For the Previous Chapter, see: Creating a Legend
Alternatively, to view the series' Index, see: Set Out!
The Seven New Stories
Trudging through the stone palace, N sighed, furious at himself for almost slaughtering his own apprentice. His hands by his side, the purple haired man began to wiggle his fingers, awkwardly realising that he had nothing to do with them as he made his way into the main hall of the palace. The torches illuminated the darkness however, it could not completely erase the shadows that flickered in the deepest corners of the corridor. Within a few seconds of his awkwardness, N had reached the grand, marble door that he knew so well. Opening it, the powerful mage stepped into the main hall, a grand room decorated with very few things.
A grand table in the very center with exactly 7 seats and a brilliant purple light shining from the center of the roof, covering the hall in a faded purple shade. Seated at the table was Seifer and 5 other people...five others that all together created the 7 leaders of Fabula Nova. His steps echoing in the room, N slowly walked over to his location, the throne at the end of the table and swiftly sat down, comfortably settling into it before one of the leaders began to talk.
"So...Seifer here tells me that you almost killed your own Apprentice? After you went through all that trouble to go and find a suitable candidate...seems almost a shame to see him in the intensive care unit doesn't it N?"
Reacting to the taunt, N flickered his eyes towards the man in the black coat, before asking "Saxon ...should a 4th division leader really be talking to the founder like that? How's it going with your chess pieces? Last I heard; you lost against a mere pawn in one of your games...how does that feel Xadrez? Did you have a bit of a cry about it afterwards?"
Sparks flew as the older dark mage stood up in anger, drawing his wicked, demonic blade as he did so. Pointing it at N, he shouted out "Just because you're the founder doesn't mean you're stronger than me!" Before leaping onto the table, more than ready to attempt an attack on the purple haired mage. As he lunged forward though, the air around of Saxon solidified before suddenly shifting into a large block of ice. Encasing him in it and freezing him alive, a white haired mage calmly sat with his feet on the table, casually saying "Diaros is fine and it's not N 's fault... I am curious though, why are we all here?"
From N 's left hand, a blonde male who was dressed in such a way that upon meeting him the first time N had mistaken him for a female, leaned back in his chair and said "Isn't it obvious? Bossy over here did something and now our whole plans are pushed back by several months" From this the entire group groaned, annoyed that their leader had once again managed to spectacularly delay their goals once again. Turning to his left, the purple haired man said "...Thank you for that Rubix. Anyways, as Mr. 3 blurted out, I unfortunately have changed the date of our plans but that's not why we're here. In the battle that almost slaughtered Diaros, a group of 7 mages fought against him and each of them held a considerable amount of strength"
To his right, Seifer continued "I've discussed this with "leader-san" over here and we've both agreed that given time those 7 may actually be able to fight us on even grounds" Looking around, the white haired mage continued "As of now they possess no threat but I would like to advise you all to be especially careful in how you act outside of our building. That is all, you're all dismissed"
Breaking out of his block of ice, Saxon clicked his tongue before silently walking away. After a few moments the other leaders began to follow suit, eventually leaving Seifer and N alone in the purple hall. Getting up, the founder walked to the opposite end of where he had entered and opened a door that was perfectly blended into the stone wall. Walking outside, he stared at the dark night and the bright full moon, noticing that Seifer had joined him outside.
"So..." Seifer began to try and break the silence "Is it alright if I call you by your name now? I'm not really in the mood for another explosion if I say your name..." Smirking, the purple haired man continued looking at the moon, saying "Yeah...go for it. I doubt anything'll happen way out here..."
Looking at the founder of Fabula Nova, Seifer paused before asking "So...what are you really thinking about...Nowie?"
The Seven New Endings
Taking his bloodied hands, Serum walked over to the sink and raising his foot and kicking the tap until it turned, poured a stream of cold water over his hands. Feeling the water seep into the cuts on his hands, the Infinite Symphony sighed as he thought on the past few weeks.
It had been almost a month since Diaros had come with an army and dealt a fatal blow to Pilse Navarina. And at the same time, it had been a month since the group had gathered and almost slaughtered the dark mage, only to be stopped by the purple haired man. To Dante, Silas and Florence it had been a total, utter victory, surviving a surprise attack from somebody who could easily be an S Class-Mage. And yet...for the other 5 warriors, it was a crushing defeat. Not only were they too weak to kill one single dark mage, their closest chance at victory being easily destroyed like cloth in the claws of a cat. And to top it off, that cursed, blue patch of light in the distance was still there, with no apparent way to revert it back to what it was before.
As such, tracing the recent events, Serum had undertaken vigorous training, to the extent that he was borderlining the point where he would actually tear his body apart if he went any further. Leading back to where he was at the present time and location. As the swordsman's blood freely flowed into the sink, he looked to his left, hearing the sound of footsteps on the gravel that was the ground. Turning to face his visitor, Serum greeted him, saying "Hey Conway"
The fire make mage looked abit worse for wear, but still beaming with scorches all over his body. Walking with a slght limp and pouring water onto his arms, Conway replied "Hey Serum...how's it going?"
Raising an eyebrow at the normally antagonistic character, the swordsman replied "It's going alright...I've almost got the hang of a new technique I may use...What about you?"
At the mention of a new technique, Conway's beam turned into a devilish smirk, saying "Oh...pretty good actually. I decided to go train for a bit and...well...I made a couple of new moves"
"A couple? Like what...two, three?"
"More like...a completely new arsenal"
Stumped by Conway's rapid development, Serum turned to face his hand, slowly recovering from his own training. As the silence between the two of them grew even thicker, the Blackwood attempted to make a new topic, casually bringing up "Say, did you hear about Dante and Florence?"
Grabbing his attention so quickly it was mind blowing, Serum practically glared at Conway before asking "...WHAT?"
