THE MIDDLE WORLD

By Kinder

Prologue

A strange shaped shadow fled through the shadows of a dying forest. Light footsteps could be heard. Gasping for breath the shadow stopped and hugged
the bundle it carried closer. "Shh, my baby." It said. "You will be safe soon." Glowing eyes looked up from the shadows and studied the land about her, searching for the enemy. The shadows breathing slowed and soon all was still. Yi'an the spirit of
shadows crouched low in the shade of a giant oak praying to her husband
that he would protect her from unfriendly eyes.

Everything seemed fine so Yi'an carefully pulled the blanket back from the
face of her daughter.

"My Wufi." Yi'an said. Her voice filled with love for her daughter. She
gently traced one clawed finger dow the babies cheek. The small face scrunched up and a yanw stretched the babies jaws. Yi'an chuckled slightly
but tears soon made it impossible to even occomplish that.

"My dearest." She said then she hugged the baby tight. Tears fell from shut eyes and trickled down the back of the blanket that the child was wrapped
in.

"Don't be afraid." She whispered more to herself then to the baby." I will come back for you when it is safe. Remember me always little one." Yi'an gently lowered the baby so that she could see her daughters face. The baby looked up at her mother with a small look of confusion on her tiny face. "Yuri ou toe nofri sem." Yi'an sang softly in the language of the shadows.
She felt the dark swell around her and cover her. "Pre tum sho lio mik dav." She finished the lullaby and hugged her daughter again then she stood
and started through the trees again.

The gate to Earth was covered with vines and stained a dark color from years of rain and little sun. Yi'an stared up at the great door before her
with fear.

"Please." She called to the small shaft of light that came down through the trees and fell onto her face."Help me." Yi'an hoped the children of light were watching. Minutes passed without anything happening. Tears fell from
her dark eyes as she called again for the children of Light.

"Please." She cried and fell to her knee's.
"Why won't you help me?" She sobbed. She felt the demon that had been chasing her coming closer. Knowing that she was out of time she pulled the necklace of wood that her husband had made form around her neck and placed
in the blanket with her daughter.

"Wufi." She said." You are my daughter." Then she hid the small unusualy quiet baby in the vines that hid the door to Earth. She placed a kiss on
the babies dark head and then she turned and ran without looking back.

The Demon slowly entered the small clearing that the door to Earth was in. He was wary. Something didn't smell right to him. The Shadow Spirit wasn't here but something was. The demons long nose sniffed almost greedily for whatever was out of place. A small movement out of the cornere of his eyes caught his attention. He looked to the door. A small black fox rested on a
small pile of vines and stared at him inquisitively.

"Stupid animal." The Demon snarled. The fox just cocked its head at the
Demon and continued to stare.

"Bah." The Demon said waving a hand dismissively at the fox then he headed
in the direction that Yi'an had gone. The fox watched him go then waited for a moment before turning and looking down at the baby it had sheilded. The baby smiled at him and reached a hand up to grab his ear. The fox smiled at the baby and sniffed the babies face. The baby giggled and blew a rasberry at the fox. The fox nuzzled the baby a bit longer but then it jumped down and sat in the clearing and stared up into the single shaft of light. A minute passed then a single gold sparkle
floated down then when it was three feet from the ground it stopped and hovered there for a moment. The fox watched it in quiet boredom. He hated these shows of power the children of light liked to pull. Suddenly the gold speck flashed very bright and lit up the whole forest. When the light faded the knelt a man in a deerskin breeches and white shirt and a long purple
cloak with the symbol of Ya'in the twin brother of Yi'an. Mother of the
baby that the Fox had protected.
"Fox." The man said looking up. " You called?"

Fox nodded and stared as the man stood stretching to his full height. The
man was huge for a human shaped being. Nearly six and a half feet.

"What is it you wanted?" He asked. Fox looked him over for a moment then he turned and pointed his nose at the place where the baby hid. The huge man strode over to it and looked down through the vines. The baby looked up at him and smiled. her little cherub face scrunching. The man shot a look at
Fox.
"This is Morgin and Yi'an's baby." He said. Fox nodded his head once. "
What is she doing here?" Fox turned and sniffed the air and gave a
disgusted sneeze.

"A demon." The man said his voice laced with malice. He stared in the direction that the demon had gone for a moment then he turned back to Fox. "What would you have me do?" He asked. Fox sighed then got up and trotted
to the baby. He gently pressed his nose into the babies stomach then he
turned and pressed his nose onto the gate.

"You want me to send her to Earth?" The man asked in shock. " Yi'an would
kill me if I sent her daughter to Earth." Fox snorted and looked at him
disgustedly. He turned his gaze to the baby and then back to the man.

"What do you mean Yi'an is the one who put her here?" He said. " Why would
she do that?" Fox shook his head.

"So she was the next." The man said ." Allright." He pulled a pouch out of his cloak and up ended it on his hand. A small orb fell from it. The man held up the orb and chanted something in a tongue the Fox didn't recognise. The orb flew up and grew till it was about the size of the babies head. It flew through air so fast that all you could see was a trail of white light. Suddenly the orb hit the wall so hard it shook the ground. A crack of light appeared in the gate. It grew till it was no larger then a hands breadth wide. The baby gurgled happily and then she disappeared in the light. The
gate snapped shut. The man stared at the gate for a long time before
finally shaking his head and stepping back into the shaft of light.

"Good bye Fox." He said. " Never hesitate to call any of us." He disapeared in a flash of light and all that was left was a tiny golden speck floating slowly up to the sky. Fox watched till it was gone then he turned back to the gate. He gave a twitch of his tail and the he too disapeared into the
forest.