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Basset

Like Father, Not Like Son Updated October 1 (Forgot to change title before... Sorry)

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@proofreading ...yeah, that isn't the best way to proof.

@Luke WOOT! Sorry... but I think I like Luke about as much as Lars does... >.>

<.<

^.^"

@updates sweet.... but I'm not gonna get my hopes up. Raine and I thought we'd have Exsors way ahead by now.... it's not. We've hit a wall...

@"boyfriend" saying special someone would have needed no explanation and would have caused no confusion. :P (i know, just being nit picky... but you know me.)

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i think rashnu's becoming my favorite character. :) good scene. hope there's a lot more of him.

and at first i was going to point out something that i thought might be a 'misprint' if you will, but then i realized that i might just be over-theorizing, so i'm just going to wait and see. i just hope it doesn't take too long to get to that point. ;)

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Really good story. I loved the scene when Rhen and Elini were trying to get Luke out of the Sun Shrine, it made me laugh. I also enjoy Lars's jealous side, it's funny.

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@Marian: Yeah, it isn't... The issue is actually getting whitelily to help. She can really be a pain about that.

Luke's necessary... In the future.

True, that would have worked. Aw well.

@Kaz: I thought he might be. I rather like him too actually... He's one of the few male characters I can actually write. And there will be more of him... I'm just not sure whether you would count it as "a lot".

As for the misprint... I wonder what it was. If it has anything to do with a certain fire demon, that part is fast approaching... At tops, three chapters until they're in the lamp. But I think that's tops.

@Mopiece: New Reader! Welcome to the story. That scene was supposed to be humorous, so I'm glad it succeeded. And trust me, Lars's jealous side isn't gone.

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@proofreading ok... I've done this for NW... so I'll offer my proofing services here- if you want... PM me the next chapter and I'll proof it for you each time.

@Luke yeah... I doubted you'd throw in a pointless character. *sigh*

@Rashnu WOOT

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*another reader coming through*

this is really great basset! i really enjoyed the witty and funny parts! i read 'Never Wanted' before reading this one so obviously there were some things in Never Wanted which i didn't understand but i do now.....can hardly wait for your next update... :)

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@Marian: You've already read it, but there's only a slight mention of Luke... That's it. Thanks for proofreading!

@Chimera: New Reader! Welcome to the story, I'm (we're, where in the world is whitelily when you want her) glad to have you! Thanks! My sister, whitelily, is co-author. There are some references in Never Wanted to here... Glad you understand better. Here's the update!

(Oh yes, whitelily and I just started on the chapter after this one... We've written all the stuff inbetween too. And we were laughing like nuts.)

 

Chapter 44

We returned to our ship, far away from Aveyond. You’d think Luke would have let it go by then.

But no. Instead, he was wasting time asking Dameon all sorts of questions about Rashnu.

I almost felt bad for the druid of darkness.

Elini was getting almost as fed up as me. She joined me at the railing of the ship, trying to ignore the two men/boys. “So how are you? You certainly didn’t seem pleased when he showed up.” She motioned towards Dameon as she spoke.

“Did you notice the way he was talking to Rhen?”

“Yes. Kind of sweet, don’t you think?”

I slammed my fist down on the railing. “No, it’s not sweet! The whole time she was talking to him she didn’t even mention me, even though I was standing right next to her.”

Elini sighed. “Oh you northerners. Think you can keep women all to yourselves.” She shook her head. “Just wait until the girl gets a taste of the culture of Veldt.”

“What about the culture of Veldt?”

“Oh, I think she’ll quite enjoy it there. Most women do. All the men you want.”

I glared at her, before a wonderful thought came to my mind. “Elini, you said you were looking for another husband, didn’t you?”

“Yes.”

“What do you think about the newcomer?”

“Him?” She glanced back over at Dameon, then looked slightly taken aback. “Are you out of your mind, Sorcerer, he’s a druid!”

“Maybe he’ll find you charming enough to marry you anyway.”

“Well, maybe, but I’m really not interested.”

It was worth a try. Too bad. “Do you know where we’re headed next?”

“Veldt, I think.”

“You can’t be serious.”

She grinned. “Oh, I have a feeling this will be a good experience for you. For a little bit of warning: if you have any plans of marrying the Sword Singer, stay away from the women.”

“If I’m not interested, they wouldn’t just come after me, would they?”

Elini looked me up and down, in a way that made me like an item in a store. She was really good at making a person feel that way. “At least half of them would. Though I wouldn’t say you’re every woman’s type.”

I hurried away to find Rhen.

 

I found her below decks, running a polishing stone along one of Galahad’s swords. Her own weapon, the Sword of Silence, lay beside her, looking as smooth as the day we found it.

Which was a couple of days ago.

“Why did you invite him on the quest?”

“Hm?”

“Dameon. I don’t trust him.”

“You don’t trust anybody.”

