After putting on her blue dress and leather boots Christina leashed her dog and went outside. Immediately her next door neighbor who was working on his yard gave her a wave.
"Hey John." She waved back.
"Hey Neighbor. You working on your book?" John asked.
"Yes I am." She replied.
"Great! I can't wait to read it when it's done. Especially my kids, you and your husband are their heroes."
Christina laughed. "I don't know if you would call it 'heroic.' Or at least I would." She answered. "What happened and what we did, we did for ourselves, you know."
"I know." John said. "That's that's exactly what my kids admire about you both."
Chris didn't reply, but only smiled. "Well, I'll just be taking a walk. See you later John."
John then waved her bye as she walked down the street heading into town. It was the middle of summer, yet the gentle air and clear sky made it a pleasant day. As both Christina and Brownie were enjoying it a load, crackling motor suddenly filled their ears shattering their moment of harmony. Then two fast dirt bikes passed them by from behind, causing Chris' dress to ruffle a bit and Brownie growl in irritation. However, despite the invited noise and rush, Christina only smiled at the young couple that rode on…
3 years ago…
It was early morning when Chris rose from bed. The light from the window was shining on the spot where Van last rested. Chris stressed and yawned as she rose from the bed and walked into the bathroom. As she was entering the door, she heard a " Good morning."
She yelped and shut her eyes as she saw him standing by the toilet. "I'm sorry." She leaned against the wall and waited for him to finish.
"You were up really late last night. What was with all the noise?"
"Oh, did I wake you? I'm sorry. I was working on me and my dad's bikes."
"Is that how you got those bruises?"
"I saw one on your neck and I noticed your wrist was kinda black."
"OH? oh yeah, from the bikes. I was fixing them up so we could ride them to that town." She had almost forgotten about Tidus last night. She had closed her eyes for a minute and when they reopened, Van stood right in front of her. Chris all but hit the wall with her back the moment she saw him. "You have issues with close personal space, don't you?"
Van studied her neck. He knew the bruise was not from the bikes because it almost resemabled a hand. After studying her neck, he grabbed her wrist and looked at it. " You know, you can trust me." He sighed as he let her wrist go. "Well, the bathroom is all yours." He backed up so she could have room to move.
As she moved herself into the bathroom, she stopped mid-way in the door, "Don't be so trusting Van, especially with me."
"And why is that?"
Chris only looked down at the floor as she closed the door to the bathroom. Van looked at the closed door. "Maybe you need someone who will trust in you." He whispered to the door.
Kuro stood beside him and Meowed up at Van. "I know Kuro. But who is to say she's not in the same trouble as we are? Let's go get something to eat, huh...."
After a while, Chris had gotten freshened up and walked out of the bathroom, her clothes now dry and her hair fixed. She looked around the room, finding Brownie lying on the bed but Van and the Kuro nowhere.
"Where did they go, Brownie?"
The dog lifted her head and looked to the direction of the door in response. "Thanks," Chris replied. She then walked over do the door, opening it.
Van was sitting at a stone-bordered, campfire, holding frying pan. In it were two eggs and a fish sizzling loudly. Around the fire place also were small branches of berries and a canteen. Chris was amazed at all the food as she came closer.
"How did you get all this?" she asked.
"If there's one thing Kuro is good at doing, its getting food. Right?"
Kuro looked up at her in agreement. "MEOW!"
"Wow." Chris smiled. "Wish Brownie was that handy when I needed to get food."
A growling sound was then heard. Chris looked behind her and found Brownie squinting at her. "Oh, don't act like that." Chris smiled meekly. "I guess there are just some things a cat can do a dog can't."
Chris' statement didn't seem at all to lighten Brownie's mood. It did for Kuro, however. "Kukukukukukuku…!" >3
"Kuro and Me already ate. So this is all for you." Van said, sliding the food into a metal pan.
Chris went wide-eyed. There was more than this!? "Um, I don't think I'll be able to finish all that."
"Oh really? Well, gimme the rest when you're done then."
After Chris had finished her meal, she stood up and walked off in silence to the garage where the bikes waited.
"Hey? Where you going?"
"We really need to be going."
Van got up from his spot and walked to the garage. "These are some beautiful bikes. Where did yall buy them?"
"My dad created them. You do know how to ride right?"
"Of course." He gave her a wide smile.
Chris grabbed her long red coat and put it on then she grabbed the sword holders and strapped them onto her back. "Harlem is going to be a couple days of hard riding. Oh and.....I hope Kuro can out run Siska!"
Van looked at her from the bike. "Siska?"
"Who is...." Van was about to ask when he heard the sound of bones popping and skin tearing.
Chris told Van to follow her outside. When they arrived outside, what Van saw surprised him. Standing a few feet away from him was a eight foot werewolf hunched over.
