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Trials and Travels (Semi-lit)

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~Creos, Warrior of Fire~

 

The first thing Creos did when he woke up was grab his head. It felt like a bunch of tiny earth elementians were banging hammers... no wait, he was hungover. "Damn it... and here I promised to not get hungover during active duty." Groaned Creos as he threw the covers off and tried to find a clean shirt to wear. For the duration of his assignment, his room was already payed in advance by S.A.I. As he did, he opened the covers. He had to cover his eyes for a moment to allow them to adjust to the increased light. From the way the sun was up, it was about eight or nine in the morning. With a groan he looked at the bed for a moment, then went to groom himself, only to stop when he caught his reflection in the mirror. Even though he had a burn scar covering the left half of his face, he wasn't at all ashamed of it. It was the opposite, it was prove of his battles in the Southern Isles. "Hey good-looking, had a little too much to drink?" He asked, smiling brightly. "I knew it, that saucy waitress was using her 'charms' to make you buy more drink... But I think she 'enjoyed' the drunk me." He added, laughing to himself. Once he was finished, he strapped his crossbow and bolt holder to the strap around his torso. He then grabbed his Katars, exotic daggers from the southeast that turned from one blade into three with a squeeze. After that, he left his room and proceeded to head downstairs. "Better see if the representatives have arrived yet."

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((shall color code Jahan soon)

 

~Jahanshah~

 

Jahanshah frowned; they really didn't have much time if they wanted to get in with the earliest morning travelers... and getting in any other time would be more painful, because the guards would be more awake and experienced; morning guards were always the least experienced because few people came around in the morning.

 

The stranger made a comment about being bored and Jahan brought his own attention back to the matter at hand. "Anyway, my name is Renzo Hallensen. You may have heard of one of my many prison escapes. If not...Well, you've probably been living in a hole. As you may have noticed, I am a Lightning Elementian and I would like to offer my services for your escapade today. I've got nothing better to do, anyway." Renzo Hallensen... oh yes, a noble like Jahanshah had heard of Renzo. In fact, now that he thought of it, this man was definitely Renzo for Jahan had seen many posters with his face. Although Jahan was too young to have studied much about the prisons, he could clearly remember his mother throwing small fits several times in his life and mentioning that "That Renzo man has escaped again! I say, if he was in our prisons..."

 

Jahanshah had then been informed of the man's crimes and he suddenly realized he didn't want to get on Renzo's bad side. It wasn't that he feared Renzo, he simply didn't have time to deal with a battle--even if Betzalel could swallow the Lightning Elementian in one bite (or so Jahanshah thought). This brought a small smile to Jahan's face. "Services accepted," Jahanshah said simply. His mother probably would have thrown a fit, seeing him accept the services of a criminal. His father would have shaken his head. He figured Marcus would be quite unhappy and Betzalel might think it rash, but Jahanshah's mind was full of confidence and his plans extended far past the few days they would spend at Cumulus. Yes, he had plans. Something in his mind worried that perhaps Zillah would not approve, but if someone offered her their powerful hand for a day to do her bidding wouldn't she accept it? It wasn't like Renzo had marched into Whisper and started murdering people; he was mostly only wanted for crimes in Electra.

 

Jahan glanced at Aamina, then back to Renzo. "You have heard some of our plans from Celeste," he said carefully. "For the next three days we are to provoke a rebellion from the people, but it must be done slowly. They must realize that staying neutral is not safe, and joining the Light Alliance will only bring them into more insecurity. They must know that the Shadow Alliance will protect them. Then, on the fourth day... the real rebellion will begin, and we will win over Cumulus." Jahanshah hoped this didn't sound too boring for Renzo, for he had heard of the man's reputation for boredom. Yet what could be more fun than starting a rebellion? Jahanshah could just imagine the rumors that would spread as his allies whispered of the Light Alliance's weakness. All the while he and Betzalel would be assessing the leaders of Cumulus and deciding if they were worth it or not.

 

"If anything goes wrong, the blame of the rebellion is to be placed on the Earth Elementians," he finished. "We are leaving now; join us or be on your way, but if you do join us I shall hope you have the mind to keep your senses about you for these first three days." He then turned to look at Betzalel, if only to see what the beast was thinking. He hoped he hadn't made a mistake, but he kept that hope buried under his composure of leadership. Yes, he was willing to use a criminal to help them... but hadn't Renzo pledged allegiance to the Shadow Alliance just a year or so ago? Perhaps he wasn't the most upstanding citizen, but he was a member of the Alliance legally and Jahanshah knew he could really use him.

 

~~~

 

~Aketsu~

 

Aketsu watched in amazement as Z'fan made a giant beast as tall as towers in Sola out of plants. He had never seen such power and again wondered about the beastpeople. He tried to hide his awe as she spoke to him. “I will do my best Aketsu and I will make sure that things are taken care of. I suggest one thing. Let your future deal with some of the shadow elementians. She needs to be tested.” Aketsu's heart sped a bit in surprise and resistance, but he nodded; what could he say, no? Z'fan had just made what would probably be their greatest ally (until it burned) and was about to go out and help Loren. It wasn't like Isa would sit back and watch anyway, he figured.

 

Aketsu glanced to the side as Battlemate rushed up and kissed Z'fan in unexpected passion. He had never seen them do so, and he wondered for a moment if they feared for their lives. When Z'fan was gone, Aketsu turned to look at his group; Tractus, Isis, Zepheena and Isa. Isa was mounted now and had gone a short distance off to the edge of the hill, likely to view the coming army. Even at this distance Aketsu could faintly feel the vibrations of their boots as they marched in unison. The Shadow Elementians were in the front, no doubt. Aketsu hoped Loren could truly get rid of the weapons, or they were going to find arrows piercing the forest soon. Aketsu turned back to his group as Zepheena approached.

 

"I'll be careful. But you have to promise me the same. You have to promise that you won't come looking for me, and that you'll stay where you're supposed to." It was Isis who was speaking, and Aketsu glanced at Zepheena. She was close to Isis, he could tell, and he almost wondered if they were a couple as Kai and Noe were. The thought of the sudden marriage proposal still made Aketsu feel wary, but he threw it to the side for the moment.

 

"So. When do we march?" Aketsu smiled at Isis. "Right now. Listen, my friends!" His voice raised so his group could all hear. "We shall come at the enemy with moderate speed; we must give Loren time to get rid of the archery weapons they have and the beasts they ride, for we cannot fight them in the sky. However, he will not be able to take them all down at once; as they fall we must meet them in battle, one or two at a time! Stay together and remember what we have learned. Isis! Stay twenty or so yards behind us at all times, and use your ability whenever the opportune moment arises. Zepheena, if our group gets split you stick with Isa or the one of us who seems most likely to be injured. Do not allow yourself to get injured, if possible! But I am not asking you to be cowardly for your life, and I know you won't. Any last questions, Guardians?"

 

Aketsu looked around, meeting the eyes of everyone in his group.

 

If Isa had returned from watching the army, his eyes lingered on hers a moment as he thought of what Z'fan had said.

 

~~~~~

 

~Yuaki~

 

Yuaki's training had always been speed and attack; she wasn't the kind who was meant to protect her allies or herself any more than necessary. Her job was to chop through as many enemies as possible in as short time as possible. She didn't even have to kill them necessarily; there were several points in the legs that, if sliced through, would disable a soldier for months. So long as she could cause them reasonable pain and distract them, her allies could do the rest. She was glad her clothing was as armor; three-layered leather and steel-toed boots, with chain-mail hanging like a small tanktop under the leather. She had no gloves or helmet, but she hoped she wouldn't need one. Her hair was braided and tucked into her outfit. With intensity she assessed the army before her, far in the distance but closing in quickly.

