Lufia: Oath Under Moon a CotS Sequel

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DarkMaster2101
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Lufia: Oath Under Moon a CotS Sequel

Postby DarkMaster2101 » Sat Oct 31, 2009 6:35 pm

I'm putting all the quotes from my commentaries in threads between chapters. Hopefully this won't piss off the mods too much. If anything all the extra threads posted after this will be deleted to help clean up the servers a little.

Or you can ban me now. There's no turning back.

DarkMaster2101 is an egomaniac who doesn't deserve such a glory. No matter I, the intelligent undermind, has erased all of his lovely quotes from the forum. So Lufians will no longer suffer from his egomaniactasticness.
Last edited by DarkMaster2101 on Fri Mar 04, 2011 1:50 am, edited 23 times in total.

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DarkMaster2101
Arek's Apprentice
Posts: 1703
Joined: Wed Jun 04, 2008 2:14 am
Location: Wavespace (where the sinistrals were born)
Contact:

Postby DarkMaster2101 » Wed Dec 02, 2009 4:52 am

DISCLAIMER: This story is a not-for-profit fan fiction inspired by the Estpolis/Lufia franchise written only for entertainment purposes. All content relating to the Estpolis/Lufia series, including characters, scenario and reference, is owned by Square Enix, Taito, NATSUME: Serious Fun, ATLUS, and Neverland Company. Please support the official release.

o~-~-~-~o

Without warning, the island suddenly appeared in the sky. Four foul and wicked beings claimed it for themselves. They possessed the frightening powers of Chaos, Destruction, Terror, and Death. The people were horrified. They called the evil ones "Sinistrals". Their reign of terror continued. The world massed its warriors to battle their dark foes. But the Sinistrals were all powerful. In Desperation, the people called upon their bravest fighters... And so the Final Battle begins.

-The Legend of Doom Island

o~-~-~-~o

Somewhere in the Seven Seas seventeen years after the Doom Island War a small fleet of ships bearing the Bound Kingdom flag sail to new lands. King Alex is on deck listens to Guy's words while reading from a scroll.

King Alex: "Magnificent! Truly magnificent, Sir Guy. This will be your best literature yet."

Guy: [Rubs the back of his head] "Why thank you, your majesty. I'm sure this will sell better than my autobiography at least." [Nervously laughs]

Jessy: [Walks to Guy's side] "Well considering the price of your rare and valuable autobiography, its a wonder it didn't sell at all."

Guy: [Looks at Jessy] "So the book DID sell."

Jessy sighs, giving up. King Alex shrugs.

Guy: "Did it?"

Jessy: [Folds her arms] "Sarcasm, my meat-headed husband."

Guy: [Rubs the back of his neck] "Right, so my math was a little off." [Folds his arms] "I guess the exclusive Guy's biography'll have to wait until the second edition when it hits Westland."

Jessy: "Guy?" [Places her hands on her hips] "What makes you think that only two of the ten copies of your book only sold in Northland, the very place you were renown and legendary?"

Guy: "Err..." [Brushes his blond beard] "Bad marketing perhaps?"

Jessy: [Cradles her forehead in her hand] "At ten thousand gold pieces a book? The only reason one of your two books sold was because the first one was given away as a promotion for riding Lexis's prototype ship and the other..." [Sees the king who looks perplexed] "Oh! I'm sorry your majesty!" [Curtsies] "Am I interrupting?"

King Alex: [Sighs and raises his hand] "Well, to be honest you are..." [Rubs his chin with his thumb] "... But then again you do have a baby on the way. Besides, as king, it isn't my duties to get involved with a married couple's squabbles. [Chuckling] "At least that's what Josef would say. So, I am going to return to my quarters for the afternoon. So I shall bid adieu. Keep up the good work, sir Guy!"

Guy: [Salutes to King Alex, then turns towards Jessy] "Five months already..."

Jessy: [Holds her belly] "Stay on topic, Guy, please. At least let me finish."

Guy: "Of course, baby."

Jessy: [Whispers in Guy's ear] "Well I was going to say your other book was sold to the sucker himself, King Alex, but..."

Guy: [Looks at the horizon] "I don't think King Alex is a sucker."

Jessy: [Sighs] "Oh never-mind... There really isn't a point to arguing now. Have you seen Jeros?"

Guy: "Little Jeros?" [Rubs his blond beard]

Jessy: "Well he's not so little anymore."

Guy: "Of course. Kind of a shame that Maxim can't see how fine his little boy turned out. If it ain't for his long hair and his mother's eyes, he'd look just like his father."

Jessy: "But when his great Aunt Louisa died, he doesn't have anywhere to go. Is that why you decided to bring him?"

Guy: "Of course. It's my duty as his god father."

Jessy: "Westland is dangerous though. It breeds more monsters than Northland. And who knows if the Lunethene are still around."

Guy: "Eh, Westland might be a little dangerous, but look on the bright side." [Gives a thumbs up] "He's got us to look after him. Besides, you know as well as I that he'll sneak on the ship. [Looks up to the mast of the ship] "Well, then, last I heard he was on top of the crow's nest watching the ocean." [Cups his hands and shouts] "YO! JEROS!"

A petite youth naps in the crow's nest. The lookout next to the youth hears Guy calling.

Lookout: [Puts down his binoculars and shakes Jeros] "Wake up, lad. I think your friend's calling ya."

After yawning, the youth sits and stretches his arms. He brushes his long red hair out of his face and ties his hair via hair band. Then he puts on a short sleeved leather jacket that has an Estpolis Emblem (four squares opening with a star in the middle) printed on the back. The youth rubs his blue eyes and looks down seeing a bleary heavy man.

Guy: "About time! You awake now, Jeros?"

Jeros looks down again this time under the mast. Then after rubbing his eyes again, Jeros waves back to Guy.

Jeros: "Hello down there!"

Guy: [Mutters] "There he is." [Shouts back] "Come on down, Jeros. You're not going to sleep up there all day now are you?"

Jeros: "No way! Knowing you Guy, you're gonna eat my lunch again."

Guy: "If it was a waste of food, of course I will."

Jeros leaps from the mast. Swinging from line to line, he lands himself on top of Guy's shoulders.

Jeros: "Tell me, did you eat my lunch?"

Guy shrugs his broad shoulders, forcing Jeros to jump off. While Jeros is in mid air, Guy grabs Jeros's shoulders, and tosses him over.

Jessy: [Shocked] "Guy!"

Guy: "You're going to have to do a lot better than that, scamp. Not even your dad could topple this mountain."

Jeros: [Rubs his bottom] "Ouch! You got me."

Guy laughs, and then pulls Jeros up.

Jeros: "Ha-ha... Say Guy, why did you wake me up?"

Guy: "Did you forget what today is?"

Jeros: [Folds his arms] "Umm... Wait, is today the Royal Tournament?"

Jessy: "Yes, dear, the tournament is today. Its suppose to start in about five minutes if I remember."

Jeros: "Five minutes! Ah crud. I need to register and fast. Sorry, but I have to go."

Jessy shrugs while Guy chuckles. Jeros turns around and sprints across deck.

Jessy: "There he goes again. Running off without direction."

Guy: "He's a smart kid, Jess. I'm sure he knows where he's going."

Jeros, looking down, comes back embarrassed.

Jeros: "Umm, Aunt Jessy, do you know where the herald is?"

Jessy: "The herald should be next to the Captains Quarters."

Jeros: [Waves] "Thanks again!" [Sprints off]

Guy: [Rubs the back of his neck] "I sometimes wonder about that child."

Jessy: "Why, have you not met Maxim when he was young?"

Guy: [Laughs] "Nah, but even then believing Maxim Caliburn or even Selan Gunther to be chipper at his age is unbelievable. Maxim might be believable though."

Jessy: [Places her forehead in her palm] "You know, Guy, that kind of speech is why you write so well."

Guy: "Um... Can we drop critique on my writing for once?"

Jessy sighs, raising her arms.

Guy: "Then again, I know I was chipper when I was his age too."

Jessy: "Jeros is eighteen now, Guy."

Guy: "Err... Right."

Guy grabs Jessy's hip with his left arm as he gazes into the cerulean ocean. Looking over the horizon, Guy dreams about the rest of his life he'll be spending while living in this new land raising a family. It has been too long since Guy's thoughts were of settling down. Even after seventeen years Guy is always wondering why Maxim and Selan had to stay behind. Grief of their loss still makes Guy's eyes water to this day. Nonetheless he must remain strong, for another generation is on the way unprepared for the uncertain future.

Jeros may not believe it now, but he is not too far from a great adventure that will determine his role in salvation of Westland.

o~-~-~-~o

*~Prologue Chapter: The Rogue in White~*

o~-~-~-~o

Jeros wanders amidst the main deck of the Bound Kingdom flag ship, the Grand Orca. This ship is the largest in Bound's fleet; the decks are almost three quarters the size of the farms in Sundletan. The Grand Orca, despite showing its age, is still one of the best built custom Dankirk warships in all of Northland. It wasn't recently that the Grand Orca's upgraded to using Gratze cannons which were a gift from King Jude to keep his nephew-in-law safe (an excuse to have the top-of-the-line weapons as suggested by the King's brother, Prince Leon). Although having a navy is nothing new to Bound, Jeros once asked his grand aunt why did doesn't build their own ships. The reason he was told is that Bound Kingdom rests in the center of a scorching desert. No trees calls for no ship builders.

A cross-wind catches the mast, shaking the entire ship. Jeros stumbles, almost tripping from the cross-wind. Despite the shock, the sea men on deck stand flatfooted still holding crates. Then they shortly return to their duties. No matter how many times he sees it, Jeros is always amazed at the sailors' balance, despite the rough seas of the past few months.

Jeros stands up to lean himself against the edge of the ship. Jeros looks out to the cerulean ocean wandering about his new life in Westland. It is not going to be easy living like his childhood in Parcelyte. On the bright side Jeros no longer has to worry about curfew laws. Still, Jeros feels uneasy about leaving his friends behind, especially Lemmy and Eldin (though Eldin is still a dork at times). Still, Lemmy moved to another town while Eldin is trying to get his Ruin Chaser's license with Torma. Regardless even if they tag along, colonial life is suppose to be dangerous. Especially with the stray monsters running a muck lately.

Jeros: "Well, if the worst is monsters, then I finally have a calling for my swordsmanship." [Stands up] "Still, I prefer the excitement of exploring unknown places as opposed to taking orders." [Sighs] "The legion's been laid off of jobs lately. Most of the time they're just guards now. Though there's a chance that it'll involve battling monsters. Maybe I'll consider it."

Stranger: "It might not be the best, but at least its no hassle."

Jeros: "Huh?"

Jeros turns sharply around towards the stack of barrels. Jeros thinks he hears a voice, yet he found nothing. Then Jeros hears another sound resembling a flapping cape.

Jeros: "Hello!"

Stranger: "..."

Jeros: "Anyone there!" [Raises his arms, confused] "I guess it was only the wind."

Stranger: {Darn, there's not suppose to be anyone here. I have to think of something quick.}

The stranger pulls out what looks like a shining curved object...

Jeros: [Turns around] "Wait, wha... ?"

...and cuts the ropes holding the barrels in place.

Jeros: "WOAH!"

Jeros rolls out of the way, dodging the cascading barrels.

Stranger: "Now's my chance!"

Jeros sees a white blanket float from the side of the ship, falling down to the side. Jeros stands up and skips across the barrels following the blanket. He looks down where the and sees not a blanket, but a white cloak hanging onto the side of the ship's bow.

An naval officer and two soldiers arrive.

Naval Officer: "What's going on?"

Jeros: "Someone jumped down here..."

Naval Officer: "Jumping overboard? There's nothing but wild ocean and sharks down there."

Jeros groans at the officer's perceptive observation. Meanwhile the white cloak kicks the glass of the ship's window and slides through. Whether it be instinct, insanity, or curiosity, Jeros jumps from the side of the ship. Jeros catches himself on the rim of the broken window.

Naval Officer: "Wait Kid!" [Runs to the side of the ship and looks down] "Say, does that window leads to the ship's cargo hold?"

Soldier 1: "Isn't that where the king placed his treasures?"

Soldier 2: [Turns to his comrade] "Yeah, and foolishly believing that thieves won't look for a national treasure hidden inside the ship's supplies."

Naval Officer: [Stomps his foot and unsheathes his sword] "I don't care what either of you too idiots think! Get down there and find that stow-away."

Soldiers: [Stand attention] "Aye eye, sir!" [Runs towards the hold's entrance at the back of the ship]

o~-~-~-~o

Jeros tumbles to the floor; then brushes his red pony tail from his eyes. Jeros stands up, rubbing his nose from the musty sea salt smell. He has been on the ship for almost three months, yet he still can never get used to the smell. Jeros looks around the crates and barrels hoping to find the blanket. Instead he sees flickering shadows ravage through luggage bags. The rogue raises a translucent azure-green gem into the window's light. Dangling, the gem silently sheds its light. Not knowing why she chose that gemstone, a thief is a thief at least in Jeros's eyes.

Jeros: [Calls out] "That stone doesn't belong to you, uh... Whoever you are. Drop it!"

Rogue in White: [Snickers] "Oh, I'm scared to be caught red handed by a red headed kid. Could you at least pick a better line or something?"

Jeros: [Blushes red from frustration] "Grr! I'm eighteen; that's an adult's age. I'm still finding my style."

Rogue in White: "Hmm... What ever. I've wasted enough time. I must be leaving now. Nice hair, pony boy."

Jeros: "Pony boy?" [Grabs his pony-tail and scowls] "LEAVE MY HAIR OUT OF THIS! [Takes a fighting stance] "You're looking for a fight? Then you found one. Drop the rock or else..."

The rogue in white draws a silver crescent from her belt and points it at Jeros.

Rogue in White: "Or else what?"

Jeros: [Sweats while laughing nervously] "Ahahahahahaaaahh..."

Jeros quickly looks around to find a large leather bag patched with the Wallace (Guy's) family crest (A bear underneath crossing hammers). Sticking out of the bag was a wooden handle. Whether it be a longsword or a spoon, Jeros knows he doesn't stand a chance without it. Jeros breaks for the bag.

Rogue in White: "No you don't!"

The rogue in white lunges at Jeros and swings her crescent blade. Jeros grabs the hilt from the bag and raises it instinctively. Luckily, the long knife blocks the crescent blade. Jeros smiles and deflects the weapon.

Jeros: "Ha! I have you know that I'm a talented swordsman myself. My father was Maxim after all."

Rogue in White: "...Who?"

Jeros: "You're joking right? You seriously don't know who my dad was?"

Rogue in White: "Actually..." [Raises her blade] "Don't know; don't care."

The Rogue in White slashes again and strikes cold steel. She cannot get past Jeros defense. She jumps back recalculating her odds.

Rogue in White: "You're talented all right, at least against one blade."

Jeros: "Yeah! You're never going to defeat me at this rate. So give in."

Rogue in White: "This is why I always carry two."

The rogue hides the gem within her sleeve. Then throws her right hand out to reveal a second crescent blade. She smiles.

Jeros: [Sweats] "Dirty... Though that could be a..."

The rogue lunges again, swinging both blades. Jeros pulls back; his defense, a knife alone, is not enough to break through the rogue's twin blades. Right when it seems the rogue opened her defenses, Jeros slices only to cut thin air. The rogue thrusts her blades and cuts Jeros left shoulder.

Jeros: [Winces] "Gah, lucky shot!"

Once again the rogue lowers her defense; Jeros cuts. Again Jeros is deceived, but this time he dodges successfully. Again, the rouge feints, Jeros cuts, and she counter attacks.

Rogue in White: [Rubs her forehead] "So much for talent. Chivalry doesn't win wars you know."

Jeros: "Just lower your guard again and see what happens." [Aside] {Darn it! I won't be able to last long. I have to think of something...}

The rogue in white smiles and motions Jeros to attack. Jeros thrusts. The cloak dances around behind Jeros and makes a clean swipe. Jeros ducks just in time; the blades cut off a piece of hair from his ponytail. Jeros stands up.

Jeros: "Hah! Missed!"

The rogue in white back flips and points behind Jeros. Jeros turns around to see crates cascade on him.

Jeros: "Yikes!"

Jeros tries to roll out of the way, but the crate falls on him first. Jeros sounds a moan of pain and frustration. Then he sees the rope, clean cut, falls next to him to rub in Jeros's pride.

Rogue in White: [Laughing] "What's wrong? I thought you were a talented swordsman like what's his face."

Jeros: [Growls] "What's his face? My dad and mom, and the bravest warriors defeated the Sinistrals alone."

Rogue in White: "Sinistrals, huh? They must of been as worthless as a batch of jellies if you're claim talent runs in your family."

Jeros: [Growls] "Say that again."

Rogue in White: "If your talent is inheritance, then he's just another ho-hum swordsman. At least that's what you're reflecting to me. The knife is impressive, but it's not a sword. Face it, you're only showing off. You don't know how to be serious."

Jeros, under the crates, grips his fists tight.

Rogue in White: "Even if you father was a god killer, relying on his name isn't going to empower you if you can't live up to it." [Turns around] "It was fun, but I do have an escape to make. So fare thee well, pony boy."

Jeros calms himself down. He knows this tactic too well. Often times Jeros remembers Torma irritating bullies tick them off so he can cloud their judgment. Often times it works in reverse for Torma, but psychological warfare nonetheless. Jeros finds at his side a crate filled with cook ware. He sees what looks like a metal pot lid. He reaches out for it.

Jeros: "Peh, nice try making things personal. My father... It's always that I am the son of Maxim and why I'm so important. Still, I can handle insulting my father's name, but to say I live up to it..." [Looks up to the rogue, smiling] "Is a joke!"

Jeros explodes from the crates and rushes the rogue. The rogue raises her blade, but figures out that it is pulled by the shield. With pot lid in one hand and knife in the other Jeros deflects the rogue's offense, forcing her to defend. The rogue attempts to feint again. However Jeros sees through the ruse and raises his shield. The rogue's crescent blade locks Jeros's shield.

Jeros: "Bad move if you think that works on me."

Many times when Jeros was training with Guy, Jeros sometimes grabbed Guy's shield with an ax. Even though the first time Jeros succeeded, always after Guy released his shield causing the ax handle to recoil into Jeros.

Jeros releases his shield. The pot lid flies into the rogue's face. The rogue yelps of pain. And for the final blow, Jeros thrusts the knife into the hood of the cloak. The rogue tilts her head to avoid the kill. Her hood falls back due to inertia, uncovering her face.

Jeros can not believe it. A young girl with skin as white as the moon, stands in front of him. Jeros knew she is smaller than him, yet her shocked expression reveals to him that she too is as young as he, perhaps younger. The rogue brushes away her wavy bleach white hair and nurses her concave left cheek with her thin fingers. Jeros's blue eyes gaze into her astonishing rouge irises. The rogue thought that although her adversary was a bit too small for her taste, he does have quite a handsome face. If it was not for that brilliant red pony tail making him look even more feminine, he could be passable for being adorable.

The clear azure gem dangles from the girl's sleeve, only to shed its light silently.

The cargo's doors slam open. The rogue covering her face and leaps the top of the luggage. A small brigade of soldiers armed with spears and shields march down the steps. They surround the girl; spears raise.

Jeros: "About time you guys showed up!"

The rogue holds out a smokey marble.

Captain: "Stop her!"

Rogue in White: "Fare thee well, pony boy! It was fun, but I hope we don't meet again." [Winks]

The rogue then throws a small orb onto the ground. At first it spewed a cloud of white smoke. Then magical glyphs circle around her. In a bright flash, she vanishes.

Captain: "Hurry and find what she's taken. Once we get to the colony, then we'll order an investigation."

Soldiers: "Sir!"

Jeros: Stop calling me Pony Boy! [Crossing his arms, muttering] {Pony boy?}

Guy jumps down the stairs and lands behind Jeros.

Guy: [Shouts] "JEROS!"

Jeros: [Jumping out of his skin and turns around.} "Gah! Guy!"

Guy, sighing and snarling, grabs Jeros by the belt, lifts him over his shoulders and carries him on deck.

Guy: "You and I are going to have a long talk about this..."

Jeros: "Wait, Guy! I can explain everything."

Guy: "And you will after I'm through with you, so shut up until then!"

Jeros: [Gulp]

Guy: [Sighs] "If you were mine, I would tan your hide here and now."

o~-~-~-~o

Shortly after the encounter Guy, still holding Jeros over his shoulder, enters the Captain's quarters. Then King Alex and a small brigade of soldiers entered soon after. Guy sets Jeros by his side. Then he motions Jeros to stand attention. Once his majesty greets Guy and co., he dismisses his escort. The captain commands his first mate as XO until after the meeting. The first mate salutes the captain and the king, then leaves the room. His majesty initiates the meeting.

King Alex: [Crosses his arms] "I had no idea all this time we had a stow-away, a thief of one at that."

Captain: "I did brief you about the security of the entire ship. Our security did our best..."

King Alex: "Done your best!" [Marches into the captain's face] "If all your best is what it takes to allow such a clandestine thief to take the most valuable treasure of my ancestors then I clearly have mistaken you and the crew of this vessel to be the best of the Kingdom's navy!"

Jeros: [Muttering] {Well, if you would stop being a stuck up fool for once, you would've pulled your head out of your...}

Guy slaps the back of Jeros's head.

Guy: [Whispering] "Quiet!"

King Alex: "Is there something wrong, sir Guy?"

Guy: "Of course not your highness," [Glares at Jeros] "At least not yet."

Jeros shrugs and sighs, sinking deeper into his loss.

King Alex: "I understand that Jeros is under your guardianship, but he's at least almost a grown man from what I heard.

Jeros: {Almost? I'm eighteen years old in case you forgotten.}

King Alex: [Scowls] "At least let me talk to him before you settle your domestics."

Guy: "As you wish, your highness." [Steps back from Jeros]

King Alex walks towards Jeros, looking into his eyes.

King Alex: [Places his thumb under his chin] "Hmm... Well considering if we were still in Bound's walls, stealing another's weapon is quite an offense..."

Jeros: "You're majesty! Please understand, I was perusing the rogue in white..."

King Alex: [Raises his hand] "Indeed you were. Which is why you still have your right hand. Now let me finish!"

Jeros: [Looking down] "I'm sorry."

King Alex: "However, with your attempt to stop this rogue in white we have obtained evidence which can be used to track her down."

King Alex places his hand on Jeros's shoulder.

King Alex: "I would've done the same if I were you down there. Nonetheless," [Begins pacing around] "With this evidence, I know Asguard's stone can still be tracked down. This is where you come in, sir Guy. Once we reach the shore of the colony, you will meet up with the investigation team and aid them with tracking the rogue in white. If you aren't too busy."

Guy: "If with compensation for my services, your highness, then I will accept."

King Alex: "Of course, sir Guy. On behalf of your services to the world there is nothing Bound cannot provide."

Guy: "I thank you then. My hammer is yours."

King Alex: "Raising a family isn't easy. It is Something I'm looking forward to once I've returned."

Jeros's thoughts turn to the fight with the rogue in white. For some reason, he just cannot get her face out of his mind. The pure white complexion, the rouge eyes. Even though the fight was over an hour ago now, Jeros cannot filter the things she said. Whether it's a lie or not, she claims to have never heard of the Doom Island War nor his parents who sacrificed themselves. Could the battle of Doom Island, that costs his parents' lives, be only an echo in this distant land? No, it would be an impossibility because, both Parcelyte and Bound have strong communications to the barony of Alexia, one of the largest civilizations of the new land. Also, the island left a crater in an sub-continent north of Arus, scratching out the island's existence.

Whether she knew Doom Island or not, the rogues words though harsh are true. Nothing irritates Jeros more than to be reminded that his father's name is a crutch in his success. Ironically, Jeros never really had any memorable relationship with either his father or mother. He was barely a year old when both his father and mother left him to save the world. Other than feelings, he recalls nothing, not even their voices. Even then, maybe Maxim and Selan are not these great holy crusaders who the world claims them to be.

Jeros will never know them. He does know in the decision between himself and the world, his parents chose the world. In that sense, it feels like they've abandoned him.

This wasn't the first time Jeros thought about this. As much as his great aunt explained to him, Jeros still doubts if his parents' even cared about him.

"Even if you father was a god killer, relying on his name isn't going to empower you if you can't live up to it. "

Why does Jeros even care if he lives to his father's name? The echoes taunt Jeros in his mind. Still, how Jeros still manages to cling onto the name is beyond even his reasoning. Guy's constant praising of him as the son of Maxim and Selan from the past three months is rubbing off on him. Aunt Louisa never did love him because he was the son of a great hero. She loves him because he was her precious grand nephew. Jeros loves his aunt to death. She may have been too old fashioned about a few things but even after death his aunt left a greater impact on Jeros than his parents did.

Still, it would be nice if he could meet his parents at least once. Jeros shakes his head at the impossibility.

King Alex: "Then then once we board at the colony, the investigation shall begin immediately. Until then, search the ship all you can for clues. This meeting is adjourned. Good day."

Guy: "Sleep well, your highness."

Guy taps Jeros on the shoulder. Jeros shakes after spacing out. Guy places his hand on Jeros's shoulder.

Guy: "Lets get some rest."

Jeros: "Sure..."

o~-~-~-~o

Jeros follows Guy outside to the deck.

The red clouds shadow dusk. Once Jeros is outside he hears the herald announcing the tourney results from the center of the ship. For a moment, Jeros almost completely forgotten about it. Then again after today he wouldn't feel as satisfied even if he won the tournament. Guy walks towards the edge of the ship. Leaning on the edge, Guy looks up into the sky. Jeros stands beside Guy.

Jeros: "Still mad?"

Guy: [Sighing] "I was more scared than mad. When I heard that you jumped off the ship scared me enough. But to here you in a knife fight against a Lunethene..."

Jeros: [Interrupting] "Lunethene! I girl I fought was Lunethene?"

Guy: "That girl? Jeros! Girl or not she's of the Lunethene. The same Lunethene who almost wiped out the Barony of Alexia during the Seventy-Day Skirmish."

Jeros: "...So?"

Guy: "You could've been killed before you found the knife. Lunethene are liers, back stabbers, and thieves. A Lunethene's greatest weapon is deception. If you're father knew..."

Jeros: [Turns away] "For once can you keep my dad out of my life! I am sick of hearing about what if my father done this or knew that."

Guy: "Both you're father and mother died for the sake of saving the world you live in. They're brave warriors! I've fought along side of them myself, remember?"

Jeros: "Then tell me: do you remember what my parents did when they're not fighting? Was my dad only a swordsman? What about mom then? What did she do when she retired from the military?"

Guy: [Grits his teeth] "That's out of line."

Jeros: "Remembering the fight more than what you fought for is out of line you bone-head!" [Looks at the sky again] "For once I want to think of my parents as parents, not heroes."

Guy: "Your parents really are heroes, Jeros. That doesn't mean they never loved you. There wasn't a second they never thought about returning to you."

Jeros sighs in frustration. He only looks at Guy. Remembering Guy was the kind of man who would fight opposed to wedding his fiancé doesn't reassure Guy's motivation. And yet finally after Doom Island, Guy finally marries Jessy Smith. Jeros often thought Guy married because he could not find anymore fights. Or perhaps Jeros's parents showed Guy exactly what he was missing.

Guy puts his hand on Jeros's shoulder.

Guy: "I promised to them and your aunt that I won't let you get hurt too much. I don't want to lose another friend."

Jeros: "Isn't that why you started training me in swordplay? So I can defend myself as a man. I'm legally an adult now. And I have a very high GPA from school, I know I'm confident enough to make my own decisions."

Guy: "I know you're smarter than I am, kiddo. But I don't want you throwin' your life away for something stupid, understand?"

Jeros: [Stretches] "I suppose..."

Guy starts running away from Jeros.

Jeros: "Hey! Where are you going?"

Guy: "I'm sure dinner is a good as lunch!" [Snickers]

Jeros: "Not again! You always change the subject at the last minute. [Realizes that it is dinner time] "Oh no! You're not eating my dinner!"

Jeros runs after Guy.

Guy: "You know at Wallace's table it's first come first serve!"

Jeros: [Shouting] "I'll have to eat yours then."

Guy: [Laughing] "You have to beat me to it first!"

As Jeros and Guy sprint across the deck, the sun blankets itself under the horizon. What exactly are the Lunethene? Why has she taken King Alex's ancestor's treasure? How long is it until Bound's fleet reach solid land? None can know what the future has in store. One thing is certain: The closer the fleet reaches the colony, the more eager Jeros becomes, and the closer the Rogue in White watches him.

As the sun rises, so ends another night watched by the moon.

*~End of prologue
Last edited by DarkMaster2101 on Fri Mar 04, 2011 1:33 am, edited 5 times in total.

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Postby Guard Daos » Wed Dec 02, 2009 10:36 am

Hehe, nice! It's actually pretty fun to see two very different stories revolving around the same timezone get developed at the same time like this. You each have your unique styles, which makes it interesting to read. I like how you start with a more peaceful opening, it works. :)


And for the love of god, drop that everyone-hates-me attitude. No one hates you, and you're not going anywhere.
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Postby DarkMaster2101 » Sun Dec 06, 2009 1:57 am

DISCLAIMER: This story is a not-for-profit fan fiction inspired by the Estpolis/Lufia franchise written only for entertainment purposes. All content relating to the Estpolis/Lufia series, including characters, scenario and reference, is owned by Square Enix, Taito, NATSUME: Serious Fun, ATLUS, and Neverland Company. Please support the official release.

o~-~-~-~o

It is a moonless night. The stagnate air of summer thins itself in the darkness. Though starlight brings contrast to the ground, shadows blanket the woods near Marse, a town floating on the shore. Meanwhile, a white cloak dances below the canopy. Within the cloak shines a translucent azure gem.

The rogue in white looks down to the shadowed earth. She finds a small pack of foxes scavenging a rotted log. Judging by their sizes, it looks as if a mother fox taking her two kits hunting. Though the kits knew nothing of cruelty in the wild, they know of their mother's love and protection. A empty feeling rises within the the rogue. Although she has acquired many of the world's most valuable treasures, having a mother is something the rogue knows is impossible to find.

She grabs a couple of under-ripe peaches from a branch next to her. She tosses the peaches onto the ground scrambling the foxes. The mother sticks her head out, smelling the peaches and carries one to the bushes. The rogue in white's attention returns to Asguard's stone, remembering the fight before.

Rogue in White: "He claims his father is Maxim Caliburn, the name of the hero the seers foresaw in the great conflict." [Places the gem inside her sleeve] "Even if it was him, Caliburn sacrificed himself fighting these 'Sinistrals'... So said pony boy. Still, I can't keep closed eyes. He was formidable, for wielding a knife." [Shrugs] "It isn't like I will meet him again."

The rogue looks down to the shadowed earth once more. She hears breathing from behind the bushes. Then she sees a large brown-gray lizard stalking the bushes. It is a Zaraptasaur (commonly called Zarus), a carnivorous raptor like monster stands the size of a large large dog. The Zarus opens its mouth drooling with fangs sharp enough to pierce through chain mail. The fox, glaring at the Zarus, stands ready to protect its kits. The Zarus licks its lips and and charges into the bushes. The rogue stands up and pulled from her waist what seemed to be a black metal knife. The knife doesn't luster, it looks as if it is absorbing darkness into its edges. The rogue throws it into the bush. She hears a loud scream followed by a thud. The rogue jumps down from the tree to examine her kill.

The Zarus is dead. The knife sticks out of the left of its neck. Warm blood gashes through its mouth, which reassures the rogue's vein effort. The two kits under the bush huddle together, watching the rogue and their mother's body locked inside the beast's jaws. The rogue pulls the knife from the beast's body, and slices a thin ribbon of meat from one of the beast's legs. The rogue throws the meat on the ground for the kits. Then she wipes her knife clean

The rogue looks up to see a faint glow on the horizon. Watching dawn, the rogue in white ventures north west of the woods and towards the floating colony. The kits run to grab the piece of meat. They watch the white blanket vanish in the woods, wondering what she is.

o~-~-~-~o

*~Moonstone Chapter Part 1: The New Land~*

o~-~-~-~o

The ocean glitters the red reflection of the predawn sky. The sailors on deck yawn from surviving another night of rough winds (rough winds can only impress you so much at sea, so thought Jeros). The look-out on the crow's nest searches for land via telescope. Meanwhile, two chain mail clad soldiers guard his majesty on deck armed with heavy spears. They stand bored, frustrated from his majesty's lectures of last night. The soldiers know that losing King Alex's most beloved keep sake means a heavy loss for the navy. Yet regardless, everyone make's mistakes and King Alex will forgive his navy...

Eventually.

Nevertheless, being Bound's first royal navy to traverse the wild blue for the first time is an experience to pass on future generations. This will be a story that his majesty himself will pass on to his nephew in Gratze. This morning Jeros sits on deck, bored out of his mind. Naturally Jeros would be out early practicing swords with Guy, but he and Guy were advised to stay inside the cabins in case a typhoon catches the ship.

The sun in the east barely crawled out of its blanket blanket.

Look Out: "Land ho! Marse in bound."

Sailors gather to the bridge. One by one they saw their summer voyage come to an end. It was a small town floating on the ocean's shore. Behind the town lies an unfamiliar land.

Then the passengers emerge from the ship's cabins and gather on deck. The young king stands right outside of his quarters soaking in the magnificent beauty of the viridian trees basking in the morning sun above shore. Guy grabs hold of Jessy while Jeros nips himself up. Guy, Jessy and Jeros are of the last to leave the ship.

Jeros swings his bag behind his back and walks down the ramp. A legion of rag-tag soldiers standing attention on both sides salute to both King Alex and Guy. Guy salutes back; then he pulls Jeros by the belt to his side. Jeros, frustrated, folds his arms and taps his foot.

Legion Chief: [Raises his sword via sheath] "On behalf of the Guy Legion, we welcome you to the ship-building colony of Marse, your majesty." [Turns towards Guy] "As well as to you and your lady." [Salutes] "Welcome back, Commander."

Guy: "At ease, chief. I'm sure Marse was well when I was gone."

Legion Chief: "We were here for the colony. Aside from monsters, there is no more confrontations. The Lunethene is no longer a threat to Marse."

King Alex: "Well, chief, I wish I can prove you wrong."

Legion Chief: "What do you mean, your highness?"

Guy: " A valuable treasure has been stolen upon our voyage. We will discuss the details once we're back at base." [Raises his hammer on his shoulder] "As for the rest of you, you may return to duty. Dismissed!"

Everyone in the Legion: "Sir!" [Salutes Guy and returns to their posts]

King Alex: "Well, they're certainly not up to standard in outfit."

Guy: "It isn't fancy armor or polished swords that make a fighter. It's their strength and courage."

King Alex: "Unlike a certain navy..."

Jeros murmurs against Alex's comments. He knows why the king is being harsh. And yet Jeros knows too well this attitude contradicts Alex's personality. Jeros shifts the strap of his bag to his other shoulder and steps down to the pier.

Jessy: "Well they look competent enough. Forgive me for interrupting, but where are we going to stay for the night, Guy?"

Guy: [Looks towards the west] "There should be an inn if you take the underwater tunnel south west."

Jeros: "An underwater tunnel? That's a little extreme don't you think?"

Jessy: "During the skirmish, the ship builders used to use the tunnels underwater to access rooms at the bottom of the canal. So when the canal drains, they can repair damaged hulls."

Jeros: "I see." [Smiles] "You know so much Jessy!"

Jessy: "I spent my time on board reading about the colonies instead of writing about them." [Looks at Guy]

Guy: [Looking away, nervously] "Well, well. Look at the sun. It's time I head to base."

King Alex: "I'm still fascinated from the architecture of this town. The Masons have done well with the canals. As much as I would like to explore, business does come first." [Straightens his cloak] "Take care, lady Jessica. And you two young Jeros."

Jessy: "Of course, you're majesty. And it's Jessy not Jessica."

Jeros: [Waving] "Be careful not to lose any more treasure!"

King Alex: "Will do. Fair well." [Takes off with Guy and the Legion Chief]

Jessy: [Looking at Jeros] "Jeros, honey."

Jeros: "Yes, aunt Jess?"

Jessy pulls Jeros's ear. Jeros heels to her side.

Jeros: "Owe owe owe!"

Jessy: "Whether or not you like him, he is royalty. Show more respect or else you will be on the chopping block of the guillotine."

Jeros: "Ouch! I get it. But you know Alex is like a cousin to me."

Jessy: "I am talking about when you meet another noble, or even the king." [Lets go of Jeros's ear]

Jeros: [Rubs his ear] "You're becoming more ruthless every day."

Jessy: "Well if you wouldn't mind helping me carry our luggage to the inn? After that then you can look around on your own."

Jeros: [Smiles] "You mean it? I'm not going to be watched sun rise till sun down."

Jessy: "Well, please stay in the colony at least. There are vicious monsters outside the village. I am not talking about jellies."

Jeros: "Well then it's a deal." [Picks up a large trunk] "Hhmmph! What does Guy have in this box?"

Jessy: "That is mine. It has my cooking utensils, wedding souvenirs, my shoe collection..."

Jeros: "I get it!" [Grunts] {Why do I always pick the big packages again?}

o~-~-~-~o

Jeros and Jessy carry their luggage to the Sailor's Stay Inn via underwater tunnel. Aside from the humid, moldy smell the tunnel was well lit with torches hanging from the walls. Colonists with bright colored helmets on their heads, hammers in their belts, and satchels on their waists walk the opposite direction. Jeros sees the sub-canals the colonists are walking to. In a blink, Jeros thought he saw a familiar white cloak looking at him. Then when he looks back again, he stands still.

Jessy: "Are you tired, Jeros?"

Jeros: [Sets the trunk down] "Maybe I am... A little." [Shakes his head] "Never mind."

Jessy: "Let us hurry then."

Jeros: {I swore that was her. What is she doing here?}

Jeros lifts up the trunk and continues following Jessy. In the shadow of the hallway, red eyes glare into the light.

Rogue in White: {Him again? This can't be a coincidence.}

o~-~-~-~o

The Sailor's Stay is not too fancy. It has very little decor to look at aside from a few steering wheels, photos, and the ever so calming stuffed great white on the wall (when Jeros sat down the trunk after he entered, he literally thought the shark was going to eat him). If one was not costumed to the smell of sea salt soaked wood then the Sailor's Stay is not worth staying at.

Unless you decided to dine in the local cafe, then the opinions change. Shortly before Jeros left the inn, Jessy gives him some pocket change. Jeros heads first to the nearest cafe since it has been a while. Apple cider has never tasted so good in his life, well at least from last summer.

There is a group of three sitting at a table behind Jeros talking to each other. Two were workers, one was a Legion soldier. The workers were laughing at the news of Asguard's stone.

Legion Soldier: "I'm not kiddin', ya guys! Both Commander Guy and the prince believe a Lunethene stole Asguard's stone."

Left-Hand Worker: "So what! That's an impossible claim to make. It just shows how stupid we became on the home front about things like this. Every day we have to fortify the town's canals because of a huge monster that lurks under this hunk of wood." [Swigs his drink] "I say, that it gives this oh-so-powerful legion of yours another excuse to not do their job."

Legion Soldier: "We have been protecting this colony since the day it was founded with rusted weapons and tattered armor. As for the monster in the canal, we have been tracking it for three months now." [Slams his fist on the table] "Don't say we haven't been doing our job!"

Right-hand Worker: [Nodding] "He's right, Paul. They've been repelling monsters more times than you hit your thumb with a hammer."

Left-Hand Worker: "Pah!" [Swigs his drunk again] "They used to repel monsters and the savages who tamed them five years ago..."

Jeros turned around from his bar seat, curious.

Jeros: "So what exactly happened five years ago?"

Left-Hand Worker: "Eavesdropping' on us, are ya kid?" [Rubbing his beard] "Hmm... Haven't seen you around here before."

Legion Soldier: "Jeros? Is that really you?"

Jeros looks at the legion soldier with a dumb-founded look.

Legion Soldier: [Waves] "It's me! Tim from Sundletan."

Jeros: [Snaps his fingers, remembering the name] "Tim? As in Timmothy? Well long time no see!" [Brushes his bangs] "I've been getting letters from you, but haven't seen you in five years."

Tim [Legion Soldier]: "I've been surviving here and there. More importantly, how have you been Jeros?"

Left-Hand Worker: "Whoa, whoa, what the heck! This little runts Maxim's kid you been talkin' about?"

Jeros: "Yeah. I'm Maxim's son."

Left-Hand Worker: "The son of a dead man... Gods help us."

Jeros: "So?"

Left-Hand Worker: "So instead of sending a relief of well trained soldiers, they send an old man and his woman, a pouty prince, and a runt to deal with our problems."

Jeros: "I didn't even know you had problems until I arrived. Sorry, but I came here because Guy is my god-father. He's here to find a home and settle down. And last I checked, that prince is a king."

Tim: "It's all right, bud. The monster didn't even show up until two weeks ago. You were at sea by then so we couldn't get the message in time."

Right-Hand Worker: "Say, I have been quiet-like in the background." [Stands up and holds his hand out to Jeros] "My name's Randall..." [Pointing to the left worker] "And this here's my rambling partner, Paul."

Left-Hand Worker: "I'm done here! I'm here to drink, not make friends."

The left-hand worker stands up from his seat cumbersomely and walks out of the cafe.

Jeros: [Looking at the left-hand worker] "He can make excuses, that's for sure." [Shakes Randall's hand] "Pleasure to meet you."

Randall: "It's an honor to meet you son." [Sits back down]

Jeros: "Hmm... So what exactly did happen five years ago?"

Tim: "I'm sure the news didn't interest you at the time. But since there's a Lunethene on the loose, well, it wouldn't help tellin'."

Jeros: "Stop beating around the bush, Timmy. You know you fell in the well."

Tim: "It's Tim now. Get it right." [Snickers] Still remembering the well. Anyhow..."

o~-~-~-~o

Shortly before the main fleet arrived with the colonists, we were at peace with the Lunethene. Because they were humans themselves, we wanted to establish trade. However, the Lunethene wanted nothing to do with our goods nor the knowledge of our sciences. For a while this aura of distrust discouraged colonial support. It also limited the land the colonies were able to settle unless we wanted to go to war.

Eventually a head of Lunethene affairs was appointed. Narseby Fairfax, the baron's teacher was the guy. He came up with an interesting idea that the Lunethene did not want the trade of any goods or services. Instead he told the Lunethene, stories, history, and events of our people.

He started this historical trade by telling the Lunethene about the Battle of Doom Island. The story about your dad obviously. The story of his heroics and sacrifice inspired the Lunethene to trust us a little more. They accepted by telling us their story. They told us the tale of a goddess of the moon who lived among them for thousands of years. It was said that one who would bring the items she requests shall have her hand and immortality.

