Thursday, August 8

Chapter 4

There they sat in a small nook, enclosed by damp stone walls that were completely covered in an overgrowth of moss. 

Although there wasn't much of an area to be walked. Fenix insisted pacing about, knowing they wouldn't be able to escape without an outside assistance, because this small cavity is a natural depression in the ground’s surface, which can only be accessed by a rope ladder. 

Frustrated, he began punching at the wall, in the hope of creating an exit; not caring if he ended up hurting himself in the process. He's that determine to leave this place by all means. 

Leon quietly sat, while listening to the echo of water dripping; due to the small amounts collected from the network of cracks and fissures. Then he slowly looked up, only to see shafts of the moonlight shine down through the hole. The light also descends vertically through the water and casted shadows across the walls. 

"Fenix settle down." He commanded, "You're only going to hurt yourself."

"I just can't sit around and do nothing!" Fenix argued.

"You're only going to hurt yourself... Bashing a wall bare handed like that. You won't even make a dent, let alone a scratch." Leon explained,

"And what would you do if you managed to out of here anyway? They've confiscated all of our weapons. You don't stand a fighting chance against them, considering we are already outnumbered.

And besides we'll be out of here soon. Lyrist thinks there's a specific method to use Yeldir's potion anyway." 

Fenix paused his fist, only to ask, “What happens after we are no longer useful, Leo? What then, fertilizer?”

Leon shrugged, "I don't always have an answer for everything." 

Fenix went right back to his meaningless wall bashing. Although Leon was surprised that none of it woke Blazerine up from her slumber. She had been sleeping for awhile now, all huddled up in the furthest corner. He thought it was odd that she's able to sleep in such a defensive position, with her face buried down inside the collar of her trench coat, and one arm is securely wrapped a little below the knees. 

Sleeping is something Blazerine doesn't do too often. Usually, she'll stay awake until her body is no longer able to function. Which makes this one of the few times she has ever been quiet. And quite frankly; he finds himself missing the sound of her voice.  It didn't happen often when he was occupied, but right now that's all he could think of. But deep down in the back of his mind. He could only hope this feeling would soon subside, or else he might do something he'll regret. 

Softly out of nowhere, she mentioned the name Haven. 

"Haven...?" Leon repeated, "Who is that?"

Hesitating, he reached out for her; to lend a comforting hand, but he ended up stopping the moment Fenix had screamed, "I got it!"  

Blazerine immediately stood, trying to decipher whether or not they were in danger. The thought was accompanied by a hammering feeling at the back of her skull as if someone had decided to hang a picture on it, with no nail. Her first instinct was to rub the pulsing area with the full extent of her palm. Easy enough, even if it wouldn't help her with the migraine she felt coming on. Once she had realized, they were in the same predicament as before. She dropped her head down, only to release a sigh of relief. 

"What are you yelling about?" Leon asked him. 

Fenix was grinning widely while rubbing his hands together. And his eyes were lit with nothing but pure excitement. "I have a plan!" He finally announced. 

"Was it to wake me up?" Blazerine irritably muttered.  

"If any of those elves come nearby, I can persuade them with my muscles." Fenix flexed his biceps, before giving each of em a pleasing kiss. 

Blazerine didn't even bother to lift her head, when she said, "Have you lost your damn mind, Spencer? Because I can honestly say that might be one of the dumbest things I have ever heard from you. 
First of all they hate humans. Second, they --"

Fenix is quick to cut her off by saying, "I don't care what a small tit gal like you thinks anyway. My plan is as flawless as my looks. There's no imperfections here woman." Fenix declared. 

"Fenix she's right." Leon mentioned, but Fenix ignored him, and returned to punching the wall. 

(Blazerine; I bet Fenix is the type of guy who thinks anything less than double Ds would be considered small. I don't think they're that small, are they?)

Blazerine looked directly through the collar of her trench coat to examine herself. She figured it's probably because she doesn't wear a push up bra, which would push her breasts together to create cleavage. Leon noticed what she was doing, and cleverly hid his smile.

Suddenly all their attention was diverted by a rope ladder; swiftly unraveling from above. And looking down at them... were many faces. Although they looked beautiful, their slitted eyes showed no remorse. 

---- 

Deeper in the forest; a sixty foot tree is caked in the soil and partial plant-life. In the past, the grass, that grew in the cracks of its bark, were vivid and lively green, but now they had darkened to the dead shades of browns, and sunburned golds. 

