The Sorceress War Part I, Chapter X
Note: The date in this world is
4119. Also, the plot begins to take shape in this chapter, things
will move a lot quicker from this point.
- Sergeant Celeste Trepe, after an I.Q. test given by the military:
"Whoo! Who's smarter than Edea? I
am! Yeah that's right! Ha, ha... in your face sorceress woman!
(singing:) 'No time for losers, 'cause I am the champion... of the
Timber Outskirts, 17:00 hours:
The Vagrant had
successfully beached itself on the shores of the Timber country, since the main
city itself didn't have a canal or port to dock at. The captain beached
the boat and allowed the Pack to jump off of the bow onto the shores
below. Each soldier had gathered their things and jumped happily onto the
beach, some waving at the captain in thanks. He wished them good
luck on their journey home, and after the male Wolves had helped push the boat
back into the water, he reversed into the sea and went back to whatever mission
they had previously been on. Raine thanked Hyne above that they had been
rescued so easily, they could have been trapped in Esthar for a long time.
Corin ran up to the land at
top speed, dropping his bags for a moment. He got down on his knees and
buried his face into the ground below, causing the Wolves to look strangely at
him. "Ah, Mother Galbadia at last! I missed ya babe!"
Raine began, a worried look on her face, "this is Timber. Galbadia
doesn't begin for a few hundred miles."
Corin got up and gathered his
belongings, and glanced sheepishly at the Wolves. "Yeah, I knew
that! I... uh... see it's still the same continent!" He began
to scratch the back of his head in embarrassment. "So,
technically... oh hell, just stop looking at me that way!"
Lilliana and Andraia laughed
at him, and continued to walk after their leader, who was already hiking up the
banks to Timber City. Corin jogged after them, catching up before they
left him behind. Raine had told them before they jumped off the boat that
they would hike up to Timber and rendezvous with the soldiers stationed
there. They then would proceed to get their cars back, and drive home to
Deling City. If they were lucky, they could get back home by dawn the
next day. Luckily for them, Timber wasn't to far away from the shores, so
they didn't have to worry about being encountered by any wandering
The team climbed up a cliff
which was too steep to hike over, but not very tall. After reaching
the top, it was only a few hundred yards to Timber's outer walls. They
jogged excitedly to the nearest gateway system, which was opened quickly for
them by the two guards stationed atop the six-inch thick stone wall that
was used to keep monsters and invaders out. Andraia and Lilliana
waved to the guards in thanks, and hurried up to catch the rest of the Pack
which had rushed by without a look to the guards at all.
After ascending to the main
store complex, which held item stores and weapon junk shops as well as a hotel,
they spotted one of the guards that had taken their vehicles into storage until
they returned. As he saw Raine and Edea approach him, he was shocked to
say the least. Rarely anyone that went to Esthar from Galbadia now-a-days
returned alive, none the less unscathed. He stammered for a moment then
Leonhart? Uh.. it's good to see you've gotten out of Esthar." He
responded, still in shock at the sight of the team alive, "What can I do
for you, Ma'am?"
Raine folded her arms
and looked at him sternly, "My team is returning to Deling City.
Where did you place our vehicles? We came here in a red '18 Jeep Wrangler
and a red and white '02 Mustang."
He nodded in return and
pointed to a warehouse just behind the Timber barracks. "Your
vehicles were taken to warehouse 2. Follow this path to the left and you
should have no problems getting back there."
Raine thanked him, then
whistled at her soldiers. They quickly assembled behind her and followed
her as she passed the new Timber Maniacs building and went into the guarded
military district behind it. Timber's army was a bit smaller than
Dollet's, which meant it was significantly smaller than Deling's, Helios' and
Esthar's. Only Balamb had a smaller army than Timber. Winhill and
Fisherman's Horizon had long since been passive countries, and didn't have any
armed forces since they were both too small. Winhill, however, was often
guarded by a small town militia. Luckily for Galbadia, Balamb and Dollet
were giving the armed forces all of their support, while Timber silently
co-operated with operations that needed to be carried out on Timber
lands. But with Helios allying itself with Esthar, the battles would grow
much more bloody. And since Helios had airships, a strike on the capitol
could happen at any time without warning.
