Guard Duty



Original poster
These days you can't even trust demons to arrive on time...

It was a few minutes after 8 PM in the middle of summer. Alkon was sitting on a bench before a grand-looking fountain of some old wizard holding a gnarled staff, the water spewing from the top of the staff. It was the centerpiece of the town's little park, full of grass with only dirt for a sidewalk. The bench was a plain wood-and-nails job, and the man on it was a very impatient werewolf. The moon that night was an early waxing crescent, and so very little of his heritage was showing at the moment: only his perpetually yellow eyes, and sizable ears covered in a light blue and white, speckled pattern of fur. His arms were crossed and he was glaring straight ahead as if he expected that statue to burst into flames if he watched it long enough, despite being thoroughly drenched in the fountain's water. He was wearing simple denim jeans and a sleeveless white shirt, both hanging somewhat loosely on his frame.

It had been a good half-century since the decentralization, a somewhat spontaneous, people-driven event that had vacated most major cities and ended up with most of the world's population in small, isolated was a long story, and to people like Alkon, history he didn't need to worry too much about. The point was that there were threats to a town, and he held a tax-funded position that consisted of taking care of those threats. He'd already made his regular rounds for nine hours that day, checking for all the usual dangers, so technically he was working overtime. He hated working overtime, and knew exactly who to blame if this turned out to be pointless.

The town seer had foreseen an attack by some of the more mindless, disorganized demons. It was a common, unpredictable and random thing for portals to the underworld to open up and dump a few out, and usually something to react to rather than attempt to preempt. If he could stop some people from getting hurt and property from going missing, that was fine, but it was already a good thirty minutes after the seer's estimate of when they would arrive. Alkon was beginning to suspect that she was wrong about what day it would be, or about it being their town that would be hit. Actually, the exact words he was thinking was that the old lady was full of smoke and had lost her touch.

Waiting for an attack was desperately boring, and taking along something to do was practically a surefire way to see it destroyed within a few minutes, especially with Alkon's luck. He found himself wishing someone else had volunteered for this job, either so he wouldn't have to be here right now or so he could have someone to talk to.
The arrow didn't penetrate the demon the way she wanted it to. Even though now wasn't the tme for her to be picky, she was clearly disappointed at her performance. The thick wooden arrow was lodged between the demon's would-be collar bone, making it choke on its own blood. If you could call it blood. To Nairah, it was more like a sticky, multi-colored liquid that was neither thick nor thin. As many times as she's seen it, she never got used to the beautiful hues of it. What was a girl to do these days? She had to admire something.

she muttered. The demon continued to make hacking, gargling noises as it swayed, clasping its "hands" over it's wound. The arrow was peirced through, and if she was close enough, she would have been able to detect the point pertruding from the other in. It was getting late, later than it already was. Nairah leaned on her hip in annoyance. It was always something wit her. The afternoon was supposed to be peaceful, if there was even a such thing as peace. She would've found some way to relax; some way to drown out all of the town's rantings and prophesizings of future doom and demolishment. Maybe a nice swim in the lake at the far east of town? Or maybe even an night of pure and undisturbed sleep.

A small wrinkle formed on the bridge of her nose, the last drowns of the demon's screeches finally dying out. Not quite the way she wanted it to die, but it'll do. The ivory bow against her hip glistened in the sunlight, rays dancing and twirling on all of it's intricate details. Archery was much more than a talent to Nariah; it was a principle, a life skill. Something one could never hope to forget. It just so happened that she was extremely talented at that principle.

The only sound in the forest was the crunchng of cracked leaves under the soft soles of her feet. Heat beamed down on her peach-colored hair as she looked down at the carcas.Poor thing didn't even have a chance, she thought. The wrenching smell that floated up to her nose made her think twice about retreiving her weapon. The arrow would stick with that one. Something like a parting gift. A snap from behind her brought her back to her senses.

