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Rated: 18+ · Chapter · Action/Adventure · #2229321
A Shadow dragon kills a doe and the MC meets a supporting character.
         Chapter 1          The          Bowman          Chapter 1

The Bowman

Chapter 1

          He pulled up to the abandoned road and jumped down from his four-foot-high truck. He landed on his feet and dust kicked up around his heels as he hit the ground. He closed his eyes and took a deep breath, feeling that freedom and serenity that he so badly desired for this trip. He was on a dirt road, but no one has been here in at least a year, it's a little overgrown, and dust had settled.

          He hid himself in his family's ancient elite Ranger armor. Dark brown leather with deep green accents; the tough leather armor seemed to shine as he constantly kept it oiled and pliable. It was designed with function and beauty in mind; it will easily deflect an arrow or a sword. His crest is emblazoned on his arm plates. Two elven ritualistic swords cross near the top of a shield with a picture of an ancient elven helmet in the middle. Flowering vines surround the edge of the shield as they come together in a Druatic knot at the bottom.

          His arms ripple with muscles, his legs taught as any runner. He keeps himself well trained. He wanted to keep in shape for these days right here. The tall elf is so well-built that he could take down any ogre in the land with just his fighting skills alone, now, he made sure of that. His specialty, however, was the bow. He can see afar and loves to take out his enemies without even being seen, empowering him.

          His drive to keep himself fit only strengthens his resolve that he was the best in the elite guard when he served. He is out here because of the time of the Rift; when everybody else is busy slobbering all over each other. This, 'time of the rift' marks the only time within eighty years where the races could conceive. The libido was a hundred times stronger than at any other time. World governments set aside their differences to succumb to the time of the rift and only necessary businesses stayed open: Restaurants, medical facilities, and not even all of them, gas stations, and grocery stores. His business closed down for the full year during the time of the rift it wasn't considered essential. That is why he came here. It gave him a chance to hone his skills and keep up with new and unusual methods of warfare.

          He can take out a deer at 500 yards with his elite homemade bow. He's always pushing his limits; he's now trying for 600 yards or two kills, with two arrows, on one shot. As he closes his eyes and pictures both arrows gently sliding into both deer's flesh. They both drop where they stand, and that is what he is going to target his goals on this year.

          He looked around to his surroundings and sees no humanoid contamination. He pressed a button on his key chain and with three quick beeps a hidden compartment slides out from above his rear wheel well.

          He reaches into the secret compartment, pulls out his swords, and easily glides them into their scabbard hanging on his hip, then, a bow and quiver of arrows. The compartment disappeared seamlessly into the fender of the truck.

          He twirled the bow in his hands doing a couple of practice moves before checking the strength of the arms; he quickly slid it onto his back in the special holster he made just for a quick draw. The quiver was lined with ancient elven silk and had some kind of enchantment on the cloth lining that was unknown to him; just the fact that he never ran out of arrows was all he needed to know. He had always wondered what it was but figured since none of the other elves had even seen an enchantment like this that he would just let it go. He had to kill an oversized ogre with just his fighting skills alone, no swords and no bow, to obtain it. That was tough enough.

          He could have driven ten to fifteen miles farther into the forest like he usually does, but sometimes walking down the road, alone and seemingly forgotten is the most refreshing feeling he could get. He closed his eyes and put his nose to take a deep breath; then to feel the wind and notice the changes in air pressure as the trees swayed. The coolness that seemed to flow through his thick leather armor, both exhilarating and bitter cold, it was almost too cold for this time of year. Something compelled him to stop here and not further down the road as he usually does.

          He reached into one of his pouches and pressed another button on his key fob and the truck soundlessly vanished. He wished to get back to nature and his roots while he's out here and that means leaving his invisible truck out here on the road.

          As he walked down his road he came across the most beautiful Doe he's seen in a long time. Tan coat, pure white spots, and having trouble walking and is still wet from birth. Her ears were twitching at every sound. She seemed scared but excited at the new life she had just been given.

