Guardians

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Chapter 25 - Drinking the Kool aid

“Do you think he can handle all of them on his own?” Max asked.

“At this point, I don’t really have any idea what’s going on,” I muttered.

I watched from afar as Arrow gleefully gleamed over the several rocky opponents. The rocks all looked like they were taking the forms of animals. Wolves, Bears, and one that I guessed was a kangaroo? One thing they all had in common was the shimmering purple sigil on their foreheads. Plus they were all just the larger pieces of rock. So maybe the sigil only works on rocks of a certain size? That would explain the smaller debris on the ground. But maybe whatever magic was doing this was just grabbing what it deemed valuable. And if that’s the case, they could regenerate endlessly. And if it’s the first option, all he’d have to do is smash them some more.

“We should help him out, I don’t think he can handle all of them at once.”

Max cried as he moved to run over to him. I quickly moved my hand out to block his way.

“I don’t think that’s a smart idea.” I said flatly.

“What!? But why!?”

“Look at him for a second, do you see his face? He’s grinning ear to ear right now.”

“So what!?”

“Do you recall the debris that almost clapped us a little bit ago?”

“Well yeah but what does-”

“Arrow is a professional adventurer, which means he has high experiences in these sorts of things. If he needed our help he’d ask us by now. Plus that smile doesn’t exactly scream help. And it’s obvious he has a lot of abilities that involve wild destruction. With his enhanced strength, and the exploding thing he did. We’d just be getting in his way. He’d have to worry about protecting us and dodging those things, plus figuring out how to kill them.”

“Well can’t you shoot them with your hand thingy!?”

“I call it my solar bullets, and no that would also be dangerous. My aim’s only good if I have a bow to use. I risk hitting him, or getting in his way. Our best option is to stay here, and if we see trouble we run in. WIth your monstrous speed it shouldn’t be too hard.” I replied.

Then, right on cue Arrow started going on the assault. And it was awesome! He pulled out the other sword from his back. It was a dark green blade that was see through and shining. And he just started going to town with it! He was hacking, slashing, punching, and kicking the monsters down one by one. He was fast, like Max level fast. No, no, Sonic level fast!

“Is that guy really human?” I muttered.

“I don’t even think I can move that fast..” Max muttered.

Soon the area was nothing but dust, and the faint glows of the sigils were fading. I stared in ah at a panting Arrow standing in the middle of the destruction. I squinted at the dust and I could hear him talking, like he was talking to someone near him.

Is he talking to the monsters?

I jumped slightly as I felt something warm and furry land on my shoulder and rustle my cheek.I looked over and saw Acies.

“Oh, you finally came crawling back huh?” I teased.

“I see the rumors are true.” Acies muttered.

“Hhhmm, what do you mean?”

“Not only is this human beating the guardian’s illusion, but he’s also able to handle monsters at this magnitude. He has destructive power very reminiscent of the General’s. It’s impressive, I can’t imagine..”

“Wait go back, what do you mean guardian’s Illusion?”

“Are you really this dense?” Acies asked

I growled.

“Alright, humor me. Treat me like I’m five. What’s this illusion thing?”

“Long ago in the early times of the guardians, the humans and the fantastical lived in harmony. But the humans’ constant strive for superiority and conquest drove a rift between them. Many species under the watch of a guardian were under attack and abuse. And the magical advancements were stolen and used for greedy purposes. So it was proposed by your mother, and her lover the water Guardian. To poison the human race, causing their sight of the fantastical to vanish, and banish them from their realm.”

“Wait are you telling me my mom drugged the planet!?” I yelped.

“More accurately, all the guardians drugged the world. Every plant they eat, every stream they drink from. It’s all poisoned them for generations.” He said softly.

“So, how is it that Arrow can see everything?”

“I’m not quite sure. I examined him to make sure he really was a human. And there is no doubt about it. Maybe one of his descendents is a child of a guardian, or perhaps he is just the rare case of people that are immune to it?” He proposed.

“Interesting..”

Guess that explains why no one’s talking about any of this in the outside world. They couldn’t see it. I looked up and I saw Max running over to Arrow. Who was talking on the phone!? How does he have cell reception down here!?

“Acies, would you say You’re rather educated on how things in this world work?” I asked.

“It’s the only reason the General keeps me around.”

“So let me ask you, what do people see instead of the fantasy stuff?” I asked.

“I’ve heard that it goes to whatever rational idea humans hold in their mind. There was an incident a few years back where a photo of a type of chimera was leaked online by what I assume to be an Arrow type of human. And it sparked debate amongst the humans. Some saw a komodo dragon, while others say they saw a Lion. But all of us just saw a chimera.”

“Wow, that’s crazy...” I mumbled as I started to walk over to Arrow.

“So, you mentioned my mother’s lover being the water Guardian. Is that still true to this day?”

“They seem to have an off and on thing. But they always end up back together.”

