The silent howl of the icy winds resounds in my ears.
What's that you say?
After all these years?... After all those millennia? Did he forgive us? Or does he intend to try and drown us and all those maggots a second time?
Haha... I don't know what to think of all this... Sandalphon and the Metatron... Perhaps this time around you both will learn your place... You are no better then those human worms, after all.
You both originally were human, after all.
Well then, shall we have some fun?
"What the hell are you on!?" the red haired girl slammed her fist on the old, worn bar counter. The glasses on the counter jingled against one another and perhaps may have even gotten a bit of air-time there. Either way, even that old dusty bar with cheesy paintings and crap around had a fair number of customers. And one in particular was pissed off.
The bartender scoffed as he washed the glass in his hand with an old cloth, "What, little lady? You deaf?"
"..." the girl bit down on her lip, "... People coming back to life... That's just... Not logical!"
"Haha, well, think whatever you want," the bartender shook his head, "You're from overseas, right? Well I don't know how things roll over there, but over here that illness the demons and angels brought with them here is still abundant and going on strong... What was it called again? Not like it matters."
The red head groaned, "Really... Then again, demons and angels don't make much sense either, and they're pretty real..."
"Exactly, now chin up and don't seem so surprised, little lady," the bartender reached for one of the clean glasses on the back counter and filled it with crystal clear water. He handed it to the girl, "And coming to a bar for a glass of water? You sure are strange."
"Sorry, I've been on the road for a while and just got in town not too long ago," the girl took the glass and swallowed a few gulps of water. The crisp, cool liquid was delicious and made the taste of sand go away in her mouth. Travelling in deserts sucked. "Thanks, sir."
"Don't mention it," the man replied, "Anyways will you be staying the night in town?"
"Well there's an inn about ten minutes walk away from here... To the east. If you get lost looking for it I'm sure one of the townspeople would be glad to point you in the right direction."
"Okay," the red head took another drink of water, "Oh yeah, are there any shops around that sell old parts for machines?"
The bartender rubbed his chin a bit in thought, "Hm... Well, down the street is one. Not sure if they have what you're looking for though..."
The girl got up from her seat and chugged the rest of the water. She slammed the glass down on the counter and shrugged her bag over her shoulder in a rush, "Okay, thanks a bunch, old man!"
"H-hey!" And out the door the girl was... That was quick, "... Young-ins these days..."
The dusty streets of the desert town of Amberk were packed with people doing their daily errands. A woman washing clothing on the front porch, a man working on various wooden crafts and charms to ward off bad luck and the like... Though rather shabby, the town had a homely feel to it. Though it was very foreign at the same time considering that this particular man grew up in the world of the demons. The human world was interesting to say in the least, though. In the distance grand pyramids stood, falling apart due to time yet still grand
The man's deep scarlet eyes danced here and there, taking in his surroundings and trying to find what is was he was looking for here. It was definitely something important, but he can't quite remember what it was. Well I'm sure I'll remember soon enough, the demon man mused as he walked onwards. Might as well grab a bite to eat while I'm here. I gotta get to... What was it dad called it... Greece? Well whatever it's called now, that's where he had to go next.
"Excuse me, sir!" another red head abrumptly brushed past the man and was running on to where ever she was headed.
"Seems like she's in a rush," the demon man muttered to himself and continued walking, "... Oh right, I was supposed to drop by the mercenery's tavern here." The man reached into his old coat pocket and pulled out a small, folded sheet of paper. I have a job here, after all...
It didn't take long after asking a few people where the mercenary tavern was. Once he got there the bartender turned to face the man and greeted him, "Welcome."
"Hey," the demon gave the bartender a slight nod before taking a seat at the fornt counter, "You're Mr. Vaugn, right?"
"That's right," the bartender set down the glass he was cleaning and got a close look at the newcomer, "Scarlet eyes and hair... And is that a tail akin to the Fiend in legend? You must be Drake."
Drake pulled off his hood and gave the man a slight smirk, "Yeah. Oh, and give me a shot of vodka. We have some things to discuss."
"Wait... Where did he say that shop was again?" The girl pouted slightly and turned to look around more, "... Geez... I guess I need to ask someone for directions at this point..." the redhead sighed and walked on to find someone to ask for directions.
Tch, Nathaniel what are you doing?!
A frustrated looking woman in brown and white robes strolled the rooftops of certain desert town, leaping from rooftop to rooftop when necessary. Underneath the hood the only thing that could be clearly seen were her piercing eyes, the rest of her face being masked by mufflers and the hood. In this town she didn't particularly want to be seen with him, since a man wandering a desert town in a full-on business suit is really conspicuous.