"Can Kuro do this?" She patted the beast's head and nuzzled her cheek against the beast's cheek.
"Well in this form I call her Siska." Chris flung a few things onto Siska's back and tied them down to the harness Siska was wearing on her back.
"So…" Van said skeptic. "When were you going to tell me about YOUR demon?"
"I'm not hiding anything Fenrir, unlike you. You want to know about Siska or my runes, ask." Chris walked back into the garage and to the bench table where two headsets laid. "Here is one for you and one for me. So we can talk to each other while we are riding."
After Van caught the headset Chris threw to him, he spoke. "Hey, I did want to ask you something. Don't know how straight an answer I will get though."
Chris began strapping the headset to her head. "Yeah, what is it?"
"Where'd you learn how to make a contract with your dog?"
Chris frowned at him. "Contract?"
Chris took a moment to look at Brownie then she looked back at him. "What's a contract? She basically just came to me."
"Really?" Van looked like he was thinking about something.
"Ahh never mind, Forget it. Let's get going. Kuro!"
Kuro then came over and leaped up on his shoulder, bracing himself tight with his claws. "EEE! Dammit, not so tight." Van squirmed. Then He saw a dark leather jacket hanging near the wall. "Hey. Is it okay if I can borrow that?" he pointed.
"Ummm… Well, sure."
Van then shooed Kuro off, took the jacket and put it on. Kuro once again lept on. "Oooo much better." he relieved. He rubbed the sleeves and pulled on the bottom to straighten the jacket out. He noticed Chris was staring at him. "Does it look okay?" he asked.
She didn't answer, only stared at him.
She stuttered, shaking her head. "OH! Uh.. Yeah. It looks fine." She started to get on her bike.
"You okay?" he asked, raising an eyebrow. "Your sorta.. Spaced there.
"Sorry, it's just that, that was my father's jacket and…"
"And… You sort of look like him with that on." She then revved up the bike and rolled out.
Van lightly grinned as she watched her pass by him. "Heh, whatever." He then went over to the other bike.
"Report." Said a man sitting on a control chair, looking among various screens.
"The insurgent team has failed sir. The target had escaped. In addition, the blades. We're prepping another team to--"
"May I ask how exactly a full-prepped team couldn't handle one elf? She may posses the blades, but she hasn't neither the knowledge nor experience to fully handle them yet." The man interrupted.
"My apologize sir." he said, bowing his head. "But according to the two survivors, it appears a Paladin was seen aiding the target."
"And…" The man in the suit took a moment to look at clipboard in his hand. "'A big black cat…" he read.
The man on the chair was silent for moment before ordering, "Call the Religion Military. I want a full explanation on this matter immediately."
"And when will we get our next Satellite feed?"
"The Sat has is coming over the region within an hour sir, however the clouds in that region haven't cleared up as we hoped. It will probably be another cycle before we can get another feed."
"I see. " The man took a moment to think. "In any case, send one of our best agents in each of the nearby towns in the region."
"Orders are to claim the target and the blades. For now, we can do without the Paladin. Till we get an explanation from the Religion Military, he is expendable."
"WAAAAHH!!" Once again the bike had ran too fast. It hit a nearby high, rising rock, locking the bike and causing van to fly forward. He hit the ground with painful thud.
"I thought you said you knew how to ride a bike…" Chris said. Looking at him pitifully.
"I do." Van said getting up. "I just haven't done it for awhile. Gimme a minute to get the feeling back."
"We don't have a minute…"Chris looked down the road and then back to Van. "We need to go now! Siska, the bike."
Van heard popping of bones and tearing of skin again as someone grabbed the back of the jacket he was wearing and brought him over to Chris's bike. "Ok human, you get to ride with Christina while I take the other bike. Like she said, we don't have time for you to learn again."
"HOLY--!!" Van turned to look at a human female-sized demon staring at him. "Okay! Any more forms you failed to mention!?"
"Not that I feel like sharing with you, Human. Ride hard Christana, they are close. If they're bothering you, I can take the pain."
"No, I'm fine. Get on Fenrir, we need to hurry."
"Hey Kuro, get over here!" Kuro then leaped up and latched himself to his shoulder. "Claw in all you like, buddy."
The bikes began to rev up and speed down the street. "Hold on tight!" Chris yelled back at Van.
After a little while down the dirt road, Van looked back noticed some other motorcycles coming down the road. "Who the hell are they?"
"The same people who burned my house I'm assuming…. Hang on!"
The chase continued for about quite awhile till the dirt road lead to the main asphalt road. The two bikes were now winding downhill, Siska slightly in the lead. Van looked behind, seeing the two bikes still on their tail. "These guys don't let up, eh?"
