Chapter 9: My Hero!
A/N: Guess whose back to this story? Those of you who put me on alert may have noticed I've written some stories for other fandoms while I've been away. Well I'm deeply sorry for forgetting you guys. I'm not sure I still have readers but I'm back to writing this. I'm on summer vacation too (well actually semester finals rolled around again but vacation is next week!) so that will help. Anyway I'll give a quick recap because it's been so long. Oh and I took some pains to make Dunbarton seem like a real city with things being a distance from each other or certain items in shops that would be there(like a weapon's shop having a forge for example.) being there. Anyway I'm just doing this to continue world building and make it seem real to all of you. Thank you.
This is the edited version by N7Loremaster my brother. I'll remember to have him edit first but I was in a hurry to update.
Disclaimer: I don't own Mabinogi or anything belonging to it. I own Arlanta but Valmayrick, Yojimbo, and Mononoke are on loan from their players.
In our last installment of the Legend, we saw our favorite friends reach Dunbarton at last. It was a huge place filled with people, animals, chaos, markets, and massive dueling in the streets. Arlanta wandered off and spent nearly all her money on clothing from Simon and Yojimbo bought a new sword and helmet from the Weapon Shop. When Valmayrick collected them they went to the school where they found Stewart being yelled at by a beautiful girl with dark blue hair and blue eyes. She then stormed out, snarled at Valmayrick but dropped an accessory. After the friends heard the tale of Tarlach, Ruari, and Mari, Valmayrick found the Celtic Cross and decided to find this girl. Stewart suggested for him to look in Math Dungeon…..
As Valmayrick barreled out of the room and down the steep stairs, all he focused on was his task. He couldn't shake the feeling that he needed to move and move now. Vaguely he heard the surprised exclamations of his friends but he didn't stop to chat. As he ran out of the school the practical side of him reminded him to check his equipment before he left. Checking the map of Dunbarton, he headed to the southern part of the city and found the healer's house. It was a tall narrow building situated among regular houses and was close to the southern gate. There was a dirt yard in front which set it apart from the otherwise residential area. As he stopped, he heard footsteps pattering behind him and turned to find a panting Arlanta and Yojimbo.
"What's the big hurry anyway?" Yojimbo asked as he recovered.
"Yeah Val, you looked like you were in a rush. What's up?" Arlanta looked confused.
"That's because I am in a hurry. I haven't got time to explain." Valmayrick said curtly. Then he turned and walked toward the house.
Entering the place he found the inside both alike yet different from the Healer's house in Tir. The room had no partition to separate the beds for the sick from the shop part and the result was a very open space. A dark skinned man with cheek length hair wearing a male healer's outfit of white and green with a green cross on the chest and sandals. He stood by the counter but it was clear from the way he stood that he was a master Healer. Currently he was selling some potions to a couple adventurers who looked as though they had been in a fight lately. "Alright here are the potions. Be careful next time when you're dueling," The Healer spoke sternly to the pair.
"Thank you Manus," They spoke in unison then left the shop discussing who was better with a sword.
The door opened and Val's friends entered staring around the place with wide eyes.
Valmayrick raised an eyebrow briefly before approaching the man quickly. "Excuse me sir."
"Yes? Do you need something?" Manus inspected him, in that universal manner all healers have.
Yojimbo suddenly snickered as he got a good look at Manus. "Why are you wearing a man dress?"
Arlanta elbowed him to shut up just as Valmayrick turned a glare on his friends.
Manus ignored Yojimbo though one part of his mouth settled into a scowl.
"I'd like to buy some bandages and phoenix feathers." Val said, hoping to get the conversation back on track.
"How many?" Manus moved behind the counter and crouched to inspect his stock for sale. He kept supplies back for the patients who needed healing directly from him but he made sure to keep a good stock in store. He needed to with all the adventurers moving in lately.
"Fifty of each," Val hoped that would be enough for the girl. He didn't want to think what would happen if she was seriously hurt.
Manus didn't comment on the amount needed though he raised an eyebrow slightly. This one seemed to take preparation far more seriously than others his age. He set out on the counter a pile of soft wool bandages and glossy phoenix feathers.
"Thank you, sir. Here's your gold," Valmayrick handed off the appropriate amount and collected his supplies carefully placing them alongside the other healing supplies in his pack.
Leaving the place, he checked his map to locate the Weapon's shop. It was a bit of a walk but much closer to his location then the Square and the commercial district. He scowled as his shadows jostled him to look at the map.
"WOW! Look how big this place is. I mean look at where the bank is or the church and how far they are from here. And jeez there's three whole gates. How is anybody going to navigate around here?" Arly spoke loudly pointing at the map.