Well, I don't know the details about that crazy story either, but I did know that Narseby was obsessed with the idea of immortality. The colonists searched high and low for within the land for these four treasures. They went as far as to burn Lunethene settlements to find evidence. However the colonists turned up with nothing after a year's search. Eventually this goddess had to return to the moon. And well, Narseby's obsession got to him. He sealed this moon goddess and prevented her from returning to the moon.

That's when the skirmish happened. The Lunethene were furious. The Lunethene believed that they were of the moon as well. By sealing the moon goddess, they believed that all hope for their salvation is lost. They know our people are capable of slaying gods. Maybe that's why they didn't attack us before. But what we didn't know was that they were watching us long before we arrived on the colonies. The Lunethene studied our tactics in battle; they know what we can and cannot do. And that is why within seventy days the Lunethene virtually annihilated the main forces of the barony.

Then the old man set up a trap. If he couldn't have immortality, then no one can. He lured the Lunethene to the top of the Glasdar tower. All of their best warriors followed one man with hatred in their hearts, seeking revenge for the goddess death (she was still alive, but I can only tell you what I heard). When they cornered the old man on top of the tower, poof! They vanished. Every single one disappeared before Narseby's presence. Strange that a twisted old man like him started the conflict and also ended it.

The Lunethene without their best warriors were easily crushed by our forces. Narseby eventually ordered the army to slaughter the women and children of the Lunethene to prevent future conflict with them. When the baroness discovered that his colonies stooped so low as to perform a barbaric act of genocide, she dismissed the old man and ordered his execution.

Safe to say, the old man was hung the next morning.'

o~-~-~-~o

Jeros, dozing off, regains his senses towards the end. Jeros looks at Tim with a disgusted face.

Jeros: "So you're saying that because this Narseby guy," [Fiddles with his glass, which has only ice cubes in it] "The Lunthene are suppose to be extinct. Like dinosaurs and dodos extinct?"

Tim: "Yep. I wasn't there when the old man did it, but I was there when he was hanged. And because of his crime, the barony lost almost all support with the mother country. Parcelyte and Alunze is no longer funding any future projects for the colonies." [Drinks from his glass] "The only reason why Bound's navy is here because of their mission to escort prince Alex to the barony for the crowning ceremony. The baroness hopes that by becoming an independent kingdom they can get more support and respect from the other nations here. Besides, Bound's colonies will better be much better with Alexia's support."

Jeros wipes his brow with a table cloth. Because the barony is responsible, Bound is indirectly responsible for the extinction of an entire race. That must be why Parcelyte abandoned the colonization project, or so Jeros thought.

Jeros: "The reason why Guy wanted me to go with him instead of staying home kinda makes sense now. Did Guy even comply with such an order?"

Tim: "No. Guy's a bone head, but he's no no barbarian. The Guy Legion was founded to be able to act outside of military command to avoid getting Parcelyte involved with war. We came as mercs, not soldiers of any kind. This gave Guy the opportunity to accept defense missions instead of assaults against the Lunethene. I heard the Lunethene respected him for his compassion to protect his people. He told their leaders that he respected them because they were doing the same. Of course the old man didn't like the legion's mutual feelings. He claimed that the by playing defensively, the legion was wasting their effort and only delaying an inevitable war. We were eventually cut out of the war. Because of that idiot, the colonies had very little protection and suffered great casualties. If only one Lunethene made it out of Fairfax's grasp then our names could..." [Sighs] "Nevermind, it doesn't matter now."

Jeros: "Why do you say that?"

Tim: [Takes another drink] "Fairfax convinced the mother country that we were a mistake. Parcelyte was having second thoughts while Bound was trying to support the Guy Legion. Eventually Bound and Parcelyte were blockaded by Alunze and Gratze. Not wanting a war at home, Parcelyte and Bound had to back off. Guy, as well as Bound royal knights, including Dekar, were ordered to return home. The Guy Legion disbanded shortly after. It wasn't until 4 years later that we reformed. Though we're only training colonial guards right now."

Jeros closes his eyes, reflecting upon what happened 5 years ago. Even if there was at least one Lunethene left, the fact that Parcelyte and Bound were indirectly responsible for such inhumanity made Jeros want to vomit. If only there was he could do to at least try to change the past...

Jeros: "Hearing this makes the Sinistrals holy compared to what we've done."

Tim: "Trust me," [Sets down his empty glass] "If the Sinistrals were still here, they probably would've done worse to them than what we have. Probably would've turned them into monsters or something. Although, they might have... Eh."

Jeros: [Leans to the edge of his seat] "Might have what?"

Tim: [Shakes his head] "Nah, it's something I'm not suppose to talk about unless I want to get fired." [Stands up] "Drinks are getting to me. Besides, the Sinistrals are destroyed, done. Though if they made a come back, well even I don't think we could handle it. Anyway, I need to head back to base."

Jeros: "Fair enough." [Stands up] "I'm going to explore town a bit more before I go back to Jessy."

Tim: "Ah, then tell Jessy that Timmy says hello to her and the baby."

Jeros: [Shrugs] "What ever happened to 'it's not Timmy it's Tim'?'"

Tim: "It's Jessy."

Tim leaves the cafe. Jeros turns around in his seat and waves to the bartender. When the bartender arrives, Jeros leaves his tab on the table.

Jeros: [Whispering] "Say barkeep, do you think I can get a good look at this water monster?"

Bartender: "Water monster? Ah, if it wasn't for that brilliant hair I would call you insane." [Picks up an empty glass and starts polishing it] "Well if you're dying to see it, I heard the monster tends to lurk around the sub-canals around high tide. Getting into the sub-canals is your problem. That's a restricted area."

Jeros: "I see..." [Opens his purse and slides a coin on the counter] "Think you can keep this a secret from Guy and Aunt Jess for me."

Bartender: "Well, you need not to pay young lad. You're secret's safe, if you stay alive."

Jeros: [Replaces the coin back in his purse, embarrassed] "Oh... Well thanks again." [Stands up and turns around]

Bartender: [Calls out to Jeros] "Oh! Then you Caliburn?"

Jeros: [Turns around] "Yes?"

Bartender: "It seems that a visitor earlier wants to meet you in person. She claims to be a very big fan of your and would like to meet you at the east pier at dusk."

Jeros: [Rushes to the counter] "Did you say she was a fan of mine?"

Bartender: "Yes, when this girl heard about you fighting the thief that stole the prince's treasure, she went head over heels."

Jeros: "Then what did she look like! Her hair, clothes, her eyes."

Bartender: [Pushes Jeros back behind the counter] "Settle down runt! And what am I a pervert? No! You meet her at the pier. That was the reason and message. I cannot tell you more."

Jeros: [Rubs the back of his neck] "Hehe... I see. Sorry about the excitement. I better get going now."

The bartender sighs and nods. Then he bids Jeros farewell. Before he takes no more than 5 steps outside of the café, he remembers he doesn't know where the canals are. Before Jeros was about to ask, the bartender flips the "open" sign to "closed".

o~-~-~-~o

"Getting into the sub-canals is your problem."

Jeros folds his arms pondering. He knows nothing about where to go in Marse. Though, the information is free so Jeros understands his homework. Also there is the girl at the pier. Already news of Jeros' exploits have spread throughout the colony. A fan or not, perhaps she knows how to get into the sub-canals. Or maybe she just wishes to meet him for a date in the romantic sun set.

Jeros: [Smiling] {I hope she's cute at least. I'm not really one to chase after girls.}

Jeros turns his mind to the rogue in white's face. Her pale skin, white hair, and enigmatic rouge eyes still linger in Jeros's.

Jeros: {What am I thinking?} [Sighs] {Aside from being the son of Maxim (which she rubbed in my face), she wouldn't have any interest in me at all. Why am I worrying about these things? I shouldn't think about her.}

Jeros ventures through the west tunnel to the central platform. His mind wanders of who this person might be and what she plans to do with Asguard's stone. When Jeros reaches the central platform, the afternoon sun slowly falls to the horizon. Workers take their leave, heading home to the tunnel behind him. Jeros stands quietly. Jeros looks out to the pier watching for his surprise guest.

After standing for almost an hour, Jeros gives up and turns around.

Jeros stands paralyzed, speechless. The white hood who was standing behind Jeros pulls itself up, blushing from the inside.

Before Jeros says a word...

Rogue in White: "I hope you know how to swim."

The rogue in white nudges Jeros with enough leverage to push him off balance. Jeros falls off the pier and into the water. He then splashes himself above the thick oily water to gasp for air. The rogue in white dives right next to Jeros. She surfaces.

Rogue in White: "Do you want to see it or not?" [Dives back under water]

Jeros: [Diving] {I wanted to find a monster, and I find you...}

Jeros tries his best to catch up with the rogue underwater. If he wasn't going to find the sea monster, then he was going to recover Asguard's stone. The rogue swims to the lowest anchor of the pier. She idles underwater for a few seconds. Jeros thinks that this is his chance to grab her, until he sees it in the sub-canal...

*~ End Chapter
Last edited by DarkMaster2101 on Fri Mar 04, 2011 1:50 am, edited 10 times in total.

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DarkMaster2101
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Postby DarkMaster2101 » Tue Dec 08, 2009 5:10 am

DISCLAIMER: This story is a not-for-profit fan fiction inspired by the Estpolis/Lufia franchise written only for entertainment purposes. All content relating to the Estpolis/Lufia series, including characters, scenario and reference, is owned by Square Enix, Taito, NATSUME: Serious Fun, ATLUS, and Neverland Company. Please support the official release. [Munches on a crisp]...

o~-~-~-~o

The sun sits on the edge of ocean. On the other side of the piers the crew of the Grand Orca salutes King Alex before heading off to bed.

Meanwhile Jessy is outside of the Sailor's Stay looking for Jeros. When Jeros was no where to be found, Jessy, impatient and frustrated, wanders pier, until she bumps into Tim of the Guy Legion.

Jessy: "Watch where you're going... Timothy?"
Tim: "Ooph! Excuse me... Jessy?"

Jessy: [Brushing off her blouse] "Long time no see, Timmy. I'm in a hurry though. I need to find Jeros, a red-headed boy with a ponytail, kind of scampy, if you remember."

Tim: "Jeros, you say." [brushing his sleeve] "I met him earlier today at the cafe. And it's Tim not..."

Jessy: [Interrupting] "Then you might know where he's going! Timmy, did you talk to him! What did you talk about? Oh..."

Jessy collapses and Tim catches her.

Tim: "Take it easy Jess, you have a baby on the way. I know what he's probably going after. Yeah, he might check out the sea monster..."

Jessy stands back up. Knowing that she won't be able to walk around in this state, she turns to Tim. Often this is not like Jessy to ask for help. Jessy is always the kind of woman who works hard past her limits.

But this time, her life is no longer hers to burden. The baby inside kicks Jessy's stomach to tell his mommy to stop worrying. Jessy rubs her stomach. This is her future now, and she has to do everything she can to protect it.

Even if it means asking for help.

Jessy: "Well, what are you waiting for! Go look for him!"

Tim: "Understood! Please get some rest."

Jessy: "I won't rest easy until Jeros is found, but thank you Tim. I'm going to find that meat-head husband of mine." [Sigh] {Even though this is my mess...}

Tim: "Jeros is a grown man and the son of Maxim. I'm sure he can handle trouble when he finds it."

Jessy: "That's what I'm worried about. He is reckless as Maxim."

Tim: "Oh?"

o~-~-~-~o

Rogue in White: "I hope you know how to swim."

The rogue in white nudges Jeros with enough leverage to push him off balance. Jeros falls off the pier and into the water. He then splashes himself above the thick oily water to gasp for air. The rogue in white dives right next to Jeros. She surfaces.

Rogue in White: "Do you want to see it or not?" [Dives back under water]

Jeros: [Diving] {I wanted to find a monster, and I find you...}

o~-~-~-~o

*~Moonstone Chapter Part 2: Making a Deal~*

o~-~-~-~o

The rogue swims deeper under the harbor while Jeros follows. The twilight of dusk fades from the simmering surface limiting Jeros's vision to none but the gliding white cloak in front of him. Even the lamps on the pier are near invisible now. Nevertheless, being blind will not stop Jeros's mission to recover Asguard's stone.

Jeros and the rogue dive down deep underneath the submerged tunnels. Jeros bumps into the rogue as she idles still. An azure light shines from the rogue's sleeve anchored on by a golden chain.

Jeros: {This is it!} [Reaches out for the stone]

Monster: "GYYYYYOOOOOOOAAAANNNN!"

Jeros, shaken by the vibrations of the moan, looks down to see where it came from. He couldn't believe his eyes. A huge eight headed snake-like creature sinks to the sea floor.

Jeros: [Shocked] {What... Is... That!}

The eight-headed snake slithers into the ground, burying itself into the sea floor. Both Jeros and the Rogue are shaken by the immense current.

o~-~-~-~o

Above the seas, Marse is shaking into a catastrophe as if it were struck by an earthquake. Loaded crates of the Grand Orca topple into the ocean. The crowds within central plaza scatter into the streets. Jessy is knocked prone by the quake. Still holding her stomach, Jessy looks up to see her meaty husband holding the jaws of a petrified great white.

Guy: [Throws the shark to the side] "Jessy!"

Jessy: "Guy!" [Stands up and kisses him]

Guy: "We haven't found Jeros yet. They're going to look for him in the sub canals."

The quake calms down.

Jessy: "I knew it was my fault for letting him run off like that. I should've known that Jeros would seek out that monster."

Guy: "Easy there, babe. You can't deny the blood in his veins. He's Maxim's boy. I know he'll make it through. Even I got myself out of bigger messes."

Jessy: [Moaning] "I don't think so, but..." [Groans] "I believe in him. He always comes back."

Guy: [Rubs Jessy's stomach] "Easy there tyke, you're not trying to pop out fight that monster yet."

Jessy: [Yelling] "Who says my child is going to grow up to be a meat head fighter like you!" [Moans]

Guy: "Not this argument again. Can't we argue another time without a giant sea monster snacking under us?"

o~-~-~-~o

After Jeros stabilizes himself from the quake, he spits bubbles. Jeros tries to breathe, only to swallow salt water. Panicking, Jeros tries to surface, but the rogue pulls him deeper into the abyss. Following the monster's trail, the rogue discovers a small hole in the wall. The rogue pulls Jeros into an air bubble inside of the sub-canal.

Jeros gasps for air and wrings out his hair.

Jeros: [Coughing] "What was that beast?"

Rogue in White: "A Hydora and large one by that. They're common in the gulfs of Ynne 'lahn Lufia."

Jeros: [Dumbfounded] "Yein-la-whafi-huh?"

Rogue in White: "You call these lands Westland, correct?"

Jeros: [Scratching the back of his head] "Yes, we do. You're point?"

Rogue in White: "Ynne 'lahn Lufia is what my ancestors called it according to Eddo. He's a Lunethene anthropologist."

Jeros: "I heard what happened to them. I'm sorry they suffered such a fate."

Rogue in White: "Why sympathize? You have done nothing wrong. You only need to feel guilty for what you do, pony boy."

Jeros: [Clinching his fist] "Stop calling me that! I have a name and it's Jeros! Jeros Caliburn."

Rogue in White: [Hands on her hip] "You are Jeros Caliburn son of Maxim Caliburn. I heard from the ship."

Jeros: "In case you're wondering, I don't live for my dad's name like you say. He and my mother died when I was a baby so I have no memory of them. The name's a name to me, nothing more."

Rogue in White: "I see..." [Folds her arms] "That makes two of us, I suppose."

Jeros: [Surprised] "You suppose?" [Shakes his head] "Never mind! I don't care anymore. You stole Asguard's stone and I want it back."

Rogue in White: "Awe... I thought we were going to get to know each other?"

Jeros charges the rogue. Extending his left hand extending he tries to grab the stone. The rogue slides the stone's chains to her fingers and spins around Jeros, dangling the moonstone in front of his eyes. When Jeros turns around, he feels a cold sensation across his throat.

Jeros: [Shaking] "Why toy with me? Why not kill me? I'm going to keep following you until I retrieve that stone. Over mountains, under seas, through the gates of the netherworld and 'til the end of time for..."

Rogue in White: "Shh! Be quiet! Something's over there."

Squishy footsteps can be heard from the far end of the tunnel. Grunts and mumbles in the form of a rhythm-less song distort the tunnels. The rogue sheathes her blade and runs into the darkness.

Jeros: [Still shaking] "Monsters? I'll deal with you later." [Follows after the Rogue]

Jeros runs down the dim-lighten tunnel losing track of the rogue. Jeros sees lights flickering towards the end. Perhaps due to a short circuit so Jeros thought. For the longest time, the colonies did without energy cores. Often times energy cores were either too heavy for the boat or too unstable. The last thing a vessel needs is an energy core to rupture and vaporize everything within a kilometer radius. For a while, Jeros never thought about life without energy. The massive core in Parcelyte powers everything: from irrigation, to lights, to automatic doors (which Jeros never thought was necessary), and even radio towers that broadcast music all over town. Parcelyte's core shines bright, even in the darkest times.

Then Jeros's wandering thoughts are interrupted when he trips over a mossy rope. After rubbing his face in pain, he discovers an empty metal barrel. Jeros crawls into the barrel's lid, hiding from the monster's shadow passing through the tunnel.

When Jeros wipes his brow thinking out of the clear, he is embraced by a white blanket. Not making any sudden movements, Jeros is surprised by the blanket's softness.

Rogue in White: [whispering in Jeros's ear] "You learn quickly. I like that."

Jeros: [Pops out of the barrel, blushing] "Yeah... Could you get off of me please?"

Rogue in White: [Crawls out of the barrel] "I think I'll cut a deal with you." [Holds Asguard's stone]

Jeros: [Crawling] "What kind of deal are we talking about?"

Rogue in White: "Think you can take on that Hydora?"

Jeros: "You mean that huge snake monster! I've taken a few monsters before; mostly jellies, moths, and a few Lizardmen. Never anything this big."

Rogue in White: "Hmm... That isn't much of a resume. However you're willing to learn. You also have good reflexes. You can stay alive. Besides, if you can defeat the monster then I'll return the moonstone. I'll even turn myself in."

A large quake shakes the tunnel. Jeros almost lost his balance. The lights of the tunnel fall on the ground, shattering. Behind them, a wall snaps open. Jeros and the rogue run from the gushing flood.

Jeros: "At this rate Marse will collapse to drown!"

Another wall collapses behind them, flooding the tunnels behind them. The currents collides with the flood behind, slowing down the flood.

Jeros: [Panting] "Alright. I'll take the job with one exception."

Rogue in White: [Breathing] "Exceptions? Should I give you any?"

Jeros: "I'm not going alone. You're coming with me whether I trust you or not. I can always refuse and let Marse drown with you and the stone."

Rogue in White: "Fair enough. Even I believe taking on a lone Hydora is suicide."

Jeros: "It's a deal then?"

Rogue in White: "Deal."

Jeros and the rogue shakes hand.

Jeros: "If we're going to work together, I need to know your name."

Rogue in White: "My birth name or given name?"

Jeros: "What's the difference? Eh, just tell me both."

Rogue in White: "My birth name is Nyinne Lhe' thalla. I was named Aysel by my adopted family because they can't pronounce my birth name."

Jeros: "I think I'll call you Aysel as well. I don't know if you would like me to call you Nayeena?" [Chuckles] "Yeah..."

Aysel: [Smiling] "Nice to meet you as well."

Jeros immediately turns his attention to the lights in the walls. He examined the pieces which shattered on the ground.

Jeros: "If Marse is using lights, then there must be an energy core here. We're in trouble if that core cracks." [Stands up] "I wonder if the Hydroa is attracted to the core?"

Aysel: "It might. I agree the energy waves here is too concentrated for my taste. Though, constant energy wouldn't bother them."

Aysel places her hand on the wall next to the lights. She looks at the moss on the wall. She steadily follows it until she locks her hands on something.

Jeros: "Following the energy of the lights? Even I can't do that."

Aysel: "Not really, I'm following the feel of the moss. Your people has forgotten that some things don't need energy."

Jeros: [Nervously laughs] "Right..." [Rubs the back of his neck]

Aysel discovers a latch and pulls it. Snaps followed by a loud creek echo through the tunnel until a flood gate closes. The flooded hallway drains revealing a door on the other side.

Jeros: "I forgot about the emergency flood gates." [Heads to the door]

Aysel: "Is that what that was? Hmm... Learn something new every day."

o~-~-~-~o

Though the flood has drained, the tunnel was still knee deep. Jeros and Aysel tread carefully through the water. Suddenly a medium sized fish-like monster jumps from the water arching over Aysel's head. Instinctively Jeros draws his knife and shield (if Jeros could call a pot-lid that).

The fish jumps at Jeros.

Jeros: "Heads up!" [Blocks the fish with the shield]

Aysel: "A little late for that one." [Back flips over a fish] "Pikes are dangerous. Watch your back."

Jeros: [Turns to Aysel] "Why?"

A pike jumps out of the water right behind Jeros. Jeros turns in time to avoid death. The pike bites on Jeros's left shoulder.

Jeros: "Gah!" [Slaps the fish with his knife] "Stop eating me!"

The pike releases and falls back into the water. Meanwhile Aysel ducks underneath another jumping pike. She sees Jeros holding his shoulder in pain and another pike behind him aimed for his head. Aysel pulls a shuriken from her cloak and embeds it with a black crystal.

The pike lunges for Jeros. Aysel darts the pike causing it to twist and spasm (and slapping Jeros in the face with its tail) into the water.

Jeros: "Thanks." [Sees a pike behind Aysel] "Get down!"

Aysel ducks on command underneath a lunging pike. Jeros steps forward raising his shield to catch the Pike's jaw. Then when the pike slams into the shield, Jeros thrusts his knife into it's gills, dispatching it effectively.

Jeros: [Cringing in pain] "Any more of them?"

Aysel: [Stands up] "No, pikes hunt in pairs. Let's get out before more show up."

o~-~-~-~o

Jeros nods and pushes the door open sending a surge of water into the next room. Aysel enters last to push the door closed.

Jeros: "That was close..."

Aysel pulls on Jeros's wounded shoulder.

Jeros: "Ouch ouchaouchaouchah. That stings!"

Aysel: "Your arteries were almost bitten. Close indeed. Infection might happen though."

Jeros wincing from the pain notices a treasure chest in the corner of. Looking around more, Jeros sees iron and wooden crates tagged with the Shaia Industries logo(three cubes inside a gear engraved Shaia industries).

Jeros: "A supply room." [Stands up and walks towards the chest to open it] "Bingo."

Jeros reaches into the treasure chest and finds a potion. He opens it up to smell the herb extract.

Aysel: "Smells like herbs and alcohol."

Jeros: "Standard issue potion. Medicine for first aid." [Sprinkles a little bit on his shoulder wound, then drinks the rest] "Ah! Best to drink the rest after you applied it." [Tosses the bottle]

Aysel: "Hmm... I only apply and save the rest for later. Then again I don't get injured as much." {I can't stand the taste of alcohol either.}

Jeros walks to the other side of the storage room to find a large gate. There's a sign next to it saying 'Core Control Room'. Aysel steps behind Jeros. She looks down to find a panel sticking out of the floor.

Aysel steps on the panel, opening the door. Jeros jumps back, knocking Aysel of the panel and closing the door.

Jeros: "The door opened! Then it closed..."

Aysel: [Springs up and kicks Jeros in the butt] "Watch where you're jumping next time."

Jeros: [Rubbing his behind] "Ouch! Didn't have to kick me in the butt."

Aysel: "You didn't have to knock me on the floor either. Now please move."

Jeros groans and moves out of the way.

Aysel: "Jeros, how strong are you?"

Jeros: "I've been training with Guy mostly for heavy lifting." [Flexing his left arm] "I can even lift almost thrice my body weight!"

Aysel: "Well hooray for you. Can you push that metal crate over here..." [Pointing] "...On this spot?"

Jeros: [Jumps over and behind a crate] "Sure, why?"

Aysel: "The door activates using a pressure switch mechanism."

Jeros lets out a heavy grunt and pushes the crate on top of the switch. The door opens and stays open.

Jeros: "All right. We can go through." [Walks through the door]

Aysel nods and follows Jeros into the next room.

o~-~-~-~o

Jeros and Aysel walk into a brightly lit square room. The room itself expanses over two stories tall. It was there that they see Marse's energy core shining the brightest Jeros has seen yet. The core was inside four walls, each with a multi-gate lock mechanism. Upon a closer look at the core, it would be entirely submerged in water if it wasn't inside of a bubble. Jeros always finds little things about these cores amusing.

Aysel looks around the the sub-canal. Control panels monitor the core and all of Marse's supply on both floors. Only Two other doors are available in the room. Both she and Jeros walk towards the large window looking outside to see the pier.

Jeros: [Looking up] "Aunt Jessy and Uncle Guy should be worried sick about me about now."

Aysel: [Looks at Jeros] "Jessy and Guy are your family?"

Jeros: "Actually, they're my god parents for when aunt Louisa died. Jessy and Guy took me in when Aunty passed away from old age. She was my last living blood relative."

Aysel: "I see... Well no one can fight against nature. Anyway I never met Guy, but from I heard from the guild he is very strong."

Jeros: "Guild? What kind of guild are you talking about?"

Aysel: "I was sent on a mission to obtain Asguard's stone. The guild told me that I should ask the stone's owner before I took it. But the owner had other plans."

Jeros: "Asguard's stone is Bound's national treasure. King Asguard fought a great wyrm by himself to obtain it. Of course you wouldn't get permission borrow the stone. So... What do you mean by other plans?"

Aysel: "When the king heard about the four treasures of the Moon Goddess, he was excited. When evidence shows that Asguard's stone was one of the four treasures, his majesty was willing to allow the guild to research the stone."

Jeros: "And Joseph said no, didn't he?"

Aysel: "The prime minister holds power over the treasurer. He declined the guild's offer. That's when there was a conspiracy was aboard. Because the deal couldn't be made with coin, the king wanted to trade experience."

Jeros: "And that's why you stole Asguard's stone. That makes sense! This is Bound's navy's first voyage. I was wondering why his stone was in his bag as opposed to around his neck. It was a training exercise."

Aysel: [Turns towards Jeros] "Exactly, the entire heist was a charade."

Jeros: [Turns to Aysel] "I wonder if Guy knew this was going to happen? Or maybe not. He is a major bone head."

Aysel: "The deal was made with the guild master and the King. No one else knew of it. Also, another threat was present when the stone was on board."

Jeros: [Looks out the window] "Monsters and pirates?"

Aysel: "Creatures of Lufia have been restless for quite some time. Lately they've been organizing. Goblin tribes are natural but a goblin brigade is not. There's a theory that another power is organizing monsters to find the four treasures."

Jeros: "I see..."

Hydora: "GYYYYYOOOOOOOAAAANNNN!"

The Hydora swims across the window rattling the chamber with its powerful currents.

Aysel: "It's looking for something." [Holds out Asguard's stone]

Something croaks loud in the room.

Jeros: [looking around] "What was that!"

Aysel: [draws her blades] "Jeros, behind you!"

A large tongue slaps Jeros in the face. Looking behind Aysel sees a troop of 3 cyan blue Shahagin (fish-looking humanoid monsters), one of which is riding a massive purple spotted yellow poly wog. Aysel falls to Jeros's side.

Aysel: [shaking Jeros] "Jeros! Wake up."

Jeros comes too only to see Aysel tearing away from the arms of a Fishman only to get captured by another Fishman. The poly wog licks Aysel into unconsciousness (it's tongue must be poisoned with tranquilizer). Before Jeros can stand up properly, the Fishman breaks through the glass to escape. The hole in the window floods the entire control room drowning Jeros and the controllers to the Energy Core's power.

Above the ocean, it's lights out for Marse. All power, including the canal gate have been cut off. The Grand Orca is stuck behind the gate. Guy comforts Jessy on the porch of the Sailor's stay until a legion soldier arrives. Guy stands up with his hammer over his shoulder and follows the soldier.

Jeros tries all he can to fight the currents surfacing, but the currents are too strong. The currents pull Jeros deeper and deeper into the abyss. Jeros closes his eyes losing consciousness.

Jeros: {Is... Is this really the end of my life? Mom, dad, is that you?}

o~-~-~-~o

"Don't give in, young one. You need to stay strong."

Jeros: {I know that voice...}

"Follow Runa's light."

Jeros: {Light?}

"Runa will guide your soul back to life."

Jeros: {Life?}

"Jeros, she is calling for you."

Jeros: {Who?}

"You must find her."

Jeros: "AYSEL!"

o~-~-~-~o

A deep pain surges within Jeros. Shortly after a rush of warmth, Jeros opens his eyes. After rolling on his stomach, Jeros stands up to find the entire lower level of the control room submerged under water. Jeros sits up to brush his hair now flopping in his face. His tie must have come undone during the flood. Nonetheless Jeros always had extra ties within his pocket for this occasion.

Jeros looks up on the balcony trying to find out where to go next. Before he knew, he noticed an enigmatic figure above. Looking closer Jeros sees the curves of a woman. Her snow white long hair hangs to her hips and her robes is that of Runa's white garb. Jeros stands up calling out to the woman but she walks a few steps forward and disappears.

Jeros: "Wait, why did you come here? And why..."

A shimmering stone falls out of Jeros's leather jacket. Jeros picks up the stone by it's gold chain.

Jeros: "Asguard's stone."

Jeros closes his eyes for a moment. Knowing that the rogue in white as a common thief would ease his guilt to return to the stone. To bad the stone was not stolen. Instead it was given to her by Prince Alex to lure monsters away from the ship safeguarding his voyage. All this time she has been aiding the king and his escorts, yet the only thing that came to his mind is that she was a Lunethene thief.

No, Nyinne Lhe'thalla is the last of her kind. She is the hope of the Guy Legion's redemption.

No, no. It is more than that. Nyinne likes him. The first time a girl liked Jeros for who we is and not for who he might. Her interest in Jeros is his ability to learn and adapt. Well, she might not like him that way.

There's so much to learn what's happened. Nyinne Lhe'Thalla is his first mystery.

Voice: "You need to go to her, Jeros. The Lunethene child wants you to rescue her."

Jeros: [Nodding] "Where is she now?"

Voice: "The monsters have taken her to their lair. It's close to the this area."

Jeros looks forward to see a door open in front of him. He tries to take a step but something is dragging on his feet. Jeros looks down to find a sheathed broadsword next to where he was laying. Jeros then feels a lump within his jacket fall out. Instinctively Jeros caught it with his hand. The stone glows with a faint red aura that's warm to the touch.

Jeros picks up the broadsword, removing it from its sheath.

Jeros then places the warm stone upon the sword's cross guard. The stone opens and engulfs the sword with a blade of flames.

Jeros: "Thanks Iris."

Jeros swings the burning sword around gaining the feel of its power. Then Jeros closes the stone to sheath the sword and storms through the upper gate.

o~-~-~-~o

Upon reaching the end of the ledge, Jeros looks around to discover a dock made from wire. Iron crates with Shaia's brand were stacked high below the cranes. Jeros looks to see the morning sun breaking dawn above the water (which is held behind by a window above the submarine docks). On the other side of the dock at the highest walk way, two cerulean Fishmen were dragging away a white blanket by her neck and hands.

Jeros: "Aysel! Hold on."

Three figures splash onto the docks. All three Fishmen were equipped with harpoons. The leader in the middle spits water from his gills to the side.

Fishman: "Son of Maxim, leave this place. Our pact is to fulfill the alchemist's wishes."

Jeros: "Alchemist?" [Pulls Asguard's stone from around his neck] "So you're looking for this?"

Fishman: "The moonstone!" [Screech]

Jeros covers his ears from the high pitched noise. The Fishman holding Aysel captive drop her and dive into the water. The three Fishmen before Jeros hold up their harpoons. Jeros unsheathes his blade; unlocking the stone to engulf the sword in flames. Jeros raises his sword and a Fishman jumps in the air. Spear pointing down.

Jeros back-flips to doge the blow. Then Jeros lunges forward with searing flames...

Jeros: "Cross Dash!"

After slicing open the Fishman's abdomin, Jeros turns around. The other two shahagin lunge forward to strike Jeros. Jeros finds a hanging chain and swings on it. Jeros jumps to the other side of the dock and lands after a mid-air cross dash. The two Fishmen now on the other side climb the ladder to the walkway while the other two under water splash onto the deck. Noticing these Fishmen hold no weapons Jeros rushes with a blitz.

The Fishmen tried all they could, but Jeros was too fast. The Fishmen fall dead. Jeros's attention is drawn to Aysel on top of the walkway. Jeros rushes to find a ladder and climbs it to the top. When he reaches there, the Fishman were pointing harpoons at Aysel.

Fishman: "Give us the stone, or the girl will die."

Jeros, with one hand on the ladder and the other holding the sword, looks around to find that a rope attached to a counterweight tangled to a net next to the shahagin. Jeros sheaths his sword and pulls out Asguard's stone.

Jeros: "You win." [Throws the stone to the net]

Both shahagin release the girl and head towards the stone. Once in the net, Jeros cuts the rope which causes the net to slide off the walkway capturing the Shahagin within it. The net falls into the water. Ironically, Asguard's stone only slides off the walkway right into Jeros's palm. Jeros replaces the stone in his pocket and climbs the ladder.

Aysel is sleeping soundly on top until Jeros shakes her awake.

Jeros: "Aysel! Wake up."

Aysel: [Yawning] "It's too early. Let me sleep until night." [Falls back asleep]

Jeros: "Sorry, rise and shine. It's morning, midnight princess."

Aysel panics and jumps up on her feet. She immediately covers her entire body with her cloak and scrambles to the shade. Jeros dumbfounded, scratches the back of his head.

Jeros: "What's with the disappearing act?"

Aysel: "Jeros!" [Pulls down her hood] "If you're here, then what happened to the Shahagin?"

Jeros and Aysel looks down to see the Shahagin cutting through the net. They look up then behind and swim outside the submarine room. Jeros runs to the edge of the walkway pumping up his sword.

Jeros: "Swim away and come back when you want to get your butt handed to you again."

Aysel pulls Jeros's pony tail.

Jeros: [Rubbing] "Ouch! What did I do to you."

Aysel: "I gave you that stone so you can run away. Now the Hydora's on its way here."

Jeros: "And leave you to die! If I'm going to get eaten by a giant eight headed snake I want to have no regrets. I couldn't leave you to die, Aysel."

Aysel: "What's one life compared to the hundreds above us? This is the heart of the port. The plaza is built above this chamber."

Jeros: [looks up] "Oops."

Hydora: [Rumbling from Below] "GYYYYYOOOOOOOAAAANNNN!"

Aysel: [Looks down] "It's underneath us!"

o~-~-~-~o

CRASH! The massive eight-headed snake emerges from the carnage below. Jeros grabs on to Aysel and one of the Snake's heads. Still rising, the Hydora tears through ruin and planks, ravaging through the heart of Marse. The Hydora flings Jeros and Aysel upon the roof of the Sailor's Stay. Jeros stands up to find eight red snake staring down upon him. Jeros draws his flame engulfed sword to find no flames.

Jeros: "Darn it! I need more IP!"

One of the snake heads swoops down to bite off the roof of the sailor's stay. Jeros was able to jump of the roof in time to avoid it. Everyone in the Sailor's stay evacuated (including Jessy who turned around to find Jeros facing off the monster).

Jessy: "Jeros!"

Jeros: [Dodging the snake heads] "Jessy!"

Jessy: [Cheering] "Give him pay back Jerry!"

Jeros: [Nods then raises his sword] "Will do!"

When the snake head bites down onto the planks, Jeros jumps on the snake's head. The broadsword starts glowing. Jeros activates the searing flames and thrusts into the snake sliding down one of its necks, effectively slicing it open. One of the heads falls flat dead on the pier. Within the snake's shoulders, Jeros swings his sword in a spin effectively, slicing off two snake heads in the process. The sword loses its light. Before Jeros could hold on, the Hydora dives underwater. Jeros jumps off onto the plank.

Jeros: "I'm not going back down there."

The snake emerges on the surface of the water. Angry, the snake opens two mouths wide.

Jeros: "This isn't good!"

The Hydora fires two water jets. Jeros dodges the jets blasting half of his foot hold. The snake returns to snapping it's fangs eating the plank.

Jeros: "Not very smart are you!" [Dodges]

One of the Snake's head locks it's fangs in the plank. Jeros fires up his sword and slices down it's neck. Once again, Jeros slices. This time only one neck falls off.

The Hydora dives under water. Jeros jumps onto the plank; his is jump short judged. Jeros tries to hold on, but he slips and falls into the water. Just as he was about to fall into the Hydora's mouth, Aysel jumps in mid-air to grab Jeros. Then she stabs one of her blades into the Hydora's neck riding it to the surface.

When the Hydora surfaces, Jeros and Aysel jump off onto what's left of the plaza.

Aysel: "Give me the stone!"

Jeros throws the stone to Aysel. She stares down the snake's last two heads. The Hydora starts biting rapid. Aysel was weaving herself around the snaps of the fangs until she tangles their necks into a knot.

Aysel: "Now Jeros!"

Jeros: "Crossfire, I need your power!" [Charges the sword to max power]

Jeros in a burning storm tears through the carnage. The two Hydroa heads tried to slither out of their not in vein. The final blow leaves one head burned and the other decapitated. The Hydora's body slides off the plaza and into the ocean.

Jeros, exhausted powers down his sword and falls onto his bottom.

o~-~-~-~o

Guy: "Jeros!"

Guy emerging from a tunnel, enters the plaza with his hammer in hand only to find Jeros waving over. The citizens of Marse stand on the shorelines cheering for Jeros's victory.

Guy: "Well I'll be darned." [Tosses his hammer on the ground] "You took out a eight headed newt by yourself."

Jeros: "Snake. It was a snake." [Stands up]" And yeah, I vanquished it with a little help."

Next to Jeros follows a white cloaked Lunethene. She looks at Guy, smiling.

Aysel: "A deal is a deal, Jeros. I return the stone and turn myself in."

Guy: [Shocked] "Turning your self in after all this, are we? You did steal a national treasure. You're not getting off freely from that."

Jessy: [Placing her hand on Guy's shoulder] "Guy, the King would like to have an audience with Jeros and Ruin Chaser."

Guy: "Ruin Chaser! You mean the thief! She's no ruin chaser if she stole the stone. That's a direct violation of the Chaser's code."

Jeros: "Guy, Aysel had permission to steal the stone. The whole thing was a set up."

Guy: [Scratching his head] "Jeros! What's the meaning of this? You're not taking her side are you?"

Jeros: "Excuse me?"

Guy: "She didn't do anything like that sort of thing to change you're mind did she? {She is kind of cute}."

Aysel: [Slaps Guy] "What exactly do you mean 'like that sort of thing'?" How rude can you be assuming me to do those kinds of things!"

Jessy: [Glares] "Guy?"

Jeros: "I'm left in the dark here. I don't know what you two are talking about."

Aysel: [Cuddling Jeros's arm] "He's the kind of boy who lets girls on him."

Jeros: [Blushing and Pushing Aysel off] "Only because you force yourself on me. Get off!"

Guy: "Aha! I knew something was going on. You're both coming with me you're under arrest."

Jessy picks up Guy's hammer and swings it gently into Guy's gut. Guy falls down from the force of impact.

Jessy: "I'll have to explain to Guy about the situation. You need to find his majesty."

Jeros: "Thanks Aunt Jess."

Jeros and Aysel leave Jessy and Guy. Guy, still holding his stomach looks up to Jessy with a very surprised face.

Guy: "Alright Jessy, what's going on here."

Jessy: "Guy, if you were thinking more you would learn that King Alex requested the Ruin Chaser to do what she did?"

Guy: "His majesty is a traitor?"

Jessy: "This is going to take a while."

While Jessy explains to Guy about the king's conspiracy, Jeros and Aysel tread down the splinters of Marse's Plaza. Neither Jeros nor Aysel says a word. They only look at each other wondering. What adventures did they have apart? More importantly, what adventures will they have together?

Only time will tell. As the sun rises, Asguard's stone only sheds its light silently.

*~End Chapter
Last edited by DarkMaster2101 on Fri Mar 04, 2011 1:52 am, edited 12 times in total.

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SinReVi
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Postby SinReVi » Thu Dec 10, 2009 7:32 pm

Almost forgot to say: YOU SPELLED JESSY WRONG! =P *kicks darkmaster*
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Lufia - Curse of the Sinistrals
~ OUT NOW! 2010

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DarkMaster2101
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Postby DarkMaster2101 » Thu Dec 10, 2009 11:27 pm

DISCLAIMER: This story is a not-for-profit fan fiction inspired by the Estpolis/Lufia franchise written only for entertainment purposes. All content relating to the Estpolis/Lufia series, including characters, scenario and reference, is owned by Square Enix, Taito, NATSUME: Serious Fun, ATLUS, and Neverland Company. Please support the official release. Content and references to other stories may appear from time to time, and they are properties of their respected holders. Content from other stories are not used without direct permission.

Stories used: Dawn and Dusk (c) Guard Daos 2008-2009.

o~-~-~-~o

Jeros and Aysel comb across the splinters of Marse. The town square is a mess; almost all of the platform is smashed into splinters. Nothing but a pile of salty firewood remained of the Sailors stay, with the exception of the now decapitated stuffed great white embraced in the bawling inn keeper's hands.

For the rest of town, not much can be said about it. Everything else is either half broken or not. The local cafe lacks a north wall, but still holds up. When crossing the cafe, two carpenters wave their hands. One staggers to Jeros.

Paul: "Good job kid. Now I have to rebuild a canal and a town."

Jeros: [Folding his arms] "You still alive right? And you have work too. So look on the bright side, the Hydora's gone so maybe it's the last time you have to rebuild."

Paul: "Pah!" [Sighs] "Sure, that's what I expect you heroes to say." [Holds out his hand] "You know, there's always going to be monsters. You just chased off the bigger one for now."

Jeros: "True," [Shakes Paul's hand] "Could you try not to be an ungrateful mule once in a while?"

Paul: "Only when I quit drinking. But that's tomorrow, gotta lot of work to do then."

Jeros: "I need some rest too. Take care."

Paul nods to Jeros and walks off. Randal still standing approaches Jeros.

Randall: "Boy oh boy, son. You know how to inspire. That's the first time I heard Paul say he quit drinking. I don't want to keep you long so I give you my thanks as well. Time Marse's Architects be back in business."

Jeros: "Take care too, Randall. Try to keep people happy here okay?"

Randall: "Will do."

Randall leaves to the shore. Aysel steps next to Jeros.

Aysel: "Even in times of peace there's strife. Is there such thing as true peace?"

Jeros: "I'm not sure. Then again I never knew what Westland went through until now. I don't know if Doom Island falling here has anything to do with it." [Looking up at the golden sky] "But I do know if my parents had to die for something, then it's important."

