The Deer's Dilemma

The rain never lasts forever. The wet drips eventually began to cease and the heavy breathing and fear was drowned out to another past lifetime that seemed like a harsh nightmare. This is the fate of all bad things, to fade away in the sands of time becoming nothing more then a memory.

With this memory, Kalli still looked around, unsure of whatever surrounding she was in. Somehow she began to feel safe again, call it intuition. Yun looked like she was about to die. She spent the last few hours going full speed as if her life depended on it. The weather and rain was not kind on her body. Her clothes were torn, and her current outfit would be best saved for a hot day.

At some point earlier she collapsed and continued to shiver. The trees were big and with the last of their strength the two of them resorted to climbing, Kalli doing most of the grunt work. There was a big branch, it gave enough room for a person to sleep and move around. The tree itself was also surprisingly climbable.

Kalli chose this tree at once because she swore she could hear a bird’s noise welcome them from above. So when they climbed, Kalli placed Yun in the middle of the branch. She was shivering uncontrollably and losing her breathe. It was obvious she over-exerted herself.

“Where are we?” Yun tried to get out. Her throat feeling dry, her legs weak, the pulse pounding hard that it shook her whole body, she felt like death was soon.

Kalli looked above and like a godsend, there were giant leaves about the size of the human body. Kalli took grabbed a few of them and placed it over her friends body and simply said, “Please, don’t move, you will be okay. Just rest up. I think we are safe here.”

Yun, herself, was scared to go to sleep or rest for fear she would wake up dead. Sure Kalli would protect her, but if she was not long for this world, then nothing on earth could save her. However Kalli seemed dead set on having her rest.

“If only I was able to get us to the village, everything would be alright.” Yun said regrettably. Her so called “shaman” friend simply told her not to talk.

“Oh, come off it, what do you…” Yun began to cough. “I told you to stop talking. Who is the medical practitioner around here?” Kalli was growing a certain backbone that at this stage Yun wasn’t being too fond of.

Yun then began to feel the weightiness of the leaves that seemed to be at just the right weight, it felt like a warm comfortable blanket. As she closed her her eyes, she could almost feel her soul want to leave her body and run around. She began to see things in the darkness of her eyelids. And like that, she dreamt.

Kalli knew the diagnosis. Rest, warmth, and nurture and Yun will be as good as new. It was probably best for Kalli to have given Yun something to drink to hydrate her, but then again, she didn’t have access to water or anything of that nature. The water within the leaves seemed to have already dripped away and there were no fruits.

“Kalli, how goes it all?” A mysterious voice seemed to echo through the air.

“Who is there?” The Girl stood up firmly, ready to fend off any evil intendeds. She realized she was aLane.

The voice came again. It arrived as if it was the howl of the wind. “I have been watching you my child. You truly are a good willed, however your will and nature is not enough.” Kalli couldn’t put her finger on it, but she felt the presence of something, something divine.

“May I be so humble to ask whom is speaking to me?” She was hoping that her politeness may appease whoever was playing whatever games with her. Then there was a pause and the wind picked up. Kalli’s ceremonial garms’ simply blew with resistance as did her hair. Was this his or her way of responding?

“My dear Kalli, the new day has arrived and you are a day turning to night’s time away from the village you so look to see. But you must head there with haste when your friend awakens. She will recover, you are able in your field my child.”

“Yet and yet, you still do not tell me your name.” Kalli wasn’t liking the mind games. She never liked games such as these, her mentor played them on her practically her whole life, she wanted a strait answer for once.

“There is a problem in the village next. It is not a common problem but one that only you can accomplish. I have faith in you my child. Remember that. The way to the village is clear no obstacles lay between where you are now and there. However, when you enter there, tried lightly my child. The place is plagued in misfortune. Again, I have faith in you.”

Then came another howl from the wind itself. After that had passed there was nothing but silence. Whatever presence Kalli felt, was gone. She was aLane and the lack of noises proved it.

Yun was still asleep and the sun seemed to touch the sky bringing in that the day was half over. Kalli simply leaned back on the tree and simply tried to put pieces together. It was a futile effort and the more Kalli thought about it, the less sense it made her. All she knew was she was still alive and that was good.

Yun finally began to move. It was small at first, but got bigger and bigger. Then came a yawn. Kalli walked over and whispered, “You awake?” The younger one kept moving as if having trouble finding a comfortable sleep position. Then after a minute, she turned her weird ear up as if listening for something. Kalli wasn’t sure what to make of this gesture.

