Green Morality (NaNoWriMo Story): Chap 9
Well hello there, this is the story I chose to write for NaNoWriMo. Perhaps you are familiar with the game Yugioh and how there are certain cards which when placed in the proper order form a story? Well, many people try to make something worthwhile, and that's what I am to do, all with the time limit and stress of NaNo :sweatlol:
Now I have no idea what to put for rating since I have no idea how it'll become due to No Plot? No Problem!, but I do have an idea of what events I want to occur. This is mostly going to be an adventure-esque story with lots of action as the main character deals with finding his own sense of morality, one which is neither black nor white. As for why post it here? Well, I figure it'll help my motivation to not fail since now everyone will know how close/far I was from my goal XD.
Goal: 50,000 At the moment: 50,173!
Since like usual I suck at describing, I'll let the story talk for me...
Table of Contents:
In these worlds, there are many lives, each one linked to many others through their interactions, their meetings and partings. Their very existence has an effect on the lives of others. War, violence, destruction and heroic deeds, these things have profound effects on many, but this chain of events, this story, begins not with a great revelation, or amazing war, but with the hatching of an egg...
I know, its pathetic small for a prologue ;-;
Re: Green Morality (NaNoWriMo Story): Chap 1
Chapter 1: Welcome to the World
The forest, it was a calm and tranquil area where trouble rarely came to one. At least if you weren't looking for it. It was in this area where a lone egg awaited the day it would hatch. The parents were far gone, for these creatures were not known for their nurturing spirits. The egg had endured so many trials of nature, rain, snow, wind, and even stone. This egg was not an ordinary egg, within it was the beating heart of a hero. So much time had been spent waiting, and now the time had finally come, the day it would hatch.
The egg first began by shaking and moving, hopping a bit here and there, only for the tough shell to keep the young creature within. It wasn't time yet, the shell would not yield unless the beast had grown strong enough to break out. Blow after blow, the creature would not yield so soon. It kept pushing, struggling, it knew it was ready, the time had come. With one final blow the newborn released himself from the egg and entered the world.
He blinked his orange eyes as he took in the surroundings. It was early morning, the cold dew still on the grass he lay on. Moving his limbs about, he soon began to get full control over his body, his species was a resourceful bunch. After a minute or two, he placed his hand firmly in front of himself and then placed his leg forwards. He repeated the process over and over as he began to crawl around, exploring his home. He dragged his green tail on the ground as he moved about, and began to use his sharp claws to firmly grasp the ground. in just a few minutes he had learned how to move around the world, though he was merely following the one thing his ancestors had left him, his instinct.
His stomach soon began to growl as time went on. He would need food soon, but what to eat? The first thought that came was to rip some grass off of the ground with his mighty jaw and try to eat it. He quickly spit it back out, no, grass wasn't food. Next he attempted to take a bite out of a rock, only to stop when his jaw failed to even leave a mark. No, yet again he had failed to find food. Crawling around the forest, he attempted to take bites from various objects, sticks, no, trees, no, leaves, no, dirt, of course not. No matter how hard he tried, he couldn't find anything his body would let him eat. At least, not until he found the red sphere.
It looked so strange compared to its surroundings of green and brown. This small ball was unlike anything around it, perhaps this time it would be different? Crawling over towards it, he placed it into his mouth. With a swift movement of his jaw, he crushed it into various pieces, some hard and some soft. The juice began to drip from his mouth as he took in the flavor. It was good, so he swallowed. These red spheres, they were food. His stomach still growled though, one of these spheres wouldn't be enough to satiate his hunger. His species was known for having a ferocious appetite.
After roaming around the area he found more of the spheres, eating one after the other. Little by little, his hunger was satisfied. Once he had had his fill, he noticed that the area around him looked much more different than it did before. The brush was thicker, and the trees much gloomier. Where the sun once shone downwards filling the world with warmth, a cold ceiling of leaves and branches blocked the advancement of light. Strange sounds could be heard coming from the bushes around, sounds he had never heard before.
The young lizard was filled with fear. He was unfamiliar with this area, and was completely unprotected. He quickly began to crawl around, searching for anywhere which could be safe. Rocks, bushes, tree stumps, none of them seemed safe, each one having a strange ominous feel about them. As he crawled about he began to notice a strange glimmer in the bushes, and then watched as various birds flew out, filling the darkness with the sound of their flapping wings. This was all it took to cause him to panic.
Traveling through the forest as fast as he could, he failed to take in his surroundings. All he wanted was to get away from this place and to be somewhere safe. Just when that desire for safety was at its highest he felt the ground beneath him seem to disappear. He was falling now, only it wasn't a quick drop. Something was wrapping around him, a familiar feeling he hadn't felt since he was within the egg. He was surrounded by water. He felt something take over, something from within himself. Everything started to slow down around him as he landed on the dirt below. He wasn't breathing now, instead his body had changed. He didn't know how, but he could feel it. Something in his chest, he could actively feel it beating slowly, he had never noticed it before, but now it was so strong and steady, had he always had that?
He began to move his legs in the water, step by step, only he wasn't moving forwards as he had expected, instead seemed to slowly be heading up. He didn't worry though, it felt so natural, like he was meant to be in this water. he then began to move his tail, causing him to change direction slightly. He smiled as he began to get used to controlling his direction and slowly started to simply swim around with no real point or goal. This was amusing, he never would have left the water if it was up to him, but soon his stomach had begun to growl once more. Had he really been in the water long enough to reawaken his appetite?
Swimming back to the top of the water, he was able to see the area around himself, though before he could look around he felt his body change again. His lungs filled with air as his body took a deep breathe and the slow and powerful beating in his chest had become weaker yet faster. These changes, he would have to get used to them if they occurred each time he submerged in the water and when he rose back out. That wasn't the main focus of his attention though, the area around the small pond was.
There were various dark brown trees all over the area, with the same dark green leaves on their branches. The green grass he had seen everywhere was nowhere to be found, exposing the brown dirt beneath. The bushes which were found between the trees made it difficult to see any easy way out of the small clearing. Then he spotted a red sphere. It was on the ground in front of a tree which seemed to be growing exceptionally well given the lack of sunlight coming through. He didn't think about the tree, though, instead focusing on the sphere in front of it.
After having swum to the edge of the pond and climbing back onto the land, he crawled over to the sphere and looked at it carefully. It was different from the other spheres he had eaten. The others were a bright hue and perfectly smooth, while this one was a dull read and covered in bumps. It was then that his stomach repeated its previous request for food causing him to simply pick up the sphere with his mouth and prepare to crush it with his jaw.
Before he could the ground began to shake. Looking around he noticed the ground beginning to bulge up, as if something was trying to come out from beneath the surface. He instinctively began to run as fast as he could, trying to get out of the area. Something in the back of his mind began to yell at him to run, that it was dangerous, and it was right. From one of the bulges shot out a vine which seemed to have what looked like a mouth on it. The strange plant lashed out towards him, causing him to drop the sphere when it hit him. Not wanting to lose that which he had come all this way for, he started to run towards the sphere which had begun to roll away, only for his path to be blocked by another vine coming from the ground.
Immediately, he turned around and started to crawl as fast as he could, only for the vines to continually come after him, doing their best to catch him. They began to surround him, wrapping around him, until he panicked and used his mouth to bite one of the vines. The plant seemed to recoil back in pain, creating an opening for him to began to crawl as fast as his legs would let him. He charged towards the sphere when he felt pain shooting up his body. He looked back and saw that one of the plants had bitten down on his tail. Not giving up, he continued to pull himself towards the sphere as vines bit down on his legs. He shut his eyes from the pain, but tried his best to reach forwards. With his foreleg he grabbed the sphere, surprised at how his fingers could easily wrap around it. This leg, it wasn't a leg at all, it was his arm and the foot was a hand!
The realization would do him little good though, as one more vine came down and bit onto his arm causing him to let out a shriek of pain. The plants began to pull him towards them, forcing him to drop the sphere he had fought so hard for. He didn't even try to grab the sphere anymore, he was far too scared. He longed for the shell of his egg. He longed for those days when he was safe, no worries in his mind. Those days were gone now, all that existed now was pain, danger, and the tears which came from his eyes.
"Is anybody here?"
He heard a voice off in the distance. Something else was out there, whatever it was, if it was friendly or not, he didn't care. He began to yell and cry out with all his might. What ever it was, he didn't care, he just wanted something that could get rid of the plants, something that could save him, something...to protect him.
Re: Green Morality (NaNoWriMo Story): Chap 1
Chapter 2: Doing Your Homework
"Oh I'm so late!"
A young girl ran through the meadow, desperation clear on her face. She wore a short black skirt and a long light brown cloak which flowed behind her. In her right hand she held a long light blue staff, the same color of her long flowing hair. The staff had a gem which looked like a large raindrop with a small an arch extending from the staff in order to surround it. The staff and cloak were a symbol of what she was, what she aspired to be, an elemental mistress.
As she ran she noticed a small group of people in the distance, each one dressed similarly to her. Once she neared them she could clearly see a blonde woman in the center of the group. She wore a long and elegant light blue dress which had cloth which was a darker blue around her shoulders. On her head she wore a bright red turban which had a star with a pearl in its center on the front. The woman looked towards her with her purple eyes as she spoke, "You are late and missed the majority of the lesson, perhaps your fellow charmers can tell you what you missed."
"Don't worry Eria, I'll tell ya what you missed, after all, you always help me when I miss the lessons"
Eria looked at the red-headed girl who spoke. She had a large smirk on her face, adding to the intensity in her bright red eyes. By her side she too had a staff, only hers was yellow with an orb surrounded by a spiked ring around it at the tip.
"Moving on, your assignment for today is to explore the nearby area and seek a familiar which should enhance your elemental powers. Remember to chose carefully for the familiar you choose will be linked to you by fate for all eternity."
She then gave them a bow before she walked away, leaving Eria with the five other people wearing light brown cloaks. They all seemed to stare at each other, not knowing what to do, until a boy with brown hair stood up and picked up his staff. His staff was a long bone with what looked like a horned bird's skull on the end. The skull still had some black feathers on it making it more intimidating.
"No point just sitting around, I'm heading towards the Dark Forest so stay out of my way." Before he could walk away someone grabbed his arm and pulled him back.
"W-w-we're not supposed to go into the Dark Forest alone. I-it's dangerous.."
These words were spoken by a girl which had her green hair in a ponytail. In one hand she held her staff, which was made out of a white metal with the design of a winged serpent climbing it with a white crystal at the top. In her other hand was a small pink stuffed bunny.
"Crybaby Wynn's right, the creatures in the Dark Forest are really dangerous Dharc." The fiery redhead spoke, confidence in her voice.
"Why do you think I'm going there Hiita? Someone like me needs a powerful familiar, not just any little animal you can find anywhere."
This time when Dharc tried to walk away a brown staff with a what looked like a scarf tied to its end holding a large amount of crystals blocked his path. He turned to the owner of the staff which was a brown haired girl. She smiled at him as he glared at her, though her brown eyes remained undaunted behind her glasses.
"You yourself probably know how dangerous it is, so why not look for a strong familiar somewhere less dangerous?"
Dharc let out a chuckle as he smirked. "Sorry, but I think the Dark Forest is the only place where I could find a familiar for me, after all, it has my element in its name. Unless you know somewhere else nearby with 'dark' in its name, I'm not changing my mind Aussa."
Aussa began to tap her chin as she began to think. Yes, there were other areas which had 'dark' in their name, but they were either too far away, difficult to get to, or simply too dangerous.
"Heehee, don't bother Aussa, he's not going to change his mind."
A white haired girl stood up, large grin on her face, and walked over to Dharc. Her staff was a long metal rod, with a mirror on the tip. Around the mirror was a bronze arch which had various bronze rectangles behind it, giving it the appearance similar to the sun. On either side of the arch were two small golden chains with white fluff on the end. The staff also had a long yellow ribbon wrapping around it which had a clear orb on the end, she truly had the most ornate staff.
"So, since Dharc here refuses to go somewhere else, why don't we all go to the Dark Forest together? I'm sure there's bound to be a familiar for each of us there. Besides, the Dark Forest is especially dangerous for someone who can't use their element offensively, like you." She giggled as she walked over towards Dharc, whom began to blush as he looked away. He never did like having his limitations pointed out.
"Yeah, I agree with Lyna, I don't want Dharc to be the only one with a tough familiar!" Hiita was the first to talk as she walked towards him.
"There is safety in numbers." Aussa moved towards the other charmers.
"W-w-well I don't want to go somewhere alone..." Wynn quickly ran towards the others, nervousness clearly evident in her voice.
"Whatever, just stay out of my way." Dharc then began to walk off towards the forest in the distance and everyone chased after him, everyone except for Eria whom was still where she had been during the conversation.
"Hey! Wait for me! What's a familiar anyway?" She ran after the others,she had already run all the way here, only to do more running. This was not her day.
After a few minutes of running after the others, she managed to catch up to them as she repeated her question, "What's a familiar and why do we have to find one? Come on Hiita, you owe me after all those times I explained the lessons to you!" Eria then stopped for a moment in order to try to catch her breath.
Hiita turned towards Eria as she remembered what she had told their teacher earlier. "Oh right, guess I forgot to tell you. Let's walk and talk." She motioned for Eria to hurry up so as to not slow her progress. Eria grimaced as she closed the distance between them with a quick sprint before slowing down to a brisk walk.
"Okay, listen up because I'm only gonna say this once. We need familiars because every charmer needs one." Hiita nodded her head as if she had just revealed a truth of the universe.
"That's not helpful at all!" Eria pouted as she did her best to keep up despite her exhaustion. Why did she expect Hiita to pay attention to the lesson? She rarely did despite having progressed so far.
"Let me try explaining." Aussa smiled at Eria, she always paid attention to the lessons, in fact, she was likely the smartest one of them.
"A familiar is an animal assistant for charmers. Because most of the creatures have closer ties to the elements of nature, they are truly helpful in helping novice charmers develop mastery over their own elements. It is normally wise to pick a familiar which is closely related to the element you wish to master, earth in my case, and water in yours Eria."
"I wanna find something powerful, maybe a dragon to make flames for me to control!" Hiita proudly declared her wish, a bright determination in her eyes.
"I-I just hope mine isn't too scary.."
"I'm sure its won't be anything scary Wynn, maybe a bird to help you with wind." Lyna smiled as she placed her hand on Wynn's shoulder, helping her keep moving forwards towards the forest. "As for me, I'm hoping for something with a great personality, what about you Dharc?"
"I don't care what it is, as long as its powerful." The young boy didn't even bother to look towards the others as he kept heading towards his goal.
"I wonder what I should look for then....Something related to water so hmmmm, maybe a fish?"
"That's a stupid idea, you'd have to carry it in a tank wherever you go!"
"Hiita does raise a good point, you should make sure that whatever you get isn't too inconvenient." Aussa began to tap her chin as she began to think about just what Eria should get.
"No use thinking about it, you'll know when you find it. Mistress Doriado said that if we focus our energy into our staffs then we'll be able to tell where creatures connected to our elements are." Lyna had the bright smile on her face as she spoke. She always knew what to say in order to comfort the others.
"For once, I agree with you." Dharc stopped walking as they reached the Dark Forest. True to its name, it was dark as night due to the trees blocking any light from entering, and the thick brush making it even more difficult to see what was within. An audible whimper was heard as everyone but Dharc turned towards Wynn. The young girl was holding her pink bunny tightly as she began to take a step back.
"S-s-sorry but I-I-I can't go in there, i-it's t-too s-scary.." She would have bolted if not for Lyna who grabbed her hand.
"Don't worry, I'll just make a light for us." She smiled as she shook her staff, causing it to give off a bright glow from the mirror. This made the timid Wynn smile and begin to walk towards the forest, holding Lyna's hand tightly.
"If you insist on being that crybaby's nightlight, be sure that you keep your distance from me, I don't want it scaring away any of my potential familiars."
Dharc then ran into the forest, leaving the others behind. Lyna let out a sigh as she followed him, only instead of running, walking in order to help coax Wynn. Hiita on the other hand, bolted after him, rubbing the top off her staff on the ground as she ran, causing it to light up as a torch. Aussa just chuckled as she walked after her.
"Well, if we're all splitting up that contradicts the main purpose for all of us coming here. Eria, you coming along? I am curious to see what familiar you get so I hope you don't mind me staying close to you."
Eria nodded as she walked next to Aussa, she wanted someone who knew what she was doing with her, and who better than Aussa? Despite her elemental powers not being as powerful as the others, she did tend to keep a clear head when under pressure.
As the two girls wandered into the forest, they were greeted with the darkness from within, it was a perpetual nighttime within the confines of the forest. Normally it would have been quite difficult to locate anything, but Aussa was prepared for such an occasion. As she walked, she occasionally tapped the ground beneath them with her staff before motioning towards where they should go. Eria didn't understand how Aussa did it, but she figured it had something to do with her elemental abilities.
After a few minutes of wandering, the two sat below a tree as they rested. They had run into plenty of small creatures, most of them insects which seemed to have no elemental affinities. At this rate, they might spend all night in the forest searching for familiars, though that wouldn't make much of a difference considering just how dark the area was.
"I guess I shouldn't be leading us away from the dangerous creatures huh?"
"Y-you were leading us away from them?! Why?"
"You yourself know that we're the weakest ones, even Dharc beats us during our sparing matches. If the rumors about how strong the creatures here are are true, then do you really think we'd even stand a chance?"
"Y-yeah, but I'm sure if we find our familiars first then anything in here could be easily taken down."
"Maybe you're right, or maybe you're not, no real way to find out right? Listen, I've been checking on the others periodically and it seems they've already faced a few of the monsters, even Wynn had trouble taking one of them down."
Eria was shocked, yes Wynn looked like she could be the weakest one of them, but in reality when she was forced into a tough situation she proved to be the strongest one. If Wynn had had difficulty, what about them? Maybe it really had been a bad idea to come here...No! She couldn't think like that, she had spent so much time training, practicing, so that she would never have to feel weak again.
"I'm going to keep looking, with or without you." Eria stood proudly as she began to walk into the forest, not paying much attention to Aussa who had decided to follow her. Yes, Aussa was the smartest, but at times the most foolish.
That was when she heard it, a loud shriek filled with fear. Although most people would likely be afraid of the sound, just like Aussa was, but Eria began to run towards the sound. She ignored the thorns and bushes she ran through. She ignored the beasts that were in her path as she followed the shrieks of pain, and avoided each one of them.
"Is anybody here?" She called out, hoping that whatever had made that sound would respond to her voice. She ran and ran and ran, not knowing if Aussa was behind her or not. She kept on going until she made it to a clearing.
In the center of the clearing there was a small pond, but what caught her attention was a large pile of vines. The vines seemed to be wrapping around a small green reptile-like creature, pulling it towards them despite its pained screams. Eria didn't know what came over her as she charged towards the plant.
"You leave him alone!"
She swung her staff with all of her might, striking at the vines. She swung and swung but to no avail. The vines continued wrapping around the poor creature, ignoring Eria no matter how hard she tried to harm it. That was when she got an idea. She ran towards the pond and dipped the tip of her staff into the water then closed her eyes.
"Please, oh please, let this work..."
She focused on the water and her staff as it began to give off a light blue glow. When she opened her eyes, she slowly lifted the staff out of the water, with some of the water following upwards. Taking a deep breath, she swung the staff once more, and watched as the some of the water from the pond flew out and struck the vines. Though the blow did not seem to cause the plant harm, it was enough to make it lose its hold on the small lizard.
It immediately ran towards Eria and hid behind her legs as the vines began to head towards her. Eria closed her eyes and tried to focus once more. As she shut her eyes, she failed to notice that this time the glow from the staff was far more intense than before as the water which lay on the ground shot straight up with enough force to slice through the vines.
When Eria opened her eyes, the first thing she saw were the pieces of the plant scattered all over the place. The second thing which caught her attention was her staff, which was still glowing despite her having stopped trying to use her powers. No, it wasn't the whole staff which was glowing, just the water drop jewel on the tip. She moved it closer to herself in order to get a better look, and was awed as she watched it glow brighter.
Then she was brought back from her thoughts as she heard a soft sound coming from behind her. Yes, the lizard creature she had saved. Then it struck her. She pointed her staff towards the small beast and smiled as the jewel began to glow even brighter. She knelt down and placed her hand on its forehead.
"You, you're linked to the water aren't you? I wonder, would you like to come live with me and be my familiar?"
The lizard just stared at her, perhaps her words were lost on it. Then after a few seconds of doing nothing, it then crawled over to her lap and tried to climb up. Eria's smile became even wider, she would take that as a yes.
"A-are you okay?"
Eria turned towards a worried Aussa whom was just reaching the clearing. She seemed to have a few bruises on her body and seemed to be exhausted.
"Yeah, I'm fine, but, what happened to you? You look horrible."
"Oh this, I fell into a pit on my way here, took me a bit to get out. Who's that little guy?" Aussa was pointing towards the lizard.
"This little guy here, he's my new familiar. I found him around here having some trouble with that." She motioned towards the pile of shredded plant with her head.
"So that means, we all have familiars now." Aussa smiled as a small winged marmot flew onto her head. The brown beast seemed to have a horn on its head as it nibbled on an acron. "Um, your familiar...Eria its bleeding!"
Eria was shocked when she noticed the blood coming from its limbs and tail. Thinking quickly she grabbed some of the larger leaves from the bushes nearby and wrapped them around the wounds. The plant had really hurt the poor guy. Once the bleeding had stopped, she let it go and watched it run about for a bit before stopping at a strange looking fruit. It sniffed it before putting it into its mouth and crushing it with one powerful bite. Chunks of fruit flew everywhere as it spit them back out, apparently it wasn't as tasty as it had thought.
"Hmmm, you need a name. You do seem to have a powerful bite, I guess I'll call you....Gigobyte. Do like that name?"
The lizard tilted its head at the name before smiling and running towards Eria once more. She let out a soft giggle as Gigobyte tickled her with his constant squirming as he jumped into her hands. Just like that, she had found her familiar, but just like her mistress had said, their fates would forever be entwined, the only question was, would that lead to good... or bad results?
Re: Green Morality (NaNoWriMo Story): Chap 2
Chapter 3: On the Battlefield
"Run, they're too strong!"
"Get out of here, go go go!"
A young man clad in armor dove behind a wall as numerous arrows hit the spot where he had been standing. He took out a canteen of water and took a drink before putting it away and wiping the sweat from his brow. He took a deep breath before standing back up, both of his double-edged swords, one in each hand. He charged back onto the streets of the ruined town, ready to face his foes once more.
As he charged forwards, he sidestepped any arrows which were shot at him. Dodging arrows he was a piece of cake for someone like him, he was one of the elite soldiers of Charivit, he wouldn't let anything from Pandemonium to get away with attacking his world. He kept on charging, until he jumped over a large piece of rubble and stabbed downwards with his blade, destroying the goblin's crossbow.
Before he could do anything else, he heard a loud crash as the wall of rubble he had jumped over was shattered by a massive bone club. He turned in time to see the owner of the club, a massive blue skinned orc which was easily twice his size. It swung down once more, with amazing speed, barely giving him enough time to avoid the blow.
"C-crap, that could have been me..."
He was looking at the stone street which now had a crater in it. He watched as the orc struggled to pull the club out from the crater and realized that now was his chance to attack. Smirk on his face, he slashed at the orc with his blade, though the orc quickly took notice of him and caught the blade in its hand.
"That was close, next time listen to me more carefully."
The soldier stared at the source of the voice. On the orc's back was a small goblin which could at most be half his height. The goblin wore a yellow shirt and black shorts with an eye patch covering his eye. The goblin stared back at him with a wicked little smile on his face.
"Well well well, looks like somebody didn't listen when his captain ordered the troops to retreat. You should have listened, who knows, you might have gotten to live as my servant, but instead you die today as another nameless soldier."
The orc grabbed the soldier by the neck and lifted him up into the air. The hand was tightening around the blond man's neck. He held onto his blades tightly as he muttered something.
"Sorry, I didn't quite hear that? Were you begging for your life?" The small goblin put a hand up to his ear in order to better hear the dying man's pleas. Hearing someone beg for their life was something he always enjoyed to hear.
Aaron swung both of his swords at the orc's arm, causing it to let go of him as it howled in pain. Aaron landed on his knees as he coughed, trying to regain his strength.
"Don't just sit there, do something!"
The orc regained its composure as it grabbed its club with both arms and swung down. Aaron grit his teeth as he used both blades to block the club. The blow was still quite powerful and he felt the shock traveling through his arms, it was a miracle that he had been able to stop it. The orc then wound up for another swing and Aaron did his best to focus, he knew it was unlikely that he would be able to block the club once more. He tried to run, but felt his legs give out beneath him. The blow had done more damage than he had expected. He stared right at the orc, awaiting his death, when he felt his body being carried away, just in time to avoid being crushed by the club.
Aaron looked at the man whom had saved him, he had long blond hair and armor like his, with a yellow cape to contrast his blue one. He recognized this soldier, it was Freed. Freed put Aaron down as he drew his blade, ready to face the orc.
"Aaron, next time wait for me when you plan to rush in recklessly, you know I love a good fight."
"Raaaaah! Kill them all!"
The orc charged forwards, bringing his club down on Freed whom merely sidestepped the blow, letting it hit the ground near him. Freed was much faster than Aaron, and he used his speed to his advantage as he slashed, not at the orc, but at the goblin on its back. The small goblin fell to the ground as the leather strap which had been holding him to the orc was cleanly cut in two. Before he could do anything, Freed pulled out a disk and tossed it at the goblin. The moment it touched the goblin, it seemed to create a hole in the air, sucking the goblin in. Just as fast as it had been created, it was gone, leaving just the disk on the floor which Freed picked up as he smiled at the orc whom was on the ground, Aaron standing on top of it triumphantly.
"Don't get too ahead of yourself old friend, I think we should get out of here soon."
"But you got to have all the fun again Aaron, who gave you permission to take down the orc while I was busy with his friend?"
"Trust me, I expect more enemies to come soon, I had attacked a goblin earlier and was unable to take it down before it could escape."
Aaron looked at the broken crossbow which lay on the ground before running into a nearby home which seemed to be sturdy enough to stay standing. Freed reluctantly followed his friend into the building. The two sat there in order to rest and Aaron did his best to tend to his wounds.
"Freed, I've been wondering, where does that device send the ones you use it on?"
"Truth be told, I have no idea, perhaps the land where it came from."
"Using strange artifacts you simply find lying about, you really are a reckless one Freed."
"Well this reckless one has saved your life how many ti- Shh, listen..."
