Ruin Explorers Fan Fiction ❯ Mystique ❯ Incantation Two ( Chapter 2 )
By Devon Masterson
Ihrie opened the door and walked carefully down the stairs. "I look like a real ass if I trip in this dress," she thought as she got closer to the hall where the masquerade was held. She grew more nervous about her costume with each step she took. She could do this, she would do this. It was not any worse than rummaging through a ruin or fighting off bandits trying to steal from her. She had no problem doing any of those things; she should not have a problem facing her friends and room full of strangers. It was not like they would be able to see her face, for all they knew she could be anyone. "Here goes nothing." She pushed opened the doors and walked inside.
She could feel a few stares and comments of approval. They gave her confidence as she walked further into the room. She felt a gentle hand on her shoulder near her wings. "May I have this dance, fairy princess?" Lyle asked as he offered her his hand.
Ihrie blushed slightly and decided to play the part. She might as well have fun while she was at it. "Yes, milord," she answered as she bowed and accepted his hand.
"You look beautiful, Ihrie," he whispered as he lead her onto the dance floor. "The look suits you."
"How did you…. well I guess I do clean up well," she replied as they danced. "But how did…"
"…I know it was you," he finished. "I'm not quite sure really. I just knew."
Ihrie smiled. "I guess I couldn't fool anybody."
On the other side of the ballroom, Fam and Rasha looked on in a jealous rage as Lyle danced with another woman dressed like a fairy princess. "Who does she think she is dancing with Lyle?" Rasha asked as she stomped her foot. "Miguel! Let's dance."
"Okay," he said reluctantly as they started on the dance floor.
"Would you like to dance?" Aaron asked Fam.
Fam smiled brightly. "Sure," she answered as she took his hand. "So where did you meet Ihrie?"
"We met in Emporia. She helped me out of a sticky mess," he replied chuckling. "That ruin had the most inventive traps."
"Finding traps used to be my job," Fam sighed. "So where did you learn to do magic?"
"I don't know magic," Aaron replied.
"You don't? Then how you do you explore ruins and get passed them?"
"You can get past them without magic but it's hard," he answered. "Ihrie's the one who does all the magic, I just back her up."
"But what about the curse?" Fam asked curiously. "Every time she uses magic, she turns into a mouse."
"She never told me about that," Aaron replied as he spun her around.
"She must have finally gotten it lifted," Fam suggested. "I'm so happy for her. I can't wait `til she comes down."
Aaron looked at her strangely then looked out onto the dance floor. "Ihrie's over there dancing with Lyle," he said. "I thought you saw her when she came in."
"That's Ihrie!" Fam exclaimed in surprise. "Wow."
"What you've never see her in a dress before?" he asked curiously. "Well you should have been there the time this merchant…" His sentence trailed as he noticed her distraction. "I'll tell you about it later."
"Okay," she answered distracted as the song ended. She smiled graciously. "Excuse me."
Aaron nodded as Fam walked over to Lyle and Ihrie. As she approached them, Rasha walked in front of her and towards the couple. "Lyle, would you like to dance?" Rasha asked.
"Well, Ihrie and I…"
"Ihrie? That's Ihrie!? Amazing what a dress, a hair-do, and a little make up can do. I guess miracles can happen," she laughed as she latched onto Lyle's arm possessively.
Ihrie turned away without saying a word. She was not going to lose her temper in front of all these people and embarrass Lyle. Rasha had a fat lip coming just not with an audience. "I need some air," she said before walking off.
She crossed the floor ignoring all offers for a dance as she made her way to the balcony. She pushed the veranda like doors apart and walked out into the cool night air. It was just like Rasha to ruin her evening before it really got started. "The never of that..."
"Ihrie," Fam called gently as she came up, "Rasha didn't mean to be so mean. She's just jealous."
"Thanks, Fam," Ihrie smiled half-heartedly. She looked out at the night sky and hugged herself.
Fam looked at her friend curiously then nodded in agreement at what the spirits observed. "How long have you been in love with him, Ihrie?"
Ihrie blushed then coughed. "What the hell are you going on about, Fam? Lyle is just a friend. A friend and I don't want to hear anymore about it."
Fam smiled at Ihrie's defensiveness and her eyes narrowed in mischief. She knew her secret. "Okay, Ihrie."
