Lotian, City of Light
“Alright, what do we have here?”
Franklin, Dix, Orim and Purple are standing around the table in Franklin's room.
“I made four regular jawdusters, and some more birds for me.” Orim says, picking them up and offering them to Dix.
Franklin snatches one for himself.
“Let me keep one of them, it might be useful.” He says as an excuse.
“How many charges are in them?” Dix asks.
“A hundred and twenty, my best jawdusters to date.” Orim replies, proudly, “i also made two defective ones.”
Orim pulls them from a sack and gives them to Dix.
“Why give her something that doesn’t work, i mean, i know they are made of steel, but one should be plenty.” Purple says.
“They aren’t defective because they don’t work at all, they are defective because you can’t regulate the power output, they will use the maximum charge when you use them. But if they are created purposefully faulty, you can make them hold much more charges than normal.”
“How much more?” Dix asks.
“Two hundred and fifty, more or less.”
“What else do you have in there?” Purple asks with the excitement of a child receiving a new toy.
“You sell yourself out that cheap?” Franklin says to Purple.
Orim pulls out a pair of bronze colored metal boots.
“This one's for you.” He motions it towards Franklin, who snatches it from Orim’s hand.
“I made this with part of the rainbow fish-scales.”
Franklin took a closer look at the pair, the bronze color emitted a faint iridescent shine reminiscent of the natural color of the scales. Multiple scales were ornamenting the sides of the boots, making it look like a pair of wings wrapped around each one.
“What do they do?” Franklin asked, happiness painted in every corner of his face.
“They create a positive feedback of force through motion.”
“What does this sound like in a non heretic language?”
“They strengthen your legs so you can run faster.” Orim translates.
“Wait!” Dix interjects, “you said that what you could do with those scales was more amazing then buying an entire city. This just sounds like a jawduster for the legs.”
Orim smiles a condescending smile.
“You regular people, always thinking you know everything there is to know about the world. For you see, regular metal is simple and to the point, it leaves no room for subjectivity, which isn’t the case with a metal such as that.”
“What’s so different?" She asks.
“Those boots made with regular steel, would just boost his speed a fixed amount, the ones you are seeing now, they don’t work with fixed values. What i’m trying to say is, the faster he runs, the better the speed boost will be.”
Stars sparkled in Franklin’s eyes at this point, and Orim continued.
“It’s called Wind's Swiftness. Lastly, with the rest of the rainbow-fish scales, i made this.”
Anticipation creeped into Purple’s expression, a pair of gauntlets would be nice.
Orim hands Dix what looks like a metal rope with a dart attached to it, Purple’s disappointment was palpable.
“What does it do?”
“Pierce your skin just enough to draw blood and then let a drop come in contact with the tip.” Orim instructs her.
Dix uses the sharp tip to poke at her finger, applying pressure to it, a small drop of blood welts on her thumb. When she touches the metal tip, she suddenly feels a connection with the object on her hand.
“I call it Drakethorn. If you send it a mental comand, it will come back to you, you just need to be touching the rope part.”
On close inspection, Dix sees that the rope was made entirely of metal leaves entangled in a type of braid that emits a luminosity similar to that of Franklin’s boots.
“You can also command it to become a hook,” Orim continues the explanation. Dix pushes her desire to the Drakethorn, the dart at the tip opens on it’s own in three sections, “the blood serves to mark you as it’s owner, that way no one can use it.”
“Alright,” Purple bitterly interrupts, “we already had lunch, shall we go then?”
They all get up and ready to leave.
“Dix,” Franklin calls when they get to the inn’s entrance, “did you check on what i asked?”
“I did, it should be happening right now.” She replies.
“Good… so, why don’t you three go ahead, i’ll catch up later.”
“Did you forget to go to the bathroom or something?” Orim reproaches Franklin.
“It won’t damage the plan at all, with those,” Franklin points to Wind's Swiftness, “i’ll get back with time to spare.”
“If you don’t get there in time, i’ll kill you personally.”
Purple approaches the Canton of Peace, carrying Dix, her hands are tied together and her arms are tied to her torso and the pouches belt being carried by him. He reaches the stairs that lead to the entrance, seven individuals are sitting on steps, Good thing Black and White are not here, he thinks while making his way up.
First: Purple will take Dix through the front door…
“The free boy himself, to come here twice in such a short time...” Red inspects Purple’s face, “did the little twig break your nose?” She asks, laughing all the way.
“She was with Franklin Dawnlight, i’ll bring her to master.”
“She sure did a number on your face.” Red says when Purple gets closer.
“Don’t worry, i’ll come back in a tak, then we can talk properly.”
“Can’t wait to turn your nose inside out.”
Purple ignores her, going through the front door, all the workers in the entrance hall stop to look at him dragging a grey one with him.
“What’s the meaning of this?” A wispshaper woman with strawberry colored hair, standing guard on the front door stops them to ask.
“I’m here to deliver her to master Alard, is he in the library?”
Dix doesn’t say anything, just stands there trying to shut her mind to the visions.