Aysel: "Too much peace can be a bad thing. Without gods, well, the laws of nature are cruel and harsh. Yet too much order creates oppression meaning that there's no freedom. Perhaps the Sinistrals are a force of nature."

Jeros: "Nature huh?"

Jeros never looked at this perspective until now. Sinistrals are foreseen to appear every time man kind reaches its peak. Perhaps it's because of an imbalance of peace. Jeros then remembers the transcribed elven manuscripts Artea told him (he did lose his eye sight so reading is impossible).

In the beginning of time the absolute spoke upon the creation with in the void. He forged a creator to build the Earth. The earth was disorganized and shifting. Then the lawmaker was forged to give law to the land. When the land was ready, a mother seeds life upon this world. This life was stagnant of mind, so the absolute created a soul maker to give life thought and memory.

These were the gods the Runans worshiped during before their extinction. Humans miss-translate the word sinistral for "sinister" which is why the four were called mad gods. However elven translation spoke of the words "sinis" as servant and the latter half "astral" for heaven.

But is heaven truly apart of nature?

o~-~-~-~o

Jeros and Aysel walk down the pier to the Grand Orca. Jeros looking at the sun rise watches Aysel snugs deeper into her cloak.

Jeros: "Aysel, why do you have to hide? Everyone now knows that the incident was a charade."

Aysel: "I'm not hiding because I'm guilty. I'm hiding because I'm in danger. My skin's starting to burn."

Jeros: "Burn? How can a sun burn kill you? I would understand if you were in a desert or something. I usually get a tan by the beach."

Aysel stands behind the shadow of the Grand Orca. Aysel pulls her hood down to show Jeros her face. Jeros is astonished by the sight of her pale skin.

What Jeros thought was true. Aysel's face, aside from her rouge eyes, is completely white.

Aysel: "I'm an albino." [Pulls the hood up] "My body can't handle the sun. Most humans have pigments in their skin to absorb the sun's rays. The Lunethene are suppose to have darker skin than your kind. But I'm different. The sunlight will kill me if I'm exposed."

Jeros blushes. He didn't know if this was a sign that Aysel was coming on to him or not. He wasn't the type to chase girls. Often times girls would chase him for both his looks and genes. As Jeros was told, Maxim never really was a lady's man. Women looked past Maxim as a dirty monster hunter and yet... Why is Jeros cursed with this trait?

Jeros: "I never knew. I don't know what to say about it."

Aysel: [Steps forward] "Don't say anything. It's better this way."

Jeros: "But I was thinking..."

Aysel: "No, don't think. Please."

Jeros: [Rubbing the back of his head] "Alright. I won't."

Aysel: "Thank you." [Gasps]

Emerging from the piers, a large mass of rotting flesh glares down upon Jeros. Its burnt face brims with revenge. Opening it's mouth, the Hydora jabs down one last bite.

Jeros pushes Aysel out of the way before the Hydora swallows him whole. Only Asguard's stone fell out of his pocket.

Aysel: [Screaming] "JEROS! NO!"

Stranger: "EXPLODING FIST!"

Out of the morning sun falls a coated pink-haired man with a fist full of energy. With a single punch he knocks out the Hydora forcing it to spit out Jeros. Jeros falls over the horizon and deep into the water. The Pink haired man somersaults to the pier next to Aysel.

Dekar: [Thumbs up] "Have no fear, Dekar is here!" [Smiles]

Aysel: [Kicks Dekar in the chin] "YOU IDIOT! THERE WAS SOMEONE INSIDE THAT THING!"

Dekar: [Rubbing his chin] "Ouch! That's a strong kick! Don't worry about that kid. I'm the best at is rescuing people swallowed by monsters."

An airship hovers over next to the Grand Orca and then into the ocean. On the tip an orange-haired woman is reeling in a crank from inside a suit case. An old man with a lab coat and banana colored rubber gloves waves to the side.

Lexis: "Dekar, she was talking about Maxim's son Jeros. No matter he's safe. Right Tia?"

The woman cranking the suit case pulls out Jeros by the belt. Jeros, dripping wet, is hanging upside down dazed. The woman pulls Jeros on board.

Dekar: "Oh! Jeros, long time no see!"

Jeros hangs from the hook in shock with no response.

Tia: [Sighs] "When I heard Marse was attacked by a giant sea-monster, I knew you would get yourself in danger..."

Jeros: [Dazed] "Am I monster poop?"

Tia unlocks the hook from Jeros's belt, dropping him on the cold steel deck of Excellion Mk. 2. Jeros stands up rubbing his head from the impact. Tia glares at Jeros.

Jeros: "Um... Tia! Long time no... see?" {Now I wish I was monster poop!}

Tia leaps forward grasping both her hands around Jeros's neck.

Tia: [Strangling Jeros] "Do you understand how worried I am! I even called Dekar to join when we heard Marse was attacked."

Dekar: {I joined because you dragged me on the ship...}

Tia: "Why are you so reckless, Jeros Caliburn! First chasing thieves and now monsters. I knew you were going to get yourself ate one day." [growls]

Meanwhile his majesty, King Alex, climbed on board.

Lexis: {That's Tia for you. She still treats him like his father...} [Sees the young king] "Alex, your majesty. Welcome aboard."

King Alex: "Thank you, Lexis. Umm, Tia. Jeros was the one who repelled the monster. Without him, Marse and the Grand Orca would be completely destroyed."

Tia: "Jeros did that? Little Jeros by himself?"

King Alex: "He isn't as little as you think. But I think strangling him isn't helping him grow..."

Jeros gasping for air, smiles and raises his hand with a "V" sign.

Tia: [Sees Jeros's blue face] "Oops..." [Lets go of Jeros]

King Alex: "Jeros didn't do it alone. It was also thanks to the help of Ruin Chaser Aysel."

Dekar: [Climbs Excellion Mk.2] "Really? No wonder that monster didn't put up much of a fight!"

King Alex: "Dekar!" [Runs to Dekar open arms]

Dekar: "Your majesty. It's good to finally see you again." [Hugs Alex] "How is the Kingdom, have you been practicing the moves I taught you."

Tia: "Well, if he wasn't Alex, then I can't see that hug legal." [Sees Dekar's bruised face] "Dekar, what happened to your face?"

Dekar: "I met the second best face kicker in the world! I thought I was second best." [Rubbing his chin] "You still the best, my lady."

Tia: [Whispering] "Now's not the time, honey."

Dekar: "Gotcha." [Whispering] "Tea leaf."

Jeros: [Talking while gasping] {That's a new one.}

Aysel climbed to the deck. Her hood is over her face. She bows to his majesty.

Aysel: "Our contract is fulfilled. I didn't calculate the Hydora to attack Marse so sudden. I'm terribly sorry for any lost lives."

King Alex: "No! You were a tremendous help! Everyone evacuated safely thanks to you. For protecting me and the colonies, as promised, I lend Asguard's Stone to the Ruin Chasers. You have my word."

Aysel: "Thank you, your majesty."

Tia: "Is this the Ruin Chaser? I thought they were equipped with heavy excavation gear and dig old ruins."

Aysel: "Well, that's only if we get clearance to dig by the property's owner. Most of the time we do research now. I do have my standard gear, but I can't remove my cloak right now." [Finds Jeros coughing with a bruised neck] "Jeros, what happened?"

Lexis: [Laughing] "Nothing's changed. Tia still loves Jeros to death. He's the closest thing to a child she has."

Dekar: "The only one who loves kids more than Tia is me."

Jeros: "I wondered why you two weren't my god parents."

Tia: [Punches Jeros at the top of the head] "I'll pretend I didn't hear that. Now that we're here, I wonder where Guy is?"

Guy jumps onto Excellion with his hammer drawn. The force alone shakes the entire vessel

Guy: "Quick, grab the thief!"

Aysel: [Draws her blades] "I thought your wife explained. Want to see the contract?"

Guy: [Laughing] "I heard from Jessy, I was pulling your leg there. Sorry I didn't learn sooner."

Aysel: "Well it backfired, Guy. The joke is on you."

Dekar: "Hah! Guy's still a big lovable idiot."

Tia: "Kind of like you, Dekar."

Dekar: "Hey..."

Guy: "And it takes an idiot to know an idiot."

Aysel: {That makes no sense, but what ever floats your boat.}

King Alex: "Well you not knowing about the heist... I think that was my fault. Sir Guy."

Guy: "I heard from Jessy about it. Your navy needs improvement that's for sure."

King Alex: "Well I have a few more preparations to make before sending off the Grand Orca. I'm open for catching up."

Jeros: "Have fun, Alex."

King Alex: [Nods] "I'll return once preparations are complete, which shouldn't take no more than an hour. Dekar would you like to come with me."

Dekar: "Of course, your highness. So many things have happened while you were gone."

King Alex: "I'm sure Joseph is worried sick about me..."

Dekar and the king climb down Excellion.

Aysel: "So you are the world famous Lexis Shaia?"

Lexis: "I wouldn't say world famous. Only in two regions."

Jeros: "Getting a big head, grand dad?"

Lexis: "Of course not. Why don't you two tell me about your little adventure. I'm sure a few romantic moments are in store."

Jeros: "Grand dad. Ia-tay on the Ellion-Exay."

Lexis: [Clears his throat after seeing Tia twitch from his comment] "Yes, of course."

o~-~-~-~o

Two hours later. Jeros is sitting on the edge of Excellion looking out to the horizon. Both the king and Aysel just finished explaining to Lexis about the Ruin Chaser's interest in Bound's national treasure.

Lexis: "I see... You're saying that there's a connection with Asguard's stone and the seal of Nyas. Interesting."

Jeros is dangles Asguard's stone from his wrist.

Jeros: "Nyas?"

Aysel: "Nyas is the name of what you people call the moon goddess. An alchemical seal is placed upon her palace keeping her trapped within this world."

Lexis: "Whether she's sealed for a decade or millennium, more than likely she isn't going to be happy with the human race. It's fear of the unknown, I know."

Aysel: "If she's released, not even the guild's best scholars can predict what would happen. More than likely it will be a catastrophe equal to that and more from the Sinistrals."

Jeros: "Sounds like we have to find those seals. With the Lunethene gone, Westland won't be able to stop her."

Aysel: "Indeed. And that is why we're acquiring the four treasures of the Moon Goddess. Each treasure holds a unique energy frequency which respond to one of the seals. We already have one treasure, the Saints Bowl. We have engineers conducting experiments with altering energy waves as we speak."

Lexis: "I see. If we're able to alter the energies to the treasures..."

Jeros: "And bending the key will make it not fit into the lock right?"

Lexis: "That's it, my boy! We already had one tragedy related to Narseby. I knew after losing his that old man would go crooked, or maybe he was always that way."

Jeros: "I don't know anyone else named Fairfax."

Lexis: "Idura Fairfax, if I remember."

Guy: "You mean that Idrua? That pathetic dastardly baby snatcher!

Jeros: [Shuddering] "I still have nightmares from that. Thank you."

Lexis: "It's true. And it is rumored that Narseby had strong ties with the Sinistrals. Those rumors are false because he didn't start researching alchemy until after the Sinistrals destruction."

Jeros: "He's dead now, so it's not a worry right? Anyways, back to the treasures. Think it's possible to revert the energy waves to resonate with the seals?"

Aysel: "I'm not a Kineticist, so I know almost nothing about how energy waves work."

Aysel removes a block from her pocket.

Aysel: "I found this stone on my first chase. I was told it was a dormant energy core."

Jeros: "You had a walking bomb in your bag this whole time!"

Aysel: "The core is dormant. It won't discharge at all. We tried to hit it, clean it, and even blast it with artificial waves. Nothing works."

Lexis: "Sounds like a job for Jaffy."

Jeros: "Yeah! Jaffy's a glass blower by trade, but he can refine energy cores and mystic stones to make them work. But he's way back in Parcelyte isn't he?"

Lexis: "Nope! I dropped him off in Alexia before coming here. The barony gave him the job of making windows for the palace."

Jeros: "At least we don't have to go around the world again. I was getting bored on that ship.

Lexis: "I'm afraid we can't if you wanted to. Excellion only had enough power for a one way trip."

Tia: "We were about to head back to the Barony, right Lexis?"

Aysel: "The barony has a guild to RC. So I'll be able to report there, if you're willing to have another passenger."

Lexis: "I see no problem with it, do you Tia?"

Tia shakes her head. Knowing Tia, bringing Aysel along allows Tia to keep an eye on her.

Jeros: "Right! Winds of adventure takes us to Alexia then!"

o~-~-~-~o

Lexis: "It's been a long time since I had an adventure as exciting as this! Alexia would make a great detour."

Jeros: "Detour to what?"

Lexis: [Sighs] "Family business... I don't want to touch that subject right now. Let's get roaring!"

Jeros: "When did you have a family besides us?"

Tia: "This is the first time I heard about this, Lexis."

Lexis: [Ignoring] "Buckle up, engines engaged."

Excellion engines tears roar through the colony. The colonists watch the ship rise slowly from the docks.

Dekar: "Alex! Hurry up!"

Dekar and Alex rush to the port where Excellion is lifting off.

King Alex: [Panting] "We'll never catch them. Why did Lexis lift off so soon."

Dekar: [Motions Alex to jump on his back] "Hold on, your highness."

His majesty jumps on Dekars back. Dekar takes a deep breath holds up his fist charging an intense light. Holds his palm to the pier.

Dekar: "Exploding Rocket!"

The energy explodes (along with the pier) launching Dekar to the side of Excellion. Paul runs to the pier raising his fists.

Paul: "Argh! Stop trashing my pier! I don't need any more work you monkeys."

Alex climbs on to the ship, then Dekar.

Jessy: "What took you so long?"

King Alex shrugs his shoulders. Excellion spreads its wings. After widening its wings, Excellion shoots off into the North.

o~-~-~-~o

*~Moonstone Chapter Part 3: Winds of Adventure~*

o~-~-~-~o

Twas mid-day miles above the roaring ocean. Excellion Mk. 2 eases itself, all be it roughly, above the clouds into the jet-stream. Tia is currently sitting in the co-pilot's seat. Lexis may be manly for an old inventor, but age is sure catching up on him. Excellion shook a few times due to Lexis loosing control over his hands. The doctors said Lexis is developing Arthritis and Perkin's disease due to life exposure to hazardous chemicals and working with tools. It's still a miracle that Lexis doesn't have some type of cancer yet. Still Lexis is alive and sane for now at least.

Dekar, Guy, Jessy, and his majesty are in the Captains quarters (or just Lexis's temporary bedroom for now), mostly discussing the king's voyage and how boring it was. No wonder Alex planned the heist, said Jessy's voice echoing. Guy is rubbing Jessy's stomach, playing with his unborn child. Dekar can only stare in awe sometimes at the pregnant woman, wishing to go back in time to revert the tragedy.

Twas a foolish thought, even for Dekar. There was nothing that Dekar could've done to prevent Tia's miscarriage. It did happen naturally and worse. Tia is unable to have a child even even if they tried. The damage is irreparable. Nonetheless Dekar has accepted that there are things he'll never be the best at, including being the best father to his own children. Dekar stands up, bids recess, and leaves the cabin.

Meanwhile down the hall, Dekar sees Jeros looking out the window. After watching Excellion's wings tear through the clouds Jeros jumps down. Jeros waves to Dekar.

Jeros: "I still have to thank you for saving me. Sorry we never got a chance to talk."

Dekar: [Shakes his head] "You shouldn't worry about it. It's just another thing I do best." [Sighs]

Jeros: "Say, strong man, is Guy showing off his kid bothering you?"

Dekar: "I would be lying if I said it wasn't. I'm not the kind of person who wants to drag down a good mood."

Jeros: "Even if you can't sympathize with it."

Dekar: "Yeah..." [Looks down at his side]

Jeros: "Hey, didn't mean it in a bad way. Still, I would be jealous too. I mean..."

Dekar: [Puts his hand on Jeros's shoulder] "I remember you were all over Tia when she was carrying the baby. You were always shouting 'when's my new cousin coming?' I guess Tia and I weren't the only ones looking forward to it."

Jeros: "It's been too long; that was years ago. Are you really going to let that bother you now?"

Dekar: "Yeah, sometimes these feelings build up over time. Even when I was told my best friend was never coming back."

Jeros knows Dekar was talking about Maxim. Still, he can't shake the thought of who his parents might of been. Dekar feels Jeros's pain. He never knew his parents as people either. He lost both mother and father in an accident when he was young. Nonetheless he pushed on to be the strongest man in the world. If there is any feeling Jeros and Dekar share, is that.

Dekar: [Gives Jeros a thumbs up] "Remember, if there's anything I'm also the best at, is being cheered up by my friends."

Jeros: [Nods] "At a boy, Dekar! That's the spirit."

Dekar: "I haven't given up yet! I'm still going to be the best third-father to your children. When you have 'em I mean."

Jeros: "Huh?

Dekar: [Smirking] "That Ruin Chaser girl sure is pretty."

Jeros: [Scowls] "You're on to this too?" [Clinches fist] "This happens every time I meet a girl. No matter how cute or gross, young or old the woman is you guys always assume I'm doing something. She doesn't have to be my friend, she doesn't have to be an acquaintance. She just happens to be a girl who conspired with the king to steal Asguard's stone as part of training the navy."

Dekar: [Scratches the back of his head] "I don't understand a word you're saying..."

Jeros: [Ranting] "It's a conspiracy I say! A conspiracy to keep me virgin forever. What if I like the girl? No, it's assumed that I'm always doing something perverted to her and that it's not right for her to be with me because the hero's son just wants to seed his bloodline."

Dekar only stays silent at Jeros's argument with a dumbfounded look on his face. Jeros realizes that his rant falls upon deaf minds.

Jeros: [Sigh] "I'm ranting now, aren't I."

Dekar: [Laughing] "We all have to vent our frustrations some how, kid-o."

Jeros: [Smiling] "Yeah, I guess you're right. And stop calling me kid-o please."

Dekar: "I know you're of age to be a man, but you'll always be like a son to me. That's something that will never change."

Jeros: [Nods] "I can live with that. Thanks Dekar."

Dekar: "Say, now that I think about it. Where is that Ruin Chaser. I heard she's pretty unique being a Lunethene and all. She's suppose to be cute too."

Jeros: "Okay, okay, enough with the cute girl stuff. I remember her saying that she's going to meditate in the center of the ship until we arrive. Hmm... Maybe we should find her."

Dekar: "Mind if I tag along?"

Jeros: [Shrugs] "Sure, why not? Alex is safe, unless Excellion explodes or crashes or something so I'm not worried."

Dekar nods and accompanies Jeros walking to the maintenance chamber.

o~-~-~-~o

Aysel is sitting cross-legged directly underneath the main conductor to Excellion's power core. Keeping still and constantly breathing, Aysel seems as if she's clinging onto her nerve. Although the room is well lit, Aysel isn't wearing her cloak. The cloak itself is folded inside her lap.

A small bomb rolls from behind a crate from the left side. The bomb rolls into Aysel's foot. She doesn't budge. Suddenly Excellion starts to shake due to turbulence in the airstream. During turbulence, the bomb slides back to the crate. Then a shadow's hand picks up the bomb, bragging.

Male Stowe-Away: "I told you I always keep the lucky bang, hon.

Female Stowe-Away: "Sweety, how long do we have to stay cramped inside here?"

Male Stowe-Away: "I dunno, but this fish pie tastes kind of funny. You should try some, honey."

Female Stowe-Away: "Mmmm... It's better than some of the things you make."

Male Stowe-Away: "That's why I leave the cooking to you."

Female Stowe-Away: "Oh, after all these years you still woo me. I love you so much Bertie."

Male Stowe-Away: "I'll always love you, Betty."

Bertie and Betty: [Giggles]

o~-~-~-~o

Jeros and Dekar arrive. Both Dekar and Jeros are stunned at the sight. The albino Lunethene's pale white complexion glows with a feint aura. It's as if her body fills the room with moonlight. Jeros looks down to see her attire as a thin white tank top with a pair of short shorts. The only article of clothing thick on her is a heavy leather belt holding no less than 3 satchels and the sheathes to her crescent blades.

Jeros pulls up his tan short sleeved jacket's collar and the belt to his jean ankle shorts. He slowly steps forward unknown what will happen. Will Aysel be upset for ruining her meditation and seeing her like this? Jeros approaches. Dekar cheers quietly from the background.

Jeros: "Umm... Aysel?"

No response from Aysel.

Jeros: "Hey. We're about to arrive in... Alexia soon and I was wondering if... Um..."

Still no response.

Jeros: [Groans] "Are you listening to me?"

Jeros taps Aysel on the back. Aysel's face scrunches up. Jeros never knew her complexion can get any more pale.

Jeros: "Are you..."

Aysel falls over clinging to Jeros. Next thing he knew, Jeros was covered in vomit.

Jeros: [Jumps back] "YUCK!" [Wipes his pants] "You tossed your cookies on me!"

Dekar: "I've heard of a sudden first kiss, but tossing cookies sounds fun. I hope they're Macedonian nut."

Jeros: "You're not helping Dekar!"

Aysel moans in pain, holding her stomach cursing in a different language.

Jeros: "I can't believe... I didn't plan on you having airship sickness. I'm going to get help!"

Aysel: [Curses Jeros in Moonspeak]

Jeros: "Okay! Okay! Just calm down." [Cringes from Aysel's cry] Uh... I remember from school, uh, ways to ease sea sickness."

Dekar: "We're in the sky, I don't think that's going to help."

Jeros: "Wow, you're smarter than I remember. I was expecting you to say we're on an airship not a boat."

Dekar: "We are on a airship. Sea sickness is only caught on sea ships."

Jeros: "Forget I asked."

Lexis: [Calling over the intercom] "This is Lexis speaking. We're about to arrive at Alexia in about fifteen minutes. You'll want to get ready for landing before then."

Tia: [Grabbing the microphone] "Oh and Jeros, could you please change your pants? I don't want you walking around with a mess on you."

Jeros knew, the world was laughing at him. Even the crate in the corner was laughing. He didn't hear the rest of the ship, but he knows there has to be one snicker somewhere.

Jeros: [Holding his pants] "I have never been so embarrassed until now..."

o~-~-~-~o

Back in the Pilot's cabin, Lexis stretches before switching auto-pilot to off.

Lexis: [Looking at the monitor] "Oh, that's one for the scrap book! Tia, can you handle the landing please? Excellion feels a little heavier than usual and I don't trust myself to land it this time."

Tia: "Oh, that's right. I bought some ingredients in Sundletan before we came to Marse. When we get land in Alexia I'm going to cook a feast. It's been too long since all of us were together. I'll see if I can invite Aysel to join. I'm sure she'll be interested about our food as well."

Lexis: "Knowing that it's you're cooking, Tia, she'll be more than thrilled to have a mouthful if she can breathe after the first bite! Hah!"

Tia: "Or I can always overload the engines and land Excellion inside of the palace."

Lexis: [Frowns] "You have a point there." {I was hoping to live for a year or two longer. Ah well.}

o~-~-~-~o

Everyone on board prepares for landing. After changing his pants, Jeros looks out the window to see a small kingdom come into a bird's eye view. Well, a barony, but close enough to tell that this place is almost as big as Parcelyte. Tia brings in Excellion to hover next to the east gate where the land is flat enough. After Excellion lands, Jeros rushes to the side of the ship to see Barger and his daughter Pixie welcoming the entire party. Guy holds Jessy bridal style and leaps off the ship. Shortly after, Dekar escorts Tia off the ship. He is a gentleman after all. Once Aysel regained her senses, Jeros offers to help her off the ship. Angry, yet understanding, Aysel says only when she faints (which doesn't happen). After dropping off Tia's cargo via crane, Lexis bids farewell and fires off Excellion and heads to Platina.

Jeros walks to Barger to greet him.

Jeros: "Are you still breathing, old man?"

Barger: "Well, only when I'm making a deal. How have you been?"

Aysel: "The context sounds shallow."

In the background, a grey-red haired man puts down a metal tube next to a furnace. He stands up to greet his new guests in a whimsical rasp.

Jaffy: "You finally made it. It's been a very long time, Jeros. Welcome to Alexia."

Jeros: "It hasn't been that long Jaffy. Parcelyte is still the same since you left."

Jaffy: "I see. I hope you don't mind me asking. I'm a little homesick."

Jeros shakes his head, smiling. It's been almost a year since Jaffy moved to Alexia for work. Now the Sinistrals are gone, Parcelyte has no need for windows. Jaffy does prefer to make ruby red glass figurines over windows, but money is money. Jaffy is always tight with his budget. Also glass has not been in demand in Northland so Jaffy's business has been stale. Which is why Jaffy returned to recovering energy cores for Lexis, even though that business hasn't been paying either.

Remembering that this is an engineer who can reform wave cores, Aysel steps forward introducing herself.

Aysel: "Are you by chance Jaffy the glass blower?" [Bows] "I'm called Aysel, a Ruin Chaser. And I was wondering if..."

Barger: [Interrupting] "Well it's a pleasure to finally meet you, Ruin Chaser!" [Shakes Aysel's hand] "So you chased off that sea monster in Marse. I've been hearing a few rumors here and there. Good times bring good business. Right Jaffy?"

Jaffy sighs.

Aysel: [Nervously laughing] "That rumor is a little bent. Besides, Jeros is the one did the most damage. I was there for the final blow."

Jeros: "Now who's bending the truth?"

A tiny girl pulls on Jeros's pants leg. She smiles wide with her almond brown eyes and rosy red cheeks.

Pixie: "Jeros. Don't forget me. You promised."

Aysel: [Folding her arms] "Promised what?"

Barger: "Easy there. You need to introduce yourself first."

Pixie: "The cloaked lady is a stranger, and I'm not suppose to talk to them." [Giggles]

Jeros: "What if she's my friend?"

Pixie: "Then any friend of yours is a friend of mine." [Curtsies] "My name is Pixie Broach."

Aysel: [Bows] "It is very nice to meet you, Pixie."

Jeros: [Reaching for his satchel] "Oh before I forget..." [Pulls out a small box with a yellow ribbon] "Happy late birthday. I wasn't able to give it to you when you left so it's six months late."

Pixie: "Weee!" [Grabs the box]

Barger: "You always remember your promises. What do you say Pixie?"

Pixie: "Thank you Jeros."

Jeros: [Rubbing the back of his neck] "You're welcome, Pixie."

Barger: "Now how about a marriage, then? Pixie is a nice girl."

Jeros: "We've already been through this Barger."

Aysel: "Hmm... Most Lunethene tribes call adults as young as ten. Some get married before then."

Barger: [Laughing] "Yes, I'm sure. When I get back to Parcelyte I'll be sure to ask Eldin."

Jeros: "Have fun with that. The dork might take the offer."

Tia waves from the city gate.

Tia: [Shouting] "Jeros! We need to go, NOW!"

Barger: "Well, I shouldn't be wasting any more of your time. Now if you'll excuse me I have a market of antiques with my name on it. Come my little Pixie. Daddy has to go back to work."

Pixie is too enthralled by her present to care, but she leaves with Barger into the city.

Jeros: [Shouting to Tia] "Just a sec." [Sighs] "I really hate that guy."

Jaffy: "Barger is big to talk. Wastes more breath than I do sometimes. His daughter can sure steal attention." [Remembers that Aysel was interrupted] "I'm very sorry, but what was it that you wanted Aysel?"

Aysel: "Oh um... I have what I believe to be a dormant energy core. I've tried just about everything to get it to work. Even some illegal things. I heard that you can make them work and..."

Jaffy: "Hmm... Sounds like a blocked circuit. I'm sure I can help you with that."

Tia, growing impatient, beckons Jeros to hurry up.

Jaffy: Drop by the Baron's Inn on the south side of town. That's where I'm staying for work."

Jeros: "Sounds like a deal. We better get going. Take care, Jaffy."

Jaffy: "You too Jeros."

o~-~-~-~o

Jeros and Aysel walk down the worn cobblestone street. The city in general feels like a mix between Victorian and Gothic architecture. The central cathedral, guard house, and many of the taller buildings share the same slender pointed figure while the houses and shops share symmetrical broad roofs. The city streets are bustling with life with people walking around everywhere. It's astonishing how a single barony can grow a population half the size of Parcelyte in less than six months. Still, if it weren't for King Alex's finances, the barony would have never existed.

Jeros: "Wow, this place is alive."

Aysel: "Alexia holds the world record for the fastest growing population. In less than three months population grew from six to over a thousand citizens. The population just kept doubling after that."

Jeros: "How do they keep up with the population boom then?"

Aysel: "The baroness is quick to calculate and her business ethics are second to none. There was a wealthy business man from your nation, Rochy I think. She was able to get him to invest about five hundred thousand gold into the economy."

Jeros: "Rochy, IN-VEST-ING? He never invests. Well, he used to but now he lives off his stocks."

Aysel: "And we have benefited from his investment in Ruin Chasers' stocks greatly."

Jeros: "Hmm... I thought you were just a simple guild."

Aysel: "RC used to be a royal guild imposed by the Lamborghini family. But when their kingdom was destroyed in a terrible civil war decades ago, RC had to maul itself into a more conventional company."

Jeros: "Ruin Chasers are a corporation then."

Aysel: "Precisely."

Guard: "Hey! Get back here!"

A small person weaves in and out of the crowd. Following him is a full squad of heavily armored guards.

Jeros: "If the guards are here, the somethings wrong."

Guard: [Rushing] "Don't just stand there, catch that brat!"

The brat jumped in front of the guards. The guards stop dead in their tracks. Before the guards recover from the inertia, the brat makes a insulting face.

Brat: "Hahaha! Why are you standing there. You can't catch me in a bagillion years slowpokes."

Guard Captain: "Why the hell are you standing around, grab him!"

One of the guards leap to catch the brat only for the kid to jump over him, falling flat in the dirt. The kid lands on the guard and leaps onto one of the shops buildings.

Jeros stands in position waiting to see where the brat will leap.

Aysel: "Jeros? What are you doing?"

Jeros: "What does it look like? I'm going to see if I can catch him."

Aysel: [Shrugs] "Well, being a vigilante isn't my best interest at the moment."

Aysel reaches into Jeros's shirt.

Jeros: [Blushes] "Aysel, what are you..."

Aysel: "I don't need you to lose this." [Pulls Asguard's stone and replaces it into her sleeve]

The brat looks down to see if the coast is clear. If anything he can merge with the crowd and lose the guards. Jeros sees the brat peering into the crowds. The brat jumps down from a roof top into an ally way. Just as he was about to sneak into the crowd, Jeros snags the brat by his shirt.

Jeros: "I got you!"

Brat: [Snickering] "Guess again" [Slides off his shirt]

Jeros: "Huh?"

After the brat slides down his shirt, he somersault kicks Jeros into the trash bins. The brat grabs his shirt and disappears in the crowd. The guards were running down the ally when they saw Jeros down.

Guard: "What happened, kid?"

Jeros nips up fist clinching, teeth grinding, and his red pony tail unraveled.

Jeros: [Yelling] "I'm gonna kill that brat!"

Jeros tears through the crowd looking for the brat who kicked him in the trash. If there's anything you never do to Jeros, is mess up his hair. It's an ego thing, but Jeros's keeps his hair long in memory of his great aunt Louisa who was always fond of Maxim's hair.

Aysel hid in the shade of the ally, pulling down her hood to see Jeros storming this way. Aysel feels warm moist skin underneath her cloak. Sure, it's summer time but Aysel isn't one to sweat in her cloak. She hears a perverted snicker, confirming who's underneath.

Aysel folds her legs around the brat's neck.

Aysel: "Fufufufu. You like hiding underneath ladies' skirts don't you? I hope you enjoy this as much as I do."

Aysel twists her abdomen trying to strangle the brat, but his sweaty skin lubes him free from her thighs of death. The brat crawls from underneath her and dashes off panicking. Aysel loses her balance and falls down.

Aysel: [Shouts] "Sweaty little pervert!"

Aysel stands up and fixes her cloak. Jeros runs past her along with the guards following her. Aysel jumps from building to building.

o~-~-~-~o

Jeros runs down the main road until he comes across a fork. Jeros stops to catch his breath. Aysel jumps down from the roof top next to Jeros.

Jeros: [Panting] "I thought he wasn't your interest."

Aysel: "The little Tommy peeper made things personal."

Jeros: "It's peeping Tom. Wait, what?"

Aysel: "Have any idea where he's going."

Jeros: "He turned on one of these roads."

Aysel: "The roads only merge into a single street." [Pull her hood] "Split up and catch?"

Jeros: "Let's go for it!"

Aysel and Jeros take separate roads. Aysel took the left road into the residential district while Jeros took the right to Market. The brat sneaks an apple into his pocket from one of the vendors. Looking behind he sees Jeros looking back at him.

Apple Vendor: "Hey brat! You need to pay for that."

The brat jumps over the apple stall. Jeros slides underneath the stall keeping up his momentum. The brat swerves and rolls through the pottery and jewelry stands. To make up for size Jeros leaps over the pottery, accidentally bumping into one of the jar holders causing her to drop the jar.

Jeros: "Sorry!"

The brat runs to the ally way until he finds a dead end to the fence. Jeros stands ready to catch him. He lunges, but the brat jumps on Jeros's head reaching the roof top.

Once on the roof, the brat quickly dodged all three of Aysel's throwing knives, back-flipping to the edge of the roof. The brat then jumps onto the road while Aysel follows him on the roof tops. Aysel pulls out three needles and threw them into the brat's path. The brat was cornered into another ally way, this time blocked by a fence.

Aysel: "You want to try to run underneath me again?" [Unsheathes her blade] "Go ahead."

Brat: "Meh, your butts cute, but not attractive. And get a tan, lady, you look like the ghost of the snot monster." [Laughs]

Aysel: "Such an uninspiring insult." [Glares into the brats eyes, smiling] "You deserve to die now."

The brat let out an "eep" before finding a hole underneath the fence. He crawls through it just before Aysel slashes at his neck.

Aysel: "Just a little farther, hang in there iyehn."

The brat climbs from the fence into the Market Street. This time in the Bazaar. He looks to see Jeros casually walking forward towards him. The brat looks around for an opening, but can't find a break. He does see a prized stuffed swordfish owned by the Bazaar owner. He grabs the sword fish and jumps on the counter.

Brat: "You'll never take me alive!"

Jeros: "Lovely, that's the third time I've been threatened death by fish." {First the pie, then those pikes and now this.}

The people of the Bazaar watch Jeros closely. Knowing that his father's broadsword will cause too much collateral damage, he pulls out his pot lid and long knife.

Jeros: "Have at you!"

Jeros charges forward with a slash, but the brat parries it with the swordfish.

Jeros: "Not bad, you know how to fence."

Brat: "Not just any kind of fencing. Dirty fencing magikawa!"

Jeros: "Magi... Agh!"

The brat whipped the swordfish's nose into Jeros's groin. Jeros holds his crotch with his shield. Holding out the knife. The brat then starts to thrust and swish. Jeros deflects every attack with the knife. Although the Bazaar owner's concerned with his trophy, he and his customers are enjoying the fight. For the next round, bets are called. Jeros advances forward with the knife, the brat knocks away the knife only to get a shield in his face. The brat rubs his face to see blood dripping from his nose.

Brat: "Ugh! Illegal move! No shield bashing"

Jeros: "This isn't dirty fencing. This is street fighting! Everything's legal."

Bazaar owner: "As long as I get my trophy back, anything goes. C'mon guys, finish the fight!"

Everyone: "Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight!"

Jeros and the brat clash once more. Just as when the brat thought he disarmed Jeros's knife, Jeros grabs his sword arm, blocking the swordfish with his shield, and twists the brat's arm, causing him to drop the swordfish. Jeros grabs the swordfish and tosses it to back to its rightful owner. The brat then grabs Jeros's long knife holding it defensively.

Brat: "I lost the fish, but I picked up a blade."

Jeros draws his flame engulfed broadsword.

Brat: "Uhhh... Ahhhh... You having a big sword means you have a big ego but you're small in the trunk. I'm keeping the knife." [Runs away]

Jeros: [Dumbfounded] "What's that suppose to mean? Hey! Give me back my knife!"

Bazaar Owner: "I think you deserve an upgrade, here."

The bazaar owner gives Jeros a combat dagger and a targe to go with it.

Jeros: "Glad you liked the show... Nuts he's getting ahead! I have to go. Thanks for the gift."

Bazaar Owner: "Come back here any time, adventurer."

Jeros nods to the owner and sprints off.

o~-~-~-~o

Jeros sees Aysel ahead on the roof trying to slow the brat down with needles. Aysel struck the brat in the leg with one of the needles. The brat fell down in the middle of the street. Jeros was able to catch up in time to cut off his escape.

Jeros: "You have no where else to go. Give in?"

Brat: "You should be the ones to give up! You just jumped on the chase without knowing what's what."

The brat pulls out a golden pin with a vial at the end and injects himself with it. The pin neutralized the tranquilizer in the needle. The brat stands up waiting for Aysel and Jeros to corner him.

Jeros: "It's now or never!"

Jeros and Aysel dog pile on the brat. The brat throws a smoke bomb on the ground. After rolling around in a smoke screen, Aysel realizes that that she was pulling on Jeros's belt while Jeros was pulling on Aysel's cloak. The brat looks down on the ground, snickering.

Brat: "Next time mind your own business..."

Out of no where, a hook wraps itself around the Brat's leg.

Brat: "What's the big idea?"

The brat screams while being dragged off the roof. Before he fell face first into the cobblestone, the hook's rope bungees him in mid air. Tia is sitting on the fire escape with her suit case watching the hanging brat swing.

Tia: [Holds out her hand] "Are you going to give back what you took?"

Brat: "Peh! You win. Here's the stuff. It's not worth the money if I'm executed." [Throws an envelope and a leather parchment on the ground] "It was only for medicine money for a sick sibling.." [Puppy-dog eyes] "Can you blame me when special medicines are top price?"

Tia: "Well, you should attend to your sibling before the guards catch you."

Tia releases the hook and the brat somersaults to the ground.

Brat: "That was fun. Thanks for letting me go!" [Runs out of sight holding something] {Sucker with a capital S.}

Tia sighs, she has always been a sucker for the sick family story. Jeros waves to Tia from.

Jeros: "You know, you probably shouldn't let him go from hearing that."

Tia: "He said his sibling was sick with watering eyes. I couldn't turn him in."

Jeros: [Sigh] "You're such a country bumpkin. You really live in the city once in a while. You pick up on these things. I doubt that little shop in Elcid is going anywhere."

Tia: [Scowling] "What are you saying about Recipe?"

Jeros: "Obvious lie is obvious. He would've been more specific if it was a brother or cousin if he wasn't lying. Probably would've told you the siblings name too. Might want to check your pockets too."

Tia: "Hmph! Coming from someone who thought he was chasing a thief." [Finds out that her coin purse is gone] "My purse!" [Growls] "That brat stole my purse!"

Jeros: "Told ya."

Aysel arrives underneath the fire escape. She holds up Asguard's stone to Tia.

Aysel: "Money is easy to find. As long as we hold this stone, we can keep having land to live in."

Tia: [Smiles] "Maybe that's something Maxim would say too. I don't want to throw that away."

Jeros: "So we have to keep fighting."

Tia: "Yeah... {Even when the Sinistrals are gone.} [Sighs] "For once I would like things to be normal."

Jeros: "What's this 'normal'? You're one of the weirdest people I know Tia. Then again everyone I know is weird."

Tia: "Hey. I'm just a little tired of fighting. That's all."

Jeros: [Yawns] "Did I not sleep for three days again?"

Jeros collapses on the ground. Aysel holds up Jeros. Tia climbs down the stairs to help Jeros up.

Tia: "Sometimes when he gets excited, he doesn't sleep for days."

Aysel: "Hmm... I've been up longer than that. Today was suppose to be my bed time. My skin's burning a little."

Tia: "I have some ointment for sun burns if you would like some. It even has anesthetic for the pain."

Aysel: "That would be nice. I just use raw aloe vera extract mostly."

Tia: "You know, you remind me of someone from a long time ago."

Aysel: "Oh? Who might that person be?"

Tia: "Well, it's a very long story. I'll tell you on the way."

o~-~-~-~o

Tia and Aysel carry Jeros to the north, where the castle watches over the city. On the way Tia tells Aysel about her journey with Maxim during the Doom Island war about the many times she would always get herself in trouble and how Maxim would always rescues her. Tia also told Aysel of a Priestess of Runa who traveled with them. She was a humble kind woman. A little silly sometimes but Iris is always willing to help those in need. Only in appearance does Aysel remind Tia of her. The two had clashing personalities. Nonetheless Iris stayed with the group until that day...

Aysel: "What happened then?"

Tia: "Iris betrayed everyone. All this time she was Erim in disguise. Because of her, Maxim and Selan stayed on Doom Island. It's her fault that they're gone. Jeros wouldn't of been an orphan if she didn't exist."

Aysel: "Wow, that's harsh even for a god. I wonder if Iris... I mean Erim regrets betraying her friends in the end?"

Tia: "I stopped caring about her. Maxim should've done the same otherwise he would still be alive."

Tia and Aysel lay Jeros on a bench outside the palace gate. Watching the young lad sleep brings a great joy to Tia. Jeros was the only thing Maxim left behind in this world. As the closest mother he has, it was Tia's duty to keep him safe.

And yet Jeros is a warrior. Not only a warrior but a tactition. Aside from his grades in school Tia would be fine if Jeros settled into a career with Parcelyte's military. Instead he chose a life of adventure. Northland was starting to get a little too quiet even for Tia's taste. Then again, Tia is a sucker for adventure as well. She enjoys exploring over fighting. And yet even if she was able to settle down, adventure would call her back. Tia would happily bring her child to travel with her. Tia would show them the world by to the strongest husband in the world to protect them.

If Tia had a child. That dream died with her first and last born.

Tia holds her abdomen. She looks as if she's about to cry.

A pair of Alexian soldiers march through the gate.

Soldier: "Ruin Chaser Lhe'thalla. The baroness wants to see you and Jeros Caliburn immediately."

Aysel: "Thank you soldier, tell her excellency that I will arrive in a few minutes."

Soldier: "Yes mam."

The soldiers salute and return to their post. Aysel shakes Jeros awake from his power nap. After a quick last minute grooming, the two bid Tia fair well and heads through the castle gate.

*~End Chapter
Last edited by DarkMaster2101 on Fri Mar 04, 2011 1:53 am, edited 10 times in total.

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DarkMaster2101
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Postby DarkMaster2101 » Sat Dec 19, 2009 7:34 pm

WARNING: Many people will claim this as a filler chapter, I disagree. Remember, I wrote all the Moonstone Chapters in advance so I edit out all the unnecessary content. Also for fans of Tia, I'm sorry for what happens to her. Not a spoiler unless you stop reading here. :D Also, don't try to hunt me down to do things personally. I heard children are tastey...

Err... Pretend you didn't read that.

