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Psychotic Swordsman & Erratic Elves

by Lorna Appleby and Keon Christensen

Katt sat in the park with her guitar, playing songs that came from her heart. She was three quarters of the way through "Bridge" by Queensryche when a voice interrupted her playing. "Don't you know any *happy* songs?"

"Is that a request or a criticism?" Katt asked Dachend,knowing it was him simply by tone of voice. She slipped into "Silent Lucidity." "What do you think?" She asked when Dachend refrained from answering her earlier comment.

"I try to avoid the entire concept of thinking at all costs, you know that." Dachend answered dryly. Katt could not see the small lopsided smile on his face.

Katt replied, trying to smile a little at the dour warrior's nature. "I've noticed."

Katt continued to play, concentrating on the complex picking. "So, how long have you been standing there?"

"How long have you been sitting there?" Dachend countered.

Katt chuckled, "Never answer anything with a straight answer,oh you'd make a Kitsune proud. Never give away a damn thing, make everyone work for everything." She suddenly looked up, her green eyes twinkling merrily, You sure you don't have multiple tails hidden under that jacket?"

"I am quite sure, thank you." Dachend clipped.

Something was missing. Katt wasn't quite sure what it was. Something in the banter with Dachend just wasn't right. Oh-Ho! She didn't have her counter-strike partner. "So where's Dracho'xian?"

"What's it to you?" Dachend growled.

"Hey, peace friend. I meant no offence, I was just curious."

"Curiosity killed the Katt."

"Oh!" Katt played a couple of power chords. "I'mwounded, I'm hit, I'm going down.." She had a silly grin on her face. "Like living with two Kitsune I didn't hear THAT comment a lot. Surely you can be more original."

"You think you're worth the extended effort for originality?" Dachend raised an eyebrow, a twang of amusement to his voice.

"Oh, I don't believe it! He's baiting me! Don't tell me you have a sense of humour!" Katt exclaimed, her grin growing wider.

"Well I do, but don't tell it to anybody" the Wu said

Katt stopped playing to laugh. "Always the straight man..You could make millions in America." She regained control. "So what *does* bring you out for the walk in the park?"

"I was walking by, I heard you playing." Dachend answered with more information packed in those two sentences than Katt thought she'd ever heard from him the entire time she'd known him.

"Oh, well, I'm flattered." Katt said blushing a bit.

"I didn't say you were playing well." Dachend retorted, his patented sly smile on his face.

"Ohhh! You are *SO* lucky I'm not Anne!" Katt grimaced.

"You could be."

"Oh?" Katt sensed a set-up.

"Well, you do have the body of a pre-teenager." Dachend continued.

Katt thought about two ways to respond, she decided to avoid further insults. She batted her eyelashes at him. "Why, I didn't think you had ever studied my body."

Dachend blinked a second "I didn't need to, it's obvious."He then countered.

"Ohhh. I'm getting slaughtered." Katt moaned, Dachend smirked. "Oh yes, Mr. High and Mighty, yours too will come one day!"

Dachend shrugged, "Anything's possible. You planning on moping all day in the park?"

"Nope." Katt concentrated all her energy on the guitar case, focusing all her will. Dachend stood hands behind his back for several minutes watching her. After fifteen minutes (and a minor headache) the guitar and case disappeared. "There, that's back at the garage."

"Why didn't you just carry it?" Dachend asked flatly, an eye brow cocked

"'Cause.." Katt said standing and stretching, she casually walked over to Dachend who backed up suspiciously. She darted forward with speed Dachend had never seen her use, she touched his shoulder with slight force. "Tag, you're it." She raced off.

Dachend watched her go. "You think I'm going to play childish games in the park with you?" He called after her.

"Oh, so you're admitting you know you can't catch me?" Katt called back from the tree line.

"No, I'm not admitting anything other than I think its childish."

"Neener, Neener. Dachend can't catch an elf-girl!" Katt disappeared into the trees.

Dachend sighed. The things he did for friends. But still, Dracho'xian was in Genesis, blushing in front of Eva, and vice vesa. The two of them had to make some effort if they ever wanted to get past that stage. His friend had asked him to see how Katt was doing, not that he minded that much. He didn't have anything else to do. Besides he did kinda like the elf-girl. Oh well, might as well catch her and teach her a lesson.

Slowly he walked up the slight hill and into the trees. He stood a moment listening to the sounds of the forest, she wasn't making as much noise as expected.

Dachend smiled and started to run deeper into the forested, following the way to obvious tracks Katt had left behind.

A slight wind above him alerted him to movement, with years of training he grabbed Katt and tossed her, before his conscious mind registered she was attacking.

Katt landed unceremoniously in a puddle of mud. Dachend smirked.

"Ugh." Katt offered in disgust, trying to wipe her face off on a clean part of shirt. "Dirty Pool." she looked at the puddle and realised the irony of the statement. "Oh you think you're so special, don't you?"

"No." The smirk remained.

