Sorry it took me so long to get this out but this summer semester has been brutal. From here on out ill try to be more consistent. But nevermind that heres the next chapter in this series. This arc will soon be coming to a close so ill make sure theres no delay, and as always hit me up with the comments and thank you for reading this. Also I’ve been working to clean up the story make it more readable so hopefully it looks better.
The cool night air flowed across her skin as Serina gazed out from the Church of Adressa’s belfry, at the slowly dimming lights of a city beginning to drift into slumber. It was ironic she thought as her eyes wandered over the breathtaking view, the holiest of places in the city was to be the catalyst for the cities fall.
“Aaaaaaahhhhhh.” She sighed, as she leaned over the edge to look of the balcony to look at the empty streets around the church. For months she had worked tirelessly to bring her mistress Druella’s plans to fruition.
She had personally corrupted several important members of the country’s hierarchy including the queen, as well as coordinated all manner of smaller operations to keep the plan on track. Everything had been going according to plan, from the corruption of the Royal family to the subduing of the nation’s few but rather experienced heroes. Now all these plans where coming together quickly, and tonight was the night that it would all reach its glorious conclusion.
The only problem being the boy she had taken a liking to. He had been taken prisoner by the one man in the city whom she hadn’t been able to corner, the kingdoms very own Grand Inquisitor. She had intended to have the queen or king free the boy but that would’ve provoked the inquisitor who was already dangerously close to the true nature of what was transpiring in the kingdom.
Alerting him had been out of the question, he was a powerful mage that could have easily thwarted or slowed her plans. To be honest he shouldn’t have even been imprisoned she thought the king had been overzealous and impulsive and his wife had yet to reign him in. But she couldn’t fault him, not imprisoning the boy would have been suspicious for such a transgression.
Her thoughts continued to focus on the boy. He had been in the man’s possession for several days and she shuddered as she thought of what might have happened to him because of her. She had moved her plans to tonight because of this; she just couldn’t bear to think of what was happening to the boy.
“No matter, he will be safely away from him tonight and with me.”
A sudden POOF from her side startled her slightly as she turned to see a short Devil appear next to her. The diminutive devil stood next to her and looked up at her with a smile and with her came the sweet smell of a man’s mana.
“Hello Maria, I can sense a man’s mana on you, I take it you had some fun at Conviction.”
The Devils smile grew as she began to laugh. “Yeah, his name is Alan he put up a fight but, in the end, I was able to…. beat him in a sense.”
“Well you’ll have to tell me all about it later, but for now what’s the news.”
The Devil instantly grew serious as she began to quickly relay vital information to Serina.
“Three of the four Forts where secured without commotion while the Inquisitors put up a fight at Conviction even still the barriers are up without any problems. We were able to prevent the escape of the garrisons in said castles, so no one is the wiser, and our forces are in position about ten miles from the city as you requested and honestly many of the girls are quite anxious to move as well as a few of the Heroes especially Meredith.”
Serina turned to look out over the city as the Devil continued her report.
“The Mass Teleportation runes are in place and are prepared for the advance party’s insertion into the city. To be honest it was all rather easy.”
“Well I planned for it to be easy. Hopefully those experimental runes work, they will surely be of use after this.” Serina said in response.
“I also believe I saw the boy you told me to look out for.”
Serina instantly perked up as she swung to look at the Devil with barely contained suspense.
“And, was he injured at all and are you positive it was him?”
The Devils smile grew slightly as she began to speak.
“OH YEAH, I’m sure it was him he’s very unmistakable. He was escaping Conviction and I happened upon him purely by chance, he was not in any sort of pain from the quick glimpse of him I got, and he escaped into the sewer with another human who bore the symbols of an Adressan Hero.”
Serina sagged in defeat, the city’s sewers where almost labyrinth like in their complexity, finding the boy would take no small amount of time.
“Well thank you anyway. Did you at least recognize the Hero with him, I believe we had accounted for all of them?”
“That’s the weird thing about it I couldn’t recognize him from any of the reports you gave, he was kind of young too. But that’s not all, I meant to say this earlier, but the Grand inquisitor is unaccounted for, he wasn’t in Conviction when we attacked.”
A slight tinge of alarm crept in Serina’s visage, but she quickly smothered it as she responded.
