Chapter fifteen: My Steel against the toad Princess
"So, you think you can stop me because I will beat you," Keith said, being impulsive as always and wearing a red jacket, looking at something in the water where it was being occupied by a small group of kappa. "And the only way you can avoid it if you tell me so look up any information on the samurai".
"Oh man I wish I was a samurai," a Kappa said. "You must be very lucky to search for them"
"That's why I'm here" the boy explained. " You do know where they are".
"Geez I don't know, Kowalski," the Kappa said to another one.
"According to studies, from various points of Altea, instigate that the samurai was born during 32 BBY or 4 ABY at a time that was created. As for right now, I have limited data of the samurai, sorry"
"You know nevermind, I'll find some other way," he said and soon, Keith left this group of idiots and went on his merry way, leaped off into the trees.
"Who was what guy? Kowalski" asked another.
After that excursion, Keith cannot believe what the cards are he's been dealt with, after leaving Arus for three days straight and haven't found any clues, what happened to the samurai.
"Hey, what are you doing, I meant what are you doing swimming around," Keith said.
"Just relaxing, like you, should be," Shiro told him, he then began to do a backward paddle, kicking his legs in the water as he practically glided along the surface.
"Well I don't feel like relaxing, I mean I looked everywhere for information on the samurai, all I came up with was empty" Keith replied.
Where he met the half-deamon, Keith who sealed in the tree by a young woman named Allura who the guardian and priestess of the quintessence Crystal which is now the target of daemons and it was inside Shiro's body.
Now he's stuck in this world, trying to learn the ways of the samurai in hopes protect the crystal from the hands of the Galra empire who is trying to conquer the planet. Luckily he had Keith with him, along with several other allies that he made along the way. Now he's trying to make his situation the best of his abilities. Traveling around the planet in hopes to find the samurai.
Keith leaps from the tree to find out about the cause, only to find the screams of Shiro.
After Keith took his advice. Shiro had to admit it, that he was a tough cookie to break, emotionally drained that is, after an hour of swimming, Shiro decides is time to get out of the pool, suddenly, he notices something, turns around and screams.
"True, Pan, but how are we going to find us, plus is it fun, right Elsa!"
"Mm! That's nice," Elsa said as she reaches into the bundle of clothes, "If only we can find something to eat" she said but only to find as she takes out underwear.
The girl shrieks, raises her arms, and punch Keith on the back, "do you have to be so rough" Shiro said.
"What, I'm not taking any chances", Keith answered.
"Uh-huh!" The young girl said as she takes the tea and sips.
"Oh, okay, okay, sure. Oh! How about this? What does this do?" Keith said, grabbing a book.
"A magazine", Shiro added
"Oh, and this", Keith said, grabbing another thing and clicking it. "Oh, I sort of like this. This is amazing".
"You know what? You can keep it." Shiro said.
"Hmph," Keith snorted.
"This is Stats," Shiro said.
"Stats," Stats said.
Well,l it's nice to meet you, I'm Elsa and this is my sister, Anna. And the little furry animals can you see are our daemon, Pantalaimon or Pan for short and Seva".
"Those are very nice names, they came from a movie," Shiro said.
Elsa coughs importantly after during introduction. "Mm, Sister, I'm afraid time is short and I must be off. Come along, Pan, Seva." With that, the girls walk off.
Unable to notice, Elsa ended up getting flat on a slope from where they were, luckily Anna, Pan and Seva were grabbing onto the surface.
"Sorry we're pretty much Lost," Anna said.
"For personal reasons, I cannot say but if you want to know, something happened to our sister". Anna said.
"So your sister is the leader of this land, what made her do all this," Shiro said.
"It started with her. After she was crowned queen, a woman came, a blackness of cloth she wore to cover her face, she said she was looking for a crystal, she claims to give power to the person who will". Anna explained
"So what else happened," Shiro asked.
