Rain in the Forest Part 12

Over the course of the next five or so years, all of those from Crysalys’, Myrth’s, Colis’, Jub’s, and Trevor’s generation have under gone intense training for the war that was going to happen.

Everyone still heard the words that Crysalys had spoken to everyone when she was young, everyone wanted to stop fighting, but they couldn’t accept the others just yet.

Neither Trevor or Cyrsalys had forgotten about the other. During the day they didn’t have time to think about what the other was up to, but at night, when things were calm and everyone else was asleep, all they could do was think about the other. Wondering if they were still alive, what they were doing now, and if they thought of them.

Trevor still had a well defined scar from Crysalys. He had grown up a lot in five years. He was a lot stronger, more muscular, smarter, her knew why what happened that day happened. The two sides, while willing to forgive one another, were not ready for such a large step just yet. A marriage was unheard of at the time. But what he said to her he still wanted to carry out. He could only hope she still meant what she said about the bite marking him as hers.

Crysalys would lay awake next to Myrth every night, she could never handle staying in her chamber alone at night. Scar, Silver, and Romona were too large to all fit in the chamber along with them, but they lay asleep right outside every night.

This night was a restless night for Crysalys. She was, as usual, wondering about Trevor, the gunners, and the war. She didn’t want this war but she had no choice on the matter she didn’t want to hurt her mother anymore than she has. She wondered if the gunners even thought about just calling a trues between the two. And of course, Trevor. She wondered mainly about him. How he was doing, if he still had her mark on him, if he still had the same views as she did, if he was even still alive! But mostly she wondered if when this was all over if he would ask her again. If he would still want her as his bride.

She sighed and sat up. Soon she’d need to take a husband, but whom? Offers had already poured in for her. It wasn’t all that much of a surprise to her. She had gotten taller, she had full hips, a large chest, though she had abs, lots of arm muscle, powerful legs. She grew her bangs so it covered her right eye, she thought she looked better that way. The skin around her eyes had become fully black, her lips darker then blood red, and her nails were black.

Even Crysalys couldn’t deny the fact that she thought she was beautiful, but she wasn’t happy.

She looked over at Myrth in the darkness. He lyed there with not a care in the world about anything. She wished she could be like that for one night. Not worry about anything and could just sleep.

She found it funny how Myrth had seen the most of her, had held her, had protected her on more than one occasion, he had been there when others hadn’t, he had named her, yet not one of those offers had come from Myrth. She would sometimes wonder if she wasn’t pretty enough for him. And then she began to wonder what it was that didn’t attract him to her like everyone else.

As she had thought, Colis had asked the second the elders said that she was capable of marrying. But she didn’t want to marry anyone in the cave.

But she still wondered that maybe if Myrth asked her she’d say yes and she’d forget all about Trevor. But she’d marked him years before, she promised him then that he was her’s.

She sighed and left the chamber careful not to wake Myrth or any of her partners. She quietly walked to the ridge of the opening.

She stood out in the night air and looked up at the almost full moon. She sat down on the path and enjoyed the open air around her.

“Can’t sleep?” Someone asked behind her. She didn’t need to turn around, she knew it was Myrth.

“Yeah.” She said in her distant voice she always used now.

“What’s on your mind?” He asked sitting next to her.

She shrugged, “I’m just thinking about it all.” She said.

“The war?” He asked.

She nodded.

“Crysalys,”He started, “I know you don’t want to fight them like this. But we can’t do anything about it. If we could I’d be doing any and everything I could because I know it’d make you happy.”

“Why is it everyone always cares about me and not anyone else?” She asked.

He smiled slightly, “You’re the beast princess.” He said, “You’re supposed to be our hope, our ultimate warrior, our savior. The most beautiful woman ever.”

“Do you think I’m beautiful, Myrth?” She asked almost scared of the answer.

“Of course I do.” He said, “Why would you ask such a question?”

She only looked into his eyes, and even without the power they’d obtained he knew exactly what she was thinking.

“Oh, Crysalys.” He said wrapping her in a hug as tears began to fall from her green eyes, “I’m sorry.”

“I just wanna know.” She said.

“You were bit.” He said, “And not for me. I know you marked him that day. I know he’ll mean a lot more to you then I ever will like that. If you didn’t I’d of been the first one to ask you when you were deemed old enough.”

“If I hadn’t of bitten him, would you want to marry me today?” She asked.

“No.” He said, Crysalys almost pulled away, “I’d want to marry you when all of this is over the land is at peace again. Then we can have kids who don’t have to grow up like we did. I know you don’t want them to be like us. But I can’t marry you, can I?”

“And to think all this time I thought it was because I wasn’t pretty enough for you.” She laughed.

“Hey,” He said making her look at him, “You are the most beautiful girl in the cave. But I don’t look at you as anything other than my sister. And I don’t want you to look at me as anything other than your brother.”