Innocently replying, the fire make mage said "Oh nothing...just that the two of them decided to go and interrogate those knights at the tournament"
"...Knights? You mean those guys from one of the districts in the citadel?"
"Sorta..." turning off the tap and making a feeble attempt to dry his hands, Conway explained "Mithra told me about this but apparently during the tournament, in the match where the Diaros guy showed up Silas was fighting some knight in leopard skins. As well as that, in the stands there were two guys in armor or something" Recalling the discussion he had held with Dante about how odd it was there would be anyone wearing armor to a tournament, Serum answered as realization dawned upon him "Ooohh...yeah, so?"
"So, Dante and Florence thought it was pretty odd so they went to go interrogate them. Surprisingly, they were still in the citadel after the invasion so it wasn't all that hard to find them. Say...when I mentioned Florence, you reacted pretty harshly...what'd you think I was talking about?" Frowning, the red robed swordsman turned off the tap and walked away, briefly muttering "Nothing...nothing at all" As he walked away, he could clearly hear Conway's cackling, a feature that further dampened his mood.
Her sword clanging against the brick wall, Florence screamed out "Don't make me kill you!"
The pair were in a semi dark, enclosed room. Florence and the knight. She had been at it for almost half a day, clanging her blade against a wall, hoping to more or less give her victim such a bad headache that he would beg to tell her what she needed to know. Quite frankly, the Dead Queen had no clue whatsoever if Dante had already gotten what he wanted or not and she was well aware that there were much easier, direct methods in obtaining her information. The only thing stopping her though, was the fact that there were people watching. She felt...no actually, she knew they were there, she knew from the very beginning that there was somebody watching her. And the fact that Florence kept her actual personality only when she was alone was a large hinderance.
Huffing, the female knight walked over and gently holding her victim's throat in her hands, began to slowly squeeze. Applying even more pressure by the second, the knight's face turned blue before he asked "W-wait, what're you doing??" Plastering a fake, slightly annoyed smile onto her face, Florence said "Oh you know...I was meant to get information out of you but since you're not talking I guess I may as well just kill you"
Panicking, the knight began to flail before bursting into a revelation "T-there were three of us, three! Arien knows the most, he was the one that made the contract!"
Removing the pressure on the man's throat, Florence frowned before asking "...Contract?"
"Yeah, contract! These guys came up to us, one of them was covered in this grey armor thing and they gave us more than 900,000 Jewels to go in and watch that Cocytus guy, that's all!"
Scratching her head, Florence let go, this time giving off a genuine smile that attracted the knight despite his near death at her hands. Thanking him, she flipped him off before abruptly going outside and shutting the door, locking her victim inside the small enclosure. Ignoring the screams for freedom, Florence bumped into Dante, briefly greeting him before instantly jumping int what she had learnt.
"Hey Dante, I know who made the deal"
"Some guy called Arien, I just talked to him"
"They were paid to watch Silas"
"For 900,000 Jewels and an extra 50% to stay inside and get interrogated"
Dante looked at Florence and simply asked "Who just questioned the leader of those three guys?"
"Oh right...anyways, I know who paid them"
Pausing his walk towards the Cocytus, Dante looked at the Godspell and asked "...really? How? I've never heard of anybody with grey armor and I doubt Jinx has either"
Dismissively waving her hand, the red head walked infront of the Royard, casually explaining "Well if it's who I think it is, then it just got really personal for both me and Serum. Not actually sure what they wanted with Silas but you know, they're pretty weird guys now that I think about it"
Running up to her, the Phantom King grabbed her shoulder and forcibly turned her around. Realizing what he had done, he quickly let go and apologized before asking "Uhh...could you please explain why or even how you know them?"
Putting a finger to her chin, Florence considered for a moment before saying "Naa...sorry I can't actually explain, it's a really long story but I can tell you what they are" Seeing Dante attentively listening to her, the Dead Queen revealled "Well they're both Dark Guild Leaders. It's apparently a fairly famous Guild, this thing called QuadDracoras"
Raising an eyebrow, Dante said "I've actually heard of them...a few days after I arrived in Seven these guys were talking about how the Guild almost got destroyed by a couple of mages...well I suppose it was a good piece of trivia since I learnt where they were located and all"
"Actually...now that I think about it, why are you here? I mean, I know Gottes is here because he heard something about a great weapon in Pilse Navarina... while Conway came here because...uhh...well I don't know but weren't you looking for somebody?"
Sighing, the Take Over mage reached into his pocket and brought out the photograph that he had shown Silas upon their first meeting, albiet now torn and wrinkled. Handing it to Florence, he decided to reveal his story "There's this guy called...Simon that I'm looking for. We knew each other from quite a while back and all...lately I've been hearing some odd rumours about him, things such as how he's looking for strong alies for some goal of his..."
Putting the clues together, Florence then deduced "Oh! So this guy you're looking for is related to the guy in the photo?"
"Hmm sort of. I've been going around Fiore, Bosco and now Seven asking around for the strongest Dark Mage there is. Apparently..." Gesturing to the photograph he continued "The guy in that photo is the strongest Dark Mage Seven has to offer...according to Taverns and word on the street"
With the FRFH Headquarters in sight, the female knight hmm 'ed before suggesting "Public Opinion isn't really that great...if I was a bad guy I would stay away from the general opinion...although if I became insanely strong that's another story"
"True...hey you think Silas would have an idea on who the strongest is?" Reaching to grand doors of the building, Dante opened it and gestured for Florence to go infront, muttering with a smirk "Ladies first..."
Curtsying in a mocking manner, the Godspell adopted a higher than normal voice and thanked him "Why thank you good sire, you flatter me to a decree farther than I ever deserve. But in all honesty I have no idea if Silas would know..." Before slipping quickly into the building. Upon entering, rather than either silence or a brief greeting Florence was met with a shrill scream; as well as a vase thrown at her head, barely missing her and shattering at the doors. Scrambling for cover, the Dead Queen cursed before managing to crouch in a hidden corner she had noticed only just now.