The tree looked ordinary from afar, but the glare of the sun had shown them otherwise. The expression of the tree is composed of knotholes and strange permutations of the bark. But what stood out the most is the disturbing imprint of Elfridh Wudslorrden's face. And beneath the trunk were bodies of many elves; slowly being absorbed. Some were skinless; exposing their muscle tissue, and even inner organs. All of it created a smell of rotting flesh with a slight tinge of blood. 

Fenix ended up puking the contents of his stomach out. It wasn't so much the sight of bodies that bothered him, but the wrenching stench of rot and blood. 

Blazerine looked away, feeling as if though she too would be the next to get sick. Unable to pinch her nose, she chose to breathe out of her mouth instead. It was aggravating to have been tied with her arms criss crossed behind her back. All, it did, was irritate her shoulder, for being painfully angled differently. 

Leon was the only one who had some use of his hands. They've bonded his wrists together, in order to enable him to use Yeldir's potion. One of the elves pushed him, making him stagger even closer to the tree. And the closer he got, the more he had felt 
an explainable dark presence, which was emitting off its bark. 

Halfway to the trunk, he's physically exhausted, as if though all his energy was being drained. He made an attempt to close his eyes now, for all he saw was an endless black void, that led him to believe he had gone blind. What made him stop dead in his tracks, wasn't discomfort or fear; it was a voice. The voice echoed endlessly for a few moments in the darkness. He clenched his eyes shut before reopening them, to see the world as he once did before. 

"Don't go any further!" Lyrist kept calling out to him, "Not only flesh and blood was absorbed here, but the countless of souls! They're trapped, all of them are trapped!" 

The elves were surprised that Lyrist had been here the entire time, watching from afar. Quickly he moved down the trunk of the tree, muttering to himself in an odd guttural language as he crawled, head first, then dropped to the ground, twisting to land on his feet with no apparent strain, despite the height he'd jumped from. 

"Now I know why." He continued to speak," Ever since the father's incident, you forbid me to come here. What you have done mother is a disgrace to the clan!" 

"I can hear them!" One of the elves said, "They're banding together to manipulate the totem..."

Another one had spoken out too, "I've heard when a human dies with evil in their heart. They will remain where they've died, until they've repented for their ill deeds. But these humans are different. They will only rest after they've gotten their revenge, on the clan!" 

"I should have known those humans would stay filthy even in death! They can't stop me!" The queen yelled, "Nobody can stop me from reuniting with my -" Her voice suddenly turned into an outcry. Roots had burst through the surface, impaling her stomach and all the way out her back. 

"Mother!" Lyrist cried out in dismay as he watched the roots retract back to the earth, only to leave her dead body to fall behind.  

Leon scurried away once the tree began to take on a new life of its own; a humanoid structure. The splitting of its trunk created two halfs; for legs. All the elves took off in fear at the same time it stomps its trunk like legs and swung its great limbs as arms; all the while moving forward, shuffling in a form of a locomotion. 

Gulping back the tightness in her throat, Blazerine wondered if maybe this was just one of those crazy dreams that felt insanely real. Perhaps, if she shut her eyes, she'd wake up from this strange and odd reverie. That's all she could do... is hope. Hope none of this was real, but it was.... After all this was the world she lived in now, and probably would live in for the rest of her life. 

Flexing his muscles, Fenix loosens his binds enough to yank his arms apart; breaking the rope in the process. When he heard the snap, he hurried to Leon and freed him from his.

Once freed, Leon rushed to Blazerine's side and grabbed the back of her arm. "Let's go!" He demands while pulling her along. 

He felt bad that Lyrist's people had abandoned him at the most critical moment he needed them, but there was nothing he could do for him, except stay out of his way. 

"H-hey untie me first!" Blazerine yelled out of frustration. 

Lyrist broke out into a run, quickly gaining momentum to perform an acrobatic stunt; by rolling his body forward in a complete revolution, with his knees bent and his feet over his head. Still in motion, he positioned his free hand over his shoulder and pushed off the ground.

Hurling his curled up body through the air, he spun while extending out his legs at the right angle. The rear heels of his moccasins pressed down, when he collided with a nearby tree. Then he sprung off in almost an instant he made contact. Unexpectedly below, the ground had split apart, unleashing all kinds of vicious and poisonous plants. The only good thing about that he used them to advance himself closer his father. 

