The Forest of Rodinen

Rowan sat stop Levi's saddle as they galloped away from Englante and towards the forest of Rodinen. Even from this distance she could see it's luscious green trees and the bush that covered the ground. There was all ways something about forest that could put Rowan's mind to ease and as they got closer and closer she could feel all of her worries drifting away. But the exact opposite was happening to Hyde. the closer they got to the forest more stiff and rigid he became. His ruset-red colored ears drooped down close to the side of his head and frown was etched on his face.

I wonder if he can sense something...or perhaps he just has a bad feeling...or he's thinking about how much of a brat I am... Rowan thought to herself as she continued ride.

At first the distance between Englante and Rodinen didn't lok that large, but they did indeed arrive just as the sun was setting. At the same time their horses stopped and backed away from the forest, shaking their heads back and forth. Shade, who had been following them from above was flying closer and closer to them, as if he had seen something that he didn't need to. Rowan looked over Hyde who shrugged and patted his horse on the neck, reassuring him. He whipped the reins and the next thing Rowan knew he was thrown from the saddle and onto the ground.

Rowan leapt from Levi's saddle and made her way over to Hyde who was a bit daze, extending a hand to him. He took it and stood up, wavering a bit.

"Why don't you ask him what's bothering him instead of getting thrown from the saddle?" she asked.

"I didn't even think of that. I guess something really must be bothering him,"

"Levi too," Rowan said, looking back her own horse who was growing antsy.

Hyde laid a hand on his horse's neck before closing his eyes and taking a deep breath. A few seconds later he removes his hand and turns back to Rowan his eyes wide.

"Shadow says their's something big in their and that he and Levi will just stay out here,"

"Well, that's the first answer to a butt load of questions...how big is it," Rowan said placing a both hands on her hips.

"Yeah, and I have something for you Rowan," Hyde said.

"What do you mean?" Rowan asked.

Hyde put up a hand and then opened the bag that was attached to Shadow's saddle. He dug around for a moment before bringing out a wooden case and handing it Rowan.

"It's that gun the guy showed you at the shop.  I went back and got it for you. I know you don't know how to use it, but it's better to have it.The bullets are all ready loaded inside of it, so just stake off the safety, aim and shoot,"

"Hyde, I really-"

"Rowan, at least put it on ok?"

"Fine," Rowan said as she grabbed the gun and it's holster before attaching it to her pants. The gun was unnatially light and if she wasn't looking at it, she wouldn't have noticed it was on her hook. She looked back up at Hyde who was loading two bullets into his dpuble barrel shotgun before slinging it across his back.

"Ready?" he asked.

"Ready as I'll ever be," Rowan said as she entered the forest, Hyde following after her.

All most immediately the light was cut off, and it looked as if they were in the dead of night. Rowan found herself ducking under low hanging branches and stepping through thick bushes. But as they continued deeper into the forest it became less dense. She vaulted herself over a fallen tree and looked back and watched as Hyde leapt right over it and landed on the ground beside her without a sound. She grinned a bit envious of him.

They continued onward, with each passing minute the air around them becoming colder and denser. Then Rowan tumbled to the ground,landing face first on the hard ground. Getting back to her feet and turned around. At her feet were a pile of bones. She leaped backwards bumping into Hyde who had somehow ended up behind her. He placed a hand on her arm, before steading her.

"Their just bones," Hyde said reassuringly.

"Bones of the dead. Wait, do you think their the bones of the guards?" Rowan asked.

Without saying a word Hyde let go of her, and made his way over to a pile of bones and armor. He picked up a breast plate before showing it to Rowan.

"Ok, so where is the beast, I mean their are piles here and there-"

"But theirs not nearly enough. I mean all these bones equal to about three or four out the 30 or so men that Chief Dill sent. So where are the others?" Hyde asked.

"That is a good question," Rowan said, "Come on, let's keep going this way, maybe we'll find something,"

"Your probably right," Hyde said dropping the breastplate to the ground.

Hyde now took the lead, looking back every so often to make sure Rowan was all right. It was a surprising thing to do, considering that she guessed he hated her guts with a passion. After walking for a bit, Rowan was shaking from head to toe, and she could barely feel her fingers. She was going to ask, why it was cold, but it was as if her lips had been sealed shut. Wrapping her arms around herself she just continued to follow after Hyde who's eyes were darting around.

GARRGH!

The sound of a inhuman roar broke the silence and made Rowan's heart skip a beat. Immediately Hyde drew his sword, and Rowan relunctantly withdrew her hands from around herself and made lightning appear in the palms of her hands.

"Do you see anything?" Hyde asked.

"No, nothing."

Another inhuman roar echoed through the silence and a dark flash darted past them, hitting Hyde. He went spinning through the air landing on the ground with a thud. Whatever had just ran past turned around and wrapped itself around Rowan. Gasping she immediately placed both her palms on the creature and watched as it's body moved eradictly and dropped her to the ground. Looking back up she saw that her enemy was some sort of vine. She frowned, before she conjured blades, which went hacking away at the vine. With each slash another roar erupted from all over.

"Rowan behind you!" Hyde hollered, racing towards her.

Turning around, she saw another vine coming towards her and before she could summon a blade the vine wrapped itself around her and then lifted her into the air. Knocking the wind out of her, it swung her around before diving back into the forest and then stopping before a large deep hole. Trying to break free she summoned more blades to cut herself free, but instead the vine let go of her and dropped her down the hole.

