Meet Me in the Woods

Meet Me in the Woods

A Chapter by KibaxChan

 Enola led them through the thickets and groves of the deep surrounding forests. She stopped every once in a while to eye Muhlsaan; she expected his old, human bones to give out on the trip. But such is the price of a trial. One that Enola herself was on, she bitterly reminded herself. 


After stopping once more to glance at him when she climbed up a steeper bit of ground, Enola turned her head to look at the way they were heading. Above the fox, the sky was painted a striking orange, but the color was beginning to give in to the darkness.


“Don't worry, you can see it from here. We're almost there.”


Enola saw the old wizard struggling to make it up the incline; she had to hide a coy smirk as she took a step back to give them room. Atki stayed at the bottom as the mystic went up the rocks. It did seem like the exhaustion was getting to him. The feline found that he had stayed behind to help if he fell; he realized that he had begun to care for Muhlsaan as well. He stood, silent, watching.


Muhlsaan made it up to Enola, swiping his hands down his robes to rid it of the dust. Atki gracefully bounded up the rocks and climbed up to the two in an effortless move. Enola narrowed her eyes, only slightly, at the Felecetii. That was unnatural, even for Felecetii. Does he feel the power already? Then she cleared her throat and began toward the mouth of a cave that was hidden behind a grove of pine trees. She guided them until she came into the dark rock face, then she snapped her fingers and a small flame burst to life in her hands.


“Come.”


The fox stepped in, her steps swift and graceful, her ears always swiveling around to catch every sound she could. Her behavior was like Atki's with only few differences, that being that she was poised and exceptionally alert. She came to a pot that was suspended by tree branches over a half-burned bonfire. Enola flicked her wrist, sending a burst of flame into the dry wood, and watched as it began to grow. She stood there for a moment, only then turning to regard her visitors.


“I know you have questions. Don't waste my time, I can't afford to throw it away at the moment.” She said, sarcastically.


“First off, why are you being hunted?” Atki spoke before he could think about what he was saying. He didn't realize the implications of knowing the reason until his voice was already in the air, but once he did, he swallowed uncomfortably.


“I think we... deserve a right to know if we're putting our lives on the line to talk to you.” The feline wasn't wrong, but he wasn't certain that he was right either.


Enola smirked, which grew to a smile, before she cleared her throat and attempted to wipe it off her face. This was a serious matter and she had to remind herself that, even as she watched the Felecetii stumble around conversations as though he'd never had one.


She took a deep breath as her expression fell to neutrality, exhaling before she spoke.


“The Unseen.”


The fox stepped over to the side of the cave. She began to set her weapons and her quiver down, propped up against the cave's wall. Her aura grew darker and somber as she turned back to the two travelers, her expression reflecting her emotions.


“I used to be their leader, you know. Not their queen, not their boss. Their leader.”


Atki was silent for a moment, his tail lashed in an unconscious response. “What happened?”


The fox closed her eyes, raising her arms slightly. She concentrated her energy on her magics and suddenly, down from her paws upward, she began to change. Her fur disappeared to become pale skin and even her sorceress robe morphed to become a kimono. Raven-colored hair fell down her back and curled around her frame, her eyes of ice were striking as she opened them to gaze at the two. She was human, a beautiful woman at that.


“They saw me in my true form, as a fox. The Unseen, my brothers and sisters, turned against me. I had loyalists, until they were killed. The humans and some of the mutant Felecetii tried to kill us all. They think I polluted their souls with 'dirty magic' and now, they want revenge. They won't stop until I'm dead or until they're dead.”


“How many of them are left?” Muhlsaan interrupted, “these Unseen are going to be a problem and I'd say they're the first step we need to take. I'm sure the three of us have a better chance of survival out there. We could help you hunt the remainder down.”


Enola turned her head to face him, “I'd say no more than two-dozen. I've been at war for a long time... traitors, so quick to turn on me. I've trained them well, but I've managed on my own. You aren't helpless either, are you, Muhlsaan?”


He nodded slightly, she knew what he was and he wouldn't be surprised if she knew his true power. Akti seemed to either be unaware or simply apathetic when it came to Muhlsaan's strength and ability, all that mattered was that he trusted him. Though deception and guile had been mandatory for much of his lengthy life--Muhlsaan didn't need to deceive Atki. They both had the same goal and had found trust together throughout their journey. Enola was aware of this and displayed great judgement in avoiding the topic altogether, she knew--Muhlsaan knew, that was enough. Both of these spellcasters were formidable, both had every reason to stick together, betrayal wasn't in the cards. At least for now.


“No, Atki and I are capable of protecting ourselves and others; we'll watch your back. I am curious, however, what is your relation to this great spirit we've contacted? What is your place in all of this? I'm through with the mystery. I can tell you I'm only here because of Atki, at least that's how it all started. I followed a dream, and was set in his path. I followed the dream further and you were set in ours. Do you serve the great spirit?”


