Path to Succession, Resolve is the 10th chapter of Epoch of Disharmony Season One.
Back to Business
Soldat/HCT/Late Afternoon 2
Soldat managed to avoid being crushed by the towering beast but was unable to avoid the debris and shrapnel that flow in his direction. While his armor staved off most a large chunk of brick struck his forehead and knocked him to the ground. After a moment of disorientation the knight got back up on his feet and with the same effort it took to wipe the away the blood dripping from his brow, the large gash he'd gained was healed. He'd have to wait until a more opportune time to check for any potential skull fracture he'd need to take care of.
The Rojo Enlace was apparently note as lucky as Soldat. Though his vision was still blurry from the blow to his head he could tell the Moldrom had landed on the man’s legs. Fortunately despite the lack of malleability of Rojo's rocky from he appear to still be in a single piece, though unable to stand.
The solders and city guards that had previously been up holding a perimeter around his fight with the witch and now refocusing their efforts in dealing with the enraged monster. Upon closer inspection though, it was clear they were less concerned with combating then thing then they we're with controlling its thrashing. A hand full of braver spear man stood at the base prodding the Moldrom from the direction is it trash hoping to cause to stay strait up.
It wasn't there efforts that caught Soldat's eyes though, but the way they limited themselves. They only speared in places the beast was already wounded from the earth piercing its flesh, holding it in place. The only reason to limit themselves as such would have to be in the creatures body was armored, and since its head was adorned man made protection his next course of action was clear.
The Paladin aimed his sword the best he could for the eyes of the abomination and loosed a sword beam. The shot barely connect, likely doing little but scratching the thing but it was enough to get its attention. A single vessel to unleash its panics rage upon discovered, the beast turn and dived for Soldat as best it could with its impediment. It jaws open wipe to bite down on the knight while trying to drag force him into the earth as it would any other pray but found it could do neither. Soldat's armor was to strong from the Moldrom to bite through, and the sharp bits of earth the end it in place kept it from forcing him below the surface. It was exactly where the Knight wanted it.
His blade in the Moldrom's maw, Soldat stabbed into the rough of the sand-worm's month. The armor skinned recoiled in pain dropping the knight in process. While still in a rage the beast’s movements seemed to be slowed. It wounds and wild thrashing seemed to finally be taking its toll, but that wasn't going to stop it from crushing its new prey. It reeled back, then charged forward with what was left of its strength.
Whether it was from the heat of battle, his early blow to the head, or perhaps old wounds being opened by Rojo's last comment to him; Soldat, against all sense, fell prey to the instincts for him childhood training and began focusing his power into the blade of his sword. As the Moldrom came into range the Paladin swung down with all of his strength only to hear metallic cry from his blade chipping from its collision against the beast helm just before he was smashed into the building behind him.
Even the full coverage of his plate mail wasn't enough to blunt to full force of such a strike and Soldat fell to his knees coughing up blood. He instantly began working on healing himself all the while cursing his own stupidity, but he knew it was too late. The Moldrom was already ready for another attack that would likely finish him off. After all, it may be weakened, but all it needed to do was fall on him to end things at this point.
The Moldrom swayed back and forth seemingly about do exactly what Soldat was worried it would. He started limping as fast as he could manage in the gamble that the thing didn't have the cognizance left to aim. With each step in increased speed as his healing spells took greater effect. Step after step, getting more clearance from the beast fall zone. Step after step after step after... nothing. He stopped and looked back to see the Moldrom was still upright swaying ever so slightly. Not falling, not struggling, just standing there.
The moment of puzzlement quickly passed as Soldat noticed the load high pitched whistling coming from several building tops. Looking up he noticed a number of men swinging around are large charm of some sorts to produce the noise that was taming the Moldrom. At the beasts base the soldiers seemed to swarm around the creature with mallets and war hammers. It seemed they'd begun working on breaking the beast free but something seemed wrong. He could only over here bits and pieces but there still seemed to be a panicked rush. The whistle handlers also seemed to be uncharacteristically nervous some ones who should have the situation under control. That's when he noticed the Moldrom was no longer up right. It was honing in on the different handlers as if it were looking for one to strike out at. The charms were clearly a temporary measure, and they only and a few moments reprieve before it lashed out again.
Soldat ran the best he could with his remaining injuries while preparing a large healing spell. It wasn't from himself though, there was someone more important he needed to take care of first and he could already tell he'd need to put some extra effort into. He approached the injured Rojo Enlace, the man was now back in his normal flesh form and what was once crack stone that made up his flesh was now batter, bruised and badly bleeding. Soldat figured the man's bones were probably in pieces as well and while he had no way to set them properly before casting his spell the situation did not afford them the time to wait.
Rojo was ever reluctant to have a scene of comradery with the paladin and starting berating has his strength gradually returned, "I think ya might have more pressing matters to worry about then my legs. Like that big ol' sand worm over there."
"You see what those solders are doing do you not. In your rock form you should be able to expedite their efforts, correct?" the Knight fired back as he began casting another spell. With its completion the Mark of Divine he had given Rojo vanish, its energies lost, and a new mark appeared in hits place. "The Mark of Might will grant you some of my own strength try and free that thing as quickly as possible. I will try and continuously heal you as you move so you're legs don't tear themselves apart. Not that I can promise it will matter in your stone form."
Rojo gritted his teeth to keep himself from screaming in pain as he stood up. He stepped forward once trying to bear with the pain, and then again, slowly one step at a time. "We do not have time for this," Soldat sighed as he placed his hand on Rojo's shoulder. A glowing runic symbol appeared where the Paladin had touch and with it a scene of relief washed over the human colossus. "That is the Rune of the Empathy. It will half your pain. Now run.
