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Project Xeriks - Chapter 2 - Part 2

Two hours past, and Cyrano was beginning to feel tired, he had drank most of the water Aurea had given him, and the endless encounters with the Desert Rats only hastened his exhaustion. He couldn’t think of what to do now, he was stuck in the desert, almost 5 miles from the closest town, and he didn’t have much water left. He spotted some shade that was formed behind one of the dunes, and decided to take a quick rest to regain his energy. I didn’t think this through properly…this isn’t looking good right now. He picked up the bottle and drank the last drop of water. Maybe if I can make my way dune-by-dune and rest in the shade each time, I could get further without using too much energy. He stood up and made his way to the next dune, which was a few minutes walking distance.

Another hour past. It’s been 3 hours, still another 2 before I change direction. He laid on the hot sand in the shade behind the next dune that he had reached. I’m tired now. A few minutes later, Desert Rats began to appear all around him, there were at least 200 of them. Cyrano forced himself onto his feet and took out his blade again. He waved his blade around, cutting through the Desert Rats as they tried to attack him, but he was too strong for them, and they were repeatedly thrown through the air and turned to dust as he continued to fight them off. He was beginning to grow tired, fast. Eventually, he was too slow to stop all of the Rats as they kept jumping at him and biting him. He pulled out a Healing Potion in the struggle, hoping to cure some of the bite wounds. There were still about 50 Desert Rats left, and Cyrano was exhausted, he grabbed the last Healing Potion and drank it, but as soon as the wounds disappeared, fresh wounds were created by the Rats.

Suddenly there was an increase in the temperature around him, and the Rats began to retreat, with flames sparking off a lot of them. Cyrano moved his bruised arms away from his face and looked to see a girl holding a long dark blue Mage’s Staff, with a pointed cross on the end, he looked up to see Aurea smiling at him.

“Hey you! I was beginning to wonder if it was possible for the average human to get through the desert on their own like you tried to. Luckily for you I got here just in time.” She said to him.

“Aurea? What…are you...doing here?” He looked at her with a confused expression on his face. She took a Healing Potion out of her pocket and threw it to him. He opened it and drank it, giving him a slight energy boost. Aurea sat down next to him.

“Those Gynerian guys came to the bar looking for you, they ripped the place apart! I said I didn’t know where you were, so they attacked me! It’s a good job I was trained to be a Mage though, otherwise I’d be dead about now.” She explained to him.

“But how did you get here without being tired?”

“Easy, I’m a Mage, I can use Aero spells to create a cooling breeze around me, and whenever I need water, I just cast a Blizzard spell above my water bottle, and the heat from the sun melts the ice for me.” The girl placed her empty water bottle on the ground and demonstrated what she had just said. A light blue crystal formed above the bottle, and within a few seconds, it turned to water and dropped into the bottle. She picked up the bottle and gave it to Cyrano. “Have some, you look like you need it.” He took the bottled water and drank some. “So why are you here?” He asked her.

“Oh…I can’t go back now, they think I helped you escape before they got there.”

“I’m sorry.”

“What for?”

“Getting you involved in this.”

“It’s not a problem, I’d like to help you with whatever it is you’re doing, I don’t have anything else to do.” She told him, trying to convince him that he had done nothing wrong and it wasn’t his fault that she was now involved.

“You shouldn’t…it’s dangerous.”

“I’ll be fine; I got this far on my own didn’t I?”

“Fine…we’ve already wasted time here, we should get moving.” They both stood up and began walking to the point where Cyrano had planned to change direction. It was easier now because Aurea could cast Aero on them to keep them cool and unaffected by the heat. They walked until they got to the area where the change was planned. It was now the warmest part of the day, and they decided to take another rest 2-3 hours after they changed direction.

“Cyrano? Why were those guys after you?” Aurea asked kindly.

“It’s a long story, and we don’t have time for stories.” He said as he looked across the desert, seeing nothing but more sand. Aurea looked away in silence, and Cyrano was now standing again. “Let’s keep going.”

“How long have they been looking for you? They mentioned 7 months, that’s quite a long time to avoid them, what have you been doing since they last saw you?” She asked, still curious about the recent events, but Cyrano ignored her question and they continued to walk.

The two of them headed towards the Desert Cave, which was about 4 hours from their current location. During the next 2 hours, they continued to encounter more Desert Rats, but it wasn’t a problem, since if there were too many, Cyrano could take out the closest while Aurea focused on her magic skills with the Rats that were further from them. Cyrano cut the last remaining Desert Rat before placing the blade back into the sleeve of his coat, and Aurea had a holster on her belt where she could carry her staff. Another hour later they noticed that there was a breeze which was slowly getting stronger, the sand began to rise from the ground, and within a few minutes they were caught in a Sandstorm.

They took a quick look at the map and decided to run towards the Cave for cover. Aurea cast Haste spells on them both so that it would be quicker to get there, they ran through the Sandstorm covering their faces with one arm and holding each others hands so that they didn’t lose each other, after about 30 minutes they found a small rock formation, with an entrance to the cave where they sat to rest again. Aurea cast a big Blizzard spell across the entrance of the cave, mainly to stop the furious sand from getting into the cave, but also to lower the temperature in there.

“It’s 9pm” Aurea looked at her watch.

“We should get some rest for the night, and start again tomorrow, after the Sandstorm calms down.” Cyrano stretched his body across the ground and laid his head on a rock. Aurea cast the Blizzard spell across the cave entrance again before also laying down to sleep for the night.


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