          He crouched down; put his hand out. She saw him and froze. Slowly he walked out into the open road. He stopped and crouched even further not wanting to scare the newborn creature any farther.

          'Why is she alone and where is her mother?' He thought to himself. There is an undetermined danger here somewhere. He began to look around. Using every sense he possessed, he begins to become the hunter. He sniffed the air, a certain sense of fear was felt, and the taste was acidic. He knew that he will need a considerable amount of force to disable this new threat; he also began to retrieve the information in his mind as to what kind of creature could give off both an acidic and carnivorous aura.

          His heart filled with dread as he realized that the pressure in the air had dropped and the gravity had grown heavier. He knew there were only three creatures that lurked in the woods that could do this amount of physical damage to an environment. Two of them are thought extinct and if found, are to be left alone, by law. Goddess, he hoped it wasn't one of those; if the creature is too dangerous he would HAVE to put it down. They are also very treacherous; but in all his two seven-hundred plus years of life on this property, he had never seen either of these creatures here or even the third which is just as menacing.

          They are hard to kill, to say the least, but they prey on the weak and the young. He could never allow that in his woods!

          He sensed every leave blow in the trees; he looked at all of the ground movement. He saw several snakes moving off in the distance and many birds flying, he also saw the way these small creatures were moving . . . deeper into his forest.

          The deer still stood frozen in front of him, he knew that moving forward would cause her to run back towards the thing that he could tell, was approaching fast. He knew the thing was behind her because as her ears twitched backward, the acidic taste and the smell of fear grew stronger from her direction. He grew tense and readied his bow. Not knowing what this new thing was, made him a little anxious, his heart started to beat faster; but he knew how to control his feelings in a time of crisis.

          His sword at his side should he not be able to use his bow. This was going to take some skill, the doe remained frozen in fear, a fear he sensed was growing rapidly inside her. Without hesitation he knocked an arrow, pulled, aimed, and fired into the trees in one fluid motion, his graphite arrow ricocheted off several branches and landed behind the dear's ass in less than a few seconds. It caused the dear to run into the forest fast and in the exact direction he was trying to get her to go.

          As she did, he witnessed a giant shadow chase after her. Arman, Froze for a split instant before he fired off a shot into the shadow. It went through it as if it weren't there. Unexpectedly the tree branches moved to block the thing as it headed towards the doe. 'Another presence?! How could that be?' Then, the creature flew right through the tree limb barrier that was placed there purposefully. He wondered what this thing and this new presence were; his anxiety worsened. He couldn't sense this presence at first. His heartbeat even faster. 'Who is this new presence, and what was this new creature. What new powers could either have?' An Arrow found its way thudding into the ground in front of him. Right away he realized the arrow wasn't meant to kill him. The air pressure didn't feel right.

          'That doesn't matter right now' Whatever was in his woods would not stand for long! It had to be put down, and quickly! His eyes trailed where the Twenty-foot shadow went. He began his pursuit as he heard a roar like an animal possessed followed by a painful squeal of a dying baby doe. Traversing the fallen trees and native brush like it was pavement he had finally made it to where the Doe had once been. There was blood everywhere and he saw some leftover bones dripping with thick red goo and hanging skin. Tears of sorrow and hatred trickled from his eyes as his jaw clenched in pure anger. This new life was way too young. Vengeance crippled his thinking. He had to catch this thing. His mind had even forgotten the other presence. He saw where the creature went and plotted a pursuit course.

          This had never happened before, not in his woods, and nowhere that he's ever heard of before, and this was not one of those protected creatures, no, this was a new kind of evil. It flew like a dragon, had no mass, but could take down corporeal creatures, affecting physical things. 'No, this is new; a conjured creature maybe?'

