A/N: Thanks to Suricatessen for reviewing, helping me figure out Adamaï's character, and indirectly getting me to use the accent over the "i" in his name.
Disclaimer: Apparently, I completely forgot to put this up on the first chapter, so, I don't own Wakfu. If I did, why would I be writing fanfiction for it then?
Chapter 2: The Sadida Kingdom
The ship docked at noon. The princess, her comrades, her bodyguard, and the soldiers were greeted by sadida guards and Prince Armand. Enzot escorted the reluctant princess down onto the docks first, shortly followed by Yugo and Adamaï with sadida and cra "escorts." By the time they got down to the docks, Yugo heard the traces of a reprimand from a familiar voice that had the smell of a pig's pen.
"-for months and-"
"Armand, I left a note and I didn't think-!"
"Of course you didn't." This was accompanied by a heavy sigh. As the soldiers pushed the brothers forward, they could see that the crown prince Armand was rubbing his temples as he continued talking about his sister's iop-rashness and simple-mindedness.
Amalia clenched her fists, about to retort something, but Enzot stepped forward and coughed to interrupt the royal siblings. He got down on one knee and waved over to Yugo and Adamaï without looking up. "Prince Armand, the princess had been found with these boys."
The dragon muttered to himself.
The prince looked over at Enzot and then to Yugo and Adamaï. The eliatrope forced a smile and waved while Adamaï simply folded his arms and stood up straighter. "Thank you, Enzot," Armand said, his edge having disappeared in the presence of the dragon and eliatrope that helped saved his kingdom. He folded his hands behind his back and an authorial smile crossed his face. "Yugo and Adamaï, it has been a while since you've graced us with a visit."
"Well...it has been, hasn't it?" Yugo rubbed the back of his neck through the fabric of his hood, avoiding eye contact.
"We've been busy with other things," said Adamaï.
"I do apologize for if my sister interrupted whatever you were up to," said the prince. He then waved to the forest kingdom behind him. "I and the rest of the kingdom welcome your visit, so feel free to stay as long as you like."
Yugo nodded with a quick thanks.
Armand turned and lead them to the outskirts of the forest, where a set of dragoturkeys waited for the prince and his company. The royal siblings and the brothers rode mounts and the soldiers walked around them. While Armand talked of changes within the kingdom, Yugo watched Amalia as she brooded and pouted.
"Hey, lover-boy, there are more important things than a pouty princess," said Adamaï in a low voice, nudging his brother in the front of his chest. Yugo looked down at his dragon-brother, seeing the frown on his face.
"Er..." the eliatrope said as he looked away towards the interesting shadows to the side of the path. Adamaï sighed.
"So, tell me more about these villages," Armand said, looking over to Yugo. He then raised an eyebrow at the pinkish eliatrope. "What's over that way?"
Yugo turned his face towards the prince. "Er...I thought I saw something, that's all." He then coughed before explaining about the strange villages, but he made sure to leave out the strange figures when talking about the particular village he had investigated a few days ago. During the boat ride, Yugo had talked to Adamaï about other possibilities of what they could have been, besides ghosts as Amalia had mentioned. Neither the dragon nor the eliatrope could think of anything.
Upon Yugo concluding the explication, Armand stroked his beard thoughtfully. "I haven't heard of these rumors at all. Are you sure you don't know the cause?"
Yugo and Adamaï shook their heads. "If we knew it, we would have told you," said the dragon, earning him a discrete glare from his eliatrope-brother that said, how many times have I harped this, Ad?
Armand then nodded before looking ahead. "My father might have heard more about such complaints than I have from farther out in the kingdom."
"Any information you can provide us will help plenty," said Yugo.
"Speaking of," Adamaï said. His mount pick up it's pace to catch up with the prince. What the dragon asked of the prince had been too quite for Yugo to hear, even if he strained his ears. Even after urging his dragoturkey along, Yugo missed what the question was, only hearing the tail end of Armand's reply that made little sense beyond that it was a promise to keep him posted. Yugo furrowed his eyebrows. What did that mean? He'd have to ask Adamaï about it later.
