Rey sat in a wicker chair, half asleep and flopped over his knees. He sat beside his sisters bed, waiting for her to blink, for her dead eyes to do something other than stare at the ceiling. "Sister mine . . . please." He mumbled in his sleep.
The dark warlock shot up, looking around hurriedly as Drusilla slowly came into vision. "I am sorry to say this, but . . . we are going."
"What?" He stood up and than fell, both legs asleep. The Red Witch caught him and held him there for a moment before setting him back on his feet. "What do you mean we are leaving? Lilith is in no shape to travel!"
"I mean . . . without Lilith."
He froze. Never before had anyone of them decide to leave another behind. He slowly began to shake his head, taking a step back towards his older sisters bed. "We can't leave her behind. We are a team."
"Steven said he would take care of her . . ." Drusilla took his chair, staring at the woman as well. She had never favored her, never thought of her as a friend, but she still had a kinship to her. Lilith was the only other woman in their little family, and sometimes it got a little awkward when she was the only female there. "Rentham already discussed it with Master Leo. We are setting out at noon, so say your goodbyes, we are not going to have you stay here as well. We are already short two . . . two people." She choked on those last words before standing up and walking to the door.
"I am not leaving my sister." Rey said.
"You are not leaving her. You are just letting her stay here while we go and make our kind accepted again. She will be better off with these people, and Steven-"
"We don't even know that person very well!" He shouted, interrupting.
"Lilith does, and he knows her. They had spent the whole time here together. They are good friends."
"We have only stayed two days, at most!"
"Believe me, you can get to know someone in two days. Besides, Kalkira needs . . . someone to protect." She looked over her shoulder at the warrior woman. "We can't bring her along with us. We will be fighting many strange things, and we just started a long journey. She can't keep up, so we leave her somewhere safe. That is what you do in this kind of situation."
"Drusilla!" A voice called from the hallway.
"I have to pack. Say goodbye. I have already told you we are leaving in the afternoon." She disappeared behind the door than, shutting it softly behind her.
"Sister mine . . ." Rey whispered to her, bending over to give her a kiss on the forehead. "Our family is not lost. Our ties are still strong, and even though half of us have ascended into the world of the dead, we are still together. Do not think I left you alone, I am always with you. All you need to do is . . . is call. Call with your heart. You will know where to find me." He stared at her dead eyes one last time before turning away and wiping the tears from his crystal blue eyes.
Lilith needed to heal, and it was true, she couldn't do that on a dangerous trail where predators lay at every turn. The Place of the Edoheths was the safest place they could keep her in, and she would be sheltered until their return.
Let the gods help the Edoheths if they couldn't do what they promised.
The road was dusty, and the companions continually kept having to lick their lips. They were cracked and lacked moisture, and at that moment, they all knew what they were about to stumble upon.
Hot and dry, the long stretches of land blew soft wind at them every time they turned; full of sand and dirt that it coated their faces, making them look as if they wore masks. Even Renthams dark gray skin had been masked by the dry wind.
Drusilla began to wrap a scarf around her mouth as she saw Jaden doing the same. He had traveled through such lands before, and knew that sand storms were eminent. They brought enough water not to get dehydrated, but breathing in the flying dirt was not healthy. It could suffocate in a couple minutes.
"Anyone have a scarf?" Rentham shouted behind him. Soon a thick piece of red material being passed up to him. Everyone had their faces covered with either low cowls or scarves, and they imagined they looked like the mythical sand people that dueled in these lands.
They only hoped they wouldn't run into a pack of them. They weren't welcome to much visitors.
The Sand People were very antisocial, and only came out of their huts to help each other out in either hunting, or gathering supplies. Sometimes, the communities would slowly get smaller and smaller, from lack of decedents, and gently, mysteriously, they would die off.
Hardly anyone knew about them anymore. They were a dying breed of humanoids.
"Rentham!" Jaden shouted over the rushing wind, trying to shield the sand from his aqua eyes. "I can sense another presents!"
"What?" The king shouted back, coming to a halt with his horse.
"Someone is watching us! They are trying to get at us, and they are not friendly!" The assassin dismounted and ran to him, talking loudly. Rey and Drusilla both turned their heads to listen as well.
"Who?" Rentham looked up around the sandy area, wondering what kind of presents he was referring to.
"They are talking to each other telepathically. There is only one race who uses it fluently, and I am sure you know who I am talking about." The assassin stared into the void as well.
