Nayru, City of the Elves – Morning
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My how much has happened since the last time we saw. How have you been? I hope you're not too exhausted yet, we still have a long way to go. The sun is peeking from the horizon like a curious little child, completely oblivious of the happenings of the world. The heroes of our story met much strife during this long night dedicated to the Moon Goddess.
A certain dark elf known as the hero of Amn conspired with a high authority in order to bring a new age to this world of ours. In order to achieve that the hero did the unthinkable and slew one of the magnificent creatures that guard the world of Amn, while simultaneously snatching its soul crystal.
The truth of the matter however was only revealed to a young elf and his fairy, both who had been happily skipping along the forest roads of Auburn. It breaks one's heart to witness such a cruel act, and it confuses them even more since they don't know the reason for it.
Nevertheless it would seem that the fire dragon's fate hangs on this boy's shoulders.
The hero of Amn stripped away all his glory and threw it into the face of the priestess of Nayru, and the hero's youngest pupil. Enraged by this, the pupil gave in to his hatred and was consumed by it. The pupil was eventually defeated and killed in order to seal the hatred within. It was done by the same hero who everyone now thought was a dragonslayer.
Then the elf with more sinister intentions, with the assist of a peculiar villain in the shadows, brought down his revenge on the one he hated: the priestess of Nayru. A dubious contract was established and the peculiar villain left the elf with parting words that hinted towards their reunion someday. The elf's survival was left at the hands of an elf not born of this world.
The moon elf was entrusted with a heavy burden. She was to save two people, the hero's pupil that now lay dead and the plotter who had struck a grave wound on his chest in order to prove his innocence. Together with the help of another moon elf, a mysterious one at that, they brought the two back to Nayru in order to be healed.
It is a sad morning riddled with conspiracies, lies and deceit. If the morning is as horrible as this, I can only wonder what the rest of the day will be like.
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For some odd reason, Nayru had fell completely silent. There were no stalls being opened by the merchant dwarves, the school bells did not rang, everything was as still as if time had stopped. The news of the priestesses's and the dragon's passing couldn't have entered the city yet.
The real cause of the silence was fear, fear of the unknown that the priestess had forewarned about.
Liana was anxiously pacing around the throne room. Guard captain Cirno was with her, standing gallantly like a knight, waiting for Minathiel's return. He was wearing a white shirt with a shoulder plate on the left side. He had white gloves with the emblem of Nayru, a large white tree with a single apple on one of its branches, etched on the backside. His left arm was clad in armor shaped like the scales of a dragon. He wore dark leather pants and a belt with a white buckle. His eyes followed Liana's movement. Minathiel had instructed him to assist Liana in her absence.
Liana: ”What's taking them so long.. ? Something must've happened. What if.. what if she's-”. Liana had been like this from the moment Minathiel had left. Her endurance was quite remarkable when it came to worrying about others.
Cirno: ”Please focus Mrs. Alte. Do not make any hasty decisions.”
Liana became flustered when she heard Cirno call her with her ex-husband's last name. She thundered over in front of Cirno and looked at him straight into his eyes.
Liana: ”Never call me that again. What do you know anyway?! Minathiel could be dead! I should've gone with her..”
Cirno: ”My apologies Miss Liana. Drowning yourself in despair will not solve the situation. I already dispatched guards to look for her. All we can do now is wait.”
Cirno's voice was calm, he had learned how to keep his cool in his line of duty. Liana sighed and started pacing around again.
Suddenly the huge double doors of the palace flung open. Light covered the huge hall almost completely. Two moon elves assisted by a few guards came rushing inside. Liana gasped and held her hand over her mouth when she saw who the moon elves were carrying. Her son and the agent whose name Liana had forgotten were both in terrible shape. She motioned the moon elves to lay the injured ones on the ground. Before she asked any questions from the moon elves, she examined how bad the injuries were. Guard captain Cirno knelt down next to Kinrai and tried his pulse while Liana ripped open Andrim's shirt in order to see his wound.
Liana: ”It's a deep wound but with my skills you'll be fine. You're going to need plenty of rest though.” Liana told Andrim before she covered the wound with a thin layer of sparkling water. ”This is going to sting.” Liana said before she forced the water into the wound. A loud hissing noise, as if a fire was being put out, escaped from the wound. Slowly but steadily the wound started closing up. ”Hold still for a while.” Liana said as she raised her hands off from Andrim's chest.
Cirno: ”Miss Liana.. your son has no pulse. Moon elves! How long has he been like this? Can he still be resurrected?” Cirno demanded an answer from the moon elves. Liana started sobbing loudly as she looked at Kinrai. Healing strangers felt easy but when it was your family member, your own son, who was in such a state.. the task became much more harder.
