Hey guys, sorry it's been so long. Lots of stuff going on, but it's not like I really need to give you a reason.
Also, for anyone who is interested, one of your fellow readers, LightShappy, made artwork of Albert in his Feyrbrand Dragoon form. You can find her profile on Deviant Art under the same name, and the art of Albert in this Dragoon form is called Spirit of Feyrbrand. Hope you all enjoy it.
Now onto the chapter.
When the large group of Dragon Knights entered the town of Donau, they immediately sought a place to stay for the night, ignoring everything else.
They bought a large room at the inn, and Kongol made sure no one would barge in by sitting in front of the door. The Giganto's frame was so large that even sitting he was nearly as tall as most people.
Rose was placed on one of the beds where she remained still.
Dart had left immediately after everyone had settled into the room, and said nothing about what he was going to do.
Haschel was sure he heard some screams a little earlier, but didn't bother to mention it.
Albert looked around, noticing everyone was silent, the adrenaline having worn off. He sighed, and began trying to make some small talk. "Does anyone have an idea as to why she blacked out?"
"Not really." most said.
Lavits shrugged however and took a guess. "It has to be something to do with her Dragoon Stone. That or her injuries were deeper then we thought." He looked around making sure no one else had anything to add, before continuing to speak. "More importantly, I'm fed up with Dart keeping things from us. He knows what's going on."
Kongol glared. "It not matter. Dart is strongest. Strongest make rules."
"Yea, you keep thinking that." Lavits mocked. "I say we ask him when he get's back, and give him an ultimatum. He tells us what's going on, or we go our separate ways."
Haschel sighed. "Sorry kid, but Dart's my grandson. I'm not abandoning him simply because he might know some stuff that could help us."
Shana nodded. "As much as I want to know what's going on, Dart is still my oldest friend. I don't think I could do something like that."
Lavits shook his head, realizing it was a stupid idea. If he knew what was going on, they'd just end up working together in the end anyways. He was letting his anger get the best of him.
He took a few moment to calm down before continuing. "Okay, I agree leaving would be a stupid choice, but I still think we should know what's going on."
"Well, you've got that right." Albert agreed. "He does know something, and it seems to be important."
"So, we're all in agreement? We ask him to tell us everything that's going on when he gets back?" Lavits asked.
The group nodded.
Dart's expression didn't change even once as he pulled his sword from the back of one the gang members.
"That makes 48." he told himself, leaving the body where it was. He'd killed 48 members of the Gehrich Gang, and he couldn't find anymore outside.
"Whoa whoa whoa! Don't you think your going a little far?" a cheerful voice asked. It was a voice he recognized but hadn't heard since before he had come from the future. "I mean sure these idiots are sleazeballs, and all around ass-holes, but still, a simple beating would have probably been enough, ya know?"
"Maybe, but one of the high ranking members injured a friend of mine, and stole something worth more then an entire country from her at the same time." Dart explained. "We're gonna be looking for a way to get to their headquarters tomorrow morning. I'm just releasing a bit of anger out on them."
"Really? You're going to their base tomorrow? Do ya mind if I join you? I want to go and get this girl, Kate, her fiance back. He went to go and talk to the Gehrich Gang leader, and I've gotta go rescue him." she stated, still upbeat. "Plus I've got a few things to say to their leader myself."
Dart smiled. He had always liked Meru's attitude. She brought an interesting flavour to the group. Something they needed.
"I'd be glad to have you join us." Dart told her.
"Awesome!" she said twirling on the spot, before marching up to him, and jabbing a finger on his armour. "And don't go getting any ideas. Just 'cause your good looking, doesn't mean I'm going to let you do what you want with me. I mean, I know I'm sexy, so you can look all you want, but you don't get to touch."
Dart decided to tease her a bit. "Oh? Who would? You can't be any older then fourteen."
Meru noticeably got red with anger. "I'll have you know I'm well over nine hun-"
She stopped and held her hands up to her mouth, and looked at Dart with worry.
"Sorry, could you repeat that?" Dart grinned. "I didn't quite catch that."
