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Archives: The Golden Egg

Chapter 6: The Golden Egg

    A silence fell on the camp again. Aiden had no more to say, but he was still concerned about Rylan’s condition. He wanted to help, but berserkers were dangerous and generally considered a hopeless cause.

    The ranger pulled his pack from behind him and began to rummage through it to find a set of wood flatware for the food Eliamn was preparing. However, as he opened the flap, a sealed letter fell out.

    “What the...?” he murmured. He had no letters, where did it come from? Aiden picked up the paper, folded three times over length-wise, and sealed with a drop of red wax. There was an impression on the wax, but Aiden didn’t recognize it. Without a concern for who it really belonged to, Aiden broke the seal to open the letter.

    It read;

Lord Mur-Cavendrel,

    We have the Golden Egg. The mother is distracted by a decoy. We will reach you in a week using the back roads.

Regards,
Roess

    Aiden’s brows furrowed as he read the message. It seemed very suspicious, as if the writer was trying not to reveal the full details. Golden Egg? Mother? A kidnapped child? Or was that too obvious...

    Lyassa stood next to him and stared down at the letter. “What does it say Aiden?” she asked before reading it herself while standing close to him. Lyassa, after reading it, was a bit puzzled by that. The golden egg must mean a child while the mother meant he or she’s mother. “Do you think it’s a kidnapping?” she said out loud.

    Rylan also came closer to take a look, this was odd indeed though it piqued his curiosity. “Do you know when this might have came into your possession, it seems rather serious in any case. Perhaps you have enemies not even you know about, a possibility.” A new mystery in the world, something that he had not encountered yet but somebody in current company now had. They should check this out and see what turns up, was his thought.

    “Well, I certainly don’t know any Lords. I guess someone could have slipped it in at the inn,” Aiden replied, still examining the letter. “I think it’s a little too obvious to be a kidnapping, but I have no idea where it came from or where it’s bound.”

    The elf folded the letter closed. “I’ll hang on to it for now, perhaps we’ll find more clues on the road,” he said as he slipped it back into his bag. He found the dishes and set them out. He only brought three sets, but Naclia wasn’t there.

    Eliamn took he offered dishes and arranged a repast of tubers, sliced fruit and vegetables in each of them. She did so quietly, but once each of them was served, she looked at Aiden and raised an eyebrow. “Why don’t you ask the spirits? Maybe they could tell you something about the person whom slipped the note in.”

    Lyassa helped Eliamn with the plates. “That sounds like a wonderful idea,” she said agreeing with her as she smiled while helping set the plates. Lyassa sat down after everyone had been served and began eating politely. She said nothing else and waited for Aiden’s reply.

    Rylan place out his simple plate after the others, he was tired of dried rations and waited for her finish portioning everything out. “Whoever slipped it there could have mistaken him for their mark, I’m not worried too much about it right now. How long till the others return, perhaps one of them might have seen something.”

    “That’s a good idea,” Aiden replied to Eliamn. He didn’t consider using spirits as often as she did. The ranger stood and hopped up on the boulder behind Lyassa. “Pardon me, my dear, I need a good vantage point,” he said.

    Extending his hands outward and closing his eyes, Aiden reached out his mind to the spirits. It would be a rather long conversation with the spirits, so he spoke in elvish, {“Spirits of the Wind, Sylph, I have questions for thee.”}

    The breeze picked up and swirled around Aiden, and Lyassa as well, since the priestess was at his feet. A voice whispered in his long elven ear, {“Speak, brother of the forest.”}

    {“My question is for those who have seen me in my travels today,”} Aiden replied in a whisper. {“An object was placed on my person without my knowledge. Do you recognize this event?”}

    The breeze died down momentarily, then it picked up again, whipping Aiden’s long blonde hair about as it supplied a simple reply; {“Yes.”}

    {“Where did it occur?”} Aiden asked.

    {“Among many humans, in their place of residence to the west,”} the spirits replied.

    {“Who gave me the object?”} Aiden continued. Again, the wind died.

    The breeze picked up again, and supplied a response, {“A short human, moving quickly.”} Aiden considered their reply. Spirits didn’t bother to recognize humans or pay attention to their details. However, it was enough for Aiden. He expected a vague response, and it was just enough to remind him of the messenger boy who had bumped into him while running from the city guard.

    {“Thank you, Sylph. My curiosity is satisfied,”} Aiden replied one last time. The breeze was gone and the elf hopped off the boulder and took his seat on the ground.

