Welcome to this chapter where I decided to do review replies first before we get to my rewiring of DF's timeline and event order. Hopefully if I make mistakes, someone will notify me right?
guisniperman: Thank you! And let's see what happens to our favourite punching bag shall we?
Kaiban: Oh you're too nice, it's making me embarrassed but in a really good way. It's good that you like backstories. They're what made the character who they became after all and I hope that little snippet satisfied you for now. But there'll be a lot of surprises waiting the corner. And yes, after all of that everyone needed some rest but that's won't last long in a world where wars are a weekly occurrence. As for Drakath, you'll find out soon.
The White Camellia: I guess but I better go look it up. Though, Mayor Rayf doesn't have much of an impact on the story.
Alka M.C: That makes a lot of sense and new reviewer! Thanks for your input. It's great that the humor here can fit into the game but I hope the PGness doesn't offend anyone. This is rated T after all.
Lana: Wow, you wrote a paragraph, not that I'm not happy about that. In fact I'm very happy. So your brother told you and you played some of the games. I'd definitely recommend them. You even took a look at the song too. I didn't think anyone would actually look it up though. I didn't mean for the song to be foreshadowing. I didn't even figure out what the song was about until later. However, some of the lyrics have an eerie similarity to what I was planning. My friend recommended it and she knew about my story so I guess it makes sense. But who knows. Except me since I'm writing this. And you're going to watch Puella? It's a favorite of mine and is an anime that I recommend greatly but I suggest to keep a bucket near you for tears. Oh ad about Justine not acknowledging Bradley? That was on purpose. Family politics and all that.
Guest: Really? Ty and Ash? You know I was going for a sibling like relationship but you know what? The idea's growing on me. But we'll see what happens. And yes, Ty is very weird but so far it hasn't put anyone off and I'm glad for that. I mean, I'd throw those pants away or something but no, Ty has to hug them in her sleep. And then use them as a means to stalk. And then there's everything else she does and says.
And without further ado, let's get to it
One After Another Part 1
"Hi, Ash. Everything going well at the tower?"
"Yup. Um…what's with the llama?" Ash asks, pointing at the hogtied alpaca squirming on the ground behind me. We were standing outside the inn tent and Ash had just come by. The alpaca was squirming and flopping around attempting to get free, making irritated squeaking noises.
"This is an alpaca. I…found him and thought that he and his friends could be of use here," I say.
"Friends?" Ash asks before a group, or is it a herd? Maybe a drove? Anyway a group of alpacas charge by us with adventurers and townspeople chasing after. "Oh, I see. Where did you find them?"
"Just some place in the forest. I just ran into them out of luck," I laugh, looking back at the alpaca. "I cast…I mean I found these guys just mingling with each other and I chased them to town. I caught their leader and the others are still being chased around as you saw just now."
"Alpacas have leaders?"
"Yup, as strange as it sounds, dumb, mindless, clumsy animals have a leader to boss them around. This one's just slightly smarter, I say that loosely, and he's really big headed too," I snicker and the alpaca is trying really hard to at least kick me with its tied legs but only succeeds in rolling back and forth in one spot. "I was thinking that we could shave them for fur," the moment I mention that, the alpaca freezes, legs up in midair. "Or perhaps skin them and eat them. I think we're lacking on food supplies." At that point, the alpaca's started to try biting its own legs off to get away.
"I think we're fine on food but I wouldn't mind some warm clothes. It's kinda getting chilly," Ash shivers.
"Really? Well, I suppose it's a little cooler but I thought that it was just because we got used to the heat wave from the past two weeks." I say. "But isn't it still August?"
"Yeah but it usually doesn't get that cool till the end of September."
"It's probably just some freak weather pattern or something but at least that gives us a reason to skin these guys." I laugh, kicking the frantic alpaca somewhat hard.
"We won't need to skin them!" Ash says quickly. "We could just keep shaving them each year and maybe we could even milk them. I'm sure if you sell them to a farmer, you could get…judging from him, I'm guessing he could go for about seven hundred gold. He's tubby and fluffy so that adds to the value but he seems ornery so that might cause problems but it's cause he's wild right?"
"If only he were wilder."
"Hey, you want to check up on Tanisha and visit Serenity?" Ash asks. "I'm sure the alpaca will be left alone if you tie him up to a post."
"Sure, you go in first. Let me just tie this guy up somewhere." I say and Ash nods before going into the inn tent. Once I'm sure that no one's around to listen, I sit next to the alpaca. He was lying on his side and panting, exhausted from his struggling.
"So Drakath, how do you like my baleful polymorph spell? Cool, huh? I'm usually really bad at casting spells but I worked extra hard on this one," I ruffle the fluff on his alpaca head. He glares and makes a sound that's supposed to be a growl but comes out like a low pitch squeak. "So did you get a good look at you handy-work?" I ask him, motioning to the expanse of tents and burnt grass. "I know you just called up a favor with that Xan guy but this is still your doing nonetheless. I'm actually really impressed." I smile and alpaca Drakath looks back up at me in confusion.
"You really humiliated me back there. I suppose that was your aim," I laugh, tightening my hold on his fur hard enough to make him squeak in fear. "Now listen here," I lean down to whisper into his floppy ear. "You don't know what you just started. This is my way of one-uping you on this little back-and-forth that we have going on. I have to say that it's working very well," I move back a bit and unsheathe my sword from my belt, bringing it up to show it to him. "Now let's see if we can keep this going," I smile devilishly at the terrified look in his eyes as they dart from me to my shining blade. Slowly, I raise up my sword and prepare to slash down as I watch alpaca Drakath's eyes widen. With a quick motion, I slice downwards and alpaca Drakath screeches and scrunches his eyes closed.
