Felix and Yune stood in his room reading the note over again. The fact that Alondite was there still came down to the Tuaparang's ego. They thought that they could take it from Felix in battle. Alondite clattered to the floor as Felix removed the vines holding it up. Picking up the weapon Felix strapped it onto his back. There was no way he was letting it out of his sights not with the Tuaparang after it. Yune looked worriedly at the sword slung down Felix's back. Both she and Ashera had blessed that blade. There was more to that blade than even the Goddess knew.
"Felix I think we should get back to the ball and let Micaiah know what happened." Yune said.
"Let's go then Yune." Felix agreed walking out of his room.
Yune walked ahead of Felix as he was lost in thought. He couldn't believe that they had left him the Alondite after offering the Teleport Lapis for it. Everything Felix knew about the Tuaparang pointed to the fact that they would have simply taken the sword instead. A guard at the entrance to the ballroom stopped Felix from entering telling him that weapons weren't allowed for anyone. Little Yune jumped up on Felix's back to get eye level with the guard.
"Do you know who I am?" she asked him.
"No" the guard responded.
"Let's keep it that way." Felix said. "Sorry about this." He added to guard as a stone from the ceiling fell on his helmet with enough force to knock him out.
Felix strode into the ballroom with both a Goddess blessed weapon and a Goddess on his back. Everyone stared at them as they walked into the room. They all knew that there weren't any weapons allowed at this event. That and the fact that a young girl was piggyback riding on Felix. Felix just kept walking right to where Micaiah and the others were still standing not giving anyone a second glace. Thankfully Micaiah had noticed Felix and his cargo and had started in his direction.
"Felix where'd you run off to?" she whispered when she made it to him. "And what is Alondite doing on your back?"
"The Tuaparang were here." Felix answered. "We've never known what an Umbra Adept's powers are but they can influence the mind. They offered me a very powerful item in exchange for Alondite. I told them no of course. Both Yune and I went to go check and see if Alondite was still in my room. On the trap I had laird there was a note Micaiah. The Umbra Adept had gotten into my room and could have taken the sword with him but he rather kill me first."
"Fe-Fe and me aren't affected because I'm me and he's been blessed with Namax's power." Yune added.
"Yune who is Namax exactly?" Felix asked her. He hoped that if he left the nickname alone she'd get bored with it.
"He's the God of Alchemy silly." Yune said in a childish matter-of-fact tone. "I don't know what happened to him after the flood though. I don't talk with the other Gods and Goddesses too much. That's why I'm here with you guys instead."
"So since the Tuaparang are after Alondite you brought it here with you into a room filled with innocent people?" Sothe put up as he appeared next to Micaiah.
"Quiet you or I'll take away the power I gave you." Yune said as she pointed at Sothe.
"Sothe it's alright. The people are safest with us anyway." Micaiah assured him. "Though from what Felix and Yune said we don't have much of a defense against their ability to influence our minds."
"We have to hope that using that power drains a lot out of them." Felix said. "If they can't do it for very long or to too many people then we should be able to counter it."
"Agreed. Right now Felix you're looking like a one man army." Micaiah told him. "We still have a ball to finish though. Everyone just be on your guard. Oh and Felix, Mia wants to see you."
"Fe-Fe's in trouble." Yune said as she dropped down from Felix's back.
Felix couldn't help but think that Yune was right as he made his way through the crowd and to Mia who was standing with Haar and Jill. Jill and Mia were talking about something while Haar looked as if he was asleep standing up. His eye was open but he had the slow steady breathing of someone sleeping. Mia didn't look mad at all so he wondered if Yune had just been wrong or if Mia was hiding it till he appeared. Ready for any sort of sign that the Trueblade was peeved with him Felix approached cautiously.
He wasn't noticed by the two girls until he was standing right next to them. Haar on the other hand had shifted slightly so that his eye was more trained on Felix than before. Felix was a little shocked but guessed that Haar must have actually been awake. Not knowing if Haar saw him as a threat or not Felix tried to put the man's actions out of his mind at the moment. Right as Felix was about to tap Mia on her shoulder Micaiah's voice rang through the air.
