-Over the Fence-

-By: Yuki Kinomi-

Started: 7/20/08 Finished: ???

Copyright © Foxtrot Productions; Yuki Kinomi. 2008 All Rights Reserved.

I've always wanted an "over-the-fence" kind of romance. You know, when the girl is hanging out in her backyard, the neighbor boy from behind them gets sent out to mow the lawn or something like that, and BAM. He catches sight of her; the next day she finds a note on the fence addressed to "the backyard girl". I don't know what is so exciting about that, but to me, it would be a dream-come-true. A real life fantasy. But right now, I fear I am doomed to stay in this loveless relationship. Forever damned to try and make it work. I mean, dear Jesus, I've tried everything in an attempt to break up with him…but then he starts to cry, and beg, "Oh, please! Don't break up with me! We can make it work!". HA! Make it work! I laugh at his ignorance. It wasn't working from the start, and it never will work. Ever. He just needs a sharp jab to the cerebellum, an epiphany of his stupidity. Something like that, as long as it just gets through his thick skull! I don't love you, I never really did, I only dated you out of the sheer spontaneity of my actions, and this relationship is over. By the way…I absolutely LOVE seeing you cry.

…If only I was that brave. If only I was that callous. Oh, don't get me wrong, I can be a cold-hearted, cruel-ass bitch sometimes…Alas, I don't have the guts to say it to his face. On to plan B…

Ah, the Internet. A place where people can get away from the real world…maybe play an MMORPG, check your email, make new friends all over the world, and even break up with your boyfriend in a very dramatic and vicious way. I know, I know, I'm a bit two-faced…But then again, who doesn't like being malicious every now and then? To the computer…

I sign in; user name, password, the works. Ah, good, he's online. New message to boywonder37…

-Haremeternity has entered the chat.-

-Boywonder37 has entered the chat.-

Haremeternity: Hey. Need 2 tell u something.

Boywonder37: what?

Haremeternity: I hate u.

Boywonder37: what do u mean by that?

Haremeternity: u heard me.

Haremeternity: I hate u.

Haremeternity: I never loved u.

Haremeternity: ever.

Boywonder37: r u breaking up w/ me?

Haremeternity: Duh. R u that dense?

Haremeternity: I've tried 2 do this several times before.

Boywonder37: so this is the end?

Haremeternity: yup

Boywonder37: ur such a bitch!!!

-Boywonder37 has exited the chat.-

-Haremeternity has exited the chat.-

Wow…what a baby. I wish that I could find someone that doesn't have the emotional stability of a three-year-old…Ah, well. I have to go to school. Oh god. I have to go to school! That idiot is going to be there…I really need to think these plans out before I actually decide to execute them…Oh well, no use complaining now.

I hate my bus-driver, he treats us like cattle, and I'm actually surprised he doesn't have a branding iron. Anyways, after a long, and very boring, bus ride to the school, the bell rings out obnoxiously to go to class, and I groan, shutting my locker door vigorously. I have two classes with that imbecile today excluding lunch…one of them just happens to be first period. Lucky me. Breathing in very deeply, I prepare myself for the encounter of said imbecile. Slowly, I turn the knob on the door to Mr. Tim's Algebra II room and walk in, silently taking my seat. He wasn't there yet, and I hoped to myself that he wouldn't show up at all. Then again, I couldn't avoid him forever, I mean, Joseph was everywhere; he lives in my neighborhood, shops at the same grocery store, goes to the same fucking school! I can't escape him! God, I wish I could just bring my book of tortures to school and actually hunt him down and set one of said torture ideas in motion. The door to the class opens again, and he walks in. Jesus, he looks terrible. Oh well, that's what he gets for being so…ugh, there's not even a word to describe that boy. Anyways, he takes his seat a couple rows over from my own desk, not making eye contact with anyone, and ignoring Mr. Tim when he asked him if he was ok. Now, at this point in my day, I'm feeling pretty damn proud of myself, pretty damn accomplished in my wonderfully executed plan…But, when lunch rolled around, I sat with my closest friends, and he with his. Now, this is where it just gets pathetic…the boy started crying! He had a complete and total meltdown in the lunchroom! It took three A.P.s to drag him away! I felt kind of bad after that, but soon got over it with yet another boring cattle ride…I mean, bus ride home. I am so glad it's Friday. That is...it was Friday. And that, my friend, is how this whole thing started.

That day after school, I decided to go for a walk, like I usually do on the weekends or when I need to vent or 'cool off', for lack of a better description. I hadn't ventured anywhere in the north of my house yet, so...I grabbed my bag and shoved it full of food, entertainment items such as my notebook and iPod, a few bottles of cold water, and a few basic survival things, just in case I did get lost.. What can I say, I'm prepared. I left the house at about five o' clock and headed due north, following my compass, of course; I had a map of the area on hand, just in case I did happen to get lost. Down the sidewalk, to the end of the court-type street...I stopped as a great looming wooden fence streatched up above me. I gasped, of course, never noticing it before, and took a few steps closer, trailing my hand along it's finely crafted surface. It looked and felt very old, bits and pieces of the wood chipping off as I continued to trail my hand...yet, I had never seen it there before. Looking down both ways, I noticed that it didn't seem to end, so, instead of trying to find away around, I climbed a near-by tree and hopped the great fence. It was a long way down, a good fifteen feet or so...I, regrettably, jumped down from the top of the fence. Luckily, I landed safely in some sort of springy, cushioned plant that I've never seen before, and rolled easily back to my feet. From the that side, the fence seemed more like a wall...it kind of reminded me of the Berlin Wall for a moment by means of height and thickness, then I realized I wasn't in Germany anymore and shrugged, adjusting my bag on my shoulder and walking away from the fence-turned-wall.

The place that I had found was...new, and very different than the suberbia that I had stummbled out of. It was big, no houses that I could see of, and quiet, save for the occasional cries of an animal here and there. Most of the plants were very different and showed themselves in a bright array of colors, shapes, sizes, and definetly smells too...it was almost magical how the sun reflected from the treetops and dashed acoss the forest floor like the great streatch of a golden river, gently flowing and wetting the life below with it's nurturing glow. I smiled brightly, following the light and not straying from a path that I had managed to find among the foliage; I took a quick drink from one of my water bottles. I heard the trotting of practiced hoofs on the turf ahead of me, and thinking that it was a Park Ranger or something like that patroling the grounds, I hid in the bushes, peeking out only a little to see if they had passed or not. What I saw there on the path was no Park Ranger, instead it was a young man mounted atop a stupendous white mare. He had medium length black side-swept hair, tied back in a small ponytail on the back of his head with a small tan-hued ribbon. His eyes were too focused on the path ahead of him and the horse, but I could tell that they were a brilliant crimson, sparkling with the intensity of adventure and a sense of majesty...his clothes were earth toned, mostly brown or tan, prehaps made of a suede-type material. But, the weirdest thing about him was his ears...they looked normal at first glance, but upon further inspection, they were pointed at the tops. The man stopped infront of the brush that I took refuge in, and dismounted the mare and my heart-rate quickened with every move he made. He was smiling lightly, tying his horse to a tree, and sitting down under the tree neighbouring.

"Good girl, Camille..." The boy spoke very smooth and melodiously to the horse, feeding her what looked like a carrot. Smiling still, he dug through his bag on his side and pulled out a sack of something. "...Well, better eat while we have the chance, Cam." He opened the sack and removed a sandwich and an apple. I leaned forward to get a better look at him, but I leaned too far forward and toppled out from the bush, startling the boy, his horse, and myself too.

"Uhhh..." I stuttered and slowly sat up. "Hi...?" I grinned sheepishly at the still startled boy.

"...Who're you?" He finally said with a mouth full of sandwich. "You don't look like you're from around here. You new to these parts, traveler?"

"Uh...I'm Leonie Becker, people call me 'Leo' for short..." I fummbled with my bag a little. "W-who are you?"

"Oh...my name is Rein Fenilas III, uh...call me Rein." He stood, offering a hand to shake my own. I shook it hesitantly, not knowing exactly what to think. "Are you lost, Leo?"

"Uh, oh...yeah." I laughed nervously, pulling out my map. "See, I live just right here, and..." He took the map and looked at it puzzled.

"...What is this...'Bon Air'...?" He studied the map with a furrowed brow.

"...That's where I live. Bon Air, Virginia." I cocked my head at him. "Where do you think we are?"

"In The Namarie Forest in the country of Elena, of course." He spoke in a matter-of-fact sort of tone.

"...You're insane." I took my map away from him, and began heading back to the wall.

"Wait!" He ran after me. "Where're you going?"

"Home." I nodded reassuringly to myself. "Yup, home."

"...You came from over The Wall of Eminence?"

"Yeah, I guess..."

"Wow, that hasn't happened in a number of years." He continued to follow me, and I began to get annoyed.

"Do you mind, Rein? I'm trying to find my way back." I turned sharply at him, then turned to walk away again.

"You're not going to be able to get back across." I heard him say from behind me, and I stopped, slowly turning back to face him.

