Story: Between Innocence and Resolve
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Join Date: May 2009
Location: Northrigde, California
IGN: Hekutaa / Yaripon / Flins
Guild: Mirage Coordinator
Chapter 9: Test
(Finally, we get to see Mirage members! I will add a "cast of characters" soon)
Flins and Shiro followed the uniformed man down the halls of the Lumisian base, the both of them struck in awe of its stalwart beauty. The three marched down a set of stairs, walking into a large, windowed hallway. The brilliant, white snow from outside lightly covered the windows, allowing the marble walls of the hallway glimmer with a heavenly glow.
"Whoa…" Flins said in pure awe. His eyes became absorbed in the subtle architecture of the building. Never in his lifetime has he seen such a bright hallway. His life in Roman always had a dreary tone to it: his parents always worked until nightfall, while he cared endlessly for his sister. Flins soon felt the new experience of freedom and a joyous feeling of admiration for the Lumisians. He yearned for the entire world to become this beautiful, and for once, he felt like he could. For once, he felt empowered.
The three continued across the bright hallway, then entered a gigantic courtyard, neatly trimmed rose hedges bordering the snow-covered field. Several warriors practiced their sword fighting skills on one another, practiced archery and sharpshooting, or other combat skills.
"Here is our training grounds." The uniformed guard accompanying the two said proudly.
A young lady practicing archery looked away from her straw target to rest momentarily. She looked towards the direction of Flins and Shiro, then looked at them with a small sense of curiosity. She jogged to them with alacrity, then greeted them.
"Hey, are these new recruits?" The young woman said in a Austrian accent.
"Why, yes, Ms. Roux." The guard said politely. "I trust you can deal with them?"
"Thank you." The sentry replied, walking away from the three.
"Well then," The young woman said, smiling at the two like they had been old friends. "My name is Linverse Roux, 2nd class, Order of the Pure Ram, but you can call me Lin."
Linverse wore a regalia of green vestments: A slim, light-green skirt flowed down below her knees, while she wore a matching blouse with dark-green patterns outlining her clothing. A simmering, cashmere cloth of forest green adorned her body, while her emerald- colored bow, the size of her stout, upright body, stood beside her . Her brown hair extended to her shoulders, slightly curling at the tips. A pair of bright-green ribbons adorned her hair from the back. Linverse had a sincere, gentile smile to her face while she looked in merriment at Flins and Shiro.
"Pleased to meet you!" She said kindly, holding out her right hand at the two.
"The pleasure is all mine." Yari replied in an amorous manner, shaking Lin's hand. "I am Yari Flins, and this is my friend, Shiro Iori."
Shiro, without saying a word, smiled slightly while he held his right arm up to his chest and nodded his head, a sign of peace between the Lumisians.
"The pleasantries aside, do you have any combat experience? We need to sort you into your strengths." Lin said, standing upright and speaking a professional manner.
"I can use a one-handed sword, and I am an okay shot with a one-handed pistol" Flins said modestly.
"I can only use one-handed swords and spears." Shiro said in his gruff, soft-spoken tone. "I'm not good with anything else, though."
"I see." Linverse nodded, mildly pleased with their weapon experience. She walked away from the two to a descending staircase from across the garden, saying, "Nonetheless, we still need you two to demonstrate your abilities. Follow me; I need to take you two to Sir Vith."
"Sir Vith?" Flins inquired, beguiled by the fearsome sound of the man's name.
"He's the 1st class Ram subsequently, my commanding officer."
"Our army places its warriors within 'ranks.'" Lin explained, "The Order of the Resolute Buffalo, led by Minit, specialize in sword fighting and close combat. The Order of the Stalking Raccoon, led by Séraphine Fairholm, act as our shield for others. The Order of the Pure Ram, led by Taro Kondo, focus on using our "Anima." The Order of the Proud Lion, led by the Late Nikolai Brodt, Use a combination of all of the aforementioned"
"Wait, what is 'anima?'" Shiro asked.
"'Magic, or so I'm told. The word 'anima' signifies that we use our soul to manifest into a weapon and attack our weapon. 'Anima' varies from person to person, and so does the main element the practitioner utilizes. I, for example, utilize the Anima of Earth. However, that does not limit me from using any other element, but I can use that element easier than, say fire. Additionally, Anima comes from the emotional will of the user and can be extremely destructive in the hands of the chaotic. For instance, a man named Hekutaa Ranković could mow down an entire army with just the flick of his wrist."
"How do you get that power?"
"Naturally, you are born with it, but one must call upon the gods to fully awaken it."
"And where do I go to awaken such strength?"
"I cannot tell you. One must take a rite of passage of our army, which includes a binding soul contract. Failure to adhere to the contract lead to death. Only one person broke the contract and lived, and that man handwrote the contract."
Lin fluffed her hair with her hands and regained her composure. With a smile on her face, she led the paid down the flight of steps and into a enclosed complex.
They entered the small room. A library with a collection books, chronicles, and lexicons stood on the left side of the room. On the right side, straw targets with impaled spears, arrows, and blades. Panels of lights hung at the ceiling of the room, emanating a dismal and somewhat frightening atmosphere.
She walked to the left of the room, passing by the rows upon rows of neatly filed tomes. A man clad in red clothing slid on a ladder attached to the rows, approaching Lin. The man stepped off, plucking a book off a nearby shelf and then jumped off the ladder in a flippant manner. He plucked a lorgnette from his maroon cassock, then squinted his eyes at the book's title. He nodded in contentment, then looked up at Linverse.
"Yes, Ms. Roux?" He said in a mature, mildly uninterested tone. "As you can plainly see, I am very close to perfecting my art; Should you need to find a book, just go through the index."
"I do not require any assistance in finding anything today, Sir Vith. But these two young lads must be sorted into their respective Orders."
"You know how I feel about me having to do your work, Linverse!" He spoke with growing irritation. "If you lack the capacity to properly sort your teammates-to-be, then work on it!"
"Fine." She said, scoffing. "Just be sure to check of my choices for these two are correct."
Vith grunted, already absorbed in the dusty tome he began to read. "Carry on." He grumbled, almost like he forgot what he argued about.
Lin sighed in annoyance, then gestured Flins and Shiro to the right side of the room. They entered a room filled with dummies and targets on the far end, and an assortment of weapons on a table close to the entrance. Lin took a small clipboard on the table, then flipped to an empty page titled "Weapons Mastery."
"Name?" She said in a robotic, bored tone.
"One at a time, please." She replied, looking up from the clipboard.
"I can go first." Flins spoke, eager to show his prowess and enthusiasm.
"Weapon preference?" Lin continued in her robotic tone.
"One-handed sword and one-handed pistol."
"Please strike the straw dummy."
"Right!" He said, drawing his sheathed short sword.. With great alacrity, he dashed to the dummy, then jumped into the air, using all of his weight to strike down on the mannequin. A fanfare of snapping twigs echoed throughout the room . Flins' strike caused the blade to cut trough four inches of the dummy. He lifted the sword, then jumped back to his original position.
"Impressive." Lin said, mildly uninterested. "Now fire three shots at the dummy with your pistol, please."
Flins nodded, sheathing his blade in exchange for his old, wooden pistol. He placed his left hand under his right arm to keep his arm balanced while he aimed.
A single shot missed the dummy, disappointed, Flins looked at Lin, who said nothing while she wrote. She finished writing Flins' performance, then read the next item on the application, saying "Bow usage."
"I can't use a bow." He replied, puzzled.
"We need to test out your dexterity with a bow. Now, you aren't that tall, are you?" Lin continued, examining his short stature.
"No, I am about 5 feet and 6 inches tall."
"Very well, then. Use a short bow. The same procedure with the pistol: just fire three bolts."
Flins approached the table filled with an assortment of weapons. He began to grow nervous: his hands trembled and his body shook while he chose a short bow, the size of his arm and three arrows. He even felt the sensation of perspiration on his forehead while his breath rate rose rapidly. Flins suddenly felt his heart pounding and his body twitching in unison.
Nevertheless, Flins placed two arrow bolts close to him, then readied his bow. He held the short bow in his left hand while his right arm pulled the string. His body shook violently in nervousness, making his aim very inaccurate. He fired a bolt.
It hit the target.
He let out a great sigh of relief while he picked up another bolt. He fired it again.
"One more to go!" Flins thought to himself. "I can do this!"
He picked up the final arrow next to him. He repeated the same aiming process again. He closed his eyes the second he released the bowstring.
Flins gave another sigh of relief, looking to Lin, who had an astonished look on her face. She wrote the results on the application.
"Astounding..!" She said, speechless. "The only person to completely pass that section was Minit! Even Vith scored only a single hit."
Flins smiled in triumph while Lin wrote on the last parts of the application.
"Great! Now all we need to check out is your running speed. Next?"
"I'll go." Shiro said.
"Shiro Iori. Preference: Spears and one-handed blades. Height, 5 feet, 11 inches."
"…Alright. Please strike the dummy next to the one Flins attacked." Lin said, writing all of his information on another paper.
Shiro looked ahead at his dummy, then sprinted toward it, making a quick, full-body turn and struck the dummy. A loud, singular crack echoed through the room. Half of the straw dummy fell from its stand.
"Astonishing. Please use a spear."
Shiro withdrew his weapon, then picked up a javelin from the table behind him. He held it over his head, twirled it once, then threw it. Half of the javelin hung between the dummy's torso.
"Quite the arm you have there; You could make a fair buffalo. Now, the moment of truth."
Shiro nodded, then picked a great bow from the table in arrogance.
"May I?" He asked Lin.
"Yes, you're tall enough."
Flins picked up an arrow from the table, then pulled the bowstring back with his left hand. His stood in his aiming pose, almost like a statue. He released his left hand.
Snap! Clink! Clank!
All three shots missed. Disappointed, Lin shook her head, writing the result.
"Well, from what I can tell," Lins said, looking at her results. "Flins is a perfect match for all of the Orders, but you, Shiro, may have to stay with either the Order of the buffalo or raccoon. All that this boils down to is your running drill. Talk to Vith, and give him this."
Lin gave the application sheets to the pair, then walked them back to the library, noticing Vith walking out of the basement.
"Vith!" Lin called. "I finished the weapons mastery section. Can you do the dexterity test for me, please?"
"Alright, then." He said reluctantly, taking the two applications from the two. He read their names from the paper, saying in an ironic jubilancy, "Let's go… Yari and Shiro!"
The four exited the dreary basement, feeling the cold, brisk Lumisian snowfall touching their warm heads.
Linverse walked away from the three, cheerfully yelling, "Good luck to the both of you! I'll be cheering for you!"