DISCLAIMER: This story is a not-for-profit fan fiction inspired by the Estpolis/Lufia franchise written only for entertainment purposes. All content relating to the Estpolis/Lufia series, including characters, scenario and reference, is owned by Square Enix, Taito, NATSUME: Serious Fun, ATLUS, and Neverland Company. Please support the official release. Content and references to other stories may appear from time to time, and they are properties of their respected holders. Content from other stories are not used without direct permission.

Stories used: Dawn and Dusk (c) Guard Daos 2008-2009.

o~-~-~-~o

Walking up the palace's steps, Jeros yawns and stretches. Aysel on the other hand looks around the palace garden. Aside from the solid stone castle walls, the gardens were filled with exotic flowers she never seen before. Many flowers are shaped like bells while some had wide blooms. Others bud within their own petals. Nonetheless, most flowers yield a bright pastel color. There are pale-colored flowers here and there, yet those yield the sweetest perfumes.

There is one flower which stands out the most. Tiny tear-drop shaped buds lay underneath the ancient relic of Count Kirof (which is nothing more than a helmet and two broken swords rescued by the baroness herself). Jeros walks towards the relic after seeing Aysel idling below.

Jeros: "Priphea, hmm... I never seen one bloom before. I heard they're gorgeous when they do."

Aysel: "So that's what these are. I remember seeing them in bloom. Next to trees, Priphea are the longest living flora discovered."

Jeros: "Yeah... I wonder why they're under here?"

Aysel: "Jeros. Do you know of the tragedy of Kirof?"

Jeros: "Can't say I heard of it. Everything here is new to me."

Aysel: [Nods] "I noticed. No more than four years ago, the Medanites reclaimed the lands of the eastern range from the Lunethene. The Lunethene settled a camp there to cut off supplies to Ft. Lobernia. Narseby made a deal with the Medanites saying if they can annihilate the Lunethene camps, then the Medanites will have their land back. Count Kirof, a Medanite noble, was appointed as warden and constructed a prison to break the captured Lunethene. Due to a mistake in Lunethene translation, the prison was built on top of a mass grave. When the Medanites finally activated the energy core for a new security system, the core surged energy waves into the ground. The prison took months to construct, but in less than a day it was completely destroyed by Lunethene and Medanite undead."

Jeros: "No kidding! How can an energy core animate the dead?"

Aysel: [Shakes her head] "No, surge was more of a catalyst which the spirits used to reanimate their bodies. Because Kirof desecrated a burial ground he and his family were sentenced to death."

Jeros: "A little much, don't you think."

Aysel: "I can say it was an overreaction. No matter, only a small handful of Kirof's children escaped to meet an untimely end. Many of his children were torn apart by wild monsters. However only one child was never found."

Jeros: "Who became Baroness Ethel Verkopen. I wondered why she changed her last name."

Aysel: "Probably to avoid Medanite bounty hunters. Well, when she was wandering the wilderness she found a Bound squire. She gave the him her father's signet in exchange for protection."

Jeros: "Wouldn't the squire protect her without payment. Trust me, I had a few nominations to be a Gratze Knight."

Aysel: "Gratze? Interesting that they would have any interest in you."

Jeros: "I think Alex pushed his brother to have his dad-in-law nominate me. As you were saying?"

Aysel: "Well, I think she gave him the ring so that he'll keep her secret. Not exactly payment, but more of a safe keeping of word. Eventually she grew to be a merchant, mostly haggling for overpriced expired produce. When the town had a convention to discuss their poor economics, Ethel brought a few solutions and created many compromises. When Alexia gained declared itself a state, the population chose Ethel as Baron."

Jeros: "I wonder what happened to the squire then?"

Aysel: "He was knighted by Alex for his example in honor. If the squire would've turned in Ethel to the bounty hunters, Alexia and Medan would still be allies. Instead he allowed her to be free and fulfill her dream in Alexia."

Jeros: "I'm a little jealous. I would never want to experience my family's execution, but to live for my dreams without my father's name would be nice." [Sigh]

Aysel: [Looking down] "My blood is of Lunethene tribe. No matter which name I take, my heritage will always stink to your people."

Jeros: [Mumbling] {I wonder how Iris feels about this?}

Aysel: [Curious] "Iris?"

Jeros: "Gah, never mind. You really don't stink though." [Sniffing] "You smell nice, like cinnamon actually."

Aysel: [Force palms Jeros in the face, blushing] "Please! I meant it as a figure of speech."

Jeros: [Rubbing his nose] "Yeouch! Sorry. You need to let me know about these things. You still smell nice."

Before Aysel becomes more flustered, both she and Jeros arrive at the throne chamber's gates. Two guards salute and tell Jeros and Aysel to halt until her excellency is ready. Aysel turns to Jeros.

Aysel: "Say Jeros, if you were nominated for knighthood then why did you decline?"

Jeros: "I don't deserve it. Most knights spend their entire life training and yet I was chosen because of my blood. I do agree that knights have to be born. Yet I also believe knights have to set an example as well. At least with Parcelyte I was awarded scholarships to their military academy because of my good grades in school. Enlisting in the military was the biggest career I considered. It would have set me for life, even then I won't be satisfied."

Aysel: "Then what do you want to be then?"

Jeros: "I know the idea is childish, but I always wanted to be a simple adventurer. Explore the world," [Pretending to swing his sword] "Fighting monsters and finding lost treasures of old. Whether I'm questing for riches or saving the world from Sinistrals..." [laughing] "Eh heheh... Sinistrals. They're not coming back." [sigh] "It really isn't as secure as a military career. Now that the skirmish is over, there's really no need for adventurers in this modern age." [Looking out the window] "I really need to pick another dream."

Aysel: "Sometimes we can't have what we dreamed for. Then again..." [holds out Asguard's stone] "What we think we've dreamed might not what we wanted in our hearts."

Guard: "Her excellency is ready for you."

The guards open the gate.

Jeros: "Thank you, sir."

o~-~-~-~o

Jeros looks around the throne room upon entering. The decor is an anachronism of the three nations of Northland. The architecture is almost identical to Bound's throne room. However two large windows inspired by Gratze shine light into the room. And a ring of water flows from four fountains on each corner around the throne shows inspiration from Parcelyte's President's office. The only original piece of the room is a pair of ruby red glass angels holding up a medium sized energy core embedded in a gilded replica of the Dual Blade (compared to photos Lexis took of Dual Blade for research, the replica is done quite well).

Her Excellency, Baroness Ethel Verkopen, is dressed in her favorite gold-trimmed lavender robe (she would wear her business dress, but because Jeros was late she decided to dress in something more comfortable). She averts her gray eyes to the half armored knight beside her. The dark haired knight is a gruff looking man. He isn't as tall as Dekar, but almost the same height (Dekar is a tall man, taller than Maxim). His armored hand sits above his unarmored one holding a lance pointing upward. A full heater shield rests on the knight's back. The baroness smiles at the sight of her guests. Jeros is amazed at how old-fashioned the baroness is dressed; she even has a sapphire jeweled tiara on top of her khaki buns.

Herald: "I present to you the Hydora slayers. Ruin Chaser Aysel and Jeros, son of Maxim Caliburn."

Baroness: [Sits up] "You may leave now herald. This is business between Ruin Chaser, Caliburn and I."

Herald: "But, what about the..."

Baroness: "This isn't a ceremony nor is it a convention. Formal procedures are not required."

Herald: [Glares] "Yes, your excellency."

The herald, Herald walks out of the throne room squeezing his fists. Jeros watches the herald leave and steps forward.

Jeros: "I was nervous for a moment. I thought this was going to be a formal meeting, your excellency."

Baroness: "It was originally, however time is of late. I did summon you half a day ago."

Jeros: [Rubs the back of his head, looking down] "Oops."

Knight: "Oops indeed. Nonetheless you have made it. Most don't dare to attend a late meeting in fear of interrupting the baroness's schedule."

Jeros: "I'm sorry. We were distracted and..."

Aysel: "We? As I recall you rushed off to chase that brat. I had to follow you."

Jeros: "Oh, and if you would've captured the kid and not let him slide under..."

The knight clears his throat deeply, tapping his lance on the ground. Jeros and Aysel swallowed their argument.

Baroness: [In a sharp tone] "Childish excuses aside..."

Jeros and Aysel shudder.

Baroness: "If it were not for you two, the operation to seize Ft. Lobernia would of been sabotaged. In sense, your tardiness is a blessing in disguise." [Looking at the knight] "Sir Bosch, please relax. They're still children."

Bosch: "I understand your, highness." [Smiling] "I suggest that we stay on task then?"

Jeros: [Smiling] "I am eighteen years old. Still, I'm glad I could help."

Bosch: "Indeed."

Aysel: [Elbows Jeros] "Speaking of task, why is it that you have summoned us personally?"

Jeros: [Whispering] {Ouch! That hurt. You're starting to act like Jessy.}

Aysel: [Whispering] {Just shut up and listen. Sooner I go to bed, the sooner I'll stop pestering you.}

Jeros: {Thanks.}

Baroness: "I have a behest for you, Caliburn and Lhe'thalla."

Jeros: "A behest, as in a quest?"

Baroness: "A quest is another way of saying it but yes."

Aysel: "Isn't issuing behests to travelers illegal now days?"

Baroness: [Shakes her head] "You and Caliburn are apart of registered guilds: Ruin Chasers and the Guy Legion I believe."

Jeros: "Oh yeah! I almost forgotten about that?" {You really pulled some strings for me, Aunt Jess.}

Baroness: "Let's continue. A camp of goblins has been sighted in Chatam Plateau. The camp holds a small tribe nothing you cannot handle."

Jeros: "Sounds easy enough."

Aysel: [Waving]"Well, then I hope you can take them. I'm going to bed."

Aysel turns around and starts walking out of the room.

Jeros: [Holding up his hand] "Wait! Aysel."

Aysel: "I'm sorry, your excellency, as a Ruin Chaser I can only accept contracts related to our interest. Last time I checked, monster hunting is not an academic interest." [Bows] "You also have to consult the guild if you want to request specific personnel. Though you have to sit out a waiting list."

Baroness: "I have contacted the guild and specifically requested you. Your contract is ready."

Aysel: [Surprised] {What's wrong with the guild!} "We're archeologists, not monster hunters!" [Thumbs to Jeros] "Pony boy here is enough here for a pack of goblins. I've seen him in action."

Jeros: [Growls] "I thought we were past the 'pony-boy' thing."

Baroness: "True. On the surface, this behest is a simple monster hunt. Your assistance is mandatory for another reason. Bosch, would you like to explain the rest?"

Jeros: "Another reason? I knew it." [Folds his arms] "Unless these goblins like open fields, I doubt that they set up camp to smell flowers in the valley."

Aysel: "Goblins do like closed spaces. That's usually where they fight best."

Bosch: "Then listen well. Scouts have reported a strange humanoid-like creature leading the goblins to the camp. Goblins leaving the Sheran region to pillage travelers is not uncommon, though these pillages only occur in tunnels and caves. However the creature leading the goblins is not natural."

Aysel: "How unnatural is this creature? Many creatures mutated from Glasdar's cataclysmic energy waves."

Bosch: "The creature was sighted to have some sort of rune on its face."

Aysel gasps. Jeros wonders why Aysel is shocked. The creature must be something else if Aysel is surprised.

Jeros: "So this 'rune-faced freak' might be leading the goblins." [Slams fist in palm] "So we storm in and take them out right?"

Aysel: "If we're dealing with those, then we're dealing with a sentient being. We need to use caution Jeros."

Jeros: "So this thing can think like a human. Hmm... That changes plans." [Remembering] "It sounds like a distraction. Combine that with the brat we chased."

Baroness: "I see... The creatures at Ft. Lobernia have been organizing, perhaps for an assault."

Jeros: "What if the kid read the order before we caught him. And if these 'rune-faces' can think like us..." [Realizes the monster's plans] "Keep your soldiers home..."

Bosch: "I was going to say that's we have already anticipated the most likely outcome. Though not many men pick up a plan so suddenly. You're not as gung-ho as I thought."

Aysel: "Iyehn always assess impossibilities before battle. Then again Iyehn are inexperienced."

Jeros: "Right... What she said." {That sounded like I made an ass out of myself. -_-'}

Bosch: "If dividing our defenses is their plan, then we will lure them into their own trap." [Turns to Baroness] "I assume that the creatures at camp are gathering intelligence as we speak. If goblins are going to lure out even a small ounce of our forces, then we'll lose men to reclaim the fortress. Your excellency! We must focus on an offense. Once the camp has been routed, I will take my men and attack the fortress's flank."

Baroness: "No, Sir Bosch. Their plans are still in dense fog. You do have a bad habit of jumping to conclusions."

Bosch: "You never know, you're excellency."

Baroness: [Yawns] "Nonetheless we will discuss those plans first thing in the morning. Tomorrow begins another day. Everyone on both sides are tired from travel. The assault won't happen any time soon. "Good health is apart of preparation." [speaking in a gentle voice] "You need to rest as well."

Bosch, flustered, tilts his head in a sigh. Acknowledging his orders, he bows and sits himself down. Jeros also remembers Jaffy still needs to fix Aysel's energy core. Exhaustion slightly tugs Jeros's body once again. Seeing the exhaustion in his eyes, Aysel places her hand on Jeros's shoulder.

Aysel: "Is that all details of the contract. No other conditions?"

Baroness: "There is one more detail. Upon completion of the contract, the Barony will pay each of you one thousand, five hundred gold. That's including deductions from contract fees."

Jeros: [Eyes widen up] "Fifteen hundred! I can eat on three hundred a month but still..."

Baroness: "Do we have a deal?"

Jeros looks at Aysel. Even she can't believe the barony is paying that much. She has received heavier sums, but the guild eats out most of the money for benefits and contract fees. If she's receiving fifteen hundred after deductions, then this is the most she's been paid yet. Jeros on the other hand is not thinking of gold. There's a fire burning in his eyes unlike no other. For the first time in his life, Jeros can finally do what he always dreamed of. Sure the risk is high and that rune-faced monster is going to be tough to counter, but Jeros can officially do what his blood has calling for eighteen years.

Jeros: "This is a deal I can't refuse." [Thumbs up] "I'll take what I can get."

Aysel: [Nods] {And I'm one step closer to finding you.}

Baroness: "Then we have an agreement."

The baroness stands up.

Baroness: "Rest well tonight. You will need all of your strength for tomorrow."

Jeros and Aysel bow to the baroness and take their leave. Bosch peers at Jeros with his dark eyes. He sees before him a prodigy unlike no other. Bosch has read reports on Jeros denying knighthood nominations for both Gratze and Bound. Jeros has also received scholarships to Parcelyte's military academy which can set him for a career in life.

Yet the boy keeps true to his faith living his childhood dream. Perhaps it's Maxim's blood or perhaps he wants to live for what little excitement this world has left. Nonetheless his type are what legends speak of.

A stagnant air of evil still hallows the sky. Doom Island has fallen, yet hard times are still ahead.

o~-~-~-~o

*~Moonstone Chapter Part 4: Maxim's Legacy~*

o~-~-~-~o

By the time Jeros and Aysel reach the south gate, the sun tucks itself under the horizon. Throughout the walk, Jeros is lost in thought. For the first time in his life opportunity rises for Jeros to live as an adventurer. Although Aysel has her worries about the unknown creature, she can't help but smile every time she sees that dumb look on Jeros's face.

Aysel was never one to get along with. She always kept to herself with her emotions. Even with her close friends she hardly smiles. She doesn't make friends often due to her Lunethene heritage, and even then friends were more like business partners. And yet this stranger makes her comfortable with her own emotions.

There is this strange aura with Jeros. When Aysel stands beside him, it feels as if hope is embracing her. Looking at Jeros for the first time then, he was a cocky runt with a girly hair style. Looking at him now, Jeros is quite handsome. Jeros still looks to feminine for a full grown male. Even if you cut his hair, his light build and complexion still makes him look girly. Luckily, his leather jacket, knee length pants, and heavy boots hide this trait. It makes Aysel wonder what Jeros would look like wearing a full dress...

Aysel chuckles at the thought. Jeros, returning to earth, looks at Aysel with a raised eyebrow.

Jeros: "What's so funny?"

Aysel: [Jumping at Jeros's question] "Oh, nothing." [Blushes]

Jeros: [Rubbing the back of his head] "You can tell me. I mean if you have something on your mind then say it. I won't mind at all. I promise."

Aysel: "Well don't get mad but..." [Twitters her fingers] "You... After I looked again you really look like a girl."

Jeros: [Sighs, then chuckles] "That's nothing new. Everyone did say I look like my mother, except for the red hair that is. I was made fun of so much about it in school. I asked auntie if I can cut my hair so many times, but it reminded her of Maxim. She always wanted dad to grow his hair long after the wedding. He even made a promise that when he came back, he would."

Aysel: "Even though Maxim isn't here, it seems that he's apart of your life. Even now."

Jeros: "I know that mom and dad will always be here in my heart, even if I hardly remember them. But sometimes I want to break away from their legacy and make my own. I get sick of others having expectations for me. That's why I declined knighthood. My parents died so that I can live my life, not theirs." [Looks up] "Whether I'm a warrior or a farmer, they would want me to live to the fullest no matter what. I'll always disappoint them with a few things, especially declining the scholarship, but I know that they will always be proud of me trying." [Laughs] "It sounds like a perfect family, doesn't it?"

Aysel: [Looking down] "I can't say the same for my family..."

Jeros: "Have you thought about what it would be like growing up with your family?"

Aysel: [Shaking her head] "I don't need to. I already know."

Jeros: "Then tell me. Someday, when you're ready."

Aysel: [Looking to the side] "That day will be long off."

Jeros looks at Aysel with his deep blue eyes. He places his hand upon her shoulder.

Jeros: "I can see it hurts. I can't empathize with you, nor can I sympathize. I can only listen if you're willing to speak."

Aysel pushes Jeros to the ground. Aysel pauses out of her reaction. Jeros stands up.

Jeros: "I understand... I'm sorry."

Aysel: "You don't understand, so don't apologize. Let's not get too close."

Jeros: "Why not, can we not be friends?"

Aysel remembers some long lost memories of her childhood, not of images but of feelings and instincts. She clinches her fist, frustrated upon the destiny she was bred for.

Aysel: "You'll only get hurt if you do..."

Aysel runs off into the inn. Jeros holds his arm out, calling her.

Jeros: "Wait! Aysel..." [sighs] {What did I do wrong?}

o~-~-~-~o

Jaffy bumps into Aysel on his way to the inn's entrance. Jaffy sees Jeros sulking outside. He walks to Jeros placing his hand on Jeros's shoulder.

Jaffy: "I have been married for almost thirty years, and I still don't understand women."

Jeros: [Smiling] "Tia would so beat you if she heard that."

Jaffy chuckles at Jeros's comment.

Jaffy: "All I can say is take your time with these things. You're still young, so you have a life time ahead of you. That's plenty of time to have her open up."

Jeros: "Why do I have the feeling that was directed towards me dating someone."

Jaffy: "Only if you think so. Still, there's plenty of opportunities for love and heart break out there. Your first might not be it."

Jeros: "Hmm... That's why I talk to you about these things I guess. You don't assume things."

Jaffy: [Laughs] "I suppose. This is an opinion, but I'm sure you're the person she'll need and vice versa."

Jeros: [Sighs] "After that fiasco, I doubt it."

Jaffy: "How far you're willing to go is up to you."

Jaffy looks at Jeros back to see Jero's broadsword with an energy core attached to it. Jaffy also sees a dagger and shield hooked onto the sword's sheath.

Jaffy: "Jeros, may I see your weapons?"

Jeros: "Sure, I trust you." [Unlocks the belt to the weapons] "What for?"

Jaffy: "There's another reason why Tia is here with Lexis. We're almost done creating a new type of wave device. Naturally a weapon has to be forged into a wave device in order to use an energy core. That's why weapons are expensive now. Tia told Lexis an idea about how to create a versatile wave device that you can attach to any weapon and use its power."

Jeros: "I had my taste with energy cores when I was in Marse. Crossfire made a difference."

Jaffy: "Crossfire? Hmm... Is that Maxim's old broadsword."

Jeros: [Holds out the broadsword] "Yeah... Now that I think about it. It's the same sword he held in Tia's photo album."

Jaffy: "I don't understand how you found his sword here, but Maxim's energy core should be perfect for the device."

Jeros: "I didn't find it. It was given to me by Iris. She saved me when I was drowning in the sub-canals."

Jaffy: [Shocked] "I see..." [whispers to Jeros] "Let's keep Iris a secret."

Jeros: "Why though? Iris always helped out during the Doom Island War."

Jaffy: "Well, I don't know if you know, but those who fought with Maxim have a huge vice with her name, especially Tia. Iris is suppose to be dead, Jeros."

Jeros: "Really! Why didn't anyone told me about this?"

Jaffy: "This is the first time I heard of you and Iris. How long has this been going on?"

Jeros: "She's always... I mean I feel that she's around when I'm alone and upset. She feels more like a spirit than a stalker. It's as if she protected me my whole life. Whenever I got into danger, Iris seems to be there to bail me out. I just picked the name randomly without thinking. She was more like a guardian angel than a ghost."

Jaffy: "Well, then there's nothing we can do about that. Still, keep it a secret. We don't need to stress Tia more than she needs to. She's out of medicine now."

Jeros: "I see..." {That's why she's more agitate than normal.}

Jaffy: [Smiles] "So you named Maxim's energy core Crossfire eh?"

Jeros: "Well, if he didn't name it then that's its name now."

Jaffy: "Hmm... That might start a new trend, if the device works."

Tia enters the inn with a crate and dolly in one hand and her suitcase in the other. Jeros stands up to greet Tia.

Jeros: "Need some help?"

Tia: [Smiles] "Why, thank you Jeros. I don't have to force you like I did Maxim to help."

Jeros: "Don't remind me... You know why I volunteer."

Jeros grabs the dolly only to find out that it's a little too heavy.

Jeros: "What the heck is in this thing! A ton of weights?"

Tia: "Oh! The junk shop at the Bazaar was having a closing sale so I bought a few hundred pounds of scrap metal."

Jeros: {Man, he must of had really bad business. Guess that fight didn't help out.} [Finally pushes the dolly up] "That new device better be worth this strain."

Tia: [Cheers] "Put your back into it! If I can push it with one hand then you can do it with two." {Ugh, men are so useless now days.}

Aysel walks down the stairs watching Jeros push the crate upstairs.

Jeros: [Mumbling] {You didn't have to push this junk upstairs now did you.}

Aysel can't help but let out a small laugh at Jero's puny attempt.

Jeros: "Feeling better? Then help me push this upstairs."

Aysel: "Nah, you're almost there. Careful not to..."

Out of nowhere Dekar jumps down the stairs causing Jeros to slips and almost fall down.

Jeros: "I'm slipping!"

Dekar: "I heard heavy things needed moving. If there's another thing I'm best at, is moving..."

Jeros: "Yeah yeah! You're the best at everything except not dying, kicking, and making love in bed." [Shouting] "Now grab this before I slip and die!"

Dekar pushes the crate upstairs into Jaffy's bedroom one handed. Jeros is on all fours panting. Aysel is sitting on the second step of the stairs legs crossed.

Jeros: [Panting] "That's why we love you Dekar..." [Stands up] "Is that the only one?"

Tia: "There's about four bigger ones outside."

Jeros: [Groans] "How many components do you need for one device?"

Tia: "There was a sale, Jeros. I can't resist a good bargain."

Dekar: "If there's anything better than finding what you want, then it's finding useless stuff for cheap. Right Tea-leaf?"

Tia pulls Dekar's ear.

Tia: "Now if only my big loveable idiot didn't run off and get lost in town I wouldn't have to carry all this stuff by myself."

Dekar: "Yeouch! You know I'm the best at getting lost in places I never been, Tea."

Tia: "Just forget it, Dekar, and help me move stuff." [Sees Aysel] "Oh! Aysel, the inn keeper is off tonight and he's letting me borrow his kitchen. Would you like have dinner with us."

Aysel: "Dinner? Uh... Sure why..."

Jeros: [Butting in] "Don't you have to report to RC or something?"

Aysel: [Pushes Jeros's face with her foot] "I can stay for dinner. I have the report ready to submit. I can turn it in tomorrow."

Jeros: [Whispering] {You just signed your death wish.}

Aysel: "I heard about Tia's legendary cooking. I have to taste it for myself."

Dekar: "She said she wanted to try Tia's cooking? Wow, you must be either brave or..."

Tia jumps on Dekar's back with a full hug (and the suitcase's chainsaw behind her).

Dekar: "Huh. Look at the time! His majesty is waiting for me at the castle."

Dekar barges out the door.

Jaffy: "I'll stay for dinner if you would like, Tia."

Tia: [smiles] "Thank you Jaffy." [Turns to Aysel] "So you heard my cooking is 'legendary'?"

Jeros: {Legendary is the only way to describe it.}

o~-~-~-~o

Tonight's dish was a unique one. Mimic's tongue and Newt tails stewed with potatoes and onions. Jeros questions the nutritional value of Mimics due to their bodies being made out of metal. However Aysel confirms that Mimic tongues are of the leanest proteins in the land.

Jeros: "You had mimic before?"

Aysel: "We have someone at the guild who experiments with monster recipes. Most of the time he forgets to clean off the tungsten."

Tia: "Well I have been cooking new recipes for quite some time. Even Dekar says I'm improving."

Jeros: "I doubt Dekar knows the difference between dirt and gourmet cousine."

Tia glares at Jeros with a knife in hand.

Jeros: "Uhh... Still, this is pretty good. Did you get the onions from Albert?"

Tia: "Uh-huh."

Jaffy: "Albert does know how to make his vegies and spices for monsters."

Jeros: "I'm surprised that my stomach isn't churning from the stew."

Tia: "You should've told me that you were allergic to cow's milk. This time I used goat's milk for the stew."

Jeros: "Not bad, I was wondering why this tasted less rich than usual."

The tea kettle is whistling on top of a massacred stove. Aysel pulls out a small ball from her cloak.

Aysel: "I hope you don't mind if I bring tea to the table. When I'm off a contract, I'm either training or growing herbs for tea."

Tia: "That sounds wonderful. As long as it isn't a hallucinogenic tea."

Aysel: "No no no. I call this Cinnamon-Alpine. I've been experimenting with cinnamon teas recently. Don't let it steep too long though. It becomes bitter if you do."

Tia takes the tea ball from Aysel and places it in the tea pot. Then she pours the kettles hot water.

Jeros: "You make herbal tea from scratch? That's an interesting hobby."

Aysel: "It beats pretending to be an adventurer all your life. Do you have any other hobbies, Jeros?"

Jeros: "Um..." [Scratches his head]

Tia: "I don't remember you doing anything but practice swords with Guy."

Jaffy: "Well, I let Jeros blow his first glass piece. We called it the dancing red jelly."

Jeros: "That was a complete mess. I'm still sorry about the carpet." [Sighs] "I guess I don't have another hobby."

Tia: "Well, there is one."

Jeros: "No one needs to know about that one..."

Tia: "I thought that poem was absolutely beautiful, Jeros. You don't need to be embarrassed."

Jeros: "I still can't believe I let you read it. I still can't believe I thought about submitting it for a scholarship."

Aysel: "What was the poem about."

Tia: "The sands of time blow across the desert of sorrow. Sands grind to dust hope of tomorrow. For once loved, can never be forgotten.

Jeros: [Blushing] "That's enough Tia."

Tia: "The desert shifts, burying with it memories of the heart. Hope erodes easily. Beneath the sands flows loves part. Rivers of molten passion shift the sands above, unearthing pyramids' memories forgotten in time."

Aysel: "That... Is the cream of the crop for corniest love poems I have ever heard."

Jeros: "Say, Jaffy, about Aysel's energy core..."

Aysel: "That's right, I forgot about that."

Jaffy: "May I see the core?"

Tia: "Do you have to work at the dinner table, Jaffy?"

Aysel hands Jaffy her energy core. Jaffy pulls out a magnifying glass from inside his shirt pocket.

Jaffy: "Do you have to use an alchemy book for cooking? I'm only examining the core. Hmm... This core is almost in perfect condition. It looks like there's only a few broken circuits, but those can be re-carved. This is the first I've seen a core like this." [Hands Aysel the core] "While the wave device is cooling, I can repair the circuits. It should be ready by tomorrow morning."

Aysel: "Really? That's good because we have a contract tomorrow."

Tia: "Don't you mean only you have a contract tomorrow?"

Tia looks at Jeros from across the table. Her face went from a smile to a scowl.

Tia: "Jeros, what did you two discuss with the Baroness?"

Jeros stands up looking at Tia with serious eyes. Tia slowly stands up matching Jeros's height folding her arms.

Tia: "Tomorrow, Lexis and I are going to Platina to test the wave device. Guy is also coming with us, so you have to come to."

Jeros: "I'm not going with you to Platina tomorrow."

Tia slams the table.

Tia: "Tomorrow you're leaving with us to Platina."

Jaffy: "Did the baroness give you a heroic quest or something?"

Tia and Jeros glare at Jaffy. Jaffy sinks into his chair, knowing that he opened a can of worms.

Jeros: [Speaking calmly] "There is a camp of monsters north in Chatam Plateau. Monsters have been organizing at Ft. Lobernia for an assault on Alexia. Alexia is going to need all their defenses to defend against the assault. If the camp attacks, Alexia will have to split their forces..."

Tia: "You're not going on a monster hunt!"

Aysel: "This is more than a monster hunt. Rumor speculates that a monster with alchemic runes is leading the camp. If what I fear is true, then that monster is one of Fairfax's Homoculi."

Tia: "Fairfax's Homoculi!" [Shouting] "No! I can't let you go now. We annihilated Idura in Ancient Cave. Dekar lost himself in another dimension. Narseby is much more powerful."

Jeros: "Narseby is dead. His monsters are disorganized. I can take it."

Tia: "No you can't! I won't let you go! You're not Maxim!"

Jeros slams both of his hands on the table. He leans across the table to get closer to Tia. He only stares at Tia's commanding eyes.

Jeros: [Growling] "I am not Maxim, I will not become Maxim, and I never will. Stop comparing me to a dead man."

Tia: [Leans over, growling] "Then why don't you stop acting like him. Otherwise you're going to die like him."

Jeros looks deeper into Tia.

Jeros: "If the only hero in this world can only be Maxim, then you should have let the Sinistrals take over. Then Maxim would be here alive."

Tia throws the tea kettle at Jeros. The kettle whizzes over Jeros's shoulder. Then Tia turns around and runs out of the kitchen door out the alley. Jaffy sits in silently. Aysel stands up, buses her plate, and walks behind Jeros.

Aysel: "Truth hurts, doesn't it."

Jeros grunts at Aysel's comment. Aysel walks upstairs.

Aysel: {This is why I can't be close to anyone.}

Jeros walks outside the kitchen, saying nothing. Jaffy begins to clean the table when Jeros shuts the door.

Jeros moves from an angry strut to a full jog. Looking around, he's trying to find Tia. Jeros stumbles upon a flower garden south of the church. Tia is sitting on the ground with her face buried in her hands. Jeros seen Tia cry once before, but not like this. Tia has always been hiding her depression in anger, even before Doom Island. What's worse is that Tia's been hiding her grief all these years. After her miscarriage, Tia clings to Jeros closer than ever. It was if he's the closest family Tia has left (aside from Lexis, but he's going to die from old age eventually). Jeros treads slowly beside Tia and kneels down before a Priphea patch.

Tia: "Maxim had to stay behind for her. That's why he and Selan never came home."

Jeros: "I thought you were past grieving for them."

Tia: [Shakes her head] "No, it's not only that. I miscarried six months after Doom Island. The Sinistrals's energy corrupted mine. The baby rejected it violently. When it was born..."

Jeros: "I never saw it, but I was told it looked awful."

Tia: [Sniffs] "You really didn't have to say it so cruel."

Jeros: [Sighs] "I said only the truth how I see it. I can't lie about my feelings either."

Tia: "Even after I'm told it's okay to cry, I still can't stand crying."

Jeros: "Then you're crying for the wrong reason. Still, I wish I could cry about my family, but I know what they left behind. I know what they want me to do."

Tia: "You know better than anyone, don't you?"

Jeros: [Nods] "I want to keep their legacy alive. I have to. But I need to do it in my own way."

Jeros holds his hand out.

Jeros: "I can't deny this feeling. It's in my blood. a learned After missing the skirmish, I know that there's still more fighting to come. I don't want any more sad faces." [Smiling] "That's why I have to fight."

Tia takes Jeros's hand and stands up.

Tia: "Then let me come be with you. I can still fight I..."

Tia falls to the ground coughing heavily. Jeros sees Tia coughing blood all over the garden. After recovering her breath, her eyes water.

Tia: "I... I can't..."

Jeros holds Tia in his arms.

Jeros: "I know you're strong. You're still strong. You're the strongest woman I know. But... You're strength is different. I need you to stay strong. Even if you aren't my blood mother, I still love you like one."

Tia: [Breathes] "I will always love you, Jeros. No matter what. Please promise me that you'll live on no matter what."

Jeros: "I can't promise that, but I can promise to life for as long as I can."

Tia: [Knocks Jeros faintly on his fore head] "Can't you look at things more optimistic?"

Jeros: [Rubs his forehead] "Agh. I'm only looking at things realistically you know that."

Tia: "I wish you didn't have your mother's point of view sometimes."

Tia leans on Jeros's shoulder from exhaustion. Jeros then leads Tia back to the Baron's Inn. Aysel is watching Jeros from the roof top, basking in moon light without her cloak. Aysel looks at her left hand, which is wrapped in cloth. She sighs and looks up into the crescent moon.

Aysel: "What will my legacy be? If I fulfill my role, I will only leave those close behind to grief. I understand this, but why do I feel sad about not having close ones? Be sad because I left love ones behind to grief or be sad because I'm lonely all the time." [Pulls out Asguard's stone from her sleeve] "What would you do?"

o~-~-~-~o

Clouds blow in from above covering the moon. The winds begin to howl inside the palace. Bosch is polishing his shield making final preparations. He feels unjust about the Baroness's decision, however he has to consider her feelings. He holds out in his hand a silver ring with a ruby gemstone on top. The many years he has been with the baroness's side has come to an end. Alexia can stand on her own. Though he feels a little discouraged that his men will march without him. Many knights have grown under Bosch's command waiting to prove their worth to the barony. Bosch is going over the decision in his mind again.

Baroness: "Sir Bosch, you will accompany Caliburn on his mission."

Bosch: "Why make this decision so suddenly? You're excellency, I believe that the knights will need me with them defending the Barony.

Dallas: "Sir, Bosch you trained us well for the past three years. Let us fight the barony this time. 'All men must serve their country in their own way', your words, are they not?

Kirin: "My lord. We have faith in your spearmanship and loyalty, but one man cannot fend off an army. There is not one knight here who has experienced combat."

Surge: "Please, have faith in us like we have for you all these years. The best warriors are born, but the greatest ones train hard every day. We can prove to the world those ideas."

For a while, Bosch stays silent. He knows the potential of his knights, yet he knows the danger as well. Still, these are direct orders of the baroness herself. The baroness always had a more tactical mind than Bosch.

Bosch: "My fellow knights. You were my students, my brothers, and my friends. I cannot deny that you are ready to defend. I regret that I will not be fighting with you."

Baroness: "Regret is only forgetting to believe, sir Bosch. We must have faith in all dreams, even Caliburn's."

Bosch: [Bows] "Acknowledged. I shall leave with Caliburn tomorrow morning."

Remembering the baroness's words, "we must have faith in all dreams...". At first, Bosch would have been disqualified for knighthood for keeping Kirof's signet ring. However, his honor of word moved Alex willing to set a example, not surviving over a thousand battles, is what separates a knight from a normal man. Though this is the second time he was ordered to leave the baroness's side he gladly accepts it. Holding his head up high he knows that everyone needs to live their dream at least once.

Giving those the opportunity to do so is the least he can do.

*~End Chapter
Last edited by DarkMaster2101 on Fri Mar 04, 2011 1:54 am, edited 7 times in total.

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DarkMaster2101
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Postby DarkMaster2101 » Fri Jan 01, 2010 4:34 am

DISCLAIMER: This story is a not-for-profit fan fiction inspired by the Estpolis/Lufia franchise written only for entertainment purposes. All content relating to the Estpolis/Lufia series, including characters, scenario and reference, is owned by Square Enix, Taito, NATSUME: Serious Fun, ATLUS, and Neverland Company. Please support the official release. Content and references to other stories may appear from time to time, and they are properties of their respected holders. Content from other stories are not used without direct permission.

Stories used: Dawn and Dusk (c) Guard Daos 2008-2009.

o~-~-~-~o

That morning, Jeros feels as if he slept for days. He takes a few minutes to stretch before standing. After another yawn, Jeros sees Dekar, limbs spread and snoring away on the bedroom floor. Jeros can't help but wonder how Dekar sleep so comfortably on the most weirdest things sometimes. But then again it is Dekar, who is the best at making himself comfortable.. Jeros walks down the stairs, brushing his long tangled red-hair back into a pony tail. Aysel, talking to the inn keeper, looks behind to see Jeros. Aysel pulls up her hood once more.

Aysel: "I never was a morning person."

Jeros: "You were never a day time person either. This must feel weird to you."

Aysel: "I don't mind the days actually. I wish I didn't have to wear this cloak during them. This material doesn't dry well. Even after you wash it, it still reeks."

Jeros: [Chuckles then folds his arms] "I heard Lexis talking about creating an oil once that protects you from sun light. It blocks all UV rays completely. Though Lexis always had two problems with it."

Aysel: "Go on."

Jeros: "For starters, the oil bleaches your skin white."

Aysel: "My skin is already white. That shouldn't be a problem."

Jeros: "No, I've seen it work before. You're skin is white, but it will make it almost transparent white like a ghost."

Aysel: [Shudders] "Oh..."

Jeros: "The second and biggest problem with the oils is that it doesn't work unless you freeze it. If you want to lose a few fingers from frostbite, then you can freeze the tonic onto your skin. If it melts even after you applied it, then it's useless."

Aysel: [Shakes her head] "I would bake myself alive before I accept anything like that. No deal."

Jeros rubs the back of his neck chuckling at Aysels comment. Something feels wrong. This conversation a direct contradiction to last night, so Jeros thought.

Jeros: "I hate to ask, but about last night..."

Before Jeros could finish, Aysel and him jump at the shock of door upstairs slamming open. Tia and Jaffy rush downstairs each clinching a diamond shaped object.

Tia: "It's ready!"

Jeros: [Looks at the device] "Is that the wave device?"

Jaffy: "See for yourself. First, attach it to your sword and unlock it."

Tia hands Jeros the wave device. Then Jeros places the device on the broadsword. The four diamonds unlock to unveil a golden light.

Tia: "Jeros, concentrate your energy."

The light turns into flames, which engulf the sword.

Jeros: "Whoa, that feels different. But this isn't new..."

Jaffy: "Now, deactivate the core and place it on your shield."

Jeros calms the burning sword and replaces it in his sheath. He then unlocks the shield from his back and holds it in his hand. He places the device on the shield. After concentrating his energy, the shield is engulfed in flames. Jeros also pulls out his dagger sheathed within the shield, which too is veiled by searing fire.

Jeros: "Wow!"

Jaffy hands Aysel the same wave device.

Jaffy: "You should try it as well. I know your can concentrate energy waves from your training."

Aysel: "I'll try, I suppose."

Aysel places the wave device on one of her ulaks. The device splits in half and applies itself to both blades. Aysel concentrates her energy. Violet crystals cover her blades with sparks of electricity jumping out of them.

Aysel: "This power feels wonderful!"

Tia: "Don't get too happy about it. Now I want you and Jeros to trade energy cores."

Jeros: "Are you sure, Tia?"

Aysel: "I have no problem with that."

Jeros detaches Crossfire from his device. Aysel does the same with her energy core. After tossing the cores to each other they replace them into their devices. Aysel calls searing flames into her ulaks while Jeros's shield crusts over with electric crystals.

Jeros: "You two have really out done yourselves this time. This is amazing!"

Jaffy: "It was Tia's designs. I only made the parts."

Jeros only looks at Tia in disbelief. How can this contraption be Tia's design. Idea is acceptable, but she designed this! Tia places her hands on her hips.

Tia: "Hmph. I can do other things besides run a shop, you know."

Jeros feels feint. Before he knew it, the electricity on Jeros's shield fizzles out and he falls to the ground collapsing. Aysel follows the same action.

Tia: "Hmm... There's still some bugs?" [Looking down] "Ah, I was hoping that I got it right this time!"

Jeros: [Breathing] "Cheer up Tia, it works better than you think. I didn't expect my pulse to burn out like that."

Lexis, entering the inn, walks in from behind everyone.

Lexis: "Hah! Oh it's great to be away from that self-worshiping-think-he-knows-it-all. So how was dinner? I hope everyone's still here."

Jeros: [Smiles] "I dunno, you might croak in the next five minutes, gramps."

Lexis: [Frowns] "Hey! I'm not that old, I'm still young." [His back pops out of place.] "Oof. Okay, I'm old but I'm still a genius! [Lexis looks at the small wave device on Jeros's shield.] "Say, that looks like Tia's WaveForce Amplifier Drive. So did you manage to get it working Tia?"

Tia: [Sighs] "Yeah, but there's a slight problem with it."

Lexis: "Then tell me about it in Excellion then."

o~-~-~-~o

Meanwhile inside of Excellion Mk. 2, Tia briefs Lexis about the device's IP efficiency.

Lexis: "I see... For the cost of versatility, the device burns Interwave Pulses of its user. Naturally wave device weapons do that to a lesser extent. Nothing is wrong, Tia. According to my calculations the device outputs energy in a higher concentration"

Tia: "You're calculations stated for the IP to Output ratio to be ninety five by five percent. Why didn't you tell me that the output was of higher concentration."

Lexis: "Those numbers are irrelevant to the calculation, Tia. Besides, the devices energy is much more powerful than a standard weapons. As long as the user doesn't leave the amplifier on all the time then they shouldn't die from IP exhaustion."

Jeros: "That's reassuring, doc."

Tia: [Folds her arms] "Hmph, that's what I get for letting you have your way. Maxim is right, you are going crazy."

Lexis: "I tell you that the drive's calculations are genius, not crazy!"

Aysel: [Interrupting] "We would like to stay and chat, but Jeros and I have to leave north. We have a contract for Chatam Plateau."

Lexis: "I see... Hmm..." [Rubs his chin] "Excellion is a flying ship, I can drop you off just about anywhere."

Jeros: "Yeah... Just try to fly smoother this time."

Aysel: [Pushing Jeros out of the way] "Or, don't bother me until we get there."

Aysel leaves to the engine room. Jeros sighs and Lexis scratches his head.