The two got down as they listened to the sound of footsteps nearby. They tried not to make any sound, hoping that if it was the enemy they'd simply overlook the two weakened warriors. They held their breath, the tension in the air slowly getting to them.
"Aaaaah!!" The two let out screams when they heard the yell behind them.
"Hahahaha." Behind them stood another armored man, this one wearing a blue cape and a red headband. His cape was torn and tattered, and his brown hair covered up various small scratches. The man suddenly stopped laughing and glared at the two angrily.
"Why didn't you retreat? It was a direct order. You two are some of my best men, I can't afford losing you."
"Rahz, you know me by now, I'm the fight first, ask questions later kind of guy, after all, any bit of information I need, I can get on my own faster than by interrogating enemies."
"As for me, I figured that by taking out one of the bowmen it'd make the escape easier for the others."
Rahz let out a soft sigh as he eyed his men, perhaps it was their courage, or foolishness, which made them his best warriors.
"Look, its just the three of us in this city now, the goblins have basically won this battle, our only choice is to esca-"
"And here I thought the Emperor's men where so strong, tough, and courageous that they put the archlord warriors to shame."
The trio turned as they saw a woman coming out from the shadows. On her head was a brown stetson covering her blonde hair. She wore her tattered brown cape with pride and had a long sword sheathed on her back. She walked right up to the men and smiled.
"Listen, you guys don't live here, so you probably don't care whether these goblins set this up as their new base of operations, but I do. If you want to run away, go ahead, me on the other hand, I plan to stay and die fighting for my home."
"Did you just call me a coward?! Freed backs away from no fight!"
"Freed, you can't stay here, we need you back at the base to hold up the defense against the goblins. This city's as good as lost! Aaron, talk some sense into him!"
Aaron simply stood there, listening to what everyone had to say before he smiled.
"Sorry sir, but we can't leave her alone, and besides, I doubt we have a choice now."
Just as he said that, various goblins charged into the building, causing each warrior to draw their blade. Freed was the first to strike, swiftly incapacitating a few goblins. Rahz followed suit by, instead of charging towards them, let them charge towards him as he hit one with the hilt of his sword then slashed with the blade of the other, followed by a firm kick sending the now unconscious goblin on top of its comrades behind it. The woman held her own, blocking multiple strikes before delivering a sweeping kick knocking her would-be assailants to the ground. Before she could finish them off, another goblin charged at her from behind, only to be blocked by Aaron's blade.
"I don't need your help, I can handle this myself!"
"Sorry, but if any of us gets injured they become a liability, and we can't have that now can we?"
After a few more seconds of combat they looked at their handiwork. The goblins were retreating now, despite their numbers they just couldn't get much of an advantage against them in the small building. The four smiled at each other as they ran after the goblins, hoping to find their base of operations.
As they ran, they took in the wreckage which was all that remained from the city after the attack. It was difficult for any of them to imagine that not too long ago families walked the streets, and children played beneath some of the trees which now lay uprooted. It was difficult for all of them except for the woman. She had been raised in this city, everything she held dear was here, and now it was gone, taken away by the goblins. They would pay.
"Something isn't right here, do you hear that?"
The group stopped at Rahz's words and dove behind rubble. They waited and held their breaths, listening carefully. Rahz had stopped them for something, but what were they listening to? Seconds passed by, but they felt like minutes, hours, an eternity, until Freed broke the silence.
"I don't hear anything, that means it's safe to continue right?"
"That's the point. Think Freed, we just took down a squadron of goblins and forced them to retreat, yet we haven't run into any while we run out here in the open. We don't hear anything either, be on your guards, it might be a trap."
The group nodded and was about to move forwards when they heard a loud crash as a nearby house collapsed. They each ran in different directions in order to try to get a better look at the situation. As the smoke cleared they clearly saw not one, but three orcs, each one holding a massive club. Before either of them could do anything, the orcs were already charging, and with their incredible reach, already swinging.
Aaron managed to jump out of the way, making his way behind some rubble as he dodged the blows. Freed, instead of dodging, blocked the club using his blade. Yes he was faster than Aaron and could likely dance around the orc, but it just wasn't in his nature to avoid conflict for so long. He let the orc prepare another swing before he thrust his blade, piercing the orc's chest, killing it on the spot. Rahz on the other hand nimbly sidestepped the club before cleanly slicing the orc in two with one swift swing. He was their field commander for a reason, and his skill was a constant reminder to all his subordinates.
As the others took care of their orcs, Aaron was busy avoiding his. His injuries from earlier were still affecting his ability to fight, he was at a disadvantage against a foe which had proven to be able to defeat him earlier. After a few more seconds of avoiding the club, he watched as the orc fell to the ground. Standing behind it was the woman holding her now reddened blade, smirk on her face.
"Can't have you becoming a liability now can we?"
"J-just who are you? You're no ordinary civilian are you?"
"Of course not, I spent most of my time hunting and gathering meat for the market, you'd be surprised what kind of people a girl like me runs into. As for a name, you can call me Lady."
"Romeo, Juliet, you two can make with the chit chat later, for now, DUCK!"
Rahz's warning was not without reason, they were surrounded, but not on the ground where they could so something about it. The enemy was in the form of various goblins on the rooftops, each one wielding a crossbow, taking aim, and then...firing.
The group hid behind a large fallen tree and waited for the arrows to stop. They sat there, thinking carefully what to do while avoiding any stray arrows which nearly hit them a few times. Aaron tried to see where the goblins were each stationed but was forced to give up, the same tree which was protecting them from the arrows was also blocking his view of the area, meaning that the goblins could be anywhere. Rahz on the other hand seemed to be deep in thought, though after a few seconds merely sighed.
"So Freed, I have no ideas right now, how about you use that big brain you're always bragging about and think of a way for us to get out of this."
Freed's face turned pale at Rahz's words. It was true that he always bragged about his intellect, and would always look for an opportunity to challenge the other soldiers to games of strategy and wit just so that he could prove he had the superior mind, but he was never good in situations like this one. When he played chess or created riddles, nobody was in danger, nothing was at risk besides his own pride, but now, if his plan failed he would die, not just that, but his closest friends would die as well. Freed closed his eyes and tried to think.
"I-I'm not sure, I have no idea where the goblins are located and they don't seem to be running out of arrows anytime soon. If I knew where they were then I might be able to come up with something...."
"I'll take care of this."
Lady smiled at the others as she slowly began to stand.
"I'll run out there in the open and pay attention to where the arrows come from then run back and tell you where they are."
"You can't do that, it's too risky!" Aaron looked at her with determined eyes. He never liked the idea of sacrificing a soldier, no matter how large the reward would be.
"Don't worry, you yourself know how well I can hold my own, besides, you guys are only still here because of me."
She gave a smile before she jumped over the tree and began to run. As she ran, she zig-zagged her way towards the other side of the street, noting where the arrows were coming from. A few times she was forced to quickly change direction in order to avoid an arrow or two, but she seemed to be doing alright. Once she reached the wall of the building on the other side of the street she imagined that she'd get a moment or two to rest. She was wrong.
The arrows kept on firing from the building's windows, forcing her to keep going. She was starting to get tired, she didn't know how much longer she would be able to keep this up. She ran as fast as she could towards the tree where the others were, but the goblins seemed to know that as they began to focus their fire near the tree. Leaving the tree's saftey had been easy, getting back would prove to be much more difficult.
She continued to run in circles, knowing that if she stood still for even a moment her body would be pierced by arrows, likely leading to her death. She kept running, jumping, circling, and zig-zagging to the point that her lungs began to burn from the effort to keep going. She wasn't used to situations like this, her body lacked the endurance. She was going to collapse from exhaustion soon, her legs would give out, she could feel it. She now had two option, keep waiting for an opportunity and likely die once her body gave up, or create her own opening and take it. The choice was obvious.
Drawing her blade, she looked around as she ran, searching for the goblin whom was most exposed, the one least likely to avoid her attack. She then saw him, a goblin standing on the roof of a house, trying to better his aim by removing all obstacles in his way. There were no branches near him for he had cut them all down, and the stones from the roof had been pushed off. Lady smiled, throwing her blade with all her strength. It flew through the air as she begged it, willed it, to hit its target. It was a perfect shot, piercing the goblin and causing him to fall off of the roof, his howl of pain filling the air. She then ran towards the tree, hoping that the death of their comrade would distract the monsters even for a second, letting her get back to the saftey of the tree. If only she knew how determined these goblins were to stop any enemy.
As she ran behind the tree, the barrage of arrows had not stopped, or lightened in the least. She was hit by many of them, though mostly on her left arm. She collapsed to the ground once she was behind the tree, and Rahz and Aaron quickly rushed to her wounds. Aaron was about to pull the arrows out, but was stopped by Rahz.
"You fool, you can't do that. If you pull out the arrows she'll likely bleed to death. She's lucky to even be alive. The most we can do is cut the arrows, bandage the wounds, and hope we can get her to someone who can heal her."
"D-don't worry, I'll be fine." Lady did her best to smile despite the intense pain. Just moving her arm send horrible waves of pain through her body. She instead used her right hand to grab a stick and a couple rocks. She placed the stick down and placed rocks around it.
"The stick is where we are, and the stones are buildings. There are goblins stationed in these areas. We're completely surrounded, and are pretty darn lucky that the tree was here. Hope my information helped."
Freed stared at the layout and sighed. He quickly became entirely focused on the situation, searching for a way out for them. As he thought, Aaron and Rahz focused on cutting the arrows, which were still lodged in Lady's arm, into a more manageable size. They then bandaged the entire arm, stopping most of the bleeding. That was all they could do, that and hope that it would be enough to save her, not just from blood loss, but from infection. As they finished, Freed punched the ground in frustration.
"I-I can't see anyway for us to get out of this. They have each goblin placed in a strategic location, it's hard to imagine those dim creatures could come up with such a foolproof strategy. If we even try to make a getaway then we'll be killed by the arrows. Not even our armor will stop them. If we try scattering to try to lessen the casualties, they have enough people to make sure each one of us gets at least one injury. All we can do right now is wait here for reinforcements."
Aaron closed his eyes as Freed's words sunk in. They were trapped here, unable to do anything. He had trained so much, fought so hard, only to die at the hands of goblins. All they could do was just sit there and do nothing, waiting for someone else to come to the rescue. Then he began to smell it. Smoke.
Opening his eyes he looked at the tree and noticed that it had been hit by an arrow, only this one was on fire. The fire was beginning to quickly spread, had it had oil applied to it? It didn't matter, what mattered was the poisonous smoke, the searing flames and above all, the fact that their shelter was slowly disappearing.
"Freed, what's your best plan? We can't wait, it's either do or die!"
Freed's nervousness was obvious as he made rapid movements over the stick and stones Lady had placed.
"If they're in these spots, we have to run along the sides of the buildings which are still standing, it'll make it so we only have to deal with half of the goblins, we should also go at distances so that unless they focus on just one of us we'll each have to deal with much less arrows. Is everyone ready?"
Everyone nodded as they moved into their positions. Freed was the first one to start running. The arrows immediately began to rain down, though thankfully Freed's speed was enough to keep him safe, but for how long? Three seconds passed before Rahz shot out, attracting the attention of some of the goblins. The effect was obvious as less arrows seemed to be aimed at Freed. Aaron then held his breathe.
He charged forwards with all his might, knowing that one mistake would kill him. He didn't bother to look at the goblins as that would only slow him down. He only heard the sounds of the arrows which narrowly missed him. He could feel each breeze being made by an arrow as it passed him. As he ran, he continued to look forwards towards Rahz and Freed, the two which were ahead of him, hoping that they'd be fine. In his head he counted to three, then he looked back for an instant to see if Lady had begun her run.
His eyes were full of shock, Lady wasn't running, her leg had been caught under a large chunk of wood. Had that happened because of the fire weakening the tree? She was struggling to remove the weight, but was obviously having difficulty due to having only one strong arm. Another piece of the tree fell, exposing her a little bit more. Aaron knew what he had to do.Turning around mid-run, he ran back to the tree.
"What are you doing?! Run!"
"I refuse to leave another soldier behind."
He pushed with all his might, removing the heavy wood, just in time for another piece to fall off, completely exposing them. He could clearly see one of the goblins watching them, crooked smile on its face. It pointed the crossbow at them, no, it was being aimed towards Lady. She was the weaker one, she was injured, less likely to escape the lethal bolt. Aaron did the first thing which came to mind, he stood in front of her. He closed his eyes and waited for the pain. He waited.
Nothing happened. Everything was silent now. Had he died? No, he could still hear some sounds. The fire, Lady's breathing, footsteps, but something was wrong, something was missing. Where were the arrows? Aaron opened his eyes and where the goblin had once stood was an armored man. On his face was a smile, and in one hand had a broken crossbow and in the other an unconscious goblin. He recognized the man, he was one of his comrades, a soldier under Rahz. A smile slowly spread over his face as he helped Lady stand and walked her from the burning wood.
As he walked he looked around, the streets were littered with arrows everywhere, just how the goblins managed to get so many he did not know, likely some kind of magic. On the buildings where the goblins once stood at the ready, were different soldiers, each one destroying the crossbows the enemies had once used. It seemed the cavalry had arrived just in time. A soldier came up to him and noticed the injured Lady.
"Take her to the infirmary, hopefully they can do something about her arm. She is an excellent warrior, treat her with the same respect you would treat any other comrade in arms."
The soldier saluted Aaron before taking Lady's arm over his shoulder and carrying her away. She was in good arms now, he knew she'd be fine, and he could likely talk to her again at the camp. He then continued over to Rahz and Freed whom both were busy discussing something.
"So, it seems like we were victorious, right guys?"
"Aaron, we might be in control of the situation at the moment, but its not over yet. Reports say that there is one more goblin campground nearby. The soldier whom found it was unable to fight them all off, but managed to escape. Me and Freed were planning to go finish the job, are you interested?"
Aaron nodded, and with that they began to run towards the town gates, slowing down only when the goblin camp became visible. It seemed like there were only ten left, and they were all laying about doing nothing. Perhaps they did not know of the fate which had befallen their brethren. Either way it did not matter, they were easy targets. The group split up as each one prepared to attack from a separate side. Aaron waited behind a building, watching Rahz carefully for the signal. The moment Rahz gave the order they each burst forth, swords in hand.
The goblins panicked as the attackers came into the campground. Some of the goblins tried to hold them off using their fists and anything they could get their hands on. Pots, cards, bones, it was all thrown at them, though it did nothing. Then from within the large tent came out various half dressed goblins, each wielding a weapon, though they were still unable to properly fight. Perhaps they had just woken up. Within a few seconds the goblins lay on the ground, not dead but merely unconscious. Instead of dealing fatal wounds the group had focused more on rendering unable to fight, which was much faster and required less effort.They moved the goblins together into a bunch, and then Freed was the first to raise his sword, preparing to slaughter them.
"Time to make sure every goblin out there learns what happens when they attack our cities!"
As he swung his blade downwards, there was a sound of clashing metal as it hit Aaron's sword. He stared at Freed and then looked at Rahz as he spoke.
"Listen, this attack was different from the others. Usually they just swarm cities and try to overpower us with sheer numbers and nothing more. These goblins on the other hand came in waves, giving us false hopes of victory in order to catch us off guard. They also didn't face us straight on, remember when they hid inside of buildings and then burst out with the orcs? That's another thing, this is the first time I've seen orcs and goblins working together. Let's not forget when they had us under fire from the crossbows. When was the last time you saw a goblin even use a crossbow?! Something's going on, and I don't like it. I think we should keep them alive and take them to the dungeon, maybe we can get them to explain what's going on."
"Aaron you idiot! Goblins are mere beasts and nothing more! So what if they learned to use crossbows, maybe they picked it up from fighting us so much? Maybe the orcs were in the area when they attacked? Who cares! They're nothing more than cockroaches, if we let them live then more will keep coming back."
Rahz simply stared at the two as they talked and was deep in thought. Perhaps Freed was right, the idea that this was more than just another goblin attack was ridiculous but, what if Aaron was right? This attack had been much different than the others.
"Aaron has a point. I think we should take them with us, if it turns out to be a fluke, maybe we can do some research on them and learn more about how to fight them. Come now, help me chain them up.."
Freed let out a sigh before heading over to help Rahz. As he did this, Aaron stood there, staring at the city, the goblins, and then the sky. The moon was beginning to come up, he hadn't noticed just how long this day had been.
"I hope I'm wrong about this..."
This chapter feels longer than the others, but at least it introduces four important characters. Might seem like it has nothing to do with the current story, but hey, every path has to cross eventually :)
I'm behind on my word count ;-;
Re: Green Morality (NaNoWriMo Story): Chap 3
Chapter 4: Land of Raging Sands
"...with that I conclude today's lesson. I hope you are all better prepared for the coming test. You have a month to yourselves. Use it to relax, or to prepare, it's fully up to you. I will see you when the time comes, take care."
Doriado had just finished her last lesson. She had taught the group of charmers in-training all of the basics, if they wanted to enhance their abilities, they would have to train on their own. She closed her eyes as she seemed to focus before emitting a blindingly bright flash of light. Once it had faded away the elemental mistress was nowhere to be seen. The group simply looked at each other as they got off of the grass. They were used to her leaving like this, it was her way of demonstrating what a master of the elements could do, what they would be able to do if they continued their training.
"So, we have a month off, what are you guys gonna do?" Lyna was the first to speak as her familiar landed on her head. Her familiar was a large spherical creature with four pink feathered wings. It lacked any other limbs, but seemed to be happy like that. On its forehead was a pink heart, and right below it its large and adorable eyes.
"Me an Happy are thinking of going to the beach to have some fun, any of you wanna come?"
"Going to waste your time as always huh? Me and Meda are going to use our time wisely to train in some nearby caves where no light should be able to enter, just pure darkness."
Dharc had become slightly friendlier towards the others since he had gotten his familiar, Meda. Meda was a large eyeball which had two short arms, a long tail, a pair of wings and two horns growing out of it. The girls found it to be quite repulsive, and Dharc did too until he began to overlook its appearances due to the fact that it boosted his power by such a large factor. He and Meda began to leave the others before he stopped and looked back.
"Y-you know, if one of you wants to tag along I'd be fine with it, not like I need someone with me or anything..."
"I'll go with you, being surrounded by stone might do me good."
Aussa walked over towards Dharc, her familiar in hand. She had given it a simple name Marm, after all, it was a marmot. Creativity was not her strong suit. Dharc smiled as he and Aussa left.
"Beach huh? I'll go with you, sounds like it'll be a blast! Not like me and Kitsu need anymore training."
Hiita went over towards Lyna, her familiar at her feet. Her familiar had one of the most ordinary appearances, looking just like an average fox with a small fireball on the tip of its tail. Despite lacking a unique appearance like the other familiars, the others had learned not to bother it as it was likely one of the strongest among them.
"What about you two, have any plans?"
Eria and Gigobyte simultaneously shrugged, she hadn't come up with anything, and Gigobyte didn't have any ideas either. Eria smiled as she pet Gigo, he had learned to walk on two legs and had grown spikes on his elbows, knees, shoulders and even one or two on his back. On his arms and legs he wore a yellow cloth which protected his limbs, as they never truly recovered from the plant's vicious attack.
"W-well I heard about an interesting pyramid in the desert and wanted to see if anybody wanted to go check it out. I heard it can grant knowledge, and I was hoping it could help me find out where I came from, b-but I don't know if me and Pete would be alright on our own..."
Wynn frowned as she looked at the ground. A yellow serpent with wings flew up to her, pink bunny in mouth, and gave it to her. The limbless dragon was her familiar, and it would always try to comfort its mistress whenever she seemed to be feeling down, which was most of the time. Eria placed a hand on her shoulder and gave her a comforting smile.
"I'll go with you, I didn't have anything planned anyway. Besides, maybe exploring a land with little to no water will help me get stronger."
Wynn immediately began to smile as Lyna and Hiita left the two. Wynn and Eria were so similar, both of them came from tribes they could no longer remember, though they each began to study the elements in different ways. Eria had Doriado on the beach one day and had begun to study under her ever since. Wynn on the other hand, she had been found by Doriado one day when she was but a baby. Wynn had never met anyone with her same connection to the wind, and Eria hadn't seen someone with her connection to the water since her earliest memories before she was separated from her tribe.
Later, the two were walking, large packs on their backs. They both seemed to be tired and worn. They were no longer in the same grassy meadow they were familiar with, but instead walking on the sands of the Torrid Desert. The sun above was burning hot, so much stronger than they were used to. Their cloaks offered little protection from the sun and heat, but Wynn used here skills to keep a constant breeze blowing, allowing them to keep marching on.
They had been traveling for almost a week. The food they had packed was almost out, but at least they didn't have to worry about dehydration. Whenever their water supplies would run low, Wynn would call forth a breeze from the ocean, and then Eria would proceed to draw the water vapor from the air and turn it into its more useful liquid form. It was difficult for them to keep their morale up, but when spirits got too low they would talk to each other about what they thought their homelands were like.
"I'm telling you, there's bound to be water everywhere. My people likely have rivers flowing through their homes, no wait, they probably live on boats, how else would I end up at the beach?"
"Hmmm, I think my tribe would live on mountaintops where the wind is mightiest, always ready to jump into the winds and fly around. Just the thought of it feels so...so...romantic."
Wynn held her staff with both hands as she thought about taking flight, and being with others who would fly with her. Yes, that would truly be like something out of a story book. As she did so, Eria was looking around, doing her best to stay focused on their surroundings. Yes Wynn could easily figure out which way was home by calling on the winds, but when she got like this she would keep day dreaming for minutes, sometimes hours, enough time to get them lost and forcing them to backtrack.
"H-hey Wynn, snap out of it! I-I see the pyramid!"
Eria swung her staff back and forth, clapped her hands, did whatever she could to bring Wynn back to reality. None of it seemed to work, so she closed her eyes and focused, and in a few seconds a small cloud formed around Wynn's head before rain began to fall from it.
"Stormy weather in the skies! Land immediately!"
"No sir, I can handle it! I just need to get high enough then me and Pete just need to get high enough to blow the cloud away!"
Wynn began to wave her staff around, perhaps imagining what it would take to blow a massive cloud away, before she ended up summoning a mighty wind which knocked her down to the ground.
"Ow...d-did I start daydreaming again? I-I'm sorry. H-hey, the pyramid! We found it Eria!"
Eria simply smiled as she and Wynn ran towards the pyramid, their familiars following close behind. As they neared the pyramid they noticed that there were a few other creatures near by. One of them was a large white square shaped fairy with small wings on its shoulders. Its arms and legs seemed so small, though it did have a purple halo over its head. Next to it lay what looked like a rock with eyes and a mouth. It had purple limbs leading up to rocks which seemed to be its hands and feet. There was also a third one, only this one looked like a large mushroom with arms and eyes. They all looked so different but had one thing in common, they all seemed to be badly injured.
"W-what do you think could have done this to them?'
"I-I don't know, but I do remember them from my readings. The fairy is a mokey mokey, the rock is called a h-haniwa I think it was pronounced, and the mushroom, I think the book just called it a mushroom man."
"Those are all interesting names, but do you think they'll be okay?"
"I'm not sure, did you remember to pack any healing potions? I'm sure they need one much more than we do."
"Of course, let me get it."
Wynn dropped her heavy pack and began to rummage through the bags. After a moment she thought she felt the ground shake but thought nothing of it, instead took out a few vials full of a red liquid. She handed two of them to Eria and then poured the third onto the mokey mokey. Eria pour her vials onto the other two. In a matter of seconds their injuries began to heal and a smile spread across Wynn's face.
"Lets see, I'll call you Mokey, you Hani, and you...ummm Mushrooman!"
Mokey and Hani both seemed to be happy with what they were being called, though Mushrooman seemed a little... disappointed. Pete and Gigobyte went over to him and did their best to cheer him up, making faces and performing a few tricks. As the familiars played with the creatures, Eria and Wynn went up to the pyramid and felt its stone.
"I-I don't feel anything, E-eria, do you think we have to go inside of it?"
"Probably, but I think we should rest for a bit, we have been walking for a while."
Wynn nodded as she sat down in the sand and Eria joined her. Eria rummaged through her pack and took out a couple apples, handing one to Wynn, then tossing all but one of them to the familiars and their new friends. She leaned back on the strangely warm stone of the pyramid as she ate her apple. It was strange, the air here seemed to be cooler, and the sun not as punishing. Perhaps that was why a pyramid had been constructed here, though why was it here that the climate was different? Perhaps it wasn't the climate which had attracted the construction of the pyramid or was it the pyramid which had altered the climate?
Wynn closed her eyes as she leaned back onto the stone and began to fall asleep. They had walked for so long, and she was so tired. She could already feel her body drifting off into sleep. She could even feel Aussa training her abilities by creating miniature earthquakes. The earthquakes seemed to be getting stronger and stronger, maybe Aussa had started combining her powers with Marm. Wait, something wasn't right, Aussa wasn't here...
"Wake up Wynn!Wake up! We need your help!"
Wynn opened her eyes to find herself being shaken awake by her friend. She seemed to be in shock, full of fear, and her cloak seemed damaged.
"W-what happened to you? What's going on, what's that shaking?!"
Wynn jumped up, only to nearly fall back down. The ground was shaking violently. She looked around and noticed that the creatures which had been with them were all running about, frightened as well. She gripped her staff tightly as Pete flew towards her. Something was going on and she had to find out.
"I-I'm not sure. We were just resting up when a pillar of sand shot up into the sky. We don't know where it came from, but when it was gone, another shot up, only this one struck the others, injuring some of them. I'm not sure what it is, but I'm sure it's not friendly.."
Eria lifted her staff and stared at the sand. The others had already hidden, leaving just her, Wynn, and their familiars. Eria placed a hand on Gigobyte's forehead, waiting for whatever would come. That was when a large pillar of sand shot out once more, only this time it hit its target, the two charmers in training.
As they were sent up into the sky, the duo focused as their staffs began to glow. Eria's canteen burst open as the water within shot out like a barrage of bullets, flying into the pillar below. A loud roar was heard as the sand stopped flying out. She had hit something, the only question was what. As they continued to fly upwards from the attack, they could clearly see something rising up from the sand.
It was a brown creature, with arms and legs, and a strange head. It's head seemed to be nothing more than a tube lined with teeth, and multiple large spikes protruded from out of its back and joints. Then gravity began to take effect as they fell back down. Wynn knew what to do as her staff began to glow. A strong wind seemed to blow from below as their decent was slowed down. The wind even managed to push them a fair distance from the beast, which from the ground seemed much larger than from the sky. It was easily twice the size of either one of them.
