Fire Emblem: Path to the Dawn

Chapter 22

Under the cover of night Matthew followed Sveta and Janaff towards the port town of Toha. Lucia along with six Fire Sages and another six Swordmasters followed behind them. Their goal was to take out the ballistae that lined the wall of the town. When the group got halfway to the town Janaff told them that there was a total of seven ballistae on the wall that they would need to take care of. Lucia cursed at the news. She had been hoping to attack all the ballistae at once so the Tuaparang wouldn't be able to man any of them while they moved about.

"Janaff." Lucia whispered to the Hawk Laguz. "Can you carry any of us without transforming?"

"I could probably carry Matthew or Sveta if they lost their armor." Janaff replied.

"Matthew" Lucia whispered loudly at the teen. She herself couldn't go because she was the one who was going to orchestrate the entire attack. She would be running from group to group to make sure they were ready and then give the signal to attack.

"On it." Matthew said, already undoing the straps on his armor.

Quietly he stripped off his armor and placed it in a nearby bush in hopes that no one would find it. The things he had done to obtain some of those items alone made them worth hiding from the Tuaparang. Marking the bush with a small trace of Psynergy he could detect later Matthew felt fine with leaving it behind. He didn't not however feel fine about rushing to a walled city filled with Tuaparang troops that could easily turn him into a human shish kabob. His common sense yelled at him telling him he was a moron for agreeing to such a thing. A tiny clank sound barely audible came from the bushes as Sveta tossed her own armor into the same bush Matthew had tossed his.

"Janaff can you please take me up after you have taken Matthew up? I would like to be there to watch his back." Sveta requested of the Hawk Laguz.

"Of course Sveta." Janaff answered.

"Let's get going then." Lucia said already heading towards the walls again.

Matthew gave Sveta a look as if to say that he was fine on his own. Sveta shook her head glaring at him letting Matthew know that the matter wasn't up for debate and that she would be accompanying him up the wall to destroy the last ballista. With a slow blink and nod of the head Matthew admitted defeat. There wasn't much up for debate anyway. He was going to need someone else there with him. Janaff wouldn't be much help as the Tuaparang used crossbows the Bird Tribes weakness.

They reached the eastern end of the wall. Lucia touched two people, one Sage and one Swordmaster. They were to stay while the other continued along the wall until Janaff or Sveta stopped them to point out the ballista that was above them. They continued down the wall dropping off the pairs of troops until they reached the end where the four warriors stood looking up the wall at the final giant crossbow their enemy had outfitted. Janaff walked up behind Matthew and stretched his wings out to their full extent. Matthew held up his arms and Janaff wrapped his arms around Matthew. With a beat of his wings the humanoid hawk lifted the Adept into the sky. Even in the dead of night with nothing more than the tide to cover up the sound Matthew had to strain his ears to hear the Hawk's wing beat. Janaff deposited Matthew on the wall and flew back down to get Sveta.

Taking the Sol Blade off of his back Matthew tried an advanced Adept power. The ability to sense human life. Mars Adepts could trace them by the heat they gave off. Jupiter Adepts could sense the wind displacement and some could even sense the small amounts of electricity the body produced. Mercury Adepts could sense the water inside humans and had the easiest time since most of them were healers and worked with the human body quite often. Venus Adepts however sensed the very life force that lived in each creature. There was a reason Venus Adepts were the ones that could learn the Revive Psynergy.

Not feeling anything Matthew kept trying. At the very least he should be able to sense Sveta, Janaff, and possibly Lucia if she was still down below. Matthew didn't feel anything even when he heard Sveta land next to him. The sounds of her claws clacking against the stone wall were what had given her away. Janaff waved at the two before flying back down to see wait for Lucia. The Trueblade General would run and check to make sure the others could see their target and would be able to reach it with the Meteor Tome they had been given for this job. Once she had gotten the okay from each of them Lucia would head back to Janaff who would transform into his Hawk form and let out a shriek. That was the sign for the Sages to destroy the ballistae. At that point they wouldn't have to worry about the sound Janaff made because the explosions caused by the magic would have woken up the Tuaparang anyway.

Standing there looking at the ballista Matthew tried to figure out how best to destroy it. The simple solution would be to cut the rope that launched the bolts. They probably had spares though and it wouldn't take them to long to replace it. Short of releasing Megiddo on the war machine Matthew had no clue on what he was going to do and as luck would have it the sword wasn't even brimming with the power of Purgatory. The Sol Blade was made of a stronger metal than other weapons but even it wouldn't be able to cut through the thick steel pieces of the ballista.