“I’m awake…thirsty but I am awake.” Kalli didn’t bother considering what caused her delayed reaction and therefore thought nothing of it, instead she just let out a chuckle. “What’s so funny?”

In Yun’s voice, she could hear how parched it was from lack of water, but she seemed a whole lot better then she was before she fell asleep. The air was no longer as cold from the rain and humidity and then Yun realized where they were.

“You know, we don’t really do trees and heights.” Then Yun laughed at her own inside joke. Kalli offered her to help her get down, and the two soon went on their journey again.

Time passed and Yun was quiet. She needed a drink badly but there was no look of a water hole or something. Kalli also decided it was best not to talk, however the strange silence was annoying her. The bad memories of what happened last night haunted her. She still don’t even know what happened.

When Kalli noted the scar on Yun’s side, Yun with a certain reluctance covered it up quickly, then seemed to do a false smile, perhaps in hopes of distracting her from her curiosity.

And so it was, the two walked into the distance for hours, unknown of their distance to the ominous town that slowly approached with each step. Kalli looked up again wondering how it was that the sky was so blue with tints and yet Sol was no where to be seen. True this was after the time Sol touched the sky, but that was merely an illusion as when she walked out, she noticed there was no theoretical Sol. It also made her miss Luna.

Yun began making funny noises. Kalli gave her friend a look of concern and Yun rubbed her throat in reply. It was then the Speaker in training noticed it was more the sound of her breath fighting the dry throat. “I apologize, I didn’t feel it was safe to leave you to look for water.” Yun merely nodded, Kalli felt guilty.

The non sun began its sunset as orange colors streaked the sky. “We, are almost there.” The voice shocked Kalli and Yun said it. What was once an energetic voice and full of enthusiasm, now replaced with rumblings on so many levels that it sounded as if her soul was being drowned out in pain. Kalli did not believe the thought, merely noted her own shock as how hoarse her voice was.

Night approached, a non existing moon light made the way. As the day went through its final phase change, Kalli could see a town below her as they reached past the top of a mountain that had led the way.

Below was a town, slightly bigger then her native village, Kalli noted that there was a lake that too had a fair size of its own. On the lake, there were some dwellings that just seemed to float. People lived on water? Kalli did not understand. However there was a certain serenity to the way torches lit up the town in a calm manor. It was all peacefull and several ways down from the mountain, the forest seemed to open up all together.

“This is the Untouched Plaza” Yun tried to say.


“Yes,” then Yun dried coughed, “Night and day, the phases of passing time, the town was founded that day and night have no meaning. Therefore ‘Untouched’. Folks here exist, work, live, and sleep on their own time. These guys see time as ‘a temporal’ meaning that it does not exist, there is no tomorrow or yesterday for them. Many folks don’t like this place as it seems to be different from most cultures so out of phobia, they avoid this place. However many have found the philosophy and the community to be very peaceful and pleasing. The way of life, for some, is a freeing of the motonony and rules of the world around. Therefore the populace may not be big compared to the major towns, but it is by no means small. You will find some nice people here. A certain someone we know lives here, he can help us find your spiritual guardian.”

In a shock, Yun collapsed. Perhaps telling her fable or story had drawn out all the energy she should have preserved. Kalli realizing it all wasn’t as bad, just rolled her eyes and laughed. She had been given the oddest of companions for this trip.

What felt like along time was infact not so long. Kalli reached the outskirts of the so called “Untouched Plaza” and she heard sounds of people coming. They carried torches and were moving her way. She could see the flames coming to greet her and all she hoped was that it was not bad.

Strange fellows walked up and stopped infront of her. “It’s one of them!” One noted. Another simply saw Yun who appeared to be practicly passed out and had a major scar running on her. “What happened to her, what are you doing?” This was turning into some kind of inquisition. Kalli wasn’t liking it. One of them had a weapon and looked ready to point it at her.

“This isn’t what it looks like!” She pleaded. One of them approached wanting to take a look at Yun, Kalli simply strategicly placed herself between the curious one. “Then answer the questions and tell us what it is.” One demanded.

“My name is Kalli, I am a Speaker in training.” At the words, one of them looked at her weird.


“Shaman…”She corrected herself. “Oh you mean like a priestess.” Kalli didn’t understand how everyone spoke the same longuage, but how such odd things seemed have different words.

