"Sir Bagn... " Vlad hurled a blade of air towards the stranger in a swift move, and watched as the weird man put his small hand in front of himself and deflected the blast as if it was just a small breeze. The warrior's jaw squared as he put himself between the man and Tara. He growled, ready to spring his legs and jump on the stranger at any suspicious move. "Not used to be called by your title, are you, Vladawain?" Tara looked at them, unable to move, or to read the mysteriou's man expression. His energy was suppressed, but it was there, powerful, but if he was on their side or not, this she couldn't tell at the moment. She watched as Vlad's eyes grew wide in... Realization? Does he know that person? And why do I feel like I've... seen him somewhere?
"Master Giles?!" Vlad hissed the name, a name that sounded like it was bound to be respected, but that was said with so much hatred Tara didn't know what to think. The man bowed down in a distincted way and smiled. "So you remember me." The man took a couple steps towards them, removing round glasses from his nose, and wiping them with a clean clothe he had seemingly gotten out of nowhere. Vlad glared at him. "How can I not remember the one who turned me 'nto an immortal demon?" The man called Giles laughed at that, light-heartedly it seemed. Vlad clenched his fist, ready to strike the other man, who didn't seem to care, at all. Silence settled on them for a moment, and Tara got up slowly and walked closer to them. "Giles the R-reaper?" She voiced the name she didn't even remember hearing as if she had known the man forever. Surprised at her own self, she took a step back and Vlad modified his stance slightly to be able to protect her. The man immediately looked in her direction, his face softening all of a sudden and his semi-maniacal laughter stopping as he observed the young girl carefully. He blinked a few times, took off his glasses to wipe them again, put them back on, blinked again, and a fathery smile drawn itself on his face. "Tara!"
"My mother's mentor?" Willow looked puzzled for a moment, and then curiosity overcame her. "He's living here? Is he the one who keeps the dragon away or something?" The older guard laughted heartily and patted Willow's shoulder. "He's just so much more!" The younger knight pointed to the spot across the lake, where Willow had seen something earlier. "And he's over there right now, wonder what he's doing outside of his cave." Willow's eyes grew wide. So that power burst... was from him? Some kind of sadness hit Willow, as if her hope of finding Tara was suddenly shattered. The elder didn't notice it, but grumped and stopped his progression. "Going to the other side of the lake by walking around will take us over half the day. Do you remember where we put the boat last time Rickarth?" The younger man started kicking the ground until he seemed to find a rough surface under the grass. He kicked some of the grass aside and hit what seemed like a wooden door with his foot a few times to show his elder he had found it.
What are they doing? A boat hidden under grass, right where we are? What kind of weird trick is this? And why are we going to see that guy anyway? I was hoping to see Vlad and Tara, not some old... whatever he is... "Call that dumb luck, Richard, but we were right over it." The one named Richard scratched his eyebrow nervously and kicked on the ground too. He seemed to hit the corner of said "boat" and it flipped out of it's earth and natural storage space. It was a woodden plate, basically, big enough for two adults and a kid. But it didn't look like it could float. Willow observed the embarcation for a moment, and then looked up, suddenly realizing both her guards had disappeared. A voice came from somewhere under her. "Princess, we're down here, c'mon let's go!"
The underground passage was well built, and had an eerie feeling about it. Willow absentedly followed her escort through the narrow labyrinth, distracted by the way the underground was lit. Some kind of fairy lights, it seemed. They were under water level, the pressure should've overwhelmed her, but instead she felt lighter than usual, and her train of thoughts once again wandered in that trippy area where she had promised herself not to go anymore, and had failed miserably. I wonder if that was really Vladawain's energy. If it was, and if we're heading that way, there's bound to be an encounter, and I doubt everyone will leave it unharmed. What if Tara's dead? I want to see her so bad, but what if she was killed at some point?And maybe she forgot about me. I mean, it's not because both our mothers were linked that we have something going on. Wee barely had time to shoot each other a glance, we barely had time to exchange any words and this happens and probably I'm just getting overly worked out over this when there's nothing to fear, wait fear? Why am I thinking about fear and Tara at the same time? They're like antithesis, oxymorons... big words huh, I'm a princess and she's lower than a commone,r nothing's ever gonna work... Willow suddenly stopped, gasping for air. Okay, when did I run out of breath? She cast a look around to realize she had lost sight of her two guards, and was standing before a rope hanging out from a hole in the roof? Wait... okay, I need to stop spacing out like that.
Just as Tara realized who was standing in front of her, two tall man emerged from the grass and pulled a young red headed girl out of it as well. She shut her eyes and shook her head for a second, then re-opened them to confirm she wasn't dreaming. "W-Willow?"
Vlad turned to face the newcomers, holding to his sword tightly, and trembling. Tara noticed the shift in Vlad's flow of energy and frowned, gripping her own sword. If there was going to be a fight, she'd probably have to jump in: her protector was now barely standing, slowly drifting to the inconscious world. He's exhausted from fighting the dragon and controlling his energy. She noted, shooting a glance toward the place where Odiluke was lying a moment ago, surprised to not see him anymore. Okay, then maybe it's gonna be alright. Her eyes darted from one side to the other, waiting for someone to make the first move. After a moment of stillness, nobody seemed like they were going to do anything, and at that moment she gave up on the hope she had Willow would recognize her.
After rising to the surface, and adjusting to the fresh air, which only took her a moment but seemed to last forever, Willow looked around the clearing they had reached. Her eyes grew wide as she spotted the remains of the dragon, slain by some kind of mysterious force she immediately linked to the energy burst from earlier. On the other side, there was this old man who wasn't wearing any weapon, but had his own way to look threatening, then a bunch of trees seeming to have grown completely out of the blue, and a young man, with a scar over his left eye, holding his sword as if protecting something worth more than his life. She automatically recognized Vlad, and judged the dark shadow she could see behind him was probably Tara. She even thought she heard her name being said by the girl's soft voice, but her own voice was stuck in her throat. Her own body seemed to be frozen in place, paralyzed. She felt her own spirit almost kneeling down, as if being crushed by an invisible presence. Her gaze switched back to the old man, but couldn't identify if it was him causing her body to feel so... heavy.
Odiluke dropped to the ground, just behind Willow, and pulled her backwards with his claw on her throat. "Put down weapons and don't try anything stupid, or she's dead meat!" he yelled at the adress of the princess' two guards. Tara froze, she wanted to scream, to tell Odi to please not kill her, but a weird feeling made it's way up her body, and condemned her to silence and stillness. Everyone else seemed to be affected by the heavy mental pressure, even Odiluke couldn't move anymore, and was apparently struggling to keep his claw from cutting through Willow's soft skin.
"I couldn't have asked for a better set-up!" A man's voice emerged from the set of out-of-place trees, as he stepped out of the shadow and revealed his appearance to his guests. The man's traits had nothing human, if only the shape of his body. But the familiarity of the voice stung Tara's ears as if lightning had just hit her. And Willow's body shuddered at the same time, recognizing the voice, without being able to remember where she heard it.
Everything stood still for a moment, before the old man named Giles managed to mutter some words. "What are you doing here, Don Macklay?"