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Chapter #14 End Charade, Enter Fire Starter & Grunt!

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The Royal mystic uses his mystical powers to traverse through the forest of darkness, but as he leads the group to the location of the armor of Kamisama, Royal mystic shows his TRUE colors! Fire starter and Grunt make their move and summon Basoomamba! Things seriously have gone from bad to worse!

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Chapter 1

The royal mystic sat, waiting patiently watching soldiers loading up supply in the terrain dosser he was cuffed inside. A guard with orders from Raziel entered the machine and cast his shadow upon the mystic. The royal mystic grinned underneath his large wicker hat and was escorted to the first terrain dosser of the convoy, which contained the grand duke, prince, and others. The mystic walked inside, standing before the grand duke and prince. The guard escorting the mystic was also accompanied by another soldier which held the royal mystic’s staff.

“Somebody pinch’em.” Wade blurted out in the background referring to the mystic as to dispel the possibility of him being an illusion.

Despite his hidden face, it was clear the mystic was pleased. He noticed Raziel holding the ancient scroll with the glowing letters.

“Ya realize ya need me now?” the mystic gloated.

“What is this?” Raziel asked facing the scroll at him.

“Oh yeah, ya nev’a learnt ta read ancient elf’n did ya?” he asked teasing the grand duke knowing full-well nobody around knew how to read ancient elfian text except for himself.

“Mystic, I’m through playing games with you.” Raziel warned.

“Then do ya mind?!” the mystic snapped back raising his arms showing his handcuff’s, indicating he would appreciate them being removed.

Raziel took one glance at his shackles before motioning with his head for the solders to remove the royal mystic’s handcuff’s.

Wraith was stunned, “Well hell, if it’s that easy ta get outta handcuff’s!” The troublesome youth raised his hands towards the two soldiers protecting him in the back indicating for them to remove his handcuff’s as well, but the two soldiers just ignored him.

“Hey? What. . .” Wade was confused, he thought the royal mystic was a friend of theirs, so why was he handcuffed he wondered.

“Handcuff’s? Did tha mystic do something wrong?” Christian asked looking at the grand duke.

“Not now Christian.” Raziel answered. “Now what’s happening here mystic? What does this mean?” he asked handing the scroll over to the royal mystic.

“It’s not that complicated. This is a E an this little symbol right her’a is a N.” he replied in a smart-ass manner.

The royal mystic was ticked off at the grand duke, but he could see he was angering Raziel and knew that was a bad idea, especially in this case.

“This is yo’r compass to tha arm’a. Tha N’s, E’s, W’s, an S’s in the riddle will light up’n let ya know which direction ta go. Oth’a-wise ya’d nev’a find it without this thing.” he explained.

Raziel put his hand on the mystic’s back and made him face the windshield, “Then lead the way. Tell the driver which direction to go.” he ordered slowly, holding in bottled up anger.

Once the grand duke was given the signal that all terrain dossers were prepared for travel once again the royal mystic began deciphering the scroll for direction. Muffled utterings could be heard from underneath his large wicker hat. The scroll began to levitate above his hands, the royal mystic then started waving his fingers and slightly moving his hands as if balancing the scroll in mid-air somehow. The text from the ancient scroll was removed and hovered around and above the mystic. Magical grey, black, and purple smoke emitted from around the mystic aiding him in his sense of direction.

“Whoa. Would ya look at that.” Christian said quietly in amazement.

Seth returned from the restroom after washing his face and regaining his composure. He stopped in his tracks as he witnessed the usage of magic in amazement once again. Raziel stood nearby the mystic just in case he was up to something and made sure that the prince was close by his other side. Thirty-eight minutes deeper into the forest of darkness the grand duke was growing suspicious. He stood peering through the windows with his arms crossed against his chest.

“Everything looks the same out there mystic, are you sure we’re headed in the right direction?” Raziel asked.

“So yur call’n me mystic again I see.” the royal mystic gladly addressed. “Don’t worry Raziel, we’re actually almost ther’a.” he said happily smiling and turning his head half way looking at the grand duke. “Get ready ta turn right up he’a.” he instructed the driver.

Cain remained under the first terrain dosser still waiting patiently for his moment to strike. Staying hidden for so long was not new to the skilled assassin. He had waited much longer in worse positions to achieve his goal.

While the terrain dosser was still in motion all of the text began to glow brighter before suddenly flashing out its light and returning to the scroll, which fell to the floor after doing so.

“We’re he’a!” the royal mystic yelled on the instant the old document hit the floor.

“Stop.” The grand duke immediately ordered to the driver, who slowed down rather quickly before reaching a complete stop.

