Chapter 12:

Hypocrites Under a Fake Moonlight

Lotian, City of Light

Part 1

“The trial was announced today, as Franklin predicted,” Dix says, “we have to work fast.”

“How ready are we?” Franklin asked her.

“I prepared a safe house for us and bought some supplies for me.”

“Alright then,” Orim says, nodding to himself, “now if you’ll excuse me, i have some projects to finish.”

“I thought we would be using them now.” Franklin says before Orim has a chance to leave.

“Don’t rush me wispyboy, remember that we’re not finished once we get whatever is in the citadel.” Orim opens the door, “good luck to both of you.” And leaves.

“Well,” Dix gets up from the bed, “i’ll be sleeping in my room, call me when night time is about to come.”

Part 2

They come out on a small patch of ghost woods inside South Whisper, a white sphere in the image of the moon shines on the sky, surrounded by thousands of dots of light. They make their way towards the safehouse prepared by Dix, a small house close to the wispshapers citadel.

Using the water inside, Franklin bonds with a water wisp and improvises three waterskins tied to his belt and creates six orbs that float around him.

“Do you have an infiltration plan or are you open to suggestions?” Franklin asks.

“I do actually, i was thinking of using your tactic of moving proceeding through the roofs.”

Franklin shakes his head.

“I don’t think it’s a good idea, more people will be inside the buildings, and even a little sound might raise suspicion. It’s better to proceed on the ground.”

“Alright, it might actually be easier now that i think about it.”

“Let’s go then.”

They arrive at the outer wall of the citadel.

“Jump on my back and hold tight, i’m going to climb.”

Using the same tactic he used before, Franklin used the water orbs to create ice handles for his hands and feet and began to climb. When they reach the top, Franklin collects the water and goes toward the inner side of the wall and creates the first handle.

“Actually,” Dix stops him from creating more, “i have a better idea.”

Dix retrieves a length of rope with a hook tied to it.

“Got it.” Franklin nods.

They tie it to the single handle Franklin created and with two jumps, he gets to the ground with Dix on his back.

“Alright, where to?” Franklin asks in a hushed voice.

“Follow me!” Dix replies in the same volume, gesturing for him to follow her.

They proceed through the small alleys of the citadel with ease, Dix’s visions giving her a clear edge over the wispshapers, who despite their superior physical attributes, lacked any sort of night vision beyond that of a regular human.

“Alright,” Dix stops him with another gesture, “wait here, i’ll climb to that window and go from there.” She points to the small bathroom window four stories above the ground.

“Are you sure you want to go alone?” Franklin asks her.

“I’m fine, i need you to be here in case i have to jump out of the window. And it would be much harder to sneak around while guiding you.”

“Fine, but if you find yourself in too much trouble, don’t hesitate, call me and i will rush to your help, alright?”

“Yeah, yeah.” She replies with dismissal.

“Alright?” He insists.

“Alright!” Dix replies again, more annoyed this time.

“Good luck then.”

Part 3

Dix used her hook to climb the window and enter a small bathroom, she proceeded through a hallway, a set of stairs, more hallways, always paying attention to her visions, ignoring the ones about her slipping and breaking her neck, but always sharp about those that related to another person, these ones were indications that someone was approaching.

She managed to ascend two stories without so much as getting close to being found out. According to what she heard from that Wysim guy, her objective should be at the topmost floor, so she decided to speed up.


As Franklin waited for Dix to find him or to jump out of the window, he heard a sound coming from nearby, the sound of multiple voices, saying something in unison. He came closer to the source and heard the sound of feet scraping on the ground, of weapons being swung and grunts of exertion, the wispshapers were doing night training.

He hid behind a wall, sat there and listened, they are squires like me, though it feels like it was so long ago, he thinks. The squires went from simple form training, to choosing sparring partners, Dix was still nowhere to be seen, so Franklin decided to stay a while longer.

Would Dix be willing to spar with me? He wondered in his mind as the training swords clashed, making the metal ring and reverberate, she moved well during our chase, but i didn’t fight her directly, maybe i should try asking her.

