Chapter 18:

Cruel Lush Lands

Vampire Lanterns

In the morning Demyan handed her over the clothes Adrik brought. She was perplexed about it. How? She looked at him with questioning eyes, but rather she stayed silent. It was a decent pretty dress with a coat. She was surprised.
The last time she wore one, she still was a kid. After taking it on behind a huge rock, she stepped out. Demyan's eyes were pleased by what he had seen. He smiled at her warmly. There was one more thing, which he needed to do and that was giving her the potion for healing.
Petrona refused, it is too precious and extremely expensive to waste it on her. Demyan just walked towards her, stuck it into her mouth and held her around the shoulders smiling, while she was gulping it.
She felt, how all the wounds and scars were disappearing at once and also her health was much better. They both decided to go to the Elf Town for shopping. She needed to buy the second spell, which was the protection one. In the Tree Town she managed to acquire the Fireworks with Fireflies spell, before they kidnapped her.
The next day she planned to go to the capital for the tracking spell and reunite again with Mirko. Despite all the troubles, they are still following the time frame, they needed. While walking, Demyan was wondering about those things aspired in the Tree Town. "Do you know, who the men, were who kidnapped you?"
Petrona stopped in her tracks. She nodded. "Those were Angelika's men." Furious Demyan swung towards her. "What?" Petrona sat down on a nearby bench and dipped her face into her palm recalling the day before.
"I was tied up and brought to a dungeon. She was there as well. The elf prince came and they made a deal over me. She claimed, that I was just an ungrateful slave, who she wanted to get rid of and also they could do whatever with me.
She punched and kicked me a few times before and then disappeared in the portal. I was mortified, I know, what kind of rumors surrounding Prince Jegor. He is a lustful, sadistic prince, who has a huge harem of women, which most of them were crippled by him."

Demyan didn't expect such information. The elf race fell in his eyes even more. He hugged Petrona. Today she was back, to be herself and pushed him gently away. "I am grateful for your sympathy, but I don't need anything more, your Highness."
Demyan was upset by this setback, but he respected her and didn't try anything else. Petrona stood up and wanted to continue on their journey. Both of them wore hoods and long coats, because the elf soldiers were searching for them. The elf king Rolan got wind of, what happened the day before to his son, so he sent out his men to arrest the perpetrators.
Petrona and Yan needed to be careful not to land in their hands. They were good in covering and nobody was suspicious.
Even some rumor mill made them smile. People heard about the commotion at the castle yesterday evening and praised the stranger for standing up for a woman. Everybody was fed up with the young prince's behavior towards women.
Demyan wanted to be done, as soon, as possible in the Elf Town. Too much hiding and stress for him. One more stop and they would head towards the capital for the next day shopping. On their way, they stopped in a small village, where they would spend the night.
Demyan was looking around, because something was peeking his interest, something strange. He couldn't pinpoint, what was throwing him off, about this village. Petrona knew right away, because they were staying at a village full of hybrids.
Petrona smiled at his curiosity "You know, this is a hybrid village? When you observe the people here, you will notice, they are similar and still different. Most of them are unique, because their mixed blood expresses the features and powers of their parents."
Demyan was amazed. In Waste Lands hybrids do exist, but it's very rare. Most of them are mixed with demons. Now he could see a bunch of weird-looking people, with some huge power.
Finally, they were staying at an Inn with two rooms. Demyan was still overprotective, but Petrona was even more stubborn. He couldn't order her around this time, because he tried to improve their relationship. But still, they spent the evening over a cup of tea. "Even when the Lush Lands approve of hybrid couples, they still bear some stigma as well. I like to visit these places, because they always treat me well with respect. If I wouldn't need to work at the bulwark, I would settle down somewhere at this part of the Lush Lands"
Demyan looked to be relaxed and just listening to her, but he was still at high alert. He didn't want the last time to be repeated. He needs to keep Petrona as far away from Angelika, as possible.