I don't know why I didn't update this for a long time. But whatever, once again, I owe nothing.
"Oh, I really hate that old man right about now." Luke muttered to himself as he walked threaded through the wide plains on nothing but foot. He muttered a string of curses continuously at that old colonel who even to this time made his life difficult.
Although thinking about it, part of it was his fault. He had chose to ditch Tear to head to the forest early and in turn didn't meet Jade. It was perhaps why that man was unaware of his presence.
He had left the Cheagle Woods not too long ago upon hearing that Tear and Ion had been taken away by Jade. He came to the woods to retrieve Ion, and arrest him and Tear together at the same time. However no doubt that this time round, he wasn't able to arrest him since he wasn't around. It would have seem that he decided to leave without him.
Still, knowledge of the future told him that the god generals were going to ambush them soon enough, and when they did, no doubt Jade would try to either take back the ship or head to Saint Binah to regroup.
His bet was the latter, but his objective now was the formal.
"Stupid Old man, what does he think I am? A horse? How am I suppose to catch up with a warship by foot?" Though he was cursing and swearing with every step, it didn't change the fact that he was making effort on his part to catch up with them.
Currently, he was on his way to two possible locations. First up was the area where the Tartarus was attacked, or second, Saint Binah where they were supposed to meet in case of an emergency. He never expected Jade to make such a move to leave without capturing him.
As he walked, he closed his eyes and thought back to how things ended up in situation.
"Wait, what? What do you mean they're gone?" Luke asked in confusion. He was away for over a few hours to help the ligers resettle, by the time he had returned to the cheagle forest, both Tear and Ion were gone. He returned the ring to the elder so that he could talk to him directly.
"Like I said before. Someone came and took them away."
"Who was it that did that? Do you know them?"
"I'm afraid not, however the fon master referred to him as Jade. He and his solders took away the fon master along with a woman called Tear."
Immediately he smacked himself in the head before letting out a sigh. "Oh god, how could I have forgotten about them?" Truly, despite all his knowledge of future events, some things don't change, like his inability to plan ahead properly.
He looked down at the cheagle elder. "Look, thanks for your help earlier on regarding the fon master, but I should be going now, I really need to catch up with them."
As he turned around to leave, something landed on his shoulder. He turned around and saw it was Mieu. "Mieuu...mieu... "
Off course without the ring, there was no way to understand what he was going to say. Fortunately the elder translated for him.
"The child wishes to travel with you. He tells me that you spoke on his behalf to the ligers, and that your protected him during the confrontation with the queen. Cheagles always repay their debts, and this time is no different, so to repay the debt, he will travel with you for the entire season."
Inwardly he smiled, because for a moment he thought that this time round he would have to travel without his little buddy, but it seemed that it was not the some planning, he just might be able to make a better relationship as compared to their previous one. He was going to make sure that there was no abuse this time round.
"If that's the case, then I accept!"
One thing that remained the same was that he was the master of Mieu, and he couldn't express how grateful he was for that. His services had proven invaluable in the previous journey, and he was sure now would be the same.
Five hours later...
"That's strange, I thought the Tartrus would be somewhere around here or so?" Luke couldn't help but wonder where it was. He followed the trail left behind by the land warship, but realized that it had gone further than he remembered it to be. For a moment he thought that perhaps the Tartarus had made it through without any danger,
"Master...where are we going?"
He looked down at the item bag where the little cheagle had popped his head out.
"We're looking for friends, but I think I might have missed them."
"Mieuuu...do you know where they'll be at than master?"
"I think so...but it's still a long walk away. I can only hope we'll make it there by the nightfall and not tomorrow."
"Is it that far away? Mieu..."
He simply stroked the cheagle's head as he changed directions. He looked about at the tracks the ship had left. Certainly he didn't remember the ship advancing so far. It looked like it was heading towards the borders.
"Don't tell me I have to walk all the way to the border?" A sudden realization he came upon. Even if he had memories of the future, not all of it could be relied on.
