Disclaimer: I do not own Jyu-Oh-Sei or any characters from the series!

Deep in Your Heart

S.J.L.

The planet Chimera had changed since that day five years ago when the Ochre ring Top made his way to the Dagger Pagoda. The world had changed for the better and so much for the worst now that there was no guidance from the top of the elevator that reached to the heavens. However the structure stood to remind them of what once was…

Sarah stood at the edge of a cliff, a barrier between the barren desert and the forest of muses that had grown just days ago. Small domes were beginning to form from their growth, domes that lead to the former territory of the ochre ring. Knowing this all too well, Sarah took a deep breath and gracefully jumped from ledge to ledge down onto the soft soil of the planet that was now her home. Six years ago, she thought this place detestable. A new world was hard to get used to after all, however, there was no way to avoid that there was no way to get home. Let alone anywhere to call home.

Along her way to find a home amongst the savage world, she had heard of Thor, the 'Silver Hawk', six years ago. However, now he was apparently being called the Beast King from his triumph five years ago. Survivors of the tremors that happened afterwards called him a hero and savior and some called him a curse at first. Now, everyone strove to be near him and his tribe of people who were severely loyal from the stories she had heard.

The muses had slowed their growing now and held fountains of water that Sarah sought to drink from after traveling across the desert for five days. Her mahogany hair reached the middle of her shoulder blades and was thick with fine strands that shone in the sun. Holding her hair back with ivory hands as she drank, the water slipped onto her full lips and into her mouth with ease. Thinking that this should almost be illegal with how good it felt, she smiled and wiped her face as she rose up and continued on the winding trail that the muses created. Her dark blue eyes looked forward and observed for any activity amongst the branches both from plant and human kind. However, the humans scared her more. The plants were territorial but the humans were a wide range of different kinds of mental and physical health. The golden flecks of color in her eyes picked up the sun that shone through the muses leaves and made them seem almost green. Those eyes confused people, just as the rest of her did. How had she managed to survive on her own was anyone's guess, however, she claimed luck and talent with guessing how the plants were. Even though she wasn't born here, her skills as a fighter and someone who never ignored her gut feeling were invaluable to survive.

The walk was oddly quiet for many hours. Sarah wore simple clothing, a maroon tunic that reached her mid-thigh bordered with golden thread around the holes for her arms, hem and the neck that reached half way just below her vocal cords. Sleevless, she wore gloves that reached her elbows but left her fingers exposed to be able to feel better when doing more acrobatic stunts. Black tights covered her legs and beige boots covered her shins and calves with a slight thick heel. The outfit was light and hence made it easy to run when the time occurred.

With the open air being a tad humid, she reached into a small pouch on her belt across her waist that also held her two short swords crisscrossed behind her. Pulling out a small hair tie, she finger combed her hair into a pony tail and continued to walk into the muses. The days would be long but they were going to be coming to an end in about a month. The nights were a nightmare and almost dying because of them six times was six times too many.

Sensing movement, she stopped and looked around. The plants weren't acting odd, that meant a human. "Tsh," she breathed through her teeth before mumbling under her breath, "I would have preferred the plants." Straightening up a bit, she sighed and yelled firmly and calmly, "Look, whoever you are, I come just to find a tribe to live in for the nights." Seeing nothing move, she sighed again a bit more agitated and continued to walk with her guard up.

"Can I come with you?" a small voice came from behind her. Startled by the closeness of the young girl behind her, she turned and yelped slightly. The girl looked to be about twelve with blonde hair and brown eyes. Her skin was olive looking and if she had the right personality, she could be seen as a bit more of a threat of some sort. Her clothes were dirty tan bermuda shorts and a coral tee shirt that also had seen better days. Her hair was short, in level with the middle of her jaw bone, curving out her square shaped face that she seemed to be growing into.

Sarah looked her over and wondered how she got here all by herself. Especially since the muses had only slowed their growing earlier that day. With no shoes and dirty feet, she must had done a lot of running, Sarah reasoned. Smirking and crossing her arms under her full breasts she bent down to be eye level with the young girl. Not that she had to bend far, just a couple inches.

