This will be the third, and final, part of Hidden Forest. Thanks for reading this mini fic of mine, I do hope you've enjoyed it. I'd like to have at least one more review for this, considering I only have two and one of them is from me, so be nice and do that for me, will you?
And one more thing, this # indicates a dream, k?
Thanks a million! Now go finish the fic!
The ragged group of Sorcerer Hunters walked cautiously down the hall, worn to the bone from the several traps they had encountered. First, there was a hook that caught on Gateau's sleeve, causing several rabid bunnies to come out of nowhere and start chasing them.
While trying to escape the rabid bunnies, Marron, tripped over a wire that triggered the release of the killer wasps.
While trying to escape from the bunnies and swat away the killer wasps that she was allergic to, Chocolate stepped on a tile that opened a huge door beneath them and dropped them and the bunnies and the wasps into a pit of snakes.
While they were trying to climb away from the snakes, Carrot grabbed a lever in the wall and pulled it down, generating several spikes from the walls that came at the snakes, rabbits, wasps, and humans alike.
While everyone was dodging the spikes, Tira (in her weakened state, the poison from the bite was slowly working its way through her blood stream) couldn't jump high enough, so she grabbed another lever that stopped the spikes but instead began to fill the pit with acid.
They had then scrambled to the top, leaving the snakes, bunnies, and wasps to die, and barely made it out before the trap door closed one more. That was where they were now, making their way down the long halls and wondering if they would ever see anything other than this place again.
"I'm really getting sick of this place!" cried Carrot as they dodged a rain of arrows that one of them had triggered on accident. "Isn't there someway we can just get back to that middle room without going through all these death traps!"
"As a matter of fact, there is," came a disembodied voice, making them shiver as it twisted and turned around them.
"Terrance," muttered Carrot, glancing around him constantly.
"Yes, that's right, Carrot," replied the emotionless voice. They could tell he was smirking at them without even seeing him. "I'll make you a deal. I want to fight you, you'll be more of a challenge than that pathetic Lee ever will be and I need the practice. You want to destroy me, but you need to get to a place where neither of us will be plagued by these infernal traps. I will take you to the middle room *if* you will trust me enough to let me do so."
"How do we know that you won't just take and drop us somewhere in another trap?" asked Chocolate suspiciously. "You've given us little reason to trust you, Terrance. One being that you've probably killed Lee, haven't you?"
"Not at all," replied the voice, a small glass ball appearing before them. "See? He is safe in there, that is until I release him again."
"Let him go!" screamed Tira, leaping forward. She ran into a force field he had put up around it, crumpling to the ground in shock.
"Well, this isn't much fun so I'll just take you to the middle room anyways," said the voice, a mist forming around them.
"Hey!" shouted Gateau angrily. "We never agreed to this!"
"Do I sound like I care?"
"That's right, I am. Want to make something of it?"
"That's what I thought."
They wound up right where they had started, the room plain and simple compared to everything else they had seen in the huge mansion. Quickly getting their bearings, they saw Terrance standing in the middle of the room waiting for them, completely decked out in all the Forbidden Magics he had stolen with the helmet under his arm so they could see him.
"I don't need this any more," he said loftily, taking the helmet and setting it before him. "Watch." Lifting the angel rod high in the sky, he shouted in some foreign language and pointed it at the helmet, destroying it to a pile of dust. Smiling confidently, he took off the amulet that let him control all creatures and the bracelet that made him super fast with the ability to fly. Tossing them beside what was left of the helmet, he fried them as well. "That should even up the odds a bit."
"Pride is man's downfall," said Marron calmly, eyeing him as he did.
"I know," replied Terrance with a grin. "But, I am not a man."
"You were at one time."
"But what I once was I am no longer."
"What's that supposed to mean?" asked Carrot, glaring at the man. "What are you trying to tell us here?"
"Watch and learn." Terrance stood there for a moment, closing his eyes as he did. A strange hum began to fill the room, Marron's eyes widening as he realized what was happening.
"Does that mean what I think it means?" asked Tira quietly as Terrance began to transform.
"Yes," replied Marron. "He is a soulless human without honor who has sold himself to the dark side, a demon."
"So nice of you to notice," replied the new Terrance. His hair had turned white and flowed down his back, covering his taunt hide that was coated with scales. Spikes protruded from his forehead, shoulders, neck, hands and feet; and fangs took the place of what had once been teeth. "Now, I have to kill you. But it won't be me who does it, it will be one of your own."
Tira's eyes snapped as she fell to her knees, her eyes turning completely white. "No!" she cried, fighting him with everything she had. "You can't have me! No!" Terrance frowned as he realized he was getting no where, despite the fact that the girl had been poisoned by the spiders she was still able to resist him.
