Yune had her arms wrapped around the waist of Oscar as they rode through the forest. She looked behind them to see if they were being pursued. In the trees jumping from branch to branch like monkeys was a group of the Tuaparang. A few times Yune had to defect their bolts from hitting the horse she was riding. It was fun to have so many people chasing after her. If only she knew why they wanted her.
"Hey Oscar" Yune said turning her head back to the green haired man. "Can't this thing go any faster?"
"No there's too much weight" he told her.
"Well why didn't you say so?" she said in a mocking voice. With a flash of purple light the armor the horse was wearing fell to the ground with a thud. No longer burdened by the weight of its protection the horse picked up a little speed.
"Yune why did you do that?" Oscar asked mortified that his trusted mount was now more open to attack.
"Don't worry silly. Their attacks can't get past me." Yune said reaching an arm up to pat the back of his head.
As always though fate is a bitch. One would think that having a Goddess of Chaos on your side would help against this fact. Well you'd be wrong. As Yune was trying to reach Oscar's head the metallic twang sound of a crossbow firing. Preoccupied by her own distraction the little Goddess didn't hear the sound. The bolt came screaming towards the horse and caught it on the cloth it wore. Rather than simply tear through and harmlessly pass by the material got wrapped around the bolt and was tugged off followed by a little girl. Yune landed on her back with a cry.
"Stupid meat sacks." Yune said reaching into her robes for one of the tome Soren gave her. Once she found a yellow covered tome she looked it over. "Guess I really don't need one of these." Yune tossed the tome behind her hitting a Tuaparang on his helmet.
"Yune!" Oscar yelled as he brought his lance down on another soldier that landed near her. He extended his hand down to her
Yune shook her head. "No I think we should fight!" she happily proclaimed.
It was at this moment that Titania caught up to the two. Without slowing her horse down she leaned over and pulled Yune up by her dress. With a yelp the Goddess was unceremoniously tossed onto the back of Titania's horse.
"Hey! We were going to show these Tuaparang whose boss!" Yune said angrily.
"Can we just knock her out?" Oscar asked pulling his horse up next to Titania's
Titania let out a small laugh. "What's a matter Oscar can't handle a little kid?"
"I did help raise Rolf you know"
"What the green archer? He has no spirit though" Yune giggled.
"Maybe we should" Titania said agreeing to Oscar's earlier statement. "What happened to your horse's armor?"
Oscar pointed to the girl clinging onto Titania. The red haired Gold Knight just shook her head in understanding.
Either they were lucky or there wasn't as many Tuaparang as they originally thought because they didn't run into any. The only members of the Zenith Tribe they could ever see were the ones pursuing them from the treetops. Yune would randomly send a ball of energy into the trees to have it explode. It didn't seem to harm the forest or anything for that matter. For all of the sound and light the only thing it did seem to do was scare the pants off some soldiers.
The trees started to thin out letting its inhabitants know they were approaching the edge. Two galloping horses flew out of the tree line like the devil itself was chasing them. If you asked Yune though she would have dismissed the existence of such a creature calling you crazy for thinking such a purely evil thing could possibly live. What they came out into though was enough to scare her allies.
Over a thousand crossbows were trained on the three. A man who looked much like Karios stepped forward. Without fear he moved closer to Oscar and Titania. They all knew should the two Knights make any movement they would be shot instantly. With as many as there was they had no chance of being able to dodge.
As the Karios look alike was almost within striking range a roar could be heard in the skies. Five very large creatures with leathery wings flew towards the forest. Two of these creatures were white another two red and the last one black. To the Tuaparang they were an odd sight never before seeing such a kind of dragon. To the residents of Tellius it was a welcome sight. Five members of the Dragon Tribe were coming to aid them.
The dragons landed in between the Tuaparang and the Knights. The black dragon let lose a roar marking him as the one who signaled their approach. A White Dragon opened its mouth and let loose the White Breath of its color. It was followed by an attack from the other dragons. The Ebon Breath of the Black Dragon wasn't aimed at the mass of black armored soldiers but at the man who was nearing the three on horseback.
