Tales of Amn **Hot Topic**

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  1. #61
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    Talking 17 EXP -- Woot, only 3 more EXP until...! >.)

    Socially, Vita was unprepared for the different types of beings she would encounter in life. Most of her time was spent around Oren, a straight-forward fairy who won't hesitate to speak his mind. Vita's first summoning was Margni, a magical beast who wanted her life more than the possibility of serving her. The first elf she truly spoke to was Amelia, and her first interaction with another moon elf was with Elrik. Both elves seemed philosophical and willing to help Vita grow emotionally. Basically, prior to meeting Kinrai, Vita only had four people she could use as examples for proper communication skills. On top of that, all of her examples were oddballs. Was that why Kinrai felt offended by her comment? Was it uncommon to push your beliefs upon others? For some reason, Vita felt like it was better to shut up and observe those around her, rather than imitate them.

    On the other hand, Vita couldn't stand back and watch Kinrai walk away from fate. Moments before his comment, Vita saw the excitement in his eyes and the blissful smile on his lips at the mentioning of Falteer, Balthazar, and Nilak. Kinrai's expression changed several times in the short interval that followed Vita's announcement. He went from looking like a child gawking at having his hand shaken by his role-model to a hint of disappointment on his face. Overall, Kinrai seemed to be conflicting with himself over what was right and wrong, what he should and shouldn't do. The whole ordeal was too much for Vita, and she simply blurted out what she felt like he needed to know. Now she doubted herself.

    "I...I apologize." Again, there was a painful throbbing against her chest. It seemed to come from where Vita's heart was located. Why was she so...agitated? "I spoke out of turn."

    Surprisingly, Issat stood up for Vita. "Yes, I was merely giving you advice, Kinrai. I..." ...don't want you to make the same mistake I nearly made with Margni.

    Closing her eyes, Vita took a deep breadth to clear her mind. At the same time, Kinrai agreed to follow Elfaan's trail. Releasing a sigh of relief, Vita was able to rid her unease as well. Whatever takes place at the end of the Elfaan's trail, at least Kinrai would know the truth before it was too late. Besides, something felt...wrong, as if something bad would happen. Why would anyone head off to Valham's nest? Even Vita herself stayed away from Valham's nest. And what did Kinrai mean by his last comment?

    "Something...?" Her voice was too low for Kinrai to hear, especially because he was back on the wall of the coliseum. He also seemed to be speaking to her as well. "Eh?"

    Astonishingly, Kinrai wasn't concerned at all. He even spoke about meeting Valham, as if a dragon, even one as calm as Valham, would invite anyone to their nest so easily. She didn't readily admit it, but Vita was always...disturbed by living so close to a dragon. Perhaps it was because of Margni, but dragons just seemed so mysterious, as if they're hiding something. In any other scenario, Vita would have refused Kinrai's invitation, especially while Oren wasn't by her side. However, that was before she met Kinrai. What if he saw something unexpected happen to Nilak, or anyone Nilak brought along, such as Falteer or Balthazar, or both? If all three of them were at Valham's nest, and something happened...!

    "I will accompany you."

    *** Near the Start of the Moonpearl Race... ***

    "...Ahaha! I forgot how to get to the coliseum..."

    Oren, who had frantically zipped off in the direction of the coliseum, had paused midway and returned to the Weiss family. Despite his general knowledge of his surroundings, without Vita, all his confidence in directions vanished. Indeed, without Vita, Oren was just one of many people -- well, fairies -- who were directionally challenged. Of course, Oren didn't want to admit that to other, and he didn't have to prior to meeting the Weiss family. After all, why would a guide need guidance? Why would a wise elder need to seek knowledge from another wise elder? Vita was the one who always needed Oren's advice, so why would he, the wise and knowledgeable Oren, need help with something as simple as directions to the coliseum?! It was laughable! It was paradoxal! But above all else, it was true.

    "No need to worry. It happens to the best of us." Mien giggled softly to herself. She wasn't mocking Oren. On the contrary, Mien was sympathizing with Oren. There were plenty of times when her work had been compared to Amelia's fine sewing skills. Only when Mien admitted her mistakes could her skills grow as well. Granted, Mien had to grow a lot more to become a master of creating magical clothes like Amelia, yet she was a lot closer than she had been before.

    All the hope within Mien's evergreen eyes encouraged Oren, and that same hope became a twinkle in her husband's golden eyes. Up until now, Oren hadn't truly looked at Fia's parents, but they really looked like a tightly knitted family. Even their clothes mirrored each other. The theme for the Weiss family was as green as the forest of Auburn, etched with a silver that glittered from the moonlight. Fia and Mien were wearing dresses with silver hems, Fia's outfit differing by including silver ribbons on her arms, legs, and around her neck. They truly looked alike, as mother and daughter should. Mien's only distinct feature -- besides her eyes -- was her pitch black hair. How Fia's caramel hair wasn't affected was a mystery. As for Xan, he was wearing green pants with silver hems and, as if planned -- and, knowing Amelia, it probably was -- a peach colored shirt with a hint of yellow that matched Amelia's dress. Oren wanted to ask if wearing identical clothes was a family tradition, but he kept his mouth shut. Besides, his mind was wondering from what mattered the most: finding Vita!

    "Okay!" Oren was pumping himself up. "Let's go! Mien, you--"

    "Oh my gosh! Look over there, everyone! Is...is that...no, it can't be!" Flustered, Fia kept glancing back at her family and what she was pointing at with shaky fingers. Somehow, she managed to ignore the fuming anger on Oren's face at being interrupted. "It's. A. Floating gold coin! Aha, I found it first!"

    Without a single word of explanation, Fia sprinted off with amazing speed. Luckily, the crowd surrounding the starting point of the Moonpearl Race had diminished significantly, making Fia noticeable even at a distance. While the rest of the Weiss family strolled along with light laughter exchanged amongst them, Oren bolted after Fia. How could the people who were supposed to help him get distracted so easily?! The thought that he got distracted himself crossed his mind for a second, but it was only for a moment. A few seconds of observing your companions was a completely different matter than rushing off after some enchanted piece of gold. What if Vita was waiting for Oren? What if she...if she...abandoned him?! Shock transformed Oren's face into an expression of horror, hidden by the elaborate mask still concealing his face. Never-the-less, his accumulating speed was enough to send the elves blocking his path falling to their knees.

    "Fia! How can you forget--"

    "Ah! Such a beautiful fairy!"

    Beautiful was right. Even Oren, upset as he was, found himself gapping in awe. How could Fia confuse a gold coin with a gorgeous fairy?! Her hair was an exquisite collection of aureate locks that rivaled the morning sun. Azure irises that could make the sky jealous met Oren's own eyes. Was that a wink?! Without realizing it, Oren found himself not only speechless, but blushing a hue as bright as his eyes. Angelic wings fluttered gently behind her, delicate enough to appear as they were carved directly from the sun's own rays. If she were bigger, Oren would have been blinded by the stunning fairy. Instead, he was grateful that her petite size allowed even someone like him stare upon her heavenly being. And yet, there was something familiar about the fairy. Taking a closer look at her face and dress, Oren couldn't help but think of...

    "--You look just like Minathiel! How cute!"

    All of sudden, the atmosphere changed. Oren snapped out of his trance and immediately regretted it. Sparks seemed to crackle around the fairy, far more frightening than if a lightning bolt had struck Oren right there and then. Actually, the thought didn't seem like a bad idea, but then he thought of Vita. He had to meet up with her, and yet...why couldn't it be the other way around?! His beautiful, gorgeous, angelic, stunning fairy became a monster in such a short amount of time, and it was all Fia's fault!

    "Who DARES compare Mina to Minathiel?" Oren could of sworn the sky was getting darker and someone was cackling in the distance. "Mina looks NOTHING like that imitating witch! Mina hates Minathiel! Minathiel WISHES she had Mina's good looks! Hmph!"

    "Aww. I take it you aren't Minathiel's fairy?" For some reason, Fia seemed unfazed by Mina's -- that had to be the fairy's name, considering how many times she mentioned it -- bitter attitude and shrill voice.

    "Ha! Minathiel WISHES she had Mina's good looks!" It took a moment, but Mina finally realized that Fia had spoken to her. "WHAT?! MINA?! THE FAIRY OF THAT OLD HAG?!"

    "Ahaha! M-Mina, y-y-you're faaaar more pr-pretty th-an...Minathiel-l." Whether it was true or not, Oren was willing to do whatever to calm Mina down. What if Minathiel heard what was being said? Or worse, her fans?

    "Hah! Of course! Mina's beauty is on a completely different level than Minathiel! Still, there are so many fools who compare Mina to Minathiel." Mina shot a glare at Fia, who finally seemed to understand that she had put Mina in a foul mood.

    "I...apologize if I offended you, Mina." As a bonus, Fia forced a smile on her face.

    "You sure did offend Mina. Fool!"

    "H-hey--"

    "Eh, well, now that that is settled, I need to find Vita. Come on, Fia!" If Oren didn't put an end to Fia's and Mina's bickering, he was certain a fight would begin.

    "Hm? Vita? Is she your master?" Mina finally calmed down.

    "No. Vita is my friend." Why was he still speaking with such a crazy fairy?

    "Aho! Friend, eh? Mina has a friend as well. His name is Elrik. Mina and Elrik are close, so close that our very lives are linked. Is it the same with your friend?"

    "...Yes. Many elves would call Vita my master, but she's different from other elves. I'm all she has ever had in terms of a family--"

    "Mina is the same with Elrik. Aho! This Vita...is she a moon elf, like Mina's Elrik?"

    "How..." Oren suddenly thought of Amelia. Didn't she tell him why Vita had departed to the coliseum earlier? "Then...was Elrik born today?"

    "Yup, and he'll be here soon."

    *** Back to Vita ***

    "How...could this be happening?"

    Vita had witnessed the tremendous power of Nilak, Falteer, and Balthazar, yet...why were they fighting Valham? More importantly, some heated words must have fueled Valham's wraith. Nothing was worse than angering a dragon, and the three warriors were learning that lesson the hard way. Not only was Nilak swatted aside by Valham's tail like a common house fly, but the frightening roars coming from Valham was unlike anything Vita had heard before. Anyone who listened to such a roar would know to back off, yet Falteer continued the bloodshed by stabbed his sword into Valham's right eye-socket. Tons of blood gushed forth from the wound, leaving only one eye to menacingly pierce the heart of anyone who dared to stare at it. Still, that wasn't enough to stop Nilak, who's eyes had a crazed look upon them. Did he truly...was he really trying to...murder a dragon?!

    "Kinrai..."

    Oddly, Vita knew it was a bad idea to bring Kinrai to Valham's nest. When you choose truth over trust, your heart is wounded the most. Even Vita was suffering. The forest of Auburn was her home, yet as the battle before Vita continued, the damage dealt to her home worsened. Nilak's wind whip was bad enough, sending the green fireballs aimed at him into nearby trees. If the onslaught continued, all the creatures scattering about to live another day would be killed instantly. It was just like at the coliseum: innocent lives would be sacrificed for a meaningless battle. And now, the hero who prevented those deaths before, who made sure the boulder wouldn't crush the blind spectators, was standing before Valham: Balthazar.

    ”Get back Vita!”

    Everything that followed Kinrai's command seemed to happen too quickly for Vita to follow. She was falling backwards. An explosion. A cry of surprise. Thud. By the time Vita could properly grasp the situation, Kinrai was already knocked unconscious. A few burn wounds appeared on his skin, but there were no severe wounds present. Balthazar kept fighting, unaware of Vita's presence. So much happened in so little time, yet Vita took no part in it. Even when she was about to check Kinrai's pulse, someone else beat her to it. Andrim took charge of the situation while Vita stood by helplessly. All she had were her thoughts. No one paid her no mind. That was how Vita felt until she realized Andrim was speaking to her.

    "Understood. I'll..."

    But the rest of Vita's words never left her lips. What was this? Vita knew Kinrai's life was in danger, being unconscious in the middle of a battlefield, and yet...what was this?! Andrim only seemed concerned about the life of someone with status. The son of Kinos is far more valuable than an unknown moon elf. Was that what he meant? What if she were the one lying unconscious on the ground?! But Vita quickly calmed her heart. Unlike Andrim, Kinrai didn't hold the bias views of someone with status. Why else would he push her out of the way directly before getting assaulted by some sort of trap?

