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Kiros Aldrudis (played by AmberShades)

"Did you know them, Pops?"

The sound was muffled, but the eyes of the elderly man searched over the face that the voice belonged to. It was his granddaughter, the youngest and perkiest of the family's generation. The rain's pitter-patter was keeping the silence alive. "Did you?" The girl queried again, her immense, hazel eyes drifting to her grandfather's figure, the fireplace, and back to the figure. She didn't quite understand how he had seen things. How he had lived through them. She only knew the bright side. The happily ever after. But he knew more than he should. He knew what they were like.

"I did."

His voice was rough, and he sat still. The amber flames reflected the wrinkles wedged into his cheeks and forehead, showing his ages of worry and stress. He remained silent. Yet, the girl was drawn in by his words, like the ocean bringing in the waves. Her grandfather's eyes were telling a story of their own, but she needed to hear the words fall from his mouth to know she wasn't in another daze. "Well," She began, her voice softer than before, "what were they like?"

The elder's face cropped into a smile, and his eyes shut slowly. His voice was nothing more than a breath fading away from his lips, and the girl nearly leaned in closer to hear him. "They were going to change the world.."

Somewhere far from the granddaughter and the grandfather, the world burned. It was the beginning of the end.

Well, almost.

If Kiros had completed her job in time, perhaps the four Mages wouldn't be so angered. Perhaps the world wouldn't be in flames. Perhaps she wouldn't have to be the messenger between the four dimwits anymore. But, for the time being, Kiros would have to continue trotting aimlessly down the field as if she were a pony chasing freedom.

"A pony," Kiros scoffed, her grasp on her satchel tightening in slight irritation. Talking to herself was one of the many bad habits she picked up from spending so much time by herself, but it helped her let go of whatever anger she held on to. "Can you believe it? Ponies are one of the most disloyal creatures I've-"

Her rant was cut short by a slight stumble in her step and a small yip in her voice, which also cost her balance. She cursed. She was already delayed by an hour, and a few missteps and a twisted ankle were surely not going to aid her at all. Setting her legs upright and taking a breath, the Centaur dared to take a handful of steps before deciding to attempt to keep weight of the left and front hoof. But she didn’t make it far before stopping completely.

Kiros dug through her satchel. Hadn’t she packed a safety kit? Apparently, she must’ve forgotten it, for the only thing in her bag was letters beyond letters and two quills. She groaned in irritation. Of course she had.

Fumbling forward, Kiros snapped a branch that laid on the ground in half, placing it on both sides of the ankle. Using torn cloth from her shirt as a bandage, she tied it in a knot and moved forward. Not to her surprise, the Centaur couldn’t put much weight on the injury, and ended up kissing the soft soil of the Earth.
Reuben Drake:
He had been running for a very long time. His pursuers were inching closer and closer, though there was still a good distance between them. His magic was slipping. His pace was slacking. He couldn't hold up his speed. Not forever at least. His pursuers knew this. They kept running at an even pace.

They were going to tire him. He inhaled a steadying breath, letting the air around him flow into his body and fill him with new energy. He looked at his surroundings. The tight alleyways, though relatively empty, were densely packed with stores and crates. He lifted up a crate filled with fish using his wind magic and tossed it at his pursuers. A woman ahead of him took notice and stood in front of him.

"Hey! You're going to pay for that!"

"Excuse me, ma'am."

He narrowly swerved around the woman and rounded the corner into another alley. His legs burned from the running. His chest felt was a vacuum. All of the breath inside of him had been knocked out. His foot caught against a gap in the stone roads, causing him to stumble and trip. He fell on to the pathway, face first. His body ached and screamed for a break. But he couldn't give in to the urge. Not yet. He forced himself to stand. He limped over to a store with a Cauldron sign hanging above it. The words, "Witch's Cauldron" were printed below. He entered the shop.

