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 [Fanfic] Brotherhood of the Sword

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evilReiko
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PostSubject: Re: [Fanfic] Brotherhood of the Sword   Sun 21 Nov 2010, 6:57 am

I read chapter 9, really awesome, it contains different type of battle and different type of sadness too chu that's actually why I like your fanfic; every chapter is completely different Chu it's not just battle and win chu

The saddest part of chapter 9 when Mylera asked Lena about Ahm, so epic-ly sad Sad
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RyIII
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PostSubject: Re: [Fanfic] Brotherhood of the Sword   Sun 21 Nov 2010, 2:18 pm

evilReiko wrote:
I read chapter 9, really awesome, it contains different type of battle and different type of sadness too chu that's actually why I like your fanfic; every chapter is completely different Chu it's not just battle and win chu

The saddest part of chapter 9 when Mylera asked Lena about Ahm, so epic-ly sad Sad

Ah, I do believe you mean Chapter 8. Chapter 9 has an entirely normal sort of fight. Smile
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PostSubject: Re: [Fanfic] Brotherhood of the Sword   Mon 22 Nov 2010, 3:26 am

Yeah you're right, that's actually chapter 8 heh-heh
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PostSubject: Re: [Fanfic] Brotherhood of the Sword   Tue 05 Apr 2011, 3:21 pm

Boop.

Part 12: The White Wind

------------

Kaevoras found that the great woods gave him peace.

Here, there were no sounds of battle, nor sounds of planning, or clashes of swords, or the bustle of townsfolk. Just the sounds of nature itself to keep his ears occupied. He flipped pages in his journal, which, to the untrained eye might seem a tangled mess. Lines of poems and songs cluttered the margins, even overlapping each other in what looked like an illegible literary sprawl. On some pages, the 'margins' themselves seemed to consume the whole pages. Of course, anything else that was legible would likely seem more odd than what one couldn't read.

He turned to the last entry he remembered writing, that went something like: 'Met a pretty girl. Short, long red hair, blue eyes, tried to kill me. Would find again.' Before he could furnish that leather-bound book with another entry, a bright light and a roar of flame accompanied the arrival of Vaijoras, who looked up to see Kaevoras sitting on a high branch. "I had a feeling I'd find you here. Come down from that branch."

Kaevoras put away his journal, and leaped down from that great height, landing neatly on his armored feet. "Well, what brings you out here? Do make it a bit quick. These woods would be perfect to conceal an attack on our stronghold. I have to keep my eyes out for anything coming in from this end."

Vaijoras nodded. "Our lord has returned from his own mission."

The poet-knight nodded. "Well, how did it go, then?"

Vaijoras was about to fold his arms, but then remembered the armored sleeve that kept his recovering arm from bending. "It went well enough. Apparently their goddess didn't expect to be attacked, and certainly not in such a fragile magical construction. It was risky, but our lord is confident he could've survived if something went awry."

Kaevoras nodded. "And how is he?"

Vaijoras tapped a finger against his palm. "He will need a bit of rest. Apparently the Valis Warrior collapsed the heavenly bridge on him before he was quite ready to escape. He managed to pull himself back to this realm, but it was a strain for even him to do so in such haste and under such peril. He is now considering a possibility that's unthinkable for those like us."

The poet chuckled. "Try me. You know I have an active imagination."

Vaijoras shook his head. "He is considering that the Valis Warrior may rise to challenge himself directly, considering what dangerous acts of desperation she is capable of. Remember, if it had you or I who were caught by that collapse, we would have surely died. He also told me to warn you."

Kaevoras became more serious. "Of what?"

Vaijoras looked the shorter knight in the eyes. "Our lord believes that she will come after you, next. Torilikos is dead, I cannot fight, Milegeus doesn't believe he can win at all, and she knows who you are. He says that Milegeus is no coward, and that he only fears a senseless death rather than death in general."

Kaevoras shrugged. "Well, let her come, then. I'm not afraid to do battle myself. Despite my pile of off-duty compositions, I am no mere minstrel, I am as much of a knight as you or the rest of our brothers. Even if I can't overcome her, it will be a long time before Lena Brande ever forgets the day she fought with me."

----------

Lena herself was having a bit of a time trying to even find Kaevoras- it was something to be expected, considering that he was able to sneak in right under her nose the last time he acted. There were, however, only so many places that a knight could hide, and still fewer if he were actually being given duties. And considering that Merogius had shown quite an insistence on knowing everything that was going on around him, and all that was left was mere process of elimination- where hadn't she encountered one of the knights yet?

It was this thought that led her to the edge of the great woods. She could feel that the sword remembered what happened here, during the battle against Rogles, and the hilt grew warm in the presence of the place where Yuko fought her opposite number among the minions of the dark king. Lena herself stepped in among the trees, the rays of the noonday sun filtering down through the green canopy and onto the scrub and roots below. Footing was occasionally a bit treacherous, but Lena stopped to marvel at how such an untouched forest remained so orderly.

There was little doubt as to why she had decided to seek out Kaevoras next- she had seen him fight before, and she had at least a rudimentary idea of how he fought. He also seemed to know a great deal, and, as much as a longshot as it was, she hoped that she could get just a bit more out of him.

Kaevoras, however, had felt her movements on the wind- he was always keen on remembering what he considered to be 'poetry in motion', and knew where she was as soon as she passed the bounds of the green. He had felt her movements push aside the air, as though, as he would put it, it were making way for superior beauty. He had merely waited for her to walk deep into the woods, until there was nothing but canopy as far as eyes could conceivably see, from horizon to horizon. He was bound by honor and desire to fight Lena, though, and he'd have to start sometime.

Lena felt the wind pick up, first a breeze, then sharp gusts, and then she realized it was an unnatural. Lena moved out of the way as quickly as she could as Kaevoras spun out a tornado from his hands, the deadly howl of wind rushing by her as she pulled aside. her arms stung as she saw the scratch carved across it, and heard the cracking of trees and branches falling in pieces- whatever power was in that wind sliced through everything in its path as surely as though it were done by her own sword. She readied her own weapon once she recovered, and heard a pair of metal boots hit ground- Kaevoras was standing on one of the many exposed roots, balanced both perfectly and casually. "Hmmm... I'm not one to ambush, most of the time, but I couldn't pass up the chance possibly to show up my brothers in arms by defeating you with a single attack." He thought for a moment. "But then, what would I do afterwards? I was looking to put together a real composition about our battle, not a mere couplet."

Lena nodded. "You're Kaevoras. There are some things I must know."

He nodded, and Lena swore she could feel him smile, though his helmet obscured such things. "And I, in turn, must fight you. If you can beat me, I'll tell you what you want to know, Lena Brande. If I beat you, however... Well, by now you know what we've come for, I should hope. You don't seem like the sort who wouldn't pay attention."

Lena had to hurry to be on guard, as Kaevoras practically flipped his sword out of it's sheath, drawing it and bearing it down on Lena in a single, elegant motion. She put the Valis sword in between herself and the long, sharp edge, and soon enough she had joined battle with the Vascani knight. It was not long before Lena encountered the unique challenges of fighting in such a dense and old forest- there were only so many places one could put one's feet without putting all-important balance at risk. The normal problem of getting a weapon stuck in a tree or nearby branch, however, didn't really matter to either of them- both the Valis sword and Kaevoras's knightly steel were far too keen to be impeded by mere wood. The only things that could stop such weapons were each other, and they did, the clashing of sword against sword resounding through the forest as they dueled, both looking for a vital weakness that the other could exploit. When Kaevoras found none, he decided to get a bit tricky.

In what Lena considered to be an impossible move, the knight firmly planted his feet on one of the exposed roots, then jumped feet-first into one of the tree trunks, then actually sprung off of it towards her. Though his blade did not find Lena's flesh, it unbalanced her and she stumbled back. She forced herself to drop in order to avoid his next swing, and fighting her way up from being flat on her back proved to be both difficult and perilous, though the speed of her sword discouraged him from planting a foot on her to keep Lena down- Kaevoras would prefer not to have to hop back on a single remaining foot to make his report to his lord. This hesitation, however, allowed Lena to get back up, and attack with a ferocity that Kaevoras hasn't experienced the last time they did battle. Now he was hard-pressed to keep himself from being slit open- he had the experience of seeing others after they had been hit with the Valis sword, and he had decided ahead of time that getting hit at all would not be part of his plans. Actually keeping that plan intact was proving to be a difficult matter. He needed to back off and gain some time to think.

He actually jumped out of the way of the next slash, and hopped up onto the branches to put some distance between himself and Lena. He knew she was following him, but it didn't matter. What did was that he wasn't locking blades against her, and anything that could hold that off for a little longer was a blessing to him. It was almost like the chase back in the city, but Kaevoras soon learned an extremely vital difference- In the city, the Valis warrior had to hold back her full power. Here, where there was just him and her, she had far more options to deal with Kaevoras's speed. A blast of lightning streaked by him as he jumped, blowing apart the branch he was about to land on dropping him into freefall. It was so sudden that he had no option but to land front-first on a tangle of exposed roots, knocking the breath out of him.

He was made of stern stuff, and rolled on his back to see Lena leaping down to strike him, but rather than parry and allow the chance of getting stabbed in somewhere unpleasant, he opted to instead unleash a rather localized gale-force wind against Lena, sending her on a rather opposite course than she planned- with no way to control her descent, however, she soon found her back slammed against one of the many tangles of roots and upturned rocks that dominated the floor of the forest. She coughed out, wheezing at the force of the blow, but got up quickly enough. She knew that his own fall was probably just as painful as hers- the knights still felt such things. She stopped for only the shortest moments to examine the cuts that had formed on her own skin from the exercise of Kaevoras's powers.

