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DEMON MANSION (Paragon Chapter V, Page 4)

Posted Apr 7, '14 at 6:59pm

Salvidian

Salvidian

4,299 posts

I was on the edge of my seat until I realized there wasn't another line.

 

Posted Apr 12, '14 at 4:06pm

Freakenstein

Freakenstein

9,662 posts

Moderator

Let's see what happens if I release part 2 on the weekend.

~Part II~

The assumed leader licked his chops and began to speak in a huffed tone, "Now what's a shiny-looking group like yerselves been comin here and struttin our territory aroun', eh?" Sweat began to drop around Balnades' forehead as he began to realize just how many men were looking down upon him. There couldn't have been more than 40 feet between the two cliffs enveloping the underpass. This would be a tight battle (if it came to it) and the carriages protecting the children would be in great danger. He put his hands upward in a passive gesture "We're just armed travelers looking to make our way into that town over there. That's all we mean to do. We won't encroach further and we'll look for another way afterwards. Just let us pass this one time." The bearded man huffed in laughter, which caused his army to laugh in turn. The laughter enveloped around the group, causing tension amongst the soldiers and making them stir. They clutched their weapons preparing for something to happen.

"What's going on, Brother?" asked Kashan. Allos replied, "I don't know, but I bet it isn't good. The paddlefeet don't like what they found either."

"Are we here already, Daniel?" asked Danielle as she piqued her curiosity by looking out the hole in the back of their carriage. "I wouldn't do that, Sis," warned Daniel. He grabbed her arm before she tried climbing out. "But what if we really are at home? I wanna see Mom and Dad!"

"Danielle, get back inside please," hissed Balnades. She took the hint and quickly stuck her head back in the carriage.

Kahna couldn't take anymore of the fearful laughter and began to cry. "No, please don't cry Kahna, everything will be all right!" cooed Elane, holding her close. Even so, she herself was beginning to sob.

"We need to do something!" cried a soldier in the back. KaelâThas remained steadfast. âWeâre stayinâ put âtil our commander tells us to jump in!â Be that as it may, his knuckles were white grasping his polished battleaxe. No one else was more itching for a fight than he.

"Be that a wee babe you got there?" sneered the leader of the raid party. "She no like none of this does she?" he began speaking in a mocking tone before laughing again.

"That is my daughter," spoke Balnades. "We're just passing through. Let us pass through to this town."

"Passing through my ***!" Balnades was startled by the sudden raising of his voice. "What travelers...pass through with army dogs?"
"We are armed travelers, I told you--"

"Not done I am! Travelers? Armed? Yes...All of yous are! Let me ask you something: What travelers wear the symbol of Lytal!?" The raiders booed and roared, clashing their weapons and shields together. It was clear that they were ready for a fight. They did not take kindly to patchy lies. "I wasn't done either," muttered Balnades. The raid leader turned his head in confusion. "What did you say?" he warned, voice heavy.

"I said, let us pass through to this town, and we will leave your men unharmed."

The raid leader seemed to be hoarse from laughter. " YOU? KILL US!? Your men look like they're barely off their bottle! Do you even know who I am? I'm Gerik the Lunatic, Class III Fighter, and your men will be as limbs if I get to them!" The soldiers surrounding the carriages weren't eager to take on such an unkempt, savage people, much less fight them on uneven ground. But Master Tristain wasn't impressed. He raised a finger and lightly put "If." Balnades was aghast at another person trying to speak down a raiding party. He muttered, "Master Tristain, please let me speak from this point forward! I'm trying to keep our children from as much harm as possible!"

"You gonna let an old fart speak now, whelp? This be rich." The raiding party harassed them even further, some outliers gesturing unkindly.
"Listen Balnades," Master Tristain assured by clapping his hand on his shoulder, "I don't think these people are in the mood for just letting us go. We better end it quickly before they get the jump on us first."
"But what can the group as a whole do? It will take a while for them to even climb up ready to fight them!"

"That's where I come in. You talk them down some more, and I will sit down and prepare something." Master Tristain's eyes were flashing a golden hue.
"O-okay. I hope what you're doing is going to help out." Balnades managed to leave a grin on his face.

Tensions were higher still inside the carriages and that only made the children even more curious. "I hope nothing bad's gonna happen, Allos," worried Kashan. "Hey, don't worry little brother," assured Allos. "If anybody nasty barges through here, they will have to get past me!" He flashed his patchwork shortsword, something that appeared obviously handed down from his older brother when he was his age. He looked confident, but slumped over when Kashan mentioned "but you don't have any armor on; youâll get hurt out there."

Balnades turned his head towards the raid leader Gerik while Master Tristain sat down and focused his hands into something. "Are you people working for anybody?" he asked. "We work for many people" he snickered. "Many people want our work, because we work very. Very. Well." The two soldiers in front of the party swallowed in fear.