 

"Yuaki, go with the Twins and take the right side, wait for Loren to make his move before you begin, remember, we're here to stall them and we're severely outnumbered, don't do anything foolish..." Yuaki nodded, eyes still glued on the army before them. It occurred to her that he had just reminded her they were stalling the enemy, not attempting to obliterate them. She knew her slingshot would come first, and suddenly she wished she had some sort of firecrackers to attack to the stones she would sling. But her slingshot was no toy; no, if she swung it just right the well-made slingshot could fling a stone three inches into bare flesh. It could disorient even those who wore helmets, if only for seconds... but seconds would be all they needed. She had a foot-by-foot shield attached to her right arm that would work to her defense, and perhaps the defense of the twins as well.

 

Yuaki pulled the reins to the right and her horse responded quickly. "Let's go!" She told the twins. To the right, they weren't exactly covered in forest as the left was; it was a rocky area and the trees there were rather weak. But the rocks were large and jutting and would work as good defense. All of a sudden the entire sky darkened greatly and a storm flashed in the sky. Yuaki frowned, if only to concentrate. She saw in the farthest distance some small tornadoes advancing on the rear of the enemy. She sighed, wishing she could freely use her own element... but the thoughts left her quickly as she remembered what she was there for. "Noe's begun," she told the twins. "Remember that Kai uses lightning so don't get him too wet. However," she smiled in a sinister way, "getting the enemies wet should be to our advantage and Noe should be providing some rain. Get us as close as you need to be, I'll get my sling ready." And not with ordinary stones, either. Well, they weren't extraordinary, but they were sharpened on the edges in random places and some were like arrowheads. Yuaki took out her sling and stretched it to test it, then glanced at the twins.

Edited by LadyNatasha

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"Right now. Listen, my friends!" His voice raised so his group could all hear. "We shall come at the enemy with moderate speed; we must give Loren time to get rid of the archery weapons they have and the beasts they ride, for we cannot fight them in the sky. However, he will not be able to take them all down at once; as they fall we must meet them in battle, one or two at a time! Stay together and remember what we have learned. Isis! Stay twenty or so yards behind us at all times, and use your ability whenever the opportune moment arises. Zepheena, if our group gets split you stick with Isa or the one of us who seems most likely to be injured. Do not allow yourself to get injured, if possible! But I am not asking you to be cowardly for your life, and I know you won't. Any last questions, Guardians?"

 

Isis nodded, imagining in his mind the amount of space between his friends and himself. Yes, that should be enough. He embraced Zepheena and kissed her forehead. "Be safe, and go now. Stay with Aketsu until the battle starts." She nodded and wrapped her arms around his neck. "Look, don't... Don't die, alright?" Isis chuckled, though he knew Zepheena was being serious. "The only thing you need to be worried about is yourself. You have a lot of people depending on you. Keep yourself out of the main fighting." He stepped away from her, hanging behind the group, ready to go when the order was given.

 

Zepheena felt herself turned red as she heard Aketsu speak to her in the group setting. She wondered how she would be able to heal others and defend herself at the same time. If she wasn't supposed to get hurt, why was she sticking with the people who were most likely to get injured? The logic of this set up didn't make sense to her, but she supposed it was best for the group. But she would do some fighting, no matter what. She didn't care what they said, she wanted some payback.

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Tractus~

 

Tractus listened to what Aketsu was saying, and was taken aback. The Guardians of Light... Aketsu never usually showed military prowess - he always thought that he was just a pansy. At least what Tractus saw of him, anyway... Tractus looked around at the scenery. It was beautiful. Glistening grass, a small sun in the distance, the sky a rosy pink... Perfection. However, this wouldn't last for long... He wished to capture it in some way, but he knew that he couldn't. "Any last questions, Guardians?" Tractus thought for a moment. His name wasn't called... "Aketsu, sir, what is my role in this battle?" Tractus said, smiling inwardly at his respect for Aketsu's command.

 

Celeste

 

Celeste thought. She thought hard. Marcus had come over, and melted her blade... He also said to think things through. So she is - but courtesains aren't MEANT to think... So she was bad at thinking. She usually just blurted out whatever was on her mind. Since she had joined the Shadow Militia, however, she was trying to do her best. But now... Marcus had opened her eyes. Anything, and everything, she says directly affects everyone. With this in mind, she thought of her encounter with Renzo. What she said was just an example of naïvété. She sighed, and heard Jahan call her over. Betzalel would have to wait. She resolutely stood, and silently walked over to her post on one side of Renzo. She heard the last of what Jahan said, and she stood at attention, with no expression on her face.

Edited by gistofeverything

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Eirikr reached for a pouch that was slung over his shoulder. He scooped out a finger full of the mush inside. It was a rather unappetizing mixture of animal fat, berries, and grains, but it provided a quick source of energy. He chased it down with a swig of water and some wayfarer bread. After a few minutes Eirikr got up and began to form a seventh soldier, his personal incarnation. It seemed almost life-like in its crested helm and scaled armor.

 

"I name thee Kir (Keer)," muttered Eirikr inscribing the name upon it's chest.

 

"Now then comrades," roared Eirikr bracing his pick guarded arm in front of him. "Awaken! The foe approaches. My Prometheans!"

 

In unison the stone warriors stepped from their places and formed up on either side of Eirikr.

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Luna

 

It looked like Luna wasn't going to be riding into this battle. She nodded at Loren's words, understanding that in this kind of situation a plan that was executed quickly and efficiently was better than nothing at all. Hesitation would only increase their chances of getting killed. There was no way she was going to allow that to happen today. But....flying. Moving through the air without any ground beneath her feet. She could do that to other objects and it never bothered her, but she had never let the ground herself. Her heart thudded at the thought. She couldn't remember the last time she had been high enough to know if she had a fear of heights, but she certainly didn't want to find out today. There was only one way to handle this.

 

Luna dismounted her horse and headed over to Loren. His limbs were already covered in the winds that would lift them into the sky; it would only be a matter of seconds before everything started. Luna took a deep breath then wrapped her arms around Loren.

 

"Let's go," she said before she closed her eyes and buried her face in his shoulder.

 

Renzo

 

Renzo grinned. Services accepted, huh? It sounded like they were drawing out a contract. Where was the fine print? No matter. He had something to entertain him for a few days. At least that would keep him from killing lowly citizens and ending up in jail again. They had already named a prison cell after him. He remembered that the cell had hard rubber walls, but that had been no impediment to him.

 

"Oh, you needn't worry about me," Renzo said nonchalantly. The electricity faded from his fingertips, leaving him looking like a normal young man save for the cuff on his wrist. "I won't get in the way. Just tell me what to do. Besides, does not the electricity need to build in the clouds before it strikes?" He glanced over at Celeste who stood stoically beside him, a tiny soldier who babbled too much in his opinion. "Have I unknowingly been assigned a guard?" he asked her softly. "You see like an odd little one. Something tells me you won't be able to handle me for very long," he teased, his whispering voice hinting at his annoyance with her as a jolt of electricity shot through his palm. He understood why they did not trust him, but to have this little girl as a guard was practically an insult. Hadn't he done better than that?

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Celeste

 

Celeste watched Renzo through the corner of her eye. It seemed like he wasn't really caring about anything Jahan was saying. This annoyed her, but there was nothing she could do. It wasn't as if she could reprimand him for his sullenness, as she had just been yelled at. However, when she heard what Renzo was saying, she blew yet again. She gathered the dew that was left on the ground, and pooled it around him. She then attempted to lace each molecule up his legs, with the temperature dropping with each word he said. By the time she saw lightning shoot through his palm, his entire lower body was encased in ice. With what dew was left, she attempted to generate a curved claw out of her index finger. In a fast movement, she tried to bring the blade up to his throat, and quietly said, "Now listen here. I will NOT put up with any disrespect from YOU of all people. If you think that I will listen to you talk at me as if I were a child, I WON'T listen to it. And I will not have you disrespect anyone else of our Militia, either. Do you understand me?" she finished, blood running down her left hand because she sliced through her wrist in her haste to get to Renzo's throat before he could notice that she moved.