“Is that why you named me?” She asked.

He shrugged, “I just thought it suited you a lot.”

“Do you think, Trevor’s looking at the same moon as we are?” She asked.

“I think he is.” He told her, “You’re gonna get cold if you stay out here.”

“Just a while longer.” She said.

“Alright.” Myrth complied.

In the town, it was true. Trevor was looking at the same moon as they were, for the most part.

“You need to pick a wife before the war begins.” Joseph told him son, “As soon as it’s over you’ll be head of the town, so you’ll need to marry, get an heir ready.”

Trevor was only half listening, he was wondering the same thing Crysalys was. He wanted her to be looking at the moon so it was like they were watching together.

“Trevor.” His father said, “I’m growing old. I can’t keep running the town forever. It’s your turn. And if I may suggest to you, bards make exceptional wives.”

“A bard?” He asked, “Father if I’m going to marry a girl it’s not going to be a bard. No offence mother, but their not my cup of tea.”

“I’m sure you’ll change your mind.” She said, “There is no woman more beautiful than a bard.”

“I beg to differ.” He mumbled looking back out at the moon. She was only a young girl, but Crysalys was the most beautiful girl he’d of ever seen.

“Just keep an open mind.” His mother told him, “Star and Chime have taken to my heritage.”

He sighed, “I’ll think about it.” He said, “But I don’t promise that I’ll find a girl before the war starts.”

“Perhaps we could help,” His father offered, “What kind of girls are interested in?”

Trevor thought for a moment, “She has to be smart.” He said, “But not a complete brainiac, she has to be pretty enough to turn a few heads, sweet, she has to care about people. She has to be strong, mentally and physically, I want a woman with a sense of adventure, she has to want to try things she never has before, I want her to be wild. And I’m a sucker for green eyes.”

His father nodded, “We’ll see what we can find.”

He nodded.

The moon was almost full. He knew it would be tomorrow night that it began. He was just hoping he could see his hopeful bride to be before she killed him.

 

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Rain in the Forest Part 11

Dawn came early for both sides.

Trevor complied to having the sake over his head and his hands bound behind his back.

Jub agreed to go with Joseph only on knowing he’d be safe.

Each of the sides had all of their allies with them, exceptions were the bards and healers.

Each held their heads up high as they walked through their territory to the designated meeting place.

Joseph and his group arrived first. He looked back and forth through the trees and thicket, but he was no movement.

He cursed to himself thinking they probably killed him first. Just as he was about to turn around and yell at Jub, he saw movement in the forest.

As far as his eye could see, stretching out from end to end of the forest, the edge was lined with warriors, thiefs, necromancers, black mages, and of course beast masters.

“Which of you is the beast princess?” He demanded.

Some of them stepped aside, and out of the shadows of the forest came a small girl. She had bark brown hair, green eyes that held anyone who looked at them, her left eye was dark, her right eye was light, she had a horrible scar on her right eye. The skin around her eyes looked like they were turning black, her lips were dark as if she had make up on. Her body was covered in what looked like tattoos of dragons, each was black. She was dressed in animal skins, small amounts of armor of a warrior, and had black mage earings. Each ear had multiple piercings. She was no taller then maybe five feet, but just by looking at her you knew she could tear anyone she wanted to apart.

“You’re the head of the town?” She asked calmly.

He nodded. Usually he’d be yelling at her, but they had his only son and he didn’t want to set her off.

“Where is my son?” He asked as calmly as he could.

“I assure you, he’s safe.” She said, “I would like to speak with you about a few things.”

“Not just a trues?” He asked.

She shook her head, “It has come to my attention that you have sent rangers into our forest at night.” She started, “Looking for me personably, Why? Why, would you cross such a line for me?”

“Well,” He began trying to find words,”I’ve heard every legend about beast princess. I was afraid you’d kill first and ask questions later.”

“That’s not it.” She told him, the entire side of gunners questioned what was going on, while the beast master’s side wasn’t wavered at all.

“Then what do you believe it is?” He asked her.

“You’re afraid of me.” She said and smirked, “You’ve studied those old legends your entire life. And from them you have made in your mind what you thought was going to be me. Am I what you pictured?”

“No exactly.” He said.

“Then how did you picture me?” She asked just toying with him now, “Taller?”

He nodded.

“Older?”

He nodded again.

“Prettier?”

He nodded.

“A larger chest?”

“You’re still developing.” He told her.

It was her turn to nod, “But you’re avoiding the question.”

He nodded grudgingly.

“You pictured me to be as the legends tell, a young beautiful woman, large chested, tall, strong, fast, an emanating blood lust you can feel for a mile. Didn’t you?” She asked.

He sighed, “That was the only thing we had to go on.” He said.

She shrugged understanding his point.

“But you still sent your rangers into our forests to find a little girl you were terrified of.” She said.

“I didn’t know you were a little girl.” He defended.

