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About Literature / Hobbyist Member Yoshumari KorisunoMale/United States Recent Activity
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Lilly Resting by cookiefur

This is pretty good overall. I lake what you did there with the pencil shading and propotions are pretty good. I've Ive tried drawing a...

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“Show off.” Acer mumbled as Dumia climbed up the vines. Once there, Dumia let the others off and immediately prompted her stealth protocol; strong cushions of air began to blow from the bottom of the Mecha’s feet making her steps become nearly silent. She then slid back the top of her cockpit looking around the entire area strewn with penguin bodies and blood.

“Dureau, what did you…”

“Are we here to stop a wedding or worry about what gets in our way? We have less than four hours; and any one of them that gets in the way is just that, in the way.” Dureau said, shaking the blood from his mace and was about to walk away when Acer stopped him.

“I want to be absolutely clear on this. Yes, there are those that are in the way, but killing them on sight is not what we were asked to come here and do.”

“Would you rather I asked them nicely to step aside while I stop their plans?” Dureau asked in return shrugging off Acer’s hand walking further into the castle making the others only shake their head. Quietly they snuck through the castle, expecting there to be a mob of penguin soldiers rushing them at any moment, but all they ever found were traces that they had been there: sporadically spaced dented helmets, a few drops of blood and broken spears. Acer suddenly pulled the cannon to his shoulder, mana flooding the firing chamber making it glow a bright blue.

“What the matter?” Vondra asked, when she bumped into Dureau.

“Can’t you hear it?” he asked when Dumia focused on her HUD, turning this way and that.

“Guys, we’ve got a bogie on the fringes of my radar. The sucker’s movin’ fast so I can’t get a good read on it.” she said, still looking around as the dot on her radar flashed in and out of her range until they all began to here spurts of maniacal giggles or laughter, Latimer recognizing it.

“I know that laugh.”

“Who is it?” Dumia asked, quickly turning to try and focus on the dot in her radar.

“It’s a woman by the name of Klyde; Dad told me about her in a few of his stories.” Latimer surmised, looking through the entire castle, especially in the spots one might over look.

“What do you know about her?” Vondra asked, drawing her daggers and standing at the ready.

“That she could make any one of us fourth degree’s look like a beginner and laugh about it while she slits our throat.”

“My my, so Olsen still remembers me does he?” a voice suddenly said from the air, the sound of a blade being drawn across a stone ringing in the air.

“I’m touched. Heh, playing with them was fun, but will you be just as fun?” the voice asked when Dumia finally got a lock on her position, turning around and holding up her arm, spinning up the gun.

“Oh now is that anyway to greet someone who’s an old friend of your parents, Dumia?” she asked, casually leaning against a tower in the wall.

“What do you want?” Dumia asked as Klyde picked her weight up and walked over to Dumia, patting the giant metal fist aimed at her before walking to the others.

“I heard that this place was in need of some help so I decided to come along. Not much has been happening since Ereve flattened Henesys, and I was board.” She giggled, putting a hand up the mouth of the plush mask she wore.

“Then where are all the soldiers that were supposed to be here?” Mercedes asked.

“Soldiers? What soldiers? Oh, you mean those cute little plush toys; yeah, they weren’t playing nice so I took care of them for you.”

“So why not do the work for us and stop the wedding?” Dureau asked with a tone of melancholy.

“Come come now, I may be a twin blade Ninja, but it’s been over 18 years since I played with your parents. I’m not as quick or as limber as I used to be.” Klyde giggled thumbing the edge of her dagger for a moment before sauntering over to Latimer, walking her fingers up his chest, pressing her athletic body to him.

“My my, you’re a cute one. I never would have guessed that someone like you would be out here.” She said with an alluring tone. Vondra drew one of her daggers, swinging it down hard where Klyde was but hitting nothing but air.

“Aw, come now Vondra, I was only having a little fun. Oh well, I’ve taken care of the majority of the guards for you, so I think I should at least get a thanks. Oh! And by the way…” Klyde put one of her hands over the mouth of the stuffed mascot head she wore and giggle, suddenly making Dumia begin a systems check.

“Roses are red, Violets are blue, confetti gets spread, and so… are… you.” she said, making a motion as though blowing a kiss when a small bomb went off in their midst, spreading them out everywhere. When they were all finally able to get to their feet again, Klyde was nowhere to be seen but her laughter was still able to be heard as it faded from the area.

“Crazy bat.” Vondra mumbled to herself.

“Klyde may be crazy but she gave us an opening. Let’s not waste it by standing here.” Acer suggested, pulling the heavy cannon onto his back and helping Latimer to his feet as they all proceeded further into the castle. Even with the help that Klyde had given them, they were still weary around every corner for soldiers, never knowing exactly how many Klyde had taken care of.

*****************************

It had been something that she had wanted for a while, but with the limited access and knowledge of the Mushroom Empire, there was really no way for her to get into it and retrieve the coveted Seal of Ossyria. With this one that she had relieved Augustine of, she now had three seals in her possession. However that still left the ones hidden by the High Guard of Edelstien, which at the time she had no way to get to without deactivating the Dream Fragments.

“Relishing in your small victory?” a voice asked making her look over to the window sill where Yoshumari stood, adjusting his wings as he stepped down.

“One would think that you actually like me with the way that you’ve been visiting me so much.” Clytemnestra laughed. Yoshumari smirked and laughed as well, but kept a wide girth as he walked further into the room, eyeing the giant metal apparatus behind her.

“Don’t flatter yourself.” He said with a grin, his face becoming serious in the same moment.

“I will be sure and visit you every time that you gain another seal to remind you of your eminent failure.”

“Again with the threats Dragon? You really need to learn to follow through one day.” Clytemnestra smiled until Yoshumari rushed her, pinning her to the wall as the power of his Dark Nalcana flared down his arms and around neck and shoulders, causing her to lose focus and let that annoying second presence begin to take over.

“You’re afraid of her aren’t you? She’s really the one that has the power, and all you can do is make sure that she stays asleep long enough to let you have control.”

“What is it to you? She’s just a puppet…” Yoshumari put his foot on the apparatus, pulling her away from it with a hard grunt.

She will make sure that you fail.” Yoshumari growled when his face suddenly became softer, looking deep into her eyes to the one who’s body it really was.

“Just hang in there a bit longer. The nightmare won’t last forever. I have faith in you.” he soothed before letting Clytemnestra go where the apparatus hovered to her and put a few of its arms around her as she breathed deeply.

“I am growing tired of your pompous attitude!” she growled as whispers filled the air around them, swinging her arm hard as a blast of dark magic hurled at Yoshumari, deflected  into the wall when he activated his Nalcana once again as a large sword. For a tense few minutes, the two of them stared each other in the eyes, not moving or even seeming to breathe. At last Yoshumari broke the stare and grinned, shaking his head before walking to the balcony railing.

“Again, you leave this place without so much as trying to stop me. If that is your true intention, then why not take something that will slow me down.” Clytemnestra asked.

“Because that would be too easy. I want you to suffer for what you’ve done, and you will. You will suffer greatly, but only when the time is right.” Yoshumari growled over his shoulder, flying away and leaving Clytemnestra to her thoughts. Was she scared of her? What could she do if she didn’t keep her mental guard up? But that was another issue entirely; all there was to worry about right this moment was collecting the Seals of Ossyria. Once she was sure that all the ones still hidden in Ossyria were gone, she could undo what the Dream Fragments had done and easily retrieve the remaining Seals from Edelstein with the aid of the Chaos Beasts.

“I will not fail this time, Dragon. You underestimate me far too much.”

*************************

It didn’t take them extremely long to get inside the main portion of the castle, but when they did it became increasingly apparent that this is where most of the guards were stationed as they would sometimes fight off small patrols of soldiers, while at the same time trying to make sure that Dureau didn’t unnecessarily kill anyone during those encounters.

“You’d think that an event like this would have more guards.” Acer mentioned, pulling the cannon from his back, priming it.

“Klyde did take care of most of them for us remember.” Vondra answered, making Acer roll his eyes and shake his head.

“Can we please focus?” Luminous hissed as he peeked around the wall they hid behind save for Dumia who had opted to take another way because her mecha was too big. As he leaned his head out slowly, he managed to see a few guards standing around a room in the hallway.

“What do you see?” Vondra asked, suddenly catching the back end of Acer’s cannon before it hit the ground.

“There are a few guards standing outside a door… wait…” from the door, a heavy set man walked out of the room as a something shorter walked out of another room further down the hall and joined him while Luminous  did the best he could to hear what was being said between the two of them.

“…princess should be more than willing.”

“Hmmm good. I wouldn’t want anything ruining our moments alone, heh, eh heh heh, heh heh heh.” The shorter creature laughed. But Luminous’ focus was drawn away from the two of them when he saw a sparkle from the staff in the heavyset man’s hand.

An Aurora crystal?!” Luminous thought to himself when the two of them disappeared behind a door.

“What was it?” Latimer asked, pushing back Blaze a bit who vied for some attention.

“A heavy set man and a shorter one dressed in what looked to be a blue tuxedo was walking for a moment. The heavy one has one of the Master Crystals, so he might be the one that’s been using it. The other one I wasn’t too sure about.”

“It has to be Pepe. The fat one could just be one of his generals.” Mercedes hypothesized.

“No, that’s too easy.” Acer countered, holding his chin as he sat in deep in thought.

“How do you figure?” Vondra asked, kneeling down to his level and set her blades on the ground.

“Well, remember how hard the soldiers back at the camp were fighting to keep the spores out of the camp? If they fought that hard against mushrooms, how hard do you think they would have fought to keep their kingdom safe? From what the king had told us, it was all at once and there was nothing that they could have done to prevent it when Pepe took over. So there had to be someone on the inside, someone who knew the inner workings of the kingdom and knew all of its weak points.”

“He does make a good point.” Dureau said flatly, looking over at Mercedes a moment, thinking back to when he had given the letter to Mastema to deliver to the Heroes so long ago.

“So do you think that was him?” Mercedes asked, already feeling a nervous excitement come over her, ready for a battle.

“It has to be; he was dressed in a fine robe with a mushroom shaped turban on his head.” Luminous answered.

“Alright, what’s our first move?” Latimer asked, jumping when he felt a hand come down on his shoulder, grabbing his crossbow and readying to fire when he saw that it was Dumia.

“Don’t scare me like that!” Latimer hissed.

“What did you want me to do? Go running down the halls waving my arms yelling for the guards to come?” Dumia asked with a snort before waving her hand and shaking her head.

“That’s not what I came here for. I left my Mecha on standby near where I think the wedding is going to be taking place for surveillance; the Princess is being held there right now and it’s crawling with Guards.”

“They should be of no matter.” Dureau answered coldly, his Agies flaring on his wrist.

“If only it were that simple. Before the chapel, there are three large fluffy things being ridden by three more penguins, but each of them has a crown. I think they are the younger Princes of Pepe, and are acting as a high guard.” Dumia activated her remote control, turning on the camera within it which depicted the large man and the one dressed in blue, who turned out to be an actual penguin.

“Oh that’s just wrong.” Dumia whispered, panning to the left slightly to see a slightly smaller penguin join the first one when three large creatures walked up to the door of the chapel where she had stationed her Mech. Each of them put a key into one of three locks on the door to open it, letting the large man and the two penguins through, then shutting the doors and locking them. They then turned around to stand guard, revealing the three penguins on their backs in saddles.

“This isn’t good. They just went into the chapel.” Dumia informed.

“We don’t have long… we need to get passed those guards.” Mercedes whispered.

“In my current state, I don’t have the power needed to quiet them before reinforcements are called upon. Not even my spirit lock can move me fast enough.” Dureau answered as Luminous said that he could try using his transporting ability which would get him to them, but still wouldn’t allow for an attack before they could call for backup. Vondra looked down and shook her head; if they couldn’t get passed they guards, there was no way they’d be able to stop the wedding without it becoming extremely complicated. As she thought, she remembered the solidified Pink Quartz power she had been given by Olsen. Quietly she reached into the sleeve of her glove, pulling out the small gem and watching as it sparkled in the sun, grinning to herself.

“I can do it. I have this; it should allow me to move fast enough.” Latimer’s eyes went wide.

“You’re planning on using that thing now?! You don’t even know what kind of effect if will have on you. Besides, you remember what it did to Olsen the first time he used it, and you haven’t even practiced!”

“Latimer, I’ll be fine. I’ll just use it for this one attack.” She assured, tucking the gem back into her sleeve and drawing her daggers.

Alright Olsen, let’s see what kind of juice you gave me.” She thought, thinking back to stories of her father how he had said he would ‘reach for the crystal’s power’ instead of using mana. Vondra closed her eyes for a few moments, trying to imagine what reaching for a power of that caliber would feel like, making herself feel the gem resting against her skin under her glove. The rush that flooded her body was something she was completely unprepared for, her hair and eyes turning bright pink while wings sprouted on her feet and the edges of her blades hummed with power.

She turned and began running down the hall towards the guards, everything seeming to be in slow motion as she crossed her blades. Golden light began streaming from their points and she ran, creeping down to the hilt until she was nearly upon the Guards, uncrossing her arms as fast as she could, skidding to a stop on one knee holding her blades up behind her. To the others it looked as though she had just teleported to where she was, watching as she slowly slid one of the daggers into the sheath on the back of her belt, and the other into the sheath on her hip. Just as the hilts made contact with the sheath neck, the Guards standing there collapsed to the ground as hot pink steam snaked into the air from their necks, allowing the others to run in her direction while she stood.

“All this talk about keeping me from killing, and then you go and kill the first thing you encounter that’s a problem for you: you are such a hypocrite human.” Dureau sneered when Vondra grabbed his arm.

“I restrained myself and hit them with the pummel of my daggers, not the blade.” Vondra answered before she collapsed to her knees, panting and heaving for breath.

“What’s wrong?” Mercedes asked since she and Acer were the last ones to walk passed her.

“She’ll be alright, just give her a minute. We need to stop that wedding.” Acer urged as Vondra nodded for Mercedes to go on ahead only able to mouth that she would catch up in a bit. Once they had left Vondra fell to her hands, heaving for breath as she reached into the knapsack for an orange peel potion; no wonder Jenny had warned them about using this kind of power. Sure the benefits were there, but this wasn’t exactly something she was prepared for. The others made their way to the courtyard leading into the chapel and once there Latimer, Dumia and Acer all hung their heads in annoyed defeat when they recognized the creatures standing guard.

“There’s no way we’ll defeat a Yeti in time. Normally the Yeti are a pain to deal with on their own, but these three look like they’ve been altered.” Dumia said, typing in something to the control unit on her arm.

“We don’t need to defeat them; we just need to take their keys. If you three can get them to drop their keys and hold them off, I’m sure that Dureau, Luminous and I should be able to restrain the one’s responsible for forcing the wedding.” Mercedes offered as they all looked to each other, visually asking for ‘a better idea’.

“Well, it’s all we’ve got.” Acer said hoisting the cannon onto his shoulder as it hummed to life.

“I shall retrieve the keys as they drop.” Drueau said, nodding to Dumia.

“Acer, you and Latimer draw their attention for just a bit, my mech is standing just outside the wall here but it’s running a start-up check. I need another few seconds before I join you.”

“Got it. Think you can keep up Latimer?” Acer asked with a grin as he ran out from their hiding spot and took aim.

“Oi! Your mother was a throw rug!” he shouted, making them turn their attention to him with an uninterested grunt. The momentary lull that followed gave Acer the time that he needed to charge one of his more powerful attacks. He slammed a plate on the side of the cannon, making violet colored swirls spiral over it and when he pulled the trigger, the very end of the barrel split apart into four pieces. From the spaces they created, three mana ribbons poured forward winding around themselves until they had created what looked to be a drill. It was only once the drill had solidified that the beasts realized that they were facing an enemy, all three of them raising their hands into the air. Another moment passed as even more mana compressed into the cannon itself, making pipelines and circuits along the cannon glow brightly.

“Take this you fuzzy beast.” Acer whispered when the drill spun up, howling a high pitched note before the cannon roared, launching the drill and slamming into the middle beast. The beasts that were beside him did little to acknowledge that one of them were taken down, slamming their hands into the ground as raceways of ice rocketed towards him. Acer quickly put the muzzle of his cannon of the ground, pulling the trigger launching him high into the air. But as he flew into the air, they didn’t notice Latimer walk forward holding down the trigger of his crossbow while a swirl of bright red-orange energy hung at the front of it until the arrow within the bow drove through the swirl, splitting into three arrows.

One of the beasts that looked down held up its arm, making all three arrows stick into its forearm which did nothing more than make it angry, roaring as loud as he could in pain. Blaze jumped in front of Latimer, his claws extended as his coat began to glow red making lose stones float into the air before unleashing a roar so loud that the entirety of the courtyard shook. Each of the beasts held up their hands to their ears, making something metal hit the ground. Dureau’s ears picked up the noise, his eyes wide and wild looking over the ground for where the noise had come from, quickly finding the key flashing across the courtyard, weaving between the attacks of the Yeti.

Just as he was reaching out his hand for the key, an explosion erupted above him when Acer tossed a small explosive barrel at the attacking Yeti, tossing it back. The look that Dureau shot back at him was deadly, but meaningful as though thanking him for his assistance close though it may have been. With another beat of his wings, Dureau was out of the fighting area and back with the others when Dumia jumped high over the wall, clasping her hand above her as they transformed into a rocket powered hammer. Her voice blasted over the external speakers as she hit the ground making a ripple spread from the contact point and knock another of the Yetis off balance, opening its clasped hand and let go of the tiny key into the air. Dureau was already focused on it and began making his way towards it before it had a chance to hit the ground.

The first Yeti that had been knocked aside finally got back up and began to wrestle with Dumia, matching the Mecha’s mechanical strength ounce for ounce. Acer landed just behind Dumia, spinning in the cannon around for a moment before dropping it on the ground, folding down the trigger handle as mana poured from the muzzle, creating a huge drum that felt like it was taking forever as Dumia pushed the yeti back as hard as she could when finally the drum was finished. Acer reached behind him, putting on a large metal glove and striking the drum as hard as he could: the resulting shockwave hit the Yeti hard, making him slide back into the second one.

Latmier used the opportunity of the two of them being pushed together to weaken them as a glowing arrow locked into place in the cross bow. He then reached his hand to a handle further up the body when the bolt doubled in diameter as a spring formed around the shaft launching the arrow hard enough that it pierced through both of the Yeti which neither of them felt in their rage. A third and final clink hit the ground, making Dureau search as fast as he could for the key; Luminous was the one to spot it and got to his feet as light began engulfing him.

“Get Mercedes to the door, I’ll meet you there.” he commanded, disappearing in a streak of light and arriving at the key with a running start. However he miscalculated as the large hand of the Yeti who had dropped it began to come down on him. Dumia turned to see what was happening, her mind racing as the Nanites in her system reacted and engaged the Rush Thrusters, making her once heavy mecha into a speeding ten ton bullet that reached out and stopped the hand just before Luminous passed by, grabbing the key and flashing to the door where Mercedes and Dureau waited. But as she held back the Yeti in her hand, another was rushing towards the door and there was nothing that she would be able to do about it, even if she engaged her Rush Thrusters again. Acer kicked his cannon off the ground into his hands jumping into the air and pulling the trigger, using the kickback from the mana shot to shove him back fast enough to slide in front of the door.

“Not this time bub!” he shouted, holding up the end of the cannon as it glowed bright red and fired a high energy beam, which once it had subsided, revealed that the Yet’s left arm had been disintegrated off. With a smirk he looked back to those that were behind him.

“Go on, we’ve got this.” He said slyly as they opened the door and slipped through, allowing him to turn his attention back to the Yeti still standing in front of him with a confused look on his face before turning back to Acer.

“What? You didn’t think I’d forgotten about you all of a sudden did you?” he smiled, cocking back the hammer of the cannon, taking aim at his head and pulling the trigger.

*******************

“I’ve never seen that kind of power.” Mercedes commented as they three of them ran through the halls.

“Latimer and Dumia are two of The Guardian’s children and are ranked among some of the best within Edelstein’s High Guard. The one with the cannon I’m not so familiar with.” Dureau answered.

“What of the other young woman?” Mercedes asked.

“Vondra?” Luminous asked.

“Yes, the power that she wielded is far beyond anything that I have ever seen. It is on par with that of Minerva.”

“Save your questions and ready for battle, the main sanctuary is just ahead.” Dureau commanded when they burst through the door, making the few that were at the front turn to them.

“Please! Don’t hurt us!” a woman said as two of her attendants moved closer together to protect her.

“Princess Violetta, please remember your position. I would hate for your father to be killed.” A Penguin said, waddling into the chamber with another shorter one beside him.

“Princess Violetta? That’s the Princess? Then you must be Pepe.” Luminous surmised, walking towards him with a purpose driven stride.

“Please stay away!” the Princess begged, appearing to try and keep her face hidden from view.

“Your father has sent us to put an end to this, and that is exactly what we intend to do.” Dureau answered, walking up with Mercedes beside Luminous.

“Someone such as you is a warrior?” the princess asked, turning her head towards Mercedes and spreading her fingers just enough that her light tan eyes shone between her fingers. Mercedes looked down to her, turning her head in wonder at her question.

“Why would you ask something as such Princess?”

“Are you here to stop me or are you here to discuss make-up tactics?!” the penguin asked angrily, stamping his foot which only made a rather comedic slapping noise against the ground. Dureau raised his wings when he saw a small smirk on the penguin’s face and began to rush him, his left arm becoming a large clawed nightmare and held Pepe against the wall.

“Please, you have to leave before he comes! No one can stand up to him.” the princess begged again. Dureau was confused, trying to decode what the Princess meant by another him coming since Pepe was already here, when he felt a twinge of power making him stop and jump back. He moved just in time as a large stone something crashed into the ground, caving in part of the floor and lifting the dust from between the bricks.