It was brief because he was upon her again soon enough, bounding across the roots to reach her. She cut through the last one he was aiming to land on, though, causing him to stumble long enough for Lena to get in a blow of revenge against him for that last little surprise. He turned his body as he fell, though, making what looked like an uncomfortable twist to turn what would've been a blow to the chest to something that pierced his rerebrace and caused a shallow but painful gash across his right arm. The bleeding and hole was filled in by that salve, but Kaevoras was beginning to grasp his peril in choosing to stand and fight against the Valis Warrior. She was beginning to see through his moves, and that could be the death of even the greatest of warriors.

What's more, he was forced to be more cautious, and Lena was beginning to pin him down rather than allow him to run all willy-nilly over the battlefield. Kaevoras was forced to engage Lena hand-to-hand, and she was lending far more unrestrained force to her blows than the last time they fought. He had fought people moved to anger before, but none wielding a sword that could channel that anger into battle itself. His own sword shivered under the blows as he moved to parry them, but he was not so worried about his weapon but that his arms might break under the strain of fending off the harm that Lena most certainly sought to do to him. It eventually dawned on him that his lord's triumph over Lena's goddess might well mean his own upsetting defeat.

Kaevoras leaped back to fire off another razor gale, but Lena recognized this, leaping up and out of the way as soon as she felt the first hint of a breeze. She brought herself back within sword's reach of Kaevoras, the new desperate knight forced to put his shoulder in the way- the armor kept it from being a serious wound, but it was still enough to put the white salve to work on stopping the bleeding in his left shoulder. There was little he could do in combat like this other than stay alive, and the only way he could yet pull out a win was by doing something daring.

To Kaevoras's advantage, there was great poetry in daring- it came as naturally to him as art.

He pretended to leap back, and expected Lena to follow, which she dutifully did- but as soon as his rear foot touched a stone, he pushed off of it, suddenly reversing course and catching Lena by surprise. She cried out as she felt something sharp pierce her body, and realized that the pommel that balanced Kaevoras's sword was, in part, another blade of its own. She gasped as she fell back to the ground, and knew that Kaevoras would be in close pursuit. She had to defend herself, and most importantly following that, she had to win, and quickly before the wound took too much of a toll on her body and mind. She took a couple of deep breaths, and turned aside Kaevoras's next blow with one of her bracers following through by striking at his wounded right arm.

This stripped Kaevoras of the bit of ease he had earned himself by dealing a wound to the Valis Warrior, and forced him to parry awkwardly, which sent bolts of pain running down his body as he had to rely more and more on his wounded appendages to defend himself against Lena's constant assaults. He managed a small reversal here and there, and then realized he could press forward, so long as he was fixed on her. Much to her detriment, Lena soon found her back pinned to a tree, with Kaevoras piling down speedy blows. She did see one way out of it, but it would require some daring of her own. She evaded his next blow and sliced low- at the tall tree behind her, severing it from its roots. With a little push, she sent it toppling down towards Kaevoras. Forcing him ro oll speedily out fo the way to avoid getting pinned, the great crash of trunk and branches obscuring his sight and his hearing.

It was a terrible evade, forced by necessity and haste and took him into a tangle of roots and stones which he bashed his legs against. He knew that Lena would soon come to finish the job. He staggered back up to his feet, and though he had felt Lena coming there was little he could do. Freeing his sword from the roots was easy, but bringing it in fast enough to defend himself proved to be impossible. The next he saw ind felt of the Valis warrior, she was guiding her sword into him with both hands, piercing him from front to back with the full blade of her weapon. She swiftly removed it in case Kaevoras would take the opportunity to strike her down while she was stuck, as she watched the white salve fill in and stop the bleeding of what would otherwise be a deadly wound.

Knowing he was beaten, Kaevoras raised his hand in submission, and Lena sighed in relief, setting about dressing her wound with bandages from a pouch on her sword-belt. She spoke only when she finished. "All right. I know a wound like that wouldn't kill knights, so..."

Kaevoras nodded. "Indeed, there were things you wanted to know from me- as you have bested me in honest battle, I will tell them to you, so long as you do not demand I break our code."

Lena nodded slowly. "All right. Something has been bothering me since we last met. You told me that your lord is closer to gods than men. I saw him attack a goddess by surprise, and prevail. What is your lord?"

Kaevoras paused for a moment. "I assume that you already know the story of our people- Milegeus will tell anyone who asks."

Lena nodded slowly.

Kaevoras took a deep, ragged breath. "Vasca, the first king- he found something, an ancient treasure of our people almost-forgotten even in the days before we were enslaved. It was called the 'spirit forge'- it was a powerful magical furnace that could burn away all of the impurities of any work of metal, making it uniformly strong throughout. It was essential for making the Sword of Vasca- no other forge, mundane or enchanted, would do. But the first king... He found another use for it."

Lena blinked. "Well, what was that?

Kaevoras paused for a moment, as though dredging something from a deep well. "He found a way it could be used on men."

Lena's eyes widened. "Why?"

Kaevoras sat down on one of the stones. "He wanted for his chosen warriors, the knights, to be led by only those who were the most dedicated and purest of valor and spirit among them. In this ordeal, the knight is tested, body and soul by the flames of the ever-burning furnace, in an ultimate ordeal of the will. It takes a great deal of strength to even attempt this trial, as all know what happens if one is found wanting. Many who fail spend years recovering before they are once again whole, and some of those who fail are simply burned away to ashes, immolated alive. Those who can triumph over that blue flame, however, have all of their earthly burdens burned away, emerging whole and alive as those who carry the purest essence of the Vascani. All of the dark vices that leaden the soul are expunged, and they are allow to see the world as it works, not merely as it is. Their minds are sharpened to a point so fine that razors seem like stones- and their body becomes as though it were free of all things earthly and crude, fit as much to walk along the clouds as the ground. It is these men who become the knight-captains of the Vascani, freed of mortal chains to become something above men."

Lena slowly took a seat of her own. "How did this come to us...?"

Kaevoras nodded. "Your sword brought him here. Which is why I tell you this. Go to him, bow your head, and give up your sword. He is generous in victory, and will certainly pardon you for killing Torilikos. If you fight him, though, our lord is many hundreds of years old, and he has been in almost as many battles as he has had years of his life. I would prefer not to see you die."

Lena stood up sharply, her eyes narrowing as she looked at Kaevoras. "Do you know how full of it you sound? this sword has passed through the hands of so many, so many who gave everything for this world, who fought and died and sacrificed everything! Your lord will get nothing except that I want him to take all of you knights, go back home, and leave us alone! And if he doesn't, then let him know that I'm coming for him."

Kaevoras nodded. "Before I left, I told our lord that, if I were defeated, I should tell you whatever you wished to know, and to offer you one last chance to surrender and avoid further battles." He sighed. "He also told me that you would refuse that chance, as you were bound to your honor as he was his- a lofty statement from a knight-captain. He told me to say that because you were of that mind, then either you or my lord were bound by the warrior's fate to die in the end. I did not wish that to be true, but because my lord said it I believe it to the last letter."

Lena now became curious. "I'm your enemy. Why would you wish that?"

Kaevoras clutched his journal/poetry book. "Do you think, Lena, that we of the Vascani are born with swords in our hands? Back home, I was once a rootless wanderer, who had little more but clothes, a pen, and paper, who believed that all of the beauty in the world was within the reach of the hand. I loved women, which is to say, that I loved many women, but the creature of my pure affection was withheld form me from her father until I could prove myself a worthy man. In my anger, I left, insulting and then making a fool of a knight in the streets, much to my peril. I was caught, though, and Merogius asked me my woes. I told him, and he offered me the chance to become a worthy man." He paused for a few seconds. "I think, though you are not Vascani, that you are a beautiful girl, Lena Brande, and that you should not perish with so many years ahead of you."

Lena nodded, and turned to walk away. Something nagged at her, though, and she turned to face the wounded knight again. "So.. How did it turn out?"

Kaevoras paused for a moment. "Ah, well... It seemed that, while I was becoming a knight, the girl got engaged and was married to another worthy man. I came only in time to watch it happen, and I dared not interfere but only watch, as no one dared to refuse entry to a knight. I couldn't stand it for long, so I left- at the bottom of the steps was Merogius, simply watching. I asked him if he knew this would happen, and he simply nodded, telling me that I had come to the end of the first verse. He turned to go. I followed him."

Lena understood, and started to make her way out of the forest, and back home. There was much preparation to do, if she was going to fight a being such as Merogius.


Last edited by RyIII on Thu 07 Jul 2011, 3:29 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: [Fanfic] Brotherhood of the Sword   Thu 07 Apr 2011, 9:50 am

Part 13: Truth and reconciliation.

-------------

"A spirit forge?"

Asfal hmmed. He had restored his armor back to its original white and red, now that he was no longer a hermit but once again fully aiding Lena and her friends. "Well, if that's really what he said, then that's quite a use for it. I believe a similar device may have been used to make the Valis sword, but I couldn't be certain of that. The ancient forgemasters wouldn't divulge such secrets so openly- such people guard their tools jealously, and many times with a package of good reasons attached. If what he says is true, then it does explain many things about Merogius, such as why I was not able to read him, why he was able to use such an esoteric sword technique to wound Yuko, and so on. It is as worrying as it is enlightening, however, if the Vascani have found a way to force an ascension of the body and spirit, albeit at the cost of lives."

Lena sighed. "And the knights I've fought seem convinced, even after I'd beaten them, that Merogius would destroy me in an actual battle. While they do revere their lord, they aren't some foolish cultists but battle-hardened, experienced warriors who fought in a whole lot of battles. I know he can be beaten, but the question is, how?"

Asfal thought for a moment. "Well, you may be better-prepared for him than you know. The Valis sword was made to overcome the wrath of the gods, alongside the Leethus. If Merogius has shed his earthly nature and donned the cloak of the celestial, your sword may be enough to give you the edge required to defeat him. He may be one of the kinds enemies your sword was made to fight, in times long past. After that, however, he has fought for much longer than you have- I could see that when we first met. All that matters, then, is whether he has ever fought one as strong as you before."

Lena shook her head. "I'm going to have to challenge him directly anyway, but I don't know if those last two knights would let me by unopposed. I could end up in bad shape before I even got there. I do have a good idea where he is, though."