It was a small, plain store. The stone walls were rather dull and drab. It was a dark place. The only light source came from the windows. Wooden shelves containing odd-colored potions were positioned against the wall. At the end of the room was a counter. An old woman with wrinkled skin and pale gray hair was hunched over the counter. Her dark eyes squinted at him.

"Greetings," she said in a raspy voice. "What brings you here?"

Reuben cast a wary glance out the window. No sign of the earth mages. He turned to the woman.

"Nothing, ma'am. I am just looking." He walked over to a shelf and pretended to be interested in buying a potion. The woman left the counter and went over to him.

"You seem tired, young man," the old woman commented. "Why, I suggest using a stamina potion over here!" She pointed to a bright yellow potion. He was a little skeptical, as the stamina potions he was used to seeing were green--not yellow. But he decided to act polite.

"Thank you, ma'am," Reuben said. He mustered a small, weak smile, and took the yellow potion. A cork was inserted at the top with a label wrapping around it reading, "Banana Daze - guaranteed to stun". Though it wasn't a stamina potion, it would still be useful.

"How much does it cost?" he asked.

"Oh, it's free of charge. The first potion is free. You're the only customer I've had in a long while," she said with a big smile.

"You should take it. I make much too many potions. All I ask is that you come back."

He nodded politely and took the potion with him. He left the store. From that endeavor, he regained some of his energy. His limbs were too sore for running, however. He looked around the alleyway, checking to make sure that his pursuers weren't close by. On the other side of the alleyway as an exit. An open field. He walked toward the destination when...

"There! That wind mage!"

A small rock whizzed past his shoulder and landed a few feet from its proposed target. He risked a glance behind him. The two mages had nearly caught up to him. He turned back to find a large, pointy rock protruding from the ground. He stepped around the rock and started bolting. His right leg cramped. He slowed his pace and used his wind magic to propel him forward.

Running and limping, he finally reached the open field.

Gods... Save me now.
Kiros Aldrudis (played by AmberShades)

At least she wasn’t the only one in a hurry.

After a large amount of struggling to get back on all fours, Kiros decided it would be best if she stayed clear of any open fields, and this was due to the fact she could barely keep herself up. But, either way the table turned, she would still have to struggle with balance. Alright, she thought while turning around, which direction is East? The woman reached for her compass. She was greeted by a loose chain on her belt.

“Wonderful.”

The Centaur shifted her gaze, but she was distracted by mere shouting. It echoed. She rose a brow. Intrigued, she trotted forward, thinking she must’ve been hearing things. Squinting, she struggled to see the stranger darting around and forward, and she fumbled backwards a few paces. “Well,” She muttered, looking him up and down in bewilderment, “pleasure to meet you?”

She blinked, taking steps to the side to see over the stranger’s shoulder. “Ah. My guess is those men are not your colleagues?” Kiros snorted. “Look, I don’t know why in the Heavens you ran to an open field, but I suggest you keep running. Oh- And if there’s a compass, would you mind picking it up? Thanks! Have a good day, sir!”

The woman smiled, waving her hand as she walked past the stranger. She loved her advice. But she wasn't that heartless. Most of the time.

With a flicker of her hands, Kiros was engulfed in a azure, hazy fog, which caused her to cough as she walked away from it. “Gods, I hate that,” She shook her head, looking down at herself. She now had the appearance of a normal, scrawny woman, with only two human legs instead of the lower half of a stag.

She took a deep breath, a few tears swelling in her eyes. She swung herself forward, stopping the two mages as she began to weep, “You have to help me!” Grabbing the arm of one, she pointed to the town. “My- My little boy! He’s gone! He’s missing, and it’s my fault!” Seeing the bewildered expressions, Kiros hid her laughter and continued, dragging them towards the town once again. “Johnny. That’s his name. I saw him running after a butterfly and I thought to myself, ‘He’ll be fine, Elizabeth. Don’t worry’. But, the next thing I knew, he had run through that alleyway and disappeared!”

Her cries only grew louder at the weary silence of the two strangers. “I beg of you! Please, please find him!” Shoving the two back towards the alleyway they came from, she called out to them. “I’ll stay along the borders! Just in case he’s here!”

