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131 The Beast Tamer

    *****

    His eyes held a strange emotion in them; Terrence couldn't believe what he saw. His father, a man who lost the will to feel after the death of his son, now had different feelings displayed in his eyes.

    Terrence could sense the fear in them, at the same time hope, dread and pain. It wasn't because of the beasts, but fears of losing another child, hope that she would be alright, dread from the tragedy that happened before and pain from the lost that once was.

    He reached for his father's hand and gently patted it, twice. "Father, I know she would be alright. Avery is strong enough, nothing bad would happen to her."

    King Regin only nodded at his son's encouragement. That was what he could do now, hope and he held on to that as he waited.

    -----------

    ~Elven Forest~

    Astrid couldn't believe her ears, the Elven Princess. Was her fate set for doom since she was born? She wasn't scared to fight the princess but she didn't want it to come to a state where either one of them was killed.

    She needed to find her mother and the truth about the war and hopefully end it, it wouldn't help fighting the princess and getting her killed or injured.

    "So, the person that shot Jareth with the arrow was her," Astrid couldn't help but think.

    "If the princess is here, wouldn't that mean more soldiers?" She asked both of them.

    "Yes and more trouble. She is a beast tamer, all animals obey her call," Jareth informed them through the mind link.

    "That was why White-Fire went out of control. Well, I just have to try and reach out to the other animals and severe her hold on them."

    "It's not so simple Astrid, it worked for me because I am a celestial beast, that's why you could reach me. As for the others, it wouldn't be the same result."

    "Besides, the beasts wouldn't sit back and wait for you to try and help them, they would attack. Let's hope they do not kill you first, before you can severe the link."

    "Then what do we do? Kill the one who controls them?" Astrid asked. "We can't kill her, we shouldn't, even if it boils down to it."

    Astrid looked up and saw that the birds flew about in the air, like they were awaiting something, like a command.

    They needed to hurry and leave this place, but how far could they go if all the beasts were chasing and searching for them?

    She saw Jareth's face, his expression was somewhat worrying. She couldn't say exactly why, well their situation was worrying already, coupled with the fact that because of her, he had fought against his people and now, the princess has joined the fight.

    "I cannot allow him face her, he must not go against his princess, that may be the end for him. There would be no hiding if he was ever found out. He would be branded a traitor for the rest of his life. Besides, he doesn't know the real reason why am being chased. The elves know I am here; the danger level just rose up. I must let him go, now."

    It would be hard parting with him, but she was going to now or later, whether she liked it or not. She moved over to where he was and prepared herself for what was to come.

    He saw her approach, her face told of how sad and sorry she was, but what for? He couldn't figure it out.

    "Jareth, this is getting out of hand."

    "Astrid, we can handle it. We are almost there."

    "I cannot allow you to go further with us or even join in the fight. You've risked so much for me already; I cannot allow you risk any more. If she finds out an elf is helping me, you would be wanted by your people and it's not worth the risk."

    "Astrid, it is my decision. You cannot face her and this onslaught of beasts alone. I would wear my hood over my head and try as much as possible not to reveal my face. It was my decision to ensure we take White-Fire back and I haven't completed that, I won't go back on my word, so I am not going anywhere."

    Is this him being noble or is he doing this because he is worried about her safety? Whichever one it was, she still couldn't let it happen.

    "White-Fire, help me persuade him. He cannot follow us." She turned to the beast, looking for support.

    "Wait a minute; if it's me they want, then everyone is in danger. I would let him take them back and be the diversion. They cannot suffer because of me. If I go, the wild beasts would chase after me and leave them be."

    She turned to face Jareth and cleared her throat. "Okay, you take them with you, Jareth. See to it that they get to the forest peak. I am the one who caused the power surge, it's me they want."

    "No, not happening. I won't have that Astrid. I also have a mission, which is to show you the way out of the forest."

    "Jareth, this isn't up for discussion. It's the only option I can think of to ensure you all are safe."

    "Astrid, we would do this together. You have protected my cub and I, now let me protect you," White-Fire whispered to her through their mind communication.

    "I cannot put you in harm's way, it's.... "

    She stopped speaking when they heard the melody. Her gaze shifted to White-Fire instantly, the beat was still sane.

    "I have blocked it out, I can't be controlled by her again."

    THUD!

    ROAR!

    GROWL!

    SCREECH!!

    The sounds of the different beasts echoes in the forest.

    "You have got to be kidding me," Astrid muttered as she looked up.

    The once confused birds all stopped and looked down at where they were. It was obvious they were coming for them.

    The earth shook beneath them, as the rumblings and noise from the other wild beasts drew closer.

    "This is bad, we have got to run!" Jareth yelled, he picked up the Little White Tiger-Phoenix beast in his arms, pulled Astrid with the other and ran ahead.

    White-Fire took the lead and ran forward with them following behind. As they took to their heels, the wild  birds flew down, heading straight for them.
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