- The Last Refuge
- The battered forces of light retreat to find a safe place to rest and recover from the battle.
- Licking Their Wounds
- The forces of light congregate in Hidden Kakariko to tend their wounds.
The Last Refuge
Stella Delphinus, A Hyrulean Outpost, Day 2
Stella's nose took a crushing blow as the fisted gauntlet of a Hylian solider smashed into her. The oak wood chair she was bound to tipped backwards and toppled over from the force of the punch. Stella let a grunt in surprise but refused to show anymore signs of pain. Her bruised face now stuck looking up at the mortar sealing the interrogator strode over through the darkened room. Pressing the steel toe his boot against her chin the Human glazed down into the sea creatures blackened eyes.
"You've got some nerve getting cheeky with me. I hold your life in my hands! Tell me do you know the one thing I hate more than the interlopers? Traitors and sell outs like you! Now stop speaking with that cheesy dialect and tell me why you did it. The longer you hold out the more pain your going to be in for."
"I already told you" coughed up a demoralize Stella. "This is the only language I speak. I'm not from this time period. I come from an era where the Zora and Hyrule are at war. That’s the only reason I attacked you. Please, I swear on the goddesses name!"
"Oh I believe you" said the guard in a mocking tone. "The hero of time told me all about it after I got done speaking with an ancient robot".
Punishing her for her perceived arrogance the human stomped his captive in the chest. Stella shut her eyes and mouth as tight as she could muster but couldn't keep the whimper from getting out.
"Gen...General Polaris Eridanus. He's my commander. We fought together in the ancient war. He's the one who told me to stop attacking you. He'll tell you the same thing about me if you let him."
"Ha! The red ice general? Now I know your lying. Eridanus is dead. He's been missing in action for six months now."
"Well then, it's a good thing I found him for you isn't it" Stella chuckled out in pain. The interrogator shook his head and sighed.
"You should have taken a hint the first time around. Now your really gonna get it!"
Pulling her chair back upright the guard put his left hand on her shoulder and pulled back the fist on his right. Before he could wail into her the door behind them opened and a pail skinned messenger ran in. Letting go of Stella the armored knight leaned over as the messenger whispered something in his ear. Eyebrows perked up as he listened intently before turning to the Zora in stoic calm.
"Come with me, your leaving. It appears the powers that be want to deal with you themselves. Alone. Either you just got lucky or your lucks about to run out."
Stella had no idea what the guard was implying, but she didn't exactly have a say in the matter. With his help the rope around her hands was loosed and instead became linked in long chains. As she was pulled through the door the guards shackled Stella to a plain wall outside. "Make sure to take a pictograph" said on of her captors as he backed away. "I need a full profile of her before she's gone." Encircled by men a photographer came out hauling a futuristic contraption Stella never witnessed before.
It was a small rectangular box with a small looking glass protruding from the center. The device sat on wooden stilts topped by a round glass bulb. Looking through a peep hole in back the photographer swiveled the red picto box and aimed it in Stella's direction. With a minor click the box let out a flash as bright as an exploding deku nut. Screaming in temporary blindness Stella cut her shackles with extended razor fins and grabbed the chain in one swift move.
"Arrgh! Your demon laser has no effect on me Hylian! I knew your kind couldn't be trusted."
Whipping the chain into the photographers head Stella made a break for it and tried to escape. Five guards greeted her simultaneously at the exit . Once again Stella wound up on the receiving end of a peculiarly nasty sucker punch. Knocked over the head and kicked to the ground repeatedly the other guards pinned her down. His patience worn thin a solider fresh from the lake battle pulled out a knife and held it aloft over Stella.
"Traitorous scum. This is for my friends you killed bitch!"
"ENOUGH" yelled out a feminine voice before the blade could fall. The rowdy crowd instantly fell silent as this commanding figure walked into their presence. Moving wordlessly aside as she walked past the mystery woman came to a stop over the Zora. Too injured to look up Stella failed to get a good look at the persons face, but caught a glimpse of her boots and long sleeved parka. Stella vision began to black as the brown coated lady kneeled down to check on her.
"She's unconscious, but she’ll live. Please pick her up and bring her to my wagon along with the Twili defector. I will take them back home with us. I have something... important to ask them."
Aris Mastigos, Hyrule Field, Day 2
With his unconscious love cradled in his arms, Aris hovered quickly in the same direction Jaden had fled.
Much was going through his mind. The Twili had a Phyrric victory, and he was so frustrated that the Hylian forces fought so hard with so little to show for it. He also thought of Jaden. Aris felt wholly responsible for forbidding Kae to attempt to rescue Elly. He did not want the Scion at further risk after her injury, but he also did not know how strongly Jaden felt for his betrothed.
While not usually looking for redemption, once things died down at the Eldin Redoubt, he had to come clean. It was a matter of honor. That, and he did not want to see one of Hyrule’s finest destroy himself via alcohol poisoning and other bad choices. Kae would be in no condition to talk this out. And she had to mourn too.
A figure of immense power was standing along the main path. He looked familiar in many ways, felt familiar in another, and Kae's descriptions matched perfectly. The Kinslayer that triggered her Seraph Apotheosis and destroyed her left arm was there, waiting.
He should have kept moving, for the sake of Kae's safety, but the man seemed to be waiting for someone.
"Greetings, Primordial. Your actions in the last battle were very impressive. I find it odd in saying this, but thank you."
Keeping a proper distance, Aris continued.
"The others will probably find me insane. As will Lady Bryseis when she comes to. But you fought to preserve our land and nearly gave all to help us. How do you feel about joining us in battle, to purge all Twili from this plane?"
Jaden Bryseis, Hyrule Field ,Morning 2
He ran faster than ever he could ever imagine. Someone had to know what happened at the lake. It was a disaster, a pyrrhic disaster that he wished could have been one casualty less.
Sobering up. Jaden's least favorite feeling. Elly's death sank in all the more now that horrid reality began to assault his mind. He saw her fall into the water; she had no idea he was there, and he was powerless to help her.
As Hyrule Field blurred in the corners of his vision, all he could feel was regret. He had to have gotten bad intel. After going so long without a hot lead, he needed a win, and he thought he had one. His sister was badly wounded, but in the care of that angel. The others were in total shambles, broken. He had to get the final bastion fortified.
It seemed as though he was running a marathon, but the fields were eerily quiet. No troop movements short of a few random zombies, who ignored him, or couldn't sense him with the breakneck pace he was carrying. Jaden needed a drink. Water. He was quite parched at this point.
Eldin came into view as the sun rose higher into morning's sky, and he had to pull it together. All of the fighting and stress caught up to him; the stinging dull pain of a protracted battle. He lived for it so many times, but today, he felt different. Pulling up out of his sprint, Hylian guards motioned for the gate to open.
"Captain Bryseis has arrived! Get a doctor! He looks like hell."
As he decelerated, he felt so dizzy that he couldn't keep himself upright, and before he could say anything, blacked out.
Stirring in the infirmary, he had intravenous bags connected to both arms and a full medical staff seeing to his wounds.
"How long was I out?"
One of the doctors was surprised to see him awake, and not flinching or responding to the pain. He was getting many stitches and pieces of things removed from them.
"You shouldn't be awake less than 10 minutes after you passed out. I'd tell you to hold still, but you must have some serious tolerance to this kind of thing. Your reputation precedes you, Captain."
Jaden chuckled lightly, trying to hold back tears.
"I need to speak to High Command. A lot of bad stuff happened out there. We lost a lot of good people. My betrothed was one of them. She, my sister, and some towering hulk of an angel returned from the Sacred Realm to hold the line against impossible odds against the Twili, and then some freak took her out. She got him too, but I am so pissed off right now! Freaking Lake Hylia, overtaken by dark powers and the Twili...damn it!"
He was reminded by the doctors to hold still once more.
"You need to stop moving. We're on the watch for your friends, so relax. I'm sorry you lost her. This war has taken too many good people from us."
"You don't have restraints that can handle me. Is High Command here? Can we get a signal out with a mage or something? Put that damn syringe away. I know what's in it."
He couldn't stop moving; his body was detoxifying from excessive alcohol consumption, and it made his attitude continue to degrade.
