Disclaimer: I own nothing Gundam or related to Gundam nor am I making any profit whatsoever from any of this; nor will I for the foreseeable future. This is done only for enjoyment of myself and fans of the series.

Also I tweaked a few things that I had planned on tweaking when I first started working on this story and fixed a format problem I had been having though you won't notice unless you've seen the original.

CHAPTER 1

Once There Were Five...

The other young knights in training and especially the highborn trainees, didn't like him, that much was obvious. But then Heero didn't much care as he sparred with his instructor, sweat dripping off his face as he parried and slashed low unexpectedly causing his instructor to hop/skip to avoid the slash. Concentrating, he was already well into his parry as his instructor made the accepted counter move. Not bad, he thought to himself with the moderate success of his technique.

Things had changed drastically in the few months Heero had been under Sir Demeral's keep. For the better in Heero's private opinion though he wasn't inclined to let on to anyone that it made a difference. He suspected Sir Demeral might know anyway; the man was keen and missed very little. He was also just about the only one that had Heero's total respect which was not an easy thing to accomplish.

Heero had been left to fend for himself since he was very young, only traveling in recent years with an assassin who had picked Heero up to make a cover for himself.

The man had been a detached, unemotional person and a demanding taskmaster but he'd eventually started to teach Heero many of the tricks of his trade for some reason known only to himself. He also had, for the most part, treated Heero fairly. So when the man had disappeared on his last job, Heero had gone hunting after him having nothing better to do.

Lowe had been in a strange mood the last day Heero had seen him. Lowe had stopped briefly before going to tell Heero that if anything happened to him, Heero was to take Lowe's ring to such and such a person on a certain street.

Heero had seen the ring a few times, worn not on Lowe's hand but tucked under his shirt on a simple chain. Made of silver, it was carved with a curious design reminiscent of a serpent holding a goblet with a cobalt Vinyx gem for the serpent's eye.

Lowe had dropped it, chain and all, into Heero's outstretched palm and a chill had made its way up Heero's spine as though he'd just faced into a cold wind. He never said a word; indeed, he had no idea why it had such an effect on him and blamed it on his bad feeling about this job. It turned out he was right. Lowe had left and never came back.

Later, when he'd discovered that Lowe's last job had been the secretary of an important Foreign Minister, he'd been puzzled. Lowe had always refused high profile marks preferring to stay relatively small and unimportant in his line of work. It wasn't that he wasn't good at what he did or that he was afraid of making enemies; in his line of work you always made plenty.

But for reasons known only to himself, Lowe simply chose not to get into the big game. As a result, Lowe had not only outlasted many but also amassed a modest amount of wealth at the same time.

Venturing into the building housing Lowe's target had been a mistake but Heero hadn't expected the Foreign Minister's secretary to take one look at him and go for the dagger on the wall. The rest had been pure self preservation.

He'd thought he'd had it when the guards came pouring into the room, pulling them apart with the Foreign Minister's secretary proclaiming loudly every inch of the way of the boy's intent to kill him.

In Heero's experience, that should have been it. No one would take a street rat's word over a known and respected man's proclamation.

When roughly asked what his business in the building had been, Heero had said only that if he'd meant to kill the Foreign Minister's secretary, he'd of chosen a more efficient way to do so and the man would be dead.

Beyond that, he'd given them nothing but his name which meant nothing to anyone. He'd been interrogated of course but his stubbornness and determination was becoming legendary amongst the people, knights and courtiers alike.

The matter had come before the King due to the youth of the accused but when the King tried to question the boy, the only fresh information Heero Yuy had given forth was that due to the height at which the dagger was kept it was highly unlikely that he'd have gone for the dagger first considering that there had been a perfectly usable letter opener on the desk and at any rate he'd been doing fine with just his hands and feet as was obvious to anyone who'd had a good look at the Foreign Minister's secretary lately.

The last had actually caused the King's mouth to twitch before quickly hiding any trace of the amusement that threatened his kingly composure.

Still, the Foreign Minister's secretary had given good service for many years and the King had been on the verge of pronouncing sentence when one of his oldest and most trusted knights had leaned forward and whispered in his ear. The King had paused to give due thought to what his advisor had said and then acted upon it although somewhat dubiously.