"Hmph." Katt crossed her arms and continued to sit in the mud puddle. The two stared at each other in silence. Katt found it rather difficult to out stare someone with no pupils.

"You are going to move, aren't you?" Dachend finally asked.

Katt hauled herself up, "I suppose." She sighed. "And wipe that smirk off your face!" She stomped a foot that only splattered more mud on her.

"What smirk?" Dachend asked too innocently.

"Ohhhh. MEN!" Katt fumed. "I wish I *could* summon mallets! The least you could do is help a lady out of the mess you literally dumped her in."

"I suppose." Dachend held out a hand and pretended to lean off balance.

Katt grabbed his hand and hauled herself out, not even attempting to try and haul him in. Dachend was mildly disappointed, he was rather looking forward to dumping her back in the mud.

"Hey, Dachend, are a group of guys who are reddish purple, with crows heads and goats tails bad?" Katt asked as she looked over his shoulder.

"Yes, and if you think I'm falling for --" Dachend saw the look on her face and realised she was being serious and turned to look. Standing behind him were three minor fiends and a demon. The demon had a big grin on it's face. The fiends stood close to five feet tall and had the heads of crows with jagged beaks, the bodies of physically fit humans and goat's tails. They were a dark purple from head to toe. The Demon, whose head was more like a human except for a couple of big bull like horns was a deep red, his eyes glowing orange. His feet, of course were cloven and a forked tail lashed behind him lazily. Where had they come from and how had they sneaked up on him?!

"Look! The sacrifice!" The demon growled, "Get her. Put her .. company out of its misery."

"Oh man, I don't even have my wrench.." Katt moaned as the fiends approached.

Dachend dropped into a fighting stance, if Katt knew martial arts she would have recognised it as a wing tsun attack stand. "You picked on the wrong guy to try and cheer up." Even without Dracho'xian he could take out three minor fiends without raising a sweat. "Suitable for sacrifice, eh?" He called back to Katt, "No wonder, if you keep running away from men."

"Only the handsome ones! Notice I have no problem with you?" She called back, trying to ignore the eery 'click-click' sounds the strange humanoids made as they walked. The forest was silently accept for their movements. The smell of sulphur filled her nostrils as the ugly beings closed in. Dachend seemed as sure of himself as ever, she wondered if he could handle the extra-dimensional creatures.

One of fiends launched itself at Dachend, he easily parried it's arms and dual punched it away, the fiend landing on it's rump, back against a tree. Dachend followed up with a pile drive kick to the head, a crunching sound that made Katt wince produced a fiend with a caved in skull.

The other two looked at one another and attacked simultaneously. One of the fiends received a fist to its throat, sending it flying backwards, the other a got a knee to the gut, combined with a elbow between the shoulder blades. The second made a horrible hissing sound and attempted to claw at Dachend.

Dachend almost smiled and delivered a full force punch to the fiend's eye, caving in the socket and putting bones into what passed for its brain.

The remaining deevil looked to his master. The demon looked unhappy and gestured for its minion to attack. The fiend almost seemed to wince as it scampered up a tree. Dachend tried to follow it's movements behind the leaves but lost track. The demon grinned even wider, pointed teeth in it's wide mouth gleamed row upon row.

Dachend listened carefully for the fiend and was ready for its jump. A slight rustling of the leaves gave it away as they moved against the breeze.

Dachend grabbed the fiend around the throat with his left elbow pit and placed his left foot, between its legs. Then bending the fiend backwards until he heard the satisfying crunching of it's neck and spinal giving in.

Dachend tossed it to join its companions. "Got anything more challenging?" Dachend asked the Demon, approaching.

The Demon seemed happy with standing there and waiting while the warrior moved in. Katt suddenly let out a muffled yelp, Dachend turned to see her being attacked by seven more of the fiends. The Elven woman was delivering viciously rapid blows, but didn't have the strength to do them any harm.

The demon laughed, a deep rumbling sound. "Take her back to our domain. Nice try warrior." The demon's grin grew almost wider than it's face. Like the Cheshire cat as he faded out, all that remained of the demon was his smile for a few seconds then it too was gone.

"Dachend!" Katt called as a sickly red mist formed around her, "You'll need this..!" Something flew from her grasp, a twinkling of lights. By the time it rested in his hand after an easy catch, it was a sword. A silvery sword with blue runes of impeccable quality. A silver dragon curled the hilt and pommel. It's green eyes winked with an inner light, it looked almost pissed off.

Dachend raised the sword, lighter than he liked, but he couldn't complain about the balance and charged the fiends but his attack met thin air. He barely missed landing in the self-same mud puddle Katt had ended up in.

Dachend frowned. "Why the hell didn't *she* use the sword?"

*Because in her hands I would do no better against the beings of the underrealms than her fists* a female voice informed Dachend in his mind, the voice like a wind's melody.

"What the..?" Dachend looked at the sword. Was he to be continually talking to swords?

