Dark Side of the Moon
OoO( 19 )OoO
The smooth grassy plain was tinted orange as the setting sun cast a radiant light across Barrow Fields. It was calm and quiet as if a storm were about to approach. But there was no storm and no clouds, only eternal bliss for the young fifteen year old boy. He sat on a hill, watching the sunset with a familiar and friendly girl sitting next to him.
"See, I told you it was beautiful." said Lyle as he watched the sun sink further behind the horizon.
"Yes, it is very pretty. When did you learn of this spot?" asked Alex as she stared at him.
"I just found it yesterday. I knew it had a perfect view of the sunset so I thought you would like to see it." he said.
Alex smiled at him. She then leaned over and layed her head on his shoulder. "I love it." she said softly.
Lyle turned completely red, which was only masked by the orange light from the sun. "I'm glad."
"You know...in all the time I've lived in Oakvale, I never travelled outside to here. Its no wonder I never found this place." she said.
"Alex lived in Oakvale?"
Lyle gave a carefree smile. "Yeah. I come out here every so often to meet the traders and other people around. You get to meet a lot of nice people here." he said.
"Alex didn't live in Oakvale..."
Suddenly, the scene flashed brightly as if it were interrupted by something. Then, it returned to the peaceful scenery.
"Yeah..." said Alex dozily. Lyle looked over at her and noticed her drifting off into sleep. He layed back as he began to feel himself drift as well. Alex immediately wrapped her arms around him and pulled him closer.
"My life is perfect." Lyle whispered to himself.
Slowly he drifted into sleep with his arm around Alex.
"T-That's not me! And that's not Alex!"
The scene flashed again, this time longer leaving only white in his vision. Finally, the scene came back and he finally drifted into sleep.
"Noooooooo!" yelled Lyle as he shot from his child body. His child form, Alex, Barrow Fields, and even the sunset began to crack and splinter as he yelled. "This is not my life!" he shouted and the entire landscape shattered.
Talon cried silently as Lyle pinned her down and stared into her terrified eyes. Suddenly, his eyes widened as his mind began slipping. Lyle stood and held his head yelling in his demonic voice, "No damn you! Not yet!" But all his control was lost as Lyle's mind reawakened and Skorm flew from his body back to purgatory. Lyle's eyes opened and he saw before him Talon with tear stained eyes. It crushed him.
"Talon...are you alright?" he asked her; as if nothing had happened.
She looked into his eyes and hers widened. "L-Lyle?" she asked. He nodded and was about to speak when she jumped up and wrapped her arms around him.
Shocked at the action; he looked down at her and said, "Talon?"
"Please Lyle, don't ever change again." she said still crying.
"What are you talking about?" he asked.
Van got onto his knees; coughing, but still able to talk. "Y-You changed Lyle. You turned into something I've never seen before. Something...demonic." he said staring up at the warrior. Lyle couldn't find any words to say in return. Had he really changed into something else? But, what was it?
All four of the group now sat at a table in the tavern, which had been reopened due to the fleeing of the killer. None of them said a word after the happenings upstairs; which aggrivated Whisper to no end. After Van and Lyle had left her, she helped to carry the guards body to the graveyard of the city. And after that, she hadn't been able to get a word out of the other three.
"Cummon, tell me what happened!" she demanded. Again, silence reigned over the table. She again glared at them and snorted in frustration. Finally, Lyle spoke. Not to answer her question, but to ask one of his own.
"Whisper..." he said silently. She looked at him curiously. "Of all the people I met at the guild, you were my first friend. You were there when I woke up and we instantly became best friends." he said. "In all the time at the guild, have you ever seen me...change into something that didn't seem like me?" he asked.
Whisper, taken aback by this question, looked at him in surprise. "What do you mean?" she asked.
"Have I ever seemed like I wasn't myself? Like something had possessed me?"
This time, Whisper sat silently as she stared at him. But, eventually she answered him. "Well, I don't really know what you mean...but yeah. Every time somebody mentioned the word 'bandit', or talked about what happened at Oakvale years ago, your mood would instantly change. It was as if those two subjects turned you into a different person." she said. "But what does that have to do..."