Another went on, “Speaker? I don’t get it, doesn’t everyone speak?” He then let out a laugh to himself. One then went on to question, “So, what is a Shaman doing here?” He didn’t seem to like strangers much, and with the weapon in his hand, Kalli felt it was imparitive to be likable or else dire consequences would follow.

“I am here to help search for my…” would they believe her if she said the words “guardian spirit”? She said them anyway. “Oh,” One began to say, “You’re not joking, are you?” Kalli gave out her serious face. “Well then,” he continued, “what does she have to do with this?”

“She is my fried, she is helping me on my journey.”

“So, I take it you two have known eachtother for quite some time then.” Kalli shook her head no. “Well, that is strange why would she help one of you then? I mean, that one boy and his companion have been together for along time. Or so they say.”

Boy, companion? “Does he kinda look like me?” Kalli asked for the description. “Kinda? He has a funny set of eyes, but then again you all look alike to me. Do you know him?”

Kalli wasn’t sure if it was him, what would he be doing in a place like this? “Please, my friend is badly thirsty, she over-exerted herself helping me run away from bandits. Can we please have a place to stay for the night?”

“Night? Oh, ya, they say this is called ‘night.’ We simply call it ‘Dark.’ Don’t see why you need to stay any one place for the night though unless your tired. But I am sure that you can find any number of places where they will give you water…however…”

“However…?” Kalli didn’t like that sound.

“We still don’t know what business you have here, there was reports of a small group of bandits and we don’t just let anyone in. For all we know your spies.”

A third came over and began sniffing Kalli and Yun. This one somewhat resembled the grey looking bandit but appeared much cuter and less hostile. He had a tail that seemed to wag on its own, droopy set of eyes, and ears that ran so long and moved so well with gravity.

“I don’t think she is here to harm us.” The Sniffer said. “Please, all I ask if for some water for my friend. She also said she knew someone here who might know some information.”

One of them seemed to look with untrust. He gripped his weapon well, and Kalli simply realized they were going to be here for along time simply said, “Fine, is there some place you can take me in for safe keeping? All I ask is that my friend be given some water. Believe me, she is harmless.”

That seemed to trigger the right words and with that moment, they were arrested and brought to some weird location. Kalli got to see the town and watch as people led normal lives despite the time of day, strange kids were playing, two neighbors chatting it up. Even in the oddest of moments, a person was selling food and berries. Despite this, no one asked for them to keep it down.

Eventually they arrived in the oddest of locations, some sort of pit in the middle of a building. The pit wasn’t deep, it was climbable so one wasn’t stuck there. Also the room was somewhat spacious, just absolutely nothing to do. Kalli did not like it, Yun however just looked around weakly and accepted it.

“What am I doing here!?” Kalli demanded. “You said you wanted us to place you somewhere, our detention room is the best place. You can leave when you we know your intentions!” He seemed to be enjoying his power.

“How long will that take?”

“What? Oh, um, whenever.” He laughed.

The long eared one arrived and said a few words, he then walked down and sat on a ledge on top of them. “Pardon me, don’t worry, we are just waiting for the boss to clear you. To do that, he will have to see you and hear your case.”

“Good, then let us talk to him!” Kalli was wishing she wasn’t so patient with these weird people before. “Before you do that, I got you some bowls of water. Your friend looks like she could use some. I recommend the two of you rest here. Don’t worry, you are safe here. However I must tell you, I don’t think that the boss will hear you anytime soon?”

“And why is that?” Kalli wasn’t liking how everything she did seemed to go on and on with problems after problems. She took the bowls and placed them next to Yun. Yun looked at them and tried her best to drink from them. “Don’t worry she will be okay. I have faith she will recover ‘Priestess’.”

“Why do you call me ‘Priestess’?” The kind creature then did a slight bow, and apologized, “I am sorry, let me start from the beginning. You see, not that long ago, our leader was smitten with something we have never seen before. It was an odd affliction that occurs from time to time but rarely here. That is why he cannot see you anytime soon. He is stuck in bed, I believe him to be possessed by an evil spirit.”

“Possesion?” Kalli muttered. She began recalling her training with the Speaker on this issue.

“Possession, is when one spirit clings to life in the form of another’s body. The practitioner must have the spiritual strength to call out this soul and challenge him.”

“But how does one challenge a spirit?”

“That is up to the practitioner, but to that point, sacred words must be spoken and the intention must be pure. The weapon must be chosen and crafted and the will must be strong. It is not combat that takes place but trickery. How you relieve one of a spirit defines the person and practitioner you are.”

“How so?”

