The Master and The Slave
The stern Xintari woman brought the three outsiders into a rectangle-shaped cave entrance. It appears that the entrance is not naturally formed by nature, and the wall of the cave is perfectly smooth without a single scratch or roughness to it. Neya marvel at the otherworldly architecture.
The torches hanging on the wall struggle to light up the long dark hallway. As they walk deeper into the cave, chisel drawings of an Elven woman can be seen on the wall alongside a familiar tree. Upon closer inspection, Neya realizes that the drawings are about Yana and it is trying to tell a story, but she couldn't manage to interpret it correctly.
Because it is not just Yana drawing on the wall, there is also another humanoid figure in the drawing. The figure is like nothing that she has ever seen before because this figure has no feature on his face or what so ever except for its humanoid shaped body.
Neya's gaze fall onto the Xintari woman that is walking in front of her, "Excuse me, I don't want to bother you, but can you tell us about the drawing on the wall?"
"A thief, interest in the world history?" Sarcasm escaped the Xintari lips.
"World history? Wait, why do you call me a thief?" Neya ask.
"Did you forget?" The Xintari woman let out a sigh, "You are the one who stole the Kcol that my people have been guarding for over a thousand years."
"What? I didn't steal anything," Neya said confused by the statement.
"A liar and a thief, why am I not surprised," The Xintari said.
"I'm not a liar, I have never been here before," Neya raised her voice causing the Xintari to stop on her tracks and turn around.
She takes a step closer to the elf girl, but stop when two of her friends stand in the middle of her and the girl. The Xintari sniff her nose and really take a look at the girl, "Hmm, it seems that you are correct, interesting. You had the smell of the thief, but your appearance is not the same as him."
She turns her body around and continues walking forward into the hallway. Neya continues following her while confused by the strange behavior that was shown by the Xintari.
"What do you mean by I have the same smell as the thief, and where are you taking us?" Neya ask.
"There was an elf, who came here many years before. We gladly open our homes to him, thinking it might be a good way to strengthen the relationship of our two races, trying to change, trying to share our culture and history to the world, but the elf doesn't care about any of that. He was strangely obsessed with the Kcol that my people guard," The Xintari said then stops when they reach a massive open room with tall ceiling and a massive minimalist stone throne at the far end of the room; too big for anyone to sit in.
"What is the Kcol?" Neya ask.
The Xintari woman took one of the torches hanging on the wall and light up an engraving of a metal cube with interlocking gears inside of it. "This is the Kcol!" The Xintari announce.
Neya eyes widen when she remembers the cube, it was the artifact that her mother wanted to use as a weapon, but the artifact didn't do anything except for becoming the brightest torch ever.
"The same smell... The thief, it was my father... The Kcol is the cube that I unlock. I open it and release Yana. Oh no..." Neya said, but when she turns her body around to look at the Xintari woman and her friends. She realizes that they are frozen in place after she waves her hand in front of them, even the two guards are frozen in place.
Even the flame from the torch are frozen in place, unmoving and beautifully stop. She moves her hand over the flame and felt nothing, no heat what so ever. She looks around her and stops when she saw the same humanoid featureless figure that was in the drawings is currently sitting on the throne that fit perfectly for him.
That massive being was never there before.
Neya is amazed by the being because his body is made out of the night sky, literally. Twinkling stars and moon can be seen on its body, decorating every inch of its body. There something else she felt beside amazement, a sense of familiarity like she has seen this being before, but she could never remember when.
"Who... are you?" Neya ask.
The being leans its body forward from its sitting position, and slightly tilt its head to the right, curious of the mortal beneath him. Then it starts to stand up and shrinks down its size at the same moment. Its body slowly morphing into voluptuous, naked, elf woman with long golden hair and glowing bright eyes. Neya gulp her own saliva and her cheek grow red as she saw the newly morph elf woman walking up to her with a beautiful smile.
"My name is Oanis," The being said with a softest and gentle voice.
"Why do I feel like I know you?" Neya ask.
"It's because every soul living here has met me before they were born," Oanis said then she looks at the engraving.
"Are you, Yana sister?" Neya ask.
Oanis let out a small laugh as she felt amused by the questions, "Thank you for the compliment, but I'm not her sister, I'm more of her mother."
"You create Yana?" Neya ask.
"And the entire world, every plant, every beast, every animal and every race except for humans," Oanis answers.
"Except for Human?" Neya let out.
"It's a long story, I don't think we have the time to talk about it. So you're the one who unlocked the Kcol?" Oanis said.
The woman accusation suddenly caused an absolute fear to arise in Neya's hearts, her words felt like a mother trying to scold her own daughter. She replies "I don't know, it wasn't my intention to open it. I'm sorry."
"It wasn't your fault, I know. But I wish you would never open it," Oanis said as she let out a sigh.
"I don't understand," Neya said.
"The Kcol is a device that prison Yana in the mirror realm separates from here," Oanis said.
"Why do you keep Yana in that realm?" Neya ask.
"Because she was volatile. Before all of you come to exist in this realm, Yana was the first free-thinking creature that I create for this world. She was strong as she were able to pull the Mana from the world using her tree, she easily survives this realm alongside the beast of this world. I love her like a daughter, but one day I had to left her here, beings like me have rules, and one them prevent me from staying here too long," Oanis said.
"So I left without saying goodbye because it was too hard for me to do, but it was one of my deepest regret and mistake because I had caused her to think that she was abandoned, and as time went by, her hatred for me grew," Oanis said while a single tear run down her cheek, Neya somehow could feel the sad emotion coming off from the being.
"I try to talk to her, calm her down, but she couldn't see reason. So she tries to suck the world dry of its Mana and use it to strike me. But sucking the world of its Mana will destroy it. I had to stop her, so I prison her into the mirror realm using the Kcol that I created," Oanis continues.
