Following Soren's instructions the group split up. Of the Adepts Matthew, Sveta, Eoleo, and Rief would be going into the fort while Felix, Amiti, Tyrell, Karis, and Himi would join the rest of the army in attacking the front. The Greil Mercenaries were split into the same groups with Ike, Mia, Soren, Shinion, Rhys, and Boyd going in and the rest staying out with the military.
Matthew stood outside the entrance to the "secret" tunnel that led into Fort Rogold. He didn't understand why anyone would put a secret tunnel on a map of the place. It was clear as crystal that Soren didn't want him or his friends with the Mercenaries. It was also evident that he expected this tunnel to be lined with soldiers. Matthew could feel the adrenaline pumping through as he waited for Soren to give the go ahead. Leading the group would be Ike, Boyd, Eoleo, Rief and Matthew. Behind them would be Sveta and Mia ready to pick up anyone that got past the first group with help from Soren and Shinion while Rhys stayed back to heal. Soren made sure to stress the fact Rhys stayed in the back because he'd be used for healing anyone that fell behind.
Soren nodded giving the signal for the first group to run in. Matthew followed Ike into the tunnel. The darkness swallowed them as they ran in. The lack of light didn't faze the young Adept any. It was nothing compared to the darkness caused by the Grave Eclipse. Here he didn't have to worry about shadow monsters leaping out to attack him and his friends.
After a few minutes Ike had them stop. They had come to a door without any resistance. Figuring that the first force they would have to deal with was most likely behind the door Ike wanted to make sure everyone was ready to fight. With a silent nod everyone stood ready weapons drawn. Boyd stood on one side of the door with Ike on the other. Eoleo and Matthew stood in front ready to unleash a blast of Psynergy. Before the fight they had switched all but two of their Djinn allowing Matthew access to fire based powers that would be better suited for inner parts of the fortress. Rief stood back ready to heal anyone who got seriously injured and launch a Drench on any unsuspecting enemies.
Ike opened the door and they all waited for the charge of Tuaparang soldiers. When none came out of the room Eoleo launched a Flare Wall into the darkness. The light provided by the fire showed an empty room. Cautiously they entered. When no surprise attack was launched they headed to the other door across the empty room. Again they repeated the same setup and again they were met with an empty hall.
It carried on like this the entire time they moved through the basement of Fort Rogold. Carefully they explored the entire lower level of the building. A few times the two groups ran into each other as they back tracked. After they made sure to check every room they headed towards the stairs. This time when they reached the door at the top Ike put his ear to the door. He nodded and held his sword ready. Opening it Matthew and Eoleo could see the black uniforms of the Tuaparang. They both let lose a series of Fireballs.
Caught unaware the Tuaparang soldiers were blasted away. Taking advantage of the confusion Ike and Boyd rushed in. it was truly a sight to watch the Reaver and Vanguard take out the soldiers. Matthew and Eoleo almost had a hard time keeping up. Rief channeled his power through the Frost Jewel he had gotten from his mother freezing the legs of a few Tuaparang.
During the fighting the others had caught up with them. It was expected and had the desired result. The Tuaparang were expecting any more people to come out of the basement so when they saw their enemies double in numbers a few of them fled. It didn't matter that the number was only ten they knew at least that two of them were Adepts. Despite what Soren had thought they were not ready to deal with Psynergy. Not a single one of them tried to toss a Psy Grenade. With Fire, Wind, Water, and good old fashion muscle working against them the enemy fell quickly. A few time crossbow bolts would find their targets only to have the person healed by a Ply or Rhys' staff.
The group made their way through the fortress towards the main gate. If they could get it open then the rest of the army would swarm in and make quick work of the rest of the Tuaparang. Only a few members stood in the halls as they made their way towards their destination. A squad of twenty stood at the gate controls. Ike and Body ran in without a second thought. Mia followed after them in hopes of finding a single opponent before the two finished them off. Shinion picked off the ones that Ike and Boyd didn't leaving nothing for the Trueblade.
"Bravo." A voice said from above. "I would never have thought that you would find your way here."
A Tuaparang in thick armor and a dragon shaped helmet leaving only his mouth visible dropped down from the floor above. The only difference between him and the others was a picture a crescent moon on his right shoulder and the fact he had a sword rather than a crossbow.
