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Paradise Wandering
31st October 2004, 09:32 PM
The doors swung open. Large, heavy, wooden tavern doors and a figure of five feet seven inches slowly strode in. Is she here yet? He wore a hood, far over his face, and an indgo blue cloak with a slight magical sparkle. Behind that hood, twin electric blue eyes, though they looked much more like tiny stars, twinkled from somewhere deep within it.

Those eyes darted rapidy around the tavern, taking it all in. On one side, a long bar, tavern owner behind it lookng suspiciously at the boy. In a corner opposite the bar, loomed that ominous table of drunks making jokes about the strange figure's uncommon attire. No one else wore the cloak and hood of a mage, nor did anyone wear a small tatto on their left hand showing their heritage as Lin'Houan royalty. Of course, no one saw the tatoo either, as it was hidden by long deep sleeves.

No... She doesnt appear to be here. That is ok, ill alert Wallace of her coming, and tell him to ready a place for us.

He strode over to the bar, and next to the tavern owner. "Wallace, i need you to prepare a clean table for me, or rather, for two."

Owner: "Huh? Who'er yeh, and how do yeh know me name?"

The boy's peircing blue eyes stopped glowing, and dimmed down to their natural, big sapphire blue jewels. He pulled up his baggy sleeves, exposing the tattoo on the back of his left hand, the symbol of Lin'Houan royalty. He removed his hood, allowing all to see his identity.

He had a handsome face, with sapphire blue eyes, and brown hair. He looked to be close to fifteen years of age.

The owner, now i dentified as Wallace, spoke up, now mentally swearing at himself for not recognzing the mage. "Oh, Prince Zach, fergive me, 'cuz i did not recognize yeh."

The mage, upon Wallace's recognition of him gave a slight bow, never breaking eye contact with the old tavern owner. "Now, my Leige, what did you mean by 'table for two'?"

Zach: "Wallace, you know i dont like it when you call me that, i have known you since i was this tall." He motioned to his knee height. "And, but 'table for two', i mean please ready a table for me and Mantis."

"This Mantis, would he happen to be a she?"

Zach: "Yes, why?"

"Just won'drin." He said in a taunting tone. The prince has a girlfriend... hehe.

He walked off and got to work readying a table for the strange couple, while Zach moved to the tavern door and awaited his 'date'.

Shade
31st October 2004, 09:41 PM
Shade sighs, still quite upset as she heads back to the hut, with Mantis walking with her. Jade is still on Shade's shoulder. As they enter the hut, Jade tries to fly but winds up smacking her head on the top of the doorway. Rubbing Jade's head, Shade sits down on the couch and lies down, Jade at her feet.

"Must you leave?" Shade asks.

"Yes," Mantis says. "But only for a while. I shall be back, I promise."

Mantis walks down into the town and as she enters the tavern, her antennae smack the doorway. Rubbing them a little, Mantis enters the doorway, and looks around. She sees a peculiarly-dressed person, and she walks in front of him, noticing at once the sparkling blue eyes. "Zach!" She exclaims, then gives him a big hug, but makes sure not to crush him as she did before. Then, she lowers her voice. "Where's our table?"

Paradise Wandering
31st October 2004, 10:01 PM
"It'sa right over yonder little lady." Wallace walks up to Mantis and, noticing her antennae, assumes she is the one. "I'm assumin' the yer Mantis? The one that the prince likes? Well, if yer her, then go and have a sit back thar and ill git youa drink.

Anythin' in particuler you was wantin' today?"
----------------------

Zach returns the Mutant's tender hug, telepathically giving a slight tease. Hey!, I can breathe! He knew she would understand that, and hoped she would understand that he meant no harm. Just an inobvious thank for not crushing his young bones.

He took her hand, and led her to their table.
-----------------

"Now, what was you wantin' Prince Zach? And you miss Mantis, you never told me if you wanted anything to drink."

"I'll ler her decide first." Zach said as he descreetly slides a small bag of gold over to the owner for the extra effort of cleaning this table so immaculately for the 'couple'.

"Thank you, i owe you one for this." He said quietly. He would rather take his chances saying it out loud than trying to say it through his mind. He remembered all too well what happened the last time he broke it to someone. (Kinsey)

Im really glad you came. He smiled at Mantis.

Shade
31st October 2004, 10:09 PM
"Hmm..." Mantis says, pondering the drinks. "I guess I'll just have water for starters." She laughs as she recieves Zach's mental tease. "I'm glad," She teases back. "What's this about you being a prince, anyway?"

She lets Zach lead her with ease, relieved to be the one following, and not leading, for a change. She takes up a seat, and gestures for Zach to sit next to her. Then, she takes a small amount of gold and hands it to Wallace, too. "I thank you for doing such a good job." She smiles beneath her helment, then sighs contentedly, relieved to be away from her usual duty of playing Shade's mother/sister.

"I'm just glad to be with you." Mantis says softly, then signals to him. "You are truly are amazing, my love. You make me feel so welcome...." It is a stupid thing to say, but, she reasons, it's better than anything.

Paradise Wandering
31st October 2004, 10:33 PM
*D'oh!* Zach is suddenly hit by the realization that he has never confided his heritage as Prince of Lin'Hou to Mantis. Im, sorry i never told you. Shade knows, as does Tim. I assumed that sometime you would eventually hear it from one of them, but it is better for you to hear it from me.

Do you remember back some time ago when Alexandra told you a brief history of how Lin'Hou was destroyed? (Draco's quest) Well, after it was demolished by Mal'Jerek i took several people and retook it from him, retaking my rightful place on the throne. That is what this means. He pointed to the strange symbol in his left hand. It was like one verticle line, with three horizontal lines crossed through it at differing heights. (Like two capital 'E's back to back)

It is the symbol worn by all leaders of my country since anyone can remember.

His mental explanation to the girl was interupted by Wallace's seemingly omnipresent demeanor once again showed up at their table.

"Here is yer water milady." He said, handing her the tall glass of the underrated life giving elixer.

"Now, a... what will yeh be havin' yer highness?"

"The same as her." The boy answered. "But please, i am not in Lin'Hou now, so dont call me your highness, or any other phrase that has anything to do with royalty. Please, it's just Zach when i am not in Lin'Hou."

His gaze quickly returned to Mantis, the uniformity if the helmet somehow comforting him. (hehe, sounds familiar doesnt it? Hint: check your msn logs :tongue: )
--------------------

"Ooh, what have we here, now?" Wallace is closely examining the gold given to him by Mantis. "Now you'er a nice, kind little lady friend of the Prince's. I like yeh." He winked kindly at her before leaning over to her ear so that only she could here him. "And, uh, i think that the highness thar does too."
----------------------

I'm glad yo be with you too, Mantis. I am very, very glad you were able to come.

ok. this is kind of confusing. Zach will retake Lin'Hou from Mal'Jerek in a quest i am starting in about a month. though here, and in your quest, it has already happened. kind of a paradox, but i suck at starting all my quests in the right order lol.

also, just so you know, Wallace is an NPC. you can feel free to RP him too if you want. :D

Shade
1st November 2004, 05:37 AM
Shade doesn't know about the royalty either, I don't think...