“You do now.” She said, “Are you still afraid?”

His face began to get red, “I’ve never been scared before in my life.” He barked.

“That’s a lie if I ever heard one.” She said, “All of us are afraid at times. That’s what makes us human. You call us savages, but it wasn’t us who locked up our only son for a year after being told both sides of the story.”

“What story?” He demanded.

“The one we’re still fighting over.” She told him, “Bout the girl, the medicine for her mother, about her dying by the hand of a gunner, and then your men turned up dead the next morning on the steps of the church.”

“We let her go.” He said, “You killed her.”

She shook her head, “We understand: She went down to get the herbs, was caught, explained herself to you, and you let her go on her way. On the way back up the mountain, one of the gunners you exiled that day killed her, kept her alive long enough to bring him to where we dwell, he told us that other gunners killed her. In our rage a hand full of beast masters followed him down to the town, and killed those they thought were responsible for the death of their own. We were both had.” She explained, “Neither is to blame. We were tricked in our blindness of hate, and we took it out on you. For that I want to apologise.”

All of those on the gunners side froze. They wanted to apologise?

Joseph cleared his throught, “And what if we do not accept your apology?” He asked.

She snapped her fingers, out of the darkness of the forest three boys stepped forward. One blond with blue eyes, one brown haired with blue eyes, and the third was Trevor. His hands were tied behind his back and his mouth was gagged.

“Trevor.” Joseph said alarmed, he never thought that they’d capture him like this.

“If you do not accept, then I must first apologise for what will happen, and then I’ll kill him.” She said calmly.

Everyone’s eyes went wide. She said no harm would come to either Jub or Trevor. Was she going back on that?

“Don’t be so rash.” He said, “Let’s talk about this.”

She nodded, “And that’s what we will do.” She said.

Myrth and Colis forced Trevor to sit down.

“You’ve been hunting in our forests, killing our animals, and then you blame us for what’s not out fault.” She said scratching behind Scar’s ears as he, Silver, and Romona showed up at her side.

“What does this have to do with anything?” He asked now more causes of his words with his son’s life on the line.

“We feel it’s time to put what’s past, in the past.” She said, “Let’s bury the hatchet. We’ve all grown up being taught that the other side is savage, and we’re always better then them, and no matter what the others will always think higher then us. But I think it’s about time we stop fighting over something so old.”

“Why?” Joseph asked.

“You’re son said it best.” She said looking over at Trevor for a second, “We’ve been told we all need to marry, and that choice has to be the best for everyone. But no one in our generation wants to get married while we’re still fighting. We want our kids, who could potentially be your grandchildren, to grow up looking at each other as equals. We don’t want the war to go on for them. We want it stop, and we want a trues, if we bury the hatchet now then there’s still hope for the future.”

“You just want us to surrender so you can slight our throughts at night!” Someone far behind the head “yelled.

“If we were going to kill you.” She told them, “We’d of done it already.”

They all froze again. Could they? They did have the beast princess back after so long, and if the legends were true then they should be. But she just said she wanted peace.

“I don’t want anyone to think we’re going to kill anyone anymore.” She said, “I don’t want anyone to think that the other side is evil. We need to accept our differences, put them aside, and live along side each other like we did before.”

“And why should we listen to a little girl like you?” The head asked.

She shrugged, “You don’t have too,” She said, “As soon as you get your son back you can attack us all you want in fact. But I just want to say what I think would be best for everyone, to those I haven’t reached yet.”

Trevor started to say something but was stopped by the gag.

“At least take the gag off him.” Joseph begged.

She nodded and Myrth took it off.

Trevor took a deep breath, “Father what she has to say will be the future.” He told them, “We all want a world where no one had to fight with anyone else anymore, right?”

Everyone on the gunner’s side looked around, they all did want it but no one would admit it.

“If we stopped fighting right now, then Star and Chime wouldn’t be victim to this world anymore.” He said, “And if we’re lucky someone from each side could marry to hold to the trues.”

“That’s what you were after this entire time!” Colis yelled drawing his sword towards him.

“That’s enough Colis.” Crysalys told him.

“But,”

“That’s enough.” She said, “No more war.”

“I wasn’t even meaning me.” He said, “Or her. But It was a thought.”

“It’s true,” Jub said, “Before the incident the beast princess of the time was going to be married to one of the gunners for true peace. But then it all happened.”

She nodded, “Let’s not repeat the past.” She said, “But let’s bury it. I don’t want to deal with it anymore. Do any of you?”

Everyone closed their eyes saying a silent no.

Crysalys got it. She untied Trevor, he walked over to his side.

“Does this make us square?” She asked.

Joseph smiled, “It might take a little longer then this, but I know we wont fight anymore.”

She nodded, “I don’t care if we still have differences, but I don’t want us to fight anymore.”

“I suppose we could bury the hatchet now.” He said, “It will be good for those who are ignorant to this war.”