With his pain subdued Rojo began to run at an ever increasing pace. His effort becoming increasingly easier as his adrenalin began to kick in. Soldat keep his word and tried his best to follow after pumping him full healing magic, though with every step Rojo took Soldat winced in pain weakening how own efforts. It was the true effect of the Rune he had placed on the Rojo Enlace, for all the pain it spared its barer, it placed upon that one that placed it.
Those working to free the Moldrom had heard to man of stone charging them and long since cleared a path before he had leaped into the air and came smashing down on the largest chunk piercing the beast. He quickly moved to the next on in line, and smashing it to bits with three punches. The works quickly figured out what was going on and focused their efforts on the post there new aid would get to last.
It only took a moment before the Moldrom was free; now too tired and hurt to care about anything else, the best withdrew back into the hole it came from. Soldat, trying not to show any outward sign of pain, approached Rojo and removed the Mark of Strength. "I'll leave you with that rune, but you may want to keep you legs as rocks for now." Rojo didn't respond at all, but instead kept his gaze locked on a guard captain that was walking up to them.
"That was quiet impressive. You and this... whatever this is, were able to hold Elizebeth Bryce to a standstill. Pity the Moldrom allowed her to escape." The Captain reached his hand out to properly great Soldat. "I'm sorry, you seem to be knight but you’re not any noble I recognized. Your name?"
Soldat opened his mouth his mouth, not the answer the Captains quest but to berate him from the Moldrom. It was clear from the presence of the handlers that it was there's. Meaning it was there incompetence that kept him from slaying to witch, whom they were also two incompetent to catch themselves. Though before a single syllable could be uttered a familiar voice called out with all that faux sincerity the he had quickly become annoyed with, "He's foreigner. Ah, a guest of ours that is."
The Azul Enlace had managed to rejoin them, seemingly uninjured but like all things with this man that too was a ruse. Soldat noticed the harsh breeze brushing against his legs. It was likely Azul was standing only with the support of his magic.
"You speak as if I should know you, rather presumptuous for a commoner wouldn't you say?" The guard spat in indignation.
"Ah yes, forgive me. I am Kamen Viento, I handle run errands and distant deliveries for The Legacy of Earth and Sky." Azul answered with a foxes smile, not allowing himself to show the slightest hint of annoyance at the captains high blood ego.
"The wha- or wait, that' weird book store at the far end of town. Never could understand why there was a bookstore that large at the end of town; or how for that matter." The Captain said with almost causal insult. It took all of Rojo's personal restraint to remain motionless.
"Not a customer then," Kamen said, smile unbroken. "Never mind, I'm sorry you are more concerned with my guest and his purpose. Noble Captain I present to you Master Paladin Soldat du Ciel, Head of the Military from the Nation of Maganshima. He has heard of the plight Hyrule is now facing and had come to the castle to present himself before our King to see if he may lend aid in anyway."
The captain eyed the two men, finding Azul's story suspicious, "Quiet convenient of him to arrive so quickly, and from a nation that I'm sure most be far seeing how I've never heard of it."
Soldat jumped in with a response before Azul and time to spin another web, "What a mere city guard has or has not heard of is not a relevant matter as I am not concerned with someone of such a low station. Though if your superiors have a question about my presence in this nation you may tell them I arrived some time ago to deal with a deserter. That has since been dealt with and since I am here I feel it would be advantageous to forge something of an alliance with your kingdom. Unless of course there is a Captain that feels he has the right to determine foreign policy for his king."
The Captain's expression seemed to be stuck somewhere between shock, embarrassment and anger. Azul knew he'd only need one more push, "Ah, forgive me Master Ciel. Since the Captain had personally witnessed your valiant battles I had hoped he would be able to arrange your audience with the King. I had not considered that his rank would be a hindrance to that. I will bring you to Major Lentz, he's a member of the Royal Vanguard and once he here's how you were able to do what the entirety of the castle guard could not surely he'll-"
That Captain's eyes widened with Azul's name drop, and his expression grew panicked as mage continued with his suggestion. He was quick to cut him off, "Wait wait, wait, that won't be nece- er... appropriate. It wouldn't be appropriate for a commoner to approach a Royal Vanguard Officer so casually, even with the company of a foreign noble"
"Oh no, I'm quite well antiquated with the Major, it wouldn't be a-" Azul said but was cut off again, much to his amusement.
"NO! I mean no, I will speak to the Major for you; though at this hour it will be impossible for the Major or the King to see you. Please come to the castle gates tomorrow morning." The captain said hoping to save his career from the damage he was sure Azul would do if he told an un-slanted version of the day’s events directly to a man of Lentz standing. "Oh but um, please don't bring that golem with you. It would be inappropriate, I hope you understand.
"Golem? This is a-" Soldat started but was cut off by Azul.
"Yes of course, wouldn't think of it. Oh, please make sure to give my name to the Major. In the mean time we'll retire for the evening. Um, Good day Captain," Azul said before hurrying Soldat away.
"We prefer to keep a low profile in the city since individuals with our level of power might bring cause for concern. Especially if our former ambassadorial duties were to come to light out of context. Major Lentz is the one person who knows of our try nature and origin as we've aided him along side Vertias in the past." Azul explained as they headed home the now vacant streets.
Soldat was quit to find a flaw it, "So the Rojo Enlace pretends to be a construct when people are around. I fail to see how such a ruse is feasible."
Azul was in no mood the explain farther but did so anyway, "The old man’s wizardry is not completely unknown, so we're passed him off as belong to either him or Veritas."