"Matthew I can destroy it." Sveta told him as he continued to study the machine. "I can feel the Shadow Cannon within the Umbra Knuckles."

"Looks like I'll be watching your back then." Matthew joked.

From down below came a flash of light. It was soon followed by a loud cry, the sounds of a hawk closing in on its prey. Matthew moved away from the war machine as Sveta coxed the energy of the Shadow Cannon out of the Umbra Knuckles. A dark purple aura surrounded her right fist as the energy boiled forth. Sveta pulled back her and then fast as lightning punched the air in front of her and the Shadow Cannon erupted out of the Umbra Knuckles. The purple beam of energy hit the ballista causing the metal to crumple under the force of the cannon. When the energy beam ended the only thing left of the ballista was a heap of crushed metal. Normally Sveta unleashed the Shadow Cannon as a ranged attack. Seeing the damage it could deal at close range Matthew was glad that no living creature had ever experienced such force.

All across the wall Matthew could see meteors the size of a large boulder slamming into the other ballistae. The ones that weren't destroyed on impact had their wooden pieces set aflame. Some of the metal even bent due to the heat of the attack rendering the ballista useless. Someone inside the city started to ring a bell. The Tuaparang now knew that Crimea's army had launched an attack on them.

Janaff appeared on the wall still in his Hawk form. Swooping over the wall he picked Sveta up in his talons to take her away from the wall and coming soldiers. She protested saying that she'd have a better chance against the Tuaparang in the dark but she was already in the sky by the time she had finished her sentence.

Say what you will about the Tuaparang and how stupid they were to leave their machines of war alone they responded to that alarm faster than Matthew thought humanly possible. It was only a few seconds after Janaff had taken off but already Matthew had four of the grunts standing in front of him with their crossbows trained on him. The sound of the lever release was the cue Matthew had been waiting for. With a cry he unleashed Chasm who absorbed the bolts they had sent at him. Next he unleashed Brick who coated him in a thin layer of alchemic stone. It wasn't much but it would help protect against a few of the bolts before the rock armor broke away.

Matthew took out the crossbow of the grunt closest to him. The Sol Blade may not be able to cut the thicker metal that had made the ballista but the hand held crossbows the Tuaparang used were like butter against it. Matthew followed up his slash with a kick to the soldier's chest. A crossbow bolt glanced off his armor chipping some of the stone away. Another two bolts were blocked by the flat side of the Sol Blade. The yellow blade flared bright as the sun as it unleashed Centurion. Matthew cut with the blade which was followed accompanied by a strong gust of wind. The wind came from the Jupiter power that fueled Centurion. Black armor was sliced in half by the unleashed fury of the Sol Blade. The grunt fell to the ground clutching his chest no longer able to fight with the gash on his chest.

Not wasting anytime Matthew leapt at one of the two remaining Tuaparang and unleashed Flint. Venus energy flowed over the sword and when Matthew's attack landed the soldier had no hope of living. Another bolt hit Matthew this time getting him in the shoulder. The stone armor of Brick stopped it so that only the tip of the bolt actually pierced flesh. A series of quick slashes cut through the crossbow, the armor, and the solider who wielded them.

A cry cut through the air as more Tuaparang started to surround Matthew. Janaff had returned to pick up the young Adept. Unleashing yet another Djinn Matthew this time called upon Vine to tangle his foes. Up from around the walls green vines acted like snakes and ensnared the Tuaparang giving Janaff enough of an opening to pick Matthew up. The stone armor disappeared as Janaff's talons latched onto Matthew. A quick beat of his wings took them both into the air and out of the range of their enemy. Matthew instructed Janaff to stop by the bush he had marked so he could retrieve the armor that he and Sveta had left behind. A few beats of his mighty brown wings and Janaff changed course to move towards where Matthew had pointed.

Landing on his feet as graceful as a cat Matthew rushed over to the shrub that carried the feel of Psynergy. He picked up the pieces of his armor and as fast as could be strapped them on just enough tight enough they wouldn't bother him when he started running back to camp. He noticed that the Umbra gear was already gone another Psynergy mark that felt like the wind was on the ground letting him know that Sveta was the one to claim the items. Matthew started his sprint towards the Crimean army's camp while Janaff flew above him keeping an eye out for anything coming their way.

The way to the camp was lit by both the moon and the roaring flames caused by the Fire Sages from behind Matthew. With the six large bonfires still going Matthew could easily make out the bumps in the ground before him. Having been so close to the city where four Psynergy Vortex were he no longer could use his abilities to sense the path before him. It was an unnerving feeling not being able to sense the stone and plant life that he commanded.

