Arslan and the rabbit-girl jumped off the back of the truck retrieving two black leather bag one with vials and hunting equipment hanging loosely off the side secured by straps, and the other bare with no special features or extra pockets, Mandilyn took that one. The area they were in was a vast plain commonly known as the green desert.
“So, that’s what a slave is?” Mandilyn asked.
Arslan slung the strap of the bag over his shoulder. “More or less, yeah.” He pounded on the back of the truck to alert the driver they had retrieved all of their items from the bed. The vehicle started its engine; however, it produced minimal sound due to the Magitek standard engine that relied on a series of runes and elementals to create combustion.
Mandilyn watched as the truck sped off into the distant horizon leaving the two alone in the plains. She looked to Arslan who was busy making things comfortable for travel, and her face had become filled with confliction. “Am I a slave?”
Arslan walked past her, “Well, no and yes.” He paused in between his words. “You’re a bit different.”
She repeated his words, “Different?”
“Yeah,” he said plainly.
She was unsatisfied with the answer she received. “Explain!”
Arslan sighed as they continued through the grass fields. “Well, I made you. Therefore I’m technically responsible for you and technically makes me your owner.” He stumbled tripping over an overgrown root. “I also used a low tier spell-bind on you.”
She stopped moving forward and stayed in place, “So, I am a slave?
Arslan put his bag down next to a rock. He walked in front of her. The difference in her height and his was very apparent, her rabbit genes gave her much longer, and thicker legs than a normal human. “If I didn’t you would have hurt me or worse, yourself.” He put a hand on her head.
She averted her eyes from him and felt embarrassed. “I’m sorry. I acted out just now.”
Arslan returned to pick up his bag. “It’s cool, besides you’ve only been alive for like a week. I had been prepared for this.”
The sun’s heat was beating down on the two as they traversed the vast plain searching for any evidence where the creature could have gone. Small sweat droplets formed on Mandilyn’s pale face.
“Want to take a break?” Arslan held out a gray metal canteen.
Mandilyn took the canteen eagerly drinking from it and gasping for air once she finished. She choked out a “Yeah.” then went back to the container. Arslan dropped his bag on a nearby rock formation when a certain glow caught the alchemist’s attention, A cluster of purple mushrooms with an ominous white skull pattern design on the cap.
“Ah!” he exclaimed, “Found it!” The cluster surrounded the very rock that he rested his bag on, and He took his knife from the side pocket cutting them from the stem and dropping them into a bag. Subsequently, He found a patch of grass that was charred and trampled upon. When he looked in the distance, there was a silhouette of a quadripedal creature. “Mandilyn! Get up; the drake is here.”
Mandilyn groaned, “About time! I swear I was about to die from this heat.” She hopped down and opened her bag. She pulled out a miniature scythe, no bigger than her palm. Blue flames engulfed the item and her hands in just seconds the weapon was as tall as she was.
“Wait.” Arslan grabbed the female by the wrist. “Use your head.”
“Look, Arslan. Combat it my thing.” She pulled off the hood she was wearing, revealing her crimson hair and rabbit ears. She also pulled the uniform off dropping letting it fall to the ground. The skin-tight top she wore underneath revealed her nearly flat chest and toned midriff. Her sweat covered muscles positively gleamed with the sunlight; she hauled the scythe over her shoulder and began walking forward. “Just leave it to me.” She said just before she squatted and leaped into the air. He sighed and pulled out a mortar and pestle from his bag.
Madilyn stuck her landing rolling behind the creature. She stood up and sized up her opponent. from head to claw it was covered in rocky brown scales; the head highly resembled a dragon’s to the average novice adventurer it could be easily confused as an adolescent dragon. The typical tell was the distinct lack of wing sprouts found on a young dragon.
She kicked a rock at the drake and yelled, “Hey! Lizard!” The drake flinched from the impact and turned around, blood and chunks of flesh fell from the lizard's maw. Apparently, Mandilyn just interrupted its essential meal of raw beef, still fresh. The beast snarled showing off its assortment of thick dagger-like fangs.
Mandilyn felt slight disgust from the monster’s welcoming smile. The drake opened its mouth, and quickly the smell of sulfur permeated the immediate area. Mandilyn gagged nearly vomiting from the pungent odor. In seconds, Fire spewed from the monster’s mouth. The grass filled ground browned as the moisture was removed and set ablaze leaving only hot cracked dirt. Mandilyn was fortunate to have leaped to the only safe area, behind.
The flames began to sputter before ceasing. The monster breathed heavily reclaiming the lost oxygen. Investigative it looked at the still burning patches where the rabbit girl stood. Mandilyn whistled to grab the attention of the beast. “You almost got me there, fire face.” She joked. She readied her scythe for a strike holding scythe in a way, so the blade faced the creature. She charged at the creature; the gap in the distance was closing fast as her unnatural anatomy gave her a speed boost.
The drake roared and opened its mouth again; however, Mandilyn was ready for it. She used her overwhelming speed to make quick stops to change her direction. The drake often lost its focus on her and had to stop breathing to realign its sight on where to start the spray, She stuck the pole of her weapon into the ground and vaulted over, once she was above the beast she swept down much like a pendulum.
Unfortunately, the scythe didn’t pierce the drake’s body, and with all that momentum coming to a forced stop it brought her back down to the ground, hard.
She let out a big “Oof!” as she collided with the ground. Everything around her was spinning in multiple directions. “Wha-?” She grumbled, but every time she tried to stand back up she fell her knees for support. Suddenly, a tail came flying towards her connecting with her chest and lifting her a few feet into the air, the moment she landed she slid across the slightly moist grass stopping just short of Arslan.
Arslan stepped next to her and leaned down so that his hooded face was in view. “Are you done yet? Would you like to try my plan finally?” In response, she grumbled with no discernable words. “Good.” he pulled out a blowpipe and placed a single dart in it.
The drake could be seen advancing towards the two in the distance, and its speed wasn’t anything to joke about. The moment it reached a reasonable distance it hissed at Arslan and began opening its mouth. He pressed the pipe to his lips and blew. The dart launched into the creature’s mouth and got stuck on the tongue. It immediately stopped its breath attack and began coughing. Its movements became sporadic and drunken until it ultimately stumbled over and laid on its stomach. The breathing of the drake staggered as its eyes slowly closed together for longer and longer intervals. The fight ended before even starting.
Madilyn approached with her hand on her head, her walking was heavily unstable, and her speech was slightly slurring. “How’dya do that?”
He began rummaging through his bag to put the blowpipe back into place. “Instead of rushing into the fight like an idiot,” He paused his sentence to look at her before turning back and continuing. “I learned about drakes on the way here. Drakes have scales that make them nearly impervious to most physical attacks.” He kicked the barely conscious drake on its back. “You might be great at combat, but you can’t treat hunting the same way.”
Mandilyn spoke a soft, “oh.” and rubbed the side of her arm. Arslan returned to his bag and pulled out a syringe and an extremely sharp looking knife, he flipped it around and handed the weapon to Mandilyn.
She looked at him confused, still feeling the effects of a possible concussion.
“Help me collect some materials?”
She groaned in response but ultimately had no choice in the matter, reluctantly she helped.