The Sorceress War Part I, Chapter XVI
AN: The character names?
I made them up mostly. Hmm, let's see now.. well, Raine, Julia, and Edea
were obviously Square's so no altering there. When the story is over, I'm
adding an author's comments chapter to explain a lot of things, so look there for
more details than this.
Raine couldn't open her eyes at first, but instantly felt herself bonded with her hands tied behind her back. Her feet were loose, but she was afraid she would have hard time getting up due to the powerful headache she had from the rifle wounds. She was lying face down, as her forehead was pressed against cool steel. She felt as if she had some sort of a hangover, because of the pains in her head and eyes. Slowly opening her eyes, despite the pain of her head, she looked around.
The first thing she saw was Celeste, only about two meters away from her. She was bound in the same fashion as Raine was, but the whip user was still unconscious. Lancer seemed to be behind her, but his icy gaze met hers. He was looking around in wonder, as he had just woken up as well. How those two had got here, Raine had no clue. To her other side lay Epsilon, who also was unconscious. There was a large red gash on the top of his forehead as well. Hopefully, it wouldn't leave a scar.
All of them seemed to be in a large dark room, devoid of any other life. Windows were in the farthest wall, in front of a large throne like chair. The windows were beautiful, or at least in Raine's opinion. They were stained glass, and each depicted a sort of battle scene or hero. She could identify a few legendary figures from the Centran Wars, but the rest were unknown. Many included figures of humans with angel-like wings. She would have liked to see them in the daylight, with the sun streaming through them, but it was still night.
She groaned as she tried to sit upright, as did Lancer. She was afraid to move her head due to it's pain. She felt as if she was going to die or her head would burst apart if she did so. After much struggling, she and the mage were able to get upright, and take a more thorough look around. Large twin oak doors were behind them, but they were bolted shut. There appeared to be no way out.
Raine, despite the bonds, was able to reach down to her spare comm. link and pushed the distress button. That would signal that the four of them were in trouble, and tell Edea to move in and rescue them. Hopefully the sorceress had kept the link with her, and was already assembling the team together. She hastily looked for their weapons, but found none. They had already been seized and taken from them.
"Are you looking for this, perchance?" Came a stern male voice from the throne. There sat a red headed man, though the seat had been vacant only moments before. In his hands rested Raine's katana. The rest of the weapons now hung against the wall behind the throne, high up and nearly out of reach.
He was dressed in black leather armor, though across his shoulders and down his back was a red cape. A large sword of unique design hung at his waist, the same on he had used in Esthar long before. The hilt was green and a small but efficient hand guard curved from the top of the hilt to the bottom of the grip. It was shaped oddly yet gracefully, for several elegant long curves were in it. It finished off at a point, and every so often there was a large tooth at the top of each curve. He stood up and glared down at Raine with his yellow eyes.
"Virados..." Raine stated dryly. She fought with most of her strength to talk and keep her knees from buckling all together.
He nodded and smiled elegantly. Bowing gracefully, his red hair falling in front of him as he did so, he spoke in some foreign tongue. As he did so, a faint glow surrounded Epsilon and Celeste. The two fallen soldiers slowly woke and glanced around nervously. They suddenly levitated up and landed on their feet. He flashed them a toothy grin and spoke again.
"Well, so nice of the two of you to wake up. Welcome to my chambers." He began. "I am Virados Nomair. I suppose you have orders to kill me, correct? No matter, you couldn't do so if you had the chance."
"Hmm, you seem confidant." Epsilon commented, smirking at the man before the group.
"Not confidant, only logical. It is a fact. I am at a much higher level than you people." He replied hotly, sending a glare in Epsilon's direction. Virados slowly descended down the steps that led to the throne, approaching them even further.
"Well, well..." Virados began to say, looking at each one of them. "... Galbadia decided to make the first move against us after all. I knew that the barbarians couldn't hold themselves back long. They don't know what they're in for."
"Barbarians?!" Celeste demanded angrily. "We're not the barbarians! Your country allied with Esthar, you knew what you were getting into by doing so! Beside, Helios is more violent than any other country. You claim us to be the barbarians?!"
Virados chuckled a bit at that comment. "Helios was only trading partners with Esthar... until now."
"That's a lie!" Raine interrupted, "I overheard Adel state how you were going to ally with them in the war! Don't deny it you bastard!"
"True, true. But can anyone actually prove that? No, I don't think so. We swear our neutrality to the Western Empires. However, now that Galbadia has decided to send in a military unit, especially one to kill me, I fell there is a need to... oh, stop the problem before Helios sees the worst end of it." Virados replied, standing dangerously close to Raine.
After hearing no arguments, he continued. "Any military involvement in our country is considered aggression. Any aggression against us, is more or less war. Therefore, since Galbadia decided to assault us," He paused to laugh, "we have no choice but to counter. I have just declared a state of war against the Western Empires."
"What?!" Lancer couldn't help but outburst. So now it's inevitable. I felt early on that Helios would somehow meddle into this war and cause nothing but destruction for Galbadia and her allies.