“Well that complicates things, he is a powerful wizard and frankly on par with a Hero, we can’t allow him to get word out of the city at this crucial juncture, this city is already ours, but he could complicate things for the rest of the army elsewhere in the Kingdom.”
Serina brought a hand up to her forehead and quickly contemplated.
With a sigh she looked back to Maria with a smile.
“We can’t risk his escape; tell Lynexia its time, have everyone begin final preparations and commence when they are ready, also let me know if anyone sees that boy, he’s mine……oh and find out where Lydia is, playtime is over.”
The tiny Devil squealed with joy at the news and with a smile and quick acknowledgment she vanished to relay her orders.
Serina again lazily turned to look out over the city with a devious smile. She flexed her wings and stretched with yawn; she wouldn’t be getting any sleep tonight for sure. She had a few loose ends to finish before the main event started.
“Once I finish ill find you.” She said before with a FWSOOSH she too vanished in the darkness of the belfry.
The massive red blade continued its descent towards Jaye as he tensed to prepare for the inevitable blow. Suddenly a loud WHOOSH to his right drew the Sword Girl’s attention. With skill worthy of a master her grip on her blade shifted and instead of a downward plunge towards Jaye, her sword swung up into a defensive posture.
A sudden bright light slammed into her and a wave of fiery energy hit Jaye in the face. The Sword girl took the attack with ease, her sword blocking the magical attack preventing injury. With a quick glance to his right Jaye saw Esmour with his hand raised, a light glow in his outstretched hand slowly diminishing as he struggled against the tendrils continuing to bind him.
Jaye instantly took opening provided to him and rolled away from the monster and with a quick exertion of the force pushed himself up and, on his feet, unscathed. But he didn’t even have time to gather himself before the Sword Girl regained her footing and sprinted the short distance between them with her sword again swinging in his direction.
Her blow came fast, a cross body swing that would leave him in two if it connected. With no time to grab his lightsaber off his belt he raised the only protection he had against the blow, his right-hand blaster which through all this he hadn’t been forced to discard. He had little hope the small weapon would stop the blade, but he had to try to absorb some of the blow. He raised his hands with the blaster just as the sword slammed into his blaster. The force of the blow pushed his hands down, his blaster still intact even after taking such an attack, flew out of his hands and skittered across the ground.
The sword continued to the ground with the power of the blow cracking the stone floor of the sewer. With superhuman speed she pulled the sword out of the ground with an upward swing. Jaye tried but couldn’t react fast enough to move his left arm out of the path of the blade. The greatsword slashed through his left forearm without even so much as a tinge of resistance.
Surprised by the speed of the blow and expecting an extreme amount of pain due to the loss of a limb Jaye lost his balance and fell back on his haunches. With a quick glance after he fell, he realized that instead of laying on the floor detached from his body his arm was still very much connected to him and a strange light blue liquid akin to blood was seeping from the area where he was cut. But he didn’t have time to think as every second counted.
The Sword girls Smile widened in ecstasy after she cut him, and she swung her blade high to cleave down on him with a loud scream of pleasure.
“Enough.” Jaye whispered as he raised his right arm towards her as if to block the blow.
Fiery determination lit up Jaye’s eyes as the blade once again descend towards him. With the power of the force behind him the devastating downward swing of the blade stopped well before It reached him.
The frown that began to cross the Sword girls face was almost comical to him. Jaye slowly lifted his very much numb left arm and raised outwards towards her, attempting the strengthen his force grip on her.
The Sword girl struggled against the invisible force attempting to move but finding herself restrained as if she in the grasp of a massive hand. Her struggling continued unabated though, threatening to break Jaye’s grip on her, so Jaye began to slowly stand up and to the astonishment of the others in the room the girl began to rise in the air as if being lifted by nothing.
In a flash of motion Jaye spun and with quick flick of his wrists threw the struggling Sword girl towards the still spectating Baphomet. With the power of the force the Sword Girl flew across the room with ease.
Jaye didn’t take time to look and see if the Sword girl would hit the smaller monster. With his arms outstretched he quickly looked to his sides to look where his discarded blaster where and immediately used the force to pull them back to his hands. Within seconds both weapons where in his possession and he quickly brought his right-hand blaster to bear on the two monsters.
