The Slow Burn
Jaden/Water Dragon Route/Morning 8
"Correction, dear Elizabeth. Not your issue in your condition. Tuffy, hang back too."
Beth did raise objection to sitting out of a fight, and looked puzzled that he would help someone who threatened her. He had to have some sort of motive. He always did.
Drawing his axe and mace, Jaden rushed along side Polaris and Soldat shortly after the General made more space. Two sigils shone, hovering above his forehead. One was a deep red and another a deep blue, offering physical enhancement for offense and defense. Normally, he wouldn't wait for an enemy to rise to its feet again, but Jaden needed to make sure this fragile alliance was stronger than two battles.
"You want it dead or alive?"
Soldat/Hyrule Field/Dawn 8
"Friend of yours?" Polaris asked after joining the battle and knocking back their assailant far enough to by them a little time.
“Unfortunately that is… that was the orders newest and youngest Paladin. It seems he’s become possessed by one of the demons I’ve been trying to warn everyone one about. I suppose we should count ourselves lucky though. He was fairly weak which leave little for the ma to amplify.” Soldat answered as matter of fact as he could manage. Truth was he was rather close with the boy. He was fairly scrawny and piss poor with white magic. For a while it looked like he might not make the cut and be sent out to the farms, a situation not on like Soldat’s own when he was younger. He’d personally taken an interest in training the boy much like Lord Protector Chevalier had done with him so many years ago. It made what he had to do all the more painful.
"You want it dead or alive?" Jaden’s quest only farther nailed home the harsh reality for the paladin.
“There is no way to save the possessed. If we don’t kill him now he’ll simple run rampant, terrorizing the country side until the host boy wears out and dies. Killing him now, and quickly, is a mercy. “ He pointed his sword a fired a sword beam into the ground a small distance behind the possessed guardian, leaving glowing symbol where it struck. “If you can by me a moment to prepare I can make sure this ends quickly. Just tell your niece to keep her distance. Though I suspect she should already be able to tell why.”
Jaden/Water Dragon Route/Morning 8
Jaden always preferred lethal force. Which was odd coming from a spymaster. When no information could be gained from a mark, disposal protocol neutralized the threat. Beth kept her distance well enough as she was in an unusual state of introspect. After throwing a glance her way, he nodded at Soldat and Polaris, charging at the possessed young fighter.
In a way, it was a shame. Young elite soldiers had so much potential. If only they were fighting for the right side. Or hadn't fallen by the way side. This easily could have been Elizabeth to the Sheikah if she had remained in their present time.
Possession didn't do the youngster any favors as Jaden effortlessly dodged and parried all of his attacks. Beams of holy light flashed in the corners of his vision, causing him to refocus his auras into one amplified Subversion field. Holy magic wasn't going to do him any favors either if he were to be exposed to it. A bright green sigil replaced the red and blue that were on his forehead.
"Hey, Polaris? Want to be a hero?"
Landing a skull-shattering blow to the young paladin in training, Jaden threw his opponent extremely off kilter. He could hear the dual makhaira clinking in flight behind him, and he strafed out of their path. They were able to cinch their mark with little effort, throwing it to the ground. Every time it tried to rise, it was planted firmly on the earth once more. Buying time wasn't a problem. And Polaris almost seemed amused at how defiant their enemy was. Red ice began to grow where the chains cinched; Jaden circled to the left side.
The Red Ice General had a good idea what Jaden was up to, so he let their bound target rise to his feet for a bit longer. Standing tall, the grizzled spymaster drove a flat-footed blow square into the chest of the young trainee. Polaris had let enough slack in the makhaira to send him flying perfectly into the path of the nearly completed seal Soldat happened to be working on.
"How close are you, buddy? We got him right where you want him!"
Aris Mastigos/The Celestial Plane/ Morning of the 8th
From within the ever spinning celestial spheres of the universe Aris Mastigos peered through the veils of time and space intently. If the visage of a near god-like being could ever be truly looked upon, his would be wrought with a worry and concern that could only be found on the face of a father. Aris watched as Beth trekked across the land of Hyrule with her company, she was in good hands, both of her earthly mentors were at her side, and yet, even heroes such as they could not shield her from what he feared was to come. And so he watched. He watched as the new day dawned several hours prematurely and without warning. When the rogue Ma attacked, Mastigos leaned forward in anticipation, but no, this creature was not a minion of The Damned One.
While Elizabeth’s uncles dealt with the demon alongside the paladin, Aris returned his eyes to his ailing daughter. She was battered and hurting, that much was obvious. She had gained the fame and prowess she’d desired, but at great cost. Her road to redemption would be a long and arduous journey.
A faint rippling in the air over Elizabeth’s head was the only warning, quickly and forcefully Mastigos put all of his will, all of his strength, his entire being into the singular task of shielding her from whatever malevolent attack was to come.
As Elizabeth’s wound dried and shriveled to a puckered scar thanks to the intervention of her overly capable birth uncle, the remnants sloughed off her arm, falling helplessly away the bits of charred and tattooed flesh intermingled with dried blood as it all skittered about, fluttering lightly on the cool morning breeze. Just before the debris fell to the ground to be forgotten and trod upon, the air around the mighty percheron’s hooves rippled, causing the steed to snort and stomp around in annoyance. Elizabeth leaned forward and stroked the horse’s neck, speaking soothing words as she did so, not even noticing what was going on just feet below her. The crusted blood and dead tissue rose as if on a swirling wind, but the air was still that day. The dry vitae danced with flakes of tattooed skin, jerked to-and-fro by what would appear to be opposing breezes. As suddenly as it had started, it ended. The small cloud dissipated into the windless skies.
From within the ever spinning celestial spheres of the universe Aris Mastigos smiled. If the visage of a near god-like being could ever be seen to smile, his would be said to resemble that of relief that could only be found on the face of a father whose daughter he vigilantly protected and thought was safe.
In the moments after his attack was thwarted, unbeknownst to Mastigos whose focus was solely on his own progeny, Sourbeneton changed tack, if Nayru’s Justiciar prevented any direct harm to Elizabeth Bryseis, he would ruin those who supported her most. With the confusion of the early dawn still fresh, a malevolent wind blew over the desert from Hyrule Field, bringing with it the discarded remains of Beth’s injury. In that moment a wail echoed across the land, rising and falling in a cacophony of misery as the life was snuffed from every male Gerudo, save one. A lone male Gerudo, no more than a swaddling babe, with a queer and ominous birthmark upon his brow was spared The Dark Fathers Curse, for in him resided a power that even the Fallen One could not overcome. Every man who was stilled by this dark wind, from the newest born to the eldest aged, was left with the same mark: the sigil of the Dark Father, tattooed on each fresh corpse’s right hand.
The Gerudo women cursed the name of Elizabeth Bryce and her Crimson Eclipse.
Elizabeth/Hyrule Field/Morning 8
Her mind would not stop processing thoughts. Everything was flooding in and leaving very little space for a deep breath. Betrayed by her deity in the deepest hour of need when he had always protected her, her entire worldview had been shattered. The game had changed, and she was learning all of the new rules. Could she be as feared as before without her spirituality? What was her new foundation?
As she held back in position, she wondered what her followers were to think. Especially Severa. They had based a lot of their friendship on the fact that they both were quite devoted to their faith. Of all the others, possibly more so than Jaden or Polaris, she hoped Severa would understand what had happened to her. But before she could turn to her and reach out for some comfort, she had vanished. And she heard a mount's quickened pace behind her.
It felt like the whole world was watching her, but word had not gotten out about this fall from dark grace. She'd have to make it all work by her own will. And even amongst those in her family, no one was more stubborn than Bloody Beth.
Seeing Jaden and Polaris assist Soldat confused her. And she cursed Soldat quite a bit since her defeat at Castle Town. And the one in Hyrule Field. Someday, she would settle the score. But for now, she had to show she was serious about keeping the group's cohesion. Jaden had already made one step, even though he told her to stay back. She had waved him off before, and did not mind showing a bit of her rage at this delay in their journey.
Even with this ever-shifting path, blood had to flow. And it wasn't going to be hers anymore. Drawing Apocrypha high and letting out a wail of unbridled rage, she reared up on Myr-Acharn and galloped as fast as her mount would carry her right toward the possessed paladin the others were engaging. She could see the lines on the ground; her skin crawled as she grew closer to them. And while the seal had not yet closed, she rode into it without reducing speed. Beth was seething. It was almost as though this sacrificial soldier was Sourbeneton himself. She projected everything she wanted to do to her former deity right on it.
"Death is not enough to save you from my wrath!"
Parrying his defensive swipe as he was thrown back by Jaden's kick, Elizabeth forced the soldier right into the path of Myr-Acharn, trampling him violently to the ground.
Jaden looked livid as he tried to intercept her path on the way back to the rest of the group.
"Elizabeth Jade! We can't afford to see you kill yourself!"
He failed to do so, even at top speed. She gave him a look of extreme confidence that reminded him of his sister in a way it hadn't before. Something was up, and he was going to find out as soon as Soldat had finished his spell.
Circling after the pass, she was able to dodge the other beams Soldat was weaving into place. On her way back to the others, she could see Nerisse riding toward everyone else on a large boar.
"Beth! Glad we were able to finally catch up to you. You look terrible."
Slowing her speed gradually, she circled her Gerudo friend and sheathed her weapon, looking rather confident.
"My mind, body, and soul are in revolt against themselves, Nerisse. But am I ever glad to see you."
Soldat/Hyrule Field/Morning 8
The others seemed more then up to the challenge, much to Soldat's surprise. Not only had the managed to buy him enough time to place are 6 marks but even briefly compassionate that Ma. Weak host aside, that was no easy feat.
Soldat paused briefly the throw his possessed protege an apologetic glare. Again he found himself forced to extinguish a young soul because of these damned demons.
"Third Seal," he said with a solemn whisper as he stabbed his sword into the center of the formation. Lines of divine magic race across earth connected the six marks Soldat had created into the image of three interlocking triangles. A circle surrounded the massive image and then for a moment everything fell silent. Everyone except Soldat seemed slightly puzzled by the lack of result. That was until the Ma, finally shaking off the others assault, jumped to its feet and tried charged the Paladin. The moment it took even a single step the seal activated and a massive pillar of divine magic erupted from the ground. When the light faded only Soldat, and the armor and weapons of the young paladin remained.
Soldat picked up blessed mace and sacred shield the neophyte guardian had with him. Without saying a word he walked over to his horse, hung the equipment on its saddle, and climbed onto the mounted. "I'm sorry for the distraction," he said without a hint of emotion, "we should continue on before anything else decides to trouble us.
Polaris Eridanus/ Hyrule Field/ Morning of the 8th
Without the slightest hint of emotion, the paladin swung himself up into the saddle and set off at a fast paced trot. Polaris and Jaden exchanged a sideways glance, in that briefest of exchanges the two came to an understanding. Polaris mounted up as Jaden turned to the rest of the group,
”Alright you lot! I need a drink, so lets see it, empty your saddlebags for uncle Jaden. Out with the booze already!”
The majority of the group looked at him like he'd fallen out of a tree, while others rolled their eyes at the ridiculousness of the group drunk, a few however began to rummage in saddle bags. The result however, was as desired, just enough confusion among them that Polaris and Soldat rode away unencumbered or accompanied.
Jaden looked over his shoulder and smiled as Polaris and Soldat rode on ahead of the group. Jaden knew the way, they were to skirt the edges of Hyrule Field until reaching the Faron Woods wherein they would turn directly towards Lake Floria and the Water Dragon who resided there. Polaris and Soldat wouldn’t get too far out of sight Jaden knew, but still, it was nice to know where the final destination was.
Polaris rode along side the Guardian in silence for some time, letting the sounds of the horses and Soldat’s creaking armor do the talking for him. As the sun rose higher over the field, Polaris raised a hand to shield his eyes from the bright,
”So, we’ll get to that misguided youth back there in time I’m sure, but for now I’m willing to keep that off the table. I believe you wanted answers no? Well, perhaps it’s time you started asking questions.”
Soldat/Hyrule Field/Morning 8
After a prolonged silence the General spoke up, ”so, we’ll get to that misguided youth back there in time I’m sure, but for now I’m willing to keep that off the table. I believe you wanted answers no? Well, perhaps it’s time you started asking questions.”
Soldat glad to see there was finally someone in the group willing to act reasonably. Perhaps now he'd get some answers to the ever growing number of mysteries he was becoming entangled win. "General in the past day I witness a number of people using a level of magic nearly unheard of outside my order. I've seen a demon worshiping witch who is somehow related to a man that uses holy magic similar to my own. I've seen abuse of time travel, heard the whispers of a mad man who's goals I can't even begin to understand, and I've had a over powered lightning rod some images of people using a spell I just invented yesterday. To be blunt General what I want to know is just who the hell are you people and what are you after?"
Polaris Eridanus/ Hyrule Field/ Morning of the 8th
"General in the past day I’ve witnessed a number of people using a level of magic nearly unheard of outside my order. I've seen a demon worshiping witch who is somehow related to a man that uses holy magic similar to my own. I've seen abuse of time travel, heard the whispers of a mad man who's goals I can't even begin to understand, and I've had an overpowered lightning rod and some images of people using a spell I just invented yesterday. To be blunt General, what I want to know is just who the hell are you people and what are you after?"
Listening to the young Paladin speak, Polaris was unable to keep his emotions from starting to show. It began with a slight upward tugging at the corners of his mouth, and spread on to a full on grin of delight by the time the young Guardian had finished speaking. The physical resemblance was there, but that paled in comparison to the way the man spoke. The righteous assurance with which the man delivered his words was impressive only because Polaris thought it only possible for someone of the Ma family in his time to be so cocksure. He was wrong and he was glad for it.
Polaris’ smile faded as he cleared his throat to speak, ”That question is easier asked than answered friend, but I’ll do my best. You held no blows in the asking, so I’ll return that refreshing favor in the answering.”
The landscape rolled by as the two trotted along ahead of the rest of the group in this section of Hyrule Field, as yet untouched by the ravages of war, one could be lulled into a sense of safety and forget about the things going on in other parts of the realm if he really tried, but it was one thing Polaris had never been able to make himself do, once there was a war to fight, he became a distinctly goal driven individual. So it was with the task at hand on his mind that the General surveyed the horizon while he gathered his thoughts.
”I think it best that I start with the time magic, for that is where I come into this story and perhaps, where it all began and is destined to end. I am Polaris Eridanus, known by many as the Crimson General and by others as many less savory monikers. The details of exactly how I ended up here have yet to become fully clear even to me, but I fully believe that my presence here is the product of the machinations of a ruthless Sand Sorceress. Rhunerys Telaris is a witch for whom time holds no restrictions, she’s been manipulating the events of my life for longer than I care to think about.”