"So maybe you're working for, say, the nation Kaivim's king Servos?"
"Maybe we are, maybe we aren't! I don't think it matters for you to know, does it?"

"It sure does. Because we are going to be the ones left alive in this fight." Balnades smirked.

"Bah!" The raid leader waved him off. "You make big talk, but your fight will be boring."

A hooded figure moved towards Gerik and whispered to him. "Warlord Gerik, there's a disturbance in wind down there. Someone must be concentrating power in one of the carriages." After the message was over, his eyebrows were raised high. "WHAT? SOMEONE'S USING MAGIC DOWN THERE?â The raiding party mashed their faces in vehemence, breathing angrily. âCome on Gerik,â said a female raider, âLetâs shut this manâs trap and get on with it!â He flashed his teeth and nodded. âTrying to trap us, eh? That tears it, you're all dead meat! Destroy those carriages, wizard!"
"My pleasure." The same hooded figure conjured a spinning octogram with runes that trickled down shining, crimson particles that collected in the middle. The mass increased in size, until the octogram spun so fast, the lettering was blurred and the borders shined white. Suddenly, the octogram imploded to nothing and the force propelled the burning mass down into the carriages.

Balnades saw the fireball coming, but he could not prepare in time to react and instead panicked. "No! NO!" He began reeling for the front of the cart, but then Master Tristain shouted "Now!" He released his hands and the golden energy that gathered around him shot towards every soldier he wished and enveloped them in light. When his hands both shot pivoted up the cliff, every soldier blanketed in the light, including Balnades, Gustav, and himself, rocketed above the cliff with the sound of cannon fire. They were spooked beyond belief, but now they were falling towards the raiding party, and now they were ready to fight.

This, however, did not stop the fireball; moments after the group teleported to the battleground, the fireball met its target: the rear carriage. The resounding explosion swallowed the carriage in flames while the rest of the wagons were rocked in pure force, sending them crashing to the sides of the cliff. The paddlefeet could not bear to stand, sending trumpeting cries of pain. Balnades looked on in horror. "Dammit!" He shouted. "Don't worry Balnades," soothed Master Tristain, "that was the cargo wagon. Your plan worked just fine. The rest of the carriages aren't hurt too badly."

"Good. Th' kids're all mostly unharmed. With tha' out o' th' way," interrupted Kael'Thas, "This means we can fight with doubt in mind!" Balnades did not care about this detail and his face was red in anger. He shouted down at his enemies, "How dare you people attack a carriage with children on board! You won't walk away from this, I swear it! Even if I have to end you myself!"

The soldiers touched down and began to fight immediately. Swords, spears, axes, and shields clashed with metal as battle cries and bellowing echoed throughout the land. Bodies were wrestled to the ground and both Lytalian soldiers and raiders were struggling to keep up. The raid leader opened his mouth surprised. It looks like his assumptions were wrong. He heaved up his battleaxe but Balnades fell in front of him. He stood up shouting "You may have more men, but our men are far stronger and more disciplined than yours!" The raid leader's brow quivered in distress. "Well then raise your sword behind you if think that's all true!" Balnades simply sprinted towards him. "I won't need a weapon to destroy you! I'm not impressed!"

He raised an armored fist and slammed into the mercenary's chest, propelling him through the air and into a small tree, splitting it in several pieces. Gerik struggled to brace himself up, coughing and wheezing. He raised his battleaxe after situating himself and charged at Balnades to swing with all his might. The sharpened blade swiped down like a guillotine, but the battleaxe rebounded after attempting to slice through his massive armor. The blade of the battleaxe crackled and pieces were chipped off. "W-what kind of man are you to be wearing this monstrosity!? This is ridiculous! How am I hurt so badly?" Balnades swiftly grabbed the battleaxe out of the raider's hand and threw it to the ground. "I am Balnades Skryom! And you have harassed the wrong father!" Simply by hearing the name, the raider scampered backward, throwing dirt unto his legs, trying to crawl away from him. He threw his waving arms in front of him, heaving "Wait a minute! No one told me I would have to f-fight you! This was a set up! I-I-I-I thought that I would be raiding some common people! Not someone as f-f-famous as you! P-please! Just l-let me go! I won't bother you or anyone else, I s-swear it!"

"WHO ARE YOU WORKING FOR?" Balnades bellowed, sending pockets of air to ripple the raider's face. Gerik whimpered, tears and mucus coming out of his eyes and nose. "I-i'll tell you! B-but you have to promise to leave me b-be!" He grunted, sounding impatient.

"H-his name is S-Se--" the raid leader couldn't finish before being impaled by an ethereal spear. Gerik gasped one final "GYAOOHH" before falling to the ground motionless. The spear was pulled from his body, and the hooded mage was the culprit.