Edited by gistofeverything

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Marcus looked at Sky as she stood beside him. He enjoyed having her near for he knew that if she wasn’t, the traditional Fire Elementian temper would flare within him and his mind would go blank leaving him in a funk during a time he needed to concentrate. With a last glance at Jahanshah, he turned around and walked to the tent that he had set up for Skylar, but she didn’t use. It took only moments to be able to pack it and once he had, he set it on one of the horses and quickly hopped into the saddle. “I wouldn’t take advantage of her criminal.” Marcus stated as he walked his horse by Renzo and Celeste. He glanced down at Celeste hoping that she would stand for herself and for once, just think through things and about things otherwise they would all be doomed. If she went into the city and didn’t use her head, then she could ruin everything.

 

Aamina looked at jahanshah with an amused look in her eyes. Renzo was staying and that would make Marcus upset. It was rather entertaining to be able to make a man that thought her a useless and dumb child because she didn’t speak much or show her powers all that often. The only thing that they had ever seen as a true show of her powers, was her morning ritual of appearing out of the earth. The Queen and Lord Jahanshah had seen her ability to melt into the stone and travel through it easily. It wasn’t anything extraordinary to her, but it seemed a great thing to the Queen. It took her a moment to think as she looked at the young Prince to think of asking him what she wished. “My Lord, would it be alright if I traveled on foot instead of on the beasts?” “beast” was the word that she used to refer to the horses that scared her when she was riding them, but loved when she was on the ground. She didn’t much care for riding them for it meant that she had to leave her precious earth without any connection. Despite being an earth Elementian, she didn’t really like carrying dirt or mud with her to have a false sense of connection.

 

Z’fan nodded at Loren and when Luna wrapped her arms around Loren. It took her only seconds as she felt the whispers of the more gentle parts of nature instead of the loud and boisterous trees that she could hear. They were being led by Isis who seemed to have more control than she had felt earlier within him. But at the moment, she had to allow her mind to go blank and listen to the voices of the flowers, of the grass, of the moss, of the life around her that flowed around her and into her. Before long, she felt herself become one with the plants around her. Her mind became simple. Get to the machines. Kill the machines. Kill the men. With that, her eyes opened and she sank into the ground and rolled underneath it wherever there was grass or a root system. Before long, she arrived at the first machine without the soldiers noticing. Her body extended reached and tore at the wire. At first it was too hard to break with only a few hands, but soon she grew to the point that she could tear the wire apart completely.

There was one, but the problem was, the soldiers noticed she was there. She wished to appear to the next machine in the row, but as soon as she reached out to the wire, she was cut away at inch by inch. The stinging, irritating iron ripping at her flesh. She decided to try and come again at the wire en masse, but it didn’t work for more soldiers started to protect the machines. So, to combat against this, she turned herself into mighty, thorny bushes that tugged and pulled at their own flesh and ripped them apart. She grew into their flesh and tore them apart from the inside out then grew onto the machine and crushed it in a single attempt. At that time, the plants wished to grow into their mighty beast in the midst of the men that were trying to harm their beloved Elementian. To grant their wish though, Z’fan had to release her control on the plants that she had become one with and appeared out of the ground in a large whirl of massive thorns that cut through the men around her. Behind her grew the beast and it started to stomp on the men, making them mere splotches on the face of the earth.

Z’fan took her barbed sword and her octopi legs spun around in a circle and grasped a few men who had wished to cut into her beast. In seconds the men were dead from the powerful grasp of her arms and even more died by the poison on her arms and in her sword.

 

Leith and Nerio looked at Yuaki as she said something, but if had flown over their heads as they slowly walked their horses to the edge of the hill to see what in the world was going on. They could feel their ears pop with the pressures over head and found that Noe had truly begun her storms. The brothers looked at the girl that they considered their sister and waved a farewell to her and looked at Yuaki as she spoke again. She was only 16 and going into battle while the two of them were 19. It took seconds for them to lead the way into battle and it didn’t take them long to feel the rush of adrenaline in their bodies and feel their hearts beating. Leith glanced to his right where Nerio was and then to his left where he knew Yuaki to be. The girl could handle herself better than Isa could and Isa had formal training. The funny thing was, was that she wasn’t only just trained by some of the best swords masters in the land, but by Yuaki. She had a memory for sword movements and just regular movements that was incredible.

Nerio kept his eyes glued to the enemies at hand and in his left hand, there developed a sword made of water that seemed to harden at the edge. On his right arm, a shield grew around him and them went so far as to grow around his horse. His brother did the same, but with his all too deadly and precise whip that had been used to protect the brothers during their travels when they were young before they had even set foot into the academy. If anyone were to survive, it would be Leith. He was quiet and unassuming, but his strengths were very great. Nerio was actually the weaker link of the two.

 

Isa had indeed ridden back to the others when she saw what Z’fan had made. She wished that things weren’t happening so suddenly, but they were and she had to deal with it the best that she could. It took her only minutes to be able to assess what Aketsu was saying about all of them, but his comment about Zepheena staying with her, made her tense. She had never worked with the girl, but then again was one of those that could adapt their style thanks to her training. She glanced overhead and waited to see what Aketsu was going to say beyond that, but when she looked back down to Aketsu, her heart skipped a moment for he seemed to be deep in thought. She knew that she had to use all of her knowledge of her abilities for these Shadow elementians couldn’t be anything but journeymen level Shadow elementians.

Her horse moved to Aketsu and she looked at him head on her rainbow eyes seeming to whirl with concern every time her heart took a beat within her frightened chest. “Aketsu?” she whispered wondering what it was that he was thinking about. When she heard Tractus ask his position though, she looked at him and smiled. “You can come with us Tractus.” She stated and looked back at her fiancé.

 

((No color coding thanks to my mom. She's being especially pesty...in a loving way smile.gif )

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As soon as Loren felt Luna arms around him, he instantly took off into the sky. Holding his arms backwards, he was in the clear, blue sky... where all the shadow elementians could see him. He dove down towards some of the soldiers, with the purpose of distracting them and creating more attention to himself. He was about to fly towards the closet machine when he noticed that the soliders around it were dead, he knew it had to be the work of Z'fan. He flew over the disabled machine as he noticed several large... bat-like creatures were beginning to take off. He figured he could last about five minutes before he would be in serious danger. "Alright Luna! I'm going to drop you off by the machine! I'll push the soldiers around it away! You have to last around twenty seconds on your own before I'll can safely come around to pick you up! Grab onto me as soon as I grab you, I won't be slowing down!" Shouted Loren as loud as he could, the wind was trying to drown out the sound of his voice. As soon as he approached the second machine, he slowed down by placing his arms and legs out front, before using the winds to create a strong 'push' effect, knocking most of the soldiers around the machine off their feet. Once Luna had dropped down safely, he took off once more to draw the attention of the shadow elementians... and their increasingly horrifying bat-creatures. A whole group of them, around six or seven split up and began to flank him, thus the battle in the sky began.

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Sky looked back at Marc when she noticed him look at her and smiled at him before turning her attention back to Jahan and Renzo. When Jahan seemed to be finished talking to him, she glanced over at her fiance who was currently packing up the tent that he had set up for her before he went over to get his horse. She felt a bit bad for not using the tent as much as she had wanted to. The nightmares that she had had part of the night before kept her from doing so. She made a mental note to make sure that she slept in it the next time that they made camp before going over to where she had left her own horse and getting onto her before riding her in the same direction that Marc was going in. She wanted to stay close to him in case she had another accident, which she hoped that she wouldn't have at all during the trip to Cumulus since she didn't want to embarrass herself in front of their traveling companions.

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Isa had indeed ridden back to the others when she saw what Z’fan had made. She wished that things weren’t happening so suddenly, but they were and she had to deal with it the best that she could. It took her only minutes to be able to assess what Aketsu was saying about all of them, but his comment about Zepheena staying with her, made her tense. She had never worked with the girl, but then again was one of those that could adapt their style thanks to her training. She glanced overhead and waited to see what Aketsu was going to say beyond that, but when she looked back down to Aketsu, her heart skipped a moment for he seemed to be deep in thought. She knew that she had to use all of her knowledge of her abilities for these Shadow elementians couldn’t be anything but journeymen level Shadow elementians.