Constantly turning her head for any signs of an attacker and with her blade Granvine already drawn out, Florence saw Dante casually walk into the building. Scared for his safety, she quickly hissed at him "Dante....Dante! Over here...Get. Over. Here. Now!"
Raising an eyebrow, the Royard crouched before sneaking his way towards the red head. As he did so, several knives flew his way, skimming to just above the crown of his skull. Realizing the danger he was in, Dante dived towards Florence, asking her "What the hell's happening? Where's Silas or Mithra?"
Relaxing further into the corner, Florence shrugged and muttered "Well...that's what I'd like to know..." As the pair looked about, another shrill scream echoed throughout the building followed by a fairly familiar voice screeching at the top of her lungs "GODDAMMIT SILAS, I'M GOING TO FREAKING SLAUGHTER YOU, YOU WORTHLESS POUCH OF MEAT, WHY WERE YOU EVEN BORN!?"
Bringing up a hand to his face; Dante squeezed his eyes and shut and muttered "Oh for the love of Exodia...I should have guessed it had something to do with Silas..." Peeking through his fingers, he quickly said "Well now speak of the devil...Silas, what the hell did you do?"
Sporting several injuries, specifically a dagger still imbedded into his thigh, the Cocytus explained in a fairly hurried manner while still dodging Mithra's attacks "Well you see, I was training with Gottes beCAUSE he said he could help with my physical combat. And then I had this brilLIANT idea that since this is a non-mAGE citadel, there should be something Gottes could use...right?"
Stepping infront, Florence brought her blade around and deflected several cubes of solid steel that just happened to be laying around in the hall. As she side stepped some more and protected Silas from the rest, Florence urged him to continue "Yeah ok so you had a pretty good idea...but why's Mithra so pissed?"
Taking a moment to sit down on the ground, Silas reached to his thigh and with a deep breath, yanked the dagger out, revealling a particularly nasty, jagged blade attached to the handle. Sighing, the Red Coyote muttered "Well you see, I realized I actually forgot where the FRFH keeps their stash of items and stuff so I had to go ask Mithra...oww...Anyways, so I went to go ask her but she apparently has this thing about privacy while being in the shower or something..."
Ducking underneath a hatchet that buried itself into the pristine walls, Florence grabbed Silas' collar and dragged him with her several meters to her left, barely managing to dodge a wooden dining table that splintered upon crashing into the wall. Cursing her inability to use magic, Florence grabbed her sword with both hands and with a mighty slash managed to make a cut in the wooden wall of the FRFH building. As she made short work of the wall, the Godspell asked "Wait wait wait...wait...wait...so you basically opened the door when Mithra was having a shower?"
About to retort; Silas was knocked unconscious by a dart board thrown particularly hard at his head. Going limp, the Cocytus' head fell forwards as Florence continued cutting at the wall. Leaping in, Dante kicked at the cuts, tearing the wall open and making a sizable hole, commanded Florence "Go! Get him out of here! She's gone completely insane!"
Solemnly nodding, Florence grabbed Silas' armpits and dragged him away from Mithra's wrath, not caring about the jagged edges of the hole that unfortunately dug into the adult's back. The Royard faced the blue haired fury with a set determination but instantly paled upon the sight of her casually waving a two handed blade around with complete ease. Glancing down at the ground, Dante kicked up two of the table legs from the table and grasped them with one hand each, improvising for blades. Carefully approaching the furious woman, Dante attempted to calm her, cooing "Mithra...this doesn't have to happen...you can just put that sword down and we can all go and bash Silas up afterwards...ok?"
Murmuring to herself, the Blind Summoner tossed the blade into the air, caught it in a back handed grip and rearing back, tossed it straight towards Dante. Gritting his teeth, the Royard attempted to block the blade with the two pieces of wood, only to see it pierce the blocks with ease, causing him to flip backwards as the sword forcibly dug itself into the floor. Leaping up, Dante grabbed the sword and attempted to pull it out but found it to be well and truly wedged into the wooden ground. Groaning, he looked up to see Mithra walking away. Calling after her, he asked "Hey wait, where're you going?"
Irratably calling back without a single glance, Mithra replied "I just got PEEKED at by a certain somebody. I think I might just spend the rest of the day in my room if you're so curious"
"Oh ok...Wait! Where's-"
"That DECENT priest is in the Training Hall, it's where all the weapons are kept"
Raising an eyebrow, Dante questioned "...They have a Training Hall?"
The Magic Mirror
Turning the door handle, Dante stepped into what could more or less be described as a hollowed out, underground box. The roof was still the same height as all the other rooms however, the floor was another story. A dug out square that descended for several metres, even knowing his own strength, the Royard quite honestly doubted he would survive falling down the pit. Patches of sunlight shone on what appeared to be a wooden floor, filtered by glass panels on the ceiling.
Walking around the edges of the room, Dante caught a glimpse of several humanoid figures completely destroyed, scattered in various locations. "Oh, hey Dante!" Looking down, he saw Gottes supporting himself with what looked like a broadsword coated in some sort of liquid. Curiosity somehow getting the better of him, Dante carefully scaled down the wall occasionally kicking it in to provide a foothold. Managing to reach the ground, he went and offered Gottes his help, an offer the priest gladly took. Before the events that had taken place several weeks ago; Gottes would have never taken the help of a mage and even now displays that mindset but he had come to accept the realization that there were a few mages who were acceptable or at the very least half-decent.
As the Magic Thief limped alongside the mage, Gottes asked "So, what brings you to this corner of the building?"