"So then it is fortunate I was here to act as that cover since I suspect you two would have engaged in both of those battles regardless." Soldat said letting known his suspicion that there was a personal vendetta behind the Enlace sending him after Bloody Beth. "It's also fortunate I can heal your injures, which I would do if you would stand still for a moment."
"No, I'd rather my bones to be set," Azul said then fixed his gaze on the rune located on Rojo's shoulder, or at the very least after your focus is no longer split.
Soldat/ Evening 2/ Hyrule Castle Town
"You're late..." the grumpy voice of an old men called out as he held the front door open.”How long does it-" he stopped as he looked up from his accounting book and saw the state of the three, "Richter what the hell are you doing in that!-" He cut himself short realize he was being too loud and readjusted to a whispered roar, "never mind get in here."
"Uh, we sorta ran into a mess with a moldrom, bones were broken and the Paladin could only manage a patch with unset bones." Kamen said barely managing to avoid spitting Soldat's title and breaking his namesake smile.
"Master Paladin," Soldat quickly corrected, "and as I suspect you are the Amarillo Enlace, there are a few things I would like to discuss with you."
The old man raised his hand to stop Soldat from saying anything farther, "I will deal with you when there aren’t more pressing matters at hand. Now, Richter, get out of that form before you break something. You two help him upstairs."
Kamen seemed alarmed by Amarillo's directions, "Ah, upstairs, you know um... Richter's a big guy and we're injured too so I'm not sure about this."
"It's fine Kamen, everyone is fine," old man replied with an odd stress on "everyone" that did not go unnoticed by the knight. The Azule Enlace shrugged and gave of an exasperated sigh that would seem to show remaining concern with his complaint as voiced but Soldat had already begun to see through his act.
The old man stuck into a door to a back room as the two men moved to lift Richter up the stairs. Though the Amarillo Enlace had opened it enough to fit through and closed it quickly, Soldat still managed a quick peek inside where he saw a young man measuring currencies on a scale.
The old man joined them upstairs a few moments latter just as they were setting the Rojo Enlace down on a couch. "So I'm curious," he started trying to hide his building rage as he already knew the answer to what he was about to ask, "how did you encounter a moldrom? I had heard that one broke loose in mid town, but that's in the opposite direction from gate then here. What exactly where you doing there?"
"Hm, oh we were just there to arrange the Paladin's audience with the king." Kamen replied quickly, making sure no one else could answer instead.
"And how, exactly, were you intending to do that!" the old man continued training and failing to keep his voice lowered.
The Azul Enlace was again quick with a response, "A demonstration of his potential as-"
"They arrange for me to confront a wanted felon. A woman with clearly demonic powers that the Hylians were unable to handle." Soldat cut in with his booming voice, an action which drew icy glares from Kamen. "Glare all you want, I have grown tired of your double speak."
"You should pray I'm never direct with you." Azul nearly spat.
"ENOUGH!" The old man finally snapped. "Did I not tell you all you are not to go after that woman? Did you all not swear to me that you, would, not, seek, revenge!" he yell, his fist pounding a table with eat beat.
"Well technically we didn't, Soldat-" Rojo tried to speak up in their defense only to be silenced by the old man.
"Do not try and play those games with me Richter, they do not work for Kamen, they will certainly not work for you. I will not have this house hold consumed by a quest for revenge that will only cost us more loss. Regardless it is my decision and mine alone to make. What make you think you have the right to do otherwise?" Amarillo fell slightly waiting for a response, but none came. Instead all that could be heard was the creaking of a door opening slowly behind them.
"Grandpa?" a small girl called our as he rubbed her eyes. "Why is everyone yelling?"
Soldat's eyebrow rose at the sight of the child. Richter and the Old man both seemed to twist with discomfort, as if their cover was blown. Kamen on the other hand, had simple resorted his fox-eyed grin.
"I guess your questions are answered." Azul smirked.
The Amarillo Enlace ignored the comment. "Hana what are you doing out of bed, where's your mom." the old man asked as he picked up his granddaughter.
"Mama fell asleep by Violet's bed, grandpa is Violet gonna be ok."
"Your sister will be fine. She's just tired from using her powers so much."
"But mama said she was sick and seemed really sad."
"It's going to be ok little one, you're mom just doesn't understand how Violet's powers work. Everyone will be ok, now let’s get you back to bed." The old man stopped to address the other men before walking into the room. "Richter, you'll have to just bear with it until we can get you to a bone setter tomorrow. Soldat, heal Kamen, I can assure his bones are not broken, we will speak once I have taken care of my family. And Kamen, do not think I will accept this as an answer."
As the the old man disappeared behind the door Soldat was able to take a brief glimpse inside where he saw a young girl tossing around and breathing heavily while trying to sleep and what was likely her mother passed out at her bed side. What he’d just over heard made all of it of little surprise, instead it was the sight of a rather large sword leaning against the wall that caught his attention. A sword that was all too familiar to him.
King Dromond Hyrule – Hyrule Castle – Dawn 3
“… the Moldorm’s escape from the dungeons was a regrettable failure on the part of its handlers, Your Majesty.”
The king, young a man as he was, sat wearily upon his throne listening to the report delivered to him by the new appointee to command the constabulary. Constable Esken, a fat, red-faced man of middling height and thinning hair, had stepped in at the loss of Dromond’s most reliable agent. Esken mopped beads of sweat away from his high forehead with the sleeve of his uniform and continued to glance furtively at the man atop the dais.
“Yes, it did considerable damage to my interests, Esken. But I am more concerned that it was so easily appropriated for the purposes of the one who calls herself ‘Black Betty’. The slayer of your predecessor.” He leaned forward in his thickly cushioned throne. “The spells cast on the creature were considerable and expensive. I was assured that it would serve my needs without fail.”