“You mean your daughters?” She asked.

He laughed lightly, “They know what goes on.” He said.

“I wish they didn’t.” She said.

“So do I.” He said.

As each side turned to leave, Trevor couldn’t hold it inside him anymore.

“Hey, Crysalys?” He asked, She stopped and looked at him, “Since we aren’t fighting anymore, when we’re both of age, will you do me the honour of being my bride?”

They all wanted peace, but it was too soon for that. Before anyone could move, Crysalys lunged forward at him. She she being pulled back by Garther, but she managed to sink her teeth deep in his shoulder. Trevor was being pulled away as well.

She looked him right in the eye, his blood staining her mouth red, “This makes you mine.” She told him and let go.

Trevor was pushed down the steep hill towards town. Crysalys was pulled away by several beast masters, warriors, and necromancers.

Each were pulled back to where they belonged.

Trevor was locked back up in the dungeons and tortured. Crysalys was tossed around, shook, and whipped with her own whip.

It hurt both Jub and Myrth to watch this happen to their friends.

“You cannot mix with them!” Joseph yelled at him, “We would have been at peace right now, but you had ask her such a question! Maybe when you actually were of age it would have been alright, but not now!”

“I love her.” Trevor muttered to him, “You can’t change that fact.”

“You’re an idiot.” He hissed, “If you loved her you’d of waited.”

“I couldn’t wait.” He said, “If I waited then she’d of gotten another request and married someone else.”

“You’d still be alive.” He said, “That bite mark she gave you, that indicates she’s going to kill you.”

“You can do whatever you want.” He said, “I will always love her.”

And evil smirk spread across his face.

Crysalys was chained down like a prisoner, and with each crack of the whip it came down heavily on her bare back.

“Kenshil, stop.” Myrth said trying to help his friend.

“Myrth don’t involved.” She hissed, “It’s my problem.”

“I’m not going to let you suffer like this.” He said.

“I’ll suffer more if you get hurt, now back off.” She ordered.

It hurt Myrth to watch his friend get punished simply for being bit by the bug. But it hurt him more when she yelled.

He turned around and walked away, he couldn’t look at her. He’d want t kill Keshil.

Lilly was bawling her eyes out. Not only had her little girl fallen in love with a gunner, but she was being punished for falling in love. She couldn’t take it. If she knew all of this was going to happen when she had her daughter she would have left her in the town at night, and she would have never come to love her like she did.

Of course Lilly knew she could never do that. She’d love Crysalys no matter what, that’s what mothers do.

“You can’t fall in love with a gunner.” Garther told her.

“They aren’t any good.” Awkie hissed.

“All a gunner will ever do is get you pregnant, break your heart, and leave you alone to die.” Tia told her.

“Gunners are bad.” Keshil told her.

“Not all are bad.” She said, reseaving another crack across her back, “But not all are good.”

Another beast master walked forward and picked her up best he could by her hair.

“You’re a nave little girl.” He told her, “We shouldn’t of listened to you about it. A beast princess it supposed to fight and kill. Not try and smooth things over.”

“Maybe I’m not like all the others.” She spat.

“It was too soon to try and make peace.” Issa said entering the arena.

“Issa, you shouldn’t be here.” Garther said.

“I know.” She told her husband, “But there is nothing we can do about her feelings towards a gunner, she was bitten.”

Everyone gasped, “And everyone knows once you’re bitten you can’t go back.” She told them,” But right now Lilly’s suffering more for her daughter then any of us will ever know. Crysalys is the beast princess, the elders are never wrong, but she’s not like any of the others. She’s been born to bring this land to what it should be, and what it should be is at peace. She has the right idea, but the gunners will never truly listen.”

“Trevor listened.” She said.

“I know.” She said gently stroking her hair as a couple tear began to fall from her eyes, “I don’t want to alarm you, but-

“They’ll probably kill him for saying what he did.” She said, “Or they’ll bring in an alchemist to make him forget all about me.”

“Can I tell you a secret, Crysalys?” She nodded, “Even if the spell, or the science, or whatever existed, it wouldn’t work. They way he looked at you, he was bitten just as bad as you were if not worse. He’ll never forget about you.”

“But things are too different.” She said, “We can’t ever-

“Right now.” She said, “Maybe when the war’s over. But first we need you be that princess you aren’t. Blood thirsty, evil, a killer for fun. I know you don’t want to, but it will be the only way.”

She sniffed, “Let me out of these things.”

“Not until you agree to forget about the gunner and be our princess.” Keshil told her.

“You’ve never been bitten, Keshil.” Issa told him, “You can’t ever forget about that person when you are. Her mind can be kept off him for a while, but she can never forget about him.”

He looked away, he knew he’d been beat.

“I will be your princess.” She said, “I will be your warrior, I will be whatever you want me too. But don’t make my mama cry anymore.”