I decided to let that slide. “There’s something different about him.”

She lay Galahad’s sword aside. “What?”

“He’s hiding something.”

“Like?”

“Something dark, I can’t really tell what it is though. But the way he talked to you…”

“Oh. That’s it. You’re jealous.”

She had the audacity to smile.

”Maybe I am! What’s the matter with you?”

“What do you mean?”

“You accepted every single one of his stupid compliments and practically flirted back!”

“We were just talking.”

I couldn’t believe it. Could she really havce missed it? “He wasn’t just talking.”

“Oh? Who made you the resident expert?” There was still a smile on her face.

“It’s obvious, anyone could tell!”

“Really? I just thought it was nice to be complimented.” She blushed slightly.

“And his flirting is working.”

“Would you feel better if I told him you and I were together?”

“Yes! Why didn’t you say that in the first place? Apparently, all I was to you was the guy in the light blue cloak.”

“What did you want me to say? ‘That’s Lars. Oh yeah, he’s my boyfriend, and he’s incredibly jealous of you.’”

“Would the boyfriend part have been so hard?”

Rhen sighed. “I’ll tell him. It’s not like I was hiding it; I doubt it would have changed anything. He was being polite... It’s just nice to be appreciated. Not many people consider the chosen one might like a compliment every once in a while.” Rhen almost had a far away look in her eyes.

“There could be a reason for that,” I pointed out, “there’s not really all that much to compliment.”

The look vanished in a second, and her fist contacted with my arm before she spoke. “Hey! Do you realize no one has complimented you yet on this journey?”

“Maybe that is because the only people you invited were ones that either dislike me or want to kill me!”

“What about Elini? And Te’ijal?”

“Fine. Name one man.”

“Why are you so disturbed none of the men like you? You’d think I’d be more worried about them liking me then you worrying about them liking you...”

“I’m not worried… Never mind.”

Rhen laughed. “Relax, would you? You’re so uptight. You’re starting to remind me of a stuffy noble. Then I’d break up with you.”

“Rhen, I am a noble.”

“But typically you’re not stuffy. Don’t start with that.”

“If you think nobles are bad, you should try talking to royalty.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

“Well, royalty are usually about ten times as uptight as nobles.”

“Why are you bringing this up to me?”

“Because you’re a princess.”

She smacked her forehead. “Right! I am!”

“So, according to your logic, that means you must be more, uh, stuffy, than I am.”

“I wasn’t raised royalty.”

She was only about a foot away from me. I was beginning to loose my train of thought.

“Well in that case, you better start becoming uptight. Do you know how unnatural you’ll seem?”

“Kill me. Kill me now.”

“If you really wanted that, we would never have beaten Indra.”

“Well I hope you would make it fast. I doubt she would have given me that.”

“Well I have no doubt I could, but with you why would I want to? Luke, on the other hand…”

“So you would want me to suffer, but not Luke.”

“I meant kill.”

“So you wouldn’t kill me if I begged you?” She wrapped her arms around my neck.

“This is starting to turn into a very odd conversation. If you asked me to kill you, I’d put you in bed rest for three days, just so you could think about what you were considering.”

Rhen sighed. “I guess I’d have to ask Te’ijal.”

“I wouldn’t trust her if I were you.”

We could hear voices in the hall. “Galahad, why are you running from me?”

“Stay away from me, creature of the night! Sun Priest, destroy her while you have the chance!”

“But my succulent darling…”

Rhen shook her head. “I’ll never understand those two. We were talking about you killing me.”

“That seems like such a dreary subject for such a time as this.”

“You’re always dreary.”

I leaned forward to keep her from talking.

She laughed softly, met me in the middle, on tiptoe (she’s not really all that tall.).

We both heard the door open, and ignored it.

“This is different.”

It wasn’t Elini’s voice, or anyone else who would typically walk in on us kissing. Well, no one who would have before.

Rhen looked over my shoulder. “Dameon!”

“I wasn’t aware you two were together. You act more like you’re worst enemies.”

I turned around, keeping my arm obviously around Rhen’s waist.

“Yeah… We’re not.” Rhen was always so articulate.

“I noticed. I’m just amazed you let me flirt with you like that.”

“Told you it was flirting.”

She glared at me.

“I’m sorry, Rhen, I had no idea you were with him.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?” we both said in unison, and looked at each other.

“Well, I understand you must pity him… But I would have thought you could get a much better man who would treat you much better than he does. Is this a sympathy thing?”

Rhen looked like she was in shock.

I couldn't believe my ears. “Pity?! Sympathy?! You don’t even know who I am!”

“You’re Rona Tenobor’s son.” Had I said that? I didn’t remember saying it… Where had he heard that? “And you just look it. You seem to be very demanding.”

“How… How did you know that? That I was Rona Tenobor’s son?”

“You were?”

