Author: Link015 PM
[Original Version] Standing so silently, with no movement at all. Statues can show emotions and feelings in the carved etchings of their expression. But what can statues tell us about something that happened years ago? The answer? Everything.Rated: Fiction T - English - Tragedy/Adventure - Chapters: 2 - Words: 9,538 - Reviews: 19 - Favs: 4 - Follows: 1 - Updated: 07-08-05 - Published: 06-28-05 - id: 2460336
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Chris: A one-shot, just because I care.
Disclaimer: Don't own Fire Emblem.
Eirika looked around frantically. They were in Neleras Peak and they had been ambushed by hundreds of monsters. So far, they had been able to hold off any major assault by the monsters, but lots of them were tiring already, and the monsters seemed to keep coming. Zombies and skeletons assaulted them from all sides while mogalls and centaurs kept using long distance weapons on them. And in the background, gorgons fired shots of dark magic at them constantly keeping them alert and withholding from them even a moment's rest.
Eirika grunted as her sword flashed, cutting through a zombie with the ease of a knife through warm butter. The majority of their forces were split, fighting in groups of three or four. Fighting alongside of her were Ephraim, Neimi, and Colm. She quickly took a look behind her, where she saw Ephraim scatter a skeleton into dust. "Brother!"
"What is it…Eirika?" Ephraim panted, his muscles burning with exertion. The tip of his lance drooped to the ground and his garments were covered with blood, calcium dust, and scars.
"I…I never thought there would be so many…Brother, I'm scared…" Eirika shuddered with fright as she sliced through another zombie with her sword. She heard Ephraim parry an arrow that was launched at him.
"I know…Afterwards…We'll take a nice long break…Just you and me." Ephraim used his lance as a quarterstaff, blocking a skeleton's sword and then slamming the shaft against the skeleton's skull. Ephraim shook his sweaty dark-blue hair and readied himself to face another onslaught by the creatures.
"C-Colm…" Neimi stood back to back with her childhood friend, firing arrows at the mogalls that appeared in the distance. Tears blurred her eyes and fell down from her face. "We…We…We are going to die…Aren't we?"
"Shut up! Don't be a sissy." Colm sneered and drove his dagger straight into a zombie's heart, causing the creature to explode. "Nobody is going to die, you understand?" Colm threw his other dagger at a mogall that had opened its eye, piercing the pupil.
"O-Okay…" Neimi nodded shakily and fitted two arrows to her bow. Launching them simultaneously, she was cheered to see them crash into a centaur's torso, bringing the half-human, half-horse down.
"Huff…huff…" Ewan panted as he launched a ball of fire towards a pack of skeletons. The ball exploded, scattering bones and flames in the air. He looked at the other members of his group. Marisa, Gerik, and his sister, Tethys. "I'm so tired…"
"Don't give up, brother!" Tethys shouted, using her shawl to blindfold a zombie while Gerik tore the monster to bits. "Just a little more." The red-haired dancer spun, dodging a couple of arrows that were aimed at her.
"Right…sister." Ewan struggled to push himself up. The mage drew in more of his strength and called down thunder and lightning to crash against the enemy monsters, blowing them up and reducing them to mere atoms.
"That's it! We just need to hold out a little longer!" Gerik shouted as he brought his sword down on the head of a cyclops. His sword carved through the monster, cutting it from head to base. The cyclops fell to the ground in two chunks, splattering blood to the ground. Gerik sighed and turned to a pink-haired girl who was busy combating a zombie. "How are you doing, Marisa?"
"Fine." She focused her energy and ran, spinning around a centaur at lightning fast speed. There seemed to be numerous images of her, all moving around the centaur. She jumped into the sky and all the images sliced the monster into bloody ribbons, with Marisa standing in front of the corpse. "Just fine."
"Glad to see that." Gerik raised an eye and turned back to the battle. The enemy numbers were reduced by a little, but it still didn't seem to make a big difference. Gerik sighed and hefted his sword. He was getting tired of this.
"Hee hee…" Lute spread flame across her fingertips, causing miniature fires to spring up in the distance, feeding on the rotting flesh of the zombies she faced. The purple-haired mage smiled again and called down lightning to crash into the ground, throwing various foes into the air. "Nobody can touch the Great Lute!"
"Yeah, yeah. Shut your trap." Ross swung a hand axe at a cyclops, crushing the monster's skull. With his other hand, he swung another axe at a skeleton's head, causing it to explode in a thousand slivers.
"How is it going, Amelia?" Franz swung his lance above his head and slammed it down on a skeleton's head, killing the monster and snapping his lance in the same action. Franz roared angrily and pulled out a short sword from his saddle.
"Just…fine, Franz." The blond-haired soldier struck tiredly at a zombie, piercing the monsters chest with her lance. Amelia tiredly removed the lance, panting heavily. "This…is hard."
