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Chapter 8: Jungle biome - border settlement

The border settlement was almost exactly like the first settlement they’d come upon during their journey. Much to Tera’s disappointment, this one didn’t have a waterfall within its borders like the last one did. She sat on an outcropping that jutted out into the open air above the thin stream that ran next to the border between the jungle and desert biome. It was weird how the ground went from a stream to about an inch of grass to suddenly sand. Terra knew about the borders and how they seemed to seamlessly flow into each other as if there was a clear divider between each biome. Hearing about it and seeing it are two different things however, and she stared out in awe at the desert in front of her.

The desert was covered in rolling hills of sand. She watched as wind stirred up wispy clouds that danced across the plain. It made a compelling and alluring show and she watched in amazement as the wind continued to gather and send more sand swirling through the air. Her eyes widen as she watched the bright sky began to darken and take on a threatening dullness that seemed to promise violence. She continued to watch as the fleeting flurries became continuous sheets of sand hurtling across the desert surface, assailing everything in their path.

And then suddenly, seemingly out of nowhere, the streaming chaos turned into the full fury of a sandstorm, a full-blown assault, threatening everything and blotting out the sky completely overpowering any traces of sunlight with powerful gusts of sand. It seemed impossibly high and wide.

It was terrifying to watch and she couldn’t even hear it or feel it because of the barrier between biomes. It allowed humans to pass through and items but not any of the oddities that each biome possessed such as sand,water and the likes. The different biome elements stayed firmly in their own biomes. No one could really explain why. She stared entranced as it continued to rage for ten more minutes then suddenly dissipated. The sand literally stopped spinning and hit the ground in one big downpour. The sun shone brightly again and if she hadn’t been sitting there she wouldn’t have know that a storm had just happened. “Holy crap.” She whispered to herself as she realized they would be heading into that insanity of a biome soon.

“Are you sure you are going to be okay? You know the beasts carry infection in their claws and teeth.” Terra asked with concern.

“Yeah I’ll be fine. I’ve already been treated for any bacteria it could have carried. I’m just waiting on my leg to heal. I’m actually pretty disappointed I wanted to come with you to the desert biome.” Daniel replied with regret heavy in his voice.

Terra looked away from his game and instead focused on the room. They were in his permanent rooms at the settlement. It looked like her apartment with the large airy design it had. It was more space in the settlements rooms than she’d originally thought. She came to check on Daniel because she hadn’t seen him since they arrived at the settlement and he was rushed away by medical personnel. Dexter and Terra were shown their room. Since they were two bedrooms per apartment they would be sharing a guest chamber. Dexter went to his bed and immediately fell asleep. She’d gone exploring until she found where the borders of the biomes meet. Once the sandstorm dissipated she’d lost interest and walked back towards to the settlement to check on Daniel and make sure he was alright. He might be a douche but she still cared about him more than she wanted to admit.

“You know you can just cross the border without express permission since you aren’t a hunter.”

Technically I am one. The president dubbed me to an honorary one since I’ve been actually fighting the beasts that you have been training to fight for years. Perks of the job I guess.” He announced smugly

Terra rolled her eyes and took in the rest of his bedroom. He had a minimalist approach to decorating just as she did and it wasn’t much to see. Bare walls,a bed and a dresser.

“How long have you lived here ?” She asked finding herself to be suddenly inexplicably curious about him.

“I came to this settlement four years ago . I’ve been in these rooms for about a year. I haven’t really gotten around to decorating yet as you can see.” He waved a hand towards the bare space.

“I’ve been in my room at the academy for four years now and it still look almost the same as when I moved in.” Terra laughed at their similarity.

Daniel beamed his smile at her .

“ I love the sound of your laughter I swear it’s one of my favorite songs in the world.”

Terra’s laughter stopped gradually as she absorbed what he said.

“I don’t understand you. You haven’t seen me in years and somehow you’re still in love with me? It just doesn’t make sense.”

“I told you years ago. You are all there is for me. Until the day that you are married to another I will never stop trying to win you over. But hopefully you end up married to me.” He smiled widely as he wiggled his eyebrows suggestively.

A deep laugh escaped Terra at the thought of marrying anyone. “Yeahhh I’m not marrying anyone anytime soon. No worries on that front.”