    “It was a messenger in the city. He was being chased by guards and must have slipped it in my bag when he bumped into me,” Aiden explained to his companions.

    Eliamn closed her eyes as she thought aloud, “Then, either it is information the said messenger would want to remain out of the hands of the guards or information he did not want to be caught with. Either way, this would have been a desperate attempt not to have the guards get their hands on the message. Or, of course, this could be part of a more elaborate plan to frame us over an issue we stand out of context of—thus denying us the possibility of making an efficient counter.”

    The blonde elf maid reopened her violet eyes and stared at Aiden. “Aiden, I do not remember any commotions that could have led to the message being slipped into your backpack. Tell me, can you recall anything that happened while you were only with Priestess Lyassa, going or leaving the Temple of Marfa?”

    Lyassa thought about it and spoke before Aiden. “I remember.. when, we were leaving the temple,” she began as it came back to her. “There was this young boy whom bumped into Aiden while we were out in the room.. and there was someone chasing him,” she said.

    Aiden nodded. “I think he was just trying to hide it on me,” the elf replied. “He seemed pretty desperate, and the guards passed us right by.” Aiden began eating his lunch and pondered the letter further. Maybe they should investigate? It wasn’t as if they had anything else better to do.

* * *

    Naclia and Talen rode at a quick gait. Neither of them wanted to turn back, but the furthest they needed to go was the city gates. The bandits weren’t very active, as both men were tightly bound and gagged.

    As they rode further away from where they left their companions, Naclia sighed. “Look what you made us do,” she said, glancing back toward the man tied to Tiash’s saddle. “If you guys weren’t such losers who have to turn to robbing people on the road, we could be miles away! Not to mention you’re pretty pathetic bandits.”

    Talen looked back at Naclia, whom was giving the thieves rather an amusing scolding. “Well all we need to do is drop them off at the gates, then we can return back on our trip, this shouldn’t take too much time off,” he said to her.

    Naclia nodded in acknowledgment. “That sounds good, just to the gates,” the elf replied. She silently pondered for a moment, the spoke again. “Eliamn seemed really concerned about the centaur. She sensed something strange about him, I think I felt it too.”

    Talen nodded. “Yeah, the guards at the front will be able to take them into custody from there,” he said, giving a look back then back in front of him. “Hmm I wonder what it could be, he did seem to be acting a bit apprehensive,” he said

    “I think Eliamn knows, at least better than I do,” Naclia replied. She didn’t want to talk about the centaur though. She wanted to talk about Talen, but she didn’t know what to say.

    Talen nodded. “Well maybe we should talk to her about that when we get back, that sounds like a good idea to me,” he said giving another look back, he wanted to keep his eye on her as much as he could, of course....who wouldn’t want to keep their eye on such a beauty?

    Naclia frowned at his reply. They were just going in circles around the same subject. What to talk about? Maybe they weren’t such a good couple. He was good looking, but they hadn’t talked much. Naclia decided to ask something simple and common. “So, what sort of family do you have?”

    Talen glanced back at her then looked back in front of him after hearing her question, perhaps she wanted to get to know him better? “Hmm...my family. Well I guess you could call it a noble family since my father was a knight. How about you? What sort of family do you have?” he asked turning his head and looking back at her once more, he had wanted to get to know her better, but the questions to ask had slipped his mind constantly.

    “The dead kind,” Naclia answered, her voice going a little cold. She didn’t mind talking about her family, since it had been several decades, but it wasn’t something to be joked about. “My parents were killed when the demon king attacked our forest. My brother set out with the hundred heroes to fight the demon, but since he wasn’t one of the Six Heroes, he didn’t survive.”

    Suddenly, a terrifying roar tore through the air from their south. Movement in the sky caught Naclia’s attention. The Golden Dragon, Mycen, was airborne from her mountain twelve miles from the city.

    “Oh my Falis...” Naclia murmured, watching the dragon climb into the sky.

    Talen bit his tongue when Naclia said her parents were dead. He wasn’t sure what to say, but he didn’t have to worry about that because Mycen interrupted them.

    The knight watched in awe as Mycen flew. It wasn’t his first time seeing her, but she was always a glorious sight to behold. She seemed...angry though. “Let’s hurry to the city,” Talen said, then gave his warhorse a little encouragement to speed up to a gallop. Naclia urged Tiash to keep pace.

    “Is something wrong?” Naclia shouted to be heard over the thundering hooves and wind.