Kiros made sure the two were gone and out of her sight before she moved back towards the field. She snorted. Though, her laughter ended as her gaze drifted to her satchel, and she realized one thing;

Either way the table turned, she was screwed.
He made brief eye contact with the centaur before mumbling a half-hearted greeting.

"The pleasure's all mine," he said while panting.

His attention was focused elsewhere, on escaping. On surviving. He bent over, hands on his knees as he panted for breath. He made waving motions for the air around him to come in. His breath steadied, his energy regained.

"No, they aren't, I'm afraid," he replied. "Wait--what about a compass?"

By the time he uttered his own question, the centaur was gone. She went in the direction the two mages. Oh, that fool. He was about to go get her when he saw the centaur change into a human. He held out an outstretched hand in shock. He froze where he was, watching as the centaur-human lady went over to the two earth mages. After a brief moment of conversation, the mages turned back to the alleyway.

What in the hells--

Remembering the woman's words of advice, he sprinted in the direction opposite to the alleyways. His magic helped to increase his speed. He blazed through the fields, causing the tall stalks of grass to ripple as if a wave had passed by. As he was running, he caught a gleaming object at the corner of his eye. He slid to a halt and looked over. A compass. That must have been the compass the centaur was looking for. He turned and sped back toward the centaur.

When he reached her, he handed over the compass.

"Is this what you were looking for, ma'am?"
Kiros Aldrudis (played by AmberShades)

She was surprised to see the stranger dashing back towards her, but she quickly realized what was in his hands. “Oh- That’s it!” The woman clapped twice, smiling as she took the compass. “Thank you, and-” She chuckled. “-you may call me Kiros. Ma’am makes me seem older than I like to think I am.”

Kiros looked the man up and down twice, her brows furrowed somewhat. It was a habit of hers to make guesses and judgements about character. Though they weren’t always accurate, she still kept them close and in the front of her mind. Of course, if she were to use the method and not get to know the person, it would be utterly useless. If there is no risk, there is no reward. Sometimes, Kiros enjoyed being surprised by what she thought and what she didn’t think of. This time, something told her that her guesses were wild.

She sent a glance over her shoulder. “Surprisingly, they’re a bit of dimwits. Ah, but despite being distracted at the moment, I’m afraid they won’t be looking for Johnny too long. He’s a non-existent child,” It was a weak explanation, but Kiros smiled nonetheless. Who would’ve thought it was that simple to act?

She gasped, turning back to face the male. “Don’t tell me your name happens to be Johnny, does it?”
"My apologies, I was only trying to be polite," he said. His arms extended outward and he was about to bow in respect, but he stopped himself halfway, remembering to protect his identity.. He cleared throat and offered a hand instead.

Kiros would notice Reuben was rather unusually thin and lightweight for his age. Though his face his neutral, his eyes gleam with a sort of hostile edge. He wore a plain, dark brown tunic and a white undershirt underneath. Reuben studied Kiros intently, taking a mental note of her mannerisms and behavior. He recalled all of his previous lessons on socialization, and all of those long, dull hours spent drilling on the proper posture or the proper greetings to make when in the presence of royalty.

He listened intently to her explanation and made little reaction. Instead, he just nodded and responded with, "I see." Knowing the two earth mages, they would come back soon. Very soon. His eyes darted over to the town he had just been in. No trace of the two mages. He glanced back at Kiros. He stared blankly at her as she smiled.

"My name is Darik," he said, forcing a smile upon his lips. "It's nice to meet you."

"I suppose you are wondering who those two people were?"
Kiros Aldrudis (played by AmberShades)

Kiros smiled, shaking his hand rather quickly. Her first thought was that he could be a potential thief, or a threat, but she was bewildered at what he was attempting to do with his posture before he offered a hand towards her. Either way, it put the woman on edge.