As they continued, the smell of the ocean breeze disappeared, leaving the smell of pine that much stronger. Other wisps of smells became stronger as the small party continued along the trail and closer to the kingdom's capital. Occasional sadidas passed them in wagons or on foot, all dressed in heavy furs and colorful dried leaves and holly. Each recognized the prince and princess and each one waved to them or bowed slightly as they continued along. On occasion, they would also recognize Yugo or Adamaï from the vague descriptions of the somewhat inaccurate Legend of the Ginger Warrior.
The princess's attitude disappeared a little behind a soft smile as she waved to every passerby. By the time they arrived at the castle gates, Amalia had practically bounced her way to the thrown room. Yugo had walked a little ways behind her, the prince, and her bodyguard. He heard the bodyguard mutter, "How can she have that much energy after being dragged back?" Yugo had to admit, it was a bit strange, but then again, Amalia could change her attitude just as quickly as an iop would rush into battle.
"-was not me who left his entire shop in ruins! I was on the other side of the kingdom on that very day!"
As the group arrived in the throne room, Yugo saw that the king was in the middle of settling a dispute between two sadida men. At first, he waited behind the chamberlain next to the cra and his brother until he heard that one of the two men's shop had burned down in an instant while the owner's back was turned. He pushed his way passed the chamberlain, saying a quick apology as he did so.
"And how do you suggest I could do such a thing?!" shouted one of the sadida.
"Oh, you have enough money in that purse of yours to hire someone to-"
The king slammed his oak specter against the floor; the resounding boom silenced the two men. They looked up at the king, waiting for him to speak. "I shall have a few of our alchemists investigate the area before I make my final decision," said the king. "For now, this audience is adjourned until further notice."
Both men bowed before being lead out by a few of the guards. At that moment, the chamberlain called to the king, announcing the return of the prince, princess, the eliatrope, and the dragon. The king's strained and serious face melted into a wide smile. "Audiences are suspended for the next hour," he called to the herald. "The princess has returned."
"Again," muttered Enzot.
When the oak doors closed with a dismissing boom, the sadida king hoisted himself out of the throne and stepped down the little staircase and turned to his new audience.
"Hi, Papa," Amalia greeted, approaching him with a warm smile. The king returned it and scooped his daughter into a hug for several long minutes. Yugo felt a prickle in his stomach, remembering his own dad. He was close; maybe he could ask his shushu-possessed map for a shortcut to his home village of Emelka.
When the father and daughter separated, the king looked down at Amalia with a partial frown. "You shouldn't have left for so long," he said with a voice of mixed relief and concern.
The princess's smile faded. "I needed to make sure Yugo was all right."
At this point, Adamaï jabbed his brother in the knees with a smirk. Yugo looked down at his brother, frowning.
The king turned to the brothers, causing Yugo to stiffen up. Amalia had once mentioned how livid he could get at times. Depending how the kingdom was in. How was it? Shoot. He should have paid more attention when Armand was talking. What was the king thinking behind his mask of green hair and the straight grimace? King Oakheart began walking towards the eliatrope. Yugo kept his face as straight as possible, trying his best to not sweat.
The king rested a hand on the eliatrope's shoulder. "At least we know that she wouldn't get into much trouble this time." Yugo dared look up at the king to see a smile on it. Yugo returned the smile while internally sighing in relief.
"Papa!" shouted Amalia, folding her arms. The king chuckled and looked to his daughter.
Yugo relaxed. "Don't worry, Your Majesty. I'm sure no one would try to take Amalia since she has such a fighting spirit."
"I wouldn't say 'fighting spirit' per say..." Adamaï said, earning a glare from the princess and a laugh out of the rest of her family.