 

Posted Apr 16, '14 at 12:21am

MoonFairy

MoonFairy

3,421 posts

IN CASE IT TAKES YOU ABOUT A YEAR TO PRODUCE THE NEXT SEGMENT

^
 

Posted Apr 16, '14 at 4:00pm

Freakenstein

Freakenstein

9,662 posts

Moderator

^


If I get enough brandy, I can explain! Maybe.
 

Posted Apr 16, '14 at 4:41pm

MoonFairy

MoonFairy

3,421 posts

If I get enough brandy, I can explain! Maybe.

There ain't enough brandy in the world, babe. Sorry. No excuses.

But keep up the good work
 

Posted Sep 6, '14 at 9:14pm

Freakenstein

Freakenstein

9,662 posts

Moderator

Chapter III, part 3/3:

His reddish-yellow robes still swaying in the wind meant he appeared at Gerik's feet just moments ago. "Nobody declares the master's name and expects to walk away." Balnades was stricken with a sudden fear in his stomach. (When did he get here?) he thought. (I better attack him right now while he's still speaking....)

Balnades rushed to the hooded mage and swung with his armored fist. The blow connected and the air around him spun, disturbing the grass and the damaged tree. The mage bent over, but his body began to blur, then simply disappeared, but not before the face stretched to create a smirk. "A shade." he muttered.

Balnades turned to the back, where the fight was still ongoing. Bodies of the Lytalian guard were dotting the battleground, but many more were from the raiding party. He scoped the battle, trying to find a trace of the mysterious wizard he failed to hit and for any soldier needing assistance. After moments of searching, he finally found his target: the mage was squatting amidst the top of a tree, occasionally firing fireballs and relocating himself when anyone attempted to throw javelins at him. He ran towards the next tree that became his hiding spot, but he needn't get involved--"Kael'Thas was hot on his trail. Axe raised high, he flew himself at the mage. The enemy merely scoffed at this hasty attempt and waved this hand. A gust of wind kicked up and pushed Kael'Thas with a force strong enough to stop him in midair, then slamming him on hard earth. The dwarf coughed up spittle and gasped "Blast it! I can' hit em while he's still watchin' me! The mysterious wizard returned to firing more spells at unwary Lytalian soldiers.

A sudden rustling of the branches surrounding the wizard unnerved him--Master Tristain appeared behind the hooded mage and tapped on his back. "Why don't you fight another magic user like me?" Before the wizard turned his head to make a move, the hand touching his back began to sparkle with fluid energies that vibrated with rising, intense noise. The energy grew in immense size with increasing frequency of noise. "I would watch your head if I were you", he warned. The enemy's eyes grew in size.
SHOOM. The energy collapsed, slingshotting the mage into the sky with a blaze of various lights and popping explosions. The magic was too powerful for the wizard to counterattack; he fell to the ground with a crunch, his back singed with burns.

Reeling back in pain, he muttered, "D***. I thought I could get away from being targeted. He didn't tell me there would be another mage in the group..." the mage struggled to clap his hands together. His body and the ground below him vibrated. A pale blue light surrounded him and engulfed his body. When the light dimmed, he was nowhere to be found.

Almost all the battle has been won by the Lytalian guard. The soldiers were celebrating their victory, while the remaining raiders were scattered without a leader. "Yes! We won! Get out of here you smelly bandit!" A soldier carrying a sword and shield bashed a bandit to the side of the cliff and kicked him off, sending him tumbling down. "That will show you! VICTORY TO LYTAL!"

"You overzealous idiot, look where you kicked him!" Shouted another soldier. "He's landing next to the carriages!"

"What did you say!?"

Kael'Thas heard that, crawling to the onlookers. "Th' children!"
"After him!" commanded Balnades. He threw himself over the cliff and dived.

The bandit rolled over the cliff and slid to the ground, where the carriages awaited him. "No...I won't be beaten like the rest." He breathed in heavily. "If I die here, at least I will see what it is they're guarding in here..." He motioned to one of the fallen wagons and moved inside. There, a hunched-over Kashan and a frightened Allos were crouched, trembling. "What..." the bandit spoke, puzzled. "Children? They're guarding children? Wait a minute!" His eyes darted around their bodies, gleaming at the clothing they wore. "You must be the noble brats! You're coming with me! Someone in my group is gonna be rich, so it mights as well be me getting some clink!"

"No!" screamed Allos. "You're n-not touching me or my brother!"

"Shut up! Stop being a bunch of spoiled punks a--" The bandit stepped too far inside and hadn't noticed that Allos had also moved forward. The rogue suddenly became rigid. He looked downward and noticed the short sword that Allos was clinging for protection had gone too far and pierced the bandit's chest plate.