"Well, My sister will refuse her, or at least where I bought, from the moment she came back, she was a completely different person, her body was covered in bandages, her hands became slimy, it was a scary sight". Anna explained."My sister and I had no choice but to leave until we ran into you"
Shiro looked at this story, upon hearing it from Elsa's respective, it became clear that they desperately needed help from the outside. Normally he would leave and finding the samurai, how is he going to fight this, but they need to do something now.
"Elsa, Anna. Please, take us to your village so so we can save your sister." Shiro
"Are you sure?" Elsa said, looking at Shiro.
"I am sure" Shiro added.
Upon hearing that, Keith grab Shiro by the shoulder, "Hey, What about our journey to find the samurai and learn how to control your powers, are you sure you can handle this"
"I can figure it out, these people are desperate, we both saw what happened to these boys". Shiro told him
Looking back, Keith heard in the whispers of two other villagers "Just between us, I heard that the lord of the castle has been working for the Galra"
"The Galra, What?!" Keith thought.
Upon eavesdropping on that, Keith discovered that what was causing the present problem was worse, much worse.
Hearing from the people, Keith Wondering of what if, what if Astrid got too much trouble when she first fought if that's the case, could Astrid might have joined the galra. This could be a big problem for both him and Shiro.
The servant on duty, Tsuyu, approaching the woman's footsteps were tentative as if she might run away at any moment. "My queen," he said, her voice shaky. "We can gather more men, I might be able to ask why are you have summoned many of the young village men to the castle… Where are you keeping them?"
Upon hearing that, the Queen drops her bowl and slams on it, turn the remains into a sharp object. She held the blade overhead. Tsuyu closed his eyes.
But it was not the servant the Queen struck. Instead, she brought down the homemade weapon on everything else around her. Slicing through walls with precision, tearing them open, slashing holes in the deck floor.
When her fury was spent, the Queen put her blade in the ground "you may not, anything else?"
Tsuyu swallowed, "I was wondering what happened to the princess"
"Remember we're not on the best thing to handle is, Shiro, explain himself. He knew this thing was dangerous and they experiences, the last time they endure something full force, Keith ended up getting injured by Twyla, so they got to do this carefully, in hopes of saving Elsa and Anna's sister.
But soon as they arrived at the castle's wall. They discovered that one guard is sitting by a bonfire and he is asleep. Another guard lies on a staircase, snoring.
"Well it's not happening now, looks like we have to avoid fighting for now anyway," Shiro said. Putting his sword back in the sheath, "we should probably be careful, we still do not know who or is under a hypnotic sleep. Probably everyone here in the castle".
"Elsa is there another way in," Keith said, hopefully, Elsa knows the way so they don't have to fight like crazy again.
"Yes there is a way, follow me" Elsa commanded as she led the group. To a secret entrance close to the grounds.
"...Hmm?" She grumbled as she glanced back, her left eye revealed through the bandages. "...Intruders... at my castle?!"
Tsuyu had died or at least she felt that way, she hobbled along her bed, her body ached, bruised, and cut all over. To either side of her rose so uncomfortably, normally her room is small not as huge as the princesses but homely not the less.
"Hello, Tsu where are you" someone shouting her name, could it be the queen no, it was someone else.
"Who's there," Tsuyu said, slams open a door to look someone trying to contact her.
"Ah" Tsuyu's scream that was so loud it resulted in her falling on the ground. "Oh sorry, I am just glad you're all right,t," Anna said, hugging her back just as tightly.
"Anna, Elsa" Tsuyu reprimanded. Now that she knew that the girls were safe, she was surprised to see them back here, she was hoping that the sisters got away from their sister's madness. Even if she had no idea where they are or where they go.
"I'm just glad you're all right, where were you" Tsuyu said, her mind was full of worried.
"Well, we were looking for some help" Anna explained. Pointing over her new friends "oh, oh I didn't know you were getting help"
"Tsuyu, this is Shiro and Keith". Elsa replied
"Hello," Shiro said.
