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 Chapter 15: This Is The End

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Red Blizzard

Posts : 164
Join date : 2011-05-30
Age : 25
Location : Elsewhere

PostSubject: Chapter 15: This Is The End   Wed Jun 15, 2011 12:12 am

Morning found Saint in deep thought in front of the message. He had a piece of paper, and had written out nothing more and nothing less than the first letter of each word on the message. Dye was the first one down, eating an egg sandwich he had made in the kitchens. He peered over the silent Saint’s shoulders, glancing once over the letters printed on the page.


“Who’s Thisis Theend?”

“I don’t think that’s what it meant. Look again.” Saint didn’t bother to turn around. He knew Dye’s voice, even if he didn’t recognize the looming shadow over him. Dye looked carefully at the letters, this time trying to make words out of them as he chewed on the last bit of his sandwich.

“This is the end...What’s that supposed to mean?” Dye’s head snapped up to look at the wall again, where the red letters had long since caked up and turned black. “This is the end for Requiem?”

“I certainly hope not.” Saint sighed and stood up. “I just realized it now while I was looking over it.”

“Think we should tell the others?”

“Sure, though I don’t see how it bears on this matter, one way or another.”

“Come on, we know someone’s trying to bring down Requiem. That’s a good enough reason to worry about, isn’t it? This isn’t just some kidnapping case any more. Why else would they tell us where Soluna and Nathan are, and what will happen to them?”

Saint shook his head. They hardly knew anything about this situation, and he didn’t feel like jumping to conclusions just yet. When everyone else was told about this new development, reactions were mixed, ranging from mildly concerned to genuinely worried.

“Well, all the more reason to find them and bring them back in one piece.” Priest looked around at his clan, surveying their expressions. There were some doubts there. They had come out of one war, and were about to go back into what could potentially be another one. This time, nobody knew who the enemy was, or where they were. According to maps, it would take a week for them to trek to the places listed on the wall. If they were dead ends, then they would have left Requiem castle virtually defenseless, and risked losing the two missing. But it was all they had to go on.


Felk was torn. The captains had given him the choice between saving his captain and going after Soluna. Now, he lined up with the others, facing Dye, as he prepared to march into trackless miles of desert to save Nathan. It was a harsh decision, but one that he knew he had to abide by if he wanted to get anywhere in Requiem. Part of what influenced his decision was the reputation that would follow him through each decision. Save Soluna, and he would look like a good-for-nothing soldier blinded by a woman, choosing love over loyalty. Save Nathan, and he was almost guaranteed a promotion. Not that he cared for the promotion, he vigorously told himself. It was all about loyalty. Loyalty to one’s captain; loyalty to one’s clan.

Dye paced back and forth in front of his men, issuing instructions and going over their plan for the next week or so. Rations had been carefully prepared that would last an entire army for a month. Felk, Jacob, Oblivion, Icy Feather, and Edvin were all part of this operation. They could tear apart an entire brigade of enemy troops if that was what it took to save Nathan. Dye hoped so. He was still getting used to the heft of his Phoenix Plate, testing out the balance of his new scimitar. He hoped that Nathan could hold out for a week without food or water, though what Saint had mentioned about the average human’s ability to survive wasn’t promising. They would have to move fast then. If it took everyone else a week to find the Echoing Eiscir, he would get there in five days.

“Alright guys, we move out now. I don’t want to hear any complaining about what we’re doing, and we’re not going to be doing anything else until Nathan is safely back in Requiem castle, do you hear?”

The soldiers glanced at each other. Since when was Dye so professional?

“Do you hear!?”

“Yes sir!” The words sounded funny coming out of their mouths. But it was all business here. No hacking and slashing for the fun of it. This was a rescue mission, and Dye intended in running it as close as possible to the book.


Staitus walked through the castle, trying to find Saint’s group before they set off on their mission. He burst open one door, drawing suspicious stares from two members of Priest’s guard, then left in a hurry. Boomfus was right. He was going to make it as hard as possible for Staitus to get accepted. In the past few days, he had been forthcoming, honest, and as helpful as possible given the circumstances. But he still drew mutters and glances wherever he went. Maybe, after this... He burst into yet another room, finding two people there. Saint, standing over a table with a map in his hands, and Seth, attentively listening until a second ago. They both glanced at him. Saint nodded, then went back to poring over the map.