"No matter," he shrugged, retreating from her mind. "I'll just kill you myself." Twirling the angel rod in his hands, he shouted in that foreign language again and shot lightning bolts at them as they ran around the room dodging them and trying to get to him.
"Hey, aren't those magic?" cried Gateau, barely being missed by one.
"Yeah, so?" asked Carrot.
"THEN WHY THE HECK DON'T YOU JUST LET YOURSELF GET HIT BY ONE AND TRANSFORM HERE????!!!!" X_X
"Oh....that's a good idea!!" ^_^
Tira glanced at him, a wild look in her eyes. "Just do it already!"
"I'm working on it....got it!" Terrance's expression went from glee, to surprise, to a sneer in about 5 seconds as he realized what had happened.
"So he's the god of destruction?" said the demon wryly. "Oh well. With the dark magic, he's become unstable and won't know you from me in this form. I hope you're prepared for something like this."
"Did we know this?" asked Chocolate, backing away as Carrot transformed.
Tira whipped off her cape like always, her glasses disappearing as she stood before them and him. "What are you doing?" asked Marron, grabbing her arm.
"I'm going to stop him," replied Tira. "I staked my life on him once, and I'll do it again. If he didn't kill me that time, he won't now."
"No, Marron," replied Tira, turning to him as Carrot's transformation was complete. "I *am* doing this. Keep the other back, I don't want you guys to get hurt."
"....fine." He went back to the others, grabbing Chocolate as she tried to get past him to help her sister.
"Hey, why are you-"
"Tira's the one who does this the most," replied Marron. "And I trust her to save him right now. But if someone else interferes....last time she was able to do it on her own. All we can hope is that she can do it again."
"Then you're saying all I could end up doing is getting us all killed?"
"Um, yeah." Seeing the look on her face, he added, "But so could any of us who tried to help her."
Marron edged away as they watched Tira approach Carrot, him already destroying part of the wall in his path. Terrance was watching as well, a small smile on his face as he did. %She is confident that she can save him% he thought to himself, musing over the facts as he did. %All of them seem to be close, some are even family. But these two...not brother and sister, not lovers in the way that most people see them, not ever friends on some levels....but still there is a strong bond there....%
Tira jumped up, laughing like she always did with that crazy light in her eyes. "Ho Ho Ho!!! Here, little doggie! *snap* It's time to play! *whiz-crack!* HOHOHO!!!!"
"RRRRROOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!!" Carrot, apparently, didn't like the thought of being her playmate as he charged toward her, his eyes ice cold and just as hard. Tira faltered slightly as she jumped up into the air, hoping to pass just over that huge clawed paw speeding toward her....
"That was not supposed to happen that way..."
Gateau physically restrained Chocolate from rushing to help her sister by locking her arms behind her only because of the fact that Carrot was still raging on over head, howling his victory to the heavens as he raised his gigantic clawed hand to give the final blow...
"Carrot..." The huge monster went silent along with everyone else, it's eyes dilating as he slowly began to lower his hand... "Carrot....I know that's you in there....if you can't stop yourself, I understand.... I won't hold it against you....if you kill me...."
"GGGGGGGRRRRRRRRAAAAAA.................." The beast raised his paw once again, then lowered it, struggling with his options. Terrance watched all this with faint amusement, figuring he had all the time in the world to spare. If the beast in his won out and killed her, well, one less for him to take care of. If he was able to control himself and change back, well, he would have one almost out for the count and one less huge beast to worry about.
Carrot shrunk and returned back to normal after several more minutes, Tira continuing to lie below his shadow and bleed from the massive gash he had given her. It ran from her shoulder to her hip, and pouring out her blood like water as she just laid there on the floor.
"Tira!" he cried, seeing his pants and throwing them on, rushing to her side as soon as he was decent. Marron was there already, placing some of his slips of paper on her wound to stop it from bleeding and give it some sort of protective covering with his magic. "Tira, I'm sorry," said Carrot in a half-sob, grabbing her hand as he knelt by her side. "I'm so sorry, I didn't mean to..."
"Shh," replied Tira, opening her eyes some. "You didn't know what you were doing, I understand." She reached up and touched his face, closing her eyes and sighing as Marron finished his work.
"There," he said quietly, putting back was slips of paper he had. "Does it still hurt?"
Tira winced. "A bit..."
Terrance watched all this, smirking as he realized something. "Have you forgotten about me?" he called suddenly, letting the wire Chocolate threw at him pass harmlessly through him.
"Die, demon," growled Chocolate. "You just hurt my little sister. And by the unofficial code of big sisters, that means you have to die!"