Still, Sir Demeral was steadfast, a keen judge of character and situations, as long as they didn't involve ladies to which he seemed allergic, and totally loyal to his King who had long made it his practice to listen to his Knight Protector's opinions.

Thus it was that Heero had been put under that very knight's care on the chance that the boy's gift, then unseen to everyone but Sir Demeral, could be put to good use.

If Lowe had been demanding, Sir Demeral was just as bad. Heero found him to be cold, tireless, a perfectionist with little patience for idiots and fools, demanding the same of those around him and yet the knight had on occasion shown a surprisingly just side to his character.

Sir Demeral found the boy to be sullen, smart and already knowledgeable in more forms of death dealing instruments and methods than was good for a boy his age. Still, even with his practiced and experienced eye it was hard to judge just how much the kid actually knew at first although it was plain the boy had many things to learn still.

It had taken just one sparring session, Heero against one of their top students, for Sir Demeral to place the boy under a private tutor of his own choosing even occasionally taking a hand in the boy's training himself. Such sessions had given them a mutual respect for each other.

Sir Demeral for the raw talent the boy possessed and Heero for Sir Demeral being the only one to not only consistently stay a step ahead of him but the uncanny ability to teach Heero a lesson of some sort with every session; whether it was in keeping your temper or just plain dirty fighting. Sir Demeral wasn't the Knight Protector for nothing and he was very, very good at what he did.

All in all, as Heero slowly adjusted, and even thrived under Sir Demeral's care it became obvious to even the most die hard skeptics that Sir Demeral had seen something no one else had and the King's decision to trust his Knight Protector's intuition was once more lauded as just another success of their King's rule.

A year later Heero had improved so much he could not only match Sir Demeral weapon for weapon consistently but had been entrusted the safety of the Princess, again on the suggestion of Sir Demeral.

The King had been reluctant at that particular suggestion but Sir Demeral had pointed out that the Princess could use a bodyguard closer to her age and if it worked out like he proposed, it would be the very thing to secure Heero's loyal service to the throne beyond that which money and the call of duty alone could provide.

The Princess was a sweet girl with feisty side to her that was buried deeply under a Lady of the Court's protocol and perhaps the boy Heero's street cynicism against the Princess' spirit and gentle faith would serve to balance them both out.

In the end the King had reluctantly decided that since he'd supported Sir Demeral from the beginning and that every assessment Sir Demeral had made of the youth Heero Yuy had been proven accurate so far, it would behoove him to make the necessary arrangements with a few safety precautions added to be sure of course.

Thus it was that a very bored Heero was now escorting the Princess through the market place on an 'undercover' mission to mingle with the common people and have some fun shopping while she was at it. That is, fun for her. Not so for poor Heero.

Heero sighed gustily to himself. How in the world had he managed to get stuck babysitting the princess? He could be doing any number of things vastly more preferable like practicing his swordsmanship. He had yet to best Sir Demeral's sword and knife Slashing Brokka technique, or he could be brushing his horse, or... Heero's train of thought was rudely interrupted by a commotion rapidly traveling their way.

Conscious of his duty, he grabbed for the Princess but before he could latch onto her arm she'd slipped beyond his reach and out of the potion kiosk, excitable curiosity lighting her face.

"Princess!" Heero yelled in annoyance lunging after her. He was too late. A flash of black plowed into the both of them as the Princess had accidentally moved into the thief's path. And thief was what she/he was, as a rather heavy purse was tightly clutched in one hand even as the three of them went down in a tangle of limbs.

Unfortunately, Heero was on the bottom of the human pile being the last one out of the kiosk so he was unable to do much as the thief very nimbly recovered with a tumbling roll and without missing a beat took off again.

Shoving the Princess into the arms of the shocked and stunned Elite Guard who was supposedly undercover as Princess Relena's Royal Driver and who had managed to fool Heero all of minute. Heero wasn't stupid and was keenly aware of the general mistrust towards himself and the politics of what was going on; in fact he'd rather expected someone would be keeping an eye on him. All in all it mattered very little to him. He had no patience for politics it was true but too many people mistook that intolerance for ignorance or stupidity and he was neither. However, it suited him fine to allow people to underestimate him and underestimate him most of them did.