“If you kill a possessed person, the spirit is forced to separate from the soul of the person they are possessing and the soul is freed. There is also a good chance that the possessor will not have enough strength to withstand the call of the afterlife another time and most likely will leave this realm as well. However, the person is still dead and that persons life is in your hands.”

Kalli remembered his words. She never practiced a real excorcism, rather simulations. She watched one once though. It was the oddest thing. She remembered how the room seemed to have froze and how she could have sworn to see something rise from the body. The creature seemed to have been shifted from that of a normal spirit and saw the Speaker create an aura around the staff he carried.

The creature after some foreign talk touched the staff with his hand and disappeared. No one in the room saw what happened, just recollected that the Speaker spoke in some ancient longuage that they never heard before. They seemed clueless to the epic battle that happened just moments ago. And like magic, the man who was once possessed came up as if nothing happened.

She asked him once, “What was that I saw?” He simply turned to her and said, “That you could see what others could not, proves your power. It will always be with you, it is up to you and your spirit guardian to decide how it is used. My job is just train you.”

She found it odd, there seemed to have been a shadow of some creature that had overtook the possessing spirit, was it his guardian spreading its power and protection?

Kalli remembered these events and then realized what it all meant. “So, you think I am a priestess?”

“Did you not say you were one?”

“I am still training, that is what I am here for.” Kalli wasn’t sure if she should offer her services.

“Please, do this for us. During Light (day) he seems sickly and can barely speak, at Dark (night) he becomes wicked, should you talk to him now, surely he will either chase you out of town or put you to death.”

“I…I am incapable to do this. It is too much for me.” Kalli said humbly. Then Kalli heard a voice come from Yun’s body that was not hers. “I have faith in you, my child.” Kalli then bent closer to her friend and realized that her lips had been closed the whole time. There was no way she could have said anything.

“Two of our people are dead. They were executed for talking back. They boss said that within five cycles (days), we would trade with the world around us. We would be given curfew at Dark, and adopt to calling it ‘night’ like the others. He tried to refrain people from leaving. Then when Light approached, he begged us to ignore anything he said or will say. It was after that he instituted Jaff, the one who arrested you as sole law enforcer. Then at Light, we saw the arrival of two, one being of your kind the other a traveler of sorts.”

“The one of my kind, did he have a lot of luggage?” When Kalli asked, the being just did nothing but nodded. Then he spoke, “Yes, they did. They claimed they had seen the bandits that were wandering the side in the forest. I did not ask further, being that they arrived during Light, it was easier that they were led in. However, before you came, Jaff went looking for them, hoping to arrest them on possession of non peaceful items they had possessed.”

Kalli then enquired, “Where are they? Are they okay?” Again he nodded, “I hid them at my place, before the phase changed. I told them I suspected that Jaff would try something and didn’t want trouble. I have them hidden at my place.”

As he said this, Jaff seemed to have left, from their position, he was unable to hear them. In his place seemed to be a change of the guard. “By the way, my name is Tuttle.” And so thus Tuttle met Kalli while Yun was still recovering.

“What now? How do we get out of here?” Kalli was not going to get anywhere being stuck in a hole. “If you are a priestess, the least you can do is look at our boss and give us a proper diagnosis. I understand if you don’t want to exorcise him. I am sure it is a dangerous and hazardous process. I cannot ask a stranger to risk themselves.”

“Okay, if you can promise protection, I will see this leader of yours. But I cannot promise anything. My skills are still low and untrained.” Again Tuttle just nodded. “Then I shall give you audience with him. I shall return.”

With that, Tuttle left the two of them to their own devices. Kalli again noted that Yun was sleepy and like her companion decided to take a nap as well. The two of them had traveled far and and walked long. With this stressing experience, she closed her eyes and Kalli joined the dreamland again.

She dreamt oddly about the bird she saw last night, and with the bird came the wind. This dream was clear and realistic, there was no silly stuff, no randomness. She could hear it howl so much it made her scared. Before the dream could continue she heard a real voice. It anchored her back to reality.

“Pardon me to bug you, but we are ready, I have asked that the visitors meet with the boss and naturally he accepted.” Tuttle seemed happy as he said this.

“And how will this help us?” This time it was Yun who spoke. Kalli looked at Yun and realized she looked like a new person…or a new whatever she was.

Yun then said, “Do you trust him?” Kalli nodded then spoke, “I don’t like the idea of staying here waiting to be nothing but dust.”

