Hello, Hello! :D Apologies for the hiatus but I've really been hitting the ground with my professional life and my Freelance writing. That professional writing took a lot out of me, so I took a break from Fictionpress and posting. But now I am back and I have a lot of ideas, stories, changes and other things planned as I move forward with my writing.

One of the changes you'll probably notice is I've deleted some of the unfinished stories I've had hanging around. I still have the original copies and might return to them, but I'm not really feeling like completing them right now. I really like finishing what I start, and if I'm not going to finish those stories then I don't want to have them up.

Anyway, onward to this story. The idea for this tale came when I was playing a game called Dragon's Dogma, and in the game, your character gets to create a Pawn as a permanent traveling companion. I created mine to be a female archer, and that was that until I saw one of the character's female friends. I wondered how the friend would feel if she knew an attractive Pawn was following my character around and defending him, and this story was born.

I hope you enjoy!

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What kind of woman treats him like that? Little Miss Perfect that's who! Tanja growled, adjusting the strap on her metal armor for the billionth time to prevent herself from ripping that little minx's throat out!

It was already three days into their journey and she felt like it had been an eternity of endless walking and listening to the chatter of their new companion in that annoying high pitched voice. Of course, they were walking to find a magical sword that would, in theory, allow her best friend the power to command the elements before the undead legions swallowed the world in their darkness. Still, it was time with her best friend!

Who she might not have had the tiniest of crushes on, a long time ago but certainly not now! Not now at all because of the little chatterbox who was with them.

Originally they were supposed to be on a journey alone, the two of them standing together against impossible odds, slaying monsters, exploring new lands, and maybe even sharing the same blanket and romantically looking up at the stars together… but no.

Tanja flipped her black haired braid over her shoulder and huffed, her eyes fixing ahead towards the woman who held all of her ire. She was a special type of companion, one who quite literally fell out of the sky. Of course he'd been the gentleman and had caught her, and of course, he didn't mind that his new friend's idea of a battle outfit was a chest wrap and a fur skirt. And only a chest wrap and a fur skirt!

She'd quickly explained that she was a Pawn, a warrior who would travel with him and follow his every command, for she had no soul of her own. After shooting an apple from a tree and proving her prowess with the twin daggers she held on her belt, he welcomed her into their company and that was that.

The strange woman was named Miana, and she instantly proved herself to be sickeningly loyal and sweet to her new friend. Always with the kind words and subservient attitude!

"Are you all right Master?"

"Please Master, allow me."

"I'll strike the fallen, Master!"

Master, master, master… it was like that was the only word she knew! Tanja shook her head again, the woman was a pawn! She had no soul and no emotions! She couldn't love, or laugh, or smile… at least not for real. Tanja could though… Tanja could.

"We should probably break camp soon, Andor." She called, watching the man turn and give her a half smile. Gulping just a bit as his green eyes gazed into hers for the briefest instant, she kept walking forward, for stopping would have made her knees turn weak and she couldn't have that!

"Of course." Andor smiled, his voice filling her ears and almost… almost making her let out a sigh. But now wasn't the time or place for that, not with their unwanted third wheel hanging around. Well, unwanted by her at least. "We'll crest the next hill and then get our tents set up."

Then there was silence again, and Tanja almost breathed a sigh of relief. Almost… before Andor wordlessly held up a hand and caused her to stop, her fingers itching to draw the broadsword from her back.

"Hold on… listen." He whispered, his own sword out and blazing with magical energy, the enchantment glowing blue as he held it in front of himself. The sounds of shuffling dirt and clattering bones confirmed it, there were undead in the area, and they were close.

Hoarse roaring filled the air as Miana gripped her bow, her eyes gazing up ahead as goosebumps rippled on her pale skin. Tanja snickered a bit as she watched the woman shiver, maybe this would teach her not to wear little more than a chest wrap when they engaged in battle.

The roars soon faded into deep moaning and shuffling of skin, as Andor's glowing blade glittered against the harsh darkness. The undead roared as they moved into its light, their pale and papery skin barely covered by the tattered and aged clothes that they wore. Their groping hands cracked as their feet dragged in the dirt, eyes and mouths open as they coughed and groaned.

"Hiyah!" Andor cried, his blade spinning to cut an arc directly into the first three undead men. The enchanted sword sliced through their old flesh like a torch through paper, and the men screamed as their dull grey blood filled the air.

Tanja's broadsword was drawn with a scream of her own as she brought it down onto a fourth undead, this one holding a large staff. Her blade snapped the ancient wood with ease before she carved a bloody path through the zombie's chest, taking the time to ensure the creature fell neatly in two before her feet.

They didn't need the cut down warriors rising up again like last time! She hurled herself forward, the point of her blade pointing forward like a spear as she impaled her next target with a squelch. This time it was an undead woman, her nails flashing like claws as she struggled to reach her attacker, and Tanja deftly twisted her blade.

Bones cracked and the woman fell silent, her undead eyes closing as Tanja gazed down at the corpse. She was a young woman and had died recently. The only signs of decay on her body were orange splotches of skin, oozing pus. The plague, not war, had taken this woman's life.

"Help me!"

Tanja's mind was drawn back to the battle as she saw Miana struggling to fend off an undead man. His wagging fingers were closed around her neck as the Pawn fumbled for her daggers, and more of the undead were closing in around her.