"It wasn't me who hurt your sister," said Terrance lightly. "It was your little friend over there who got out of control."
"It was you who made him that way!"
"Hm....so it was. And now it looks like I'm going to do the same with your little sister." Reaching once more for Tira's mind, he found the poison plus the gash in her side had weakened her even more, making her ripe for the picking.
%Here, little girl, come to papa% He said to her mentally, grasping control before she could do anything about it. Tira broke from of Marron's grasp, who had been helping her back to the edge of the room behind the others, and ran to the middle, taking her string and whip back out.
"Do you like my new ally?" asked Terrance, smirking as he spread out his wings and held the angel rod over head, saying something else they didn't understand. What they did understand was that several huge, bat-like creatures with fangs, including a enormous one that came through the skylight above, appeared out of nowhere and began to attack them.
"Don't mess with me," growled Chocolate, taking several out at once with her wires. "I'm a sister on a mission for revenge." Gateau just swung his fists and bashed the brains out of anything that got too close to him. Marron used his Eastern magic to turn so to stone and trap others in ice as his brother just dodged the attacks beside him.
What was not helping them any was that more and more were appearing out of this air and Tira was directing the creatures at them. Telling them ways to get past the Sorcerer Hunter's defenses, things ordinary people or monsters or demons wouldn't know. And it was seriously working to their disadvantage....
Tira found herself inside a huge space, not sure of where she was or what had happened. Carrot had sliced her side open, changed back, then apologized. Marron had closed up the wound as best he could, then had been helping her back when....
"Terrance," she said out loud, glaring at the shadows as if they could produce them for her. Luckily, they did.
"I see you've finally made it," he said, stopping just a few steps across from her in his demon form.
"Where am I?" she demanded, taking the defensive position.
"You're on the plane of mentality," explained Terrance. "This is what physic beams and messages pass through, but its also a place where people power enough trap others minds..."
"Eh? What did you do to me?!"
"Take a look and see." Terrance waved his hand and part of the shadows disappeared, showing what was going on in the middle room right then.
"No!" she cried, seeing herself directing a hoard of creatures against her friends. "Why?! Let me go, you can't do this to me! To them!"
"Yeah I can," replied Terrance with a smirk, bringing the angel rod into view. "Now all I have to do is kill you here, then your body will be mine to use as I wish forever. Which will be to let you die on the mortal plane as well, but that's just a small matter at the moment..."
He lashed out at her with a lightning bolt, causing her to jump back in surprise. "So it's a matter of live and keep my soul or die and let you have it, right?" she said loftily, throwing off her cloak and reaching for her whip and string, which had somehow come with her.
"Pretty much, my little lady."
"Then bring it on." Tira jumped around, dodging most of the bolts as she tried to get close to him. A few, though, were able to barely hit her and soon she was covered with burns that screamed in pain. Her leather outfit had been burned in places as well, and she doubted she would ever stop smelling like smoke ever again.
"Getting tired, are we?" mocked Terrace, throwing one straight at her as she paused for a moment. Tira grunted as she dove to the side, leaving her stomach open. "HA!"
"AAAHH!!" Tira lay flat out on the ground as he danced about her, lashing her with his tail as she wearily tried to block it with her arms. "Stop..." she moaned softly, tears falling from her eyes. "Just leave me alone."
"Not so tough, now are we?" sneered Terrance, truly enjoying his game. "Now for the final blow!" Creating a huge lightning bolt in his hands, he stood over her and laughed until it was just the right size and sent it raining down on her.
Doing the only thing she could think to do, she raised her whip and caught it, sending it back at his chest.
"I see you've figured out that this plane doesn't work like the mortal one," sighed Terrance, dusting the ash from his fur that had gotten scorched. "No matter, I will still defeat and kill you."
"You have a one track mind, don't you?" she growled as she forced herself to stand once more. Tira Misu gave into no one if she still had the ability to breath.
"Try three. Kill. Destroy. Conquer."
"I see..." She swung her whip at him, hoping against all hope...caught him! Terrance laughed as she nabbed him around the neck, merely biting through the rawhide and spiting it out in front of him.
"You have made for an interesting battle," admitted Terrance, smiling all the more. "But, I'm afraid you time had run up, little one. I cannot stay here and play games with you forever. Good-bye." He raised his arms above his head, the angel rod in his right hand as he began to chant in a strange language and glow with a red light.
Tira steeled herself for whatever was coming next, hoping she could dodge it or block it in someway. Keeping her eyes on Terrance, she noticed the angel rod had begun to glow white instead of red, burning the flesh that held it as Terrance stubbornly tried to keep a hold of it...but couldn't and let fly from his hands in anger.
