Sword: Hey? Where's the author?
Pen: I do not know nor do I care. He saddled us with introducing this story, the lazy neanderthal.
Sword: Ooo, looks like a Silver and Blaze story requested by Whoelsebutme11 on Deviant Art! That should be fun!
Pen: Riveting. Silver, Blaze, and all other related characters belong to Sega. Sword and I belong to our absent author. I will leave you to handle this. I want some quiet time with a book.
Sword: Okay! Let's have fun everyone!
Cup of Desire
"What do you think?" Blaze asked.
Faint light streamed from behind them, bathing the floor in soft, solid white. Silver studied the floor. Unlike the rocky, uneven stone underneath their feet, the floor ahead was hewn with strange carvings. Every slab displayed a faces, puffing its cheeks, with an open hole for its mouth.
"I think it's a trap," Silver said. He stepped closer and crouched to the floor. He ran his hand over the surface of a face. Then he pressed his palm into the stone. Immediately, a thick, metal pole jumped up. Silver leapt backwards onto his rear. The pole stood higher than he did, ending in a spear-like tip.
"Right you are," Blaze said. She turned to the walls on either side. The ornately decorated walls were covered in jutting heads up high, baring their teeth. She hopped up and waved her arm in front of one. There was a hiss, then a chunk! before a dart zipped out of the mouth, striking the opposite wall. "Flying is out of the question."
"Yeah," Silver said, standing up. "There has to be a way across. I could try a barrier, but I don't know how long I could hold it against those." He glanced at the metal spear retracting into its hole.
"Looks at the faces," Blaze said. "Notice anything?"
Silver searched the floor. It took him a moment before he spotted what she was talking about. Here and there, some of the faces had closed eyes. He reached out and pressed on one. It did not budge. He smiled at Blaze. "Good eye."
"Cat, remember?" she said, smirking. "Our eyesight is better than most."
He nodded. "I'll go first." He breathed deep several times, in and out. Then he stepped on the nearest stone with closed eyes and hunched shoulders to avoid the darts. He waited. And waited. Nothing happened. He let loose a large breath he had been holding in. He gave Blaze a thumbs up, then continued forward. She followed after him.
Some areas were pretty dark. At one point, Silver could go no further for no light was shed on the stones ahead. They were very close to the end, but since Silver was ahead, they would simply have to turn back and allow Blaze go first.
"Wait," Blaze said. "Maybe one of these can hold both of us. Then I could light it up."
"I don't know if that's a good idea, Blaze," Silver said. Judging from where he was, two people could only fit on the same space if they were extremely close together.
"We don't have time to turn back," Blaze said. "And the sooner we're out of this mountain, the better." She shivered. Silver grinned and shook his head. The entire climb up, she had stoically stared forward, never once looking down at the gorgeous view of the canyon below the steep mountainside.
"Alright," he said. He held out his arms. "I'll catch you."
She leapt forward and he stumbled backwards. His heel pushed a stone behind him. Silver created a minty green barrier quickly. It took the brunt of the spear and shattered. He leaned toward Blaze, pushing her too far. She stepped onto a stone behind her. He was forced to create a barrier for her back. Stuck between two poles, they found their balance.
"Good catch," Blaze said, panting. Her waist and chest was pressed against his, her legs entangled around his own shaky knees. Their foreheads touched. They could hardly move. Not that Silver minded. He suddenly found the dangerous situation completely worth a close position like this. He caught himself staring at her lips.
"Now," Blaze said, snapping him back to reality. She created a fireball in her hand and threw it low on the wall. It exploded and scattered into tiny embers on the floor. "There. Should be easy." She looked up at Silver and tilted her head at him. He was staring again. She shook her head. "Let's go."
The space between the poles was a tight fit. But they soon retracted, allowing Blaze to lead the way. A few more skips and they had cleared the floor. "I hope this cup is worth it," Blaze said.
"According to the legend, it should be," Silver said. They had set out days ago with a company of knights to search for the Cup of Mhian. Blaze had learned of the ancient legend from the castle library and adventurers in the town tavern about the famous cup that could grant your heart's greatest, unfulfilled desire from drinking it. From her research, the cup was located deep within a mountain near the kingdom. Silver and she had left the knights at the mountain's base, choose to brave the caves alone.
