“How did you get so brave?” the tiny pandaran asked.

“An angry human killed me,” the Draenei answered, with a smile, “and then I got better.”  She reached out with a heavy gauntlet, rimed in frost, and… booped the little pandaran’s nose. “You are safe now, yes?”

The young female looked left.  Right.  The cave she and the Draenei were standing in was littered with bits of chitin, torn wings, and the lingering echoes of insectoid screams.   The air was cold, slowly warming from near freezing as the strange magic slowly dissapated from the space. “not.. really?”

The armored Draenei woman blinked.  Twice. “… oh.  Why not?”

“Uhm.”  The pandaran child waved her arms. “… kind of.  This?  I’m not even really sure where I am.”

“Oh. Yes.”  The Draenei put her helm back on, somehow managing to seem.. sheepish. “You do not have a sword.  Of course.  These are things I forget.”

“… I don’t know how to /use/ a sword!”

Another blink. “Oh.  Yes.  Really?” That seemed, in that moment, to mystify the knight, her hollow voice sounding a bit lost. “Is that something I should teach you?  You would be safe then, right?”

“How…. how about you just help me get home?  I won’t be any trouble, I promise.”

“Oh!”  The strange Draenei brightened then, her smile broad and wide. “Of course!  You probably should not have me carry you, though.  I have been told my armor is uncomfortable.”  She shrugs. “I can, if you want.”

The little pandaran took one look at the frost-rimed armor, faint mist rising from its surface from the sheer cold within. “Uh.  That’s okay. I can walk.  What’s your name?  Mine’s Pho Lin.”

“Aunne.”

“That’s a funny name.”

“No it isn’t!”

“Yes it is.”

“no, it isn’t.”

“Yes it is.”

“no, it isn’t.”

Still arguing the two wandered toward the cave’s entrance.  It was interrupted for a moment as a mantid warrior erupted from the wall, mandibles clicking and screaming, a harsh sound akin to a saw binding in wood.  The Draenei absently raised her hand, closed her fist; cold crashed into the insect warror, condensed around him, crushed.  Frozen ichor tinkled to the ground in an oddly musical fashion, shattering on the stone.

“Is.”

“Isn’t.”

Author Aunne
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