Ike had spent the next two weeks in the infirmary before Rief and Rhys felt he was fit enough to leave. Both had made certain that Ike knew he would still have to be careful and that if they found him in the practice yard he'd be stuck in his room until they left for Weyard. During the time he had spent waiting to be let out everyone had visited him at least once. Lethe and Soren had been the two that saw him the most. Soren had gone over the plans with Ike about what they would do once they landed over on Weyard. Lethe had been there to simply talk with Ike and try to cheer him up by telling him stories of what had happened while he was gone from Tellius. Ike wasn't fully used to the happier side of Lethe especially after having her mad at him for so long. It was a pleasant change of pace.
Now that he was released Ike had no clue what he was going to do. He'd already gone through the plans more times than he thought possible. Despite Rief and Rhys' warning Ike wanted to get back into action and stop lounging around. Sure he could go see his friends but it wouldn't satisfy his need to move. Ike had currently settled for going to his room and seeing what he had needed to have packed for when Nasir's ship arrived. After lying down for two weeks straight Ike's body wasn't fully up to walking around. He was about half way to his room when he started feeling tired. He should have realized that after receiving such a wound and doing nothing for so long his body wouldn't be up to preforming its normal exertion.
Hand on a table that was hold a decorative vase to hold himself up Ike thought about what he was going to do. Either direction he went, to his room or infirmary, he was in for about the same amount of walking. Ike swore under his breath is he stood there trying to think of how he was going to manage getting to either place. The gods shone down on him though as Lethe had been on her way to visit him along with Soren though neither of them knew the other had been going to see Ike. When they both rounded the corner they at first stared at each other. A sort of rivalry had sprung up between the two as they both wanted time with Ike and the other constantly got in the way. They continued to stare at each other as if doing so would force the other to leave.
Ike still supporting himself on the table for once in his life decided to be subtle and let out a loud cough to get their attention. Both beorc and laguz turned towards the sound and noticed the very person they were going to see standing in the hallway. Once it dawned on them that he wasn't fully supporting himself they rushed over to him. Without a word Lethe threw Ike's arm over her shoulder and let him lean into her for support. Ike let out a sheepish chuckle as both Lethe and Soren gazed at him waiting an explanation.
"I was release today." Ike said rubbing the back of his head with his free hand.
"That's clear." Lethe said. "Now what are you doing using Elincia's decorations for support?"
"He's been in bed for weeks after taking a severe wound. He hasn't had time to regain his strength. I though a laguz would understand that." Soren supplied for Ike, though Ike would have left the last part out.
"As fun as it is standing here can we go to my room?" Ike requested.
"Right" Lethe said and started walking with Ike towards his room.
"I was coming to tell you Ike we have word from Nasir. It seems there was some trouble getting all the way to Crimea. It appears that the Tuaparang have taken over one of the port towns, Toha to be exact, and are using the ships to form a blockade. With their advance technology they have fortified the town rather quickly and the ships have ballistae that reach farther than anything we have." Soren informed Ike as the three walked. His voice was toneless as ever giving nothing away about what he felt on the situation. "Elincia has already dispatched a group to go and take the city back. Along with the knights she sent Matthew, Sveta, Eoleo, and Amiti to deal with any possible Umbra Adepts."
"Did anyone else from our group go with them?" Ike asked.
"Yes Lucia went to lead the knights into battle. With Geoffrey gone she's acting General until we leave. Janaff also went to lend some aerial support as little as it'll be. Reyson of course felt he should help out so he followed despite many protests. Boyd and Gatrie have gone to not wanting to sit the fight out. So everyone but we three, Rief, and Rhys of the Weyard group have managed to make their way to the port." Soren answered.
"Then I want you to get some horses ready Soren. If everyone is already there then we might as well depart from Port Toha after we take it back." Ike commanded.
"I don't think Rief and Rhys are going to let you ride a horse Ike." Lethe pointed out. "Those two are worse than any mother I have seen."
"They are simply doing their job and making sure that Ike makes a full recovery." Soren replied.
"Ike is made of sturdier stuff than you. He can easily make the trip to Toha." Lethe hissed.