"Well it's nice to meet you, my name is Tsuyu Asui, but everyone calls me Tsu"
"Well it's nice to meet you, Tsu," Shiro said, shaking her hand.
"I know I was kind of worried there for a minute" Tsu explain to Shiro.
"Well, everyone’s under a hypnotic sleep. With this much noise, I’m sure the demon will come seeking us out". Keith ignored.
"That's okay, I wish had a daemon but instead I'm daemonless".
"I don't think it's a bad thing that was brave what you were trying to do here, being the only one awake," Shiro said complimenting her.
"Well, what's up with the case" Tsu explain "ever since that ever since Astrid had that meeting with that woman, she completely changed… She's been helping the Galra making weapons to help with their armies"
"What, she never does that" Elsa's voice in complete shock.
"We should go, Tsu did you know where the people she captured," Shiro said.
"Guess we have to force her way out" Keith said, punching his fists.
"Keith" Shiro shouted as he follows the corridor and then looked up and gasped upon seeing the Queen of the castle...glaring at them through her bandages.
Keith and Shiro beaked hard at the sight of the biggest, Disturbed person they had ever seen, this had to be her.
"There you are, my queen, I heard you when working for the galra". Keith said renting out his dagger preparing for an attack.
"A toad?!" Shiro acclaim, shocked to see the Queen's true form.
"Astrid, what happened to you" Elsa whispered. Wondering what happened her look like a toad she was a toad.
"Sister" Astrid looked at her sister "yeah it's me, Elsa".
"How are you here I thought you disappeared," Astrid said like she was seeing a ghost from the dead.
"No I haven't but if you are still there, your madness has spread to our lands and I was hoping that you could stop it it's you're the only one could," Anna said.
"Who, who do you have to obey," Elsa said
However she did not get a clear answer, instead, she got stabbed when Astrid sticks out his tongue, pierces her shoulder instead.
"Elsa, no," Anna yelling.
"Astrid" Anna said, shouting in the outside.
Elsa struggles to from get up, "Astrid".
Shiro rushed towards her, "Don’t move! You’re badly wounded!"
"Never mind me! You save Astrid," Elsa said
"I don't think we can, you saw what he did to you," Shiro said, with an expression "how do you know"
"She told me, she's still in there"
Before he could answer, Keith, looking through the hallway, "That disgusting toad! She won’t get away!"
"Keith, wait" Shiro shouted as Keith running off to face Astrid the toad.
She stands on a hexagon shape, steepling her spindle fingers, the flesh visible under her robe glowing dark blue translucence, red markings make from her prominent cheekbones down across her lips, nearly reaching her chin, on either side of her face. But most disconcerting was the imbalance of her eyes, the peered out from her hood like an eclipse, no irises, no pupils within, Shadow veiled the rest of her, which only reinforced the commanding presence of her voice.
"The machines will be ready in time," the woman said, "this will bring the rebels on their knees, and yet you contact me when existing in the hand".
Astrid lowered her head in deference. "I'm sorry, high priestess Haggar, but I have been-"
"Silence" her voice shook the room, like an Almighty goddess. "Your apologies will not save you, we are here now and that's all that matters now"
Astrid kept quiet, allowing Haggar to do more the talkin, "have you got used to your new powers yet"
"no not yet I have been practicing but I have been practicing on my recovery powers"
"Only practicing that," Haggar asked.
"I know it's not an ideal situation, I have been improving on it so much". Astrid said, "It may not be the ideal results that you wanted, the rebels will no doubt investigate but the process-"
"Reveal the weapon in the right time and themselves" Haggar interjected.
"My powers are already stronger as they are and if they don't, we've eradicated them".
"Yes, Lord Zarkon will already be please, go" Haggar ordered Astrid. "Continue your preparations and deal with your enemies"
Astrid bowed before the hologram. "Yes, high priestess" he walked out of the chamber, leaving with a plan behind.