Polaris took in a deep breath before pushing on, ”It will be several hundred years before I, the demon worshipping witch you speak of, who happens to be my misguided god-niece, or her uncle are even born. We all came to this time for varying reasons, but we are now united under the same banner, with the same goal. And that simply put, is to stop Dromand from obtaining sole possession of the single greatest power in this time period. It’s a subject I’d love to address with the Hylian Monarch, but I fear the odds of him granting me an audience are less than nil. Believe it or not, in my own time, I have more often than not, found myself fighting under the banner of various Hylian kings. Perhaps Dromand knows something I do not, perhaps his intentions are more pure than they appear at face value, but I don’t know. So until things become more clear, I am at war with Hyrule because my people are at war, Elizabeth and Jaden are at war with Hyrule because they’re family. I can assure you though, that as revolting as some of her actions have been, Elizabeth Bryseis is not the source of the evil you’re here to seek out. She no longer holds allegiance to evil, demonic or otherwise, that much is clear to me.”
Polaris was unsure how the stone faced Soldat was processing all that he had to say, but he hadn’t attacked or decried him as a lunatic just yet, so maybe beneath that emotionless gaze, some measure of understanding lay as things slowly clicked and fell into place.
"The mad man you speak of, Sirius Fulmaren, is indeed mad. However far his lunacy stretches, the man is also a genius and perhaps, my only hope of ever being rid of Rhunerys for he and I, we are both her creations. Two sides of the same coin spent in a way we are just now starting to figure out. The lightning mage, Davus Fulmen, is dead. For now at least.”☁
Kaimu Eridanus, Day Eight, Hyrule Field
“....What?!” Kaimu was proud of how restrained he usually considered himself to be, but even he could not hold back shock at what was before him. He shut and opened his eyes several times and then breathed deeply. Whatever he had just seen was back to normal. Before him now stood Polaris and Soldat, with Polaris giving an in depth explanation to Soldat of what was happening.
But Kaimu’s thoughts were focused on what he had just seen, seconds earlier. Several armies clashing, not unlike at the recent battle of disharmony, but it was not the Hyrule he recognized. It was very distant feeling, like an echo coming back to you from the end of a long hallway. Time related, undoubtedly.
Kaimu only then considered what had just happened to him. Had he merely stood by during the previous battle? He had no recollection of being involved, yet surely there would have been a reason. Again, probably time travel.
It was too easy a conclusion, but it made the most sense.
“Kaimu, you have been awfully quiet.” Polaris acknowledged the fellow Zora at last, breaking Kaimu’s uncertainty if he was truly present or not.
“There are too many coincidences, too many impossible things. There’s more than just a war going on here, I’m sure of it. I just don’t think I know how to explain what I mean. It’s distracting me, I apologize for my -” Kaimu halted in mid speech and pointed ahead. “What is going on there?”
An army marched from Faron Woods for several seconds and then just like before, gone. Back to how it was supposed to look. It was not a force Kaimu recognized. He looked to the faces of his companions for confirmation. It was clear that they had seen it too.
“If this is truly about the trust and the vault, I think we are beginning to see why.” Kaimu said. “I think we should hurry, it’s hard to tell exactly how long we have before we literally run out of time.”☁
We Don't Fight Enough
Gli Lambe/ Hyrule Field/ Day 8
Gli squinted through the wind as it blew by from the horse's swift gallop. Her sap-like blood was pumping faster than it ever had; Never had she done something so brazen and reckless...And she didn't care. It befuddled her how little she cared for the lives around her as she was forced forth by voices and powers greater than her mind could even keep up with or fathom. Her entire being ached, despite having recently drinking so much water; There simply was no quenching to her chapped lips. She wasn't alive, and her body constantly reminded her of it with its constant pain and stiffness, yet she couldn't stop or slow. A week was all she had, and it had already been a day...At least...that's what she thought.
What time was it truly? As Gli rode through the recently marched fields of Hyrule, she noticed the world around her contradicting itself. Day became night in patches around the field, as people wearing garbs both familiar and not walked along the roads. What was odder still, was that the less familiar seemed to disappear as quickly as they appeared, whilst the more familiar...She wasn't sure they were there at all. Something just seemed so...off about Everything, Everywhere...And what she could only ever assume was Everywhen. This would have been an oddity for her to stop and ponder, but she was seeing red.
She rode aimlessly for what felt like hours. It was only when she realized where the footprints of the Hylian soldiers were going did she find a rhyme or reason for her ride. Far too soon after, she could smell something horrible in the air; Something...foul...something...She reached into her armor, pulling the Libram from it and looked at it long and hard. In her curiosity, she pressed the book to her face and inhaled deeply, smelling its foul magic within. It smelled exactly like the scent in the air. This fact snapped her out of her mindless madness, her crazed smile fading into a face of rage. Her hands trembled, gripping the Libram as hard as she could.
"This...This F*CKING BOOK!!!' She screamed at the Libram through grit teeth, her voice shaking and hoarse with stress and injury as her glare burned through it,
'...That...foul...woman..." she continued quietly as tears began forming in her eyes, rolling down her cheeks with burning indifference.
Wiping her tears, she followed the stench that only she could smell; Her senses burning as it grew more and more pungent. Making a B-Line towards it made finding Elizabeth an easy and swift feat. Gli halted her horse when she could see the source of the smell. She pondered how she could get Elizabeth's attention, before realizing the irony of doing it like she did before. As she hid the libram away into her armor once more, she inhaled deeply before firing a nut straight at Elizabeth's head. Unlike before however, she boldly stood and waited for the impact, making sure she was seen when her target turned to see where it had come from. Suicidal overconfidence was all she had left; She was already dead anyway.
Soldat/Hyrule Field/Morning 8
Soldat took a moment to take in all the general had told him. Much of it seemed fantastical at best but the past few days had made him more willing to believe such claims. It was only because of all the things he's seen and learned as of late that he was open to accepting such stories. "I'm willing to accept what you've told him is true; even the parts about the witch. Though I doubt the rest of the world will easily forgive her crimes. There is one problem without you said though, and if I'm to trust all of you I hope you can explain it. You said your purpose here was to stop King Dromand yet in the future you're allied with the Hylians for some greater good. If that is the case, why would you come back to change anything? You could very well be endangering your own time. What did... will King Dromand do that's worth all of this?"
Just as Soldat asked his quest to two suddenly bore witness to several extraordinary scenes at appear around them like phantoms. In front of them a field stained red with the blood of thousands of Hylian Soldiers while a lone man possessed by a Ma engaged Hundreds of Zora and Gerudo. Behind them a swordsman with unusually reflective gauntlets and a young woman with a whip squaring off a somewhat clumsy fire mage. Above them a female Arch Angel wielding the Sword of Light entangled in combat with a pale ice mage. Off in the forest to their side a massive explosion of green magic.
The two remained silent for a moment as they watched the spectacles faded in and out of existence until Soldat finally spoke up, "A better question for you General. As we watch time ripe itself apart, do you honestly believe what you're doing is worth it? Personally I just see more reason to catcher those stones and seal this damned-able magic away from everyone."
Polaris Eridanus/ Hyrule Field/ Morning of the 8th
"I'm willing to accept what you've told me is true; even the parts about the witch. Though I doubt the rest of the world will easily forgive her crimes. There is one problem with what you said though, and if I'm to trust all of you I hope you can explain it. You said your purpose here was to stop King Dromand yet in the future you're allied with the Hylians for some greater good. If that is the case, why would you come back to change anything? You could very well be endangering your own time. What did... will King Dromand do that's worth all of this?"
Polaris looked at the Paladin at his side, sizing up the man who was obviously more intelligent than he’d originally given him credit for. The comparisons to the other paladins he was acquainted with in his own time were piling atop each other. The honest truth of it was, much to Polaris’ dismay, that he hadn’t much considered what implications his actions here in the past would have on the future, if any. He’d been thrust into this time period and landed smack dab in the middle of this war without ever wanting to be here. Whether he arrived here because of Rhunerys or sheer chance, he was here and he’d hit the ground running. Siding with the Zora and their king out of sense of duty to his people, never looking at the bigger picture until now. This very moment. Riding alongside what could only be the ancestor of Seishi Ma if ever the man had had one.
Readying himself to speak, Polaris licked his lips and was halted before even uttering a sound as the “pop hiss” of time magic deafened his ears and stole his voice. The very fabric of the realm distorted and the scene before them changed.
Polaris winced at the sight of one of his bloodiest, and most definitive victories as a young and newly minted General. He was the mastermind behind the assault and ambush of the Hylians fighting alongside the very wenches who would decades later, betray the trust of he and his people and ultimately, kill him on the banks of that very same lake.
It took no time at all for Polaris to find himself in the scene despite all of this occurring long before he was tattooed and his scales changed colors, he knew exactly where he’d been that day. Eager and wholly idiotic, the younger Polaris was full of flare and ambition only concerned with advancing his standing among the Zora at any and all costs. There he was, overseeing the destruction from a distance, high atop a rise, the cocksure grin that so often accompanied him in his younger days plastered in place.
However, it wasn’t himself that Polaris was most interested in. The lone Hylian standing amongst the onslaught of the Zora troops fighting with otherworldly prowess and endurance. Had Polaris noticed back then? Surely he had, and yet he couldn’t remember it. Had never made the connection. Polaris had orchestrated the demise of Seishi’s troops. His friends, and perhaps even, his family members.
The Crimson General spat on the ground as the scene changed to that of a swordsman who donned a finely polished set of mirrored gauntlets whilst he fought against an imbalanced fire mage that wasn’t the Kinslayer alongside a whip wielding young woman.
Polaris wasn’t overly familiar with any of the combatants, but the scene struck a disturbing cord deep in his bones all the same. Perhaps since he was unfamiliar with the scene at hand, time chose to alter their position quicker here, or maybe it just seemed like they lingered at the Great War for an eternity, Polaris reliving every detail of the planning and execution of the battle and ambush out of his own regret. Whatever the case, the scene before them faded as another took its place.
Polaris growled and started to lunge forward off of his horse, barely stopping himself as he recalled that none of this was really truly happening right now.
A winged figure hovered above them with a gleaming sword, clashing again and again in a rabid a furious battle with Polaris’ nemesis. Even in this vision, Taden Hothnight emanated the same sort of cold and disdain for life that Polaris had grown accustomed to from him. Vision or not, Polaris bristled at the sight of his very antithesis. His pupils began to dilate and his eyes tinged a cold crimson just before the scene shifted once more.
A violent explosion rocked the forest to their left and Polaris could feel the sheer percussion of the blast vibrating in his teeth. The Interloper war had started, the Twili were invading Hyrule and for some strange reason he had been in the mountains. At first, when the war started, Polaris had been under the misconception that he’d went to the mountains seeking solitude from the world. Refuge from his shame and his crimes against humanity. Now however, it was becoming increasingly clear that, that wasn’t why he’d been there, he’d been under Rhunerys’ spell for so long at that point that he’d started to believe the feeble lies which the sorceress had spun for him. Her mastery of the sands and time were bewildering, he knew now why he was in those mountains and the truth of it horrified him. What crimes had he committed under spell? Whose lives had he altered forever? Whose lives had he ended?
It was then that a sudden, terrifying realization struck him, had he released his own worst and most dangerous enemy on the world? The silver dagger, taken off of the body of a dead Gerudo as a token of his own vengeance. A spoil of war. That just so happened to house the strongest of the fragments of The Hateds blighted soul. Thoughts and images of Darrel, Kae, Felina, Lynn.. poor Lynn.. and all the others whom he’d left fighting a losing cause rushed over him and he was distraught with rage and emotion. The journey to the past had become one of enlightenment, but it was drawing to a close. It was well past time for him to conclude matters here and return to his own time.
The final scene winked out of existence and Polaris and Soldat were left staring at the horizon locked in utter silence as the group behind them made up ground.
"A better question for you General. As we watch time rip itself apart, do you honestly believe what you're doing is worth it? Personally I just see more reason to capture those stones and seal this damnable magic away from everyone."
Polaris was startled by Soldat’s voice, somehow spoken word seemed out of place in this world where time was folding in upon itself, yet Polaris was urged to answer.
”You’ve given much and more to think about Paladin, and for that I thank you. Truly, I do. I was thrust into this time period not of my own volition and dove headlong into the middle of this confounded spectacle of a war without knowing or even considering the implications that might have.
I wish I knew what Dromand would or will do with the stones if he obtains them, the same could be said of Tiburon and Darmoto, but I fear I do not know the outcome of this war. The stones are volatile at best and potentially cataclysmic at worst. Though this may not have been the case days, or even hours ago, I fear I agree with you. This magic is unstable and would likely be better off out of reach for everyone.”
Polaris sighed, the images of the future still weighing heavy on his mind,
”But, in order to protect them, we have to win the race to get them.”
With Soldat staring at him, Polaris heard a disturbance behind them as the rest of the group approached, Kae and Jaden argued while Kaimu rode up beside the duo. Happy for the distraction, Polaris turned to his namesake,
“Kaimu, you have been awfully quiet.”
The declaration seemed to confirm something for the elder Eridanus,
“There are too many coincidences, too many impossible things. There’s more than just a war going on here, I’m sure of it. I just don’t think I know how to explain what I mean. It’s distracting me, I apologize for my -” Kaimu halted in mid speech and pointed ahead. “What is going on there?”
An army marched from Faron Woods for several seconds and then just like before, gone. Back to how it was supposed to look. It was not a force Kaimu recognized. He looked to the faces of his companions for confirmation. It was clear that they had seen it too.
“If this is truly about the and the vault, I think we are beginning to see why.” Kaimu said. “I think we should hurry, it’s hard to tell exactly how long we have before we literally run out of time.”
Polaris noddded, hearing Kaimu, but not looking directly at him, the Generals gaze still lay on the horizon, watching as a group of warriors approached in lockstepped unison behind a sole leader. Polaris squinted trying to get a good look at them and then sank back in his saddle blinking away his surprise.
”It’s safe to say, the two of us agree. Polaris gestured towards armored Paladin beside him as he spoke, ”However, that is no vision approaching from the tree line.” Polaris grunted again as he dismounted, undoing the restraint on Winters Tide’s sheath in the process.
”I think we have a former colleague of mine to thank for the welcoming party.”
Polaris released the hold on his magic, allowing his aura to spread as he walked forward, the grass withered and died where his feet touched and a layer bloody hoarfrost spread out along the ground in his wake.
He was close enough to look into the soul less eyes of the leader of this group now and found himself looking into startlingly familiar pupils. Before him stood a near perfect replica of himself, armed to the gills.
”This should be interesting.”
Polaris and his replica echoed each other as, in unison ,they drew blades and charged.
Jaden and Beth/Hyrule Field/Morning 8
"Uncle Jaden definitely needs a drink! Pony up, folks!"
Elizabeth covered her face with her palm and sighed loudly. She was concerned as to where Severa had gone off to, Polaris and her rival had gone off to talk on their own, and those left behind were reluctantly offering more booze to her inebriated uncle. It was embarrasing. Because she'd heard stories, read accounts, and seen firsthand what Jaden was capable of at his fullest. This wasn't just his dark secrets reaching their peak. It progressed to something worse than that.