“As always, he is alone there, so you can enter directly.” Good, Purple thinks.
Second: Once inside, Purple will free Dix and she will deal with the wispshaper…
Purple burns the ropes tying Dix up and hands her the pouches belt, she retrieves one of the defective jawdusters and attacks the wispshaper. Two hundred and fifty times the force of a normal punch comes in contact with the woman's chin, sending her flying against the wall and knocking her out. The jawduster breaks down in tiny pieces and from one of the pouches, she retrieves a needle with tranquilizer and uses it on the wispshaper to guarantee that she will not wake up.
Third: Purple will keep the other reavers busy…
Red turns around to check on the loud noise inside, only to receive a fist to the face that breaks her nose. She’s knocked away down the stairs, when she raises her head to see what happened, Purple is standing on the last step, a cocky smile on his face.
“Sure looks like i did a number on your face!” He says.
All the other reavers get up, their animosity directed towards Purple, ready for a fight.
“No need to just stand there and wait, come at me, all at the same time if you want!” Purple punches the palm of his hand, releasing flames on contact, “alright, if you won’t come, i will!”
He lunges down the steps toward a reaver that appears to be in his mid twenties, with green hair, delivering a palm strike aimed to the chest. The man blocks it, but the unsure footing makes maintaining balance impossible and he gets sent down to join Red.
“Today i’ll be teaching you all a lesson!”
Fourth: Using the confusion that will come, Dix will run around the canton, no direction in mind, just looking for the archives, i’ll guide her…
Purple canceled out a fire explosion from Red with one of his own, then blocked a kick from a second reaver, the one with green hair, he grabbed the leg and spun and used him as a projectile against the third reaver, a girl with golden hair, just as sparks of lightning were forming on her hand.
“Listen Green, with kicks like that you won’t be beating me anytime soon! Not that you had any chance to begin with!” Purple boasts.
Another fire attack, Purple counter with his own.
“That was quite rude of you!” He complains to Red.
Hidden amongst the last slivers of fire, a girl with blue hair comes out, she hits him hard in the face, a second punch then followed by a round kick to the body sends Purple rolling on the ground. He recovers quickly, just in time to avoid being impaled by an ice spike that sprouted from the ground beneath him.
“That was very underhanded of you, Ice.” He says to a girl with black hair that is crouching with her hands on the ground.
She shrugs, more spikes sprout forth, forcing Purple to keep moving to avoid getting skewered by the ice. In the corner of his eyes, Purple sees Green preparing something, he uses a fire blast to change direction and propel himself in the air to close the distance between him and another boy with brown hair.
They trade some few and quick blows, Purple soon shows his individual superiority by cross countering the fellow reaver across the canton courtyard. Without a moment’s hesitation, he blasts himself to continue his offensive, if i stay away from one of them for too long, Ice and Green will attack me, and i need to deal with Brown quickly before he decides to use his power, Purple reviews the strategy in his mind.
A golden lightning strike hits him, the wave of electricity spreads across his whole body, temporarily paralyzing his muscles, Red and Blue were already on the move, closing in on him and unleashing a devastating barrage of punches, kicks, elbows and knees, Forcing Purple to use a fire blast to create distance between them.
Once he landed, he realized his mistake, a dart made of dark green liquid was piercing through his inner thigh. The magic holding it together dissolved and the liquid fell on the ground, looking in the direction it came from, Purple saw green recovering from a throwing position, now this complicates things.
“Where’s the archive room?” Dix said, holding her dagger to one of the runner boys she found crossing a hallway.
“L...l… last tower to the left of the entrance.” The boy said, tears forming in the edge of his eyes, “please, i hav--”
Dix pushed him to the side and began to run, the sound of alarm bells began to reverberate across the humongous building.
“That was slower than anticipated, i guess the initial chaos was more effective than we thought it would be.” A metal bird resting on Dix’s shoulder said to her.
“This would be easier if i infiltrated here alone.” Dix says to the bird.
“Buildings like this have really tight security.” The bird explains, “my masters told me most of them use some logic strings similar to what i used on Drakethorn, but they are able to--”
“Spare me the lecture, get to the point.”
“They are tracking your blood through the building.”
“Can’t i just pour a few drops on the ground to confuse them?”
“You can try, but if they are made with any sense of competence, the logical array will only track large concentrations of blood.” The bird explains.
“So how do i lose them?”
“You don’t. Either you’ll fight them to get them out of commission, or you’ll run faster than them, get what you need and flee.”
“I like the second option better.”
“Alright then. Turn left on the next hallway, they already began to move.”
“Didn’t show up yet. If Lord Alard becomes aware of exactly where you are, it’s over.”
Purple began to feel the faint wisps of fatigue rise from inside him, as the poison rushed through his veins. He moved away from an ice spike, dodged a lightning streak and countered a water projectile with his fire, wind twisted the steam and buffeted him in the face, Red closed in from behind and delivered a fire punch to his back, a man with silvery hair came from inside the steam mist and kicked Purple on the side of his face as he stumbled forward.
