“Vega, or should I say, Elera…” Johna said looking at Elera.
Narice stepped in front Elera, “we knew you were going to be trouble, Johna, but don’t think I’ll make it so easy to stop us.”
Johna looked at them with a grim look, “I’m always prudent about such matters… that’s why I am where I am. Hand over the real jewel, Narice, and I’ll let you and you friends go…”
“What about Elera?”
“i’m sorry, but we can’t afford to let someone of actual power be a part of your team.”
“i’m sorry then, Johna, but i’ll have to fight you.”
“I’m sorry too…” Johna said, “Don’t get me wrong- I don’t want you guys to get hurt, but you all are nothing but kids trying to take on the real adults…”
he pointed his index finger up for a moment and all of the sudden a large group came in a circle around them.
Upon looking at the group, Elera snapped her fingers, but instead of freezing everyone around her, all she seemed to freeze was a small portion of the land around her and Narice, certainly not enough to reach them.
“Elera! We know you have a strong magic – but i prepared for it with a suppressent in your food. Even your power can’t counKa’atract the anti-magic we have in place for you.
“and you certainly wont be able to counKa’atract this suppression orb…” said another.
Elera looked around as the group as they began to close in, “Take my hand,” she spoke to Narice.
“i dont know if i can do anything though..” he responded.
she nodded as a way of telling him to trust her. he held onto it. As he held onto her, he could feel the pulsating power emminate through his core.
As he grabbed onto her- he noticed that the small Ka’atrain that froze extended further.
Everything around them became a frozen tundra- including the surrounding group.
“i dont know how long we can hold this state…” she said as Narice looked at everyone frozen in time.
“i have these..” Narice said, holding up a couple teleport crystals.
She and Narice took one each. “alright,” she directed, “repeat after me…”
She held onto her crystal and said the desination, “Arbola tu Tem.”
He repeated her words. With a gust and sudden flash of wind, they vanished.
For now, they had to reach the tree of time before the enemy did. It wouldn’t be long until the others would be arriving here and they’d be in straits then.
Narice looked around. the island they were on would be the one with the tree. thankfully, he still had the Finder on his person. which would make it a little harder for them to get to it as quickly.
“So do you know what we’ll find at the tree?” Narice asked Elera as they walked forward through the wood.
“i believe that… the tree is a portal to the past- or at least a way to preserve something from the past beyond time..”
“so, you mean, maybe we’ll find the fire gem there…”
“yes… or so i believe… noone has been able to reach it throughout the course of the past seven-hundred years, however.”
“Do you know if someone can reach the tree then?”
“i believe so… it was rumored that seven hundred years ago, that was just what happened.”
Narice wondered what size this ‘tree’ was to have lived for so long.
They would have to move ahead some more to find out.
Suddenly, ahead of them, a giant slime-covered amorphous entity appeared.
“uh…” Narice looked at it. He assumed this was one of the entities made to protect the tree. It started moving forward at a fast pace.
Elera held her hand up and it slowly froze, however, due to her fatigue and the counter-magic still going through her system, it wasn’t able to freeze more than a little bit and quickly moved back to normal.
“we should find a way to escape…”
“you’ve done good, Johna…” a wizard spoke up to the young wizard.
“they’re headed towards the tree now.”
“We’ll find our way onto it… your parents will be released from my control soon for all your hard work,”
“Thankyou,” Johna hated having to bow before such a decieving and evil entity.
We’re going to stop Ka’atra… Johna had listened to Narice as he’d spoken to him about their plan. But this was a war, and they were… he wanted to believe them, but he couldn’t. They were too immature, too scattered, too ideal, unrealistic.
There was no way to defeat Ka’atra. He’d just picked the winning team.
He got up from before Delrai. Ka’atra He had one last task until he could rescue his parents from the clutches of their servitute and he could finally leave the war to hide away from this life and switch to hiding amongst humans.
Narice had been hacking at the away at the amorphous blob as it struck and it repaired itself continuously.
“Maybe we should outrun it?” he said.
“how do we do that?”
Narice tried to give a large hack. it broke partway down the center. For being amorphous it had al of resistance. he gave another hack with the sword.
Thankfully Narice made up for his lack of magical powers by being more physically fit.
while it was split into two, he gunned strait through the blob.
They started to run while the blob was reforming itself.