"Jaden Bryseis, I dare say you are more of a dishonor to our family than I ever could be. The chieftain himself claimed by a vice easily escaped by ninety percent of the common man. All the therapy in the world couldn't cure you. Why did you even come back to this time?"
After hastily consuming a freely offered bottle of whiskey, Jaden stormed over to Elizabeth, who happened to still be mounted upon her mare.
"Elizabeth, you have no room to even speak of dishonor. Nearly killing your mother, spitting on every shred of training we gave you, and leaving chaos behind in your wake across time? I think that's much more than my shortcomings."
His hands ready to pull his zweihander; he let loose a resounding, alcohol-ridden belch that made Beth wince at its foul fumes.
"I was willing to give you the benefit of the doubt. That maybe this black carnage of yours was just a phase. But a cult? Worshiping the very being who seeks to destroy your family and all of Hyrule in the process? You just spoke some fighting words, missy. And a lot of them. My mission is my own here, but you are a part of it, dead or alive. I'd prefer alive because as dark as your heart is, you are a true artist in battle."
Elizabeth dismounted Myr-Acharn and got in her uncle's sweat-drenched face. Inches separated them, and her hands were on her weapons as well.
"We all have our own demons to face. Sourbeneton has forsaken me this day. And we both know if you pull that weapon out that one of us is going to die. You need to get over Elly Alysi Shea. You spent all these years lamenting and being consumed by grief, and instead of focusing on avenging her, you come back to drag me on back to dear old mum? Put a plug in the damn jug and move on!"
Jaden snarled and grabbed Elizabeth by the collar of her hauberk, lifting her into the air almost effortlessly. She did nothing but stare defiantly into his rage-filled deep violet eyes.
"Well, have anything else to say for yourself? Sorry your dark daddy pissed all over you today. You better apologize for a lot, because you've only got three friends here, and two of them are conveniently absent."
He heard something whistling in the distance as he held his niece aloft. The fact that she hadn't attacked him was surprising considering she had worse issues with temper than he ever could.
A deku nut? Raising his gauntlet at the last possible moment, he looked away and shielded them both from the blast.
"Thanks. We talk more later, uncle. Without weapons. This isn't over!"
They both rose to their feet, looking to see who had attacked them. Or what. Whatever it was wanted to harrass them perchance? Still, things were much more heated than Jaden anticipated. Elizabeth had just lost her deity. But she was getting a lot of her old self back in even this short time. Especially refusing to acknowledge wrongdoing of any kind.
Gli Lambe/ Hyrule Field/ Day 8
As the blinding flash of her deku nut faded from its impact, Gli scoffed in disappointment when she saw that it had been blocked. She dismounted from the horse, which fled from the scene at its first chance; A part of Gli sneered at its fright. As Gli stared Elizabeth dead in the face in her stride towards her, the ceaseless voices in her head went hushed. Her mind was finally quiet as the voices seemed to hold their breath; Perhaps she had found what was desired of the demon, and he had demanded silence with his bitter, silent roar. Gli didn't question it, barely even noticing the change as her own single mind raced while she reached her target.
"...I've read your book.' was all she uttered, her voice a mixture of anger, fear and a hint of mocking indifference.
She pulled knives from two of her sheathes, holding them in each hand between her index and middle finger. She let the magic of the amulet fade enough to reveal her eyes as they truly were, but left the rest of her looking good as new; This gave her eyes a startlingly different look from the rest of her, as they were bloodshot and glowing red from the magic. Around her eyes, the burnt flesh could be seen from under the magical disguise. She grimaced as the pain came back from the damage around her eyes, but she kept her upper lip stiff. The smell of the blood in Elizabeth's veins made Gli's mouth water, much to her chagrin. Now was not the time...She wiped her mouth before continuing.
'...I didn't like it." She finished, raising a knife up, pointed at Elizabeth.
Elizabeth/Hyrule Field/Day 8
Thousand Foot Krutch - War of Change
So much made sense right now for Black Betty. This was the meddler who had robbed her of her opportunistic charge against Soldat a few days earlier. And most likely ran off with her Libram. This irritated her to the point that Myr-Acharn running away didn't bother her at all. There were two things on her mind right now, one of which was Sourbeneton staring her right in the face. She'd bring the chaos into the group and deal with these horrible misrepresentations shortly thereafter if she had her way.
Jaden ran off after the horse with Tuffy clinging to his back.
"You get this one. Draw it into the fray!"
He shouted at his niece in Sheikah as he gained speed. But her focus became morbid and scathing. As the war inside her heart raged, she gave into base instincts and drew Apocrypha. The monstrosity that was a Deku being of some sort continued to approach, speaking its displeasure with Beth.
"...I've read your book...I didn't like it.
Elizabeth raised Apocrypha high, and as it peeled back to reveal the blade hidden beneath, she leaped up quickly to grab the Starborn Edge in her main hand followed by Apocrypha in her left. Flourishing both weapons of legend, she retorted as her opponent raised a knife.
"My critics become statistics. Let me add you to that list!"
There wasn't much space between the two after Beth closed the gap. Charging at full speed, she knew she'd have to use her reach to her advantage. Using Apocrypha to lead, she feinted once high, twice low with her mother's blade, and then unleashed a devastating cross-body slash with it. The Edge was glowing with the radiance of a full moon, and it wasn't showing any adverse effects to Elizabeth.
Jaden/Hyrule Field/Day 8
Elizabeth still needed direction. But it was probably good to keep her out of the battle at first so she didn't make any rash tactical decisions. Maybe that thing would be a good warm up for her. He didn't think it looked that difficult to deal with, so he left her handle it.
Her horse ran off, and was looking to almost be out of the battle's range. He had to catch it. Tuffy made that quite clear.
"Master Bryseis, we need to keep that horse in our possession. Beth isn't easily going to find another one, let alone one like that. Why don't we borrow it?"
Red - Damage
Jaden chuckled as he took off with enhanced speed right at the panicked horse. It was looking to lose some steam after the initial startling of the deku nut. Gaining on it with little effort, he grabbed the saddle horn as he ran along side it and mounted it confidently. The mare reared up, trying to shake him off, and Tuffy almost went flying had he not landed in one of the saddle bags.
"Whoa there, little missy! Your master'll be none too happy with that. Let's have some fun."
Drawing his zweihander and wielding it with only one hand, he redirected his niece's horse back into the fray. Clones were bearing down on his allies, and he couldn't have that. This horse was slow, but it could take a beating. And it'd need to with many enemies within striking distance. The one that angered him the most was the horrible replica of Beth. He decided to do some damage to it.
Watching Beth do a ride-by attack before, it didn't seem too difficult. Don't run right at it, slash, and circle back around. But she always made things look easy. He was buzzed pretty good, so he had to start his run early. And this clone was definitely not Beth. She didn't get a chance to react to him charging in fully before he put a big gash in her armor and flesh across her midriff. Myr-Acharn took a slash on the left hip, but it wasn't too horrible.
Riding back toward his allies, Jaden raised two auras. Defiance Aura, increasing all willing allies' physical offense, and Mesmeric Aura, enhancing magical offense.
"They're a whole lot of nothing! Let's kick some ass, ladies!"
Gli Lambe/ Hyrule Field/ Day 8
"Guh!!" Gli grunted painfully from the impact as she took it head on, stumbling back as her sap leaked from under her breastplate.
The amulet in her chest flashed red as she heavily rose back up to her feet, an uncharacteristic grin on her face. Despite taking a hit that would have put a normal person down, she seemed to only be inconvenienced by Elizabeth's expertly placed attack.
"I-I...Wouldn't attack...ghh...My torso if you want your...book back...' she chuckled, regaining her balance as her muscles tensed, '...I think you nicked it..." Gli reclosed the gap between them, knives between her fingers as she moved to punch Elizabeth in the face. Her knives shined in the sun, still covered in the blood of her last kill. The smell only encouraged her.
Elizabeth/Hyrule Field/Day 8
Any time she had used that attack, it ended up causing a two-way split for her enemies. Whatever she was fighting wasn't exactly living anymore. But she connected solidly, and she intended on doing so again. Slight problems did emerge in this next step. Her opponent closed the gap after reeling just as quickly as Beth had charged. For not liking her book, this being had gleaned quite a bit of knowledge in only a few days.
She was going to get hit somehow; there was no dodging this. But getting hit in the head with those knives was much more lethal than guiding the blow elsewhere. Leaping as the strike came, Elizabeth took the blow in mid-air directly into her left side. It penetrated her darksteel chainmail underlay and wounded her. Dark red mingled with gold dripped from her waist, and the blow had a decent force behind it. She winced as she was struck; shrugging off most of the sting as she came down from her leap with both Apocrypha and the Starborn Edge pointed in downthrust.
Gli Lambe/ Hyrule Field/ Day 8
"Ha!" Gli yelled with satisfaction as her punch made impact.
It was all she wanted, really...Was to see the maker of that infernal book bleed. Now was the time to pass the amulet on, as Gli reached for her chest and grabbed its edges; However, she had put all of her momentum into her punch and found herself in an inescapable situation. She knew she was going to take the hit and closed her eyes, not too excited to see where those two tips were going to meet. One thing in her mind was certain...This fight was already over. It was a foolish thing to antagonize someone so skilled, but she had let her blood lust take the wheel. Well...At least she got what she came for.
Elizabeth/Hyrule Field/Day 8
Prey completely at her mercy. As far as Elizabeth was concerned, anyone who attacked her asked for whatever they were going to get. And if this was Sourbeneton's answer to her apostasy, she felt insulted. A message had to be sent. Sure, her side was seeping and wounded fairly well, but the pain was only a detail.
In the throes of a battle rage, she was fully committed with both blades ready to thrust down on a helpless opponent. It was almost as though the demon was content with hitting her once! The Fountainhead was coming. Black Betty was ready to tap the spring. She could hear its heartbeat and wondered how much it would bleed, because it was making no effort to defend itself.
Shouting maniacally to add to the horror and ensure further combat paralysis, Elizabeth buried both Apocrypha and the Starborn edge hilt deep between the demon's left and right collarbone. She could feel heavier resistance than normal as they pierced flesh, bone, and viscera.
She stared into the eyes of the demon, who could feel every inch of both blades rend her frame. Twisting them both, she pulled them straight out with little effort as vitae began to spray wildly into the air.
"Tell Sourbeneton he's next."
With a kick as arrogant as the tone she spoke in, Beth buried her right foot flat into the demon's chest and sent it flying. Blood continued to spurt into the air, but she turned her back and rushed into the fore to see Jaden riding Myr-Acharn with Tuffy in one of the saddlebags. Doppelgangers of Kaimu, Polaris, a yeti, and Prince Mako were accompanied by a horribly designed homonculus of herself and a rather large dragon.
Raising the Starborn Edge to the sky and letting out a resounding shout, violet-white light was strobing from its tip. All who wished to enhance their weapons with Lunar Light were able to share in her gift. Jaden elected to do so, and all three of his weapons began to glow. Others tried to decide as Beth went after the most wounded of the clones: herself.
"I'm insulted at how shoddy you look!"
The Elizabeth clone had a fairly deep gash in its chest, but it showed no pain. Parrying its rapid blows, Elizabeth looked for an opening against her re-imagination. And after studying its attack patterns with repeated parries and dodging of ripostes, she unleashed a riposte of her own, severing her clone's right arm with Apocrypha.
It didn't bleed. Nor did it respond with any kind of pain. It appeared mechanical; like something her younger sister would try to put together as a joke. In unbridled anger, Beth pierced its chest with both blades and lifted it high in the air before leaping and throwing it to the ground with ferocity.
Yet it still rose to its feet.
"Seriously? Kiss my ass!"
The other clones began to close in on her position as Jaden kept running interference. But she had to finish this obscene mimicry or else she'd be overwhelmed. Sidestepping a disorienting black wind shout, she rushed in to put an end to one of the six attackers.
Is That Me?
Annie/ Hyrule Field/ Day 8
Annie had overexerted herself to near death in the fight against Davis, and had retreated off by herself to heal. Arthur had been nearly swallowed up by the fight. After a few hours rest, she set off to find the water dragon’s spring, her only clues being to follow the footsteps of her former companions. In the afternoon of the 8th day, Annie heard a commotion coming in the apparent direction of those she was tracking. Finding a tree and climbing into it to gain a vantage point, she spotted in the distance what appeared to be people fighting… themselves? Two groups clashed, but each group looked to be made up of the same people. Annie decided to skirt around the fight, but first she had to get a closer look; it was possible that Jaden and Ella were among those fighting.
Henreth Tammas/ Hyrule Field/ Afternoon of the 8th
Henreth spent the last few minutes hobbling away from Gerudo Valley and through Hyule Field, his shield on his back and using his sheathed sword as a makeshift cane when he didn't have a wall to lean on. He had no clear destination, he obviously had no intention of going back, it would be certain death. There was no going back to Hyrule Castle Town either, if any of the guards recognized him, they would brand him a traitor to their cause, and if they didn't kill him on the spot, they would throw him in a dungeon cell for the rest of his days, with the cause of death being age, disease, or an execution date.
Another few minutes' worth of traveling has brought a sound to Henreth's attention: the faint sound of metal clashing against metal. Knowing that such a sound would only mean a fight, he chose to avoid it and change direction. Unfortunately, the direction of the sounds was not determinable. He decided to finish climbing the hill he was already halfway up and see what information can be gathered. As he reached the top of the hill, the sound grew louder, and in the distance, he saw what he was looking for. A group of people, there were pairs, like twins, or looking into a mirror. Each person was locked in heated combat with their twin or doppelganger, matching blow for blow.
Henreth crouched and tried to make himself as small as possible, he had a sprained, if not broken, leg, and an equally messed up arm. He was in no condition to fight, and the last thing he needed was a group of people dropping what they were doing to tear him apart. Despite the better half of his mind wanting to leave while the chance was good, he stayed, and continued to watch in some kind of bile fascination. He noticed one of the people in the fight, a Zora, was gaining the upper hand against his twin, going at him with a torrent of attacks that ended with him piercing the other in the chest. The Zora pulled his twin close and held him there by the neck for a good moment before ripping his wind pipe out and letting out a well earned victory roar. 'Great another violent Zora.' Henreth thought to himself as he continued watching the others fight.
Clones R1-R6 Hyrule Field/Forest Border
The clone of Dragon Majin let out a fierce roar, snatching Gli from the air as she hurtled away from Beth. Following through in one continuous motion, Mecha-Dragon Majin hurled Gli into the forest, for reasons unclear beyond basic rage.
Intent on getting in on the phone, Mecha Yeti Taden didn’t miss a beat, grabbing both Jade and Elizabeth, pulling them away from their present targets. He hurled them into the forest as well, chasing after.
It would have been fairly difficult to miss the suddenly airborne allies, so Soldat, Kaimu, and Polaris were all forced to redirect their present combat situations towards the forest as well. It took relatively little effort, perhaps since the clones preferred to stay near one another, or maybe even had to stay near one another. That much was unclear.