By the time he had spun back towards the monsters the Swords girl was in the process of picking herself up off the ground, while the Baphomet stood one hand on her hip the other still holding her Scythe while smiling. Jaye wasted no time, he opened fire with his blaster while dropping the other back into its holster and reaching around his utility belt.
The TCHU THCU THCU of the blaster retorted as he fired, the red lights casting an eerie glow in the semi dark chamber. Jaye quickly noticed none of his shots where reaching their targets, however. The Baphomet was still looking at him as if he was a joke, seeing as the energy from his shots was easily being dissipated by some sort of magical energy shield that had appeared seemingly out of thin air.
“Block this then.” Jaye mumbled.
Jaye then grabbed two small grenades in his left hand, the last in his possession and after quickly stowing away his other blaster. He thumbed the activations switched on both grenades and tossed them one after the other at the two monsters with a smile. The Sword girl was already beginning to move to reengage him when the first grenade landed in front of the two.
In slow motion both monsters turned to look at the device as Jaye himself was rolling away and starting to sprint to the opposite end of the chamber and the entrapped Esmour. A flash of light lit up the chamber as the dull WHUMP and the loud shrieking screech of a detonating flashbang retorted through the room.
Jaye didn’t even turn to look to see the results he sprinted across the room pulling his lightsaber off his belt and with snap-hiss the blade emerged from the hilt as he reached Esmour. The writhing mass of demonic energy had subdued his companion but with a few quick and precise strikes he freed Esmour from the perverse grip of the demonic tentacles.
“What was that explosion………..I’ve never seen anything like it?” Esmour coughed out as he struggled to stand up.
“Doesn’t matter, we’ve got to go before the second one goes off that’s the dangerous one.”
A sudden hissing sound behind Jaye drew his attention back to the monsters. Both the Baphomet and the Sword girl where coughing and falling onto the ground unmoving as a small cloud of dense light blue smoke began to creep outward from the second grenade.
“What in world is that?!”
With a grin Jaye yanked the kid up on his feet and the two began to quickly leave the sewer chamber at a run.
They had made it out into the tunnels before Jaye gave his response.
10 miles outside Adressa, staging area for 32nd Mamono Volunteers
Victoria stumbled through the bustling Monster camp in search of her tent. The camp was packing and beginning to move out to Adressa with haste so as such everyone was moving about with enthusiasm even in the chill of the cold air of this early winter night. She needed to get to her tent to pack her things and to find the unit she would be entering the town with.
Keeping to herself she walked through the camp passing monsters of all sizes from the more common like orcs, goblins, and the like to even the more fantastical and every single was a beauty that would freeze a man in their tracks.
A sudden loud yelling to her left drew her attention to a row of tents where an elegant golden scaled dragon stood tool yelling at several Succubae whom quickly moved off following the obvious orders they had been given.
Sights like this still made her smile even if only a little. Her short time as a monster had been awful due to the torture of the Order, but the second she had arrived in the camp things had quickly began to get better. Everyone she met had been friendly, the opposite of the Orders teachings and many had gone out of their way to help her get acclimated in more ways than one. She soon came to the end of a row of tents many of whom where in the process of being taken down as monsters and the few men present began to pack.
Her own tent stood alone, with a sigh she opened the flap and entered her tent. The inside was bare due to her lack of any belongings save the few gifts people had been generous enough to give her. A glinting in the soft light of the tent drew her attention, however.
In the corner neatly folded, were her armor and short sword that she had been told she would be receiving when they moved out. With a sigh she slowly knelt next the clothes and began to quickly separate them and give them a quick inspection.
The clothes where very revealing she surmised, due to the point seemingly being to show as much skin as possible. With a timid smile she quickly began to undress and put the armor on seeing as she would need them regardless of how they looked. The clothes easily fit her with her new wings and feeling free and exposed. The clothes where easily a far cry form the rags she wore when she first arrived.
“Hey sis, are you about ready to go, we need to pack the tent?”
The voice startled her and with a SHRIEK she turned to face the entrance of the tent. Standing there was her sister Camille.
Her sisters’ perfect features lit up when she saw the very revealing armor Victoria was wearing.
“Wow Vicky you look amazing.”
“Thanks, but to be honest I haven’t gotten used to clothes like this, it’s very revealing.”
