Continued from The Omega Arrives
The threat is known and the die has been cast, but what will it say? Six guild mages have decided to head north to face The Omega and two siblings are looking for someone to join them to banish the darkness of the north. Only the Shadow has yet to show his hand, but how long until he too joins the fray?
Protectors of Life, Hunters of Revenge
"Hurry up then!" Serket spat back at them.
"She's in quite the mood, isn't she Sobek?" a mage in glasses asked the water mage. Sobek simply nodded in reply.
"Can you blame her, Thoth?" a fire mage said. "After what you told her?"
"Not really," Thoth replied. "But what I'm really worrying about, Ra, is how the Guild Master is going to react when he finds out that we've all left, and why."
"Now that you mention it..." Ra began, swallowing out of nervousness, "We're gonna be in a shit load of trouble...aren't we?"
"More than likely, Ra." the armored girl next to Ra said.
"Thanks for the reassurance, Bastet." Ra sighed. The sand and wind mage snickered at Ra.
"Don't go trying to start fights, Set." Sobek warned, without looking back.
"Sorry," Set replied, though he didn't sound like he ment it. "I'm just a little amused by what we're doing."
"And why's that?" Serket demanded.
"We're heading north, to kill the man who killed our Guild Master's wife." Set replied. "Isn't that going completely against our Guild's doctrine and creed to Protect and Preserve Life."
"Shut up, Set." Serket growled. Set simply shrugged as the group continued heading north, but what the green haired man said began to seep into the minds of everyone else. They all just realized that, most likely, they were actually planning to break the most vital law of their guild.
Destroyers of Life, Seekers of Chaos
"So it has," Cerberus sighed. "Well, there's no helping it right now, Hippolyta, we'll just deal with whatever rabble shows itself and continue with our plan."
"Right," Hippolyta said, then turned on her heel and went to go deliver orders to the others.
"Are you sure we should just stay put and ignore the fact that the entire country now knows we're here?" the man with pale gray hair asked.
"Do you have so little faith in my powers, Geryon?" Cerberus asked, a dangerous tone in his voice.
"No! I don't doubt your powers at all, Cerberus! No, I mean do you really think that the others will be able to handle the riff raff?" Geryon answered quickly, back tracking so as not to offend the other man.
"Don't worry about them, after all they've all earned their places here as well." Cerberus replied.
"Tch," the blonde man with the blood stained claws growled. "The Giant Brown-Noser is bad mouthing us to the boss again."
The hooded girl sitting next to the blonde man glanced over at him.
"Would you like me to do something about it, Lion?" the girl asked.
"No, Hydra, I'd rather rip the bastard to shreds myself," Lion replied. "But, Cerberus has banned us from fighting each other."
Hydra nodded and settled back into her spot in the rubble.
"Yes, ma'am!" Hind answered happily, arriving far faster than the other three.
"Since the cat's out of the bag, and everyone knows we're hear now," Hippolyta began, glaring at Lion and Boar as if it were their fault that their cover was blown. The two men just ignored the implied accusation. "We're going to need to take measures to make sure no one interferes with Cerberus' plans."
"Right." Hind chipped in.
"So, I'm going to need you, Hind, to double check the entire area to make sure no one's gotten in yet." Hippolyta ordered. Hind nodded and shot off immediately.
"Lion, escort Hydra back to the road that leads here." Hippolyta continued. "No harm in saturating the land in more of her poison."
"Yeah, figured as much." Lion sighed as he and Hydra turned away from Hippolyta and headed out of the ruins of the town.
"And I got called over because?" Boar prompted, bored and always eager for a fight he wasn't too fond of having nothing to do.
"You need to be ready to assist Hind with any intruders." Hippolyta replied.
"Then you should've told her that before she darted off." Boar retorted. "There's no one alive that can catch that girl once she's off and running."
"Just go." Hippolyta demanded, the edge in her voice was almost as dangerous as the blade she always carried.
"Fine, fine, I'm going." Boar grumbled, heading off in the general direction Hind had rushed off in.
"A little harsh, aren't we?" a green haired man asked, walking up behind Hippolyta.
"Shut up, Diomedes." Hippolyta replied. "Men are worthless idiots who only value violence and themselves."
