Chapter Four  -|| A Fool's Game
                      Silent Infinity

Davotai walked out of the tavern and into the early morning light of the street. Squinting a little he scanned the area before he headed towards the outskirts of town, away from the sun. Shadow followed behind him, stopping momentarily to sit and scratch his ear.

"Well pup.." Davotai spoke to the canine like one would a close friend. "What do you think about visiting Jade?" Shadow barked happily at the suggestion, approving the idea with enthusiasm.

"It has been a while since we saw her last." The samurai walked with a steady pace as they exited civilization and were back out on the main road. "I have been worried about her, but perhaps I worry to much." Shadow once again barked, as if agreeing.

"Yes, I suppose I do." Davotai sighed and looked at the road that stretched out ahead of them. "She is very capable of taking care of herself, and I suppose she does have that," He paused and tried to keep the contempt out of his voice. "That... William. fellow to keep an eye on her." As Davotai spoke the name Shadow let out a low growl.

"Let her decide who she entertains." He sighed again and looked up at the cloudless sky. "She's a smart girl and a good judge of character. Perhaps we are the ones who are wrong this time." He scratched Shadow's head as they walked on and for a while continued in silence.

The day was going to be warm, as always, but there seemed to be an easy north wind blowing through which would make the afternoon more tolerable for travelers. The tall grass swayed as the breeze passed through and, other then the occasional bird, was pretty much the only sound in the area.

The shadow of a half-grown tree cast its shadow along the side of the road. Shadow glanced over at the inky blackness and let out a low growl. Davotai turned his attention in the direction his companion was growling at. "Someone's trying to sneak up on us, eh boy?"

Davotai could feel the energy coming from the shadow just as well as his wolf could. It was a dark energy, one that gave off a cold aura easily recognized by someone as well trained as he. He unsheathed the sword from his back, which was glowing ever so slightly.

"Please, refrain from getting so excited over little 'ole me." Witty said as he slowly faded into existence wearing his trademark smile. "Really, I'm not that important.."

"Why are you following us?" Davotai questioned as he relaxed a bit. Witty seemed no more threat then a street magician who dabbled in dark arts.

"You have been to Nova, yes?" The Illusionist leaned a shoulder against the trunk of the tree casually, both hands kept in his pockets, and crossing his ankles. "I simply want to ask you a few things."

"Why would you want to ask about Nova?" Davotai replied with a slight smirk, putting his sword away. He didn't need it for a guy like this.

"For the safety of my companion and I."

"You need not worry about your safety in Nova.." The samurai turned and started to walk again, he didn't like consorting with those who dabbled in the darker arts. "It's one of the few safe places left on this world."

"Really now?" Witty straitened up, kept his hands in his pockets, and followed Davotai with his eyes. "That's funny.. I could have sworn I heard something about a pair of Vampires."

Davotai stopped in his tracks. A pair of Vampires? Last time he had checked William was the only one.. if there were two then that could only mean that his friend had been..

"You must be mistaken, my friend." He turned to face Witty, and spoke in a very serious tone. "You must have heard a far fetched rumor. Vampires do not dwell in Nova."

"Funny, I heard a couple of people in town talking about it." Witty said acting like he wanted to believe Davotai. "It seems the small village very few used to know of is now becoming quite popular in gossip. News has been traveling and has just now reached this part of the country, and it seems Nova fell victim to the hand of a Necromancer. All sorts of strange things happening around there.."

Davotai stood in silence for a moment, taking these things in. He didn't know what to think. If Shadow hadn't nudged his hand he probably would have stood there a lot longer too.

"How long ago were these things supposed to have started happening?"

"About two months ago. Though, from what I've heard they stopped, rather suddenly, about a month after they started. It seems that a young woman who lived outside the village had been seen with a Vampire several times previous to this starting. But, now that the two have disappeared, the problems seemed to have stopped."

"Disappeared?" Davotai sounded startled, he was now sure that Witty was talking about his friend. Even Shadow tilted his head and perked up his ears at this news.