“Apologies, Your Majesty,” Esken muttered, averting his eyes. “I will launch an investigation into the spellcasters contracted for the work immediately.”
Dromond waved away the notion with a flip of his hand. “No. Restore order to my city. Clean up what has been destroyed and reassert full military control. I will have Impa attend to that business personally.”
“I-Impa, Your Majesty? I was under the impression that she was off attending to other matters in the realm.”
As if cued by the contention, the leather-clad, white-haired woman stepped out of the early morning gloom and mounted the steps to stand at the right hand of the throne. Cold, calculating eyes took in the quivering constable and a small smile twisted the corners of her mouth.
“I was, and will be again, constable.” She crossed her arms behind her back. “I move with far greater speed than you and yours.”
Esken nodded frantically, his double-chin flapping. “Of course, forgive my questions. I have also just received word from Kakariko Village that a full squad from your garrison there has been slain by one of your escaped prisoners after a brief but violent conflict with what seems to have been a small tactical team from Zora’s Domain. With reports of Zora forces massing in the lakes I felt this information was of the utmost importance.”
The young king offered no immediate response, instead leaning back in his high-backed throne, stroking his stubbled chin pensively.
“And so it is. Thank you constable, you may go.” Dromond intoned. However, before he got more than six paces the king called out to him. “Wait! One more thing, constable. A visitor is coming this morning to the castle, the warrior who fought the so-called Black Betty and my Moldorm. When he comes he is to be allowed before me. I would very much like to speak with this mighty warrior.” With one last casual wave he dismissed Esken, breathing an audible sigh as the doors to the throne room closed behind him.
“Things seem to have degraded quite rapidly in my absence, Your Majesty,” Impa observed, affecting a neutral tone.
“As we knew they would,” he said wearily. “It appears that I have need of you to travel to Ordon. If my contractors can’t handle this issue then I may wish to look elsewhere in the future. The spells I require will only become more complex in the coming days.”
Impa nodded impassively. “And then what?”
“And then Zora’s Domain beckons. I need you to meet our agents there and spur them onto the next leg. I am troubled by the desertion of Horwendil. I did not foresee it though by all rights I should have.” He looked up and met her eye, feeling a sudden surge of determination race through him. “War is nigh. You know what to do.”
Soldat/Enlace Home/Evening 2
Kamen stood looking out the window as if stair at the clouds of a distant storm that were slowing encroaching on the moon. Though in reality he was far too lost in thought to be focuses on any one thing. Hints of the anger these thoughts drove him were briefly apparent as the last of the moon light fell upon his face. At least until those two became veiled by the fading light.
"Hey Kamen, do you really think the Hag's plan will work?" Richter asked, having spent some time thinking on the matter. "I mean I know she can see the future an all but-"
"That woman is always right." Kamen responded coldly and flatly.
Richter was a bit shocked. It wasn't that if he was unfamiliar with the true Kamen, but it had been a long time since he's felt such hostility from him. "Right I know that. I mean she always knows what’s inevitable. You always refuse to go along with what her plans as say her visions are a load of bull though."
"They are, that decrepit old woman can barely see in front of her, to say nothing of the future," the wind mage all but spat. He calmed himself and finally answered Richter's question, though barely above a whisper, "I'm just not concerned with the end result."
"What?" Richter responding having not fully heard what his friend had said.
Kamen turned around once again wearing his smile as a mask, "Aah, never mind. As long as Shinny brought back home safe right?"
Richter was more than aware Kamen was trying to change the subject but before he could call him out on it the door to one of the bedrooms slowly creaked open. The Amarillo Enlace emerged carry a rather large sword then quietly closed the door behind him. Richter tried to sit up and talk, but only ended up cringing in pain.
Amarillo started walking towards another set of stair as he spoke just above a whisper to the two men, "lay still and get some sleep. That bastard won’t be able to keep that rune on you for much longer otherwise."
"What, why?" Richter asked much to the old man’s surprise. He hadn't realized Richter was unaware of the ruins true nature. He was about the explain it but noticed an icy glare coming from Kamen. The wind mage clearly wanted to keep that a secret from Richter and the old man, having a good idea why, couldn't truly disagree.
"Well, he'll reach his limit soon enough," he answered finally settling on a half truth. Ultimately he couldn't bring himself to outright lie or be cold with his family. "Just get some rest, you too Kamen. Your role is just starting after all."
Soldat stood alone on the roof of the old man's home concentrating on his sword. He focused his power into the blade while trying his best to block out all distractions. The cold breezes that had suddenly began blowing in, the pain from Richter's injures, all of these were just barriers to his success that he'd need to ignore. Finally having channeled much of his power into his sword he raised it above his head.
"True Blade!" the knight swung down with all the strength he could muster creating a crescent shape blade of energy along the path the swords tip. He began to step forward and perform the upward slash, but before he was able to move an inch the energy blade cracked and shattered.
"Tsk," his clicked his tongue in annoyance. "Such a pointless technique anyway."
Soldat sheath his blade as we walked back toward the door, noticing neither the chip from his previous battle and formed a small crack or the old man waiting from him.
"Pointless? You say that but you keep attempting it," Soldat looked up in surprised to see he had someone watching him, something that amused the old man slight. "It seems to me that you just can't do it so you're trying to write it off as useless. I've seen children who act more maturely then that."
A single breathe didn't have a chance to be taken before Soldat fired back, "it is wasteful. Few men have the stamina to perform it even once without collapsing, if at all. What good is an attack, no matter how powerful, if it leaves you unable to continue the battle? If an opponent were simply to dodge it the user would be defeated."