What's worse is that it looks like he's following someone... she thought, Wait, could that be?!
Though she was considering confirming her suspicions, the man she believed Nathaniel to be tracking was bumped into by a young girl who seemed to be in a hurry. Nathaniel turned to follow the girl now. Oh hell no, enough of this!
Anna jumped down off of the rooftop and landed right in front of Nathaniel. "Dammit Nathaniel, just go to the ****ing embassy already! The route I designated is safe, so as long as you take it I won't have to keep following you like this."
"Oh poo, you don't wanna follow me?" the man replied with a smirk, "Fine, fine. I'll be off then~"
Well, at least he's going the right way now. Babysitting that man is such a chore.
She went back up to the rooftops to see if she could catch sight of the hooded man from before, but he was nowhere to be seen. Tch, figures I'd lose track when I've gotta set Nathaniel straight... Hmm?
The girl from before seemed to be lost. Well, I may as well help her. Maybe she'll have some idea of where that guy was going...
Anna leaped across a few rooftops before jumping down and landing behind the girl. She pulled down her hood, and tapped the redhead on the shoulder. With a smile, she said, "Hey, are you lost?"
"Eh?" The girl looked to the person who was tapping her shoulder; a woman with long, white hair and dark, tanned skin, "Oh um... Well... I'm looking for a shop that sells old machinery parts around here," the redhead looked around once more, "The man at the mercenary's tavern said it was around here, but..." She ended that sentence with a sigh.
The mercenary's tavern, huh? It must be him after all.
"Ah, that shop... It's actually just a bit further this way. Here, I'll take you there," Anna replied, before reaching into the bag strapped to her back.
Soon enough, she pulled out a towel. "Here, with your fair skin you'd do better to cover your neck and chest, the desert sun can be cruel," she warned before saying, "Oh, my name is Anna by the way."
"Oh really? Thank you," the girl smiled a bit and took the towel graciously. She quickly wrapped the towel around her neck, leaving enough leeway for it to cover her chest as well, "I'm Larietta but feel free to just call me Lari. Nice to meet you!" Lari flashed a quick grin.
"A nasty monster?" Drake rose a brow.
"That's right," Mr. Vaugn took the empty glass from Drake and proceeded to wash it in the sink behind him, "Nobody's really sure what exactly it is since it only strikes at night, but it's been destroying the Ostrich and Camel farms in the area. Townspeople have also mentioned seeing odd silhouettes outside of town, too."
Drake chuckled slightly, "Ah... Well can't blame it. Ostrich meat is tasty."
"Maybe you should think with your head instead of your stomach," Mr. Vaugn turned back to Drake and proceeded to dry the small shot glass, "Anyways some mercenaries have been trying to track it down and the local guilds are all busy with the recent civil wars in the south. The mercenaries haven't had way too much luck, though."
"We ought to get back to the town, master," a light, watery voice suggested, "This sun is becoming more intense by the second, and it feels like I'm evaporating. Oh, please, master, may we go back and get some water?"
A twisting body of white water in the form of a small mermaid shifted itself to and fro in a frantic manner, its full turquoise eyes filled with a bit of childish urgency. She was addressing her master: a towering azure figure, armored only around major vital points held fast with decorative chains and well-crafted emblems at the chest, the triceps, and lower legs. His violet, white tipped mane was as spiked as a hedgehog's back, extending down from his head all the way down his back to the base of his bladed tail.
The figure turned around and met the water elemental's eyes with its orange infernos.
"Yes," Finir mumbled with his jagged maw, "We've been out here long enough, I'm sure. Shoot, we both may as well take a bath. Scales drying out too fast and all."
"Oh, goody, master!" The water elemental exclaimed, "This pyramid stuff was getting boring. Let's find something fun to do after we rest." The azure dragon couldn't help but chuckle at her demeanor.
"We will, Nimi." The azure dragon formed a water orb in his palm, and the elemental gladly threw herself to it as her whites mixed in with the magic's blue. With a great wingbeat, Finir lifted off from the pyramid he had explored earlier that day. He was sure that the disease didn't get this far quite yet.
After a little while, he reached the ragtag town he had visited earlier. In particular, he visited and stayed at the mercenary's tavern the night before. Even the news of the disease had come this far.
The azure dragon had to bend downward through the doorway upon entering, and, just like the day before, he bumped his head against the top of the threshold and made a grunting noise, then hissed at his own clumsiness. The water elemental came out of her water orb simply cracking up.
