Level 23 ~ Naomi

The land was a lot happier way out here in Western Asla. Naomi could feel it even in the back of their covered wagon. Andrew drove the wagon through the countryside, and Vixie transformed into a full leopard and did the hunting for them. Vixie was so happy when she was a leopard. Naomi got the impression that Vixie didn’t get to shift too often before, and was particularly happy that she didn’t  have to hide her lycanthropy from Naomi or Andrew. In town, around people, Andrew walked up front by the horse and Vixie drove the cart—to be closer to Naomi who stayed back in the cart out of sight. Naomi could understand why Vixie would be happy to have friends she didn’t have to hide her true self from.

It was raining really hard, and had been all day. Of course, that’s part of why the land was so happy. The ground had been really thirsty for the last week. Naomi sighed as the cart rolled to a stop. She could feel the sacred aura of the church outside. Andrew pursued demons and evil with a relentless drive that seemed to leave him devoid of emotion whenever he wasn’t in battle. He didn’t like it when Naomi helped, well didn’t like her at all. So usually she just let Andrew and Vixie take care of things, and then healed them up when it was all over. Which was sort of okay, because Naomi didn’t really like fighting… But she was good at it. So when things got intense enough that Andrew couldn’t spare any attention for her she’d let loose with her magic instead of just the miracles. She got to help against the dragon, inflicting frequent short bursts of paralysis so that it couldn’t hit Vixie or Andrew, or dodge their attacks. Or when they encountered the portal to the Abyss she actually disintegrated thirty demons there. Demons… Is that really what she was? Naomi guessed so. That’s what everyone said and even she could tell her aura was the same. But she didn’t want to hurt anyone, and apart from the Three Sisters no other demon she’d met had ever wanted anything but to hurt people.

“They’re going to tend to the wagon and horse.” Andrew came up to tell Vixie, both had their cloaks’ hoods up against the rain.

Naomi knew what that meant. She pulled her hood up too and fell into step behind Vixie and Andrew. They were going into the Church. Not the best place for lycanthropes or demons. The sacred aura was soothing, but also reminded her of The Eternity Grove back where she was born. The elves there had been so cruel to her mother… All because she wouldn’t give Naomi up… Quickly Naomi wiped her eyes and composed herself. She had to keep her concentration up at least a little to fool the Forbiddance on the church. Evil could not enter this place. Technically.

“Thank goodness there are still Demon Hunters in the world!” The elderly priest hurried over to meet them as Andrew and Vixie lowered their hoods. Naomi would have to leave hers up, she forgot to disguise her appearance and it was too late to cast any spells now. “Villagers have been disappearing since the last new moon. We’re at our wits’ end! Bones turn up days later but we can’t find any clue what’s happening to them!”

Andrew removed Oracle from his neck and the holy-symbol began glowing as he and Vixie looked into the gem in the middle. Naomi couldn’t even use miracles while on the church grounds unless she wanted to invite direct heavenly scrutiny. Probably wouldn’t be a good idea. She smiled a little though; she could feel the old priest’s relief as he felt he was transferring a terrible burden from his shoulders to theirs. The priest felt lighter, but they themselves weren’t any heavier. Demon slaying was no burden for them; in fact it was easy for her and Vixie, and Andrew’s very reason for living.

“It’s in the old well behind the church…” Andrew scowled as he examined Oracle. “But… I can’t tell what it is… Something’s interfering with Oracle’s read.”

Naomi bit her lip. She really wished she could scry into the old well and tell them what was in there. Oracle was a powerful relic, but Andrew was no mage and a very weak miracle worker—she wasn’t even sure he consciously knew he was working miracles when he used Oracle or Banisher. If the block wasn’t too advanced then she’d be able to get around it. Her father and Eric had been the only ones to ever block her scrying… Oh, and the Eternity Speaker back where she was born, but Naomi didn’t really count that since she’d only been a month old at the time.

“We’ll take care of your demon before we go to the inn.” Andrew nodded to the old priest. Naomi could feel Andrew’s quiet satisfaction, the closest he came to happy and he got like this every time he destroyed something Evil. “This ends tonight.”

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