Five seconds pass and when he opens his eyes tentatively, he finds himself unharmed and that I had just cut the bindings on his legs.
"Well?" I say, standing above him. "Are you going to get up or what?" I say, twirling my sword. At first, he jumps up and prepares to charge me but stops when he notices that I'm still armed and he's still a sheep with a long neck. "Wouldn't be a good idea to attack me while you still look like that," I tsk. "Now I'm not sure when it's going to wear off but it will, I promise. I just hope that you make it out in time without being caught by the "peasants" you high and mighty son of a bitch," I walk around behind him as he remains frozen in spot, shivering with rage. Though since he was still an alpaca, it just looks silly.
"If you do manage to get out of here, I'll be awaiting your way of paying me back, if you so choose, at the same spot as before," I challenge him. I know it's dangerous and maybe Xan owed him more favors or he knew other powerful crazies but I just want to play around with him some more.
Call it a…fleeting fascination.
"Now go before I turn you into alpaca steak," I laugh, slapping the alpaca on his butt, prompting him to make a surprised yelp before he sprints away clumsily down the road. "Oh no!" I mock yell and point at alpaca Drakath. "One's getting away! Hurry and get him before he escapes!"
"I got this!" A warrior shouts and tackles Drakath to the ground. Drakath flails and kicks the guy off with his back-legs. He gets up shakily and keeps running away but a rogue jumps on his back and wraps his arms around alpaca Drakath's abdomen.
"I got a hold of him!" He yells. "Let me grab the utters! That makes them stop, right?"
"No they don't you idiot," The other warrior calls back. And besides, that one's male-"
"Got it!" The rogue yells and alpaca Drakath squeaks before falling on his side with the rogue still on his back. "Wait…this isn't an utter…oh uuuugggghhh!" The rogue chokes and immediately rolls off and lets the others pile up on Drakath before he squeezes out from underneath and gallops away.
He won't be forgetting this anytime soon.
Remember when we didn't think much about the sudden change in temperature? Hahahaha…
"Where is this asshole anyway?" I mumble, shivering almost uncontrollably. Snow was falling hard and even having my red cape wrapped tightly around me didn't the snow from finding its way under my armor. I was cold, wet and angry.
I wasn't the only one either. Almost every other person who had braved the fire war was now shivering in a snow storm that came just two days after the war had ended. The moment snow began to pile up on the ground, waves of wolves and dravirs started to attack us. We were stuck in another war and because of the utter failure that was our last effort of defense a few days before, all of the stops were pulled. Even if we were just defending a group of tents, we pushed with all the might we had. Whoever was keeping the snow on us was keeping supplies from coming and I doubt anyone wants to stay in a tent for longer.
And then we ran out of monsters on day five. I had just chopped down a dravir and looked up to find nothing but adventurers meandering around and checking behind bushes for any more attackers.
So now here we are. Half of us were standing in the middle of town while the others were standing at both of the entrances to town waiting around for the boss to appear. We were all getting pretty ticked off too. It's been hours and I hate snow. Especially when it takes time away from my summer.
"Ash, are you going to be okay? Just looking at you is going to give me frostbite." I glance at Ash in worry. He isn't wearing more than a thin cloak and his usual clothing. He was trying to conceal his shivers and brushes off the pile of snow that was building on top of his dampened hair. I would have gone back to the house to get better clothes but guess what? The snow and monsters kept me from getting back. I swear I'm going to murder this guy and if it was Drakath that sent him, I'll make him eat all of this damn snow. "Wanna go inside and warm up? I'll come with you."
"It's okay. I'm fine," He shakes his head somewhat stiffly because of the chill. "It isn't that much better inside anyway," He says, wiping snow away from his eyes. "I got Twilly helping me warm up too." Ash continues and Twilly pops out of the collar of his yellow sweater.
"Twillies can't feel his paws," Twilly says through chattering teeth before slipping back into Ash's sweater.
"Eug, the least this guy could do is actually show up when he loses," Someone behind me complains.
"Hey now, we shouldn't underestimate him. This might be part of his plan," Eli says through chattering teeth. "We need to be on guard or else we're going to be toast if this guy's strong like Xan."
"I wouldn't mind being toast right now," the person sighs and all of the sudden, the snowfall stops.
All of us look up in surprise. The clouds still covered the sky but now the snow had stopped. Then the clouds break open and sunlight pierces through as everyone looks up in awe.
"There's something up there!" I yell and point up at a black shape in the sky that was flying very fast towards us.
"Move!" Eli yells, pushing me down on the ground as everyone scatters. A blast of ice was sent down towards us and nearly misses me, Eli, Ash and Twilly.
Wing beats rouse me from my daze and I sit up. A dragon was standing in the middle of town with someone on his back. It wasn't as big as that red dragon that I saw the first time I landed in Lore but it was still as big as a house.
"Guys, get up! The big boss guy is here," I grab Ash's arm and try to pull him up with me as I stand.
"Uh…Ty?" Ash says.
"What's wrong…oh," Both Ash and Eli were stuck under a mound of snow and ice from the attack. And now that I look around, so is everyone else. Different legs, arms and heads were sticking out of the newly formed snowy mounds from all over. Only some were making an effort to twitch while others were probably too cold to move their joints. "Really? Again with the last stand?"
"Sorry, Ty," Ash says and Twilly squeezes out of his sweater and flops onto the snowy ground, red fur damp even though he hid in Ash's sweater.
"How am I the only one that didn't get hit?"
"Maybe it's your lucky day," Eli suggests, head sticking out of his snowy trap and gesturing with the only arm that he had outside of the snowy mound. "Or maybe it's an unlucky day. Whichever it is, unless the others get here from the two ends of Falconreach-" He stops, gaping at the dragon over my shoulder.
