A/N: First off I'd like to thank MaxRide14 for reviewing. She's an awesome chicky, and incase you couldn't tell, she's the girl the character Max is based off of in this fic. She's awesome. Check out her stories! I also want to give a HUGE shout out to AccessBlade! My goodnessss! Spam me with reviews, why don't yah? x_x You, my friend, are AWESOME. :D
I really hoped I was walking in the right direction. Traveling at night had gotten my already horrible sense of direction all mixed up. I was still relatively sure I was going the right way, but there was that little strand of doubt in the back of my mind. Oh well. If I was going in the wrong direction, I'd find out this evening. That's when Myst said I should get there.
I was really starting to wish I had had the forethought to bring a hair elastic with me. It was incredibly hot out, and my long, thick, dark hair was not helping to cool me off. I swept it all to one shoulder, fanning the bare side of my neck with my hand. I'd kill for some water right now. I hadn't yet gotten around to checking out what was in the backpack Myst gave me, so I decided to do it now.
I sat on the ground, and placed the faded grey backpack in front of me. I unzipped it, and found a treasure trove. The backpack contained several things, including a container of berries, a wrapped up leg of the same meat he had given me yesterday, a compass- which would do me no good since I don't know how to use one, and bless his soul! Two bottles of water!
I hastily pulled the cap of one up and gulped it down. I stopped when I was about half way through, deciding I should save the rest, in case I was heading in the wrong direction.
I had just slung the backpack over my shoulder, when a loud, high-pitched animal scream made me jump.
"What the hell?" I cried. I placed my hand on my chest, feeling my heart beat frantically.
Whatever had screamed was now whimpering. It was close by. I was torn between going to check it out and possibly helping, or preserving my own life, and running away.
As I stupidly stood there, debating on what I should do, I realized the crying had stopped. Guilt ripped through me, as I processed the fact that animal was probably now dead because I was too big a coward to do anything.
I had only taken a couple of steps forward, when more agonizing cries rang out, successfully scaring me out of my wits... again. I stopped and turned to face the direction the sound was coming from. To rescue the poor thing I'd have to enter the forest, and I knew if I did that, I'd most likely forget which direction to travel in.
Kira's words suddenly echoed in my mind. 'Hah, some Spider Rider you are!'. Fury ran through me, and I was seized with adrenaline. I marched into the forest with new found confidence (or stupidity).
I followed the sounds of the whimpering, becoming aware of a new sound, that got louder the closer I became. It was a disgusting sound; one that sent a shiver down my spine. It was the sound of something feeding. My pace slowed as terror slowly washed over me. What was I doing? I was just a girl. Sure, I may be a Spider Rider, but I didn't have a Spider. I was useless. I couldn't do anything to help.
Nevertheless, my feet still moved forward, even when I willed them not to. I stopped when I reached a cave that was burrowed into the side of a steep hill. There was no mistaking it; the sounds were coming from in there. I gulped fearfully, and entered the beast's lair.
Nothing could have prepared me for the gruesome sight that I'd find at the end of the cave. My eyes were wide with horror when I first stumbled upon the creature. It was a deep purple color, while it's face and underbelly was silver, with black lines running around the edge of its body. There was a black lightning bolt shape on its lower back. Scattered all around it were bloody carcass' and bones of once living animals. Strings of webs were everywhere; on the floor, hanging from the corners of the cave and on the cavern ceiling.
I had hidden behind a large, web covered boulder, some ways away from the Spider. I leaned against the rock and peeked around it to see it better, but had immediately regretted it. Not only had the Spider spotted me, letting out a deep, guttural growl, but my back had touched a clump of Spider web, and now I was stuck.
I was astonished by the Spider's speed. Within seconds, it was upon me. I cried out in fear, and flinched when it spoke.
"Human!" It was a female spider, that much I could tell. "Why have you come here?"
I opened my mouth to speak, but all that came out was an inaudible squeak.
"Answer me!" She boomed, slashing my arm with her pincers.
I cried out in pain. "I.. I don't know!" I stammered, my heart racing. Luckily I couldn't see the wound because of my sleeve, or I might have fainted. I'm pretty squeamish.
The Spider was cut off by a sword hurtling in her direction. She lept away from me in time to dodge, and I almost fainted when the sword bounced off the rock, an inch from my head.
"Leave her alone." A voice sounded from the shadows. A figure appeared from the darkness, he approached me and picked up his sword. His face was covered by the hood of his black cloak, so I couldn't make out his features.
The Spider hissed at the man. "Are you one of them?" She roared in anger, before charging at him.
I thought for sure he was a goner. The Spider moved like lightning. But he dodged her with ease.
"No, I am not. Peace, Spider. I do not mean to harm you. If that was my intention, you would have died by my sword when I first arrived. I only meant to stop you from hurting the girl." He explained, lowering his sword.
"Liar!" She cried. "How can I trust you, after all the wrong your kind has done?"