Miraculously, nobody appeared hurt, though it was becoming increasingly impossible to identify any serious injury anyway thanks to all the regenerative magic. Somewhat wiser to the Dragon and Yeti clones, the group resumed battle, each taking on their previous targets, and smartly using the forest cover to prevent further tossings.
Soldat/Faron Forest/Day 8
Soldat gave ran into the forest after the yeti and his tossed allies. "And I had hoped this would be simple," he said bemoaning the loss of open field where he had an advantage.
The knight caught up just in time to see the Yeti baring down the witch and her uncle as they were recovering from their flight. Needed a quick boost of speed Soldat focused some of his sword power under his feet and allowed it to explode launching in forward. He slashed down across the hair beasts back as he landed causing it to howl in pain.
Off balance from his improvised boost and marveled that it worked, Soldat was ill prepared for the creatures retaliation and caught the back swing from its ax square in his chest. The paladin was sent hurtling back into a large tree, though his armor mitigated the impact. He got back on his feet and quickly example the large gash that was now on the front of his breast plate. "I will deal with this one before he can throw anyone anywhere else," he said clearly annoyed while shifting into a proper stance. "You deal with... yourself. Make sure you don't damage her head though. I have an idea."
Polaris Eridanus/ Hyrule Field/ Day 8
Throaty battle cries mirrored one another as original and replica crashed into each other head on, the clang of metal on metal rang out crisp and clear, echoing across the field of battle.The air hummed with the singing of blades as Polaris and his doppleganger met each other blow for blow, the fluidity and ease of motion with which the two attacked each other, mimicking each others movements to a T was surely a sight to behold, if any were able to watch that is, each of the others had their own foe to accost. The dangerous dance took on a near symphonic tone, before halting entirely when the faux Polaris wheeled and sprinted into the forest, it took just a moment for Polaris to realize what was happening as he watched Jaden and Elizabeth disappear over the treeline, having been hurled into the distance by the mechanized Yeti. Of one accord, all of the clones broke into a run towards the estimated landing spot of the Bryseis’.
Upon catching up with the group, Polaris found he had just enough time to see Soldat squaring off with the robotic Yeti before the Crimson Clone resumed his assault, a solid blast of ice magic struck him cleanly in the chest, causing Polaris to stumble back as his clone pressed forward, taking advantage. A strong downward stroke of the cloned blade, barely blocked by Winters Tide, caused a minute crack to form in the cloned weapon.
Blood colored lighting split the sky and a crimson lance rained down from the heavens, striking the locked blades and widening the crack in the poor replication of Winteres Tide. With his foe disoriented from the blast, Polaris heaved forward with all of his strength, pushing him back enough to allow him to regain his footing.
”It seems Sirius couldn’t quite replicate everything.”
The clone surged forward once more, rage boiling in his dark eyes as he raised his blade for another attack, feinting just as Polaris himself so often did, the clone unleashed a quick backhand slash. The attack was once more intercepted, and as the blades met, the copy of Winters Tide exploded into a hail of metallic shards, leaving the clone grasping only the hilt of his shattered weapon. Polaris swung hard skyward, dragging his sword across the chest of the copycat. As the clone stumbled away gasping for air, the jagged vertical gash along his torso froze over and the flesh began to stitch itself back together.
A poor substitute.
Not resting on his laurels, Polaris surged forward, blade flashing in the midday sun and swung hard at the torso of the mimeo Eridanus who deftly kicked the blade away with an ice encased shin causing Polaris to lose his grip on Winters Tide. As his blade clattered to the dirt, Polaris unsheathed the chained makhaira while his clone flipped backwards. Chains rattling Polaris, unfurled a vicious whirlwind of attacks, peppering the clone as he slowly pressed forward, closing the gap between the two.
One final assault sent both makhaira spiraling towards their target, one head high and blocked, the other blade burying itself in the copycats chest, splitting his sternum. The clones eyes bulged wide as Polaris jerked hard on the chain, lifting his enemy from his feet as he was drug bodily to his executioner. Polaris caught hold of the neck of his imitation and pulled it in close, tightening his grip like a vice as he whispered,
”I’m not flattered.”
In a single motion, Polaris twisted his wrist and jerked, hard, tearing a fist full of windpipe violently away from the clones throat. Still clutching the throbbing bit of flesh, the Crimson General roared in triumph.
Jaden and Beth/Hyrule Field/Day 8
Within Temptation (ft. Howard Jones) - Dangerous
Running interference for Beth while causing problems for the other clones was a good strategy at first. At least until he got the attention of a massive Yeti that he could not outrun. Had he been on foot, that would not have been an issue of any sort. But Beth's horse wasn't built for speed like her old one that he'd heard of. This one was built to take a beating and maintain a moderate speed while doing so. After he had been grabbed while mounted, it bore down on Beth while she was dealing with her clone.
After it had hoisted them both, Tuffy buckled down in the saddlebag and assumed the worst.
"Hey, uncle. Remember what my younger sis always talked about?"
Jaden roared back at Beth with a warning, looking rather disappointed that his fun had been disrupted.
"Now's not the time to be thinking about flying squirrel suits! Brace yourself. We're in for some serious chop!"
It didn't take much longer than a moment for the yeti to fling them both toward the woods, and as they hurtled in the air, Jaden remembered something that very well had life saving properties.
Hidden Kakariko - Post-Interloper Era
"Nora, you've come up with all sorts of crazy ideas. You're just like your namesake in that regard. But seriously? Flying horses?"
She stood a good bit taller than her mother at 5'11", and her hair was cropped rather short. Today, she styled her strawberry blonde tresses into a mohawk of sorts, and she was clad in her stealth gear. It was fashioned in a manner similar to Jaden's armor with darksteel and starmetal plates in vital areas, but they were just big enough to cover vital organs. It was made to avoid making too much noise. She had her bow strapped to her back, and her deep red eyes shone brightly amidst her tanned olive skin. Her build wasn't that different from his late wife's, but just like Beth and her mother, she had a good bit more in the bust than Elly Shea. Who knew how many weapons she had hidden on her? Even her earrings could be fashioned into a misericorde at a moment's notice.
"With enough time I'll be able to fashion a contraption that will let them glide just like Project Squirrel. The tactical advantages are huge when stealth isn't an issue. This would be more for ground forces who don't care about being made. It's real hard to miss a flying horse. But by the time you get back, I'll have it ready for beta. Maybe Beth can test it as penance for betraying us? She'd be the perfect guinea pig!"
Jaden let out a loud guffaw and looked at his younger niece in disbelief. She couldn't sling spells like her older brother, nor could she go toe-to-toe with folks like her older sister, but she could tinker better than anyone in the land, and her skill at stealth operations was unmatched among those in her age group and older. It was so hard to believe she was only sixteen years old!
"That's if she is willing to return. Kae wants her dead if she refuses to surrender the Edge. I'd sooner destroy a stained glass window than an artist of the blade like she is..."
Covering his face with his palm briefly, he looked up at Nora, who was mildly concerned, yet surprised that there was a contingency. Jaden didn't work on contingencies.
"But that is up to her. I fully intend on reuniting our family again under one banner. If Kae asks, you didn't hear that. Run that slippery mind gobbledygook that you use so well. Begs the question though. How do you keep a freaked out horse steady in the air?"
Nora smirked as Jaden took a draught of his Meado's Reserve.
"The same way you keep anything else steady. Leg pressure and center of gravity."
As they hurtled through the air, Beth tucked herself into a ball of sorts while Jaden remembered a completely random tip from his younger niece. Myr-Acharn stayed fairly steady amidst all of its twitching, and he was able to pull her out of the spiral she was in.
"This one's got an ass fatter than your cat, girl!"
As the ground drew closer, Beth closed her eyes and silently hoped for the best. Pain was coming on a massive scale, and she wanted to make sure she could still fight. Jaden was way too confident as he kept the horse steady. And he landed perfectly. As soon as Myr-Acharn could stop running, it tried to buck him off, but he was able to keep control.
Beth, however, rolled right into a thick tree trunk and impacted right where she'd been wounded in her side. She let out an audible cry of pain, but the mending energies in the forest kept her from being in discomfort for too long. Jaden, on the other hand, visibly shuddered when he felt the forest energies. Where many were mended by it, he was being sapped. The very nature of his magical essence stood in contrast to Forest Magicks. Nothing grew under Full Moon's Light.
Rising to her feet, Elizabeth charged right at her clone once more.
"Don't you know who I am? I'm Black Betty, bitch!"
Coming down fast on her with Apocrypha in her main hand, she showed full intent of finishing what she started before being rudely interrupted.
Jaden, however, peeled off and decided to entertain the dragon. He occupied it by dodging gouts of shadowflame and keeping it and its breath away from the group.
Elizabeth/Hyrule Field/Day 8
Within Temptation - Iron
Turning to Soldat quickly, Elizabeth agreed with his proposal.
"I've taken thousands of heads. Consider it a gift!"
Unrelenting in her fury, Elizabeth continued to wound her clone with devastating slashes and stabs. It would try to parry, but the force behind each swing eventually became too much to defend against.
It relied on its superior construction to save it, yet it was soon armless. Trying to block with knees, shins, and evasion began to work a lot less as the true Black Betty raged on. And the clone uttered nothing in response. Eventually, Elizabeth impaled it center mass with Apocrypha and held it still.
"Often imitated, never to be duplicated."
Winding back with her mother's sword, she only needed one clean motion to sever head from body. It fell to the ground in a shower of sparks and twitched uncontrollably.
Using her swift footwork, she caught the head, removed Apocrypha from the corpse and replaced its entry with the Starborn Edge. Energy began to surge through the blade in pulses as Beth showed no indication of her anger slowing. She called upon the power of the Edge, vaporizing the clone's body and leaving only the head.
A dry, sickening scent of acrid oil and superheated metal rapidly permeated the air as Beth turned her attention to the Yeti that had tossed her minutes earlier.
She lobbed the head of her clone with intention of him catching it, but she had no time to see if it was accurate. She had another target to exact vengeance on.
Hearing a steady canter approach, Jaden dismounted Myr-Acharn next to her and offered it back.
"You're going to need her to take that Yeti down. I've got the Dragon. Keep your mark distracted for a bit, and I'll be right with you."
It felt good to be on horseback once more. She chose to have both weapons out and steer with leg pressure alone, and her mare was perfectly fine with that. It had its own instincts, and it was not happy about being thrown either. Tuffy poked his head out of saddlebag and sighed in relief.
"Please tell me you're going to make that snowbeast pay. No one tosses Admiral Tuffington!"
Beth cackled and grinned. It was good to have her pets back. But the yeti was pleased to see familiar faces try to attack it. It hurled a rather thick log at her, which Myr-Acharn barely avoided. The mare was not startled one bit as it attempted to flank, and Beth began to run feinting patterns to keep it occupied.
Summary: Beth dispatches her clone with prejudice and donates the head to Soldat. Jaden returns her horse and shares a brief plan before executing his own involving dragon slaying. Myr-Acharn gracefully guides Beth in a distractionary pattern to keep the yeti focused on her until others can assist. She isn't going toe-to-toe with that on her own.
Jaden/Hyrule Field/Day 8
Dodging gouts of shadowflame, gusts from large wings, and jumping over a whipped tail was the least of what Jaden kept avoiding. Polaris had just gloriously slain his clone, but he wasn't sure if he'd notice Jaden in a position he was hardly ever in; that of being on horseback.
After Beth had finished her flashy swordplay with her doppelganger, Jaden made his way over to her and gave the horse back. She was starting to look a little fatigued, and her legs could use a break. Plus, Tuffy was starting to get ornery about being in a saddlebag. Perhaps a new rider would keep him at ease?
"You're going to need her to take that Yeti down. I've got the Dragon. Keep your mark distracted for a bit, and I'll be right with you."
Elizabeth nodded as she mounted her mare, riding off toward the yeti.
Turning his attention back to the dragon, Jaden made sure that the flaming breath wasn't pointed toward the others, taking off in his own flanking pattern.
"What a lovely dance partner. It'll be a shame to split you from stem to stern."
Eventually, the dragon swooped his head down to try to take a bite out of the grizzled Sheikah chieftain. It was a bad decision, as Jaden brought his zweihander across its face, leaving a deep gash along its lower jawline. Roaring up, it swiped its claws three times. However, Jaden was too fast for it.
"Hey, Polaris! Could use some help over here!
Forest Battle, Day 8
For the entire length of the battle, Kaimu had been locked in a metaphorical hall of mirrors, the cliche’s of his own style perfectly represented in his clone. He had been one of the first to rush into the forest, staying as alert as he could of the dragon and yeti, which seemed to be taking up the attention of his allies. Polaris and Beth had managed to dispatch their clones, but the rest remained.
Mecha-Kaimu said nothing, though it was very possible that he had no capacity for speech.
Kaimu began firing off lightning strikes into the ground, kicking up clouds of dirt. His clone tried to do the same, but the electric current was noticeably weaker, and seemed to slow him down with each attack. That would be his in.
Kaimu was horrified the moment he allowed the satisfaction to sink in. The clone was laughing, mechanically. It seemed to know. It held up its fins and metal plates glinted with the reflected sunlight. Kaimu realized his electric strikes were hitting the metal and some kind of twisted magic was allowing the attacks to fuel the clone with energy.
He rushed in, hoping to finish off the enemy with a quick beheading, but he was too slow. Mecha-Kaimu slashed his own fins into Kaimu’s shoulder, piercing through and pinning him to a tree.
Kaimu shouted in pain, and wanted to retaliate or free himself, but something was stopping him. A river of thoughts flowed into his mind, thoughts that were not his own, but were of his life.
A version of himself in a deep temple, turning into a dragon, dying on the slopes of Sirius’ mountain lab. A version of himself coming to life again in the lab and leaving. He was again seeing the memories of his first clone, but now mixed with the recent experiences of the Mecha-Kaimu as well.
He felt rage and sorrow alike. Sirius Fulmaren was a brazen and foolhardy genius. Kaimu was ending this. Now.
He returned Mecha-Kaimu’s laugh in kind, and stabbed his arm into the clone’s shoulder, and ripped himself away from the tree. The two were now intertwined, arm fins stabbed through shoulders. Kaimu flipped his clone around and twisted the clone’s free arm backwards, hearing a deliciously excruciating snap. Mecha-Kaimu showed no pain, but plenty of alarm.
“You have given to me your coldhearted rage, and now it will destroy you. I know not why Sirius would create such horrible things. He has his twisted reasons. Kaimu stabbed his free arm into the tree trunk, and with screaming began alternating with his arm and his clone’s arm, climbing up the tree like it were a cliffside. All the while the two were kept locked together by their stabbed arms, and the pressure of their bodies pushed against the tree.
Higher. Higher. Higher. To the top. Kaimu reached the top, his clone now trying to reverse the electricity, get control of the situation back. But it was already over.