          He remembered that the new presence was shadowing his own movements as he swiftly ran after this creature. They were next to him for the most part but far enough away to be just out of sight. The presence held silent and invisible as they both hunted. This new presence, he knew had the same goal as he . . . for now. 'Who, or what, is this new presence and why couldn't I sense it before?' Had his skills diminished so? Maybe magic was used; having not seen it performed due to the stringent laws against magic on this continent. He had to be at his best now, more than ever. If this person turned out to be a threat he wanted them to know that he was capable enough. He wanted desperately to find out who, or what else was out there with him, but for the time being, they hunted the same thing. It seemed to be something of a shadow dragon, a smoky color that had almost flame-like shadow wings. It was far too small to be a real dragon, but maybe the size of a pygmy dragon, a very large one.

          His weapon was folded up and put away; as he saw earlier, mortal weapons do no damage to this thing. He hoped his own shadow understood that as well but somehow knew that they did. He knew nothing of a beast such as this. He had heard stories as he grew up, about such monsters, but they were just the stuff of urban legend and superstition. Sure they had Ogres and Trolls, where-beasts, and humans, but this . . . shadow dragon thing was a kind of magic that was just not possible. He felt the magic pulsing through the forest as they slithered through his jungle paradise with ease and purpose.

          They had been tracking this beast for several hours. It would let them catch up so that it would be in view. It would turn and face the two who were chasing it, and then it would turn and fly away. It was toying with them. Then it just suddenly disappeared, as did the magic that he sensed.

          It was then that he decided to stop and set up camp. He started a fire as it was getting dark and the pitch black of night would soon be upon them. This happened to be the sixteen minutes of the night where neither the sun, nor either of the moons were visible in some parts of the world; it would be pitch black unless he lit his fire quickly. His fire would hopefully draw out his newly found companion; he moved an extra log around the fire, to form a seat across from him, as a means of invite for the newcomer.

          His senses kicked in, he could see the shifts in the air, the taste of the surrounding foliage, and the pressure of the arrow that landed square in front of him as he set his campfire, obviously meant to inform him that they were coming. He knew the arrow wasn't meant to kill him just like the last one, the pressure would have felt differently. He didn't move an inch, he simply lifted his head, his bow at the ready, expecting the worst, given the day he's had so far. The opportunity would present itself, he just needed to be patient, but his patience was quickly running in short supply.

          She walked slowly and with purpose out of the darkness and into the campfire light. Her bow around her shoulder, but at the ready should things not go as planned. He could see the full length of her armor as she walked into view. Her legs long and slender, muscular, and defined as was her abdomen all exposed to nature; he wondered what kind of protection that type of armor could serve. Her bosom was not as clearly defined because the armor took on a more gender-neutral look to it. It was also made of leather just like his and looked almost elven in nature; it was a plant-like green with ground colored brown accents. Her boots were fur-lined as was her top. She had on a small cape which was also green and brown; it bore no markings of any clan or tribe that he could see. Her pack was large and brown and lying against the log he had set out in front of the fire before her.

          She was dirty and sweaty, but a healthy-looking woman, if not a bit short. She had a smug look on her face as she walked further into the light. He could see that she was indeed very beautiful. Her face was slender; her dark hair framed it perfectly. He couldn't tell what color her eyes were, it was too dark and the fire would cloud the true color anyway. He never sensed a dark magic or action yet, but he would be cautious all the same.

          He reached over from his seat, picked the arrow out of the ground, and handed it to her without standing, hoping she would walk over to him. "You lost something." He said smiling.

          "Greetings, Elf." She said with contempt. Not at all like the others during the time of the Rift.

          "Why, you almost sound as if you dislike me." He replied putting the arrow gently on the ground next to him.

          "You're an Elf, shouldn't I?" She answered.

          "It is hard to make friends if one never gives one a chance. By my token, we were both hunting the same creature, and we both tracked it very well." He told her trying to give more than ample leeway to be polite back, in his forest. He needed her to be compliant so that she would be more willing to answer his questions.

          "Flattery?" She said. "I never knew an Elf to be so gracious towards a human before."