“You will face me.” A voice said with a growl as the stone shrank away and revealed a large man pulling his feet from the ground and step up the crater. Luminous looked over at the princess, noting that her demeanor had become fearful, shrinking away from the scene and away from the penguins that stood near her.

“And who would you be?” Mercedes demanded reaching for her bow guns as the Soul Arrows came to life on the back of the body.

“I am the one that made the invasion for Pepe possible. King Mushi has been leading this kingdom with a soft hand, so it is time for someone that has drive, presence, and a will to lead the kingdom the way it should be led.” He said, sweeping the short staff in his hand to the side, blowing away the dust that had gathered around him revealing a substantially overweight man dressed in a fine suit and a mushroom shaped medal on his lapel.

“My name is Augustine, Prime Minister of the Mushroom Empire. Pepe has the military resources that I lack, since most of the soldiers of this kingdom wouldn’t think about joining my cause to overthrow the old king and give this kingdom what it deserves!”

“What you are talking about is nothing short of tyranny Augustine!”  The princess yelled, turning away and putting her hands to the ground, which made Dureau begin to wonder why she constantly turned away.

“On the contrary Violetta.” Augustine laughed when Luminous roared.

“Enough! The rightful king of this land will be returned to his throne!” Luminous thundered, his right eye glowing brightly, lowering his stance as dark energy began to emanate from the end of his staff.

“Then I would like to see you try.” Augustine grinned, holding his staff up slightly, making his hat glow a strange blue-violet and conjuring soldiers from his own mana.

“Destroy them!” he shouted. Luminous simply grinned and a large card-like formation of light appeared behind him, swinging his staff with a wide arch making small spears of light shoot down from the card at the soldiers. Few of the soldiers managed to deflect the incoming spears, and those that didn’t were cut through their bodies. Mercedes leapt into the air, shooting forward in a swirl of light towards Augustine taking aim and about to pull the trigger when his staff glowed brightly, allowing him to leap just as high as Mercedes had. His actions caught her by surprise when she was suddenly facing the same man made of stone, swinging his fist down at her hard.

In another burst of green light, Mercedes shot higher making him miss, but allowed her to pull the triggers of her guns slamming arrows into the minister’s back and drive him to the ground. Luminous was too busy with the soldiers on the ground to notice the incoming stone Minister, shoved out of the way by Dureau. Once Dureau had pushed Luminous, he held back his mace as far as he could which became a large twin bladed scythe and swung up as hard as he could. The blade caught the Minister in the crook of the blade and threw him to the ground making Dureau wince in pain: the minister was heavier than he looked and he could feel it in his shoulder. Once the minister landed, the stone armor around him faded giving Luminous the chance he needed to rush past Dureau with a hexagonal dome forming around him, pushing the Minister back hard towards Mercedes who had landed not too far away.

Glowing ferns reached up her legs, crossing her guns as a breeze curled around them and gathered her hair into a vertical cushion as a look of determination set itself on her attractive face. The minister had only enough time to watch as Mercedes rushed to him, slamming one of her guns into the ground and pulling the trigger, launching him into the air as a large corkscrew burst from the ground. Still using her forward momentum, she lifted her body parallel to the ground and aimed her other bow straight up as golden arrows fired from it, slicing through the Minister’s flabby body before he crashed back to the ground.

“Is that all you’ve got?” The minister asked with a growl as he got to his feet, shaking the blood from his hand after checking one of his wounds and holding up his wand, transforming him into stone once more. Dureau readied to attack, his right arm becoming nothing but a clawed cloud as he ran forward. But when he stopped behind the minister, the only evidence that he had done anything remained only as surface scratches. Blood spurt from Dureau’s claws and he reached for his now broken arm. Luminous twirled his staff then held it parallel to the ground as he was beginning to activate a spell booster, but was caught off guard when the Minister was standing over him and swung his fist sending Luminous crashing into the wall hard.

“I’m telling you; there is no defeating me!” He shouted, turning to Mercedes and jumping at her. Before she had a chance to react, the Minister crashed into the ground in front of her making her jump back at a bad angle, twisting her ankle hard when she landed and bringing her to the ground.

“This is my kingdom now! And there is nothing that will stop me!” the Minister shouted. Luminous pulled himself from the rubble, looking beyond the Minister noticing that Pepe and the priest had been conducting the wedding while they were busy with the Minister. From around Luminous, a dark light flared across the ground while an orb appeared at his side, circling him as he stood and shot forward in a flash of light where another orb appeared, circling him once again. The minister noticed Luminous movements and was about to charge at him when Dureau appeared before him in a pillar of dark light, his appearance causing a small pressure wave to push the Minister back.

“I still owe you for what you’ve done.” Dureau said darkly, swinging his mace down hard making the Minister forcefully bow as a flare of dark orange Agies tore through the stone exterior. With another hard swing forward, the stone around his torso was turned to dust forcing the Minister backwards. Dureau stepped into his attack, swinging up as hard as he could at the Minster’s chin, throwing his head back into the air only to be met once again with another swing even harder than the last, which made the stone around his head crack and peel away.

“NOW DIE!” Dureau growled, stepping back and holding his mace as far back as he could reach where his Agies flared into the shape of what appeared to be a Dragon’s head, rushing forwards and clamping its jaw around him as it drove the Minister back. Mercedes breathed hard, rising above the pain that burned in her ankle, taking aim at the Minister once again as the bolts that lay in wait became spirals of green and black energy that caught the Minister as he was thrown back, pinning him to the wall for a moment before dissipating and letting him drop to the ground. The minister looked up as he struggled to get back up, seeing that Luminous had stopped the old and gullible priest from marrying off the Princess and holding Pepe off to the side.

“It’s not over!” the fat man said, struggling to get to his feet, only to fall over to the ground once again.

“Yes, it is Augustine. There is no honor in continuing to fight when you’ve already lost.” Mercedes answered sternly, managing to limp over and stand over him with one of her guns to his face.

“I’m still alive and I still have this!” the minister snarled, holding up his staff as it began to glow until Luminous took it away from him after tying up Pepe and his son.

“This is not something that a person of your caliber should even be allowed to handle. This is a precious Aurora crystal, one used by the mages of the Order of Light!” Luminous shouted, slamming the wand to the ground and breaking the fist sized crystal free from it. Dureau held his mace to the side, readying the large scythe as aura gathered around it to create the blade when the soldiers of King Mushi burst through the door followed by Laitmer, Dumia, and Vondra. Quickly Luminous reached his hand to Dureau’s wrist and shook his head as the soldiers surrounded Augustine, all pointing their spears down at him while Mercedes pulled Dureau away.

“Augustine, I can’t believe that you would do something of this caliber against your own kingdom.” King Mushi said with a grunt as he stood over him, walking with the assistance of Kelly.

“You’ve ruled too long Mushi, and you’ve become soft.” Augustine growled, hissing through his teeth as the pain of his wounds from the battle began to burn.

“Then maybe it is time that I pass the throne to another, but I will be the one to pass it to one who is worthy of it. Taking a kingdom by force is beneath you Augustine; you are hereby banished from the Mushroom Empire. Until you are able to leave on your own, you will be held in prison.” King Mushi declared. Augustine grit his teeth hard, more so groaning against the pain that was pulsing through his arms, legs and part of his gut that had been pierced.

“You are going to run this kingdom to ruin Mushi, you have no idea what this kingdom could have been.” With some assistance from one of the guards, Mushi knelt down to him and locked gazes.

“You’re right, I don’t know what this kingdom would have been. But with what I’ve seen you do in a matter a three days, I’m glad that it will never be. Take him away, and treat his wounds.” Roughly, the guards pulled him to his feet, escorting him out of the chapel as he shouted threats of his return. While Mushi went to see his daughter to make sure that she was alright, Dumia walked up to Dureau, asking him something with a serious tone in her voice.

“I saw you standing over the Prime Minister: would you have killed him if we hadn’t come when we did?” Dureau looked up, watching the soldiers lead Pepe and his soldiers away from the chapel in chains and smirked, grunting slightly as he reached up to his broken arm.

“I guess we’ll never know.” He chuckled. Dumia huffed as she shook her head and was about to press further for a straight answer when the voice of the princess cut her thought short.

“Some of you may have been wondering why it is that I have been hiding my face from you.” she began, turning her veiled face slightly towards Dureau before continuing on.

“Indeed I have been, but only because it has been a tradition for many years that the princess must hide her face until she has been married. For a long while I have been speaking with my father to lift the edict since it is not only a bother to me, but makes me feel as though I am disconnected from the people of this land. And so finally, my father the King has agreed to lift it and I would like you to be the first outside of the royal family to see my face.” Vondra instantly stepped before them and waved her hands back and forth.

“No no no, you don’t need to do that. I think the people of the Mushroom Empire should be the ones to…”

“Please; after all you were the ones to stop the horrible wedding from taking place and saved the entirety of the Mushroom Empire. I feel that it is the least I could do to thank you.” With a sweep of her hands, the Princess pulled back her veil causing all who were there to gaze with adoration at her simple beauty.

“It’s no wonder your father had made such an edict in the first place. You are indeed a beautiful Princess.” Mercedes commented, kneeling to the ground and urging the others to do the same.

“I thank you for the complement coming from someone such as you since your beauty surpasses that of my own.” Violetta answered. Mercedes smiled, but in actuality she was becoming tired of the constant compliments to her beauty. As they were beginning to stand, a soldier ran back into the chapel, his armor bloodied and walking with a limp dragging his leg behind him until Latimer caught him before he hit the ground, quickly surrounded by the King and a few of the soldiers.

“What happened?” the king asked as the soldier reached up and gripped the King’s coat.

“Please forgive use sire. They attacked us from nowhere, and took the Prime Minister with them.” he gurgled, gritting his teeth in pain.

“Save your strength soldier. Quickly, take him to have his wounds treated.” Mushi commanded, looking back to the hall where the soldier had come from: who on earth would have wanted to take the Prime Minister?

******************************

Calmly Clytemnestra swept the brush through her long hair until Irena came walking though the door, interrupting the quite she had surrounded herself in, crushing the brush with a pulse of black power.

“Yes? What is it?” she asked with a sneer, getting up from the vanity and turning to face her.

“He’s here to speak with you about…” Irena was shoved out of the way as Augustine and a few of the penguin soldiers from Pepe’s army roughly came through the door.

“How dare you deceive me Clytemnestra! You promised that The Guardians were no longer here in Ossyria!” Augustine bellowed. Clytemnestra simply smiled, walking up to him as she twisted her hips side to side, looking up at him alluringly until she was close enough to him that it offered him a grand view of her chest while placing a hand on the side of his plump face.

“Indeed, they are no longer here in Ossyria. Whoever it was that came and stopped you was not part of my concern. You failed and that is all there is to that.” She said softly, turning around and walking away from him as the apparatus hovered over to her and put its metal arms around her.

“Then help me take the Kingdom back from King Mushi! I am the rightful ruler of the land!”

“Your wants are your responsibility; I have fulfilled my contract with you and I am not bound to assist you any further.” Augustine’s face went red with rage, grabbing a nearby weapon and readying to attack her.

“You will help me or I will…” his sentence cut off as Clytemnestra turned around, sweeping her hand back turning Augustine and the soldiers that came with him into ashes blowing across the ground.

“What a waste of space.” She mumbled as Irena closed the doors, leaving her to her peace once again. For a brief moment she put her hand to her forehead and seemed to have become lost, looking around for something until she spied a mirror and walked slowly up to it. She looked at her hands and touched her face, leaning closer to inspect it. As she continued to look in the mirror, her image suddenly became a black cloaked figured with red glowing eyes, black aura seeping from his body into the air surprising her so much that she fell back in fear against the bed. The impact from hitting her head caused a temporary black out, after which she put a hand to her head then looked at her palm before clenching her hand so tightly that her nails dug into her flesh, making a stream of crimson fall to the ground.

I see. You are becoming quite the bother. Perhaps one day, I will be rid of you.

“I won’t be banished from my own body so easily.”
a female voice thought in return. Clytemnestra slowly let out a hissing breath, looking up into the mirror that was before her, holding her bloody hand up and firing an invisible spear of power, shattering the image into hundreds of herself. Perhaps Yoshumari was right; perhaps she did fear her. But even if that were so, she was in control, not her.

“You will submit in time.” she hissed holding her hand under the other as she began healing her wound.
The Guardians L.O. - Ch 9 pt 2, re-E2
Here is a good picture by :iconimagine8fr: that I thought best described Violetta's "simple beauty" - imagine8fr.deviantart.com/art/…

This chapter also features Klyde, the characterization of :iconklydekiss:

ALL RIGHTS OF THE MAPLESTORY GAME BELONG TO NEXON AND THE RESPECTIVE COMPANIES. THIS STORY IS PURELY FAN FICTION.

 - Chapter 10: Rolling Thunder of the Past, pt 1

Check out the game here: maplestory.nexon.net/Default.a…

This is the Third Season of "The Guardians" saga, A fanfiction. Here is the  First Season Beginning

Here is the 

Second Season Beginning

E.N. 1: I had some problems with where people were (inside/outside Dream Fragment Barrier)

E.N. 2: Just did some all around updating. Enjoy!

E.N.3: Again did some all around updating, and i think this part has a little more of the budding relationships between the new guardians... can't remember right off the bat.
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Chapter 9: Scores of Spores

“How can I be assured that what you are telling me is true?” Augustine bellowed, his large belly jiggling as he put emphasis on different words. Clytemnestra smoothly walked across his office, adjusting the golden cross medal on his lapel; a small mushroom shaped imprint in the center.

“Whether or not you trust what I tell you is entirely up to you. We made a deal if you remember that once I presented you the means to take this kingdom for your own, you would provide me with the Seal of Ossyria.” The man huffed and walked around to the back of his desk, slumping down into its chair.

“Yes, but I am still not satisfied with knowing whether or not the pesky Guardians of Ossyria have been dealt with. If I am to take this kingdom, I must have assurance they won’t be a problem that until I am able to transfer the crown to myself.” Clytemnestra chuckled and smiled mysteriously, sitting across his desk, provocatively crossing one leg over the other, speaking with a seductive, whispering moan in her voice.

“Augustine, need I remind you that I am not a patient person. I will have what I want; the question you need to ask yourself is if you want to give  the Seal to me and live to rule, or do you want me to be more blunt and pull it from your dead hands?” She asked. Augustine looked down to the glowing blue sliver of crystal that had been placed in his small staff, payment for the Seal she sought. It gave him a feeling of power. When he looked back up, he stumbled a bit when he was met with such an enticing sight. Regaining himself he reached into the desk and pulled out something wrapped in burlap.

“I suppose you are right; here is the Seal as promised. But I must know, are The Guardians of Ossyria still here?” he asked as Clytemnestra wrapped her fingers around it and took it from him. Carefully she spread the rough fabric to make sure that the Seal was indeed within it, her eyes widening for a moment she saw the golden square shaped plate. Once she was sure, she simply wrapped the Seal again and smiled darkly at Augustine. Strange whispers surrounded the two of them for a moment, fading away once she had disappeared in a cloud of black aura. No sooner had she left than a knock came on the secret door behind the bookshelf, revealing a royally dressed penguin waddling in to the front of Augustine’s desk.

“So, have you gotten the means to overthrow King Mushi?” he asked with a humming, nasal voice.

“That I have Pepé. But I still have my doubts about the promise she made to me concerning ‘The Guardians’ being within Ossyria. You might want to take extra precautions. Bring more soldiers, I’ll find a way to disrupt the creatures around the Kingdom.”

***************************

“There has to be a way that we can find the Seals faster.” Dumia whined, sitting down roughly on the ground next to the others after helping to build a makeshift camp.

“I’m sorry to say Dumia, but there isn’t. We can only trust Evan and Mir as best we can to find them.” Latimer answered when a strong huff came from Mercedes who stood behind him.

“You still think that this Evan is the reincarnation of Freud, don’t you? He is NOTHING like him. For one he would never allow his heart to be stolen by the very dragon that he partnered with.” Mercedes retorted sharply, shaking her head and about to walk off when Luminous walked into their circle.

“Luminous, I haven’t seen you in a couple days: where’ve you been?” Dumia asked, shrinking back slightly when he looked at her darkly, his right eye glowing under the hair over it.

“I’ve been making sure that Lania is safe, placing barrier anchors around her house. It’s not something that can just be thrown together at the last minute if you want it to last.” He answered, turning away sadly.

“Is that all? Or are you just trying to make her into Lucia?” Mercedes asked flatly while Luminous stared back at her.

“I just want her to be safe.” Luminous finally answered, taking a seat when someone came walking in their midst, stopping cold from the tension in the air.

“Yes? What is it?” Patricia asked, sliding her wand though the back of her belt as though it were a short sword, wincing slightly as her arm moved; even though a high level Priest had healed her broken arm there was still some lingering aches.

“I’ve come with a message for the ‘Guadians of Ossyria’?” the man said as Patricia walked over to him.

“Who is it from?” she asked.

“He didn’t say, only that he needed to give it to the Guardians of Ossyria.” Patricia looked back to the others, at which Latimer gave a small nod, walking closer to her.

“We are the Guardians of Ossyria. One of us isn’t here right now, but we are the ones that you have been looking for.” The man sighed in relief, telling them that a man dressed in a vest, cream afgan pants and a mushroom shaped hat had come running up to the guards standing outside the gate.

“He said that he had been running for three days to get this message here from King Mushi of the Mushroom Empire.”

“The Mushroom Empire? What’s that?” I’ve never heard of it.” Vondra exclaimed.

“It’s a small kingdom that was created while Minerva was still alive and has been existing out of sight to everyone on the outskirts of Henesys. Their main exports to Ossyria, unsurprisingly, were fine Gourmet Mushrooms.” Mercedes answered as Patricia pulled the seal off the letter when Acer walked in, setting he heavy cannon down with a thud.

“What’s this I hear about a kingdom in trouble?” He asked with enthusiasm.

“I’m just opening the scroll now.” Patricia answered as Acer took a seat, waiting in child-like anticipation while she looked over the letter.

“Well?” Acer asked.

“It says here that the King of the Penguins Pepé has invaded, and has quite successfully taken over the Mushroom Castle. He’s going to force the Princess to marry Pepe’s oldest son to ‘finalize’ an apparent alliance that was made to the Penguins. It goes on to say that the soldiers fighting against Pepé’s forces witnessed a strange blue power that would shoot down at them from time to time out of nowhere. It also says that King Mushi states no such alliance was promised to the Penguins and that it seems as though someone else is in control. He urges us to come as soon as possible.”

“Well then, what are we standing around here for? We’ve got a kingdom to save!” Acer said proudly, hoisting the gun onto his back.

“How many reloads do you have for that thing?” Dumia asked, standing and pulling on her gloves.

“Just one.” Acer answered confidently.

“One? Acer, we’re going up against Minerva knows how many enemies and you’re only bringing one reload? I’m loading an extra belt in each of my mech’s arms, and you’re only going to bring one reload?”

“It’s not like I’ll be completely helpless. I still have the cloak Jack gave me, which I still need to figure out how to use, and the mana shots that I’ve been working on. Besides, I can’t carry more than that: the things are heavy!” Dumia pushed out her bottom jaw, breathing in a hard breath before pointing to him.

“I swear Acer, if you get in the way, you’ll find out just how many bullets one Mech can hold. I’ll be ready in five.” Dumia huffed, walking away from the area making Acer laugh.

“Sometimes that chick doesn’t know when to take a joke does she?” he laughed, shifting the weight on his shoulder. Vondra only laughed and shook her head, crossing her arms under her chest.

“No she doesn’t. You guys can come to since it would prove advantageous to you.” Vondra said pointing to Mercedes, checking the cutting edges of her daggers.

“Very well.” She huffed, motioning for Luminous to do the same.

“What about Phantom? We could use his help for something like this.” Latimer pointed out.

“He’s made his choice; if he comes back, it will be because he wants to, not because we asked him.” Mercedes answered flatly.

“I’m afraid I’ll be staying here as well. The Priest that I’ve been seeing to heal my arm hasn’t been able to fully heal it yet. Your healer in Ellul did take the pain away at least, but my arm is going to need a bit more time.” Patricia said, holding up her arm in a crude cast made of a partially torn dress. Latimer almost seemed a bit disappointed and was about to say something when Dumia’s mech roared to life and he decided to say something else.

“Alright; we’ll be back as soon as we can.” Latimer called, following after the others heading for the outskirts of Henesys, following Mercedes and Luminous as they knew where it was supposed to be. Patricia pondered what it must have been like for the real Guardians when they were assigned their first mission: how did they feel? Was there a knot in the bottom of their stomachs too like there was in her’s right now? Were the others feeling the same thing? Looking down at her wrist, she watched the light dance across the gem of power Helen had given her as well as the black cloak she had around her shoulders.

“I only hope we’re going to do the right thing like you guys did.” She said to the wind, watching Latimer until he was far out of sight. Her attention was then drawn to a young boy, no more than three or four who had become lost and was crying, curled up in a corner near where she was standing. It reminded her of the story Olsen had told about when he and Jenny first met as kids. She smiled as she walked over to him, calming him and taking his hand to find his parents.

******************************

Starling pushed her way through the brush on the outskirts of Leafre as quickly as she could, leading her to the small hut where she had taken care of Yoshumari after the battle with the Black Mage. Despite her best efforts, there were scars dealt to him that even she wouldn’t be able to heal. She finally found him sitting on a rock, looking down at Eleanor’s headstone just outside the hut, staring at a rose he held up before him.

“I was wondering when you were going to get here.” Yoshumari chuckled, sliding off the rock and tenderly setting the rose on top of a bouquet resting in front of the stone, then plucking one of his feathers and setting it down on top of the roses.

“Yoshumari, I know that you loved her, but don’t you think after 18 years you should move on?” Starling asked; there had been times she said that same thing over and over again through the 18 years past, but it felt like he never did.