When Matthew reached the camp he was attacked by a purple blur. By the time his mind registered that Sveta was hugging him she had already pushed away and a padded hand slapped him across the face. It didn't hurt that much it was more of the shock that got him. Matthew looked down at Sveta as he rubbed his cheek. The fact she wasn't happy with him was written clearly on her face even her ears were pulled back in anger. Sveta's ears were a great way to judge what she was feeling.

"Why did you tell Janaff to take me back first?" she asked him. "You know that I would have an easier time dodging their crossbows than you Matthew." Matthew glared at Janaff for ratting him out. "Janaff did not tell me. I read your mind to confirm my suspicions."

"Did you really have to Spirit Sense me?" Matthew asked slightly annoyed that she had done so. It was also a testament to how drained he was that he didn't feel her do it.

"I... I should not have done that." Sveta acknowledged her ears drooping a little. "But you shouldn't have told him to take me first."

"Can we call it even then?" Matthew bargained.

"Not until you stop treating me like I am one of those woman who cannot help herself. I am a warrior and an Adept Matthew. I can protect myself and if necessary you." Sveta said with a huff.

"I'm sorry Sveta. I know you're strong. I'm just doing what mom and dad taught me to do and what my mind tells me to do." Matthew said in apology.

"I guess I cannot blame you for following your instincts." Sveta admitted. "From what I have heard of your mother I have a hard time she taught you to act that way."

"Dad always said mom has two sides, the warrior and the romantic." Matthew told Sveta. "Sometimes the conflict with each other and mom just gets mad at everything then. I have to say I rather be slapped than what dad got after he saved mom a few times. She'd torch his scarf."

Sveta laughed. "You only got slapped because I used my remaining power to use Spirit Sense. Had I any energy left you would have wished for Karis' wake up shock."

"Ouch." Matthew said mentally thinking about the amount of electricity that would be sent his way. "I've seen what she does to Tyrell. He should be able to cast Ray on his own by now he's been shocked by it so many times."

"Yes well I would not have shocked you that badly. Just enough to have gotten my point across." Sveta assured him.

Matthew held his arms out and smiled. Sveta walked into his embrace their argument over until Matthew put Sveta's safety before his own again. Lucia walked up to the young couple and cleared her throat to get their attention. Sveta moved quickly out from her spot against Matthew the tips of her ears red with embarrassment for being caught. The Trueblade was no longer in her grey attire but back in her normal white.

"You two did well out there. With their ballistae gone we should be able to overtake the wall easier. We will still have to be careful about their crossbows but I rather have to worry about just those." Lucia told them.

"If only if wasn't for those Psynergy Vortexes." Matthew said as he looked back at the city where four dark purple orbs hung in the sky. "We'd be more help than simple soldiers."

"Don't worry about it too much Matthew. Tomorrow we will try to take the wall and move into the city. Then we will take the Vortex generators out. I must ask that you two along with the Amiti and Eoleo stay back until. We will need you four at your peak."

"Sveta you have Wisp right?" Matthew asked looking towards his girlfriend.

"Yes. Karis switch me for Ether. She figured that sense I will be with other Adepts I should have Wisp instead." Sveta informed him.

"Perfect." Matthew grinned. "Looks like we'll be coming to take the city with you then Lucia. Wisp can restore our lost Psynergy once the Vortexes are gone. I'm sure that Eoleo has Flare to. With both of them we should have enough power back to do enough damage."

"I take it you are talking about your Djinn?" Lucia asked for clarification.

"Yeah." Matthew answered. "Too bad we don't have any Venus or Mercury Djinn that can restore Psynergy."

"Alright you two if you're going to take part in the battle it'd be best if you get some sleep while you can. We move not long after sunrise." Lucia said with a yawn. "I think I'll take my own advice in fact."


The sun was casting its warm glow over the Crimean army. Matthew stood with Lucia, Janaff, and the other high ranking members of the army around another table going over the plan. Lucia had come up with a plan to get them over the wall and into the town. It was going to be risky for quite a few people but it was also rewarding if they could do it. Crimea's Pegasus Knights and Wyvern Riders would transport warriors to the top of the wall. Three years ago Sanaki had sent Elincia baby wyverns and pegasi to train for her own flying division. The flying units had become highly valuable to the Crimean army. They would have cover fire from the Sages and any Archer until the first squad landed. The first squad that landed would have to take out the fortification allowing other members of the army access to the gate so they could break it down. From there swarm the four corners of the town and destroy that Vortex generators. Eoleo and Sveta would unleash Flare and Wisp respectively allowing the four Adepts to start taking out Tuaparang soldiers with their Psynergy.

