Disclaimer: This is a commission, so the characters aren't mine, well some are, but Viral, Malik, Ways, Eros and Vlei are not.

A/N: Onto the 6th chapter, that makes me halfway done! YAY! Koss, I got paid, we talked to a mod about it, so I'm going to finish up your story and you don't have to worry, okay? I still had questions about Viral and Malik…I'll either have to find the PM or I think I had the questions at the bottom of the previous chapter…

Oh…and now I really don't have to hold back considering…yay! goes to town

Chapter 6

Crys led them across the field towards the temple she called home. Ways noticed a very large tree to the right, as it was the only thing in the field before the entryway to the building.

"Come on, lets go inside," she beckoned. She looked very excited, very relieved. The trio followed after her as she went inside, climbing on up a rope ladder to get to the entrance, which was raised above the ground. The entryway was decorated in marble carvings of leaves and creatures of the forest, and Vlei could swear he saw perhaps a faerie there as well as a phoenix? He wasn't too certain of it though, because the carvings seemed so jumbled together. As Ways started towards the entryway the wind blew slightly and he thought he heard a whisper on the wind, it sounded like a 'please'. But nothing more happened so aside from a slightly confused look on his end and he walked inside. Eros followed in with a bit of anger riding in his step as always.

"So…this is home?" Vlei asked, taking in the entryway. Smooth marble walls and there was a huge wall that seemed to block their view into the temple, with a way to the left and the right to get around it that seemed as though it would open up into a much larger room. Vlei thought he saw a doorway or two off to either side as well, apparently this place was pretty big.

"HOME!" Crys exclaimed with a nod. "Yes, this is home." She disappeared around the wall and cried out. Vlei, Eros and Ways ran around to the other side of the wall to see what was going on, there might be trouble, but instead they saw her hugging a taller man with blue-green hair who looked like he might be crying.

"Who are you?" Eros asked, putting his hand on his sword. The man kept hugging Crys but looked up at the group.

"You brought her back, you saved her," he said in awe. "I can't believe she's okay… after she got captured, I didn't think I'd ever see her again."

"That doesn't answer the question," Eros said bluntly. "Who the hell are you?"

"The name's Piers," he said, though he was having a little bit of difficulty focusing on introductions when Crys was still hugging him happily, begging for attention. "Crys is very dear to me, thank you so much for bringing her back here."

"Do we get some kind of reward for this?" Eros asked with annoyance in his voice.

"Eros!" Ways said. "Be quiet." Eros fell silent but glared fumingly. He still had little to no clue what was going on, so he thought he might as well try to get something for his trouble.

To Ways's surprise, Piers laughs. "It's quite all right good sirs. You look like mercenaries…but you didn't come here first…which begs the question, why did you rescue Crys?" Eros glared, but Piers seemed a bit to happy to care.

"It's a bit of a long story," Ways said. "Do you have time to hear it?"

"I'll go make tea!" Crys said. "And is there fresh juice or do I need to make some?" She started to pull away from him but he held onto her for a moment longer.

"I think more might need to be made," Piers said. "But only if you're feeling up to it." She gave him a reassuring second hug and pulled away from him.

"Thanks to my friends here I've recovered fast," she said. "And the forest helped too."

"That's good to hear," Piers said. With the big scene over Vlei took a look around the temple, now he could see it was really rather big. At the back of the temple, or what looked like the back, was a huge statue of a woman in a short dress with gossamer wings and shoulder length hair. It was made out of marble, so he couldn't see colors, but to either side of the large statue, which was almost as tall as the room itself, was a door. There were marble pillars that were in the big room as well, all quite elegantly carved and some covered in vines and leaves. It was stunningly beautiful and elegant, while still retaining a very nature like feel to it.

"All right, I'll make tea, unless you all want something different?" Crys asked.

"Fresh juice?" Ways inquired. "Do you really make it?"

Crys nodded excitedly. "I do! I'll bring you out some along with the tea."

"I'll give that a try too," Vlei said. "It's been a while since I had something tasty."

"Eros?" Crys asked politely. "Do you want to try some?"

"I see a bandwagon, and I'm not getting on," he said gruffly.

She simply smiled at him. "I'll bring you out some anyways, just incase." With that, she ran towards one of the side doors and disappeared inside it.

"HEY!" Eros protested. "WHO SAID I'LL CONSIDER TRYING?"

"She's just trying to be nice," Ways pointed out gently. Eros growled but didn't say anything more.

Piers sighed. "Thank you once more for bringing her back here. We should go into the study to talk. Crys'll find us there." He beckoned for them to follow him as he headed towards the door. Vlei and the rest followed, and Vlei couldn't help but notice how different Piers's style of dress was from Crys's. He wore blue pants and a green and blue button up shirt with a leafy green vest with a sword at his side. He had on a pair of gloves that seemed to be made of animal hide and his shoes were rough traveling boots, though well kept. He looked more elegant than Crys with her tattered dress and leafy hair, but something told him they…were related somehow?

