Chapter 26:

Exploring the City of Quenth 4

The Nonpareil of Resh (Act 1)

Fiona appeared outside one of the castle's windows in a flash of red light. She was a story high over the main drawbridge that connected the castle to the rest of the city. As she fell near the ground, the princess started a flip that turned into a somersault which broke her fall. From her roll, she stood back up and started to sprint into Quenth.

"Lady Fiona!" Some guards yelled as they pushed the window open. She ignored them as she ran. "Just don't get into any trouble!" the guards added, having thoroughly given up on the chase. They began to walk back into the castle with their heads slumped.

Fiona did not hear what the guards yelled at the end and kept running. The bridge she ran across was the largest in Quenth. It had large swirling pillars that decorated the ends but still looked typical of any other bridge. It would split apart in the center, and both halves would retract to their respective sides. The feature would connect the castle, which was alone in the center of one of the waterways. The bridge in time had become known as Lover's bridge. The name started due to many relationships coming together at the spot, but later the name became satirical when relationships breaking apart became the norm.

Fiona did not stop her sprint as she reached the end of Lover's bridge. She instead locked onto a building and disappeared in a blue flash, only to reappear on the building's top. She similarly teleported across several buildings, and the castle was far behind her in no time at all.

When she felt she had gotten far enough away, Fiona finally stopped and sat down at the top of the building that she currently stood on. Her feet dangled over the edge as she looked down at the busy city. All the while, she worked to steady her breath that was short after the sprint away from the castle.

You're overtaxing yourself, be mindful of how your abilities drain your stamina, Sun warned, but Fiona ignored its comments as she put a hand over her eyes, like a visor, and looked all around the city.

Her eyes eventually locked on an odd pair of a Netzian and Hobusian walking through the city. She pulled out her spyglass and aimed it at the duo, only to drop it when she realized who they were. In hindsight, Fiona figured she should have expected as much. She barely caught the spyglass before it fell off the building on the street below.

"What are those two doing in the city," Fiona asked herself as she aimed the spyglass back at the duo.

You can ask them. Sun chimed in.

Fiona hummed to herself as she thought about it. In the end, she realized she was overthinking and let it slide with a shrug. She easily locked in on the duo and appeared behind them in a blue flash.

"Odell!" She said happily to great the Hobusian in front of her. He jumped slightly at the sound of his name but turned around with Gwyn to great the Aqueenian princess.

"Ah, Princess Fiona... what brings you out here?" Odell asked.

"Chased out of the castle again, what about you?"

"Ran away from Cecilia again."

"I think she would chill out a little if you married her already," Fiona commented in a laughing tone.

"She has a point," Gwyn added as he jumped into the conversation, "At the very least, please leave me out of future chases."

Odell frowned as he tried to formulate a response. Fiona looked away from Gwyn. She hadn't given him much of a thought since the coliseum. Now she wasn't sure what to say to him.

While everyone tried to think of the next thing to say, Mem popped off Gwyn's right arm and rested on his shoulder.

"You're that Aqueenian that tried to help us escape!" it yelled out. Several Aqueenians passing by turned to see the Needaimus yelling then began to whisper among themselves as they continued walking.

Fiona's mouth was agape, and Odell was pulled out of his thoughts at the shock.

Gwyn was staring at his right hand and slowly opening and closing it while Mem spoke.

"I never saw you come to the room while Gwyn was asleep!" Mem continued.

"Gwyn shut it up!" Odell said in a not-so-hushed whisper.

Gwyn only answered the Hobusian with a look of confusion.

"Wha?" he asked.

"It's taboo for a Needaimus to talk to other people than their partner!" Odell explained.

Odell looked at the mechanical-shaped dragon on his shoulder; Mem looked back at him.

"What can I say? I like to talk!" Mem said with what looked like a shrug.

"Fair enough." Gwyn just shrugged; he didn't see any issue with it.

Odell and Fiona exchanged a glance and sighed in unison.

At the same time, the Needaimus on Fiona's arm and Odell's arm both popped off. Each jumped off their partner so they could deliver a blow to Mem's head. They smacked the draconic Needaimus and gracefully landed on the ground without making a sound. Mem was not so lucky as it fell off Gwyn's shoulder and hit the ground with a solid thud.

Fiona's Needaimus was called Impression Sunrise. It was yellow. When detached from her arm resembled something with the body of a bull and the head of a snake.

Odell's Needaimus was called Calaba Jester. It was green. When detached from his arm resembled a dog with large, round legs and a small head. The snout barred large saber-tooth fangs.

Both Needaimus jumped high in the air to connect with their respective partner's arms. Mem followed suit without any protest. After a moment of silence from the trio, Gwyn finally spoke up.

"Well, let's not wait any longer. We should go see some history!"

"Is that what you were doing here?" Fiona asked.

"What else would we go to a museum to do?" Odell asked.

Fiona shrugged off Odell's comments.

"All right then, well then have a good time, I suppose," she turned away and began to walk away.

"Wait, why don't you join us!" Gwyn yelled from the top of the museum's stairs; the other two had remained at the bottom. Fiona looked around as she tried to think of an excuse to decline.

"Why not? I'm sure they haven't given you anything to do for conference preparation," Odell added.

Fiona sighed and nodded in agreement. She joined Odell in the ascent up the stairs.