The two were now in the highest of branches, which grew thickly enough to be stood upon. He wrenched himself free from Mecha-Kaimu and hurtled his boomerang fans down towards the land below. The clone tried to strike, but it took a single kick from Kaimu to knock him off the tree.
It was a fall that would be easily survived by such a creation, were it not for the spinning boomerang blades now returning to Kaimu. One pierced into Mecha-Kaimu’s back, splicing through his chest, and the other into the back of his head. But they became stuck.
Kaimu leapt off the tree, and landed atop his clone, ripping his boomerangs out and crushing the neck of his clone, landing the killing blow. He had no time nor desire to celebrate. He swiftly moved on to join the group fighting the Dragon.
Polaris Eridanus/ Hyrule Field/ Day 8
”Hey, Polaris! Could use some help over here!”
Polaris whirled around responding to Jadens cry for help in time to see his compatriot dive wildly to his left, narrowly avoiding the ravaging jaws of the massive clone dragon. Polaris spun the chained makhaira in a delicate and deliberate dance as Kaimu ran up beside him. Looking over at his namesake, Polaris nodded,
”Move right, and fast! I’m about to do something stupid.”
Kaimu cocked his brow quizically, but that was the only protest the elder Eridanus gave before bolting hard and quick to his right, as he circled to the dragons left Polaris picked up the speed with which he spin his chains. Once his progenitor was clear, the general brought his hands together hard and fast, jerking the chains violently. The dual blades crashed into the beasts opposite flank and Polaris took his time about dragging the jagged chain links and razor sharp blades across the abominations hindquarters. Roaring wildly the dragon spat a plume of shadow flame high into the treetops, withering both leaves and branches on one unfortunate stalwart forest sentinel.
The dragon spun to face the general, teeth bared in a good re-creation of rage and charged.
“Not so fast!” Kaimu cried out as he shot bolts of electricity at the beasts feet, causing it to falter in its course, allowing Polaris to move quickly away from the stampeding beast.
”I’d hate to see you trampled old friend!”
Polaris heard Jaden, but didn’t see him at first as the drunken Sheikah sprinted up the dragons spine, leaping off of the top of the creatures head into a front flip somersault dismount that ended with slapping the dragon hard in the snout with the flat of his oversized sword. Polaris was moving even before his protege landed, as the faux beast reared on its haunches, Polaris leapt forward, planting a foot firmly on the shoulder of a crouching Jaden, he jumped high over the dragon, landing atop its back. Straddling the beast, Polaris drove a makhaira firmly into the base of its neck on each side, using the chains as reins, Polaris clenched tight with his legs, holding on with all his might.
As the beast reared again, Kaimu muttered, “I find myself wondering which act of stupidity he was referring to..”
An inebriated and tottering Jaden guffawed, ”Aww man, he gets to have all the fun!’
Soldat/Faron Woods/Day 8
Soldat ran in close and quickly delivered two slashes to the monsters chest. The strikes did little to phases behemoth would in turn bore down on the Paladin with its massive axe; though fortunately for him its lumbering body slowed its strikes. Thanks to this small advantage in speed Soldat was able to side step the axe and quickly stab the Yeti in its side. More annoyed then hurt the best growled and attempted to swat away the annoying armored fly that had been biting at his ludicrously thick hide. Soldat was able to raise he shield in defense but force of the blow was so immense that it still sent him sliding several feet backwards even with his boot grinding large treads into the soil that was still hard from the nightly chill.
The Paladin couldn't help but noticed the thick layer of frost that was now covering his Sacred Shield. The Ice crystals seemed too seeped their way into the small cracks the battle had caused preventing inhibiting the shields ability to repair itself. "Ice magic, so that's why my armor shattered too easily," he thought to himself as he shifted his stance to one more appropriate to engaging from range. He wasn't sure if he'd be able to hurt the creature with just sword beams and few magic spells but it was becoming clearer than even he couldn't bear the full bore of the Yeti's strength.
A disembodied head landed at Soldat's feet before he could make his next move. It seemed Beth had made quick work of her clone and was not distracting the Yeti for him. Soldat nearly readied himself to use a True Blade Strike and end the fight quickly now that Beth had provided the perfect opportunity; however he quickly decided against it. Even if the attack was the best way to deal such a thick skinned opponent he was weary of wasting so much energy with other potentially greater threats still nearby.
"Another approach perhaps," he thought allowed as he prepared a sleep spell while approaching the giant mass of frozen fur and meat. He began to charge the spell into his sword and run it through the Yeti's kidney but the beast suddenly took notice of him again on swung down on him with his massive axe. Soldat was caught off guard and barely able to raise his shield to block in time, but even then he was knocked off balance and his shield completely destroyed. The Yeti quickly followed through with a back swing against the stumbling knight, and while the back of Paladin's chest piece took the blunt of the blow, it too was shatter and Soldat was slammed hard into the frozen ground.
Were it not for the persistent pressure Beth was placing on the Yeti, paladin would have been done for. Even a beast wouldn't miss a chance to land a finishing blow, but instead it turned away to deal with the other nuisance. It would be a costly as Soldat, while dazed, wasn't out of the fight just yet; and now he could see and opening.
"Hey!" Soldat said as he got back to his feet and tapped the Yeti on the shoulder with his sword. The beast turned just as expect and Soldat drove his fist right into the stab wound he'd caused early.
The once seemingly impervious giant cried out in pain and range before clenching its teeth and swinging at the Paladin. With no other way to defend himself Soldat raised his sword hand to block while fully expecting the worse, but as if on pure instinct, he created a barrier of shield of light magic over his armor that absorbed enough of the blow that only his bracer was lost as a result.
Not about to give it the Yeti a second chance Soldat released the sleep spell he'd prepared earlier. The Yeti struggled to resist the spell, fighting as hard as it could to flatted the annoying mosquito that had latched on to it but it was to no avail. Soldat kept pumping more and more white magic into the beast’s innards every time it so much as flinched until the it was finally immobile.
Pulling his arm free Soldat began to focus so much power into his sword that its light aura being to swirl around like a spinning saw. Finally, width a wide arching slash, the Paladin lopped off the Yeti's head, inadvertently creating and arch of energy from the blade path not unlike that of a true blade.
Soldat took a moment to catch his breath while looked down at the fresh corpse. Part of him was filled with dread as he considered the idea that whoever made this thing could make plenty more. For though moment through he was just glad this one had been dealt with.
He sheathed his sword once its left over energy had burned away the Yeti's blood and he'd regained enough of his composure to think clearly. "You know Elizabeth Bryce I believe I own you an apology," He said as he walked over the where her copies head had been tossed earlier. "If it wasn't for your help in that fight I'd be dead, yet he I returned your favor," he paused to reached out and pick up the clone's head, "I killed you. I'm sure that seems rather underhanded but you understand there are plenty who require a measure of justice for your past crimes. As such when we're done here I'm going to take present this head to the Hylian's and tell them Bloody Beth is dead. So for the time being I suggest you find out how to be someone else, and then as soon as possible, return to your own time."
Gli'/Hyrule Field/Day 8
Gli catapulted up to a sitting position as she let out a sharp gasp of agony. She gagged on the sappy blood that spilled from her mouth from the buildup that had collected from her collarbone wounds. Breathing was excrutiating, and moving her arms was more so.
"...Why...Am I alive..." She croaked painfully.
The woman she had attacked was far more ferocious than she had anticipated, which filled her with fear as she checked the severity of the gaping holes that were near her neck. She could fit her finger inside the wounds! Good Goddesses...Would this have killed her if she was...Normal? This question filled Gli's head as it echoed in her brain.
"Maybe...I should...actually find someone...now..." She shakily sputtered in pain, shaken by what had happened. "S-someone...less...Dangerous..."
Gli's body froze. She realized she couldn't move or breathe as a deafening voice rumbled in her head. Suddenly, she was to her feet; a feat that was far too painful to describe with its swiftness due to her wounds. The demon...can take her?
"YOU ARE A PATHETIC, USELESS SEEDLING IN A WORLD OF GODS...AND YOU LET A PERFECT CANDIDATE GO. SHE WAS SO CLOSE EVEN I COULD TASTE IT; A SENSATION I'VE LONG FORGOTTEN."
Gli's body reached for the libram without looking down at it, staring ever forth in strained pain as her hands flipped the book of knowledge open, stopping at a page detailing incendiary-based magic. Her hand glided across the page as Gli's mouth was forced to utter a tongue that she was not familiar with, calling the spell forth. Flames erupted from her wounds, disappearing as quickly as they appeared. Immediately, they were cauterized, and she no longer bled. The shock made Gli faint as she fell into darkness.
The demon remained. Gli's body turned the pages further, coming to a page about paralysis-based spells and methods. Her hands glowed purple after more words were uttered.
"THE TOUCH OF DEATH...' the demon growled, '...THIS WILL TRIVIALIZE THE RITUAL OF PASSING."
Gli's body trudged forth with the gait and grace of a zombie, but never stumbled or slowed; Onward to the battlefield again.
"ELIZABETH...EVERYTHING THAT IS YOURS WILL BE OURS TO SHARE."
Gli's shambling form appeared from the forest depths, finding Elizabeth again.
"BLACK BITCH." Gli's body roared at Elizabeth, it's purple glowing hands dangling loosely at its sides. "WE'RE NOT DONE."
Elizabeth/Faron Woods/Day 8
It was a twofold gesture from the last man in creation she would ever expect it from.
"Believe you me, my place in this era is nearing its end. My uncle came to help me get back, or so I think. If that bounty is accepted, that head is probably worth five million rupees. Guard it well. And thank you. Now that I am an apostate, much is different about me."
Rustling and shambling echoed from the forest outskirts. The deku-like creature must have delved into her Libram again and dabbled with things she had no business trifling with.
Great...Sourbeneton sent one of his champions in that body. No discernable anatomy. Only raw damage will get rid of it now. Balls.
Rearing up on Myr-Acharn, Elizabeth believed the best approach for dealing with her former deity was a direct one.
"No, Sourbeneton, we are not. This time your champion will not be getting up!
Picking up speed, Elizabeth drew her mother's sword and bore down with intent to trample her enemy under hoof, ready to slash if it tried to move.
Kaimu - Forest Battle - Day 8
The twisted metal and flesh of the Clone Dragon was a powerful sight. Kaimu felt disgust, knowing the ultimate source of the creature, Sirius. Kaimu tried to stay focused on the battle, avoiding any distractions born from his distaste for Sirius.
Kaimu felt words leave his throat, communicating with Jaden and Polaris as they all traded turns distracting and attacking the beast. Despite knowing he was talking and fighting, he felt disconnected, like his body was operating on its own while his mind was left to pondering the Dragon. It wasn't long before the disconnect was filled with the emptiness of silence, and a familiar voice was worming its way inside. That damned Sirius, always invading his mind through some ridiculous pairing of dark science and dark magic.
Kaimu Eridanus - you have named yourself after the legendy Polaris. It is a wonderful tribute. I thought so when I first learned about it on your timeline.
Sirius’ words entranced Kaimu, but he felt safe, for while his mind was engaged, his body continued to fight.
Did you really think you were a part of the Eridanus family line?
Kaimu’s mind tensed.
Got ya. Of course you are related! I regret though how you don’t get to see your own eggs hatch, since I’m afraid I had to take them when you carelessly left them behind.
Kaimu realized it was true. The pack of eggs was no longer on him. He vaguely recalled leaving them behind in a forest pond, but why would he do that? No matter how it happened, they were gone. A deep feeling of dread and guilt began to swallow him. All the while, Sirius’ voice continued.
I’ve been interfering and tinkering with time and clones longer than you can imagine. Sometimes I can’t even remember my own history because my head is so loaded with the backstory of others. Others like you. This message is a recording of course, cleverly timed to pause based on what I think you’ll react to.
That clone you just fought was yet another variant on Test Subject Zero - you Kaimu. And the one before, the one who died at the hands of Taden only to become the Dragon Mask? He was my ultimate experiment, an exact copy of you, with a built-in lifespan condensed to 3 days. His transformation into a dragon was no accident, that happened to the clone because it also happens to you. Well - I did mix in some other dragon’s soul, but that was just as a kick-starter! You had it in you all along. I have seen your future, and I expect to eventually bring you to my lab again, and verify that my predictions were accurate.
Rest in peace, Kaimu. You rise from the living today, to walk the world as death until it is time for you to pass.
Kaimu looked up, suddenly finding his body and mind in sync again, and the Clone Dragon Majin was swiping his claws out, raking Kaimu’s chest open and knocking him onto the ground.
Kaimu began to panic, seeing the open wound before him, and the Clone Dragon rearing back for another strike. Thankfully, Jaden came in distracting it, giving Kaimu a few moments to assess his options.
They were grim. The voice of Sirius had ended on a horrific and mysterious note. Yet, now with death upon him, Kaimu understood that Sirius truly had succeeded. But if Sirius’ words were to be believed, that meant that today was not the end of his life, but the end of his life as he knew it. The pain overwhelmed him, and his mind plunged into darkness, as he clung to those final thoughts of death and rebirth.
Kaimu’s Visions of the Past
851-AD, Sirius Fulmaren, Labrynna
Before Sirius sat a relatively nondescript pond. Just beyond him miles of forest, with trees growing hundreds of feet into the air. Spread throughout the forest were channels that Zora lived in, alongside humanoid types. He didn’t know the name of this particular region, but it had all the familiar sights of the world. Many hundreds of years earlier the region had been home to dragons, though they had long since moved on to other lands, other worlds.
Sirius focused his attention on the pond, specifically upon a group of Zora eggs floating within, and on the egg in his arms. He held a Dragon egg, retrieved from a temple that had nearly cost Sirius his life. The egg was stubbled, with dozens of very small spikes, barely dangerous to Sirius, but perhaps threatening to whatever predator a Dragon egg has.
He placed the egg, which was already glowing, into the pool, and it immediately began to give the impression of melting away. Initially it was only because as it sank, it transformed the color of the water. But then the egg did in fact begin to liquefy and mix with the water, seeping deeply into the Zora eggs. The water seemed to gain an artificial current for just a few moments, and then the dragon egg was gone, the coloration was gone, and the Zora eggs looked no different than before.
Sirius of course could not know for several more weeks if the experiment would be successful. He could not know if the Zora eggs would have their very essence mixed with the dragon eggs. A true hybrid of a Zora and a dragon, in body and soul. Each future generation would carry with it some of each.
On the edge of the pool were the only Zora nearby, a pair that Sirius had rendered unconscious. He took one last look at the pool and the eggs, making sure that nothing looked off, no evidence remained. Satisfied, Sirius turned and began his journey out of the forest, preparing for when he would return, after the eggs hatched.
Kaimu Eridanus, Day 8, Forest Battle
Kaimu’s body lay dead. The Dragon had destroyed him. But his eyes were open. His mind was focused and clear. He could see his organs upon the ground. His friends and allies around him fighting. He looked upon himself, and there he stood, over his own body.