“Okay, to ensure your protection, those two people I spoke of, the strangers will be with us as well, there is no way he will execute the five of us together, he may jail us, but he could not get away with such an act, that and with our meeting confirmed, Jaff wont be able to touch us.”

“When do we go?” Kalli was feeling impatient, the sooner they left this place, the sooner her mission was done. Yun was still checking out the facility, it was as if she never been inside some place before. In reality it was due to the fact that she had finally regained all of her faculties. The world now felt like a strange place for her.

“We leave now, climb out of there and we will be on our way.” The two followed suit and climbed out of the pit with ease. The guard watching, knowing that they had a meeting with the leader had no choice but to let them go free. That and unlike Jaff, he was not a bad guy, he really did not feel that this treatment was necessary.

The two of them proceded outside and there Yun and Kalli re-met Er and Lan.

“So it was you two who they were talking about.” Kalli said. Lan smiled, “I didn’t think we would see you again. Me and my friend where just traveling and found a village was near by and figured we would visit it. I was unaware what welcome we would receive several hours after we arrived. So Shaman, what are you doing here?”

Yun again butted in, “We are here to see someone I know. He is going to help me and my friend on our adventure.” Kalli felt embarresed, why did this girl feel the need to be so rude to strangers? She noted how the young one seemed to stress certain words like “me and Kalli” or “our.” The whole statement was said as if to throw off any connection these two would have to them. It was like a brick wall that said, “you are not welcome.”

“So how goes your journey?” Kalli asked, hoping to not be seen as unfriendly. Lan smiled, “I believe I have completed one deed.”

“Why are you tasked with three deeds?” Kalli did not understand what made people need to do different things. She continued to ask then, “And what happens when your done with all three?”

“If I do a good deed, then that defines a good trait in my being and who I will become, if I do a bad deed then that contributes to who I am.” The way he said it, the logic felt cold, harsh and as if he didn’t believe his own words.

“So, you believe that if you do bad deeds here, you will be cursed to be wicked?” This was making no sense to Kalli. Lan then laughed, “No, that is just what my people believe, that our actions define us. And here, in this place, free from responsibilities that we show our true forms.”

“Reminds me, I learned that in certain ways you practice your abilities, also does something similar.” As Kalli began explaining, the group started walking. “You see, exorcisms for examples,” she couldn’t believe she was saying this but she felt the need to be able to have some connection with anyone who looked completely human, “there are many ways to perform one, but my teacher said that depending how you do it, reflects who you are.”

“Example?” Er asked. Yun was now curious herself, and Tuttle being part of the whole plot wanted to know. “Well,” she began, “for instance if you kill the person who is possessed then the exorcism in a way will be successful. The thing will no longer have control over the body and or soul of their victim. Naturally the person will be dead, but the spirit’s reign will most likely be over.”

“However,” Lan understood the analogy, “kill the person and you are still a killer. Success or not, blood is on your hands. I understand. So what happens if the Exorcism fails?”

“Um,” Kalli didn’t like this part, “few outcomes, one being that the spirit stays. That is the natural thing, another is the spirit is allowed to leap into another body including the exorcist. The last is the creature becomes stronger and kills the exorcist in the process. Aparently, depending on what you believe, the spirit can become so strong it can banish the users soul to the afterlife and thus the body becomes a shell and there is no saving the person.”

“Wait, Kalli! You mean, you might lose your life or become it’s puppet?” Yun didn’t like that idea. How could she protect her from that? Tuttle then understood what it was that he was asking this girl to do or hoped she would do. Lan and Er also gave looks of their own.

“And how do you know this?” Er replied. “Because, exorcism is something I was trained in.” She remembered how scared she was when she saw the Speaker call out the evil spirit that inhabited the man. She remembered how it looked and the awe she felt that the power he welded was beyond hers. The creature, its strength, she felt it, and she felt the strength that seemed unlimited come from the Speaker. The combat that she could not perceive as the two giants fought their epic battle. She knew she didn’t have that power. And she was scared.

Yun took a look at her friends face and saw the fear grow in her eyes. She then began to blame the two males for what they did to her. Not so much what they did, but in her mind, they made her feel this scared and that was a bad act all together. Yun wanted to say something but decided against it.

They walked over to this raft and Tuttle told all of them to get on. “Um, I don’t do well with water,” Er said. Lan laughed, “This is true, since our first trek, you always refused to go even near the water.” Kalli was amazed that these two had so much history together yet she couldn’t understand how. “How long have you been doing your journey Lan?”