“I know I should, but there are still parts of me that can’t.” He answered, putting a hand to the scar on his chest from the Mage’s attack that had nearly killed him.

“What about the people that love you who are watching you tear yourself apart?” Starling asked as Yoshumari stood and turned around.

“You told me once that I had better return to you. But I don’t think I can, not when one is as broken as I.” he smiled, until Starling ran to him and put her arms around him, hugging him close.

“Then I’ll come to you. I can’t watch you tear yourself apart anymore.”

“Star, I’ve chosen a path that I must walk alone. Only when the Black Mage has paid in full for what he has done…”

“I told you to come back to me and I meant it! I didn’t mean it as something to do when you felt like it. I thought that by giving you time to deal with your wounds that you would come back to me, but you haven’t! I told you before that after I met you, I realized that I didn’t have to be alone anymore; you taught me that. It was a painful few months not having you there while you were undercover, and it hurt knowing that you had fallen in love with one of the Black Wings when I was right there!” Starling cried, loosening her grip and looking up into his eyes.

“But I stayed, waiting, hoping that you would come back to me, and in a way you did. But I can’t stand it any longer! You still can’t let her go, and I’m tired of being alone! It hurts…” she wailed, putting her forehead to his chest. Yoshumari swallowed hard as what Starling said struck him hard over and over again: had he become such a traitor as to toss aside a woman that he had loved before for another? Had she really been waiting for him all this time? With eerie silence he put his arms around her then wrapped his wings around them.

“It hurts, Dragon. It hurts to be alone...”

“I’m sorry for making you wait so long Star.” He whispered, sliding a hand up her back to the top of her head.

“I thought I could handle it again, but I can’t, not any more. Please, don’t ever leave me again; even if you must get revenge for her death, please let me come with you. Don’t leave me behind anymore.” She begged, gripping the lapel of his coat as hard as she could while tears dropped onto the leather.

“I promise Starling, I won’t leave you behind, not now, not ever.” Yoshumari answered kissing the top of her head, looking back to Eleanor’s grave with saddened eyes over Starling’s head.

I promise Eleanor, I WILL make sure that The Mage pays for what he’s done to you.” he thought, walking back to camp with Starling under his arm. As they walked away, Yoshumari thought that for a brief moment he felt Eleanor’s hand brush against the back of his neck and a whisper in his ear.

Thank you, Dragon.” It said. Quickly Yoshumari turned around to see who was there, but there was no one, making him smile as he looked down to the ground.

“Yoshumari? What’s wrong?” Starling asked, stilling holding his hand as he turned back around and began walking away once again, still with the saddened smile on his face.

“It’s nothing Star.” He answered, putting his arm around her waist and kissing her gently as they walked, coming over a hill able to clearly see all of Ossyria from their vantage point. His attention was then peaked as he looked in the direction of Ereve, feeling a slight rise in power emanating from it.

She has another one.” Yoshumari thought to himself, unaware that Starling heard him mutter the same sentence aloud.


***************************

All of the Advance masters had seen the barrier descend over all of Ossyria effectively cutting them off from the rest of the world with a strange colored sky hanging high above them. No sooner had the spell completed itself then Grendal was already researching as much as he could. After a few days of non-stop searching, both Athena and Dances with Balrog both came to see him.

“Have you found anything old friend?” Dances asked, pulling the hood from his head. Grendal looked up from his tome and slowly shook his head.

“This is the work of Dream Fragments, parts to a larger spell. From what I was able to find, it tells of how these fragments work, but to disarm them requires something much more than we currently have at our disposal.” He said sadly, closing a book and sitting back in his grand chair.

“What of Gregory and May? Are they alright? The last that I had heard of them, they were in Florina.”

“I have tried contacting them, but have had no success. I can only assume that they were caught outside the area affected by the Dream Fragments.” He replied. It appeared there was something more he wanted to say, but it was of a grim nature. Athena lowered her brow and nodded, her thoughts turning to Eckhart as she turned and left. Her thoughts lead her to one of many balconies of the mansion and over looked the endless miles of pure white within El Nath.

“I heard what was being said: you’re thinking of Eckhart again aren’t you?” Kyrin asked, leaning against the railing beside Athena and crossing her arms. Athena sadly nodded and looked down to the ring still on her hand, turning it this way and that as the light reflected off the diamond.

“It just kills me to not know whether or not my Eckhart is still out there.” Athena answered.

“Why don’t you ask Grendal to activate a search spell?” Kyrin asked, pulling her weight from the rail and turning to face Athena.

“Because I’m afraid of what could be; that the ones who took his place have…” But Athena stopped her sentence not wanting to continue. Kyrin smirked and put her arm around her and lead her back into Grendal just as he was finishing up reading through a rather thick tome.

“Grendal, can you please search for Eckhart. I need to know if he is still alive.” Grendal slid the book back onto the shelf and turned back to her.

“Athena, you should be prepared for the fact…”

“Don’t say it!” Athena countered. Grendal nodded and held out his palm where a compass-like devise sat, mana flowing into its crude circuitry as the needle began to spin.

“I was going to say Athena that he could be outside the barrier, so it is a very likely fact that this spell won’t…” The compass jingled, catching Grendal’s attention as the needle wobbled for a moment then pointed true directly towards the Minar Forest. Athena’s breath caught in her throat as she dared hope.

“Is he…”

“He’s alive and well. Take this, and it will guide you to him.” Grendal said holding out the compass.

“But what if…”

“Athena, go. I don’t think that with the world in the state it is in there will be any Archers seeking out their 3rd degree.” Athena rushed into her room, packing what it was that she would need, grabbing her bow and a quiver and began running in the direction the compass was leading her.

Eckhart, please wait for me.


*******************

Again and again there was a cold, sharp pain that would plunge under his skin: his fins began to feel strange as did his body which began to curl into an upside down “L” shape. There was still one last thing that he hadn’t tried which would allow him to escape, the only problem was it that he could usually swim away after he had done it. But right now, he was nowhere near a body of water. It was worth a shot though if it meant that he could get away from these dreaded humans. Concentrating, he began tensing his abdominal muscles opposite each other: within him a power began to build, causing his whole body to itch.

The humans dressed in white began running everywhere all around him, trying and do something about his power. No matter what they did they couldn’t do anything about it and began running away: exactly what he wanted. Electricity began to flow freely from his body, overloading some of the equipment around him and even making holes in the ground where it struck, when that same black cloaked man put a hand on him and instantly made all the power he had created disappear. He looked up at the man
when Firebolt suddenly lifted his head from the pillow and gasped hard, looking around at where he was, suddenly realizing that he was in the camp set up by the Silent Crusade outside of Edelstein. He hadn’t been sleeping well during the night and when he did, it was only for short bursts before he would be frightened awake by one of the many nightmares that plagued him, so he would often sleep during the day when he had the chance.

“Hawkeye? What’s wrong?” Monsoon asked with a soothing tone. She had been watching him toss and turn in his sleep as tiny threads of his lightning would feel over his body.

“It was another dream.” He said, slowly calming his fearful breathing.

“Were you still seeing the same thing?”

“No, this time was different. This time, I felt as though I was this predatory fish. Some of my body was beginning to change, but I was trying to use an electric attack to escape. I almost had when that same black cloaked figure put his hand on me and stopped it all.”

“And that’s when you woke up just now isn’t it?” Monsoon asked, setting her bow down and sitting next to him. Firebolt nodded cradling his head in his hand and closing his eyes, suddenly falling asleep and resting his head in Monsoon’s lap, seeming to be peacefully sleeping for the first time in ages when Holocaust and Shadow walked back into the camp, at which Monsoon put her finger to her lips telling them to be quiet.

“Is he still having those nightmares?” Shadow asked, which was answered by Monsoon’s nod. Holocaust knelt down next to him, placing her hand over his forehead when Firebolt’s body seemed to relax fully.

“Brilliance told me that Yoshumari did this once to Black Phoenix, what exactly did you do?” Holocaust stood up once again, the glow from her staff making the shadows on her face become deeper, aging her far more than she looked.

“It’s a spell that originated from an ability of the Seraphim that I learned while spending some time with Helen before the fall of Ereve. It calms one’s mind so that they can sleep without having the thoughts of the day interrupt them.” She replied, turning her attention to the vast ocean that was before her were one could usually see the coast of Ossyria, only now it was replaced by a thick cloud of fog and endless waves of water.

“I wonder how they are doing in there?” Holocaust asked quietly.

**********************

The six of them finally made their way through the outskirts of what was left of Henesys, sneaking past the guards that constantly patrolled the area, sometimes even having to run from them.

“What are they? The power they produce is unlike anything I’ve seen.” Mercedes exclaimed, finally able to clip her bows to his belt.

“It feels as though their power stems from Black Magic.” Luminous answered.

“I recognize them: they’re the Empress’s chief knights. Without the influence of Black Magic they were powerful, but I doubt those are the actual knights, their personality wouldn’t allow for it.” Latimer answered, as Dumia watched her HUD for enemies.

“I think we lost ‘em for a while.” Dumia sighed, retracting the machine guns in her mech’s arms and turning to the others, pulling back the cockpit canopy.

“So now where do we go?” Vondra asked, as Luminous and Mercedes seemed as though they were searching for something, holding their hands out like searching for something in the dark.

“I said before that the Mushroom Empire was in a place out of the way, when in fact it’s actually in a pocket dimension similar to that of what we are in right now.” Mercedes explained when Luminous’ hand touched something and a rift appeared in mid air distorting everything that was behind it like a ripple in a pond, settling into nothing not long after.

“Am I going to even be able to fit this thing through that?” Dumia asked, pointing to herself.

“This rift is actually just a barrier; anyone of us can pass through it and it is infinitely high. The trouble is finding it.” Mercedes answered when something sounded as if it were flying in from behind them. Luminous chuckled and began speaking before turning around.

“I didn’t expect you to come Yosh…” He was surprised when instead of seeing Yoshumari flying grandly in, he saw Dureau landing ominously behind them.

“I remember being in search of this place for the longest time under the leadership of the Black Mage and I never could find it.” He said smoothly, not moving when Acer hauled the cannon over his shoulder and pointed it into his face, charging the kickback thrusters.

“And what are you doing here now? Are you still searching for it?” Acer asked with a sneer. Dureau pulled his smile to the side, grabbing the end of the barrel lifting Acer with the gun off the ground, setting him to the side.

“No, however I did happen by the quaint little camp you set up, and happened to hear that you left a while ago to help someone in need. The man I had spoken with was generous enough to tell me where it was that you were heading.”

“How do we know that you aren’t going to turn us over to the Black Wings once you’ve left us?” Vondra asked with a sneer, only to be met with a fierce and deadly stare from Dureau.

“The Black Wings betrayed me and I have no intentions of helping them. From what the man told me, it appears as though some kind of arrangement went on between Clytemnestra and someone of this kingdom. If that is indeed the case then I want in. It will be a pleasure to make whatever plans she made burn in hell.” He growled, his Agies surrounding him making a few strands of his hair float in the upward draft. Dumia activated one of the miniguns in her mech’s arm and pointed it at Dureau, spinning it up in preparation to fire.

“You better not betray us.” She growled, opening the vents for the jet punch.

“I will disrupt the plans of the Black Wings. If you get in my way, that’s your fault.” Dureau answered as he looked up at her from under his eyebrows, walking around her and through the barrier quietly.

“He’s truly a demon.” Luminous answered, motioning for the others to follow him through the barrier, finding a path that led them to a small encampment surrounded by a few guards all dressed in cream afgan pants, blue vests and mushroom shaped hats. Just as they were about to enter, a heavy set man stepped before them, holding a spear to them ready to attack along with a few guards.

“Who are you and how did you find this Kingdom? I’ve never seen you here before, and frankly, I don’t care. Just turn around and leave this place at once.” The man said in a gruff voice.

“We came here at the request of King Mushi, he had sent a letter to us.” Latimer explained as the man pushed the spear further into their faces, trying to intimidate them to walk back.

“If you are indeed here to help us then you can help my soldiers with the wave of enemies that is pummeling us right now.” The man pointed his spear to a side where a line of soldiers were battling a swarm of something that looked like mushrooms with tiny legs.

“With pleasure.” Luminous answered, the crystal in his staff glowing as he ran towards the line, followed closely by the others jumping in front of the solders and quickly wiping out the onslaught in just a few seconds. The soldiers that had been fighting for the past two hours finally collapsed from exhaustion while Luminous and Mercedes did what they could using a simple healing spell and handing out small thimble sized bottles of Orange Peel potions to help recover their energy quicker. The man that had stopped them earlier eyed Luminous, watching as the crystal in his staff slowly began to dim after the battle.

That is the same kind of glow my soldiers say came from the battlefield.” the man thought, waving a hand telling the soldiers around him to stand down and return to their post. He then walked to the first person that he felt he could trust, Dumia, and set his spear down, kneeling with some effort to one knee.

“Please forgive me for my earlier conduct; I am Kelly, Head of Security. The safety of the king is my top priority, so I have to be suspicious of everyone that I see. I’m still very suspicious of you, but I was the one to make sure the messenger was sent off safely.” Kelly scanned over them, looking intently at their faces, when he came across Dureau and became infuriated.

“What is he doing here?! Are you still searching for this kingdom and used them as your pawns?!” Kelly shouted, lowering his spear to his chest. Dureau chuckled haughtily pushing the spear away with the back of his hand.

“I’m surprised you still remember that. But, no I’m no longer associated with the entity that you knew me for. I could care less about what you held anymore.”

“And how do I know that you won’t go running back to them as soon as you leave here?” Kelly asked strongly.

“If I had the power I would eradicate them myself.” Dureau answered, locking stares with Kelly making an odd and long silence follow.

“You five, come with me to speak with the king. But you demon slayer, you will remain until we return. As will you mage.” Kelly said sternly pointing to Luminous. He jerked his head back in surprise with a puzzled look on his face.

“How have I been of any offence to you?”

“The power that you wield is the same kind that killed a hundred of my men in the blink of an eye. I will not let it near the King.” Kelly answered shortly, pointing to the crystal in his staff before turning and leading the others away with him to speak with the king about their dilemma.

“The same power? It seems as though someone has managed to get a grip on one of your crystals.” Dureau laughed darkly while he leaned against a nearly vertical bank of earth.

“An Aurora crystal? If that is indeed the case then whoever has it is grossly misusing its power.” Luminous answered him, setting his staff upright and looking over the master crystal that had been set into it.

“Is it a gross misuse? Or are you simply envious that another that has more than likely never heard of the Order of Light is able to draw such power from it?” Dureau smiled, resting his hand on the mace hanging from his belt.

“The Aurora crystals were never meant to be a source of power, only a point of focus to enhance one’s magic. But I must ask, what did Kelly mean by asking if you were still searching for this place?” Dureau looked up at his from under his brow, making a small smile curl the corner of his mouth, the mark on his face glowing.

“While I was still under the command of the Black Wings, one of my many missions for him was to search for this place and ascertain the means by which it was able to by-pass the normal flow of time. Unfortunately I was never able to find this place thanks to your Order. How is your master Beuwon these days?” Luminous’ body tensed his entire body, grabbing Dureau’s shirt hard.

“How do you know of Beuwon’s condition?”

“I was the one that killed him. It was such a pity since I was expecting so much more from the leader of the Order.” Luminous anger boiled, gripping Duerau’s shirt harder and harder making the fabric begin to tear.

“Then I am sorry to say that you failed; Beuwon is still alive thanks to the power for the other mages. However he can no longer leave the Order.” Dureau shook his head, pulling Luminous’ hand from his shirt and pushing him back.

“I see. I’m sorry that that I failed then. But you can rest easy knowing that I won’t be coming after your precious master. Their death was only an unfortunate circumstance to my mission of finding this place; one of many contingency plans made by the Black Mage.”

“Such as?” Luminous asked darkly, his right eye glowing with a low light as his hair began to darken.

“One of the many plans he had made was that of your precious Lucia.” Luminous straightened his posture and tightened the grip around his staff.

“You didn’t really think that the ‘daughter’ of your master was really his?” Dureau asked with a chuckle. The blood ran cold through Luminous body as he slowly began putting things together, realizing what Beuwon meant when he said he wanted him to watch over Lucia.

“You already knew, didn’t you; but you only knew that she had darkness within her and that you would keep it under control. The daughter of the Black Mage was in your presence and it was given to you as a charge to protect her. She was the eyes and ears for the Mage himself to find out what was going on with the Order; he was banished from the order and for that, he wanted to destroy the Order…”

“No…”

“She was to be his tool for destroying the Order from the inside out.”

“No…”

“But he was not able to complete that mission because of you. Your light and companionship with her restricted the Mage’s movements and wasn’t able to use her. In addition, she isn’t the only tool that The Mage has created for his use. Lania is also his tool.” Luminous looked to him with worried but angry eyes, realizing what Beuwon had meant by trying to get Lania away from the Order and away from Luminous: the darkness that existed within him was making the darkness within Lania stronger. The only way that he was going to be able to defeat that darkness was to control it and make it his own. He was about to ask a question of Dureau when his thought was interrupted as Vondra began speaking.

“So, the king it seems is rather old and not in the best of health at the moment, and so…” her briefing was cut short when she looked at Dureau and Luminous, watching how tense looks were being passed between them.

“Did I interrupt something?” she asked.

“No, please continue.” Dureau answered shortly. Vondra sighed uncomfortably but pushed on.

“King Mushi told us that King of the Penguins, Pepe, has taken the kingdom by force and is going to force the King’s daughter Violetta to marry King Pepe’s son to force an alliance with Pepe of the El Nath penguin tribe. The wedding is to take place in just a few hours and we have to stop it at all costs.” Luminous and Dureau nodded in agreement as Dumia walked up in her mech.

“According to what Mushi told us, there are a little over 6 hours before the wedding is to happen.” She called, activating the chainguns in her arms.

“Let’s do this!” she called, walking with heavy steps to the edge of the camp where Latimer moved his hands through a few motions, summoning his faithful Panther to his side. All too eagerly, the soldiers guarding the perimeter let them through to the thickets outside, pushing through the underbrush and over the somewhat hidden path leading to the castle. However along their path were hundreds of the walking mushrooms as well as some large, blue capped mushrooms that shimmered from what appeared to be a thick sap. Dumia stopped and looked down on her radar at the bottom of her HUD, noticing that the entire thing was flashing red.

“Dumia, what the matter?” Latimer called, suddenly feeling that his panther Blaze had become tense, growling at something that lay ahead.

“I don’t know. From what the HUD is telling me, we’re right in front of a massive enemy, but I can’t see anything.” Dumia responded. Mercedes stepped forward and purposefully walked forward when she found that she wasn’t going anywhere. To the others, it looked as though she were walking in place.

“Mercedes, it’s a barrier, there is no getting passed it.” Luminous explained. Mercedes looked back to him and shook her head, reaching for her bowguns and taking aim at the air before her. Pulling the trigger, her bows erupted into a blaze of green and black streaks of light, ricocheting off the barrier and into the ground, trees, mushrooms, even whizzing past those that stood behind her.

“Mercedes!” Dureau commanded, grabbing her wrist and aiming her arm to the ground roughly.

“Do you intend to get us all killed?!” he thundered, looking to the area of air that wavered before them.

“It’s better than standing around here trying to figure out what we’re going to do!” Mercedes thundered back.

“While we do need to get passed this barrier, I don’t think force is the way to go. Perhaps we should go back and tell them about this.” Acer suggested.

“It took us 2 hours to get here. By the time we get back to the camp, tell them of the problem, find a way to break this and return it will be too late to stop the wedding.” Mercedes argued when Acer tilted his head, noticing something.

“What is it?”

“Look, The mushrooms… they can walk right through it without any problem.”

***************************

Augustine laughed as they tried to get through, listening to their dull conversation until something they said caught his attention. He growled low in his throat, noticing that indeed the walking mushrooms could pass through the barrier unhindered.

“A foresight that I did not account for.” he mumbled to himself.

“Hmm Augustine, the hmm wedding preparations are nearly complete. I trust that nothing is the matter?” Pepe asked as he walked up behind him.

“No, no nothing of the sort. Go on to the chamber and I shall be there shortly to pronounce the proceedings.” Augustine urged Pepe, turning back to the ground and the people standing outside his castle when he noticed a bracelet around three of their wrists.

“So, they may not be the famous ‘Guardians’ I have heard so much about, but it appears that they do wield their power. Such power as this must be dealt with quickly, otherwise it could ruin my plans.” He reached into his jacket and pulled his scepter from the pocket, holding it up high in the air.

“Go, destroy them.” he said softly as a blue light flashed from the gem mounted in it.

*****************************

Luminous felt a chill run down his back, turning this way and that trying to ascertain the origin of the power, recognizing it as an Aurora crystal’s enhancing ability. But that was the least of his worries when he felt a wave of power slowly wash over them.

“We need to run.” Luminous commanded, walking in the direction back towards the camp.

“Why? What’s here?” Vondra asked, drawing her daggers and standing at the ready when something felt wrong.

“We just need to…” Luminous command was cut short when the ground began to tremble. They all turned around and around, each of them with their weapons at the ready back to back for what would come. From the trees around them, the blue capped mushrooms began to grow, pulling from the ground and jumping for movement. Dureau was the first to attack, leaning into his run and streaking passed a small group of them while his right arm became a flash of black aura, throwing the mushrooms back and tearing through some of their flesh. But before they got very far, he held his hand forward where a bright light appeared before him, sucking everything in front of him to the light and obliterating it. Stillness fell over them for a bit as Dureau turned his palm to himself and examined the burnt flesh that still sizzled, turning back to them showing them his palm.

“Don’t touch them.” was all he said before holding his mace with both hands while power curled around it. Vondra crossed her arms which swelled slightly as she pushed a small amount of mana into them. With a smooth sweep of her arms she drove her daggers into the ground, making an explosion of chains erupt from the ground around her and throw the mushrooms into the air, slicing through their bodies with ease. Mercedes took a wide stance as small glowing vines wrapped around her feet and legs, making her Soul Arrows glow brighter with a small breeze. The breeze curled around her arms before she took aim, firing off arrows that sounded as though they were made of flames, tearing through mushrooms great and small.