"Yet, you're the first to draw if a fight breaks out." Diomedes said, adjusting his glasses.
"I'm warning you, Diomedes, keep this up and you'll be the next one who's blood feeds my blade." Hippolyta growled and stormed away, leaving Diomedes grinning to himself.
"She's so easy to upset." he said, turning to the purple haired man still relaxing amongst the rubble. "Isn't she, Stymphalos?"
"She's also very serious," Stymphalos replied. "She's killed men with less provocation, only Cerberus and Bull have been able to restrain her when she gets into one of those moods, the ones that you keep trying to get her in."
As Stymphalos spoke the sound of more buildings being destroyed and the irritated screams of Hippolyta reached them.
"See what you've gone and done now?" Stymphalos sighed.
"We'll just let her cool off on her own," Diomedes said, then gestured towards the man in golden armor. "Besides, Bull's finally getting some rest. He's been up for the last three days clearing away suitable paths to walk through Lion's handywork. And our dear leader is smoothing out the final details of his plan."
"Because, she won't notice either of us when she's like that." Hesperides said, walking up with Augeas.
"Hesperides specializes in going unnoticed, and I'm male." Augeas added. "She'd sooner attack me than any walls put in her way."
Diomedes just shrugged and walked away, his way of conceding the argument.
"Though why she didn't just ask Augeas to create walls to keep people out, or turning this entire area into one of his labyrinths is beyond me." Stymphalos said, more to himself than outloud.
"The walls would draw too much attention to us," Augeas replied. "And if I made this area into one of my labyrinths, then everyone would likely wind up lost or destroying the whole thing themselves."
"Boar and Lion would have too much fun with that..." Stymphalos agreed. "Meh, whatever the Second-in-Command wants."
Shadows, Keys and Cards
"I don't think going into a bar is the best place to look for help, Caley." a Card Mage said to a girl in a red jacket who had just placed her hand on the door, and was about to push it open. She, apparently, didn't hear him and opened the door anyways. The Card Mage sighed and followed Caley into the building.
"Marleen! Bring me another!" was the first thing the two heard when the door opened. The bar, after the usual noise had just started up again, fell into silence as everyone in the building turned to examine the newest bodies to enter the establishment.
"Who the hell are you two?" one person demanded.
"Shouldn't you be back home with your mommies?" another called out, getting a few laughs from others in the room.
"I'll just cut to the chase." Caley said, loudly, ignoring the drunkards. "My brother and I are heading north, we're looking for some mages to assist us in defeating The Dodekathlon!"
She was answered with a deafening silence before most of the bar burst out laughing.
"They really are suicidal, ain't they Billy?" the man they had first heard when they opened the door laughed.
"They truely are." Billy, the man who demanded who they were, answered laughing just as much.
Caley was about to summon one of her spirits when she felt a hand on her arm, stopping her. She looked and saw her brother just shaking his head.
"If they won't help us willingly, they certainly won't do anything for us if you have Hercules start beating people up." he said.
"You're right, Thane nii-kun." Caley sighed and they both turned to leave. Suddenly a shadow fell over them and they looked back to see who it was. They saw a tall man, though he appeared to be about an inch shorter than Thane, wearing a black leather coat over a black suit.
"You two are really planning on going through with this venture?" the man asked, his voice was dark and rough and Thane and Caley felt a cold chill run up their spins just from being near this man.
"There's nothing anyone can say or do that'll keep us from stopping them from causing anymore harm than they've already done." Caley replied, Thane remained silent.
"It'll nag at my conscious if I let two kids go and get themselves killed." the man said, more to himself than to Thane and Caley.
"Are you a powerful wizard?" Caley asked. The man looked at her and smirked a bit.
"Power means not bragging about it." the man replied.
"Then I guess you're coming with us?" Caley asked.
"I guess it does," the man replied. "Though we should probably properly introduce ourselves if we're going to be traveling together."
"My name is Tamashi Kui." the man replied, noting that they weren't as young as he and everyone else was assuming.
"What kind of magic do you use?" Caley asked.
"I'm sure you'll find out soon enough." Tamashi replied, with that he walked past them and began heading north. Caley and Thane looked at each other, shrugged and began following Tamashi.
