Chapter One

Vexx woke to the feel of a soft hand on his cheek. He opened his eyes and saw a dark blonde-haired girl with ice-blue eyes staring down at him. He quickly got up and ignored the searing pain through his body as he looked ready to fight. She narrowed her eyes at him. The confused Valdar stopped and realized that he was in his underwear. He felt his cheeks burn red. The girl cautiously handed him a folded up piece of clothing. His tunic had been patched up and apparently lengthened to fit him better; the same with his boots and tights. Vexx slipped on his clothes and saw a plate of food pushed towards him. He looked up at her and saw her eyes that had a hint of vain hopefulness.

He angrily shoved it away, despite his growling stomach. My name is Marin. He looked up at her angrily and turned his head. She leaned in closer to him. Aren't you going to tell me yours? You have a name, don't you? Vexx looked away and ignored her.

The truth was, he didn't remember his name. The only way he could recall anything about himself was the amulet that had his grandfather's essence in it. He knew he was on the brink of insanity and his grandfather's essence in that amulet was the only thing keeping him sane. His grandfather meant everything to him and he disappeared like that before his eyes. Vexx's eyes widened. The amulet, it wasn't around his neck. He quickly stood up and felt the blood rush to his head as he fell to his knees. Vexx remembered the wounds he had. They hurt like hell, but he didn't care, he wanted to know where the amulet was. His blue eyes narrowed at the girl named Marin.

Where is my amulet? She just blinked. He shook her angrily. Where is it?

I don't know what you're talking about! She shook her head and Vexx saw her clutching something close to her chest. He forced her to open her hands and saw the amulet that had previously been around his neck in her dainty, yet seemingly over-worked hands.

You liar! You tried to steal my amulet! He snatched it back and let out a low growl. The thief named Marin just sat down and wrapped her arms around her knees. Vexx saw that her feet were bare and filthy and looked like they had been over-used. There was dirt beneath her toenails, dried mud around the edges, and her toenails looked like they hadn't seen a clean place in years, and if they had, it wasn't clean for long. Her clothes were torn and raggedy with patches and looked like she had worn the dress for at least six years, her hands had grime all over, and her hair had twigs and debris all in it. She was just a mess all over. He almost felt pity for her. Almost. She looked at her feet and Vexx saw the disappointment on her filth-covered face.

She was covered in filth, but that didn't keep her from showing the glimpse of feminine beauty she had. Her eyes stuck out through the mess of hair. I'm sorry. It interested me and I've never had anything valuable or attractive in appearance as that amulet. I wanted something nice. Vexx glared at her, obviously not taking her apology. Marin felt tears run down her face and she quickly wiped them away, not wanting him to seem weak in front of him.

I can't remember my name. I hardly know anything about me. I remember that I was stuck here for seven years. It's been so long. He just stood up and walked away. Marin got to her feet, not wanting to be left alone, but he didn't look too eager to be around her. The scared girl ran up to him. How did you get here? Marin stopped abruptly. She hadn't a clue how she had gotten there. Come to think of it, she hadn't really had a clue about anything really. Her mind seemed to be wiped. All she remembered was her name. The lost girl shrugged. Vexx growled. Great, my only chance of escape is wiped away by some shmuck in rags. How can you not know how you got here?

I don't remember. I can't remember much. Honest!

But you remember that you've never had anything nice?

I said much. Besides, you can't even remember your own name! She looked away sadly, knowing that she looked like an idiot. I didn't have to save you! I could've let you die! She stood up and stormed over to the corner of the cave and crossed her arms, obviously hurt. Vexx sighed and rolled his eyes.

Thank you for not leaving me out there to die. I do owe you that much. Vexx nervously put his hand on her shoulder. He was never any good with words. He had been in the Shadowrealm for seven years and the only other beings in there were a bunch of Shadowcreeps. He didn't know manners or anything about being a gentleman to girls, or anything about girls for that matter. Apparently they were never pleased. And attracted to jewelry. Marin sighed as she ran her fingers through her hair. She knew that in order to even find a chance of getting out, she would have to work with him, but by the looks of the stubborn Valdar, he didn't want to be anywhere near her. He ran out of the cave and started attacking Shadowcreeps as the filthy Valdar girl had her back turned.