    "You..." Andrim was already heading off in the direction of Balthazar, Valham, and the two who had been unconscious, Nilak and Falteer. He wouldn't hear her, yet Vita blurted it out anyways. "...smell like death."

    "Psst. Vita, bring Kinrai over here where it's safe."

    Hearing such a familiar voice nearly brought a smile on Vita's face. Lifting Kinrai up and wrapping his arms around her shoulders, Vita turned towards the voice. Not only was Elrik waiting for her on his giant jellyfish, but so was Oren, the Weiss family, and who she believed, based on Elrik's prior explanation, was Elrik's fairy. She wasn't alone. She wasn't invisible. And for the first time since arriving at Valham's nest, Vita knew the future wouldn't be so grim.

    Nurarihyon no Mago!
    Quote:
    Inpa: "...I got your mask already, look! Isn't it pretty?”
    Balthazar: ”Urgh.. !! It's pink..”
    Inpa: ”Oh please, it's called being metrosexual!..."
    -- farag0n; Tales of Amn

  2. #62
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    ~Dream~

    Nilak saw himself standing on a rocky platform high above the ground. He looked around and realized immediately that he wasn't in Amn, at least he thought he wasn't. The sky was red and the world itself was nothing but black mountains everywhere. Oddly a single source of light escaped from the red sky, it looked like a magnifying glass. Suddenly a figure appeared in front of him. At first it looked like a demon with red eyes filled with rage, but eventually it formed into his youngest student: Kinrai. Kinrai had his 10th blade in hand, Wrath, which meant he wasn't fully himself. He started walking towards Nilak, his intentions were quite clear.

    ”NILAK! There's nowhere else to run! You single-handedly destroyed Amn.. just look at it!!”

    Kinrai pointed out the bleak world around them. Nilak backed down a few steps, he couldn't believe that this world was actually Amn.

    ”Now face your punishment!”

    Kinrai was like an angel of vengeance rushing right at Nilak. Nilak couldn't do anything and soon Kinrai's blade pierced through his stomach. That's also when the whole world shook suddenly. Then it happened again but it felt like it came from a different direction. Then again, and once more. Nilak noticed how both his cheeks started hurting, as if he was being slapped at. The last shook snapped him out of his nightmare.


    ~ … ~

    Nilak's eyes jumped open and he saw Balthazar holding him. That's also when Balthazar let go of Nilak and turned around in order to give Falteer a beating. Nilak held his jaw for a moment before laughing a bit though his laughter didn't feel quite as jolly as it usually was. His mind was still clouded right now by the nightmare. Did he saw into the future? Or was it just his subconscience trying to show him the error of his ways? He had no time to think of such things now. No matter what would happen, he was determinated to defeat Valham. He stood up and faced the gallant dragon again.

    Nilak noticed there was sand here and there, and he also saw Karmac lying on the ground. He knew Karmac was one of Balthazar's more powerful summons and was amazed just how powerful Valham actually was. It was always nigh impossible to locate Karmac in a sandstorm but apparently Valham managed to do it with ease. Before their fight against Valham continued, Nilak was faced with yet another problem: a new witness, a hostile one at that.

    The words the witness shouted at Nilak hurt him, involving Kinrai into this was indeed something that Nilak didn't want to happen. He turned around only to meet a blade coming right at him. He managed to block the strike however. The attacker was fueled with hate so predicting his attacks was rather easy for Nilak. What he also noticed was that the attacker kept attacking in quick intervals, as if trying to prevent Nilak from using magic. Rather smart since if Nilak could access his magic, he'd have a great advantage.

    Suddenly the attacker backed down, only to quickly lunge at Nilak again. It was a surprise attack meant to catch the opponent off guard and land a deadly hit. That was when Falteer intervened by shooting a small spark from his finger into the attacker's side. The spark was powerful enough to cause the attacker to halt his movements for a moment, and it was all Nilak needed to rush right next to the attacker. He held his hand over the attacker's chest, forming a powerful wind inside his hand.

    Nilak: ”I am sorry.”

    Immediately after that Nilak launched the attacker with a huge surge of wind into a tree nearby Kinrai's location. He was hoping the blow would knock the attacker out or at least render him immobile. Now he turned to face the opponent he had come to defeat in the first place. Balthazar had been busy distracting Valham and now Nilak and Falteer would join him.

    ..

    Issat finally reached Nayru and rushed towards the palace. The horrifying situation Kinrai was in kept flashing in her mind constantly. Once she reached the palace, she flew right inside and finally caught up with Minathiel who was sitting on her throne in the main hall. Minathiel noticed Issat almost instantly and stood up in order to catch her. Issat landed on Minathiel's hand and dropped down on her knees, panting heavily. She had used all her strength to fly here so she had difficulty speaking coherently.

    Minathiel: ”What is it, fairy?”
    Issat: ”V-Valham.. is in danger.. !! Help.. please!”
    Issat fell on her stomach on Minathiel's hand, still breathing but barely conscious.

    Minathiel didn't hesitate in calling out the guards of the palace. If Valham was indeed under attack, the palace and Nayru itself could be in danger. She ordered the guards to seal the city entrance, or rather change it so that the staircase to Nayru was never-ending.
    The rest of the guards were commanded by guard captain Cirno to guard the trail that lead to Valham's nest. Liana, Kinrai's mother, soon arrived to the main hall due to the sudden commotion. She rushed to Minathiel's side and almost immediately noticed Issat on her hand.

    Liana: ”Issat.. !! Are you alright? Where's Kinrai?!”
    Issat raised her head slightly in order to speak.
    Issat: ”Kinrai's in danger.. ! Nilak.. Nilak betrayed us.. He attacked Valham.. !!”
    Liana: ”My god..”
    Minathiel: ”.. We don't have any time to waste. Liana, please project me into the nightsky so that every citizen of Nayru can see me. We must alert everyone of the situation.”
    Liana: ”Understood, your Highness.”

    Liana placed her hand on Minathiel's shoulder and formed a watery silhouette of her which she sent high up into the sky. Once the 'copy' Minathiel reached the sky, it grew in size so much that it was impossible to miss her if you still were in Nayru.

    Minathiel: ”Citizens of Nayru! Our guardian, Valham the wind dragon is under attack! He has protected us for centuries, now it's our time to protect him! Those of you who wish to protect Nayru, assemble in front of the palace! From there we shall march to Valham's nest and vanquish this evil that threatens our protector! That is all for now. Let us pray we aren't too late..”

    The silhouette vanished soon after and the warriors of Nayru started slowly moving towards the palace entrance.

    Liana: ”Why.. didn't you tell them that Nilak is the attacker?”
    Minathiel: ”I apologize, but I don't trust that fairy saw what she claims to have seen.”
    Liana: ”But she has no reason to lie, your Highness.”
    Minathiel: ”There is also no reason why Nilak would attack Valham. Please, take care of her.”
    Minathiel handed Issat over to Liana.
    Liana: ”Wait! Where are you.. Please don't tell me..”
    Minathiel: ”I must see this with my own eyes.”
    Liana: ”Then I must come with you! As your advisor, I can't simply stay ba-”
    Minathiel: ”Hold. You must take my place for the time being. Someone needs to stay here and maintain control. Guard captain Cirno will assist you, I'm sure he's already on his way here. Don't worry, I'm not about to fight anyone.”
    Liana: ”But.. what if someone attacks you.. ?”
    Minathiel: ”I am not helpless in battle, you know that. Besides I will take two guards with me, just in case.”
    Liana: ”Yes bu-”
    Minathiel: ”Enough, Liana. Regain your composure, you have a city to protect!”
    Liana: ”Y-Yes, your Highness!”

    With that, Minathiel head off towards the stable where her palla was waiting.

    ..

    Nilak finally managed to form a plan of sorts, it was time to move on to the final phase of this fight.

    Nilak: ”We have to take this battle to the sky! I know it's risky, but only there we have a chance to pull Valham's soul crystal out. Also.. ”

    Nilak glanced towards the woods where Kinrai was and saw him being carried away by a female moon elf. Nilak was more than certain there were more people somewhere in the forest, people who were in danger of getting caught up in the battle.

    Nilak: ”.. that way no innocents come to harm.

    Since you're the agile one, I entrust you to pull the crystal out Falteer. Meanwhile me and Balthazar will do our best to distract Valham. I will use my wind and ice magic to halt Valham's movements while Balthazar deals damage, thus creating an opening for you Falteer. Expect plenty of magic, Valham is undoubtedly going to use everything he has against us while in the sky. Now then.. Let's move out!”


    Once the plan was set, the trio launched up into the sky. Valham soon followed them, slowly calling the winds to his side again at the same time. Once all the combatants were on the same level, Valham spoke.

    Valham: ”I commend your courage. Not many would willingly take a battle against a dragon to the sky.”
    Nilak: ”Guess I like to test my limits.”
    Nilak said and summoned Aeolus to his side.
    Valham: ”That may summon forth your own demise.”
    Nilak: ”Enough with the speeches. Let's finish this.”
    Valham: ”Very well. You shall experience the limitless power of the winds. Come forth winds of the world, let us do battle once again!”
    Valham yelled and suddenly the whole area became much more windy than usual.
    Nilak: ”Attack! Give it all you've got!!”

    Nilak ascended a bit before summoning a whirlwind which surrounded Valham. He was about to use the same tactic he had used against the Tainted bandits. However before Nilak was able to proceed, the whirlwind suddenly dispersed completely. Valham roared once before using one of his wings to produce a powerful gust which hit Nilak. Instead of normally just pushing Nilak, the gust of wind enveloped him inside a sturdy ball of wind. Nilak tried to get out but the wind sphere wouldn't break apart, instead it started cutting him randomly. It was like being whipped except the whip was invisible.

    Meanwhile Falteer circled around Valham while remaining hidden as best as he could. Thankfully Valham was busy with both Balthazar and Nilak so Falteer was successful in getting very close to Valham's tail where his soul crystal was located. The soul crystal was not in the tip of the tail, instead it was etched into the larger side of the tail.
    Simply cutting the tail wouldn't do, the soul crystal had to be carved out. As soon as Valham unleashed another powerful gust of wind, Falteer dashed and sinked his blade into the side of the soul crystal. Valham roared in pain and also in fear since Falteer had gotten so close to his source of power. Valham immediately summoned Pathnak, a wind wyvern, to his side in order to deal with Falteer.

    Pathnak rammed right into Falteer's side who was desperately trying to carve the soul crystal out. Falteer was sent flying backwards and Pathnak continued his attack by chomping on Falteer's right arm. Falteer started hammering Pathnak's head with his other arm in order to fend him off but Pathnak persisted. The pain caused by Pathnak's razor sharp teeth was unbearable, at this rate Falteer would lose his right arm completely. Nilak saw this and finally managed to release himself from the wind prison.

    Nilak: ”Not good.. Hold on Falteer.. !!”

    ..

    In Monark, Kinos was pacing around his office with a perplexed look on his face. You could actually notice sweatdrops forming on his forehead. The lack of information from Valham's battle was seriously driving Kinos on the edge. It was crucial that Nilak succeeds and escapes, he was the golden thread holding the operation together. Finally Kinos took out a beacon and summoned Reed, something had to be done. He had to know what was going on and Reed was the ideal scout. Reed arrived shortly after, bearing the same dark robe as last time.

    Kinos: ”Reed! I need information! How is the battle faring against Valham? Go! Return to me as soon as you can. Also.. assist him if you deem it necessary.”
    Reed: ”As you wish, elder.”

    Reed vanished and used the beacon in Nilak's possession to transport himself to Auburn. Unfortunately the welcoming party for Reed was one very angry dragon and a wyvern, however fortunately both of them were occupied with Nilak and his companions. That's finally when Reed realized he was in mid-air, and that he did not possess the ability to fly.

    Reed: ”Oh my, I clearly chose the wrong time to crash the party. Little help, please?”
    Reed said with a rather calm voice before starting to drop down. Nilak turned around and couldn't believe just how wrong everything was going for them right now.
    Nilak: ”What the.. ?! Reed! What are you doing here?!”
    Reed: ”You know, I'd love to chat more but right now I'm falling to my deaaAAAA-- !!”
    Nilak: ”Hold the fort Balthazar and Falteer! I'll return shortly!”

    Nilak swooped down and caught Reed before descending all the way down to the ground.

