“Don’t worry Arslan. We’ll throw off anyone that comes looking for you.” Edward smiled patting the alchemist on the back.
“Also don’t take six years to come to visit.” Leila teased.
“Don’t worry, and I’ll be quicker this time around.” Arslan smiled.
“So, you’re going to that place I assume?” asked Leila.
“I reckon it’s filled with spiders and spirits by now,” added Edward.
Arslan shrugged, “It probably could use a little love and care, after all, it hasn't been used in a long time.”
Leila grabbed Edward’s arm and wrapped it over herself. “Take care and try to stay out of trouble,” Leila warned.
Arslan nodded and stepped away from the couple, Mandilyn was further up the path playing around with Nina. The two had joined in some game of tag with the dog currently being the one that was ‘it.’ Her stuff was laid about on the ground.
On the far side, Arslan spotted the drake; she had found a nice spot laze in the sun to warm her scales. Arslan walked into her view. She didn’t look too ecstatic to see Arslan. However, her drake instincts kept her docile around him.
“Hey loser,” teased Arslan. In response, she hissed at him. “Come on; we’re ready to move.”
“I’d rather stay here,” She growled.
“That's not a very safe thing to do.”
“Why?” she asked while rolling onto her back.
“Because…” Arslan clasped his hands together. “Someone, not gonna say names, but someone destroyed a lab that I may or may not have owned anymore and subsequently may or may not have pissed off the alchemy guild.”
She exhaled a large amount of air from her nostrils. “So? I’m strong.”
Arslan chuckled, “If you couldn’t beat me, I doubt you would win against someone that was trained.”
“Fine,” she snorted, “where are we going?”
“Well, first we’re getting Mandilyn, then we’re going back to my home.”
Arslan pointed to the girl that was currently running away from the small child and puppy. “Her”
“The gap tooth Is Mandilyn?”
“Okay, maybe don’t say that to her, but yes, her.” Arslan started to head towards the bunny-girl but was stopped by a scaly arm grabbing his own.
“Then, who am I?” Her usual brutish face juggled with the concept of actually being named. Being a human must’ve changed how her brain worked.
Arslan turned back to her and shrugged, “What do you want to be called?” She stood silently staring at him. The naming concept was still very new to her. “Right you wouldn’t know any. How about Avelyn?”
“You were bound to get one sooner or later.” He pointed towards Mandilyn. “Let’s go. Every second we stay the closer we get to being found.” Without waiting for her, he started to leave.
As Arslan came over to the girls and dog, he could see that they were tired with Mandilyn still filled with energy. The little girl laid on the ground with her arms and legs out as if she was making dirt angels. The puppy laid its head overtop her stomach.
“Are you ready?” Arslan asked.
Mandilyn took her hands off her waist. “Hmm? Oh, yeah.” She picked up her stuff and waved off to Nina and the dog, who in return cheerfully shouted and waved.
The three then took off down the same path they came from to reach the house. Due to the area of the smithery, it was just a short distance from the city’s border. Being a shop where adventurers frequented made it almost a necessity to be closer to where they needed to be.
The trio was approaching a few adventurers that decided to get a headstart on their job in the early morning. Their joyous banter was filling the area with cheer, their youthful appearance told of just how new they were to this.
Arslan had been holding on to Mandilyn’s weapon, etching a few modifications. “Oh, by the way, Mandilyn,” he said looking up from his work. “That’s Avelyn now.” he nodded to his side
Mandilyn looked to the side and waved at the drake-girl who in return hissed. Mandilyn pulled back her hand looking at her in reaction. “Ugh.”
“Play nice, girls,” Arslan said continuing to work on the glaive.
One of the newbie adventurers had accidentally bumped into Avelyn, “Oh, I’m sorr-,” he tried to apologize to the female, but she promptly headbutted him the moment she saw the opportunity to do so. His forehead began bleeding from the impact. The adventurer’s mood went quickly south as he yelled, “What the hell!?” She slammed her head into him one more time to knock him on the ground. She got down and straddled his chest throwing fist after fist into his face.
“Oh no!” Arslan shouted attempting to put her in a headlock to stop her from continuing; it took the combined effort of the other group of three and Mandilyn to prevent her from throwing another punch.
She growled and hissed as they pulled her off. Arslan and Mandilyn carried her in the opposite direction with him yelling apologies. Just because she was docile for the most part didn’t mean she wasn’t immune from her aggression.
They hastened the pace at which they were traveling now to avoid any more adventurers coming by and triggering another scene. It didn’t take them long, but they approached the city limits- an archway with a gate.
“Stop,” Commanded Arslan. The two girls stopped moving to look at him for his reason.
“Huh, why?” Mandilyn asked.
Arslan pointed to some of the men armed with ranged weapons on the highest point of the gate. “Guards.”
“So?” Mandilyn asked, “We can just go past them.”
“That’s only if they don’t know who we are. Otherwise, we might have to find a way around them.”
Avelyn groaned, “Stop being such cowards.” She shoved Mandilyn out the way and walked towards the gate. To Arslan’s objections, she kept walking forward with the group behind her; they passed underneath without a problem.
Arslan released the breath that he held bated. He looked at Avelyn who seemed to look somehow disappointed. “That was really risky, you know.”
She puffed up her chest. “Prey that shows fear brings more attention to itself than others.”
He thought about that for a second then nodded, “I suppose you’re correct? Anyway, we’re almost there now.”