Though, Kiros looked no better than he must’ve. She was scrawny and slightly over average height, and parts of her clothing were rather torn or covered with dirt. To be honest, she was fairly clumsy, and, overall, rushing herself half of the time. She could barely manage to stand, let alone walk on the human-like legs. Of course, it was bothersome, but what was done was done. She clicked her mind back to the time and why she happened to be here, to begin with. Her gaze drifted to the compass, and she squinted. Was she seeing things correctly?

The woman looked back at the male. Darik, was it? “The two men? Of course, but I didn’t know if it was my place to ask. If you don’t mind, would you care to share?” She grinned weakly, nodding once. Her compass had been pointing in the opposing direction, and that meant she had been going the completely wrong way. Perhaps she could just make a new pathway. It would be better on her behalf, wouldn’t it? She could easily avoid people, and it might outsmart the other messengers. If she wanted to be able to fully pay off her debts, she would have to step up her game.
He wondered about who Kiros was. A thief? No, she did not have the gracefulness required for the role. A peasant? Perhaps. Based on her torn clothing, it wouldn't be too far-fetched of an idea. Another equal possibility was that she was homeless. His last thought sparked something in his mind. Perfect.

"Yes, it's Darik." He took this brief moment to build upon his lie. He continued.

"They're Earthen warmages," he snarled, adding in an extra edge of bitterness into his voice. His story wouldn't be completely false. It would just be a twisted half-truth. As his story unfolded, he grew more confident in his words.

"They are a lazy bunch of good-for-nothing soldiers. And yesterday, they saw me using wind magic to catch a rabbit for breakfast. Because of the Mage War, if a mage catches you performing magic they don't like, they lock you up in a jail. I was able to escape the jail but not without those guards noticing me. I ran for my life. If it wasn't for your help, I would have been dead."

A weak smile formed on his lips but quickly melted away as he made a troubled expression. A sudden sadness came over his face. He looked away from Kiros. Using wind magic, he made the air around him grow warmer to make his emotional distress more believable.

"Sorry it's just-- I miss my parents. None of this would have happened if they weren't... gone. Maybe I wouldn't have to live on the streets..." he murmured, sighing sadly. His eyes flicked to the centaur, watching intently for her reaction. He noticed that Kiros was looking anxiously towards her compass instead of him. He grew curious of the importance of the compass, but said nothing about it. As much as he would have liked to pry for more information, now wasn't the time for that.
Kiros Aldrudis (played by AmberShades)

Kiros blinked, her lips parting as if she were going to say something. But, to be honest, she was speechless. Her brows furrowed in slight concern, yet she couldn’t tell what was happening. Perhaps the subject was tactful, and the mood switch happened to be explainable, in some sort of way.

She cleared her throat, folding her hands together as her fingers brushed over the compass. Her thoughts lingered for a moment longer before she nodded once, firm and struggling to hold a straight-face. Emotion can be your weakness, she was once told. “I’m.. so sorry to hear that, Darik.”

The woman made a mental note of his words. “Did they- the Earthen Mages- honestly put you in jail? Of course, I’ve heard rumors of some of them doing that, but I was sure we had made an agreement not to bring the innocent into this.. You said you were a Wind Mage, did you not?” She shuffled through her satchel, which was almost as ruined as her clothing. It was tossed in dirt and rough along the edges, but it wasn’t beyond repair.

Kiros scoffed, taking out a folded parchment and unwrapping the ribbon around it. She scrunched her nose. After a moment or two, she returned her gaze to the male, placing the letter back into her bag. “I’ll take note of this for you, alright? I’m sure they won’t be too pleased to hear about that..” She rubbed her temples. “This has already caused them so much trouble.”

The woman inhaled. “Alright. Living on the streets, you said?” Without waiting for an answer, Kiros began walking forward. “Well, I currently can’t do anything about that at the moment, for my home- if ‘home’ is a right term for it- is on the other side of our location right now, and I’m sure it would be of aid if we walk through the town you came from, hm?”