Lexis: "Jeros, you should catch up with your friend. Excellion is using a modified gravity core instead of three elemental cores. She'll feel the turbulence times thrice if she sits in the same spot."

Jeros: "I was wondering why her sickness was bad then. I'll tell her that, doc." [Leaves the room]

Lexis: [Looks to Tia] "Are you sure about letting Jeros go on a mission like this, Tia?"

Tia: "He's more like his parents than I hoped for. 'No more sad faces,' he says." [Sighs] "I wish he wasn't so young. There's more to life than adventures and fighting."

Lexis: "Well adventure is what some people are live for. Jeros is a grown man now. He might not look like it, but he's the little baby you held Tia." [Places his hand on her shoulder] "I remember those talks with you opening a shop."

Tia: [Sighs] "I can only hope that he returns in one piece after this..."

Lexis: "Getting out on his own will do him good, but that's my opinion. Beats eating your experimental cooking."

Tia: "I'd rather have Jeros eat my cooking than volunteer for your experiments."

Lexis bursts out laughing. Then Tia stomps his foot.

Lexis: "Yow!" [Rubs his foot] "You ought to treat your elders better."

Tia: "Hmph!" [Folds her arms]

Jeros: [Calling from the Engine Room] "Everything's ready, doc. To Chatam Plateau"

Lexis: "Right. Let's go!"

Excellion flies north to Chatam Plateau.

o~-~-~-~o

*~Moonstone Chapter Part 5: Goblin Hunt~*

o~-~-~-~o

Jeros holds tightly to his sheath's belt. Looking down Jeros sees a decapitated mountain rise above the meadows. Taking a closer look he sees a small monster camp on top of the plateau.

Jeros: "That's the target."

Aysel: "Our job is to head in and clear it out."

Lexis: "Homunculi have been spotted here. From my guesstimation is that it's an imperfect at worst. Still be careful."

Aysel: "The Homunculus is the real reason why we're here. Take it out and the goblins will scramble."

Lexis gives command of Excellion to Tia. Lexis meets Jeros on deck.

Lexis: "Oh before you drop down, I have something important to give you."

Jeros: "I hope it's nothing weird?"

Lexis hands Jeros a lunch box, a mechanical wing, and hour glass with sand defying gravity setting in the top chamber.

Lexis: "I'm sure you remember your old friends Escape and Reset."

Jeros: "Those weird toys again? Well, Escape will be useful when we're through. I doubt we're going to need Reset. Not like I'm going to push a block off the bridge or anything..." [Looks at the lunchbox] "What's with the Lunchbox?"

Lexis: "I bought those for you and Aysel before we left. They should help with your IP problem."

Jeros opens a lunchbox to smell the stench of stale charred newt.

Jeros: "Bleh. Preserved newt. Even I prefer Tia's cooking over this, but I'm sure it will help. Thanks doc."

Jeros looks down to see a gray horse with a half-plated knight riding it. The knight looks up and waves to Excellion.

Jeros: "Say! Is that Bosch?"

Aysel: "What's Alexia's best knight doing out here?"

Out of nowhere, a gang of goblins jump out of a pair of bushes behind Bosch. One of the goblins knock Bosch off his horse and another rides with him.. Jeros stands on the edge of Excellion's deck.

Tia: "Jeros, what are you doing?"

Jeros: "Helping out someone in need."

Jeros leaps into the fray below. Holding his sword down, he lands on a goblin. Aysel leaps off the edge of Excellion in the same fashion. Tia is shouting loudly, but her words are lost in the fray.

Bosch is holding up his lance and shield ready the Goblin's mace. However out of no where, Jeros falls on the goblin. Jeros rubs his bottom, sitting on the goblin.

Jeros: [Saluting to the ground] "What's up?"

A goblin charges Jeros with a knife. Jeros holds up his sword, hoping for the best, but Aysel lands on that goblin. She pulls on her hood, then draws her blades.

Aysel: "Next time look out for yourself, pony boy."

Jeros: [Stands up] "Stop calling me pony..."

Jeros gets tackled by a highjacked horse manned by a duet of goblins. Jeros rolls off the edge of the cliff. Luckily Jeros catches the edge before he falls off.

Goblin Boss: [Laughing] "High ho! Silver!"

Bosch: "That stallion was a gift. Release my horse!"

Behind the goblin boss, a goblin mage smirks.

Goblin Mage: "Finders, keepers! Dead man weepers."

Aysel: "They write worse poems than you do Jeros."

Jeros pulls himself onto the cliff.

Jeros: "Hah, hah." [Draws his sword] "I'll write some more when I'm not dangling off a cliff."

Tia watches the fight from Excellion. She sees Jeros, Aysel, and Bosch out numbered two to one. She sits up in her co-pilot's seat.

Tia: "That's it, I can't sit here. I'm helping out little Jeros."

Meanwhile the Goblin boss kicks the horse. The horse rampages through the group and into a valley. Before Lexis can settle Tia down, the goblin mage bounces on the horse, accidentally shoots a fire ball from his staff blasting one of Excellion's wings.

Lexis: "Strap in Tia, we're gonna crash!"

Excellion falls to the east side of the plateau, falling behind a thick brush.

o~-~-~-~o

Aysel: [Looking behind] "Excellion's down! We're on our own."

Jeros: "Just our luck." [Holds his sword up] "We lose a horse and an airship, how does that happen?"

Bosch: "See for yourself..." [Spins his spear ready]

The goblins laugh and growl. Speaking in grunts and chuckles they taunt the group by patting their own behinds.

Bosch: "We need to push forward. We're at a disadvantage. There's not much footing here."

Jeros: [Looks at Bosch's shield] "That's a nice shield. Think you can bulldoze some goblins with it?"

Bosch: "Bulldoze? A technique based off of a sleepy bull is new to me."

Aysel: "He means while you run full speed with your shield, you can break through their formation. We'll tear them from the inside."

Bosch: "I see..." [Ducks under his shield] "Let's give it a shot!"

Bosch looks around to try to find a weak spot in the goblins form. He sees one of the goblins trip from taunting. Bosch seizes the opportunity. He charges the point with his shield covering him. Many goblins throw stones at it, but either the shield deflects the stone or Bosch is too far ahead. The goblin who fell down nips up only to have his face slammed by a steel slab.

The goblin gang splits in half. Jeros and Aysel dash into the fissure, weapons drawn. The gang folds into the fissure one by one. Jeros slashes, and a goblin falls to the ground. Aysel lariats another goblin's neck, knocking him into others behind him off the cliff.

Meanwhile, Bosch turns around and skewers two goblins at once. Then he sweeps his spear and knocks one more goblin prone. Then ends him with a coup de grace. The last goblin stands in fear. Seeing the rest of his gang dead on the ground, he turns around and runs. Aysel pulls from her cloak a throwing knife, but Bosch holds his arm out.

Bosch: "Let him live. He's holds no will to fight."

Aysel: [Groans] "Sometimes the code isn't worth living. He's going to run back to main camp and alert them about us."

Jeros: "Actually, Aysel, the goblin that stole the horse would've made it there by now." [Watches the goblin run through some bushes]. "We can follow his trail to the camp. Come on."

Aysel puts away her knife. She sighs, admitting she lost the argument. Bosch throws the blood off his spear and places it on a hook behind his back. Jeros makes sure that his WaveAmp is secured on his sword and follows the Goblin's trail.

o~-~-~-~o

The fleeing goblin is running down the path until it finds a cavern. Knowing that the others are following it, the goblin looks for a way to hide his trail. It sees a pile of rocks on top of a wooden roof to a cave entrance. The goblin pulls out a chain whip. As he enters the cave, the goblin uses the chain to break the roof causing the rocks to collapse. The party followed the goblin's trail only to find a collapsed cave entrance.

Bosch: "Smart little bugger," [Punches the rocks] "He blocked the tunnel."

Jeros: "I see that. Is there another way in?"

Aysel looks around to find a river. She looks down to see trout swimming upstream. She looks up to find a paddle wheel above the waterfall.

Aysel: "What about Chatam's water tunnel?"

Bosch: "Eh, it's more of a maze that way."

Jeros: [Folds his arms] "How so?"

Bosch: [Rubs his chin] "If I remember correctly, Chatam always had goblin troubles. In the basin is fertile fields used for farmlands. When we made the farms, Goblins from the Sheran region were ready to raid them. A labyrinth was constructed with traps to keep the goblins from entering."

Aysel: [Places her hands on her hips] "That doesn't get us very far if the Goblins are using the labyrinth against us."

Bosch: "The labyrinth is powered by wave circuits. Its energy is separate from Chatam's water power. Goblins have no knowledge of that technology last time I heard."

Jeros: "But what about the Homunculus? What exactly is that and why is it a threat?"

Aysel: [Sighs] "A homunculus is created when a human commits the forbidden act of alchemy: Human Transmutation."

Jeros: "That thing is a human?"

Bosch: [Shakes his head] "No, it's not human. Not anymore. I don't know much about alchemy, but I do know that homunculi are one of the most dangerous creatures ever created. They can think and plan. Some even have memories of the human they were made after."

Aysel: "More importantly, homunculi sometimes retain their memories from the human they were transmutated from. Homunculi can also manipulate energy waves almost as powerful as a Shakt'mhan. That's whom your people call sorcerers. Older homunculi have access to magics long forgotten in the modern age."

Jeros: [Nods] "We have to be careful then." [Looks into the waterfall] Bosch, are you sure there's no other way to the goblin camp? I saw the camp on top of the plateau."

Bosch: "The cliff side is too loose to climb, even with tools. Also, rock slides are common. The safest way to the top is through the plateau tunnels."

Jeros: "Well, why chance dying in a rock slide? The longer we take, the more time they'll forget about us. Besides, I've only combed caverns once and that was for Albert's training dungeon. I don't feel as confident going through the cave."

Aysel: [Smiles] "Then we have no problem going through the tunnels because they're not caves, right? Let's hurry."

Jeros sighs. Then Bosch walks to the waterfall. He points at a stone poking out of the side.

Bosch: "This should activate the drain that leads to the tunnels. Let us enter."

Bosch flips the switch and the river begins to flood, then settle to reveal a tunnel behind the waterfall.

Bosch: "We should still hurry. Keep in mind that Goblins are nocturnal monsters. They'll only get more active at night even if they do forget about us before then." [Turns to Jeros] "Oh, I feel we are in need of a formal introduction. I am sir Bosch Wilferd, an Alexian knight."

Jeros: [Nods] "I'm Jeros Caliburn from the Republic of Parcelyte."

Aysel: "We never got the chance to introduce ourselves at the meeting. I am Aysel, a Ruin Chaser from Grenoble's guild."

Bosch: "A pleasure to meet all of you. Let us work together to accomplish the task ahead."

Bosch walks behind the waterfall and into the tunnel. Aysel takes a few steps...

Jeros: "Aysel, what about last night?"

Aysel stands still without looking back.

Aysel: "Yes?"

Jeros: "I understand when I ask about yourself, you push me away." [Places right hand on hip] "I know exactly what you said. But what do you mean? I don't understand why you say we can't be close."

Aysel: "I meant word for word. That's all you need to know."

Jeros: "Still, why are your forsaking relationship? I was told that when a person pushes others away, he is only protecting others from himself."

Aysel stays quiet for a few seconds.

Jeros: "I appreciate the thought. I don't need your protection against yourself. If you know that, then why..."

Aysel enters the tunnel without saying a word. Jeros realizes that this is the wrong time to push the subject. Jeros doesn't know if Aysels playing hard to get or if she really doesn't want anyone close to her. If she doesn't force herself away then things will be easier.

Still, Jeros sighs and follows her lead without question.

o~-~-~-~o

The tunnel entrance was dark and damp. Aysel removes her hood so she can see better. Jeros blushes at her pale complexion; he still does not understand why it amazes him. Bosch walks steadily forward, sliding his hand until he finds a metal lever. Bosch pulls it and the tunnels light up. Aysel and Jeros had to close their eyes from the flash. A four-way intersection lights up to reveal a rotating platform in the middle.

Looking around, Jeros sees the underground river flowing rapidly into a whirlpool. He then sees the water flowing from the turbines from all four passage ways. Aysel kicks a stone into the whirlpool. The stone was dragged in circles until it was crushed by the central gears.

Aysel: "You guys want to swim?"

Jeros cringes at the thought.

Jeros: "If we fall into the current, then it's game over."

Bosch: "Whether or not falling down will end a game, but surely we will drown. If we don't drown, then we will perish in the paddles." [Draws his lance] "We need to make haste if we are to reach the camp by nightfall."

Jeros: [Draws his sword and shield] "You don't really get out much, do you Bosch?"

Bosch shrugs.

Jeros: "Oh well..."

The group takes the west tunnel (they entered from the). The river below is gushing rapidly as a constant reminder to the group not to jump in. Still the tunnels are fairly wide enough, so the group has decent footing if they're ambushed. The group arrives at a T-intersection of the tunnel. To the north is a locked gate while the south is free. There's a panel with an empty slot next to it.

Bosch: [Kicks the gate, then shrugs] "I can't open it without a key."

Aysel: "Then let's take the other way. There's bound to be a key"

Jeros: [Nods] "Or we can break our weapons trying to smash open the gate."

Aysel: [Sigh] "All right Mister Sarcastic. Know how to pick locks?"

Jeros: "A waveforce lock is impossible to pick by the way." [Growls] "Let's move."

Jeros heads down the south tunnel. Bosch motions Aysel to move forward. Aysel shrugs and follows Jeros. The group discovers an underground lake. Looking at the currents, the lake is still enough to swim in, when away from the tunnel's mouth. A large see-saw is in the middle of the lake. The platform is just out of jumping reach, but if it were to tilt then the others can jump on it.

Jeros: "I'll grab the platform and drag it down. The current is still..." [Sees a ladder towards the right] "I'll swim back here and follow you."

Aysel: "And how are you going to reach the platform."

Jeros draws his broadsword and activates Crossfire.

Jeros: "With Cross Dash."

Bosch: "I've heard about weapons as wave devices, but this is a first I've seen one this close."

Jeros: "Just watch!"

Jeros jumps off the edge. He thrusts his burning sword in mid-air which rockets him to the other side. Jeros falls and grabs on the sea-saw's edge, tilting it towards the tunnel's mouth.

Aysel: "Convenient."

Aysel jumps on the sea saw followed by Bosch. The sea-saw tilts even lower until Jeros is submerged. Jeros lets go of the see-saw and climbs the ladder. Aysel stands in the middle. Bosch takes a step forward, but the see-saw tilts in the opposite direction.

Jeros: "I think you should stay on the edge, Bosch."

Bosch: [Nods] "Agreed. I forgotten about this in training."

Jeros jumps on the see-saw's edge. Tilting the sea saw to its lowest. Aysel walks up the see-saw tilting it her direction just to discover that the key just out of jumping reach.

Aysel: "Big miscalculation. We need more weight on the other side."

Jeros looks at the distance of the key again.

Jeros: "Not necessarily. I have an idea. Aysel, let's trade places."

Aysel and Jeros walk steadily on the see-saw evenly. Bosch is hanging on the lower edge for dear life. Though he is an excellent swimmer, that half-plate mail is heavy. Once Aysel and Jeros switched places, Jeros motions Bosch to move forward.

Jeros: "Bosch, get in the middle."

Bosch nods. At least five fully armored men had to do this exercise to get the key. How can two children with no armor pull this off? When Bosch reaches the middle, the see-saw balances out. Even Aysel can't figure out Jeros's plan.

Aysel: "What are you planning, pony boy?"

Jeros: "Bosch, I want you to jump as high as you can to Aysel's side."

Bosch: "Excuse me!"

Aysel: "What! He'll knock me off."

Aysel takes a closer look at the see-saw. Jeros and Aysel are of equal weight (Aysel's technically lighter, but she's carrying more gear than Jeros). Bosch's weight outclasses Jeros and Aysel put together. He's carrying a tower shield and wearing half-plate armor.

Aysel: "Oh! I see." [Giggles] "Bosch, follow Jeros's plans."

Bosch: "Are you two mad or something?"

Aysel: [Looking to Bosch with watery eyes] "Please..."

Bosch: [Shrugs] "On my count. Be ready."

Jeros: "Right." [Ducks down]

Bosch: [Swinging his arms] "One... Two..."

Aysel closes her eyes. She knows that this is going to hurt.

Bosch: "THREE!"

Bosch jumps a good five feet across the see-saw. His weight knocks Aysel off the see-saw and her end to the water. Jeros shoots up from the momentum. Jeros at the peak of his jump lunges his burning sword (not taking any chances) and tumbles next to the a small glowing stone-like pillar. Aysel floats up on her back in the water, dazed from impact. Jeros grabs the key.

Jeros: "Bosch, I'll throw the key down to you."

Bosch walks to the middle of the see-saw.

Jeros: "Catch!" [Throws the key]

Bosch: [Catching the key] "I have it!"

Jeros jumps on the see-saw's end. Boch almost falls from the shock.

Bosch: "Next time warn me when you're doing something reckless! I was scared out of my wits."

Jeros: [Snickering] "Heheh... Glad that worked. I would've been pancaked on the wall if it didn't."

Bosch: "Well, breakfast aside. Let's head to the gate."

Jeros shrugs. Bosch walks to the other side and throws the key on the edge. Then he jumps on the edge and climbs up. Jeros falls into the water and swims to the ladder. Aysel is already next to the tunnel wringing out her cloak. She then helps pull Bosch up. Jeros climbs the ladder and grabs the key. Then the group heads back to the tunnel's gate.

o~-~-~-~o

The party is ambushed by a group of jellies and hornets. One of the jellies tackles Jeros, forcing him to drop the key.

Jeros: "Ouch! Jerk!" [Slashes the red jelly]

A pair of hornets charge to sting Aysel and Bosch. Bosch blocks with his shield while Aysel slashes the hornet in mid-air. The other hornet burns red with energy.

Aysel: "You want vengeance, eh?"

Jeros: "Aysel get out of the way."

The hornet charges Aysel. She tries to slash it, but the hornet was too fast. Its sting paralyzes Aysel's arms. Jeros pulls his dagger and shield and slices the hornet. Meanwhile Bosch sweeps the last two red jellies into the current below.

Aysel: [Cringing from the numbness] "Lucky shot..."

Jeros: "Careful when they berserk. They're unstoppable."

Aysel: "I know... It was only a hornet I could take him."

Bosch: [Grabs the key] "Hmm... Let's be resourceful and not wager our lives next time."

Jeros and Aysel nod. Bosch places the key into the lock.

The gate opens to reveal a small chamber with a large switch. There is also a chest with a red cross on the other side. While Bosch examines the switch, Aysel sits in the corner and Jeros opens the chest.

Jeros: "Medical supplies."

Jeros finds two potions, an antidote, and a mystery pin. Jeros places the potions and antidote inside his bag. He walks to Aysel holding the mystery pin.

Aysel: "I'll recover, keep that for yourself."

Jeros: "Stop it. Things will be easier if you take this now."

Bosch: "The switch is too heavy. Even when Jeros and I combine our strength, it isn't enough to pull the switch."

Aysel: "You two haven't tried pulling yourselves yet!"

Jeros: "Let's pull the switch, Bosch."

Bosch: "Ah... But..." [Sigh] "Never mind."

Bosch and Jeros pull the switch down. They hear a large clanking noise coming from the main chamber. Aysel just sits back.

Aysel: "You two move on ahead. I'll catch up with you."

Bosch: "Are you sure, Aysel. We have medicine..."

Aysel: "I said I will recover. I'll catch up when I do." [Looks to her side] "Don't worry about me, just go."

Jeros grab Aysel.

Aysel: "No! Let me go!"

Aysel tries to resist all she can, but Jeros manages to break through. Jeros thrusts the pin into Aysel's shoulder.

Bosch: [Shocked] "Jeros! What are you doing?"

Jeros: [Speaking darkly] "You should of asked me to kill you. That's what it means to say you're staying behind to me."

Aysel: "I... I don't..."

Jeros: "Whether you're asking or not, I'm giving it to you. We are suppose to be working together on this contract. Stop rejecting my concern." [Looks in Aysel's eyes] "You're only hurting yourself."

Aysel: [Calmly] "You know nothing of my feelings..."

Jeros: "I can only guess the history of your past is secret because you want to forget. You have either survived a tragic accident or you have been raised to know you're going to die. I don't know the magnitude, but the cliche is there. I know the Lunethene can adapt. Adapt now."

Jeros draws his sword and throws it on the ground.

Jeros: "Or I'm leaving everyone behind."

Bosch knows exactly what's going on. Jeros is employing that tactic if a knight falls behind willingly, then the captain orders the brigade to forfeit their mission. Knowing this is an act of mutiny and will sentence all knights to death for abandoning their country. Out of guilt for their fellow knights, most continue with the mission.

As for Aysel, this is the first anyone has guessed her feelings correctly. Though Jeros is a little vague with the guess, the latter of her past is true. Aysel always took considerations of others feelings which is why she has been fun to be with. But she never took into consideration of her own. She knows her Lunethene training, and bonding is essential for a clan to survive. Aysel never had a clan, so she doesn't practice it.

Also, many ruin chasers left Aysel behind willingly. Many have their own goals with the organization, and making friends isn't one of them. As for those who do want to make friends, they often don't associate with Aysel because of her heritage.

Perhaps Aysel was scared of the idea of family. Though Jeros's parents died on Doom Island, he always had family and friends to help him out, the opposite of her life.

Jeros holds out his hand.

That's feeling she felt the first time they met eyes. A feeling of curiosity.

Aysel regains her nerve. She grabs Jeros's hand and pulls herself up. Bosch stood as a holy witness, saying nothing.

Jeros grins, thinking he has won. Aysel slaps his hand hard after seeing him smirk.

Jeros: [Rubbing his hand] "Ouch! What was that for?"

Aysel: "Gosh you didn't have to act so cliche!"

Jeros: {But... We finally made a connection.} "Daaahh... Let's head back."

Bosch: [Understanding nothing] "Agreed. Let's continue."

Jeros is still rubbing his hand. His ears hang low as he sulks all the way to the main chamber. Aysel on the other hand is smiling. For the first time, in a long time, someone connected with her. Though may it be a little cliche in execution, she found someone not willing to explore places, but explore minds.

Aysel: [Thinking] {What can I say, opposites attract. I think I'll stay with pony boy a little longer.}

*~End Chapter
Last edited by DarkMaster2101 on Fri Mar 04, 2011 1:55 am, edited 10 times in total.

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DarkMaster2101
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Postby DarkMaster2101 » Sun Jul 18, 2010 1:35 am

DISCLAIMER: This story is a not-for-profit fan fiction inspired by the Estpolis/Lufia franchise written only for entertainment purposes. All content relating to the Estpolis/Lufia series, including characters, scenario and reference, is owned by Square Enix, Taito, NATSUME: Serious Fun, ATLUS, and Neverland Company. Please support the official release. Content and references to other stories may appear from time to time, and they are properties of their respected holders. Content from other stories are not used without direct permission.

Stories used: Dawn and Dusk (c) Guard Daos 2008-2009.

o~-~-~-~o

Jeros looks down once again into the current of the main chamber, remembering his not-best-friend grinding gears of doom. Meanwhile Bosch looks around, making sure that the party was not followed. Aysel however strays from the party to the north lost in her thoughts from what happened five minutes ago. Jeros takes notice and motions Bosch to follow north.

Aysel recalls other times when other ruin chasers offered her aid when she rejected it, but this is the first someone forced it upon her. This stranger, this child is something else to have the guts to pursue her trust, even if she is the last Lunethene. Still for the longest time, Aysel always thought of humans as a valuable yet expendable resource to operations. Perhaps it was her Lunethene training that taught her that. Perhaps Jeros knows what it means to stick together because of his blood, but who knows?

Before Aysel ponders further, she bumps her head into the rusted metal gate in front. Jeros tries not to laugh after seeing Aysel fall on her behind. He goes up to the gate and knocks on it.

Jeros: [Giggles] "Who knew there was a metal gate here to interrupt our thoughts."

Aysel blushes at Jeros. She's never been so embarrassed in front her friends.

Aysel: [Standing up] {What am I thinking, he's not my friend.}

Jeros was going to ask if Aysel said something. However, looking at the gate, Bosch remembers.

Bosch: "This gate leads to the top of the plateau. It's switch is in the main chamber, however we need to shut down the turbines to get to it."

Aysel: [Dusting her cloak] "We have to use the paddles as platforms to reach it, correct?"

Bosch: [Nods] "Precisely."

Jeros: [Rubbing the back of his neck] "This sounds ingeniously complicated. Sounds like something Lexis would build."

Bosch: "Well, the architect of Chatam's irrigation is Shaia's younger brother if I remember correctly."

Jeros: "The guy Lexis called him a 'self-worshiping-know-it-all' or something? Anyway, the second switch ought to be on the opposite side of the first one. So let's get going."

Before Jeros could pass, Bosch slams his shield on the ground. Jeros and Aysel, stunned, look at each other confused.

Bosch: [Commanding] "Before we move out, I expect you two to be serious. Can I expect you two to behave?"

Jeros: [Shocked] "What exactly do you mean, sir..."

Bosch: [Interrupting] "Can I expect you to act like adults and not children?"

Jeros frustrated, grits his teeth. He looks at Aysel through the corner of his eye and sees her nodding. Jeros can't help but feel pity that out of all this, Aysel is disappointed in herself most of all. Shouldn't her discipline adapt to what's best for the mission and not get in the way?

Nonetheless, Jeros could have resolved that fiasco a little better. Jeros is often one to lose his cool, but not to get angry. Still, he fells that forcing another, even worse if she's a lady, is out of line even for his taste.

Also, Jeros is not one to obey to other guys. Guy and Dekar were always goofballs. Even Maxim was not the most idea father figure. The only family Jeros listens to is Aunt Louisa, Jessy, Tia, and Lexis (even though Lexis is more of a grandfather than anything).

Then again, this man IS a full fledged knight. He knows what it means to have a stick up his butt, and how discipline can make a difference in an army. Jeros could disobey and fight Bosch here and now, but that decision leads to nowhere except regret.

Jeros: [Nodding] "Understood, sir."

Bosch smiles and looks in Jeros's eyes. No wonder this child was nominated to be a knight. He knows the code through and through. Even as a squire he wouldn't need hardly any training. Still, he understands why Jeros rejected the nomination. Jeros was nominated for the wrong reasons. Bosch raises his shield and motions for lead. Aysel looks at Jeros.

Aysel: "You know, he was directed at me. You didn't have to say anything."

Jeros: "I could have been a little more cool about the medicine. I can't stomach leaving anyone behind." [Sighs] "I'm sorry"

Aysel: [Closes her eyes] "I should be the one to apologize though."

Jeros: [Folds his arms, smiling] "So does that mean you're going to open up a little more? I really would like to know you better."

Aysel: "Don't get cocky about it. We have to make it out of here alive first." [Looking down] "Maybe after this, I'll tell a story or two."

Jeros: [Looking at Aysel] "Promise? No regrets?"

Aysel: [Nods] "Cross my heart."

Aysel rushes forward to catch up with Bosch. When Aysel is out of sight, Jeros pumps his fist with a quiet yes. This might be a step forward, because this will not be Jeros's and Aysel's last adventure together.

o~-~-~-~o

*~Moonstone Chapter Part 6: The Next Step~*

o~-~-~-~o

Bosch leads the party through the last tunnel. Ignoring the grinding gears again, Jeros looks up to see the main gate's switch just out of reach. If the platform was spinning a little slower, then they do not need to activate the last switch. Still, this is not a chance worth taking.

When the party reaches the end of the tunnel, they see three slowly rotating long metal platforms in a row. The central platform is rotating clockwise while the other two were rotating counter-clockwise. Looking below, Jeros sees currents just as vicious as in the last room. To the north of the central platform lies a gate exactly like the one in the west tunnel. Next to Aysel's right is a key slot. To the east of the last platform, a key sits on top of a blue metal chest.

Jeros: [Looking down] "This should be fun."

Aysel: "It's all about timing. Piece of cake."

Aysel stretches her legs, watching the platforms slowly rotate. After timing it just right, Aysel leaps on the edge of the platform. Watching Aysel leap onto the next platform. Jeros looks at Bosch.

Aysel: [Waving] "What are you waiting for? Come on."

Jeros: [Nervous] "Okay, okay. I just have to get the timing right."

Bosch: "I've already done this exercise with my knights."

Jeros: "Then why don't you grab the key?"

Bosch: "Can you not make it, Caliburn? Are you suggesting to be left behind."

Jeros: [Growls] "Now you're using that against me?" [Folds his arms] "Fine! I can do it!" [Readies himself] "Just watch me."

Jeros out of gut instinct, leaps towards the platform. Forgetting to time his jump (which he jumped early), Jeros slams his abs on the oncoming platform. Jeros panics for a second until he pulls himself up.

Jeros: [Panting] "See! I can do it."

Aysel: [Calling from the other side] "One down, two more to go."

Jeros looking at the other rotating platforms and sighs in discomfort. Jeros does have great agility, but most of his training was combat and obstacle courses on the ground, not over whirlpools of death.

After a few minutes of hesitation, Jeros finally makes it to the other side. Bosch follows leaping from platform to platform flawlessly.

Jeros: [Smirking] "Show off. What's in that chest."

Bosch: "I remember that was a prize for crossing the platforms in record time."

Jeros opens the chest and pulls out a very thin sword with a bell guard.

Bosch: "Ah, my old Epee. I forgot where it was. This is even the first sword handed down to me by my lord."

Jeros: "You left a treasure like that in an unlocked treasure chest where goblins could easily get to it?"

Bosch: "I only left it here yesterday during training with my knights. I forgot it when Ft. Lobernia was taken."

Aysel: "That's understandable." [Smiling] "I'm sure a small sword would come in handy."

Jeros: "What about his lance and shield?"

Bosch: "I draw my rapier when I need mobility in combat."

Jeros: "Kind of like a dagger and shield, without the shield. Hmm..."

A part of the cave's ceiling collapses blinding the party with sun light. Bosch raises his shield, Jeros and Aysel take cover. About five shadows of goblin heads look down, laughing.

Goblin Boss: "Ready bubs! You get stoned!"

One of the goblins throws a rock at another goblin. The boss runs to choke hold the goblin and lifts him up.

Goblin Boss: "Not us, idiot! Them!"

The goblin boss throws the goblin down into the hole. The goblin bounces off one of the platforms and into the currents. Jeros watches the goblin splash around in the whirlpool like a fly flushed down a toilet until he's sucked underwater.

Jeros: [Calling] "Want to swim guys!"

Aysel: [Pulls Jeros's pony tail] "That's my line, thank you!"

The goblins above swallow their hearts. Then they raise their hands and start chucking stones and rocks at them.

Bosch: [Raising his shield] "We can't fight them this way."

Jeros: [Drawing his shield] "Aysel, think you can carry the key?"

Aysel: "Only if you guys can tank for me."

Bosch: "Holding gallons of water is impossible at the moment."

Aysel: [Yelling] "I mean protect me from the stones, you idiot!"

Bosch: "I can do that. And I am not an idiot!" [Groans] "You kids say the darnest things now days."

Bosch jumps on the platform followed by Aysel holding the key. She ducks underneath his shield while Jeros follows, blocking a stone with his shield. The goblin boss glares at two goblins, points downward and screams. Both goblins jump down on the platform with a mace and hand axe drawn.

Jeros: "I'll handle these two! You unlock the gate."

Aysel leaps first onto the next platform, followed by Bosch. One of the stones conk Aysel on the head, forcing her to drop the key on the edge. Bosch drops his shield and catches the key before it slides into the water. Aysel, rubbing her head watches Jeros fending off the goblins from the other side.

One of the goblins leaps forward with his axe, slamming into Jeros's shield. Jeros slices the goblin's abdomen and kicks him into the water. Meanwhile the other goblin uppercuts Jeros with his mace, knocking his shield up. He goes for another swing, but Jeros parries it with his dagger. Jeros then shield bashes the goblin. The goblin steps backwards, almost losing his balance. Jeros activates Crossfire in his shield and slashes the goblin with a burning blade. The goblin falls into the water.

About three small stones hit Bosch's back. Luckily his armor is thick there so the stones don't do much damage. He watches the platform cross to the entrance. Seeing the key slot, Bosch tosses the key. It slides into place unlocking the gate to the switch room. Aysel and Bosch cross to the central platform. The goblin boss screams and points. About five more goblins drop to the platforms (the sixth one missed it completely). Aysel smiling, pulls out her ulaks. She activates her electric energy core.

Aysel: [Wondering] "What can I do with lightning?"

Jeros: "There's too many to invent moves right now."

Aysel: "This is the first time I used a wave device." [Thumbs up] "I'm trained to adapt so it shouldn't be a problem."

Jeros: [Yelling] "You want to die!"

Aysel focuses her energy causing the crystals on her blades to surge. The goblins stare in awe at the light show. Suddenly, Aysel vanishes in a flash. Before the goblins look around they see Aysel's blade sinking into one of their fellow's throats. Aysel then jumps like lightning over one goblin and strikes another, then another. When Aysel jumps back to where Jeros is, the goblins fall one by one, vaporizing as if lightning struck them.

Aysel: [Juggling her wave device.] "Mahtra's Cieth. That's what I'll name you."

Jeros: "Nice. I need to try something like that."

Aysel folds her arms smirking. Meanwhile Bosch clears his throat and points to the switch.

Jeros: [Nodding] "Right, let's get out of here. Aysel, want to help me pull the switch?"

Aysel: "Sure, I may as well put that medicine to use."

Jeros and Aysel pull the switch. They hear a loud clanking noise from the central chamber, then a sharp grind, then silence. When looking out to the platforms, they see the platforms slowly creek to a stop. Now the platforms are arranged in a straight walk. Jeros long jumps to the central platform followed by Aysel and Bosch. Then the party arrives to the central room.

o~-~-~-~o

The platform has completely stopped. Bosch jumps onto the platform and climbs the central axle and pulls the switch to the north gate. Jeros sees Aysel rubbing her face in pain. Before Aysel raises her hood Jeros looks at her face. Aysel knows she shouldn't let Jeros see, but he's only curious.

Jeros: [Frowns] "That's a nasty sun burn. You even have blisters and everything."

Aysel: [Chuckling] "That's what happens when I don't hide from the sun. The doctors says I'm not worse case but..."

Jeros: "I thought about if you were exposed for an hour or two it would be this bad. There has to be something we can do."

Aysel: [Pulls up her hood] "As long as I'm underneath this blanket, I can survive in the sun. It's not that bad though. Just some things you have to live with." [Smiling] "At least moonlight doesn't burn me."

Jeros: "Then again, the moon absorbs most of the sun's rays at night. So says Lexis. Still there's so many things you miss during the day that you can't see at night though."

Aysel: "Like what?"

Jeros: "Well, many things. Like watching the water sparkle over the horizon, seeing flowers bloom. Colors are much more brighter during the day. Also, most holiday events take place during the day too."

Aysel: "Water sparkles in the moonlight. Even if it isn't brighter, there's more contrast to flowers at night. It's as if they're glowing. Besides, your people rely on light too much. If you celebrated holidays at night they would probably be the same."

Jeros: "Hmm... Maybe. Though I can't imagine celebrating the harvest festival at night though."

Aysel: "Also, there's holidays best celebrated at night. Fireworks don't shine too well during the day."

Jeros: [Sighs] "I guess your right there. Still, I wish you don't have to wear that cloak all the time."

Aysel: "Hmm...?"

Jeros: [Waving his arms] "I didn't mean it in that way... I mean... Uhh..."

Aysel: [Smiling] "Sounds like a tease. But I'll keep that mystery."

Jeros: [Groans, looking down] "I still would like to see your face more."

Aysel: [Blushing] "Um... You would, would you?"

Jeros looks into Aysel's red eyes. There's so much mystery behind them. Still what would she look like without having to wear a cloak, with dark skin like any other Lunethene? That mystery will never be solved.

Bosch: [Interrupting] "The gate is open, let's take out that camp."

Aysel: [Nods] "Understood."

Jeros: "Let's go!" [Whispering to Bosch] {Nice timing.}

Bosch looks at Jeros dumbfounded. After climbing a few steps, Bosch points to Jeros a passage way towards the end.

Bosch: "That's the tunnels that goblins blocked. It takes us straight to the bottom."

Aysel: [Pushing Jeros and Bosch] "I told you we should've killed it. We wouldn't be stuck in this tunnel all day. Let's keep going."

o~-~-~-~o

When the party climbs out of the tunnel, Jeros shields his eyes from the light of dusk. After focusing, he sees the goblin camp is in sight. Immediately Jeros runs to find cover behind a rock with Bosch and Aysel following. Bosh sits up and looks around hasty-like. Aysel on the other hand is counting numbers. The boss is next to the bonfire in the middle of the camp watching the goblin mage cook a cauldron of skulls. On the other hand there's no archers around, so the trio can storm the camp easily. Jeros looks to where Excellion Mk. 2 fell, hoping that Tia and Lexis are fine.

Aysel's biggest concern is the homunculus. In the corner behind the goblin boss, she sees a disfigured shadow.

Aysel: [Standing up] "I'm going to end this battle before it begins."

Jeros pulls Aysel's cloak forcing her to fall back.

Jeros: "Hey! We have to work together on this. Want to get yourself killed."

Aysel: "I know what I'm doing. We can't storm the camp hiding behind a rock."

Jeros: "And we can't split up without a plan either." [Assessing] "The goblin mage is our biggest problem right now. If you can take out that mage, while Bosch and I fight the boss, then the homunculus should expose itself after the battle."

Bosch: [Nodding] "The homunculus might be smart, but goblins are still classic monsters."

Aysel: [Nods] "Believe what you two want. I know their potential." [Looks at Jeros] "Have a back up plan in case this one fails?"

Jeros: "Um... Run away as fast as you can from the hoard and pray that you make it out alive?"

Bosch: "Sounds promising enough."

Jeros: [Scowls] "Well, at least you understand sarcasm, old man."

Bosch: [Chuckles] "Well whippersnapper, sometimes there are some things you'll never understand when age like me."

Aysel: "Stay focused."

Aysel pulls Jeros and Bosch down. Two goblins are wandering around in front of them talking to each other playing rock-paper-scissors. One of the goblins sigh and walks off. The other laughs and follows the goblin.

Aysel: "I have another plan." [Gets up and disappears]

Jeros: "Wait! Aysel."

o~-~-~-~o

One of the goblins hears Jeros and follows where he is hiding. Jeros ducks down hoping to not be discovered. Before Jeros knew, he hears a goblin yelp. Looking over the rock, the goblin falls dead on the ground. The other goblin smelling death finds his buddy's body. Aysel then leaps from behind and assassinates the goblin. She drags both of the bodies out of sight towards the camp. Now understanding her plan, Jeros and Bosch stand up from behind the rock and sneak to the camp.

Once at camp, the boss grumbles worrying why his scouts haven't returned. The boss hears a crash and orders the others to check it out. The goblins leave base only to find the helmets of the two scouts rolling on the ground. The goblins stare in stupidity, not knowing what to do next.

Aysel leaps from behind the goblins, taking two out with her ulaks. When the goblins turned around, Jeros draws his broadsword and charges blazing. He Cross Dashes into three of them. Jeros then deactivates his core and launches the fourth goblin in mid-air, jumps up, and slashes him in mid-air.

When the three goblins get up, Bosch ambushes them with his Epee, taking one out. The other two attack Bosch with their maces. Bosch gracefully dodges both blows and counters with a thrust, felling another goblin. Then Jeros spins and slams the last goblin into the ground, putting an end to him with a quick coup de grace.

Jeros: "That should take care of the main forces."

Goblin Boss: "What! You fools! Do I have to do everything myself?"

Then the Goblin Boss jumps down into the fray, this time heavily clad in iron plate.

Jeros: [Taking guard] "This guy's a regal!"

The regal goblin standing slightly higher than Jeros slaps his shield with his broadsword. He then attacks Jeros with a downward slash. Jeros is able to parry with his broadsword. Bosch tries to help Jeros, but his stopped by the goblin mage's fireball. The goblin mage laughs at Bosch's reaction and orders three goblins to attack him. Bosch holding his Epee with two hands roles out of the ambush.

The regal goblin pushes Jeros back. If only he could draw his shield; if only Jeros could use a broadsword one handed he could best this guy. Alas Jeros doesn't have the strength to do so. Jeros is pinned on defense.

The Goblin mage sees Jeros fending off the boss. He raises his staff to shoot a fireball at Jeros. Jeros looks back and rolls out of the way. The regal goblin blocks the fireball with his shield.

Regal Goblin: "Hey! Stupid. Burn the brat, not me."

Goblin Mage: [Cries] "Sorry boss!"

The goblin mage shoots fireballs continuously at Jeros. Jeros dodges a fireball, sheaths his sword, dodges another fireball, pulls out his dagger and shield, ducks to dodge another fireball, gets angry because his pony tail is singed, activates Crossfire, and blocks the rest of the fireballs with his shield. Rushing the goblin.

Meanwhile Bosch breaks away from the reinforcements. He sees Jeros rushing the goblin mage and the regal goblin following behind. Bosch and the goblins split up. Bosch sheaths his tuck and draws his lance and shield, intercepting the regal goblin. The regal goblin slams into Bosch's shield. Bosch counter-thrusts only to have his lance blocked by his shield. The reinforcements however intercept Jeros. Jeros slides to a stop only to have three goblins dog pile him. The goblin mage laughs and charges up a huge tornado of fire. Before he chants his last words, he spits blood from a blade in his throat.

Aysel then kicks the mage to the ground. Then Aysel jumps on the dog pile of goblins with electricity surging from her ulaks.

Aysel: [shouting] "Thunder Clap!"

The three goblins look up shouting "uh-oh" in unison. Then the goblins were knocked back by the blast. Aysel holds her hand out to Jeros. Jeros, with teeth clinching and his hair frizzed by the static, grabs Aysel's hand.

The regal goblin is in trouble. His defense is no match for Bosch's strength. Eventually Bosch breaks the regal goblin's shield. Forcing the goblin to hold his sword two handed.

Regal Goblin: "But how! We're to kill knights, not brats."

Bosch: "So that the forces at Lobernia can ambush the barony. I'm afraid your plan has failed. Surrender."

The regal goblin looks around and sees his mage lying on the ground. Many of his clan are dead, smoking from fire and lightning. The last of his forces look at the boss with watering eyes, scared.

Regal Goblin: "Cowards! All of you. We can get power! Then we do whatever we want."

The goblin thrusts at Bosch. Bosch parries the sword with his lance until he disarms the goblin.

Regal Goblin: [Scared] "Uh. Uhuhuhuhuh..."

Bosch: "Surrender."

Ominous Man: "Tsk, tsk, tsk. Still living by the code, are you sir Bosch?"

Bosch: [Looking up] "That voice..."