Luminous spun his staff over his shoulders before thrusting it forward. A large card made of pure light appeared behind him, and from it, serrated spears of light shot down, slicing through each of the mushrooms. However, he and Mercedes were beginning to be surrounded on all sides since their power couldn’t effectively repel them at the moment.

“Stay away!” he shouted with a growl, an orb of light surrounding him and Mercedes before pushing back every mushroom with a wave of light.

“I don’t have time for this!” Luminous growled, his right eye glowing brightly and turning his hair jet black.

“My darkness will consume you!” the top of his staff became a blaze of dark violet light as a giant orb formed in front of him, threads of lightning striking the ground around it as he swept his arm around them, guiding the orb, obliterating everything in its path. Dumia looked down at her HUD, noticing that it was flashing red again after torching and smashing a few mushrooms of her own. When she turned around she saw the orb hovering over their enemies, burning them all to a crisp. But Luminous’ face had a sick, pleasure filled expression on it as though he were laughing as it moved. Mercedes was unaware of the orbs path as she was busy with her own enemies, unable to feel the hair raising power behind her.

“MERCEDES! LOOK OUT!” she called, stepping in to snatch her out of the oncoming orb’s path, but even with her speed she wouldn’t make it in time. Latimer turned his attention to the orb, using his arrows to try and fight it off but his actions only seemed to make the orb bigger. By the time Mercedes turned around to see what it was that was coming for her, it was already too late and the orb would no doubt kill her if not seriously injure her, possibly making her unable to fight ever again. Luminous realized what it was that he was doing and hauled his hand back in the other direction to get it away from her. It was too little too late since the orb had gained a significant amount of speed and was taking too long to re-direct.

Vondra leaned as far forward as she dared, nearly falling over as she tried to run for her but even her speed wasn’t going to make it in time. Acer had already used his shot, blasting mushrooms away, but the shot that he was going to try would still take too long to charge. The orb crashed through the ground were Mercedes had been standing a moment before, finally dissipating leaving them all in stunned silence staring at the charred ground. Luminous dropped to his knees and dropped his staff: what had he done? He thought that he was beginning to understand the darkness that was within him, but he was oh so wrong.

“You humans really are useless.” A strong voice said, making them all look up to see Dureau hovering above them all with Mercedes in his arms, gliding down to the ground.

“But, how did you…” Vondra stuttered when Dureau set Mercedes down and walked over to Luminous, hauling him to his feet and striking him across the face hard putting him down on the ground once more.

“Be sure and keep your power under control mage. I would be inclined in slaying you right now. Fortunately for you, your blood is not something that would allow me to defeat the Black Wings any faster.” Dureau growled, shifting his wings to a more comfortable position before helping Luminous to his feet and handing him his staff.

“The enemy is gone, and time is not on our side. Let’s go.” He said, walking over to one of the disintegrating bodies, grabbing some of the bubbling spores. He winced as the spores began to eat away at his skin until he held them up and pressed them to the barrier which allowed him through. The others looked at each other and quickly picked up some more of the spores, pressing them to the barrier and allowing them through, revealing a castle entangled with vines sporting thorns and spines that were razor sharp, even blocking the castle’s main gate barring them from entering.

“Well now what?” Latimer asked, trying to find a way to situate his hand among the thorns so that he could get a good grip without hurting himself.

“Climb on me, I’ll climb the vines.” Dumia offered, kneeling her mecha down low enough so that Vondra, Latimer, Acer, Mercedes and Luminous could climb aboard her shoulders. Dureau on the other hand refused, bending down and raising his wings before shooting up and over the wall.
The Guardians L.O. - Ch 9 pt 1, Re-E2
ALL RIGHTS OF THE MAPLESTORY GAME BELONG TO NEXON AND THE RESPECTIVE COMPANIES. THIS STORY IS PURELY FAN FICTION.

Chapter 9, pt 2: Scores of Spores

Check out the game here: maplestory.nexon.net/Default.a…

This is the Third Season of "The Guardians" saga, A fanfiction. Here is the First Season Beginning

Here is the Second Season Beginning

E.N. 1: Hey guys, sorry I haven't posted anything in a while, I been suffering from writabifita T_T. But I think I've pretty much got it licked!

E.N. 2: I realized when writing one of the more recent chapters that I have a few inconsistencies with who is where at this time.

E.N. 3: did some all around updating, adding a few words here and there, taking some out, etc

E.N. 4: Did some more updating and added a scene with Athena trying to find Eckhart once again and added some things reguarding the new guardian's relationships. The first time around i really neglected that.
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“I see. This has to be part of some greater scheme that the Black Mage is trying to accomplish. Knowledge is power, and if people were to find out that he was defeated not once, but twice, then it would weaken the credibility of The Mage.” he thought to himself, when another thought struck him.

Wait, the recording from Minerva telling us about the world cannon said that there were six of us. Yet Lilin here says that we were only five. Is there something that I am missing? Tell me, in your studies of those scrolls, did it happen to mention if there was a sixth person among us?” Lilin stopped her searching of the key for a moment as she thought of all the texts she had read.

“No I can’t say that I remember anything of the sort; it only mentions five. Is there something that I’ve missed?” she asked. Phantom held his chin for a moment, trying to assemble his thoughts, but shaking his head.

“No you haven’t. Getting back to the matter at hand, The Black Wings no doubt know of the Seal’s location; I’ll take it aboard my ship for the moment and hide it amongst the treasures that I have acquired over the years.” Lilin’s face had a thoughtful look cross it as she began walking to a back room to retrieve the Seal. Phantom slyly walked around the room, looking for anything that may catch his attention, picking up a object here, looking over a book there. Most of what was in this library was worthless, at least compared to what he was used to stealing.

But even if there was something worth taking from this place, a voice in the back of his mind kept telling to leave everything he saw alone. Was that of Aria’s Influence? He remembered that he had visited her the day before the emissary of The Mage was to come where he promised her that he would leave his life of theft to be with her. He tried so hard to make himself stop even when his peers begged for his help.

But it was all in vain in the end wasn’t it?” he asked himself when he heard Lilin coming back into the main room holding a small cloth wrapped object in her hands.

“I know what you were before you became one of the five heroes, but I’m going to trust you with this Seal. Keep it safe.” She urged, holding out the cloth to him and reluctantly letting him take the weight. Phantom smiled in return, for a moment seeing Aria standing before him unwrapping the Seal. It was a silver square shaped plate with a pulsing red maple leaf in the center of a emerald helm’s wheel.

“That I will Lilin.” He promised, stepping out of the building into the cold once more, pulling the cloth around the Seal again. But just as he was about to reach for the calling transmitter of his pod, a shadow streaked past him snatching the Seal out of his hands. In a flash Phantom held up his hand, his forearm glowing a bright blue which rocketed down his arm and to his feet where blue wings sprouted on his heels. Coupled with his own unusually high speed, Phantom closed the distance quickly. In a blur he reached up to his forearm, pulled the card out and slapped another into it depicting a person holding a green flame arrow and bow at arm’s length. He held his cane out, drawing his hand across the cane as a green flaming bow appeared from it.

“Drop the rock or I skewer you!” Phantom demanded, drawing the bow further back when the man turned around, saluted him and disappeared in the same breath with the Seal in hand. Phantom let the arrow go, watching as is slammed into a tree, the fire torching the bark into nothing but charcoal. Dropping to his knees, Phantom turned his head to the sky and screamed as loud as he could, the echo able to be heard from the Lumiere high above.

Ariant, 2 years after joining Raven

Phantom had been slowly making a name for himself within the thieves’ community: he had slipped into the palace many a time and stolen thousands of coin worth of treasure, even had been brought along on Raven’s jobs. But time and again when he thought that he had gotten something of great value, Raven would always show him another treasure that was many times more valuable then what he had stolen.

“You’d think after 3 years you would have learned something with all the tricks I’ve ‘allowed’ you to see.” Raven scolded. Phantom could only swallow, holding onto the promise made to him for killing him, and it’s what drove him to constantly strive for bigger and better treasures. With each attempt that he made, he would become bolder, flashier, even announcing that he was going to steal something on some occasions. Phantom had even been given Raven’s left eye through a painful spell to see hidden treasures or traps.

But most of the time, he would often be meeting Raven on a dark road after being released from the royal prison when an unnamed person paid for his bail. On one such occasion, Phantom had just been caught with the royal crown in his hand after taking it from the Queen’s head, and was just about to clear the threshold of the Palace’s wall only to be met with an army of soldiers.

“I don’t understand! What did I do wrong?!” Phantom kept asking as he walked back with Raven to their hideout through the back alleys of Ariant.

“You got too comfortable Phantom: You left the rope you used to get over the wall hanging down. It was only a matter of time after you made that mistake that you would be caught.” Raven answered.

“No I didn’t, I pulled the rope up and carried it with me the entire… You bastard! You were the one that put the rope there weren’t you!” Phantom shouted, grabbing Raven by his collar and pinning him against the wall. Normally Raven would have already sent him tumbling down the road with a back hand, but this time Raven did nothing. Phantom watched him closely for a moment, noticing that Raven was wincing in pain and when he looked down he saw that Raven’s jacket at his stomach was covered in blood.

“Raven! What happened?!”

“This is nothing; just give me a couple days back at the house and I’ll be good as new. Some thread, a few drinks of whisky and I’ll be patched up.” Raven countered; pushing Phantom out of the way stumbling down the road for a bit before falling to the ground as something metal hit the ground.

“RAVEN!” Phantom called; this man may have killed his parents when a robbery had gone wrong, and Phantom may have a pact with Raven about killing him once he could out steal him. However in a strange way, Phantom respected him.

“Heh, looks like this is a bit more than I’ll be able to shake off this time.” Raven grunted rolling into an upright position and looking Phantom in the eyes, readjusting the patch over his left eye.

“No! No you can’t die here! Not like this! I still have to kill you! You can’t die until then!” Phantom shouted grabbing Raven’s shirt once again and shaking him around like a rag doll.

“Then what are you waiting for? I’ve taught you all I can, and you’ve out stolen me many times, so why wait?” Raven asked weakly.

“No! Get up! You’re not gonna die like this! Not after all I’ve done to out steal you! I didn’t work all that time just to have it end like this!” Phantom growled through his grit teeth.

“Don’t get all worked up. If you do… you’ll… lose fooooocuuuuuus…” Raven finally let out his last breath, slumping over slightly on the wall where he had sat up.

“Raven? Come on, this isn’t funny! Wake up!” But when Raven didn’t move, Phantom slumped to his knees, reaching out his hand for the first thing that he could find and suddenly standing to his feet as fast as he could, pummeling Raven in the head over and over again as Phantom cried from frustration. It felt like hours to him until he finally ran out of energy and slumped to the ground once more with the object in his hands, throwing it to the side.

He had to get out of here: no doubt someone had heard him and had called the guards, but he couldn’t leave Raven like this, could he? The moon peeked out from behind the clouds, making Phantom see a glint of something shining in Raven’s vest pocket. When he removed it, it was a single card that resembled a tarot card with finely printed gold leaf designs. In the center was a blank white picture in the center, and across the top of the card was an ornate calligraphic title: Carte Blanc.

Phantom had seen Raven pull this card out a few times before, but never understood what it really was. He was about to search Raven’s body for instructions on how to use the thing when he heard the guards coming and decided to run. As he was move though, he tripped on whatever it was that Raven had been holding. Looking back, he saw that it was a black steel, jewel topped cane. He could hear the soldiers coming and so grabbed the cane and bolted into the night.

Mother, Father; the man who killed you is dead, but it was not by my hand. I will take what Raven of Ariant has taught me, and I will become the greatest thief in all of Ossyria. And once I have obtained all the treasures of this world, I will create a place where nothing will ever be stolen from anyone again.” he thought as he ran. Presently he heard someone hammering metal in the distance. Following the sound, he found that it was a gentleman just a few years older than he pounding away at a sheet of metal that looked to be in the shape of a crescent moon.

Raven had his mark, but mine shall be that of the Crescent moon, just like this man is making here.” he thought, gathering composure and wiping his eyes as he began approaching him.

“You there, what are you working on?” Phantom asked, taking his now dazzling feathered, bird-masque fez from his head. At the sound of his voice, the man jumped and smiled.

“Why I’m working on the finest ship in all of Ossyria. I still haven’t named her yet, but one day I’ll get her flying and come up with a good name. I’ll show you.” the man said, leading Phantom through gorges of scrap metal to an area where the skeleton of an elegantly shaped air ship was sitting.

“I still need an engine and quite a few other things, but I’m sure that I can get it going.” The man said, putting his hand on his hips proudly. Phantom walked over to the ship and admired the craftsmanship that went into every rivet, nearly drooling over the elegant yet bold edges of the ship.

“Lumiere.”

“I beg pardon?” the man asked.

“Lumiere sounds like a fitting name for her, don’t you think?” Phantom answered, turning back to the man as he pondered.

“Yes, yes it does. Lumiere; genius simply genius. Tell me young man, what is your name?”

“Phantom.”

“Ah, so you’re the infamous Phantom I’ve heard so much about sneaking into the palace. My name is Renault. I’m not exactly a shipwright, but I’ll make this the finest ship in the air.” Renault said proudly, staring long and hard at the shell, no doubt looking at it as though it were already finished.

“I would like to have this ship once it’s done.” Phantom commented.

“I’m sorry, but this ship isn’t for sale.” Renault quickly said.

“Oh don’t worry, you’ll be a part of the crew I’m going to put together.”

“Crew? You’re putting together a crew? I haven’t even been able to put the outer hull on it yet and you’re already going to recruit a crew?” Renault asked in astonishment, but was met only by Phantom’s boyish grim.

“Renault, how would you like to join me, the Greatest Thief in all of Ossyria, Phantom, as my captain?”

**************************

Light began gathering in the center of Ellul, pushing out a wave of air as the four of them appeared from the light. Quickly Mercedes ran to find the elders who were busy doing all they could to pull poison from the bodies of those who had consumed the water.

“Will this help? I happen to have a bit of Antidote with me.” Patricia asked which was gratefully accepted by the elders.

“Who was the first of them to succumb to the poison?” Mercedes asked, helping the aged Astilda to her feet after sitting next to one of the younger ones that had been poisoned.

“His name is Shael, and right now is near the central tree waiting for his strength to return.” Mercedes nodded, motioning for the Guardians to follow her when Danika ran to Mercedes and stopped her.

“You brought humans to Ellul? You of all people should know what the Great Spirit’s scroll says about such things.” She scolded when Mercedes put a hand to her shoulder.

“I do Elder Danika, However, at my current level of power I do not trust myself able to handle this on my own.” Danika was still not satisfied with her answer and tried to argue the point further.

“Then why not ask some of us that haven’t been poisoned?”

“I wish I could, but you and the other elders are needed her in Ellul to extract the poison from those that did the drink the water. Have no fear elder; these humans will not be of any danger to us.” Mercedes assured. Danika took a breath and shook her head before going back and helping with the others, still somewhat agitated about that Mercedes had brought humans to Ellul. As fast as they could, Mercedes talked with Shael, finding that he had noticed a difference in the water’s color coming from further up the main stream.

Mercedes led the Guardians along the stream that ran through the center of the village back to the mountain from which it came. Just as they were about to round the corner where the fountainhead was, Mercedes backed up and stopped the rest of them hiding behind a bush.

“Mercedes, what’s the matter?” Latimer hissed, reaching for the large rifle-like crossbow on his back.

“There are a band of Black Wings at the fountainhead. If we move silently, we should be able to take them by surprise.” Mercedes whispered, reaching for her guns when the sound of someone coming closer could be heard, their steps crunching over the leaves.

“Who’s there?” a voice commanded. Mercedes held up her hand, holding up three fingers and counting down, springing from her hiding spot and hitting the first enemy she came to in the head knocking him to the ground. But when she ran up to take on the rest that were at the fountainhead, she was surrounded by Black Wings soldiers and mages. She held out her guns at arm’s length to each of the mages that had readied an attack spell, turning to and fro in panic.

“My my, what a treat this is.” A male voice said, making Mercedes look to the fountainhead where the man was sitting, pouring in the last of a small bottle into the water bubbling from the rocks.

“Magnus!” The man smirked haughtily, turning his eyes to her before hurling the bottle away, breaking it against the rocks.

“I see, so you do remember me; I’m touched. Whatever happened to that ‘dragon’ mage, what was his name? Fraud?” Magnus prodded. Mercedes grit her teeth, realizing that she was standing there surrounded all by herself: what had happened to the others? Weren’t they going to help her at all?

“The name is Freud! Why are you poisoning our water? What have we ever done to you?! Didn’t you abandon the Black Wings just before his defeat?”

“I was never a part of their little therapy sessions Mercedes: they were simply a stepping stone to my greater purpose in life. As for why I poisoned your water that is simple enough: to kill you. Your sharp wit and deductions are and always have been a pain in the side of the Black Wings. My orders were simple, destroy you by any means; your power may trickle into those of Ellul, but your power also is affected by how many of your people are alive.”

“You bastard! You’re just as bad as the Black Mage!” Mercedes shouted, taking aim and firing a powerful stream of black and green arrows at him. However Magnus only laughed, drawing his giant azure sword and cutting through her arrows as though they were nothing.

“Feisty as always. Kill her.” Magnus commanded when his wings began tingling. He turned just as Patricia came down on top of him with her wand, swinging so hard that the ground where she hit instead burst into a spray of rocks and light. Just as he was regaining his footing, the girl rushed at him, swinging her glowing mace at him again, this time blocked by his sword. Patricia kept coming at him as hard as she could, pushing him further and further back towards a small cliff that would likely allow her the winning blow.

“What are you fools standing there for?! ELIMINATE THE ELF!” Magnus thundered, stopping Patricia’s attacks. With a hard shove he began to overpower her, turning his battle around and pushing her back towards the cliff face. The soldiers around Mercedes lowered their weapons at her, but each one that attacked would be pushed away when an arrow would hit them in one of their limbs. No matter how many times she shot to push them away, their wounds would heal over and they would be coming back at her as hard as ever.

No, I can’t kill them. They still have a chance to…” but with each shot that she fired, it was only becoming more and more obvious that the only way she was going to stop them for good, was to kill. With a growl she knocked one of them hard on the head, turning and firing an arrow at another that was charging from behind. She turned to face a third opponent, firing a arrow through his chest then holding both guns forward and blowing a hole through two more.

When she turned again, her gun was aimed directly at the soldier’s head and the fear in his eyes at that moment made her hesitate: what was she doing?! She was supposed to be preserving life not ending it! But her moment of hesitation allowed the man to step back slightly and drive his spear forward. Mercedes was too lost in her own trance to react, when Vondra dropped in front of her, crossing her daggers and redirecting the spear away just enough that the head grazed her arm.

“Wake up would you!” Vondra shouted, throwing the spear to the side. She then jumped onto the soldier’s shoulders and flipped backwards, throwing the man into the air where he was met with unseen slashes. Latimer dropped in behind Mercedes reaching for a small ball on his belt, tossing it into the air and grabbing Mercedes out of the area. The ball clanked and hissed as mechanical pieces slammed together until they created a four barrel turret. When Latimer aimed at the area where they had been a moment before, the turret first rained down a hailstorm of arrows. A few seconds passed and then the arrows exploded, eradicating the soldiers that were around them. Vondra jumped into the air, folding her hands as Ninja with firebombs in their hands appeared around her, dropping to the ground making the area around Vondra become a smoldering pit of destruction.

“So many lives…” Mercedes mumbled when Vondra hauled her to her feet.

“This is war Mercedes! You should know that better than anyone! If the Black Wings didn’t give up 18 years ago in trying to kill us all, then there is no hope for them, this is the fate they have chosen!” Vondra shouted when the pain filled sound of Patricia’s voice echoed over the tree.

“Patty!” Latimer shouted, running in the direction that he could hear the clanging of weapons. She was still battling ferociously with Magnus, but he could tell that even she was growing tired, especially since the glow of mana around her battle wand was slowly growing dimmer.

“Is that the extent of your power human?” Magnus asked; he too seemed winded, but with what Latimer had learned from reading the Archives in Ludibrum, Magnus was a Nova. They were known for being a hybrid race of extraordinary fighters capable of battling for days on end, so this was nothing to him.

“You don’t know what kind of power that I can summon.” Patricia panted; some of her clothes had been torn as well as several cuts and scrapes on her face, arms and torso.

“I see, well I’ve become board with you. So now you can die like the good little girl that you were supposed to do, WHEN WE FIRST STARTED!!” Magnus shouted, his blade becoming engulfed with flames as he rushed at her. Latimer reached for his crossbow, but something snagged and it wouldn’t let him pull it forward. Patricia reached deep down for strength, but even that had been used long ago in fighting this beast making her fall forward.

“GET AWAY FROM HER!” a voice shouted as a loud droning hum exploded in the distance, cutting a line of dust in front of Magnus through the ground. Magnus opened his wings, pulling himself back and away from the line when something big landed behind him. He only had enough time to turn around and pull up his sword, blocking the large metal hand that swatted him away like a fly. Before Magnus had time to correct, the loud droning noise came again, brass and lead sparkling in the sun from the large flames that flowered at the end of the arm mounted chain guns.

Bullets tore though some of the flesh on Magnus’ wings before he could finally right himself and begin to dodge or block the projectiles. When the droning finally stopped, he looked down where the large beast was, only to see it flying up to him, clamp both hands together transformed into a rocket propelled hammer, and slam him underground. The dust blew away to reveal Dumia’s mecha slowly landing on the ground and beginning the stand-by sequence as she unbuckled herself and ran to Patricia.