"Alright everyone our newest Hero of Daein, Felix, is now accepting invitations for dancing!" The Queen said from atop a small platform in front of the band.
Felix's face paled. There was a literal mob of single, and some not-so-single, women making a mad dash in Felix's direction.
"You got to hurry though girls or he might be taken by the time you get to him." Micaiah added.
Warrior instincts took over and Felix grabbed the best weapon for the job, Mia. His arm was around her waist before any of the other girls were even within two feet of him. The mob of women that had been charging towards Felix noticed his arm wrapped around Mia who looked quite surprised at what had just transpired. They all started to slink away as the band started up a slow melody, one that normally only couples would dance to.
"Felix what do you think you're doing?" Mia asked him. She didn't remove his arm though. In fact if anyone didn't know better they'd say that she was enjoying his arm wrapped around her.
"Sorry Mia." Felix apologized. "Micaiah just turned me into a prize. Please dance with me or those vultures will be back."
"Alright Fe-Fe I'll save you from the herd of clucking hens" Mia agreed as she let Felix escort her to the dance floor. "I'll be right back Jill."
"Take your time." Jill said as she moved over and tried to drag Haar out onto the dance floor. She would have had better luck getting his wyvern to dance with her.
Felix and Mia made their way to the dance floor where everyone moved to make room for the duo. Not having danced since Jenna's wedding Felix was a little rusty and had a hard time trying to recall any of the steps he had learned. Watching the couples around him Felix tried to mimic what the guys were doing and it seemed that Mia had the same idea only she of course was copying the women. It was an awkward dance to say the least as neither of them were really looking at the other and instead were looking around the room trying to figure out what the next step in the dance was. At one point they both figured out that the dance was three short moves repeated over and over again. Once they had realized this their movements become much more fluid and it looked as if they were actually dancing with one another.
Micaiah popped up next to Jill who had given up attempting to get Haar to dance with her. His argument had been that he'd already dance enough for one night. They had gone to the dance floor a few times when Jill had wanted to.
"And Mia says that she doesn't like him." Micaiah giggled as she watched the two dance.
"Look how red Felix's face is though." Jill pointed out. There was a definite blush to Felix's normally calm demeanor.
"Elincia was telling me how fun it was to pair people up. Now I understand why she enjoyed it so much." Micaiah confessed.
"Who'd Elincia push together?" Jill asked.
"Janaff and Lucia."
"Oh I remember Janaff asking her out back during the Mad King's war." Jill said. "I didn't think he was serious though."
"Well Jill want to stay here a few days and help Felix and Mia out?" Micaiah asked her.
"Sounds like fun but I do have a wedding to plan Micaiah." Jill reminded her.
"We can multitask."
"Alright. Let's get those two to admit their feelings then." Jill agreed.
"Or you two can butt out and let them figure it out." Haar told them both.
Micaiah and Jill looked at each other. "Nah." They said in unison.
Haar just rolled his eye and went back to sleep. And yes Felix was right. Haar had been asleep earlier.
She was ready. Today would be her first mission with them. If she could do this then she'd be one step close to finding out the truth about her past. Gripping a short sword in her right hand she looked around her. Tuaparang soldiers lined the inside of the airship. They didn't trust her though and she certainly didn't trust them. But she had to work with them or the mission couldn't be done. She was promised with information about her past if she could manage to capture Queen Micaiah of Daein. Zacchaeus had already failed in getting Alondite from its wielder. Whoever was holding it was going to be a threat she was warned. He was an excellent fighter and was Daein's strongest warrior now. If she wanted to get Micaiah she was most likely going to have to go through him. She was ready though. It was worth it. All the Tuaparang wanted was some information from the Queen and then they'd let her go.