          This comment raised an eyebrow. He looked over at her as she was coming farther into the campfire light and saw that she was indeed human. "You would offer me a place at your campfire?" She asked surprised.

          "By my count, we have but just one fire, who would I be to disallow you the chance at warmth and maybe a hot meal; especially after a chase as long as that one. This forest marks my home and it is agreeable to see that you respect her."

          "I would respect the forest and all who dwell within her, except those who would see her harmed." She told him. She took a seat on the vacant log; laying her bow against the log next to her pack, still strung and ready to be fired at an instant's notice, but she did seem more at ease.

          Sounding very much like a wood elf; he was surprised to see such passion in a human. Arman sensed that she was more than what she looked like. This would be an interesting turn of events, possibly a positive turn.

          "Then you will always be welcome at any camp of mine." He paused, "Unless you try to kill me." He said with a wink and a smile.

          "I am a practitioner of the old faith." She told him while looking into the fire. "I respect someone as gracious and will not harm you, but I don't care much for your new ways." She said with disdain.

          "I do not follow the new ways; I have created my own way." He lifted his head and said with what was almost annoyance in his voice. "I am of my family's heritage."

          "Down boy!" She said. "I meant no disrespect, relax man." She didn't even move, just looked up at him. "My, aren't we a bit prideful; and you call us humans prideful and vein. I was just stating my opinion, that is all."

          "Sorry, I have been around human merchants, most of my life. This is my descendant's land, once a great and powerful family."

          She reached into her pack. Arman quickly and silently reached to grab his sword if needed. She produced several rabbits and handed them to Arman. "This should work for dinner. Before you can say anything, this is my contribution for allowing me to spend the night at your campfire." She said graciously. "Now!" She said a little more forcefully, "We should really talk about what we're hunting."

          "It appears that we aren't hunting anything anymore." It's time he asked the more important question on his mind. "My turn. Why are you on my land and in my forest, and more importantly, who are you? I have a barrier around my entire land; it alerts me to any humanoid trespasser who comes onto my property, no matter where I am. I had not been notified that you had broken onto my land, it should also have given you a jolt as you passed through it." He stated coldly.

          "I didn't know I was on your property. I was following this . . . shadow creature and found you." As she started to grin at him she thought. 'This is starting to get fun.' "And all that jolt did to me was to turn me on a bit." She snarled another grin. "But I had no idea what it was or what it was meant for. And it really wasn't meant to kill you, ya know, the arrow, I mean. I wanted to show you that I was here. But no, I didn't try to kill you."

          "I noticed. "He said. "I had sensed you were no threat to me or my forest, in fact, you were trying to save that doe as much as I was." He stopped and looked at her, and then he stood. "I am Arman, and it is a pleasure to welcome you to my forest." He made sure to drill into her head that she was indeed trespassing and that he was allowing her to do so, for the time being.

          "It is an honor to meet one so refined and caring Arman, my name is Siobhan." She said politely standing then offering a gracious bow then they talked for a while about their prey.

          "Looks like the rabbits are finally done, I'm starving." She smiled and waited for him to dish out the food.

          This is the first real chance he had to look at her. He tried not to make it obvious that he was looking, he noticed her strong, toned, smooth legs. She had a muscular abdomen. She wore only the armor and maybe some fur padding underneath. It was incredible how she put it all together to work so beautifully with her body. Covering her chest, she wore a shoulder/neck guard; it almost seemed to bare a crest on it, 'her families?' He thought He hadn't noticed it before, in fact, he looked for it. All these pieces seemed to pivot and move in unison with her body. He couldn't tell exactly how her upper torso looked, maybe that was the point. He found himself wondering, probably more than he should have. When he made it past her neck he simply smiled; she knew he was looking, and she didn't mind, she just shared a slightly smug smile.