*It is one of your gifts, to speak to the spirit of a weapon. As I am an Elven rune sword and you can hear my voice, I thought it best to announce myself. No elves who live Underhill can hear my voice, that gift is lost to them.*

"Uh huh. So how am I to rescue Katt, since I suppose no one else is around to do it." As Dachend scanned the area, he was unsurprised to find that all that remained of the demon's band was the dead.

*You will be rewarded for your efforts, I am sure. If all you seek is money, my mistress can summon more gold than you can carry.*

"I can carry a lot of gold." Dachend countered.

*As to how* the sword continued ignoring Dachend, *I do not know.*

"Well, that's just great."

Dachend studied the dead fiends, they were minor beasts, cannon fodder. They had probably summoned only for this purpose, but he still didn't see why the hell they had taken Katt. Okay it was obvious that they were going to sacrifice her, but there usually were a reason behind the offering, it had appeared like they wanted her particularly.

"Well," he thought to himself, "I'd just as well try to find her, for one part the sword had been talking about gold and for the second Dracho'xian was probably going to be majorly pissed if I just abandoned Katt to her certain death."

"Come out Shou-rin" he said and the green skateboard like creature appeared out of thin air, Dachend jumped to it's back and flew of. While he crossed the forest, park and city, he studied the sword. *What do you mean I have a gift for communicating with swords?* he sent to the sword in his hand

*I do not know, but I can speak to you and thus you have the gift*

Dachend mused *B.S. I a Wu, the only powers I have is my infinite life and incarnated powers of beast magic. Plus a few minor talents I picked up along the way as demon hunter*

*And yet I can speak with you, as I can not with any of the Elves of Underhill*

Dachend thought for a few seconds, then snapped his fingers *That's it, Dracho'xian*

*What?* replied the sword

*My own sword, he is a demon sword... or soul sword if you will. We have a soul bond and that is probably why you can speak with me*

*If that is the reason you are happy with, it matters not the reason, the advantage is that you can.* replied the sword

Dachend walked into the small info-room of the Head-hunter outpost, he rubbed his chin. "Hmmm" walked over to a chair and sat down in front of the computer. Starting to type in some words. Text and pictures scrolled down the screen, after a moment he found what he was looking for and started to read the file.

A young woman came over and looked over his shoulder "Oh my, what's that your looking at?" she said reading some of the text. Dachend tapped a few keys and the screen went black "None your concern Kawalski" he stated flatly and stood up. "Hey, if that was your target, I'm glad I'm not in your shoes. It's a big job, lota work, tough call."

"Never tell me the odds." growled the Wu and left the room, before he left he needed a few things from his personal storage.

Dachend lifted the plate and slipped into the water, it was pretty cold. After about a half hour's walk he reached the place and pushed the stone, that according to his files opened the hidden door. The wall swung open and he crawled in and closed it after him.

Muttering a curse and a few words of command a yellow ward began to glow in his hand.

He crawled further in, removing spider web from his face "Oh you better be able to summon a real big deal of gold for me Katt, your gonna owe me big time for this" he growled and screwed a big spider on the tip of her sword.

After a few minutes of crawling, he reached a room and stood up. In front of him stood a gate. Two big columns of white stone or similar. Their surfaces seemed glassy, he walked up to it, now what rune was the right one.

After a few moments of trying to find the right rune. The two columns began to glow with dark light and utter darkness stretched out between them.

Dachend made sure he had what he need and rubbed his Wu mark "Oh yeah Katt, your gonna owe me big time, girl" with that he threw himself headfirst into the hole of darkness.

* * *

Katt slowly returned to the conscious world, her head was spinning. She couldn't focus properly. What had happened? ..Dachend had been chasing her, had thrown her into a puddle and..? ..Had he beaten her up or something? She sure felt pretty beat. But she was pretty sure Dachend wouldn't beat her..

Then as her mind cleared more, she remembered the demon and the fiends, how Dachend had fought them and they had overpowered her, rather easily she noted. Then this red mist had appeared and she had summoned her sword and thrown it to Dachend. After that she couldn't remember anything.

She tried to open an eye, nothing bad happened so she opened the other one as well.

What meet her eyes was not good, not at all. The big room she was in, was dark and shadowy, there were a couple of doors within view and she could see drapings hang on the walls, picturing strange creatures and signs.

But what really made the fear pound in her heart was the people that was standing around the room.

There were four people, plus the big demon that had overseen her capture. But this only mildly registered to Katt since the beings in front of her were beautiful beyond words, she was sure that even her father and brother would have marvelled at their beauty, her mother would have been envious. Katt cowered slightly, they were elves.

They were Elven maids that both humans and elves would fall in trances over. There bodies were perfect in virtually every way. Their skin ivory white, their lips rose red, their eyes clear blue, Their long hair white as milk. But through their beauty, Katt could see a cruelty in their eyes that chilled her to the bone.

One of the four elf maids walked up to her and lifted her head by the hair "Hey! I just got that cut yesterday!" yelped Katt, noticing her cap was gone.

The maid ignoring her, turned to a place covered in darkness "The elf has awakened, mistress."

