The Sorceress War Part I, Chapter XXVI
AN: Now, you know when you're in the
Centran Ruins, and you see that room with the block that takes you up to the
tower part? Yeah, did anyone noticed that door looking thing on the other
side? Well, I thought it was a door, and that led me to believe that
there was another section of the Ruins we couldn't get to. It drove me
crazy when I realized I couldn't get over there. Also in this chapter is
my first real lame excuse at a romantic scene.
Luckily for the Pack,
the area just surrounding the Centran Ruins was fairly forested, giving them
further cover in case Virados was on the look out for them. They ran in
two linear lines as low as they could along the forest ground, Zion and Raine
leading them. Every few hundred meters or so, they would stop under the
cover of a large tree and check to see if they're were any enemies closing in
on them. Once they saw they were in the clear, they approached the
entrance at a sprinting speed.
When Raine began to
sprint up the large staircase that led up to the next level, she nearly fell
over the next step when she saw two blue magical auras racing up the staircase
with her. She stopped, Corin almost running into her from behind, and
watched them ascend. What the hell? Oh yeah... this place was
built by the Mysidians... no Centran could make that happen. Screw it, if
we linger too long to look at it, Virados will find us!
Continuing up the
flight of stairs, then hooking right and taking yet another stairway up to
reach the floor above, the Pack came to the entryway to the Ruins, that seemed
to tower higher than it appeared from far away. Seeing no other way to
go, Raine led them through a row of pillars that seemed to lead into some other
room. Looking around once inside it, they found themselves stuck again.
There were two
identical platforms leading up to a large block, then a nine foot gap that was
between the floor they stood on now, and some other floor. Raine could
see a large door on the opposite side, yet there was no bridge or platform
leading over to it. It must have been a trap set by the Mysidians, Raine
figured, who could simply float or fly over it without problem, unlike the
what?" Andraia asked, crossing her arms. "Do we try and
find a way up to the next floor? What about this block thing?"
Zion shook his
head. "It didn't look like there was anything above this part of the
Ruins, except for the tower thing. I don't think he would have in a place
like that, it'd be too easily accessible. He'd put her over there, where
no Centran could get her since we can't fly."
Raine nodded in
agreement. She looked around harder to see if there was anything that
she could use to get across. Looking up to the ceiling, she found a
derelict fixture on it. It looked amazingly sturdy for something so
old, and it appeared to have a part that something could hook onto or wrap
around. She thought for another moment, then turned to Celeste.
Do you see that thing that's on the ceiling?" Raine said with an odd
kindness in her voice. "Something can wrap around it, and if its the
right thing, the person could swing across..."
Celeste shook her head
fiercely. "No, no, no. Just because I have a whip, that
does not make me Indiana Jones by any means. I hate heights, its
dangerous, and I don't want to."
"Who are you going to listen to? Me, or that inner conscience of
Celeste thought to herself
for a moment, debating if she could really do it or not. Thoughts of
Julia in danger crossed her mind, and she came to a resolution. She
grumbled out, "...You."
Some of the Wolves laughed at
that, though Celeste wasn't exactly sporting a happy face due to the task at
hand. Stepping next to the block structure, she took out her
whip that had been slung around her waist. Getting it out to its full
length, she arched it back to get the most powerful stroke she could. She
flung it forwards, having wrap around the fixture with a loud crack. Then,
a second afterwards, once she saw it was secure, she took of at a run towards
the gap. Jumping up and grabbing the whip, wrapping her legs against it
for even more support, she glided over the gap. She let go, and landed
gracefully on the other side.
She found a switch on the
rail guard that would prevent people from falling off. She pushed it,
hoping it was a switch that would put down some sort of bridge so the others
didn't to cross via the whip. Luckily, it was, and a silver walkway began
to extend from her floor to theirs. When it was close enough, they jumped
onto it and ran over to Celeste, unhooking her whip and handing it back to her.
Indy." Lancer complimented, but got a playful smack on the shoulder
Raine approached the large
stone door decorated from top to bottom in Mysidian glyphs. She searched
around for a way to open it, finding a similar glyph covered button like
apparatus that was beside it. She shoved the button into the wall, and
the door slid up into the wall, leaving the path open for the Pack to go
Crack! Though it
was so far away, most Centran people could not have heard it, from their
separate locations both Julia and Virados with their super-sensitive Mysidian
ears heard it clearly. Julia wasn't sure if Virados realized what it was,
since he hadn't really seen Celeste fight, yet she knew that the Pack was
finally here to bust her loose. She could only hope that Virados
hadn't heard it, and that they could get Julia free before he realized what was
Virados, though down in
the depths of the ruins, heard the whip crack as if it had happened right next
to him. After the ringing had stopped in his ears (yes, Mysidian ears
were that sensitive), he looked up towards the ceiling, pinpointing where the
user should have been. Right near the entrance to the northern part of
the ruins, where only Mysidians could go. He smirked to
Ah, it could only be
that annoyingly persistent Wolf Pack that tracked me down. No matter, my
work is almost done here. He laughed then. Oh well, this
will give me a chance to play with my pursuers.
sword at his side, he looked into its reflective silver blade. Emerald
Blade, time to show the Centrans what they have forgotten about how powerful
you Weapon Controllers really are. Too bad I cannot use Ultima Blade as
well, that bloody thing won't let me touch it without giving me a powerful
electric shock. Well, if I can't use it, surely no one within the Pack
Time for a little
cat and mouse game. He thought to himself with a wry smirk.