"Nothing is too hard for a child genius!" Lute smiled as she caused a giant block of ice to fall and crush more of the enemy. Ross looked over to the mage and frowned.
"How can you be so cheerful?"
"Because I'm just too smart." Lute chuckled, but this time, Ross could see that the mage was worried. Sweat rolled down her face in torrents and numerous scars were breaking out on her body. Blood flecked the mage's lips and her eyes were becoming faded and blank.
"Lute…Are you okay?" Ross stepped forward but Lute warded him off.
"I'm fine…" Lute coughed. "Go away. Don't bother with me."
Ross shrugged and went back to fighting. He knew the mage was not fine, but Lute's pride forbid her from accepting help of any kind. The black-haired warrior sighed resignedly. It would be a cold day in hell when she actually opened up to others.
Everyone kept fighting, but the ranks of the monsters seemed to swell with more troops. And worse, the gorgons had fully joined the fight and were using their powers to the detriment of everyone in the army. Natasha swung her healing staff, clonking a skeleton on the side of its head. Joshua, Duessel, and Seth were fighting with her.
"Natasha! Do you know how everyone else is doing?" Duessel roared to the blond-haired cleric as he swung his axe, burying it into a zombie.
Natasha shook her head frantically. "No…No! I can't sense them…I can't even heal them…"
"That's okay." Duessel grunted as he ran and slashed at another zombie. "No one is blaming you." He silently cursed the loss of his loyal steed, which was shot down and killed a couple of minutes. "Seth! How are you holding up?"
"Just fine, thank you!" Seth charged on his horse, spraying flesh and blood everywhere as he slashed through a zombie. An arrow flew past his face and he winced as he felt a cut appear on his cheek. Their group was being hit the hardest since they had the only healer. Seth reined in his horse. "We must fight back to our Lord Ephraim and Lady Eirika!"
"No argument from me!" Joshua gripped his blade and grabbed a dagger from his belt with his other hand. Joshua moved like a wraith, his blade and dagger flicking all around the battle, stabbing, thrusting, slashing, and cutting. When he stopped, monsters on all sides of him collapsed, dead. Joshua sheathed his dagger, panting. The red-haired swordmaster was almost out of energy.
"…Hunh…Too much…" Joshua fell to one knee, gasping for breath. Which is why he didn't see the skeleton loom up behind him.
"Joshua! Watch out!" Natasha shouted a warning, but it was too late.
Joshua spun, bringing his sword around to deflect, but it was all for naught. The spear pierced Joshua's chest, and the swordmaster felt blood escape through his lips. "Gaha…Mother…" Joshua fell to the ground, the skeleton's spear still lodged in his body.
"No! Joshua!" Natasha ran to his side and pushed him, rocking him back and forth. When she got no reply, she collapsed, crying on the swordmaster's dead body.
"Natasha! Compose yourself! There is still a battle to be fought!" Duessel ran through the path that Joshua had carved and slammed his axe into the skeleton's head. Seth rode up as well and deflected an incoming arrow with his shield.
The paladin's red hair was slick with sweat and he nodded to Duessel. "I will see you at the end!" He charged into the throng, lance and sword at the ready. He had gotten no farther than a couple of feet when he was struck by a blast of dark energy, knocking him off his horse and killing the animal instantly. Seth coughed and pushed himself up, blood falling from his wounds and his mouth.
Surrounding him were gorgons, their hair hissing and wiggling. A couple of them raised their hands, readying their magic for another attack. Seth sighed resignedly.
"I'm am sorry, my lords." Seth grasped his sword. "But I will not die quietly!" He ran into the nearest monster and tore its head off with his sword. He quickly spun, dodging one blast and threw his sword haphazardly into another gorgon's head. With only his lance left, the paladin charged at the remaining three, killing one more before he was struck with another blast of dark magic, taking away his life.
Natasha still clasped Joshua's body sadly, tears staining her skin. She heard someone speak and looked up. Writhing towards her was a gorgon, the snake's on the monster's head squirming. The eyes of the snakes glowed, and Natasha felt herself be pulling into their hypnotic gaze. The cleric felt herself sink, and that's the last she knew.
Duessel was the only one left out of their group and he rushed towards Eirika's group to tell her the bad news. Unfortunately, his heavy armor was slowing him down magnificently. The great knight cursed and struggled to take off his heavy helmet. Busy with his task, he didn't notice the gorgon until it was too late. Duessel was transformed into a statue, standing guard at that spot for all eternity.
"Argh!" Ross cursed as another arrow embedded itself into his arm. The warrior cursed and swung his axe with all his might at a skeleton. The skeleton exploded, which was good news, but then his axe head split in two, which was bad news. The warrior threw down the now useless piece of equipment and unhooked a small hatched from his belt.