“Patty! You ok?” She asked. Patricia nodded, trying to stand when she collapsed into Dumia’s arms. Mercedes and Vondra came running to them, and for a moment Mercedes stopped, watching Dumia holding Patricia in her arms. Dumia picked up Patricia and walked back to the mech, setting her in the seat and activating the remote control on her arm.

“We need to get her into a town somewhere fast. She’s lost a lot of energy and I think one of her arms is broken.” Dumia called.

“Ellul isn’t far from here; I can have our healer look at her wounds.” Mercedes called, turning and beginning to lead her back to town.

“Are you sure Your majesty? I couldn’t help but over hear the conversation you had back there before coming here.” Latimer asked more concerned about Patricia’s condition rather than wanting to hear what it was that she wo0uld have to say. Mercedes shook her head, ignoring him and leading them back to Ellul as Latimer jumped up into the mech, doing what he could to stabilize Patricia. As Dumia walked behind Mercedes, she couldn’t help but look back at Latimer as he kept his focused eyes on his task. She never really thought about it, but Latimer was quite a good looking guy, even if women were a bit of a problem for him.

As they walked though, she couldn’t help but feel an ever so slight hint of jealousy: Why didn’t guys faun over her like they did Patty or her sister Vondra? And more to the point, would a guy like Latimer ever consider trying to peruse a girl like her? Maybe she should take her Mom’s advice and try being a little more of a girl if she wanted to catch someone’s eye. Lost in her thoughts, Dumia hadn’t noticed the silence that had fallen with Mercedes deep in thought with memories begin coming back to her.

I remember this path, it’s the very path that Orchid brought me down all those years ago…

Ellul, 1300, 17 years later

Orchid tried to express her feelings to Mercedes: giving her lavish gifts, dedicating her magic proficiency tests to her, even leaving her favorite flowers, Golden Wind Roses, in her room with a note saying they were from her ‘sister’. But no matter how much she tried, it never seemed she was getting the response that she wanted. Now to add to that, Mercedes was going to be crowned queen in a just a few weeks, and that would mean Orchid would have almost no time to spend with her, so whatever she was going to do she needed to do it soon. A few times she had tried to set up the moment, but no matter what she did it would always be interrupted by something. Finally she asked if Mercedes could accompany her to a field near the fountainhead to help her pick out some herbs she had just learned about.

“So what kind of herb are you looking for?” Mercedes asked, already looking around at the various plants that covered the ground around them.

“I’m not looking for herbs Mercedes. There is something that I wish to speak to you in private about and I am always interrupted.”

“Then what is it that you wanted to speak with me about?” Mercedes asked with a slight edge in her voice. She had responsibilities to attend to back at the palace. Orchid ‘s heart raced, her mouth felt dry and her palms became sweaty as thoughts raced through her mind about what she was going to say that would make Mercedes understand what she felt.

“Orchid, I can’t stay for very long, so if you aren’t going to…” She was surprised when Orchid ran at her, nearly knocking her to the ground with the force that she hugged her with.

“Mercedes, I love you. I have for a very long time, ever since I first laid eyes on you.” Mercedes was shocked, thinking about all the gifts that she had been given by Orchid and now it all made sense.

“Orchid, I…”

“This is the first time I’ve ever felt this way, about anyone.” Orchid cried, hugging her tighter and laying her head on Mercedes chest, listening to her heartbeat. Mercedes on the other hand was still quite shocked, not sure what it was that she was supposed to do. She herself had never to this point found herself attracted to anyone; she was too busy with royal duties and her mind was constantly on her people. What answer could she give Orchid? She knew that what her first answer would break her heart in two, but what other answer was there? Pulling her back slightly, Mercedes took a slow breath before beginning.

“Orchid, I’m flattered by your feelings; however I have to say that I don’t feel the same. Yes I do love you as a sister, but that’s as far as I have ever felt.” Orchid’s face fought off breaking down into tears, putting on a smile that would only give way to a quivering bottom lip. Mercedes was about to say something to try and console her when Orchid took her by surprise again, grabbing Mercedes’ shirt and firmly kissed her. To keep her from getting away, she put her arms around her for a long time until Mercedes shoved her away.

“What in the name of the Great Spirit are you doing?!”

“Mercedes! I can’t think of my life without you! Please, tell me that you love me too.”

“Orchid…”

“TELL ME THAT YOU LOVE ME!” Orchid screamed, holding her hands to her side as magic flames flared in each one.

“Orchid, calm down, you don’t want to get in a fight with me.”

“What is it? Why can’t you return my feelings?! Is it because I’m not powerful enough?! Not royalty?! Not old enough?!” Orchid screamed, hurling a fireball at Mercedes with each question she shouted. Mercedes easily avoided each fireball since she was trained in battle tactics. But the fire balls that exploded at her feet were powerful, much more powerful than any others mage that come before.

“Orchid! Calm yourself!”

“TELL ME YOU LOVE ME! TEEEEELLLL MEEEEEE!!” She shouted over and over again, slamming a fire ball into the ground that scorched a large area around her, making Mercedes jump as high as she could to avoid the wall of flames come at her.

I have to end this before this gets out of hand” Mercedes reached to her belt, grabbing her newly acquired weapons given to her by the Great Spirit, Dual Bow guns. When she placed her hand on the handle, an orb on the back of the weapon flared to life, making an arrow appear in the crossbow.

Taking aim she pulled the trigger, shooting arrows of light through Orchid’s legs, hands and shoulders, bringing her to the ground and stopping the attacks. Orchid moaned and screamed through her teeth on the ashes of her last attack, unable to move from the pain screaming through her body as Mercedes landed.

“WHY?! WHY MERCEDES?!” She screamed as Mercedes stood over her before passing out.

“I’m sorry Orchid, but the love that you want from me, just isn’t possible. I won’t speak of this to the elders and will allow you to stay here in Ellul, but I can’t return your feelings.” Mercedes whispered, brushing Orchid’s chocolate hair out of her face before picking her up and waking back into Ellul. The healer asked what had happened, but Mercedes only said that she and Orchid had been in a battle and that Orchid had been injured like this. Two weeks later, Mercedes was crowned Queen and went to the healer to visit Orchid. But when she entered the healer was laying face first on the ground and the bed that Orchid had been in was empty.

“Healer! What happened?” Mercedes asked, shaking him awake as he brushed the blood away from his head.

“Lotus… Lotus came in, asking where Orchid was, and when I turned around to lead him to her, I was struck over the head. I only woke up when you when you came here.” For the next few hours, Mercedes ordered a search for Lotus and Orchid, but it was in vain, leading them nowhere.

Orchid, where have you gone?

************************

Orca looked over the old teddy bear in the crook of her arm, brushing off some of the dirt that had gathered on its face.

“After all these years, maybe now I can return to you and show you the power that I have acquired. Maybe then you’ll love me.” Orca mumbled when a hazy image appeared next to her.

“Orca, are still obsessed with her?” Orca quickly turned around, hugging the bear to her.

“Suu; I can’t help it. Creating the Black Wings was to impress her, but I’m not sure if that would be the case.”

“Orca, forget her. She tossed your feeling aside like it was nothing. Why do you persist?” Suu asked, almost agitated.

“I love her, isn’t that enough?” Suu huffed, turning his back to her and beginning to disappear.

“If you were truly one of the Black Wings, you wouldn’t need to entertain such feelings such as love.” Hes scoffedbefore disappearing all together.

Your words Suu, not mine. Besides, without the Black Wings, you would be dead and not in a suspended animation tank.” Orca thought, once again hugging the teddy bear close to her.

*************************

Luminous had been quiet the entire trip back to Lania’s house: what was he going to tell her? That he no longer wanted to be around her? That he was corrupting her just by being around her? His thoughts were interrupted when Lania laced her fingers into his, patting his shoulder as they walked.

“What has your mind is such turmoil Luminous?” she asked sweetly. Taking a breath as they neared the house, Luminous straightened out his thoughts and stopped her on the front porch.

“Listen, I thought that I would be able to handle gaining control of this darkness, but I’m worried that there are things I won’t be able to control. Getting the Master Crystal in my staff has amplified my power, but that amplification has made it harder to keep my head.”

“Luminous, I know all that.”

“And that is why I’m bringing you back here. Yes, I am glad for your presence, but having you close to me scares me. Please, stay here until I have regained control over all my power.” Lania hung her head, making her eyes get the look in them that Luminous found nearly irresistible.

“What’s really bugging you? You’ve been quiet this whole time.”

“I’m always quiet.”

“Not this quiet. What’s really going on?” Luminous sighed, rolling his head around and adjusting his neck before answering.

“It’s like I said, please, just stay here until I’m able to get my powers under control.” Lania made the look in her eyes come back, but Luminous looked away, putting a hand on her head.

“Please…” he asked, the sound of tears hanging in his voice. Lania sighed, smiling sadly as she nodded, putting her arms around him and listening to his heart for what she felt could be the last time in a very long time.

“Alright; but you better come back to me.” She said as Luminous chuckled, kissed her head and began walking away; he didn’t want to see that lonely look in her eyes as he left.

Ereve, later that day

Luminous enjoyed the entire day as much as he could with his sisters, making sure that they had the best time of their lives since he knew that he wouldn’t be seeing them as much after today. He played games, ate cake, even danced with his sisters, but his heart was heavy as he constantly checked the sun’s position. When at last the party was over and everyone had gone home, the Order once again came to the Palace where Luminous went out to meet them.

“Have you decided?”

“Yes, but I’m not doing it for you.”

“Your opinion of that may change with time. Now come, the day grows short and we must return to the Order before it becomes dark.”

“Luminous! Where are you going?” Aria asked, running to him and wrapping her arms around him as tightly as she could.

“You’re not going to take my big brother away from me!” she shouted, looking up at one of the mages.

“Aria, please. This is my choice; I’m going to be able to become more powerful to protect you better.”

“No! You promised me that you’d be here always!” Leanne chimed in, wrapping her arms around Luminous leg and not letting go.

“Luminous, Make these children stop.”

“They are my sisters, I think they are entitled to some resistance.” Luminous answered.

“And we are of the Order, if you do not remove them from you, then I shall!” one of the mages answered, quickly walking over to Luminous where he grabbed Aria by the back of her dress and was about to reach for Leanne when Luminous struck him, sending him sprawling to the ground.

“Don’t you EVER touch either one of my sisters like that again! Or Minerva help me, I will tear you limb from limb.” Luminous roared, turning to his sisters and kneeling down to their level.

“I was chosen by the Spirit of Light. I know you two know about it right?” sadly the two of them nodded.

“These people are here to take me to be trained so that I can protect you better. I may not be staying here at the palace with you, but I assure you that I will see you.” Aria and Leanne remained silent as Luminous gave them both a hug, telling them to stand with their mother and father as he turned to leave with the Order’s mages.

“You offer them too much affection Luminous; if you are to be a mage of the Order, you must distance yourself from said emotions, otherwise your new found power will be unstable.”

“Your opinion may change with time.” Luminous answered, making the mage only look at him with discontent. Just as they were about to cross the front gate, Aria’s voice could be heard as well her footsteps running as fast as she could to them. When Luminous turned to see her, he was almost toppled over when Aria slammed into him, hugging him tightly one last time.

“You better come back to me!” she said before running back to the house. Luminous smiled as she left, turning back to the mages of the Order, leaving with them knowing in his heart that he would see them again.

I will Aria, I will

*****************************

Clytemnestra sighed contentedly, breathing in the fumes of her latest creations of potions to help her body prepare for the power of the tree. A plume of black smoke erupted behind her, revealing Tecon kneeling on the ground with the Seal in his hand.

“I trust that you were successful.” Clytemnestra asked as she turned to him and held out her hand for the elegant badge.

“That I was.” he answered, standing up and placing the Seal in her hand.

“Very well done. Magnus on the other hand was embarrassed by mere children.” She growled, looking over at him as he leaned against the wall with a smug look on his face.

“What’s the big deal? The Elves don’t have any more readily available drinking water.” Clytemnestra held out her hand as Magnus moved in a blur to the side, letting the spell ricochet off the wall, turning the stone behind him into rubble.

“Nice try your majesty, but you’re going to have to be faster than that.”

“Your mission was to kill Mercedes; how hard could that be for a seasoned Nova to eliminate a single underpowered queen of elves?” Clytenestra seethed. Magnus simply looked away, avoiding her question altogether.

“The next assignment that I give you will be completed as asked, or it is you that shall suffer. Do I make myself clear?” Clytemnestra asked, appearing before him and pressing the tips of her fingers into his throat for added emphasis. Magnus only looked her in the eyes with distaste and hate burning within them until she pulled her hand away and went back to her dark Alchemy.

Mark my words human. It will only be a matter of time before even you will be overpowered. And it will be I that is laughing at your grave.
The Guardians L.O. - Ch 8 pt 2, Re-E2
ALL RIGHTS OF THE MAPLESTORY GAME BELONG TO NEXON AND THE RESPECTIVE COMPANIES. THIS STORY IS PURELY FAN FICTION.

Chapter 9, pt 1: Scores of Spores

Check out the game here: maplestory.nexon.net/Default.a…

This is the Thrid Season of "The Guardians" saga, A fanfiction. Here is the First Season Beginning

Here is the Second Season Beginning

E.N. 1: I've just done some all around updating and added some missing HTML codes.

E.N 2: Just did some all around editing and added a few things here and there.
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Chapter 8: The Ghosts That Haunt Us

Phantom silently relaxed on his bed in the Lumiere docked just outside of Henesys before the fall of Ereve and the activation of the Dream Fragments, stuck here in this pocket dimension. He turned the massive Fire Emerald in his hand this way and that, watching the light glisten onto the walls replaying the words that he had said to Luminous his mind.

If that’s how you’ve felt even after all this time, then I want no part of you or these ‘Guardians’.” With an agitated huff he got up and put the large gem back on its stand and looked out the window.

I am the Phantom Thief; I always work alone.” He told himself, pulling a card out with and beautiful woman painted on it, staring at it long and hard.

“Aria…” he whispered to himself, his thoughts trailing off to all those centuries ago when he had found Aria dead after rushing back to her when he heard about the attack on Ereve.

“Master Phantom? Are you busy?” a voice called through the door to his room, making him quickly put the card away and open his door.

“Ah, Christiane.” He happily answered, looking over her with questions building in his eyes at her appearance.

“What happened to you? You look as though you’ve been traipsing through mud pits.” Phantom chuckled when he saw that her shoes and legs were slightly stained with dark earth.

“I had gone to that same child puppeteer’s house after you had discovered that doll, poking around for anything that might be of help to you.” she answered, unconsciously trying to hide her shoes from view.

“And did you find anything?” Phantom asked uninterestedly, looking over to one of the many fine paintings he had stolen long ago.

“I did. Apparently, the young lad was under the command of a woman by the name of Eleanor. Furthermore, she was under command of a young woman by the name of Orca.” Phantom became serious, looking down to her while she continued.

That name, why does it sound so familiar?

“Also, my source that led you to the doll has said that he wishes to speak with you, and that it is a matter of great urgency. I already have Renault headed in that direction.”

“And why would it be of any interest to me? If it is so urgent, then I’m sure that the…”

“It has to do with the Seal of Victoria you and the other Heroes created. He wouldn’t give me any details over the radio and said that you had to come at once.” Christiane urged while Phantom huffed, reaching for his fez and cape once more while checking over his cards to make sure that he had all that he would need. As he sifted through the deck, he came upon a card with finely printed writing on the header written in ornate calligraphy: Carte Blanc. Phantom chuckled to himself: this card was something that he had taken from his master Raven all those years ago after he had died from a mortal wound, making his eye ache slightly.

“There is nothing that you can do to stop me now Raven. I am the one who chooses when and if to draw a blade.” He mumbled to himself, pulling his cloak over his shoulders and preparing to disembark as memories of his past still haunted him.

Monday, April 14th 1400, Ariant

Heh, mother and father are going to be so proud of me! I managed to get three more persimmons with the gold they gave me than normal!” the young boy thought, carrying the small bag of groceries in his arms with a smile on his face when he heard a woman’s scream from down the road.

Wait a minute, that sounded like mother’s voice!” Right after the woman’s scream, he could hear a man’s voice crying, shouting at someone.

“What right do you have to do something like this?! Why?! You’ve already taken what you came for so why not just leave us alone?!” the man’s voice screamed.

That’s father’s voice!” the boy thought, beginning to run as fast as he could to his home when he heard his father’s voice scream in agony, followed by his mother’s voice again.

“Mother! Father what’s wrong?!” he called, running up to the front door where he saw a tall, broad shouldered man standing in the shadows of his home. He was frozen in fear; whoever this person before him was, he didn’t look human. Especially with that bird’s beak standing out from his face and his angry soulless eyes staring back at him. When the boy managed to pull his gaze away from the man, his little heart felt as if it had been ripped from his chest, seeing both his mother and father laying on the ground in a pool of blood.

“Mother, Father… I’LL KILL YOU!” he screamed. But he was stopped short when the man quickly turned around and lifted his arm, pointing the arm mounted cross bow between his eyes.

“Try it if you can.” He said in a tone that matched his soulless eyes, almost sounding happy about what he had done. The boy couldn’t even make his body move, even when every fiber of his being screamed for him to run. When he didn’t do anything, a sallow smile spread across the man’s face and his grip slowly tightened around the trigger of the crossbow.

“I’m going to count to three, and I’m going to fire. You can live or die, the choice is yours.” He said with a growl.

“One…” The boy tried to get his body to move, but nothing that he commanded was working.

“Two…” Again and again he tried to move, even going so far as to try and pick up his legs to move, but still unable to do anything.

“Three.” With an easy squeeze, the twang of the tension arms sprung forward, hurling the bolt for him. At last he was able to move, pulling the bag of fruits in front of his face and catching the bolt in the bag. It was launched with such force that it pierced through the bag and grazed his cheek as the boy jerked his head out of the way to avoid being hit.  The man just laughed once, lowering his arm and readying to leave when the boy rushed at him and bit down as hard as he could on his leg. With a swift swing, the boy found himself flung across the street into a jar of water while the man stood over him, taking the mask from his face and placing it on the boy’s head before turning and walking away.

“I’m hungry, go find me something to eat.” The boy wiped his eyes of his tears, touching his gum where one of his teeth had been knocked out.

“But I don’t have any money.” The boy whimpered.

“I don’t care how you get it, just get me some food. If you come back empty handed, you’ll see your parents again.” He said, turning back to the boy. Hatred boiled in his young eyes as he watched that same smile spread across the man’s face. The boy could only grit his teeth, staring at the man hard enough that he hoped it would kill him only to be laughed at by the man.

“Only when you are able to out steal me, then you may kill me. I am Raven, master thief; what’s your name, boy?” Raven asked mockingly. The boy could only grit his teeth in anger until he had decided on what name to give him.

“Phantom… The name is Phantom!” he called back.

“No, you must earn a name like that, what is your name?” Raven replied. Phantom stood to his feet and wiped his eyes angrily efore answering him.

“I told you that my name is Phantom, and it’s the only name that you’re going to get!” Raven quickly walked back to Phantom and held out his arm again, the crossbow already reloaded.

“Tell me your name. I have no use for a brat that can’t follow orders.” Raven sneered, tensing his hand on the trigger, but Phantom’s face remained still, not about to let his intimidation change his mind.

“You’ve killed everyone in that family. From their blood, a Phantom arose.” Phantom answered, looking up at him with cold, expressionless eyes that made Raven laugh to himself.

“You just may kill me yet, Phantom. Now go and get me some food before I change my mind about killing you right now.” Raven commanded, watching as Phantom walked slowly out of his presence.

I will become the best thief that Ossyria has ever seen Raven, just you watch. And when I do, I’ll be the one laughing when I take your life!

*************************

“… I couldn’t believe what had happened when Freud said that Aria had been killed. Phantom had this air about him that was so… depressed, angry even.” Mercedes finished, returning to the warm drink in her hands and sighing disappointedly. So far the people on the outskirts of Henesys had managed to pull together a small refugee camp. After Phantom had stormed off, Vondra and the other kids had asked for an explanation on why Luminous and Phantom were at each other’s throats.

“There had to be something that drove them to be angry at each other like they were.” Vondra pushed as Mercedes pulled the cup away from her lips and smiled sadly.

“Yes, there is. Aria was in fact Luminous’s younger sister.” The news took all of them aback, staring in stunned silence for a moment before Patricia broke the odd silence.

“His sister? I thought that Aria only had one sister. There was never any mention of a brother. So is Luminous is like a prince or something?!” Mercedes nodded, making a look of contemplation come over her face before answering.

“In a manner of speaking yes; but in joining with the Order of Light he relinquished his title as prince, thus making his existence as royalty non-existent. He was however still considered family. Mention of him in history never shows that he was.”Mercedes answered. Patricia laughed nervously, shaking her head in disbelief.

“I bet you never had anything like that ever happen to you before you became Queen of the Elves.” Patricia said, making a faraway look grace Mercedes eyes while looking down and taking another sip of her drink.

“I suppose.” Mercedes answered until she heard a voice calling from what sounded like a far distance. She stood to try and see who it was that had called her, but everywhere she looked there was no one when she heard it again. This time it sounded as if it were right behind her. Still she searched and searched, ignoring the questions from the Guardians until she remembered that she and the Elders were linked telepathically.

Your highness can you hear me?” the voice of Philius asked.

Yes Philius, I can.” the worry sounded like it was thick in her voice: what was it that could possibly be wrong? At least they had made it through Ereve crashing into Victoria unscathed.

My lady you must return to Ellul! Somehow the water that flows through the palace has been poisoned. We are doing everything we can to heal those that have been poisoned, but in that time we haven’t had the time nor people strong enough to move to find who and where this poison has come from.”

“I will be right there
. Guardians, grab my hand, I just may need your assistance in something.” Mercedes suddenly said, each of them grabbing hands when Dumia stepped back.

“Dumia! Come on, we need you here!” Latimer argued.