"Lucia the Adepts should go in the first charge" one of the Captains said. "Sir Matthew held his own on that wall while Janaff brought Ms. Sveta back. Surely they can take out many of the enemy on their own even without their powers."

"I did so well because I knew I didn't have to save my Djinn." Matthew informed the man. "This battle is going to be longer and we'll need to use our Djinn sparingly. But you're right we should be among the first."

"Matthew are you sure the four of you will be able to handle that? Have you guys been in a fight against so many? It's not the same as fighting against only a few." Lucia asked him.

"While in Belinsk when the Grave Eclipse started we were swarmed by monsters. We couldn't go two feet without running into another one." Matthew answered his eyes misty as he remembered all the lives lost on that day. "So yes, we have faced many at once."

"Alright. Janaff will be the one to take you to the wall." Lucia told him. "Go tell your friends what they're expected to do and get ready."

Matthew nodded his head and left the meeting area the Sol Blade clinking against his armored back as he walked. He clenched his hands into fists as he thought about all the trouble that the Tuaparang had caused. So many deaths lay at the hands of the Zenith Tribe and Matthew was going to stop them from causing anymore. He found Sveta, Amiti, and Eoleo talking with a few soldiers. Telling them what he had signed them up for they were all fine with taking the risk of being among the first squad sent out. Eoleo said that so long as he ride one of the wyverns and not the girly pegasi he was fine with it. Amiti had the opposite feeling not wanting to mount one of the brutal looking wyverns. Sveta was the only one who didn't care which she had to ride.

A bell rang once telling the camp to move into position the time had come to launch their attack. The Adepts ran over to where the flying units were gathered. Janaff had found Matthew and stood next to the blonde warrior using his shoulder as an arm rest. Matthew just let it be and looked to see if he could see anyone else among the warriors that he knew. Other than the Adepts he only spotted Boyd standing among the group a large silver poleax on his back. Both Amiti and Eoleo had gotten their wish and were sitting on their preferred flying creature. Sveta had found a Pegasus Knight willing to let her on though the winged horse was unsure of the beastgirl. A few words from the owner to the mount and Sveta was allowed up on its back. Gatrie would be too heavy in his armor and Rhys along with the other healers were to be part of the group that broke through the gate. As General Lucia had to lead that same charge and even though she wanted to she couldn't be among the first squad.

"I thought pegasi and wyverns hated arrows." Matthew said to Janaff as they waited for the takeoff signal.

"They do and I can't say I blame them." Janaff replied. "Lucia is taking a gamble with this attack sending so many fliers towards bowmen.

"It'll pay off though." Matthew said with confidence. "I'm sure that the Sages and Archers will give us enough cover to get there without getting hit."

"You're pretty sure of an army you've never seen fight." Janaff chuckled.

"At the very least you're too fast to let yourself get hit." Matthew joked.

"You got that right. Those Tuaparang won't be able to even see our approach." Janaff boasted.

An explosion could be heard off in the distance as one of the Sages unleashed their magic on the wall. That was the cue for all the flying units to take to the sky and head towards the wall. Janaff transformed and gripped Matthew in his talons. Trying not to feel like a piece of meat being carried off by a to large bird Matthew mentally prepared himself for the fight ahead. Wing beats of the flying creatures made a deafening roar as they took to the sky. Matthew noticed that the pegasi didn't exactly use their wings to get airborne but more ran up into the sky and used their wings to steady themselves. As Janaff took to the sky Matthew his arms get lifted up first followed by the rest of his body. Not being attacked by Tuaparang at the moment allowed Matthew to fully appreciate the feeling of flight and the feeling of almost having his harms ripped out of their sockets.

The group headed towards the town of Toha. Matthew could already see fires along the wall from where the Fire Sages had attacked. A few spots along the wall were covered in chunks of ice from a Wind Sage's Blizzard Tome. There were even less scorch marks from the Bolting Tomes that the very few Thunder Sages had. Elincia had made sure that the Sage had been outfitted with the ranged tomes knowing that the Tuaparang's crossbow reached farther than any produced on Tellius.

Crossbow bolts flew through the air and towards the Crimean army that had gathered outside of Toha's walls. From up in the air Matthew could only watch as soldiers were caught by one of the bolts and fell to the ground either injured or dead. Either the Tuaparang hadn't noticed the large group flying to them or they weren't worried because not a single bolt had been fired towards the sky. Then out from behind the wall a large boulder was flung into the sky. The Tuaparang had a catapult in the city. Matthew was far enough away from the Vortexes to still have a small amount of Psynergy. He cast Ragnarok on the boulder at the same time the glow of Shine Plasma struck shattering the stone into tiny piece. Even the small amount of Psynergy that Ragnarok took had drained Matthew of his last bit of Psynergy, they were too close to the Vortexes now. He had bought the soldiers below some more time though.