    “I have a bad feeling, Mycen usually doesn’t roar like that when she comes out of her cave,” Talen replied. “See how fast she moved? I think she’s upset.”

    “I’ve never seen a dragon before, but I think you’re right!” Naclia shouted back.

* * *

    Aiden jumped, sending a tuber bouncing off his plate onto the ground. A mighty roar had come from the south. “What in the name of Falis?” Aiden said, then set his plate aside. He dashed to the road, and looked southward. In the sky, he saw a massive golden dragon, the last of the five ancient dragons, Mycen.

    Eliamn’s head jerked up and followed Aiden as he returned to the road. She blinked a few times as she saw the form of the dragon in the sky.

    “That—” A small, rueful smile blossomed on her face. There really was no need to say who the dragon was. Even though the elves were not from Moss, it was hard not to hear about the Golden Dragon Mycen in an elf’s century-long life.

    A sudden thought struck her, so startling in it’s clarity that she jerked upright, tossing her food on the ground. The elf shamaness raced to Aiden’s side and seized the other elf’s shoulder with both hands. “Aiden! A golden egg... Her egg!” she pointed the dragon flying in the sky for emphasis.

    Rylan looked up and saw the dragon as he ate, almost choking on his food he caught himself in time. That was something he had not seen yet, the sight was beautiful. “Could they be trying to kill the dragon by using the egg as bait? It is none of our business but could we stop these peoples plot, perhaps we got the message for a reason.”

    Rylan finished his plate of food and then put his dishes away, noting the direction the dragon was headed he wondered what was going on now. If it was a plot to kill Mycen, or if it was to get something from them.

    Lyassa had followed when she had too heard the roar. Her eyes were wide, she had never seen a dragon before, she doubted they had either, it was quite a beautiful experience. Then, when they mentioned about that egg it hit her too. “Maybe they are. But, why would they want to kill the dragon? For money?” she asked them, a bit disgusted that if they did want to just for money.

    Aiden listened to each of his companion’s ideas as he watched Mycen. The dragon drove down from the clouds toward the city, then pulled her dive back to control her decent. It looked as if she was going to land. Her distant silhouette disappeared beyond the tree line.

    The ranger finally responded. “Would humans seriously be foolish enough to steal an egg from an ancient dragon? Especially one that’s so highly respected in this nation?” Aiden mused. “It could start a war, if Mycen doesn’t eat them first. Either way, I want to help her. She is Falis’ dragon. We should find this Lord Mur-Cavendrel.”

    “But remember what the message said.” Eliamn let go of Aiden’s arm. “There was no mention of Mycen being harmed. The note said the egg had already been obtained and that the mother had been distracted. By now, the deed is done.” Eli’s ears twitched once. “But this Roess person also mentions he will reach him—Lord Mur-Cavendrel, we can assume—within the week using the backroads.”

    The shamaness placed her hands on her hips, looking at the winding road and then she looked over all her companions. “We have no way of knowing when exactly this message was sent, but if it is in your hands, we can safely assume this Lord Cavendrel would not be aware of the information within either. Still, it in no way changes the path the supposed thieves would take.” Eliamn’s violet eyes hardened. “If you wish to stop them and return Mycen’s egg, it would most likely be the best chance you would have.”

    Aiden nodded to Eliamn. “Well, I guess we have to wait for Naclia and Talen to return. We should find out what part of the land this Mur-Cavendrel family controls,” Aiden mused aloud. “Perhaps if we find some locals, they will know.”

    Eli returned the nod. “I can use Sylph’s power and fly after them to communicate your intentions—perhaps, if forewarned, they could investigate the issue in Dragon Breath and find another good lead. As for meeting locals and locating the road the thieves could employ,” the elf shamaness edged a look Rylan’s way, “I am sure an errant centaur whom has been lurking in the area could help out considerably in that regard.”

    Rylan, who had been paying attention the whole time, nodded, he thought the plan was sound and if they needed him in a certain area he would help. “It sounds good to me, I often get lost on purpose to explore anyways. This is no different than those occasions. I do think we have to help out her, to anger a dragon is nothing short of suicide for an area.” Now things were going to get interesting and even for him he had to admit in his head he was a little excited.

    Lyassa nodded in agreement with the centaur it was a foolish thing to do then to anger a dragon. “I’m sure our new centaur friend would love nothing more then to help us,” she said. Lyassa knew friendship should help Rylan or at least she hoped and prayed softly to Marfa on that. She turned to Aiden “I seriously think humans would do anything for money,” she said with a sad tone in her voice. She hoped the dragon’s egg would be fine but she couldn’t help but to ponder that.