At first the beast simply stared at them, its beady little eyes right next to that monstrous mouth. Without warning, it swung its arm, sending a wave of sand crashing towards the two. Acting quickly, Wynn spun her staff creating a powerful gust of wind to block the sand. Eria then charged forwards swinging her staff in order to control what was left of her water. The water flew through the air with incredible speed and slashed the monster as if it was a blade.
The monster gave a pained howl before swatting Eria aside. Yes the strike had hurt, but it seemed to have done little to nothing in order to stop him. That was when Wynn began to thrust her staff towards the beast while Pete stayed close to her. At first the monster seemed confused, then it began to fall backwards as powerful blasts of air hit it time and again. It seemed to be having difficulty standing on its feet, so it simply let itself fall to the ground. The moment it hit the sand, it had already burrowed down into the desert sands. Wynn looked around before running over towards Eria, helping her back to her feet.
"I-I think we managed to scare it away. Where's Gigobyte?"
Eria looked around worriedly before the ground began to shake once more. She lifted her staff as she tried to focus on drawing as much water from the air as she possibly could. She had already used up all of her water and all it had done was to bother the beast.
"Gigo, I need your help if we're going to take this...thing down. Where are you?!"
The sand surrounding the charmers shot up into the air creating a wall of sand which seemed to be rising higher and higher. At first their main concern was how they seemed to be trapped, until they noticed that it was beginning to get darker and darker. Wynn let out a soft yelp as she saw the sand from the walls beginning to come down onto them, ready to crush them. She closed her eyes as she held up her staff. Pete began to give off a green glow as he focused along with her. Eria smiled as she recognized the technique, this was what the familiars were for, enhancing the charmer's powers to a level far beyond anything they could possibly do on their own.
As the sand continued to fall on the two, it never seemed to make it lower than the staff, and it seemed to be rising back up. Wynn's eyes were shut as she remained completely focused, until she opened them revealing a green glow. The moment her eyes opened, a large blast of air shot out in ever direction, blowing all of the sand away, revealing the monster once more. Eria charged forwards while Wynn seemed to be having trouble standing. That last move had really drained her, it normally did, as such was the backlash of the technique.
Once Eria was close enough to the monster, she pointed her staff at it, sending arrows made of water at the creature. The arrows struck it, though they seemed to do nothing as they struck it. No matter how hard she launched them in the end they did nothing. She held her breath as the monster began to walk towards her. She had run out of water and drawing more from the atmosphere would take far too long. The monster raised its arm as it prepared to strike down. Eria closed her eyes, then she heard a familiar cry.
When she opened her eyes, she saw Gigobyte charging towards the beast, the other creatures they had found earlier running behind him. Eria smiled, she had lost sight of Gigobyte the moment the sand had tossed them into the air, it was comforting to see that he had made it out alright and had even managed to convince the once scared creatures to fight at his side.
Mokey turned a bright red as the purple halo over its head seemed to unwrap into what looked like an exclamation mark. Mokey then charged at the beast and began to deliver powerful blows which seemed to be forcing the creature back. Hani was next as he appeared behind the monster and extended its arms out in order to punch it from a distance. Its arms proved to have an amazing reach as no matter how far his blows pushed the monster away, his next punch could still reach. Mushrooman struck at it by delivering simple punches. The punches didn't seem to be as strong as those of the others, causing the monster to stare at the poor fungus. Before the monster could even move something seemed to grow out from the spots Mushrooman had hit, small miniature versions of himself. They each grabbed onto the monster's body and forced it down onto the ground.
Gigobyte stood by Eria as they waited to see if the attack had stopped it. Wynn made her way to them as she panted and propped herself up with her staff. She was exhausted, but refused to stop just yet. It was a good thing she was ready to fight because once she reached the others the monster let out a fearsome roar as it struck the ground with its arms. The force of the blow was enough to push everyone back, and even destroy the miniature mushroom men which had grown on its body. It slowly stood back up, looking at those which continued to oppose it.
It swiped its arms around the battlefield sending Hani, Mokey, and Mushrooman off to the side, injuring them all. It then slowly made its way towards the charmers and their familiars. Wynn did her best to grab on to her staff as it began to give off a weak glow. Eria held her staff out in order to prevent Wynn from rushing forwards.
"No, you need some more time to regain your strength. Its time for me and Gigo to show this thing just what we're made off."
She then tightly held onto her staff, focusing as much as she could on the water in the atmosphere, the water she had already used up in the battle, and even the water underground. As she focused, Gigobyte gave off a blue glow as he placed his own hand on the staff. She focused to the point that she no longer felt the soft tremors from the monster's steps, she didn't even hear its threatening roars. All she could hear was dripping water.
When she opened her glowing blue eyes, she and Gigobyte lifted the staff up into the air, just as a wall of water shot out from the sand in front of them. The monster at first seemed confused but then continued to march forwards. Eria then pointed her staff towards the beast, causing the wall to turn into multiple spikes of water. A small smirk began to spread across her face, now it was her chance to show off the power which was created when she and her familiar worked as one. With one swift thrust of her staff, the spikes all flew towards the monster, causing it to roar in pain as they hit it. One after the other, the spikes of water left their mark wounding the monster. Once the final spike had hit its target the monster lay on the ground motionless.
"W-we did it..."
Eria smiled as she fell to her knees. She had used up all of her energy and strength with that last move. Gigobyte seemed tired too, only not as much. Perhaps it was the fact that she was human which caused her to get much more tired than him. Wynn sat down next to her and smiled.
"Y-yeah, we really did it. We've become a lot tougher. D-do you think if Dharc finds out we beat this monster, do you think he'll stop calling me a crybaby?"
"Hehe, not sure, you know how prideful he is. He even called you a crybaby when you beat him while sparring. I can still remember how he tried to play it off as him going easy on you because you were a girl."
"Y-yeah, and then he tried to move a boulder to prove he really was stronger."
"And when he failed you sent the boulder flying to who knows where!"
The two laughed as they remembered their friends. They had already forgotten about the danger they had just been in. After a few moments of resting they got up and went to check out the other three creatures which had helped during the battle. They seemed to be unconscious, but otherwise okay. They had a few wounds, so they got their medical supplies from their packs and began to tend to them. As they did so, they did not notice as the monster began to rise back up. It took two slow thundering steps before they realized it was back up. It was two steps too late.
The monster's arm struck the two, sending them flying. When they hit the ground, all that they felt was pain. Eria was doing her best to stay conscious and saw that Wynn was already out cold. Without Wynn, she knew she would have trouble fighting off the monster once more. She tried to reach for her staff which lay nearby but found that her body refused to move. She watched as the monster slowly neared. Its body was covered in scratches and bruises from their attacks, but that was it. She was forced to watch as Pete flew towards it and bit its arm, only to be flicked away. Pete might have been a dragon, but he was unable to breath fire, perhaps that was why he was connected to the wind and not flames.
Eria continued to try to rise up with all her might, and managed to rise to her feet. Her legs felt horrible, and her vision was beginning to blur. She took a step towards her staff, only to collapse to the ground once more. This time the staff was in her hand as she tried to concentrate, to get something, anything, to help her. Despite all her best efforts, all she could do was call forth one small spike of water. She closed her eyes as she imagined it flying towards the monster and striking it strong enough to kill it, or at least knock it out. Using all of her might, she sent it flying through the air until it hit the beast. She heard it roar in pain as she opened her eyes to look at it.
Her eyes were filled with shock, it was not her spike which had caused it pain, but instead it was Gigobyte whom had latched onto its arm with his jaw. The monster flailed its arm around haphazardly in an effort to get the young lizrd to let go, but to no avail. Gigobyte was determined to protect his mistress, his friend. The monster smashed Gigobyte onto the ground a few times before it realized it would not make the lizard let go. Ignoring the pain, the monster walked over towards where the two charmers lay. Raising his arm high, he smashed down and let out a roar as it hit the ground a few inches away from Eria's body. The shock wave was enough to toss Eria back, knocking her out. The monster glared at its arm where Gigobyte was. He had pierced its skin using his claws and was biting down with enough power to cause his own jaw to begin to bleed. The sudden jolt of pain had been enough to ruin the monster's aim, allowing Eria to have survived the attack. The monster was not happy with this as it let out a fearsome roar and swung its arm with all of its might, causing Gigobyte to finally come loose and fly through the air.
Gigobyte flew through the air with amazing speed and was unable to see where he was heading. He could only close his eyes and await the eventual collision with the ground. He felt a sudden jolt of pain as he hit not the ground, but a wall. He opened his eyes as he fell from the side of the pyramid. As he fell towards the ground a few tears fell from his eyes. They weren't tears of pain, but tears of despair. He had done everything he could to protect his friends, his family, and it had all been for nothing. He could see the monster walking towards where his fallen friends lay, ready to kill them all. Gigobyte had but one desire as he fell, to be stronger, strong enough to protect his friends from danger, to protect them from monsters, to protect them from anyone who wanted to harm them, in other words, protect them from those he saw as evil.
He hit the ground with a thud and felt his body go numb. He couldn't move, his body wouldn't let him. He could tell that his injuries weren't like the others he had sustained, these were severe. That didn't stop him as he continued to try to stand. His body wouldn't obey, instead rejected his command by filling him with horrible pain. He shut his eyes as he let out loud yells trying to get the monster's attention. He wanted it to go after him first, that way his friends could have a chance to run away with their lives. He yelled and yelled as his tears continued to pour. He knew his yells were doing nothing as he felt the steps going the opposite direction from him.
"Do you really want to protect them that much? Do they really mean so much to you?"
Gigobyte continued to howl as he began to hear a voice in his head. No, it wasn't inside of his head, it was coming from the pyramid. He didn't care where it came from though, all he wanted was to protect his friends and that thought filled his mind.
Gigobyte began to feel his body getting stronger, feeling less pain as if it was healing. He slowly stood up, struggling less with each passing second. He turned towards the monster which was about to swing its arm down onto Eria. Gigobyte focused on his one desire and let out a fierce roar. The roar caused the monster to stop moving as it turned towards its source. Gigobyte stood, feet firmly planted on the ground, as a colorful aura emanated from him. The monster snarled at him as it charged towards him at frightening speed. Gigobyte simply let out another roar, causing it to stop moving once more, it was as if it was afraid of him, no, of the power he was giving off.
Gigobyte continued to glare at the monster as his body began to grow. His limbs each grew longer as his head seemed to become much more proportional to his body. The spikes on his body each grew longer as did his tail. His muscles began to take a clear form causing him to have a build similar to that of any well trained warrior. Once his body was done changing he let out one more roar before bolting towards the creature, much to fast for it to react. In seconds Gigobyte was on the monster's chest, delivering one swift downward blow with both of his fists. Unlike all of the other moves which seemed to do very little, this caused the monster to crash down onto the ground with little to no effort.
Gigobyte landed on the monster's body and glared at it. That was when its arm struck at him, only to be blocked by Gigobyte's hand. He continued to glare at the monster who had begun to tremble. A smirk spread across Gigobyte's face as he began to deliver a rapid succession of punches on the monster's stomach, causing it to howl in pain. Gigobyte kept on going and going, with each blow pushing the monster deeper and deeper into the sands, creating a crater. After a minute of punching the creature had stopped howling, instead its limp body flailed about from the force of the blows it was receiving. This did not deter Gigobyte as he contnued to strike blow after blow, even after he began to notice a strange green fluid beginning to cover his fists. He didn't care what it was, all that mattered was ridding the world of this thing permanently.
That was when he saw it. On his arms, the yellow cloth Eria had given him. He stopped punching as he remembered his friends. Where were they? Was Eria alright? He looked around and smiled as he noticed Eria whom was laying near by. He leaped from the monster's body and landed in front of Eria who wasn't moving. He felt her pulse and noticed that it was still there and let out a sigh of relief before looking around. After a few seconds he spotted the pack and ran towards it. Once he reached it he searched through it and pulled out another one of the healing potions. He then ran back towards Eria and poured the contents over her. After a few seconds, Eria opened her eyes and let out a soft yell when she saw Gigobyte.
"N-no, don't scream, don't you recognize me? I know I look different, but I'm still the same Gigobyte you saved in the forest!"
A dumbfounded Eria stared at Gigobyte for a second before she began to speak. "D-did you just talk?! N-no matter, what happened to the monster?! W-where is it, and are the others alright!?"
Gigobyte smiled at Eria as he lifted her up. The first thing she noticed was that his hands were wet with something, but was unable to see it. Despite being awake now, her body refused to move due to her injuries combined with exhaustion. Gigobyte took Eria towards where the monster lay and she let out an audible gasp.
"D-did you do that?!"
"Yes, I knocked it out, aren't you happy?"
"I-its not dead Gigo, don't you see the blood coming out? I think you killed it."
"Oh, that would explain why it stopped making so much noise. At least it won't bother anyone ever again."
"Y-yeah, I guess so, but how did you get so big?" Eria had reason to be curious considering Gigobyte had been so small and was now slightly taller than her.
"Oh that..." Gigobyte closed his eyes as he remembered just what had happened. What the voice in his head had said, and what he had told it. "A voice asked me if I wanted to protect you, and I told it yes, then it made me an offer. Power in exchange for my humanity. It said that it would begin to take it away from me, bit by bit, what does that mean?"
Eria just stared at her familiar as the words sunk in. Who had he made the deal with, and were they really capable of taking away his humanity? It had already granted Gigobyte so much power in a matter of seconds, perhaps it really could take away his humanity. Eria closed her eyes and began to cry as she thought about what he had given up for her and the others.
"Gagagigo....I like the sound of that. Can that be my new name?"
Gagagigo simply stood there holding his close friend, not even noticing the tears running down his body as he stared at the monster's corpse with a smile on his face. This power, he liked it, and he wanted more.
Been a while since my last chapter and I'm far behind on my word count, I'm a horrible person ;-;
I hope I can catch back up, no, I know I can catch back up!
Re: Green Morality (NaNoWriMo Story): Chap 3
Chapter 5: The Exiled Warriors
Aaron stood in the training room as he watched Freed continue to attack the practice dummy. It had been a few days since their return from the recent battle and their wounds had all fully healed. Rahz and Freed had quickly gotten back into the rhythm of things and returned to their normal everyday lives. Aaron on the other hand was deep in thought. After the capture of the goblin squadron, he had gone to the infirmary to check on Lady, but had been shocked to find nothing more than a few injured doctors. He had quickly asked them what had happened, thinking that perhaps a few stray goblins had decided to get some revenge, only to find out that the culprit had been Lady herself. She had attacked the doctors and stolen some of the healing potions before running away. He had spent the rest of the night looking for her only to come up empty handed. He still had little idea about just who she was or why she had been so well trained. He refused to believe that she had been just another wandering trader.
That wasn't the only thing on his mind. He had requested an audience with the emperor of Charivit, but instead was only able to get one with the king of their province. He was now in the training room for his guards and was on edge, not knowing what awaited him. Rahz was sitting nearby meditating, and Freed was busy training. The two of them had their own ways to deal with stress, but Aaron had none. He let out a soft sigh as he looked at the ceiling.
"Relax Aaron, what's the worst that could happen?"
"I just don't know Rahz, the goblins being so organized really worried me, but I'm not entirely sure if this is part of something bigger or not. Not to mention how Lady went missing."
"You should forget about her, you're a hero now, you can get any woman you want."
Aaron jumped up as Freed's hand touched his shoulder. He hadn't heard him come and it had startled him, not to mention that he wanted to put some distance between the two of them in order to prevent him from noticing how his face had begun to blush.
"I-I don't know what you mean. I'm just worried about her. She did risk her life to help us and ended up severely wounding her arm. Who knows where she could be, or if she was even able to survive out in the wild with the shape her arm was in..."
"Aaron, we're more than soldiers, we're warriors, you know that." Aaron looked at Rahz as he heard the familiar speech. "We fight each day not for our lives but for those of others. We strive not just for a country but for all the good people out in the world. We fight to eliminate the evil out there which seeks to bring harm to our world. That is why we have to stay focused on our goal, and nothing more. We cannot seek friendship, partnerships, or even....love, from civilians. Those things would distract us, our only bond can be with other warriors and even then that bond must be ready to be broken at any given moment. We could die any day, and having those bonds would make us hesitate when we charge into battle, fill us with doubt, and ultimately dull our blades."
Aaron stared at the ground as he heard his captain's words. He always said them, and they always left a feeling of doubt in his heart. Freed lived by those words, as did most of the other soldiers, but he just couldn't. If he was supposed to protect these people, wouldn't having a bond with them give him the strength to keep going? He sat down on a bench as he thought about it.
The time passed by as they waited in the room, other soldiers came and went, some sparred with them only to be defeated, while others simply asked for tips. Soon it was time for lunch and the king had yet to call them in. A few soldiers had been kind enough to bring them some food, though it wasn't much, just a small bowl of soup. The other soldiers had a deep respect for them, and it had only grown when they heard of what had happened in the town that day. They had asked them to retell the events time after time, and even had Freed show off his special disk.
Soon the sun had begun to set and it was dinner time for everything, yet they had not been called in yet. Even the normally calm and patient Rahz was getting irritated. He was trying to keep a calm and serene appearance, but his eyes gave away his true feelings as he glared out the window at the setting sun. Freed had grown tired of training as he lay on the bench staring at the ceiling, and Aaron was pacing back and forth.
"Why isn't he calling us in yet? Did he forget about us? I heard the new king was unreliable but to be this forgetful..."
"I say we just barge in there and make him listen to us, we're freaking heroes!'
"Now you two, calm down. No matter how annoyed we may be, we have to stay calm and uphold the reputation we have made for ourselves."
That was when the door opened and a man stepped forwards. He looked at the three men with a frown on his face.
"I-I apologize, it seems the king forgot about you three, please come this way. We can't have great heroes like you three sitting around waiting now can we?"
"It's about darn time..." Freed grunted as he walked through the door following the man. Aaron was the next to walk after them. Then Rahz stood up slowly as he struggled to keep up with them.
"Damn, legs fell asleep from sitting for so long..."
In a few moments the three were standing before a large throne which had a middle aged man sitting on it. He had a white beard and a large red crown on top of his white hair. He wore a long flowing red cape and held his golden scepter with much pride. Aaron did his best to hold back a chuckle. The king was also shirtless leaving his well fed stomach visible for all, and seemed to only be wearing brown boxers. Freed had a clear expression of disgust on his face, and seeing the state his men were in, Rahz was the first to speak.
"Your majesty, we wanted to speak to you about the goblin army we recently captured."
"Yes, those goblins you were so worried about. They have been investigated by my finest men. Bring them here!"
He pointed his scepter at a soldier who quickly ran out of the room and came back in a few minutes with the goblins. They were all chained together and unable to move in any direction without the soldier's consent. The goblins were covered in scars which had not been there when the warrior trio had turned them in. Had they been tortured?
"Do you see these goblins? We got no information out of them, it seems they simply attacked the town at the same time as the orcs did causing the team up. As for their 'plans' we have reason to believe that that was nothing more than a coincidence."
"That can't be possible! I saw how focused they were with their goal with my own eyes, they were real plans!"
Aaron had let his emotions get the better of him as he yelled at the king, only to recoil once he realized what he had done. The king smiled at him as he got up from his throne. He walked over towards the three and closed his eyes.
"Well then, I'll give you three minutes to do whatever you want to these goblins to make them talk. We'll see what happens if they talk, if they don't then....you might regret your little outburst."
The king then walked over to the goblins and awaited the show. Freed was about to walk over towards the goblins when he stopped. He turned towards Aaron with a frown before pushing him towards the goblins.
"This is interrogation, your specialty. I might be able to come up with flawless battle strategies, but you always seem to know when people are lying to you."
"Y-yeah, but I'm only good at that when it comes to other humans."
"Well then, this is as good a time as any to learn how to do it with monsters starting with these goblins." Rahz smiled as he gave Aaron a few words in order to give him confidence. Aaron nodded as he walked towards the goblins and glared at their eyes, removing any emotion from his face except for that of hatred.
"Tell me, why did you attack the town?"
The goblins simply looked at each other before laughing at Aaron's attempts to get information out of them.
"Do you really think you can get us to-" The goblin was cut off as Aaron grabbed its throat and lifted it up into the air, causing the others to fall from the sudden pull of the chains.
"I didn't ask for a question, I asked for a reason. Why did you attack the town?"
The goblin smirked at Aaron. "Go ahead and kill me, if I die then so does the information you want."
"So you attacked the town for a reason?" A smirk began to spread across Aaron's face as he goblin frowned. He had managed to turn the goblin's taunt into information. "That reason, it wasn't for supplies now was it?"
"Y-yeah, we wanted to steal the supplies from you humans, we were running low on food so we took what we could."
"Then why was there no food at your camp? Only wild monsters from other lands."
"Admit it, you guys attacked for something else, you attacked to weaken our defenses. You picked that town so that you guys could invade from the wastelands."
"N-no, we just wanted to kill you humans!" The goblin then bit down on Aaron's hand causing him to let go. The goblin was immediately grabbed by two soldier's as it landed on the ground.
"My king, I trust that is evidence enough that the goblins are plotting something. They plan to invade, so could I request some reinforcements near the wasteland?"
The king stared at Aaron and then at the goblins as he tapped his scepter on the floor.
"Hmmmm, I think no."
"W-what?! Why? That last battle cost us many good men, not only are we weaker now, but if they attack again I don't think we'll be able to stop them so easily!" This time it was Freed who burst out. He had been working on battle plans ever since that day, and knew very well that another attack like that would cost them even more men, to the point that it would be a miracle if they won again.
"I have a far better idea. These goblins wish to attack us because they think we are weak. It was obvious with the disrespect they showed you friend over there. I believe if we make them see just how strong we are then they would hesitate to attack us again..." The king walked closer to the goblins as he spoke.
"I don't understand, how do you expect us to show them that we are strong without using more men to face their armies?"
"Simple, we make a demonstration of what will happen to them if they attack us again." The king pulled out a mallet as he smiled at the goblin which was being held by the guards. He let the goblin see the mallet in his hand as he looked it over. Then a look of pure rage came on his face as he struck at the goblin with the mallet. He continued to beat the goblin with the mallet over and over again, even after it fell to the ground and began to bleed. The other goblins immediately charged forwards in order to help their comrade but were restrained by other soldiers. Clear expressions of concern appeared on their faces as they watched the king brutally beat the goblin. They began to yell at the king, begging him to let him live, or to at least let him die in combat, not like this. There was no honor for a soldier who died like this.
As the king pulled back his hammer in order to bring the finishing blow onto the goblin which was barely holding on to consciousness, he looked towards Aaron and Freed. The two were clearly disgusted by this, yes they were hardened warriors, but this wasn't right, they knew it wasn't.
"Your men are weak, that's why they seem to be bothered by this. I thought you guys had been in countless battles, why does this bother you so much?"
The king then looked at the bleeding goblin as he brought his mallet down. There was a loud clang as the mallet hit, not the goblin, but a sword. The startled king stared at Rahz whom had his sword outstretched.
"Stop, these goblins may be prisoners, but they are still warriors. If they are to die then let it be in a colosseum against a monster if you wish, just let them die in combat."
The king smiled at Rahz before he stood up and walked over to his throne.
"Take the goblins away, they are to be publicly executed tomorrow at noon. As for the three of you, you each fought against me over something today. We can't have that now can we? After all, a small rebellion could easily turn into a massive revolt if not stopped right away. The three of you are no longer in charge of my army."
"W-what? Who are you going to get to lead now?" Freed glared at the king, anger clear in his tone. "I refuse to fight under anybody besides Rahz!"
"Oh, you think you're going to get to stay in the army? No, I'm afraid you're not even going to be in my province. The three of you, you're all exiled. I don't care where you go, as long as you leave my domain. Men, please escort them out of my castle, no, out of my province."
Various soldiers surrounded the three. Each soldier seemed to be hesitating as they did so, they had spent the day with them in the training room and had learned so much from them, did they really have to be exiled? Freed began to reach for his blade as he glared at the king, and Aaron did nothing but stare blankly at the man.
"Guys, you heard the king. We may be exiled from this province, but I'm sure we can continue to fight for our land in another province, under a more reasonable king." He then glared at the king and changed his tone. "You sir, are a fool, not only did you request a reasonable request, but now you're getting rid of the men responsible for saving one of your towns? Oh, and before I go, I think I should inform you of a little detail. In case you haven't noticed, you seem to be naked right now."
The king smiled at his words and watched the soldier's escort them out as he yelled at them. "Losing you three won't be much of a loss, after all, you three were all fools! Not only were you unwilling to take the obvious course of action, but you were unable to see my wonderful clothing! Only the wise can see it!" The king laughed as he considered this a victory, not aware of just how much of an impact his decision would have, not just on himself, but on all the future all of Charivit, and a few worlds beyond it.
A couple miles away from the castle, at the gate towards another one of the provinces, the three warriors stood surrounded by the soldiers.
"What are we going to do now Rahz?" Aaron was still in shock over suddenly being exiled. He had never expected this to happen. In just one day he had lost everything, his home, his comrades, and his only chance to try and find her....
"I don't know Aaron, I guess we have no choice but to start over here."
"Like hell I will. This is all your fault you know!" Freed turned towards the other two as he yelled. "Rahz, who told you to save those damned goblins?! Why not just kill them and get things over with?! You saw how much destruction they caused, how many of our men they killed! We're all better off with them dead! And you Aaron! Why the hell did you think they were up to anything more than just an invasion?! Going to the king was all your idea! It's all your fault that we're exiled now!"
Freed then turned towards the wasteland off in the distance as he began to walk, only for Aaron to try to stop him.
"Where are you going? What will you do?"
"I don't care where I end up, as long as it gets me away from you. You cost me everything in one day Aaron, there is no way I can forgive you for this. You've screwed up before but never like this, take care, or not, what do I care, consider our bond, our partnership, over."
Freed then walked away, not looking back as Aaron stood there shocked at what had just happened. Yes he had messed up, but was it really worth leaving on his own? Perhaps it was because he followed Rahz's words so closely that their friendship was destroyed so easily.
"So Aaron, what are you going to do now?"
Aaron looked at Rahz as he let all of the day's events sink in. In a matter of minutes their lives had changed completely. Perhaps things would have been better if he had never tried to figure out why the goblins had attacked in such a different manner. No, there had to be something behind it, something bigger, but what?
"I-I'm going to keep investigating why the goblins attacked. I refuse to believe that it was just them, I know this is all part of something bigger."
A smile spread across Rahz's face. "Then I will be there besides you."
Rahz's loyalty and confidence, it brought a smile to Aaron's face after Freed's display.
