The man jerked his heads towards the two deadly-silenced individuals. They both were trying to keep quiet, for they were fearful of what this man could do.

She recognized that his clothing was un-foreign, as was the case for the man next to her. Was the man who silenced her a criminal? If so, she wanted to get as far away from that being as much as possible. She didn't know exactly where to turn to next, though. And once again, there was a slight flaw in her once-thought brilliant plan. She was stuck, and couldn't find any other way to get out of this mess.

Whether to get killed on the spot or to stay trapped with someone who might very well kill her soon enough weren't very inviting offers. But she decided to take a deadly risk. She leaped up and ran from the two towards the hidden brush.

The man with the sharp weapon, startled, turned his head towards her. He called for her, asking her to come back and help him chase the other man. The strange thing to her was that she noticed that he didn't recognize her. She was fully clothed in apparel that would have given her away immediately. But then she thought again, and remembered that her attire was worn out.

The hiding one came out into the open, where he would clearly be seen. He ran towards her, and grabbed her hand. His eyes seemed to tell her to follow him. But did she want to follow the stranger, and risk her life somehow? Was he really dangerous?


Her eyes crinkled at the rays of the rising sun. It woke her from her peaceful slumber. But she was faced with magnificent scenery, and the beautiful music of nature's wonderful creations - a stream pouring into a waterfall, birds perched on many tree trunks singing their daily songs, and so on.

Where was she and what in the name of Hortull was she doing here?

She looked at herself, and found that one of her most prized gowns was wrinkled and full of dirt and grime. She was sleeping on a bed made out of hay and grass. Next to her was an unfamiliar-looking knapsack. It looked as unfamiliar as the guy she was with yesterday...

That guy! She looked opposite her right side - the left - and found it bombarded with bags with the words "Doritos : Nacho Cheesier!" In the name of Hortull, someone tell her where she is.

"I think we're safe now." She looked behind her, and there was that man again.

She rubbed her eyes, determined not to say anything. Maybe he was a decoy. Maybe it was another flaw in her mission, and she was ambitious to get away from this man as far as possible.

He turned to look at her again. The man pointed to the eggs on the unusual-looking platters. "Want some fried eggs?" She noticed that his accent was strange, but he nonetheless knew her language.

She looked at his browned hazel eyes skeptically and in wonderment. His eyes, a deep shade of turquoise, were beautiful and intriguing. But she forced herself to focus back to reality. He was ordered to be nice, wasn't he? But she nodded, eager to eat. She couldn't go on her mission on an empty stomach.

He gave her one of the platters which he said they were called plates. He handed her a spoon and fork. What he found atrocious was that she didn't even know how to work the two utensils. When she found him holding them in both of his hands, she did the same. When she finally got the hang of it, it all became a breeze. It was much easier than eating with two broad sticks. When she had told him about how she used to eat with the two broad sticks, he asked if they were called chopsticks. She was confused all over again, and he laughed and shrugged it off.

They ate on a crudely constructed wooden table and kneeled on the floor. It was difficult and uncomfortable for the both of them for neither had been used to this kind of lifestyle.

Several times, he had tried to converse with her about petty and trivial matters. She made her answers short and brief, not wanting to accidently give away un-needed information.

After their quick breakfast, he threw the dishes into the little spring. He took out a bottle full of yellow liquid, and she grimaced. She scrunched her face up in disgust.

He opened the bottle up, and poured the yellow liquid into his hands. He rubbed the plates with them, and a foamy substance appeared. This time, she choked and looked down at her crotch. She didn't know that it could do that at all, and she thought that it was supposed to smell bad - not fresh and rich in lemons.

He called for her. "Here, help me clean them up." Her face paled. "What? What's wrong? Don't you ever clean?"

"I do clean up. Just not with, you know, that ... stuff." He looked up at her, bewildered. He laughed at her when she looked down again. He explained that it was dish-washing liquid. Soap. Something that helps to clean up and get most dirt off.

She asked if her dress could get washed with the liquid, and he laughed again. He explained to her that there were different types of soap. That the one he was using was only for dishes, and that was why it was given the name dish-washing liquid, but that she was allowed to try if she would like to. Her face reddened, and she decided to stay away from him for a while before she embarrassed herself anymore.

What really was eye-shocking to her was that there was something powerful in his hands. It was like a sword only without a blade. These oval balls shot out from the opening - bullets. It was a gun, and she was immediately perplexed at what it could possibly be. She knew the name, but she didn't know what it was used for. She didn't get it.

"It's to shoot with." She raised an eyebrow, expecting more of an explanation than that. "You know, kill." She nodded her head still clearly bewildered, and he sighed. "Would you like to see how it works?"

At the nod of her head, he loaded the gun. He waited for an animal - or something - to approach. He gestured for her to be quiet, and she silently agreed. They both spotted a small, white rabbit laying in the grass. It was burrowing a hole, probably to create for itself a home for the next few months in which it would be spending its winter hibernating.