She caught it, staring at it for a moment as Terrance waited for the fireworks show that was to begin. No mortal could hold the rod and live, that was the way the legend had been written ever since the beginning of time. But she didn't implode on herself and Terrance was wondering if he was going out of his mind.
"Why aren't you dead?" he snarled, leaping at her with his claws extended. "You should be dead by now! If the angel rod won't kill you, I will!" Slashing at her, he tried to reach for her neck, only to be blown back by a light that came out of nowhere!
"I'm not dead," explained Tira calmly. "Because I have an immortal soul." She glared at him as she transformed, growing wings with feathers and her clothes becoming white robes instead of the torn and burnt leather suit she was wearing. Her burns and scratches healed instantly, leaving no trace that they had once marred her skin.
"The reincarnated Goddess of the West," hissed Terrance, shielding his eyes from the light. "Of all the-"
"AAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" The demon was ripped to shreds as a beam of light shot through him, completely incinerating the creature until nothing else remained but the light...
Marron wiped the sweat from his eyes as him and the other three stood back-to-back, trying to just stay alive at this point. The bat things had multiplied by the moment until it seemed futile to even try to fight back. Tira's insane laughter filled the back ground, filling their ears to the point of nearly driving them over the edge.
"How can she laugh that long and not have to breath?" asked Gateau angrily, knocking out two more with one blow.
"How does any evil guy or girl do it?" replied Carrot, using his sword to take off anything that got too close. "I think it's something that comes naturally to those who are insanely evil."
"Are you saying my sister is insanely evil?" demanded Chocolate, glaring at him over her shoulder as she took out one more with her wire.
"No," he replied quickly. "I'm saying the guy who's controlling her is insanely evil."
"Don't remind me."
Marron blinked as the beast in front of him disappeared. "What the..."
"Hey!" cried Gateau as his fist went through thin air. "What's going on here..."
The insane laughter stopped, followed by the sound of glass breaking and something hitting the floor with a 'THUD!'
"What just happened?" asked Chocolate, not seeing a single bat in sight.
"Look," said Carrot softly from behind her, pointing to where the insane and possessed Tira had been standing. There stood an angel with pink hair with her back to them, feather floating around her from her wings and the angel rod in her hands.
"What have you done with my sister?!" cried Chocolate, rushing at the being all dressed in white. "If you killed her, I swear I'll send you to hell and back..."
"Huh?" The angel turned around, looking at them with her large, brown eyes that seemed very familiar...
"Tira?" asked Marron, walking up to her first.
"Yeah," she replied, looking down at herself. "Shoot. I thought it was going to turn back when I came back to this plane."
"What are you talking about?" asked Carrot, looking very confused. "I don't see a plain anywhere around here..."
"Not that sort of plane, idiot," replied Gateau, giving him a light smack on the head that sent him crashing into the wall.
"Why do you get wings and I don't?" asked Chocolate, frowning for a second.
"It's good to see you too, sis," said Tira wryly, wrinkling her nose.
"Hey!" said someone to their right. "Could someone get me my clothes..." They turned to see Lee standing behind a pillar in only his boxers and looking rather red. "Hey! So Big Momma did send one of her angels to- TIRA?!" He came out from behind the pillar, only to go right back behind it as he remembered he wasn't wearing anything. "Crap. You'd better explain what's going on the minute I get out from the back of here!!"
"I will," replied Tira, giving him a small smile. Averting her eyes while Carrot gave him his clothes, she sighed and sat down on the ground to think for a minute.
"How's that wound doing?" asked Marron, sitting in front of her.
"What wound- oh!" She reached over and touched where it had been, realizing she hadn't felt anything since she had appeared on the other plane. "I...I think it's gone..." She opened her robes near her waist, seeing a very thin, pink mark.
"Whoa," whispered Marron, touching it for a moment to make sure it was real before standing back up. "I know that I didn't do that..."
"You're sure?" asked Tira, standing back up as well. "I mean, those card-things you used were pretty powerful..."
"Explain to me how you can stand there and hold that rod without dying and no one here seems too surprised," demanded Lee, appearing in front of her. "This is not something that could just be a complete fluke here..."
"I'm....the one who holds the reincarnated Mother of the West's soul. You know, Apros."
"WHAT?!" Lee stumbled back and grabbed onto the first steady thing around him (Carrot) and held on for dear life. "You....no, that can't be.....that's....impossible...." Looking at everyone, he added weakly, "Right?"
"Um, not exactly, said Chocolate slowly, having put her cape-thingy back on. "You see, I hold the Holy Demon Kurin's soul."