Side doors slid open and ropes were tossed out as they hovered above Nevassa. Clouds had covered their approach allowing them to fly without being spotted. Now as they floated in the air above the capital city of Daein the Tuaparang soldiers grabbed the ropes and prepared to descend once they were close enough to the roof of Daein Keep. One of the Tuaparang gave the signal telling the ones holding the ropes to descend down to the roof. Black armored soldiers slid down one after another until the cabin had emptied of the infantry troops. Sheba grabbed one of the ropes and lowered herself down to the grey rooftop below the hovering airship. Dressed in the same outfit of the Tuaparang infantry soldiers you couldn't even tell that she was a girl under the armor let alone her identity. Her only difference was the short sword in her hand instead of the standard issue crossbow.
Daein guards spotted them as they landed on the rood but were silenced by crossbow bolts before they could cry out and alert the rest of the soldiers. The only thing keeping the Tuaparang out of Daein Keep was a large wooden door. Wind whipped around the rooftop answering Sheba's call. A roaring tempest slammed into the door and tore it clean off its hinges. Tuaparang soldiers filed into the opening and the sounds of bolts flying through the air could be heard from the top of the staircase where Sheba stood. As Daein guards died they cried out and it wasn't long before a bell tolled sounding the alarm. Zacchaeus' plan was going as scheduled. Sheba's team was sent in from the roof to cause a distraction while the Umbra Adept and his team came in through the front door of the Keep. Both teams would head to the ballroom where Queen Micaiah was to be found. All they had to do was get to the ballroom anyway possible. Rather than killing the Daein guards she came across Sheba simply used her Sleep Psynergy and watched them fall down as she made her way towards Micaiah.
The resistance that Daein's troops put up was pitiful. They hadn't been ready for an attack on the keep at all. Most of the soldiers weren't even in full armor and had only haphazardly put on a chest plate before they charged out with their spears in hand. Reaching the doors to the ballroom long before Zacchaeus' group Sheba ordered the double doors open. Standing at the top of the stairs Sheba looked down at the crowd of Daein nobles and common folk. Standing up on a platform dressed in finery suited for royalty was the Silver-Haired Queen of Daein, Micaiah.
Felix was quite happily dancing with Mia when he heard the alarm sound alerting the soldiers that the Keep was under attack. Guards filed into the room a few of them carrying extra weapons for those who had fighting skills within the room. Micaiah was handed a Thani Tome and a Heal Staff. Sothe produced a Stiletto from his boot and stood ready for the incoming enemy troops. Mia was handed a Silver Sword while Haar was given a Silver Poleax and Jill got a Silver Axe. Felix took Alondite in his hand and brought it down to the side wielding the two handed blade in one hand like a boss, or like a certain Vanguard we know. Micaiah ran over to the podium that she had stood on when she announced that Felix was accepting dances and told the guests to please remain calm and follow the soldiers out of the room to safety.
Right as Micaiah finished her instructions the double doors up by the stairs opened up and Tuaparang soldiers filed in. One of them was wielding a small sword instead of a crossbow and from the way he stood he seemed to be in charge of the others. It was the first time Felix and seen the Tuaparang have any sort of leader other than an Umbra Adept. Next to Felix Mia kicked off her heels and stood barefoot holding the Silver Sword in her hands ready for the upcoming fight. It looked a little intimidating until she had to take one hand off the hilt to pull up the top of her dress again. Felix felt himself grin as Mia grumbled about having to fight in a dress.
The Tuaparang lined the upper level of the ballroom and pointed their crossbows down at the crowed. It would be like shooting fish in a barrel if they decided to fire. Magic and Psynergy were the only things that would be able to help them out now and Micaiah's Thani spell wasn't going to be much use against the thin armor of the Tuaparang. It was meant to take out heavily armored soldiers. There were too many for Felix to take out all at once and nothing he could do to stop them from firing at the people in the room. Well there was one thing he could do but he had yet to perfect the ability. The Warriors of Vale had all started learning the other powers of their element. For example Mia had learned some of more water Mercury Psynergy like Drench. It had started a few years ago but all of them found that Psynergy spells didn't come in threes but in fours. If they focused hard enough they could call upon a deeper energy inside them and reach a new level of power. Already Felix had mastered what he called Terra Quake the fourth level of the Quake series. The Psynergy that he was debating was Granite Spire. Its range was far reaching and he should be able to hit all the Tuaparang standing on the upper level but he hadn't fully perfected the attack and there could easily be a few stray spires.