Kae Bryseis, Mental Grid, Morning 2
Kae knew she had fallen unconscious when her mind put forth a very familiar night sky. By the Stars she could see many things. Dream dreams without sleeping. See visions, prophesy, divine, make something of evidence others could not comprehend.
Three things drew her sight, but when she opened her mouth to speak, nothing came out. The Three wanted her to observe and listen...
She saw first a series of three stars assembled in a triforce pattern. She'd never noticed it before in the grid, and two of the three gave off a glow as though they were newly created. One was of the purest gold hue, with white, gold, orange, and violet colored planets in orbit. It was well-constructed and showed no signs of burning out, but it did occasionally flicker orange, as though it were tainted...
The second star burned brightly, but it shared three shades. One was a deep blood red, and the other a pale green. Gilded veins would occasionally creep their way to the surface, but the other colors kept trying to stifle them. It had three planets of matching gold, blood red, and pale green in orbit, and a comet in its system weaving its way between them all.
Unlike the others, the third star was dimly lit, and it was not fully formed yet. The only masses she could see in its grasp were a series of gas giant planets, all colored a deep orange. The potential within it was vast, but all of the gas giants taking form within its gravitational pull would restrict its true radiance unless they shrunk down.
At the center of the three stars was her own! She had looked everywhere for herself within this night's sky of dreams. What were these planets? As she continued to gaze at the violet-white blazing star of herself, she saw all of the things in orbit around her. Aris as a rose gold body, Jaden as an amber colored body, and so on. She could see everyone and everything connected to her, but Elly's dark planet was adrift, knocked from orbit, and light had faded from its surface...even with a busy cluster of bodies all around her, not all were shimmering with joyful light.
Kae's attention shifted to another quadrant of the grid. This one was being consumed by a gargantuan black hole, and it showed no signs of slowing down. It treated the galaxy as though it were meant to be fed on, not sustained. As stars went supernova, even in other quadrants, their light crossed the event horizon, increasing its horrific size. It was truly a monstrous thing.
Her mind was then brought back to her own star. Many of the bodies in orbit began stretching their lines of light out to various corners of the grid, and those lines all redirected to her, increasing her size and intensity. Before too long, everything close enough to her came into direct orbit, even the stars in her sector. All of their hopes, dreams, and power went to her. For they had tried to extinguish the black hole, but were not successful. Some even got sucked into it.
One stream of multi chromatic light cast forth from her star, crossing a span of multiple sectors in a matter of moments, aimed right at the center of the miasmic vortex. There was an epic struggle, but after significant effort, the singularity collapsed in on itself, exploding violently and releasing multiple bodies and fragments into its quadrant. She couldn't see much more after that, but she knew she couldn't be careless when she came to. Whatever the black hole was, it was up to her to confront it. Others may have had what was needed, but the Three anointed her to face it...
Too much was relying on her. And the two bright stars in her sector that she didn't recognize, they resonated within her mind to the point of obsession. What were they? Who were they? What did it mean? Such wonder burned within her heart.
As she waited to come around in the physical world, she meditated on the lines of light that other bodies in her sector kept reaching out for.
They had to complete the Daybreak Sword! Those lines of light were probing everything imaginable within their area...but it did not appear that anyone came anywhere close to finishing it while she was away. Without it, the Twili would overtake creation as she knew it. This was the prophesy. Finish the sword, and stay alive to use it.
General Meado, Main Eldin Encampment , Hidden Kakariko, Late Morning 2
The newly promoted General Meado ground his teeth. This wasn't what he'd wanted. This promotion was, to put it in simple terms, bullshit. But the higher ranking Generals and leaders of the army had insisted. Had strongly insisted. Damn near had threatened!
He took a few breaths to calm himself. Not good to show that kind of discomfort in front of the troops. A leader had to be calm, collected, in control. Too much anger, and the men would get uncomfortable, and then they'd make mistakes.
Not that there were any egregious mistakes to be made here! In goddess-forsaken damn Eldin! When the fight was in Lanayru!
No. No. Calm. Swallow that agitation. Maybe drink it away later, alone, in his tent. That seemed to work for General Jaden Bryseis...
He let his mount pace near the gate. He daren't go further out on this so-called inspection ride. No doubt Lord Phoenix would get suspicious and try to reign him back. Sure, certainly he was promoted as a knee-jerk reaction to the extreme attrition they were facing, and he had to admit that had he seen one of his soldiers doing what he'd done, he'd have put them up for commendation. But that's because it would have been one of his soldiers! He was supposed to do those things, it was part of being Commander. It's what General Rus had taught him back in Ordon, before this whole shit-show of a war.
He missed Rus. If the old man was still with them, they'd have beaten back these Interlopers a long time past. Another memory to sour his gut, more emotions to hide from the men and drink into numbness later. How did General Bryseis actually manage to drink that much?
"Captain Bryseis has arrived! Get a doctor! He looks like hell."
Maybe he'd get a chance to ask the man himself, then. Meado spurred his horse forward to meet the returning warrior. Another entry made it's way on the list of 'Memories Meado Would Like To Forget'. The sentry had not been lying; the Captain really did look like hell, and collapsed to a heap on the ground as soon as Meado saw him. The General quickly dismounted, kneeling beside the broken man and checking for vitals.
"He still lives! Hurry!" he shouted to the guards at the sentry. The man rand down and helped Meado lift Jaden onto his horse. "Take him to the infirmary! Quickly, now!"
The men thus charged lead Meado's horse back into the encampment, and Meado took up the post at the gate.
It was a short time before Meado was met with another surprise. A blur came racing from the horizon, moving toward them at breakneck speed.
"To arms!" he shouted, obeying his own order by drawing his sword. Not, he worried, that it would do much good against whatever magic that was. Ironically enough, it turned out the unsheathed weapons of his guards, and his own for that matter, truthfully did no good against that approaching gale.
It was the birdman, Horus, one of General Mytura's men. And, miraculously, he was somehow carrying Polaris and Darrel. Or was it their corpses?
Meado couldn't stifle the oath that broke from his lips, and suffered the looks of his men without a second thought. Some situations, it was maybe okay to let them see you flustered. The size of the drink he'd need later was growing to astronomical proportions.
The birdman finally lost his mind-blowing speed and came to a tumbling halt outside the gate, mirroring Jaden in an absolutely terrifying way. Once more, Meado had to shout his men out of inaction, and send away guards to help carry the injured. Meado dropped to a knee beside the haggard saviour. He quirked his eye in surprise at the sword laying beside the Rito. Morning's Edge...
"Horus, isn't it?" he asked. A frantic nod was all that passed for a response. "Can you walk?" This time Horus' head shook out a negative. "Can you stand?" Horus gulped down a thick, heaving breath, grabbed Morning's Edge by the hilt, and somehow forced himself to his feet. "Lean on me, friend. You... You've clearly done something amazing here... Are they alive, Horus?" The nod was slower, more somber this time.
Meado led the poor tired soul into the encampment, helping to steady him as he rocked on his feet. Horus seemed to rely more on the deathgrip he had on Morning's Edge than on Meado's support. "High Command... will need to know what happened at the Lake. I hate to ask so much of you so soon, but this is clearly urgent. Can you make the report?"
Horus cast him a sideways glance and let out a breathless, "Of course." Then he pulled himself away from Meado's aid and hefted Morning's Edge onto shoulder. With heavy, slow footfalls he left Meado behind on his way to Command.
The General stood, alone now, at the gate, wondering what new terrors laid ahead in the day. His answer came as the sun passed through noon and later, and a crowd of what appeared to be refugees, but were the remnants of the Lake Hylia garrison, began to filter their way through. At their head was a strange angelic being, carrying the beaten and limp Scion, Kae. At this point, Meado no longer felt like asking questions. The guards had returned from escorting Polaris, Darrel, and Jaden to the infirmary by then. He left them at their posts, and guided the being calling itself Aros Matigos inward.
Three of Hyrule's greatest heroes were laying comatose in hospital beds. Jaden had somehow managed to storm off earlier, despite the protestations of the medics, raving about High Command as he left.