"How?" Titania asked her voice barely above a whisper.
"Don't ask stupid questions, ATTACK!" Yune cheered. She kicked the side of the horse hoping to get it moving. When it didn't obey her 'commands' she started pounding on Titania's armor. "Get this thing moving already" she commanded.
Titania sent a slight kick into her horses' side. Recognizing the feel of its master's kick the horse started moving towards the line of archers. Being preoccupied with the dragon laguz the Tuaparang didn't notice the two knights moving towards them. Any chance of a sneak attack was thrown out the window and set on fire when Yune unleashed a fire attack equivalent to a Rexflame on the mass of soldiers.
Another roar caught the attention of Titania. She looked towards the source and witnessed the Karios look alike stab one of the White Dragons. Drawing the black blade out of the white scales the dragon reverted to its human form and fell down. The black dragon was on the leader in an instant using its Ebony Breath to blast the man. A small sphere of energy appeared around the man stopping the beam in its tracks.
"Your pathetic friends had a hard time defeating my shadow. What makes you think you'll be able to hurt me?" 'Karios' asked in a monotone voice.
"His shadow?" Oscar wondered aloud. "Then this guy is even stronger than what the others faced?"
"Don't let him fool you he's not the same person." Yune shouted. "He's like those two merchant guys. He's a… twin yeah that's it!"
"Now why don't you be a good little girl and shut up?" Karios' twin questioned glaring at Yune.
"Make me" Yune said sticking her tongue out.
An orb of black swirling energy appeared in the air above the man. He lifted his arm and sent it flying towards the Black Dragon. Caught unaware by the attack the dragon staggered back. Seeing the 'surprise' attack angered Yune. Gathering her own energy power far beyond what a beorc mage could call she sent a bolt of lightning at the Umbra Adept. The bolt hit the black energy shield causing it to shatter. It continued and crashed into the armor of Karios' twin sending him down to the ground.
Stunned by the electrical current flowing through his body the man couldn't get up when a Red Dragon came over and placed its foot on his chest. Red energy gathered in front of the dragon's mouth as it prepared to use its Red Breath. The remaining White Dragon walked over it to gathering energy. At almost point-blank the combined energy tore into the armor and then into flesh. By the time the two attacks were done there was very little remaining of the Umbra Adept.
"And he said he was stronger." Yune said smugly. "As if."
The dragon laguz transformed into their human forms. Three of them were known to the beorcs. One of the Red Dragons was Gareth. He had tan skin and a more square shaped face. He wore a completely red outfit which was complimented by his, gasp, red hair. Nasir was the White Dragon easily spotted by his light blue hair which came down just past his neck in a small ponytail. He wore the same brown shirt and pants with white cloak that he had before. The Black Dragon was none other than King Kurthnaga. His blue green hair was kept in the same style it had always been in. He wore a black overcoat fully buttoned. At the top you could see the top of a white shirt underneath. White pants led down to black knee high boots. The other Red Dragon was dressed in the normal Goldoa soldier outfit.
"Greetings friends." Kurthnaga said as he walked to his mounted allies.
"Hello Scaly King." Yune waved. "It's good to see you again."
Both Titania and Oscar just sighed at the goddess' greeting. It was par for the course with her. They all dismounted to better greet the dragons. Titania and Oscar bowed to the Dragon King as they gave their greetings.
"If you don't mind explaining how did you manage to get here so fast?" Titania asked Kurthnaga.
He let out a chuckle. "Begnion still had the ElWarp staff in their possession. The royal families decided it would be best to keep it and use it in emergencies. A threat to the Goddess is most certainly an emergency."
Yune crossed her arms and let out a humph. She was clearly not happy having people think she couldn't take care of herself. As they older looking people talked she wandered around the area. The laguz and beorcs were deep in conversation and didn't notice the small girl walk away.