Van tightened his grip around Chris's waist as she suddenly made a sharp turn and skidded to a halt as her bike turned to face the others coming after them. "I hope you have a thick head because we're going to play chicken." Chris began to mutter some words as the wind picked up. Her runes and swords glowed bright. As she revved it up as high as it would go, she let go of the brake and the bike went up on one wheel and came down hard on the on coming bikers. Before any of them hit, the bike went through the rail on the road and both Van and Chris went over the road. The wind became stronger and seamed to carry the bike to the ground.
"Nice trick…!" Van whined, his eyes tearing after landing on the ground.
Siska was already waiting for them on the ground as she looked at Chris with concern. "Your heart rate is up."
"I'm fine!" She snapped. "Let's go, we don't have time to waste. Once we get to the tunnel, we should be able to lose them." Siska then nodded and the two bikes then headed off.
"Why the tunnel?" Van asked.
"Because there are various forks within the whole system. As long as they don't follow us to that point they won't know where we've gone."
For awhile, the two sped downhill, no one behind them. Soon Chris could see the end of the road, leading into the dark tunnel into the mountain. "There it is! We should be fine n--!"
"STOP!" Van suddenly yelled.
Both Chris and Siska screeched the bikes to a halt. They looked at him annoyed. "What is it!?"
"Look." Van nodded in direction of the tunnel. Chris and Siska squinted to see what he was talking about. As they looked harder, they noticed that the entrance of the tunnel had been blocked off by dark SUV's. A few armored men, similar to the ones that attacked her home, were position behind them, readying similar launchers that had weakened her before.
"We'll have to turn back." Chris said. "I know a different route."
"I don't think that's a good idea." Van implied. "The bikes you ditched would catch up to you if you did. Think you can do that trick again and fly us out of here?"
Chris looked over the edge. There was no winding road beneath them this time, and they were at least a few hundred feet high.
Damn. It was too high. And her heart was still beating fast from the last time. She figured they'd float for maybe at least a 100 feet, but she'd run out and they'd fall to their death.
"Well?" Van asked, still waiting.
"It's too high," Chris answered. "We'll just have to take our chances and turn back."
Chris was about to rev up the bike and turn around, however Van suddenly griped her on the waist and yanked her off the bike, throwing her to the ground.
"What are you doing!?" She yelled furiously.
"Your too damn soft," Van smiled. "This is when a guy's 'direct approach' is needed. Right Kuro?"
In response, Kuro leapt off his shoulder and crackled into his larger, cougar-like form. Chris looked at Kuro in amazement for this was the first time she saw him like this. Though soon she shook off her stare and paid attention back to Van. "What are you talking about?"
Ignoring her, Van looked at Siska on the bike. "We'll clear the way. You carry Chris."
Siska glared and snarled at him. "I don't take orders from YOU, Human!"
Van seemed to ignore that as well. "Oh! And try to keep up, but stay at least 30 feet behind us. It's gonna be a pretty big boom…!" With that he revved up the engine and sped away, Kuro dashing behind him.
"What in the world is he--!? Siska C'mon!" Siska then reached down to help up her. She got behind her and grabbed onto her waist as they sped down the hill, keeping up behind Van and Kuro.
The armored men behind the vehicles aimed their weapons as the lead bike began to approach.
"Sir? I don't remember that man and that animal being on priority list. What do we do?"
The leader still kept his weapon aimed on the on coming bike and cat. "That man and the animal are not a priority. Use live ammo on them, but don't harm the woman behind."
Van continued to speed faster toward the blockaded tunnel. Chris was literally screaming into his headset.
"What are you doing!? Turn back, you'll be killed!"
"Hope YOU got a thick head, cause we're gonna play chicken!" Van simply replied. He looked at Kuro was keeping up beside him. "Light it up, Kuro!"
Kuro than gave a load mountain-lion like roar and suddenly, as if he had a pair of after-burners, his body blurred as suddenly sprinted even faster. Soon he was ahead of Van's bike, increasing in speed as well. His horns glowed hot-red as a wall of fire was starting to grow ahead of him…
Chris went wide-eyed as she saw what was happening. To think he could keep up with the bike. And to go even faster…. My God he's fast!
The men behind the SUV's began to get hesistant as they saw the burning piece of mass ahead of the bike rocket toward them.
"WHAT THE HELL IS THAT!?" One of the yelped.
The leader wasn't going to take any chances. "FIRE!!"
As Van saw the men behind the vehicles pull the triggers, he only smiled as he pulled his sword from behind him, twirled it around, and pointed it straight outward. "NOT TODAY~!" Immediately, a curved wall of light formed ahead of Van and Kuro, the blasts setting off its surface but leaving the two unharmed. After all had detonated, Van lowered his sword. The wall of light disappeared. "Sick'im Kuro!"
Again Kuro made his mountain-lion roar and he sprinted even faster. A curved wall of fire now fully formed ahead of him, his horns burning red-hot as he lowered his head forward, preparing for the ram.