Her horse moved to Aketsu and she looked at him head on her rainbow eyes seeming to whirl with concern every time her heart took a beat within her frightened chest. “Aketsu?” she whispered wondering what it was that he was thinking about. When she heard Tractus ask his position though, she looked at him and smiled. “You can come with us Tractus.” She stated and looked back at her fiancé.

 

((No color coding thanks to my mom. She's being especially pesty...in a loving way smile.gif )

Zepheena looked up at the girl with the Rainbow hair. She had heard about her at the academy, but never actually seen her. "Isa? I'm Zepheena. I'm supposed to stay near you?" Zepheena looked at the girl admiringly. She was strikingly beautiful. As the Rainbow Child, her powers must be far superior to her own. "If something happens, just call me. I'll be close by... If I don't get killed..." She mumbled the last part to herself. She bit her lip as she asked, "What do you think is going to happen? I'm really worried... Not for myself, but for Isis." She hesitated before asking, "Do... Do you think many of us will die?"

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Renzo

 

"Oh, I would never dream of doing anything to this delicate little flower," Renzo drawled as Marcus rode by. His grey eyes glimmered in a silent laugh as he felt the ice building up on his legs, slowly freezing his lower limbs as he angered the girl more and more. He wondered how long it would take her to figure out his sense of humor. Provoking people was one of the many spices of life that he truly enjoyed. Part of him didn't want her to realize it, though. He didn't enjoy losing out on a source of fun. He patiently endured her ice, allowing her to encase him in it as she snarled on and on and on about respect or something. The words went in one ear and out the other. Finally she stopped talking.

 

"Respect this, respect that. Blah di blah di blah and something about a militia. You really are quite the chatterbox, aren't you?" Renzo wrapped his hand around Celeste's wrist, allowing her crimson blood to flow between his fingers. "A little on the clumsy side, too." He sent a shock through the ice, releasing his legs from the cold as the shattered dew piled around his feet. "I have to admit you people entertain me. I like you even though I can tell the feeling is not mutual. The same goes for the rest, although they cannot hold a candle to your antics. At least not yet..." He began to chuckle. "You people are all very interesting, so what need would I have for killing you?" His grip tightened around her wrist as he leaned over to whisper in her ear. "Now respect on the other hand is something else. If you want it you will have to earn it, and, trust me, there is a very high price for it. Are you willing to go down that path?" He dropped her wrist and took a step away from her. Lifting his fingers to his lips, he licked a drop of blood that had remained.

 

 

 

Luna

 

Luna tightened her grip around Loren once they took off. The lack of solid ground beneath her feeling was both exhilarating and frightening at the same time. Don't look. Don't look around. Don't look down. She kept telling herself. The wind whipped her hair around, giving Luna a sense of just how quickly they were moving. She could hear Loren's words rushing into her ears, but only about half of them registered before she was falling through the air. She landed on the first machine with a thump as her cane landed beside her. It took her about two seconds to gather her senses before she grabbed her cane and released the blade from its base. Driving the blade deep into the machine, she began to pull the cane as she stepped backwards, tearing the machine apart with each step. A large gash like this was certainly not going to be easy to fix. As she pulled, she used her telekinesis to move parts around on the inside of the machine. Soon gears were falling out of place and supports were dropping, crumbling the machine away beneath her. She held it up long enough to support her for her final few seconds atop it as she waited for Loren. Some of the soldiers were starting to come to the senses. Their thoughts were screaming in her head as they scurried around for orders. Luna watched the skies, her eyes frantically searching for Loren so that she could get away from the soldiers. They were already realizing what had happened and she knew it wouldn't be long before they took offensive action.

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~Betzalel~

 

Betzalel drowned out the chaos that was slowly spreading in the group. Celeste was panicking, Marcus was getting angry... the whole group was coming apart. He knew that he had to take the reigns, otherwise they could waste even more precious hours here while the light alliance did its work. He glared directly into Renzo eyes as he went on about 'respect.' "Everyone listen up" spoke Betzalel as he walked a bit closer to everyone, his eyes glaring at the group as a whole. "Need I remind you all about our mission, the same one a certain someone told a stranger about? If we keep standing here and arguing, we'll burn more precious minutes that could be used to turn Culumus over to us? For now, like it or not we need to put aside our mis-trust for Renzo and get focused. If he truly wishes to help, then let him." Said Betzalel, remaining calm despite everything that was happening. He looked at Renzo, if he did try to betray the group... that was going to be the last thing he tried.

 

 

~Loren~

 

Five seconds had passed.

 

The bat-monsters had both swarmed and surrounded him. He couldn't believe it, they were truly faster then the wind... he had lost the element of speed. One tried to make a dive towards him, showcasing its horrifying rows of teeth as it tried to grab him. Only with a quick acrobatic dodge did he avoid capture.

 

Ten seconds had passed.

 

Loren's heart felt like it was going to burst out of his chest. The world seemed to slow down slightly, his mind was making small choices almost instantaneously. He had read about something like this, in times of extreme danger where death was a high possibility... the body would do something to give it one last edge... this was that edge, his last chance.

 

Fifteenth seconds had passed.

 

He knew he had to go back for Luna, but he was trapped... until he came up with an idea. Closing his eyes, he began to absorb more of the wind, enveloping his whole body instead of just his limbs. "Here we go... protect me wind..." He thought as he accelerated towards the machine where Luna was. A bat-creature and shadow elementian were about to intercept him... when suddenly he shouted "SHOW ME YOUR LOVE!" The wind on his body was suddenly flung in a spherical-like manner, hitting the creature and its rider. He knew that it was only meant for projectiles... but he hoped the suddenly force of the creation of the shield would be enough to stop the rider. It did... too well in fact, since the rider wasn't expecting it. When the bat creature was pushed away by the shield, the rider went flying off... and began to plummet to the ground. By the time the bat regained its senses, it would be too late for the rider. Loren didn't notice, he was too intensely focused with getting Luna.

 

Twenty-five seconds had passed.

 

Loren flew as fast as he could towards the machine where he left Luna. He saw that she was on top of the machine, the soldiers getting ready to attack her. He dove down, making sure she knew he was coming for her. When he was about to fly passed her, he dispelled is Wind Shield and grabbed her tightly before he took off away from the machine. "Sorry about that, I got..." Began to shout Loren, when he sensed something was wrong. He flipped around, his back facing to the ground. He saw that the bat-riders had followed him, and were quickly closing ground. By holding Luna with his arms, he had only his legs to provide propulsion and lift... He had lost precious speed.

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Luna

 

Twenty! The second ticked in Luna's mind, but nothing happened. The soldiers were getting closer yet she was still here. She chanced a glimpse up at the sky and noticed that Loren was in a bit of a sticky situation himself. He fired a burst of wind before he finally plummeted toward her. In a matter of seconds she was back in the air with him, holding on tightly as she buried her face in his shoulder again. The knuckles on the hand that was holding her cane were white with the intensity of her grip. How many machines were left? How were they going to survive this?

 

Suddenly Luna felt an even higher sense of alert emanating from Loren. Something was horrifically wrong, something that was endangering both of them. She could sense them approaching, gaining on them with each second that passed. She didn't know how much longer they had until the next machine, but something had to be done sooner rather than later. Their bloodthirsty thoughts were crowding out Luna's own frantic mentality. Go away....her thoughts whispered to the voices at first. Go away. Go away... she repeated again and again. The chant built itself in her mind, gaining intensity until she was screaming the thought. GO AWAY!

 

Luna glanced up to see that they were gone. The bat creatures and their awful riders were all flying away from them now. Her eyes widened as the realization hit her. She had done that. She had infiltrated and influenced their thoughts! Of all the times to effectively learn a new skill...She hid her face in Loren's shoulder again and sighed. She suddenly felt very tired. How many more of those was she going to have to do before she found her limit? She didn't even want to think about that.

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Loren was about to try something to lose them, but suddenly... the bat creatures began to split in all directions. It seemed like mass panic had enveloped them, the riders were trying to calm down the beasts as they fled from them. Sure enough, the distance between them grew and grew... whatever happened was nothing short of a miracle. He glanced down slightly at Luna, and noticed that she was not looking good... in fact, he doubt she could handle another machine. He flipped around once more, and looked directly a head. It seemed that there remained three more machines. He hoped Z'fan could take out the next one, but that left two machines.