"I said nineteen." she stated, calming herself down. "I might look younger, but I'm really nineteen."
Dart laughed quietly, muttering his next words. "I guess I'll take you up on that invite to look."
"Huh? What did you say?" Meru asked.
"Nothing." Dart answered, remembering they still had to introduce themselves. "Names, Dart."
"And I'm the super sexy and single, and best dancer in all of Donau, Meru." She almost shouted.
Dart smiled, moving to tease her again. "So... can I just call you Meru for short? Super-sexy-and-single-and-best-dancer-in-all-of-Donau-Meru is a bit of a mouthful after all."
She blushed slightly. "Just Meru is fine."
Dart pretended he didn't hear her, as he turned to walk away.
"Hey, where ya going?" she shouted, thinking he was just leaving her behind.
"Back to the inn where the rest of my group is staying." he answered.
"Ooh, can I meet them?" she asked.
"That was the plan. Now let's go."
Just as they got to the inn, Dart suddenly stopped just outside the doors. "So, out of curiosity, what brings a Wingly to these parts?"
Meru froze, the only thing that kept her from running was that Dart seemed like a good guy, obviously knowing what she was from the start, and not seeming to care. "How did you know?"
"Typical traits of the Wingly species include platinum or silver coloured hair, red eyes, and are almost always far more good looking, then most humans." Dart stated. "You fit all of those."
"But... the only Winglies left are those in the... in my home."
Dart sighed. "Ever heard of a man named Lloyd?"
"He's a Wingly."
Meru took a sharp breath. "That means... So we're not dying out."
"Dying out? As far as I know Winglies can live for thousands upon thousands of years." Dart noted. "Not exactly a race that seems capable of dying out."
"I guess you have a point there." She muttered. "Anyways! Let's go meet those friends of yours. Oh, and, uh, can we keep me being a Wingly quiet?"
"Impossible. Everyone else will know what you are after a quick look at you."
Meru sighed. "Oh, well."
"On the bright side, you won't have to hide the fact that you can do magic from us."
Meru smiled. "That's true, isn't it."
~The Inn in Donau~
The group looked up as the door opened and Dart climbed over Kongol, a girl following him. Kongol's presence not doing anything to stop the door from opening, since it opened outwards.
"A Wingly?" Lavits asked. "I guess if you brought her here, she's going to be the next Dragoon to join this group. Does she have her stone yet, or will we end up getting it soon?"
"How should I know?" Dart asked. "But she is joining us, at least temporarily, unless she decides to stick with us."
"Cut the crap, Dart! We want you to tell us the truth." Lavits snarled. "Because you refuse to tell us anything, Rose got injured, and lost her stone."
Everyone else, save Kongol, nodded in agreement. They all wanted to know what was going on.
Meru looked hesitant, and grabbed Dart's arm, pulling on it to get his attention. "Uh, I think maybe I came at a bad time."
Dart pulled his arm from her. "It's fine, you'll probably want to hear this as well. Before I begin, I want to know that none of you are going to think I'm crazy."
"At this point I think anything is possible, whether you're some sort of seer, or whether you time travelled somehow." Albert said.
"Everyone else is in agreement, about the time travel bit?" Dart asked. All but Lavits and Meru nodded almost instantly.
Lavits too nodded after a short while.
It made sense after all. Either Dart was a seer, or he had come from the future. Both were farfetched normally, but since they're the only things that made sense to begin with, they were also the only possibilities.
"Just what's going on?" Meru asked. "Why do you need us to think you're not crazy?"
Albert and Lavits explained all the things they noticed quickly.
Meru shrugged when they were done. "Meh, I'll buy it. I mean, if Winglies once managed to make a device to allow other creatures to share in our life span, though we have no idea what happened to it, or how to make another one, then I can believe that it's possible to send someone back in time.
Dart sighed, as he sat down in a chair, Meru moving over to sit next to Shana on the bed.
"First things first, the girl is Meru, she's a Wingly as you've all noticed. And she'll be joining us on our journey." Dart said, receiving several nods and one confused look, from the girl in question. "Well, I guess there's no more putting this off. To start with, the reason I haven't told you yet is because you'd all likely think I was insane.