Daniel’s eyes seemed to shine brighter as he watched her. “ We will see.” He replied in a serious voice. The effect was broken as he wiggled his eyebrows again.

Terra shook her head and tried to not laugh but failed. She’d forgotten how easy being with Daniel was.

“I’m going to go now. I’ll stop in and check on you tomorrow. Get some rest okay?” she stood up and turned towards the door.

“Can I ask you for one thing?” Daniel asked softly looking up at her from his vantage point on the bed.

“Hm?” Terra turned towards him waiting to hear his request.

“Can I have a kiss before you go?” He pleaded with his eyes.

Terra hesitated. She didn’t want to kiss him because it would feel like a betrayal of Dexter but they hadn’t talked about the kiss at all or even acknowledged it. She knew he kissed other women all the time and it just wasn’t like that between them no matter how nice his kiss had been so she guessed it wouldn’t do any harm in the long run.

“On the last day before we leave... you can have a kiss. But no more mentioning marriage.” She said hesitantly.

“Deal.” He smiled and his whole face lit up. “I’ll see you tomorrow then.”

Caden crossed his arms as he stared at Alicia, the leader of the blizzard biome. She stood in front of him covered in furs. They all stood outside of the blizzard city walls, instead of letting a group of strangers approach she came out with a group of her people to meet them halfway instead. Her bright blue eyes flashed in the sunlight as she looked down her nose at them.

“So you come here begging for help from us because you can’t handle the desert biome on your own?” She asked in a disgusted tone.

Caden’s hand inched towards his sword at the insult in her words. “We come to you offering to join forces in order to subdue the threat the desert has become.” He managed to say calmly.

“They are only threatening your biome. This does not concern us at all. Leave immediately. This meeting is done.” She threw one last look of disgust at them before turning to walk back towards her city with her four bodyguards trailing after her. Caden met the gaze of his comrades as they simultaneously drew their blades. They had their orders to follow. Alicia turned at the sound of blades being drawn. “You have the nerve to come to my home and attack me?” She exclaimed loudly as she drew her own weapon. Her body guards also drew their blades and stepped in front of her. “No.since they are so desperate that they would dare attack me I shall issue a challenge. If their leader can beat me in a one on one battle then we will help them in their quest. But if they fail then they will be thrown in prison.”

Caden couldn’t help the smirk that broke across his face. He loved a confident woman, no matter what biome they were from. He stepped forward with a smile on his face as he waited for her to approach. Her bodyguards stepped back allowing her to pass while efficiently blocking the path to the city just in case caden and the others made a break for it. His team spread out as well completing the ring that surrounded caden and alicia.

She threw a smile in his direction before charging him with a battle cry. He raised his sword and met her charge head on. Their swords met with a loud clang that broke though the silence surrounding them. The strength behind her sword surprised him and he laughed out loud as he felt joy coursing through his body in response to the challenge. They both jumped back from each other and circled trying to deduce each others weaknesses. Caden attacked once again swinging his sword faster than his opponents eyes could follow. She met him thrust for thrust as he attacked. Their dance continued as they parried back and forth dancing across the snow as they tried to outdo each other. Alicia’s serious expression cracked first as she burst out laughing while continuing their complex dance. She stepped forward to block a blow that she could sense coming. Instead caden responded by dropping to the ground and kicking her legs out from under her. She laughed loudly as she fell to the snow. Caden quickly straddled her as he tried to grab her grab her hands and pin her but she was too fast for him. She bucked and twisted her body attempting to throw him of her while simtousely attempting to keep her hands free of his grasp. Soon he felt himself laughing even as their fight increased in intensity. Soon they were both soaked through as they grappled with each other in the snow. Finally Alicia managed to untangle herself and jump back out of his arm range.

“So you aren’t all talk huh? I’m impressed.”she huffed with exertion as she tried to catch her breathe.

“I can always show you what else i’m good at anytime.” Caden replied back still floating on a cloud of europhia.

Alicia danced backwards out of Cadens range and lowered her sword. Her bodyguards took up positions in front of her once again. “I give. You have proven to me how serious and skilled you are. You may stay in my city while we coordinate our efforts. Follow me.”

Caden turned to his fellow hunters and nodded his head. Two out of the group of ten broke off from the group and headed back towards the direction they’d come. They would let the president know of their missions success. Caden and the rest of the group turned to follow Alicia and her bodyguards back towards the city.

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