Hey you all! I'm back! I'm soooo glad to be back! For this once I'm going to update on a Wednesday for I'm going on a trip to Luxemburg for a few days! I'm sooooooo looking forward to having some fun seeing all that happened. Regarding that matter I want to thank you all for your best wishes, and I'm glad to say that my Bro's getting better! It didn't look all too good, but he made it through and is now on the right track back to his former self! XD Anyway I'll try to update every Friday (for as far as I can ^^")! But now, without further ado, onto the story! XD

Disclaimer: I do not own The Last Story

Chapter Eight: The Roots of Adventure part three.

The sky, though clear and blue, seemed ominous to Mirania as she overlooked the sea. The lands had disappeared from sight a few hours earlier, and both her companions and seamen were falling into a peaceful rhythm.

From the corner of her eye she noticed Yurick overlooking the sea charts along with the captain, nodding in approval as the latter explained the route they'd be following over the following three days.

He looked up, his eye piercing into hers in one vanishing moment as she looked away. More than often did her mind, or eyes wander off to him, though she knew things just couldn't stay peaceful for long. Deep inside she felt a presence approach as the hours passed by, and by the looks of the other mages of their company, she wasn't the only one struggling with these doubts.

"Mirania?" she suddenly heard Zael's voice from behind her. Slowly she turned around to face the Knight. He looked a tad bit bad at ease.

"Oh Zael, what can I do for you?" she asked, folding her arms in front of her chest.

"I just wanted to talk." Zael replied as he came to stand beside her, leaning with his elbows on the railing of the ship.

Mirania once more turned to regard him in the eye. "What did you want to talk about?" she asked, though she had a pretty good idea of what was to come.

"About you." he replied, looking straight at her. "Are you alright? I mean, this situation is probably horrible for you."

'Typical Zael.' Mirania thought as she let her saddened eyes scan the seemingly calm waves. Once again he was able to put himself in someone else's position, quickly finding out what was probably going on inside their mind. Just like on the Gurak ship a couple of years ago. Just listening to her reason why she wanted to go and explore the island. At that time the hope that somewhere the lands had somehow survived had overjoyed her. Dagran immediately refused, telling her it was too dangerous and that they probably had to leave in but a couple of hours. Zael however had come to talk to her, and after he had heard her out, had allowed her to go ashore.

"Mirania?" she heard the young Knight ask, looking up at her.

"It is indeed a troublesome situation." she agreed in a sad voice. "But nevertheless we must find a solution."

Once more she grew quiet, and Zael understood just how deep the problem had sunk into her core. It seemed like she was -as Yurick had described it- utterly lost, though she seemed less troubled than before she all informed them about the situation.

Zael fell silent, and Mirania noticed something was bothering him.

"What's wrong?" she asked after a long silence.

"It's just that…" he faltered, searching for the right words to use.

"What Zael?" she urged him on, knowing that if she didn't do that, he'd stay silent and keep his own worries bottled up inside.

"Why didn't you want to tell us about the situation?" he finally asked, looking up at her, eyes inquisitive.

Mirania was slightly taken aback by the straightforwardness of his question, and how she suddenly seemed to be the bad guy among them, never even considering that her actions might have caused them suffering as well. She shoved the guilt back as she formed her reply.

Taking a deep breath and looking away she said: "Because you are all precious to me."

Zael's eyes widened slightly. Normally Mirania would only look at action reaction, their health, and of course, the endless woods. But now she plainly told him she'd doubted to tell them for their own safety?

"You didn't want to get us in danger?" he asked.

She nodded, unable to go on about the subject. The feeling of guilt she'd felt of wanting to turn towards them in her time of need was now accompanied by the guilt of not having told them immediately. Two sorts of guilt that somehow still went hand in hand.

Zael straightened. "Mirania." he said, smiling encouragingly down at her. "Don't worry, we'll get through this."

Mirania nodded. Somehow she was enforced by Zael's comforting words and the strength in his voice and demeanour. He hadn't given up hope, and as she glanced around, she realised he wasn't the only one who had yet to give up.

Seemingly for the first time she really saw them all standing there as the solution to her problems. The ones she could depend on no matter what. Her friends.

