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PostPosted: Tue May 3, '11, 4:10 pm
Na’il woke up to the sound of flames crackling and the smell of cooking meat. He saw Mah standing over a small fire, roasting what appeared to be a rabbit or hare she had apparently caught. Na’il was first alarmed by her having made a fire, but he soon saw that it was already dusk and that any search parties would have already given up and gone back to Landan.

“Rise and shine, my sleepy master,” the nurse said brightly. “Dinner is almost served.”

After a brief dinner of roast rabbit and dates, both of which had been procured by Mah, the two set off on their journey again. The moon was already high in the sky by the time the mountains began to disappear into the horizon. It wasn’t long before the two adventurers left the plains and entered a huge forest. The enormous cedar trees loomed ominously over Na’il and Mah, threatening to swoop down with their huge branches and snatch them up at any moment.

After a brief rest break, Na’il suggested they continue a little further. “There should be a lake on the other side of the forest,” he observed.

As they reached a clearing in the trees, they heard something in the trees. Mah heard it first, and thus motioned her companion to stop. Paying closer attention, they discovered that someone was watching them. Suddenly a trio of men dropped out of the sturdy branches of a nearby tree and landed in front of them. Two of them were brandishing intimidating sabers, while the lead man, a squirrely man with a thin mustache, brandished an akinaka, or long dagger.

“Who are you?” spat the leader. “What are you doing invading our humble territory?”

“Territory?” thought Na’il. “These must be bandits.”

“We are simple travelers,” replied Na’il, hiding the fact that he was a prince.

“Well, this place is off limits to everyone, including simple travelers,” sneered the head brigand.

Na’il looked and Mah, who nodded. “I’m sorry,” the prince apologized. “We shall leave you alone immediately.”

The leader belligerently walked up the two and started looking over Mah, running his fingers through her hair and feeling the skin on her arm. To Na’il’s surprise, there was no look of fear on her face. To the contrary, he saw a hint of calculating ruthlessness in her eyes.

“I think I’ll grant you safe passage if you leave this fine creature behind,” the weasely marauder said slimily.

As he reached over to caress her face again, Mah’s hand shot out and grabbed it, twisting his arm as much as she could without snapping it like a twig, thus causing him shriek in pain. The other man charged the nurse, but Na’il had already drawn his scimitar and was soon engaged in battle with the two bandits. Mah flipped the man onto his back and slammed his hand against her knee until he dropped the dagger. She then buffeted him in the face, knocking him out cold.

With amazing dexterity, Na’il was able to dodge the mercilessly swings of the men’s weapons, taking his own calculated swipes, each blow leaving a new cut in each bandit’s clothes. Na’il received additional help from Mah, who pounced onto one of the marauders, slamming her knees full-force into his shoulders and causing him to collapse with what seemed to be little effort. Na’il took advantage of the fallen robber’s confusion to smite his opponent’s ear, nearly relieving the man of it with a single fell swoop. Mah pressed the point of the cubit-long blade against her victim’s throat so that it had penetrated the outermost layer of skin.

“You two take your leader with you and disappear from this place,” she snapped. “If we see you again, we will not be so merciful.”

One of the bandits, now trembling with fear, ran over to his unconscious leader and hoisted him onto his shoulder and disappeared into the darkness of the forest.

Na’il stared at Mah with a mixture of fear and admiration. “Where did you learn to fight like that?”

Mah smiled. “I was your father’s bodyguard before I was your nurse. And, truth to be told, I am your personal guard, too. You simply never knew it.”

The two continued traipsing through the forest until they came to a clearing. The moon was already beginning to descend into west, but its moonbeams could be seen reflecting off the calm water of the lake in front of them. They had reached their destination.

“So what do we look for now, my prince?” asked Mah, gazing into the water.

“A statue,” was his only answer.

After some time of walking around the rocky shore, they came across a statue of a man, the only evidence of civilization in this otherwise unmolested retreat of Mother Nature. The statue stood nearly five cubits in height, dwarfing Na’il and his bodyguard. It was sculpted to look like a man, a warrior to be exact. The style of armor that the man in the statue had been sculpted to wear was of an ancient time, different that used by the soldiers of Landan.

On the pedestal that the statue stood on was a small plaque. It was written in a language that Na’il didn’t recognize.

“Do you know what this means?” he asked Mah.

Mah shook her head gravely. “I am pretty sure this is the ancient language of the fairies. Nobody in Landani, save the librarian, possibly, would know it.”

Na’il let out a loud sigh and sat with his back against the statue. Why had Layla brought him here? What was so important about the statue anyways? What did it have to do with moon cakes, or whatever they were supposed to represent? The prince doubted that there was a beautiful woman hidden beneath the centuries-dried mud.

Suddenly, something echoed in his head. “If you two speak the same name, he shall serve you.”

“Did you hear that?” exclaimed Na’il.

“Hear what?” responded Mah, who was still examining the mud man.

“Layla. She told me something.”

“What did she say?” Mah’s tone sounded generally interested; she had finally begun to believe that Na’il was having the visions he said he was.

“She said that we need to speak the same name.”

So, the two began saying the same name in unison, starting with “Layla,” and then “Oraki.’ The followed with their own names, followed by the names of his parents, but the statue didn’t budge.

“What if the inscription meant that the golem here needs to speak the same name?” suggested Mah.

After chewing on her words for a few seconds, Na’il nodded in agreement. “Do we have a pen or paper?”

Mah shook her head. Then she smiled and reached into Na’ils sack and pulled out a white undergarment. She tore off a strip and handed it to Na’il. The young prince, knowing where this was going, took his knife and made a small cut in his finger. He soon had written the name “Oraki” on the cloth strip. He placed the bloodied material into golem’s mouth and stood back.

Suddenly, the statues mouth began to move up and down, chewing the piece of cloth as it were. The golem than began to move its head back and forth with a loud crack, as if the mud that made up his person was splitting. It was followed by some basic movements with its arms, and in no time, the golem had stepped down from its pedestal and turned to face Na’il.

“I am Shahren, at your service,” the creature said in a gravelly, almost inhuman voice.

“Uh…er…nice to meet you, Shahren,” rejoined Na’il nervously. “I am Na’il, the prince of Landan and descendent of Oraki.”

The golem cocked his head to the side and examined the prince. “

“What do you need me to do, Son of Oraki?” inquired Shahren.

Na’il looked and Mah and shrugged. “Shahren, my companion, Mah, and I are tired. Please watch over us while we rest for a few hours. “

“It shall be done, Prince Na’il.”

Last edited by H-Man on Wed May 4, '11, 12:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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