    Reed: ”Such a heroic feat, Nilak! Bravo!”
    Nilak: ”Uh.. Yes, thank you. Now what in Valham's name are you doing here?!”
    Reed pointed up before speaking.
    Reed: ”I believe we should chat once you've dealt with the angry green dragon over there. Agree?”
    Nilak: ”.. Yeah. Well since you're here, scout the area and make sure we won't be bothered. And please.. don't let any innocents get in harm's way.”
    Reed: ”You handle the big bad dragon, hero. I'll take care of things here.”

    Nilak nodded and launched himself back into the sky in order to face Valham. Reed on the other hand turned to scout the area. Thanks to his special kind of vision, one that can sense magic, scouting for him was easier than most since he could locate people who possessed magical talent.
    It didn't take long for Reed to notice several magic spots in the nearby vicinity. Three large gatherings were close, two of them were mobile. The immobile one was clearly trying to remain hidden, from the looks of it a summoned creature was being used. Reed swept off a bit of sand from the ground and looked at the direction of the immobile magic spot.

    Reed: ”In order to 'keep the innocents out of harm's way' you need subtlety. Such a shame I just SUCK at being subtle.. Well, at least right now I suck at it.”

    Reed sinked his fingers into the ground and pulled out an earth golem, twice the size of a normal elf. The golem was a mix of roots, soil and rocks, if looked from afar you'd think the golem was just an odd formation created by earth. The golem was not an ordinary summoned creature since it didn't possess a soul, it was just an animated piece of earth with no mind of its own. Reed repeated the procedure two times, totaling three earth golems standing in a neat row right next to him. Reed clapped his hands twice before announcing orders.

    Reed: ”Off you go then my earthly.. things! Kill everything on your path, especially that one particular gathering of magic. So sorry Nilak, but you're just too soft at times like these. How fortunate I'm here to correct that!”

    Reed clapped his hands once again before turning his attention to the two mobile magic spots. One of them was still some distance away, it would take longer for them to reach this area than the other spot. Thus Reed turned his attention to the second mobile magic spot and started moving towards it. Unlike a moment ago, this time around Reed was going to find out who were coming before initiating his attack.

    He brought his right hand in front of him and soon a yellow eye emerged inside it. Reed then literally removed his arm from his shoulder and threw the arm towards the direction of the magic spot. The arm became alive and slithered its way towards its destination. He did the same thing to his other arm, he just sent it towards the gathering of magic which was the furthest distance away.

    Reed: ”Oh, I do so hope there are only honorable warriors here. It would be quite dishonorable to attack a, literally, unarmed man after all.

    .. Ah, what an excellent joke! They should really hire me into one of those comedy shows back in Monark. I'd just KILL the audience! .. Oops, I did it again! Ah-hah! I'm just too good at this.”
    Last edited by Takesh; 12-26-2011 at 01:19 PM.

  3. #63
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    As he slashed downwards at Nilak a sharp hot pain hit him in the side, flinching instinctively he stopped his movement. Frowning he turned to see the cause. Falteer, he hoped Valham keep the both of Nilaks apprentices busy.
    Hearing Nilak apologizing he turned his attention back, eyes widening as he saw the ripples around Nilaks hands. Before he could react the ripples formed into a storm hitting him straight in the chest, lifting him of his feet as he lost grip of his sword and was hurled backwards at a sickening pace. The last things he registered were Nilak hands outstretched and his own sword caught in the storm hurling straight at him. A sharp pain, and then darkness.
    ______________________________________

    Direya left Andrims side when he charged into battle, watching over Kinrai instead. Andrim was tough enough to take care of himself, at least she hoped he as she threw a fleeting glance at the battle between the champion of the arena and her friend. Hearing a voice nearby Direya saw what seemed to be, yes it was a giant jellyfish!
    The moon elf seemed to know the summoner as she cradled Kinrai and carried him to behind the jellyfish. Curious Direya followed, carefully poking the creature, it did not just look like but felt like a jellyfish too. She had never bounced on a jellyfish before, she had to admit she was curious. In the past she might have tried, but who knew with summoned creatures. It might eat her for all she knew if she tried. And getting eaten by a giant jelly would be a lousy end.

    Peeking over the creature it seemed that Kinrai was out of danger, no scary cannibalistic or psychopathic elf’s here from what she could tell. None of the tale signs were there, blood paintings, mad gibbering, drooling or any seasoning of the unconscious elf. She turned her attention towards Andrim just as he was flung away from Nilak. Closing her eyes as the sword soon followed him she didn’t dare to peek until a few moments had paused. Heaving a sigh of relief at the sight, the sword had missed. Getting skewered by one’s own sword was almost as lousy an end as to be eaten by a giant jellyfish, just almost though.

    Fluttering towards him she winched at the sight of the sword, a bit to the left and he’d been a goner. Experimentally kicking and slapping Andrim only produced a groan and her almost being smacked into oblivion by him. Frowning she gave up her efforts. Seeing as Valham and the rest had gone skywards she knew there was only one useful thing she could do now. Scram back to town as fast as possible and get some help, even if Andrim woke up right now unharmed from the impact with the tree and fit for fight he’d be no use in the sky, except for making a bloody mess when falling down.

    As she was about to fly away something caught her attention, Nilak heading down cradling a new elf in his arms. Furrowing her brows she felt something was very out of place here, hadn’t there only been three of them before so where had Mr. Four come from? Setting down the elf she had already named Mr. Four on the ground he turned back to the battle. It became even odder when Mr. Four summoned up golems from the earth. Cocking her head she watched as three went away through the forest, crushing anything in their way. The other one was instead heading towards the giant jelly where Kinrai was, not good. Mr. Four was not yet done, his arms dropping of and slithering of somewhere. Changing her plan she returned to Andrim and resumed kicking, slapping, biting and dragging everywhere in hope waking him up. A flutter in the eyelid encouraged her and with one last kick at his nose he opened his eyes.

    _______________________________________________

    Groaning Andrim opened his eyes. His back felt agonizing and strangely his whole face stung as well. Direya was right before his eyes shouting something incoherently. Shaking his head he motioned for her to slow down, doing so she took a deep breath and spluttered it all out again, slowing down enough for him to understand. “When you attacked Nilak that moon elf carried Kinrai to behind a giant jellyfish where two other elves were. Then Nilak swooped down with an elf I named Mr. Four in his arms, after Valham and the rest started flying. Then Mr. Four summoned a bunch of golems who went away somewhere, but one of them is heading for the giant jellyfish where Kinrai is. Then his arms fell off and went somewhere but the golem is still heading for the jellyfish and Kinrai so get up and arrest, stop him or whatever before the jelly breaks!”

    “Ugh, he’s still here?” He muttered as he staggered up and heavedhis sword out from the tree and turned his sight towards the golem which had already reached the jellyfish and started to pound it.

    Andrim was not surprisingly unfamiliar with that particular summoned creature, there were so many variants and species that could be summoned it take a life time to know just a fraction of them. So he had no idea how long that jellyfish could last against the stony fists of the golem but he did not want to find out. Why hadn’t that elf taken him further away? That question had to wait for later. Making his way silently to the elf Direya had named Mr. Four, her habit of nicknames still persisting even after all these years.

    His first steps towards the elf were careful but soon gained vigor, the original painhe felt when awakening was already fading, not disappearing but it felt like nothing had been broken. A bit of pain he could deal with, broken bones less so. Lucky for him, even luckier was he that the elf was without arms as Direya had said. He was still not up for a fight at present if could be avoided. The elf didn’t even notice him, too caught up in watching own golem until it was too late. Grasping the clothes by his neck he jerked him backwards, pressing the steel of the blade at his throat. “Listen and do so closely, I got neither the mood or time for games. Unsummon your golems this instant or I kill you. Your choice, prison or death”

  4. #64
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    Talking 0 exp - Destructive Water - ICE!!!

    "Hmmnnnn..."

    For a moment, Elrik reminded Vita of an old man. The moment she strolled over and rested Kinrai against the nearby tree, Elrik began pacing back and forth. At times, he paused long enough to respond to his puzzling movements. Unfortunately, all that was uttered was the same profound sigh, as if his mind was too filled with multiple thoughts to speak actual words. Even more troubling was that Vita was the only one concerned about his behavior. Everyone else was resting and chatting like a family (which, indeed, literally applied to the Weiss family) at a picnic. Even Oren, who often interrupted Vita whenever she was pondering over more than one thing at a time, was busy discussing how a festive night turned into such a disaster. His listener, Mina, hardly seemed interested. Of course, she did nothing to help Elrik either.

    Finally, Vita couldn't take it anymore. An incredible, yet hazardous battle with a dragon was happening not too far from where they all were hiding. Most people would panic or take action, alerting the dangerous battlers of their location. Judging from what happened to Kinrai, it was better to be invisible than seen as a threat. Still, relaxing underneath a tree and relying on a giant jellyfish for protection wouldn't keep them safe for long. There was also the scorched trees sizzling all around them. Vita knew that the best option was to coerce a solution from Elrik, or face a harmful alternative.

    "Kinrai..."
    Vita thought it was best to discuss her unconscious companion, but it caused an uneasy expression to appear on Elrik's face. Hoping to redeem the conversation, Vita pressed forward on another matter.
    "I am expected to keep Kinrai safe based on what I was informed of regarding his status from Andrim."

    "I know."
    Elrik pressed his fingers on his forheead, rubbing an ache only known to him. The way he rustled his own hair and sighed proved that he knew they were in over their heads.
    "I didn't expect for Kinos's son to be involved in this act of treachery."

    "Kinos? Are you saying Kinos Alte's son, the elven spokesman for the Elven Council, is this young man."
    Amelia gestured to Kinrai, who slept soundly, his head bobbing against the tree trunk as he breathed. Anyone could tell from how his posture remained poised even after being knocked out that Kinrai was special. Still, what were the chances of meeting someone as special as the son of Kinos? It was almost as unbelievable as...well, assaulting a dragon!

    "Kinrai may be Kinos's son, yet..."
    For some reason, referring to Kinrai as Kinos's son truly disturbed Vita. Her eyes and clenched fists clearly showed her fustration.

    "Yet?"
    Bemusement was once again present in Elrik's speech.

    "I...I may have spoken with Kinrai for only a short while prior to the current situation, yet he never once let on about his status. I sensed from him an independence from his father, not so much from when I spoke with him, but rather, when I was ordered to protect Kinrai by Andrim. Honestly, while Kinrai wasn't as openly familiar as Amelia was with me, he wasn't quite as..."

    "Arrogant? Assertive? Militant?"
    Elrik was obviously enjoying himself.
    "Any of those adjectives would fit Andrim, but what I find interesting is that the roles could be reversed. Kinos's son could be the brash, law abiding citizen, yet he isn't. Why is Andrim so protective of Kinrai? How come Kinrai doesn't flaunt his status? These are the questions that I can't answer with mere observation!"

    "Do you plan to interrogate Kinrai when he regains consciousness, or will you try to converse with Andrim? In either case, I doubt you will accomplish your objective without a miracle. For one, how will you encounter Andrim? It is not as if Andrim will be sent flying over to us--"

    As if on cue, the trees around them began to rustle violently. The sudden surge of wind was unusual, since none of them truly felt it. Granted, a breeze passed by, but other than that, only the sound of leaves colliding could be heard...as well as a solid thud on the ground nearby. Something...or someone had been literally blown away. Unbeknowest to the group, the very person Vita had spoken about had just crashed nearby. Too bad that was the least of their problems.

    "Hmm, I wonder if we've reached our limit."
    Elrik glanced up at his giant jellyfish, which quivered in pain. His summoning was being harassed.

    "Perhaps I should investigate."

    "Oh?"
    A hint of curiousity twinkled in Elrik's eyes, a sight that also differed from how Vita had envisioned his personality.

    "Everyone, please remain behind. I will be performing a...risky summoning."

    Oren seemed to understand right away.
    "Vita! You can't be serious! That monster--!"

    "Oren, do not worry."
    Vita couldn't help but smile, but she quickly replaced her smile with determination.
    "Margni won't disobey me."

    Without waiting for anymore words and distractions, Vita rushed out from underneath the giant jellyfish and out from hiding. Immediately, three enormous golems loomed into view. Any summoning would have trouble trying to take down three golems, but Vita could bet on Margni's pride that he wouldn't back down from any challenge. Actually, the bigger the threat, the better the chance Vita had to keeping Margni in check. That was all the reassurance Vita needed to follow through with the summoning.

