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Mara acted quickly. A long blade of ice erected from the fairy's hands, and along the underbelly of the mantoid. The jagged edges in the ice blade opened a decent cutting wound across the bottom. Mara used that precise moment to push herself out from underneath her weakened opponent, and activate a spell for her wings' durability. Just as she was about to escape though, the mantoid's front claw slammed into the ground, trying to keep itself up.

As Bael ran toward scream, he heard another sharp scream. He cut through the bushes quickly, his adrenaline rushed through his body as he tried to reach his girlfriend.

Mara made an effort to stand up. She tried to float, but it was a little clumsy. Part of her wings had a nasty cut, and she felt a quick surge of pain. Had she not cast the spell, the damage would have been far worse. When she backed up, she took the opportunity to grow from thirty five feet, to a whopping seventy five feet tall. This meant she now stood taller than her enemy.

Bleeding from beneath, the mantoid stared down at Mara, and then quickly leapt forward. From her heightened sense of things, she clumsily stepped out of the way, but received another cut from the scythid appendage on the mantoid's right arm. Upon contact, Mara cast an illusion spell, causing the mantoid to fumble over.

Both enemies glared deeply at each other.

"You are a worthy opponent, fairy."

"This is getting nowhere" Mara replied.

Both of them knew it. Even if the mantoid won the fight, he'd be too injured to live without getting attacked by something else. Also, the fairy was sure not to eat him anyway, having just hunted herself. Acknowledging the stalemate, the mantoid started to back off a bit.

"We might see each other again someday." With that, the mantoid backed off, facing Mara, and glanced back to make sure he wouldn't run into someone else.

A few moments passed after the short fight ended. Fights were like that in Felarya, short; it's what makes them so deadly. Although in situations where the winner wouldn't gain much, both enemies will call off the fight. Saving energy for the next day is really important.

Mara's body shrunk down to six feet.

"Mara!!" Bael yelled, catching up to his girlfriend a few minutes later. She was resting against a tree, with several bruises and small cuts, along with a small puncture in her wing.

"Your wing..." Bael put his left arm around her back, then slung her arm over his shoulder as they stood up.

"It was a surprise attack...I happen to let my guard down..."

"Mara, at least your safe."

She looked at the ground for a moment, then over at the caravan just a few dozen feet ahead. The guards, and the vehicle hand been knocked over, and it looked like they were still trying to regain their footing.

"We should help them Mara."

He looked at her, then at the knocked over troops as he walked over slowly, making sure to be careful with Mara.

"I can fly..." Mara spoke as she regained her breath. "I'm alright now"

"You sure?"

"Yeah." Mara took her arm off bael's back, and then took a deep breath. A second later she was seen hovering a short distance above ground

"Can't go as fast, but I'm still alright. It was only a puncture wound."

Bael reached the caravan. As he ran, his footseps made little noise. Bael's reached his hand out quickly, pulling up the disoriented humans. The cart was completely turned over, some of the items the merchant was selling lay shattered across the road, there were a few potions, but they too had their contents bleeding against the dirt.

The merchant put his palm to his head and groaned. He looked up and saw Bael standing before him, then looked behind him as everyone recovered, as well as the spilled contents from his caravan.

"You're a mage right? You must help!"

"Yes I'll help, calm down. Once everyone recovers, we'll need to group together. I can take you to a place a short distance from here. We'll have to leave your vehicle and come back for it later."

The merchant looked at Bael appreciatevely.

"No I understand. It's best if we leave it. Come on, everyone, we're going!"

It was a few minutes before everyone set out. The are was silent once again, and Bael led them eastward through the tall bushes. After a few minutes Bael stopped in front of a tree where Mara was leaning against. Her appearance caused the men to be nervous, and second guess following the mage.

"Wait, I thought you said we'd be safe! There's a fairy right over there!" A guard spoke out. Even though she had kindly bought something from the merchant, the guards didn't trust her at all.

"It'll be fine, she's uh...a special friend of mine." Bael responded.

"But you're free to leave if you want, I'm only making an offer."

Grumbling, the men watched as Mara performed an illusion spell to open the way to the inside of her home. They stuck close together upon entering.

"Alright, here you can rest for a bit to recover from the attack. I'll be around for the next day or so, but I have things to do. Once you're healed up, you can leave when you want."