After they ran as fast as they could for a while and were both out of breath, “That should do.” Narice said as he looked backward, The blob had just reformed itself and was almost out of sight after the run.
It began to change shape however, and suddenly turned into a spherical shape.
They tilted their heads. It started rolling.
It began to make chase- it was surprisingly fast as it formed itself into a ball and started rolling behind them.
Elera was still catching her breath, but once again, they ran away from it.
Narice let Elera take the lead as it started to get close.
He pushed it back with a kick with the bottom of his foot. he’d already tucked away his sword, since running with a sword wasn’t as easy outside of its sheath.
It continued behind them after he pushed it back, and he tried to keep it up, they got more and more exhausted while the blob seemed to have no sign of exhaustion.
It seemed the giant blob got bigger as it picked up more and more debree and absorbed it into itself.
“Just keep running,” Narice said, “maybe you can make it to the tree if i hold this thing off…”
“thanks, but if you end up dying for me like that, then i couldn’t live with myself,” she followed his lead and faced it again.
Suddenly, however, as if on cue, the blob stopped rolling inches away. It returned to its initial form that it had when it first met them, and started moving back the direction it had come.
Narice looked at the blob moving back and sat down in the dirt exhausted, “i think i need a break.”
Narice looked at the Finder. It seems that they’d veered off course a bit and instead of heading towards the tree, had ended up heading away from it.
“I guess we’re back to square one…” he said quietly to himself. The sun was already heading down the edge of the horizon.
“well, we could get some sleep for now,” she said after the adrenalin had worn out.
He wasn’t going to argue with the logic. He wanted to rest just as much as her.
“My magic should be back by daylight…” she stopped and then tacked on something else trying to sound hopeful, “maybe we’ll figure something out from there.”
“It’ll work out,” he said reassuringly. she smiled at him.
They looked around..
“Er,” Elera spoke trying to figure out how they’d spend the night. it would have been easy with the group, the supplies, the boat, and the fire, however- they didn’t have it.
He set up a makeshift bedding for them with some of the larger leaves in the jungle while she cleared the edges from bugs and such with a chill from her ice powers. Narice looked at her.”You can rest now, I’ll start up a fire…”
He set it up while she began to daze off. He took all the extra clothes he had, including his jacket and covered her up.
While she had already fallen asleep, he watched her for a minute or so before staring into the fireplace.
Instead of falling asleep right away, he wanted to watch out for any dangers until he was sure they were safe from any of the ‘guardian’ monsters that would be deeper in the woods.
After another hour or so, eventually they both fell asleep.
“Good morning,” Elera spoke when Narice woke up. Smouldering remnants of a fire remained.
“How is it?” Narice asked Elera referring to her powers.
She made a demonstration by freezing the area with a snp of her fingers. “we’re in business,” she smiled.
He tied the Finder closer around his waist.
“Alright…” he said to her. “let’s take care of this and then find our friends.”
It was important to get to the tree before someone else for whatever reason they didn’t want whatever was there to fall into enemy hands.
“right,” she responded.
They started towards the pointer on the Finder.
Narice and Elera stepped over the threshhold for the first trial again.
Once again the blob came up to them.
Narice drew out his sword. by the time he’d gotten it out however, the blob had been frozen in place and stuck to the land around them.
“that should hold for quite a while, but if you want to you can knock it down,” she said mischieviously.
“Will do,” he took the sword and cut it into pieces with one fell swoop.
Johna had been a part of the team sent to get Elera and Narice as they moved towards the island. They would have used teleport crystals to get into it. However, unlike Elera, they weren’t sure of the phrase needed to teleport as it had only been passed on through the generations to a select few.
Instead they had headed into a giant sea monster, which had tried to chase them away as well as a large storm that was powerful enough to make the large ship feel like a toy boy being played around with by a toddler. It was no wonder that the tree hadn’t been approached in a while. It had been said that noone had reached the tree in ages, whoever had reached it last had done so with immense power.
They’d all agreed to work alongside Ka’atra for one reason or another. On the mission they were assigned, Johna had been assigned as backup. None of the others really trusted his strength.
“we dont need some runt…”
However, Johna was a quieter type. Rather than argue, he only went to his cabin and said, “wake me up when we get there.” None of the elites messed with him however. He always seemed preoccupied in thought and aloof.
In fact, they doubted how strong such a youth could be. When the storm and the seamonster arrived, they could think of no other options and woke him up.