"Thanks!" Flins said back, smiling widely.
Shiro let out a modest smile, nodding his head in determination.
"Now, let's begin our little test!" Vith said with a tinge of excitement. "All you have to do is run from the entrance of the library, into the White hall, through the main hall, down the stairs of the guests quarters, then back. I'll be following you the entire time, so no cheating. Does that sound easy?"
"Yeah!" Flins replied.
Shiro nodded his head.
Aligned the two at the front of the hallway, beginning to float. Flins gaped in awe at Vith's abilities.
"How did you-"
"That's not important, kid." He shot back.
Flins and Shiro bent forward, ready to run with all of their strength.
Flins and Shiro shot from the ground, the doors flung open the moment the two began running. They dashed down the white hall, then into the large main hall. Flins, mildly distracted by all of the wondrous sights of the base slowed slightly. He shook his head to rid himself of his distractions, then continued running. They ran down the main hall, the floating Vith perusing them. Shiro took the lead as the two reached the spiral stair case down to the guest rooms.
In am attempt to take the lead once more, Flins slid down the railing of the staircase, much to Vith's surprise. Flins took the lead once more, rushed down the green, velvet lined hallway, touched the end of the hallway, kicked off the wall, then continued running.
Flins' lungs felt like they were about to burst in exhaustion. But driven by his thirst to protect those dear to him, he called upon a resolve to continue running. Shiro caught up with when they entered the white hall again. Flins and Shiro gave one more final sprint to the end of the hallway, the both of them diving into the light, fluffed snow outside.
Flins and Shiro lay on the ground, small flaked of snow touching their red faces. Shiro began to laugh in amusement, prompting Flins to laugh as well.
Vith looked down on Flins' face, a disappointed scowl on his face.
"Yari Flins, you are one crafty person." He said suddenly smiling in exaltation. "Sliding down the stair railing shows your clever mind, but your distaste for rules. Nevertheless, you have been chosen as a practitioner of the Order of the Proud Lion, while your friend, Shiro, will follow under the Order of the Resolute Buffalo."
"Did 'ya hear that, Shiro? We made it!" Flins said in pure euphoria.
"Not quite." Vith said, returning to his calm expression. "You still need to speak to Minit about this."
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Northrigde, California
IGN: Hekutaa / Yaripon / Flins
Guild: Mirage Coordinator
Chapter 10: A Scarlet Day
Yari Flins finally made it into the Lumisian army. But with his jubilation, one stinging question remained at the back of his mind: Why do all of this? He, however, did not care for such a stoic question and continued rejoicing.
"So what now?" He asked, still exhausted from his sprint.
"You train. But not with each other, but with your own Orders." Vith answered.
"Where do we go?" Flins replied.
"Rest. Nightfall will come shortly and tomorrow will be a long day for the two of you."
Vith walked past the two and back into the dark, dreary library. He stopped before he entered the door, looking back at the two in a somewhat friendly emotion, saying, "Oh, my name is Samael Vith. You can visit the library at any time."
Flins nodded his head, smiling. He saw Vith enter the library while the sky above Lumisade transformed into a dark pall over the radiating clouds of light.
Over the course of a single day, Yari Flins and Shirotakama Iori found themselves changing from seemingly dull, uninteresting adolescents into being a part of the strongest, most competitive military institution of Lumisade.
That night, the two feasted alongside their eventual teammates in the interior of the fortress. Everything seemed normal that evening, yet Flins still held that dark, isolated aberration within his euphoria: "Why?" He tried to keep himself occupied with talking to those around him about trivial matter while they ate contently.
Before long, Flins and Shiro found themselves in a small room consisting solely of beds. While Shiro fell fast asleep, Flins lay on his mattress, wide awake. Thoughts raced through his mind. His ears seemed to play back the sounds and conversations he heard while his eyes began to visualize the events amid the pitch black darkness. All of his thoughts seemed to converge at one question:
Even though Flins entered such a powerful army, his mind repelled him from war for so long. He remembered the shrill cry of his sister begging for the war to go away. His stomach twisted itself into knots while he bitterly remembered the day. He remembered Heku's chaotic powers and how he once thirsted for such strength. With every passing hour, Flins seemed to step closer to obtaining such power, but soon realized the cost of such might: He will turn into Heku.
The mere thought of him becoming like a cold, emotionless shell like Heku sent a bitter chill run down his spine. He could never see himself become so nihilistic, or so silent; He always had a happy, kind aura emanate from his personality. However, he desperately yearned to protect everything -and everyone- close to him.
Would his emotions be the cost for such strength? But without it, his will to live will disappear. Through the lack of emotion, he thought, nothing could warrant such strength.
Flins could feel his mind split into two separate into two goals: Either succumb to some newfound strength, liberate Frostig, and live his uneventful, dreary days until he died, or do nothing and wait for his reality to become annihilated.
All he could do for now, still fragile, dumpy, and hapless, is sleep.
By the cover of nightfall, Heku swiftly exited the velvet-lined hallways of the guest corridors. Cerise had not returned since day. Heku tried to not think of her, but the constant image of her face had seemingly burned into his eyelids and the sound of her gentile, tender timbre of her voice rang in his ears. As he ran down the hallways of the moonlit fortress, Heku's heart began to race for the first time in months.
What happened to her? He thought with urgency. Did she run away? Did she return to Vesisade to face the others?
He dashed down the main corridor but his legs felt weary. He had not slept for weeks, and the little nourishment he consumed during the feast earlier did not suffice. He found himself leaning on a marble pillar to catch his breath, using his obscured vision to see what lay ahead of him: A small lamp floating at the end of the white hallway, almost like a beckoning ghost calling out of Heku.
A sign? Heku lurched towards the will-of-the-wisp, hoping that Cerise would be the one to greet him. He mindlessly made a small tapping sound with his shoes, making the glowing, unmanned lantern undulate violently.
"Who's there?" A mature, stern voice barked.
"Hek- Just a guest of Minit Gaap."
The floating lantern approached Heku, revealing the face of Vith while the small flame of the lamp radiated a small orb of light. Vith looked into Heku's face, recognizing him completely. To Heku's curiosity, Vith nodded benevolently at Heku, as if he did not have such an infamous title to his name.
"What beguiles you to awaken from your slumber?" Vith inquired politely.
"I needed to think philosophically upon a subject." Heku answered with the same politeness as Vith.
"Thinking philosophically, you say? Then why not visit our library; we have the largest selections of treatises at our disposal." Vith said.
"I see." Heku said, mildly amused. "Can you take me there?"
Vith swiftly turned about, then walked to the end of the corridor in one fluid motion. Heku followed, desperately trying to find any sign of Cerise within the castle walls. Nevertheless, Heku and Vith entered the library.
"Here you are, Mr. Ranković: The library." Vith proudly boasted, handing Heku a lantern and a small book. He swiftly left Heku, almost like he knew him well. Such an attitude towards him confused Heku.
Why would anyone treat him so nicely, especially after what happened to their king, the shining beacon of the Lumisian's pride? He shrugged off his doubts and looked at the book that Vith handed him. He held it up to the lantern, noticing the worn, leather binding with the title "Anima: Part XXIV" in gold leaf. Curious, Heku opened the book.
The book had been filled to brim with strange incantations, archaic circles, and illustrations of the effects of every spell. Heku gaped in awe while he gazed at the handwritten text and sketches in the tome.
How can someone know of this?! He roared in his mind. Vaughn and the strength of the other gods should be a secret, but how can someone before Cerise and I still live?
Suddenly forgetting about Cerise's plight, Heku ventured into the library, running down a row of books labeled "Research-Anima." He scanned the contents of the looming, gigantic shelf completely covered with tomes and manuals to Heku's unexplainable power. For once, Heku felt a surge of empowerment to his abilities, instead of relying on his emotion for his immense prowess.
He continued to inspect the library's contents; He found literary works from some of the greatest minds of history: Descartes , Socrates, Karl Marx, Freud, and even Newton crowded the shelves of the library. He continued to trot down the library, noticing works of music compiled into an anthology from the lute to the piano.
For once, Heku could learn.
For once, Heku could let go of his binding chains of duty.
A swift sound of steps echoed throughout the small library. Heku stood back in precaution and spied Cerise from across the room. Heku could barely notice her, for she held a pile of ten thick books on her hands covering her face.
"Heku!" She said. "Have you seen this place? There's so many things we can learn from!"
"Yes, but where did you run off to earlier this morning?" He asked.
"I spent all day reading. In fact, they have one section devoted to -"
"Yes." Cerise replied, dropping her stack of books. "But how could such people even know of such things? I thought the gods disappeared from this world and only left us to continue their task."
"This conundrum concerns me." Heku said with resignation. "Perhaps we should learn and allow the cogs of time to push us. In fact, I feel that the Lumisian encapsulates a very frightening secret."
Heku looked at the book that Vith had given him. "For now, we must learn to control our abilities; Time churns against us, for true, yet one must not rush our task. If the gods waged war for 3000 years, then a couple of months should be completely insignificant."
Part One, Between the Barriers has ended.
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Northrigde, California
IGN: Hekutaa / Yaripon / Flins
Guild: Mirage Coordinator
Chapter 11: Another Winter's Morning
Two grueling months passed since Flins, Hekutaa, Cerise, and Shiro had been accepted with open arms to the Mirage's Parallel, the greatest Lumisian phalanx that eagerly awaited to topple the Vesisian kingdom. They sat in a small train car, departing for the small town of Außenwelt, the town Heku started his journey into Frostig three years ago, to some strange mission directed by Minit. Heku kept his eyes closed the entire ride, envisioning the day prior in his mind. Shiro and Flins mindlessly chattered at one end of the car. Heku blotted out the annoying, screeching of the train wheels against the track while his mind replayed yesterday's briefing.
"Now, remember, this mission will test your mental and physical abilities!" The voice of Minit replayed in Heku's mind.
With every passing day, Flins and Shiro tirelessly trained their strength. Shiro, being a practitioner of the Resolute Buffalo, honed his strength on using a blade whilst wielding a shield thrice his size and weight. Flins, part of the Proud Lion sect, enhanced his ability to fight with a large selection of weapons; from tiny throwing daggers and a short sword to the largest of rifles and the longest of blades.
Heku and Cerise relentlessly learned the secrets to their strength from reading the sea of information previously unknown to them. With time, Heku learned to control his caustic strength: He learned to manipulate and create objects with the simple thought of it. He no longer used his swords in combat, but only icy, ethereal fists and an innumerable repertoire of magic he summoned to trounce his opponents. Cerise, following a different path of strength, utilized orbs of fire that she summoned and glyphs to trap and incinerate her enemies.