Even after being released from the Medallion three years ago Yune was still entranced by the small things on Tellius. What caught her attention this time was nothing more than a simple frog. She watched it hop through the field letting out a ribbit each time it took to the air. It wasn't a special frog just green with a black spot or two on its back.
As she walked after the creature head down she bumped into a pair of legs. She looked up to reprimand the person for getting in her way. When her eyes found the person's face she was met with a pair of violet eyes with orange hair slightly covering them. She had run into the mean cat laguz known as Lethe. For once in her life, after being released, Yune kept her mouth shut.
"Aren't you supposed to smarter than us laguz and beorc?" Lethe asked politely. Then her voice turned harsh. "Because wandering around away from your protection has got to be the most idiotic thing I've ever seen. Even beorc children know to stay with their guards!"
Yune looked dumbstruck and angry. "I can protect myself furball! If it wasn't for me they'd still be dealing with the Karios' twin guy. That's right I protected my so called guards."
Lethe's hair and tail fur stood on end as her anger boiled over. "What if something happened that knocked you out. In case you've forgotten you have been trapped before. Unless the stories are wrong it took only three people to do so. There is an entire kingdom after you!"
As Lethe was venting her rage on Yune the dragons, Titania, and Oscar noticed the fact Yune wasn't next to them. They hurried over going to save either Yune from Lethe's rage or the other way around. With those two it wouldn't take much for an argument to come to blows.
Lyre came out from the woods near Lethe and Yune and noticed her sister shouting at the goddess. With a sigh she went to go and save the little girl from her sister's wrath. Lethe could get downright evil when she started venting. If Lyre knew anything about her sister she had a lot a rage built up due to a certain blue haired beorc and Yune was getting the brunt of it.
Lyre and the others reach Lethe together. Lethe then turned on the dragons and two Knights asking very forcefully how they could manage to lose her. It was their job to protect Yune from the Tuaparang and how they could pop up out of nowhere and kidnap her if they weren't careful. Lethe was in full on rant mode. If Lyre wasn't already exhausted she would transform and fight Lethe to calm her down.
Matthew was running behind Ike and Felix in the direction that Oscar was last seen. If the front of the group was a Beastform Sveta leading the way. Enough Djinn had recovered for her to transform. Matthew could feel one of Sveta's Jupiter Djinn he was carrying set itself upon recovery. The awkward feeling of his Psynergy changing passed over him. If anyone was to come and fight them right now Matthew wasn't sure exactly what Psynergy he'd have at his disposal with three Mercury, two Venus, one Mars, and one Jupiter set. He felt like he was all over the elemental plain.
Volug and Mordecai joined up with them as they ran through the forest. Both laguz were still in their beast forms blood in their fur and dripping from their jaws. It was an unnerving sight even knowing they were on his side. Not long after the wolf and tiger joined the caw of a Raven announced the arrival of a few members of the bird tribe. There was an odd colored Hawk flying in the front. The feathers were green! Matthew had seen many a strange sights but never a green hawk. What looked like swans were flying in center of the birds.
A flash of light caught Matthew's attention. He looked at the cause and noticed Sveta was back in her human form. Even with the transformation she didn't miss a beat as she kept running. A smile came across Matthew's face as he watched the girl run, watched her muscles contract as she would jump over a fallen log, watch her as she nimbly dodged a low branch, which Felix would run headfirst into.
Sometimes the branch broke other times Felix simply swore and continued his running. It was funny as Matthew could hear Tyrell let out a curse or some noise as he hit, presumably, the same branch. After the fifth or so branch Felix regained whatever adventuring skill he had lost and was able to dodge the branches. The same could not be said for Tyrell who threatened to burn down the branches only to be knocked on the head by Mist who was riding next to him.
"Just look where you're going" she sighed.