There was a large
descending staircase in front of the Pack, an occasional door on the side of
the stairway every ten feet down or so. There were many, and Raine knew
full well that Julia could have been in any one of them. She sighed in
frustration, and checked in the nearest one. She found nothing but stacks
of records in the Mysidian language.
"Maybe we should
call out to her?" Lilliana suggested from behind.
Raine shook her head in
reply. "And attract the red-headed demon man? I don't think
so. We shouldn't even be talking, he can probably hear us even when we're
While the Pack
continued downwards, and Raine continued to check in the many doors, in the
rear of the Pack things were different. Celeste and Corin were back
there, roughly twenty feet behind the Pack, looking out for attacks from
behind. Andraia was a few feet ahead of them and was working her way
back, finding the main group boring.
something. It was very faint, yet it sounded like a blade scraping
against stone. She looked behind her, which led Corin to give her an odd
glance. He turned back to see whatever she was looking at, but found
nothing but blackness. It was night and there was no lighting system in
the ruins, all they had to rely on was Celeste's flashlight, Raine having the
main one with the rest of the Pack.
The brawler furrowed
his brows. "What's up, you hear somethin'?"
did." Celeste replied with confusion in her voice. "But there's
nothing back there. I guess it was just my ears playing tricks on
They continued down for
a few more feet, but then it happened again. A faint scraping sound, yet
this time it was a bit louder than last. Now, Corin heard it as well, and
both soldiers turned around and tried to see what it was. Corin turned
back to Andraia, who was oblivious to the whole thing.
your headphones off and listen to this!" He told her. She had the
music up so loud, she didn't hear him. He tried again.
"Navradski! Hey... short and stupid!" When this failed, he
pushed her by the shoulders.
Almost falling, and
having him poke her out of nowhere, made the summoner jump up and let out a
soft scream. She flung her headphones off and shoved him harder.
"What was that for?! You scared the bejesus out of me!"
listen." Celeste commanded, and fell silent.
After a few more
moments of waiting, the scraping sound came back. This time, it was so
loud and close, they had to cover their ears due to its volume. Now the
Wolves in the main group had heard it, and several came running back up to them.
Edea looked around with
her more sensitive sorceress eyes. "What was that? I can't see
anything or sense anyone's presence up here."
Raine and Zion follow us?" Lancer asked, looking back down the
stairs. "They're gone."
"Okay, this is
getting weird..." Epsilon admitted. "It's like something out of
a horror movie. Let's get back to Raine and Zion, as a whole group, no
one hanging back this time."
Lilliana agreed, and turned back to head down the path again.
Running down the
staircase, they soon caught up with Zion and Raine again. The two people
in charge gave them very stern looks. Raine spoke up in a commanding
tone, as she usually did when she was upset. "Where did you
go? I've told you all time and time again not to wander off without
telling me! I hear a scraping sound, turn backwards, and find all of you gone!"
Corin and Andraia
looked away to the floor as if they were bad children being scolded by a
parent, which is exactly how they felt. Raine crossed her arms and
awaited an answer. "Well? Where did you all go?"
"We were trying to
see what that scraping noise was." Edea informed, "But there isn't
anything up there."
"Yeah, so let's
hurry and find Julia, then leave!" Andraia nearly shrieked, in a panic
over what had just happened.
"Yes, let's just get this over with."
Julia, who had been
hearing the whole thing, even their conversations, now had had enough of
playing the quiet, covert role. She inhaled very deeply, not caring if
Virados heard her all the way in Balamb. He was the one probably causing
those scrapings anyway. "Hey!!!"
quickly located the source of the noise, and ran towards it. Raine and
Zion quickly darted out in front, the most anxious to rescue her. Coming
face to face with yet another large stone door, Raine tried to find the opening
switch again. Feeling the wall with the palm of her hand, she found the
button like switch again. Pushing it in, the door slid open.
"It's about damn
time! Where were you?! Shajuk, am I glad you're here!" Julia
greeted, waving hello with her free fingers, though her wrists were still
For the first time in a
while, Zion smiled warmly and took out a lock-pick to unlock her bonds.
"Just tracking you down, avoiding Tonberrys, and that general thing."
Heartilly!" Lilliana called to get her attention. When Julia looked
over, the street fighter continued. "You'll never guess what Edea
said! I was talking to her and she said she lov---!"