Raine and the others
ascended up the stairway which led up to the military warehouses, showing each
guard their dog tags to show that they were cleared to enter. Most of the
Timber soldiers stationed at the warehouse section must have been rookies or
cadets, because they looked completely shocked and amazed that Galbadians were
actually back there with them. Some looked on at them with disgust in
their eyes. Timber hadn't exactly been to happy with their involvement in
the war. They were afraid that the Eastern forces would soon attack them
for letting the Galbadians pass through their city and into Esthar, and blamed
the Galbadians for much of their suffering. Raine hoped that conflicts
between the two wouldn't escalate into a full-scale war or
They entered the
spacious warehouse that held their vehicles. Inside were of course their
two cars, along with a few Timber terrain vehicles and even a helicopter
gunship. After restraining Julia from making a full speed charge
towards the armed helicopter, Raine ordered her team back into their respected
vehicles for the return to Deling. She and the other females piled back
into Andraia's Mustang, in a similar arrangement that they were in before on
their ride over. The men did a similar thing, having more room since
there were only four of them, opposed to the six females crammed in one
Raine signaled for the males
to pull out ahead of them, and watched as the Jeep sped out of the warehouse
entryway and towards the main highway. She tapped Andraia on the
shoulder, and she too pulled her car out to follow them back to Deling.
Raine sighed happily, knowing everyone came back from this dangerous mission
okay, and sank back down into the front seat as Andraia tried to catch up with
It was late into the
night now, and it was easily midnight judging from the darkness of the night
sky. Everyone besides Edea, who was now in charge of driving the car for
an hour or so, then would switch with Lilliana, who was next on the
shift. The four girls in the back: Celeste, Andraia and Lilliana
had fallen asleep at around 10:30, while the girls in the front: Julia
(who now awkwardly slept on the CD holder lid, her head resting on the top of
the passenger seat while her legs stretched over Edea's legs), and Raine (who
was now curled up on her side facing the door, her head on the actual door
while her body was funnily half on the seat and half off.) had fallen asleep
about a half hour ago, leaving the Sorceress the only person awake in the whole
They could all be cute
sometimes, Edea thought to herself, when they weren't biting each other's heads
off. Looking around, she could tell they were roughly a hundred
miles to Deling City, and would reach the capitol at about dawn or sooner if
they were lucky. She just prayed that they could all go back to their
homes for some rest, and not go on another mission like usual.
The quietness made Edea
think to herself, so she wouldn't get bored. I don't think I belong in
the army. I'm supposed to be the passive one here, not the one who
commits herself to a life of violence. I wonder how many children I
orphaned over in Esthar? I pity them. I wish this whole war would
just end, it is serving no purpose at all, just destruction. No one even
knows how this pointless war even got started, so why are we even in
battle? All we know is that Esthar suddenly, without reason, began to
build up its military and threaten to wipe out the Western powers. There
must be someone motivating them. I guess it has to be Adel. But,
what if she's working for someone herself? .... No wonder everyone fears
Sorceresses. I don't blame them, we can be extremely evil
sometimes. I just wish they wouldn't give me dangerous glances all of the
time, it scares me. What scares me even more is when people run from me,
or call me a child-murderer or worse. At least I have a circle of friends
who will protect me. They're like my pseudo-knights I guess. Which
reminds me, I should find a real one soon.
Edea laughed at that
though. No, I don't think I'll ever really find one. No one knew
me before I was a Sorceress aside from Raine, and she's not exactly my type or
anything. Men don't like me because I'm a sorceress, that's the problem.
Oh well, I'm fine on my own. I always have been, and I always will be.
We've been feared ever since the ancient Centran Wars millennia ago, nothing
will ever change.