He touched down, not to the ground, but on top of a lethal plant, called The Death Trapper. It's ruby red mouth would always trigger open; whenever coming into contact with an outside force. However, he's too swift to get caught in, what might as well have been a deadly pair of clamping jaws. From one death trapper to the next, he jumps, nearing closer to his destination

In his last mid-jump, he reached inside of his tunic and removed a hidden weapon; Fenix's dagger. It glistened in the moonlight as he made a white knuckle grip upon the hilt. All the while making an outstretched leap of fate. Holding his breath, wanting to close his eyes very badly, but he would need every advantage he could get. The dagger reels upon impacting the hard thickened bark. The steel did not break at first and left a deep gash. That’s when he heard what he feared the most, a snap, which informs him that Fenix's dagger had, in fact, broken. Pushing even further, he narrowly grabs the nearest branch on his way to the top. 

---

"Whatever you do, don't look behind us!" Leon instructed them. Everything, he could think of, was right behind them, chasing without no means to stop. Mobile trees, plants, and now even some scared wildlife. 

Racing through the trees, Blazerine felt like she was flying through the air. Leon dragged her through oncoming obstacles; from jumping, or to slipping beneath fallen branches. Trying to keep up, only made her muscles feel like they were being torn and stretched, especially with each leap.

"Where the hell are we even heading to!?" Fenix exclaimed," Everything in this forest is coming to -" Unexpectedly he took a hard fumble, after his foot was caught by a slithering vine. Almost instantly he was lifted, suspended in midair, he bounced up and down; similar to a bungee cord. 

They watched as Fenix's face gets repeatedly bashed against the ground. He yelped out, "ow", every single time he had made contact with the dirt. 

"You're going to have go ahead without us." Leon said after he nudged Blazerine forward. 

Biting her lower lip, Blazerine fidgeted anxiously from foot to foot. Her heart was pounding hard in her chest, and her mouth went dry. The thought of going any further felt nearly impossible. And he wanted her to do it alone. 

Before Leon set off to help free Fenix from his predicament. 
He could tell that Blazerine was too reluctant to leave without them because the look on her face said it all. 

"Blazerine!" Leon shouted angrily. 

Blazerine wished she could be as optimistic as Leon, but then again. Leon was the logical one of the group. It's probably best to follow the pursuit, regardless of what she might think.

(If he's that willingly to stay behind and help Fenix, putting his life n the line to save him. Maybe I should try trusting him, even if it's just a little. I don't think he would blindly let me go, without knowing there's a possibility that I won't make it.) 

She gave a long sigh, "Okay just hurry up!" She said, before taking off on her own. Surprisingly enough, her feet kept moving as if they had a mind of their own. 

She thought an accidental misstep had sent her plummeting faced down. “What the f-” Realizing a pair of vines had wrapped themselves around both of her ankles. The harder she struggled, the tighter the hold became. Forcefully both ankles were brought together and she was drug backward. Unable to grab a hold of anything due to her binds, she cried out Leon’s name. Knowing there isn’t anything she could do to possibly slow herself down.

Leon chased after her and screamed at the top of his lungs. “Blaze, grab a hold of something!”

“Are you serious!? LOOK AT ME!” Blazerine felt angry at him, despite how dangerous the situation is. 


----

Cautiously, Lyrist trend carefully along the limbs, all the while maintaining his balance. Approaching the head, his slitted eyes spotted a semi-enclosed cavity, which is beginning to be exposed by a breakage.  And its covered in thousands of tiny little holes. This leaves him with no doubt in his mind, that it's been caused by a termite infestation. Since the wood here is quite fairly weakened already. He repeatedly kicked his foot through, until there's a wider opening, for his whole body to slip on in. 

He dove down, deep into the depths of the hollow passage. Passing through, he twisted himself upright, for an easier landing. Then he closed his eyes, all the while inhaling a long deep breath.  Slipping down, further, and further, until his body impacted a pool of blood. 
Resurfacing for the air, he immediately sees an eerie pulsating glow, which blinks with the rhythm of a single heartbeat. And imprints of restless faces could be seen from the walls. Voices barely audible, each easily distinguishable by the simplicity of their statements, and the warm caress that carried heavy affection and reassurance. As if someone had purposely invaded his memories and dragged up something that he'd long forgotten. The conversation before their passing replayed so vividly he could swear he'd just heard it. The despair and loneliness. Sadness and rage, but most of all, regret. Their cries kept echoing in his mind as he splashed his way through the blood. 

Suddenly he was forcefully thrown back against the wall, knocked out cold. Moments later... he regains conscious, after he felt himself stand involuntary. What was this? Did somebody come to his rescue? Through blurred vision, he witnessed a disembodied imagine, of a spirit. But what did it want from him? There was a comforting presence about it; a type of warmth and gentleness, that one would think could bound a family together.