She jolted at the loud sound of the gun, it's bullet aimed perfectly at the animal. She was repulsed by the sight of blood pouring from its once puff-like fur coat, staining it. She wondered if he could do that to humans, also, and he replied with a yes. But he had repeated to her over and over again since she couldn't get the sight of blood out of her head, that he would never ever think of hurting her, let alone shooting.

So she lightened up a bit, deciding that he wouldn't harm her. Not yet, at least. Especially when she could help him clean up. At that, she smiled a bit.

She had wondered why he couldn't have just shot the poor animal with an arrow, and he responded by telling her that he didn't know how to, and he said that he bet that shooting with a gun was much easier. She gasped, wondering why he didn't know how to use an arrow. He told her that shooting with arrows wasn't much of a weapon now. It was just a hobby for some people, and that guns and knives were the weapons primarily used. She shrugged it off, and told herself that she shouldn't be wondering about these things. Maybe some time later, she could ask him all of her questions. Her head was still spinning at the fact that her plan was wacked out.

He cooked the rabbit, and she grimaced in disgust. It smelled horribly wrong. Again, her curiosity got the better of her, and she asked him if the bullet was edible. Again, he laughed at her bewilderment, and told her that he had taken it out. "Of course, you could try to eat the bullet if you wanted to," he chuckled. She scowled, unhappy that he was finding her amazement funny. She wasn't trying to be, it was just that she didn't know anything about him.

To her surprise, for the umpteenth time, she found out that the rabbit was absolutely ravishing. He said that he applied seasoning and a bit of soy sauce, but she didn't care about what he put in it. She just cared that if perhaps she had to go back home and maybe since he was such a good cook, he could replace the Head Chef, Benneth. She voiced her thoughts to him, and he smiled but even though it made his nose look slightly bigger than it should, it looked genuine.

They were finished with the whole meal, the bones the only things that were left. They were clean bones. She had licked all of them dry, and made sure that they didn't go wasted. She implied that she wanted more, but he had told her time and time again - getting frustrated every time that she had asked - and told her that he didn't want to waste any more of his limited supplies that they obviously didn't carry in this world.

"In this world." She wondered what he meant by that. She had asked him, but he only said that she would mistrust him, and that he didn't want her to do that just yet. He said that he didn't want her to think that he was crazy. "Not yet," he said quietly, "not when I could gain your trust and prove to you something before I have to leave." She inquired about him "leaving" and all he had replied was that she would see one day when it was actually time for him to leave. She frowned. Even if she didn't intend to have him in her master plan, she didn't want him to leave. He was a good friend to her, and treated her better than anyone ever had when she was back home.


It had never occurred to her until now that she must have been far away from home. Really far, considering that they had been on the move ever since. She wondered where they were, actually. She had lost track ever since the day after the night of the chase; when she left off into the forest that was so foreign to her. Before, she would have found this whole event unwanted. The thought of staying in the forest would have been extremely repugnant, but now, all she felt was happiness. Even if this was where she hadn't intended to live after she had run away, she was still happy, and loved the nature just as much as she had loved Bryante.

Bryante. Just thinking about his name made a chill sliver down her whole body. It had been terrible to let him go, and she knew that going along with her plan meant that she would have to risk everything. Even him. He had always been there for her, the young noble. He really was a gentleman and considered her every thought, her every whim as unique as she was.

It was clear to her that he was one of the few things that she had actually really missed. She hadn't felt this way about anybody, she knew she was completely engrossed in him; she was in love with him.

But the sad thing was that he wasn't going to be there for her anymore because she had left her home, her world, her everything. He must have found a "replacement" for her; it was too easy. She had noticed that his mind had recently gone blank when he was with her, and he had been spending an awful lot of time with Lady Villao of Bisten while everyone had visited him since it was his birthday, after all. His eyes always glazed over as he gazed longingly at the young woman. He never had given her the same look ever since they met. Sure, she was profoundly one of the few gorgeous women, but he had overlooked her. He had seen a real somebody in Lady Villao, and that's what scared her the most.

He wasn't in love with her the same way that she had been in love with him. She was the only one who felt something out of their relationship. He only saw her as a friend, at most. He only respected her, and wanted her somewhat for her beauty. But he didn't actually like the real her. It was all in her imagination until now.

And that was the moment when she found a boulder, sat on it, and buried her face in her hands. She was crying - crying for living in a horrible world that decided to treat her as cruelly as she had left it. It left her broken and weak, and made her feel very much like the rubbish that she had always left for all of the slaved servants to pick up. She now felt sorry for them, too, and wished that she could take it all away. And she was glad that she was gone, because now, it was all far from her.

She knew now that her journey had actually been worth the risk, even if there were none at all. Nothing back at home cared for her, and that fact was one that she couldn't handle.


A moment after he had gone out to find a small stream in which to get their water, he came back. It was a considerably a long time, probably more than an hour. He didn't want her to blame him for taking too long. In fact, he wanted her to achieve that curious feeling again. He liked to answer her questions. They were funny and adorable because she really didn't know anything at all about him, and he didn't know anything about her, either, for that matter.

