Carnival Fantasia

Marana Scarlet is coming....what will you do? .....What will you do?


10. Darkwood Forest

Cage read the battered singe, it said Darkwood South Entrance, but to him it said, For a quick and gory death step right up. He bit his lip, hard. The forest entrance was right before him like a black howl ready to swallow him. At this moment taking the quicker route through the Anak out-post and it's fifty or so trained guards armed to the teeth with swords and cross-bows seemed all the more appealing, and glorious if he were to die in battle there but in here it was more likely to be slowly digested in something belle and then-  

Marana fidgeted to get comfortable on his shoulder, "You going in or not?" 

"I'd rather not, i've heard the storeys about Darkwood, the foul denizens, teeth as sharp as razors, claws and all. And their as big as me if not more so"   

"Well" Marana began, shrugging his words off without a care, "Thats why you have your silver sword, most monsters are weak against true Silver or I can use my power of influence and dominance to allow us safe passage".

Cage glared, "You will do no such thing, I'm not relying on you to get us through anything, all you need to do is be a good girl, keep quiet and keep steady on my shoulder". 

"Men!", Marana huffed, "You just have to do things the hard way".

The Huge knight swallowed heavily and steered hard into the forest. 

The forest steered back.

Misshapen and twisted trees leaned over them, their gnarled branches reached down as if to ensnare and tangle them. 

Creatures scuttled through the underbrush.

The stench of fungus and rot wood clogged their noises and even made their eyes water. 

It was no wonder people went crazy in this place, so dark and noisy, one found it difficult to not get paranoid and start imagining things were worse than what they actually were. Such as thinking there was something creeping up behind. 

Cage heard twigs snap and leaves crunch. 

It was hard not to imagine something ten foot tall, covered in black fur, teeth as white as the moon, claws as sharp as knives. 

It snorted warm breath down the knights neck. 

It was right behind him....right behind him. 

Cage wrenched out his silver sword and swung it right around in one swift movement cutting, "Nothing", he gasped, "I could have sworn". 

"What is wrong with you?" Marana shouted down his ear hole as she clutched onto his head for dear life. 

"Theres nothing there", he said dumbfounded lowering his sword.

"Of course there isn't your with me, do you really think monsters would come, voluntarily, within a mile of my radiance", she sounded so sure of herself. 

"I'm not all convinced, these monsters, may be different".     

Further on down the broken pathway the two of the noticed something lying by the road, propped up against a tree.

"You see that?" Cage asked. 

"I see it", Marana replied. 

"Help me?" Groaned the half dead man lying by the road, claw wounds littered his torso and down his arms, he couldn't even lift an arm he was so withered and weak. Suddenly Cage rammed his Silver Sword into the mans gut on passing pulled it out and continued on. The mans eyes turned grey, his body sagged....dead. 

"That was harsh", Marana smirked, "And that's coming from me, you didn't even stop to help him or were you showing him mercy by ending his pain quick?" 

"Nether", he said flatly.

-The dead mans body twitched and then convulsed violently. Black fur grew at a rapid pace all over his body, his jaw extended into a mussel. When the transformation was complete there was no dead man lying in the road instead there was a dead Night-stalker lying in the road-

Cage gripped his sword tightly with unease. 

The trees were closing in all around. 

He could feel their dark piercing steers. 

He drew his steel sword-

"Whats wrong?" Marana whispered as Cage eyed up his surroundings. She couldn't sense or see anything wrong. "Are you imagining things again?"  

The knight snorted and continued on. 

Things only got weirder when.....

Balls of azure blue flames danced in the distance.

Creatures of shadows faded back into the darkness.  

Marana screamed as ebony black claws took hold of her hair. 

Cage lashed out with his blade severing the branch that was stuck to her hair. 

"That was an overreaction" she screeched. "It was just a twig you overprotective hunk of meat in metal!"  

"if it were just a twig why'd you scream?" he fumed. 

Marana opened her mouth to defend herself but fell short...."I don't know"....

More nightmares lurked in the dark confines of the forest, their white teeth seemed to be the only solid part of their bodies, their eyes blood red and feral, did they even exist or were they just part of a paranoid mind, who knows, the certainly seemed real enough, real enough to slit your throat before you knew what happened. 

Furry black spore like objects, in their hundreds, floated along the ground around the knight. Cage didn't know wether he was imagining it or not, once when he was wounded in a skirmish he had hallucinated something similar. 

"Their just forest spirits", said a small voice.

"That really put me at ease", although it didn't. He stopped short and gazed up at Marana who was looking down at him. "Please tell me that was you?" Unfortunately and to Cage's dismay she shock her head. 

"Harmless little blighters...." said the small voice. 

Cage turned to find a transparent blue ghost of a young male, he debated wether or not to hit it with his sword. 

"Marana" Said the ghost. 

"Do I know you?" Marana replied coldly. 

"Probably not but we know you" 

"We?" Questioned Cage as hundreds of ghosts suddenly became visible.      
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