When they were within only a few feet about half of the Tuaparang on the walls turned their attention upwards and started firing on the fliers. With so many firing at close range they managed to hit a few of the pegasi and wyverns. Luck was on the Crimean army's side though as only one fell to the ground from the damage they had taken. Many of the bolts had been deflected by the two riders. Janaff though had managed to fly out of the way of the bolts that had been shot at him and Matthew.

For the second time in twelve hours Matthew was dropped out of the air and onto the wall of Port Toha. He rolled forward to avoid injury from falling. When he got up the Sol Blade was in his hands and Matthew made his way to the nearest Tuaparang soldier. Cutting the black armored grunt Matthew danced his way through the enemy looking for Sveta, Amiti, and Eoleo. They would need to stick together for when the Vortexes were gone. Matthew found Sveta and Amiti taking out a group of soldiers. A heavily armored soldier stood in front of him. He looked a cut above the rest and had a large hammer for a weapon instead of the standard crossbow. Matthew smiled and thanked the gods that the Tuaparang were finally branching out to other weapons. The Venus Adept charged forward and readied Flint to take out the man in the thicker armor. Before he reached the heavily armored man Boyd appeared and got to him first clearing the way for Matthew.

Matthew made his way to his two friends about the same time Eoleo appeared from the other side. The four nodded in confirmation to stick together. Like a well-oiled machine the four Adepts were a blur of attacks. Matthew and Eoleo drew the attention of the soldiers away from Sveta and Amiti. The two faster warriors would dart around punching and slicing the distracted soldiers. Matthew felt the unleash of a Djinn and the speed increase it brought. The purple aura that settled over him let him know that it had been a Jupiter Djinn. He mentally kept track of the amount of Djinn Sveta and Amiti used. There was still one summon that Amiti could use that wouldn't destroy the town.

With normal Crimean soldiers the four Adepts headed down the wall and into the town. Sitting in the middle of the town was the catapult a new boulder ready to launch over the wall and crush the soldiers outside. Matthew pointed it out to his friends and they started running towards it. On the way to the catapult they ran into more of the heavily armored melee Tuaparang. They had axes and swords this time. The Sol Blade glowed with Furrow's power while Eoleo's axe was red with Lava. Together the two powers of Venus and Mars Djinn struck one of the sword wielding warriors felling him instantly. Amiti released Sleet making for the third Djinn he had released. Sveta just need to unleash a Djinn and they'd have unleashed enough for the summon.

"Sveta use Haze!" Matthew commanded.

Calling out his name Sveta unleashed the Jupiter Djinn covering the area in a thick fog. A purple veil came over the Adepts eyes allowing them to see through the alchemic fog. It wouldn't do well to unleash Haze if they couldn't see either.

"Amiti summon Coatalique!" Matthew ordered. "Everyone protect Amiti."

Three Jupiter Djinn crystals floated from Sveta over to the Mercury Adept as three of his of Djinn crystals floated up to join their elemental brothers. Amiti began the chant that would summon the goddess that carried the water of life. The Crimean soldiers didn't know what was going on but they obeyed the Venus Adept without question moving to from a circle of protection around Amiti. Matthew, Sveta, and Eoleo kept their assault on the thick armored foes taking them out one by one.

Amiti raised his sword to the sky at the end of the chant the six Djinn crystals flying high into the sky. Where the crystal converged a blue haired woman in a white dress hold a jug of water appeared. She poured the contents of the jug down on Amiti and those near him the drops of water missing the Tuaparang solders. Part of a summon chant was a description of who to exclude when it activated. The small cuts that the soldiers and Adepts had sustained started to heal on their own. Coatalique was the only summon whose sole purpose was to aid the party. The waters of life would stay with them for about five minutes healing minor wounds. The Crimean soldiers looked at themselves in awe as they were healed. Amiti got their attention back to the battlefield and they all continued to heads towards the catapult.

Defeating soldiers on the way they reached the war machine. The wooden structure was defended by a large number of Tuaparang. Even in large numbers they weren't a match for the Crimean soldiers and the Adepts. Making quick work of the enemy they soldiers of Crimea started to take apart the key points of the catapult rendering it useless. Up in the sky a Psynergy Vortex collapsed in on itself before disappearing. The army had made it through the gates already and had dispatched of the first generator.