"You've got to be kidding me." she muttered, gipping her bow.
By 8:30, even glaring at the statue was getting old. Alkon stood up, his old tattered tennis shoes sinking into the dirt a bit under his weight. He stretched a bit and walked along the path a bit toward the long-since-abandoned market district of the town. He turned around to face the statue again, and wondered if he could just rough up the statue a bit and claim that as evidence that the demons came and he fought him. By this point his general frustration had been transferred to the innocent old fountain for no particular reason other than that he'd been glaring at it so long; he'd been doing that because it was the only interesting thing to stare at in the park at night. The worst part about that plan was that it would confirm the old seer's story and cover up the fact that she was either wrong or lying.

Grumbling at nothing in particular, the werewolf walked toward the opposite end of the park, crossing the center where he'd been sitting before, planning on just patrolling the whole length of the place for a little while. In a few seconds, however, he stopped cold, one of his ears twitching around. It was picking up a noise that many people wouldn't even hear, a small, quiet crackling sound that, thanks to his occupation, Alkon knew all too well. He whirled around to face the source, a small bit of black, smoky stuff that quickly grew into what looked like a tall, ovoid storm cloud. "You're late," he growled at despite knowing nothing that would be stepping out was intelligent enough to comprehend language.

What did step out was actually much bigger and more powerful than he'd expected. It stood at around 8 feet, and had no meat, bones, or organs to it, instead looking as if it had been constructed out of oversized human and bird bones that were all painted red and then set on fire. Its "hands" and "feet" were composed of three-toed talons that would make more sense on a gryphon than a humanoid shape, and its teeth were very tall and very sharp. The grass it set foot on immediately dried up and started burning.

"Well, sh**." The only good news was that once this one demon stepped out, the portal behind it closed. Alkon had never seen this particular variety before, but he knew just by looking at it how much trouble it was going to be.

In a couple of seconds it was down on its hands like a four-legged creature and running at him with surprising speed. Alkon stomped the ground, pulling his arms up, and a sizable chunk of the earth in front of him rose up to form a wall. It ran into that with a thunk, and when he released his control over the packed dirt it fell unceremoniously to the ground. The creature wasn't even stunned by ramming its head into that, but it still bought him the time he needed. Alkon pulled more dirt from the ground, coating his hands, arms, shoes, and a few inches up his jeans. When the demon got close this time, he started smashing it with his fists, the tightly-packed earth doing the job of insulating his skin from the constant fires that were all over the thing's body. Despite looking like brittle bone, Alkon could feel a solid resistance to his hits, and though he landed a few hits he was forced backwards constantly because of how fast the demon was.
It would have been instantaneous death if she waited any longer for the unknown stranger to ambush her. She wasn't the type to get snuck up on. It had taken all 5 senses to kill the demon lying before her, and she didn't have anymore senses to give up. So, she moved from one target, to the next.

She turned around, bow poised and ready. The arrow's point was aimed in a small shrub that resembled a withering tree. Patches of missing leaves dotted the bush, exposing small branches. The darkness dimmed her ability to see, so she was already at an disadvantage. A small line of frustration spread on her forehead. Her evening had already been ruined before she even found herself in the situation she was in now. That very morning, she found out that the town had ordered a minor evacuation of all woman in children. The town was in a irrepressible uproar. The people wanted reasons, answers and proof. There was no reason for a woman to stay if she was going to be killed by a spawn of evil. The thought of putting children in the lines of that danger would be unforgivable.

Nairah was the girl leaning against the wall of a rundown building. Stupid, naive people, she thought. A demon doesn't just pinpoint one specific woman, unless she has something of great value, which was already ruled out due to the building she leaned against. The town had no real value. Of course, one could suggest that they had "value" in being a peaceful place, and even that turned out to be false. The old seer made sure of that one. Her prophecies, visions, and even opinions had swayed the people to paranoia.

Which wasn't necessarily a bad thing, since she was now standing with her bow pointed at an unknown source. The thought of her evacuating a town because of a couple of demons was amusing, to say the least. When she first come across the rumor, a smirk formed at the side of her mouth. The townspeople would have to bind her, gag her, and knock her out if they thought she was going to be evaced with a bunch of old house wives and their tyrannous children who probably all have bladder problems. No. She'd rather be where she was now.

