So… update time! Alright you guys, almost at thirty chapters! I never thought it would come this far. Anyways, before I go on that tangent again, I would like to thank all of you reviewers, for, well, reviewing. It makes me smile each time I see an email saying someone reviewed my story. I don't know about you guys, but I'm ready for spring break. It can provide me with some new things to help get the juices flowing in my head. I miss being able to pop out chapters in like, thirty minutes. Now I have to sit for another fifteen… ugh. It always pays off though.
Just a warning, this is kind of a short chapter, only about nineteen hundred words. That's mostly because I wanted to set up the next chapter so we can have something to (hopefully) look forward to next week!
Without any further ado, I do present to you, Chapter Twenty Nine.
Also, Warlordofdage, I responded to your "request" in the final Author's Note.
Chapter 29: Now or Never
"Ugh…" Gregor grumbled, rolling over. He had always disliked having to get up in the morning, he knew he had to. Well, it wasn't necessarily that he had to, but more that he wanted to. It had been a while since his last run, and Gregor was itching to go and burn off some of the pent up stress from the quest.
Throwing on some Regalian jogging pants (at least, that's what they looked like), Gregor went and pleaded with the exhausted guards at the lift, and, finally, they let him down.
Gregor yawned a large yawn when the lift hit the ground. He had another falling nightmare early this morning, waking him up in a cold sweat. Luckily, Luxa was too tired to notice.
Shaking off the unhappiness from the nightmare, Gregor woke himself up to one of his favorite hobbies: running.
A seasoned track athlete with a swordplay background, Gregor was constantly reaping the benefits of stretching. It was a habit that would probably never leave him.
"I wonder if this old habit will die hard…" Gregor thought, thinking about the war outside those walls; simply waiting to rip everything he cared about away from him.
Gregor took off at a sprint for the first hundred yards, straight to the wall in view of the Palace. Back in New York, he would normally walk to his school and run up and down the bleachers for a while, and then, when he was started to feel fatigued, run about five to ten miles.
Gregor made it to the wall quicker than he would've during midday; he only encountered farmers and barn-hands on his way there, which was much easier to navigate through than the heavily populated suburban city it would become within a matter of hours.
Nodding to the rat guards at the entrance with a smile, Gregor jogged to the stairwell about fifteen feet away. He was so proud of Luxa, and how far she had come to trust her sworn enemies to serve as guards to the wall; the leaps of trust she was willing to take to get her City to the amazing semi-utopia she wanted was almost comical!
Skipping two steps at a time, Gregor flew up three flights of stairs, and sprinted to the other side of the wall, and back. Stopping to a light stationary jog, Gregor caught his breath, and skipped stairs on his way back down.
Gregor repeated his warm-up another five times before looking out into the cavern at the top of the wall. Stopping for a second, Gregor walked to the edge, and sat down. Gregor thought of the first time he looked out over this wall; his first quest. It seemed like so long ago that he discovered this land of giant rats, bats, cockroaches, and, surprisingly, humans; the time where he fought with Luxa and Henry, and ended up leaping out over the giant abyss deep within the rats' land. Jeez, it seemed like a forever ago!
But along with the fonder memories, came the bad memories; ones Gregor wished he could seal away and forget. Most of all, the vicious fight with the Bane he had five years ago, in front of both armies. He still had nightmares about that.
Worst of all, though, was his dreams of falling. The nightmares never stopped since Ares died, depriving Gregor of his bond and safety blanket from these horrific visions. Occasionally, Gregor would relive parts of the War, like the Battle at Regalia's Forefront, or his final battle with the Bane, or even his short sight of the Battle of Tartarus. No matter what they were, or when they happened, or who was involved, they all ended the same: Gregor falling down a dark, endless pit, with blinded screams around him, and no echolocation to feel like he can see. He was isolated in that dimension, that little world where he was prisoner, and it his warden.
Gregor heaved a deep sigh before turning and walking back towards the stairs. "I have to make sure to keep all of this quiet, so no one gets—"
Stopping cold in his tracks, Gregor felt the cold sweat starting to eat at him, from his head, down.
Slowly walking back towards the edge of the wall, Gregor hoped with all of his might he had been wrong. "I'm just seeing things." He thought, trying to convince himself.
Taking a deep breath, Gregor clicked his tongue against the roof of his mouth, out into the deep foreboding tunnel ahead of him.
He waited. And waited. And waited.
Gregor waited another second.
