OoC: Lean on me, when you’re not strong. I’ll be your friend. I’ll help you caaaarry on! Whoo! Sing it!
BiC: Leita slowly sat down beside Leonna, casting a quick glance at her to make sure this was okay to do. She didn’t seem to be bothered by it, so she stayed seated on the bed next to her. And then Padme asked her what the vials were.
“Oh, um …” she began, but then wasn’t quite sure herself at first. She lifted up one of the vials and uncorked it and then gave it a sniff. She blinked, and then eyes widened with amazement. “This … this is liquid star light—It’s very rare. I’ve only seen this once before …”
And she instantly felt her stomach drop, vaporize for just a moment, and then a sick filling clenched her throat. She knew this was liquid star light because her uncle had had some bottled before. He had showed it to the class he had been teaching at the Fortress during the early days of the rebellion. She always remembered it sitting on the shelf in his office. She tried not to think about those days very much.
She tried to think of why Adrien gave this to her instead, and she tried to rearrange her expression quickly. But she had never really been good at that. Adrien had said he thought it would help Leonna regain her energy. Now that she thought about it … the energy in the vial was very similar to Leonna’s energy. It took her a moment to unstick her throat to speak again.
“…L-Leonna, you should drink this. Adrien said it would give you back your energy.”
Adrien stared at the mask with a solemn and thoughtful expression. He looked up to Judo again.
“I see, like Leonna said you helped seal the curse away. Good work, that’s really all that saved Caragon. Isabella and I would have been too late otherwise … However, I think it would be very dangerous to use this mask now. We are not even sure of its power or if Caragon would be able to completely control it. I’ve read about power masks like this. The wearer is not always in control of its power. Especially ones formed from evil and dangerous curses such as this … It could become a battle within his own soul and mind. The curse would have a chance to take him over again if he lets it.
“Even if he were able to, I don’t think battling the False Knight with his own power would do. I would think light and holy magic are what he is most adverse to. Obviously he is not human … I would like to take the time to investigate exactly what kind of demon or spirit he may be. I think once we have more information about him then we can decided better whether to use the mask or not and what would be the appropriate weapons.”
OoC: I’m giving a chance for us to utilize Navi’s idea she had going with Leonna and the ghost from earlier.
OoC: I see. Judo doesn't yet know about the ghost thing though, so that's why I had him suggest the mask.
BiC:"Ah, I understand. I guess I'm better off simply guarding the mask and keeping it from falling in the wrong hands," Judo replied. "I also still have the silver ocarina in case this curse pops up in others. You know where to find me if it does." With that, Judo smiled kindly and left the room.
Within seconds, he was inside his own and May was standing by the window, looking up at the sky. She turned around to find that her father had returned from his errand and smiled. Before May could say anything, however, she saw the dark mask being carried in Judo's hand and her happy look immediately turned into a rather nervous one.
"Dad...where did you get that scary mask?!" she cried. "It looks dangerous!"
"It was the result of my playing the Song of Healing for our weak friend, Caragon," Judo explained. "I really didn't want to tell you, but he was cursed by the False Knight."
"That's...really frightening," May commented. "You should keep it hidden!"
"That's exactly what I have been doing until now, May," Judo replied with a chuckle. "Why do you think you didn't know about it until now?"
While he heard May's words, Judo stuffed the mask inside a dresser drawer. Luckily, the drawer had a lock on it which Judo used. Now no one should be able to get their hands on it.
His eyes snapped open. He felt... light. Energized. Unnaturally clear in his head. It was as though he had just awoken from a very refreshing nap.
He sat up in his bed. Morning was upon them, after a long and painful night. The sun cast its first few rays through the window in his room, blinding him a little. He saw that his armor had been removed from him, leaving him in his shirt and pants.
He stared down at his hands. His skin had gotten a little grey from the curse that the False Knight had put on him. He felt no more pain, but he could feel something within him - tiny, yet it was there. It frightened him a little to think about it. What exactly had the curse done to him? What would happen to him next?
He found his boots, putting them on slowly and lazily. He felt hungry, so now was a good time to get some food to eat. Hopefully breakfast was served already.
He quietly opened his door, and stepped out of the room.
Isabella was very strange to me. It was not the silver hair or Hylian magic that caused me to think such of her, but the gentle and easy manner with which she regarded me. The young woman even sat next to me, an action that was unfamiliar to me. Though most people did not know what I was, they generally had enough suspicion to stay away. But this Isabella…she had not been adverse to my magic in the first place. It was then not strange at all that she should treat me like a normal person.
Her liquid starlight was also very strange. I had never heard of such a thing. As I looked at the glass bottles in her hand, however, I was awed by their beauty, the pure, gentle light that shone from them. It was no wonder that Isabella said they were rare, but there was also sadness in her eyes as she spoke, a pain there that called out to my own. I do not understand why such trivial things hit me so strongly, but I immediately felt sorry for the kind creature, and I very, very gently touched her hand, not wishing to frighten her, but desiring to ease her sorrow.