The men behind the vehicles began to panic. Some were already running for their lives as the burning mass headed in their direction.
"-OUT OF THE WAY!!!
The burning mass had blown through the middle vehicle, literally eradicating it to flaming pieces on impact in a roaring ball of fire. The armored men leaped to the side of the road, saving their lives from the certain burning death. Even after the impact, the burning mass continued and the two bikes sped forward through the now open, burning blockade.
Once inside the tunnel, Kuro slowed down and ran along side Van's bike and lept forward. In a red flash he reverted back to his smaller, cute self and latched himself on to Van's shoulder.
"Hey Chris!" he yelled into his radio.
"Uhhh.." She was still stunned at what just happened. "What?"
"Can Siska do that?" he asked with a mischievous voice.
Chris didn't answer. Siska only growled. Soon later they heard sound in the radio that went, "Kukukukukukuku…!"
Show offs, Chris squinted. Then she began to hear more bikes. She looked behind her, seeing the four bikes that they had ditched long ago suddenly tailing behind them and closing fast. Damn, they caught up already? "Fenrir!" She called.
"Yeah, I see them." Van replied. "How much farther till the tunnel forks?"
"About one more mile, then there's an additional fork every two to three miles. If they follow us through all three forks, they'll be chasing us all the way Halem."
"Can't have that," he replied. He slowed down and drove along side her. "You go ahead, I'll get rid of them."
"All by yourself!? You don't even know how to ride that bike!"
Van looked at her annoyed. "HEY! I said I just needed to get my touch back, and this'll do just that. We'll split up, just give me directions to go by." he then unsheathed and sword and held it hanging to his right. "Now hurry and get going. And you owe me a date after this~!"
With that Van suddenly hit the breaks, causing his speed to suddenly decrease. This then caught one of the pursuers behind them off-guard as he Van cloth-lined him with the sword. The sudden impulse caused the man to fly back off his bike, rolling painfully to the ground. Immediately Van revved up the engine and regained his speed. Van was now surrounded: One on his rear and two others on each side.
The one on his left held a pistol and aimed it at him. He quickly veered right, but the biker there already had his pistol out, waiting for him. However, Van quickly parried the pistol away with his sword. It deflected with a shot that struck his rear fender. The man didn't let up though, and raised up his pistol soon after for another shot…
"Here comes the first fork." Chris informed Van. "Go left!"
"I see it," Van said.
The biker with the raised pistol, however, was still looking at him, taking aim…. Then he crashed straight into the wall that separated the two roads of the fork.
"But he didn't!" Van smiled.
"Hey, take a right then take another right… OH SHOOT!" Chris yelled into her headset before it started crackling and a crash was heard."
"Hey, you ok?! Chris? What happened!?"
"I'm fine, just keep going."
"Where you at?"
"She said keep going human!" After Siska took the headset from Chris and yelled into it, she turned it off. "Chris....."
"No, I'm fine. I break the rules all the time, you know that. You been with me snice I was a child."
Siska looked up at the three cyclists that had been heading their way that were now laying on stone spikes from the earth. "He shouldn't be with us."
"I know Siska. He will be pissed when he finds out or maybe he already knows. I could of sworn that it was him at the garage that night Tidus had come. I don't know why they are so interested in him. The two races of elves hardly ever bargain with each other."
"Something dark is coming up and you two are set right in the middle of it. Van may act and seem stupid but he's not and....he does seem to be hiding something. A demon just doesn't come around for nothing."
"You called him by his name?"
"Doesn't mean I like him and don't tell him I actually said his name." Siska veered around the rubble, blanketing the crushed bike and bodies.
"We need to head out. I'm sure that human is yelling into his headset wondering where we are." "He's close." Chris leaned her head onto Siska's back. "My right arm hurts."
Siska looked behind her at Chris. Blood had been dripping down her arm snice she used the earth spell. Siska then revved the bike up and took off down the road.
Chris turned on the headset to a yelling Van. "Owww, damn you! Stop screaming!"
"I wouldn't be screaming if you would fucking answer me damnit.!!"
"I was busy and what is with the tone? You worried or something?"
"I'd like some directions!" Van growled annoyed. "I'm on the second right you told me to take."
"Take a left then take two rights and you should come to the end of the tunnel. We'll meet you on the outside."
"Where the hell are you guys?!"
"I said we will meet you outside!"
"Chris, we have a problem." Siska informed.
Chris looked ahead and saw the last person she wanted to see. "Tidus." She whispered.
Siska slowed the bike down to a halt as Tidus began walking towards them. As soon as he was close enough, he just looked at her and touched her right arm. "Don't damage yourself up to much. I would like you all in one peace once this is over with." He grabbed her arm harder making her scream out in pain.