After pushing back the storm and the monster, he went back to sleep in the cabin, “wake me up when we get there…”
This time they didn’t say anything.
A while later, they reached the land that had so much wanted to push them away.
a little more respectfully, one of the group went to his cabin.
“We’ve arrived, Johna.”
One more mission, he thought as he stepped up onto the beach.
“Well… i think we made it past the blob’s domain,” Narice said as he looked at the Finder. After having trecked for a while through the forest unhindered.
He looked around for a place to relax since they hadn’t eaten at all.
“I can take care of this,” she spoke as she threw out beams of energy from her hands into the surrounding trees. Despite the height of the leaves, probably twenty feet above them, suddenly they had a whole pile of fruits land right around them.
Narice felt like it was cheating, for a trial, it felt too easy.
Somewhere further behind, the group of elites, who’d had little chance at resting found the remnants of a fire.
“It looks like they went this way,” one of them said. Pointing at a path made by the couple. Johna was sure it wouldn’t be easy for the crew,
“maybe we should wait here to rest…” Johna spoke.
“Do you know the reward if we catch them? Glory and riches to anyone who captures them.
Johna knew the promise, but he could care less weather or not he got anything out of it besides his parents’ freedom. He slowly followed their lead as they headed into the edge of the forest.
“so, what do you think the next trial will be?” Narice said. He been curious about it in fact, since they’d been attacked a while back.
“i’d be happy if there weren’t any more until we get to the tree,” she said.
“hm… i wonder if we’ll have to face a dragon or something,” Narice had always been fascinated about the idea of beating and possibly riding a dragon.
“Dragon’s haven’t been around for hundreds of years…” she responded, and then thoughtfully responded, “i dont think the tree uses things that can age anyway.”
Narice looked around. His finder hadn’t been doing anything out of ordinary, only pointing to the same location. the forest seemed to have been repeating itself in a way. In fact, he started recognizing the same things repeat themselves, including the fork in the road.
“i wonder if it’s getting us to repeat ourselves…” he said.
“i dont know, maybe this already is the second trial, and we’re not supposed to go off course of what the finder says…” she responded.
Suddenly a horseman- dressed in medival looking armour appeared on the crossroad that they themselves had been walking on.
“ho!” it said.
A giant blob appeared before the elites. already, two of the comrades had been eaten by it, and vanished into the amorphous looking entity, while the entity grew.
Alright… how did you pass this thing…. Johna thought.
His own theory was this, he’d blow it away and run foreward. It seemed that the blob was immune to most of the spells cast on it, and brute force didn’t seem to work either. sleeping spells had no effect because it wasn’t awake to begin with, killing or curse type spells didnt work because it wasn’t alive to kill or curse.
They should have brought other weapons besides wands. They ended up fending themselves off with sticks and whatever they could make with their magic. However it seemed to be able to eat anything immaKa’atral and magic based.
If only they’d had a magic sword or something. it turns out that the group ended up working with Johna as he pushed the thing away with a sheer force of wind.
From there they slowly walked backward, but it seemed that the forest didn’t want them to stay on track. they veered off the trail for a while and had to follow the path made by the couple before them.
It was a long and gruelling process until the blob finally decided to back away from them and go back to where it had originally come from.
the heavy breathing from the remaining comrades was the reward of a huge trial, they’d succeeded in overcoming two trials now, but had already lost two of the initial eight sent to reach the tree of life.
Despite having taken the frontlines and rescued the crew with tact he heard the mumbles of the other elites, once again.
“he’s nothing without the jewel…”
Oh he wished he had the chance to fight them.
“if i had that jewel…”
“you must not approach the tree,” Jhonah flashbacked to what Delrai had told him… “only deliver a message when you’re within sight of Narice and Elera at the tree.”
Unlike the others, Jhona was there as a backup in case Narice and Elera already made it to the tree.
Looking at the trail, they continued behind the footprints the two had made in front of them. it would have been lost to them. noone was especially good at tracking except for tracking spell which was able to lead them into the two.
“Who’s there?” the voice came. the man on the horse clad in armour spoke while, behind him a party of three others, two girls and a guy had been walking behind.
“You seem a little out of place…” Narice said looking at the sort of outfit he was wearing. Even for some sort of renaissance festival, it was too authentic to make sense in this timeframe.