Heero took off in fast pursuit of the youth in black with the long chestnut braid and soon passed the two City Guardsmen who had been chasing the youth.

Heero had never met anyone he couldn't beat or at the very least match in speed; it was an advantage he took often and ruthlessly. And he had lived on the street long enough before coming to the castle that he was as knowledgeable as anyone when it came to likely escape routes although it had been a while since he'd put such skills into practice.

To his surprised annoyance the youth in black was not only staying ahead of him but taunting him, turning nimbly in mid flight to flaunt the necklace he'd pulled from the Princess' neck in mid tumble. Soon after that, Heero lost the youth in spite of himself amid the growing crowd of people that traveled the trade center of the city. Heero spent the next three hours hunting the youth in a cold fury at the humiliation of losing the thief but he eventually had to admit that this round had gone to the fleet youth.

His day went from bad to worse as he returned to the castle minus the necklace and the Princess who hadn't waited for him. He'd had to sit through a blistering lecture from Sir Demeral and the King who didn't take kindly to the abandonment of his daughter and with not even a recovered necklace to show for the trouble.

Demoted to stable duty and forbidden arms practice for a week with a few other minor unpleasantries added onto his punishment not to mention the mocking of his highborn peers who never lost a chance to impress upon him their differences of station, Heero furiously fixed the memory of a cocky thief in his mind and with every stab of the stable fork pictured himself cutting the thief with the mocking grin and long braided hair to pieces… slowly of course.

GWGWGW

Elsewhere in the city, said thief was grinning widely to himself in the smoky, dim lit back room of the shabby Sleepy Shal'aas Inn going through his loot.

He was known as Shin to most people, or to a choice few as Duo Maxwell and he was well known to the local underground as being the best thief in that section of the city. In all actuality, he was probably the best of them ever.

The Thieves' Guild had tried more than once to curtail his activities after he had refused every offer they'd ever made, preferring instead to work alone.

After he'd refused their offers, they'd tried sending enforcers after him. They had yet to succeed. The few times they'd actually managed to pin him down, the Guild's enforcers had mysteriously been dumped at the Guild's HQ unconscious and badly beaten or they had just plain disappeared. It seemed to make no difference if magic was used or weaponry, double dealing, trickery or the likes. He seemed able to avoid every trap they set and to see past any deception planned to snag him... or so it was said.

To listen to the poor enforcer's stories, they'd been set upon by a gang of madmen or ogres or the like. Anyone who was knowledgeable and brave enough to ask Duo Maxwell about it was told without fail to go ask Shin the thief. No one had ever had Shin pinned down long enough to get an answer.

Today had been a good haul for Shin, Duo mused as he rifled through his last pilfered bag of money and other negotiable goods. Then, an absent thought struck him.

Hefting the bag of money in one hand, he pulled out the necklace he'd lifted on impulse during his crash with the highborn young lady and her bodyguard with the other. He hadn't bothered to check it out yet, a lady of her stature wouldn't be carrying junk around and the way that bodyguard had chased after him made him think it was precious indeed.

Duo laughed to himself at the memory of the young soldier. He sobered just a bit as he followed the memory to its conclusion. In reality, that young soldier made him slightly uneasy. He'd had a hard time shaking that one off his tail. The young man had been fast and he seemed to know where to look. And if he'd been mad before, he'd been deadly furious when Shin, as Duo preferred to be called when he was 'working', had taunted him by swinging the necklace around his finger and pulling his mouth down at the corner with his other hand without missing a step. That one could be trouble.

Shrugging the feeling off, Duo held the stolen jewelry up to the light to look at it, as the silver pendent in the shape of a wolf howling at the moon with an unusually brilliant violet colored Lekkan gem in its eye that resided at the base of his own neck glowed slightly with an inner light in response to its master's mood.

A scowl started to spread across his face and bringing it closer to his eyes didn't help. At last he threw the necklace down in frustrated irritation.

Yes, the rather simple chain was worth something. It was solid silver inlaid with golden highlights in the shape of a rearing unicorn with a clouded yellow/gold colored Chemite gem for its horn, golden hooves and a golden eye.