With the addition of the Bird Tribe following after Oscar was much easier. Ike explained that two of the Hawks, Janaff and Ulki, were the best at tracking people. The two Hawks lead them out of the forest. Matthew felt his stomach flip at the sight before him. Over a thousand Tuaparang soldiers littered the ground parts of their bodies missing. It looked as if something had blasted them apart. There was one spot in front of all the others were a small depression could be seen. Whatever had attacked the Tuaparang was indeed strong.
"King Kurthnaga how could you manage to let Yune out of your sight?" came the sound of a female voice from Matthew's right.
The entire group turned to see Lethe yelling at a young man. Lyre, Titania, Oscar, and Lyre were next to the man along with three people Matthew hadn't met. They were clearly friends if everyone was just sitting back letting the Cat scream her heart out.
All the laguz changed back into their human forms. Matthew noticed that the green feathered hawk had brown wings in his human form. How did the feathers change color? Every other laguz Matthew had seen changed into the same color beast or bird as their fur or feathers. This was above Matthew's level of intellectual debate. He just chalked it up to one of those random things that happened. Rief could be seen staring wide-eyed at Tibarn however. The same thoughts were going through his mind as he tried to reason them out. During their time on Tellius Rief had started develop a twitch. When something appeared Rief couldn't understand his left eye would start to twitch.
"Hello Kurthnaga" Ike said as the group approached. "How did you manage to get here?"
The Dragon King gave the same explanation to Ike that he did to Titania.
"See what happens when you leave Ike?" Tibarn said with a laugh. "We figure out ways to deal with our own problems."
Once again the Adepts felt a little left out as the Mercenaries were greeted like old friends. The Dragon King was polite enough to introduce himself to the unfamiliar faces along with the other dragons. Each Adept gave their own introduction1. Soon though they were left to just listen as the Kings, Goddess, and a few Mercenaries talked about their new plans.
The Greil Mercenaries were used to waiting for Ike, Soren, and sometimes Titania to make the plan and tell them later. Even the laguz had resigned to let their Kings and friends talk as they relaxed. Matthew exchanged his Djinn with the others. Once he had all his Venus Djinn back Matthew was quite happy. The others had smiles as they got their specific Djinn back.
As the colored orbs of energy flashed between the Adepts it drew the attention of the Bird and Dragon Tribe members. Flint appeared sitting on top of Matthew's head ready to give the explanation. A Mars Djinn rammed into the Earth elemental.
"Let someone else do it Flint!" Fury yelled. "Everyone's going to think the rest of us are stupid if only you get to tell them about us!"
Fury along with Torrent and Breath who appeared took turns explaining a different part of what Djinn could do. Even the Adepts were a little shocked by the three elementals. Who knew they'd be so mad about Flint always giving the explanation? That day the Adepts got a new found respect for their partners.
After the explanation a white winged woman in a white dress with blonde hair that fell to the ground approached the little Djinn. She looked frail so much so that Matthew feared if he spoke to loudly she'd faint. The woman lifter her hands together making a little platform Breath situated itself on the Heron's hands. The woman use the hand the Jupiter Djinn wasn't sitting on to rub Breath's wings.
Another Heron walked up this one a man. He looked like a male version of the woman only not as frail. Matthew didn't feel like he'd hurt him by speaking to loudly.
"Leanne what are you doing?" he asked the girl. His voice was soft but you could hear an edge to it. The Heron had clearly had some hard times.
"Looking" she replied softly.
If Matthew's wasn't already in love with Sveta, though he wouldn't admit, the soft angelic voice of Leanne would have turned him into a blonde puddle. Nasir noticed the effect the Heron girl's voice had on the male Adepts and let out a slight chuckle. If her normal voice reduced them to such they'd die to hear her sing.
One of the Ravens walked up. He looked like a living fossil. This Raven was older than the hills. This guy witnessed the creation of the world. Kraden would look like a newborn babe next him. He introduced himself as Nealuchi.
"Miss Leanne what do you have there?" he asked
"My name's Breath. I'm a Jupiter Djinn." The Wind elemental answered spinning on its foot.