Yoji nodded agreement. "Yeah it is big. But I bet I'll find things much better than you can Arly."
"What's that supposed to mean?" Arly hissed.
"Cut it out you two. Can't you go one day without fighting?" Val rumbled dangerously before moving forward.
He quickly arrived and found a long yard where a display with a canvas showed off gleaming swords and weapons. Armor and helmets were neatly laid out as well. A skinny woman with short spikey red hair and a pointed angular face was inspecting them. She wore short boots, a pair of very short blue pants and a shirt flowing over the shorts. He cleared his throat. "Excuse me Ma'am."
She wheeled around and her sharp eyes looked him over. There was a slight frown on her face. "What do you want?"
"Do you repair weapons here?" A part of him urged him to get going soon. That girl could be in trouble.
"Yes, armor as well. What do you need repaired?"
Valmayrick handed his broadsword to the woman and watched as she went inside a building next to the display case. He caught a whiff of flames as she stoked the fire and began using the forge inside.
"Why are you repairing your things, Val?" Arly asked curiously.
"Hey are you going after that girl?" Yoji spoke suddenly.
"What girl?" Arly asked confused.
"The one Val was staring at in the School."
"Oh that girl. Is that why he's in such a hurry?"
"Yeah but I wonder how he knew where she went. Not like she said anything." Yoji spoke thoughtfully.
"Well you don't know for sure what he is doing. Maybe he's going to hunt bears or something?" Arly responded.
"Bears?" Yoji asked.
"Mhm. Simon was complaining about that earlier. Something about his shipment of clothes from Tara being delayed by a bunch of bears attacking the traders. Apparently they are a big problem around the city." Arly sounded pleased with herself.
"Maybe we could do something about that then. We are awesome fighters after all." Yojimbo boasted.
"That sounds like fun. Besides you need backup." Arly sounded excited now.
"Oh please, if anything you need backup. I could take them on by myself any day, any time." Yoji shot back.
"Somebody's gotta bandage you up when they get to you, tough guy." Arly responded.
Val sighed. Then he brightened slightly as the shop owner came back with his newly repaired sword. "Thank you Ma'am."
"You're welcome. But I can't say it was easy. You've done a lot of fighting with that sword." The woman spoke.
"Yes well I bought it used. But you are right. Is this amount correct?" He handed over a small pile of gold.
"Yes. Thank you. You two need something?" The woman looked to where Yoji and Arly were conversing about bears, getting more psyched up as they talked.
"No thanks! C'mon Yoji let's go find somebody to give us more information." Arly prepared to drag him away.
"If you're looking for information try the Adventurer's Association run by Eavan. She's near the Square." The red headed woman called out.
"Thank you Ma'am. Now we can go Blondie." Yoji dashed off, followed by Arly.
Shaking his head Val sheathed his sword and left. At least those two would leave him alone for now.
The city flashed by in a blur, as he began to run. The focus that came over him during combat settled over him now and all he thought about was getting to Math Dungeon quickly. Later on, he didn't recall much about the countryside, or even the city.
He found Math Dungeon without much difficulty and entered. What he did note was unlike Ciar, this dungeon had an outer wall and then a yard between it and the round structure with steps leading down. Emerging underground he found a lobby similar to Ciar with the same Goddess statue but everything was washed in an amber light from the candles everywhere. It also seemed smaller. What would she drop to get in? Then he noticed a few nails that looked as though somebody had dropped them. They had missed the altar by inches. Nails? Worth a shot I suppose. He picked up one to use and stepped on. Dropping it, the familiar sensation of disorientation washed over him before he emerged in a small echoing room.
Down the stairs he went, noting that the rooms and hallways in this maze were smaller than Ciar. It also had an amber glow everywhere from candles placed in different spots. As he looked around he felt himself pale slightly as he saw the piles of skulls and bones along the walls. Cobwebs stretched over these bones and the place took on a morbid quality Ciar never hoped to achieve. Gulping a bit, he drew his sword and continued on. Whatever had killed those people probably still lurked within the dungeon.
Finding the first room with an open chest, he saw the bodies lying around. Unlike the goblins, these creatures were smaller and had sharper features. From the arrows sticking out of their body it looked as though somebody had shot them to death. Val continued on, picking up his pace as he did so. He noticed that those kobolds weren't the only things dead. Different types of rats were scattered throughout, among other monsters. Regardless of what sort of monster, all had been shot with arrows. There wasn't a single blade mark on any of them or scorch marks from magic. He had to admit the girl was skilled with her bow to kill this many creatures without backup. Still despite evidence that the girl could take care of herself, he got that nagging feeling something had happened.