“I can’t. I’ll take the long way to this place, you just keep this on you and I’ll get there as soon as I can.” Dumia called, tossing Latimer a transmitter while she buckled in and started her mech. Mercedes nodded and began to weave her transport spell, when memories of something similar happening when she was young came to her.

Ellul, June 10th, 1283

“Princess Mercedes, wait up!” a young voice called, running as fast as she could to keep up.

“Orchid, I told you that I have to do this on my own. A young one such as you would only be in the way.” Mercedes answered back, trekking through the forest that surrounded her father’s kingdom looking for some medicinal herbs as part of her training. Orchid was Elder Astilda’s granddaughter; since her mother, father and grandmother were all busy with the duties of palace life, she had latched onto Mercedes and followed her everywhere.

“You know that I can’t walk as fast as you Princess! Please wait for me.” Orchid wailed, finally wearing her down to stop and wait for the young one to catch up to her. Mercedes was still quite young, having just added another annual to her life bringing the count to 33. Orchid however was even younger than her, not much more than a new born with only 17 annuals to her name, and as such still had much to learn about Ossyria and elfin life. When Orchid finally did catch up, she stood for a few moments catching her breath, her skin looking slightly paler that usual.

“Orchid are you feeling alright? Your skin is the color of snow.” Mercedes asked, walking back to her.

“It’s nothing, I’m just not as energetic as you.” she panted. But when she moved to take a step, Orchid collapsed to the ground, her breathing harder than usual. Mercedes knelt down to her, setting a hand on her back to try and use the simple healing spell she had learned from Astilda. As she concentrated on the spell, her eyes caught a small scrape on Orchid’s leg just above her ankle. Looking down the path that Orchid had taken, she saw a small fern-like plant hanging over the path. Upon a closer look, she saw that it was what she feared: Fire Fern. A poisonous plant with sharp spines and stiff branches, making anyone who brushed up against it cut by the spines, rubbing it potent poison into the wounds. If it wasn’t treated fast enough, the poison could be deadly. Without saying anything, Mercedes hoisted Orchid onto her back and began running as fast as she could back for Ellul.

“What about the herbs?” Orchid mumbled.

“Forget them, we can always search for those later. We need to get you back to the healer.” She answered, met by her Pegasus Onora, jumping onto her back to get to Ellul even faster.  

“How long ago did she get the poison into her body?” the healer asked, pouring charcoal into a small bit of water and rubbing it onto her wound.

“I don’t know. By the time that I had seen her, her skin was already quite pale and her breathing was labored.” Mercedes answered, reaching for a bottle of bitter herbal salve.

“Then she must have been touched much sooner than the plant that you saw. Fire Fern doesn’t affect its victim that quickly, but it’s a good thing that you caught her when you did. Any later and she would be beyond my… oh dear.” The healer said, as he looked through his bottles and jars of herbs.

“Healer, what is that matter?” Mercedes asked, concerned that her friend was beyond treatment.

“When one’s skin becomes pale, the only way to counter it is with Cannon Root, but I have no more and the trees from which it comes are located in the Minar Forest.  But by the time that I go and retrieve the root, it will already be too late for her.”

“Is there anything that you can do here for her?” Mercedes begged. Over the months that Orchid had been hanging around her, Mercedes had come to think of Orchid as a younger sister, since she had no siblings of her own.

“There is, but I will need you to go a collect the ingredients while I stay here to try and keep her awake until you get back.”

“What must I do?” Quickly the Healer scrawled a list of herbs to get, telling her that she had to return with them before sunset, or else it would be too late for him to do anything for Orchid. With Onora’s help, Mercedes managed to get the herbs which was quickly made into a potent brew that Orchid weakly drank.

“Now all we can do is wait.” The healer told Mercedes who looked down to Orchid worriedly.

“I’ll stay by her side and call for you should I need your assistance.” She said. For hours, she paced next to Orchid’s bed or sat n a chair next to it, thinking about what her life would be like if Orchid wasn’t around her. It wouldn’t be until late that evening that Orchid began to show a visual difference as the antidote took effect and the poison was cleared from her body. The next morning, Orchid found Mercedes laying on the side of her bed fast asleep, mumbling how she wanted her to ‘please wake up’. To Orchid, Mercedes was much more than just her elder; Orchid loved Mercedes ever since she had laid eyes on her, but something like love between women of the elfin race was never allowed, nor had it ever been a problem.

But if the elders or the king ever found out that she had such feelings for a woman, she would be banished from the kingdom forever and would never be allowed to see her again. Time and time again she confided in her twin brother, Lotus, about what it was that she should do. But his answer would only say that all she could do was to try and bury her feelings for Mercedes. Orchid closed her eyes tightly, before looking to Mercedes and resting a hand on her head leaning down and kissing the top of her head. Orchid jumped slightly when Mercedes stirred from her slumber.

“Oh! I’m sorry Princess, I didn’t mean to wake you.” Orchid said softly, her hand brushing against Mercedes’ for a moment.

“It’s alright… Orchid! You’re alright!” Mercedes exclaimed, putting her arms around Orchid and hugging her close.

“Oh thank the Great Spirit that you are alright.” She said with a relieved sound in her voice. Orchid hugged her in return, but held back with a great deal of difficulty.

“Oh! Here, I bought this from one of the human villages not too far from Ellul. It’s a small soft animal they call a ‘Teddy Bear’. A lot of the human children seem to enjoy things like this, so I purchased one for you once you had recovered.” Mercedes explained, pulling the stuffed toy from her bag and holding it out to Orchid. Happily she took it and hugged it close: it smelled of Mercedes, and it was something that Orchid told herself that she would never let go of, ever.

Once she was well enough to be released from the Healer’s care, Orchid didn’t follow Mercedes around quite as much, since she had the stuffed bear to quell her need to be around her. Sometimes she would sneak into Mercedes’ room and spray her perfume on the bear. But all the same, it wasn’t quite enough to subdue the feelings in her heart for Mercedes. Before either of them knew it, another year had passed. Mercedes slowly began learning the intricacies of Elfin Law while Orchid began learning magic so that in her own mind, she would be able to help Mercedes in any way that she could.

In the back of her mind, Orchid hoped that if she were to become powerful enough she would be recognized by Mercedes. That, she hoped, would see her feelings returned since a bold expression of her feelings could mean the end of it all. But as the months passed and Orchid as well as Lotus became more and more powerful, Mercedes seemed to still only see her as a younger sister.

“What will I do Lotus? I fear that everything that I’ve been doing has gone unnoticed by her. What can I do to make her notice me?” Orchid asked after she had returned to their home after a particularly hard day of training that Mercedes had been watching.

“Remember Orchid, she is a princess, and as such isn’t allowed the normal freedom of allowing herself to be swept away. On top of which, there has been no occurrence of such a love as this in the time that she has been alive.” Lotus answered as he sat down: he and his sister were close, too close by some of the elf standards. Still, he could understand what it was that his sister was asking.

“The only other option that I can see is to outright tell her yourself.” Orchid looked up at him with worried eyes.

“But if I do that I will no doubt be exiled from Ellul and then I will never be able to see her again!”

“Then tell her in privet where no prying eyes, elders, or even the King would hear you.” Orchid swallowed hard and looked away with a terrified look in her eyes, thinking about what it was that Lotus had suggested. What would Mercedes do once the truth was told? Would she tell her father the king? Lotus sighed heavily and returned to the meal before him once again.

“I understand your fear. Whatever you want to do, I will support.” he said with a huff, stuffing a forkful of food in his mouth.

***************************

Luminous walked calmly back into Serenity, trying to make sure that he at least appeared calm. Even though it had been a long while since he and Phantom had just about resorted to killing each other, his master Beuwon had requested him to come back since it was involving his Aurora.

“Ah Luminous, I am pleased to say that the Crystal Mine for this crystal has been successfully restarted. I trust that you managed to find out where the second of the crystals is being kept?” Beuwon asked hopefully. Luminous grunted agitatedly, smacking his forehead with his palm.

“No, unfortunately I did not. I was so amazed by the crystal itself that I completely forgot about asking.” He replied, moving his hand down to the bridge of his nose. Beuwon laughed slightly and shook his head.

“I suspected as much.” He answered, beckoning for Luminous to hand him his staff so that the master crystal could be set in place.

“Tell me something Luminous; how well do you know that girl Lania you brought here?” Beuwon asked while he worked.

“I should think quite well since we have been living together for nearly 18 years, why do you ask?” Luminous felt as if there were a deeper reasoning for Beuwon’s questions, and was almost certain that he knew what he was getting at.

“How often do you think of Lucia?” he asked bluntly, stopping his work to turn and see Luminous’s reaction.

“You’re speaking of how Lania resembles her aren’t you?” Luminous asked in a low voice, looking over to the side of the cave to see Lania sleeping on a small bed she had brought out from one of the bedrooms.

“Yes I am. But do you think in your current condition that you will be able to stay with her?”

“What do you mean?”

“I mean that her soul is quite unstable at the moment: I am now certain that she is the reincarnation of Lucia, and I fear that everything that Lucia knew and did is trying to be awakened by coming here. You must take her back to her house and never see her again until you have fully gained control of yourself.”

“What does that mean? What aren’t you telling me master?” Luminous asked, coming closer to Beuwon so as not to wake Lania.

“Lucia was not actually my daughter. She was an orphan I found at the entrance to Serenity many years before you were chosen as part of the Order. Her potential as a Mage of Light was similar to that of Lania: hopeless, but she tried anyway. I did manage to teach her some very basic spells and she was happy with that. However there was another reason that I allowed her to stay within the Order. I could sense a dangerous darkness deep within her soul, one that had not yet awakened and would remain dormant so long as she was exposed to those of us within the Order. I sense that same darkness in Lania and if you are to remain around her, I fear that darkness will awaken and there will be no saving her. There are no other mages of the Order anymore, and I do not have the capacity to be with her all the time.” Beuwon explained, holding out Luminous’ staff to him with the newly mounted crystal that gave him a slight shock when he took hold of it once again.

“So then what would you have me do master? Take her back to her house?”

“That would be the best solution.” Luminous sighed, looking back to Lania and then reaching into the pocket of his pants and pulling out the small diamond ring that he had planned to propose to her with.

“I see; you truly love this girl.” Beuwon commented.

“For so long, I’ve had my suspicions. Befriending her came so easily that it frightened me at first, almost like coming home. And having you tell me this only confirms what I thought.” Luminous said mournfully, walking as silently as he could over to her and kneeling down next to the couch, watching her as she slept. In a way, she also reminded him of his younger sisters, Leanne and Aria when they were still alive.

Ereve, September 3rd, 1395

Luminous smiled as he watched over his younger sisters running through the flower fields as fast as they could. Aria chasing butterflies while Leanne was looking for flowers to complete her bouquet she had been working on for the past week. Emperor Casimir and Empress Michiko stood watching them from their bedroom balcony when Aria tripped, sprawling onto the ground at which Luminous quickly ran over to her.

“Sometimes I wonder whether Luminous would be happier being a Knight of Ereve rather than Prince. He is quite protective of his sisters.” Michiko commented.

“That he is my love. But that is what any good brother would do for their younger sisters.” Casimir answered, turning back to his desk and looking over the documents he had been given when there was a knock on his door.

“Yes, come.” When the door opened, it revealed their Chief Knight Mikail with a somewhat downtrodden expression on his face.

“Mikail, what has your face to down trodden?” Michiko asked.

“There are some men here to speak with you mi Lord.”

“I see; tell them I shall grant them an Audience in the morning. Today is Leanne’s birthday, and so I won’t be speaking with anyone today.” Mikail swallowed hard before continuing.

“They say that they must speak with you immediately and will not leave until they have spoken with you.” Casimir sighed, resting his chin on his thumbs and covering his nose with his fore fingers.

“Mi Lord, the guests will be arriving soon.” Michiko pointed out, grasping Casimir’s arm.

“I know my love. Mikail, please direct the guests through the side halls to the back while I speak with these gentlemen, the Empress shall over see the celebration in my absence until I can arrive.” Casimir answered nodding to Michiko as he left, followed closely by Mikail as he went to inform the other chief knights of their new orders. Upon entering the throne garden, Casimir was greeted by five men dressed in white cloaks, holding staffs baring crystals mounted onto a sunburst on one end of the staff.

“Are you the men that my Chief Knight spoke of?” Casimir asked. He tried to make sure he didn’t sound agitated, but was sure that despite his efforts there was a slight edge in his voice.

“We are they. We are the Mages from the Order of Light.” The middle man answered, the five of them kneeling to the ground in greeting.

“Ah, yes I have heard many things about your Order, and I thank you for your deeds throughout Ossyria.”

“It is our pleasure to serve Ossyria. However we come on a matter much more important; we have come for your son.” Another man answered and they stood once again. Concern spread across Casimir’s face.

“Prince Luminous? Has he done something?”

“No, he hasn’t. But he has been chosen by the Spirit of Light to be the next of the Order.”

“Chosen? I was informed that one can become part of the Order from their own volition?” Casimir asked, raising a suspicious eyebrow.

“That is not true Mi Lord. All of the Mages within the Order are chosen by the Spirit of Light. Those that are chosen may refuse, but they will never be allowed to recant that decision.”

“Then as the father of Luminous and Emperor of Ossyria, I must refuse his entrance to the Order. He is the crowned prince of Ossyria; would he be allowed to…”

“If he is to join or refuse the Order, it must be of his own decision. He will be allowed to visit you, but his duties as Prince must be renounced.” Casimir swallowed hard, turning to one of the palace hands there to bring Luminous to him.

“Yes fa… Mi lord? You wished to speak with me?” Luminous asked as he came in.

“No, these men here are the ones that wish to speak with you.” Once again, it was explained to Luminous what it was that was expected of him and what it would mean giving up.

“I see. Am I given any grace period to think on this?” Luminous asked.

“You are, but you must make your choice by sundown, at which time we will return.” The mages said sternly, turning and walking away into the morning light. Luminous turned back around to see that his sisters were now on the back porch, greeting their guests with their mother as the filed in.

“What decision will you give them son?” Casimir asked. Luminous looked back at his father and only smiled.

“If I am chosen then I will go. However I wanted to be sure and be here for Leanne’s birthday at least.”

“Aria I’m sure will take it the hardest if you go, seeing as she seems to be the most attached to you.” Casimir explained, setting a hand on his shoulder.

“That I’m am sure father. But if going with the The Order means that I will be better able to protect my sisters, then I will do whatever is required of me.”

****************************

It took a while for Phantom to find the small shop that housed Christiane’s contact. Once he had found it in the small port town of Lyth, Phantom tapped his palm to his head. How he could have ever missed the giant scroll atop the building that said ‘Tru’s Shop of Information’?

“Hello, is there any one here?” Phantom called after entering the small shop that smelled of paper and ink.

“Oh! Welcome to my shop, I’m sorry that I wasn’t at the… you must be the Phantom that I’ve heard so much about lately!” Phantom smiled boyishly and was about to reply when the man continued.

“I’m sorry there’s no time for small talk; there is an island called Rien not too far away from here that I saw a strange ship heading for. I’m sure that they were Black Wings.”

“And why would that be of my concern? I thought you had something to tell me about the Seal of Victoria?”

“That’s just it! The Seal has been moved to Rein and the Black Wings are heading there now! Who knows what will happen if they get their hands on it!” Phantom nodded his understanding.

“Right, so who is there that I can speak to regarding this?”

“Currently, Aran’s wife Lilin should be there. I doubt she’s there right now since the force that was going there looked pretty large; Rein might have been evacuated.” Getting the coordinates from Tru, Phantom quickly went back to the Lumiere and pushed the ship as fast as he dared since there were still damaged engine parts that had yet to be fixed. An hour later, Renault called saying that the island was just below their keel.

“That’s good captain! Hold this position until I call for you once again.” Phantom called as he quickly dropped out of sight in the pod. Once on the ground, he quickly hit the button to pull it back up to the ship and found himself a hiding spot. From there he watched as large rabbit-like creatures dressed in black walked the streets, chirping and growling to each other as though giving commands. As one of them walked by, Phantom noticed the badge that was on its shirt when he saw the creature was sniffing the air and began turning to him.

Crap…” Phantom thought, bursting from his hiding spot and reaching for one of the cards on his belt when he disappeared in a streak of blue to the ground. Just as he moved, a large shuriken whizzed through the bush where he once was.

“Oh, so you want a fight do you?” Phantom smirked, looking at the card that he had drawn, smiling as he hurled it forward. The rabbit that was before him shot back as a jet of flames burst from a large card. Another rabbit tried to attack him from behind but missed, falling into the hard punch of another, both of them being shoved away by the same card again. Drawing the thin sword from his cane, Phantom swung quickly across all three rabbit’s bodies, holding the sword up to his face for a moment when all three of them fell over. No sooner had he dealt with them than he bent back to avoid being struck across the head by another rabbit.

When he stood back up, Phantom found himself being thrown back after being hit. Phantom adjusted his jaw for a moment then rushed the one that had attacked him, striking it time and time again over the head with the grip of his cane and it lay still on the ground. Before he was attacked again by the charging rabbits from behind him, Phantom drew another card, looking briefly at the picture before holding it up to above him.

“If your life means nothing to you than come!” Phantom growled, pushing mana into the card making it glow with a bright white light. The rabbits around him hesitated for a moment, but ultimately all attacked at once. Phantom chuckled to himself once the card had become fully charged, looking around at the foolish creatures that rushed to him.

“So be it: Carte de la Mort.” The light coming from the card suddenly turned black, rising from it and taking the shape of a reaper holding its scythe as far back as it could. As if a strong wind had blown through the area, the reaper swung its weapon, holding it on the opposite side of his body with a small drop of blood hanging on the very tip of the blade. The rabbits each fell to the ground in lifeless piles before their bodies were reduced to nothing but ashes, blowing away in the breeze as their clothes went limp.

Slowly the reaper then hovered down before Phantom, holding out its bony hand to his chest making Phantom grit his teeth in pain as an orb of light melted out of his chest into the reaper’s hand. With a nod, the reaper then disappeared back into the card and when the black light dissipated, Phantom dropped to one knee panting hard while wiping the sweat from his brow.

I forgot about that card’s terms; a year of my life for each use.” he thought to himself, shivering now that he realized it was actually cold on the island. When he looked up, he saw on the outskirts of the town the head of a light blue haired woman peeking at him from around a large snow drift.

Oh, well hello. You there, you wouldn’t happen to know where I might be able to find Lilin would you?” Phantom called, getting to his feet and walking over to where the woman was, wrapping his arms around himself to keep warm.

“I am she.” Lilin replied, stepping from her hiding spot, looking at the scene that was behind him.

“Thank you for taking care them. They took the Island by surprise. While the villagers and I aren’t any kind of stranger to battle, I would rather avoid one if I can.” She said shyly.

“I see. From what I understand, they were after the Seal of Victoria were they not?”

“Yes, but it is safe; well hidden in fact. Wait! You’re one of the Heroes aren’t you?” Phantom sighed, agitated that he had been made to do to fighting for someone that possibly could have done it for themselves. But there were appearances to keep up and who knows, whatever she had to say might lead him to something else.

“Why yes Lady Lilin I am. My name is…”

“Phantom, yes. I’ve heard a lot about you. It’s a shame that nobody of this era does.” Lilin answered. Phantom was intrigued.

“Really? Then how come I have seen many halberd wielding young ones, using the same techniques used by Aran?”

“That’s because he was the first of you to awaken. He passed away not too long ago from old age, but is succeeded by Lillianne, our daughter.”

“I am very sorry to hear that. But what of your saying that no one knows of us?” Lilin motioned for him to follow as she walked back into the village towards a central building marked ‘Library’.

“I saw it begin happening just after Aran had come back: slowly any knowledge of you Heroes was being erased from the libraries. The first to disappear were the reference books in the Master’s headquarters. While they were never looked at, they were there. After that, the major libraries and book stores were beginning to be hit, and then historian’s notes; anything having to do with you was being taken out of the picture. Before any of us knew it, the only ones that knew of your deeds were those of us that had managed to keep a partial record hidden away somewhere. Even the scrolls that I had protected all these years are mostly incomplete, and most of the knowledge they do have was that pertaining to Aran. Now that everyone’s common interest is in power alone, no one thinks to find out where that power came from and how it is supposed to be used.” Lilin said sadly, climbing the steps to the door.

“Are there still records of our deeds anywhere?” Phantom asked as Lilin searched for a key.

“I don’t know Phantom. It’s almost as there is someone trying to make you five disappear from history all together.”
The Guardians L.O. - Ch 8 pt 1, Re-E2
ALL RIGHTS OF THE MAPLESTORY GAME BELONG TO NEXON AND THE RESPECTIVE COMPANIES. THIS STORY IS PURELY FAN FICTION.

Chapter 8,: The Ghosts that Haunt Us, pt 2

Check out the game here: maplestory.nexon.net/Default.a…

This is the Third Season of "The Guardians" saga, A fanfiction. Here is the First Season Beginning

Here is the Second Season Beginning

E.N. 1: Just did some all around updating and added a couple missing HTML codes.

E.N. 2: Did some all around editing and added a few things here and there.
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Chapter 7: The Guardians Emerge: Reborn

Latimer groaned, opening and closing his jaw to try and get the ringing out of his ears when Ereve hit the ground knocking everyone to the ground. Everything hurt, not to mention the pounding headache he could feel as he tried to move with unsteady steps. Looking up, all he could see around him were bodies: some of them were people lying on the ground unconscious, but others could be seen writhing in pain, using their hands to caudle their bleeding wounds. Latimer did the best he could to stand, falling over time and again as he tried to get to the nearest person.

“Show me where you hurt.” Latimer asked, hoping that he wasn’t yelling since he couldn’t hear anything besides the ringing is his ears. The person moved as best he could showing him a large gash along his inner thigh. Latimer did what he could to keep from throwing up at the sight of so much blood, activating a simple healing spell that he had learned from his parents. However the degree to which this man had been hurt was worse than what the spell could heal quickly and the man was losing blood rapidly.