"And you?" asked Lee, pointing at Marron.
"Uh....Lord of Rebirth, Yaksha's soul."
"You?" He looked at Gateau.
"North Sky Karl Man's soul."
"Let me guess," he said wryly, looking at Carrot. "You hold the God of Creation's soul, right?"
"Nope," replied Carrot. "I'm the God of Destruction."
"How long do you think he'll be out?" asked Gateau, hauling the man upright so it looked like Lee was standing
"I'd say just a few seconds," replied Chocolate, dumping a pitcher of cold water from somewhere on his head.
"Ah!! Wha- huh?"
"Just nod your head and smile, Lee," said Tira gently, patting his head like he was a dog. "That's a good big brother."
"So you guys seriously are the ones who took out Sacher?" asked Lee, shaking his head. "I didn't believe it at first." Seeing both Tira and Chocolate reach for their weapons, he went on and quickly explained himself. "I mean, I believed what you said but the stories tell of five as strong as the gods. Not that you aren't strong! But, well, you know..."
"Just hush and take it like it is," said Chocolate, punching him in the shoulder. "That's what big bro's are supposed to do, right?"
"I guess so."
"So," said Gateau, looking at the doors which all held traps of one sort or another. "How do we get out of here again?"
Lee laughed to himself as he remember the looks on everyone's faces when he summoned Unicorns to come and get them. Those beautiful beasts with their white horns and angelic wings, it almost felt wrong to even touch them. But after conversing with the creatures for a few moments (yes, they can speak) they had agreed that it was alright and had gotten ready to leave.
Tira had taken the forbidden magics that were left and destroyed them with the angel rod, leaving only it to rule the valley. And with no one left alive who knew how to make copies of them or find a way to be immortal so they could use the angel rod, it would be safe in the mansion where it belonged.
The moment she had replaced the rod to its original place her wings shrunk and her clothes returned to normal, all clean and fresh as if she had just washed them instead of fought a battle for her life. Being withdrawn and quiet for the rest of trip home, Lee glanced at her as he noted absently that they were a few minutes from the camp. This wasn't unusual for her, but he noticed that something wasn't right as he looked into her faraway eyes and could see something that she wasn't telling anyone about.
Carrot zoomed past him suddenly, causing Marron (who was trying to get away from Gateau) to nearly fall from his mount as his younger brother tried to escape from Chocolate.
"Hey, knock it off!" cried Carrot, the unicorn he
was riding not helping him much.
"Can't you just leave me alone?"
"Why would I?" asked Chocolate, surrounded by hearts and giving him puppy eyes as she clung to him. "You are my one true love, Darling."
"GAhh!!! Will you quit that?"
"Don't you love me, Darling?"
"No, I don't!"
"Aw, he's playing hard to get."
-_-;; "No, he's playing never to get," muttered Carrot, turning his back on her.
x_x "Never mind."
^_^ "Ok, darling!"
Lee shook his head, wondering what else would happen as they landed in the clearing they had slept at the night before.
"Lee," said a Unicorn, a male named Rapidash that he had been riding, "Do you need us to do anything else before we leave?"
"No, Rapidash," he replied, giving the Unicorn a pat on the head. "That's all. Thank you very much, though."
"Our pleasure, Lee."
"Why don't they call you 'Master' like the rest of the animals and creatures here?" asked Marron as they disappeared into the forest.
"They are too human, in a way, and too free-willed to ever be put under that sort of servitude," explained Lee, shrugging his shoulders. "We are on an equal plane, where I ask them for favors occasionally and heal them when they are hurt."
"So, its like your friends?"
"Um, not exactly in the sense that..."
Lee sweated as Carrot dove into the feast Daughter had brought for them, spotting her in a near by tree. "Hello," he said, waving at her. "A message from Big Mama?"
"Yep," she replied, flying down before him. "She said to say that if you made it back alive, you get at least a week off before you have to come back to work."
"Me or them?" asked Lee, giving her a smile.
"Them," she replied. "They do deserve it after all, right?"
"I guess so..."
"Oh! And she told me to give you this." Daughter pulled out a package from behind her back and handed it to him, winking as soon as it was out of her hands. "Ja ne!"
"She left already?" asked Tira, standing beside him quietly as he stared at the package.
"I guess so."
"Are you going to open it?"
"It came from Big Mama, so it would probably be a smart thing to do all things considered..." He undid the string and carefully removed the brown paper wrapping, revealing a brand new quiver and bow made just for him. Lee breathed in sharply, holding them away from him for a moment, looking like he just might burn these like he did his original ones.