 Forcefully an expulsion of his bodily fluids came bursting out of his mouth. Almost all if was purely blood. And once his eyes had regained focus, the spirit takes on a form of a little girl. Although she did not speak... He could hear and feel the emotions emanating off her transparent body. 

She wanted to see smiling faces again, hear people laughing; she wanted to see life prosper once more. Clasped her hands over her heart, she could feel it, this wasn't the end, there was something coming. The young girl frowned and looked far as she could see; into the distance. As if it held the answers, but alas it did not. Whatever was coming is a future she could not see, but she could feel... And there was something about it that felt dreadful.

Slowly his eyes followed her hand, as she showed him the wooden hollow, cylinder shaped totem, dangling right above them. It was entangled by roots. The moment he looked back down, she had spoken the word "Angel", and dissipated from sight. 

Moving further, he reached out high to latch his fingers around the totem. Cracks began to burst rapidly throughout the structure as he tightened his grip. In a huge blinding light, the totem explodes in between his hands, unleashing everyone and everything that has been soul bounded. 

Falling back, he felt himself beginning to drift sideways, once the tree had dropped beneath the force of gravity and crashed into the depths of the ground below. The outer wall collapsed upon impact, allowing not only blood to spill out, but also him. 

Then he stood, covered in all the consequences of his mother actions and most of all; the betrayal of his clan. The only question that remains, is where does he stand now? 

Coming into his sight were the two humans. The female was being dragged by vines whilst the other chases after. Shifting on his haunches, he awaits to be aligned with her at the exact moment. Right before she could pass underneath the branch, he pounces right on top of her. However for this maneuver to be successful, he lands in a position where his butt was in her face. With his nails unsheathed, he swipes them across the vine, ending Blazerine's bumpy ride.

“Lyrist you're okay, right?” Blazerine wasn't sure how to react from being jumped or the fact that he's covered in blood. 

"Yes of course." Lyrist climbed off, "Wait here shortly for my return." 

-----

Leon was taken back by surprise because Lyrist had brought all their weapons, which had been confiscated by his clan. 

“Yes of course, they're all here, but amongst them you will not find Fenix's dagger." Lyrist explained, "I secretly snatched his dagger, in case if there was something behind Leon's theory."

"How didn't you know? I thought you have the ability to hear other people's thoughts." Blazerine asked. 

"That being true." Lyrist mentioned, "It still has one flaw. I'm unable to hear the thoughts of those who possessed the same ability."

"Think nothing of it." Leon said, "We're grateful you've saved our lives. Believe me when I say this; I would have fought on your side, but without my sword. I knew I would have only gotten in your way."

"Same here." Fenix bluntly butted in. 

"Leon would have." Lyrist replied, "But the same does not go for you." 

"Says who!?" Fenix yelled, after crossing his arms over his chest. 

Lyrist was quick to say, "The acceleration of his heart just increased dramatically... Which leads me to believe that he's most likely lying." 

"Jeesh, you're just like a polygraph." Blazerine thought out loud.

"A what?" Leon questioned her. 

"Well, from where I come from." Blazerine began to say, "It's an instrument, that can produce a record of changes in the body, like blood pressure, and breathing. It's used to indicate if the person is being truthful or false. And with Lyrist's ability, he might as well be a walking lie detector." 

Fenix didn't care to hear anymore of this nonsense. "Look first of all I don't believe you. And secondly, you obviously didn't come here just to drop off our weapons. So what is it then?" He asked. 

"I want you to help me fulfill my father's last wish." Lyrist replied,"Help me find the man who smelt of death."

"Really?" Fenix snapped, "You think we're going to humbly accept your request, and let you accompany us? We've got more important things to take care of." 

"Fenix, watch your mouth!" Leon demanded, "We have no right to decline a request from our savior." 

"C'mon Leo!" Fenix cried, "We've got nothing to go on, other than a distinctive foul odor. Do you understand how impossible that'll be?" 

"But what about the consequences of leaving your clan?" Blazerine brought up, "They cannot continue without you. You're the only male left now."

Leon added in, "Eventually, there would be nobody left to sacrifice. In result, you would lose your elfish properties, and revert back to who you once was; a cat." 

"I could simply return when I'm required to mate." Lyrist explained, "But I'm rather more curious~ about these important matters of yours." 

Leon took this opportunity to explain the prophesy about a man who will come to destroy the seven seas and all the land. 

Looking off to the side, Blazerine noticed a fat little rabbit, hopping along. That's when her stomach began to growl, crying out for its needs of sustenance. It's been a day now since she has last eaten anything, considering she had passed up on Fenix's disgusting worm chow. Strangely enough, she was beginning to regret it. 

