The War Goes On
Henreth - Kakariko Village - Evening/Night 8
After what felt like the longest time hobbling through a dark field, Henreth finally made his way to the village. Lucky that some people were still awake, Henreth approached the person closest to him and asked where the local doctor is.
"It's a white building with a red roof and the medical symbol, you can't miss it." The person said as she pointed to the right. Henreth nodded thanks as he started to walk in the indicated direction. Finding it wasn't difficult, only taking a moment of searching. He walked up to the door and knocked.
"Yes, what is it?" The doctor said in a yawn after he opened the door.
"Sorry for waking you, but I could use some medical treatment for a couple minor injuries, would you be kind enough to help?"
"Yeah, sure. Just give me a minute to wake up." He opened the door wider and moved aside so Henreth could enter. "Please, take a seat." he said as he motioned to a chair. "So what's the problem?"
"It's nothing serious, I believe it's nothing more than some sprained muscles in my arm and leg."
"Well, I can simply make some medicene for that if I don't have some already made. But I'll still have to do a full physical check-up, just to make sure."
Petrecia Newell/Kakariko Village/Early Night 8
"That will be 550 rupees total for the explosives I provided you Miss Newell."
The lady in question stood jaw agape before the eye patched Goron, her goggles the only things concealing the rage in her eyes.
"What, 550 for a handful of bombs! Popper, we've been buying your equipment non stop for the past 3 days. You've never once charged us like this before, be reasonable for Goddess sake."
Popper for his part simply shrugged off the suggestion that he was taking advantage of the purple clad Skyloftian Knight.
"Trust me those are no ordinary bombs. Just one of my powder kegs is enough to shred even a King Dondongo into minced meat. I've even taken the time to attach them to your Loftwings free of charge. Ask any of my colleagues and they'll tell you 550 is a bargain compared to all the carnage these bad boys reap."
In truth Petrecia didn't really want to reap carnage of any kind. When she graduated from the Knights Academy she had planed on protecting peoples lives from danger. Fighting a war was still a completely foreign and unpleasant concept for her and the past few days gave little time to prepare herself. Still as she looked around the village guarded by Goron Warriors Petrecia reminded herself why such action was necessary. The Zora and their allies hated those who had colonized the continent from Skyloft.
If given the chance they would eagerly burn the village to the ground and drive the land dwelling Hylians back into the sky. "If people are destined to die in this war" Petrecia thought "then it would be much better for the guilty to parish than the innocent." At that moment a brown colored Loftwing swooped in from overhead. For such a large bird he landed quite gracefully mere feet in front of her. From off the avians back hopped a bearded knight in a green tunic resembling the Hero of the Sky.
Petrecia quickly handed over a bag filled with rupees to Popper and shooed him away. Turning around the woman in purple gave a brief salute to her superior.
"At ease Petrecia. There is no need to be formal on a night like this."
"What's the status of the conscript army in the Gerudo Desert" Petrecia asked.
"I won't try and sugarcoat it, the situation doesn't look good. Our forces have lost all momentum and Gerudo have the men pinned down. High command has ordered us to provide immediate air and ground support in order to attempt a breakout through enemy lines."
"So it begins" the warrior maiden quietly said to herself.
"Are our knights ready to go" asked the bearded Skyloftian.
"Most are. I can get Hearon to inform the others still off duty. Sir, we have one problem though. Robin has come down with a case of the Calatian Flu. He can't stand up out of bed without toppling over, let alone lift a sword."
"Damn, we need all the men we can get for this mission. Go and check the medical center and see if you can't get him some blue potions. If those don't work we'll have to make due without him".
Petrecia Newell/Medical Center/Night 8
Following her bosses orders Petrecia ran into the medical office. There she found the doctor brewing up some kind of medication in a small bubbling cauldron.
"Excuse me sir. Do you have any spare potions? I can compensate you for any amount it may be."
"I'm sorry miss, but I just used the last of my healing potions on a patient of mine. You'll have to wait until morning to get more."
"I see, thank you for your time."
Petrecia was about to turn to leave when curiosity caught her attention. Robin was the only one of the knights she knew was sick and he was resting at the Eldin Inn. Was this patent someone she knew?
"...You said you were taking care of a patient. They wouldn't happen to be a Skyloftian would they?"
"To be honest I'm not sure. He appeared to be a knight but I couldn't quite pick out his accent."
"May I see him then?"
"Of course. Follow me he's right in here."
Petrecia walked in the room to find a young Hylian man about her age sitting in a chair rubbing his legs. He looked like one of the castle town conscripts only with more specialized armor.
"What do you think your doing here?" Petrecia asked Henreth. "All new recruits are supposed to be either training at the Castle or assisting in the battle at the Gerudo Desert. For your sake I better not find you going AWOL."
"I was just helping this young gentleman recover from some minor injuries he sustained" said the doctor.
"Minor injuries eh? Can he still fight" asked Petrecia.
"Yes I suppose he now can. I was just about to release him in full health."
"Well then it's your lucky day buddy" said Petrecia patting Henreth on his shoulder armor. "Were short one man and your just the person to fill in. Congratulations on becoming an honorary Knight of Skyloft! Please follow me. I'll give you a ride on my loftwing" said Petrecia as charming as possible.
"...Unless of course you want me to bring up charges of desertion" she said gesturing him for the door.
Henreth - Kakariko Village - Evening/Night 8
After the check-up the doctor gave Henreth medicine. As he sat there, waiting to be discharged, he heard the door open and a woman's voice talking with the doctor's. He ignored their conversation in favor of rubbing his legs as he felt the medicine begin to work. He brought his head up as he heard approaching footsteps.
"What do you think you're doing here?" the woman wearing a purple tunic asked Henreth. "All new recruits are supposed to be either training at the Castle or assisting in the battle at the Gerudo Desert. For your sake I better not find you going AWOL."
"I was just helping this young gentleman recover from some minor injuries he sustained." the doctor said before Henreth could respond.
"Minor injuries eh? Can he still fight?" asked Petrecia.
"Yes I suppose he now can. I was just about to release him in full health."
"Well then it's your lucky day buddy." said Petrecia patting Henreth on his shoulder armor. "We're short one man and you're just the person to fill in. Congratulations on becoming an honorary Knight of Skyloft! Please follow me. I'll give you a ride on my loftwing." said Petrecia as charming as possible, something that made Henreth suspicious.
"...Unless of course you want me to bring up charges of desertion." she said gesturing him for the door.
Henreth did his best to suppress a rising feeling of anxiety. He now had to choose between going back to war or sitting in a dungeon cell for an indeterminable amount of time waiting for death by guillotine or old age. Since war seemed like the lesser of two evils, Henreth released a mental sigh and then spoke up. "Alright, I'll go."
Henreth paid the doctor for his services and medicine. As the two of them left the building, he felt obligated to ask "So, what's the plan, what are we going to do?"
"The army's going to provide immediate air and ground support to try breaking trough enemy lines." She said, recalling what her superior officer told her.
Henreth, not knowing about loftwings, wondered what she meant by air support, but decided not to question it. he'll get an answer soon enough, he supposed. Instead he decided to strike up a conversation. "May I ask what for your name and you're going to do, specifically?"
Petrecia Newell/Kakariko Village/Night 8 "My name's Petrecia Newell. May I ask what's your name?"
"Henreth" replied the man in shining armor.
"That's a nice sounding name. Well then Henreth to answer your question what we're going to do is simple. The Hylian army is currently trapped by the Zora and the Gerudo. They can't seem get through the archers and canon's the enemy is fielding to the rear and their forward units are at risk of surrounding us. That's where we come in."
"Me and the other knights are going to fly in low on our Loftwings and drop some bombs onto those canon's and archers. Then when they're in disarray some of us will hop off our birds and help rally the Hylians on foot. If things go right we should be out of there by sunrise."
As Petrecia walked out into the darkness she led Henreth to her Loftwing. On the way they passed several more of the Skyloftian's and their brightly colored birds. As she passed by Petrecia turned to reassure her new partner about the plan.
"If you're concerned about how you fit into this don't worry. I'm not going to ask you to jump through hoops or put you in any unnecessary danger. All I need from you is an extra pair of hands to drop the bombs with while I fly. I'll do the best I can to protect you and so will Levi."
"Who's Levi" Henreth asked.
"Rraawwwk" replied the teal shaded Loftwing.
"That would be him. Don't be afraid, everyone knows the safest place you can ever be is on the back of a Loftwing."
Petrecia gently petted Levi on the head and he kneeled down so they could climb on. She helped Henreth up onto the rear of the saddle near the tail of the Loftwing. There a powder keg sat to his back. The purple knight then hopped up and placed herself to the front. Between them on the sides sat a bomb bag and quiver full of arrows.
With a whistle called out by the knight's leader the Loftwing's began to take flight. With the unfurling of his massive wings the air beneath Levi rushed earthward with a titanic force. After a few moments of hopping and gaining momentum their mount took to the skies. Once airborne the knights arranged themselves into formation and headed for the western horizon.
Petrecia Newell/Over Hyrule Field/Night 8 Apart from the rushing of the air over their ears things were deftly quiet in the inky black skies of Hyrule. The light of a waning moon shimmered off the waterways below, no doubt now swarming with Zora. Henreth sat quietly behind Petrecia, likely resting from a long and strenuous day. An hour or two into the flight the lead bird rider called out to let them know they were getting close to the target. Turning behind her she saw Henreth wide awake.
"O.K Henreth, were getting close to the desert. I'm just going to slow us down a bit and lower our altitude."
Henreth nodded in acknowledgement. Then they sat in silence a moment. The stillness before the coming battle was beginning to trouble her mind so Petrecia decided to try and start a brief conversation.
"I'm sorry for dragging you into this earlier. It was wrong of me to force you to do this without even asking. Truth be told I don't really want to be here anymore than you probably do."
Henreth - Over Hyrule Field - Night 8
"I'm sorry for dragging you into this earlier. It was wrong of me to force you to do this without even asking. Truth be told I don't really want to be here anymore than you probably do." Petrecia said during the otherwise quiet flight.
"It's alright, don't worry yourself about it. Besides, no one with a right head on their shoulders would want to be in a war." Henreth responded, "As long as we watch each other's backs, we'll be fine."
Petrecia seem to feel better as she nodded back. He could definitely begin to see the battlefield he had previously fought on. Anticipating the fight ahead, Henreth wanted to use what little time they had left to ask one last question. "Hey, do you, by any chance, happen to know why this war is occurring? Is the motivation power, resources, or something else?"
Petrecia Newell/Gerudo Desert/Night 8 Petrecia chuckled at Henreth's question. Looking at him she expected to hear some kind of joke or sarcasm. It took a moment for her to realize the expression on his face was one of sincere confusion. Suddenly Petrecia was dumbstruck with the revelation her new companion was completely clueless about everything concerning the war.
"Wait, what do you mean you don't know why this war is happening? How is that even... Where have you been for the last 8 days?"
Perplexed at his lack of knowledge she continued on.
"Well if you really don't know I suppose I can give you a brief history of the past week. Basically a bunch of criminals have been running around the past few days stealing powerful artifacts. The've taken stuff right under the nose of just about every nation on the continent, leaving only dead bodies behind as evidence. Long story short Zora King Tiburon blames the Hylians for the theft of his artifact and he declares war on Hyrule. Quite frankly the Zora's and their allies are just using that as a pretext to kick all the Hylian's back off the surface world while claiming it's self defense."
"Put in it's simplest terms this is a racial war for land. I've got nothing against the native surface people, but they just can't seem to accept that this land is the Hylian's homeland too. Perhaps in a few generations the'll learn to live peacefully with them. Anyways how did you no know any of that? What exactly were you doing while all this went on?"
Before Henreth could reply the lead knight called out for everyone to follow beside him in formation. One by one each Skyloftian put out the light on their Loftwings helmets so ask to keep their approach a secret. The battle was now dead ahead.
"We'll talk later Henreth. Right now we've got a job to do."
From out of her pocket Petrecia handed over a sturdy cloth like item.
"Here take this spare sailcloth! If you need to jump off you can use it to slow your fall to a safe speed. Also I'm going to need you to use this."
Unsheathing a knife she gently placed in in Henreth's hands.
"You see that powder keg tied up behind you? When I give the signal cut the rope and shove that thing over the edge as fast as you can. Do that and we'll get out of this fine."
Before the flightpath pure chaos the likes of which Petrecia had never seen unfolded. In a disorganized mess legions of Hylians battled hoards of cloaked Zora. A safe distance away rows of Gerudo archers and artillery fired away at the formation-less masses, seemingly uncaring if their shots hit their Zora allies or not. As volley after volley raced across the night sky the Gerudo seemed assured of victory as their front lines slaughtered any Hyrulean that got too close.
Had they looked above over to their rear they would have seen a different story. All in unison the Loftwings tilted their heads to the ground and began dive bombing the ranks below. Out of the corner of her eye one of the Gerudo spotted them and shouted out to the others. Suddenly arrows shot upwards in Petrecia's direction. One of the Loftwings was hit while another's rider was killed. Nevertheless the dive continued as the knights bravely weaved through the anti-air fire.
"Get ready to cut the rope" Petrecia cried out. Levi and her zoned in on the center of the Gerudo formation making sure the bomb would hit it's target squarely.
"3..2..1..NOW HENRETH! CUT THE ROPE!"
Henreth complied and with a quick slice of the wrist and a gentle shove the powder keg fell earthbound along with all the other kegs. Petrecia pulled up on Levi's reigns as they rose to avoid hitting the desert floor. Henreth was almost thrown from the back of his seat into Patrecia's back as the force of gravity worked against them.
Some of the Gerudo tried to run while others tried to take cover. For most their fate was sealed. One by one the powder kegs hit the ground and exploded with such apocalyptic might it sent shockwaves throughout the entire battlefield. The once black sky lit up as if a second sun had risen. Most of the desert archers were vaporized in an instant. Even several of the Gerudo that avoided the immediate fireball were killed as shrapnel cut through them several yards away.
Circling around in a wide arc to bleed off momentum Luvi swooped down to close in on the few survivors. Before they could reach for their arrows Petrecia fired into them using her crossbow. A few were slain while the others ran off in retreat. From across the sands cheering and cries of victory shouted out from the beleaguered conscript army. The army began to rally as some of the spare Knights of Skyloft parachuted down to assist the Hylian's on foot. Petrecia and Luvi loitered above the battlefield picking off stray enemies via crossbow. Rising up to regain lost altitude Petrecia called to the man behind her.
"You're doing great Henreth! If you need to you can use the sailcloth and fight on the ground. Otherwise you can stick with me and we'll drop a few bombs on the cloaked Zoras."