Blaze had also learned that the cup came with a few stipulations. One, it could not kill. Not that Blaze was searching to take anyone's life to begin with. Two, the desire had to be specific. One could not simply desire to be wealthy and famous. They had to outline how they wanted to be wealthy and famous. And last of all, the cup could never be removed from its room.
Of course, Blaze's desire was to protect her kingdom. "Maybe by some new power," she had said on their journey to the mountain. "Or safer borders." When she had asked Silver what his desire was, he had lied and told her he wished the same.
Truthfully, he desired Blaze. For the longest time, he had sought her love in one way or another. While they were very close as friends, he was unsure exactly how Blaze saw him. But he did not want to force Blaze to love him. He cared about her too much to do that. So he decided that he would refuse to drink from the cup. As long as Blaze's wish was fulfilled and she was happy, he was happy.
They arrived in a circular room where three bronze statues stood. Each held a stone bow with a hole fashioned in its center where the arrow would normally be. They seemed to face off against one another in a three-way duel. The only noticeable difference between them was that one wore a black helmet, another wore grey, and the last an ivory helmet. There did not appear to be any other way out of the room. In the center of the floor was an inscription layered in dust and spider webs. Blaze cleaned off the inscription and read it aloud.
"Mr. Black, Mr. Grey, and Mr. White are fighting in a duel. They each get a bow and quiver of arrows to take turns shooting at one another until only one person is left. Mr. Black hits one of every three targets and goes first."
Silver heard a sliding noise. He turned and saw a granite arrow loaded into the black-capped statue. "Er, Blaze?" he said, pointing out the statue.
She read faster. "Mr. Grey hits two of every three targets and goes next, assuming he is still alive." An arrow socketed into the grey-capped statue. "Mr. White hits every target and goes next, assuming he is still alive." The last statue notched its arrow. "The cycle repeats. Where should Mr. Black shoot for the highest chance of survival?"
They ran over to the black-capped statue. "You think you can stop these arrows?" Blaze asked.
"Maybe. But how many will they shoot? And how fast?" Silver asked. "We may only have one shot at this and we can't mess up. What did it mean where should he shoot?"
"I think we have to move him," Blaze said. She pointed to the statue's waist. Silver examined it closer and saw its hinges. "We can turn it to face where we want."
"Okay, so we point it at Mr. White," Silver said. "He's the biggest threat."
"But if Black kills White, then Grey is left with Black," Blaze said. "He has a better chance of killing Black and gets to go before Black can again."
There was a stretching sound, like a bowstring being pulled taut. Blaze and Silver looked up and saw the arrow receding into its hole. It trembled, as if preparing to fire. "Then where?" Silver asked.
"Okay, let me think," Blaze said. "Everyone would go after the biggest threat. So if we could get Grey and White to kill one another, it would be Black's turn again. So he would have to intentionally miss," Blaze said. She glanced at the ground and her face lit up. "The ground! Point him to the ground!"
Silver's hand glowed a pale bluish-green as he bent the statue forward. It released its arrow, hitting the floor. Mr. Grey fired at Mr. White, missed, and had his head shot off by Mr. White. Then Mr. Black straightened up and scored a bulls-eye on Mr. White's head. The duel finished, Mr. Black fired at the inscription. The arrow lodged into the floor. Around the arrow, the area crumbled until there was a large, gaping hole in the center of the room.
The pair rushed over to it. There were vines and branches growing on the sides, snaking their way downwards. Blaze cast a fireball into the hole. It sailed for a while before exploding at the bottom. "A hundred feet," she said. "Give or take. Let's go."
Silver held her hand and lifted her and himself into the air. They floated gently down the hole, Blaze holding Silver tightly the entire time. She shut her eyes and never looked down. Her claws were poking through her gloves and digging into his back. He could feel her shivering and rubbed her back as a means to comfort her. They landed on the bottom without incident, where Blaze took a few moments to rest.
The stone had been replaced for dirt and natural caverns. Blaze discovered a snuffed out torch nearby and lit it. There was only one way forward. After traveling along the path a ways, they entered a round room where the ceiling was shrouded in complete darkness. To their sides were six other paths, all leading in different directions and separated like thin bridges. The paths disappeared into smaller caves, flanked by torches on their entrance. Beneath was a deep pit that had no end when Blaze lobbed a fireball into it.