“HELP! IS ANYONE THERE?!” Latimer called. When he had come with his parents, the last thing that he thought he would need were healing potions, and so didn’t bring any. From the haze of the dust still in the air, a figure appeared wearing heavy armor while sporting a mace on his hip and a huge shield strapped to his back.

“I am an elemental knight, what’s wrong with this… oh my.” He said, kneeling beside him and pulling from his bag an elegant bottle with a strange purple liquid swirling within it. Taking the plug from the mouth, he then dipped a slender glass rod into it and drew it across the man’s lips allowing him to swallow the potion. Instantly the man’s wound closed over itself, relieving him of the pain that he felt, even allowing him to stand within a few short seconds. The knight then pulled another of the elegant bottles from his bag and gave it to the man he had healed as well as the rod he used.

“Go and see if there are others in need of assistance. Here, use this and only give them as much as sticks to this rod, otherwise it could have adverse effects.” The man nodded and headed off into the dust, as did the Knight with Latimer, coming with him for assistance. Latimer managed to find more people, seeing that they too were helping those around them as fast as they could and as best they could. Only a few priests and priestesses were among them to help heal the more serious wounds. The Heroes too were running back and forth as fast as they could; they had been taught a basic healing spell by Minerva, healing some of the less serious injuries such as scrapes and cuts. But amid the chaos of people being helped, there were those that lay still on the ground, their bodies covered by the cloaks and capes they wore when Latimer heard Vondra’s voice calling for him.

“Latimer! Good, you’re alright. I need you and Dumia to take some of the people here that aren’t injured and set up a perimeter. See if you can find anyone that’s still out there who’s injured.” she called, setting down an injured mage then streaking off to find more. Patricia was helping to set someone’s broken leg, when she happened to look up into the sky and catch a glimpse of it through the patches of dust that still hung in the air.

“Uh… I’m no expert, but I don’t think the sky is supposed to be doing that.” She said, pointing it out to Phantom who was walking past her with a handful of boards to use as splints.

“No, no it shouldn’t.” he replied, watching the sky shimmer as if watching the underside of a lake. Quickly Phantom zipped off to find the others and point out the phenomenon, as they too were confused, not sure what it was they were looking at. Mercedes quickly ran to the northern most boarder she could get to, seeing that the same shimmer came all the way down to the horizon.

“What in Minerva’s name is this?” She asked herself when she felt a presence come up behind her. Grabbing her bowgun as she turned around and pointed it into the face of an Elvin man with a large broadsword across his back dressed in a dark red cloak and gold laurel on his temples.

“Be still your majesty, I mean you no harm. What the legends say of your beauty does not do you justice I must say.” He said, holding out his hands from under his cloak before kneeling to the ground.

“Who are you? I was queen for nearly 100 years before I answered Minerva’s call to fight against the Black Mage. I don’t think I’ve ever seen you in Ellul, yet you call me your queen?” Mercedes asked; this man may look similar to her kind, but his ears were far too long and the power that emanated from him didn’t feel at all like the elves of Ellul.

“While it is true that we are of the same kind, we are by no means of the same blood. I am the High Elder of the sword, Harmonia. My colleagues and I have heard much of you Heroes and have come to lend our assistance in any way that we can.” Mercedes felt another presence begin to approach behind the first, but Harmonia wasn’t responding to this new presence, almost as if he didn’t care. She was about to fire off an arrow when another elf, this time a woman, stepped from the brush wearing a purple cloak and a crown of purple briars on her head.

“Peace your majesty, I bring you no harm. I only wish to assist in any way that I can. I am Gritto, High Elder of Magic. I am sure that you’ve already met Harmonia.”

“That I have Gritto.” Mercedes answered shortly, clipping her bowgun to her hip once she was sure that these new comers weren’t going to harm her.

“Is it safe to say that you were wondering what it was that has happened to the sky?” Gritto asked, at which Mercedes skeptically nodded in return.

“I take it this is your first encounter with Dream Fragments?” She asked. Mercedes furrowed her brow as a knot began to form in the pit of the stomach, which was never a good sign.

“This is her first encounter with Dream Fragments, but I am familiar with them Gritto.” Phantom answered with a grin, leaning against a tree.

“What are they exactly?” Mercedes asked, questions building in her eyes. Phantom’s smile faded away as he opened his eyes, holding up his hand and looking down at the finely designed portrait of a young blond woman on it.

“They’re pieces to a spell so to speak.” Phantom replied as Gritto continued.

“Depending on how many one gathers or uses, the stronger the spell and the larger the area one is able to effect.” She said motioning to the sky.

“So then all we need to do is find these Dream Fragments and destroy them.” Mercedes said, in response.

“It’s not that simple Mercedes.” Patricia answered, coming to find her when she saw her and Phantom run off followed by Luminous.

“How do you know about the Dream Fragments?” Phantom asked.

“It was part of some studies I did under Helen and read about them in passing, but she made me learn about them in detail even though they were outlawed centuries ago by the Order of Light, namely, Corus the Black.” Luminous looked up at her with surprise in on his face, almost as if he had become worried.

“Corus was a part of the Order of Light?” Luminous asked, as he came into the clearing.

“I don’t know any details about it, only that he was.” Patricia answered.

“Luminous, while I understand that you may have questions, we need to hear this explanation from Lady Patricia.” Mercedes responded, making Luminous eye her darkly with his right eye before nodding.

“Dream Fragments are far more than just pieces of a spell. When activated, the events that happen within the area are similar to that of a dream: anything is possible within the area affected and is controlled by the one who cast them. A powerful creature could just appear out of nowhere.”

“So then all we need to do is wake up.” Mercedes said happily, already trying to clear an area where she stood to lay down comfortably until Gritto chuckled and shook her head.

“It’s not that simple either, Your Highness. Once empowered, the Dream Fragments create a pocket dimension to which the affected area is taken. To those outside the area, they see an illusion where the area used to be, while at the same time making the area disappear completely. For all that is known, anyone outside this area could see an unaffected Ossyria, or not see Ossyria at all.” She explained. Phantom pulled his weight from the tree and walked over to Gritto with an untrusting light in his eyes, tucking the card into his sleeve.

“What are we to do?” Phantom asked as hope began to fade from Mercedes eyes.

“Destroying the Fragments themselves is the easiest path to take but it is also the most dangerous.” Gritto offered.

“How so? Smashing them shouldn’t be that dangerous unless there are creatures guarding them.” Luminous answered quickly.

“That’s not the danger. If you are going to destroy Dream Fragments, you must destroy all of them at the same time. As I said before, one fragment only affects a small area. To have done something of this scale, hundreds of thousands of fragments would have to be used. Unless there are that many people remaining here in Ossyria, there is no chance that you will be able to bring Ossyria back.”

“What happens if only one at a time is destroyed?” Patricia asked.

“When multiple fragments are used and only one is destroyed, the area that the one fragment affected disappears.”

“You mean, goes back to normal, right?” Patricia asked with anticipation. Gritto looked over to her and sadly shook her head.

“No Lady Patricia. It disappears, simply ceases to exist, in either plain. If all the fragments are not destroyed simultaneously, then Ossyria and everyone on it, will cease to exist.”

*******************************

“So how exactly are you planning to get to them?” Jack asked apprehensively.

“The phenomena created by the dream fragments art similar to that of a dream. By falling asleep I can, in theory, enter that dream via mine mind and speak with mine grandfather and high elder Gritto to find what can be done. ” Helen responded as she disembarked the Queen’s Wing and into Edelstein.

“So what exactly did we see surround the ship when you cast that protection spell?” Matthew asked.

“What thou witnessed was Ossyria being taken to ‘pocket dimension’, and in its place the illusion of the flote. However real said ocean may seem, it remains as nothing but an imitation. One couldst yea swim in it and not wot of the landmass that once resided hence.” Olsen worriedly put an arm around her waist, falling into step but remaining silent as he walked. Helen could feel the unease within him, but asking about such things would only get her the reply of him being alright. She didn’t need to ask him, she already knew that he was worried for her since even she herself didn’t know whether or not she could get into the dimension, or even if she would be able to get back out once there. Olsen gently pulled her to a stop before beginning to speak, worry already making his voice begin to crack.

“Helen, I don’t…”

“Oh! Thank the goddess I found you!” a voice called, cutting Olsen short and catching their attention as he stumbled up to them trying to catch his breath.

“Geridon the Temple Keeper, what brings you here?” Aran asked as she placed her hands on her hips.

“I have been running through town looking for you all afternoon. I was beginning to worry that you had been taken away with Ossyria.”

“Is there something wrong with the Temple of Time?” Jenny asked; her shoulders and legs already itched for the excitement of battle. Being the Master Bowman of Henesys was enjoyable, but she missed the action of the battle field.

“No no no, quite the opposite. Rhinne is returning at last and she wishes to speak with you!” Olsen turned to him with wide eyes, reaching to his belt for the large half moon blade of his Pyrope Lunar, while his right arm tensed ready to draw shuriken.

“Does that not mean she will destroy Ossyria? Is she not still under the Curse of the Black
Mage?” he asked, approaching Geridon.

“For now just come. All will be explained once you are there.” he panted, as he turned to leave again when Jack stopped him with a firm pull on his shoulder.

“How exactly are we supposed to get through the sheering winds that surround the temple? Cobra the Halfring was the only one that knew the spell to get us through them, and he was in Leafre which has disappeared with Ossyria.”

“That is of little worry Jack; I have a portal that leads straight to the temple, but you must come with me quickly, or else it will close soon.” There were questions still to be answered, but Geridon had no reason to lead them astray. They double checked their equipment before following him as quickly as they could to a glowing portal on the outskirts of town. Taking a breath, the six of them stepped through the portal as a strange feeling passed over them for a moment then allowed them to step out onto the marble floor of the Temple of Time, where they saw Cobra hovering in mid air as he always had suspended by his long beard.

“How did he get here?!” Jenny squeaked.

“Eh? What was that? Do I have something to fear? What kind of question is that?” Cobra asked through a dry voice when Geridon called for them.

“Rhinne asked me to retrieve him not long before Victoria was once again in contact with the Continent.” Geridon responded as he led them through the temple to an area that opened up into a courtyard of sorts with fountains of sand everywhere and hourglasses suspended in small coves of the walls.

“Welcome Guardians. It is an honor to finally meet you in person.” A graceful voice echoed, making them all stop and reach for their weapons, listening to the far off sound of gears clicking.

“Be still, I mean you now harm. It is I, Rhinne.” The voice continued as a figure began appearing behind them. The woman looked to be no more than a teenager, with long white hair dressed in a flowing single shoulder toga, the bottom moving slowly around her slender legs. Behind her were glowing blue gears, rhythmically turning like a heartbeat, rearranging themselves as she floated down to the ground and opened her blood colored eyes.

“Thank you for bringing them to me Geridon, I am sure they have many questions.”

“That we do goddess, but the one I am sure all of want an answer to is how you are able to once again be awake? From what we were told about you, there is a curse still very much alive within you that does not allow you control of your power.” Matthew stated, still apprehensively resting his hand on the pummel of the Glory Sword.

“Yes, the curse that was put upon me by Arkarium is still active, but the temple itself has never ceased its quest in ridding my body of it. What he has managed to create is a counter spell, these gears you see behind me, to keep the Black Magic suppressed. There is a negative to this spell however: while this counter spell suppresses the Black Magic within me, the only way to make sure it wouldn’t take over, was to suppress my natural powers to near nonexistent levels as well.” Helen stepped forwards, concern written across her face.

“Thou art powerless?” Rhinne smiled and gently shook her head.

“No Lady Helen, but I am limited to the extreme in what power I can use. I feel almost as if I am a child once again. But this is not why I have called you here. Recently, the monks and Guards of the temple and even the temple itself, have said that Arkarium has been seen walking the halls, concentrating his activity around an area that leads into the past.”

“Haven’t you tried to stop him? If he goes into the past he could be trying to undo everything that we fought for.” Olsen growled.

“I know that all too well Olsen, and we have managed to slow him down, but we haven’t been able to completely stop him. He hasn’t returned in quite some time, and the Knights as well as Lilynouch and Lyka have been able to keep him at bay.”

“So then what else is there? If you’ve been able to keep Arkarium away why call us here?” Aran asked with an edge in her voice.

“Because his endeavors have made something else possible: a doorway into the dimension Ossyria was taken to.” Rhinne answered, motioning for them to follow her as she led them to a corridor where three huge doors stood, and walked up to the middle door which was slightly ajar.

“Behind this door here is where Arkarium has made a hole into the past, but since we’ve been able to hold him back, I have also managed to use this hole to create a path into Ossyria.”

“I hear a ‘but’ in this.” Jack said with a chuckle.

“There is; I was only able to allow any to pass through it for only three hours. Once that time is up, you will be brought back here and must wait for the same amount of time before returning.”

“Is there a reason we are only allowed three hours?” Matthew asked, slowly beginning to trust that she indeed wasn’t going to hurt them.

“That is all the power that I can muster. As I said before, this counter spell seals off most of my power in order to keep the curse at bay. I’m sorry that I couldn’t be of anymore help.”

“Where in Ossryria will this portal lead?” Helen asked.

“It should lead to Leafre and the Minar Forest.”

Should lead?” Aran asked with doubt in her voice.

“I can only hope Lady Lillianne since I have no positive confirmation that’s where it will lead you.” Rhinne replied sadly.

“Well if we only have three hours then we’d better not dilly dally when we go through. Thank you Rhinne, for all that you’ve done.” Olsen smiled taking a small bow before turning to walk through the doors that stood guard before the portal. Rhinne did her best to keep her composure, and when at last they were through, she collapsed to the ground exhausted: even the strength that it took to walk was cut off by the seal.

“Oh how the mighty have fallen.” She whispered to herself, managing to sit upright while Geridon came over to her with a drink.

“You must not push yourself so hard so soon goddess, you’ve just awoken after hundreds of years under the sleeping spell and you are weak. You must regain your strength before doing anything more.”

“I had to open the portal for them Geridon. Only one of the three Transcendence are left in this world, and even she is at the risk of being tainted by the Black Mage.” Rhinne said disappointedly as Geridon tried to counter her.

“That isn’t true goddess, you are still alive and you are one of them.”

“I cannot be called as such in my current condition. I have barely the power to open a portal between worlds, how can I even begin to call myself the Transcendence of Time once again?”

“The temple has never given up on searching for a way to break the curse completely. You will be able to take up that mantle once again.” Gerdon reassured, although he didn’t believe his own words, Ossyria needed the Transcendences and without them, there was no telling what could happen.

**************************

“Are you sure you know where you’re going?!” Jack called, his voice echoing hundreds of times in the darkness that surrounded them.

“My guess is as good as yours! There’s only two things that I see here, and that one looks like it goes somewhere into the past!” Matthew replied taking blind steps towards a portal that was hanging in the air before them.

“How canst thou be sure the second leads to the past?!” Helen called.

“Guys! Why are we yelling? We’re standing right next to each other.” Aran pointed out as they all stopped and looked around, barely able to make out the silhouette of each other in the darkness.

“Oh, the darkness around me prevented me from seeing thee.” Helen answered sheepishly.

“I took a couple steps to it when we first got here, and the stuff that I could see through it looked old, really old.” Matthew answered, as they all turned and walked with Matthew towards the light. As they came closer, it felt as if they were being pulled towards it until they were thrust through the light and into what appeared to be the outskirts of Henesys, surrounded by giant mushrooms and snails.

“Is this, Leafre?” Aran asked as the creatures surrounding them suddenly looked to them.

“No, I don’t think so.” Olsen answered, reaching behind him and grabbing Matthew’s pauldron, yanking him down out of the way as a large thorn vine whipped past where he would have been standing a moment before.

“Scatter!” Olsen shouted, throwing down his hand and pulling a shuriken out of his Pyrope Skanda, hurling it at the vine and cutting it away. Just as he was about to reach for his dagger, Helen appeared before him. She held out her hand as a scorching flame erupted from it, engulfing the cloud of spores that had been hurled at him from a large orange topped mushroom. The mushroom looked as though it was getting ready to attack again as the stalk swelled and its cap and eyes began to glow a bright purple. Helen teleported away allowing Olsen to hurl the shuriken he had drawn.

In the air before him, a seal burst to life and just as he swung, shrinking around where his arm was going to pass through and just as his hand made contact, winds curled around his arm as he let one shuriken then another go with thunderous force. The shuriken easily passed thought the mushroom’s body, letting the air out it had breathed in with clouds of spores. Before it even had a chance to take another breath, Olsen had drawn his blade, streaking past it to split it in half. But even the hard swing he had dealt to the creature felt as if it did nothing; even the wounds that the shuriken had dealt looked to be healing over.

He then slammed the pummel of his dagger into his palm as the creature turned around, breathing in readying to spew another cloud of spores of him. Hot pink flames roared to life around Olsen while his eyes and hair shimmered, various seals flaring around him enhancing his strength. Like a comet, he hurtled around the mushroom, stopping on a single knee while the wind finally caught up.  

For a brief moment, the mushroom sat there until something like black aura swirled around it, shrinking into its body while its form began shrinking as well. Olsen looked back to see what it was that he had hit; it felt as if his blade had passed through nothing but air. What he had actually hit one of the less dangerous creatures in all of Ossyria, a normal Orange Cap mushroom, which then wheezed and shriveled away. Olsen was so enthralled by what had happened that he didn’t feel the giant snail creeping up behind him, swinging the thick vine at him until the clang of Matthew’s Gaia Shield woke him.

“Olsen! Are you losing your touch?! Come on this is battle here!” Matthew shouted, grabbing his Glory sword and swinging through another four mushrooms that burst through the ground readying to breathe a cloud of spores on them. But their wounds healed quickly as they readied to breathe again, this time being subjected to a swishing of the powerful Intrepid Slash. Again the wounds inflicted by the slashes began healing just as quickly.

The sound of a hard breath fell over Matthew while a seal shrank down over him. Again and again Matthew unleashed the Intrepid Slash , building up the Warrior’s Overcharge until he absorbed all the orbs and swung hard, unleashing a powerful shockwave that roared through the holes his Slash opened, punching through them and reducing them once again to the normal mushrooms.

Jenny stood back to back with Helen, firing arrows that became flaming streaks through the air, only to snap off the snail’s shells leaving behind the scars. With a frustrated huff she reached for her crystal power, her body taking on a bright green glow while the skin around her eyes took on a fern–like tattoo. As she drew her bow, winds howled around the Spine Arrow. As she released it, she turned letting the sheet of arrows cut through the shells of the snails.

They too looked as if black aura pulled back into their bodies, turning back into nothing but normal ruby shell snails before turning into a puddle of mush. A mushroom exploded from under the ground next to her, making Jenny swing her bow hard and catching the giant mushroom in a whirlwind, tearing it from the ground and into the air where Jenny hit it with a bomb arrow charged with crystal power. However the mushroom looked as though it popped rather than exploded.

“Helen, there’s something strange about these creatures! It’s almost as if they’ve been filled with some kind of Aura.” Jenny called before ducking to the left, avoiding the heavy vine coming down on her. Helen turned this way and that, sending plumes of flames or clouds of frozen air at these creatures, pushing some of them away or burning others to the ground, watching how each of the mushrooms and snails looked, returning to normal before dying.

“Aran! Jack! Use thy power and gather these beasts within one area!” Helen called, switching to her sacred abilities, readying to cast her Dispelling Method.

“Take mine light and let it descend upon thy soul to heal the scars that plague thee…”  Aran gathered her momentum, thrusting as hard as she could to unleash a beam of light. It first pierced the skin of the mushroom before her, tearing it from the ground and pushing it back through six others and a couple snails. Jack retracted the blades on his knucklers, hitting the creatures as hard as he could while pushing them back into the same grouping. Aran. Matthew, Olsen and Jenny did what they could as well, pushing back other creatures into the same group so that they could eliminate as many as they could.

“Let the wounds to thy heart be healed. By the power I have, may the power within thee be dispelled!” Helen called in a commanding voice, as wings spread from behind her centered on a black orb. Bright light then flashed from the wings as they spread wide onto the creatures, seeping into their skins and began to make a dark glow leak from them, shrinking back into their normal forms. Helen brought her hands before her as if holding a ball where the black Aura gathered in hers hands.

Before dissipating it, Helen almost seemed drawn to the power watching as it swirled within her palm. With a slow fascination she held out her free hand around the orb of energy, slowly closing her hand around it and her eyes darkening to near black when Olsen grabbed her wrist and pulled her hand away from it. Helen almost looked agitated that he would dare do such a thing. As he gripped her wrist, he sent a pulse of Pink Quartz through her which loosed the grip of her darker self. Helen’s eyes slowly returned to normal and her person returned to that which Olsen knew.

“Forgive me Olsen. I lost mine self for a moment.”

“I said that I wouldn’t let this Black Magic have you back. It a promise that I endeavor to keep.” Olsen replied, moving his hand so that instead he laced his fingers with hers as she dispelled the energy she had gathered on her hand.

“They’re all just, normal creatures.” Jack pointed, out kneeling down to take a closer look at one of the snails, poking at its eye with his finger.

“Indeed. All these creatures were infected with some kind of power. T’was not Black Magic; this power felt as if it possessed life. However, it hath been twisted. It was…” Before Helen could finish her sentence, her eyes and hair suddenly glowed while small threads spread out from around her feet, crawling partway up her legs.

“Helen? Helen! What’s wrong? Helen!” Olsen called as he shook her shoulders, watching the small threads of violet light slowly begin to turn aqua. Olsen was about to pull her away from the area when a hand grabbed onto him and stopped him.

“Don’t touch her! Let her be; she will be alright.” Olsen reached for his dagger to ward off the person stopping him, but when he turned he was jarred to see the High Elder Hellin holding his arm.

“What do you mean let her be?! Something is taking over her!” Matthew shouted as he went to pull Helen away from the area when Harmonia stopped him as well with a hard jerk.