The two reavers ganged up on Purple as he did his best to defend himself, each hit and each block sapping away his strength, little by little. Red punched Purple to the silver haired reaver, he in turn kicked Purple back to her, she kicked Purple forward. The reaver with golden hair joined on the beatdown, grabbing Purple’s black cape, spinning him around and returning him to the other two.
Red added an explosion to the punch when her fist made contact with Purple’s face, which launched him back to the golden haired girl. She received him with both fists making contact with his torso and adding a lightning discharge.
This is bad, Purple thought, at this rate the poison won’t even have a chance to work, they will kill me first. The three kept their offensive, mixing fire, wind and lightning to keep him from counter attacking, the blue haired reaver joined, now they were four on one.
His vision began to darken, his body hurt all over, begging for him to give up, but he could feel the bloodlust coming from his opponents, there wasn’t such an option. This might get dangerous, but i have to do it. Purple’s blood began to boil in his veins, purifying the poison inside it.
The four reavers got pushed away by a wave pinkish purple fire, at the center of it, stood Purple, an aura of pink embers surrounding him. His eyes became more snake-like and his shadow increased in size and manifested eyes, not following the natural direction of light in the room, and shifting in forms that had no names, sometimes slipping into the third dimension and quickly going back.
“The eldritch eater finally decided to take us seriously, huh?” Red said, observing Purple from a distance, cold sweat evaporating from her face.
Dix could hear the deafened sound of the wispshapers that were chasing her through the hallways.
“Turn around, they are trying to ambush you ahead.”
She did as the bird commanded.
“Orim, we don’t have time to run aimlessly, find a route to the archives.” She says to the bird on her shoulder.
The ground shakes and a strong purple and pink light comes from the outside, she refuses to look, like how she’s been refusing until now, she knows that if she looks out the window her body will freeze with fear.
“Did you see that?” The bird asks Dix.
“Franklin fought that?”
“No, he used only regular fire.”
“Well, i figured he wasn’t on the same level as a reaver.”
“Orim!” Dix commands.
“Right, right, the route.”
Standing on the roof of one of the buildings in front of the Canton of peace, a bird on his shoulder simulating a farvoice for him to communicate with Dix. The other half dozen birds placed in strategic places suited for watching the windows, he shares his vision with them, allowing him to follow the movements of the three wispshapers that are currently chasing after Dix.
He guides her in ways that allow her to keep herself far away, another person was probably giving information of her current position to the wispshapers. After a few turns and some close calls, she arrives in the Archives room. The surrounding birds can’t see inside it, so he is left to follow only what the one on Dix’s shoulder is seeing and hearing.
“What now?” Dix asks the bird.
“I don’t know, look for it.”
The sound of someone clapping echoes in the large room devoid of people. The door to a room atop a small flight of stairs opens and from there comes a man wearing a long coat, light brown in color, reaching down to his knees. He is wearing a hat the same color of his coat and has a pair of daggers strapped to his right thigh.
“Hi Dix.” Says he.
The three wispshapers barge into the room, and prepare to attack Dix.
Fire, water, wind and lightning rage across the courtyard to clash against the pinkish purple fire. Ice spikes and tree roots crawl on the ground, trying to pierce and snare, only to be melted and burned. A poison spear flew in Purple’s direction, the reaver waved his hand and vaporized it with a wave of fire.
Mustn’t… give… in, Purple thought, struggling against the mental reins of his mind, fighting the bloodlust that was trying to lash out. A sequence of past events and words crossed his mind as vivid as when he was there to experience them, every word of abuse from his master and his fellow reavers, every time people kicked him out of establishments or refused to speak to him. His father getting brutally slaughtered in front of him.
Purple felt a presence behind him, his body moved on it’s own, sending a wave of fire to attack whoever was unfortunate enough to get close.
Fifth: Franklin will keep Alard busy while Dix gets the information needed.
Franklin jumps over the wave of fire, blue electric sparks surrounding him, creating a trail as he moves in between the reavers. The Wind's Swiftness glowing with an orange light at the edge of the feather-like scales, similar to that of hot metal.
The attention temporarily shifts to him, he does a flip over an ice spike and jumps in between two tree roots that try to snare him. Before any of the others has a chance to move against him, Franklin soulsteps upward, towards the window of the library.
Lightning wisps were rare in Lotian, the absence of rain across most of the city made it difficult to find them, the best place was during the periodic storms in North Whisper. Despite the power it offered, lightning shaping offered a great challenge when it came to long distance combat, the air offered too much resistance, with his current power, Franklin could only manage to propel a lightning bolt a consistent two meter away from him without straining his bond too much.
But right now, that was all he needed, as Franklin approached the steel barred windows, he focussed the energy between his two hands. Covering yourself in metal and stone won’t keep me away from you, Franklin thought. Moving his hand forward, he pushed the concentrated energy to the window, it exploded in electricity, vaporizing and melting the majority of the window, the rest exploding in tiny pieces of hot steel, Franklin landed in front of Lord Alard.
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