Siska growled at him and revved up the bike and took off while throwing him into the tunnel wall. Chris eyes grew wide. "Siska....."
"I know I will be punished for this but I can not stand what he does to you."
"Thank you my friend." Chris layed her head back onto Siska's back. "You think Van heard all that?"
"I'm pretty sure he did."
Unfortunately Van was too busy to hear any conversation. He will still tangling with the two bikers still in pursuit.
"You two are persistent mother-fuckers aren't you?"
One of the bikers responded by firing a shot at his bike, blowing off his main headlight. Van knew he had to take them out before the next fork. If he didn't they could round out which direction they would head.
Again one of the men began to take aim at him. Van quickly veered in his direction and grabbed the gun in his hand. The guy on the bike, however, wasn't letting go without a fight. The gun went off a few rounds as the two struggled for the pistol. Kuro, who was still on Van's shoulder, went around and slashed the man's hand with his claw. The man yelped and released the gun.
Van then aimed at the man's front tire and pulled the trigger. Immediately the tire burst and the man lost control, rolling forward and falling painfully to the ground. The man on his right was all that was left. However he saw him suddenly switch from a pistol to a sawed-off shotgun from the sack on his bike. Van went wide-eyed. "Shit!"
The man took a shot at, but Van steered more to the left than he predicted.
Up along the wall…
The pellets of the ammo struck the concrete tunnel wall below Van who quickly steered back down smoothly from the wall to the road. Van quickly took aim with his own pistol. He took a few shot, and was able to blow out the man's rear tire. The man veered wildly for awhile, but quickly recovered. He began to reload.
Van took another aim, this time for his front tire. He pulled the trigger.
Nothing came out. Only a click.
Van looked at the gun in his hand annoyed. "Dammit…!" The man with the shotgun had reloaded and now took aim at him. Van knew he wouldn't have time to bring up his sword or steer again.
"Go away." He threw the emptied gun at him instead. It spun and hit the man right smack in the face shield of his helmet. The shock made him lose concentration of his blown our rear tire and he spun out of control, hitting the far right wall hard. Van smiled as he looked back at him.
"Bye, bye." he said. He looked in front of him, seeing the fork in the tunnel. "Home-stretch."
The two rode along, took the necessary lane and headed toward the end of the tunnel.
Siska and Chris waited patiently at the exit of the tunnel.
"Christina, your arm."
"I'm fine." She said, enduring the pain.
They then heard a loud bike sound coming through the tunnel. They reved up their own bike, just in case in was another pursuer… However, they only frowned as the light in the tunnel was able to catch the familiar bike and face of the fool that rode it. He came and stopped in front of them.
"Miss me?" He smiled.
No, we didn't. We need to go. We will stop and rest at the next town."
Van looked over at Chris. "What's wrong with your arm?"
"Nothing. Can we go?"
"It really does look like nothing just hanging there."
"Whoa, all I asked.."
"I know what you asked!! Siska, please."
Siska's and Chris's bike took off before Van could say anything.
Van looked over at Kuro. "Issues?"
Kuro shrugged as he hung tight onto Van's shoulder.
All four rode until night fall and into a nearby town called Kenta . Siska walked into an inn while Chris stayed outside with Van and Kuro. Soon later Siska walked out and looked at Chris. "Only one room was available. Seems this town gets busy around this time."
"That's fine. I'm ready to fall over anyway and I'm sure Fenrir is tired too."
"Heh… You have no idea."
All four entered their room and fell into which ever spot they were at. Chris pulled off her coat and Siska walked over to the bed with soap and a washcloth. The runes on Chris's right arm had blood lining each mark etched into her skin.
"Damn! That looks serious." Van Cringed.
"Hey Fenrir, why don't you go make yourself useful and go get Christina some bandages instead of standing there?" Siska ordered.
Van looked offended. "HEY! Don't gimme that crap! I did my part in that tunnel mind you. And besides, I got a better idea." He unsheathed his sword and went toward Chris. Siska immediately freaked.
"What are you doing, Human?!"
"Just hold her arm up." Van said, unphased by her snapping.
"Like hell I will!"
"Don't worry, I'm not gonna chop her arm off or whatever." he said assured and slightly annoyed. "I can stop her bleeding. So.. Do you mind?"
Siska just stared at him for a moment, then at Chris who gave her a nod of approval. Reluctantly she helped Chris lift her bleeding arm up in front of Van.
"Okay…" Van twirled his sword and it ended up pointing down. He then gripped lightly on the blade and on the pommel, holding it up so that the hilt was right over Chris' arm. "This'll feel kinda weird… And good at the same time."
"Huh? What are you--?"