Bosch gasps as he looks up on the high rock. Jeros, feeling a sharp spike of energy, looks to see a dark-gray haired man wearing black and crimson robes holding a book opened in one hand. A red crystal floats above his head emitting an ominous glow. Jeros twitches from the surge of powerful energy waves. Jeros never felt anything like this before, and yet it's somehow familiar.

Jeros recalls a time where he's looking up a shady man's face within a dark room. That shady man is constantly laughing with his demented chaotic voice. Jeros tried to fight to get away, but his body was weak. The only thing Jeros could do is cry. Cried for days, yet no one came until the last minute. Jeros wakes up with Aysel shaking him.

Aysel: [Yelling] "Snap out of it, Jeros!"

Jeros: [Shakes his head] "Huh!"

Ominous Man: "Son of Maxim? Yes... I was hoping to meet you in person, Caliburn."

Jeros: {He knows who I am?} [Swallowing] "Tell me your name and I'll tell you mine!"

Bosch: "Fairfax... Why is a dead man here! You should be burning in the ninth circle."

Fairfax: "Are you sure it's truly me, sir kight. Hmm... I remember you."

o~-~-~-~o

Bosch remembers that day on the gallows in Herat. Watching this man grinning on the gallows again turns his stomach. This mass murdering twisted psychotic sociopath was hanged for the crimes of treason, genocide, torture, and human transmutation. And yet when he was hanged, the man's corpse laughed even with a snapped neck. After all these years, Bosch still couldn't forget that face. He even remembers kicking the crate.

o~-~-~-~o

The man rubs his neck, rubbing at Bosch's unholy deed.

Jeros: "Wait, This man is Narseby!"

Bosch: [Nods] "The same man I executed seven years ago myself."

Fairfax: [Bows] "I would like to thank you, sir knight. Dying was a, how would you say, an educational experience."

Aysel gasps. This is the man who was executed for wiping the Lunethene out of existence. Meanwhile Jeros stares at the man, clinching his weapon tightly. Bosch loses grip of his lance. The regal goblin sees Bosch drop his guard and seizes opportunity to stab him with his sword.

Aysel: [Turns around] "Bosch!"

Jeros: "NO!"

Jeros runs to Bosch as he falls to the ground. Bosch holds his bleeding waist. The regal goblin runs away with the rest of his hoard. Aysel rushes to Jeros's side trying to figure out what to do. Fairfax only laughs at the irony of the situation.

Fairfax: "The first time I met you, sir knight, you hanged me." [Rubs his nose with his sleeve] "And now I witness you dying." [Looks at the goblin hoard] "Eh... I didn't order you to slay him yet."

The regal goblin and his hoard turns around. The goblin snarls at Fairfax.

Regal Goblin: "We have deal. I slay knights when I bring boy."

Fairfax: "Only upon my order, which you disobeyed."

Fairfax holds out his hand. The floating blood crystal sets into his palm. The man crushes the crystal into thousands of shards. The shards reform into a stock, then into a long barrel. He pulls the trigger to fire a small light above the goblin hoard. When the light shatters in the sunlight the goblin hoard chuckles back at Fairfax. Only a blink afterward, the lights rain down upon the hoard, tearing them to pieces like shrapnel. Jeros chokes at the sight while Aysel looks away.

Aysel: [Hiccups] "Ugh! Gruesome!"

Jeros expected gore to be left behind. After watching for a while longer, he sees the shards of light absorbing the monsters' remains. Reforming into a crystal, the ball returns to Fairfax's gun, absorbs it, and floats back above him.

Jeros: [Stuttering] "H-how... How dare you." [Glares at Fairfax] "Even after they fulfilled their promise."

Fairfax: "Oh? They have now have they? They forgot one minor detail before the dead line which was hmm... Five minutes ago. Well no matter, they were no use to me. I need a confirmation that you are Maxim's son."

Jeros: "If you know who I am already, then this won't surprise you."

Jeros turns around to face Fairfax. Aysel holds Bosch's wound with her cloak, hoping to keep him alive. Before Aysel can say anything, Jeros draws his sword.

Aysel: "Jeros! There's no way we can fight that power."

Jeros: [Looking back at Aysel] "I know. We can't run either." [Hoping] "Sometimes you have to trust your luck."

This is not like Jeros to confront anything without a plan. In this case, no plan would work. Bosch is laying on the ground bleeding. Aysel knows things would be easier if she and Jeros left Bosch to die, they would escape... Only to be shred by crystal shrapnel. There's no hope fighting him directly or indirectly. This is a no win situation.

And yet, somehow Jeros refuses to give up. Ignoring all logic Jeros is going down with a fight. Looking back at her training, the Lunethene were trained to die. If the Lunethene were captured, unless their plan is to be sacrificed via execution of false information Lunethene commit suicide either by eating poison or using their own weapon. Aysel won't know if Fairfax's intention is to capture or not at the last minute.

She holds tightly to her Ulaks.

Fairfax watches Jeros step forward.

Fairfax: "Hmm... Any average human would listen to reason and flee."

Jeros: "So you can gun us down? I don't think so. I'm no average human."

Jeros channels all of his power. Fairfax's eyes widen open. He hasn't sensed a power like this in a very long time. It is as if Fairfax is taking in unspeakable pleasure watching Jeros show off. Aysel closes her eyes. The Lunethene were taught to read the energy waves of other humans. Naturally, a faint light glows within a human soldier, even with training. The sensation of Jeros's energy is almost unbearable. His soul is burning with a wild blue flame.

And then she sees the flames form into a golden light. She opens her eyes to see Jeros's energy waves erupting into a golden flare. Jeros sets himself in a battle stance.

Jeros: [Shouting] "This is my energy!"

Fairfax: [Laughing] "Oh yes, this energy. This sensation. I haven't been this nauseated in a very long time." [Snarls] "The energy to repel evil waves. This is certainly a gift of your father. The Sinistrals would be proud."

Jeros: "The Sinistrals are history..." [Runs forward] "Just like you're suppose to be! YEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHGG!"

Jeros's flares form into flames as he leaps forward with a wide slash. Narseby stands still. Aysel closes her eyes to hear two metal blades clash. Opening her eyes, Aysel sees a twisted flesh-like creature block Jeros's blade. The creature stands with tall legs and a skinny body. It holds Jeros's blade with a metal blade implanted in it's left arm. Before Jeros could react, its right arm and deformed wrist knocks Jeros back a few yards. Jeros back flips retaking his stance. Jeros looks at the creature's face. He sees no eyes nor mouth, only alchemic runes covering its skull.

Jeros: [Angry] "What is that thing!"

Fairfax: "Number Twenty-eight. You have done well so far. I have one more task for you."

Jeros: "Twenty-eight? The homunculus doesn't even have a name..."

Bosch twitches after hearing the name. Aysel calms Bosch down from his spasm. She reaches in her cloak to pull out a bitter smelling herb and a roll of cloth. Fairfax watches Aysel patch up Bosch, knowing that's she's only delaying the inevitable.

Fairfax: "Oh this will be an interesting experiment."

Narseby begins to walk around. He pulls a small book from his pocket and places it on the ground. Jeros turns and in reaction parries the blade of the homunculus. Fairfax watches Aysel as he places the second book. Aysel knows Narseby will sense her attack, so she holds back her throwing knife. Once Narseby placed the third book, energies triangulate light from the books forming a large rune. Then the rune forms into a large circle and eventually a sphere. Aysel in reaction throws a knife at one of the books, only to have the knife shoot back in her direction. She catches the knife luckily (which cut her left cheek).

Aysel: "How cute," [Licks the blood off her cheek] "An traverse-reverse barrier."

Jeros: "That is... ?"

Fairfax: "The barrier is a thin portal to another dimension. Anything that tries to enter it will be pushed back outside. Lovely isn't it. Now Number twenty-eight. You know exactly what to do."

The homunculus raises its blade and slashes it into the ground, creating a fissure. Jeros dodges right to avoid the explosion. The homunculus's right arm begins to stretch loosely as if it were made out of rubber. Jeros holds a defensive stance.

Jeros: "You're arm's a whip!"

Twenty-Eight spins its right arm, swinging it as if it were a ball and chain. It slams its fist into the ground. Jeros, catching the rhythm, dodges the slams one by one except for the last one (which nicks his right shoulder). Jeros stands still to nurse his arm. Suddenly, Jeros feels faint.

Jeros: "Ugh... That wasn't from Crossfire's idling, was it?"

Fairfax: "Number twenty-eight has a lovely spell engraved in its arm. 'Absorb' I think. I'll make good use of your precious interwaves when you're dead." [Laughs]

Jeros shudders at Fairfax's laugh. That laugh is too familiar to not forget. It must run in the family, just like how Jeros doesn't know how to give up. The Homunculus lunges at Jeros with its blade arm. Jeros parries the blade only to meet a flying fist. Jeros slams into the barrier only to throw him back into the arena. Jeros flips on his back and looks up to see Twenty-Eight thrusting its blade down. Jeros rolls out of the way. Jeros nips up, and power slashes his foe into mid air. Jeros leaps up with a three-hit combo and slams Twenty-Eight into the barrier. The barrier spits Twenty-Eight back out, falling into Jeros. Jeros gets up and finds a broken lunchbox on the ground.

Lights from Twenty-Eight's left arm begin to glow red. It raises its arm. If the creature had a mouth, it would be chanting.

Aysel: "It's casting magic! Use your shield!"

Jeros: "What!" [Sheaths his broadsword] "Course this thing uses Magic!"

Jeros draws his dagger and shield. The homunculus raises its blade, calling forth flames above it. Jeros picks up a charred newt with his shield hand and stuffs it in his mouth.

Fairfax: "That little snack won't save you now!"

The homunculus throws its blade down followed by a torrent of fireballs. Jeros activates Crossfire and holds up his shield. The shield's flames begin to spin. As the fireballs rain, the shield sucks them inside a vortex. The flames of the dagger grows to a full length longsword. Twenty-Eight stands. So Jeros seizes the opportunity to cut him in half, vertical slice.

The homunculus is no more, and so is the barrier. The three books surrounding Jeros burn to ash. Jeros turns his blade to the applauding Fairfax.

Fairfax: "Well done, well done. You're as quick in your mind as you are on your feet."

Jeros steps forward. Narseby only stands still, smiling.

Fairfax: "And you still lust for vengeance. Yes, I remember those times when I consulted those feelings. I avenged your friend there. As you see, soon enough those efforts will be in vain."

Jeros: [Stepping forward] "You're the one who lured me here. No one else had to get involved."

Fairfax: [Stepping backward] "They came on their own free will. Except sir Wilferd who has been ordered by the baroness to aid you, bless her heart. He protected her all these years and he dies on a monster hunt. Pity, you shouldn't have accepted that behest. His death is on your hands, child."

Jeros: [Raises his blade] "No, it's on the goblin you slain ordered by you. Do you understand your own contradictions?"

Jeros slashes Fairfax again. This time another homunculus is spawned before Fairfax to block Jeros.

Fairfax: "Ah yes, number Twenty-Seven my prototype of the 'Absorb' series.

Jeros: [Shouting] "Oh, come on!"

The Homunculus is the same statue as it's latter model, except this time it has a pair of tentacles for arms. The tentacles wrap around Jeros, squeezing him so hard that he loses his grip on his sword. Then the tentacles glow and begin to slowly drain away Jeros's energy. Fairfax then laughs histerically at Jeros's fate.

Fairfax: "Yes, this boy's energy waves is exactly what he needs for his final experiment."

Aysel, just finishing patching up Bosch, can't stand watching Jeros's suffering any longer. While Narseby is distracted, now's her chance to strike at the source. She activates Mhatra and as quick as greased lightning, she slashes Fairfax's shoulder. Realizing that she missed, her eyes widen open.

Fairfax: "How dare you scratch my perfect body."

Jeros lacks enough oxygen to scream for Aysel. She knew this day would come, and yet she wasted it to save this boy. Aysel regains her balance, and strikes again. Jeros heres the sound of gunfire and watches Aysel fall to the ground, holding her chest.

Bosch is holding his abdomen. He blinks once in consciousness, looking up before he collapses on the ground. Aysel closes her eyes, knowing death's veil is upon her. And yet she awakens. She looks to the rising moon seeing a shadow of white phase past her.

Fairfax: "How interesting. This Lunethene child still breathes from Philosopher's Bullet. Are you sure you're a Lunethene. Hmm... You do look familiar."

Aysel's eyes widen open then close. No, there's nothing she can remember.

Jeros is the only one alive in the creature's grasp. And soon he will pass out. Alive, nor dead, Jeros cannot move on from this tragedy. There has to be something he can do. Could he pray with his last breath? Why pray when there's no gods to answer them?

Jeros: {This is it, isn't it?}

Jeros's sight whites out.

o~-~-~-~o

The next thing Jeros knew, he was laying on the ground holding his throat. He looks up to see a white mist. Blinking once, he thought he sees the mist form white wings. Blinking again, the mist looks back with an emotionless stare. Jeros slowly regains his senses and stands up. Fairfax on the other hand is met with a palm of light glistening in his face. Fairfax backs off.

Fairfax: "So, you're still alive after all these years."

Woman: "You will leave this kingdom at once."

Jeros knows that voice. The voice that has always cheered him on in times of hopelessness. That enigmatic angelic voice which speaks to him when he sleeps alone. The voice of good dreams. Jeros for the first time sees his guardian angel in view.

Jeros: [Eyes watering] "I... Iris."

The homunculus strangling Jeros is no more. Perhaps it simply vanished, or perhaps it was vaporized in the light. Nevertheless Jeros is free. His immediate conscious action was to tend to his fallen comrade. Meanwhile Fairfax lowers his weapon.

Fairfax: "You do know what it means to be alive, Saint of Runa?"

Iris: "You will leave now. You will be vanquished the next time we meet."

Fairfax: [Slowly steps aside] "Yes..." [Watching Iris's eyes] "We will meet again."

Fairfax opens a book, chants a spell, and warps away in a ball of light.

Jeros shakes Aysel awake. Aysel wakes up expecting her lungs to fall out, but opens her hand to see no wound. Jeros scratches the back of his head dumbfounded.

Jeros: "You... Didn't have to do that for me."

Aysel: "You're right, I didn't."

Iris: [Standing above them] "But you did try to aid him. I feel strong friendship between you."

Jeros and Aysel were aghasted at the white priestess above them. They immediately stand up, blushing.

Jeros: "You're not on this conspiracy too, are you Iris?"

Iris: [Tilts her head] "What conspiracy?"

Jeros sighs in relief and relaxes. Whether it's because Iris doesn't know or doesn't get what Jeros is talking about doesn't matter. Aysel seeing the setting sun blanketing itself on the horizon pulls down her hood. Her face is still a little red from the sun burn, but it has healed a little. If this is Maxim's companion from days of yore, Aysel needs to see for herself.

The woman is not as pale as Aysel, but she does have a very light skin tone. Aside from the obvious Runa-priestess gad rags, and her black feather hair pin, how Tia confused her with me is beyond Aysel's reasoning. Sure she has silver white hair and sky blue eyes, but she kind of has this statue-esk look in her face. Iris stares back at the albino Lunethene with a curious expression. Iris is also suppose to be OLD. Sure, she was young journeying with Maxim, but she is rumored to be at least two years younger his age at most. If Aysel was to compare Iris with a photo from twenty years ago, Aysel could tell that she has not aged since.

Aysel: {I Really don't know what she was thinking. Looks plastic-like to me.}

Iris: "Yes? Do you need something?"

Aysel: [Steps back, shakes her head] "Oh, I didn't realize I was being rude." [Ahem] "My name is Nyinne Lhe'Thalla. I'm very sorry about that, but I was told that I kind of look like you." {Have you looked at yourself in the mirror lately?}

Iris: "Well, I can see why you might look related to me." [Smiling] "You look beautiful yourself."

Aysel turns ninety degrees away from Iris. She pulls up her cloak holding it tightly over her face.

Aysel: {Ohmigosh... I can't belive she said that to me. I'm so embarrassed...}

Jeros tries to look closer at Aysel's face. Upon reflex, Aysel raises her fist, punching Jeros in the face. He can only imagine it, but he swore she burned even more red than before. Iris steps backwards with her hands in front of her face.

Iris: "Oh! Jeros."

Jeros: [Waving his arm, talking nasally] "Don't worry, I'll be okay. We need to check on Bosch."

Jeros, Aysel, and Iris rush towards Bosch laying on the ground. Luckily he's asleep now, but might not be alive if left here over night.

Aysel: "I patched him up while you were fighting the homunculus. The herbs I used for his bandage is a clotting and bonding agent with an antiseptic? It stopped the bleeding and it holds his wound closed. But he's still going to need stitches though."

Jeros: "No anesthetic?"

Aysel: "Don't think is necessary because you pass out from the pain. At least his vitals weren't pierced. But we can't really move him."

Iris: "Then allow me."

Iris holds onto her pendant which begins to glow with a warm light.

Aysel: "You know healing magic?"

Iris: "I can use healing magic thanks to the Ankh of Runa." [Holds her pendant]

Aysel: "The Ankh of Runa. Hmm."

She then places her hands upon Bosch's wound. The bandages fall off, but his wound is completely sealed up. Iris almost faints.

Jeros: "Take it easy, we don't need you to pass out too."

Iris: [Sighs] "I'll be fine, Jeros. Aysel, what about yours... Oh?"

Aysel: [Holding her chest] "I don't know why, but the round didn't pierce me."

Jeros: "So Fairfax's crystal can absorb goblins but it can't absorb you? I'm sure if that thing hit me, my guts would be on the floor."

Iris: "The impact would have bruised you at least. May I have a look?"

Aysel: [Holding her chest] "No nonononono noooooo. It doesn't feel like a bruise so it's not a bruise."

Jeros: "It might still be numb from the pain."

Aysel: [Snarling] "You'd like to watch, wouldn't you pony boy?"

Jeros leaves the conversation immediately. He sits in a corner and traces his gloomy finger in the dirt.

Iris: "Well, if it doesn't hurt, then I'm sure it's fine. Your sunburn looks like it's going to blister though. I can soothe it with the Ankh of Runa for you."

Aysel: [Shakes her head] "With a few days under a roof it should heal. I'm used to it. I'm fast at healing sun burns."

Jeros: "Probably not as fast as Dekar, as he is the best at everything. Heh. I would like to get out of here soon."

At first, Aysel thought she hears someone yelling. Then she looks over the horizon behind the camp.

Tia: "Hey! Jeros! Where are you."

Guy: "Aysel! You too. I'm not going to hurt you. Are you still hiding from me?"

Lexis: "I think she knows by now, Guy."

Tia: "You haven't changed a bit. Still as big of a meat head as ever."

Guy: "Hey..."

Iris turns around and starts walking away.

Jeros: "That sounds like Tia and Guy." [Sees Iris leaving] "Wait, Iris!"

o~-~-~-~o

Jeros follows Iris to the edge of the plateau. Iris stops. Not looking back she hears Jeros calling to her.

Jeros: "Do you really have to go?"

Iris: "I'm glad we could meet for the first time, Jeros. But this will be our last."

Jeros: [Shakes his head] "This won't be our last. I don't care what happened in the past. In the end you came through for us, right? Wouldn't everyone like to see you again?"

Iris shakes her head.

Jeros: "Can I see you again?"

Iris looks behind her shoulder to see Jeros one more time. He's no longer the little baby boy Selan cupped breast. Now Jeros is a full grown adult, still petite, but an adult nonetheless. Though Maxim and Selan are no longer here, she knows that they would be proud of this boy's path.

And yet if he knew the whole truth about her, then destiny will be unkind. Her trip to set things right in the past was fun, but in this world's time. Iris doesn't like to think about it. Still, even if she was only an angel, she did have the privilege to watch Jeros grow. And that is an unforgettable experience, something that she will never know in her existence.

Nonetheless, Iris looks forward and moves on without saying good-bye. Jeros watches the woman vanish in the moon light. A tear escapes his eye.

Aysel places her hands upon Jeros's back. From behind, she embraces him. She doesn't know, but she just wanted to comfort him out of instinct. Jeros grabs Aysel's hands and slowly slides them off his shoulders. He turns around to look at Aysel. Just like last time, it was an exchange of feelings without words. Neither of them knew how they could communicate this way to each other. Jeros and Aysel really don't mind it, until Guy interrupts with a big grin on his face.

o~-~-~-~o

Eventually Tia and Guy finally meet up with the group. Bosch was carried immediately to the main cabin who was attended by Tia all the way back home. Though Guy is the only one free, he knows Jeros is hurt on the inside from something. Instead of poking at wounds, its best to leave them alone. Aysel is in the same room with Jeros. She watches him gaze out the window lost in thought as she strips down from her cloak to her sleeveless shirt and shorts to apply lotion to her face and hands. For the rest of the trip, not once did Jeros say a word.

Lexis looks down upon the plateau as he cruises back to Alexia. He thought he spotted an old friend on the edge of the plateau. Lexis sighs and closes his eyes.

Lexis: [Shakes his head] {No, that friend is long gone now. Even if she did come back, things will never be the same. Still, if her spirit lives on then thank you for protecting his kid.}

Iris watches the air ship fly away from the corner of the plateau. Then she walks into the moonlight and fades away.

*~End Chapter
Last edited by DarkMaster2101 on Fri Mar 04, 2011 1:57 am, edited 6 times in total.

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DarkMaster2101
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Postby DarkMaster2101 » Sun Jul 18, 2010 5:45 pm

DISCLAIMER: This story is a not-for-profit fan fiction inspired by the Estpolis/Lufia franchise written only for entertainment purposes. All content relating to the Estpolis/Lufia series, including characters, scenario and reference, is owned by Square Enix, Taito, NATSUME: Serious Fun, ATLUS, and Neverland Company. Please support the official release. Content and references to other stories may appear from time to time, and they are properties of their respected holders. Content from other stories are not used without direct permission.

Stories used: Dawn and Dusk (c) Guard Daos 2008-2009.

o~-~-~-~o

Bosch wakes up in a white room on a soft mattress. He shakes his head, squinting his eyes from the tinted glass's dose of morning sunlight. He hears the shadows above him mumble. Then one of the shadows falls down to embrace him. Another shadow tries to catch it, but the falling shadow breaks its grasp. The shadow's face takes form in memory of a young woman's face. Her auburn bangs brush against her master's nose. Her narrow dark green eyes widening, she kisses him on the forehead.

Kirin: [Sobbing] "My lord! Thank goodness you have life's breath."

Bosch: [Looking up to see his knight's face] "Kirin?"

Surge: "Easy there, lady Kirin." [Pulls Kirin away] "The wound is healed, but the pain still lingers."

Kirin leans backwards from embarrassment. She folds her arms and glares at her tan, bald, brown eyed comrade. Wondering who else is here, sir Bosch rolls his eyes only to see little contrast in the light. To get a better view, Bosch scoots himself up the mattress. He squints at the pain. Kirin raises her arms to calm her lord. Bosch rubs his waist. Surprised, he feels no bandages, cut, or scar. Bosch leans backwards smiling.

Bosch: "Are you not disappointed at an old veteran like myself lowering his guard against a feral creature?" [Sigh] "And to be blinded by a devious trap?"

Kirin: [Shakes her head] "There wasn't much you can do, m'lord." [Steps back] "Lobernia was quiet during your absense."

Surge: Luckily, no one has acted against the barony. [Leans on his Poleaxe] "At least not yet."

Bosch: "I see... There are tough times ahead for all of us. Where's Jeros and the Lunethene?"

Everyone hears a door open. Another shadow veils the tinted glass windows. Looking closer, Bosch sees a light-plated knight with a crossbow strapped to his back. He brushes his blond hair and smiles. He then looks at his lord with his azure eyes.

Dallas:: "Welcome back, m'lord. Was the mission a success?"

Bosch quiets himself. He closes his eyes and meditates upon the events of his last battle. He looks at his vassal in disgrace.

Bosch: "By now Caliburn and Lhe'Thalla should have reported, if they returned."

Dallas: [Pulls up a chair] "I never doubted the Chaser and Caliburn. They returned without a scratch, so to speak. I have looked into the reports. Caliburn claims to encounter Fairfax."

The other two knights look at Dallas in disbelief. Then they turn their eyes to their lord.

Dallas: "Is this true, lord Bosch."

Bosch closes his eyes remembering that man's twisted face. Only one man can smile at death's grasp like that. Bosch holds tight to his aching waste. He sits himself up.

Surge: "Please stay in bed m'lord. You might still be wounded internally."

Bosch: [Looks at Surge] "No need to worry about me, Sir Surge. I survived worse wounds than this. The only thing truly wounded is my pride. I wish to speak with her excellency immediately to confirm Caliburn's report."

Dallas:"I am afraid that cannot be arranged at the moment, m'lord."

Bosch stands up. Flinching from the pain he sets himself back down on the bed. Surge stands up. Meanwhile, Kirin sits in a corner, folding her arms pouting.

Surge: "In this state an audience with the Baroness is impossible."

Bosch: "Whether it be with a crutch or in a chair, I must see her."

Dallas: "As I said, an audience cannot be arranged at this moment. She is currently making arrangements with his majesty King Alex DéLeon Asguard."

Bosch: "His majesty is here?" [Looks down] "Oh dear, I almost forgotten his reason for voyaging here. Is it that time already?"

Kirin: [Looks away folding her arms] "Hmph! I think my lord wishes to meet her excellency to receive his welcome back kiss."

For almost a minute, no one says a word. Bosch finally works himself to endure the pain and confronts his vassal. He scowls in embarrassment and his vassal vice versa.

Bosch: "Lady Kirin, we had this discussion before. The Baroness and I have no such relationship."

Kirin: [Smirking] "Most of the time she employs you to be her personal body guard when you're not training us. But you're right m'lord. I cannot see her excellency married to an old dinosaur like you."

Bosch: "I am a dinosaur now am I! And speculating her excellency marrying me? Cut this nonsense, Kirin!"

The other knights laugh around their lord. Though Kirin, young and spry, always has a knack to push her lord's buttons, especially when it comes to his maidenhood (so to speak). Kirin had always been the jealous type when it comes to romance. Though most lords would dismiss their vassal for such conduct, Bosch's vassals are as close as blood families can get. Bosch sighs and pats Kirin on the head.

Bosch: "Then let us return to the castle. There is much to prepare for the ceremony. Soon Alexia will become its own kingdom."

Kirin: "Of course, my lord!" [Pumps her fist] "All hail the new kingdom of Alexia!"

Dallas and Surge salute to the sky.

Dallas: "Hail!"
Surge: "Hail!"

o~-~-~-~o

Kirin and Dallas rush ahead to the castle. Surge escorts his lord outside of the church. Outside to the fountain south, Bosch sees Jeros and Aysel waiting. Jeros meets Bosch and shakes his hand.

Jeros: "I knew you would be okay!" [Releases Bosch's hand] "Are you all right?"

Bosch: "Never better. I could do without the pain."

Aysel: [Pulls up her hood] "The pain means you're still alive, doesn't it?"

Bosch: [Chuckles] "I suppose so..."

Bosch stands himself up from Surge's escort. Surge salutes to Jeros.

Surge: "My name is Surge Everglade, a knight of Alexia. We're in your debt for your service."

Jeros: [Shakes his head] "No, if sir Bosch wasn't with us, I don't know how we could have done it without him."

Surge: "Nonetheless, all is well. Our last final obstacle in stabilizing out borders is Lobernia. You played a great role, Caliburn. Great for all of Alexia."

Jeros: [Rubs the back of his neck] "Eheheheh... It's not that big of a deal. Really." [Sighs] "Well I have other places to go before heading out. Glad you're okay, Bosch."

Bosch: "Before you leave, it would be a great honor for you to attend the Crowning Ceremony at least."

Jeros: [Nods] "All ready there. Alex... Er... The king requested Dekar's and Guy's family to attend. I can't really say no to the invitation." {Tia would kill me if I did.}

Bosch: "Then, will you attend Aysel?"

Aysel: [Grabs Jeros's arm] "I'd rather be paid so I can be on my way. However, this is history in the making. A once in a lifetime opportunity to see a new queen crowned, I can't miss either."

Jeros: [Trying to push Aysel off] "What she said..."

Surge: "Then so be it! I'll see if we can provide you guest of honor services."

Jeros: [Finally pushes Aysel away] "I don't think that's necessary, but thanks anyway."

Bosch: "Indeed. Let's be on our way."

Jeros bids fare well to the knights as they stumble back to the castle. Jeros folds his arms glaring at Aysel. Aysel tilts her head.

Jeros: "Don't ever do that again."

Aysel: "Do what?"

Jeros: "The grabbing-the-arm thing. And stop with this fake girlfriend stuff."

Aysel: [Folds her arms] "Hmm. You know how to spoil a good time. It's a wonder why you don't have a girlfriend."

Jeros: "Because of exactly what you're doing now." [Groans] "Whatever, I'm heading back to the inn."

Jeros turns around and heads towards the inn.

Aysel: "Wait, Jeros..."

Jeros turns at the cobblestone street. Aysel folds her arms, pondering her emotional state.

Aysel: {I don't know about you, but this is a first for me.} [Sighs] {The guild is going to have fun when they learn about Fairfax. I'm not looking forward to it.}

Aysel walks to the fountain. She stares at her reflection the water. She sees a white ghost looking at her frowning. Shaking her head, Aysel blinks. Looking again she sees the familiar emotionless stare she's accustomed too. Aysel stands up to stretch herself. She's been in the sun for too long. Even with the blanket protecting her, her body demands sleep in the shade. So Aysel decides to leave the outskirts of town finding a nice tree to sleep under. Though beds are tolerable, Aysel prefers to sleep under nature's shade. Perhaps it's the Lunethene blood within her, or perhaps she can't sleep with people near by at the moment.

Aysel finds a nice large tree towering over a boulder just outside the north gate. She sits underneath it, pulling her hood down she holds both Asguard's stone and Mahtra's Cieth (her wavecore) in her palm. She looks up into the twilight of the tree's branches thinking...

For once it would be nice to take off this blanket.

o~-~-~-~o

Meanwhile on the other side of town, a familiar barefooted child limps through the dark alleys. The child is rubbing his left eye, moaning in pain with each step. The boy pulls from his pouch a familiar purse. He remembers the red-headed idiot claiming the boy's boast as a lie, which was half true...

For as long as he can remember, the boy always lived together with his elder sister. He and his sister are run-aways escaping the wrath of their drunk step father from another land. For the longest time, he and his sister never had to deal with the bounty hunters when they hid in Alexia. It was then that they lived as street urchins doing every odd job possible to make end's meat.

That is, until his sister caught a fever. Against better judgment, the girl went to see a back alley doctor to diagnose her condition (if she did go to the church's hospital, they would have been turned in). The back ally doctor diagnosed her condition as a common cold. He then charged outrageously for it. For months the boy's been working honest jobs, and yet it seems there's no end to debt.

He knew it was a scam, but yet he can't find evidence to prove it. If he were to miss one payment (which is one too many) the doctor's bouncers will beat him brutally until he pays (or begs for mercy, which hurts the boy even worse). Then the doctor offered the boy work. Nothing in the medical profession, instead the boy turns to thievery and pick pocketing. The boy was given a note, and whatever was on the note the boy had sneak in and steal it. The doctor gave him a nick name, "The Delivery Boy" for he always delivers his order. Well except for the last one.

The boy remembers the bouncers pummeling him into the dirt. The doctor, holding a rod, looked at the boy fuming.

Doctor: "Congratulations on your first mess up. You know what happens next, do you?"

Brat: [Spits on the ground] "Yes... Can't you give me credit for even breaking in the dang place!"

Doctor: "I'm impressed, but too pissed to care!"

The doctor strikes the boy with his rod. The boy whelps in pain. The doctor continues to strike the boy until the whelp becomes a cry.

Doctor: "Well, then. If you can't pay this time, then I'm sure she'll have to cover the bill."

Brat: [Gasps] "What about the purse I gave you? I counted two-thousand gold pieces. Shouldn't that cover at least half of it?"

The doctor steps on the boy's head.

Doctor: "Pah! Chump's change. If you would've succeeded then all of your debts would be erased. With the way things are now, not even gold is going to cover the interest." [Kicks the brat] "You have twenty-four hours until your next job, delivery boy. Until then you're sister is mine." [Looks at his bouncers] "Throw him in the garbage."

o~-~-~-~o

The boy rubs his hair and pulls out a tiny orange peel. His stomach growls in a sigh. He won't even be able to eat today. He looks towards the crowded street. If he can't buy a meal then he'll take one. The boy sees a dumb looking couple looking around. Considering the look of their clothes, they must be new in town. Perfect.

The boy bumps into the blond haired idiot with the top hat, slides his finger into the man's pocket and yanks out a light purse.

Man: "Hmm..." [Smiling] "Someone took something that doesn't belong."

The idiot looks behind to find who took his wallet. The boy vanishes in the crowd. When the coast is clear the boy opens up the purse and finds only two gold pieces. After rubbing the coins a bit, the boy feels a soft texture. He bites into the coin.

Brat: "Fool's gold?"

Suddenly, a blue haired bimbo snags the boy. He tries to resist, but his face is buried under her chest.

Bimbo: "Hey! Did anyone ever tell you not to steal from thieves, little boy?"

Brat: [Mmph] "Takes one to know one!"

The boy slips out of the bimbo's grasp and makes a break for it. The boy crashes into the man's hip. When the boy falls on his behind, the man bends over to hold out his hand.

Man: "Say, you look like a spry one. I'm looking for someone to pick up the trade if you know what I mean."

Brat: "Sorry, I'm not interested. I'm dealing with enough scams already."

The bimbo kneels down frowning.

Bimbo: "What kind of scams are you talking about? Honey, if it's money then Berty has a plan to solve all your problems. Right sweetie!"

Man: "You bet, my lovely Betty."

Both thieves giggle at each others' flirtatiously comments.

Brat: [Stands up] "You know what they say, there's no honor among thieves."

Berty: "Well, unlike that crackpot doc, we're honorable thieves."

Betty: "That's right." [^_^]

Betty pulls out a sheet of paper from inside her shirt. The boy knows exactly what it is. Even from a mile away he can read his sister's beautiful hand writing.

Brat: "That's... How did you get it?"

Berty: "Hey there. You want to listen now?"

The boy nods silently. This really could be his big chance to break free from his scam.

Or perhaps these two are idiots.

Betty: "Say, little boy, do you know how much a queen's crown is worth?"

o~-~-~-~o

*~Moonstone Chapter Part 7: Return of the Greatest Thieves~*

o~-~-~-~o

Somewhere in the high chambers of the castle, the baroness sits inside her personal office. The desk is stacked with hundreds of reports and order forms. The baroness kicks back in her chair, resting her feet on a desk. Sure the desk is made from steel-plated mahogany, but it was built to withstand a cannon blast and not to look pretty. The baroness finds more value in oddities than material worth. The baroness flips through a form holding Jeros's written report. From her pocket she finds and opens a small wooden case cradling a bottle of liquid. The baroness touches her pupils. After holding a pair of thin lenses, she places them inside the bottle. Then she closes her eyes tightly to bring them in focus.

The baroness hears the door knock. She gets up and walks behind the door.

Baroness: [Calling] "Have you forgo no personnel is granted permission to access this floor."

King Alex: "Not even your king, whom Alexia serves?"

Her excellency sighs and opens the door. Alex walks in and greets the baroness with a hug.

King Alex: "My cousin, finally we meet again."

Baroness: "It is always good to see you, Alex."

Naturally, the baron or anyone below the king must address their rulers formally at all times. The only exception to this rule is if the vassal is family. The baroness pushes away her king and offers him a seat. Alex knows the report is going to take a while.

Ethel summarizes Jeros's and Aysel's reports when they traveled through Chatam tunnels to engage the goblin camp. Then Ethel explains to Alex about their encounter with Fairfax.

Alex: "The entire Northland region is going to frenzy when they discover this news. King Jude is and still against colonization because of Fairfax. Then Alunze suddenly quit colonization. Parcelyte tried to support the colonies as much as the could. Unfortunately Gratze's mid seas blockades would have dragged Parcelyte into war."

Baroness: "I understand his position. Amon's influence gave Jude a bad reputation. However, with the way things are looking, Gratze and Bound may be at war again."

King Alex: "Yes, I recived a letter from my brother before the voyage. Jude declared the Ruins Chasers guild an enemy of the people because of some legendary beast from a cultist prophecy. Even with Thea as my sister in law, things were uneasy before I left. I told Jude why I continue to support the colonies is due to the impossibility of transporting the population of colonists. At first we were funding Platina, a labratory established by Lexis to engineer vessels for world travel. However, Platina is short-handed in engineers and can't meet deadlines. Bound is running out of time and money, so we canceled the project."

Baroness: "Politics at its worst. Locking ourselves into an impossible situation we can't absolve. All we can do is blame others. Perhaps becoming an independent kingdom isn't the best solution at this time."

King Alex: [Shakes his head] "I'm afraid you're wrong for once, Ethel. Though once you become a Kingdom you will no longer have access to Bound's resources. However there is more than enough abundance of land, ruins, and men to keep Alexia alive in both resources and interest. I know your knights are ready, but Alexia doesn't have the army nor navy to fight Jude's ironclad warships. Bound only officially signed a navy into practice less than a year ago." [Sighs] "I wish Leon and Thea aren't in the cross fire. During the crisis, Jude was threatening their marriage until little Alistair was born."

Alex arises from his chair. He looks at his cousin with a commanding look.

King Alex: "As an heir of Warlord's blood, it is your birth right to succeed your kingdom. Alexia is not Medan, whom your uncle wished to succeed, but I have never seen a land more ready than this." {No one has seen a land become a kingdom, but 'tis beside the point.} [Clears his throat] "Sir Bosch has trained his knights well. All have passed their examinations with flying colors. Alexia's economy is more stable than Bounds. The only thing Alexia is missing is a crowned king... Err, queen."

Ethel stacks a group of papers and lays them on the desk. She looks outside her window to see the ever expanding city. Ethel knows more than anyone that she is ready to rule a kingdom. Yet a question asks: Is this the right time?

Baroness: "Fairfax is out there. As a sworn enemy of the Warlord he will do everything he can to oppose his rule. Even if it means to collapse civilization."

King Alex: "Even if Fairfax resurrects the Sinistrals himself, we have Jeros Caliburn. If Dual Blade chose Maxim, then it will chose him."

Baroness: "I see..." [Folds her arms] "But what about the Moon Goddess?"

King Alex: "Then I don't know what will happen. All I can do is pray and hope the cogs of fate turn in our favor."

Baroness: "I may have evidence fate is within Caliburn's favor. Besting a homunculus with no magical nor alchemical talent is purely luck. IF I recall, luck is name for gods' favor."

The baroness stands up from her desk and motions Alex to walk with her.

Baroness: "We have more pressing matters to attend to. Have you accepted my design for the crown?"

King Alex: "Goodness no! Those designs were outrageous. No silversmith in Northland can reproduce those patterns."

Baroness: "I see. So you have no crown for me then."

King Alex: "Well, there is one piece we were able to fit for the crown. The Alexandrite gemstone is perfectly carved. It was a surprise to discover an elf jeweler who knew how to work with it. And an even bigger surprise that she lives in Elcid."

As his highness and her excellency continue to walk down the stairs discussing the crown, a trio of shadows eaves drop in the window. The blond thief replaces his hat while the brat struggles for a place to breathe next to the blue-haired bimbo.

Berty: [Whispering] "Wow, kid you know how to sneak in a castle that's for sure."

Brat: "Heh," [Rubs his nose] "I know my way around places. Now for your end of the bargain."

Betty: "Not just yet, sweetie." [Pulls the paper out of her bosom] "We still need to find what we're looking for."

Berty: "And I have a plan." [Tilts his hat] "Now that we have a look see at the castle here's how we're gonna do it."

Berty whispers in Betty's ear. The brat overhearing this shakes his head.

Brat: "Are you two crazy! That'll never work!"

Berty: "It's just so crazy that it has to, son. When you're in the business for as long as we have, then you know the crazier the plans..."

Betty: "The better your chances."

Brat: "Well, coming from old farts like I'll take your wisdom."

Betty: [Pinches the brat's cheek] "Did you just call me old, whippersnapper!"

Guard: "Shush! I heard something."

Berty, Betty, and the brat leap outside the window. A guard walks up and sees nothing in the window.

Guard: [Shouts] "Anyone there?"

Brat: "Umm... Caw? Caw!"

Guard: [Shrugs] "Blasted crows! We need that window fixed. Either that or throw a scarecrow up there."

The guard walks back down the stairs. Everyone behind the window sighs and relaxes.

Berty: "Smooth move, son. Now don't you ever call my honey an old fart again."

Betty: "Berty, who are you calling an old fart?"

Berty: [Gulp]

Brat: "Eh," [Rubs his cheek] "So what's the plan?"

Berty: "Well I'm glad you asked."

Betty: [Folds her arms] "Hmph! Men..."

o~-~-~-~o

Now, thirty minutes past sunset, Dekar opens the inn's doors. Tia walks out of the inn formally dressed with a full frilly pink silk dress with violet trimmings ribbons, and high heels. Dekar lowers his head and Tia kisses him on the cheek. He is a gentleman after all, and having pink lip stick on his cheek proves it. Behind Tia, Guy arrives wearing a shirt and tie for once. Naturally, Guy wears a harness and leather vest because shirts his size are expensive. Plus, Guy always tears his shirts when fighting. The yellow-brown plaid kilt is questionable but at least Guy is wearing a decent pair of khaki slacks underneath it. Jessy is wearing a one peace pine green dress with matching gloves. She would wear heels, but because of the baby, she can't balance in them anymore.

Everyone gathers around for the star of the show. Tia had heard about Jeros's custom outfit, but has yet to believe it. Jeros arrives wearing a navy blazer and tie with a silver vest. Hanging from Jeros's waist is a crimson cape with a golden pair of wings stitched and cross stitched on the back. Jeros tied all but his right side bang back. He stretches his fingertips showing off his white gloves.

Jessy: "Well look at you! I was worried when you said you were picking your outfit, but look at you."

Tia: "Even I'm surprised you know how to clean yourself up."

Jeros: "It's nothing to look at." [Pulls up his belt] "I just mixed and matched some clothes that says me. Except for the cape, I had to get that one custom made."

Guy: "Hmph! It looks great on you kid-o. You almost look like your dad with your mom's haircut."

Dekar: "He does, doesn't he. I never thought about it."

Jeros: "Say Dekar, how come you're wearing the same clothes and not something formal."

Dekar: "Why this coat was made by King Alex himself, back when he was a prince. It's an honor to wear this coat during his ceremonies."

Tia: "Actually, Dekar's ceremonial armor weighs too much for Excellion to carry. It weighs half a ton."

Guy: "One thousand pounds! That must be some armor."

Jessy: "Sounds like a dragon can roll over you and you'll be just fine."