"That is all you three need to know." Virados said, looking at everyone aside from Raine. "Guards! Escort these three people to the jail cells. You can leave Miss Leonhart to me, however. I have something left to discuss with her, and her alone."
The two guards who had stood outside of the doors opened them, and entered the room. Grabbing Celeste and Lancer by the hair, they dragged them off to another part of the base. A third came in for Epsilon, who received a swift kick in the stomach. The third took him away as well. The sniper casted a helpless look back at Raine before the doors shut again. When Raine turned back around, it was just her and Virados.
There was a moment of silence between the two of them after that. They stared each other down, evaluating the other's strength and power. To break the awkward silence, Raine decided to let sarcastic remark drop. "Aren't you a little young to be shooting for world domination? What are you -- twenty-three? twenty-four?"
"Twenty-six. Remember, I was thirteen during the destruction of Caran?" Virados replied, stepping back in front of her, hand on the hilt of his sword.
Raine's eyes darkened at that comment. "Which, by the way, I haven't forgotten. Despite how young I was when it happened. You're just lucky I've been bonded, or else you would be keeled over on the floor with pain right now."
He laughed at her. "Yes, I'm sure. What a funny twist of fate. You are ordered to kill the Shaduna, and yet she comes to you instead. You'd be dead now if you were still my primary target. However, I have a new objective this time."
"So I am the Shaduna. You mind elaborating a bit on that fact, I'm still a little fuzzy on the subject."
"You still don't know what you are?" He said, looking at her in astonishment. He scoffed and continued. "Well, I guess I won't have to worry about growing powers or anything. You do seem a bit green, despite what you did to one of my Orcs back there."
"Can I ask just one thing?" Raine interrupted. "Why-- exactly-- did you destroy Caran. All those innocent people died because of you! Do have any idea what it's like to see you're family killed in front of you?! Or to go through so much hell afterwards?!"
He looked into her eyes and smiled. "Oh, sorry, did I hurt you by doing that? The reason I destroyed the city in the first place is because they didn't tell me where you were, my dear Raine. How does it feel to know that you are the reason that your homeland was destroyed?"
She shut her eyes and gritted her teeth as he said that. "Shut up."
"I suppose you would like me to tell you what you are, correct?" Virados said, crossing his arms and staring at her. After a few moments, she nodded slowly. He chuckled to himself and looked up to the ceiling. "Very well, I will at least grant you that...."
There was a loud beeping sound near Edea. After being jolted out of her slight nap by the noise, she frantically searched for the cause of her awakening. Looking around, she spotted the comm. link near her arm. Grabbing in, she checked the side. Raine wasn't calling, the light wasn't on. However, the second blue light was lit near the bottom. It took her a moment to realize what it was, and then began to panic.
"Oh my Hyne!" she shouted, a little too loudly for the others tastes.
Julia looked over with an annoyed expression. "What's the matter? Did you break a nail or something?"
Lilliana reached over and took the communicator from Edea. After looking at it for a moment, she grew a shocked expression. She tossed it back to Edea, and looked the others. "Hey, pay attention! Raine and the others must be stuck, because she set off the distress signal!"
Julia, who had the second highest rank out of the unit, took charge. "Get your equipment together on the double! We're gonna break into the base as bust Raine out of there! Prep yourselves quick, okay?!"
They all turned to their equipment and began to assemble and ready their weaponry. This was the last thing any of them had expected at all. Celeste and Raine were both experts with infiltration, and the other two were at least fair. Because of this, most had left their equipment in disarray, thinking they couldn't possibly need it no matter what happened inside the base. Nothing like this had happened before, or at least not recently, and they were a bit worried about making a rescue mission. They didn't even know where the other four were!
Andraia was starting to panic as well. She had slung the twin handguns she brought over her waist and strapped her nunchakus into their holder along her thigh. "I can't believe this happened! Raine and Celeste are supposed to be really, really good at this kind of stuff!"
"Okay, we can't sneak in six people without tripping off some alarm, so guess what we're gonna do?" Julia asked, a smile coming to her face after she slung her staff onto it's holster on her back.
Edea groaned, "Oh, we're going to storm in and shoot the living daylights out of everything in site, right? Celeste and Raine would puke if they heard that plan, they'll kick your butt if you don't get killed."
Julia shrugged, "How am I supposed to sneak six people in? I can sneak around with just me, and knowing me, I'll end up blowing up everything anyways. Besides, with all of us, I think we can handle it!"
Okay, I think that I'm ready. Julia thought. Let's see, I've got: four grenades, my staff, my trusty grenade launcher with plenty of ammo. A... cherry bomb? Heh... that's for Reinhart when we get back.
"Okay, are you guys ready?!" She shouted out to the others. After receiving a hearty reply of shouts and agreements, she continued. "Let's go bust the boss out of there!"
(This next part may be a little boring, but it is needed for you to learn what Raine is, and helps grasp what the whole series, not just book 1, is about.)
Virados crossed his arms and looked at Raine with an amused expression. "I still can't believe you haven't heard of the Shaduna before. Goes to show that the Centrans can't keep a fact straight at all. It's not even a legend?"