"No…It's all over." Lute fell to the ground, on her knees. She coughed loudly, and blood spurted from her lips. The female mage was covered with bruises and wounds and her magic casting had taken an enormous amount of energy from her body. Lute coughed again, her arms shaking. "But…I can't…give up…I'm…the best." She wiped the blood off of her mouth and struggled to stand. Lute got up and motioned with her hand, causing another zombie to explode in a tower of flame. She fell again, her body drained of all its power.
"Lute!" Ross turned to help her, but Lute weakly waved him off.
"Leave me…alone…I…don't need…your help." Lute panted as blood continued to trickle down her lips. The purple-haired mage pushed herself up again and wobbled from her place, her eyes wide and dilated.
"Ross! We need some help!" Franz called to the warrior as he plunged his sword into a gorgon's body, cutting through the reptilian skin.
"Sure, I'm right there!" Ross turned worriedly away from Lute to help Franz and Amelia cope with a swarm of skeletons.
"Fool…" Lute smirked. "Fool…" She looked up to see a zombie towering over her. The mage's eyes widened and she moved to cast another spell, but as she did, the tome in her hand crumbled to dust. Lute panicked, feeling the zombie lurch closer. 'No…No…No! Where is it?' The mage looked up frantically, trying to find something of use. But it was to no avail. The zombie grabbed her and Lute pushed against it, only to have her hands sink into the rotting flesh. She screamed, terrified. 'No! This isn't what I'm supposed to do! I'm the best! I can't die!'
The zombie clasped the shuddering mage closer to it and lowered its mouth to Lute's neck, biting it with his sharp teeth. Lute's eyes widened momentarily before closing, her whole body going limp. The zombie threw the dead girl away, pausing only to deposit some of its flesh onto Lute's wound.
Ross spun as he heard Lute scream, only to see the zombie kill her. He roared angrily and hurled his hatchet with all of his strength, severing the zombie's head from its shoulders. The warrior ran towards the fallen girl. "Why…Why did you have to be so stubborn…? Why?" Ross shook her half-heartedly, hoping to see some spark of life within her. But the mage's eyes remained closed. Ross continued shaking her, ignoring the fact that he didn't hear sounds of fighting occurring behind him. Ignoring the fact that Franz and Amelia were now statues, frozen in time by the gorgon's dark magic.
"Lute…You little bitch…Why'd you leave me?" Ross shook her one last time. This time, the warrior got a response. Lute's hand wobbled shakily and the mage pushed herself out of Ross's embrace, her eyes still closed. Ross stood up, unsure. He had seen her die. How could she still be moving? Then the warrior noticed the gunk that was on her fatal wound. The…glop seemed to be moving, twitching and spreading through Lute's body. When Lute's eyes opened, Ross knew that he was right.
"Aaaauuuugh!" Ross screamed. Lute's eyes were blank, showing none of the mage's cheerfulness or superiority. The dead girl's hand twitched again and she staggered towards Ross, her skin dirtied from dust, grime, and blood. Her blood. Ross gripped his hatchet and closed his eyes. "Forgive me!" He swung it at Lute's body, cutting straight through it and causing Lute, now a zombie, to fall on the ground with a large thud. Ross tearfully walked up to the mage's body, occasionally killing a nearby enemy with his hatchet.
He ran his fingers over Lute's dead body and felt something tucked in her shirt. He pulled it out, discovering a small necklace. A small picture showed Ross the significance of the necklace. It showed a small picture of her, smiling happily, with her parents in the background. Ross pocketed the treasure and ran off, screaming in agony and killing monsters left and right.
Things were looking bad for Gerik's team. With no way to determine whether anyone else was still alive, they fought on, expending the last of their energy to make sure that everyone would survive. Ewan fought on, feeling more and more tired as his magic disappeared.
The red-haired pupil shook his sweaty hair from his eyes. Monsters till kept coming, although it appeared as if the onslaught had stalled. He looked around him. Marisa was barely standing, sweat pouring down her face and one of her arms rendered useless by sword strike that managed to sever the nerve. Gerik looked winded as well, his clothes ripped and torn. And his sister Tethys…Well, Tethys was off in a better place, he supposed.
'…Sister…' The red-haired dancer had given her life to save his, blocking an arrow that was aimed for his head. He could still see it in his mind, haunting him. He shook his head wearily. "Gerik?"
"Did…Do you think my sister was proud of me?"
"Of course I do, Ewan. Your sister was mighty proud of you. Heck, sometimes she would stop talking about you." Gerik smiled wanly. "Why do you ask?"
"Cause…We're gonna die."
"I see…" Gerik shook his head. "You've gotta stop thinking about that. Go out in a blaze of glory. That's what I always say." He spotted a herd of centaurs thundering their way towards them. "Ewan? Marisa?"