"Damn" Keith, as he slams open another door and more people are sleeping inside. "Is it safe for him to yell like that?" Anna asks Shiro "Well, everyone’s under a hypnotic sleep. With this much noise, I’m sure your sister will come seeking us out".
"I can't even find the way," Keith said, "how do you find your way in"I.
"I don't know, Alderaan is endless of surprise amazes, created over the years by our families. So we're going in blind". Anna explain
"We're going blind with everything around here," Keith said.
"How did happened," Shiro asks Elsa "I don't know, the only person I know who can transform people is...Haggar!"
"Well we'll give it a try if it doesn't work out, we might have to kill her," Shiro said
'That does it, I meant we heard stories about Haggar's magic and what it could do, it can create illusions, transform, and stuff. This one time, she killed a priestess!' Romelle explains.
"What...?" Shiro said, breathless.
He and Keith enter the place with Elsa, Anna, and Tsu right behind them. They stopped suddenly on the crest of the room and stars in silence before grabbing each other in shock.
It was a Galra empire crates a big one, deck size, surrounded the Spears, Stats when behind the boys all frightened.
"How can it be?" Anna asked.
Shiro studied the fragment room curiously, noticing that the girls were upset.
"The Madden toad seals the souls of young men mostly boys until they mature, then eats them" Keith points out the eggs which shows boys turning int tadpoles.
Shiro needed to concentrate on the here and now, "it's got to be something here", he said, refusing to believe they had come this far to find out that all the answers were still hidden. Suddenly, an idea struck him. "Wait there's something on the deck, look around everywhere". He said as he around the deck, while the others search around the room.
Shiro's words pushed into action. He handed over the floors, looking for any sign of Astrid or rather the Madden toad woman.
"Search for a compartment, Every Alderaan Room has one," Elsa said. She suddenly dropped on the ground too with Keith to snoop, hoping to find any signs of a compartment.
"I found one," Shiro said. His fingers went into a small notch near the desk, it clicked and a hatch opened, Keith and the others went to him in anticipation as Shiro reached inside and pulled out a round Glass tube. He uncorked it and removed a roll of parchments that look like blueprints. "What kind of plans are these?".
"I don't know," Elsa said, glancing at the plans, it looks like plans of some kind of machine. "I think your sister is working on something that evolves with These people," Keith asks her, pointed to them. "But look - this language doesn't look like your sister's handwriting.
Shiro read the words out long. "This machine will sever the magic source from humans, the daemon magic source".
"The magic source" Shiro through, he remembered Twyla needed the people who had a deamon for a project that the Galra needed the people, looking at the Spears, he noticed the boy inside had a daemon. And it's not this him every single boy has a daemon.
"Hey guys I think your sister is involved in something, something that's not very good," Shiro told the girls.
"We have to hide, someone is coming"
Listening to him, Keith and the girls covered over the desk while Shiro dives between the two and grab the tube, ensuring that no one will find out what they're here. The Madden toad appeared, carrying her next victims in eggs.
"What is your problem" Keith admonishes. "Nevermind, Is she out there, I’ll crush her in one blow!"
"Right, gotcha, I hate that". Keith said.
The muzzle of the darkness points out between them and her, Shiro prays the darkness is enough to hide them.
Their wish was granted as soon she left, the danger left. "Man that was, close," Anna said. Suddenly something sticks out, it was a tongue from the Madden toad.
"Die, Toad Demon!" He shouted.
"Oh, God!" he cried. "A miasma! Back away!"
"Ugh...I'm fine...I think...!" Keith answered with a cough. But leaps in time and slashes his dagger, downwards. "Total Concentration, Second move, Pisces".
"You did it!" Shiro said.
"I did, I control another breathing technique," Keith said
"Well, you are rescuing a human". Shiro added
"Why I just sliced her," Keith said.