Staring intently into a dark bush.

The wind rustled her hair and she could detect a faint smell in the air. The smell completely washed the stench of the dead demon. This one was foul enough to bring tears to her eyes. She couldn't let that happen, though. It was apparent that the demon was a good distance away. Any distance away from her was good.

She contemplated trailing it. The town had already threw her out here to help eliminate the problem, so she might as well follow through with it. Besides, the sooner she finished, the sooner she could get back to the river. She had a date with the beautiful black water of the night, and she wasn't going to let a bad-smelling demon stop her from going. With that thought settled in her head, she walked towards the smell, hoping that it hadn't found anyone before she found it.
It didn't take Alkon very long to get tired of being pushed back by the creature. His sweat was threatening to turn the dirt that coated his arms to mud; the fire all over it was intense, and it was already a warm night. Grunting in frustration, he managed to score a hard uppercut under the demon's chin, the force bending the head farther than it should be able to and snapping a bone in its neck. It grabbed its own head and shoved it forward again, righting it with another snap, making it look as if it had never been injured in the first place. Alkon took advantage of the delay, jumping back and taking a deep breath, setting his feet firmly on the ground.

He started channeling his magic in earnest now, ripping random chunks of the earth up and throwing them all at the thing with as much force as he could muster. All the while he was yelling at it, emphasizing every few syllables with a hit. "It's bad enough yer late without bein' a load of trouble on top of it all! That ain't the way to be a good guest 'round here!"

Most of the dirt was fairly loose, so it tended to splatter when it hit the demon. The pieces that stuck on its thin, bony frame smothered the flames under them, and it shrieked in pain more at that than at being hit. The fires that weren't put out were actually hot enough that the dirt started to melt and fall off, leaving some kind of glass behind. The creature was in enough pain to stand still, giving Alkon a breather. His panting was in long huffs and gasps, and he dropped the dirt from his left hand long enough to wipe some sweat out of his eyes. When he had enough breath to speak, he said to himself, " demon...gotta...put it out." It wouldn't be very long before it recovered and ran at him again; he was trying to think of a plan.
Once again, she tripped over a root. That was the third time that day that she lost her footing inside the forest and found her self face down on the ground. The rough and brittle dirt stuck to her face which was already bruised badly enough by her first encounter with the ground. Considering that she had another demon to take care of, lying on the ground was not the best way to go about that process. When she spat out her last, annoyed curse at herself, she hoisted herself back up, dusting the access dirt from her arms.

Now, it was time to run.

It was apparent that she wasted enough time falling over the flora while there was a demon on the loose. A slither of guilt trickled down her spine at the thought of what might happen if she arrived to the scene late. There would be a body, maybe bodies. Of course, she always had that elixir...Nairah cut off the thought in her mind before it could blossom into a plan. That elixir was only for emergencies. It wasn't as if she was being heartless by not healing the fallen, but one innocent life to a demon was nothing compared to the life of someone who might potentially save thousands of lives.

All of the elixir mumbo-jumbo talk running through Nairah's head was starting to get to her. A bead of sweat traveled from her forehead. She knew it wasn't because she was sprinting; she was a little more athletic than that. No. There was something else about the sudden appearance of sweat that made her tense up.

"Artificial heat?"she said quietly to herself. That was the only explanation she could come with at the time, which was good enough for Nairah. Artificial fire or not; a demon was a demon.
By the time the beast seemed ready to charge him again, Alkon had some vague concept of a plan together. To put it into action, however, he would first need to buy some time. He picked up about a foot-tall layer of dirt this time, more uniform and in a large square shape that required help from both his arms to keep it together, and raised it high into the air. Then, when it started moving toward him, he let go of his control of the dirt altogether, letting it rain straight on top of the demon. It hissed and shrieked again, but this time more in rage than in pain. Its fires grew more intense, turning a bright white color and radiating so much heat that any nearby grass left over from Alkon's rearrangements started catching fire.

