Narice rubbed his head… Elera was beside him.
Around the two, they had fallen into a small bed of grass.
“Where are we?” Narice asked.
“The better question would be when,” she spoke.
Narice slowly got up from his spot in the grass. He felt a little out of the loop after his transformation.
“When are we?”
“Seven-hundred years in the past…”
“What do you mean?”
“I believe it has to do with your element…” she said in a whisper.
“Light…” she responded followed by raising a finger to her lips.
Narice looked for the reason and then noticed a larger humanoid creature- bumpy and red-like, with earth-toned clothes– passing by in the bushes.
Elera pulled him toward herself. Narice felt a surprisingly close rush in his body- and then realized she was helping him out of sight.
Narice ended up halfway on top of Elera in an attempt to keep himself hidden.
“He probably meant to put us somewhere safe,” she whispered into his ear, referring to Jonah’s portal. The creature had taken a few steps from beside them to ahead.
“But he didn’t know he’d be sending us to the past…” Narice continued quietly. He felt Elera nod next to his chest.
The creature seemed to be have keen senses. It turned its head waiting for another sound.
Narika felt her breathe onto his cheek. A slightly inappropriate thought came to mind. If he’d turned his head a few inches, they could kiss. Narika had another reason to be nervous beside Elera. His heartbeat sped up in his chest.
After a little while, the creature finally turned back his own direction and walked towards his initial destination.
After a few more moments laying there and a couple more breaths Elera spoke, “um. Narice.”
“Ahaha…” Narice spoke as he moved to the side. Elera sat up but had trouble looking at him in the eyes.
Narice took lead of the situation and broke the ice.
“So…” Narice spoke sitting up, “the past?”
Elera followed Narice’s lead, “Well for one, based on the outfit the Orcan was wearing.”
“Ohhh, so that was an orrc,” he said pointing out the more pertinent information. Obviously- the clothes weren’t as much of an indicator. She continued.
“Yes… it was an Orcan,” she spoke, “They were a cannibalistic group of humanoids that lived in the south before the great war…”
“Yes… as in they ate people.”
Narice could see why she wanted to keep them hidden now – If they’d arrived in a lawless cannibalistic territory, then it could be quite dangerous going around.
“And after the war?”
“They became extinct,” She replied simply.
“I see…” he said- the reasoning was sound- so he’d follow the logic. It’s not that he accepted time-travel so simply, but he didn’t want to deny the evidence around him, “but if we are in the past- then how did it happen?”
“I believe it has to do with your element,” she spoke as they both looked around, trying to get their bearings.
Light, that’s what she’d told him before. But how would that affect what time they were in- and more importantly, how did she come to think he had an element.
She tried to gather details by looking at the things around them.
“So what do you mean light?”
“I have a few theories,” Being that she was such a studied and adept magic user, she probably was able to gather more information from the events then himself.
“What we know; you’ve used fire magic- and not any ordinary fire magic either. But level three.”
She let it sink in while taking a grasp in the surroundings.
“So, that could have meant that you were a fire user- except it doesn’t work when you don’t have anything to enhance.”
“When you grabbed my hand on the island, you enhanced my own magic to multiply its powers exponentially.”
So perhaps Fire And Ice but only under conditions?”
“So, now, you used fire and ice, enhancing the magic of those around you… perhaps you had some sort of enhancement magic..”
That made sense.
“But- what i didn’t expect was the portal. When we traveled through the portal at an accelerated rate, we went back in time. Scientifically one can’t travel backwards…If one traveled at light speed however- they can approach a standstill. However, If one traveled at light speed while time was already frozen…Then frozen time would begin to reverse.”
She was really too smart. Narice had noticed her looking at the surrounding flora and grasping additional information.
“So do you know where we are then?” Narika said noticing her awareness.
“No idea…” she smiled back.
She got up from looking at one of the bushes.
“I was never into herbology,” she frowned.
“Alrighty then!” Narika looked around. Elera looked at him inquisitively. “let’s go this way!”
“What made you choose that way?” she asked.
“Uh…” Narice scratched his head, “there’s no scientific reason. just a way to go.”
As they started to walk, Elera began giving Narice a little more information.
“Well, there have been two times throughout history when something besides one of the five elements were given to an Ancient.”
“I’m not sure.”
Elera continued with the information, “Once again, seven-hundred years in the past- a group gathered to face Ka’atra- he was among them- it’s said that without him- it was impossible, but he disappeared shortly after the war.”
“Did he do anything?”