“I am sorry, but I cannot accept them. You and Adrien have already done too much for my sake. Please, keep them. I will regain energy soon enough, for that is the nature of rest. It would ease my mind, however, if you take care for yourself and Adrien, and also rest. I see that your burden is already heavy, and we will all need what strength can be found before tonight’s conclusion.” I kept my gaze on the floor, feeling embarrassed that such a powerful priestess as her would listen to such drawl, but I still felt the need to be useful, if such a creature as I could be. “If ever you need anything, please do not hesitate to ask. In the meantime, please rest.”
After Judo left, Adrien then went to the kitchens where the meal their host had made for them sat. He busied himself with reheating the food and making sure it stayed fresh for when the others would come looking for nutrition. It was always a challenge to work with human food, for its smells were no longer appetizing in the same ways anymore. It was nearly as if the smells had changed for him. Honeysuckle no longer smelled quite like honeysuckle anymore. In fact, Leonna smelled more like the real thing to him, which was what made her so appealing.
Yet the smells seemed to have stayed in his memory, just changing direction now. His memories of mortal days were vague and fuzzy like a lucid dream that was old and hard to recall. Still, he had been practicing enough to keep the human food edible and fairly tasty.
He gathered a bowl of fruit and vegetables for Leonna and Padme. Faeries and the Häschen prefer these to meat, from what he knew. Though he knew faeries could eat meat and Leonna was raised away from them, so she may like it.
Leita looked up and then bit her lip. She knew her expression had shown too much. She had never been able to hide her feelings very well. Khaz had always been better at that than her, to the point it was a little disturbing. But there were times like this that she sorely wished she could too. She had become a bother to Leonna with her silly emotional ways. They always got in the way, the way she cried so easily. And now Leonna was refusing to accept the potion.
Most people would never expect it of her, but she could become very stubborn sometimes. When it came to others refusing treatment, she never allowed that. She didn’t like being forceful about it, but sometimes that was the only way.
“Adrien doesn’t need to sleep or rest. And I’m fine. I haven’t been as active as the rest of you have been all night. I wasn’t doing anything until Adrien called me here. So I’m not tired either … and … and I’m not leaving until you drink this,” she added and then bit her lip again, staring at Leonna almost determinedly yet also not wanting to be so rude to her about this. If that’s what she had to do, she would do it.
BiC:"Dad! Hey Dad!" a female voice called out to a sleeping Judo. Due to all of the excitement Judo had been involved in, he'd been worn out and decided to rest, only to end up falling fast asleep on his bed.
"Huh?" Judo said, still half asleep.
"Dad, I think I saw that friend of yours walking around out in the hall!" May said with a smile. Judo sat up and rubbed his eyes, finally completely waking up to pay complete attention to what his daughter was saying.
"What do you mean you saw Caragon walking around?" he asked.
"Well, I stepped out to do a bit of exploring around in here so we'd know where to find what, and I spotted him down the hall," May explained. "He didn't see me, but I sure noticed him."
"I see. Also, if you're going to go wandering around, tell me first," Judo replied. "Otherwise, you stay with me. Especially outside."
"Sorry about that. I didn't get the idea until well after you were out like a light."
"As long as you're safe. Now let's go see if you really did see Caragon," Judo decided. May followed her father out of the room once he opened the door. Upon stepping out into the hall, a lovely aroma began to fill the air. It smelled much like a home cooked meal. Perhaps food was ready downstairs? Before deciding to eat, seeing as he hadn't had a bite in a good while, Judo looked both ways down the hall, but Caragon wasn't anywhere to be found. He was most likely downstairs then. Judo and May traveled down to the first floor themselves and found Adrien and Caragon both there, Adrien doing the meal preparing and Caragon getting something to eat himself.
"Looks like you were right, May," Judo said. "Caragon is standing right there."
"I told you I wasn't seeing things," May replied with a smile. After that, once everyone said their good mornings and May was introduced to Caragon, the group sat down to their meals. Judo ate somewhat more than he normally did due to not having a decent meal in sometime. All he had been able to do was eat a piece of one of Duke's carrots. Naturally, the horse didn't mind, since the two were close friends. As the eating went on, Caragon's fork started to wobble in his hand as he was picking up scrambled eggs and it started to drop to the floor.
Just in time to see it, May cause her eyes to glow and turn completely white and the fork to take on a white glow as well. When the piece of metal stopped from falling in midair, Caragon and Adrien both put on very surprised looks. May then moved the fork back onto Caragon's plate. Neither he, nor Adrien still said anything.