Another door burst open as more Tuaparang filed in from the ground floor of the ballroom. This group was led by Zacchaeus clad in full heavy Tuaparang armor his sword hanging at his hip. More Tuaparang soldiers filed in behind him and guarded all the exits before any of the guest managed to realize that they were being trapped by the enemy soldiers.
"We are here for Queen Micaiah. Hand her over and you all may live." Zacchaeus proclaimed.
Felix watched as the light of Psynergy enveloped the Umbra Adept. In the back of his mind Felix could feel something telling him to give Micaiah up. What was she to him after all? Just another Queen for the history books. Tightening his grip on Alondite Felix sent a wave of energy out at Zacchaeus disrupting his Psynergy as he had to dodge the attack. With the Psynergy light from Zacchaeus gone Felix no longer felt any urge to give Micaiah up. He wondered how strong the feeling was for the others who didn't have the resistance that he did.
Felix! Echo cried out to him. Hurry and give Mia the Alondite. It's been blessed by Yune and should offer Mia some resistance to Zacchaeus' powers!
Thank you Echo. Felix replied.
It's what we Djinn are here for. One of Felix's nameless Djinn added.
"Mia take Alondite." Felix said offering her the hilt of the blade. "Zacchaeus can mess with your mind. Echo and the other Djinn think that Yune's blessing should help protect you."
Mia reached for Alondite but stopped before her hand reached the hilt. "But what about you? Won't you be affected then?"
"My exposure to the Golden Sun prevents me from feeling the full effects. It's more like an annoying voice in the back of my mind but I can ignore it. I ignore Echo all the time after all." Felix said with a chuckle.
Inside of Felix the little elemental fumed.
"Alright" Mia said as she took Alondite from Felix.
Taking Mia's Silver Sword in for his own weapon Felix readied the Granite Spire attack. All he had to do was get enough of the Tuaparang soldiers to give the Daein guards in the room a chance. White light poured out of Felix as he cast the high level attack. Grey stone spires appeared in the air and started to fall down on unsuspecting Tuaparang soldiers. Either by luck or having finally mastered the attack not a single spire had fallen near one of Daein's citizens. What did happen though was a series of lightning bolts came down from the top of the stairs and strike the ground around Felix and Mia. Looking at where the bolts had come from Felix could feel trace amounts of Psynergy coming off of the Tuaparang soldier holding the short sword.
Echo. Transfer to Mia please. She'll need the advantage if we're going to be facing to Adepts. Felix requested of his Djinn.
Golden light bounced from Felix and into Mia. The Trueblade shifted as she felt the effects of Echo increase her abilities. From the look on her face it seemed that Echo was explaining his presence to her at the moment. Felix didn't blame her for making funny faces as she mentally conversed with the Earth Elemental. It wasn't something you ever fully got used to.
The Daein guards had seized the opportunity that Felix had created and had started engaging the ground floor soldiers in battle. Being instructed by Micaiah the soldiers opened up one of the doors and let the guest out before any of them got hurt. The ballroom had gone from a place of peace to a battlefield. Mia used Alondite's magic attack to reach the Tuaparang on the upper level as she ran up the stairs to fight them head on. She was stopped by the Adept at the top of the stairs though. Lightning crackled in the Adept's hands before it was sent out as a Storm Ray at Mia. The Trueblade dodge the attack with seemingly little effort and started a duel with the apparent Jupiter Adept.