Fenix had become quite furious now. It didn't sit too well with him, that Lyrist was going to be tagging along with them. His excuses seemed unreasonable as of why it was a bad idea. 

While pondering, his ears gave a slight twitch, as they instinctively perked up. He redirects his focus immediately to the sound of a voice, which turned out to be Blazerine's. Although she was thinking... It was very lightly, just flowing from one thought to the next, not caring to think too deeply on one subject, for more than a few seconds. 

It felt rather calming, not being bombarded, and confused with a thousand of thoughts, running through her head. It can be disorienting, to say the least, considering he hasn't been around anybody that can be heard, in a long time. After all it would take some time getting used to these humans. Since he's finding it hard sometimes to determine what thoughts were his, and what thoughts were not. 

By the end of the conversation, Fenix was quite furious. It didn't sit too well with him, that Lyrist was going to be tagging along with them. His excuses seemed unreasonable as of why it was a bad idea. All of this led up to finger pointing. Declaring, he cannot be trusted, along the same lines as Blazerine "the bandit." 

"Seriously?" Blazerine muttered, "Since you guys are obviously stuck on this whole bandit issue. Why don't you do the rest of us a favor, and put our minds at rest, by asking Gallet himself. He's the one that circled all those places on the map anyway." 

Lyrist knew he could always tell them the truth. How Blazerine wasn't who they claimed her to be, but he knows it's unlikely, they would believe his words, especially Fenix. He decides not to say a single word until the day would come, that he would make himself trustworthy within their circle. 

"Alright fine," Leon said, "We'll go gather the rest of our belongings and then head out." 

Blazerine quietly just stood there, watching Fenix and Leon head back to camp together. 

"Listen closely to the words I am about to say." Lyrist tells her, "I know you've never been approached by anyone, nor have gone through any of these so-called trials of acceptance."

"I'm not this guardian person they speak of." Blazerine replied, "I don't even know how I got the orb in the first place. All of this has really been a mystery to me, none of it makes sense." 

"You're not from our realm?" Lyrist asked, according to her thoughts. 

"I don't have the slightest clue how to explain any of this to you." Blazerine said, "Well at least on a level, where you could comprehend. I'm not from this time period, this century, this era. I'm from somewhere else. A place where there are...

How can I possibly explain what vehicles or aircrafts even are to you? I can't simply compare them to the inferior objects here. All, you need to know, is, that I'm unable to get back to where I come from. 

Instead of trying to figure out how to, I've been caught up in all this bullshit. Leon is blackmailing me over some stupid prehistoric weapon. As soon as my name is clear, I'm going to bail out of this whole ordeal, once and for all." 

"Running away after the title has been uplifted, isn't going to solve anything." Lyrist explained, "If they truly believe you are this guardian... They're going to use any method in their power to keep you nearby." 

"Let me guess, you got that off one of them?" Blazerine shrugged, "Well with whatever time I have left in this world, I guess at least I won't be alone." 

----

The trip back to Durham Village had its up and downs. Lyrist tried cuddling with everybody, during his cat naps, but for the most part, he would sleep up high in the trees. 

The incident led Blazerine to believe; it must be some sort of a genetic trait, that has been carried on over by his feline side. She only knows this because she had a cat once. They're considered a dying breed in her time, but Haven somehow managed to purchase one from the black market.  At first I despised the little furball, but after awhile he became my only source of comfort. 

Although she wasn't sure whether or not it would be comforting to sleep next to a mind reader; like Lyrist. Somehow it just ended up that way. In particular it did feel awkward at first. But there were a few benefits. Extra warmth during the cold nights, and somebody who was willingly to open an ear to all her concerns. 

From time to time, she wonders if Lyrist would ever be able to adjust to the human's way of living. But she never did once bring up the subject. For she too has been trying for years, trying to avoid the judgment of the outside world. And just like me too, he had to disguise himself out in public. Instead of concealing his eyes, he hid his ears.

Oddly enough, the uppity village actually seemed quiet for once. There wasn't much of a residence left, due to the alleged outbreak of the black mark of death.  

"A lot of folks tailed the hell outta' her' huh?" Fenix asked. 

"The fewer people, the better..." Leon thought. A pleasant smile played across his lips though the warmth didn't quite reach his eyes. As cheerful as his appearance was, none of it could be visible to anyone outside his helmet. 