"Oh right, well Mithra told me I would find you here, figured you would be having trouble walking or something along those lines"
Smirking, Gottes said "I could manage to get out of this box by myself given time afterall..."I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13"
As the priest looked satisfied and rather proud out of that quote, Dante was utterly confused, asking "...Phillip?"
Rationalizing that Dante had merely forgotten, Gottes attempted to remind him "Philippians, you know, one of the sections of the bible?"
Now contributinga blank stare towards the conversation, the Royard questioned even further "What's a bible? Is it like...a weapon?"
"Oh gods no, it's a book about the teachings of several people, namely God and Jesus Christ"
Unsure of the direction within which the discussion was directed, the take over mage shared his knowledge "There's...this guy in Fiore...he uhh...works for the Magic Council...his name is Regus if that helps"
"...Really? Are you actually serious? You don't know who Jesus Christ is?"
"Sorry, no clue"
Seeing Dante shake his head at each title, Gottes began to pile up more religious figures "Brigid? Orcus? Liber? Larunda? Lucina? Freyr? Loki? Odin? Macha? Lir? Danu? Tenjin? Omoikane? Viracocha? Ao? Te Uira? Banaitja?"
"No no and no! HOW THE HELL DO YOU KNOW ALL THESE?"
"HOW DO YOU NOT KNOW THESE?" Taking a deep breath Gottes attempted to calm down, negotiating "Alright...how about this. You help me get out of here and I'll teach you all about this stuff. How does that sound to you?"
Scratching his head, Dante looked around, noting that apart from the visible kick markings embedded into the wall that he had made, there didn't seem to be any physical way to get out "...Now that I think about it, how did you get in here?"
Sighing in a fairly defeated manner, the priest pointed over to the far end of the war, opposite to the way that Dante had entered the room. It took him quite a while to adjust but eventually, in the patch of faded sunlight he could make out a long yet, ridiculously thin thread of string hanging off of the wall. Questionably looking at Gottes the Phantom King walked over and tugged it, before walking back and asking "So...something that thin is going to support me?"
"Support us" Gottes corrected. Raising his arm, the priest continued "Silas told me that it's indestructible and quite honestly I actually believe him. Now can you please help me out of here? I really need to go get my leg treated"
Raising an eyebrow, Dante decided to help him up and carrying him on his back, made his way towards the near-invisible thread. Grasping it with both hands, Dante began to climb up, being wary that should Gottes fall from this height, it would be unlikely the priest would stay alive. Swinging back and forth, Dante placed his feet on the wall and treaded his way upwards. As the pair approached the half way mark, the thread sagged, causing the pair to slide several meters down the wall. Cursing, the Phantom King continued his way up, ignoring the sagging of the thread.
Nearing the top, Gottes sighed with relief before commenting "Well what do you know, it wasn't as bad as Silas said it would be afterall"
Pausing his trek, the Royard stared straight at the wall as he slowly asked "..."as bad as Silas said it would be"?...and exactly what did Silas say?"
"Oh nothing...just that should the combined weight on the thread exceed 150kg then the person would most likely die..."
Almost on que, the thread dropped once again but rather, instead of sliding down a few meters it completely disconnected from the ceiling, delivering the pair towards the floor. As they began free falling through the air Dante shouted at him "WHAT THE HELL, TELL ME THESE THINGS EARLIER DUMBASS"
"WHY THE HELL IS IT MY FAULT? FEEL THE WEIGHT OF YOUR SINS"
"MY SINS? THAT'S STUPID, WHAT THE HELL HAVE I DONE?"
"IGNORANCE OF THE GODS, YOU SHOULDN'T EVEN BE WITHIN THE PLANE OF PHYSICAL EXISTANCE!"
"HOW THE HELL DOES MY IGNORING SOMETHING APPLY TO PHYSICAL MATTER??"
"IT JUST DOES AND WHY THE HELL ARE YOU SO FREAKING HEAVY?"
"I'M NOT EVEN THAT HEAVY"
The two of them screaming at each other, they both landed roughly in a pile of hay, landing and finding themselves well and amazingly alive. Groaning, Gottes rolled to his side, only to fall off of the hay and land on some concrete. Frowning, he looked up with a blurred eyesight. Shakily pulling himself up with a wall the priest recovered his vision and looked ahead at a glowing blue light. Squinting, he saw some form of outline in the light and as he moved closer, it became clear to him what it was. His jaw dropping, the priest limped back to where Dante was still laying down and shook his shoulder, managing to utter out in awe "Dude..you have got to see this"
Groaning, Dante uttered out "Piss off...why should I listen to some priest that dropped us into a trap"
"Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see."
"Oh yeah? I'm hoping that you'll die soon...Crap, I think something's wrong with my neck"
Bending to one knee Gottes gently held his companion's neck and carefully turned his head towards the blue light, all the while muttering "Be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead!" Wanna guess where that's from?"
Screwing his eyes shut as his neck was turning towards a light, Dante replied "I dunno...one of your fancy religious books...woah well now that's...interesting?"
His eyes catching sight of the blue light, the pair stared in awe as the light continued shining. It was a jagged aura that grew lighter as it came from the center, eventually holding a pure white light in the middle of it all. And contrasting with the white was a shape, a shadow that held 4 dark lines, each originating from one corner of the cave. The pair looked in wonder before the Phantom King broke the silence and asked "What the hell is it?"
Serum was currently in the forest, cutting up the wood, further sharpening his skill with his own blades. Conway was in the burns unit, having accidentally burned his hands to the extent that he couldn't move them properly. Mithra was in her room, screaming up a pitch that would put a Banshee to shame, swearing that she would snap Silas' neck the next time he peeked at her. Gottes and Dante were in a cavern beneath the Training Hall, staring at some unknown light source while the Royard sported an injured neck. And the final members of the 7 People that had repelled Diaros; Florence and Silas were in the FRFH Infirmary, with Silas lying unconscious in a bed and Florence skipping about in a circle, ignoring the fact that the nurses had diagnosed the Cocytus with a potential concussion.