The feeling got stronger as he continued and found blood not belonging to monsters. At first it was a few drops of brown here and there, no more than he expected for somebody who raided a dungeon alone. Gradually it increased until suddenly in the middle he found large spots of it. The worst part was it was no longer dried brown but red. Red like she had been here not long ago. A chill swept over him as he examined the scene. There were far fewer kobold bodies than there should have been if she had cleared a room. As he exited the room, his apprehension growing, he saw a clue.
Several arrows had fallen in a pile, but they were clear of blood and looked ready to be shot. The problem was there were several of them lying there like somebody had dropped them from a quiver. Val scooped them up and continued, gripping his broadsword in one hand as he ran. Farther down the twisting corridor he found more arrows though now they were in a line. There was also more blood near the arrows. Was she providing a clue in case somebody came after her? Or was it to escape?
He walked into a room and saw now there was a quiver with the remaining arrows alongside a long bow. Somebody must have seen the path of arrows and tossed them down. Blood roared through his head now. There was no way any warrior would willingly throw down their weapon and ammunition in the middle of a dungeon raid. Something had captured her and forced her to leave her weapons behind. He put the arrows he had collected back in the quiver and strapped the bow and quiver on his back for safe keeping.
Looking around further he noticed this chest wasn't sprung. In order to clear the dungeon, all the monsters had to be defeated. The fact of the closed chest, blood and weapons only pointed to one fact: the monsters had taken her prisoner. Grimly he hefted his sword and popped the chest. The doors slammed down and six kobolds popped up from nowhere. All had short bows in their hands and spotting him they raised the bows.
Val summoned his lightning magic and tossed it at the crowd. As they reeled, he ran forward and wind milled them, sending them flying. Summoning another bolt he tossed it at a couple more archers and ran to attack. Arrows whizzed by as some shot at him but he ducked, avoiding them narrowly. His blade bit into the two archers and he furiously cut them down. Wheeling around he put up a defense just as one archer got impatient and dashed at him. It crumpled under him as he swung back. Summoning more magic he tossed the bolt at another archer again but before he charged an arrow thudded into his shoulder. He reeled giving the opportunity for the kobold he had fried to charge him. Grunting he threw his weight behind his sword to counter the archer and it slammed into the nearby wall. Two were left. Running between the two who were aiming at him, he wind milled them. He smashed one as it got up and then whirled to find an arrow coming at him. Instantly he swung up the blade and the arrow bounced off the steel harmlessly. Before the archer could shoot again he charged it and plunged the blade into its body. "Die." He whispered and pulled the sword out. He stood for a second to catch his breath. He couldn't remember ever dispatching monsters so quickly. He searched the bodies but found only some gold.
Moving on he looked down to find an arrow sticking out of his shoulder. Hissing, he pulled it out and applied a bandage around the shoulder. Then he drank a potion for strength. He needed to be more careful in the future if he was going to get to the girl in time.
He moved at a quick pace through the rooms, whirling and killing with a cold fury. Although he was worried about the girl whose blood trail had finally stopped, he basked in the feeling of strength that flowed through him at this destruction he wrecked. Finally he reached the end and found the monsters highly on edge. He made sure not to be over confidant as he killed more monsters. Through the whole time he avoided any serious injuries though as he continued he collected a few bruises and small cuts.
When he found the boss room, he found himself somewhat tired from the quick pace he had set in this rescue. Searching the bodies of more kobolds, he found the key and opened the room. The wide room was nearly identical to the boss room of Ciar. As he crept into the room, he was surprised to find nobody saw him. In the center of the room some kobolds were talking and surrounding something. One of them was talking to somebody in human.
"Enjoy your last few moments alive human wench. This is your punishment for killing Formers. The Hellhounds will enjoy eating you. We haven't had a sacrifice as plump as you in quite some time." The voice hissed.
An angry shriek sounded over them as the girl screamed, "FAT? WHO ARE YOU CALLING FAT YOU BEADY EYED LONG NOSED FREAK?"
Valmayrick shook his head. Angry little thing wasn't she? He stiffened as some of the monsters moved aside and he saw Mononoke tied up. She was sitting down tied up in ropes with bandages all over the place. She didn't look well despite her shouting.
Concentrating his mana he cast a Firebolt. If he aimed it right, he could burn away the ropes without burning Mononoke but he didn't have an affinity for fire like Arly. He would have to aim more carefully.
Mononoke felt fear within her as she stared around at the circle of monsters. The longer she sat here, the more she realized it was hopeless. Nobody was coming for her, she was badly wounded and the hellhounds would be here soon. Tears pricked her eyes. In her last moments, she began to picture the odd boy with blue hair that she bumped into at the school. It would have been nice to get to know him.