The moon elves told that there was still time to resurrect Kinrai. Liana was shaking all over before Cirno grabbed her from her shoulders. This time it was Cirno who looked at Liana straight into her eyes.
Cirno: ”Miss Liana! Collect yourself, there is still hope. You can still save Kinrai.”
Liana: ”Y-Yes.. Agh.. I never could've thought.. Why.. Who would.. ?”
Cirno: ”Whoever did this will be punished Miss Liana. No one escapes the law. My men and I will hunt the Tainted who did this to the ends of Amn.” Cirno got up and turned his attention to the moon elves, leaving Liana to do what she did best. ”You two, I'm going to need some answers from you. Come with me.”
Cirno and a few of his guards assisted the moon elves into another room of the palace. The room was Cirno's own however Cirno rarely spent time in the room. The room had only the necessities: a table, a few shelves and a red mattress on the floor. Cirno sat down on his chair and instructed the moon elves to sit on the other side of the table.
Cirno: ”I am Cirno Raus, the guard captain of Nayru. Let's start from the beginning. Who are you two and what is your connection to this incident? Tell me everything, don't spare any details. Also if you have any information regarding our priestess, Minathiel Amar, it would be much appreciated if you told me.” Cirno's voice was stern and demanding, much what you would expect from someone in his position.
Meanwhile Liana was chanting next to Kinrai's body. She was calling for Kinrai's soul which had escaped from his body when he died. Suddenly Liana's hands started glowing, they were radiating extreme heat. She had found Kinrai's soul and was now holding it in her hands. She carefully placed her hands on top of Kinrai's bare back which made the glow escape from her hands and enter Kinrai's body.
For a moment Kinrai was also glowing all over and radiating extreme heat temperatures, his soul was settling back into his body. The heat brought life to all the organs and muscles. Once the heat reached the lungs it made Kinrai cough a few times. Liana smiled and tears of joy flowed down her cheeks. She had succeeded and Kinrai's life had been restored.
Now she turned back to Andrim and saw the wound was steadily closing up. She took a small blanket which she used to wipe away the blood that had escaped from the wound. After she was done wiping, she put another thin layer of water on top of the wound. The water worked as a disinfectant which prevented any diseases to enter Andrim's body. Once she was done, she took a deep breath and slumped down a little.
Exhausted from all this, Liana placed her head on Kinrai's back in order to rest for a moment. Kinrai would sleep for a while before he would open his eyes again.
Wake up you damn nuisance. What a worthless body I was born into. What? Are you trying to say something, Kinrai? What is it? That you'll resist me? That you'll never let me take over again? You're a fool, Kinrai. You can't resist me. It's the same as denying who you really are. We are like the two sides of a same coin. I can't wait till we get to flip that coin again. That's when I WILL take over and I'm going to make sure to banish that weak will of yours to the deepest pits of the Netherworld.
Nilak was speeding through the trees as fast as he could. Even though he was exhausted, he still refused to slow down. The initial distance when making an escape was crucial, thus he pushed his body to the limit again. In the distance he could already make out the large plains of green that covered the space between Auburn and the Nihil Mountains. Nilak's thoughts kept going back to Kinrai and Minathiel. He was both confused and worried. Where had Minathiel vanished to and would the moon elf grant Nilak's wish? In order to continue his mission, Nilak forced himself to ignore those thoughts. He forced himself to forget about Kinrai and.. the whole of Nayru.
Suddenly a bright green flash flew by him and he had to stop his flight for a moment. Nilak was barely able to get a glimpse but he was sure the figure was humanoid. Nilak saw how the figure suddenly halted its movement and turned back straight toward Nilak. Nilak summoned Angelic Hymn and assumed battle stance in the air. There was no knowing if the creature was hostile. The being stopped a few feet away from Nilak. Now he was able to see it more properly. Its body was made of green fire and it had glowing yellow eyes. Nilak had never seen such a creature before.
???: ”Free me..”
A sudden voice echoed around Nilak. The creature was speaking to him but its voice was everywhere.
Nilak: ”What do you mean? Who.. What are you?” Nilak asked, lowering his blade at the same time.
???: ”Free me.. Bring me back together..”. The voice echoed again. It was as if the trees, the ground, the animals, everything around Nilak was speaking to him directly.
Nilak: ”.. Who are you?! I will do nothing until I know that.”
Nilak's eyes grew and he found himself short of breath. This being was Valham? How could that be?
Nilak: ”How is that possible.. ?!”