"Why don't you end her? I mean you're a literal god, the creator of this world," Neya ask.
"Because I love her. However, there is truth in your word, action must be taken, she must be stopped," Oanis said then she turns her body to face the elf girl.
"But, I will need your help, brave mortal," Oanis said.
"Me?" Neya ask.
"Yes, I see strength in you," Oanis said.
"I can't fight a god, I already lost someone to her, I'm not going to lost any more people to her," Neya said as she took a step back.
"If you don't do this, the entire world will be destroyed by her," Oanis said.
"Damn it... If I do this, can you bring back someone for me?" Neya ask.
"I know what you are thinking, but I can't bring back someone who is dead. Like I said before there are rules to being as powerful as I am," Oanis said.
Neya glance behind her to her friends then she turns her gaze back at the being in front of her and said, "What do I have to do?"
Out of nowhere a pendant with a tree etching on it appears on the elf woman hands, she floats it toward Neya and said, "You have to touch this pendant with Yana's body, it will cut off her connection to the tree and I will do the rest."
Neya took the pendant into her hands and said "I think I can do it, but how do I get there in time? I'm on an island that separated by a sea, I don't think I will be able to get there before she sucks the world dry of its Mana."
Neya blinks her eyes, and it is meet with the clear night sky instead of a stone ceiling. She notices that healers are running around her and toward the injured knights that are laying on the grass while carrying potions bags. When she looked up at the flag post, she notices the Targia flag is being blown by the wind. She turns around, seeing Vel and Vizrez in a state of confusion.
She raises her hand and saw the pendant, confirming what just happens earlier. She then stores it inside one of her pockets.
"What in the name of. How do we even get here?" Vizrez let out.
"Strange." Vel comments.
Suddenly, a very familiar voice greets her, "Neya, it's you. We have been searching for you!! I heard what happen, I couldn't believe it myself," Lilia called out while wearing a healer robe, the green haired girl runs to her, and embraces her in a warm hug.
"So do I, But don't worry, I'm fine. Where are Digia and the others?" Neya ask while Lilia let her go.
"They all are aboard the Windcutter and searching for you at the battlefield," Lilia said.
"Call them back, we have a job to do. Where is the Prince?" Neya ask.
"He is...in the meeting tent with the Queen of Weyshers," Lilia said, her eyes glance at the large tent in the middle of the field guarded by both Targia's and Weyshers's knights.
"Vizrez, Vel! Lets us go have a talk with the leader of the elven kingdom," Neya said.
The cyclops women look at the Woodfolk boy with both eyebrows raised, and Vel replied by shrugging his shoulders. Neya starts marching toward the tents with both eyebrow furrow while Vel and Vizrez quickly jog after her. The determine elf girl was about to enter the tent when she was stopped by a knight, she glares at the knight and said.
"If you don't let me in right now, I'm going to have my friend here jam your helmet up to your butt," Neya threaten the knight while gesturing to Vizrez beside her that is currently cracking her knuckles with a giant smile on her face.
The knight's eyes widen under the helmet, his voice shaken as he said, "I'm. I'm sorry, but it's the King order."
"Then I'm sorry for doing this, Vizrez!" The cyclops woman lifts the knight up into the air and tosses him to the side which causes the entire knights surrounding the tent to engage her into a fistfight.
Neya used the confusion to enter the tent along with Vel, upon entering the tent she hears an argument between four people.
"Unless you retract that new law, we will never join forces with you. Goodbye, Sir." The two live illusion of the leader of Rochia and Pignaria disappear back into the orb.
"Wait!" Ariamnes called out.
"I already told you, King Ariamnes. They will never join you, they are too stubborn to change," The woman voice sends a chill running down Neya's spine as she recognizes who voice it is.
Prince Ariamnes turns around and notices the elf girl standing near the entrance. Their gaze met, and a smile form on the prince's face as he saw her. However, when her gaze met with her mother, there is a clear storm between the two of them.
"Neya... I'm glad you made it, safe and sound. I heard what happens, that fool, he should have let me help him," Ariamnes said while grief wanders inside his eyes.
"He certainly a lovable idiot, but I'm not here to grieve. I have information about the Yana the goddess, she is trying to suck the world dry of its Mana, and I have a way to stop her," Neya said.
"Without Mana left in the world, who knows what will happen, but I don't have the manpower to help you except if Weyshers willing to joins us in the fight?" Prince Ariamnes said as his eyes dart to Queen Lucilla.
Queen Lucilla gaze move from Ariamnes to Neya and back to the Prince.
"No," Lucilla answers nonchalantly.
"What do you mean no? Didn't you hear what I just said? The world is ending," Neya said, perplex by Lucilla answer.
"How do I know that you are telling the truth, and this is not just a revenge plot after you lose that human of your," Lucilla said.
Neya almost rages out after her mother mock Nesto death, but she manages to calm down before her own anger took over. "One of the things, I learn from my human is too not waste my life chasing after revenge."
The queen sees the sincerity of her daughter words and lets out a small smile, "Still, I have lost enough men for this war, and I'm not going to lose anymore."
Ariamnes let out a chuckle, "Come on, Lucilla, I know you want something from me. If you are truly against this fight, you would already leave this tent."
"Nice observation, King. I want half of your kingdom resource and expert men to help stabilize my own kingdom. That is all I need," Queen Lucilla laid out her demands.
"Half?" Neya said surprised by the overwhelming demand of her mother.
But Ariamnes only let out an amused smile, before saying " Half... Interesting, it can certainly be done, but only if you would ally yourself with my kingdom and implement the new law in your kingdom."
"Then, my army is yours to command, my new friend," Queen Lucilla had a grin on her face as both of their gazes met.