"Oh, master," she said between her laughter, "You are--shishi--just too big for this town altogether! You may as well just sit on it! In fact--"
"'You're so tall, you could sell shade.' Yeah, I know." Finir grumbled at her exaggeration, but then quickly turned to the present barkeep, Mr. Vaugn., taking a seat beside a scarlet-haired stranger.
"Good to see you again, Mr. Vaugn. Two extra large glasses of water when you have time, please."
Mr. Vaugn moved his glance from Drake to the newcomer, an azure dragon by the name of... "Penatoba, right? Another odd one ordering water of all things..." The barkeep shrugged his shoulders and prepared two glasses of water for the dragon, and placed them before him on the counter. "How was the trip out into the desert?"
"Penatoba..." Drake repeated under his breath. The name had a certain familiarity to it... The man glanced over at the dragon beside him. "Excuse me, sir," Drake turned to the dragon, "Have we met before?"
OOC: herp drake has a horrible memory etc
"Oh, yes!" Nimi gladly took the huge glass of water and started to chug it down, floating as if laying down on her backside like a baby. Of course, all she really needed to do was jump into it and absorb the water therein, but nothing beats the cool feeling of refreshing water down a parched throat. She'd be at this for a while.
"Well," Finir began, "I have found a few things out there in the tombs--"
"Excuse me, sir," the scarlet man said to him "Have we met before?"
The azure dragon turned to the stranger's voice on his left, then immediately got up after looking down upon his face.
"Drake!" Finir exclaimed with a grin. "It's been too long, my friend! And you've grown a bit, too!"
"But you don't remember me at all?" Finir frowned. "That's a shame. I guess you don't also remember when your uncle hit me with a bat? I was inside that spiked ice ball. Remember?"
"That's a pretty bad way to jog someone's memory, Finir," the water elemental said with a chuckle.
OOC: That is a pretty bad example to use, Finir.
A light and airy breezed passed through bringing with it a cloud of dirt which entered the stalled car. The single occupant cough and pulled his cloak over his face, obscuring his nose, mouth and eyes from the sediment.
"Shit! Peice of junk," the demon-angel cursed, closing his eyes against the sting of dust particles and basically rolling out of the vehicle and falling to the ground.
He stood, lowering the cloak from his face, as the dust passed and raising his booted foot kicked at his now unfunctioning vehicle.
"Piece of shit!" he said, and send another kick this time with the other foot for good measure.
Sure you souldn't become attached to something as unreliable as a motorcar in a desert in midgard but that didn't stop Emilio Ayala from lamenting. It wasn't too long ago that he was praising his good fortune for having found the thing near an oasis with no owners around and even a bit of fuel in her. Said luck didn't last.
With a sigh, Emilio pulled the rest of his items out of the car, ready to continue his trek as originally planned. He hoisted his bag on his back, took a quick swig of his water and then wiped his brow with the back of his arm before pulling out a sheet of paper.
"Eye of newt, frog's breath, elephant ears... the animal or the plant? I should have asked before I left. I'll just get both then. Petrified llama droppings, thyme," he said.
"Sounds simple enough though I certainly wont find any of that here."
He must have read the map of the different portals from Chokma wrong... again. He had no idea where he was an the one thing that made everything better (his car) was now compeltely out of commission. Resigning himself to his fate, Emilio figured he'd just have to find a human settlement and hope that either they had a decent port or he could get some help with his vehicle at the very least.
He severly doubted it though.
With a sigh he began the long trek to somewhere.
"Nice to meet you too," Anna said, "The shop is right this way, so follow me."
As she started to walk, she turned her head and quickly asked, "Say, do you wanna grab dinner with me later? There's not a whole lot of friendly faces around here, so it'd be nice to eat with somebody who doesn't give me the desert stinkeye."
(OOC: desert stinkeye because it's so hot all the time that people just be MAD ALL DAY.)
(OOC: like... moments later??)
As the two approached the shop door, Anna couldn't help but ask, "What is it you need to buy here anyway?"
The leviathan of a machine slowed itself to a stop, the steady creaking of its unoiled joints ceasing for a moment. Its upper body lowered itself to the ground, so as to allow its creator to slide her way off its broad back and drop herself onto the hot desert sands. The young girl gazed past the pyramids ahead of her, spotting the small town. Her destination.
The machine behind her groaned as it arched its body back up, swaying its head slightly side to side.
"I will be fine, Morrigan." The white-haired female said, as if to reply to the mechanical creature's whine. "I have you here and the rest of them around." She waved her hands across the desert as she said this.
Seeing as "Morrigan" did not respond, she set off towards the town on foot, a bag of clinking coins bouncing on the left side of her waist.