“I know of the dream. The one where he lost his real eye, am I right?” Enola smirked as she turned her face away from the wizard to gaze out of the mouth of the cave. Atki fidgeted, becoming uncomfortable once again. She chuckled that sultry, attention-catching melody. “Yes, I know how you came to be here and where we're going to be. Serving, is the wrong word.”


She turned her ice eyes back to him, meeting his own without a falter, “I served once, but I did not serve the White One. I am at his command only because of my relationship with the creature. It's been a few hundred years, if I remember correctly. I stumbled upon him one day when I was adventuring through the dream dimensions, unaware he existed at all. I thought he looked strange, unknowable, but I didn't fear him. Not like with... Her.” It was obvious that she struggled even mentioning the Godspirit.


“He's been losing his strength for some time now and he needed a prophet. He needed followers or the world had no choice but to surrender to whatever Hell that phantasm would create. I don't know where your heart lies, Muhlsaan, but the boy will not be vulnerable to corruption...”


Not for the first time, Atki eyed Muhlsaan with a suspicious gleam in his scarlet orbs. He thought on the amount of times it had been mentioned for a moment and he realized that he had no idea who this mystic was. His only friend, of course, but nobody he knew he could trust. But, strangely, he did. He felt that it was safe to let his guard down with Muhlsaan; if only for a moment.


Enola recognized the spark in Atki's eye, she was attempting to gauge the trust between them with a stabbing remark. It seemed to be that she was successful and a soft smirk graced her lips.


“Tonight, we will rest. We'll set off in the morning to put an end to the Unseen.” Enola almost choked, she had to force the sentence from her tongue. Her eyes fell to the ground for a moment before she cleared her throat. The fox struggled to keep her voice level, but the volume decreased and her speech cracked. “It's time.”


As Atki was listening to the fox, he felt a pop in his skull. Once again, it didn't start all at once, but he began to feel the agony of it. He moaned as his hand went up to his eye. When he looked down at his ivory paw, his blood was on his fingertips. He exhaled shakily while the pressure in his head began to build, his breathing becoming erratic. Atki was forced to close his healthy eye and, this time, he was aware that he wasn't where he saw he was at all.


The silhouette of a cat and two humans made their way up a mountainside. The night was warm and the lights of the torchbugs floated in the air like stars coming down to the earth. All was quiet except the chirping of crickets; there was a silence among the three, but it wasn't uncomfortable. It was a vigil, if anything. But when they reached their destination, it was broken.


“Finally!” A heavily accented feline voice chirped into the night, a purr rumbling her chest.


“You can say that again.” The man spoke.


“Fin-al-ly.” Enola heaved a sigh as she went up to the massive boulder that blocked off a pathway into their headquarters. They gathered up to it with the fox-woman in the clothes of a human and waited behind her as she raised her arms over her head. The earth began to rumble; the rocks and pebbles beginning to fall from the cliff face as the boulder was lifted out of the hole. Enola rolled the boulder over enough so that they could enter the cavern and come out the same way when it was over.


“Ahh, I thought you were slipping for a second, Enola. Careful or one day I'll be in your place.” The feline laughed, even the sound of it was heavily laced with her accent. Her violet eyes met with Enola's, who wore a playful smirk, and she winked at the Unseen's leader.


“Not until I see you gather a group of people to fight for a cause, Calypso.”

“Ah, well, I must admit I'd rather take a cat nap.”


“You're both unbearable,” The man snickered as he ran his fingers through his pale blonde locks. He began to walk, shaking his head; the two exchanged their impish laughter where they stood behind him. He glanced over his shoulder at Enola, who blew him a kiss.


“You know you love it, Asher!”


Asher cleared his throat uncomfortably, his face heating up, as he disappeared into the cavern. Inside, the lights of the torches Asher lit were beginning to bring the cave to life.


“Can you believe we've made it this far?” Calypso was breathy as she stared at the doorway of their work. The years they poured into recruiting and the ideals they've announced to the world. The lives they've lost and the lives they've gained. Enola met her eyes, knowing instantly what Calypso meant.


“Honestly... no. I thought society would've beaten us. I thought they would've won.”

“Me, too. We can't let them win. We're the Unseen, but we must MAKE them see us.”

“Exactly.”


Then, they began to follow the ashen haired man.


Atki was forced from this waking dream into the cave where his paws touched the rocky ground. He fell to his knees, his brain pounding at his skull. His claws were embedded in his head, which he was gripping fervently. A sound that was a mix of a groan and a moan escaped from his lips. 


Enola watched this, without reacting. She knew what was happening to him, though she didn't know what secret he'd unlocked with his enigmatic orb. Instead, she waited for him to speak.



© 2016 KibaxChan


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Added on September 8, 2016
Last Updated on September 8, 2016
Tags: magic, wizard, sorceress, fantasy, cat-person, furry, furries, orb, lore, enigmatic, spellcasting, thriller, felecetii, satyr, centaur, nymph, aspect, secrets, prophecy, fox-people


Author

KibaxChan
KibaxChan

Farmington, NM



Writing