Chapter 8: Mysteries of Magic
Like the ever-fleeting passage of time, the smoke that was blown up by small explosions faded away and there in the distance where Lien had stood before, a vision of elegance stood with a smirk on her face. Behind her a strange creature slowly followed, pulling a cart that clanked with the cargo it carried, but it was barely as intriguing as the person who led it forward. Who was the woman that walked so gracefully, and had long waves of flowing red hair. Who was the woman with eyes like marvelous emeralds, and rosy fair skin, unblemished, unscarred. Who was the woman who wore a green-hooded top and black pants, and more than anything, was she friend or foe?
“Looks like I got here too late.” She said as she looked onto Danson and Keigo, checking their pulse to see if they were alive. “But if those people attacked, that means that you loss right?” She turned her marvelous emeralds onto Lien who nodded, staring back aghast.
“You didn’t kill them did you?” He gasped and she replied with an insulted stare.
“Of course not.” She replied, as shocked as her expression suggested. “I can recognize mind-controlled people when I see them.” She huffed and Lien let out a sigh of relief before falling onto his knees and lowering his head. “Thanks for making this easy for me.” The woman said as she turned back to the cart and pulled out a white rope.
After bounding Lien, she strolled toward Kiara and scarlet met green as they stared into each other’s eyes and a smile came across the woman’s face. It seemed that she was happy to see the girl, but Kiara was too distracted by other thoughts to notice. Instead, her mind juggled questions, staring at the youthful woman who towered a few inches over her, wondering just how old she was.
“Oh wow!” The woman exclaimed, snapping Kiara from the grasp of her thought. “I should introduce myself instead of acting like a weirdo.” She giggled as she took a few steps back and took a bow. “Diana the Bolt.” She said as she rose, and Kiara nodded.
“Kiara Million.” She replied and Diana’s smiled returned.
“Well Kiara, could you help me with these two. I think its best we set out before more Council members come.” She said as she hoisted Keigo up and flipped him into the carriage.
Upon helping Diana with Danson, Kiara climbed into the cart herself and watched as Diana sat up front and commanded the beast to go. Its cry had earned it Kiara’s attention, and finally her delayed awe was displayed as she stared at the strutting creature, trying to determine what it was. As it pulled the cart down the dirt road without issue, and pulled into the brush along it, she examined is bird like stance and its furred form. Its face was a snout; much like a dog, but it tail was long and serpentine. As it zipped through the brush, lanky arms hung back with four claws extending from them, but they contrast greatly with the prints in the dirt, as Kiara looked down and saw human like feet. She wanted to know what it was, not just is name but its species too. Despite all that however, she did know something – much like the woman who commanded it, the creature moved gracefully through the brush as it threaded through the woods.
Suddenly a grunt pulled Kiara from her awe, as Keigo suddenly jerked up and stared with heavy eyes, disgust at Lien. Beside him, Danson was groggily sitting up too, and he held his head as if he hit it hard before nudging Keigo who turned Diana’s way.
“Slow down, Diana!” Keigo barked and the creature reeled back as Diana pulled its straps and wide eyes turned Keigo’s way. “We can’t take Lien where we’re going.” He said and Diana held back a nervous grin as she turned her eyes away.
“There was no way I was going to do that.” She said.
“It’s obvious we’re going that way.” He replied.
“Alright I’ll admit that I was taking him there, but come on, he lost. That means he’s on our side, right?” She yelled and Danson shook his head.
“I’m afraid not. I’m sorry Lien, but you can’t be trusted, not just yet.” The diamond said and Lien gave a feeble nod.
“I can understand that, Diana could you please bring the creature to a halt.” He said and once more Diana tugged the straps and brought the creature to a stop between two trees.
“Who was it?” Keigo asked. “What idiot actually sent you after Danson? I thought it was pretty obvious on both sides that if you two ever met up, you’d likely defect and join us.” He said and Lien nodded along.
“It was pretty obvious; I think that was the point in fact.” He replied and all ears listened intently. “I was sent after you by a council member by the name of Thomas Wilder. He was originally supposed to take a seat at the table, but he turned the position down for a promotion to Policing Chief instead. I think it’s likely that he’s building an elite force, and to see if I was worthy of joining it… or, better, to make sure that I couldn’t join it, he sent me after Danson.”
“So it’s obvious he wanted you to fail, but what if you succeeded?” Diana asked.
“I’m not sure what he would have done, but it may have something to do with those people back there. I don’t doubt that he would have had them kill me, and find a way to cover it up.”
“So that Wilder guy is close?” Keigo asked with a glint in his eye that told them all he wanted to meet him.
“Yes.” Lien answered. “Which is why I think you should let me lure him off your trail, I’m sure he’s expecting that I joined you, so if I make myself seen in places away from you all, it’s likely that I can get him off your trail.”
“If you can succeed I think that’d be a good way to prove they can trust you.” Kiara found herself chiming in, and covered her mouth too late.
“I’m sure as well.” Danson said as he loosened Lien’s bonds and watched him disembark from the cart.
“Danson.” The hero said as both feet stepped down. “I still have my obligations to fulfill, but if the day that you can trust me ever comes, let’s travel together again.” He turned to the swarthy elf that shook his head.
“Of course. There is something that we both definitely have to do after all.” He smiled, and Lien smiled too as he jetted deep into the brush unrestrained by the weight of his armor.
They waited a moment till the clank of Lien’s wear was a muffle in the distance before taking off again, and as the trio entered a conversation that Kiara began to drown out, she smiled subtly to herself. There were things about this world that she didn’t know. Some that scared her, and some that made her curious, and although she had come to the realization that she had ran off too soon, she didn’t want to go home without learning more about the mysteries of the world…
[Chapter 8 Ends…]