Though he could feel the heat, the werewolf wasn't thinking about it. He was busy moving, putting the fountain at the park's center between him and the demon. Once there, he bent over toward its base and started pulling; the refined marble was more difficult for his magic to work with, so he had to focus all of his energy and concentration on moving it. Eventually he managed to tip it upward, just in time for his enemy to run headfirst into a short-lived wave of water, followed by the entire fountain structure. Alkon couldn't see what was going on but, he heard the hiss of water turning to steam on contact with the fire, and an even louder, angrier and longer scream from the demon than ever before.

It wasn't done yet. After a couple of seconds, it tossed the marble structure back at Alkon, forcing him to dive out of the way. The skeletal structure of its body was no longer visible behind the coat of white flames. He shook his head as he started to get up. The h*** did it get stronger? Alkon knew there wasn't enough time to get upright before it started charging at him. He tensed up to jump out of the way, hoping it wasn't smart enough to figure out which way he was going. The water pipes that had been connected to the fountain were now spewing water indiscriminately, but that was a few feet to his left now.
She knew she was close.

It only took her a few minutes to smell something burning. The smell was a mixture of blood, smoke, dirt, and some other smell that she didn't have the time to thoroughly identify.
That, and the constant rise of sauna-like heat emanating from somewhere close.

Also, the unmistakable screech of a ravenous beast.

Nairah wiped her brow quickly. "It's hot."she muttered, stating the obvious. Her clothes were beginning to stick to her body in a damp type of humidity. Her hair also clung to the back of her neck. It had to take more than a little heat for Nairah to turn around. Learning endurance was second-nature to her, just like shooting her arrows. Giving up was either not an option, or an option that had to be thought through carefully, tentatively, and with wisdom. So complaining about the heat wasn't a wise, tentative, and thoughtful option to be discussed.

Crossing over a log, a sudden tremor shook the ground, rocking the her and the withered long along with it's quake. Eliminating the possibility of an earthquake, the assumption that it was the demon quickly settled into Nairah's mind. This beast was causing some major destruction and a lot of commotion. And now it was her problem. Typical, she thought. Had to be stuck with the hard ones. A flash of white caught Nairah's eye through the darkness around her. Before she could register what it was, she leaped into a tree, aiming her bow steadily at....

...a werewolf.

Are you serious? She tried her best to get a better look at what she was dealing with, but to no avail. It just appeared to be a normal, average, everyday werewolf. She could make out the light sheen of his fur. It was a mixture of white with a tinge of light blue. His eyes, which seemed to illuminate the night itself, were a sharp golden yellow. He stood poised and ready. Nairah caught the look of action in his eyes followed by his defensive stance.

Huh. So he's not necessarily my ene-- the thought was quickly cut off by a large rumbling of the ground. Suddenly a massive form of bones, flames, and teeth flew past her in a blur of heat, noise, and smell that followed along with it. It caught her completely by surprise.

That...and the fact that the tree was catching fire. Instinct told her to remain calm but shock told her to scream.

So she did.
The demon looked straight at him. It was getting ready to move, he was getting ready to move. They stared each other down, or rather Alkon stared at what he presumed to be its eye sockets under all that fire. Then it bolted in another direction entirely. "The h***!?" In about two seconds he was after it, pulling a big chunk of the soaked earth from under the fountain with him for good measure. There was a scream from the direction of the forest. Great, a potential victim, he thought as he ran. As soon as it was in sight he dropped the mud behind him to be used later and shoved the ground right in front of it up at a backwards angle, knocking it straight into the air and backwards.