Ike had to play the diplomat again. "You are both correct. I know they will argue about me going but they'll be coming to and can watch over me. Soren just go ask Elincia for some horses and let's get going. I'm sure the others will be able to use the four of you." Ike made sure to leave himself out. Even he doubted that he'd be well enough by the time they got to the port city to be of use.
"Fine Ike. You better be ready to deal with Rief and Rhys though." Soren said as he left Ike and Lethe to go talk with the Queen about procuring horses.
When Lethe and Ike finally made it to his room he collapsed on his bed with a groan. Ike took some time to just enjoy lying down again and not have his muscles protesting. While he wasn't exactly looking forward to being in the saddle he was glad to be going to do something. Sitting back up Ike quickly surveyed his room and found out that his pack had been emptied out by servants and his clean clothes were most likely hanging up in the closet or packed into the dresser.
He tried getting up but found getting out of the softy fluffy bed was harder than getting into it had been. With sheer determination, and Lethe pulling him up after watch the pathetic attempts, Ike made it off the bed. Grabbing the pack hanging on a hook Ike made his way to the dresser and started putting the clothes into it.
"You going to be fine alone?" Lethe asked standing near him in case anything went wrong. "If we're leaving I'm going to need to pack to."
"Think so. Go get ready" Ike told her waving her off.
Lethe nodded and left him to get ready on his own. Stuffing everything into his bag Ike still felt weak and that maybe he should have had Lethe stay with just in case. When it came time to move over to the closet Ike used the wall as a support and slowly made his way over. Once he reached the closet door he swung them open at the same time his room door burst open admitting an angry small blue haired boy dressed in white wearing a pair of glasses. The young Mercury Adept looked to be steaming.
"Ike" Rief said calmly. "Did I hear Soren right when he was asking Queen Elincia for horse so that we could travel to Port Toha?"
"Yes you did Rief. I know what you're going to say, I'm not fit enough to ride a horse." Ike said. "I do feel well enough to ride a horse though. I don't plan on fighting once I get there either."
Rief smiled as he pushed up his glasses. "I just wanted to make sure that you knew you won't be allowed to fight once we get there. Riding a horse will probably hurt you but for some reason I don't think you care about that."
"You're right about that Rief." Ike confirmed. "So did you hear if Elincia is going to lend us the horses or not?"
"She stopped me to ask if I thought you'd be well enough to travel. I told her yes and so we're leaving as soon as everyone is packed up." Rief said holding up his own packed bag.
Turning around Ike stuffed his remaining belongs from the closet into the bag. Taking a quick look around the room to see if he had missed anything he didn't manage to find anything else of his. Swinging the bag over his shoulder Ike made for the door. It was a wobbly undertaking but he made it there with no problems.
With a little help from his friends Ike and the remaining members of the Weyard bound were soon headed for Port Toha. Rief and Lethe neither of which used to riding horses were riding double with Soren and Rhys respectively. The Arch Sage wasn't happy about sharing his rather large mount, specially bred to carry two people, but he was happy that he had Rief instead of Lethe.
Matthew hated marching. Walking throughout the day when it was just him and his friends had been fine. Now however with the routine that the soldiers had trained in Matthew was annoyed. They woke up earlier than Matthew thought people should get up and barely had anything to eat before they packed up and started the days walk. Then it was nothing but walking. There was nothing to do as they walked. When Matthew had traveled Weyard they would stop and look and the interesting sights. Even when they had walked from Sienne to Melior they had stopped every once in a while, but that was for Elincia's benefit at Geoffrey's insistence.
What got Matthew the most however was that he wasn't allowed to share a tent with Sveta despite the fact most of the castle knew that they slept in the same room. In the week and half that they shared a room Matthew had gotten used to sleeping with her in his arms and waking up to her face. Instead he was sharing a tent with Janaff, Amiti, and Reyson and woke up to see the Hawk Laguz's face. Even after seeing the two winged humanoids change into new clothes Matthew couldn't believe how they did. It was still simply a mystery to him as how they got their shirts on over their wings, even after seeing how they did it.