"Y-you...just--" The bandit hunched forward and slumped, to Allos's horror. His eyes grew wider as the color faded from his skin.

"I..I, no... I-I didn't..."

"Is everything okay down there!?" Shouted a voice from above. It was Gustav, sliding down the cliff, while the rest of the party joined his initiative. He pushed the raider's body out of the way and found Allos stiff as a board. His trembling hands dropped his sword as it fell to the carriage floor with a dull *clunk*.

"I...brother. I-I just...?" Gustav peered towards the body, then back to his little brother. "Well would you look at that!? You just made your first kill! That's my little brother! Well done!"

"My boys--my little girl--where's my little girl?" Balnades checked through each of the carts to pull out the twins Daniel and Danielle, then finally, in the back of the broken cart to the right, was Elane clutching the frightened Kahna in her arms, both of them sobbing. "Oh thank the Lords and Ladies. Come on--let's pull you both out." Elane hopped out of the cart, but couldn't walk--her right ankle was twisted. Kahna made it out with only a scratch on her left cheek, but made it a point to notify everyone that she got a scratch anyway. "shhh shhh it's okay sweetie--"everything's fine, everything's okay, I gotcha."

The five children walked to the center to check out everyone's health. "Are you okay Elane?" Asked Kashan. "Y-yeah, it's just a twisted foot."

"We made it out okay," said Danielle, "but why were we attacked?" "I wish I knew the same thing", spoke Balnades, "I couldn't get the answer out of their leader". He stood puzzled, staring at his eldest son, who nodded.

"Maybe we should worry about one thing at a time," suggested Master Tristain, who floated down to the party. "Let's fix these carriages and get going before everyone is worried sick." Balnades looked to the injured paddlefeet. "I wonder if they are even able to carry us to the town in this state." It was then decided that the group spent the remainder of the afternoon patching up the paddlefeet and repairing the four carriages that were broken in the attack. The movement strategy had to be tweaked, due to five soldier casualties and one completely destroyed carriage filled with supplies. Balnades led the front, Gustav and Master Tristain watched from the sides, and Kael'Thas took to the rear. Once everything was finalized, the children climbed back into their carriages and waited until the gleaming lights of their destination grew bigger.


last edited Sep 06 2014 09:22 pm by Freakenstein
 

Posted Sep 7, '14 at 6:10pm

Freakenstein

Freakenstein

9,662 posts

Moderator

Time to get back in gear! New chapter right now!

~*Chapter IV: Magic-"City Hylatt*~ (Part 1)

Even half an hour after the ordeal when things settled down was Allos still inconsolable; he squatted in a corner of the carriage silent, just staring at his shaking hands. Kashan had to find a way to lift his spirits.

"Come on, Allos," he started, "If it wasn't for you, both of us would be goners! He was a bad guy and needed to be taken out!"

But that only fanned the flames for his older brother. "This isn't a game, Kashan!" he yelled, making his little brother slide in his seat. "I killed a man, his life is over, and it's all because of me!"

"But you saved both of us." Kashan countered. "And that means something to me at least."

Gustav beside this carriage heard the commotion and moved to the front of it. "What matters is that he is dead and you both are not. He was nothing but a bandit and you put a stop to that. You saved your brother's life. Are you really going to turn down your first rescuee?"

"You are used to killing, so it doesn't affect you anymore", retorted Allos.

He changed the tone of his voice. "Depends on who you kill, really: bandits and would-be-thieves, not so much. But others..."

The various murmuring of soldiers and the snorting of paddlefeet could only mean that the journey was over. "Magic-City Hylatt", confirmed Gustav. "This is where you and your friends are staying, Kashan: in a thick crowd, lots to do, and plenty of security to watch over it."

"Why do you guys have to go again?" whined Kashan. "We were just together and now you're going away just like that."

"Yes we are", he stated simply."We're still not done with our business. But when we are, I promise we'll have plenty of time to catch up."

"That's what you said last time."

"Look", he paused, "being a soldier is very busy work and we have a lot on our plate right now. Isn't this what you dreamed of being when you're grown up?"

"Yeah, I guess"

"At least you'll still be with your friends, right?" he assured.

The carriages came to a halt behind a wooden gate supported by tall beams and lanky-looking footmen overlooking it. The party would have to be given the OK before entering. One of them with a patchy beard piped up.

"This is Hylatt, who are you soldiers and what are you doing bringing yourselves in here?"

"You know who I am and what we're doing here, now move it!" shouted Balnades in a surprising change in mood. The corrected guard got the message."C-Commander Balnades! Very sorry to keep you like this! I couldn't see that far away, you see."