Mantis raises her helmet slightly so that only her lips are showing, and see begins to slowly sip the water, feeling its life-giving "powers" and smiling all the while.

"Hehehe...a prince! Hehehe..." She signals to Zach. "And yes, I believe I remember something about that." She takes another drink of water. "I'm so glad I can be with you...I needed a break from Shade."

Truth be told, she can now express her emotions freely, not having to act tough or anything now that Shade is not here.She leans towards Wallace. "Well," She says coyly. "The feeling is mutual."

Paradise Wandering
1st November 2004, 11:51 AM
hmm... i thought i told you about it. i must be wrong. sry. feeling its life-giving "powers", well yeah, kinda corney of me to call it that, but we all need water to survive. :P

I needed a break from Shade"We all feel that way sometimes." He says, but then quickly corrects himself. "I dont mean about Shade in particular of course. I meant that we all need a break sometimes." HE smiled at the mutant, and reached accros the table and took hold of her hand.
-----------------

"Now here yeh go sir." The old voice of Wallace rang out over the tavern as he handed Zach his water. Zach payed the old man, who soon walked off hapily. Now i gotta be havin' them two over more often. They'er payin pretty finely now. Just today i have made more money offa these two lovebirdies than i have made from e'ryone else all season!

Shade
1st November 2004, 01:24 PM
OOC: I know, I was just needlin' you :P

IC: Mantis takes another sip of her water, then she reaches over and takes hold of Zach's hand. "You have no clue how hard it is..." She says. "To be Shade's 'mother.' I can't cry, I can't show fear, I can't do any of that because Shade might think lesser of me." She sighs and her whole frame seems to move. "But now I can relax." She takes her other hand and begins to rub Zach's. "So," She says. "What's it like being a prince?"

Paradise Wandering
1st November 2004, 10:00 PM
"I am glad that you are getting a break from your hard life." Replied the mage. His hand tingled pleasantly as Mantis rubbed it.

What is it like being a prince? He repeated Mantis's words in his mind prior to answering. Well, there is a few good things, like always having the money to pay old tavernmasters to wait on you..., and you always have plenty of food for guests... no, that isnt really what it is like, those are just advantages...

"There is much responsibility, and hard work. it i guess it payes off when you see that you have made your coutry a better place. I really would like to take you there some time."

Shade
2nd November 2004, 08:46 PM
Mantis sighs dreamily and continues to rub Zach's hand. "I'd love to see it," She says. "And the life of a prince seems so much easier than mine..." A sudden thought strikes her. "But wouldn't my helmet and suit make me seem like a monstrosity to those in your country?"

Paradise Wandering
2nd November 2004, 09:49 PM
"What? You? Monstrous?" The mage starts, the words almost seeming foreign to him. Like he is asking their meaning. But he isnt. Far from it. Qite the contrary, in fact, he is wondering why anyone would think that about Mantis. Huh? Her? How could she not be beautiful? Even with her strange attire, she is a beautiful person, with one of the most likeable personalitys i have even known. It would be nice to see her without her mask, but that isnt neccecary. I know she is beautiful. And i love her.

One of Zach's biggest faults, was that almost every time he began a mental conversation with someone, he forgot to close the cerebral bond that formed between the two conversing telepaths. And this was his entire love confession. The mutant would have heard it all. Every single part. Including the last sentence.

He longed to take Mantis to Lin'Hou, and somewhere, deep inside, he hoped that eventually he would.

Shade
2nd November 2004, 09:53 PM
Mantis beams as Zach's words go through her mind, feeling quite relaxed. "And I love you, too." She smiles knowingly, then her body winces. "If only I could take this helmet off! But if I did for too long, I'd die. The same holds true for my suit. And I am glad that you think I am beautiful." She smiles. "I try my best...the key is to be YOU, not someone that someone else wants you to be..." She trails off sadly. "Except in the case of Shade..." She continues to rub his hand, gently and with a smooth touch.

"Sometimes, I feel as though I'm one big hypocrite..."

Paradise Wandering
3rd November 2004, 08:52 PM
[b]the key is to be YOU[/quote]

"I know how you feel. You arent a hypocrite. It's just that Shade, in all her beauty, and her good personality, and the fact that she would do anything for you, she can sometimes be a weak person. Please, dont take that the wrong way, i dont in any way mea that she is weak. But she is... emotional. And you are a very strong person to be able to not lose control of yourself in front of her."

He smiled a her affectionately, and wished she could understand that he was in no way meaning offense to Shade. She was one of his closest and most trusted friends, and would never say anything about her that was meant as an insult or harm.

"Mantis," He began, "Can i ask you a question?"

Shade
3rd November 2004, 08:58 PM
Mantis's first reaction is to get offended, but as Zach nears the end of his sentence, she is nearly laughing. "You have no clue," She says sadly, trying to sound happy. "How hard it is sometimes." She begins to ponder all the times she had nearly lost control of herself. She knows she has most likely repeated herself, but she still stares off into space, as though lost in some distant memory. Then, she pulls herself together as Zach's question snaps her back into reality. "Huh?" She says, at first confused and a little out of it. But then, she processes the question, holds Zach's hand and begins to rub it, and answers. "Sure, ask away."

Paradise Wandering
3rd November 2004, 09:03 PM
"What color are your eyes?" He asked her. "I was just wondering. I hope it isnt offending to ask you that.

He looked around, his face turning red, mostly from the embarrasment of asking such a stupid question.

"He looked at her mask hopefully waiting for an answer, but trying not to rush her.

Shade
3rd November 2004, 09:07 PM
The first reaction Mantis has is to flinch, momentarily stung, not by Zach's words, but at the realization that she hasn't seen her own face recently, nor can she see it for more than periods of 20 minutes at a time; she is sure she will die if she takes her helmet off for longer than that. But, she manages a sad smile, and turns Zach around. After a moment of becoming lost in his eyes, she says, "Last I looked they were green. Why?"

Paradise Wandering
3rd November 2004, 09:21 PM
"I was just wondering..." He is shamed at himself for causing her to react in that way, and at that moment wished he could take back his last couple of paragraphs. "Since i met you i have wondered about your eyes. You can often see a someone's personality reflecting through their eyes.

But for you, i dont need to look at your eyes to understand that i love your personalty. I am sorry. It is just something i have wondered for quite a while."

I really am sorry that i offended you, Mantis. Please understand that it is not intended.

Now truly ashamed of himself, he looked down at the floor to hide his red and embarrassed face.

Shade
3rd November 2004, 09:30 PM
Mantis draws Zach closer to her, her arms draped over him in an embrace and moves his chair closer to hers. "No offense done," She says. "You have a right to know, anyway. It's just...it's painful to talk about it...I can't remove the helmet...I wish I could, but I can't. Thus, my face will always be hidden to you. And I deeply regret that." She nuzzles him with her cold helmet. "You might as well keep asking questions; I am past the initial shock." And it is true, she is.

Paradise Wandering
3rd November 2004, 09:38 PM
Cant believe she said that. Wow, i thought i was gonna get slapped for the nerve of even asking. He searched his mind for more questions and eventually found one. This one may be offending to Mantis, but Zach had the best intentions in mind. Offending her was the last thing young Neron wanted to do, but, at last, he gathered his courage and asked.

