we never know!
dun dun duuuuuun!!!
:O u cant kill the dervish....go avatar of mel...im sure thats got something to stop drowning.
/sigh... a bunch of nekkid ladies and pop goes all celebet ... typical monk
Great chapter! Naru is gonna be just fine...right? *frets*
Poor Pop :p
/ponders if Tianya would shoot a warning arrow at him if he got close to the water
advanced happy halloween to all! *evil laughter* i'll be telling spooky stories to anyone who's interested in the coming nights so if you're in the mood to get chills down your spine, just send a whisper my way! i promise i'll only tell true stories that happened to me. enjoy the holiday!
Vi Tali Ti turned to the stirring form beside her she smiled sadly and renewed a healing enchantment by putting her hands over her patient’s chest. The power flowed steadily from her and into her charge. After the prayer was complete, the monk took a wet cloth and began to wipe at her ward’s face.
“You almost drowned last night. Early this morning to be exact. You sleepwalked into the water and kept walking as it got deeper. We got you out just in time,” the young monk smiled.
“So it was half true then,” Narulia mused.
“I dreamt that I was running after a young girl. She told me that she was scared of the man chasing after her and she ran to the water. I went after her. She said she would be safe in the water,” the dervish looked thoughtful as she recalled her vivid dream.
“That sounds so much like the folktales around these parts. But that drowned girl is just a story. It is my belief that you are just thinking about this too much and it’s playing tricks on your sleeping mind.”
“I guess you’re right,” Narulia smiled and got up, “We’d better get going since I feel much better!”
But I never thought about that story until I started to dream about her. And it started when we entered Jahai Bluffs, too. I wonder what happened to her.
They underestimated the size of the lake that they encountered the night prior. It seemed like the bank stretched well beyond the horizon. Despite it being a source of water, they noticed that the animals were nowhere to be found. It was like they were the only living things upon the blasted plains aside from the water weeds that grew near the water’s edge.
“She’s been acting odd lately. As if she’s under a trance half her waking moments,” Little Tumblepop rubbed his chin thoughtfully.
“We’ve been through here during patrols and skirmish exercises, but this is the only time she acted this way,” Devlin Moonshade mused.
“It’ll be nightfall soon enough. Let’s try and keep her from drowning this time,” Revel smiled as the others broke from formation to set up camp.
Dinner passed without much incident and soon enough, the light of the full moon bathed the plains in silver. The shadows were darker tonight. The lonely campfire danced in the slight breeze as sounds of cracking and splitting wood echoed in the chilly night.
The night brought with it a different kind of chill. It was a lonesome kind of cold, the kind that made them huddle in their own blankets for warmth instead of staying close together. The fire seemed to grow smaller and dimmer as the night wore on. It was as if they were feeling from each other. Everyone was silent. Some tried to sleep but tossed and turned before they settled down. The others tried to stay awake but found their eyes feeling heavier and heavier.
They unconsciously jumped at every sound and every movement they saw at the corners of their eyes. The fire played with the shadows it caused, making large wolves and mandragors that chased away the will to stay awake. Somewhere between consciousness and unconsciousness, and despite the relatively chilly air, beads of sweat started to form and run down their faces and necks and chests.
At that moment, the nightmare began.
Where am I?
You are here with me. Come with me. We’ll be safe here.
Why? Who’s chasing you?
My husband and my twin sister. I saw them together in my bed and now they want to kill me.
We can fight them!
No! We must run! No matter where I went, they still found me! We have to hide!
The girl took Narulia’s hand as she took a few steps closer to the water’s edge. She looked like she was eighteen summers old and no more. To have someone so young be involved in such a malicious plot was something the dervish did not want to encounter right now.
If we keep on running, then we’ll never stop! We need to make a stand and fight!
But they’re too strong!
I’ll protect you! Where are they?
The girl pointed to two seemingly transparent beings approaching the lake. From Narulia’s perspective, the couple did not seem to have any feet, but floated steadily towards them.
How can you fight without your weapon?
We’ll make do with what we have!
Oh, you mean like this?
Narulia felt something wet coil around her throat and slowly lifted her off the ground. Her hands immediately flew to the source of the choking, and it felt like solid water. The dervish gasped for air as her legs flailed about, hoping to regain a foothold or at least to kick at something.
What’s happening? Help me!
I am helping you. If you stay here with me, you won’t have problems anymore!
The dervish was starting to panic as she felt beads of cold sweat run down her face. She saw the apparitions moving closer but did not do anything to hurt her. She felt lightheaded. At any moment, she could lose consciousness.