"And why is that?"

"It's just how The Wall of Eminence works...every couple hundred of years, it lets someone or something come over. Whether it be friend, or foe."

"...So...I can't get back?" I questioned, walking back towards him. "Ever?"

"No, not 'ever'. You can always get a mage to get you over, but it'll cost a lot." Rein returened to his horse, and untied her. "I can give you a ride to town, if you want. I'm heading back that way anyways."

"...Great..." I rolled my eyes, and hopped on the horse with the strange boy. "So...where am I now? I mean, it's really hard for me to believe that I'm in...uh, the forest of Mary, in the country of Ele--something."

"The Forest of Namarie. Na-mah-ree. The country of Elena. El-eh-nuh." Rein corrected me. "And, you better start believeing...The town is just ahead, and people don't take to kindly to skeptics there."

"Wonderful..." I sighed, hanging on to the boy's waist as his horse trotted us to the city's gate. "So...what's the city called? Does it have a name?"

"Yeah, same name as the forest. The City of Namarie. My home...and someday, I'll be the King."

"The King?!"

"Yeah...my father is the current King. King Rein II..."

"...Wow, I would've never guessed that you were royalty."

"Eh...What's that supposed to mean?!" He turned a little to look at me, and I shrugged.

"Have you looked at yourself lately?" I motioned to his clothes, and somewhat messy hair. "You don't look very...princely."

"I was hunting, thank you very much." He slouched a little and pouted as the gate to the city opened up and we entered what looked like something out of a video game; cobblestone streets lined with thick, fabulously construsted buildings and small wooden stands run by venders of different sorts. I was utterly in awe. People were staring at us as we trotted down the street to a large...well, a castle. A large castle. There was something about this place that was...relaxing, calm, and serene in a sense that made me feel totally different than how I felt at home in Bon Air. I know, I was a complete bitch on the other side of The Wall of Eminence...but now...I felt like a whole new person. Anyways, if you've ever played the game Oblivion, the City of Namarie sort of looked like Cheydinhal, the city just to the east of the Imperial City...I'm not a nerd at all.

"Why're they all staring at us?"

"Because you look funny."

"Oh, wow...way to be blunt." I focused my vision to the back of Rein's shirt, trying not to make eye-contact with the town's people. "Where're we going anyways?"

"You certainly ask a lot of questions..." He was sitting up straight on the horse now, looking straight ahead, and trying to look noble. "To the castle, of course. You should speak with my father on what to do."

"Oh, yay. Authority figures." Even if it was calm here, I was still as sarcastic as ever. He hopped down from the horse, and helped me down.

"Follow me, please." He smiled, and led me through a set of large double doors into the castle's main room where a throne-type chair sat inbetween a set of stairs leading up to the upper floors. In the throne, sat an older man with graying hair and majestic robes drapped about his shoulders. He looked up from his book and stared at us with an intense look on his face.

"Ah, my son!" He spoke out in a loud, hearty voice. "Where have you been all day? Were you hunting again? You know how I don't like it when you hunt!" The man pouted childishly. "Anyways, who's this my son? Your girlfriend?" He laughed and both I and Rein blushed.

"No, father, she is not my girlfriend!" He sighed, a little frustrated with the King's childishness. "This is Leonie Becker of Bon Air, Virginia. She has crossed The Wall of Eminence, father, and would like to get back across to her home." He had sturggled in saying the name of my town and state...

"Oh, well, I'm afraid that won't be possible without a skilled mage!" The older man stood up, placing his book in the chair. "From The Wall of Eminence, you say?" The strange King studied me intently, they gave a quick, hard pat on my shoulder. "Well, good luck!"

"...W-what?!" I shouted. "That's all you have to say?! 'Good Luck'? 'Good Luck'?! You're King Rein Fenilas II of the City of Namarie in the Country of Elena! Can't you do anything about this little predicament?!" ...I can't believe I actually said that right...

"...wow." Rein, the younger one, whistled to himself and turned around. And I....was frustrated. Oh, so frustrated.

"...Well," The King started. "There are some very powerful mages in the north near Saesa...but it's a very dangerous journey."

"I don't care! I just wanna go home." She begged, "Do you have a map of the country? I'll need it on this...'dangerous journey'."

"Why yes, I do." He waved his hand, a servant came up, and the King told him to go get the extra map of Elena from his quarters. The servant left, and came back about ten minutes later with the piece of parchment in hand. "Here, keep it safe." I took the map from him, and put it in my bag next to the map of Bon Air.

"Thank you, King Rein II..." I sighed, heading for the door to leave the castle and start on my journey. "I should get going now."

"Ah, Leonie, wait." The King said smiling as he patted his son's soulder. "Take lil' Rein with you. He'll protect you if there's any trouble."

"What?!" Rein protested. "I don't wanna go with her, father!"

"Hey! What's wrong with me?!"

"You're too rash and loud and...stuff!"

"'Stuff'? Wow, you're reeeeal articulate for a Prince!"

"Shut up!"

"No, you shut up! Elf-boy!"

"Elf-boy?! Stupid Human!" We, of course in a disagreement, got nose to nose screaming at each other...

"QUIET!" King Rein's voice boomed out, sending shivers down my spine, and birds crowing out of the trees outside. "Jeeze, you two bicker as much as me and Rein's mother used to!" He sighed. "Lil' Rein,"

"Stop calling me that..."

"Fine, Rein, my son..." The King took him, an arm wrapped about his shoulder. "Son, you must go with her...it's been a hundred years since someone last came over The Wall of Eminence, do you remember the story of that person, Rein?"

"...Yes, Sir." Rein frowned...I hadn't seen him upset since I had gotten there. It was strange. "I remember from the books...fine, I'll go with her." He sighed, and walked over to stand beside me.

"Good. We don't want another war, now do we?" The King smiled widely. "Make sure you stock up on food, take some gold with you, and Leonie, you can borrow one of the horses from the stable. Your pick."

"Ah...T-thank you very much..." He nodded us off, and Rein led me out the door. "Sorry you have to come with me. I know you don't want to, and frankly...I'd rather go by myself."

"Well, I kind of have to go." We turned down a corridor, he grabbed a book quickly off a shelf, and continued to walk. "Here, read this...it's the history of Elena. This'll explain a lot, so pay attetion to what you read."

"Ah...thanks." I stuffed the book in my bag next to the maps. "So, how far away is...uh...Saesa?

"Uhm...a while."

"A while? What's that mean?"

"On horseback...it's about a one month journey..."

"One month?!" I think I was having a heartattack right about then. "Uhhhh...I think I'm gonna be sick."

"Hey, don't pass out! I don't wanna have to carry you..."

"I'm not gonna pass out..." I grumbled, and watched him pack a bag of supplies. "One month, eh...wonder what I'm gonna do about school and my family. Heh, Mom's gonna worry so much about me..."

"Be lucky you even have a mother to worry about you..." He looked down further, and slung the bag over his shoulder. "Anyway, let's go get you a horse..."

"Huh...right, a horse." I furrowed my brow, worried a bit about Rein's sudden depression over my mention of mom, and followed him to the stables outside.

"Well, pick your horse. Be sure it's not a male though, I find that the mares cooperate better."

"Oh...Ok." I walked among the horses; there was about twelve of them. "Are they all yours?"

"Yeah...mine and my fathers. The Calvery's stable is behind the castle near the water." He looked up at the sky. "Hurry and pick one. If we leave now, we'll make it to Vanya by nightfall."

"Uhm, this one." I motioned towards a beautiful paint mare. "She's pretty..."

"Good choice. Her name is Maien." He nodded, and helped me get situated. "Please tell me that you've ridden a horse before."

"Eh-hehehe...No." I smiled sheepishly. "The only time I've ever been on one was today before we came to the castle."

"...Well, in that case..." He sighed, hopping onto his own horse, the white mare named Camille. "It's not that hard to do...just give her a little kick on the side and click your tounge a little to make her walk. 'Hyup' to trot, and 'Hyaa' to run. Maien is pretty obedient."

"Oh...uh..." I pushed my feet back along the side of the horse until my heels gently knocked on her side. I clicked my tounge, just like he said to do and she walked forward slowly. "Ahh..."

"Calm down. To control her direction use the reigns to guide her head, and kick her a little with your foot in the direction of which you need to go. To slow down just pull on the reigns a little."

"R...right." I finally got the hang of it...sort of...and followed Rein to the front of the castle where the town became visible again. "Are we leaving now?"

"Yeah." He turned a little in his seat, and waved quickly to the King. "let's get a move on, Leo. If we leave any later, our time will be bad."

"Yeah, ok." I too waved to the King before we trotted off to the east gate of Namarie. "So, Vanya, eh?"

"Yeah. It's an...ok place."

"Ok? what does that mean?"

"It's been a bit poverty stricken since the war. But, the people are really nice." Rein looked back at me a little. "Don't worry though, it's safe. Maybe not sanitary, but safe."

"Cool."