“According to the maps Blizzard got us, it will take us at least a week to get to this Islix Sylvia. But that’s if we move at a normal pace. I think we can borrow some horses in Wa-Kia and travel along this road, cutting the time in a third, until we reach the harbor here. Then, we hire a fast sail boat and get to the larger island of Islix Symphia. From there, we can get a small fishing skiff to take us to the neighboring Islix Sylvia. All in all, this plan should take us no more than four days.”

“And if there’s trouble?”

“If there’s trouble, we improvise.” Staitus nodded as he stepped over to read over Saint’s shoulder. He recognized one clan along the path to their destination, but he doubted they’d be any trouble. He hoped they wouldn’t be. The last thing they needed now was delays, when someone else’s life was at stake.

“Guys, you don’t need me to tell you this, but someone’s life is at stake. Dye’s group has got more men, but we’re going through more heavily populated territory. We need to move fast and avoid all possible confrontations. We can beat up whoever did this to us later, when Blizzard has finished his research. For now, focus on the task at hand.”

“So, when do we leave?”

“If we went according to the schedule, yesterday.”

“Great.” Staitus had forgotten to put on his armor.


Blizzard met up with Priest one more time before he left.

“Are you sure you’ll be alright, staying behind all by yourself?”

“I’m not alone, Blizzard. I’ve got a half-dozen soldiers with me, including Sword Saint.” Priest nodded to the robed man in question, who was sweating after a hard night’s work at the forge. “I should be fine.”

“Alright. Don’t forget that assassin from the other day. Make sure someone’s watching your back at all times.”

“Fine. Where will you be going? I heard you’re saving neither Soluna nor Nathan. Where do you expect to find the guy who’s organizing all this?”

Blizzard shrugged. “Wherever. I can’t really tell until I’ve looked, can I?”

“Take care of yourself too. We don’t want to lose any more people on this.”

“Alright. I’ll see you again when this is all over.”


Boomfus was waiting outside the castle. For once, he wasn’t smiling as he quietly strummed a guitar in his hands, another instrument strapped to his back. He looked prepared to either engage in a war or perform at a music concert. Either way, the result would have been the same. Insane noise and screaming crowds. Boomfus tucked his guitar under his arm the moment Blizzard walked out. He was looking forward to a rather chill mission. “Where did you say we weren’t going?”

“Not Wa-Kia, at least. I did my research already, and there’s nothing there for us.”

“So, somewhere farther away?”

“Yeah. I’ve managed to pull a few strings, got us a carriage. It should take us as far as the capital, but I don’t think we’ll find much there either. After that, we’re on foot again.”

“Why, the guy who lent you the carriage wants it back so soon?”

“No. The carriage will attract too much attention where we’re going.”

Boomfus smiled. “Dark places, eh?”


The front doors to the castle burst open as Saint’s and Dye’s parties simultaneously poured out, starting out on their various journeys. There was a bustle of activity, but no one spoke. Dye and Saint stepped out themselves, nodded to each other, then set off, heading in different directions. Saint moved swiftly, heading towards Wa-Kia to find some horses before the market was empty. Dye set off at a quick pace on foot, but paused as he passed Blizzard. Something was there that wasn’t there before.

“Where’d you get that guitar?”

“What, this?” Blizzard pulled a massive metal guitar out of its case on his back. It was a black gleaming behemoth, its base seemingly crafted out of seven jointed scythe blades. Seven silver strings stretched along its entire length, up to the bladed head. Dye didn’t know which it would have been more suited for: music, or bludgeoning.

“You didn’t think I spent all my time making that scimitar of yours, did you? I had to look after my own affairs as well.” Dye sighed, his heart sinking involuntarily. He had to admit, he felt special for at least a little while, thinking Blizzard had put so much effort into working only for him. Of course Blizzard would make something for himself as well, it wasn’t like he had put any less effort into making his scimitar. But looking at the blade, Dye had to admit that it already looked a little less shiny.

“Your guitar, does it only play songs, or...?”

Blizzard grinned. “I’ll explain when we get back.”

“And my scimitar...?”

“You’ll find out.” A carriage pulled up in front of the castle, seemingly steering itself, with no horses nor driver. Blizzard stepped forward and opened the door, getting in with Boomfus.

“That’s kind of a small party you have there. Won’t you need anyone else? I can spare a man or two...”

Blizzard shook his head. “Go. Nathan is waiting for you. I can manage. We’re only looking for information anyways.” The carriage door slammed shut, the wheels rattling as it rolled off into the distance. Dye’s eyes followed it for a little while, then he turned back to his men.

“Alright, let’s move out!” They began to march at a swift pace, a single line of armored men meandering through the forest, out towards new horizons and unknown destinations.

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Chapter 15: This Is The End
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