"I can see my words hold no grounds, with you. Perhaps a friend of mine can convince you." He said. Throwing his left arm in the air, he called, "Spider out!"
There was a bright flash of light, and a Spider much larger than any I've seen appeared. It was mainly white, with an ice blue face and underbelly, with gold trimmings.
"Shiva," The man said. "This Spider believes I mean her harm."
The white Spider, Shiva, turned to look at the other. "Ah, Zalia... Still as reckless and headstrong as always..." He said in a deep, humorless tone.
"M-Master Shiva!" The other Spider, Zalia, exclaimed. "What are you doing in the presence of humans? They are our enemies... Isn't that what you always taught us?"
"No, you have mistaken my teachings. Not all of these humans have dark souls. The humans in the east, such as my partner, are throwing their lives away to fight against the evil ones." Shiva explained. "When I left Tortun in charge of the clan, so I could journey across the land, my one goal was to seek out the help of the so called eastern Spider Riders. I found my partner, and he gladly accepted the task. He assembled a group of four others, and I used my powers to call upon four other spiders-"
"Skye, Emerald, Rion, Drago, Tenma..." Zalia interrupted quietly. "That's where they went? They disappeared without a trace... We thought maybe... the Dark Ones had..." She trailed off.
Shiva was quiet for a moment. "I did not call upon Tenma... He disappeared?"
"Yes, the same night the others did... You're sure you didn't...?"
"I'm positive. He might have seen the others leave, and tried to follow them... Though, they have never mentioned anything of the sort... That is troublesome. I will speak to them when we return to Arachna Kingdom." Shiva decided.
"Excuse me, 'we'?" Zalia repeated.
"Yes, 'we'."Shiva nodded. "You and your partner will accompany us to Arachna Kingdom. Perhaps we can get to the bottom of Tenma's disappearance."
"But, Master, I do not have a partner..." Zalia said quietly.
"Then who is that human girl?" Shiva said, turning to face me.
"I do not know her! She trespassed onto my territory. I was just about to do away with her, when-"
"I'm glad I arrived when I did, then." The hooded man spoke arrogantly. "Saved you from making the mistake of killing your own battle partner."
Zalia growled at him, then turned on me. "You!" She roared, causing me to flinch again.
"M-Me?" I stammered.
"Are you a Rider?" She demanded.
I held my manacle in front of me. "Yes..." I said quietly.
Zalia went quiet. She just stared at me. It made me feel a bit uncomfortable, and I blushed.
"Well, that settles that, then." Shiva said, breaking the silence. She is your partner... You can't disagree after seeing that manacle. You will accompany us to Arachna Kingdom, yes?"
"I guess..." Zalia grumbled. I got the sense that she knew she had no choice but to accept me as her Rider.
The hooded man walked over towards me, and pointed his sword at me. The color in my face drained, as I awaited the pain to come. Instead, he slashed at the webs that had me stuck against the rock.
"Not very bright, are you?" He chuckled, removing his hood. He had dark skin, and dark eyes. His hair was black, and shaggy enough that it fell in his eyes. He was very handsome, I had to admit. He held his hand out to help me up.
I glared at him and ignored his offer to help. I hoisted myself up and walked over to Zalia. "I'm plenty bright, thank you very much!" I said angrily.
"Right... That's why you were stuck to a rock." He said, rolling his eyes. "I'm Damon, by the way."
I stuck my tongue out at him immaturely, which he raised an eyebrow at in return.
"How far is Arachna Kingdom?" Zalia asked, ignoring the two of us.
"Not very far at all," Damon answered. "About three or four hours, on Spider."
"Excuse me?" Zalia howled. "I am NOT letting that puny girl hitch a ride on me!"
"Who are you calling puny?" I said in outrage.
Damon smirked. "Your Spider knows you so well..." He frowned. "What's your name?"
"Kana." I huffed. I didn't care how cute this guy is. He was on my list. And my list is not somewhere you wanted to be. He would feel my wrath.
"Enough of this nonsense." Shiva said impatiently. "Let's go."
Damon said nothing, but hopped onto his Spider. Shiva walked away, leaving Zalia and I alone.
I looked at Zalia, unsure of what to do.
"Eat dirt." Zalia spit at me, following Shiva out.
I sighed. Maybe Damon would let me ride Shiva with him. I followed them out, glad to finally be on my way. I was almost there. Today's events confused me, but I'd have time to get the full story later. For now, I just needed to focus on getting to Arachna Kingdom.
A/N: Well... That is not at all how I planned this chapter to go. :\ I had planned for Kana to meet Zalia in this chapter, but I hadn't planned for them to become partners until the chapter after next. Oh well. I'll just roll with this. XD The whole Spider Clan thing wasn't in my original plan for this chapter either, but I figured now was as good a time as any to implement it.
Oh, just a head's up; next chapter is going to be kind of different than the norm... You'll see what I mean. XD
How do you guys like Zalia, Damon, and Shiva? Feedback is always nice. Review please. :)