Katt first now noticed that somebody had removed her clothes and replaced it with, she blushed, two pieces of red, transparent veil that just concealed her breasts, held together round the neck by another piece of cloth. The two veils meet just below her belly bottom, another piece of cloth holding in place and at the same time covering her groin. To top it of, they had also put a piece of metal chair, thankfully not iron, around her neck so she couldn't get far, not that she thought that she could get past the demon.

"Welcome elf girl" a crocked and gnarled voice rasped from the shadows, the four elf maids bowed as a small form appeared from the shadows. With small steps it escaped from the darkness and stopped "you are probably wondering what you are doing here." Katt nodded, barely able to make sense of the words. Katt nodded.

"I am very old, each 300 year I have to make the ritual you are about become part of to make sure I last another 300"

The small figure allowed the cloak to fall. The thing that stood before her, was the ugliest, most gnarled, withered old woman she had ever seen. If it wasn't because the thing talked, Katt would have been sure that it was a mummified corps somebody had forgot to dig down.

The four Elven maids had brought in huge cans of delicate china while the two had been talking. One after one they began to tip them over into a bathtub that had appeared in the floor.

Katt cringed, as the red liquid poured down into the tube, the old hag chuckled, it most of all sounded like her death rattle "yes, it is blood, it is my youth" two of the maids helped the old woman into the blood and steeped.

Katt's eyes widened as the vapour rose around the old woman, slowly her face disappeared under the surface and when she resurfaced, she had changed.

Rising from the blood, by her own power was a woman in her full bloom, body as, no more perfect than the four maids. Her hair black as ebony. "You see.." began the changed woman, her voice one a blackbird would envy "over the centuries, the effect of this blood bath has begun to were of faster and fast and it would eventually mean death to me, but death shall never take me, I am Khalina. The great sorceress have found a way a retain my youth forever" she smiled like a snake and Katt could fell how the chills ran down her spine "..that is where you enter the picture" she smiled, taking on a robe presented by one of the maids. From the pool of blood rose an alter of black stone.

"I will sacrifice you to my god and devour your heart, thus I will be granted eternal youth and beauty" she nodded to the demon that had been standing, calm under the whole event.

Quickly it stomped over and removed the chain, grasping around Katt's arms with his hands pushing her towards the alter, Katt resisting the best she could, which would mean not much.

"Hey hey, let's not be hasty... come on, do I look like an elf"

Khalina smiled "You are truly ugly, even in the eyes of a dark-elf, but your ears give you away, you are to be my sacrifice"

Katt tried to get loose with all her might, but to no avail. Kicking and screaming the demon placed her on the alter and held her fast. Khalina lifted a knife over her head.

"No stop, please don't do it... Can't we talk this over?" Katt watched the knife grow closer, "Dachend you bastard if you don't save me from this I'll haunt you for the rest of your life!" She finally yelled at the top of her lungs.

Khanlina laughed "Ha! No one can hear your cries f-"

"A-HEM!!" a voice snapped through the room. Katt's heart skipped a beat, he really *had* come to save her?!

"Huh?" Khalina swung around, one of the doors to the room and been swung open and a figure stood as a shadow against the light, casually leaning against the door frame on one shoulder, a short sword slung over the other.

Katt could have screamed out of joy, the voice, the figure, the stand. No doubt it was Dachend.

"Hey queen bitch, what do you think your doing to my little redheaded buddy there?" the voice was nonchalant, but Katt could hear the controlled anger in it.

Khalina exploded in anger "How dare you, I don't know who you are, but you have just sealed your fate. When I have killed the elf, you are next" she lifted the knife again and a green ward flew.

The demon and Khalina was thrown back by the explosion from the ward that detonated right between them.

Katt decided it was a good time to jump down from the alter. Dachend stormed into the room. One of the maids produced a grim looking dagger out of nowhere and charged the Wu. Dachend not even slowing his pace, punched the girl with such force that her head turned a full 180 degrees with a nasty crack.

Katt backed away as Dachend finished of the two other maids and intercepted the demon. Who roaring hammered down his folded hands. Cracking the floor, Dachend narrowly evading.

Katt looked around Khalina was nowhere to be seen. But suddenly she felt somebody grab at her arm and jerk it hard.

It was the last of the maids "You must not escape, my mistress needs your heart and blood" she yelled.

"Funny, so do I," Katt balled a fist and punched the maid squarely on the jaw, knocking her out cold "Now, do shut up!" she bite back and held her throbbing hand.

Katt looked over the alter to see how Dachend was doing. She just managed to duck down again as said demon hunter came flying over the alter, sharply followed by the demon.

Dachend smashed against the wall back first, looking up he saw the demon charge him head first. Intending on screwing him on its horns. By reflex Dachend went down into the splits, just has the demon bull-headed the wall, Dachend thrusted upwards with Katt's sword, pushing it through the demons lower jaw into its brain cavity.

Katt ran over and helped him out from under the demon that had collapsed onto the floor "Wow, I didn't know you could do the splits Dachend!"