As Matthew's group ran through the streets taking out the enemy units he wondered where the citizens of Toha were at. Hoping against everything that they were safe Matthew took out another crossbow Tuaparang. He was going to save any of them that still lived and prevent these soldiers from taking any more lives even if that meant ending their lives. Matthew understood that in war there was death. His job was to make sure that is was his enemy that died and not his friends.

Tuaparang soldiers kept coming at Matthew and his group of soldiers as they headed towards the north-east generator. It was the one that was would be the hardest to get to. There were buildings all over making alleyways that were hard to navigate and gave the ranged Tuaparang an advantage. The length of the battle was taking its toll on Matthew. He had never fought for so long. Even back in Belinsk they had more run away from fights to get to their ship than stay and take out the monsters. Facing the intelligent Tuaparang that could work together proved more of a challenge than Matthew originally thought.

Another two generator had to have been taken out because Matthew could only see on Vortex hanging in the air now. He didn't know how the Crimean army was moving so quickly through the streets but he was thankful that they only had one more to worry about. Rounding a corner Matthew was greeted with a bolt in the side. He moved back behind the house for cover and looked at the bolt embedded in his side. He started to pant and realized that the bolt had to have been tipped with poison. A heat was coursing through him. He remembered feeling the same after some monster had clawed him back on Weyard. He didn't have Clover with him to get rid of the poison either and Rief was the one with Dewdrop.

"Matthew what's wrong?" Sveta asked dropping next to him as she pulled the Umbra Goggles up to get a better look at him.

"Poisoned bolt." Matthew said.

"Amiti!" Sveta yelled instinctively. "Matthew has been poisoned!"

The blue haired swordsman rushed over and looked Matthew over. "I can't cleanse him Sveta." He told her sadly. "There's still a Vortex up and I have no power left."

"Solaris we got one over here!" a female voice yelled. "Bring that Restore Staff on the double."

A man appeared out of the group of white clad soldiers. He was wearing black robes and was holding a staff that had a green orb set on top. Seeing Matthew on the ground with Sveta and Amiti next to him it wasn't hard to figure out who he needed to heal. Chanting in a language that was foreign to Matthew he watched as energy poured out of the orb and washed over him. The heat from the poison started to leave his body. Now all that he was left with was the bolt still stuck in his side.

"Thank you." Matthew said to the man.

"No problem young man." Solaris said. "Next time look before you round a corner. I won't always be there to heal you."

"Come on Sol." The same female voice from earlier said. She appeared out of the crowed wearing her chest plate with a large shield on her left arm. A silver blade in her right hand sparkled in the light. "Let's show those Tuaparang what happens when they poison kids."

"I agree Luna hun." Sol said as he pulled a black book out from his robes. "I think Flux should do."

"You have to be old school don't you?" Luna sighed. "Most Druids use Worm now you know."

"If I was a simple Druid I would use Worm to. I however am a Summoner my dear and have more knowledge than those pitiful practitioners of the dark arts can hope to comprehend." Sol informed them all casually.

"Right right whatever let's just go." Luna said as she pulled her shield up to cover her before she rounded the corner.

"She's so happy to be back on the battlefield." Sol said with a smile as he followed after her. "Domestic life just wasn't for her."

Matthew turned his head to peer into the alleyway that the two had just entered. Luna held up her shield and the crossbow bolts dug into the metal but she kept her charge. Sol stood behind her and chanted a spell. When he finished a black orb appeared above his head before it sunk into the ground. Underneath one of the Tuaparang a black circle appeared before the orb came out of the ground and exploded in his face. Not knowing what had happened the other soldiers looked for the source of the attack only to find Luna's blade instead.

"All clear!" Luna's voice echoed through the alley.

As Matthew was side tracked by the awesome display of power the two had just displayed Amiti ripped the bolt out from him. Two Djinn were unleashed and patched him up before he could understand what had happened. There was still pain as the Djinn only had enough power to patch him up enough so that he could start healing on his own and continue fighting. With more help from Sveta than he would have wanted to admit Matthew got back up on his feet. He wasn't in the best condition but once that Vortex was gone he'd be able to Potent Cure himself into shape. Or just give him a Tuaparang to hit with Steel and he'd be fine.

Walking briskly, not running, Matthew headed down the alley that Sol and Luna had cleared for them. The older couple took the lead and checked each alley before they headed down it. When they ran into trouble Eoleo and Luna would charge down while Sol, shielded by the two warriors, would continue to cast his Flux spell on the Tuaparang. Sveta was helping Matthew walk down the alley after the soldiers and using Breath when the Djinn had enough power to heal again. Soon enough the group of soldiers came to a square opening where about forty Tuaparang soldiers stood guarding the last generator.