"The graveyard..." Aaron turned towards the soldier who had spoken. "I overhead one of the goblins muttering something about the graveyard in Umbra. Its a small town not too far from here. I'm not sure if that will be of any help, but I wish you the best. I only hope our king realizes the error in his decision."
With that the soldiers left the two at the gate, contemplating where they would go now as the gate closed behind them. The graveyard in Umbra, it was the only lead they had.
"Well then Aaron, looks like we're going to Umbra."
"Don't call me that, we're no longer in an army, our ranks no longer matter. From now on, we are just two wandering swordsmen." Rahz began to walk off in the direction the soldier had motioned towards.
"Yes..." Aaron followed Rahz closely as he looked at the stars. He was unsure what would happen next, but he knew that he would have to try his best to keep that which he had left. That and he couldn't help wondering, was Lady looking at the same stars he was?
Managed to get another chapter out, starting to speed up my typing and hopefully going to catch up to my schedule soon, a guy can dream
Re: Green Morality (NaNoWriMo Story): Chap 5
Chapter 6: The Parting of Paths
Gagagigo sat under a tree as a gentle breeze blew across the meadow. He was watching a yellow butterfly float through the air as it landed on his nose. It had already been so long since their voyage to the desert, the voyage which had led to his transformation into this...this creature. Once they had returned he had investigated his species in order to see how it developed as it aged, and was shocked to find that he looked nothing like an adult version of his species. He had grown into a more humanoid shape, and he also had developed an incredible intellect. While Eria and the other charmers focused on their control over the elements, Gagagigo had spent countless hours reading books, and learning more and more.
The other familiars had also grown, but their growth seemed so much more natural compared to his. Marm had simply become larger, and Pete had grown in length and developed spines on its scales. Kitsu had gotten larger as well, and the small flame on its tail had enveloped all of it, leaving just a stream of fire. It had strange markings on its body now, as long as tufts of white fur growing from its legs and chest. Meda had grown in size as well, though it had become a darker shade of purple. Unlike any of the others Happy had not changed at all.
When Gagagigo looked at them, he felt different. Even the one with the most drastic change, Kitsu, had not developed mentally to the point of being capable of human speech. His change was brought on by the voice he had heard, he knew it, and he also felt dread when he thought about the price he was to pay. He had spent sleepless nights trying to figure out what the term 'humanity' could mean, and had come up with no real solution. Did it mean looking like a human? Perhaps it was his ability to speak clearly to the charmers. Maybe it had something to do with his morality? He had given up on finding the definition, and decided that he would learn what it was when the voice came to claim it.
He looked over towards where the charmers where standing, surrounding their mistress once more. They were all focusing on small spheres which floated just above their staffs. The spheres seemed to be made of different elements, each one corresponding to the element of the respective charmer. As they focused, the spheres seemed to take the form of a cylinder. The charmers each were focusing more and more as the elemental cylinders began to become far more detailed, until they became scrolls. The scrolls floated in front of each one, and at the same moment they all grabbed it with their free hands. The moment they made contact with it, the elements began to shoot out in various directions as if trying to escape the grasp of the charmer. Stones, fire, water, wind, light, and darkness were everywhere as the charmers refused to let go despite obvious expressions of pain. Doriado smiled as the elements slowly became much more stable, until they were nothing more than just a regular scroll.
"Congratulations, you have obtained full control over your respective elements. Those scrolls, they contain powerful techniques given to you by the elements themselves. You should be wary with them, they come with a cost, as does any powerful technique."
Each charmer looked at the scroll in their hand and nervously looked around. They were all tired, but was this really their final test? It had been much easier than the rumors had said. Rumor had it that none of Doriado's students had ever passed the class, and that upon failing their final exam, they had lost memory of everything they had learned. Doriado then pulled out six long blue ribbons which had strange markings covering it. She handed one of them to each of the charmers, smile on her face, and then motioned for them to put it on. Most of them simply wrapped it around their waists, but Dharc wrapped his around his arm, as did Lyna.
"Those ribbons are symbols of your mastery over your elements. You should never remove them, for they will help you control the elements, even if your concentration should begin to be broken by outside forces. You have now learned everything I can teach you, and thus I leave you. I only ask that you all remain here, together, for one night. You have spent so much time together, and after this night you will all likely go your separate ways. When you part ways, there is no way to know whether you will ever see each other again, thus it would be best if you use this time to tell each other everything you want the others to know, and also do what you truly desire to do with each other. Remember, you might each be charmers, but you are charmers of different elements, the paths you will walk will all lead to different places, nobody knows if you will ever meet again. With those words, I leave you at peace."
Doriado then began to glow, her body slowly changing into different elements, until she scattered into six different directions. The charmers stared at the six streaks of color left in the sky as they pondered her last words to them. Dharc was the first to talk.
"How many times did she repeat the same thing?" He looked towards the girls, smile on his face. "I have finally become a master over the darkness, so much struggling, training, and it has all finally paid off."
"Y-you're going to leave us now aren't you?"
Dharc looked towards Lyna and noticed tears in her eyes. Dharc then looked at the others and noticed similar expressions on their faces.
"Y-you heard what the mistress said, our paths are going to part. I have no reason to stay here now that my training is over, so I guess I might as well go now." Dharc turned around and began to walk off towards where the black streak in the sky was heading. He knew it would lead to a place where he could prosper with his new abilities, it was just a matter of getting there.
"So, you have nothing else you want to tell us? Nothing else you want to do with us? Are you really going to leave now, even after the mistress warned that this might be your last chance?"
Dharc stopped moving as he looked towards the ground. "Yes, this might be my last chance, and that's why I have to go, if I don't then I'll never know where the streak leads, and most of all....I-I don't w-want you to see me like this. I-It wouldn't leave you with a cool memory of me..."
Tears fell to the ground where Dharc stood. Even he, the one which tried his hardest to remain tough and emotionless, was saddened by the fact that they would all have to depart soon. Lyna stepped forwards and grabbed Dharc's shoulder and turned him around. In an instant, she had wrapped her arms around him, hugging him, holding him close.
"Do you really think we care about how tough or cool you are? You've been our fellow student, our friend, for so long. Please stay with us for at least one more night as we try to decide what to do. If you really want to know where the streaks lead, then draw a map or marks on the floor saying which direction they point to, just, just stay here with us."
Dharc closed his eyes as he nodded, he'd stay, for just one more night, he had to say good bye to everyone eventually, but he knew this wasn't the way to leave.
Later at twilight, the group was sitting around a campfire talking. The familiars were also there, though none of them were really taking an active part in the action, instead they had all already accepted that they would be separated by their master's choosing to take different paths. Gagagigo instead just sat near Eria as he listened to the charmers. They had already reminisced about when they had first met. About how Dharc had so much trouble making his staff to the point that he just took a dead bird's bones and glued them together. About when Wynn had broken into tears when Doriado had first scattered into elements making her think she had died. About how one of Hiita's stray fireballs had burnt a book Aussa was reading. About how Lyna had always been there to comfort one of them whenever they needed it most. Then the topic they had been dreading for so long came up.
"Where are you guys going to go?"
Wynn of all people had brought up the topic. None of them had really put much thought into it, they all were just planning to wander aimlessly searching for a new home. Even Dharc was unable to answer the question as he thought about why he wanted to follow the black streak in the sky.
"I guess me and Gigo will just walk along the coast and see where we end up. I think that if I came from a tribe which had such natural abilities with water then anywhere near the ocean would be the best place for one of their towns to be."
Eria stared at a cup of water she was holding. The water slowly rose out of the cup and began to take on the form of three humans, one of them a man, the other a woman, and a third a little girl. Eria smiled at her work before all of the water fell to the ground.
"S-sorry about that, I didn't mean to ruin the mood or anything."
The others simply stared at the fire as they thought about her words. Family, a word they hadn't thought about in so long. None of them could remember where they had come from, instead only had a few memories of what their tribes could have been like. Wynn made a soft breeze blow by as she began to talk.
"That sounds nice, but me, I think I'll use the winds to find the nearest town and ask around about other people which can harness the winds. I'm certain that I'm not the only one in my tribe which can do that."
"I guess mine would likely live in a canyon or perhaps underground, somewhere where it would be easier to connect to the dirt and stones." Aussa stared at the sky as she thought. She had no clear goal in mind up to this point, other than to obtain knowledge. Even with all of her knowledge, she still had so much to learn and knew only her own tribe could teach her.
"You guys are crazy talking about finding your tribes! All that I know is that when I went missing nobody went out to find me! I'll be happy just traveling the world and experiencing all I can!" A spark of energy and excitement was visible in Hiita's eyes as she spoke about her own plans. Traveling the world and doing as she pleased suited a girl like her.
"Me, I aim to follow the streak and try to find a world where people won't try to get rid of me simply because I can control the shadows..."
Dharc stared at his own shadow as he spoke and smiled as it began to change shape, playing out a scene he was familiar with. A small town and a little boy playing in the streets. Then a large monster appears behind him and scares the villagers which chase the boy away. Then in another town the boy, slightly older this time, comes in and is chased out of town after another monster appears despite it having scared away other, far more savage, monsters. Time after time, the boy in the shadow play entered a town only to be chased back out once they saw what he could do. He then looked towards the others, tears in his eyes.
"I never really thanked you guys did I? You were the first people who didn't try to get rid of me when they saw me play with my shadow, and you Lyna, thank you for introducing me to the mistress, I never would be able to do the things I can do now if it wasn't for her. I just, I just wish I didn't have to be alone again..."
Lyna stared at him for a moment before smiling and wrapping an arm around him.
"In that case, I think I know where I'll go next, wherever it is that you go."
Dharc looked at Lyna and simply stared at her smiling face. He was always such a jerk to her, yet she would always repay his attitude with kindness. She was such a great person.
Dharc looked at the others which seemed to be giggling now and he jumped up to his feet. He tightened his grip around his staff as his shadow wrapped around his body forming into a pair of black wings at his side.
"S-shut up! It's not what you think!"
The girls then all burst out into laughter as Dharc began to blush and the shadows began to disappear. They knew he wouldn't try to hurt them, he would only try to scare them using his shadows. He let out a soft sigh as he dropped back down onto the floor and smiled. He was going to miss this, at least he knew he wasn't going to be alone anymore. Everyone stared at each other once more, none of them wanted to part ways, but they knew that if they were together then their goals would all become much more difficult to accomplish.
Eria leaned back as she looked up at the moon which was high up in the sky. It was a half moon, though she noticed something strange about it.
"Guys, I think you should have a look at the moon..."
The others tilted their heads upwards and gasped at what they saw. The dark side of the moon was growing, covering the white parts of the moon. Once the dark side of the moon had completely overcome the rest, a beam of light shot out and hit the campfire, extinguishing it. Everyone had jumped out of the way, and Hiita was about to light a new flame in order to look around but stopped when she saw it. Where the beam had hit a portal had formed. None of them could see inside of the portal, but they could see around it thanks to the light it was emitting.
The group stared into the portal for a few minutes until they saw a bright white hand extend out of it and grab onto the ground. The arm seemed to pull itself, as if trying to get out of the portal. As the arm pulled, another one appeared and began to pull alongside it. In a few seconds a white skull like face stared at them. It had a smirk on its face and glowing red eyes as it finished walking out of the portal. It had a strangely humanoid shape, which likely helped make it that much more repulsive as its bright white skin seemed to be not enough for its size.
At first the group didn't know what to do, until the monster walked up to Hiita and grabbed her throat. Hiita let out a scream as she began to turn a shade of gray, though the monster was forced to let go when a large fireball hit it, sending it to the ground. Hiita coughed as the color came back to her body and Kitsu ran up to her side. She stood up and glared at the monster which now had red armor covering its body. It let out a shriek as it fired two fireballs, not at Hiita, but at Wynn.
Wynn shut her eyes as Pete flew to her side, just in time to help her create a gust of wind strong enough to not only put out the flames, but to send blades of air at the monster. Once the blades hit it, the armor vanished and was replaced with green armor. The monster spun its hands, creating small cyclones of wind which were send towards Aussa. Aussa slammed her staff onto the ground, causing a wall of stone to block the wind, and then stuck at the wall with her staff sending large chunks of rock hurling towards it. As the rocks made contact the creature's armor became brown and then slammed its fists onto the ground causing large rocks to shoot out of the ground and surround Dharc.
"Big mistake you freak..."
As the rocks began to move closer together, they began to crack as a strange black fluid began to ooze from the cracks. In a matter of seconds the rocks were destroyed and Dharc stared at the monster, his shadow surrounding him. Before he could launch his own attack, Eria had sent a spike of water at the monster. The monster took the blow and changed its armor from brown to a pale blue before sending a stream of water from its palm at Lyna.
Dharc pointed his staff at Lyna as his shadow shot out and blocked the water before flying towards the monster in the form of a sphere. The sphere knocked the monster into a tree, but the armor became black as night and vanished from their sights. Lyna placed a hand on Happy's forehead as soon as the small fairy flew to her and raised her staff, creating a bright light making the monster visible once more, though the armor changed into a bright yellow in a matter of seconds.
"This isn't doing anything.." Aussa avoided a beam of light the monster had fired towards her as she spoke. "No matter what we hit it with it just changes then attacks back with the element we hit him with..."
"Then what if we hit it hard enough that it can't get back up..." Dharc smiled as Meda landed on his shoulder. He closed his eyes, and instead of doing anything, he actually slouched. Meda then vanished from where he had been, and the other charmers smiled as they realized what had happened. As the monster noticed the motionless Dharc, it charged towards him and wound up a punch, only to hit nothing but air. Dharc had appeared behind it and his staff had become as black as night. Dharc swung the staff and hit the monster sending it flying back into the forest and opened his eyes which had become completely black.
"Heh, I knew possessed Dharc was strong, but to think he's really become this powerful..."
The charmers all began to cheer, until a black sphere shot out from the forest and struck Dharc, sending him into a tree. They all looked towards their familiars and nodded as they touched them and concentrated before they too vanished. Each charmer opened their eyes which had changed color and smiled. They had each allowed their familiar to posses their body, they knew it would make them stronger, though they had no idea whether they would be strong enough since they had never tried to use this technique in battle.
As the monster walked back into the campgrounds, it was immediately met by an attack from Wynn who had jumped above it and sent a barrage of slicing air blades. The monster raised its arms up in order to block the blades and changed its armor to green right before the ground beneath it was destroyed by Aussa who jumped out from underneath it, smashing her staff against its side flinging it into the air. Hiita was the next one to act as she watched the brown armored beast fall towards her. She readied her staff as she prepared to swing and struck with plenty of force as the burning hot staff sent the monster flying into a near by pool of water. As the now red monster tried to swim out, it found that the water was spinning around it, pulling it towards the center making it unable to move. Eria and Lyna stood on the edge of the pool, and Lyna aimed the mirror on her staff so that it was pointing at the monster. A small beam of light shot out and hit the monster's chest, creating an explosion which sent the three of them flying.
The injured Dharc stood up just in time to see the yellow monster heading towards him. Unlike last time, Dharc raised his hand surrounding his arm in darkness which took the form of a large claw. He waited for the monster to come closer, before smashing downwards with his claw of shadows sending the monster crashing to the ground.
The charmers all surrounded the motionless monster as their familiars left their body. Each of them was now feeling incredibly exhausted, but at least they had defeated the monster.
"W-what was that thing?" Dharc did his best to talk as he felt the pain his body had endured.
"Not sure, but how did it do that?" Hiita was using her staff to hold her body up as she stared at the monster which had gone back to its original form.
"Do what?" Wynn was holding on to Pete whom was the only thing keeping her from falling to the ground.
"I assume she means how it absorbed our elements and used them against us. Maybe it was some kind of charmer." Aussa was sitting on the ground as she stared at the monster.
"So a monster can learn to control all of the elements? That's kind of a scary thought considering each one of us can only control one." Lyna had walked over to Dharc and was tending to his injuries. They were nothing life threatening, but they would slow him down for a while.
"No matter, guess it never expected us to be able to put so much power behind our attacks." Eria smiled as she looked through her pack, searching for any healing potions. As she pulled out a few items, Gagagigo stared at the monster before entering a fighting stance.
"It's not over yet!" He shouted as he watched the monster slowly stand back up.
Everyone was speechless as they saw the lack of any injuries on its body. It stared at the charmers, one at a time, before it let out one loud howl. The moment the howl had faded away, the monster charged towards Dharc, only to hit Meda instead. The bat was sent into the ground where it lay motionless.
"Meda! You'll pay for this!" Dharc grit his teeth as he pushed Lyna to the side and thrust his staff at the monster, only for it to grab it and pull him towards it. The monster gave a strange smile as the color faded from Dharc and he collapsed to the ground.
The monster then looked for its next target and charged towards Lyna. Happy flew in front of her and let out a bright flash blinding it. Using this to her advantage, Lyna ran around it and picked up the motionless Dharc. She felt his pulse and let out a soft sigh as she found out that his heart was still beating, albeit quite slowly. She then picked him up and was about to run when the monster appeared in front of her, holding an injured Happy in its hand. The monster was about to grab her when a powerful gust of wind tossed him into a tree.
Pete landed next to Lyna and Dharc and helped get them on his back. Despite his size he was stronger than he looked. When he turned around he noticed that the monster had already returned, and it had grabbed Wynn. She was trying to hit the monster with her staff, but to no avail as it simply caught it and snapped it in two before it began to drain her.
Before it could finish the job a burning stone knocked it back. Marm and Kitsu stood at the ready to defend their friends, and behind them were Hiita and Aussa holding their staffs up. They might have been tired, but they still had some more tricks up their sleeves. The two focused together as a sphere of dirt was formed and then set ablaze before flying towards the monster. The monster nimbly dodged it and smashed its arms onto Marm and Kitsu whom had charged at him when the attack had missed. Before the two charmers could use another attack the monster ran up to Hiita and snatched her staff, smashing it to pieces in seconds.
It was about to grab Hiita when Eria and Wynn hit it with their staffs as hard as they could. This managed to distract it from Hiita as it turned towards them and grabbed the staffs, melting them in its hands. It seemed to still have some control over fire. The monster was about to grab the two when Gagagigo tackled it, knocking it down onto the ground. He then proceeded to deliver punch after punch, trying to knock it out, or at least buy his friends some time.
Dharc did his best to speak as the color slowly returned to his body. He was holding onto his staff as tightly as he could. Lyna nodded as she understood what he meant.
"Guys, we have to use the scrolls, I'm not sure what they'll do, but we have to try, I'm not sure how much longer any of us can keep this up!"
Everyone nodded as they opened their scrolls and read the contents, yes, these were powerful moves, but the cost was clearly written. They all closed their eyes as they ran together and told each other what they would be able to do and came up with a plan, just in time as a barely conscious Gagagigo landed near them.
"Monster, we don't care what you are, but we're not going to let you hurt our friends!"
Lyna glared at the beast as her staff began to give off the brightest glow it had ever emitted. The scroll she was holding vanished as the staff began to glow even brighter. A small tear began to form in her eye as she raised her staff into the air and her body began to glow bright as the sun.
"The stars, the sun, the moon itself, they give off the power I use, BRING ME THE LIGHT, HIJIRI!"
Lyna's body then disappeared, leaving just her staff on the ground. The monster was confused for a moment, but then everything became clear as something hit its back, causing it to crash into the ground and create a crater. Lyna stood behind it, her body barely recognizable. She looked at her hands before vanishing again and kicking the monster back down as it tried to stand back up. The monster was slowly turning yellow, that was Aussa's cue. She knew that the moment it developed the yellow armor, Lyna's new form would do nothing to it, so she held her staff sideways and focused. The scroll crumbled into nothing but dirt as her staff began to turn into stone.
"The land we stand on, the mountains tall, they are the power I use, TURN ME TO STONE, KAROGANE!"
Aussa's body then crumbled away as she turned into a pile of dirt. As the monster finished turning yellow, Lyna found that her attacks simply went through the monster, though she smiled when a large hand extended out from the ground and grabbed onto the monster. The hand pulled it down as the monster struggled to get back up. Next to it, a pile of dirt began to form as it took the shape of Aussa.
"Dharc! Do it now, we don't know how long we'll be able to hold it back!"
As she said this the monster had already begun to turn brown, just in time for Lyna to manage to hit it once more. They knew it would alternate as fast as it could in order to try to escape, but they didn't know when their technique would wear off and force them to....no, they shouldn't think about that yet.
Dharc slowly stood up as he held on to his staff and closed his eyes. He grit his teeth as pain filled his body. He knew his technique would be one of the more painful ones to do, but let out a laugh as he turned towards the others.
"It figures that my super special technique wouldn't let met hurt others. Within the night, and within every shadow..."
As he spoke his scroll combined with his shadow which began to cover his body, turning him into nothing more than a silhouette. He kept on focusing as even his staff was covered in the darkness spreading over his body.
"...even within the very hearts of man, let me satiate man's darkest desire, FULFILL MY WISH, GREED!"
As soon as he finished speaking his body scattered apart into multiple shadows. The shadows flew not towards the monster, but towards Hiita, Eria, and Wynn. The shadows went into their hands and began to take the forms of their staffs which had been destroyed by the monster. The three closed their eyes as they understood why Dharc had done it, he knew they would be the ones able to stop the monster, and that was what they prepared to do.
"Remember Wynn, only use yours if ours fail." Hiita smiled as tears began to form in Wynn's eyes as she stared at her new staff.
Before she could say anything, Eria had already begun to focus on her staff. Her scroll slowly turned into drops of water which floated around her. She closed her eyes and smiled softly as she spoke to the nearby Gagagigo whom was barely holding on to his consciousness.
"I'm sorry, but I guess I won't be able to help you figure out what humanity is, or even be with you when the time to pay your debt comes..just...just remember me like this, happy and smiling, and forget about what you will see me do today."
Gagagigo stared at her, the words barely making it into his mind. He was already about to black out, but he looked towards the other charmers and familiars, Pete was the only familiar left standing. Gagagigo was about to try to push himself back up, but simply collapsed to the ground as Eria's staff glow brighter and brighter.
"The soothing rain, the raging river and storming sea, they all flow with the life this world needs. Giver of life, help me take one today, WEAKEN MY FOE, AOI!"
As soon as she finished speaking her body slowly began to fade away as water began to come out of the monster. The water came out with such force that the monster let out howls of pain, even its blood began to come out. As its body quickly became dehydrated, Eria's body had turned into nothing more than a puddle on the ground. Gagagigo stared at the puddle as he desperately tried to stand, she had turned into water right? She'd be alright right? The monster continued to thrash about and Hiita frowned.
"Damn it, how can it keep going even after that?! Wynn, stand back, I don't want you to get hurt!"
Hiita grabbed her scroll and stared at it for a second. She knew what she was about to do, and just shrugged it off as she looked at Wynn. If she could keep her alive, then the price was worth it. She looked at Lyna and Aussa whom were starting to weaken, they were using too much energy keeping the monster in the same place. Hiita slid the top of her staff along the ground as it lit on fire and then held up her scroll, tossing it into the fire. She focused on the fire as it grew larger and brighter, starting to spread all over her staff.
"The burning flames may give warmth, but they are a savage beast. Let alone they do nothing but blindly destroy, raw power of the flames, grant me your strength, BURN MY ENEMIES, KURENAI!"
The flames on the staff quickly spread onto her body and filled her with pain. The fires she created rarely hurt her, but she knew why these caused her so much pain. She smiled as she began to lose feeling in her arm and then looked at it to see that nothing but fire was there.
"Remember Wynn, only use yours once its clear there is nothing else we can do. Please, don't cry...you know I can't stand to see you cry."
Hiita looked at the crying Wynn as her body slowly was replaced by flames. This was her only shot at destroying that thing, and she was going to make it count. She looked at the monster and felt her body begin to float. She focused the best she could despite losing feeling in her entire body, she knew what she was now. She flew towards the monster as fast as she could, and the others moved out of the way. Her body, now a massive fireball, struck the monster and began to burn away pieces of its body. Nothing could be heard over its shouts of pain.
Once the fire and smoke all passed, Wynn let out a yelp as she saw the monster walking towards her. Its skin and flesh had burnt away, leaving a red skeleton which was making its way towards her. Lyna was barely visible and Aussa seemed to be having trouble keeping her form as the two continued to attack the monster. Wynn looked towards Pete before giving it a hug. Tears began to flow down the dragon's side as Wynn spoke.
"I-I'm sorry Pete, I'm sorry everyone, but, but I have to go now. Take care of yourself Pete, and remember to stay out of trouble."
Wynn looked towards the monster, determination clear on her face as she pointed her staff towards the monster. The gem began to give off a green glow as her scroll started to disapear. She closed her eyes as gusts of wind began to surround her and opened her eyes in time to see Lyna flicker away and Aussa crumble into a pile of dirt. She could feel the tears beginning to well up behind her eyes, but she knew she had to focus. She wasn't a crybaby anymore, everyone had fought hard, she had no right to break down now.
"The free winds which travel the land bring with them joy and sorrow, winds that bring also take away, BLOW MY ENEMIES AWAY, MIYABI!"
As she finished talking a cyclone began to form around the monster. The monster tried to walk out of the circle of spinning winds only to find that the wind had formed a wall too strong even for it to destroy. As the winds gained speed, Wynn began to feel her body getting lighter. She refused to look at her own body, instead stared intently at the monster which was slowly fading away. She herself knew that they shared the same fate. Pete flew up to her and wrapped its wings around her, hoping that maybe if it was there then it could keep her from vanishing. Despite this, Wynn stayed focused on the task at hand despite her losing the ability to move her body, no, she didn't lose that ability, she lost her body. She smiled as the monster was clearly disappearing now. It looked like it had really worked. She let one tear of joy drop, she was happy, the familiars would be alright now that the monster would be gone.
The winds stopped blowing as Wynn's staff fell to the ground. Pete stayed there, staring at where its master had once been. As it did so, it let out a roar full of all of its emotions, its regrets, its sadness, and most of all, its anger at the monster which had caused this to happen. As Pete began to cry, Gagagigo managed to put a hand on its shoulder. He had managed to walk up to the dragon and stared at where the monster once stood. It seemed to have finally been defeated, but was the price truly worth it. He closed his eyes as he began to feel his body collapse but forced himself to stand. He walked over to where Eria's puddle was and picked up her staff and stared at it. This was her most prized possession, the staff which had helped her control water for so long.
"T-they're really gone. D-damn it!" Gagagigo fell to the ground as he began to punch the ground. "If only I was stronger! Then I could have done something to keep this from happening!"