“Hahahaha, that’s the point sis you gotta look nice tonight when you go to Adressa.” Camilla said as she entered the tent and gave her younger sister a closer look.
“I know.” Victoria responded meekly.
Camilla gave a quick glance around the tent until her eyes landed on the Demon Silver shortsword on Victoria’s cot.
“Did you at least go to the recommend training in sword fighting and basic charm magic?” Camilla said as she picked up the small sword.
“I did but I’m not very good, the charm magic was easy, but I could barely use the sword at all.”
“Well it can’t be too hard just hit them with the sharp end.” Camilla chuckled.
A smile crossed Victorias face as her sister lifted her spirit. “You’re not funny.”
The loud blaring of battle horn startled the two as the signal for all forces to prepare to move out echoed through the camp. Victoria instantly tensed at the sound and was almost shaking in excitement. The horn only lasted for a moment but soon the commotion of people moving about became louder. The fear Victoria felt at that moment was palpable.
Her sisters voice brought her out of her stupor quickly as Camilla walked to Victoria.
“You’ll find him okay; he’s going to be perfectly fine you worry too much.”
Tears suddenly formed in Victoria’s eyes as her sister said those words slowly.
“How do you know that…………. he’s been there….. for days we left him alone with those monsters Camilla…..they could’ve hurt him worse than us.” She cried out.
Camilla slowly grabbed her sister bringing her into a deep hug.
“He’s okay he fought an entire base to free us I doubt they could do anything to hurt him sis he’s stronger than that.” Camilla said trying to comfort her sister.
“I know, I know but i still worry I won’t get there in time.”
“You will I promise, you will.”
The two embraced for a little while longer until Victoria stopped crying and slowly pulled away from her sister.
“I’ve got to go sis I’ll see you guys afterwords, ok.” Victoria said while she gathered up her remaining necessary items and her sword.Victoria quickly moved to leave the tent but an arm on her shoulder made her stop.
“When you find him everyone else wants to thank him for what he did so don’t get carried away.” Camilla said with a knowing smile.
Victoria blushed at her sisters’ words and gave a small bashful smile. “Ok.”
Victoria quickly left the tent at a brisk pace quickly moving to get to the opposite side of the camp where her unit would be gathering. She moved through the groups of monsters which had begun forming as they began to move out. She soon came to a much larger group where standing in the center of it all was a relatively tall Dhampir who was barking out a few last-minute orders.
“Yawl are volunteers, so I don’t expect much, but just make sure you stay safe and most importantly have fun.” The Dhampir snickered.
The group began to move out and Victoria quickly moved to follow the rest of the moving horde.
An hour later
The purple fireballs flying over the city walls lit up the night sky beautifully before they would explode in the air showering the city in a beautiful purple mist. It had only been a few days since she had last seen the city and she didn’t have any fond memories, but with the hordes of monster moving through the open welcoming gates as well as flying to the city in the air it couldn’t have looked more beautiful.
Victoria stood in the field south of the city as droves of monsters rushed past her towards the gates. Her grip on her blade tightened and a look of determination came to her.
“I will save you I promise.” She whispered before slowly unfurled her wings and she slowly rose into the air and began to fly to the city joining the horde.
Church of Adressa Belfry
Leonard rubbed his hands over the edge of the marble walls of the belfry taking time to inspect the area carefully. He had hunted monsters and the traitors who consorted with them for decades. Now even in the place he called his home it would be no different. He knelt in the dark belfry and began to run his hand over the floor sifting dirt and the like looking for something very specific. With a smile he finally found what he was looking for, the faint corrupting stench of Demonic energy and an even fainter tinge of recently corrupted spirt energy of a certain someone he knew.
“She’s been here, perhaps even very recently.”
Leonard turned to his attendant; a young brown-haired man dressed in the grey armor that bore the sigil of an Inquisitor of Adressa who was looking at him with a look of utter confusion.
“How can you tell Lord Inquisitor; I don’t sense any corrupt mana at all.”
Leonard turned to the young man with a smile on his face his wizened eyes softening, with age came wisdom and getting mad at the boy’s naivety would do no good.
“It’s there, its faint but it’s there, and with this we now can make some conclusions.”
Leonard began to frown as the information began to click, The Traveler hadn’t been lying and the boy’s ignorance hadn’t been a façade at all. Leonard turned from the young man and walked to the balcony of the belfry and looked out at the night skyline with a thin smile.