"Anyways, this all started when the Moon That Never Sets, blew up. We had just finished fighting Melbu Frahma, and the moon exploded. We all tried to escape the explosion, but we weren't fast enough. The closest one to escaping was Meru, but even she didn't outrun the explosion. I survived, not because I outran it, but because my Dragoon Armour provided me with the best defences of all of us, and even then I was heavily injured.
"It turned out that Melbu Frahma had survived, although, I don't know how, especially when he himself was dying inside the center of the moon. Anyways, after I managed to gather up the Dragoon Stones that were left behind by your bodies, the creator Soa, whom we all previously thought was trying to remake the world by having Melbu Frahma, in the form of the Virage Embryo, cleanse it, appeared before me.
"The Virage Embryo is only supposed to be inhabited by the Moon Child, but somehow Melbu Frahma did so in it's place. Anyways, after the creator appeared in front of me, it offered me a chance to fix what had happened, and I took it. I've only got one more shot, or he'll leave the world to it's fate. He sent me back in time with only my memories and mind, to take possession of my body just before I got involved in the Serdian war.
"From there, I've been slowly and steadily making changes. For example, Lavits, your were originally supposed to have died charging Lloyd, who killed you with the Dragon Buster."
"WHAT?" Meru shouted. "That bastard! He stole our Dragon Buster?"
"Meru, please?" Dart asked.
She blushed. "Oops. Sorry."
"Anyways, Albert was then supposed to become the Jade Dragoon, but instead he's became the Dragoon of Feyrbrand. Kongol never joined us until he found us fighting the Gehrich Gang in his home, the resting place of the Giganto's. On top of that, originally, Mappi stole my stone, not Rose's.
"Unfortunately, I'm having a hard time remembering some things cause it's been so long, and I never actually thought I'd need to remember every detail. So sometimes things remain the same when I should have changed them, or things happen similar to last time, because I couldn't remember enough about what happened."
Everyone was silent until Meru asked something.
"Um, by Dragoons, do you mean those old people who fought in the really old war a long long time ago?"
"The Dragon Campaign? Yes." Dart answered.
"Okay." she nodded. "Um, also... didn't it occur to you that maybe... Soa lied to you? That maybe you did win and he was tricking you to give his side a second chance."
"Why would he when I would know more about what to do?"
"Cause then you might screw up, ignoring something important that you had no idea was important, and allowing him to win." she shrugged. "Us Winglies don't like Soa for a reason. It was always his intention to end our races."
Dart blinked. "That... actually makes a lot of sense. Especially considering everything we'd learned about Soa."
"Great." Lavits groaned. "So now we don't even know if we should or shouldn't do something cause it might just turn out that our own god wants us all dead."
Albert sighed. "This situation keeps getting more and more complex."
"You've got that right." Rose answered.
"Rose!" half the room turned.
"Dart." Rose stated. "Tomorrow, we're going to the Valley of Corrupted Gravity and we're getting my Dragoon stone back. We're going to murder every last one of the Gehrich members."
"They're not in the Valley of Corrupted Gravity." Dart noted. "They're in the Home of Giganto's.
"Leave Gehrich himself to me." Haschel answered. "I'm positive he's an old student, and I'll be the one to end his life if he's really turned to crime."
"I lead through home." Kongol said. "Kongol knows all shortcuts and secrets of Home of Giganto."
"Settled then. We'll fly past the Valley of Corrupted Gravity, and wipe out the Gehrich Gang." Lavits nodded. "Then we'll continue looking for Lloyd."
"No. We have to give the rest of you more battle experience. We'll walk through the Valley. There's a Virage there. A whole one, and you all should know how to fight them." Dart told the group. "Rose, can you still access magic, or is it completely blocked."
Rose was silent for several seconds. "The magic from the Dragoon stone is blocked, but my body still seems to have some of it's own I can access."
"Good, it might come in handy." Dart said. "Everyone, get a good nights rest, cause within the next few days, we're not gonna be stopping too often."