“I suppose there’s a cabin near the edge of a forest not too far from where I am headed,” Kiros sent a look over her shoulder with a light shrug. “I suppose we could stop by there, if you wish? You could stay there until you.. get back on your feet. Of course, it is just an offer, and I’m not sure if you trust me enough to do so, but..” She shrugged, turning forward again and continuing to walk with a weak grin on her expression.
Seeing her reaction, all of the tension in his muscles relaxed. He made a quiet sigh of relief. She had believed him. Good. Though, he was slightly put off by her emotionless expression, he could see that his story had got to her. He slipped back into the role of "Darik". He wiped his eyes and sighed sadly.

"It happened months ago..." he trailed off. He looked away to add effect, and used this time to further the details of his lie. Don't make your lies too elaborate or you'll mix up the details. Make them simple, the harsh voice warned him. Images flooded into his mind. He forced the intruding memories of him away.

"They did. The jail they threw me in was dark and cold. They gave me dog scraps to eat," he said, remembering the small, and cramped cell filled with several other bodies. He shuddered at the memory. He never wanted to be arrested again.

"Indeed I am," he said in response to her second question.

"Who are you taking a note of this to?" he asked. His voice betrayed panic and his body stiffened. He cursed to himself. He released a steady breath and was careful to not let his emotions affect the air around them. Whoever Kiros was telling, he hoped that it wouldn't reach back to his family. If they found this information... He didn't want to complete the thought. He would be fine, he reassured himself. They wouldn't recognize the name "Darik".

"If I'm really able to stay at the cabin, I will follow you. I don't really have anywhere else to go and I don't want those Earth mages to find me. Thank you for your generosity! You've done so much for me, even though we just met! How can I repay you?" This much kindness had to have a price attached to it. He just hoped that it wasn't something out of his ability.
Kiros Aldrudis (played by AmberShades)

She only nodded firmly at the small explanation. Her voice was quiet, as if she was being listened to and didn’t wish for someone to hear. “Whomever the Earthen Mages call their leader,” Kiros answered quickly. “The Lord or King or… anyone in charge, really. Those are my directions.” The woman risked a glance behind her.

Did something seem off about the stranger, or was she simply imagining things?

“Of course, the ‘treaty’ honestly means nothing to anyone, but it would be appreciable if they would acknowledge it is there for a reason. Anyone who is not involved in the war was not to be brought to attention, but clearly…” A sigh escaped her lips. “I suppose the war isn’t doing any good. For the Mages or the innocents.” She added the last part beneath her breath and continued moving forward.

She blinked for a moment before deciding that something was, in fact, odd about the situation. But who minded that now? What would there be to offer if she had walked right into a trap? Wouldn’t she be the one to blame?

She hated theories. And the questions that follow them.

Kiros perked at his next words. A payment? Her thoughts wandered. Could she bring herself to do such a thing? “Well,” The woman snickered softly, swaying a hand, “no repayments will be needed. It’s not everyday someone gives me a little excitement such as dealing with the two Mages, so that was enough.” Was it? The devil on her shoulder seemed to disagree. If she really wanted to get rid of her debts quickly, shouldn’t she be taking any prices she could get her hands on?

She exhaled. Her legs were already growing weary and her Magicks were low already. Just as before, Kiros flicked her hand up and then quickly downwards, immersing herself in a fog of the blue tint. Though, she emerged as a Centaur this time, not an ordinary woman. She decided to attempt to take the attention off of her, and she turned her head in order to look over her shoulder. “Months ago? How long have you been running, exactly, if I may ask?”
"I see."

Listening to Kiros talking about the treaty, he bit back a bitter laugh. The "treaty" was a flimsy attempt at peace. When there isn't enough food to go around, a war is bound to happen, treaty or not. The rulers were quick to point fingers at one another for the cause of the famine. He found the whole thing pathetic. He was glad that he was no longer a part of nobility.

He broke from his thoughts, returning to reality when Kiros spoke about repayments.