“I’m afraid we have a Demon in our midst Maxwell, a rather strong one to be sure, how she managed to infiltrate our home is not hard to speculate. The real question is the extent of the harm she may have caused.”
The young inquisitor tensed mouth agape at the revelation and began to stutter as the words got caught in his throat.
“H……How is that possible Sir we have powerful Heroes here, and the Inquisition of Adressa is one of the most prominent in the Order, it’s impossible the fiend wouldn’t have been detected!”
The Grand Inquisitor hands clenched as his anger began to grow before he next spoke.
“I agree, even with the festivities this could not have happened unless she had significant help.”
“You don’t mean to sugge…………..”
The Grand inquisitor cut the boy off before he could finish his thought.
“Oh yes I do, it appears we have traitors in our midst Maxwell.”
In that instant waves of Demonic energy passed through the church causing shivers to pass though Leonard’s body.
HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM, came the blare of horns echoing across the city signaling that an attack on the city’s walls had begun. Leonard turned to look back out at the city as a frown began to form on his face.
“Looks like we’re just a minute to late.”
Coming over southern wall of the city near the Fort know as Perseverance were large purple fireballs that arced high in the sky before exploding showering the common districts in a purple haze that slowly began to drift down into the city streets. Soon following the fireballs were small black shapes that even from this distance were evident as they swooped down into the crowded streets creating chaos.
Running up next to him the young Inquisitor Maxwell had a look of abject horror on his face.
“By the Chief God, Adressa is under attack.”
The Grand Inquisitor looked at the boy his face not betraying any emotion save utter calm.
“Report to Conviction and tell Lord Caldwell to see to the organization of the defense of Adressa, tell him defense of the Common Quarter will be futile and to focus on the Middle districts.”
The young Inquisitor turned to look at Leonard the fear in his eyes evident as he took in the orders he had just been given.
“Whe……..Where will you go Sir.” The boy stammered out as the sounds of battle soon became audible even at the center of the city.
The Grand Inquisitor turned away and walked to the center of the belfry before turning and giving the boy a slight smile before he spoke.
“To visit an old friend and cut the head off this snake before it strangles us all.”
Seconds later he vanished with a loud CRACK leaving the young inquisitor to carry out his orders.
Jaye walked with his lightsaber held aloft ignited, using the weapon as a flashlight in the darkness of the sewer. It had been about an hour since the duo had escaped back into the depths of the sewer. With the winding path they had taken he doubted anyone could’ve followed them.
He glanced down to his left arm, it had stopped feeling numb after he had been sliced and the strange liquid that he had a sneaky feeling was spirit energy had stopped flowing from the wound. With no visible injuries left and the fact that after being struck his arm had been practically useless, must mean the enemy used weapons that where meant to take people alive not kill. That would make a lot of sense with what he knew about monsters he thought to himself. He quickly made a mental note to himself to ask Esmour what the weapons the enemy used where made from.
Esmour behind him continued with the annoying questions that he had continued to ask Jaye after seeing him fight.
“So that was a kind of knockout gas right, like a sleeping spell, how long will they be out for?”
“Yea and it was my last one so don’t expect us to get out of another bind like that so easily and to be honest I don’t know, for a normal guy that dosage would put them out for hours but monsters might be more resilient. To be honest we got really lucky that Baphomet was not taking me seriously.”
“I agree we barely got out of that one.”
The duo soon came to an intersection and Jaye quickly turned his lightsaber back and forth to check to make sure each passage was empty before turning to Esmour.
“Where to now, we’ve been wandering for a while, and I’ve got this feeling you don’t know what you’re doing.”
“I got this, I just need to check the symbols on the walls here they should let me know what district we’re in and where the closest exit is.” Esmour said as he began to run his hands over the stone walls brushing away dust.
“Ahhh ok, we’re going the right way. We just entered central district, the church and the barracks are that way.”
Jaye looked in the direction Esmour pointed and brought his lightsaber up and illuminated the passageway. Esmour began to walk down the dark path as Jaye hurried to catch up.
“How does going to the church help us, we need outside help not help from those who might be with the enemy.” Jaye said.
