Warcraft Fan Fiction ❯ The Cronicles of a Spy ❯ The Guiding Light ( Chapter 2 )
[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]
A few days had past since the meeting, she found herself back with her paladin, she was behind a screen, removing her armor and getting into more common clothes.
“So then I bring the sword up to Thrall's neck, more to shock him into trusting me and such, but wearing this relic of a suit of armor I was hit with those arrows.” She tsked, tossing the battered shirt over the top while slipping into a cotton vest, stepping out from behind the screen once she had all but her shoes on.
“So where has our king said that you'll be going next shadow-stalker?” his eyes followed her through the room, though he sat on the edge of the bed which took up most of the confined space, a few pictures hung on the walls, all paintings that had been `acquired' through her skill, most of which belonged to inns, though there were a few that looked as though they belonged in palaces of some sort.
Her eyes met his for a moment, then looked away. “I've been sent to gather information from the scourge, apparently they feel that I don't know enough about death knights yet, dispite the fact that I've fought against all too many of them, our pain in the ass of a king seems to think the knights of the ebon blade need my assistance within Zul'Drak.” she had begun to pack again; rations and uncooked meat held in enchanted bags to keep it from going bad, and berries for juice when she felt thirsty. She hadn't quite figured it out, but it seemed as she grew older, she required less and less of the liquid. Her paladin friend seemed to be just the opposite.
“Interesting…” His voice made her pause in her movements to look at him questioningly. “Well, it seems that we're both going to the same place this time.” Eyes widened, and a squeal of girlish delight was the only warning that he had before he was pounced and hugged against the bed.
“No WAY! Seriously? We haven't been in the same place for ages!” She'd pulled him tighter in her arms, somehow finding a way to dent the plate he still wore. “When do you leave?”
Someone cleared their throat behind her, and made her look away, then she realized how the position must look from another person's point of view.
“He leaves….now.” As she removed herself from over the paladin, a mage dressed in what must have at least been in the sixth tier came into view, and Istalri clicked her tongue. “Sorry to be such a bearer of bad news.” The moments it took the mage to weave the portal together gave enough time to get a good look at the other female, a full blood human, strawberry blonde hair swept into a lamb's tail (Basically a pony tail at the base of the skull) with blue eyes and a strong jaw. The sight of her made Istalri cringe, this was one of the few who didn't trust her.
Her eyes glanced to the pally, and his eyes were locked on the mage, a look of contentment within his gaze. It nearly made the rogue want to lace her daggers with poison and kill the wench where she stood. Instead she settled with crossing her arms and sneering. “Go on then, get out of here.” at her words, he looked hurt, but stood and crossed the room, looking back once and waving at her before stepping through.
The mage crossed the room to stare at the rogue, and being right in the mages face, she let her voice hiss. “If you hurt one hair on his head, I'll see to it that you die the slowest death possible, mage.” The mage grinned fiercely.
“Does the mutt of a rogue have a crush on the mighty paladin? Pity it's wasted, how could he love someone that isn't completely devoted to our king?” A sharp animal like snarl drew the mage's attention to the window, where Istalri's mount watched the on goings, and when a tap on the mage's shoulder brought her attention back to the rogue, she was met with a punch to the face that sent her soaring across the room and through the portal to her destination.
“Ow…mages are soooo hard headed.” she shook out her wrist, looking over it while deciding that it wasn't broken, then turned to the cat. “She really gets on my nerves, you know? She's part of the reason I prefer to be out on the plains rather than in these stuffy buildings.” She finished her packing, placing several spare weapons on the sides, just in case, then placed the bag through the window directly onto the cat's back. When all that was left was to get redressed, she tapped her chin and walked to the closet where several pieces of armor waited to be sorted and paired.