They all stopped. Crysalys wasn’t selfish like they thought. And as they thought back to everything she’s done, they knew.

She always got the runts because she didn’t want them to be hurt, she tried really hard to be a healer to make her mother proud, she was glad she got hit by the bear and not Myrth or Colis, she wanted this to stop because she wanted it stop hurting her mother. The only thing she was selfish about was wanting the war to end, and Trevor.

She’d force herself to stop thinking about him and focus on her training, she’d become the ultimate warrior for them if that’s what they wanted, but she wanted the fighting to stop, that, Trevor, and everyone else’s happiness was all she wanted.

And as everyone knew that, they all felt bad taking away her life to be what they wanted and need and she selflessly accepted and went to it as they wished. And then the few things that she wanted she couldn’t have. It hurt them more then she’d ever know, but they couldn’t thank her enough.

“Alright.” Keshil said and unchained her.

Tia and Issa dressed her wounds, and wrapped a new shirt around her.

“As soon as you’re all healed your new training will start.” Keshil told her.

“And mama wont cry?” She asked, he nodded, “Myrth, Colis, Silver, Romona, and Scar wont be hurt by my actions anymore?” He nodded.

She nodded and left with the others to her mother, she was still crying but stopped soon after Crysalys held her close.

Trevor was offered a similar deal, it was his mother who convinced his father. He was to start the new training of a gunner tomorrow, and he was to put Crysalys out of his mind as much as he could.

 

Rain in the Forest Part 10

It had been a year since Crysalys and Trevor had first met. Not a word form either of them since then.

Trevor was still bound in the dungeons picturing his future wife.

Crysalys was roaming the forests by herself, other times with Silver, Romona, and Scar. She was looking for either Trevor or Jub incase they were lost. Slowly though her trust in them was fading, she began to wonder if they even remembered her at all. And if the things they told her about wanting the same things as she did was the truth. They could have used it against her. They knew where she went to bathe often, they could use it to kill her.

At this point, she didn’t care so long as she could talk to him again.

Trevor wasn’t budging with his father either, he didn’t want the war, but he wanted to leave to see her. He couldn’t stop thinking about her, just wondering if she still thought about him.

He was deep in a daydream when his father came to the cell and cleared his throught gaining the attention of both boys.

“I have a proposition for you two.” He said.

“We do not accept.” Trevor hissed.

“You don’t even know what it is yet.” Joseph told him.

“Don’t need to know.” Trevor told him, “I know you want us to hunt her down and kill her.”

“Oh nothing like that.” He told her, “However I do want to meet her.”

“Not a chance.” Trevor hissed.

“Son, your mother is worried sick about you down here.” He told him, “Jub’s parents think he’s dead. I will allow both of you your freedom, on one condition.”

“What’s that?” He asked.

“You need to go back out to the forest, find the beast princess, and tell her I’d love to meet with her about the trues.” He told them, “Tell her I would have gotten to her sooner, but there were so many people in the town who weren’t sure about wanting to be at peace after so long with them. Tell her to meet me in my office in the town day after tomorrow. There we will talk about the trues of the two sides.”

“What if she doesn’t believe us?” Jub asked.

“Then you convince her.” He snarled.

“And if she doesn’t show even if we do tell her?” Trevor asked.

“Well then, I’ll kill both of you.” He said.

Jub and Trevor both bit there lip. She wasn’t going to willingly walk into an obviuse trap like that. But she would be willing to meet with him.

“You don’t have to answer me yet.” Joseph said, “I’ll leave you down here tonight, I’ll come back in the morning and you’ll give me your answer.”

And he left.

“Trevor.” Jub said, “I think we both know what we have to do.”

Trevor didn’t want to admit it, but it was the only way to see her after a year. And to him that was far too long.

“Yeah.” He said, “We have no choice in that option. But, we do have a choice with what we tell her.”

Jub smiled knowing exactly what he meant.

In the forest, night was about to set in, everyone was heading back to the cave. All except for Crysalys.

She was tired of running, tired of hiding when the sun was down. She was going to take out a year of emotions on the rangers that were patrolling.

She had her axe, her whip, and a sword.

They started coming in from the town, she knew better then to use a frontal attack. She waited and stalked her prey until they split off into small groups of one or two.

She took those who were alone out first.

Cracking her whip through the air landing it tight around their necks and dragging them towards her where she was ready with her axe and lopped off their heads.

When she was finished with each of those who were alone, she started with those in partners.

Using her whip she expertly knocked their weapons out of their hands, hitting their wrists to they couldn’t pick up another one. She then ran at them, axe in one hand sword in the other.

One by one all the rangers began to fall. She had gotten all of them.

She finally let a sigh leave her darkening lips.

She thought this would be a challenge, but it wasn’t.

She wrapped up her whip and stuck it back in her belt, her sword went back in it’s holster, and her axe went back over her shoulder, held by her hand.