Night had fallen over the seas and most of the previous mercenaries had turned in for the night. Mirania turned and turned over in her bed. From her left side onto her right in a nervous pattern that didn't suit her. The strange feeling she'd experienced earlier, the seemingly strangling sensation, had reappeared.

It seemed like it was getting closer, and closer, and…

Mirania shot up, quickly getting out of her comfortingly swaying bed. Quickly pulling on her boots she ran out of the room, up towards the deck. There wasn't even time to worry about her armour or her jacket, for her unconsciousness was screaming for her to hurry up.

Once outside the cold wind slapped her harshly in the face and quickly froze her whole being. Ignoring the chills she walked up to the only human form she could make out through the fog. From the looks of it he too had only just arrived after leaving his own quarters in a hurry.

She stopped a metre from him, nervously looking around and listening intently, hoping she wouldn't miss anything important.

Only a few moments later did Lowell appear next to her.

"So you felt it too, eh?" Lowell asked as Calista and Zael joined them.

Calista nodded to Lowell's question. "Yes, a strange presence nearby, though I cannot seem to locate it."

"Neither can we." Yurick said, still not stopping from taking in his surroundings, and focussing on his tracking skills.

"It are certainly not Reptids." Lowell said, turning slightly to broaden their view and searching area.

"Our opponents are supposed to be the forests, right?" Zael questioned.

"Well, yes." Calista replied. "But there are no forests in the neighbourhood."

The sensation died down and the mages allowed themselves to calm down.

"Mirania?" Yurick asked as all possible danger seemed to have vanished.

She looked up at him. "Is there anything we must fear here on the open seas?" he asked.

She noticed the rest of the group waiting for her answer and sighed.

"Well, there is this story the Guardian once told me." she started. "About the first rebellion of the woods."

"The first rebellion of the woods?" Zael repeated, not believing his ears. Had there already been a rebellion of the woods before?

Mirania nodded. "The Guardian told me a tale about a village so cruel towards the surrounding forest that it seemed to destroy everything. Their greed for land made them cut down thousands of trees. Not only to be used as firewood, but also for many meaningless things. It seems that the forest got enough of it all. Enough of the sadness and pain that was caused by the people who lived there, and the greed that had nestled in their hearts. All of their feelings turned into anger, and as such they pulled out their roots, destroyed the village and all its citizens and disappeared forever."

"The woods disappeared?" Calista gasped, a hand in front of her mouth.

Once more Mirania nodded.

"Where to?" Yurick asked.

Mirania hesitated for a moment, but then took in a deep breath and looked him straight in the eye. "Into the sea."

That was all Zael had needed to suggest them taking turns to stand guard along with the sailors. Either way a mage sensed these things, so a sailor or a warrior would not suffice even if they were on guard.

"I'll take the second shift with Calista then." Lowell said, glancing at Yurick for a moment.

Zael and Calista nodded.

"Okay then." Zael agreed. He then turned to Yurick and Mirania. "Can you two take first?"

"Seems like we don't have much choice." Yurick said, crossing his arms in front of his chest.

Zael smiled apologetically before he walked away.

Lowell absentmindedly waved them goodbye as he walked back to his quarters which he shared with his fierce wife. "Better get back before she thinks I'm cheating." he mumbled, clearly afraid of what sort of fit she'd throw.

Yurick sighed as he saw them all leave. As he turned around he saw that Mirania had walked further towards the centre of the ship where she stood perfectly still. Without making any sound he came to stand right beside her, and evenly silent did their hands find each other.

"Worried?" he asked.

She nodded, giving his hand a weak squeeze. He tried to encourage her by squeezing back the slightest. His thumb caressed her hand as they stood there, minds focussed on sensing any form of threat or enemy, be it human, Gurak or monstrous tree.

"Yurick?" she asked.


"Nothing." she quickly said. Silence once more enveloped them.

"Mirania." he said, making her to turn towards him, looking her in the eyes.

"Do tell."

"About. You know… About what happened that night. When we all celebrated the opening of Syrenne's and Lowell's bar." she started.

"Yes?" he urged, wanting to know what she wanted to say. He desperately wanted to know. No, he needed to know.

"Do you still think about it?" she asked, avoiding his icy blue eye, looking everywhere but at him.

"All the time." he breathed, pulling up her hand and regarding it, noticing how they seemed to perfectly fit into his.