A very pretty piece... and hardly rare or unique enough to warrant the risk he'd taken in spite of the Chemite gem. Chemite's were fairly common and while it was a high grade of Chemite it was certainly wasn't worth drawing undue attention to himself over.

Scowling, he turned the unicorn over and swallowed hard. Duo was rare in that he could read and read well. And the writing on the back was that of the Crown Prince Milliardo to his sister the Royal Princess Relena.

That hadn't been just another highborn lady. That had been Princess Relena which made the young soldier who had pursued Duo the buzz of the city, Heero Yuy, the young genius swordsman and protégée of Sir Demeral himself. Shin had outdone himself this time. He had a feeling Heero had a very good, very long memory when it came to certain things like public humiliation…

The gem at the base of Duo's throat flared, reflecting eerily off his own unusual violet eyes but he was so used to its changing of moods that he paid not a bit of attention to its light or the fact that its flares seemed to be also reacting to the necklace he'd held up to see better.

Ah, well, Duo sighed to himself as he started separating the loot, part of which he kept for himself, part of which inevitably found itself mysteriously dropped into the donation box at a small local orphanage; a carefully kept secret of Shin's. The appearance of strength was important to survival and he had no inclination to be laughed out of town or of making certain people precious to him targets of the Thieves Guild's revenge on himself for flouting them.

He paused for a moment as something seemed to tickle the back of his brain and caused him to inadvertently look towards the west as if someone had called his name. After a long moment he shrugged it off and went back to his loot. Whatever it was, it had gone that fast.

Elsewhere a young blond mage prince stirred in his sleep, a young dragon paused for a bare second in mid wing beat to look towards the west and one more slept peacefully in his solitude... well, as peaceful as he ever slept; superbly undisturbed by the ripples of fate and magic.

GWGWGW

Still elsewhere, a dark figure stirred restlessly on his black throne and scratched restlessly at his arm. His right arm was normal but the left showed the scales and angry flesh reflecting the progress of the dark entity who was slowly making his body its own. The dark figure stirred again, sluggishly. So tired, he was so tired of fighting...

A crooning voice seemed to echo in his head. It seemed to be saying that it was alright to give in, alright to let go, everything would be so much simpler if he just gave in... he jerked upright in his chair and took a fresh grip on the dimly seen broadsword on his lap; only one thought in his slightly fevered mind.

Clavoran would not succeed, would not win out over his own human will but even as he formed the thought, his consciousness grayed out as it did so often now days.

Soon the dark chair was empty with an ominousness that bespoke ill on anything that got in his way. Clavoran was hungry tonight and tonight was the night of the full moon when Clavoran was at its peak of power. Evil was prowling the streets tonight and anyone unfortunate to be caught out in it would vanish. Then Clavoran would rest again until it was strong enough, until it was powerful enough that it could take its revenge. And until the last vestiges of will from the man who thought he was strong enough to control Clavoran had been buried.

This human would pose no problem for Clavoran then. The human was little more than a puppet now.

GWGWGW

"Where is that young scamp now?" roared the frustrated and angry voice of the Heshiir of Ravanna scattering any servants within hearing distance.

They all knew what had happened. The young Prince Quatre would be missing yet again from his diplomatic studies. He would vanish on a fairly regular basis and all the servants had learned it was best not to get caught close to the Heshiir when he was raging about and the Heshiir and Prince Quatre seemed to be going at it more and more these days.

Everyone knew Prince Quatre would rather roam about amongst the people and rumors had circulated about the Prince actually getting his hands dirty on occasion like when the poor widow who lived in the south quarter had injured her back. It had been rumored that Prince Quatre himself had delivered food and had even gone to fetch water at the public well.

And then there was the time when he'd actually caught a thief trying to pickpocket him and instead of turning the young girl over to the city guard, he'd treated her to a full course meal and arranged for work at the castle where she'd been ever since.

There had been exasperation and doubts at first with this tendency of the young prince's but when it was discovered that the young prince wasgifted with latent Mage talent that gave him an unerring sense of people, those that knew him best learned to trust that talent and the young boy that wielded it. Indeed, he was well loved amongst those who knew him best and with his unusually fair blond hair, brilliant sky blue eyes, delicately refined face and of course his station, he was constantly politely refusing all sorts of marriage offers which were yet another thing that set him and his father, the Heshiir, at odds.

