“How did we not notice him?” Elera whispered to Vienu, who was currently beside her attempting to get back up and ready.
“Perhaps he wasn’t a threat enough to be noticed by magic?” he put his own wooden stick in front of him, somehow he’d found that he could use it as a sort of weapon.
The man who’d just jumped down in front of them put his hands out and opened and closed them to show that he’d meant no more harm.
Instead, before the group stood a handsome but unassuming elf. A simple sword appeared on his side. His garments were simple traveler clothes. A small braid befitting the elven kind. The only difference perhaps was his height. He seemed about as tall as a human- which was tall: for an elf.
He looked down at little Sari studious.
“Quite the pretty half-elf,” he spoke as he nodded then studied each of the individuals, tilting his head thoughtfully.
Narika wasn’t quite sure what he meant by it.
“Hmm, are you all headed towards the castle?” he spoke.
Narika decided that the figure didn’t mean harm, in fact, something inside of him told him that meeting this figure was a good thing.
“We were kind of planning on it…”
“Well, if you keep going the direction you were planning on, you’ll head straight into the dark wizard’s lair..”
“Oh…” Narika responded.
Vienu’s magic now pointed directly opposite of what it had. Instead of towards the castle – it faced directly towards the elf…
“And who are you may I ask?”
“I just saw the fight. I was watching from above. I must say, I’m quite impressed…”
“Why watch us and not help?” Narika said skeptically.
“Sorry- if I thought you couldn’t have handled it- I would have stopped them… I was curious to see what you were capable of however.”
Narika wasn’t sure whether he should take offense to it.
I’m actually on a mission to stop the dark wizard if you’d all like to join forces, I’d be happy to take you.”
Based on his unassuming appearance, he didn’t look very capable.
“Do you have some sort of death wish?” Vienu responded, “Not even Dravneal attempts to take the dark wizard in his own kingdom…”
“Hm…” He nodded and stroked his chin, “what were you planning on doing then?”
“We’re going to Darantis,” Narica replied cautiously, unsure of the elf’s intentions.
“Well, just go straight in this direction and you should reach Darantis,” he pointed towards a sideways path. Suddenly the direction that had eluded them seemed plain ahead of them- as if it were there all along.
They looked at the path ahead, it seemed like a clear shot to Darantis, but they all were a bit hesitant about the elf.
“Well- take care then,” he spoke as he turned towards the castle again.
The group now knew the way to Darantis, but for some reason, the new character took their attention.
“Don’t tell me…” Elera spoke to the Elf and he turned back around, “Is your name… perhaps… Aarock?”
Aarock responded, “Ugh… I thought I’d get away from that.”
“THE Aarock?!” Mika stared wide-eyed.
“Yeah, are you really going to bow now?”
“Oh geez…” he put his hand up to his face as everyone except Narika started to bow.
He responded as he motioned for them to get up.
Narika looked confusedly at the others- having been raised in the human world, the history was lost to him.
“I’m sorry, Aarock, sir,” Narika responded slightly bowing- following the others.
“Oh ho!” Aarock responded, “Finally! Someone who isn’t familiar with me… I thought I’d never be free of my title. So does that mean you’d all like to join me?”
Narika thought about it. He had to think about Sari and Mika of course, “I’m not sure how safe it would be for the little one here…” he didn’t want Mika to feel inadequate, so he didn’t mention it.
“Hm… that’s fair, I’ll promise to look after her though,” Aarock responded confidently.
“I’m not really sure if you’d be able to promise something like that…”
Elera nudged Narika as she whispered that she was insulting him.
“Oh, I’m not offended…” he responded.
“Well,” Narika looked around as the group seemed to be in high spirits, “if everyone’s on board- I guess we’ll do it then.”
“Okay then!” Aarock spoke, “let’s go!”
The started walking in the direction of the castle this time.
Elera began to explain to Narika.
“The story goes,” she said, “that during the Great Demon-kin War- the mighty Aarock- ,”
Narika looked at her confusedly.
“Uh… the great what?”
Elera put her hand up to her face in disbelief.
Elera apologized to Aarock for Narika, “Narika grew up raised outside of this… realm.”
Aarock nodded, “It’s quite alright,” he chuckled, “I’d love to hear what the fables tell of me now…”
“The Great Demonos War — you may never meet one, but there are entities that are known as God’s messengers called Angelos…”
Aarock nodded in affirmation.
“Angelos were God’s first creation- given the purpose of serving as his messengers to his second creation…”
Narika remembered hearing something about them from humanity, but he thought they were called Angels.
“Well…” she said, “Lucifer led a group of them and in a war with God, was banished from heaven, some taking residence in earth.
These became known as Demonos…
Narika wondered if he’d ever met one. He wondered what this had to do with Aarock.
“They can’t take on a physical form…” she responded, “but they can interact on a spiritual plane… and some of them would make pacts with humans…”
Narika looked to see if anyone else was learning the same things he was. He noticed Sari looking intently while Mika was distracted with some bug. Aarock was listening quietly and Vienu seemed to be turned away. From the looks of it, Vienu seemed to know something about it.
“These humans became ‘demon-kin’- influenced by demons, they would do dastardly things to humanity….” ]}
Aarock interjected, “that’s probably enough for now…” he said. “we’d probably be best to head out now…”
“Let’s just leave it at this,” Elera whispered to Narika as they followed Aarock, “According to the story, Aarock was the main reason that Ka’atra was sealed away he’s an immortal, and the strongest of the elves.”
Suddenly Narika was a lot more intrigued. This was the man that stopped Ka’atra?
Aarock led the group without reservation. If it had been someone else perhaps, it would be taken as foolish. He made no attempt to be quiet in the territory and instead walked quite loudly.
In this part of the wood- this attracted a lot of attention from would be predators.
They ran into a few hordes of creatures. Orca, Harpies, Lizardmen, even a couple giants.
All of which were cut down as quickly as they attacked.
The further they moved towards the castle- the more they were attacked… until finally they reached the gates.
Somehow Aarock’s eyes illuminated following a path only seen by him. Usually they would’ve been guided this way anyway- but for some reason the path had been trying direct them away instead.
A wizard looks in front of him… a harpy messenger comes through the gate at breakneck speed.
“Aarock is coming!”
The wizard looks up and makes his preparations for the arrival of his guest.
He sits atop of his throne room and sends out the hordes of armies in front him. Thankfully, anyone of his defeated armies will only serve to feed his more permanent army.
Jack has the ability to raise the dead and reform bones- while they are nothing more than puppets that fulfill the will of the master- he has plenty of them to add to his roster. They even maintain the same magical force that they had before death.
His mana capacity is one in which he can manipulate up to ten thousand soldiers at once. Even still- he at hopes that the living armies can at least wear down the opponent or stall the opponent a little before needing to face him directly.
How long now? he wonders as he taps his fingers along the seat awaiting the arrival of his guest.
Thinking on these things doesn’t last long…
In an instant- the doors bust open off of the hinges.