"Are you…angry?" she did no longer dare to speak up as her voice no longer obeyed her command to speak coherently.

"Rather confused actually." he said smiling, though she could hear in his voice that he was dead serious.

"I see." Mirania replied, looking away and growing silent.

"We never did talk about it, did we?" Yurick asked, breaking through the thick silence that threatened to envelop them.

Mirania shook her head. "No. I left the day after, after all."

A short silence. "Did you…" she faltered.

"What?" he urged.

"Did you mean it?"

"Mean what?" he asked, turning towards her.

"The kiss."

He leaned closer, their lips mere inches apart. "I only do things I mean." he replied sternly, not believing she could doubt his intentions.

A shiver, other than from the cold around her, ran through her. The emotion she had read in his icy blue eye overwhelming. She remembered how he had held her close that night, pressed against her as they kissed on the bridge, under the dark sky. But then, as the fireworks began, it was like she'd regained control over herself and she'd pulled back. Unsure of what had come to pass she'd ran away, disappearing into the darkness of the night that was only alighted by the continuing fireworks.

Back then, she'd drank some alcohol Syrenne and Lowell had offered, because of which she doubted not only her own feelings, but his as well seeing he had had some as well.

She walked away slowly, their hands letting go in the process. Reaching the stairs that would lead to the next part of the deck. After descending a few passes she stopped in her tracks, Yurick passing her, heading down. As he passed however, she found herself grabbing his arm. He turned, surprise evident in his eye.

"Yurick." she whispered, her slender fingers tightening around his arm.

He turned towards her, only one stair below her, getting rid of the height difference between them.

"You worry too much." he spoke, putting a hand against her cheek.

"Perhaps I do." she replied putting her hand over his, leaning against it. "I hope I do."

He smiled, turned and continued to descend the stairs. Suddenly Mirania noticed just how much she needed the warmth of his hand. How much she needed him, and somehow the guilt she'd felt and carried along for so long after that night on the bridge made her speak up. She just couldn't let it end the same way. Especially not when there was a chance these were the last moments they spent together.

"Aren't you going to kiss me?" she asked, her question heavy in the night air. Just as heavy as the three steps that divided them.

He turned. His blue eye scanning her facial expression. "Do you want me to?" he asked.

She took a deep breath, raising her hands in front of her chest and nodding slightly. "Yes."

He smiled, taking one step towards her. "Why do you want me to kiss you?" he teased.

She looked up rather taken aback. Once more there he was with his mind games in which he'd gotten so good. "Because you love me?" she spoke in such a soft voice that she was amazed that he'd caught it.

He smirked, she was playing along. "And what about you Mirania? Do you love me too?" he asked, taking another step towards her.

Looking down at him Mirania smiled weakly. He hadn't said he didn't love her. He only needed confirmation that she loved him too, right? She nodded.

"Say it." he urged, taking the last step towards her, to end up where he stood before, his lips barely a few inches from hers.

Enchanted by him being so close, she gulped somewhat nervous. Her heart beating so fast she wasn't sure it was healthy.

"Say it." he repeated, once more putting a hand on her cheek.

"I love you Yurick." she spoke. "I love you. So much that I cannot find the right words to describe just how much."

He smiled warmly, his blue eye growing soft and soon closing as he pressed his lips against hers, wrapping his arms around her, glad they finally were how they were supposed to be. And hoping things would remain like this for a while, but for that latter, both Yurick and Mirania feared, for the trials they were about to face were many, and dangerous.

That's it for chapter Eight! I hope you've all liked it. I wrote and rewrote the end like hundreds of times to get it right, and I'm still not sure it's all right, but well what can you do… ^^" I'm also thinking about adding some extra small chapters about what happened alongside Mirania's moments (like CalistaXZael and SyrenneXLowell moments which didn't get into the chapters), but I'm still working out just how I'm going to do that. Also, because of my absence in which I've travelled through other fandoms I feel like I've lost the natural touch to these characters. T.T I'm doing my best to regain it so that they may be as natural as before, but I fear as I make them develop they might change and turn OOC. I'm doing all in my power to not let it be like that though.

Anyway I hope you've liked this chapter, and I hope you'll all leave a kind review. ^^

From the next chapter on, things are getting really adventurous! Please look forward to it! XD

Not sure if they were a tad bit too OOC in the end…I really hope not.