“I am… Never mind. How?”

“Oh. You don’t know, do you?”

“Know what?”

Dameon smiled. “Nothing.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

“I said it was nothing.”

“How would you know her? What happened?”

“If she hasn’t told you, then I am not authorized to discuss it with you. I’m amazed she wouldn’t, it’s rather big.” He had a smug smile on his face by this time.

“What is this, why is it so big?”

“I’m sure she’ll tell you eventually. Or the druids will once you’re not longer a minor.”

Rhen left.

Why did it seem like she always ran when I started arguing with other people?

“You’re a sorcerer, right?”

“Yes, a very powerful one.”

“How old are you?”

“Sixteen.”

“Yes, I’m sure you’re very powerful.” It would have been hard to miss the sarcasm.

“I’ve gotten this far in a dangerous quest, haven’t I?”

“With other people.”

“I was still always one of the front fighters.”

“Really? What a waste,” he said, boredom obvious in his voice.

“And you think you would be better? I can imagine the enemies screaming in pain as you heal them.”

“I can imagine them crying from sparks.”

“Why? Is that the best you can get off your fingertips?”

“I was referring to sorcery.”

“Novices can get sparks off their fingers.”

“Isn’t that what you are?”

“I’ve graduated.”

“Really? Wonderful. Congratulations.”

“Well, I’m still more useful in a fight than you are.”

“So you say. Yet you’ve never seen me in a fight.”

“I hope I never do. You would be a waste up front.” I headed towards the door. Now where had Rhen gone…

“We shall see. We shall see.”

 

 

 

Slightly shorter than most updates... But it's not too bad. I think the next one is super long, so...

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Ok, finished a true read. *applauds* Very realistic talk those two had. I liked it. XD Had bits of humor but it was completely laced with real reactions and feelings. Very refreshing. ^_^

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nice! didn't expect Dameon to resist, thought he'd just back off! this'll be more fun now! poor Lars; no man respcts him..... waiting for more updates....

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honestly, it's a good thing you two aren't updating every day. well, it is for me. :roll:

great chapter. basset probably won't want to hear this, but i like dameon. XD he's so sarcastic. i'm curious: which one of you is writing him, primarily? or is it a joint effort?

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@Marian: Really? I assume you're referring to the Rhen and Lars conversation, right? I think that's the only one-on-one besides Lars and Elini.

@Chimera: Ahriman ordered Dameon to seduce Rhen... I don't think he'd give up easily.

@Love: Really? I guess some of it is humor... We have more written, we just need to go through it again.

@Kaz: Yeah... The next one is probably coming soon though. You like Dameon? Oh great, now I have to work harder. Dameon is actually me, not whitelily... I never thought I did a real good job with him. Whitelily did though.

We don't have many joint efforts... Typically it's one or the other. I've got Rhen, Te'ijal, Caleb, Beth, Dameon, Rashnu, the Oracle, the mystery perspective that hangs out with Mar, and Zrellsis... Whitelily's got Lars, Elini, Galahad, Mar, the other mystery perspective, Luke, Lars's Mother, Vanessa, Gina... I think that's most of hers.

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Yeah, I'm referring to Lars and Rhen. And really, I mean it. Quite refreshingly realistic. You should know by now I don't give a compliment unless I mean it.

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@Marian: Yeah, I should know that, shouldn't I? I think I'm brain dead lately... Can't believe school starts in a week.

 

Update! It's not my favorite... But whitelily and I are cracking up over the chapter that comes after this. That one is mostly written too... And it has a lot of a certain character whom has only had relatively short parts in the past...

 

Chapter 45

We arrived at the Southern Isle the next day. Dameon was not in the front lines… It was still Rhen, Elini, Te’ijal, and myself, of course. And, if I may say, we did extremely well against the hyenas and scorpions. We barely even needed Dameon’s little healing spells.

The Southern Isle was a desert (if you thought otherwise, think again) with sand that got up in your boots if you fell, and cacti that wanted nothing more than to stick to you. Hard. And no matter what Elini claimed about you being able to get liquid out of them, I was not sticking my hand in-between the needles. Though it was slightly amusing when Galahad attempted to be tough and tried.

“You know, it wouldn’t bug you so much if you were a vampire, my succulent dumpling.”

“Stay away from me.”

We arrived at the town, Elini leading the way. It was burning hot… But that was no shock. We were all already sweating. She started pointing at buildings the second we exited the cool cave into the blinding sunlight and searing heat.

“That first building over there is where an experienced alchemist lives. Next-door is an inn. The tent is a combination of an armory and weaponry.”

We approached a woman while walking. Galahad gasped, and averted his eyes. I probably should have done the same, but mine just widened. Her top barely concealed anything… Pretty much it only covered what was necessary and a strap held it on. The majority of her chest was exposed.

Someone’s elbow jabbed hard into my stomach. I gasped. “What…? Oh.”