Henreth - Gerudo Desert - Night 8
"I'll stay and help take care of the Zora." Henreth answered back, remembering the Zora he'd seen had a tendency to spill blood. He tightened his grip on the saddle with one arm and reached for her bombs with the other. One by one he rained bombs down on the the Zora, trying to prioritize groups over individuals to maximize damage. The Zora that weren't immediately killed by explosions were injured or scattered, giving the conscript army an even greater advantage. Since neither the Zora or any remaining Gerudo were unable to stop the bombs, the situation was reversing. Any fight they were putting up was slowly becoming meaningless as more and more of them were being dispatched.
The fight raged on for at least another hour. With the Hylians turning the tides, the Zora and Gerudo armies were begining to consider retreating.
Castle Guard of No Significance/ Hyrule Castle/ 8th Day
The young soldier fidgeted in his armor, scratching his chin before responding, “She gives me the creeps, always slinking around in the shadows” an involuntary shudder crept its way up the young guardsmans spine before he quickly regained his composure, “Ah.. ahem.. this way.”
The soldier abruptly turned on his heel and lead the pair into the castle, working his way down the halls and around the corners at a brisk pace, eager to get Arand and her prisoner to their destination and be away from the Kings right hand as quickly as possible. A day of boredom patrolling the outer halls was much more desirable than spending even a few minutes with Impa.
As the trio passed King Dromands study and the door to Impa’s study was within sight, a voice from within the study called out, ”I’m afraid you’ll find that Lady Impa isn’t in.”
The young guard froze midstride, just a few paces past the now open study door, wheeling around the young man found himself face to face with King Dromand Hyrule. Dropping to a knee the young man stammered, “M-my liege, I-I hope that we didn’t disturb you I didn’t kno…”
The King raised a hand, and with a gentle smile, stopped the boy from speaking. ”It is no disturbance Reginald, I was merely having my evening tea.” Turning to face the castle visitors, Dromand kept the smile in place until his gaze fell on Kourtz and the faux Arand, then the king frowned.
”Ah, Reginald, you may leave these visitors with me and return to your post, I will see to matters from here.”
King Dromand/ Hyrule Castle Study/ Afternoon 8
As Reginald made his departure and hurried down the corridor, King Dromand stepped back into the doorway, fully revealing the interior of his study and gestured for the two to enter. Closing the door behind them, the King walked slowly to claim his seat by the fire. Picking up his tea, the king blew away the steam before sipping gingerly from the small porcelain cup. Sitting the cup down, the Kings gaze never waivered from the fire before him,
”Now tell me.. Why are you here?”
Kourtz/ Hyrule Castle/ Day 8
"I'm hear for the truth your majesty. I've come here so I can learn the truth, about you, Impa, and perhaps even myself."
Kourtz let his opening statement sink in for a moment. In truth he didn't know what he should really be saying to the king. After all one wrong slip of his words could land him in hot water or convict him of treason. Still he had to do this, so he put his thoughts and concerns to words the best he could. That way even if he screwed up it would at least be honest to his heart.
"When I first joined the quest to find the trust thief I was perhaps a little... unenthusiastic at first, but at the time I at least believed what I was doing was for the greater good. Throughout that quest I kept telling myself that we were doing the right thing and how peoples lives would eventually be saved through our actions. If I had known however that those actions would lead to the death of even one innocent person then I would have rather rotted in jail than to have helped you."
If Kourtz hadn't been in trouble yet, he certainly was now. Before the king could react Kourtz decided to cut him off so he could at least try and explain what he was talking about.
"When I was arrested a week ago did you make note of a girl named Meredith Delaan? She was an associate and a close friend of mine who was captured by your guards on the same day as me. Given that her involvement with my possession of a timeshift stone was coincidental at best I assumed that she would be let free."
Kourtz quickly looked at the false guard next to him and then back to Dromand.
"Last night however I discovered that Meredith was brutally, and senselessly murdered while under the direct custody of Impa. Whether she died from gross negligence or outright intent I still do not know, but there is no question in my mind that Impa was directly involved somehow. My question to you Dromand is this. What happened to her? Why is my friend dead? Did you know about this?"
King Dromand/ Hyrule Castle Study/ Afternoon 8
It seemed as if even the suns rays which shone into the room bent with the Kings room, as all all around them, the room dimmed, leaving the crackling flames which licked the grate before the King’s feet as the strongest source of light in the room. Dromand realized he had sat brooding for some time, leaving his guest to wallow in the squalor of silence that had befell them after Kourtz had spoke his part. Shifting himself so that the full weight of his gaze fell solely on the presumptuous Mogma, King Dromand Hyrule did not smile, nor speak immediately. Rather, he just looked at the creature, searching him, dissecting his inner workings, heart, mind and soul in succession before opening his mouth to speak.
“My dear Mogma, you presume much. More even than you deserve. You demand truth where it does not belong to you and you dare lecture me on the tragedy that is the loss of innocent life? A tragedy that I assure you I am infinitely more aware of than of the existence or demise of one Miss Meredith Delaan. Regrettably her name means nothing to me, nor does your proclamation of one such as her being under the direct care of Lady Impa or any other of my guard, as her existence was never made known to me. Her death, albeit tragic I’m sure, is but one of many that blurs together and weighs on my soul. I am sorry, truly I am, I understand the significance of the day for you, but for me it was just another. Another day in a string of them as we marched forward, ever nearer to cataclysm. Another day in which war and the loss of hundreds, if not thousands of innocent lives grew closer.”
The veil which clouded the afternoon sunlight seemed to lift as the King relaxed and reached once more for his tea, his gaze passing across and pausing, ever so briefly on the guard who accompanied the bombastic Mogma, something about her, the way she held herself and the aura she exuded, unsettled him, but then again everyone did these days, it likely wasn’t worth the energy spent for him to search her mind. Instead, Dromand took a long draught of his tea and waited for Kourtz to speak.
Kourtz/ Hyrule Castle/ Day 8
Kourtz leaned back and his gaze shot away from Dromand out of an instinctive fear. Never before had he seen such a cold stare directed upon him. Even the Zora had merely looked like they wanted to kill him out of some sense of duty. The King looked like he wanted to devour him whole and spit out the pieces. Kourtz held his head low and spoke to his angered monarch.
"I'm terribly sorry your majesty! I didn't intend to come here to lecture you, or accuse you of wrongdoing, or anything like that! I deeply apologize if I have offended you."
Despite his pleas for forgiveness Dromond's outburst had given Kourtz one bit of information he needed to know. Something about the kings demeanor was just... off. Though there was no proof, he had a Mogma's hunch that Dromand was withholding something from him. After all why would Meredith come back from the dead just to lead him here if nothing at all was afoul. Kourtz needed more information, though he would need to go about getting it in a much more subtle way if he was to find the truth.
"In all honesty you are absolutely right. In the grand scale of this war perhaps Meredith's death truly was an insignificant one. I'm sorry I brought her up when you see so much more suffering then I can possibly imagine. Never the less I feel responsible for what happened to her. She was always there looking out for me when times got rough, and yet I wasn't there for her when she truly needed me."
"I don't wish to trouble you any more your majesty. I only ask, with your blessing, that I may be able to investigate what really happened to her. Something sinister is happening here, and I fear me being lead here is no accident. Perhaps there is a traitor within the mist of this castle causing this trouble. If I can find them then maybe we can prevent more senseless deaths like that from happening again."
King Dromand/ Hyrule Castle Study/ Afternoon 8
The slightest shimmer of amusement could be seen glinting at the outer edges of the kings eyes as he listened to the Mogma grovel and then request permission to seek out his friends killer. Dromand smiled, ”You have my leave to investigate the passing of your friend, however make no drastic decisions or actions. If you find anything of note, I ask that you report back to me and appropriate measures will be taken.”
Dromands wary eye fell on the guard once more, still sizing her up, ”You’ve exceptionally quiet my lady, what is your stake in this?’
Alauth Arand/Afternoon 8/King's Study
While Kourtz faced down perhaps the most powerful man in Hyrule, Arand hovered just to the left behind him. This was taking an interesting turn. But, then, the King addressed her.
”You’ve exceptionally quiet my lady, what is your stake in this?"
"My stake? Well, my liege," her voice twisted the words into a mockery of the man, "I am here to learn the truth, as well. Why does King Dromand Hyrule manipulate events to gain access to the timestone vault? Oh, I don't judge you for the desire, or the methods to be sure. I merely wish to know why. To what ends was this war orchestrated? You see, there are certain answers I'd really hate to hear."
Alauth Arand/Hyrule Castle Throne Room/Day Yes
As Alaugh asked the King about his War, it peered into his eyes, intent on seeing what images floated in the king's memory when he thought on his intentions and desires. But there was something clouding the vision, some veil over the King's thoughts, protecting them. It was just like trying to view the thoughts of the Red General, so very long ago...
“I know what you are, Demon.”Malauth stopped. This thing talking to it, what was it? Tall, with fins and flippers, yet also hands and feet, covered in red scales and black tattoos. There was no other creature in all of Hyrule to mimic its shape.
Ah. I see. Hylia’s new-found General, then? There had been rumors that Hylia had recently been joined by someone called The Crimson General, and that he was some creature otherwise unknown among the races and species of Hyrule.
“I-I’m sorry? I’m no Demon, Mister Big-Red-Fish-Looking-Guy. I’m Goroco, the Brave Goron, fighting for Hylia!”The Crimson General snorted a derisive laugh. “Spare me your trickery, Ma. I see through.”He touched his cheek, and the tattoos there shifted to reveal a symbol from the Ma language. Truth.
Malauth hissed at him. “Cursed thing! What are you, that you know the Demon Script!”
He smirked, confident and bold. “I am Polaris Eridanus, and how I got this tattoo is none of your business. What matters is this: You have very few options right now. You can attempt to fight me, and I will kill you. You can flee back to the Demon Army, and Demise will, I’m assuming, kill you. Or you can choose the third option: I am a practical man, I do not turn down a potential advantage, especially a source of intelligence such as yourself.
“The Ma are not known for their mercy; you’ll find that to be an attribute coming more from the Golden Goddesses. And, seeing as we here are their progeny, it is something strong among us. And, call me crazy, but I feel like you could use it right about now. Come with me, to meet with Hylia, and join the fight against your siblings.
“I give my word, on my honor and my soul, I will do everything in my power to see you are given clemency for aiding us. Hell, I’ll pull my damnedest to get you rewarded for switching sides! I doubt you’ll have anywhere near as generous an offer from Demise.”
Malauth considered this Eridanus for a while, matching the cold Zoran stare with its own. Nothing could be read behind Polaris’ gaze, his mind was as blank to Malauth’s form of telepathy as his face was blank to any mundane perception. In light of such an imposing facade, and seeing no other options, Malauth responded.
“Take me to Hylia.”
Polaris Eridanus/ ?????/ Night of the 8th'
A thick purple haze hung in the air, traces of strong magic were everywhere, streamers darted to and fro in some spots, while in others the remnants seemed to undulate in a more serpentine manner.
People were winking into existence from every direction. A large and extremely familiar building rose up out of the sands before them. As Impa strode confidently down the stairs everything clicked into place for the General.
"Well, this is... something," Soldat snarked as step out of the other side of the portal in a think purple haze. "I suppose the trust stay hidden so long because no one could see a damned thing when they got to it. Enfer are you hear?"
"I'm right in front of you," a voice called out, and with it the Paladin felt a sharp pain in his side, "Master Soldat du Ciel."
Soldat looked down at his abdominal to see the cause of his pain. His vision began to glaze over and his stance started to wobble making hard for him to believe what he saw before it. Guerrier de Enfer's appeared to sticking right through one of hole in his armor and strait into the left side of his gut.
"Wha..." is the closest to a word Soldat could utter as his second in command pulled out his blade and calmly wiped of the fresh blood. The Paladin briefly stumbled back before falling to his knees and his gripped his gushing wound.
"So your blood is just as red of the rest of us," the traitor mused as he looked down at his former superior with smug amusement. "Same color, same texture, just as wet and sticky. You know its funny. Since, well who knows how long we've always had our place determined by our blood. If your father had powerful blood and you inherited enough of that power you were given status and privilege, other wise it was off to the farms. Of course now matter how powerful, skilled, or capable you were some blood was just better. The Patriarch Chamberland's blood, Lord Protector Chevalier's blood, Lord Hospitaller, Champion Ciel blood. You were all better than us. Of course until you weren't, like when the Ten family fell and the Kokoro took their place. Of course bloodlines fade and we have had job to do, so I guess its ok to settle for second best blood if you have to. Hell why should I complain, after all the Master Chevalier was somehow never forced to marry. This was great because it meant someone with 'lesser' blood could rise up. It meant I could rise up. You see I earned my position by merit. I rose up the ranks as a Paladin because I was the best fighter, the best healer, the best leader we had among the Paladin. Then... THEN, a funny little thing happened. You see the Ciel family had two sons. On deserted and the other was useless. That's you Soldat, you are useless. You completely failed to master the Champion abilities that you were suppose to gain from father’s blood so by all rights you should have been sent off to the farms. That didn't happen though. Instead of some reason you were allowed to learn magic because of your mother's father's blood, or something, but it didn't matter though because you had Ciel blood. Now, don't think I'm unreasonable. I know Master Chevalier was a close friend of father's so he felt the need to look after you and keep you out of that miserable life we force on most of the useless failures. The thing is, you kept going up in rank. You're swordsmanship was, but you were so damn scrawny you could barely wield a tower shield properly, and don't even get me stated on your magic. Don't get me wrong that casting through sword trick is really cute and all but last I check we Paladins focus on the healing and strengthening realm of spell casting, so I don't think the whole stabbing someone back to life bit has a whole lot of us. But you had that blood; that damned special blood. So even though you were the worst Paladin I've ever seen, even though I'm ten years your superior and the best we have, even though you could lead a horse to water, you become Master Chevalier's successor, because of that damned special blood. And of course wouldn't it turn out, it’s no different than anyone else's."
"You stabbed my over a promotion," Soldat struggled to say and he fought through pain, shock, and utter disbelief. "You realize I was going to marry the Patriarch's granddaughter. You realize I was never going to be the Lord Protector. It's why I was never given the title, it was reserved for you."
"This is somehow better?" Guerrier fired back, "I've seen your idea of leadership Soldat and I know the kind of man you are. I know the kind of ruin you'd throw the world into with your hypocritical enforcement of scripture. You're in ability to comprehend basic human emotions. The cold way you treat those under you like expendable statistics. The ease in which you can casually dismiss someone’s death as 'for the greater good,' or, 'the sake of divine order;' you are the embodiment of all the darkness that had consumed our order. In your hands we'd be worse than the demon we're supposed to fight."