I was always teased
and exiled by my fellow people as a child, and still am as a matter of
fact. When I was a child they always made fun of me, especially when I
was learning to keep my powers under control from my old mentor, Sasha. I
remember her always looking out for me, even my parents didn't quite understand
what it was like for me to be a sorceress, so it was up to her to guide
me. She had such pretty platinum colored blonde hair and dark blue eyes
that looked purple in the right light. She was a sorceress herself,
though she never told anyone.
Until that day... Edea
stopped her thoughts, blocking out the bad memories. They came anyway,
too strong to be repressed. She remember that day, when she was only
about eleven years old. She, Raine and Julia had returned home from
school to see the main town plaza in an uproar. The people in Deling City
were still against magic users then, though now they relied on them more than
any other soldier in the field. It was a funny twist of fate. Edea
watched as a group of vigilantes took a handcuffed Sasha up onto a large
platform in the center of the city. They declared that she was a
sorceress, and deserved to die. At this, Edea began to run up and try to
free her, but was stopped by Raine and Julia. They told her that if she
tried to help, she too would end up dead.
The three girls looked
on in disgust as law officials did nothing while they whipped Sasha across the
back and legs, and were in fact cheering the vigilantes on. They
un-cuffed the thirty-year old sorceress and tied her up onto one of the statues
nearby, in the same kind of style one would use to crucify someone. Her
blue eyes spotted Edea in the crowd then, and she looked so scared and
nervous. Edea remembered receiving a telepathic message that only
sorceresses could hear. Please Edea, never tell anyone of your
powers. Look at what happens. Good-bye... I love you.
Edea burst out crying
then, and once again tried to run up to the platform. Raine had to
restrain her and put her in a headlock to keep her from going any
further. The three girls turned away and began to run towards the
upper-class district in the city. The last thing Edea could remember
about that day was the sound of several gunshots.
She kept her eyes
focused on the road ahead, and now she could make out Deling City's skyline in
the distance. Her eyes were clouded over with tears, and she wiped them
away before they could fall. Sasha was like a second mother to her, and
losing her was almost unbearable. She had locked herself in her room for
a week, completely inconsolable. Even Raine and Julia couldn't do
anything for her.
She looked over to
Zion's Jeep, which was just slightly ahead of her. She could see Corin
and Epsilon sleeping in the back, while Zion and Lancer were talking in the
front. Trying to forget the bad memories, she put them aside for now, and
continued to race towards the Galbadian capitol for the chance to rest.
Zion and Edea pulled
into the parking lot of the base sooner than expected. They woke everyone
up, telling them that they were finally home. After retrieving their
things from the back of each car, they started to walk off into the dorm area
of the base. Each guard that was on the graveyard shift that night was
shocked to see them back so soon. After greeting any of the guards that
crossed their paths, they each return to their respective dorms and went to bed
for the night for well deserved rest.
Or at least that's what Julia
could remember. She had woken up at about three in the morning, just in
time to see Edea and Zion pull into the parking garage. She had literally
ran back to her dorm and fallen asleep, leaving her weapons and equipment piled
sloppily on the floor (which is what she usually did anyway). Not
even bothering to change out of her combat gear, she fell asleep face-first
into her bed.
Now it was morning, and
she just taken a shower and changed into black jeans and a red tanktop for the
day. They had apparently been allowed to sleep in today, because it was
almost noon by the time she woke up. She figured that by now everyone was
in the lounge as usual, and Raine had given her mission report to Reinhart
early in the morning. Deciding to join them, she exited her room and
wandered into the hall.
Before she had a chance
to go to the lounge, she heard a clank come from Raine's dorm, which was right
across the hall from hers. Knocking briefly, then opening the door, she
saw Raine in her combat gear, a large backpack filled with equipment at her
side. She was sharpening her katana while sitting on her bed, and looked
surprised to see Julia there. She looked up to the staff user with her blue
eyes, expecting an outburst.
"Raine, what the hell...? Oh God, we don't have another mission do
we! No, no, no, no, no! I refuse, absolutely no way am I going anywhere for a
week! We will stay home and play video games and watch TV like normal
teenagers for once!"