“Stop staring,” Rhen hissed in my ear. She didn’t sound happy.

My eyes instantly traveled towards the sky.

“Countless artifacts have been found in the demon caves to the west,” the woman said in a silky voice, laughing under her breath. Why was I thinking it had to do with Rhen and me? “You find me beautiful, boy?”

“Huh? Uh, no.” I really wasn’t lying… It was mostly shock.

At least, I was pretty sure…

Bad direction for my thoughts.

“Really? Too bad. You’re not all that bad looking yourself,” she said, smiling.

“Er… Whatever.”

Out of the corner of my eye I saw Elini roll hers.

“Come now. Why stand so far away? You were staring at me for at least a minute.”

“Leave him alone, Tola, we weren’t even standing here for a minute,” Elini pointed out.

“Is he your new husband, Elini?” The woman, obviously named Tola, was moving closer to me.

“No.” Elini grabbed my arm and pulled me back some. “He’s really not my type.”

“Well, if he’s not yours…”

“Back off,” Rhen snapped, grabbing my arm, attempting to sever it with her nails alone.

“Oh dear, I’m sorry, I wasn’t aware he was yours.”

“Seriously?” I murmured, detaching Rhen’s hand from my arm.

Elini was laughing. “I wouldn’t do that if I were you, Sorcerer.”

“Oh, he’s a sorcerer! Elini, why didn’t you say that in the first place? That makes him all the more desirable!” Tola sounded thrilled. “Is he hot-blooded too?”

My blood felt very hot at that moment… But then again, standing in the direct sunlight in a cloak, my feet did too.

I’m not an idiot, I knew what she meant. But I wasn’t in the mood at that time.

“He’s already taken. Sword Singer, you better make a bigger show of your claim on him.” Elini seemed to find the whole situation insultingly amusing.

“I think I can handle a few women coming after me.”

“What do you mean by ‘bigger show’?” Rhen asked, “Am I supposed to kiss him in public or something?”

“No, but I doubt holding hands would kill you two. Oh, as for the rest of you single men, you might want to at least pretend you’re paired with someone.”

“Don’t worry, I have Galahad,” Te’ijal said with a sly smile.

“Stay away from me, dark creature! Not that I would want to be around any of these disgraceful…”

“Luke, you can pretend to be my husband.” Elini gave him a smile.

The mouse that had been scampering at Luke’s side transformed. “Luke can stay with me,” Gina stated.

“Fine then.” Elini turned away, obviously disappointed.

Dameon cleared his throat.

“Oh.” Elini turned around, looked him over. “You’ll be okay.”

Dameon looked like he had swallowed his tongue.

Not that I know what that looks like.

“I’m just joking. You can pretend to be the Sword Singer’s second husband.”

“No, he can’t!” I snapped, taking a tighter grip on Rhen’s arm. “Besides, am I even going to pretend to be her husband?”

“Lars, do you want Dameon to be dragged off by some Veldonian woman?” Rhen asked. I wondered if she really wanted me to answer that truthfully. “Elini, can you pretend Dameon’s your husband? I don’t think Lars is going to back down.”

Elini glanced back over at him and made a slight face. “I guess so.”

The group began to move again, and Te’ijal moved up behind me. “So… Hot-blooded?”

I rushed forward to the front of the group.

 

Elini took us on a tour of the town, and eventually we stopped in the home of one of her friends. “Everyone, this is Ilya. Ilya, Rhen, Lars, Te’ijal, Luke, Gina, Galahad, and Dameon.”

Her eyes drifted over the group, and then seemed to stop at me. “Sorcerer, you are far from home. I sense you are without a guild.”

“Hey! How did you know?”

“Only an Annihliator would know. It is one of our… tricks.” Annihliator? That was one of the other Arishtan guilds! “Would you like to join us? We could use a hot-blooded young man in our ranks.”

I had liked her up until that moment. By this time, I was very sick of hearing women calling me that. Tola, Te’ijal, other women Elini had introduced us to… What was it with women!? “How dare you say I’m hot-blooded?! I don’t get angry! Do I look angry!?”

 

Rhen rolled her eyes.

 

He would never have trusted Lars to be fine on his own in Veldt. It was the first town since the quest began that he had actively followed Lars through… With Luke on the loose, he hadn’t liked taking the chance following him. Too easy to get caught.

But he didn’t trust Lars around women.

And, of course, Lars was no good at controlling emotions. He really had to work on that.

“Mmm. Have you a wife, young man? Fiesty husbands are always in demand.”

No. He was not going to let him into that culture.

 

“Ugh! I’m not getting married to anyone!” That was the other comment I was sick and tired of hearing. I backed away a slight distance from her to the rest of the group.

“What’s an Annilator?” Rhen asked, botching the pronunciation completely in her country accent.