          The snap of a twig close by had them both at attention sometime after they had finished their meal. His senses kicked in as he felt air pressure and sniffed at the mountain air around him. He looked over at her as she slowly slid her slender fingers over the hilt of her obsidian daggers, which he had to remember to ask her about later; they were absolutely stunning in design and form. Her eyes attuned to the darkness behind the fire. The sixteen minutes of pitch had passed long ago so at least the moons lit up the forest a little, not that there was that much moonlight considering that where he was he couldn't even see the moons. They were in a giant ravine blocking most of the moons glow. 'That's why he's here.' She thought. 'He's hiding from the time of the rift, and this ravine reduces the effects of the rift greatly.'

          "Deer." was the only word he spoke as he sat back down. The real treat was the fact that she didn't sit right away, she had good instincts and she had to verify for herself. Her muscles moved all at once and in perfect harmony as she pounced over to the other side of the camp to take a look for herself. Without even a whisper of movement, she crouched down. There was a problem, he could sense what she felt, could it be that he was getting lax in his own forest? He would have to change that.

          "It feels as if we are being watched." He whispered so softly a fly couldn't hear it, but he knew she would. "Shake it off It's nothing hostile, I can sense magic and there is none; it is not a threat to us. I don't sense that it means us any harm, but we must remain vigilant. We can look tomorrow. Both of our senses are attuned to this . . . thing and it may be that it has us a little anxious." He said sounding a little unsure of himself.

          "Forgive me if I don't trust your senses right now." She said not realizing that she just insulted the man and when she realized how she said it she cringed slightly.

          She backed off slowly as her feet never made a sound, as she turned back to face him. Apparently, he didn't take offense because there he was, gawking again. He couldn't help it. He was a man after all; even elves have a sex drive, especially during the time of the rift. If she were being honest with herself, she was feeling it too even in this moon sheltered forest.

          It had been so long since he had been even close to another woman during the time of the Rift, or at any other time for that matter. His heart did race with strong desire every time he gazed upon her. He really couldn't help his stare and he was not trying to make things awkward. It didn't seem to be working.

          "My apologies, I think the Rift is affecting my sensibilities, I'm normally not like this, please, I beg your pardon." He said embarrassingly.

          Again she fondled the hilt of her dagger. It looked as if she were mad as if she had hated his stare. Truly, she found herself longing for a man who could look at her like he is now, a man who could look at her with that kind of raw desire. But right now she was still on edge.

          She was just a little anxious about the shadow creature; she had seen the death it could render. She could still sense the remnants of evil magic. She managed to bite her lip and push those feelings of it down to relax a bit, pulling her attention back to Arman and his staring.

          "You are, and will be forgiven, I too have been looking, so don't worry about it, you and I have looked and lusted, though, not as blatant, but oh well, the Rift will affect us all differently." She said bluntly and now wearing a smile.

          Both of them managed to relax a bit and began talking casually for a time before they would prepare to sleep, they even managed to laugh with each other.

          "Your armor is superb. Where did you obtain it?" He asked.

          "Oh here and there. I have been putting it together for many years now, my most recent additions have come from some of the creatures killed. I don't like to see anything go to waste when a creature of the woods dies. But mostly they came from other monsters ya know, like Ogres and evil elves and dwarves. I like yours as well, how did you get yours, I'm sure it's a far more interesting tale than mine."

          "I hail from the elite elven high guard on another continent. This is my family's armor, My brother's to be specific. I had a mission with some of my comrades under my command. We were sent out for a very special artifact that to this day its purpose eludes me. We were on our way back from successfully obtaining the artifact, after beating some unexpected and quite frankly unknown creatures. We battled them all, some even magical in nature. On our way back we were ambushed by two ogres. They were only armed with clubs, well thick tree braches more likely. Alvetron went in to distract one of them, it worked enough for him to get bashed in the head with its club. Hardly having the time to move out of the way, but it gave Rayuun the time he needed to slash the monster on the back of the calves with his swords. We are taught this tactic in basic training against ogres and other monsters. This ogre was faster than the normal ones until he dropped." He had to pause at the painful memory he was succumbing to. "Rayuun was so focused on the ogre that had just brained his best friend that he didn't see the giant club swinging directly at him. It hit him so hard that it sent him plummeting off a seven-hundred-foot cliff. I had no choice, my healer was blessing me and my mage was hurling fireballs at the ogre and that seemed to have no effect on it what so ever. Just then, I saw lightning strike its head and it stumbled backward in a daze. I was able to run at it with my sword held high and stick the creature deep within its eye penetrating its brain. I then pushed it backward sending me backward as well. It fell backward off the cliff. I immediately ran over to Helix, my cleric who was tending to Alvetron and he looked back and suggested I stay put. I didn't listen and I really wished that I had. That image still haunts me to this day."