"How long since... It happened?"

Shade
3rd November 2004, 09:54 PM
Mantis nearly laughs his question. "How long...?" She asks in mock confusion, then nuzzles him again. "It has been this way ever since I was born. You see, I was born with a deadly cyst, a cyst that only mantis blood could fight off. Simply siphoning wasn't enough; they had to give me a direct transfusion. I was a weak child then...if you can believe that. But even though I am strong, the outside world cannot get at me, lest I catch something in the air and die. I hope you understand..." She sighs, a little too heavily, and presses Zach's face close to hers before nuzzling him again, and then giving him a long, deep embrace."

Paradise Wandering
3rd November 2004, 10:05 PM
As if Zach isnt embarrassed enough already, upon hearing this he face turns cherry red, and he feels as if he has stooped to new lows of embarrasment. "I am sorry, i really didnt know that. I hope i didnt offend you in any way."

What to ask next? I know.

"How long have you know Shade?"

Shade
3rd November 2004, 10:08 PM
"You, my love, could never offend me." She rubs his hand affectionately, embracing him once more. "How long have I known Shade?" She ponders this for a moment. This is indeed a tough question; she's nearly lost count of the years. "Shade was stabbed in the back by her parents at age 15...I found her at age 17...I think...so that would be about 3 years. But I feel as though I've know you all my life."

Paradise Wandering
4th November 2004, 08:52 PM
"Belive me, i feel the same way about you." He says quietly, almost too quietly. Mantis may have heard it, but no one else would have. There is a slight tingling sensation in the mage's hand as it is rubbed by Mantis. He looks directly into her green mask, and, though he cant see a thing, he feels as if he knows what she looks like, and as if he had known her for years.

"I am so glad we got the oportunity to be here together, Mantis. I am really enjoying every minute i spend with you."

Shade
4th November 2004, 09:06 PM
"And I with you. Um...why are we using telepathy? There's hardly anyone around; if that's what you're worried about, perhaps we should leave and go elsewhere?"

She continues to stroke Zach's hand lovingly. "I never had any idea that I would find such a great friend in you, Zach. It's...My prince has come...it's hard to explain. Whenever I have needed someone, you have been there. You seem to know exactly when to show up and what to say. I feel a little guilty, since I have not be able to reciprocate that." Here, she gives him a hug. "BUt I do know that, as long as you are here, I am safe, safe in the presence of the man I love."

Mantis has the same slip-up that Zach has had several times before; her thoughts are connected with his still.

See how he looks at me...right at my face...i wish I could take this thing off...but yet, I am trapped inside...the jumpsuit I don't mind; it's rather comfy, but the helmet...that is like a trap to me...I am confined inside it. No one will ever know the looks I have on my face, be they frowns, smiles, or...love."

Paradise Wandering
4th November 2004, 09:28 PM
Hmm... No, it isnt that, i really dont know why we are using telepathy... Pretty much a spur of the moment decision. I dont mind either way, audible talking or telepathy. Whichever one suits you the best.

After this, Zach felt words that were not directed at him flowing freely through his mind, and at once knew that Mantis had made the same mistake he had countless times in the past.

that is like a trap to me...

"Maybe i could help you break free of that 'trap'? Maybe i could work with you to help you take it off someday. I would like nothing more than to help you."

Shade
4th November 2004, 09:34 PM
Mantis lets out a small gasp, realizing what she has done. But then she smiles. She closes the mind link, but just for a moment, enough to think: Hehe, he's rubbing off on me... Then she reopens it. "And I'd prefer audible--"

"Maybe i could help you break free of that 'trap'? Maybe i could work with you to help you take it off someday. I would like nothing more than to help you."

The thought intrigues her, yet at the same time saddens her. Her mind link still open, she again transmits something mindlessly to Zach.

I would die...the doctors say I would die...

But out loud, she says, "Perhaps. But I am afraid of what would happen if I did take it off..."

Paradise Wandering
4th November 2004, 09:53 PM
"Which doctors told you that? Are you sure they said that? You are a very strong character, (no pun intended :tongue: ) both mentally and physically. I doubt with the willpower you have, you would allow yourself to die. That would just be giving up already. (once again, no pun intended :tongue: :tongue: ) And i know that you woulnt do that."

He smiled sympathetically at her, not knowing exactly how she felt, but understanding of her.

I wont let that happen.

Shade
4th November 2004, 09:57 PM
"Which doctors told me that?" She asks, and repeats the question a few times to herself. "That would be the doctors who first operated on me, who said I have no chance of survival and originally said that I would be better off dead. I go to them every now and then, and they always say the same thing: don't take the mask off. Even the man who tried to hunt me down was a doctor, and he said the same thing...I also think my face is horribly burnt from..." She pauses, the words almost choked. "the fire."

Of course, Mantis's face is flawless, just like Shade's yet she has never seen her face for quite some time now, always choosing to turn her back to the mirror, afraid of what she would see...

Paradise Wandering
5th November 2004, 07:17 PM
The fire... He says to himself. "Which fire?" He asks curiously. He has never heard that she ws burned before, but nevertheles. He asked. "Tell me about the fire. I'd like to know."

He sips his water while his eyes bouce around exitedly. What is she talking about?

Shade
5th November 2004, 07:38 PM
Mantis lifts her helmet a little so her lips can be seen, and takes a long sip of water, the life-giving substance soothing her throat, which has become incredibly dry at the thought of the fire. She grabs Zach's hand gently yet firmly as she begins to tell the tale, her other hand pushing her helmet back down.

"Um," She says. "When I first sprouted my antennae, a man--my doctor, who will shall refer to as 'the man in the brown suit'--took incredible interest in me, wanting to kill me for my blood, and my blood alone, or maybe the antennae too. His first attempt on me was when I was learning my wind dome spell from my mom. The bullet he shot at me bounced harmlessly off. He tried again, this time I evaded by using my natural reflexes and the bullet shot the king. As I was in my house, I heard a voice, a voice I shudder to think about now. "DIE!" Soon, the house was burning. I ran outside..." Here, her voice begins to falter. "But to no avail. I raced back inside; by now the house was completely in flames, and tried to save my family and friends. A wooden beam fell and I was forced to turn back..." Her eyes begin to water here. "BUt...but not before I watched the flesh melt off of my family and friends' bodies!" She nearly shouts the word and breaks down into small, quiet sobs, hugging Zach, and placing her head on his shoulder, as though crying into it.

To this day, she considers herself a failure because she couldn't save her friends.

Paradise Wandering
5th November 2004, 10:51 PM
Oh, such a sad post. You almost made me cry :tongue:

"Whoa." Zach says, a little startled by the sudden wetness (is that a word?) of his shoulder, which had been caused by tears leaking out from under Mantis's helmet.

"I am sorry. I didnt know." A look of great sadness crawled accros his face, and he gently patted Mantis on the back. The pat, after a few moments, changes to a light rub. "I really never meant to bring back the greif. Please, forgive me."

What have i done? It started out innocently asking questions, but now i have made her cry. What is wrong with me? He asked himself these questions, and struggled mentally as if in self-restraint from slapping himself.

"Are you ok?"

