A/N: hey all, here's the next chapter for those of you that are reading this story. I'm just writing this because I DESPERATELY need advice on what to do with this story, or if it should just be left as is. 1 review per chapter isn't really all that inspirational, lol.

Also another funny fact: if you look carefully, I make fun of Bush in here. More so Texas, but I wrote it with intentions of making fun of Bush…

Anyways, I hope you enjoy this chapter!

Run away…

Run away…

Hooves slopped in loose mud and sediments, desperately trying to get traction in the pitch black of the stormy night. The once shiny black fur on the writhing legs was covered in an unbelievably thick layer of accumulated filth, ranging from pond mud to shavings of cat tail.

She had to move, or they would kill her. She knew that. But her bat-like wings weren't developed yet: she couldn't fly away from the creatures following her.

Besides, they would just fly after her, anyways.

A vine snagged her across the chest. It was no big deal, a puny vine against her bulk; but it, along with its thorns, completely ripped the rest of her shirt to oblivion. Not like she cared…she'd just have to steal another one when this was all over. That was…if she survived long enough to do that at all.

Another ground-shaking roll of thunder crashed overhead, a sound so loud she thought that her head was going to split. Accompanied with the waterfall of rain cascading down all around her, she was NOT happy.

It didn't matter though: a little unhappiness for life was an even trade, she thought. She had to keep going, no matter what it took.

A war cry urged her to move even faster. For so many times it had been an inspiration for uneasy relief. But now…

It was just the calling for her most deep and primal fears.

The vine snapped easily, and she continued onwards in a mad panic. In the shadows of the rainy dark, she could only go so fast because of the dense undergrowth. These were the forests where she had grown up, where she had attempted to play with the other children. Where her mother and father had explained the incredible mysteries of why the sun rose and why bees and butterflies kissed flowers in the early morning dew…

There were no flowers or suns here.

There were no parents….not anymore….

A branch caught her across the forehead, snapping in a bloody explosion. She cried out in pain, but forced herself to go on. Her sight now even further impaired by the crimson liquid flowing into her eyes, navigating was going to be practically impossible.

The war cry echoed through the drowning forest once again.

Her logic was gone, nothing but the instinct to run left in her mind, but she couldn't. An unbearable pain in her abdomen stopped her dead in her tracts.

A spear.

Her wings flapped uselessly, her tail lashing out in her death throws.

"Die."

A whispered scream was lost in the booms of the omnificent thunder.

0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0

He hated rain. It was one of the many things he hated these days…

A blue haired elf walked down the path, his usual elegant strides tainted with hurry. His grey eyes were glaring down the soggy path as his feet squelched into the once semi-gravel road. The blue hair that many would have killed to have was tied back in a low ponytail, a lame attempt to keep wetness away from his face.

At least his hair didn't drip in front of his eyes when it was tied back.

His cape was draped about his shoulders, as always, although this time it was almost pathetic. While it was keeping his body, upper legs and arms dry, his head and hair were still a wet mess…

He wished he had a hood.

A cold breeze blew water up into his face, causing him to wince in disgust much like the way cats do when exposed to water. He spit excess water from his mouth, his glare deepening the creases in his forehead. Hate…hate…hate…

Grey eyes glanced at his hand, a grimace now on his face. This was one of those days he wished his power didn't react so negatively with water. A low growl escaped his throat. Hopefully the rain would abate soon.

Lightning cracked the heavens in a deafening roar. His glare turned to the ominous black clouds high above. "Yes, yes, everyone knows that you have lightning…"

The sky cackled again, as if saying "yes."

A smirk suddenly found itself on his face once more. They weren't so different…feared, hated, and to some, "all powerful."

At least he wasn't cheeky about it…

The sky roared again in denial, but the elf paid it no notice. He simply wrapped his cape tighter around his body and continued to walk down the cold and lonely path.

0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0

"I hate rain."

"And I don't?"

"I know that you do, Trence. I just hate it more."

"Ugh… you're hopeless."

"You know, I really wish that I got a gold piece every time someone said that to me."

"Why? Because you'd be the richest being on earth?"

"Heh, yeah, but that's not why."

"Really? Then what's your reason?"

"I just want a gold piece…"

Trence blinked at his elven counterpart through the downpour of rain. "What dimensional realm do YOU come from?"

"The lone star…THIS one…"

Trence laughed quietly to himself. His horse, Riedeth, gave an annoyed neigh. "Yes, I know that you're miserable. We'll stop at the next inn, okay?"

Riedeth seemed to ponder a moment, then made a small buck. "I guess I can take that as a yes?"

Another neigh.

"I guess so."

"Are you talking to your horse again?" Kazak adjusted his hood so that it would cover more of his face. "And people call ME strange…"

"And this is coming from the elf that ate his own ear excrements for his entire childhood."

Trence thought he saw the elf shrug. "Hey, I was told that it was leprechaun's gold, and that eating it would make you live longer."

"But you're an elf…you're going to live for a long time, anyways."

"Would a 10-year old know that that wouldn't make a difference?"

"Point taken. But that's still gross."

Another shrug. "I've never been 'elfish,' so it doesn't really matter."

Trence opened his mouth to say something, but stopped as crashes of thunder stampeded over their heads

"Kazak! Can you see a tavern anywhere up ahead?" the human king shouted. "I can't see a damn thing!"

The elf laughed. "That's very un-kingly language, ha ha!" Before the king could respond, he quickly added, "and yeah, I can. Off to the left up there…maybe a half mile or so, who can tell?"

"We need to give the horses a break. It's too dark to make it to the next one. Plus Riedeth would never let me hear the end of it."