"You're right." Soldat said much to Guerrier surprise. He finally rose back to his feet having managed to pump enough healing magic into his wound to repair the muscles he need to stand. "I've always been nothing more than a good little soldier. I did want I was told, I believe what was told. It didn't matter if it was wrong or a lie, if the truth ever showed its face I’d label it as heresy and bury it. Some like that has no right to lead. The thing is, a week ago I crossed line, a line that opened my eyes to a few things, and now for the first time in my life I find myself casing the truth. Trust me when I tell you this Enfer, even you cannot begin to image how much of what we've been told is a lie. I still don't know everything, I'm not even sure the Patriarch does; but I know we can find out. I know we can set things right. We can fix the order Enfer. We can make it what it's supposed to be."
"No Soldat," Guerrier said calmly as his eye began to glow yellow and his jet black hair faded to silver, "we cannot."
Soldat look on with complete confusion as second in command began to explain his seemingly half possessed form. "Did you know everything we know about the Ma is limited to the drones? It turns out the nobles are actually vastly different. For one, since they're intelligent they aren't as likely to over use their power and were out a host body. They also don't have to control the host, and some of the more talented can even lend power to a host that's willing to cooperate with them. Now finding such a host would be tricky but Lord Dominium being the fine leader he his, knows how to motivate people. The second he entered me he stuck a bargin with me. I would let him use my body to control his drones so he can conquer some land for them and exact revenge against a traitor to his kind, and in exchange I not only retain primary control of my body but he'll help me wipe out any evils I find in this world. Of course the very first evil I needed to remove was you Soldat. The Guardian Order will of course be next, but it is far to late to redeem it. It has to burn Soldat, you have to burn Soldat. It is for the greater good."
The Paladin tried to reach for his sword but pain of twisting his torso was still too great. Even if he could it wouldn't matter, there was no way he could fight Guerrier in his condition. He'd have a chance of Arch Angel would take over but for some reason the Winged one wasn't stirring at all. It seemed he was about to take his final breathe, and with his last moments all he felt was the deep sinking terror that Shinsou would stumble upon the Ma and be forced to transform but then he was hit with a sudden realization, his sword wasn't broken. The future Shinsou said he'd broken his sword and now he was going to die before that happened. Maybe he'd adverted that future after all.
As a slight smile began to appear on Soldat's face Guerrier found himself unable to tolerate the useless Paladin's existence. He swung his sword down with furious might but instead smoothly slicing though a human skull his blade was stopped by a large arm shaped rock that had suddenly appeared between the two.
"You two are the most long winded jackasses I have ever known. I really mean that. It's not even hyperbole, I've seen Hylian nobles who are more succinct. Now I know his excuse," the rock said pointing back to Soldat, "bad parenting and an existential crisis. But you Guerrier, ranting on forever because you STILL have an inferiority complex. Don't you think it’s time move past it."
"Richter of Seismite, I haven't seen you in ages," Guerrier said with sarcastic glee, "not since you ran away to Hyrule since you couldn't bear to spend another day without Veritas around. Tell me have you ever heard of the phrase goldfish poop."
"The word is friend, Guerrier. Friend, fr-ie-nd, you know that thing we all use to be." Richter fired back finally having a chance tell off his former peer. "Being Vertias' friend when was forced to run away and asked me to take care of something for him I did it. You on the other hand did the exact opposite and decided to take out your frustrations on the squirt."
"Squirt?" Soldat question allowed as Richter's utterance of the nickname seemed to reawaken some old memories. "Wait, are you..."
"We'll talk later." Richter quickly answered. "For we've got this to deal with. The good news is Ma or not Guerrier is a tool. So should be able to hold him off until you patch up. Plus Kamen's hiding around here somewhere and it's totally in his own best interest to help us."
"Ok I'm done waiting." A female voice suddenly called out. "Wrap this up Guardian, we are in need of Lord Dominium abilities."
Guerrier did little to hide his annoyance over the sudden interruption, "Tentatia, I'm not sure how you found yourself here or why you're here for that matter."
"Oh we teleported in right after you appear here. I figured there must be some reason I sensed your mind suddenly vanish and arrive half way across the country. Well that and we found guy who can make those bodies. We need Lord Dominium to make the deal and you to use his powers to transfer the drones. I would have spoke up sooner but I was rather enjoying this little... well whatever this is. The love, the betrayed, the subtext of forbidden romance, it all seemed so alluring. Then this guy showed up and said it was all just bunch of old grudges and dick waving so I forgot why I cared. Honestly I think it’s my host rubbing off on me," the ma noble said as she inspected her newly stolen body. "Anyway, time to go now. You can play with your friends later."
"No! I'm going to finish this now." Guerrier barked.
Tentatia sighed and rolled her eyes, "If only we didn't need you. Oh well I thought this would happen so I brought a few of our soon to expire friends with me to help."
Just as the Ma had said that the purple haze began to clear slightly relieved several drone possessed Guardians ready to pounce. No sooner did they appear did several of Soldat's traveling companions emerged from the portal to even things out. However before a word could be said by anyone visage of several over appeared on the battlefield; a third party who's presence even Soldat was unsure was a good thing. The Hylian's had arrived.
The Paladin could only think of one thing to say, "damn it."
'King Dromand/ Hyrule Castle Study/ Night of the 8th'
Dromand snapped back to reality and realized that the sun had fallen outside of the castle windows and that the soldier, who was obviously more than meets the eye, and the Mogma, were still there.
Had he been away that long? So embroiled in his machinations on the opposite side of the realm that he had left them standing there in silence for hours? Surely not. Yes, the strain of performing such powerful magic at such long distances did cause him to have lapses and weaken his physical body, but not so much that he’d lost entire days yet. No. Time was a fickle thing right now and even moreso with all of the tampering.
A necessary evil he reminded himself.
He glimpsed the Paladin who only just now was scratching the very tip of the iceberg that was his destiny. Even though the King held no sway over Soldat or those of his Order, he was pained as he watched the Paladin being betrayed by his subordinates.
As the Trust hunters began to wink into existence all around the failing Guardian, Dromand whispered, [color#993300]”Impa. It is time.”[/color]
With that, the king waved his hands and the air between he and his two guest rippled and opened onto the scene in his minds eye. In silence they looked upon things as they played out in real time.
”Far be it from me to deprive you of the truth you seek. Watch. Learn. Try and find forgiveness in your hearts for an unjustly burdened monarch. Step through this portal and join those there, or feel free to merely watch from afar.”
She slunk down the steps towards the Zora General with a feline grace, as she did so the purple haze began to dissipate. With the fog lifting, all who were gathered were allowed a view of their scenery, a large sprawling temple rising high above the windswept dunes..
”The Temple of Time. Convenient.”
The red scaled Zora wavered on the edge of a grin as he drew his sword, but Impa raised a hand to forestall him. ”You have every right to kill me in the name of your dead king, rest his soul,” The assassin sized up the Zora, ” And you may well be able to do it, but first mercenary, hear the truth.”
As the fog lifted to reveal the gathered Trust hunters, Guardians and demons alike, a golden glow winked into existence at the top of Temple staircase and left in it’s wake was King Dromand himself.
Whether by force of the Kings will, or out of sheer shock, every player on the field of battle stood rooted in the spot. However, they couldn’t approach him even if they tried, such was the force of his clairvoyance.
Wreathed in pulsing golden light, King Dromand Hyrule stretched forth his hands, taking in all who stood before him as the very last remnants of the magic that’d hung in the air dispersed.
”You will find the vault in the temple behind me barren. The stones are gone. In the coming milennia many a dangers will present themselves to the land of Hyrule, some that require a legendary hero. That hero, however, will need to be well equipped for the challenges that will face him. I have seen those challenges. It is my curse to know all that is to come, and to know that I’ll not be here to keep Hyrule safe when the time comes, so I’m doing all that I can now.”
A window once more opened on Dro. mands thoughts to show the Hero of Time retrieving a mystical Ocarina from the bottom of a moat, a young green clad hero on the high seas, waving a mystical baton. A peculiar whistle. A magical flute, when played by the hero clutching it causes a river monster to flee and reveal a hidden temple.
Those items and so many more became a blur as the whirred passed the eyes of all those present at rapid speed.
A weary sigh caused Dromands hands to drop and his shoulders to droop as well, ”General Eridanus, you know many of the dangers of which I speak. You do not, however, know where several of the key items wielded by the hero were forged. In cooperation with the Gorons and Mogma, the finest Hylian and Skyloftian craftsmen alive are at this very minute shaping the volatile timestones which were housed here into the very items I just revealed to you. For the most part, there are no other known deposits of timestones in the realm, those which are known to us and not already claimed will have been destroyed.”
The portal in both the Kings study and at front of the Temple of Time closed as the light shrouding King Dromand flared violently and he disappeared.
”He’s been playing with a stacked deck all along. You were sent on a wild goose chase. Every one of you. The war, all collateral damage. I could talk about the greater good and ends justifying means but… I’m not going to try and convince you anything done was for the best. I’m not blessed with foresight like my KIng.”
Impa eyed the drawn sword in Polaris’ hand, the three gathered groups, Goron, Zora and Hylian, plus the demon army tightening ranks around them and she queried the Trust hunters. ”So, what’ll it be? Can we put aside our differences long enough to face down this demonic horde?”
Kourtz/Temple of Time/Night 8
After stepping through the portal Kourtz listened on in horror as the King and Impa made their revelation. As they did so, the blank pieces of the puzzle in Kourtz's mind began to fill themselves in. The woman in black who hired Majin, the disappearance of the trust keys, the start of the entire war. These weren't the work of some Zora extremist bent on destroying Hyrule. They were the work of Hyrule's king and his most trusted subject. All of it in the name of crafting legendary items to be used at some far off era.
And he had helped in all of this. Kourtz fell to his knees, and looked over to where Impa stood. The Zora agents, the army behind him, all were irreverent to the truth he learned. The entire time he had served the Hylians, everything he fought for was done under false pretext. Never before had Kourtz felt more hurt more betrayed.
"No. No, this cant be the truth! Impa you couldn't have done this. I trusted you! I followed all your orders. Even when I questioned what we were doing I believed it when you said the Zora were the ones stealing the trust! I KILLED PEOPLE FOR YOU!!!And for what? So you can craft of bunch of fancy items for some stupid hero who will probably never be born?!!"
"How can you live with yourself knowing thousands are dying needlessly because of you? How can I?"
Holding his head down is shame Kourtz spoke to the ghostly knight who walked through the portal with him.
"Meredith you were right about them, about me. I'm nothing more than a pawn and a monster. Please, forgive me. I would do anything to make up for what I've done..."
Alauth/Throne Room/Night 8
Alauth stared through the portal that King Dromand had torn into space. The revelations were enlightening, if expected to some degree. Alauth was no stranger to laying plans that would not come to fruition for generations. But the figures massing around the Trust Seekers that gave Alauth pause. They were Ma, lesser drones the vast horde, but Alauth suddenly recognized the one in middle directing the fight as more memories burst jagged into its consciousness.
Malauth walked among the rabble of Hylians as one of them. They were all that remained from the destruction of Kakir Village the night before. All around, the refugees had looks of stunned disbelief. Some cried, unable to be consoled by their stouter-hearted companions. Oft repeated were questions varying the theme of ‘How could this have happened?’.
Malauth’s construct, an older woman, shared the slack-jawed gaze of incredulity. No one gave a second glance to yet another dirty face stumbling through the muddy field. Demise was winning, they couldn’t ignore that any longer. But some, still, held hope. The Living Goddess Hylia was among them, after all, was she not? Even in the face of the terrible onslaught they had witnessed last night, how could they lose faith in Her?
Well, it was Malauth’s job to ensure they did, wasn’t it? That’s why Demise had sent his best spy to infiltrate the survivors. That was, in fact, why there were any survivors at all. If he had had his way, not a single Hylian would have lived. But instead he had listened to Malauth’s plan, begrudgingly. Now it was Malauth’s turn to take center stage in this bid for freedom against the tyranny of those Three Bitches.
The armies of Demise. Yes, Malauth had fought for them, of course. It had been something of a commander. The same as the three Ma now outside the Temple of Time. Three beings who would want nothing more than Malauth's utter destruction after what had been done. Everything came back into Malauth's memory. Yes, Malauth in truth, now that its mind was no longer sealed, locking away the greater portion of its power. The two betrayals, which would be the end to its existence if these Ma knew Malauth was even as close as it was on the other side of the portal.
The world was a mess of dust and dirt and darkness. After the violent explosion, a stunned silence took hold of the crater. Fighting stopped while both sides recovered. Hylia lay bleeding, cradled into herself. The force of having her divinity torn from her had left her unconscious.Malauth recollected itself. It had not escaped unharmed either. The mere act of reforming a rudimentary construct took all the energy it could muster. This simple Hyilan construct limped over to Hylia and lifted her from the bloody ground.
The Spike was firmly stuck in the ground. Sigils of magic power had been burnt into the dirt around it. Demise was defeated, but he was not destroyed. Malauth could still feel his power, but it was trapped and contained in the Sealing Spike.
"Stay there and rot for all eternity, then, you bastard. I never did like you."
Above, the battle re-engaged. With their leader gone, the demonic horde lost cohesion. Under the brilliant leadership of General Eridanus, the Hylian forces found victory at last on that day. But it was at a great cost. Malauth retreated from the field of battle, protecting the broken woman in his arms.
Chamdar was never found.
"Chamdar... where is my... Where is Chamdar?"
Hylia had recovered some from the ordeals in the crater of what was not being called The Sealed Grounds, but she was still very weak, and faded in and out of moments of delirium. Impa had never left her side, tending to the woman she was sworn to protect.
It had been over a month.
"You're upsetting her," Impa chastised Malauth. "Change out of that form."
"Of course." Malauth's features melted, changing from the Chamdar lookalike to an exact replica of the man. "Is this better?"
Impa's sword was drawn in an instant. "You know that it is not, demon."
"Calm, Protector." Malauth changed form once more, to something reminiscent of General Polaris. "Though I aid you as much as I am able, realize that it is in my nature to... antagonize. I fight it, for all our sakes, but you must forgive the moments that slip."
"When you are no longer necessary, I shall forgive you on the edge of my blade."
Malauth smirked at the zealous woman. "I shall always be necessary."
He strode closer to the recovering Hylia. After her brief outburst, she had fallen back into unconsciousness. The light which once shown deep in her soul was dimmed and gone. Her beauty, while still stunning, was no longer otherworldly, and had a drained look to it.
"Her divinity is gone from her. She is still a Living Scion of the Golden Three, but she is no longer the Living Goddess Hylia. Chamdar, it seems, got what he wanted, if only he were still here to have it.
"Celeste is back."
Impa settled a hard steely glare on Malauth. "We cannot tell the people. After this war, after losing so much, they need something on which to cling. They need hope."
"Oh, no, I completely agree. It's just... this complicates the plan."
"The plan! Demise!"
"Demise is done and defeated. He is no more."