The eggs get behind her, glows and several boys float out of their eggs, flies towards her.
She opens her mouth wide open and devours the spirits. The wound on her neck stops bleeding and closes up. Restoring her head to her proper place.
"Her wound has healed!" Anna said.
Upon hearing that Shiro wondered "What to do! How do we stop-her, Romelle!"
"Tony Nobunaga! And this is my Daemon, Sun Wukong" the boy, Introducing himself
"No, what are you doing, he's the property of the empire" the toad shouted as she trotters towards them but Tsu slaps the toad on the head with the tube
"I'm sorry, my queen," she said.
"But that voice… It’s the real voice kid kind sister!" Said Elsa.
"I knew it, The real Astrid still lives inside the toad!" Shiro said.
"What a frightening thing I have done! Although I was possessed by a toad spirit, my heart was still human. But lately, even my heart… Kill me!" Astrid somber said.
"Otherwise, I will end up selling these boys to the witch"
"My queen," Tony said.
"I beg you! Slay me now! So I don't have to leave my kingdom in disarray" Astrid
"Pretty noble words… I gotta hand it to you, Keith said, branching out his dagger again. "Are you sure you want me to do it because I don't feel like doing this?"
"Hold it, Keith! What about the real one?!" Shiro said.
"I agree, there must be a way to save her," Anna said.
"There's no another way, besides she asked me to do this," Keith said.
"I... I don't know okay, I don't need silly sentimentality!" Keith said.
"There's always a choice even if it is too late" said Shiro
While they were arguing, a dark essence covers Astrid
"Will you stop yapping?! I know what I'm doing", Keith barked. With that, he swung the sword down on the young Queen, who closed her eyes, preparing for the blade to cut through her neck...but then, SMASH! To her shock, the half-daemon ended up cutting the floor beside him, instead.
"...Ah, who the hell am I kidding?" Keith asked. "I should've killed her when I had the chance!"
Shiro could only sigh in relief. Who knew it.
"Ah, let's get out of, here," Pan said.
"Run" Tony exclaimed.
This was a weird day for him, after getting taken. He thought that he was never going to see his family again but luckily fate has other plans.
The terror face group listened and running as the queen totters forwards, making slurping noises in the process.
"Please, it's your plan is even better than your other plans," Shiro yelling.
A hallway away ahead of Astrid, Shiro and Keith ducked between a room, going inside it, they trying to think about their next move.
"This is just great" Keith whispered in a frenzy as he sits down, folds his, arms and sulks like a spoiled brat or angry person in her or his bed.
Shiro tried to clearing his mind and concentrating, but that was kind of tough, with Astrid only one mile away, smashing everything in her path.
"Okay, Isn’t there something we can do?!" Shiro said, "it is a toad, she could have an aversion to heat".
"Heat? That's your plan", Shiro said
"Oh, you got better one" Shiro turns to Keith, "oh wait I forgot, you enjoy killing people".
"Funny choice of word seeing as how I am ‘just’ an animal Spirit to you," Keith said, sarcastically.
"Oh, and how quickly I am learning the error of my ways. You know, for someone who knows little much, you holding on what you should have." Shiro added, sarcastically.
Shiro huffs, smiling "You did another breathing technique, is clear that you hold more knowledge than you thought"
"I meant, when do the Garrison, you would have a You have a lot of Potential but instead you mince words, and you think that people are giving you more trouble than you worth".
Worth, the word made Keith think back to the time before where Takashi still lived, he felt different. Proud. Special.
"But incredibly talented if you just look. You might be unstoppable with good training and if, no, when he learns how to control his impulses. But needs guidance."
With that, his search to find something to burn while Shiro's words haunted Keith even rethinking his plans, if this wanted to help these people or not- then Keith didn't want to spend it cooped up in this room. Once Shiro went looking to burn Astrid, Keith just hopped off his spot and decided to help.