???: ”Free me.. Bring me back together.. Valham.. is only one part..” Now it sounded like every separate sentence came from a different thing around Nilak.
Before Nilak was able to reply, the being resumed its dash to northwest. Nilak would tell this to his companions and see what they'd make of it. Without wasting any more time he resumed his flight towards the plains.
Finally Nilak reached the grassy plains known as the Calm. The region was true to its name. Nilak found himself lost in the sea of green as the wind kept brushing the grass. Instantly he remembered how he had trained Kinrai, Falteer and Balthazar here. It was a rigorous training which involved a lot of footwork and.. gardening skills. A short laugh escaped from Nilak's lips as he remembered how much Kinrai had complained about this training. In the far distance he could make out the small settlement of Lojak. It was truly small for there were only around 20 people living there, most of them elves.
Small settlements like Lojak were all over Amn. There were a lot of people who disliked the bustling of cities and thus they moved away. Nilak kept running through the fields and eventually two familiar figures caught Nilak's eyes. Falteer and Balthazar were waiting for him at the edge of the Calm. The Calm was a small region and you could easily pass through it in a matter of hours, even less with a palla. It all reminded Nilak of how small Amn was in truth. Once Nilak reached Falteer and Balthazar, he waved to them and slowed down his pace.
Nilak: ”I'm glad you two are all right. How's your wound Falteer?”
Falteer: ”I'm fine. I can still keep going at least till we reach the root of the mountain.”
Nilak: ”Good. We can make camp at the root then. Let's keep going. I have much to tell you.”
Falteer nodded and followed Nilak.
The trio passed through the small forest and finally reached the root of the mountain. Already the temperature started dropping even though they hadn't even started climbing the mountain. There was a mountain trail which they could use in order to get to Palo. It was an old road full of dangers which kept most travelers away. Still the dwarven merchants braved the road almost daily. Nilak had always been amazed by the greediness of the dwarves. Nilak motioned for them to set the camp here, between a few tall trees. The soil was hard and there was grass only scarcely here and there. Once the camp was set up, Nilak sat down next to the fire and finally told the two of his mission.
Nilak: ”I'm sure you want answers from me so here I am. Ask away, I won't hold back anymore.”
Falteer: ”Let's start with this emerald then. What is this thing's purpose?” Falteer took out the emerald that had been taken from Valham's tail and showed it to Nilak. Nilak took the emerald and held it between his fingers.
Nilak: ”It's Valham's soul crystal as you already know. With this we can break the barrier that shuts us out of the Netherworld. Naturally we're going to need all the soul crystals for it. That is their purpose.”
Falteer: ”Well, here comes the obvious question. Why in Valham's name do you want to go to the Netherworld? What do you hope to gain from that?”
Nilak: ”First of all, I have two causes here. The first cause.. Well, I'm not the mastermind behind that idea. I can trust you so I will tell you, however you must never disclose his identity to anyone lest our mission is a failure. Is that understood?”
Falteer: ”Of course. You can trust us. And especially Balthazar since he barely talks anyway!” Nilak nodded and gave a smile to them.
Nilak: ”Kinos Alte. He was the one.”
Falteer's jaw dropped before he was able to say anything.
Falteer: ”Him.. ? But he's the most ruthless elf around who always goes by the rules.”
Nilak: ”I'm sure he has given it much thought. Kinos is by no means a fool. His intellect is probably his most fearsome trait. Perhaps that is the very reason why he finds the law of the Tainted flawed.”
Falteer: ”But what does the law have to do with what we are doing? And why now?”
Nilak: ”The dragons were the ones who introduced the word 'Tainted' to us. They were the ones who gave us the laws we abide now. Now what if the whole idea of a Tainted person is false? What if that's only a way to manipulate us into their way of thinking?”
Falteer: ”.. And thus keep us away from the Netherworld in fear of becoming a Tainted. Is that what you're trying to say?”
Nilak: ”Yes. Do you understand now what I'm after?”
Falteer: ”.. Those are only theories with no proof to back them up.”
Nilak: ”Yes, well that is only the first cause. The second cause is Terra.”
Falteer: ”Terra? What about him?”
Nilak: ”Terra is still alive, I know it. I also think that he somehow managed to enter the Netherworld. He must be there.”
Falteer: ”That could explain why no one has seen Terra since that day. It's been 50 years though. Terra is a human and humans don't live as long as elves do. Even if you find him, he's most likely so old that he can't even remember you anymore.”
Nilak: ”I.. know. But he is my rival, and my friend.”
Nilak fell silent as he kept looking at the fire. Falteer said nothing afterwards. The camp fell silent.