"Now you will have to face a the true might of the Zenith Tribe." He looked directly at the four Adepts. "I hear you four defeated Blados and Chalis. Congrats on getting rid of such weaklings my people are much better off. I'm sure they told you that of the existence of the Umbra Adepts. In case you haven't figured it out I'm one of them. Bow before the might of Umbra!"
Dark energies swirled around the enemy leader. Monsters like the ones that had appeared with the Grave Eclipse came out of the shadows. Letting out a chuckle their foe charged towards Ike. Before the Hero of Tellius could raise his blade Sveta had gotten in front and stopped the slash with the Umbra Knuckles.
"Never thought I would need these again." She said as the leader jumped away.
"I see. The Umbra gear. Yes it would be useful in countering darkness. But do you really think you can battle darkness with more darkness little girl?"
"She doesn't need to." Rhys spoke up holding a tome. "Ellight!" White hot energy assaulted the Umbra Adept. The black energy around him weakened. As a direct result the creatures of shadow flinched and moved closer to the shadows they had come out of.
"Everyone protect Rhys!" Soren shouted. The group formed a circle around the Saint. Sensing the light of their adversary the creatures of darkness charged the circle. From inside the makeshift circle Soren sent out a Tornado spell while Shinion sent arrow after arrow into the hides. All the others blocked the attacks of the monsters and the Umbra Adept.
Twice the Tuaparang leader tried to go over the group only to be met with the powers of Ellight and a few Inferno attacks.
"Rhys don't you have anything stronger?" Mia shouted as she cut down a Dark Scuttler. The insectoid creature disappeared into the shadows upon death.
"I didn't expect to be fighting against creatures of darkness Mia." Rhys replied sending another attack against the human.
"It doesn't matter the strength of your powers. The power of an Umbra Adept knows no bounds like those of the lower elements."
A blast came from the other side of the gate that the group had tried to open. Splinters of wood shot forth onto the group. With a Whirlwind Sveta prevented the wooden shrapnel from hitting the group.
"What didn't you guys open the gate?' Tyrell shouted as he hefted the Darksword onto his shoulder.
Back at the start of the battle.
"Alright men the Tuaparang have holed themselves up in that fort you see. Our job is to get them out. I want Armored Knights up front with support from the Soldier, Myrmidons, and Fighters. Cavalry units stay clear till I give the signal. Archers and Mages you stay to the back and pick off whatever you SAFELY can. I don't want to see any friendly fire out there." The captain told the waiting soldiers. "Greil Mercenaries do what you do best."
Felix and the other Adepts were considered part of the Mercenaries for this battle. Titania had told them that they would be going in on the first charge and helping out the Armored Knights take out the front lines. The Adepts were to act like Mages and use their Psynergy first then their weapons only when they ran out of power or an enemy got to close.
The captain gave the signal and the first wave of Begnion's soldiers charged forth. Felix ran forth following Gatrie. Riding double was Ike's sister Mist and the boy Rolf. Mist had her sword ready and when they got a few feet away she swung the blade letting out a wave of dark energy. Rolf let loose arrows only a very few missing their targets. Oscar and Titania charged in swinging their axe or lance cutting the ranks of Tuaparang down. Gatrie stood like a human wall against the swarm of enemy troops crossbow bolts bouncing off his armor like twigs.
Tyrell launched a series of Supernovas into the back ranks. Karis called down energy with her Shine Plasma. Amiti called forth the powers of Mercury using his Supercool against the front most troops causing them to panic and get cut down by Begnion's soldiers. Himi sent her Slaying Dragon creation against the soldiers and use Nettles to trap them for her golem. Felix called upon the mightiest powers a Venus Adept could. The Tuaparang found themselves facing the might of a Grand Gaia.
On top near the gate sat two ballistae and a on the far sides of the fortress sat rock throwing ballistae. Anyone that got within range was soon shot down by one of the giant arrows or crushed under rock.
"Tyrell give me a Djinn" Felix shouted at the young Mars Adept. A red orb shot out from Tyrell and into Felix. Feeling his Psynergy change Felix called upon the powers of fire he could now command. He sent his own Supernova at the closest ballista. One of the benefits of the Golden Sun was that even with only one Mars Djinn Felix had access to a vast array of Fire Psynergy.