Nobody in their group looked suspicious; only with the exception of Lyrist. Who got a couple of lingering eyes... And it wasn't because of his ears, they were pinned down beneath his hood. It was the fact that all of his clothes were stained with blood. Without any coin, nothing could be done about it. 

Fearful of being noticed, Blazerine hid behind everybody else. She wanted to avoid a recurrence of the previous event.

"It'll be all worth it..." She told herself, "My name will finally be cleared." 

Arriving at the blacksmith's shop, all of Blazerine's hope went plummeting out the door. She couldn't help but wonder if this was all some sort of cruel joke. Gallet was nowhere to be found. His belongings were missing, including his wares. Every single nook of his shop was completely barren. It's almost as if though nobody had ever been here before. 

The only thing, she could do now, is withdraw herself from the situation. So she stepped outside and sunk even further down, inside of her trench coat.

Shortly afterward, Leon approached her from behind. And said something... She tried her best to listen closely to him, but she feared that some of his words were being passed along with the wind; it seemed that nature was always speaking louder than the very God he had worshipped. 

Although she was standing close to him, Leon felt like she was miles away. "This woman is going to be the death of me..." He thought quietly to himself, but also vaguely reminded him of someone else. It was none other than Fenix. But as far as relationships go, he's really the only person to have ever called his friend. However, even when they left each other’s lives, they'd made a promise to meet up later; when they were no longer young men. Who would've known... we would cross paths so soon again. 

The sound of horses passing by made Leon jerk back from his thoughts and return to reality. Now was not the time to dwell in past, that's isn't relevant any longer. Although he knew, eventually he would have to decide whether or not Lyrist and Blazerine could actually become trustworthy enough for him to call them his friend.

The only thing, he could do now, is give Blazerine the benefit of the doubt. So he called out to the rider, "You there! Do you know the whereabouts of the local blacksmith?"

"Oh, you mean Gallet." The rider said, "I heard something about him setting off to a wealthier town, after finding some sort of rare weapon."

"What's the name of this town?" Leon asked.

" I think... hm.." The man paused to think for a moment. "I reckoned its Ansell Fiore if I recall correctly." 

"Thank you for your hospitality." Leon slightly bowed.

"Sure no problem." He mentions before taking off.

The fabric of Blazerine's clothes rustled as the wind blew over them once again, scattering strands of brown hair about. She enthusiastically screamed, "Were going to Ansell Fiore!" 

Leon watched a smile curved onto her face, wondering where in the world could she have ever hidden such a beautiful expression of hers. 

Suddenly she blurted out of the blue, "You're putting this much effort into finding out the truth, why?" 

Ignoring her question, Leon said, "First we will return to Yeldir and see if he has discovered anything new about the sacred orb." 

----

Blazerine felt like the flight of Yeldir's stairs took even longer than the second time around. They would of have been a breeze for Lyrist, but he endured the hardship to be polite. Well... mostly in consideration of Fenix.

It wasn't long till we've greeted the homeless man - I mean Yeldir the Magnificent himself.  He kept a brisk pace as he walked, from one side of the room to another. You would think the guy could at least hold still, well at least enough to have a conversation. Suddenly he snapped to attention, looking directly at Lyrist.

"You've come a long way from home." He said, "I suppose there's a reason for this unpeculiar departure." 

"Yes..." Lyrist nodded, "I've set out to fulfill my father's last wish."

"And what may that be?" Yeldir curiously asked.

"To find a man that smells~ of death." Lyrist replied.

"Smells of death?"

"I've never heard of such a thing."

"Oh boy..." Blazerine sighed, "Here he goes again."

"Hmm... could that possibly be a necromancer?"

"Necromancer?" Blazerine repeated. 

"Necromancer!? Are you mad!?" Yeldir continued. 

"There hasn't been a necromancer for centuries." Leon explained," Ever since magic was outlawed in the outer lands."

"Perhaps the inland?" Yeldir rambled on. 

"It's possible."

"Will you find out for me?" Lyrist asked him, "I would be very grateful."

"I shall try." Yeldir agrees to it. 

"What I don't get is. Why are you so willing to help them?" Blazerine asked, "What's in it for you?"

"Like I said..."Leon mentioned, "Magic is outlawed in the outer lands, but there are very fewer places, that secretly allow it to go on." 

"You're blackmailing him too!" Blazerine exclaimed, "Seriously what the hell have they taught you in that church of yours?" 

"Look let's just get down to business." Leon shrugged. 

Yeldir started up his pace again as he spoken out, "It's rumored that one of these sacred orbs might be hidden in an underground sanctuary called The Cirque."