"You're welcome," May said with a smile, trying hard not to giggle.
OoC: Decided to introduce Mayula's telekinesis powers.
Vivi coughed a little as the wind blew some dirt around her body. She looked around the town, looking for traces of black armor that covered the False Knight. There was no trace of the knight, but then again it was broad daylight. He had attacked at night last time he showed his ugly butt, so she was confident that he wouldn't be prowling until hours later. But anything could happen with this character, and she was pretty much at an advantage compared to her competition.
"Now if I were a creepo knight, where would I hide?" Vivi thought to herself. For a split second, she considered going back to the group for a tip, but she immediately decided against it. It wouldn't be a good idea to go to the 'Let's Take Care of Strangers Cause We Care' Brigade. That'd probably be bad news to begin with, since the Bastard Knight and Adrien would be there. Those were two people she didn't like the most from that group.
But she wouldn't have to see them again once she got her bounty. And with that thought, Vivi kept searching the town.
Awkward. Yes, awkward. That was what this was. Isabella truly did remain sitting there, her gaze unrelenting. My eyes were fixed on the shining bottle in her hand, a guilty lump forming in my throat. I did not desire to take such a precious thing, but Isabella would not be satisfied until I did. Refusing her now...would not be very helpful.
So I relented. I took from her hand one of the silvery vials, which lit up even more brightly when I touched it. Ths vial was smooth and warm in my hand, shining with a lustre no precious gem could imitate. So lovely it was, as bright and soft and starlight. I would have to ask Adrien how he had captured such a radiant thing.
My eyes went back to Isabella, pleading with her to stop me, but she did not. Even as I took out the stopper, there was no sound, save for the life going on outside of the room. This I paid no attention to, as I was now fixed on the small bottle, staring at it even as I brought it closer to my lips. For a moment, I wondered if it was truly wise to drink such a thing, as I had never tried anything of the sort, but I was not about to argue with Adrien. I did not think Isabella would let me if I tried.
Finally, giving in to the request, I closed my eyes and poured the light into my mouth, taking in the small amount with a slight tip of the vial.
It was like drinking liquid fire.
To describe its taste would be like trying to attribute a smell to sunlight. I felt, rather than tasted, the firey liquid pour down my throat, its warmth far more intense than it had been in the vial. It almost seemed to loose its liquid qualities, shooting down into my chest, a flame adding itself to my own. The hairs on my skin rose, suddenly saturated with energy that began to seep from the depths of my lungs and into my limbs. Each breath pumped it vigorously through my body, heating it with a flame that was steadily growing.The intense sensation caused me to gasp, and I doubled over, crushing my arms tightly against my sides. My flame was growing faster than I could control it, its heat seeping out of my skin even as I struggled to control it.
No...she is sitting only inches away...I cannot...
I jumped off of the bed, dashing out of the room as fast as my legs would carry me. My body was bent as I ran, the only thing noticable to me being the smell of wood. Of burnable things. I whimpered and forced my legs to move faster, and in moments that were far too slow, I burst out of the inn.
Too much too fast... But it was too late now. It had to be released. It had to be let out or I thought I might burst. It took every ounce of self control that I had not to explode into flames there. I could feel my wings straining to emerge, to be released as they surged with energy.
How many blocks I ran, I do not know. At some horrible point, I could not endure it any more, and falling into a narrow alleyway, my wings burst out according to their own will. From my hands, the concentrated energy flared out, seething flames that roared as I hit them against the nearest rock-- a red wall of brick.
It was not the most refined means of controlling my wild fire, but it was the only way I could calm it. My arms were fully extended, the full weight of my back and shoulders pressing into the rock. My knees buckled as I pressed them against the ground, forcing my hands more deeply into the brick. With my head bent forward between my arms, I focused soley on forcing the flames back in, which were now cracking the brick before me. I felt it crumble in my burning hands, turning to powder in my fists.
This was a method I had learned from a young age: a crude, yet effective means of channeling uncontrollable power into something that could not be harmed. By directing all of the seething energy into one point, one object, it called forth the greatest of my concentration, giving me power over the flame even as it was released. This I would do until enough energy was gone that I regained power over it, power enough to force it back into my body.
It had been a long time since I had needed to do such a thing. Generally, I only lost control when I was particularly angry or desperate, the results of which remained on the charred earth of Bren. When I was younger, less focused, such bursts of energy would give off large flares of flame until I was too exhausted to create any more, which turned the world around me into ash. Almost everything I had touched back then turned to ash, life being reduced to nothing more than dust in the wind...
I took a deep breath, finally managing to pull the flame back into my chest, where I always felt it burning. My wings came back in with a little more strain, more resistant to the inward pull. Still shaking, my hands fell back into my lap, but they were by no means weak. I felt much more energectic than I normally did-- I simply was in control now. My head remained bent, my eyes closed as I continued to take deep, measured breaths.