“Not that long, about two days.” And there it went, the logic again went out the window. Er, who had the weirdest hands and feet that looked like black shells had somehow been childhood friends with Lan?

“And how long you known eachtoher?”

“About since I was five. We have a good history between us.” Er laughed, “He says it’s a good history, I did most of the work. He literally sat back and hogged the glory.” Though Er said this, the way it was said sounded friendly and brotherly. Kalli did not understand, she met Yun not that long ago, and yet Yun and even her mother treated her like family.

When looking at the lake they were on, she noticed something. In the reflection, she saw Luna. Kalli at once looked into the sky and it was pure black with an aura perhaps where Luna should be. Again she looked back at the lake and saw the moon. She didn’t understand.

“In the water, sometimes one can see the other side. The spirit of the Sun and Moon are here just not with their body. Look in the water, see yourself.” Yun seemed to enjoy this optical illusion. So Kalli walked over and took a good luck, she saw the moon and then she saw herself in the reflection.

Tuttle laughed, “never seen your reflection before?” Tuttle sweaped the ore again and she heard the sound of it sway. The raft was big enough for everyone and then some. She walked to the middle and sat down. Outside, she saw the floatin houses and the people in them. How could this village be a bad place?

“You alright?” Lan walked over to her and sat down next to her. Kalli smiled, “I am just confused. This place makes no sense. It all feels so unreal to me.” Lan just said he agreed and then, “You know, I didn’t know what to expect myself, my clan just told me to arm myself and go in head first. Doing three deeds, sounds so clichéd and yet, I don’t know how to do a deed. I felt so overwhelmed that I just froze when I entered. Then I saw Er, when he told me he would help me, I gained strength.

“See, Er has been by my side my whole life. He saved me once. There was this creepy guy around town, and he followed me around one day. Next thing I know, he seems to be coming closer and closer. I freeze, I was only like ten years old. Then Er, as if sensing my troubles, moves into action all on his own, the next thing I know, the guy is gone and I am home.”

Yun meanwhile sits down and dips her feat in the water just soaking it all in. “So, how did you meet your friend? How come she is helping you?” Lan still didn’t get their connection. Yun, enjoying the peace of it all, let her guard down. “She saved my life.”

Kalli thought it was Yun joking around and thought nothing of it. Lan simply nodded and said, “I understand. They say that the bonds we create on one side, become strong in the other. That is the belief of my people”

“Your people? You look just like me, and yet you talk of different cultures. My experience has been during my travels that different cultures have different physical characteristics. How is it you look like you belong to my clan?” Kalli wondered.

The companion of Lan smiled and said, “All look as one in essence, it is our defining actions that manifest itself in the world. Or so it is belevied. Therefore, to my friend, you look like someone of his clan and to you, he looks like one of yours.”

So, Kalli, not understanding looked down and again just looked at the reflection of the moon that wasn’t there. Lan leaned over as well to look at whatever she was looking at. Then something happened; someone else’s face was in Lan’s spot. The face was of a slightly darker complexion. His eyes were shaped in such a way she never dreamt of, they were smaller yet wider. And his hair became darker yet of the same style. And in the reflection he saw her face, and realized he was looking at her for the first time for what she looked like.

The magic was gone and no longer did they look of the same type. Their genetic heritage and features were now unmasked. “I don’t get it,” Kalli looked on, staring at him, no longer at the reflection but at the person infront of her. “I am from somewhere far, your looks are foreign to me.” Lan responded understanding what Kalli was thinking.

“I am from the great East near the ocean. You?” Lan asked.

“I am from a forest near some great mountains, we have no oceans you speak of, just some lakes.” Kalli responded.

He took a stick, wetted it with the water and drew a map of his country, she could not recognize it. She for the sake of trying to understand him, drew a map of her village as well as how the camps and tents were built and where she lived in it all.

They then sat in silence, enjoying the weather and the oddly therapeutic sounds of the raft going across the lake. Finally they arrived at their destination.

An odd looking fellow guarded the door. When asked about why he carried a weapon with him, the guard simply said, “His orders…between me and you, find what’s wrong with him, I want him back to normal. He… he isn’t our leader.” The guard then paused and simply said, “Who is she?”

Tuttle replied, “She is a priestess, I am hoping she can make a diagnosis and perhaps cure our leader of any ailment he may have.”

