It had been a month, one month exactly in counting. Much had changed in Holm during that month. For one thing the repairs had been completed. All traces of the insechnid attack were erased. Some had been injured and some had been lost, most of all the people were able to return to their normal everyday lives. Lord Arawn had proven a exceptional ruler, he helped organize the rebuilding and even offered aid to the families that had been, otherwise properly traumatized or home wrecked during the initial attack. Yet not everything was the way it should have been.

The Magic Academy had been in an uproar as Headmaster Drace had vanished. None so much as a trace remained in his private chambers, not even his familiars. The school was still able to function yet Drace did more than apparently seen. That and the council relentlessly attempted to contact him. In the outside world, things were not entirely peaceful. The ogres had long vanished, calmed own it would seem. Yet rumors spread about hordes of dragons filling the skies. Some marked it off as familiars for that would be the only way a dragon could step claw on Ceres. However the amount and sightings were too prevalent. All in all it was up to speculation as nothing major happened as of yet.

While many investigations were carried out, one operated separately from the rest. That one was Drace. While he had vanished from Holm, he made one final stop to report his plans. That stop was to his little draftees. The party had no choice but to except the strange order which were.

"Stay put until I can find some answers."

There wasn't any choice as he had vanished without a word. Well before adding "I'll contact you when I do."

So the party remained in the dilapidated house. While most had disappointed complaints regarding, this eventually decided to make the best of it. The rodent problem was no longer an issue. Midlothian had seen to that. Of course when Jin noticed her stomach growing pudgy he made certain to work her out. In no time she was back to her trim self and made certain to keep her normal ferret shape. Jin in the meantime had been practicing his swordplay, currently in the living room. A dark swollen mark hung on the floor. The earlier rain had brought on a leak, several to be precise. The pots and pans did most of the work but they needed most for cooking.

In this brief interlude of idleness, Jin slashed at the air with his sword. Forward and back, he practiced all his maneuvers. Being bare as it was there was no risk of slicing anyone open. Almost bare for Midlothian sat upon the couch , yet she was at a suitable distance away.

"Dook!" Midlothian trilled, cheering her partner on.

Jin smiled at the discernable praise. Yet the practice was only half-effective. Staring at him in the face was the broken dent, a reminder of his battle with the jester. In a battle, the sword wouldn't be as effective. It needed the services of a blacksmith, but Jin doubted they would have the right metals. This blade was a memento from his teacher, a graduation present.

"If she ever finds out about this she'll kill me." Jin muttered. Midlothian dooked in agreement and wit ha shudder. Jin's teacher could become very temperamental

As he continued with his moves despite there being no point, it was better then doing nothing, a burning smell reached his nose. Midlothian as well and being a ferret she caught on to it first.

"Hot! Hot!" Kinto exclaimed as emerged from the back. In his mitted hands was a tray of cookies, slightly burnt.

"Told ya you should have taken them out." Puck chided following his caller by his side.

Removing one mit, Kint placed it on the coffee table and set the tray down. Using the other, he fanned the smoky steam away. Within it, he spread a mist via magic, not so much as to dampen or overly cool them, but at least save the remaining flavor.

"I was just following the directions precisely." Kinto argued. Taking a cookie, he bit into it, testing. It wasn't so burnt and the cinnamon aftertaste remained.

Waving a paw in the air Puck retorted, "Eh direction don't match with outdated equipment." The cat was right the stove practically was ancient.

Jin looked at the baked goods, light brown yet with some black scars running across. "These for Sierra?" He asked.

"Yes." Kinto answered. Looking down at his work, Kinto flashed a proud smile.

Puck let out a snicker. "Don't know why. Those two really don't need it especially with the way their growing." Puck let loose a laugh and Midlothian joined in. Both callers shot their familiars looks upon making fun of another.

"Hey it's true those two are out pampering themselves." Argued Puck. "Drinking tonight I reckon."

It didn't matter. Kinto had promised Sierra he would bake her cookies. It was a promise made in the caves a month back. But it was a promise he kept. The reason? He would rather not mention, he didn't quite understand it himself. Emotions were tricky.

"Good thing as I was getting might tired of carrying their bloated selves back." Puck stretched his neck trying to work out a kink. It was really more of an emphasis than anything.

"That's enough out of you." Kinto scolded lightly He knew the feline was referring to their recent "dates" the thieves had taken them on.

In a sudden rush, the doors double doors blew open. Two shapes stepped through, hooded and slightly damp. Removing them bright pink hair and pointed ears greeted everyone.