Shade
8th November 2004, 09:18 AM
Mantis continues to shudder a little. "No," SHe says sadly. "You deserve to know. No secrets." She, too, begins to rub Zach's back as she hugs him. "Am I okay?" She asks, half to herself and half for no reason. "I...I think I'll...be fine in a few moments..."

But yet, the grief doesn't bother her, it is half sadness and half anger, and the only reaction she has to this is to cry. "You have no clue how many times I've blamed myself for the...incident..." She whispers into Zach's ear.

Paradise Wandering
10th November 2004, 09:38 PM
"It wasn't your fault. You didn't cause it at all. You shouldn't just blame yourself for something you have no control over. What can i do to comfort you?"

He leaned in close to her and gave her a long, light hug, and patted her softly on the back. When he retracted from her, letting go of her, he looked deep into her green helm. "I dont want to see you dropping the blame on yourself for something you didnt do."

He took her hand and held it softly, lovingly, like a mother would hold her child's hand. It felt warm against his skin, like her body heat was radiating through it. "You couldnt have stopped it, so dont beat yourself up for it."

Shade
10th November 2004, 09:47 PM
Mantis returns the embrace, burying her head in Zach's shoulder, the pain returning to her in first time in several years. "Sometimes, when I dream, all I see is them...and then everything becomes red, like blood...I wish I could show you what I dream sometimes...but it would scare you so much..." Her frame shudders and then she blushes as Zach takes her hand.

Now, the mutant decides to do something she needs to do: she takes her mind all off of everything; the area around her seems to cease to exist--at least to her--as she focuses in on Zach and his cool, smooth touch of his hand against hers. Gradually, her shuddering stops. "But still," She says, a warm and merry tone in her voice, all signs of sadness gone now. "I'm glad I met you, and I think all of this turned out for the better."

The green mutant hugs the water master tightly, but again makes sure not to crush him. "I love you." She says in a soft, sweet voice.

Paradise Wandering
14th November 2004, 08:19 PM
"I could not agree more with you. It did turn out for the best, through a lot of battles on the same side, some of the weirdest places i have ever been, and the strangest things i have ever been though. Through a Slimian fortress, into the depths of many deep caves, (Draco's quest) Rakoth's possesion by Malakoth, and quite a few others.

But we are here now, and i love you. It did turn out for the best, no matter what anyone says."

He took her hug, and squeezed gently, lovingly, like she was the most important thing in the world to him.

Shade
14th November 2004, 08:30 PM
Mantis beams beneath her helemts, the tears stopping abruptly, as though a floodgate has just been shut. They hold each other for quite some time before Mantis breaks it, but not before nuzzling Zach with her helmet again. She sighs, quite content as she takes Zach's hand and loses herself once again in those blue, sky-like eyes.

Paradise Wandering
14th November 2004, 08:59 PM
Zach feels a stop to the flow of tears down his cloak, taking note that Mantis has stopped crying. He reaches down and runs his hand along the back of her helmet, feeling the texture, the shape of her head.

When she broke away, he simply stared into her helmet, looking at where her eyes would be.

He puts his hand on her cheek, feeling as best he could her face, wondering how it felt for real. Trying to imagine it.

"Hey, would you like to go to Lin'Hou with me?"

Shade
14th November 2004, 09:13 PM
Mantis smiles as Zach touches her cheek, and returns the favor before again being lost in his eyes. It those sky-blue eyes, everything is pefect. She could keep that gaze locked forever.

"Hey, would you like to go to Lin'Hou with me?'

The words jar her back to reality and she gives Zach another long hug, again making sure not to crush him. "I'd love to!" SHe says, then ads a small, girlish giggle to the statement.

Paradise Wandering
16th November 2004, 07:59 AM
Zach gladly takes the hug, and and nods when she answers.

I dont know if she willbe impressed with my home, but i'm just glad to take her.

"Wallace!" Zach yelled, "Can I have the bill?"

Wallace: "Yeah, yeah. I'ma gittin to ya. I gots other customas ya know."

Zach: "Okay. We will wait."

Wallace: "Naw, yall know i'ma jus kiddin'. Here is yer bill."

He leaned in close so that only Zach and Mantis could here him. "Now if i wuz you, i'da watch out fer those thar drunks in that table yonder. Word around town is that those guys have been causin' trouble for the villagers. Just my piece of advice fer yeh."

Zach nodded again and slid out of his seat, paying Wallace the difference in gold. "And thank you, for the advice. We will be sure to watch out."

He stood up and turned to look at Mantis. He slowly stretched out a hand to her. "Here, take my hand. I'll help you up."

Shade
16th November 2004, 02:00 PM
Mantis smiles warmly at Zach and takes his hand. Standing up, she mutters something for both Zach and Wallace to hear. "Well, if they give the village any trouble, I'll give THEM trouble..."

"So, how long is it to your home?" She asks, barely able to conceal her enthusiasm.

Paradise Wandering
16th November 2004, 09:11 PM
"Don't worry Wallace. We won't take any crap from them. I promise. (hint hint :P)"

He turned to Mantis, beaming kindly. "Not far at all. A few hours, but that's all. Can you ride a horse?" He asked.

Shade
16th November 2004, 09:13 PM
"Well," Mantis says. "I, um, err, no." She can't think of a more discreet way of saying so. "But if I ride on the same horse with you, I should be fine." SHe grins widely beneath her helmet. "So, let's go! Where's your horse?"

Paradise Wandering
16th November 2004, 09:33 PM
"Follow me." He just kept on beaming at the thought of her on the same horse as him, staying right next to each other for several hours.

He took her hand lightly and began to walk out the door, graciously thanking Wallace for all of the help he gave. Right as he was about to walk out the door, the table of drunks a few feet away begins to get very loud, jeering and taunting at the unlikely couple. Making fun of both Zach and Mantis's strange garb. They werent use to seeing magic users, and began to threaten them with things like "I bettcha you can't hurt me wit yer little speeeelllllllssss. *HAHAHAHAH!*"

Things like this brought up an anger inside Zach, but he did not show it on the outside. He kept it concealed insde himself, keeping a cool demeanor and attitude.

"Kind sir, i humbly ask you to take that back."

"And why should i be doin' that sorta thang?"

The boy turned to Mantis and winked. "You ready for some action?"

Shade
16th November 2004, 09:39 PM
Mantis gives a VERY uncharacteristic snarl and picks up the nearest drunkard by the collar. The man didn't respond to this, so Mantis kicks him in the groin. "Don't ever, ever mock Zach again!"

The drunkard just smiles. "Whaaaat abooooooout yoooooooooooouuuuuuuuu?"

In response, Mantis flings the man into the nearest wall, knocking him out. By this time, a crowd has gathered and is taking bets on who would win: the drunkards or the unlikely duo.

Another drunkard grabs for Mantis's chest. She takes his arm, and, in one swift motion, breaks it. The drunkard seems not to care though--that is, until he tries to move it. Another one chrages her from behind, but her innate reflexes move her out of the way and the two smash into each other.

From pain, the man with the broken arm faints, while two others go to charge at Zach.

Paradise Wandering
17th November 2004, 10:23 AM
LOL

Zach nodded as Mantis set to work. For the first of the men that was running at him, the first one who had jeered and taunted about magic, he slowly muttered: "I don't need magic to finish off the likes of you."