"Wait!" said Van; who was deep in thought. They all looked at him. "There was one time that I remember you doing something like that. It was during your Will Test the day that you switched to a real sword." he said. "At first, you used your Will as if you were a beginner. No offense, but you were back then." Lyle nodded and he continued. "But...after you took so much of a beating from those Will dummies, you just snapped. You changed and began to control the fire being shot at you like it was your own sword."
"I faintly remember that. But was it the same type of change as the one today?" he asked.
Van nodded and continued. "At the time, I didn't really like you all that much. But I knew power when I saw it; and the amount of force that was given off by that attack would have eaten through Maze's shield spells instantly. Me, nor anybody else in the guild had seen that much power put into one spell before, thats why I was up that night trying to attempt the same thing you did. But, it wouldn't work for me. If it hadn't been for the water surrounding the island, I'm afraid you could have destroyed everything in the guild." said Van staring at Lyle.
Lyle smiled slightly. "And then you and me got into a fight..."
"Wait a minute...you mean that day that Lyle defeated me at melee training?" asked Whisper.
Van nodded. "Yeah, where were you?"
"Me and my brother were training that day. After Lyle beat me, my brother and I went to the Arena training grounds, so I wasn't there for your will test." she said.
"And Twinblade..." Everybody looked at Talon; surprised to hear her speak. "He did it at Twinblade's camp also."
"After you defeated Twinblade, you changed into something that was cold and merciless. You killed one bandit by grabbing the arrow he fired at you and throwing it back at him. Then you were about to kill Twinblade and you just changed back for some reason." she said, looking at her hands in her lap.
Van and Whisper looked at Lyle. "That's right...I remember hearing Van's words echo through my head momentarily, then I decided not to kill him." he said. "But...did I really kill someone in that time?"
Talon nodded and said, "You can ask anybody at the bandit camp. They all saw it happen."
They all became quiet as they thought to themselves. Then Lyle looked at Talon again. "What about you?" he asked. She looked at him questioningly. "Who was that man in there and why was he after you?" The others stared at her also, interested in finding the answer.
Talon looked down at her hands again. "I..." she said, then stopped. She waited before continuing again. "I can't tell you..."
"Why?" asked Van, expressing what the others were about to say themselves.
"Because, it would endanger your lives more than they already are. All I can tell you is that he is my brother. He and he alone seeks me and Lyle, but if I were to tell you why...then my whole family would come after both of us." she said.
"Is that why I caught you in Oakvale?" asked Lyle.
"Yes, I was running from them."
"Tell me why. My life is in danger already because of this, so your whole family coming after me won't make any difference. Now tell me why he wants to kill me, and more importantly, why he wants to kill you!" he shouted; slamming his fist on the table as if marking the end of his demand. The others jumped at the action, but kept their cool.
Talon stared at Lyle and saw that he was on the verge of breaking the table in half. "Its...its because of something I did to my brother in the past. Afterwards, he started to come after me and when he found out that l...was travelling with Lyle, he became a target as well. He thinks Lyle is my lover, and he wants me to suffer for what I did to him." she said lowering her head.
"What did you do?" asked Van.
"It doesn't matter. What matters is that now we have an assassin that's looking for me and her, and possibly you too Van." After gaining a surprised look, he waved it off. "You were seen with us and tried to defend us, so he would no doubt consider you as close to Talon. But that aside, I don't think he is going to attack again."
"Why not?" asked Whisper.
"Because, the entire town knows about him now, so he probably won't show his face again. And, tomorrow we are headed to the Arena. Any assassin would have to be a lunatic to try and kill someone there. So I am pretty sure that we are safe for a while." he said. "Now, Whisper and me have a long day tomorrow, so we are going to bed for now. You two, do whatever you like. But be careful." he said, then stood to his feet.
Morning shone the next day and seemed to deteriorate any sign of sorrow from the previous day. The sun shone brightly and clouds drifted about lazily showing signs of good weather for the day. Knothole Glade was nearly empty that day, due to the fact that two new heros were going to fight in the Arena. Everyone had prepared, then left for the Arena; guaranteed a safe trip thanks to Lyle and the others.
Lyle had his sword strapped onto his back, katana on his belt behind him, bow over his shoulder, and enough will power charged to blast Knothole Glade to oblivian. Whisper had her spear ready and a small bag of powerful explosives at her side in case they were needed. Talon and Van had already paid for their seats at the Arena and were waiting on the others so they could leave. Finally prepared, they all left for the Witchwood Arena.