“Annihliator. It is another guild. They’re supposed to be really powerful…”

“Annihliator sounds like a cult! What color were her eyes again?”

“Luke!” Rhen moaned, “Number one, they’re blue. Number two… Give it up.”

“Well how am I supposed to know how many of you here are allied with him?”

 

Luke had no idea.

 

“Wow, I knew she was a sorceress, but… You’d think throughout all this time she would have told me,” Elini said, watching Ilya.

“I think I’ll join.”

Rhen smiled. “Finally! You’ll be useful again!”

I glared at her. “Very funny.”

 

He guessed this one wasn’t too bad… The necromancer could have been a disaster, but he didn’t know about the other two. Oh well.

 

I walked up to her again, making sure I kept straight contact with her eyes. She wasn’t dressed any better than Tola. “I want to become an Annihliator.”

“Very well, let’s see if your blood is hot enough. You may pick three of your friends to fight with you… I’d rather not kill you on accident.”

 

Not likely. She’d be dead first. He wasn’t going to lose Lars.

 

I turned to the group. “So who’s going to help?”

Rhen walked over and kissed my cheek, then patted it. “Good luck. I’ll watch.”

“What?!”

She laughed. “I’m just kidding. I can’t watch that lady Annilate you without doing something.”

“I’m sure I could fight her on my own. And it’s annihilate.”

“Whatever.”

Elini sighed. “I guess I’ll help too.”

Te’ijal strung an arrow. “Why not? Target practice.”

Ilya looked us over. “Is this your party?”

“Yes, it is.” Rhen and Elini moved to my left, and Te’ijal strung an arrow on my right.

 

He moved around to the side. It wasn’t that he was really worried Lars would lose… But there was no reason to take a risk.

 

The magical barriers were set. Any attack would take down a number of hit points… Don’t ask me how it works.

“Tawrich!” Elini yelled. A shadow of the skeletal demon formed, and lightening blasted towards our opponent.

Te’ijal’s arrow slipped free.

“Firefly!” Golden dots of light formed a cloud beginning from my fingertips, then escaped all at once to rush towards the enemy.

She made them vanish with a slight turn of her fingers.

“Nice,” Rhen muttered in my ear. “Windwatcher’s song!”

I felt the wind gather from her sword, fly across the room. It did more damage than my spell.

“Healing.” Some of Ilya’s hit points returned.

“Tawrich!”

Ilya fell, and the barriers with her. “Very good, young man.” There was a slight amount of ridicule in her voice. “You are accepted into the Annihliators Guild. Take this spell book with you. It contains the secrets of our guild. Remember, you must equip the book to learn the spells. Only with study can you master them.”

I felt my cheeks turn slightly red as I took the book. I had barely done anything.

We headed back outside, Rhen still laughing. “You have to admit that was funny.”

“No, it wasn’t. I could have defeated her on my own.” I was flipping through the spell book she had given me. I would go over them with my instructor when I saw him. There was no way I was spending the night around everybody else after that fight.

 

I slipped out of Elini’s house that night to meet with him, book under my arm. At least it was cool at night in the desert. “You were on the ship again?”

“For a little bit. How do you keep up with me like this?”

“I have my ways. So, where are all of you headed tomorrow?”

“Elini wanted us to talk to the empress here, I’m not sure why, but she said it might help.”

“And then?”

“On our way to find the next demon.”

“How soon do you think you’ll find hi-, it?”

I gave him a look, but didn’t question the matter. “I have no idea. I actually have no clue where it is.”

“Alright then. You have some time? How are you on fire shields?”

“I’ve gotten better.” I really hadn’t worked with them much, but if possible I didn’t want him to burn me to a crisp.

“Really?”

“Some.” He knew me too well.

He stared at me.

I sighed. “I guess not, do I really need them?”

“Ever heard of Ustulo Extore, or as you call it, Scorch Extora?”

I never really had heard of it, but I might as well impress him. “A very powerful fire spell?”

“Yes. Terribly powerful. Any sorcerer who’s over a certain strength works to learn it… I’d bet you’ll be facing it in the final battle of this. But anyone who is proficient in fire spells would make that one a top priority, such as the demon you are most likely going to face.”

“You know what demon I’m most likely going to face?”

“These caverns are fire caverns, aren’t they? Isn’t the demon typically the same element as the caves?”

“I guess so, though not all the demons are elementalists.”

“Aren’t most things here?”

“Maybe… I guess so.”

“The demon you found in the ice caverns was an ice demon, wasn’t it?”

“Yes…”

“Wouldn’t it make sense that you would face a fire demon next?”

“Yeah, I guess it does.”

“Alright. How is your fire shield? You can focus on Annihliator spells once you’ve perfected that.”

I knew I was in for a rough night.

 

“I’m perfectly serious. Go in there and find him.”

Mar was looking past the entrance of the town. “Nuh-uh, no way.”

