Ugh... As soon as I had heard the window slam against the wall, I knew that Keesa had heard me talking playing around with Ashley. Geez... girls can be so confusing sometimes... I jumped out the window and grabbed onto a branch, but I could barely smell her trail, with the wind blowing it all away.
Time for a little trick from my natural form, (the snake), by extending my tongue, and feeling the vibrations in the air, I could effectively trace down anything that was moving, and I saw an echo-like trail throughout the trees (this only works when my eyes are closed) And I lunged through the forest, reducing my gravity to just pick up my speed a little.
I knew I shouldn't have even gone near Ashley, I could easily sense all the resentment from Keesa, it now left a trail as easy to follow as paint, but something about her had attracted me... But now that was jeopardizing my relationship with Keesa, and that was not something I was going to deal with...
As I got closer, I realized that she had stopped and there was something.. No, someone there... It wasn't human and for a second I thought Vladimire had returned, but no... it takes several days for him to physically be reconstructed... As I came upon the scene, I saw Keesa talking to a giant... Who was he? He was huge, and obviously powerful... Perhaps one of the lesser gods in the Jade Emperor's court.
As Keesa spun around, I jumped and landed next to her, giving her a hug, and I said, "I'm sorry..." and I repeated that over and over again... But Keesa didn't say anything, she just kept crying and the giant turned towards me, looking slightly embarrassed. I jumped back, and settled into a crouch with a hiss and I asked, "Who, no what are you?"
"My name is Tsolen, the captain of the guard in the Jade Emperor's court" came the reply, "Who are you? A young mixed-breed?"
I straightened immediately, he was indeed a lesser immortal, and I would have much chance against him as I would against Vladimire at his full powers. I tried the diplomatic approach now, and I tried to be nice.
"Hi Tsolen, my name is Viper, part-snake zodiac" I replied, then, "Wait a second... I'm pretty sure all the gods left to the other dimension... Why are you here?"
"I would prefer to keep that to myself... now what's the conflict between you and the young lady? She's also a zodiac I presume."
"Umm... yeah, she's Keesa, my... good friend..."
Until now, Keesa had been watching with wide eyes, the entire discussion, with still sniffling a little, but hearing her name brought her back to reality.
"Hi, my name's Keesa, half tiger-zodiac" she said shyly.
"I figured as much..." Tsolen responded, with an indecipherable tone, "Now, I have to do what I came here to do..."
"Which is?" I asked.
"Well, I'll tell you, but you have to help me with it..."
"Hmm... Keesa do you want to do it?" I asked, striding over to Keesa and putting my arm around her shoulder...
She nodded and leaned against me. Ahh... that felt just right...
"Okay.. so I have to......