.

"I do it so oafs like you don't forget how to speak the language of the gods." He snapped angrily, the fire becoming brighter. "Now are we going to search for whatever your partner sent us out to investigate or are we going to argue?"

The other guy came to a stop next to the angry one. Maka inhaled quietly and held her breath, hoping that the two bickering boys wouldn't hear her labored breaths.

"Operor vos nidor ut?" The man ignored the others question and continued in the other tongue. Despite his bored tone, his words were spoken with enthusiasm.

The boy who seemed to be leading the 'investigation' paused, his breath hitching a bit before he answered. "Etiam , Is nidor amo Somes nidor. Suus vere propinquus quoque."

Before she could react the bush was parted by callused hands and the full shine of the fire blinded her. Both men gasped in unison. She crawled backwards on her hands in feet in panic. When her back hit the trunk of a tree she used it to get herself on two legs. Before the men could react, she was running in the opposite direction as fast as her feet would take her. Her arms were extended her front of her, mapping out her steps a second before she took them.

"Exspecto!" The man with the smooth voice shouted after her. The sound of crunching leaves following her every step. Her veins pulsed with adrenaline; her hands coming in contact with a large tree seconds before she ran into it face first. "Haud postulo ut run , nos won't vulnero vos!"

She scaled along the wide trunk of the tree hurriedly, and when she found the end, she quickly ducked behind it and raced off to her right. Looking over her shoulder she blanched at how close they were to her. One more slip up like the tree would be too costly; she had to run fluidly and uninterrupted to successfully ditch them.

So, she changed direction once more, ducking into a vast amount of tall undergrowth she veered in the direction she thought to be towards the beach. If she could just make it there, she could run without worries of brush and thorns.

If only she had picked a different time to turn though.

She struggled, the vines of the shrub wrapping around her ankles and tripping her up. She thrashed around, ripping at the vines with pointed fingers in frustration. Finally, she got her foot free and dove to the side just as the two men barreled into the thicket after her. She crawled in the opposite direction hastily.

Lucky for her, the men's fire had gone out. So she had a little more of an advantage. Now if only she could avoid making so much noise, she would be golden. She stopped dead in her tracks when a vine looped around her neck, and gagged when tightened around her bare skin, choking her air supply off abruptly. She ripped the offending vine away and threw in to the side angry.

In that moment of hesitation, a warm hand clutched around her throbbing ankle roughly. She could feel the man's fingers burning into her skin with the tightness of his hold on her. Panicking, she flipped onto her back, groaning at the pop sound her ankle made at the awkward position. She kicked out with her free foot and connected with something hard.

The man's grip loosened enough for her to pull her foot away. Without wavering for a second she resumed her escape route. She rolled to the side just in case on of the men made another grab for her and righted herself to her hands and knees again. She no longer had a sense of direction and was reduced to crawling around aimlessly.

Her knees scrapped on the rocky ground, and soon, the vines were becoming less dense. She moved to a standing position and started to run again. Her breathing was heavy and she couldn't hear much over it. Slowing her steps she paused momentarily, and was greeted by silence.

Glorious silence. No foot steps behind her, no heavy breathing besides her own. She was alone. But, for safety measures she snuck forward, her hands level at her sides searching for something large. When she came in contact with another tree, not nearly as large as the other, she sighed in respite and circled around it. She sat down, leaning her back on the base and closed her tired eyes. Her hear beat was way to rapid to be even remotely healthy and the about of sweet on her brow was obscene. Her hand traveled across the hard ground in search for some type of weapon, her hand came in contract with a rock, smooth and hard. She picked it up, the weight reassuring in her hand and set it in her lap. Next to her she felt a bush, less thorny than the first one and more, leafier than the other. She scooted towards the bush slowly for more cover.

A rustling of nearby bushes made her eyes shoot open, her head snapped to sound a couple seconds too late. A large blade zipped by and stuck into the wood of the tree a couple centimeters away from her head. Muffling a surprised cry with her arm she spun onto her feet and staggered away from the blade. Before she could turn to run her back hit hard flesh, hot hands clamped down on her shoulders.

Screaming, her hand flew over her head, the rock clenched tightly in her fist. She jammed it into the offending man's face and pulled away from him. Growling when his grip on her shoulders only tightened she smashed the rock into his fingers, digging in to them mercilessly. He shrieked and pulled his fingers away. "Proditus snake!" He snarled in her ear harshly.