“Please? What’s so different about this town?”

“No grass. Nowhere to hide. And haven’t you been watching them? The women are vicious, and they keep tigers as pets! I think I saw one of his friends buy one!”

“Is it traveling with them?”

“I… I don’t think so.”

“You’re very resourceful, Mar. I believe in you. You’ll find somewhere to hide.”

“No.”

“Please?”

She moaned. “You owe me for this.”

I hugged her so hard she squeaked. “Thank you! You’re the best friend anyone could ask for!”

“Yeah, and probably the stupidest too, I shouldn’t be doing this.”

“You’re smart. I know you are. You’re the smartest of your species.”

“Yeah, that’s saying a lot.” She crept into the town.

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Annihliator sounds like a cult! What color were her eyes again?

:laughing: poor luke seems almost like a joke now! overall this one's quite funny but it seems that the next one is funnier! i hope it is...

And it has a lot of a certain character whom has only had relatively short parts in the past...

you sound mysterious... is it Rhen? Mystery Perspective 2? Dameon? Rashnu? Elini?....

 

Ahriman ordered Dameon to seduce Rhen... I don't think he'd give up easily.

 

i had thought that he'd do that indirectly; pretend to back off like a gentleman then slowly create a rift between rhen and lars and subtly and slowly manipulate the situation while gaining rhen's trust...

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@Chimera: Yep, it seems Luke has lost his touch. He's rather desperate to find an elite sorcerer.

Actually, I should amend that... They haven't had a very major part in Lars's view. They have yet to show in black. They will next chapter.

Eh, guess he didn't think of that. He does have a plan though. ;) Then again, it's just in my mind... I really should run it by Whitelily...

@Love: The next part is finished, and probably will be posted soon, probably next week.

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*applauds the qualifying statements* and dang it if I didn't miss some things. >.< Ah well, they're more style preference than rule anyway.

Anyway... I think I said this in the PM but I really liked this chap. Pretty funny.

And... I had this written like... four days ago... but it didn't send and I left town. *sighs* ah well.

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I read this chappie long ago and forgot to comment, bad me. ><

 

Anyway, great chapter, as always. I can't wait until you post the next one. :)

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hmm...i swear i read this a while ago...not sure why i didn't reply to it. dropping off the face of the earth repeatedly seems to be affecting my memory.

nice chapter. the sorcerers' duel was very good -would have like it a bit longer, though. ;) there were a lot of funny lines in there, too. i'd quote them, but...well, it would just be redundant. except this one:

Luke had no idea.
yeah, i'd say that about sums it up. XD

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@Marian: That's okay. It's not like we had another update ready quickly anyway.

@Love: You did comment...

@Alice: I'm glad you enjoyed it, and that it makes more sense. Hope you keep enjoying it!

@Dark: I'm glad you like it! The next chap is below. Don't worry, we're not likely to stop.

@Kaz: I know the feeling... It sometimes takes me a while to comment. Actually, I had Aveyond playing as we wrote it, and that's exactly how long that fight took! And don't worry... There's a rather large fight coming up in the next few chapters. And yeah, it really does sum it up.

 

Okay... Here's the next chapter I've been talking up extremely. Hope you all enjoy it!

 

Chapter 46

I was still sore the next day, though I was not about to complain. They would ask why, and what would I tell them? “Oh, don’t worry about me. I was just burned by a very powerful sorcerer who was trying to teach me how not to become roasted.

Rhen dropped back and punched me in the arm jokingly as I trudged behind everyone else. “Someone didn’t sleep well, did they?”

“I’m not in the mood.”

“Aw, alright. I’ll go walk with Dameon.”

I grabbed her arm, pulled her up to me and kissed her, then remembered we were on the streets of Veldt.

“You know people are watching.” Elini had a slight smirk on her face.

I pulled away. “I sure hope they were.” I slipped a semi-discreet glance at Dameon. He was studying clouds, or the lack thereof.

She saw where my glance went. “I think everybody but him was watching.”

“Can you let all the way go of me now? It’s hot out here,” Rhen murmured.

I let go of her. Elini just shook her head.

Rhen skipped away from me, insultingly cheery. “It’s a nice day, isn’t it?”

“Beautiful,” Te’ijal muttered. “Even with sunscreen on I’m nervous.”

“Why don’t you take it off?” Galahad suggested.

Dameon touched Rhen’s arm. “Careful where you step. There are all sorts of cliffs around here.”

She gave him a strange look. “Yeah, I’m going to skip off a cliff. I’m suicidal, can’t you tell?”

I smiled.

Dameon had a strange look on his face, like anyone who tried to deal with Rhen too long.

She walked away from him, then twirled around in a circle, skipping. “See? I’m not in any dang…” She tripped over a rock, and tumbled into sticker bushes.