“I think the person played a crucial role in the first war: but I don’t know. Some people consider it a myth but now I think that it could be us…”
But that meant… that that was the reason that the past was where it was. He wondered if there was an alternate reality before anyone had gone back into the past in the first place. Did that mean they were repeating themselves?
If that were so… did that mean, that Elera had actually sent him a message from this course of events?
So what did they do now? For one, Elera seemed so much smarter than he did when it came to history and government. He wasn’t really sure about any of it, considering he’d been stripped away from his home at an early age.
“Well,” she spoke. “I suggest we try to find a council…”
“What can we say about what’s around us?” he wanted to get a grip on what they were going to be a part of if they had to venture further into this unknown time and place.
“Well- it seems that we came when there were still races, seeing as they all look divided. Before the war, Ka’atra wanted to unify the races…” she spoke distantly.
Narika seemed taken aback, unify the races? But wouldn’t that be a good cause to fight for?
He looked puzzled, and ended up having to think about it for a moment, “So- what was he like in the past?”
She responded, “Well, even though he was a ruthless… not much is actually known about him. He mainly worked behind the scenes during the war.
“I see,” Narica wondered about if Ka’atra had always been a bad being.
“He was bad…” she said, answering the question he had asked himself, “perhaps only in his influence of power, but, he allowed different races to do what they pleased with what they took… and he wasn’t afraid to betray his own.”
“So, do you know where this council is?” Narica said, focusing on the job at hand.
“Well… the location of the council was founded inside of Elondra – the center city of the continent… I think we have to go north,” Elera pointed in a direction as the sun set on the right.
“Oh,” Narica pointed the other direction. “North then…”
Elera laughed as she wrapped her hand around his arm. They started walking in the direction of north.
From the looks of it, they’d arrived inside of a sparse forest. Half of it was actually hill-like and grass fields- but with the forest in close proximity.
In the distance it looked like there was a large cavern built into a hillside. As it was already approaching the afternoon, Narice thought it might be better getting a fresh start in the morning and taking advantage of the cavern.
He said pointing towards the mouth of the cavern.
Wherever this was, it seemed a wilder than anything he’d seen before. They also seemed to be passing signs of humanoid race, with burnt fires and crushed limbs.
As they began to approach the entrance of the cave- they were closed in upon by three Orcan.
“That’s our home…” they looked up as a few orcans looked at them. Two clubs, but the one in the center actually seemed to hold a metal-tipped pickaxe. Perhaps it was a sort of status thing.
“Freezeee!” Elera pointed as she lifted up her hands to the orcs.
The Orcan laughed as the ice stopped short of them. Narica was somewhat surprised to see such confidence in the face of such a power, this was the first time he’d really seen anyone able to stand Elera’s power.
Instead of replying with aggression, however- the one in the middle set down his pickaxe and raised his hands.
“Do not worry…” he spoke, “Aqayans are welcome here.”
The puzzlement in Narice’s face was obvious.
He offered out his hand.
Narice hesitated for a moment, but decided to take it. It wasn’t much of a shake- the Orcan’s hand was twice the size. Certainly he could have crushed Narice had he had the intent on doing so.
“Come,” the Orcan spoke as he invited him inside of the cave.
Inside was somewhat cold- but the Orcans set up some wood they’d gathered with them. It seemed that this shelter had been made recently for the Orcans.
“Ohhh, good,” they clapped as Narice helped them start it using the help of the fire jewel.
Narice was surprised that they were so happy about the fire- it seemed that the Orca here weren’t as familiar living on their own for some reason, maybe they’d been pampered somewhere.
They sat next to the fire as the Orcan offered them some meat. From the looks of it it seemed like it was local wildlife- some sort of four-legged creature.
“Aqayans- how you arrive here?” the left one spoke. Narice and Elera hadn’t agreed on how to explain their arrival- so it took him a moment to think of something.
“We come from the west,” Elera responded.
The middle one seemed to think about it, but didn’t say anything. Perhaps he sensed they were telling a lie. Resistance to magic, kindness, impressive strength- as it was Narice was impressed by the Orcans.
“There is nothing west,” the right one spoke, “only water.”
“Past the water,” Narice responded, honestly it wasn’t a complete lie. At one point- they had come from the American continent before he left to pursue Ka’atra. That’s what he told himself as he answered.
“There is nothing past the big water…” He responded.
“Sorry,” the middle one spoke after hitting him on the shoulder and grunting, “My friends must learn polite.”
Narice liked the middle one.
“What names are you?” The Orcan spoke.
“Elera,” Elera spoke with a polite smile.
“Narice,” Narice nodded politely as well.
“Lombok,” the Orcan responded friendly-like.