The dragon was breathing its icy breath to create high walls of ice enclosing us and the path to the guardian tower from the East and West ends of Falconreach. Even if they came they would have to get through those walls and that was also going to take a while. That meant that literally the only thing that was sitting between this guy and the tower was us. Or to be more precise, little ol me
"Okay, scratch that. You're on your own."
"Thank you," I groan, brushing off the snow off of my shoulders. "I'll deal with this guy and maybe I can hold him off until help gets here. Do you have an idea of what he wants? Is it in the tower maybe?" I ask Eli and Ash.
"Nothing very valuable there at the moment." Eli shakes his head.
"Ty, he's getting off of his dragon!"
"Go!" Eli orders. "Fend him off as long as you can!"
"Got it," I reply. "There's no way I'm letting some ice loser take me down." I say with contempt.
I sprint through the trodden snow to block the path to the guardian tower.
"Twillies is coming too!" Twilly yells, tripping up trying to stay on my heels.
"Woah," Both of us come to a stop and gawk at the man stepping off of his dragon. He's heavily armored and caped in silvery gray. He's huge; much taller and buffer than me. Glowing blue eyes gleam from his horned helm and he wields a gigantic scythe adorned with a dragonish motif. And if that wasn't intimidating enough, the dragon following behind him sure made up for it. Everything about this guy is huge! Well except for the fact that he uses a crappy element to fight.
"Give the orb to me," He orders, stalking over to us and I stand steady. "Give the orb to me and I will make your deaths swift." He stops when we're face to face…or my face to his chest plate.
"Orb? I haven't heard of some orb being here. Who do you think you are anyway?" I demand, regarding him with contempt.
"Is he a Dragonlord?" Twilly squeaks nervously. What's a Dragonlord? A special class I suppose?
"I don't have time for this." He raises his scythe to my neck. "Take me to your superior or I will have your tiny head."
"Shove off," I push his blade away and unsheathe my own. "I'm not taking orders from a prick who uses ice magic," I sneer. "I'm not going to lose to one either."
"Overconfident wretch. Let us see what you will say once your blood stains the snow."
"Twilly, stand back. He's asking for it,"
"Be careful, Ty!"
"It won't end like last time. Don't worry, he's just-"
"Meh," A familiar blue furball materializes by us in a puff of smoke and the three of us yell his name in unison.
"Meh, cast the wrong teleport spell," He says, scratching his head with his staff before noticing my opponent. "DragonMaster Frostscythe. How…meh…good to see you again," He says, walking in between Frostscythe and I. "And wouldn't you know, the crazy mood swinger's still hanging around."
"What the hell is that supposed to mean?" I growl and stomp on him. Zorbak's flat on his stomach and glares, as terrifying as a tiny magical rat could be, at me angrily.
"Only a DragonMaster? Whew…don't worry about this meanie, Ty. He isn't a full-fledged Dragonlord so his dragon won't be at full strength! Hee Hee, thanks for the warning Zorbie." Twilly chirps happily.
"Fool!" Zorbak growls, futilely trying to paw his way out from under my boot. "I was not helping you! And don't call me Zorbie! Meh, I'll leave you losers to your fight," he groans and he disappears in another puff of smoke.
"Enough of this, prepare yourself." Frostscythe says.
"Way ahead of you," I say, eyeing him and his dragon…who looked quite distant. The dragon's eyes were blank like there was no one home inside that head.
"I will have the orb! Glaisaurus, attack!" He orders and his dragon lunges for me, aiming to main me with his horns.
Fortunately, the dragon's easy to dodge and seems slow on the uptake. His movements were robotic. I sidestep his attack easy enough and spring at his master.
My first slash collides hard with his scythe and so does the next and the next. Both of us are on the defensive.
I should be on my guard against scythe wielders even if they do use ice magic. Scythes look cool and all but they're very awkward and hard to use in a fight. They're supposed to be for harvesting crops instead of as a weapon in a fight. The blade and point faces inward to the wielder so hitting me at a distance wasn't an option. If you're going to use something like a scythe as a weapon of choice, you're either very experienced and good at using it or it's something for show. I have yet to figure out which one Frostscythe is.
Our weapons clash and he seems to be trying to push me away. I'm too far from him to be pulled in by his scythe. I make one hard strike on his scythe and now we're stuck in a deadlock with neither of us backing down.
Something caught my eye and I could sense it's strange magic too. A red gem clutched by an ornate dragon dangles on a gold chain around his neck. It looks like a very nice target.
"Glaisaurus!" Frostscythe calls his dragon, concentrating on pushing me down. "Attack!" The beast glides over and fires a blast of cold at me. Consequently, for Frostscythe to be specific, it was aimed in his direction too.
Waiting till the very last second, I keep us stuck in the deadlock until I drop flat on the ground. It makes him slip forward and into his own dragon's blast of ice.
It looks like a dumb move since ice is his main element but it isn't. I just need him distracted.
He deflects the blast of ice but his concentration is off and I jump up and stab the gem hanging around his neck. Frostscythe moves to dodge but his red amulet had already shattered like cheap glass.
Glaisaurus suddenly stops moving and life returns to his eyes. He looks around curiously before leaping into the air and soaring away.
"You broke my amulet?" He asks the obvious, holding up his shattered gem.
"Good job, Ty!" Twilly yells from the sidelines. "He can't control his dragon without it!"
With a snarl, Frostscythe rips the gold chain off of his neck and crushes the remainder of the amulet in his hands, letting the scraps of metal fall into the snow.
