From Above the Forest

Travel, being followed, and kidnapped

Minor aesthetic changes.

12/26/12

Luna blinked.

Sunlight invaded her sight She took a deep breath, stretching her arms.

Luna sighed, looking up from her bag. Xen was still sleeping peacefully across the room, Misty reading a book, and Tarack not in the room.

She sat up, rubbing her eyes. Luna got up, walking to the door.

"I'm going to find Rhys. I'll be back in a little bit." She whispered to Misty. She nodded, returning to her book.

Luna stepped into the hallway, walking down the stairs. The bar downstairs was quiet, maids sweeping up trash and food crumbs. They nodded as she walked out the door, seeing Rhys across the street.

She ran up, face lighting up. Rhys' men were packing up belongings into various bags and packs.

She noticed the amount of weapons.

Luna cocked her head. "Rhys...what exactly is it you and your men do?" She asked.

He grinned. "We," he gestured, "are...men who fight for money."

Luna deadpanned. "So basically, you're mercenaries." Rhys chuckled.

"Yes, but we're a very small group. We mostly do infiltration, retrieving of certain objects, you know, the usual." He shifted on his feet.

Luna smiled, then frowned as she noticed Xen step through the door. Rhys laughed quietly, walking off with a smile.

Xen trodded over to Luna. "Sleep well?" He asked, crossing his arms over his chest.

"Yes...fine." She answered. Xen nodded, staring off into the distance.

Luna raised her eyebrows. "What, no suggestive remark?" She asked.

He snickered, but stayed quiet. Luna followed his eyes, noticing them observing Rhys, talking to him men.

"Ahhh...So you're intimidated by my brother." She nodded with a grin.

Xen chuckled, shaking his head. "I must say..he's powerful. I didn't expect you two to be related."

Luna closed her eyes, sighing. 'Just ignore him.' Her mind told her.

/**

The group stood at the city entrance.

"Now, if we make good time, we should be able to make it to Funa by the end of the week." Rhys announced.

Luna mounted her horse, Nimya. Xen rode up next to her, along with Misty and Tarack, sharing their horse. "You ready?" Xen asked. Luna smiled. "Ready as I'll ever be."

/

The group had been traveling for a few days. They were about halfway to Funa.

Luna groaned as she dismounted from Nimya.

Misty giggled. "When was the last time you rode a horse, Luna?" Luna laughed, wincing. "It's definitely been a while."

Luna walked over to Rhys. "What's wrong?" She asked.

Rhys exhaled, turning to her. "I have a feeling someone is following us." Luna's mouth dropped.

"Following us? What makes you think so?" She questioned. Rhys shifted.

"I've been scrying the land we've passed." He stated.

Luna raised an eyebrow. "It's...a habit. You learn it when you're in my business. From what I've seen, there have been others camping in our old campsites. And quite a large group, too." Rhys dipped his head, drawing closer to Luna.

"Luna...from what the sites suggests, they have a very large creature with them. I thought it was a dragon at first..but the indentations in the ground don't match." Luna cocked her head. "You know what a dragon print looks like? Does that mean you've seen a dragon?" She asked, shocked.

Rhys looked away, smiling. "Ah, sister, there are so many things we need to catch up on." He laughed lightly.

"We should set up camp. It'll be dark soon."

/**

Xen walked over to Tarack, who was carving a small stick of wood.

"Still obsessed with that hobby of yours, eh?" Xen asked, standing before him. Tarack looked up, a small smile on his lips.

"It's better than staring googly eyed all day at Luna, I would imagine." He answered.

Xen snorted, sitting down. "And what about you and Misty? I'm curious as to what you two were doing while Luna and I were talking." Xen questioned.

"Talking? I would hardly call it that." Tarack peered at him.

Xen crowed. "Ah, but you know me."

Xen unrolled his bag, laying down. He looked over, noticing Luna was already fast asleep next to the fire. Xen observed her, slanted eyes closed peacefully. His eyes caught on a small scar on the side of her neck, marring her newly tanned skin.

His eyes narrowed, wondering what gave it to her. He heard a voice whisper out to him.

"You're staring at my sister."

'Rhys..' He thought.

"Any particular reason why?" The elf continued.

Xen exhaled, meeting his eyes. "I noticed the scar on her neck. How'd she get it?" He asked.

Rhys' eyes narrowed. "That's for her to tell you, not me." His voice answered, hardened.

"Sensitive topic, eh?" He rested his head on his arm behind him.

Rhys raised his chin, keeping his eyes focused on Xen.

"A sensitive topic for the both of us. When you do ask her, be careful. She does have a temper."

Xen snorted. "Yes, I've already met that side of her. She nearly broke my nose."

Rhys chuckled. "Sounds about right." He shook his head, walking back to his tent.

Xen closed his eyes, falling into sleep.

/**

Misty woke up, feeling incredibly warm. She looked up, noticing Tarack's arm wrapped around her, her head resting on his chest. She blushed, scrambling off him. Thankfully, he was still sleeping soundly as she crept over to the now extinguished fire.

She inwardly groaned, seeing Luna grinning across the camp. Luna sauntered over slowly.

"Have a nice night?" She asked, teasing. Misty glared at her from the ground. "You set this up, didn't you?" Luna shrugged. "You never know..." She trailed off.

Misty rolled her eyes as she packed up her bag.

Xen nudged Tarack with his foot. "Time to wake up."

'You weren't really asleep, were you?' he asked mentally.

'I wanted my human blanket a little longer...thanks for that.' Tarack answered.

'Hey, that was Luna, not me."

"Alright!" Rhys bellowed from his tent, holding a his back pack of supplies.

"Let's get moving."

/**

Luna took a bit from her bread, while managing Nimya. She tried keeping up with the rest of them, but stayed in the back.

Suddenly, a monstrous roar sounded from the back. She whipped her head back, her breath caught in her throat.

A massive creature, covered in thick brown fur, but had the tail and teeth of a dragon was running for them.

Luna gasped, speeding up.

"Rhys!" She yelled. The entire group slowed, their eyes widening in horror at the creature.

"Run!"

Everything happened in a flash.

The creature jumped, trees crashed, and Luna flew from her saddle.

She landed on her arm, crashing roughly into the ground.

"Gah!" She hissed as she clutched her arm.

She reached for her sword, but everything fell into darkness.

/**

Xen watched from the front as Luna fell. He saw her arm twist, the other going for her sword, then her head lolling to the side.

The creature stopped, going back. It picked up her limp body with it's tail, then started to retreat.

"RHYS!" Xen called. "That thing's got Luna!" Rhys growled, his horse rearing.

Misty and Tarack both stopped. Misty immediately started for Luna, but Tarack ran in front of her.

"Misty, think. If we got back to her now, we'll only get killed. We've got to plan this."

Misty stared at him bewildered. "Well then, let's get to planning."

/**

Hakan's lips lifted in a wicked grin as the Nulwarm lifted Luna's body from it's tail.

"She's been unconscious for a few hours. Take her in." He sated to a squire.

He called another guard. "Prep the table. We have our subject. We need to begin as soon as possible."

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