AN: Do not own nor claim WKC, do I. Leere Nact and story, mine are. Slight Leonard flaming.
"Impulse and Results"
We stood by the east gate of Balandor, waiting for the arrival of our newest companion, Setti. What happened at the cave was interesting to say the least. I caught up with my companions only to see an adventurer running away from a troll. Both Leonard and Caesar attempted activate their incorruptus only to see 'Ebon Wings' save the day by slaying the huge monster. In a fit of rage Leonard transformed and took his frustration on the Black Knight. We stared for a moment as Leonard pressed the advantage only for me to realize that his opponent wasn't fighting back. Instead it stayed on the defensive by parrying, blocking and evading each attack. Caesar then joined in at the insistence of Yulie.
During their skirmish the three armors began to resonate. Eldore explained that they were giving each other strength and becoming stronger with each passing moment. This continued for a while longer. Then Dinivas had enough and flew off. The other two knights reverted back to themselves and we escorted our new friend back to his home in Balandor. Setti then told us the history of the Athwani and Yshrenia. It put the petty war of Balandor and Faria to shame in sheer violence and horror it seemed. According to Medius, Setti's deceased father, that the war was about to begin anew so that there would be a conclusion.
With these fun facts floating amongst the party we were given a new destination, Sinca Village. He instructed us to meet him at the east gate, hence here we are. After waiting nearly a hour there were screams of panic demanding to be answered.
I grabbed a crying woman by the arm and asked, " what happened?"
The woman bawled and somehow managed to reply that one of the houses was on fire and someone was inside of it. Upon hearing that we tore through the evening crowd and raced through the city to indeed find a home, or what was left of it, in flames. No one attempted to move and once again we were at a loss of where to go now. Frustrated, Caesar picked up a rock and threw it into the smoke filled sky. He nearly pelted a bird that approached us. The bird was a Bigelow and it wasn't Eldore's but it came straight to us and motioned for us to follow it.
Figuring that we would get nowhere if we just stood there I waved to the party to join me as I tailed the bird. Chasing the creature wasn't hard but rather annoying seeing how we passed several empty streets, corners, and vacant areas. I was getting the feeling that the stupid thing was getting its kicks from watching us. The blasted bird came to a halt once we reached a dead end and opened up its link to its twin. A hologram appeared before us, it was a man clad in black, grayish blue, and light purple with silver hair. His manner was dignified and he held a sense detachment as well.
"Good evening friends, I am Grazel," the holographic man began. "As you are aware my forces, the Magi as you call them, are searching for the five original Knights. Somehow you came into acquisition of two of them. Normally I would applaud you however the fact that you actually have them complicates things."
Boiling with rage Leonard snapped, "it was your fault to begin with! You kidnapped the princess and killed so many people in your pursuit of these ancient weapons!"
The hologram shrugged, "if everything went according to plan there would have been more death for humanity. I do not care for your world but rather for the grander scheme of things. In order to lay the foundation of a new order you have to crush the old first."
Logical yet devoid of empathy. This man caused so much pain for the world and he didn't even bat an eye at the amount of sacrifices and loss of lives he was directly responsible for. "I'm afraid we can't allow that," the battlemage said. The others agreed readily enough but Kara remained indifferent or at least tried to remain that way.
"It seems we won't be friends," Grazel rolled his eyes. "Very well, I propose a trade. Your Incorruptus for the princess."
"Deal!" Leonard shouted earning glares from the rest of us.
"We'll meet you at Frass Chasm. You best hurry since I don't like to be kept waiting. This is your only chance to save the girl." With that the hologram faded away and the bird flew off into the night sky.
"Serious Leonard, what the hell?!" I exclaimed. What respect he gained in the past couple of days was shattered in mere seconds.
"What did I do?" He asked ignorantly.
The lord of Greed explained after a sigh, "you agreed to the loss of lives around the world for one princess. They'll destroy every nation and you willingly agreed to help him by accepting the trade."
There was so much anger and rage for the boy right now I had to leave before I did something just as stupid. "Excuse me for a while. I have to blow off some steam." I turned and left my companions quickly as possible. Yulie was about to follow but Kara thankfully, of all people, stopped her and said to leave me be at the moment. I leapt into the air to find a quite place for myself. Once I found my place of solitude I settled down for a spell.