Meado chewed his lower lip.
That drink was going to be immense.
Isaac Kinslayer, Hidden Kakariko (Eldin Province), Late Afternoon - Early Evening 2
The Hylian march east across Hyrule was pitiful. Truly, what had once been a proud nation's shining show of force was now little more than a ragged, limping wretch. Hyrule's army was a shambles; beaten like a misbehaved hound. Isaac had wrought his share of devastation, but to see the Hylian military brought so low by others almost elicited a shred of pity in him.
He didn't join them in their march, but watched the progress from below striated clouds scudding across Hyrule's afternoon sky. Upright as thought standing on the surface far below, his blade rolled across the tops of his fingers, flicking from side to side over his knuckles. A habit of an absent mind. He couldn't stand and march amongst the tattered force, because he was still considering his progress.
Said Shinigami, "I'm going to regroup with the other Light Warriors. It's probably best if you join but I think Eridanus unconscious and I doubt my vouching with you will carry much weight with some of them so there could be some trouble with that. On other hand I think Mytura is out for the moment as well, so at least that conflict will be postponed. Either way it's your call. I don't pretend to know what your agenda, so I can't really say what's best for anyone."
And that great, lurching angel, "Greetings, Primordial. Your actions in the last battle were very impressive. I find it odd in saying this, but thank you. The others will probably find me insane. As will Lady Bryseis when she comes to. But you fought to preserve our land and nearly gave all to help us. How do you feel about joining us in battle, to purge all Twili from this plane?"
Shinigami, and the Scion's new beau. It would have to do for now. It would have to be enough. Could he count on the Red Ice General's madness to cancel out the Sunrise Knight's vengeful heart? Only time would tell, but he suspected that he could.
After all, he had a story to be heard, and a great many things the Hylians would need, before the last axe fell.
Over hours the war-ruined landscape of Lanayru passed like smoke on the breeze, and the brutally tall, smoking peak of Death Mountain loomed high before him. Below, the soldiers marched across Eldin Bridge, the enormous artifice that spanned the river canyon between the fallen capital and points east, and then staggered their way across the grass until it gradually withered away and the terrain turned to bare rock beneath their boots. Finally they approached the north gate of Hidden Kakariko, and Isaac watched them pass into the meager refuge from on high. The other Lights had already been dragged back, each in a state to match the army they'd led and failed, and the sight of it all had clearly created a stir amongst the populace. Even from his vantage point, he could see the dismay in the village. Hell, he could feel it.
Gradually he descended through the swirling gusts, bypassing the gate in its entirety, but not the spectacle. No, he did not bother to drop down onto the high edge of the elevated hot spring, the very place he'd left the fresh corpse of the Plenipotentiary a mere six months past, nor on a nearby roof. He drifted lazily, like some wheeling raptor's dislodged feather, and set his boots into the dirt, smirking from one corner of his mouth as he laid eyes like caverns of serpentine flame upon the man in charge, the man who he'd watched overseeing the taking in of the Lake Hylia remnants. The man who was, at that very moment, gesturing for the angel and his unconscious charge to follow him.
He eyed the knots and medals of rank, in particular.
"General, is it?" he asked, casually straightening the drape of his coat across his broad, gray-scaled shoulders. The Brand burned hot around the portion of his chest and abdomen exposed beneath the jacket's folds. It always did that now, writhing visibly across the flesh, constricting and relenting. Restless. He cast a sidelong glance at the towering angel, holding the supine Scion cradled in his arms, and added a wink to his one-sided grin. "You might as well point me toward the others, too. I'm either expected, or things here in your little hideout are about to get awfully fucking interesting for all of us."
Treant, Main Eldin Encampment Hidden Kakariko, Late Morning 2
"Kill...Consume..." Quietly left the Treant's lipless mouth repeatedly as it followed closely behind the downtrodden soldiers into the encampment. It's focus and introspective chanting seemed to have the purpose of analyzing those words and what they meant. Whatever the vague message meant, it was all that it thought about, ignoring the pleas to focus from the daintier, kinder sounding voice. Kill who? Consume what? Why does it sound so...Enjoyable... The tree monster stopped at the gate as it met eyes with a very stressed out looking General. Raising a hand, it waved at him in the most friendly way it could before continuing it's stride. Following where Kae went was what mattered right now...Though killing her and consuming her essence...Would that help Treant and cut out the middle man in this frustrating waiting game? Would Treant be able to get out alive should such a thing come to pass, or would it need to kill everyone here? Questions for later.
Horus, Main Eldin Encampment, Hidden Kakariko, Late Morning 2
Horus tiredly stumbled from his seat and outside, his brain thoroughly picked and his spirits raised by High Command's acceptance of his flaws, failures and feats. Though he was given further orders to carry out, he hoped that Command would understand that he'd need respite and rest first. The walk to his tent was a slow and painful blur of faces, some broken, some freshly bathed and pampered; regardless of physical states however, none of it change that they were all in Hell. As he lifted the open flap of his tent, he hesitated, turning to look around one more time to see if any eyes or strides of his fellow man strayed to his direction. Mercifully, none was immediately noticeable and he was for the first time in weeks free to do as he pleased. His face hit the head of his bed before the flap he had lifted got the chance to come to rest. He didn't sleep, but whatever happened in the next few hours could kindly fuck itself.
He closed his eyes listening the sounds of the injured, the bustling busy-ness of more responsible men and women along with the occasional clip clop of horses returning to their stables. All of it was bizarrely quiet compared to the deafening madness of war that he had to deal with a mere hour ago, almost like his senses missed it. He opened an eye when he heard the voice of that woman who he had saved from before. Horus furrowed his brow as he heard her voice over the others, pleading to not remove her armor and that despite her visible bloodiness and injuries that she was fine. Had he not already fought with her by his side so valiantly, he'd find that suspicious. Yet, his mind was more busied with the thought of the promotion he had just been bestowed. Captain...unfitting to someone like him. As far as he was concerned, he deserved a reprimand and discharge for what he had done in the past. He had told them that in his madness he had injured some of his fellow soldiers...But lacked the courage to tell them that he'd killed too. Especially how many. A Captain, he was not.
Aris, Hidden Kakariko, Day 2
Reaching the last bastion was a bittersweet thing for Aris. Sure, the Scion would be safer here, but the last thing he liked doing during a conflict was waiting. The enemy surely was readying action, and he had to move to be ready in kind. But Kae also took priority in his eyes. Internal conflict raged in his mind, and he shook his head briefly as he approached the gate, greeting the Hylian male in command. He was rugged, ragged, and looking to contemplate inebriation. However, he showed confidence even through all of it.
"Hail, General. I am Aris Mastigos, Defender of the Sacred Realm. I come bearing the Scion of Nayru. She is in dire need of medical attention. Further pleasantries will have to wait. Please show me to the infirmary."
Shortly after greeting the man, the one known to him as Isaac descended from the clouds, landing right between the General and he.
"General, is it? You might as well point me toward the others, too. I'm either expected, or things here in your little hideout are about to get awfully fucking interesting for all of us."
Aris knew this would be difficult. Acceptance of the Primordial among their ranks. Kae had told him of the battle that triggered her Celestial Blood Corruption in earnest, accelerating her Celestial Apotheosis while also hastening her physical death.
"Primordial, I believe, as you put it, things are about to get pretty awfully fucking interesting. I will vouch for you in the matter of your valorous actions at Lake Hylia. Come with me. Your interest will not falter, I promise."
General Meado covered his face with both of his palms in utter disgust and walked off.
"Angel, if he kills us all, it's on you."
As he stormed off toward the war room, he shouted for another familiar face.
"General Bryseis! You might want to go back to the infirmary. Your sister has returned...with guests..."
He could be heard shouting even as he entered the war room, even though by now, distance softened the decibels from down the halls.
"Aw, for fuck's sake!"
The Scion still lay limp in his arms, but her breathing went from shallow to steady as the medics kept their distance.
Aris nodded and admonished the medical staff.
"I did. Our Scion is in need of aid. If you stand there and she dies on your watch, I will assist him in killing all of you. See to her aid this instant!"