"Perhaps, but I'm sure your battle today would have been much simpler had you been able to use it. As a matter of fact I know you attempted to do so." Amarillo said bring up the incident that caused the bulk of Soldat's own injuries. Soldat was initially surprised and annoyed but then quickly tried to act as if he had no idea what the Enlace was talking about, much to the old man's amusement. "There's no point trying to deny it. Kamen's eyes are far too keen."
The paladin dismissed the claims, "the Azul Enlace? Ridiculous, he was knocked away by the beast the moment it appeared."
"I'm sure that's what you saw, but you'd be wise not to underestimate Kamen. Even I'm not sure what he's truly capable off," the old man could tell his warning was falling on death ears, and he and a fairly good idea why. "I suppose you've been told the Enlace are chosen from the weakest of the order. Well, like so many other things I'm sure you've witness since arriving here what you've been told and what is true are not exactly the same. If you cannot look past your preconceptions and dogma you will not survive the week."
"Dogma, preconceptions," Soldat responded with pure indignation. "You speak of the words of the Goddesses as if they were random assumptions instead of divine law."
"Hahahah!" The old man's laugh roared through the night sky, something that both Soldat and the neighbors well less then amused with. "Divine Law? Ha! You think the nonsense you've been fed your whole life is divine law. Ridiculous, these laws of yours are nothing but guess made by the patriarch and his predecessors. You of all people should be aware of contradictions."
Soldat's response was quick and blunt, “I have no idea what you are talking about."
"You don't..." The anger in the old man’s tone faded and gave way to a sense of pity. "No, no I suppose you don't. I does explain many things if you were left oblivious to so much of your own life. It's sad really I probably know more about you then you do yourself. Well I guess I things consider then, I can't begrudge you for not being able to separate truth from mythology. Even I only had my eyes opened with I witness the hypocrisy behind my sister being separated from her husband and child because she lacked the powers of our father or grandmother. Despite this I escaped this fate because instead of the path 'Divine Law' says I should have inherited I made myself a wizard; one far too powerful for the patriarch to ignore. So he sent me here as the Amarillo Enlace to keep my existence from causing people to question the eugenics project our people have had forced on them for centuries. Of course sending me here allowed me to meet the Dancer of Shadow and the Violeta Enlace. They're just as ancient as the Patriarch and are aware of much of the truth of things. As least as aware as the Patriarch himself is."
The stubborn knight gave a moment’s pause to consider what was said, "if those two have all the answers then I will speak with them myself. The Dancer will have to wait until I travel to the sanctum. In the mean time tell me where I can find the Violeta Enlace."
"No where, he's dead," the old man responded. "As for his hag sister, it's in your best interest not to cross her path. The Dance of Shadow can be... manipulative."
"Dead?" Soldat ask somewhat shocked. "How can he be dead, the other two told me he was the one that predicted my arrival here today?"
"Before I answer that, tell me something Soldat du Ciel," the Enlace said spitting the knight’s name. "What do you intend to do now that you've seen my Hylian Family?"
"I don't know what you-" Soldat tried to answer but the old man didn't give him time to finish.
"Let me make something perfectly clear," the old wizard thundered, "if you harm another member of my family, I don't care if I end up reshaping the country side. You will be made to suffer."
"I could care less about them," Soldat dismissively declared. "You and Vertias may have broken our laws but they have done nothing wrong by simply existing. Wait, what do you mean by another?"
"I fail to see your point. All I have done is carried out a sentence again a criminal. I am no more deserving of ire then any jailor or executioner. Besides only farmers would be concerned with such family ties." Soldat replied with subtle hints of doubt in his gestures.
"Is that what you've convinced yourself," the old man said with barely suppressed rage. "Is that how you're able to sleep at night now that you've become a kinslayer."
"I don't know what you talki-" "You tell yourself it was duty as if it made it better." "I have done no such-" "You worship he man who commanded you do it! Never questioning the sense of any of it!" "He was a danger to-" "You killed your own brother!"
"I HAVE DONE NO. SUCH. THING!" Soldat yelled with a roar the echoed across the night sky. "Veritas du Ceil was a deserter. When he left he took the Black Wings of Balance, our most dangerous weapon, with him to this nation. Our leader charged me with his punishment and reclaiming the Black Wings. I have done this and nothing more! You, nor that wind, nor I, nor anyone else has any business questioning it."
The old man stood there in silence for a moment. He gathered his composure before speaking to make sure he could say what he had to as calmly as possible. "You say you seek the truth yet you stubbornly refuse to accept any preconceptions you may hold are false. I could almost find solace in watching your failure as your chase your own ass in a circle, but I much rather see what becomes of you when you do learn the truth of things and the weight of all the sins you'll be forced to acknowledge crush you."
"Then tell me everything." Soldat demand, unfazed by the warning.
The old man just laughed, "As if you could believe any of it. No the man you are now cannot accept a thing I would have to say. Instead I will tell you this. My older granddaughter, Violet, is only 9 years old yet has already demonstrated greater telepathic and precognitive abilities then most psychics in our order, to the point were she has been able to pose as the Violeta Enlace for two years now. She may very well be more powerful then the Eye of the Order himself; save for a lack of stamina attributable to her youth. I do not have such abilities, nor did her father. My wife is a Hylian, as is the girl’s mother whose own grandparents have no such abilities. According to our Patriarch, who claims these words come from the goddesses, this and the powers you've already seen Shinsou possess, should not be. Still, despite seeing this with our own eye you simply can no except it, can you?"
"This reminds me of... I, was there something I wanted to forget?" Soldat quietly muttered to himself while considering the old man’s words. "Never mind. The younger sister and your own children what of their abilities."