Suddenly out of nowhere a ball of fire hit the ropes binding her to the altar. Quickly realizing she was free, she jumped from the altar before she was burned. Then she was running out of the startled circle of kobolds towards the door she had come in. She screamed as a kobold made a grab at her but to her surprise a bolt of lightning slammed into the crowd. Not stopping to question her mysterious savior she ran until she caught sight of a blue robed figure with blue hair. His face was contorted in concentration and there was a fire burning in his eyes. In one hand was a sword but on his back was a familiar looking bow.
As soon as the girl had run free of the crowd, Val charged. He smashed the first kobold he had come into and killed it as he struck deeply. Then he wind milled a group charging him. Rising from his spinning blade of death, he parried a blow and slashed deeply. He ducked an arrow as an archer shot at him. Quickly he summoned lightning and aimed at the archer. He spun around as more charged him and wind milled again. This time they died. Another arrow whizzed by taking a bit of hair and he threw more lightning at the same archer. Finally after more spinning blades and lightning the group died. Panting he stood in a circle of dead kobolds.
Mononoke was stunned. She had never seen anybody fight so skillfully or so furiously. He had this elegance about his fighting even when he was angry. And to combine magic seamlessly with the blade work was nothing but impressive! "Who are you?"
Val turned to find the girl staring at him with huge eyes. He was suddenly struck by how beautiful she was even being hurt. The last thought brought him up short and he dashed forward sheathing his bloody blade. "Sit down." Taking out his supplies he re-bandaged her wounds and then closed his eyes. Hopefully he could cast the new spell that Dilys had taught him correctly. Feeling the mana he concentrated on the feeling of peace and then opening his eyes cast it on the girl. Her body lit up with a blue sparkly light for a second and he watched as she grew fresh pink skin over bruises and scrapes. Color returned to her cheeks and she didn't look to be on the verge of collapse.
Mononoke blinked as suddenly the young man cast something that made her feel much better. "Thank you. Who are you?"
"My name is Valmayrick but everyone calls me Val. You are Mononoke are you not?" He helped her up and looked at her intently.
"Nice to meet you. But how did you know where I was?" She looked at him.
"Stewart told me after I asked. I got here just in time it seems. Are you alright?" Val asked suddenly a bit shy.
She smiled then, something that made him blink a bit stupidly. What is going on? I'm getting sappy all of a sudden and I can't figure it out. Concentrate! Withdrawing his hand hastily he dug in his pocket for the cross. He held it out trying to be serious.
Mononoke's eyes lit up at the object. "My Celtic cross! But how did you find it?" Eagerly she snatched it and looked at it happily.
"You must have dropped it on the stairs when you stormed out of the classroom. I came to return it." Val answered.
"Thank you so much! Hey isn't that my bow?" She recalled seeing her long bow on his back before he dispatched those kobolds.
"I found the trail of arrows then the bow so I picked it up for you. Be careful next time alright?" He scolded gently as he handed back the bow and quiver.
"Yes Dad," Mononoke teased as she accepted her weapons. Gods but it felt good to have it back in her hands where it belonged.
Val was about to respond when an unearthly howl ripped through the air. Spinning around he watched in horror as two jet black hounds padded from thin air by the altar.
They sniffed the bodies of the kobolds before raising their heads. They had burning red eyes like those coyotes in Sidhe's snowfields. Growling they charged him.
Instinctively he moved to cover Mononoke and raised his blade to counter. Just barely he countered one but the other one tacked him, sending him to the ground. Hitting the ground with a grunt he tossed off a lightning at one but watched in some horror as it had little effect. Then he yelled in pain as it threw a Firebolt at him. Since when did monsters cast magic?
In the meantime Mononoke was being attacked by the other hound. Quickly though she raised the bow, notched an arrow and released it. It thudded into the hellhound, and she watched as it actually paused for a second. Then it ran at her.
She threw her whole self into the counter, and taking two arrows in the bow sent them flying at the hellhound. Rapidly she shot, a few missing but most found their mark as she shot furiously. There was no way some dog would kill her after she had just been rescued!
Val meanwhile was struggling. This hound seemed to have no rhyme or reason as it alternatively charged him then circled him or tossed fire bolts at him that he narrowly avoided. As he managed to counter it, he heard the yelp and suddenly it clicked. These things were nothing more than wolves with devilish undertones! Grinning he changed his strategy and charged it himself. Before it could react he smashed it and tossed his own Firebolt at him as it scrambled up from the ground. Successfully he put up the counter and tossed another Firebolt at it. Using a combinations of smashes, counters, and magic he managed to defeat it though it wasn't easy by far.
