Chapter 24: Bounding
The next day came and went quickly, I worked on getting the new drug ready looking over it carefully to make sure every part of it was the way it should be. The night came and I was ready to give Annabella the new drug. “Are you ready, it’s time for the Shadow to meet the Light.” I said to her then got the needle ready. I looked up at her and smiled a year of work and it was about to pay off. I got the second needle ready and smiled as I looked at her. She sat on the side of the bed. “I’m ready now.” She said with a nervous smile on her face. I took the first needle filled with the new drug and give her the shot.
The next morning I woke up and she was gone, the second needle filled with the enhancer to help the healing process was empty. She must have taken it before she left. I thought as I stretched, I felt something was wrong though. I had a strange feeling that something was off. She didn’t come and yell at me to wake up, like she usually does every morning. I looked around the room and it hit me that all her things were gone. “Did she just leave like that, oh well not like there was any way we could have a life together anyway I don’t know what I was thinking.”I said to myself as I began to pack up my things to get ready to leave. “You know I thought she was different that just maybe I could have a taste of what it would be like to have a normal life for once. Oh well guess not, now it’s time to move on.” I said frustrated, and jamming all my things into a bag.
I threw my coat on and put my blades on my sides, pulled my bag over my shoulder and vanished. I appeared at the front of the inn. “It was a nice visit, but it’s time for me to get going I left something in my room for you, thanks for everything see you later.” I said to Miss May then vanished. I appeared inside of Paul’s house holding a bottle in my hands. “It worked and this is for you, I changed the drug and took a few things out of it. This should just allow you to think faster no side effects. Take it once a month it wears off after time on its own if you don’t like the effects. I will see you later Master Paul.” I said with a smile, then vanished from his house.
I stood at the top of the center most building in the city. “Man I’m going to miss this place, but I guess it’s time for me to go on with my journey.” I said looking around the city one last time, then vanished, seconds later I appeared at the bottom of the volcano. I looked around and I wondered where I wanted to go then I remember where I needed to go. I had to go back to the forge city and stop the drug from being made all together. I reached into my bag and stopped. “Where is my compass?” I felted around and pulled out the box. “Almost scared myself for a minute.” I opened the box and it was empty, she had taken my compass, it was the only way I could find the Forge city.
I didn’t know what else to do but laugh then vanished. I moved much faster than I had before and much further than I was able to before in much less time. The effects of the Shadow had not completely worn off yet giving me an extra boost. I stopped and didn’t even realize where I was until I saw the smoke. Then it hit me where I was, I was back at the lake that me an Annabella stopped at before going to the city of the healers. Well, this time it was just whoever was here camping and me.
I walked over to the fire slowly, doing my best not to seem like I wanted to hurt the person camping. I got up to whoever it was and they vanished. No, I thought not again. “Man that took you long enough. You had me here waiting for hours you big pervert.” I just started to laugh. “Really, you leave me there in the city and now you’re saying you were waiting for me.” I said to her as I turned around. “Well, I left you a note that said to meet me here when you woke up.” She said, then reached over and pulled a note from the coat pocket she was wearing. “Oops, I guess I took the wrong coat when I left.” She said with an evil little smile. I knew she didn’t take the wrong coat, but she planed it to see if I would come looking for her. “Sure wrong coat. And I didn’t come looking for you if that’s what you think I just came back this way.” I said to her then took the compass from the other pocket of the coat she was wearing.
“Oh is that all you wanted from me, just what I had in my pockets, your horrible you know just horrible. Now where are we going to go from here, are we going to the forge city or not.” She said to me and stuck her tongue out at me with her hands folded.
“We do need to go back to the forge city, but we don’t need to get there now sooo… how about we just take our time and look around as we head there. You know enjoy ourselves a bit before we get back to saving everyone else. Plus, I heard rumors about a lot of strange things happing in the city close to where we are now it could be the work of the Shadow. How about we go explore and see what we can find out.” I answered her with a smile as I took her hand and pulled her along.
From there we headed through the forest in search of the next town over. Which wasn’t all the special, but at a normal speed of travel, it would take us a few weeks to get there on foot. “How about we speed things up a bit I’ll even carry you.” I said to her as we walked. “Hmm, let me think about that. No, I think you just want a reason to feel me up we can walk. To besides what’s your hurry pervert, do you have some woman there that you’re rushing to get to.” I just laughed as I walked. “No, no I don’t, it’s ok we can walk I haven’t really taken it easy since I started the journey to find my father so so long ago. I think you’re right that we shouldn’t hurry.” I said with a smile as I gazed into the bright blue skies. Something I had not done in so many years.
