Chapter 2


Khondis sighed as he listened to the clacks of the wagon wheels and shackles bouncing down the bumpy path. His wrists were cut up from the heavy iron clad bindings that had been placed upon him. Was this really worth it? He wondered, he had somehow been scammed to not only travel to the Sitra Temple which within it resided a grumpy old Draglynn named Rera, but he had to do it as a prisoner instead of losing his life, all against his will.
Looking across the wagon he watched as the silent Wyllow sleeping on Hunter’s shoulder. He hadn’t sat in the back of the wagon for most of the trip, but rather sat up with one of the Elite’s as she drove the four horse wagon. But on this occasion Wyllow and him had been having a conversation about the Temple until the girl had fallen quiet, and eventually asleep, unintentionally resting upon the Master. He seemed to mind little, and sat in silence in the moment.
Khondis didn’t understand it, this whole time he had been trying to be alone, and here he was, traveling with two people who knew nothing of him, and both were trying to keep him from dying. The way Wyllow had acted back in the small village almost seemed like a real feeling. But at the same time, he could easily speculate that she just wanted a free trip into the Temple by using his life as an excuse. He didn’t understand her one bit… but here they were, because of her.
He was extremely skeptical of what could possibly be done to keep him from being hung. However there was one thing that almost prevented him from denying maybe what was happening was in fact real… Hunter. When he had questioned Wyllow’s integrity he had shown a very strange form of magic, he was looking deep into her soul, searching. Khondis was familiar with this feeling; he had grown up with something very similar. He was a Chaos Ecchial, born with Fore capabilities. He had never practiced the ability, but being born with the natural skill allowed him to perceive thoughts to a certain degree, and almost foresee actions of others. He was also very capable of reading what abilities an opponent had.
This allowed him to see that Hunter was capable of much more than he had shown up to this point. His little trick with Wyllow had only hit the tip of the iceberg, and that legitimately put fear into Khondis. He knew if he really did want to live that he would have to do as he was told, or he would be done for. This was troublesome if he ever hoped to get away from Casbael. But even still, he had an extremely hard time identifying exactly what Hunter was. It was obvious he was a full blooded Ecchial, much like his self, but there was something much more, was he a fully realized Fore? Only the Chaos elves were capably of the ability. And he was certainly not Chaos. For an Ecchial to be born with Magical abilities was a rare trait. It was instead a self taught technique that had to be awakened within ones self before it could be utilized; but to be that powerful… There was something to be said about it. It was obvious he was a Master for a Temple for a reason.
Hunter had seemingly nodded off into his own thoughts and had closed his eyes; but as Khondis mulled through his suspicions Hunters ears had perked as he opened his eyes and looked at him. With a small smile he nodded lightly.
“What are you…?” Khondis questioned quietly. He knew it would be of little use to keep Wyllow asleep if there was conversation, but he still did not feel like awakening her for no reason.

The gentle rock of the wagon and the easy conversation she held with Hunter, there was no doubt to why it had been a simple tilt of a head to fall asleep. It was peaceful and somehow she felt far more certain that Khondis would keep his insults to himself. There was something that Hunter did to keep the dark man silent, much to her pleasure.
She had been waiting for some sort of quip at any point from Khondis, but eventually her guard fell as she allowed the excitement to build in her chest to actually see and be welcomed inside the temple.
Ears flicked to the sound of a coarse voice speaking through the silence of the moment, stirring her sleeping mind to reawaken to the wagon ride filled with bodies. Her mind awoke slowly to the start of a conversation as she sat up straight to rub a palm to each eye.
Yawning more openly that she would have regularly allowed, Wyllow blinked slowly to take in the bright sunny canvas of the wagon as the shadows around each others faces were present. It took a moment longer than she would have liked, but her mind finally began to comprehend the idea of what Khondis had spoken. The words that had awoken her from her passive slumber making the slow rise of her tapered ears showing she was finally alert enough.
The question had been directed to Hunter clearly, though it only raised a couple questions in her mind, albeit she kept them silent. Khondis stated that Hunter was something else, something more though she couldn’t even deny that. There was something strange about the man, but not in a way that it frightened her. Though maybe it should have.
Rising her roan sights to Hunter, she noted the slow smile on his lips seeming content with the heat of the moment growing.

Khondis’ eyes darted to Wyllow momentarily as she stirred. Pulling at his shackles he folded his arms as Hunter put on a fake look of confusion.
“What do you mean?” He questioned quietly, “an Ecchial of course.” He pointed to his ears.
“Don’t be sarcastic…” Khondis muttered. “You’re bad at it…” Khondis looked out the back of the wagon, not particularly amused by his attempt to change the subject. “I’m talking about your skills. Your aura isn’t normal.” This was the first time in a long time he found himself using the word aura. A very popular word among Fore’s, it’s what they called the colors that radiated from one’s being. It was how they identified each person they came into contact with. Khondis had gone out on a limb and assumed Hunter knew what he was talking about, considering his ability was akin to a fore.
Hunter tightened his Pony tail and looked over to Wyllow; silently he smirked at her and winked. “I’m not overly sure…” He put a finger up to his chin in thought. “It has many names.” Khondis just rolled his eyes as Hunter sighed inwardly.