He began cranking away at the gears, allowing the gate to slowly reveal the city of Hylatt to the party, glowing in the sunset. Kashan clambered to the front of the carriage to watch as dozens of people commuted to and fro from each brick-filled house, villa, shop, smithy, barracks, arena, and farmhouse enclosed in the iron-infused stone walls of the city. The smooth roads separated to allow patches of grass and trees to grow with flocks of birds to inhabit them, making the environment a stunning sight! Loose paper flew as one citizen rushed to the alleyways late for work. Another was examining wares in an open-forum apothecary, muttering "You'll sell interdimensionary sickle scrolls for 88 gemelds but make us pay out the rear for thunderballs? Ridiculous!" Kashan's carriage made a left across the sputtering water fountain before watching how the transaction went.

"We'll be keeping you here," pointed Gustav as the group passed through another large intersection amongst other travelers before stopping at a rather large inn with colorful windows that reflected the sun's rays in a spectrum and several crescent moons with faces on the walls to advertise their rooms.

Kashan--and Allos, dreadfully--stepped out of their carriage as the twins, her sister, and Elane also left and joined at the front door."I think you'll be rather excited about this place, little brother." Gustav spoiled.

There were some hurried voices coming from within that grew louder as the door opened. A middle-aged woman with her hair in a bun pushed the door wide as her tied apron fluttered. She looked to Balnades, then to Daniel and Danielle and made a gasping noise. "Danielle! Danielle! My darlings, it's so good to see you!" She grabbed both of their sides in an impressive embrace.

"Mom--ouch, that hurts!" Daniel complained. "hehe, we missed you too, mom." Giggled Danielle.

"How was the trip here?" their mother asked, and they talked over all that happened in exchange for being allowed to breathe. Their father soon stepped outside as well, and couldn't quite do the same feat as his wife, as he was quite shorter in comparison. His pale face and reddened nose suggested he was coming down with something. He let out a loud sneeze as he attempted to also hug his children. "Hi dad!" Danielle called. "No--wait, please don't hug us, your whiskers hurt." Too late--he was already smothering the two in his pronounced, tangled beard.

Balnades gave a hearty laugh and greeted, "Baldwin! That cold of yours isn't killing you I hope?"

"Can't complain, sir!" He replied, "with all you have to deal with, a cold is practice!"

"You don't have to call me 'sir' do you? We're old friends aren't we?"

"True, but I think your soldiers are a little jealous of said friendship!" they chuckled as they were welcomed inside (the paddlefeet were to be rested in the attached stables nearby).

"Spirits! But hold the Downers!" roared Baldwin's pun as the group filed around the stained tables and sat down over a popping fire in the hearth. Kael'Thas felt right at home: he and Master Tristain plopped down on a table in the corner of the inn whilst accepting a large mug.

"Unbelievable", Master Tristain scowled, "drinking on the job of protecting these children. They look up to you, you know!"

"Ahh shaddup, whaddaya know", dismissed Kael'Thas after taking a large gulp,"Wha's wrong wit' a little after-battle celebration, eh?"

"You're not going to rise up in the ranks with that attitude..."

"I'm tired here! I took a nasty plunge from tha' uppity mage and now me back hurts like hell. Lemme alone this one time, okay? 'sides, yeh could do wit' a bit o' cheerin' up yerself--yer more stiff than all th' bricks in this inn!" he chuckled and downed his mug.

The darkened, warm atmosphere was making Kashan a little sleepy. The kids squatted by their parents (Elane followed the Skryims) and received milk and fruit juice by the kind barman.

"I need to know, Balnades," muttered Baldwin. "How much longer? Have the kings made a consensus?"

"Yes, please tell us," the wife followed suit, "I don't want the war to last long enough for my babies to sign up in this awful combat."

"Sorry Deidre," apologized Balnades, "There is a small hiccup--that really means a big problem." He told them about the one nation's king who didn't attend the conference.

"I can't believe that King Melrom didn't go!" Baldwin spoke after listening. "He's either lazy or scheming, and it wouldn't be the first that he's done the latter!"

"You gotta put pressure on him, Balnades," suggested Baldwin as Deidre poured more alcohol for the two. Balnades pushed Kashan's hand away for trying to grab a sip.

"I just can't," he finalized. "Kaivim is a large nation, and Melrom is a powerful ruler--very diverse spellcaster--he and I were rivals back when we were first-classes. Maybe it's because he's so powerful that he's been resistant for so long."

"Don't say that," Baldwin interrupted."The other nations signed the armistice not because they were weak and you struck fear into their hearts--it's because they too are sick of this long war."

"That's enough, you two," warned Deidre."I'll have none of this war talk while there are children present!" They peered around the room to see that all the kids were fixed intently on the subject. "Can't we all just talk real gossip and be merry?"

"Yeah, this grown-up talk is boring," Daniel whispered in Kashan's ear after he climbed out of his chair. "Let's get out of here and have some fun."