The sword's hilt suddenly opened up mechanically, revealing small moving and glowing parts. The large jewel in the middle of the hilt was extended out by a small, metal arm and then small beam of light illuminated from the jewel to the bleeding area. The light seemed to shift in many spectrum of colors. Chris stuttered as she felt a tingly, hot, yet soothing feeling crawl over her wounds. Though she was more astonished as she saw with her own eyes that the wounds on her arm were closing. The bleeding was ceased and the left over blood dried and fell off like dust.
"Ok. That should do it." Van then twisted the pommel and the jewel ceased back in and the hilt closed locked it in place mechanically like some alien device. "How you feel?"
Chris rubbed her arm. There was no pain and it felt smooth. " Wow. There's no pain at all."
Siska looked at him. "What kind of healing magic was that?"
Van laughed. "HAHA! Who ever said I used magic? See, that light you saw is what is called 'redemption light.' Not really designed to help really deep, life-threatening wounds, but it patches up scars and burns really well. It's a light that alternates in specific wave-lengths from infared to ultraviolet, and it stimulates the skin cells in the body to--"
"Wait a minute." Chris interrupted. "Are you telling me you don't know any magic at all?"
"Uhh.. Yeah. Why you asking, I thought you knew that?"
"But that protection spell you cast in the forest…" Siska added in. "And when you used it before entering the tunnel. Wasn't that magic?"
Van stared at them. He couldn't believe what he was hearing. "Before I answer, lemme ask you one thing: Do you think all the world's phenomena is the work of 'magic'?
Chris and Siska looked at each other. Then they looked at Van and shrugged.
Van squinted at them and looked at Kuro. "See what happens to people who live in the forest alone for eight years?"
Siska and Chris growled.
"What that was," Van explained, extending his sword outward, "Was another type of light called 'Guardian.'" The blade on van's sword quickly split down the center and widened out, revealing a round mirror-like object inside. It shined brightly and the familiar curved wall of light appeared at the end of the blade. Water-like glows of white light filled the room.
Chris and Siska only stared in amazement.
"It's a type of force field. It can withstand a force of roughly ten-thousand newtons. Also, it can cancel out any type of hot or cold molecules touching it by distributing the kinetic energy by-- Ah!" Van shook his head. He then closed off the blade and the shield was gone. "Uh sorry. That parts boring. Anyway, that's what all that was about. As you can see, I don't use any type of magic what-so-ever."
Chris was at a lost of words for his sudden burst of lecture. "You.. Seemed to be really into explaining everything there for a moment." she commented.
Van smiled meekly. "Uh yeah. Sorry. It's a bad reflex."
"Well when I was training to be a Paladin, I had to sort of memorize the manual for this sword and repeat it to the instructor… To tell the truth," He smiled big. "I really don't know half of what I just said to you all..!"
Kuro made a pitied look.
"Wait. Are you saying that the Paladin's don't use any type of magic at all?"
"Really. Why you look surprised, it's not uncommon to people in the cities or even towns. Hell, the entire Religion Military uses things similar to this sword. Guns, vehicles, shields, blades… Just state-of-the-art weaponry. Though… I heard rumors a few people in the RM do know magic. But I never saw any while I was there…"
Siska interruptd. "Hey, this is all interesting, but I'm going to go run the town and see what's out there."
"No! What about Ti....." After Chris caught herself she started speaking in elven. "What about Tidus, he will probably be out there expecting you to be running."
Siska spoke back to her in elven. "I will be fine, I can't die that easily…" She winked at Chris as she began to change back to a dog. "Or is it Van you do not wish to be left alone with?" Siska laughed (barked) as she ran out the door.
Chris had looked over at Van then quickly looked away. She rubbed her arm that Van healed and silenced seemed to ensure around the three until Kuro meowed. Chris looked down at Kuro as Van spoke.
"Why? You don't need to go out also. That dog is already going out to search the grounds."
"Well, fine then. Go!"
Kuro ran out the door leaving the two alone.
"What were you talking to Siska about? The part I couldn't understand?"
"Oh, it was nothing. Just telling her to be careful."
"You were about to say a person's name when you stopped. You know, I've noticed you speak elven when you don't want me to know about something."
"Not my fault you don't know other languages."
"What if I did know how to speak some elven?"
"Then why the hell are you asking me what I talked to Siska about? Why are you trying to butt into my life?"
"I'm not, I'm helping you. No one asked for you two to come along with us to Halem!"
"Are you dumb or something? You DID ask us. Besides, you two wouldn't be able to find your way. You are the one who past it and came all the way here. How the hell does a Paladin not know how to use a map?!"
The yelling between the two started to heighten as both were standing up and in each others face. Someone had walked by and saw this as the person was shutting the door to their room. "Lover's fight." The woman smiled as she walked away.
Maria had walked downstairs with a smile on her face. "You know the couple is room B-12?"
"Yeah what about them?"