Images of others being slashed with a whip flashed in her head as the Shadowcreeps shreiked. Her eyes closed tightly and as they opened, they were red. She shook her head and they went back to the blue they were. No. Not now. She turned around to see the strange man-child enjoying life as he sliced at the creatures. As Vexx came back in, wiping sweat off his forehead with a smirk, he sat down in front of her. Marin's angry frown wiped the smirk off his face. Apparently girls were no fun, either. He huffed and groaned.

So how are we gonna get back? You don't even remember how you got here. Marin sighed and tried to remember. She snapped her fingers and pulled out a book.

I had a spell in here and at the point I had material components for it. Where was it? She flipped to a page and smiled. Vexx looked confused because the writing was a language he didn't understand. Marin seemed to understand it perfectly.

I'm sorry about the way I acted. I'm just not used to being around other people. Especially females. And you're so beautiful...ly annoying.

I'm annoying? I'm trying to find a way out! Plus, it's useless. We need something that would come from our destination. Grass, dirt, a rock... She closed the book angrily and let out a growl. Marin groaned, rubbing her head. There was a bump on her head that hurt to the touch. The girl looked back at the strange boy. Let's go. Anywhere but here is safe. She walked ahead of him as she put the book into her satchel. Vexx rolled his eyes and hit his palm against his forehead.

Beautifully annoying? Nice save, moron. Stupid! The hero let out an exasparated sigh and followed after her. As they walked, he looked at his Taloned fingers and picked his ear. Vexx sniffed his armpit. Did you...bathe me? Marin stopped and turned around to stare at him, ignoring her red cheeks.

You stank. He furrowed his eyebrows as she turned around and continued walking.

Impressed? He put his hands on his hips and smiled smugly.

At the fact that you've survived this long without food? Yes. He slouched angrily.

You know, that counts as sexual harassment! I could kill you for that!

Are you going to? He blinked and held his stomach as it growled. The hungry Valdar sat down and wrapped his arms around his stomach as hunger pangs started to win over him. Marin rolled her eyes and took off her satchel. She threw a bread roll at him and sat down, too. Vexx took a greedy bite out of it and swallowed it without chewing.

Wait, you said that you needed something from your destination. What the hell did you have from the Shadowrealm? Marin stopped chewing on her food and blinked. She had remembered finding the book on a pedestal. Her destination wasn't the Shadowrealm. It was her home village. She had remembered a sorcerer shooting a countercurse at her.

They sent me here.

Who? Marin didn't say anything. She just went back to eating her food. It wasn't much food, or the greatest, but it was all she could grab before they had found her. Vexx just eyed her suspiciously and went back to eating the bread. It was stale. He didn't understand why she was helping him or why he was even following her. He really wished he could remember his name. Marin would probably give him some pet name to work with until they found it out. As if she read his mind, Marin stopped and turned around.

How will I talk to you? I don't know your name. Vexx blinked. How the hell was he supposed to know what to call himself? He hardly knew how old he was. The confused man-child shrugged with sincere confusion. It was almost humorous to look at. Marin just groaned and tried to think. He noticed that when she thought, her thickened eyebrows furrowed, her lip was out, and she always tapped her head as if that would help. As she was thinking, he saw a Shadowcreep roaming around. As the girl who seemed to be stuck in thought turned her back, he snuck away to chase after the Shadowcreep. The hero was about to attack the Shadowcreep, he was yanked away by the back of his tunic. Once he turned around, he was met with the stern face of Marin, who had her eyebrows furrowed in such a way that her shining blue eyes seemed scary. His ears drooped as she angrily pointed over to a carpet. He grouchily slumped over to it and sat down.

Marin got on it and the carpet floated in mid-air. The startled Valdar hero grabbed onto the edge as the carpet moved forward. Marin smirked as she zoomed on the carpet and Vexx gripped it tighter, hoping not to fall. She was moving quickly on purpose. Vexx smacked her across the head to let her know of his disapproval. She just growled and shoved him. As he stumbled and fell back, he grabbed the carpet, so he wouldn't fall off. The carpet tilted and spun down. The two Valdani fell out of the sky and onto the ground. Vexx fell on his back and held his head, rubbing the wound on his head that he now had. Marin came tumbling after, landing hard on his gut.

Oh, Jesus, you're heavy! He groaned as he coughed.

Ow...Are you alright? Marin rolled off of him.

I'd be much better if your knee hadn't landed in my crotch. The young mage blinked and looked at her comrade as he held the area between his legs. She rolled her eyes and groaned as she saw the torn up carpet and walked over to it, cursing.