The train came to an abrupt stop. Heku opened his eyes, half-awake. He scanned his surroundings: an ornate velvet-lined interior with lavish, leather seats. Heku stood up without saying a word, along with Cerise, Flins, and Shiro, and then exited the car.
The salty smell of the sea wafted into Heku's nostrils. He had not been here in over three months, when he last left Frostig after defeating Count Sanguine and saying his good-byes to his former teammate, Kalech. The bitter feeling nostalgia running up his spine consumed him while he watched small flakes of snow float gracefully down his eyes before the small, bustling city.
"So, what's the objective again?" Flins asked, beguiled by the small city's beauty.
"We have to find someone by the name of 'Aremi de Luca.' She would probably be near the ports." Shiro quickly answered.
He, unlike Flins, did not appear entranced by the purity of the town. He remained reserved and collected, folding his arms and standing tall. His short, fiery-red hair flowed with the wind's gentile breeze towards the harbor of Außenwelt as he looked out into the town before him.
"We should return promptly; I would rather expend time elsewhere." Heku grunted, walking into the town.
The four trekked into the calm, quaint merchant-city of Außenwelt. They walked down a row of vendors, their stalls completely filled with a variety of fruits, vegetables, and other foodstuffs. A small crowd of shoppers occupied the area and the faint sound of children laughing distance echoed into Heku's ears. Everything seemed as though the destructive effects of the war had not impacted the secluded village. The townsmen and women seemed completely content, even at the threat of conquest.
Would this be the portrayal of Heku's completed task? Would this be the kingdoms of Lumisade and Vesisade after the war? Even he did not know. He left paths of destruction in his wake and only brought fury and disgust towards him. He could not fathom how many years of reparations it would take should he completely decimate an entire kingdom to its foundation. Generations upon generations would rebuild the kingdom that Heku annihilated; What matters is which kingdom he destroys first, it seemed.
The group left the street filled with vendors and into the bustling wharf of the glimmering city. Sailors ran back and forth from their ships, carrying a collection of tuna, trout, and other seafood to the vendors. The tranquil smell of salt and the melodic sound of waves crashing against the island, along with Heku's bitter reminiscence grew with every passing step as they approached the harbor.
This town seemed unchanged after all this time.
Heku let a deep sigh of remorse, then immediately his feelings by asking, "We just need to find Aremi, right?"
"Correct, but where do we begin?" Cerise said.
Heku could not answer, nor did Flins and Shiro. The four seemed lost in a wild goose chase from the moment they entered Außenwelt: Minit seemed to make her directions too open-ended for the group to discern. Heku looked into the distance before him while Cerise and the others looked frantically for a clue to assist them.
"A thought occurs." Heku said abruptly.
"What is it?" The others asked at once.
"Think about it." Heku responded, his right arm directing the group's attention to the shipyard in front of them. "Most, if not all ships in this port consist of merchant vessels. If we could find one with the Lumisian seal-"
"We find Aremi." Shiro added.
"So where do we start? Do we split up?" Flins asked with growing irritation.
"No," Heku began to lecture. "Think: If we split up, we lose our chances of survivability if we correlate this to a combat exercise. However, should we stay within a tight group, we still live, yet at the lowered rate of efficiency. Survivability always trounces efficiency, Flins."
"Gah." Flins moaned in annoyance. "Looks like we have to start at the far end, then work our way to the opposite end."
"No you don't." A calm, feminine voice replied.
The four immediately turned towards the sound of the voice, drawing their weapons in precaution. They all seemed ready to strike at the woman, almost like they had no differentiation between a threat and a friend.
The woman that answered to Flins appeared as a stout, upright woman with a gentile, observant gaze from her soulful, sparkling emerald eyes. She had straight, jet-black hair that extended past her shoulders and curled at the tips of her hair. A Victorian dress in a shining shade of amber red extended to below her knees, while a loose, red blouse hung over her torso, with small gaps revealing a white undershirt. A confident, yet tender air surrounded her.
"I am not an enemy." She continued, "My name is Aremi de Luca. And you are…?"
Aremi nodded in acknowledgement. Her sudden appearance to the group seemed to concern her, for they gazed in an inauspicious manner. Heku cleared his throat to break the silence between them, asking, "So we found you. Now what?"
"I found a Lumisian ship, but I needed to wait for you four." She replied abruptly.
"Well, we all found each other; Let's go." Shiro said.
Aremi began to walk through the group, leading them past the chattering, lively sounds of the town's market and deeper into the wharf. The falling snow began to lessen, slowly being replaced with a dense, grey fog. At the edge of Außenwelt's port, a small ship rested under the undulating, icy waters of Frostig. The five approached the boat, spying an elderly man in a faded, green coat, sitting on the edge of the wharf, fishing.
The old man turned to face them when he heard the group's footsteps clanging upon the rotting wood of the wharf. He stroked his long beard in thought while he squinted his glassy, grey eyes, perhaps trying to recognize the group's faces, then stood up while he drew in his reel.
"Ah!" The old man wheezed. "It took you long enough! An hour longer and I would have died!"
The old man chuckled, plucking a stained cap from the floor. He smiled widely at the five, showing his rotten, misshapen teeth. He limped towards the small ship, rambling to himself. The five followed the old man into the tugboat, where he led them across the barnacle-infested deck. Opening a rusted door close to the ramp from where they entered, he cordially showed them a room with six cots. The room seemed to expel the foul stench of rotting fish while the lamp attached to the ceiling flickered violently.
"I hope Gaap knows what she's doin'." The elderly sailor coughed. "It ain't often that she sends people there."
He closed the door, mumbling incoherently while he shook his head. Tension began to grow in Flins' mind. His eyes strafed the room in nervousness while he and the others began to sit in a cot they claimed.
"What the hell is going on?!" Flins suddenly screamed.
"I do not know, yet I fear that something… something diabolical awaits us to where we depart to." Heku emptily replied.
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Northrigde, California
IGN: Hekutaa / Yaripon / Flins
Guild: Mirage Coordinator
Chapter 12: Vaughn
An hour of dead silence passed since the five entered the broken-down ship to a location they have not been informed of. A thick feeling of tension hung the group's heads. Heku constantly tapped his feet while he sat in the farthest corner of the room, unlike his statue-like position of sitting tall and crossing his arms in a meditative trance. Every sudden jerk or rock the ship encountered on its journey, Heku responded by summoning his weapons, almost like he dreaded his wayfaring travels.
The shop stopped. The five looked at each other's faces in grave concern, thinking the same question: Where are we?
The elderly captain's steps tapped loudly upon the oak floorboards of the ship. Within moments, he came into view from the small, gritty mirror on the room's window. He knocked twice, capturing the attention of the five. He opened the door, saying with a ironic, lively tone, "Meandering Isle, population: you." He cocked his head swiftly while he extended his arm outwards. Heku sprang up from his seat, then quickly exited the desolate, mold-ridden room before the others. He looked back, then continued to exit the ship.
"What's gotten into him?" Flins asked, beginning to follow Heku.
"Not a clue." Cerise admitted. She brushed her fiery-red hair while she exited along with the other three. She, too, also felt a strange aversion to the strange place before her. Nevertheless, she, along with Shiro, Flins, and their impromptu partner, Aremi, walked down to the exit ramp of the boat.
No snow fell on the Meandering Isle; A dense layer of grey fog obscured the vision of the group. Cerise had difficulty seeing the ramp leading to the island directly in front of her. They indifferently moved down the ramp and onto a small trail bordered by honeysuckles. The sweet scent of the flowers had been kicked in the air by an ominous, light wind.
"Hey!" The old man yelled from his ship, holding a stout pole-like object wrapped in cloth. "You forgot this!"
He tossed it to Aremi, who swiftly caught it. She nodded at the man in thanks, then continued onwards.
where Heku stood, almost frozen while he gazed at a marble, ancient staircase that seemed to extend for miles. Cerise stood next to him, peering cautiously into his eyes.
"If anything happens to me, Cerise…"
"You do the same." She replied with minimal confidence in her tone. "But… Is all of this necessary for them?"
Heku did not answer and instead climbed slowly up the staircase. The calming sound of birds singing a poem with the cadence of the howling wind entered Heku's ears. He closed his eyes while he continued ascending the stairway. " I did my task. I stifled the Lumisian kingdom, but why… Why do I still have Vaughn's power?" He thought. Nevertheless, he pressed forward, a burning dread beginning to radiate from his stomach. He casually glanced back at Flins, Shiro and Aremi, who seemed to skip up the stairs in an alacritous manner. His eyes then focused on Cerise, who went up the steps in a morose manner, just like he did. "Will they end up like us? But I though Vaughn said that we would be the only ones to wield that ability."
Several minutes passed until the five approached the top of the staircase. Fog blinded the group while a dim orb of light shined through the pall of fog. Heku looked at the marble floor below him. They stood underneath an archaic circle carved into the very stone of the mysterious shrine.
"Your task is not finished, Heir of Vaughn!" A booming, disembodied voice boomed in the tone of a man's.
The fog around the shrine dissipated. Seven wisps appeared in front of the five, then materialized into human-like figures. A man with short, grey hair in a suit of gigantic armor stood in front of Heku, the two bearing a striking resemblance to one another. The man, unlike Heku, held a fierce seriousness to his emotion, towering over Heku.
"Why do you show your face here, Hekutaa Veles Ranković and Cerise Adelaide Clemenceau?" He spoke in a gentile tone. "Your mission still exists, and our pact will not waver."
"Nihilism does not amount for anything, Vaughn; You, a "God" of this world, should know that a mindless annihilation of life will do nothing!"
"Fool!" Vaughn roared. "Do you not see the folly of your actions?! I granted you my power! Your task will be, and still remains with ending this war!"
"Then end it yourself! You "Gods" began the war, so you end it! Resolve this three-millennia war and rescind my strength!"
"Your foolishness ends here!" Vaughn barked.
Vaughn lifted his left hand, a strange light radiating from his palm it shined brightly into the group's eyes, transporting them to a strange place. Blackness. All they saw was blackness before them. Heku looked at the ground below him, but noticed that no floor appeared under them. He looked ahead of him, staring straight into Vaughn's grey eyes. He closed them, summoning a coat of silver armor and a gigantic broadsword in his left hand. A helmet covered Vaughn's head while a long cloak hung over his back. Heku, in subsequent response, summoned his regalia of armor, along with his blades, Gesetz and Mißgestalt.
"If your mind has been tainted by such ludicrous thoughts of peace, then take heed of your primal thoughts! We shall see who encapsulates the greater resolve!" Vaughn bellowed, pointing his broadsword at Heku.