    "I call upon Margni, serpent of clouds..."
    Vita closed her eyes, breathed in deeply, and let the ribbon waver slightly in her hands.
    "...Aligned with wind and water, to awaken from slumber and come to my side."
    The ribbon began to shake and shred apart. "I abide by our contract, and bind him until our conditions are met!"
    Time was almost out, and if Vita didn't finish her statement of dominance, she couldn't be certain if Margni would attack her as well.
    "I call upon the destructive nature of ice to bind Margni into submission and thus fulfill my portion of our contract! Now, release his spirit!"

    Suddenly, the force emanating from the ribbon became too strong and Vita's grip was loosened. Any words she forgot to speak was lost in the booming sound of Margni's presence being called forth. Obviously, he wasn't pleased with Vita's act of defiance -- that is, the icy chains around his form that would tighten the moment he even dared to aim his fangs at Vita. Worse, he seemed disappointed that Vita looked perfectly fine, the only cause for alarm being the gigantic golems right in front of him. Obviously, he thought he had been beckoned to take away Vita's dwindling life. Why else would someone who Margni considered beneath him call upon him?

    "How shameful to be bound by the lost soul I met upon that fateful night. Tell me, child. How has time bestowed upon one such as you the confidence as well as arrogance of life?"

    Vita ignored the distain in Margni's voice.
    "I have friends now who need protection. Thus, the contract isn't violated, since I have not called you for my own protection. If I had, I would have contradicted my side of our contract and thus given you permission to do as you please. But nevermind that. Are you capable of handling the situation?"

    "Ha! No need to rouse my hunger. I have not tasted such a meal for quite a long time. Why else would I have sought a lost soul such as you in the first place?"

    Filling the air with laughter, Margni rammed into one of the golems and chomped at its right side like a beast that had been starved for years. Sadly, the meal was a difficult one, for the golem thrashed and hardened its body from crumbling. Then there was the problem of the other golems, who evidently found Margni to be a better opponent than the jellyfish they had been banging at for awhile. Even with Margni's swift maneuvers and lithe frame, a serpent will always be a serpent. Brains or not, both of the golems charged at Margni and managed to yank at his tail. In an instant, he was incapable of moving.

    "Insolent souls! The forsakened truly have lost more than their will to live to be risen from the very soil many have trampled upon. But I shant allow such lowly slaves to get the better of me!"

    While Margni spat insults at the golems, they continued wringing Margni's tail until the prey decided he had enough. Coiling the rest of his body around one of the main golems irritating him, he managed to trick the dumb golems into punching their own ally. All it took was timed movement and a few bites, but one of the golems tumbled backwards, apparently too damaged to get back up. It was only then that Vita spotted Andrim.

    "Are you planning to murder that suspicious man?"
    Vita was certain her voice was loud enough and that she was close enough to be heard.
    "I assume he is responsible for the golems, but are you really willing to murder an armless man? What if he knows the truth behind the battle with Valham?"
    The words were coming faster than Vita had planned, and she accidentally blurted out, "Did you consider the value of the lives you took recently? Are those who are highly regarded in life the only lives worth saving to you?"

    It almost seemed pointless to interrogate Andrim. Perhaps that should have been left to Elrik, yet something just seemed...off. What exactly did Andrim hope to protect? Did he only entrust Kinrai's safe-keeping to her simply because of who Kinrai's father happens to be? And what about Kinrai? Moments before passing out, he discovered Nilak, Falteer, and Balthazar, the latter being not too long ago the hero to many spectators, trying to slay a dragon! Also, if Vita wasn't mistaken, Valham wasn't the one who brought harm to Kinrai. Just who were the good guys and who were the enemies?!

    All Vita knew was that Andrim could be yet another threat. If she kept questioning him, who knew what he would do next. The best option was to just say what he wanted to hear.
    "...Kinrai is safe. I won't let him die."
    For now, Vita would do her best to survive and protect everyone who managed to touch her heart. However, she wasn't about to leave, not when such a mystery was in front of her.

    "The desire to protect, eh? Very well. I shall cease the advancement of these petty golems, but do keep in mind this one fact: time does not aide the living."

    "Do you suggest we leave? If we do, the truth will undoubtably be distorted."

    "The fate of the living solely belongs to the living. However, many will suffer very soon, regardless if Valham survives or not. Only haste will save those present from being marked as traitors, though I do believe another words is used. Leave, or become Tainted. Choose wisely."

    "Tainted...?"
    Vita shifted her gaze from Margni to Andrim. The longer Margni remained summoned, the more exhausted she felt, not to mention the icy chains keeping him behaving properly. But still...was leaving the only choice?

    Nurarihyon no Mago!
    Quote:
    Inpa: "...I got your mask already, look! Isn't it pretty?”
    Balthazar: ”Urgh.. !! It's pink..”
    Inpa: ”Oh please, it's called being metrosexual!..."
    -- farag0n; Tales of Amn

  5. #65
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    Default 13 exp - Destructive fire learned!

    As the battle between Valham and Nilak and his students raged on, events that would eventually change everyone's lives were taking place on the ground. Minathiel was rushing through the forest as fast as she could on her palla, she would soon arrive to Valham's nest to lay witness to the tragedy at hand. Reed was the small sparkle that lit the bonfire of chaos and soon he would pay for his crimes. Not long after Reed had dispatched his golems, and arms, Andrim dawned upon him.

    Reed: ”I really should've thought this through. A smart elf would hide in this situation. And I am smart, I doubt anyone would disagree with that. So why is it that I'm standing out in the open and talking to myself when I should be hiding? What a fascinating riddle.. I'm smart yet I can't accomplish the things I should, what am I? A philosopher! Haha! I did it aga-ugh.. !!”

    Just then Reed's overdrawn monologue came to an end by Andrim. Andrim was hovering a knife on Reed's throat, there was not a single moment of hesitation, Reed would've noticed it if there was. Andrim demanded Reed to unsummon the golems or he would die here and now. Before replying, Reed observed Andrim a bit more.

    The way Andrim managed to surprise him suggested this wasn't the first time Andrim had done such a thing. His grip on the knife was firm, it was certainly not the first time he was holding a knife against someone. Andrim also managed to retain an eerily calm demeanor in a situation like this. Oh, and not to forget, Andrim just attacked an unarmed man which seemed to be endlessly amusing for Reed.

    Reed: ”Aren't you an interesting fellow.. So blunt and strict, just like my daddy who I never knew, nor met, nor who even exists. Such is the sad fate of us 'moonfolk', the paradoxes of Amn.”

    Reed could feel how the blade inched closer to his throat, it appeared Andrim's patience was running out fast. In the distance Reed could also hear the sounds of some large beast battling against something. The thought that his golems had ran into some wild beast in the forest crept up in Reed's mind. He sighed, knowing that if that was the case, his plan to halt the movements of the citizens of Nayru and Minathiel had failed.

    [Edit]

    That's when Reed spotted one of his kin further away, the thing that caught Reed's attention was the enormous serpent next to her. It looked like his golems were still alive, that would probably change soon though. The serpent looked far stronger than your average summon, especially since the summoner herself had to actually bind the serpent with a chain made of ice.

    Much to Reed's surprise, the summoner started talking and was actually trying to convince Andrim not to do any harm to him.. Well, at least not yet. The female moon elf was closer to the truth than she probably realized, Reed indeed knew the reasons behind Valham's assault. However not soon after that did the moon elf's speech start sounding like accusations towards Andrim which incited Reed's interest only further. Was she trying to achieve something with these accusations? In the end she told Andrim that Kinrai was still safe, it seemed Andrim was more than interested in Kinrai's well-being.

    Reed: "Oh my, interested in Kinos Alte's son are we? Just what is it you're after I wonder. This is quite heartwarming though, this lovely moon elf is trying to convince you NOT to kill me! I've yet to see such a day in my life. Thank you kindly, lovely lady! If it isn't too much to ask.. would you part me with your name?"

    Not soon after that did Minathiel arrive to the scene.

    The first thing Minathiel saw was Andrim holding Reed at knife-point. On the edge of the clearing she could also make out a moon elf with her summoned creature next to her. She was fighting against three golems but looked like she was doing fine for now. Minathiel instructed both her guards to keep an eye on the battle and assist the moon elf if need be.

    [End of edit]

    Minathiel recognized Andrim, knowing people was almost a requirement for someone of her status, but she had never seen Reed before in her life. At first she just assumed Andrim was comprehending a Tainted. She immediately approached the two but her movement came to a halt when she noticed an ominous shadow lingering in the nightsky. Squeezing her eyes a bit she finally saw the shadow was Valham and from the looks of it he was indeed fighting someone. Minathiel covered her mouth with her hand from the initial shock.

    Minathiel: ”Gods.. !! Nilak.. what have you done.. ?!”
    Minathiel's guards stood next to her and they were just as shocked as she was.
    Reed: ”YES! I just LOVE that face! That look of utter horror.. if only I could somehow feast on it. Can you see that.. assailant of mine? Ngh..”
    Minathiel turned to look at Reed. She was now certain this elf was nothing more than a Tainted, a crazy one at that.

    Minathiel: ”Tainted one, what is your name?”
    Reed: ”I'm honored, your Highness. My name is.. Ramvil. I beg your pardon but I'm not a Tainted, far from it.” Reed was lying through his teeth but the others couldn't possibly know his real identity.
    Minathiel: ”Hmm.. You're Andrim, correct? Tell me why you apprehended this.. Ramvil. What is his crime?”

    Andrim's knife was already next to Reed's skin, it was nearly cutting it already. Whether this was because Andrim was ready to kill Reed or because of Minathiel's sudden apperance, no one knew. Nevertheless Reed was anxiously waiting for a response from Andrim.


    Meanwhile in the sky, all the combatants were exhausted from the fighting. Valham was bleeding heavily all over, Falteer's right arm was badly chewed and Nilak had a large wound on his chest. Balthazar was still holding up, his stamina was the greatest of the three however even his stamina was nothing compared to Valham's. The dragon was still just as vicious as he was in the beginning of the battle, hence why a battle against a dragon should never be a long one. Nilak knew now were the final moments to finish this battle, the trio wouldn't hold much longer.

    Nilak: ”It's time for our final attack. Falteer, cloak yourself in lightning and dash straight into Valham's soul crystal. You MUST get the soul crystal! I.. I will use Angelic Hymn to greatly injure Valham from his side, it will buy you time. Balthazar, kill the wyvern.. throw everything you got at it. We can't allow it to intercept us. Also.. it has been an honor to know you two.”
    Falteer: ”Do not speak such words yet Nilak. Our journey is only about to start!”
    A smile formed onto Nilak's lips.
    Nilak: ”I suppose it is.”
    Valham: "You know you can't win, yet you persist. Admirable, yet so very foolish.."

    Soon after a flash of lightning hit Falteer, enveloping him into a lightning-like cloak. Nilak summoned Angelic Hymn to his side and dashed right at Valham. Valham retaliated by scorching Nilak with his green fire. The fire burned viciously on Nilak's skin but there was no time to stop, he pushed on and finally sinked his blade into Valham's stomach. The dragon roared in pain before starting to claw Nilak's very skin off. Valham's movement came to a sudden halt however, it was as if his will to fight vanished instantly. Soon Falteer emerged from behind Valham, holding his green soul crystal, the Emerald, in his hand. Pathnak had been slain by Balthazar right around the same time. The trio had won the battle against the oldest of the dragons.

    Soon Valham started dropping down, crashing straight into the dense forest of Auburn. Nilak couldn't say anything at first. He knew Valham wasn't dead yet but the wounds Nilak inflicted on him were fatal. Only time would tell whether Valham would survive or perish. Nilak turned to face his student and a smile grew on his face again.

    Nilak: ”You.. you did it, Falteer! And I'm glad you were able to deal with the wyvern Balthazar.”
    Falteer was panting heavily while holding out the Emerald.
    Falteer: ”I.. really hope we aren't doing another dragon tomorrow. I think I'm going to be sore for a few days.”
    Nilak: ”Ha! Not tomorrow but soon nonetheless. Gather your strength Falteer and Balthazar. We have a long night ahead of us. Let's go check up on how Reed is doing before we take our leave.”

    Falteer started healing all three of them on their way down to the ground. The biggest wounds would have to be treated differently though, such as Falteer's arm. It didn't take long for them to spot in what kind of a situation Reed had gotten himself into. The elf who attacked Nilak earlier was holding Reed, and even Minathiel had stumbled upon the scene. Further in the edge of the forest Nilak could also make out a moon elf with a serpent summon on her side. The situation was bad to say the least. Minathiel would certainly alert all the races of Nilak's betrayal, however Nilak had no intentions of harming her. Once the trio landed, Minathiel turned to them, her face was filled with sadness.