"Alright than how best to take them all out." Sol thought aloud. "Eoleo I want you and Luna to head out first followed by the rest of the soldiers. Grunts" Sol said to the normal soldiers who didn't seem to be anything special. For some reason Amiti was included in this group. "I want you to get into groups of three then pick a Tuaparang soldier and take him out. Once you've killed him move on to the next one until we've killed them all."

"Ready fire hair?" Luna asked Eoleo as she got ready to charge.

"Fire hair?" Eoleo asked as Luna rounded the corner and went to go take out the soldiers. "I didn't say I was ready!" he growled as he went after her his Herculean Axe in his hand.

"She's not the best when it comes to nicknames is she?" Sol asked nobody in particular.

"I've heard worse." Matthew said. "Tyrell is about the same caliber when it comes to nicknames."

"I supposed I should go help them." Sol said holding his tome as he strolled out to the open area.

The second he walked out he waved his hand outward. One of the dark orbs of Flux appeared and sunk into the ground before appearing in front of a Tuaparang soldier. Eoleo and Luna were a two person army as they quickly took out many of the black clad soldiers on their own. The groups of three soldier, and Amiti, weren't dispatching them as quickly as the Pirate and Hero. A few Crimean soldier fell but most lived through the attack leaving the generator open for the group to destroy.

"Sol would you do the honors?' Luna said pointing her blade at the machine. "Don't want to ruin my blade trying to hack that thing to pieces."

"You'd just get a new one." Sol said as he flipped through his tome to find the correct spell. "I'll do it in your name though." Sol told her before he started chanting. At the end of his incantation he shouted "Luna!"

A black symbol appeared behind Sol before it vanished and moved next to the machine. Dark magic assaulted the machine causing it to break down and the last Vortex was removed from the sky. Without hesitation Eoleo and Sveta unleashed their Psynergy restoring Djinn. The powers of Mars and Jupiter flowed into Matthew restoring his Psynergy. Amiti wasted no time in using his Plys to heal a few of the Crimea soldiers of their wounds. Matthew casted a Potent Cure on himself and felt like he could actually fight again. Sveta, like Amiti, was using her Boon Psynergy to aid the injured soldiers.

"Alright guys!" Eoleo shouted as he was brimming with Mars power. "Let's get these Tuaparang out of the city.

Matthew, Sveta, and Amiti nodded their heads and got their Psynergy ready. Amiti had a Supercool ready, Sveta a Shine Plasma, Matthew readied a Mad Growth, while Eoleo had a Cycle Beam charged and ready. The four Adepts head towards the docks the place that all soldiers were to head towards once the Vortexes were gone.

With their Psynergy restored they made quick work of the Tuaparang soldiers that stood in their way. Coatalique was summoned once again to keep them going as they made their way through the streets and alleyways of Toha. It didn't take very long for the Tuaparang to realize with the Adepts unleashed and facing the army filled with Sages they weren't going to stand a chance. They didn't have protection against such forces. Most had started fleeing towards the harbor which suited Matthew just fine as it cleared the path for them and he didn't have to use Psynergy to get rid of soldiers.

When they reached the docks the largest group of Tuaparang stood with their backs towards the water crossbows trained on the streets waiting for anyone to come through. Matthew spotted Lucia and Janaff, who was in his human for, two streets over. Lucia pointed towards the Tuaparang and nodded her head letting them know that they were to go all out on the remaining group.

"I wouldn't do that if I were you." A voce said from within the cluster of enemy soldiers. "I can feel you gathering your Psynergy young Adepts."

A man purple armor walked out towards the front to where everyone could see him. Like all Tuaparang soldier his helmet covered his face so you couldn't tell what he looked like. Like the melee soldiers his armor was thicker than the normal standard issue armor the others wore. His however had gold on the edges and a black cape flowing off his back.

"I'm sure you have been wondering where we've put you lovely citizens of Toha." The man said. "If you look real closely at the soldier behind me you'll see that some of them don't have any weapons. That's right folks. We've dressed them up as one of us. How many of your own people did you kill out there? Did you just kill anyone in our armor or did you notice that some didn't have weapons and let them live?"

Matthew felt sick. To use such a tactic was barbaric. How could they send the citizens out in Tuaparang armor to get killed? How had he not noticed that some of the soldier didn't have weapons? How many did he kill that were innocent?

"You're a monster!" Lucia shouted at him. "Using innocent people to protect yourselves."

"Aw come on deary." The man laughed. "This is war and all is fair. Now our ship is coming in to pick us up and unless you want to blast your own people into the water you'll let us board and we'll be on our merry way. This town will be yours. I have to say you fought hard for it."