Kaimu was a spirit now, something he had not expected. He did not understand the rules of the world, why some should become wandering spirits, and others seemingly vanish altogether upon death. Becoming a spirit had not answered these questions any more for him.
He realized everyone could still see him. Awestruck would have been a perfect description of their faces, had they been afforded a break from the present battle to experience such a thing.It was all very strange, did Sirius have something to do with this? Kaimu heard no mechanical sounding recordings of the man. No hints of his voice to explain what was happening.
Kaimu realized he was tangible in the most inconsistent ways. He seemed to have his feet upon the ground and he could swipe with his fins like weapons, but much of his body safely and freely passed through objects. He knew this thanks to the clone of Mako that had snuck up behind him and attempted to gut him, only to meet empty air upon striking.
He pivoted and stabbed a fin sideways, but it went clear through Mako. This was beginning to become a joke. He had no control over this phenomenon. The hilarity and apparent safety of his situation led him to ignore Mako for a few moments, watching his own dead body.
Kaimu’s body was growing, stretching, inflating far beyond its limits. It quickly lost its recognizability as a Zora body. Then the popping began. Scales popped through all across the body, a tail whipped out, and great wings burst forth. The remains of his Zora form were shredded apart as the creatures body ripped through, and Kaimu felt his soul being pulled towards the dragon.
And then, after a moment imperceivably long to Kaimu, he was the dragon. His body had been replaced, but his soul remained.
He looked down upon Clone Mako, and took one enormous bite, crushing the clone Zora’s head. Its body fell over, still twitching. Kaimu turned and gave a horrifying, but yet somehow also pleasing smile. Polaris and Jaden both caught on, and ran to his sides, vaulting up onto his back.
“Kill.” Kaimu said, lunging the towards the clone dragon, expecting Polaris and Jaden to help deliver the final blow.
Jaden/Faron Woods/Day 8
Parrying and dodging nearly every blow that came his way, Jaden did his best to weaken the dragon at foot and ankle joints. He was grazed and gored by the talons at points. Enraged that he had gotten that careless, he began to escalate his Lunar disciplines into higher phases. He became a blur in the eyes of others save the glow of his Zweihander, and his blows were coming with more ferocity. The injuries that did find him stopped bleeding moments after they struck, fazing him less than they ever did before.
"Your powers cannot harm me, spawn from beyond! I could do this for months!"
This was the battle he had longed for since traveling back in time. He thought he would be facing his niece in this manner, but Nayru blessed his words and deeds to soften her heart toward him. Still, he could not lose focus. A few gores of his own met the dragon's chest and underside. Blood flowed freely, but he couldn't quite get the depth he wanted from simply being on the ground.
Suddenly, focus shifted from Jaden to Polaris' Zora companion, Kotaro. He rushed hard to intercept the dragon as Kaimu had left himself open for a devastating attack of opportunity. However, the last section of his sword was not nearly enough to parry the beast as Kaimu was fatally lacerated. Of all the things that triggered Jaden's anger, losing someone he could have saved did it more than only one thing in existence. It wasn't part of the plan. And even though Jaden knew the risks of every battle, reality was something he didn't much care for. Especially this one. He wanted to get to know Polaris' friend better. Become a friend of his. Show him that Elizabeth wasn't really the horrible person she once made herself out to be.
Bright red light shone from Jaden's eyes, eventually casting itself over his entire frame. The Defiant was emerging; Kaimu had to be avenged. But as his form was shifting, Kaimu was changing as well. He had freed himself from mortal restrictions, but for how long?
Polaris had joined Kaimu's charge. Now standing nearly eight feet in height, Jaden's form shifted to pure red celestial translucence. White constellations outlined his skeleton, and his zweihander shimmered with unbridled cosmic fury. He hadn't unleashed this kind of rage in nearly a decade. And the last recipient of it did not survive.
"Together, we bring vengeance!"
Flanking on the left, Jaden's speed was enhanced enough that he skimmed the ground. It barely looked like his feet were touching as he reared his massive blade back for resolute infliction. Timing was everything. He had to hit at the same time as the others.
Polaris Eridanus/ Hyrule Field/ Day 8
Polaris rode the clone dragon bareback, his chained blades dug deep into the hide of the mechanical monstrosity as he wrestled to gain some semblance of control over the abomination. It was all he could do though to remain astride the beast and he quickly abandoned the venture as it became apparent that neither Kaimu nor Jaden were in any position to capitalize on the moment. Dislodging his blades, Polaris leapt from the creatures back, landing some distance away, the general crouched and regained his breath.
In that brief moment several things seemed to happen at once, because when he stood back Kaimu as he knew him was completely gone, replaced by a massive dragon that hovered over the headless corpse of the Mako clone, smiling eerily before leaping to action. Polaris and Jaden locked eyes across the field and converged at the now draconic Kaimu, both vaulted onto his back effortlessly and as Kaimu rose into the skies, he uttered a single word.r
As they dove towards the metallic beast, Polaris’ ears popped and his vision narrowed, as sure as Jaden was beside him just moments ago, he was now on the ground charging headlong at the clone, seemingly unaware of having been astride Kaimu’s massive back just moments ago. Polaris had long since given up on answering the “why” that surrounded such peculiarities here in the past, the answer was simple. Because; Time Stones.
As the trio neared the beast, it became apparent to Polaris that in this particular instance, he was in better position to play the assist than to be the one who scored the death blow, so as a super sized Jaden drew back his massive sword and Kaimu bore down, Polaris stood up straight, balancing between the fierce spikes that reached up from Kaimu’s spine, spreading his arms wide, Polaris called forth lightning from the heavens. As the celestial blasts struck his upturned palms, the crimson bolts ricocheted from the general to clone, striking it squarely in the snout. The robotic creation swung its head hard left to right as if fighting off a sneeze and reared its head skyward, roaring at the heavens as more and more crimson lightning rained down around it. With the beast otherwise distracted, Polaris brought his hands together with a thunderous clap, bursting forth from them was a roiling wave of red ice which struck the clone square in the chest and exploded across it’s body, freezing the creation in place with neck outstretched and head towards the heavens, leaving its underbelly wholly exposed and vulnerable.
Polaris jumped straight up, as high as his legs would take him, quickly being left behind in Kaimu’s jet stream. The others still surged forward towards their incapacitated target as Polaris touched down. Raising his head towards his companions, Polaris looked not at the soon to be dead dragon, but to Kaimu, forever changed, and fought back remorse and regret.
”This kill is all yours grandfather.”
Kae Bryseis & Aris Mastigos/Sacred Realm/Post Interloper-War Era
It was a rare occasion where Kae was able to see her beloved Aris outside of the annual major Solar and Lunar holidays. His duties kept him in the Sacred Realm and in other planes beyond Hyrule, much to Kae's lament. Over the years, she'd gotten used to it, and letters and the occasional visit to her dreams were able to keep her sane. But she was summoned in the middle of the night for a special meeting. She was not sure what this meant. It didn't sound romantic in nature. Did he not love her anymore?
It was not intended to be romantic in nature indeed. Aris had discovered a few things that he wanted to make Kae aware of.
"I will never forgive her for what she did. Jaden was supposed to kill her, not redeem her!"
Across time, Aris was able to see the Ordon battle. Clones squared off against a loose band of adventurers. Some were legends. Some had legends in their origins. But two of them happened to be Jaden and Elizabeth. He shared his findings with Kae and did his best to explain them.
"Jaden is Chieftain because of this. He would sooner destroy the kingdom than let his niece fall to ruin. Her potential has been realized, and she has renounced the very being who drove her to betray us. Though we have had disagreements in the past, I find this to be most admirable of him. Furthermore, he is also seeking redemption for his fallen bride. They will find a way back to us, my love. See how they do battle! Can you not understand that I love my daughter too?"
Kae was incensed. She didn't understand why Aris was showing her this. Her heart was hardened, as it was for years. But seeing this, it couldn't help but be softened a bit.
"He deviated from the mission. She will still have a lot to answer for if she shows her face in this time again. I will not fully forgive her, but I see your point. Better to have such a woman on our side and not theirs."
Aris drew the Scion closer and rested his head on top of hers.
"She is all grown up now. Just like Tristan. And Nora is just as old as you were when you became the Fifth Scion. But she had to find her own way. The others did too. Hers just happened to be more destructive. But Jaden risked everything to go find her and bring her back. You did say to retrieve the sword first, and her if possible, dead or alive. Barring a catastrophe, our family will be together again. The others are willing to forgive. They know too."
The Scion intently looked at the frosted glass portal to the past and continued to see history be rewritten. Elizabeth was stunningly beautiful. She had matured into a woman who shared her mother's likeness well. And even though it enraged Kae to see her daughter wield the Starborn Edge, she wasn't fueling Sourbeneton's legend anymore.
"If Elizabeth doesn't go after that false god, I should. He is up there with the Primordials on our list of most hated. Besides, if she does defeat him for good, you know what that means-"
Aris cut her off abruptly. He had a feeling her thoughts were reaching a place he didn't want them to go. Sure, Elizabeth wanted to kill Sourbeneton. And knowing her lust for power, she would steal his essence and subsume it into hers. It would make her as powerful as a Scion. Kae wasn't ready to think that. Especially with how the Three don't like individuals with intent to transcend their mortal patterns and become demi-goddesses.
"I know you are disappointed that your visit is not one of romantic bliss at this time. We must keep watching this battle. There is much you must see to understand what the future holds for our family. Perhaps after that, I can show you some things that will curl your toes..."
Dragon Kaimu, Forest Clone Battle, Night 8
Night had fallen. When exactly it happened was not apparent, it could have been a natural shift as it always was, or perhaps the undulating timestream had simply lurched forward yet again, Kaimu could not tell.
Nor did it matter. Kaimu’s target was before him. The ferocity he felt, the adrenaline and urgency of instinct all melted together to create a kind of perfect clarity. With no feelings of horror, he passively observed the insanity of what action he was to take. The way in which his very soul was linked to this dragon clone was stunning. A sequence of events too improbable to believe as true, were it not for the blatant evidence that was Mecha-Dragon Majin.
Kaimu felt raw, synchronized with the world. Soaring through the air towards the exposed underbelly of his foe, he spread his wings as far as they could go. A pair of spiraling ice missiles fired from his wing tips as they spread out, and a rain of ice fell to the forest floor below. The ice missiles twisted around through the air, and struck Clone Majin, digging into his chest and stomach. Kaimu arrived at maximum speed, his front claws grabbing onto the wedged ice missiles, shoving them further into the foe dragon.
Simultaneously, Kaimu tore into the throat of the enemy dragon, biting nearly all the way through, shattering much of the surrounding ice. Though to Kaimu it seemed that he had minutes to take these actions, the reality is that it all passed in seconds, concurrently to the attack being unleashed by Jaden. Giant Jaden’s massive overhead cleave came down as Kaimu reeled away from the enemy dragon.
When the strike finished, the clone dragon was in pieces and upon the ground, it’s frozen prison shattered alongside its body parts.
Kaimu had nothing to say. He finally had a moment of silence, where he could grapple with his new reality. He couldn’t take care of his own eggs in this form, but if it was true that Sirius had taken them, then his future was already in the hands of the mad scientist.
Gli/Faron Woods/Day 8
Gli's body reared back limply, anticipating Beth's horseback charge. Flashing a mad grin, the demon launch up into the skies, aiming to meet her opponent face to face with knives ready in each hand. Like a wild grassy wolverine, Gli was aiming for doing nothing but tearing her target apart; The mental image made her mouth water.
"I will not be crushed underfoot by such a pathetic equine beast." she roared, bending her legs back as she reached the peak of her jump.
You look so pathetic down there...
As the distance between them closed, Gli thrust her knives forth, aiming for Beth's shoulders. The Deku paid no mind to how open this approach left her; Nothing could stop her now.
Henreth - Hyrule Field - Evening/Night 8
Henreth watched as the combatants migrated toward the forest, the same forest that he entered Hyrule Field from just barely a day ago. He saw that the Zora had the strength and abilities to take down a dragon that seemingly appeared from nowhere.
Upon feeling a creeping impression that making his presence known would be unwise, Henreth decided to leave. But as he turned, he tripped over his own foot, his armor and equipment clanging and banging as he stumbled to the ground. He grabbed his leg, but otherwise stayed completely still, hoping, praying that no one had heard him.
After a few seconds of nothing happening, he climbed back to his feet, grabbed his sword and walked away. A momentary glance towards Lon Lon Ranch reminded him of something the farmers told him during his time there. There was a village close to Hyrule Castle Town. Henreth quickly pulled out his map and checked, and he saw Kakariko Village, right where it was said to be. He put his map back up and began hobbling there in the hopes of finding a doctor to mend his leg and arm.
Elizabeth/Faron Woods/Day 8
The demon plant had a stronger will to live than originally anticipated. She wasn't done. Nor was Black Betty. This was an affront to her ways changing, as pragmatic as it was. Was her former deity taunting her with a potential new disciple? Or was this a thrall under direct control? Either way, it did exactly what Beth did not want. Her mobility was in the legs of her mare, not in her own. There was no getting out of the way of this.
"Choose your fate. Underfoot or skewered, by mine own will it is done!"
Her opponent closed fast in the air, and Elizabeth tried to steer with her knees to evade the attack. However, it appeared as though the plant was aiming for the very spot Beth had targeted with her Fountainhead finisher. And for the sake of more flexibility in her arms, she left her shoulders a bit less padded than other areas. She had her mantle chain fixtures and darksteel chainmail, but no underlays besides her black leather jerkin. Stabbing blows would go right through...
And one did. A good four inches deep into her right shoulder before wrenching free with a backhand flurry. The other knife was parried wide, and she responded with a swift, vicious riposte with her mother's sword on its backswing. She did not utter any curses in pain, nor did she even flinch. Instead, she bored her gaze deep into that of her attacker's before feeling her horse start to buckle a bit.
When she got the knife out of her shoulder, it ended up lacerating Myr-Acharn's right shoulder through a section of its barding. There was no time to guess how bad it was for her or her horse. That riposte had to connect if she had any hope of not taking any more damage while her opponent was airborne.
Elizabeth could feel the burning pain of her wound as well as the cool trickle of blood down her chest. It felt worse than it looked. And it enraged her.
Soldat/Faron Woods/Day 8
"I was not aware of your bounty nor do I have a need for a great amount of Hylian currency." Soldat said as he approached Beth with his healing aura active to boost the regeneration of the rider and her mount. "I simply recognize that importance of the cosmic world over felting mortal concerns. Repairing time is much more important than ensuring a criminal was really brought to justice or not. With time you will be nothing but a memory and with more time still those with that memory will be nothing more than a memory. Such things are unimportant and fleeting in the face of existence being torn asunder. Regardless the Hylians will believe you've been dead and receive closure. That is all that is necessary from a mortal perspective."
He placed he hand on her wounded shoulder and began pumping it full of healing magic too further accelerate her healing. "Now, is fighting this shrub part of symbolic battle against your sins or old master then you 'must handle yourself' or would you like some assistance?"