"I don't need Glaisaurus to squash someone as puny as you," Frostscythe cringes, backing away. Waving his hand, three sharp icicles materialize and float in midair. He shoots them at me and follows up with another volley.
I run and make a long jump towards him, smashing the icicles into tiny shards. One makes it by my sword and hits my stomach hard. It doesn't pierce my armor but it still hurt like hell and I'm probably going to have a huge bruise. But it isn't as bad as getting burned to my bones so I push through and our blades clash once more.
"You better hope that my reinforcements are going to get here soon," I say, slamming my blade against his scythe hard. "Someone has to stop me from murdering you. No one cuts my summer down!" Frostscythe pulls back his weapon and makes a wide horizontal slash. Thinking fast, I jump and land on the blade of his scythe before leaping off again and kicking his helmet in.
Frostscythe makes a pained sound as he falls back and I land on my feet surprisingly gracefully.
"Holy crap, am I a ninja or what?" I laugh as Twilly applauds.
Frostscythe groans, gripping the front of his dented helmet as he tries to get back on his feet. He gets on one knee and attempts to get up using his scythe as support but he falls back on his knee again.
"Aww, is someone tired?" I mock, walking over to him with ease.
"How is this possible?" He asks, breathing hard with long puffs of frosty air.
"Enough with the villain "how could I possibly lose" speech already. Tell us, what did you want from us?" Frostscythe looks back up at me, a hint of confusing flashing by in his glinting blue eyes. Then, a small laugh comes out of his lopsided helmet and soon he was chuckling incredulously. "What's so funny?"
"Ha, do you not know what you are defending?" He asks before a sneeze escapes him followed by a cough.
"I don't know what you're talking about," I sneak a peek at Twilly, careful not to keep my eyes off of the enemy for too long, and Twilly shakes his head. "How about you give me the details," I say, looking over him to see some of the others escaping their ice prisons.
"You will discover it on your own soon enough…" Frostscythe pauses, letting the words hang in the air before sneezing. "Had I realized who you were I would have brought a much grander army," He says with coughs and sneezes in between. I'm not sure I follow him but I really don't like it either.
"You may have forced me to start over…" Frostscythe stops, glancing back at the approaching adventurers and guardians. "But know this…I will become the next dragonlord!" Frostscythe stands back up, grips his scythe tight and high tails it in the other direction.
"Did he just…?" I stumble over my words, watching the armored freak push past both Ash, Eli and knock down a dazed mage before he leaps into a bush and disappears.
"Uh…it looks like you beat him, Ty," Ash says, coming up next to me.
"I was expecting him to make a big exit like his entrance…I just let him go, didn't I." I heave a sigh.
"Aww, it's okay," Twilly says, patting my leg.
"We didn't have anywhere to put him anyway," Eli sneaks up on us again.
"Eli!" Ash and I jump. "Is this going to be a routine thing?"
"No, it wasn't supposed to be but now it is," Eli smiles.
A loud crack resounds through Falconreach and both of the ice walls crumble into fragments of ice on to the ground. The other guardians and adventurers step through the remains of the ice wall though the group that came from the west had something with them.
We run up to meet those at the front of the group from the west and some of the other adventurers congratulate me with pats on the back and other congratulatory gestures as we pass by. My sister, Grams and Aria who was riding on an alpaca were there waiting by the inn tent.
"Not too shabby, sis," Alison congratulates me, readjusting the fur-trimmed hood on the coat she was wearing. "Another scared baddie on your belt; try a little harder and maybe you'll slay one and get a trophy next time."
"I'm not a trophy person," I say quickly when Eli raises a brow.
"Does that kind of thing happen from where you're from?" Ash asks, brown eyes wide.
"Well, Alison was joking but-"
"Nothing but the truth comes out of my mouth,"
"Like hell it does, Alison. Like I was saying, that stuff happens but I'm not a big fan of stuffing my enemies and mounting them on a wall," I think back to an old ex that used to do weird shit like that. She even made puppets out of them sometimes. She was a phase I was going through.
"It usually depends on the person and sometimes it's for practical reasons like using their body parts for certain spells and talismans. Though others use it for more ego boosting purposes.
"Like a finger necklace," Alison adds, nodding knowingly. "Those never go out of style and have a manageable size. Skull necklaces on the other hand-"
"Sorry to interrupt your fascinating explanation but…" Grams cuts in. "We have some work to attend to," Grams gestures back at a group of wooden carts pulled by horses. Wood, cloth and other supplies were packed on them and their riders were awaiting instruction. "King Alteon's help has arrived. Shall we start rebuilding?"
"Aww, I wanted to hear the rest," Aria whines, slumping on to the alpaca's neck. It was one of Drakath's minions who decided not to escape like the rest did. A pink bow was tied around his neck but he didn't seem to mind. He seems content in fact.
"I'm sure Ty and Alison can tell you more later but now we should get to work since the big boss ran off." Grams pulls out a handful of dried hay and feeds the alpaca, smiling when he began to grind them down in his mouth.
"I'll go sort things out," Eli says before heading to the caravan and leaving us to our own devices.
"I didn't get to see who was behind this mess," Grams comments. "Who was it?"
"Some stuck up dragonmaster," I shrug. "Called himself Frostscythe. He wanted to take an orb or something from the tower but Eli told me there wasn't anything much of value and he wasn't lying as far as I could tell. Frosty must have been mistaken."
"I never heard of any orb around here," Aria says, hugging the alpaca around his neck.
"How about you guys?"
"Twillies know a little bit about the orbs," Twilly says from below. "Only a tiny bits but Lady Celestia know more."
