Chapter 18- scouting

Once they left the cave, they glided over the river and started pushing forward. 

As they traveled, Peter could tell that Dramix was worried about Naleeit, and Naleeit was worried about him. That gave Peter a for sure indication that they had feelings for each other.

However, Dramix was completely clueless to this revelation. 

After a few days of traveling, they came upon a town. 

Dramix waited on the outskirts while Naleeit went in for supplies.

He stared at her longingly for several minutes before Peter broke the silence, “You know that you can speak to her. It looks like she wants to as well.” (Peter’s Spirit Talking)

“Speak about what to her?” (Dramix’s Spirit Talking)

Peter sighed as he responded, “You must find the answer for yourself. At least you now know that she wants to speak to you. When you see her look at you again, you should speak to her. Oh, speaking of, she’s on her way back now. Show her your worth right now.” (Peter’s Spirit Talking)

Dramix raised himself up a little as he said, “Show her that I’m worth staying with? Does she doubt my ability as a warrior?” (Dramix’s Spirit Talking)

Peter sighed in aggravation. 

“She knows what you’re capable of. This isn’t about muscles, it’s about the heart. I asked you before if you made a commitment to her, and you said yes. Do you remember what else I asked?” (Peter’s Spirit Talking)

Dramix grunted in annoyance, “I do.” (Dramix’s Spirit Talking)

“In the cave, you even said that she deserves a pillar of strength to lean. She’s looking for someone like that to help her, but she’s also a proud Drakan. She refuses to ask for help from a people that banished her for living outside the lands of her people. You have shown her a fragment. In return, she gave you her body.” (Peter’s Spirit Talking)

Dramix sighed as he responded, “I’ve laid with her, but that doesn’t mean any-” (Dramix’s Spirit Talking)

“It does to her! She wasn’t going to leave you because you’re weak. She was going to leave you behind because she wished to protect you from a war that fate has brought upon you to fight.” (Peter’s Spirit Talking)

Dramix stared at Naleeit approaching about two hundred feet away and said, “I know self-proclaimed warriors half as brave as her. I will fight this war by her side. There’s no certainty in war anyway, so it’s best not to have plans.” (Dramix’s Spirit Talking)

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“Exactly! That’s the kind of thing she wants to hear. She wants to hope that she can have a future. If she survives; win or lose, she has nowhere to call home. She has no one to protect her if other Drakan comes after her. She’s just like your rival when you trained. She would rather be dead than used as a toy.e.” (Peter’s Spirit Talking)

Dramix gripped Zwilander as he stood up and walked over to the Naleeit carrying a sack full of provisions.

“How did it go?” (Dramix)

“Good, there were no problems.” (Naleeit)

“Awesome. Hey, I want to talk to you.” (Dramix)

As days turned to weeks, Peter had gotten fully accustomed to his new form. 

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Dramix is also a lot more confident and sure of himself. He’s committed now, so he’s in for the long haul. His ability with the lance has also grown over time.

During the day when they would rest, they would train as well. Dramix was quickly becoming no match for Naleeit. So much so, once they got to Fernfield, he was confident that he could win a real fight. As always, they thoroughly scouted the area.

However, this time, they discovered an advance force of soldiers. 

Naleeit grabbed Dramix’s shoulder and sank further into the ground to hide, “We have to hide. They will undoubtedly recognize me.” (Naleeit)

Dramix shook his head, “I won’t be very useful either. A lot of people saw me in the palace, and they may have even seen me help break Towward out.” (Dramix)

Naleeit closed her eyes as she thought about all she’s put him through.

“Maybe I can help?” (Peter)

They were very surprised to hear his disembodied voice.

“Your spirit?” (Naleeit)

Peter nodded in response as he continued, “My shaman, I have also grown stronger. Just this once, I would like to put myself at risk. It seems like we’re both fated to go on this journey.” (Peter)

Dramix grabbed his hand and said, “Take Zwilander.” (Dramix)

Peter shook his head, “No, you need him more than I do. While I’m gone, you won’t have my aid.” (Peter)

Dramix paused and looked at his amulet. It had grown without him noticing, and the new section was all that was lit.

“Don’t go far.” (Peter)

Peter then drifted away as he transformed into his Drakan form.

For Peter, it was easy to get into the town, but all the traveling and searching was quickly wearing him out. He soon arrived in one of the rooms of the biggest house he could find. 

Once he started chilling around, he heard some nearby voices yelling in a language that he didn’t understand. It seems he too wasn’t fit for this task, so he hid while he rested. 

He had just sat behind a hideaway of boxes when he heard a voice above him, “Who are you?” (Voice)

“Wah!?” (Peter)

He must have looked funny because the little girl in front of him giggled at his reaction. 

Her skin was a pale white and her almond brown hair was wrapped into a ponytail, showing off her pointed ears. She somersaulted over the box and landed on her feet as she playfully said, “I hide here too when my mom and dad fight. They say that they fight to protect me, but I know that isn’t true.” (Elf Girl)

Peter wasn’t sure about what to do, so he to decided lay down on his back in defeat.

“How did you know I was here?” (Peter)

She smiled cutely as she responded, “I saw you come in.” (Elf Girl)

Peter wondered how, but he decided to let that question go.

“Perhaps we can help one another. I seek the elder of this town. I came here to ask about the mark of the oak leaf.” (Peter)

She brightened up some when he said that.

“Oh, my dad has it hidden. As the next in line to be the elder, I know everything. Want me to get it for you?” (Elf Girl)

Peter paused in thought before responding, “Not at the moment, I wish to help you first. Tell me exactly why your parents are fighting.” (Peter)

She raised herself up to hear the yelling. 

“They’re saying bad things right now, but earlier, it was about turning over the mark to strangers or running home to the woods.” (Elf Girl)

“I noticed that the town is completely vacant except for some strangers. Tell me why.” (Peter)

Her expression was sad as she said, “The strangers took the others. Dad said it’s for work. My mom is angry that my dad is staying to protect the mark and what she calls other worthless things. She doesn’t understand because she doesn’t have elf blood.” (Elf Girl)

“Why were you three not taken?” (Peter)

“Dad lost his leg in an accident when I was younger. My mom is trying to help the strangers, but the strangers don’t know that I’m here.” (Elf Girl)

He closed his eyes as he mulled over the information before he asked, “What is the fate of the mark? Why do you protect it?” (Peter)

“It’s the sign of safe passage for outsides to go into our home woods. I guess I could go there without it, but not you. We give it to strangers who are trustworthy.” (Elf Girl)

“Do you have the right to decide this?” (Peter)

“Of course.” (Elf Girl)

Peter knew this was the best course of action as he said, “When it’s safe to do so, go to your father. Tell him that protectors of the dawn wish for the mark. Explain who you saw, and tell him that I’m part of a party of a lost prince. If he allows it, have him name his price for the mark. On my honor, I will see that’s it paid. If nothing else, a Drakan is bound by his honor.” (Peter)

She pleasantly smiled before noticing that the fight was over.

She had just jumped off the boxes and was heading to the exit when Peter gently grabbed her arm,“In the direction of the rising sun is some woods with a road running through them. Go in that direction with the road to your right, that’s where you’ll meet the rest of my party.” (Peter)

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