"For now? Footwork," Kevyn said, unsheathing Nothung and squaring up his stance. "Sword's not worth much if you don't hold it right."
Kevyn lowered Nothung slightly, looking back at the town.
"I suppose we find an inn...maybe get some drinks? You old enough to drink?"
High atop the wall, a pair of red eyes peered out from behind some parapets, a slight chuckle sounding.
The figure straightened herself out, melting into the shadows for a moment before emerging in the long sunset shadows beneath the wall, far enough away the two swordsman below couldn't see her. As she glanced at the blood on her hands, she shrugged. Probably for the best.
As she walked into the trees, she hummed to herself. She'd done what she could to help, but it was in their hands now...hopefully Madri-Tal would be dealt with by the time she was back. It'd be a pain making a new lair...
Fading away into a nondescript cave, she laughed slightly. Either way, it was their problem now, not hers.
"Sadly, I'm not." He had been told by the old doctor that people could do some pretty stupid things when they were drunk, and Wil even had seen it in person a few times. He could go and listen, though. As they were walking into town, Wil decided to ask another question.
"Where did you get your sword? Is there anything special about it?"
"Nothung?" he said, glancing down at the black-iron blade, some fainting glimmering runes visible along the blade. "I was given it by my uncle...Bragi Odinson. It's been in my family for as long as anybody can remember...nothing can break it, and when I'm home the magic's strong enough I can cut through...just about anything, honestly."
He sheathed it, sighing slightly.
"It's still pretty sharp here, but not quite as sharp, sadly."
There were other things about the sword, things he'd just barely started noticing, but he wasn't sure enough to start spilling them to this kid. Strangely appearing runes, hints about...some kind of curse? Not the kind of stuff someone like that would need to hear.
Shaking himself from his state, he gestured at his companion's weapon.
"What about that one?"
Wil looked at the sword. When he did he saw something alarming. The stone in the middle off the hilt had begun to glow. "To be honest, I'm not sure. I found it in the woods outside my, well, it's a long story. I've trained in sword fighting before, not in actual combat, but just practicing on trees and whatnot. The note I found with it called it the WindSong Sword, but the rain soaked a lot of it and I couldn't read the rest." He sheathed the sword, thinking he would have plenty of time of time to see what was happening to it while he was waiting outside the inn.
It had been 351 years since Sari had seen the light of day. She had been watching the younger boy who was now using her old sword. His older companion seemed to be experienced in wielding a sword, but would he know how to use the WindSong? From the questions he was asking, it didn't look like it. So the question that she had was how to approach the younger of the two boys, he wasn't sure. Would she do it while the older one could see her? Could he even see her at all? She decided to keep watching from a distance.
Eventually they got to the tavern, Kevyn seeming relieved, cracking a smile. He knew he probably shouldn't give in to his vices this easily, but there was something about a tavern full of people that drew him in, like a fly to honey...the smiles, the laughter, the whole atmosphere. A part of him was pretty sure he needed to join Alcoholics Anonymous, but he already knew he wouldn't go more then once.
As he entered, though, he tensed. The tavern, instead of being the jovial place he'd imagined, seemed tense and on edge, men standing around armed with pitchforks and knives, glaring at them as they entered. They seemed on the verge of forming some kind of mob, and as they finished walking in, Kevyn could see why.
A few bodies lay on one of the tables, all clearly dead. One looked almost freshly dead, staring ahead, claw-like slashes along his neck, his strange black robes stained crimson with his own blood. The others were far, far worse, looking like they'd been dissected or eaten, leaving behind half-torsos and empty lumps of bloody skin and clothes.
Kevyn paled, a hand moving to his sword, glancing at Wil next to him.
One of the men glared, readying a knife dangerously.
"You two'd better start explain' yourself fast, strangers," he said, the threat clear.
"Wait, you think...you're blaming us for that?"
Wil looked at Kevyn. He didn't seem like he wanted to explain himself anymore then Wil did. He was reaching for his sword, so Wil put rested his hand on his sheathed knife.
He whispered out of the corner of his mouth "What do we do?"
Sari had sat in the corner, unseen. She had found out how to make herself invisible a few hours back. Sari started walking towards the smaller of the two, whose name appeared to be Wil. Maybe his older companion was good with a sword, but he couldn't teach him how to use the WindSong.
"Grab your sword."
The man sneered, looking almost cocky, although his half-drunk state was likely helping with that.
"Two armed strangers, right as folk get all sliced up?" he said. "Seem pretty guilty, lads."
Kevyn sighed slightly, looking at the man, almost sympathetic looking.