Marching alongside the soldiers Matthew wondered how far they were away from Port Toha. They had already been out for four days and the soldiers seemed to be getting restless. Matthew took it as a sign that they were getting close. Going into a steady jog Matthew made his way up Lucia who was the General of the army. Janaff and Reyson were walking alongside her. It wasn't odd to find the two bird tribe members near the Trueblade. In fact it was where Janaff spent most of his time so far during the march.
"Hello Matthew." Janaff greeted causing the other two to turn to him.
"We're almost there Matthew." Lucia said anticipating his question. "We should arrive within the hour. Get your friends ready will you." The tone Lucia used made the request more of a direct order.
With a nod of his head Matthew stopped walking and let the army pass him. Eoleo and Amiti would tend to walk towards the back of the army favoring the slightly slower pace of the carriages. Sveta however could be anywhere in the mass of yellow and white clad soldiers. She had found a way to entertain herself by trying to move through the mass of soldiers without touching anyone. Getting her attention the only way he could figure out Matthew channeled a small amount of Psynergy, just enough that she would be able to sense him as she walked by. Sveta must have been close by as she appeared out of the throng of people in a matter of seconds with a frown on her face.
"What is it Matthew?" she asked. "I had almost broken my record. Fifty-three minutes without running into anyone. Another ten minutes and I would have broken it"
"Lucia said that we're about an hour away from the town and to get ready." Matthew relaying the message.
"And you called me why?" Sveta asked
Matthew went to tell her so that she could make sure everything was in order but Sveta's Umbra Gear didn't need to maintained. Unlike Matthew's armor which did require a small amount of maintenance. The Sol Blade had never lost its edge even by a smidge the entire time that Matthew had used it and he knew for a fact that Felix had used it years before him. All the Adepts had taken to keeping their item bags on them. It was a habit from traveling Weyard and running into hordes of monsters.
"To let you know you only have an hour left." Matthew said sheepishly.
"Now I don't have a chance to break it. There is not enough time." Sveta said sullenly.
"There's always the march back I guess" Sveta told him with a smile on her face.
"You had thought about that already hadn't you?" Matthew questioned when he saw her smiling.
"Of course Matthew. If we walked here then it would make sense that we would have to walk back. Crimea's army might not move back home as swiftly but it would still be a march." Sveta assured him.
Waiting for the carriages to start appearing the two just stood there watching the army pass. Queen Elincia hadn't taken any chances and sent a rather large army to deal with the Tuaparang occupation of Port Toha. She made it clear to everyone that she wasn't going to have anyone controlling her cities while she still drew breath. Matthew didn't know the total number of troops just that it was around a fourth of Crimea's total army. It was still small compared to the army Matthew had been with in Begnion.
When the carriages holding all the armies supplies came up to Matthew and Sveta they both used a small amount of Psynergy to call Amiti and Eoleo to them. The two lazy bones were riding in the back of one. They waved to the driver as they jumped off and walked over to their friends. Together they started walking alongside the caravan.
"Were you two comfy?" Matthew asked one eyebrow raised.
"Oh come on Matthew we were just resting for the battle." Eoleo said with a grin on his face. "This way when we get there we aren't tired from all the marching. We'll be ready to fight at our peak."
"Or you two are just lazy and didn't want to walk." Matthew replied.
"Matthew we aren't used to walking so far for so long. In our trips we stopped occasionally. I have to admit I was not ready for this." Amiti told him.
"That did not stop me and Matthew from walking the entire time like the soldiers." Sveta countered.
"Yeah well you're a beastgirl." Eoleo pointed out. "You naturally have more stamina then we humans. I don't know about Matthew though. Maybe the earth gives him energy as he walk since he's a Venus Adept."
"Anyways. Lucia wants us all to know we have about an hour before we reach the town and to make sure all our gear is ready. I know most of our weapons don't need it but it can't hurt to double check some things." Matthew informed.
"My axe is as sharp as ever." Eoleo told Matthew with a serious look. "We'll be ready in time don't worry. Just got to get our armor out of one of these carriages and slap it on."
When they found the carriage with their armor Matthew and Sveta jumped on first and help each other attach the clasps of the armor. For Matthew he donned his Valkyrie Mail, Minerva Helm, and Hover Greaves. Slipping the Cosmos Shield on his arm Matthew felt the shield's elemental power wash over him protecting him from magical attacks. Sveta donned the entire set of Umbra Gear attaching the Knuckles to her belt to put on later.