 

"Luna... I need you to take out one more machine, you don't need to do the same thing you did with the last machine. Afterwards, I'm taking you back, I'll get the last one on my own... I'm not putting you in any more danger." Thought Loren, hoping his thoughts reached hers. When they reached the second to last machine, he aimed his legs at the soldiers near the machine, and blasted them away with a gale of wind. He made it more powerful this time around, to give Luna more time in spite of her tiredness. He took off once more to distract the bat-riders when they finally got their act together. The last machine had ample time to prepare for an attack, and it was aimed straight at Loren. "Take it down..." He thought as he dove down once more, heading straight for the machine. He stopped midway, before he crunched up, his knees near his chest and his arms covering them. The bolt was fired, and it was aimed straight at Loren. "Nothing can stop it..." Said Loren ominously as he flinged his arms to his side and straightened his legs, causing an "X" like gale of wind to come from him. The first thing the Razor Wind chopped up was the bolt, splitting it clean in half. The force of the wind itself cause it to miss Loren by a mile. Once the wind hit the machine, it dug deep into the metal, hitting the major gears on the inside. It stopped midway into the machine, but it was more then enough to disable the machine.

 

 

Loren closed his eyes for a moment... which was all that took to send him plummeting from the sky. He was in a freefall, ready to hit the group. He was near his limit. When he was about fifty feet from the ground, he opened his eyes in realization of what was happening. With a pained cry, he commanded the wind to bind with him again. His arms and legs were providing lift and propulsion once more. He began to flew towards Luna once more, but he was wavering... He needed to grab her and get out before the wind disappated once more, and sent the both of them crashing to the ground.

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~Yuaki~

Yuaki felt little nervousness when entering the battle. There was an ominous reason for this calmness about her, but it was not one that any of her allies would realize nor was it one she ever wished them to realize. She gripped her horse tightly with her legs as she withdrew her ebony blade. It was an inch shorter than most blades because she did better with short weapons; she used speed and agility to win in battle, and the shorter blade allowed for a lighter build. She glanced quickly to her right where the twins were and she saw that they both had their weapons prepared as well. The army was nearing before them, and they had been noticed by the edge of the mass. Yuaki immediately thought of her horse and decided she'd use her Shadow element to protect it, but only when necessary and only when no one was looking; it wasn't worth risking the truth to let the horse live.

 

Yuaki prepared her sling and as they rode she slung and shot five stones, carefully noting the rhythm of her horse's hooves and the marching of the soldiers. She had already seen the little gaps in their armor, usually where one had to bend one's joints, and those were where she aimed. The neck was covered in chainmail, but that didn't mean a stone couldn't cause some distraction and pain. The five stones she shot had two second between each one, and every one of them hit a target. Three out of the five actually caused the targets to fall out of line and stumble as the stone pained them. Yuaki found it rather odd that she and Leith and Neiro were put as a team, because technically they were all from Triton. She didn't think of this long, however, and instead continued to sling stones. Only when they were truly closing in on the enemy would she put down her sling and hold her sword with both hands.