Their reluctance quickly faded as they took her from his arms and gently laid her in the closest bed. Those who were available rushed over and began to diagnose. Checking her eyes, they immediately saw that she had been concussed. Her pulse was weaker, with lower blood pressure. She needed an infusion, and they weren't sure if what blood they had on hand would work with her. However, her breathing was steady. One of them accidentally grazed her left arm, searing his hand and dazing him. After hearing Aris' warning, they worked as quickly as possible to stabilize her, giving her fluids and trying to keep the room as quiet as possible.
The Angel kissed Kae's forehead as he left the medics to work, and he could hear Isaac chuckling lightly. How cute, the Primordial must have thought. The Angel has a weakness that just about anyone could exploit. For one who showed little emotion over countless millennia, he was conflicted. Taking calculated risks for his own life, his love's, and for everyone else's by bringing one of their timeless adversaries right into the core of their last bastion. It would be difficult to earn their trust now. Especially Jaden's...
"Where is she?! Where is Kae?"
Aris heard his voice down the corridor, but did not see him...
Jaden, Hidden Kakariko, Day 2
Having all these outsiders here, in a place unknown to the world at large for over a thousand years, really pissed him off. Combined with the climbing grief and irresistible urge to consume multiple bottles of hard liquor in a short timespan, he had to make sense of what was happening. Sure, he'd given his report to High Command and to His Majesty in the Hollows, but nothing was bringing Elly back.
The bottle of Goron Private Reserve he carried was over halfway gone. Aged for years in Death Mountain slate barrels lined with Dodongo skin, this was some of the best stuff in the land short of Smokewater or Zora Rum Runners. It could in theory be used as an accelerant for Bombchu, as it was just as potent. And it was turning Jaden's liver into a scarred wasteland. Well, at least for now. It'd be fine by tomorrow.
Soldiers and staff in the corridor did their best to give him a wide berth. Between smelling like accelerant and exuding palpable rage, they all knew better than to get in the way of the Captain turned General. So many of them had no idea he'd gotten the field promotion of a lifetime; the knots, medals, ribbons, and insignias were all freshly pinned moments ago.
"General Bryseis! You might want to return to the infirmary. Your sister has returned...with guests..."
This triggered his base fraternal instinct to start running with little regard to reach the infirmary. Every time he blinked or closed his eyes, he kept seeing Elly's smile. He kept seeing her lean in to kiss him. Memories of bliss that had turned to pain he was trying to drown. Shoving people out of the way, he took another long draught of the Reserve, letting it tingle down. Feeling his throat muscles clench involuntarily meant it was starting to do the trick...
"Where is she?! Where is Kae?"
Turning the corner, what he saw made him seethe, balling up his free fist as he finished his bottle.
"Isaac Telmar. Kinslayer. I may be drunk as fuck right now, but I know who I see before me. And my sister's Guardian Angel! I don't think I ever got your name! How did you two end up working together? Ugh. Is my sister alright? Din's Ditch!"
Shattering the bottle against the floor, he stood there, hand on the hilt of Starcaller, trying to make sense of what was going on. And he was horribly confused about everything. He was either about to start a fight that would kill all of the Light Warriors and take Hyrule with it, or perhaps someone would talk to him. Either way, he was fully inebriated, his fiancee was dead, the world was going to hell, and he was steering the horses.
Licking Their Wounds
GM POST, Somewhere between Lake Hylia and Eldin, Day 2
War affected so many, whether Hylian, Twili, or anyone else. Within the past day, hordes of undead shambled across the land, consuming everything discovered. Twill raided Hylian homes and cottages spotting the countryside, burning and pillaging as well. Two sides of the same coin to many. So much death. So much carnage.
Those who could not enlist or fit conscription standards had no refuge now. Before, the undead menace had been contained within the walls and surrounding areas of Castle Town. It fought with demons, wretched Twili aberrations, and a small hylian resistance.
Hiding in a hole wasn't what a poor farmer had envisioned, but it was safe enough to wait out the war. He had prepared enough dried jerky, the spring hadn't been corrupted yet, and there was a small patch of soil in the corner in which he sowed what seeds he could save. It was nice enough that he only had to go to the surface once every few days to gather firewood.
His wife had been conscripted, his son enlisted, and he had no idea what had come of them. His dogs went missing shortly after the Twili pillaged his home. There were many temptations to end his existence by taking out as many zombies as possible, but someone had to help Hyrule rebuild. Farmer Colm was one of the most efficient agricultural innovators for decades, even teaching classes at the University for a while to help pay for land expansion.
And he found himself in a hole. A hidden grotto. Subsisting. His heart condition was something he hated himself for. Being declared unfit for duty was so dishonorable, especially when his wife, in her fifties, and his son, nearly thirty, were able to sign up. His wife joined the medical corps as a doctor, and his son started training as a hedge-mage in the military.
He prided himself on being able to live outside of the Castle Town gates. His hired men were fabled for fending off night time menaces. Stalchildren, tektites, octoroks, keese? No problem. His problem is that they all enlisted when the call to arms went out over six months ago. The replacements were also unfit for duty, and while they minimized losses well against night critters, the Twili had no mercy, burning his life's work to the ground after taking all of his crops. He had to abandon everything in the middle of the night...
It started to get cold in the grotto. Farmer Colm put on his wide-brimmed leather hat, re-adjusted his jerkin, and quickly mended his left shoe. Even in his late forties, his grit had not diminished. It was time to get firewood, and zombies made less noise outside during the day. Now was as good a time as any.
Sticking his head above the surface, Colm could see the zombies. Smoothing his beard, he could hear them feasting on horses, corpses, and even licking blood off of charred trees. If he didn't make any noise, he'd be ok. Even if they were near the best firewood supplies that happened to be closest to his hidey-hole.
As he crept, he kept one hand on his wrist-sickle and the other on the goad he had fashioned into a pole arm. Then he stepped on a dry bone at the worst possible moment, attracting the attention of a dozen of the shambling corpses. His path was blocked. They surrounded him, just waiting to tear him apart and feast. His heart started to race, and it made him start to grow short of breath.
"Farore, give me the Courage to survive, or to die well. It's been a good life."
Barreling through a thin point in the line, he was able to avoid getting scratched or bitten, but the dead picked up speed as they followed him. He was able to stop briefly and impale the fastest one through its forehead, kicking it into the others behind, causing them to stumble briefly. A few others met their end due to Colm's craftiness, but he ran out of places to go, and the horde grew in number as they caught wind of fresh blood pumping in his veins. The only way to go was up. On top of a seven foot high rock formation, the farmer was making his last stand.
As the undead climbed, they were at a disadvantage. They couldn't attack. Brains spilled out of skulls. Blood poured out of rotted chests as hearts were pierced. Those were the weaknesses of these things. Or lopping off limbs so that they couldn't scratch. Dislodging jaws and shattering teeth so that they couldn't bite. The stench caused him to vomit multiple times over the course of what seemed like an eternity, or twenty minutes.
He could hear them beginning to thin out, but there was no way he could have killed so many alone. Something was out there exterminating. He could not hear how they were meeting a second death. He had to keep stabbing soft spots, slashing chests, and smashing skulls.
Horus, Main Eldin Encampment, Hidden Kakariko, Day 2
Horus could taste the tension that was rising as more people arrived and more of those already there were learning of their failure. He fidgeted grumpily in his bed, pretending to sleep through it; he'd gladly come out when everyone shut up about it all. This attempt to 'sleep' proved fruitless when he started to hear a particular voice; Jaden's. It was one thing to hear him yelling in an angry manner, but there was a clumsy slur to his voice.
One of our Generals are already drunk...Terrific.
Horus underestimated his own irritability from fatigue and pain as he found himself rising from his bed in a hurried manner. He didn't bother grabbing any weapons beyond Darrel's blade; That would slow his stride out of his tent even more. Resting the sword on his shoulder, his ruffled and deeply frowning form emerged into view. He ignored everyone in his way, barely noticing the soldier he had accidentally smacked with the flat of Darrel's blade as he weaved through the small crowd that had formed from Jaden's confrontational demeanor. The Rito simply wasn't thinking at this point, ignoring the possible ramifications of his actions as he emerged from the crowd behind Jaden.