"Are you alone?" Sarah asked quietly and cautiously. Knowing that men took advantage of helpless girls to easier kill people was sickening and she hoped this wouldn't be the case. Usually no one killed a woman but the mad men were still out there. The girl nodded and when Sarah saw no sign of a lie or deceit, she asked a bit louder, "So what's your name?"

"Clarisa," she said with a small shy smile.

"Well, Clarisa, how would you like to meet the Beast King?" Sarah wanted to make this journey not only to seek shelter but to also see this mythical man who was said to be more beautiful that women fawned over him during the month of joining. Curiosity was always a weakness.

Clarisa's eyes lit up like the sun when Sarah mentioned this piece of information. Apparently she had heard of the Beast King's rumors. Sarah laughed a bit and then with a closed smile held out her hand. "Let's go, the forest and anything else in it won't like it if we stay one place too long."

Nodding, Clarisa took her hand and they walked in a pleasant silence. The walk would take three days at least. Sarah just hoped this girl had some sort of stamina to keep up.

Day four had come and was almost gone before Sarah found Clarisa to be slowing down. Four days and all she had gained was her name. Whenever Sarah would ask a question, there would be no verbal answer but simply looking down and avoiding eye contact for a while. Deciding it was something personal and nothing to do with her, Sarah just let it go and stopped after day two. However, it was starting to eat at her. Given, she didn't release any of her information but it was simply because the girl had not asked a single question. Trusting too much would kill you in this world… Sarah knew that all too well.

"So," Sarah started to ask knowing she wouldn't get any answer as they stopped for a water break amongst the vine path, "You know where this place is?"

Clarisa simply shook her head before bringing her cantine up to her lips for a small drink of water. Sarah had to hand it to the kid, she was smart about survival. Careful about the water even though there was virtually a limitless supply surrounding them. Take advantage of luxuries and people grew used to them… that was her thought on everything in this world. Luckily she had learned her lesson before a couple days were up when she arrived here.

"Where what is?" a deeper female voice asked behind them.

The woman had short black hair and a seemingly artificial leg from above the knee down on her right leg. Wearing a tunic about the same length as Sarah's, it was easy to tell. The days were hot and covering it up seemed more like a pain than anything. Clarisa went behind Sarah as soon as she saw the gun that the woman held. Looking at the child in confusion, she followed Clarisa's line of sight and held her hands up. Sarah was on guard but the woman didn't look like she wanted a fight. More than likely she wouldn't win anyway.

With a small smirk, the woman set the gun on her shoulder so the barrel was facing behind her. "My name is Chen, I saw you while on look out and couldn't help but want to know what you were doing here."

Sarah didn't care that she had been watched, only one thought crossed her mind. "We're close then… close to where the Beast King is?" Her eyes lit up slightly. If they were close she wanted to waste no time. But she had no idea why her mind was reacting this way. As if some force was pulling her towards the man she had never met before.

"Just about an hour with my legs and so I presume much shorter with yours. Hard to tell with these things around," she said gesturing to the muses all around them. "He doesn't like to be called that though. Thor is his name."

"Thor," she repeated as if feeling how it felt across her tongue. A small chuckle came out threw her mouth as she smirked. "Well, I'm Sarah and this is Clarisa. We're looking for shelter for the nights to come."

"Food is scarce, think you can handle not eatting a lot of food?" Chen asked seriously putting her hand that wasn't on the gun on her hip.

"I think we've been doing good so far," Sarah countered raising an eyebrow. "If we're too much trouble then you can point us in some other direction." Hoping that wouldn't be the case though, she used all her will power not to cross her fingers. A silly habit that still made no sense to her. However, Clarisa seemed to be nervous with this exchange and glanced at both women as they spoke.

"Alright, I'll show you to our home but if you're too much trouble to bother with, you're out," Chen said lowering her gun so it pointed to the ground and turned, leading them to their prospective home. Sarah had no idea what to expect but she did know that this Thor would be someone to be reckoned with one way or another. And without any more words, Clarisa and Sarah followed Chen to the old Ochre ring fortress.

Author's Note: Let me know how you like it. I'm thinking about going first person after this just because I like that kind of style more often but I wanted to try and get the feel for the setting first here. I love feedback, even just a little bit. I haven't written fanfiction in a long time and want to get back into the groove of things so please don't be shy.