"I've heard of The Cirque before." Leon butted in, "It's supposedly known as the last surviving group of self claimed seers. Their leader, Brother Augustine, devoted his entire life to spiritual insight; after having a near death experience. This occurred after he attempted to take his own life. It’s because he felt guilty for spreading hay fever to his family, and not a single one of them had survived.

He also made a claim that he had met the prophet himself; Ignaxio Hermes. And he told him, "Within the confines of this world, after the failure of the guardians. There is now only one individual left, who could possessed the ability to change the foretold future.

The story goes; once every ten thousand years, two Emotionalists are made in the favor of God's self-image. One male and one female are born to do the whims of god's work. 

Emotionalists are born with the ability to develop unique abilities and elements, without any prior knowledge of the arts of magic. Depending on his or her state of emotion, these powers are manipulated by how emotional he or she becomes. They will temporarily gain an element, which will represent their current mood. 

The Emotionalists' powers lie dormant unless something very traumatic happens in their lifetime that causes them to be unreleased."

"Do you know who those emotionalists are?" Yeldir asked.

"None of our scriptures have ever given any names." Leon replied, "I've suspected they've been looked ill upon, considering the churches are in debt to what had happened with Damus Johan."

"Well... I believe they've been removed to prevent another mishap." Yeldir explained, "The emotionalists lived ordinary lives, without even knowing they've been destined to enormous power.  

Lynn Crawford was a young woman; who discovered her powers by literally growing green with envy. The man cared about the most had eyes for another. Unintentionally she manipulated the soil. Well to the point of causing the woman to sink down into its depths, almost like quicksand. There she was left, buried alive.

Talon Aster, a carpenter; found himself in a crisis, from witnessing a crime. It was decided amongst the bandits... That the only way, to keep him from talking, was to end his life. So he tried running away, but eventually was cornered by a ledge. Having nowhere to turn to, one of the bandits charged him, in order to push him off. 

But at that very moment, Talon closed his eyes.... He felt terrified  and his body had become transparent. And the bandit who charged him, ended up falling to his own doom. 

It wasn't long until Prophet Ignaxio Hermes beckon forth the emotionalists to use their power. They destroyed many civilizations that God himself had deemed unworthy to continue on their lives.

During these times... Talon and Lynn grew rather fond of each other. Once the prophet had found out, he forbids their acts of love for one another. But they couldn't deny each other's feelings and gradually, one day, gave into the passion. 

In the result,; a child was born, possessing a greater power beyond both of theirs combined. Sadly the sin, they had committed, would come back to haunt them one day. Not wanting anything to happen to their newborn daughter; Fauna. They had no other choice, but to abandoned her in Alabasterstead.

Unfortunately... the prophet  had found out what they've done. 

Prophet Ignaxio Hermes: "Disobedient guardians... now the Emotionalists... I am disappointed; you two were so full of promise. And yet it's been all thrown away for a moment of lust. You cannot be spared, but I will do what I see fit with the child." 

The prophet doomed Talon and Lynn to eternal damnation, but he allowed Fauna to live. Her life would be of her own, at least until her powers surfaced; otherwise she would remain useless to him. 

Fauna got happily married to a man named Fredrick Darrison, and had three children, Angeline, Garrett, and Mel. Everything seemed great until she found him in another woman's arms. That's when all hell broke loose. Filled with an overwhelming rage, she completely burned the entire town down. Not only she killed all the residents, but even her own family in the process. 

It wasn't long before her anger gradually turned into sadness, after realizing what she had done. Alone, she stood there in sorrow, for many days, becoming emotionally numb. 

Overseeing the power Fauna had possessed, Prophet Ignaxio Hermes decided to meddle in humans affairs to lure her under his control. He told Brother Augustine where to find her, and insisted him to bring her back to Cirque sanctuary. 

This is when he provided Augustine with two items, The Collar of Truth, and The Bracelet of Falsity. 

The Collar of Truth is an enchanted counterpart proponent of The Bracelet of Falsity to indicate the emotional state of the wearer, by changing their appearance. For example, when furious, the hair and eyes would shift to a red tone, which instinctively represents the element of fire. And it cannot be removed by any means.

The Bracelet of Falsity particularly possesses a magical property, that allows the wearer to select a set of emotions. It’s embedded with five gemstones, A black emerald, a red ruby, a diamond, a sapphire and a pink topaz; shaped like a heart. They all represent one major emotion. Fear is a black onyx, Anger is a red ruby, Calm is a diamond, and sadness is a sapphire, and so on forth... 