          "So were you wearing your brother's armor?" Siobahn asked.

          "be patient I'm getting to that. Because we were able to retrieve the artifact and the fact that I lost two good friends in the process, which were also part of the high guard I might add, they made enchantments to my armor suited just to my specifications. The enchantments they put on made it so that nothing but magically enhanced weapons could harm it, but moreover, no one else could ever wear it, lest it kills them. So don't try to wear it at all. It will kill you. It bears my family crest so that no one but my family can handle it."

          "What happened to your family?"

          "Some merchants managed to kill them all in there sleep. I was living at the high guard at the time, I only found out afterword, including my ten-year-old sister, I think that hurt the worst. It was just after the Time of the Rift."

          "Wow, and to think I had it bad. It must be even worse for you knowing that merchant's killed your family. I'm sorry, I don't mean to be disrespectful."

          "It's alright. I still have plans to avenge them. I now know who they are and plan on taking my revenge on them all when I get back. They will all know who killed them before they die."

          "My you're vengeful."

          "Wouldn't you be if they had slaughtered your family?"

          "I think I understand your plight." She said with her head down.


          "We should sleep in shifts." She said, still not trusting her surroundings, or him, fully. "I don't know this forest . . . or you. I also don't know about this new enemy we seem to have."

          "That is understandable, and a wise precaution. I believe that the night takes away the power of the shadow, after all, it can't be a shadow in the dark, however, you are right. I will stand first watch."

          He just sat there and stared up at the stars losing himself in the freedom but worried about this new threat. He remembers the first decade or so when he had to fight various creatures on his property. He's reminded of the friends' he's lost and the battles waged and how he would have to follow those very dangerous ways once again.

          The trees being hundreds and hundreds of feet into the sky, the stars seemed so very far beyond them. He couldn't see the moons, but those who could, were affected far worse than those who were unable to, or in his case, unwilling to. The force of the rift made it so he had to turn his mind quickly to other things, things of a more mundane nature; so he thought back to what will happen when he finally gets back to his home in the city. He's going to have to start dealing with those miserable humans who all want something for nothing. Then there are those he must dispatch. There are a few, however, with whom he enjoyed bartering with. But now, now, he turns and looks over at her.

          Siobahn seemed to lay there as he began to drift off into thoughts of what he could be doing with her right now. He thought of playing with her in a manner that caused her to wiggle with pleasure, caressing her muscular abdomen as if it were a washboard. He wondered if she liked it rough or soft and gentle. It made no matter; he could, in fact, do both. He glanced over to see her turn on her side to face away from him. He quickly turned his head to the stars once more, he didn't like this distraction. He had heard her breathing heavily and he needed to stop thinking about her in that fashion. This time of the rift made it so that he could mostly think about sex and he hated that. That is precisely the reason he came out here during this time, to be away from all that desire and lust that everyone shares during the time of the rift. Then he got up to walk around a bit as his shift had just begun and he didn't want to fall asleep on his watch.

          Little did he know, she had turned over on her side because she was having thoughts of him as well. She had rolled over to put her hands on her wetness and began to rub herself but stopped when she noticed how loud her breathing had become. Knowing that he probably heard her, an evil smile crept over her face and she closed her eyes and drifted off to sleep.