"Where are we going, Dan?" Kashan asked as his arm was suddenly being pulled by Danielle.

"Where else, dummy?" Danielle chastised. "Your cousin is staying here too, right? How could you forget that? We're going to see him!"

"Yeah, we aren't really a group until we have that uppity bookworm tagging along, are we?" her brother added.

"Well, then, let's go!" resolved Kashan. "I think I still know the way."

The three children slipped away from their parents and sneaked through the door while they were chatting about their old days. Elane got the message and went after them. Little Kahna tried to follow suit, but was picked up by her dad. "Where are you going, little one? Mommy will be down to feed you soon. Where is Lucy by the way?"

The two exchanged hesitant looks. After receiving another look of Balnades's own, Baldwin finally stated "Lucy went back to Lytal."

He looked as if he was about to blow a gasket. "SHE WHAT!?" he bellowed while pounding a fist on the table, crippling the table legs, and giving the other inn patrons worried faces. "S-She insisted, old friend! She felt she needed to protect the capital while you were away, and it's not like I could have done anything to stop her--she is quite strong after all--and I agree, she could right well protect it well and good---

"Our capital isn't as safe as she thinks it is!" he explained.

"So she IS doing a service by going there to protect it!" Baldwin reasoned jokingly. His friend glared at him severely, which he responded by sneezing.

"With what transpired just then, somehow, I don't think Lytal is as sturdy as we all think..."


last edited Sep 07 2014 06:28 pm by Freakenstein
 

Posted Sep 7, '14 at 6:31pm

Riptizoid101

Riptizoid101

6,395 posts

tl;dr

10/10 ign

"It's a thrilling story about Lassie and his dog, which teaches the important lessons of love, longing, and redemption."
~ New York Times Best Seller

 

Posted Jan 1, '15 at 6:14am

Freakenstein

Freakenstein

9,662 posts

Moderator

(Part 2/2)

The small yet quick adventurers slipped around corners and trotted through alleyways of Hylatt, with Kashan and Daniel leading the pack. They made for the south-east quadrant, dodging over waste containers and closed-off fencing. Danielle suddenly spoke up. "Hey Kashan, is it okay for us to be running free without an adult watching us?" While keeping a brisk pace, he looked back and responded, "Yeah! I mean, Dad always said that Hylatt was the safest place in the whole world, next to home. That, and, if he really wanted to, my dad could stop all of us at the same time." Daniel scoffed. "All four of us? I don't think so! He can't move so quickly with that heavy armor on. Now MY dad on the other hand." "Our dad is blubbery and has a cold, what are you saying?" His sister blurted out, giggling. This sorely defeated Daniel's argument, but at least it made the group laugh together.

There was one more alleyway to push through and they would be near their destination. "Would Inti be home right now?" asked Kashan. "Nah, that nerd is killing his eyes in the library" jabbed Daniel. "I bet you my pocket money he's there even though it's still bright outside."

The group was about to pass through went Elane, who has been silent and behind her friends the whole time, stopped when she noticed something. "Wait a minute, guys" she spoke, peering over a random trash can. There was a hooded figure with its back to the same trash can, immobile, and complete in tattered, stained rags. "What are you doing?" Daniel asked Elane. "Why did you stop?" She bent over the man, who had his eternal gaze across the alleyway. He seemed to not notice the children, or did not seem to care. "A homeless man?" Inquired Kashan. "Whatever!" piped up Daniel. "Meet us at the library when you're done." The siblings then sped off south.

"He looks like he has nothing to his name." said Elane. "We have to..." she then reached into her waist and pulled out a series of gold coins. Counting them in her hand, she then placed them in the homeless man's own hands. This triggered a rather startling event in which his eyes darted to his newly-acquired money and gasped airily. This made Elane recoil, to which Kashan instinctively pushed himself in-between the two. "C-C-COINS! I can buy m-many things with this amount, I can finally live aga..." he turned his head to his donator and eyed all about her. "These clothes, you're...No...I can't take this money." He drooped his head back to where it was before when Elane spoke up assertively. "No, it's okay! I insist! I have plenty more for myself, but you're in more dire need of it than I do." The homeless man then jumped from his squatting position and thanked her genuinely. "Thank you so much, Miss, I will never forget how you saved me from nothingness." He shook Elane's hand vigorously, who maintained a happy yet awkward expression, then sped off towards the opposite direction of Daniel and Danielle's trail. He turned the corner and was never seen again.

"Hey, you did something nice!" Praised Kashan. "But we can't let Daniel and Danielle waiting. Who knows what they will do to Inti if we let them bother him."

"Yes, lets, but...why didn't you go with them? I could have met up with you guys afterwards, you didn't have to watch me." He scratched his head before saying "Well...my dad always told me 'no matter where we all end up, never leave Elane by herself.'"