King Oakheart's shoulders shook from laughing. He patted the teen on the back with such force that Yugo stumbled a little. The eliatrope looked up at his friend with an apologetic smile, but her glaring pout turned away. That was, until Amalia's father added the next gem. "Too bad Amalia isn't up for marriage."
Yugo stopped laughing, his hood-ears perking up. "What?" both the eliatrope and sadida princess asked, the former dumbstruck and the latter appalled.
"Ugh, of all the times!" Amalia shouted with an ear-splitting screech. She jabbed her hands in the direction of her father. "Papa, for the love of Sadida and all his dolls, don't mention it so nonchalantly!" Before the king could even get a syllable out, she stormed passed them and disappeared through the chamber doors. Enzot bowed to them before departing, looking none too pleased with the situation.
For several minutes, they stood in silence before Armand also excused himself. King Oakheart turned back to Yugo and Adamaï. "I do apologize for that scene."
"Ha, Gourgal puts up worse." Adamaï then patted his brother's arm. "Besides, I don't think he's ready for that stuff either." Yugo blinked, still trying to intake what had just happened. After a few seconds, it finally hit him.
"Oh," he and the king said at the same time. Yugo turned his face away as he felt it heat up a bit.
King Oakheart coughed. "Well, I'm sure that your journey has been hard," he said. He turned around, waving for them to follow. "I am quite sure we have some spare rooms so you two can rest for a while." The king disappeared down the hallway.
Just before the brothers followed, Adamaï said, "Way to get turned down, bro."
The disheartened king left the brothers in the spare room. Finally having a moment to wind down, Yugo walked over and fell into the bed, sinking in to the mattress far more than he thought was possible. Giving a wild cry, he fumbled around and pulled himself back to his feet.
Adamaï fell over laughing. "Bro, that cry! What was it, a bow meow?" He got to his feet. Disappearing and reappearing over the bed, the dragon fell into it as if he had bellyflopped into the ocean. "Man, this is a million times better than any of those stuffy inn beds."
"Yeah, but it's definitely more expansive," responded Yugo in a half-chuckle.
"Nothing like an arm and a leg," Adamaï said, pulling himself up and looking at his brother.
"Yeah." The eliatrope pulled his hood farther over his eyes. Adamaï blinked, his smile fading. Adamaï struggled against the squishy bed. When he could finally look at his brother, Yugo had gotten to his feet.
"Yugo...you okay?" Adamaï asked softly.
The eliatrope turned back. "Hm?" Shaking his head, Yugo put on a smile. "Oh, yeah. Don't worry, Ad, I'm fine."
Dissatisfied with the answer, Adamaï gazed at Yugo with narrowed eyes. He tried reading beyond the expression from his brother's face, behind what he hand said, and what his actions. However, Adamaï couldn't really see it. Oh, he understand that it was there, but what exactly was there remained far beyond his grasp.
But maybe he couldn't exactly figure it out right now. The least he could do was offer something to his brother in order to get his mind off of it. "Hey, you heard the sadidas arguing?"
Yugo nodded, the distant expression in his eyes disappearing. "The entire shop went up in smoke in an instant."
Adamaï grinned. "Maybe there's something we can see that they can't." He extended his arms, slightly losing his balance. Yugo chuckled as the dragon fought to keep steady on the bed only to fall face first into the softness. This time, it was Yugo's turn to collapse in a fit of giggles, though Adamaï joined shortly after.
After finally pulling himself out of the bed like a half-drowned castaway, Adamaï joined his brother in walking to the shop that had exploded. Getting the needed information from the guards was difficult. They gave various reasons that didn't sit well with the eliatrope and the dragon. One even explained that the alchemists were "fussy," but the way the guard had said it sound like a understatement. So, they were left with asking the citizens of the kingdom. Fortunately, gossip and rumors were as common place as the stones they stepped on.
Finally arriving at the destination, the two teens looked at the wreckage, all covered by a blue-gray dome, lined with sadida men and women with folded hands. Adamaï gazed at it for a minute before swearing under his breath. "Magical barriers!"