He put two fingers into his mouth, and blew as hard as he could. A shrill wistle came from his mouth and Lotus responded accordingly. This, you see, was his signal. He valliantly jumped through the window he had been waiting outside of, crashing through the table and stopping facing Zach; back to the drunk. Zach took Lotus' face and petted it lovingly, and whispered something inaudible to anyone but the horse. It gave a neigh that almost said "Yes! This sounds like fun!", although Lotus was not a telepath. Just a VERY smart animal.

It brought up it's hind legs, balancing on it's front, and let loose. Both of it's back feet bashed into the man's stomach, breaking almost all of the ribs. He was thrown into a wall, landing on top of his knocked-out friend.

"See?" Zach said to the man, who was now totally unconcious, "I told you i didn't need magic."

For the second man, he came up behind the young mage after Lotus had hit his friend. He was soon stopped though, as the back of his skull was hit VERY HARD by a broken whiskey bottle. Well, now it was broken, and it's contents spilled over his head. "Now. That thar'l teacha to mess wit a couple of them young lovers. You mess wit dem, and i mess wit you!" Came the voice of an angry Wallace, who had seen the whole thing since Zach and Mantis had innocently left the table and the drunks had made a scene.

"Go," He said to Zach, "Go in piece, me friends. But be sure ta come back soon."

He said as Zach hopped onto Lotus and held out a hand for assist Mantis up behind him.

Shade
17th November 2004, 10:29 AM
Mantis groans, her wrist a little hurt from the way in which she had slammed the man into the wall. After thanking Wallace, she gingerly walks over to Zach, stepping carefully to avoid bodies and shards of broken glass. Once that is accomplished, she reachs up and grabs Zach's hand, gingerly, then accidentally misses the horse as she attempts to get on it. She tries again, this time using Zach's shoulders to guide her onto the horse, but doesn't hurt him in the process. Then, she places her arms on his shoulders and waits for the horse to move.

Paradise Wandering
26th November 2004, 11:20 PM
This is the only post I can manage tonight, sorry.

Zach feels Mantis's gloves reach up and hold grasp his shoulders lovingly, a warm feeling infatuating him. The mutant's arms drape around his shoulders and neck, sending a happy shiver down his spine. He leans forward, and whispers something into the ear of his beloved horse. It responds with a friendly neigh, and starts to walf off. It picks up speed gradually, and eventually it is in a healthy trot.

The rapid hoofbeats ring loudly through the forest, each one making a small puff of dirt as it contacts the soft earth. For one moment, the boy leaned his head and neck down and nuzzled the mutants warm arms, small stitches of green fabric sticking to his face. These soon blow off as the horse runs through the forest, from the friction of the wind on his face. "Mantis," He started, "I know you are going to like it here. How long will you plan to stay?"

Just FYI, in this quest, Mantis has not been to Lin'Hou before, reguardless of whether or not she goes there in my quest. :P

Shade
29th November 2004, 10:07 AM
Mantis's grip on Zach's shoulder tightens. She has never liked to be moved, but rather move herself. Her face begins to sweat, but she manages to keep a calm tone of voice. A loving smile comes over her face beneath the mask.

"I can stay for as long as you'd like...or until Jade comes flying to call me back." She laughs, her antennae jiggling in the breeze as they move.

Paradise Wandering
17th December 2004, 10:17 PM
"Good." was the only responce that came from Zach's mouth, as the warrior of water and dark patted Lotus's neck again and it pick up speed once more. Zach was not trying to scare Mantis, but rather gie her a friendly thrill. He wanted her to have fun, without being scared out of her costume.

"Easy there, Lotus. Not to fast, my friend..." He whispered to his companion. "Mantis," He asked, turning to her once more, "Are you ready to see my country?" He was asking this, even though he knew that she was ready. This was a subtle preparation for the glory and magesty that was Lin'Hou, and it would take a very cold person not to love this place.

Shade
17th December 2004, 10:25 PM
Mantis shivers as a war, fuzzy feeling runs up her back. This causes her to smile greatly and hug Zach. "Ready when you are, my love," She says. "I wait with great anticipation." At this point, she strokes Lotus's back a little bit, then smiles contentedly. "Let's see this place!"

Paradise Wandering
26th December 2004, 03:23 PM
Zach had long since known what Mantis' answer would bem he asked anyway, and received just the responce he was looking for. He gave a kind smile, to no one in particular, just as Lotus came to a halt at the top of a large hill. The black stallion neighed loudly as it once again entered it's homeland. Zach's smile just grew even wider, a toothy grin overcoming his young, but handsome face. His keen blue eyes swept over the vast country beyond.

There was a massive amount of vegitation, the lus green forests and canopys of trees were all visible from the great view that Mt. Vega owned. This small mountain, named after the god of Lin'Hou, was not the tallest hill in the land, but it surely was the most majestic. If one were to stand here for but a few minutes, they would be totally overwhelmed by the natural beauty of this exotic land. There were mountains and canyons, carved by large rivers and painted an unearthly red color by constant exposure to the sun.

The locals were incredibly kind, and the harvest plentiful. Many royal looking bald eagles roamed the sky gracefully, searching for prey. Several huge waterfalls dominated much of the eastern skyline, and to the right was a large village, Lin'Hou city, Lin'Hou's capitol. Nearly a mile into the country, was Mt. Tallion, a tall mountain that overshadowed a small city of the same name. That city was Zach's birthplace.

To the north, in the very center of the country, was a much larger village, Quillia. This village was the largest city in the land and was the center of most Lin'Houan life. It housed a large temple, dedicated to Vega, and also the largest mage school in the country, the school where Zach learned his very first spell.

Zach carefully dismounted Lotus, and held out a hand to assist Mantis in getting off. He whispered something into the ear of his steed, something in another language. He had allowed it to run off into the country, ahead of Zach, who wanted to walk and spend some time with Mantis.

He smiled again, before looking back to the green-clad mutant. "Come with me. I want to take you and show you my home village."

Shade
26th December 2004, 03:31 PM
Mantis takes Zach's hand and dismounts rapidly, too rapidly, and she nearly falls flat on her face. But Zach's steady hand helps her to keep her balance. Unable to help herself, she gives him another hug. Still holding onto the teenager's hand, Mantis smiles once more.

"I'd love to!" She says, then takes a good look at the place. "*gasp* It's so beautiful! It's like something out of a storybook i read as a child. So...awesome!" And indeed it is, much more so than her place, yet her place seems to be just a little better, as it has three people that here doesn't have: Shade, Jade, and Mantidae. And they are happy to live in the hut, and so they shall. It would be too much of a pain to relocate. But Mantis will make sure to visit here as often as possible.

"Lead the way."

Paradise Wandering
22nd January 2005, 05:33 PM
Crap... It's about time I posted here again.

Zach chuckled softly at Mantis' blatant shock, and then slightly louder at her seemingly impulsive hug. He takes it, and genuinly returns it, tightly embracing the girl. "Come with me," he said with a grab of her hand. Zach slowly started off down Mt Vega, trodding in the direction of Tallion. It was a warm summer day in Lin'Hou, the trees were vibrant and green, and the flowers were blooming; filling the air with a sweet aroma. The tall, crisp grass crackled and bent beneath the weight of the boy, and the loud rush of the wide rivers of the country could clearly be heard.