They followed Piers into one of the doors, and he opened it revealing a very comfortable room, practically as blue as the sea. There were books on shelves lining the edges, a lit fireplace in the back of the room that gave off a faint welcome warmth as well as pictures and paintings lining the wall. It had an old sort of aura to it, but it was well kept and well loved. Piers gestured to some chairs that looked really comfortable by the fire.

"Let's all sit down and hear the story of how you rescued Crys," he said. "I'm a little curious about it."

"All right," Ways said. "I'll start, considering I was the one that sort of started us on the quest to find her…"

Crys worked hard in the kitchen, heating up the water and making the juice. She pounded the leaves and grass just right and blended them together. It had been ages since she was able to have a glass of it! She knew she was the only one who could really make it right and everything too. Piers always seemed to forget how to make it taste right. She heard hissing and took the water off the heater, and then dipped the tea leaves into the boiling water and letting it steep. She was home, home and happy. This was where she was meant to be. She fetched teacups and a pitcher for the juice to be kept in, as well as several clay cups to drink the juice out of as well, it was best when drunk that way. She got out a wooden tray and started loading the basics up onto it, moving one strand of her hair out of the way.

"This'll be heavy, but I can do it," she said. It probably wouldn't be as heavy as she thought. She checked the tea, smelling its wonderful aroma. It smelled heavenly. She put the tea and juice on the tray and wondered if she should see if Piers had stocked up on any snacks. She checked around until she found some cookies, so put them on a plate on the tray as well. Balancing the tray carefully she walked out into the main room and carried the tray towards the study. That was the only reasonable place they would be, it was Piers's favorite room, not to mention one of the most comfortable and easiest places to relax and talk. She came up to the door and knocked on it with the side of her foot, unwilling to try and open the door as she was carrying the tray.

"That's very interesting indeed," Piers said. "Dreams eh? I wouldn't put it past her to do that, she has plenty of abilities that she isn't to certain about. Many happen unconsciously…" He trailed off a bit there uncertainly, wondering if he should say more than that. "But she's back now, and that's the best thing!" Ways sensed there was more there that he wasn't saying, but he wasn't going to press the issue, yet.

Piers heard the knocking and went to the door. "See, told you she'd find us." Crys walked inside with the tray and set it on the table in the middle, putting out the cups and saucers for the tea and setting out the cups for the juice. "That looks great!"

"Uh-huh, fresh made and everything to!" she said and started passing around the clay cups before filling each with the green liquid. Eros made a face and put his cup down on the table.

"Is something the matter?" Vlei asked, taking his own cup and sniffing at it. It smelled like plants. "It can't be that bad."

"It's green, and looks disgusting, and I don't know how this qualifies as juice," Eros said without the slightest bit of regret.

"Eros…" Ways said gently. Crys bit her lip as she poured the rest of the juice for everyone and set it down in the middle of the table. She may have just gotten back, but she was going to be a good hostess. And she wasn't going to cry. Or make an insult in return. If he didn't want the juice, that was just fine. His loss.

"I think this is your best batch yet Crys," Piers said as he drank down the glass. "And I've missed it too."

"So you guys told him about how you found me?" she asked.

"Yes we did," Ways said. "In detail, and he seems very relieved to have you home."

"It's been a while since we've seen each other," Crys said. "I've been in captivity for a while…"

"Okay, I'm just going to have to ask you a question," Vlei said. "What's your relation to one another, are you lovers or something?" Crys started laughing heartily and Piers chuckled. "What's so funny?"

"We're close, but not like that," Crys said. "Piers is my big brother."

"Are you serious?" Eros asked. "You two look nothing alike."

"We're also a couple hundred years apart," Piers added.

"How the hell is that possible?" Eros asked. "Are you half siblings or something? Honestly, you look nothing alike!" Crys stood up for a moment and smiled.

"It's because I let the forest change my appearance," she said. "I could change it back if I wanted to, but I don't."

"You don't let the forest change your appearance Piers?" Vlei asked, pulling out a piece of paper and jotting a few things down.

"Or is it that it can't change your appearance?" Ways asked.

"A little bit of both," Piers said. "Crys here is the one truly connected to the forest, through her comes most of the influence over the woods…"

"So then, what are you?" Ways asked.

"I'm a mix of her guardian and protector," Piers said with a slightly sheepish grin. "I have some power with the forest, but I can only do so much."

"He says a lot of my power is untapped stuff," Crys said, a curious expression on her face. "Or just stuff I can't use until I'm older."

"How old are you?" Eros asked.

Crys blinked. "Um…women don't normally tell their age…" she trailed off. "And no gentleman would ask a lady their age."