Malauth shook his head with a sigh.
"Oh, if only. Demise still is. He was defeated, yes, but not destroyed. I felt his power still in the Spike. He is merely contained; sealed, but still very releasable. And one day... he will surely break free and his wage his terrible war on this world once more.
"Even now, as we speak, he is no doubt working to gather his power, that we scattered, and free himself. That alone is a threat; imagine if he were to be aided by some outside force loose in the world.
"You know that we never did find his sword. Ghirahim is out there somewhere."
Impa nearly growled at this declaration. "Then what are we to do?"
Malauth brushed the pristine golden locks from Hylia's face.
"I don't know. But I have a few ideas."
"Please, my lady, do not do this thing!"
Hylia smiled with sad compassion at her loyal Sheikah.
"I must, Impa. It pains me, but it must be admitted: Despite its nature, this Trickster has never lied to us, not led us astray. Malauth is right. Demise will return one day unless we take measures to stop him."
"This plan is foolhardy, though! It relies too much on chance."
Malauth interrupted with a snort, "Hardly! I would not leave such an important matter to chance!"
Hylia silenced Malauth with a glare. "The plan as presented is imperfect. But that is why you and I will perfect it." It was Malauth's turn to cast a glare at Hylia. "And we will perfect it without demonic meddling."
Malauth's glare turned to a look of shocked surprise. "You can't just... kick me out! As you've said, I've never led you astray! You need me for this plan!"
Hylia's gaze hardened, enough so that even the Ma dared not speak further.
"It is because of your cooperation that I will grant you mercy and not destroy you for the Ma that you are. But it is for your hubris that I disinclude you. Begone, Malauth! You are not as essential as you believe yourself to be."
Malauth sneered at Hylia and Impa, but they met the demon's glare with stoic and stolid expressions. After a few tense moments, Malauth grunted and left. From outside the tent, it heard Impa's voice.
"After this, it cannot be trusted so easily."
"I have a plan for that, too," Hylia replied.
It was Hylia, of course, that had sealed those memories. It was Hylia who had rendered Malauth into Alauth, sealing the powers that gave it strength, that made it the Ma it had been and was once more. And it was the alliance with Hylia, the defeat of Demise at the Crater, the plan to use a severed construct sealed in a sword to finally destroy the Demon King, that meant Malauth could not cross through the portal into that desert. Not while those other Ma were there. Not with all those drones. Not when Malauth had no true allies.
Kourtz had been speaking. Malauth only now realized that as the mogma began to shakily stumble through the portal.
"I would do anything to make up for what I've done..."
Arand reached a hand out to the small creature. "No! Don't. Those... things... they will tear you apart, Kourtz! You can't..."
Kourtz stopped just long enough to glance over his shoulder at her. "Maybe it'll be better once I'm dead. Maybe I can at least do something good in standing against them." And then he turned back forward with resolve in his face. Malauth wouldn't be able to stop him now, only direct him.
Maybe it did have on ally. And from him, if he could be kept alive, who knew if more might follow?
With an inward sigh and cringe, Arand also stepped through the portal, as good as announcing to the sentient Ma that another of their kind approached. Then, Arand melted away, replaced by a squamous terror that began to swipe at the possessed Guardians with elongated claws, doing all it could to protect Kourtz.
Jaden and Elizabeth/Temple of Time/Night 8
Of all the monarchs Hyrule ever had, the Sheikah disliked Dromand the most. According to historical record and legends passed along, he did some of the most high-risk things a monarch could do. To his credit, he had the stones to do them, such as the timeshift stone grab that Jaden just discovered. How fitting that the vault itself was the Temple of Time. And that a battle left unfinished had found its way to hallowed ground.
And even though one of his objectives failed, that of dealing with Dromand himself, slaying many demons seemed like a very good idea given his plan.
"Ok. I can work with this. I hate doing the King's will here, but I have a plan. Beth, you have my permission to spill as much demonic blood as possible. Try to use Apocrypha to kill them please. We're going to hell in a few minutes."
Beth was short of breath on temple grounds. Holy places were still unbearable to her and she was staggering. The corruption helped to an extent, but there was only so much that could be done for her. And when Tuffy noticed this, he was a little worried. He climbed into her saddlebag and offered to spot for her, which she accepted.
"Jaden, I'll take out as many as I can. But know I am hamstrung here. Unless I'm mounted I won't be of much use. This place saps me even though I no longer have a dark pact."
Jaden looked at Polaris reluctantly. Even though scruples weren't going to matter given where they were all headed, he still had pangs of guilt about tapping into his necromantic paradigm. It wasn't something he was proud of studying, but the benefits were amazing. An inverted Vigilance glyph appeared over his forehead with a pale green hue, and he was muttering in Stygian. Black veins crept into the glyph as his "light" cast out over his allies, granting a blasphemous aura of the Reaper. Beth had felt this power before, but it was fellow cultists who had used it. How did Jaden discover so much in the years she'd been gone?
"Just keep killing them, Elizabeth. You'll find relief in their passing. As will you, General. This aura steals vitality from the fallen and gives it to you. Use it well. The more you kill, the better you feel. So face your demons and don't you dare heel!"
Beth felt a bit of relief already. Her connection to the darkness had not completely severed. She was more familiar with it, and more comfortable with it. But her access to some of her favorite techniques was still blocked. However, she could also feel her Nephilim blood stir. She didn't quite know who to pray to, so she prayed to her Patriarch in a moment of desperation.
"Lord Tirion, give me the strength to fulfill my destiny. My uncle requires much of me, and I know not what he truly desires. We go to a place of ultimate peril soon, but watch over us and fill us with your unconquerable will. So be it."
As she had finished her prayer, a gilded mist began to emanate from her and permeate the air around Polaris and Jaden. She breathed in and felt a focus unlike anything she'd ever imagined. The pain in her lungs subsided; her muscles started to firm up. And she felt a righteous vigor. What had she just done? She could feel her wings ready to erupt at any moment, but she held that back.
Jaden looked over at her and grinned. He had a decent idea of what had just occurred. She was learning how to project her will, just as he had. But instead of auras, she had auspicious mists. And this one helped him focus his rage into something much more lethal...
"Well, General, shall we proceed with the slaughter? I think we can open a gate to Hell on these very grounds, and we need a lot of blood to do it."
Beth reared up on her horse and drew Apocrypha, holding it high. She let out a battle cry, using her Nephilim Will to cause the very ground to tremble at her voice.
Library of Lunar Solace
Obviously for anyone reading what I’ve written, you have accessed the library when I’m not here. That naturally means I have the ability to leave. Now for anyone who has thus far found history on my origin, you know this shouldn’t be possible. I am a part of the library.
Well it turns out books aren’t the only thing you can check out. I’m really nothing more than a book in a strange form, because none of this is real anyway. But I guess that gets confusing if I am physically manifesting in the world. Sirius is a jerk. I’ve lost my place. What was I saying?
Sirius is probably evil, but he’s done so many things that have indirectly helped the world that I don’t really know how to view him anymore besides as being annoying. One thing he didn’t have a hand in, thankfully, is the last battle at the timestone vault, which technically is still going on right now.
I mean not really, but from my point of view, forward and backward in time are the same thing. Do you have any idea how far in the future I am writing this? It’s crazy. I couldn’t even tell you. There are like...things here, that you wouldn’t even recognize.
Also my personality has been contaminated by the library itself. All the fragments of lost souls stored in here over time have changed me. I can’t focus on just the history anymore. I’m the librarian, damn it! I have all of history before me to read! I’m not crazy, I swear.
Let’s get back to what I was saying. You are reading this, which means I am not here to read it to you. Where did I go? Well I’m probably recording the time vault battle. I keep going back to try and watch it over and over. I have the ability to project myself into the minds and bodies of the living (and sometimes the dead) in certain time periods. I’ve visited almost all available locations in time.
What the King did at the peak of the Epoch war was to destroy all timestones. For someone like me who exists at the edges of time, the effects of that are not as they are for those present in the vault. I’ve been able to freely travel across the timeline for much of my stay in this library. I can never interact, only witness, and only ever through the eyes of another. And those I inhabit always perish or were already dead. It is a law of time I only recently discovered, and it is unique to what I do and who I inhabit.
But now, from my point of view, my access to the various timelines of the world are diminished. Almost gone.
The Vault is the only place in time I can still see. It’s where the bomb went off. I mean really. The timestones were destroyed by a shock wave emanating from the Vault. This shock wave kept going for far longer than the King anticipated. He succeeded in destroying the timestones, but all he did was unleash the raw time energy onto the landscape. Randomly and in pockets it has covered the world. Time travel is not rampant, but it is far from gone, and it has never truly been restricted to just the tools of the Hero.
Everyone you would ever want to meet showed up that day.
AD2107, Interloper War Season 2-3 Interim | Undisclosed Forested Area
“Well, I’ve gone and cheated.” Sirius chuckled at himself, as he typically did, regardless of whether he had made a joke or not. He checked the date and his smile faded.
“I didn’t realize it was already here. That we are already at this day.” He stood up from his work desk and dusted his clothes off. “The price you pay for knowing your future is the shock of when it really comes true. Really pulls at the old perpetually-in-denial heartstrings.” Sirius spoke to himself in typical fashion. Though at one point he had hosted a variety of living companions, Vera, his lifelong companion and sometimes wife. Severa, his vanished daughter.
Sirius looked around. He wasn’t at his desk after all. He wasn’t in his laboratory. His own vision was clouded from bitter resistance to the truth. Today was the day he died. He would have thought after all these years that death would be a more welcoming sight. But he only grew more hateful of its presence.
Growing rapidly more cognizant of the situation, Sirius found his old wit worming its way back.
“I have to ask, how is this happening? My records of the future show this isn’t supposed to happen for another two hundred years. You’re getting a little antsy these days, Kokage.”
“I believe you’ve spoken enough.”
“Well. I guess you don’t care for the whole back and forth thing anymore.”
Sirius was facing away from Kokage. His hands were bound behind his back, and Kokage pushed him forward a few paces, giving no further reply to Sirius. In front of Sirius the forest opened up into a small clearing, where a freshly dug grave awaited. Kokage pushed him again, and he tumbled forward, tripping and falling into his bodies last earthly stop. Sirius fell to the bottom of the ten foot drop, taking a face full of dirt as he collided with the ground. Wiping his face and coughing up the soil, he rose to his feet and looked upwards.
“I get the strangest feeling we can be seen right now.” Sirius commented, refusing to break from his persona to show fear of the end. “Looks like the time shockwave isn’t done yet, is it?” He smirked and pointed at Kokage, who now stood at the grave’s edge. “Our ancient Hyrulean King is still ensuring our fate is complete, even now. Look behind you, Kokage.”
The distrust between the two was far too great for Kokage to comply. But the sincerity of Sirius’ voice, and the sheer curiosity forced the forest elemental to steal a glance backwards. What he saw was exactly what Sirius had expected him to see.
“What is it, oh green man?” Sirius asked mockingly.
“It’s the battle at the timestone vault. The armies, the Ma - and just as you claim, the puppets of the king, the Gray Legends of the Trust. They’re all there.”
“Yes...I remember them, at least the ones I saw in the Battle of Disharmony.” Sirius went somber for a moment. “Do you understand Kokage? These are echoes going both ways. This isn’t a time portal or some magic of mine. We are seeing the past, as they see the future.”
Kokage could see that Sirius was telling the truth. Somehow, someway, the murder of Sirius Fulmaren was about to be on full display in the timestone vault. Sirius could see it in Kokage’s eyes. The forest guardian was reveling in the sudden influx of publicity the execution was receiving.
“Sirius Fulmaren. I personally shall carry out the execution for which you have been sentenced.”
The grave you now stand in bears special elemental seeds. These seeds are composed of clone material, taken from the bodies of the very clones you’ve created across the centuries. In your wake there have been collectors from the Guardian Order, ensuring that not everything you do is kept secret, or destroyed.
Your ankles have already been rooted down. Look at them.”
Sirius looked, and saw what looked like normal rope snaking its way around his ankles, and slowly up his legs. It wasn’t changing color, or changing shape. It was just ropelike and moving at a gradual pace.
“Looks like rope to me.” He touched his hand to it, expecting it to burn or freeze or anything. But nothing happened besides the feeling of rope. “Still rope.” Sirius smiled at Kokage. “I would have thought a tree man would be better at this whole gardening thing.”
“What is your name?” Kokage asked, confidently and somewhat defiantly.
“Seriously? My name?” Sirius laughed. “You tie some rope around my legs, and expect me to forget that my name is…” He paused and scowled. “Okay I’m sure this is just one of those tricks, one of those weird things that you can do because I helped create you. Or...you helped create me?”
“What is my name?” Kokage asked, now certain that the ‘rope’ was working.
“...I don’t know. I don’t understand the question. I don’t think I can….I don’t understand the question.” Sirius seemed almost hypnotized. Kokage saw the opportunity to continue his explanation.
“The clone material was studied and engineered into a weapon that destroys memories, destroys knowledge. It attacks the mind. You are ceasing to exist in your own memories. You will burn in this pit, and be buried here. Your soul, should it continue on, shall not be attached to the persona you inhabit now. You are removed from yourself.”
Sirius did not fear his impending death. He no longer recognized himself nor Kokage, remembered where he was or why, and he had no sense of self. While his sheer survival instincts were screaming, it wasn’t to bring a proper reaction as the previously benign rope suddenly began sprouting tiny spines. It had now wrapped around his arms as well, pinning him down.
Just as he did not care what was happening, he could not see who began to shovel dirt into the grave. Sirius was completely isolated inside his mind, nameless and directionless. Above ground, Kokage watched as the grave rapidly filled. The roots consuming Sirius body would be done in mere minutes. To any watching the burial, it would all seem to have been a quick process, but in reality Sirius had been evading death for months, knowing it was due. So for Sirius, it had been long and drawn out, and the last few snarky comments were just the final words of someone who never progressed beyond denial.
“It is completed.” Kokage turned his back on the grave. He strode away into the forest, as the dirt on the grave was covered by a thick mess of vines, curling into brambly loops that warned any in the area to stay back. Sirius would be remembered as a threat even in death.
Warning. Warning. Creator stabilization core components have been compromised.
Sirius is dead. Sirius is dead, all systems fail. All systems will now undergo power surges and an immediate dormant state. Warning. There is no time for evacuation. Warning.
Shutdown imminent. Shutdown Imm-
Epoch AD-1200, The Vault
The Laboratory of Sirius Fulmaren hinged on his continued existence. Every single element of it was linked to him. Its very existence was a mess of paradox magic, hard science, traces of time travel, and a refusal to acknowledge infrastructure problems. In essence, the Lab continued to function thanks to the sheer willpower of Sirius.