Yugo looked down at Adamaï and then checked the barrier with his own wakfu-vision. Nothing within the barrier registered. Not the alchemists, the veins of wakfu flowing under the earth. Nothing passed a brilliant black. Blinking away the wakfu vision, the eliatrope frowned. "Magical barriers," he nodded.
As he drew a portal in the air to walk through the barrier, a sadida guard approached them. "Halt!" he yelled. The guard's tone faltered as he recognized the young guests of the royal family. "Oh, sirs! I do apologize for my iopness." He bowed to both Yugo and Adamaï before returning to full height. "May I ask why you approached here, sirs?"
"We need to see what's behind the barrier," explained Yugo, pointing towards the dome. "If it isn't too much trouble, we could possibly offer some sort of help."
Adamaï, however, approached the barrier, poking it. Sparks flew from the magical wall and the dragon frowned. "Magical barriers obstruct our view of the wakfu flow."
The guard shrugged and scratched the top of his head. "I can't allow that. Sorry, sirs," he said. "The alchemists are..."
"Fussy," Adamaï said as he peered into the barrier to see one of the shadows that moved in the back.
"That's the kindest term I've heard someone say for them," said the guard. He looked towards Yugo. "Maybe once they leave, you can investigate. However, I think it might be a few days before you can do anything." The guard the adjusted his grip on his staff. "And, why exactly can't you see passed the barriers to see the wakfu?"
"Ah, that's right," said Adamaï, not looking away from the barrier. "Other races don't use wakfu like we do."
Yugo shrugged. "It's kind of hard to explain..." He scratched his cheek, trying to think of a good way to explain the concept. "Magic is..."
"Magic is the expression of will over nature. Wakfu and stasis are natural energies created from creation and destruction of living things," Adamaï said.
"Er...yeah, that." Yugo looked over at the dragon with a frown of annoyance. He knew Adamaï was grinning at being able to explain a "simple" concept, or so says the dragon that liked the occasional over-simplification of such complicated things as if they were as easy as adding two and two together.
Adamaï backed away from the magical barrier. "Yugo," he said in a rather low voice. "It looks like we're not getting in now, bro. Maybe we should find somewhere else to wait for now."
"Ad?" he asked, but Adamaï had already began walking away from the ruined shop. Yugo waved a quick apology to the befuddled guard before following after his brother. Once he caught up with the dragon, the eliatrope looked down at Adamaï. "Ad, why did you suddenly leave like that?"
Adamai didn't respond. Instead, he picked up his pace, but Yugo matched it easily. Even as Yugo kept pestering his brother, Adamaï didn't respond. Slowly, the eliatrope grew more impatient with his brother, the knot in his stomach continued telling him to get the dragon's attention.
Eventually, Adamaï cracked. Whipping around, the dragon shouted, "What do you want, Yugo?"
"How about you tell me what's been going on?" the eliatrope stated, his voice a little more quieter than his brother's. "Why did you suddenly decide to leave?"
Adamaï snorted. "You heard the guard, we weren't getting in for a few days. Might as well just find something else to do until then." He turned away, folding his arms. "Maybe there's nothing there in the first place."
Yugo furrowed his eyebrows. What was going on in his dragon-brother's mind? Adamaï had been more adamant to get into the dome than Yugo had. What made him decided that nothing was there? "What did you see?"
"It's been a while since we've had anything good to eat," said Adamaï, patting his stomach absently. "Let's see if there is something to eat besides that grass soup." He walked down the street. Yugo grunted, folding his arms. Maybe some cooking could get him to calm down.
As they left the spot, a group of children watched them go. They had been startled when the two strangers suddenly started shouting at each other. The children dropped their game to watch them. Now that the two were gone, the children returned to their game. An older one commented that the taller one had a similar head apparel as one of the other children of the group. The said child blinked, pulling at the bell ornaments at the end of his hat. Then, he grinned. He raced off from the strangers, exclaiming something about finally finding the "king."