"Yes.." Witty shook his head slowly, his voice low and serious. "Sad really, people getting involved with such characters as Vampires. The two probably got what they deserved in the end, a Hunter probably tracked them both down." His face quickly changed into his strange grin again. "Oh well, since you do not know anything I shall be going."

"Wait," Davotai grabbed a hold of Witty's arm before he could disappear.

Witty yelped and yanked his arm back, putting a hand over the area where Davotai's hand had touched. A small wisp of smoke floated up from the area. "You should not lay hands on people you do not know." Witty's eyes narrowed a little as he looked at the hand shaped burn that went strait through his sleeve and to his arm.

Davotai seemed rather startled by what had just taken place. As far as he remembered he had know ability to burn someone by touching them. "What sort of demon are you?" He asked Witty cautiously, his mind immediately jumping to the most logical conclusion.

"I am not a demon, M'lord." Witty stated firmly. "And even if I were I do not think it any business of yours what kind."

"You're hurt by those with healing powers aren't you?" Davotai continued. "A simple touch can burn a hole through your body." He had dealt with demons before and this often was the case with them. He had used many a healing spell to destroy such creatures.

"Does it make a difference?" Witty tried to shake off his own serious state and fall into his whimsical one again. "If I did not know better, M'lord, I'd say you had some sort of relation to one of those heathen creatures in Nova. 'Tiz not the girl I hope. Only a wicked women would mingle with the likes of Vampires."

Davotai's mind snapped back to the real issue, and his temper flared. "I would hardly call one wicked for being in the company of a Vampire-"

"You are a Paladin, are you not?" Witty cut him off. "Since when do Paladins side with Vampires?"

Davotai started to say something then stopped. A Paladin was a holy warrior, one who upheld and defended the Light. One who destroyed dark forces wherever they were. He started to speak but was cut off before he began.

"And since when do Paladins hold conversations with those like me? Do you trust me, Paladin? What I say? The words that come from my mouth? How can you?" If Katrin had been there she would have seen Witty's game coming. He was toying with Davotai. He knew that the samurai was worried about his friend. He also knew that Davotai was struggling with the conflict that had plagued him since his friend had begun to see the Vampire. He would have hunted and struck the creature down if it had not been for her pleading with him not too. "I wonder what services the young woman offered you in exchange for not killing him." Witty finished suggestively, and got the exact response he had wanted.

"Jade is as pure a young woman as any." Davotai's sword was drawn in an instant and his eyes flared. "She would never do anything of the sort! That Vampire has her under some spell if she played any part in the events of which you speak."

"Alright, calm down M'lord." Witty grinned taking a small step away from the angered man. Shadow gave a low growl at him that told Witty he'd better not try anything. "I am sorry, I should not speak of things I do not know."

"Yeah, and you damn well better remember that too." Davotai gritted his teeth. At first he really didn't mind the guy, but now he down right hated him. It was easy to get on Davotai's bad side, and it was harder the anything to get back in his good favors. "I don't believe one word out of that filthy mouth of yours. In fact I think I should cut you in half for spreading such lies about Nova." He swung his sword at Witty with every intent on doing what he said.

Witty smiled and faded into the shadow just as Davotai's sword cut through the air. The samurai cursed as his blade hit the tree instead, cutting nearly through it. "Damn!" He yelled yanking the blade free. After a moment of stamping around and muttering, he and Shadow began to walk again.

The very possibility that what Witty said could be true bothered him deeply. If they were though wouldn't he have heard about it before now? He had been keeping to himself a lot more then usual the past few weeks; maybe he missed someone talking of it. No, it wasn't possible. No one spoke of Nova; he would have surely caught that out of any conversation. But what if he hadn't? What if Jade was really in trouble or worse?

Shadow walked silently by his master's side, letting the man's anger bubble down. The animal seemed to have a silent understanding with Davotai, as if they could read each other's thoughts. Now it was a time to be silent, for Davotai was to deep in thought to be bothered. So they walked silently as the sun rose higher in the sky. Davotai soon determined that they were going to Nova, and they weren't stopping until they got there.

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