"Oh. Okay," he gave a polite nod, a little surprised that there was no repayment. He supposed this was a good thing, not having to do anything. His eyes widened as he saw the woman transform into a centaur before his eyes, though his surprise wore off quickly. A magic user, no doubt. When Kiros asked about how long he had been running, his skin pricked with perspiration.

Ah, hells... He had to come up with something fast...

He looked upward and closed his eyes, trying to act like he was recalling an old memory. He used the opportunity to make more lies. After a moment of silence, he murmured:

"I can't exactly remember when but..."

"When they--those Earth Mages--came to my house... They took my parents away, they took my house... They took everything from me. All I remember is from that day on, I just... I kept running. And running. It became a blur. I'm at one town, and then the next. They're all the same. There's always people on the streets, begging for food. There's always kids like me, dirty, ragged, and starving," he said, using the most emotional voice he could muster. He hated how he squeaky and helpless he sounded. But if it would help his act, he would use it.

"C-can we go to the cabin?" said Reuben, wishing to change the topic. "I don't really like talking about myself and I'm really tired..."
Kiros Aldrudis (played by AmberShades)

Kiros hid her smirk, lifting her hand to brush the hair from her eyes. Thanks to his words, she now had a theory in mind. The slight hesitation in his answer might’ve meant he was recalling something, but the Centaur had doubt that that was the case. Either way the table turned, she would attempt to conceal her curiosity and keep her guard up.

What was there to hide?

She cast a look over her shoulder yet again. She opened her mouth to speak, furrowed her brows, but shut it quickly. She turned her focus forward yet again. Starving and ragged, the woman thought to herself with a small sigh. It wasn’t as if she was any better, but she felt the guilt pang throughout her conscience.

She wished there was a way to possibly help the ones on the street- starving and ragged ones, as Darik had described them- but there was nothing she could possibly do. Now that she came to think of it, the cabin hadn’t been used in ages, so what would there be? A sofa or two?

As she picked up her pace a little, a rusted wheel came into view, and she smiled weakly. The woman approached it and came to a stopping point. The wheel was clearly nothing special. It just laid in the middle of the plains. Rusting.

“Well,” Kiros grinned, placing one hand on her hip- well, the waist of her human body before it connected to the deer-like quality of a lower half, “here we are. If you go East, which is..” She turned to her right, pointing. “..that way, I’m sure you’ll make it in no time at all!”

She whispered. “It’ll take you an hour or two.”

But she quickly recovered her voice in order to smother the last part of her words. “Watch out for the little things like mice and snakes and the leopards-” She swallowed. “Just be careful, got it? If anyone else is there, just say Kiros sent you. They'll be fine with that! I hope.."
((Sorry for the late response! The notification for you replying got lost in my notification feed.))

He glanced at Kiros.

"Are you leaving me alone?" he asked. He wasn't against the idea, but the manner in which she spoke suggested that she was intending on doing so. He followed her finger and looked in the direction that the cabin supposedly was. He squinted. He saw nothing but an endless stretch of tall grass plains. In the faint distance, he caught sight of a dark green silhouette, which was what he assumed to be the forest. It would take an hour or two. He sighed. He had hoped that the cabin wouldn't be too far, but it would be manageable. Having a permanent shelter was much safer and more comfortable than constantly running away.

"Hold on... Did you say leopards?" he echoed, listening to Kiros. Hearing the end to her words, he nodded a silent, "I will." Turning in the direction of the supposed cabin, he closed his eyes and released all tension within his muscles. He simply breathed, letting the air flow into his body and circle around. Energy fizzed through his veins. His eyed flashed open, surging with new vigor. The air around the two of them grew stiff.

He looked toward Kiros.
Kiros Aldrudis (played by AmberShades)

“Well, traveling alone is one way to go unnoticed,” The Centaur said slowly, though she wasn’t sure if she was speaking to herself or to Darik. She lowered her arm. “If you..” Her voice trailed off, leaving the thought incomplete and unspoken.

She tried telling herself that the air hadn’t changed. That she was imagining things. Or perhaps she wasn’t. The man had said he was a Wind Mage, had he not? Did this mean it was his doing, and not the Earth’s?