Much of the Lab was outfitted with special steel plates, designed to react to the energy put off by time stone destruction. The unique property of the plates was detecting time stone resonance waves, sort of like capturing the waves in a pond, and then using them for energy.
None except Sirius knew of this. However, he did not have the plates installed until after he had learned about the events of the timestone vault, so he was never able to capture the full force of timestone energy when King Dromand destroyed them all.
But timestone waves persist forever, growing and waning in strength perpetually. They ebb in and out of each second of life. Sirius’ Lab only detected them once, the day that Sirius died, when the machines were overloading with energy in a self destruct sequence.
As the armies and the grey legends faced one another, the sky filled with a purple timestone haze. It churned into a mighty hurricane in seconds, and with a sound like Death Mountain erupting a hundred times, a the entirety of Sirius’ Laboratory hurtled from the sky onto the ground, crushing a great number of parties from every army present in the area. As expected, none of the grey legends were harmed.
The nature of the timestone vault was peculiar. It’s size and shape would change to accommodate the current contents of the area. It was a particularly potent feature of a bank of time stone, and proved even further as Sirius’ lab burst into the Vault, rapidly expanding the entire areas size. The lab itself was a mashed up collection of different design elements. The tallest tower in the center resembled a Hyrule Castle Guard Tower, yet the lowest sections were angular and devoid of any major design features, looking mostly like raised boxes. And connecting every part of the lab in seemingly infinite ways were tubes. Some horizontal, some vertical, and almost always twisting around back onto themselves. If you were to squint at it, it might seem like a pit of snakes slowly writhing on an unfinished fort or castle. Adorned across the entire structure were thick metal plates, radiating out fog that rapidly shifted through the entire color spectrum. The lab had been drawn to the vault like a time magnet, seemingly by accident, and all thanks to Sirius’ death in the future Interloper Era.
One by one, the metal plates began cracking, breaking apart, falling to the ground. As this happened, sparks of time energy flew out, creating brief implosions that would leave an effect in the air resembling torn cloth, with black space filling the void formed by the implosion.
As this happened, the various parties in the time vault were all forced to deal with the distraction of the lab bursting onto the scene, while also keeping tabs on the presence of the Ma army, and the unexplained appearance of Hylian, Zora, and Goron troops. Some of the soldiers came into contact with the implosions, and vanished instantly, seemingly popping out of existence. Anyone in the vicinity familiar with the auditory elements of time travel would have immediately recognized it for what it was.
Anyone coming into contact with the implosions was being launched back to the time period that the Lab had come from, AD2107, the Interloper War era.
Tarah Vass / Temple Of Time / Night 8
As the trio of Xiaber, Shinsou and Tarah stepped through the portal and into the empty vault an odd feeling struck Tarah. She should have been listening to the king’s speech like everybody else yet instead she was focused on Shinsou. The young girl seemed to be acting strangely in the presence of demons and it was at this point that Tarah remembered the words of the old hag from four nights earlier. While the others fretted over the state of the time stones and the threat of the horde, Tarah’s eyes glazed over as she flashed back to the conversation in the dungeon, knowing what she needed to do and she feared it.
While various others began to fight, some she recognised, some she did not, Tarah stayed back with Shinsou. The child buckled over, clearly in pain and struggling to fight against the control of another. Taking a deep breath Tarah considered leaving Shinsou, being a coward and running away like she had her whole life, but not today. Gritting her teeth and preparing for the worst Tarah kicked Shinsou onto her back and thrust the Scythe of Shadow downwards into her heart, praying that the old hag had been truthful and that Shinsou’s father’s soul would protect her from this and that she hadn’t just killed an innocent girl on the word of a liar.
As the blade plunged into her chest, Shinsou stopped struggling, lying still until Tarah withdrew the blade at which point she drew a sharp breath and sat up. Tarah let out a sigh of relief on seeing Shinsou unharmed, and suddenly blacked out. Tarah awoke stoop upright with no idea how long she had been out, for all she knew she could have just blinked but she felt refreshed as if she had slept for hours. Standing strangely taller than before, her collection of cuts and bruises from the past few days faded, and energy flowing through every cell of her body, Tarah let out a smile.
Drawing her combat knife and wielding it alongside the Scythe of Shadows, Tarah rose from the ground. Her now perfect figure, tall and muscular, had been enhanced with a pair of jet black wings bursting from her shoulder blades and propelling her into the air. This was no longer Tarah Vass. The Death Angel had taken control of her body and surveyed its surroundings while Tarah’s consciousness fought against the tide, pushing back in a struggle for control.
Soldat/Temple of Time/Night 8
The king’s words did not sit well with Soldat. Too much of this didn't add up. The number of items he created seemed too few in number for the volume of stones vault of this side should have had. Though the kings words did seem sincere when he claimed they were all used up he wasn't exactly in a position to be trusted. After all couldn't this have all been achieved by working with the other Kings? Couldn't they have been able to cooperate if they agree to hide the weapons equally across their lands? Instead he seems to have taken the worst possible option, one that will only escalate things into an even more meaningless war, "That man is a damned fool."
"You should worry about you're own damn self Soldat!" Guerrier yelled as he bored down on the paladin with his overly thick sword. Once again Richter stepped in the way, easily absorbing the blow even with the fallen knights demon enhanced strength. The rock giant counted with the strongest punch he could muster but even though it had connected squarely with the dark paladin's jaw the traitor remained unaffected.
Soldat quickly drew his sword and fired two beams with a single swing just as Richter moved out of the way. Unfortunately Guerrier easily back handed way the one heading for him and force a drone to take the hit from the other.
"Ha! I see you've upgraded that little seal planting trick of yours," Guerrier laughed. "It's just too bad the seal needs to be on the ground since I have an army to take the hits instead. Oh, love the new sword by the way. I guess you woke up one day and realized you still needed a night light."
"No Guerrier, I work up one day and realized I've long since been attuned to-" The Paladin cut himself short as an unsettling chill ran down his spine. It was the same feeling he had when the possessed young Paladin attacked his in Hyrule field as well as just a few minutes ago when Guerrier revealed his true form and gained reinforcements. It was Arch Angel detecting the Ma and struggling to get out. He turned to the direction the feeling was pulling too see a massive beast emerge from a portal at the other side of the battlefield. "Richter, I willl deal with Guerrier. Do you think you can slow that thing down?"
"Actually Squirt, I think that thing might be on our side," Richter replied as he noticed what ever it was seemed to only be attacking the other drones.
"No, this is my time. You have to wait!" Guerrier yelled as he trashed about while clasping his head. "You bastards will live for eons. My revenge will only take another moment. I said wait!"
Guerrier suddenly fell silent as an odd blue haze began to ooze off his body. He slowly stood strait up and removed his hands from his face revealing his now completely white eyes. "It never ceases to amaze me just how much you morals are like small children. Have no concept of prioritization and you always fail to realize who's truly in change."
Soldat and Richter were momentarily taken aback by the new voice that was coming from Guerrier but physical transformation quickly made it apparent what had happened. Guerrier had made a deal with the devil and now the devil was demanding his due. The ma lord Dominium had taken full control of his body.
The two readied themselves for what would likely be the hardest battle they'd ever faced the Dominium raised his hand to halt them. "There is no need for that, Guardians. I have more important matters to attend to then playground grudges. Don't worry, once I have dealt with that traitor I will allow Guerrier to come back and finish playing with you. Until then," the ma nodded before speed off to attack the beast that had just arrived. The beast he knew to be Malauth, the one who betrayed their kind to Hylia eons ago.
"New plan," Soldat said as he unclasped what remained of his battled breastplate. "You go fight the mind reader. I will deal with that one while he's distracted."
Richter quickly dismissed his new orders, "oh come on, there's no way you can deal with that thing alone."
Soldat raised his sword out in front of himself and began drawing out the light energy. A luminescent aura began to from around his body some of it forming into a shield and armor while a large amount piled up on his back formed two large wings. "I am not alone," he said and a second later flapped the giant wings sending him propelling forward towards Dominium.
Soldat landed in hard in front of the ma but even while still off balance manage to attack with a powerful strike. Dominium block but the force of Soldat sudden move and the collision of the two blades caused the Paladin's wings to destabilize and explode. Soldat tried to take advantage of the distraction offered by the sudden shower of light particles and follow through with another strike but the much faster Ma was able to easily dodge.
"Don't get in my way" Dominium yelled as he swung down on the much shorter knight but Soldat shield of light was more than able to absorb most of the blows energy. Dominium had little interest either way and simply broke off the engagement and ran towards his intended target.
"I will not let you have your way here demon," Soldat shouted back and he focused a mass of light magic under his feet. "And I will not let you escape!" The light at his feet exploded propelling the Paladin forward just as he quickly fired a sword beam in advance of his charge.
Kamen/Temple of Time/Night 8
"So tell me more about your plan to burn the guardian order." Kamen whispered from the shadows to the Ma with a female host.
"Oh trying to stay hidden, such a clever little boy," Tentatia mocked. "I'm using a psychic's body I know exactly where you are and what you're thinking. You're hoping to join us for your own purposes and just wanted to know if we'd let you do so without possessing you. Well I am sorry to tell you this but even though we do appreciate offer and admire all that pent up rage of yours we really don't have a use for you. Besides are far as we're concerned we've already weakened the Guardian's enough that they're irrelevant. Anything else is just Lord Dominium indulging his new pet."
"Oh I knew that," Kamen said with an eerie calm as he stepped into view. "I just know telepathy is hard to master, so an amateur wouldn't be able to look very deep and could be easily distracted."
Before Tentatia had time to think Richter appeared behind her and punch her hard enough to send her flying several feet.
Kamen snapped his fingers removing the air from around the ma's borrowed body. "You see I may not like the Guardian's but there are select few people on that island whom I am concerned with," he said as he watched the ma try and gasp for air. "These people just so happened to live very close to the portal you escaped from. An escape I understand caused a lot of collateral damage. That's something I simply can't tolerate."
Kamen paused his speech upon noticing the ma had stopped gasping and was suddenly grinning from cheek to cheek. He was confused for a moment but before he could think about it for another second his concentration was suddenly broken by a sudden and rapidly intensifying ringing noise. As the noise grow the occupying pounding in his head increases as well and in a few short seconds Kamen realized his nose was bleeding and Tentatia was back on her feet.
"That's quite a neat trick sucking out all the air," Tentatia laughed. "I must take a lot of concentration."
"Yes, it does." Kamen said his his rage started to boil to the surface.
"Would you like to know what doesn't?" He said as the wind around him began to violently swill up. "Brute Force." An insanely powerful gust of wind erupted from nowhere breaking off the ma's mental assault and she was slammed into a nearby wall.
Kamen began to lift into the air as a number of small tornadoes formed around the battlefield. "It's not often I get to say this but, I'm going to enjoy this."
Soldat/Temple of Time/Night 8
"You are starting to annoy me Guardian," Dominium growled as he locked blades with Soldat. "I had intended to avoid killing to spare me Guerrier's whining afterwards but you are leaving me with little choice."
"I am suddenly starting to understand why the way I talk annoys everyone," Soldat said to himself as he grew tired of Dominium's self importance. "Perhaps this whole thing is some form of ironic punishment. Which, regardless, please stop talk- no..."
Soldat suddenly froze up giving Dominium opening to knock him on his ass. Domimium began to approaching him reading for a killing blow as the paladin just continued to mumble about what he had just caught a glimpse of, "that damned fool. Why did she bring her here of all places. She was supposed to keep her safe!"
Dominion raised his sword up, "Farewell Guardian. I would like to say this was fun but well, quite frankly you were merely an annoyance."
"NO!" Soldat yelled as he quickly shot up and darted past his confused foe. "Not that! Send her before she transforms!"
He ran as fast as he could, trying to reach the other side of the battle. He was trying to get before it was too late; before Shinsou, how had just arrived, transformed into Death Angel.
"Oh how the tables have turned," Dominium mused as he darted in front of Soldat, cutting him off from his destination. "Normally I am no one for petty indulgences but I could not risk. I suppose this is the point where you say something like 'get out of my way,' or, 'I don't have time for you' all without a hit of irony."
Soldat took a deep breath as began to focus his energy and raise his sword above his head. He step forward and with a might swing created a crescent blade of light magic, "True Light Blade..."
"Is something that slow suppose to be a threat," Dominium boosted as he took he raised his tower shield as slow as possible just to farther mock the paladin's effort. However, to the demons luck, Guerriers voice managed to scream out in his mind before it was too late, "<You idiot, dodge that!>"
"STRIKE!" Soldat yelled slashing upward and unleashing a shock-wave of energy at the Ma. Unfortunately Dominium was able to avoid being sliced in half. He did not, however, get away unscathed as the Truth Blade cut right though his shield and heavy armor and cleaved off his left arm.
The paladin saw little reason pay the demon any more attention and ran off to try and stop the transformation any way he could. However just as he arrived, the woman whose care he'd left Shinsou in had already dealt with the problem. She'd stabled his niece in the heart.
He tried to form words but couldn't. He tried to move but couldn't. There was nothing he could do but stand there and try and comprehend the situation but his mind was just overwhelmed. Just as he started to get a hold of himself things got even stranger. He noticed Shinsou was unconscious but unhurt; and even stranger, against all logic that woman had become Death Angel.
The black wing spirit surveyed that area with a half dazed look in her eyes. "Where... Why am I here? Where is this? Am I here to fight demons or is the old purpose again? There's time magic, is it the old purpose. No wait I'm in the desert. Is this a memory? No there are no mechanically people. But I'm in the desert, or am I. No I'm somewhere else too. There is time magic here though, and ma. What am I suppose to do? Do I have too? I don't want to but I suppose I have to. I have to kill everyone here."
"What the hell is wrong with that thing!?" Soldat yelled as he watched the angel begin to decimate everything on the battlefield in a mad confused daze. Yet, despite knowing he needed to stop her somehow, he couldn't move. He knew that thing was far beyond his ability. The only chance he'd have is if he allowed Arch Angel to take over but there was no guaranty he wouldn't be just as bad. Instead he just stood there paralyzed, complete unable to act. That is until he noticed a tiny side effect of the Angel's rampage. All the power she was throwing around was reacting with the left over time magic brought by that mad man's flighty vault. The more Death Angel unleashed her might the more small time portals began to open and close all around them.
Soldat looked over towards his niece. She lying there slowly regaining consciousness but still covered in some of the feathers that had fallen from the Angels wings. She looked exactly the way the Gerudo described she did when they found her.
He ran towards Death Angel. He didn't know what he could possibly do, but he ran towards her none the less. With no other option jump in front of the celestial agent and yelled as she swung around her scythe, "Stop this damn you!"
The Paladin knew his voice would go unheard. He raised his blade to try to stop the Angel's attack but it was to no avail. As the Scythe of Shadow crashed with Sword of Light the cracks that had been forming on the blade though Soldat's battles finally became more then it could handle. The Sword of Light shattered.