Dachend winced a bit and groaned "I can't"

Katt stood blank a second then snickered. Dachend threw a nasty scowl "Ha-ha, very funny, like you know what I'm talking about" and stared at her with a evil glare.

Katt stood a second, then threw her arms around him in a hug, burying her head in his chest "Oh Dachend, I don't think I have ever been so scared in my life" she sobbed

Dachend gently, but firmly grabbed her shoulders and pushed her away "Sorry to ruin your thank-you speech, but we ain't out of the woods yet"

Katt sighed at him, the Wu nodded towards a door that had been opened. Apparently the one that Khalina had escaped through. They could now here the sound of men shouting and armour clattering.

"Hmmm!?" mused Dachend "that's very interesting set of clothes you have gotten yourself there" he remarked.

Katt looked down and blushed. She was still only wearing the three veils. Quickly she turned her back to Dachend and yelled over her shoulder beet red "DO YOU MIND?"

Dachend made his sly smile and shook his head lightly "Nope, not all, you see there is no behind on that dress of yours"

With a growl Katt summoned her armour and turned to face Dachend "wipe that sly grin off your face"

Dachend handed her sword over. "Who, me?" he said innocently

"Yeah you" replied Katt just as four guards in black and purple armour turned the corner, in the blink of an eye Dachend had flung three wards at them and the door opening erupted in flames.

"Let's get out of here" called Dachend over the fires roaring. Katt nodded and turned.

They had left through the door Dachend had entered through and jogged down a couple of halls and corridors. Dachend had pulled out a pair of strange swords.

They were shorter than a katana, but similar form. At the bottom of the blade was a swords trap (a small claw to catch a opponents sword) and just above the handle was a ring in the swords blade, with a hole in the middle. Katt figured that would undermine the swords strength, but she wasn't the one who had to use them.

After few more minutes Dachend said in a low voice "By the way, I like your new armour..." Katt turned, sensing something under it. The sly smile appeared "Especially the missing pieces."

Katt blushed slightly, then looked at Dachend "I thought you said I had the body of pre-teenager" she retorted.

Dachend was about give a reply when a door on their left sprang open and eight guards poured in.

Katt gasped, more elves, but different elves this time. Their hair was black and their skin was very pale with a strange undertone of purple. She almost forgot to bring up her sword, quickly she assumed a battle stance and then lowered her sword, gasping in awe.

Dachend was maybe a mystery and she had heard a lot rumours about him in the last couple of days. But one thing was sure, his reputation as a superb swordsman was justified.

He had stuck his middle finger through the hole in his two swords and jumped forward, the a blade spinning on each middle finger, like a kind of buzzsaw, a circular blur on each hand. The first of the dark-elf guards fell backwards with his head split from the front, his sideman a split second later, fell over with a rattle as Dachend withdrew a sword's tip from each of the mans eye sockets.

Again the swords assumed the appearance of circular blurs around Dachend's middle fingers as he began to spin them again and lunged at the nearest guard.

Katt was breathless, so awe-struck that she barely saw the guard that snuck his way around Dachend and towards her.

Quickly she brought up her sword and parried the dark-elf's blow, she felt her hands get thrown to the side as the other placed a lot more strength in the blow than she had expected. Quickly dodging the next strike she lashed out with her sword and drew a line of blood on the others arm, the elf cursed and backhanded her, she fell back against the wall and just had time to parry the sword to the side so it impaled itself on the wall instead of her.

"Dachend!!" she called out in desperation.

The blur in Dachend's left hand swooped down between Katt and the guard. The guard staggered back with a terrified expression, starring at his severed wrists, were his hands used to sit " hands" he hissed. *THNK*

Dachend embedded the blade in his right hand in the guards forehead. Without a sound the elf slumped to the floor.

Dachend looked down at Katt "Aren't you elves supposed to learn to fight when you're young or something?"

Katt stood up and rubbed her behind, which had taken a most of the fall. "My teacher thought it was more fun to humiliate me.."

Dachend cocked an eyebrow "Pretty lousy teacher," hesitated "the skill of a teacher is shown in the survival of his pupils"

Katt was about to answer when a fire ball exploded just over their heads "There they are! Catch them!!" They both looked down the hall. In front of at least twenty guards armed with swords and bolt throwers, stood a man clad in a tunic, flames rising from his hands.

Dachend pushed Katt in front of him "Go!!!" the two sprinted down the corridor and after three turns, Dachend grabbed Katt's wrist and brought her to a brutal stop then threw both of them through an open door. A fireball bigger than their heads passing where they been.

Katt looked up at Dachend who was laying halfway on top of her, looking back towards the door, Then he looked at her. She flushed and said "I can't Dachend, it's too sudden" Dachend made his sly smile and stood up. He quickly closed and locked the door.

Katt looked around as the first pounds on the door rang through the room, it appeared to be somebody's bedroom "What do we do now? This is a dead end!"