Mononoke had a bit more trouble but the advantages of her focusing completely on archery with just a few useful melee skills meant she could do effective shooting. Leaning back into her final shot, she cheered as the arrow slid into the hound's chest and it crumpled. "TAKE THAT YOU FLEA BAG!" She cheered.
Val wiped his face with his sleeve. Hopefully that was the last one because this dungeon was taking its toll on him. His head snapped up as another one trotted out of thin air. Groaning he ran to stand by Mononoke and swung up his blade. Focusing his magic he summoned up several Firebolts. Then he tossed it at the hound as it charged him.
Immediately Mononoke fired off an arrow seconds after the fire burned the hound. Slapping more arrows down she shot rapidly once more, noting however her arrow supply was running low.
Val ran to smash the hound and sent it to the ground even while the girl kept up her rain of arrows. Whirling he knocked the hound back and waited as it got up and charged. He put up a strong defense and attacked it, just avoiding chopping the flying arrows in half.
The hound didn't have a chance with the furious stream of attacks and died. With its last gasp of life before it fell, it tossed another Firebolt at the female human before the blade of the male human killed it.
Mononoke screamed as the burns ignited her bandages and burned some of her freshly healed wounds. Although Valmayrick had received hits of his own, he hadn't been hurt like she had.
As Val sheathed his sword and found two shiny keys on the ground, he heard the scream. Turning around he saw Mononoke beating the last bit of fire from her leg. Stumbling from sudden exhaustion-it had been an eternity since that morning when he arrived in Dunbarton- he summoned up more healing magic to calm the burns down. He had a feeling though they would need to stay at the Healer's House in the city for a while. "Come on. I know it hurts but we have to get back." He looped an arm around her shoulders and together they limped into the antechamber.
After unlocking their chests and finding gold among a few other things, they touched the Goddess statue and arrived in the lobby. Outside they found it was morning. The raid had taken place all afternoon, evening and night. The journey back to Dunbarton took an eternity but nothing attacked them. Finally they saw the city walls in the distance.
"I thought I'd never see the city again." Mononoke murmured. The journey had been spent in companionable silence, and she would have tucked her head on his shoulder if she hadn't hurt so much.
Valmayrick's arm tightened around her shoulders. "Just a bit farther, then you can collapse. Okay?"
"Sure." Mononoke walked with him by the potato fields until within mere feet of the gate her legs began trembling. Blackness washed over her vision and before she could stop, she fell to the ground in a faint.
Reacting quickly Val caught her before she hit the ground and swung her up into his arms, her head lolling over his arm. He bit back a groan at the added weight on his wounds but entered the city and walked as fast as he could. Just as his own vision swam with dark spots he found the Healer's House.
Arly and Yoji were having the last of their scrapes from bear hunting bandaged by Manus when somebody stumbled into the building. Jumping up they gaped in astonishment.
Val stood inside the doorway, covered in blood, dirt, and cobwebs. His clothes were ripped, he dripped some blood and he looked to be on the verge of fainting. The girl in his arms however was far worse and made his wounds fade into nothingness. She was covered in burns, swathed in bandages and had dirt and dried blood spread liberally over her.
Manus leapt into action promptly, taking the girl from Val's arms and putting her down on a bed. He turned around to the young man who stumbled to a bed and then collapsed. Shaking his head, he shoved Arly and Yoji out and turned back to tend to the adventurer's wounds.
A few hours later as the sun reached high noon, Arlanta and Yojimbo returned with lunch and to find out what happened to their friends. Upon inquiring they learned that while Valmayrick looked to be in horrible condition, he was just exhausted, had a few arrow and bite wounds and a couple burns. Manus being a skilled healer with magic assured them he would be fine after a good long sleep. The young lady however was in much more serious condition. Although evidently the young man had healed her with magic, his was a novice attempt and more wounds afterwards had opened up the old wounds. She had lost a lot of blood, been bitten, burned, and stabbed a few too many times. He had done a lot of healing but now her body had to take over and finish the job.
"Will they be alright?" Arlanta asked, worried.
"Your friend Valmayrick will surely. Like I said he just needs sleep. The young lady, well I don't know. It's up to her now." Manus answered.
A/N: Well do you like it? If you are reading this, please review! I read all eight chapters just before I read this so I could get back into the story and not write everybody OCC. And yes this time I'm back for good. I promise not to leave again alright? I just had some personal issues and then I got sidetracked with the other fandoms. But I'm glad I'm back now because I forgot how much fun this is. Oh wait you wanted to review huh? I'll shut up now. BYE!