"I'll ask her later then," I say, making a note of it. "Anyways, I kicked Frosty's face in and he just ran off. Loser even caught a cold," I laugh. Then a terrible feeling creeps up in the back of my throat and I freeze in mid laugh.
"Hey, Ty?" Ash says, putting a hand on my arm. "You okay?"
"Uh oh," Alison and Aria say.
"No no, I'm fine. Something just flew up my nose…I hope," I add the last part in quietly. "How about we start getting to work on cleaning up?"
"Hmmmmmm," A heavily clothed figure staggers out of the inn tent groggily and we all turn to see who it is. "It sure is cold," Tanisha mutters, rubbing her eyes. Taking a look around, her sleep expression remains unchanged and she looks over at us before bluntly asking a question. "How long was I out?"
"Euuuuurrrrrrrggggggg," I groan, burying my face into a cold wet towel. Alison, Ash and I were sitting at the table outside of Lady Celestia's home.
Both of us had spent an hour helping out with the start of the rebuilding of Falconreach before my terrible headache kicked in. After much pushing from Ash, Grams, Twilly and everyone who didn't want to get sick, I was forced to go somewhere warmer instead of helping out. That place ended up being Sunbreeze Cove after stumbling over some rock at the portal gate and briefly checking on the dragon egg.
"I don't understand it. How come I'm the one that got sick and Ash comes out healthy? You were hardly wearing anything." I pout at Ash and the others.
"Well, you were working pretty hard. When was the last time you slept?" Ash asks.
"That was four days ago."
"I guess it was," I sigh, wiping my sweating forehead with the towel. "I'll be fine though. I'll rest a bit and I'll be back to normal in two days max."
"Consider yourself lucky. I'm still out of shape for another few months," Alison groans, tugging her fur-trimmed hood off and letting down cascade of curly black hair.
"Huh? Your hair…was it always black?" Ash asks, squinting at Alison's head.
"Sometimes but this was just for the cold. Black absorbs heat much better than orange but…" She runs her fingers through her hair, leaving streaks of flaming orange that dyes the rest of her strands. Her curls straighten out into her usual style and she starts tying it into a braid. "Right now, I like this colour. It was hard to track down and it's eye catching isn't it?" She winks at Ash, making him gulp.
"Show off," I smile and slap Alison's arm playfully before doubling over and coughing.
"Oh dear," Lady Celestia steps out of her house carrying a tray of tea with Twilly in tow. "I brought a herbal tea. Perhaps it will soothe your throat," She says, setting the tray down on the table.
"Thank you," I sniff, taking a sip from one of the cups. "Lady Celestia, may I ask you a question?"
"The person who was attacking us said that he wanted the orb that we had. No one knows much about the orb and I don't think there's one here."
"The orb? Yes, I know about the orbs," She begins. "In Lore, eight orbs from the eight elemental planes are scattered across the land. They are all very powerful magical pieces that maintain the balance of Lore."
"Does Falconreach have one?" Ash asks.
"I cannot say. The orbs were originally protected by different guardian towers across Lore but overtime they've changed locations or have disappeared completely."
"Will the orbs be a problem in the future for us?" I ask, feeling uneasy.
"I fear they will be someday soon…" Lady Celestia trails off, looking down into her reflection in her tea cup. "However, it is not a problem that we are facing at this moment. For now, some rest would be good for all of you."
"Yeah, I'm exhausted," Ash sighs, slumping back in his chair. "Two wars in a row takes a lot out of us. I don't think I can handle another."
"And another thing, Frostscythe mentioned that if he knew who I was he would've brought a bigger army. Do you know anything about that?" I ask.
Lady Celestia glances at Alison and then coughs before she answers.
"I am not familiar with Frostscythe. Do you perhaps have a history in Lore? Visited before? Any family members?"
"Don't think so. Maybe he just mistook me for someone," I say, rubbing an eye. I think I should investigate this a bit but I can't even thing straight right now.
"Wow, you guys rebuild fast," I exclaim through a tissue, walking into Reens new potions shop with Ash and Alison. Potted plants were placed around the room and barrels of supplies stood at the back. Creeping ivy grew up the walls and a table of messily organized bottles, colorful liquids, tools, plants and other reagents sat in the middle of the room. It was pretty tidy and well-built for a house that was built the day the supplies came in.
"Well, with wood, nails and a little bit of magic you can do anything. In fact, it looks much better than the old one. I think we'll even be finished before the week's up," Reens says, taking a potion bottle off of one of her burners on the table. "What can I do for you guys today? It's probably still too early to begin collecting reagents but whatever else you need, I'll help you out."
"Do you have any cold medicine for this walking germ infested zombie?" Alison asks, yawning." Why couldn't we come later? It's so early. You weren't nearly this energetic back home."
"I just want to get rid of this cold. Maybe the medicine will help me recover faster," I reply and cough hoarsely into my tissue.
"Anything else?" Reens asks, passing a purple potion to my sister from across the table. "How about you Ash?"
"I don't need anything. I was just tagging along is all," He says. "The building's being taken care of and we were thinking of just taking it easy for a while. Since Ty's sick and I think I should wait till I can move my shoulder without my bones cracking, we're going to sit around till tomorrow. Ty says she's going to show me around the house."
"Just around the house?"
"It's…a really big house. Really! It might be bigger than town hall! It's definitely bigger than town hall. Three times bigger!"
"I wish it wasn't. It kinda makes me dizzy sometimes," I sniffle.
"You can complain about being dizzy when you're the one controlling the house," Alison rolls her eyes and passes me the bottle. "It's hard enough without-"
Alison gets cut off by the door of Reen's shop flying open. Aria and her alpaca run in and slam the door behind them. Aria leans back on the door, eyes wide and breathing hard. The alpaca seems spooked too.