Everyone looked outside through their windows to see what the ‘finish line’ of their quest looked like. Maybe an old temple? Or a different and spookier looking tree?

“Hey what gives? I don’t see noth’n but the same old crappy trees.” Wade instantly pointed out in his complaint.

“Hm…” Vincent muttered his typical lack of enthusiasm.

“I gotta be honest, I was hoping for something more epic than this.” Christian confessed.

Raziel saw nothing outside and his patience had run out, he grabbed the royal mystic by his collar and lift him off the ground, “You’re lying! There’s nothing out there. Stop playing games with me mystic!” he yelled.

“Clam down idiot, this IS tha spot! I’ll prove it to ya.” he responded after dropping his staff and putting up his hands defensively.

The grand duke glared deeply into the red eyes of the mystic before loosening his grip on the mystic’s clothing and slowly letting him back onto the ground.

Raziel took a deep breath to calm himself down, “You’re seriously trying my patience mystic so prove it fast.” he threatened.

The royal mystic picked his staff back up from off the ground and turned to the two guards by the entrance.

“Well open tha damn door!” he ordered snapping his fingers.

The soldiers opened the door and allowed the royal mystic to climb down with the grand duke following close behind him. General Grechov, who’s terrain dosser had stopped as well, was informed that the grand duke had exited and was walking outside. The general tried using the communication device to ask if it really was the grand duke and mystic and not some illusion portrayed by the forest, but was unsuccessful.

“Lieutenant, you four, let’s go!” he quickly ordered wanting to make sure not to fall behind.

The general and lieutenant hurried outside to catch up with the royal mystic and grand duke. Christian watched as the general and others approached the grand duke and royal mystic out in the darkness and became excited.

“Hey, maybe this IS tha spot after all.” he said to the other passengers. “Grechov and Brookes are meeting up with them too!” he happily informed.

The prince grew increasingly anxious and finally gave into his temptations and hurried outside the terrain dosser, “Come on, we’re here already.”

“Hey kid wait!” Wade cautioned, but the prince had already slid down the ladder to the ground and began running towards Raziel.

“I guess this is it?” Rufus stated in the form of a question while standing up.

“There’s nothing here mystic.” Raziel stated.

“Yur wrong. In fact, the arm’a lays right before ya.” the mystic teased.

“Through that?” the grand duke asked wondering if they were intended to tread on foot from here and deeper into the darkness of the forest.

“No. Right he’ya!” the mystic explained by weakly throwing a clump of ground only a few feet before him.

Raziel and everyone else, except for Wraith who was still handcuffed in the terrain dosser, was already outside to witness the mystic’s pathetic throw.

“What was that?” Vincent asked making fun of the poor toss of the royal mystic’s.

“So, what’re we do’n?” Christian asked while standing beside Raziel.

“Would everybody jus shut-up fur a second!” the mystic whined. The royal mystic turned away from everyone else and picked up another clump of moist ground beneath his feet. “Like I said, right he’ya!” and weakly threw it a mere couple of inches further the second time. “Damnit” he complained out of frustration.

“What are you trying to hit?” raziel asked.

The royal mystic huffed and threw yet another clump of moist ground except this time aimed at the grand duke, who caught it in mid-air.

“Ther’a, you throw it.” the mystic instructed.

Raziel sighed from the pointless task given to him by the mystic. He looked at the moist clump of dirt, clinched his fist to tighten the moldable soil, and threw it directly in front of him and everyone else, easily passing by the royal mystic’s two attempts. The dirt slammed against a wall of what appeared to be nothing, almost like slamming into glass.

“Wha? A barrier.” he stated, actually smiling.

“A barrier.” the royal mystic smugly replied.

This barrier was a good sign to Raziel, for he knew that meant there was something on the other side of that barrier that someone didn’t want to be found and being hidden so deeply inside this forest of all places was an even better sign.

“This must be it. It has to be.” the grand duke said walking up to the barrier, “But wait, the scroll said something about ‘past demon flames’. So, where’s this creature, and the flames?” he recalled looking at the royal mystic.

“Oh yeah, well I was gonna pretend ta break down this barrier ’n help slay ‘tha demon that protec’s tha arm’a’, but since my cova’s pretty much blown there ain’t really a point ‘n goin’ through all that now is there?” the royal mystic confessed.

“So, I was right? That green haired demon WAS telling the truth?” Raziel proclaimed with disdain.

The royal mystic laughed in his high pitched whiney voice, “That’s right, I am tha Fi’ya sta’ta!”

“Tha what?” Wade asked quietly.

“Fire starter.” Seth explained.