Heku touched Vaughn's blade with Gesetz, calmly saying, "We duel, then."
Cerise, Flins drew their weapons, while Aremi unraveled the staff-like object she held, revealing a dual-tipped spear roughly the size of her body. Heku, hearing the rustling of the group, glanced back, shaking his head while he assured them, "Stay your weapons. This fight will be mine and mine alone."
Flins and the others reluctantly stepped back, while a looming ring of fire surrounded Vaughn and Heku. The both of then jumped back, then charged at one another in a blind fury.
'Do you truly think this to be acceptable?!" Vaughn yelled, wildly slashing with his broadsword.
Heku did not answer, fir his words were a flurry of slashed from his blades, striking with the speed of a howling gust. He seemed to teleport of place to place, slashing relentlessly. The two struck at their blades, becoming entangled in a deadlock. Their faces were an arms' length from one another, Heku roaring in a bloodthirsty manner. He summoned an icy fist above Vaughn, which slammed into the floor. His blades disappeared while he battered Vaughn with a storm of fists, then firing a hurricane of frozen lances, all of them piercing through his armor. A powerful blow from Heku knocked Vaughn's broadsword from his hands, quickly prompting Heku to stop his assault.
He obtained Vaughn's broadsword, holding the grip with his right hand, while he balanced the long sword's weight by using his left hand to hold the blade's guard. He lifted the sword and slashed though Vaughn's armor.
"Everything I am now, everything that's happened to me, is ALL YOUR FAULT!" Heku roared, thrusting the blade into Vaughn's chest. He ran it through his body, the entirety of the blade piercing the deity. Crimson blood rand down from the sword, while Heku's face was spattered with blood. He pulled the sword from Vaughn's body, this time aiming for his head. Heku reeled back the blade, then used all of his rage and strength to make another strike.
Vaughn evaded the blow.
"Such fury in those eyes!" He marveled. He repulsed Heku with the flick of his wrist, and then summoned a phalanx of icy lances. Letting his right hand fall, the summoned spears piercing Heku's armor. The force of the spears rushing though his body launched him out of the ring of fire.
Time seemed to stop while the others saw Heku fly through the air with the impaled pikes.
"No…" Flins whispered to himself.
Time seemed to resume to its normal pace, causing Heku to fall to the seemingly invisible floor. A pool of blood began to flow under him while he tried to raise his hand in futile retaliation. Heku's eyelids grew weak. A biting chill consumed him with every passing moment. He bitterly chuckled while he used the last ounce of his strength to shake his head. The faint image of Cerise and the others running towards him was clouded by his tears of anguish.
"Heku!" Cerise screamed, trying to keep him awake. She pushed Heku's body upright, trying to stop the river of blood that fell from his arms and mouth. To her dismay, he stood up and removed the lances that had been thrust into his body one by one.
"I… I can still… fight." He croaked, holding Gesetz in his right, blood-soaked hand.
"No, you can't!" Cerise cried.
Heku did not listen. He lurched towards Vaughn, who appeared weakened by his onslaught. Heku lifted his rapier but dropped it. Heku knelt on his knees, coughing out blood, too weak to continue his duel. He looked up, noticing that Vaughn's wounds had healed.
"Why do you choose to throw your life away? What makes you think that you can rewind the cogs of time?" Vaughn somberly asked.
"I did not want any of this…!" Heku cried.
"And killing yourself will make everything 'disappear?'"
"Allow me to show the error of your poisoned thoughts." Vaughn said in a fatherly, gentile tone. "For if you deny such an awesome power altruistically given to you and foolishly throw your life away to purge yourself of such abilities, then you shall forever live with uncontrollable power. That is, unless you fulfill your end of our pact."
"What…?!" Heku yelled weakly.
"Such actions behoove even I, Hekutaa. Why despise such strength?"
Vaughn extended his right hand. A flash of red exited his palm. A crimson red light encircled Heku, while seven ghastly spirits howled while then passed through his half-dead body. Bolts of red lightning shot out from Heku while he cried in agony. A ring of bright light blasted out while the disembodied spirits exited Heku, laughing devilishly.
"If you must desire solace from your empty existence, complete your mission! Forever you will live, forever you will loathe yourself until our demands be achieved!" Vaughn yelled.
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Northrigde, California
IGN: Hekutaa / Yaripon / Flins
Guild: Mirage Coordinator
Chapter 13: Strength
The black surrounding flaked away to the foggy, dreary sky of the Meandering Isle.
Heku looked at his hands. His gauntlets had no longer been stained by his own blood. The archaic symbol on Heku's left palm radiated a red color, then returned to a black etching on his skin. His entire body had been equipped with monolithic grey armor, without any injuries. A metal visor with small slits for vision covered his eyes replaced his messenger cap. A gigantic wing the size of his body jutted from his back, yet he felt that it chained him to his daunting task instead of granting him innumerable freedom.
"What have I become…?" Heku asked, looking up at the foggy skies.
The armor adorning Heku dissipated with his somber exhalation, returning into his black frock coat and beige pants. He appeared to have aged considerably, his hair grew considerably longer, the back of his hair extending to the base of his next while a patch of hair completely blocked his left eye.
He looked soullessly at the others who gaped at him in astonishment. His face did not have the slightest tinge of emotion, yet his half-open, glassy eyes gleamed, almost like something had been trapped within Heku yearned to escape the hollow prison known as his mind. He stepped forward, but fell to his knees, debilitated from the duel. He collapsed and succumbed to his exhaustion.
Cerise and the others rushed to his aid, while Vaughn appeared in front of them once more.
"Do not fear; His wounds have healed, yet he still requires recuperation." Vaughn spoke.
Flins and the others glared furiously at Vaughn while he talked. He had killed Heku and replaced him with a doppelganger, they thought. Flins drew his short sword and struck at him, yet Vaughn parried his strike with his broadsword.
"You bastard! What in hell's name makes you a god?!" Flins boomed, consumed by his hatred. Vaughn easily threw Flins aside, while Shiro and Aremi dashed towards Vaughn, their weapons aloft. Shiro, Aremi, and Flins fruitlessly attacked Vaughn, for his dexterity and superior evasion made him nearly impossible to combat. With one giant swing of his broadsword, Vaughn flung the trio back. He vanished into thin air, leaving an ominous pool of his own shadow in his disappearance. The empty pall split into three circles, then began to transform into dark blobs, like drops of oil suspended in the air.
The blobs transfigured into three shadowy warriors: One appeared very feminine in stature, wearing pitch-black battle armor above and armored skirt. The valkyrie levitated above the ground with a three-pronged lance and one small decorative wing adorned her back.
A mass of the shadow that directly faced Flins took the form of an armored, stout warrior. The cold plates of his armor hissed an ominous smoke, while a pair of glaring red eyes shot through its heavy sallet. It drew a small sword, then stood in a ready, wide-legged stance.
A third shade manifested into a heavily armored, burly, humanoid fighter. Dark fog seeped out the creature's nostrils while it drew a long sword overhead. A monolithic tower shield materialized in front of the behemoth, covering a large part of its protected body
"Looks like our time to shine, eh Flins?" Shiro said with a light chuckle in his voice. Shiro twirled his sword over his head once, then swung it once to familiarize himself with the weight of the sword.
Flins nodded at Shiro's remark while he curled his body inward into a low stance. He looked at Aremi, who had already steeled herself for in impending battle, and then looked back at Cerise and Heku. "You take care of Heku; We can handle these on our own! You protected our small village from Vesisian onslaught two months ago, now it's time for us to repay our debt!" He said.
He jumped towards the shadowy figure, prompting the others to follow suit.
Flins immediately became entangled in a relentless exchange of strikes with his combatant, who seemed to mirror his own attacks. Flins attempted to addle the creature my kicking at the monstrosity's feet, yet it somehow stepped away before he tried to flick his feet at it.
In an attempt to attack the enemy from afar, he leaped back and fired a barrage of bullets from his pistol and a volley of arrows from his short bow. However, the creature also possessed the same weapons and returned the same exact number of arrows and bullets to Flins. The both of them nimbly dodged each other's blows.
"Damn!" Flins yelled to himself. "This thing moves way too fast!"
He charged at the shadow, then gave a quick vertical slice. It did the same. He squeezed the blade's handle, and then noticed that the creature mirrored his actions. With a brilliant yet destructive idea, he dashed back and readied his bow, realizing that if the shadow copied his every move, Flins would have to willingly injure himself to rid of the opponent.
He pulled an arrow out of his small quiver with his right hand and pulled back on the elastic bowstring. He pointed out his left finger to make sure his strike would be precise and target the foe's leg. He let go of the string. The arrow whizzed through the air, hitting the monster in the shin.
A flare of pain shot through Flins' left shin. He looked down noticing that an arrow had been impaled in his left leg, but took heed of the monster's injury. He then realized that if he killed the monster, he would also die in the process. Attempting to evade such a gruesome and ironic death, Flins tried to attack the non-vital parts of the monster's body in an attempt to weaken it enough so that it would not pursue the others if it managed to recover from its injuries.
He took a pair of slim, metal bolts from his quiver and aimed it at the monster, this time targeting the arms. His injured leg shook violently while he steeled his nerves once more. He let go of the bowstring, then felt his right arm be pierced by two steel arrows.
Blood seeped into his dark green coat. He felt his body grow numb while the monster seemed to dissipate into the soupy, thick fog. It fully dissipated from his sight while he felt drops of his red, warm blood drop to the cold marble floor.
"To understand strength, you must first know of the sacrifices necessary for it." The voice of Vaughn whispered into Flins ear.
"Strength… give… me…. Strength…!" Flins croaked, collapsing to the floor.
Streams of blood and tears of bittersweet achievement stained his uniform. He has finally obtained the power he desperately thirsted for, but at what cost?
The cost of knowing the pain that follows it.
Aremi and the shadowy phantom assaulted one another, slowly transforming into an exchange of blows in which Aremi proved to trounce the enemy in. A storm of speedy strikes and slashes kept the enemy constantly parrying her swift attacks. Aremi then used her dual-tipped spear to knock the enemy's javelin out of its hands, then cut a horizontal laceration in the doppelganger's armored chest with one end and wound the spear back for another strike with the opposite end. The cuts tore open a small gap in the armor, where Aremi promptly impaled one end of her spear into.
A fountain of black liquid exited the monster's pierced flesh while Aremi violently pulled it out, causing the shadow to collapse on its back.