It wsa a clear day, not a cloud in the sky, and the warm kiss of the sun could be felt easily on one's skin. He gave a playful squeeze to her gloved hand, while toying with a thought in his mind. He looked at her, staring deep into her visor. "Mantis, I know this may sound a little strange, but I am asking you to take off your helmet, only for a minute. You haven't taken it off a single time since I've known you, for personal reasons. The sun is so comforting here, warm and gentle on you skin. Just try it, trust me." The smile never left Zach's face as he said this, for it ws meant with the purest intentions. He knew it may be frightening for her at first, and it may be hard for her to do, and put a strain on her mind. He would help her through it for all he was worth, and would never ask something like this to her if he thought she couldn't handle it.

Shade
23rd January 2005, 09:27 PM
As Zach hugs Mantis back, another warm and fuzzy feeling races up and down her spine. She loves Zach, and she knows it. The feeling of love is so awesome that Mantis holds on to Zach for quite a long time. When she breaks the embrace, she smiles warmly beneath her mask. She more than willingly follows Zach, still unable to take in all the beauty of the place. There is so much to see! Mantis will bring Shade and company next time she visits, unless Zach feels otherwise.


"Mantis, I know this may sound a little strange, but I am asking you to take off your helmet, only for a minute. You haven't taken it off a single time since I've known you, for personal reasons. The sun is so comforting here, warm and gentle on you skin. Just try it, trust me."

Mantis’s eyes go wide beneath her visor. Her? Take of her helmet? She wants to, yet knows she will die if she does. She toys with the idea, before bringing her hands up to her helmet, then bringing them back down. “I…can’t…” she says. “It’s…too…hard…I want to…but I can’t…Will you help me, perhaps? Maybe we can do this together?”

Paradise Wandering
25th January 2005, 09:06 PM
I kind smile comes across Zach's handsome features, and a low laugh escaped his mouth. "Of course, anything for you." He said warmly. We will do this together, and I will gladly stop if you decide to call it off. Now, count to three. When you say three, we will both take it off."

He calmly stepped forward, slowly reaching both hands up and gently gripped Mantis' green helmet. As he felt the cold of the visor touch his fingertips, an excited shiver rolled down his back, and then back up again.

He looked deep into her visor, where her eyes would be, and spoke. "Okay, when you're ready."

Shade
25th January 2005, 09:15 PM
Mantis sighs. This is it, the moment that she's been dreading for her entire life. Slowly, and with a trembling hand, she lifts her own hand up to the helmet. "Ready." She says. With this, the two of them lift the helmet.

The image that Zach sees is similar to that of Shade's: perfect, clear complexion, but with green eyes and brown hair. The face smiles at Zach before it takes on one of horror.

Mantis gasps, her entire body shuddering. She begins to sweat profusely and spasm. She begins to choke and falls to her knees, trying to overcome the air. her frame shudders and she grasps at her throat. Her eyes become wide in panic, and her skin begins to pale. "Help me, Zach." She rasps. It seems as though the doctors were right. However, little does she know that the air isn't doing a thing to her; it is her own imagination.

Paradise Wandering
25th January 2005, 09:38 PM
Zach's heart rate starts to hasten, the anticipation almost killing him. This is one thing he has perplexed him since he met her. One thing he has wondered about, dreamed about, pondered. His hands are grabbing the helmet, Mantis' hands are grabbing the helmet. Together, they lift it off her face. Beneath the helm is a beautiful visage, with flowing brown locks and mysterious, alluring green eyes. A rare viewing of an extremely attractive face is the just reward for one who can get Mantis to reveal it. Which, Zach found out, is not a common thing. His heart skiped a beat as his eyes lay upon the girl's face for the first time, only to skip another seconds later as Mantis falls to her knees and begins to impulsively move about in random spasms as one would do in a seizure.

Zach had no idea what to do at this point, as all his magical prowess, that he spent so much time learning, cannot help him at all in this situation. He ripped his cloak off, revealing a black silk shirt and loose mage's pants, and falls to his knees soon after Mantis does. He grabbed her by her shoulders, doing his best to steady her, and wrapped his cloak around her torso like a blanket. He sat there on his knees, holding Mantis as if she is the most important thing in the world to him. He took one of the cloak's ends, and carefully ran it over her forehead, wiping up the sweat as she continues to jerk about.

"Mantis... Mantis! Can you hear me? Nothing is happening! Listen to me!" He shouted the first words that came to his mind, having no idea whether she can even hear them. Zach was completely clueless at times such as this, and he was without anything that could help Mantis save for his words, and his love for her. A tiny, single tear formed in his blue eyes, welling up for a moment before sliding down his face, hanging for a second or so from his chin, and finally dropping to the ground silently.

Shade
25th January 2005, 09:56 PM
Mantis continues her random spasming and seisure. This is it, She thinks. I'm going to die The sudden pain that she has felt suddenly becomes an agaonizing despair, wanting to save her life. If she dies, Shade would be by herself, but would still have Zach to look after her. But the though of losing Shade is so painful that she can't bear it.

Almost blind, she feels herself being moved and suddenly finds herself staring up into Zach's face, and a painful smaile comes over her face. She feels the cloak, and tries to keep that memory in her mind, as it appears to be her last one. She shuts her eyes, and they begin to tear.

Suddenly, a familar voice cuts through her seizure like a diamond through glass. ""Mantis... Mantis! Can you hear me? Nothing is happening! Listen to me!"

Mantis begins to think rapidly. He's right...if something was really happening to me, I'd be dead by now!...i can fight this, I can fight this...I must fight this...

Suddenly, her eyes stop tearing, and slowly yet surely her body stops spasming. Her breathing finall stabilizes, and she can open her eyes now. She looks into Zach's eyes, a warm smile gradually appearing over her face.The mutant throws her arms around Zach and hugs him as though he is the most important thing in the world. "You're right!" She exclaims. "THe doctors were wrong! I still like my helmet...but I'll take it off when I'm with you. Thank you so much, Zach!" The next thing she knows, she gives Zach a small kiss on his cheek. Then, she continues her embrace.

Paradise Wandering
25th January 2005, 10:40 PM
Unimaginable relief. That was the feeling that Zach felt as Mantis' spasms slow, and eventually cease entirely. He feels his cloak's cling to Mantis loosen, and soon she had wriggled her arms out. Zach stared deep into her eyes for the first time, feeling more at home now, looking into her eyes, and her eyes looking back, than ever before. It was a good feeling. He felt as though he could do anything. He felt as though his senses were heightened, and as though he were invincible. But at the same time, he felt powerless, like he had just been drained of all magic and stamina. The feeling could not be described by mortal words, or for that case, immortal words either. The way you feel, is that you don't know how you feel.

At last Mantis moved, slowly moving up toward Zach's face, and kissing his cheek. Her warm lips were a strange, yet good contrast to the icy cold of her helmet. He could feel her long, smooth hair against his face, feel her breath. It was an amazing sensation, to be in love like this, his heart beating faster now than it ever had before. It was a different kind of heartrace, not the kind you get when you are terrified of something, but an exhiliarating one. He felt like he could stay here forever, just him and Mantis together.