Seeing the clear annoyance that was beginning to prickle along Khondis’ features, Hunter felt himself chuckling yet again. It just proved how much of a rarity he truly was. “I’d be safe to assume your own natural ability has never been honed therefore that is why you are asking me directly what I am?” he didn’t have to wait for Khondis answer as he was already aware of the fact.
Glancing down to Wyllow she seemed equally as intrigued to his true nature, though she was more willingly to let it show. Those eyes were deep as they were curious as he hummed under his breath. “It isn’t a common thing to happen to most ecchials Copper, that you should be able to tell.” He lifted a finger, “I am just the defined opposite of you. It has many names as I said, but it is mostly known as a Seer.”
Wyllow blinked at the name as she seemed to understand what it was. “So you can see the future.” It was the most common way of identifying a seer to all races of Flycoren though it wasn’t the complete truth of it. He tapped the end of her nose with a slight shake of his head.
“That isn’t the limit of it Wyllow, when I told you I could be able to tell if you were being earnest in your request to save Copper here, it is because of my ability. I am able to search the deepest recessives of your words and trace there truth from it. I would explain further but that is a lot of text and blithering that no one wants to hear.”
Wyllow rubbed her ear some before she turned an eye to Khondis, “You said you are the defined opposite of Khondis…”
He opened his mouth with a wide ah as he made an open palm gesture to Khondis, “He is a fore, well not really. He has the traits of a fore my dear, just like most chaos men they never train it. If what rumor states is true, most of the men generally believe it is a woman’s job to develop there fore ability but that doesn’t mean the men done utilize it. Why I am certain he has been trying to rack his brain and his skills in attempts to figure me out. But with a fore, unless they have seen the aura before, then they don’t know what they are facing, just they know they are there and they are strong.”
Furrowing her hair some, Hunter chuckled, “Every ecchial is born with a base magic in their bodies but we need to train ours. I wasn’t specifically born with the seer trait but I did hone my magic enough to use it the same way. In some ways I would go as far as to say my version of Seer-dom is stronger than the full breed ones, and in others I would say weaker.” He held his hand out still before Khondis, “Chaos ecchials are the only ones known to possess the born trait of Fores other than a few select breeds. As a meadow ecchial, it would have been difficult for me to train myself in his selected ability; much as yourself Wyllow.”
“What about me?” she blushed slightly as she tucked her hands into her lap.
“You are a rare breed of elf and yet you possess a stronger magic inside your body for defensive magic. Though I assume you use it without knowing you are. I’ve seen a bit of your crafty work in the temple which only leads me to believe you are utilizing it in a way that it strengthens your memory for weapons smithing and crafting. Though that doesn’t mean I am correct.”
Hunter let his gaze fall back to Khondis as he retracted his hand. “Does that answer your question Copper?”

“My name is Khondis…” He gritted his teeth as he detested being called Copper.
“Touchy.” Hunter smirked.
“But I’m afraid that with such a high bounty over your head, you’ve earned the name Copper Copel, it’s a little stuck on you. But if you desire, I’ll humor you and call you by your real name, even if it’s only for a brief while.” Hunter hummed.
“Pfff.. Thanks.” Khondis mumbled. “I suppose if you are really a Seer, then you can feel the presence that has been following us the whole way here then, hmm?” Khondis was now testing Hunter; he knew that if he really was as powerful as his presence commanded he would have known about it the whole time. He obviously wasn’t concerned about it if he hadn’t addressed it yet, which actually allowed Khondis to calm down and not watch his back for awhile, he had found at least a little bit of safe haven in Hunter’s presence over this whole ordeal.
“Oh I am in fact quite aware. And I assure you; they won’t come within five hundred feet of the Temple. But that won’t mean that they’ll stop tracking you I’m afraid, not until that thing,” Hunter pointed at Tondris wrapped up in burlap at the head of the wagon, “Is in their possession again. But they know their time grows thin if they wish to get it back. I am unsure if they will make a last ditch effort to retrieve it before we are in the safe zone of the Temple or not, so I do suggest keeping your ears open.” Hunter adjusted his coat and vest before leaning forward a little bit.
“But just between us three, you see that Elite there?” Hunter pointed at the girl leading the horses. “Her name is Saundria. She had a thing for him at one time, a long time ago, so if they do decide to greet us, there is going to be drama unfolding, it’ll be very interesting if I do say so!” Hunter snickered an almost girlish snicker.
“You’re sick,” Khondis’ eye twitched.
“I heard that Hunter, you better watch your tongue, or I’ll have Rera post your naked body in town again.” Hunter sat back cringing.
“Oh dear, that’s not very nice, all the girls are very malicious, they pull on things they shouldn’t, and I have to say it’s not very much fun at all.” Hunter winced at the thought.
“That’s the point,” Saundria spoke with a monotonous drone, evidently un-amused.
That had been the first time Khondis had heard any of the Elite speak since they had first met in the small Village, but to see her joking with Hunter gave their profession a new level. They almost seemed like robots, listening to orders and nothing more. And none of them seemed too worried about the threat that followed them either, they had to be very powerful, because not even Khondis had been able to best him yet, and he had been trying for five years already.
Khondis looked over to Wyllow, she was probably very confused by this being that he had grown far too familiar with.