She walked towards the monster, her spear dripping with the monster's bodily fluids. Aremi raised the spear, ready to deliver the ending blow to the shadow. Her hand quivered while she held her weapon aloft, almost like she felt remorse in killing her opponent. Her breaths turned to hurried gasps for air while she felt her heart racing with adrenaline.
Aremi thrust her spear into the ground, but did not kill the enemy. The tip of her lance was a hair's length from the monster's neck. Nevertheless, Aremi withdrew her weapon and turned away.
"What's the point in keeping me live?" The shadow asked, mimicking Aremi's gentile-toned speech. "Why not just kill me?"
"I win. You lose. Can't that be enough?! Just because everyone around me annihilates and pillages, does that mean they have to die?!" Aremi barked.
"You harbor the zeal of a true warrior, but do not posses the heart of one, or lack, thereof." The creature said with a dying breath.
Aremi looked away in disdain, while the ghostly image of Vaughn stood next to her, whispering, "To understand strength, one must first purge themselves of poisoned thoughts of humanity."
She looked behind her, noticing that Flins had collapsed. She began to see a small puddle of blood growing from underneath him and rushed towards him to aid him.
Shiro and the armored sentinel battled each other, the both of them battering at the other's shield with bone breaking strength. Shiro, seeing that his attacks did not even scathe his opponent, tossed his shield away and exchanged his defense for a heightened agility. The shadow did the same and removed its shield and charged at Shiro.
The two threw an onslaught of brutal strikes, to the point that Shiro's own blade chipped away. They found themselves in a deadlock with their blades trapped and the both of them tried to push off the other off balance. Shiro performed a quick spin, making the shadow strike where he once stood, dropping its guard. Shiro, now out of the deadlock, made a forceful blow so tremendous that the shadow's helmet flew off its head. The monster's body moved upwards in the direction of the strike, where Shiro thrust his blade into the aberration, propelling it forward while he ruthlessly pulled the sword from its torso.
Lambasted and mutilated, the armored monster crashed to the floor, too weary to stand up and continue fighting. Shiro stepped towards it and heartlessly pointed his sword to its neck, ready to deal the killing blow.
"Murderer…! You murderer!" The sentinel croaked in Flins' tone of voice.
Shiro stepped back in shock. "No, no, no! You're not Flins! He's-"
He looked at the direction of Flins, where he had collapsed to the floor, drenched in his own blood.
"Flins?! FLINS!" Shiro roared in woe. He dropped his sword and rushed to his dear friend.
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Northrigde, California
IGN: Hekutaa / Yaripon / Flins
Guild: Mirage Coordinator
Chapter 14: Mortality
I guess this was necessary, huh? Flins thought. He looked to his left, noticing the shocked faces of Aremi and Shiro while they rushed towards him. He chuckled to himself in irony while he began to close his heavy eyelids. Rivers of blood poured out from his wounds in his leg and in his arm. The warm, crimson blood seemed to provide him warmth from the frigid air. He exhaled deeply, almost accepting his death.
The moment he closed his eyes, Shiro immediately sat him upright, pleading him not to die. He took out a short piece of gauze from one of his pockets, the only item that Minit provided them with, and quickly unbuttoned Flins' dark-green coat and carefully slid his bleeding right arm out of its sleeve. He swiftly wrapped the poultice around one wound near the artery of the elbow tightly, to prevent further blood loss. Aremi did the same, taking out her piece of gauze to sop the dripping blood from Flins' lacerations.
"C'mon, Flins, just stay awake!" Shiro begged hysterically, tears beginning to fall from his face.
He glared at Cerise and the unconscious body of Heku. Shiro felt the tension and disdain for them grow with each passing heartbeat. He roared in anguish "Can't you do anything?!"
Cerise looked away in pain. She felt the pain Shiro experienced, the regret causing her heart to tear asunder in grief. Although she held the immense power of a god, she could do nothing to ease the pain the Flins or Shiro felt.
"Our strength," She reluctantly admitted, "it cannot heal any injury, for its only use is the destruction of others."
"T-there's nothing I can do… But why…?" Shiro said, looking up to the fog-covered sky above him. "Why did it have to end like this?"
Flins shook slightly while he groaned slightly. Shiro and the others immediately fixated on him in a bittersweet euphoria. A painful tone of a combination of a wry laugh and a sigh of agony exited Flins' mouth. He slowly opened his right eye and peered at Shiro's ghastly face. He smiled slightly, using the last of his strength to shake his head in a comedic fashion to his reaction, as if his death would be a joke to others.
"I… won't… I won't be… going down that easily, Shiro." Flins faintly replied, an out-of-place tone of childish cruelty echoing in his voice.
"Vaughn would not mindlessly kill another instrument of war for his own amusement; All of this will be a twisted, but indeed manageable test."
The other cocked their heads towards the source of the noise. Heku stood up on his own two feet, part of his long, somewhat wavy hair blocking his glassy eyes. He lifted his left hand, causing a small, light-blue archaic circle filled with strange sigil to swirl in front of his palm. Flins' injuries suddenly became wrapped in a small ring on ice, preventing any more blood from escaping.
Heku, without another word, lurched from them and began his descent from the shrine. The only sound audible to them was the rhythmic sound of Heku's feet tapping against the marble, beautifully carved marble stairs. The sound slowly faded away while Heku continued on, almost abandoning Flins and the others.
Shiro, seeing that Flins' injuries have been dressed, put Flins' right arm on his right shoulder and picked him up from the blood-soaked floor. "Can you stand, Yari?" Shiro asked.
"Yes." Flins groaned, the whisper of his voice becoming almost inaudible. Nevertheless, he used his unscathed leg to limp to the stairs, slowly descending while Shiro helped him keep balance. Aremi slowly trailed the pair, her confident face had been transfigured into a sullen mood, for she felt as though her efforts to keep Flins alive amounted to nothing. She gazed in fright at Flins' drenched coat, for half of it absorbed his blood, giving it a ghastly appearance.
Cerise alone stood at the top of the shrine, the gruesome images of Flins' mangled body and Heku's half-dead stupor replaying in her mind. Are we nothing more than gods of death?. She said to herself. The guilt of not helping Heku nor Flins caused the bile in her stomach to rise and her heart to twist itself into a knot. She let out a sullen, self-loathing sigh while she watched the faint figures of Aremi, Shiro, and Flins vanish into the thick fog. She gazed into her supple, fair hands, moving her fingers in a slow manner. A ball of fire formed while she stretched her hands and then dissipated when she closed them. Even though she could manipulate the magnificent prowess of fire, she felt her body freeze from the humid, foggy overcast.
Reluctantly, she left the plateau and followed Heku and the others.
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Northrigde, California
IGN: Hekutaa / Yaripon / Flins
Guild: Mirage Coordinator
Note: This is not a chapter for the story!
My writing for writing is kind of a spoiler:
At any rate, please enjoy! Chapter 15 will be up sooner or later!
Chapter 1: Daybreak
6:45 A.M, December 12th.
The sound of bluegrass music gently echoed through Heku's ears while he slowly opened his eyes. Drowsy, he sat upright in his bed, looking at a window across his room indifferently. Rays of sunlight pierced through from behind a window curtain in front of Heku's face. The white room around him, consisting of a bed, a small desk, a matching wooden dresser and a sea of shelved books, seemed to emit an auspicious glow of another morning. Although wide awake, Heku stayed in bed for several moments in a mixture of deep thought and laziness. He sighed, and then turned off the blaring alarm clock, cracking his joints while he stretched. He lazily slid out of bed, he yawned, and then he fished out some school clothes in his dressers. He gazed around his small, cramped living space, filled to the brim of bookshelves of research materials and journals full of short stories he wrote in his spare time.
He walked to a nearby bathroom, stepping rhythmically to a somewhat cheerful tune he hummed along the way while his weary body began to stretch its slumbering muscles. He entered his restroom from the small corridor that linked to his room, and the closed the door behind him, removing his wrinkled, old sleepwear. He showered under a blast of hot water in hopes of cleansing himself from his tiredness. The shower relaxed Heku's tense muscles while he felt the sensation of his warm muscles melt under the rejuvenating water, letting out a sigh of contentment while he bathed.
He emerged from the bathroom, where a fume of steam blew out while it escaped into the corridor before him. He was clothed in slim, dark pants, a white, collared dress shirt that had been buttoned to his neck, and a black blazer, his school uniform. His mahogany-colored, unkempt hair still held moisture from his recent shower. He arched his hair in front of his face to the left to keep a mildly neat appearance. Heku quickly re-entered his room, and then rushed out while he carried a small book bag and a duffel bag, along with several books in his free hand. Upon exiting, he took one final glance at himself in a tall, slim mirror, scanning his belongings to make sure that his clothes looked tidy and his appearance remained studious. He peered into his dark blazer through his reflection, watching the school's emblem, a theta, sparkle in the light while it hung over the blazer's lapel.
Heku began to walk outside his small apartment room, carefully closing his door shut. He proceeded to apartment gates, shivering slightly from the frigid winds of Da Capo that blew upon him. Within several moments of walking, Heku became surrounded in thick, grey fog. The weather had always like this in Da Capo; whether Summer or Winter, a soupy pall of fog loomed over the miniscule, almost inhabited port city of Da Capo.
"Nothing ever changes in this desolate hellhole of a port city." Heku thought, shuddering in contempt. Nevertheless, he began his trek to the nearest subway station, leisurely stepping to the rhythm of his own breath. His walk to the town's small subway station took him longer than usual, mayhap because of all this mysterious fog that engulfed the city. He continued walking down the slanted sidewalk of Da Capo, glancing at a small flock of seagulls flying overhead. The city seemed empty to Heku, for not a single car nor person walking past him came into his sight. Nobody inhabited on the streets of Da Capo, except for him. He seemed to enjoy the constant lack of people. Ever since his parents sent him to a boarding school three years ago, he seemed content with his life. He always enjoyed the company of himself, for he thought that others only appeared to obstruct his life. His parents, however, had an extremely different approach to others and sought to change Heku's views. His parents lived in a large, bustling city called Brahms, where the pall of night never appeared in the city filled to the brim with lights and automobiles. Heku felt at peace there, but the noise of the trains bustling around in the city and the relentless chatter of the masses made him despise Brahms; He always yearned to go to a place where there was an absence of people.
Heku continued his slow pace, crossing a street from the base of a hill and entered a subway station. He took out his wallet from his back pocket and fished a ticket, passed through a pair of rusted, mechanized doors, and then put his wallet in his pocket in one fluid motion. He waited for the next train, tapping his foot to an ethereal beat of music that played in his own imagination.
A train began to stop in front of Heku. He entered the train, the car completely devoid of life, like it always has. Taking a seat near the mechanical doors of the train, he yawned in boredom.