Edea quickly ran over
and clamped a hand on Lilliana's mouth. "I told you, never say
me!" Julia cried happily. Edea groaned loudly, "...Oh
god....why did she hear that?"
"I knew it all
along! You can't fool me, Edea!" Julia said teasingly. Edea made a
quick retort. "No... I love, if she'd finished, to torment
Julia shook her head,
"Nope, too late now. You love me! You wouldn't have shut her
up if that were the real phrase."
quiet." The sorceress countered, crossing her arms and moving to the back
of the group to be out of the view.
Zion finally undid the
last of the locks, and Julia fell forward as she was freed. Before she
fell flat on her face, she brought her legs up and landed gracefully on the
floor. She rubbed her wrists, which had become sore from hours of
captivity. Cracking her neck, she turned to Raine. "Well, I
think we should get going. But, my weapons are gone. I need to find
Andraia whined. "More time in this god-forsaken place? Let's hurry,
I don't like that scraping noise."
"It's Virados, I'm
sure. He's trying to scare you."
Raine's eyes clouded
over in confusion. "How do you know that?"
"If I were him,
I'd find it fun to scare my enemies too." Julia replied with a grin.
"In fact, I usually do that anyway. Now come on, let's get
One by one, the Pack
members turned and ran out of the room and back into the hallway where they had
heard the scraping sound minutes before. When all the other Wolves were
out of the room, Zion turned back before Julia could exit. Raine looked
back for a moment, then rolled her eyes and left the two alone after seeing
Zion give her the death glare.
Julia looked up at him
curiously. "What is it? We're going to be left behind."
something I want to say to you." Zion replied, looking deep into her
coffee brown eyes. Julia had received many looks from people in her life,
but never that look. It was almost as if he was in love with her,
though she figured she wasn't guessing right. Even so, that look made her
nervous and jittery.
new, so if anything of yours was stolen, it wasn't me. Try Corin or
"No, nothing of mine was stolen... I think. Seriously though, Julia,
I need to talk to you. So will you listen to me?"
Julia nodded softly,
guessing at what was coming. During all the time that Zion had come into
the Pack, he and Julia had been steadily growing closer and closer to one
another during the mission time. She considered him a good friend of hers
now. But she guessed because of the way he was looking at her now, he
felt stronger than that. Inwardly, she had no objections at that
fact. Outwardly, she feared it. She'd never been one for love
before, she felt it always got in the way and that the person you loved would
just break your heart in the end anyway. It was an ideal that she had
somehow adapted from Raine.
"I've never really been
one to act on my emotions over thinking things through logically first, but now
there's an exception. You." His hand mindlessly crept up to
her face. Brushing aside her auburn locks, he cupped the side of her
cheek. "I don't know how exactly, but I think it was because of this
capture. Having you away from me has made me realize that I can't stand
that kind separation. I could never stand being away from you, even when
you were just in another part of the base. I... think I love you,
He loves me? I was
just guessing...but he really does. Oh man, this a big day for me.
A guy declaring his love, and finding out I'm the daughter of an evil,
corrupted god. She stood there in shocked silence for a few
seconds. "You love me?"
Instead of speaking again, he
used his other hand to grab her by the waist and bring her closer to him, until
they were face to face. Now they were so close, they could feel each
other's breath on their faces. Before she had a chance to speak (though
she really didn't want to object in any way), he closed the gap and pressed his
lips to hers. She stood frozen for a moment, but soon deepened the kiss,
placing her hands on his shoulders. After a few minutes of this, Raine
grew impatient and came back down the steps.
commander began, but she wasn't quite sure how to react in this
situation. She said the first thing that came to her mind.
"Stop it! Stop it right now!"
Julia looked to her over
Zion's shoulder. "Go away."
"Ugh... cut it
out." Raine replied. "Look, I sent everyone back to the Valhalla.
You two go join them. I'll snatch your weapons, then I'll meet you back
there and we can leave."
This caused Julia and Zion to
actually break their embrace. Julia looked at her with a shocked
expression. "Alone? No, they're my weapons. If anyone is
going in solo, it's me. Why would you go alone? It's
"Because I'm quick and
impatient. I don't want to lead the whole team through the ruins, I can
get the weapons back quicker myself. Besides, if its a one-on-one fight,
I'm better at fighting alone."
trailed off, but she interrupted.
"Would you two get going, already? Don't make me court-martial
Facing no other option under
Raine's glares, the two slowly backed away from their leader. They turned
out of the room and ran up the stairs, where Edea was waiting to escort
them. The sorceress shot them a glance, but silently led them back up to
the surface. Raine didn't want them tagging along while she found the
weapons, and she would much rather face Virados by herself if she had to fight
Little did she know, that a fight between her and the Helios
ruler would happen. And sooner than she could expect.
AN: So how was my pitiful excuse for
a romance scene? I swear, it was a pain to write it.
And just as you read, next chapter will have a duel between
Raine and Virados... so stay reading!