    Minathiel: ”Nilak.. what madness drove you into this.. ?”
    Nilak stayed silent, he just kept looking at Minathiel.
    Reed: ”Well, this is rather awkward.. Ugh!”
    Andrim's grip on Reed tightened, shutting him up.


    Kinrai

    Voices. So many different voices, and only one of them sounded faintly familiar. Somehow the conversation about Kinrai was registered even though he was unconscious. Then sudden silence followed by very faint sounds in the distance. It was impossible to distinguish what was creating the sounds. Kinrai didn't know whether he was awake or in-between, everything seemed like a complete blur. His eyelids felt heavy and the pain in his neck kept pounding like a blacksmith's hammer on a weapon.

    Kinrai: ”Ngh..”
    Only a silent sigh escaped from Kinrai's lips.

    What? That all you've got, Kinrai? Nilak betrayed Amn, he betrayed Nayru and most importantly.. he betrayed you, his beloved student. Is that the only response you're going to give him?! Are you going to just lay down and die?! If that's so then I'm taking charge. Keep on sleeping Kinrai, I'll handle this one. They will all pay dearly for their treachery against you.


    Kinrai's whole consciousness started burning, all he could see was fire filled with hatred, an endless fire which consumed everything around him. With a single burst of fire, his whole body was engulfed in fire. He stood up and looked around him. His eyes were serious and cold, nothing like they had been before. All these faces were unfamiliar to him, not that he even cared at this point. Something had taken control of him, something that only saw contempt towards others, especially towards his father: Kinos Alte. He activated his Magic Art, a circle of blades appeared around him and his hair turned silver.

    The wheel stopped on the 10th blade, Wrath. Suddenly Kinrai's whole right forearm was engulfed in some kind of black substance before the blade formed into his hand. The blade was black as the moonless sky, arching in different directions in order to cause as much pain as possible.. it looked like it belonged to someone thoroughly sadistic. The black fires were not on the blade since Kinrai still lacked the experience to wield a black fire. Kinrai looked at the blade for a moment before turning his eyes back to the unknown faces around him.

    Kinrai: ”Don't follow me if you value your lives.”

    With that Kinrai rushed off from under the jellyfish summon and soon met with Vita. She was battling against three golems with her summoned creature, a ruthless serpent which certainly wasn't the friendly type. Just as Kinrai was about to continue his pursuit for Nilak, he halted his movements and yelled out as if he was in pain. The real Kinrai was trying to prevent this rage-consumed spirit to stop from possessing his body. He even managed to gain control of his body for a short time.

    Kinrai: ”Vita! .. Stop.. me.. !! AAAAAAAH!!!”
    Suddenly Kinrai's eyes turned back to those cold ones from before, his whole demeanor seemed to change.
    Kinrai: ”Nonsense. Stay out of my way!”

    Before Vita could respond, Kinrai rushed off towards his destination: Valham's nest. It didn't take long for him to reach the place, such was his pace. He didn't react to the presence of Minathiel, Andrim, Falteer, Balthazar nor Reed at all. He could only see Nilak who was standing only a few dozen feet away from him now. The look on Nilak's face was devastated, Kinrai looked exactly like the demon from his dream. Minathiel was just as stunned while Reed seemed actually fascinated about Kinrai.

    Minathiel: ”Kinrai.. ? Is that really you?”
    Nilak: ”No. It's not him.”
    Kinrai: ”What do you claim to know about me, Nilak? Don't you recognize me? It's me in flesh and blood, your beloved student!”
    Minathiel: ”.. You're right, something's wrong.”
    Kinrai: ”Shut up you foolish wench.”
    Minathiel: ”How dare you.. !”
    Nilak: ”I didn't expect.. Damn it all!”
    Reed: ”Looks like Nilak here knows something we don't. Care to enlighten us?”
    Kinrai: ”There is nothing to tell. This is me, I am Kinrai.”
    Nilak: ”No, you're not, not anymore. We banished you for a reason. The one you see right now is the manifestation of Kinrai's hatred towards his father.. a spirit of wrath. He-”
    Kinrai: ”That's enough! No more of this meaningless babble!! Just die, all of you!”
    Reed: ”I like this guy. He keeps things nice and simple.”
    It was disturbing just how calm Reed was. After all Andrim was holding a knife to his throat and Kinrai had gone berserk and would probably attack anyone who approached him.
    Nilak: ”Balthazar! I need you to restrain Kinrai! Falteer, keep in the back and get yourself properly healed!”

    Pillars of fire erupted everywhere around Kinrai before he rushed at Nilak. Nilak summoned Angelic Hymn to his side again and blocked Kinrai's attack. Kinrai's assault only gained more speed from the block, he was slashing at Nilak from every direction. Nilak sinked his blade into the ground and surrounded himself with spikes of ice, thus forcing Kinrai to back down.

    Kinrai: ”Coward! Face me!!”
    Nilak: ”Balthazar.. !! I need you now!”
    Last edited by Takesh; 01-29-2012 at 08:30 AM.

  6. #66
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    Instead of shutting up as was the way most react when threatened with their throat being cut up this elf babbled, pressing the blade closer he’d hoped that shut him up. Keeping a watch around him in case the elf had any other friends he spotted the moon elf again. What was she doing? The question was quickly answered as an enormous serpent was summoned, emerging from the ribbon until the entire serpent was outside. This didn’t seem to be a regular summon, as to his knowledge most summons didn’t wear chains. Those chains didn’t’ leave much to fantasy about the nature of the beast.

    To his surprise and annoyance, instead of running away to hide once she set the serpent against the golems she confronted him. She had moved Kinrai to somewhere safe and stopped the golems for now. She’d done more than he could have hoped for. But this was neither the place nor the time.”Do you realize where we are elf? This is no place for an interrogation, and even if it were I am in no way obliged to answer your questions. I thank you for saving Kinrai and stopping those golems, but surely you don’t expect me to answer out of gratitude? After all” he said with half a smile “somebody who truthfully values life as much as you would not see saving one as a way to bind a chain of gratitude onto somebody else. But as long you keep the golems occupied I will keep him alive. And for you be quiet” he said, the last part directed at his captive.

    Just as Andrim was about call Direya to come out from wherever she was to get reinforcements what happened next stirred his feelings more than any loose accusations the moon elf could have made. Minathiel and her guards emerged from the forest into the clearing. Sending her two guards to assist against the golems her face contorted into shock and horror as she saw the fight in the sky. Staring evenly at her Andrim fought a battle of his own inside. Fighting so as not to make his feelings show, a fight he almost lost as she called him by his first name. His arm stiffened in response and nearly cut Ramvils throat open.

    Pushing down his anger deep within with the rest where it kept smoldering, potent but patient, waiting for its time, as it had done for decades now.

    “Lady Minathiel. His crime is what you sent your guards to struggle with. His crime is to send his golems to kill innocents, two who are the moon elf fighting the golems now and Kinrai Alte. Also, his association with Nilak who carried him down here, most likely in order to slow us down with his golems. His crime is, Lady Minathiel, murder attempts at not only elves but I suspect conspiring with Nilak, Balthazar and Falteer to kill Valhem. I carry out the sentence myself here and now to dispatch him and his golems but I am eager to know if anybody else is behind this”. Nilak and his apprentices were relentlessly fighting Valhem, having betrayed all the elves in doing so. But something felt wrong, if they had betrayed the elves why hadn’t Nilak killed him while he had the chance? He should not care about the death of an elf he did not know if he had betrayed the elves. “Just something I believe is worth exploring, my lady”

    Every word felt like bile in his mouth, being forced to stand here and actually speak politely to her. Hiding his every feeling behind a façade of loyalty.

    An ear shattering roar alerted him to the magnificent dragon plunging down to the earth, the shock of his fall making itself felt despite the distance. The trio had succeeded, and damned themselves forever. He had no connection to Valhem but like most elves he treasured his presence, soon that feeling get torn out of all elves and by then nothing would stop them from tearing the trio apart in return.

    The trio headed down to the clearing where everyone present waited for them. Andrim could only feel contempt for the priestess, instead of performing her duty she asked them for reasons that no longer mattered. The law was clear. Tightening his grip on Ramvil once more he shut him up, “if you don’t have anything of value to say don’t say it”. The situation was tense enough without him adding fuel to it, Minathiels guards were away and there was no saying what happen now. Despite his contempt for Minathiels lack of action he had tasted Nilaks skill and was not eager for a second try, even if he was wounded. Yet he could not be completely passive. “Lady Minathiel, what are your orders? If we wait any longer they will have time to heal themselves”

    Before she could answer the situation exploded, but not in the way he had imagined. Out from the trees an elf rushed out, Andrim felt a bolt of shock and joy as he recognized the elf as Kinrai. His expression changed into one of intense hate and cold eyes promising nothing but death to those who tried to stop him by the strangely shaped blade he held, he looked more demon than elf. What had happened to him? The truth quickly dawned upon him as he listened to the others conversation, he had given up on keeping Ramvil quiet as he added his voice to it.

    Andrim had heard of Kinrai’s anger against his father but for it to take such a form... It was more than he could have ever hoped for. Before he could decide what to do in this new situation Kinrai attacked Nilak, summoning pillars of fire which Nilak rushed through. They quickly exchanged slashes before Nilak forced him to back down as he summoned spikes of ice around him. Considering his options Andrim decided to stay put. Kinrai was clearly out of control and not safe to stand close to, and if he sided with Nilak he be siding with a tainted which was out of the question. He had let his rage overtake him before as he rushed Nilak, rage and a hope of Valhem being able to kill the other two before he was overtaken, he would not repeat that mistake, nor did he want to lose Ramvil.

    No he would wait until the situation progressed and he had a better view of it, intervening in case Nilak truly tried to kill his pupil. Also he had other things to occupy himself with. “Since no matter what I do Ramvil you don’t seem able to be quiet, courtesies of your guardian moon elf as without her you be dead I assure you as you have not yet dismissed your golems. So tell me now what is this all about, why did Nilak attack Valhem and what are you doing here? His apprentices being here I can understand, but you, you I do not know of. Exactly what is your part in all of this? Are there anymore unknown conspirators you haven’t mentioned? And don’t lie, you got your magic in your golems, I got mine in knowing whether you speak the truth or not” Nothing but lies, yet he hoped Ramvil believe him and give him something that he could use.

  7. #67
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    Exhaustion was one of the words that came into Balthazar's mind as the fight against Valham kept dragging on. Once on the sky, Valham even summoned help for himself in the form of a vicious wyvern known as Pathnak. It felt like the dragon's power was limitless since he just kept throwing more and more powerful hits at them.

    Towards the end of the fight Falteer's arm had been badly chewn by Pathnak, he wouldn't be able to use his arm for a while now. Nilak had also taken a bad hit to his chest by Valham. Balthazar was only completely covered in bruises thanks to the power of the earth element that protected him at all times. Without it he would be bleeding just as much as his companions.

    Eventually Nilak called for both Falteer and Balthazar to back down a bit in order to briefly go over their final attack against the dragon. Falteer had the most strenuous job, he had to get the Emerald from Valham's tail. Balthazar on the other hand had to deal with Pathnak while Nilak attacked Valham. Balthazar only nodded before forming his fists into sizeable stone battering rams.

    With these two lodged into the end of his arms, Balthazar proceeded to hammer away at Pathnak. At first he missed nearly every strike because of Pathnak's speed, however he only needed one good hit to hammer the wyvern into oblivion. Pathnak counterattacked every single blow Balthazar threw at him, fortunately Pathnak's attacks were limited to simple pecks though. Thanks to that Balthazar kept going like a wild beast, not even flinching from the attacks.

    In the end the situation would turn out worse for Balthazar. Eventually his body just wouldn't be able to withstand any more punishment. Then the chance presented itself, Valham had been taken out by Nilak and Falteer which managed to break Pathnak's focus on the battle at hand. Balthazar took advantage of the situation and smashed his stone fist right into Pathnak's jaw. The blow stunned Pathnak completely and left him vulnerable. Balthazar immediately continued by throwing a few blows into Pathnak's stomach before dealing the coup de grace and launching(literally) his stone fists into Pathnak's head, KOing the wyvern instantly.