As the man spoke a ship entered the harbor and docked as close as it could to the Tuaparang soldiers. Something looked off to Matthew though. From what Lucia said the Tuaparang had outfitted each of their ships with one of their supped-up ballistae. This ship though didn't have such a weapon mounted on it anywhere,

"Speakin' of our ship here it is." He said. "Remember now your own people are mixed in with us."

He turned and started walking towards the ship. Black armored Tuaparang and Tellieans boarded the ship.

"Get those citizens to the bottom deck on the double!" the leader shouted. "Store them away from us I don't want to see their ugly mugs while I'm on that ship!"

"You're in idiot!" Lucia shouted at the man. "You should have check who was piloting the ship. Come on men lets aid the dragons!"

A series of flashing lights appeared from the ships as red and white dragons started to take out the Tuaparang on the ship. The dragons had separated the soldiers from the citizens like the leader had asked of them making it easy for everyone to tell who they needed to take out.

Matthew ignored the normal grunts though and headed straight for their leader. If he could sense them readying their Psynergy that meant that he was most likely an Umbra Adept himself. Sveta, Amiti, and Eoleo followed after him knowing what Matthew was doing. A Stone Spire dropped on the leader as a Megacool appeared under his feet. A beam of red energy burst out of Eoleo as he cast Searing Beam. From the heaves Spark Plasma rained down on him. All the Psynergy attacks were met with a black barrier of Dark Psynergy.

"You may have had your powers increased by the Apollo Lens kiddies but you have no chance against the powers of darkness." The Dark Adept said. "Now have a taste of you own attacks!"

Blackened energy shot out in the same style of Eoleo's Searing Beam. A red aura appeared around Eoleo as he jumped in front to take the blast. Reflux sent the energy back at the Umbra Adept but Eoleo had still taken the brunt of the attack. Amiti appeared next to him and cast a Pure Ply to heal Eoleo. The effects weren't as great as they should have been though. The dark energy from the attack had messed with Amiti's healing.

Matthew kept on running though knowing that Amiti would take care of Eoleo no matter what happened. Unleashing Steel the Sol Blade glowed with the Djinn's energy and stole power from the Umbra Adepts to heal Matthew. Sveta used one of her own Djinn her Umbra Knuckles glowing with the elemental's energy.

Together the Matthew and Sveta rained a barrage of Djinn enhanced physical attacks on the barrier their foe had created. It started to crack and the man raised his fist ready to fight. When the barrier shattered Matthew used a Quake to upset his balance while Sveta jumped into the air to avoid the effects if the Psynergy and came down with a kick to the Umbra Adepts chest.

"You'll pay for all the deaths you caused!" Matthew shouted as the ground under his foe erupted with the powers of Gaia.

Before the Psynergy fully resolved Matthew slid his sword into the gap between the legs and chest plate of the Umbra Adept's armor. The Sol Blade came back out its yellow blade dripping with the blood of its victim. Raising the blade above his head Matthew brought it down on the injured warrior cutting through his armor with some difficulty but cutting through nonetheless.

This Umbra Adept had been nothing but a joke compared to the one they had fought in Serenes Forest. They had to be like normal Adepts and vary in power for there to have been such a difference in strength.

"Good job Matthew" Lucia said as she approached him.

"How did you know that the ship was filled with Dragon Laguz?" Matthew asked her.

"I spotted Nasir at the helm is why. If you look at the flag its flying you'll see a small dragon on the corner to." Lucia pointed out. "We had a feeling that the Tuaparang would try to use the citizens to get away. I've been in contact with Nasir since we left the castle. It was his idea to bring his ship into harbor with his dragon brethren to take aid us."

"How many did we kill in the city though?" Matthew asked Lucia.

"Don't worry Matthew the soldiers knew to look out for anything suspicious and we didn't get anyone. The soldiers you traveled with didn't see anyone without a weapon." She assured him. "This was planned out ahead we knew what we were doing."

"Thanks Lucia. I feel better knowing that we didn't kill anyone by mistake." Matthew ran over to Sveta and his other friends to tell them the good news.

"Are you sure you should have lied to him like that?" Janaff asked Lucia as he walked up to her. "What if he finds out that we didn't know they used your people against you?"

"Just go with it for now Janaff." Lucia told him softly. "They're kids. They weren't ready for this war like we are. Just let them think they did good without hurting our people."

"You have a good heart Lucia." Janaff told her.

"Thank you. Let's go and see Nasir now." Lucia said as a tear fell for those who had fallen in battle.

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