Seeing Felix's idea Tyrell sent another Supernova to the same site. Between the two attacks the war engine was no longer usable.
"Titania!" Felix shouted hoping to catch the attention of the red haired woman. She heard his shout and turned her horse toward him. "If you can get me close enough I can get rid of those ballistae."
"Get on" she told him as she held out her hand to help him up. Thankful for the assist Felix took her hand and let her help him up. Sitting behind her Felix felt a little awkward riding while holding onto the woman. It was his first time on a horse and he wanted to make sure he didn't fall off. He lent aid to her by causing vines to burst from the ground tangling the feet of nearby soldiers. While they tried to free themselves Titania's axe found them. When they got within range of the next ballista Felix gathered his power and sent two Supernovas in succession rendering it as useless as the one he and Tyrell hit.
He repeated this twice more with Titania ferrying him to the other locations. With the ballistae down the Begnion soldiers were able to move closer to the fortress without worry of a boulder coming down on top of them. The Tuaparang however still had to fear such a thing. Setting the Mars Djinn until he could find Tyrell Felix opened his normal Psynergy back up. Falling, I mean jumping, off Titania's horse Felix let lose a Clay Spire into the ranks of black armored soldiers.
Felix found himself fighting alongside a few the sword wielding Myrmidons with a few Soldier class lancers. It seemed that the Tuaparang relied heavily on their technology as not a one of them was outfitted with anything other than a crossbow. It was working on keeping the Begnion soldiers back though. Even the Armored Knights with their thick armor were falling to the piercing powers of the crossbows.
Begnion's own Archers were hiding behind their allies letting lose a barrage of arrows accompanied by fire, wind, and lightning from the Mages. Felix was curious on how a simple book allowed people to unleash such power. It wasn't Psynergy by any means. When one of the Mages sent forth their attack there was no glow and no feel of Psynergy from the person.
Even with the casualties that his side was racking up Felix could see that they were slowly pushing forward. The front gate that Matthew's team was heading towards was still closed though. It worried Felix as he thought that something might have happened to his nephew. Besides the guilt that would eat him alive for the rest of eternity at Matthew's death Felix would have to deal with a very pissed off and depressed Jenna. The only comfort was that Ike was with Matthew. The Vanguard was a one man army in battle. Felix had never seen a normal human have so much raw strength.
"Felix" Karis called to him.
"What Karis?" he asked as he sent a Mother Gaia out.
"Do you think you could set a Venus Djinn?" she asked "I've already used two of my Jupiter and I think Flora would be quite useful right now."
"You know the Flora chant? Alright give me a second." Felix unleashed Crystal closing the few wounds he had sustained along with the wounds of those nearby. Felix handed the Djinn-turned-crystal to Karis for the Flora summon.
"Thanks you were closer than Himi."
Karis held in her hand another two crystals purple in color along with the gold one Felix hander her. Knowing that it would take some time for Karis to complete the chant Felix stood by her to make sure nothing hit the young girl. No one attacked the two people that were literally standing still. The Tuaparang were all concentrating on the charging soldiers.
With a glow the three Djinn crystals flew into the air. Everyone seemed to notice the three floating orbs in the sky as they called forth the summon Flora. The pink clothed goddess emerged from the light and looked down upon the Tuaparang. Pink rose petals hovered in the air around the floating woman before she sent them down into the ranks of the black armored warriors. The petals cut through their armor like paper as a gentle breeze carried the pollen causing some of the soldiers to fall asleep. The Djinn crystals fell back down into Karis' hand. She gave Felix back his Djinn and ran off to attack the weaken foes.
Mist and Rolf came riding up to Felix. "What was that?" the brunette asked.
"Just a power we Adepts have when we work together." Felix told her. "I'll explain it in depth after the battle."
Rather Flint or Echo will. Felix thought to himself. I'm so glad those two enjoy giving the spiel on Djinn.
Seeming to accept the answer Mist urged her horse back towards the enemy. With more than a few of them asleep and a vast amount weakened by Flora the Begnion troops were making quick work of their opponents. Soon Felix found himself near the gate along with Tyrell, Amiti, and the Greil Mercenaries. Grinning like a mad man Tyrell gathered energy for an attack to blast open the gate. Felix reset his Mars Djinn and started to pull his own power into another Supernova.
