From Above the Forest

Comfort, Pasts, and Ponds

Edit 12/15/12

"LUNA!" She heard a voice scream.

Her eyes flew open as hands held her down.

"Luna! What's wrong?" She recognized Misty's voice.

"I-I just had a nightmare...that's all." She said, stuttering, taking deep breaths.

Luna slowly sat up, breathing heavenly as she noticed Xen was holding her up by her back.

"Alright, just breathe." He said, as she noticed he had given her some of his energy.

"Tarack, go grab some water. Misty, get some food." He ordered, as both nodded.

Luna took a deep breath, resting herself against the wall. Tarack handed some water to Xen as Misty set some bread and jerky on the blanket.

"Here, drink." He stated, lifting the cup to her lips. She gulped the water down, coughing.

"Luna, what happened? One moment you were screaming, the next you were losing energy like crazy."

Misty asked. Luna looked up at her eyes, full of worry.

"I...I don't know. I think it was the scrying wards." Xen raised an eyebrow.

"You put scrying wards around yourself...and didn't adjust the spell so that you would wake up?!" Xen asked, disbelieving.

Luna looked down. "I'm just not all that good with spells." She said quietly.

Xen sighed. "Now that we're all awake, and that's it's almost daylight, we should go ahead and and get going. By the way, where are we going, anyway?"

Luna shakily stood up, using Xen's arm as a support. "Funa. It's closest, and right by the Tero River. We might be able to find a ferry that will take us down the river."

Xen nodded, agreeing.

"Right then," Luna said. "I'm going down to the lake...I'll be back." She stated, grabbing a pair of clothes from her bag.

Tarack glanced at Xen, noticing the mischievous glint in his eyes as

Luna left the cave.

"Xen, don't even think abou-" Tarack stopped, noticing that Xen had already gotten up.

'This is just great.' He frustratingly sighed.

/

Luna slipped into the water, waiting for a few moments as her legs adjusted to the cold.

She bent over and dipped her head under the water, letting it run through her hair and scalp.

Luna rubbed her eyes, but was instantly greeted by a fresh wave of cold water. She turned her back quickly, sputtering in shock. Xen was leaning against a tree, holding his stomach as he laughed.

She slammed her fists into the water, sending him a fierce glare while waiting for him to calm down.

"Was that really necessary?" She snapped. Luna wiped the remaining water from her eyes and proceeded to rinse her hair of the rest of the dirt and grease.

He sat down on a rock close to the edge of the water, resting his feet on the soft grass.

"You know, I thought you were insane the first time I heard that story of yours. No one's crossed the Zriphon River and made it back alive." He looked at her expectantly.

Luna sighed, letting her arms float in the crisply clear water. "I told you, my mother's from there. Or she's been there at least, I know that for sure." She looked up, noticing his face in deep concentration.

She waded over to the large rock half submerged in the pond and pulled herself up next to him. She was wearing cut off leggings, and had her pants hanging off a brand, drying after she had given them a good washing.

The warm wind played with her hair, a nice relief from the recent cold.

"Did your mother ever talk to you about it? The land I mean." He inquired.

Luna rested her arms on her propped up knee as she tried to think back. Her mother was a very private woman. Her world revolved around the dragon eggs and Luna, nothing else. She never spoke of her past, like it was a bad memory she was desperately trying to forget. She always kept her magic books on the highest shelf, her old letters in locked chests, and her fairths in her room, always sealed by magic. After her mother died, it took Kunon's master spellcaster to make it into the room.

Her fairths had been erased, the letters burned, and the spell books hidden.

A sudden wave of melancholy hit Luna as old thoughts of home pervaded her mind.

"No, never. She never told me anything." Her tone changed. Xen looked over to her, surprised.

He gave her an analytical gaze, as he noticed her sights were glued to the sunset, the direction of Kunon. Her eyes were dismal as he saw a mix of anger and gloom.

"You're not thinking of turning back now, are you?" He asked, his face lighting up in an attempt to lighten her spirits.

He saw the intensity lift from her face as she looked to him, meeting his green eyes. She kept his gaze on hers before breaking it by standing up suddenly.

"They must be wondering we are." She expressed, jumping to the shoreline.

/

Tarack continued packing his belongings. He noticed Misty sitting in a corner, looking off into space.

"So.." He began, slowly walking over to her. "You and Luna are pretty close friends, huh?" He said, sitting down next to her.

"Ah...yeah. We've known each other since we were little. Our mothers were friends before we were born." She said, a little shy.

"It's kind of the same with Xen and I," He replied. "We met when we were 12, when we were both on the streets." Misty cocked her head. "So...you and Xen have known each other for a while too.." She trailed off.

Tarack smiled slightly. "Yes, quite a time. We've only been doing this for about 3 years, though."

Misty looked down, biting her lower lip. "Ah...the egg is the only thing we've stolen...So where are you from?" She asked, trying to change the subject from the egg.

Tarack averted his gaze, glancing off into the distance. In a matter of moments, his entire demeanor had changed. He was tense, jaw clenched.

"I'm sorry!" Misty exclaimed immediately, realizing she had asked too much.

"No...if we're going to be traveling together, we should know more about each other, right?"

Tarack said, eyes returning to hers.

"I'm not entirely sure where Xen came from, but I'm from Liton. My mother died when I was 9, and I ended up living with a relative in Dauf. One day-" He stopped, taking a tired breath. "There were guards from Ginsa, a Northern town. Apparently my cousin had been dealing in some sort of criminal activity. They took him away..where, I don't know. The next time I saw him, a week later, he was anxious, he seemed almost sick. He gathered all our things, then rushed out the door." Tarack looked down, having a look in his eyes similar to guilt. "He left me. There was food, but little of what he hadn't taken. I tried to find him, I searched around the town, but he hadn't been seen in a week.

After a little while, I decided it was time to move on. The last week I was there, I caught Xen climbing through my window." Misty's eyes widened. "Xen?!" Tarack chuckled, "Yes, our friendship started rather unusually. We were around 11 then." He looked out the mouth of the cave.

"Events happened, and we ended up traveling to Kunon a few times." He stated "Who knows, we might have even met without knowing." Misty smiled.

"And how did you and Luna meet? Not by falling through windows, I assume." He nodded in her direction. She bit her lip in an attempt to control a mischievous grin at the fond memory.

"We were young and in the local academy together, and the both of us had quite the penchant for pranks.." A soft laugh escaped her lips.

"There was teacher we loved to get, he ended up being a good friend in the end." She trailed off, a warm feeling in her stomach forewarned the homesickness.

"This must have been so sudden for you." He replied. She looked up at him, his arms crossed.

"Yes. I left a note for my father, but I don't even know if he-" She stopped herself, feeling a heavy tug at her heart and a thickness in her throat.

"I'm so-"

"I...I'd better go find Xen and Luna." She cut him off, her voice brittle.

She jumped up, hurriedly leaving.

He kicked at the dirt lightly in frustration.

/

Luna tied her sword to her hip, then packed her blanket and the pearly white egg into the bag.

"So, to Funa?" She asked, looking to everyone.

Xen nodded, handing her a wineskin.

"To Funa"

/

Aaaaaand that's the end of the revised chapter 10! :D Again, Xen and Luna seemed way to physical, and tbh they needed more emotional connection :)

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