He had no real idea how time worked, but even so, he had enough common sense to know the meaning of altering the past means changing the future.
The fact that the Tartarus didn't stop where he remembered it to be was another issue. He wondered what could have happened to it.
Regardless, he had no idea what happened to it. However he still retained the knowledge that if anything went wrong, they would have to visit Saint Binah.
Originally the Tartarus was supposed to head to the kingdom of Kimlasca to deliver a letter to the king. His presence alone was a big help back then. Now it probably still would have been were he there with them.
But it was not a must have. It was merely a bonus. If the Tartarus got away from the attack or perhaps never was attacked in the first place, then the only location he could think where it would go is the kingdom of Kimlasca.
Though Saint Binah was another choice should they have failed.
"They better not have headed to Kimlasca directly, or I'm going to be in a lot of trouble." He muttered to himself.
He had a lot of room to cover, and very little time to spare, considering that he didn't have a warship to do half the travelling this time round.
"Is everyone all right?" Tear asked.
"I don't think so, after all I am an old man. My bones are too fragile for this kind of treatment."
"You look perfectly fine Colonel...but I could be wrong." Ion replied to his words.
The three of them were currently locked up in a cell. The fon master was no exception, mostly because there wasn't anywhere else to take him.
Earlier on, the group had attempted to retake the ship after the ambush of the God Generals.
Their plan was a near success. They had disabled the God General's defences and almost fatally wounded one of their commanders. Yet it was all for nothing, as they were unable to foresee the interference of Asch the Bloody who showed up just as they were about to retake the ship.
His presence had swiftly brought an end to their plans.
"Fon master, now is not the time for jokes."
"Oh! My apologies." The fon master apologized to Tear.
Looking to the colonel, Tear asked the question that was on her mind the entire time. "Colonel, do you have any way of escaping? I believe that as this is your ship, you must have an idea."
"Oh come now. What can an old man like myself-"
"Colonel! No more fooling around." Tear cut him off just as he used his sarcasm to further irritate them in this position.
Letting out a sigh, Jade pulled out his glasses and polished them. "Well...it just so happens that I did leave a safety measure in case of something like this. It will be cruel, but we have to abandon ship and travel on foot." He says while he polishes them.
"What about your men? Are you just going to abandon them?"
"They are most likely dead. The god generals wouldn't want to leave any witnesses behind." The Colonel replied.
Ion didn't like it, but he knew that was most likely the truth.
The soldiers that came with them were all either dead or captured. The former being the more likely case.
"Well what's this safety measure about Jade?"
"It's a password that shuts down all functions on the ship. It will also release the prison cells, allowing us to escape. However it will only buy us a few minutes at most. During this time, we must escape."
Tear frowned, she didn't find the odds very good. "Only a few minutes at most...this will be difficult."
"But not impossible. The sudden shutdown of the ship will leave many in confusion. I imagine the god generals will also be affected. Even if they pull themselves together faster than their soldiers, they still have can't do anything until they get the power back online. That alone would take some time even for the most skilled of fon technicians."
The precious time he mentioned would be crucial to their escape.
"Colonel, even if we do succeed in escaping, where should we go? Do you have a destination in mind?"
"Anise and I agreed on such a location should a situation like this ever present itself."
"Where is it?"
Tear's eyes widen in surprise. A good place to meet up without a doubt.
That place was on Malkuth grounds. Even the Oracle knights wouldn't be able to just barge in. Though the problem was what was would they do afterwards.
There was also another problem.
Where was Luke Fon Fabre at this very moment? Because of the Colonel's lousy timing, she had ended up being separated from her.
She was in having conflicts between her sense of loyalty to her self-proclaim mission, and her responsibility to that red-head noble.
"Tear! Snap out of it! We're beginning the operation now." Jade's commanding voice brought her attention back.
"Understood!" She looked towards Ion and said. "Fon Master please stay behind me. We might have to fight."
"I understand." He nodded.