Alkon could see why it had run this way: More things to set on fire. The demon had already started one tree burning, and more were sure to follow. He would need to draw it back to his territory, the one with water and mostly upturned dirt and well-mowed grass. "Hey, you ain't done with me," he yelled at it when it landed. He threw a chunk of the mud around at it, and what connected started pouring steam into the air immediately. It jumped at him, and he dived out of the way, back toward the park. He noticed a woman nearby, presumably the source of the scream from earlier. "Gonna need some help with this thing," he said in her general direction, "you know any magic that ain't throwin' dirt around?" Then the streak of white fire jumped at him again, and he raised up an artificial cliff over him for it to land on instead.
The ground didn't feel as good as she thought it would feel when she finally fell out the tree. Well, nothing on her did, actually. She already had a cut face, a minor burn on her hand, and now she nearly cracked her pelvis by falling out of a tree. Nothing felt good at all.

When she reached the bottom, a series of events flew passed her in a matter of seconds. The beast, monster, demon, or whatever, started towards her but was stopped by a giant chunk of earth. Nairah noticed that the ground was uprooted by the werewolf she saw earlier. When the attack came in contact with the demon, however, the mud forced an uprising of steam to sprout out of the demon. Well...that's not doing much...

"You know any magic that ain't throwin' dirt around?" the werewolf asked, dodging the rampaging demon with his earth. It was obvious that Nairah had to move quick before the demon caught sight of her too.

"Water. But I don't see what good that'll do us now." she called out. If earth was barely phasing the demon, what good would water do to...

She stopped in mid thought, noticing the fire around the monster.

Oh. Yeah. And that.

By then, she had held her hands up with her palms outwards. "Whenever you're ready."she called out. It would have been bad news if she had blindly attacked without first making sure the werewolf was out of distance. Nairah was good with water, but also very reckless. And it was gonna take some patience to defeat this thing.
Alkon rolled out from under his cliff, got up and started running back toward the park's center. He wasn't watching where his going, his head turned back to answer the woman, "It yelps in pain when the fires get weaker. Go ahead anytime, I don't mind gettin' wet. There's some pipes over there!" He pointed toward where the fountain had been, and then tossed the same hand up and around, pulling some of the ground around to smack the demon in the side of its body, forcing it off track. It was moving too fast to stop itself or turn quickly, so the slight change in direction made it miss him, and forced it to start a long circle back around. "C'mon!" he yelled at it, waving and playing matador for the moment. When it was a couple of yards away, he jumped to the side, and this time it stopped moving its feet, scraping them against the scorched ground to stop faster. It whirled around and started toward him from only a few feet away or so, and he made as thick a wall of dirt as he could between it and him, but it rammed straight through, barely even slowing down.
Anytime now, Nairah!

She shook her head, enticed by the battle that folded out in front of her. That monster was something different. At times, it would slowly calculate the scenarios the werewolf would give it, but seconds later, it always ended up being fooled. If the beast had some kind of brain beyond all of that muck, it would have either been minuscule or out of order.

Suddenly, she found her chance to strike. The werewolf was leading it around the park, toying with it until it ran straight into a man made (or werewolf made) wall of gravel. Shaking it's "head", the demon was clearly annoyed at the fact that none of its targets were dead yet. In the midst of its confusion and frustration, Nairah rose her hand, fingers limp, and made a small circular motion towards the pipes that were spewing uncontrollably. The water shook slightly then rose in the form of a whip. Nairah then pushed her palm forward, sending the whip flying toward the demon and wrapping it around it's grotesque body. The demon let out a screech of pain and agony, as Nairah closed her hands in a fist, securing the whip for as long as possible.

That was the only thing she could think about doing. Maybe if she stopped it's movements, they would both have a chance to think of a way to kill it instead of hurting it. It was going to take a lot more than water from pipes to suppress it, and using the moisture in the air would take some time. Time that they both did not have.