Soldat looked up to see Shinsou glaring at him from a distance. He saw a portal open up behind her and tried to call out to her but it was too late. The power released from his clash with the angel and mixed with the turbulent air Kamen had summoned up causing a massive draft that threw the girl into the time portal just before it closed."
Soldat fell to his knees as became over whelmed with despair, "...no..."
Jaden and Elizabeth/The Vault/Night 8
The two Sheikah charged hard into battle. Beth followed Jaden's orders to take point while Tuffy called out marks from a saddlebag. Polaris was hanging back a bit, but Jaden had an idea as to why, especially given where they were planning on going.
"Hey you two, don't forget to save me one. We need a live one for the spell. So don't be too reckless out there!"
Beth opened up the action by trampling two of the demons while riding by another with a slash from Apocrypha across its chest. Jaden was mopping up from her left flank, as she had equipped her Hylian shield to protect her rein hand. Beth had sent her slash victim flying, but it got back up quickly to press the attack. Jaden was hitting full force with his zweihander, but it wasn't enough to take them down with one hit. Between the armor and the fact that these were possessed hosts, they weren't the fodder that they'd been used to seeing most of their time in this era.
Then again, they weren't primordials either.
A quick switch to a defensive formation was called by Jaden as the two arced back toward Polaris to protect him. He was tracing an outline in the sands with his feet as he moved to beat back the horde of demons that had surrounded their position. There was no end to them. Before Polaris could make them aware of the situation, the three warriors had carved out a good amount of space.
"A lot of good this is going to do us. Our attacks aren't very effective against these things. Uncle, your plan sucks. If we even make it, how are we going to fight anything there and win?"
Tuffy jumped out of his saddlebag and took a look around.
"O ye of little faith. You three keep those things busy. I think I know what kind of circle you three need. Seriously, who elects to go to Hell?"
Dragging his tail in the sand, the fat cat began to trace out placements for Winter's Tide and Apocrypha while placing all of the correctly inverted sigils. This was going to take a few minutes. But the three hell-bound warriors were holding back the tide well enough. Winter's Tide was cleaving a chill of death while Apocrypha spilled some blood, taking in a few souls. Jaden was taking a decent amount of punishment while trying to subdue one with his hilt and the flat of his blade. He wouldn't allow himself to be flanked, and let sweeping strikes keep unwanted foes away. They were stronger than even he expected, but he didn't let that affect him.
Beth was having trouble staying mounted. Enemies continued to close in and try to pull her off. She had used her shield more than her sword in knocking them away. Myr-Acharn was getting her workout, bucking on back and front legs. Powerful kicks helped to clear space around her as well. She contemplated calling on the Celestial blood within her to further assist, but when Jaden saw that look in her eye, he glanced with displeasure. He'd noticed powers at play in this battle that he did not want to attract while they were planning on making their escape. He'd seen some of these powers in his own time, in other conflicts.
Once Tuffy had finished his tracing, he let out a lazy meow and stretched out a bit. It was time to help while someone pulled back to start the ritual up. His ideal day of laying around and drinking milk was still a long way away. But he had that to look forward to, because he surely wasn't signing up for another adventure of this caliber again for a long while. Or until Beth needed him. Which he hoped was as a feline companion, especially curling up in bed at night.
"Which one of you feels the most inclined to begin? The sand's starting to get a lot more blood-soaked than I'd care for. I'll take your place as the Mane event."
Shifting into a Celestial Lion, he walked alongside Polaris and reared up, assisting him in parrying blows and countering incoming attacks. Jaden had nearly subdued his mark, beating him down while trading blows. He'd sheathed his zweihander and gone unarmed at this point, using brutal close-quarters attacks that would kill most mere mortals. The soggy impacts didn't show much lethality on the one he was beating on, but it began to slow down a bit. Beth was still holding her own, but she and her horse were showing signs of mild to moderate injury as their kills and attacks were not matching pace with being outnumbered.
Kourtz/Temple of Time/Night 8
As Kourtz readied himself to fight the Demon hoard he honestly didn't care much whether he lived or died. The events of the past week had caused Kourtz to break every law and every part of his moral fiber that he held dear. The revelation that he had done so for a cause that was a lie was the last straw. Nothing remained of his once kind and cheery personality. He hated himself for everything he did. Kourtz looked out at the army before him and picked out a target.
There he saw an elderly possessed guardian wielding a short rapier. Kourtz threw out a bombchu which went securing across the floor. Running at full speed towards him the Demon easily leaped over the mechanical weapon and rolled to the ground as it exploded harmlessly behind him. The Mogma fired back using quick shots of his slingshot. With superhuman speed the knight deflected the pellets with several swipes of his sword.
As the Ma neared striking distance Kourtz launched one final volley of electrified pellets. The possessed man slid under them and fired back with a sword beam. Hit in the legs Kourtz fell down and grabbed his knees as he screamed in pain. Blooded and broken on the desert floor the Demon approached to finish him off. As he lay there staring down his killer Kourtz’ mind turned one last time to the moment he most regretted. To the Zora guard he had killed in desperation at the Battle of Disharmony.
"And here I believed you were the one being used a pawn. I should have been the one to die that day, not you."
The Mogma looked up to see the Ma, sword drawn, ready to strike down. "Goddesses, please forgive me" Kourtz said as he closed his eyes and waited for it to all end. Yet as fate would have it his end was not to be. An inhuman claw raced forward from behind him to impale and kill the Demon. Kourtz picked himself up to see what should have been Meredith, now transformed into a giant creature fighting for its life to protect him.
He was astounded to see the once gentle and soft-spoken shopkeep turned into such a fearsome fighter. From what little he knew about spirits from the afterlife, none of them were supposed to have abilities of this kind. To be so active, so tangible in the world of the living. Kourtz couldn’t understand how it was at all possible.
"Meredith, where did you get such power? Ghosts aren’t supposed to be able to do that."
Kourtz ducked as a trio of guardians fired arrows in his direction. The monster Meredith’s arm changed shape into a massive shield to protect Kourtz while its other limb transformed into a claymore that decapitated them in one swing. Then he remembered seeing such abilities beforehand. The last day he had seen her transform into a guard to help the treasure hunter break into the castle. And come to think of it, wasn’t there a being in the castle dungeons that did the exact same thing?
As he threw bombs into the distance to slow down the guardians attacking them Kourtz turned to his savior to speak.
"Meredith, are you even really dead? Could you perhaps be… a shapeshifter?"
Polaris Eridanus/ Temple of Time/ Night of the 8th
Much and more had happened since Polaris had strode into the haze ridden shadow of the Temple of Time. There’d been no chance to verbally respond to the question put forth by Impa, an unspoken accord had been struck though as those in his command had begun fighting the demonic intruders. Polaris of course, fought as well, but he found himself disenfranchised from the battle. His heart wasn’t in it any longer.
It was time to go back. Almost. First, he had a promise to keep to Jaden, disregarding the fact that this Jaden would cease to exist as he was now when Polaris came to his wedding armed to the teeth (and you could be damned sure that he would do just that), Polaris still felt an ache to help his protege and it was because of this ache that he reminded his pupils,
”Hey you two, don’t forget to save me one. We need a live one for the spell. So don’t be too reckless out there!”
As he called out, Lord Tuffington joined him in preparing the circles for the gateway rite, Polaris hadn’t even realized what he was preparing for, his split in multiple directions and his body worked as it did so. Of course the blood rites if performed properly would work on a demon. If something went wrong, well… Polaris was pretty sure he might… might… survive bursting into hellfire. Best not to botch the rite just in case.
As they put the finishing touches on the diagram, Polaris noticed Beth’s stamina flagging, so it was to her that he went first, as he strode forward, the Crimson General gave the Celestial Lion a head nod and wink. The mighty feline leapt forward, planting a pair of massive paws on the breastplate of the possessed guardian and taking Beths place in the fight. Beth’s look was only partially murderous as Polaris stepped in front of her, ”Give me your sword.”
Lizzy cocked an eyebrow and gave a derisive snort, ”Are you daft uncle? You seriously expect..”
Polaris cut across her, ”I’ve no time for arguments Lizzy. Your sword. Now. And stand in the area where the two circles overlap.”
Elizabeth made to protest again, but Polaris merely raised a hand to forestall her. ”Trust me.”
With a frustrated grunt she handed him Apocrypha hilt first and turned her mount towards the area indicated. Polaris strode to the closest circle and planted the sword blade first into the turf, muttering and keeping an eye on Jaden as he did so. After Apocrypha was positioned just so, Polaris moved to Jaden who’d spent the better part of the last 10 minutes pounding the face of his opponent into a pulpy slush. The Ma was still inside, its vessel still intact. Barely. Polaris laid a hand gently on Jaden’s shoulder. ’It’s time old friend.” Polaris lightly separated the Sheikah from his punching bag and motioned for him to join Elizabeth in the intersection of the circles. As Jaden did so, Polaris drug the near incapacitated Ma behind him as he drew Winters Tide and placed it in the circle opposite Apocrypha. Polaris joined the others in the intersection, still dragging the Ma in his wake.
’Tuffington! Now would be a good time to rejoin us friend.” The large lion turned towards the group, blinked and shook out his mane before batting away his combatant and bounding towards them.
Once they were all in place, Polaris looked down at the demon possessed man, ”This is going to hurt a lot worse than anything else you’ve felt today. Jaden, Lizzy, shield your eyes.”
Polaris dropped the limp form of the Ma at his feet and brought his hands together at his chest in a pose resembling prayer and willed the copious amounts of blood oozing from the wounded creature to do his bidding. It wasn’t long before the sanguinous liquids swirled into the air around them as Polaris poured all of his focus into the task at hand. Hands still clasped, a bead of sweat formed on the Generals brow while the swirling vitae funneled itself into a steady stream, filling the intricately outlined stars and circles with the mans lifeforce.
With the circles filled and the husk of the man lying at Polaris’ feet, he threw back his head, stretching his arms wide as his eyes flashed crimson. The as the essence of the Ma itself, slowly became exposed by Polaris’ conjuring a crackling bolt of crimson lightning tore open the heavens, illuminating the night sky a crimson hue much akin to some of the inner sanctums of the seedier establishments of Kakariko.
The bolt struck Polaris cleanly and forked in two directions so it looked like a bolt shot out of each of his hands, striking Winters Tide and Apocrypha the dual anchors. Light and dark. as the circuit was completed the Ma was ripped from the shell of the Guardians body. It’s unholy scream would turn the skin of even the most stout of heart, but it was heard only briefly.
Any whose attention was drawn by the heavenly crimson lance or the wailing demon were surely taken aback when they saw the yawning pit open beneath Polaris and his compatriots and swallow them whole.
Soldat/Temple of Time/Night 8
Everything had fallen apart. His second and command had betrayed him. Much of his forces had taken over by the very demons they were supposed to fight. Death Angel was running amuck on the battlefield with no concept of friend of foe. His new allies had left for a time and place unknown. Worst of all, after all he'd been though, Soldat had failed to protect his niece. With no where left farther to fall his only option was to shut down. He could do nothing but sit there on the battlefield staring at the shards of his shattered sword. A sword that was once all that remained of one of the few people who cared for him.
He briefly looked around the battlefield with a glazed look in his eye. All those present were still fighting to survive against the horde of Ma while dodge Death Angels in discriminate wrath. The bodies were starting to pile up and if this were anything to go by, this scene would soon be replayed all over Hyrule if nothing was done. He again looked down at his broken sword and picked up the single shard that was glowing the brightest. He knew the only option left to him now, the option his sword was made to prevent unless it was a last resort. "I suppose things can't get much worse..."
The single shard of the Sword of Light began to glow with greater and greater intensity as the paladin allowed what was left of his consciousness to slip away. The remaining pieces of the shimmering shattered sword began to turn into pure light and were drawn into the main piece as it began to levitate in front of him.
Soldat's arm reach out on its own to grab the glowing mass or metal and magic. The ball of pure light began to stretch grow as it reformed into a proper blade. Soldat's body rose back to its feet; his body now glowing with a holy light. His wounds quickly began to vanish and his armor started to repair from nothing even taking on a more pristine look then it original had. A shield made of pure light formed on his left arm and a large set of white wings burst forth from his back.
Arch Angel had return to the world once more.
A horde of drone Ma instinctively rushed the Angel all at once hoping overwhelm him before he could act, but its efforts were fruitless. Without even turning to face them Arch Angel slash to his side launching a shock-wave of light cutting his attacking clean in half at the mid section.
Despite its very reason for being Arch Angel seemed be paying little attention to mass of demons, instead it was half mad Death Angel that drew his attention. With a single flap of his brilliant wings the Angel was flung to the other side of the battlefield just in time to block the Scythe of Shadow before it decapitated a random Hylian soldier. "Are you still broken from that day sister? Are you still so haunted by that sea of sand that you can control yourself?
The black winged one could only babel in response, "I can't, I don't. I don't know what's..."
"Lord Dominium! We have to leave now!" Tentatia yelled as she struggled to drag the drone possessing the teleporter over to her wounded leader.
"Leave? LEAVE! We can't leave, the traitor is right there. We cannot leave!" Dominium barked.
"Please my lord," Dominium begged, "we can fight both of those Angel, and you've lost an arm. Let the Angels kill Malauth."
Dominium glared at his subordinate with rage filled eyes, "I will not let our kind vengeance be stolen from us by our enemies. I will not let anymore be stolen from us by puppets of the divine."
Tentatia was not swayed from her stance, "And what of our kind's revival? We need you to move the drone to their new bodies. We need you to control the next wave to escape when that volcano erupts again. Would you rather lose our vengeance or our future?"
Dominium took a moment to calm himself and think rationally, "Let us take our leave. The drone will stay behind though. With luck they'll weaken the traitor and the mortal armies. Assuming those two damned Angels to kill everything here first."
The weapons of the two Angel's clashed over and over. The raw power from there blows and the conflicting magics created waves of chaotic magic and pure force that blow away any one foolish enough to get close. "I'm sorry sister, but if you are still not capable of reason then you'll need to return to you slumber. I will deal with the demons myself." Arch Angel swung down on Death's Scythe with all his god like might. Death Angel, unable to think rationally pushed back in kind. The resulting clashing sent shock-waves through battlefield strong enough to fling the lightest of those present flying far from the temple. Both Angel's were unwavering in their strength, but the same could not be said for their weapons. Much like the Sword of Light was born from a battle scarred sword the Scythe of Shadow was made from a aged and warn tool, and it was starting to crack.
"Where am I?" Soldat ask as he floated though an empty void, "Where is this place?"
"I'm not sure ‘where,’ is the right question." A voice called out from the nothing.
"That voice!" Soldat said as he suddenly found himself standing up right and able to turn towards the source, "Yasu!"