Dachend walked over to a balcony window. Then kicking it out, Katt walked over and looked down, quickly jumping a few steeps back. "Geez!!" she gasped, it had to a mile down. Dachend looked back at the door and down "Okay when I say jump, jump"

"WHAT??!! Are you NUTS?!"


Katt looked at the Wu like he'd lost his mind.

"Hey, don't you trust me?"

"No... I mean, I trust you, but I don't trust you _that_much"

Dachend made a sour expression, grabbed Katt in one arm, his hand grabbing the belt that held her loincloth up and threw her out into the empty space.

"Doesn't matter anyway" he said and threw a handful of red wards onto the floor of the room and jumped after her.

Following the sound of Katt's cursing him, Dachend quickly caught up with her. Her curses shortly overruled by the explosion from the room they had jumped out of.

Katt suddenly felt something other than the wind grab at her, when she looked back she saw the crazy Wu, with an arm around her waist "Dachend you jerk.." she screamed through the wind "..if I survive this I'm going to give you the beating of your life!!!"

"Yeah, whatever.." he called back "Now, hold on tight." His fist began to crackle with lightning "Come out Shou-Rin!!" Just below them appeared the green scaled skateboard like creature. Passing it Dachend let go of Katt so she could grab onto the back of it, while he himself grabbed hold under the beasts belly.

Slowly the beast began to flat out, but the ground, with the city that apparently surrounded the huge tower was coming dangerously close

"We're dropping too fast!" called Dachend

"If it keeps on like this we'll crash and at this speed we be killed!!" screamed Katt back, they were going way above 200 km/h

"I know," replied Dachend and looked down, seeing that they were passing a river "we're too heavy."

"Oh, and what am I suppose to do about it? Flapping my arms doesn't seem to help." replied Katt

"Nothing, just hold on and tell the beast where to fly" with that he let go.

"Dacheeeeeend, you idiotic, suicidal geek!" Screamed Katt as the human shape dropped to the water surface and ricocheted over the surface like flat stone for more than 400 meters, and then hammering into a wooden building on the shore of the river, with a high crash.

Quickly Katt made the beast circle around to come back.

"I am going to so kill him when I get my hands on him!" fumed Katt. "Now, Sir Beast, and I really hope you're male and not female, because I'm not going to check, you're going to get me close enough to that building so I can go pick up the pieces that once belonged to your master."

Whether the flying creature understood her words or her meaning, it slowed down for her to hop off near the destroyed building. Katt bit her trembling lip and started to move bits of wood to try and find her fallen friend.

Dachend blinked at her when she removed a fairly decent sized piece of wood from him.

"You IDIOT!" She started, then blinked herself. "You're still alive?" She asked, stunned.

"Yup." Dachend picked himself up with a grimace of pain.

Katt jabbed at his chest "You jerk! You scared the living daylights out of me"Dachend winced slightly as she apparently struck something that was broken. "Ups, sorry" muttered Katt. She looked up at the hovering creature "Uhm, can your.. friend get out of here on its own?"

"Yup," Dachend replied again, putting some ribs back where they belonged.

The green beast flickered like a bad TV image and vanished.

"Good." Katt sat down in a lotus position, hands outstretched before her. "Home we go." She muttered before closing her eyes.

Dachend watched her for a few moments then decided it was probably for the best to keep on eye out for guards. Who in the area wouldn't have noticed the landing he made?

By the time Katt cried "Got it!" Dachend was fully healed, he turned to look at her proudly holding up a small box that looked like it had a flashlight at one end. She pointed it at him, it made a strange bleep. "Oh, bloody typical. Did you know you weren't scannable by dimension tracing devices?"

Dachend smirked, "Does it surprise you?"

"Not in the least. You're just plain difficult. Underhill it is then." She put on a brave smile. She pointed the device at herself, it then beeped cheerfully. Shouts of guards could be heard coming towards the destroyed building.

"Whatever it is you're doing, hurry up." Dachend told her, looking out towards the running guards.

"Didn't anyone ever tell you not to rush a genius?" She pressed a bunch of buttons and an orange portal appeared beside Dachend. "Oh! Orange! That's a new colour!" She stood up and walked over to Dachend. "Now, enter." Dachend eyed the portal suspiciously. Katt sighed. Her shoulder check caught Dachend completely off guard, as he went to retaliate he found himself in the portal. "Revenge is so sweet," Katt told the portal before entering.

Dachend found himself in an idyllic glade, birds were chirping happily and everything was unnaturally perfect. Katt blipped in beside him.

"C'mon, we gotta get to the portal to Furrhold before they know we're here." She grabbed his hand and started to pull him towards the trees.

"Too late, Kattarina. We felt the disturbance before your.. friend, even manifested." A strong voice called. An elf dropped out of the tree in front of her.

"Lord Yeralanor," she breathed and bowed deeply, white with fear. Dachend looked from the elf to Katt and back again, with a slightly puzzled expression.

Yeralanor stood close to seven feet tall, with blonde hair that was intricately braided and fell down his back to his belt. Cruel green eyes sparkled from his angelic face.