"And how might that be?"

Lena took little time to elaborate. "Well, when I fought the other knights, they were either looking for something or were calling me out to battle. Kaevoras, however, was just sitting there, like a lookout. The only reason anyone would be there as a lookout would be if they were trying to block the way... and the only place worth going that way for would be to see Rogles's old fortress." She sighed. "At least, that's the idea. Though if Merogius himself wants a fight, he'd find a way to let us and everyone else in the world know."

Asfal smiled. "It's a good guess, at the least. I would say that all that's left is to defeat the remaining knights, but I know it isn't that easy, especially considering the wound that Kaevoras left you with last time. And then there's Merogius himself to handle beyond that. I would say you still have a good deal of work ahead of you, and that you should be thankful that fate has dealt you these opponents, who desire fair and honest battle with you."

Lena fingered the hilt of her sword, looking down and away. "Hundreds of people died because I wasn't fast enough to save them. Is that the way it always is being the Valis Warrior? Winning all of the battles but still not being able to save who you care for?"

Asfal looked to her. "Hm? Well, don't set about blaming yourself or fate for what has transpired. Such things happen in this world at the intention of evil men. To blame yourself for their depravity hurts you more than it does them. You are not to blame if a foe sinks so low as to resort to such things. We must all fight on, Lena. In the circle of your closest friends there is not one among them who hasn't lost something to the machinations of the dark forces that rear their heads in the shadowy corners of the places that lie without and within."

Lena looked back up to Asfal. "Thank you Asfal... But what do you think I should do now?"

Asfal leaned back against one of the pillars of the main hall. "I am going to consider what else I can do to make things easier. You, on the other hand, will go and find a way to relax and regain yourself. You became a creature of vengeance after you saw Yuko get wounded, and you paid for it in your last fight. Yuko wants you to live- we all want you to live."

Lena began to protest a bit, but was cut off by Valna and Cham entering the room. the queen smiled. "I think that's an excellent idea, and I think you can trust Asfal to keep an eye on things while you lay back, not to mention your wizardly queen and one of the greatest warriors the Dark World has ever offered us."

Lena nodded slowly. "Well, if you order it." Cham, however, did seem to have the signs of her usual activity. "Ah! been training someone again, Cham?"

Cham nodded. "Mylera. She seemed interested, and was probably just a bit bored just sitting about the castle. She is strong- a good deal more than she thinks she is. Whatever the Vascani are like, well... They don't exactly seem to have a female warrior tradition like either of us do. Dreamworld, you have the Valis Warrior, ruled by queens forever, and so on. In the Dark World, absolute strength was quite prized, no matter who you were. I don't know about the rest though- we'd probably have to pay a visit to the Vascani homeland to see what it's like over there, and I don't think that's especially practical right now."

Lena took her hand off of her sword. "Well, we're not going to be at war forever, I hope. There was no reason for all this to even happen. Maybe I can make Merogius see this somehow, even if it requires beating him."

Valna smiled. "Well, perhaps that's true. What is also true, however, is that you need to get yourself some rest, Lena. Going into battle exhausted is a sure way to lose any fight, not just ones that involve swords."

----------------

Being the Valis Warrior did have some perks to offset the moments of extreme physical and sometimes mental peril that accompanied the profession. In this case, it was her rather posh bedroom in the castle, with both plenty of space and plenty of locks to ensure some degree of privacy. Lena was laying back, reading one of the accounts of Yuko's exploits by those who could best piece together what had happened- it was only after Valna became involved that things became more lucid. The earlier parts seemed to make little sense- sure it was fine enough for Valia to choose her own daughter to bear the sword of Valis, but why would King Rogles also pick a human to wield the sword against Yuko? Earth was now in ruins, so might some other lord choose to recruit humans into his army? And would a human from Earth be such a prized and potent champion as Reiko was?

Lena shook her head. this was not the thing to think about now. Her current enemy wasn't bound by something as fleeting as power, or base as rage. Merogius was bound by a code of duty and honor, fighting for what he believed to be a just and absolute cause rooted deeply in the ancient history of his own people, and had fought for centuries to guarantee the future as a promise to the past. She knew that he would fight to the death- Merogius would likely allow no less from himself than that, and she couldn't allow anything less from herself.

She spent some time turning things over and over in her head. Both he and her were on a collision course that could only result in a battle for the fate of not only the Valis Sword, but the dreamworld itself. Her enemy probably believed in honor and justice as well as any knight who ever lived, but on the other end, it made him as equally uncompromising as a volcano.

Lena shook her head. The fact that the only path that would save the Dreamworld lay over the corpse of a warrior she would call friend in other times.

Her thoughts were interrupted as the door opened and closed. She looked up from her book to see Mylera standing there. "Oh, hello there. Something you need?"

Mylera shook her head. She then paused for a moment, deciding to switch her response to a nod. "I wanted to see you when you got back."

Lena noticed that there was no 'if' in that sentence. "Why is that? I've already settled things with your brother. Is someone treating you badly around here, or something?"

Mylera quickly shook her head. "No... that's not it at all. Quite the opposite, even. I've been living with you people for a little while, and I wanted to see you most of all, since you're the one I originally came to find, for reasons you already know. I just..." Mylera involuntarily flexed her fingers.

Lena blinked, sitting up fully on her rather large bed. "We're the only ones in here... And it's not like I'm one of your knights."

The Vascani girl looked to Lena, and took the liberty of sitting on the edge of Lena's bed. "That's even a part of it, really... I'm just wondering how you and the others can still be so strong in the face of all this. You've seen what one of our knight-captains to do, and you're still going out to challenge him?"

Lena put her hands in her lap. "Well, your brother and the knights aren't the only ones who have people they want to protect. I fought for the Dreamworld even before I became the Valis Warrior. Even if I wasn't bound to be the champion of the Dreamworld by the Valis Sword, I'd still fight for it."

Mylera looked down and away from Lena. "I wish that I could be strong, too."

This certainly caused Lena to blink. Mylera was around a full foot taller than she was, and, in some ways, made Lena look a little girlish, even though Asfal assured her that she and Mylera was not that greatly older than she was. "Well, I wouldn't really call anyone who has done what you have weak."

Mylera looked back at Lena. "How do you mean?"

Lena had to suddenly figure out what she meant. It took her a moment. "You came all the way here on your own to save your brother. Even though you didn't fight, didn't you succeed, in the end?"

The Vascani girl nodded. "Still... I wish I could do more."

Lena scooted back- her bed had more than enough room for all manner of motion. "I think everyone wishes that, but you did what you could, and it turned out to be enough. You can always learn to do more, and you've already started that with Cham, haven't you?"

Mylera rubbed her own back. "Yes... She is a hard teacher, but I can see why she is... But I think I'll push harder from now on, if I can. Thank you, Lena Brande. Though I don't know if I can become as strong as you or my brother, I don't want to be the kind of person everyone worries about. Not anymore."

---------------------

It was late that night that Lena felt something tug on her dreams. She opened her mind to 'hear' who was calling her... And she found herself standing in a green field, opposite Reiko. Lena was surprised, certainly. "Reiko? Is something wrong?"

Reiko shook her head. "Absolutely not. There can't be something wrong because I want to do something right, for once." Reiko took a deep breath. "I don't know much about you, Lena, but Yuko put her trust in you to do what's right, and I wouldn't be a friend to her if I didn't trust her."

Lena folded her arms. "I see. Go on."

Reiko continued. "You plan to go after the man who wounded Yuko?"

Lena nodded. "I would, even if I had a choice about it."

Reiko nodded. "Yuko is the only person in this world I could ever call a true friend. Others just wanted to take advantage of me, but Yuko at least made the effort to be nice. Yuko believed in this world too, and since she cannot fight for it right now, I will. I'll do what I can, even in death, to get back at the people who hurt Yuko like this- so long as you promise me one thing."

Lena paused before agreeing. "What is it?"

Reiko continued. "I want you to bring the one who wounded Yuko to his knees. Do whatever else you must, but I don't want him to forget that striking against us will bring down the anger of the living and the dead."

Lena thought- there was no avoiding a fight with Merogius, so any help would be useful. "All right, I'll do it. He's a man who lives by the sword anyway, so a sword may well be the only thing he listens to."

Reiko nodded.

Lena sprung awake. She looked over to the copy of the Valis sword that sat against one side of the wall. Lena slid out of bed, and made her way towards it, picking it up in one of her hands- rather than feeling as though it were made of a ton of lead, the sword was light in her grasp, and handled just as well in either hand. She realized she could use this weapon alongside the Valis sword- and though it certainly wasn't as strong as the legendary weapon itself, it would surely aid her in the battles to come.

Her thoughts were interrupted when she her Mylera stirring under the sheets. "Ah, Is something wrong, Lena?"

Lena shook her head. "No... Not at all."

----------------

Dimacherus watched Tamorath at work sharpening his sword. Considering what the swords of the knights were like, this was more a symbolic gesture than practical work, and the fact that Tamorath was doing it in the main hall of the fortress meant that he either wanted someone to see it, or just didn't care if someone saw it. Dimacherus leaned against the wall. "Tamorath, may I ask, as an old friend, what you're planning to do?"

Tamorath didn't move except to continue sharpening. "If things continue as they are, a battle between our lord and the Valis Warrior is inevitable. And if I know it, then he knows it, too. In our entire time here, I have not yet brought myself to battle, and for this I am ashamed."

Dimacherus crossed his arms. "So, what are you going to do about it?"

Tamorath inspected his black sword for a few seconds, then went to polishing it. "I plan to do what I must. I will storm their city and castle, confront the Valis Warrior, and save our lord the trouble of having to fight her himself. Both success and failure likely mean death, but embracing such an outcome is quite liberating, in a way."

Dimacherus looked to the ceiling, as though trying to divine from the masonry a way to fathom his friend. "And what if there are other worthy warriors who get in your way? Could you really fight the Valis Warrior and all of them? While our lord accepted your choice, I am sure he would prefer your death not to be senseless."