She looked over to the shadowfang shirt on the screen, then decided against it, she'd need something that could hide the collar she wore. This assessment meant that nether blade armor was out of the question, so she settled with death mantle. The box she pulled out looked dusty, but when it was opened the pristine fabric shone as if it was brand new. As she placed the armor over the vest she wore, she noticed how well it fit, and it only took her a moment to shimmy out of the pants that were comfortable, and into the armored pants, she didn't know why she'd bothered to change out of her armor really, the protective covers always made her feel right at home. Belt and shoes were next, and she tucked the helm under her arm while she slipped on one glove at a time, then stared at the foreboding cover.
Eyes closed while she slipped it over her head, and as she gazed out, everything took on a purple tint, a modification she'd had a leatherworker make for her long ago to hide the color of the orbs that gave her the gift of sight. To her knowledge, she was the only one who had different colored eyes, and she was often stared at, it was un-nerving. Now that she had the armor in place, she grabbed her blades and a ring of keys from the table, and set up her alarm, which was really just a bucket of tar, and another of feathers over the door. Her room really held nothing of interest to anyone; but any rogue could pick the locks, hence the reason she found them so useless. Tar and feathers, however, people could hardly say that they hadn't been in her room. She opened the door just enough to stick the notice to the door. `Out on assignment, enter at your own risk.'
As she closed the door, she was careful not to tip the buckets, and slipped out the window, closing it behind her. Both weapons and keys went onto the belt, and she hopped onto the mount, which growled impatiently as it's rider got comfortable, then was forced to walk out to the harbor.
“Just a little while longer, Spooks, soon we'll be in the tundra, and you'll be running to get to Zul'Drak in time to meet me at ebon watch.” She paused at the idea of being surrounded by the undead creatures once again, and shivered. “Somehow…I think this is going to end badly…” As the ship arrived, she walked the cat aboard, stroking it's glossy neck fur as she often did to distract herself as the vessel began to move towards its next destination. When she felt the sickness turn her stomach, she sat beside her mount on the boards of the deck. With her face between her knees, she willed herself not to heave, she'd not even had a bite between the time of her arrival and departure, but she tried not to dwell on this fact, the thought of food just turned her stomach further.
“Three days of a trip.” She mumbled to her mount. “Not counting the flight, that is…this is just three days.” As she started to feel better, she leaned back against the saddle of her mount. As if on cue, the beast rumbled, and she realized that he must want the weight off of his back. “Alright you big baby, I'll take it off, but don't you go disappearing on me on this ship, hide and go seek is not fun when the seeker is seasick.”
With the saddle removed, Spooky shook out his fur and rolled over onto his back, sunning his belly and effectively bathing himself. Istalri barely took any notice, deciding that this would be as far as she could get on this trip, and let sleep take her.
--This time she found herself in a vast desert, she seemed to be about 30, ah, yes, she remember this place. The saber handler had said she wasn't ready to ride yet, and she aimed, as she always did, to prove people wrong. This was where the leads had brought her, to the desert to find herself a creature to ride upon. She'd come upon a single cub, badly hurt, and she was about to put it out of it's misery when it's mother came around. Frozen in place, the mother saber watched her, and she had removed some bandages from her pockets; beginning to wrap the wounds of the cub carefully. When she was finished, she began to walk away, leaving them to their own business. She remembered that later that day, she had passed out from traveling without any food or water.
When she'd awoken within her dream, she found herself in a cave, surrounded by night sabers and among them the swift mist sabers that ruled the pack. It hadn't taken her long to figure out how she'd gotten there, teeth marks marred the back of her clothes, and she found herself covered by some of the beasts. The portions of her that weren't covered by the soft fur felt drastically colder than the rest of her body. She was still hungry, and soon her stomach voiced her oppinion, and one of the sabers, the cub, she realized, that she'd given another chance at life, got up and brought her a chunk of food from a gazelle. It wasn't cooked, and at first she was going to refuse the meat from the cat, but she saw the worried look, and took the meat, eating it raw.