As she pulled away, going back into another of her loving hugs, Zach's face became a deep red color. He blushed not with embarrasment, but because he was in love. It was the first time he had felt this way, and when Mantis moved in with one of her loving, kind huggs, Zach's only reaction was to close his eyes, and enjoy the moment. He was the first to break the moment, standing up and offering a sweating hand to her for assistance.

He help her up, her wobbling knees giving her a hard time in balancing, but loyal Zach was there to help her. He put an arm around her to steady her, and with his other reached up kindly, lovingly, gently caressing her face with the back of his fingers. "I was scared..." He admitted, "I felt so...helpless..."

He looked once more into her eyes, and his face changed, his smile became more devious, and a knot formed in his throat. He leaned forward, and lightly kissed her on the lips, before pulling away and tightly hugging her.

Shade
26th January 2005, 07:41 PM
Mantis’s heart begins to beat fast too, the feeling of love overwhelming her and making her slightly giddy. Her antennae jiggle slightly. She sighs quite contentedly, basking in the simple presence of Zach.

As she pulled away, going back into another of her loving hugs, Zach's face became a deep red color. He blushed not with embarrasment, but because he was in love. It was the first time he had felt this way, and when Mantis moved in with one of her loving, kind huggs, Zach's only reaction was to close his eyes, and enjoy the moment. He was the first to break the moment, standing up and offering a sweating hand to her for assistance.

Mantis smiles widely as she sees Zach blush, knowing that he, too, is in love. Her face tinges, too, but she blushes a bright, neon green, not to be confused as being sick, instead of red, the mantis blood is apparently dominant there. She takes Zach’s hand shakily, her metabolism not quite back to its fullest.

He help her up, her wobbling knees giving her a hard time in balancing, but loyal Zach was there to help her. He put an arm around her to steady her, and with his other reached up kindly, lovingly, gently caressing her face with the back of his fingers. "I was scared..." He admitted, "I felt so...helpless..."

As Zach runs his fingers over Mantis’s face, Mantis shivers a little, not in fear or in fright, but in knowing that she has finally found someone to be with for the rest of her life. “You saved me.” She wryly points out, a witty smile appearing on her face.

As Mantis is kissed on the lips, her face greens (is that a word? Read: becomes a light green, like a neon green) a bit, and she kisses Zach back, a brief kiss, nothing major. Then, she is wrapped up in Zach’s embrace and she feels as though she can remain in that one moment forever.

“You know,” She says, her voice wavering slightly from the extreme happiness she is feeling. “I thought that the only thing that would ever come close to ‘loving’ me would be another mantis. But you…” She stops as a shiver of happiness runs up and down her body, small tears of joy falling from her eyes. “You’re the one thing that I longed for: a person, a normal human, to love me. And that is the one thing that I’ve been looking for, and now I’ve found you.” She hugs Zach tightly, but makes sure not to hurt him. “And I thank you a million times for that. I love you.”

As she releases Zach from embrace, a strange look comes over her face. “Erm, do these antennae make me seem…weird to you? Because…it’s different, being without the helmet, and I wonder if my appearance has changed for the better or for the worse.”

Paradise Wandering
27th January 2005, 08:39 PM
Zach was a little surprised at Mantis's question, as her looks didn't matter to him. Yeah, he had always been curious as to what lurked beneath that mask, but he would always love her for her personality and demeanor, which were, in essence, what he ahd fallen in love with long before he had seen her face. She wanted to know about her appearance, and that was something that Zach's magic could aide him in.

He smiled at her, and turned away. He seemed to be staring at the ground, unmoving for about five seconds. His attention seemed to have completely shifted to the earth, as if something about it facinated him above anything. Of course, that is just how it looked. What he was doing, is something entirely different. Zach was intently concentrating on the aquafers and underground fivers between his feet. Normally he was call a geyser from this point, but now he was doing something different. Something taht to the untrained mage, may seem easy, but was in reality, much harder than the geyser. With the geyser, all you need to do is call it up, it is already under pressure, so it will just do what everything would do if you apply gravity and pressure. It would spurt into the air with no effort on Zach's part. This though, was just supposed to make water slowely seep from the earth, which meant Zach having to concentrate to keep the water from blasting out.

So, it was a harder job to for a Puddle than a geyser, but Zach succeded. Before long, water was quickly flowing from the ground, into a small ditch several feet away from Zach, When it had filled to his satisfaction, Zach waved his hand over it and it instantly froze over, making a mirror-like thick patch of ice.

Zach looked kindly to Mantis and smiled. "See for yourself." He said.

Shade
27th January 2005, 10:06 PM
Mantis looks away from the surface, afraid to find out what she looks like. All her life, since the great fire, she has imagined herself having a horribly marred and scarred face.

I have to do this, if not for me, then for Zach…

With this, she slowly, painfully slowly, turns her body back around and looks into the ice. What she sees bewilders her. She doesn’t see the horribly marred and scratched face that she had imagined, but instead sees a neon green face with an otherwise clear complexion. She looks like Shade, a lot like Shade, with her perfect face. But that is the only thing that looks like Shade.

She frowns as she gazes upon her antennae. They make her look so strange and out of place, not quite human yet not quite mutant. She smiles softly and giggles a little, amused at the comment she has. “The antennae make me look stupid.” She says, a wide grin on her face. “The helmet I will wear almost all the time, since I am used to it and seems to scare people away, which can be useful in battle. However, why I am with only you, I will take the helmet off.” She heads over to Zach and gives him another tight hug, but again makes sure not to hurt him. “I can’t thank you enough for simply…being here. If there is one thing I wanted in all my life it was to have someone love me. And now my life is complete. Thank you, Zach!”

Paradise Wandering
1st February 2005, 09:09 PM
Zach blushed as Mantis spoke of how he had single handedly completed her life, doing nothing but yelling her out of a seizure and freezing some water, but whatever he did, it made him smile to see Mantis happy.

Zach closed his eyes for the duration of the hug, simply stopping, hugging back, and enjoying it. Zach looked upon Mantis' face again, his eyes kindly looking into hers. "No, don't say that. They don't make you look wierd, or out of place at all. Many people think they look wierd, but just because they think they do, doesn't mean that they do. I learned to live with the strange things about me. Like, have you noticed that every time I express emotion my eyes light up? Children used to torment me about that, because they thought it was unnattural. Son of a king or not, I was teased."

"So, " he continued, "Everyone is a little weird in some way. Don't let that change how you look at yourself." He stared at the ground, blinking in a rapid, embarassed way, hit by the realization that he was preaching. He shifted uncomfortably on his feet, running his hand through his brown hair, and took about five steps toward the forest. He turned around, his face back to normal, all evidence of his uncertainty gone. His eyes were warmly looking back at her, and he was smiling again.

Zach moved back to Mantis, and grabbed hold of her gloved fingers. He gave a soft laugh, almost inaudible, and looked around. "Shall we continue?" He asked.