Trusting in Mia's ability Felix looked around and tried to find Zacchaeus amongst the battles. It wasn't that hard to find the only heavily armored soldier in the room. Finding him striding towards Micaiah and Sothe Felix clutched the Silver Sword in his hand and ran to protect the King and Queen. Sothe may be a fast warrior but his tiny dagger wasn't going to be much use against that thick armor. Micaiah's Thani spell though should be able to tear right through it. However the King and Queen just stood there waiting for Zacchaeus to come to them. Felix could see the Psynergy light coming off the Umbra Adept and the purple veil over the royalties' eyes. Again the veil over Micaiah's eyes wasn't as pronounced as Sothe's was. Casting a quick Quake spell Felix tried to break Zacchaeus' concentration again but he wasn't caught off guard this time and was able to keep the two under his control.
Leaping into the air Felix unleashed a Djinn and brought his Elemental enhanced sword down on his foe. Cracks appeared in the armor as the Djinn's effect took place. The cracks in the armor wouldn't last forever but for the time being Zacchaeus' defense was weakened.
"So Felix you would defend these people?" the Umbra Adept asked as he drew he long sword out. "Where is the Alondite? I plan to collect it once I have the Queen."
"You won't be able to collect either." Felix told him as he moved to stand between Zacchaeus and the two royals. "Why do you want Micaiah and Alondite anyways? I thought you were after Yune."
"I suppose I can tell you since you won't be alive long enough to make use of the information." Zacchaeus boasted. Yep Felix got him to monologue, downfall of all villains' plans. "You see we need Yune's powers to break a very old seal. Queen Micaiah and the two sacred blades Ragnell and Alondite all have something in common. They carry the power of the Goddess Yune. We know that Yune has blessed other weapons but the effects are weak in comparison to Ragnell and Alondite. Both swords have drank the blood of the Goddess giving them powers that even you can't comprehend Felix. Now little Micaiah over there once had Yune use her as a puppet. This had a lasting effect on her Branded blood granting her power much like what the Golden Sun did to you and your friends. She hasn't had it long enough for it to come to fruition. Once we extract this power from the girl and the two blades we shall be one step closer to our goal."
"I see and what is behind this seal that the Tuaparang so desperately want?" Felix questioned hoping to find the reasoning behind this entire war.
"Nice try Felix but you won't be getting that out of me know matter how close to death you are." Zacchaeus told him.
"It was worth a shot." Felix said with a shrug. "Now Odyssey!"
Felix raised his hand into the air as he called upon the Psynergy. Two swords of light skewered Zacchaeus in an X shape. The Silver Sword in Felix's hand shone with the light of Venus Psynergy. Jumping into the air and bringing his sword down a large sword of light came down and pierced the Umbra Adept the same time Felix's own sword hit him. A crack appeared in the Silver Sword, it wasn't made to withstand such brute force like the Alondite or any Weyard weapon.
Not surprisingly Zacchaeus brushed off the attack like it was nothing. Odyssey was a good Psynergy attack but against such a strong opponent it wasn't that useful. It did have the desired effect though. A ball of light appeared above the Umbra Adept and crashed down into him. Felix smiled as he watched the Light spell Thani tear into Zacchaeus' armor.
"I was hoping that it'd do the trick." Felix said propping his sword on his shoulder.
"Thanks Felix. I knew that he was coming at us but I couldn't do anything." Micaiah said as she clutched her tome close to her chest.
"That makes one of us. All I knew was that I shouldn't move or bad things would happen." Sothe added as he rubbed his eyes.
"Sothe go help the others." Felix instructed. "You might be a good warrior but your dagger isn't going to do much against our friend here. Besides of us three you're the only one without a resistance to Zacchaeus' power."
Sothe went to argue of course but was stopped by Micaiah putting a hand on his shoulder. She shook her head no telling him that it wasn't the time to argue. Sothe looked down at her anger in his eyes that he had to leave. With a nod of his head Sothe took off into the crowd of Daein and Tuaparang soldiers adding his skills to the fights going on.