She'd spent many a day with the sabers, making friends with the pack, and though none would let her saddle them, the mother offered to take her back to the areas where she could find her way back home. She gladly accepted the offer, but was surprised to find the cub hop into her arms to go with her back home. She had attempted to leave the cub on it's mother's back when they arrived in Ashenvale, but it had followed her like a puppy around even long after it's mother had left it with her. As it grew, and it did grow, the baby fur that it once had was replaced with the milky grey of the mist sabers. It ate whatever she killed, except when that kill was needed to help the people she was doing the task for, and by the time she hit 60, she was deemed ready to have both lessons of riding at once. Granted with the saddle, she had turned to the mist saber she now called Spooky, from the special talent he had, and began riding.--
Each day seemed like a dream to her, the past haunted her, and it was rare that she had a good memory, but that was one of her favorite retellings, and it always gave her courage for some reason. Eyes stayed closed for most of the day, and as it got colder, she and her mount had snuggled up against one another for warmth. “I had the dream of how you and I met again Spooks…I wonder if that's a good thing or a bad thing.” The rumble of her mount was the standard `I don't care' answer, and it made her bubble with a suppressed giggle.
As they arrived, she glanced at the sleeping Spooky, and stretched, instantly regretting the movement. The damnable sickness can't stop long enough for me to get to dry ground? The answer was what sent her to the railing, and sent what was left of her dinner the night before over the edge and into the water. A paw on her back made her aware that Spooky had awoken, and when she could, she looked back with a weak smile to find he had his saddle on his back, it just wasn't buckled.
“I'll never know how you do that, will I?” With a shake of the head to the tail, he almost shook the saddle from his back, but stopped just short of it. As he held still, she buckled the saddle and sent him on his way. “I'll give you a head start ol' boy, if you get there first I'll fix you up some orca for dinner.” The roar she got in answer was a cheer in her book, and the saber charged off towards it's destination while she headed to the gryphon master. She really didn't feel like haggling, so she baited a gryphon to her with meat and stole away with it after getting the tack on it. She dozed off and on along the flight, waking up just to make sure it was going the right way, other than that, she let her body rest, if only to conserve her food.
When she landed she let the gryphon go home, and went in to report to the leader of this post. With her she had a letter of introduction, and when she bowed instead of saluted as she gave the letter to the leader, he raised an eyebrow. “Well then, Istalri, welcome to the ebon watch.” It was a standard greeting to newcomers.
“Use me as you will, for I am a weapon.” was the standard reply that came out of her mouth.
“Yes yes, well, that's all well and good-.”
“Excuse me sir, but did a paladin come through here earlier followed by a mage that likely landed on her tail?”
Again the eyebrow raised, though he gave a solemn nod. “They did, the mage has several breaks on her face; she claims that she ran into a kodo's horn.” The message brought a fierce smile to the rogue's face, but she covered it as he spoke again. “The paladin insisted that they not be given any missions until the mage had fully recovered, so it looks like you'll be flying solo on this one.”
A frown replaced the previous smile. “Ah well, I'm used to that, when my mount gets here, you'll know him by the color of his coat, tell him he lost the bet and he'll still get the orca, but he has to wait until we get to the ocean instead.” She turned around and started to walk out before receiving her task, until he'd cleared his throat to bring her attention back to him. When she looked back he held what she thought, looked like a necklace meant to decorate the dead. He saw her look and nodded, tossing it to her.
“You're to study the movements of the scourge here, this will cast an illusion around your form and make you appear as one of them. Beware the ghosts, they will be able to see the illusion and convince the rest of them that you are not one of them. If you blow your cover, you will undoubtedly be turned into one of them, and your knowledge used against us.”
His words in themselves would have made her skin crawl, had she been about 20 years younger. “Understood.” her voice didn't waver, though as she placed the necklace over her head, she shuddered, she felt like one of them…she checked her neck, and found that the collar was exposed, definitely time to get out of there. She sprinted out of the tent and headed out into the barren landscape, slowing her pace to imitate one of the creatures that she now walked among. She followed the beasts that seemed to be the `freshest' and ended up at the chef's door, apparently she had arrived just in time for whatever meal time it was, and she gave her food to one of those on patrol of the area rather than eat it herself.