The Heshiir wanted his heir married and the succession secured and with 29 elder daughters and only one son, well... everyone knew the Heshiir loved his son but even the Elite Guard of Maguanacs politely ducked for cover when the two of them got going.

The Heshiir and Prince Quatre hadn't been getting along particularly well the last several weeks; it seemed as though the Heshiir was on edge and no one knew why. Whatever was triggering the Heshiir's temper, it seemed to find its focus on his wayward young heir.

Only Quatre's sisters seemed to remain unaffected by the Heshirr's temper. They were usually able to smooth things out between the two royals although today seemed to be the exception.

Quatre could hear his father raging even as he climbed up the corner bricks to his room. He'd been unable to stand another second of his tutor droning on and on about which countries preferred wine with their meals or vleador, whether you wore the robe with scarlet trim on state occasions or the one with the blue sash for military reviews, or whether you'd insult the Pladalin of Eshterin by offering to shake hands instead of the Kiss of Greeting... it was enough to make his head swim.

Usually he could refresh himself by roaming amongst the people sometimes with, sometimes without, his friend and guardian Rashiid but not today. That sense he got when amongst people, the one that told him whether they were in pain or fear, meant harm or were happy, was distant today and it made him feel jangled somehow and tense. Like something was disjointed. And the woven strands of gold around his neck that proclaimed his station and held the jewel of his birth, a Saphora gem, in the shape of a golden sun with a sky blue jeweled silver scimitar crossed with a Palmic branch, seemed almost hot at times.

Cautiously edging his way towards his window as he'd done many times before, he almost lost his grip when Rashiid suddenly poked his head out Quatre's window and looked directly at him coming nose to nose with the startled boy.

Quickly grabbing Quatre's nearest wrist to steady the startled boy, Rashiid hurriedly urged the boy in.

"Hurry my Prince. Your father is in a fine mettle and is demanding to see you at once." he coaxed the boy even as Quatre tumbled into his room. Quatre looked up at Rashiid sullenly.

"What is it this time? Another marriage proposal? Skipping out on lessons again? Running around without a guard? Forgetting to wear my green gloves with my green cloak? All of the above? Sheesh, you'd think I was one of Father's crystal vendars instead of his heir." Quatre asked with vast sarcasm. Then he jumped as his father's voice sounded from his door.

"...and if you were, at least you wouldn't be wandering about when you should be learning your lessons. However I have something to discuss with you, my son, and you will hear me out!" the Hashiir commanded sternly.

Quatre stared. He'd never heard his father use that tone of voice on him before and while just moments ago, he'd been able to hear his father's voice from outside his room, now his father was stern and deadly quiet. Something was up and unfortunately his unmatured Mage sense seemed to have deserted him as it seemed to do so often at the worst possible of times.

Getting to his feet, he brushed himself off as he followed his father to their rear garden, wondering all the way. Change was in the air.

GWGWGW

Far away, amongst the highest range of mountains, the ruins of an old, forgotten stone palace smoked in the dying sun. Forgotten to all but the last and the few of the Dragons of Faroth, a black haired young man stood at the twisted, smoking ruins of the entrance and stared rigid in shock at the carnage and the bodies that lay strewn about.

Finally, his hands shaking and knees threatening to give way, he sank to his knees; face twisted in a silent anguish that refused to release itself in his voice, fists clenched in anguish and mounting fury. It had been purely accidental that he'd been gone when the ancient palace, the last home to the last of a dying race, had been attacked.

He'd been on kitchen duty again, having been caught once more fraternizing with the humans down below in the village at the base of the mountain and had gone on an errand for the cook, an elderly human woman who had apparently put the Ancient in her debt many years ago though that was only a rumor and Wufei had his doubts about the story.

It was true the Ancient treated her with respect which wasn't given to many but the woman was so old and frequently tottered about muttering under her breath until Wufei simply couldn't imagine it happening the way the stories said it had.