After Lombok hit the one in the shoulder again-
Together they slept, the Orca took the edges of the cave. Narice slept eventually leaning against the side of the cave. Elera took longer, a few hours later she rested her head against Narice’s arm.
A voice from outside yelled at the cave.
“They here,” the three Orcans picked up their weapons, completely ignoring the two of them leaning there.
Elera and Narice rushed behind to see what was happening. In front of them a group of ten or so Orcans along with a wizard it seemed were encircling the three Orcans.
“Stay back…” Lombok spoke to Narice and Elera- attempting to hide the three.
“What have you there?” The other Orcan spoke to Lombok.
Narice stepped out from Lombok’s protection.
The ten Orcans were tense as well as the wizard- they held up their clubs while the wizard began to cast defensive magic.
Elera attempted to spellcast her time freeze for the vicinity- the wizard was instantly frozen- however it seemed that the Orcans were only moving more slowly- Narice held a hand with her to enhance it- and the Orcans were completely frozen afterwards.
“I don’t know how long I can hold,” Elera spoke. Narice nodded and rushed towards the wizard disarming knocking him unconscious at least while he was frozen.
In the time he still had, he took the clubs out of the opposing Orcans- After that Elera and Narice stood off to the side.
Lombok stood in front of the assault instantly and fought against the others. The opposing Orcans tried to throw their clubs- but to their surprise and Lombok’s as well, there were no clubs to throw…
In a moment, three were flattened, the two Orcans behind Lombok joined in the assault and the three of them were able to knock down the attacking Orcans in few moments.
Afterwards the three Orcans looked over the spoils. The Orcans on the ground were most likely only knocked out and not dead- considering they were mostly beaten with clubs- they still had a chance- although had normal humans been hit the same way- it wouldn’t have taken much.
“Wizard meat tastes good,” One of the two spoke looking at the unconscious Wizard.
“No. We no longer eat human,” Lombok said- as they took all the objects away from the opposing Orca and wizard.
“Let’s go,” Lombok spoke to the orcan who still looked at the wizard.
By then Narica and Elera had joined behind the Orca. After finding out that they once did eat humans- Narice felt a little more hesitant to follow.
“What’s going on?” Narice spoke to Lombok.
Rather than speak however, Lombok simply walked forward- ignoring the statement. Narice moved to the back with Elera.
“Ahh!” A yell came from the trees.
“OHHHHH!” a cry came from amongst the trees. Three darts came from them hitting the Orcans.
Rushing towards the group, a young boy with a small dagger and bow charged towards Narice and Elera.
“Get away from them- dirty Orcan!”
The orcs had backed off a bit and taken stances to ready themselves. The three of them seemed moderately weakened- there must have been some sort of poison inside of the dart. Additionally- it wasn’t like they were living grandly- having been recently out of a fight already.
“Its one of dem hoodlums,” one of the orcs held out a newly acquired blade. As the boy came and rushed towards them- the orc threw out a cut to fend off the would be assailant.
The boy was struck in the side- but it wasn’t a killing blow. With one hand
“Come with me!” the boy spoke holding out his hand with one hand.
Seeing that it was just a boy… Elera worked her magic to freeze the wound of the would-be savior.
Rather than the normal response that Narice had grown used to – the two Orcans behind Lombok seemed to have some ill intent- the effects of the poison were wearing off.
Lombok however seemed more rational. He looked between the boy and his friends.
“Go…” he as he held up his own weapons to hold back the others and talk them down.
Narica understood Lombok’s sentiment, however there wasn’t time to ponder the nuances of societal convention.
Narice grabbed onto the fire gem. He accelerated his own movements- grabbing onto the boy and hastening Elera so that she could run alongside him.
Narice and Elera ran for a good minute and a half until they came into a clearing.
It seemed that it would be another night spent in the woods.
Narice worked on the fire while Elera kept an eye on the boy.
He watched as Elera tended to the wound the orc had made. Despite not being an earth user, she seemed to hold her own in the healing art- sealing it with a salve from the surrounding bushes and some sort of pain reliever through numbing it with ice.
“Thanks….” she responded focused on the work.
“I think it’s great…” There wasn’t anything she couldn’t do. except maybe study plants… and be a guy.
He watched her for a minute next to the fire as she worked on the boy. He had to look a little longer- her beauty took his attention.
“Hi-” she responded questioningly to his stare.
“Uh, i’m getting us some food,”
He decided to walk out from the campsite and found a spot where he could look out for an animal or something for them to eat.
Narice was able to get them a rabbit and a little later something a little larger and hauled it back.
Additionally, Elera found them some wild grain and some small plants while he was away.