"We didn't kill any of them," he said gravely. "But if you try to attack me or my friend here, you have no idea what I could do to you."
As if to demonstrate his point, he pulled a glove off his right hand, exposing a round purple gemstone on his right hand, white tattoos surrounding it as it glowed briefly, a white flame-like aura surrounding his body as a purple, gemstone-like copy of his sword appeared in his free hand as he drew Nothung, his eyes shifting to molten solid purple as he stared at the man.
Everyone inside the tavern, including Wil, looked shocked. Wil was holding the WindSong Sword in his right hand and stared at Kevyn. Kevyn hadn't told him that he could do this, not that it was any of Wil's business. He was now curious what else Kevyn could do. Suddenly, Wil heard the shattering of glass behind him, and then felt a sharp stab in the arm. He cringed and turned around to see one of the men shoving his pitchfork into Wil's arm. He must have snuck out before Kevyn gave his presentation. Then, Wil felt something click inside of him. His pain turned into anger, and he griped his sword more tightly. The stone in the middle of the sword glowed even more brightly. He turned around, raised the sword above his head and shot a huge gust of air out of the sword. It hit the man, sending him onto his back in the middle of the road, unconscious. Wil was confused, Sari was delighted, and the men, though they were startled, were still angry.
Wil griped his sword tighter. Looking at the men, then at Kevyn, he asked "What do we do?"
Kevyn's eyes were darting around, panicked. Something had killed those men...they couldn't just leave. But these villagers had decided they'd be the scapegoats, so they couldn't stay in the inn...
Glaring at the men, he hurled the purple Shadow Arm of Nothung past the ringleader's head, catching his collar and pinning him to the counter. Although it might have looked like he'd barely missed, with his Key's aura, the throw was trivial, his aim bordering on inhuman.
He didn't miss.
Using his key to vanish from sight, he grabbed a mug of alcohol and grabbed Wil's arm, bellowing "RUN" loudly, the yell causing the sky to rapidly darken, distant thunder rumbling as it began to rain.
Kevyn had been right there, and now he was gone! Who was this? Wil ran with the invisible Kevin as throwing knives, arrows, and pitchforks flew out the doorway. The rain soaked Wil's tunic and made him cold. It got in the wound the pitchfork had made earlier, but Wil put the pain aside.
Once Wil and Kevyn had gotten past the gates, they ran into a small grove of trees. Wil could have run for longer, but he decided to sit down. Slowly, the fatigue from his running and the pain from his arm returned. It wasn't all at once, maybe over thirty seconds. As he looked up into a tree, he saw a strong branch he thought he could sleep on. He and his brother had slept in trees when they were small, but he hadn't done so in a long time. And again, the entire town was after them, so maybe it wasn't the brightest idea to sleep at the moment.
But his biggest question was what Kevyn had done back at the inn. The guy was on fire, but he wasn't at the same time! He had another sword, he could turn invisible, he could probably do plenty of other things Wil wasn't aware of.
Wil asked Kevyn in the calmest voice he could muster.
"So, what happened back there?"
"I...used my Luma Key," Kevyn said simply, sighing and holding it up. "That and summoned a storm."
After a bit, he sighed, glancing at the kid's injury.
"...I'm a dangerous guy to be around," he admitted, looking guilty. "People...get hurt around me. A lot. And there's not all that much I can do about it. My sword, me...I'm cursed. That's why I'm here. Something...very, very dangerous is here in this city, those dead men on that table ran into it. I was brought here because I'm cursed to run into danger, and hopefully stop it...until I run into something too dangerous and it kills me."
Standing, he looked at Wil.
"If you want to run, I won't blame you. This...hero business isn't easy. This city's dangerous, and it's only going to get worse, I can feel it. But if you want to stay, I'll do whatever I can to make sure you make it out, no matter what."
As he got ready to deactivate his Basic Aura, he realized something, the information entering his head, like every time he ever learned a new power with his Key.
Raising a hand to Wil's injury, he burned through the last of his crystal's energy, healing the wound. He couldn't help but smile a little...he finally had at least one power that wasn't just for hurting people or running away.
Wil gasped. That wound normally would have taken some bandaging and a few weeks to heal, and Kevyn fixed up in about five seconds. It was incredible.
Wil looked up from his arm and smiled and gave Kevyn an appreciative smile. Wil could tell that he had been through a lot of dangerous things. And if many people got hurt around him, well, Wil had put himself in a dangerous situation. Why had he signed up for this adventure in the first place? He was just a clumsy newbie in the world, no, worlds of heroes.