“Oh. I did not get that.” Wade whispered back.

“Hey shut-up back ther’!” Fire starter snapped looking at the crowd that nearly surrounded him.

“What are you doing?” Raziel asked confused. “I don’t understand you, ya travel with me for nearly twenty years under another alias, you obviously knew this was here the whole time, ya set up this whole ploy to get us all out here and then you reveal yourself once completely out-numbered and surrounded by me and a small army. Where’s the logic in that?” he stated trying to figure out Fire starter’s reasoning.

“Makes perfect sense ta me, everybody’s stranded out here ta die without my help ta get outta here. I may’a been wear’n tha handcuff’s com’n in here, but yur all my prisona’s now!” Fire starter laughed. “Plus let’s not fuget about the big monsta!” he reminded laughing, finally getting to be himself. The fire mystic waved his staff and spewed flame from the bladed edges, “Lemme introduce ya’ll ta numba four, er as legend call’em Basoomamba!”

Upon doing so the mystic called forth yet another summoning, but this time much greater than the size of a mere mask from before and certainly more deadly. Number four was a massive serpent with a bizarre crest on its back and had two spheres which orbited around the beast in perfect sync with each other. The summoning was so huge that it was large enough to wrap its powerful body around the terrain dossers. Everybody jumped at the creature’s sudden appearance.

“What kinda death trap did I get suckered into?” Kaz asked while staring at the mammoth magical snake.

“Ta hell with that!” Grechov snapped. “Open fire!” he ordered.

The Vailstone kingdom soldiers obeyed and quickly jumped ahead and formed a line to protect the prince and five of the seven chosen. Fire starter stood and watched the soldiers waste their ammunition on the mystical creature. Raziel stood between the barrier and the large summoning and he noticed the bullets not taking any effect on the massively fanged serpent.

“Stop! Hold your fire!” Raziel tried yelling over the gun shots.

Basoomamba lowered its head and looked at Fire starter, who signaled to the summoning, giving it permission to attack.

“NOOOO!!!!” Raziel yelled trying to warn them and waving his arms upon witnessing Fire starter’s subtle signal.

The summoning opened its gaping maw and spit a huge stream of intense flame that engulfed Fire starter and the attacking row of soldiers. General Grechov and the rest barely leaped out of the wide ranged attacks area of destruction. Fire starter however, remain standing in the same spot and turned around to see the charred remains of the soldiers who opposed him and his beast. After obviously being hit with such an attack at close range Fire starter revealed to all that he is completely immune to any fire based damage and forms of attacks.

“Open fiy’a?!” he cackled at the irony.

General Grechov jumped back up to his feet and un-holstered his gun, pointing it directly at Fire starter, “Give me one good reason why I shouldn’t blow you away right now.” he ordered feeling the anger boiling inside his stomach.

Fire starter turned his palms upward and looked around to see everyone else, then looked back at general Grechov, “What tha heck? I JUST. THEN. SAID. I’m your only way outta here, duh!”

“Drop the gun Grechov, that’s an order.” Raziel instructed. “He’s right, there’s no getting out of here alive without his help now.”

The general reluctantly obeyed the order and lowered his weapon.

“Ya know what, that’s a good idea. In fact, let’s have everybody just put all their guns ’n stuff over there into a big ’ol pile. Swords to.” he added looking at Carmon and her katana.

Grechov, lieutenant Brookes, Carmon and the soldiers listened and tossed their weapons into one large pile. General Grechov, however, remained silent about his concealed pocket knife, knowing only he and his lieutenant were aware of it.

Wraith continued sitting alone on the terrain dosser, abandoned in the creepy woods. He sighed from being tired of getting left behind on the machine.

“What tha hell’s go’n on out there?” he wondered from hearing the gun fire and flash of bright light. He sat trying to peer through one of the windows several feet away from where he was seated. Wraith stopped moving upon the sound of rattling chains. He looked at his handcuff’s, wondering if he was the cause of the sound. He sat perfectly still and heard the rattle once more, but this time the sound grew closer.

“He, hello? Somebody back there or what?” Wraith asked talking to anyone who may be hiding in the cargo bay.

Loud metallic stomps echoed from behind him in a manner similar to footsteps. The rattling chains were defiantly growing closer and closer. The troublemaker’s eyes widened as he saw a pair of yellow eyes shine from the darkness of the cargo bay. The armor the royal mystic had insisted upon bringing had begun walking of its own free will! Wraith tried jerking the handcuffs free of the handle bar it was attached to so he could escape from the approaching danger. The armor raised its chain-link arm which had a solid spiked metal ball at the end. Wraith yelled fearing he was certain to die. The armor intentionally smashed the handle bar and chain that restrained Wraith into metallic bits. The young man fell to the floor board and looked up at the menacing looking armor. It was a frightening surreal sight to see the empty suit of armor moving and walking all on its own.