As he settled the heavy jug full of the cleanest and purest water he could find, he jerked his head. He had heard someone sobbing. It wasn't too quiet, but it was definitely something he had tried so hard to concentrate on so that he could listen to it. He wondered if it was that girl who was crying. And if it was her, he wondered what it was about.

He walked carefully towards the sound, occassionally straying somewhere else, but eventually was on the right tracks again. Finally, he caught her sight. He was behind a bush, taking little peeks at the lady sitting on the rock, her tear-stained face rubbed frequently by her violent hands.

If he had anything to do with this, then he might as well have come out and said sorry. So he silently strutted towards her, and when he reached her, sat down next to her on the rock. He slowly rubbed her back, and asked her what had happened while he was gone. He couldn't hear a single coherent and comprehendable word, but nonetheless told her that everything was going to be fine. She had tried arguing, but all he did was listen and kept trying to soothe her, and she cracked.

It took a long time for her to finally calm down, and when she did, she found her head buried deep beneath that man's shoulders. His shirt was stained with her tears which seemed as if she had actually dumped a basin of water onto his shoulder. She didn't know she was capable of crying so much just because of one man whom she trusted and loved, but the same man who did not seem to return those same feelings.

She looked up, amazed to find that he looked concerned. She didn't know if it was an act or not, but appreciated him for being there to comfort her. She wasn't sure she could deal with anyone else other than this... stranger.

That word made her snap up, and she remembered after a while that she was being held by a complete stranger whom she knew nothing about. But the other thing that troubled her was that she felt somewhat at ease with him. Somewhat, but she still didn't trust him that much. She was still unsure of where he had come from and all sorts of things like that. He refused to tell her. And that made her wonder why he was trying to hide a secret. What could he possibly need to hide from her when she would obviously know nothing of him? She felt that he couldn't possibly be from around here. Not just her country and what-not, but from the whole world. There was something eerily strange about him. And she wanted to know who exactly he was.

He looked at her, confused. He had tried to ask her what was wrong, but she just retreated back to their little camp. He had tried to be sincere, hadn't he? Didn't she know that he was trying to help the girl?

He walked back towards the camp also, but avoided her for a while. He decided that she needed some rest and didn't need to be bothered right now. He would give her some space.


Despite her earlier. . . strange-ness, she obliged to having another meal. Their dinner consisted of a deer he had found in the forest. He told her that he shot it, and she immediately brightened. He gave a bout of laughter as she seemingly thought that the good flavor came from the rupturous gun when, in fact, it had come from the seasonings he had provided, and lots of soy sauce, which was his favorite.

Her meal was gobbled up in seconds, and she had felt exactly as a dragon does when it was starving for gold. He asked her if she had wanted some more, and she nodded vigorously.

He had a terrible time trying to cut up the miniscule pieces of deer meat, and this time, it was her turn to laugh. She had never heard or seen anything so ridiculous in her life. He had asked her to stop ridiculing her for losing his sharp blade, his knife, but she still couldn't help it.

She had asked if she could take over, but his ego and pride - obviously belonging to that of the male species - had prevented him from relenting her to proceed. She pushed him, though, and ripped her meal out of the bulky dinner. He was shocked at what she had done, and explained that back at her home, she had never needed a utensil to break off pieces of her meals. They had always used their hands if they wanted a piece of a meal or something. It was proper for them, anyway. They didn't have spoons, forks, or knives to worry about - just two sticks, but they found it hard to work with, so tossed it aside and just picked at their food with their hands.

This led him to thinking that they were more primitive than he had originally thought that they were, and also caused him to wonder about her "home". She never exactly said anything about it, but he thought that by her clothing, he judged that she was of the noble or royal blood in these ancient times.

When he had voiced his two opinions, she snorted. He laughed, saying that she sounded just like his horse back at home when he couldn't have his way. She flared up right away, but shrugged it off after his laughter died. Then, she replied to his original statement. "I do not consider myself or anybody else that I know anything of the sort of primitive. Related to gorillas and monkeys and anything such as them is absolutely absurd! And as for my home. . . it is a bit of a heart-wrenching story for me to tell you, so I hope you don't expect any answers of that question coming out of my mouth. Well. . . not right now. Just ask me when I hadn't just recently cried because I was thinking of all of this before. Not the primitivity, of course."

He nodded, his mind digesting everything that she had just said. He took out the yellow liquid, and her cheeks reddened just a bit. The memory still embarrassed her, and he laughed at that fact. She had asked him to stop, her face getting redder, and his laughter only increasing.

"I'll stop laughing," he coughed. "Just wash the dishes with the soap. You know, that yellow liquid that comes out from a-huh-hum." She snatched the bottle from his hands, completely flustered. He didn't let go, and so she pulled harder. She couldn't believe that he was playing tug-of-war with the soap with her! When she finally pulled the bottle towards her really hard, he let go, and she stumbled. He laughed at her fallen figure. She quickly regained her posture, though, took the dishes, and ran towards the nearest pool of water.