But Kevyn had said he would make sure that Wil came out of this safe, and Kevyn had come to be the only person Wil could trust. If anybody could protect Wil right now, it was Kevyn.
Wil looked up at Kevyn with a smile of appreciation. "What's the plan?"
Kevyn looked around, sighing.
"Well, it's not ideal, but it's an older city. There's probably crawl ways...abandoned areas, stuff like that. We hole up in one of those while this search is on...and then, maybe, I call in a favor with a friend of mine. He's better at me at getting information...blending in. He could give us some leads, maybe."
Kevyn started walking along the wall, sighing. It wasn't 100% he could get Cardell over here...the Dome was finicky, after all, and the Prince had no means of getting her like Yggdrasil, but it was worth a shot. Worst come to worst, they could ask him for advice on how to proceed.
"Wait, so are we using the Dome? Or Yggdrasil? Or does he live here?"
Wil didn't know who this friend of his was, but having been "cursed" to run into danger, he must have made a few friends. But Wil was still in shock about what Kevyn had done back at the tavern, what he had done to his arm, and even what Wil had done to blast that one guy away from him. Question time.
"So, about your key, that's what it's called, right? What can it do?"
"I was thinking of calling him with this thing," Kevyn said, shrugging and motioning to his Dome ring. "I'm pretty sure he's got one of these Dome things, so I just need to focus on what he looks like and establish a connection."
After that, he leaned back and sat down out of sight of the main streets.
"The Luma Key?" he said, looking down at where it was under his glove. "Yeah...it's called the Striker Key. There's other ones out there too, with different powers, but this one's mine. You saw most of it back there...I can turn invisible, summon copies of my weapons....apparently I can heal people too, which is nice. It's got other powers I don't have...unlocked, I guess is the word? And there's other auras it's got...like when I looked like I was on fire back there? So there's ones with different looks and powers along with 'em...I've only got that one so far. Just takes time and practice."
"Oh, okay. It seems like that's what it's going to take for this thing" Wil looked back at his sword "I'll leave while you try to establish a connection, if that's okay with you."
Wil sat against a tree, just far enough away so that he could see Kevyn, but he couldn't hear what was being said. He unsheathed his sword and looked at it. The stone in the middle was still glowing, but Wil couldn't find an explanation.
Wil looked around. Night was upon them, and the only illumination he had was the faint light coming from the town and the green glow from his sword. It really had been an interesting day for Wil, and it wasn't and experience that he was going to forget if he just walked away. He wondered what had caused those people to die. It looked like some kind of creature had ripped them apart.
"Dragons" Wil whispered to himself, an expression of terror on his face.
Kevyn held his ring up carefully, focusing his expression. He could remember Cardell's face pretty well...maybe a bit too well, honestly. After a short while, the ring began to glow faintly blue, a tired voice coming out.
"Yes? Who is this?"
Kevyn sighed slightly to himself, rubbing his forehead.
"...Kevyn, Cardell," he said. The ring seemed to dim for a second as Cardell's voice seemed to curse, before suddenly sounding a lot more awake.
"Right," Cardell said. "Um...what is it? You forget something again?"
Kevyn looked up, seeming almost annoyed at the reminder.
"I'm...tracking something. Some kind of monster or other, don't really have an idea. Seems to be...dismantlin' people."
Cardell seemed to pause as well.
"...Did anybody see the thing? Are you in a bigger city, with guards?"
Kevyn looked around, assessing Cliffside.
"Yeah, bit big. Definitely guards too...no witnesses to the deaths, they thought me and my friend were the attackers."
Cardell just sighed, the sound of rustling clothes sounding out as the prince in exile seemed to stand on his side.
"Must have attacked people on the fringes...predatory behavior, decently smart. You said they thought you did it...so you're in hiding now? Somewhere out of the way?"
Kevyn nodded, before sighing, realizing he couldn't be seen.
"Yeah, some back alleys. They're still doing a manhunt."
Cardell just chuckled, a bit darkly.
"If you're that out of the way, you're not going to need to track that thing down at all. Two random strangers, hiding from sight? You're perfect targets."
The words caused a chill to go down Kevyn's spine, ever noise around him becoming a potential monster stalking nearby.
Cardell sighed, the clothing sounds continuing.
"I'll see what I can do. Stay safe, and if all goes well I'll see if I can get a Dome connection to you. See you then."
The sound of what seemed almost like somebody blowing a kiss came from the ring before the connection faded entirely, the stone no longer glowing.
© 2001-2019 Zelda Universe