“Good, very nice.” Fire starter agreed, pleased by his captive’s cooperation. It appeared all guns and swords were thrown aside, he then walked through the thick fog over to the barrier and coughed up dark smog from underneath his wicker hat. After doing so, Fire starter slashed the barrier with his staff.

“That was a weak barrier.” Raziel assumed.

“No, I just helped during its construction.” the mystic explained, exposing the reason he could dissolve the barrier so easily.

“You knew where this armor was the whole time and helped hide it away? I bet you even attacked the castle, didn’t you?” Raziel accused.

“Yeah, but that was more of numba one.” The mystic replied.

“I knew it. The headless coachman, another of your summonings?” the grand duke realized.

“Yeaahh. Look, I’ll explain all this to ya sometime, but right now I kinda like ta get that arm’a.” Fire starter answered back.

Cain had already removed himself from underneath the terrain dosser and covertly snuck his way close to the location of the broken barrier. He remained shrouded in the darkness of the forest and perched on a limb to observe everyone’s activity.

The mystic stabbed his staff into the ground and forged an ominous design on the moist ground out of thin streams of flame. The fire dispersed a bit of the nearby fog and the ground began to alter from underneath. A mound of moist, but solid, soil began to purge from the ground. The streams of flame ran into the opening and along the side of the walls inside. The tall mound itself bared ancient markings on the outside that slightly shined a faint red and purple light.

“It’s alive!” Wraith yelled running from the terrain dosser towards the crowd, he stopped and looked at the giant snake like beast that towered over everyone. “What tha?”

“How did he get out?” Grechov asked.

Everyone was shocked once the ball’n’chain armed armor jumped from the terrain dosser and landed on the moist foggy ground.

“Tha hell, that thing is alive?” Raziel was puzzled, he didn’t expect the suit of armor was actually alive.

“Grunt!” Fire starter announced happily extending his hand outward towards his oldest friend.

The fears and nightmares that tormented Christian of the ominous suit of armor that rest outside the royal mystic’s chamber were all rushing back to him as the moving suit validated those fears. The prince was shocked at the royal mystic’s true identity, and scared of the massive carnivorous looking serpent, and the empty moving armor that creeped him out his entire childhood was the last straw. Christian was petrified where he stood, standing close to Seth for protection.

The crowd cleared a pathway for the battle equipped suit of armor. Grunt walked up beside Fire starter and stood beside him.

“Sorry ya had ta stay in tha back so long.” Fire starter apologized.

“……………….” Grunt stated.

“I bet!” Fire starter cackled, who has always been vulnerable to Grunt’s unique sense of humor.

“What’d it say?” Rufus asked a soldier softly.

The air was cold and atmosphere dead, it was an awkward and nerve racking moment. Aside from the grumbling from inside the massive summoning’s belly, it was silent, but the silence only lasted so long.

“So what now? I mean, you’re holding all the cards.” Raziel asked Fire starter.

“I know! Don’t rush me!” he snipped. “Alright, Grechov! I want you and your men to back away. Get ov’a that-a-way.” the mystic ordered, pushing him and the soldiers to a safer distance closer to the terrain dossers.

Lieutenant Brookes stood wondering what to do. She saw Raziel standing alone and not attempting to do anything. She then turned to see general Grechov ball up his fist and grimaced at the sight of Fire starter. She could see rage burning within her superior officer and wondered how this was all going to pan out.

“General, do as he says. We don’t need to make this situation any worse than what it already is.” Raziel informed.

General Grechov turned his head to his soldiers quickly with a grunt and motioned with one arm in the air to carry out the order and back away. The small army was in their place, standing by and watching.

“How do you want to do this?” lieutenant Brookes asked, knowing full well that general Grechov was plotting a strategy out of this predicament.

“When the moments right, just wait for my signal.” he informed.

“Hm, we’ll have ta see if this’ll work with only six of tha seven.” the mystic plotted out loud.

“I knew this was a bad idea. I didn’t wanna do this crap in the first place.” Vincent blurted out.

“Hush, shhh, shh, shhhh.” Seth softly warned while slightly waving his hand by his side at the silver haired boy.

“Okay, you six into tha tunnel there.” Fire starter ordered and pointed them to the unearthed opening with his staff.

“And what if I say no.” Kaz tested.

“Then it’s gonna get a lot hotta aroun’ he’ya.” the mystic threatened.

