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[#39dd2a "Don't be sorry. I'm flattered that you think highly enough of me to worry."] She smiled at him. [#39dd2a "Though I don't battle often, the concept is not foreign to me."]
Hazel glanced at the night sky. [#39dd2a "Yeah, okay. Tomorrow's going to be a long day. The Red Mountains are so far away."]
Ross sighed, "I'm sure yer Caretaker is doin fine, sorry fer yellin. I shoulda been smarter, I basically sent you out without checkin fer danger. Let's get ready to rest, 'kay lass?"
[#39dd2a "I'm sorry."] She offered him a sheepish smile. [#39dd2a "Where it was just Lord Paduri and myself, he was never concerned with my whereabouts because the center of the forest where he lived was safest. Plus, he trained me to fight. I'll be more thoughtful."]
Hazel glanced up at the now-dark night sky. Through the tree cover, she spotted the blanket of twinkling stars. [#39dd2a "I hope Paduri is fairing well without me."]
Ross sighed, his ears pointing downward, "Just...be careful, okay lass? Last thing I need is you gettin' 'urt by some weird creature from them shadows. Ye can't just be goin' 'round givin' this poor wolf a fright, y'hear!"
[#39dd2a "No, I'm okay. Just a bit tired."] She smiled at the werewolf. [#39dd2a "Shadow Wargs are commonplace outside the main forest, and so are other creatures, Shadow or otherwise. It won't be the last one we see."]
Ross let out a sigh of relief when she returned, shifting back and running over to her as he began checking her for wounds, "You okay, lass? It didn't do nothing t'ya, did it?"
[#39dd2a "Good. Now I don't have to hold back!"] The small mage's eyes started to glow a bright green as she summoned up a wind storm. [#39dd2a "Begone, creature of darkness!"] With a battle cry, Hazel aimed the leaf storm at the shadow warg, hearing it cry as it was attacked, and then silence as the shadow creature dissipated.
With a huff, she brushed herself off. Though tired, Hazel was proud that her attack had worked so well. [#39dd2a [i I must be getting better at this...]] With a triumphant smile, the child made her way back to the camp, a small armful of firewood in her arms.
Ross took a while to realize what she said, nodding and running to go protect the tent just in case. Fire alone would never ward that thing off.
Hazel gasped as she felt Ross' presence behind her. She wanted to yell at him to run away, but her attention was torn back to the shadow warg as it swiped at her. With practiced ease, she dodged the claws of the beast and launched a whirlwind of razor-sharp leaves towards the beast, and heard it cry out.
[#39dd2a "You should go!"] she shouted to him as the beast was regaining itself. [#39dd2a "I'll be okay!"]
Ross finished the tent, wondering where Hazel was. She should have been back by now...He went to search for her, shifting into his wolf form and following her scent to only see her in battle with some...[i thing.] He panicked, watching as he waited for the right opportunity to distract it and run away with Hazel.
The child just offered a smile. [#39dd2a “You thought of everything, didn’t you?”] But without waiting for a response, she wandered into the thick of the remaining woods, looking for acceptable tree scrap to use as firestarters.
A rustling in the underbrush made Hazel’s head snap to attention, as she looked around the area. Nothing was immediately visible in the quickly-darkening area, but an aura she’d never felt before washed over her. It wasn’t overly dangerous, but it wasn’t welcoming, either. [#39dd2a [i A Shadow creature, then… This one feels like a Warg...]] The flame in her hand burned out at her will, and suddenly, she was shrouded in darkness. But the red glowing eyes of the Shadow Warg she felt were now visible, and she readied herself. [#39dd2a [i Hopefully Ross doesn’t run into any trouble…]]
The Shadow Warg lunged, and Hazel prepared an attack.
Ross laughed. She definitely wasn't like anyone he'd ever met, and he had met plenty of people. "I got a tent in case ya prefer th' grass, and firewood sounds like a good idea. Can ye go get some while I pitch th'tent?" He took out the materials from his bag and got to working on the makeshift shelter.
[#39dd2a “Yeah, you’re right.”] The child hopped off of Ross’ back, lighting a flame in her hand to help them see. [#39dd2a “We can gather some old dry wood to give us some light to work with, but other than that, I don’t have any forms of shelter we can use. I don’t normally worry about it; I can sleep in tree branches.”]
Ross smiled when she hopped on her back, racing through the woods at a much higher speed due to his newfound excitement. He stopped when they reached the edge of the forest, looking at the plains and mountains as he listened to her speak. It was dusk, and night would be appearing at any second. "We should set up camp 'ere, lass. Th'plains are dangerous t'camp in. Anything can spot ya, friend 'r foe."
With the wind in her hair, and a newfound energy bubbling up inside her soul, she happily ran along, dodging full-grown plants and small wildlife. When Ross raced to catch up with her, complete in wolf form, she laughed harder and hopped onto his back, clinging gently to his fur.
Dusk was upon the two as they finally reached the edge of the country of Gwynt. Closer than before, the Red Mountains loomed over them. [#39dd2a “Our journey… has finally begun.”] She glanced around her as the lush forests slowly faded into smooth, warm plains. [#39dd2a “We’re going to have to go through Danau before we reach D’daear,”] she stated. [#39dd2a “But maybe we’ll find another Sage along the way!”]
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