Pete flew up to Gagagigo and was about to try to calm him down when the lizardman stood up and looked at the moon.
"A while ago I grew stronger thanks to a voice which promised me power. Maybe if I find the voice I can make another deal with him, for everyone to get them all back! I-I'll do whatever it takes, what do you think Pete?"
The dragon simply stared at the now hysterical Gagagigo. Pete shook his head at those words, there was no way to raise the dead, at least none that would restore them back to how they were. Gagagigo simply walked up to the pack and pulled out a healing potion before drinking it, restoring his body back to its full potential. He looked up at the sky and the stars before smiling.
"The pyramid, I saw it in a desert. That was where I heard the voice, so if I go back into the desert I'll find the voice again right? I don't know about you or the others, but I'm leaving now. If you want to stay, make sure nothing hurts the others before they wake up and tell them what happened. They have the right to know."
Gagagigo then began to walk off towards where he remembered the desert was. In his hand was Eria's staff, it was a memory now, a memory of who his mistress was. Before he left he stopped and stared towards where he was heading.
"Pete, good bye, don't worry, if I find the voice I'll bring everyone back, including Wynn."
With those words, Gagagigo began to walk off into the night. He wasn't sure where he was going, all he knew was that he had to find the voice, no matter the cost. He'd be willing to give whatever it took to bring them back, including his humanity, whatever that was.
A weird chapter and I sorta feel that the main star in this one wasn't gigo but instead the charmers which basically did everything, well gigo is all alone now so he's going to start doing things on his own soon :P
Re: Green Morality (NaNoWriMo Story): Chap 6
Chapter 7: Umbra, Town of Fear
Sand filled the air as two men entered the town gates. The town was so much different from what they were used to, instead of stone paved roads and lush trees, the two walked on a dirt road only spotting the occasional dead tree. The two wore armor and had what looked like capes wrapped around their faces like scarfs in order to keep the sand out of their faces. As they walked around the wind began to die down, allowing them to unwrap their capes and get a clearer look at their surroundings. There seemed to be nobody outside, not even animals or birds were out. Many of the buildings had shattered windows with the pieces of glass still laying near them.
"Rahz, do you think we were too late?"
"No Aaron, there might be damage but I doubt a monster attack would leave so much intact."
As the two looked around, Aaron thought he saw something moving behind one of the windows. He immediately walked towards the building and placed a hand on the doorknob, stopping only when Rahz pulled him back.
"If there are people here, then I doubt they would appreciate us entering their homes." Turning around Rahz walked back into the middle of the street and yelled at the top of his lungs, "We come in peace! We are two warriors from the neighboring province and are simply looking for a place to spend the night!"
The wind blew by once more as nothing could be heard except for the sound of some hanging signs smacking against a wall.
"I don't like this..." Aaron looked around as he spoke. Out of the corner of his eye he managed to spot someone looking at him. He quickly turned and ran towards the figure which ducked back behind the building. Once Aaron got there, there was nobody there.
"What is going on here..."
Rahz on the other hand continued to stand in the middle of the street when he heard a loud boom and jumped forwards. When he looked back at where he was he noticed a bullet where he had once been.
"Aaron, act fast!"
Before he knew it, gunshots filled the air as Rahz ran towards Aaron and got behind the building with him. He panted as he checked his body, no injuries though there were a few new dents in his armor.
"Damn it, its the goblin attack all over again!"
"Not exactly, want to lend a hand?"
Aaron had pulled out his swords and was preparing to slash at the wooden wall. Rahz smiled at his ingenuity, Aaron had so much potential. The two slashed at the wall as fast and as strong as they could until they managed to make a hole large enough for them to enter.
It was dark and musty inside of the building, but they knew they couldn't light any candles, they couldn't afford for any light to be visible outside giving away their location. They could hear a few footsteps outside, and thus overturned a table and hid behind it, holding their breaths. The two kept their swords at the ready as they listened to a gruff voice.
"Crap, they made a hole in my bar! They're gonna pay for that!"
"Calm down Charl-"
"I said don't call me that Chris! Call me Combo on account of my sweet combos."
"Whatever you say Combo."
"What's with that attitude! Ya think I'm being silly don't ya?! I'd turn ya into my new doormat if I wasn't saving up those punks who busted up my bar! Ya know how much it'll cost me to fix that?!"
Aaron stifled a chuckle at the men's conversation. It seemed so unfitting for two people hunting down their enemies, did they really think they were so weak? Or perhaps they were simply overconfident in their own abilities.
"Cha- I mean Combo, was there a fight in your bar last night?"
"Course there was, why do ya think the doc was so busy last night? I ya think I looked bad? Ya should've seen how I left the other ten!"
"So that's why the table's sideways?"
"What? No! I always clean up mah bar early morn...You don't think?"
"Indeed I do..."
Aaron listened closely as their footsteps began to separate. So they were going to try to take them from both sides? This would prove to be interesting. The two prepared their blades as they jumped out towards their opponents, startling the two. As Aaron swung his swords he felt them hit something before being pushed to the side. He felt a sharp pain in his stomach as something hit him and sent him outside.
"I'm not done with ya stinkin' bar wrecker!"
Aaron managed to stand up just as a man with fiery red hair jumped out after him. The man wore a green headband holding the hair out of his eyes and his hands were covered in bandages. There were a few cuts and bruises on his face, which meant that this was that bar owner, Charles.
"I don't want to hurt you..."
"Don't worry, I'll be the one doing all the hurting." Charles smiled as he cracked his knuckles and charged towards Aaron who used the sides of his swords in order to block the punch. Aaron did the best to stay standing as the blow pushed him back. Before Charles could react, Aaron slashed at him, only for Charles to block the blade with his palm and push it aside without showing the slightest sign of pain. As he prepared to deliver another punch, another man flew out of the hole in the wall and landed on top of Charles.
"Aaron, this guy giving you trouble?"
Rahz stepped out from the bar and seemed to have his situation under control. Aaron looked at the man Rahz had sent on top of his opponent. He was blond and what looked like a brown tunic. Both his right arm and leg were completely wrapped in bandages and he had a small sheathed dagger on his waist. Charles tossed the newcomer off of himself and began to yell.
"Chris you idiot, I had him right where I wanted him! I was about to give him the ol' one two!"
Chris gave a slight bow as he stood back up, "I apologize for my foolishness, I was caught off guard but it will not happen again."
Chris picked up a chain on the ground and began to swing it, making a dagger on its end clearly visible. Rahz readied his blades as he prepared to block the man's attack, but Aaron jumped in front of him as Chris tossed the chain causing it to wrap around his swords. Chris then pulled the chain back, taking with it the two blades and leaving Aaron weaponless. Rahz smiled as he sheathed one of his swords.
"So, you were planning to take my weapons instead of attacking me? No problem, with one sword I'll be able to keep you at bay while making sure you don't take my sword, stand aside Aaron, I think your opponent wants your attention."
As Rahz prepared for battle, Aaron turned towards Charles who was already midair with his legs extended, delivering a powerful kick to his head sending him into the wall. By the time Aaron managed to stand back up, Charles was already in front of him about to deliver another punch, one which Aaron managed to dodge by rolling out of the way.
"Ch-Charles, that was your name right? We don't mean any harm! We just came here to see if you guys knew anything abo-"
"The name's Combo!" Aaron was cut off as Combo smashed his elbow into Aaron's stomach causing him to bend over in pain despite the armor he wore. Aaron was puzzled as to how a man could be this strong. As Combo was about to punch once more, Aaron tackled him, sending the two into the ground. Once there, Aaron did his best to keep Combo on the ground but it proved to be quite difficult, though his strength seemed to be less.
As Aaron dealt with his own adversary, Rahz was busy struggling with Chris whom was much more adept at using his chain than he first appeared. He was forced to keep his distance, for each time he charged forwards he was forced to fall back due to the man's longer range. Rahz smirked as Chris slowly walked towards him while swinging the chain once more.
"You're pretty good with that chain, have you been formally trained?"
"No, but that is no concern to you. You simply wish to distract me from my task, you really are smarter than the other bandits."
"Wait, you think we're bandits?"
"Of course, but enough talk."
Chris tossed his chain once more, and this time instead of attempting to dodge the chain, Rahz simply moved his arm in front of the chain letting it wrap around it. Sheathing his blade, he then grabbed the chain and yanked with all his might, pulling the physically weaker opponent towards him. Chris, instead of trying to stay put, ran towards Rahz as he pulled out his dagger and prepared to stab the armored man. Instead of letting him do it, Rahz kicked Chris' arm causing him to miss and give Rahz enough time to wrap the chain around Chris' arm, and body. Rahz smiled as he pushed the now tied up Chris onto the ground and looked at Aaron whom was struggling to keep Combo down. As he walked over towards him he heard a loud voice which seeemd to be coming from everywhere at once.
Aaron looked around as he tried to find the source of the voice and noticed that Combo had stopped struggling and simply had a smile on his face.
"Looks like you guys are dead meat now."
Aaron stared at him as he thought about where the voice could have been coming from. Rahz on the other hand drew his blades and instead of standing still, began to walk towards Chris. Before he could even manage to complete his first step he saw a bright flash as a blue arrow appeared on the ground in front of him.
"I said don't move. That was a warning shot, if you know what's good for you, you'll surrender. I'm not like the other townsfolk, I don't miss."
Rahz looked around as he tried to pinpoint the voice. No matter how hard he had tried, he couldn't narrow down the possibilities. It was everywhere and nowhere at the same time. He let out a soft sigh as he considered his options. He could surrender and wait and see what fate awaited them, or he could keep fighting against an invisible threat which already proved to be able to hit them wherever they were...or could it?
Rahz held his sword in his hand and slowly raised it as he spoke, "Listen, I have a simple challenge for you. You claim that you never miss right? How about I toss my sword in the air and if you manage to hit it before it hits the ground then we'll surrender, if you fail, your friend there gets it." He motioned towards Chris as he said this. Yes it was a risky idea, but it was worth a shot.
The voice didn't reply right away, as if it was trying to decide whether the benefits outweighed the potential losses depending on the course of action, and after a few moments it responded, "Like I said, I never miss, I'll accept your challenge."
Rahz smiled as Aaron looked at him nervously. A nod from the commander reassured Aaron as he understood the plan. The two had fought together for so long that they rarely had to speak to each other, their thoughts were usually on the same wavelength. Rahz lifted his sword and prepared to throw it. After a moment of what looked like hesitation, he tossed the blade up into the air. The moment he did so he ran towards Chris and picked the man up, holding the other blade to his neck. As he did this, Aaron grabbed Combo's arms and lifted him up while turning him around, locking his movements.
While the two warriors did this, a blue streak of light flew through the air and hit Rahz's sword, sending it flying towards Rahz. The arrow bounced off of the blade and was on course to hit Aaron. The Rahz frowned as his own sword hit the one he was holding, causing him to not only drop it, but let go of Chris, forcing him to jump back. Aaron on the other hand was forced to let go of Combo in order to avoid being pierced by the arrow. The two were together again as they watched Combo dust himself off and Chris free himself from his chain.
"I did not know it was humanly possible to do that with one arrow, looks like we're outnumbered and outclassed Aaron."
"Maybe, but that's never stopped us before!"
Aaron grinned as he got into a fighter's stance and prepared for his second round with Combo. Rahz instead looked at the younger warrior and raised his hands into the air.
"A deal's a deal, you hit the sword so we surrender."
"What! How can we give up so easily?!"
"Simple, you saw how he managed to not only hit the sword, but he was able to use it to redirect the arrow towards you while sending the sword at me. This man far surpasses any of the goblin archers we faced that day, he could likely have shot each one of those goblins with one arrow."
Aaron stared at Rahz astonished. He couldn't believe that the man who had once taught him to never give up was surrendering right before his eyes. He grit his teeth as he begrudgingly raised his hands into the air. He watched as Combo seemed to frown and Chris put away his dagger.
"Now get on the ground, you will be detained while we decide what to do with you."
This time the voice seemed to have a source. It seemed to be coming from the bar's rooftop, so Aaron looked up there. To his surprise he found a young man, if he could even be called one yet as he was likely even younger than he was. The brown haired boy wore brown overalls and seemed to have no quiver, instead just a large bow which had strange designs covering it. The boy looked down from the building and smiled as Aaron slowly got on the ground, all the while glaring at him. Rahz was a lot more willing to get on the ground and accept the handcuffs which Chris and Combo placed on the two.
A few minutes later Aaron and Rahz sat inside of a stone cell with a small barred window as their only source of light. Aaron was pacing back and forth while Rahz seemed to be meditating.
"I can't believe it! That mysterious archer was just a snot-nosed brat! How the hell did he corner us so easily?!"
"Age has nothing to do with your ability in combat, perhaps you remember the tales of the wise old man who defeated an invading army of monsters on his own? Perhaps the fact that he was so young is what allowed him to sneak around unseen."
"Still, that doesn't change the fact that we lost to a kid!"
"Who's to say that we lost? Do you remember our objective? It wasn't to defeat these warriors in combat, but to investigate the graveyard. By surrendering, we have shown that we can be quite civil and might be able to get enough of their trust so that they tell us about any strange happenings."
"Well, if you say so, but if I ever get a chance to go up against that kid, I'll make him regret he ever showed me up like that!"
"Are the two of you done yet?"
"Yeah, pretty mu- Who said that?"
Aaron looked around the dimly lit room and saw a figure standing outside of the cell in the shadows. He continued to stare as the figure lit a candle and revealed who he was. It was that archer from earlier, the very same one Aaron had been complaining about. The boy walked closer to the cell and made his smile visible. From this distance, Aaron could also notice a scar which ran down the side of his face.
"Whenever I manage to send a couple bandits like you two to jail, I like to hear their reactions. Most of them sound like you, complaining about how an easy job was undone by a kid. I have to admit, though, I haven't gotten to do much since Charles and Chris showed up. They rarely, if ever, lose to those untrained ruffians that roam the wasteland. Tell me, just who are you two?"
Aaron was doing his best to keep himself from charging at the bars, but his discomfort was visible on his face. Before Aaron could have a chance to do something he'd regret later, Rahz stood up and walked to the bars.
"My name is Rahz and I am the former commander of the neighboring province's army. My comrade in arms, is Aaron, one of my best soldiers."
"So, what are a couple of big shots doing in a sleepy little town like this? Don't you commanders get your own homes in the big cities?"
"Like I said, I am a former commander, the king recently exiled us for opposing his judgment. As for why we came to your town, the goblins we interrogated mentioned something about the graveyard in this town. This town is Umbra correct?"
"Exiled for opposing your own king? I don't have to tell you treasonous bunch anything! For all I know you just want to meet some monsters in order to take down the emperor!"
"Leave them alone Rowan, I've heard rumors about how corrupt their king is, nothing like ours."
The three of them turned towards a new figure which entered the room, and he was quickly recognized by his bandages. Chris had a ring full of keys in his hand and was eyeing the two prisoners closely.
"You two also know about the graveyard so we might as well tell you everything. A few days ago an army goblins suddenly appeared in our graveyard and attacked us. The destruction was completely random as usual, but we were caught off guard and unable to defeat them.
Aaron stared at Chris' perfectly calm face as he thought about what he had been told, "So, the goblins just appeared out of nowhere? They were also disorganized? Strange, that's nothing like how they were when they attacked that town Rahz. Chris, were their any orcs with them? What about weapons goblins don't normally use like crossbows?"
Chris' smile grew as he unlocked the door, despite a surprised Rowan trying to stop him.
"Relax Rowan, I only told them part of the story and they knew the rest. Either they're smart bandits or they are telling the truth. Yes, there were orcs there which managed to overpower Charles. Not just that, but just like you said, they were using weapons they normally never used, crossbows being one of them. Their organization also took us by surprise, few of us expected them to set up an ambush...."
Chris looked at his bandaged arm as he spoke. He shook his head when Aaron placed a hand on his shoulder and smiled.
"So, you were injured in one of their ambushes? Same thing happened to a civilian who was helping us. Say, have you noticed a sword wielding woman wearing green?"
"No, sorry, can't say I have."
Aaron let out a soft sigh of disappointment as Rahz walked up to the two.
"Aaron, I'm sure you'll find her eventually, but now is not the time to get distracted. Have there been any other strange occurrences at the graveyard?"
"Yes, at night we tend to hear strange and frightening sounds, even Charles is too frightened to go investigate. During the night a group of goblins also march through town, which is why most of us have gotten used to spending most of our time indoors."
"I even tried using my abilities to see into the graveyard, but nothing, they probably have some kind of barrier up or something."
Aaron and Rahz looked at Rowan, shock on their faces. So Rowan had abilities which allowed him to use certain techniques? That would explain how he was able to tell where they were and also why he didn't need a quiver, he most likely created his arrows whenever he had to shoot an arrow.
"Interesting, Aaron, you know what we have to do." Rahz turned towards Aaron who had a smirk on his face.
"Wait, you don't mean? You're kidding right?" Rowan was completely shocked at what the two men were planning. He had considered doing it a few times, but had been too scared.
"So should we go now or at night?" Aaron walked up to Rahz and awaited his command. He knew that they would need to get their swords back, but that wouldn't but that would likely not be a problem now that Chris, who seemed to be the jailer, new what they were up to.
The moon was high up in the sky as Aaron and Rahz finished checking up on their preperations. They had not been allowed to leave the jail until it was night, since Chris still had some doubts about wether they were truly good people or simply trying to find an easy way to escape the jail. All of their supplies were simple things which they had managed to talk Chris into getting for them, water, bread, and a couple bandages. They knew it wasn't much, but they knew they were lucky to get what they managed to recieve. Aaron stared up at the moon and let out a soft sigh.
"Damnit, we couldn't even get a single healing potion. If things get rough we're toast!"
"Don't think negatively Aaron, perhaps there are not that many goblins for us to take on, in fact, it wouldn't surprise me if the graveyard was empty. Remember, stay strong and true and your blade will follow."
"Yeah, I guess you're right, it's just, I wish Freed was here with us. He's fought alongside us for so many years but now we're the only ones here."
"You have to forgive Freed, he has his own path to walk and we have our own. All we can do is hope that he finds what he's looking for and focus on our goals."
Aaron smiled at Rahz, he had blamed Freed's departure on himself. Not just that but their exile was his fault as well, he knew that. Perhaps that was why he was so determined to figure out why the goblins were suddenly so well organized. If he found out why, then maybe, just maybe, the king would pardon them and let them return to their home, and then things could go back to the way they were, the way they were supposed to be.
Then a strange howl filled the air, causing both Aaron and Rahz to look towards the graveyard. Around them they could hear the sounds of doors being locked and windows slammed shut. The people had stayed hidden in their homes since the two had arrived and had not met anyone besides the three which captured them.
"W-what the hell was that?" Aaron's face turned pale as he tried to come wup with an explaination for what could have created that sound. They were still far from the graveyard yet they could hear the sound quite clear, just how large was whatever made the sound?
"That, is what has kept the people of this town in constant terror."
Chris walked towards the two as he dragged Rowan behind himself. Rowan seemed to be struggling and shouting about how he didn't want to die just yet. Behind them was Combo, who seemed to be quite annoyed.
"Will you shut up already? It's bad enough that Chris managed to talk me into coming along, but listening to your whining just makes things worse!"
"B-but I'm too young to die! That's why I'm an archer, to stay far away from the action and attack from a distance!"
"Hush you two. Aaron and Rahz, those were your names correct?"
Aaron and Rahz nodded as they wondered why they had come.
"I will not allow two total strangers to aid our town without the help of the three strongest warriors. I'm sure you've figured it all out by now, but I am Chris, the jailer. I received some formal training, though most of my skill comes from catching escapees."
"Me, I'm Comb-"
"No you're not, your name is Charl-"
Combo delivered a quick blow to Rowan's head for having cut him off, or perhaps for making it obvious that his name was not, in fact, Combo.
"As I was saying, the name's Combo. I'm the owner of the Dizzy Tiger, best bar you'll ever see, least once I repair all your damages it will be. No training for the likes of me, just straight up brawling experience from taking on drunkards who suddenly think they're Obelisk."
"And me, I'm Rowan, archer extraordinaire. As you guys likely saw, I don't need no stinking arrow, instead I make my own and fire with enough precision to shoot the wings off a fly. Spent most of my days shooting at targets until my aim became as awesome as it is now." Rowan's voice seemed to come from every direction as he bragged about his abilities as an archer.
"How many years was that then? I can't imagine you spending more than one year training and being the age you are." Aaron spoke as he tried to figure out how Rowan had been able to cause his voice to come from every direction at once.
"What's that supposed to mean?" Rowan stomped over to Aaron and stared into his eyes.
"It means that you look like you're nothing. But. A. Snot. Nosed. Brat!" Aaron puffed out his chest as he stared right back into Rowan's eyes, trying to make himself seem more intimidating.
"I'll have you know that I'll be eighteen years old in one month!" Rowan imitated Aaron's puffing of his chest in an attempt to make himself look older.
"So, you're still a kid huh?"
"Aaron that's enough. He volunteered to put his life on the line by coming with us into the graveyard so he deserves our respect." Rahz glared at Aaron, demanding tone in his voice.
"F-fine." Aaron glared at Rowan before walking over to Rahz.
"Okay then, it'll be us five going into the graveyard. I admit, I am glad to know that I have you fighting along our side, especially after the fight you put up against us."
Chris smiled at Rahz as he walked up to him. "Thank you for the compliment, but it's not just that, but we can't risk you two being allies with the goblins or whatever's in there."
Rahz smirked at Chris and placed a hand on his shoulder. "I know the feeling, you make a good leader for your own army."
"Thank you, but we are not an army, we are just warriors seeking to protect our home."
Rahz smiled at that comment as he began to walk towards the graveyard. Aaron and the others followed closely behind. As they walked the dirt around them started to fade away and make way for stone and grass, and large walls of stone appeared the closer they got to the graveyard. It made sense that the goblins would choose this place as their base since it was surrounded by large walls of stone meaning that there was only one point of entry. They occasionally heard the loud howl echo through the passage, but they kept on moving forwards undeterred. Every now and then Rowan would stop and place a hand on the wall and close his eyes, only to continue to move forwards after the others, until one time he stopped and began to shout at the others.
"Stop! Goblins up ahead! Everyone, defensive positions!"
Rowan then jumped behind a nearby boulder and took his bow off of his back. He pulled the string, and a blue flash of light appeared on the string as if it were an arrow. Chris, Aaron and Rahz hid behind a tree, while Combo stood in the middle of the passage, grinning at the coming goblins.
At first they didn't see anything, but darkness up ahead, but after a minute Combo cracked his knuckles and began to jump around, as if he saw something the others didn't. Combo began to punch towards the air, and run around as if he was fighting, and then he fell backwards, only to jump back up. He continued to fight against nothing, until he was tossed at the tree.
"W-what are you guys doing, we're under attack!"
As Combo lay there, the group suddenly began to see black blurs racing towards them. Aaron unsheathed his sword and swung at it, a loud clang echoing about. Aaron looked at what he had hit, a sword being held by a goblin dressed in all black. The only way he could even tell it was a goblin was from its shape and the visible green skin around the eyes. In an instant the goblin jumped back into the shadows, completely disappearing from his sight. He looked around, trying to find the goblin, and managed to see Chris' chain in time for him to avoid it. The chain seemed to stop in midair, but on closer inspection it had hit another goblin's arm, rendering it unable to escape.
"T-the hell? I've never seen goblins like this! Rowan! Can you see them?!"
"N-no, I'm not sure why but all I can see are black blu- Ahh!"
Rowan dropped his bow as a goblin grabbed him and pulled a dagger up to his neck. Rowan tried to struggle, but it was no use, the goblin was much stronger than he looked. Chris was unable to rush in to help his friend, as he was busy holding back a goblin, but the goblin fell to the ground in an instant. Rahz stood, sword in hand, near Rowan smiling.
"Careful, I need you to focus if you plan on hitting them. Don't look at everything as just one large clump of darkness, instead notice the differing shades."
As he finished saying this he managed to block a sword swing from another goblin. He smiled as the goblin tried to escape, only for Rahz to follow close behind. It seemed he could clearly see where the goblin was, despite the darkness. After a few seconds of chasing it, Rahz threw one of his swords, piercing the goblin's chest, rendering it unable to keep running.
Rowan closed his eyes and picked up his bow. He pulled the string creating another arrow out of light, and moved around. He then opened his eyes and looked around, seeing at first nothing but black, but after a few seconds began to see something moving. It was darker than the black of night surrounding it, and so he took aim and released the string. As he let go, the light shot out of the bow and turned into a wooden arrow mid-flight. A pained shriek filled the air the arrow hit something. Rowan smirked at the arrow hitting its mark, and continued to fire other arrows. He and Rahz were now on the offensive against these goblins dressed in black, while Aaron and Chris did their best to protect Combo who still lay on the ground.
After a few minutes of tiring combat, the group stood panting. Combo by now was back on his feet, but couldn't do much more than warn the others of where the goblins were. He was holding his leg which seemed to have gotten injured during the attack, but otherwise was fine. Everyone else had minor injuries, but thanks to Rahz and Rowan it hadn't gotten too bad.
"I guess I can trust you guys, after all, you were willing to show Rowan how to find his targets in the night." Chris watched as Rahz sheathed his blade and began to search the goblins.
"Interesting, they have swords, but also other weapons. Shuriken, daggers, and even blowguns! I didn't know the goblins even knew how to use, let alone make this stuff!"
Rahz stood up as he tossed the weapons he found on the ground, instead opting for pulling his own sword out of the goblin's chest. He then looked towards the others whom were busy checking out the weapons.
"Not just is it unusual, but it seems to be well made. These goblins are either amazing craftsmen or managed to kidnap one." Aaron continued to shift through the weapons until he decided he had seen all he needed to.
The group got together again, this time Rowan seeing ahead again by closing his eyes and touching the wall. Combo was doing his best to walk along them, but he seemed to be a little slow. Chris was by his side, helping him keep moving forwards. Aaron began to slow down and walk besides them as he began to wonder more about just what Rowan could do.
"How does he look ahead if all he does is close his eyes and touch the wall?"
"Ya think that's all he does? That kid's special. They say he was practically raised in the woods by the trees themselves. People talk bout how they likely taught him the secrets of nature itself which is why he can shoot them arrows out of his bow, or how his voice is everywhere at once. Nobody's quite sure how, but they say he can hear the whispers of the trees and stones."
Aaron watched Rowan carefully. Able to hear the whispers of the trees and stones? It all sounded so unreal, like something out of a fairy tale. Then again, the events he himself lived everyday were much like the stories he used to listen to when he was younger. Brave and valiant warriors traveling the lands saving villages from attack and fighting for truth, love and justice. He smiled as he thought about the idea of one day being in a fairy tale. It seemed quite ridiculous, but with the things they were finding out about these goblins, it wasn't so far fetched.