The old man was hesitant to answer but curiosity over the knight's unclear mutterings motivating him to cooperate. "Hana is only 4 so she's far too young to tell. Normal people do not push children that young the way your mother did, and yes I am aware of such things. As for my own children, only Citrine my youngest has shown much in the way of magical abilities. I was training her is the more standard arcane arts though she started to develop talents in the schools a magic most closely associated with shadow. I am not happy about this, though I have sent her to study with a friend who I hope will at least keep from harming herself on that path. My youngest son Nigredo's skills lay solely with a scale and abacus. While my eldest Albedo is a fairly skilled archer in the royal army. Though a recent injury to his left eye and ear may hinder that. As for Rubedo, Rubedo..."
The old man paused for a moment as he noticed his composure slipping. He looked down at the large sword he'd dragged out side with him and tossed it the best he could to the knight. "I'm sure you recognize that over sized slab of enchanted metal your father and brother tried to pass off as a sword. My son inherited it from Vertias after he mastered the champion style. Shortly afterward he and his older brother got in there damned heads to try and fight that women and now! And now I have a widowed daughter in law with two girls who will grow up without a father. This, by the way, was the motivation behind those two morons sending you after her. At least it was for Richter, he was quite close with Rubedo, and Vertias for that matter."
He rubbed his face, before starting to turn to head back inside. "You're problem is you can't adapt your power to that of your swords. That thing's power is neutral so you should be able to practice with it. Though you lack the stature of you father and brother so I'd advise against fighting with it. Regardless don't stay up to late. You and Kamen have a king to meet tomorrow.
"Just one more question." Soldat called out, stopping the old man. "The Rojo Enlace, where to he factor into all of this."
The old man was confused by the question, "Richter? Nothing more than I've already said."
"He is a geomancer," the knight exclaimed. "Why does he have the same power as my niece?"
The old man chuckled; then after thinking for a moment just began to laugh harder. "Hahahaha! Unbelievable! If you only realized how much you knew was hiding in the back of your own mind. That child is lacks the ability for such magic based feats. She has terrakinesis."
Soldat was too confused to be surprised, "but that doesn't make... all the kinesis abilities were lost. No wait, where did her last name come from? 'no Ten?'"
"Reiectio no Ten," the old man said with a calm bluntness, "is my name. You'd know that if you weren't so full of yourself you were incapable of simple curtsy when meeting people. I told you your brother was part of my family here, so he used my last name. Now, good night Soldat. I am far too tired to continue with you."
Before the King
Soldat/Hyrule Castle Town/Mid Day 3
"So try not to be insult or talk down to the king," Kamen said he has and Soldat walked through the bustling castle town market on their way to the Castle proper.
"This this way the Amarillo Enlace had you accompany me?" Soldat responded in his usual indignant manner.
"Umm... yeah sure, amongst other things," Kamen replied as he grabbed a small fruit from a stand that passed and tossing the merchant a small rupee. "Well some of us have to live here, and you do lack the humility knights are supposed to have."
Soldat glared back at the sharp tongued wind mage, "Unlike the rest of this nation their king holds a station above my own and as I understand it may be descended from a goddess. It may be a nation of cowards and a lesser goddess but that doesn't mean I won’t afford him the proper respect.
Kamen said nothing, instead simply taking a bit from his fruit and subtlety slowing his pace to place a few more inches between himself and the egocentric knight with a notable lack of filter and volume control with his mouth. He would have kept his distance but Soldat didn't seem to notice and take the hint and he to discuss that he didn't want to have to shout. "Oh right, I should probably should tell you this, don't tell the King or anyone else you're from the Guardian Order. They won't believe you, or they'll think you're insane."
Soldat stopped and gave a look of annoyance and confused to the wind mage. Kamen shrugged realizing he'd have to explain it in great detail in order to get it to sink in. "Ok try and think, the last time we were on this continent in force they were floating in the sky. To them we're a legend, one that became more a of myth to them the second one of their own kill Demise."
"What of the other nations, would they not have confirmed our existence," Soldat asked being surprising receptive of Kamen's explanation.
Kamen just sighed, "Haven't been paying attention much have you? None nations are on particularly good terms, except for the Shiekah since they serve Hylia. Besides it’s a mixed bag with all them. The Shiekah know of us but see us as lower than the Hylians since they were the 'chosen.' The Zora will acknowledge out existence but see us as just Hylians from a different country like the Calatians. The Goron are the only ones that see if for what we are, but they'll only acknowledge your strength and character, not your rank."
"And the Gerudo?" Soldat asked remembering that they didn't seem to react one way or the other to him?
"Um, the Gerudo right let me just asked the Naranja Enlace about them. Oh right we don't have one," Kamen snidely replied. "Maybe you can send on once you go back home. Also I'm going out a limb here, but maybe it should be a woman, I don't know why it just seems like that would be best."
"Noted," Soldat answer with just as much irritation as Kamen gave sarcasm.
Kamen was quite amused with how easy it was the annoy the Paladin, "One other thing, Major Lentz is an exception. He learned about us from Vertias. Ritcher, Rubedo and he have been using the Major conduct all kinds of incognito heroics."
"So that name you gave the guard captain yesterday, Kamen. That's a childhood name isn't it." Soldat inquired completely ignoring the mages attempts to goad him with talk of his brother.
Kamen just glared at the knight while taking a bite of his fruit instead of answering. "Speaking of Major Lentz, it appears our escort has arrived."
"You must be Soldat du Ciel, I would like the thank you for your aid the other day," the Major introduced himself while saluting. "This is Constable Esken, he will be escorting you to your audience with his majestic the king."