With his party set, Jade turned towards the energy bars barring their way. He tossed a small cube from his pocket towards it. The object dispelled the energy bars and he quickly ran towards a communication tube directly in front of them.
He spoke into the tube connection to the prison cell they were in. "By my name as Necromancer heed my command. Initiate emergency plan 'Corpse Hunt'."
Immediately all power to the ship was cut off. The three of them could easily hear the panic the soldiers were in.
"Remember. We quickly make a break towards the exit."
"Oh Lorelei. this is so boring." Luke couldn't but complain as he sat down in the middle of the road. It was still several hours away from Saint Binah. He was amazed that he managed to walk over fifteen miles on foot in a short period of time.
But he was still human. His stamina was at it's limits. It was why he had to take a break.
The cheagle companion of his was sitting on his shoulders trying to encourage him when he suddenly turned around.
"What's wrong Mieu?" Luke asked as he stood back up on his feet.
"I can hear something coming."
The boy turned around and looked down the road he was walking on. He strained his eyes and slowly but surely he made out a small figure in the distance.
"What is that?"
Slowly but surely the figure became clearer as it approached him.
"Mieuuu! It's a liger!" The cheagle panicked and hid behind his master.
Immediately Luke brought his hand to his weapon. Running away from a beast like that was near impossible. The only option was to fight.
As the beast closed the distance to a dozen meters or so, it suddenly came to a stop. The liger then proceeded to sit in front of him.
"What the? It's not going to fight?"
As if able to read his expression, the beast growled at him. But it wasn't a menacing one, if anything, it sounded playful.
"What's it saying Mieu?"
The Cheagle leapt off his master's shoulder and approached the animal. "Mieu...Mieu...Mieeuu...Mieu!"
The liger growled back at him. Mieu then turned back to his master and replied. "He says he's here to help us. He wants to thank you for saving his mother and his siblings from the army that stormed their home."
"Are you serious?!" Luke did a takeback. Never did he imagine himself befriending a beast like that particular God General would."
"He says he wouldn't mind accompanying us, and that he'll be happy to let us ride him."
It took everything Luke had to not grin. Inwardly he was still a child.
"All right then, you mind asking if it seen a huge battleship somewhere around here?"
"We need to hurry. Once they get the power back on, catching up to us will be an easy thing."
"I understand. Fon master, please hang in there for a while longer." Tear requested of him.
The three of them had successfully managed to escape from the Tartarus, however they were still in danger. The only means of transport they had was walking. And compared to a battleship, they might as well have been snails.
They needed to find shelter and fast. The problem was that the Tartarus had been travelling in a very wide and opened area. There was simply nowhere to hide.
The only hope they had was that Jade's particular trick had brought enough time before the ship restarted it's engines and chased them down.
"How in Lorelei's name did I not notice them? I mean they were right next to me the whole time!"
Luke didn't know hurt more. The fact that the Tartarus wasn't far away from his current location and he didn't notice it, or the fact that he wasn't even sure if his friends were even still there. What if they had escaped and he didn't know it? What if he was just going to run in blindly into a fortress full of Oracle knights?
"No! Focus first!" He told himself.
Despite the serious situation, he couldn't help but enjoy the ride his new Liger companion was giving him.
He made the first changes to history. Now Arietta wouldn't come after them for revenge. The problem now was how to introduce Ion's true identity to her.
The girl was probably the easiest to talk too among the God Generals. In a way, Luke actually pitied her for living a life being manipulated by his Master.
"Hey Mieu, do you think you can ask him how far is it to the Tartarus?" The noble requested of his cheagle companion sitting in the item bag.
A few seconds later, he popped out of the bag and sat on top of his Master's shoulder. "He says that it's about twenty minutes away at this speed."
His eyes narrow and his grip over the beast's mane tightened. "I'm coming guys. Be safe till then."
Things start to take minor changes here, but eventually the storyline will evolve and go into another direction soon enough...if I continue to write this.