"I think you guys should see this...."
Rahz and Rowan stood still, staring at something. This made the three curious, and made them hurry up so that they could witness the same sight. Once they got there, they could see the graveyard, but that wasn't all. The sky in the graveyard was a bright red, and there seemed to be multiple goblins walking about, eating food, and training. It was like looking at a regular army, only all of the humans replaced with goblins. It seemed so unnatural to see what they had known as stupid brutes walking about and doing things they normally did. Some repaired weapons, others seemed to be giving the others tips on how to wield a sword, there were even a few slackers.
"I can't believe it, it's just like our training grounds was... you don't think?"
"I'm not sure Aaron, but by the looks of it, yes, they probably are, I just don't know what to make of this."
"Isn't it obvious?" The two warriors looked at Rowan whom was analyzing the area closely. "The ones you thought were mindless monsters for so long turned out to be intelligent beings. Don't worry, the feeling will pass the moment you're willing to stop viewing yourself in such a high light. Same thing happened to me when I found out some animals in the forest could actually talk."
The goblins being intelligent creatures and not just blood thirsty monsters, that was an entirely new concept. It would explain so much though, especially their recent plans, but how did they come up with these plans and why now? There was still much to investigate. They were about to sneak into the area, when alarms began to sound everywhere. The group looked around and watched as the passage behind them seemed to be filled with bright purple flames. The group looked at the army of goblins which began to run around grabbing weapons.
Re: Green Morality (NaNoWriMo Story): Chap 7
Chapter 8: Wandering in the Wasteland
The heat, the burning sun, the dry air, it all felt so familiar, so where was it? Gagagigo trudged through the landscape still seeking the pyramid. He had no idea how long he had been walking, all that he knew was that he had to find his goal. The sight of Eria melting away was still fresh in his mind. She had given her life trying to protect them, trying to protect him. That was the second time she had saved him from a monster. He still remembered back when he was just a newborn, when the plant had nearly eaten him. It felt so recent yet he himself knew that it had occurred so long ago.
Occasionally he would stop moving and rest for a minute, even look around for some water, only to find nothing. His throat hurt from having gone so long without water, and his body was willing to give up soon, but his mind forced it to continue. In his hand he carried a piece of a cactus, he had found it not too long ago, but even it had dried up by now. He simply had it with him as a source of food in case he failed to find anything else edible. He never knew when he'd find something he could eat.
Occasionally the heat would lead his mind to play tricks on him, occasionally seeing Eria before him, holding up her staff and creating a small pool of water. He'd run, not towards the pool, but towards his friend, only to find nothing there. Each time it would happen he would refuse to believe it and instead dig down into the sands, hoping to find her there. Deep down he knew it was foolish, but he did so until he would reach the cooler sand and regain control over his mind. He would then spend some time in the sand letting his body recover from the heat before trudging on. He liked to think of those instances as Eria telling him where to dig in order to cool down his body so that he could continue onward towards his goals, despite everything in his body telling him that she was gone now, gone forever.
The nights proved to be brutal, as the temperature would sharply drop, making it a sort of a blessing, but the monsters within the sand would rise up. Sleep had become difficult, not just from the constant need to fight for his life, but the fact that all he would dream about was his time with Eria. They would start out warm and sweet, but would always end with her melting away, causing him to wake up completely started. Each time he would try to shrug it off and keep walking, but there were times when he suddenly would begin to cry. He had known her all of his life, it felt so strange not to have her around.
He looked around as he walked, stopping to glare up at the vultures which were flying high above him once more. Dreadful birds, always hoping for him to collapse and die. On one occasion when the heat had finally taken an effect on him he had collapsed. As he had lay on the ground the vultures flew down and began to peck at his body, trying to speed up the process. This had brought him back to conciousness and he swiftly began to fight back. Most of the vultures had managed to fly away, but he had been able to kill one, which he ate. Back with Eria he had mostly eaten fruits and vegetables, occasionally fish, but now he had begun to eat more meat. It had a strange flavor to it, and at first he was disliked it but now it was beginning to grow on him. Every now and then, when his hunger got too great and there seemed to be no food nearby, he'd pretend to faint from exhaustion and wait for the vultures to come down, only to grab at least one for his meal.
After having stared at the birds for a while, he decided to keep walking. He still had some cactus to eat if he got hungry, and even then he doubted the vultures would fall for his act so soon. On his back he carried Eria's staff. He had managed to find some rope before entering the wasteland and had used it to tie the staff to his back, allowing him to use both of his hands when needed. Since he had put it on his back he had not looked at it, knowing that if he did the memories would flood into his mind, slowing him down. He had to keep going, moving, or else he would fail.
As he trudged along the sands, he managed to see something off in the distance, a town by the look of it. He had never been in a town before, Eria had lived by herself in a small house near the sea, and traveling to a town had never proved interesting or necessary. He had heard much talk about these towns though, something about them being filled with people and many interesting items. Food and water were supposedly also plentiful in these oases. He also remembered Aussa once mentioning something about a library, a place where knowledge was gathered together. Perhaps he could find one of these libraries and find more information on the pyramid and where it could be. Heck, maybe he could find out how to bring back Eria and the others! That would make everything simpler and he wouldn't have to give up anything in exchange. A small spark appeared in his eyes as he made a realization, maybe, just maybe, in this library was also information on what humanity was, then he'd know if he had it or not.
He began to run towards the town, ignoring how sore his body was. He had one desire, to reach the town and learn what he could. The closer he got to the town, the more grass began to appear on the ground below. The area was getting greener and greener, and the air far less dry and harsh. The sunlight and heat remained, but cool breezes became more frequent. Cacti could no longer be seen, instead bushes and trees taking their place. Clouds filled the sky above, blocking the sun and making the voyage even easier for him. This place, this town, it really was an oasis in the middle of a barren wasteland.
After a few minutes of running, he began to slow down to a walk as he took in the buildings up ahead. They were mostly wooden, and stones were used as walkways and roads. People were busy walking about, going about their daily activities. They were so absorbed in their tasks that they failed to notice as Gagagigo walked towards the town. As he neared he could begin to hear various conversations coming from some bushes nearby. He walked over to the bushes and watched as a group of people sat around enjoying some food. He could hear them commenting on how lovely the day was, and how much fun they had had. He then walked away, deciding that interrupting them to ask where the library was would upset them.
He continued to walk as he began to hear another voice. This new voice seemed a lot gruffer than the other and reminded him of Dharc's, meaning that this was likely a male. There also seemed to be another voice, it reminded him of Wynn's, soft and delicate, almost afraid. He then heard a scream coming from the direction, yes, definitely the scream of a female, he had heard the girls scream plenty of times, specifically when Dharc was in a trickster like mood. He kept on walking until he reached a wall made out of bushes and peered through, seeing a large man and a woman.
"Just give me your stinking money lady!"
"N-no! It's all I have, I need it to feed my children! Somebody, anybody, help!'
"Shut up! Nobody can hear you out here, and even if they could, I doubt they'd do anything!"
Gagagigo grit his teeth and clenched his fists. He didn't know what money was, but judging by how much the man wanted it, it was bound to be important, and the woman said that she need it to feed her children, it had to be something important. He watched as the man continued to yell at her, trying to get her to surrender her money. She continued to plead and beg to be allowed to keep said money, and even tried to run once or twice, only for the man to grab her by the shoulder and pull her back. It looked like things were beginning to calm down as the man began to lower his voice and speak softer, forcing Gagagigo to focus in order to hear what he said.
Then he noticed a look of pure shock and fear spread across the woman's face. He looked closely at her face, and noticed she was looking at something, though he couldn't tell what. Following her eyes, and straining his own, he managed to see something shiny. He continued to focus in on the object and realized that it was a piece of metal. He recognized it from when Eria would prepare their food, it was a knife. He could clearly remember how one time she ended up cutting herself and letting out a soft yelp as she rushed to get a bandage. Curious as to why she had done that, instead of asking her, he had grabbed the knife but from the sharp edge. The moment he had squeezed his hand he felt a sharp pain travel up his arm as he dropped the knife, watching as blood began to drip from his hand. Later Eria had told him to be careful with knives, that if one was cut in the right spot they would die, and even then being cut was not a pleasant experience.
He didn't know what came over him, but seeing the woman's fear, and the malice in the man's face, Gagagigo jumped out from the bushes. The first thing to happen was for the man to let go of the woman as she ran off screaming for help. The man then tried to stab at him, though Gagagigo nimbly avoided it before delivering one punch to the man's stomach as he snarled at him. The man collapsed to the ground and began to cough up blood, staring at Gagagigo with fear in his eyes. The man then threw his knife at him, something which Gagagigo was able to avoid by jumping back. This was all the chance the man needed as he ran off as fast as he could, yelling something about a monster being on a rampage.
Gagagigo stood there besides the bushes looking around, what was it that he had meant? Was there some monster around that he didn't notice? Gagagigo shrugged it off as he walked into the town looking around to see what he could find out about the pyramid and the voice.
Meanwhile, inside the town there was a bar. It was in one of the less popular parts of the town, but it was quite busy today. Everyone was sitting at a table, enjoying their drinks with their friends, and laughing, everyone except one man. The lone blond man sat at the bar letting his torn cape drag on the ground. He held in his hand a large mug full of beer, he had recently drifted into the town and had quickly become a regular at the bar. People spread rumors about him, but nobody really knew which were true and which were nothing more than myth. The man wore one sword at his side, which had caused one of the rumors to be that he was a monster hunter, wandering the lands taking down dangerous beasts. Nobody knew if it was true or not, he never corrected any of the rumors, instead spent his days sitting in the bar drinking, as if there was something he wanted to forget.
He looked into his mug and noticed that it was empty. Reaching into his bag he took out two coins, the last of his money. He had earned some money by working at the bar as a bouncer, getting rid of anybody who had had a little too much to drink and had become a disturbance for either the bartender or the customers. He grunted as he tossed the two coins on the counter and watched closely as the bartender filled his mug.
"Don't you think you've had enough yet? All you do is sit there and drink unless you're beating up a drunkard."
"No, I haven't had enough, I can still remember those days."
He closed his eyes as he tried once more to force those memories from his mind, of the land he came from, the place he had called home. After failing to forget his homeland, he groaned before downing the contents of his mug. He stared at the once more empty mug and placed it on the counter.
"I'm all out of money now, anything you need doing?"
"Even if I did, I wouldn't tell you, you'd just spent your money on more drinks. You're going to kill yourself drinking like that."
"Hey, as long as it makes me forget I'm fine with it."
The bartender let out a soft chuckle. He had grown to like this man, despite how little he actually talked. At first he had been intimidated by the man when he had first walked through his bar's doors. He had simply asked for a drink, and another and another. He had asked him if he was trying to drink himself under the table, and the man had only told him that all he wanted was to forget. He had met many people like that before, most of them died of alcohol poisoning from downing too much beer too fast, but this man seemed to have no limit. No matter how much he drank, his body refused to slow down, to act up, and his mind refused to leave him. He had heard legends of men like that in the neighboring province, soldiers who had trained their minds and bodies to the point that they were nearly incorruptible.
The man stared up at the ceiling, letting out a soft sigh just as a man burst through the doors.
"M-monster! There's a monster near the city! Please monster hunter, you've got to help us! At first we didn't believe the man who told us, but then we saw it walking down the streets. It's a fierce thing, spikes growing from its body and large muscles covering its body!"
The man looked at his empty mug as he seemed to be contemplating his options. After a minute he stood up and felt his sword's hilt. It had been so long since the last time he had used it, he rarely had need for it against drunkards. He managed to take them down in two blows maximum, after all, they were nothing more than civilians.
"If I take down the monster, this town will owe me. All the drinks I can drink free of charge. Deal?"
"I-I'm not really the one to make that decision."
"Do you want me to get rid of the thing or do you prefer I let it roam around and see how many people it can kill?"
"F-fine, all the drinks you can drink, just go get rid of it!"
"Heh, thanks, you heard that right barkeep? All the drinks I can handle, you better start filling up mugs cause I'm gonna make sure to work up an extra large thrist."
The man then stood up from his barstool and cracked his knuckles before walking up to the man who had barged in.
"So tell me, where's this monster now?"
"I-I saw it walking down the streets near the edge of town, f-follow me!"
The man then ran out of the building and the blond one followed close behind. It was now time to fight another monster. It had been so long since the last time he had done so, he hoped that it would put up a decent fight, after all, he was strong enough to be able to handle almost anything.
Back on the streets, Gagagigo watched as people ran from him and seemed to be in a panic. He found it quite entertaining as various scents filled his nose. He looked at the stands every now and then, taking in the different sights. There were fish, meats, vegetables, fruits, and even breads. Each time he would walk up to the stand in order to get a closer look, the man who stood behind the counter would either scream and run, or simply try to hide. As he was looking over some particularly tastey looking fruit, his stomach let out a loud rumble. He looked at the man who was laying on the ground behind the counter and gave him a toothy grin, unintentionally showing off his sharp teeth.
"Excuse me sir, but could I have some of your fruit?"
"Y-yes, take it all! Just leave me alone!"
"Why thank you, you really are a generous man. Would you happen to know anything about a, um, I think it was called a library?"
"I-It's on the end of the street, just, just go already!"
Gagagigo figured the man was trying to sleep as he had his eyes tightly closed and was laying on the ground. He shrugged as he grabbed various pieces of fruit and walked down the street, eating as he went. The fruits seemed to have such a great flavor, far tastier than anything he and the other familiars could find in the forests near their homes. He would have to remember to ask the man where he had found it. After he had finished the fruit he had grabbed, he sat down on a bench and decided to rest a bit. He had been walking nonstop for so long that it really felt good to just sit down and relax.
He looked around and noticed that there were little to no people on the streets anymore, hey likely all left by now. He wondered just what they had to do if they were in such a rush. Remembering Eria, she was often running late and would have to run as fast as she could just to show up on time. Perhaps that was what had helped him develop his speed as he would often be forced to run right behind her. He let out a soft chuckle thinking about those days, before the overwhelming feeling of sadness flooded back into him. He remembered the library and stood back up, hoping to find the answer there.
As he walked, he smiled as he saw birds flying about, birds that weren't vultures. Occasionally one or two would land on his shoulder, only to fly away. Many small animals seemed to like him, perhaps because of the fact that he himself was like them, or rather was like them. He continued to walk until he reached a large building which had stone stairs leading up to two large wooden doors. On either side of the doors were two large stone statues of what looked like warriors holding up the building. It looked so interesting and mystical, no doubt what he was looking for was inside of there.
Then it happened. He heard loud footsteps behind him, and turned around just in time to be greeted by a large crowd of people. The crowd was made up of mostly men, and he noticed a familiar one at the head, the same man he had seen with the knife. Virtually all of the people were holding up either torches or pitchforks, items which reminded Gagagigo of the staffs the charmers used. They were yelling loudly and constantly thrust their items up into the air. Gagagigo figured that perhaps they had seen the staff on his back and they wanted him to do something with it. Untying the rope, he caught Eria's staff before it hit the ground and held it up. He smiled at the people as they all seemed amazed at what he had done, moving back a step. Gagagigo thrust the staff up into the air and let out a roar similar to how the people had all yelled at him, causing them to take a couple more steps back.
He didn't understand just what they wanted, so he tried again, and again and again. Each time he thrust the staff up in the air, the people yelled and stepped back, only to thrust their items up once more and stepping forwards. Gagagigo was confused, so he decided to ask what was going on.
"I know it may be unusual, but I can speak and perfectly understand you so what is it that you want me to do? If you told me I guess it would be more useful than if you continued to yell at me."
Gagagigo's words went unheard over the sound of the yelling crowd. He tried once more to explain the situation, but the crowd continued to yell. He took a deep breath and raised his voice as he spoke once more, only for them to yell even louder, as if they didn't want to listen to him. Gagagigo closed his eyes and began to snarl. He was starting to get annoyed by these people, if what they had was humanity and that was what was making them act this way, then he didn't want anything to do with it. He opened his eyes once more and let out a ferocious roar causing all of the people to run back a few paces and scream. They stared at him for a few seconds, paralyzed by fear, and he was pretty sure he saw one or two people who seemed to have gotten wetter than they were before. He took a deep breath and looked at the people as he tried to speak to them one more time.
"Listen! I don't want to hurt you! I'm just looking for the library!"
"Yeah quiet! It's probably a trick to get us to lower our guards!"
"Yeah, and then he's probably gonna kill us all!"
"Let's kill him before he gets a chance to kill us!"
The mob of people charged towards Gagagigo, surrounding him as they yelled and punched him. Some of them struck him with their torches, while others stabbed at him with pitchforks. He growled and snarled as their blows hit him, they were not too strong, but they still caused him pain. He grabbed a man's pitchfork and snapped it in half, only for another to set fire to his tail. He slammed his tail down on the ground trying to put it out, only to hit various people and knock them down. He started yelling at them as the fire finally went out, but they continued to hit and stab him. He let out a fierce roar trying to startle them again, trying to buy some time so that he could get away, but they ignored him and continued to attack. They kept attacking, until Gagagigo finally snapped. He swung his tail with all of his might, knocking down a large portion of the people. He then started punching back, knocking various people unconscious, and seriously wounding others. In a matter of seconds all of the people lay on the ground groaning from the pain.
"So, do you have any other tricks I should know about? Or are you just the kind to fight using hand to hand combat?"
Gagagigo panted as he looked for the voice's source. He continued to look around until he heard the voice once more.
"Up here lizard breath!"
Gagagigo looked up at the library's roof. Standing on top of it was a blond haired man wearing armor. He also seemed to be wearing a long flowing, albeit ripped, cape.
"My name if Freed, the monster hunter, and I will slay you this day. I hope you're ready to face your fate vile monster!"
With that, Freed jumped down from the roof and landed on the ground, apparently unharmed. Gagagigo smiled at the man's stunt, most humans would have been seriously injured by jumping from such a height considering how fragile the people he was able to defeat were. His smiled quickly faded away as he thought about what the man, this Freed, had said. Slay him? Meet his fate? Vile monster? Did he mean him?
Gagagigo was about to ask the man when Freed unsheathed his sword and swung it at Gagagigo. He had no choice but to block it using one of his spikes and grit his teeth as he felt the force behind the blade. This man was nothing like the other humans, his strength far surpassed any of them. He looked at the man, only to see a fist flying towards his face, too fast for him to block. His body was sent through the air from the force of the blow. Gagagigo hit a tree and stood back up as he snarled at the man. There were no two doubts about it, this man was out to kill him, and he was nothing like any of the other humans.
Freed continued to charge at him, slashing his sword once more at the strange creature. Gagagigo quickly jumped out of the way, avoiding the slash, but not a kick which came right after it. The man knew what he was doing, and that worried him. Ever since he had gained his current form, all he had gotten to fight were monsters, most of which had no real strategy to their attacks and simply attacked angrily at him. He knew that against an opponent like this he would stand no chance if he stood still, so he began to run towards the wasteland. Perhaps the man was just angry at him for having entered his town, so maybe if he left then the man would calm down and listen to him.
As he ran, he could hear the man's footsteps closing in from behind him, just how fast was this man? He suddenly heard the footsteps stop and turned around, seeing nothing but trees. He had already made it to the edge of the town and he was exhausted. Yes, it seemed he was right, having left the town the man likely gave up his chase. Gagagigo placed a hand on a nearby tree as he tried to catch his breath, he rarely ran so much, but he was also beginning to feel the damage from all of the injuries from the mob. He looked around carefully and noticed that there were no birds, no animals, and began to get curious. He soon learned why there were no animals when he heard the sound of a branch snapping.
Jumping out of the way as fast as he could, Gagagigo managed to avoid being hit by a large branch. Looking up at the tree, he spotted Freed jumping around, slashing at branches causing them to fall down. Gagagigo started running towards the wasteland once more, occasionally hitting a tree as hard as he could causing it to fall down, hoping it would slow Freed down. It did quite the opposite as Freed started jumping from tree to tree faster and faster, not giving him any time to hit the tree he was currently on. Gagagigo gave up on his idea as he charged even faster, ignoring the blood which had begun dripping from his fist.
He soon felt the hot sand beneath his feet as he made it back into the wasteland, and listened to the sound of Freed landing on the sand from the tree he was in. Gagagigo was beginning to grow tired as he felt his steps needing more energy just to travel at the same speed. He suddenly felt his foot slip on the soft sand and used his hands to catch himself, though he felt something slash across his back, causing him to jump forwards from the pain.
He looked at Freed whom was standing near where he had been. He had his blade out, and it had fresh blood on it. He was smiling as he walked forwards, beginning to spin his blade in his hand, as if taunting him. Gagagigo was about to try to run away when Freed thrust his blade forwards, blocking his way with the cold steel. He snarled at the man, before punching at him, only for Freed to duck under the punch and kick him in the stomach, knocking him onto the ground.
"Give up monster, your days of terrorizing people and their homes are over. Every person you hurt, and likely killed, will be avenged by my blade today."
Freed grabbed his sword with both hands as he held it over Gagagigo's head. He slammed downwards with all of his might, as if he expected the monster to have iron thick skin. Gagagigo rolled to the side, letting the blade stab into the ground. Freed began to try to pull the blade back out, but seemed to be having difficulty as he began to grunt. Using this as his opportunity to end this, Gagagigo jumped towards Freed and grabbed his shoulders, sending him to the ground. He then started punching the man, doing his best to knock him unconscious.
After a few seconds of repeatedly hitting him, Gagagigo stood back up and let out a sigh of relief. Freed was no longer moving, but his breathing hadn't stopped, meaning that he was still alive, though likely unconscious. He looked around and noticed that he no longer had Eria's staff with him and let himself fall to the ground with exhaustion.
"Crud, if I want the staff I'm going to have to go back, but I can't risk having him wake up and attack me again. Are all humans like this? Willing to attack before listening? I guess I should go back to wandering the wasteland."
"Yeah, you probably should."
Gagagigo sat up and saw Freed standing back up, holding his blade up. His face was now bruised and bleeding, but determination was still clear in his eyes. He took a step forwards, and seemed to be shaking. He spit out a little bit of blood as he body swayed to the side but he rapidly regained his balance.
"The people of this town have no need for monsters like you. My life's already been ruined by the likes of you, so I ain't taking chances. I'm going to kill you here and now, that way I'll never see you again. Heh, I guess if your friends find your corpse out here in the sand they'll know better than to attack that town again."
Gagagigo watched as Freed took another step forwards before he slashed at him, only for Gagagigo to jump out of the way. He still had enough energy to fight for a little more, but he didn't know for how long. He clenched his fists tightly and glared at the man, taking a deep breath before charging forwards. Freed, rather than dodge, swung his blade as Gagagigo neared him, forcing him to swerve out of the way of the blade, missing his target. Gagagigo tried once more, only to be stopped once more in a similar fashion. Rather than charging in recklessly once more, Gagagigo waited. After a minute of standing there, staring at each other, waiting for one of them to make a move, Freed ran forwards, holding his blade at the ready. As Freed swung his sword, Gagagigo took a step back and raised his arm, using his elbow spike to block the blade and then punch Freed in the stomach once more, tossing the man back to the ground. Freed stood up once more, obviously weaker. He held his blade out towards Gagagigo and grinned.
"Do you really think I'll just lay on the ground and give up? I've faced tougher monsters than you!"
Freed smiled as he remembered some of the monsters he had fought. Orcs, goblins, and other things that he had never quite cared enough to find out what they were. Then he remembered something. Each of those times he hadn't been alone. Someone had been with him to help him outmaneuver those large threats. That someone had been a fellow warrior, someone who had fought by his side since they were kids, until that someone had ruined his life. Exiled from his home, forced to wander around aimlessly for weeks, and then left to work at a bar trying to forget those days, trying to forget that name.
Freed yelled as he charged towards Gagagigo with renewed vigor. He slashed as fast and as hard as he could, ignoring the pain coursing through his body. The slashes came too fast and from unpredictable directions, giving Gagagigo no choice but to constantly step back, trying to avoid being cut to ribbons. Gagagigo tried to figure out what to do, he knew he couldn't lose this fight, the man would kill him, and if he died, then he'd be unable to figure out what to do in order to bring back Eria and the others.
"I can help you if you so desire..."
Gagagigo's eyes shot open as he heard that familiar voice in his head. He stopped moving and looked around, only find nothing but pain which filled his body from Freed's slashes. Gagagigo collapsed to the ground as he yelled at the top of his lungs, "Help me win, help me bring back Eria, help me!"
"As you wish, hehehehehe...."
Gagagigo felt his body fill with energy as he moved out of the way of one of the slashes. He noticed that where he was once standing a small puddle of blood had formed. When he looked at his own body, he failed to notice any cuts large enough to create that much blood. He saw an expression of both anger and surprise on Freed's face as he refused to stop slashing. After a few seconds of dodging, Gagagigo thought he noticed Freed slowing down, not just him, but the sand he was kicking up as he moved around seemed to fall slower. He was starting to find it easier and easier to avoid the slashes, until he managed to grab Freed's arm and squeeze, causing him to let go of the sword as a soft cracking sound filled the air. Gagagigo smiled as he picked up the man by the arm and threw him a few feet.
"So, you said that you wanted to kill me? You said I was a monster? That all I wanted was to harm your town and its people? I did nothing of the sort, but I will tell you one thing. I am going to kill you right now."
Gagagigo did not know where those words had come from, but they felt sweet in his mouth as he gave Freed a toothy grin as he struggled to get back up. Once Freed was back on his feet, he starting losing his balance and fell back to the ground. He let out a soft groan from the pain in his arm as he made himself stand once more.
"You plan to kill me monster? I'd like to see you try. Go ahead, finish me off if you have the guts, you'll only prove to me just how much of a monster you are!"
Gagagigo began to laugh at Freed's words. He then began to grin at him, licking his lips, then spoke once more, "With pleasure, I'm sure your flesh will prove to be quite tasty..."
With that, Gagagigo let out a loud roar before charging forwards once more. He raised his fist up as he prepared for one more punch. He was certain this blow would end it, once he got Freed on the ground he was planning to use his spikes to stab the man to his death. He grinned as his fist inched closer and closer to the man, but noticed the man's hand reach, not for the sword, or for his fist, or even towards him, but towards his belt. He watched as Freed grabbed a strange metal disk and threw it in front of himself. Gagagigo felt his fist hit it, but instead of pushing it back and continuing, he felt as if he had just punched a large wall, unable to move his arm forwards. Then there was a bright flash.