“And what of the other?” The guard went on to ask. Tuttle couldn’t think of a reason, he never planned this far. Lan spoke though, “I was chosen to guard her to make sure no harm comes. I hope that is not a problem.” There wasn’t much lying involved and the guard accepted the reason and let them in.

The group walked in. Then they saw him, the leader, a man who looked normal, for an odd looking one laid down on his bed. He smiled an odd smile. There was a glaze in his eyes that seemed to show no sign of a soul underneath. Kalli got the shivers just by looking at his presence.

He then spoke, and she could hear a sound, a voice perhaps, being strained of essence. It spoke of pain and torture but came out strong. “Welcome to my cabin and to my town. Now tell me, what is it you four are here for?” Yun immediately was going to a fight or flight response, the flight was winning.

She might have ran too if she didn’t see the calmness in the two males. They radiated with strength. Then Yun looked at Kalli. Kalli was scared, she could hear something being trapped and feel another presence in the room when the math added to the contrary. However Kalli put on a strait face.

“My name is Kalli of the Speakers of the Night. We are a humble tribe of people who look for attunement with the Divine Ones. I am a Spea…Shaman in training and am on a mission to find a Spiritual Guardian to help lead me and my people.”

Upon hearing the word “Shaman”, the leader flew into a fit of anger. “You, you are here to give forth your practices! Such things are illegal here. Villainy, that is what it is. I shall hear none of it!” Yun noted, she couldn’t believe it, but in the village leader’s eyes, there was a hint of fear.

Realizing the depth of the situation, Lan went foreword to say, “My name is Lan Ts’u. I am from the land of the Great East and am an exceptional warrior. I am undefeated in battle and I am here to protect this woman from danger, as are the other companions.” The move was purely strategic and had a hidden translation that well hit its mark.

Translation: My name is Lan and I am not afraid to kill you or anyone that gets in her way.

So naturally, the town leader had no idea what to do. He was scared, a shaman of course has certain power and he wasn’t ready to give it up any time soon. However confrontation seemed to be the wrong answer and so, he let them go with his blessing. He would have Jaff deal with them in the morning.

On the raft, the group awaited her diagnosis. “He is possessed. I have never seen such a thing though. He is almost in complete control with no restraints.”

“How do you know he is possessed then?” Er skeptically asked.

“Because I could sense the prisoner. He felt lost, scared, not in control. He…wanted to die and get it over with.”

Yun was shocked. She didn’t like the thought. “Wanted to die?” Kalli just nodded, “He probably knows that the only way to be realized from that prison is death. It is the saddest thing in the world when one turns to self destruction for hope.

That night they headed to Tuttle’s place. He showed them his main room and where he would let them sleep. “Alright, now this may sound dire, however, I am sure Jaff will try something once he finds out what happens. Any ideas on what we should do?”

“I can take care of the leader.” It was Lan who spoke, “Forgive me for saying, but I think death is the safest route for him. If what Kalli says is true, and what you say, this is the beginning of a brutal dictatorship. It should be nipped in the bud.”

“No, I will do it.” They turned and looked at Kalli. She stuttured as she breathed, she was trying to build up the courage. “I noticed as I looked upon the lake, this place shouldn’t be corrupted. I willl perform the exorcism.” Yun took a deep look and fought the anger building up in her. She wanted to object but said nothing. Er noticed her anger and looked at her.

“I am going to bed, this talk is depressing me.” Yun then laid down and pretended to fall asleep.

“You said that the possession seems to wear out during the day, I think that is when we should strike. I am betting this spirit, whoever he is, is saving his energy to be amplified at night. He will be weaker then. For now, I am going to stay up. If he wishes us ill, he will strike when he thinks we are vulnerable.”

“No, Kalli, don’t worry. Go to sleep and get some rest. I don’t want to lose you because you didn’t get any rest. I will protect you and make sure nothing happens. I promise my life by it.” Kalli smiled as Lan said his words. There was an odd intimacy as he said the words. They felt true and she felt his full attention. It wasn’t something casual.

The words echoed in her head for some reason. She couldn’t get them out. She just smiled and thanked him and went to bed. As she closed her eyes, she still heard him say those words, and saw his face as he did. She didn’t understand why she did. However as she did, a certain wave of feeling came over her. She couldn’t describe it. All she knew was, a perfect stranger up till some time ago, was willing to risk his life for her.

She woke up, the day was about to begin and Yun snuck out. Kalli might face certain death, right? Well who was worth more, an old village leader whome she never met, or a young girl with a good heart whom she had been friends with? The choice was obvious.