"Aria, I'm sorry but I can't have the alpaca in here," Reens says.
"No, stop!" She shushes us and tip toes closer.
"What's going on?" Ash asks.
"This is terrible!" She says in an angry whisper. "We just started rebuilding and-"
"What was that?"
"Drat. They're already in town." Aria sighs and we all look over to the shop's front window.
Outside of the window, a large eyeball with batlike wings and a tail was throwing itself against the glass. Behind it, more flying eyeballs, flying flaming eyeballs, one-eyed worm things and five-eyed monsters went by.
"Does this happen often? Like a migrating season or something?" I ask.
"No," Everyone else replies together.
The eyeball stops what it was doing and stares eerily at us, bobbing up and down in the air. Its iris reddens and it fires a laser, breaking the glass and misses Ash by a hair before it hits a curtain in the back and sets it on fire.
"…I really wanted to sleep a bit today," I say, feeling my eye twitch. Downing the contents of the bottle of medicine, I draw my sword and Ash does the same. "I swear, when I see the guy who's behind this…"
"Get in line," Reens grumbles, throwing a potion at the eyeball and it explodes in a green explosion. The chemically burned remains are thrown around the room and a piece of the eyeball's wings lands in front of the alpaca who promptly bends down and starts to munch on it.
"Lucy, no! That isn't good for you," Aria chastises the alpaca.
"I'm going to sleep for a while," Alison yawns, putting out the fire on the curtain with a wave of her hand. "Have fun,"
"Third times the charm?" Ash says hopefully.
"It better be," I say, storming out the door.
"MY EYES!" Someone screams in agony.
"They aren't yours, idiot." Someone else states bluntly.
I understand how he feels though. I hate fighting eye themed monsters. I hate it immensely. Why would anyone ever use something as weak as an eyeball as a basis for their monsters? You could blind these guys with just a scratch and that may be where the problem lies.
Have you ever been in a situation where maybe a friend of yours describes a painful scenario that makes you flinch? Say for example, you have a toothpick under your toenail and then kick a wall? Well if someone hasn't done that to you before then maybe I was your first. Wink wink. But anyways, it's kinda like that but since we're all stuck in town fighting them off, we get to see it first-hand. With eyeballs. And many many sharp pointed objects.
Not only that but every time anyone defeats one, its goopy eye juice, vitreous humor or aqueous humor if you want to get technical, gets everywhere and it's disgusting. The ground's covered in this crap along with the snow which still hasn't melted yet. I've slipped three times and all three times, I've accidently ate some snow which kinda made me want to rip my tongue out. Ash tripped eight times and counting and threw up once. There are other annoyances too. One time I stabbed a burning eyeball through and when I yanked my sword out, the retina was stuck on it. When I shook it off, it landed on Ash and he almost threw up again and that almost made me throw up. Overall everything is terrible.
"I-I think we're almost done," Ash says from beside me, still trying to keep his lunch down. Most of the eyeballs were cleared out of town and only a few remained which were being chased around by our allies. Pretty good for about four days.
"When do you think their leader will show up?" I ask, glancing at him as I try cleaning the eye goop from my sword. "Uh, you have something on your shoulder. Here," I cough, slapping a sticky deflated eyeball off of his shoulder. "Got it off," I smile with tired eyes.
"Thanks," He says. "I think he'll be around soon but maybe you should rest. Not to be mean but you don't look so good."
"I know," I sniffle. "I drank bottles of Reen's potions but it's not having much effect." I'm not healing normally for some reason but I don't have time to worry about that now. "Once this is over, I'll sleep for a week I promise."
"Hey you," A short mage walks up to us. "Eli needs you up at the tower. Says he want you to accompany him to see the leader of these monsters. We tracked down his temple thingy so get your ass up there now." He thumbs at the tower from afar.
"Aren't you the squishy mage from before? You're pretty pushy when Eli isn't around," I sniffle.
"And aren't you a shameless flirt? I can't believe you keep getting lucky so many times. It's disappointing how the world is letting people like you get respect," He walks off before I could even process what he was saying. I had to pull back Ash before he could storm after him with a polite but stern retort because he's cute like that.
"That was uncalled for. He could have just said that he didn't like me," I say, keeping myself calm for Ash's sake. "But am I really like that?"
"That…you aren't like that!" Ash reassures me. "You're really cool and more like…princely in that way," He says quietly. "What's with him? It just…it just makes me angry." He tries storming after him again but he slips on the snow again. Luckily, I catch him before he eats more gross snow again.
"It's fine," I say, thinking about punching a wall. "Come on, want to go kick some ass with me?"
"We're almost there!" Eli yells over the wind rushing by us. Both Eli and I were riding the gryphon and Ash was riding in my bag.
"You okay down there?" I check on Ash. His head was sticking out of my bag and he was staring down at the sea of trees far below.
"This is really cool!" He says excitedly. "Is that the place?" Ash asks, sticking an arm out of the bag and pointing towards a fairly small temple on a mountainside. The columns had large golden eyeball sculptures on top of them and that means we're at the right place.
It's exhilarating flying like this with the wind whipping my cape back. I was tempted to ask Eli to get the gryphon to do some tricks. When this is over, I want to take this guy out for a joyride but it probably won't do well for my cold.
"The mages told me they tracked the source of the monsters to this place," Eli says, flying the gryphon lower.
"How come you wanted us to come along?" I ask.
"We only have one gryphon to get us into the air and as you can see, he can only carry two at the most and I'm not sure if the others wanted to come along inside your bag with Ash. You also have a pretty good track record with these freaks. You even god rid of that hydra for us and fixed the bridge at the same time."
"How did you know?"
"I didn't tell him!" Ash says.