At least no one was hurt...
OoC: Liquid Starlight ought to have a warning label
There was a sudden blaze of footsteps that went thundering past the kitchen. Adrien was leaned against a counter facing the doorway. It probably would have been hard for others to make out, but he clearly saw Leonna dashing out of the inn. Following her shortly behind was Leita. He stared, considered following, but then decided to leave this one up to Leita. He had a feeling Leonna didn’t want an audience right now.
Leonna had gotten up and burst out of the room so fast Leita almost was too shocked to get up and follow. She had a good head start because of this. Leita usually spent her free time going on jogs, so running was no issue for her. However, as she chased after Leonna, she found this other girl was fast. She had endurance that Leita didn’t. She left her in the dust.
So Leita stopped and decided to follow her aura rather than her physical form. She had to pause to catch her breath, but then she forced herself to follow Leonna’s suddenly blazing energy. She had no idea the girl would react this way to the liquid starlight. She wasn’t even quite sure why she had run away. Leita worried for her health. Was she having a bad reaction to the potion?
By the time Leita found her in the alley way, panting, throat and lungs burning with the strain, a portion of the wall was charred and crumbled. She saw a flicker of orange glow sinking reluctantly into Leonna’s back, where the girl sat hunched and panting for air as well. Leita gasped for air, letting her mind work over what she was seeing. Fire and brick burned into crumbling powder. Leonna’s energy not only healed, but it seemed she had a gift for fire as well. It seemed to make sense with the starlight. Light and flame. It seemed Leonna had ingested too much of the potion at once.
She had run away because all that energy needed to come bursting out of her, which would have been dangerous to Leita and Padme who sat right next to her. She could have burned down the entire building.
Oh foolish of her, Leita hadn’t even considered that possibility of what the starlight would do. And she had forced it on Leonna. Guilt compressed in her chest, and her eyes watered.
“L-leonna-san—I’m so sorry, I didn’t know …” she gasped.
OoC: "San" is a Japanese suffix. I have my characters from Hyrule use Japanese honorary suffixes. Leita didn't before because she understands that foreigners wouldn't understand what they mean, but in her worry and guilt she had forgotten not to use them.
Isabella could not have inflicted more shock if she had slapped me. There I sat, the blackened and cracked wall before me, evidence of a horrendous use of power, and yet here she was, apologizing.
As I have said before, I have always found the human use of English to be terribly incompetent. It is needlessly complex, coarse and harsh sounding, and in situations which I now found myself, it was completely useless. The English language had abandoned me; my mouth moved, but no comprehensible sound came out.
What could I say? Here, Isabella had witnessed my destructive ability, and yet she blamed herself for it. She did not run, she was not afraid, nor did she accuse me of being the creature I had claimed to be. She simply stood there, eyes wet and chest heaving, with an expression I knew only too well. Isabella was tearing up with guilt.
It made me want to cry, too.
This was wrong. It was not her fault that I was a fire demon, that I was so ignorant of my own abilities, putting everyone else in danger. I should have been able to warn Adrien. I should have been able to warn Isabella. But I did not know.
I did not know what I was. I did not know where I had come from. I did not know why I had been cursed with flame. I did not know why I had ever been created. I did not know...
When would I be able to stop saying that?
“Please...” I wanted to tell her to stop, to not blame herself for the destruction, but my tongue was still, my lips quivering with my own emotion. It was only my eyes that could that speak, and not knowing what else to do, I reached out for her, my forgiveness in the outstretched palm of my hand. I did not blame her. How could I?
OoC: Huh? This isn't angsty. I don't know what you're talking about
Leita blinked madly in attempt to stop the tears building. This was such a bothersome time to do this. She was just going to burden Leonna with her sensitivity again. She had already done enough to trouble her, though she had just been trying to help. It was all over when Leonna said, “please” and offered a hand out to Leita. The tears ran down her face. She stepped forward down the alley were everything got warmer and took Leonna’s hand in both of hers. Her hand was hot still. It didn’t really burn, but Leita probably wouldn’t have cared if it did anyway. She knelt down on the ground with her and gave her hand a gentle little kiss.
OoC: Face it, Navi. When we get together in an RP there's just bound to be angst and cheese.
"How...how did she do that?" Caragon finally asked in surprise. May swallowed her food and simply smiled before making her reply.
"I was born with telekinesis powers," she replied. "I can manipulate objects without touching them. I think my power is getting stronger, but I'm not sure. The heaviest thing I've moved was my father's sword, which...kind of happened by accident during a battle."
"I was surprised she could move something as heavy as this blade," Judo added. "Arion weighs at least twelve pounds."
"Yeah, and I haven't been able to move anything nearly as heavy since..." May finished.