"Cool? Are you cold?"

"Uh..." I laughed. "No, Rein. Where I come from, it has a double meaning. Cool as in it's cold or something, and Cool as in this is great or awesome."

"...Oh...that's weird." He smiled and chuckled a little. "Hey, don't fall too far behind me. There are wolves in these woods."

"Wolves?!" I wiggled in my seat, and tapped Maien's sides. "Hyup." She trotted up to where Rein and Cam were and slowed down to their speed.

"Ah-hahaha. Calm down, Leo."

"Well, soooorry. I don't wanna be eaten by wild animals!"

"Like I said, don't worry. The wolves usualy don't come out until nightfall."

"...Oh." I straightened up, grabbing a sandwich out of my bag. "I'm gonna eat, kay?"

"Yeah." He nodded and grabbed Maien's reigns making her move very close to Camille; my leg touched Rein's.

"Uhhh..." I blushed and look away, stuffing the whole sandwhich in my mouth to keep from making any...for lack of a better word...'girly' noises.

"You ok?" He cocked his head at me, and I nodded vigorously.

"Mmm-hmm!" I have no idea why I was acting like this...I never acted like this with any guys. Not even Joseph. I guess it was just this strange place...

"Ok, whatever you say." He smiled, and looked ahead, his ruby eyes sparkling just a little. I took the reigns back from him.

"Uh, thanks."

"No problem." The sun was starting to set as we trotted out of The Namarie Forest, and into a beautiful, vast green field of some sort. "Vanya is just past this field...shouldn't take too much longer."

"Cool..." I yawned, watching the blue sky slowly turn dark as the sun set, turning the clouds into brilliant hues of pink, purple, and orange. The sun finally disappeared below the horizon as we reached a dirt path on the other side of the field, and the stars began appearing in tiny glowing specks across the heavens; a symphony just for us.

"Tired?"

"A little, yeah."

"You did have quite a long day..." He slowed down, and dismounted. "We'll make camp here." He had stopped in a somewhat grassy area near the path.

"Ok..." I too dismounted. "Are we in Vanya?"

"Just outside of it." He pointed to a small, poorly built wall that was starting to crummble in places. "That's Vanya, just right there."

"Oh..." He tied the horses down. "It looks sad..."

"Yeah. It always looks like that...here." He tossed me a rolled up...bed, I guess youcould call it. Or maybe it's closer to a sleeping bag. I don't know. "Sleep on this."

"Kaaay..." I unrolled it on the ground, and collapsed onto it's cotton-stuffed goodness..

"Leo?" The boy kneeled down next to me.

"Hmm...?"

"You ok?"

"...Eh, yeah..."

"Hehe..." I closed my eyes and fell asleep as he covered me with a thick blanket. "It gets cold at night..." He unrolled his own 'bed' about three feet away from mine and lied down as well. "Sleep well, Leo." He slept as well.

"Mm-hmm..."

The next morining, I awoke to the sun gently shining it's way down to where we had made our 'camp' and the smell of something cooking over a warm fire that was built near by the bedrolls. I sat up slowly, streatching my arms up high above my head and groaning just a little. The bedroll that Rein had given me to sleep on had took a toll on me and did quite a number on my back...I had a terrible kink. Once done with my streatching, I looked about, but Rein wasn't there. The fire was still going, and a small pan was set over it. Seeing as how he wasn't there, and assuming that he would come back, I didn't panic...instead I lifted the lid on the pot and peeked inside. It didn't look like anything special; just a soup of some kind with veggies and meat floating around in it. It smelled good though, so I didn't complain...

"It's rabbit." I head that familiar melodious voise speak out from my right. I turned to look at the boy how was weilding a bow and a quiver upon his back. "I went hunting while you were still asleep. Lil' bugger was bloodly fast."

"...Rabbit, huh...?" I studied the contents of the pot again. "I've never had rabbit before..."

"Really?" He cocked a brow, and sat next to me, dishing out some of the 'soup' for me in a small clay bowl that he had pulled out of his pack. "Here, try it. It's really good."

"...Hmmm...rabbit soup..." I took a bite and, to my own surprise, actually liked it; I giggled a little to myself at the fact that I was eating a bunny. "This is...really good, Rein!" I scarfed down the rest that was in my bowl.

"Haha, glad you like it." He ate his own, and cleaned the pot and bowls out quickly before placing them back into his pack. "Ah, we better get going."

"Already?" I stood and pouted, hands on hips.

"Yeah." He untied the horses, and led them over to where I still stood, packing up the rest of the things. "We need to make it further north...I'd say to at least Nadorhun."

"Is that a...uh, 'nice' place?" I mounted Mai and followed Rein and Cam.

"Ha...I wish." He grimiced a little. "Infested with all sorts of nasty Drows and stuff."

"Drows, eh? Those are like...Dark Elves, right?"

"Yeah, how'd you know?" He side glanced.

"In my world, things like Elves and stuff are sort of mythical beings only told of in farie-tales and games."

"Oh, wow...that's a little offensive."

"Sorry." I smiled reassuringly. "Well, in my world, you don't exist..."

"Wonder why that is..." He looked up to the slowly passing clouds in deep thought, but shrugged it off as quickly as he had begun to think about it. "Ah, well. Probably shouldn't think too far into it."

"Yeah...you might hurt yourself." I laughed a little, and pulled out the book that Rein had given to me. "Hey this book...it is in a language that I can read, right?"

"It's in whatever language you want it to be in."

"What? That doesn't make any sense..."

"It's enchanted. That way you don't have to buy a million copies just to have it in a different language." He looked over and placed a hand over the cover; the letters changed to some sort of writting that I couldn't read at all. "All you have to do is think of your language and open the book."

"...Cool." I did the same, and it went to German. "Awesome!" I touched it again, turning it to English, then Spanish, Japanese, Dutch, then back to English. I thought I'd just settle with that since I hadn't read anything in German since I had actually left Germany, and I didn't actually know any of those other languages.

"Read up. I don't want to have to answer any questions about History." He shuddered a little, and I laughed as he grabbed Mai's reigns again. "I'll keep an eye on where mai's going while you read. Try not to freak out this time."

"Yeah, yeah..." I opened the book, and began to read:

--"In the beginning, there was only the land. It wasn't until Asuryan, the greatest and oldest of all other Gods came upon it many, many centuries ago and made it into what it is now; the vast and beautiful land of Elena..."--

"What's with that look?" Rein interrupted and looked over to me.

"Oh...This is just reallt interesting, that's all." I smiled. "I mean, first off, Elena is a polytheistic nation. Asuryan sounds really awesome, and the picture in this book is really cool!"

"Hahahaa~"

"W...what?"

"You're so excited about a book. You should see the look on your face~"

"...W-what look?!"

"That really cute look!" He laughed, and I blushed.

"S-shut up!" I turned in the saddle so that I could successfully hide my face from him. "I like books, ok? Especially ones about History!"

"...Ok, ok. I didn't say that it was a bad thing...just that it was cute..." I heard his voice dismay a little, and I slowly turned back to face correctly in the saddle.

"Didn't mean to snap at you..." I placed a piece of paper in the book to keep my place, and put it back in my bag. " It's just that I've been--" I was interrupted by a very strange noise; a low growling, almost like a rumble from a rockslide, but vicious-sounding, like an animal of some kind.

"Shh!" He whispered,a nd stopped the horses..there was a wild, panic-stricken look in his eyes as he hopped down from the horses and led them to under a tree. "Stay here and be quiet!' He whispered again, and walked back to the path that we had been following. He stepped lightly, making no noise what-so-ever, even when he drew his bow, and loaded it with an arrow fresh from the quiver on his back. I watched intently as he snuck around, peeking through the brush. The growl sounded again, and a large beast, similar to a werewolf crossed with a bear with spider-like eyes, came crashing angrily out of the brush...I screamed.

"Rein!"

"Stay where you are, Leo!" He was quick, quicker than I thought him to be. he moved swiftly out of the way of the beast's path, firing arrows at it. One of the arrows hit jackpot, and got the thing through one of his eyes. The beast stummbled a little, but got right back up, even angrier than before.

"Rein, you're just pissing it off!!" I screamed, and hopped down from Mai.

"Leo! Stay there, damn it!" He shouted back at me. "I don't want you to get hurt!"

"Rein...Ah, Rein! Look out!!" I pointed quickly to behind him, where the thing was getting ready to charge. It swiped a large paw at the elf-boy, knocking him to the ground. "Rein!!" Stupidly, I ran to get him, but the beast wouldn't allow me to touch him. "Get Away From Him, You Ugly Bastard!" Rein had a sword at his side, so I quickly grabbed it, and placed my body in the battle stance that I had so often seen in video games back home. I took guard of the boy, sword pointed towards the ugly-ass animal that was snarling at me. It charged...but I charged right back screaming to match it's roar. I was smaller than the beast, by a great amount, so I slid under it's body easily...once underneath I saw that it had no fur, so it was easy to spot where its ribs where, and therefor, its heart. I reached up, and with all my might, stabbed the beast between the ribs, and pierced it's heart. The blade split through it's skin like a hot knife through butter...and the blood poured out in a hot, crimson river down my hands, arms, and clothes. The beast fell hard, and I crawled away with not but a scratch.