Dekar: "It's perfect only for the strongest man in the world." [Laughing]

Tia: "That, and you jumped in a pool of wet cement wearing it. Now it's a statue stuck halfway in the ground."

Dekar: "Oh yeah, I thought it was cement armor. I tried oiling its joints, but it turns out the things full of rock."

Everyone says nothing. Ignorance is bliss.

Jeros: "Can we talk about it after the ceremony, we have to get going."

Jeros starts walking to the castle, until Guy catches him by his belt.

Guy: "Whoa whoa, hold up kid-o. Give me the sword."

Jeros: "Eheheh... I can't bring my sword?"

Dekar: "Sorry, unless you have an award at arms you cannot bring any weapons to royal ceremonies. It's a capital offense against the king. I have to enforce that law."

Guy: "Yeah, you won't even let me bring my hammer. I feel naked without it."

Jessy places her hands on her hips and sighs. Guy shrugs.

Guy: "Well, I do Jess."

Jessy folds her arms, angry while Guy readies himself to plea. Then she sighs.

Jeros: "I guess I have to leave my swords behind then." [sighs]

Dekar: "Or you can give them to me. I'm the Royal Weapon Master Knight with over One Hundred Special Moves! Another thing I'm best at is keeping an eye on my sword."

Tia: "Or I can put Jeros's weapons in my suitcase."

Tia grabs her suitcase from inside the inn. She opens it up and a hook snatches Jeros's swords from his belt.

Jeros: "So I can't bring my swords. Understandable. But Tia can bring her contraption-slash-and-snatch-killing-machine? Now THAT's a problem!"

Tia: "Why," [Raises her suitcase] "It's only a harmless suit case." [Smiles]

Jeros: "Ha ha."

Tia: "Hmph! No one will notice anyways so why complain."

Jessy: "Oh, now that's taken care of we can get going. This dress barely fits as is. The sooner we're done, the sooner I can get out of it."

Dekar: "Do you hear that Guy?"

Guy: [Looks at Jessy with wide eyes] "Yeah?"

Jessy: [Folds her arms] "No. Not tonight."

Guy: [Bends over] "Darn..."

Tia: "Awe... I know the weight shows, but I still want a baby."

Guy: "You hear that, Dekar?"

Dekar looks at Guy with a frustrated look.

Guy: "Oh... Sorry." [Looks down] "I forgotten."

Tia: [Pats Guy on the back] "It's fine, Guy. You don't need to worry about it."

Jeros: "Have you considered adoption?"

Tia: "Yes, we have, but I can't run our shop in Elcid by my self anymore because of health problems. And rasing a child adds more to the stress, so says the doctor. Besides, Dekar is always traveling back and forth to Bound so he can't settle down to help raise one."

Dekar: "It's hard being a knight, tea-leaf. Today I had to grade the arithmetic tests."

Jeros: [Folds his arms, glaring] "Wow, that MUST be tough; exhausting your brain like that."

Dekar: "It is."

Tia: "You know, for once Guy and Jessy aren't bickering."

Jessy: "Oh, we've been fighting all day. Guy's still trying to sell his little book instead of looking for contracts for the legion."

Guy: "Little book! I have you know that my autobiography is exactly one-hundred pages long. And that's a big number."

Dekar: "No kidding! I can't even sit down to write ten pages. That must take talent, Guy."

Jessy: "Dekar, please don't encourage him."

Jeros: {I've read and written reports about War and Peace, Chauser's Tales, and MacBeth in one night, what are you two talking about.}

Behind the group, a young girl walks behind Jeros. She taps him on his shoulder.

Aysel: "Umm... Excuse me.."

Jeros: "Uhh, sure, just give me a..." [Turns around and gasps] "Aysel."

Aysel looks at Jeros blushing. She turns, holding her left arm wearing a two piece silver and black sleeveless dress. Lavender trimming sketch vines to pale blossoms. Her silk black gloves shimmer in contrast with her pale complexion. Her make up is absolutely perfect, giving her a slight blush around her cheeks matching the red lip stick. The light eye liner traces the shape of her eyes expressing her rouge irises. Read crystals dangle from her earrings and Asguard's stone rests around her neck (hidden under her dress's broach).

Guy and Dekar stand jaw dropped, enthralled by the Albino Lunethene's dress. Tia steps on Dekar's foot while Jessy slaps Guy's jaw closed, causing Guy to bite his own tongue.

Guy: [Licking his mouth] "Light, vhat dib I bo?"

Aysel: "This, well, is the first in a while that I wore something formal."

Jeros: "I, umm, uhh..." [Slaps his cheeks] "You look, very nice..."

Aysel: [Giggles] "Not what I usually wear, but thank you."

Tia: "I'm really jealous. Aside from flabbergasting my husband you are a one of a kind beauty. Though I wish you didn't have to live cursed by the sun."

Aysel: "I wish I didn't either sometimes. Though a black dress will be hot during the day."

Jeros: "Two sides of the same coin I suppose..." [Mumbling] {Daytime, night time, bed time, it looks great any time.}

Aysel: "Did you say something Jeros?"

Jeros: [Shakes his head] "Ah, we have to get going, the ceremony can start any time."

Jessy: "Fair enough. Let's go you meat head."

Dekar holds his elbow out and escorts Tia. Guy does the same with Jessy. Jeros on the other hand, walks next to Aysel. Aysel only looks at Jeros, wondering what's he thinking. Aysel is starting to get annoyed at the fact that Jeros is playing this game. Aysel grabs Jeros's arm.

Aysel: "At least be a gentleman, please?"

Jeros: "So you finally catching on?"

Aysel: "Somewhat. I'm sorry. I'm not one to take comfort from my emotions."

Jeros: "That's a different excuse."

Aysel: "It's not an excuse. I have a problem with my feelings. Need I say more?"

Jeros: "Seems logical, I suppose. As long as we don't get close like you said then that's fine."

Aysel: [Sighs] "Nevermind." [Throws Jeros's arm] "Forget I asked."

Aysel storms ahead to the castle. Jeros sighs and folds his arms.

Jeros: "What's with that girl?"

o~-~-~-~o

Jeros finally arrives at the heavily crowded gate. Almost the entire population of Alexia can be seen for miles. Jeros had to rub his hears from the deafening cheers once he's in the crowd. Jeros looks around trying to find Aysel only to be snatched up by Dekar. Dekar then guides Jeros through the crowd until they arrive at the palace gate. Aysel is standing with her hands on her hips tapping her foot. Jeros sees Tia, Guy and Jessy waving in the front of the crowd. Jeros stops at the first steps only to be pulled by Dekar again.

Jeros: "Hold on, Dekar, there's Tia and the rest."

Dekar: [Grabs Jeros by the shoulder] "I know, however the baroness requests you as the guest of honor."

Jeros: [Pulling] "I don't want to be the guest of honor."

Dekar: [Dragging Jeros] "No need to worry, your friend in the black dress is a guest too."

Jeros: {So that means I'm stuck standing next to her.} [Sigh] "I guess I'll bare with it."

Once at the gate, Dekar directs Jeros next to Aysel. Then Dekar runs to the crowd with the rest of the knights who are directing the crowds to open a path for the king. Jeros looks at the sea of people. He stands with his hands behind his back. He steps closer to Aysel. Aysel steps away.

Jeros: "I'm trying to be a gentleman. Can you be a lady?"

Aysel: "Fine."

Jeros looks at the cheering crowd again. Jeros does not know why, but for some reason warmth rushes through his body.

Jeros: [Soaks in the feeling] "This feels quite nice, actually."

Aysel: "I suppose it does. But how can you tell the good feelings from the bad?"

Jeros: "You really can't tell can you?"

Aysel shakes her head and steps closer to Jeros. A pair of Alexian knights step in between Jeros and Aysel.

Kirin: "Sorry dude, but you need to step back a little bit."

Jeros: "Umm... Okay..." {What's with the attitude?}

Dallas: "Say, I wonder where Surge is?"

Kirin: "He's directing the crowds with sir Braveheart."

Jeros: "Yeah, you're going to need Dekar's help with this one."

Dallas: "You know sir Dekar?"

Jeros: "Yeah, he's my adopted aunt's husband."

Kirin: "Then you must be Caliburn. I thought Caiburn was the white one?"

Aysel: "That must be a joke, or you're a ditz."

Dallas: "She's kind of both."

Kirin: "I'm an Alexian knight thank you very much, Dallas."

Jeros: "You're pretty laid back for knights."

Dallas: "Times like these don't call for a stick up your butt just yet. We're about to become a kingdom. Probably will be the last time we can relax."

Aysel: "Ft. Lobernia?"

Kirin: "Yep."

Surge arrives on stage.

Surge: "His majesty is ready for the parade."

Dallas: turns to the crowd. He taps his lance on the stone floor.

Dallas: "COMPANY ATTENTION!"

The knights bordering the crowd stand attention, facing the castle.

Dallas: "RAISE ARMS, SALUTE THE KING!"

Columns of knights raise their halberds creating an arch which extends all the way down the road. Marching forward is a squad of heavily armored knights holding the red flag of Bound. Behind the color guard is his majesty escorted personally by Dekar and two other knights. Behind the king is another brigade of knights guarding pillow with a folded flag inside of a white gold encrusted crown with a vibrant red gemstone inside it.

Before his majesty marches to the gates, the Baroness steps forward from the palace gates. Next to the Baroness Jeros sees Bosch, fully clad in polished armor. Bosch does not look directly at Jeros, but he senses his presence nonetheless. Dallas and Kirin stand guard raising their weapons once his highness arrives on the palace steps.

The angry herald emerges the palace gates. Once the king arrives on stage. Bosch raises his lance.

Bosch: "AT EASE KNIGHTS! LOWER YOUR ARMS!"

Obediently, all knights lower their weapons. Dekar stops at the top step halting the color guard and treasure guard. King Alex and the crown bearer steps forward to the center of the gate. The herald cups his hand over his mouth.

Herald: "Hear ye. Hear ye. His majesty, your King, Alex DéLeon Asguard of the twenty third dynasty of Bound Kingdom has come to chose the heir of a new kingdom. As decreed by Hillshire Laws section 1.5 of the Dragon scrolls a new kingdom can be made if an only if the barony has served her country for no less than ten years, five years as a barony, and is head by a third cousin or less of King's decent." [Un-cups his hands] "Have you selected your heir, your majesty?"

King Alex: "Yes I have. I have chosen Baroness Ethel Verkopen to receive the crown."

Herald: "And do you have reason you chosen this woman to bare the responsibility of the mandate to serve her own kingdom?"

King Alex: "No baron has brought Alexia greater prosperity than Ethel. When Baron Marshal has fallen to Fairfax, Alexia's state formed into a flux. Cchaos and deception ruled the streets. There was little food, tainted water, and bodies dying from diseases were everywhere. Ethel Verkopen changed Alexia not through war, but decision and opportunity. As we know from the great conflict, Doom Island when humanity bands together we can change our destiny."

Jeros sees the baroness's lips move.

Baroness: [Whispering] "That's enough reason, your highness."

King Alex: "Though as your king, you the people, must know the reason why I chose to crown. Many of you who have stayed in Westland know of Fairfax's genocide against the tribes of the moon. I have heard rumors, but it wasn't until today I have evidence..."

Baroness: [Whispering] "Please, your majesty."

King Alex: "Narseby Fairfax faked his death."

The entire crowd gasps at the thought. Narseby Fairfax not dead? This can't be true. People in the crowds whisper to each other. Tia looks at Guy holding tightly to her suitcase. Even Dekar is at a loss.

Tia: "Narseby Alive!"

Guy: "Timmy stayed in the colony just to watch the dastardly man hang. It can't be!"

Dekar: [Muttering] "What exactly do you mean your majesty?"

Herald: "Stay calm, your majesty confirms the rumor that Narseby didn't fake his death and..."

King Alex: "You will hold your tongue until I finish speaking, or do you wish to forfeit your job?"

Herald: "But, but... Gah!"

Jeros: "Something tells me that we shouldn't of reported Fairfax."

Aysel: "Fairfax would have made himself known sooner or later. This is Alex's choice."

King Alex: "Yes, Fairfax is still alive. I do not know where he is hiding, nor do I know his plans. I do know that Fairfax's intention is to cause wars for his own benefit. Because of the Lunethene extinction, the nations of Northland, including your mother country, are at each others' throats blades and guns drawn. Gratze is on the edge to declare war against both north and west lands."

Jeros: "Why would Gratze do that? Alex is the brother Jude's son-in-law. Gratze holds family ties to Bound."

Citizen: "Is he going to drag us into a war?"

Citizen: "What of us, your Highness!"

King Alex: "If I were a corrupt king, I would withhold the crown and force my subjects to fight for me in my name. However, I know that to be a just king I must learn that a king cannot lead a kingdom without his followers. Just kings must listen to the wishes of his people and compromise interests of both parties. Many here have fought in the skirmish, and many more lost their lives. If Bound is going to fight a war, then we will fight where we fight best; in Northland. If Alexia still wishes to aid Bound in hour of need, then decide for yourselves as a kingdom."

Herald: "Nonsense, nonsense I say. By crowning the kingdom, Bound will cut communication between us and Northland. How do we not know this is a plan for Gratze or other Northland nations to invade? How do we not know if Bound is going to invade?"

The herald's words rile up the crowd. They begin to chatter among themselves again. Tia folds her arms. She knows this idiot is spewing nonsense.

Herald: "Well, what do you, the people say to the king's plan? This ceremony is a joke isn't it? You're giving us the crown to lure ourselves into a false sense of security. Shroud us with your words of faith on how you're a just king and yet you're a child. The world isn't some magical place where dreams come true. Dreams are crushed and broken everyday. When did Bound kingdom have a heart I say? When did any Warlord descendant had one? And..."

Brat: "Oh! Shut up already!"

Herald: "Who said that!"

Jeros: [Surprised] "I know that voice?"

King Alex: "It seems your ludicrous speech has been silenced by a child."

The crowd laughs.

King Alex: "I think this shows that the herald's argument..."

A large metal sphere falls from the sky.

King Alex: "Dropped the bomb?"

Dekar: "Alex! Look out!"

Looking at the ball, Jeros sees sparks shooting out of it. Dekar grabs Alex and throws him out of the way. The ball explodes releasing a blinding flash. Tia falls down from the force, coughing up blood. Jessy holds her baby while Guy covers them both. Dekar gets up from on top Alex and looks seeing the crown tumble onto the ground. Boch looks from behind his shield (which he raised to protect the baroness from the explosion). Dallas and Kirin are on the ground rubbing their eyes. Aysel nips up and sees two shadows standing on top of the castle.

Meanwhile two knights arrive from the crowd rush on stage.

Male Knight: "Hey, your majesty! The someone stole the crown during before the ceremony."

Dekar: "What are you talking about? The crown's right there."

Female Knight: "Well, you grabbed it before we can tell you the crown is fake."

Dekar: "Is this true?"

Herald: [Stands up] "A fake crown, I knew it! Bound planned to swindle Alexia from the very beginning."

The baroness finally stands up, she holds her stiletto sheathed on her waste.

Baroness: "And you no longer are my herald, Herald. You're under arrest."

The baroness draws her stiletto and points it at the herald.

Herald: "What's the meaning of this?"

The knight grabs the crown.

Male Knight: "You're majesty, we need to examine the crown immediately." [Pointing to the Herald] "He is the one who swapped the crowns."

Herald: "Nonsense! Nonsense I say! The crown was sealed in a chest protected by a runic seal which only the King holds the key."

The audience murmur to each other about Herald's point. The brat slaps his forehead.

Brat: {I told you this wouldn't work.}

Female Knight: {I think we better skedaddle before things get worse.}

Male Knight: {Gotcha! I thought I could help them out a little.}

Both knights run to the long end of the stage. Then Dekar Jumps over them, slamming his fist into the ground. The knights fall over.

Dekar: "How dare you touch the crown without permission!" [Rubs his chin] "Say... You don't look like any knights I know."

Tia: "I was wondering about those two, they look familiar."

Guy: "This whole thing smells fishy to me."

The male knight let out a small burp. Jeros covers his nose from the fish-scent.

Jeros: "Phantom fish pie! The scourge of the oven seas!"

Tia: "You're the ones who ate my pie? I was saving that for a special occasion!"

Female Knight: "Fufufufu, looks like the gig's up Berty."

Male Knight: "No use wearing this scrap metal then, eh Betty?"

In a flash, Berty and Betty toss off their disguise. Holding the crown above his head Berty strikes a pose.

Berty: "We are the messengers of love and peace!"

Berty throws the crown to Betty.

Betty: [Twirls with the crown] "We're the greatest thieves in all of history."

Betty throws the crown in mid air.

Berty&Betty: "We are..."

Both Berty and Betty catch the crown one handed. Their pose forms the shape of a heart.

Berty&Betty: [Holds their hand out] "BERTY AND BETTY!"

The crowd applauds at their performance. Berty and Betty look at each other smiling.

Berty: "I think we nailed that one, hon."

Betty: "We should have practiced with props twenty years ago." [Squeaks] "It feels wonderful, Berty."

Jeros: [Clapping] "I give it an 8, the heart pose at the end was fantastic, but the cheering not so much."

Aysel: "For their lack of athleticism and outfit I give it a 6."

Kirin: "Well, I'm a knight, so they're under arrest." [Draws her longsword]

Dallas loads his crossbow while Surge raises his poleaxe.

King Alex: [Smiling] "Berty and Betty, I was wondering when you two would show up?"

Guy: "That's it, give me a hammer! I'm gonna pound those two into pancakes."

Before Guy runs to the stage, Jessy trips guy.

Jessy: "Knowing you, you'll smash the crown first idiot!"

Berty: "The last thing we need is a broken crown, you idiot."

Guy: [Spits dirt out of his mouth] {Being called an idiot by an idiot. Now I know how baby snatcher feels.}

Tia: "You just got called an idiot by an idiot, didn't you Guy?"

Betty: "Sorry, we would like to stay for the party, but we have to run away now. Isn't that right handsome?"

Berty: "You bet cutie!"

The baroness sheaths her stiletto. Then she folds her arms.

Baroness: "I would love to see how you will escape a wall of Bounds and Alexia's finest knights."

Berty: "Well your excellency, you can't have a ceremony without fireworks. Roll it down here, champ."

Brat: "Yes sir-ree."

A massive ball rolls from on top of the gate. Berty and Betty leap out of the way. Jeros side steps with Kirin and Dallas. Aysel tries to backflip, but she slips in her high heels. And Dekar looks up watching until the metal ball falls on top of him (crushing Dekar).

Tia: [Cries] "Dekar, no!"

Berty rolls the bomb off of Dekar. Dekar looks up mumbling in pain. He gives a thumbs up to Tia.

Dekar: "I'm the second... Best at not... Dying. Heheheh." [Collapses]

Alex pulls Dekar out of the way. Jeros looks at the bomb with widening eyes.

Jeros: "That bomb's big enough to blow the palace sky high! Crap!"

Aysel: "Do they even know what the heck they're dealing with?

The crowd scatters running a way from the palace gate. Guy grabs Tia and throws her on his shoulder. Surge escorts Jessy out of the way. The baroness stands back while Alex cries over Dekar.

Berty: [Lights a torch] "Are you ready for this? It's my biggest yet."

Betty: "You know what they say. The bigger it is, the better the experience."

Jeros: {That's what she said...} [Shakes his head] "NO, STOP!"

Berty lights the torch. Then he and Betty run off the stage under cover. Meanwhile Bosch rushes the Baroness under cover and hides under his shield.

Bosch: "If I regret any moment in my life, then it's to never confess my love."

Baroness: "Sir Bosch. Please, have faith." [Looks at Bosch dumb founded] "And why do you speak of confessing love at this time?"

Bosch: [Embarrassed] "Err..."

Betty: "Ten more seconds!"

Jeros: "Aysel, if we make it through this..."

Aysel: "This is it, isn't it?"

Jeros: "I don't know..."

Dekar slowly stands up.

Berty: "Five."

Jeros: "But I... Dekar!"

Aysel: "Dekar is it then!"

Betty: "Four."

Jeros: "I mean..." [Pouts] "Just watch."

Dekar pulls out from his coat a metal ring. Dekar then activates an energy from inside the ring. The ring crusts over with ice crystals. Dekar aims at the fuse.

Berty: "Three!"

Aysel holds on to Jeros. Kirin and Dallas are taking cover. Jeros looks at Dekar, and sees him holding his mother's weapon. Dekar throws the freezing disc at the fuse, cutting it off.

Betty: "Two!"

Berty&Betty: "One!"

Jeros closes his eyes, then opens them again to see the fuze on the ground fizzling out. Berty looks over cover wondering why the bomb hasn't exploded yet. Berty runs up to it.

Berty: "That's strange, the fuse is wet."

Betty: "Dry it off, maybe it'll fix it."

Berty holds the torch to the fuse again.

Brat: "No! You idiot!"

Jeros jumps on top of Aysel again. Berty accidental lights the short fuse. Ironically, the bomb doesn't fully explode. Instead it back fires, sending Berty and Betty flying across the stage. Aysel kicks Jeros off of her watching the two thieves stagger across stage. Dekar, puts his hands on his hips and laughs.

King Alex watches the crown fall in his lap. The baroness crawls from underneath Bosch's shield. Berty slaps himself conscious. He seizes the crown in the king's lap, grabs Betty, and runs off.

Dekar: "Hah... Those idiots still can't use bombs."

Aysel: "And did we just let them run off with the crown?"

Jeros: [Rubs his bottom] "Did we?" [Stomps his foot] "Nuts! We did!"

Dekar: "We can always recover the crown, but most importantly are you unharmed, your highness."

King Alex: [Stands up] "I guess so. More importantly are you okay Dekar?"

Dekar: "Hah, you know me your majesty." [Thumbs up] "The other thing I'm best at iscoming to at the second to last second."

Baroness: "We have more pressing matters to attend to. Where's the Herald?"

Bosch: "He fled during the explosion your highness."

King Alex: "So, Lobernia's spy is Herald all along."

Tia runs to the gate calling for Jeros. Jeros waves at Tia, then turns to the Baroness.

Tia: "I swore I had deja vu from watching that."

Jeros: "I think we should recover the crown first. Alex can't crown a queen without it."

Aysel: "The sooner we pursue the crown, the sooner we can complete the ceremony."

Surge: "Sir Bosch, the thieves are heading to Chatam Plateau."

Bosch: "Fair enough. Rally the knights immediately. We have to qualm the crowds first. Even then only a small handful can chase them."

Baroness: "Perhaps another behest is in order?"

Jeros: "Do you have a problem with this one Tia?"

Tia: [Shakes her head] "I know if I say no, then you're going to run off anyways."

Dekar: "Tia, you look awful."

Tia: [coughs] "I'm fine, Dekar."

Tia collapses into Dekar's arms. Jeros sighs.

Jeros: "You still need your medicine, Tia. Your seizures are getting worse."

Tia: "Promise me you'll come back."

Jeros: "I'll try if you can hold on to me."

Aysel: "It's only a chase in the plateau."

Bosch: "Your highness, may..." [Groans]

Bosch holds his waste from where he was stabbed.

Jeros: "I'm afraid you still need to recover. Don't worry, I doubt Fairfax stuck around the plateau."

Bosch: "Be careful, Caliburn, god speed."

Jeros hears a high pitched whistling in the sky. Excellion idly floats above the city. Lexis deploys a rope ladder from below the ship. Jeros bids farewell to Tia. Then he and Aysel climb the ladder. Once inside, Jeros looks down and sees Dekar waving with Selan's magic disc in his hand. Why would Dekar have his mother's weapon is beyond Jeros's knowledge. Then again the same can be said for his father's sword.

Before she forgets, Tia opens her suitcase which fires Jeros's swords onto Excellion. Jeros catches them in mid-air. Then he runs to the pilot's cabin.

Berty and Betty could not have gotten too far.

*~End chapter
Last edited by DarkMaster2101 on Sat Mar 05, 2011 12:07 am, edited 8 times in total.

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Guard Daos
High God of the Lufians
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Postby Guard Daos » Mon Aug 16, 2010 10:46 pm

Very well done! I'm very intrigued about the Lunethene. You told that story very well. I'm also curious what the four items were.
Also, I really like the rogue in white. I can't wait to hear what her story is.

You created more suspense and more mystery in this chapter. I look forward to the next part!
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Anthony
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Postby Anthony » Fri Aug 20, 2010 9:54 am

Well done!!
http://ti83magic.wordpress.com/
Any help, comments, suggestion or any other form of feedback is heavily appreciated :)

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DarkMaster2101
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Postby DarkMaster2101 » Fri Oct 29, 2010 9:38 pm

DISCLAIMER: This story is a not-for-profit fan fiction inspired by the Estpolis/Lufia franchise written only for entertainment purposes. All content relating to the Estpolis/Lufia series, including characters, scenario and reference, is owned by Square Enix, Taito, NATSUME: Serious Fun, ATLUS, and Neverland Company. Please support the official release. Content and references to other stories may appear from time to time, and they are properties of their respected holders. Content from other stories are not used without direct permission.

Stories used: Dawn and Dusk (c) Guard Daos 2008-2009.

o~-~-~-~o

After climbing aboard Excellion Mk. 2, Jeros runs to Lexis in the pilot's seat. Lexis, sees Jeros's urgent look and sneezes from the surprise scent of gunpowder.

Lexis: "I came back soon as I could. Those were some fireworks. How did the crowning ceremony go?"

Jeros: [Brushing the ash out of his hair] "No time to talk, doc. Berty and Betty stole the crown."

Lexis: "Berty and Betty are still alive! Great Scott! I thought they'd blown themselves up years ago."

Aysel: "They did blow themselves up and they're still alive. Now they're fleeing to Chatam Plateau with the crown."

Jeros: "If we don't recover the crown and finish the ceremony, who knows when Gratze will declare an overseas."

Lexis: "Bound holds little strength over water as is. Heh!" [Buckles in] "It's going to be rough, but Excellion will catch them in no time. Let's hurry!"

Jeros: [Salutes] "Aye aye."

o~-~-~-~o

Despite Excellion's turbulence Aysel and Jeros change into their regular clothes in no time. Once at the plateau, Excellion slows to a hover over the edge (the same spot where Bosch was ambushed). Jeros and Aysel leap off the same as before and head north to the water tunnels' entrance.

Aysel discovers the first tunnel is still collapsed.

Aysel: [Places her hands on her hips] "By the time we traverse through the tunnels, the thieves would have fled to Sheran. Not to mention the monsters that might respawn inside the tunnels."

Jeros: [Smirks] "Who says we have to take that tunnel?"

Aysel: "Have you forgotten, iyehn? The short cut is still collapsed. We'll waste more time digging."

Jeros sees something luster in the bushes. Jeros brushes away the branches and finds a rope-woven bag.

Jeros shakes the bag upside down until three small bombs roll out. Jeros smiles cheek to cheek. Aysel shakes her head.

Aysel: "No! No way you're using those on the tunnel."

Jeros: [Ignoring Aysel] "Say, I have an idea."

Aysel: "An explosive blast will collapse the tunnel, idiot iyehn!"

Jeros: "Then we engineer the bomb to do something else."

Jeros unsheathes his dagger and cracks open the ceramic to one of the bombs. After digging through sand Jeros finds a pellet connected to a fuse. Jeros takes the pellet to the collapsed tunnel. He digs through the dirt until he finds a pocket of gravel. Jeros places the pellet into the gravel and packs it with dirt.

Jeros: "Aysel, you might want to back up..."

Aysel: [Steps back] "You do know what you're doing, right?"

Jeros: [Nodding] "Kind of..."

Aysel sighs and hides behind cover. Jeros activates Crossfire on his dagger, using the flame to light the fuse. Jeros jumps behind Aysel's cover then ducks after the pellet ignites. After a small explosion, flame jets spray most of the dirt from underneath the tunnel. Aysel shakes off the dirt and pulls down her hood to see a small hole in the tunnel. Jeros stands up to dust himself off. Then he starts digging a wider hole.

Aysel: [Stands up] "Since when were you a pyrotechnic?"

Jeros: "It was a trick Torma showed me once. Tough the scale is much smaller here. Torma blew a hole in the wall of the girl's shower."

Aysel: "Classy."

Jeros: [Stands up to wipe his brow] "Nothing classy about it really. We should be able to squeeze through now. Let's go!"

Aysel nods and follows Jeros's lead into the hole. They find the familiar stair case leading to up to the goblin camp and follow it.

o~-~-~-~o

Meanwhile west of the goblin camp, Berty and Betty come across the edge of a deep ravine. Berty sees a frame to what looks like a bridge on the other side. He then looks to his left and finds a small construction site. Berty climbs over the iron bars and cinder blocks to discover a large machine with a long arm. He waves to Betty.

Berty: "Hey doll! Look what I found."

Betty strides over to where Berty is. She sees him climbing into a crane machine.

Betty: "Ooh. That looks like fun. Can I try it Berty?"

Berty: "Climb on in, sweety pie. Let's give this thing a spin shall we?"

Betty climbs into the operator's seat of the crane. She scratches her head looking at all of the levers and buttons.

Betty: "Um... What button should I push Berty?"

Berty: "Uhh..." [Looks around until he sees a big red button] "Try this one!"

Betty: [Smiles] "Okay! You're so smart, handsome."

Berty: "Ain't I always?"

Berty and Betty giggle. Betty pushes the big red button. The crane machine lowers a hook and picks up a large iron bar. Betty giggles and claps her hands.

Betty: "Yay! I made it do something."

Berty: "Say, what's this do-hickey here."

Betty: "Pull it and find out."

Berty pulls a lever, turning the crane. The crane's hook grabs onto a platform of cinder blocks and picks it up. The crane swings the cinder blocks across the ravine at breakneck speed. Before Berty could grasp control, the cinder blocks crash into the bridge's frame, smashing it into pieces.

Berty: "..."
Betty: "... Um... Oopsie daisy?"

Berty nervously laughs. Then Betty starts crying.

Betty: "Oh! We'll never get past the ravine now!" [Sniff]

Berty: [Stroking Betty's hair] "There, there baby doll. There's no need to cry over a smashed bridge. We'll make a new one!"

Betty: [Smiles] "Oh Berty! You always come up with way to fix my goofs, I don't know what I'll ever do without you?"

From behind the crane, a small monster watches the two bandits. It blinks its two beady bubbly eyes. Then it gurgles a high pitched sigh. The monster hops off of the rock and strides east, leaving behind a foamy trail of ooze to the goblin camp.

o~-~-~-~o

Jeros and Aysel climb out from the tunnel into the goblin camp. Shortly after they arrive, Jeros and Aysel hear a crash from the west.

Jeros: "That can't be good."

Aysel: "Those two idiots probably found the construction site."

Jeros: "Where's that at?"

Aysel: "West of here. Construction was halted because of the goblins."

Jeros: [Nods] "So that's our destination."

Jeros pulls a silver pocket watch encrusted with the Estpolis emblem from inside of his jacket. He opens the watch and a small glow lights his palm. Inside the watch was an analog Roman numeral clock. Underneath the clock handle's axles is a small compass. Jeros closes the watch, and the glow disappears with it.

Aysel: "That's a very nice watch."

Jeros: [Replaces the watch] "It was a gift from a friend. Well... A former friend."

Aysel: "What ever happened to that friend?"

Jeros: "She's kind of traveling around the world now. She's training to be a songstress."

Aysel: [Folds her arms] "Oh... I see."

Jeros: [Shakes his head] "We're not like that. She's a good friend and all. Not exactly my taste either. We just got a little too close then..." [Shakes his head] "Besides, she's much older than I am."

Aysel: "How old exactly?"

Jeros: "She should roughly about fifty two this year."

Aysel: "Fifty two!" [Pulls up her cloak] "Huh... How about that. Maybe she has a husband and kids now."

Jeros: "She's still young, for an elf that is."

Aysel: [Scowls] "Oh."

Jeros: [Looks back, blinking] "What?"

Aysel: [Closes her eyes] "Hmph, never mind."

Jeros: [Closes the watch] "Fair enough then." [Steps forward] "You still owe me a story or two about yourself."

Aysel leaps over a boulder, not saying a word. Jeros shrugs and follows Aysel's lead. Aysel stops to look around. She finds a clear path to the west.

Then suddenly a terrified shriek tears the atmosphere. After shuddering, Aysel and Jeros follow the noise down the path. Moving forward, they hear the sounds of goblin cries and leathery flaps. Aysel stops and pulls Jeros by the collar of his jacket.

Jeros: "Hey! Let go!"

Aysel takes a closer look, she sees a goblin hiding underneath its arms. The goblin is protecting itself from three large bats tearing at it. Jeros pulls Aysel, but she holds herself back.

Aysel: "Let's help it."

Jeros: "Why, it's going to attack us."

Aysel: "If it can't fend off a few bats, then it won't have the guts to fight us."

Jeros: "Alright." [Draws his sword] "This is your idea, not mine."

Jeros and Aysel charge into the fray, weapons drawn and cores activated. The three bats fly up out of harm's way. Aysel tries to throw a needle at one of the bats, but misses. Jeros jumps in mid air, slashing to see if he can hit one. In vein, Jeros lands on the ground but not until one of the bats tackle Jeros, knocking him off balance. Aysel slices the same bat with an electric blade. The bat flails in the air, until it crashes on the ground. Its body spasms from the electricity. Meanwhile another bat flies in front of Aysel and shrieks. The supersonic waves cause Aysel to shake; she loosens her grip to her Ulaks. Mhatra's Cieth fizzles out.

Jeros: "Aysel, get a hold of yourself!"

Aysel looks up to see the bat flying a shuttle loop. Then Aysel rolls out of the way, avoiding the bat. Aysel tries to activate Mhatra's Cieth, but fails to calm her nerves to focus.

Jeros: [Waves] "Throw the core to me!"

Knowing Mhatra's Cieth is useless in her hands now, Aysel deactivates the core and throws it to Jeros. Jeros catches it and places it on his broadsword. Crystals crust over, discharging electricity. Jeros violently raises his sword slashing down one bat. After sensing the bat behind him, Jeros spirals his lightning blade and strikes it down.

Jeros deactivates the core and sheaths his sword. He gives Aysel back Mhatra's Cieth, then walks to the goblin.

The little goblin looks up to see the bats gone. The goblin wipes its brow, sighing in relief. Until it sees Jeros looking at him. Then the goblin falls on his behind and scoots back as far and fast as he can. The little goblin knocks the back of its head into a boulder and tumbles forward. It takes cover under Jeros's shadow.

Goblin: "Go away! Shoo! Shoo! Cursed blood."

Jeros: "Cursed? I'm not cursed..." [Folds his arms] "Am I cursed?"

Goblin: "Alchemist say we can take land in plains if we bring him cursed blood. Father was a fool. Alchemist lies. And now tribe is gone." [Sobs]

Aysel: "You're father was the chief of your clan?"

Goblin: "Now clan dead. So lonely. Just go away cursed blood!"

Jeros kneels to the little goblin. He clinches his fist.

Jeros: "Even Fairfax causes misery to monsters. How despicable." [Looks at the goblin] "Tell me what he wants! Why am I cursed blood?"

Goblin: "Eh... Sin is tah... Uh..."

The goblin tries to pronounce the word, but is too complicated for him to say.

Jeros: "Sin is... As in Sinistral?"

The goblin nods.

Jeros: "The Sinistrals are gone though. Even if Fairfax made a deal with them..." [Rubs his chin] "Their energies are destroyed now. There's now power left."

Aysel opens her mouth, then remembers Jeros's attachment to Iris. Besides, Jeros will not believe her. The only way Jeros is going to find out is via the hard way. Jeros turns to Aysel.

Jeros: "Want to say what's on your mind?"

Aysel shakes her head. Then she places both her hands on the goblin's forehead.

Aysel: [Chants in Moonspeak]

Jeros: "What are you doing? A Lunethene ritual?"

Aysel looks down at the dumbfounded goblin. The goblin stands up. Aysel gently strokes her thumb down the goblin's cheek.

Aysel: "This is a good luck spell. As long as you hope and pray your wishes will come true. If you give up now, then it won't work."

Goblin: [Sniff] "I don't know what to do..."

Jeros: "If there's other clans, you can tell them about Fairfax. Who knows, maybe you'll find a clan to take you in again."

Goblin: [Sniff] "I try."

The goblin stands up and hands Aysel a chain.

Goblin: "I no need this anymore. This coward's chain to tangle feet."

Jeros: "Why are you handing it to us?"

Goblin: "Tradition of people for punishment. You two nice human so I give it to you."

Aysel: [Smiles] "Thank you very much."

Jeros: {So he's punishing us by giving the chain. That makes sense, not.} [Shrugs] "I guess you don't need to tangle your feet anymore."

The goblin nods. Then it turns around and runs away. Aysel grabs the chain and twirls it around to feel the weight. She wraps the chain around her wrist.

Aysel: "A chain is more useful than you think. It's more sturdier than rope. Plus it makes a great weapon."

Jeros: "That chain looks a little thin though. I doubt it's useful."

Aysel lashes the chain next to Jeros's face. Jeros stands still from reflex. He sees a strand of fail fall on the tip of his nose. Jeros scowls.

Aysel: "Well then let's move out, shall we?"

Jeros says nothing then heads down the west path. Aysel follows Jeros shortly after.

o~-~-~-~o

*~Moonstone Chapter Part 8: The Gift of Magic~*

o~-~-~-~o

Continuing the path westward. Aysel twirls the chain around her wrist and swings it around again. Jeros looks around diligently searching for Berty and Betty's trail. For a pair of idiots, they sure know how to tread lightly. Of course Jeros is looking blindly in the moonlight. Then Jeros remembers the watch. He opens it and the watch shines a little light which is barely enough for Jeros to see details on the ground.

Aysel wraps the whip and places it underneath her cloak. Being nocturnal by nature Aysel has little trouble seeing in moonlight. Perhaps it's because of her Lunethene eyes. Jeros looks at Aysel. The light from the watch blinds Aysel, forcing her to rub her eyes. Jeros thinks it is his imagination, but he thought he saw black eyes.

Jeros stands still for a moment, staring at Aysel's eyes.

Aysel: [Folds her arms] "Yes?"

Jeros: "Is it me, or do your pupils stretch to the edge of your irises?"

Aysel: [Rubs her eyes] {He noticed. Darn it!}

Jeros: [Frowns] "Aysel?"

Aysel: [Sighs] "Lunethene eyes are different than yours. Though everything's mostly black and white, I can see best at night."

Jeros: "I see." [Folds his arms] "So your pupils are kind of like an owl's."

Aysel: [Looks away] "Please don't say that."

Jeros: "Why not? I think it's neat."

Aysel: [Sighs] "The other chasers make fun of me behind my back. Many chasers hate Lunethene already. I heard Sheila, a biologist whom was studying monster anatomy at the time, call me owl eyes. Now Lunethene haters from RC say I'm not human."

Jeros: [Places his hand on Aysel's shoulder] "Let's prove them wrong, then."

Aysel looks at Jeros. She smiles. She doesn't know why, but Aysel feels warm from Jeros's words. Aysel has been trying to prove Lunethene haters wrong for years now. Perhaps if Jeros is at her side, then maybe she'll succeed.

Aysel: [Nods] "I have to keep fighting."

Suddenly, Jeros and Aysel hear a rustling in the bushes. Jeros draws his dagger and shield. Aysel holds Jeros's arm.

Aysel: "I sense fear from it."

Jeros: "Are you nuts! It might be a savage wolf, or dragon, or homunculus,or something."

Aysel: "I know my instincts, Jeros. You have to trust me."

Jeros shrugs and sheathes his dagger and shield. Then Aysel steps toward the bush. Then the bush growls a high pitched gurgle.

Aysel: "It's alright, we won't hurt you."

When Aysel pushes away the branches, a foaming puddle pours out. The puddle glides underneath Aysel until it splashes on Jeros's leg. Jeros looks down and sees a pair of bubbling eyes glare at him. The puddle nibbles Jeros's boots. Then Jeros kicks the foam monster away and points his broadsword at it.

Jeros: "Looks like someone wants to fight!"

Jeros raises his sword and chases the monster. The foam monster jumps-splash-whatever-you-call-it up and slides away. Then Jeros trips on Aysel's foot.

Aysel: "You idiot iyehn!"

Jeros: [Rubbing his face] "Ouch! Why'd you do that? And stop calling me eee-hen or however you say it!"

Aysel: "I will stop calling you iyehn when you start acting like an aiuhr. Can you not see the mousse is playing with you?"

The foam monster sides next to Aysel. It raises itself up, making itself look like a head. Aysel pets it the mass of foam above its eyes. Then the foam monster looks at Jeros, gurgling a laugh.

Jeros sits up, crosses his legs and arms, and pouts. The foam monster climbs Aysel's cloak until it reached her chest.

Aysel: [Giggles] "That's enough, little mousse."

The foam monster notices something shimmer around Aysel's neck. It stares at Asguard's stone. Aysel detaches the stone from her neck and swings it on her wrist.

Aysel: "You want this, little mousse?" [Stands up and puts the foam monster down] "You can't have it. This is my treasure."

The mousse bubbles a sigh and sinks. Jeros chuckles. Then Jeros hears the flapping of leathery wings. Before Jeros can call out, a bat crashes into Aysel's back. Aysel falls flat on her face and drops Asguard's stone next to the little monster. The monster then sniffs the stone.

Jeros: "Oh no. Don't you dare..."

The mousse collapses into itself as if it were making a mouth. The monster scoops up the stone and swallows it.

Aysel: "Dih... That...?"

Jeros: "That thing swallowed Asguard's stone, didn't it!"

The mousse jumps up and glides away. Aysel nips up to chase it.

Jeros: "Now we have another thief to catch."

Aysel: "How dare that thing have the audacity to steal something from me."

Jeros: "How dare you have the audacity to steal it in the first place?"

Aysel: [Glares at Jeros] "We're not back on the ship now, are we?"

Jeros: "Nevermind, let's just catch the thing."

o~-~-~-~o

The mousse slides down off the path and into a thicket. Jeros stops and looks for an opening.

Jeros: "There's no way around it."

Aysel: [Sigh] "What are we going to do now?"

Jeros: [Growls] "I dunno, what do your instincts tell you?"

Aysel: [Folds her arms] "My instincts tell me to kick that attitude out of you. I'm ignoring it."

Jeros: "And now we lost Asguard's stone. Who knows if that thing is one of Fairfax's minions."

Old Man: "Fairfax, you say. I heard he has returned."

Jeros and Aysel jump out of their skins and turn around. They see a balding gray bearded, gray robed gentleman holding onto a wooden staff with a dragon's head carved on the tip. He bends over.

Old Man: "Forgive me for interrupting. I was looking for my pet. He's a mischievous little thing. Always getting lost, fetching junk and what not."

Jeros: "No, we don't mind the interruption, really." [Dusts himself off] "Anyway we have more pressing matters to attend to. We'll keep an eye out for your pet in the meantime. My name is Jeros, by the way."