Her screams echoed her as she fell. Her heart raced, and she saw no end to her decent. Closing her eyes, she focused on slowing her decent, and pictured herself floating down to the bottom of the hole without herself coming to any harm. The wind stopped whistling in her ear, and opening her eys she found herself in a white and pink forcefield that was gently taking her down the hole, all most like an elevator. She fell to her knees before looking back up from where she had fallen.

It was just as black as the aybss below her. She thanked the gods that she was a sorcress before she prayed that Hyde wouldn't get thrown into the hole as well. Suddenly she touched down on solid ground and her shield made a popping sound disappearing like a bubble.

Slowly rising to her feet a white orb of light flashed into the palm of her hand and she spun around in a full circle. She was in a large circular hole, and right in front of her was a long deep tunnel. She took a steo forward, before she heard the sound of crunching bones. The hairs on the back of her neck stuck straight up, before she ran down the hall way a cold chill sweeping over her.

Well, I found where the bodies went. So the thing that killed them can't be to far away,  Rowan thought to herself.

Reaching the end of the long tunnel a large oval shaped room came into view, dimly lit by some light source above her head. Slowly closing her fist she stepped into the room, making her way over to the large body of water. She looked into it, seeing her own reflection. Her lips were turning blue and as she pressed a few fingers to them, she found that she couldn't feel them. Alarms went off in her head. She hadn't noticed it before, but this place was even colder than what it had been up above.

"I nneedd to gettt outtt..." she stuttered shaking uncontrolably.

"You can't, your here now..." a voice said to her.

"Who's theeere?" Rowan asked.

"Who do you think you idiotic human? I'm the one that has killed all those men!"

"Show yourself!" Rowan hollered.

Their was a loud laugh that echoed all around her, before the water began to stir. Sudenly a scaly hand shot out of the water and touched the earth around the edge. Another hand appeared and then a head. Rowan fell backwards as the creature continued to climb out of the water.

It's arms were covered in thousand of slimy looking scales. It's torso was skinny and she could see the creatures rib cage. It's head was covered in a mess of blushish green hair and it's lower body was like that of a snake. Another laugh escaped it's body, causing it's whole frame to shake.

"Aren't I beautiful? Well at least I use to be..." the voice said.

"What do you mean?" Rowan asked.

"I use to be a human. I was beautiful. In fact I was just as beautiful as you. I had long flowing  red hair and shimmering green eyes. I was young a pretty and then "he" did yjos to me!"

"Who did this to you?" 

The creature hissed before it spoke again, "The alchemist! The Alchemist did this to me! He said he was going to make me the most beautiful woman alive. So i took up his offer. He took me to his lab and then everything went black. When I awoke I was here, in the water. I guess you can guess how I reacted seeing this hideous body!"

"So from that day on, I've been hear taking my revenge on the alchemist and the village of Englante. If I can't be pretty...no one can!"

"Did you take the chiefs daughter as well?" Rowan asked.

"Oh what a sweet girl she was. And no I didn't take her, at first. You see she came her begging that I stop killing everyone. When I asked who she was, that was when I knew I would have to kill her. Our chief is an idiot. So, she is gone, her sould fueling me, like yours will be once you freeze!"

Hearing just about enough from the creature, Rowan leapt to her feet, surging towards the beast. A shot a lightning escaped the plam of her hand, flying towards the creature. It leapt into the air, it's tail wrapping around Rowan, and pinning her to the ground. With a frown, blades appeared above Rowans' head, slicing the creatures tail in have and splattering green blood everywhere. Freeing herself from the tail, she sent the blades after the creatures upper body. It once again darted out of the way and came running towards Rowan head first.

Rowan dodged out of the way, the monster clipping her foot and sending her tumbling to the ground. Rolling to rose back to her feet and aimed her left hand at the water. It bubbled t life, befre circling around her and then sending it out towards the creature. It hit the creature square on, and Rowan then took it a step farther and watched as the water froze the beast. It cried out for a moment ebfore laughing and breaking the ice that had begun to form around it's body.

"The cold is my friend. You'll have to better than that girly!"

Rowan frowned before she ran towards the beast and took hold of it's arm. Their was a crushing sound as it's hand and arm began to turn to stone. It hollered out, screaming for Rowan to let it go, but she held on. Suddenly the tail of the beast wrapped itself around her onc.e again and then sent her flying into the icy cold waters.

What the hell? I thought I cut that thing off!

Opening her eyes, she saw that the creature, with it's right arm cut off and regrowing with every second. Alarm bells went off in her head and turning around she began to swim up, only to be hit by the creature. She opened her mouth and quickly closed it again, remembering she was under water.

Air. She began to focus on breathing fresh air, when all of a sudden she heard the water draining from around her, and she fell to her knees. a large bubble of air now surrounded her, allowing her to breathe, but it wasn't any help, considering it was still freezing cold.

Reaching for her gun she realized just how slow her movements were becoming. She removed the safety and then took aim for the creature. She focused on a newt capturing the creaturebefore she pulled the trigger, which sent her flying up a few inches in the water. Her bubble popped and she was once again in the icy cold waters. The bullet hit it's target, amazingly, and a large net encased. Rowan didn't stay to watch the creature get pulled down into the icy deep. She swam for the surface, breaking it and desperately taking in large gulps off air.

"And where do you think your going! Nothing can stop me!"

Rowan quickly pulled herself self from the water, before sending lightniing over it. Their was a loud roaring as the creature began to get electrocuted, but Rowan didn't really pay that any attention. She knew the beast would be coming out and towards her. Frowning, she raised both hands and let fire course through them, before erupting out and hitting the creature sqaure in the chest. It burned and melted into ashes, leaving nothing but a sparkling blue light.

The End

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