Yasu continued taking as if Soldat's surprise was without cause, "'What is this place?' is probably the more sensible thing to ask. Don't you think?"
The Paladin was too flustered at the sight of his dead friend focus on his point "Yasu, how are you here? Is this real, you're d... I..."
"Of course it’s real Yuji, and why are you so shocked to see me? I've been by your side for days now, remember?" Yasu said remaining dismissive of Soldat's confusion over his presence.
"Yeah, as a sword." Soldat said as the shock started to fade, "I don't know if you realize this but swords don't turn into people. Besides you broke and that doesn't explain this endless white void. Whatever it..." Soldat stopped as his noticed Yasu grinning waiting from his to finish his thought. "Fine," Soldat sighed, "what is this place?"
"Right question. If you asked that first you would have know how I'm here already." Yasu grinned.
"It's no where," another voice called out. "It’s an illusion created by our souls reaching out to each other. It’s a way for us to understand our contact through a physical representation."
"...Yuichi..." Soldat said once again overwhelmed by conflicting emotions.
"Did you have to explain it in such a cold way? You need to describe something as beautiful a soul realm so clinically." Yasu said dismayed at Vertias' boring exposition.
"Sorry but we have only a fraction of a moment. I couldn't wait for Yuji to rationalize your romanticizations," Vertias responded.
Soldat was overcome with emotions as he struggled to find the right words to say, "Yuichi, I, I'm sorry. I failed. I killed you and now your daughter. I was a full this whole time. I..."
Vertias ignored his brothers words for the moment and continued with the matter at hand, "Yuji, I'm sure you've already started to realize this but everything you ever knew about our order is a lie. I started to understand that when I became Death Angel's host but I don't have time to go into greater detail about that know. If it comes down to it my uncle or Lord Protector Chevalier can tell you everything. What I need to tell you know is about the two Angels. We were raised to believe the White Wings of Divinity and Black Wings of Balance were created for our order to help fight the Ma, but this is a lie. In truth these spirits long predate our order, maybe even all of Hyrule."
"That much I’ve learned." Soldat said as he struggled to keep himself together." They're really Death Angel and Arch Angel and were gifts to the order from the three. That's why they have a will of their own, right?"
Vertias nodded "Yes, but that alone is of little significance. More importantly there's the matter of what they were before they were bestowed upon the order. I can't say I know much about Arch Angel but from what I can gather it was created to fight the Ma from the moment of its birth. Death Angel on the other had once had a different role, one that I think should be clear from its name."
"It's literally the Angel of Death isn't it? A bit on the nose." Soldat said almost annoyed with how obvious it seemed.
"Not exactly," Vertias respond. "I think it’s better to think of it as the Angel of Light. Nothing is permanent in this world and nothing exists on its own. For something to be made something else must be consumed. Imagine you had a forest and there was an animal in that forest that was immortal deer that eat the leave on the trees. Now say that deer breeds and more immortal deer are born then in turn give birth to more immortal deer. Their number would just increase and increase until there wasn't enough forest left for them to eat. They'd have to spread all over the planet and eat every other forest as well. It wound continue until nothings left. On the other hand imagine if you could suddenly kill every last one of those deer. Well know the forest would grow out of control until it suck up all the life from the earth which in turn would cause to forest to die off. I think Death Angel exists to prevent these kinds of things. I think it existed to create death or prevent mass death to ensure life as a whole could continue. I'd say our named for it, Black Wings of Balance is the more accurate title. The thing is, I think it still has the roll after all it’s a roll that needs to exist. The problem is doing something like that means having a sense of morality far separated from the one we have as mortals, and I think it use too."
"Use too, in other words. Learned to value life the way mortals do." Soldat said to reassure himself he was following his brother’s train of logic. "It learned our morality didn't it, from using us as hosts?"
Vertias nodded again, "Correct, and I think that's what caused it to go mad. I'm not sure but I think it has something to do with the Lanayru Province. I know it use to be a lush ocean and that there were being there abusing Time Stones. I think Death Angel may have wiped them out and the guilt from that overwhelmed it and started to drive it mad. I think that's also why it stuck to the Champion for so long. The Ciel family’s techniques are powerful but nothing that could reshape the landscape. It was likely the perfect hiding spot at least until father died. When that happened it was left with three Ciel's to choose from; but you and Maiko were young and had a lot of potential for magical power. That left me as the logical choice; the only problem was I had blood from the Ten family. This meant I had enough latent psychic power to hear its cries."
Soldat's shame for his past actions was suddenly intensified, "You left because of Death Angel forced you too?"
The older brother shock his head, "I lived on the island for quite some time with this voice in my head if you recall. Besides I wanted to keep looking after you Maiko and Kamen. I left because the patriarch was considering going back on his deal with our father and allowing me to hold my position. I was worried that would have caused civil unrest which wouldn't be a good thing near that portal with a half crazed angel nearby. I guess the irony is I still ended up a farmer. I got to have a family though."
The paladin couldn't look his brother in the eye any longer, "I'm sorry, I took that I way from you. I destroyed everything."
"Ridiculous," Vertias said dismissively. "The only thing you did wrong was show up a week earlier than planned. I suppose the Hag's predictions aren't always 100% accurate."
Soldat stood there completely confounded by what his brother was saying.
"Come on no you can't blame the Dancer of Shadow," Yasu injected. "The actions of that cult woman mess with her predictions. She had no way of knowing Rubedo would be killed. Besides you failed to play your roll properly."
Vertias was far from convinced, "Perhaps, but I only acted as I did because Death Angel was getting worse. I know now that was from Shinsou becoming the host instead and time traveling. Do you really think that old woman wasn't aware of that? I think everything went exactly according to her... Vertias was cut off space around him began to crack. "Damn it, we're almost out of time. Yuji, listen to me very closely. The weapons we've been sealed in don't just seal away the Angels they allow the Angel to use their current wielder instead of the host if they share a close enough bond. The young woman the hag gave me to was able to transform because of her connection with Shinsou. So if Shinsou is dead how could she still be Death Angel? I wanted to explain everything to her as well but it seems she's still partially continuous and unable to speak with us here. You'll have to be her guide, Yuji. You'll have to help both them with these powers during this war. You'll have to guide to order as well, Soldat. The space around him shattered leaving only a black void that quickly faded to white.
"Yuichi wait!" Soldat cried out. "I'm sorry! I'm sorry, I'm so sorry. I'm..."
Severa - Night 8 - Fulmaren Laboratory
Severa gently set Annie down onto the floor, and looked around. Moments ago, the four of them had been walking through the forest, then a dark presence began to interfere, and then her memory went blank, and lastly she came to her senses standing where she currently stood.
“My father’s Lab.” She said, expecting immediate questions from Ella and Stella. But the two had nothing to say. The Lab was shaking, making incredibly loud urgent sounding noises, and the shouts of a battle could be heard outside. Then at last, the questions started.
“Your fathers lab?” Stella asked.
“I guess.” Severa replied, not fully certain why it looked so unfamiliar. It was clearly Sirius’ lab, but very different from how she remembered it. She heard Bernard’s voice buzzing around her head. The fighting outside got louder, and Severa turned to Ella.
“Ella can you - watch out!” Severa was interrupted mid-sentence as a swirling time vortex opened right next to Ella’s arm, brushing up against the girl, causing her to vanish instantly. “She’s...gone. Where did she go?!” She looked around and Annie was gone as well. These people had a penchant for sudden vanishings. Severa wasted no further time idly thinking, and rushed out the door, headed for the nearest exit. She came out onto a balcony, and gasped at the sight of familiar faces from the storm assault mixing it up against a demon army.
She looked around, and then glanced her - Elizabeth, standing with Jaden and Polaris.
“Elizabeth!” Severa called out, but it was too late. A gaping hellish portal had opened on the ground at Elizabeth’s feet, swallowing her and her allies. Severa began to shout incoherently, losing focus, not fully catching on to the fact that the Lab had begun to shake more violently, and the surrounding battlefield was growing hazy.
And then it calmed. Pitch blackness enveloped the Lab for just a moment, and then suddenly in popped the moon and the stars. The landscape began to come back into view, and the shaking started again. The lab’s structure began to crumble even more heavily, and Severa continued shouting for Elizabeth as the balcony she stood upon collapsed into nothing, sending her hurtling towards the ground below.
She saw the ground coming up fast and knew this could be the end. She passed out before completing her fall.
Summary: Severa and company are in Sirius’ Lab. They transported there from the alternate universe forest, but don’t know how yet. She goes outside the Lab and sees the battle in the vault. Then the Lab uses the last of its energy, and is sent back to the IW Era.
Henreth - Gerudo Desert - Night 8
Henreth and Petrecia continue their aerial assault on the Gerudo and Zora. They were in no immediate danger since the vast majority of the archers were killed, and the few that were left were not organized enough to pose any kind of threat. As they continued, Petrecia was taking potshots with her crossbow when she could.
This went on until Petrecia noticed she was getting too close to a wall for comfort. She pulled to the right for more space, but the sudden movement threw off Henreth. He was reaching for another bomb but the sudden shift caused him to fall over and barely hold on. He felt as though he was going to fall off, but he was putting too much energy into holding on. He quickly as possible reached for the sailcloth with one hand and barely manage to pull it out before letting go with the other. He got it to work immediately and slowed his decent to a crawl.
He looked down to see how far he had to go until he reached the ground, but he saw some kind of distortion underneath him. It seemed unavoidable due to his lack of knowledge in working the sailcloth. He eventually fell into it before disappearing in a flash of light.
Path to Succession, Completion
Soldat/Temple of Time/Night 8
The blades of the two essence weapons grinded against each other with the eminence force of two celestial beings behind them. The conflicting magicsspiraled around with a chaotic beauty that was only dwarfed into its awe-worthiness by the massive pressure wave it caused the erupted thought the temple. The deafening wave of air roared though the surrounding halls falling silent only once the vacuum had created silenced all within the Grand Temple. Even as the air quickly returned to the battlefield not a sound was heard as all around could only look on with trembling awe until finally the silence was broken by a sudden metallic ping.
A small crack and appear on the Scythe of Shadow and the damage did not go unnoticed by the Arch Angel. The White Winged one seeing his opportunity quickly moved to unlock there blades than slammed back down to weakened part of the scythe. The raw might of the Angel and the Sword of Light overpowered the damaged reaper caused it to explode it into countless pieces.
In a moment of near clarity Death Angel looked upon her brother with shock that quickly turned to gratitude. Before any words could be exchanged Death's black wings shattered sparing the area with its obsidian feathers. The visage of Angel of Balance faded away leaving the young Tarah Vass to collapse to the floor."Rest now sister,"Angel said with a hint of sympathy, "may we will meet again when your soul re-finds its balance."
"Now for the task at hand. It seems this body can use the Champion form so I suppose this should allow me to end this quickly." Arch Angel remarked as he raised his blade into the air. "Seeking, Holy Light BURST!" Hundreds upon hundreds of massive blasts of divine touch light magic erupted forth from the blade of light showering the battlefield with a blinding luminescence. This, however, was not some random act of destruction. The balls of light, instead of flying out at random briefly circled around the angel before flying forth solely at the remaining Ma, striking them down without prejudice.
With the threat removed Arch Angel drifted back down to the floor certain that his task was complete "The was easier than I suspected. They must have already been half de- No, it seems I missed one. With a single flap of his magnificent lily white wings the Angel launch itself through that air at the last remaining Ma which had taking over the body of some strange beast.
The Angel bore down on his final foe intending to quickly cleave it in two; but instead, at the last moment, he yielded. "I, I know you. You are the traitor Malauth aren't you?" the Angel asked with disdainful intrigue. "Interesting... I'm sure you know what I am demon, and I'm sure you know I am not one suffer one of your kind so understand why I am about to tell you is not an option. The situation has gotten out of hand to an extent not seen since I was first bound to a mortal host during your kings war. It is because of that I will spare you for now but only with the understanding that you remain useful the mortals of Hyrule. You will aid the Guardian's in the War, Demon Traitor Malaulth, or I will return to slay you once and for all."
Arch Angel slowly started to walk back to where his sisters host and fallen earlier. His exquisite holy armor slowly returned to its original plain steal form and the damage to it returned shortly thereafter. The Angel sheathed his sword and the shield made of pure light vanished. The scares his host had gained though his life began to return and the wound achieved in battle began to partially reopen. The Angel stood over the unconscious temporary host one last time before finally his wing evaporated into pure light.
Soldat, once again himself, fell to his knees next to the young woman who had unfairly been dragged into his world. A began providing a steady flow of healing magic into her until she was able to regain he consciousness. "What were those things we turned into?"
Soldat was far to physically and emotionally exhausted to give anything more than a clinical answer, "Celestial Spirits called Angels. They have been bound to my people for eons to aid our people in our fight against the Ma. Shinsou is currently the host for one of them but somehow that Scythe of yours allowed it to temperately transfer to you. I apologize that you had to go through that but since someone has young as her cannot handle the transformation it was a blessing of sorts."
"Shinsou? Oh my god what happened to Shinsou!?" Tarah asked as she started to recall all that had happened after her transformation.
"She..." Soldat stumbled with his words as he struggled to have to explain his sins that he'd failed to prevent, "she was more than likely sent back two weeks in time. She will end up collapsing in the desert until she's found by Gerudo. A short time later I will encounter her and in a moment of poor judgment become wrongly convinced she was possessed and mercy kill her. I have been told that there's a chance she'll still alive but I cannot see how that is possible.
"Oh hohoho!" a crackling laugh suddenly broke out from a distant shadow, "that's because you're an unimaginative lummox, Soldier of Heaven."
"You, I remember you. You are one of those Gerudo witches I meet. Why are you here?" Soldat asked.
"Hooo? Gerudo Witch? Well I suppose shadows can play tricks on the eyes. They can make a person see something that's not really there or make them see something differently from what it really is. More so if some old hag cheats and makes that happen on purpose," the witch snapped her fingers and a wave of shadow washed away from her body revealing her true self.
"Hey, you’re the old lady who gave me that scythe," Tarah called out.
"Oh, impressive that you'd be able to recognize me with how dark it was. I knew picking you was the right choice, and you did not disappoint deary. You played your roll magnificently." The hag stopped to pick up a large piece of the Scythe of Shadow that was near her fight. After the old hag slowly straitened her back back up and she held it shard out and caused it to start to glow. Suddenly, just as had happened to the Sword of Light, the remaining pieced that were scattered across that battle field turn into pure shadow magic and were rapidly draw into the single piece.
"Now as for why I'm here," the old hag said as she formed the shard back into the Scythe of Shadow and used it as a cane to walk over to Soldat. The hag slashed the air above the Paladin leaving a purple tear hovering in the air and Soldat completely confused. "Well don't just stand there pondering your own anus. Reach out to catch the poor child."