"Great," Blaze muttered.
Silver took the torch from her and checked the center floor where all the paths originated from. A circle of lamps surrounded the center. On the ground was a carving of a giant spider, its head pointing forward to nothingness. Silver looked around at the other paths. "Okay, we have a spider and six choices."
"Spiders have eight legs though," Blaze pointed out. "Maybe there's something else around here that can give us a clue on which way to go."
They scoured the room, but turned up nothing. When they returned to the middle, Silver caught sight of an inscription written on the spider's abdomen. "To the heart," he read.
"Perhaps the heart of the mountain," Blaze said. She pointed to where they came in. "So we should go one of those two ways," Blaze said, trailing her finger to the furthest paths from their entry point. "You could take one and I'll take the other."
"I don't know," Silver said. "That seems a little too easy. Why have the spider in that case?"
"Well, I'm all ears if you have a better idea," Blaze said.
Silver did not. He studied the carving for a few minutes more with Blaze hovering over his shoulder. He gave up and nodded. "Okay, let's try your idea."
He took the right and she took the left. They had to shuffle carefully along the narrow paths to the entryways, putting one foot in front of the other step by step. When they had crossed, they turned to each other. "Move slowly," Blaze said, holding a fireball in her hand. "We'll call if either one of us runs into trouble. We'll walk for ten minutes, then come back here, okay?"
"Okay," Silver said. They entered their respective caves. As soon as Silver stepped past the natural archway, there was a slinking thoom! behind him. He spun around and found bars blocking his exit. He was trapped.
He jumped into action, casting the bars in a glow. But he was distracted by a chittering noise in the walls. It was like the clacking of thousands of spears tapping the stone nonstop. Silver glanced over his shoulder, gazing ahead. He could not quite pierce the darkness with his torch, but he thought the inky blackness was shivering. He believed it a trick of the eyes.
Silver threw a shining orb into the darkness, scattering the nebulous blanket. He saw nothing, but the walls continued to vibrate like they were alive. He guided the orb to the wall. That was when he saw them. Dozens-hundreds of orange-striped spiders crawled along the wall. They ranged from the size of half of his hand to his hand and wrist. They possessed sharp, slick, black fangs that wiggled in anticipation of their trapped quarry.
"Silver!" Blaze cried again. He created a barrier between him and the spiders. Then he set to work on the bars. They were very sturdy. But inch by inch, he tore them open with his power. As his escape hole through the bars was widening, several of the spiders slipped through his barrier. Silver leapt through the hole, squeezing through. Then he brought down the archway above in front of the entry, blocking off the spiders.
Fwoom! Fwoom! Fire sprang from Blaze's inner path. Silver hovered over to it. Blaze was inside, setting fire to the legion of arachnids. But they continued to swarm her. Silver ripped open her bars and quickly pulled her out.
Dozens of spiders leapt through the opening, catching fire. They became squealing fireballs, chasing the pair. Silver brought down the archway of that path too. Plenty of spiders were smashed in the process. He created a giant, green hand from his glove. He used the formed hand to swat the rest of the spiders into the oblivion below.
"You alright?" Silver asked. He checked Blaze. Besides her fur standing on end and sweating like him, she appeared to be fine.
"Yeah," she said. "Are you?"
"Yeah," he said. "Just need to catch my breath." He had expended a lot of energy in a short amount of time. As his breathing returned to normal, his energy began to build back up.
Blaze nodded, but then her eyes widened. "I don't think we have much time to rest," she said. Silver turned and saw their predicament. Despite the archways being a thick pile of rubble, the spiders were sneaking through the cracks. They scurried toward the center.
"We got to get out of here!" Silver said. He blasted a group of spiders backwards with a green wall. But dozens more replaced them.
"Any of the others could be a trap!" Blaze said. She shot several fireballs at the spiders.
"Look at the carving!" Silver said. "There has to be something there!"
As she left her post, Silver covered her. He set up thick blockades on the paths. At first, the spiders simply ran into his barriers. He smiled, thinking them stopped. But his face dropped when they started to climb up his barriers.
"Come on. There has to be something," Blaze muttered. Her frantic eyes ran back and forth over the carving. But no light of clarity showed her the correct path. "To the heart, to the heart."
"Blaze," Silver said. The spiders were pouring out of the rubble faster. His power was draining rapidly.