But now they were gone, he could tell. Not a Life Spark was left and what could possibly cause such complete destruction of an old and powerful race? Dragons, even old dragons, were not to be taken lightly. How was it he had been gone at such a crucial time? How was it only he was left? What was there left for him now? Yes, he'd been intrigued and maybe even a bit fond of the humans but as fascinating as their art of unarmed combat was (as opposed to the Dragon's reliance on magic even in combat) and the way they lived not just existed, they would still never be able to understand or cope with the urges that came with his blood. The ancient magic that flowed in his veins and demanded release. Who would teach him now?

For hours he crouched there as the sun set, numbness spreading over him until his shivers of anguish and shock turned into shivers of cold. That's where the villagers found him the next morning, the smoke of the carnage visible for miles. Wufei stayed a week with the humans and then he was gone. They never saw him again, innocently ignorant of the fact that if he had stayed one more week they would have faced the same terror and carnage as had the Dragon Clan of Faroth, last of the Dragons.

GWGWGW

In the Forest of Shadows, an emerald eyed boy was distracted as the silver amulet at the base of his neck in the shape of two teardrop shapes, one light, one dark with a dark green clouded Gabora gem in the middle that flared with a light of it's own.

It had been doing so off and on the last two weeks but today was the worst one yet, Nanashi thought as it seemed to grow hot to his skin. So hot, in fact, that Nanashi had broken off in the middle of his practice match with his mentor and teacher Shililiahashamrukisham to lift it gingerly off his shirt as it started to glow with a brilliance never seen before.

Shil, as he was known for the sake of the time it took to properly pronounce his whole name, lowered his own slender sword and moved forward to better see what was going on.

The Forest Elf was tall and slender, tanned of skin and with dark brown hair that turned to bleached pale blond the further it went, came to a halt a few feet from Nanashi as he attempted to fumble the thing off over his head.

"Don't." Shil said simply.

"What...?" Nanashi paused, his head turned away from the amulet and as far from it as he could get with it still around his neck.

"It's full of mage energy and yet it's not the jewel that is hot, it is merely reflecting your own inner mage talent young one. Perhaps this time, it is reflecting the full blooming of your talent. Come with me. We shall return to the village." Shil turned sheathing his sword in one fluid move and started unerringly towards his camp.

It took them three days to make it back to the Forest Village of Sellivale and during that time Nanashi alternated between a dazed euphoria that could almost have been drug induced and a full blown vomit-till-there's-nothing-left-and-then-heave-some-more illness.

It was not in Shil's Elven nature to show undue concern and especially not with this Child-With-No-Name who had come out of nowhere. Nevertheless, somewhere deep down inside there was this annoying voice that nagged at him until he managed to silence it firmly. He had no way of knowing about Nanashi but this was not normal for the Forest Folk's young ones when they came into the maturing of their talents.

The rest of the Forest Elves were even more detached in regards to Nanashi. They were not purposely cruel but the Forest of Shadows was not a kind place to outsiders and so there was little contact with any but their own kind and the occasional trader who ventured through.

Nanashi was not one of them and it was obvious in his human shaped ears and eyes that did not slant. However, deep at the bottom of Shil's long lived heart was an emotion that had he admitted such a thing was possible, could have been affection for this waif who had wandered into their village those short years ago.

At times, when he was in a reflective mood, Shil had wondered if it hadn't been for the amulet about the child's neck swirling with a dim reflection of magic, would they have taken the child in and would he have survived?

It had been close, many of the elders in favor of letting the Forest have this child of unknown origins to maintain their distance from the world of the humans until two of the elder magic users had discovered that they could not determine what magic it was or what it did. Even with their long lives and even longer memories this was unheard of.

Curiosity piqued, they had reluctantly left the child to his own devices and refrained from exiling him from the village. It had not been easy for the child Shil had finally dubbed Nanashi, he had been forced to fight for everything he had or needed and only until it was apparent that the child was too strong willed to die or lose to the Forest of Shadows had Shil finally appointed himself to make Nanashi useful.

The human Nanashi was slow as humans were known to be but the day Nanashi had actually fought his teacher to a standstill was the day Shil had taken a second look at the boy and acknowledged that the human had surpassed all their expectations.

