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A World Apart
The Chasers had been right behind Korin and Fien for the last two days, barely allowing them any rest. Of course by now they were used to it. They had got out of so many tight spots they had lost count.
Korin leaned against a tree and watched his female companion, Fien, sit down on a tree root and begin her daily meditation. Being a Water Seer, Korin didn't have to meditate, but the Fire Seers were a harsh and very strict clan which demanded that she meditate every day at the exact same time.
Korin withstood the urge to roll his eyes and, instead, watched a little bug crawl across his leg. After a while he decided to take a look around and see if he couldn't find a way out of this seemingly endless forest they had fallen into.
Climbing to the top of the nearest tree, which there were plenty of Korin could see for miles in any direction.
"Hey tree boy!" Fien called up to him clearly finished with her meditation. “Can you see anything?”
Korin took another look around and started back down the tree. Once he had reached the bottom he brushed the dead leaves off his shirt and gave his assessment of the situation.
“We’re lost,” he stated bluntly.
Fien frowned and sat down pondering their next course of action. She sat there for a few minutes, then stood up and said.
“We’re going to have to get captured,” she said.
Korin froze between a sitting and standing position clearly baffled by Fien’s proposition.
“What do you mean ‘have to’?” he said, standing back up.
“We’re lost,” Fien replied shrugging her shoulders “There’s no other way. The Chasers know every inch of this forest. We let them take us to the edge of the forest then we escape. If you can at least get away then you can send for master Kir and find out where the King is being held.”
“How would we escape again?” Korin asked sweat forming on his brow.
“I’ll have to use the last of my Fire spirit,” Fien said, turning away from him.
“No, Fien!” Korin exclaimed, grabbing her shoulder in desperation “You’ve
already used too much. There must be another way. We’ll find the end of this forest.”
Fien snorted “You know there isn’t any other way Korin.”
Korin began grabbing at any idea he could think of, “I could signal for Taric.”
“You don’t have enough Earth spirit in you to do that you know,”
Korin knew arguing with her wasn’t going to get him anywhere so he just stood up and said “We better get going.”
They began in roughly the opposite direction they had come until they could hear rustling in the bushes not far off. Korin prepared himself for a fight but Fien nudged him with her arm warning him to stand down.
Fifteen Chasers leapt out of the bushes from all directions swords raised wearing the black armor of the Chasers that everyone had come to fear.
Before long Korin and Fien had their arms tied to their sides with strong black ropes and were being led through the forest by the masked men. When they could see the edge of the forest Fien, nodded at Korin that it was time. Focusing her energy she let a small flame form above her hand, slowly burning through the ropes that bound her.
The Chasers didn’t have time to react. Fien shrugged off the ropes and slammed her fists into the ground. Flames exploded everywhere except for a small circle in which
Korin and Fien stood. The Chasers screamed in pain. Some were already dead, their bodies falling to the ground blackened and sizzling. After a few seconds the flames disappeared and Fien fell to the ground.
Hurriedly Korin bent down and put a finger to her neck feeling only a small, fading pulse. Without knowing what he was doing he put his hand to Fien’s forehead. Small ribbons of blue light passed down his arm and disappeared into her forehead. Soon Fien’s breathing became normal and her face regained it’s normal color.
Feeling relieved Korin removed his hand and sat back against a tree. Fien sat up and gave him a very puzzled look.
“How did you do that?” she asked, touching her forehead.
“I have no idea,” Korin replied, lying down on his back “I just did it.”
Fien nodded, still looking skeptical.
After a small meal of foraged roots, the two decided to sleep for the rest of the night.
In the morning Korin woke to find Fien meditating. He smiled and was about to put out the embers of the previous nights fire when Fien held up her hand and stopped him. Putting her hand out in front of her she slowly lowered it and, to Korin’s horror, placed her hand directly on top of the burning coals. But her hand didn’t burn. Instead
little sparks dotted her hands and the coals slowly turned white. Fien lifted her hand looking far healthier then Korin had ever seen her.
“How did you do that?” Korin asked, his eyes wide in awe.
“I pretty much did what you did yesterday only I took the energy instead of giving it,” Fien replied looking at her hand in interest.
After a few minutes she got up and said “We need to keep moving.”
Korin went, again, to put out the flames but there was no heat left in them. He shrugged and began following Fien to the edge of the forest beyond which they could see a hill. Upon climbing the hill they saw before them a vast prairie of swaying grasses, dotted with patches of beautiful flowers. Korin was struck by the beautiful sight that invaded his senses. Finally Fien broke the silence.
“You never told me why you became a Kin brother,” She said, looking at him.
Korin shrugged “My father said I had potential.”
“When your parents die?” She asked rather awkwardly.
Korin looked away. “They died a year after I became a Kin brother. They died in a Chaser raid.” He hung his head holding back his tears.
“I’m sorry,” Fien said.
Korin turned away unable to hold it back anymore. His tears streamed down his face. Fien put her hand on his shoulder. Turning him around she kissed him. Surprised by the sudden movement Korin almost pulled back but eventually relented to it. After a few seconds they separated, both smiling.
“Everything will be fine,” Fien whispered, hugging him tightly.
Korin looked up and saw a bird fly overhead.