Leanne let out a small giggle as the Djinn spun. Not wanting to be left out of the fun the Adepts glowed as their Djinn once again decided they wanted out. The ground and air around the group was soon filled with seventy something Djinn, mostly Venus.
All was going well as the Djinn entertained the non-Adepts. That was until two Mars Djinn by the names of Glare and Stoke fought over who would sit on top of Lethe. Apparently sitting between her ears was a prime location. Normally two little things fighting wouldn't cause such problems. But these are Djinn, they have Psynergy. Fireballs were hurled as the Mars Djinn fought each other. One went astray and managed to hit the Bird King square between the wings.
Tibarn looked in the direction the fireball came from. Everyone pointed towards the two fighting Djinn who didn't notice that they even hit anyone. Tibarn stood behind Glare and cracked his knuckles. This is when they noticed the Hawk. As Tibarn when to hit them both they turned into energy and flew into their Adepts safe from harm.
"And stay in there" Tibarn threatened.
The others who had been conversing about what to do had come over with Tibarn. From the looks on their faces they had a plan but not everyone, Yune, was happy about it.
"Alright we have a plan." Ike told the group.
"Before anything though we need to talk to all the rulers." Soren said. "We must make sure they know what's going on. No doubt the Tuaparang have been recruiting people here on Tellius. From what Matthew told us they only brought a few of their airships. They shouldn't have had so many troops here without recruiting."
"Maybe we can rest while for a while." Tyrell complained. "We've had one day of rest the entire time we've been on this continent. Which was then followed by Karis chasing me through the halls."
"It'll take some time to organize a meeting between the nations anyway." Soren told the Mars Adept. "So once we reach Sienne you all have some down time."
"Give us two days to make sure our people are fine before we come" Tibarn told Soren. The Bird Tribe members took wing and headed off into the forest without waiting for a response from the Arch Sage.
"Are they going to be fine on their own? What if there are more Tuaparang?" Karis wondered aloud.
"I'll help" Volug said shifting back into wolf form and running into the forest.
"Gareth, Raleigh, Nasir would you help our brothers?" Kurthnaga asked the dragons.
"Yes sire" the three responded walking into the forest in human form.
"There you go Karis they have help" Tyrell said assuring her.
"Alright Djinn set yourselves" Felix told the elementals. An "aww" sounded from each of them as they glowed and returned to their Adepts. Brand however did not obey Felix and instead was hiding in the folds of Yune's dress. The girl knew he hid there and was content to let him.
"Wait. I'm missing one." Eoleo said. Eoleo counted the names of his Djinn off on his fingers. "Brand where are you?"
Yune giggled as the Fire elemental shifted. Brand moved farther into the folds making sure he was completely hidden from sight. Eoleo noticed Yune's dress moving as Brand tried to hide.
"Alright Brand I trust you'll be back by the time we head out for our next fight." Eoleo told the air acting like he still didn't know where his Djinn was.
The large group of people moved away from the forest and back to Sienne. Like the way to Serenes Forest the way back was uneventful. Members of the two groups talked amongst themselves. Most planning what they'd do with their days off. Karis, Mist, and Himi talked about shopping of all things. Mist even threatened to drag Rolf along with them. The young man looked like he rather face a squad of Tuaparang archers.
Mia made it very clear that she was going to challenge Felix again. He was given the choice of being in the training grounds after lunch or subjecting himself to a sneak attack. It was hinted the attack would come in his sleep. Some members such as Soren and Rief would take the time to exchange stories about their lands and see what similarities they had. Most though decided it would simply be a day to wonder the city and fight off boredom.
Once they reached the city of Sienne the sun was still in the sky. The entirety of their fighting and walk back had put them in the city not long before dusk. As they headed towards the citadel were Sanaki was most likely to be found at this time they again attracted attention. A few even knew who Kurthnaga was as he walked with the group. This time no one shouted things at the passing warriors. Rather they moved out of the way letting the pass.