"Rosa. Karn you're back." Jin announced.

Removing her hooded cloak, Rosa tossed it to the ground kicking it away with a disgusted glance. Underneath she held a stack of paper, setting them down on the table.

"Karn and I found some more in the merchant district." Said Rosa.

Jin eyed the papers, picking one up. His eyes widened as he read the writing. "Were there any more?" He asked. Kinto and Puck looked at their own samples holding discontented looks.

"Not sure." Rosa answered. "I was afraid somebody might recognize us." Crossing her arms Rosa grumbled. "When is that coward Drace going to show himself? I'm getting pretty sick of waiting around for him.

"Well what choice do we have?" Jin interjected. "It's not like we could just waltz out here without knowing where to go next."

Rosa would have argued but she couldn't find any words to retort with. Hating to admit Jin had a point she looked way to Karn. Her familiar had been distant this last month, a strange turn from his brief time of emotional opening. Even now, he looked preoccupied in his thoughts.

"Oh." He muttered as he noticed his caller's stares. Another odd twist for nothing could ever seem to break rocky solidness. "I'm retiring for the night." He simply said as he ascended the staircase.

"Karn." Rosa muttered almost reaching out for him. She put those words aside for another time. With nobody to stop him, the elf retired to the bedroom.

Moments after Karn left, there came a sound outside the door. At first it sounded distant but grew in pitch. Closer it got, it became more discernable that it was singing. The words were garbled behind the wooden doors but as they were kicked open, the last lyrics became fully audible.

"Then there he was my true love heeding the mating call!" The twin voices, loud and rowdy, finished with a giggle and a snort.

Out of the night two, one having some difficulty fitting through the door made their way through.

"HIC!" The first one to enter hiccupped, her ears perking high as she did. "Were back!" Sierra greeted, twitching the whiskers. Beneath her furry face, her skin was bright red. "Sho *hic* what's going on?" Sierra dragged on the cigar she was smoking blowing out puff.

Next to her Medina nearly crashed into her caller. The dragon's scaly mug was equally reddened. A cigar clenched between her sharp teeth. Breathing in, twin columns of smoke blew from her nostrils. "Looksh likes we got *hic* shome greeters bosh." Medina slurred.

Puck snickered under his breath as he gazed at the drunken pair. It was obvious judging from their faces and speech patterns. As previously mentioned, tonight was their drinking night, part of the plan they had formed whilst spending their reward money. The floppy hats upon their heads, black with some white, an attempt to simulate foam, came from the bar they frequently visited on such nights. This long month had been good to the two thieves. With nothing else to do, they spent their money frivolously. Some nights they feasted, the next they drank till they couldn't see straight, then the next they went to a salon for much pampering. Of course all this, mostly from gorging at restaurants had expected results. Frankly the two had grown stout and out of shape.

Sierra's thin frame had thickened considerably. A layer of flab coated her body, filling her out. More appropriately her belly took up most of the weight looking very plump from the front as her shirt now seemed to be rising up just a bit revealing the faintest trace of a bellybutton. Medina didn't show much difference seeing as she had some stoutness already, yet her sides had grown out several inches and her front gained a few. Despite that, the two looked very clean, thanks to the salons they visited. Medina's scales and claws looked shiny and sharpened. The same could be said for Sierra's claws and her fur and hair no longer looked scruffy.

Tapping her foot, Rosa stomped over to the pair. The smell she got made her nose wrinkle. "Where have you two been?" She firmly asked. "Do you know how late it is?"

Sierra exhaled cigar smoke right in Rosa's face making her cough. "Ah! Buzzsh of ya prune *hic*!" Sierra slurred. "We jusht hads shome fun." Sierra wobbled in her defense as the alcohol dulled her senses.

"Ya shed it bosh *hic!*" Medina cheered in.

Groaning, Rosa quickly gave up. It wasn't the first time the pair had come home totally soused. "Nevermind, I'm going to bed. Rosa stomped up the stairs to join her familiar. Not even a goodnight uttered from her lips, all she wanted was to forget the day and what she and Karn had discovered in Holms streets.

Below Sierra wondered what Rosa's problem was? Her glazed eyes looked over at Kinto. A pleased grin marred her face. A hiccup shook her body as she staggered over to the man. Kinto raised out his arms, catching her

"Nish one big boy." Sierra slurred again. As she spoke her cigar fell from her lips. Normally she would have picked it up but her mind was too dulled to care. She didn't even notice the cookies. Kinto wasn't sure of what to say. She was drunk and really there was no control over most of her actions. She inched closer to him. "I real*hic*really wish you wash there Kinto." Sierra slurred with seduction. This brought on a blush from the man.