Andor was locked in combat with three skeleton warriors, his blade clashing against their rusted swords as dirty sets of armor rested on the bones. He was fighting bravely, but he was still too far away to save her.

"Stupid pawn!" Tanja muttered under her breath, leaping upwards towards the crowd of undead with her blade pointed towards the ground. The sword slammed into the ground, a shockwave emitting from the contact that hurled all the undead back with grunts and groans. A few of them even fell against the rocks, the hard stone busting out of and bruising their paper thin skin.

Tanja hurled herself forward as Miana finally unsheathed her dagger and plunged it into the undead man's neck. The cold steel pierced the creature's bones, driving through them as the man yelped in agony, his while eyes flashing. Miana shoved the man off of her blade, sending him back to undeath's embrace with a stomp of her boot on its head.

"Thank you." She added, her voice still annoyingly cheerful before she whipped out her bow again and began raining arrows down into the rest of the creatures. Bile exploded from their wounds as the arrows all found their marks in the undead flesh, and Tanja charged towards Andor, still battling away against two of the skeletons.

The third was a simple collection of smashed bones and bent armor around his feet as she lunged forward, her greatsword slamming into the second skeleton. The blade sliced the head clean off as her muscles screamed in protest before a second slash shattered the bones. It wasn't as effective as a mace, but her attack would do.

"HYAH!" Andor growled, his legs propelling him forward as the edge of his shield slammed into the final skeleton's chest, sending the bones clattering every which way as the skeleton's empty eye sockets flickered. The macabre unlife was gone from them, and both warriors lowered their swords.

Tanja wiped her forehead, checking to make sure the bones and corpses were truly still before looking up at Andor, her breath catching in her chest. As his eyes looked her over for injuries, she saw a hint of concern in his eyes, if not something… more?

Miana's scream filled the air and cut the moment short before she could ask him about it, the source of the scream filling her heart with fear.

A lich, its undead body surrounded by a sheath of ice magic, raised a long staff in its gnarled hand. A bitter snarl forced its way through the creature's dusty lungs, before a blast of ice coursed from the staff's head and slammed into Andor.

Andor screamed aloud, barely able to raise his shield in time as the miniature glacier smashed into the worn metal, his chest burning as the numbing cold reached his body. He hit the ground hard, barely able to stand before the ice began to break apart, cracking and then reshifting around him. The ice closed around his body, his fingers feeling like they would shatter as the numbing cold enveloped them.

Tanja snarled in anger, her feet rushing her forward towards the lich before it could force another spell out of its undead lungs. Her sword slashed through the air as she came closer… close enough to see the maggots crawling around on the undead lich's skin.

Before a second growl came out of the lich's mouth, causing the sheath of swirling ice to expand and begin to envelop her. Snow filled her mouth and ice crystals began to harden on her skin, her momentum began to falter as her frozen feet screamed in pain at her forced movements. The warrior woman's charge came to a fierce halt as her eyes began to close, the painful tears already freezing on her face...

Then it was gone, as a warm body tackled her and shoved her out of the ice sheath, into the real and warm world.

Miana gasped as her body passed through the sheath, the icy cage dissipating as goosebumps broke out across her bare flesh, before the two women rolled to a stop and both of them stood up, letting the warm night air suppress the cold.

"Why'd you save me?" Tanja growled, shaking out her arms as her eyes glared at the pawn. She'd always been content to focus on Andor during battles, and Tanja hadn't minded at all.

"The master likes you very much," Miana replied, her bowstring already twanging as she shot off three arrows into the lich, causing it to scream in pain. "By helping to keep you from harm, I am helping to keep him safe."

"Fine by me!" The warrior woman said, keeping her tone quiet. She could scream in glee about the fact that Andor actually liked her later, once the battle was done and they were safe. "Miana! Cover me!"

She charged forward as arrows from the pawn's bow sailed past her head, each pointed shaft piercing the Undead monster's leathery skin as it moved backward. The arrows were nothing more than a minor annoyance, but it still slowed the creature down as Tanja moved to strike.

"Hyah!"Her blade swept downward, the steel slashing into the lich's arm right where the shoulder would be. The sharp sword moved through the skin like it was butter, cutting through sinew and bone as the arm fell to the ground in a pool of black blood.

The lich roared in pain, the severed arm still twitching as she kicked the creature in the stomach, before turning to the staff that the creature's arm held. Her boot heel shattered the head of the staff, causing one last burst of intense cold before the ice the lich had conjured began to melt.

With its magic gone, the Lich screamed and began to turn into dust, fading away as Andor fell from his icy prison. Miana looked around for any more rising undead, before rushing to her master's side. Her fingers lightly touched the man's flesh, before she withdrew her hand and turned to Tanja. "He needs to be kept warm, I shall cut some firewood while you hold him."

The pawn tossed Tanja a smile, before disappearing into the nearby trees to chop the firewood, as the meaning behind Miana's words became clear. "Don't worry Andor." She whispered, pulling his shivering body towards a large rock that acted as a bench for the time being. Her arms encircled him and she pressed her warm front to his back, feeling the man sigh as her fingers caused warmth to move around his frozen body.

The moment is quite romantic. Tanja smiled, squeezing Andor to her. Maybe that Pawn isn't so bad after all.

...

I hope you all enjoyed!

As always please feel free to leave a review, feel free to check out my other works, and have a great day! (Man I missed saying that!)