As for Jinx and Tethe', the two of them were on the highest point in Pilse Navarina; basking in the sun and relaxing in the complete silence that they were given from the top of the citadel. With the core members that had practically saved the great city from an invasion and more or less impending doom all occupied, it would be no surprise that the greatest tragedy that Seven had ever seen would occur within the next 2 hours.
Peering into the blue light, Gottes reached out and felt the cold steel that was in the middle of the illumination. Looking back, the Witch Hunter asked Dante "Hey, come help me out with this, I wanna try and pry it open"
Why...was I born..?
Groaning, the Royard got up and craned his neck, before walking over to Gottes and gripping the cold steel in the middle of the light. From what he could tell, it appeared almost as if it was a steel container, a cubed shape that held a height that extended all the way to his hip. Carefully scanning the box with his hand, Dante commented "Hey, I think there's some kind of ledge near the corners, maybe we can wrench it open with force?"
Frowning, Gottes reached around to grasp a corner, and found that they indeed have a ledge somewhat built into the cube itself. Weighing the potential risks, the preacher stated "To open up the Pandora's Box is to envict the wrath of knowledge onto oneself"
"Oh great...another holy text passage thing for me to hear?"
"Nope, just a saying I heard once. Thought it was relevant to our current situation. Anyways come on, help me get this box open, I really want to see what the hell's making all this light"
Clicking his tongue in annoyance, Dante supported his companion "I'm surprised somebody like you's actually cursing hell. But anyways, this light's pretty strong...pull it open on 3?"
It's cramped...why am I here...Silas...?
"Wait wait wait...on three or at three?"
"What difference does it make? Just wrench it open when I pull it"
Silas...why...why did you put me in here...why?
Sighing, Gottes muttered out "I don't like this authority you have here..." before grabbing the ledge. Glancing at Dante, they both nodded at the same time before chanting out their improvised countdown.
"Wait, pull open at three right?"
Shaking his head, Dante shifted his position and mustering all his strength, wrenched the entire steel box open with Gottes, flooding the cavern and the training room above them with a brilliant cyan light, one that temporarily blinded them. And from the core of the flash, a human figure tilted its head up and slowly stood up. As if it were an old machine, when the person moved their joints, a creaking sound became clear in the air. Still blinded by the light, Gottes questioned "What the hell...is that from the box?"
Before Dante could even utter out a single, audible syllable, an insane howl filled the air, reverbrating against the walls violently. The shriek continued, finally cumulating into a single howl of agony and grief "WHY SILAS, WHY WOULD YOU DO THIS TO ME"
Slowly regaining his vision back from the brilliant, sudden flash of light just moments ago, the Witch Hunter heavily squinted at the figure howling at the roof, discovering to his rather slight surprise, that there were four visible holes in the figure's chest, two where his lungs should be and another two just above his hips. After a few seconds, the holes began to...flicker before Gottes realized that they weren't simply holes but rather, they were turbines fitted directly into the person's body. Air seemed to collect around the person and after several seconds in which there was little to no oxygen, a blast of air erupted from the person's chest, throwing both Dante and Gottes down the cavern several metres away, and blasting a whole through the roof, making an impromptu pathway to the training room.
Hissing out a sound resembling steam escaping a train, the figure crawled up and out of the cavern, all the while ignoring the unconscious figures of Gottes and Dante; the openers of Pandora's Box.
Clawing his way out of the cavern, the person pulled himself up and with an inhuman strength, leapt into the air, and easily landed outside of the Training pit that the hole was in. Stretching his limbs, the human felt a few of his joints pop at the movement, groaning in ecstacy, he kept quiet, creeping around the walls, allowing his eyes to adjust to the dim lighting of the room. Frowning, the figure walked around the room, hearing a distant scream outside of the room. Turning to the source of the sound, he once again gathered air around him and after several seconds, released a blast of air at a wall, obliterating the entire wall into a large pile of splintered wood. Trudging outside, the light shone on the figure, showing to the world a pale, shirtless blonde man with eyes of brown fury, darting about, taking in every single detail he could, lapping it up like the citadel itself was his favourite meal.
Staying still for a few more seconds, the man began walking towards the front door of the FRFH's headquarters, muttering in a dark humour "...oh baby...it feels so good to be back..."
Sighing at her subsided rage, Mithra opened the door and walked into the bathroom, turning on a tap and splashing water onto her face. Feeling the cool water drip off of her face, the Blind Summoner calmed down and used her Eternano Tracer to scan the area, slightly curious as to where on earth Silas was. As her sight broadened, she found an entire wall of the training room had been blasted apart. Frowning in a mild amusement, Mithra extended her sight, this time to the main area of the head quarters. As she did so, her face paled as she found a similar figure in the area.
At the front doors of the head quarters, shirtless and exhausted, was a person whom Mithra hadn't seen for over a year...the legend of the FRFH...at the doors of the FRFH Headquarters was Jyu Bia Viole...Ashuron Ren.
Hesitating for a couple of seconds, Mithra stood still, balancing the scales of exactly what on earth her course of action should be. She could stay still...hidden inside her room...but the damn blondie had an insane sense of smell...he'd be able to find her in a matter of seconds. Now she was regretting the perfume Mirone bought for her on her birthday. Deciding that the confrontation would be inevitable, she decided to head towards the door anyways, grabbing a wallet that was lying on the floor along the way.
Opening the doors of the FRFH Headquarters, Mithra adopted an expression of surprise, "accidentally" bumping into Ashuron as she exited the building. Putting on an accent that she vaguely noted as being a bit too posh for her usual self, Mithra greeted "Oh? Hello there. Can I help you?"