"...Leo..." With much difficulty, Rein was sitting up with a hand across his abdomin. "Y..you killed it." My eyes widened at the realization and I dropped the sword and looked down at the blood that covered me.

"...Y-yeah..." I shuddered, never having killed anything before. "...A...are you ok, Rein?" I flopped down beside him, still dazed.

"I'll be fine. Are you ok? you look really pale..."

"...I've never killed anything before..." I shuddered again. "...Soooo much blood..."

"...Either way...that was amazing..." He smiled weakly. "You saved my life, Leo. Thank you..."

"...You would've done it for me." I returned the smile. "Are you sure you're ok? I mean, that blow was pretty hard. You might've broken a rib or something."

"Nah...I'm ok, really." He struggled to stand.

"Hey, let me help you..." I lifted him up, his arm around my shoulders, my arm about his waist. "Fine, huh?" I smiled, and helped him lean against the tree that the horses were still standing stupidly by.

"Heh, yeah..." I sat down next to him.

"What was that thing anyways...?"

"It's called a Morier..." The boy next to me drew in a deep, painful breath, and continued. "I've only seen one once before several years ago when I was about five years old...Me, my mother, and my father were on horseback, traveling back to the castle on this very road...the thing came out of no where. After that day, I never forgot what it sounded like, nor what it looked and smelled like."

"...What happened? If you don't mind me asking..."

"It's ok, I knew you were going to ask anyways..." He smiled a little, looking up to the clear blue sky through the bright green treetops. "My father was the first to dismount, leaving my mother and I on our horse. He battled it...and ended up losing a leg. Guess you can't really tell with the robes he wears now. Anyway, since my father was crippled my mother told me to stay where I was...she hopped down from the horse and tried to assist my father. The Morier attacked and killed her. The beast was slewn a little after that by my father's trusted guard who was travelling a ways behind us to assure we wern't being followed..."

"...Oh, Rein..." I almost cried, but I didn't...I held my composure. "I am so sorry, Rein..."

"Heh, it's ok...not your fault." He stood up painfully. "Besides, that was thirteen years ago...there was nothing I could do then, and there certainly isn't anything I can do now." I was silent for a moment as I stood up next to him. "Ah...there's a spring near by...you can wash up there. Saddle up."

"...Yeah...ok." I climbed atop of Maien and we trotted off path to an open spot among the brush where a steaming pool of water lied.

"You take that side, I'll take this side..." He pointed to the right, then the left. "The steam is thick enough, so just be sure to stay on your side."

"Right..." I lingered over to the right half of the spring and undressed, slipping silently into the water. "Rein, is there anything in this water?" I called from my spot.

"No. The water's too hot to support any aquatic life." I heard a small splash as he got in the water as well.

"Good..." I sighed, and smiled, slipping further into the water so that it went up to my chin. The water around me slowly turned pink from the Morier's blood. "Ew..." I leaned over and pulled my clothes into the water as well, and began to scrub them. "Ah, it just won't come out!!"

"What's the matter over there?"

"The blood won't come out of my clothes!" I pouted, and scrubbed harder.

"Don't worry about your clothes. I have some extras that you can borrow."

"Ehhhh..."

"What?"

"I don't like borrowing clothes...it's weird."

"How is it weird?"

"It just is."

"Well, you have two choices. Borrow my clothes, or go naked."

"Perv."

"How am I a perv?! Those are your options!"

"...Fine, I'll borrow your stupid clothes..."

"Jeeze, woman..." He sighed, and I heard him get out of the water, and rustle with his bag. "I swear...I will never, even in death, understand the female gender..."

"Haha~" I threw my wet clothes back on land next to my bag.

"Hey, I'm tossing those extra clothes over there, okay?"

"Yeah." He did, and they landed ontop of my back. "Nice shot." I grinned and pulled them closer to the edge.

"Thanks?" More rustling in his bag.

"Hehe..." I got dressed in his clothes, which were obviously too big in the first place, but oddly very comfortable. "Hey, I'm dressed now."

"Great." He walked over to where I was. "When we stop at Nadorhun we'll buy you a weapon and some clothes that actually fit you."

"Awesome."

"Now, just leave your old clothes here. The smell will attract other Moriers...Let's get a move on."

"Ok." We walked back to the horses, and mounted again, getting back on the path. "How're your ribs anyways?"

"Better after that soak in the spring..." He smiled. "Elven people usualy heal fast anyways, but the springs in this area are like medicinal or something...'

"Cool..." I looked up at the sky as a wonderful breeze blew by. "...You know, Rein...I wouldn't half mind living here."

"What?" He cocked his head adorably at me.

"It's really nice here..."

"Don't get sucked into this mess of a world...it may seem perfect at first, but it has a terrible and dark past, and an ever darkening future."

"...I know there was that Great War and all...but what's so bad about it here now?"

"The man who caused the war all those centuries ago came from over the wall just, like you, and is still alive...he hails north. That's why father told you not to come on this journey." Rein sighed. "Read the book, and you'll understand more. I can't explain it all."

"...Huh...still alive after centuries, huh?'

"Yeah. He stole a hell of a lot of mages and sucked the power out of them, or something like that." The boy turned his ruby eyes to face me. "At least that's what everyone says happened."

"...Hm. Interesting." I studied Rein's face for a moment, noticing just then how handsome he actually was. He flushed suddenly and looked away to the passing foliage, changing the subject.

"B-beautiful day today, isn't it?"

"...Heh, yeah." I smiled a little and looked to the sky again. "It is, isn't it..."

After that, we continued down dirt path after dirt path for weeks. We had gotten me some elven clothes, which I look awesome in, and a silver longsword at Nadorhun, just like Rein said we would. When we stopped at night to camp, he would help me practice with the sword, and he would teach me some basic Elvish to speak with the natives who didn't know English. Elvish is a beautiful language, but damn! It's hard to learn! My new companion and I had traveled far north...so far that it was starting to get cold and we had to buy some coats at a town called Telcoer. We were three weeks into our one month journey to Saesa...one more week and we would be there, and I could go home. But for now, we were stuck in a city named Sulcabedoo being tourmented by its stupid citizens!

"Ay, go back to where ye came from, Human!"

"Ay!" Others sounded in agreement from one old man's comment.

"Hey! Back off or I'll tell your King!"

"Ay, who do ya think ye are, purty boy?"

"My Name in Prince Rein Felinas III! And I suggest you go back to your homes before I get you all beheaded!"

"Prince Rein Fenilas III?!" The old man grummbled, and walked off, the others soon followed after. "I dun wanna be gettin' me head chopped off..."

"...Thanks, Rein." I smiled as we were finally able to get out of that wretched city, and back on a path towards the nearest town leading to Saesa.

"No problem." His eye twitched a little. "I was getting annoyed anyways. If you haven't noticed, the people of Sulcabedoo aren't very..."

"Articulate?" Actually, they sounded kind of like Scotts to me...

"Yeah."

"Yeah...I'm a writer, I know."

"You're a writer?"

"Yeah." I laughed a little. "You haven't noticed? I've been writing since we left the castle."

"Oh...no, I didn't." He chuckled a little. "What've you been writing?"

"Everything that's gone down since I arrived here in Elena."

"Everything?"

"Yup, everything."

"...Even the embarassing parts...?"

"Yup. Even the embarrassing parts." I smiled smugly.

"Give me that notebook!"

"What?! No way!"

"Give it here! I must destroy it!" He leaned over me from his place on Cam in an attempt to grab the notebook from my bag.

"Rein!" I squealed. "Get off of my lap!!"

"Shit! Is that going in there too?!"

"Yes!" I laughed evily.

"...You're terrible..." He pouted.

"I know." I smiled and patted his head. "Get off my lap now?"

"Yeah..." The boy sighed and sat back up straight on Cam. "Why have you been writing everything anyways?"

"...So that when I return back to Bon Air I don't forget..." I looked down sadly at the notebook in my hand. "I don't want to forget this place."

"...Then don't leave."

"What?" I looked up to him in question.

"You said before that you wouldn't mind living here." He quoted me. Damn it. "If so, then why don't you stay?"

"Rein, I have a family...and I'm sure my mom and everyone is very worried about me."

"Then we'll bring them here." The boy on the horse stopped Cam on the path, and looked over to me as I haulted Mai as well. "Instead of sending you back, we could bring them here."

"Rein, that...that's not a very good idea..." I felt the dismay rise in myself. "As much as I would like that...one too many Humans in your world will ruin it's...purity." I sighed, and made Maien walk ahead. "It'll turn out just like my world..."

"...W-wait!" He trotted to catch up. "If your world is that bad, why do you protect it so?"

"I'm not protecting my world...I'm protecting yours." I smiled bittersweetly at him. "I don't want such a beautiful and perfect place to fall into ruin again."