Aysel: [Bows] "And I am Nyinne Lhe'Thalla. I am called Aysel as a short name."

Jeros: "Do you mean nick name?"

Aysel shrugs. Jeros sees her pinky finger locking on the hilt of her ulaks so he decides not to press linguistics further.

Old Man: "I see... Hmm?" [Rubs his beard] "So you are Jeros Caliburn. I was wondering when you will arrive in Westland."

Jeros: "Uhh..." [Rubs the back of his neck] "Word travels fast I suppose. Do you have business with me or something?"

Old Man: "Is your mother's maiden name Gunther?"

Jeros: "Commander Selan Gunther of Parcelyte is my mother, yes."

Old Man: "Ah yes. Gunther migrated from Westland centuries ago when the Order of Runa reigned over the world. Gunther was a fierce warrior; he was renown for his mastery in swords and sorcery. Still, when Runa turned against us, he refused to fight alongside the other sorcerers and chose to live in peace with the non-magical folk of Northland."

Aysel: "I remember reading about the Order of Runa. Before their empire was destroyed, Runa persecuted sorcerers because they foresee the archbishops summoning four gods of madness to destroy the world. I believe Saint John Jon wrote 'the Legend of the Apocalypse', based on this event."

Jeros: [Folds his arms] "So the Sinistrals came and routed civilization then forcing humankind to rebuild from scratch. Still, what does this have to do with my mom?"

The old man places his hand on Jeros's head. He holds up his staff. The dragon's eyes begin to glow blue.

Old Man: "Yes...I can feel the energy waves resonate. Dragon blood flows through your veins."

The old man steps back. Jeros looks at him with a curious look.

Jeros: [Pushes the old man's hand off] "Sir, if my mother was a sorcerer all this time, then why did she not use magic naturally?"

Old Man: "Because Gunther wanted his children to forget about magic. The reason why the Order of Runa hunted sorcerers to extinction is because they refused to join the order."

Aysel: "The Archbishops wanted world domination of their order, so their objective was to eliminate those who have the power to stand against them."

Old Man: "Correct, you know much about Runan history, Nyinne."

Aysel: "Runan History is my main focus for joining Ruin Chasers."

Jeros: "I tried to sign up for Runan History in school, but the class was canceled. The dean wanted to focus on military education."

Old Man: "I See... Nonetheless, Gunther knew that the age of magic will come to the end, and a new age, your age, will rise from its ashes. If only I knew what Gunther meant back then..."

Most people would ignore the old man's words. However Jeros feels the man is telling the truth. He feels something behind the man's words that is said by those who have witnessed it themselves. Then his claim for the Gunther lineage. Aunt Louisa Kohler was Jeros's grandmother's twin, even then she claims to know little about his grandfather's heritage.

Jeros: [Curious] "Who are you exactly?"

Old Man: "I am Flake Narobyn of Arus."

Aysel: "You're Flake, the four century old crack pot from the outcasts' village."

Flake: "Indeed, though it was originally the village of adepts back then."

Jeros: "Wait, so are you over four hundred years old or something?"

Flake: "Why yes actually. We sorcerers live very long lives. Almost the lifespan of elves even due to the dragon blood within our veins."

Jeros does not believe the claim. Sure the guy looks old, but he looks as if he will croak in the next five minutes. how can he live past eighty let alone one hundred? Before Jeros asks another question in his mind, the dragon staff's eyes glow again.

Flake: "Interesting, I sense another sorcerer."

Flake looks at Aysel. He has a perplexed look on his face.

Flake: "You wear garb of Lunethene, and yet your complexion is not."

Aysel: "Though I am and Albino Lunethene..."

Flake: [Interrupts] "Yes, I see. However Lunethene are dark skin. Albinism doesn't exist in their genealogy." [Smiles] "Are you a half blood, perhaps?"

Jeros looks at Aysel. Clearly she is not anything the world has ever seen. How would a Lunethene act to Aysel's presence?

Jeros: "It makes sense now..."

Aysel: [Snaps] "Don't say any more!"

Aysel turns around. Jeros looks at Flake. Acknowledging Aysel's request, Flake doesn't ask any more questions. Jeros, however, holds more questions than ever now.

Jeros: {Is the memory that painful?} [Shakes his head] {I really can't imagine what she's feeling, but I won't be able to understand unless I know more.} [sigh] {I'll ask another time.}

Aysel looks at Jeros with a glare, then looks away. Then, the mousse sneaks behind Flake. Flake turns around.

Flake: "Ah, there you are, Jelze. I've been looking for you almost all night now."

Jeros: [Turns around] "Hey! That's the monster that stole Asguard's stone."

Flake looks at Jelze and holds out his hand.

Flake: [Waves his finger] "Jelze, it isn't nice to take things that don't belong to you."

Jelze gurgles a moan then it spits out the stone. Jeros picks up Asguard's stone, which is dripping with drool-like suds. Jeros holds the stone to Aysel.

Jeros: "Want to take it back?"

Aysel shakes her head. Jeros sighs and cleans off the stone with his shirt. Then he places the stone in his jacket pocket and buttons it.

Jeros: "I'd like to stay and chat, but we have to catch Berty and Betty. They're two idiots who stole the crown from Alexia."

Jelze slides next to Flake. Flake looks at Jelze and smiles.

Flake: "Yes, I believe they should have it, if they are willing accept it."

Jelze looks at Flake and gurgles a high pitched squeal. Jeros and Aysel look at Flake, confused.

Flake: "Jeros and Nyinne. If Narseby Fairfax has indeed returned, then I know his humanity is gone. From what I have heard both of you have the martial training to survive, yet you still need something else to defeat him."

Flake thrusts his staff into the ground. He holds out both of his hands.

Jeros: "I can't use magic so what ever you wish to pass on to me won't work."

Flake: "Ah yes. Gunther placed a curse upon the adepts of our village to lock their magical talents. However I was the one who co-created the curse. I know how to break it." [Rubs his hands] "Nyinne, I sense it within you as well sealed by the same curse."

Aysel: "I think I'll pass. I'm not as proud of my other half."

Flake: "Suit yourself. Though by accepting this you'll step further to put the past behind you. You can learn how to use your other half's talents."

Jeros: "He's right, Aysel. I might not be the strongest swordsman, but I discover new to cover my weaknesses all the time."

Aysel stands quiet for a minute, then she sighs.

Aysel: [Shrugs] "Eh, what the heck? It's another trick under my sleeve; I may as well."

Jeros: [Cheers] "That's the spirit!"

Aysel rolls her eyes. Then Flake steps forward and holds out his hands. Jeros and Aysel stand next to each other equal distance in front. Jelze looks away and gurgles until it finds a rock to nibble on. Flake closes his eyes and starts chanting.

Flake: "Seals of magic impound, release your chains and set free children of dragon's blood. For time calls rebirth of the gift. Release!"

Jeros and Aysel suddenly feel faint. Then an immense tingling surges through their bodies as if they have been struck by lightning. Then a migraine follows the tingling. Shortly afterward, they lost feeling in all their senses. Their minds cloud to white and then black.

Then, they feel it. They feel a spark inside their hearts. The spark spreads a burning sensation throughout their entire bodies. The burning is not painful, nor is it exhausting. Jeros and Aysel open their eyes. At first they feel fatigue. Then shortly afterward, Jeros and Aysel suddenly come alive.

Aysel: "What is this feeling!"

Jeros: "I... I feel more alive!"

Flake: "I have unlocked the dragon-blood gate inside your hearts. Now you can focus your energy into mana."

Jeros: "Wow, thanks a bundle kind sir. There's a problem with that." [Nervously laughs] "I don't know how to do that."

Flake: "Hmm... Well, focusing mana is near impossible without a medium of some sorts. That medium serves as a template, a primary form for the energy to take focus."

Aysel: [Holds out the wave device holding Mahtra's Cieth] "What about this?"

Jeros: [Panics] "No! I can understand channeling energy waves, but mana and energy cores sound like a recipe for catastrophe."

Flake: "So your age has discovered energy cores again. That's perfect. Energy cores were created not only to store energy waves to replicate mana." [Holds out his hand] "Nyinne, may I see your wave device?"

Aysel hands Flake her Ulaks equipped with Mahtra's Cieth. Flake turns around channeling his energy into the weapon. Jelze sees Flake casting and immediately slides out of the way. Then, when Flake raises his hand...

Flake: "Flash!"

A flash illuminates the sky then a lightning bolt strikes the ground. Jeros looks closer and sees a stone vaporize into dust. Aysel on the other hand, rubs her hands together. Perhaps she's plotting ways to use this.

Aysel: "I really like that." [Smirks]

Flake hands Aysel her weapon back. Jeros draws his broadsword and hands it to Flake. Jeros cannot wait for a show.

Jeros: "I have to see what Crossfire does."

Flake: "This sword yields a fire-based core? Not here though. Fire is a little too destructive in this location."

Jeros sighs and lowers his sword.

Flake: "Though, there is something else you can do with it. Try channeling Crossfire's energy within yourself?"

Jeros: "But will that cause internal combustion or something?"

Flake: [Shakes his head] "If and only if you will it into flame. Don't focus on fire, instead focus only the energy."

Jeros: "I'll try..."

Jeros places his hand on the sword's energy core. He feels the core's warmth flowing into his body. Jeros tries really hard not to think about heat. Instead, he draws the formless energy within himself. Once Jeros feels the limit, he throws the sword in the air as hard as he can. The sword falls for about half a mile, then Jeros catches it mid-air and cleaves a boulder in half. Once Jeros feels the warmth leave his body, he gives a thumbs up.

Jeros: "What a trick."

Aysel: "Let me try with mine."

Aysel holds tight to her Ulaks. She feels the static vibrate her bones. Then she vanishes. Jeros looks around trying to find Aysel. Then Aysel suddenly appears in front of Jeros who jumps back in surprise. Aysel phases a step and appears behind Jeros. She hugs him, smirking.

Out of reflex, Jeros leans back only to lose his balance and fall over. Aysel catches Jeros before he hits the ground. Jeros snarls.

Jeros: "Will you quit faking these things?"

Aysel: "Fake, I like that."

Flake: [Laughs] "Each element yields a different energy when you imbue them into yourself or another. There are also affinity cores, non-elemental cores infused with word, such as reflex or focus. I'm sure you'll discover different many more spells with more cores you find."

Aysel: [Holding Jeros] "It shouldn't be too hard to figure out."

Jeros: [Stands up] "Sounds complicated enough, but I understand."

Flake: "Then may fortune favor thee. [Yawns] "I must leave now. An old man like me needs his rest."

Jeros: "Make sure it's not your last. We need to meet again before you rest in a grave."

Flake: [Laughs] "I've already rested in a grave once. Let me tell you about that..."

Aysel: "I'm sure that will be another story for another place." [Looks at the moon] "The thieves might have already reached Sheran."

Jeros: [Realizes the time] "Ah crud! That's right. Wait, is the bridge incomplete?"

Aysel: "Why yes, the frame still isn't finished."

Jeros: "Knowing those two they would spend building a bridge instead of climbing down and up the ravine." [Stretches] "I'm sure we still have time.."

Aysel: "Though they're pretty lucky to survive."

Flake: "Well then take care, young Caliburn and Lhe'thalla."

Jeros and Aysel bid farewell to Flake as he heads on his way. Jelze looks at Aysel with teary eyes. Then it closes them as if it smiled and follows its master. Meanwhile Jeros and Aysel rush west to the ravine and eventually to the construction site.

o~-~-~-~o

Meanwhile at the construction site. Berty and Betty have been playing around with the crane machine. They were able stack enough boxes, materials, and junk into a questionable piles in the middle. For the final piece, Berty carefully stacks a long slab of triangle beams in the middle, effectively making a bridge.

Berty: "And done! Now is that a piece of art or what?"

Betty looks at the bridge. She nudges the bridge, and feels it move.

Betty: "Are you sure it's safe, Berty?"

Berty: "Safe enough to cross. If you fall I'll catch you. Remember when I said you'll always my most valuable treasure?"

Betty: "Even more valuable than the crown we stole?"

Berty: "You're more valuable than all the treasures in the world to me."

Betty: "Oh! After all these years you still woo me."

Jeros and Aysel arrive at the construction site. Jeros notices the makeshift? bridge thing. Inside the crane, Jeros sees Berty climbing out. Jeros draws his sword.

Jeros: "This is the end of the line, Berty and Betty!"

Berty: "Hey hey! Look who showed up from the party?"

Betty: "Oh, it's that cute little couple from the gate. Howdy there."

Jeros: "You have got to be kidding me... We're not a couple!"

While Jeros was ranting on how about his conspiracy, Berty and Betty jump on the edge of the bridge.

Berty: "That's an interesting story, son. But we have to skedaddle to the other side now. Toddle loo."

Betty: "Tell your kids about us. Ciao!"

Jeros slaps his hand on his forehead. Berty and Betty run across the bridge.

Jeros: "Hey! No fair."

Jeros climbs onto the bridge. The bridge starts to tilt left. Betty screams a little while Berty holds on to her. Aysel sees the Betty drop the crown in the middle. Aysel then climbs onto the bridge.

Aysel: "Jeros, to the other side."

Jeros: "I know that." [Shakes] " Aaaaahhhh..."

Aysel: "I mean to the side of you, not in front."

Betty: [Shaking] "Hold still you two."

After a few tries, the four finally balance out the bridge. Berty stands on the far end of the bridge the opposite of Jeros and Betty vice versa with Aysel. Meanthile the crown sits in the middle.

Aysel: "If we lose the crown, then everyone loses. Are we agreed."

Jeros nods quietly, trying to keep his balance.

Berty: "Sure thing. Say, why don't we play a little game?"

Aysel: "Hmm... Sounds like fun."

Jeros: "Smells fishy to me."

Betty: "Oh, that's the fish pie in my pocket."

Jeros gags at the scent of the pie.

Berty: "Here's how the game works. We have to move in step together. Red-head here will move in sync with me while you move in sync with Betty."

Aysel: "Sounds easy enough, what's the catch."

Berty: "When we get to the middle, whoever grabs the crown first is the winner. After that we balance ourselves separate ways."

Jeros: "Ehehehehhh... I really hate balancing over a pitfall to death but it'll have to do." [Sweats]

Aysel: "Then it's agreed. We'll play your little game."

Jeros: "We really don't have a choice in the matter now do we?"

Berty: "Then it's settled. We'll start on the count of three..."

o~-~-~-~o

(This is a random tutorial section for if this game was a Wii game. If you wish to skip to the rest of the story (which you probably will) head to the next section after this. I kept this section in because it's a gimmick in the story to hilarious to throw out.)

RULES: Berty and Betty challenge you to a balance game. You have to move in sync with Berty and Betty until you get to the middle. Whoever snatches the crown first wins the game.

This is a team based game so you will need to cooperate with your buddy. You lose when the bridge loses balance or if the crown falls of the bridge.

CONTROLS (Single Player):
Wii Remote Controller: Move Jeros
Nunchuk Controller: Move Aysel

CONTROLS (Multiplayer 2p only):
Player 1 Wii Remote Controller: Move Jeros
Player 2 Wii Remote Controller: Move Aysel

HOW TO PLAY (Single Player): Hold both the Wii Remote Controller and the Nunchuk Controller flat in front of you. To step forward, tilt the Wii Remote down to move Jeros and/or the Nunchuk to move Aysel. To step backward tilt the Wii Remote or the Nunchuk up.

If Jeros or Aysel starts to panic, then they're losing balance. You can realign Jeros or Aysel instantly by shaking the Wii Remote or Nunchuk. Jeros or Aysel will jump in sync, however this shakes the bridge. Shake the bridge too many times and the crown will fall.

Would you like to hear the instructions again? (Of course you freaking don't! Let's move on.)

o~-~-~-~o

Berty: "We'll start when I say go. Got it kid?"

Jeros: "Do you know how to count down?"

Betty: "Of course he does, do you Berty?"

Berty: "Let's get started. Can you guys."

Betty: "Keep up with our grove?"

Jeros and Aysel look at each other. They were expecting a balance game, not a dance contest. Still, both of them give Berty a thumbs up.

Berty: "A three... A two... A one... LET'S GO!"

Berty and Jeros step forward. Then Betty and Aysel step forward. With each step the bridge creeks and wobbles. Keeping in rhythm, the four step closer and closer to the crown. Berty looks at Betty and grins. Then Berty steps backward suddenly. When Jeros steps forward the bridge starts to tilt Berty's way.

Jeros: "What the heck are you doing you idiot!"

Jeros steps backwards hastily to match Berty's position, shaking the bridge. Aysel catches on when Betty steps backwards.

Aysel: "Careful, don't shake the bridge too much."

Betty: "We don't want the crown to fall down, now do we? Keep up guys."

Jeros growls. Keeping his eyes on Berty, Jeros matches his movement with Berty. Aysel watches Jeros, (not needing to keep an eye on Betty because she can sense the vibrations) making sure he's matching his steps. Aysel feels the bridge vibrate out of rhythm, she then looks at Betty rushing towards the crown. Before Betty can grab the crown Aysel rushes forward to push her back.

Jeros slaps his hand on his forehead, then kneels down to catch his balance. Berty kneels down as well. The crown shifts to the edge from Betty's and Aysel's shenanigan. Jeros looks at Berty and nods.

Jeros: "Let's just step in sync to get the crown."

Berty: "I was havin' fun too, but we don't want to lose the crown."

Aysel: [Folds her arms] "Next time, bimbo, don't put us all in danger including your partner."

Betty: "Oh shoot! Berty, I'm so sorry I didn't mean to put you in danger."

Berty: [Sighs] "I'm still here ain't I, honey? Hey, I forgive you because we're partners 'till the end."

Betty: "Oh... Berty." [Sobs]

Jeros looks at Aysel with a pitiful look on his face.

Jeros: "They're idiots, but they keep their relationship young."

Aysel: "I would've grown out of that phase after about six months or so. But simple people need simple reasons I guess."

Berty waves to Aysel and Jeros and steps forward. After some more step forwards and a few step backwards, the four finally reach the center. Berty and Betty ready themselves. Jeros and Aysel do the same.

Though it was only a minute, Jeros feels an epoch pass by.

Then...

Berty steps forward reaching the crown. When he grabs it, Aysel slaps the crown out of Berty's hands. Then Betty bounces the crown accidentally into the air. Aysel climbs Betty. Then Berty climbs Aysel. When Jeros jumps up after pulling on Betty's collar he steps upon Berty's head and grabs the crown.

Jeros slides the crown on top of his head. It was a tight fit, but it works. He feels like king of the world.

Until he realized he's balancing on top of Berty's head. Jeros then tumbles down to the middle of the bridge, holding onto the crown. Soon afterward an avalanche of people topple on top of Jeros. The bridge slides off center slightly. When Jeros opened his eyes, he sees nothing but white. Jeros tries to breathe in his nose, but all he smells is cinnamon and sweat. The white lifts itself off of Jeros and turns around, knocking its heel in Jeros's chin. Aysel holds down her cloak blushing. Then Berty sits up holding a sulking Betty.

Berty: [Shrugs] "Fair is fair, the crown is yours."

Jeros: "So You're giving us the crown just like this? No last second tricks?"

Betty: [Smiles] "Do you think we're low life scum as that? We told your papa that we're honorable thieves."

Berty: [Adjusts his hat] "Yeah, we always keep our word. Didn't he tell you when you're growing up?"

Jeros sighs and takes off the crown. He looks down.

Jeros: "Mom and dad never came back home after Doom Island."

Berty and Betty look at each other in shock. They knew Maxim and Selan disappeared but they never knew if they came home or not. Berty takes off his hat and holds it to his chest.

Berty: "Wherever you are, sir. Be glad to know you have a wonderful son."

Betty: "I'm very sorry to hear that. We'll be sure to leave flowers on their graves."

Aysel: "Wouldn't their graves be at the bottom of the ocean where Doom Island is?"

Jeros sulks into the crown. Jeros knows he should cry, but can't find the feeling. Instead he stays quiet while Berty and Betty shed waterfalls.

Aysel: [Sigh] "Nevermind."

On the corner of the bridge next to the crane, a small foam monster snickers at the sulking party. Aysel looks back.

Aysel: "Jelze!"

Jeros: "Shouldn't you return home to your master?"

Jelze shakes its face and gurgles. Jeros growls in defense. Jelze then turns its attention to the bridge. It then extends a thin foam arm (if you can call a foam tentacle that) on the metal frame testing its balance. The bridge shakes. Jeros stands up.

Jeros: [Scowls] "Don't..." [Shakes] "You..." [Cries] "Dare..."

The foam monster closes its eyes smiling. Then it hops onto the bridge. The bridge tilts to the foam monster's direction. Aysel slowly stands up while Berty and Betty continue to hold each other crying.

Aysel: [Shouts] "Do you two want to die!"

Berty and Betty cry even louder than before. The bridge finally loses its balance and slides off the fulcrum. Jeros falls backwards, drops the crown, and slides down. Aysel grabs her chain and throws it on the crane's hook. She swings herself across the ravine. Then Jeros catches himself on the edge of the ravine. Jeros's fingers slip one by one. Jeros looks to see the crown slowly sliding off the edge on the other side.

Jeros: "Aysel! Get the crown!"

Aysel: [Stabilizing her swing] "What about you!"

Jeros looks down into the ravine. He cannot see what is down because of no light, but he knows the fall may be fatal. Aysel knows Jeros will not regret her decision to save the crown. Aysel starts swinging herself across the ravine. She swings past the crown and releases herself on the edge. Aysel grabs Jeros and pulls him up.

Then the crown slides off the pile and falls into the abyss.
Last edited by DarkMaster2101 on Tue Mar 08, 2011 2:31 am, edited 6 times in total.

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DarkMaster2101
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Postby DarkMaster2101 » Sat Oct 30, 2010 10:37 am

Wow, I still have to split chapter 8 because of how huge it is.

o~-~-~-~o

Jeros lays himself on the edge of the ravine, breathing. Aysel steps towards the edge and kneels down. Tilting her head to listen for the crown Aysel sighs. Then she stands up.

Aysel: "The ravine's deep, I can't hear the crown shatter."

Jeros turns over and taps his fingers on the dirt. For a while, Jeros wished that he could not believe Aysel's decision.

Jeros: "So you chose me over Alexia."

Aysel stands up and sits herself next to Jeros. She places her hand on his shoulder.

Aysel: "You know I could have been true to Lunethene and left you to die."

Jeros sits up.

Jeros: [Closes his eyes] "Heh. How can I be so stupid to stereo type you like that..."

Aysel scoots closer to Jeros. She looks up at the waxing moon.

Aysel: "Your sacrificial act wasn't appreciated either. Though... Perhaps we don't know as much about each other as we should?"

Jeros: "You think?" [Stands up] "Nyinne, if that's how you say it, I would be glad to know more about you. Only if you feel comfortable about it first."

Aysel: [Stands up] "You're calling me by my true name, now." [Folds her arms] "You really want things personal don't you?"

Jeros: [Nods] "If that's the only way then yes. Otherwise feel free to take your time."

Aysel chuckles, then she looks down into the ravine.

Aysel: "I thought I knew myself. And yet my mind feels dark as this ravine."

Jeros: "What do you mean. Don't you have memories?"

Aysel: [Shakes her head] "A few perhaps. I can't really recall much before Eddo found me and I joined RC."

Jeros: "Then let's start with those memories. When we head back."

Aysel: [Looks down into the ravine] "Strange, don't you think?"

Jeros: "That you can't remember your childhood like most people. That happens with trauma sometimes."

Aysel folds her arms and taps her foot. She looks at Jeros with a frustrated face. Jeros steps back, holding his hands up.

Jeros: "I did it again, didn't I?"

Aysel: [Sighs] "Even though this ravine is a fault line, I would have at least heard the crown bounce on the wreckage or cliff. More importantly I would have heard those two thieves' crash down."

Jeros: "You have a bad habit of changing topics out of the blue..." [Folds his arms] "I do get your point, but I wonder if those two will be okay."

Jeros looks up at the crane then he looks down into the ravine. Trying to remember the summer he spent working in Lexis's lab, he remembers we worked in a crane identical to this. Jeros runs to the crane and climbs into the operator's seat. Aysel watches Jeros with a confused look.

Aysel: "What are you planning, Pony Boy?"

Jeros: "Are we still back on the ship?" [Growls] "Look, I know how to run this thing... Sort of. Well, unless you want to jump down."

Aysel: [Looks at the ravine then back at Jeros] "Point taken."

Jeros looks around the dash board and sees the ignition switch. Jeros turns the switch, but the engine cries for fuel.

Jeros: [Kicks the dashboard] "Darn it! It's out of juice." [Calls over the window] "Aysel Go to the back and open up a hatch. There dead cell should be in there. Also, see if you can find a fresh one."

Aysel runs to the back of the crane, she feels her hand on the rough painted surface until she digs her fingers in a plate. She opens the hatch and pulls on what looks like an energy core inside of a glass container. Aysel steps on the hatch and tries to pull the cell, but it doesn't budge. Aysel then traces her hands on the cell's edge, feeling a grinding surface.

Aysel: "The cell's dead, and it's rusted in. I don't think we can pull it out."

Jeros: "We have to try, I'm coming down to help."

Aysel: "Before you do Jeros..." [Places a finger on her lip] "This thing uses electricity, correct."

Jeros sits himself back in the seat. Compared to Aysel's thinking, his is too practical. Whether or not the crane will explode, he'll just have to find out. Jeros stands up and leaps from the crane.

Jeros: "I've been wrong before. Now that I think about it, there might be a slight chance that will work. Flake did say energy cores emulated mana."

Aysel: [Nods] "Uh-huh. Now step back!"

Aysel raises her Ulaks, unlocking Mhatra's Cieth. Then she channels her energy. A faint light envelops Aysel's hands.

Aysel: "Flash!"

A small lightning bolt strikes the energy core exactly. Not only did Aysel vaporize the rust, the fuel cell begins to glow and discharge electricity on the glass. Jeros jumps back onto the crane and turns the ignition. The crane grinds until it roars with power.

Jeros: "Now that's what I'm talking about!"

Jeros pulls and twists a few levers. The crane slowly swings itself around until the hook sets next to a small platform.

Jeros: "Aysel, hook the cables. After that stand on the platform."

Aysel nods and does what she's told. Then Jeros pulls the lever and slowly moves the crane, pulling the platform with it. Aysel holds onto one of the cables. Then Jeros brings the platform into the center of the ravine and lowers it into the abyss. As soon as the crane jerks signaling that it can't go down further, Jeros turns off the ignition. Then he climbs onto the crane's arm, follows to the edge of it, and slides down the line.

o~-~-~-~o

For a moment, Jeros hangs on the line. He looks around and tries to make sense from the pitch black darkness. Aysel pulls on Jeros's pants, and guides him off the platform. When Jeros stands on solid ground he feels something sticky around his boots. Jeros scrapes the thread off with his foot then with his hand. The thread feels sticky.

Jeros: "Nyinne..."

Aysel: "Don't move."

Jeros hears a pair of moaning and groaning from above. Jeros slowly unsheathes his dagger and activates cross fire. Immediately the flames from the wave device illuminate the room. Jeros and Aysel look above and sees Berty and Betty hanging from what looks like a giant spider web.

Berty: "Oh hey! What are you two doing here?"

Jeros: "Berty don't move."

Berty: [Smiles] "I don't think I can, but thanks."

Betty: [Struggling] "Ewe! It's all over my hair and in places that the sun don't shine. Berty! Get me out of here!"

Jeros and Aysel plug their ears from the echoes of Betty's cry. Berty tries to calm Betty down until they both freeze.

Jeros: "Hey! What's wrong..."

Aysel: [Points upward] "Jeros, look!"

Jeros looks up and sees a giant black widow crawl onto the web. Looking closer at the spider, Jeros sees the crown sitting ironically on her head. Betty shrieks while Berty closes his eyes and prays. The Queen Widow crawls closer to the two thieves with its fangs drooling with poison. Jeros holds up his sword and shield.

Jeros: "I see the crown. Oh man... This is going to be tough."

Aysel: "Jeros you have magic, use it!"

Jeros: [Holds up his shield] "Right!"

Jeros focuses his energy into his shield hand, trying to will Crossfire into form. He then raises his hand and calls forth a form of fire.

Jeros: "Spark!"

Jeros throws his arm and rains a torrent of fireballs onto the spider's back. The Queen Widow shrieks and steps back from her meal. Then she looks down to see her attacker. The spider then turns its back and spits webs from her abdomen. One of the webs pin Jeros on the ground. The Queen Widow jumps down and lands above Jeros.

Before she can sink her fangs into Jeros, Aysel swings her chain into one of its eyes. The spider shrieks and stomps on of its legs at Aysel. Aysel back flips out of the way. Then Aysel casts Fake and draws her ulaks to cut Jeros's web. Jeros breaks free and casts Trick, which fills him with strength. He then draws his broadsword and Cross Dashes into two of the spider's legs. The widow shrieks again and falls over.

Aysel sees this chance end it. She leaps on top of the spider holding up her ulaks for the final blow. Jeros sees black dots crawl on the spider.

Jeros: "Aysel, get off!"

Aysel: "Why?"

Before she could react, spiders as large as cats surround Aysel. Aysel spins around discharging electricity, dispatching enough spiders to jump off the queen. Then the widow leaps back on the web above. Then the spider lays egg sacks which hang from the web.

Jeros: "Aysel, take the little ones out. I'll aim for the queen."

Aysel: "Good luck." [Blasts a sack with a lightning bolt] "Strange that these spiders are organized."

Jeros: "I know right! This has to be a sign."

Jeros charges up Spark and fires it at the queen. The Queen Widow spits another web. This time Jeros dodges it. Aysel then casts Flash, striking the spider with a thunderbolt. The queen spasms from shock and falls down. Jeros's sword loses its blaze, but he still climbs the spider. Jeros finds the spot which breathes and thrusts his sword into it. The spider shrieks and flips itself over. Jeros tries to hold onto his sword, but loses his grip and flails across the ravine.

Seeing the sword jabbing out of the spider's book lung, Aysel sees the opportunity. She tries to cast one last Flash, but her core fizzles out.

Aysel: [Growls] "I need more power."

Jeros remembers that he still has one last lunch box in his bag. He pulls out the box and opens it. Covering his nose from the stale newt's smell he tosses it to Aysel. Aysel grabs it and bites the tail off. The spider, bleeding, stomps its leg at Aysel. Aysel is able to roll out of the way. Underneath the spider and sword, Aysel charges up. Her ulaks surge with electricity until she discharges it into the sword. The spider spasms out shrieking until it falls over on its back and curls up its legs.

o~-~-~-~o

Jeros runs to the spider's head and holds up the crown! Looking above he and Aysel see the light of dawn illuminate the ravine. Aysel pulls up her cloak and walks onto the platform Jeros lowered. As tempted as Jeros was to put the crown back on his head, it smells burnt and toxic. Jeros sighs and hangs the crown on his belt. Then he climbs the platform to reach the cable.

Meanwhile Berty and Betty watch Jeros and Aysel with a pitiful look.

Berty: "Nice job taking care of that spider. Say, could you get us down?"

Jeros sighs. Aysel sees the look of pity on Jeros's face. These two idiots did cry for his mom and dad. Once on top of the crane, Aysel throws a pair of knives down at the web cocoons, freeing Berty and Betty. Betty brushes the spider webs off her while Berty takes his hat off in gratitude. Betty looks at Berty sad.

Betty: "We lost another heist again, Berty. We're going to be broke again, what are we going to do?"

Berty: "Not all was lost, my little pumpkin."

Berty pulls from inside his hat a gleaming magenta stone. Betty clasps her hands staring in awe, watching the gemstone change from magenta to green.

Berty: "This is the first time we picked off anything this huge!"

Betty: "It's absolutely gorgeous Berty! What are you going to buy once we sell the stone?"

Berty: [Scratches his brow] "More bombs of course! Maybe a fire cracker or two for you. What will you get Betty?"

Betty: "Ewe, there's still web in my hair." [Strokes her hair] "Probably some new shampoo and the usual. Pedicure, a cheeseburger, those kinds of things."

Berty and Betty giggle. Before Berty can replace the stone in his hat, they come across a little foam monster. Betty kneels down looking at its bubbly eyes.

Betty: "Well aren't you the cutest little monster I've ever seen. Berty can we keep him?"

Berty: "Sorry babe, I don't think we have a way taking him back our hide out in Northland."

Betty: [Frowns] "Oh, poor little thing. That's okay we'll come back some day little suds."

Out of nowhere, a bat slams into the back of Berty's head knocking off the hat and the Alexandrite gemstone. The foam monster slides to the gem, sniffs it, and swallows it whole. Then it looks at the two thieves, smiles, and slides away. Berty and Betty stand quietly, watching their heist, and rich dreams, slide away.

o~-~-~-~o

Once back in Alexia, Jeros and Aysel immediately run to the castle. Jeros holds the crown high and all of the civilians down main street cheer for their success. Aysel looks at Jeros distressed that he's showing off. Meanwhile Lexis stays in Excellion calculating the final preparations before heading home.

Awaiting at the gate, King Alex, Sir Bosch, Dekar, and Baroness Ethel welcome the two. Jeros runs up the stairs and hands Alex the crown.

Jeros: "I believe this is in your hands now, your majesty. I hope you can complete the crowning ceremony with this."

King Alex: [Nods] "Indeed, I knew you would pull through Jeros."

Dekar: "I was a little worried, but look at you. If I was your father, I would be the proudest father in the entire world."

Jeros: [Chuckles] "I wish Tia can say the same thing."

Dekar: "She's in the castle infirmary. The doctors are giving her medicine now."

Jeros: "That ought calm her body down. Yesterday she coughed up blood again. Last time she did that she was in bed for a week."

Dekar: "She'll be fine. She will have the second world's greatest husband by her side until she recovers. Did I ever tell you the first was..."

Jeros: "Jaffy? Yeah you have."

Aysel: "I was expecting it would be Maxim."

Jeros: "If only my great aunt was alive today. Oh the complaints she heard from my mother."

Aysel: "I suppose Maxim wasn't as great as we record him to be..."

Bosch: "Indeed."

Before the king can crown the Baroness, Ethel points to Alex the middle of the crown. Alex flips the crown and is shocked.

King Alex: "Oh no!"

Jeros: "Sorry, if it smells like burnt spider guts."

Aysel: [Butts Jeros with her elbow] "No, you idiot iyehn. Look at the crown."

Bosch: "The crown's Alexandrite gemstone is missing!"

King Alex: [Sigh] "The ceremony cannot be complete with an incomplete crown. I was hoping to rebuild the trust between Alexia and Bound by crowning her queen, but I have failed in my mission."

Baroness: "My cousin, you need not dread. I have a plan for such an occasion. A crown needs not a gemstone of Alexandrite to be complete. Jaffy, would you step forward?"

Jeros: "Jaffy?"

A grey-red haired man climbs the steps holding a light green stone. Jaffy smiles and hands the baroness the stone. Jeros smiles and folds his arms.

Jaffy: "You called your excellency?"

Jeros: "I can't tell the difference."

Aysel: "Wouldn't this be fraud?"

Baroness: "I'm having another crown re-design for daily use. The fragility of this crown makes it more valuable because it has to be cared for much more." [Nods] "Thus a perfect crown to pass to royal heirs. This is truly a one of a kind marvel."

Jeros: [Folds his arms] "I kind of understand, I guess."

Aysel: [Smiles] "This is truly a historical moment. You will become a one of a kind queen, Ethel Verkopen."

Baroness: [Chuckles] "Please, I'm flattered enough. My king, shall we proceed?"

King Alex: "Of course." *ahem* "Let the ceremony commence!"

o~-~-~-~o

Just as before the entire population gathered before the castle. Skipping many of the formal procedures (now that the barony yields no herald, who was replaced by Dekar for now) his majesty finally places the crown on the queen's head. The queen gives a short speech to her new kingdom. Once the baroness shouts "Viva Estpolis," the population bursts into applause. Once the population kneels before their new queen, everyone returns to their homes.

Later that day, the Constitution of Alexia is established. After Alex signs the official papers, Alexia is declared an independent kingdom.

o~-~-~-~o

Meanwhile Jeros and Aysel rest at the inn. Jeros packing his bags, getting ready to move again tomorrow. Aysel lays on Jeros's bed with her hood down, kicking her feet in the air.

Aysel: "Do you really believe making Alexia a kingdom will keep them safe? They have to look out for themselves now."

Jeros: "It may sound like Bound is abandoning Alexia. Now that Alexia is an independent kingdom, Gratze will have no interest due to Alexia cutting their servitude with Bound."

Aysel: "Now that Fairfax has returned, I'm sure watering down politics will help a little."

Jeros takes off his jacket, his pocket watch falls out and bounces underneath the bed. Jeros bends over and reaches for the watch, only to feel a wooden handle of some sort. Jeros then pulls out a medium sized wooden case etched with leaf patterns and gilded with metal stubs. Jeros opens up the case and finds a small silvery harp. After scratching the metal a bit, Jeros closes his eyes.

Jeros: "Mithril."

Aysel: "A Mithril harp? Interesting. Do you know how to play it?"

Jeros: "Yes, I can play it."

Aysel: "Then play for me, please."

Jeros strums the harp. Then he picks each string creating a gentle melody. The melody sings through the air, resonating with quiet whispers of hope. Then the melody grows strong, sings with great faith...

And then Jeros puts the harp down back into the case.

Jeros: "I haven't learned the rest yet."

Aysel: "Wow, I never heard a melody quite like it."

Jeros: "I messed up a few notes here and there..."

Aysel: [Shakes her head] "No, that was a flawless performance." [Claps her hands] "I never expected you to be a musician."

Jeros: "Huh, I guess I do have another talent or two. It has been a while since I played so I'm out of practice. I doubt Tia bought this. Mithril artifacts are one of a kind." [Looks at the case] "I wonder who sent this?"

Jeros finds an envelope tied to the handle. He opens it up and finds a letter full of almost elvish-scribbles. Jeros picks up the letter sees a familiar friend's hand writing.

Jeros: [Sigh] "Milka, you still need to learn how to write our language..."

Aysel: "Is that who the letter is from?"

Jeros: "Not quite, the letter is from Artea. Milka is his godchild and scribe."

Aysel: "Artea of Elfea? The same Artea who fought with Maxim? Why does he need a scribe?"

Jeros: "Yeah, though for a while he lived in Esertiko. After Doom Island, he became blind. He didn't have a serious injury, but I think it's the same reason why Tia had a miscarriage."

Aysel: "Sounds like the only one who didn't lose anything was Guy."

Jeros: "Actually, after hearing the news from both Tia and Artea, Guy started drinking heavy. He doesn't drink anymore now. But back then..."

Aysel: "How bad did his problems get?"

Jeros: [Clinches his fist] "Terrible. I asked Aunt Louisa why I couldn't see Guy ever again. You have to ask Jessy about most of what happened. I know that he was expelled from Parcelyte's army because of too many bar fights. I remember seeing Jessy with a black eye once."

Jeros closes the letter and places it inside the case.

Jeros: "Guy used to be the type of meat-head who always looked for a good fight. Guy used to worked in Tanbel mines, then came to Parcelyte to join the military after the mines went bankrupt. After Doom Island, Guy couldn't find anything to do cope with his boredom and grief, so he turned to drinking. Then his sister excommunicated herself from Guy completely because of his antics. After starting a mercenary company, Guy spent his extra time looking for his sister. He still hasn't found her."

Aysel: "Hmm... I suppose it makes sense. Everyone else loses something except yourself so Guy decids to vice his life."

Jeros: "Sounds stupid. Then again, Guy was never smart."

Aysel: [Nods] "Sounds sad. I can't say for your thoughts."

Jeros looks outside the window and see the clouds blow west. He recalls his feelings to move on from underneath his father's shadow. Jeros turns to Aysel.

Jeros: "Say, do you think that we'll see each other again after this?"

Aysel: "I can't say." [Sits up] "I can say I want us to meet again."

Jeros: "You still have a few stories to tell."

Aysel: [Giggles] "Maybe."

Jeros stands up and stretches. Then he opens the watch and sees the time.

Jeros: "Tomorrow, I'm going home with Guy. He's going to build a house in the country somewhere around here. I think he's staying away from cities because of the drinking."

Aysel: [Stands up] "I understand. I'm probably going back to Grenoble doing what Ruin Chasers do best."

Jeros: "Excavate lost treasures in unknown lands?"

Aysel: "I wish. I'm going to spend working hours cleaning the dorms and reviewing reports."

Jeros: "Oh... Sounds like fun."

Aysel: "They've been holding me back on field work. They say my interests for field work are, how you say too ambitious."

Jeros: [Folds his arms] "That's not a good excuse."

Aysel: "My interest is to find the four treasures of the Moon Goddess. So far Fairfax's notes are the only leads I have. Now that Fairfax is alive, I doubt RC is going to let me near his notes again."

Jeros: [Yawns] "I'll deal with Fairfax eventually. First, I need to get stronger. That's the only thing I know I can do at the moment." [Yawns] "I'm beat, we both have a long day tomorrow."

Aysel: "It's still daytime isn't it? I'll return home when it's dark."

Jeros: "Fair enough. Take care Nyinne."

Aysel: "Umm... Can you keep calling me Aysel please?"

Jeros: "I thought we finally have a connection? Nevermind, good day."

Aysel pulls the cloak over her head and leaves to her room. Jeros lays back down on the bed caressing the leaf patterns on the harp's case. He wonders what to do. The Guy Legion is not getting good jobs anymore. Jeros remembers Guy saying the legion will disband eventually. Then there's the Ruin Chasers. The Chaser's guild is wrapped up in red tape, but field work sounds nice. Though he'll have to spend long hours doing paper work in the mean time.

Or perhaps he can work as an independent. Westland still has monster troubles. Also, with rare mosters like Jelze, who knows what other materials he'll find. Unfortunately monster hunting requires a license and Jeros doesn't know anyone who can approve a hunting license anymore.

Jeros turns on his bed.

Jeros: {This adventure is fun, but what am I going to do for the rest of my life? Iris, I know you're out there somewhere. Can you show me where to go one last time?"

The window flies open. A strong gust of wind blows in Jeros's face until a black feather flies in his nose. Jeros sneezes and the feather floats onto Maxim's broadsword. Jeros groans, stands up, and closes the window. Then he picks up the sword and unsheathes it.

Jeros: "Heh, you never thought about these things. I suppose I shouldn't either."

Jeros lays the sword next to the bed. Then Jeros collapses and falls asleep.

And so the Moonstone Chapter comes to a close. Is this truly the start of a great journey or will the time calls for this young hero to move on. One thing is certain, an ominous wind blows a shadow of uncertainty across Westland.

*~End chapter
Last edited by DarkMaster2101 on Tue Mar 08, 2011 2:32 am, edited 7 times in total.


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