Darik looked back.

Kiros drew a sharp breath. What did she have to lose? There were plenty of other messengers, weren’t there? A few coins off her debt wouldn’t hurt her too badly. Hopefully. “Alright, Rialaitheoir na Gaoithe-” Wind Controller, she had called him. “-I’ll travel with you. Only to the cabin. From there, I’m hoping you can take care of yourself?” Kiros shared a crooked, jestering grin, moving forward to begin walking yet again. Boy, was this unlike her other trips..

(( Same Here! ;w; ))
((It's okay, don't worry!))

If you... The way she trailed off, the way she just left her words incomplete, prickled at his skin. If you what? What was she trying to say? He narrowed his eyes, his mouth about to utter a question, when he thought better of it. He'd asked the centaur woman long enough questions, he scolded himself. He needed to learn self-restraint.

He breathed in a quiet sigh, as the fresh energy surged through him. His tiredness had washed away.

"Yes, ma--" he quickly corrected himself. "Indeed. I can handle being alone."

"We should start heading to the cabin then," he said, casting a glance at the sky. It was late afternoon. The sky was beginning to dim little by little. He looked back toward Kiros. "I hope you can catch up."

He turned to face in the direction of the cabin. He backed up a little before bolting across the fields with superhuman speed. A loud, defeaning whoosh! swept the grassland, bending blades of grass backwards. The world around him melted away into a faint blur. The only thing he could hear was his own breath, its push and pull, backwards and forwards...

He shook his head, the relaxing fantasy dissipating and the effects of his speed wearing off. His vision cleared and everything seemed back to normal.
Kiros Aldrudis (played by AmberShades)

Flashing a smile, Kiros laughed a little at his random outburst of energy. Despite being glad Darik could take care of himself and handle being alone, the Centaur was taken by surprise at his next course of action, her jaw falling open slightly. A smile creased her lips.

The words ‘I agree’ were left on the top of her tongue, and she was quick to snap out of her shocked daze. The woman took a step back, but she briskly launched herself in order to keep a quick pace. Awkwardly, she fumbled with her hands, as if she didn’t know what to do with them. Finally deciding just to grasp on her satchel, Kiros drew a breath.

This gave her the slight time to think about how only moments before she had been sprinting as well. The only difference was she didn’t have company, and she might as well have been going a different way. A different way.. Sighing, Kiros drew her compass and studied it for a moment. The tip had shifted past the curved S slightly, and it made the Centaur wonder; What would she do after she navigated Darik to the cabin?

“Holy-” The woman breathed, chuckling as she reached the male’s side. “I’ll be honest; I wasn’t expecting that at all.”

Well, she hasn’t been expecting this situation, either, but rolling with what Life through at her seemed to be the best option, right?


(( Eek- Apologies About The Super Late Response Again! I Got Slightly Distracted And Sidetracked For Awhile! ))
He shrugged at Kiros' reaction to his burst of speed.

"You know what they say; I'm always full of surprises," he said, with a mischievous grin. He slowed to a halt when he reached a crossroad in the forest. Both directions looked the exact same; they both had the same trees and bushes, and a dirt road leading through the forest. One of those paths would lead to the cabin. He turned to look at Kiros for direction, when a growl rumbled from behind him. He whipped his head around, his eyes scanning the surrounding area. He couldn't see anything except for a few stray shrubs and a thick canopy of forest.

"Did you hear that?" he asked the centaur woman. He heard the growling again. He looked around again, and still found nothing. He searched his memory for some recollection about the dangers he should look out for. Something about snakes and leopards... The leaves rustled with movement, as if a current had carried through the sky, but the air was still. Looking around had no effect. The monster was either camouflaged, invisible, or hiding. His muscles clenched. He gathered some from the air around the two of them, anxiously waiting for what would come out into their sight. When the rustling paused, the noise grew into a thunderous ROAR!