Eoleo and Amiti hopped on next and didn't assist each other in the least as they put their armor on. For Eoleo he wore the Planet Armor, Lucky Cap, and Knight's Greaves along with a Mirrored Shield which he could use to delude most common enemies. His Herculean Axe was strapped to his back ready for him to use. Amiti wore the Storm Gear along with a Mail Cap and a Virtuous Armlet that could help heal small wounds. His Tisiphone Edge sat at his waist waiting for the Aqua Master to draw it.
Fully outfitted in their armor they walked with the other soldiers. It only felt like a few minutes before they were called to halt. Lucia had sent a soldier back to find the Adepts and bring them forward. When the four got to the front they found the Trueblade talking with the officers, Boyd, Gatrie, Janaff, and Reyson. They were all gathered around a table that had many scrolls and maps laid on top of it.
"You guys look different in armor." Lucia said as the Adepts approached.
"We only really use it when we know we're going to be fighting tough enemies." Matthew said."Since we know the Tuaparang have outfitted this town we can safely say it's going to be hard."
"What about Fort Rogold. I heard you guys helped quite a bit and weren't wearing any armor." Reyson pointed out.
"That's because we didn't know how strong the Tuaparang force was exactly." Matthew replied. "Simply put we weren't expecting them to have so many troops in one spot."
"I also heard from Soren that you guys used your Psynergy to take out the ballistae so the soldiers could get close." Lucia said with a slight trace of hope in her voice. "Do you think you guys can do it again?"
"That wasn't us." Eoleo said. "Amiti was the only one of us on the outside. Even then I think it was mostly Tyrell and Felix that took the ballistae out."
"Which means Uncle Felix and Tyrell must have swapped Djinn and used Fire psynergy to take them out. I don't think Ragnarok or Stone Spire could do much damage and a Gaia strand Psynergy would have taken out the walls." Matthew thought aloud.
"A Shine Plasma should be enough to take one out." Sveta offered. "I might be able to use Tempest on one to help stop the bolts but I do not know how effective it will be."
"Our ballistae are meant to withstand strong winds." Lucia said shaking her head. "If the Tuaparang have reinforced them than I doubt any storm you whip up will do much."
"I don't think their Psynergy is going to be much use anyway." Janaff put in as he pointed to the sky above Port Toha.
Looking at the town for the first time Matthew saw the task that was set before him. A sturdy stone wall surrounded the town all around until it met the sea. Sitting on top the wall were no less than eight ballistae. High above the sky though in what looked like the four corners of the town were Psynergy Vortexes. It seemed that the Tuaparang were expecting the Adepts to help Crimea in this fight.
"Four Psynergy Vortexes." Matthew sighed. "Janaff's right. Until those are gone we won't be able to use our Psynergy."
"What about our Summons?" Amiti asked.
"And unleash that onto the town?" Sveta asked horrified that Amiti would suggest such a thing. "We would only be able to use a two Djinn Summon and they would not have the strength to do much against that wall."
"I thought Rief, Karis, and Himi used those in Serenes Forest." Janaff stated.
"Rief and Karis focused the Summons through their bodies rather than out into the open. It's dangerous though and can knock you out like it did to them. Himi did summon Charon but that didn't go to well as the dark creatures the Umbra Adept called forth absorbed Charon's dark energy." Eoleo said to Janaff.
"So for now you Adepts are just another set of warriors?" one of the officers asked.
"We can still use our Djinn's normal powers but for the most part yeah, we're normal warriors." Matthew confirmed.
"Powerful though." Boyd specified. "I saw Matthew training with Ike and holding his own for a while."
"So what are we going to do General Lucia?" another officer asked.
"We will wait until night and have the mages try to take out those ballistae. If we can't get rid of those we won't get close enough to the wall to overtake it." Lucia said as she pointed to a map displaying the layout of the town. "Once we get in though we will have to focus on taking those machines creating the Psynergy Vortexes." This time Lucia pointed to the general areas the Vortexes appeared to be. "That way the Adepts can start using their Psynergy again. Their ability to command nature is great and can help turn the tide of this battle quickly. After we get the machines taken care of we wipe out the Tuaparang wherever we find them and make for the port."