“Yea I agree but Lady Helen, Meredith, or Gabriela wherever she is are our best bets to get out of the city and I just don’t have the conscience to leave them behind especially Gabriela she’s already saved me once, I owe her that much.”
“That doesn’t answer my quest…….”
A loud boom echoed through the tunnel as dust rained down on the duo’s heads. Suddenly Jaye felt several pulses of Demonic energy flow past him as the tunnel one again rattled with a resounding boom. Jaye felt the power behind the energy almost to the bone and it was almost on par with the Baphomet.
“What was that?”
“I don’t know but we might need to move faster like now.” Jaye said quickly.
Esmour quickly nodded in agreement as the two began to almost sprint through the passageways. They soon came to a passageway that split off from the others and led to another large door.
“This should be the barracks near the cities center.” Esmour said as he quickly began to attempt to open the door. Esmour repeatedly pushed against the door but it stood resolutely not opening an inch.
“Open the damn door man it’s not that hard.”
“IM TRYING, ITS NOT BUDGING!”
Jaye growing pissed pushed Esmour aside and handed him his lightsaber he then quickly reached his hands outwards to the door. With a grunt he pushed outward on the door trying to break it off its hinges. With a loud boom the sound of the force striking the door echoed down the sewer dust and debris fell away from the door but even still under this pressure it remained unmoved.
“Hold up somethings wrong here.” Jaye said as he angrily snatched his lightsaber from Esmour and reignited it. With a twirl of his wrist he attempted to jab the lightsaber straight at the door. The blade flashed against the door and for a second it appeared that Jaye would be able to get through, but just then a massive burst of energy hit Jaye in his chest with a resounding CRACK throwing him back from the door impacting the wall across the passageway. The door began to emit a low purple glow with runes appearing all over it. Within seconds the runes began to dissipate plunging the sewer into darkness once more.
Jaye groaned in pain as Esmour rushed to him with a worried look.
“You alright, that looked pretty painful?”
“Yeah no shit.” Jaye spat out as he grunted in pain.
Esmour stood up with a sigh and strolled over to the door and began to rub his hand over it while Jaye took the time to recompose himself from the very painful impact.
“It looks like the door has been warded, we can’t open this I’m nowhere near skilled enough to handle something like this. The question is….. was this meant to keep people in the barracks or out of the sewer.”
“More like to keep them from escaping into the sewer.” Jaye whispered in pain.
Another loud boom echoed through the sewer as Jaye began to stand back up on wobbly feet.
“We got to assume that other major exits like this are blocked as well, is there any other way out of here, and it can’t just be anywhere we have to exit somewhere we won’t get caught in whatever is happening up top.” Jay said quickly.
Esmour began to pace as he brought a hand to his chin in thought.
“Well if I remember correctly the Royal family has their own escape route under the Castle, we could take it up into the palace at a certain dead end. That’s probably our best bet.”
“That’s our best bet………. sounds legit.” Jaye said sarcastically growing irritated.
Esmour turned to look at him and fixed him with a glare. Another boom brought both their attention to the ceiling as well as the faint sounds of battle now echoing in the sewer.
“We have no choice like you said coming up just anywhere in what is most likely chaos is not a good idea and this way we can kill two birds with one stone Lady Helen should be imprisoned in the Castle we can definitely get her out.”
“Wow your still trying to do that bullshit.”
“It’s our job we have a duty to help the High Priestess and the other heroes defend the city.”
“OUR.” Jaye said slowly as his irritation boiled over.
Suddenly a thought came to him why was he helping this kid when it all clicked in his mind and he began to laugh. The frustration from the past week all came bubbling to the surface at that instant.
“Look man……………. I still don’t even know why I’m helping the Order, sure preventing genocide is something I’m supposed to do as a Jedi but your side isn’t really taking a moral high ground in some areas. The few monsters I’ve met have done nothing to hurt me save one and I don’t even call that hurting to be honest. While the humans have attempted to kill me, several times in fact, imprisoned me falsely and have tortured me for information on things I didn’t know. What have you truly done to earn my help, to risk myself for some women I have no connection to? To be honest I just want to get back to my ship and try and leave this shithole of a world.” Jaye spat growing angrier with each word.
“So, you would give up helping your kind abandoning us to the enemy because of a few bad experiences.”
“You’re not my kind, I’m not from here.” Jaye said flatly.