    Rylan knew what they were saying about humans. They were a strange race that he would never understand. Though what they had done now was disrespecting all life, the theft of another’s unborn child. “Humans are strange that way. They will kill one of their own for money or other resources. That is why I try to avoid cities if possible. I do not wish to see where they are at their worst. We have to help this dragon, and I will do what I can to help friends.” He had friends now it seemed, people willing to help him and travel with him. He now had to keep his berserker tendencies in check, and avoid what would make him snap.

    “Go catch them then, Eli,” Aiden told the shamaness, then turned to the centaur. “Rylan, check some of the roads in the area, see if you find anything. I don’t think we can check all of them today, but just see if you can find anything. Lyassa and I will stay here and wait.”

    Rylan thought of a how to best check the roads, a disorganized search would take too long so he needed a plan. For now he would search to the south, that should not take too long. “I’ll return in a while, going to check the roads to the south first. Hopefully I can find something, if luck is with me on this.” He then made his way south as he left all of his gear at camp, with the exceptions of his weapons and water. Searching what roads he could carefully, making sure to not miss any details. As he searched he stuck to the woods beside them, unless the road was nothing more than a game trail.

    “Take care.” Eli said before walking a few steps further. She took a deep breath, spread her arms to the sides and concentrates. A breeze began stirring at her cream-colored robes, eventually growing in strength so that her blonde hair was tossing around.

    The shamaness found herself gradually floating up as she summoned Sylph to her. “Friend Sylph, I bid thy aid. Help me join with the west wind and, reborn anew, guide me to companions I must find.” The shamaness’ body unraveled before their eyes, pulling into the spirit realm but the air spirits.

    With Eliamn gone, the wind quieted down.

    Lyassa sat back down. “So, we’re back along again,” she said to him with a slight giggle. She didn’t seemed bothered by the fact she was alone with a man but she trusted Aiden. She went into a silent prayer as she waited.

    Aiden watched Lyassa go into prayer and frowned slightly. How was he supposed to flirt when she was communing with Marfa? Aiden sat back down as well and decided to join her. Folding his legs under himself, Aiden place a hand on each knee, palm upwards, and began to meditate.

* * *

    A sudden, sharp gale announced Eliamn’s arrival, the elven shamaness materializing several meters in front of both riders. One moment, her hair was whipping about as she hovered; and the next found the bedraggled shamaness sprawling down on all four as her strength gave out.

    Instead of opting for a flight ritual, Eliamn had decided that alacrity warranted the use of an Air Walk ritual. With the help of the sylphs, she had been pulled into the spirit world and then had the air spirits open another gateway in the vicinity of the two companions Eliamn sought. It was one of the most powerful air rituals she knew, though, and had left her drained.

    “Naclia...” she said breathlessly, her body shivering from the strain as she struggled to her feet. “Mycen’s... egg... stolen! We found out... how...”

    Talen had to rein Seinna in sharply as Eliamn materialized. He had no idea elves were capable of such magic!

    Naclia had no need to force Tiash to stop, the horse did so on his own. She was surprised by Eliamn’s sudden appearance as well, but she knew how she did it. The elf hopped off Tiash and ran to Eliamn.

    “Mycen’s egg?” Talen asked, confused. He knew nothing of an egg, but Mycen probably wouldn’t reveal such information to the public. And who would be stupid enough to take an egg from a dragon? The only surviving ancient dragon, no less!

    Naclia wrapped her arm around Eli’s shoulders to support the slight shamaness. “Talen, give me your water,” she ordered, and the knight tossed her the canteen he had on his saddle. Naclia unscrewed the cap and offered it to Eliamn.

    Eliamn drank greedily the proffered water, lowering the canteen with a somewhat relieved gasp. For a moment there her sight dimmed and she felt lightheaded, almost losing consciousness. The canteen almost slipped through her fingers, but she reaffirmed her grip as she willed herself to remain cognizant—there was no use employing a powerful spell to reach them if she just collapsed, after all.

    “Aiden found a letter in his pack. It seems likely that he acquired it when a human youth bumped into him while he was escorting Priestess Lyassa. Aiden recalled the boy was chased by guards.” Eli moistened her lower lip as she fought off another dizziness spell and continued, “The note was written by a certain ‘Roess’ to the attention of ‘Lord Mur-Cavendrel’. It made mention of having possession of a golden egg, of the mother being distracted by a decoy and ended with a note that they would reach him in a week using the backroads.”