Raine set down her
katana on the floor and told Julia to sit down. Julia plopped on the bed
in front of her with a sullen expression, she knew something was wrong.
"No Julia, we don't have a mission right now. I gave my report to
Reinhart already, and he said he was happy with the results. Don't worry,
you aren't being penalized for disobeying my orders about that grenade
"Great. Wait a second... if we don't have a mission, why are you dressed
up like you're going to war?"
am." Raine said seriously, her eyes darkening with a hint of
sadness. "You said you wanted to know why I looked so sad on the way
to Esthar right?" After seeing Julia nod curiously, she continued.
"Well, this is why. Before I moved to Deling, I lived in a small
town on Centra called Caran. It was destroyed by a very powerful magic user
when I was six years old. My parents, and almost everyone in the town,
was killed on the spot. Only my uncle, another little boy, and myself
survived. Until recently I didn't know who it was that destroyed Caran or
why. When in Esthar, I fought -- briefly-- with that red headed guy named
Virados. That was the person who destroyed my town, I'm sure. He
said back then that he wanted the Shaduna."
Shaduna?" Julia interrupted, "I've never heard of that. What is
But he wanted it badly." Raine replied sadly. "Anyway, when I
was fighting Satori for the first time, I experienced this kind of super-limit
break power or something. I never had a more powerful attack before, I
killed two guys instantly and opened Satori's side with no effort at all.
Not to mention cut through a good amount of reinforced steel. I think I
might be whatever he wanted in Caran. I made a pact years ago that if I
found him, I would go seek out revenge for the death of my loved ones.
I'm leaving for Helios to find him and kill him."
"What?!" Julia burst out, angry at this news. "No,
I'm not gonna let you do that! This guy sounds way to strong for you to
tackle by yourself, Raine. Despite what you did in Esthar, this guy is out of
your league! Look... maybe Edea or Celeste know what this Shaduna thing
is. They're smart, so probably... right?"
Raine hung her head.
"Fine, I'll ask them. If they don't know, I'm still going. I
think I'm just going to go either way. That man deserves to die after
what he did to all those people, and I'm not going to let him get away with
Julia stood up and
dragged Raine out of the room. They began to walk off towards the lounge.
"Of course you won't! I won't let you go by yourself, you stubborn
woman. If you leave, I'm sure the rest of the Pack will too, or at least
"Yeah, thanks but
no thanks. This isn't your or their fight. It's mine, and I'll deal
with it myself. There's always the chance one of you would get killed,
and I don't want to face that."
"Okay, well I
don't want to face your death either you jerk!" Julia replied, and entered
the lounge with Raine in tow, who was still trapped in Julia's iron grip. They
entered the upper lounge, and saw most of the Pack gathered around one of their
usual tables. They looked at the two women strangely and they approached.
Epsilon raised on of
his eyebrows at the two of them. "Okay, who did what to whom?"
"Ugh, shut up,
this is important!" Julia countered him and looked to Edea and
Celeste. "Do either of you know what a Shaduna is? If you do
you've got to tell us right now! It can't wait!"
Edea and Celeste looked
to each other with confusion. Celeste looked up to the two of them with a
look of remorse. "No, I've never heard of that before.
Oh! But that suffix duna, that means knight in the old Mysidian
tongue... I think. It's an old language and no one really speaks it
Julia turned to Raine,
"There, its a knight! Are you a knight? No! You're staying
here, and that is that!"
Lilliana glanced at
Raine with a worried look, "Leaving? Whoa, back up for just a second!
Where is Raine going?"
to leave to go after the man we saw in Esthar. She thinks he's the guy
who destroyed her hometown a long time ago!" Julia informed,
receiving an annoyed look from Raine. "But she's not going anywhere
because we're keeping her here, right?"
"Well of course we
are!" Andraia said with an unusual air or seriousness around her voice,
"Raine, revenge is never the answer, you know that! Besides, that
guy was the high mokey-moke of whatever he was for! He's got to have
limitless guards! Maybe you'll meet him on a future mission and can kill
him then, o-okay? Come on Raine you can't leave us!"