Don’t fight it anymore. Stay with me. We’ll be happy, right?
I guess so.
Narulia! Wake up! I will you to wake up!
No, they are not your friends. They are working with my sister and her lover. They will hurt you!
No, they are my friends. They won’t hurt me. I’ll wake up now and we’ll try to find a way to help you. I’m sorry.
No! Don’t leave me! They’ll demand retribution! They’ll never let me go in peace!
You should have thought about that before you let jealousy rule your heart. Goodbye.
In the eternity between sleeping and waking up, Narulia saw that the apparitions before her looked very much like Clarabelle and Marabelle.
“Thank the six you’re awake!”
Narulia felt arms coiling around her neck and back this time. They were not cold and wet, but warm and comforting. She felt the coolness of healing enchantments being lavished upon her one after the other. She opened her eyes to see a ranger, a paragon, a mesmer and two monks smiling in collective relief. Beyond them, she saw a warrior and a necromancer smirking at her and nodding. The dervish felt a chill run down her spine.
“I dreamt about the girl again. She wanted me to join her and keep her company. In the end, I realized that she was the evil twin.”
“I do not understand,” Tianya replied.
“There is a story about a young maiden who had a twin sister. But one day, she met a handsome youth and immediately fell in love with him. But indistinguishable as they were, the girl found that the boy fell in love with her twin sister. Consumed with jealous malice, she tricked her twin into coming to the lake then drowned her. She then masqueraded as her twin and married the man but she was still wracked by jealousy that she was not chosen initially. She brought the man to the same lake and also drowned him there. It was then that she realized what she had done and drowned herself. It was said that she haunts this lake, but this is the first time she attacked someone,” Narulia related her tale.
“How sad a fate for one so young,” the ranger shook her head.
“Where are you going? What are you doing?” Vi Tali Ti called after the dervish, who seemed to be looking for something. She was waist-deep in water.
“Help me look for her bones. They have to be here somewhere!”
They spent the better part of the day stripped down and wading in as deep as they could have gone to search for the young woman’s bones. Slowly, a pile formed on the bank. Narulia gathered the bones and buried them underneath the shade of the lone tree nearest the lake. After a few prayers, the companions left and headed for the Fortress of Jahai.
“I hope she’ll rest easy this time,” the pixie-faced monk smiled as she draped an arm over the dervish.
“I think she will. I have a feeling she will,” the dervish smiled back.
“That’s such a creepy but sad story, Zotran. Are you sure you didn’t make it up?” Finn rubbed his arms vigorously.
“Well, that’s just what I heard from the locals. And since All Hallows is coming up, I figured it would fit the mood!” the paragon chuckled.
“So the dervish girl wasn’t plagued with any more nightmares about the girl in the lake?” Shaddow asked.
“I think the ghost appreciated her gesture of burying the bones,” Akira nodded as he finished his mug of ale.
“Well, what happened to the dervish and her companions? That was one lucky monk, by the way! Sleeping with seven beautiful ladies like that and all to himself!” Ciaran mused.
“I guess they continued their journey. And now, gentlemen, I am done with my contribution. Who’ll tell a story next?” Zotran seemed to wink mischievously in the light of the fire.
“I believe I have one. This was told to me by my father when I was young and it both amazes and scares me at the same time. Until now, I get goosebumps when I remember it,” Akira refilled his mug and settled down comfortably.
“This better be good. No crazy stuff!” Finn elbowed the assassin.
“Scary yes, crazy, no. Anyway, my tale started one rainy night in Aerie, the Tengu village located in Shing Jea Island…”
LOL awesome ending to an awesome chapter m8 :D
i really enjoyed that 1 (more than normal)
i demand more NAO!
Wait what? A time paradox?
But nice story, I love folk tales by the fire >^.^<
After all, we are all someone else’s dream. A wish and a thought. A painting forever in memories. -Forever Dreams, a GW fanfic
Fall into the darkness and embrace this solace,
And be excited by the unknown that you fear.
Tell me can you resist these strawberry lips?
-Decadence: Prayer of Starless Hearts
~* Lynthi Dorighan - Monk *~
if you guys are familiar with Tales of the Cryptkeeper, well, that was my nod to that show and shows like it, where you'd think it's a story that really happened only to find out at the end that it's just a story. it's one of those "dun dun duuuun" kinda things.
hmm...Aerie, Tengu and Shing Jea...could Aki be retelling something involving another assassin with blonde hair?
dun dun duuuuun!