Saturday, December 4, 2010

Calm Poison

Every morning when the sun touches the soft grounds of the earth, two friends set out on the green pastures outside Heyang City. Although the two girls have diverse characteristics, no one can deny that they are bonded like sisters. Both of them are apprentices of their schools harnessing the skills needed for survival. MuJitSu, a Heaven Sound temple disciple, focuses on the bright side of life – purity, healing and protection. Kaori, the admirable girl from the Ghost Witchery Sect practices the total opposite. She vows to use aggressive, brutal attacks to defend her side. When she becomes her full form –the demon stance, a lot less human like, fierce and glows red – she is undeniably stronger than when she is human.

MuJitSu and Kaori escape the boundaries of Heyang and have an adventurous time each passing day. They come home tired and exhausted. But they still have the time to retell their adventure at night. The elders call to the two girls often as they have the most courageous tales best enjoyed after dinner.
On a typical Wednesday morning, MuJitSu suggested that they visit the sandy lands of Foreworld. When they were fully garbed, Kaori looked uneasy for a minute but MuJitSu failed to notice it when she said she was ready.

They passed through the secret passages only both of them know. When they surfaced, they were surprised to see the Bloody Cougar breathing in their faces. In an instant, MuJitSu put a protective shield on Kaori and took a step backward. She was holding on to her enchantments to work even on such a preemptive attack. They were usually the ones doing stealth and surprise attacks. Kaori transformed as a demon but got hit first in the arm. The vicious creature lunged at her and made a couple more scratches. She quickly slid behind the monster’s back and poisoned it. This did the trick as it was still fighting but its blows were getting weaker. Kaori attacked more and she was feeling really good about it. Every time she becomes her natural self, she had a sense of utmost concentration and power. MuJitSu was also attacking at her side setting off massive spells to help in weakening the opponent. Finally the monster’s strength gave way and it was kneeling in front of them slowly dying. When they heard its last breath, they knew they won.

MuJitSu sat and panted as she observed the dead form. Kaori did the same, but there was blood lust in her eyes. She said, “This won’t do for the day. Let’s hunt some more.” Muji replied after looking at her, “If you say so, then lead the way.” They were the best of friends but even Muji cannot deny that she was a little afraid when Kaori gets a bit warrior-like in that appearance.

It was already high noon when they crossed Dead Swamp and entered the gloomy cave of Fox Mountain. Kaori did not return to human shape and this troubled Muji. They ventured through narrow passages. When they reached a deserted corner, a lady in green appeared before them. She had a gentle face that she seems out of place in such an ill-omened cavern. Muji lowered her staff but Kaori was still facing her boldly. The lady said, “I see before me two young adventurers, but what is your purpose here?”

Muji who apparently did not know why they were there kept silent. Kaori glowed redder and replied, “We have come to take whatever we find valuable here. But we have not seen anything yet.”

The lady chuckled, “Why, you will never find anything here. This is but an old sanctuary for those who seek protection at dangerous times. Since you have come here for a different purpose, it will only serve as a dull dark cave.”

As the lady spoke gently, Kaori was looking at the red jewel in her chest which glowed bright amidst the dark surroundings. She said, “I want that one on your chest.” Muji was stunned but said quickly, “Kaori what are you saying?” But when she looked at her friend, she realized that Kaori looked serious and stern. She has not been a demon for longer than a minute in our journeys, she thought. What was indeed happening was the longer Kaori stayed demon, spite was slowly crawling in her veins, to her heart. She gripped her arm but quickly let go of it because it felt hot like fire.

The green lady smiled and in an instant turned demon herself. “No one takes it from me, even if it means I will kill a pretty lady.” Kaori let out a sarcastic laugh, “I knew we were the same. And I knew this can never be a sanctuary but instead you feed on the humans who mistakenly set foot here, even my father. I have been searching for the cursed cave ever since, I just didn’t know it was in plain view.”

And the next minute Muji knew, Kaori attacked the lady with full strength. The lady was able to dodge it but not too quickly as she was hit in the left cheek. The roof and ground began to tremble as her blood hit the floor. Muji began casting protective spells for her friend but Kaori shouted, “Use the potion on the left pocket of your bag, quickly!” Muji opened the bottle but cried, “No!” It was an escape potion. She was slowly disappearing from toe upwards. Before she totally disappeared, Kaori looked at her and said, “You were the greatest friend I ever had” and next minute she found herself outside the cave. She tried to get in but the entrance closed. The cave collapsed and she couldn’t hear her friend’s voice.

She sat with tears on her cheeks and opened her bag, “I wish I could have given my gift for her birthday sooner.” And she held the most precious stone the elders gave her – a blue immortality stone.

*a winning entry for the “Relive Your Adventures” forum contest.

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