"But why would he say something like that to you?"

He took a moment to think, and then he concluded "Well...It's because you're the princess!" Grinning, he added "and princesses need bodyguards, right? I think that's why Dad wanted me to do it, because I'm a Skryim."

"Oh...right."

The two realized they had somewhere to be and followed the twins to the library, where Inti, Kashan's cousin, was thought to be. They did not seem to be that far behind (or maybe Daniel and Danielle slowed their pace for them), because they spotted them after a short moment of running.

The outside of the library was nothing special, but inside was something special. Columns upon columns of many books were lined up in rows higher than small houses, some taken out and placed by librarians, others sorted out by themselves. There were books that you had to ask someone else what it reads, books that created text of what you were thinking (you had to pay for it immediately after it happens, as Daniel was unfortunate enough to experience), heavy books that hold your weapons for you, books that came with its own cipher, and books that could change your appearance (for the worse). Daniel cried out in tears for a nearby librarian to fix his dire mistake, which was opening a book that changed his sex. The head librarian forbade him from touching any other books after that matter, but also told Kashan and Danielle to refrain from laughing so hard. One such category of books, spell books, was sure to be where Inti was hiding.

"I hear his voice!" spoke Danielle in a hushed matter. "Let's go see what he's up to." They sneaked into a large room where piles of books, homely and gilded alike, were stacked on top of a desk where a singular boy with medium-length, straight black hair was hunched over peering into a spell book over candlelight which seemed to change its font and text in a swirling motion. He muttered some words in a misty sort of voice, words which did not make much sense to the group, but likely did not care in Daniel's mind as he slowly crept toward Inti's left ear.

"LOOK WHO IT IS, IT'S MY GOOD FRIEND INTI!" Blared Daniel as he surely made Kashan's cousin jump two feet in the air, causing his book to fly in the air and start spitting out foul globs of gunk on the walls. "Troglodyte!" flared Inti, who was flipping through a spotless, shiny book to figure out how to clean up such an awful mess "shambles to me for wishing to abide alone, to acquire vast knowledge! When approaching the incunabula of greatness, I'm cursed to be in the presence of you!"

The string of words flying off Inti's tongue utterly baffled the children, and rightly so, when they looked at each other with their mouths agape trying to understand what's going on.

When locating the correct spell text, Inti casually spoke an incantation which caused a strange-smelling liquid to spew from his fingertips and into the grime, which dissolved and left no residue to be seen. "Fantastic!" He threw his arms in the air sarcastically, "how may I continue to be the butt of the Phaneron's practical jokes?" His curiously-hued eyes glared in Daniel's direction.

Danielle was the first to speak, though she had to shake her head as if to throw away all the confusion. "Look, you need to slow down, my paper-loving, big-word-tossing friend." She took each word slowly. "We.came.to.get.you."

Inti reached an epiphany. "Hold. You're here."

"Yes we are; good for you!" teased Daniel.

"Ergo, Kashan's father is present."

"That's right..." Kashan nodded, not sure where his cousin is going with this.

His eyes expanded. "Why is he here!? Is he not aware of the danger our home Lytal is encased--second of which, Cousin, your mother..." He paced to and fro from where they stood.

"Wait, Momma is in danger?" Asked Kashan in fright.

"No idea", admitted Inti, "but it's a glaring possibility. Your mother is surely there, making certain nothing comes of ill to the capital."

"I don't know if that's true, but I did hear Mr. Skryim shouting after we left to pick you up", Elane pondered.

"Princess Elane!" Inti shuddered. "Kismet that you're here, though! This presents one fair advantage on our side of the table, if you will." Elane became heated after hearing the word 'princess'. "Inti, please call me Elane. Not Princess Elane, just Elane."

"But that's improper!"

"We are friends! Friends don't have to call each other by title." She was practically grabbing Inti around the collar to enforce him.

"R-right, fair enough."

Daniel was wheeling himself around in Inti's chair. "You can tell Kashan's dad all that, but you're still here to have fun with us."

"Pardon?"

"You heard me! You act like an adult, but you're still eight just like us. That means you come and have fun with us."

"I see no gains in make-believe you--"

"It's four against one Inti!" interrupted Danielle, with a wide smile.

"V-very well, but after I speak to Commander Balnades."

After that was settled, Inti grabbed a particularly-large, but light spell book and paid the head librarian several silver coins to keep. He bade the group of children goodbye (after quickly surveying Daniel's person), and the party made for the Inn where they could find plenty of things to keep them occupied.

However, they did not make it that far before stopping. It was getting tougher to see as the sun was setting, but while they decided to walk along the main road, they came across a large crowd of people of various backgrounds in an uproar. Amongst the messages they protested, the ones the children could make out were "We should have destroyed it a long time ago!", "What are we going to do?" and "Please do something, Commander Balnades!"