"Ike we'll take everyone to the palace while you take Kurthnaga to see Sanaki." Titania said to her leader. "It won't take every one of us to explain what's going on."
Ike nodded and gave the order for everyone who didn't mind heading straight for the palace to follow Titania. Felix and Soren stayed behind to follow Ike and Kurthnaga. As the group of four made their way down the streets Kurthnaga started a conversation with Felix.
"So is your continent much different than Tellius?" the Dragon King asked.
Felix rubbed the back of his head. "Well not much really. We have different nations just as diverse as the ones here. I think ours are actually more so than Tellius'. We don't have any laguz though. Sveta is the closest thing to you guys."
"Interesting. I would have thought that laguz and beorc populated the entire world. Odd to see that there are beorc elsewhere but no laguz."
"Yeah. I have seen people change into dragons before though. One was a fusion of two Mars Adepts that Matthew's, Tyrell's, and Karis' dads had to face along with Rief's mom. Another two were changed by the Wise One into Flame Dragons to stop us from lighting the Mars Lighthouse. They turned out to be Karst and Agatio another pair of Mars Adepts. Finally we faced the Doom Dragon, again made by the Wise One, on top the same Lighthouse. This one was made up of mine and my sister's parents along with Isaac's dad."
"Yet here you are talking with a dragon." Kurthnaga said solemnly.
"I don't hold it against dragons, just the Wise One." Felix assured the King. "He's the one that changed them into the monsters they were. Abominations, not real dragons."
"I see. I'm glad you haven't let this Wise One's actions color your view. We Dragon Laguz are actually very peaceful."
"Ike told me how your father refused to get involved in any war due to the deal he struck with the Goddess of Order."
"Yes. That might have been the start of our peaceful nature. Even still most Dragons are reluctant to involve themselves in a fight. Once we start it's harder for us than any of the others to stop."
"So your own nature is a deterrent for you guys to fight. I honestly admire you for that."
The two fell into a silence as they continued down the streets after Ike and Soren. A large citadel loomed over them. Ike opened a door and the four entered. Many people were in prayer sitting in the pews. Sanaki was easy to spot as she was surrounded by the Holy Guard. Tanith and Sigrun stood on opposite sides of the Apostle. Both fully outfitted in their Seraph Knight armor. Tanith had a sword on her hip while a Sigrun held a lance.
The four stood up against the back wall waiting for Sanaki to finish. After waiting over an hour the young Apostle rose and headed for the door. Sigrun had already spotted them and noticed Kurthnaga standing among them. When the Empress reached the four formal introductions were exchanged. The temple was cleared out by the priests saying the Apostle had need of the Goddess' guidance in this meeting.
Ike and Soren informed Sanaki of the Tuaparang occupation. Sanaki wasn't too surprised. She revealed that she did have suspicions about enemies occupying the forest but the Senate was once again holding her back from helping. If Ike's group hadn't come when they did she was going to send a small group of her Holy Guard to figure out what was going on. That was why Sigrun and Tanith weren't with her yesterday.
"We need you to use the ElWarp Staff and call the other rulers her. I have a plan but I want to know what the other countries are going to be doing" Soren instructed the Empress.
"Keep yourself in line Soren. You may be familiar with Her Grace but you cannot order her around." Sigrun warned him.
"I'll have one of my trusted Bishops deliver the message to Daein, Gallia, and Crimea." Sanaki told the very bold tactician. They all started walking towards the palace surrounded by the Holy Guard. "Your rooms are still open for use and I'm assuming that's were there rest of you are?" Ike nodded. "Alright your room is ready Kurthnaga. I suppose I'll have to make sure Tibarn and the others will have places to stay while they're here. Sigrun make sure that we have enough space for everyone. Don't forget each royal member gets their own room. Have Micaiah's room the closest to my own." Sanaki stopped walking and shivered. "On second thought no. I don't want her and her husband so close to me. If her letters have any truth no one should be to close to their room."