"At least you remember the manners I had to beat into your pathetic little skull."

"Of course, Lord." Katt said, not raising her head. Dachend frowned, understanding.

"You will of course be visiting your mother and father while you're here?" He didn't phrase it as a request.

"Of course, it's my honour." Kattarina mumbled.

"It may be your honour, but it ain't mine." Dachend said. "I don't know who you are, or what your game is, but I'm not staying here for dinner, tea or crumpets. So, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to take my partner out of here and go home. If she wants to return for whatever reason, she can return after." Dachend grabbed Katt by the wrist and started to tug her forward.

"You challenge my authority?" Yeralanor asked with a raised eyebrow and a hand on the hilt of his sword.

"You have no authority over me. I'm my own and I answer to nobody and take orders likewise" Dachend replied ice cold, making a move for his own swords.

"Dachend, please?" Katt asked, looking up at him. He could feel her trembling.

Dachend looked one time at Katt then stared at Yeralanor "Fuck this, I don't need the trouble. Stay or go Katt, whatever makes you happy, but I'm outta here" Dachend let go of the hilt of his swords and walked past Yeralanor.

"Let him go," The Elven lord told his guards, "He is of no consequence."

Dachend's hand strayed to the hilt of his sword but the look on Katt's face stayed his hand.

As Dachend walked past Yeralanor he stopped shortly, looking the other up and down, then said in calm voice "so Yer, I take your Katt's old teacher?"

Yeralanor turned, quit offended with the fact that this... human dared to speak to him in such way "I am-"

Dachend turned, nailing him with his black gaze "You know, Katt is a not that good with a sword"

Yeralanor snorted contemptuously "Tell me something I don't already know"

Katt flinched as Yeralanor as quickly explained how disappointing a pupil she had been and how he had tried his hardest to teach her but she was just to uncoordinated to learn. Dachend just threw a glance sideways to her.

Dachend nodded "So from what I hear, Katt is actually not bad, she is horrifyingly _pathetic_ at using a sword. I mean she really sucks, HARD!"

Yeralanor grinned and agreed at this description of Katt's abilities and when some of the guards started laughing, Katt felt her eyes getting moist, why was Dachend doing this?

Suddenly there was a glint of light and the laughter died like when you pull the plug to the speakers. Katt looked up and gasped. One of Dachend's strange blades were placed perfectly on Yeralanor's throat, the edge pressing down just enough not to cut through the skin. Yeralanor was pale white.

"Then I just want you to know that a pathetic pupil is the sign of an even more pathetic teacher. And when I look at you I'd say that your not even worth the stinking dirt you're standing on" Dachend said with ice cold voice. The guards looked rather unsure of what to do.

Then Dachend removed the blade and returned it to its sheath, before turning he added "I have meet a lot of sensei's through my time and I gotta hand it to'ya Yer. Your an even worse teacher than the Orcs and that _does_ talk for a lot" then he began to head away from the group. Yeralanor hand flew to his sword hilt

"Striking down an opponent from behind is really not the trait of an Elven swordsman" Dachend spoke over his shoulder, Katt could not believe how cold Yeralanor's face had become. He then looked back at her, luckily he didn't see he looking up before she had lowered her eyes.

He then looked back to see where Dachend had been walking, but the human was gone.

"Shall we go to the keep, Lady Kattarina?" Yeralanor hissed, the voice dripping venom. "I shall remember your associate, next time our meeting will not be so pleasant."

"Of course, my lord." Katt, head bowed followed the Elven lord and his guards back to the palace.

Dachend watched them go from behind a tree. Katt looked like she was walking to her execution. Why the hell did he care anyway? He was better off finding a way out of this strange land.

Searching till just after sundown produced the location of the portal to Furrhold. At least, Dachend was pretty sure that was what the glowing blue sphere with two Elven guards was. He looked at the portal, he looked back to the keep. "Ah, hell." He muttered.

Katt lay on the bed of her old bedroom and stared at the ceiling. How little things had changed in eight years. Elves just don't change, supposedly. Yet she had changed. She had actually depended on Dachend to save her, she was so lucky he had. Now he was gone, and she'd probably never see him again.

She rolled over onto her stomach. She wasn't just going to let him slip away from her! Damnit, he was the only person without fur that had ever understood her! She rolled to her feet, picked up the skirts and went over to her window. Opening the window, she just missed Dachend's head by about an inch. "What're you doing?"

"Practising climbing for when I need to save a stupid elf, what does it look like I'm doing? What're you doing?"

"Going to save a stupid human from Furrhold." Katt smiled softly. "Back down the rope, M'Laddo, I'm coming out. And no peaking up the dress, either!"

"You say that like there's something to see." Dachend teased as he started to climb back down. Katt gave him a dirty look and followed.

Sneaking past countless Elven guards, the two snuck through the portal and landed in Furrhold. A whale was standing at a podium yodelling. Dachend blinked at that. "Don't mind him, just don't let the sun sing!" Katt pushed Dachend under a tree. She peaked up at the sun. "Wait.. He's almost not looking.."

