From Above the Forest

Lies, a Deal, and Nightmares

Edit 12/15/12

…...a paper map.

"A map? That's what you're hiding?" He asked her, confused.

Her eyes widened.

'Of course,' She thought. 'I gave Misty the other egg...she's got both in her pack now.'

She breathed a quiet sight of relief.

"It's old. And very special to me." She spoke, noticing him stare at her, confused.

"So what's the territory under Obili? I've never seen a map like this before. " His eyes were glued to the map in fascination.

"Really?" Luna questioned nervously.

"Not one that goes past Zriphon River." He answered.

He turned his eyes to Luna, who had manages to set herself up on a rock.

"So," He said, leaning his arm against the side of the cave wall.

"Who did you say you were again?" He questioned, he asked, smiling.

"I didn't." She replied, scowling.

"Well," He began. "I think you should."

He nodded to Tarack, who muttered a few words, Misty dropping to the ground, her hands behind her back.

"Search their bags." Xen ordered, his eyes never leaving hers.

She grit her teeth, biting her bottom lip.

"Hmmm..worried are we?" He asked, mocking her.

She glared, eyebrows furrowed. "No. You don't have the right to go through our things."

Luna glanced nervously at Misty, who was lying in the dirt, while Tarack rummaged through her first bag.

Suddenly, his hand stopped.

Shock was evident on his face, as he motioned Xen to come.

He glanced at Tarack before leaning in close to Luna's ear, whispering a few words.

She tensed as her arms and legs were held down to the rock, unable to move

He walked over slowly, taking a look in the brown bag. His eyes widened in shock, then formed an accusing glare in Luna's direction.

"You have explaining to do." He stated.

She suck in a quick breath of air, noticing it's sudden change.

He was no longer teasing or mocking her, but dangerous.

'He is a thief, after all..' She reminded herself.

She sighed, defeated. "Alright, but first thing is first, Misty get's off the ground. Got it?" She said matter of factually.

Tarack glanced at Xen, silently asking for approval. Xen nodded, as Tarack went over to misty, setting her up against a wall.

"Alright, talk. Why do you have two dragon eggs, and where did you get them?" He asked Luna firmly, crossing his arms over his chest.

Luna glanced to Misty, asking for reassurance as she nodded her head.

"Misty and I found them when we were in our town's treasury. We were searching for gold and valuables, but found these dragon eggs by mistake. We thought they might be worth something, so we're taking them to Kurdlow to get them priced and sold." She spoke out quickly.

'Hopefully that will fool them enough' She thought hurriedly.

Xen was silent for a moment, searching her eyes for the truth.

She noticed the edge of his lips turn, as he sauntered over to her.

He took her chin in his hand, raising her eyes to meet his.

"I'd appreciate it if you told me the truth. Luna" He said in a dangerously low tone.

She gritted her teeth, her heart rate rising faster.

"Come now, it can't be that bad." He interrogated.

"Besides, if you don't spill, I'll get your friend over here to tell,"

Luna's mouth opened in surprise. She quickly glanced over at Misty, who was still breathing heavily. Her illness was no where near healed.

Xen full out grinned. He knew he had hit the mark.

Luna looked down. 'I have no choice here.'

"Alright," She started, his hand returning to his side. "But you can't tell anyone else. This is...extremely important."

Xen glanced at Tarack, making sure he still had control over Misty.

Xen sighed, then spoke, "Fine. But it'd better be the truth this time." He spoke, his eyes darkening.

Luna started with her discovering the book, and reading about Alagaesia, then onto how she found out about the weakening of the magic in Obili, and finally about how she and Misty broke into the treasury, stealing the dragon eggs.

After she was finished, it was silent. Xen stared at the ground, contemplating what he had just heard.

After a few moments, he spoke. "You're telling the truth...but why? Why help people who we don't even know?"

'We?' Luna thought.

"Because it affects us too. As the dragons die out, so does our magic, and our power."

Xen's ears peaked at the last part.

"So if we get the eggs to...this place..then our magic will get stronger?" He asked, curious.

"In a sense, yes. It was much stronger a hundred years ago, when the dragons were still around. But as you know, they simply disappeared, and that's when our magic began to dwindle."

Xen nodded, understanding.

"So where do you plan to go? I doubt Kurdlow is going to show any mercy to you, as by the time you get there, your faces will be all over Obili, and for something as huge as stealing dragon eggs, you can bet there will be a horde of bounty hunters after you."

'He makes a good point...'

"We're actually heading to a place called 'Elesmera'. It's supposed to be the Elven capital in Alageasia."

Xen stared at her for a moment.

"You don't even know what kind of civilization they are. They could be cannibals for all we know." He speculated.

"I don't think so. I have a feeling my parents may have made a trip there at some point."

Xen looked at her funny. "Your parents? Why didn't you just ask them to guide you there?"

Luna looked down. "They...aren't really around anymore." She said slowly, feeling the awkward in the air.

Xen appeared to be taken back.