 

~~~

 

~Aketsu~

 

Aketsu barely noticed when Isa moved her horse nearer to him, though he heard his name. He was so far ahead in thought, Tractus' question had made him stare blankly and try to comprehend what Tractus was asking. Fortunately Isa answered and he realized that he had forgotten to mention that. "Yes, Tractus, I want you to be near me in combat. Your abilities with space will be more than helpful, as I will need their minds distracted when I poison them." Aketsu looked at Isa, and for a moment fear flashed in his eyes. He destroyed it quickly and set his jaw. "Isa, if we--when we meet with the Shadow Elementians, I need you to be doing the brawl of the fighting since your element counteracts theirs. For the first battle the rest of us will work much like backup, and if there are more than one we meet at a time you will only have half the support. Now let's go, Loren has already begun!"

 

Aketsu moved the group to the edge of the hill. For a moment he was distracted as the beast continued squashing people. It was... stomach-churning to watch, and Aketsu turned his eyes to the sky. It took him three seconds to spot Loren... and a bunch of terrifying shadow beasts. "There!" He pointed out Loren and watched, an intensity about his golden eyes. It was awful, not being able to do anything but watch, yet the beasts were flying too high and too far for even Isa to help with her light. Time after time Loren just barely escaped, but the wind was loyal and helped Loren as though he was its child. Finally one of the riders fell from his beast. He was almost 100 yards away and by the pace he was falling it didn't seem he'd survive, but Aketsu had to make sure. "There," he said, "that one is surely wounded. Isa, Zepheena and Tractus, make sure he is dead. I have to tell Isis something. Tractus, if possible give Luna mental support, she's on her own there for the second machine!" Aketsu had no idea if mental support was possible, but he hoped Tractus could somehow help Luna.

 

Aketsu turned quickly and raced back in the direction of Isis. When he came upon him, he took something out of the back of his belt and handed it to him. It was a small vial that was stained green but appeared empty. "Isis... I don't know how much your trees can do, but when you send them to attack if possible have one of them tear this open near the enemies. It is called tear gas, and it will greatly distort them. Don't inhale any or get it near your eyes! Just let the trees handle it, if they can; this should protect them from some damage from the enemies." He clasped Isis' shoulder in encouragement for a moment, then turned and spun back in the direction of his group, hoping they had taken care of the enemy...

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"Forward brothers," cried Eirikr, willing the prometheans forward. He wasn't about to let the others go in alone. As the battle lines closed the prometheans drew their blades. All seven were armed with falcatas made from basalt. The prometheans slammed into the army like a wall of rock. No matter how much damage the stone warriors recieved they constantly repaired. Yet the repairs cost Eirikr much energy.

 

Eirikr stood a distance behind them. The point his pickaxe-shield punched through the armor of any foe foolish enough to ignore his warriors. To clear some space he summoned three rows of spikes to emerge from the ground, impaling a large number of enemy soldiers.

 

"Yuaki, where's Kai and Noe," called Eirikr as the flow of battle brought him closer to her. He blocked a sword before driving his blade into its owner. It worried him to see them absent, and he wasn't at a level to feel where Kai was through the earth.

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It took longer for Z’fan to destroy the machine beside her although it seemed to have a different construction than the last. Instead of having a single wire to cut, it had several that looked as though they were designed to be able to fire several bolts at a single time. When she had cut through the machine and now stood upon the rubble, she noticed that Noe was directing her tornados towards the rear of the soldiers while also producing hail that rained down on only their enemies from above, and deafening thunder.

 

Z’fan was shocked though when she noticed that Loren was alone in the sky and hoped that Isa would stretch herself to be able to help him, to help someone! Z’fan looked to where Battlemate was riding into the battle ahead of the others and she could see men flying in every direction not only from his powerful sword and limbs, but also from advanced telekinesis. When she looked harder during a lull, she noticed that men were dropping dead at his feet without any contact. With a grim smile, she realized that he was severing their being from their bodies and shutting down their hearts and arteries.

 

Isa listened to Aketsu and then turned to Zepheena. The young girl was insecure and that irritated her more than anything especially with a battle, but she couldn’t blame her. For some reason though, her name rang a bell and as she looked closer at the girl, she chuckled. “You ran away.” She mumbled to herself then looked at the sky and her heart skipped a beat. “People will die and I am sure there will be those here that will die Zepheena. Stay here where it is safe.” She stated and took one last look at Aketsu and reached down deep within herself. As she traveled through her heart and her mind, through mental barriers and torturous memories, she winced knowing that this would release all that she was into the world.

 

It took a few moments and her eyes truly began to whirl and her hair seemed to change colors rapidly. As the sky grew darker, she seemed to become a blindingly bright spot on the hill. With one last look at Zepheena that was a bright smile, she disappeared and reappeared in the air with a scream. It was the highest that she had ever gone with her light and it scared her out of her wits. Within a second, a few shadow beasts started her way and she flashed towards them with a light sword in her hands and swinging at the nearest beast. Upon contact with light, the shadow beast disappeared and it’s owner tried to protect itself from the light by trying to encase her in shadow with the help of his friend who had caught him.

Isa knew that the shadow would hold her until she broke through it and quickly tried and found it harder than she thought. It took her a long time to get to it, but once she had, the shadow elementians were shocked for she seemed to become light moving faster and faster around them and quickly leaving them dismembered and their beasts dead. Over the course of another few minutes, three of the remaining five were dead and she had to land somewhere.

 

It took her a second to stop jumping and allow herself to fall to the ground before she jumped along the backs of the photons to the hill. Once back, she collapsed to her knees and gasped as her body seemed to fade in and out of seeming existence as she panted repeadtedly. It would take her a moment to allow herself to calm back down, but now that she was atop the hill, she could see the carnage that she had caused. The beasts hadn’t really disappeared, but instead crashed into the men below and killed several. Z’fan was killing more and more and the smell of blood was being carried in the wind towards them. The smell caused her to be sick to her stomach and in a moment of seeming to be solid, she retched and cleaned off her mouth. She stood up slowly and looked again. Death. It was all death. She could see where Kai and the others were charging into the main force of the enemy, but now Loren could at least survive longer and then Kai and the ground force could survive.

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Kai smiled back at Noe, "I'll be careful." And with that he closed his eeys and was pulled underground, going down, down ,down until he was beneath the longest roots, and then forwards, towards the battle.

 

In only a minute he was close enough to enemy lines to feel their feet through the earth, And he rose from the ground, suddenly, and with great speed, shooting upwards on thick pillar of stone, only fifty yards from the nearest soldiers. The army was splitting up, several had turned to the left and the right to attack Eirikr and to try and respond to Loren's sudden attack from the sky, the main body, pressed in the middle with no way to help one side or the other, had halted and it seemed that those in charge were devising a plan of action, well they were about to lose their extra time....

 

Kai stood atop the pillar, a cone with a diameter of approximately ten feet, he had made a large one, spending a good deal of energy, but he didn't want someone cutting it out from underneath him. He was high enough to feel the current of the lightning as it leapt between clouds, even though he was only about fifty feet off the ground, the roar of the thunder suddenly sounded like a welcome friend, the bark of a familiar dog. It was time to go to work.

 

He reached down and picked up a stone spear from the pillar, charging it with positive energy by stealing the electrons off the surface, he threw it into the nearest rank of troops.

 

SWISHhhhhh BOOOOOM! It impacted and hit the ground at the same moment that lightning, seeing an easy way to get to the ground on such a charged pole... struck it hard!

 

Good, the plan was working, so long as Noe stayed out of sight and kept up the storm, he would have near limitless ammunition... which meant they would be coming for him soon, so he vowed to get off as many spears as he could before they realized the danger and reacted to him.

 

Even so, he hadn't gotten off even three more bolts, when the first arrows whizzed over his head as the archers attempted to hit him from afar. Even so, he created a small barrier in front of himself and continued to lob spears, not able quite to see them hit the ground, but hearing the explosions he saw the army begin to scatter, breaking ranks and forming a much more spread out battle lines in order to provide less of a bunched target for him to hit. Even so... there were a lot of them, and it took them a while to do that, costing them hundreds of casualties further.

 

Suddenly Kai felt a sharp pain in his right shoulder, something had hit him, from behind, through his sand armor as if it were butter, and cut deep into his arm.

 

Kai spun around and was hit again, in the same location, but his attacker, a shadow elementarian who had just crawled out of Kai's shadow, had been aiming for his heart, and his quick turn had caused him to miss, striking the same shoulder again. He saw the man this time, their eyes met and both reacted.

 

Unfortunately the man was older, and very seasoned. Probably one of the generals in charge of the troops, or at least a master elemntarian. Kai immediately found himself unable to breathe, and it felt like he was being crushed from all sides as the man grinned at him, holding out a dark hand towards him as the darkness crushed down against Kai and his sand armor.

 

Kai couldn't' breathe, couldn't cry for help, couldn't reach through the man's oppressive grip to move the stone anymore than he could get air into his lungs. That left only one other option... besides blacking out and dying of course... And as the eyes of many soldiers and other members of the group noticed... Dozens of lightning bolts all seemed to converge on the top of the pillar at once and strike it repeatedly, almost like a continuous current, and then it was over, though a large amount of smoke rose from the top of the pillar that had been reduced to half its height, leaving rubble lying all about the base. A long figure plummeted towards the ground below and struck it with the sound of shattering glass, and that's what it was too. The lightning had heated the outside of Kai's sand to the point that it was glassed, and it shattered on impact, no doubt saving him from breaking every bone in his body.

 

Unfortunately he was unconscious even before he hit the ground. His body lay amongst the rubble, not noticeably damaged, though a bit charred, but if one looked closely... one would realize... he was missing his right arm, and in its place was a cauterized stump at his shoulder.

 

The shadow elementarian... was blown off of the tower by the wind... having been reduced to a pile of ashes...

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~Jahanshah~

Jahan was a little surprised at how Celeste reacted to Renzo's comments. However, he kept silent; some would think he was unsure of what to do but in reality he was wary of the criminal and wanted to see how much talk the criminal could take. He was surprised and slightly pleased that Renzo did not react in fury to anything Celeste said. He didn't wish him to insult Celeste, but it couldn't be helped for the moment.

 

"I have to admit you people entertain me. I like you even though I can tell the feeling is not mutual." Jahanshah blinked curiously. He had never met a man quite like Renzo, for his mother would have hated him to make such people his friends. But that didn't mean he liked Renzo or his ways, and in fact he found himself viewing Renzo as 'weak minded' since he didn't seem to be able to control his own impulses. Jahanshah was more than a little relieved when Betzalel spoke up, clearing matters quickly and moving on.

 

"Need I remind you all about our mission, the same one a certain someone told a stranger about? If we keep standing here and arguing, we'll burn more precious minutes that could be used to turn Culumus over to us? For now, like it or not we need to put aside our mis-trust for Renzo and get focused. If he truly wishes to help, then let him."

 

Jahanshah nodded calmly and let the metal melt off his face and arms and back to his stomach. "Excellent," he said simply. "Then let's be going." With that he turned, walked to his horse and mounted. "Aamina, you may walk since you wish it; we won't need horses for quite a while now and after we turn over Cumulus it won't matter if you use the earth to run so long as you aren't recognized within the city. Renzo, if you want you can ride Aamina's horse and if you don't then Aamina you should lead your horse. Let's go." With that, he took off at a lope expecting the others to follow.

 

~Fifteen minutes later~ [because these guys need to get moving]

 

The group had barely caught on to the early morning group that was entering Cumulus. Fortunately this group was full of old farmers and merchants, so they plodded along at an easy pace and didn't seem at all suspicious of the Shadow Militia. Jahanshah even heard an old lady remark that "that couple there [Marcus and Skylar] sure are young to have three teens" to which her husband replied, "I thought the brownish girl [Aamina] looked more like his [betzalel] daughter. Don't you think?" And Jahanshah chose to ignor the comments, realizing that the elderly were speaking louder than they knew and probably couldn't see well.

 

They arrived at the gate and had no trouble getting in; it was even easier than Jahanshah had hoped, for the three guards there were only around twenty in age and looked highly distracted by the weather and the latest gossip. They had no time to mess around with a few farmers. And so they were in the city, easy as that, and Jahanshah took a deep breath. It was said that the air in Cumulus was the second-best air anywhere, second only to Aero. Jahanshah smiled and observed the beautiful city. Such a unique and colorful city, full of life and young children... but the people didn't seem as happy as their city. Indeed, it seemed they were on edge and were ready for some sort of change to come, something that would mean more security for their future... just the kind of change Jahanshah intended to provide.

 

~~~

 

~Yuaki~

 

Success! Everywhere Yuaki looked, success! It almost scared her how powerful some of her friends were; she had never seen Loren fly that high, never seen Shadow Creatures scatter before Luna, never seen Isa move so fast, and never seen Kai use so much-- Kai!