"Interesting..." Caragon replied.
"Telekinesis, eh?" Adrien said. "Is that why you're here, might I ask?"
"Yeah, my mother sent me. She thought my powers could help in some way."
"Oh, hey! Dad, I can do something really cool with this power too!" May said with excitement. "Watch this!" With that, everyone turned their attention to what the girl was going to move next. She put her hands together and opened her eyes wide. As they started glowing white like before, no one was sure what she was doing at the moment. It became obvious when Judo's cape suddenly swished over his head and almost into his food. Since the cape was so long to fit Judo's rather tall body, it went over the plate and onto the table.
"Hey!" Judo replied as he struggled to fix himself. May was giggling so hard, she almost fell over. Adrien and Caragon were starting to laugh as well.
"Hee hee! I was practicing that while you were sleeping!" May admitted.
"Very funny, you little stinker," Judo commented with a sarcastic smile. "I'm glad you're getting better with it though."
OoC: Well, on the bright side, at least cheese is nutritious
"No, thank you." I managed a smile, though my eyes felt moist. Isabella was truly a kind soul, softer than even Hemanias in her gentle ways. It made me feel both guilty and joyful, regretful yet hopeful. I was certain that a creature as myself did not deserve the goodness of Adrien and Isabella, but their generosity lightened my own burdens that had weighed me down.
Burdens like the False Knight. Surely, he could not stand against the combined strength of these people. Having Isabella on our side meant that the Blessed Three were with us, and already, a great curiosity had beens stirred within me. I wanted to know of these people, of Adrien's knowledge and Isabella's prayers, of the blue knight's tale as a captain, and even the strange weapon that the cursed man weilded. There was so much to learn and so little time, time before the False Knight came...
But looking back at the silver haired woman, my heart was full. How could it be lacking under such kindness? While I still knew that my nature was harmful towards her and the others, I was determined to try. To be useful. I could keep my flame under control for a day, could I not? This adaption to human life was the life I had been living since my...creation. I could remain in control, with my heat restrained and my wings hidden. Heaven only knew Isabella had seen enough.
"Your kindness means much to me," I finally managed to say, though my voice was cracking, "but I must ask one thing more of you. Please, when we return, do not speak to the others of this. I am not proud of all that I do, and...it is simply easier this way."
BiC: Leita nodded, sniffing and blinking tears away. Happy to hear that Leonna would be coming back with her. She had feared she had offended her all too much with this and that she would leave. Of course, this was probably silly to think. Leonna was kind and understanding. She did not hate Adrien for being a vampire. Though for some reason it seemed Leonna thought of herself as tainted in the same way too. She thought herself a demon. It was easy to hear in her words, not being proud of her abilities.
“Hai,” she said, forgetting again how her people’s words were simply strange to others. “I-I mean, yes. Of course, I will keep silent for you.”
Adrien chuckled joyfully with the others at the girl’s trick. And before long he heard both Leonna and Leita approach by their footsteps that he could hear at much distance. He smiled softly to himself. He knew Leita would sort it out somehow. He knew Leonna could not help but be charmed by the girl. Leita was a very special girl despite her magic talent. It was her soul. Sweet, kind, and innocent. Others were easily drawn in by her.
Both of the girls stopped by the kitchen doorway to peek inside.
“Ah, Caragon, I do believe you have not formally met or been introduced yet, and nether have the others,” said Adrien, lifting a hand he gestured to Leita. “This is Isabella; she helped seal your curse.”
Leita flushed a deep red when the others looked at her. She never did very well when in the spot light. “N-no, I—Judo really—I just—All Judo’s effort—um …” and she blushed more at all her stammering and bit her lip again.
Adrien smiled and approached Leonna as Leita stuttered her modesty. He grabbed the bowl of fruit along the way and offered it to her. He smiled and asked no questions about what had just happened. More quietly, he asked a different question while the other’s attention was on Leita. “Here, take some fruit … Leonna, I was wondering if you would tell me what it was that drew you to the graveyard last night. It could be important.”
This was a hunch he had been thinking about for a while. At the time he didn’t want to bother Leonna with such questions. It was an odd behavior for this girl who liked to heal and protect others. If something had grabbed her attention it must have been of a mystical nature. Especially since they were all certain now that the False Knight was no man. If a demon or spirit he was and if Leonna had been attracted to the graveyard, it could be a clue. He didn’t believe in coincidence in situations such as these.
OoC: Navi, feel free to add anything about Leonna and Leita’s walk back. I wouldn’t want to skip over any ideas you may have.
Caragon struggled to keep his voice warm and friendly enough. He stood and stared a little at Isabella, not sure of what to do. He then knelt onto the floor, bent his head down and put a hand on his heart.
"I owe my life to you."
Perhaps it was a little different from the grateful handshake he had given Judo.