From behind the gates Felix could feel the use of Psynergy. Concerned about what was going on behind the wooden gate he put more concentration into pulling his power together. With a nod to each other Tyrell and Felix unleashed their Psynergy right against the structure. Splinters flew inwards as the gate was destroyed by the intense pressure and heat.
Rushing in putting his Darksword up on his shoulder Tyrell shouted into the dust. "What didn't you guys open the gate?'
The rest followed him into the fortress and found their friends facing down a man cloaked in shadows.
"Be careful he's an Umbra Adept!" Felix heard Matthew shout. "He can call the monsters from the Grave Eclipse."
To prove his point one of the creatures lunged at Oscar only to be met by the Silver Knight's lance. The man Matthew called an Umbra Adept charged at his new prey only to be stopped when rays of light hit his body. Never one to pass up an opportunity like that Felix unleashed Echo as he swung the Gaia Blade. The sword hit the man square in the chest and was followed by a ghost of the Gaia Blade slamming into the same spot.
"Damn he's strong" Felix said when the man didn't seem fazed at all by the Djinn attack.
"We'll see how strong he is after I do this!" Tyrell said as a Mars Djinn appeared above his head. Red energy swirled over the weapons of those wielding melee weapons. Felix felt the familiar powers of Forge on his sword.
"Good thinking Tyrell" Karis said even though her bow was left out. Felix swore he heard Rief faint just then.
"Let us finish this quickly" Sveta said unleashing Fleet.
"How about some defensive power?" Matthew said unleashing Bark.
"You guys can't continue fighting injured as you are." Rief and Amiti said unleashing Surge and Coral respectively.
Djinn enhanced Adepts and Mercenaries stepped forward. It was an odd feeling for the Mercenaries who had never felt the power of the elementals flowing through them.
"Humph. I know when I'm beat. You haven't seen the last of us though." Their foe said as he sent out a cloud of darkness. It did nothing to the group save stop them from seeing where the Umbra Adept vanished to.
Felix walked over to Matthew and cuffed him on the head. "Why did you wait so long to use your Djinn?"
"Me and Eoleo switched. I forgot half the names of the Mars Djinn I have and using the only Venus Djinn I have would have messed with my Psynergy. Why weren't you guys using your Djinn?"
"We did. Karis summoned Flora."
"So I did see the flash of a summon." Sveta said.
"Can someone tell me what the hell these guys did to us?" Boyd asked holding his glowing silver axe in front of him.
"When we get back to camp I'm sure Flint will gladly tell you guys about the Djinn." Matthew assured the Reaver. "Just know that right now you are stronger and faster than you've ever been."
"Right now we need to go back into the fortress and see if they left anything we can use to figure out why they are here." Soren said turning back to the entrance. "Those that have been enhanced please move to the front."
"How long does this last?" Mia asked Felix as she moved to walk next to him
"Normally about ten minutes but it depends on the person who used the Djinn. Before you say anything I have never unleashed a single Djinn in our duels." Felix had traveled with Mia long enough to know she would at least think that.
The people who had been effected by the Djinn walked through the fortress picking off any Tuaparang that came their way. Boyd and Mia seemed to be enjoying their increased abilities as they moved about. The group found a room that was heavily guarded by a group of Tuaparang in thick armor with repeater crossbows and knives of their hips.
"Well we can't just blast them away." Tyrell said.
"Yeah and I can feel the Djinn power is gone." Matthew added.
"So we do this the old fashioned way before you crazy Adepts came to Tellius." Mia told them.
"Wait." Soren said in his calculating voice. "Felix do you guys have any more of these Djinn you keep talking about."
"Well yeah I have six on me. Hold on" a red orb flew from Felix to Tyrell "make that five. Why?"
"What can they do exactly?"
"Many things. They can heal, boost our abilities like you already seen, and many more of them can be used to do one incredibly strong attack sometimes with the benefit of inflicting poison or having the target fall asleep."
"Hmm." Soren said as he stood there processing the new information. "They clearly don't know we're here yet otherwise they would have started firing at us."