“It is not me,” the voice spoke, “you two are dressed quite strangely. What garments are those in which you’d have hang along your waistline in such a fashion. What if they were to fall off and expose your hidden parts.”
Elera was trying to maintain silence but almost laughed at the suggestion. It seems she had been ready for a confrontation, but was almost caught off guard by the offhanded comment.
“Perhaps…” Narice suggested, “you are from another time?”
“Or is it you who have come to hinder us from a quest under the guise of some ‘time-traveller’. I see you carry one of the legendary swords of Aroa the Magician.. are you worthy of it?”
“I dont think you’d want anything to do with a sword, it talks a whole lot…”‘
“ha! it talks to you!” the horseman said. “Now, i must know that you are worthy…”
“actually… it hasn’t said much to me since i told it to shut up a while back.”
“My sword’s name is Ezra,” the horseman spoke in reply.
Elera and the other girls behind the horseman had started to both shake their heads based on the direction the conversation was about to take.
“Can we not fight here?” Elera spoke up.
“Agreed,” one of the other girls said.
“There is no other option,” the horseman spoke and stepped down from his horse. “men of honor are those who speak not only with eloquent words but can answer with steel. draw your sword.”
“Alright,” Narice almost smiled at the offer of a battle. In fact it had turned into a smile by the time there swords began to clash.
I(‘you know… i’d probably prefer this horseman to you…’ the sword spoke to Narice.
‘whatever…’ Narice replied quietly.)
“You have a unique style,” the horseman who had been using mythodical steps and parries, the armour itself was both to his hinderance and his benefit as Narice had been able to maneuver around the blows with a quick agility.
“well, as long as you dont hit me, i think you’ll wear down before i do…” Narice responded.
“ah… true, but i have been trained to withstand the weight at a higher calliber than those of other kingdoms,” he said as he moved ahead with a quicker thrust. Upon dodging the attack with a quick jump to the side, Narice used the momentum to push off the ground with his sword hand dropping his own sword and throwing out an unexpected doublekick at the sword itself while his feet were in midair. the sword flew away from the knight at which Narice pulled himself to his feet picking up the sword again, (i hate how you do that to me) and drew it with a spin up to the knight, who just barely stepped back a step a pulled his two hands together into a sort of whirlwind motion.
Around the both of them a giant flame erupted underneath of him- with which Narice had taken point blank and was definately a little worse for wear as the flame had even scorched his body with slight burns.
“I’m surprised you were quick enough to place up a counterspell to stop the brunt that,” the knight said thoughtfully, “It was as if you were immune to the fire itself.”
Narice had done nothing of the sort and knew that he’d have to find a way to end this before he took another one of the knight’s fire blasts.
“what are you?”
“Unless you surrender, you wont be able to survive this one,” the knight said as he gathered up more force and his pace quickened into a giant blur. Narice could keep up with it but only barely as he watched his motions. The knight must have had some sort of fire attunement and hasted himself with what seemed like Ancient magic.
The knight had yet to pick up the sword and attacked with solely his armoured gloves. Narice took it as well as he could but knew that another barrage of those attacks would most likely end in him losing his life…
“Meryell…” one of the girls said from behind.. “that’s not really fair, considering the boy doesn’t have a magic like you do.”
Meryell slowed his pace again and then stopped entirely, “i suppose that stopping would be the right course of action if i agreed, but i believe he’d be able to beat me if he was aware of the power inside of him…”
“Is that before or after you would turn to your dragon form,” the boy of the group spoke unwittingly.
Elera seemed to get up herself at the mention of dragon- both parties seemed to take a ready stance when the knight halted his group with a hand.
“it’s true. i am half dragon- hence my power of fire… but that’s a story for another time- It was a good duel,” the knight spoke, “The boy has fought fairly, and we will not taint it with battling these two underhandedly.”
The parties both ended up sitting down as the tension settled into a more friendly aroma.
Meryell started the conversation, “so where has your quest taken you?”
“Well, we’re on our way to stop someone from taking over the world… His name is Ka’atra.”
“Like the statue that resides in the forgotten lands?” the boy asked.
“Exactly that,” Narice said. it seems that this party came from a time between when Ka’atra had been frozen and released and was instead still a statue.
Narice was curious about the other party, “actually. i’ve been wondering where you all came from.”
“While i cannot tell you my quest or the kingdom which has sent me- i can tell you that it involves the tree of time and the gem of fire.”