Angela quickly made her way through the town outskirts, taking little note of the homely appearances and her path seemed clear as she walked at a brisk pace towards the parts shop. Her frilly outfit gave a stark contrast to the more "plain" setting of the town, causing eyes to dash over her and quickly look away at this foreign visitor.
As her destination came into view, its entrance became blocked by a girl and a woman, who began to converse right at the doors. Taking no time to consider wasting her breath on asking permission, the seemingly 12 year-old rudely pushed her way past the red-haired girl and white-haired woman and walked into the store right towards the counter. She untied the bag of coins from her waist and plunked it onto the counter.
"How many quality parts will I get with this?" Angela questioned without greeting.
Lari's eyes lit up, "Dinner? Sure!" After all, she could totally relate to what Anna was saying.
"Parts," Lari answered right when a white haired brat cut in between them into the shop. Lari scowled, "What's with her? A nice 'excuse me' would have worked."
"Sorry," Drake apologized with a bit of a sheepish smile, "I have a horrible memory... But yeah, now I remember you. It certainly has been a while, Finir." The redhead's eyes went from Finir to the.. water spirit... Thing, "Nice.. whatchamacall it?" he eyed the small mermaid like being, unsure of what to think of it.
Emilio was half walking half flying across the sand. He had been traveling away from his vehicle for a bit more than an hour at that point. Once he spotted them, he had headed in the direction of the pyramids and even now he could see the human settlement in the distance. However soemthing else even closer caught and held his attention.
"What's that?" Emilio wondered, squinting against the sun and pushing his bangs, now drenched with sweat, off of his forehead. If he knew he'd be in he desert he would have worn a hat.
It was a machine with spider legs and a dragon like look to it.
He looked around him in all directions but there was nobody around.
"It doens't look abandoned..."
He looked around him again and then eyed the machine warily. He should just go into town he knew, but if that thing was abandoned he could see if it worked. Those legs wouldn't tire out as fast as his after all. And if that failed he could strip it for parts.
With that Emilio made his way towards the machine.
"I'm not a fan of the heat."
Nicole and Kallistos were sitting on a cart driven by a man and his horse, taking the two to the nearby city Amberk. Nicole was wearing a cloak over her clothes to protect herself from the heat. Kallistos, on the other hand, was wearing his same old gear without a single care for protection.
"You've said that nine times now," Kallistos mumbled as he looked out at the distance.
"I don't double as an air conditioner," Nicole retorted.
Later, they had finally reached their destination. The two thanked the driver and entered the small town.
"I'll head over this way. See you in a bit."
Kallistos nodded as Nicole ran off. Kallistos decided to hang around town for a bit, seeing as he didn't have much to do. He browsed through the marketplace looking for some fashionable equipment he could buy. There isn't much that did tickle his fancy, though.
Kallistos left the area for a quick break. He opened up his canteen full of water and began to drink it. He stepped outside town, and caught a glimpse of a man approaching a large... robot spider thing. Kallistos hid behind a nearby rock, just to see what would happen.
"Don't mind her," Anna replied, "Anyone who's willing to wander the desert dressed like that is bat-shit crazy anyway."
As the two walked into the store, they overheard: "How many quality parts will I get with this?"
"You should probably just check the price tags," Anna answered, "Not every item in the store costs the same amount after all."
She walked over and started thumbing through some stuff near the back wall, then turned back to Lari and said, "What are you going to be using this junk for anyway?"
She then began to grab box after box of 3-inch nails, and took them to the cashier to buy them.
"Nice...whatchamacall it?" Drake stated.
Nimi looked as if she were offended.
"Ah--! You don't know what I am?! Finir, is this guy ignorant? I don't think it's just terrible memory that's the problem, but maybe an extra chromosome."
"Nimi, enough," the azure dragon bellowed with a hellish glare and firm voice. The water elemental puffed up her cheeks and turned away in frustration, but indeed kept quiet as ordered by the chained Dragonkin. "I apologize, Drake. She isn't always the most patient... She is indeed, however, a water elemental. A creature born purely of mana that flows among the bodies of water in this world."
"That's right," Nimi interjected as she whisked into Drake's face. "And, if you're wondering, the reason why I'm white instead of the usual blue is because I was born of sea foam, and that's pretty rare! Sea foam water elementals are among the strongest of the other water elementals. I was especially assigned to Blue Boy here so that his might can be combined with my ma--Hey, he's kinda cute when you get a good loo--"
"Furthermore," Finir interrupted, "many elementals volunteered for a sort of weapons project going on now in Ploshast-- special training that gives elementals the ability to turn into physical weapons. Nimi?"