Shiro had so much on his mind, he couldn't even think about Elsa, Anna, Pan, Seva, and Tony, he didn't even notice the sudden tightness in his chest when Keith came closer to him.
"It’s too small…" Shiro tried to figure out the next plan, what is he going with these little flames. But soon the door behind Keith and Shiro had expended and rose ten feet in the air. Astrid held it there, she glared down upon them like they were flies lying around waiting to get squishy splat.
Pumping his legs as fast as he could, Shiro looked over his shoulder, he saw the tongue plummeting towards them, he and Keith turn around to the other side of the room, only for Shiro get attacks by Astrid who was acting like a bloodthirsty gorilla.
And soon, her tongue hits Shiro's bag, causing him to fall onto the floor. The contents of his bag spill out.
Astrid laughs smugly. "There you are". Now pursued them, now on four hopping around like a toad but still act bloodthirsty as possible.
"Shiro, I know you want to save her but the time for niceties is over! I’ll gonna get it!" Keith let the charge with survival as the priority. In the few short days since waking up, known Shiro, he had grown fond of the man and wanted to see him live. If any other being could see the actions he's going to take, well Keith would have to deal with those consequences later.
"Niceties? I know…" Shiro turns around and discovered an aerosol can that spilled out of his bag "Spray paint! It’ll work… I forgot I have this but this will do"
"I’m gonna get ‘im!" Keith yelling.
Upon hearing that, he does but what about the toad going to kill them soon. What else is he supposed to do, they got playing they got sick to it. "Of course I trust you but I"
"Keith I know this plan is probably going to go south but if I don't try what's the point" Shiro answered
Keith wanted to believe him so, "then do it!"
"It worked! Keith!" Shiro said.
"Yeah I know" Keith remark and soon the tadpole still begins launching itself towards Keith,
"Shiro! Keith" Anna said in greeting as she emerged from the room, behind her was Elsa and their friends arriving at the room.
"Well done! Astrid is alive! You waited until the toad was driven out! Good work!" Anna said, pointing out the real one lies flat-faced on the floor.
"Sure, despise the fact that she tried to, kill us," said Keith, trying to hide the back from her.
"But you save her, you both did," Elsa said.
"I'm sorry I wasn't thinking straight," Astrid said
"It's all right we're grateful that you're, okay," Anna said
"Don't worry, won't happen again not when I'm around" Keith said.
"I know have you been through a lot, but I'm afraid we do need your help to help" Shiro Explain.
"Yes anything, I and my family owned you our lives," Astrid said
"We're looking for the samurai". Shiro question
"That's a very difficult search, why do you need to find them," Anna said
"We have personal business to deal with, them," Keith said
"Well to find them you need to the Kitsune" Anna added
"The Kitsune," Shiro said
"Yes, the Kitsune live in the valley, not too far from here, you can leave right next after the party," Astrid said
"Thank you, Queen Astrid" Keith said.
Followed the day, the party continue, Tony, the boy that Shiro saved was pressing all the girls how he saved the day while since his old one was destroyed, Shiro was given a new bag and this one was a Backpack for Hiking and Traveling after the party ended. Shiro and Keith started packing for their trip.
"Hey Keith," Shiro said as he was using his new bag to pack his stuff, things from The Garrison and some new things from Alderaan.
"Yeah what is it," Keith said
"I have to thank you," Shiro said
"Thank me, thank me for what," Keith said
"For believing in me and for trusting me with the truth", Shiro said
"The truth, what do you mean," Keith said
"You know for showing up your potential" Shiro added
"Shiro I... You don't know me, what you saw was a Luke, I don't have the potential to be a samurai," Keith said
"You do, I think you have a lot of potentials, and whatever you decide that potential that's all up to you," Shiro said
With that said, Shiro left the room, to wonder if that Keith, and what if he did have the potential. But have to wait, Shiro and Keith must continue on their jo, gurney, and thanks to the new information they got to the queen, they had to the Kitsune.