 

Yuaki's stomach churned as she saw one of the master Shadow Elementians in Kai's shadow--but she was too far to do anything! Half of her wanted to scream for him, but the other half kept silent. She and the twins were approaching the ranks too quickly, or at least she was. In another second she had reached the first ranks and began battling; the horse she rode was not untrained and simply burst into the first row of enemies without a second thought, knocking down and stepping on many shocked soldiers. By the time the soldiers recovered Yuaki was riding the horse out again, her heart thumping wildly in her chest. She hoped none of them recognized her; she doubted they would, since they were common soldiers. As she had ridden in she had clashed swords with the ones that were standing, but she had found they had more talent than she had thought. She mentally smacked herself for underestimating her enemies, for she hadn't done serious damage to any of the standing ones and in fact she had a small cut in her own armor.

 

As she swung her horse out and around a large rock, she got a glance at Kai; the Shadow Master had now shown himself and was choking Kai. Yuaki felt a grip of pain, but she knew there was nothing she could do. Even if she had been there and had tried to block his shadows with her own she knew she was no match for his power. But the trap he had Kai in... it was inescapable, a special technique taught only to generals who earned the right to know it. Kai was gone; she came to accept that and moved on.

 

Another swoop, and this time she started it with five slingshots aimed for the archers. There were very few archers on this side as they all seemed busy with others, but on her way down Yuaki did have to block an arrow with her shield. This time the soldiers were prepared and had their swords pointed at the horse. As it was trained to do, the horse didn't slow down even a bit; ears back it rushed forward, trusting its rider to do the rest. Yuaki pictured it all in her head and performed it at the last moment; she swung forward and wrapped her arms around the horse's neck, holding on tightly. Her boots went out in front of her and the horse and she used all her stomach muscles to fling three swords to the left and two to the right just using her feet, allowing the horse a clear entry through the first line. Of course the second line didn't have their swords up; they thought the first line had it handled. Yuaki was back in the saddle in an instant and protecting her horse and herself.

 

ZKAAAAABOOOOOM!!!!

BOOOM!!!

ZZZAT!!!

ZTTZZZOOM!

 

Lightning bolts suddenly shot from the sky, startling many soldiers and giving Yuaki a moment to see what was going on. It was Kai! By the time she registered what was happening, it was over; the ground around Kai was rubble and the Shadow Master was ash. Soldiers that were too near were also ash or severely wounded. But Kai... he was alive! Smoking slightly, but alive and seemingly okay besides the fact that he was unconscious. "Hya!" Yuaki gave her horse the charge command and pointed it in Kai's direction. The horse snorted in surprise as it was not used to charging twice without break, but it leapt forward through the few scattered soldiers left (most had moved back from where Kai lay). Yuaki's trail to Kai was clear, but the shock of the moment only lasted a few seconds and an arrow suddenly whizzed past her head. "Steady!" She told the horse, leaning sideways on it. She would grab Kai's right arm and swing him up and-- WHAT?! By the shadows, his right arm is gone!

Quick switch of plans! Yuaki reached even further and grunted as her horse slowed to a lope. She almost fell off her saddle when she snatched Kai's left arm. The heat from his body surprised her but she didn't have time to think about it. She grunted loudly with the effort of pulling him onto the horse in front of her, and she spun her horse back towards the direction she had come. But the path her horse had blazed was gone! In its place was a line of soldiers, eager to get rid of two enemies at once. They had their swords pointed, but they were also in a semi-circle so if she broke through one row the side rows could attack. Her horse was tired and would need at least fifteen seconds of rest before she could charge him again. Archers were on either side, and it suddenly occurred to Yuaki that she hadn't warned Leith or Neiro that she was going to rescue Kai. She looked around desperately, hoping for some sort of escape route...

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Noe had been watching the battle below while maintaining the storms that were brewing overhead. She watched as Kai did what he had done the night before, but on a much larger scale. Even though it was insanely morbid, she was proud of him for protecting the others and it seemed that he was doing an incredibly good job of protecting all of them. That is, until, there was a shadow elementian that appeared behind him. Noe’s heart skipped as she watched her finace start choking to death and she wished to scream out to the clouds to help him and to stop his enemies, but it seemed that she couldn’t do that. Her neck started to pinch as did her back as she watched her love being enveloped with shadows.

 

Tears coursed down her cheeks while she watched in her hidden spot and when her lightning, her first love, tore through the earthen pillar that he had created to get him close to the clouds. When the smoke cleared, she could see his lifeless form falling to the ground and sobs escaped her but then something cracked, as it usually did with any weather elementian. Tears turned to anger and hatred for these soldiers had taken not only her father, but now the one man besides him that had truly loved her for who she was. A cry of anger and defiance came from her, but it didn’t sound human at all as it rose above the clamor of the thunder.

In a moment, Noe was there and in another, it seemed as though she had disappeared…

Leith and Nerio had crashed with their enemies with their guarded horses barreling over their enemies and destroying them as the two brothers fought in tandem while watching over yuaki to make sure that she was alright. Of course, they lost track of her but knew that that was bound to happen at one time or another, but at least they were back to back. As they fought they were able to watch Kai, but fear struck them deep in their core as they watched all that was going on with him. The thunder was unbearable and it felt as though their eardrums would explode from the extreme sound of lightning tearing into earth and sending rubble everywhere. The heated rubble punctured armor and killed the soldiers that were close enough, and far enough away. Those that were smart enough, hid underneath their shields to avoid any injuries.

 

When a large enough barrier had been created the two brothers set up a shield bubble of water and used their weapons to snatch men into the barrier and kill them where they stood. But in the next moment, they noticed Yuaki on her horse riding towards where a body was falling from the sky. That body was Kaimaru. In moments, the two brothers disintegrated their shields to develop the water into a thick barrier behind them as they ran in tandem towards where they had last seen Yuaki near the pillar. They couldn’t move as fast as a horse, but where Yuaki was looking, there could be heard a commotion.

 

In the chests of the men closest to her, their sprouted water swords that were now a bloody red as was the water that was behind them for water was in the blood of the human body. They were panting and the two brothers looked crazed as they sliced through their enemies and Leith used both a sword and a whip to tear them apart. “Get Kai to safety!” Leith shouted at Yuaki as he stepped behind his brother and took a deep breath as his eyes closed. It looked like he was about to burst as he struggled to pull enough blood and water to do what needed to be done.

 

When he opened his seafoam green eyes, the amount of liquid he had summoned appeared in the sky and he summoned it down and shoved open a wide hole for Yuaki to get through. “GO!” he screamed at her then noticed that Nerio was being crushed by the amount of men. He didn’t have time to think and stepped between his brother and deadly sword. He could feel the icy steel coated in poisons within his body. He gasped as he looked down at the blade then at the man in front of him who smiled triumphantly. His ears were filled with the cries of his brother while he tried to defend himself further.

 

Seconds passed before Leith could gather his wits about him and seal up his wound as best he could and continue to fight. In the distance, he was glad to see that Battlemate and Z’fan were doing well in killing more enemies than any of them ever could due to their experience. His head was starting to throb as his reactions slowed and he coughed up blood…

 

Noe didn’t know where she was. All she knew was that she was within a safe cloud letting the lightning caress her and the winds whisper their comforts to her. She could feel the turmoil within her growing and rightly so. But Kai would tell her to control it and direct it but how could she now that he was gone? With a sigh she placed her….hands? Noe looked at what was supposed to be her hands and instead of hands, they were claws….bird claws! Her rear feet were like strong panther legs. With a gasp, she twisted on her side to see a pair of wings on her back that were streaked with yellow like the storms around her. WHAT in the world was happening?! In front of her, she could see the heart of the storm roiling and suddenly she had an idea. She had never been to the heart of a storm and now that she was like this…no matter how surprising and as far as she knew she could be dead, she could be at the heart and control the storm without any worries.