"I connected the dots," Eli shrugs as we get closer to the temple. "The day the hydra was slain, I remember Tanisha telling me about a new face poking around town. Then, you basically ripped that Bassault apart with your crazy powers." I wince at his comment. "It made the most sense and you didn't deny it so I'm right, aren't I?"
"You got me." I sigh.
"You didn't explain much about why you couldn't do all of that jumping and blue magic again," Eli says, as we near the ground by the entrance to the temple.
A blast of wind slams into the gryphon and he shrieks in pain as we're blown sideways. I'm not sure if I should be panicking or glad that I didn't have to talk about it.
I lose my grip on the gryphon and get flung to the ground with Ash still in my bag. The gryphon was still pretty high up in air when we got hit so my landing was far from soft.
"Ty, are you okay?" Ash asks worriedly.
"I…don't think I broke anything," I groan, coughing a little. "Everything okay in there?"
"I'm fine but that was a long fall. Can you get up?" He says, pulling himself out of the bag.
"I think so," I groan, pushing myself up to a sitting position. It took more effort than it should and my senses feel like they're clouded over. "I can totally do this. I feel f-fine," I let Ash help me get to my feet, shivering a bit. It feels really cold and I don't think it snowed here. "Now where is this guy?" I sniffle. We both walk deeper into the open air temple and keeping a hand wrapped around the hilt of my sword.
A breeze picks up all of a sudden. It's blowing from behind me and steadily gets stronger until Ash and I have to brace ourselves to keep from getting swept away. The wind swirls into a cyclone in front of me and a figure forms in the center.
"I see. I see so many things," A voice intones and the wind stops. A hooded mage draped in black and red appears holding a metal staff crowned with an eyeball. Also his head is just a big eyeball. I should've mentioned that first. "I see that you have come to my temple to stop my servants and to stop me, The Irismancer."
"Well aren't you creative," I say sarcastically under my breath.
"What do you think he wants?" Ash asks me.
"I'm getting to that part," I reply. "Yes, we came to do that but first you better tell us why you attacked us. Now."
"How can I explain this to you when there is so much that you do you not see? I see the past present and future. And you…you see the world in a way that you are forced to. How sad," I stiffen at his words. I don't understand what he was getting at but if those could see everything then did that mean…
"I see wars coming. I see the shadows falling. I see a time when only the most powerful will survive. I see some will use their powers to protect and some will use their powers for themselves…and even though he hides, I see the one behind it all," his pupil dilates. "Sepulchure."
"Enough of this! I know your type; the ones that dance around the answers and only speak clearly when they're faces look like blown up popcorn. Let me guess, I beat you up and you'll give us we want."
"Fight me then and face my mastery of wind magics. If you defeat me, I will tell you what I see."
"Ash, stay back for a bit. We don't what he can do yet," I whisper to him. "I'll go ahead first." I charge at the Irismancer.
He throws blasts of wind at me and they look like they pack a punch. I twirl around them, feeling them rush by. Just as I'm about to get close and hit him, he creates shockwave of air and throws me backwards. I skid on the ground, sliding to a stop where Ash was standing.
"That gives us some insight," I say, rubbing my back as I stand up. I wobble and almost hit the ground again but Ash is there to keep me steady.
"What's the plan," He asks, watching the Irismancer advance on us, unblinking.
"I don't think he can do more than one thing at the same time. Run and loop around behind him. I'll keep him distracted till then. Hurry," I tell him. Ash nods and runs off.
Quickly pulling my throwing knives from my bag, I throw them at him two at a time. They speed through the air towards the Irismancer but he knocks them away with one blast of wind each. I stand my ground and keep flinging more at him and he does the same. Then, one knife hits and stabs into his shoulder. The Irismancer winces but keeps moving forward and I realize something. I throw five and quickly follow up with five more knives. He blocks some of them but two go through and hit him and a theory grew in my head.
He can see everything but he can't react fast enough to dodge them. Wait a minute…shit he can see everything.
"Ash, stay away!" I yell but the Irismancer has already turned to Ash who had snuck up right behind him.
"No!" I scream, rushing towards them as the Irismancer prepares to attack. Then, something flies out of my bag, zips towards the Irismancer and hits him dead center in his pupil when he turns to see.
Taking the opportunity, I throw another wave of knives at him before he could recover. They all hit and stick and then I'm on him. I make a stab for his eye but he manages to block with his arm just in time. The hit pushes him back away from Ash and I punch him in the stomach. He doubles over and I knee him in his gross eye. It makes a wet squelching sound and he screams in pain. That's what you get for having an eye for a head.
I kick him down to the ground and prepare to stab him through but he rolls on his back and raises a hand.
"Stop," He says, the image of his body fading and flickering. "You have…defeated me." He gets on his knee. "Well done," He coughs as he pants…but he doesn't have a mouth and…doesn't matter. "I will not be able to hold this form much longer. You may claim your prize. Ask what you will."
"Just like that? Um, okay." Ash gets us and walks up beside me. "You want the first one Ash?"
"Sure. Who are you?" Ash asks.
"I am the Irismancer," he says. "I was once a flying eye and a pet of a powerful mage. Most other flying eyeballs were trapped for centuries before Zarek and Palladia released them but not me. I spent all of those years reading over the shoulder of my master until I learned enough to take this form," He explains, putting a hand on his chest. "My powers have grown ever since. When the others were released, many were drawn to me. With their help…seeing through their eyes, I can now nearly see everything." That sounds kind of terrible. How can anyone handle seeing everything at once?
"Why were you attacking Falconreach? What did you want?" I ask him.