There was a high-pitched scream, and Dameon ran forward to help Rhen up. “Are you alright? Here, let me help you. What hurts?” I went behind him, but I knew Rhen could help herself. Then again, I was pretty sure she didn’t yell like that…

Rhen looked like she was in shock. “Nothing. I just fell.”

“Then why did you scream?” He was busy trying to help her up.

“I didn’t.” She pulled away, dug through the brambles, and pulled out a bur-covered… rabbit. “You poor thing! Did I land on you?”

“Rhen, it’s not going to answer…” Dameon started to point out…

Until he was interrupted. “You clumsy idiot! Watch where you’re going! You could have killed me!”

“I’m sorry! I’m so sorry! Don’t worry; we have a healer with us. You’ll be okay. What’s your name?”

I think the rest of us were in shock.

“Ma… Nothing, let me go!”

“It’s okay, I won’t hurt you.” She started to take stickers out of the rabbit’s fur.

“Rhen,” I almost whispered.

“Yeah?” she asked.

“You’re talking to a rabbit.”

She looked down at her handful. “Oh. I guess I am. Why?”

Silence descended over everybody else in the area.

She pulled herself free of the stickers and sat on the ground, still holding the talking fuzz ball. “Anything we can do for you?”

“Uh… Not, not really,” it stammered, looking around at the audience, brown eyes wide.

“Are you sure? Why were you hiding in the bushes?”

“Well, you see…” it cut off. “Uh, it’s a long story.”

“I have time. Do you want some water? Food?”

“Sword Singer…” Elini had recovered enough to speak.

“Well, actually I am kinda hungry…” it said.

“Okay, what would you like?”

“Sword Singer, it’s a rabbit…” Elini murmured.

“Yeah? I noticed, Elini. What would you like to eat?”

“You wouldn’t happen to have any bananas, would you?” it asked. “I love bananas.”

“I’m afraid not… I’ve never even heard of bananas. Anything else? Apples? Bread?”

“Uh… You wouldn’t happen to have carrots then, would you?”

She looked at us. “Do we?”

Nobody moved or responded.

“I guess not… I’m sorry. Here, you want me to cut up this apple?” She pulled one out of her pack.

“Sure, I’ll eat apples. I guess sometimes I’ll eat just about anything.”

Rhen sat Fuzz Ball on the ground and drew her sword, slicing the apple into neat halves, then quarters, then eighths. “Here you go.”

I had almost expected the thing to run screaming as soon as Rhen took out her sword, but it just stayed there and waited patiently for a slice of apple. When she offered it one, it sat up on its hind legs, took the piece in its two front paws, and nibbled at it. Rhen offered the rest of the pieces to us.

I suddenly remembered I hadn’t had breakfast.

“It talks,” Galahad whispered under his breath.

“Anybody? Apple?”

“Rhen?” Dameon kneeled down next to her and Fuzzy. “We don’t know anything about this creature. It could be dangerous.”

Fuzzy stopped eating in mid slice, apple stuffed in its cheeks.

Rhen stared at him. “I think I heard you wrong. It’s a rabbit. R-A-B-B-I-T. Rabbit.”

“It could have a disease.”

“Disease? Do I look sick?” it said with its mouth full, spraying apple pieces on the ground around it.

“It talks,” Galahad repeated, this time louder.

“It looks like a snack to me,” Te’ijal pointed out.

The rabbit looked at her, then threw the half a slice of apple at her. “Who are you calling snack, fang face! I have friends in high places!”

“Oh how threatening,” Elini whispered under her breath.

Te’ijal had a look on her face that proved nobody had thrown an apple at her before. The slice had only reached her knees. But it proved to be enough of a blow to freeze her in place.

“What’s your name?” Rhen asked, eating a slice of apple herself.

“Marigold.” It finally swallowed.

“Marigold huh? Nice name. I’m Rhen.”

“Rhen. That’s unusual. It’s a nice name though.”

“Thank you.”

Fuzzy, now known as Marigold, looked around at the group. “Well, I know you. You’re Lars.”

The shock I had experienced before was nothing compared to what I felt at that moment. “You… You know my… You know my name?”

“Uh, no. Of course not. I just guessed. I’ve never seen you before.”

It wasn’t a very good liar. “How do you know my name?”

“Like I said, I just guessed. Got a problem with that, tree?”

The meaning of the apparent insult was lost with me. “How do you know my name?”

“Where did you come up with tree?” Rhen asked.

“Well… Green hair, I figured… Never mind.”

“You think I look like a tree?”

“You’re about as tall as one!”

“Sure, it looks like that if you’re only six inches… Never mind. I’m not going to argue with a rabbit.”

“She’s obviously very intelligent for a rabbit,” Rhen pointed out.

The rabbit almost looked shocked. “Thank you! I like you the best!”

I shook my head. “Back to the point. How did you know who I was?”

“Who you were? Did you just switch personalities in a matter of seconds?” Fuzzy asked.