"That's...very selfless of you, Leo." He smiled a little to himself. It was a funny feeling...whenever he smiled, my insides felt like they were on fire.

"You should smile more often, Rein..." I jotted some things down in the notebook. "It makes you even more handsome...it suits you."

"...Did you just call me handsome..?" He flushed again.

"Yeah, why?" I cocked my head at him. "One can't help but tell the truth."

"...'One can't help but tell the truth', huh?" He repeated me and looked up for a moment. "Then I suppose I should tell the truth as well."

"I would hope so." I put the notebook away, and pulled out the book instead. "I certainly don't like liars."

"Well, if that's the case then..." He paused, and looked to the reigns in his skilled hands. "...You're very beautiful, Leonie."

"W-what?" I laughed a little and looked quickly up at him from the book. "No way you're tellin' the truth. Haha."

"But, I am!" He protested, and faced me a little in his saddle. "You're hair is the color of the high afternoon sun! And your eyes as clear and blue as the ocean! And your skin is the color of pale peaches! It's so smooth-looking and blemish-free! You have an absolutely perfect figure! And when ever you're reading you do this cute little thing with your nose where it wiggles like a lil' rabbit's! Your hands move so accurately and skillfully whenever you do anything! Not to mention you are like one in a million that actually likes Ascarer meat!" He stopped, catching his breath...and I was speechless.

"...Rein...?" My face was totally red...I could just feel the heat rising in my cheeks. "That..."

"Sorry." He said quickly, and trotted ahead of me. I'm guessing to hide his embarassment. "I shouldn't have said anything."

"Ah..." I caught up to him and grabbed the reigns from his hands, stopping both horses. "Rein."

"...What?" He didn't make eye-contact.

"...Did...did you mean everything you said...?"

"Of course I did." He still didn't look at me. "You said you didn't like liars, after all..."

"Heh..." I smiled brightly and hopped over to envelop the elf-boy. "...Even though it was a little stalkerish...that was the sweetest thing anyone has ever said to me. Not even my ex-boyfriend said things that nice..."

"Then he obviously didn't know how to treat a woman..." I felt his strong arms gently wrap themselves around me in a return embrace. A shiver was sent down my spine as the warmth from his body leaked pased my clothes and pressed against my skin...it felt congenial.

"...Thank you." I whispered and released the hug, settling back to Mai's saddle. "S-shall we get a move on...?'

"Hmm..." He looked to the horizon where an orange half-circle sat lazily. "Well, the sun is already setting, so...let's just make camp here. Or near here anyways."

"...Okay." We directioned ourselves toward the small wooded area near the path, and dismounted in the grassy clearing that awaited us. "Uh...this looks like a good spot..." I tied up Maien and unrolled my bed; the tension I felt was killing me...I could just feel it in the air. Things were getting a bit...awkward between Rein and I.

"Yeah.." He tied up Cam next to Mai, and unrolled his bed as well, the usual three feet away from mine. "S-shall I start a fire?"

"Y-yeah. I'll go get some wood..." I nodded to myself, and strayed to the edge of the clearing where the trees began to get thick again...found some moderately dry wood, then brought it back to set it in a small crisscross pile.

"Great." He lit the wood with the flint stones he had in his bag. "Uh...it's supposed to get colder tonight..."

"...Colder than usual...?" I rubbed my hands together and sat close by the fire, reatching my fingers out to greet the warm flame.

"Heh...yeah..." He did the same--resting his hands near the bright fire as the sun slowly disappeared and turned the sky dark. "Good thing I packed an extra blanket..."

"Yeah, but there's only one extra blanket, and two of us."

"...I'll let you have it."

"No, then you'll get cold..."

"Take it anyways." he handed me the blanket, and lied down on his bedroll.

"But, Rein--"

"No 'buts'. Just use it." He rolled on his side, facing away from me.

"Ah..." I sighed, and lied down as well. I, of course, couldn't sleep...but, I heard Rein making some weird noises, so I rolled over and sat up to see if he was ok. He wasn't...he was shaking like a leaf in the wind. Smiling to myself, I shimmied my way over to his spot on the ground, and dropped the blanket over him. His shivering stopped immediately.

"...L...Leonie...?" He grumbled and opened one eye just a little. "W...what're you doin'...?"

"I couldn't sleep, and you were making some weird noises." I whispered and smiled, placing a hand lightly on one of his shoulders. "You were shivering so I gave you the blanket..."

"What?" He sat up. "No, you take it..."

"Rein, no. You were the one shaking."

"Yeah, and soon enough, you'll be the one shaking without it."

"I'll be fine. I'm used to cold weather."

"Leonie, don't be stubborn."

"I'm not the one who's being stubborn."

"Ugh...stupid woman, just come here--" He sighed sleepily and pulled me under the blanket with him.

"R-Rein!" My face flushed a bright red and my heart began to palpitate wildly.

"Don't be so loud, Leo..." He yawned, and closed his eyes. "If there's one blanket, and two of us, then we'll have to share it..."

"...Could you at least let me pull my bedroll over here...?" But I had asked my question too late...the boy had already fallen asleep with an arm about my shoulders. "Ah...Rein..." I sighed and curled up next to him...surprisingly, I fell asleep quickly with him beside me.

I was the first one awake that following morning. Pulling my shoes back on, I gathered some more firewood and made a small cooking fire. Luckily Rein still had some food stuff in his bag, so I made breakfast for the two of us. It didn't take that long for Rein to wake up becasue of the smell...He sat up and streatched, yawning widely and rubbing his eyes.

"...What's that smell...?" He sniffed the air and smiled, still half-asleep.

"Mornin'. I made breakfast with the leftovers in your bag." I motioned to the pot over the fire. "Get up and eat, lazy."

"I'm not lazy." He yawned again and pulled his shoes on as well, sitting indian-style on his bedroll. "Smells good..."

"Thanks." Smiling, I handed him a bowl of it. "Eat up..."

"I will...thanks." He ate it quickly, taking seconds.

"Hungry?" I laughed.

"Heh, yeah." He put the bowl down. "The cold always makes me hungry."

"Yeah me too...and sleepy." I smiled still. "I'm used to the cold, though..."

"Yeah." He blushed and looked away.

"...What's up with you?" I cocked my head, putting the pan and bowls back into the bag.

"I'm sorry..." He fidgeted. "...About last night. I shouldn't have pulled you under the blanket like that..."

"Oh..." I blushed as well, remembering. "Y-you were tired...it's ok. besides, you were right. O-one blanket, two people. W-we had to share."

"...Well...if you really are ok with it--"

"Y-yeah...it's...it's cool." I fingered the edge of my shirt. "Although...y-you do uhm...cuddle...in your sleep..." That part was nice too, but I dare not say that out loud. That would be way too awkward.

"I...I cuddle in my sleep...?" His face turned an even darker shade of red, and he bowed his head, hiding his embarassment behind his hair. "Wow...uhm...now I'm really sorry..."

"...D-don't be." I figeted again with a lose string on the edge of my shirt. "It...it was kinda'...nice..."

"N...nice...?" He looked up a little, one crimson eye peering cautiously through the fine threads of his black hair. I didn't say anything, but just nodded a little instead. So much for not saying that out loud... "Huh...hehe...Hahaha~" He was laughing. Laughing?

"...W...why're you laughing...?" I cocked my head.

"...Y-you're falling for me!"

"W-what?!" My mouth gaped in shock. "I am soooo not falling for you!"

"Are too!"

"Am not!"

"Then why're you blushing?"

"Why're you blushing?"

"What?" He gasped lightly and covered his face a little with his hands. "I'm not blushing!"

"Are too!" I pointed to his cheeks. "See! They're red!"

"I can't see my own face!"

"Well you should, cause it's red!"

"So is yours!"

"Is not!"

"Is too!" I lied, of course. I could feel that my face was red. "And besides. You're the one who's falling for me."

"Like hell!"

"What's that supposed to mean?!"

"I would never fall for someone as loud and rash as you!"

"I am not loud and rash!"

"Are too!"

"I'm not the one who's shouting!"

"We're both shouting!"

"...Whatever." I stopped yelling and huffed, grabbing my pack. "Let's just go." I got up quickly so that I could sucsessfuly hide my red face and growing tears from the boy. I didn't even know why I was crying...it just happened. I sadled Maien, and started her in a walk.

"...Hey, wait for me, Leo!" I heard him rustle to put his things away, and saddle Camille. She trotted him up to where I was. I tried my best to hide the tears then... "Leo?"

"What?"

"...Are you ok?"

"Peachy." I was starting to sound like a bitch again...I didn't mean to. I just...I didn't know what was wrong with me.

"You don't sound too 'peachy'..."

"Well, I am..." I kept my head down, hiding my face about my long locks of hair that I had taken out of it's usual pony-tail.

"Hey...if I said anything stupid, please tell me." He sighed a little, and I started to feel bad about talking to him so negatively. "I didn't mean to if I did..."