A blur of moment flew out of the trees, heading in the direction of Kiros.
Kiros Aldrudis (played by AmberShades)

Struggling to think of something to say, Kiros simply nodded with a stiff laugh. Though, the paths had confused her. How could she have forgotten something so simple? Were the two separate ways there the last time she came? What if they weren’t even going in the correct direction?

The last question had caused her to pause and laugh at herself. She might confuse herself often, but she could remember little things such as direction. Maybe not certain paths, but direction. She blinked. Wouldn’t this count as direction, from a certain perspective?

Though, her attention span was short, and the male’s query seemed to startle her. Her ears perked. Slowly, the Centaur turned around with her brows pinched together, and she stated her response blankly, “I did.” Kiros slowly turned, nearly wincing at the dried leaves that crunched beneath her weight. Her gaze drifted. Her hands lowered to her belt, brushing over the materials located on the hitches.

Though, the silence and stillness that followed the tension had caught her off guard. It didn’t last very long, the quietness.

Kiros forced herself to lunge backwards, despite the fear demanding her to freeze. A small, panicked yip came from her throat from the surprise. As miniature, rough hands latched onto her arm and a weak pain erupted in her front leg, the woman quickly realized who and what had suddenly burst from the trees. “A Leshy,” She hissed, furrowing her brows. Her irritated stare landed on the goblin-like creature who hung onto her forearm, angrily swinging their scrawny legs at her own. The creature- the Leshy, as the Centaur had called it- was small in size and had the look of an elderly. With a long, white beard and a withered face, it would practically look innocent if seen from afar. The only concern was their rather sharp teeth and canine nails. Of course, they were no real threat compared to any other major predators, but they did their fair amount of damage.

Kiros then began shaking her arm vigorously while managing to speak. “I might have forgotten to mention these little things,” She admitted, now trotting around much like a provoked bull would. “They’re basically.. guardians of the forest? I can’t quite explain- You little rat! Quit that!” She flinched, drawing herself in reverse, as if that would remove the problem. Gritting her teeth, the Centaur lifted her arm and brought it flying towards one of the many trees, repeatedly hitting it until the midget-sized Leshy released its greedy grasp on her skin.

“Shoo, shoo! Go on!” Kiros snarled, batting her hand at the creature. She looked back at Darik. “From what I’ve read about them, they travel alone or in a group of three. My hopes are that this is the only one, and it will leave.” She narrowed her eyes after turning back to the Leshy. Though, her attention focused on the redness that spiraled over the area the creature had recently latched on to. She huffed.

“Alright. Choose a path. I’ll follow you. After I get these thing to quit being such a bother.”
(Sorry for the late response! I originally wrote a longer post but after some technical difficulties, my post did not save. :()

He stumbled back a few steps, blinking in surprise, watching as the goblin creature land on Kiros. He flashed Kiros a confused glance when he saw her reaction. As he stepped closer to get a closer look at the "Leshy", he wrenched back once he saw its hideous features. He could see why Kiro held such an immense distaste for the creature. His eyes scanned around the forest, but saw no sign of another Leshy. If one Leshy was already a nuisance, he wondered what a whole trio of Leshies were like. He shuddered at the thought. He hoped Kiros was right about this Leshy being a loner.

"I thought you knew where the cabin was?" he mumbled, with a shake of his head. He turned to the right direction. This one, he decided. He hoped this one would be the correct path.

He started walking along the path. Birdsong chirped from every direction he turned. Silhouettes slunk in the shadows at the corner of his eyes, only to reappear as strange-looking animals. Facing ahead, he saw a strange crystal from the distance. Its gleaming radiance could be seen from where he was. Against his better judgement, he trudged forward to the crystal, as if enchanted by its magical spell.

Hissss His head shot down to his feet. A green snake looked up at him with pupil-less red eyes. Its jaw was open wide. Reuben waved his arms in the direction of the snake, sending a strong breeze toward it. The wind carried the snake away into nearby bush. He continued onward. The crystal's glow grew stronger.

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