A figure in black, ragged cloaks materialized in front of Heku. In disbelief, Heku blinked twice, and the figure dissipated from his sight.
"Did I just see…?" Heku said to himself.
He shook his head. Knowing that he suffered from bursts of narcolepsy, he assumed that the ghastly figure that suddenly crossed his sights originated from his imagination. He took a seat near the doors, grunting, "Perhaps my mind still plays tricks on me. "
Heku slumped in in his seat, strangely uneasy with what he saw. He tried to calm himself down, but his mind still focused on that man. Unlike his "normal" visions of another's head growing into a balloon or strange flashes of colors, a man in rags would have easily been a by-product of his half-asleep brain. Even though he devoutly believed this, something about his vision still kept him at the edge of his seat, hurriedly tapping the train's floor with his foot. He sat in his seat for five minutes until he heard a mechanical voice saying :"Current stop: Athol Avenue, Granite High."
Heku immediately sprang out of his seat, running out of the ill-maintained, rusted-over train station and sprinted to his school. He glanced back occasionally during his plight, making sure that the man in rags did not follow him. He dashed passed the packs of students leisurely chattering about daily school instances. He weaved through the empty gaps between the students in hopes of avoiding his unseen pursuer.
He entered through the main entrance of the school, where a trickle of students reluctantly entered to another dreary school day. Heku continued into the main pathway of the school and gazed at a large clock located at the top of a one-story building. 7:35 A.M. Heku saw several students pass by him, yet he felt an ominous presence surround him. The strange man? No, for a person with such decrepit garbs cannot easily pass through school grounds.
Heku sighed, mentally mocking his insecurity and walked through an empty hallway near the entrance. He entered a nearby building, and quickly trotted up the large, metal steps to the second floor. As he walked, he glanced out a large window pane, yet the fog grew too thick for any light to enter the dismal, desolate hallways, giving the building a eerie, gray glow. He walked though one more corridor then entered another building. He quickly shifted his view to his left, scanning for his locker. He located his locker, placed his bags on the floor, and spun a rapid succession of numbers on the locker's dial. A small note in old, yellowed parchment paper drifted out of Heku's locker. He caught it while it drifted to the ground and read the neatly written inscription on the ancient paper: "Prepare for unforeseen consequences."
Heku looked at the note for a minute, then chuckled with an unsettling concern and crumpled up the paper.
"Tch, a chain letter." He thought, his confidence dwindling. "But still, parchment paper should not be something a normal student would carry around… I'd better take this as an omen."
Heku shuffled through his books in his bag and in his locker, closed the locker, picked up his bags, and then exited the building in one fluid motion. He exited the building, moving past small cliques of students that passed by him. He entered a covered lunch area, spying two male students sitting around a circular lunch table, chattering nonsensically. Silently, he approached them and placed his bags down in a noisy fashion, rousing their attention.
He placed his left shoulder on the table and rested his head over it while he sat, looking at the mildly surprised students staring back at him. He immediately sprang up from his position, comically saying, "Oh, good morning!"
"Morning." The pair of students replied.
Heku leaned forward, glancing at the two students before him. They wore the same black blazer and the same white collared shirt. The only difference between the two boys came from their physical features: The taller of the two sat in a bent posture, his golden hair blocking his turquoise eyes, while the shorter of the two sat upright. The short boy's hair had been neatly combed to the left side of his head, revealing a pair of emerald eyes and a flippant disposition. The shorter boy also wore his uniform in a different way: He wore a light green oxford shirt and he rolled the sleeves of his blazer up to his elbows and kept it open, giving him an anarchic aura when compared to Heku, who wore a white shirt and kept his blazer buttoned up.
The short boy went by the name of Hal Kaufmann, Heku's closest friend ever since he moved from the large city of Brahms to the small, quaint town of Da Capo. The two met when Silabus and Heku were fresh members of the school track team. The two had several things in common, like their macabre sense of humor and their interest of horror and mystery novels. Heku and Hal had a very close bond of friendship, and thought they had been surrogate brothers due to their liking of many different things.
Hal and Heku instantly jumped into a conversation about the latest horror novel they read and began to predict which character would die next and cracked candid jokes to passer-bys all the while. Several minutes later, when Heku and Hal had been locked deep into their conversation, a loud, cacophonic bell rang.
Hal, Heku, and the other student next to them swiftly left the circular lunch table and walked to their morning classes. Heku walked down a crowded hallway, filled to the brim with students rushing to their classrooms. The clamor of the students shouting at each other began to dissipate when he broke from the crowd and entered a classroom at the edge of a hallway.
Heku immediately shifted his jovial, upbeat mood to his normal, dreary and sleep-deprived façade. He dragged his feet in a lethargic fashion and kept his eyes half-open. He found his seat in the front of the class, he placed his bags on the floor close to him, he sat down, and he slumped his body in the chair.
The day seemed to proceed without the slightest deviation: Heku not paying a bit of attention in Advanced Biology class, falling asleep in Calculus, taking notes about a subjective rant in History class, writing short stories and sketching in his English class, and mindlessly playing piano chords in his Advanced Music class.
Hours later, the same cacophonic bell chime that prompted Heku to begin the school day now caroled him and the other students to leave school. Heku promptly exited his Advanced Music class and bolted past the crowds of students that filled the hallways, making it to his locker after minutes of weaving through the students. Repeating the same actions he did this morning, Heku spun his locker combination with the utmost alacrity and exchanged a library of textbooks in his locker. He finished swapping all his books out of the locker, and then closed it by kicking it shut. He walked to the south exit of the high school, bustling through the large crowd of students that left the school. He walked towards a branching path, reaching towards a small room with the door open.
He stood at regular waiting spot where Heku, Hal and a handful of other students congregate for their after school track practice. Instead of several burly runners waiting for their coach, he saw a stout, muscular man holding a clipboard. Heku approached the man, smiling slightly. The man nodded at his presence, and then looked at Heku and Hal.
“Sorry, no practice today.” The stout man yawned.
“Alright. See you Monday, then, coach.” Heku said, walking past him. He trotted down towards the exit, past the rusted green gates and slowly began his trek back to the subway station. On his route to the station, the area began to emit an eerie, out of place of fog. Soon after, Heku had difficulty seeing the street walk in front of him. He stopped abruptly, and looked at his surroundings. Not a single student from Granite High School came into sight. He caught a glimpse of a faint shadow in the shape of a man pass by the corner of his eyes. Heku’s calm walk turned into a slight jog, and then a frightened sprint, avoiding the subway all together.
"Forget it; I'll just run all the way home! A mile won't kill me, but whatever follows will!" Heku yelled to himself while he dashed through the thick, soupy fog.
He ran down empty streets, occasionally looking back to see if something followed him. Eventually, Heku managed to get to his apartment complex. In hopes of placing an obstacle in front of his pursuer, he jumped over the gate, sprinted up the rusted stairs to the second floor, and unlocked his apartment door. He bashed open the door, and then slammed it shut, leaning on it while he caught his breath.
Heku felt a strange sense of confusion and fear running down his spine. He heard the sound of falling objects in coming from his room. He slowed his breath, carefully listening to any sudden changes in noise. Everything in his room appeared too silent, and Heku immediately jumped to the conclusion that there may be someone--something in his house waiting, waiting to kill him.
Heku quietly took off his shoes and socks and crept into the kitchen. There, Heku opened a cupboard underneath the sink, and pulled out a large cutting knife. With a weapon aloft, Heku searched the kitchen thoroughly and scanned the nearby bathroom. He approached a cupboard underneath the bathroom sink, and opened a secret compartment hidden behind several cleaning materials. He took out a flashlight of the compartment, and quietly closed it. He tip-toed across a small living room connecting his room to the kitchen, and approached his room. His door had been closed, and Heku gripped the knife in precaution. He slowly opened the door, and small, brilliant blue butterfly escaped. In reaction, Heku jumped back and screamed, pointing the knife at the insect. He fell to the ground when the shimmering butterfly flew over him, but quickly stood up. He cursed at the butterfly while it circled him. He swept his room for anything else out of place, and Heku asked a single question.
“Strange. How could a butterfly get into my room?” He said aloud, opening his left hand to let the butterfly rest on. He examined its violet-tinted wings, walking back to the kitchen to sheath the knife.
"Oh well, I don't see anything out of place." He continued, slowly brushing his fears away. He gazed in awe at his newfound visitor and smiled gently. With a cordial tone, Heku said, "Hey, let's listen to the radio; Maybe that will calm down our nerves."
Heku tip-toed down to the living room, and fished out a radio from a nearby drawer. He turned it on, and heard the sound of static. A vivid memory suddenly played back in his head: He read through a horror-mystery novel, and the day held a eerily similarity to the mysteriously foggy day in Da Capo. The protagonist of the novel also had a radio, but when static began to emit from the radio, a grotesque monster flew out of the window, ready to kill the protagonist under the veil of the fog. Heku quickly scrambled for a weapon, thinking it he somehow fell into the same world,and pointed at the large window across from him. He managed to take a pair of scissors from the top of the drawer and pointed them at the open window
“Checkmate, air screamer!” Heku yelled, ready to strike at the window.
He stood there for one minute, and then rested the scissors on the desk. A tree directly near the window could not be seen - not even a shadow - through the thick fog. Heku’s heart pounded violently. His many years of reading horror novels in his spare time finally began to pay off; He felt that his plan based on the actions of the many scenarios of the books he read had been executed with precision. Nothing seemed to attack him, for the time being. However, Heku clearly distrusted his reprieve, knowing that he would not feel safe until he ousted whatever hid in his room.
Without thinking, Heku walked to his room hoping that his unease would dissipate, opened one of his school books, and studied, occasionally turning his back to see if anything waited to strike him while he was vulnerable.
The violet butterfly rested on Heku's shoulder, fading away into golden, shimmering dust. At the same time, Heku suddenly felt sleepy. Assuming that his narcolepsy had acted up again, Heku slowly let his eyes close.
"Rise and shine, Vaughn." A mysterious voice echoed through Heku's head. "Rise… and… shine.."
Heku opened his eyes finding himself in a dark void. Lines of light began to flash before his eyes, like brilliant fish floating in a sea of darkness. A faint image of a silver-haired man drifted before Heku's eyes in the distance, and slowly began to grow larger, beginning to walk toward him. The dark void around the man began to flash to different places: He caught a glimpse of a destroyed castle, a foggy, snowed- over forest, and the remains of a shrine hidden deep shrouded in mist. The images that Heku saw flashed before his eyes, yet a strange sense of familiarity surrounded the places, almost like a faint memory of him travelling to those areas.