Franklin, lost in thought, almost missed the moment when the sparring ended and they proceeded to the last part, the swearing of oaths. He peeked for a moment, the squires positioned themselves in a straight line, backs facing him, their commander a few steps away, back turned also and their voices combined into a single one, powerful like thunder.

“To the divinities that care and protect humanity from the horrors of the beyond.

Make us your instruments, to shield those in need, weak or strong, rich or poor.

We strengthen our bodies so that they could help us in our calling.

We harden our minds, so they do not falter when facing evil’s temptation.

Let our souls become unbreakable.”

The squires said in unison after their commander, Franklin put a smile on his face, hypocrites, he screamed in his head, strong bodies, hard minds, unbreakable souls huh? Yet you didn’t even give me a chance to defend myself. A sound of comotion broke out from the top floor then came the alarm bell, disturbing the squires routine, Franklin immediately sprung into action.

Part 4

“She is going down, get up already, Jhon!” The wispshaper currently chasing Dix shouted, the alarm bell reverberated across the building’s floors.

Dix ran down the stairs, how was she supposed to know that there would be someone sleeping in the storage room? But she got it, it was still there, a small white box with silver ornaments, big enough to fit a kitchen knife inside it, was being held in her hands, she also managed to find the dagger that was dropped when she met Franklin for the first time.

A vision of getting skewered by a sword flared in her mind, she jumped up, dodging the surprise attack from one of the wispshapers, bearing the signs of a connection with a flame wisp, who ended up overextending. She put her hands on his shoulder and slashed, the dagger did little more than scratch, but it was enough,

The connection he had with the wisp was severed in that moment, his arms, hair and clothes all returned to their normal state. Dix’s feet fell, and she used the man as a jumping platform, and entered the room where he came from. Inside it, there were no other doors that led to adjacent rooms, only the window in front of her, without hesitation, she ran, retrieving her hook from the pouch and in one fell swoop attached it and jumped out.


Franklin ran up to the start of the open grass portion, but still remained hidden in the shadows, observing, watching carefully, for signs that indicated where Dix was. Then, he saw her jump out of a window on the second to last floor, and as Franklin prepared to run up to and catch, her body changed trajectory, and she entered the room next to the one she jumped out of.


Dix was breathing heavily, heart pounding in her chest, cold sweat running down the nape of her neck, she wasn’t new to crazy stunts like the one she pulled off, then why was this one different? Leaving such questions to the side, she kept going, she wasn’t safe yet.


Franklin followed the sounds of comotion, circling around the building, shouts of frustration, and in fighting among the wispshapers inside, Dix once again used the same maneuver, only this time a fire explosion bursted out of the window, but by then, she was already safely on the other one.


A small crowd was already forming behind her, their superior physical attributes were mitigated by the narrow hallways and her elusive running patterns, they shouted curses and praises of how she was using the surroundings to her advantage, little did they know that she had no real plan in mind. A wispshaper appeared in front of her, with a soul step he closed the distance, she dodged by ducking under the slash and scratched his leg at the same time, the bond broke and she kept running. Either the dagger’s unique properties denied them of their powers or the breaking of the bond prevented them from using soulstep for a while.

She searched her pouch to check on her resources, she hadn’t used any bombs yet, and only had a single hook left. One of the wispshapers that chose to maintain his distance appeared around a corner, visions of her getting burned flashed for her, a second one of her getting slashed came, almost a second too late.

Dix bends backwards, the sword missing her nose for a few millimeters, she slashed at his arm with one hand and with the other, putting it on the pouch at her waist, she spun and wrapped the hook end of the rope around the man’s leg, then continued to spin, creating leverage and making him lose his balance and get pulled toward her. The wispshaper at the distance fired a flame projectile, she let go of the rope and moved behind the man, Dix kicked him forward, making him take the fire attack.