She slowly walked back to the cave.

When she got in the cave everyone stared at her.

“Crysalys.” Myrth said, “You’re covered and reek of blood, what happened?”

She dropped her weapons and threw her clock off sitting in front of the fire, next to Myrth.

“I killed them.” She said softly.

No one seemed overly surprised, but wondered who she was talking about.

“Who do you mean?” Colis asked handing her a cloth.

“The rangers.” She said, “I’m tired of hiding in the cave at night afraid of them finding our place.”

“What about the trues?” Issa asked.

“It’s been over a year.” She said staring into the flames, “I don’t think they’re coming back.”

“They have to.” Myrth said.

“Why do they have to?” She asked, “We threatened to kill them.”

“They don’t want the war.” He told her, “And you heard Jub, Trevor wanted to marry you.”

“And if he found a better girl out there?” She asked.

“Who’s better then a beast master?” Colis asked.

“Bards are always really pretty.” She said.

“They’ll come back.” Myrth told her.

“And if they don’t?” She asked.

“Then they don’t and we know exactly what they meant when they said they wanted peace too.” Colis said, “So shut up about it, and smile.”

“I don’t want to.” She hissed.

“Fine then be a bitch.” He told her.

She didn’t reply which scared everyone. She just sat there staring into the flames of the fire. Silver, Romona, and Scar were wondering what was wrong with her. But they knew better then to ask.

That night, Cryslays slept in her chambers , not Myrth. This really set everyone off. Crysalys had been sleeping in the same chambers as Myrth since she was two and he was four. And ever since then they’d been inseparable.

The next morning when Joseph went back down to the dungeons to get the answer from the boys, they had already figured out what they were going to tell her.

“What’s you decision?” He asked.

“We’ll do it.” Trevor said, “But we can’t make any promises.”

He grinned knowing he’d won.

“Just let her know that she’ll be perfectly safe.” He said, “She will be.”

The prison guard went in and unchained them.

Each rubbed their wrists from how long they’d been in there for.

Both of them were brought up to the head’s house for a feast and to see their families before they left.

Trevor was overjoyed to see his little sisters after so long. They had grown up so much in a year. His mother looked older, but she was still as beautiful.

Jub was brought into tight hugs by his mother, father, and three older brothers.

They all sat down to eat, and talk. And when it came time for them to leave, their mother’s and siblings complained about it.

“It’s their mission.” Joseph told them, “They need to do it.”

Trevor and Jub headed back out to the forest to see if they could find Crysalys.

They came to that clearing with the lake where they had first met them, and almost like deyjah vue they were there again. And Crysalys was bathing in the lake again.

Trevor’s eyes glistened as he watched the girl who hadn’t left his mind once in over a year scrub in the lake he had first watched her.

“I still can’t believe you did that.” Myrth said sitting on the edge of the lake.

Trevor and Jub crouched down to see if they could hear.

“I was angry.” She replied.

“You still are.” He told her.

“It’s been over a year.” She said, “He said he’d look forward to talking to us again soon. And I don’t think over a year is soon.”

“Maybe something happened with his father.” Colis said, “My father told me that the head’s of the town were always very self centered, and wouldn’t hear anything from anyone unless he wanted to believe it.”

“I bet that’s what he was taught too.” Myrth said.

“I believed him.” Crysalys mumbled to herself. She didn’t want to admit it, but she couldn’t have killed Trevor if she wanted to. When she saw him for the first time, her heart seemed to stop. And then when Jub said he wanted to marry her, she was surprised, and the similar views, she couldn’t get over him. But she was extremely angry with herself for falling for such a thing.

Trevor had heard what she said. He was hurt. He was hurt because he had hurt her. He didn’t want that. And he was debating running down there and scooping her up in a hug, but he knew he couldn’t do that.

“You were bit, weren’t you?” Colis asked her.

“Non of your business.” She snarled at him.

“Oh, Myrth, she was bit.” He said, “Crysalys is in love, Crysalys is in love, Crysalys is in love.”

“Keep saying that, Colis and this lake will be your grave.” She threatned.

He backed off knowing she would hold that threat.

“I’m clean now.” She said.

They nodded and turned around so she could get out.

Trevor couldn’t believe what he heard. If she was in love they were just talking about them. Could it be that she’s in love with him?

“Crys,” Myrth said,”It’s one guy. There are plenty others. Right now he’s probably working on bringing peace with you, but is interested in a different girl.”

“I thought you were supposed to be my friend!” She yelled to him, “Way to make me feel better!”

And with that she took off completely dressed.

“Crysalys.” He yelled running after her, Colis at his heels, Silver, Romona, and Scar in toe.

Trevor couldn’t believe jut what he put her through. She didn’t deserve that. He needed to apologise, and fast.

They tried to follow as best they could, but after about five or so minutes of running, two, very large beast masters jumped down from trees blocking their paths.