Esmour was taken aback at Jaye’s comment and looked at him with disgust.
“I know what you truly are, and I’m disgusted it took me this long, you’re a traitor, an enemy of humanity no wonder the Grand Inquisitor had you imprisoned.” Esmour said while he slowly began to unsheathe his sword.
“Careful now, you ain’t on this level yet.” Jaye said with a menacing grin noting Esmours hostility.
“Doesn’t matter Chief God willing I will strike you down.”
BOOOOOOOOOM came the cracking sound of an explosion over their heads depositing more dust on the duo. Jaye looked at Esmour’s sword hand and let his own drop to his belt near his lightsaber. Ready to grab it at a moment notice.
That was when Jaye began to smell it.
It was a sweet smell of syrup or something of that nature it tugged at Jaye’s nostrils and a slight tingling began to reverberate through his body.
From beneath the door to the barracks a flow of a strange purple mist began to seep into the sewer between the two.
“What is that?” Jaye asked anger forgotten.
Esmour too had taken notice and quickly began to move away from the door.
“Poison most likely, I don’t know, but we need to go.”
Jaye looked up at him with a smile and sarcastically asked. “We?”
“Yes, unfortunately there are bigger problems and you’re not worth my time.”
“More like you’re not a match for me.”
Not rising to Jaye’s argumentative bait, Esmour rushed past Jaye and quickly began to run back the way they came.
“The passageway out the city and into the castle is this way come on.”
The duo ran on for several minutes before coming to a chamber that was unlike most others. For one it was a dead end with vines and other plant life growing on the walls showing a lack of caretaking. Esmour began to run his hands along the wall until he grabbed some vines and pulled them off the walls reveling a set of two ancient looking levers.
With a grunt he grabbed both levers which at first failed to move but slowly but surely was able to ease them down.
A low grinding rumble of moving stone soon followed as the stone walls in two separate areas began to slowly slide upward revealing two separate passages. One led to a spiraling staircase that led upward, while the other led to a dark damp passageway that had surely seen better days.
“There’s your route out the city traitor.” Esmour said as he quickly entered the opposing chamber without another word.
Jaye looked at him go before himself turned to the opposite passageway.
A few minutes later Jaye was slowly making his way through the unused passageway, when with a sigh he stopped and began to think. In his short time on this world he had honestly endured a lot of bullshit. From imprisonment to torture and all in between he had just gone with the flow acting like a Jedi in almost all regards. From saving the weak to agreeing to stop genocide he had practically done everything in the handbook.
Jaye slumped to the ground a sat with his back to the wall deep in thought.
The Order was trying to stop genocide that much was sure. But torture of those so obviously innocent was wrong and the fact that they hadn’t thought twice about labeling him a traitor was also extreme. He had agreed to help them without honestly thinking about any of the repercussions that would come with such an agreement. Jaye was not a killer even if he had been a bounty hunter, he had always only taken bounties that had requested the person alive.
Maybe it was because he was a Jedi that this was such a problem. The monsters of this world where not out to kill man but something that could honestly be just as bad. While the Order was willing to do anything to survive even things he found revolting. Both were in all honestly not inherently evil like the Sith which inlaid the true problem for him. He looked down the dark passage towards what was most likely freedom and the sighed he was going to have to make a choice.
Jaye sat there for a few minutes longer thinking when he finally concluded. He knew what he had to do, it would be hard, and it would most likely take him far and wide across this world but for this place that was now most likely his home it was worth it and to be honest it was the true job of the Jedi Order anyways.
He slowly stood up and with a sigh took the first true step on his journey.
Esmour slowly walked up the winding spiral staircase while He carefully crept up trying to make as little noise as possible. The stairwell was dimly lit from aging Magelight lamps that provided only just enough light. The sounds of battle weren’t present in the castle which brought him some comfort. He was not bad at fighting but taking on a monster alone would be too much for him. He unconsciously began to drift into thought as he climbed the stairs into the castle.
“Fucking traitor.” He mumbled.
The Traveler Jaye was supposed to be his best chance of stopping this current crisis and of course in the end his assistance hadn’t meant a damn thing. In a way he could sympathize with the man but only a little. Duty was above all else the driving force behind a man. You don’t give up on your allies nor renege on your promises no matter the situation.
