Chapter 20:

Exploring the City of Quenth 1

The Nonpareil of Resh (Act 1)

The door to Gwyn's room slid open, and he peaked out, so only his head was exposed. He looked to the left of the door and then to the right. The hallway was empty.

"Is this necessary?" he asked Mem as he took cautious steps outside of the room.

"Did you not forget the battle with the beast you just had? For all, we know that king has an assassin in waiting to finish us off!" Mem cried out from atop Gwyn's shoulder.

Gwyn wasn't sure if Mem was right, but he figured he didn't have to take any chances as well.

"So where are we going?" he asked as he picked a direction and began to walk down the hallway.

"To see the city! Quenth happens to be one of the six great capital cities on Resh. There should be many sights to see!"

Gwyn's head hung slightly as he walked.

"So, you just want to sightsee?"

"Of course! I've been on the run so long that I thought I would never get this chance!"

"Weren't you worried about the king earlier? Why is walking around in the city less concerning?" Gwyn asked with a blank expression.

"Tsk, Tsk, partner, you have no idea how famous we have become while you were asleep! Out in public might be the safest place for us! We can't get assassinated while in a crowd."

"I'm pretty sure we can, but I'll just go along with your plan." Gwyn didn't want to admit it, but he was curious to explore the alien city properly.

The duo turned a corner and became face to face with Colton. He had a tray with some food in his hands and a surprised expression on his emerald face.

"Quick Partner, run!" Gwyn immediately turned away from the Aqueenian soldier and broke out into a sprint in the other direction. Colton took off after them, with the tray still in hand.

"Hold on, you two!" he cried as the distance between him and Gwyn slowly grew.

"Why are we running?" Gwyn finally asked as he quickly maneuvered around a sharp corner.

"You two can't go out without an escort!" Colton cried out from behind him. He was starting to pant as he fell behind.

"We don't need an escort that works for the king!" Mem yelled back to the soldier.

"I think I'm starting to see why they wanted to execute you.," Gwyn sighed as he turned another corner.

"Quick partner, we can hide in an empty room!"

Gwyn rounded another corner and slid into the first room that he could see. The door took a moment to slide open and shut, but he had gotten enough distance from Colton that the soldier had not seen where he went. Colton ended up running past the door as Gwyn let out a breath and sat with his back pressed against the wall. He let his head hang down as he tried to catch his breath.

The room was much like the one he had left earlier, except the lights were off as it was unoccupied. Gwyn caught his breath and looked up and forward. He simply stared as another person had also taken refuge in the room.

A Hobusian sat with his back against the wall. Gwyn did not recognize the species, so he stared in shock. He had grey skin and yellow eyes. His clothes were green and looked like they were made from wool or something that closely resembled it. Both arms were longer than humans were, and the right arm had a Needaimus already bonded to it.

On his forehead, stretching above his hair was an ornate bony structure. It resembled a flame and had a golden tone to it that contrasted his grey skin. This was known as the Hobusian crown, a feature all members had that was unique to each individual.

The Hobusian, Odell, had come to meet Gwyn, and he stared back in equal surprise.

"Hello... do... you... understand me?" Odell asked slowly.

Gwyn nodded.

"Great! I'd like to introduce myself properly, but we need to stay quiet for now!"

"Are you a type of Aqueenian?" Gwyn asked.

"Wha- no way in kolas, figures they wouldn't tell you anything... wait... shhh, she might hear us." Odell tied to make sure Gwyn was quiet, but he was the louder of the two of them.

Gwyn opened his mouth to say something but was immediately interrupted.

"Oo-d-eee-ll," A voice echoed throughout the room. It reminded Gwyn of the way a ghost might moan.

Sure enough, the face of a girl phased through the wall. She had popped out from close the ceiling as if she had floated through. Cecilia, one of the Hobusians that came with Odell, looked down at the two sitting in the room. They both screamed, though for entirely different reasons.

Neither of the two wasted any time getting out of the room. Odell didn't even bother waiting for the door to slide open. He kicked his way through it and began to barrel down the hallway. Gwyn was close behind.

"Wait, Odell, marry me!" Cecilia yelled as she finished phasing through the wall. She floated after the two as they ran.

"I think she's talking to you!" Gwyn yelled to Odell.

"I'm not marrying you!" Odell yelled back.

"Who is she?" Gwyn asked.

"My fiancé, though it was arranged!" The duo turned a corner and found themselves running past Colton, standing still and looking around the area. After they ran past him, he continued his chase by running alongside the floating Cecilia.

"It may be arranged, but I love you! If you don't love me back, I'll have to kill you and then myself!" Cecilia yelled at the duo in a manner that would have been fitting in a metal song.

"Nonpareil, sir, we really shouldn't be getting involved in Hobusian political matters like this!" Colton also cried out.

"Nonpareil, what can your Needaimus do?" Odell yelled to Gwyn. They turned around another corner and almost crashed into some nurses having a casual conversation as they ran through. The nurses yelled profanities at the duo as they ran. "Hey, I'm talking to you!" Odell yelled.

"What? Me? Um, I can make things liquid, but only at a small point right now! It won't help us right now...."

"We will have just to outrun our pursuers then!" Odell said in a bold voice.

"You know, I think this wouldn't be an issue if you just married her...." Gwyn said in a distant tone.

"Hahaha, never!" Odell boldly yelled as they continued running down the hallway.

"We are getting close to the entrance; if we can get out in the city, we can probably lose them!" Mem shouted from Gwyn's shoulder.

"You're not helping at all, Mem," Gwyn shouted at the Needaimus.

"The entrance is still too far away, but I know another way out. Nonpareil, can you swim?"

"Yes, and just call me Gwyn!"

"Well then, Gwyn, follow me!" The duo exited the hallway into a large open area. There were a series of staircases going down to the main lobby and a series of stairs going up to other floors. Odell did not go down a staircase but instead began to run around the balcony and straight to the giant glass wall that connected from the ground floor to the ceiling.

"Hold on; I don't like where this is going!" Gwyn shouted as he ran alongside Odell.

"It's too late to back down now, my friend!" Odell shouted. He put his long arms in front of his face and crashed through the window. Gwyn followed behind and leaped in the air. As they fell, Mem climbed from Gwyn's shoulder to the middle of his right arm. In no time at all, The Needaimus was wrapped around Gwyn's arm.

They plunged into a rushing river at the base of the building.

Odell was the first back above the water's surface; he treaded the water and let the current carry him while looking back up to the broken window where the pursuers continued standing. Cecilia was letting out a guttural scream while Colton was panicking that he might be fired.

"So long, Cecelia! I'll never marry you!" Odell shouted as Gwyn came up above the water as well.

"Sorry, Colton!" Gwyn shouted as well.

The current swept the two off into the city.