    ”He won't bother us anymore.”

    Nilak was overjoyed of the fact they actually won. Falteer looked very beat-up, they would all need some rest after this. Unfortunately Nilak told both of them to ready up, their journey was just about to start. Before they left, Nilak wanted to check up on the surprise visitor who he had to save earlier: Reed.

    As they were descending, Balthazar fell deep into his thoughts. He was clearly troubled of what they had done. The morality of their cause was the biggest problem right now. Balthazar would go to any length for Nilak, such was his nature and the oath he took but what if his own moral code would begin to blur because of it? Even though Balthazar doesn't look the sort, he's a character whose intentions have always been for the good of others, albeit his methods are crude at times.

    Were they really helping out people right now? If only Nilak would tell more to them, it might set Balthazar's heart at ease. Now was not the time to ask such questions though, it seemed there was quite a situation on the ground. Reed had been apprehended by the same assailant who had attacked Nilak earlier. Getting hurled into a tree hadn't slowed him down much apparently.

    ”The guy's persistent.”

    Also, much to Balthazar's surprise, Minathiel Amar, the elven priestess was also there. Sadness and confusion were evident in both her voice and expression. Reed apparently wanted to be Mr. Obvious before he was shut up by Andrim, again.

    ”.. Your choice of allies worries me sometimes, Nilak.”

    More surprises were inbound since only moments later an enraged Kinrai jumped out of the thicket and rushed next to them. Minathiel was the first to question whether he really was Kinrai, and to be honest, Balthazar thought of the same thing. His Magic Art was active, you could see it from his silver hair and that brutal looking sword. Also his attitude was way off from the usual, it was much more intimidating and.. frightening, even. Not that it really surprised Balthazar, Kinrai had just learned moments ago that his tutor is assaulting one of the dragons, the beings next to God on Amn.

    Nilak soon explained just what was going on, apparently Kinrai wasn't even himself right now. It was hard to imagine someone could harbor a hatred so deep that it could manifest into an actual being with a conciousness, let alone that thing taking control of a person. Nilak's explanation seemed to only enrage Kinrai even further, clearly driving him off the edge and going completely berserk. That's when Nilak yelled out to Balthazar that he needed his help in restraining Kinrai.

    First a dragon, then even your own pupil, Nilak? Balthazar understood why they had to restrain Kinrai but.. his rage was unleashed because of them in the first place, wasn't it? Once Nilak yelled out again for Balthazar's aid, he finally nodded and took out his katanas.

    Nilak had managed to fend off Kinrai for the moment with his circle of ice spikes. While Kinrai was taunting Nilak, Balthazar hopped behind him and slashed at his back. Kinrai took the hit but immediately retaliated by hurling a dozen fireballs at Balthazar. Balthazar managed to block the fireballs with his stone skin ability. Kinrai followed up the fireballs with a dash, pointing his wretched blade at Balthazar. Both their swords clashed as Balthazar blocked the attack with his katanas. Before Balthazar managed to do anything, Kinrai already slashed at him again.

    Balthazar managed to dodge the strike and at the same time summoned a new creature to his aid: Ozmo. Ozmo's appearance was nothing more than a ball of light, however his ability was to absorb the light coming out of his target and making a perfect copy of it. Hence in just a flash there were two Balthazars standing next to each other.

    ”Think you can handle two of me?”
    Balthazar said, clearly trying to taunt Kinrai into attacking either one of him.

    Kinrai swallowed the bait and attacked, however Balthazar didn't expect Kinrai to attack both of him at the same time. Kinrai sent out an enormous surge of fire from his hand right at the copy Balthazar. At the same time he started dashing towards the real Balthazar, holding out his wretched blade ready to swing. Ozmo was overwhelmed by the intense fire but managed to get away from it before burning up too badly.

    Just as Kinrai was about to reach Balthazar, Balthazar smashed his foot into the ground causing a slight tremor which made Kinrai lose his balance. Ozmo attacked first by running behind Kinrai and putting him into a sleeper hold. Balthazar then buried his fist right into Kinrai's stomach before grabbing his head and slamming it into the ground, face first. In order to restrain him further, Balthazar summoned vines that tied Kinrai's legs and arms into the ground. Ozmo retreated at this point, vanishing completely out of sight.

    ”Hurry up, Nilak! He won't stay still for long!”
    This was one of the few times Balthazar actually raised his voice. This was a clear hint that he was more than serious of his claim.


    (( PREPARE FOR A FABULOUS EXPLOSION OF COLOR!! ))


    Meanwhile Inpa was staring blankly towards Valham's nest. He had heard Minathiel's speech earlier, it was pretty much impossible to miss. Tolbi was standing on Inpa's shoulder, he was holding his chin while in deep thought. The two had been standing there for a while now. You didn't hear stuff like this everyday. Valham was under attack by some unknown people? Who would dare to fight against a dragon? Tolbi had always thought dragons are near immortals, like gods of some sort. To imagine if someone could actually defeat one, the thought caused shivers to run down Tolbi's spine.

    ”Please don't get any funny ideas about going there. I don't want to die yet, Inpa.”
    ”Pfft. Like anyone could even hit you.”
    ”Yeah, but YOU can get your butt blown into million pieces which kinda affects me too.”
    ”.. Are you saying my butt is too big, Tolbi?”
    ”W-what? How.. how in Valham's name did you make that kind of connection?!”
    ”.. It's true! You think my butt is too big! Well, too bad for you 'cos I like big butts and you can't do nuthin' about that!”
    ”Ngh.. Of all the possible elves, why did I get a moron like you.. ?”
    ”Correction: self-proclaimed genius inventor, not moron. Plus I'm a handsome devil and smooth as a new born baby's butt with women.”
    ”What is it with you and butts all of a sudden?! And what does THAT have to do with anything?!”
    ”Don't blame me, you're the one who said my butt is too big.”
    ”I NEVER said your butt is too big!”
    ”Ha! You just said it!”
    ”Gnnngh..”
    Tolbi grit his teeth together, again Inpa had managed to make a fool of Tolbi with his 'witty' wordplay. The only comfort Tolbi had was the fact that Balthazar got the same treatment every single day. That brought another question into Tolbi's mind, just how is it possible that Balthazar hadn't boiled Inpa in oil or worse yet?

    ”Well, this is better than heading to Valham's nest. Even if-”
    ”Great idea! Let's go!”
    ”WHAT?! NO!! NOOOOOO!!! YOU.. !! I HATE YOU!!”

    With that Inpa started jogging towards Valham's nest, completely oblivious of the events that were transpiring there at the moment.
    Last edited by farag0n; 02-10-2012 at 05:30 PM.
    Calm down people, it's just me.

  8. #68
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    It was clear Balthazar didn't like what they were doing. It was definitely the reason it took some time before Balthazar jumped in and distracted Kinrai. Nilak hated it too, he would never raise his sword against Kinrai but it was the only option now, otherwise Kinrai would undoubtedly kill Nilak. Right now Kinrai's hatred was practically overflowing, his wrath was unstable and his power kept increasing by the second. Nilak could only hope Balthazar would be fast enough, Nilak had to reserve his strength for the sealing and thus couldn't help. While Balthazar was fighting Kinrai, Minathiel turned to Nilak.

    Minathiel: ”Andrim. I give you permission to interrogate Ramvil. I agree that he knows more than we do. Use my guards as you please.”
    Nilak raised his eyebrow for a moment, then again he thought that enclosing Reed's identity was probably for the best. Minathiel's speech gave off the impression she was about to do something unexpected.
    Nilak: ”No.. You can't.. !!”
    Minathiel: ”What did you expect, Nilak? That I just stand still and let you go? I will allow you to seal Kinrai's wrath, after that you will be judged. It is my duty as the elven priestess to bring forth justice.”
    Nilak: ”Justice? .. He was right. No matter what we do, the moment we stumble away from the 'right' path, we are nothing but criminals who everyone wants dead. People make mistakes, no one is perfect, and yet we still judge others as if we're better than them? There's no justice in that, only fear that gives birth to new fear.”
    Falteer: ”So that's why..”
    Now Falteer finally understood Nilak's motives, he still had small doubts but he trusted Nilak. Nilak was after a revolution of sorts, he was going against the system that had been functioning from the very beginning of Amn. Falteer chuckled lightly, he knew only Nilak would be able to win a battle of ideals on this scale. Something was still a bit off though, just what exactly was the dragons' role in all this?

    Minathiel: ”I gave you the benefit of the doubt, I gave you a chance to redeem yourself. Why have you not answered my question yet?”
    Nilak: ”Because there isn't an answer that would satisfy the law. If we go by law, I have nothing more to say for myself. All I'm supposed to do now is face my judgement, and that is the last thing I will do. I will complete my mission and no one will stand in my way, not even you Minathiel.”
    Minathiel: ”Then there is no need for further discussion. I hereby declare you Tainted, Nilak Venotre. May the Netherworld greet you with open arms.”
    Reed: ”It's like watching an old couple fight.. to the death! Enjoy the show, won't you.. Andrim.”
    Only moments before Andrim had asked about Reed's motives in this fight. He also claimed that he would know if Reed lied. Reed would give his answer soon, first he wanted to see the fight.

    In an instant, Minathiel summoned four water copies of herself. She froze every water copy's arms so that they could wield ice magic. As a last touch, she created small whirlwinds underneath all of them so that they could move at amazing speeds. This was Minathiel's style, rather than putting herself on the battlefield, she relied on others, just like a mage should. Nilak grasped tightly on his blade, his body was nearing its limit. This fight had to end fast. What surprised Nilak was that the water copies didn't move, they just hovered right above the ground as still as statues.

    Nilak: ”.. Why aren't you attacking, Minathiel?”
    Minathiel: ”I told you. First you will seal Kinrai's wrath, after that we shall fight.”
    Reed: ”Bah. You're no fun.”
    Nilak glanced at Reed before he was alerted by Balthazar. Kinrai was finally down but not for long, that much was evident from Balthazar's voice.

    Nilak rushed past Minathiel's water copies and knelt down next to Kinrai. Minathiel observed the situation with a keen eye. She had turned from a confused little princess into a stern believer of her cause, it was one of her best traits as a leader. Nilak summoned a new blade for himself, Faron, a straight sword with the emblem of a dragon in the handle. As he grip the blade, it started glowing, pulsing with power. This was because Nilak was pouring magic straight into the sword, it was needed in order for the seal to be effective.

    Nilak: ”In order to seal the wrath inside Kinrai, I have to use this blade. Don't try to stop me, this is the only way. Forgive me Kinrai, I did not wish to do this again.”
    Kinrai: ”Kinrai's hatred will never go away. I've etched myself deep into his heart, one day Kinrai will give in and I shall be reborn. Eventually this little trick of yours becomes obsolete.”
    Nilak: ”Enough of you. Kinrai is strong, he won't let it happen again.”
    Kinrai: ”Even the strongest falter, and that is all I need. Until next time, 'master'.”

    Nilak raised the Faron blade and plunged it straight through Kinrai's back. Kinrai yelled out of pain before going limp, color vanishing from his skin and his eyes becoming as lifeless as stone. Nilak didn't remove the blade, he left it there and looked at Minathiel.

    Nilak: ”This will take some time. The sword will slowly suck the wrath in itself and once it's done, the sword will shatter.”
    Minathiel: ”And then?”
    Nilak: ”Then we need a healer who can resurrect Kinrai. After that the sealing process is complete.You should still make sure that Kinrai is himself once he is revived.”
    Minathiel: ”I understand. Now it is time for you to face your judgement.”
    Nilak turned around and whispered into Balthazar's ear.
    Nilak: ”Balthazar.. Take Falteer with you and go. No buts, I'll catch up soon. Head for Palo, Ik'har is our next target.”
    Minathiel: ”Your apprentices will share your fate, Nilak. They won't leave this place.”
    Nilak: ”Yes they will.”

    Nilak created a gigantic whirlwind which engulfed all the water copies. This was only a short distraction, the water copies would probably be unharmed once they land back on the ground. Nilak motioned Balthazar to leave, and soon both Falteer and Balthazar were no longer seen. Minathiel frantically tried to find them but to no avail, they had escaped for the time being. Furious, she turned her attention back to Nilak. The water copies landed back on the ground and formed ice spears, ready to throw them at Nilak.