The black knight gave his sword another inspection. "Our lord would prefer a great many things, but he still lives in this world, as do we. There are some things that we must merely cast into the hands of the gods."

Dimacherus stood up. "If you're so resolved to go, then, I would be a poor friend if I didn't go with you. Better chance of success that way, and I haven't had my shot at the Valis Warrior either. and if we go together, there's a better chance of us living to see another battle."

Tamorath put his sword away. "I appreciate your concern, though death has no meaning to me. However, failure would certainly mean the end of your own life, as well."

Dimacherus nodded. "Then, I would not be a good friend if I let you go alone before the Court of the First King."

Tamorath's eyes widened. A moment passed, and the two knights grasped each other's forearm. Tamorath spoke first. "Among all of the knights I have known, you, Dimacherus, are truly my brother."
---------------


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PostSubject: Re: [Fanfic] Brotherhood of the Sword   Mon 11 Apr 2011, 2:54 pm

Part 14: Storm of Steel
------------------------

Lena slowly opened her eyes as she woke up to the rays of the warm sun, blinking a couple of times to try to dispel the grogginess of being forced to awaken by that distant, uncaring luminary in the sky. She rolled over to sit up, and she felt her elbow nudge something she would have been better to remember.

Thankfully, that nudge only caused her guest to mumble a bit. Lena smiled as she looked over at Mylera, who was still snuggled deeply under the covers of Lena's bed. The Valis warrior smiled warmly at the sleeping Vascani girl, and decided to leave her be for the time being. Lena quietly got out of bed and got dressed, including putting on both swords- she didn't even think about the fact that there were now two where there was once originally one.

She actually stopped to look at herself in the mirror- whatever challenges remained were right in front of her. The knight-captain who started all of this was expecting to fight her, and his remaining knights would likely be too loyal to back down and let her take a shot at him. For one time in her life, though, she actually felt ready for what lay ahead. The fact that even the dead stood behind her made her, at least for this moment, feel as tall as the sky.

She was about to put her hand on the door when she heard Mylera stir, and sit up herself. Mylera blinked those golden eyes. "Are you going already, Lena?"

Lena looked back. "Not immediately. There are some things I need to go over with Asfal and the others, to arrange things for while I'm away and to know more about where I'm going."

Mylera nodded in understanding. "I still wish I could do more, but... Good luck all the same."

Lena smiled. "Well, I'm sure that you'll learn to be able to do more. We can talk about it later."

Lena allowed Mylera to go back to sleep before leaving the room. She headed downstairs, to the inner reaches of the castle keep, to the main hall where she knew that the others would be waiting. She was not disappointed.

In fact, she was even a bit embarrassed to see that everyone was there before her, including Cham, who was known to get carried away in early-morning training duties, or seeing to the needs and concerns of the Dark Worlders who had settled in the Dreamworld. Asfal was quick to remind Lena that she slept in. "Well, now that we are all here, we can talk about Lena's expedition. Anyway, as I was saying, I am rather surprised that Rogles's fortress is still standing, even after is death. Such things are generally constructed on an egocentric foundation."

Valna nodded. "It was built to last- it was home to an entire royal family at one point, and King Kaiser may have expected Rogles to inherit it. With Rogles dead and Kaiser having vanished into oblivion, it seems that Rogles's father built it on a far more solid foundation than his own power. Something that strong would probably be ideal for any knight-captain, not just of the Vascani."

Lena blinked. "But there are only three active knights, even including Merogius. How could they defend it?"

Cham hmmed. "Well, they were the ones doing most of the attacking, and no one around here would dare go near it. There are so many ghost stories surrounding that place that you'd some of them were real."

Lena nodded. "Well, all right. Kaevoras was their lookout, so Merogius knows that I'm looking for him- he might even be prepared already. There's really no plan left other than for me to head right for him."

Asfal leaned back on one of the columns. "An extremely undesirable strategy, but given the nature of our opponent, he might well see through any sort of guile or deception we might attempt. We will just have to trust in the strength of the Valis Warrior. That does seem to be the way that you Dreamworlders tend to go about things, but one cannot argue with such consistent results."

Lena was about to try to refute this when she heard a thumping on the door to the main hall. The guards opened it up, and one of the city guards stumbled in near breathlessly. "Your majesty.. The knights- they're here!"

Lena nodded "All right. I'll go out and fight them, the rest of you, make sure the queen is safe."

Asfal stood up. "I'll go with you- there is more than one, after all. Cham's people still look to her for direction, and the safety of our queen is paramount. I, on the other hand, have no such attachments to worry about.
------------------------

The morning sun greeted Castle Vanity and its surrounding city, A fine, mid-spring day, marked only by the fact that the city had been in quite the state of alert ever since Kaevoras was discovered.

However, the armored visitors that rapidly approached the walls were not nearly so subtle.

Tamorath and Dimacherus ran in a dead sprint towards the outer walls, the arrows from those guards present clattering off of their armor as harmlessly as though it were the rain. before they reached the base of the wall, grabbing onto the masonry and climbing up as though they were spiders. Both of the knights eventually hauled themselves over the battlements, taking time only to cut down the guards within reach, the ones most likely to try to hinder them. Had this been an open battle, they may have put up more of a struggle, but surprised as they were, they could offer no defense against the attacking knights.

The pair leaped down from the tops of the walls, landing with a crash in the city streets, pausing only long enough to get their bearings. Both turned their eyes towards the castle on the hill, and ran towards this, quite intent on not giving the defenders any time to rally a strong defense.Any guard that game within reach was cut or stabbed as they made their mad dash to the castle itself.

The pair hauled their way over the inner walls and into the courtyard of Castle Vanity itself, finding only two there to greet them- Asfal, trident at the ready, and Lena with both of her swords drawn

Dimacherus looked over to Tamorath. "I shall take on the Valis Warrior. Her style suits mine well."

Tamorath nodded slowly. "Indeed. I shall join you as soon as I have finished off the other one."

Dimacherus moved off to engage Lena, and the two became engaged in what seemed to be a deadly whirlwind as two pairs of swords clashed against each other in a desperate fight, each seeking some advantage over the other. Reiko's sword was light in her hand, and at times, to Lena seemed almost as though she didn't need to give it any direction as to where to parry or strike.

In contrast was the mere deliberate matchup between Asfal and Tamorath. The old king even spoke. "You seem far different than your fellows. Why you you wear such armor of mourning?"

Tamorath nodded. "A fair question. Some time ago, in pursuit of glory, I directly caused the death of many innocents for no great cause- something far against our code. I could either retire in shame, or seek to still serve but be forever marked for my failures. Only death can absolve me from what I have done, but while I live I can still serve my lord. And besides... I can see the regret in your eyes as well."

Asfal wasted no more words, and went to battle, spear against sword. Asfal had to marvel at the prowess of his foe, as the king found himself hard-pressed to defend against a weapon that his own should theoretically have a fine advantage over. Recovering quickly, he soon regained a more even footing against his knightly foe, deflecting, counterattacking, defending, in a fight that certainly showed that Asfal's age had not hindered his prowess as a warrior.

Lena and Dimacherus disengaged for a moment, and Lena was forced to dodge out of the way as a trail of icy spikes thrust up from the ground beneath her, emerging when Dimacherus's swords touched the cobblestones that paved the castle courtyard. As soon as she looked up, she saw a massive, razor-sharp ice spike head towards her, and she dispelled it violently with one of her own orbs of lightning. There was a great flash as the two collided, leaving only a fine, sparkling mist. Yuko pressed forwards, her own pair of swords meeting Dimacherus's, the clanging and rattling of blade against blade filling the sears of both combatants.

Asfal needed some space, and the ferocious, reckless assaults delivered by Tamorath were leaving him precious little room in which to maneuver. He was no one-trick king, however, and while the wall of fire that rushed forward and slammed over his knightly foe did little to keep him from approaching, the smoke and haze blinded him long enough for Asfal to press his advantage- that is, ramming the base of his trident into Tamorath's forehead, "ringing his bell", as the saying went. Asfal's next thrust was deflected, a marvelous feat, considering.

While those two continued to battle, Lena continued to press Dimacherus as hard as she could, but he, too was proving to be a skilled opponent. Dimacherus had his own ways of confining opponents, such as how he hemmed in Lena at that point by conjuring a wall of jagged ice behind her, backing her into a hard place where none had previously existed. She grunted as she hit the wall, but had the presence of mind to move to the side as soon as she felt the spray of fragments caused by Dimacherus's sword cutting into the wall from above. She parried the next blow as well, and struck back, putting some more space between herself and that wall. Her concentration wandered for just a second to watch the deadly duel between Asfal and Tamorath- for just a split second, however, as Dimacherus demanded her full attention with his deadly blades. She reflected on how much harder fighting against him might be if she only had a single sword on hand.

Asfal was left to marvel at the resilience of his opponent, despite his seeming recklessness. With all the fire and the like he was throwing around, he was sure that Tamorath should have been cooked in his armor by now, but the knight fought on against the ancient king, that black sword striking heavily against him as he looked for an out of a battle that was beginning to drag on for far too long. Tamorath's strength seemed inexhaustible, driven by the desire for duty or death. A moment's hesitation on his part created a rather painful opening however, as his shoulder took a blow obviously meant for his head. Asfal grunted through the pain, and caught Tamorath's shoulder with all three tines of his trident. As he withdrew the points, he saw that white salve in action, clogging the wounds so that the knight wouldn't bleed out. Still, a blow was a blow, and having three sharp lengths of metal ram through one's body would likely impair wherever it happened.

Where Dimacherus ran, he left trails of spiked ice, hampering Lena's movement greatly as she struggled fiercely against her own opponent. Even the act of trying to put distance between herself and him was rapidly becoming hazardous, and even though fending him off was not an enormous struggle for the Valis warrior, jockeying for position against her foe was becoming ever more of a danger. She managed to even kick over some of the spikes, but her opponent's strategy seemed to be all about keeping her mind on two different things at once, while he only had to worry about Lena- not an insignificant worry, to be sure, but still only one. Dimacherus spoke some words, and some of the larger spikes even exploded, showering Lena with sharp fragments that stung and cut her skin.