"When I walked by, they were so close together it seemed like they were going to kiss. They were fighting though, I don't know what about but you could tell they were in love. They didn't even noticed that I was shutting their door."
Luke just looked at her. "Whatever." And went back to his paperwork.
Back in the room Chris shoved Van on his chest. "I MAY HAVE BEEN ALONE FOR EIGHT YEARS BUT I'M NOT STUPID ENOUGH TO TRUST THE WRONG PERSON!!!!
"WHAT THE HELL YOU TALKIN ABOUT!? YOU ARE STUPID ENOUGH!!
"YOU HAVEN'T SEEN OTHER PEOPLE FOR EIGHT YEARS! HOW THE HELL COULD YOU LEARN WHO TO TRUST!?"
"SHUT UP! I'VE SEEN YOU ENOUGH TO SEE YOU'RE TOO TRUSTFUL FOR YOUR OWN GOOD!
"SO YOUR SAYING I SHOULDN'T TRUST YOU? WHY EVEN GIVE ME A DAMN REASON CHRISTANA? OR IS IT BECAUSE YOU HAVEN'T TOLD ME ABOUT THAT OTHER ELF THAT LEFT THE BRUISES?"
Chris stopped on what she was about to say and instantly just stared at him. "What did you say?"
"I don't sleep as soundly as he thought. Who is he?"
Chris turned around and walked over to the bed and sat down. "It's really late......we...we should go to bed. I'm sure Kuro and Brownie will be back soon.
"WHO IS HE CHRIS?!"
"LEAVE IT ALONE!!!"
Outside, the cat and the dog were walking around the building, being very vigilant. Brownie barked at Kuro as they strolled.
So… He conducted a contract with you didn't he?
Kuro meowed, but didn't look at her. So you know, huh?
Well what else? You and I know that we can't live in this world. It'd be like a Human trying to breath underwater.
Well duh. Kuro purred.
But tell me something… How was it that he was able to perform one? A Human has neither the blood nor the knowledge to do it.
Ancient Chinese secret. Kuro responded.
Brownie growled. Hey why are you being rude to me? I've never talked badly to you!
No… but He gave Brownie a dark stare. You and your Girl have been rude to him. And I don't respect anyone who doesn't respect him.
Brownie barked at him. Hey I know your supposed to be loyal to your Master, but you could at least give ones of your own race some slack, you know."
Kuro stopped and just stared at her. Oh shut up with that heritage devil-shit. I'll speak crap to whoever I like. And… He interrupted, before Brownie could protest. :"He's not my master. He's my friend."
..Friend? Brownie eyed him unconvinced.
Yes, Friend! Kuro hissed, assuring. And unlike you, which I'm assuming, he didn't summon me or conduct a contract so he could gain any type of power. He's not like that.
So why'd he conduct one with you then?
You said it yourself: Like a Human trying to breath in water. You figure that out and then you'll see why I respect him. I'm heading back. Kuro than prance forward and started sprinting back to the room.
Van wouldn't give up on finding out who the guy was who put the bruises on Chris and Chris was getting tired of his forcefulness in finding out who Tidus was. No matter what she said, the yelling match kept going. Finally it got back to face to face again, invading each others space but this time when Chris was getting to close to him, she tripped and fell onto him. When she fell onto him, both fell onto the floor right as Kuro was walking into the room. Kuro stopped in his stop and looked on the two with surprise. Chris was straddling Vans waist with her head on his chest. Kuro just meowed at the two and that's when Chris immediately pulled herself onto all four.
"Oh....I....I'm sorry." Chris's mind went blank on what she was yelling at him for. She could feel the heat rising up into her face. Her mind kept on racing on what to do, either kiss him or back off and she finally decided after three minutes of the third option. "His name is Tidus, an elf of full blood. You need to stay away from him. He wanted some information from me, that's all, and I didn't have any to give or wanted to give. I can deal with him but I can't deal with the ones behind him. I do this to keep Brownie.....Siska safe." Chris backed up finally and sat on her hindend allowing Van to sit up. "She was given to me when I was young. She was susspose to betray me on my sixteenth birthday but she never did. And for that, she had gotten in trouble with her orginal owner but a deal was made." Chris looked away for a moment and saw Kuro just standing there with his mouth open. Chris smiled at the cat.
"Was I the deal?" Van asked.
"What?" Chris looked back at Van in surprise. "How......?"
"Just a guess. It wasn't the first time I saw that guy."
Chris' eyes widened. "You met him before?! ..Then why were you so bent on asking me about--?"
"I didn't know exactly who he was," Van interrupted. "He just came outta the blue all of the sudden a week ago and recommended that I go to Halem. Didn't give me a name or whatever. Found it strange an elf would come and give me advice, considering that I was in the RM. Plus, he knew who I was."