"How much further did your sources tell you that man was?" Ra asked Thoth, when they had stopped for a meal. The meal consisted of cold rations and was being eaten on the side of the road under a tree.
"He, and his subordinates, have taken over a small town in the far north." Thoth replied. "So we are currently about halfway there."
"Halfway..." Sobek repeated. "And yet, we still haven't figured out if we're going to just capture that man, or are we going to break the one rule that is the very core of our guild."
"I've already made up my mind." Serket said. "I don't care how the guild will view it, but I am going to kill that man if it's the last thing I do."
No one said anything to Serket's decision and the rest of the meal was finished in a decidedly uncomfortable silence. When everyone was done they got up and left. No one said another word for some time.
"Will we even be able to catch that man, or his subordinates, without killing them?" Bastet asked, her question made everyone stop and think about her inquiry.
"I guess..." Thoth said after a while. "That we will have to cross that bridge when we get there."
"That's an easy way out, for an answer." Set said. "To think that Thoth would take the easy answer."
"Don't try starting anything, Set." Sobek warned. "We need to save our energy for the fights we're about to get ourselves in."
Set shrugged in reply and then everyone set off again, the major law of the guild and Bastet's question hanging over them all.
"Soon...quite soon." Cerberus said to himself as he walked out of the remains of a building, the sun had begun to set a few hours earlier than it should have, though that was most likely due to the mountains. Glancing around he saw that the only one in sight was Hippolyta, facing what used to be a fountain. Deep gouges in the stone, dried blood, bits of clothe and a ruined weapon said that a final stand was made there between someone who tried to stop Lion.
"The plan is nearing fruition, is it?" Hippolyta asked, not turning to face Cerberus.
"That's right." he replied. "All we need is the magical power of a wizard who knows Healing Magic."
"Why Healing Magic again?" Hippolyta asked, finally turning away from the fountain to face the white haired man. "It seems counter productive to the plan."
"The plan needs Healing Magic," Cerberus began. "To activate the device."
"Right..." Hippolyta sighed, the rest of the plan making more sense in her head. "According to Hind, there are five mages heading our way, all after you specifically, and one of them is confirmed to be able to use Healing Magic."
"Perfect." Cerberus grinned. "The others can deal with them, getting rid of all the stress and boredom that's been building up over the last few days, and we'll get what we need. It's a win-win."
Hippolyta just nodded in agreement and then turned back to the fountain.
"Is something bothering you, Hippolyta?" Cerberus asked.
"No, nothing's wrong," she replied. "But the other's aren't the only ones feeling frustration over the lack of activity lately."
"Of course, of course." He said. "There'll be plenty of activity soon, after all, the plan is almost complete."
Tamashi was silent as he walked ahead of Caley and Thane. Thane was comfortable with the silence, Caley, on the other hand, was fidgeting and fuming at the silence as they walked.
"So," she finally said, abruptly shattering the quiet, "Why won't you tell us more about yourself, Kui-san?"
Tamashi glanced at her over his shoulder, which heaved in an obvious sigh, he was begining to regret his decision to help them.
"My past is my business." Tamashi replied.
"And you're travelling with us," Caley retorted. "Don't you think we deserve to know more about a man we're travelling with other than just his name?"
"Don't you think a person's privacy is more important than what you think you deserve?" Tamashi said. Caley was about to say something else when she felt a hand on her arm.
"Just drop it for now," Thane said, as usual he was only loud enough for Caley to hear him, "We'll find out more about him later. Let him tell you on his own, don't try to pry it out of him."
"Fine, Nii-kun." Caley sighed. Caley turned her attention to the horizon and saw that the mountains, ever present as small spires rising to the sky, now loomed like giants of rock and stone. And still, the mountains were hundreds of miles off still.
"Getting to the north feels like it'll take forever..." she groaned.
Cast & Notes
The Shadow: Tamashi Kui
Notes & Trivia:
Omega = 24th & final Greek letter; usually associated with the end
The Dodekathlon = the name of the group and its members all reference Hercules' Twelve Labors
House of Life = all names are the same as Egyptian gods and goddesses
Dullahan = the Irish equivalent of the Grim Reaper
Story Continued in Life's Alphas and Omegas