Lena was not about to be outdone, however, and as soon as Dimacherus came in for another attack, Reiko's sword began to glow fiercely. Lena knew what Reiko wanted, and the fierce power of the dead warrior seemed infectious, as The Valis sword itself began to glow. Lena ducked under one swing, and then did something curious. She attacked the other of Dimacherus's swords with both of her own. For a second, all three swords hung there. That was followed by a bright flash and a thunderous boom as one of Dimacherus's swords was shattered by Lena's attack, the shards sprinkling to the ground.

Asfal was having some worse luck than Lena. It seemed that he could only trade blows with his ferocious enemy, and it would take something entirely debilitating to finish Tamorath. Still, though, the one thing he managed to accomplish was putting some distance between himself and Tamorath. With that open distance, he came up with his plan to deal the wound he needed. All he needed to do was leave himself open.

Lena now had quite an upper hand on Dimacherus, considering he now only had the single sword to defend himself. Soon, that too was knocked out of his hand. Lena delivered a blow that she hoped would disable him, thrusting the Valis sword through his torso, but her left hand had other ideas. As soon as she withdrew the Valis sword, Reiko's sword, of its own volition, cut down and deep into Dimacherus's body, the shriek of tortured metal following it as it cut a terrible, mortal wound into Dimacherus's own body. Lena's eyes widened, and she tried to fight the will of the sword. She looked on as she saw Dimacherus slump over from his lethal wound, and Lena blinked. Reiko was working her will upon the world through her.

When Tamorath saw this, he let out a great shout of rage, and charged right for Asfal. The king's defense worked well enough at first, and he slammed his trident through the innards and out the other side of Tamorath, but something happened that he didn't expect. The deathseeker, though firecely impaled, actually pushed his way up the spear, and brought a terrible blow down on Asfal before the king could get out of the way of it's deadly curve. The black sword cut a vicious wound deep into Asfal's torso, the king's armor preventing it from being instantly fatal. the king was forced to kneel, but Tamorath was finished- Asfal's attack was so fierce that even Tamorath wasn't able to withstand the incredible damage he sustained.

It was in these ways that Dimacherus and Tamorath passed to the court of the First King.

Lena rushed over to Asfal, kneeling by the wounded king. "Asfal! We need to get you inside, right now."

Asfal looked over at her. "I will get inside, but I shall need some help to do so- I hadn't expect our foe to be so determined after receiving such a wound." He took a deep, ragged breath. "It is up to you now, Lena. It seems my foolish valor has caused you worry."

Lena shook her head. "No... thank you for helping me." She looked over to Reiko's sword. Glowing cracks flowed throughout the blade of the weapon, and in a flash, the sword shattered. She watched as some of the fragments turned into sparkling motes, which were absorbed by the Valis sword itself. "What...?"

Asfal nodded. "Without the living hand of its owner to wield it, a sword like that is merely temporary- You used up the last of its real strength to break Dimacherus's sword, as well as the knight himself, and what little power remains has been taken by your sword. That power is Reiko's last gift, I would imagine."

Lena sighed. "I wish it didn't have to come to this point. I just wanted to fight their leader and end this."

Asfal nodded. "Reiko protected you so that you would be able to do such a thing as soon as possible, before our foes could recover. You must go as soon as possible, so you can bring an end to this."

At that moment, Valna arrived , and the soldiers helped her take Asfal away, Leaving Lena to reflect on her next move.
------------------


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PostSubject: Re: [Fanfic] Brotherhood of the Sword   Mon 11 Apr 2011, 10:03 pm

Part 15: My Name is Lena Brande
------------------------

Lena sat outside the room where Asfal was being treated. Her own injuries ere practically nothing compared to the ones that Asfal had received, and had been healed quite quickly. she waited anxiously for news of her friend from Valna, and she fretted slightly as she waited.

Thankfully, she didn't have long to wait. Valna stepped out of the room, as Asfal was as instrumental to the queen's rescue as Lena herself was. Lena looked up to the queen, and didn't even have to ask the question. Both of them knew exactly what Lena was planning to ask.

Valna sat down beside Lena, and nodded. "Lena... I know that Asfal helped you greatly... But, he won't be able to help you any more this time. His life hangs in the balance at this point, and though he is very strong, a wound like that still has a chance of killing him. All we can do now is work on him and pray that he recovers- asking any more of him would end his life."

Lena nodded. "It's all right... Asfal has helped us out this time, too. We can't ask any more of him, and we didn't even ask him to fight this time, either. All I can do now is make good on our efforts and finish what we started on that day that Milegeus's sword landed in the courtyard of the castle."

Valna put her hand on Lena's. "We are all counting on you. it is the Valis Warrior's burden, but also her greatest strength. No matter how it looks, the Valis Warrior never fights alone."

Lena looked over at Valna, and stood up. "I'm going to take a rest, and then head off- it will take some time to get over to Rogles's old fortress, even without any opposition."

Valna nodded. "Mmmm... I had thought that you would not give up. You wouldn't have gotten that sword if you were the kind of person who did. Good luck in your battle, Lena Brande."
----------------

Lena's estimate was correct- even with her speed, getting all the way to the old fortress from Castle Vanity. She had traveled almost all night to make it there, and she looked up at the impressive structure. From the roof she saw a silver glow, which was no doubt Merogius standing there, anticipating his battle with her. She couldn't help but think of what the other knights had said as she climbed her way up.

"You would never be able to even touch our lord."

She thought over Torlikos's last words. Even though he was speaking out of spite for her, things she heard later her gave her pause, perhaps even consider that their lord was something else.

"He is closer to gods than to men."

Indeed. Considering how he was 'created', that did have some merit. She thought about this as she made her way up the stairs, but she then considered- what did she fight that was at all close to men? When Galgear unleashed the power of the ring to fight her, what did he become in the end, during that last battle? He didn't seem entirely like a natural being in that state, and yet, through strength of arms and will, she was able to prevail over him.

In time, she came to the top of the tower.

Merogius was there, draped in his purple cloak, his blue eyes looking to the horizon, the first rays of the dawn lighting up the sky in its usual magnificent display. As soon as he felt Lena approach, he began to speak. "The sun rises, bringing with it a new day to this world. In my homeland, I could, from the great dower, see the first light of the day creep over all four quarters of our greatest city. I can feel the brightness of our sun extend its reach, passing through windows and skylights, across the streets and through the buildings, goading our people from their sleep- some more easily awakened than others. The touch of the sun is the touch of life, bringing the smiths to work, the soldiers to their posts, and the king to his throne. The sun calls all to their duty, and today it has made no exception, calling us to ours." He finally turned to Lena, regarding her with those glowing blue eyes. "Valis Warrior, what is it that you see when the sun rises?"

Lena was taken aback by the question, but she thought for a moment, deciding to try and give an answer that Asfal might say. "A promise. that no matter what happens, there will always be a new day, and another chance, and that there are some beautiful things in the world that are beyond the reach of all misfortune."

Merogius nodded. "A fine enough answer. One fitting of you. However, we have both been called to a deadly purpose by the dawning of the day. You wish to defend your world and your sword- I am here to take both. No bridge can be built between such wishes."

Lena looked over at him. "Why have you come for the sword anyway? Why attack us, when we've done nothing to you? We didn't even know about the Vascani until you and your men came to this world!"

Merogius paused. "You already know of the ancient origins of our people. I know this, for my knights hide nothing from me. Their duty compels them to tell me all of what they have done, and what they have told to you. In order to protect our people, that sword must come to us, so that we can be assured its power might never be used to inflict terrible suffering on our people. You know very well the power of what you wield, Valis warrior."

Lena had enough. Her knuckles turned white as she gripped the sword, and her hands shook. She then let out all of the anger that had been building up since she saw this man strike down Yuko, since she saw Torilikos standing in a town he destroyed, and when she saw Tamorath deliver a vicious wound to Asfal. and then to things before- the suffering of Yuko, the capture of Valna, the burning of the old castle, and the death of Amu. "Do you think that we haven't suffered!? Do you think that we haven't fought against the dark powers? Do you even know how many people have fought and died to save this world, to save it from burning and its people from death?! The fate of three worlds rested on the first wielder of this sword!" She took a deep breath. "And of those who have used this sword, and who have fought for the Dreamworld itself, how many do you think have died fighting seemingly hopeless battles?! Me and all of those who are close to me have seen one who is close to them die in the struggle for this world! Did you think that we'd ever just hand ourselves and the instrument of our protection over to you, who has not shared in our struggles, our triumphs, our pain?"

Marogius paused once more before speaking. "A noble sentiment. It is made so by the fact that all of what you said is true. But..." He slowly drew his sword, holding it upright in both hands. "But, however noble and just you may be, Valis Warrior, what happens later? What happens, a hundred years hence, should the sword meant to fight against the gods come into the hands of one who is far less scrupulous than you? How many others could one enslave with such power, given access to the legendary might of such a sword? I cannot allow the fate of my people to fall to mere fortune. It is my duty to preserve the future of our people, and for that, I would pull down the heavens themselves if the gods opposed us. Because of this, I accept your challenge, Valis Warrior."

Lena calmed down. "No... Don't make me into just some enemy you must defeat for a mission." She drew her sword. "My name is Lena Brande, sister of the late Amu Brande, who died fighting for this world. It's a person who fights you."

Merogius nodded. "Well then. I accept your challenge, Lena Brande. Fight no more than your best, and let this last battle be worthy of glory for both our names."