They both swallowed as sacks were placed over their heads, and they were knocked out.

Crysalys was in her chambers just sitting and thinking. She didn’t want to come out.

“Crysalys.” He mother called from the other side of her animal pelt wall, “We have two intruders. Everyone’s waiting for you.”

She sighed. Crysalys didn’t want to see anyone. But she had a duty. She got up and slipped out of her chamber.

She walked slowly to where everyone was crowding around two young men. She took her place on the rock, sitting Indian style, elbows an each knee, fingers knotted together covering my mouth.

All that we were waiting for was them to wake up.

When they began to stir, Crysalys motioned for the sacks to be removed.

Each of them blinked a couple of times before everything came into focus.

Crysalys dropped her hands to her lap seeing the faces of the intruders.

“What the hell took you so long?” She asked quietly.

Trevor smiled at her, but then it faded when he realized he was tied up and she wasn’t happy.

“I’m sorry.” He told her, “I am so sorry, Crysalys. But I tried to tell my father what we found out. He locked both of us up in the dungeons. If I could have gotten to you I would have, and I am so sorry. I can’t tell you how much I want you to forgive me right now.”

“Untie them.” She said.

Everyone stared at her like she was insane.

“Untie them.” She repeated.

Myrth did the honours.

Trevor lunged forward and picked up her hands.

“I’m so sorry. You don’t realize it.” He said and kissed her knuckle, “I’m sorry.”

“He locked you up?” She asked.

He nodded, “I’m sorry.”

“Stop apologising and look at me.” She told him.

He looked up at her face. And he got lost in her beauty. Her one pale eye, her darker eye that her dark brown bangs hid, the skin around her eyes were darkening like she was wearing eye make up, her lips were too. She looked older then maybe eleven. But he loved her.

She reached forward and hugged him close to her. He returned it after a moment of surprise.

“I missed you.” She whispered.

“Not a day went by I didn’t think of you.” He whispered back so no one could hear.

They pulled apart and smiled at each other.

“So your father wont meet with me?” she asked.

He shook his head, “He sent us back in the forest to tell you that he was too busy and everyone wasn’t sure if they wanted to have peace after this long. And he wanted to meet with you tomorrow in his office to talk about it. But the truth was he was going to kill you.”

She nodded unfazed.

“I wouldn’t of gone into the town as it was.” She said.

He grinned, “I know.”

“So he wants to meet me to kill me, huh?” She asked.

“I think he’s still shaken up about that letter you sent.” He said.

She nodded, “I need you to deliver a message to him for me.” She said.

“Anything.” He told her.

“I will meet with him.” She said, “However, not in the town. I will meet him on the edge of the forest where your fields meet out thicket. I will not be alone, and he shouldn’t be either.”

“I really hope you know what you’re about to get yourself into.” He said.

“I do, don’t worry.” She said.

“There’s something I’ve been meaning to ask, and I’m not trying to be rude.” He said, “How old are you?”

“Almost twelve.” She said.

He whistled.

“What about you?” She asked.

“Just turned fourteen.” He told her.

“Can you deliver the message?” She asked.

He nodded, “Don’t worry about it.”

She smiled.

“I just ask we’re not knocked out like that again.” He laughed.

She nodded, “These two will only recive the sack over the head and limbs tied until they’re in the cave.” She told them, “They can be trusted. But not fully.”

“And we understand that.” He said and moved back, “It’s still good to see you, Crysalys.”

She smiled, “There’s just one catch to this to make sure they’ll actually meet us at dawn.” She said.

“Go for it.” Jub said.

“We’re going to hold onto Trevor, and Jub’s going to go back to the town and tell the head that we wont give him back until he meets us.” She explained, “I think that’s sounds accurate.”

Everyone agreed.

“So, let me get this straight.” Jub said, “I’m going to be tied up and have a sack put over my head, then be left somewhere in the woods and try to get back to town on my own. And when I get to town I’m supposed to tell the head that his son is kidnapped and they wont give him back until we meet with you where the fields meet the forest at dawn tomorrow?”

“You seem to be missing a couple of things here.” Crysalys told him, “You will be tied up as it’s easier to carry someone like that, you won’t be left somewhere in the forest, but near the town, and you will return on your own. You will tell the head that we have his son, and we will give him back only if he and whomever he wants to come and meet with me at the edge of the forest where it meets your fields. I won’t be alone either.”

He nodded, “And you promise I’m going to be alright.” He said.

She nodded, “I was going to send, Colis and Myrth to bring you to the edge of the forest as it was.”

He sighed knowing he’d be okay.

“Are you sure this plan of yours is going to work, Crysalys?” Garther asked.

“Well,”She admitted, “I know the head only has one son, I know the position of head is passed down from generation to generation, I know it’s only boys who can gain the title, and I know that he really wants to meet me to size me up. So if he doesn’t show we head into town and talk to him by force. But let’s see where this gets us.”