Normally I wouldn't have cared what people did but when someone willingly jeopardizes my mission that was when I started to care. All the time I personally invested into this foolish quest and number of times I put my life on the line were about to be in vain. This wasn't about the money anymore, it was about the honor of my word and pledge to assist rescuing the apparently helpless princess of Balandor. Yes it was about to be fulfilled but at what cost to the world. Once again I wondered what cased me to care about it. Images of children and women laying on the ground in rivers of blood. Innocents lay dying at the hands of Magi and no one was able to stop them. Oh yes, such lovely visions played in my mind all night. Hours passed by and I was finally able to regain a sense of calm again but I rested a while longer because I knew if I saw the young swordsman again in the next few hours I might be tempted to do unpleasant things.
~~~The following morning~~~
The arrival of the new day did little to appease my resentment but I knew we had to move on. Like it or not I was bound by my word to help rescue the captive woman from the Magi. That meant putting aside my emotions for now. I told myself mentally I could do it as I waited by the eastern gate. It would be a challenge but I had faith in myself to keep my thoughts to myself even if I wasn't able to sleep the night before. Leonard and company arrived a hour later.
The boy approached me but when he caught my glare he stopped. "Leere... I'm... I'm sorry."
I kept my anger in check, most of it anyway, "good. Now we head back to Greede."
"That's right, we'll use the ferry to get to Frass." The spearman added. I nodded and with that the group set off.
Clutching Leonard's shoulder I whispered, "if you ever do something that stupid again or if you comprise the mission once more you will know fear unlike any other. Trust me when I say you will experience the terror of the Void of Night."
He trembled, "I understand. Leere, I will... leave things... to you." I nodded and marched ahead to catch up with the others and the swordsman kept a respectable distance between us.
We reached the free city in a day and a half. We camped at the base of the Flanders, though we would have continued through the night if it wasn't for the lack of oxygen and the more vicious monsters of the night. I kept watch that night since I didn't trust Leonard or Kara at the moment. It was making for a long two days now. Sure I managed to catch some rest but the average body needs six to eight hours of sleep. I was running on a collective amount of maybe a hour in the past two days.
I was sure I looked like I felt and that wasn't exactly a good thing. The others kept the distance which was understandable since I was sure I didn't currently have the most inviting presence. One ferry ride later we arrive at Frass Chasm. "Wow so pretty," Yulie exclaimed as she pranced around from patch of flowers to the next. I couldn't not smile and for a moment I forgot about the red head, the assassin, the old man, and the aristocrat. It was only moments before a Bigelow landed next to its owner. It showed Cisna in the same gown from she was kidnapped so long ago.
"Hello Leonard, and oh... everyone else," the image stuttered.
"Great, both of them are idiots," I thought to myself.
"Correction master, they are in love." The twins amended.
I rolled my eyes, "I would at least be tactful and think of others when they're around."
"What about that time in Albana when you Yulie let Caesar stay the night in your room?"
"He had it coming." I tried not to chuckle as to disturb their conversation which consisted of longing stares and imagine trying to devour each other. That was a disturbing thought though it made the twins chuckle and smile. I caught the overall message that she, Cisna, had come up with the idea of a trade. Apparently there was a sword forged by the ancients and was given to a troll named Tomas or something. It had the power to combat the knights in the years of yore.
I saw Kara store that information for later use and Eldore saw this as well. I noticed that he knew and in that second he knew that I knew. Grim determination showed in expression to which I nonverbally agreed with.
We marched forward and waded through the massive insects and sproggs. "Got to love Frass. Always bug infested," Caesar remarked sarcastically as he slew yet another poisonous vespid. He didn't even bother to sheath his weapon anymore since we had encounter after encounter. Once we slew the last remaining bug we took a moment to relax. Sadly it was only a moment later that a troll and two dire spiders stalked towards us.
"The fun never ends," I remarked dryly as got to my feet.
"So it seems," both the old man and the blonde said simultaneously. Each of us readied ourselves for yet another battle.
"I'm beginning to hate Frass," Yulie moaned.