"Oh, poor horse! What about me?! We've been riding through this rain for hours!"

"That's why I think we should stop there."

"So it's for our sakes then…"

"And the horses'…"

"Puh…dumb horses…WHA!"

Trence nearly fell off his horse laughing as Kazak's horse bucked, sending him flying over the reigns and into the muddy road with a loud squelch.

"That 'stupid horse' just made a fool out of you, eh?"

"Yeah, yeah, shut up. We're almost there."

Trence looked ahead, his laughter finally coming under control. Sure enough, there was a light, a fire from a tavern by the looks of it, was shining through the rainy gloom.

Kazak yanked the reigns of his horse, who had yet to be named, and followed Trence through the rain.

It was only another matter of minutes before they got to the tavern entrance, paying the stable hands to take care of Riedeth and the elf's horse.

"Figures that the rain only begins to let up once we're inside," Kazak muttered sarcastically.

Trence sighed, half in exasperation, half in exhaustion. The tavern was fairly quiet, it being so late, but there was some sort of chant going on in another part of the building, though neither of them could make out exactly what it was.

The tavern owner, a round little portly woman who looked to be in her early to mid forties, smiled warmly at them. Her orange-red hair glowed slightly in the firelight, her muddy colored eyes looking them over, before setting on Trence and widening in shock.

"My lord…you've—"

Trence quickly waved his arms in a gesture to quiet down. "Please, just call me Trence. Treat me as you would treat any customer. We'll only be staying here one night, so please don't make a fuss."

"Alrighty then, Trence. M'name's Meredith. If you wanna stay here, you have to pay or you can work if y' like."

Kazak smiled slightly. "I don't think we'll have trouble paying the bill."

"I know. That's why I'm charging you triple."

"WHAT?!"

"You said treat you as I do any other customer, and I charge people what they can afford. I'm charging you triple because I know that you can afford it."

Trence sighed. "What's the charge normally?"

"Twenty." A warm smile accompanied it.

Kazak's mouth almost hit the floor with his astonishment. "T-twenty gold pieces…n-normally…!? That means we'll be paying 60!"

Trence made a quiet laugh. "Very well."

"WHAT! You're going to pay this weaned wet-nurse of a—"

"Kazak…"

"How can you actually think that this is reasonable?!"

"Kazak…"

"HOW CAN YOU—"

Bonk!

Thud!

"Sorry. Kazak didn't realize you mean copper pieces."

The tavern keeper laughed slightly. "I guessed that. I hope that you don't mind me overcharging you like this, right? Ever since that new road was put in business has been rather slow lately…"

"It's perfectly fine." Trence rummaged through his pocket, and picked out two gold coins. "I believe this is about right?"

"It's a tad over, but I can get change…"

"Don't worry about it. We're just going to visit Trillavage to the east. We won't need every penny."

"Ah, yes, the best of luck to you." She turned around and faced them holding a key. "Your room is up the stairs, 4th right."

"Thank you. And if you don't mind me asking, what's that chanting that's going on?"

"Oh, that. That's the weekly drinking contest. Everyone's been trying to beat the current champion."

"And who would that be?"

0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0

"Go! Go! Go! Go!"

The chant was vibrating the walls as many drunken men, and women as well, slurred and danced to nonexistent songs.

But most of all, they wanted to see two OTHER people get drunk. The scene was positively comedic; everyone that wasn't chanting slurred incomprehensible words from songs that no one had ever heard of. Mugs were dropped and shattered, tables tipped, the entire room a complete detonation area.

Trence entered the bar with as stoic as an expression as he could manage. Kazak would be no use here: the human king had put the unconscious elf in their room. Alcoholic breath abounded in this place…and reeked of drunkards. But what else could one expect.

He no longer had his sword, but he didn't expect to have to use it, not in this place. A simple robe now over his chain mail, he fought…well…tipped drunkards over, at least... on his way through the crowd. He soon saw what everyone was so riled up about.

There on the table was an absolutely gorgeous girl. Or at least in other circumstances, she might have been beautiful.

She sat on the table in nothing more than a cloth draped wrapped around her chest and some sort of pants that he hadn't seen as of yet. Her eyes were red from so much alcohol, her red hair a sweaty mess, but probably the most "distinguishing" characteristic was her stomach.

It was enormous.

Resting on the table, it showed no signs of stopping as another bottle of some alcoholic beverage found itself at her lips. She drained it in a matter of seconds, and she slammed the empty bottle down on the table to the cheers of the other men. An earth-quaking belch reverberated through the bar, causing all of the men to gasp in awe, then gasp for air shortly afterwards.

Trence snorted in disgust. The man on the other side of the table, some old man swaying with rum, suddenly chose that moment to totter and landed violently on the floor. Some other drunken comrades of his laughed and joined him, landing on top of him in their fits of drunken laughter.

Was this what really happened in his kingdom? He made a note to himself to work more with education when he returned to his throne.

The girl had some sort of victory dance that she was doing, but very quickly lost her balance, the weight of her hyper-extended gut pulling her to the ground roughly. She laughed at her own stupidity, and others joined her in what could only be the most hilarious things in their minds.

A chant of "Yuka, Yuka, Yuka!" started up in the tavern, but quickly died as most of the cheerers fell to the floor with their friends in a sprawled pile.

Trence sighed once more, and picked his way over to the passed out "champion" sprawled on the floor.

"Yuka?"

"Yesshhh….thatessszzhh mEEEE…." She said with a dreamy gaze. "Shezsh sho shexy…"

The human king blinked, but then proceeded to carry the bloated woman over his shoulder: he had some questions for her when she woke up.