Gli/Faron Woods/Day 8
"Gah! My kni-" Gli cried, but she had no time to say much else.
Beth's movements were effective, graceful and true, simultaneously partially disarming Gli and cutting a gash through her stomach and thigh. The deku girl let out a pained howl through clenched teeth, but smiled soon after.
"Oh yeah..." She giggled painfully 'I don't bleed anymore..."
Keeping a superhuman grip on the knife that found itself inside Elizabeth, Gli had managed to remain on the horse and in front of its owner. She reared back clenching her newly free hand into a fist before swinging it to punch the mighty warrior square in the face.
lizabeth/Faron Woods/Day 8
The sudden rush of pain followed by gradual relief was something she definitely wasn't used to. Being healed by divine sources even more so. Further proof that her old self continued to move behind her. However, a symbol of that past continued to press its attack. Nodding in affirmation to being healed as well as the offer before her, Elizabeth quickly responded.
"I'm not my uncle in that regard, Soldat. Let's get to pruning."
The demon shrub had somehow gotten itself attached to her saddle with the knife she'd dug free from her right shoulder. And a punch to the face was a punch to the face. She had the chance to deliver another blow with an edge to it, so she let fist meet cheek. It left her a little dazed, but nothing that'd dismount her or otherwise distract her from her next move. For some reason, staying attached to the horse was a more attractive move for her target.
As Gli drew her hand back, Elizabeth slashed for her shoulders both. One to try to knock her loose, and the other to keep her to one attacking hand. Of course, she also hoped to sever them and cause more issues. As she delivered her attack, however, she could feel her face and neck start to lose feeling. Her jaw started to get some slack in it, and a bit of drool began to trickle, inciting her anger once again.
Gli/Faron Woods/Day 8
"Ha!" Gli barked triumphantly.
A surge of excitement flowed through Gli when her fist met flesh with a rocky crunch. However, pain quickly followed; She had partially splintered her charcoaled 'muscles' upon impact, which caused her to pause and blow on her hand. As she did so, her eyes returned to the horseback rider, whom had recovered with blades ready. The deku girl experienced a small spark of fear as she saw into the fire that was Elizabeth's eyes; Dismemberment was on this woman's mind, Gli could tell from her position where Elizabeth's blades would meet if she let her.
Seeing no other exit than down, she let loose her grip from her blade. With a clumsy and limp dismount, Gli met the dirt face first before tumbling and rolling painfully in the forest grass before her momentum let up, allowing her to come to a crumpled stop. Her joints burning, Gli slowly pushed her increasingly heavy form from the ground, determined to meet her opponent head on and with a shred of dignity. Gli rolled her shoulders, popping them painfully and loudly whilst spitting out an inert deku nut to the ground before moving into a defensive stance; Her legs spread to brace, her arms out in front of her as if ready to grapple as she waited for Elizabeth to come back around.
"You've spilled the blood of armies worth of men and women, yet you can't trim a single bush without knicking your saddle!" She taunted loudly.
Elizabeth/Faron Woods/Day 8
Tens of thousands slain by her wrath; by her hands alone, not including all of the cult-related murders and crimes her followers committed. Why was this one causing so many issues? It wasn't because her powers had left her. Nor her confidence; she had a healthy dose of that simply by being born better.
Keeping an eye on her opponent, she could see it wrenching on the ground doing something. Staying mounted and mobile was her best bet to avoid any surprises. Sure, Elizabeth was completely enraged. But she also rode strong and circled around.
"There will be much more than your trimming before this day is out."
Tuffy took this moment to wiggle himself out of one of the saddlebags and run in full feline sprint over to Jaden and the others.
In completing her circle, Elizabeth rode at Gli with an arc in her path. It wasn't a hard on full gallop right at her, but she slowly approached with intent to flare back outward for another pass. There was no trample in this run. It was all downward sword slash with Apocrypha, but the Edge was ready for any necessary counters.
Gli/Faron Woods/Day 8
"Maybe if I..." Gli rubbed her chin thoughtfully.
She looked down at her right hand, furrowing her brow. She was undead...Would it work?
"One way to find out..."
Gli reared back before running at Beth at full sprint. When they were at striking range, the Deku rose her right hand up to touch Beth's hand. But her positioning was strange, making no moves to dodge as if she was attempting to get her arm cut off simultaneously.
Elizabeth/Faron Woods/Afternoon 8
Red - Release the Panic (Recalibrated Remix)
Did that zombie plant have a death wish? As she was making her approach, Elizabeth's eyes flooded with the anima of her mother's paradigm. The Scion's weapon had foreseen danger again. Possible futures began to play out for her, but they were in black and white. None of them looked promising. And the only thing that could really be averted was what would befall her.
First came her enemy jumping to intercept her. She didn't fear getting dismembered because her hand somehow caused Beth's arm to go numb, limp, and otherwise unusable. Sure, the arm was gone along with most of the shoulder, but tendrils flew out and grabbed it, reattaching somehow. That wasn't going to benefit Beth at all.
Please tell me there's more than this fate. Who knows if that'd be permanent?
As the scene played backwards in its entirety, Elizabeth was able to dodge the paralyzing touch of her opponent, however, her horse was not so lucky. Her attack missed, One of the horse's legs was rendered useless, and thus she was thrown from the saddle violently. She'd had enough of that in the past week.
This was going to hurt either way. She had another idea as life returned to the present. As the black and white was shattering in her field of vision, she stood up in the saddle, attempting to steer with leg pressure alone. Both of those visions only had her using one hand with the other on the reins. Quickly drawing the Starborn Edge, Beth could hear more glass breaking in her mind. Just as she had foreseen, her opponent took to the air again, but this time, one of her hands was empty. Leading with its hand, Elizabeth anticipated perfectly.
Black Betty moved to sever her enemy's hand at the wrist with an upward swing to try to knock it away from both of them, and she chose Apocrypha for that job. Her mother's sword was chosen for an attempted kill shot. In her many years of training before she rebelled against her family, Jaden stressed that creatures with no discernable anatomy or weak point still had two potential problems. The head and the heart. The head was almost always surefire, and the heart was mostly guaranteed to stop any assailant. But the heart was easier to hit than the head...
Elizabeth moved to decapitate with the Edge on her second strike. Since both were going at the same time, she was fully committed to this attack, and poorly balanced. This was a calculated risk that had a worse outcome than what she had foreseen in high probability. However, she could hear everyone else around her letting out victory cries. Finishing last wasn't her style. Not at all.
Gli/Faron Woods/Afternoon 8
Did that woman use magic just now? As Gli soared through the air, an enormous aura of energy seemed to be radiating from Beth's hip. As if to respond to it, Beth stood up in her saddle in retaliation to Gli's actions with what seemed like planned swiftness and precision. The tables had most certainly turned, and Gli wasn't liking it.
She did not just...Is she psychic, or am I just that predictable?
The Demon's mind raced, playing out possible escape routes from her current fate as her imagination went wild. No plan that came yielded favorable results...She was in the air, and was at the mercy of the cruelest mistress; Gravity. She tried to remember the contents of the libram as Beth's blade descended upon her, mentally flipping through the book in her memory. Yet again, there was no time for that; There was no time or way to avoid the incoming suckiness. She sighed resignedly. Her wild nature and lack of skill was nowhere near a match for a Woman of War, and she should have known it. What was coming was deserved.
The crunch of metal meeting charcoal filled Gli's ears, followed by searing pain in her wrist and her neck. It was unmistakable; Beth found her mark. As if in slow motion, Gli's dead eyes then looked to see into Beth's before the two passed one another. The instant they looked at one another felt like an eternity, but for Gli, it was a hilarious one. The one who finally got her had the stupidest look on her face, due to most of it drooping as if she had a stroke. The other half of her face, which wore the expression of a killer did nothing to make her look at all menacing.
I left one of the most feared warriors alive looking like as dim as a dropped baby Goron...How poetically ironic.
Gli's head rolled on the ground beyond where the rest of her landed "face first" with a disgusting and clumsy crunch. Her body laid there pathetically in the grass, displaying a symbolic image of the pathetic existence she had led in life. Her remaining hand clutched a clump of grass as if trying to crawl forth before going limp.
Elizabeth/Far on Woods/Afternoon 8
Her face felt so numb she could barely utter a victory shout. But she was feeling amazing inside. This wasn't a big win, but it was symbolic for her. Her former deity could throw anything at her at this point. It wouldn't matter.
Of course, residual disturbances from the vision were flooding in. From the sounds of broken glass resonating with every step her horse took to color fading from her view inconsistently, her mother's sword definitely wasn't doing her favors now.
Trotting over to her enemy's corpse after circling back around, she knew she shouldn't read her old Libram as she had in the past. But it would hold keys to finding and destroying Sourbeneton. It was necessary to get it back.
She dismounted, and she saw Jaden talking with Polaris. She intended to join them soon, right after she got her book. Drool flowed from her cheek. She couldn't speak as she would. No special lines of discontent for her latest victim.
Elizabeth rolled the corpse over with her foot and reached down to start looting. Whatever her opponent had on her could prove useful. Even if the black and white flickering in and out of her eyesight would prove to make this a frustrating task.
Soldat/Faron Woods/Afternoon 8
"You know if you're going to try and return to the world of polite company you may want to stop pilfering corpses like a bandit. It gives people the wrong impression." Soldat said as he approached Beth. He couldn't help but notice she seemed to be struggling just to function; likely due to some injure or just fatigue from the battle.
He place his hand on her shoulder and being pumping her full of healing magic in hopes of getting her back on her feet as quickly as possible. "If you're not able to move I'll help you to your horse. Otherwise we need to get moving. This fight as delayed us long enough.
Elizabeth/Faron Woods/Afternoon 8
Another helping hand from an unexpected friend. Even amidst her heavy cognitive dissonance, Elizabeth could make out what Soldat was telling her. If only he knew why she was searching a corpse.
"My Libram...four nights prior this thing took it from me. If I've got any hope of returning to the world you speak of, that book holds some answers."
Beth continued to rifle through. She saw an amulet that was of some worth, but the book took priority. Where could the possessed plant have hidden it?
"And thank you for straightening my face. Brain's scrambled from my mother's sword. I'm not her, I use it, and it reminds me I'm not her."
As color and monochrome continued to flicker in her vision, she could still hear glass cracking and shattering between words she spoke and other sounds she heard. It was going to take a while for these paradoxes to wear off.
Gli/Faron Woods/Afternoon 8
Gli's left arm shot up like a bullet, aiming straight for Elizabeth's throat. Element of surprise allowed this sudden movement successful, as her sharp fingers dug into in the flesh of the neck it had found. As if powered by adrenaline and magic, Gli's grip held more tightly than was even possible for someone of her size, disallowing Elizabeth to escape safely. Blood lightly trickled down onto Gli's hand, but no movements to cause more damage were made. Immediately next to Gli's body, her severed hand began to spasm and flail, as if coming to life by itself. Horrible sounds of burnt flesh crunching and crackling came from it as it began to grow and completely blacken at an alarming rate.
"And that's how you make a table turn." Gli's head croaked.
The hand began to use its fingers to move around, unnaturally 'running' away into the bushes, out of view.
"...And that's how you make a Dead Hand."
Polaris Eridanus/ Faron Woods/ Late Afternoon of the 8th
Polaris didn't hear much of what Jaden was saying, it seemed though that he was breaking down and dissecting the fight as it happened, which made sense with him being one of Elizabeth's tutors. Jaden would do that. The General however, or at least this version of himself, bore no teacher-student bond with her, only that of battle companion, and, apparently, uncle.
There was still much to do if this war was to be won by the Zora cause, and this fight was wasting precious time. Polaris cast a sidelong glance at Jaden and made to step forward, but appeared to think better of it, turned back to face Jaden and whispered,
"Don't judge an old hat too harshly for breaking one of his own rules.."
Jaden tore his eyes from the fight just long enough to look at him like he fell out of a damn tree, and then refocused on the clash at hand, cursing as he did so.
"What'd you say Polaris? I missed it. And the end of the fight it would seem. Looks like the plant finally wilted."
"Wha-? Oh, nothing. Nothing at all." Polaris stammered as he turned slowly back around.
The plant-like creature appeared to be dead on the ground with Lizzy rummaging through her pockets, Polaris chuckled as he looked over his shoulder towards Jaden,
"Old habits huh? She'll grow out of... what?"
Jadens mouth had just dropped open faster than if an anchor had been tied to his chin.
Polaris wheeled on the spot, and took in the situation, a disembodied little hand scurried off into the distance, vanishping into the trees as the one armed foe clutched at his nieces neck, muttering to herself all the while.
The skies turned to blood as an echo of thunder rumbled in the distance. A thick crimson rime spread across the ground at Polaris' webbed feet and lightning flashed in his eyes,
"Piss on the rules."
He strode forward, wrenching the two apart and flagging Jaden over in the process, "Here, you take one," he lifted Beth unceremoniously and dropped her into the arms of a dumbstruck Jaden and then hoisted a fidgeting and angry Gli, "Oh hush you, you're coming with me and if that freaky little hand of yours comes and attacks me, I'll scorch the earth where it...er...wriggles."
He strode past the group with Gli in tow, they all just gaped at him, wide eyed and wary, turning on them he spat a retort,
"Sorry to break it up, but I've got a king to save and the weed and the witch were wasting my time. Now come on!"
Gli's head/Faron Woods/Afternoon 8
That man just stole my last ditch effort and only chance to transfer to Black Beth...And then took my body with him.
What the fuck.
Soldat/Faron Woods/Afternoon 8
"If we're done playing with the shrub thing I suggest we continue on. If I recall there is a time limit for one of our goals." Soldat said with impatience born from his fatigue. Just as he turned to continue on down the path was forced to stop as his attention was drawn the sound for something approaching them from the thick brush.
"Oh now what?" he grumbled as he draw his blade. "Who's ever there show yourself!"
"High strung as ever I see, Master Soldat du Ciel," a voice called out from the foliage. A moment later a large armor clad emerged from the brush.
Soldat was more than a little surprised to see how had appeared. "Enfer? What are you doing here? I know I called for reinforcements but it’s far too soon for..." the Paladin stopped mid sentence as he started to piece everything together. "This has something to do with the possessed newbie I encounter earlier. What has happened with the portal?"
Enfer took a moment to find the right words to describe the horror he'd witness unfold. "It turns the creator the portal was sitting is was a volcano. A volcano which is now erupting with enough force that I was still able to see the ash clouds from the northern most end of Hyrule when I arrived. Our home is no more."
Soldat tried his best to hide his shock at the realization but even he had trouble maintaining a stoic demeanor after hearing such news. Nevertheless he quickly regained himself and with a perfectly calm ton continued to question his subordinate, "How many escaped."
"The Patriarch fit as many as he could on the boats, mostly farm caste though. What few teleporters that a left have been making trips to-" Enfer was answer was cut short as Soldat gestured for him to stop.