"They've been made to match Zadah's sword," said Tira gently, taking them from his hands to show him what she meant. Seeing him tense up even more, she sighed and handed them back to him. "You have to forgive yourself sometime," she said, looking at the bow and arrows instead of him. "I have. Chocolate has. Zadah has. All that is left is you." She walked away and sat by the fire that had been made between the two platforms, picking up a loaf of bread from the pile and eating it slowly.
He restrained the urge to break the arrows right then and there and placed them on the edge of the camp, going and getting a bite to eat himself. Carrot was still going through pie after plate of pasta after bowl of soup after bowl of noodles and so forth until it looked like he might explode.
"Where does he put it all?" Lee asked Marron as he sat beside him.
"The same place Chocolate does," he replied, pointing at the older Misu sister who was keeping par with him as far as dishes they had gone through.
"In other words, you don't know?"
"No. They eat until they're full, which is why Tira calls them bottomless pits and has to buy extra food every time we join up as a team."
Lee glanced over at Tira in surprise, who had put the bread down and was nibbling on a bowl of noodles. "You mean the two sisters don't stay together?"
"No, she comes with me and Carrot," explained Marron, indicating Tira with his chopsticks. "She goes with Gateau." He pointed at Chocolate. "Don't ask why, because none of us know."
**three hours later**
Carrot got up and belched loudly, stretching as he did. "Wow, am I full," he murmured, sitting back down and laying back against a tree. "I think I'll just stay here and....zzzz......zzzz....."
"He's out for the night," sighed Marron, shaking his head fondly at his brother's actions. "I think that's a record for him or something, 3 hours straight eating."
"Well, we were in that Labyrinth of a Mansion for 3 days..."
"Yeah, 3. You just couldn't tell because for the majority of the time we were inside."
"I guess you're right..."
"'Night everyone," yawned Chocolate, getting up and heading over to her platform. "I'm going to sleep."
"Good night little sis." Lee leaned back against the log that he was using as a back rest and sighed. "Hey," he said after a moment. "Where did Gateau get off to?"
"He's up there asleep," replied Marron. "And I'm not going up there until you do."
"Because I won't have my brother to sleep between us tonight."
"Because he's down here and I'm not dragging him up there."
"Oh, then you want me to sleep in the middle?"
"Which is a good thing."
"Have you guys seen Tira?" called Chocolate from the platform to their right. "She's not up here and I don't see her down here."
"Hang on," said Lee, getting up and going around to the other side of the fire where the feast of food had been. "She's right here, asleep behind this pile of used bowls."
"No problem." Lee picked her up and set her across from Carrot to their right, making sure she was comfortable for the night before he walked over to the ladder to the guys platform, looking back at Marron expectantly.
"You coming?" he asked, tilting his head some.
"I guess," replied Marron, getting up and following him up the ladder. Soon, all that could be heard through out the camp were little z's floating through the air as everyone quickly fell asleep.
# She ran, for that was all she could do at this point. Spiders. Bats. Werefolk. Demons. Why? Why were they after her? Why were they chasing her like this...
A huge leg came out of nowhere, trying to stomp her into the ground as she dodged back and forth wearily. Tired. So tired. Just wanted to rest, just wanted to-
There is was again! The cries of her friends, calling her to help them, to save them...save them from what? She didn't know what she was facing. Or who was after them and her.
Everything vanished into a black hole....the cries of those tortured flying around her....the smell of blood in the air....and his face in the distance leering over his victory...#
"AHH!" Tira sat up suddenly, drenched in sweat as she pushed off her cape and fixed her glasses which were just at the tip of her nose. Panting for air, she swept her wet bangs out of her eyes and leaned forward some, covering her face with her hands as she quietly began to cry.
"Hhhmmm....." Carrot woke from his dream of dancing fairies in tight spandex suits and sat up, glancing around to see Tira curled up across from him on the other side of the fire. Noticing that her shoulders were shaking slightly, he got up and walked over as he blinked the fuzz out of his eyes. Placing a hand on her shoulder, he was surprised to see her shirk from his touch and frowned all the more.
"Tira," he said gently, kneeling beside her. "Tira, what's wrong?" She looked up, still sobbing as their eyes met. She didn't say anything, didn't try to explain what was going on or act like nothing was wrong, she just sat there and looked at him as she cried.
So, he did the only thing he could think of to do, he gave her a hug. Tira didn't even notice it at first as the memories caught back up with her again and she tried to cry them from her mind. Burying her head in his shoulder, he gently stroked her hair until her sobs began to go away again and she got a hold of herself once more.
"Are you ok?" he asked as she suddenly pulled away from him, curling in on herself once more.