"Any options?"she yelled, struggling to hold the whip as the beast swayed back and forth, roaring in pain in anger.
Alkon watched the stranger work, taking a very short breather. He slowly backed away from the creature, putting some distance between them. "Last I checked, it don't hurt if it can't kill you," he answered to her question. "I'll try somethin' else anyhow." Since it was already restrained a little bit, he pulled up a mound of dirt under its right forleg, packed it together as tightly as possible, and then wrapped it around the 'wrist', behind the talon-like appendages that it had in place of a hand. He pulled with as much force as he could muster, and with a sickening cracking sound the hand was wrenched from the rest of the body and thrown violently away. Something useful did happen: as soon as it was disconnected from the rest of the demon, the fires covering that 'hand' died out entirely, leaving behind nothing but limp, unusually sturdy bones. The odd thing was that it didn't yell in pain at all from this assault. It did turn its head to regard the flying hand for a couple of seconds, as if in curiosity, before the last of the stranger's water whip had been turned to steam by its flame, landing it on the ground again. It stood up on its hind legs now, and while it wasn't running as fast as before it was still quite agile.

"Aagh!" The werewolf had begun to throw more dirt at its head, hoping to blind it or something, but when he first tried to use his left arm he felt the all-too-familiar pain of a sprained muscle, bringing his other hand straight to it in reflex. Wincing through the pain, he tossed more dirt at it with his right arm, but it didn't slow down in the slightest. When it got closer he finally just pulled a coat of dirt back over his legs and kicked it hard in the side, throwing it to his left. While it was recovering he pulled up more dirt with his hand, packed it as thick as he could manage and let it float in front of him. Once it had started its attack in earnest he used the packed dirt as a shield. He was sweating worse than ever before, and starting to get sunburns across his exposed skin; he knew what would happen if this thing scored a direct hit anywhere important. Third degree burns are never good, and even worse when a gash makes sure they're on the inside of one's body. Luckily they were both fighting one-handed.
Nairah didn't know what else to do. Despite the fact that the beast was injured, water was only going to be used as a helping hand, not as a barrier or full frontal attack. The werewolf seemed to have it all under control though. Leaving the demon in his hands, however, would have been dishonorable.

Who do I have to honor anyway?

Out of the corner of her eye, she noticed that the werewolf's arm was slightly limp and his face displaced traces of minor pain. Despite that, he continued to fight the demon, which was now at a loss of one arm. Healing him at this moment would've just been a horrible tactic, but he clearly couldn't defeat it, whether they were both at a disadvantage. So, the only choice she had now, was to be used as a distraction.

Whipping a her bow out, she placed an arrow in its place, aiming towards the demon's backside. Then, with a delicate flick of her hand, the water from the pipes traveled over to the arrow and wound it's self around the entire arrow. She knew it wouldn't maim it, but it would defiantly be a smart move to get her partner out of there. Seconds later, the arrow whipped out of her fingers and struck the demon in the back. Alonah closed her hand, securing the line of water that traveled along with it. With one tug, the demon wrenched back clawing at the arrow that was wedged between a pile of bones. She yanked again, and the demon was dragged along with it.

Come on, werewolf. Move. Move.
The attacks finally relented, but not of the demon's own will. It was being dragged backwards by an arrow stuck into its spine-bones. The werewolf backed away, huffing from the effort of the last several seconds and trying to think of something else to try on it. It didn't like anything that stifled its fires, but it didn't have any organs. Alkon was pretty strong, if he did say so himself, usually enough to crack bones in a crisis, but its bones were sturdier, not so brittle as others. It just didn't seem to have any real weakness other than hating dirt and water thrown on it. About the best he could do was to keep fighting and hope he got lucky with its real lethal weakness.

Then he saw something unusual. The fires surrounding the demon flickered a few times, and it screeched in pain and agony. Unlike any time before, this scream seemed devoid of anger, and full of fear. It made a desperate pull forward, against the arrow, and its fires became weaker, flickering once or twice and turning a dull orange color. Seeing a chance to do something, the werewolf turned the ground under the creature, knocking it over, and then flung more dirt on top of it once it was down. The demon's fires were smothered, and this time they weren't strong enough to melt off the dirt. Soon what fire was left died out altogether, and the bones left behind finally stopped moving.