The other children watched him go, rather confused by why he would mention the sadida king. Or was it the entrof king? The children argued about this until they grew bored of it and continued their game of catch.
Amalia paced her room, tossing about pillows in her frustration. Sure, her princess duties included some not-so-interesting tasks like creating diets for the carnivorous plants or entertaining the not-so-interesting guests from the other kingdoms that talked nothing more of setting formal-wear or the like. But those mundane tasks at least made her feel like she was accomplishing something to help her kingdom. Marriage on the other hand... That was another story.
She fell onto her bed, muttering about how her father saw the boy as a perfect husband for the "tough spirited" princess she was. "I'd rather go on another adventure through all the swamps and caves and face a million Razortimes than have to be forced into a marriage." She rolled over, folding her arms. "I wish he'd just-"
"A daughter should mind her father's wishes."
That dirty cra! She glared at the half-opened door where Enzot's voice and trailed from. Getting to her feet, she grabbed one of her heavier plush pillows and flung it at the door, slamming it shut. "And a father should listen to his daughter's wishes!" she bellowed back. Enzot didn't respond, but she didn't care about that.
Instead, she marched over to the workbench that had once been a simple desk for flowers. Since her previous bodyguard and favorite had left to start a family years ago, Amalia had gained an interest in expanding her abilities to protect herself, especially since many of the bodyguards after Evangelyne hadn't been so willing to listen or follow to the princess's urges of trying to visit her friends. Many had left within at least a few months of duty, all the more urging her to hone her skills in the magics and doll manipulation.
She sniffed at the thought of her brother's first reactions when she challenged any of the royal guards. "'Princesses aren't supposed to protect themselves,'" she mocked, putting a small seed into a jar of dirt. "My brambles we're not." She poured a few drops of a recently acquired potion onto the seed. She sat down in the chair, waiting to see her handiwork bloom into a possibly new doll.
But a splitting headache caused her to not be able to see it. She didn't even feel the ground give when when darkness met her eyes. At least the pain left. Or maybe she was pulled from the pain, pulled by some force that she felt all too familiar with. When Amalia was more aware of her surroundings, she felt light, free of the shackles of a body. She trembled at the thought.
Amalia looked around, seeing the tree in front of her. The only source of light in the dark expanse glowed from the leaves, a mixture of brightly burning buds, dimming leaves, and everything in between. The princess took a few steps towards the tree, stopping when she heard the crinkle of dried leaves. She looked down to see a little doll appear at the base of the tree.
Kneeling down, Amalia stared at it. "Tree of Life?" she asked.
The doll nodded before floating over to her. It landed just in front of her and extended one of it's antenna towards her. At first, Amalia leaned back from the Tree of Life's reach. The doll cocked it's head, the leaves crinkling as it did so. The princess took a moment, relaxing her body and leaned towards him so that the antennas brushed her forehead.
Several images flashed in her head, faster than she could fully take in. Amalia reached for as many of the images as possible that stuck out in the jumbles of colors, shapes, and faces, tucking them into her memory as quickly as they came. Then they stopped, leaving the sadida feeling dizzy and light-headed.
"Good luck, my child."
She opened her eyes.
The first thing she was aware of was the dulling ache in her head and the fact that her body was laying on something. Then the smell of wet leaves. Then the feel of said leaves on her face and the soft fabric under her. A screeched wailing met her ears. Amalia took in the room around her. She looked over to see a fat doll pressing it's glowing yellow hands to her head. A little behind it, her two attendants were clinging to each other. Enzot stood close to the bed, rubbing his temples and saying that she'd be fine once she awoke.
"Renate, Canar, could you please—for the love of Sadida!—please stop that horrible screeching!" She sat up, startling the poor doll. "I already have a-!" Her head throbbed worse than she had when she was laying down. She doubled over and clutched her head.