Lena drew the Valis Sword, and struck first at Merogius. She expected him to parry, and was mainly testing his speed. She would not be able to outright overpower him, at least, not at first. He seemed to be doing the same, concentrating more on defending with his sword. He was quite consciously using both hands to wield his sword against Lena's attack, as though it were something he didn't normally have to do. The knight captain found himself forced into a defensive stance, even- he was in the same boat, not able to overpower Lena as well, at least not with swordsmanship. Lena was already proving herself to be a formidable opponent, and even his eyes were having a hard time immediately reading her moves.

Lena could feel Merogius's own strength, however. While it was not the sheer volcano-like might that Milegeus had, it seemed that Merogius had near-perfect control over the movements of his own body, able to apply and relent as much forces as he cared to with any given swing or dodge. Not a single technique he used was over- or under- done, and it was almost unsettling to watch him move, as it was quite unnatural to watch him direct himself in battle. Lena steeled herself and fought on against him, able to do no less. She managed to catch his own attempts at counterattacking with her own blade, managing to fend him off once he actually started delivering blows of his own. Strike after strike was traded between the two, none of them finding an opening quite yet. Merogius had experience, and Lena had talent for the art.

Merogius, however, was experienced enough to have other tricks up his sleeve than mere swordplay. he raised his hand as Lena came to attack him, and a dome of white light quickly surrounded him, pushing Lena away rather forcefully. Lena rolled with it on the hard, black slab that made up the roof of Rogles's old fortress. She looked up to see a bright silver bolt emerge from the dome, and she rolled out of the way as it actually carved a tench through where she once was, the deadly blast tearing through one of the black spires and sending it tumbling to the ground so distant below. She stood up, but ducked quickly again as a deadly lance of silver light sliced overhead as well. Another beam came a bit too close, opening up a cut on Lena's cheek- And Lena, once she had a second to look beyond the dome, saw that Merogius was doing this so casually one might think he wasn't expending any effort at all in doing so.

Lena steeled herself. Her sword started to shine in the glow of the early sun, and she rushed Merogius. She charged her sword with the full wrath of her own lightning, and did her best to dodge whatever deadly ray or blast came from underneath that dome. She pulled this way and that to avoid the deadly light, and the occasional blast beside her skipped rock fragments into her legs, but it was not enough to stop her. She came right up to that dome, and slammed her sword right into it, forcing Merogius to try to hold the dome steady under Lena's assault Blue lightning arced over the dome, which shuddered and began to fade. The attack was too concentrated, given at the point of Lena's sword. with a great, boom almost too deep too hear rather than feel, there was a flash as Merogious's field collapsed in a bright explosion, sending both flying to opposite ends of the roof. Lena scrambled back towards the center, but Merogious was already on his feet, as though he had never left them. His cloak definitely looked towards the tattered side, though.

He regarded Lena from where he stood, and raised his sword, causing a bright, silver beam to shoot into the heavens. Lena looked up at it, and it turned out to be the right decision- He had made it an extension of his sword, and was coming down- too quick for her to dodge. She actually managed to parry it with her sword, and it bore as heavily upon her as though it were made of lead rather than the terrible light that her own sword was blocking. She felt the ground underneath rumble from the strain, and sparks that struck off from the beam burned pockmarks into the slab below. She shifted herself out from underneath the attack but felt a great crash and gasped as a stone lifted from the roof slammed into her back, sending her sprawling. She rolled, and got back on her feet, ready to seize the initiative.

She didn't expect any sort of easy win, and even expected him to be prepared when she ran Merogius down. She again locked swords with the knight-captain, Lena pressing him as hard as she could. While they locked, Merogius raised one hand off of his sword, pointing the palm downwards at her. Knowing he could take no move of his for granted, she pulled her sword away and struck at the opposing hand, biting shallowly into Merogius's arm and knocking the blast off-course- however, Lena only narrowly avoided getting sliced herself by his unattended sword, and a fresh stinging sensation in her side marked the appearance of a new cut of her own. It was nothing to seriously slow her down, however.

Her foe seemed equally unperturbed by his own wound, the white salve filling in the space where she struck. He flexed his fingers before putting his hands back on his sword, shaking his head, as though more disappointed in himself than anything. He handled his sword more carefully when Lena was up close, deciding that trying something clever wasn't worth even a scratch on his part. He turned his attention, then back to defending himself against Lena's attacks, and devoted a part of him to consider his options against the warrior assailing him. She wielded her sword expertly, to be sure, but he still had things left on hand.

He actually barreled forward into Lena's body, enveloped in that silver light, slamming her with the raw force of his power. While he didn't expect such a move to finish her. Breathing room was what he needed to wield his power. with a flick of his upturned palm, bolts of silver light began to shower from the heavens, slamming hard into the ground. Lena got up and stared wide eyed, barely able to escape the first volley- but her sword shined, and she remembered her sword was able to parry such attacks form him, as she did before. She swung her sword, deflecting one of the bolts right at Merogius, where it slammed into him with a bright explosion. She heard a grunt from underneath it, and she managed to move forward even though her legs were burned and stinging from the bright blasts.

It was little to get her down, and she began to get the idea that Merogius himself might well be suffering from the blows she was giving him. She readied her sword, looking over at him. "Merogius! Please stop! You don't have to go on fighting like this."

Merogius looked over at Lena. "What I have to do was laid down long before either of us were even born, Valis Warrior. My oath was sworn before the gods and the First King. It is something I have defended for hundreds of years of my life. There is no other outcome to my presence here than this very battle that we fight. You can no more ask me to stop than I can ask you the same. Perpare yourself, Lena Brande!"

Lena shook her head, but rose her sword to defend herself against the onslaught that Merogius brought on her. She parried that dragon-etched sword as best as she could, even breaking out of her defense to take some swings at Merogius, but it seemed to be of no immediate avail. Even striking to force him to rely on his wounded arm seemed to be getting her nowhere fast. Even though a bright flash of light erupted from his sword, however, even the temporary blindness kept him from landing a telling strike against her as she blocked his attack with the Valis sword. It was there, however, that she saw her out.

She leaped over his next slash, as well as the knight himself, gathering up her own lightning for an attack on the knight. He held up his sword to parry, but her intent was not to strike him down. A massive bolt erupted from her hand, the great lights and sparks striking his blade and his sword arms. It was not enough to even seriously injure him but it stunned his arms, and loaded his senses to the point where it was able to bedazzle his senses, if just for a brief moment.

That moment was all that Lena needed.

In that half a second of being unable to defend himself, Lena gripped her sword tightly, and rammed the legendary blade through Merogius's breastplate, the blade exiting through the other side. She heard him grunt, but not cry out- such a blow alone was not enough to slay a Vascani knight, but it did seem a convincing argument against further battle, for some. She slowly withdrew the sword, backing off. Both of them watched as the white salve filled in the wound.

His response was not what she expected. He looked towards her with her blue eyes. "For even this, on top of all else you have done, Lena, I would be willing to pardon you if you were to just give up your sword."

Lena blinked. "Even after a wound like that, you're still willing to fight?"

Merogius nodded. "I know that, to you, such a thing seems serious. However, you should know by now, even in your small lifetime, that things are not as they seem in the world. I ask you again- do you still wish to challenge me, even knowing this?"

Lena nodded without pause. "As you said, I have to. I won't let anyone do as they please in this world. Not you, not anyone. We would never trouble you, but since you came here with your swords in your hands, I can't let go what you've done."

Merogius paused. "...I see. Such valor is rare. You know well what you challenge, but after this point there is no recourse but to fight this battle to its end." He closed his visor, covering his eyes with that blank, opaque silver plate. "For one of us, this will be our last sunrise, and I have not lived so long in the service of the king to not serve him another day."

Lena backed off as he felt powerful emanations from his body. His purple cloak actually slowly disintegrated before her eyes, dissolving first into shreds, and then into dust which was carried away on the wind. Once that was gone, a halo of silver light formed behind his back, his feet lifting half a foot above the ground. As Merogius stood floating in mid-air, she saw six brilliant, golden, diamond-shaped energy 'wings' form behind his back as well. Merogius's sword became encased in a silver light. As she looked at the backswept wings of his helmet, Lena thought that he might seem to some to be a god of war who had come to the world.

He soon spoke again, his all-surrounding voice seeming to rumble in her soul as well as her ears. "This is what you have chosen to fight against, Lena Brande. There is no doubt you stand tall among warriors, but can you truly contend with one such as I?"

What struck Lena most is that, the way he said it, it sounded as though it were an honest question rather than rhetorical mockery.

She saw that her own sword had started to shine again as well, and things became more clear for her in that moment than in all the rest of her life. All things- the safety of her friends, her purpose, her hopes and wishes, had all collapsed into a single point that she could see as clearly as though it were the sun. It was as though there was nothing else that lay between proud heaven and strong earth but herself and her opponent. She closed her eyes, and touched her forehead to the flat of the Valis sword, and looked up at what awaited her. She held her sword upright, and at the ready, and looked to the Knight-Captain. "Merogius! Even though it has come to this, I will not turn aside! If that is how you wish this to end, then I swear that this will be your final battle!"
-----------------


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PostSubject: Re: [Fanfic] Brotherhood of the Sword   Tue 12 Apr 2011, 2:21 pm

Part 16: Valis Eternal
--------------------

It had all come down to this. Lena steeled herself for this battle. Her sword was shining wildly as it reacted to the semi-divine presence of the full power of the knight-captain, as though it too was signaling that it was ready to rise to the challenge of defeating this formidable foe.

There was nothing left, then, but to fight.

Merogius was of the same mind, as he too rushed to settle the battle. The clashes of swords took on an entirely different character. Silver sparks and white miniature bolts of lightning sprung from every clash, that sounded more like the crash of thunder than the striking of steel. The ground beneath them trembled with each parry, pebbles struck off of the ground jumping and scattering as they fought. Even though Merogius could move more freely like this, Lena's sword was always ready to defend however he might choose to attack her. It didn't take long, however, for her to figure out what else that it meant.