To her surprise, the undead around her didn't ask about the collar, and she was glad, though she had an excuse thought up for the reason of it being there, she really hated to have to use it. She dodged the ghosts when she came across them, making note of their routes so she knew when to duck aside for the next one, until she came to a platform which transported her up to their floating fortress. A chilling laugh reached her ears.
“Well Mon, nice to see ya made it, I kno' it be difficult to follow da will of da Lich king when you be freshly scourged, but ya did it mon! Com'ere and let me get a good look at ya mon.” She did as she was bade, looking up at the big undead troll with her eyes, examining him and pinpointing what the weak points of his bulky frame were. “Ya still stink like da livin' mon, I dunno how ya managed to follow da scent dis early on, but lets get ya framiliar with da workings of dis place, ya will be workin' here for the rest of your afterlife, y'know mon.” he paused, she stared at him, this seemed a bit too easy.
“Go over to dat mon over dere, He'll give ya a tour of what shall soon belong to da Lich king.” Her eyebrow raised, though she followed the finger, and, holding her breath, walked over to the ghoul the troll had indicated, and nearly immediately she was picked up by something similar to what the horde used to get around. She squirmed, and panted a little once out of sight, being held in the creatures claws was among the most unpleasant things she could think of, and to top it all off, she now had worms crawling through her outfit. I don't know if this is more annoying or gross… She tried to ignore the mites that joined the worms in her clothing, and focused on what the scourge planned to take over, she would finish the tasks set before her by the troll, then go back to the leader of the ebon watch. Somehow repeating this decision over and over made her forget about the bugs crawling around her garments, even as she did the meandering tasks for the troll.
When she was finished, she shuddered, and got out of there as quickly as she could, sprinting her way back to the encampment, and removing the necklace as she saw the guards. She slowed to a stop within the area and shook the bugs from her gloves and boots. The rest of her armor would have to wait until she could get into her own quarters. She wiggled out of the faceplate of the helm and dropped the hood to shake bugs from her hair, then replaced them after tapping the rest of the bugs from their surfaces.
“Sir!” her voice jostled the leader from the papers on his desk. “I'm back from recon.” he motioned for her to continue. “First, I would like to comment on how obscene it is to be one of them, bugs crawl everywhere.” As if to prove her point, a worm crawled out from her neck piece over her faceplate, and she picked it off as if it hadn't happened.
“Second, I have discovered their use of the crystals, as well as gathered a sample of them for your own examination, and also sabotaged some of their weapons. In short, they are ready to be shut down from taking over the entire region of Zul'Drak.” She paused, waiting for him to say something, though he only stared at her, and she would have squirmed had she not been refraining from doing so as worms crawled over her body.
He sighed, realizing why she was waiting. “Good work, I suppose, tomorrow we'll begin the movements to take down this sect of the Lich king's forces. I want this leader's skull, Istalri, you hear me? His SKULL.”
She saluted, and turned to leave, then immediately turned back around. “Forgive me…but do you have a place I could get rid of the rest of these bugs before they decide they like my skin and start biting?” Again the sigh came, though this time no answer followed it. Though she could have sworn she felt a bone hit the back of her head when she walked out of the tent.
In her tent, she found her mount, and the paladin that she called friend. “Evening.” her voice was tired, and while she shrugged out of the armor, she left the vest on, shaking out the shirt before slipping it back in place. She couldn't help but notice her friend hadn't said anything, and looked over at him. He was glaring at her with a look that could kill Sapph.
“How COULD you?!?”
“She shouldn't have called me a mutt, nor questioned my loyalty to-.”
“She called you a mutt? That's what prompted you to punch her face in?”
“No, her questioning my loyalty is why I punched her face in, her calling me a mutt only made me WANT to punch her face in.”
Silence followed the statement, she turned around and stripped off her pants, leaving a pair of bike shorts on that barely covered two of her gylphs, they still glowed a dim color beneath the cloth.