Grunt, who stood beside Fire starter, pound both spiked balls together as if they were fists to add to the mystic’s threat.

“Now in ya go! All a ya.”

Seth, Wade, Rufus, Wraith, Vincent, and Kaz all walked over to the opening of the underground cave entrance. Seth stood outside the opening and touched the wall side while looking in. While the outside was covered by filthy soil with glowing designs, the inside was illuminated by torches that hung on the sides of the walls. And the ground inside was covered with aged tiles.

“Well?” Wade asked Seth wondering what was inside.

Seth looked back at him with concern, but said nothing. The six of them nervously walked inside fretting the unknown mysteries that were in store.

“Okay, you too.” Fire starter demanded the grand duke.

“Huh? Me, what for?” he asked curious what roll he would play.

“Somebodies gotta bring that arm’a back ta me and I know I can trust ya, and if I can’t….” the mystic paused and pointed his staff at Carmon. An intense wall of flame created a trap for the grand duke’s daughter forcing her to stay put. “…well then, I’ve got this fur collateral.”

Carmon screamed when startled by the sudden wall of fire that entrapped her.

“Carmon!” Raziel yelled. “Damn it mystic, if you harm her…” the grand duke warned fighting every bone in his body that told him to charge forward and save his daughter.

“Now, now, calm down. She’ll be fine if ya do as yur told.” he stated pointing the grand duke in the direction of the cave.

Raziel walked over to the entrance of the cave and stopped to look back, “Wait, how is this supposed to work without Cain, like we needed?” Raziel questioned.

Fire starter shrugged his shoulders, “I dunno, make it work!”

Fire starter looked at grunt, who was moving its chains slightly, “. . . . . .” it suggested.

“Yeah, not a bad idea.” Fire starter agreed with grunt’s suggestion. “Take tha boy with ya.” he said walking over to Christian and grabbing his arm.

Christian’s body jumped once Fire starter grabbed his arm. The prince looked at the royal mystic with fear and wondered how he could betray everyone? Christian had grown up knowing the mystic his whole life, or at least he thought he did. Fire starter pushed Christian over to Raziel with a jerk of his arm.

“Ther’a, now ther’s seven n’ you.” the traitor stated looking at them in the tunnel.

Grunt’s chain arms rattled as it warned Fire starter of approaching danger.

“Looks like ya bett’a make it quick.” the mystic said.

Fire starter walked back beside Grunt, Basoomamba continued towering over them and Carmon, awaiting orders from its master.

Raziel turned and looked into the distance of the long tunnel, “Christian I want you to stay very close to my side, understand?” he instructed.

“Yes, sir.” Christian was not about to jeopardize the quest or anyone’s safety and fully intended to obey the grand duke’s wishes.

Raziel walked to the front of the group, “Alright, I’ve been through this sorta thing before, so everybody stay together, don’t wander off, and don’t touch anything.” he warned looking forward to try and notice any hidden death traps that may be waiting for them.

Fire starter stood waiting impatiently, “What tha hecks tak’n so long, just go already!” he yelled.

Wraith and Rufus looked back at the angered mystic, worried a surprise raged attack might be in store.

“…………” Grunt stated.

“Ugh, yur right. We’ll have ta speed things up a bit her’a.” Fire starter agreed.

The fire mystic waved his staff in a circular motion and called forth a small summoning. It was a small magical creature with bright light gleaming from inside its mouth and eyes sockets. It was a very dark shade of black and its body consist of nothing more than a head and torso with two detached levitating hands. The being floated at head level and awaited orders, much like Basoomamba.

“He called another one!” Rufus panicked.

The group all turned to see what new threat was to magically appear from the fire mystic’s roster of summonings.

“Numba two, go and illuminate tha right path fur them so we can get this ov’a and done with.” Fire starter ordered.

“Yes, my master.” Number two obeyed.

The summoning turned in mid-air and flew into the tunnel with the grand duke and others.

The group ducked as Number two swiftly swooped inside and over their heads.

“I say we beat tha crap out of it and use it as a hostage of our own.” Kaz said readying his fists.

“Fire starter would only take it out of Carmon, besides I seriously doubt he would even care.” Seth reasoned.

“Who’s Carmon?” Kaz wondered.

“The girl surround by all the fire.” Vincent snipped as if Kaz asked a stupid question.

“My daughter, so nobody do anything stupid.” Raziel warned.

“Hee hee hee, I’m a lot tougher than you think I am.” the creepy summoning cautioned in an eerie child’s voice.

Kaz made a tough face against the moot statement.

“Alright, everybody follow me.” it smiled and began leading the way.

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