"You know I have a Djinn that would be useful right now." Sveta told the Arch Sage. "His name is Haze and he can cause this entire hall to be filled with fog."
"But then we wouldn't be able to see either." Soren pointed out to the beastwoman.
"I did not say you would strike them." Sveta replied. "With Haze I can take them out quickly"
"Sveta you sure you want to show them that?" Matthew asked.
"It would mean that only I would be hurt if things went wrong. If for some reason they managed to get me we have Rief here to heal me and the rest of you to finish them off. Do not worry so much Matthew I trust these people."
"Do you seriously think you will be able to take down those twenty soldiers on your own?" Soren asked in disbelief.
"Yes she most certainly can." Eoleo told the skeptical tactician. "You know those guys you call laguz? Sveta here has something like their transformation."
"You would be amazed at the power she has in that form." Amiti added.
Without farther waiting Sveta unleashed Haze into the hallway. They did not have time to debate whether or not she was going to do this. At any moment the Tuaparang could notice them talking and be ready to send their crossbow bolts down the narrow hall. Once Haze had finished his job Sveta used her remaining Djinn and tapped into the beast within.
With a soft growl Sveta transformed into her beastform. Lavender fur covered her body as she became more wolf-like in appearance. He face became the muzzle of a beast while her feet and hands fully became paws. A tail snuck its way out of her clothing and started to sway back and forth. Her normal haired darkened to purple and stood on ends.
Before she could hear the reaction of the Mercenaries she ran into the clouded hallway. Her padded feet made no noise as she moved towards the smell of the Tuaparang. Haze had filled the hallway with enough smoke that Sveta had to rely on her sense of smell to find her targets. When she got close enough her beast enhanced eyes could make out the dark shapes of people. She let out a howl announcing her presence before she killed the first soldier. Her claws tore into the armor like a hot knife cutting butter. Making full use of her strength and speed she moved from soldier to soldier taking their lives like a hunter would its prey.
It took her less than three minutes to finish off the twenty soldiers. Her only wound was a bolt stuck in her shoulder which she ripped out. Sveta changed back to her human form and used her Vital Boon to close the small hole. The effects of Haze were gone by the time she had healed herself. Sveta had always been thankful that the blood that stained her claws did not come back with her when she returned to her human form.
Ike was the first one down the hall. He approached the beastwoman with a smile. "Remind me to introduce you to a man named Skrimir." He told her as he opened the door the Tuaparang had been guarding.
Sveta just smiled at the acceptance. Even though she said she trusted these people you could never tell how someone would react. Matthew was not far behind Ike and he ran up to Sveta. He seemed to check her over first before speaking.
"Next time how about a little warning?" he asked her.
"Next time do not take so long to make an easy decision." She told him as she followed Ike into the room.
The rest of the group was there quickly a few still in awe at the power hidden inside the small girl. Tyrell and Eoleo were bragging for her. Making boasts about her power while in her beastform. Sveta blushed at the attention from the others she was getting and hid herself by searching the room.
The contents of the room didn't look like anything special but she knew from her time as Queen that the papers scattered across the room could hold valuable information. Sadly Tyrell did not understand this fact as he stepped on a few of the documents covering them with dirt. Karis spotted his bumbling and pulled him out of the room by his ear. This left Sveta, Ike, Matthew, Felix, and Soren to look through the contents of the documents. There wasn't enough room for the other to fit in so they went off to see if there were any other guarded rooms.
"Soren I think I found something" Ike said grimly. From his tone of voice it was clear that he had indeed found something.
He handed over the piece of paper to Soren who looked it over.
"What are they planning to do with Lehran's Medallion? Yune has already been released into the world."
"I don't know Soren. Do you think they might want to trap her back in it?"
"It would be possible but why would they want her back in?"
Felix was the one to offer a hypothesis. "A goddess trapped in a medallion. With the technology the Tuaparang have they could probably turn her into a power source for something. From what we've seen and what I've heard about them they are decades ahead of the rest of us in terms of technology."
"If that's true then we need to warn Yune. She has to stay away from the Tuaparang at all costs." Ike said
"Like I'm going to be afraid of some meat sacks." A voice said. A young girl in a yellow dress with red hair was sitting in the window. "They haven't been blessed by Ashera. Besides it has been a few since you last saw me Ike. My powers have returned."