"No," Soldat said bluntly to the surprised the everyone including Kamen, "I would prefer you lead us to him Major."
The Constable spoke up trying to persuade his quest, "Ahh, forgive me good knight, but the king is expecting me to-"
Soldat raised his hand cutting off the man off mid sentence, "I have no objection to your presence Constable, however I will need to Major to accompany us so I may best answer any inquires your king may have about my fight with the convict woman of yours."
"Very well," Esken answered with a sigh. "This way then please."
The major grabbed Kamen by the collar before they followed, "Just what the hell is this guy up to!?"
The wind mage shrugged, "ah, who knows."
The group entered then throne room and keeled before the king. The Constable alone then stood and introduced the knight. "Your Majesty may I present to you the knight whom yesterday fought the scourge Black Betty to a standstill and aided in capture of the Moldrom that broke into mid town. May I introduce Sir-"
Soldat rose again cutting off the Constable, "My title is Master, we do not use Sir. Your Majesty I am Soldat du Ciel, Master Paladin of the Order, Right Hand the Patriarch, Successor Apparent to the Highest Seat. I have come to your land as behest of my orders leader The Lord Patriarch of the Guardian Order. He has sent me here to aid in a battle with darkness we believe will soon be consuming these lands in which I will grant you my full cooperation. Though first, I must ask for any knowledge you may have of the Time Stones."
King Dromand Hyrule – Hyrule Castle – Day 3
Dromand leaned back in his throne, sizing up the man before him. This Soldat, he appeared a warrior of singular skill, a man of great gifts and greater convictions. He battled with the Sentinel Moldorm and lived, which was itself a credit to his name and his reputation.
As soon as he spoke, however, the king suspected he might be troublesome.
“Master Paladin, my apologies. I have not had the opportunity to deal with your order in the past.”
He sat forward somewhat and snapped his fingers once. Out of a door at the side of the audience chamber rushed a servant in white linen, bearing on a tray a glass of chilled rubicund wine that Dromand took up, swirled in the glass and brought to his nose. His eyes closed as he enjoyed the aroma.
“The timeshift stones are sealed away, Master Paladin, in keeping with the Hyrulean Accords signed by my ancestor and the other tribes of this land.” He paused for a drink, letting the cool wine wet his dry throat. “Darkness is coming to the land, though. The Hyrulean Trust, a repository of timeshift stones placed as equal burden upon Hylian, Zora, and Goron shoulders, is under threat. My key to the Trust has been stolen, and as the Zoras gird for war I suspect that it was their doing.
“I would gladly have your aid, Master Paladin. I sent a tactical squad to ascertain the identity of the thief and the whereabouts of the Hylian Trust key, but I fear that some or all may have gone astray. If you would see the timeshift stones safeguarded then I would gladly accept your aid.”
Soldat/Hyrule Castle/Morning 3
Soldat was hesitant to expect the king's suggestion that it was the Zora behind this whole mess. Not only was his instinct to suspect something of a profane origin was in play, but he also didn't like the idea that all he'd been sent here to do was over war of men. "Your Majesty, for all our sakes let us pray they you are correct. A war with the Zora would seem like walk through paradise compared to what I suspect is going on. You'll forgive me but I am... required to believe in a much worse scenario. One where both you are the Zora are being manipulated by something not all to different from what force you're Goddess to send you people to the clouds all those centuries ago."
He waited a moment to let his words sink in to those present. "Regardless at the moment our goals are aligned. I have reason to suspect the Zora have a hand in a relative of mine disappearing. I will travel to their lands to confront them about that and while I am there I will make subtle effort to investigate your suspicions. If possible or necessary I will see if I can lend any aid to the team you sent. That said regardless of whether they are the guilty party or something far worse is a foot, I will grant my orders aid to your in any efforts towards safe guarding they Time Stones or this world from that which is born from a darker nature. I should tell you though that in event of a war, my people priorities safe guarding the place you have sealed Time Stones. That is of course assuming they are someplace accessible. May I assume they are some place neutral?"
Soldat/Hyrule Castle Town/Afternoon 3
"Just what the hell is your deal?!" a rather angry Major Lentz demanded after escorting the two Guardians out of the Castle.
Soldat was dismissive of the solders protests being much more concerned planning out his next actions, "I fail to see the point of your question, I believe I made all of my intentions clear to your king."
"That's exactly the problem," the Major yelled. "I was told you were here to offer aid if not an alliance. "
"And that is exactly what I have done," the knight snapped. "Despite what you're interactions with a deserter and certain members who maintain a minimal adherence to the orders laws, our primary concern does not rest in wars of political boundaries. Nevertheless what I have offered your King will still be a boon to this ridiculous distraction you Hylians have chosen engage yourselves in. Your inability to see this is quite representative of why you are merely a junior field officer and makes me further question why you feel you have a right to speak with me now that your purpose has been served. Now, Major, I have further need for a liaison to the Hylian military I will have someone contact you. In the mean time; if there is nothing else, I have more pressing matters to deal with.
"Perhaps I should have warned you how much of a piece of work that one can be," Kamen remarked as Soldat turned away and stormed back towards the book store.
"You're one to talk," the Major grumbled in response. "Tell me is more the order a bunch of manipulative two faced bastards or is it just you too. You knew damn well he was going to pull something like-"
The Major was cut short but the sight of the Mages eye widening with a sinister rage. Albedo, Rubedo and even Veritas have all warned him of what lies behind that man’s mask; thoughts of which allowed hints of fear to break though the officers faux aristocratic composure as Kamen leaned forward to whisper something into his ears. “I am nothing like that man. Don’t you ever compare him to me.”