"Oh." his face had a slight hint of guilt.

Misty finally spoke.

"Is there a way you can release your magic now? This is rather uncomfortable..."

Tarack nodded, closing his eyes, apparently releasing the magic from his mind.

"So," Luna asked, eying Xen. "What are you going to do?"

Xen grinned, with a little bit of mischief in his eyes.

"Why, accompany you, of course!"

Luna twitched.

'There's no way I can be around this guy for more than a week' She thought.

"Why? You have nothing to gain by coming with us." She expressed

Xen cocked his head to the side. "Of course we do! I'm sure they'll give us a reward, besides, we haven't haven't had an adventure in a while, have we, Tarack?" Tarack simply gave a small smile, as if he were enjoying the situation.

Luna deadpanned.

'Fantastic.'

/

Misty sat by the fire, munching on a piece on jerky. After their interruption, they had discovered they were all rather hungry, after missing breakfast.

Luna was gnawing absentmindedly on a piece of bread, as the Xen and Tarack were simply eating some cheese.

Luna pulled out her map, studying the various places along their path.

She studied the locations, making mental notes.

They had several ways they could go.

They could go South directly to Funa, go over the mountains, then to Dauf, then lastly to Kurdlow, which was the only town close enough to the Zriphron river, the only obstacle between Obili and Alagaesia. It was a monstrous river, always causing deaths with flooding or explorers with it's raging rapids. If they could cross the river, then they would be in Du Weldenvarden.

The second path was to cross the Tero River, one much smaller than the Zriphron, stay in Buto, cross the mountains to Duram, than to Tela, cross the Tero again, then the Zriphron.

The third, and most unlikely, was to go directly East, cross over a small portion of the mountains, then cross the Plains, a barren wasteland and dessert, then go to Liton.

They wouldn't have to cross the Zriphron, but there was a huge lake they would have to get around, which had it's own river.

Luna studied the edge of the map. Near the corner, there was a name.

'Carvahall' was written on the edge, just barely visible.

She figured the easiest route would be the first, since they would only cross one mountain, and would only have to cross one river, along with being protected by the forest for most of the way.

She sighed, looking up, only to see Xen staring at her.

"Studying the map pretty hard, eh?" He asked grinning.

She simply put the map away, continuing to munch on her dinner, ignoring him.

He grunted then turned around in his sleeping bag. She looked around, to see Misty and Tarack already asleep.

'I must have been studying that map pretty long..' She though, noticing her own fatigue. She yawned, then grabbed her blanket, settling down, and resting her eyes.

/

"Luna..."

A voice called. It was different this time. Louder.

Stronger.

She opened her eyes.

Darkness.

One light.

Her eyes narrowed.

'I know what to do this time.' She thought.

She ran under a black void, closer to the light.

The orb wasn't as wobbly this time. It was hovering in a solid pace.

She wrapped her hands around it, closing her eyes.

'What now?'

There was no barrier this time.

Suddenly, her surroundings began to change.

It was like the darkness was a canvas, and she was walking into a painting.

She looked down, only to see the orb was melting away.

"Luna, step forward already. This is tiring."

She took a step, following what appeared to be a red brick path. She kept walking, as dry, cracked dirt began to form. They sky was turning a milky gray, with calm deep gray clouds.

She closed her eyes, then opened them again.

She gasped, as she noticed her new surrounding. It was barren, with only cracked dirt to be seen for miles.

The slight wind shook her small form as she kept walking, as her red brick path had disappeared.

"Where am I?" She called out, as if some invisible being were nearby.

"You are nowhere." A deep voice said.

She whirled around, but saw nothing.

"Who are you?" She yelled out again. Her breath was getting faster now.

"I am nobody." the voice said again, she looked around, seeing no one.

She took a deep breath, then slowly turned back around, only to see herself. It was almost like looking into a mirror.

She froze. She looked exactly like her, but...was different.

She was darker, with a more ominous aura. Her eyes had a look, like she had lost all her life a long time ago.

But the worst thing, was her grin. It was twisted, like one you'd see on a madman.

"Well well, finally you come. I've been waiting." She said with a malevolent grin.

Luna took a step back.

"What are you?!" She asked, disturbed.

"What? Is that how you talk to an old friend?" The creature asked, still grinning.

"I don't know you, and even if I did, you wouldn't be my friend." She stated, her voice trembling from fear.

"Hmmm...poor thing. You don't remember, do you?"

Luna's eyes narrowed.

"Remember what?" She snapped. This was getting to be a bit much.

"What they did to you. What they did to us."

Luna's breath left her lungs. Images flashed through her mind, ones of a small child lying on a table.

Her arms were bound to the wood, and paper with strange writing that seemed to be smoking off the paper.

Luna dropped to her knees. Her energy was being sapped.

'They scrying wards!' She thought.

She saw that twisted grin and mad eyes, before her vision faded to blackness.

Chapter 9 rewrite done! :D Honestly, I didn't change very much in this one. Just a few aesthetic changes :)

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