The knight-captain was able to disengage far more easily, and put whatever distance he liked between himself and Lena. He let out a blast of that deadly silver light towards Lean, which soon took on the shape of a roaring dragon's head. Lena dashed forwards and even slid underneath, remaining in reach for that crucial second required to draw her sword over one of his thighs, tearing open his armor and giving him what might have been a substantial wound, was he not what he was. She did not escape her stunt unharmed however, as her parry was awkward, and as she tried to roll away she felt his sword draw a quick, long cut across her back by the tip of that deadly sword. She gasped at the strike, but she had managed to avoid taking a terrible blow, but only barely.

Lena stood up to defend herself against what else he chose to throw at her, but she had to shield her eyes as she saw six lances of silver light erupt from the tips of his 'wings'. Not aimed at her, they were instead converging on her, trying to force her back into close combat at a speed she was not ready for. She decided to give Merogius exactly what she wanted, though with a twist of her own. As she rushed forward to escape the searing light, she let loose an attack of her own- a burst of lightning which took on the shape of a roaring wolf's head. As Merogius sliced down to dissipate the attack, he was soon struck from above, as Lena had leaped in after it. Merogius took the blow in his shoulder, and dislodged Lena's sword from his body, as well as Lena from her position, with a quick, short swipe that cut across her own thigh. It was not meant to be a killing blow, though hearing Lena cry out probably didn't hurt.

Lena watched as she saw Merogius's body shudder slightly, and the white salve fill in the various wounds he was receiving- all it was doing, though, was stopping him from bleeding out- it couldn't reverse the damage she had already done. She was not yet out of options, aching though she was. He once again tried to put up his protective sphere, but she was upon him once more, driving that shining tip back into the now silver sphere that surrounded him. She groaned as she put every muscle she could into defeating his defense, her sword inching closer, and closer to Merogius's body- and she managed to force it into his chest once more before the field exploded, sending her flying back across the roof, slamming back-first into an upended chunk of stone torn out by their earlier struggled. She coughed and gasped, getting on her hands and knees before looking back at Merogius, who floated there almost serenely, despite his numerous wounds.

Lena got back on her feet- and in that moment of silence, though muffled by his helmet, she could hear that Merogius, too was beginning to breathe heavily. Though it was taking wounds that could kill men to merely begin to cause Merogius some distress, Lena saw that there could be an end in sight. She put up her sword, took a deep breath, and resumed the contest, blade clashing against blade once more. Lena brought her sword against her foe, though was unable to create any new wounds on her knightly opponent. He soon moved himself out of reach once more, the captain standing ready.

What he was ready for, however, came as quite a surprise to Lena, and in that first moment she did not know how she even survived. A second halo appeared around the first, and from the space in between came a torrent of blasts of silver light to strike her down. She was able to keep a mere half-step ahead of them as they tore up the ground , sending fragments of the black stone striking across her boots and legs. When she saw an opening, however, she acquired a single moment of perfect insight- she moved Towards him, unleashing all the lightning she could muster. The flash was equally blinding for both, and as she swung in she felt her blade bite into Merogius's other shoulder- but she was forced to twist herself out of the way in order to avoid getting skewered, though Merogius's sword still drew a nasty cut across her side.

She groaned as she landed. She looked over to see Merogius, his armor working overtime to fill in the wound she had just left him. She took slow, deep breaths, doing her best to regain her composure, and from his movements she saw that the knight-captain was doing the same. She rushed in, though, and attacked an opening she knew she shouldn't have missed before. She rushed towards him, and he did the same- but she leaped early, sliding across the ground and even underneath her opponent, striking out at his leg, making that deadly contact for the second needed to draw another wound on his leg. She was soon lifted up by the force of another blast, sending her sprawling to the roof's edge. She did her best to scramble back up before Merogius could knock her off.

She was even right in thinking he might do so, as she barely had time to defend herself as Merogius came back to continue what he had begun. She cried out as she defended herself, pulling up as much strength as she could. Lena didn't know how much her own body could take of this, and soon enough, it was she who was looking for respite, backing away from Merogius. Who, to her surprise, did not follow.

Merogius floated there, his body marked with so many blocked wounds, his black blood tarnishing parts of his silver armor. "What a remarkable opponent... It has been a long time since I was driven to such desperate measures, but that seems to be the battle that you have chosen, isn't it?" A second halo once again appeared around the first. "Prepare for your ultimate oblivion, Valis Warrior!" Lena did so- she held her sword upright in front of her, calling upon its power to protect, to save- that which had guarded the Dreamworld for all of these long years. There was not enough speed in all the world to evade what he had in mind- it was her only recourse to meet it head on.

All of the space between her and him seemed bathed in a silver curtain, and she felt the onrush of destructive power as deep as her bones. The pulses of light that traveled along that space were the purest expression of his will to destroy her. She held on, though all else seemed to fail- the eruption of Merogius's power caused the spires of Rogles's fortress to be cast away into the wind as though there were merely made of sand. She cried out as she endured the hellish torrent of energies that erupted from Merogius's hands, Lena screaming herself hoarse as new cuts began to form on her body, the ones that were already there being aggravated by Merogius's terrible assault.

But her eyes saw something- such an attack was taking a toll on Merogius as well- the seals that covered his wounds were taxed greatly by the exertion that Merogius was undertaking, and she saw his own black blood starting to leak around the edges of injuries that were supposed to be sealed. She took a deep, clear breath, putting herself more and more into resisting that terrible assault. She saw the knight-captain's body tense and shudder as he maintained that terrible emanation, Lena seemed almost heedless of her many injuries as she braced herself on the stone of the battleground, praying that her power to resist was greater than his will to continue.

After one last, great pulse, the second halo disappeared, and Merogius was once again standing on his own two feet, sword in hand. Lena took the moment to finally exhale, having stood in that field of destruction for what seemed to be an eternity. Her body almost felt numb, as though it had long finished caring about whether it lived or died after the punishment it had gone through.

Merogius was breathing heavily. "...You are quite a woman, Lena Brande, to so test my strength in such a way." He held his sword upright. "To continue like this would merely be us torturing ourselves- you know this as well as I." He 'looked' to her. "Lena Brande, I will finish this battle with a single blow. I invite you to join me, to decide the fate of a whole world at the single stroke of a sword. Do nothing, and you will surely die." Merogius planted one foot in front of the other, and began to run towards Lena.

Lena opened her eyes. She willed her body to respond, to move- and soon legs that felt like lead became light as air. Vision that was blurred by pain cleared, and she held the Shining Valis sword that rested in her hands. The hilt grew warm, bringing her aching hands to life. her legs carried her towards her foe, and neither had many thoughts of defense or half-measures. Lena brought herself forward to that last, fateful clash of arms.

There will be a free future for the Dreamworld...

There will be a new Dawn!

Both swords swung.










Lena stumbled and crashed to the ground after the exchange. She saw the broken remains of the 'crown' of her armor settle beside her, and felt the terrible, burning sensation of the wound across the side of her head. It was a sacrifice of the piece of the Valis armor that saved her life, but only just. While she could think clearly, one of her eyes stung as she wiped away the blood that had started to flow into it. She had only barely escaped death, and she did not know for how long. She grasped the Valis sword with her slightly slick hands, and blinked her eyes. She felt her body protest, its strength utterly spent, as she hauled herself back to her feet. She looked over to Merogius.

She began to cry, for she had failed- she barely had strength to stand, and there he was, facing away, standing just as tall as ever. She considered, in that single moment of despair, of giving up her life to the heavens. How could she fight on against him like this?

It was then that she heard it. Merogius's deep breathing grew heavy and ragged. It was then that she saw it. The Valis sword, still shimmering, but steeped in the blood if the knight-captain. And then she saw him. He turned to face her, and Lena saw a great and terrible wound carved deep into his torso, the gaping gash shimmering along with the blade of her sword. How he stood still perplexed Lena to no end.

The shimmer on Lena's sword disappeared in a bright flash, signaling the end of the Knight-Captain.

The great wound in his chest erupted, and the wounds she had given him previously burst open from their seals, his gleaming silver armor dulled by the streams and gushes of his black blood. Lena, using strength beyond any metal, had shattered the perfect essence that bound his immortal being, ruining his body's ability to cope with the terrible injuries that had been done to him. Lena watched as Merogius pitched forward for what seemed like an eternity, but Merogius landed on his hands and knees, one of his hands still on his sword as he leaned on it. Lena could stand, but Merogius could not- placing him at her mercy. Lena could find no words at that moment.

Merogius, however, could. "...Amazing... It has been so long since a Knight-Captain of the Vascani has been slain in battle, that I had wondered if there were still those who lived who were capable of it." He looked to the East. "The sun has risen... This new day, and this victory, belong to you."

It was then that the three surviving knights came up, and stood by their lord. Vaijoras pointed to Lena. "Curse you, Valis Warrior! Though our lord may not be able, we will finish this battle!"

Valna and Cham appeared as well, standing by Lena, and got ready to defend Lena. Cham spoke. "Lena, Valna said that you needed help, so we came. Don't worry about anything, we can take care of things!"

Merogius held up his hand. "Stop! Enough lives have been lost on our account, anyway- and none of you are at your best, how could you win against those who wish to protect one who is friend to them?"

Vaijoras looked over to Merogius. "But... My lord!"

The Knight-Captain spoke once more. "That is right. I am your lord, and I am dying. There is nothing that can be done to save my life, which is why you must listen carefully to my last words, also that you may give them to our king. Never forget your loyalties to me or your liege." He took a deep breath. "Tell our king that I was defeated, and that I am shamed. I am not shamed by defeat itself, for such things are common in the fortunes of war, but I am shamed that our defeat happened in a battle that need not have occurred at all. At the end, the history of the Valis sword became known to me- and that it would never allow itself to fall into the hands of those who were not righteous and just, as it has been so since it first came out of the ancient forge in which it was made." He took another breath. "It is then the last desire of Merogius, Honored Knight-Captain of the 4th illustrious order of the Vascani Chivalry, the Brotherhood of the Sword, be thus: Though you may grieve, trouble the people of the Dreamworld no more. Let there be no thoughts of vengeance or reprisal, for no harm to us can come from the people in this world, who have a strong light to guide them in day and in night."