Gagagigo felt the strange disk open up as something purple began to come out of it. The purple thing surrounded him, and seemed to pull him in. He could feel nothing as he touched the purple object, perhaps it wasn't a thing after all, but instead an area? It continued to pull him in, and there was nothing he could do to stop it.
In an instant the light was gone, and only the disk remained which fell to the ground. Freed smirked as he bent down and picked up the disk.
"Heh, this little thing has already saved me a few times. I wish I knew who made this thing so that I could get them to make me more."
Freed then limped over to his sword and picked it up, being careful with his arm. It continued to fill his body with pain, perhaps it was broken. He began to head back towards the town, when he began to topple over, only keeping himself up by using his sword to prop himself up. He had won this battle, and with that, he had also won himself all the beer he could drink.
"Damn, if I don't drink myself to death today, I didn't charge them enough..."
In that same area, yet unseen by any there, Gagagigo stared at Freed as he walked away. He put his hand on a blue wall which seemed to be keeping him where he was. He looked around himself and noticed more walls like this one, all surrounding him. He sat down and let out a feral snarl.
"Great, just what the hell is this? Some type of cage?"
A cage, just the thought of it sent shivers down his spine. He never liked the idea of being locked away, the only reason he could stand being in the house with Eria was because he trusted her with his life. He always knew that they would would go outside again soon, ready to go on an adventure. Here there was no door, no window, no smiling Eria telling him to be patient and wait a little bit. No, here there was only himself and loneliness.
He suddenly lunged towards the walls as he yelled at Freed. He yelled at him to come back and fight, to set him free, to at least kill him so that he wouldn't have to deal with being locked up. It was all to no avail. The walls refused to even shake when he hit them, instead dispersing the force of his blows, and his voice seemed to go unheard by everyone outside of the small room. Gagagigo began to pace around, staring at the sun, trying to find a way out. He soon began to dig wildly, trying to see if maybe he could go under the wall. No use, after he dug down a few feet he struck another wall. He also noted that there was one as a ceiling, this place truly was inescapable. He sat down and watched the sun set. He had no idea how long he had been there already, where everyone else was, or how to get out, but he did know one thing. He had to get out, he had heard the voice and it had granted him more strength. This strength, this power, it felt good, he wanted more, but most of all, he wanted a way to see Eria's smiling face once more. Memories rushing back into his head, and no way for him to stop them, Gagagigo began to cry as he waited to see what the next day would bring, hoping to be able to continue his journey, for himself, for the familiars, for Eria.
Been noticing that there seems to be a fight in every chapter, oh well, what did I expect when I made a fanfic for a game where you try to beat the other guy up XP
Re: Green Morality (NaNoWriMo Story): Chap 8
Chapter 9: The Darkest Despair
The group prepared themselves for the worst, each drawing their respective weapons, watching as the goblin army neared. There was no way that they could escape, Combo had already tried to see if they could get past the purple flames but found them to act more as an unbreakable wall than as fire. Rowan aimed his bow carefully, looking at the goblins which came towards them. As he did so, Aaron stared at the goblins which were so much different than the ones he and Rahz had faced back in their own province. Those goblins had had blue shirts with leather chest plates and occasionally a helmet, these on the other hand, seemed to be wearing armor which reminded him of what this fellow soldiers had worn that day.
Rowan let go of his bow's string, firing an arrow towards a goblin, which avoided it by ducking out of the way. They seemed to be fast enough to avoid Rowan's shots, this wasn't good. Rowan continued to fire arrows as fast as he could, only for them to scatter and avoid each shot. Aaron sighed as the goblins reached them, giving them no choice but to fight.
Aaron was the first to be attacked, the goblins which went after him all had swords so he at least stood a chance. At first he was on the defensive, blocking sword swing after swing, but soon the number of goblins swarming around him was too great. He started doing more than dodging and blocking when it became obvious that there was no way for him to win like that, instead switching to a more offensive approach. He started slashing at the goblins, occasionally managing to incapacitate one, but they were still too agile. The armor made most of his attacks useless against them, though the same could be said about his own armor. He looked over towards Rahz, trying to see how he was doing and smiled.
Rahz was handling his situation with little difficulty, each time a goblin charged at him, he would sidestep him and then hit his skull with the hilt of his blade, knocking out most of them in one hit. Occasionally a goblin would manage to catch him off guard, but he was quick to avoid the slash and get back into the rythm of things.
While Rahz was busy taking down goblins, Chris was focusing not on defeating them, but on unarming them. He would throw his chain at the goblins, forcing them to block with their weapons, only for him to yank them out of their hands with a strong tug. Once the weapon was with him, the goblins would stay back and let another armed goblin charge in, it seemed most of them had seen the dagger Chris carried at his side. In a matter of seconds, Chris had a pile of clubs, spears, and swords at his side, and the goblins were starting to get desperate, charging towards the weapons only for him to wrap his chain around them and throw them towards other goblins. As he tossed one particularly heavy goblin, a group managed to get close enough to grab their weapons, only to collapse as arrows hit each one of them.
"Focus Rowan, you almost missed one!"
"I'm shooting as fast as I can Combo!"
Rowan was standing atop of a large rock, shooting arrow after arrow. His grit his teeth as he pulled the string again, then fired another arrow at a goblin. His fingers were already sore from having shot so many arrows so soon. Combo was nearby, fighting the goblins the only way he knew how, using his fists. He would block swords and clubs, then unleash a flurry of punches knocking out the goblin which dared stand in his way. His fighting style only worked when he took the goblins on one at a time, which was why Rowan was focusing on giving him coverfire. While Combo took down one goblin, Rowan fired at the others, slowing them down. Rowan had gotten much better at aiming at the goblins now that Combo was distracting them, but every now and then, one of them would manage to jump out of the way or block his arrows.
It was one such goblin which struck Combo's back with its metal club. The weapon knocked him to the ground, and he was quickly surrounded by goblins which Chris had disarmed. They all jumped on him, and Combo was unable to fight back, being completely overpowered. As they kept coming, Rowan tried to shoot as many as he could down, but they came too fast for him to do anything. In a matter of seconds they had surrounded the rock and grabbed his leg, dragging him down with Combo as he tried to fight back. They took his bow and toyed with it, pulling the string and grunting when no arrow appeared. They threw the bow to the side, disregarding it as a useless child's toy.
Chris managed to see what had happened to Rowan and Combo, and was about to run out to help them when he realized he couldn't leave his spot. If he stopped protecting the pile of weapons he had accumulated, then the goblins would happily charge in and take them, and if they did they would no doubt be too much for them to handle, not to mention that after having seen his chain trick they would be less likely to fall for it again. Chris grit his teeth as he swung his chain up in the air, waiting for the next goblin to come close enough for him to injure. Beads of sweat began to form on his brow as he saw the goblins tie Combo and Rowan up with ropes. Then he noticed one of them draw a dagger and hold it up to Rowan's neck, no doubt after he had yelled something at them. Not knowing what came over him, he charged towards the goblin and threw his chain, hitting the goblin's dagger using the one on the end of his own chain.
That was all Chris managed to say as the goblins swarmed in, too fast for him to do anything. He had tried to spin his chain, to knock some of them down, but they had grabbed it and instead of pulling him in, continued to surround him and close in, tying him up using his own chain in no time. Insult to injury came when they took the dagger on the end of the chain and stabbed it into his arm, the one which was covered in bandages. He let out a shout of pain as he felt the cold metal dig into his flesh. He looked over to Rowan and Combo who seemed to be unable to break their bindings. Then he noticed how Aaron and Rahz were doing.
The two warriors were covered in bruises, and were forced to fight back to back. The goblins kept on coming, one after the other, but they were actually pushing them back. They weren't lying, they really were trained fighters. That made little difference though, as exhaustion began to set in. Aaron had failed to slash at a goblin, instead having hit a rock after it had jumped out of the way, and Rahz was having difficulty avoiding the goblins. There were simply too many goblins and not enough room to maneuver. A few goblins swung their clubs, while others stabbed with spears, to many attacks at once for them to avoid. They managed to avoid receiving any fatal injuries, but were still tossed onto the ground. In those few seconds, the goblins managed to grab them and tie them up, putting them in the same situation as the others. Now that all five of them were rendered unable to fight, they were carried into the camp, why, they did not know. All that they knew was that if this camp was anything like the human military camps, they would be in some real trouble if they could not find a way to escape.
Inside of the camp, the five of them were tied to posts, forced to watch as the goblins danced around them. They ate their food and drank what looked like alcohol, and all in all seemed to be having a good time. Aaron sighed as he looked towards the others with shame, he had failed them and he knew it. He had promised them that they would be able to find, and stop, what was causing the people of the town to live in fear.
"Well this sucks." Rowan was the first of them to begin to talk. "I told you guys that coming here was a bad idea, but does anybody listen to me? Noooo, I'm just the kid, ignore the fact that I protected the town before any of you decided to show up..."
"Well, if you're so capable, do ya have any ideas on how to get us out of this?" Combo squirmed around in his ropes, unable to use his strength.
"Why don't you just burst out of the ropes Combo? I saw what strength you have, heck, I felt that strength when you punched me out of the bar!" Aaron was quite annoyed by Combo, he never used his strength when they needed it, only when it wasn't necessary did he seem to have that superhuman strength.
"It doesn't work like that, Mr. I know everything! I have to have both feet firmly on the ground in order to channel the planet's energy into my body and then release it in my fists." Combo closed his eyes as he explained how his fighting technique worked.
"In other words, you just need something to push against with your feet in order to attack?" Aaron smiled at having found a sensible explanation for Combo's strength, it made perfect sense considering he didn't seem to be someone capable of using special abilities.
"No, its nothing like that! Its a powerful bond which I share with the planet!" Combo was now yelling at Aaron as a goblin walked by with a piece of paper.
"So you need to be standing and connected to the ground to use your strength, interesting. What about the rest of you, do you have any weaknesses we should be made aware of?" The goblin scribbled something down on the paper as he eyes the others.
"Yeah, if you pour lukewarm water on me I melt away..." Rowan glared at the goblin as he spoke.
"I see, now what temperature range would lukewarm be?"
"Do you really expect us to tell you how to defeat us! What the heck is wrong with you?!"
"Oh well, I guess I'll just wait, you were kind enough to tell me how to defeat specimen three without us doing anything so I figure you'll reveal to us your weaknesses in no time."
With that said, the goblin walked away, heading towards a tent as he reread what he had written.
"Specimen three?! Why am I three? I'm plenty more interesting than either of you guys!"
"I think we should be less worried about the numbers and more focused on the specimen part. What exactly do they have planned for us?" Chris, being the voice of reason, looked around. "I see multiple tables nearby and they all seem to have vials and chemicals on them. I'm worried that they may see us as the wild animals and plan to experiment on us."
"Oh well, either way I don't plan to be here long enough for them to get to experiment on me." Rahz was squirming as he calmly spoke.
"And exactly how do you plan on leaving, huh?! We're tied to posts and surrounded by goblins, even if we did get out, they'd recapture us in record time! Not to mention all of our weapons are gone!"
"Not all of the weapons, I believe Chris still has his chain and dagger." Rahz motioned towards the chain tying Chris to the post using his head. "So all we have to do is get down, make our way to our weapons with Chris covering us, and then fight our way to the center of the camp and leave nothing but a pile of rubble behind us."
"So, you want us to break out of an inescapable situation and then charge towards the people who just beat the crap out of us with only Chris and his chain protecting us when, may I repeat, even fully armed we got kicked around harder than a ball on a soccer field! After that you expect us to be able to destroy their entire camp!" Rowan was in shock, first these two guys come out of nowhere and convince them, against their better judgment, to go into the graveyard and fight back against the monsters. Then after they did, they got pummeled and now they were planning to fight again now that they were, not stronger, but weaker than before!
"Yeah, that's pretty much it." Aaron smiled as he watched Rahz continue to squirm on his post. "We've been in worse situations before."
Combo, Rowan, and even Chris had no idea what to say. All they could do was stare at Rahz who, after squirming for a while, managed to turn himself around in order to be facing the closest table now. He stretched his foot towards the table, and managed to knock over a vile which had a green fluid in it. As the fluid began to cover the table, Rahz dipped his boot in the fluid and began to rub it up against the wooden pole. After having done that, he used his other foot to remove the boot which had the liquid and smiled as he noticed that the table now had a hole in it. He heard a slight creaking sound coming from below him, and began to shake his body as hard as possible. After a few seconds, the pole snapped as he fell to the ground, landing on his feet.
"H-how the hell did you know that would happen?" Combo and Rowan exclaimed simultaneously.
"Simple, while you two were busy arguing with the goblin, I saw one use a similar fluid on some wood in the distance. Now if you excuse me, we don't have much time before they realize that we're escaping."
Rahz quickly made his way over to the table again and found some which had yet to eat its way through the table and rubbed the ropes on it, feeling the weight of the pole disappear as it fell off of his body. He stretched his arms a bit as he ran over towards Chris and held the dagger's hilt firmly.
"This might hurt a bit, so brace yourself, nod when ready."
Chris immediately gave a nod as Rahz pulled the dagger out, obviously causing Chris pain. Instead of yelling, or even groaning, Chris simply grit his teeth as the chain unwrapped itself from him, allowing him to fall to the ground. When he landed on the ground he groaned as he felt his arm throb with pain, but quickly picked up his chain and gave it a quick toss and tug, cutting the ropes holding everyone to their poles. Aaron smirked as he landed on the ground, and Combo let out a soft chuckle as he firmly planted his feet on the ground. Rowan, on the other hand, let out a soft groan as he fell face first into the ground.
"Give me a warning next time Chris."
"I don't see why, everyone else seemed to have landed fine."
"No time for games guys, looks like we've got company..."
Aaron glared as a goblin stared at the now escaped warriors. The goblin seemed to be trying to decide on what to do, and suddenly began to run towards the tent. As it did so, Chris threw his chain at it, wrapping it around its leg causing it to fall to the ground. Aaron then ran up to it and gave it a quick blow to the head, knocking it unconscious.
Rahz walked back to what was left of the table and picked up his boot, only to sigh as he saw a large hole in it. At this point, there was no way that it could be called a boot, and even less of a chance that it would still fulfill its duty. He tossed the now useless piece of material to the side as he joined the others, being careful of where he stepped in order to not stub his toe, or even worse, step on something sharp enough to injure his foot.
Once he joined the others, the group smiled at each other before running towards where they had seen the goblins take their weapons. They didn't see exactly where, but managed to make their way to a large tent. As they sneaked in, they watched as various goblins lay about resting, eating, or just doing nothing. Aaron remembered when they had attacked a goblin squad which was resting back in his homeland. The goblins were easily defeated, as they were unable to switch from relaxing to combat in seconds, in which time they had been able to capture them.
Rahz hid behind a few large bags as he made his way towards some weapons the goblins had left laying about, they weren't theirs, but they would have to do. He grabbed two swords, and passed one over towards Aaron. Looking around, he also managed to find a bow and threw it over to Rowan.
"What the heck am I supposed to do with this?" Rowan whispered as he pointed at the wooden weapon.
"You're supposed to shoot arrows with it, you know, like an archer is supposed to do." Aaron poked Rowan's ribs with his elbow as he whispered back.
"Yeah, one problem with that, I have no arrows on me."
"Can't you just, you know, make some arrows out of blue energy like you always do?"
"Of course not, it's not me who has the power to do that, but the bow. I got it from some forest creatures who said that they could hear the echoes of nature coming from me."
"Then make due with these." Rahz tossed a quiver full of arrows at Rowan, who put it on his back and then loaded an arrow with much difficulty.
"Have you ever fired a real bow?"
"No, but it can't be that different from my own."
As soon as he finished saying that his finger slipped and the arrow shot at a pile of plates, shattering them and attracting the goblin's attention. The goblins all jumped up and started running towards their weapons as they spotted them.
"Great job kid."
"I'm not a kid!"
Everyone charged towards the goblins, doing their best to keep them from reaching the weapons. Chris was the main defense, using his chain to trip goblins and occasionally wrapped the metal weapon around some of them only to throw them onto the others. Rahz and Aaron stopped any goblins which already had weapons on them, though Rahz seemed to be having some difficulty fighting with only one boot. Each time he blocked a strike, he could feel the gravel dig into his bare foot, and had to hold back shouts of pain whenever one of the goblins managed to step on it. Rowan was busy behind the others, trying to figure out how to use his new bow, haphazardly firing off a few arrows in random directions. Occasionally one of the arrows managed to hit a goblin, but more often than not the arrows would either hit nothing at all, or barely miss hitting one of his allies. After one particularly close call, Combo glared at Rowan.
"Watch it kid! Whatever happened to being the greatest archer around?"
"Well excuuuuuuuse me for not being able to use a bow I've never used before, now just be a good boy and avoid my arrows." With that said, he took aim and fired an arrow, cleanly striking one in the stomach. "See, I am the greatest archer in the world," he then whispered under his breath, "too bad I was aiming for the one on the left..."
Combo sighed as he managed was forced to listen to Rowan bragging again, there was no way to get him to stop thinking he was the greatest in the world. That was one of the few good points about having lost the old bow, it made him shut up about being the greatest archer for a few minutes, unfortunately it looked like he would be able to brag once more. He decided to take out his rage on the goblins as he stomped on the ground with all of his might, and then punched one of the nearby goblins, sending him flying into the goblins behind him, knocking them all to the ground. He then managed to see a goblin with a club swing at him, and caught the club in his hand, before pushing it back and delivering a powerful punch at the goblin's stomach, tossing it out of the tent.
In a few minutes they had taken down the goblins and were trying to catch their breath.
"See, I, huff, told you that we could do it." Aaron was sitting on a bench looking at the sword he had gotten, it was already beginning to crack just from this battle. It was likely either already cracking, or a very poor quality blade. He looked around and noted that most of the weapons seemed to be slightly damaged, as if they were all heavily used in combat.
"Perhaps, ha, but that doesn't change, ha, the exhaustion." Chris had found some medical supplies in the tent and was cleaning the wound in his arm, and then proceeded to cover it up in bandages. He grit his teeth as he bent it, the battle had made the injury worse, but he would have to be patient and wait for them to escape before he could focus on healing it. He picked up his chain and wrapped it up carefully, he hadn't had time to properly set it up for an attack, and instead had been forced to jump straight into his weaker attacks.
"Hey, at least you guys had weapons, I was dealing with them face to face!" Combo was unwrapping his old bandages from his fists. They had already become red with blood, and he smiled, knowing that very little of that blood was his own. He grabbed some bandages from the medical supplies and began to wrap new ones around his fists, smiling at his handiwork when he was done. He then stood up and threw a few punches into the air, smiling at his own strength.
"Why are you guys even complaining, I don't feel tired at all, and you know what, if it wasn't for the limited ammunition, I might consider switching over to a bow like this." Rowan was walking around the tent picking up any salvageable arrows he could find and putting them in his quiver. He had no way to tell which arrows were his, though he assumed most of them were the ones he had missed with since he had not seen any of the goblins with bows. He smiled as he picked up one of the last arrows and looked in his quiver, it was still virtually empty. He let out a soft sigh as he looked at the others and waited for them to finish resting. The best thing about being an archer would probably be the lack of actual running he had to do once he found a safe spot from which to shoot at his targets.
"You guys shouldn't get too cocky and let down your guards, we got lucky here since we managed to catch them off guard, I don't know how often that'll happen." Rahz was again sitting in his meditative pose thinking about what they should do next. Normally he would have asked Freed to come up with a plan, but with the loss of one of their best minds, he was left to come up with the plans. They had already managed to sneak around and take down a group of goblins, getting some weapons was a bonus. They still had to take down the other goblins, though, and that would likely prove to be far more difficult considering the number they had faced upon entering the graveyard. Yes, this was a graveyard, or at least it had been. He had no idea if the bodies were still buried underground, but he had noticed that many of the tombstones had been shattered or simply missing.
He sighed as he stood up, letting out a soft yelp as he stepped on a sharp piece of gravel. For one of the greatest warriors from his province, he sure had sensitive feet, likely since he rarely went into combat, or training for that matter, without some boots. He looked around and noticed that all of the goblins seemed to wear boots, so he went up to one who seemed to have large enough feet and pulled the boot off of its leg. He gagged as the stench reached his nose, it was quite horrid, as if they never bothered to clean their boots. He thought about what he was about to do and sighed as he put it on. It was quite comfortable, but he knew it would only be temporary. As soon as they got back into town he'd be sure to either buy, or barter, for a new pair of boots, preferably some that didn't reek of goblin feet.
"W-what happened here?!" Everyone turned towards the source of the sound and jumped up, getting into a battle stance. The voice came from a goblin which had just walked into the tent. It wore armor similar to Aaron's, and wore no helmet, instead revealing its own hairstyle which also seemed similar to Aaron's. Combo was the first to let out a soft chuckle, followed by Rowan then Rahz and finally Chris. Aaron was not amused, and neither was the goblin.
"What are you laughing at?! It was you wasn't it?! You were the ones who attacked my men! We were told to keep you alive for tests, but I think my men deserve to be avenged!" The goblin took a large metal club covered in studs from his back and began to spin it. Aaron was quick to grab a sword while the others continued to laugh.
"Um, guys, in case you haven't noticed we have an opponent."
"Relax man, its just one goblin, just how much damage can it d-" Combo was cut off as a rock hit his stomach and sent him flying out of the tent. An audible groan was heard coming from his direction as everyone got on the defensive. The goblin was holding his club up with one hand, and in the other had multiple stones, which he threw into the air and hit with the club.
Rahz and Chris jumped out of the way of the stones, watching as they destroyed the benches they had been near. Rowan, though, he was so lucky. The stone didn't hit him, but instead hit a nearby crate, breaking it to pieces and sending the wooden shards at him. In a few seconds, Rowan was covered with minor wounds from one blow which had missed.
Rahz was the first one to reach the goblin, and swung with his sword as fast as he could, only for it to be blocked by the club. The goblin smirked, but then noticed that Chris was charging at him from the side. As Chris launched his chain at him, the goblin stuck out his free hand and caught the chain, pulling Chris towards him. Chris smiled at the familiar technique and was about to reach for his dagger when he felt his feet lose contact with the ground. He watched as he was thrown, not towards the goblin, but instead at Rahz, knocking the two to the side.
Before the goblin had a chance to relax, he was forced to block one of Aaron's strikes from behind. Aaron was in awe at how the goblin had known he had come, and more so when it pushed him back using the same club he had used to block. Aaron was knocked back a few paces, and also off balance as the goblin ran at him then delivered a sweeping kick, knocking Aaron onto the ground. The goblin was about to slam its club down on him, when Combo tackled it. The goblin slammed its club onto the ground in order to prop itself up against Combo's push, and then punched him. As Combo distracted the goblin by fighting against it, Aaron, Rahz and Chris ran towards the exit.
"Damn, its stronger than I expected, what do we do Rahz?"
"At this point, we should try to get away and see if we can find out own weapons. You and I, Aaron, we're not used to these swords, even then, we normally fight wielding two blades. Lets not forget Rowan, he himself said it, he's handicapped with this wooden bow."
"I heard that..." Rowan walked towards the others as he aimed his bow at the goblin and waited. He needed Combo to get out of the way in order to get him a clear shot, but the goblin refused to toss him elsewhere, or be tossed somewhere else, almost as if he knew there was someone trying to shoot at him. Rowan was forced to lower the bow as he noticed the goblin smile towards him, it seemed it really did know someone was trying to shoot at him.
"So its settled, we search for your weapons and then continue our attack, but how do we get away from this goblin?"
"I think Combo's got this covered," Aaron motioned towards Combo who had just fallen down and had quickly gotten back up and returned the goblin's kick with a punch. "Combo seems pretty tough, I'm sure he can handle this goblin for a little while longer, but if you want to make sure he'll be fine you and Rowan can stay here and give him back up, after all, it's just me and Rahz who need to get our own swords."
"What about my bow?"
"If we see it we'll get it, but our first priority will be our swords, then if you want we can go back and search for your bow, I'm sure someone like you should be able to find it right away.'
"Okay, just be careful with it if you find it, it doesn't like being handled badly."
"What do you-" Aaron didn't get enough time to ask the question as Chris and Rowan jumped into the tent in order to help Combo. Aaron simply shrugged it off and started running through the campgrounds with Rahz, seeking anyplace that looked anything like a place to store weapons. As they ran around, Aaron began to notice something strange. It wasn't the fact that they had technology like furnaces, or stoves, or even how well organized everything seemed to be. What caught his eye was the distinct lack of goblins. When they had arrived there had been so many of them, but now most of them had vanished. He knew that they had taken down a decent number of them inside of the tent, but that was but a mere drop in the barrel compared with how many there had been before.
"Rahz, where do you think all of the goblins went?"
"I'm not sure, but if what Chris told us was right, they march out of town each night. Perhaps they are all out in the wasteland and left behind a squadron to guard the base."
"All of this, I still can hardly believe it. I never would have expected goblins to be this advanced, heck I found a tent full of equipment needed to repair weapons! Why is it that they haven't attacked us with all of their strength yet?"
"I'm afraid I don't have an answer to that, all that I do know is that that question is the reason why we are out here. We have to learn as much as we can about the goblins, for I am sure that what we learn will change the world."
Aaron continued to run as he thought about that. Changing the world with the knowledge they would learn about the goblins. Was it really possible? Perhaps if the goblins truly were intelligent beings, maybe they could start settling their conflicts peacefully, preventing much unneeded bloodshed. Aaron smiled at the thought and began to daydream about what that would be like, until Rahz called him.
"Check this out."
Aaron looked into the tent they had stopped in and smiled. The first thing which caught his eye was a pile of weapons with his swords near the top. He ran in without thinking and grabbed his swords, then grabbed Rahz's and tossed them to him. The two smiled as they felt the familiar weights in their hands once again. They gave a few practice swings before they looked around for Rowan's bow. After a minute of searching, they had found many types of bows, but none of them like Rowans. Aaron then remembered what had happened when they were captured, the goblins had tried using Rowan's bow but had tossed it aside when they saw it did nothing. He let out a soft sigh as he looked towards Rahz.
"I think I know where Rowan's bow is, but I'm sure that he's not gonna like it."
"If it isn't close by, we better head back to the others then. It would be better to have Rowan with us than to have his bow."
"Yeah, I guess you're right."
As the two exited the tent, their attention went straight towards the sky which had filled with dark storm clouds. There was an occasional lightning bolt, but asides from that it wasn't so strange. What was strange about the sky was the color, it had become a bright purple.