"Do these kids really command that great of a power?" the first officer spoke.
"Are you kidding?!" Gatrie laughed. "These squirts pack a big punch. You should have seen their friends at Fort Rogold taking out the enemy left and right with their powers. I can only imagine what these ones are capable of. They made magic look like it was going out of style."
"When Lady Lethe was poisoned and went berserk it was Matthew, Sveta, and Amiti that stopped her assault." Lucia said remembering that sad night. "Matthew opened up the ground and called forth a pillar of energy that could have destroyed the castle had he let it."
Matthew, Sveta, and Amiti looked away as the officers stared at them in awe. All the while Eoleo drank up the attention with a damn-right-we're-that-strong look on his face.
"Either way though we're going to have to wait for their Psynergy until after we destroy the Vortex machines." Lucia continued. "Haman I want your squad to focus on the northeast machine while Roger your group will attack the southeast. Amil's will take out the northwest and Azantis' the southwest. Now you are dismissed go inform your troops."
The four mentioned nodded and took their lower ranking officers with them to do as Lucia commanded.
"Are we really that powerful?" Sveta whispered to Matthew.
"I never thought about our powers in terms of war before. But thinking about it, if we didn't want to care what happened to the town we could easily take it down now. We've grown strong after the Apollo Lens event Sveta. Haven't you noticed your Psynergy seems stronger now than before?" Matthew commented.
"I have but I did not think we had become so destructive." Sveta said sadly turning her head down and away from Matthew.
"We're only destructive as we want to be Sveta." Amiti said. "Remember that your Boon Psynergy is stronger to. Along with Matthew's Cures and my own Plys."
"Think of it this way Sveta, now you can really Slap some sense into Matthew if he gets out of line" Eoleo joked.
The four Adepts laughed at Eoleo's joke while the others looked on in confusion not knowing there was a Slap Psynergy. Now with a smile on her face Sveta looked at the city they would be attacking. It was already late in the day and the sun would be setting in only an hour or two. Then the mages would attack the ballistae and hopefully remove the biggest problem for Crimea's army. It was going to be a bloody fight and she would have to fight against her bestial nature again. The beast in her longed for the fight and the chance to prove her strength to her mate while the girl in her cried at the fact she would be the one that ended so many lives.
Lucia approached Sveta and Matthew could tell that the Trueblade wanted something from her. He was proven right when the blue haired woman spoke up.
"Sveta I have a favour I need to ask of you." Lucia said calmly. "Can you help lead the mages towards the wall? Janaff will already be going but another set of eyes that can see well in the dark would be appreciated."
"Of course Lucia. There was no need to ask. I am as much a part of this army as any one of your soldiers. Please do not think you have to ask me to do these things." Sveta assured the Crimean General. "I do have a request to make of you though."
"What would that be?" Lucia asked curious as to what the beastgirl would ask for.
"You let Matthew accompany me of course." Sveta said cheerfully. "I have seen your mages fight and a few warriors along will be a good incase something goes wrong."
"I already have soldiers ready to go with the mages but I don't think one more will hurt." Lucia agreed.
After that they were all dismissed while Janaff, Sveta, and Matthew were told to go and eat something now so they wouldn't be operating on a full stomach. They were told the meeting point in the camp where all the mages and warriors would gather. When the three got their food, which happened to be some sort of stew like meal, from the chef and ate the entire thing Lucia approached them no longer wearing her normal white clothing. Instead she was dressed in full grey and Matthew could see the glint of chain mail underneath the outfit. It was apparent from her clothing that Lucia was one of the soldiers going with the mages.
"Once it gets dark head to the meeting point." Lucia instructed.
They nodded in understanding. Lucia walked off and went to remind a few others that would be going on the night mission.
It was hard waiting for the sun to go down. At time it seemed as if it would never move and that it hung in eternal twilight while at others it seemed as if only seconds had passed by and it was already dark than before. Matthew could feel the anticipation as he sat on the ground his eyes locked on the town he would soon be heading to under the cover of darkness.