At any giving time, whenever one of the jewels is pressed, the wearer of The Collar of Truth will instantly be overwhelmed with that emotion. 

Having all this new power, Brother Augustine convinced others outside of the churches to follow him. These were mostly of those who were considered loony or outcast from society. Preying on the weak minded seemed to be his motive for recruitment. He promised them a better life, by becoming servants of God, in order to receive redemption.

Fauna spent most of her days locked up in the Cirque's suppression chamber. This chamber temporarily disables the powers of anybody who is inside of it. During this time... they tried convincing her that she could redeem herself, by devoting herself to become nothing, but a mere tool for god's will. 

Fauna said, "Why would I want to save a world, that I cannot even be a part of?" 

As time went on, she's forced to endure training, which is to help her learn how to react in a calmer manner to difficult situations, with her emotions and powers. After awhile, she thought this was all a punishment for destroying Alabasterstead. 

Sister Caitlyn; who served Fauna her meal three times a day. Took pity on Fauna, thinking this was inhumane. Eventually, she snuck into Augustine's room and stole the Bracelet of Falsity off his nightstand. Luckily for her, Augustine was so full of himself, that he did not believe any of his followers, would ever be foolish enough to betray him. 

Surprisingly the next day; Fauna finds the bracelet, beneath a cloth, where bread should of have been. 

When the time arrived for a training session, Fauna attempted to escape. Close to reaching freedom... she finds Caitlyn standing before her. Unfortunately, someone had seen her leave Augustine's room the night before. 

This being the first time a member had betrayed him. Augustine wanted to make her an example of what happens when somebody crosses him. There, in front of all the other members of the Cirque to witness, he kills Caitlyn. 

Deeply saddened by the loss of the only person, that had shown an ounce of kindness towards her. Her hair and eyes shift into a pale blue. Wanting to be true to herself, she did not mask her feelings and refused to use the bracelet. In seconds,.... the whole area was soon flooded by the tears she shed. The colder her heart felt, the could the water came to be. And eventually the water had turned into ice. 

I've heard the Emotionalist is still there; lying in dormant, entrapped by her own frigid tears. I presumed the seers too had been sealed as well."

"Emotionalist, seems like a pretty typical woman, being unpredictable creature and all." Fenix laughed, "None of them can be trusted." He continued laughing even after Blazerine shot him a dirty look. 

"Why do you think the sacred orb is there?" Leon asked. 

"It's the perfect place to hide it." Lyrist mentioned, "If the suppression chamber can temporarily disable magic users, why not items?" 

"Precisely." Yeldir said, " The sanctuary is located in Withering Heights; it's an icy region, right below Dividing Cliff." 

"Wait..." Blazerine frowned slightly, "Doesn't that mean we were already there pretty much?" 

"Yeah." Fenix grumbled out of frustration, "That would've been great to know then, instead of now." 

"The dimwit has a point." Yeldir laughed, "Luckily for you..."

"We've already thought this through."

"Yes, taken time out of our busy schedules." 

He then removed a pair of silver earrings out from one of his robes' pockets. And at each end is a foggy, little crystal ball. 

"During each usage, the fog must be cleared, by simply rubbing it, like any other crystal ball.He said, "The left one is a transmitter. And the right is a receiver, but sometimes severe weather might cause interference in it's sound quality. In result, my voice may become too faint from your end. Although it shouldn't be a problem for somebody like him." Upon finishing his statement, he handed the earrings on over to Lyrist. 

"So basically in other words it’s a deformed cell phone." Blazerine shrugged.

Lyrist pushed a large portion of his dreadlocks behind his shoulder. Then he unsheathed the nail of his index finger. And purposely inflicted a wound upon himself. This was only to allow an easier passage for the earring to be jabbed through. Once it's done, he continued to the next. 

Blazerine watched curiously since she has never seen anybody pierce their ears in that sort of fashion before. Eventually, she asked, "Doesn't that hurt....?"

Lyrist's slitted eyes find their way to her, before he replied, "No, our ears are quite as flimsy as yours." 

"Thank you for your help." Leon bowed slightly. 

Blazerine rolled her eyes at him. "Wow Shields, you're such delightful blackmailer. So I'm guessing we're heading to Ansell Fiore next, ...right?" 

"Withering Height is a town or two before Ansell Fiore." Leon lied, "We might as well get everything else out of the way first."

Lyrist caught his fib right away, but Leon's thoughts reached out to him, telling him now to spew a single word about it. 

Blazerine looked off to the side and said, "Yeah.... whatever..." 








© Tiffany Ann Adkins 2015 - 2019