"Hmm actually...yes you can; I'm looking for a particular individual that you may be familiar with you see"
Smiling in a confused fashion, the blind woman asked "Sorry, I really don't think I would know who it is you're talking about...you see, I'm a new member of the FRFH and-"
Shoving a hand at the door, mere inches away from her face and blocking her exit, Ashuron grinned, calmly saying "Oh sorry to disturb you then...but you wouldn't by any chance have met a certain Silas Cocytus during your stay here?"
Flinching, Mithra edged her way away from Ashuron, politely smiling and saying "No...sorry, don't think I've ever heard that name from around here before. I do apologize but you see, I must be getting on with my errands, I have to go buy some supplies for the Headquarters you see"
Hurrying away in a mild panic, the Blind Summoner froze on the spot as she heard the legendary mage of FRFH utter out "Strange...it's so unnatural to see you acting all posh...Mithra"
Cursing at the fact that Ashuron had managed to remember her, Mithra turned around and, facing her old companion, said "Well...this really sucks..."
Once again starting up the turbines in his chest, a whirlwind of air gathered around him and in a threatening manner, Ashuron asked once more "Why on earth would you say that? All I want to know is...where's Silas?"
Sighing with frustration at his inability to spontaneously improve, Serum sheathed his blades, abesnt mindedly looking around at the scene of destruction he had caused in the forest. It was terrifying enough, to see a couple hundred strong oak trees now being reduced to mere blocks of wood. However, the fearsome trait was that the technique that Serum had attempted...was only half of the real thing.
Clicking his tongue and kicking a block of wood out of his path, the swordsman froze on the spot as a deep rumbling sound echoed through the air. Narrowing his eyes, he faced the direction in which he heard the sound and hence, applied his Speed Magic to his legs, accelerating himself as fast as possible to reach the sound. Dashing through the scenery, his magic came to a sudden short stop as he entered the citadel's area. Violently cursing at his inability to advance at a rapid rate, he opted to sprinting towards his destination instead. It wasn't like the sound was anything particularly ominous however, at the very least the swordsman wanted to check it out, the timing of the sound gave him a bad feeling.
Grunting in exertion, Mithra kept her arms crossed, shielding her eyes as the blast of air tore at the ground near her feet. Stumbling a few steps back, the Blind Summoner rolled to the side as yet another blast of air headed towards her direction, making a visible dent in the concrete that she had just been standing on.
"Come on Mithra~"
"I just want to know where Silas is"
Dropping her bleeding arms, Mithra ran away from the FRFH member and with a leap, grabbed a branch and swung herself into the cover of the trees. Heaving, she crouched down in the leaves, more than prepared to jump should Ashuron fire off another blast of air. With the help of her Eternano Tracer, she would be able to easily tell when Ashuron would fire off a third blast. And from what she had remembered from when she had worked with him, the mage had a maximum of four "shots" before he would have to recharge, an action that at the very least took 3 seconds...3 seconds in which Mithra would be able to take him down.
"Alright, say for a moment that I actually did know where Silas was...why would I ever tell you?"
Repositioning herself into facing the blonde mage, she continued "There was a reason why we all decided to put you in there in the first place Ashuron. You were hurting too many people...you're smart, I'll admit at least that much but honestly, you always bring innocents into your plans just to finish a mission. Tell me, when was the last time that you completed an A rank task set out for you without killing somebody who had no ties to the situation, just happened to be there at the wrong place, wrong time?"
Walking forwards, Ashuron shouted back as a reply "Why does that matter? They're people! They're not mages, nor are they knights of some grand kingdom! Why would it matter if they died one day- they'll just die some other day!"
"It's because that they're people that they matter! We joined this place to protect those very people who'll grow to protect others! Why are you so blind to that fact?"
Gritting his teeth, the blonde mage muttered out "...Because I used to be one of those people..."
Roaring, Ashuron aimed at where he deduced Mithra to be and without wasting a second, fired off his third and fourth blasts of air, easily tearing through the wood and shattering it into countless splinters. From the wreckage the blind woman gathered herself and with utmost determination leapt at her companion. Once close enough, she reared back and ducking underneath a weak punch from Ashuron, returned one herself, directed straight towards his chin and with enough force to send him flying, followed through, watching him soar through the air and crash into the FRFH's Headquarters.
Brushing her hair and setting it behind of her ear, Mithra "humph'd" before commenting on what Ashuron had stated "You were one of them...I forgot about that..."
Almost half an hour later, the majority of the group who had fought back Diaros were gathered in a park, a fair distance away from the FRFHs district. With the exception of Silas and Tethe' who were respectively in a hospital and a veterinary clinic after chasing Jinx and fabulously failing.
A few moments after Mithra had taken Ashuron down, Serum had arrived on scene, offering assistance in any task she needed help with. Stationing the swordsman to monitor Ashuron and tie him down, Mithra had called upon the Wolx and abusing her status as a famous member of the guild, had made the intelligence group collect her fellow companions, beating up the unfortunate recruit who had questioned her order in the process.
Looking around the park, with an audience of Dante, Jinx, Conway, Gottes, Florence and Serum, Mithra cleared her throat before introducing the topic "Uhh...ahem. Yes well...due to rather unfortunate episodes occurring at the hands of Gottes and Dante...it would seem that a former member of the FRFH has been released back into the world...Hmm yeah...so since you guys are somewhat...important figures in the citadel, it's only rights to introduce him to you guys...I think"
Plainly staring at the bruised, chained shape hidden by a leather sack, Conway asked "Well alright...so I get the fact that we're important but...is this bag something important?"