"No...no." I sighed and shook my head, quickly wiping fresh tears on the sleeve of my shirt. "I...I don't know what's wrong with me." He grabbed the reigns from me so that the horses walked close together again.

"...So...I guess this wouldn't be the right time to say that I think I like you...?" He laughed a little to himself.

"...You what...?" I looked up at him.

"I like you."

"...Now, when you say 'like' you mean--"

"I mean, I like you." He looked away from me, watching somethin off to the side that I couldn't see. "Like as in...uhm...would you be my mate?"

"Woah, now..." I shook my head again. "'Mate'?"

"Oh well...uhm..." He rubbed the back of his head. "I guess where you're from they call it a 'girlfirend'..."

"...Oh." I laughed. "That makes more sense..." I smiled to myself, tears no longer flowing.

"Heh..." He looked over to me finally, his face a complete dark cherry-red.

"Well...uhm..." I looked away from his irreisitable crimson eyes. "I...I would like that very much..."

"...Like what...?"

"Haha, to be your...'mate'..."

"R-really?" His face lit up in a bright smile. "That...that's great!"

"Hehe~" I giggled at his childish expression. "...You're so cute sometimes..."

"Hehe..." He blushed again, looking ahead. "Oh! Look!"

"Huh?" I looked ahead on the path as the form of a city began to take place. "Where are we?"

"The Great City of Malia." He grinned. "I've always wanted to come here...but father would never let me travel this far north until now."

"...What makes it so great?" I frowned at the dismay of the city. "Looks like a dump to me."

"...It used to be a great city..." He sighed once he got a good look at what was left.

"You sure do have some pretty mares there." The voice of someone unfamiliar spoke out to us from somewhere on the left. We turned to see who it was...but it wasn't exactly a person. "You willing to sell 'em?"

"No. Our horses are not for sale." Rein sighed as he spoke to the half-man half-horse. "Centaur, can you point us in the direction of Saesa?"

"I got a name, thank you very much, mister."

"As do I." Rein furrowed his brow. "Saesa?"

"Me name's Tarion."

"Like the day of the week!" I smiled.

"Yeah!" The centaur laughed heartily. "Why's your elf-boy so anti-social?"

"Oh, he's like that." I giggled at the expression that Rein had made. "My name is Leonie. This is Rein."

"Oh! Like the prince!"

"I am the prince!"

"Oh! I'm sorry your..uh...princelyness." Tarion bowed.

"...That's not even a word..."

"Rein, don't be so...grrr-like."

"Well, anyways..." The centaur-man trotted up. "Follow the east gate out of the city and stay on that path. That'll take you straight to Saesa."

"Oh, Thank you!" I smiled.

"Oh! And if you see my sister, tell her that I'm looking for her. Her name is Isilya. Looks like me, but a female."

"Haha, just like the day of the week..." I laughed a little. "Oki doki. If we see her, we'll tell her!"

"Thank you!" He waved as we trotted off. "Happy travels, friends!"

"As to you!" Once a safe distance away from the centaur, I quickly back-handed Rein's shoulder. "What is wrong with you?"

"Ow!" He rubbed the spot that I hit. "You shouldn't talk to strangers!"

"He was being really nice! You were being a jerk, Rein!" I pouted. "You could've at least said 'thank you'..."

"Well, sooooorry for not trusting strange Centaur-men!" I sighed and laughed a little as we headed down the path that the centaur Tarion had told us about. We never did see his sister...

"How much farther until we do actually reach Saesa?"

"Not that much longer...Saesa and Malia are like...only connected by two miles or so of path."

"Oh wow..." I looked ahead on the path, trying to remember the reason why I was actually going to Saesa.

"...What's with that look?" He side-glanced at me.

"What look?"

"It looks like you're contemplating something."

"Oh...no." I crinkled my brow. "I was just thinking...what was I going to Saesa for again...?"

"...Oh...yeah..." His face dismayed. "To get you back home..."

"Oh..." I sighed and looked down. "You know what...?"

"...Hm?"

"I don't want to go back home..."

"What?"

"I'll bring my mom and my younger brother here...no more."

"R...really?!" He smiled, and perked up in his saddle. "Y-you're going to stay?!"

"Haha. Yes. I'm going to stay."

"But...why all of a sudden...?"

"It's not really 'sudden'...I've given this a lot of thought over the past few weeks." I smiled to myself. "I wanted to stay because it was so perfect here...or at least it's better than my own world. And...since it is better than my own world, I would bring the people nearest and dearest to me over to share it with them, and save them from the terrible world that they live in now." I laughed. "Plus, now I've got an awesome boyfriend that I would like to keep..."

"I would like that very much." He smiled. "Haha, I finally get to meet your family."

"Yup!" I returned the smile. "And hey...Rein?"

"Yeah?"

"...I want to save Elena."

"'Save Elena'?" He cocked his head. "What'd you mean?"

"The man...the one that lives up here..." I started, fingering the sheath of my sword. "I want to defeat him...with help, of course."

"Leonie. That's too dangerous."

"I don't care." I laughed. "Hell, I ventured over an unknown wall, went with a strange elf-boy that I didn't even know, and didn't listened to some crazy King about a journey being 'dangerous'. I don't think this is gonna stop me either."

"...Haha. You're stubborn, arn't you..."

"Hell yeah, I am." I smiled over at him. "We can do it, Rein. I know we can."

"...We have to be careful though." He said, looking ahead as our horses trodded along. "This man...he's very powerful. Or so that's what everyone says."

"...That's what the book says too..." I poked at my bag where the book rested, and sighed a little. "Oh well...he can't be that bad."

"You'd be surprised." Rein let a small laugh slide. "There's a bunch of crazy people here in Elena."

"There sure is." I side glanced at him and laughed to myself.

"...What?" I giggled again.

"N...nothing~"

"...Wha...Whaaaaat~?"

"Nothing~" I stopped laughing and just smiled at the fact that he didn't catch on at all. "...Hey, what's that?"

"What's what?"

"That." I repeated and pointed ahead. Beyond a tuff of trees stood a vast black tower, a bright orange light shining menacingly from the highest room; the tower was surrounded by an equally imminent wall.

"...That...would be Saesa." He grimaced a little and trodded onward. "Better get a move on before they start shooting..."

"S...shooting?!" I trotted Mai so that she caught up to Rein and Cam. "W-what'd you mean?"

"Oh...if you linger too long outside the city gates...they'll start firing." He said very calmly and in a matter-of-fact sort of tone.

"...That's comforting..." Sighing, I made Mai move closer to Cam.

"Don't worry." The boy gave me a reassuring smile, placing a hand gently on my leg. I blushed, of course. "We can make it."

"Yeah..." I smiled, and laughed nervously as we approached the city gates.

"Who goes there?" A loud, gruff voice boomed out from top-side.

"Prince Rein Felinas III, and guest." He called back.

"Who is this guest?"

"M...My fiance," He gave me a look that said to 'just play along' and I nodded. "Leonie Becker. May we enter?"

"Uh..." There was a short pause. "What business do you have in Saesa?"

"Just passing through. We need rest and food. We've been traveling since Namarie." He looked up to the top of the gate, sheilding his eyes from the sun. "Permission to enter, Orc?"

"Ugh..." The Orc-man grunted and pulled a lever that was next to him. "Permission granted..." The gate opened and we trotted into the ruin of a city. The Orc announced our arival into a old-time megaphone type thing. "Prince Rein Felinas III and his fiance Leonie Becker!"

"...Great..." Rein faked a smiled as the people of the city just stared.

"Yeah..." I sighed. "...What now...?"

"We stock up on supplies and things of that sort. Then we rest for the night, plan in the morning, and execute in the afternoon."

"Sounds like a good plan." I yawned a little and followed him. We left the horses in the care of a stable near the Inn we'd be staying at, and walked about the city to the different shops, stocking up on food, medical supplies, and a few simple spells that Rein knew. Afeterwards, we wondered about the city for a while to look at stuff and get a feel for things before we headed back to the Inn. "...Such a lovely name for an Inn..." I joked, but I guess Rein didn't get it.

"What? The Lokirim's Head?" He cocked his head at me and gave me a funny look. "How is that lovely?"

"Ah..." I sighed and laughed a little. "I was being sarcastic, Rein."

"Oh, I...I knew that." He nodded and checked us in.

"I'm sure you did." I laughed again as we headed upstairs to the room. "Rein, this room only has one bed..."

"Oh..." He flushed, but managed to hide in his long hair. "Uhm...I'll sleep on the floor..."

"Ah, but that would be terribly uncomfortable!" I protested without thinking.

"Yes, but..." He smiled at me, pulling some extra blankets and a pillow out of the chest of drawers near the bed. "The lady sahll take the bed. I'll be fine, don't worry."

"Uh..." I sighed and sat on the edge of the bed as he set up a palette next to the actual bed, and lied down. "Are you sure...?"

"Ah...yeah." He grunted a little and smiled as his crimson eyes closed. "I'm fine..."