She ran out and saw the time of day changing from night to morning. She got on a raft and paddled herself towards the tent. She made her way to the guard who she smiled at and asked to head inside.

She walked in. There, infront of her, laid a completely different figure then the one she met before. “Who are you?” It tried to say. He looked weak, beaten and close to death. It brought a tear to her eye.

“My name is Yun, I…know your secret. You are possessed by an evil spirit.” She walked closer to him. “I heard you ordered the execution of someone.”

When he heard that sentence a sorrow came to his face. “I have?” She nodded. She realized the truth of it all. “The one named Jaff, he threatens new folk who wish to enter this town.”

“He…I mean it, it has him under control as well. The spirits…they are brothers. Along time ago, two thieves broke into this town. Jaff chased them to the lake, where they got on a boat. They had a girl held hostage. He downed their vessil and they drowned. But Jaff, he was able to save the girl. I know they have returned. I…”

Then came another voice, his body changed and shifted to match, “Shut it old man! You…your name is Yun right.” It begane to laugh hystericly. “Well Yun, we are going to kill you. We are going to kill that ugly human companion of yours and her friend. We will find out where you live and kill your family!” It began to laugh again.

“Not…not…not if I kill you first!” Yun grabbed for a small dagger beside the bed. The possessed leader went for it to, but his other arm restrained the other. There was a war going inside the body.

“Please…kill me, I don’t want any more harm to befall my people.” The leader was slowly gaining the upper hand, for now.

Yun thought again, this creature it was pure evil. It needed to go. Plus Kalli, no, she couldn’t let this happen to Kalli, the risk wasn’t worth it. But then… she dropped the dagger and broke down. “I must have faith in her. She says she will stop you, so she will stop you.”

Jaff kept his eyes out for the two of them. He would ambush them when they aren’t looking. He did not know wether or not to believe in Lan’s so called abilities, however it would be wise to blindside them. Then he saw them.

“Where is Yun?” Kalli asked. “I don’t know, but we got to do this quick.” Responded Er. The two ran for the rafts, they were going to make a run for the tent. “Lan, you remember the plan?” Lan nodded. Jaff then noticed the two of them came from Tuttles house, he would kill him later.

“Okay, Jaff is basicly the muscle of this town, he wont have a big posse by his side, especially if any violence during the day will be overturned. At night is when he has authority. However, I am sure he wont take this lying down. So Lan, I am trusting your abilities.” Kalli looked at Lan to see if he understood. He simply smiled at her, and she felt something in her sink. That simple smile, something about it was perfect…why was she thinking about this at a time like now?!

She was mentally making herself ready. Today was the day she fought a giant. Was she a giant? She did not know. She never thought herself as one with an extreme world shattering power. Or one with an ability to beat back spirits. She then thought of his smile for some reason again. It left a good feeling inside.

There boat docked with the village leaders house. Behind it, Jaff was waiting. He was going to move in and slaughter, dump the bodies below. Infront, Lan looked at her and said, “Good luck.” Kalli was thankful and could swear she heard a battle cry of a bird. Then she felt the wind. It was heading toward the tent as well. It was a gentle and encouraging wind. She followed.

Jaff turned the corner only to be confronted with Lan. He was waiting this whole time! “I knew you would try and stop us.” Lan put his hand in his bag and drew out a long spear with a big curved blade. It still had the blood of the bandits he slew not too long ago. “I cannot let you pass. You will not stop Kalli from saving this village.”

Kalli walked in to find Yun huddled. “You, you have come. I have been waiting. I tried to kill him, but I couldn’t.” Yun then looked on embarrassed. “Please,” Kalli said, “come with me, I would like someone by my side.”

“Before you enter, Jaff…he is possessed too.” Er heard Yun say these words and at once ran out, his feet making CLIP! CLOP! Sounds against the wood. The two then walked on.

“Stupid boy and his horse.” At that Yun chuckled at the thought. Then it all became clear. Every single thing became clear. Kalli looked at Yun and she noticed the odd gaze she was receiving.

“I know why the people here look so odd,” Kalli then paused then said, “I know why…your mother was so nice to me. I know why you told me, you would protect me. I know why you are so friendly with me, yet untrustfull of others. I know why…you have that scar.”

Yun smiled. Kalli then finished her sentiment, seeing Yun for the first time “I always wondered what happened when we released you back into the wild. It is good to see you, little deer.”

With that, they went into the final lair unknown if they would survive. But they would protect eachother.

The End

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