Monday, 24 November 2008
04:43:36 PM (GMT)
A/n: Holy crap, you haven't heard from Mana and Co. in about a month. I APOLOGIZE A
MILLION TIMES! *promises to write faster*
And so they were off.
Most of the group had trouble getting used to riding horseback. Sera and Ato took to
it like pros.
Mana didn't ask to ride Aya yet. She enjoyed being able to rest after the long week.
She continuously tried to take a nap, only to be wokan by Taheiji trying to squeeze
in between two trees. But he kwpt his word, and Mana didn't fall off the whole day.
The da continued on like this, until night fell, and they reached a clearing in the
forest. Mana didn't try to get off Taheiji. His body warmed his fur, creating both a
bed and a blanket for Mana. Mana then started to recall her mother again. What did
she look like? What was she like? She continued pondering, even after she fell
Mana had trouble waking up the next morning, due to all the bruises that covered her
body. But by the time she opened her eyes, she realised that they were already
moving. Mana looked to the sun. It was probably about an hour after dawn. Mana
noticed that Eichiro rode next to Taheiji on Aya. Before she had a chance to speak,
Eichiro noticed she was awake.
"Why didn't anybody wake me?"
"You need the rest, the way you've been pushed the past week..."
"He had not the guts to wake you, Chosenplayer. He insisted on letting you
sleep." He said with a hint of friendly mockery. Eichiro smiled.
"That might have had something to do with it."
"Eichiro-Maji, I feel much better now." Mana lied."Can I ride Aya now?"
"As you wish, Mana-kani."
Mana swung her leg over Taheiji's back, trying not to wince, to get off of his back.
She suddenly felt something whiz by her face. She felt stinging coming from her left
upper arm. To her suprise, there were two paralell cuts in her shirt and skin. She
put her hand on her arm and looked where the projectile went. A hawk was ascending
above the crown of the forest trees. It started to turn to make another dive...
"Jack! C'mere, you silly bird!"
Every head turned to see a boy coming out of the underbrush. He looked about 17.He
wore traditional clothing, and had a bandage wrapped around his left lower arm. He
wore a necklaced that looked like it was used for anchient rituals. His hair was dark
violet, which looked like it was blown to the side permanently.
The hawk landed on his bandaged arm, and he started stroking it lovingly, not seeming
to notice the group. Mana turned to Eichiro, who was whispering a spell that would
protect them from magic. When he finished, he sighed from the loss of energy, and
turned to Mana.
"Be careful with what you do, Mana. We don't know what this guy can do."
Eichiro rode up to the front of the group and dismounted. Only then did the boy seem
to take notice in them.
Mana got a nice vibe off of this guy. She realised his voice had an austrailian
accent.But she didn't really want to come face-to-face with anybody she didn't know
with all her bruises. She hid behind Taheiji's head. She started to say a simple
healing spell for her arm, but was interupted by Fishi.
"Mana, don't. If this boy can sense magic, he might think us more then simple
"Uh, Hello? We're on a big blue tiger with wings!"
"Dragon mixes like Taheiji aren't uncommon in this world. It's like having a
cross-breed of dogs in your world."
Mana peaked on Eichiro. He didn't seem swayed from the boys cheery greeting.
"Please, state who you are and your buisness."
The boys face sterned.
"Big words for a little kid like you. You act like you're the dead prince, finally
coming back after 4 years of exile."
Mana expected Eichiro to react, but he kept his peace.
"Well, Whether I'm the dead prince or not doesn't matter, I still need to know."
"Very well. I am Aiko, A tracker for numerous people. My hawk here is Jack."
Mana leaned towards Fishi.
"Fishi-sënshi, What do you think of him?"
"I've used magic to scan his being somewhat. He himself seems fairly nice, but the
people he works for are...questionable. I'm not completely sure we can trust him."
Mana heard the two start talking, and Mana lost interest in what they said. She layed
on her back reached into her pack for her flute. She suddenly felt watter on her
face. She spuddered, and looked to Fishi, who had used some of his water to splash
"Not yet. Don't play your flute with people we don't know."
"But why? Nobody in this place has seen me or my flute...right?"
"They haven't seen you, but that flute has been used by numerous Chosenplayers over
the years. Every time a new one was chosen, the ignitials of that person were magicly
engraved in that flute."
Mana was a bit disturbed, but kept her peace. She heard Eichiro say that they were
rushed and had to leave. Aiko gave them dismissal, and walked right through the group
towards Giaga. Jack turned to Mana and squacked at her. Aiko took no notice and
walked back into the depths of the forest.
Mana turned to Eichiro. He said nothing to her, but told the group to continue
moving. When they were going again, Mana asked him why he didn't protest when Aiko
claimed he was dead and was 'acting like him'.
"There are lots of people in this world who would rather have me dead. It would be
better if as few people knew me being alive as possible."
"But wouldn't they reconise you?"
"I've changed a lot in the past four years, since Shikuro got me."
There was a short pause.
"Speaking of which, Shikuro, how old is he? If he attacked us when we were babies, he
would have been about 11 at the time right?"
"Wrong. Nobody knows how old he really is, for he has used magic to stop himself from
Mana pondered on how he got enough strength to cast a spell to stop him from aging.
Did he have somebody helping him? Or more then two people? Mana was so busy pondering
it, she forgot to ask Eichiro if she could ride Aya again. She didn't really mind
riding Taheiji though. It let her bruises heal. She lay with her back on the back of
Taheiji's head,pulled out her flute and started to play some tunes she heard in
Giaga. Th eerie sound of the flute and the haunting sound of the tunes fit right into
the forest. She felt this is where she belonged all along. She continued, letting her
fingers think, and her mind to rest, letting it take in the beautey of the forest of