He looked at me with a very serious face. It was one that told me there was no lie in his words. “I would not. Nor would I find some place to just drop Mika off.” He sighed, and looked back towards Mika. “But this is your choice. I won’t try to force you one way or another. But at least do it knowing that they will use you until you bear children…” Tristain paused briefly to look at the man who had knocked Mika’s mother down. He swung the same pole at Tristain, in the same downward angle, but at Tristain’s neck this time. It glanced off harmlessly to the side as if deflected by something. “Whether you want to or not.”
It felt for a moment as if the air around Tristain had shifted and become stiff, before returning to normal.
“A wise guy, eh?” Flower man narrowed his eyes and retracted the pole before trying to stab Tristain with it. It made a vibrating noise as it was knocked to the side just a few finger widths from Tristain’s skin. “That’s some clever Runes you have there. I doubt you can block all of us though. Go, get out of here. Else I’ll have my men here skewer you and your green friend.”
Tristain kept his eyes on that threatening man. I held onto his arm tightly, “I don’t like him, he’s bad food,” I whined, voicing my thoughts.
Snorting at my comment and smiling, Tristain spoke up again. “Mika, it’s your choice. I’m not here to cage you, but Lilia and I are not welcome here. We’ll be leaving.”
I could hear whispers from the other men “He named the monster?” “What an idiot, getting attached to something dangerous like that.” “They’re dangerous! A threat to our way of life, undermining the leader.” Was I a danger? I guess they were sort of like food… Though I’d rather have Tristain feed me.
The Man who had been violent thus far grew even more violent and started yelling. “I said get out of here. NOW!” He swung the pole hard at Tristain. Tristain, in response, put his arm up to block the attack, but it never hit. When it reached a leaf-thin margin from his body, the part that would otherwise have made contact burst into splinters. A decent sized piece went flying behind us, free from the rest of the stick. Splinters peppered us as Tristain’s opponent followed through on the swing, his stick now missing the top third. The flower man looked a bit dumbfounded at his damaged weapon.
“Lilia, if they come close, stab them in the legs or feet if you can. I don’t think those spears will hurt you, right?” He remained calm despite being attacked and yelled at.
“Ah, okay…” I didn’t really want to dirty myself with their blood, but if Food Source Tristain says so, I guess I need to help. And yes, he’s right, those thin wooden poles wouldn’t really do anything unless they perfectly hit my eye or something. I guess I should avoid them if that’s where they were aimed.
I circled around to the front of Tristain and unwrapped the leaf skin from my hands and arms. My muscles stretched and my bones disjointed; turning into vines, becoming usable as whip-like weapons. I might need to harden the tips for piercing through as well though… The people behind the angry flower man backed up, terrified of my transformation. The man himself, however, did not.
He grabbed the other naked woman by her hair and roughly pushed her towards us. “Do your job, wench. You’re a void, show me what you can do.”
She walked towards us and frowned. “I don’t want to do this, but I have no choice, I’m sorry.” With that, she crouched down and hurtled towards us much faster than I expected. I lashed out with my extended arms, but she deftly dodged each tendril. As she punched me in the torso, I panicked a bit in surprise. It wouldn’t really have hurt, but my belly split to either side reflexively, and her fist went straight through.
She wore a shocked expression, but what came afterward shocked me more. Tristain reached over me and hit her head with the palm of his hand. Like the time before, when he had done that inexplicable thing to the stick, I felt something odd in the air. It looked like her head blurred for a moment before her eyes rolled in the back of her head, and she collapsed.
“Good work Lilia, I owe you,” he whispered before he stood upright.
I felt warm inside after being complimented like that. He definitely was like a second daylight to me. He lit up my entire being.
The men across from us backed up even more. At first, I thought they were terrified, but then something unexpected happened, three of the men who backed up suddenly had fire in their hands, and hurled it at me. I did not like fire. I dodged the projectiles, then quickly hid behind Tristain.
“Tsk, well, let’s get going Lilia, we can’t beat them. I’d like to bring the unconscious girl, but she probably has circumstances…” He backed up, pushed me with his hand behind him, and deflected incoming projectiles.
Looking around, they seemed to go out pretty fast, but I still didn’t want to damage any of my leaves. They took a long time to regrow, and then some would be different shades than the others.
It didn’t seem like they wanted to chase us, so we easily walked away once we were out of projectile range. We both watched a short distance out of earshot as they collected the unconscious woman, Mika, and her pregnant mother.
Tristain stared blankly as they closed the gate, and sighed. Unexpectedly, he hugged me tightly.
Thanks for the support! I am in your care!