    Minathiel: ”They can't escape, no one can escape the law.”
    Nilak: ”That's why I will destroy it.”
    Minathiel: ”.. You've gone mad! It pains me to do this since you were once considered the hero of Amn but you give me no choice.”
    Nilak: ”I was a hero as long as I did exactly as you pleased.”

    Nilak coughed violently and fell on his knee suddenly. His body was at its limit, the whirlwind was the last straw.

    Reed: ”Oh my, this looks bad for my team. Don't you think so too, Andrim? How about we even the odds a little, hmm? Don't worry, I bet you'll like it just as much as I will.”

    Reed's arms had been close by this whole time, and now they finally appeared. They shot right at Minathiel who could barely even saw them coming. The arms clutched right into her throat, slowly starting to strangle her. They also extended and bind her arms so that she couldn't do any magic. The water copies were thus rendered useless since Minathiel couldn't control them anymore. Reed grinned deviously as his eyes were fixed at Minathiel.

    Reed: ”Say.. Why don't we make this a tad more interesting, hmm?”
    Reed lowered his voice for the next part, he didn't want everyone to hear what he was going to say to Andrim.
    Reed: ”I noticed something about you when you answered to Minathiel. Something about you changed.. that calm, cold demeanor of yours seemed to twitch with.. contempt? Perhaps you have a grudge against her? I won't make any hasty assumptions, but that alone would make you a very interesting person in my book. In any case, you wish to know what my part is in all of this, correct? I'll answer, I wouldn't want you to call me a liar, now would I?”

    Reed took a deep breath and then continued, still strangling Minathiel slowly. Nilak was unaware of the situation, he was still too fatigued. Only the moon elf was without a restriction, she would also hear Reed's next speech.

    Reed: ”Don't worry about Minathiel yet Andrim, we'll get to her in a jiffy. Now then, what's my purpose here? Hmm.. Well, let's just say that there are certain people in this world of ours who want Nilak's little rebellion to succeed. I represent these people.. anonymously of course. I suppose I am an insurance policy of sorts. There are lots of big players in this game, I wonder if you can even imagine the scale of things right now? The look on your face tells me you don't.”
    Minathiel: ”Release.. me at once!”
    Reed: ”Oh my, I suppose I should do something about you priestess. Say.. Andrim, time to prove your loyalty to Minathiel Amar and the elders. What is Minathiel's fate? Your choice.. Heh heh.”
    Minathiel: ”Andrim.. ?”
    Reed ignored the moon elf's presence nearby however he knew she might try to interfere.


    Meanwhile in the depths of the forest of Auburn.


    Valham had crashlanded on a small clearing, he was still alive and breathing. The location was one of the toughest to get into because the trees were sturdy and plentiful. It was hard to navigate through them without getting hopelessly lost. Valham's surroundings were covered in burned trees, it was caused by surges of fire that escaped from his body at a random rate because the Emerald was removed. He would live if he could rest now in peace. Unfortunately his rest was denied from him since winged creatures suddenly descended from the sky and circled him. With his functioning eye, Valham could make out who they were.

    Valham: ”Inuiks.. What is.. your purpose here?”

    The leader of the pack descended all the way down and landed near Valham's head. The Inuik had all the same traits as every other Inuik: eagle head, human torso and bull's legs. However this Inuik had black feathers oddly mixed up with the normal white feathers. It clearly suggested he was someone of more importance to them. The leader peered into Valham's eye before responding.

    ???: ”Your death, God of Winds.”

  9. #69
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    Vita decided it was best to examine the situation that seemed ever changing around her. Her immediate surroundings consisted of one fallen golem, one severely injured golem, and one idiotic golem who constantly aided Margni in the destruction of the injured golem. Therefore, it wouldn't take much longer to finish all three of them off. Keeping a safe distance away from the action was a collection of finely dressed men. Vita could only assume their role was to observe, since they hadn't budged once. Not that it bothered her. For all she knew, the men wouldn't know who to attack. After all, Vita kept her restraint on Margni despite her growing exhaustion.

    Wiping away sweat and stifling her panting, Vita gazed at the location where the hostage and Andrim stood. Having had decided to ignore the question regarding her name, Vita turned away from Andrim. She did, however, glimpse the knife threatening the armless criminal, which seemed ironic in so many ways. Instead, Vita made note of who might have sent the observers. Stepping down and away from a palla was a beautiful woman. Curled locks of gold wavered around a white dress with actual gold accentuating her attire. Vita knew the woman was familiar, but when she figured out why, Minathiel began interrogating the hostage. It turned out that his name was Ramvil, an accomplice of Nilak and the others. Minathiel wasted no time claiming he was a Tainted, at which Margni couldn't conceal his laughter.

    "There is little humor in these events. Besides, that...Ramvil, he may very well be Tainted. I have heard there being many forms of Tainted. I am still not convinced the authority of someone such as Minathiel could convert an elf into a Tainted."

    "Do keep your stubborness to a minimum. Moon elves have but their intellect to be proud of in terms of innate capabilities. You will soon discover the power of law, and the consequence of breaking it."

    Margni paused, tilting his head for a reply that never came. There was no use arguing with a creature like Margni, and Vita discovered that she was still bothered by someone else: Andrim. In a way, Andrim was like Margnil. Logic over truthfulness, and hostility over hospitality. The difference was that Vita couldn't restrain Andrim. In order to get any information, keeping Margni active and relying on Minathiel's authority were Vita's only options. Of course, neither of these options seemed to be working. Margni could easily deal with the golems quickly if so desired, but he found Vita's fatigue more interesting to rush things along. As for Minathiel, she might have better luck interrogating a killer clown.

    What was even more infuriating about the whole scenerio was how Andrim addressed Minathiel. Honestly, was status such a powerful weapon? From the way he addressed Minathiel to the way he earnestly recounted all that he witnessed. Besides, the guards that Minathiel supposedly sent to help Vita were standing idly by, no doubt inching closer to look all the braver. At any rate, Vita now knew where Ramvil came from, what his relationship with Nilak and the others might be, as well as the possibility of another ally or so behind the scene.

    ******Slightly Elsewhere******

    Oren decided to pick up the duty Vita suddenly dropped: waiting for Elrik to respond. Back, forth. Back, forth. The moment Vita ran off to investigate...what was it again? A crash? Whatever decided to beat up Elrik's jellyfish? Or was it the guy named Andrim? Well, Vita's absence rekindled the strange pacing of silence. Elrik paid no mind to what was happening to his jellyfish, his focus mostly on Kinrai. So, when Kinrai finally did utter a sound, Elrik was the first to hear it. Before speaking a single word, Elrik bolted to Kinrai's side to check for any other sign of waking.

    "Hm. His heart rate seems just right. It's no longer slowed. In fact--!"

    Suddenly, Elrik threw himself backwards, as if some force knocked him to the ground. Oren was just about to ask what had Elrik all in a panic when Elrik stood on his feet and blocked Kinrai from view. Even Mina knew not to overstep her curiousity, yet Oren was certain he saw red skin before fire swallowed Kinrai's body. Mien clutched onto Xan's arm and managed to shield Fieyira's eyes from the flames engulfing Kinrai's body. Still, Amelia screamed in terror and Mien couldn't control her quivering body.

    "Okay. This is clearly a sign that none of you are safe here anymore. Quickly, get on the jellyfish." Elrik took a deep breath and hauled everyone on the jellyfish. Elrik's eyes widen as Kinrai rose to his feet. All the words Vita used to describe Kinrai fell flat based on what was now present. Murderous eyes. Raging flames. Humorless lips. The blades swirling about Kinrai's body weren't very inviting either. Obviously, Vita would have to find her own way out of danger. But how?

    "Oren, you must stay here and alert Vita. Tell her the Weiss family is no longer in harms way!"

    Oren's face grew pale as he took in the obsidian contraption on Kinrai's right arm. Truly, Kinrai looked every ounce of a monster. Any other time, Oren would have fled, staying out of the way of such a dangerous person. But then he thought of Vita. Vita, who hardly knew the definition of friendship, let alone what having a friend means. How would her fragile heart interprete Kinrai's...wraith? Knowing time was running out, Oren gave a quick nod to Elrik before zipping off towards Vita. Unfortunately, so was Kinrai!

    ******Back to Vita******

    All around her, the ground and sky vibrated with such a force, Vita couldn't help but kneel down from the shock. Not only had a dragon as treasured as Valham been defeated, but the cries of the native animals filled Vita with dread. Smoke rose into the air, signalling a spontaneous fire undoubtably belonging to Valham. The beaten up threesome were finally done with what they came to do, but no cheers greeted them. In fact, Vita could almost imagine herself tearing them apart with insults, only someone stopped her. Kinrai.

    "Kinrai, you are--ah." Joy was instantly replaced with confusion. No, there were other emotions as well, but Vita couldn't place them. All she knew was that her heart felt like it was being shredded into specks of dust. Something trapped away the Kinrai Vita had come to know. A split personality? Another soul? Vengeance? The icy chains on Margni started to falter with each step Kinrai took away from her. It took all of her remaining will and the arrival of Oren to keep the icy chains from vanishing completely.

    "That's not Kinrai! Don't you dare think you've lost him, either!"

    "I've lost him...?" For some reason, it took awhile for the meaning to register. Kinrai was physically present, but mentally...was he still there? There was something truly frightening about the Kinrai Vita just met. Destructive. Forlorn. As if all that mattered were those that betrayed him. As if all other ties were long forgotten. And what were Nilak and Minathiel saying? What did Andrim think of the person Vita was suppose to protect?

    "Vita, get a hold of yourself! Do you want Margni to end your life right here, right now? If so, how is that fair?!"

    Slowly, Vita began to regain her composure. In order to block out what was happening to Kinrai, who was targeting him and how Kinrai in turn defended and assaulted his opponents, Vita locked on the remaining golems. Without speaking a word, Vita glared up at Margni before rushing at the least injured golem herself. The wild one. Not only stupid, but truly aggressive towards its prey. It didn't take long for the dimwit to switch from Margni to Vita, pounding into the spots Vita previously stood. Meanwhile, Margni played with the wounded golem, tiring it out and adding to the pile of its crumbled remains.

    Just as Vita was about to finish off her golem with Halo of Antics, Vita stopped herself. Hearing Nilak's name, Vita's head jerked towards the source of the call. Balthazar. Struggling from Balthazar's grasp was Kinrai, struck in several areas and incapable of moving thanks to a net of vines. That's when Vita realized how much she missed. Clones of Minathiel on standby. An ominous blade raised in Nilak's hands. Nilak, a proclaimed Tainted, was about to stab Kinrai! But why? Was it true? Was there really no trace of Kinrai -- the REAL Kinrai -- left inside his possessed body?

    "Oh, how I wish to engrave that expression of horror upon my mind all the while these forsaken events carry forth, but the conditions of my summoning are over. Farewell, my skittish morsel."

    Only rubble remained of the three golems summoned by Ramvil. Oren began rambling about how Elrik escaped with the Weiss family and that leaving would be best, but Vita didn't budge. No matter how Vita looked at Kinrai, he was dead. Killed by the very elf he came to meet. Worse, Kinrai didn't want to come originally. And yet...

    "It was my fa--"

    "...Good thing there are plenty of healers. Kinrai will be resurrected in no time! So, there's really no reason to stick around. I mean, no offense, but you're healing skills suck, Vita."

    "Really?"

    "Yeah. There was that time my wing--"

    "I am not referring to healing. Oren, is it true Kinrai can be revived?"

    "That's what that guy said."

    It took them both surprise to see the state Minathiel was in. Choking. Gasping for air that wouldn't come. Even without knowing the details, Vita was able to make the connection between an armless Ramvil and the arms that stole Minathiel's breath away. Worse, all the other eyes were locked on Andrim, as if he was expected to act. Would he? The scent of death proved that murder was nothing to Andrim, or at least watching someone die. Then there was the way he treated those of status. Would he act for Minathiel's sake, or do something entirely unexpected? At any rate, Vita wasn't in any condition -- mentally, mostly -- to risk not only Ramvil, but Nilak, Balthazar, and Falteer ganging up on her. But it was wrong to just stand aside, like those useless guards.

    "Enough..." All the drama had practically taken Vita's voice away, so she tried again. "Is it not enough?! Valham has been slain, bringing with his defeat the lives of many animals who resided in the now burning trees. And Kinrai. I have no idea what has happen to Kinrai, but I know what will happen to Minathiel. Does her death have reason as well? Will I be next? Then Elrik? The Weiss family?" Somehow, tears began to form around Vita's eyes, but she didn't blink them away. "I...I should have never brought Kinrai here, had I known how horrible his master and seniors would be! But that match in the coliseum, when Balthazar saved the lives of the audience from that stray boulder--! All of you are despicable!"