"I did not ask how many survived." Soldat spoke with a voice that had been cut off from all emotion. "How many escaped?"
"My apologies Master Ciel," Enfer responded doing little to hide his disdain over Soldat's priorities. "To be frank, more drones escaped then I was able to count. Worse at least three nobles escaped, one possessing a healer and another that one enchanter who also knows teleportation magic. The third possessed, well someone I'm sure you'll find of no consequence; however I believe that said noble may have the ability to control the drones. All and all, the situation is less than ideal."
"I see, that is unfortunate." Soldat nodded and began heading down the path to the Water Dragon.
Enfer was at a complete loss, "What? Where are you going? Don't you want to join up with what’s left of our forces?"
Soldat sighed trying to keep himself from lashing out the other Paladin in an act of misplaced anger. "I find it unlikely the ships have arrived. As for those that teleported it, there is little action for them to take at this time. At least not until we find out has became of this... swarm. Besides I already expect something like this would happen and have begun making preparations. Finishing those preparations is far more important than me appearing before the survivors. Now since you are here you'll be able to help in that regard. At this very moment we are heading to meet the Water Dragon Faron, I will explain the rest on the way."
The Paladin turned his attention to the rest of his companions," Everyone this is Master Guerrier de Enfer, my second in command. He will be accompanying us for the time being. I hope this is not a problem."
'Polaris Eridanus/ Faron Woods/ Afternoon of the 8th
”No problem at all. Now, lets get a move on.”
Polaris clapped Soldat on the back, causing his armor to clank dully as he strode past him, motioning for the others to follow suit. Jaden, fell in line beside the General as he walked.
As he looked upon the aged and grizzled appearance of his protege, Polaris was reminded of something he’d long wanted to ask him, ”Tell me Jaden, do I really want to know what happens in our...err.. future, that would have you traveling back here so many years after I last saw you?”
It was obvious Bryseis had been expecting the question, but he still chewed on it for awhile, and in doing so stalled long enough for Polaris to enter the spring that lead to the Water Dragon.
”Well, while you think on that, follow me! Motioning to those gathered around, ”I hope you all can hold your breath!”
With a “plop” Polaris dove into the passage that would lead them to the Water Dragon herself.
Kaimu Eridanus/Faron Woods/Afternoon 8
Kaimu was still in Dragon form, staying at the back of the group and keeping mostly to himself. He felt an odd sense of satisfaction with what had happened. He no longer knew if he should hate Sirius, or be grateful, given that the madman had so effectively played every single side of the field in the game that was Kaimu's life.
He heard banter between Jaden, Soldat, and Polaris, but none of it was particularly relevant to him. And in truth, he felt more disconnected from his allies than ever before. As Polaris dove into the pool that would lead to the water dragon, Kaimu stretched his new wings, and arched back, preparing to take to the skies. He pondered waiting for Polaris or notifying someone in the group of his actions, but could not keep his attention upon any thoughts but the desire to fly.
Perhaps we will meet again.
Kaimu took a deep breath, stretched his wings, and launched into the air. No doubt the group would have noticed his sudden departure, but he did not make any effort to look back upon them as he flew away.
Elizabeth and Jaden/Faron Woods/Night 8
Jaden was mulling over his choice of words quite carefully. He did not know exactly what Elizabeth knew. And she looked eager to speak for her uncle before he gave a brief but difficult overview.
"Well, it was for two reasons. Mostly good. Beth here had to find herself. And I could only give her the tools to start that quest. Unfortunately it was a...rocky start. But she has finally turned it around by renouncing that false god."
Jaden paused and gulped before continuing. He pulled out a pale green crystal chunk the size of his fist.
"Then there is the matter that I need you and Beth for. My wife Elly was murdered on our wedding day by none other than the Hated, right as we kissed. I have since become versed in Lunar necromancy in an attempt to bring her back. And I am storming the gates of the underworld itself to save her soul from beyond. Are you up for it? We can get you back to your time after we rescue her."
Beth looked shocked to hear of this plan. She knew enough of necromantic Magicks to believe how he was able to save her soul.
"So that is how you understood me so well! You and I are more similar than you think. Where have you hidden aunt Elly's corpse? And how the hell did you keep it preserved for over twenty years? Damn! You are suddenly even more awesome than I ever imagined."
Jaden started to lose his composure, but he reigned it in.
"All in due time, Beth. But you hold the keys to Hell itself in that sword of yours. And I need your help getting us there. Maybe we can find answers for you and your issues."
Jaden turned to Polaris, nodding in an apologetic fashion. Had he said too much? Either way, he didn't sell it any less direct. He jumped in and started swimming. Beth followed suit leading Myr-Acharn by the reigns.
'Polaris Eridanus/ Inner Chambers of Water Dragon Faron/ Evening of the 8th'
The sound of Jaden’s voice halted Polaris’ dive, instead, the red hued Zora simply tread water as Jaden and Beth spoke. It wasn’t exactly what he’d expected, but it was in the same vein as what he’d expected. Dangerous as hell (in this case literally hell) and with little chance of success. Sort of his specialty.
Polaris nodded. ”To hell and back again, again. Not my ideal vacation spot, but you know I’m in lad. We’ll catch up a bit more later, but for now follow me, we’ve got to see a Dragon about a horse... err… seahorse... or something like that.”
And this time, without waiting for further interruption he swam away.
Long before the others, Polaris emerged into a vast and sprawling cavern, with a large stone island rising out of the depths at the center of the room. The General had hoped that Kaimu would perhaps learn something of his curse at the feet of this wizened spirit, but that wasn’t to be. The large dragon, Polaris’ ancestor, had taken flight almost at the very same time Polaris had dropped below the surface of lake Floria.
”Until we meet again.”
”Ah! You there Zora! You have intruded upon my home!”
Polaris whirled around to find himself face to face with Faron herself, flustered, he dropped to a knee and bowed, ”Forgive the intrusion great spirit, but we do not breach your solitude without need. Our need is two-fold..”
'Water Dragon/ Night of the 8th
Faron rose to her full height and looked down upon the motley crew that gathered before her, an unlikely accord had been struck to bring this lot together no doubt.
”I know of your needs Zora, I was appointed Warden of these woods by the Goddess herself! Few are permitted entrance into my inner sanctum, if you weren’t here for worthy reasons, I would not have allowed you entrance.”
Somehow, the Dragon seemed to grow even more foreboding as she leaned forward, towering over the fellowship of adventurers.
”It may already be too late for your King Tiburon, General, but his son will make a worthy King. Despite that, I will dispatch my swiftest Parellae with pure water from this spring, if Tiburon can be cleansed, these waters will do it.”
Faron dipped her long neck into a bow and several of the peculiar Parella zipped off down side tunnels, no doubt taking short cuts back to the Zora’s Domain. For some time, Faron stared after her offspring, smiling, before regaining her composure and returning to the task at hand.
“As for the other matter, I am bound by my oath to the Goddess to aid those who seek the vault.”
A shimmering blue waterfall cascaded into being from nowhere, its cool blue waters splashing down upon the cold stone platform.
”You will not be pleased with what meets you on the other side, but sometimes, when the greater good is at stake, the end justifies the means.
If there is nothing else step through the falls and be enlightened.”'
Soldat/Night 8/Water Dragon's Domain
"I have to admit, this was easier than I thought it would be. You have my thank Lady Faron." Soldat said as he and Guerrier headed for the waterfall. Guerrier entered first but Soldat decided there was something else that needed to be said before they went any farther. After all there was not telling if there would be any other chance after this.
"Sorry, but I couldn't help but over here what you three were just discussing. I will not sit here any try and give you a lecture about the risks of using necromancy, I'm sure you're all painfully aware of that. I will caution you about involving Miss Bryce in your plans though. For someone recovering from a dark path and recently freed from demonic influence using such magics could cause her to relapse. It would be best if you give up on your plan and all return to you own time." Having finished saying his piece he walked started to walk into the waterfall only to stop short one last time. "Of course if General Eridanus were to return to his own time he'd possess all the knowledge to prevent your wife's death. Not that I would ever recommend tampering with time, of course."
Elizabeth and Jaden/Water Dragon Shrine/Night 8
If the knight only knew what all was riding on his plan. He had barely a clue. Sure, surface reasons were obvious. Quick to judge. But he had spent nearly two decades developing this plan. Planar research, learning a new paradigm of forbidden magic, and training up his niece were only a few of the linchpins in place.
Coming back in time to fix what was broken in Elizabeth was absolutely essential. She wasn't supposed to fall this far into darkness. But he couldn't be further lost in thought.
"Your caution is noted and your concern for my niece is admirable. Yes, she just renounced a false god today. And she can't be trusted by but a few people in all creation. And this plan is absolutely insane to anyone who has heard it. Which is only those present here."
He reached for his flask and finished what little was left inside. Elizabeth was looking at him in earnest because this was a side of him she had never seen.
"To fix this by altering time risks my entire bloodline as well as my tribe. Do I want to say it all never existed? Many times yes. Do I wish to risk a time paradox more than I have already by coming to this era? Certainly not! There are things and people that need to stay in place. Such as Elizabeth here. She was conceived shortly after the tragedies that befell me. And I happen to like her and her twin brother very much. Where we go exists outside of time and space."
Elizabeth added her input as well.
"What we do is evil. Of that I have no doubt. But it must be done. And if the foul wretch who betrayed me is waiting for us there, all the better. We will slay Sourbeneton if the opportunity arises!"
She giggled in a rather disturbing tone. Sure, she was on the mend from a path of pure evil. But vengeance burned within her, and she had her reasons beyond just that...and Jaden had a good idea what she was after. He had no issue with that at all.
Soldat/Water Dragon Shrine/Night 8
Soldat wanted to leave well enough alone. He wanted to just walk into the portal after he said his piece and stay out of the other business. All things consider he felt he had little right to do otherwise but Jaden's response just rubbed him the wrong way. Maybe it was swig of liquor he took afterwards or maybe it was that his stubborn certainness reminded him of his own mistakes. Either way he couldn't just leave things at that. "I don't think you understand the nature of your situation. The three of you already have altered time irreparably. Tell my in your time was there any powerful warrior with demonic magic or a mysterious general aiding the Zora Army? You three have altered the course of a war, and actual war not some brawl in the back roads of castle down but a conflict that will heavily alter the political and natural landscape of Hyrule. You're worried about Elizabeth Bryce not existing, you may no longer exist. Yet here you are. Maybe it’s because you're all anomalies now, or maybe because this was all pre-destined and changing time is impossible who knows either way it far too late for you to worry about worry about causality. Besides you already said you plan to send the General back to his own time when you’re done. Do you honestly believe your friend will be able to resist trying to stop the death of your wife, you nieces decent to darkness and your obsession with that damned-able flask?"
He gave himself a moment to calm himself and breathe after his long winded rant. He couldn't help be feel the half drunk sheikah would never listen to a word was say, but still perhaps he might be able to level with him being more open and honest. No matter how hard it would be to do. "Seven days ago I killed my 13 year old niece after a thought she was possessed. Something from which there is no liberation and a quick death is considered a mercy over the much slower alternative of the Ma slow tearing apart the host’s body. This all happened when I found her being treated by the Zora who found he in the woods a week earlier. Except that was impossible because just the day before she was alive and well with living with her parents. Sure enough I found her alive several days later in the company of a group of brigands. That implication was clear; at some point she would be sent back in time and would end up being killed by my hand. I have spent every waking moment of the last week trying everything in my power to prevent that from happening. I know deep down its wrong, that I should play with time, hell I just scolded Miss Brysies about not an hour ago. What more I've learned that her future version was never possess but instead she's become the host of a being known as Death Angel that was rendered insane by the time travel. She only became the host because I killed the previous host, her father. Yet despite all of this; despite knowing how insignificant I am compared to the very fabric of the universe. Despite how unimportant the life of one little girl is compared the consequence of ripping apart time. Despite the nagging feeling in the back of my mind that this is all just a selfish desire to wash away at least one of the many sins I've committed this week. Despite my sworn duty to uphold the cosmic stability of this world above all else I still cannot stop myself from trying to save her. So Jaden Bryseis, I am not saying these things to stop you or to tell you to let your wife go. I'm not telling you this to keep you from seeking one plan over another, or abandoning both for an unthought-of of third option. I'm telling you this because I want you to know I understand why you're doing what you’re doing. In a way I support what you’re doing, if just not how. I just want you to realize the full implications of everything your doing. And maybe put down that bottle and think with a clear head before you try anything."
With his mind spoken and his soul bared open, Soldat turn walked away from the others and vanished into the portal leading to the Trust.
Gli's head/Faron Woods/Night 8
Silence responded with cruel indifference.
Loneliness began to set in as the world around her grew quiet. With the voices gone along with her body, she had only her thoughts to pass time. Regret for her actions the past week was becoming overwhelming. She should have never touched that amulet...At the very least, she'd be dead by now, which was starting to feel like a plus right about now.
"...I'm sorry..." She tearfully whispered to no one.
Jaden and Beth/Water Dragon Shrine/Night 8
Soldat spoke truth from the heart about why Jaden's plan was flawed. If only there were another way. Polaris was trustworthy and more than capable of handling things at the ceremony if needed.
And of course, for the sake of not causing further infighting within the group, Jaden played up his drunk mind speaking his assumed sober heart.
"Can't even begin to imagine how awful that is. You speak hard truth as I once did at your age. I understand where you come from with this. After this all wraps up I will huddle up and figure out that third option. I still have to return my niece to our era to answer to her mother, and that won't be an issue."
What color remained in Beth's skin left it. From how she understood Jaden's plan in what little info was given she assumed she would have an opportunity to clean up her own mess by dealing with her former fallen deity. And she knew he would be hiding where those who could end him didn't normally want to go. Returning as she was would be admitting defeat. She would bring this before her uncle after Soldat had split from the group. In another time, she might have wanted to get to know him better. Even as a wild child, she seemed to draw the upright folk that struggled to stay that way.
"In another era we would be spending many nights in many taverns speaking of these things, Soldat. For what it is worth to you, you have my respect as a true warrior."
Beth borrowed Jaden's flask and took a swig of whatever swill he was carrying. Gerudo whiskey, thrice mellowed and twice distilled. single barrel. He usually saved that for last. And he never lasted long without a drink.
They proceeded toward the portal, come what may, preparing for anything.
'Polaris Eridanus/ Shrine of the Water Dragon/ Night of the 8th'
As the last of his companions stepped through the shimmering portal, Polaris looked one last time upon the face of the spirit,
”You sent your best and fastest to Tiburons side.”
Faron dipped her head in agreement. ”I did.”
A mournful smile stretched across Polaris’ face as he uttered what had plagued his thoughts the entire journey.
”He’s dead. It’s been too long. The taint was spreading too rapidly… Mako will need guidance in a war not of his own making. Guidance I won’t be here to offer.”
The large dragon dipped her head once more and winked.
Whatever bit of understanding passed between the two at that point was left unsaid as Polaris stepped through the portal.