As her caller, Medina showed affection to another. "Now hold on!" Jin exclaimed as Medina lumber staggered to him.

"Jiiiiiinnnnnnnyyyyy *hic*!" Medina grabbed Jin tightly. The poor man nearly felt his spine break from the dragons grip.

Midlothian almost jumped jealously at the lizard but was stopped by Puck. For a moment the jill struggled before stopping entirely. Seeing the intoxicated reptile made her think twice. Instead she resorted to clawing the material. Her clawing intensified as Medina began to sway and dance. Yes she was literally dancing with Jin. Jin found it too sudden at first but quickly started to follow the dragon's steps.

"You dansh *hic* divinely Jinny." Medina complimented.

Jin found himself falling in a dip. "Um." Jin said as the dragon raised. His face gazing into hers, he watched as Medina swallowed her cigar. Smoke curled up from her smile. With Kinto Sierra knelt in close, hugging around him. All the while Puck was enjoying this immensely. Yet he knew when enough was enough.

"Lights out." He said.

Closing his eyes there came a bubbling upon his back. Underneath the fur, a strange bulb grew. Green in color, it opened up to reveal a yellow fleshy looking flower. Spewing forth, two curvy golden mists flowed like rivers. At first they almost looked as if they were light but it was apparent that they were spores. The spore rivers wafted past the noses of Sierra and Medina. Instantly the duos lit faces started to fade a yawn overtook them. In seconds they both were out like lights. For Kinto it was an easy an easy catch, Jin not so much.

Instantly Midlothian let out a terrified dook as Jin felt the pressure of the hefty dragon. He tried to push against her but quickly gave up as he dove, quick thinking on his part. Medina fell with a loud thump. Everywhere there was a clatter from the slight tremor. It subsided momentarily.

"Gee thanks." Jin replied with sarcasm. It appeared Rosa was rubbing off on him.

Puck snickered provoking a glare from Kinto. "No problem Beardy." Puck chuckled once more a he padded up the stairs. "Night everyone!" He called before disappearing.

Shaking his head, Kinto followed hi familiar example. Keeping Sierra close he helped her slumbering body up. Midlothian leapt from her seat to Jin.

"Dook?" She trilled rubbing her head against his hand.

"Yeah I'm fine." Jin reassured, letting the ferret climb up to his shoulder.

An angry growl chirped up from the small creature as she gazed upon the sleeping dragon. Nobody touched her caller but her. Her growls died as Jin scratched her neck. The message of slumber had been spread. It was time to rest for the night. He thought it terribly rude to leave Medina on the floor like that, but she seemed comfortable enough. Besides it wasn't as if her being awake was any better. Jin soon found himself in his room, temporary until Drace returned. Midlothian rested on his pillow so she could stay close to him. In his hand he looked at the paper he had pocketed.


For the crime of murdering Iroquois Riler and arson of his manor, in addition to the crime of kidnapping Princess Meliana.

That was what the message read. The reward was below, quite a hefty one at that. If he wasn't the one on the wanted page he would have attempted the capture. The signature was a familiar one, Riler. It was a wonder what happened to him after the swamp incident. Being a criminal wasn't on Jin's list of things to do. Jin tried to wrap hi mind around on what to do, but he found no answers.

"Life is unpredictable."

That mantra fit his current situation and the recent journey as a whole. The only thing he could do was sleep and see what life had in store for tomorrow. In seconds the shaman joined his familiar in sleep. As he leapt his dreams were filled with battles, battles that felt like a long lost memory. The dreams always had to friends side by side.

The End

A/N: Okay this if finished. I probably failed at this epilogue epically I didn't know how else to end it. To be honest I feel both happy and embarrassed at this. I suppose it's some leftover vestiges from my recent depression. I would like to thank everyone who has read and supported me in this. I actually plan on doing a rewrite but it probably won't be on this website. Any questions please pm me. Well this was a good run and hopefully (though I doubt it) I can work out a good rewrite. I have idea but knowing me they will probably be a mess. I am just being honest. I don't want to give myself a huge ego. Especially when there are so many others better and more popular than I. Well the end of one journey and into another. At least the next version would be (by then I should probably get an editor). Look forward to more reviews from me regardless if I post anything else or not. Maybe a one shot or two who knows?