Lentz felt a sharp cold breeze blow across him as Kamen turned away. He nearly breathed a sigh of relief but the wind mage turned back with him sly mask now restored. “Oh, that’s right, well I sure you figured this out already but the Paladin is the one who killed Veritas. I’m sure you were hoping to stop any cooperation between him and your army so you could avenge your old friend. Quiet petty when you consider the rare military might he could bring. I suppose if that’s not enough I guess I should telling you he’s Veritas’ little brother wouldn’t matter. Sure with Veritas and Rubedo dead he’s the only one left in the world who know how to perform the True Blade Strike, but it’s not like you were hoping to use that against Gerudo Iron Knuckles or Gorons right.”
“This mess with end eventually, I can be patient,” the Major said through clenched teeth.
“I see, you’re plan is the act like a friend while secretly planning to back stab him. What was it you usually call a person like that. Well I guess it’s not important. Have a good day Lentz” Kamen mocked before finally leaving for home.
“They won’t come, you know.”
“What are you talking about?” Soldat asked the small girl who had met him at the door to the book store.
“The people you were going to tell my grandfather to summon. The really old man is more worried about all the shaking and the volcano. He wants to send some but there won’t be an,” the young girl replied while staring through Soldat with the million yard gaze.
“Oh you must be Violet, look,” Soldat said as he knelt down to the young girls high and took on a gentler tone, “you’re right we have been having earthquake where me and you’re grandfather are from, but there’s no volcano there. There’s a geyser and there are bad things in there that we’re worried might get out, but I have my some of my Paladin’s guarding it and that no reason why the Patri- I mean the really old man wouldn’t send more of our people here to help.”
Violet’s eyes suddenly refocused after hearing the knight’s words, “Oh I see now, I was seeing thing out of order again. I think I can understand now, thank you very much mister. You’re having trouble seeing right too, here I’ll help.”
“Daisuke, Yuichi? Why are you both here?” A woman asked with pleasant surprise.
“What is this, where am I?”
“Yuichi? I think you have me confused with someone else,” the young teen response with a shit eating grin he couldn’t contain. The woman appeared briefly confused but her eyes slowly widened with pride and excitement as the realization came to her.”
A large grin grew across the face of the older man, “Mariko, I want to introduce you the newest member of the order, Veritas du Ciel.”
Veritas!? Wait that’s father. Is this the past? Who is that woman? What’s going on?
“You did it!” the woman yelled as he hugged the young Veritas. “I knew you could do it, I knew it.”
What is this feeling, why is this bothering me? Why do this all seem familiar?
“Soldat! What earthquakes?” the old man’s voice called all drawing Soldat form his trance.
The knight stumbled over a string of words while trying to comprehend of his surrounding, “What? Where? What happened?"
"I asked you about the earthquakes," Rejectio no Ten answered, not sure why the Paladin was in a daze. "You mentioned something about earthquakes back on the island."
Soldat answered dismissively as his focus was still on what he had just experience, "right, yes, you're granddaughter was worried about them so I let her now they're a normal thing. What did you do to me?"
"You helped me, so I helped you," the child responded with an innocent child. "I helped you remember things so you can understand just like you helped me understand my vision."
"Remember, that was a memory?" he mumbled to himself falling deeper into confusion with ever moment.
"Soldat!" the Enlace yelled having grown tired over being ignored, "these earthquakes focus. What do you mean they're normal?"
The Enlace's brash and disrespectful tone was enough to snap the knight back into his default set of arrogance and scowling. "Has your time in this county rotted your mind. We always have small tremors. They have become more frequent as of late and the Patriarch is concerned it might allow a Ma to escape so I have the Demon's Eye under guard."
"Always, what do you mean always," the old man yelled in disbelief. "That damned geyser erupts sometimes but there have never been earth quakes, and none of it has ever been linked to an escaped Ma. The less ones just squeeze though some times, we've even added guards over it."
Soldat looked at the old man as if he'd just told him the sky was orange, "you're insane old man, we've had these quakes as long as I can remember, and I can safely we've posted guard when they were frequent as far back as I was old enough to understand. Why do you care anyway? I was under the impression you had a new life here."
"'As long as you can remember,' my memory goes back a lot farther than yours pup," the old man barked, making sure the remind the Paladin that he was still a mere upstart compared the aged wizard. "As for why I care, you'll recall I still have a sister living in the farm lands of that island. You know, one of those types that are likely to suffer the most if a disaster happens."
"The farm lands, that right that was the farm lands. If Veritas had just been named I would have been 7. Why was I at the farm lands when I was 7? My first time there was when Lord Protector Chevalier was training me. This does make any..."
"Tsk, not this against. Kamen!" Rejectio called out upon seeing the Azule Enlace arrive. "What's this I'm here about earthquakes back home?"
"Back home? Which back home? I think that's kind of bored category." the mage answered sarcastically though more out of habit then evasion.
"That damnedable island!" he yelled his patience having finally reached its end.
"Hm.. I guess. That times all a bit foggy really," Kamen answered sincerely to convince the old man he was being honest.
The old man growled with irritation, "of course you'd say that. Forget it, snap that idiot back to reality and make sure he practices with that sword. Now where the hell is Ritcher? He was the last one to live there."
"He's at the doctor," Violet called out with oblivious glee.
"Also, the Paladin has business in Zora Domain so I don't think he'll time to work on leaving that shadow he denies he's under. What's this all about anyway?" Kamen asked having actually started to become concerned.
The Amarillo Enlace calmed down, suddenly coming across almost fearful. "Go with him then, keep him out of trouble and force him to practice. We no longer have time for our own grudges or his petty non-sense. I'm beginning to think the Patriarch's reason for sending him here weren't a lie."