As he got up, he gave her a tiny smile, and then he turned around. All the eyes followed him as he started walking back to his room. His body still felt out of place. It felt... strange. He was afraid that he might do something he could not control. It felt like he could do just that any minute. There was a lot of tension in him.
When he returned to his room, he immediately found his armor and put it on. It felt lighter than before. Probably due to him finally getting some rest and a meal. He stopped and thought about it. Ever since he had awakened, everything had seemed lighter. That was another thing that frightened him.
As he finally had gotten his armor on, he retrieved his halberd and carried it with him as he went out. He needed time to think. And to train.
OoC: Ah, yes, idea...right. I'ma gonna need to find a good way to do this...
We walked back in silence. It did not hold the awkwardness that such moments generally had, for it was a silence of understanding, where nothing needed to be said. Around us, the red of the sun was steadily growing into a soft gold, the great shining orb waxing full, even as I felt. Its light bathed the town in a much kinder light, banishing the cold shadows away as the clouds and fog dissapated into the warming air.I noticed for the first time that the surrounding buildings were actually somewhat colorful, being dark painted hues of red, brown, and green.Though all of their windows were dark and empty, they no longer appeared frightening to me, merely peaceful. The painted signs that hung above many doors creaked dully as the wind touched them, as if they were sighing as they awaited the return of the townspeople. At one time, I guessed these streets must have been much busier.
I remained contemplative as we continued down the empty street, surprised by the distance I had run. As it had been with the ghost light, I had simply lost all thought of time and distance, for my mind often grew numb when my body was desperate. It was almost odd how one could be so focused and yet so oblivious, having a keen sense to only one particular thing. Such a thing is both vital and dangerous, and in my case, I had been very lucky. Very lucky that Adrien and Isabella had been there to help me.Otherwise, I was not quite sure just what would have become of me.
I also noticed how different Isabella and I were. Her clothes seemed much more native to the area, though I thought it strange that she wore a gray tunic, rather than a dress. In Bren, such behavior was rare, for only women who engaged in woodcutting with the men ever wore such garments. It was only the more desperate of women who did this, for they lacked husbands or family that could provide the magic wood which was sold to the annual traders. It was a mark of strength and desperation, though on a man, such a thing was simply normal.
There was not much color on Isabella, for her garments were mildly toned-- even her hair was silver. This caused her sweet green eyes to stand out that much more, being a dark, rich emerald hue. They reminded me very much of the color of leaves, of the gentle and placid nature of a forest. The woman's ears were also something mystical, long, pointed and elf-like, even though she was human. Her small form was also delicate, which was greatly misleading of her power, which I imagined extended beyond her healing capabilities. I had the mind to ask her of this, to learn of her strange words and magic, but we were both still somewhat sensitive, and I felt it was not a good time to engage in such conversation.
We both made it back to the inn in good time, where the warm scent of food kindly greeted my nose. Earlier, I might have had an appetite, but my energy filled me with such a sense of wholeness, that I felt no need for food or rest. That did not, however, keep me from accecpting the food Adrien kindly offered me upon my arrival.
His question was less kindly recieved.
I held the peach I had grabbed with a good deal of nervousness as I looked at the faces of my surrounding companions, feeling of the same trepidation that Isabella seemed to have. At first, I was not certain of what to say, for speaking of spirits and dark things was the last thing I wished to think of.
But it had to be done. And I owed it to everyone after all of the trouble I had caused. Even after the cursed man left, I picked my words carefully, wondering how to best speak of what I had seen.
"Ah...I suppose I do owe you all an explanation," I nervously spoke, firmly fixing my gaze on the floor. "Last night...I became lost in my search for water. I managed to lose my way into the graveyard, where I found a girl. She spoke of the False Knight, that he was a spirit that could not be killed by mortal means. She knew a girl, Marie Green, whose father supposedly knew of a way to destroy the False Knight. Both have been killed, but she was certain that there was work of the father that still remained. I believe this work will guide us in our attempt to stop the False Knight, should we be able to find it.
Of course, before I could gain any more information, the girl ran off, and it was too dark to follow."
The explanation seemed satisfactory, though it did not quite explain all that Adrien and the blue knight had seen. But that information was useless. Neither of them seemed of the mind to pry, and I doubted that I would indulge them should they try. What I had seen and felt that night...no one ought to know of that. They would think me insane.
"I arrived shortly after and asked her about it myself," Judo added. "But she seemed too frightened to say anything at all. I felt bad that I had to leave her behind when I took off."
"Wow..." May commented, having overheard the whole conversation. "My father has solved a lot of our own problems back at home though. I'm sure he could figure this one out too." Judo tried hard to prevent himself from going pink in the cheeks, but it was nearly no use.