Coughing into his hand, Serum answered "It's not like we're necessarily "important" but yes, this bag or rather, the person inside is apparently of some importance"
Taking over, Mithra explained to the group who Ashuron was "Thank you Serum. Alright then; So a couple years back Silas brought some guy into the citadel who he had apparently met during the course of a mission. This guy" gesturing towards the bag "was a person called Ashuron Ren. At first we thought he was an alright guy so Mirone got me to work with him for a bit, see how he goes, what he's got and so forth"
"Uhh...on the first mission, three things became clear. One- he was smart and I'm not talking about intelligent-smart, when I'm talking about Ashuron, I mean insane-plan-everything-predict-the-future-smart. Our first mission was to get back a few civilians who had been abducted by some local, small time bandit group who were holed up in a cave. Thanks to his planning, we managed to finish the mission in a few hours."
"The second thing is that he's in possession of a magic that none of us would've ever encountered. It's a weird one but basically, he's got some turbines in his chest and with his magic, he can more or less blast concentrated pockets of air at your face. Normally it's an advantage since the guys you're up against would have literally no idea what to do, but it was also a disadvantage because at the same time, you couldn't really work as a team since there were moments when you'd go in, and then it'd be all like "Whoa wait...I'm NOT supposed to go in?"
"And finally...the third thing about this bugger. Normally he'd be a valuable ally but there was one thing that ruined it all...his personality. It wasn't so much personality as it was his thought process but still...basically what happened would be that we'd go through all this work just to get the civilians, and then when the bandits went after us, he'd basically kill the civilians and blast their corpses well away just to lead them to the wrong trail"
Interjecting, Dante clarified "Wait back up a bit. So you're saying that basically, you'd find the hostages, rescue them, but Ashuron would kill them just so that you could get away?"
"Jesus...that's just messed up. I do things for some money but that's just stone cold"
"Ah-Ha!" Gottes exclaimed "You DID know about Jesus"
"Now is really not the time..."
Standing up to stretch, Florence asked in an annoyed tone "Yeah yeah whatever, nobody cares about Jehsuh-"
"Jehsuh. Can we just get to the point where the guy ends up in a cave?"
Loudly continuing to drown out anybody else, Mithra said "SO AFTER A WHILE, we realized that Ashuron was actually doing this on purpose or rather, he could've easily made another plan on the spot but he chose to kill the civilians instead. So after a few more missions just to be sure, we got Silas to fight Ashuron, with the intent of chucking him into that giant freezer you saw down in the cavern"
"Wait...he was in a freezer for...how long?"
"Oh I dunno...I'd say perhaps 3 or 4 years? Time flies by when you're a mercenary and all...but that's not the point. The point is that now, Ashuron's out and we're the ones that are probably going to take care of him so let's welcome out new companion!"
Flourishing the bag, the blind woman threw it off and presenting Ashuron to the group, began clapping in an improvised entrance.
After several minutes of silence paired only with Mithra's solo applause, Conway broke the silence by asking "...We're taking care of this guy?"
His back hurt...allot. It wasn't like the normal times where it felt like he had fallen off a cliff or tumbled down a hill...it felt more like somebody had gotten a sledgehammer and whacked him in the back with it.
What was that sound...it was familiar but...
His consciousness snapping to attention, Silas began gagging, attempting to breathe but at the same time hindered by an object in his throat. Retching and vividly thrashing on his bed, he clawed at his throat before feeling the object being retracted via his mouth by something else.
Opening his eyes, the Cocytus looked around before his eyes landed on the person next to his bed with the unforgettable smirk on his face. Despite waking up just mere seconds ago, Silas glared at the person, speaking through numb lips "Ashuron...what the hell are you doing out here?"
"Is that anyway to greet your best friend? I'm here to greet my new teammate"
Chuckling to himself, the blonde dragged out a seat from presumably nowhere and sitting down on it, proceeded to explain before cracking his knuckles "Well a couple of your friends broke through the floor of the training room and released me. Unfortunately, Mithra got me down before I was able to go kill you and for some reason, she decided to go ahead and make a team of the "elites" in this citadel or something. And so here we are, it's been a while but now we're working together. Aren't you happy Silas?"
Groaning, the mage coughed, noting how dry his throat was right now. Getting up, he scratched at his hair before commenting "Not particularly...our combo usually ended up as mass destruction but anyways, who are these new guys?"
"I don't really know but you've worked with them before"
"Apparently there was an invasion a few months back"
"Yeah I know right, an invasion of Navarina?"
"No I mean, MONTHS? How long was I out?"
Shrugging, Ashuron got up and simply said "For a long time" before leaving the room, in what he no doubt thought to be a cool manner. As he left the room, Silas noticed a bandanna on his bed side table. Raising an eyebrow, he reached for it and tugged the cloth, noticing a small note fall out of the bandanna. Ignoring it for a bit, the Cocytus stared at the black cloth, focusing on the insignia printed in the middle, a vivid pattern of a small, clear circle above a unique circle crossed against a curvy horizontal line.
"It's our team's mark"
Snapping to attention, Silas faced the doorway, seeing Dante leaning against the metallic frame with crossed arms. "Mithra was going absolutely nuts about it, apparently I'm in your special little squad as well"
"The bandanna thing was my idea. I might go out and explore Fiore in a while so I don't wanna get tied down to a team that was made just on the spot...sorry about that"
"Naww it's all good. So...what's this all about?"
"Ugh I'll just run through it. I need to go help Jinx soon. So there's some weird story about the moon crying or something-"
"Is it Moon Drop?" Silas interjected "Mithra's been going on and on about that story"
"Yeah it's that. Well anyways...
2 Months Ago
"Yes Conway, we're taking care of Ashuron, chances are that we'll all be deployed out on a mission and he'll come along with us"
Florence got up and drawing out her blade, pointed it at Ashuron, lifting up his chin while doing so "I don't like this guy...and why do we have to go with you? Serum and I only came to Seven because we were traveling you know"
"Florence has a point" Gottes said "All of us only came here because of our own reasons, just because we all happened to just meet each other doesn't mean that we're all part of a team now"
"Well...how about this. You'll all get paid to go work for the FRFH, under the alias of a team"
Picking up the term "paid", Dante asked "How much would we be paid and...why?"
