Serious Spunk

Authors note: Shanelle and Cyrene are mine. Get over it.

A lovely young woman walked through one of the forests in Tahara. Her long auburn hair was pulled back into a braid that falls just below her shoulder blades. A few strands of reddish-brown hair managed to escape the braid. Yellow satin ribbons were braided delicately through the braid. The girls' outfit was simple, yet lovely; her lavender shirt had poofy sleeved that ended at her wrist with a tight cuff. She had a periwinkle over shirt that cut off below her hips and was fastened by a cloth belt with white, light blue, gold, and light purple glass beads sewn into it that formed a geometrical design. The girls' pants were a deep purple. They were long; almost covering her feet and slightly flared at the bottom. She wears plain leather shoes, designed for comfort. Tucked into her belt were two dowels of wood, about ½ an inch thick and about 9 inches long, connected by 3 inches of chain. She carried a backpack, obviously holding her belongings. A black panther trotted at her side.
The woman wasn't moving silently, but, if anyone was paying attention, they would have heard her. And people were . . . .
A young man was watching this strange girl. Cyrene basically fit the description of tall dark and handsome. His short-cropped hair had slightly longer bangs than the rest of his hair. His dark blue pants tucked into his boots 3 inches below his knees offset his steel blue tunic. Hanging from his belt was a large battle-axe that had a solitary piece of green sea glass embedded in the hilt.
"What do you make of her, Kumi?" Cyrene asked his wolf formed daemon.

"I dunno," Kumiko began. "She seems like a wealthy person, but why would she be wandering around here instead of having a job somewhere?"
"Good point," before Cyrene could say anything more the young lady was suddenly besieged by about 20 young men wearing fancy clothes. Their golden cloaks held the emblem of some city.
One of the men, obviously their leader stepped forward. "Ah, Shanelle, Lord Trayhern doesn't appreciate this wild goose chase you have been leading us on." The young man wore a red hat at a jaunty angle, over mousy brown hair. His face was handsome, though he had a rather large nose. His eyes were like chips of ice. He wore a red tunic, gold pants, and black boots.
The girl, Shanelle, backed up until her back was to a large tree. Fear was in her eyes, were it genuine or not Cyrene could not tell.
The leader chuckled, "Are you scared?"
"Oh, I'll come back with you, just please don't hurt me!" Shanelle moaned. Her hand moved slowly and discretely towards the sticks in her belt.
"If you come nicely, like a good little girl there will be no need to," the leader purred as he walked forward.
"Oh thank you!" The girl cried. Suddenly her lavender eyes erased all traces of fear. "But I'm afraid I can't do that."
The leader hardly had any time to change his expression from one of triumph to one of befuddlement before the girl landed a swift kick to his jaw, knocking him unconscious; at the same time she pulled the dowels out of her belt and began to spin them around. "Anyone else want to try me?" Shanelle challenged. The panther was at her side snarling at anyone who tried to get closer. A big burly man advanced menacingly, but was taken down just as quickly.
Keeping her back to the tree Shanelle and the panther beat off most of the opponents. More and more of the men advanced. Suddenly pure white light flowed from Shanelles' hands. The men that had advanced gave cries of pain and tried to shield their eyes.
"You fools! She's a light mage!" someone called from the back of the group.
"That's right! Shanelle shouted back, "so there's no way you can get near me without getting blinded."
"This Shanelle is some fighter!" Cyrene thought, impressed.
The man who had spoken stepped forward. "But I am a fire mage." The fire mage wore gray pants and a flaming orange shirt. His vest was made of some kind of animal pelt. He wasn't ugly, nor was he attractive. He wore a fur hat that made him look rather foolish. His hair was white at the roots, then blue, then red, then orange, like the different heats of fire.
Shanelle looked unimpressed. "So?"
"Doesn't that scare you?" The mage asked, a little put out.
"No."
Cyrene had to work hard to stifle his laughter.
The fire mage simply answered by throwing a large ball of fire at Shanelle, which she dodged expertly. The mage summoned another one and hurled it at Shanelle. "Are you scared yet?" he asked, a hint of urgency in his voice.
"I'm so scared I could just keel over and die," Shanelle answered unenthusiastically. "How about you Susano?" The girl asked the panther.
"So scared!' Susano, obviously Shanelle's daemon answered changing into the form of a rabbit and hiding behind Shanelle.
The fire mage made a motion with his hand and 12 or so men that were left advanced reluctantly. Light began to pool in Shanelles hand but I quickly disappeared, seeing as she had to dodge another fireball thrown by the mage.
"Looks like she could use a bit of help," Cyrene quietly told his daemon. As the men got closer to Shanelle, she was forced to dodge more and more fire. Cyrene called the water from the air and from the nearest water source to form a curtain of water in front of Shanelle just as the fire mage threw another ball of fire at Shanelle. It extinguished with a satisfying hiss. The men stopped dead in their tracks and stared at Shanelle, who stared back. The mage tried to urge them on but the men paid no attention to him.
"She must be a dual!" One of the men cried.
"Yea! Let's get out of here!!" Another shouted. In one motion the men turned tail and scrambled away. When the fire mage looked around and found that he had no more army; he ran.
Shanelle quickly recovered and shouted after them. "THAT'S RIGHT! No one can escape the wrath of SHANELLE CHAVERM! So you're SCREWED!" ((Millie! ^__^)) Susano hopped exuberantly, still a rabbit, and Shanelle laughed. "We sure showed them!" She didn't even notice that the wall of water had disappeared.
Cyrene stepped out from behind the tree where he had been watching.
"I admire the way you fight, but, it always helps to go for the mage, if possible," Cyrene stated.
Shanelle whirled around and gawked at Cyrene. "Oy! Where did you come from?"
"Over there," Cyrene jerked his head in the direction of the tree. "I'm Cyrene. A water mage. This is Kumiko," He gestured to his wolf formed daemon.
"I'm Shanelle. This is Susano," Shanelle introduced herself. "So it was you who helped me with the fire mage?"
"Yep."
"Good. He was a jerk. Plus he had NO fashion sense," Shanelle replied.
"And you do?" Cyrene asked an eyebrow raised.
"Naw, but I'm sure Nanika would agree with me. She knows EVERYTHING about fashion. Or, at least she SAYS so . . ." Shanelle trailed off.
Cyrene studied this strange girl for a second before he posed a question, "why were those thugs looking for you?"
"I'm a convict," Shanelle answered calmly.
"A CONVICT!?!" Cyrene blurted before he could stop himself.
"Yep. I beat up the lords' son, Caelan. He brought it upon himself, the stupid lump. His 'lordship' wanted me to throw me in jail. So I ran for it."
"Why are you out here?" Susano asked, as he turned into a monkey and climbed onto Shanelles shoulder.
Cyrene shrugged. "No particular reason . . ." He trailed off.
"Well that's nice to know," Shanelle began. "Look, where ever you're going do you mind if I came with you?" She asked as she tucked her numb- chucks ((if that's not how you spell it, I DON'T CARE! *ka-fume*)) into her belt. "It's always more interesting with a convict in tow." Shanelle flashed a grin.
"Sure, I don't see why not," Cyrene answered, glad to have a companion.
"She has some serious spunk," Kumiko thought to Cyrene.
"Oh Joy!" Shanelle crowed as she threw her arm around his shoulder (which was a little difficult seeing as he was a couple inches taller than her.) "Ren, you an me are gonna have a lot of fun!"
"Right, Nell!" Cyrene replied as the two set off into the woods.