She jerked away from him and wobbled backwards, just barely squeezed by the tree she'd been resting against a couple mere seconds ago. Before she could really break out running, another body seemingly came out of nowhere. She spun out to a stop and scarcely dodged the man's hand. She elbowed him in the back and pushed him into the tree with the momentum her body had worked up.

Thinking quickly she sprinted off towards the bush she'd been inspecting and dove into it, crawling through its expanse. Blindly searching for another rock to jam into someone's face, she swallowed another scream as the shadow of a hand stuck into the bush directly in front of her face, missing the tip of her bangs by inches. She bent low to the ground and crawled backwards, out of the bush.

She stood and tip toed away. She didn't even make it five steps before a branch snapped underneath her aching foot. Her ankle muscles contracted forcing a hiss of pain to slip from between clenched teeth, just as a cloth covered hand curved around her mouth and nose, an odd smell dominating her senses. Unexpectedly, there was a burst of heat and light at her left shoulder. The man's arm grazed her neck as he extended it in front of her.

Her vision blurred in and out of focus, but before she completely blacked out from the fumes she was being forced to inhale she noticed two extremely strange things about this situation and the two men that had successfully captured her.

One, the man who was holding the soaked cloth to her face hand was on fire, and he wasn't freaking out or flailing it in pain.

And two, the other man who was standing by the bush she'd just crawled out from underneath had piercing red eyes that glittered brightly in the dim light the fire provided.

Then, she could no longer stay awake, and she was wisped away to dream world.

Her body bounced, like she was riding on some sort of animal's back. Her head hurt like she'd just drank a whole keg of alcohol and her limbs felt like she just ran a 5k marathon around Death City. Something was seriously wrong. Slowly, feeling started to spread through her limp limbs and along came awareness not soon after. Her cheek was pressed up against warm, bare flesh, and there was something holding her legs onto whatever she was riding.

"Quis es nos iens efficio per suus?" The thing carrying her spoke softly, his voice low as if he were avoiding waking her.

"Addo suus tergum ut Rector, obviously." Another man answered in gibberish.

All her prior memories hit her like a brick. She remembered running through the woods in attempt to elude crazy forest people. A man with a flaming hand holding some sort of cloth, soaked in Shinigami knows what. Another man standing a couple feet away with stunning red eyes.

Soul's eyes. A little voice in her head whispered, and with that, her eyes snapped open. Her head lifted off what happened to be a man's shoulder blade. The first thing her eyes focused on was the little bit of brightness filtering through the dense canopy and barely lighting their path in a soft glow.

The second thing was the mass of white hair tied in a low pony tail at the nape of her capturer's neck and traveled the length of his back. Absently, she wondered if it hurt to have her leaning on the smooth locks.

"Crap! She's awake!" The man said urgently, his arms tightening around her legs to keep her from escaping.

As much as she wanted to struggle, she found her limbs to be jelly and her head crashed back down onto his shoulder.

"Operor non fatigo , sero ego emanio in tela est a sedative. She'll exsisto asleep iterum in haud vicis." The other man spoke, his tone was arrogant, as if he were bragging about something.

"If you say so." The man carrying her seemed a little hesitant to believe her, but, nonetheless, he loosened his hold on her. She felt sleep ebbing away at her vision again, and with a yawn she hit at the man's shoulder, whimpering to herself in desperation.

"Let me go." She whispered, almost to herself. The man sighed, and lowered his head.

"I don't think that would be a great idea." He turned his head to her and appraised her tired features with hooded eyes. Before hers slid shut, she saw a flash of familiar sharp teeth and a large bruise encircling his bright eyes in the shape of a bare foot. Then her eyes floated shut again, and a spiral of gray clouds sucked her into another dreamless sleep.

I do not own Soul Eater.

I'm sorry I haven't updated in such a long time, but I had the PSAT test to study for and I've been sick off and on throughout the two weeks I've missed. I can't write for crap when I'm sick.

Oh, and yes, my updates will be like this more often. I'm sorry, but school comes first, so if I have a lot of homework, then I'm not writing this story until I finish it. But, you can always count on the updates being on a MONDAY!

A shout out to a certain freshman in my drawing class:

Spirit: Stein, he... when I was asleep, he... performed his sadistic experiments on my body!... For FIVE YEARS! AND I NEVER NOTICED!

Spirit: makamakamakamakamaka!

Ok, I'm done.