Alkon took a good look around at the park. Most of the well-kept grass had been torn out with the ground; the fountain, which had been the only expensive thing in the park, was torn off of its pipes and lay on its side a good several yards away from where it should have been. Well, he thought, this oughta make them think twice about having me work overtime alone. Finally he looked over at the woman who'd helped him out. "I hope it's not faking that," he said, "I don't know what else I'd try.

"Anyway, name's Alkon. I work for the town guard around here, usually ain't this much trouble. Thanks for helping me out."
Nairah pulled her hand once, using the water to whip the arrow back at her. She caught the arrow with her right hand, twisted it once, and returned it to it's quiver. It would have to be cleaned vigorously once she had the spare time. The park was in shambles, but still remained to be a pleasant sight to her in the current time and weather.

"Nairah. I'm just here to be here."she answered the werewolf, walking over to him and ignoring the demon that was compacted in dirt, immobile. "And don't worry about it; it was either you or me."

She suddenly remembered her planned date with a river and the frustration from before returned all over again. The demons were gone for now, but it still postponed her relaxation process. Returning her bow to the satchel on her side, she nodded slightly to Alkon.

"It's been fun." With that, she stepped over a large mound of dirt, making her way to the park's entrance.

"Stop by town later if you want, not a bad place when it ain't under attack," he said while she was still in earshot. "I'm sure I could use a witness t'help explain this mess. Anyway, I think I'll pass out for a few hours or so now..."

While useful, magic tends to drain one's physical stamina. Alkon was used to throwing lots of rocks around, as it was his usual method of attack when punching and kicking failed, but his strategy fared poorly in longer or tougher fights, of which this was both. Adrenaline, survival instinct, and desperation had been quite enough to keep Alkon going throughout the fight, but he was already feeling the weight of exhaustion from it in addition to some pain still in his pulled muscle. He had enough time to calmly sit and then lie back-down on the ground before passing out from exhaustion.

((Time skip to morning now, hooray!))
((Morning is AWESOME! :D))

Nairah nodded to the werewolf before sprinting off towards the lake. Even though it were dark out, her senses filled in for the lack of light, leading her directly to the lake. Before she even prepared herself to walk in, she paused, gazing at the black and smokey water. Suddenly, as if from no where, she thought twice about swimming in it. After the demons she had to slay and all of the energy she used, a small disgust for water crept into the back of her head.

"I am not believing this..."she muttered, staring into the black abyss. Nairah had waited all day to sooth her senses and muscles in this lake, and when she finally made it, she didn't even want to swim anymore! The woods was the only shelter she had for the night. Nairah tended to avoid the town as much as possible, due to the fact that everyone was panicking about the little things. However, Alcorn or whatever his name was had wanted her to stop by. He mentioned that he needed her voucher in the parks destruction. Lovely. He's making me take some blame. What's new?

As soon as she lay her head against the dense bark of a tree, she drifted off to sleep.

It was only a little while after sunrise when Alkon was awakened, still very stiff, and sore in his right arm especially, by someone poking his side with a stick. He sat straight up, a reflex from times when waking up violently had saved his life, and very nearly headbutted the one responsible for the poking. The man had a narrow face with a dark complexion and bright blue eyes, and the sort of slightly taller, pointed-at-the-top ears that marked all elves. Alkon was rubbing his eyes with his presently good arm while he spoke to the man, no stranger to him by a long shot. "Ugh...d***it Cervus, let a guy sleep a few more hours, will ya?"

In a small town that didn't happen to have a physician living in or nearby, an alchemist was the second-best thing. While an alchemist would be hard-pressed to diagnose or cure any disease or disorder one could name, healing potions were at least an adequate substitute in the event of an injury. Cervus, however, was not an ordinary alchemist. "That's strange, the Dream-Mare told me you weren't sleeping comfortably like that. I'm certain I wouldn't be. Anyway, I couldn't leave you alone once I found this." He held up the bony hand that had been tossed off of the demon the night before, which was thankfully still not on fire. "Is this something the Visitor from last night took with him, and dropped mid-fight? I'm very interested in what this material is..."