"I guess," she replied weakly, trying to banish the memories from her mind. Seeing some left over food from the night before, both their stomachs growled at the same time, causing Carrot to laugh out loud.
"Whether or not you are, I can tell you're hungry, so lets eat!" he said.
"I should probably go wash my face," said Tira softly, starting to stand up. Carrot helped her the rest of the way and gave her another hug, which surprised her.
"Don't take long," he said, sitting back down. "I eat fast and there may not be anything left."
"I know," she replied, giving him a small smile. She secured her cape completely around herself and went to the stream, washing away any signs that she had been crying before she went back and sat beside him.
What surprised them both was that she was soon keeping pace with him as he ate.
"Eat much last night?" he asked around a mouthful of fish, giving her skeptical look.
"Not really," she replied quietly, downing a bowl of soup in one gulp. "I wasn't feeling up to it..."
"Oh." They both continued to eat on for a few minutes when Lee landed beside them on the ground, having jumped from the platform above.
"Save some for me!" he said, taking out his chopsticks and attacking a bowel of ramen noodles with beef.
"Hey, I was going to eat that!" growled Tira, taking a bite from him.
"Hey! I was going to eat that bite!" growled Lee back, snatching some meat off of the chicken leg she was devouring.
"So are you!"
"Man, you two fight a lot," observed Carrot, about to start a plate of little sausage things, not noticing the glance that went between the two 'siblings'.
"HA!!" They knocked him aside and devoured the plate of sausage things before he could blink giving him a self-satisfied smirk at the same time.
"Hey!! You are so going to pay for- ah!! Save some for me!!!"
"You ate more than all of us combined last night! You don't need anymore!! And neither do you Chocolate!!" said Lee, seeing her about to pounce on a cake to his right. "That is *so* mine!!"
"You'll have to beat me too it first, bro!"
"Then I will!!" While they were racing for the cake, Marron jumped down and took a bowl of noodles, taking it up in a tree near by with him to eat.
"If there's nothing left when I get down there, there will be pain!" yelled Gateau from the top of his platform. Seeing as how everyone ignored him, he jumped down and grabbed some for himself, only to be caught between Tira and Carrot who were fighting for the last pork roll. Seeing as how he couldn't get free, he took it and popped it in his mouth before rushing off into relative safely else where. Or that's what he thought he was doing.
Tira and Carrot shared a glance a nodded. "ATTACK!!!!!!!!!"
Marron smiled watching everyone fight as they always did over food, only this time it was fairly violent. "And so the morning begins."
"So, what do you guys want to do today?" asked Lee after everyone had cleaned up from the food fight they had had a little while ago and sat down to drink some tea like semi-civilized adults.
"How about get back before Big Mama skins us alive?" suggested Carrot, making a face. "All she ever has us do is work, work, work."
"No, she gave you a week vacation here," replied Lee with a smile. "I just couldn't tell you last night or this morning because we were eating and all."
"A week?! YAHOO!!!!!" Carrot jumped up and did this little victory dance thing while the others watched him for a moment.
^_^ "No more work for a whole week! No more work for a whole week! No more work for a whole week! Yeah! Yeah! YEAH!!!"
0.o "Is the human body supposed to be able to do stuff like that? I mean the huge flips and all."
-_- "Is it supposed to be able to eat half-a-ton at one sitting?"
^_^ "No more work for a whole week! Yeah! Yeah! YEAH!!"
"If you'll stop singing and dancing, we can decide what you guys want to do," said Lee, over his shock of Carrot's ability to do moves that would make a gymnast envious.
"What is there to do other than sit around and eat?" asked Carrot, giving him an odd look as he stopped in mid-dance. "I mean, there's land and animals, that's all, right?"
"Could we go visit Bluwynd and her family again?" asked Tira quietly. "I would like to see her and thank her again for her help."
"Sure," replied Lee with a shrug. "Anything else?"
"Got any Dragons?" asked Chocolate, half joking.
"A whole colony two days walk from here, half a day if we get a ride."
"Really?! Awesome! I wanna go see those!"
"That's fine. What about you Carrot?"
Carrot thought long and hard for a minute, this his eyes got as huge as baseballs. "Do you have any mermaids?" he asked quickly, drooling with anticipation.
"Yep," replied Lee. "But they happen to have an appetite for human flesh, so...we won't be going and seeing those."
"Anything huge and bold that might like to wrestle me?" asked Gateau, cracking his knuckles meaningfully.
"There's a giant or two and their brood of younglings down near the dragons," affirmed Lee. "We can go see them on the same day."
"And you, Marron?"
"I would like to see the white tigers, please, if it is not too much trouble," replied Marron with a smile. "Mum used to tell me legends of them when I was little....it would be seeing those legends come to life to meet one."