In one move, Horus plunged Morning's Edge into the dirt and grabbed and pulled the back of Jaden's breastplate with his left hand while his right pulled the drunken General's sword from its sheathe. The smooth action had Horus plunging Starcaller into the ground to the right of his superior officer, who had been easily put on the ground due to his heavy inebriation. Before anyone could do anything to reprimand him for his rudeness, the Rito crouched down close to Jaden, staring him straight in the face with tired yet piercing eyes.
"You need to stop."
Darrel Mytura, Gerudo Desert, Year 1603
That night, Darrel and his squad had made their camp with their backs to a sandstone ridge, facing northeast toward the nearby river canyon, a neat dividing line between the desert home of the usurper's Gerudo and the crownlands of Hyrule. Alone and outnumbered as they were in enemy territory, the natural boundaries would keep them from being surrounded and overwhelmed. There was only one viable way into their camp; a calculated risk, to be sure, but then this was a time for risks. The war was going poorly, and even the prowess of the legendary fighters who called themselves Light Warriors had done little to turn the tide.
Darrel sat with his legs crossed, leaning against a smooth, wind-worn stone, his sword lain across his lap and his tall tower-shield leaned up against the stone to his left. The hot wind out of the Haunted Wasteland was oppressive even in the dead of night, but at least for a time there was silence. The watch at the entrance to their tiny valley was distant, and the rest slept, if fitfully, leaving Darrel to his thoughts.
"According to an intercepted report, a Gerudo relief column will be crossing the bridge from the desert in two days time," his commander had informed him. "Our forces are already strained. We need to delay them, if not turn them back outright. That task falls to you, Captain. You've shown a knack for succeeding where you have no right to. Let's hope that continues."
For his part, Darrel wasn't certain the confidence was warranted, but he would do is duty. If he played his cards right, they might be able to use the terrain to surprise the Gerudo force, who would not be expecting an attack on this side of the river. It was the best plan he could devise with as few men as he had at his disposal. It would have to be enough. He only wished that perhaps one of the Light Warriors had been sent in his stead, but they had larger concerns than the rank and file. They faced the King of Evil and all of the dark magicks at his disposal, not to mention his vicious lieutenants--mad dogs that Dragmire seemed to take great delight in sicking on the general populace.
The night wore on and Darrel fell into a drowse. The guard changed twice more while he nodded off, and it was well past midnight when something brought him fully awake. What had that been? A sound? A smell? Something else? His skin prickled; the night didn't feel right.
A small rock skittered down the sandstone wall behind him a few paces to his left. He half rose, gripping his sword in his right hand while he reached or his shield with his left. Another rock, followed by a small shower of sand.
"They're on the ridge!" he shouted in the last moment before a number of dark figures came sliding down the smooth rock. "Rise and fight! Gerudo are in the camp!"
Darrel was fully on his feet now, catching a naginata on his shield and stabbing forward into the gloom. He felt the resistence as the point of his blade found flesh. He ripped it back out and banged the blade against his shield again, calling his squad to arms.
The fight was a short one. His soldiers were run through or slashed open by Gerudo naginata and scimitars as they scrambled from their tents. Unprepared and disorganized, the Hylian squad was ripe for the picking. Over the din of slaughter, Darrel could hear desperate voices at the far end of the camp. The rest of the Gerudo column was attacking the entrance.
He'd been so careful. How in the hell did they know they were there? It must have been quite the endeavor for the Gerudo to scale the far side of the ridge.
He fought in the dark, largely unable to tell friend from foe, and increasingly certain that few friends remained. His sword and gauntlets grew slick with blood, and his sword arm went from sore to numb, and he kept fighting, until eventually he couldn't even go on offense as he backed away and the Gerudo formed a semi-circle around him, pushing him toward the canyon's edge. Sword and shield both were needed to keep their blades from finding purchase in his flesh.
One final backward step and his heel found open air. There was nobody left, and no more room to retreat. There were two options. One might lead to death, but the other certainly would.
He stabbed forward one final time with an unintelligible war cry as he punched his blade through a collarbone. He paid for it as a spear-blade penetrated his mail and scored a shallow wound in his side. Unable to pull his sword free of the Gerudo chest into which he'd sheathed it, he reached down with his free hand and wrenched the naginata free.
He stepped backward off the canyon's edge.
Isaac Kinslayer, Hidden Kakariko (Eldin Province), Early Evening Two
"Isaac Telmar. Kinslayer. I may be drunk as fuck right now, but I know who I see before me. And my sister's Guardian Angel! I don't think I ever got your name! How did you two end up working together? Ugh. Is my sister alright? Din's Ditch!"
The Sheikah warrior stood, confused and combative, in an impressive state of inebriation. Isaac met the drunken General's eye with a smirk and an amused glimmer in fiery eyes. These Lights were like none he'd ever seen before. They were at the ends of their collective tethers, with the rope fraying. If he deigned to do so, he could apply just a flicker of flame to the straining threads and break them entirely. They were disorganized as ever, but it was the strain, the stress, the compiled loss, that had them all near their breaking points. Hyrule always suffered at such times as these, but too few of this new generation had an concept of history, or how their forebears had dealt with the darkness.
His grin broadened, even while he continued, with nonchalant flair, to flick his dagger back and forth across his knuckles. If the Sheikah made a move, he would deal with it gladly.
Fortunately, it appeared, he wouldn't have to. Mytura's Rito sidekick staggered in instead from the Sheikah's back, evidently exhausted, with the Sunrise Knight's blade slung across his shoulders until he slammed it into the dirt. Swiftly, the Rito seized and pulled the back of the Sheikah's breastplate with his left hand, even as he pulled the drunken General's sword from its sheathe with his right. In one motion, he flipped the blade and then jammed it too into the ground, even as the Scion's kin toppled from the Rito's tug. Before anyone could move to intercede, or even react at all, the Rito crouched down beside the Sheikah.
"You need to stop."
"I'd listen to the fowl, kin of the Scion," Isaac said in a lazed drawl, twirling his blade down into his fist and gripping the hilt. A swirl of scorching air rose around him. Warding him. "You can fight if you want, but you might as well be pissing into the wind for all the good it'll do you."
He took one deliberate step toward the upended warrior and the kneeling Rito, raising his blade only to give it one more deft twirl, take it by the point, and offer the hilt directly toward the two baby Lights.
"Or you can accept the help of a better killer than you, and then go sleep it off."
Kae Bryseis, Mindscape Aetherius, Day 2
Signs and visions kept flooding in. None of it would slow down, and it was too hard for her to catch it all. Three things kept standing out to her, two above all others. One was that without the Daybreak Sword, nothing would stop the all-consuming Grem. She wished that she could fully understand him so that she could destroy him. What kind of being contained such hate?
The second sign showed Kae that while any of the Lights could wield the sword, it would be best wielded by one with a direct connection to the Triune. There were two currently alive, and she had not seen Moran since long before her journey into the Sacred Realm. If he could not or would not, this would be a burden, an honor, and a high grade stressor. Why not Polaris, a true master of the blade? or Jaden, or Darrel, or anyone else who really knew how to take things in close? Those three had contact with Grem. They wouldn't be going in blind.
The final vision was one that she could not make heads or tails of for the life of her. Three celestial bodies orbiting her Star on the Grid. Two were illuminated, and she couldn't take her eyes off of them. Why did these stand out so much? Why could she know the intricate details of each of them? She could hear whispers from each. Names. Names that felt familiar. But why? She'd never heard them before, but they were a part of her.
Who were these people?! She searched all throughout the Grid for any history on the names. The essences. No legends had been written or tales spun. But these people were alive somewhere. She had to find them, and couldn't stop thinking about them.
In the distance, in the galaxies beyond the Grid, she could hear Aris calling for her. His unfamiliarity with Hylian and the Sheikah languages amused her. And any time he tried to wake her, he'd make a very unusual request.
"Fall Awake, Kae. Fall Awake for me, for you have fallen asleep, and it is time to be the hero you were born to be."
