“Are we really going up there?”

“Do we have much choice?” Merida replied, “The things might very well cut us down if we try t’ run.” The archer’s rich blue garments were largely covered over the iridescent traveling cloak she wore, but there was more than enough mobility there to allow her to move about and fire off her bow if need be.

Mulan and Red were similarly adorned, though were Merida wore light leather armor over her forearms, chest and stomach, and legs and loins Mulan was garbed in heavier, lacquered armor reinforced by light steel bands. Red had opted for a light suit of chainmail so that she might wield her chosen weapons, the dual handaxes she’d carried along for this particular trip.

“You mean you can’t pick them out of the sky?” Red teased, tugging her hood back into place as she looked up the winding trail that led up to the decrepit-looking castle called Grimhilde, after its former owner.

Merida growled slightly, “P’raps you’d like t’ test yer hand against multiple movin’ opponents…”

“Enough,” Mulan said, imposing her will as their leader as she too looked upon the trail, “Snow is our friend, and she has been for some time. We need to find out what has happened to her and why.”

“An’ if she’s not in the mood t’ let us leave?” Merida asked. Mulan gave her a sideways glance but without a reprimand. Merida was only saying what they all were thinking, that since the dreaded force known as the Dark had visited the many realms nothing had been the same. So far as they knew, the warrior known as the Chosen, or Champion, or Tyler, depending on what one wished to call him, had banished the force controlling the Dark in this realm. But there were still pockets that remained, isolated forces that had not been banished along with their foul master.

“Then we persuade her,” Mulan replied, “Let’s go.”

(to be continued)

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