He then felt a strange sensation in his head, like someone had their hand in Heku's mind full of memories, groping through his thoughts, his mind like a filing cabinet full of documents. He felt his hands tremble while the sensation tingled throughout his body. Unable to stop the strange feeling, Heku clenched his head, and then the strange feeling quickly dissipated. A flash of red light suddenly flew by Heku's eyes. He looked to his left and right, and then quickly looked directly ahead of him. The man was staring directly at Heku, only several inches away from him, his pale, ghostly white eyes gazing into Heku's indifferent, light-purple eyes.
"Something…. Something unnamable begins to turn the cogs of destiny yet again, Vaughn," The man said. "But…. Not to imply that your rest ends here… but it seems…. That the world needs hallowed intervention once more. You deserve … a rest for… heroism, but our time wanes now."
The scenery around Heku began to shine brighter and brighter until the black void surrounding Heku turned into a sea of blinding white light, the swirling lines of light flying by Heku transformed into dark globules, like suspended droplets of oil in water.
"The slightest delay... makes all the difference, but you must understand… So, Vaughn, or Hekutaa, just…. Wake up… Wake up and smell the ashes…" The man said with a cackling chuckle.
The man began to laugh vehemently while his face faded. His face began to disappear within the sea of light, while Heku began to see the scenery of his room. It appeared, transparent in the ocean of white, faded away quickly, and then the image of his room began to grow more tangible, until a blast of light blinded Heku's eyes.
Heku opened his eyes.
Heku yelped loudly in fear, breathing heavily. He sat upright in his chair, looking around his room in caution in attempt to piece his dream together. Why did that man appear? And why did he call him "Vaughn?" Vaughn… That name echoed in Heku's mind repeatedly. Heku felt a strange connection to the one named Vaughn, but felt that the man had been shrouded in mystery. What did this mean to Heku? Did he experience a lucid dream? Did he hallucinate? No, something far, far worse. A dream cannot be this mysterious and a hallucination cannot be this real. Heku realized that nothing that could help classify his vision; He feared that he would be thrust into an ordeal that he did not want any part of.
He quickly sprang from his seat, surveying the room.
Heku noticed a pocket watch that was placed on his desk.
He hesitantly reached for the pocket watch, and pressed a button that uncovered it. The watch had broken, the minute arm broken off and the glass cracked, yet Heku heard faint ticking sound emanating from the interior. The gears inside the watch functioned perfectly. Heku examined the inside of the cover, and saw a faded antique photo. The photo depicted a young woman, having slightly curly hair, smiling slightly. The woman sat in an ornate chair, while a man stood behind her. The photo, extremely worn, made discerning any conclusion about the pair impossible. The man's face had been too faded for Heku to see clearly. Although the picture was almost impossible to examine clearly, Heku felt like he knew the woman in the chair.
“That’s impossible." He mumbled. "Besides, judging that the watch is broken and the photo is already faded, so this thing is probably hundreds of years old.” Heku thought. "Still, why would this end up in my room."
Heku felt uneasy with the strange watch in front of him. A strange tingle ran down Heku's body, making his entire body shake in uncertainty. He felt his mind tear between investigating this mysterious turn of events, or act like the occurrences today never happened.
He stood in reflection, and then faintly remembered about a small note fell from his locker earlier today.
"Prepare for unforeseen consequences." Heku said wryly. He let out a forced laugh, and then stared at the watch. "Looks like there's no escaping whatever I've been thrown into now, eh?"
Last edited by Hekutaa; 02-18-2011 at 09:05 PM.
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Northrigde, California
IGN: Hekutaa / Yaripon / Flins
Guild: Mirage Coordinator
Chapter 15: Awake
Heku and the others reached the base of the Meandering Isle, the entirety of the group surrounded in silence, everyone of them blaming themselves for Flins' tragedy. They journeyed on, spying that the ship's captain sat at the bottom the ramp leading to his ship. He looked up slowly, then shot up at the sight of Flins. Without any explanation, the boatman gestured at the group to come aboard. He led them into the musty guest room, where he let the others place Flins in a cot.
"Tch, another one? When will they learn?" The old man scoffed. He shut the door behind the group, shaking his head.
The immense amount of blood loss caused Flins to fall unconscious, leading the four to huddle closely near him, except for Heku. He had distanced himself from Flins, slumping in an old, musty chair.
The boat ride back to Außenwelt took only an hour, but for Shiro and the others, it seemed to take am eternity for them to reach the mainland. With every passing second, they all feared that Flins would succumb to his wounds and bleed to death.
A jolting, abrupt stop shook the small sailboat.
"Hey, Flins… C'mon, wake up, Flins!" A gentile, feminine voice spoke.
"Ngh…" Flins grunted, his eyes still closed shut. He tried to open his eyes, yet a blinding shine of the Sun made him impaired his vision.
How long his it been since he opened his eyes? Did days pass before Flins while he remained in his catatonic stupor? He urged himself to awaken, yet his body remained inert. Nevertheless, he forced himself to see to what awaited before him.
A small silhouette loomed before him while the sparkling glimmer of light, creating a shadow below the angelic being. Did Flins' eyes play tricks on him? His vision seemed blurred while his pallid eyes gazed at the shadow before him.
Am… am I dead?
He blinked several times while his eyes adjusted to the light around him. Flins stared at a white ceiling, where a frost-covered window before him shot in light. Flins tried to lift himself up, yet he felt a sudden sense of weakness and reclined back. He let out a small sigh of elation.
It feels like I am.
Flins lay covered in bandages under a white garb. A snow-colored blanket had been stretched before him. He tensed his hands and moved his toes, which felt immobile from disuse. The entirety of his body lay numb, while his eyes and mind wandered around the confined room.
He looked up again, noticing an armored valkyrie watching over him with a benevolent gaze. He gaped at the mysterious figure, while the light began to reveal its gentile facial features. The maiden's long, silvery hair hung down
"...Are-?" He said weakly.
The silhouette vanished.
"So he finally awakes!" A loud, booming sigh of exasperation echoed.
Flins looked towards the origin of the voice. To his surprise, Shiro sat, reclined in a chair. He smiled slightly and stood up. He wore a clean, dark-green collared shirt that stretched to below his waist, while parts of his face had been bandaged, masking small cuts from the previous battle.
"Shiro!" Flins caroled, trying to lift himself out of bed in excitement. A sharp pain in Flins' right arm made him fall back down to the bed.
"You were unconscious for a couple hours, Flins." Shiro stated. He stood up, ruffling Flins' long, jet-black hair. "It's good to know that you're back on your feet."
He smiled slightly, mustering all of his energy to lift his injured right arm. A flash of pain shot through his body, yet he ignored this, attempting to see if his wound had improved during his slumber. He rolled back the sleeve of a white garb, brushing his cold, lightly tanned skin against his callous, curdled fingers. He slid the sleeve back until he felt an the sensation of something rough scratching back on his hands. It had been bandaged at the limb above the elbow, where the red pigments of his blood seeped through the gauze that wrapped around his laceration.
His right arm slammed down, too weak to keep it up.
"I think I might... need some rest." Flins admitted, his eyes growing weary.
Shiro grunted in acknowledgement, leaving the small medical ward. He heard the faint noise of the medical ward's door closing while Flins' eyes traced him while he exited. Flins slowly let his eyelids fall and return to his slumber.
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Saudi Arabia
Class: Dark Lord
Seems like an interesting Story Hekutaa. Your way of writing it is very good and neat unlike my fail mine. You put up a good effort on it!
Keep up the good work pal
I can turn your nightmares into reality
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Northrigde, California
IGN: Hekutaa / Yaripon / Flins
Guild: Mirage Coordinator
Filler #2? Already?!
I seem to be on super-mega-superfluous-hiatus funtimes.To compensate, you can read what I did for my English class: my original story, chapter 9.
P.S. Calais = Kalech. Name changed out of spell-check purposes.
Until then, chapter 16 will be delayed. I can promise you this: There will be references to Final Fantasy Tactics. And yes that part.
The pall of night finally soared over the snowy town of Außenwelt; the flickering lights of the factory town orchestrated a calm, picturesque tableau of lights, similar to how fireflies linger in the shelter of the night. Heku waited for the blackness of dusk fervently, but also dreaded its coming, for his plight began tonight. This night, and this night alone, Heku devised a way to escape from Außenwelt and the ever-vigilant eye of Calais staring down upon his every movement. Heku knew that if he wished to vindicate himself from Calais’ unwarranted suspicion of being a spy, Heku needed to eliminate the source of Calais’ fears: Count Sanguine.
Under the veil of darkness, Heku sprang from his bed, silently arming himself with nothing more than a short blade and a winter coat. He swiftly opened the door leading to a hallway while the sound of Heku’s sibilant breaths echoed into the dismal hall before him. He glanced at one end of the hallway, and then to the opposite end, vigilantly scanning the area for anyone that may impair him from his departure. He tried to still his audible, hissing breaths and cautiously tiptoed across the hall, knowing well that the old, worn floors emit shrill sounds if he placed too much pressure upon them. Nevertheless, he continued on, reaching the end of the hallway and gazing upon the silhouette of a spiraling staircase. Heku began his descent, absentmindedly putting all of his weight on one step.
A loud, creaking noise echoed throughout the hallway.
Heku began to hurry his leave, yet he heard a gentile plea, stopping his plight.
"Wait." Calais commanded in a half-awake tone. A faint orb of light shone from a candle that Calais held aloft. The brightness caused Heku to shield his eyes with one arm while he squinted at Calais’ cold, emotionless face.
"What do you want?" Heku snapped impatiently.
“What do you scheme at this late hour?" Calais inquired.
"Does it matter?" Heku growled, trying to keep his motive secret from the half-asleep Calais. "If you meander around this land for so many years of your life, what makes you think that I cannot chase whatever exists in my dreams?”
“Then allow me to show you the door.” Calais cordially spoke, walking past Heku with an out of place alacrity.
Heku followed Calais promptly, yet he felt an uneasiness arise in his mind: Why would someone first deprecate my plea of exploration by binding me here, and then suddenly rescind his previous actions like worthless refuse?
The two reached to the main entrance of the building, the pair stopping at the front doors.
“The exit.” Calais spoke with a high tone of respect. In a noblesse oblige-like manner, he stepped back from the door and showed Heku the large mahogany doors with a notion of his arm. His overly hospitable facade concerned Heku, yet he brushed off his skepticism, correlating his sudden feelings of kindness into a sense of elation that the one Calais loathed finally exiled himself from his presence.