"I'm hurrying," she said.
His barriers flickered. Silver created several bolts of energy and flung them desperately at the spiders. They flew into the air, their tiny legs quivering as they dropped into the pit below. Silver turned to Blaze, in need of another sight besides their encroaching doom.
That was when he noticed the legs on the carving. They were separated into six distinct pieces. Each piece was close to its own unique pathway. Silver excitedly pointed that out to Blaze. "The legs!" he said, a renewed vigor coming to him. He threw a rushing wave of energy down the paths of spiders. "Blaze, the legs!"
She saw it too. She found the pathway connected to the leg piece closest to the body. Then Blaze called Silver along. "This way!" She dashed to the right middle path. Silver followed.
They ran down the twisting dark corridor, guided by Blaze's fireballs. Eventually, they splashed into a body of water. Blaze jumped out, shocked by the sudden cold. Silver glanced over his shoulder. They could not see the swarm of spiders, but the chittering sound was close
"Come on, Blaze," he said. Together, they jumped into the water and swam for their lives.
The water was murky and pitch black. How long they swam for, Silver did not know. His ears filled with water. When he tried to surface for air, he discovered the ceiling was submerged as well. His lungs were burning.
Blaze's hand detached from his. Silver frantically fished about for her hand. He searched the space before him. She was not there. Did she lose consciousness? Was she drowning? Silver swam to the side, praying that she was alright.
His hand touched something. Something soft. He moved his hand down, feeling out the contours of a shape. When he realized it was a tail, he pulled back. Then he felt out the contours of a face. He thought it was Blaze. She grabbed his hand and they continued forward. Or what he hoped was forward. He had been turned around and did not remember which way was which.
Then he saw light ahead. Glorious, wonderful light. He swam harder to it, gripping Blaze's hand tighter. They emerged from the water, gasping for air. His vision was blurry, but he did see land ahead. Awkwardly, they swam towards it and flopped onto the dirt like a couple of fish. For several minutes, they laid there, gulping air greedily. Silver peered over at the way they had come. No spiders had been able to chase them. They were safe.
"Thanks," Blaze said.
"You're welcome," Silver said, panting. He was taken aback when she leaned over and pecked his cheek. He blushed profusely and looked elsewhere. There were torches burning on the ceiling above.
Blaze stood and helped him to his feet. "Let's get going. The faster we move, the sooner we're out of here."
"Right," Silver said. They walked down the only tunnel available that was lined with torches. They did not encounter any other creatures, but they were constantly on alert regardless.
When they reached the end of the tunnel, they were in a cramped, square room that was wide in length. The outer edge was rimmed with a high walkway and in the middle was a lower platform. On top of the platform, perched on its own pedestal, was a silver chalice, gleaming in a light above it. "The Cup of Mhian," Blaze whispered.
Separating them from their goal was another body of water. Its turbulent splashing concerned Silver, but not as much as the large shape inside that darted through it. He pointed the strange entity out to Blaze.
"Could you hover over it?" Blaze asked.
"Possibly," he said. "But the ceiling is very low. We would be skimming the water and this thing looks faster than I am in the air."
"Let's look around then. Maybe there's another way to cross," she said.
Silver was thankful the walkway was wide. He could avoid watching the creature that tracked them as they traipsed along.
On the other side of the room, there was a plaque hanging on the wall. "To appease the Leviathan," Blaze read, "a sacrifice must be made."
"Sacrifice?" Silver asked. "They can't mean someone cast themselves into the water, right?"
"I think that's exactly what they mean. Use bait for the others to cross."
"That's crazy!" Silver said. There had to be another solution to this puzzle. Another road of conquering the beast below. "Maybe we should head back. See if there's- What are you doing?" Blaze was standing on the lip of the walkway, gazing at the water below. "Be careful! That thing could jump up and nab you."
Blaze glanced at him. "Go. I'll distract it."
"Wait, what?" Then she jumped into the water. "Blaze!" Silver jumped after her, hovering in the air. Using his power, he lifted Blaze high. The Leviathan rose up out of the water, snapping its massive jaws. Rows upon rows of teeth surrounded its gaping maw. Large, leathery flaps quivered on its neck. The violet, snake-like creature dove back into the water. Its tail slapped the surface, creating waves that hit the ceiling.