“So…why are you shaking your clothes?”
“Stupid undead dropped bugs in them whenever they touched me…”
“Bugs eh? What kind?”
“Mites, worms and I think maggots.”
“No, no fireflies. Why do you ask?”
“Your ass is glowing.”
“Very mature Vega, you know those are glyphs.”
“Oh really, then do you mind if I see which ones they are?”
At the feel of gloved fingers tugging down her shorts, she instinctually whipped around and slapped him hard across the cheek, her cheeks flushed as she pulled them back up the little measure they'd been moved.
“You're the one undressing in front of me.”
“You're a healadin! You should be used to people undressing in front of you.”
“So this undressing trust has nothing to do with you liking me, eh?”
“No it has nothing to do with me--WHAT?!?” She stood dumbstruck, pants dropped and forgotten on the ground. She blinked for a minute, then picked up the pants, slipping them back on. She cleared her throat, trying that sentence again. “It has nothing to do with that.” this time the sentence was much too quiet for her, and he pulled the helm off her head.
“I'd say, little miss shadow-stalker, it does.” He pushed the helm into her hands hard enough to place her on her rump on what would be her bed, lifting her chin with his index and thumb. “And when you come to realize that, then come see me and we'll figure something out.” With that, he walked out the flap, it was only then that she noticed the other sleeping back with a sobbing mage in it's girth.
The next morning came without a hitch, the sun rose, and there was the distinct smell of rhino dogs and northern eggs over easy in the air, it seemed that even the death knights ate breakfast. Istalri sat up, stretching out, then looking over to the other sleeping bag. The form lay still, breath moving the bag with the rhythmic movement of her chest. She sighed, getting up and going over to the other femme, shaking her shoulder.
“Hey, wake up, time for breakfast.”
A mumbled answer was the only reply she got. This lack of response made her shake harder.
“Come on, stop feeling sorry for yourself and get your skinny ass up.”
This time, she got a tap on the shoulder herself, again, her friend had appeared, and her one ear hung. She moved away, slipping on her gloves, boots and helm.
“Well I'M going to go get something to eat, if there's none left for her, that's her problem.”
“Her jaw's broken, she wont be eating anything solid for quite a while.” His voice held a cold touch.
“The hell? You fixed my broken bones in a few minutes, why are you making her suffer so much?”
“That's what you wanted, isn't it? For her to suffer for what she said to you? For her to learn the hard way not to mess with you, to not challenge your superiority? To give you the respect you deserve.”
She issued a growl under her breath, gritted her teeth and met his gaze, her voice more than a threat. “Either kill her or make her better, Vega. Rogues kill quickly, we don't let the people linger in pain, unless we have to.”
“So you didn't want her to suffer when you punched her face in?”
“I wanted her to hurt as much as I did at that moment, yes, but not long term.”
“You wanted her to feel the momentary pain…then why put as much force into it as you did?”
“…She wouldn't have made it to the portal if I had done it any softer, and then she probably would be dead by now, Spooky wasn't happy about her comments either, and he was one step from jumping through the window.”
A frown creased the paladin's face, and she'd turned away before she could verify that she was being taken care of, but she heard the tell-tell sounds that he was working his healing magic upon the mage. She would be right as rain within a few minutes, but she sure as hell didn't want to be around when the girl got her full speech back. Istalri walked from the tent to the makeshift kitchen and fixed herself up a big plate of food, turning around when someone tapped on her shoulder.
A fist had come straight at her face, laced with fire, and her lightning reflexes just allowed her to dodge that attack on her person.
“Nice to see your well, rhino dog?” She held up one dog on a fork, and dodged another fist aimed at her face. “No? Suit yourself then.” The morning went on like that, Istalri having fists swung at her all day, and either let them hit the faceplate of her garb, or dodged them to take a bite. It was when she tried to force the fork down her throat from mid bite that the rogue had had enough, and grabbed the fist with a gloved hand before it could get to the fork.