"You got it!" The water elemental whooshed back to a spacious spot in the tavern. She clasped her hands together in front of her chest and closed her eyes. Her form started to extend diagonally into watery forms of what seemed like veins and nerve endings. The sound of waves crashing into rock faces came as if the tavern itself were at the edge of a rock face outside, with the sea before it. It came into the form of a rather large axe that even Finir would have to wield with two claws. The water phased into physical form, then retracted the blade head of the axe down the pole until it was mid-way between the handle area and the pole end. It floated until it reached Finir's back, latching on magically.
"This, my friend," Finir stated, "Is the result of Ploshast's study of the elementals and mana."
(Just in case you don't know what the [Switch] axe looks like)
"Erm.... Well..." The shopkeeper wasn't quite sure what to say.
"You should probably just check the price tags," The white haired woman answered, "Not every item in the store costs the same amount after all."
The shopkeeper coughed to hide a chuckle, "... Yes, Miss, the pricetags are right with the parts, after all."
"Haha..." Lari wasn't too far from Anna in the shop. She was looking through some old engines, "I need to fix my bike. It's engine broke down earlier this morning which is really inconvenient considering we're in the middle of a desert and all." Lari eyed one of the engines in particular, not quite as run down as the others, "It's not way too hard to fix when you have the right parts." Lari looked down at the price tag and mumbled, "I think I have enough for this..."
"Cool axe," Drake blinked, a bit mind boggled after that whole explanation, "... So that's a water elemental... I've seen fire but I've never stopped to actually check any out more. Anyways seems like you've been keeping yourself busy all these years." Drake laughed a bit, "Oh Vaugn, hook me up with another shot."
"And I just cleaned your shot glass too..." Vaugn frowned slightly and grabbed the same little glass, pouring vodka into it.
"So what are you doing all the way out here in Midgard?" Drake asked, propping his elbow onto the counter and holding his head up. He grabbed the shot glass with his free hand and downed the alcohol.
The machine slowly twisted its head towards the approaching sound of feet shuffling through the sand. It's faceless head with only a line for an "eye" seemed to be staring directly into the man's own pair, a creepy enough feeling that would chill anyone despite the desert heat.
Morrigan's joints screeched as its arm moved and pointed towards the man, then suddenly shot out a very sharp metal rod that only hit right below his feet as if a warning to get away!
"Hmph." Angela arrogantly scoffed at the shopkeeper and woman. "Do it for me." She ordered, tipping the bag on the counter over and causing the coins to spill all over the surface.
"I was chosen as one of the many units to scour Midgard's major burial sites. Similar units are in Utgard and Asgard. See if this...'plague' had affected the recent dead...and maybe even the ancient dead, if they're not completely dust already. It's just to see how broad a scope we're dealing with." The azure dragon reached into one of his pouches tethered by his sash and pulled out a small notepad.
"The findings aren't favorable. I've gotten reports from my comrades that the more recent dead have vanished from their graves, as if they weren't buried there at all. What I've found in the tombs over that those pyramids--" Finir pointed a claw in the pyramids' direction. "--is a sign of some relief."
"Yeah," Nimi added, reforming herself back into her original form "Y'see, we looked inside the sarcophagi in this one room, and all of the dead bodies...seemed to be in tact. For the most part. And there were no life signs detected as well. Shoot, I tapped one's arm and it crumbled to dust." The water elemental shuddered at the thought with a 'Euch.'
"So, yes. I sealed off each of those pyramids for good measure. It's good to know that this disease doesn't affect what is already dead, or already decayed away beyond recovery. The host must be living first, which I guess means that whatever is doing this needs life essence first before causing death. Unless taking said life essence is the cause of death."
Finir caressed his chin with one claw in thought. "Though, that doesn't explain why it would reuse this life essence for the sake of a disappearing act of the people who're connected to the deceased, and have seen the deceased..."
"Perhaps it doesn't reuse it at all, and maybe they're just very convincing reanimated corpses used to steal away relatives," Nimi added.
"Perhaps...but steal away to where?"
"...Somewhere where they can be harvested...?"
Finir looked with a skeptical expression, and Nimi only shruged.
"Hey, it's possible, Blue Boy."
"Alright Esteban, I'll take these nails and... two car batteries, if you've got 'em," Anna told the shopkeeper, and while handing him the money politely said, "Thanks again."
"Hmph. Do it for me."
"You'd do better to find what you need yourself," Anna informed the youth, "He doesn't know what you want anyway."
Starting to walk back to where Lari was browsing, Anna turned and murmured one last thing: "You'll wanna watch your manners out here. This arid climate tends to make people... quick-tempered."
"Hey Lari! Need help carrying anything?" Anna called to her new friend still browsing the engines.
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