A jungle continued making its noises, ranging from birds to mammals to even the wind rustling between the trees. As the jungle chattered, a man muttered to himself as he held a map of the continent the jungle was home to. The man wore black, had sheet white skin, and black mist seeped from his currently angry eyes. "No!" he grumbled as he crossed off an area. "No! No! NO!" He had four x's on the map so far. He then roared in frustration. "We've searched every uninhabited area of the Over-realm and STILL no sign of Arsha!" The man, Oyed the Destroyer, then pulled out a communicator. "Dr. Borg!" he called.
"Borg here," answered a woman's voice.
"Still no Arsha." Oyed snarled at that.
"I'm getting tired of searching the jungle! Wherever you are, set up camp! I'll join you!"
"Understood. Borg out." The call ended and Oyed moved himself forward…at least, he TRIED to. He felt something pulling at his waist as he tried to move. He then looked down and saw that he was sinking in a mud pit. While most people would feel fear at such a fate, Oyed simply grumbled in annoyance.
"For the love of…WHY DO THESE THINGS EXIST?!" Black mist then formed an outline around him, and he rose out of the mud. The mud tried to hold onto him, but he proved too strong for its grip. Once his feet were free, he floated over to more solid ground. Mud still dripped off of him from the waist down. He pulled some mud off of his thigh and held it in his hand, glaring at it in contempt. "I HATE this place!" He threw the mud at a tree with enough force that it knocked a paper wasp hive down. The wasps soon poured out of the hive, looking for the infidel that dared attack the hive. The swarm found Oyed and began their attack run. The mist surrounding Oyed simply dove at the wasps and surrounded them and their home. The mist then dissolved everything about that particular paper wasp hive; queen, soldiers, brood, and all. "Serves you right!" snarled Oyed as he stomped towards Dr. Borg's position.
Dr. Borg and her Council Mates set up the camp rather quickly. Remsu decided to add a little personal touch. She fired a spell at a bit of ground and made a mud pit, then fired another spell to dispel any unwanted impurities. "You know," she mused, "I haven't had a decent mud bath for quite some time." She then slid her hand up her thigh in a sultry manner. "Would everyone care to join me?" she purred.
"I've never tried a mud bath before," mused Dr. Borg. "Although, I WOULD need to whip up some protection spells for my prosthesis."
"I think Shempari should do the trick," mused Shefarn.
"A capital idea," praised Dr. Borg. "All right then, Shem-" Her chant was interrupted by Oyed stomping into the camp. Yulduk just couldn't resist!
"Looks like Oyed already took a mud bath!" he laughed.
"Laugh it up, Zombie!" growled Oyed.
"Oyed, what-?" asked Yamta.
"DON'T! …Just don't!" Oyed then stomped toward a tent. As he reached for the flap, something flew between it and his hand. Everyone followed the direction of the offending object, a piece of fruit, and saw a monkey hooting and clapping his hands. It was Sorsha's friend, Johgo. "…GET OUT OF HERE!" shouted Oyed as he fired energy blasts at Johgo.
"Catch me if you can!" taunted Johgo as he leapt from branch to branch to get away form Oyed's shots. He thought he was being clever, but then he felt a metal hand punch him to the ground. As he picked himself up, he saw Dr. Borg grow from his size to a human's. Her foot then pinned him to the ground.
"Johgo, right?" she asked. "Friend of a Free-lance Alchemist working for Realmfleet, yes?"
"Don't know what you're talking about!" laughed Johgo. Dr. Borg pushed her foot down onto him before letting off.
"Johgo, it is advisable to NOT provoke me. You and your alchemist friend helped Arsha at one point. Have you helped her again?"
"No!" Dr. Borg pressed down for a longer time. "I DIDN'T! ONLY SORSHA DID!"
"Does she have Arsha?"
"YES!" Dr. Borg raised her foot.
"Where IS Sorsha?"
"I don't know! She never told me because of secrecy!"
"You've proven useless!" snarled Oyed. "Doctor, squish him!"
"WAIT! SHE GAVE ME A GENERAL LOCATION!" wailed Johgo.
"…It's better than nothing. Where?"
"The Mushroom district!"
"The Northern Drelda Forest," recalled Dr. Borg.
"So the only thing you can tell me is that I will find Arsha…within the Drelda Forest?" asked Oyed.
"That's all I know!"
"…He's served his purpose. Kill him." Dr. Borg brought her foot down hard, crushing Johgo's ribs and organs. The poor monkey lay dead. Dr. Borg then picked up the body and tossed it into the bushes. "It looks like our search is coming to an end. We rest here until tomorrow morning. I want us to move at dawn!"
"Understood, My Lord," answered Dr. Borg.
"Hey, Master!" called Yulduk. "Wanna join us?" He gestured to the mud pit Remsu made.
"…I'll pass." Oyed went into his tent.
"…Suit yourself," muttered Dr. Borg. "Shempari!"
In another part of the jungle, one of the trees continued its walk…no, not a tree, this was a Dryad. He was accompanied by an Elf woman, a man in Monk's robes, a Naga girl, a four-tailed Kitsune, and a woman in a green dress. They were Oak, Sorsha, Norvorok, Jaynii, Kimiko, and Lona. They patrolled the jungle for a bit until Oak stopped. "…What is it?" asked Jaynii.
"The trees…they speak of…of Johgo's death at the enemy's hands!" gasped Oak. Sorsha looked at him disbelievingly.
"D…Dead?" she asked. "My best friend…dead?!"
"I'm sorry, but yes." Sorsha then fell to her knees as tears fell down her face.
"His troop was a good one," she mumbled. "They helped me out so much." Her face then turned to one of rage. "Oyed!"
"It gets worse," muttered Oak. "The trees report that they made him give up the location of Arsha! She's not safe now! We must get her into another part of the Drelda Forest!"
"But Johgo!" protested Sorsha.
"The trees are giving him a respectful burial."
"…Well, at least he had that. Could you glean where he was buried so I can visit him later?"
"I have his grave's exact location. A Dryad near his troop has already informed them and they're giving him a proper funeral."
"Good to know." Sorsha then dried her eyes. "Come on! Let's get out of here!" The patrol then headed back to the Drelda Forest.