“That, is quite enough of that. If you're going to try to hit me, at least do it with a spell, they're much more accurate than your fists.” She released the fist, then went back to eating, pausing between the bites to speak. “And for your information, I only hit you because you thought I would betray the king of my homeland.”
“I saw a horde tabard in your saddle pack.”
“Ah, so it was you who unsaddled Spooky. That explains a lot. You weren't at the meeting, so I guess you don't know, and I guess you don't really need to know. I was wondering where the tabard went though, so do give it back to me when we get back. I won't be able to continue my job without it.” She paused, looking up at the girl. “And if you really want to know what the hell it is that I do for the king, ask him. He`s never been one to with-hold information to those he trusts, now is he?”
She finished her breakfast, and retrieved her necklace from the tent, when she went back to the open, the mage still stood in the same place, mouth hung agape in shock. Perhaps I over did it… Eyes wandered behind the mask, she was waiting, and another tap on her shoulder brought her face to face with a now tolerant healadin.
“By my count, ten minutes, just waiting until the sky gets high enough that I'll be between breakfast and ghoul lunch time, they eat the foulest things.” Laughter busted out from her friend, and anyone else who had been within hearing range, and she suddenly felt the urge to get moving.
“O…kay…I don't know why that was so funny, but I really don't want to eat intestines and brains raw…though what they eat does explain something about why they amble about as they do.”
“They likely put the brains they eat where the intestines are supposed to be, and vice versa, effectively giving them shit for brains.” More laughter clouded the air, and continued for several minutes. “Well I should get off, lets hope their stupid isn't contagious.”
She was stopped for a moment by the leader. “To assist you with the leader, we've derived this wand from the crystals you supplied, it should allow you to charm one of the beasts you mentioned and have it protect you from his attacks.” As he handed the wand to her, she slipped the necklace over her head with the other hand, tucked the wand away, and rushed off before anyone who wasn't supposed to see the collar, saw it.
Just this last thing Istalri. She held her breath while going around the corners, marking where the ghosts are and knowing when it was safe to move on. She reached the platform once more, and went inside.
“Welcome back mon, ready to squash some of dem dat are still livin'?” She nodded, and the floor on which she stood glowed in the dark, transporting both the large troll and herself up to the top floor. The troll had begun to speak, but she was too busy swaying a beast to protect her. By the time he discovered it was obeying her, it was too late for him. The beast clawed and scratched at him, whacking him upside the head and stunning him. It was then that she struck, cutting the artories of the troll with a few deft strikes of her blade. She'd long abandoned her guise, and though he was cut at all four points that should have induced death, he still fought on.
“Fool! You think you can defeat me?” He turned on her, and made her eyes widen. “DIE!” He began throwing whatever he could get his hands on, at her, and though she managed to dodge most of them, a few hit their marks, cracking bones wherever they landed. Her voice came out in a hiss, and she was forced backward, the glyphs on her body beginning to glow brightly, and the color spread in tendril like lines all over her body, empowering her to do more damage.
“Fuck you troll, my blades shall bring down you, and the boy that I failed to stop from becoming this man. Arthas shall-” She didn't bother to continue, her legs moved of their own accord, and she lunged at the troll, jumping from crystal to crystal until she was on his shoulders. She pushed his head into his body, effectively breaking his neck and spine. Then kicked him back, flipping down his huge body and sinking her daggers into his flesh, slowing her decent until she was able to land on the floor. She then removed the blades, and quickly stuck them into their sheathes for a quick coat of poison. She couldn't explain how she knew, but she did know that he wasn't dead yet; and once more, her assumption proved correct.
“Look at me! Ya could'a had dis power mon! Now ya done turned your back on us.” Arms formed below his previous ones, and he began to run at the elf, his chest opening wide as the abominations do, and his face mangled from the blows. By some chance, he caught the rogue, and began to squash her internals, but even then she wouldn't scream. A roar pierced the air, and glowing claws sliced through the troll. A glowing Saber stood before him, a paladin hopping from his back and rushing to the now collapsed elf who was just barely breathing. A long cast of a heal brought her body back to where she would live. The next flash heal assured that she would be able to see, and the last one ensured that she would be able to function completely when she was better. Still she didn't move, her eyes didn't open nor close. Her eyes were locked upon the saber there, and her voice whispered a word. “Spooky…?”