"Hey, my dad is over there!" shouted Kashan gleefully, but Inti pulled him back. "Hold a moment, Cousin. Let's study the situation, shall we?"

Balnades, Gustav, and Allos were lined up facing a boisterous, middle-aged man with a unique sort of beard and robed clothing. His posture and raised head made him seem in charge of the citizens here. He looked amongst the restless crowd for someone, but instead cleared his throat to speak.

"I must tell you what has happened, Commander Balnades, and I hope for your cooperation in this matter: Another child has been missing and the crowd will not stand for it!"

"Another child you say?" Inquired Balnades.

"Right, and our culprit has been the same--the mansion behind us all: Kolting Manor! A rather impressive one if I do say so myself. But to the point, several children have been seen opening the gate to this mansion and never returning since. This child has been the most recent and fortune to us for having you enter this city just after it happened. Maybe now we have a chance to succeed!"

"Well, we are staying for a couple days here, but I can help you with this matter personally, and at once."

"No, you can't go in!"

"But you just asked me t--"

"Let me explain. You can't go in, your fine son Gustav can't go in, I can't go in, most of this freaking city can't go in! They'd be assailed mercilessly by the demon spirits that lurk within that mansion and we'd be squat to keep ourselves from dieing in it. We've sent fully-grown, fully-trained soldiers in that mansion and they didn't return either!"

"So what do you want us to?" the commander asked.

"Why did you emphasize 'fully-grown'?" Asked Gustav.

The flustered mayor of Hylatt jumped in place to keep himself sane. "The thing is, well, it's hard to explain...has your second son over there, uhm, finished his adolescence?"

Allos was taken aback, but Balnades spoke for him. "He's only fifteen, but why does this matter?"

The mayor fiddled with his beard before answering "This may seem over your head--this is a magic-city, of course--so we have plenty of scholars on hand... We came to the conclusion that these spirits do not make themselves known to adults, nor can the adults actually fight back if they are threatened with their life. There is a range of reaching adulthood, obviously, and so since our soldiers are too old to attack the spirits, and children are too young to even hold a weapon, it stand to reason that your younger son there is at the perfect sweet spot to save our children!"

Balnades pondered, but stated "Maybe so, however, he's the only teenager I have. Sending him alone can do little, if not nothing of progress. If he had others with him, though..."

"See, that's why I was looking around, but Hylatt is a city of scholars and traders, both of which are too old to assist. We're..done for aren't we?"

The crowd boomed even louder, prompting Allos to speak up. "Father, let me at least try!"

"I forbid it!" restricted Balnades as he shook his head. "Going in there alone is a suicide mission, it seems. I'll call for cadets from Lytal and Bremingen to solve this issue later, but your life shouldn't be wasted--"

"I thought I was a soldier!" Exclaimed Allos, clapping his hands on his father's shoulders. "I'm a Skryim, aren't I? I am your son! That means I can accomplish anything that's in front of me. I can do this, I just need to try."

"That is final!" shouted his father. "My word is safer for you. We're going back to the Inn."

Despite the growing angst of the crowd, the mayor insisted for a while that Balnades would bring reinforcements to the rescue--that this idea would bring the best rate of success. Inti gestured toward Kashan and the gang, and they snuck around the father and two brothers in order to refrain from being spotted. Once out of sight, they bolted for the Inn so that, when the three arrived, they would be beaten and made to believe that they were here the whole time and not eavesdropping on the conversation.

Balnades, Gustav, and Allos entered through the front door of the inn while the children remained around the back door casually.

"I'm going to take a paddlefoot and make for Bremingen to bring cadets with me to solve this issue," the commander stated to Baldwin after explaining the issue. "Surely you're not going to stay the night first, Balnades?"

"I can't stay here, Deidre," apologized Balnades, "I must leave immediately. Kashan, Kahna, your children, and Elane are in danger of entering the mansion as well, it will take far too long to organize everything to leave the city as it is, and it's already getting dark."

Balnades paused a moment before breathing in and letting out a heavy "ACHOO!" Snot dripped down his nose and he realized his cheeks reddened.

"That settles it!" commanded Deidre. "You've caught Baldwin's cold, so you must stay as long as you need to get rid of it.

"I don't care, I have to--"

"I can go fetch some boys, Father," insisted Gustav. "Okay, that makes me feel better. You go in my place. The dean knows who you are, but make it quick: I don't know how the mansion works, but no children just walk up to the gate of that place and suddenly disappear."


last edited Jan 01 2015 06:34 am by Freakenstein
 

Posted Jan 1, '15 at 6:58am

Freakenstein

Freakenstein

9,662 posts

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Fun fact: if I typed all of this for NaNoWriMo, I would be 2/5 done!

 
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