"Yes, chief?" Marisa panted.
"What is it?"
"It was an honor fighting by your side." Gerik saluted them and charged at the centaurs, swinging his sword and catching one of them in the chest.
"Ewan?" Marisa didn't turn.
"Yes?" Ewan looked at the pink-haired girl.
"…It was nice knowing you." Marisa ran off, swinging her sword and slicing the enemy to ribbons.
Ewan smiled sadly. The pupil looked out on the battlefield. There were hundreds of carcasses spread around, polluting the ground with their blood. And going towards him…A mixed group of mogalls and gorgons. Ewan smiled again. Gerik and Marisa might think going out with a sword in hand was the way to go, but he thought differently. 'The only way I want to die…Is in my magic…' Ewan closed his eyes, summoning the rest of his power into himself. He was dimly aware for Gerik and Marisa's death, cut down while doing what they enjoyed most. Tears fell out of his eyes as he remembered the good times they had together.
"Magic…" Ewan muttered, hearing his foes move closer and closer. He continued drawing the last of his magic into him, storing it all for one major blast. He heard the monsters surround him, and as if he had a sixth sense, he felt when the centaur was going to kill him. Ewan smiled. 'Now!' Even as he felt the axe delve into his body, ripping through his flesh, he released all of his energy.
Thunder rained from the heavens and fire rained from the sky. Ice flew through the sky, slicing through monsters. Dark magic rippled through the ground, coming up and swallowing some of the weaker enemies whole while dealing tremendous harm to others. Magic rampaged near that area, striking any foe that came within its deadly circle. In a couple of minutes, it was all over. There was no trace of Ewan's body. However, every monster there had been killed, destroyed by Ewan's blaze of glory.
Neimi shuddered as tears flew down her cheeks. Colm was already dead, killed by an arrow that had lodged into his back. She had screamed when she saw the surprised look on his face. She became fueled by rage, a desire to wipe every monster from the face of Magvel. But the rage had faded into hopelessness. The sniper had collapsed, rocking silently back and forth as she cradled Colm's body. She lost all motivation to stay in this world, which is why she didn't resist as the gorgon cast its magic on her. She was frozen, locked in stone for all eternity.
Eirika and Ephraim were the only ones left. The onslaught had stopped, but it wasn't over yet. They were still surrounded by a couple of gorgons that had survived the last few attacks by Eirika's forces. The teal-haired lord dropped to the ground. "E-Ephraim…"
Her brother picked her up. "No…Be quiet. It's okay…We did our best…It's all up to everyone else, now." He cradled her in his arms, just like a loving brother would. Their weapons were too damaged to be used, everyone that had fought with them were already dead. They stood together as brother and sister, awaiting their deaths. And soon, it came. Nobody survived the attack…
A wizened man with black-gray hair walked through the army's last stand, brushing his fingers against the cold stone. Even now, years later, the statues still remained standing, vigilant in their last actions. A trail of children followed him.
One of the children spoke up. "What happened then?"
"Well, the fight hadn't been lost yet. L'Arachel rallied the remains of Eirika's forces and, in the twins' name, completed their mission. The Dark Lord was sealed within the Sacred Stone once again and would terrorize the people no more. Peace was returned to Magvel." The man sighed. True. Peace had returned. But without an heir, Renais was left without a ruler and the country slowly fell into disrepair. Soon, the country had to be annexed by Grado, Carcino, and Frelia. The glorious country that had been Renais was no more now and only a few people remembered the true histories of that land.
The land was slowly healing as well. But still, bad memories lingers. People died. Friendships were broken. And the dreams of sixteen people had been shattered. The wizened man adjusted his faded blue shirt. He came across a small area where four statues lay. He pointed to one.
"…This used to be Neimi…" The man ran his hands across the stone statue, gazing sadly at the remarkable detail that was etched into it. "As you can see…She still wears those tears that were shed as she mourned the death of her love." He moved to another statue that laid directly under Neimi's statue.
"And this was Colm…" The man sighed, tears of his own falling. "He was always a cunning person. It is too bad that his light was extinguished too soon…Too soon."
He moved to the remaining two statues. Unlike the others, these two were locking in an embrace, peace in their expressions, as if they accepted their deaths and knew what impact it would bring. "And these…These were the twins of Renais. Eirika and Ephraim. I'm certain…Up till their last moments…They fought with the heart of their country." The man wiped a hand over his eyes.
"Um…Mister?" A young girl spoke up, her brown hair dirty and raggedy. "How would you know all this? Everyone died, didn't they?"
The man chuckled. "Now there's a perceptive girl." He pulled out a silver necklace and wrapped it around his finger. Hanging in the center was a picture of a young girl with purple hair with her parents. "Perhaps the best part of a tale is not always the truth…"