Eye's closed, she never saw the ending of the fight, but when she awoke the next time, she was back in her sleeping bag, Spooky's head lay across her lap, he had a few scars that the healing touch of a paladin could not erase, but he was alive, and he was her savior.
“Spooks…you silly kitten…”
“Ah, good, you're awake.” Her eyes moved to the mage standing there, a smile on her face. “We were afraid we'd lost you, he's been so distraught.” She tilted her head in a question, and found that it hurt to do so.
“He…?” She motioned to her cat with difficulty, and the mage shook her head.
“No, not your kitten, though he wouldn't let anyone touch you…Vega, he's been so out of it…I'll go tell him that you're awake so he can stop worrying so much.” The girl was gone before Istalri realized it, and she was looking down at Spooky, who now had looked up at her.
“Good boy Spooks, good boy.” She stroked his head between the ears, and sat up, popping her back in several places that had been stiff. “Ah, much better…” Upon looking down she found herself in barely enough clothing to call her clothed, and slunk back down under the covers as she heard the flap open once again. The sound of heavy footsteps and breathing greeted her ears next, and finally they were accompanied by a paladin's worried face.
“Awake, stiff, but very much awake. Now, I have two questions, how long have I been out, and where are my clothes?”
“For number one, about 2 weeks, you wouldn't eat anything, so I had to continue to heal you to keep up your strength…and for number two…they're gone, they were so badly damaged they couldn't be salvaged…this includes the collar and the necklace. Some of the thorns on the necklace embedded themselves into your neck however. We haven't been able to get them out with you asleep.”
“Get me my bags.”
“If you're going to be doing something to my neck, I at least want pants and a vest on, being in my bra and underwear is a bit too much.”
“Oh, right.” He fumbled over in the pile of bags, pulling out one labeled with her name on it, and handed it to her. “Oh, I shouldn't say that all of the armor was beyond repair…they did manage to save the hood and faceplate of the outfit.”
“They managed to save probably the one thing I really didn't need another of.” She sighed, slipping the vest on while still remaining covered, then did the same with her pants. Looking back at the pally she buttoned all but the top button of the vest, and sat back up. She stretched as much as she could, trying to get rid of the feeling in her bones.
The pally sighed, taking out a knife about the size of a pocket knife, and began slicing open the enflamed portions of the skin, being greeted with the infection, and having to pry one after another open to get to the thorns. After he'd cleansed each wound, she felt a soft touch against her skin. Through this touch, his healing ability excelled, until she wondered what this soft pleasure was. Finally she was able to look down enough to see that the touch was from his lips.
“What are you…?”
“I'm healing you.”
“Healing before never involved lips!” Her voice was in a hissing whisper.
“Healing before never needed to heal the soul as well as the body before either, my stupid, stupid rogue…you nearly got yourself killed. If it wasn't for Spooky, you'd be dead right now.”
She sighed, and pulled away. “Do we have the skull?”
“The leader's skull.”
“Oh, yes, it's been turned in.”
“Then I supposed the mission was a success with no problems.”
The paladin stared at her. “And if you had died?”
“Now that, my dear, would have been a problem, and not one I would intend to make again. Really he only got a lucky grab there, he got faster, and I wasn't aware of it, that's all.” she stood on wobbly legs, picking up her pack and tossing it over Spooky's saddle. With one limber movement, she hopped up and onto the saddle. “Thank you…for everything. We'll need to speak when we get back home…would you have your mage friend prepare a portal?”
“For gods sake, stop calling me mage, I do have a name, you know.”
“Well, I haven't heard it, so until you decide to introduce yourself, you'll be mage to me.”