A grudging respect had been Nanashi's hard earned reward and things had started to look better for the boy until now.

Shil looked worriedly at the boy as he heaved his guts out once more in the tree dwelling of the healer Til'Vash. The other two people in the tree house frowned impatiently as they waited for the boy to finish so they could get back to trying to analyze the gem and the boy's condition. The nausea was a permanent thing now, the euphoria vanishing altogether.

When their magicked young came into their full talent along with their maturity, they never got this sick. Being magically inclined as they were with even the weakest of them able to at least sense the moods of the Forest, they couldn't understand what was making Nanashi so sick. Shil, admittedly not the strongest in the use of magic, was getting impatient with the muttering of the two elders.

"Well... do you know anything more than you did five minutes ago?" he finally inquired sarcastically as Nanashi lay back with a groan and the two Shandas' and the Healer promptly started checking him over for the fourth time. The Healer looked up distractedly.

"One would almost think you were worried." Til'Vash teased gently as she straightened to her full height leaving the other two to continue.

"Do not imply that which you do not know... and what if I am?" Shil scowled grumpily.

"Hmm... that is a question I shall leave for later." Til'Vash replied lightly even as she looked at him more sharply.

"And what of my question... do you know what's happening?" he queried again.

Vilnalanish sighed as he straightened to look Shil in the eye.

"I'm sorry, perhaps it's his human constitution, perhaps it's something else. Whatever it is, it does not want to reveal its secrets. Perhaps a cooling spell is in order, Healer. If Nanashi were Elven he would be in a coma from a fever of this degree and perhaps it will help him cope with the maturing of his talent. His talent must be strong for it to react in this manner." Vilnalanish instructed her with the authority of his years.

The Healer nodded quickly and leaned over the boy, putting her hands on his forehead as he looked up at her with dim, fever glazed eyes of dark emerald green. His eyes had always fascinated her though she would never admit to having any such thoughts. Emerald eyes weren't unknown amongst elves and forest green was common but it was the blankness behind them that got her. It was like looking at a mirror.

After a moment the Healer frowned and straightened slowly to look at the two elders with as perplexed a look as anyone had ever seen on her face.

"What is it?" Shil asked instantly subconsciously squashing anything as inappropriate as alarm.

"If you don't mind Shanda Vilnalanish, Shanda Mlanan, would you please check me. I seem to have gotten it wrong." Til'Vash requested perplexedly. She hadn't gotten that spell wrong since she started her training.

They each in turn leaned over the boy and each in turn after a long moment of intense concentration straightened with similar looks on their faces.

Shil could take it no more. He leaned over and felt the boy's forehead himself. Healer he was not but if he tried hard he could usually sense the vibrant life force of the boy and whether all was well or not in a general way.

This time after a moment of intense concentration, all he felt was... nothing. He tried again, still nothing. He would have tried a third time but for the hand on his shoulder.

Looking up, he looked at the grave faces of the other three. Brows drawn together, he looked at the others silently asking with his eyes what he didn't with his voice.

"You will find nothing my friend." Til'Vash told him quietly.

"Why? What's going on?" Shil asked yet again.

"It's unheard of in this day and age but legend has it there was once a great warrior amongst the humans who was invincible to magic." Elder Mlanan told him gravely.

"From what has been passed down from generation to generation, who knows the truth of the matter. One says he wore a sacred ring of protection given to him from God, another says his will and mind were simply too strong to bow to such a thing, still others believe that he simply cloaked his own natural protective magic of chaos with secrecy and rumor. There was, however, one account that says that Kent of Belguar had within him a well of unquenchable thirst... that magic was simply absorbed within him. No more was said but I say this, the gem on his chest has gone silent and no spells or magic of ours is affecting him in any way. He is untouchable with magic." Elder Mlanan finished with a troubled face.

Shil glanced at the amulet and found that the gem had indeed gone quiet and still. Foreboding in his heart, he watched as the boy Nanashi finally slid into a troubled sleep. This would likely be the end of the boy's life with the Forest folk. They would see this... negative... magic by and large as threatening; Nanashi was just too good with a sword and knife and to be untouchable with magic as well... what would he, Shil, do then?