Sighing with relief, Gregor mumbled to himself, "Jeez am I losing it or—"
Then there was something. Gregor looked out into the darkness he hated so much, and clicked several times.
Now he got them again.
Cutters. Hundreds of them, amassed in rows and rows of ranks.
Gregor stood shocked. Where were the guards? Wasn't this their job, to pay attention so surprise attacks like this didn't happen?
Gregor jumped down the flights of stairs, looking around for guards. Finally, when he found them, they were sprawled out on their stomachs on the stone, surrounded by their own blood; long since dried. Gregor immediately went and checked in vain for a pulse on the two of them. Flipping one over, Gregor saw that a massive claw gash had run across the guards' throats, killing them both early in the morning, judging from the dried blood.
"But how?" Gregor exclaimed, frantically trying to put together who would want to kill the guards to the biggest security setup in the entire Underland.
The rat guards!
That would be the only way to explain why Gregor hadn't noticed the bodies before!
"Gah!" Gregor screamed in rage. How would he get soldiers here in time to defend the City?
Gregor hardened his resolve, and took a sword from one of the dead guards. He strapped on some of the leather/metal combine armor, and sprinted out to the farmlands, about a quarter of a mile away.
"Hey!" he screamed. "Hey!" They all looked up eventually; weary from having to get up early. "I need a flier! Now!" Upon seeing the different colored hair signifying the Warrior, a bat immediately landed right next to him.
"What is it you need, Warrior?" she asked, purring. After all, it wasn't everyday you get to see the warrior.
"I need you to fly me to the other side of that wall, and go tell Queen Luxa that Cutters are marching on the City."
All of the Regalians who were around heard this, as they were all eavesdropping, and chuckled at the thought of a practical joke.
"I'm serious!" Gregor hollered over the crowd, who began to realize that Gregor wasn't playing around. "All of you need to evacuate, and head towards the Palace in case we can't hold them off."
No one moved.
"Well?" Gregor demanded, hands up in annoyance. "Get moving! Now! Don't wait for them to walk in and introduce themselves!"
With that extra bit of push, all of the farmers got moving, and, collecting all of their tools, evacuated the farm area.
"Ok, let's go." Gregor said to the bat. She nodded, and lowered her back for him to get on.
The two darted out past the wall, where the young bat dropped Gregor about two hundred feet before the start of the wall. Torchlight barely reached there.
"Warrior, you cannot possibly hold them all off. They are too many!" the bat said, worry evident in her voice.
"All I have to do is hold out long enough to buy us some time." He said, comfortingly.
"But I'm relying on you to fly as fast as you possibly can to warn Queen Luxa to mobilize, okay? Now go, and hurry!" Gregor said, drawing his sword from the borrowed belt.
The bat hesitated slightly, but let her resolve wash over her, inspired by the savior of the Underland. She flew with amazing speed back to the Palace, hoping to be in time to help keep the Warrior alive.
Gregor smiled, glad he met a bat with such emotion. Remembering where he was, Gregor resumed his steely tone, and imagined his Knight at the Cloisters, once standing tall and strong. Now it was Gregor's turn, once again, to fight for not only for the City's safety, but for his own survival.
The Cutters came in to view of the torchlight, giving Gregor two hundred feet until he was cornered.
"Plenty." He smiled. Quickly, he balled his fist and kissed it, hoping his love for his family, friends, and for Luxa, would be enough to keep him alive.
"Now or never." Gregor said, quoting something his Dad once said.
And thus his sword fell.
Well, a lot happened in that chapter, so I hope it was good enough for a long wait. I hope all of you enjoyed it, and will tell me what you think! Believe me! I am not lying when I say it helps not only motivate me to write sooner, but to know what I can do to improve the writing quality so everyone can get in to the story as much as I have recently. Please don't forget to review!
Also, I wanted to address this user, "Warlordofdage".
First of all, I think it's funny that you came back and tried to read my story that you were raging that I delete it a few months ago. And now, you come back, and demand answers from me for my actions?
I blocked you because you are an annoying, irrational person that cannot control yourself. I write on this website to get away from all of this freshman bull crap during the week, not so I have to deal with one on steroids. I do not mind criticism, but when someone comes around waving their washed up attempts at being a writer and demands for me to delete my story, trying to keep me from doing what I love, I will not stand for it. I hope you're satisfied from my rather understated answer. Do not make me call you out again.
To everyone else, I am sorry that you had to see that, as you didn't do anything to deserve to. Until next week's update.