They nodded.

Jub had his hands tied behind his back, his feet bound together, and a sack put over his head.

“Remember what you need to tell him?” She asked.

He nodded.

“Tell me.” She said.

“You have Trevor.” He started, “If we want him back then we’ll have to come to where the fields meet the edge of the forest, and the head will have to talk to you about a trues at dawn tomorrow.”

She nodded satisfied.

“Enfisise that he won’t be able to get his only son back if he doesn’t meet with me.” She told him.

He nodded.

“Are you sure it’s safe?” He asked.

“Trust me.” She told him, “We have more reason to be apprehensive about meeting men with weapons that shoot fire.”

He sighed, “When ever you guys are ready.” He said.

Colis picked him up and threw him over his shoulder. He and Myrth headed out of the cave and down to the forest towards the edge of the forest.

Crysalys brought Trevor to the fire with her mother and Issa.

“So this is the young gunner, huh?” She asked looking him over.

He nodded, “Yes, ma’am.” He said, “It’s very nice to meet you.”

“You as well Trevor.” She said, “I’m Lilly, and this is Issa.”

“It’s very nice to meet both of you.” He said and sat down.

Scar crawled into Crysalys’ lap.

“You have a pet bear?” He asked.

She looked at him weird and shook her head.

“Silver, Romona, and Scar are my partners.” She told him, “That’s part of being a beast master.”

“I’ve always been fascinated with the history of beast mastery, but we’ve never had any materials on it.” He admitted.

“If you did I would assume you couldn’t read it.” She told him.

“How come?” He asked.

“All history of beast masters is chronicled in Claws.”She told him, “Claws is our language, every trade has one of their own. For example, necromancy uses Latin.”

“Really?” He asked.

She nodded.

“We’ve only ever used English.” He told her.

“Because that is you’re trade’s language.” She told him, “A bard uses French. A healer uses Cry. Black mages need several.”

“What are they?” He asked.

“Latin for one, then there’s Soomain, Key, and German.” She said, “Rangers use Heithen. For brawlers it’s Italian. Warriors use Iskait. I think the language for an alchemist is Chinese. I know for guardians it’s Hisanic. And for thiefs, it’ll always depend on where in the world they are.”

“You know so much.” He told her.

“When my eye was healing and I couldn’t do very much, I would sit and listen to the elders.” She told him, “They shared their years of wisdom with me. I don’t think I even got half of what they could say. But they knew all that and much more. I enjoyed listening to them.”

He nodded, “I wanted to be a guardian.” Trevor told her.

“But you’re a gunner.” She said, “You can tell by your dress.”

He nodded, “My father convinced me to become a gunner. I really wanted to be a guardian though.”

She nodded and looked into the fire. Maybe she did get bit.

“Can I ask you something?” He asked her.

“Go for it.” She told him.

“How come your lips, nails, and the skin around your eyes are turning black?” He asked.

She shrugged, “They say that’s what happens when she becomes a true beast princess.”

“Those rangers excelled it.” Lilly scolded.

“I was angry and tired of living in the cave after the sun goes down.” She hissed.

“Watch your tounge.” She retorted.

“Sorry.” She mumbled.

“What are rangers doing out here?” Trevor asked.

“Patrolling.” She said, “Your father sent them out to look for the cave where we are. To try and find me. Apparently he’s afraid of me.”

He nodded, “He always said he wasn’t. But the way he acted when I told him I met you but didn’t kill you, it was like his eyes were telling me that if I couldn’t no one could.”

“Maybe that’s why he had you.” She said, “Each of us is born with a destiny.”

“You think I might have been born to kill you?” He asked discussed.

She shook her head, “But that’s what your father thinks you were born for.” She said, “What you truly were born to do can only be told in time.”

“You know what you were born for.” He said.

She nodded, “Only because not a day goes by that someone doesn’t.”

“He should be talking to the head about now.” Myrth said coming towards them along with Colis.

She nodded, “Thank you.”

“Don’t mention it.” They said.

It was true what they said, as soon as they entered the cave Jub had entered the head’s office and was telling him everything.

“We were kidnapped.” He told him, “We delivered the message, but she wouldn’t except under those terms.”

“What was her counter offer?” He asked annoyed.

“You and whoever you want to accompany you, she suggest you don’t come alone because she’s not going to be either, to where the fields meet the forest at dawn tomorrow. If you don’t then you aren’t ever going to get Trevor back.” He told him, “She just wanted to talk about a trues between beast masters and gunners, but the reason why she kept Trevor was because she needed something to make you want to come.”

“And you can assure me all we will do is talk?” He asked.

“That’s what she said.” He told him, “I’m just repeating it.”

He nodded.

Joseph needed his son back, and the only way he could do that is if he went to see the beast princess at dawn tomorrow.

He sighed, the least he could do is hear her out.