Chapter 31 - Finding a new path
(Five days later)
Xander finally had his strength back and was running on the ground scouting the road up a head.
Ignoring Tuzan Rim and directly moving North East had taken them into the Rocky Planes an area mixed of grass planes and small rocky hills that were carved by the wind in to ghostly towers and sharp pointy stones. The place was hurting the horses’ hooves and so they were walking. The whole area was dry and soon they would enter the north part of the Asharien Dessert. It was a small dessert but dry like hell.
Suddenly he froze. Big dirty piles of earth were resting on the ground and Xander felt a wave of worry that was a sign of a colony of earth beasts.
The earth beast was roughly humanoid with four arms with long claws and six eyes. It was an animal that hunted by using ambush during the night mostly. Its skin was thick as leather armor. Its legs small and it moved slowly. Sadly the earth beast hunted in a pack and even if they were animals, they where skilled in creating ambushes.
Xander carefully sneaked back, but then stopped. Something was wrong. Why were no birds singing? Xander grinned. The beasts had prepared an ambush. But where are they?
Looking around he could see a hidden hole in the path he had walked on, a small pit trap. Finally he found the first one hidden under the tall grass of the planes. Its red skin was sticking out as a sore thumb now that he knew where it was, but where were the others?
His eyes hunted around trying to find a clue where the others were hiding. Suddenly he grinned. There they were. One was hiding on the opposite of where the first was and the last one is right there trying to sneak up on me. Xander nodded, it as classic trapper method. He would try to drive me towards the trap and his pack then they would jump me.
Grinning madly Xander pulled his new elven longbow free. It was something he and his old elven teacher had built. It was made from strong wood and elven glass to give it strength and flexibility and some wires. His very own home made compound-bow.
Stringing an arrow he sent a grateful thanks to Rory, who had told him how they worked and helped him to learn to build one. He aimed and shot and sent the first arrow in one of the hiding earth beast’s head, piercing it. Xander grinned at that lucky shot.
Quickly before the rest noticed he shot the second arrow at the last of the hidden beasts. This time he failed to hit its head, but he got its lung with his arrow and that would slow it down. As it howled in pain the still unhurt earth beast stopped sneaking and started to run towards him. Xander grinned while drawing his swords. "Time to dance," he mumbled.
Xander walked back to the others and said, "Selia… close your eyes."
Blinking in confusion she obeyed. Carefully Xander took forward a beautiful necklace, a small bird carved from a stone was hanging from it and he put it over her neck.
Selia blinked. "Why thank you Xander, but it’s not really my style," she grinned.
Xander looked shocked. "Really? Crap, that’s all the Earth beast had."
Selia blinked and asked, "Earth beast?"
Xander nodded. "Yes they were building an ambush. I took them out with my arrows then I raided their lair. I found some silver coins and that bird necklace." He pulled forward a dirty sword and a pair of chain mail gloves. "And those."
Giles cleansed his glasses. "Why on Earth did you take those with you?"
Xander rolled his eyes. "The gloves are good armor. I think they might fit you or TT. The sword is a Dwarven Krell-par-lukh. One of the best backup weapons or parry swords there is."
Giles frowned. "It's a bit short."
Selia grinned. "Its cost a lot of money and cleaned up we can sell it."
"I was thinking that TT could use it as a backup weapon," Xander said.
TT nodded. "Sure my fighting style is two weapons. But it will take some time before I can use this."
"Well fine. Give me the gloves," Giles said gruffly, studying them before putting them on. "They fit, thank you," he said with a big smile.
Buffy frowned. "How long before we are out of this place?”
"A week," Giles replied.
Joyce frowned. "I’m still not sure this dessert walk was necessary."
Xander rolled his eyes. "Better safe than sorry, right?"
Giles nodded, one terrible idea had come to his mind, but he feared to reveal it to Xander.
If Willow was his half-sister, magic would make it easy for her to track him and if Xander knew he would most likely do something stupid like remove himself and Giles wasn’t sure that he and Buffy would survive without his help.
(At the same time in Tuzan Rim)
He was running for his life.
So far the idea he and his friend had come up with was brilliant. He would use the fact that he was an elf and his friend a Kragg Barbarian to pretend to be the dangerous Darkwing Duck.
So far he had managed to stop some crimes and steal the criminals gold and he had managed to blackmail a Cirfalien trade house.
And they believed the real Darkwing Duck had done it, so there was no risk in them coming after his hide. A perfect plan nothing could go wrong.
Then this happened. Why him? He was a good elf. Sure he was partly criminal and sure the rest of his Pyar clan had more or less abandoned him, but he wasn’t evil he didn’t deserve this.
"You will die Xander," the dark knight, a Helm-Ghoul, in black steel armor said as it walked up towards him.
Soon only the scream of pain was heard and the elf and the Kragg barbarian were dead.
The Undead looked at the other. "Now we have to find the slayer."
The others just nodded.
One of the weaker demons started to talk. He was greatly respected as a tracker and only as a tracker. "They must have split up. I can’t sense the slayer in town. But without her mentor and her White Knight she will be easy to destroy."
The Undead Helm-ghoul nodded. "Our mistress said that they probably go to the Kragg Mountains to hide. We should move towards that there."
"I think it would be better if I sniffed around, the Slayer might be outside the town," the tracker demon said.
The Undead Helm-ghoul replied, "I’m the chief, but you are the Tracker so it’s your call."
The Tracker nodded. "Then let me sniff around. No more than a day or two after that let’s go where you said."
The Helm-ghoul nodded. "Let's do so." And so he and the rest of the undead moved out.
(Out on the sea)
Willow frowned. Xander dead? She didn’t believe that, but the helm-ghoul had reported so to her over the magical bond they had. Most likely it would not matter. She would be in Taka in less than a week then she would have to sneak in to the jungle to find the hidden temple. With a short smile and a crazy giggle she decided what she would do. She concentrated her magic. Calling on powers and summoned a demon.
Not one of the Xinu the Corrupter's demons, but one of Dibuct, a powerful equally evil demon.
"What do you want follower of Xinu?" the demon asked.
Willow grinned. Dibuct and Xinu hated each other almost as much as they both hated the gods. "Nothing except bring your master Dibuct a gift if you promise not to attack for at least a year when I set you free," she said.
The demon raised an eyebrow. "A Slave of Xinu giving us a gift? Do tell," it said.
Willow grinned. "The slayer is on her way to the Kragg Mountains according to our sources. Your master has yet to find her. We have, but she managed to runaway before we destroyed her. The slayer looks like this," Willow said, as she explained the way Buffy looked.
The demon nodded. "I promise not to attack you for a year if you release me."
Willow grinned and added, "This year."
The demon nodded. "Right, I promise not to attack you for this year. Now release me."
Willow nodded and one burst of energy the circle holding the demon was gone. The demon flapped his wing and was flying.
Willow giggled madly. Inside she was even more pleased during the energy blast she manage to give the demon a secret note. She was sure Dibuct was going to enjoy helping her.
Flying high above them the demon read the note. Sending its information to Dibuct the demon god he served.
-I’m going to kill Xinu. He has enslaved me but not completely. When the right moment comes can I call upon your help? Then your brother will be no more.-
In his hell Dibuct was laughing, the note was written in blood he could feel the truth in it. The girl was serious, she would try to do it.
And it looked like the corrupter only corrupted part of her. His brother still believed she was faithful.