Narice cooked up the food and he and Elera ate in silence while the young man was unconscious.
It was a while before the young man came to, but when he did, the fire had been going for a while and the food had already been cooked and partially eaten.
“uuuughhhh…” he said looking around and then at the two. He started eating a bit. Narica tried asking a question, but Elera asked a question at the same time.
“What’s your name?”
“Why did you come to stop the orcs?”
“Mika-el but you can call me Mika,” he took a big bite out of a leg, “I saw you two needing help since the orcs were taking you into their lair so I came to help.”
Narice and Elera shared a glance- Narice was pretty sure they weren’t in danger. Elera responded,
“Thanks for your assistance,” Elera replied.
For a while he ate what he could. By the way he ate- he must not have been eating for a while now… realizing that the food was good, and the bandaging helped him out a bit, it took all but a minute to ask, “Man, can I stick with you guys?”
Narice and Elera shared a look. They both were considering the boy’s age, “Why do you ask?”
“Well, I’m not good at hunting, or healing, or cooking-” he responded. “I could really use your talent on my way to Elondara…”
Rather then agree, Narice and Elera wanted to understand the boy’s reasons for travelling alone.
“Why would you want to go there?”
“Well, training, of course,” he replied.
“Where are you from?”
“Western Vine Village- come on… you owe me.”
Elera answered with another quesiton, “How old are you?”
“Twelve,” he responded.
Elera and Narica were quiet about it. Narica looked at Elera. He thought it was young. From the unsure look he could tell she agreed.
“So, what do you say?”
Narica thought about it for a moment, he didn’t want to be responsible for a twelve years well-being, “Actually, we need to get to Western Vine first… I wanted to pick up some stuff…” He looked at Elera. She nodded in assent.
“Yes…” Elera spoke.
“Oh,” the boy said, “come on, I’ll be useful…”
Narica didn’t want to be rude, so he added on, “how about, after we get what we need there, you can come with us…” Even though he didn’t necessarily mean it. He would plan dropping the boy back off.
“Okay,” The boy said, “So where are you two from…”
“Actually,” Narice paused for effect, “we’re from the future…”
“Haha,” Mika returned, “no way… you’re not.”
Elera showed some disapproval in Narice telling the boy, and also a look that spoke, ‘what do we tell him now?’
Narica figured he’d go on the premise still that he was from the future. He asked the young man, “Do you know how to get to the council?”
“Oh sure,” Mika returned, “They should be in Elondra too. It would be great if we could go together, “Are you guys from the far sun? It’s common knowledge.”
Elera looked at Narica.
Narica didn’t know how else to explain to the boy- so he just shrugged, “yep, sticking with the future.”
Mika’el looked at them suspiciously, “well, whatever- If you are having trouble with authority or whatever, I really don’t care. You don’t have to make something up like travelling from the future or whatnot… I don’t care, I know you’re good people… what were your names? oh. okay… I need to get to sleep.” Mika got back under the makeshift blanket he’d been using and started snoring quickly afterwards.
Perhaps Elera was used to extreme things going on- with her history on the council, but Narice had certainly been surprised by the boy’s attitude.
a few minutes later Elera got up from the fire and looked to get a closer look at Mika.
“He’s asleep,” she spoke after nodding her head.
Narice looked over at Elera, “Yeah- looks like it.”
She looked at him with a shy smile.
Narika looked at her. What she was about to say must have been important, but when he heard it, he hadn’t expected what she said to come out.
“Have you ever made-out with someone?”
Narika tried to think about it. There was the half kiss that Rei had given him once- and then the one time he kissed Elera, but that was kind of spur of the moment.
“Define making out…” Narika honestly wasn’t sure what that entailed for one. At his response he could see her shoulders kind of slump backwards and realized it was the wrong response. He then tried to correct himself, “I mean, my sister one gave me a quick kiss above the lips, but I didn’t really kiss her back…”
He could see Elera brighten up, “no, not anything like that.”
“Uh,” Narika started feeling a bunch of butterflies and she moved closer.
she spoke with a whisper, “I mean like this,” as her head moved within a foot or so, he slowly moved in too. Their lips touched, but this time, they kept them together.
The other two times they’d kissed had been full of drama. While they conveyed deep emotions at pinnacle moments- they were a totally different experience than this. This was something warm, a little tingly, and a little bit wet.
Afterwards Elera got up and went to her side of the fire.
“Good night…” she said with a smile.
The remnant of the kiss stayed on his lips. Narica was so excited it was hard for him to go to sleep- instead he sat by the fire for another hour or two and then tried his best to go to sleep afterwards.