“Listen to Hellin.” Gritto called as she, Samuel and Legor came into the area.

“That is my wife you are letting be taken over!” Olsen bellowed, throwing Hellin to the side when he was standing face to face with Latimer.

“Dad, you know as well as I do that mom has always had a strange connection with nature around her. She can control five different types of magic for crying out loud!”

“Latimer is correct Master Olsen. This is not some form of a mental take over, this light comes directly from Ossyria itself.” Legor comforted. Olsen relaxed slightly, thinking back to when she would sometimes take on the same look she had now when something magical was trying to communicate with her, or was happening around her before they had defeated the Black Mage.

“Fear not Olsen, your beloved is in no danger. I am the life of Ossyria, Mundus Arbor. I must apologize for frightening you as such, but I have no other means by which to communicate with you.” Helen said, her voice sounding slightly deeper than normal.

“You must have many questions, but there is no time for them for she cannot withstand my power for long. As you have seen, some of the creatures within Ossyria have changed, becoming ferocious beasts that attack without provocation. My power within Ossyria is somehow being tainted by the power of the one calling herself Clytemnestra in Ereve, which has now made contact with the continent once more. You must stop her by any means you can, for if what I feel this woman intends then all of Ossyria is in grave danger.” All at once the small threads around Helen’s feet pulled away, letting her collapse to the ground where Olsen caught her, shaking her slightly to awaken her.

“I am alright my love. Thou needst not worry.” Aran knelt down before her, setting her halberd down as Maha appeared from it and sat on her shoulder.

“Helen, did you…”

“Aye Aran, I was able to hear the words of Ossyria. It hath me concerned as well.” She answered, looking up to see that the Heroes and the rest of their children had gathered around.

“Mom! Dad you’re here!” Patricia shouted, running at Jenny and Jack, enveloping the both of them tightly.

“How did you guys get here? I mean, into where we are…”

“There’s no time to explain Patty. We actually came here in hopes to speak with the High Elder Gritto about what’s going on. Helen filled us in on what might be causing it, but we wanted to be sure.” Matthew said, being tackled as Dumia and Vondra both put their arms around him. At the request of Gritto, Helen retold what she had explained to the others which she sadly confirmed.

“That being said, the only way to safely return Ossyria back to its place is to kill the one who had activated the Fragments.”

“Whoa whoa whoa! Back up. You said nothing about that Gritto. You just said that we needed to smash the dream fragments!” Patricia hollered.

“I said that was the easiest route, but also the most dangerous. Before I had a chance to tell you of the other option, you and the others simply left to come here before I could explain.” Gritto reasoned.

“In any case, now that our folks are here, there shouldn’t be any trouble with bringing down Clytemnestra.” Vondra said, leaning against Matthew who looked up to Aran with a disheartened look in his eyes.

“Vondra, sweety, there’s something that you should know. We won’t be able to help you this time.” Aran said, walking over to her daughters and placing a hand on Dumia’s shoulder.

“What do you mean? You guys are here now aren’t you? You broke through to help us didn’t you?!” Latimer asked, looking back and forth between his parents and Patricia’s.

“No Latimer, I’m afraid not. Rhinne was able to create a portal into Ossyria, but we can only stay here for a little under three hours at a time. In that amount of time there’s no way that we’d be able to help you.” Jack answered, swallowing knowing that it wasn’t the answer that he wanted to give.

“No… no that’s not fair! We don’t know the first thing about real battle! You guys do! And if this thing, this Clytemnestra was created by the Black Mage, you guys are the only ones who have faced him besides the Heroes!” Dumia said as she backed away from Matthew slightly.

“Trust me Dumia, we want to help you. But with our limited time here, the best that we could hope to do is come for a visit.” Aran reasoned walking forward and hugging her close, stroking her hair.

“Look, all of you just need to get over it! We have a world to save and there’s no use standing around here whining about who’s here and who isn’t!” Maha shouted, the cutting edge of the weapon glowing brightly. Aran lowered her head and smiled, shaking her head.

“Maha says that if you don’t act soon, there will be nothing worth saving.” Maha’s form turned red, leaning down to Aran’s ear and began shouting at her as loud as he could.

“THAT’S NOT WHAT I SAID YOU…” But Aran simply tuned him out and listened to what the others had to say, thankful that no one else could hear the hot headed words Maha screamed. Mercedes turned to them with a smile, offering her own words of comfort.

“There is no need to fret young ones. If what I’ve heard about you and your parents is true, then you four are not simply their children, you are their essence. Yes they have faced the Black Mage and his powerful magic, but you have trained hard to arrive at this point. Not so that you could live up to the legacy your parents left behind, but so that you could protect those of Ossyria against the Black Wings.” Phantom smiled as he walked up to them, flipping his blond hair away from his eyes.

“If you haven’t been training as hard as you have for a time such as this, then what were you training for at all?” He asked smoothly, yet sternly as Helen rode the encouraging wave of words.

“Hear me Latimer, and all of thee. Verily thou art our children, and we hast watched three grow through thy years of life. Anon of all times Ossyria yerns for heroes; our time hath long passed, and anon 'tis thee who shall rise and become the beacon of hope to the people of Ossyria.” With each word that Helen said, confidence slowly began to build within them, the Heroes smiling their own approval.

“Patricia Waterman; Latimer Olman Da’lor; Vondra and Dumia Drake; we five masters of Ossyria hath seen thy power and hereby say that thou art anon, The Guardians of Ossyria.” Helen continued as Matthew stepped forward, gathering them all in the center and turning each one to their parents.

“And with this title we give you this charge: stay with the Heroes, help them regain their power that was once lost. If you are able, find others who will help you in your journey, and finally, defeat Clytemnestra and return Ossyria to its rightful place.” Matthew said proudly, holding out his hand where a red glow formed into a gem, each of the others holding out their hands with glowing gems in their hands as well when Jenny offered an explaination.

“This is a small portion of power we contain; the power of the Four Crystals. Should you need to, you will be able to use this and enhance your power many times over. However this power comes with a warning; do not use this power until it is that absolute last resort since it will push your bodies far beyond its limits. In addition, only use this power for short bursts, for when you cease using it, you will be exhausted.” She and the other Guardians maneuvered around until they had come to the one who the power would best suit.

“To Latimer, I Jenny bestow the power of the Emerald Crystal.”

“To Vondra, I Olsen bestow the power of the Pink Quartz.”

“To Patricia, I Helen bestow upon thee, the power of the Amethyst Crystal.

“To Dumia, I Matthew bestow the power of the Ruby Crystal.” As each of them made their announcements, a disk-like gem was placed in their hands, each of them feeling the power pulsing in their palms as though it were alive. Jack looked over to Matthew, reaching his hand over to his cloak with questions in his eyes. Matthew sighed, thinking about all the forms that he had made with this cloak knowing that once he gave it to them, those forms would be erased and they would have to start over. But it was something that they would need for the foes ahead. Sadly he nodded, reaching back and taking his Gaia cloak from around his shoulders, while the others did the same.

“In addition to these gems, we give you these, the Gaia Cloaks. These cloaks are far more than just a piece of cloth to hang from around your shoulders, they are tools. Listen to what they tell you, and they will intern help you on your journeys.” Matthew said, hanging the Golden Gaia around Dumia’s neck. Patricia shivered when Helen draped the Gaia of Shadows onto her shoulders. Vondra breathed in awe as the Crimson Gaia was placed in her hands, while Latimer grinned broadly as Jenny handed him the Azure Gaia. Jack folded the Emerald Gaia neatly, handing it to Dumia with a sad smile.

“Be sure to get this to Acer when you see him. I don’t know where he is, but he’s going to need this one. If you have any questions, you should be able to ask the Advance Masters or the High Elders for help.” Jack said. Dumia nodded, tucking the cloak under her arm and admiring the cloak around her shoulders, something that she had always wondered what it would look like around her neck. No sooner had they been given the cloaks, than the Masters began to fade.

“It looks as if three hours have passed already. Remember, you four are the new ‘Guardians of Ossyria’: You will defeat this new foe, and you will be able to overcome it.” Aran called, as she and the others faded from view. Luminous could be heard sighing heavily, all at once remembering that he still had yet to return to the Golem’s Temple and Beuwon to find out if the mine was indeed able to be restarted.

“Well, where to now?” Vondra asked tucking the gem she had received into the sleeve of her glove.

“I have business that I must attend to at the golem’s temple on the other side of Henesys. If you don’t wish to accompany me that will be alright, but I must go.”

“Well, as our parents asked us to do before all of this took place, we’re your chaperone until you three have gotten your power back up to snuff.” Dumia called, walking into the tree line and climbing up into her Mech, initiating the start up sequence as she buckled in.

You are going to be our Chaperones? Ha! What kind of prank are you pulling here? We don’t need chaperones.” Phantom huffed, smirking with confidence beaming from his being.

“No, I’m pretty sure that you’re gonna need us for a little while. Besides, the world that you knew is upside down now. But if you’re so confident that you don’t need us…” Patricia looked over her shoulder and saw what appeared to be a giant pig walking around, patrolling the area.

“…why don’t you take on that creature over there and prove that you don’t need us.” She finished with a smirk, hanging her wand on her belt and crossing her arms.

“No, I don’t think that will be necessary. I am the Phantom Thief, I shouldn’t need to prove myself.”

“Yeah right. You’re just scared; you do need us.”

“Alright that is enough!” Mercedes said, holding her hands out to her sides before turning to Phantom to try and convince him their need of these children.

“Phantom, the world we knew has long since gone away. We need these young people here to help us regain the power that we have lost.”

“Speak for yourself Your Highness. Remember it was you who needed me to defeat the Black Mage.” Phantom huffed, pushing out his chest proudly. Luminous lunged at him, grabbing him by the collar and pinning him against a tree red light in his eyes burning brightly, even streaming from it.

“I am growing SICK of your constant whining! First you’re too arrogant too see what Minerva asked us to do. Then you have the gall to come back and help us once your pathetic Empress was taken from you and ‘helped’ us break into the temple of time, too busy looking for valuables with the powers that Minerva gave you rather than helping to stop him! And finally, you leave us right as the battle with the Mage himself was reaching its zenith to save your own sorry hide! If you want to help us that’s fine, but leave your ‘mightier than thou’ attitude back on the ship. Otherwise, stay out of the way where you belong!” Luminous growled. Phantom grit his teeth, pushing Luminous away and grabbing a card from his belt, hurling it into the air which then took the shape of a bull, charging at Luminous and throwing him into the air. Quickly the card returned to Phantom as he drew another, throwing it straight into the air when the hazy image of a large knight appeared. This time it slammed its sword into the ground, bringing Luminous with it and returning to Phantom’s hand.

“Don’t you DARE speak of Aria that way again! Aria was much more than just a…”

“Just what Phantom? A treasure? A possession? A challenge? She was never anything other than an object to you!” Luminous howled in return, making Phantom charge at him. He knocked the staff from Luminous hand and stood with the point of a thin sword he had drawn from his cane aimed at Luminous’ neck.

“Aria was never an object I wished to add to my collection. She was the one person, the only person, I have ever let into my life! If that’s how you’ve felt even after all this time, then I want no part of you or these ‘Guardians’.” Phantom hissed, shoving the sword back into the cane hard and walking away from them with a haughty grunt.

“Phantom, where are you…”

“Let him go Mercedes. He’s made up his mind. We’ll continue on our own.” Latimer called, holding out a hand and bringing Luminous to his feet. As Phantom walked away, thoughts of his past came to mind when he first met his teacher Raven.

You can live or die; the choice is yours.” Raven’s voice echoed in his mind, still able to see the arm mounted cross bow aimed at him as a child. Shaking his head, he tried pushing the memory away which still haunted him to this day. He had come home to find that his parents had been killed by Raven.

And even after all the time that I spent learning from him, that bastard went and got himself killed, and not by me.” His thoughts raged as he walked into the forest, still seething.

************************

Dureau scanned over the miles and miles of forests below him, searching endlessly for the scent of his underling. He couldn’t explain it, but he felt a tight knot building in his chest, something that he had never felt before and wasn’t sure how to deal with it except to search. Now that the Dream Fragments had cut him off from the rest of the world, the only thing that he felt was worry for Mastema. But she was in Edelstein, wasn’t she? Moments after the Fragments had fully taken over, he caught a whiff of her scent and instantly began following where it had come from, leading him into the desert of Ariant. He stopped only for a short while in the desert town to get water, before continuing on following her scent. It took him towards a town that smelled of oil and plants: Magatia.

What would Mastema be doing in a place like this?” He asked himself, landing gently in the middle of town, aware that he had lost her scent and could now only smell oil and machines bustling about him.

“Well this was a massive waste of time.” He mumbled to himself when he caught her scent again, but this time, there was the smell of blood on the air as well; and it was coming from the north end of the town. With a hard push he glided over the people, heading straight for a building with a sign that said ‘Zenumist’. Bursting through the door, an old man looked up at him in surprise having a flasks in his hands. Dureau calmly walked up to him, standing a few inches taller than him while the light from his Ageis made the room glow a pale blue.

“Where is she?” he asked flatly as the man shook his head in confusion.

“Who are you talking about? No one has come in here or left all day!” the man said franticly. Dureau was about to reach for his mace when he heard the sound of something hitting the floor in the back as a weak meow. With a beat of his wings, Dureau went streaking through the building following the scent of Mastema’s blood, bursting through the door at the end of the hall. What he saw was something that looked be two flasks filled with red and blue liquid jumping one at a time as though they were legs towards Mastema. She lay still on the floor, part of her fur bloodied as well as the flesh of her right wing torn.

Dureau disappeared in a burst of speed, swinging his mace hard making a monster erupt from his mace and throw the flask creature back. Dureau then crossed his wings over himself while a deep green light glowed from around them. Characters of the Khyune language appeared on the membrane flesh of his wings. The flask creature tried to get up, once again walking towards them one step at a time and repairing the cracks in the glass as it went until Dureau lunged it. His left arm turned into nothing but Aura Claws that raked across the creature, scratching the glass in high pitch screams as he hurled it back into the wall. He held his mace back, enveloped by a black and red aura shaping itself into a large scythe.

“Stay away from her.” he growled, swinging the scythe so fast that the wind from it took nearly ten seconds to catch up until the glass of the creature first shattered, then exploded letting the liquids from within it spill onto the ground. As he put his mace back, Dureau walked back to Mastema, crouching down to touch her bloody violet fur. Out of reaction, Mastema quickly opened her jaw and clamped down on the hand that was touching her, still tense from the battle that she had been waging. But when she saw the hand was that of her master’s she quickly removed her fangs from his hand and shrank away from him, tucking her paws and tail under herself.

“I’m sorry master, I didn’t know that was you. I…” When she looked up, Dureau simply pulled his hand back, opened and closed his hand a few times and then reached for her again. Mastema shut her eyes and braced for whatever was going to come, but was surprised when Dureau simply put his hand on her head, running one of his fingers down the middle of her head as though petting her.

“Try not to let it happen again. What exactly were you after?” he asked calmly, gently petting her again.

“I had heard a rumor saying that a creature here contained a liquid that would turn anyone into the thing they desire the most. And what I desire is my human form! I can’t even battle a simple creature as this in this form and I am tired of being in this form!” She explained, fighting the urge to turn back and begin licking her wound.

“Mastema, you should have come to me with this information. I would have easily defeated this creature for you.” Dureau gently scolded. Mastema smiled, but it was somewhat sad since she knew he was still seeing her as his subordinate.

“You were looking for the Rurumo Liquid?” a voice asked. Dureau turned and reached for his mace, scooping up Mastema ready to attack. Mastema flinched in pain but was more surprised by Dureau’s actions.

“And who would you be?” Dureau asked as the man came more into view.

“My name is Bedin, assistant to Carson. That creature you just fought was actually a result of the Rurumo Liquid created in an experiment using the extract of the Rumo Plant. If you want, I can easily make some more for you. May I ask what you will be using It for?” He asked as he turned and motioned for them to follow.

“I require it to, experiment myself.” Dureau answered flatly. Bedin raised his eyebrows for a moment as he led them, shrugging as if to stop himself from further asking questions. As he said, the Rurumo Liquid was quickly created and given to him in a flask.

“Ah finally! I’ll be able to return to my former self!” Mastema said excitedly, ignoring her stinging side as she jumped up onto one of the desks, searching for other ingredients and herbs.

“Does she plan on using that on herself?” Bedin asked, sounding worried.

“Yes she does. It has been a very long time and Mastema wishes to return to her former self, a human form.” Dureau answered, watching Mastema as she sniffed around the desk for different potions, pouring small amounts into another flask.

“No! That liquid was never meant to be used by living beings!” Bedin warned, reaching for the flask in Dureau’s hand, but missed when he pulled it away, giving him a hard look.

“It’s a risk that I’m willing to take human.” Mastema said sternly, rubbing her paws together as she put the last of the herbs she needed into the flask.

“If you would Dureau, could you pour the Rurumo Liquid into this flask, since I can’t do it myself.” Over Bedin’s fighting protests, Dureau poured it in and waited with a tinge fear running through him. The last time she tried anything was when she shot herself with the strange laser from the aliens in Omega Sector, which thankfully only knocked her out.

Why am I fearful for her life to begin with?” Dureau wondered, still unsure whether or not it was a good idea to let her continue. Before he could voice any further concerns, Mastema had already consumed the flask’s contents, sitting impatiently on the desk waiting for it to take effect. Suddenly a pressure was building in her chest, becoming hard to breathe making her fall from the desk to the ground. Dureau knelt down and reached out a hand for her when Bedin stopped him.

“It’s the effect of the Rurumo Liquid: it’s a transformation catalyst. Whatever she put in addition to it must be clashing with it or had made it more potent. If you touch her now the effect could affect you as well. Who knows what would happen.” Dureau looked on with worry as Mastema twitched and writhed on the floor until a cloud began forming around her. Bedin pulled him away so that the fumes wouldn’t touch him and maybe adversely affect him. as the could thickened around Mastema, Dureau saw a hand reach out from under the cloud as it cleared.

“Ah, it feels good to be back… wait, why does my voice sound like Master Dureau!” Mastema asked, looking down at her hands before running to a window, looking at herself in the reflection as her cheeks suddenly became bright red in embarrassment. What she saw instead of her well known human form, it was instead an exact copy of Dureau. As her cheeks blazed bright red, the transformation canceled itself returning her to her cat form, hiding her burning cheeks.

“What happened? I though you said that it would turn you into the thing that you desire most, and you said that it was your human form that you wanted.” Dureau chuckled. Mastema looked away from the window so that Dureau wouldn’t see the look in her eyes, fighting as hard as she could to keep from looking into his eyes.

“I-I-I-I don’t know. Maybe some of the herbs I used were old or I put in the wrong amounts. Y-yes that its. I must have just done something like that.” Mastema stuttered, trying to explain the events.

Oh! Why did it have to turn out like this?! The one person I want more than anything in this world is Master Dureau! Even if I wished for my human form as hard as I could, I could never suppress the desire I have for him enough to…” Her thoughts were cut short when she felt Dureau’s hand wrap around her and pick her up, chuckling in a low voice and hold her close to his chest.

“We’ll find a way of retrieving your human form Mastema.” He said calmly turning and walking out the door. He felt relieved that Mastema was alright and that nothing serious had happened to her. Yes, there was the loss of his family, and even if the company of Mastema was annoying at times he was secretly thankful for her presence. Maybe it was his pride or maybe it was just some misplaced sense of authority that kept him from allowing himself to show his appreciation for her.

And then there were her actions as of late, especially when they were still back in the High Guard garage; she had nearly kissed him when she temporarily regained her human form while helping him heal a wound. Perhaps Mastema was more to him than he realized and maybe he would eventually be able to open up. For now, there was the matter of Clytemnestra and what she was doing in place of The Mage. If he couldn’t get to The Mage himself, then she would serve as the next best thing.

Mother, Damian… I will avenge you. Just hang on a little longer.
The Guardians L.O. - Ch 7, Re-E2
ALL RIGHTS OF THE MAPLESTORY GAME BELONG TO NEXON AND THE RESPECTIVE COMPANIES. THIS STORY IS PURELY FAN FICTION.

Chapter 8, pt 1: The Ghosts that Haunt Us


Check out the game here: maplestory.nexon.net/Default.a…

This is the Thrid Season of "The Guardians" saga, A fanfiction. Here is the First Season Beginning

Here is the Second Season Beginning

E.N. 1: I did moslt some minor updating: catching missing words here and there, adding in letters that were missing, and putting in a couple missing HTML codes.

E.N. 2: Did some minor updating.
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Ok... so as you know... i've been trying to update my icon every year. But I've come to a rather annoying block because I have NO idea how to change it for next year since the new year is just around the corner.

So Ii turn to you my watchers... how do you think I should change my icon next year?

Y.K.

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Yoshumari
Yoshumari Korisuno
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As you know, Dragons possess many treasures. But what you may not know is that not all that treasure is gold.

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:iconnyappysofie:
NyappySofie Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
ASDFGHJKL Thank you so much for the watch! [EXO] Xiumin Emoticon 
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:iconyoshumari:
Yoshumari Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
you are welcome.
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:iconcimenord:
Cimenord Featured By Owner Apr 20, 2014
Thanks for the fav' on my Siegfried perler work :P
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:iconyoshumari:
Yoshumari Featured By Owner Apr 20, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Your welcome

Siegfried/Nightmare (SC2) are my favorite characters from the SC series.
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:iconpritken:
pritken Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
thank u so much for the fav :)
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:iconjirinri:
Jirinri Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Just came to scroll through Yoshumati's page and your adorable icon caught my attention. SO CUTE.
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:iconyoshumari:
Yoshumari Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
you are very welcome
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:iconrandomgreeter:
RandomGreeter Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2014  Professional
Hi! Have a nice day! :wave:
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:iconyoshumari:
Yoshumari Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
uuh... many thanks!
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