    Naclia listened to what Eliamn had to say. She couldn’t believe that humans would actually steal an egg from Mycen! “Let’s get to the city and tell the guards so they can do something. Eliamn, you can ride with Talen,” Naclia said, guiding the shaman to Talen’s warhorse.

    Eliamn climbed up Seinna’s saddle and clutched Talen from behind. She lay her hand wearily on his back and closed her eyes. “Poor horse...” she whispered, realizing Seinna had to carry three people.

    “Don’t worry, she’s strong,” Talen said. It was obvious Eliamn was concerned with the weight Seinna had to carry. “She is a warhorse, her kind are bred to carry fully armored knights and wear armor themselves,” the knight assured Eli. Seinna gave a snort and continued walking. While she was bred to carry a lot of weight, she definitely preferred only one rider to three.

    Naclia gave Tiash a little encouragement and the leggy gray picked up at a quick trot again. Along the way, Eliamn explained more, once she caught her breath.

    As they neared the city, a wagon with a team of four horses, flanked by six riders were riding at full speed out of the city. They seemed frantic, and with the knowledge the trio (or quintuplet, counting the bound and gagged bandits) had, Naclia assumed that they must be the decoy. However, they couldn’t stop them now. Eliamn was still weak, and they had the two bandits to worry about. Once they made it to the city, they could inform the guards about the plot.

    With a resigned sigh, Naclia urged Tiash to the side of the road so the thundering group could pass by. They were certainly in a hurry, and stirred up a thick could of dust as they passed.

    Naclia covered her face with her arm to keep from breathing in dust. She may not be able to stop them here, but Aiden could do something. Raising her fingers to her lips, she summoned Sylph. “Great Spirit of the Wind, Sylph. I have a message I need carried on your breeze,” Naclia spoke. The wind swirled lightly around the ranger as a fairy came to her, ready to do her bidding.

    “Deliver this to the elf Aiden; The decoy is coming. It’s a wagon with four horses and six riders.” The fae captured the statement on the wind, then sped away northwards.

    Naclia turned back to Eli and Talen. “Let’s get these guys to the guard and tell them what’s going on.”

    “Naclia, wait...” Eliamn looked back down the road, her eyes growing wide. “The centaur... Rylan... he’s a Hyuri-possessed berserker. If he gets in a fight where horses are present...”

    She had been the one whom had taken responsibility for Rylan. She was confident that she was a skilled enough shamaness to curb Hyuri in should Rylan turn against his allies, but... if she wasn’t there and that harm befell Aiden and Lyassa, it would be her fault!

    “Stop the horse, I have to go back!” Even if she was exhausted, she couldn’t just leave the two back there to probably tangle with a berserker.

    “A berserker?” Naclia gasped. That was what she felt! She halted Tiash and Talen stopped Seinna too. “Eli, you’re in no shape to be going back alone. Even if you can cast that spell again, you’ll pass out and be useless,” Naclia warned.

    Giving Tiash a cue, Naclia encouraged the leggy gray to rear up. Tiash did as she requested, which dumped the tightly bound bandit onto the road unceremoniously. “We can both go back. Talen, take care of those guys and tell the guards about the letter!” Naclia said, then reached out for Eliamn to help her onto Tiash’s back.

    The shamaness nodded, not able to argue against Naclia’s point. Eliamn seized Naclia’s forearm and half-slid, half-leapt over Tiash’s back where she wrapped her arms about Naclia’s midriff.

    She lay the side of her head amidst Naclia’s braids, figuring that what was most important now was that she conserve her strength until they got to where their companions would stop the cart. If Rylan did enter a rage, it would probably take every remaining ounce of strength Eliamn had left to stop him. “Go,” she bade her ranger friend.

    Naclia looked to Talen. “Sorry to leave you with this, but I’ll see you soon!”

    Tiash turned, and took off at a gallop at Naclia’s touch. The slight weights of the two elven women was much better than Naclia and the bandit.

    Eli held on tight against Naclia. “The centaur’s berserker rage trigger is when he sees equines being mistreated,” she informed, her voice loud enough to be heard over the sound of Tiash’s hooves pounding against the road. “According to him, it doesn’t take much for Hyuri to manifest itself—the crack of a whip might be all it takes.”