"Ah, Princess!" Renate called, pushing passed Enzot and sitting next to her on the bed and gripping her in a tight hug. "We were so worried! Me and Canar heard that you returned, but we found you on the floor!"
Canar pointed to the cra bodyguard. "We were worried this fool let something into the room! You know what they say about half-cras."
Enzot pointed a dagger at the attendant, making him scream and flinch. "My observation skills are not deterred," the cra growled.
"Enzot!" shouted Amalia, ignoring the pain in her head as she snapped it over to glare at her bodyguard. "Do not even think hurting about my attendants for stupid comments." She then turned back to Renate and Canar, dismissing them with a few gentler words. She then laid back down, allowing her healing doll to continue its healing process to get rid of her nasty headache.
With the doors shut, the cra folded his arms and asked, "Princess, did anything come through and attack you? None of the windows were open; I was posted at the doors but I did not hear anything." He eyed the doll. "That only leaves the doll-"
Appalled at the idea, Amalia cut him off with a firm "No." She patted the doll and slowly sat up. "I...fainted-" She grimaced at the very word. "-before this doll bloomed. It was the Tree of Life. It called me and showed me things."
"Things?" he inquired.
She nodded, slowly processing through the strange images. She frowned before getting up. "I need to find Yugo and Adamaï."
Enzot raised an eyebrow as she put several seeds and bottles into a small satchel and throwing the strap over her shoulder. He didn't even begin questioning her until she had a cloak put around her and the little doll tucked away into her bag. "Princess, I'm sure that the King has sent them into a spare room," he said. "There is no need to get dressed, unless they were put into the dragoturkey stalls."
"They're not in the castle," she muttered, marching out of the room. Enzot followed her, further questioning her in how she knows all this and where exactly they were. They passed a hall where the princess's two attendants hid, avoiding being spotted from their earlier eavesdropping.
"She wants to go on another adventure," sighed Renate, "even when she just got home too."
"And we wanted to show her some of the newest things in next season," Canar agreed. "And we never got to finish decorating her new present."
As the two attendants lamented on all the missed opportunities between catching up with their attendee and talking to her about whatever, they walked to retrieve the present that would surely be of use to an adventuring princess.
Even after picking up a cheap bite to eat at a local restaurant, they had walked around in silence for most of the time. After a while, Adamaï and Yugo sat down on a bench, each turned away from each other. Yugo stared at the trees. His frustration was gone, leaving behind a burning curiosity in him about his dragon-brother's sudden mood. Now that he thought about it, it really didn't help after Yugo yelled... He looked over at the dragon toe say something but he stopped when feeling a sudden chill around his head.
Yugo pat his head, not feeling the rough clothe that had normally covered his head and little wings of wakfu. He stood up, flushing and looking wildly around. Someone giggled behind him. Yugo turned, pulling his hood up, but no-one was there.
"What was that?" Adamaï asked, looking behind the bench and then at Yugo. "Why are you red?"
They heard a gleeful laugh behind them. The two brothers turned around, seeing a young boy wearing a dark hat and a brown shawl. "I finally found you, your Majesty Yugo!"
Yugo coughed. Adamaï exhaled smoke from his nose.
What was another eliatrope doing in the Sadida Kingdom?
Chapter 2: End.
The magic vs. wakfu explanation is based after the AP and WP in the game. After playing it a bit, I've become rather amused to how often spells are used between the main characters in the show and the players in the game (or at least in my experience). And, man, Renate and Canar are such fun to make them squeal~! I hope I can get a few more moments to do that in much later chapters.
Oh, I'm probably going to up the rating to T because a instant in a couple of chapters, there is a scene that is kind of...iffy, really. Future chapters might get iffy as well, though, so we'll just wait until the next chapter comes out.
Hope you enjoyed and see you next time. Hopefully, it won't take so long to upload the next chapter.
-Aug. 27, 2013