"H***uva rude guest, if you ask me," said Alkon. "Didn't show up on time, tried to cook everything around 'im. And that was his hand. Nearly tore my own arm off gettin' that, too. How come whenever I'm the only one to apply for a job it's something that needs three or four people?"
"Oh, you were injured? I'm glad D'nzr reminded me to take something along!" He produced a small cylindrical vial from a bag at his side, and offered it to Alkon. The werewolf took it with his left hand, but paused before drinking it.

"This the painkiller or the healer?"

"I don't remember. They take on the same color, you know, and it's hard to organize things in a pouch--"
"Never mind." He downed it in one swallow and then winced slightly. Having one's injuries forcibly put back together in a matter of seconds, when they naturally would have taken hours, days, months or even years, tends to be more painful than the injuries were at the time they were inflicted. "You should mark your glasses with what you put in 'em. If I was in a worse mood and not stiff as a mannequin I wouldn't be the only one lyin' on the ground, y'hear?" He gave a small shake of his fist for good measure, even though Cervus had already stood up and resumed staring at the skeletal hand.

"So, what sort of creature does this belong to? And where'd all the skin and muscle go?" Alkon stood up and looked around. There were a few people staring at the hideous state of the park from a distance, and the old oracle woman that had prophesied this particular event was roving around at random, but aside from that it was just him and the alchemist.

"Demon. Started out as a skeleton, burned nonstop the whole time we were fightin'. Every time I threw dirt on it, fires got a little weaker and it yelled like a dog that's been bit on the tail. When the fire died out all of a sudden it quit movin', and I buried it for good measure...over there." The werewolf made a vague gesture to where he though the mound of dirt he'd made last night was. "Had some help, by the way, some lone-wolf archer with water magic callin' herself Nairah. Don't know if she'll be back or not, though." He stretched. "I should probably report all this to th'captain, I guess."
It had been a long while since Nairah awoke from her nest in the tree. To be honest, she didn't obtain much sleep, despite how fairly tired and fatigued she was. It didn't even take a day of battling demons to make the girl tired. For the moment, she only waded in the water of the lake, which was only to about knee high. The full on swim would have to be pushed off until later. Her mind always traveled back to the werewolf and the expectant meeting the two of them were to have. Bailing out was not an option in her book. Besides, what more time did she have to waste until someone eventually needed her services again.

Nairah stepped gingerly out of the placid lake, bare feet squishing in between tiny clumps of grass. Not to mention the fact that she was also partially to blame for the desecration of the park. Nairah sighed in exasperation, slipping into the cloth sandals that were near the lake bed. She would meet up with this Alkon and offer him, and anybody else who required it, a full apology. The apology would be sincere of course. Her battles were usually a pleasant distance away from the town, so as not to panic the people residing in it. The process was hard, but Nairah managed to come out on top all of the time.

She passed through the group of trees that were lined along the path of the forest. Taking a detour from the town, she walked up to a particular tree. Wedged on a high branch was her bow and quiver of arrows. A look of confusion spread across her face. Should I leave it here or take it with me? The question was rhetorical of course. Why feel the need to carry her weapons around with her in town if she were only going to apologize? Still. The sinking feeling of leaving her weapons behind didn't sit will with her. I still have water, she reminded herself. That thought pleased her and she strode away from the tree.

Minutes passed before she finally arrived at the park. Not to her surprise, it was full of people, both young and old. Some throw accusations left and right and others were down right terrified that the whole ordeal took place while they were all sleeping peacefully in their beds. Nairah scoffed to herself. They were all so predictable, like mice with cheese. They never did care for others; only themselves and their necessities. A far off glint of blue tugged at her peripheral vision as she caught sight of her werewolf. Alkon didn't seem to inject himself into the ruckus. In fact, he was talking quietly with another man. Nairah, wishing to get the meeting over and done with to relieve her guilt, walked up to the two of them, a strand of hair falling in between her eyes.

"Morning."she said, bowing slightly. Manners were manners, though they didn't fit her profile well.