4. "The Silence"

Crimson skies full of sorrow
Creep over a tired world
I simply exist
Seeking hidden ideas in unintelligible designs
Into dark waters
And the sorrowful crimson skies run over me
Over dry torrents
Without me they keep running.

"Every light escapes"
Anyrru

The twilight should be Night but it's nothing and it has covered the wounded land with its monotonous Silence. The warm subtle music of the Forrest is gone; only this paranormal Silence is haunting the wild tall paths on the uplands in Ijen, the continuous line of hills that stands between the White City and the great ridge of Anirrye to the North. The Silence is deeper than the most unholy or forbidden sound on earth and Arra wonders what god or goddess has saved her from the Black Scythe of Death so many times and what the reasons could be.

This is the twentieth night that this blurry twilight is taking over according to the frail sense of time she tries to maintain in this sick mix. She crosses the tricky enemy infested hills silent, illusive and frozen; like the wind she strikes deadly her unlucky targets who mostly die before even flinching, some times before they even see the night shadows move, while she disappears in twisted paths and secret turns like a wraith. This is it then. She has become a wraith. Or better yet, a ghost. She kills and lives as a ghost, like the ones who lurk in the darkest scents of the oldest stories.

Normally she wouldn't mind about her condition, but this is a sun different than the one she knows; an eerie sphere of twilight and it has set at least twenty times since the last time she felt any trace of normal sleep and it shows on her frail body. She can only do so little yet she needs to do so much…

Once again, she scans carefully with her tired eyes the rough forests below her, as she slowly walks between the Stones of Mmavy. She feels like a child who leaves her crummy footprints next to those worn, timeless, monumental statues. Their ancient eyes seem to have witnessed the eternal game between the Day and the Night as many times as the tips of the oldest trees. Or maybe they were born the day the fog was born on this mysterious plateau.

Arra harkens sounds that might mean trouble for her team and she frowns while a chill runs down her spine. There is something weird disturbing the Silence. But it makes no sense; her enemies can't have intruded so far to the north… No. In the flagitious shadow of Silence some terrible yet very specific forces could have bypassed the defenses of her people. Maybe an archdaemon.

Considering the hideous reasons that a force this powerful could have hurled so deep in her Forrest, she can't help but crook a crazy smile. She whistles to her mates a tone they all know, ignoring their startled looks that follow her as she vanishes in the lush leaves of the trees.

An heroine… Hah! Arra has already decided that she's a lunatic; although the designation that she chooses for herself at this particular moment is "…probably stupid…", or at least this can be distinguished from the grunts that escape her tight lips. She knows that it's at least idiotic to risk a meeting with an archdaemon all alone. But she is determined to not let anyone else be there if she can help it.

Carefully, she crosses the thick flora, jumping from branch to branch with an arrow already set through her favorite bow as she blindly follows the inexplicable path of her uninvited guest. Arra is yet to decide if it's a being of her Forrest or a true daemon.

"Whatever it is, it makes too much noise to be anything born inside the trees like we are. However, a daemon would have left destruction and death in its path instead of tracks."

"…and to top it all, it looks lost…" That is her hesitant resolution after she noticed the constant change of direction of her chase. "…but is it possible for a being of the Forrest to get lost in the Forrest?" She thinks that, even though she can't tell what it is, through she firmly believes it's not a daemon. But she has only a few moments to worry about the being in front of her. A simple branch finds its way over her foot. Arra trips and yelps, before the Darkness curtains over her senses.