Silver guided Blaze and himself forward. But he had not recovered as fully as he thought. Carrying both of them was draining his power and the Leviathan was fast approaching. "Silver!" Blaze shouted. "Let me go!"
"No!" he said. "We can make it!"
The Leviathan rose again. It chomped at Blaze. Silver threw a burst of energy at its black eyes. He momentarily dropped Blaze. She skimmed the water before he caught her. The creature shrugged off the attack and pressed on.
"If you don't let me go, neither of us will make it!" she said. "The kingdom is more important." The Leviathan was turning to Silver, its dark shape zipping toward him. Blaze conjured a fireball in her hand. "I know you can help the kingdom," she said. "If I don't make it, then goodbye. I will miss you." Then she shot the fireball at him.
Silver blocked the fireball with a barrier. But the real damage was already done. Blaze fell into the water, drawing the creature's attention. "Blaze!" Silver screamed. She dove down deeper before he could lift her up again. He could not see her. Only the Leviathan was visible, its mass sinking further into the water's depths.
He landed on the platform and gazed over the edge. He waited for her to surface. A tiny glimpse was all he needed to concentrate on her and pull her to safety. But when the Leviathan's mass returned and there was no sign of Blaze, he shook his head. "No." He searched the water, splashing aside what he dared as if he would suddenly see her.
But all he saw was the Leviathan circling the platform, anticipating its next meal. Silver watched it, his face scrunching up. He cast minty green bolts at the water, trying to hit the creature. It was no use unless he wanted to jump into the water himself. Yet that would be wasting Blaze's sacrifice.
"Blaze." Slowly, he kneeled and wept for her. She was gone. His princess. His charge. His best friend. His love who he had never confessed to.
When he had tuckered himself out, he turned to the chalice. It gleamed under the torches that hung from a cavern in the ceiling above. It was filled to the brim with crystal clear water. Silver took it off the pedestal, half-heartedly admiring the unknown symbols and ancient words on the cup.
Silver closed his eyes and focused on his heart's desire. It pined for Blaze and her return. He shook his head. He had to be true to Blaze's wishes. Silver pounded her want into his heart, repeating it to himself over and over. "Protection for our kingdom with safer borders or a new power," he said, lifting the cup to his lips. "Protection for our kingdom."
He sipped the water and waited. Nothing immediately happened. He examined the cup. "Maybe I need to drink more?" he wondered aloud.
There was splashing behind him. Silver turned and saw a purple figure in the water. "Blaze!" he cried, dropping the cup in surprise. He picked her up, holding her in the air. Quickly, he brought her to the platform, keeping her out of the Leviathan's reach.
She coughed, bending over and hacking up water. She was soaked from head to toe, but was alive. Silver was thrilled and embraced her. "How did you survive? I thought you had…" He could not bring himself to say it.
"I nearly was," Blaze said. "But I found a small cave underwater where the Leviathan could not follow. I think it leads out of the mountain." She spied the cup on the ground. "Did you already drink from the cup? What happened?"
Shame washed through Silver. He released her and stared at the ground, digging his toes into the platform. "I tried my best to wish for our kingdom's safety. Honestly, I did."
"But?" Blaze asked.
"But, I think that was my third greatest desire," he said. "I'm sorry, Blaze."
She crossed her arms. "What were your first two?"
He gulped. Silver chastised himself. He had made this bed and now he had to sleep in it. "My first was for you to come back."
"I was already alive, so it must have skipped that," Blaze said. "What about the second?"
"For your love," Silver said. Blaze's jaw dropped an inch. "Which I didn't want to do. I would never want to force you to love me or anything. So if you do feel that way, then I'm sorry. That's why I wanted you to drink from the cup." He looked up, steeling himself for a backlash.
Yet Blaze chuckled. She shook her head, tossing droplets of water around. "Then we've done it. The kingdom should be safe. Do you feel any different? Have any new powers or anything?"
"What do you mean?" Silver asked.
She rolled her eyes. "You're so naïve. Do I have to spell it out for you?" She leaned close and pecked his lips.
The synapses in Silver's mind misfired, so they were slow to process the information. When they did, he had the largest smile he ever had before. He was not sure what came over him, but he pulled Blaze closer. She yelped as he brought her in for another kiss, deeper and longer than the last.