"I'm no gentleman," Eros said with a glare. "And you're no lady and I'm curious. How old are you?"

Piers answered for him. "It's difficult to actually tell her age." He gave him a look that said, 'I'll explain that part later when she's not around.'

"Thank you," Crys said dryly. "I wasn't going to tell him anyways. I may not be a lady, and he may not be a gentleman, but … honestly…I think I don't even know…"

"That's odd for someone to not even know their own age," Ways said.

"It happens," Piers said and then tried to change the subject. "So was there any other reason for you coming here?"

"A staff," Ways said. "I think I mentioned in my dream I saw a staff, oaken wood…symbols on it and an emerald gem at the top…it radiated some kind of magic I think…"

Piers's eyes went a little wide as he seemed to register something about the description and his hand went unconsciously to grip his chest, the clothes above his heart. "Ah right…you mentioned that I think, that was in the dream." He let out a nervous laugh.

"Is something wrong big brother?" Crys asked with a worried look in her eyes.

"No, nothing's the matter," he said. "Can you go get some water Sissy?" He was using his pet nickname for her, so Crys knew he was worried about something, but she didn't want to press it.

"I'll be right back then," she said and exited the room on soft footsteps. "Or back in a little while, I should check up on the garden." When big brother would ask her to leave with the pet nickname…taking her time getting back was usually a good thing.

After she was gone, Piers turned to the three. "She doesn't know how old she is because her age…well, the way to calculate her age gets confusing after a bit. We're both much older than we look…"

"Kinda figured," Eros said. "We're not idiots!"

"I never said you were," Piers replied dryly. "But her age is really difficult to explain, because I don't know what counts into her age…"

"Considering what? Usually your age constitutes the number of years you've been alive…" Ways said, very puzzled.

"Yes, well…her age is a couple hundred," he seemed to settle on. "I lost track after a point. I'm nearly a thousand."

"As immortal as the forest," Vlei said, sounding slightly poetic.

"Yes," Piers said. "We live and breathe the forest. So long as it exists, we have existed." That wasn't explaining the whole truth to Crys's age, but it was about as close as he was willing to get at the current time. Luckily they didn't press the issue…yet.

"Why did you grab your chest suddenly when Ways mentioned the staff in his dream the second time?" Vlei asked. "Why not the first time he mentioned it?"

"It hit me just then that if you saw the staff, then someone else must have as well," Piers said.

"What do you mean?" Ways asked.

"The one who kidnapped her must be looking for it as well," Piers said.

"But what does that have to do with you clutching at your heart?" Vlei pointed out.

"I am Crys's brother and protector," he began. "But I am the staff's guardian. It is Crys's staff, and only the first stage of it…but she hasn't awakened to it, so I… I hold it within me." He touched his chest again, right on his heart. "It sleeps just like her power sleeps. Maybe your dream didn't come from her…but she just thought it did. Maybe your dream came from her staff…"

"Interesting," Ways said. "That would make it seem as if the staff itself has a life or a soul within it, correct?"

"Correct," Piers said. "And that would mean that right now, it's more or less sleeping."

"Then why would someone want to take it? Sure, it can grant amazing power, but unless they're trying to drain its power away from it, if it has intelligence, it could refuse to work for them…not to mention, how do they get it out of your body?" Vlei asked.

"They must have been trying to get Crys to get it for them, but she doesn't even know how," Piers said.

"Do you know how?" Ways asked gently.

"No, I don't," Piers said. "All I know is my duty towards it and to her. I don't know how to get the staff to her at all…" And even if he did, she wasn't ready for it again. It would be too much for her right now. He smiled. "Well, whoever it is, they're probably coming here again to try it a second time, though I doubt they'll be as friendly as they were last time."

"They were friendly last time...oh," Vlei said, the thought clicking in his head. "Ah, last time they must have come and only kidnapped her…"

"Well, actually, last time they didn't even come into the temple," Piers said. "They took her when she was outside gathering ingredients for the juice and for some medicines and cooking…" He looked thoroughly ashamed of himself. "I didn't get there in time…"

"I see," Ways said, this time it was he who changed the subject. "Crys said something about a garden?"

"Oh, you haven't seen this whole place, have you?" Piers asked. "I should give you the tour!" He smiled and went to the door. "If that's okay I mean…"

"I wouldn't mind seeing the whole place," Vlei said. "This place looks huge!"

Piers chuckled. "Yes, it is quite big. There's a lot to this place, it amazes me most of the time." He beckoned again. "Come along, I have a lot of stuff to show you now." He seemed very grateful for the change in subject. There were just a few mysteries left unsolved, and a few questions that would be answered in time.

TBC

A/N: Whoa, I can't believe I got that done. Haha! But I did! Yay! Found a bit of inspiration to continue on. I'll get this done eventually; you can count on me for that! Action next chapter! Yay, I just hope I can do it justice!