"May, I'm flattered, but you know Conan is the tactician, not me," Judo said with a slight chuckle.
"Yeah, but you told me that story of how you figured out the intentions of that guy who imprisoned Grandfather," May recalled, referring to how Judo's own father had disappeared for twelve years while the knight was but a young child.
"That...was an exception. I will admit I have learned some things from Conan's brainy ideas though," Judo replied. "But whether I'm a tactician or not, I'll do my best to help."
"So will I," May added. "I just hope I don't become a burden..."
"Don't worry," Adrien said. "The more help, the better, if you ask me."
With that, May smiled and helped Judo clean up from their food. Once they were finished, Judo decided to return to his room to check on the mask. Somehow he felt he needed to, although it wasn't a hunch, but a gut feeling that suddenly spurred inside his stomach. Not knowing why he felt the sudden urge to go see it, Judo had May come with him so he'd have a witness to whatever happened.
However, the sight Judo saw upon finally opening his door was not the least bit pleasant. Coming from the very same dresser drawer in which he locked away the False Knight Mask was a cloud of dark purple fog. Something was terribly wrong. As Judo unlocked the drawer and ripped it open instantly, the situation only grew worse. The mask suddenly moved on its own and attached itself right to Judo's face.
"GAAAAH!" he yelled. As hard as Judo pulled with all his strength, the mask would not come off. May gasped loudly in fear, scared that her father was being taken over by the curse himself. Scared stiff after that, she could do nothing but watch as Judo began to suffer. Suddenly, the door burst open and in popped Adrien and Isabella, wondering what was going on after hearing May's cry.
"What...is happening?!" Adrien gasped in shock.
"I...I don't know!" May replied, such fear in her eyes she wanted to cry. "But...I have to try something! Someone hold my father, please!" Not able to resist the plea from the young girl, Adrien quickly grabbed hold of Judo, Isabella following up. May then positioned herself direction front of her father while the mask slowly kept trying to take over his body. She held out the palms of her hands, and the familiar white glow returned to her eyes again. With all her power, she pulled on the mask. May pulled...and pulled...and pulled...for a little while, the mask would not budge.
"Come...on..." May mumbled. Soon enough, the fog began to slowly clear away. The mask's power was weakening due to May's ever growing connection with the solid object attached to her father's face. It started to come off, and in the next few minutes, it had become a safe distance away from Judo's face. Now having the mask hovering in thin air, May then hurled it to the wall as hard as her power would let her and suddenly a huge, smoky cloud of darkness burst out. May, still frightened in her mind, used what remaining courage she had to pull the cloud apart to pieces. And then...it just vanished. The cracked piece of wood on the floor was nothing but a regular old mask now.
"What...what had just happened?" Isabella asked as she and Adrien finally let Judo go.
"I manipulated the cursed cloud to destroy itself, thus destroying the curse as well," May explained. "At least...I think so."
"May..." Judo said. "Did you seriously do that? I can't believe it..."
"Well, Dad. That was a cloud, after all. And a cloud is an object," May said with a smile. Before she could say anymore, however, her legs began to get wobbly. From using so much power to rescue her father, she'd begun to grow weak and fatigued. As she started to fall over, Judo rushed over and caught her.
"May! What's wrong?" Judo asked.
"She's only tired from using so much strength to save you," Adrien explained. "Do not worry. May will be fine." With that, he left the two a smile, leaving the room with Isabella afterward.
Isabella continued to glow and only managed to sputter when Caragon bowed before her, and with a tiny smile he left, but Leita’s eyes followed him. Cheeks still glowing pink, but thinking more about how this man must be really feeling. She knew he had to be feeling more confused than he seemed. He had just been cursed. He was bound to have some different qualities than before, though Leita herself couldn’t be exactly sure of what those may be. It would be a frightening thing for anyone. It’s no wonder he had quickly sought solitude away from the rest.
Her attention was quickly captured when Leonna began her tale.
Adrien knew she was lying about something. There had been no little girl in the area. He would have felt it if there was any other living, breathing soul nearby. Perhaps even would have smelled it. Why Leonna lied about that, he was sure she had her reasons. Perhaps she didn’t think anyone would believe the real version of her story.
Soon Judo and May left up to their room. Adrien had just been discussing the idea of searching for the Green’s home with Leita and Leonna when they heard Judo yell and May scream soon after. Both he and Leita rushed up to the room, where Adrien quickly needed to suppress Judo. It was easy enough to do. A vampire as old as himself was absurdly strong.
May used her telekinesis to pull the mask off him and destroy it. Adrien and Leita left soon after to let her rest. Leita’s heart was still pounding. They were in the hall together, alone.
“Well, I’m glad we needn’t concern ourselves with that mask anymore. I can’t say I ever liked having it around …” said Adrien.