As they approached, they all stared up in awe at the giant colloseum before them. It was enormous in size and could have easily fit a small town inside it. They heard a loud cheering blast their ears from inside the Arena as they approached. Suddenly, they all turned as they heard someone scream.
"Oh Avo! Its the Sabre!" shouted a woman. She approached slowly, as if he would attack her if she ran. But she made it to him and smiled brightly. "M-May I see your hand?" she asked excitedly.
Lyle, though confused, complied and slipped off his gauntlet exposing his hand. Holding it forward, she grasped it tightly and kissed it. Whisper smirked as Lyle's eyebrow shot up. After a second the woman ran off screaming happily. Slipping his gauntlet on again, he stared at Whisper. "What? No snappy remark?" he asked.
"Too easy farmboy." she said.
Lyle sighed and continued walking into the Arena. "The women in Albion have lost their minds." he said. But deep down, he knew he enjoyed all the attention. Smiling, he approached the door protected by two guards. "And you are no exception." he said to Whisper.
She smiled and followed him. "Maybe, but thats what makes you guys like us so much." she said.
"Do you have an invitation?" asked the guard in front of them.
Lyle turned to him and smiled. "Right here." he said and handed them the written approval from the guild. The man nodded as he scanned the parchment.
"You, Lyle and Whisper may go inside." he said, then looked at the other two. "What about you?"
"We have seats reserved in the audience." said Van holding forth another slip of parchment. The guard scanned it as well and nodded. "Alright. Go strait to your seats if you would, we don't like people hanging around the contestants too much." he said and they nodded. Lyle walked forward and pushed the door open, revealing a long torch lit hall.
A guard walked past them and said, "Follow me please." They followed him down the long giant corridor and looked back and forth at the statues carved on either side of them of heros that had prevailed over the Arena. Lyle stared at one and smiled. It was Agrias the Paladin, the same as the doll he had gotten for his sister all those years ago. Then he passed another statue of a woman wearing a long hooded robe wielding a giant double bladed axe. For some reason, this one seemed very familiar. He tried to get a closer look, when Whisper grabbed his arm.
"What are you looking at farmboy?" she asked curiously. Lyle looked at her, then back at the statue.
"Nothing..." he said as he walked past the monument.
"This is the Hall of Hero's. Only true heros are placed here. One of you two may get a chance to be put in here. But remember, only one hero can win the prize at the end, so you are bound to be facing each other at one point or another. Anyway, whether you make it into the Hall of Hero's or not probably wouldn't matter anyway." said the guard half heartedly.
"What do you mean by that?" asked Whisper.
"Well, nobody really appreciates the old times anymore. All they care about is who is the new and upcoming heros. Even those that make it into the Hall of Hero's are soon forgotten as soon as the next hero from the guild shows their face. All these people want is to see something die, not revel in the glory of those that make this world what it is." he said. Then, the guard stopped at a large doorway. "Here is the chamber for the heros. You two go inside and talk to the Headmaster. He'll tell you anything you need to know about the Arena. Now, if you two will follow me, I'll take you to your seats."
"How will we know the Headmaster?" asked Lyle.
The guard smiled at him. "You can't miss him." he said and turned away, leading Van down the hall.
Talon stayed for a second until Whisper had gone inside and Van was walking away. Lyle looked at her curiously. "What is it?" he asked. Talon stared at the floor for a moment before looking up at him again.
"I-I just wanted to wish you good luck." she said. Lyle smiled and placed a hand on her cheek.
"Don't worry. I'll win this for me and you. Then you can give up being a thief." he said. She looked up at him. "The prize money for this will put us away for the rest of our lives." he said. She smiled slightly.
"Be careful Lyle. Don't hurt yourself out there." she said.
"Lyle...good luck." she said, then reached up and kissed him. This time, it wasn't on the cheek. Lyle was blown away at the gesture. She stopped, but before Lyle could get a word in, she vanished. He just stared at the spot where she stood a moment earlier and touched his mouth slightly.
"Hey farmboy!" shouted Whisper from the door. "What are you waiting for? Get in here so we can get this over with!"
Lyle shook out of his daze and looked at her. "The women in Albion really are going crazy." he said jokingly, which made Whisper smile. But, the kiss wasn't a joke and he knew it.