Nodding, the men walked over to a pile of large pillows and lay down. As they saw it, the inside of the whole tree was completely hollowed out up to a few dozen feet. However, the floor descended a bit beneath the base of the tree, and the walls were slanted outward. The roots gripped the edge of the outside of the dug-out beneath the tree. This allowed the roots to stay intact, and keep the tree from collapsing.

Most of the men relaxed on the large pillows, a few of them were still uneasy about the presence of a fairy, but overall they expressed their gratitude for the effort of helping them to some extent.

"It's no problem. And you can relax a bit, as long as I'm around, she's not going to do anything."

"You sure?" The Merchant's assistant said. He thought back to the attack. Come to think of it, she never really saved them in the first place, it was the mage that helped them get up. They were just barely out of the way. Thinking about it in this way at least helped him not to strain his brain so much. Even so, it didn't keep him from getting nervous around the fairy. He would accept help from Bael, but not her.

"Be right back, I'm going to get some drinks."

No one said anything. They didn't even question the logic of a fairy having drinks, or that a mage was getting some in a fairy's house. They were bruised and cut in some locations, and rather tired from all the walking. Most of them would rather relax on the soft pillows in the corner of the room.

When he got back, he set down some bottles for them, containing various juices and ales. The rest of the day advanced fairly quickly, with all of them totally beat. Only the merchant and his assistant were anything more than exhausted.

"We lost everything in that attack..." spoke the assistant.

"It's fine, not everything actually broke, but it'll be safer to get it in the morning."

The mechant took an ale and leaned back.

"This isn't actually so bad, y'know? I'm glad we're alive. Remember that." He put his hand on his assistant's shoulders.

"You gotta look on the bright side, don't criticize yourself all the time."

Bael spoke up, asking for their names.

"Call me Aulton, and my assistant is Irvin"
"It's nice to meet you two, or I should probably say lucky."

The merchant laughed and took a gulp.

"Yeah! And you'll have to excuse Irvin, he gets a little impulsive, and has a hate of predators more so than most."

"I wont pry, that'd be rude. I just hope for his well being, and yours, while you work."

"Thanks." Aulton spoke. Their conversation went on for a few more minutes before they realized Irvin was already asleep, and huddled on the large pillow.

"Sorry I don't have any extra beds out here. These pillows are pretty nice though, if you need anything let me know."

The night passed as quick as a blink. Everyone met at the house entrance near mid-day. The guards were all wide awake, and alert. Despite their wounds they were confident and thankful. The odd circumstances in the past twenty four hours seemed not to phase them. Action first and questions later helped the odds of success in a guard's line of duty.

"Where's Irvin?" Aulton spoke, looking around.

Bael came in, hearing barely what the merchant spoke. All the bags have been packed up, even Irvin's things were in the pile near the door.

"I thought he was with you...I don't know where he went either." Bael responded to the Merchant's indirect question.

"Well we all looked around this place this morning, and we couldn't find him. He's obviously not here anymore."

"Well we have his things, when we meet him again we'll just give them back then."

"True. Shall we set out?"

The other's nodded. Bael checked to see if his case of potions was tucked in neatly on the inside of his coat before zipping it up. They looked and checked with each other one last time before heading out. When they opened to door Mara floated into the middle room to see them leave just in time. Eager, she flew up to them asking to come with. She was carrying nothing.

"Well, sure...but I don't know how comfortable the others are around you, Mara."

Truth be told, the guards were still uneasy. The merchant was nervous but tried to calm himself by convincing himself that she fought the mantoid to save him instead. Bael tried to remain impartial, not wanting to look "too friendly".

Mara stayed back with Bael. They both stayed behind the group while they walked. The jungle smelled dry, and felt a little on the cold side. They walked through the bushes back to where their vehicle tipped over. Some of the guards picked fruit as they walked along.

When the saw it, there were souveniers, cups, a few weapons, other assortments of goods all sprawled out. The ceramic and glass objects have all been shattered. Some of the swords lay sticking out of the ground, and one was completely bent and separated from it's hilt. The skevols were no where to be seen.

"I can't find the change box."

A few guards stand on alert while the rest of the company looks briefly through the vehicle. Bael gets on one side, and Aulton and some of the guards get on the other. With heaving and a spell, the vehicle slowly tips back over from it's side to an upright position. A glow from underneath the vehicle lights up, and a blue ring is seen forming solidly around the base of the vehicle, and it lifts up into the air a few inches.

