The Traveling Shaman

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They had been running for hours. Marco was struggling to keep up, but he knew Salia needed help so he did not complain. She seemed to be getting sicker and sicker as time went on. It scared him, he'd never seen anything like this happen to someone before.

Ren was terrified too. Salia was not her normal sarcastic, happy-go-lucky self. He'd never seen her like this. It was like she was fading, turning whiter and whiter by the second.

A loud, rumbling noise caused them to stop in their tracks. It sounded like another Shapeshifter! Ren carefully laid the girl in the grass and pulled out his sword, preparing to fight for his life. Marco followed suit as well, pulling out his own sword and going into a defensive stance. The rumblings kept getting louder and louder, until the beast in question revealed itself to the trio.

Only it wasn't a beast, it was a caravan, which was being pulled by two horses. The man who was leading the horses pulled on the reigns, "Woaaah." The horses stopped and the man jumped down from the caravan and greeted the trio. He had chocolate brown skin and big round eyes, "What's the problem? Never seen a traveling Shaman before?"

Ren resheathed his sword, Marco following suit, "Our apologies, sir. We thought you were a shapeshifter."

The man laughed, "Oh dear. A shapeshifter? In these parts? What is the world comin' too?"

Marco spoke up, "You said you were a Shaman. Can you help our friend? She's very sick."

"I can see what I can do," the man walked over to the girl in the grass, "Good god, she hasn't been coughing up blood, has she?"

"She has," Ren answered.

"We have no time to loose then," the man picked the girl up and hurried over to his caravan, "Come on, into the caravan!"

Marco and Ren followed the man into his caravan. It was small, but had bright decorations and colorful rugs all around it. The Shaman placed the girl on a small couch and went to a shelf, pulling out numerous bottles and containers filled with strange substances. He started to rub some on the girl's arm, others she made her drink. But nothing seemed to be working.

"Okay," he said, "This isn't poison ivy, the flu, or chicken pox. So that means it must be magic."

"I could have told you that!" scoffed Ren.

"It's obviously a curse."

"Who would want to curse her?" Marco asked.

"You haven't by chance gone to visit Queen Lannie, have you?"

Ren nodded, "We just left from her castle, why?"

"You didn't happen to make her mad, did you?"

Ren scowled, "Just get to the point."

"Looks like this is one of Queen Lannie's spells. A power-draining spell. She's trying to suck up the girl's life force."

Marco waved his arms up and down in panic, "What the heck?! She trying to kill her? But she just made her princess!"

The Shaman shrugged, "She's a bit irrational at times. That's why her son, Prince Jumper, ran away from home."

Ren crossed his arms over his chest, "Her son sent us there."

"Because you are looking for Hekapoo, am I right?"

"How'd you know that?" Marco gasped.

The Shaman pointed to the sky, "I know everything."

Ren rolled his eyes, "If you know everything then why are you asking us all these questions?"

"Shhh!" the man scolded, "I'm trying to concentrate."

He bent over the girl and started whispering into her ear. Then the Shaman sat back up and looked over at Ren, "You're gonna have to kiss her."

"What?!" the monster exclaimed.

"Kiss her!"

"B-but, I can't! I-I-"

The Shaman cut him off, "You want her to die or not?"

Ren sighed and went over to the girl, he bent over and placed a kiss on her forehead. "There. Happy?"

"No! Kiss her like you mean it!"

"How am I supposed to do that?!" Ren snapped.

The Shaman pointed to his mouth, "On. The. Lips."

Ren's face turned a darker shade of blue, "But-"

"Just do it! And do it like you mean it!"

Ren scowled and bent over again, this time cupping his hands under the girl's chin. He hesitated for a moment, but then smashed his lips against hers, kissing her passionately. Marco's jaw dropped as Salia's eyes shot wide open. Then he pulled back and turned back to the Shaman with a smug look on his face, "How was that?"

"Not bad. Not bad," the Shaman nodded, "Wasn't expecting that really, were we Salia?"

Salia shook her head, blushing deeply.

Ren furrowed his brows, "What?"

"I had already fixed her by whispering in her ear, then I decided it would be fun to pull a little prank on you. I told her to blink once if she agreed and blink twice if she didn't."

Ren looked over at the girl, "You were in on this?"

Salia shrugged, "I thought it would be funny. I didn't expect you to actually do anything."

The monster threw his arms up in exasperation, "I hate my life."

Salia sat up on the sofa, fiddling with the sleeves of her sweater, "S-Sorry."

Ren only sighed, leaning against the wall of the caravan, his arms crossed over his chest.

The Shaman rolled his eyes at the monster, "Oh, don't be such a baby. You liked it."

Ren scoffed and looked down at the floor, "Whatever."

Marco decided it was time to change the subject, this was awkward even for him. "Hey, Salia, can you float?"

Salia shrugged, "I'll try."

She closed her eyes and concentrated, focusing all her power on floating up off the couch. Soon she was doing it. Salia's eyes flew open, a wide grin on her face, "Hey! I am doing it!"

Marco shot his arm in the air with a loud whoop, "Yeah!"

Ren looked up from the floor with a small smile, "Good job, Salia!"

Salia floated over to the monster and hugged him tightly, "Thank you for everything!"

Ren blushed slightly as he hugged her back. "Don't thank me, thank the Shaman."

"My pleasure," bowed the Shaman with a grin.

"Now we can go to The Lost Kingdom and get Marco home!" Salia cheered.

"I'm headed that way myself," the Shaman said, "I'll be passing the gate to the Lost Kingdom. You could come with me."

"That would be wonderful," Ren grinned, "Thank you so much."

"For everything," Salia added.

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