          Arman woke up early as he usually did. He saw that Siobahn was not there and her bow was missing. He felt that evil presence and hoped that she didn't try to go after this thing herself. He grabbed his bow and both swords and hurriedly followed her trail. He saw her in front of him and felt the evil much stronger here. He crept up beside her as she swung herself to point an arrow straight at his eye. He knew if she wanted him dead he wouldn't have been able to do anything.

          "I could hear you from fifty yards away you must get back into shape before you get us both killed." She whispered lowering her bow. "I think it's back. I haven't seen it again but it is really dark out here and how do you see a shadow in the dark especially when it doesn't even cast one.?"

          "More importantly, why didn't you wake me when you felt it's presence? It's like you have a vengeance against this creature like you know it personally. Are you trying to get yourself killed or prove yourself to me? Because I'll have none of that." He whispered back in anger.

          "Do not presume to know my mind or my intentions, Elf. I do what I want to do when I want to do them and for my own reasons."

          "I am just saying it is smarter and more efficient with tow of us."

          "Well don't you go worrying about me." She answered back.

          As they began to close in on this creature They heard the thing screech out and then a bear roared. They walked closer and the forest started to get brighter. The beast screeched and the bear roared again.

          "It's as if the beast is calling to us," Arman said as they both heard another screech, only this time it was louder.

          "Remember it has to become corporeal to kill. So we might have a chance if it wants to come after us." She told him as the beast and the bear came into sight.

          It knew they were there and became corporeal to kill the bear. Both Siobahn and Arman fired into the beast hitting it directly near where its heart should be. It roared in what they both assumed was pain and charged them. Both Arman and his counterpart got ready for a personal battle against the creature. It was still corporeal when it struck out at Siobahn knocking her about ten paces away. Arman was agile enough to get in two slices to the beast's throat. It howled once again and disappeared without a trace leaving the bear unharmed but madder than hell.

          "Are you alright Siobahn?"

          "Yes, I'm a little dazed but I'm okay. I guess I should've woken you. If you hadn't have been here I would most likely be dead now, so I guess I should thank you." Siobahn said standing up.

          "Did you notice how it glowed?" Arman asked after she got up.

          "It never did that for me," Siobahn answered back. "Maybe it did that to let us know it was there. And speaking of being there, where's the bear?" She said readying her bow.

          "I think it ran farther in the woods happy to have survived the attack," He said. "So you're thinking that it wishes to play with us, toy with us now that there are two of us?"

          "Maybe it wants us to follow it for some reason. It did rush us after we hit it with those arrows." She said. "And it only knocked me out of the way. It could've killed me. Do you think we killed it? It did vanish after you slashed him didn't it?"

          "I can't tell, I can still feel residual magic in the air." He said sounding perturbed. "We need to get back to camp." He said as he walked through the brush remembering how she got the jump on him.

          Once back at the camp they tended to the fire and as it was just becoming daylight he decided to pack up and head back to the truck in severe annoyance.

          "We best head back to the truck." He said; more of a command rather than a suggestion. "It has more of my supplies for the next year, and extras as well now that I will be . . . entertaining, we shall need those supplies."

          "Can't we get that stuff later?" She begged. "We need to start tracking this thing again." She pointed in the general direction deeper into the forest.

          "Do you sense any evil magic here?" He almost yelled turning around to glare at her. "Yeah, that's what I thought. Now let's go!"

          "So then what's the plan? What are we going to do now?" She asked.

          "First, I would like to get my truck home: second, I wish to get home as quickly as possible, I have books and lore there that may tell us what we're dealing with. And thirdly, it is not here, nor do I feel its presence. I wasn't always just a simple hunter." He seemed irritated. "So let's pack up and get the hell back to my truck!" Now he just seemed mad, she went along without saying a word, though she was irritated as well now. The days of the Rift that had already passed were indeed beginning to take its toll on the both of them, and as she silently noted, it wasn't just her sexual drive that was irritating her.


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