He gazed while his thin, callous fingers grasped the brass doorknob, and saw his thoughts flash before his eyes, filled with countless regrets and bittersweet memories. He opened the door silently, looking back before he stepped outside. Calais stood by him and folded his arms in contempt, similarly to how an alderman unwillingly bids his hated political opponents a cordial farewell. He coldly nodded at Heku and nimbly stepped away. Heku gazed at the pallid, shining white snow drifting in front of him while a sense of loneliness crept up his body. A blend of mixed emotions filled Heku's head: He experienced a sense of adventure and ambition for his plight by night, but also felt a feeling of remorse for leaving the one he loved behind with blind temerity, only to think of the worst situations she can fathom should he fail to return by dawn.
Heku repressed his fears about leaving her, and stepped outside. He took one final look at the orb of light near Calais.
“No valediction of insults? No accusation that I will return to some cabal and continue to plot your death?” He asked in an insulting, pleading tone.
“Not tonight.” Calais responded, holding in his pent-up rage. He clenched his fists in bitter disdain and restrained himself from striking Heku. Instead, he simply returned to his room without another word.
Heku exited the building, closing the ancient door behind him. A chill of uncertainty shook Heku, yet he started trek into the streets of Außenwelt, the fading glow of the lighted search towers of the looming, ornate cupolas transfiguring into dancing specks of light, guiding Heku into the unknown future ahead of him. He walked along the streets of Außenwelt, hearing nothing but the faint echo of the windy snowfall beating upon him. A sense of bittersweet awe struck Heku while he advanced to the town gates. He finally experienced the silence and solitude he constantly yearned for in Da Capo came true, yet silence and solitude only brought a heart-wrenching pain.
Nevertheless, Heku began to move his feet, trudging through the cold, hollow streets of Außenwelt, travelling against the frigid blizzard that seemed to howl a fanfare of his leave. Heku trekked past the layers of snow that gathered from the blizzard and entered the forest surrounding Außenwelt. Not a single shine of light guided him when he entered, for he knew that travelling anywhere –even back to Da Capo became a viable choice.
“What about her?” Heku said aloud. His resolve became diffident at the thought of leaving the one he loved behind. What worth does his plight prove if he did not run away with her? Heku knew that the only reason why he embarked on a journey to Außenwelt in the first place originated from her cajoling.
“No, she must stay. My journey will not end because of her…” He said, his voice trembling in self-hatred.
Heku turned around and continued into the forest once more.
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Northrigde, California
IGN: Hekutaa / Yaripon / Flins
Guild: Mirage Coordinator
Finally! An actual update! Stay tuned for the exciting finale of part two: A Deadlock of Duty~
Flins stood in the middle of a trail in a forest. He gazed at his surroundings, in awe, spying boundless horizons of trees scattered in a sea of flora. Birds chirped a harmony of arpeggios while they danced above the canopy of the trees.
The sun shone down on Flins while the dying leaves of the trees filled the meadow with vibrant colors of orange and brown. Flins had never seen the season of Autumn, for the climate of Frostig kept its inhabitants trapped in a pall of endless snow.
Why did he dream this? Normally in dreams, Flins finds himself staring into the distance of a snowed-over field or sitting atop a hill overlooking his home town of Roman. Not once did he dream of Autumn. He did not know the season of Autumn.
Flins looked directly ahead of him, where he spied a man between a trail of dead, trampled leaves. He cautiously walked towards the figure, where the man's facial features grew more and more noticeable. The man's glassy, gentile eyes blinked at Flins with a gentile aura, while the man, clad in nothing more than a grey collared shirt and dark pants, rested his hands on a twisted branch.
"You're late, friend." The man spoke in a tranquil, fatherly tone.
His voice echoed with the clemency of a priest, but held a sense of child-like excitement. The man's appearance had been battered by the cogs of time, for Flins spied small wrinkles on his face and took note of his crooked back leaning on the snake-like cane.
Flins did not answer. He stared at the man before him in pure curiosity.
Heku? No, the man's hair glowed a brilliant shade of iron grey, while Heku's hair color held a mahogany color. Shiro? No, for the man's lax expression set himself at too much of a contrast to the impatient Shiro.
The man looked back at Flins with a look of slight uneasiness.
"Come now," The man urged with the gesture of an open hand towards Flins. "We must be on our way."
"To where?" Flins inquired defensively.
The man smiled.
"Oh, my spry companion! What simplistic thoughts you hold! You know as well as I do that our destination will be reached when we arrive." The man chuckled.
Flins gaped at the man in utter confusion. How did he, Yari Flins, a seventeen-year old teenager, having little connection to the outside world, become called a "friend" to a man he has never met before?
A product of my dream?
Flins hoped so.
The man gestured at Flins to the trail of leaves bordered by lines of the twisted limbs of the dying trees. The two began to walk down the boundless trail ahead of them. The sounds of the autumn leaves crushing into a cacophony of earsplitting grinding rang in Flins' ears.
"Oh, I am a poor wayfaring stranger," The man next to Flins began to sing in a mournful, suffering manner. "I travel to the world below. There is no sickness, toil, nor danger, in that world to where I go."
The sound of the leaves began to dissipate, while Flins heard the symphony of the wind blowing upon him acting like the conductor to the man's aria. Flins closed his eyes while the man continued to sing. They continued trekking down the road, the wind blowing on the pair increasing in intensity. A storm of leaves wafted Flins and his companion.
Acting like his impromptu partner, Flins stepped in the same tempo of the man's elegy. Under the beating wind, surrounded by an unknown environment, and walking next to a complete stranger, Flins smiled in strange content.
Flins made an abrupt stop, caused by his partner's right arm extending to his chest. Flins jolted awake from his trance-like pace, glaring at the man in a perturbed manner. He spied that the man's face contained a look of fright, for his eyes had be opened wide and a blank expression filled his otherwise normal manner.
Flins turned his head towards the direction of his partner's aghast gaze.
A looming, gargantuan wolf, in a twisted, shadowy form, gazed at Flins and his partner with glaring, yellow eyes. The wolf's fur seemed to break from the creature and dissipate from the air, similarly to how drops of dye dances when placed in clear water. The monster breathed heavily while its open maw began to drip droplets of dark saliva, ready to devour the prey in front of it.
The man next to Flins gave him a light tap on his chest. His eyes gazes to the empty road behind them. The man tipped his head towards the direction of the trail, his face suddenly emitting a sense of urgency.
"Flee, my friend." The man commanded.
"But what about-"
"Don't worry." The man replied, smiling. "I have been summoned to complete a number of tasks on this world, and then I take my leave. Since I'm not even close to finishing the tasks, I'll never die!"
Flins nodded in unease. He darted back, running with all of his strength. The final words coming from the man roared vehemently in Flins' ears while he ran. In a mourning, deep tone, he sang:
"I'm going there, no more to roam."
A bloodcurdling scream of agony pierced Flins' ears. He feared the worst for his travelling companion, yet did not look back; his neck had been seemingly paralyzed in fear, while his feet kept running.
The wolf-like beast suddenly leaped far into the air and crashed in front of Flins. With its glassy, yellow eyes, it stared him down while the behemoth advanced.
Drops of red blood dribbled down the monster's blackened maw. A fragment of the man's shirt who valiantly stood up against the monster had been lodged in between two teeth.
The creature inhaled and exhaled with great force, with the smell of rotting flesh on its breath. It slowly lifted its front paw, ready to strike Flins. Shreds of the man's clothing had been impaled on the beast's gigantic claws.
It let down the blood-soaked paw.
Flins jolted from out of his dream and back into the fortress' medical ward. Beads of sweat rolled down his forehead while his body trembled in fear. He sat upright while he his hands patted his body for any lacerations.
Not a single scratch.
He let a loud sigh of relief. He stared into the large, frosted window in front of him. The scenery before Flins featured the bustling town of Lumisade while small specks of diamond dust gently drifted from the pall of grey clouds above. He smiled gently at the tranquil sight before him.
Flins then heard the sound of footsteps headed towards the room. He quickly slid back into his bed and closed his eyes.
Flins heard the sound of the door to the medical ward open. The footsteps paced back and forth through the room.
"Yari." A male voice said.
The man shook his shoulder in attempt to rattle Flins awake. Flins lazily opened one eye to take a look at the man.
"Shiro?" Flins grunted.
"We have to get out of here, now." Shiro spoke. A look of fright and vehement anger filled his face. He held his blade aloft while he examined Flins. Shiro stepped away and dashed back to the open door. He gestured with his hand to command someone in.
"Lay her here!" Shiro said with urgency.
Aremi and Vith entered the room, dragging the bloodied-up body of Linverse. Blood poured from her face and body and her emerald green clothes had been tattered. A dreadful silence filled the room. Lin made loud, hoarse breath, followed by a bloodcurdling cough. Vith, Shiro, and Aremi surrounded her while Flins tried to look at the grotesque scene before him.
"Lin, can you hear me?" Vith asked.
She nodded weakly.
"Can you tell us what happened?"
"They… they took… took us… By surprise. I-it's a trap…!" She replied.
"Who took you by surprise? What is a trap?"
"E-eyes… My eyes…. Th… they're weary… I… I must rest." She said, her eyes growing heavy.
"Hey! Don't fall asleep! Stay awake!" Vith roared.
Lin's eyes had already been closed. She let a dreary sigh and smiled, despite her injuries. Vith clenched his fists and look away. He stormed out, but stopped at the doorway.
"Flee. If Lin did not stand a chance against this monstrosity, then you will simply be mowed down."
"But what about you?" Aremi asked.
"I'll die trying to purge whatever killed her. Besides, it's only a matter of time before they win."
"What are you trying to say?!" Shiro yelled. "Does that mean that Lumisade will simply give up to Vesisade?!"
Vith looked back. His eyes had no emotion, no soul, no life. His fists had been clenched and his knuckles pulsed white.
"I am a man of peace." Vith said calmly. "If nothing of danger passes my way, then I leave it be, but if something of unimaginable prowess invades this fortress, then my resolute loyalty to this fortress shall fall along with it." He took a deep breath. "Farewell."
"No! Let us fight, too!" Aremi yelled. "We belong to Lumisade as much as you do!"
"Then show your loyalty by fleeing; Take Yari and find a way to warn the Brigade Corps. Hopefully, I can stall enough time for your three."
Without another word, Vith ran off.
If I don't look down.
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Somewhere You don't know
Class: A nab.
Level: Check it in-game.
Wow, I saw my name there! WITH ROUX!! <333 OMG, I'm happy C:
I liked the part where I'm bloody, Kinda cool and awesome. +rep for you then 8D
Last edited by Verse; 04-18-2011 at 07:48 PM.