"Well simple. You guys are amongst the strongest that Pilse Navarina has ever seen, and the fact that recently a request came up that's all about taking down an entire Dark Guild. As for money...I suppose you'll be paid the standard amount at first which usually ranges from 1000 to 3000 Charms per mission"
"Sorry what? Charms?"
"Yes Charms Dante. They're the official currency of Seven, sorta how Jewels are the official currency of Fiore...so? How does that sound?"
With a slight smirk, Dante got up and patting the Mithra on the head in a condescending manner, said "Sounds good to me. As long as I get paid for it, I may as well stick around..."
"That's how Moon Drop or whatever you call it was formed"
"Wait-wait-wait back up a bit, you're saying that this "team" or whatever you want to call it, was made because you were all bribed?"
"Wait...hang on, do I get paid as well?"
"Probably not. Anyways now that you're awake, how long are you going to stay in bed? Hurry up and get out, everybody's waiting for you downstairs you know"
Groaning in annoyance, Silas swung his legs to the side and slowly got up, reaching for his usual jacket that had been left on the floor. As he bent down to get it, he also noticed the small note that had fallen with the bandanna, picking it up along with the jacket. Despite wearing a hospital gown, the Cocytus put on his jacket and reading the note, walked with Dante out of the room and took a turn, walking down the stairs.
"Hey Silas, sorry about the thing where I put you in the hospital"
Stumbling because his legs were still weak, the Red Coyote grabbed onto Dante, staying still for a moment before going on
"It's been a while since you've woken up, I must've hit you harder than I thought...ha ha sorry~"
"While you were asleep, Me, Gottes, Dante, Serum, Conway, Florence and Ashuron decided to go ahead and make a team. Obviously you'll be in it, so will Jinx and Tethe'"
As he continued down, Silas gained a small, tingling feeling all over his body...it was the feeling of magic coming back to his body...it was rushing back
"It's a tad bit rushed but Mirone got us our first mission, he had to go and contact the freakin' Magic Council for it though but I guess it's a special treat just for you...and Serum and Florence apparently?"
Alongside the magic that was filling his body, adrenaline rushed in as well, making Silas practically vibrate as he read the note
"You see...the guys that hired those knights to infiltrate our citadel, turns out that they're the leaders of a Guild called QuadDracoras. You wanna guess who's the leader or...Co-Leader (?) of the group is?"
Regaining the strength to walk properly, Silas stopped leaning off of the Royard and steadily walked faster before breaking into a sprint
"Funny thing it is...Destiny I suppose if you will, must've arranged things, since Kharlan is actually the one that hired those knights. I'd say it's more than enough of an excuse to go and pay them back ten-fold right?"
Wildly grinning, the Cocytus scrunched up the note before beckoning to Dante "Let's go!" and jumping down the stairs, dashing through the many corridors that lead to the outside world
"Seems Serum and Florence have their own grudges against the other leaders...we'll attack them in the summer so that we won't be bothered by the snow."
"That gives us about 3 more months of training left, although the doctor said you'll be out late so you'll basically have 2 weeks left when you wake up..."
"but anyways, wake up when you feel like it, Kharlan's not going anywhere, we're all waiting for you!"
Throwing the doors open, Silas ran out, wildly grinning as he stared at the sunshine. Laughing out loud, he stared at the scene before him before dropping his smile. A busy street with people carrying bags strangely staring at him, with some parents ushering their children to hurry up, having them avoid looking at the weird man.
Awkwardly staring in front of him, he didn't hear Dante running up until the Phantom King spoke, commenting "Idiot...this isn't some fairy tale book where you run outside and all your friends are there waiting for you...everybody's out training, especially Jinx...well if you're alright with that I'll leave you alone now. Your clothes are still in your room, they're in a box underneath your bed. See ya 'round Silas"
As the Royard ran back and climbed up the building before dashing off on the roof tops, Silas walked back, trying to play things "cool" and get his clothes back, saying to quite literally no-one "...I'm still cool"
And so, their goal set, their team created and the date decided, the team Moon Drop took their time, steadily advancing forwards, reaching a stronger level of ability with each day that passed.
Time spent awake was for training, time spent for resting was for planning and the time it took Silas to put on his clothes was the hour that Mithra made her new spell.
To some it was a simple year but for the 8 guardians of the citadel, it was an end to their first chapter, the true end to the invasion and yet at the same time...a beginning to their role in the fate of Seven, and as a member of the legendary team Moon Drop.
And FINALLY, the first Arc actually ends for the storyline. Not actually sure if anybody still does but if you do read these stories, a MASSIVE THANK YOU, I suppose just the thoughts that somebody does read my junk is a boost for motivation?
It's a little bit late but I have to honestly, deep down, thank Leengard, Zikimura and (Clown) Prince, for not only their support but also for offering to lend me their characters. I cannot express just how much you guys mean to me, it's a bit weird but yeah...THANK YOU.
I actually had this whole series planned out but since it took like...a year to just finish one arc, I'll probably be changing everything around. I haven't checked but it seems that I might've left some plot holes that I failed to cover up, if I did then yeah...I guess I'll go fix it up when I actually find them.
From now on...I'm thinking of putting up an Author's note, stating that some of the chapters in the arc don't need to be read, mostly the beginning ones since those were literally just introductory ones...and written horribly as well.
But once more, a BIG, BIG Thank You to anybody who read this, a second arc WILL go up, but depending on how that arc goes it may or may not be the final arc, it'll mostly be about how much time I would have in Years 11 and 12 to work on the Fanon series but we'll see how it goes. And without further ado, Nowie Sheep is out! Or just grazing on some more grass.