The entire conversation seemed to take on a new life in which she was not familiar with. What had they been talking about a presence following them? Were they honestly being hunted and in truth who would be stupid enough to riot against even a couple beings from the temple.
Wrapping an arm around her forearm, Wyllow listened to the banter of the elite and Hunter only to frown at the speech. This man was proving to be far more than she could even fathom, only making her wonder how deep the turmoil of this was going to be. Certainly Guardian Rera had reason for Hunter more so than she was currently feeling.
His green turned to her as a smile seemed to grace his face. “Don’t worry dear, I am almost certain that the beings who are wanting to trail us for Khondis’ hide will scamper off when we reach the boundaries of the temple.” Hunter stroked his chin some, “Though Guardian Rera does like it when fresh meat comes willingly to the temple.”
Chills rolled up her spine as she turned an eye away from the group in the wagon. She was beginning to think she shouldn’t have stuck herself out for Khondis if he had this much trouble following him.
“Lo ho girls, how close are we to the temple grounds?” Hunter called forth.
“We will be sitting at the mouth of the temple in about twenty minutes Hunter.” Another elite guard spoke, with more tone in her voice than the first one had.
“Well,” Hunter smirked, “Lets hope the men don’t want to rush so we can get to our destination without an incident.”
His confidence wasn’t nearly as relieving as it had been prior.

Birds sang around them as the thick jungle wrapped around the well worn path. The route was a heavy trade route carrying much of the supplies needed to each of the surrounding villages. Being such a thick jungle, Sitra needed a vast clear cutting path from each dwelling in order to travel clearly. It was very hard to navigate through the thickets of the forest, and the dangers that lurked were even more unknown. Many Poisonous creatures and other predators lived within the walls of greenery, not to mention all the feral demoil colonies that lived off the land, many of them being Forest Demoils. Though being as far north as they were, it was rare for Demoil’s to be so close to the well guarded area of the Temple.
The Temple was more their bane then even Khondis’, and he knew that well, growing up on an island known as Loki, it was such a small island that Demoil’s had been pushed from it long ago. Instead there dwelled three types of people, Casbael, which held a Temple in the very centre of the island and in the surrounding areas, live Amazon and Chaos Ecchials. All Chaos Ecchails were male and Amazons were female. They were all very much the same colony, but only came together to mate. The rest of the time they lived very separate lives.
It had seemingly been a vast amount of time as they all sat in silence after their conversation about the people chasing after Khondis. This had allowed him to gather his own thoughts about what had been happening. It seemed as though the pursuers knew better than to attack a Casbael Chariot. Or so he thought. As he nodded on and off into a lull a whistling sound caught his ears, without a moment of hesitation he curled down into a fetal position, an arrow struck right through the canopy, catching at the fletching.
With a jerk the carriage stopped and the Elites hopped off and disappeared in an instant around the caravan. “Oh goody,” Hunter whispered, “Looks like they waited right until the last minute, but we get to have fun anyways.”
“Can I just deal with this?” Khondis grunted as he sat back up.
“Now now, you can just relax, we have this. You’ve had far more fun with these men than we have; besides you won’t be much good with those around your wrists and legs.” Hunter pointed at his shackles. Khondis rolled his eyes.
“Seriously? You’re not going to unlatch them so I can help? This is ridiculous, there’s like twenty of them out there. It’s obvious they are really not in the mood to mess around today; and what of Wyllow?” He nodded his head towards her. “It’s not like she has a weapon to fight or anything, the old man didn’t even equip her properly before we left, the daft fool probably forgot.”
“Calm Khondis, breathe in, and then out again. I assure you, we are more than capable.” Hunter patted both Wyllow’s shoulder and Khondis’ as he stepped out the back of the wagon. Khondis just gave Wyllow an unamused look.

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