    Nurarihyon no Mago!
    Quote:
    Inpa: "...I got your mask already, look! Isn't it pretty?”
    Balthazar: ”Urgh.. !! It's pink..”
    Inpa: ”Oh please, it's called being metrosexual!..."
    -- farag0n; Tales of Amn

  10. #70
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    During the short time Andrim had spoken to his captive Balthazar had joined the fray with Kinrai. Realizing Minathiel spoke to him he tried to pay attention to both to the battle and his supposed ruler. Something he found to be but a waste of time, he already had his full rights to interrogate his captive. But he couldn’t refuse a slight smile as he listened to Nilaks explanation with half an ear.

    The moment one stumbled from the slight path, people make mistakes, nobody’s perfect. What an explanation, he could imagine it. “I just made a small mistake, nobody’s perfect; I killed Valham in a moment of confusion!” Ridiculous and even more amusing as Nilak was finally officially tainted, the fall of Valham, added with the blow he’d taken both from the wind and the imminent impact with the tree which still felt sore left him little sympathy for the champion. Not even Ramvil refusing to answer him and mouthing of bothered him much.

    As Minathiel prepared for battle by summoning four water elementals Andrim took a few careful steps backwards, he had no intention of getting dragged into their fight if avoidable. During the time all this had transpired Balthazar had somehow made a copy of himself, only for both copy and original to be swept away by Kinrais flames. Just when it all seemed to be over for Balthazar the apprentice slammed his feet down making Kinrai lose his balance.

    Then it was truly over. One of the Balthazar’s held Kinrai as the other Balthazar rammed his fist into Kinrai’s stomach before slamming his face down into the earth and summoned vines to hold him down.
    Nilak finally took action, summoning a blade pulsing with power. And with a hearth sinking feeling in his gut Andrim watched as Nilak killed his own apprentice. At least it was a clean cut, the healers should have no trouble to close it and then resurrect Kinrai. Something Nilak himself confirmed. Still, Andrim had to force himself to shut up. Logically he knew Kinrai would be fine, yet emotionally he’d never been able to accept that somebody dead could be resurrected.

    Either way, Nilak would pay. In the state he was in he had no chance against Minathiel. Andrims previous action to take a few step backwards proved a good idea as Nilak launched a furious whirlwind to throw the elementals upwards, not enough to cause any harm to them but enough for his two accomplices’s to run off. Andrim didn’t even bother to try to stop them, as for now they were not important and he was not stupid enough to try to fight the arena champion’s two apprentices at once even if they were injured. Balthazar had proven that he was far from harmless yet. Unlike the current state of his master, that whirlwind appeared to have been his last act.

    ”Oh my, this looks bad for my team. Don't you think so too, Andrim? How about we even the odds a little, hmm? Don't worry, I bet you'll like it just as much as I will.”
    Raising his eyebrow Andrim suddenly remembered something as two arms jumped and restrained Minathiel, swift and agile as snakes. Direya had said that he had dispatched his arms somewhere. Before Andrim could act out on his last ounce of patience having run out for this man who kept giving him reasons to kill him at every chance his captive spoke once more. This was a waste of time. He didn’t know if what he had said was true or not, and while this organization he spoke of could be something to look deeper into in the future it was enough to know he noticed his hate for the priestess. This had turned out pretty well after all. He would kill Ramvil and earn Minathiels trust. That was before one fateful forming of letters escaped Minathiels mouth.

    Andrim.

    She’d dare call him by his first name! Finally something snapped within him, he was tired of pretending, tired of having to wait, tired of having to be patient and tired of having to make plans. The opportunity was right there in front of him, it was his time to act at last. That was, he knew as he watched the moon elf and Minathiels two guards, if he was allowed to.
    Taking a breath he lowered his voice, if anybody besides Ramvil heard this he’d be in trouble.

    “Ramvil I almost wish I killed you the moment I saw you. But I make you a deal, conceal us somehow. Use your arms to produce a sandstorm, make us invisible I don’t care. I give you thirty seconds. If you can’t I be forced to fulfill my previous threats”

    He didn’t even know if it was possible for Ramvil to do something in his current state, but if he couldn’t then that was that. Counting in his mind he was interrupted at the count of twenty three by a soft voice. He hadn’t noticed the moon elf returning back to Kinrai’s now unmoving side. Her voice shook but whether from sadness or anger he couldn’t tell. Andrim couldn’t help but pity her despite the harsh words he’d said to her earlier, a naive moon elf who came into a situation which had nothing to do with her. Before he could respond everything went black. Blinking did not change the darkness, but he could still feel Ramvil and his dagger. Yet it was as if somebody had stolen all light from the world, well not quite all he had to admit as he snapped his fingers to produce a flame. Fery red and orange dancing at the tip of his hand. Minathiel was there too, so was her water elementals who now stood still, but everyone else was gone.

    The land was not so very different from the glade they’d been in moments ago. Yet something felt wrong. Even with the light of his fire his surroundings seemed dull and dark. More so than the clouded night sky above should make possible. Letting Ramvil go, somehow he had fulfilled his part, Andrim took a few steps forward and bent down to further inspect the grass. Even with his fire just above the ground he could not see any hint of color. All the grass was in different shades of black and grey, not a single green strand to be found. The trees were similarly lacking in color, only being in white and shades of grey. And beyond his light the shadows danced, what worried him was that he couldn’t tell if they were real or not. Were they truly just the shadows created by his light in this strange place or something else entirely?

    That didn’t matter now he decided as he set his eyes on the prize. Besides his footsteps and the wind there were no sounds to be heard, maybe those shadows outside were just that, shadows. But then why did they make his hair stand on end? Pushing the thoughts back in his mind he bent down.

    “Truth be told Minathiel I’m not quite sure what to say. Should I scream at you, curse you, maybe I should insult your parents? I dreamed of this moment for so long but now that it finally is here I feel strangely calm. But by now you should wonder how a simple servant of the law could do this” Seating himself down he placed the dagger beside him and wriggled his now free hand in between Minathiels throat and the arm choking her, he wouldn’t let her pass out now.

    “For you to understand I need to tell you a story. I’m not sure how much time we have so I try to keep it brief but I want you to know why I’m doing this”. He settled himself down a bit more comfortably before continuing. “131 years ago my companion and I had just finished one of our usual speeches in the very city we were in tonight. You see we were against this system you cherish so. Where a single elf, a high elf, can together with the council hold power over all elves. Then there’s you Minathiel, the moon priestess also holding a considerable amount of power, also a high elf. By now you should understand what I’m saying. That was what we protested against, the power we high elves hold. What we wanted both in the council and the priesthood was a dark and moon elf representing their own kind. Perhaps the dark elves and moon elves earn the equality and respect they deserve then. Who knows, but it was what we wanted”

    Plucking some grass he carefully scrolled it between his fingers before he blew away the strands, soon lost in the sea of gray and black. “How that would turn out, we were never allowed to know. While we walked back from that speech 131 years ago, an elf, I never learned his name, assaulted us. Enria she…” Breathing in he continued, he wouldn’t stop now
    “She sacrificed her own life to save mine, as did my fairy Inrya. After that I killed the bastard but for them, the injuries were far too great. Of Inrya nothing but ashes remained and Enria had her head cut in half. They couldn’t be resurrected. Afterwards, I needed answers, but no matter how long I searched I never figured out who was responsible. Maybe the bastard acted alone, but there was one thing I realized. Who had the most to lose? You, for one did have everything to lose. Of course, now I realize we couldn’t possibly have changed anything with simple speeches, but perhaps you were worried. Perhaps we were an annoyance so you sent that elf. I wonder, did you?”

    Suddenly he grew aware of how the shadows had crept closer towards them, trying to stretch their flickering forms towards them. His fireball had somehow faded in color and the light with it. Focusing it grew in size and turned into its original orange and red dancing shape and the light returned with it, reinforcing the line keeping the shadows at bay. Were they truly just a trick of the light? And was it equally a trick that his hand seemed grayer as well? Upon closer inspection all color on him had dulled. He wasn’t in the habit of wearing colorful clothing but even the brown on his shirt and robe had turned into a brown grey mix. He’d better finish this quickly, something was very wrong with this place.

    “I am aware that it’s possible you didn’t do it. And if you didn’t, even if that elf was a single madman, even if somebody else sent him, they did it to protect the order you two represent. And if I kill you I hurt whoever did it, or I get the one responsible”. Removing his hand from Minathiels throat he grasped his knife, studying it. Funny how such a small thing would soon plunge so many elves into despair. The moon elf from before crossed his mind, what had she called them, despicable? One couldn’t help but smile at how right she was. He truly was no better than Nilak.

    “This is your last chance to stop Andrim. If you do this it will mark all elves”
    Direya fluttered into view, as everything else her usual deep blue color had faded into a dull light blue.

    “So you managed to come. This here is Enrias fairy that I formed a bond with after her death. My companion and conscience for over a century. You know Minathiel even after what happened she always tried to talk me out of this, you should be glad. I can’t say what I do to you if not for her. As for your question Direya, no. You know it’s too late. Now is it anything you wish to say to her before I finish this?”

    “Only this. If it was you I never forgive you, still, but I am sorry it had to end this way. If only for the rest of the elves"

    “Truly spoken” Andrim said as he further fuelled the flames until they were almost too hot even for him to hold at arm’s length. His hand itself would have long since gotten burnt if not for the magic that fuelled the fire acted as a barrier between the flames his hand, but the rest of him was a different story.

    “Before I kill you Minathiel I want to tell you some last things. Have no hope of getting resurrected, I make sure that won’t happen. And I want you to know that you almost survived today, I would have slit Ramvils throat if not for one thing. You calling me by my first name. That’s all it took for me to change my mind. Now, it is time for you, the moon priestess to die in this forsaken place with not even your goddess of the moon to watch over you” With a grimace he brought the flame closer to him, setting it between himself and Minathiel. Satisfied he did what he dreamt of for so many years.

    Raising the dagger he savored the moment until he brought it down with all the force of a century of emotions finally broken free. The light swiftly fled Minathiels eyes as her life seeped out from the wound. That was not the end of it though, he continued, stabbing and slicing, focusing on maiming her face and brain beyond repair. Blood sprouted but any droplets that got close to staining him instantly turned in the heat of his flame. If only his teachers knew he use one of their lessons to turn water into vapor for this one day. Satisfied with his work he extinguished the flame, cleaned his blade on the corpse’s clothes, spit on it to get rid of the rest of the blood and stood up and summoned his flame once more.

    The former moon priestess was in a sorry state, not only for the injuries but as her life left her so had all color. She was now equally colored as the rest of this cursed land. This was a sight he never would forget he knew. But he couldn't allow himself to savor the moment just yet.

    “You’re done?”

    Direya had had her back turned towards him during the whole process.

    “Yes and no. Because now it is up for me to either die or be allowed to live” Walking towards Ramvil he braced himself for what he was about to do. While he hadn’t been looking Ramvils arms had came back to him and sat well and fixed on him. One would never have imagined for them to have been separated mere moments ago.

    “Ramvil, I don’t trust you but for the moment I have to. If I come out of here unscathed with Minathiel dead questions might arise and I can’t risk being suspected. You on the other hand are a different story, everyone already believe you to be tainted. So, you managed to overpower me and then killed Minathiel, that’s the story I wish to tell. Of course I need some injury to show” Trying not to think of what he was doing he turned the dagger towards his chest and rammed it inside. Sagging down on his knees he waited for the shock to disappear and be replaced with, ah there it was. Clenching his teeth he tried not to cry out as he drew out the dagger. Keeping one hand on the wound to stem the tide of fluid escaping him.

    “Andrim what the hell are you doing?!”

    “What I need to in order to avoid suspicion” He threw the dagger to Ramvil before continuing, forcing his words through his teeth’s. He thought he hadn’t stabbed himself into anything vital but he was beginning to doubt his anatomical knowledge.
    “The roles are reversed. You could kill me now, only to take the blame for both mine and Minathiels deaths. Or you let me live and take the blame for her death and we could discuss your offer in the future, but I will not take the blame for her death. My faith is now in your hands.
    Last edited by Befram; 03-12-2012 at 07:48 AM.

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