Chris stared at him. "…Why is he interested in you? And why Halem?"
"Chris. I'd tell you, but I can't."
Van closed his eyes. "All I can tell is that my reason makes A LOT of people uneasy and curious. And if I shared it with you, you'd probably have more than a few bikes chasing you… I need answers on it, and according to him, they're at Halem."
Chris studied him and asked, "This reason… Is this why your no longer a Paladin?"
"Not really. But when I said that my reason made a lot of people of uneasy, that included the RM. So to be honest… I didn't really resign, I was discharged."
"Don't worry. I was thinking of quitting long ago." Van assured her.
"No that's not it. I mean what made it so bad that you were discharged?"
Van smiled. "I told you. If you know you might be in bigger trouble. I need to keep this to myself. At least for the moment…"
Later that night all four had gone asleep, Van and Chris on the two beds and Kuro and Brownie at the foot of the beds. In a stir, Van awoken. He got out, waking up Kuro
"I'm okay. Just go back to sleep." Van whispered.
Kuro just stared at him as he walked into the bathroom and close the door softly behind him before laying his head down again and falling heavily asleep.
Van turned on the faucet, and splashed water in his face. He looked in the mirror, stared at his drowsy face and scruffy hair.
Wow… he thought, surprising himself. I look terrible. No wonder she doesn't seem to trust me. I look like a complete--
"UGH!" He fell to the ground. Grabbing his chest as it suddenly felt like it was being burnt. Van reached up to the sink and helped himself up… But then he fell again, as another shot of burning pain hit him again.
"AGH…!" In desperation, Van ripped open the shirt covering his chest, in hope to release the pain. He kneeled down as a glowing mark on his chest began to glow bright red. In time the glowing slowly died down and Van upper body fell forward, breathing in all the air that he missed. On weak knees, he slowly stood him self up, using the sink as leverage and looked at the mirror to see a very pale face looking back at him. As he was finally able to stand up straight, he looked at the black mark on his chest.
One week ago…
Van and Kuro sat at a campfire, a piece of meat cooking over the fire. Kuro looked up at Van and meowed.
"Good question." he replied to him. "I'm thinking about it. But I think it's best we don't hang around any cities for awhile. Or at least anywhere with high security…" Kuro then responded with a purr. "Thanks. That means a lot." Van patted his head.
"Pity… Cast away by the people that you had such faith in... How is it that that never gets you down I wonder?"
Van immediately got up and looked around, his blade already unsheathed.
"Oh, I'm sorry. Did I startle you?" The unfamiliar voice laughed.
"Stop Fuckin playin with me! Who and where the hell are you!?" Kuro pranced up, turning into his larger form.
"I see you were able to conduct a Contract as well. So it is true…"
Kuro sniffed the air, then looked up at a certain tree. He snarled for Van's response.
"There you are!!" Van threw his sword at a branch of the tree… Immediately a dark figure appeared and back-flipped, avoiding the thrown blade. As the sword lodged itself on the truck of another tree, the figure landed softly on the blade, standing straight with his hands in his pockets.
"Hahaha! Well done! A normal Paladin wouldn't be able to see through that without having Infrareds ."
Van stared fiercely at the man in the trees, he noticed his ears. "An Elf…? Who are you? What the hell you want?"
"Just a friend." He smiled. "And I there's nothing I want."
"Well if you want nothing, then get the Hell outta my face. Quit annoying me…. But then again." He crossed his arms. "If you're my friend, why don't you go and get me some ketchup for my dinner? And Mountain Dew."
The elf laughed. "Haha! Funny. But as a friend, I'm just here to give you advice. And that is that you should get yourself to Europe and to a town called Halem.
"Bsh, why should I listen to you?"
"Well don't you want to know what that thing on your chest is all about?"
Van's eyes widened. "How do you know about that?"
The man didn't answer. Only smiled mischiefly.
"Well if YOU know about it so much, why don't you go and tell me then? Save me the long ass trip?"
"Well what would the fun of that be?" The elf said gleefully, bringing his arms up.
"Fine! If you won't tell me, then I'll beat it outta you!" With that, he kicked up a cindered log from a fire and, caught it, and threw it at him.
The elf immediately laid his feet against the trunk of the tree and yanked the sword he was just standing on right out. It flew out, shattering the thrown cinder. Van had to roll away as the sword flew right past him. It hit the campfire, putting it out immediately by the explosive impact on the dirt ground. The area around him went dark.
"That would be fun." The voice of the elf amused. "But that'll have to wait for now…"
"Why the hell should I trust you?" Van said in the dark.
"Fine. Don't trust me. But what else can you go by, I wonder?"
Van was silent.
"Talk with the priest at Halem… We'll meet again… Van."
Van laid a hand over the mark and swallowed hard. What the hell is this thing…?