Lena blinked as she looked over at Merogius, who regarded her for another moment. "And tell our brothers, in the order and in others, it is not with any bitterness or rancor that I perish from this life, as, at the end of its many centuries, I encountered one who fights for justice in this world who is yet stronger than even myself." He looked back to Lena. "We only truly met each other this once. Have you anything to ask of me that I might give?"

Lena nodded, and spoke, though weakly. "When Torilikos died, he said he saw the same things as you, but that my fate was cursed by this sword. What did you see?"

Merogius paused. "Lena... Fate is something that we see in hindsight. It cannot be seen from the flight of birds, nor is it written in any tome. You have done right by your conscience, even in darkest times, and people look to you and those you call friend to light the way. We warriors cannot be afraid to die, if it needs to be done, but what is equally important is that we cannot be afraid to live. We do our best by what guides us. My life is ending, but yours has barely begun. The greatest betrayal of this victory would be to not enjoy what you have won."

Lena nodded painfully.

Merogius's breathing slowed. "My time has come." He forced himself up on his feet, holding his sword in both hands, pointing it downwards. "My brothers, I have been honored to serve with all of you, through all of the battle and victory, all of the grief and loss, all of the triumph and tragedy that we have endured together these many years. I would not choose to relive this life any differently, from start to end." The joints of his armor locked solidly into place, and he looked to Lena once more with those blue eyes "And farewell to you, Lena Brande. May the goddess of victory smile upon you always."

His breathing fell off. It shortened, and slowly, gently, the lights that in the eyes of Merogius dimmed, and fell to blackness.

It was in this way that Merogius, Knight-Captain of the Vascani, went to the court of the First King.

Vaijoras looked to Lena and the others. "Though we grieve, we will obey his last words, for there is no one among us who can refuse the last request of a knight-captain. We must take our lord's body back home, and tell all that has happened, and what he has requested of us."

Kaevoras opened a way back to the Vascani homeworld, and then both he and Vaijoras took their captain's body in their hands. while they went towards the portal, Milegeus didn't follow. Kaevoras looked to him. "Brother, aren't you coming?"

Lena's eyes widened at the response Milegeus gave. "I cannot."

Lena blinked. "Milegeus, why can't you go?"

He sighed and looked down. "When I saw mys sister again, I saw, deep in her eyes, a happiness that she did not have living on our world, amongst her own people. While I am honored and decorated, no warmth is given to my sister's life by her own peers. What she found here, I cannot take away." He clenched his own fists. "But At the same time I can't abandon her, as I am all the family she has left. I shall have to stay."

Vaijoras nodded. "We shall tell our king that this is so. We shall tell him that you shall be a watchtower over this world, to make good on our captain's promise. He shall understand. Kaevoras, let us go. There is much to be done."

Kaevoras and Vaijoras left with their captain's body, the way closing behind them.

It was then that Milegeus took off his helmet, for once revealing his short, black hair and golden eyes. "Lena... I should like to go back with you to your castle so that I might see my sister who so worries about me. But... I need you to show me the way."

Lena looked up at him for a moment. She put away her sword, and nodded. "All right, we will lead you."
----------------------


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PostSubject: Re: [Fanfic] Brotherhood of the Sword   Tue 12 Apr 2011, 5:21 pm

Epilogue: Summer Days
--------------------------------

It was in one of those days in the early summer that Lena found herself sitting under one of the trees in the gardens of Castle Vanity. Even though she was sure she no longer needed the bandage around her head from those days when she fought with Merogius, she still decided to leave it there- it was still rather sensitive in odd weather. Lena took out her journal, and set to writing, looking first to the sun. She considered where to begin, but she had some time left to think about things. Eventually, she found a good starting point, and set ink to paper.

While I was still recovering when it happened, here is apparently what happened after the death of Merogius and the retreat of the Vascani. There were a number of tense weeks in which we heard nothing from the Vascani, and there were fears that they would renew their attack. Eventually, though, Kaevoras returned to deliver a message from their king. He swore upon the ancient line of the Vascani kings that the Vascani would no longer strike at us, though he grieved deeply for the death of a loyal captain. Their king was bound to honor the last request of one who had served so nobly through many generations of Vascani sovereigns. We turned over the bodies of Dimacherus and Tamorath to them, and with that, things between us were settled.

Lena thought on how to continue as she waited for the others to arrive. Valna had arranged time for a picnic to celebrate Lena's full recovery from that ordeal of battle, and Lena was looking forward to having some time with her friends. She had even dressed in her own uniform as a Dreamworld soldier- it was far less harsh, and even more casual than the Valis Armor.

The broken armor is repairing itself, it seems. the Valis sword was made to be eternal- how eternal could it be if it could wear down and break, as with any other, more common weapon?

She sighed happily as she looked up, but looked forward quickly enough to catch an apple that was thrown close to her by Cham. The darkworlder smiled. "Hah! Looks like you really are getting better." Lena smiled at her trainer and friend, and then set back to writing.

Cham has been doing much the same as she did beforehand- training our soldiers and minding the others from her world. She did help me back on my feet after those long weeks in bed, helping me get back my full strength after so long in not using it, due to my extensive injuries. I owe much to her, as usual.

"Stop fussing already, people are already here!"

Mylera smiled as she led Milegeus into the garden. Though out of armor, he wore the dress common to knights who were out of combat, a green version of what Kaevoras wore. Mylera, however, was dressed in her usual stylish, though revealing way. She smiled. "Nobody's going to mind, you know."

Milegeus pulled on his collar. "Just because Lena walks around as she does in that battle gear is no excuse for me to relax. Besides, there's going to be a king and queen here, so I must do my best to be absolutely respectful in my dress and behavior. Not even a button out of place."

Mylera chuckled, and tugged her giant of a brother along, eliciting a startled "Hey!" from him.

Lena smiled, and got back to writing.

The maiden and the knight of the Vascani have both become a part of our world. Milegeus did us a service by teaching our smiths how to make equipment as good as those used by the Vascani soldiers, so that we might be more able to defend ourselves, and he also helps Cham out with the training when she's taking on some special projects besides her usual duties. As for Mylera, she still trains hard with Cham when both have spare time, and from what I've gathered, it's quite intense. I wonder what plans Mylera has for her future? But her brother is right- she seems happy here, with all of us.

A deep throat cleared itself. "I couldn't help but overhear what you were saying, young man, and I would like to speak for myself. I'm sure that my mind isn't gone, or going yet, so I'd like to thing that I still have the capacity to determine what offends me and what does not." Asfal seemed quite well himself, now that he, too had recovered from his wounds. "However, you do seem open to learning."

Lena smiled as she watched Milegeus get a bit of a dressing-down from Asfal, who also reminded the knight that he wasn't really a king anymore. She was impressed at Milegeus's ability to give a dignified apology, now looking more like the knight she fought back then.

Asfal is still our guest, at least for now. He has helped us all again, so it was the least we could do to take care of him while he was wounded. Our library seems to interest him, at any rate, and I would bet that living here is more comfortable than his old hermitage.

Lena couldn't quite make out if Valna had arrived yet, but her handmaidens were setting things up in advance. The thought of her queen did give her another thing to write down.

During my sleep, I was no longer visited by the apparition of Reiko- it would seem that she had finally passed to the heavens to be with Yuko, and found the peace she desires. Things have once again been made right between the two of them, I can feel that much.

Valna entered, and all rose to greet her, except for Lena, whose mind was still on her writing.

And then there was our own sovereign. She was always good to Mylera, and to all of us, really. These days she has been entertaining the ideas of sending an emissary over to the Vascani, so that we might be allies as well as neighbors against the dark forces. I do wonder who she plans to send- Asfal is the obvious choice. Aside from his powerful bearing, he is deeply read and equally wise. But some days I do wonder what our queen has in mind.

Cham looked over at Lena. "Hey, Lena! You know this whole thing is on account of you, remember?"

Valna had herself a little chuckle, while Lena pretended to be embarrassed. She got up from her spot, putting down her journal and pen in the grass for the time being, and walked over to have a seat by Cham. "Ah, sorry about that. I was just waiting for everybody."

Cham stopped Lena for a moment. "I appreciate the thought, but it seems that someone else has called dibs." Cham pointed to Mylera, who was giving a small wave to the Valis warrior from her spot on one of the blankets.

Lena gave a nod, and moved over to have her seat by Mylera. It was no secret that the Vascani girl had begun to idolize the Valis Warrior, though not to the extent that she adored her brother. Still, there was nothing that really needed to be said between the two of them. She rolled the apple that Cham had thrown at her down her arm, and took a bite out of it before looking around.

Asfal trading war stories with Milegeus. Cham and Valna going over some affair of the realm- and Mylera, with her shy courage, pleased to be here with her brother, her new queen, and her new friends.

Lena took another bite, and her thoughts drifted once more.

These are the days in which we now live, for those who can no longer live them.

Mylera prodded Lena gently, causing the Valis Warrior to start a bit. "I'm sorry to be so rude, but you seemed to drift again."

Lena smiled. "Sorry about that. Was just thinking about a few things- but those can wait, for now."
--------------
Brotherhood of the Sword- Fin.


Last edited by RyIII on Thu 07 Jul 2011, 4:20 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: [Fanfic] Brotherhood of the Sword   Tue 12 Apr 2011, 6:02 pm

*Applause*

And thus ends maybe the best thread on these forums in a good while. I really enjoyed it chu

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PostSubject: Re: [Fanfic] Brotherhood of the Sword   Wed 28 Sep 2011, 12:20 pm

All right folks, since there was a bit of a request for this from those moving on to the next fic, Knight's Valor, here's a swift fact sheet.

THIS CONTAINS MAJOR SPOILERS FOR BROTHERHOOD OF THE SWORD- DO NOT READ UNTIL YOU HAVE FINISHED THE ACTUAL FIC.







Whole damn things:
 
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