“Are we actually going somewhere specific or are you just wandering aimlessly again?”
“Gods, I hate when you do that. Is it really so hard to give a clear answer? Not all of us can read minds, you know.”
“You love it when I do this. The sense of uncertainty excites you. Although not as much as my special nightie.”
“You don’t even have a special nightie.”
“Sure I do. The one I wore the first time we…”
“Don’t say it! It’s embarrassing.”
“Why? We’re the only ones aro…” Help!
“Reira? Are you okay?”
“I sensed something. Just for an instant. I was faint, but it was urgent. Wait just a moment, okay? I’m going to try to follow it.”
“Are they really this way?” Axra asked.
“According to Fang, yes,” Lilly answered. She listened to the dragon’s tiny grunts. “We’re close too.”
“What if they’re hiding inside the great forest?” Lysara asked.
“Nothing to worry about,” Bonnie said. “As long as we avoid damaging anything besides them we’ll be fine. Although, if we could trick them into causing some damage then the so-called forest demon would be a useful ally.”
“He’s just a crazy dude who’s way too into the forest, right?” Velvet asked. “Is he really that strong?”
“Even if he is we don’t need him,” Axra said. “I’ll rescue Twila myself.”
Ahead of her, Lilly turned away from the forest and started moving.
“Looks like it’s a moot point anyway,” Bonnie muttered. “Pity.”
“Did you want to see the Demon in action, Bon?” Lysara asked.
“More that we could’ve used the help,” Bonnie said. “We’re going to be heavily outnumbered after all.”
“Don’t worry about the little details,” Lysara said. “We’ll be fine.”
“What makes you so certain?” Bonnie asked.
“Because we have Aphrodite’s blessing on our side!” Lysara declared. “Our love will give us strength and Axra’s love for Twila will give them strength. We can’t possibly lose to a band of villains who don’t understand love!”
Bonnie sighed. She didn’t want to dampen Lysara’s spirits, but it wouldn’t be that easy. After all, she’d only recently started to understand love and she’d had no problem in fights before.
Love wasn’t needed in a fight. It was all about skill and experience. And her experience was telling her that their disadvantage was virtually insurmountable. If only Axra would listen to reason and wait for reinforcements…
Lilly stopped her horse and dismounted, carefully.
“What’s up?” Axra whispered.
Lilly moved back to the group. “Th… they’re just ahead.”
“In the building ?” Lysara asked. The area Lilly was indicating was a flatland. There was a solitary building, and a very large one at that. It had a single visible entrance and boarded up windows. It looked like it had been abandoned for years.
“No,” Axra said, sarcastically. “They’re hiding behind the elephant. Of course they’re in the damn building!”
“So, what’s the plan?” Lysara asked.
“We break down the door, run in and kick their asses!” Axra declared.
“If I may suggest an alternative,” Bonnie said. “I believe that our best chance is to create a distraction outside. A small group might be able to sneak in, past the guards and make it to Twila. Those outside would just have to fight defensively until the group inside got back out. Then, we retreat.”
“Isn’t our group a bit small to split up?” Velvet asked.
“No, Bonnie’s right,” Axra said. “I’ll go in alone. The rest of you can cause them problems out here.”
“Sh… should you really, you know, go alone?” Lilly asked.
“No choice,” Axra said. “There aren’t many of us, after all.”
“You should have someone to watch your back,” Bonnie said. “Three of us…” she glanced at Fang reclining on Lilly’s shoulder “and the dragon should be able to hold out here. If we’re careful.”
“Fine,” Axra said. “Lilly, you can come with me.”
“Am… am I really good enough?” Lilly asked.
“I can’t think of anyone I’d rather have by my side,” Axra said, she clapped Lilly’s back. “Let’s save her together.”
Fang let out a series of grunts.
“You can’t come inside with us,” Axra said. “We need you out here.”
Fang growled and grunted.
“”Don’t argue with…” Axra began.
“He… he’s not arguing,” Lilly said. “He… he’s trying to tell us that Twila is… in the basement… I think.”
Fang let out a satisfied grunt and licked Lilly’s hand.
“Okay, Begin!” Bonnie ordered.
Lilly started off the festivities by firing several energy arrows into the building, quickly running to the side to join Axra. Fang moved in next, belching several fireballs at the upper level of the building.
Bonnie, Lysara and Velvet approached the building.
“Those of you inside,” Bonnie called in a loud, clear voice. “Come out and surrender now or prepare to give your lives!”
Grass went flying all around them as soldiers pushed their way up from the ground. An ambush! How had she failed to anticipate that?
Cursing herself, Bonnie grabbed Lysara, shielding her, and rushed through the group, using her axe to block blows as she went. Velvet followed closely behind her. Soon, the three of them were standing with their backs to the door, facing a regiment of opponents out for blood.
Axra and Lilly hurriedly moved into the door behind them, shutting it with a loud thud. Well, at least one part was going according to plan.