A new voice stepped in. The team turned around to find the female sniper
from the Excalibur unit behind them. Epsilon smiled at her, admiring how
pretty she was. Red, wavy hair cascaded down her shoulders and blue eyes
seemed to glance quickly but shyly at them all. Julia recognized her as
Jun, a well heard of soldier and intelligence officer. "I couldn't
help hearing you talk about the Shaduna and the Mysidians. Before the
army I used to study them. Can I help?"
"Do you know what
the Shaduna is?" Raine asked, relieved that someone might actually know
about it. Now she was so much closer to discovering her past.
replied with a smile, "the Shaduna was by legend one of the chosen knights
of the god Shajuk. In Mysidian legends, Shajuk and Tyran were the head
gods, while Hyne was an evil god that was thrown out of the realm of the
immortal because of his evil ways. To combat Hyne, Shajuk and Tyran appointed
two people extraordinary powers. Shajuk's knight was called the Shaduna,
while Tyran's was called the Tyraduna."
Tyraduna... I've heard that before too. This guy said that no one was to
oppose his Tyraduna." Raine interrupted as the thought entered her
Jun thought for a
moment, "The two Dunas often were on different sides if I remember
right. But its just a legend, it shouldn't really exist."
Corin raised his
hand. "Hold up. I'm lost. Uh... who exactly are the
Mysidians? The name doesn't strike a bell with me."
"A long time ago,
before the Lunar Cry that destroyed Centra, the continent had two halves.
The Southern Island was home to Centrans, our ancestors. The Northern Island on
the other hand, was home to the Mysidians. These people were powerful
magic users and were much more advanced than the Centran Empire. The two
races got into a large war long ago, but I don't know much more than that.
"No, thank you so
much!" Raine said happily. "One more thing. Do you
know what this is?" Raine lifted up the sleeve to her blue shirt and
showed her sword/cross mark to Jun. Julia saw this mark and her eyes
widened in horror. She had a similar mark during that vision she had
before they went to Esthar. Jun shook her head in response. Raine
nodded and Jun left to go back to the rest of the Excalibur unit.
"Are you still gonna
go? You know what it is now." Julia asked, a worried look on
Raine shrugged, "I don't
know. I'm still confused about all of this and Virados still deserves to
die. But what about that Tyraduna? It's supposed to be evil
according to her, or at least be on the opposite side. Maybe I'll have to
kill that too."
warned, putting a hand on Raine's shoulder. "No good will come of
this, I can feel it. Andraia's right, if you are destined to face
Virados, then you'll meet him on your own. Please Raine, think about how
absurd this all sounds!"
Raine crossed her arms and
looked sternly at each one of them. She was silent for a good minute
before she decided to respond. "Fine. I'll stay, but if that
guy gets into my path then I don't care, I'm going after him no matter the
cost. I don't really want you to follow me when I do, either. I
don't want to worry about you guys dieing on me anytime soon."
"Come on Raine,"
Zion spoke up, "Lancer and I may be new to the Pack, but we can
already tell that these guys would follow you to hell and back before giving up
on you. I'm sure Lance and I feel the same way."
When Lancer nodded his
agreement, the intercom went off. As it crackled for a moment, they heard
the following orders:
Attention, would team
SE-10 Excalibur and SE-12 Wolf Pack please report to Colonel Reinhart's
Lilliana put her hands over
her ears and shouted out as loud as she could. "La, la, la, la,
la! I can't hear that! No way am I going this time! Do you hear
that Reinhart! No mission for the Pack!"
Raine sighed and clenched her
fist. This had better be good Colonel, or I'm going to slice out your
esophagus! And this time I've got ten soldiers to back me up! She
turned around and ordered her Pack to follow her. Together, they walked
down the ever familiar hall of dread that led to Colonel Reinhart's
office. What would be waiting for them when they arrived, Raine did not