"As I said before, dark times are coming. I see powerful forces all moving at once. They are all grabbing for power so when dark times arrive...They will have more power than the others. They will be in a position to win the battle for their chosen side or for themselves. One such source of power is what the Guardians are guarding. The tower at Falconreach is one of the few still standing. My eyes went searching for this power, and when they found that tower, I made my own grab at that power hidden below it."
"What are the towers protecting? Some sort of weapon?"
"…I cannot say."
"Do you think Eli know anything about this?" I ask Ash.
"Didn't he say that there wasn't anything like that in the tower?"
"But this guy can see everything."
"Do you think it's hidden in the tower without the guardians knowing?"
"Maybe but anyway…Irismancer, you mentioned Sepulchure. Tell us what you know about him."
"Not long ago he was a hero who accomplished many great deeds. He had made many good friends in his adventuring, like you. Then he lost something that was dear to him." Oh…so he's that type of villain. Tch. "He felt that if he had more power, he would have been able to stop this event. In his obsessive search to become stronger he withdrew from his life and his friends. They tried to help him but he wouldn't let them. Then he discovered his cursed weapon, the Necrotic Blade of Doom. His weapons did make him stronger but poisoned his mind further. Then it began to poison his body.
The armor that he wears…the armor of the Doom Knight...it actually wears him. He has become something else, bound to the darkness."
"An abomination then,"
"Uh, that weapon…"Ash begins. "Was it a Doom Weapon?"
"What are Doom Weapons?" I ask.
"Ah yes, the powerful Doom Weapons. Lore had never seen anything like them until they appeared a few years ago…though they aren't the first to be ever created it seems," He says, regarding me carefully. "Several spirits of pure elemental darkness came to our world from their own plane. It is difficult for a spirit of pure darkness to remain in our world. The light from a single candle could destroy them in their natural forms. There are many ways for an elemental spirit to remain in our world but the most simple is to become bound to a weapon or item. Thus, the Doom Weapons were born. Weapons of purest darkness with corrupt and evil minds of their own." His stare was becoming unnerving. "Everyone can ignore their whispers for a while, but in the end they end up dead or mad or worse... like Sepulchure."
"Oh, and one other thing!" Ash says. "If you can see everything, including the future, how come you didn't see us beating you?"
"I…um….you can't just…I don't exactly…not certain…if you look at it this way…" He forces cough. "I'm fading! I can't hold…my form…much longer…" He acts out strain. "Farewell!" And with that, he fades away completely.
"I guess that just means that the future isn't always sure," I say to Ash.
"I see you've beaten him," Eli says and we turn around. He's walking with the gryphon next to him. Both look bruised but were otherwise okay.
"Made it down safely?" Ash asks.
"Yes, we landed in a tree. I'm sorry we couldn't get out in time to help out but it looks like you handled everything just fine without me. How did you win?"
"I'm wondering the same thing actually," I say, looking around the ground. "Ash, when you were about to get attacked, something flew out of my bag and hit the Irismancer. Did you see what it was?"
"Oh, that?" Ash hold up a rock in his hands. It was like any other rock but it had glasses and a fake nose and moustache. It was the rock that was always in front of the guardian tower and the kids would always throw it around. It startles me when it hops up and down in Ash's palms. "This is Geopetal. She's a pet rock."
"Wow, saved by a pet rock. Didn't think that would ever happen." I pat the rock in gratitude.
"Let's go and check on everyone back in Falconreach. Tell me about what happened on the way back." Eli says, hopping on to the gryphon's back.
"That was bothersome but now we better get some rest or I might die right here," I cough into a tissue as we enter the dragon egg's cavern. After Ash and I told Eli what we found out, we decided to go check on the dragon egg before we went back home to sleep.
"I'm…I'm so tired I can't even…" Ash yawns and I notice the dark bags under his eyes. Everyone must be feeling exhausted.
"It's okay, I understand…Ash? Do you see what I'm seeing?"
"No…I don't see anything notable…Everything okay?" He asks when he sees me shaking.
"Where is the egg?"
"It's at the back of the ca…oh boy." Ash buries his face in his hands.
The statue of the dragon holding the egg was gone. In its place was a hole. A jagged gaping hole. We both came to the edge of the hole and peer down. A huge stone underground city lay beneath covered in massive cobwebs and there were…things moving around down there. Things that were crawling towards us.
"Does this mean…Ty, I don't think I can take anymore. It hasn't even been two hours after the last one."
I didn't even hear him speak. Anger was boiling in my stomach and in a bout of frustration and intense rage, I swore loud enough for the entire continent to hear.
But then I remembered that Ash was still here and I ended up turning my curse into a word that rhymed with hawk.
Author notes: So that was a mess. A big mess.
So here are some notes for this chapter:
Ty turned Drakath into an alpaca. She did the same to the rest of his minions. How long will this last? We'll see.
The events of the "War at See" and "Ice Dragon War" just happened and as you can tell, Ty doesn't respect ice elemetalists and the Irismancer was hinting at something about Ty and the Doom Weapons. Backstory related? Most likely.
I also shortened the duration of the wars. Story works out better this way and hey, if all of the players did nothing but fight in the war then they would be over pretty fast.
I think the gryphon's name is Phil.
That's about it really. Nothing much happened in this chapter and I'm sorry for the wait…and the fight scenes. They weren't done very well I think but I think they're the best I can do for now.
So tune in next time for "Arachnattack," banter, more frustration and confusion.
But before that, here's a question relating to the Guest's review. How do people feel about pairings in this fic? Namely OC/Canon Character. Namely one in particular.
Also the dragon egg will hatch soon so if you haven't voted on the gender there's still some time.
So goodnight guys and thanks for reading. Review if you like and have a nice day cause you're awesome!