There are limitless varieties of girls, and every single one of us deserve to see ourselves as a heroine. We are complicated, and layered, and contradictory, and we are raw, and real, and here.

- Ava Jae

They passed through Saradas city, Merryn bought a new leather armor set and hooded cape.

Luna-jer so far North from where dad lived, even father away from mother. Pulling out the map it showed an unnamed grove behind with the deadly Red desert to the west. Quite the city, it's marble walls reached up daring even the churches' steeples to reach past.

"Let me talk to the guards, stay here." The guards moved in front of the entrance.

Some sticker seeds were stuck to her sleave, she pulled them out. Fall was coming and the prickly seeds were everywhere.

Parcival argued with the guards, pointing inside along with shaking his fist. She eased over a little closer, Han followed.

"-enough is enough, it's up to the elders to decide, move aside!"

They scowled and moved to the side.

"Come on." He waved.

The guards' expressions waxed between heated and pinched. "Look at the legs on that long ear. Bah, looks more like a troll with those ears!" The other snorted his features wooden.

Facing him she let loise a low slow gravely growl.

He flinched.

"A troll eh? Won't be saying much after you're flung off the edge of a canyon!" Pulling the hood past her face she tucked her ears in.

Parcival yanked her by the arm. "Not now, you can voice a complaint when we see the elders."

She shruged him off, then squared her sholders storming past.

"I have friends here, we'll be safe. Now to find Hesdo."

Leading them throughout the noisy city, he made a point to stay away from the main streets. They worked their way through, weaving behind merchant stalls and peoples huts.

They passed by several nimble children playing a game with a metal ball. Next to an overgrown plot open between the lavish temple, a statue of Olenus overshadowed the drab guard's housing next to it. As pleasing as it was to to see Olen here it didn't much make up for the lack of well tended temples.

Four children brushed past as they ran off to the plot, they split into two groups. A little boy wearing a loincloth pushed a floating red orb to the middle of the plot.

"What are they playing?"

"Orb ringer, they are practicing for next years championship."

Then the children on the opposite side came running at the ball trying to catch it as it floated just out of reach.

"You can watch later, keep going."

Further into the city past its middle, he arrived at a smaller, but no less important temple. This one was better, it was quieter here.

"Are there any priestess who are free today?" He waved at a priest who was bandaging an older woman's arm.

"Let me look in the registry for any, just a moment." He finished wrapping the arm and patted the woman's hand.

"Thank you, sir." She bowed and left.

The priest went into a small room to the right, his white robes swishing around his feet. Not much later he returned.

"Yes, go find Cory, she is about four houses south of here." He went back in the temple.

It took a bit of dodging and time to get through the throes of people to find it.

The fourth house was a nondescript stone house, wedged between the larger ones. It had a awl thin yard, the area gave off a warm energy.

A freckled young woman sat in a wicker chair beside the house with her head tilted back. She wore a practical brown robe.

She cracked an eye open.

"Go away, I'm busy."

Such rudeness!

"I was told that Cory lived here," said Parcival.

She sat up, rubbing her eyes. Must have been working hard. It's hard not to like someone like that.


"That was easy." His expression became taunt and too hard to stay straight.

She held back a chuckle.

"Will 20 iron suffice?"

"Insulting! I work for no less than 100." She came over and poked his shoulder

Very, very snippy.

"I don't have a 100!"

Han gave him a look. He mouthed: What?

"Then go get it, I have things to do." She turned and went back inside, locking the door.

He chewed out several insults and stamped away, Han followed.

"Come, let's try again, she got me all irate and, I forgot."

"You like being yelled at? It's only fair to expect to be paid."

He went back and knocked on the door. She pulled the door open and stood on her tip-toes and her expression strict. She must have been baking, the perfume of savory bread was about her.

Parcival lead the way to a finely furnished inn, then registered at the desk, and paid the innkeep who handed the keys over.

Inside the plush chairs, fine window drapes, and scent of vanilla was calming. Even a few candles were lit at the tables.

Parcival tossed Han a key.

"Good night." He hopped up the stairs and left.


"I refuse to apologize for how I feel. I'll stop now if you wish, I don't want to push you away." A gentle look spread on his face.

The design on the blanket suddenly became fascinating, and she ran her fingers over its cool softness.

He scooted closer and touched her arm. She jumped, flailed her arms, rolled off the bed, and landed on the floor. He got up and kneeled on the pads of his feet, his brows up and corners of lips twitching.

"You all right?" His voice one of that who was suppressing a laugh.

"I'm fine."

He helped her up.

She stood. "I do like you. I'm not ready for this yet."

He chewed his lower lip. "So, there's hope?"

Heat warmed her cheeks. "You've shown me humans aren't all violent brutes. You're an honorable, caring, kind man." She went over and hugged him then went out if the room wiping the hot tears that squeezed out. There had to be a way, just not now.

(On Hold)❧ Soul Tear ❧ Book One: The Last Spirit AdaptRead this story for FREE!