"What are you..?" Soldat was about to ask but in the nick of time managed to develop enough sense to do what he was told and managed to catch his niece just as she fell from the floating shadows. "What? How? What?"
Before the old hag could explain the sleeping young girl began to awake and look around, "TARAH!" Shinsou yelled with a sudden burst of energy as forced herself from her uncle’s arms and ran over to hug her protector. "Tarah you're ok. You turned into that weird thing after the dragon teleported us but then somehow I was in the desert somehow for days and I don't know what happened but I woke up and there was this guy I wanted gone and this voice wanted him gone and I think I black out again after that and wait isn't this where we were before?" Shinsou rambled barely remembering to breathe.
"How? How did you manage to save her?" Soldat quietly asked the old hag.
"I didn't. When you stabbed her she was transforming into Death Angel. You halted the transformation but the healing effect it causes lasted long enough for her wounds to heal the second you pulled out your sword. As an added bonus since she never full transformed the wounds never partially returned as they do when a host turns back so there's no permanent damage. Considering what transforming would have done to a girl her age you actually saved her," the hag explained, "save her in the stupidest way possible but it’s all that could be expected from you."
"If she was alive the whole time why did you keep her hidden?" Soldat inquired.
"Pay attention for once you dimwit," the hag barked as she smacked Soldat on the head, "she's host to Death Angel. Her time traveling meant the Angel was in both version of her at the same time. That thing is unstable enough as it is; splitting its consciousness in two would make it even worse. It would be enough to rip the child's mind apart with it. It was all I could do to keep her in a coma this past week. Beside it was essential everything play out as it did."
"Play out as it did?" Soldat responded quickly becoming irate. "Do you mean to tell me you did all this for the sake of your damned plan!?"
"Don't be dim Soldat du Ciel," the hag barked back, "I was avoiding a paradox. Besides my plan was to take advantage of your idiot second and commands possession. You weren't supposed to arrive here for another day. Instead your brother was suppose to get involved in this mess and end up fatally wounded at this battle. He was supposed to slowly bleed to death but I had arranged for Rubedo Ten to mercy kill him and create a shadow weapon as an angel key. You would have arrived with the rest of the Guardians shortly thereafter and end up creating that sword under more or less the same circumstances and hopefully still have some growth of character. Oh, it was quite a fool proof plan until that time traveling cultist killed Rudedo and ended up alerting the Guardians to a demonic presence in Hyrule. Everything would have fallen apart and the Angels done who knows what if that little girl hadn't wound up in the desert a week before you killed her father. Fortunately it tipped me off to everything going wrong and I was able to... adjust. I did have to throw in my wild card but he managed to play he roll predictably."
"I do not understand, if you can see the future and altered why were you unable to tell when Elizabeth Bryce altered your little plot," Soldat inquired hope he'd be able to knock the old bag down a peg.
"Because she can't see the future," a voice called out from nearby drawing the attention of the two.
"Oo hohoho, speak the devil. I figured mentioning you were my unwitting pawn would draw you over here. You're as ill-tempered as you were as a boy Kamen," The old hag mocked.
"And you're just as insufferable," Kamen fired back. "The hag's just a shadow mage, she can't see the future. That stone just boost her power up enough that she can figure out when someone's near death. She can see what "inevitable" was how she always put it. She just takes advantage of that knowledge to manipulate the events around it. Either by direct action or manipulating people with her "prophesies" they'd do exactly what she what to either for-fill them or avoid them. I caught on to her game as child when she was training me."
"Oh hohoho, yes you caught on so well you even tried to copy me. And how well you must have learned, what with the grands ckeme you've been engaged in all week. What was it again; aimlessly stubble through this war while pretending like you know everything in the vein hopes someone you don't like will give you a chance to lash out at them. 13 years you've been in Hyrule. 13 years I've mentored and schooled you; yet your still that same 12 year old boy angry that he had to move away from his family," the hag berated her charge before turning her attention back to the two young ladies that had become dragged into this mess. She turned to Scythe of Shadow back into a single shard and handed it back to Tarah, "I'm sure you'll find the scythe somewhat more versatile now that it’s like this. Now, what will you do from here one out."
"For now she should bring Shinsou back to her mother. She lives on a farm nearby that larger lake," Soldat interrupted.
"No," Richter called out as he finally joined the conversation, "her mom moved back to the boot store. I can bring them there."
Soldat shook his head, "I need you and Kamen to come with me. The Hag can show them were to go."
Richter just laughed, "You think the hag will do what you want her to?"
"I think the hag owes it to both of those two to keep them safe just as much as I... do... Where did she go?" Soldat asked as he looked around once her realized the hag had vanished.
"Looks like Kamen took off too," Richter added
"Oh hohoho," the hag's laugh crackled out from everywhere and nowhere, "you think you have the right to tell those two what to do? They will walk their own path Soldat du Ciel. Any involvement on your part will be on their terms. Oh, hohoho!" The hag's laughter continued until slowing fading away from ear shot.
"I suppose she is right," Soldat said resigning himself to the situation at hand. "Young miss I do not know what you intend to do know, but at the very least a twist of fate has forced you be involved in a war between cosmic forces. Now I swore to that child's father that I would look after the both of you and guild you through thing, but the hag is right. You are not actually one of the Guardians and I can't force you do anything. At the same time I can't join you down you path either. If you wish you can go to Hyrule Castle and find Shinsou's remaining family. They can shelter you and better explain to you everything you have been dragged into. If not, or rather regardless of what you choose, I will make sure you both survive this war unscathed. For now though there are some people that will be arriving in Hyrule shortly that I have to go confront."
Soldat du Ciel/North-Eastern Shore/Day 10
The sound of distant yells and hammering singled the end of a two day long journey that only had howling winds and the sound of heavy footsteps on icy snow to break the silence. As Richter and Soldat climb over the final ridge the expected source of the commotion came into view. The landing party of what was left of Guardian's was setting up camp.
Path to Succession, Epilogue
"Soldat? We were just discussion sending a messenger to find you," Lord Protector Chevalier said in greeting his protégé. "I suspect you know what's happened then."
"Yes," Soldat responded bluntly, "where is the Patriarch. I have important matters to discuss with him."
"He's in the large tent down that way," the old Paladin said pointing in the direction was Soldat had already walked past him having suspected the Patriarch would be in the one tent already set up. Chevalier stopped Richter before following out of concern over Soldat increased coldness, "It's been some time Richter. I suppose I should be thanking you for looking after things in Hyrule but first..."
"Don't worry about, the runts fine he just learned the truth." Richter said hoping to put the old knight at ease. "You're gonna want to hear what he has to say though."
"Soldat, I didn't expect you'd be able to find us. Tell me, was your mission a success?" The Patriarch asked as the Paladin entered his tent.
"In a manner of speaking," Soldat responded as he paced around the room instead of kneeling. He's breach proper decorum did not go unnoticed by the Patriarch who was grow visible irate. "The winged ones are under control, the previous hosts are dead, the dark presence our seers detected is gone, and the time stones have been destroyed."
"You were supposed to recover the time stones not destroy them," the old man growled.
Soldat was quick to correct his leader on the nature of his orders, "I was suppose to keep them of the wrong hands. The Hylians did that for us. The king of Hyrule had them converted into artifacts and hidden away for use in future catastrophes. There may be scraps and dust let, as well as some hidden un-mined remnants. Nothing significant though."
"I will judge what is or isn't significant. Take what's left of our forces and search every inch of this forsaken land. I don't care if you have to steal back the little toys the Hylians made and draw out what's left of the stones in them. I want every time stone we could possibly find," the patriarch barked.
"To what end?" Soldat asked.
The Patriarch's eyes widened with rage, "are you questioning my commands."
"Yes," Soldat answered bluntly. "You see, Lord Patriarch, this past week has been very enlightening for me. As such I can no longer trust that your actions are for the purpose of securing the world against the Ma. Case in point would be you ordering what is left of our forces on a wild goose chase instead of engaging the demonic army laying siege to this land. So sort of a very good explanation, I will not waste any more time searching for irrelevant indigo rocks.
"He want to freeze our home," Chevalier said as he entered the tent with Richter. "More specifically he want to seal the entire island in some from a time lock. The Guardian's have been experimenting with the means to do so since the previous Patriarch's reign. So far we've only manage to slow time in a very small area. For what the patriarch wants we would need a sizable quantity of time stones. It would be a good plan were it not for the fact that he plans to seal the entire order in with it. In case the lock brakes of course."
"You crazy old jack ass, why the hell would you do something like that?" Richter yelled.
"Because our people are dying off!" the Patriarch boomed as he shot up from his chair. "With each passing year our population declines, with each new generation our powers weaken. Within a century there will be no one left to fight the Ma. No one left to keep Hyrule from returning to that age of chaos. This is our only option."
"Liar." Soldat said just above a whisper.
The Patriarch shot him a glare that could pierce through a steel plate, "excuse me?"
"You are lying," the Paladin challenged. "The Order is only in decline because of you lies you force us to live under. You lie about how our abilities are passed down. You lie about who has powers. You lie about everything and the second some comes to prove around you hide them away or have fools like me killed them off."
The Patriarch simply dismissed Soldat's allegations, "This is nonsense. Rejectio no Ten has been putting ideas in your head hasn't he? I should have known he wouldn't keep up with his end of the bargain."
"The old man did not tell me anything, and what is this bargain you speak of," Soldat inquired.
Chevalier suddenly chimed in, “It was a deal he made with the four of us that learned to Orders true history in exchange for our silence."
"Chevalier if you dare speak a word of that nonsense I will-" the Patriarch started to threaten but was cut off by the old Paladin.
"You'll do what? Renege on your end of the deal? I think we're already past that," Chevalier accused. "One by one you'd gone back on your world to each and every one of us. Still I kept silent because I told myself it was for the greater good, and because I hoped you'd give Soldat my title one day as I asked. So this is what I'm going to do, I am going to tell these two everything. Then I am going to let them decide our future path. After all, our time is over Lord Patriarch. I think it time we let the next generation take the reins of leadership."
"Chevalier turned to Soldat and Richter and took a deep breath, "The four of us were all close friends back in the day: Rejectio, myself, the Patriarch's late son Robert, and your father. So when we realized Rejectio wasn't developing telekinesis we wanted to make sure he wouldn't end up in the farms. We spent every night in the great library going though every text book we could find in hopes we could find some kind of ultimate spell he could learn so the Patriarch would have to acknowledge his worth. Of course he'd already managed to teach himself a wide array of spells on his own but Robert knew his father would ignore that simply because there were no mages in the Ten family line. Things weren't looking good and Rejectio's 14th birthday was coming up soon. In frustration your father hand flipped over a table, a tabled that had a hidden switch attached to the leg. It opened up a panel in one of the support beams where we found a book that had been hidden away. The book contained the complete history of the Guardian Order up until 500 years ago when the Patriarch's grandfather sealed it away since the truth would have hindered the social reforms he created and we now live under. The story that The Three created us when Hyrule was first formed to protect the world from the Ma is a lie. The Ma were not sealed in Hyrule when this planet was created, nor were they sealed by The Three. We were not created as a separate race with powers far above the others. The truth of the matter is we sealed the Ma 1200 years ago when we first formed. The original members of the Guardian Order, our ancestor, were merely Hylians. A sizable number of Hylians refused to hide in the sky as the Goddess Hylia wished. They stayed behind and fought alongside the rest of the army and when Demise was sealed continued to fight his minions pushing them farther and farther north until they had one final battle at what is now the Guardian Island where the Ma were all slain and their spirits sealed. Those winged ones, the Angels, they were likely a gift from the Three and only the descendents of the original Guardians can host them. Other than that though, we are no different than the people from the Sky."
"And the Patriarch, he knew all of this?" Soldat asked.
Chevalier shock his head, "No, he knew the book existed but refused to let us tell him the contents when we found it. Instead he promised to grant each of us one request each in exchange for our silence. Rejectio ask for his right away. He wanted to be allowed in the order as a mage and made the Great Wizards apprentice. It was granted but the Patriarch sent him away to Hyrule as soon as the Grand Wizard's health faded so he couldn't succeed him. Naturally this has left us without our only remaining Wizard when the Ma broke free the other day. I asked to be allowed to name my own successor so as to avoid an arranged marriage. Eventually I choose you of course but the Patriarch refused to give you the proper title and again sent you away to Hyrule. Your father asked for his marriage to Rejectio's sister to be validated. The Patriarch refused that one so he asked for your older brother to be legitimatized and be allowed to succeed him. You're already aware of what happened with that one. Robert actually didn't ask for anything for years, I think didn't want to feel like he was extorting anything from his own father. Until one day your brother mentioned a farm boy he'd met that had wind magic. Robert likely feared what his father would do to cover up the child's existence so he asked that he be trained and allowed into the order. Then Robert died and the Patriarch banished the child to Hyrule like all the others. He was only 12 years old at the time. I still remember his mother's cries as they yanked him away. All for the sake of maintaining a failed breeding project."
"Vertias always blamed himself for everything that happened to Kamen," Richter added, "he had asked me to look after him when he left for Hyrule. I tried by best, I even followed him to Hyrule to try and help him out. Well that and because I wanted to get the hell off the island. But between how the Zora and the Guardians treated him the guy just has too much hate in him. The Patriarch brilliantly took one of our most powerful mages and turned him against us."
Soldat just stood there silently think about all that he's just learned and everything he's learned since coming to Hyrule. More and more the course he'd had to take was becoming clear. "Kamen Viento is powerful enough to create tornado and has enough fine control to suffocate someone with touch, yet he's the son of two farmers. Rejectio no Ten has a 8 year old granddaughter, whom without training has demonstrated telepathic and clairvoyant abilities above that of most of our seers. My niece, born the a Hylian mother and a farmer Grandmother is not only the host of Death Angel but has terrakenetic powers great enough to reshape the landscape. I have seen a future where there are Hylians, Gorons, Shiekah, and Zora who have powers as great and greater than many of our own. I think that is a future we should strive for. I think that is a future I will lead us towards."
"Just want do you think give you the right?!" the Patriarch yelled
Soldat turned away and opened to flap to the tent to look out at the remaining Guardians working hard to set up a camp. "I am the Champion of the Guardian Order. It is my duty to lead our order in a time a war such as the one we find ourselves now in, and this is the path I plan on leading us down. We will fight to kill or contain our possessed brothers. We work to keep damage the ridiculous civil war the Hylians have caused from getting out of hand. And when that's all done I will sail back home with any Guardians or Hyrulians who wish to join me. I will reseal that damned portal. And if I have to I will rebuild our order from scratch. I will except you aid if you are willing to give it Lord Patriarch but do not thing for a moment you can stop me; because for once in my life I am going to do the right thing.