Dodging fireballs and taking sharp turns to try and lose her pursuer, Dix quickly found herself getting lost in the inner map she improvised on her head. She heard noise coming from the front, then from behind the only way to proceed was the room to her right that had nothing but a window inside, but the wispshapers were getting closer, she had no time to think about it.


Franklin saw from the ground, Dix jumping out of a window, she had three ropes when we came, is she doing the same thing? he wondered in that instant. Then she began to fall, she doesn’t have more ropes, he does a sharp turn toward the building, and the rapidly falling Dix, if i soulstep now, i’ll make the others aware of my presence, he ran with all he got, but she was falling faster and faster, if i don’t, i’ll wish i did.

He entered the soul realm, space became a distant concept and in the same instance of time, he was below Dix, Franklin held her in his arms while sliding on the ground.

“Hold tight!” He commanded.

She did as ordered, and holding her on his back, Franklin dashed across the short grass field and into the buildings, relying on the fake moonlight to guide his eyes. Dix had to close her eyes due to the wind on his face, Franklin looked like a formless shadow, dodging buildings and small obstacles, he heard a commotion in front and on the sides and a voice shouting orders.

“...Whispshaper...” was the only thing he was able to make out.

“Dix, we’re going to take a detour.” He said calmly, don’t let it show in your voice, he said to himself in his mind.

“What?” She shouted in response, unable to understand due to the noise of the wind.

“We're going through the metal eaters.” He sped up.

Part 5

Franklin approached a small lake, if taking in consideration the one that are found naturally on the rooms all over Lotian, but was quite a large one considering it was inside a city, it also doubles as the water reservatory of the wispshapers citadel.

Using water shaping, Franklin created an ice platform that floated near the rim, and took the first step. To an experienced wispshaper, what Franklin was trying to accomplish wasn’t terribly difficult, carrying someone on your back certainly added to the complexity, but it was something he could still do with relative ease, the real problems were currently swimming underneath him.

Two dozen metal eaters sensed the pieces of metal Franklin and Dix were carrying with them, from the sword on the back to the clasp of Dix’s pouches belt. The water agitated and from it, a fish jumped out of, almost as long as a horse and made entirely out of metal, bearing an extensive collection of sharp teeth against Franklin.

He ducked under it, almost sinking into the ice, Dix screamed when the metal eater passed a hair's breadth away from her, i have to adjust my movements to consider Dix, he made some mental notes. Franklin jumped over a second one and started to move forward, creating the ice platforms underneath his feet.

When the third one came, he used it as the platform.

"Below us!!” Dix warned.

A one fourth tried to bite out his leg but only managed to slightly scratch it. As Franklin advanged, the metal eaters became more numerous, and the attack patterns became more complex to the point where his advance was completely blocked.

He dodged them, creating ice platforms where he would land, and using the water around him to hit the metal monstrosities, Dix warning him of sneak attacks. But with each time he created a platform, each water stream he used and even as time progressed, his bond weakened, if the bond breaks we’re dead.

At a distance, Franklin saw the light of the search groups, they were approaching his location, someone saw the metal eaters alarm, he concluded, i can’t waste any more time.

“Behind you!”

Dix's shout pulled him out of his worrisome thoughts, he jumped over the metal eater, there’s only one way out of it, his thoughts racing in his mind, if i screw this up Dix is dead. Franklin created a tiny ice platform, only enough to put the tip of his feet, cleared his mind of doubts and searched.

He felt the presences around him, the two dozen voids surrounding him in the soul realm and close to him, he felt something that looked like a void, but was actually darkness. A deep darkness, but he knew what it was, this is Dix’s soul, he picked it up and pulled it along with him, shattering his bond with the wisp in the process.

Franklin soulsteped diagonally up, over the wall of the citadel, he fell to the ground, cracking the stones and sinking his feet. The impact made Dix’s head jerk forward, hitting it on Franklin’s shoulder and losing consciousness.

Now that the immediate danger had been overcome, he noticed that alarm bells were being sounded throughout the whole city, so he ran with the unconscious Dix to the safehouse.