Every one nodded, and left for their own rooms, except for Meru and Rose.
"Meru, your welcome to stay here with us if you want." Dart told the Wingly girl.
"Really? That'd be great."
"Although you'll have to share a bed with someone." he told her. "I don't have a problem with it, but you'll have to keep your hands to yourself."
Meru grinned. "Thanks for the offer boss, but I think I'll pass and just meet up with you all tomorrow."
As she ran out of the room, Dart was confused. "Boss?"
"Dart... this is my room. Get out." Rose told him.
"R-right." Dart said, forgetting he was in Rose's room, and running as fast his legs could carry him.
~Valley of Corrupted Gravity~
"Damn." Dart cursed. "I forgot about that massive gate."
"Well, we can fly can't we?" Meru said. "Let's just go over it."
Lavits agreed. "She has a point."
"I concur." Albert nodded. "I'll carry Rose."
"H-hold on." Dart stuttered, annoyed at how quickly they were going to resort using their Dragoon forms. "We should go back a little ways an-"
He was cut off by Lavits and Shana transforming, followed by everyone else save Rose, Meru and Kongol.
"Dart," Shana started. "stop worrying so much. It'll be fine."
Forced to agree, Dart followed the others example and transformed, Kongol mimicking him.
Albert picked Rose up, and Meru's wings of light appeared as she began flying next to Dart.
"You know, Dart," Meru began. "You have to lighten up. Sure the whole thing is pretty serious, but you're just gonna go crazy if you don't live in the moment once and awhile."
"Oh, he can be fun." Lavits said from behind them, ignoring the guards below them shouting and pointing. "I think he's just upset because he couldn't stop Rose from losing her Dragoon stone."
Meru's next words sounded mischievous. "So Dart likes Rose? And I mean really really likes her?"
Dart rolled his eyes. "No I don't. Rose is cool and all, and I had a crush on her during my original journey, but that passed when I found out exactly who she was. Put a rather brutal stop to it actually."
"We should land." Haschel said. "If Dart says we need more battle experience we should land."
"Not so much battle experience, as I mean experience fighting a particular creature that we can find in this place." Dart noted as they all landed just beyond the gate into the valley.
Rose, getting on her own feet, frowned. "This place was one of the biggest battle grounds between the Dragoons and the Winglies, if I recall my history correctly. The magic used is what caused this place to earn it's name as the Valley of Corrupted Gravity. And if what we have to fight is what I think it is, we're only going to contribute more magic to this place's corruption."
"Let's get going then!" Meru cheered.
Shana smiled. "Yea."
"Fine." Dart sighed. "No point in waiting around here after all."
As the others made a hm-like noise, in agreement, they started walking through the massive and confusing valley.
~The Gate into the Valley of Corrupted Gravity~
"Oi, Roy!" a guard yelled.
"What is it, Captain Ike?" Roy called back.
Ike pointed to the sky. "Did you see those flying people above us?"
"Sure did." Roy nodded. "What do you think we should do?"
"Alert the King. Hold up a minute and I'll write up what I saw about each of them." Ike said. "I'm sure one of them was a Wingly. Flying on Wings of Light just like in the legends."
Roy grimaced. "I hope they're not trying to enslave us all again."
"Well, we're alerting the King and he'll tell the palace guard, so at least we'll be prepared. He'll probably send a missive to Mille Sesseau, and Serdio, and then we'll be prepared and on the lookout." Ike pointed out.
Roy grinned, before frowning. "They're headed to the Death Frontier. Or more importantly, to where the Gehrich Gang is located. Right? What if they're working with the gang?"
"Then they're more trouble then we thought." Ike swallowed at the implications, finishing up his notes. "Quick, get that to the king immediately. Send our fastest messengers."
"Yes sir!" Roy saluted, before running off to do as asked.
Ike bit his lip as Roy ran to the messengers tent. "I pray to Soa that a war that big isn't going to be on our hands."
Well, there's the 12th chapter. Not very long, but I hope it made up for the long wait.