"Do you honestly think that sending him away is going to do anything?" Zacchaeus asked as he recovered from the Light spell.
"Gets him out of harm's way at least." Micaiah said as she opened her tome and got ready to unleash another spell.
"Not so fast girly!" the Umbra Adept shouted sending a ball of dark energy at her.
Felix stepped in front of the attack and used the flat part of his sword to block the attack. The ball of swirling black energy continued to press against the Silver Sword causing cracks in the blade to appear. Another Thani spell appeared above Zacchaeus only this time he was ready and managed to move out of the spells way. His Psynergy attack dissipated though leaving Felix holding a sword that could break at any given moment. He was really wishing for Alondite at the moment or even any other weapon that wasn't full of cracks.
"Let's see how you fare when all your friends turn against you!" Zacchaeus proclaimed as a dark wave of energy rushed out from him and covered the entire ballroom.
Felix could feel the tiny nagging voice in the back of his mind telling him to give up and follow Zacchaeus' will. Pushing the felling out of his mind Felix ran up to start attacking the Umbra Adept in hopes of getting the effect to stop. A Daein soldier threw himself in front of Felix however and the Venus Adept had to kick him out of his way before he could continue. Each time a Daein soldier fell two more popped into place making a wall between Felix and his target. There was a small pathway made by the soldiers for Micaiah to walk through. The purple veil of Dark Psynergy covered her eyes as she struggled to fight against her own body as it walked towards Zacchaeus.
"Mother Gaia!" Felix yelled.
The earth obeyed his command and opened up releasing Venus energy into the ballroom knocking down a group of soldiers. Stepping across the knocked out soldiers Felix unleashed another Djinn on Zacchaeus. When the sword hit him it shattered into a thousand pieces but the Djinn's damage was done. Zacchaeus clutched his chest where the Elemental strengthened blade had cut into his armor causing a chunk of it to fall off. A piece of the sword was lodged in Zacchaeus still not yet having fully shattered.
"This is where I win." Felix said as Venus energy gathered around his fist.
Unleashing his last attack Djinn Felix slammed his fist into the blade sending it through Zacchaeus' body and shattering inside him from the strain of the Djinn attack. Death greeted Zacchaeus with open arms as he fell to the ground. It was a painful way to go having a sword shatter within you. No amount of Psynergy had helped protect him from such an attack.
Grabbing a sword from one of the fallen Daein soldiers Felix charged into the battle field that had been raging around him. He was death to any Tuaparang that he came near. Dancing through them with the grace of one who had studied the sword for years Felix thinned out the numbers of enemy soldiers greatly assisting the remaining Daein troops that had been too far away for Zacchaeus to effect. Felix was making his way across the dance floor when he heard a sound that he never wanted to hear. Looking up at the top of the stairs Felix saw Mia with a sword stabbed into her shoulder. It was her scream that had caused him to look up. Her opponent had both hands on the blade and looked like he was about to press the sword in farther when he suddenly stopped.
Taking the opportunity that just presented itself Felix cast Ragnarok on the Tuaparang solder. The golden blade slammed into the armored warrior knocking him down to his feet. Felix raced up the stairs at a speed that only a worried person can achieve. He reaches Mia who had fallen flat on her back from the explosive force of Ragnarok. The Tuaparang blade was still stuck in her shoulder. Felix ripped it out and poured every bit of his Psynergy into healing the wound. He cast Potent Cure after Potent Cure trying to get the wound to heal over. After the seventh or so Potent Cure the wound started to heal and the blood stopped flowing out of it. Felix then grabbed Mia and held her close to him still trickling a small amount of his healing Psynergy into her.
With a groan the Tuaparang soldier stood up and looked at Felix and Mia. Felix glared back and halted his curing. Gathering energy for another Ragnarok to send at his foe Felix couldn't believe his eyes as the soldier took off his helmet. A face he never thought he would see again stared back at him. Dark green eyes stared at him covered with tears. Dressed in full Tuaparang armor stood Sheba.