Shade
5th February 2005, 10:53 PM
Zach blushed as Mantis spoke of how he had single handedly completed her life, doing nothing but yelling her out of a seizure and freezing some water, but whatever he did, it made him smile to see Mantis happy.

Mantis looks at Zach as he blushes and her skin tinges a light green, her equivalent of blushing. Looking down in the water, she sees her face turn green and she laughs. “My, my, I’m different from the average person, aren’t I?”

Mantis continues to hug Zach, listening to all that he has to say. She smiles widely and says, “I’m glad you didn’t listen to them. I like you just the way you are.” She places a hand on his forehead and watches his eyes light up. “It’s beautiful the way your eyes are.”

"So, everyone is a little weird in some way. Don't let that change how you look at yourself."

Two questions suddenly occur to her. “Why do you think people run away from me? And what do you think of me?”

She needs to know the latter question especially. As Zach looks away, Mantis places a hand on Zach’s shoulder. “Don’t worry,” She says. “I agree with everything you say. It’s good to have people such as yourself to keep reminding me that I am worth something.” She again hugs Zach in a warm embrace.

”Shall we continue?”

Mantis nods eagerly, her eyes lighting up with excitement. “Yes,” She says, breaking the embrace and taking hold of Zach’s hand. “Please show me more!”

Paradise Wandering
7th February 2005, 09:09 PM
"Yes," Zach said simling ever-wider, "You are different." Then came a small barrage of questions, and a seemingly off-topic statement. "Why do people run away from you, you ask," He said, "Because you are different. People are scared of people that are different, whether they have a good reason or not." He continued; "You will find that many people that are out of the ordinary, be it a good thing or a bad, will be shunned. In your case, your difference doesn't matter to me, and I love you just the same. I couldn't care if your skin is green, purple, orange or platinum. I don't care if you have antennae or not. That does not matter to me. Some people like smart women, some like pretty women. I just happened to get lucky and have both traits in one person." He concluded, the smile never leaving him.

As continued to gently clutch Mantis' hands as if they were as delicate as gold, he walked slowly, farther into Lin'Hou. He stayed at a pace comfortable for both of them, and breathed in deeply. The fresh, forest air seemed so calming, the smell of all knds of trees, from needly Pine, to the great Redwood. Something about the scent was simply soothing, in it's natural spendor. The simple pleasures of just walking with Mantis and smelling this air were good memories in the making.

Shade
7th February 2005, 09:21 PM
"Why do people run away from you, you ask," He said, "Because you are different. People are scared of people that are different, whether they have a good reason or not."

Mantis sighs heavily. “It hurts sometimes, though,” She says. “Little children, kids that are so cute, they turn away from me when they see me. I don’t even get a chance to speak to them.” Another sigh, and she falls silent as she continues to listen to Zach.

"You will find that many people that are out of the ordinary, be it a good thing or a bad, will be shunned.

“I guess you’re right,” Mantis says. “But do they ever think of the hurt it inflicts? Or do they just assume that the different person will deal with it?”

As Zach finishes his last statement about how pretty and smart she is, Mantis’s face turns a slight shade of reddish-green. This is the expression of both the human blood and mantis blood on her face. She is blushing. Again, she gives Zach another warm embrace. Something about Zach…she just couldn’t stop hugging him!

As the pair of them continue, Mantis stops briefly and inhales through her nose, smelling the air for the first time since she was born. The smell of the air is sweet, and the smell of the flowers momentarily overwhelms her. “You know,” She comments. “I haven’t smelled the air since I was born.” She looks at everything, even Zach, as though she is seeing things with new eyes.

Paradise Wandering
7th February 2005, 09:41 PM
Zach sighs long and heavily, completely emptying his lungs before speaking. "You know, I don't think that many people do care about what emotional pain it causes. The ones that do, are probably aready so emotional themselves that they would just go and pout if they thought they had hurt your feelings."

He looked around, searching in his mind for a way to change the subject, but found nothing. You can imagine the relief when Mantis changed it herself.

Zach's eyes widened at Mantis' remark, as it is surprising. "The first time? Whoa, you need some fresh air." For some reason, Mantis hugged Zach yet again, but it wasn't even beginning to anny him. He loved it, nothing else could be said.

Shade
9th February 2005, 08:56 PM
"You know, I don't think that many people do care about what emotional pain it causes. The ones that do, are probably aready so emotional themselves that they would just go and pout if they thought they had hurt your feelings."

Mantis stops for a moment and turns to look at Zach. “But children! Children running away from me just because I’m different. That’s what hurts. I love kids. And they run away from me!” Her eyes get glassy and it looks like she is about to cry, but thankfully Zach saves her yet again.

"The first time? Whoa, you need some fresh air."

Mantis giggles. “Yes,” She says. “I do need to get some fresh air, This is the freshest air I’ve been in for a long, long time.” Her curiosity gets peaked. “What else is there to see?” She asks, then adds as an afterthought: “This looks like something out of a story I’ve read…I doubt it was Lin’hou in the book, but everything here is just…perfect!”

Paradise Wandering
14th February 2005, 07:44 PM
Zach's eyes narrowed slightly, out of curiousity. He opened his mouth to say something, but stopped. A look of confusion crawled over his features, "Which book would that be?" He looked interested, but, he wasn't sure why. His father once told him, that the design he had used in originally designing the palace and major buildings in the country were based on a book he had once read about paradice.

"And more you shall see, Mantis. Come this way."

Zach answered her by gripping her hand and walking into the forest, and along a long, blue stream. The rushing water emanated a calming sound, and several salmon could be seen gleefully jumping a few feet into the air about five meters downstream.

omg, that post really sucked >.<

Shade
14th February 2005, 08:59 PM
"Which book would that be?"

Mantis smiles fondly at the memories Zach’s question brings back. “Well,” She says. “When I was a little girl, before my parents died in the…fire…they used to read me all sorts of books. One of them, in particular, was The Golden Tales,. It told of a knight and his far away kingdom, a kingdom that looks very much like this place. And then, of course, there were other books about paradise and whatnot, but The Golden Tales seem to fit almost perfectly with your kingdom.” With this, she gives Zach one of her spontaneous hugs.

"And more you shall see, Mantis. Come this way."

Mantis giggles eagerly and follows Zach, holding on to his hand. As they near the river, she gasps in astoundment as she sees such a beautiful site. She is about to take some wanter and splash it on her face, when the salmon jump out. With a gasp of surprise, Mantis hides behind Zach. “What are those?” She asks timidly.

Paradise Wandering
18th February 2005, 09:05 PM
Zach nodded, smiling. "Actually, that would be the one." He beamed happily. Zach stumbles backward, nearly falling into the water, surprised by yet another of Mantis' loving, impulsive hugs. He was acutally quite fond of these unexpected embraces, loving every minute that he was around the mutant.

The salmon hopped high out of the water, in a large arc. First up, then straight back down, entering the river with a resounding plop!; as Mantis nervously inquired as to what it was. Zach stifled a playful laugh at her question, as the orange-pink fish dissappeared back into the clear blue water.

"That would be a salmon. Large, multicolored fish that are able to swim aganst the current and jump up small waterfalls to migrate. They are common to many places of the world, but they certainly flourish here. They are beautiful, and strong. Just like you." He smiled, his grin widening with every word.