    “Oh great,” Naclia grumbled. A group of men riding their horses hard and forcing a team to drag a wagon along at high speeds was definitely risky. No doubt the man driving the wagon had a whip too.

* * *

    Aiden’s mind was focused in the spirit world, but he felt a beckon from Sylph in the material realm. Snapping to consciousness, Aiden was met by a tiny air elemental.

    “The decoy is coming. It’s a wagon with four horses and six riders,” came Naclia’s voice on the wind.

    Aiden hopped to his feet. “Lyassa, get up. The decoy is heading our way. Falis, I hope we can get Rylan here fast enough.” With that, Aiden summoned the Sylph spirit again. “Sylph, carry this message to Rylan the centaur; The decoy is coming to the campsite. Come back so we can stop them.”

    Sylph took his message and zipped off again, this time westwards.

* * *

    Rylan started his search of nearby roads, making sure to not let his guard down he stayed alert and on his guard. What he was looking for he didn’t know, though he knew what was going on and that was enough for now.

    Horseman, horseman, what are you looking for? Kima stalked her odd quarry. Not sure if the horse swallowed the man, or the man grew a horse. Regardless, the thirteen year old crept among the forest road keeping quiet. Prickly ears, how they steer, make this little horsey queer. She had watched him long enough. Her curiosity was getting the better of her. Remembering back to when she encountered goblins she imitated their crude grunting noises. {“Nothing eat. While cheese forest wild. Lost in wonder.”} She giggled. She had no idea what she said, she was just mincing things she remembered together.

    Rylan heard the grunting noises and looked around, he had been so intent on scouting the roads he paid no heed to the words on the air. Looking around he drew an arrow but did not nock it, he was first going to do this properly.

    “Show yourself whoever is following me, I do not mean you any harm.” He put the arrow and his bow away, but made sure he could get them at any moment in case this was an ambush. Those thieves did the same thing to him, and made him more wary.

    She switched positions to flank him and called out in his own voice: “Show yourself whoever is following me, I do not mean you any harm.” She giggled again and climbed into a tree. She switched to overheard elven {“What not. Girl priest, wanker. Is does soft follow.”} She fell out of her tree laughing. She had no idea as to what she was saying, but perhaps her horsey quarry did.

    Rylan looked around even more bewildered when he heard his own voice, and then the elven which he made out. How they were strung together made no sense, but yet made some. Seeing her fall out of the tree and land on the ground he looked at her, muttering in centaur. {“This is getting really odd, who is she and what is she doing here?”} he spoke to himself, trying to make sense of this all. Offering a hand to help the girl up he looked at her, he was curious as to why a young girl would be alone out here.

    “How long have you been following me for? It appears you mean no harm so you are safe. Can you tell me your name? I have not seen you in my recent travels through the area.” He tried to keep the questions to short answer ones, so that he could make sense of them. From the way her elven came out broken, she was obviously not the best with languages.

    Kima straightened herself. She rose to her own feet and brushed herself off. “It appears you mean no harm,” she mimicked in her own voice. “Tell me your name,” she continued to mimic. She started to chew on her index finger nail gently with her front teeth. She understood common, but she wasn’t one for names, let alone to tell it to a horse that swallowed a man.

    Rylan cleared his throat and looked at the girl, she had quite a thing for mimicry. He would answer her first however, he was expecting her name in return. “My name is Rylan, have you ever seen a centaur before?” he asked after giving his name, curious as to what she was doing out here he asked. “What are you doing all the way out here, or are you like me an exile from your home?”

    A small gust of wind picked up, swirling around the centaur, swirling his red hair about. Aiden’s voice whispered in his ears as Sylph delivered his message; “The decoy is coming to the campsite. Come back so we can stop them.”

    Rylan heard the whisper in the wind and looked at the girl, he had to return to his companions. The timing was a little off, but then he did not know what to expect.“I don’t know what the others would think, but if you want to follow then you can. My friends need me back at camp, I have to leave now though. The choice is there, if they can accept me you’d have an easy time yourself.” He then turned and started to head back to the camp, he had to make haste before the decoy arrived. Hopefully he could catch them from behind, giving them no way to run from the scene.

    Kima followed Rylan as fast as her young legs could take her. She was fast due to her time living amongst the forest, but the “centaur” had two more legs on her. She dashed through the foliage, taking care not to scratch herself up too badly as she tailed the horseman. She didn’t understand why she was following him, perhaps it was because of the wind that suddenly appeared, or that he was running. Either way, the horseman would not escape Kima’s curiosity.

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