I felt a cold rush run down my spine. Suddenly the whole, you were a mistake thing was making a lot more sense. She must’ve met my dad during one of their off periods.

“So Jack says he wants to meet up for lunch! You two ready!? Or did you want to go fight the final boss first?” Arrow asked, holding his phone away from his face.

I stopped and looked up at him, then around the debris he left on the ground. If that wasn’t even the final boss…

“Let’s eat!” Max and I both cheered.

Arrow’s eyes widened a bit and he sighed.

“You guys have no sense of adventure..”

He moved the phone back up to his face and told Jack we were down to eat.

“Jack says he’s buying, oh yeah, and Max. He says it’s past five already.”

“Wait what! You can’t be serious!” Max cried.

“What’s at five?” I asked.

“My abuela shop! I was supposed to help!”

“No worries, we’re eating there anyways,” Arrow chimed.

“What happened to you?” I asked.

“A lot.” Rushon grumbled.

He was laying across the small circular table, with his shirt practically ripped off. His shirt and his skin were darkened with soot and ash. He was intensely staring at some boots he had on the table. They looked rather mechanical close to the bottom, almost steampunk like. They even had little bronze wings on the sides. It was like a modern-day Hermes sandal.

When I scanned around the room, I could catch just about everyone sneaking a peek at us. It didn’t help that we were practically in the middle of the place.

“Yeah, you look like you just fought Doc Ock. Where did Jack even take you?”

Rushon groaned and slowly sat up on the table. He gave me a tired look and stared off. Then his eyes trailed back over to the boots.

“First, he took me to get my spirit animal. Apparently, he could sense a link between me and one of his familiars.”

“Wait, did you say ONE of his familiars?”

“Yeah, he happens to be quite the pokemon trainer. Has something to do with him being the Patron of frost, or something like that.”

“Can this guy be anymore overpowered? So did you manage to catch one of his pokemon then?”

“Yeah, the creature is known as Pomola. It’s from a Native American culture, my father limited their species after overpopulation caused an extreme winter storm.”

“So wait...DOES THAT MEAN YOU HAVE AN ARTICUNO!?”

He nodded.

“Basically, but he likes to be called Lawk.”

“I see, so I take it that Lawk wasn’t the one who wrecked your clothes?” I asked

“No, that was the stupid dungeon.” He huffed as he flopped back into his seat.

“Was it not a training dungeon?” I asked.

“No, it was a real dungeon alright. Jack told me Arrow was gonna teach you all the ropes in the practice one. While he left to go get these from a real one.” He sighed as he reached over and flicked the boots.

“I see, so are these what I think they are?”

“Yeah, Hermes wings.” He sighed. “A modern interpretation anyways, it’s supposed to help me fly. Apparently my abilities might function better once I get used to the feeling of flight.”

“Well, that’s good news right?”

He didn’t respond at first, he just stared at the boots. A rather begrudging look on his face. He could easily eliminate all his problems with them. So what was the problem?

“Hey! Sorry I’m late, what is it you all want to order?” I heard max exasperatedly call out to us both.

I blinked a couple of times, the reality hitting me that I hadn’t even touched the menu yet.

“I uh, ummm I-”

Crap!

“Do you guys have a meat lover’s type of fajita plate?” Rushon asked with a nervous laugh.

Max smiled and gave a gentle nod to him.

“I’ll surprise you with one of my favorites!” Max cheered.

Rushon nodded and gave him a smile.

“I appreciate it!” Rushon hummed.

“And you can just surprise me! I’ve never had authentic Mexican food before, so maybe something that shows me what it’s all about?” I suggested.

Max nodded.

“Can do, coming right up!” He cheered and then scurried off.

He had a rather huge smile plastered onto his face. He didn’t even look this happy when we were getting our familiars. He must really love this place.

“Eden, if your dad offered you to come back home, would you?”

I looked at him like he was crazy.

“Hell no! I’d rather struggle.”

“That’s kind of how it feels to look at these boots. Like I’d be admitting to my brothers and my dad that I couldn’t fly on my own. If I’m gonna fly, I want it to be on my own terms, with my own wings.” He said firmly.

I was shocked, he was seriously gonna give up on these for his pride? I mean, his name was already Icarus!

“This is my adventure!”

Suddenly my own words hit the back of my mind. I remember when I was just like this. I pulled my sister aside and basically ran to my death. All so I could prove that I can do things on my own. These boots, they represented him giving in. After all the hard work he’s done on his own. I looked down at his arms. The scars that lined all up his hands and forearms, they were a testament to his dedication too.

I smiled and chuckled.

“I get it, really I do.” I looked up into his eyes. “And I have faith that you can fly with on your own. I haven’t forgotten our promise. We’re gonna prove everyone wrong.”

Rushon smiled at me.

“Right!”

“So since you don’t want’em can I have them?”

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