"...Ok, if you say so." I furrowed my brow a bit in worry and laid down as well, kicking my shoes off so that they landed near the end of the bed. "...Good night, Rein..."

"G'night, Leo..." His voice sounded gruffy with sleepiness already, and I smiled to my self at that. He muttered something hardly audiable, but I was still able to make it out. "...Amin...mela lle..."

"Uh..." I rolled quickly on my side and looked down at him, but he was already asleep. "...Rein...?" No reply. I sighed and rolled onto my back again. "...I love you too..." I fell asleep.

The morning sun shone brightly through the window, even though there were curtains to cover it. Somehow the sun seemed brighter in Saesa than anywhere else we had been. It was odd. But, it wasn't the gentle rays that woke me, it was the sound of a woman screaming outside the Inn in the city's central most part where a fountain of a man stood. I shot staight up, and out of bed looking around wildly. Rein wasn't in his bed either, he was standing up, peering out the window with bewildered curiousity.

"...Something happened and now the fountain outside is spewing out blood instead of water...frightened some poor woman to near death..." He stated and looked over at me. It had apparently woke him up as well for he was half-way dressed and still had bed-head.

"Oh..." I rubbed my eyes and stood up to streatch. "Why's it spewing up blood...?" I stood next to him and looked out the window at the scene.

"I dunno..." He shrugged and grabbed his shirt off the floor. "We can find out later..." He turned to face me, and I looked up at him, my face turning red at the sight of his bare torso. His skin was so...perfect, and it glowed slightly. Then again, he always seemed to be 'glowing', for lack of a better word. I guess it's just because he's an elf, or something like that. He noticed the blush on my cheeks and quickly pulled his shirt back on. "Uhm...right...uh..."

"Uhm...the...plan?" I looked up again in question.

"Right! The plan for tonight!" he rolled up the extra blankets and placed them back into the drawers by the bed. I plopped down on one end of the bed, and he sat on the other. "Ok...This, is a map of the Tower of Saesa."

"Ok." He laid a map out in between us. "That's the main entrance, I'm guessing." I pointed.

"Yes, but we won't be able to get through there. It's heavily guarded." he scanned the map. "We'll have to go through here in disguise." He pointed to the back-most part of the tower where a small opening seemed to lie.

"In desguise?" I questioned and studied the map again.

"Yes." He replied. "That back entrance is for people delivering things to Lord Crawford and his men. We'll disguise ourselves as merchants delivering some goods. We'll say that we have to deliver it to Lord Crawford himself, by request of the King. I'll forge a letter from my father."

"...That sound like a great plan, Rein." I beamed up at him. "Did you stay up all night thinking this through?"

"Ah, not all night. I woke up sometime during the night because some ally cats were fightling outside the window." He smiled diffidently. "So...we need to go gather some things from the local venders for our disguieses."

"Right!" I stood up and posed confidently with my hands on my hips.

"Nuh-uh." He made me sit back down on the bed. "You're staying here."

"What?!" I protested and stood back up to where nature put me. "Why can't I go?!"

"I know the world of Elena much better than you do. I know what merchants look like." He placed his gentle hands on my shoulders, looking me straight in the eyes with his shining russet orbs. "Just please, stay here and watch our stuff, ok?"

"...Yeah..." I sighed and he hugged me.

"I'll be back in no time." He left, and I waited in our room at The Snake's Head Inn. Yes, that's what Lorkirim means. He finally came back about thirty minutes later. "Took you long enough!" I stood and crossed my arms at him.

"S-sorry, Leonie." He laughed nervously. "There was a line at the market and I had to wait."

"...Well, you're lucky. I can't stay mad at you for very long." I smiled as he walked in, shutting the door behind himself. "What'd ya get?"

"Just some clothes and stuff. We can stuff our actual clothes into our bags." He tossed me a ball of worn-down clothing. "That's your's. I got the 'delivery' as well."

"Really?" I beamed again. "What is it?"

"Oh...just this really cool thing that I found in my bag when I was buying these clothes."

"What is it~" I begged.

"Ah, you can't see it yet." He smiled evily

"...That's no fair, Rein!" I pouted, and sulked down on the bed again. "Ah...well...I'm gonna change, kay?" I stood up reluctantly and took the clothes into my hands.

"Wha?" He twirled to face me. "R-right now?!"

"Yeah, why?" I pulled my top-shirt off, and looked at him nonchalantly.

"Jeeze, Leo!" He flushed and turned around so that his back faced me instead.

"Haha! What?" I laughed at him. "Never seen a girl take her shirt off before?" I love to tease him.

"N...no I have not!" He brought his shoulders up, and slouched his head in embarassment. "A...are you decent yet?"

"Yes, I'm decent." I grinned wickedly as he turned back to face me. Apparently he had changed without me knowing.

"..Thank you..." He looked away just a bit, and bent down over the drawers and got out a piece of parchment and a quill.

"Note from the 'King'?"

"Yeah." He finished, blew on the paper a bit to get the ink to dry faster, and folded it up neatly, stamping it with the seal of Namarie.

"...Do you just keep that seal on you at all times?"

"..Yeah. Just in case, you know?" He smiled at me. "You ready to go?"

"..Hm." I took a deep, relaxing breath, and looked up at him. "Yeah. I'm ready."

"Ok..." He picked up his bag, slinging it onto his shoulder. I did the same. "Let's go."

"Right!" I followed him out our room and down the stairs of the Inn; he checked us out and we went on our way down the street, heading for the Tower of Saesa. As we walked on alonge the paved street, the tower grew closer and closer, and it's height became a reality. I stared straight up as the sky was replaced by dark bricks. "Wow..."

"Yeah...it's huge." He sighed. "Prepare for some walking...Lord Crawford stays at the very top of the tower."

"Joy..." I grimaced as Rein knocked on the back entrance.

"Who goes there?" A familiar deep voice sounded.

"Uh...Just some tarveling merchants sent by the King to deliver a parcel to Lord Crawford." Rein chaged his voice as he had recognized the Orc from the main gate.

"Come in." The door unlocked and opened. The Orc-man was as tall as he was wide, blocking almost the whole door; his skin was tinted an ugly green and he had a few horns protruding from the top of his head. "Hey, you two look familiar. Do I know you?"

"No, sir, Orc. I do believe this is our first meeting." Rein held out his hand. "The name's Fand Bethfer. And this is my sister, and fellow merchant, Cael Bethfer."

"Pleasure, Orc." I had tried my best to change my voice as well, and shook the orc-man's hand as well.

"Ah, you two seem nice!" He let out a hearty laugh, and patted Rein firmly on the shoulder, nearly knocking the poor boy down with his strength.

"Ah...Yes, sir, Orc."

"Oh! Please, do call me Lanner!"

"Lanner it is then." Rein nodded, and looked up at the Orc. "Shall we be allowed to deliever our parcel now?"

"Oh yeah! You're supposed to deliever to him yourselves, right? The orc gave us a friendly smile. "Do be careful though...Lord Crawford is a bit of a mean fellow."

"He is?" I questioned.

"Damn right, he is!" He frowned, and lowered his voice to a hushed whisper. "To tell the truth, I hate him so much...but this is the only job that I could snag in a city like this."

"Oh..." Rein smiled up at him, his eyes gleaming. "Then...maybe you can help us out." He had returned to his normal speaking voice, taking an enormous risk by doing so.

"Prince Rein and his fiance, eh? In disguise?" The orc laughed. "I knew you wasn't just 'passin' through'!"

"Damn right." He brought the Orc down closer so that they could talk more quietly. "You see, Lanner...we're planning to free Elena from Lord Crawford's grasp...care to join us? We need all the help we can get."

"Oh! I'd be glad as ever to help!" He laughed out heartily again. "and, hey! I know a few others who would be glad to get rid of that old piece of shit!"

"Oh, that's wonderful news, Lanner!" I exclaimed.

"Indeed it is...and I shall be able to pay you if you wish."

"Oh, you don't need to pay me!" He stood to his full height. "Just getting rid of that old fool is payment enough!" He laughed again, and let out a very odd whistle and a few other men dressed in Lanner's same uniform filed out.

"What up, Capitain?" A very tall dark elf spoke out.

"Boys, we're gonna have some fun tonight!" The tall orc-man grabbed his fellows and hudled them together the way a football team would just before a game. There was some faint whispering, then the men stood fully and cheered loudly. "Let's do it!"

"That's fantastic." Rein grinned and began to ascend the stair-case quietly, me by his side, and the guard-men behind us.

"Rein..." I began, looking at him a little worried. "...I'm--"

"Scared?" He smiled warmly over at me as we continued to walk silently.

"Yeah."

"It'll be fine, Leo." His bright red eyes turned back to the stairs ahead. "Elena is finally going to be free..."

"Yeah..." I felt my head nod in reassurance to myself. We had finally reached the top of the tower; a large wooden door, that seemed to be made of the same wood as the Wall of Eminence, awaited us.

"...Should we knock first?" The orc spoke quietly to the boy infront of him.