“Hi!” he heard come from above.
Mika’s shadow made an overcast as he hovered over Narika.
Elera chuckled from behind.
Narika certainly hadn’t slept much last night. Maybe an hour or two – and he thought it was unfair that Mika had had a lot more sleep than himself. But then he recalled what happened the night before and suddenly felt a surge of energy.
Despite the way he was rudely awakened- it had definitely been worth it… He smiled at Elera for a moment, but Mika took the spotlight before she could look at him.
“Alright, you all said you want to go to Western Vines right?” Mika pointed out to them the way to Western Vines and the best routes… “I’ll be your guide!”
They headed out westward- following Mika. Narice was hungry again so he started dethawing the food that Elera froze the night before.
After a few hours of travel, they looked for water to clean themselves off a bit- feeling a bit grimy after a few days without washing. Mika, familiar with the area since he’d left pointed towards where he knew a stream was.
Inside was a pleasant looking area of a pool where moving water flowed into and only slowly poured out on one edge.
After making sure that there wasn’t anyone around- after all, it was pretty much in the middle of the wood- they tried their best to find makeshift clothing. Narica and Elera hadn’t really had much of a chance to gather supplies since their capture so they didn’t have a change of clothes. Instead, Mika tied together sorts of clothes made out of leaves and the skin the elk.
Elera was embarrassed and ended up taking a separate bath on one side of an ice wall.
“Don’t look…” Elera said from her part of a little stream they were kind of cleaning off in another side.
“She’s hot…” Narica heard Mikael say from one side of an ice wall. Narica looked at Mikael who made no intent to hide not looking. In fact, he was point blank staring. Narica tried covering Mikael’s eyes and ended up getting pulled over to the other side in a splash.
Elera turned to the both of them and instantly everything was frozen. Including them. Narica was able to move.
“This is a warning…” she eyed the boy as he stood in place, unable to move. A look of terror slightly showed through the frozen body.
“You’re not getting off easy either- Narica,” she said as she blew a kiss his way.
It wasn’t meeeee, He thought somewhat interested about what was going to transpire and somewhat frightened. Yes. When it came to Elera, he could be frightened.
He didn’t think he’d get off easy though.
As it turns out, after melting the ice with his own powers, she’d already thought of his consequence.
“Woooooowwwwwie!!!” Mika said bemusedly after he and Narika had left the camp in search of food. “Did you see what she did?!”
“Uh… yeah…” Narika said unsurprised.
Mika frowned at Narice’s nonchalant attitude.
“I’ve seen it before,” Narice replied and recalled how impressed he’d first been. Even for an Aqayan- Elera stood out.
“Seriously, I’ll definitely be able to save my sister if the guardians at the capital are as strong as you two!”
This perked the interest of Narice. He had a sister. and supposedly she required saving.
“So Mika,” Narice decided to bring up the topic that hit close to home, “why does your sister need saving?”
Mika was surprisingly quiet on the topic as he looked downwards at a necklace around his neck. He rubbed it like it was something very important.
“She just does,” Mika responded vaguely and moved ahead.
As they got to camp they found that nothing was set up.
True to her word- Elera was taking a nap. Mika and Narice would be responsible for camp the next three days.
They prepped the campground, firewood, cleaning of supplies, cooking, gathering of grains and fruit. At some point- Elera woke up and took one of their fruits- asking them to peel it. She was queen for three days. This was their consequence.
Mika was moaning, but knowing Elera’s powers – Narice felt that he got off easy.
It was late evening when they finally finished the tasks. Without Elera’s help – everything was much harder, and Narice didn’t mean offense but Mika didn’t add much in the way of support- Narice felt it was Mika’s fault to begin with, although it didn’t mean he hadn’t seen across the ice as well.
Regardless, Narice sucked it up and now they enjoyed another supper together.
“So, if you’re running away- why did you come here?” Mika spoke while eating, “all there are are the Orcans which eat people- the dragon, which eats people, and the dark wizard, which hunts people and uses their dead bodies in his army.”
“Uh…” Narice looked at Elera, somewhat surprised by the new information, “we didn’t have much of a choice.”
From the sound of it, things were pretty bad here- Narice wondered if they’d actually landed in the worst possible place.
“I see,” Mika responded while eating, “well – at western-vines, there’s a little protection by the Elfa, but not if you leave.”
“Why would you want to leave then?” Elera spoke.
Mika was quiet on the subject once again.
They were sitting amidst a fire once again.
“It’s only another hour or so walk away from here…”
They kept walking. Despite no changes in the scenery it seemed that Mikael knew where he was going.
Once again, it grew late.