Promise

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Tristal

Araneia, Hiran and Bartram finally reached the city gates of Tristal, carriages were coming in and out the city as they walked inside, ferrying people and goods back and forth.

As they walked into the city, passers-by gazed at Hiran and Araneia's outlandish clothes, they both overheard whispers about outsiders and also the word demon was dropped a couple of times, despite Araneia's skin being hidden.

"Clear the way!" A voice called, a woman upon a horse, wearing golden armour made her way through the crowd toward Bartram and the others, the towns people cleared a path for the woman, who came to a stop before Bartram. "Bartram, what is the meaning of this?" The woman asked.

"I came across these two outsiders on the Reiardan Coastline, their 'Skyboat' had crashed" Bartram explained.

"Who is this lady?" Hiran asked.

"Let me handle this, Mr. Hiran" Bartram shushed Hiran.

"I am Knight Captain Lacillotta of Tristal, you are outsiders, yes?" The woman asked.

"Yes, we apologize if we caused you any inconvenience, milady" Araneia bowed.

"No need for apologies friend" Lacilotta smiled. "But tell me, why do you hide your face?" She asked.

"Forgive me for not revealing myself, I swore an oath to keep my identity a secret in my homelands" Araneia nodded.

"Very well" Lacilotta nodded back, before turning to Hiran. "You, Sir, you look... militaristic, no?" She asked.

"Yes, the city I once fought for... fell" Hiran sighed.

"I see, you have my sympathies, soldier" She bowed her head in respect. "Come with me, outsiders, I shall present you to King Tristal" She smiled.

Hiran and Araneia nodded and followed Lacilotta.

"You may come too, Bartram" She called back to the crowd as she rode away slowly.

"Thank you, sister" Bartram nodded as he followed behind. He soon caught up with Hiran and Araneia.

"Hmm, sister?" Hiran asked.

"Yes, Lady Lacilotta is my older sister, she is the most recognised Knight in the realm" Bartram smiled.

"I gotta say, she has a much more... exciting name" Hiran joked.

"My true name is not Lacilotta" Lacilotta chuckled.

"Oh, I see" Hiran scratched his head.

"Lacilotta is a title of the Knight Captain, passed down to each captain... well, each female captain" Lacilotta explained.

"Hmm, so what is the male equivalent?" Hiran asked.

"Lancelot" Bartram replied.

"Ah" Hiran nodded.

"What is your true name?" Araneia asked, as she looked at Lacilotta.

"My birth name is Marcette" Lacilotta smiled.

"It is good to meet you, Marcette, I am Araneia" Araneia introduced herself. Lacilotta raised her eyebrow.

"Are you a royal?" She asked.

"Not really, why?" Araneia asked curiously.

"I know of a place, out there, a city of steel that goes by the name of Aranei" Lacilotta replied.

"Hmm, I was named after the city" Araneia smiled, though in truth, the city had been named after her.

"I'm Hiran" Hiran butted in.

"Please to make your aquaintance, Sir Hiran" Lacilotta nodded.

The four walked through the castle gates and into the throne room. The Throne Room was a large hall, with a throne at the far end, above the throne was a huge clock, which ticked away loudly, the at each side of the walls, the sound of clockwork machines clicked away.

King Tristal was sat upon the throne, his eyes glowing slightly blue. He rose to his feet as Araneia and Hiran walked towards him and stopped.

"It is good to finally meet you, Hiran and... Araneia" He smiled.

"Uh... how do you know our names?" Hiran asked.

"The Time Cystalline grants me the vision of all that has occurred upon this world, and a glimpse of what is to come" Tristal explained.

"That sounds overwhelming" Araneia pondered. Tristal nodded and smiled at Araneia.

"Child, there is no reason to hide your face before me, your deeds saved this world, and your scars are proof of your compassion" Tristal smiled gently. Araneia nodded and lowered her shawl.

Bartram and Lacilotta gasped upon seeing her, and drew their weapons.

"Your majesty, what is this demon?!" Bartram asked.

"Lower your weapons" Tristal commanded. "You stand before the Ark Angel Araneia" He added.

"Ark Angel?" Araneia asked, as Bartam and Lacilotta sheathed their weapons.

"It is the name that I bestow upon you, my child" Tristal smiled.

"Pardon me for asking, but you keep calling me, child, despite your knowledge of my age... why?" Araneia asked.

"Because, while you are old, I am older" Tristal smiled.

"I don't understand... wouldn't I know of you?" Araneia pondered. As she asked, Tristal dissipated into energy.

"I am the voice of the Crystalla of Time, of the 'Time Crystal' as you may know me by" Tristal's voice echoed through the halls.

"Wait... what?" Hiran gasped in shock.

"The Crystals have sentience?" Araneia asked.

"Not all of us do, many of us were never awoken before..." Tristal sighed.

"Before what?" Araneia asked.

"Before the Celestial Harbinger killed our creators, or 'parents'" Tristal revealed. "Only my three brothers and sisters awoke, and they all reside in the paradise that we named Farenei, protected from the outside world. These lands are the true vision of the Gods. Their last act" He added.

"But... the Gods sent down the Celestial Harbinger to purge the lands of human kind, after their constant wars" Araneia argued.

"Is that what Celestia told you?" Tristal asked.

"...Yes" Araneia sighed.

"I don't understand, why would Abyssia and Lumina lie about the Gods intentions, and why did they slaughter all those people before Araneia stopped them?" Hiran asked.

"These are not my questions to answer child, as much as I wish I could, I cannot see the thoughts of the ones called Abyssia and Lumina" Tristal replied.

"Hmm, Crystals, they don't have their own life force, do they? We would have known if they did" Araneia pondered.

"You are correct, my child" Tristal nodded. "A soul must be added to the power of a Crystal, to gain this power" He added.

"Wait... Abyssia mentioned something like this..." Araneia gasped.

"Yes, the one called Roisin, the anomaly, she has absorbed the Crystals, I have seen this. She and her family have the most peculiar power bestowed upon them by the gods" Tristal nodded. "At this current time, she holds two of my newborn brethren inside her soul..." Tristal added.

"Two?" Araneia asked.

"Yes, Ice and Fire..." Tristal said as he recalled the memories.

"I see..." Araneia pondered.

"So, lemme get this straight, this Roisin chick is basically giving these Crystals life... but how?!" Hiran grunted.

"Her power, her bloodline's power, is life. While yes, she is the one doing this, both her brother and Uncle have the ability. As for how? It is the souls of the dead, they have been merged with the power of the Crystals, making them into Crystalla" Tristal nodded.

"What is the end game with this?" Araneia asked. "I had assumed it was to give Roisin the power to face Lumina" She continued.

"It is to defeat that which lies upon the veil, and to finally free this world of the curse of chaos" Tristal explained.

"Right, I don't get it" Hiran shrugged.

"I'll explain it slower to you later" Araneia joked.

"Hmm, you two may rest here at the castle as long as you require" Tristal offered. "I must return to ruling this Kingdom" He said as his form once more appeared upon the throne.


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