"Then it is settled," said Lee. "We will go see all those things and more, starting today. What say we go see Bluwynd's family first, then go on and catch a ride south so that Gateau can wrestle his giant and maybe there'll still be time to see the dragons. If not, we'll do it tomorrow, then head back here."
"I'm good with that," agreed Carrot, jumping up again. "Let's go!"
Well, the Sorcerer Hunters had a great week of vacation and even learned a thing or two about some of the creatures (like giants are really pansies that cry whenever they stub their toe) but everyone had a wonderful time regardless. Tira got her chance to thank Bluwynd again, and met the rest of the clan which were also winged centaurs. Apparently the wings only show up every other generation or so.
Anyways, Gateau wrestled his giant and won, and Chocolate got to see the Dragons, as well as speak to the head of the clan. Marron spent a whole day talking to the white tigers that inhabited a special ravine just for them and even got a chance to hold one of the new born kittens, something he never thought he would be able to do, let alone see. Carrot didn't get to see the Mermaids, obviously, but Lee did take him to see something just as good....tree nymphs. The small, sweet ladies that wore almost nothing played with him in the forest for three hours while he tried to catch one until Chocolate and Tira got Gateau to drag him out. He really didn't care either way, but figured that Big Mama might be watching and didn't want to get on her bad side after taking this long of a vacation.
So, that was their week, and when it was time to go, Lee popped a question that surprised everyone...
Everyone finished packing up what little they had brought, making sure they didn't forget anything like a whip or wire that they might need later on. Lee sat near by, holding the bow Tira and Chocolate had convinced him to use once more, wondering how bad his shot was compared to a few years ago.
"Are you two ready yet?" called Carrot, standing below with the other guys as Tira and Chocolate made one final check of their things.
"We're coming!!" replied Tira, hopping down to the ground gracefully. Chocolate followed a moment later, giving him a sweet smile.
"Did you miss me so much that you couldn't stand waiting, Darling?" she asked dramatically, glomping onto him.
"Er, get off," he said, detangling himself from her. Tira just rolled her eyes and went over to Lee to say good bye.
"Hey, little sis," he sighed, looking somewhat hopeful. "I have something to ask you. Don't answer right away, Big Mama won't open the portals for you guys for another few minutes, but, would you and Chocolate like to stay here with me? You know, be a family again."
Everyone stopped what they were doing and looked at him, acting as if he had grown a second head or something.
"What?" he asked. "I can't leave this place, I'm bound to it until death. But you two can stay with me if you want. I've already asked Big Mama, and she said it was up to you."
The two sisters exchanged glances, both looking very nervous.
"I can't," replied Chocolate, after a few minutes went by of complete silence. "I love you and all, Lee. You'll always be my big brother....but I can't. I'd go insane without something to punish or kill every once in a while."
"Oh. What about you, Tira?" The younger Misu sister struggled back and forth for awhile, ignoring the 5 pairs of eyes that were on her and she tried to come to a decision.
"Lee..." she said quietly. "You're my big brother, and you'll always have a special place in my heart, but.....I can't stay here either. I don't belong here." She glanced around herself for a second, eyes resting very on Carrot who gave her a pleading look before she turned back. "I belong with them. They are my family."
Lee sighed and nodded. "That's what she said you'd reply," he sighed glumly. "But I thought it couldn't hurt to ask."
"It didn't," replied Chocolate, giving him a hug. "Bye, bro. We'll come by and visit you sometime." Right then the portals opened, bidding them to come quickly before it closed.
"Bye!" yelled Lee, waving as she and Gateau disappeared into the first one, it closing behind them right afterwards. Marron and Lee exchanged nods and he leapt through the second, waiting for them on the other side.
"Take care," said Carrot, shaking his hand real quick.
"I will, and you too," replied Lee, giving his hand a firm squeeze. He turned to Tira and gave her a hug, nearly knocking the breath from her.
"Bye, Lee," she said softly, wiping the tears from her eyes. "I will come and visit sometime, I promise!"
"You'd better!" he replied, patting her on the head. "I'll miss you. All of you."
"And we'll all miss you."
"Take care of her for me," he said to Carrot as he was about to enter the portal.
"I will," replied Carrot, jumping in before Tira could hit him with the mallet.
"I'll get him later," she shrugged, giving him one last smile. "I love you, Lee."
"I love you too, Tira." And with that, she was gone.
And that, my friends, is the end. See? I gave you some humor, a slight dose of fluff, even some violence for those of you who like it. Maybe even what you'd call angst....yep, I'm good. Be kind and review, since you were nice enough to read this! ~crosseyedbutterfly~