"Are you going to tell me what it is, or do I have to whine?" Raine asked with a smirk.
Virados rolled his eyes and sat down at the throne before her. "All right, I'll tell you what it is. Don't go into to shock or anything, it takes time for medics to get up here, and I don't truly care if you die or not."
He cleared his throat for a moment and began the telling.
"The Shaduna is one of two. The Tyraduna and the Shaduna make up two parts of a whole. In the eldest of Mysidian legends, Hyne was not the only god. The two creators of the universe, Shajuk and Tyran, created lesser gods to give life to the barren planets and moons. Hyne was one of these lesser gods. However, he was unlike the others. He desired nothing but destruction and suffering. He eliminated other civilizations, and caused much havoc between him and the other lesser gods. One day, Shajuk and Tyran had enough of his ways. They stripped him of his invincibility and banished him to a planet that was far from the center of the universe. Terra.
"Here, he learned he could feel pain, but was ageless. He still had most of his godly powers, therefore he created life on Terra. Eventually, his thoughts turned to revenge. He created two races, one to be his soldiers, the other to be his slaves. On the Southern Island of the Southernmost continent, Centra, he created the first race. The Centrans couldn't use any magic or the like, and he used them to construct palaces and cities in his honor. For his warriors, he used the Northern Island, known then as Mysidia. These Mysidians were magic users, and he gave them angelic wings to travel quickly from place to place. They had a gift with nature, able to connect with animals and beasts well.
"One day, not long after the Mysidian founder Frionel Darknight united the several clans on the North Island, he saw Hyne as a threat, and not a father figure. He could see through his evil ways, and learned of his attempt to destroy Shajuk and Tyran. He kept silent however, and let the Mysidian Empire flourish and grow, until it was stronger than the Centran Alliance.
"A few centuries later, a descendant of Frionel finally declared independence from Hyne. He, angered by the Mysidian's seditious acts, declared war. Thus began the Centran Wars, the most bloody war the planet had ever seen. During the wars however, both Hyne and the Darknight family noticed strange beings. These were two people, per generation, who could summon immense strength into battle. They were identified with either blue or red energy, a cross on their left arm, and eyes that began to glow the same color when they used their powers in battle. These were the Tyraduna and Shaduna.
"Shajuk and Tyran had learned of Hyne's ways on Terra, and allowed a fraction of their power to go into two people. They had hoped that since Hyne no longer had his invincibility, he could be destroyed by one of them. As you probably know already, 'duna' is the Mysidian word for knight. Shaduna, the knight of Shajuk, and Tyraduna is the knight of Tyran. The two gods had more pressing matters to attend to, so they made sure that someone on Terra had the strength to stand up to Hyne. If they were slain, the powers passed on, much like a sorceress' does. But the Dunas are far stronger than any sorceress could dream."
Raine took a moment to digest all of that information. The story he had just told her was definitely Mysidian, since more often than not, they had believed Hyne was evil instead of good. True, most Mysidian mythology had been lost to time, but one this ancient had never been kept by Centran philosophers. Most believers of Hyne had destroyed such texts, thinking it was pure blasphemy.
"Are you telling me I'm some sort of 'God Knight?' Please, my friends make up better stories to get out of trouble. Why should I believe you?"
Virados laughed and hopped down from his throne. Walking towards her, he smiled. "Why wouldn't you believe me, Raine? The facts from the legend are all present within you, correct? Your eyes turn a unnatural blue color when you have adrenaline in you. You can call on powers beyond normal existence, and the most stunning thing of all.."
He grabbed her coat collar and dragged it down so that her arm was visible down to her shoulders. He pointed to the cross on her left arm. "...the Shaduna birthmark. It appears not long after the Shaduna comes of age, so to speak. You are this being Raine, you shouldn't deny it."
Raine kept silent, think to herself for a moment. "What about the 'Tyraduna'. You said once that no one may oppose it. I take it the Tyraduna is my enemy then, right?"
"Not so. Truth be told, the Tyraduna left us about a year after the destruction of Caran. We lost it, let's see... you were about seven or eight then right?"
A new voice boomed at the doorway this time. "And yet, you come, but you leave our Tyraduna out of our sight."
Raine spun around to face the new person. A man, tall in size but somewhat slender for a man his height, was covered in a black cloak and hood. She couldn't make out anything aside from the jaw of the man, since he was covered head to toe in the black garment he wore around himself. His arms, covered in black gauntlets, were crossed elegantly in front of himself, partially hidden by the cloak. He was glaring at her, though she couldn't actually see so through the hood. There was something ominous and evil about him, yet she couldn't quite figure out why.
"Our Tyraduna? Who exactly are you?"
Virados turned to her with a graceful motion. "We are the Mysidian survivors."
AN: Things are starting to take shape, and plot is coming ever closer. Let me just say this right now: What Virados told Raine is not even the beginning of the whole story on the Mysidians and Centrans. There is a hell of a lot more about them that she had yet to learn.
Any ideas on who the Tyraduna is. I've dropped a lot of hints, so it should be painfully obvious. Right?