"...No. Let's just do this." His pale, gentle hands wrapped themselves around the handle of the large door and turned the knob. The door swung open slowly, revealing a quite large room with odd looking gadgets laying neatly upon a few tables. The walls didn't seem to be walls at all, instead they were made out of, or at least covered with, some form of drapery; in the center of the room sat a round platform, about ten feet in diameter, with a strange looking metal contraption sitting in the center.

"...What the--" I was so rudely interrupted by a extensive puff of gray smoke, followed by the great booming voice of a man.

"Who dares to enter my chamber?!" The voice was male, and undoubtedly British. I only assumed that it was Lord Crawford. As soon as the smoke cleared, the head of a man, almost lucid, floated about nearest the top of the strage-looking metal contraption mentioned earlier.

"I, Prince Rein Fenilas III, and many more!" Rein finally stepped ahead of us, and I began to look about the room in curiousity. "We have come on behalf of all of Elena!"

"All of Elena?!" He boomed. "What do you want of me, boy?!"

"We have come to put an end to your tyranny, Lord Crawford!" Rein drew his bow, the guards followed his lead and drew their own weapons. "We have come to over throw you!"

"Over throw me?!" He shouted. I walked away from the group of men and to wards the curtain-covered walls. I noticed that a section of the fabric was moving slightly. "HA! Impossible!"

"I think not, Lord Crawford!" Rein smirked a little and readied an arrow against the tight string of his finely crafted wooden bow.

"Hey..." I furrowed my brow a bit and pulled the curtain back, revealing a quite small room crammed with a rather large, odd looking machine, and a tiny old man who seemed to be running the machine. "...W-what is this?! The Wizard of Oz?!"

"Uh...uhm..." The old man jumped a little. "T-that is what I was going for...people here haven't read nor heard of the books of the old world."

"...The old world...?" I cocked my head a little and the group of men turned to face the old man and I. "So it's true. You did come from over the Wall of Eminence..."

"Of course I did!" He posed triumphantly. "Percival William Crawford, at your service!"

"Uhm...I'm Leonie Becker..." I backed up a little and settled next to Rein. "...so...you're not a great mage like eveyone's been saying?"

"What? Of course I am, girl!" He moved and sat on the edge of the stage. "Anyone can learn magic..."

"...Why not use your power to better the world?"

"I like to be in control." He stated bluntly. "And if I was a softy all the time, nothing would get done! everyone would get what they want!"

"Huh..." I nodded a bit to myself. "That makes sense, I guess. But if your use your power right, and for the good of things, everything would be...almost perfect."

"Almost perfect?" Percival cocked his head at me.

"Yeah." I smiled a little. "Nothing can be perfect. Not even this 'perfect' world of Elena."

"Hmm..." The man smiled a little and stood up to his full height. "Well...you came here for something, did you not?"

"Yes, I did." I smiled at Rein a little, then at the old man infront of me. "I...I wnat to stay here in Elena...but...I want to bring my family here to stay with me. But, I obviously can't get back across the Wall to get them..."

"You want me to bring them here?" He grimaced a little. "Why?"

"...This world may not be perfect, but...you know as well as I do that it's a whole hell of a lot better than the old world."

"Ah, that is true..." He stroked his small beard in throught. "I can try. Who do you want?"

"Just my mom and brother."

"No father?"

"Don't have one."

"Ah, ok." He nodded. "Well, hold on, Miss Leonie."

"Right..." I took a deep breath, and held onto Rein's shirt-sleeve.

"...It's going to be ok, Leo..." His soft, melodious voice whispered to my ear; he kissed the side of my head.

"..I know..." I smiled and closed my eyes as a bright yellow light shot out from the mage's hands. H esaid something in Elven that I didn't understand at first.

"Sai si shai vaer caesi shael si Shar, Ai mael si shas sai soli orm shys. Tae o baelaes vaeres. Bym, kai!" I didn't know what he had said until I woke up on my bed.

"...Rein?" I sat up and look around wildly. "Rein?!"

"Leonie!" A familiar voice shouted up the stairs at me. "What's the metter? I though I heard you scream!"

"...No..." I grabbed my bag and ran down stairs; I still had my shoes on. "No, no, no, no!"

"Leonie!" My mother siad again. "wht's the matter? You've been acting weird ever since you got home from school today.'

"Yeah, sis." My brother piped in.

"Mom, Lukas, you've got to come with me!"

"Where, dear?" Mom cocked her head.

"Just...I'll explain later! We have to hurry!" I grabbed them by the hands and ran out the front door. Down the sidewalk, to the end of the court-type street...we stopped as a great looming wooden fence streatched up above us. They gasped of course, but I just went to the tree that grew parallel.

"Leo...I've never seen this fnce here before." Mom exclaimed as she trailed a hand along uit's finely crafter surface, a few wood pieces falling off and to the ground.

"Come on!" I held out a hand. Lukas was the first to climb up with me.

"Come on, mom!" He laughed, and readied himself to jump down to the springy plants below. "Leo's finally lost her mind!"

"I'm not crazy, Al!" He jumped down, followed by mom, then myself. "Just...be quiet while we're in the woods and follow close to me!" It was almost magical how the sun reflected from the treetops and dashed acoss the forest floor like the great streatch of a golden river, gently flowing and wetting the life below with it's nurturing glow. I smiled brightly, following the light and not straying from a path that I had managed to find among the foliage; I took a quick drink from one of my water bottles. I heard the trotting of practiced hoofs on the turf ahead of me, and smiled brightly. "...Rein."

"Rain?" Mom questioned. 'it's not raining..." She looked up to the sky a bit confused.

"No! Not rain!" I laughed and began to run. "Rein!!"

"Leo! Don't leave us behind!" Al shouted and they both ran after me.

"Rein!" I crashed through the brush just as a great white horse and it's rider stopped on the path. The rider jumped down, holding the horse's reigns in his hands. It was a young man weilding a stupendous white mare. He had medium length black side-swept hair, tied back in a small ponytail on the back of his head with a small tan-hued ribbon. His eyes were focused on me and my family so that I could really tell that they were a brilliant crimson, sparkling with the intensity of adventure and a sense of majesty...his clothes were earth toned, mostly brown or tan, prehaps made of a suede-type material. But, the weirdest thing about him was his ears...they looked normal at first glance, but upon further inspection, they were pointed at the tops.

"...Leonie...?" His mouth gaped a little, and his eyes almost began to fill with tears, but he choked them back. "I...I thought that he...that Lord Crawford..."

"...Killed me?" I smiled and latched onto his neck in a hug. "Didn't you hear the spell that he said?'

"No...I wasn't paying attention to him." He breathed in deeply. "I thought I was never going to see you again...I've been coming to the wall for two months now wiating for you..."

"Haha...he said something like 'To thee who rest here beyond the Wall, I send thee back to thine own world. May you never return. Now, go!'...Wait, you've been coming to the wall for two months?!"

"...Why would he do that..." He tightened the embrace, nuzzling his nose to the crook of my neck where a few locks of my hair sat. "And yes...two months."

"Because he's a jerk..." I laughed, and we finally released the hug. "Wow...Oh!"

"What?"

"I want you to meet some people." I smiled,a nd brung my mom and brother over. "Rein, this is my mother, Ulrika Becker."

"Pleasure to meet you, Ma'am." He took her hand and kissed the top of it lightly.

"Oh...oh, my..." She blushed.

"Haha. calm down, mom." I smiled. "And this is my little brother, Lukas Becker."

"Pleasure to meet you as well, Lukas."

"Oh mein Gott, Leonie!" My mom whispered to me, and giggled. "Träume ich? Sind Sie zwei datierend? Sie erhielten wirklich ein gutes, Leonie!"

"Mamma! Seien Sie ruhig! Und sprechen Sie Englisch, bitte!" I flushed with embarassment, and turned to face a very confused rein. "Sorry about that...when she gets excited, she speaks in German..."

"Uhm...It's ok." He smiled shyly, and grabbed a hold of my hand. "Anyways..."

"Yes?" I peered up at him through my golden bangs.

"...Now that you're here again...you won't be able to get back across the Wall again..." He let my hand go, and pulled cam over to meet us. "To the castle?"

"Yeah." I beamed and turned towards mom and Lukas. "You're going to love it here."

"Leonie, you and your mother may take the horse. The boy and I shall walk."

"Aw...why do I have to walk...?" He puted as we trotted along the path towards the city gates.

"Chivalry, kid." rein smirked, and Lukas sighed.

"Hey Rein?"

"Yeah...?"

"...What happened to Lord Crawford?"

"...Oh...Me and the guards killed him becasue we though he killed you." He laughed. I knew he was kidding.

"Life in prison?"

"Yeah." I laughed a lottle, watching the blue sky slowly turn dark as the sun set, turning the clouds into brilliant hues of pink, purple, and orange. The sun finally disappeared below the horizon as we reached the looming city gates of Namarie, and the stars began appearing in tiny glowing specks across the heavens; a symphony just for us.