"It doesn't matter Yune you must leave this to us and stay away from the Tuaparang. " Soren told the little girl. "If there is even the slightest chance they could capture you we can't risk it."
"You're no fun." She pouted. "Guess you guys don't want these then?" she held out two great swords. One was golden in color the other white. It was Ragnell and Alondite the two swords that had been used by Altina. Both had been used in the fight to seal Yune in the medallion in the first place and Ragnell had been used to slay Ashera. Either sword was as tall as the girl holding them.
"How did you get those?" Ike questioned the goddess.
"They belong to me. Little Sanki was just about tripping over herself when I came and asked for them. I figure you would want these again. Both still carry the blessing of me and Ashera." She teased swinging the swords in front of her.
"I'll let you have them if you 'let' me fight alongside you." From the way she said "let" it was clear she wasn't going to sit back while the Zenith Tribe hunted her.
"Fine since you are clearly going to be coming with us we might as well have Ragnell and Alondite." Ike said giving into the demands of the Goddess of Chaos. It is a little hard to argue with a deity. Even one you were friends with.
Yune jumped down to the floor and dragged the two swords over to Ike. She handed him the black hilt of Ragnell. "Now who to give this to?" she pondered tapping her free hand on her chin. "I know. You." She said pointing to Felix. "You see to be strong for a human." The child goddess walked over and held up Alondite. "Hey wait a second. You aren't a human. What's a demi-god doing here? Aren't you all supposed to be with Art?"
"That's my uncle Felix. He's as human as they come." Matthew informed Yune.
"Well if he's your uncle why don't you have his god-like aura? No it doesn't make sense. Wait" she said as if remembering something from long ago. "Are you guys from Weyard?"
"How did you know that?" Felix asked.
"Now it makes perfect sense. You released Alchemy didn't you?"
"Well yes. My friends and sister helped. In fact Matthew's parents there are two of the people that did it."
"Well I guess you aren't a demi-god. But you do have some of Namax's power in you."
"Who is Namax?" Sveta wondered aloud.
"He's the guy that saved your sorry buts when I sent the wave that well… drowned the rest of the world. He was also the one that helped your people seal Alchemy in the first place. So when this dumb dumb unleashed Alchemy the powers of Namax must have mixed into his body."
"Weyard was dying without the powers of Alchemy. We saved our world." Felix angrily informed the goddess.
She turned and faced him floating in the air so she could see eye to eye with him. "Yeah well because of that you have stopped aging haven't you? Enjoying that fact? Do you like watching your family grow old as you stay forever young? I guess your sister has been effected to but how many others have you watched grow old while you have stopped?"
Felix ripped the Alondite out of Yune's hand and left the room.
"That wasn't very nice Yune." Ike told the girl.
"It was his fault. He got me angry." She told the Hero of Blue Flames acting every bit the child she looked.
"Even still you should have lashed out like that."
"Fine when he gets back I'll apologize. So now that I've joined your little group what say we go kick some Tuaparang butt! Goddess of Chaos versus Armored Meat Sacks!"
"You have joined the Greil Mercenaries Yune. That means you have to follow the orders of Soren and myself." Ike informed her.
"But but… I don't want to take orders. Especially from someone so mean." She pointed to Soren.
"Yune what did I just tell you about being nice?"
"It's fine Ike." Soren told him. "People will always see those that are better than them as mean or evil."
Sveta leaned over and whispered to Matthew. "She is a goddess right? Why is she acting like a five year old?"
"Beats me" Matthew replied equally confused.
"You have failed me Kairos. With their fortress recaptured they will begin to look for more of us." a man shrouded in black robes said.
Before him kneeling was the Umbra Adept that the Adepts and Mercenaries faced earlier.
"I am sorry Emperor." Karios said bowing his head even father. "There were Adepts on Tellius. One of them was Felix of the Warriors of Vale."
"So that is where he disappeared to. Very well. Make sure you do not fail to find the Medallion and capture the goddess Yune. No doubt we will need Felix when we go to release the seal. You will need to capture him along with her."
"Yes sir." Karios got up and left the pitch black room. He would need to use the Teleport Lapis they had stolen from the Jupiter Adept Sheba to get back to Tellius.