Horus, Hidden Kakariko, Early Evening Two
He rose back up from his crouch, meeting Isaac's eyes with a glare. His head was pounding and his body was heavy with fatigue; standing up was a taxing motion in itself. Yet, his grumpiness overshadowed it enough for him to face the rest of the day. It seemed obvious that he needed to play babysitter considering how his evening was developing, as he was planning in the back of his head to go check on the unruly soldier he fought alongside earlier, a parental air surrounding the notion. That had to wait however, because something about this Kinslayer certainly rubbed him the wrong way. He smelled of death; Not the typical kind either. The aura that surrounded the Shiekah was almost as dizzyingly enormous as it was disturbingly familiar. It made even Horus' feathers stand on end.
"Okay...' Horus started, cracking a small smile, 'That 'fowl' comment was actually pretty funny, I have to admit. I'd be more pissed if it wasn't for a more pressing matter."
Horus took the hilt of Isaac's blade and casually pointed it at him in an accusing manner, as if ignoring the gravity of the notion like he was pointing with a pen.
"Isaac, right?' Horus' smile disappeared to make way for a starkly contrasting frown, 'Pardon my rudeness for almost forgetting your name, but why do you stink like they do?"
Senshi, Hyrule Field, Day 2
After arriving at the primary rendezvous point for the retreating Hylians, Senshi finally reunited with Misha. In the process of decided what to do next he overheard a conversation between two solders. “Ah man, can you believe the brass pair on that one. Claiming she’s really General Eridanus’ subordinate. The stupid fish can’t even speak the right language.”
“Yeah, and come on, of all the Generals to pick you pick the one that’s been MIA for 6 months,” the other solder replied. “But hey, at least now we know the Twili have the dumbest spies in history.”
“The Twili speak the same language as us,” Senshi called out to the two solders. Their conversation had peaked his interest, both on the matter of their ignorance and the nature of this captive they were discussing. “Also General Polaris Eridanus has returned, I escorted him to the battle myself. Sadly we arrived too late to turn the tide, but rest assured the course of the war is about to shift in our favor.” Senshi walked away, leaving to two dumbfounded grunts to consider his words.
“That was uncharacteristically optimistic of you,” Misha pointed out hoping to get an explanation.
Senshi smirked slightly, “I suspect those two will end up loudly discussion this strange person who told them he brought Eridanus back to the war. Of course other people will overhear and probably focus in on the part about Eridanus return. I suppose that would be quite a useful rumor to have floating around since it would lead to a much needed moral boost.”
A slight smirk appeared on Misha’s face that she struggled to hide before Senshi noticed. She had rather enjoyed watching Senshi’s methods in dealing with the war. His increasingly consistent habit of manipulating things from the background was exactly the kind of things she’d always been trained to do. Plus he was good at it, good enough for her to look up to him. Not that she’d ever admit it.
“Misha, prisoner interrogation, black ops would have their hand in that, correct?” Senshi suddenly asked.
The girl shook her head, “Usually it’s Army Intelligence or the proper Shiekah. People aren’t supposed to know we exist after all.”
He continued to a press for the answer he wanted, “but you do have people in both, and they would likely make sure they were involved if the prisoner was high profile or was making some rather peculiar claims?”
Misha cautiously nodded. Senshi was right, but she wasn’t exactly supposed to talk about the operations of a secret military organization even if it was with someone who knew about it.
Senshi smiled, having for once gotten her to be more open about her work, “good, I have a favor to ask. The prisoner those two were talking about, I need to know everything she says. In fact, have them make her tell them everything she knows about Eridanus. The more we know about what happened to him the better. I’m going to go and try to catch up to Brysies. I think he might be the only Light Warrior left who’s remotely sane, so I’ll need his help if I’m going to stop everyone from self destructing.”
Ayala, Hidden Kakariko, Noon 2
CONTINUES FROM Gathering Forces-Ordon Assault
“Yeah Miss, it could do that in theory, the problem is this thing is completely infested with dusk magic,” the armorsmith said as he looked over the Argorock Stone Ayala had brought him. “Where exactly did you get this anyway?”
“I killed a really big Argorock over South Port,” Ayala answered with and unassuming smile. “I don’t get it though, why is the dusk magic a problem? You only need the rock’s power for it’s for the flame, right?”
The Armorsmith just sighed, “same reason I told you I’d need to dragon’s flame to begin with. I need both the raw heat and magic from a dragon to re-heat the armor. The magic in this thing is tainted by that dusk shit. Using it will taint the armor with that same dusk magic which will completely change its properties.”
“Well can’t you purify it?” she asked hopefully.
“Sorry I skipped the day we went over Strange Sorceries and Foreign Black Magics are Blacksmith School,” the man snarked.
Disappointment washed over Ayala. She’d come so close to finally getting her armor refitted only to fall short because the interlopers douchy magic.
“Wow, that does suck,” a familiar voice spoke to her, while resting his arm on her head. “You know it’s too bad you don’t have some kind of nigh infinite source of light magic. If you did you could probably use it to neutralize the dusk magic without damaging the stone if you were careful.”
“Senshi!” Ayala called out gleefully then turned to hug her brother.
“Glad to see you’re back on your feet. Last I was in the forest Tsukiakari said you were still bed ridden. Oh and what’s this about a Dragon at South Port?” Senshi asked.
Oberon jumped in to answer with limitless exuberance, “it was SO COOL! You should have seen it! First everyone was all sneaky. Then these ships showed up with this big dragon and Ayala was all like ‘I got this.’ Then she was all woosh and jumped up top of the thing, but then it was all like, ‘oh no not a light sword, get off me.’ The Ayala fell onto one of their boats and the dragon started to make this really big fire ball. Then Crim as all ‘Oh no she needs help,’ but I was all, ‘just watch and learn n00b.’ Then everything went BOOM! And parts of the ship went everywhere, but Ayala was just standing there looking badass with her light wing and her spear was charge by her Sword of Light. Then she went whoosh again and then BURST!” The fairy stopped only for a brief second to breathe, “And then the dragon died.”
“Yeah but then I fell in the water and they had to fish me out.” Ayala continued with an embarrassed laugh.
Senshi massaged his forehead as he tried to gleam the relevant details from the fairy’s blustering description, “So if understood this right that stone survived a Light Burst. So again, why haven’t you used your sword to purify the rest of the Dusk Magic.”
“Well it wasn’t a direct hit. Now I might shatter it if I’m not careful. Plus…” Ayala tone suddenly became more sheepish and she started to mumble, “I didn’t think of that.”
Senshi tried not to laugh. Turned out the problem was exactly what he thought it was, “then be gentle. You don’t always have to full power with that thing. Anyway I’ll leave you too it then. Oberon you should come with me, she’ll need to focus.” He was about to walk away before it stopped to ask on last thing, “Oh, right. My telepathy isn’t working, can you contact mom and tell her to go to the medic tent. We have some Light Warriors that need to be patched up.”
Senshi continued to walk away before his sister suddenly remember something important and stopped him, “Senshi wait! I have to tell you something. In the forest, there was someone… What I mean is…”
“I already know about Chiaria,” Senshi responded calmly while his sister was still fumbling to find the right words.
His words completely caught Ayala off guard causing her to lose her train of thought, “Wait, you do? How?”
Senshi smirked slightly before continuing to walk away. He finally shouted back, “He told me so himself. Anyway talk to you later. Oh, nice scarf by the way.”
Senshi answer left her completely dumb founded. It wasn’t until after he was out of ear shout the she stopped thinking about it and finally realized what had happened, “Damn it. That wasn’t who I wanted to tell him about.”
Senshi, Hidden Kakariko, Early Evening Two
“That’s quite enough.” Laynnei commanded as she and her son approached the scene the assembled Warriors were making in front of the Hospital Tent. Finding that raising her voice would only add to commotion, she instead choose amplify her mandate with her telepathy to make her words loudly echo inside everyone’s minds. “I know most you think your heads are only there to smash things with, but if you would use them to think for just moment then you would realize you are about to start a drunken brawl in hospital.”