He cupped her cheek, stroking his thumb under her eye. His tongue ran across her lips, asking for entrance. Entrance it received as hers welcomed his with an embrace. Each elicited muffled moans as they pressed harder, uncaring if they were out of air or not.
When their lungs forced them apart, Silver held her hands. They leaned their foreheads together. "Blaze," he started, but that was all he could say. His thoughts were a jumbled mess, completely wrecked by the tornado of a kiss.
Eventually, the pair broke the surface of their bliss and returned to reality. Silver stood back from Blaze as she tested herself for any new power. But try as she might, there was none. Only more fire. Silver attempted to discover any hidden power as well, but he failed too.
"Perhaps it was safer borders," Silver said.
"Perhaps," Blaze said. "Did you happen to have any other wishes before it?"
"No," Silver said. "Only other wish I can imagine I had was getting out of here safely, but that was after it. I'm sure of it."
"Maybe there was a change in the land," Blaze said. "Let's go outside and see."
"How do you plan to do that?" Silver asked.
Blaze pointed at the water. "That cave is down there," she said. "Shouldn't be too far of a swim."
That was not what Silver fretted for. The Leviathan was continuously swimming circles around their platform. Blaze took his hand, squeezing it. She smiled at him and together, they stood at the lip of the platform. They swung their arms, silently counting. On the third swing, the pair dove into the water.
Immediately, the black shape of the creature rushed them. Silver formed a barrier in front of it. The barrier was easily smashed, but did slow the Leviathan. Blaze swam quickly, leading Silver to the cave.
As the Leviathan approached, Silver saw the cave. It was hidden in the wall amongst numerous rocks. But their pursuer was closing in. Those numerous teeth were chomping at the bit, biting at Silver's legs. He did not try to waste his energy creating more barriers. He swam for his life, following Blaze.
Silver passed into the cave as the Leviathan rammed the wall. It roared, but they were safe. They crawled onto the ground. The area was lined with more torches.
"If I never have to swim again, it will be too soon," Blaze said, standing up wearily. She wringed out her clothes, but her fur was still matted down. She let down her hair, shaking it free of most of the water.
"I think you look kind of cute like that," Silver said. He too stood and shook off the water.
She grinned. "Let's get going. I want to see if the borders changed." They walked down the path. Along the way, Silver slowly inched closer to Blaze. He touched her hand, shyly slipping his fingers along her palm. He was surprised when she grabbed his hand, intertwining her fingers with his.
When they arrived at the end of the path and stepped into the night, they were halfway down the mountain. The company of knights that had accompanied them was at the base of the mountain, sleeping around a campfire. The sky was clear, allowing the moon and its numerous star children to light the world below somewhat.
Blaze scoped out the land nearby that was their kingdom. After searching, she became crestfallen. "I don't see anything different."
"Maybe there was an influx of recruits for the army?" Silver suggested.
"But the most we have ever had sign up in a month was two hundred. And that was during a war," Blaze said. "How much difference can two hundred make overall?"
Silver pondered her question and turned to the cave. He was struck by an idea that smeared a smile on his face. "Maybe two can make a bigger difference."
"What do you mean?" she asked.
"I mean maybe that wish was already fulfilled," Silver said. "Think about it. The kingdom has always stood, no matter the foe. We have been there to help it. The army, us, and the Sol Emeralds. Maybe we're the best defense the kingdom could have." He pointed at the mountain. "Besides, when I drank from the cup, you found a way out, right?"
She tilted her head and looked out over the land again. "You may be right. Guess we'll have to keep fighting and protecting it with the skin of our teeth."
He clasped her hand tighter. "We can do it."
She turned to him and smiled. Blaze pecked his cheek. "Thanks. We should head back down." She held onto Silver tightly as he started to float. "Go slow."
"I will. Blaze, just look at me." He held her gaze as they steadily descended the mountain. On the way, she began to shiver and accidentally glanced below. Silver lifted her head up and kissed her, easing her tension. He held the kiss until they landed at the bottom. Then together, they rejoined the knights.
Sword: If you liked or didn't like it, let me know! Anyway, story's over! But we could still have some fun. Just wait there. I'll go get a hang glider and some fireworks. *leaves*
Pen: Sword? Is it over?...What's that sound?
Sword: Firework air raid! *shoots at Pen* En garde this!