The next few weeks passed by quickly, as me an Annabella traveled to the closest city. What we found in the city was interesting and well not very unexpected to say the least. We found a bunch of thugs that had found a way to get Shadow, and were using it to make money. I checked it out and after giving them the anti-drug I took whatever drugs they had on them and analyzed it. From what I could tell it was the same, but just a bit stronger than the other one that Annabella use to take.
It didn’t take us long to find out where they got it from and from there we went. Day after day turned into week after week of us traveling in the following the trails of those dealing the Shadow. We shut down dealer after dealer over the months to come and soon we were almost back at the source of the drug the forge city. However, for some reason it seemed as though she didn’t want to go to the city and end all this, as if she just wanted to keep on following all these trails.
I sat looking out at the lake, I remember so well that lake that I was shot out of after leaving the underground city. Annabella was laying with her head in my lap, playing with her hair. I looked down at her and thought about all the time we had spent together over the past year and some. It hit me that over all that time I never really took some time to actually look at her. She was an amazing woman. Her long black hair flowed down to her hips like the shimmering waters of the lake in front of me. Her body was small and well built, but not too much, I could see the muscles in her hands but nowhere else. I close my eyes and ran my fingers down her soft smooth skin. She was the perfect woman for anyone. So why was she here with me a cursed soul wandering the earth.
“Are you scared to go to the forge city, because it seems like you’re doing everything to keep me from going there. What are you afraid of?” I asked her as my hand ran across her face; she opened her eyes and smiled at me. Taking my hand in hers and just lying there not saying anything until I was going to ask her again. “You know you are cute when you don’t understand something.” She said with a smile, then turned her head to the lake then took my hand, pointing it to the shore of the lake. “Look out there, what do you see?” She asked me, I looked up and paused, then answered her. “I see a lake a large one that is filled by a huge network of caves that leads to an amazing underground…” Her finger went to my lips stopping me from finishing my sentence.
“Hush and just look at what’s there what I see is possibilities, a vast lake that can become anything we choose. We can build anything here in this amazing place. It’s not just what’s there, it’s what can be there that’s important. That’s why I don’t want to go to the forge city I don’t want to fight I want to be happy and just live for a while. Can I have that, can you let me just live and be happy for a while please it’s all I want. And if you stay here and live with me, I promise I will repay you for giving me back my life any way I can.” She said then turned from looking at me when she stopped talking to look at the lake, I could see a tear in her eyes. Something I had never seen from her before.
“I will make you a deal, the city follows a path, it’s a long one, but it will be back here in about a year and a half maybe two. How about we stay here, right here on this lake, and just wait for it to come back. No more going after it, we can just wait here for it to come to us, is that ok with you.” I said to her with a smile turning her head back to me. She smiled and jumped up wrapping her hands around me. “That’s ok pervert; I think I can handle that.” She said, with a voice that hid a joyful cry behind it.
The next two years showed me a completely new side of her, and I showed her a side of myself that I thought I had lost over a hundred years ago. The days and weeks passed like a dream, filled with joy and laughter. We built a home to live in as we waited for the city to come back around. She even rescued a pet, well she called it a pet I called it a beast. A white tiger, one of the largest I had ever seen in all my travels.
The first year was the hard one, however, that year we had a lot to do. That was the year we built our home together, it took us almost six months of working all day almost every day to build. Once that was done, we had to find things and places to go to get all the things we would need to live the way we wanted to.
Then after that it was all fun and games so to speak, well at least that’s how I felt about things. Every day I woke up to her doing something strange, making me laugh every morning as she fought to keep me from seeing what she was doing. I even had a birthday party I knew nothing about, which I had no clue how she managed to pull off when I knew where she was all the time. Well, at least I thought I knew where she was all the time anyway.
For those two years I was happy and felt as if I belonged for the first time in my life and it made me wish that the city would never come back around. But I knew it would be coming soon and I was ok with it coming, though I didn’t want it to.
“The city should be here in two days at most, after that it will all be over. We can finally finish what I started and get back to our life the way it should be.” I said with a smile on my face, then gave her a kiss on the lips.