“I think she wants you all to leave now,” Senshi spoke up, but was quickly silence by a death glare from his mother. She was more than capable of making her point known and didn’t need comments from the peanut gallery
"Now children,” she continued, “you, Shiekah, go sober up. Bird person, go to bed, and if you won’t bring that sword in the tent and help me with Mytura. Kinslayer, go anywhere else. As for you, whoever you are…” Laynnei paused as she turned to address Aris finding him to be quite the curiosity, “Hm, well you’re interesting.”
“Is that an Angel, with its own body? I didn’t know that was possible in the mortal plane.” Senshi piped in to ask.
“Nor did I, but I have more important things to deal. Such as the foolish children that managed to get themselves hurt. Now all of you leave. I have work to do,” she commanded once more before entering the tent.
Senshi stopped to whisper something to Jaden, “You and I need to have a long talk, but you’re too drunk right now. Find me when you’ve sobered up, it’s important and you’re the only one I can trust with the matter.”
“Senshi, I am not done talking with you. Get in here now,” Laynnei called out from inside the tent.
“Ooo, someone’s in trouble,” Oberon playfully mocked.
“Oberon, why don’t you go show Kinslayer where dad trains his new special army? I’m sure can make use of him and that you’d enjoy watching.
Jaden, Hidden Kakariko Infirmary, Day 2
"You need to stop."
Horus had skill. If Jaden were sober, he may have a shot at countering his sneak attack. But he was in no condition to fight. Having just been patched up after nearly two days with no rest, he was lucky to even be standing.
Blinking his eyes, Jaden could see Elly looking horribly disappointed. He shut them for a little longer. Her eyes were glassy and red...just like any other time she caught him drunk.
You're the finest man in all of Hyrule until you pick up a drink. It's eating me away, Jaden. If you don't cut it back, I will find every possible deep cover job and take them back to back. You will miss me. But you have to make a choice. Our future chieftain cannot be a drunk, nor can my betrothed!
His eyes still shut, Jaden breathed deeply, focusing his mind and body. He hated doing this, especially with a good inebriation hitting him, but he had to be a better man, at least for now. Especially with Kinslayer and everyone else around. He could mourn later in a proper manner.
He could make out what Senshi told him, and that did help him focus somewhat. Sweat began to pour off of him gradually as he rose to his feet, and it came out in 3 pulses of sheets as it smacked off of the floor with a disturbing noise that sounded like rain.
He was sober now, but he smelled of not having bathed in almost a month. Forced metabolic regulation sent his body into overdrive. He honed that trick over years of building up resistances to most poisons and venom as part of his Sentinel training.
"Trust me, it's bloody odd that you of all people are here. Our time to draw blades will come, but if it wins us the war to save that fight for the future, I can accept it. Others may not. But I know better than to refuse a rare offer of help. We both love to kill. Why not make it more worthwhile, eh?"
Then there was the matter of that angelic fellow. Who is he? Why is he here? And why is he so concerned about his sister?
The healer seemed quite confused that he was even here. Makes sense. Not every day that a full blooded Celestial shows up in Hyrule.
"I need to check on Kae. Angel, you keep tabs on Isaac. Anything happens, it's on you. We are most likely assembling in the war room within the hour. I have a few visits to make before then."
Shrugging himself further free of Horus' sure grip, he motioned for his gear back, looking puzzled that the Rito had Darrel's sword. He nodded and thanked him before entering the tent.
Medical staff were hard at work on all who lay there, and too many good people were in here. His best friends among them, he covered his face with his palm as he approached Kae's bed.
She looked pretty bad. Less Sheikah than before even. Her Celestial markings spread even further during her time in the Sacred Realm, and that Light Medallion set above her bust was a firm reminder that she really escaped Din's wrath. Patterns had emerged all around her neck, and a few lines had even been traced under her left eye. It was hauntingly beautiful, but she wasn't meant to have these all over her body. They had to be painful. Once this war was over, he had to look into helping her dial some of this back. She wasn't meant to be a sacrificial offering to the Three.
Saying a prayer over her, he put his hand on her forehead while the medics complained. He then stormed off to find Senshi, pointing at Aris on his way out while narrowing his eyes.
The Jaden everyone needed was back.
Jaden, Hidden Kakariko Infirmary, Day 2
It was about less than twenty paces from the tent when Jaden realized the Ma Clan was still in the tent he had stormed out of. While sober, the metabolic purge caused his vision to blur. Stars still bordered his peripherals and he felt quite nauseated. He needed water. Badly.
Heading back into the tent, Jaden shook his head and facepalmed.
"It isn't a miracle cure, I'll tell you that. My bad on the confusion. How can I help you two out?"
Looking over at his sister's bed, he saw the Angel staring longingly at her, almost as though he were in love. What kind of craziness was that?
He returned his gaze to Senshi and nodded.
"Crazy times indeed."
Darrel Mytura, Hidden Kakariko Infirmary, Evening Two
Slowly, his eyes slid open.
The Sunrise Knight lay on a stiff cot, lumps of straw sticking into his back through the taut cloth. His eyes slid open, and the pain was soon to follow. Blinding pain. Pain in his leg, bound up and healed by white magic. Pain in his chest, intact despite all reasons for the contrary. Pain in his face, bloodied but not caved in as it should have been.
A high groan passed through cracked lips, soon to devolve into a fit of coughing.
"Peace, General Mytura."
The speaker, a portly medic in white robes, scurried to his bedside. He knelt down and set about probing with his fingers, testing Darrel's wounds until he grasped the man's wrist in trembling fingers.
"Easy, sir. You've been through a great trauma," the man mumbled. "You only live by the grace of Lady Laynnei's skills."
"I'll need to thank her later," Darrel croaked, even as he took hold of the man's arm to lift himself into a sitting position. "Get me a cane, and find me my sword. I need to speak with High Command.
Ella Huntley, Hidden Kakariko, Day 2
An ominous overtone of militarization filled the air in the village now known as Hidden Kakariko. Armed guards stood post outside buildings remaining vigilant for any attempt at infiltration. Sheikah mystics normally confined to the shadows strode the streets in broad daylight. Outside of the armory gathered a group of surviving soldiers from the previous battle. All of them were sitting in shell shocked silence.
Some began smoking, some were drinking, some were still shaking with a look of horror in their eyes. What was left of their composure had been shattered in the preceding hours. Ella Huntley was among their number. As men passed around the tobacco Ella tried to smoke a puff in a petty attempt to calm her nerves. No such luck as her inexperience with the substance only left her coughing for air. As she went to grab a bottle of booze one of the officers walked up to her and mentioned something about being under the drinking age.
What he spoke with didn't amount to a foreign language but wasn't exactly her native Hylian either. Unable to respond Ella pretended to ignore him and walked away.
"Just as well" she thought to herself "I don't want to start a habit of drinking like dad did. Oh father..."
Growing up Ella always had thought her family to be cursed. Now she assumed that to be true in a literal sense. When Marlow began his quest to take down Bloody Beth Ella had feared this bounty would take her father away from her. Now even if he was still alive they would never see each other again. The thought of her father never knowing what happened to her and never being able to find out was as scary as the idea of him dying alone. As tears began to well up in her eyes Ella remembered a quote her father had told her.
"Life is like an ocean Ella and the waves are gonna kick your ass" Marlow had said one night after coming home from a bar. "The only question is weather your gonna let it pull you under or learn to surf the tide as it rolls in. Life ain't over until you give it up. There's always a way out and if you can't find one, make one."
"Your right dad" Ella said out loud. "I can't give in to feeling sorry for myself. If time itself wants to keep us apart then I'll just have to find a way to kick times ass. I'll find a way out. After all I made it back from the Hylia Age before. That means it's possible to come back from the future now!"
But where to start? Time travel was an ability confined to myth and legend. Most people wouldn't even believe her story. The only person she knew who could travel through time was Jaden and that opened a whole other can of worms. As much as Ella wanted to ask Jaden just what the hell was going on she didn't dare at this point. For one thing he was flat out drunk and getting into arguments with people she didn't know. And even if he were sober she was taking an existential risk by just taking to him.
