“I do wish I could tell you more about our world but it seems like my time is far spent.”
Elder Brisbane sighed as he stared out the window of his self-constructed hut, swatting aside the buzzing insects that flew around the room.
It had been a heavy several hours of the Elder grinding the basic tale of his world, his land into Jide’s memory. Hibee was lying in the corner sleeping after being freed from her binds. Sunny however sat at the doorway of the hut scanning the outside for potential threats, occasionally giving odd stares in Jide’s direction.
Still in his metallic bronze and chrome form and wearing only his boxers, Jide had long lost all form of shyness as he had sat listening to and questioning the Old Illienze story.
“So what now?”
He asked as he saw the elder getting up from his seat.
“What’s left for me to do now child, is to give you a few items to help you on your way”
The old Illienze smirked as he made a quick motion with his fingers and a small golem came in with a large bag slung over its shoulders. With a loud thump it drops the bag in front of a surprised Jide who quickly unties it.
“Thank you sir… ”
He says as he brings out a grey cloak, a small dagger and several changes of clothes.
“But I really should not be taking anything from your people, especially when I snuck out of there the night before.”
His eyebrows raised, the elder made a small gesture with his hands and the large golem grabbed Sunny who had
been sitting at the doorway and dragged her to the table.
“That may be true, but your mission forebodes far more danger than you’re prepared to handle.”
As the golem firmly sits Sunny down at the table, the elder draws Jide’s attention to her.
“This is Sunny, a child of Illien. She is one of the most capable mudlings of her age grade, but alas she possesses a wandering spirit, one at odds with the stationary lifestyle of the town. Take her as your guide, child of Gaea. You will no doubt find her skills very useful to your mission.”
Getting up from the table, the elder adjusts his clothes as he gestures his creation out the doorway.
“Gaean child, I recommend that you let Sunny guide you to Rumiket, a town where a wise one dwells. He will help you in your mission.”
The elder at first walked towards the door but stops, scratching his head as he turned to address the two seated.
“Sunny, do your best to represent our town. Jide, I wish you the best of luck in your journey.”
And with that the Illienze elder left the metal dread knight and the Illienze youth seated at the table while the florin snored contently in the corner. What felt like eternity passed before the green haired lady coughed and attempted to break the silence.
“I couldn’t help but notice that you’ve held your Dread knight form for practically the whole day. Is that alright?”
Jide looked at his arms, flexing them as he shook his head.
“No idea. This is the longest I’ve ever held this form. It’s just that every time I disengage this form I get very drowsy. Couldn’t fall asleep while your chief was telling me all about this world.”
Jide relaxed when he saw her chuckle a little.
“I guess I could change back now and rest up. How far is Rumiket?”
Sunny checking the contents of her bag sighed loudly throwing out what seemed to be a cap of some kind.
“Rumiket? That’s pretty far. To be honest, it’s probably going to take the three of us quite a bit of time to get there. ”
“About 2 months, that’s if the gods are kind. But realistically, with what we have here, I’ll be surprised if we get there within 5 months.”
“5 months? What then? Ho…How?”
Jide exclaimed, slamming his palms on the table which cracked loudly. Looking at the imprints of Jide’s hands left on the table, Sunny shrugged as she tied up her bag.
“First, we’re going by foot. Second, we have been provided with just enough funds to get to the next town. From there we’re broke. Third, consider who we are, I’m an Illienze a person of the earth… If I get hurt or overly stressed I crack and break up. It’s not pretty. And we Illienze aren’t on the best of terms with our neighbors.”
Pointing her thumb at the slumbering Hibee who had rolled to her back, absentmindedly scratching her stomach.
“I don’t know how you two hit it off so easily, but florins are high maintenance creatures. They need regular supply of water, food and earth to be at their best. Plus there’s a likelihood that bandits might go after her.”
Jide took a quick look at Hibee then stared back at Sunny with a look of disbelief.
“Bandits go after florins? Why?”
“Heh. You’re really an outsider to be asking that. Florins are very rare creatures, though not very powerful on their own, their potential for magic is quite high so sorcerers, witches and certain rulers would seek them for charms and stuff. Plus I hear their flesh is pretty tasty.”
“Why didn’t your people do anything to her if she’s so valuable?”
Sunny face flashes a fierce glare which she quickly stifles into a calm poker face.
“We Illienze aren’t like that. We aren’t savages that kill indiscriminately or terrorize the other races. Let’s leave it at that. Where was I again?”
“Oh. Finally you. You may have power but you’re too much of an unknown. You have no idea if you have any other powers or what limits and weaknesses you may have. You’re walking into all this pretty blind. Thus we have to be extremely careful of where we go and who we interact with. These three things make this journey much more difficult.”
“Shit. So it’s going to take that long just to get a clue about where in the world my relations are?”
Jide hissed as he clenched his fists while glaring at the table, his eyes tracing the cracks all over it.
Noticing the Illienze’s steady gaze, he quickly unclenched them as took a deep breath.
“Sorry. It’s not like I expected this was going to be easy. At least I have a guide and at least an idea of where to go to now.”
“You should rest.”
Sunny says reaching over the table as she pats his shoulder. Jide nods as he gets up from the table.
“Might as well.”
He says as the wills the transformation back from metal to flesh, the tiredness and drowsiness sweeping through his body as he staggered about holding the table for support.
“Fourth time and still wears me out, I swear…”
Jide manages to say before the heel of a boot smashes into his face.
“Sorry for that, but it just felt so good.”
He hears as he falls unconscious.
Jide groans as he sits up from the ground he had been lying on. The room had darkened considerably since it was now nighttime with the smell of cooked meat drifting in the air.
Following the scent out of the hut, he sees a small fire with a warthog like creature being roasted over it. Seated close by it is two figures, one who turns revealing her bright yellow eyes nearly dropping her plate as she rushes up to hug him.
“Jide! Sunny caught us dinner and breakfast! And probably lunch if we’re careful.”
Releasing her hug to quickly squeeze his cheeks, Hibee gives Jide a warm smile as she suddenly pulled him towards the roasted hog.
“Here have a piece. You should be hungry right about now.”
She said as she tore off a limb and handed it to a puzzled Jide.
He said as he glared at the Illienze who was silently eating, ignoring his presence.
“You kicked me in the face.”
“So? You deserved it.”
Sunny said non chalantly, though she began to eye him then the fire.
“So?!! What did I do to you to deserve that? I didn’t beg to be brought to your village or to be treated like a bloody prisoner!”
Jide threw the meat aside as he stood to face Sunny. Not one to be threatened, She stands at her full height
looking steely into his eyes.
“I’m not afraid of you. You hear that? You’re a dangerous existence that almost crushed my village! If you
try to be an issue I will drop you without hesist… wha? ”
She stops as she and Jide find themselves forcefully separated from each other as they are lifted into the air by heavily horned vines. Both look down to see a pissed florin vines coming out of her arms, shoulders and back hissing loudly.
“You two should just stop. Nobody here is forcing you to be with us so if his presence pisses you off so much maybe you should leave? Jide, I understand that she kicked you in the face but from what I heard you nearly killed her and her friend and also wrecked that nice village of hers. I think a kick is very lenient punishment. Now can we just get along?”
She says as she drops them both back to their feet.
“We have a long journey ahead and it’s way too early for us to have problems with each other.”