"By the way, I'm no longer cursed," she commented changing the subject.
"I know. Aaron told me that you were doing magic," Fam replied. "How did it happen?"
"As it turns out the spell was only to last until I learned to be responsible with magic."
"How did you find that out?"
"Well you remember, I used my last pill to change back after we fought Ruguduroll?" Fam nodded. "I was in a ruin looking for treasure so I could get some more pills since I was on my own when I feel into this water trap. I took a chance and did levitation spell to get out. When I got to dry ground I didn't change back, so I went looking for the type of spell he used and found it in an old book. That old fart insisted on teaching to the very end."
Fam giggled. "Bet you never thought it would be that easy."
"Actually I didn't," Ihrie commented as she started to laugh. She stopped suddenly. "You feel that?"
"Yes, something evil. It's making the spirits be quiet," Fam said worriedly as she looked around.
"Let's go inside," Ihrie suggested.
The two friends walked into the hall when a woman dressed in black entered the festival of merriment. She was beautiful and had long dark wine colored hair and dark eyes. She looked all around the room until she spied the object of her interest and started for it.
Ihrie and Fam looked towards the woman. They could not make out her whole face because of the mask she wore, but something about her was familiar.
"Ihrie, I'm glad you came back," Lyle commented. "I wanted to talk to you."
"It's okay, Lyle, I know she didn't mean it," Ihrie commented without taking her eyes off the woman coming towards them.
"King Lyle, allow me to introduce myself. I am Lady L'Xanna," the woman said as she courtsied.
"Nice to meet you, Lady L'Xanna," he replied. "I trust you will have a good time at the masquerade."
"Naturally," L'Xanna answered, "if your majesty would grant me a dance."
Lyle offered a hand graciously to L'Xanna and led her onto the dance floor.
Ihrie stood and watched as the couple danced. Fam left her side to dance with Aaron, leaving her alone. "Would you like to dance, Ihrie?" Miguel asked. "Rasha's made because Lyle won't dance with her for the way she treated you and I'm tired of her sulking."
"Sure," she answered as she puzzled over where she heard the name L'Xanna before.
"Oh mama, have you changed," he commented. "It's hard to believe I once thought you were a boy."
Ihrie grit her teeth. "I'd appreciate if you didn't bring that up."
"Sorry," Miguel replied as they dance on.
"Is she your betrothed?" L'Xanna asked as she and Lyle danced. She noticed his attention waned and focused on the direction of the fairy princess.
"No," he answered, "just a friend."
"Does she know that you love her?" she asked.
"No," Lyle said, "Ihrie would never want to settle in one place."
"Ihrie! That can't be here!" she thought. "This is going to be very interesting. To kill a mouse…"
"It's just as well," L'Xanna said aloud, "women like that never make good wives, too flighty."
"I don't know about that. Ihrie is very versatile," Lyle argued in her defense.
"No, I'm usually right about these sort of things," she continued. "You want a woman that will nurture you and help you rule by your side."
"I see," Lyle observed as the dance ended. "Thank you for the insight and good night."
"I see I struck a nerve, but good night," L'Xanna replied.
"This is going to be harder than I thought, but fun nonetheless. All I need is ultimate treasures and the ultimate power will be mine." She turned towards Ihrie and winked as she held a small wax doll.
Ihrie's eyes widened as she remembered the day that changed her life. "I remember now," she whispered. She looked around and saw everyone going about his or her merriment. She held her palms to her chest and closed her eyes. "Hear me oh spirits accept my verse upon these people remove her curse." A soft mist flowed from the people and dissipated without their notice. Ihrie smiled at her accomplishment then grabbed her head as a wave of dizziness hit her. She walked slowly to the balcony.
"Are you okay, Ihrie?" Lyle asked as he came up behind her.
"I'm fine," she answered. She leaned against the balcony for support. The environment was spinning for some reason.
Lyle looked unconvinced. "I don't think that you are," he replied as he turned her around.
Ihrie looked into his eyes half exhausted and half-pissed. "I think I…" her sentence trailed as she fell into his arms unconscious.
©2002 Devon Masterson
Another Bond Girl Blue Production
We all know who belongs to who…I own people who do not appear in the anime and everybody else belongs to someone who has money and will sue. I just do this for fun.