Dachend coughed, Katt turned to look at him. She realised she had him pressed up against the tree. Katt turned lobster red. "Er.. Uh.. It's just that if he sings we'll never get him to shut up.."

"Of course." Dachend responded. Katt stared up at him for a few moments then pushed herself off.

"Come on, if we want to make it home, we better get moving." Katt started to walk through the grove, past a group of centaurs playing hopscotch, two giant ferrets playing in the grass and a few humans who seemed to be attempting to try and out belch one another. "Welcome to Furrhold," Katt muttered.

Dachend scratched his head and looked around, muttering to himself "I have seen a lot strange and weird shit through the years, but this takes goddamn first prize"

The street she led Dachend to looked like 18th Century England, except for the cars zooming past of the cobblestones. Shops across the way sold all sorts of candies and drinks. "I don't believe it!" Katt exclaimed and then yelled "KIYO!" She jumped up and waved. An incredibly beautiful woman turned her head and smiled.

The woman stood about 5'5, had black hair down her back that was tied in a loose braid and wore a red kimono. When she reached Katt and Dachend she bowed deeply. "Sister! What brings you and a companion to Furrhold?"

Katt grinned and hugged the woman, who patted Katt on the back. "We kind of got lost.. It's a long story. Dachend, this is my sister Kiyo, Kiyo, this is my knight in shining armour Dachend." This particular description made Dachend cock an eyebrow, it was a praise he near as never heard.

Kiyo bowed again, this time to Dachend in particular. "A pleasure to meet the saviour of my sister."

"You two look nothing alike." Dachend commented dryly, "You don't even have pointed ears."

"Not in this form, no." Kiyo smiled pleasantly "But normally, I do. Of course, in my natural form there is even less of a resemblance."

Katt chuckled and explained "Kiyo is a Kitsune, her father was the one who brought me in and re-educated me. She's been the sister I always wanted and needed."

"You will come home for dinner, won't you? I'm sure Father would be most pleased to meet your friend and see you again."

"I'd love to Kiyo, you know that, but I promised I'd get Dachend home. I already owe him more than I can ever pay for." Katt held up her hands in regret.

"Yes, a good way to keep a certain someone around is to make sure you are in debt to them," Kiyo observed with a knowing smile. Katt blushed to the roots of her hair.

"It's, uh, not like that!" Katt protested.

"No? Not that you wouldn't wish it to be, sister?" Kiyo's eyes twinkled merrily.

"Oh, shush up and quit pulling my tail!" Katt said staring at her sister.

Kiyo laughed merrily. "And he's the silent type too. What a catch. Well, I shall tell you what, I shall send you both home on one condition."

"What's that?" Dachend asked suspiciously.

"Within the next five hundred years you have to come to dinner."

"Five hundred years, eh? Well, I was planning on next week." Katt grinned.

"The deal is acceptable." Dachend responded.

"Very good," Kiyo bowed again. She held her hands together palm to palm and muttered a few words.

The world turned topsy turvy, and suddenly the two were standing back in the park by the lake. "Well," Katt said, wiping her forehead. "That was certainly fun, or something. I owe you a lot, Dachend, and thank you a million times over doesn't pay you back. How can I repay you?"

Dachend rubbed his chin "Hmm, your sword did mention something about you being able to summon gold coins.."

Katt gave a nod, then added with a confused expression "my sword??"

"Another long story. Just summon the gold."

One by one, Katt seemed to pluck gold coins from the air, and after twenty minutes there was a full bag of them.

Dachend looked at the big bag of gold, now that was hellova lot of money. He then looked at Katt who was sitting looking a bit sad, he opened the bag and picked up a handful of the gold coins, felling the cold metal against his palm. He knew Head hunters who killed kings, emperors and presidents and got a lesser feed.

He then threw a stolen glare at Katt who had gotten up, she was holding her arms like being cold, he slipped the handful of coins into his pocket and muttered "I must be out of my mind" he walked up to Katt, who looked up at him

"Well, are you satisfied?" Dachend gave a expressionless nod and then gestured towards the bag "What's with the bag of gold then?" Katt looked confused "I thought you wanted your payment."

Dachend made a sour face "phhh I changed my mind"

Katt looked at him with a suspicious look "What are you saying?"

Dachend grinded his teeth together "It was on the house, for free. Are you dense or something?"

Katt smiled and ruffled her crimson hair "Well, well, well and I thought you were the professional that always got properly paid for his job"

Dachend gave her a nasty look "Don't push it girl, I know people that give good money for young nosy Elves"

The two looked at each other and Katt lowered her eyes "So, what now?"

Dachend threw his sly smile, pulled out Katt's cap from his jacket and pulled it down over her eyes "I say we go get a pizza, I'm hungry. You treat"

Katt lifted of the cap and beamed as she recognised it "Deal!"

As the two turned and walked down the road Dachend added "And you still owe me a big favour"

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