I smacked a hand to my forehead. “You know what? I really don’t care. Rhen, why are we talking to a rabbit?”

“It talks,” Galahad said.

“Uh… I accidentally fell on her, so I asked if she was all right, and the whole discussion started.”

“Just out of curiosity, Sword Singer, did you have many talking animals in Clearwater?” Elini hadn’t yet taken her eyes off Marigold.

“We didn’t have any.”

“You just seem so comfortable talking to it.”

“Well… I’ve learned to expect the unexpected.”

“That’s a good philosophy to live by. Like there’s nothing wrong with expecting random strangers to know your name. It happens sometimes.” She smiled at me, showing off long buckteeth. She was a rodent after all.

“I actually think it is rather interesting,” Luke added. “Are you a shape changer?”

“Luke, it doesn’t have yellow eyes,” Gina pointed out.

“Well, I thought eye color didn’t matter much in this world.”

If he thought eye color didn’t matter, why was it that he had tried to make me miserable for the past few months?

“I’m not a shape-changer, I’m just a rabbit.”

“Do you know many other talking rabbits?” I couldn’t understand Luke’s fascination with her, but I really didn’t understand Luke at all.

“Um… You ask a lot of questions.”

“I was just trying to make conversation.”

It still seemed odd to me that Luke was friendlier with a rabbit than he was with some people.

“That’s okay, I just don’t like answering too many questions.” She looked next to Luke. “You must be Gina!”

“What?! How do you know who I am?”

“Uh, uh… really good guesser. Like I can tell Luke’s hot!”

“What?” Luke asked, shocked.

That didn’t make any sense either. Unless she was referring to temperature.

“What… What did you say about Luke?” Gina sputtered.

“Uh… Nothing. Who said we were talking about Luke?” The rabbit would make a terrible con artist. “Again, you guys ask a lot of questions. I think I’ll stay by Rhen for now.”

“How do you know so much?” Thankfully, Rhen wasn’t taking the rabbit’s side. “You haven’t been spying on us, have you?”

“No! Of course not! Why would you think I’ve been spying on you?”

“Do you know anyone else’s names?”

“No.”

“Are you sure?”

“Yes!”

“Well, this is Dameon, that’s Te’ijal, that’s Galahad, and that’s Elini. I think you know everybody else. Now, how did you know so much about us?”

“Rhen, you just told it more about us.” I didn’t trust it.

“I told it names. How did you know so much?”

“Why does it matter?”

“Do you report to somebody?”

“No.”

“Then why were you out here when we were?”

“I like the sun.”

“Really? In that nice warm coat of fur?”

“I get cold easily.”

“Marigold, you’re not a very good liar.”

“I can be!”

Rhen was stifiling laughter. “But you’re not right now.”

“Well, I’m trying.”

If it wasn’t so serious, I would have been laughing.

“So you’re lying to me?” Rhen asked.

“No!”

“You just admitted it!”

“No, I didn’t!”

“Yes, you did. You said you were trying not to be a bad liar.”

“I meant most of the time!”

“You really are a terrible liar.”

“Okay, okay, I’m sorry, I just can’t explain. It’s a really long story.”

“We have time.”

“No, I mean, I really can’t explain.”

“Why not? Will we be mad at you?”

“I… I don’t know if you would…” Her eyes turned towards me. “It doesn’t have much to do with you.”

“It has to do with Lars?” Rhen looked over at me too.

“No!” She quickly looked away from me.

“Why are you spying on Lars?”

“I haven’t been spying on Lars! I’ve been spying on Te… Tea… Tay… Uh… The red haired one!”

“You don’t know her name, yet you’ve been spying on her?”

“No… I mean… Fine, I’ll tell the truth. I’ve been spying on Dameon. Someone said he’s a general, so they want him dead.”

“What?!” Dameon looked more shocked than everyone else. “General?! I’m a druid!”

“I wasn’t talking about you… Oh, are you Dameon? I thought Dameon was the one in the armor.”

“That’s Galahad,” Te’ijal said.

“It talks.”

“Oh for the love of the sun,” Dameon muttered. “Are you looking for a warlock?”

“Huh? A what?”

“I guess not.”

“Why would I be looking for a ward lock?”

“Warlock. Male witch?”

“There’s such thing?”

“I guess you’re not.”

“Since you’re obviously not spying on Dameon or Galahad…” Rhen was on the verge of laughter now. “Who are you spying on?”

“I’m not spying on anyone.”

Rhen finally burst out laughing uncontrollably.

 

I paced relentlessly. Mar should have returned by now… I had told her to find them, then return to me with the affirmative that they were really in Veldt.

She hadn’t returned.

Was she just having difficulty finding them? Had she run into trouble?

… Had he caught her?

I turned myself invisible and went in after her.

 

 

So... What do you all think of Marigold?

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