"Not as much as I hate the Flanders," I replied humorlessly. Darting straight for the first dire spider, roll to the side as it spit some type of fluid at me. Leonard saw it coming and barely avoided the projectile as well. I slammed my twin spears deep into one of its many legs. The thing screeched and tried to squash me by dropping its body on me. Luckily I have dealt of these type of monsters on more than one occasion so it was easy to predict their movements. I stepped back and sliced through another leg much to its displeasure. It wailed as it lost its balance. The moment it crashed down I took the sky and let gravity carry me and my precious twin spears down onto the dire spider's head. The moment my weapons connected with the creature's skull it stopped resisting and bled to its miserable end.
Taking quick notice that the others were taking on both the dire spider and troll I sighed. Recovering my instruments of death I reclaimed the area of my expertise, the air. Figuring the troll to be more of a problem for my party I went after it. Diving I slashed at the tendons of the trolls leg, instantly bringing it to its knees. I wasn't done though, as I landed I rebounded from the ground and used the momentum to push me to a nearby wall. Then with all the power I could muster from my legs I pushed off it and plunged one spear deep into its abdomen. To finish it off I used my embedded weapon as a platform and stabbed the other spear in deep as well. Leaping up I dragged my remaining weapon with me, tearing flesh and bone away with ease. "Climhazzard..." I muttered to the amusement of the twins.
With the troll and one spider down the other five adopted a simple but effective battle strategy. Seeing how a rapier was useless in this fight Kara stuck to casting fire spells in quick succession while Eldore aided her when he wasn't hacking away with his great sword. Leonard stuck with his hit and run method while Yulie provided support/distraction. Caesar would perform stylish attacks then fall back then move to his next target. Though the thought to help entered my mind I decided to see there was even an opening without getting into their way. The dire spider was on the verge of collapsing and let out a shriek. Another dire spider appeared from behind Yulie and Leonard.
Cursing the fortunes as neither of the two noticed the impending doom approaching their way. I retrieved one spear while the other was stuck deep with the carcass of the troll. Figuring it would take too long to extract it to save the childhood friends I left it for now. I charged at the monster and attempted a mid air slash but the damn thing actually caught it with its mouth. The twins wailed as the beast attempted to chew on it. Thinking quickly I kicked the side of its jaw as hard as I could. It was enough for the dire spider to let go.
I plummeted to the ground and landed unceremoniously. Gripping tightly to my one spear I focused on calling the other to me. The weapon in the troll faded and reappeared in my free hand. "Welcome back my friend. I hope you're ok." I whispered to it. Drawing my gaze to my enemy I felt it roar at me and charged. I rolled underneath its massive jaw sending a slash at the creature's legs and thrusting upward with the other spear. The effect was immediate and it collapsed on top of me. It took a minute to crawl out from beneath but I managed.
Both Yulie and Leonard were waiting there when I got free of the beat's carcass. I was tired and did not attempt to hide it. Thankfully a greaver passed by moments ago and blasted it scent across the chasm. This meant we weren't going anywhere for a while. "Leere... I'm sorry you have to keep saving us," Leonard apologized. Cutting off any negative comments I had I just nodded. The archer had no reservations being next to me and inspected me for any serious wounds. Once she was satisfied the archer sat beside me.
Her presence calmed me more than solitude did that night in Balandor. The others went ahead and made camp, leaving us to ourselves. And in this moment nothing could have been better and the world fell to oblivion.
Me: I did not feel the need to rewrite the boring speech about the war that happened so long ago.
Prinny: Being lazy, dood.
Me: We are indeed. But since it was semi important I thought I would at least mention it was discussed.
Prinny: Good job, dood.
Me: ... Why are you sucking up?
Prinny: No reason Master Endlos, dood.
Me: ... Whatever, I'm sure I'll find out later. Anyway, I'll also address one more thing.
Prinny: Leonard, dood?
Me: Leonard. Personally I don't like him, at all. In fact I never use him in the story unless it made you.
Prinny: Why do you hate him, dood?
Me: He's not Laharl or Valvatorez. He lacks charisma and his only saving grace is the white knight but that is rendered useless once you get your own knight.
Prinny: And there goes our fans, dood.
Me: Most likely. Rest assured that this will probably be fixed in Leere's story though.
Prinny: How likely, dood?
Me: You'll see.