If he traveled through time before why didn't he know who she was? Did he travel back in time after meeting her here? If so did just by meeting him in the future alter history in some way? The only reason he had come across her was because of the search for Beth. If she told him everything she knew that could screw up time and erase herself from history, or worse. Given the only way to test this theory was to risk temporal destruction she wasn't about to try. Instead she decided to keep a low profile and question anyone that looked like they knew a thing or two about time magic.
Perhaps someone that knew Jaden could provide some information. Walking inside Ella decided to have a look around to see if she could find someone who looked important enough to help her. After wandering past unremarkable looking guards for awhile Ella came across young lady around her age. The girl was speaking with the head armorsmith about slaying a dragon from what she could make out. A youthful figure like that certainly didn't look like she fit in with a place like this, but then again Ella supposed she didn't either.
Either way this unfamiliar character stood out enough to gain her attention. The way she talked to what seemed like her brother reminded Ella of herself before things began to go south. More importantly she seemed to have some knowledge about magic. This person looked the most honest and trustworthy of the people she had seen so far or at least less likely to laugh in her face. Ella had a gut feeling she could get along with her.
Figuring she had nothing to loose except being called crazy Ella called her out.
"Hey you. Yeah you in the scarf. Can you understand me?"
"Good. Sorry to bug you but, well, I really need some help. This might sound awkward but do you know who Jaden Bryseis is and or anything about time travel?"
Senshi, Hidden Kakariko, Evening 2
Senshi sat in tense silence as he waiting for his mother to speak. Which thing was she going to tear into him about this time? Now that his mental barrier was down it could be any number of things. It wasn’t until she was sure Darrel was stable enough that she could divide her concentration that she finally spoke. “I’m almost finished with Mytura, though I’m not sure I can help the other two. You should try and heal Eridanus with your scythe.”
“I’m not sure that trick actually works. Last time I tried it just made things worse,” Senshi responded dismissively.
“Nonsense, the theory was sound,” Laynnei declared. “It was just the patient was incompatible. I’m sure it’ll work in this case.”
Senshi quickly searched for another excuse, “I’m not sure dad would appreciate it if I was the one the patched up Eridanus.”
Laynnei answered back with boisterous sarcasm, “Oh, because he will be any happier if I do it?”
“That spell requires me to take his injuries onto myself. It’s not really safe to use,” Senshi mumbled knowing that excuse would be the most easily destroyed.
His mother tore through his reasoning as easily as he figured, “that didn’t stop you from trying to help a complete stranger. And that was when I wasn’t right here to patch you up.”
“Look just try and heal him yourself first,” Senshi responding with slowing growing irritation.
Laynnei’s tone became even more stern than usual, “clearly you we’re listening at the start of this conversation. I do not know if white magic will work on-”
“Damn it! Just ask me what you want to ask!” Senshi shouted only to almost immediately regret doing so. In the heat of the moment he’d forgotten he no longer had the psychic barrier that protected him from his mother’s wrath.
“Do NOT take that tone with me,” Laynnei chastised with a furious gaze, though quickly calmed herself and resumed her usually composure and moved on to the heart of the matter. “Is there a reason you didn’t use your Scythe in that battle?”
Senshi was still reluctant to give an honest answer and instead gave half truth, “Taur Dagnir held of the undead hordes of Castle Town for six months and now he’s even stronger. The scythe wouldn’t have helped. My only option was the avoid him.”
The excuse was far from adequate to end his mother’s inquire, “what about before that thing arrived, and what about your increasing reluctance to use it long before then?”
“You already know the answer, so what’s the point of all this?” Senshi asked in frustration.
Laynnei grew silent again. She finished up with Darrel and moved on to see if she could be any help to Kae all the while trying to find the best words to make her point with. “One of my earliest memories is of my mother healing someone back from the brink of death. Only he had tried to kill himself so he was furious with her for helping him, he tried to attack her and my father had to restrain him. I ask my mother if healing him was the right thing to do, because now he’d hate her. She said, ‘yes he will, but only because he’s alive to do so, and isn’t that wonderful?’ During the Imprisoning War the first time I helped on the front line was a skirmish in Kakariko. The fight so long and exhausting that when it came time to try and help any civilians who were injured, your father, Nahc and myself had to enact a very harsh triage. There was a family that was crushed under a collapsed house, and the only one I knew I could save was the father, sans one of his legs. Of course he was furious with me for saving him instead of his wife or daughters. He said he’d rather have died with them then be saved instead of them. It was Nahc who asked me if saving him was the right thing to do, since now he’s be miserable and blame it on me instead of the Dark Warriors that caused it all. I said, ‘yes he will, but only because he’s alive to do so, and isn’t that wonderful?’ My son you are a protector. You have always been driven to do whatever was necessary save everyone you care even the slightest bit about and even sometimes people you hardly know; regardless of the consequences to yourself. I know I am quite proud of you for it and I know you father thinks you’re a hero for it; even if he won’t admit it. So, if the people you save are going to despise you for how you save them, great. At least they’re alive to do so, and isn’t that wonderful.”
Senshi took his mothers words to heart, but he still couldn’t help but doubt them to some degree. If people like Kae and Mirra hadn’t rejected him over his powers would he not have been able fight alongside the Light Warriors properly. Would that not have prevented Misha’s mind from being destroyed? Could he not have been there to stop things with Lynn or Kae’s curse getting out of hand? Perhaps he could have even kept Darrel from being capture and tortured? Or maybe he was kidding himself, maybe there was nothing he could have done at all? Perhaps he needed to stop blaming himself for everything. Perhaps he needed to except he limits and embrace what he could do.
His moment of self reflection was suddenly cut short when an unexpected voice called out to his mind, <”Senshi. “Respond if you can. I must find you and the others.”> It was Lia Chiaria, someone he was both happy to hear from, but dreaded having to respond to. After all what should he say to her, what did he want him to say to her? His new mentor must what him to respond since his telepathy had been reactivated, but he offered no advice.
Once Senshi thought about it, he realized if his mentor needed to talk to Lia, he could probably do so on his own and he should just respond to her call. <“It’s good to hear from you, we could really use your help right about now. Everyone has gathered at Hidden Kakariko. I can’t say for certain if I’ll still be here when you arrive, but I’ll let everyone know you’re coming.”>
A moment later a slightly more sober Jaden approached Senshi hoping to have that conversation Senshi had asked for. “You have good timing Bryseis. There’s a woman named Lia Chiaria on her way here. She’s one of the most powerful Light Warriors that has ever lived and will help us win this war. I’m not sure if I can stick around long enough to get her, but Mytura or my sister can point her out to you. As for everything else I wanted to talk about; is there somewhere more private we can speak? What I have to say shouldn’t be heard by anyone except you.”
Jaden was to lead Senshi to a more secluded location but Laynnei called out to stop them, “Wait a moment, we’re not done. I still want to ask you about this new teacher of yours. I am quiet concerned that I can’t figure out who it is. There aren’t many people who can block my telepathy.”
“He’s a friend,” Senshi quickly reassured. “You just can’t read his mind because he’s more powerful than you, and currently disembodied.”
Laynnei suddenly understood exactly what was going on and let slip a subtle smile as Jaden and her son walked out.
Lia, Evening 2, Hidden Kakariko
Senshi on the first try. Not enough of a positive to bring up her spirits from recent events, but at least she wasn’t sending telepathic messages into nothingness.
(“It’s good to hear from you, we could really use your help right about now. Everyone has gathered at Hidden Kakariko. I can’t say for certain if I’ll still be here when you arrive, but I’ll let everyone know you’re coming.”)
Senshi assumed she would be traveling on foot. However, Sirius had been right, she had more power now that she wasn’t splitting it with Ithan. She briefly considered attempting to reach across the bridge to the void where his mind was, but feared what it might do to her sanity. She withdrew from the urge and focused her mind on Senshi’s. Using it like a homing beacon, she envisioned a map in her mind and drew forth her powers of teleportation. She rose a foot off the ground as her body became enveloped by a purple aura, and after thirty seconds of the meditative ritual, the aura formed a rune upon the ground beneath her. She dropped down into the rune, vanishing from the forest outside the lab.
Within moments a second rune appeared on the ground behind Senshi, and Lia emerged from it. Though now directly in front of him, she maintained the telepathic link.