November 1st, 989, BE10MThe duo walked deeper into the forest, occasionally glimpsing a sprig or two of moonsilver in the perpetual darkness that had fallen with night. They followed this trail for some time before they finally, just past the clearing ahead of them, heard the sound of a waterfall. They walked past the bushes and foliage in front of them and came forward to behold a beautiful sight. Sprigs of blue-glowing moonsilver seemed to spring up all around the waterfall and even from upon the cliffs on either side of it. With a small bladed knife, the duo went around, carefully and gently. No matter how careful he cut the plant, it didn't stop Akira from wincing everytime he cut one.
Finally, his curiosity got the better of him and he asked half-jokingly and half teasingly with an eyebrow raised, "Why do you flinch when I cut these plants?" In a similar manner, but with an edge of hurt and caring in her voice she retorted, "These plants are rare and not native to Espera! Of course I care!" Despite her somewhat angry reply, she blushed slightly. Incredulous and humoured by her take on his question, he repeated, struggling not to laugh, "You like plants?" This time, even Akira could not answer this and they both started laughing uncontrollably. She stopped first and then still laughing, but somewhat serious, jokingly punched him in the arm and exclaimed, "Anzai!" They'd finished collecting the exotic herb and were following their footsteps back to Sorin and Omerel when the sounds of thunderous footsteps and snarls pierced the forest's silence. In unison, they both exclaimed: "Sorin!" and with that, dashed backed at a speed that was impossible to achieve by a normal human.However, when they reached the spot where they'd left the elf and Sorin, they were gone. The ground was covered and trampled with footsteps, not those of either of the two, but one they recognized, one they'd seen at Golodward. "Shadows." Anzai darkly muttered as they drew their weapons. The Shadows stepped out of the trees and as they advanced on the two of them, something unexpected happened. Just as the first Shadow was preparing to bring it's blade down on Akira's, an arrow pierced it's helmet and it collapsed, dead. Before both Anzai and even Akira could process what had happened, a strong female voice cried out: "Hunters! Forward!" With piercing battle cries, female warriors burst out of the forest and charged at the Shadows. With flawless accuracy, they brought down Shadows with their bows, not even needing to focus on jumping over branches and vault over logs as they ran. Whatever Shadows were finished off by the hunters, who were also armed with long hunting knives. The leader, a tall young woman in her early 20's, with stormy metallic-blue eyes and the physical features of a strong warrior, ordered her warriors to surround Anzai and Akira. The leader of the huntresses, walked into the centre of the circle that her warriors had formed around the two and spoke harshly, "Speak quickly, or perish!" What a hasty lot they are, thought Anzai. He stepped forward and showed the brand of Alta on his forearm and said a little irratedly: "We're-" "Praelect, I can see that and the fact that you are on our side. We are the Huntresses of the Ishvalan forest. My name is Ishtar, but let us speak in private. There are many unfriendly eyes and ears despite our close watch."
They followed the huntresses and Ishtar through the forest to what looked like tree houses. However, the houses were intricately designed, seeming to fit in and blend in with the trees. Each house had a silver-grey rope that seemed to be invisible, somewhat fluid in motion. "Wow. What an impressive sight." Anzai thought to himself as he stared at the sight, dumbfounded at its