Slowly, out of no where, came a lone figure. He was abnormally tall, and wrapped with all sorts of cloth to keep the dust storm out of his face. He had a large spear with a scythe in the other hand, and he was riding a large, sleek sand creature, one that they did not know the name to.
All they could see was that its teeth were razor sharp, and its eyes as black as the stars above. It ran like a wolf, only it was as large as a horse, and no fur could be seen. It was smooth, and white, and if one looked close enough you could see its blue blooded veins beneath its skin.
"There he is." Drusilla whispered before the wind whisked it away.
The sand person whipped the back of his beast and leaped through the air towards them, it taking large bounds that could quickly out distance them in a single minute.
Horses could never keep up with that thing.
Rentham jumped from his horse and drew his sword in one smooth motion, hitting the man across the chest as he spun around, his clothing spinning with him and the sand hitting against his leather over coat loudly. He said nothing, only let the sand man take in his dark gray skin and ebony hair. There was no one else like Rentham, he was the last of his dying breed, and he knew the creature would recognize that. Maybe he would see that he did not understand his pray and leave.
But the Sand People were way more bold than anyone realized.
The stranger looked down at his chest and they noticed that the giant slash has skidded off a thick hide of dark fur, one that looked like a bears, but over all tougher and more matted than anything they had seen. None of them had spent any time in the Plains, and this was a whole new experience.
"I think we should study these people more, don't you?" Rey asked, dismounting with Drusilla.
"Yes, defiantly." She nodded as he called a spell book to him, magically finding a spell to use in this situation.
The sand man looked up at them again and than whipped the back of his riding beast, running towards Rentham once again with his spear extended. Suddenly Jaden jumped into both of their vision and his magical swords dug deep into the beasts neck, severing its head in one clean, circular motion as the assassin did a full vertical 360 degrees around it. After his special move was done, he slid under it in a matter of seconds and cut its legs from its body.
The sand man jumped up and went after him than, throwing a circular throwing disk at his back as he rounded back up. He dogged the thing and grabbed it, throwing it back in one clean motion. This was basic combat, he could do this for hours on end.
The sand person caught it again and than took a defensive stance, scythe and spear drawn out at both sides. He had many more ranged weapons on his belt, but he had decided it was better to fight in sword to sword combat, which was where his skill was best preserved.
He had taught himself, and there was no better pleasure than beating someone with your own, home grown, skill.
Drusilla lit herself aflame and waited for a moment. "Should I go in?"
"No, wait. Maybe they can take care of it themselves." Rey replied, watching in anticipation and amazing focus. At the first sight of trouble, he had a spell to dismantle him, but it would sap his strength, and he preferred to keep it for the time being. They might need him more later anyway.
The sand man turned to Rentham, throwing another blade before darting at him as well. The fallen king deflected the disk and than saw the stranger rushing at him with incredible speed. He put his sword up in defense but it was too late, the mans spear had already pierced his leather armor and dug deep into his shoulder.
Jaden quickly advanced and cast an enhancement spell before running his cool steel blade into his back, putting the other through his head. The sand man went limp on the blades and the assassin drew his swords out than, whipping them around gracefully to let the sand blast the blood off of them.
"Are you alright?" Drusilla asked, running to the gray skinned man and examening his shoulder.
"Its nothing . . . just a flesh wound." He groaned, his voice being choked with pain. "But oh, name of the gods its painful!"
"Here." Rey pushed the female out of the way and set his hand above the left shoulder of Rentham. "This will take the pain away. Its only a minor healing spell, but this way we can continue and not have to stay in one place for an extended period of time. I would heal it, but that is not my specialty."
Rentham looked over at Drusilla for a split second, wondering if she would do the honors. He than turned away, not wanting her to extend her energies on something as minor as this. He knew his companions could take care of any other dangers, magically, or physically. His wound would be healed in a few weeks anyway, and his people would have to be their fittest if they were to complete this mission.
After all, finding the most powerful of magic users ever heard of was not an easy task. "Get back on the horses, we need to get out of here before more of his friends show up!" Rentham shouted through his scarf. "Come on! Stop staring! I am fine to travel!"
Drusilla wrapped up his shoulder and set him back on his horse before they continued on, their fallen king riding in the middle of them to keep him more protected. Jaden was leading the group now, at least until Rentham was healed enough to fight, and the assassin was more than capable to fulfill that roll.
After all, it was in his blood.