 

Her newfound wings carried her towards the heart of the storm which suddenly started to spin and rotate making the wind kick up higher and the hail start to get larger. Her Kai was dead now, and she had to avenge his death she had to kill those that had taken away all that she had truly loved…they deserved it.

 

Aamina used the earth to propel her along which made it easier to keep up with the horses. She wasn’t a tall girl therefore it was hard to do that without the earth. But, she kept close buy Lord Jahanshah’s horse to make sure that he was always safe no matter what it would take. The remarks by the old people made her frown for she would never want to be mistaken as the child of the two lovebirds and annoying big bird, but instead of someone else. When the remark of the old man was heard, she grimaced because she thought that that would be a very apropos lineage for her…

 

The buildings were very unique in that they were designed to deal with the strongest storms. Their machine was in the center of the city which was easy to see. The fact that they had gotten into the city so easily made her feel at ease. Luckily there was plenty of stone for her to control come the need, which made it easy for her to feel the vibrations of those around them all.

 

Marcus had been tense through the whole ride even though the comment of the older couple made him very happy. It was nice to be able to hear that he and Skylar were looking like a couple. The ring on her finger should have been enough but hopefully those here wouldn’t recognize him for the work or his face for he was sure that there would be a few that knew about him. In fact, he was sure that one of the guards had recognized him which had made him worried.

 

The thought of being the cause to ruin plans was something that made his blood curdle especially with the presence of both Lord Jahanshah and Betzalel.

 

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~Loren~

 

As Loren kept on flying, the others began to join the battle... which turned into nothing short of chaos. Storms were raging, pillars of earth were begin created... Death was all over the battlefield. The surge of energy Loren felt was now gone, and his senses were brought back down. His heart was being torn apart, his mind went to the normal soldiers that were dying on the field. Did they believe in the cause, or did they have no choice. Death was not what he wanted, he wanted to stop something like this from happening again, that was his goal. Suddenly, he heard an inhuman scream... the depth of the voice make it seem... female. The storm above him intensified as lighting grew more violent and uncontrollable. He tried to get to Luna, but before he could even get within a hundred feet... His world was black. A bolt of lighting had struck Loren, enveloping him as his skin began to burn. In the blink of an eye, he wasn't flying anymore... he was instead crashing into the ground, right in the middle of the Shadow Militia. "I'm sor-" Cried out Loren before he went truly silent.

 

"Fall back, Fall back to the defensive positions!" Called a commander on the ground, motioning his sword in the opposite direction of Light Elementians. He had been misinformed of the numbers... and their abilities. It appeared several more joined them, with abilities he hadn't counted on. These children had never killed before, but they were becoming rabid dogs. They were now craving their blood... he needed to get his men out of here. Just as he was about move with his men, he saw something hit the ground with force. He rushed over and found a smoking body... with a Wind Elementian symbol. He place a hand on his neck, trying to find a heart beat. He searched for ten seconds, and was about to give up finding one when he felt a faint bump. "Bring the Wind Elementian with us!" Shouted the Commander. Two of his recruits grabbed him by the arms and lifted him up. The commander looked at the Wind Elementian... he wasn't an adult, hell he didn't even look sixteen. He would need immediate medical treatment if he was going to live... he could hold information needed to end this war before it became as bloody as the last one.

 

 

~Betzalel~

 

"I thought the brownish girl looked more like his daughter. Don't you think?"

 

Betzalel had an almost nonchalant, yet refined stance as he rode his horse. The beast was smart enough to obey his commands, the threat of being eaten often did wonders like that. He pretended to not hear the comments made by the elderly farmers, for they had nothing better to do then gossip. He was amused that they thought the young couple had given birth to half of the group though, and he made that clear to both Marcus and Skylar.

 

"That's a thought huh? How many children are you two going to have? Three? Five? Make sure to send me some baby pictures" Mentally Joked Betzalel, making sure his thoughts reach both their heads. He laughed mentally as well, a jesting laughter before cutting off the mind-link he created. Once they got into the city, Betzalel quickly took a liking to it. It was unlike any city he had seen, it was much more advanced then the other cities. If things went according to plan, he would take the machine in the middle of the city... another little mark in his long history for glory. He then began to examine the crowds, looking for the agent that was here... he had a large burn mark, so it shouldn't be too hard. He would just have to find the people gawking that man.

Edited by Lore_Master

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Eirikr cursed as he was forced to allow the destruction of his prometheans in order to keep himself from passing out. As he dueled with a skilled enemy officer he helped himself to more of his wayfarer bread.

 

"I'm Sor-" was the last that Eirikr heard from Loren as he plummeted down from the sky. No willing to let the kid get captured, Eirikr barged forward into the Shadow Militia forces.

 

"Out... of... my... way," growled Eirikr punctuating each word with another death. Chainmail and shield shattered as his pick drove into the soldiers. The dratted soldiers were panicking around him, making it all the more difficult to locate

Loren. Desperate Eirikr drew up a barricade of spikes, cutting the army in half. One half able to escape, the other half was trapped as their comrades were impaled on the spikes.

 

"Surrender traitorous scum," Demanded Eirikr of the militia men trapped on his side of the spiked barricade. Stone began to form on his face and shoulders from the dust blowing around him. "I will suffer none to escape alive. All of you shall die, a just punishment for turning traitor."

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As he watched his whole unit get divided in half, his eyes turned to the earth elementian that demanded they surrendered. He claimed they would all die, which made the commander realize that they would die by his hands regardless if they surrendered or not. With his final command, he blew on a whistle... its piercing cry ringed out into the sky. He and his soldiers drew their hammer and began to attack the places where he was unprotected, the legs and knees especially. As he attack, one of the remaining bat creatures grabbed the Wind Elementian and flew away, well out of the reach of the Earth Elementian. "Your just as emotionally dead and murderous as the light alliance itself. Their crimes will be revealed, you cannot stop us." Said the commander as he kept attacking, those were going to be his final words if he died in battle.

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Luna

 

Luna felt herself being relinquished from Loren's grasp once more. By the time she hit the machine another burst of energy had rushed through her and she immediately began to drag the bladed end of her cane through the machine. She could feel Loren's winds tearing through the gears beneath her so she stopped. There was no hope left for this machine. Taking a look around, she started to gauge the amount of time she had left to fend for herself before Loren came back. Her eyes searched the sky until she saw him plummeting to the ground. Her first instinct was to reach out to him with her own powers to prevent him from falling, but she couldn't. He was far beyond her range and she was much too tired to even try. She stumbled on top of the machine as she tried to think of anything that she could do. The soldiers were closing in on the machine again, leaving her to fight by herself. There wasn't going to be a liftoff now that Loren was gone. The hopelessness of the situation was really starting to dawn on her. Just how long could she hold these men off before she got herself killed?

 

She felt a sting in her shoulder and looked over to see that it was bleeding. Something had gotten her...a dagger or an arrow maybe? She couldn't tell. Her exhaustion was only making her even more disoriented. Why did she have to waste all of her energy like that on just one stupid trick? It had only saved her and Loren for a few seconds and now she was really paying for it. She bit her lip and tried to ignore the pain and blood as she thought up one last trick she could do before she would have to stop relying on her powers. She closed her eyes and placed her hands together, recollecting everything that she had been taught about exploding stars. She opened her hands, allowing the light to burst forth in a bright glow that could be seen for miles. She knew the soldiers would be temporarily blinded, leaving her enough time to get off the machine and find a way out while she still had the energy. She opened her eyes and immediately darted forward, jumping off the machine before anyone could see her. She heard a crack as her ankle twisted beneath her on the landing, but that wasn't important right now. She had to live. She had to run and escape and live. As she took in her surroundings she began to see just how tall an order that was. There were soldiers in every direction and no clear path was revealing itself to her. She closed her eyes one more time and tried to figure out how many people were in each direction. Once she figured out the quickest way to escape, she began to run. Her ankle was screaming in protest and the blood from her shoulder stained her jacket but she ignored it. Her body was in its final rush. She tried to hold on to the sense of urgency for as long as possible. It was the only thing that was going to keep her alive until she reached safety.

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