“Adrien … I can stay, right? To help everyone?” she looked up to the vampire, much taller than herself. He looked down at her, his hazel eyes thoughtful.
“Isabella,” he began, still using the name, ever cautious that they might be overheard. “You know your situation, which is dangerous enough itself. And now this False Knight is rather another dangerous situation. What would I say to your friends if I could not return you safely?”
Leita bit her lip and furrowed her silver brows softly again.
“That’s just silly, Adrien. You would never let anything happen to me.”
Adrien smiled with a chuckle. “Such faith.”
“You’re the one always telling me to have it,” she insisted.
“All right, all right. You can stay.”
They soon returned to Leonna to let her know everything was fine with Judo and May.
I have never really given myself to base superstition, but there was something quite eerie about the screaming that ensued so quickly after my story, as if an unknown force had known we were trying to stop it, and had acted accordingly. But that was simply superstition. This dark town seemed to bring forth such dark thoughts from my mind, forcing a frown on my face when I could have been smiling.
Because I did feel nice. Aside from the impending doom of the False Knight, and the nonstop attacks that continued to strike, I found the company of these strangers to be quite pleasant. For the most part, they had been incredibly accepting and polite, treating me as if I were some old friend they had the fortune of bumping into again. If I could have had a choice on what I wished to do with them, it would be to simply sit at the inn, with them telling me of the mysteries that now littered my mind. I wanted to know of Isabella’s power as a priestess, of her magic, of her life in Hyrule. Adrien, being the mysterious and wise man that he was, no doubt held a number of things that I desired to know. I wanted to speak with him of vampires, of his own history, of the vast knowledge that glowed about him like its own aura. I wanted to learn of the blue knight’s life as a Hyrulian captain, of what it was like to live as he did.
But all of that was trivial. Even as I waited in the kitchen, fearing that I would only get in the way should I involve myself in the events going on upstairs, I worried continually for the safety of these new companions. What we were trying to do was terribly dangerous, even for a creature like me. I did not know if we would be able to find the Greens’ work in time to face the False Knight, or if he would stop us before we even came close to having it. I did not know if there was anything left of the Greens’ work. I did not know if it would truly be of any use if we found it. I did not know…
There it was again, that awful phrase that continued to frustrate me. Knowing nothing, I was useless. My inferno meant nothing if I had to fight with the others— there was absolutely, most definitely no way I would ever use it with them present. I could never risk their safety regarding my flame, even for the sake of the False Knight. If that nightmare in Bren were to repeat itself, I could not endure it.
So I waited. It was not long before I heard footsteps moving back down to the kitchen, along with the murmur of conversation. Before anyone could come back again, I quickly put the peach back in the bowl, hoping Adrien would not notice. I was not in the least bit hungry, and though I did not want to offend him, it seemed terrible to waste such a beautiful fruit on myself. I made it back to my position near the door, and as soon as they walked in, I set my anxious gaze upon them.
The wind brushed by him as he leapt from the rooftop. His eyes were wide open and round, in a mix between shock and amazement.
He had become faster. Much faster. And stronger. His senses were sharper. He felt as though he had been reborn completely.
As he landed on the ground below, he swung the halberd around him. It felt lighter too. It was easier to maneuver the weapon now, something he knew would be very helpful in combat. Whatever had happened to him... he liked it.
He stopped for a second. Something had happened to him. It was not difficult to imagine that it was the curse that had empowered him like this. Maybe it was a side-effect of keeping it within his body. And maybe he would suffer the consequences later on.
"Whatever it is..." he muttered to himelf, "it's better than the alternative."
Morning had come, yet the villagers were not coming out. Caragon remembered something being said about relocating them to safety. In his mind, he wondered if the False Knight would do anything about this. How would the knight behave when they finally met again?
Caragon frowned a little. Things had happened over night that could very well decide the outcome of the upcoming battle, or even change the outcome entirely. Had the False Knight unwillingly granted his opponent more powers? Or had it been intentional? If so, why? There were so many questions about the Knight already that Caragon gave up on pondering about it. He didn't need to know anything except where and when to fight.
He was suddenly reminded of what he was supposed to do. He set off again, onto the rooftops, making short leaps to cross the village faster. It was important that they had the advantage of territory in the darkness of the night that was to come. The False Knight knew how to use his environments, or rather the shadows, and therefore it was important that the terrain was as open and simple as possible. Otherwise, they would be running into traps after traps for sure.
An ideal spot caught his eye from a little afar. An empty, rectangular spot among the many houses and buildings, stood out like a rock in the sand. Caragon moved over to it, looking over the space. It was not much room for them to move in, but it was certainly big enough for a fight. Since the villagers had been brought to safety, there were no-one to worry about getting caught in the cross-fire either.
He set off back towards the inn. The stage was set. Now all they could do was prepare for nightfall.