Esmour couldn’t understand it, he had always done everything by the Chief Gods will. Even upon learning the true nature of monsters from his father. Something that would have drove any other teenage boy into the woods to find one, but no not him he had stayed loyal. He had never in his life betrayed anyone nor could he ever imagine himself doing it. Thus, what the Traveler had said was lost on him.
“A man is only as good as his word son without that you are less than nothing.” His father had once said.
The thought brought a smile to his face as he soon reached the top of the staircase and into a small circular room. Pushing the thought of the Traveler out of his mind he began to focus on the task at hand. Remembering the words of his Hero trainer Sir Thomas who had instructed him of this emergency path he began to slide his hand over the smooth stone surface looking for a certain indent.
“Found ya.” He said as he slowly found the hidden lever.
With a quick pull the sound of grinding stone began to echo above him as more stone rained on top of him as the stone wall ahead of him opened to a series of stairs where moonlight began to shine int other dark room he was in.
Unsheathing his sword, he slowly walked out into what was to his surprise the grand ballroom of the Castle. He had only been in this room once before and only briefly. The massive room was dim, the only light being provided by the moonlight coming in through the massive ornate window that was directly above him. He looked behind him to see the kings throne the podium it sat own having receded back to reveal the passage he had used.
With a nod of acknowledgment to his surroundings he stepped off the podium around the throne and began to briskly walk across the massive ballroom towards the massive ornate doors that marked the exit.
Sudden movement in the darkness in front of him caused him to halt in his track.
“Who are you state your affiliation.” Esmour bellowed.
Slowly stepping out of the darkness was a tall imposing figure whom Esmour instantly recognized. He was a wizened older man greying hair with a beard of the same grey color. His dark accusing blue eyes appeared to be pierce directly into Esmour’s soul. He wore black mage robes ordained with a series of golden chains wrapped around his torso.
In his hand was an ornate wooden staff that at its tip housed a large golden orb that crackled with magical energy. He was the epitome of magical prowess in the Kingdom of Adressa and none other than The Grand Inquisitor himself.
“Ahhh a young hero what a surprise.”
Esmour smiled and sheathed his sword, this man was not an enemy.
“Just a Trainee actually sir, I’ve come to see to the safety of Lady Helen and Meredith.”
The grin that crossed the ageing features of the Inquisitor brought shivers to Esmour.
“I see well that solves one mystery. of why you are here”
With no overt movement, the staff in his hand glowed as a blazing bolt of electricity flashed across the room and impacted Esmour’s chest sending him flying back towards the throne writhing in pain.
“Aaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhh!” Esmour screamed as the flesh on his chest under his armor burned and sizzled from the impact and he writhed in pain as the energy form the blast wracked his body.
“Truly a shame, the Heroes of this nation consort with the enemy giving them entrance to this city and with no shame or remorse in their hearts.”
“Sir……..I am no traitor…….. I’m loyal to the Chief God please………. mercy.”
The Grand Inquisitor then looked at Esmour for a moment before giving his reply.
“Yet you seek out two traitors yourself. You are a LIAR and you reek of demonic energy boy and you shall atone for your weakness.”
Esmour slowly sat up still groaning in pain and looked at the Inquisitor.
Another flash of lighting bathed the grand ball room in golden light as it arced across the room to Esmour.
Esmour looked into the light that would end his life and closed his eyes accepting death and, in that moment, as time seemed to slow, he realized that he had failed as a man. In this the last moments of his life he realized that he had failed in a certain duty given to him.
“Son if I was to ever lose my life or disappear you are the man of the house take care of your mother and sisters; I need you word son.” His father had said.
“Of course, dad you don’t ever have to worry.”
His dads smile was the last thing he remembered as he accepted his death in shame.
Seconds ticked by and no impact, Esmour slowly opened his eyes to see a dark shadow standing in front of him. The man wore strange clothes and a blade of light and strangely enough he could’ve sworn it was his dad. Crackling energy struck the man’s blade protecting Esmour from death.
With a flick of his wrist the light blade redirected the spell away from the two and into the floor. The man stood resolute in front of him before he turned to look at Esmour.
To Esmours pain addled minds surprise, it wasn’t his father who turned to look at him, but a dark-skinned human who spoke to Esmour with a cocky grin.
“Well you look like shit, what I miss?”