"Just where do you think you're going? I can't have anybody escaping, much less feeling hope, heheheheheh."
Aaron looked around as he heard the voice. He couldn't find the source, but noticed that the torches were all starting to flicker, and the shadows all disapear. Whatever had said that wasn't something they would want to meet, but for some reason, he felt they had already fallen into its trap.
As these events went their course, back at the tent Combo fell to the ground for what felt like the tenth time. He was quick to roll out of the way as the goblin's club crashed into the ground where he had been laying. He tried to stand back up, only to be kick back down. Once he was on the ground again the goblin stepped on his chest, preventing him from rolling away again, and raised the club, ready to finish off his opponent. Combo tried to stand up, but was having trouble. The goblin laughed at Combo's efforts before he slammed the club down, only for it to stop as a chain wrapped around it.
"Combo, get on your feet, do you want Aaron and Rahz to think we need their help to do everything?"
Chris then yanked the chain as hard as he could, pulling the club and the goblin with it. The goblin was quick to regain his balance, pulling the club back and tossing the chain, along with Chris, to the side. That didn't matter much though, as Combo was back to his feet and delivered a punch to the goblin, knocking him out of the tent.
"I don't need help from anybody, especially not those two!"
"Funny, you seem to have needed help from Chris right now.."
Rowan was busy preparing his bow to fire another arrow as he stared at where the goblin had been sent. They had already gotten rid of the goblin like this a few times and each time he had come back and caught them off guard. Not this time, though, as Rowan closed his eyes and listened to the earth beneath them. He could hear the echos, the whispers, they were telling him that they weren't entirely safe yet, that they should be afraid, very afraid. He opened his eyes in time to see the goblin reenter the tent and fired his arrow. The goblin managed to see it coming and instead of dodging like it had been doing, it pulled out a long knife and used it to slice the arrow in half mid flight. The goblin smiled as it started running forwards, only for Combo to jump in its way.
"Sorry, I know he's annoying, but if you want to get to him, then you've got to get past me first!"
"That can be arranged."
The goblin moved quick, faster than it had before, kicking Combo's feet and knocking him to the ground. Instead of sticking around to finish him off, the goblin continued to charge towards Rowan, whom fired another arrow only for it to be swatted aside by the club. Chris was the next one to try to stop it, by throwing his chain and aiming to injure instead of just bind this time. The goblin managed to see it coming and threw his club into the air, and grabbed the chain with a smile. In and instant, he threw the chain at Combo who had just gotten back to his feet. Combo was completely caught off guard as the chain wrapped around himself despite Chris' best efforts. The goblin caught the club it had thrown and resumed his attack on Rowan who was now firing arrows as fast as he could, with a complete disregard for accuracy.
"Like a frightened animal you panic. You're a lot like the beasts of the wild, coming out of nowhere and attacking my camp, and then when you're cornered you begin to blindly attack."
Rowan continued to fire, his hands now shaking with fear. Rowan did his best to concentrate as the goblin came closer and closer, he had to stay focused. He took a deep breath as he loaded his final arrow and closed his eyes. He listened to the whispers of the earth once more and felt the goblin's footsteps. They were quick and sturdy, but somehow off, uneven, as if he was carrying something.
"I've got you now!"
Rowan opened his eyes as he fired his final arrow, smile on his face. He had complete faith in this shot and watched as the world seemed to slow down. The arrow left the bow and entered the air, he could clearly see its path. And so did the goblin who swerved and avoided the shot which continued to fly. The arrow flew out of the tent and into the night sky.
Rowan frowned as he let his arms fall, and dropped the bow to the ground. He was out of arrows and had little to no skill in hand to hand combat. That didn't matter though, since if Combo had difficulty against it, then he would be crushed like an ant. He closed his eyes as he awaited his fate, and then they shot back open when he felt water cover his body.
"What the heck is wrong with you!?"
"Lukewarm water, your one weakness, now with the archer gone your friends will be that much easier to defeat."
"What?! You thought I was being serious when I said that was my weakness?! I was jo-," Rowan stopped talking as an idea popped into his head, "Gah! You even got the temperature right! I thought it was a few degrees off and then could trick you into thinking that it wasn't really my weakness! I would have gotten away with it too! Oh, my friends, I can't let you see me melt away!"
Rowan winked towards Combo and Chris who he hoped would notice. He then limped out of the tent and pretended to collapse. He could hear the goblin laugh as he smiled and muttered under his breath, "That's right, think I'm dead and no longer an issue for you. While Combo and Chris distract you I'll be on my way towards my bow and then, heheheh."
As Rowan stood back up and sneaked away, Chris had just managed to unwrap his chain from Combo. Combo seemed furious as he immediately charged towards the goblin, which did nothing more than throw the empty bucket he was holding at him. The bucket managed to land on his head and blocked his vision, leaving Combo punching at air while the goblin ignored him.
"So, I can tell that he isn't the brains of the bunch, so that must be you seeing as your two other friends already abandoned you. I doubt they'll get far before they succumb to despair."
"The brains huh, that's quite a compliment." Chris rolled up his chain as he looked at the goblin with a smile. He knew he wouldn't be able to take it down on his own, and also knew that it would take Combo a bit to get the bucket off of his head. It had happened before and he had been disappointed in Combo. Combo just wouldn't admit that he needed to remove the bucket in order to fight and had only taken it off when he had been knocked to the floor. He had it embedded in his head that the moment he stopped flailing about, he left himself completely vulnerable and could be defeated in the few seconds he spent taking it off of his head. What he needed was for Aaron and Rahz to make it back soon, or for whatever Rowan's plan was to kick in.
"You seem to be far more intelligent than we had been led to believe, tell me, why haven't you goblins shown your intellect until now?"
"What do you mean until now? This is the first time we have decided to invade your world." It paused for a moment as it seemed to be deep in thought. "Ah, I see, you mean you've run into other goblins? Those would be the criminals which received the punishment of being banished from our world. We never know which world they'll end up in, but nobody really cares since they are usually the most bloodthirsty and dangerous criminals."
"You mean, all of the goblins we've seen up until now were nothing more than your criminals? Why are you guys invading anyway? And what do you mean our world, don't you guys live somewhere in our world too?"
"Heh, and you guys refer to us as the stupid species. There are many worlds which exist, each one connected to the others through passages between time and space. The world we come from is called Noire. It is a world where there is no sun like here, instead it is filled with eternal darkness, the only light being the stars in the sky and the mystic moon which was created by our ancestors. As for why we wish to conquer your world, we have been running low on resources as of late, wood, food, things of that nature. As you could imagine, decent plants grow far too slowly in Noire, but here, here they grow so quickly. Do not worry, we do not plan to slaughter all of you, instead merely take some land and use it for our crops."
"If that's the case, they why did you guys attack us the moment we entered the campgrounds, why did you guys attack towns, why not just meet with the leaders peacefully?"
"Do you think the thought never occurred to us? When we first arrived into this world we sent out a recon squad to analyse the people of this world. What we found out was horrifying, the recon squad had been attacked when they approached a nearby town. That immediately crossed a peaceful meeting from our list of possibilities. As for why we attacked you guys, we sent out a black ops squad to check on your motives, but as they never returned we labeled you as hostiles. That as proven when some of the goblins found the black ops laying on the ground dead. Now tell me, what are the odds that we can settle this peacefully?"
"The odds are fairly high, with me and the others backing you up, I'm sure we can convince the Emperor to grant you some plots of land for your people. Trust me, we might have given you a bad example of what we can do, but trust me, we can do better."
The goblin smiled at this as it stared at Chris and then turned around as it felt something on its shoulder. It looked at Combo, who had removed the bucket from his head, as he smiled at it.
"You can trust us to try to find a peaceful solution, heck, if we were completely focused on annihilating you guys then I would have crushed your head right now." He then turned towards Chris as he continued to speak, "So, now we now its not evil, so what do we do?"
"I'm not an it, can't you tell my gender? I heard that all creatures of a given species look alike to you humans but I didn't think it was this bad, I'm obviously a male.'
"Fine, so Chris, what do we do with him?"
Chris smiled as he looked at him, "I guess we keep him with us as we tell Rowan, Aaron, and Rahz about how they're willing to settle this peacefully. He can tell his troops that we're done fighting and just want to settle this with as little bloodshed as possible."
The goblin and Combo both nodded as they reached their agreement. The moment they did this, though, everything began to shake. They ran out of the tent and looked up at the now stormy sky.
"No, not this, not now! We have to find your friends or else they're going to die!" The goblin was in a panic as he spoke, wide eyes watching as the sky turned purple.
"Why? What's going on? What are you so afraid of?"
Rowan continued to run towards where they had entered the graveyard as he heard thunder behind him. He stopped and looked back, it wasn't supposed to storm for a while now, they were in the dry season. Whenever it rained during the dry season it was nothing but a drizzle, but thunder meant that it would likely be a flood. He looked at the clouds and the purple sky and was left staring in awe. He had never seen something like this before, and knew he would likely never see it again as he watched lighting shoot from every cloud into a ball of electricity which now hung over the center of the graveyard. He knew that he had to find his bow, but his body refused to move. Something was wrong, he could hear the earth yelling at him to go, to hurry, to try to survive. The earth had never yelled at him before, only whispered. He could see two figures running towards the center and after squinting a bit managed to make out who it was. Aaron and Rahz, what were they doing?! Rowan stared at them for a bit before he remembered what he had to do. He couldn't head towards them yet, not without his bow. He had seen them discard it up near the entry passage, so it had to be there. He grit his teeth as he ran as fast as he could.
Aaron and Rahz ran as fast as they could. They had seen something in the center of the graveyard when the lightning strikes began to illuminate the night. They weren't sure what it was, but they managed to see its shadow. It as a large thing, one which had filled them with a feeling of pure dread for a second. They had managed to fight back that feeling and made it to the center, an area which had remained virtually untouched by the goblins. There were a few dead trees laying around, and the tombstones were all intact. Aaron looked up towards the sky and looked at the ball of electricity which hung overhead.
"Don't look at it too long, you don't want it to blind you, our foe could catch you off guard that way."
"Do you really think whatever we saw is still here? Just what was it?"
"I'm not sure, but I do know some legends about something which filled all who glanced at it with overwhelming despair. Entire armies would fall to it as they would be unable to overcome their emotions in order to fight."
"D-do you think those legends could be true?" Aaron noticed that his body was beginning to shiver, not from the temperature which seemed to be slowly dropping, but from fear. He had faced countless life threatening situations, but nothing like this. A monster which could destroy entire armies on its own, and only he and Rahz were facing it.
"Focus on your goal Aaron, don't let fear control you. Few people speak of its power, more so of its ability to fill those with despair, so there's no reason to be afraid unless you want to die."
"O-okay, but how are you s-so calm?"
"Simple, a long time ago I decided that if I was to die it would be in combat. I always go into a fight expecting to die, so this feeling is nothing new to me. Just remember, whether you win or lose, live or die, you did it doing something you wanted to do, something you felt you were destined to do. Stay strong Aaron." Rahz scanned his surroundings, trying to see if he could find the beast they had seen, and then began to hear a crackling sound coming from above them, "RUN AARON!!"
The two ran as fast as they could as the ball of electricity above them began to make crackling sounds, growing louder and louder with each passing second. After a few seconds of running, it unleashed a powerful torrent of electricity into the ground beneath it, reducing the ground, and everything there, to rubble, leaving behind burn marks on the ground. Aaron and Rahz stared at the large black mark on the ground as two white circles appeared on it. The circles began to move around, as if looking at the area, and then a mouth appeared beneath the circles. Rahz immediately realized what it was as he entered his fighting stance.
The black mark on the ground began to extend upwards into the air as it started to take shape. At first it was just a strange glob of darkness with a face, until what looked like crooked horns began to form on its top. On the sides, two strange clawed arms began to form as they stretched around, as if it hadn't moved in a while. The mouth began to develop fangs as the eyes focused. The strange monster was completely black except for its eyes and mouth, almost as if it was a silhouette of something.
At first the monster merely swayed back and forth, as if getting used to its body, but then a strange red hue began to grow from where it had come out of. The red spread upwards and almost looked as if it was a fire. The hands and arms began to take on a different hue as well, only purple as the entire body began to emit a glow. Strange spikes slowly sprouted from its body as it rose up higher into the air. The monster seemed to smile as it looked down on Rahz and Aaron.
"What the heck? I-I've never seen anything like it before..." Aaron stared at the monster as he began to shake. He felt his grip on his sword begin to loosen, but quickly held on to it tighter as he reached for the other one which was still sheathed. Once his hand reached the blade he found he was unable to move, instead could hear a voice in his head.
"Run, you know you want to. Its the only possible way for you to live. You know this thing will kill you and your friend. There is no way to defeat it, it is the thing of legends. Give up now."
Aaron listened closely to the voice, it seemed so much like his as it continued to echo in his head. It spoke about how worthless he was, about how this entire situation was his own fault. How Rahz would abandon him soon, just like Freed did, for what he had done to them up to this point. It was only a matter of time. Aaron let go of his sword and fell to his knees. He was right, this was all his fault, and soon he'd be all alone. He could feel his own eyes begin to water up as the voice reminded him of how many people he had endangered, about how it was most likely that Lady had died by now, the wasteland was a dangerous place after all, especially for someone with an injured arm. He watched as his own shadow began to move around, leaving his body behind. He let out a soft chuckle quickly followed by a soft, almost inaudible, sigh.
"Heh, even my own shadow wants to abandon me..."
Two black hands began to form out of the darkness around him, but he paid them no heed. The hands began to wrap around him, slowly tightening as he was soon unable to breath. He closed his eyes and accepted the darkness, not even trying to fight back, he wasn't worth the effort. Then his body fell to the ground as he heard a scream.
He looked around and noticed that the hands were gone, and the monster was holding its own head, eyes tightly shut as it continued to scream, occasionally bashing its own head against the ground. Rahz was standing besides him, eyes firmly staring at the monster as his hands firmly held onto his swords.
"You're wrong, I might not be worth much, but my men are worth more than you could ever comprehend. Freed had his own reasons for leaving, it wasn't because of me or Aaron. The men who died fighting under my orders, they all did so willingly, smiles on their faces as they fought for the land and people they loved, and Aaron, there is no way in hell that he would ever abandon me, or another comrade! Aaron is my greatest pupil, and he will surpass me by far! Listen to me Aaron, you are worth something!"
Rahz charged towards the monster which was still holding its head tightly and was forced to accept the blows which Rahz dealt it. The monster howled in pain as its arms fell to the ground. Rahz continued to strike at it, not stopping until all that was left were pieces of darkness. He then sheathed his blades and walked back to Aaron, holding his hand out in order to help his friend back to his feet.
"D-did you really mean what you said?" Aaron took his hand and stood up, looking at his captain with watery eyes.
"Yes, I meant every word, you are my best pupil, you have both brawn and brain, and above all else, you have a sense of right and wrong, something every warrior should have. This monster, everything it told you, all lies. I realized that the moment it said that you would abandon me."
Aaron smiled at Rahz, yes, the monster was wrong about Rahz too. They had fought for so long, he knew he could trust him. He looked out of the corner of his eye and managed to see Combo and Chris running towards them, and behind them the goblin! Had he really forced them to retreat? And where was Rowan!? Aaron grabbed his sword and charged towards the goblin, ready to strike when Chris used his chain to stop him.
"Hold on Aaron, he means you no harm. We came to an understanding." Aaron looked at Chris, vacant look on his face. How had they done that, he thought that goblins were nothing more than brutes, just what had happened while he was gone?
"H-how did you guys do that? Y-you managed to defeat Despair? Nobody's ever done that before, even the Elite Goblin Squad was no match for it!" The goblin was gawking at the pile of darkness where Despair had been.
"So, it had a name? Yeah, I killed it, who would have expected it to respond so badly towards my will?" Rahz smiled as a look of horror spread across the goblin's face. Turning around, Rahz reentered his battle stance, watching as the pieces of darkness all began to put themselves together, reforming Despair.
"Sooo, you are immune to my despair.... I guess I will have no choice but to use brute force once again, oh it has been too long."
Despair began to extend itself upwards once again, only this time to the point that its body was taken a more grotesque appearance. Legs could be visible now as it towered above them, grinning as its entire body began to become purple. Before Despair began to attack, the goblin ran up to it.
"Listen, we don't have to fight, we can settle this peacefully! The humans aren't just bloodthirsty monsters, they're willing to give up some land so that we can use it for crops!"
Despair looked down at the goblin as it bent down in order to get a better look at him.
"Hmmm, you say that we don't have to fight them and that they're willing to help us accomplish our goal? Excellent!" Despair gave the goblin a pat on his head as it looked at the warriors. "So, you'll slaughter each other for me? Go ahead and begin, I do enjoy watching a death match."
"W-what do you mean? Our goal was never to kill the humans but to get some land for crops! They were willing to give some up so nobody has to die! I'm sure Ha'des will be satisfied with this solution!"
"Perhaps that was your mission, but not mine. I don't follow orders from Ha'des, mine come from a far superior source." Despair gave the goblin a wide toothy grin as the goblin began to seem increasingly anxious.
"W-what do you mean someone superior to Ha'des? He's the ruler of all of Noire, nobody has more authority than him!"
"He may be the ruler of Noire, but he is not my ruler! Those of us who recognize who is truly in charge of not just Noire, but every world, have taken over this mission long ago. We will make sure every human is slaughtered, starting with you pests!"
Despair swung his arm, swatting the goblin to the side as he let out a horrifying roar, causing the very world to shake. He looked at Rahz for a moment and then spotted Aaron who was running towards the fallen goblin. Despair put its hands together as it began to form a black sphere of energy. Rahz was quick to notice just what was going on and ran towards Aaron as he knew he would never each Despair in time to stop the attack.
"Aaron! Look out!"
Despair's grin grew wider as the sphere shot out a black arrow which flew towards Aaron, who managed to see it out of the corner of his eye. It was moving too fast, there was no way for him to dodge it, he was done for. Then he felt it, something pushing his body out of the way, and he watched as the arrow pierced, not him, but Rahz. It flew straight through his body, not stopping even on bone, and dissipated once it hit the ground behind him. Rahz fell to the ground as Despair began to laugh. Aaron ran towards his captain and looked over at the injury. It was severe, going through his chest, narrowly missing his heart. The wound was bleeding badly, and Aaron grabbed his cape and was about to rip off a part to use to try to stop the bleeding.
"A-Aaron, no... don't bother. I need you to, ha, listen. I don't know how much longer I'll be able to speak.."
"N-no, don't talk that way, you'll be fine, we just have to stop the bleeding! I'm sure we can find a healing potion nearby to help you! Please, keep fighting, you can do it! Please, don't leave me alone! Please, please." Aaron was crying as he spoke. Part of him knew it was impossible to save him, healing potions were powerful, but even with a gallon's worth it would be impossible to heal the wound before it killed him.
"N-no Aaron! Listen! I already, ha, told you that I went into battle prepared to die. I have no regrets, I already lived my life, ha. Now its your turn Aaron. You're not alone, ha, you have your new men. Look around you, do you really think you're alone?"
Aaron looked at Chris and Combo who were already in their fighting stances, ready to fight the moment Despair did anything. Despair just laughed as he watched Rahz die, he was enjoying this.
"Yes, feel that despair? Keep feeling it, it gives me power! Please, keep making me stronger so that I can slaughter you all, just like you killed your captain Aaron!"
"Don't listen to him, I did this to myself. I, ha, was willing to give up my life in order to save yours. Please don't, ha, let that go to waste, ha, go lead your men."
"W-why do you keep calling them my men?!"
"Because you are the new captain, Aaron. I always planned for you to take my place, and I guess the time, ha, has come."
"B-but I'm not ready! I don't know what to do!"
"Heh, Aaron, listen to yourself. Have you ever been so full of doubt before, ha. You are ready, ha, and you do know what to do. If it wasn't for you, ha, we would never have known about Despair, or this camp. You have to stop him, ha, just remember, trust your judgment on what to do. I know you can make an excellent leader." Rahz smiled at Aaron before his body became limp. Aaron's tears continued to fall onto him as he closed his closest friend's eyes.
"Despair, I'll never forgive you for this. Your leader, who is he? I want to meet him personally and make him pay for what he's done!"
Aaron glared at Despair who seemed to be frowning. "Oh, so you're done with your sulking? Pity, your friend didn't give me much despair before he left. As for my leader, why should I tell you? It's not like you're ever going to meet him!"
Despair grinned as he shot another black arrow from its sphere. The arrow flew towards Aaron, who glared at it for every second it flew towards him. He then smiled when the arrow seemed to shatter as something flew through it. On the ground was an arrow and he heard a familiar sound from not too far away.
"Heck yeah! That's what I'm talking about!"
Rowan was standing atop of a tree with his own bow smiling. He had already pulled the string creating another arrow and firing it at the sphere, destroying it in Despair's hands.
"Guys," Aaron stood up as he held his swords tightly, "We have to defeat Despair here and now. We can't let him get away with what he's done! I am your captain, and I order you to show no fear and fight on!"
Everyone smirked as they heard those words, glaring at Despair who seemed to be shrinking. Despair glared at them all, trying to reform new spheres only for them to be destroyed by Rowan's arrows. Chris and Combo had both already charged at Despair, Chris using his chain to bind the still shrinking creature and Combo delivering various punches to it.
"W-what are you doing! Y-you're not supposed to stand up to me! You're supposed to be feeling nothing but despair!"
As Chris and Combo continued attacking it, Despair managed to alter his shape and escape the chains. As it fled, Aaron ran in front of it and continued to glare at the monster. He held both of his swords out and prepared to attack. Despair stopped for a moment and stared at the warrior.
"Tell me Despair, what is it that you're feeling right now? Is it fear? Is it anxiousness? Or is it despair?"
Despair glared at Aaron as it felt the weight of his words. "S-shut up!"
Despair forced itself to grow back into its monstrous form once more as it glared at the unflinching Aaron. "I am Despair! I am that which all creatures fear! What are you to stand up to me!?"
"I am a human who has no fear." Aaron glared at Despair as he ran forwards slashing at the monster which had already turned around and began to run. Aaron refused to let it get away as he sliced its legs off. Upon falling to the ground, Despair started dragging itself back towards the center of the graveyard using its arms. Aaron continued to chase the frightened monster and slashed its arms off. Despair was left unable to move until its body turned back into a shadow on the ground which fled as fast as it could. Aaron refused to give up the chase, closely following it. He continued to slash at the ground, despite it having no effect on Despair, but that didn't change the terrified expression on its face as it fled.
Upon reaching the center of the graveyard, Aaron began to feel the temperature drop as Despair began to disappear as its voice filled the area.
"Y-you'll regret this! There's no way you can defeat the Invader, he'll enter your world and fill it with darkness! He'll slaughter so many humans that the despair will make me the most powerful being in all the worlds!"
Everyone watched as the shadows around Despair began to swirl around it, until it created a strange vortex which Despair slipped into, vanishing from sight. Aaron looked closely at the strange swirling darkness and put a stone in it, watching it sink into it. He then walked over towards Rahz's body and stared at it.
"Well Rahz, I guess you were right, I have no reason to be afraid. Thank you for everything, I'm afraid the only thing I can give you is a proper burial at this point..."
After a few minutes, Aaron stood in front of Rahz's swords which were sticking out of the ground. They had already buried Rahz and had used his swords as his tombstone. The goblin had engraved a simple phrase onto the swords, 'Here lies Rahz, Commander, Warrior, and Friend'. Chris, Combo and Rowan stood around him, completely silent as they stared at the blades. Finally the silence was broken by Aaron.
"No point in just waiting here, goblin, what is that thing Despair made?"
The goblin walked over towards the vortex and stared at it.
"That's a portal to Noire, anything that goes into it will show up in my world. I don't know about you guys, but I plan to go warn Ha'des about this 'Invader'."
"You're not going to be going alone, I'm going too. Whomever this Invader is caused the death of my friend, and is planning to kill everyone. I cannot let someone like that continue to live on. Rahz and I made it our mission to get to the bottom of this and if that means going into Noire then so be it."
"We're coming too."
Aaron looked at the others who were smiling at him. They each looked so confident and trusting.
"We swore to protect our town, and that seems to mean that we'll have to find this Invader and teach him a lesson." Combo smirked as he looked at the portal.
"So, what do we have to do?" Rowan was poking the portal with a stick as he tried to see if it had a bottom.
"You simply walk into it, nothing more to it." The goblin shrugged as he was unable to explain it any further.
"Well then, say goodbye to Charivit, because who knows when we'll be back." Aaron smirked as he walked into the portal, and then everything went black.
HECK YEAH! Reached 50k! Strangely not even halfway through the story yet :lol:
I do plan to finish the story soon, but I plan to update slower now as I start giving more attention to my other fic too. Damn, feels great to reach 50k :D
Re: Green Morality (NaNoWriMo Story): Chap 9
Well I finally finished reading all of the chapters. I know it took me a week but at least I did it right xD
On to the review we go.
Now as you remember I told you that I liked the story that you can create with the cards relating to Gagagigo but what you did here was pretty great, not just because you used those cards but also you added the story of all of the other cards that relate to his in anyway. Your characters are pretty good, I personally liked Eria and Freed a lot, though Freed's a bit of a loose cannon really.
The story itself has been very good, but there are some points where it feels a little rushed, well obviously the chapters get longer so I guess you wanted to end it quicker but I think that maybe you should slow down a bit to focus more on the character's personalities and their developtment. Speaking of that, while you have pretty good description, and this is a problem that I myself have, there are a lot of instances where you list events and things rather than describe them thoroughly; of course there are points where you can do this but it happens around the parts that need description.
For example, the death of Eria and the rest of the Charmers was sad, but I feel like it missed a lot of description that could've made it more heart wrenching, I felt like the fight itself moved a little too fast because one second they were fused with their familiars and the next second they're already turning into elements. It still grasped my interest and I managed to keep up the emotions but not everyone would feel that way so remember to focus more on the feelings of the characters, whether sadness of happiness and make sure to describe how they're dealing with the situation in front of them.
Gagagigo's character is interesting, as he is still new to the world there are a lot of things that he doesn't understand and tends to act on instinct, however hero's turned villains is a very delicate subject so remember to pace yourself and not rush too much into his change cause that could throw things off a little.
Re: Green Morality (NaNoWriMo Story): Chap 9
@Stellar Gale; my inability to pace myself comes back to bite me once more XP
Thanks for the advice and I'll try to work on the listings and focus more on their personalities.
Also, I see what you mean about the charmer thing, looking back at it, it feels way too rushed, guess I should slow down more around the more emotional parts