"Well, it's salvagable. I bet some people came by and looted all the money. Interesting that they left all the goods."

Irvin walked up to one of his friends in Negav. He was wearing the same thing he was yesterday, since he just got back.

"There you are my good friend."

"This meeting should be short, I'm still working you know."

"This actually concerns your work. I've found someone who probably requires a closer look from both the Intelligence Division and Public Security."

Irvin's friend looked at him carefully.

"You are out of contract. What you are attempting to do is against the law you know?" He stated.

"Oh come on, when has that ever stopped you lot? Aren't you are supposed to uphold the security of this city above all else? Any way the target in question is an Archmage."

"It's a bold move" He spoke quietly. "Such a manoeuvre will remind Negav that we are still a force to be reckoned with; even if he doesn't turn out to be a threat. What's the individual's name?"

"His name is Bael, my friend. He has long brown hair and-" he stopped right there. He remembered his contact will find enough out about their target soon enough, as the Investigators have files of all potential targets anyway.

"Come with me then" His friend spoke seriously, a glimmer of desire sparked in his eye at the possible chance to rise within the ranks of his organization.

"We'll have to plan this carefully. I want you to tell me everything when we meet my superiors."
Meanwhile, Bael and company were walking back toward Negav. Before he let the merchant head off he wanted to make sure his supplies were replenished. They approached the neko village, and would soon be seeing the giant city's walls stretched out before him. Mara still floated behind them for a ways. She wanted Bael to finish as soon as possible, because she had some things planned that she wanted to do with him.
This is part two of my story. cauldronborn24 helped me with the end. I'm not sure what his DA account is, so speak up when you read this XD.

Anyway, stuff starts to happen a little more seriously now, so pay attention. I'm already a good ways into part 3.
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Ponyboyace Featured By Owner Sep 15, 2018
Very good so far. I look forward to reading the rest.
david-dent-jedai Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Ah finaly a story that features the Ibvestigators. Poor things have been overshadowed by the Saidokin these days. ^^;
AndurilWielder Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2014  Hobbyist
david-dent-jedai Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
But to be fair both are not as a developed as they need to be. I have yet to see somebody make a bio using either as a archetype. =/ Well sides me but they are just WIPs till I get the final design finished.
xXAmaroqXx Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2012
quite nice chapter and story up until now. I didnt get what the people want from bael but I guess thats going to be revealed soon.
MetalNazo Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2012
A good story, with interesting turns of events
Shady-Knight Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2010  Hobbyist Writer
Okay, again, I will be harsh, but that fight was weak and it didn't justify the cliffhanger. Once again, nothing really happens and it should have been part of the last chapter. That would feel like something is happening.


As Bael ran toward scream, he heard another sharp scream. (Toward THE scream, and you repeated yourself. Vary your words.)

I happen to let my guard down... (I happenED)

the vehicle hand been knocked over (HAD been)

The are was silent once again (SILENCE)

an illusion spell to open the way to the inside of her home (That's not an illusion, that's a transportation. An illusion is something that isn't real.)

The mechant took an ale and leaned back. (MERCHANT)

Bael gets on one side, and Aulton and some of the guards get on the other. (Keep it in past tense only. Never switch back to present tense.)

Such a manoeuvre (MANEUVER)
AndurilWielder Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2010  Hobbyist
whoops. thanks for those. don't know how manoeuvre ended up like that. i blame the french canadians :P
CrisisOperations Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2013
hey, don't blame me! :P
Shady-Knight Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2010  Hobbyist Writer
Actually, I'm surprised it didn't catch it at all.
Anonymous-girl1031 Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2010
Are there ever tinys in your stories?
AndurilWielder Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2010  Hobbyist
not yet, but I'll use some eventually.
thatonedude236 Featured By Owner Jul 18, 2010
Uh oh....Foreshadowing....

Nice read!
AndurilWielder Featured By Owner Jul 19, 2010  Hobbyist
thanks :)
Karbo Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2010  Professional Digital Artist
hehe nice chapter ^^
seem like the plot is thichening =p
AndurilWielder Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2010  Hobbyist
keep your eyes peeled :P

I think your fingers must have slipped on "thickening", lol.
CauldronBorn24 Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
Ok, I'm speaking now, lol.
Shadeofheave Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2010
This was a god damn good read. The plot thickens! Take you for taking your time and writing this! :D
AndurilWielder Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2010  Hobbyist
thanks :)
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