Ch 6 - The Gate
The others finally arrive.
I’m getting bored out of my mind sitting here while checking out the sword. Two-edged, about forty cm in size... Intricate designs, especially on the hilt... It well matches the elegance of the structure behind me.
“Whoa,” the four say in chorus while standing like statues, admiring the arch and the portal forming at its center.
I stand up and wave at them. “Yo. Took you guys long enough...”
“Well, so--rry about that,” Jana pouts at us. “We had an encounter on the way here.”
“You guys too, huh...” I reply. Somehow I’m already drained because of earlier’s action.
“We fought a whole horde.” Stella mutters while looking elsewhere.
“You alright? Did something happen while you guys were fighting baddies?”
Jake then pauses in silence after asking that. “Wait, did you fight?”
"You... fought?” Cath repeats and immediately checks my left hand with the mark missing. “How?”
Keith approaches from behind us and gives me a pat on the back. “He did well, to be honest, even with that sword-looking thing he’s holding. Given that his Color’s still nowhere, that is.”
Though I wouldn’t like to admit it, it’s definitely on point... A person who’s unable to use Colors will not be able to function well in combat against Shadows. Then again, doesn’t that mean it’s just my experience that’s helping me right now? Cath takes a moment to breathe, proceeds to fix her hair up into a ponytail, and think things through.
“Alright, we’ve gathered enough data from the Prisma. The book was really useful just like back then. Thanks, Cael.”
“Huh,” I snicker. “Don’t mention it. I don’t even know how that book got there in the first place.”
“Now that’s even more of a mystery,” Els whispers from behind me. “It’s as if you were fated to discover the whole thing about Colors and the Spectrum.”
“Yeah,” I reply as I look elsewhere. “That’s what I also thought in the first place.”
But there’s no use in getting to know about a phenomenon when... there was just too many casualties. Not with me. Though I do know to myself that those dark times were out of my control...
After keeping my thoughts to myself, I noticed Stella keeping quiet, still examining the portal. Her gaze reacts to every surge of energy that it creates. I approach her as the group gathers and immediately disperses to assess the surroundings which is mostly done by moving a few ways far from a reference point, which currently would be the portal, and then taking position to be on standby. That’s how we often did it, even as far as two years ago went. Not that Els and Keith would be too familiar with it though-- they just stood close to the portal, with Keith swishing his hand around every now and then.
“Something wrong?” I asked her. I didn’t take the chance to give her a tap on the shoulder to catch her attention, even though she seemed as if she was deep in thought.
“Nothing,” she replies. “I don’t think anything’s wrong. There’s just a lot of things to admire here in Essentialis.”
Huh. I can tell when she’s lying. But I guess it wouldn’t help if I were to pry in on what she has in mind. Something’s telling me not to ask too much questions. What’s more important right now, however, is to figure out just what place this portal will take us to. Securing the perimeter is priority...
“Alright,” I say, scratching the back of my head. “You want some space?”
“No,” she sighs. “That’s not what I...”
Then, as if on instinct, I reach my arms out to her. And although briefly, she leaps towards me in an instant.
“You need a hug?” I ask with a smug tone.
Maybe she’s getting really tired. I feel like she’s been using her Colors more than anyone else.
“Why don’t you stay with the two and guard the portal? I’ll handle your spot.”
“You sure?” She looks at me with a futile light in her eyes. Her stare isn’t even focused towards me at the moment.
“Yup,” I reply. “Get some rest.”
She nods and makes her way to the two that’s sparring near the portal. I guess it’s fine as long as they don’t draw too much attention. Now, let’s see just how much I can do with this sword in battle...
Things have been getting interesting lately, something to be understood since this Spectrum’s a new one. While shuffling the thoughts of how different everything feels, I looked towards Jana who’s going to a spot near mine.
“Jana?” I called out. “Your hair’s getting messed up.”
“No, it is not,” she replies without even bothering to check it. “I’ve short hair, so how in the world would it--”
All of a sudden, a swarm of winged Shadows circled in on her location, the rush of their wingbeats seemed to be able to direct the breeze into a vortex. I had no choice but to transform a nearby rock into a contact grenade.
“Jana! Make sure you don’t catch this one...!”
With a precise enough throw, the grenade explodes. Although it didn’t really deal much damage, it was effective in making them disperse for a while. And now... their attention is towards me.
“I got you!” Jana reaches out her hands charged with Green towards me and erects a dome barrier to shield me from the buzzards. “I’ll be creating spikes-- get creative with them as well!”
As the spikes form from the barrier, I decide to make them emit a large enough sound by transforming each of their edges into speakers. This effectively shuts down their barrage, and I think that the others would hear the boom as well...
“Well done, if I do say so myself...” I calmly sit down as the barrier dissipates.
Jana then quickly dashes towards me.“You think that wouldn’t attract more Shadows?”
"If anything, it'll attract someone," I say, pointing towards whoever it was. "Look."
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