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Rin

Garuda-Scarab; Desolate Plains of Rising Ambition

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16, April 1678AY 

Archipelago, Garuda-Scarab 

Thursday, 12:00P.M

The word had not reached the newly found island yet that a force of evil was coming. That the people would not be prepared and though they would not be, they had something on their side, a Valentina. But they would still be outmatched. 

Salsa stood outside the city of Archipelago, as she wondered how things were doing for Jack. He had lost his form to a shard, had the legendary sword and shield that was corroding him. Yet, she was wary as to not letting him trick her. 

Inside the town hall, elder Ridley Vira Nebulous-Ashlyn had been forming a plan. His maps laid out as his grey eyes stared at it still. The thing was that the demons of old resided here at one point. They changed the subjects--people into creatures, or even demons. The oldest elf family of October remained untouched but for how long?

"Ser?" The young elf knight, Vanilla June Zenith October asked as she looked at the elder with pink-white eyes. "Still can't figure out a plan?"

"Unfortunately not. Even if the Valentina attacked, and even with the other Valentina helping us--we're still outnumbered." Ridley spoke as he looked up. "Gallus, any ideas to figure something out?"

"Well, we do have those soldiers trained from Athentha, plus the Valentina and October houses. We have a fair shot at this, as long as we don't lose the mages." Gallus replied.

Ridley sighed. It was a long shot indeed. 

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@Rin

A young man of 24, stares out the window into the winding ways of the city. He sighed and ran a hand through hair like sunlight.  He pursed his lips and closed his eyes, heaving another sigh.

Suddenly, a loud crack sounded out as Fres’han opened his eyes to find a ruler on his desk.

Fres’han shrunk away from the sound as his teacher’s eyes flashed in annoyance.

”Fres’han, please demonstrate to the class as how to produce a flower from your hand.”

Fres’han sighed again and stood up from his seat.  “Nithalem coisna “ he said aloud, and a small flower rose up from his hand, the petals unfolding.  The class gave an applause and a Fres’han smirked. He was the youngest mage in the entire city and excelled well with summoning.

Fres’han seated himself again and daydreamed of a time when he could use his powers to be the most powerful ever known mage.  

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Gallus had exited the hall as he knew time was growing short. Of course, he also was stoic, not showing the worrysome nature Ridley showed. And he knew that the mage academy would have a few bright pupils he could grab and manipulate into helping the elder. 

Besides Fres'han, the elf mage, Cassandra had done him one better. She outstretched her palm to have a tree, a full grown tree, slowly grow from her palm. As it dissolved, the class clapped and whistled. Though she knew that it was of little matter, and she cared not for the class. 

Gallus entered the classroom as he eyed the two classmates left as the students filed out. Cassandra's rainbow eyes caught upon Gallus as she was surprised that Ridley's head mage was here. 

"Well, a grand exposure of talented young elf and hume (human) we have here." Gallus replied in his usual gravel voice. "Probably can help with a mission or two."

Cassandra crossed her arms against her chest, the black robes that she wore donned her house's crest. A griffin fighting a phoenix encrested as the crest. She flicked the rainbiw curls from her face. 

"Of course, it's not for ordinary people." Gallus continued. "But you could probably help me with this. I am sure you children know of what is occurring at the moment?"

Cassandra nodded. "Go on, old man."

"Well, you two might be trusted enough to head into the city of Archipelago, and down its twisting and catacomb like caverns. We need a weapon that sleeps within. Wendelin and Vanilla,  herself will be meeting up with you at the caverns. Oh and do be careful, the bow and arrow won't be able to acquire easily."

And then he left. Cassandra looked toward Fres'han with those rainbow eyes. "I am not sure about this. I mean there's gotta be something huge going on that Ridley sends his top mage to have us young people go on an adventure to possibly die…"

Cassie sighed and rubbed her temples in frustration.

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@Rin

Fres’han sighed and rolled his eyes. Show off..  Fres’han muttered. He turned his head and watched her for a moment.  They both were top students in the academy for mages.  They have been competitive since first attending the school.  Fres’han found her calm and collective.  She seemed a quite powerful.  What she didn’t know, something is different about Fres’han, for he has a very rare ability, something that has been seen only once or twice in a millennia.  He is a summoner, the ability to summon any foreign molecules and make them as appear as any substance imaginable.

Suddenly, Gallus came around the corner. He appeared a bit frazzled.

Well, a grand exposure of talented young elf and hume (human) we have here." Gallus replied in his usual gravel voice. "Probably can help with a mission or two.
 

Fres’han cocked his head, chuckling to himself. A mission huh...  and we’re not even graduated from this pathetic school...  and then there is her.  He gave Cassandra a sidelong glance.

Of course, it's not for ordinary people." Gallus continued. "But you could probably help me with this. I am sure you children know of what is occurring at the moment?"

Children??  Fres’han lifted an eyebrow and smiled to himself.  Cassandra told him to continue.

“Well, you two might be trusted enough to head into the city of Archipelago, and down its twisting and catacomb like caverns. We need a weapon that sleeps within. Wendelin and Vanilla,  herself will be meeting up with you at the caverns. Oh and do be careful, the bow and arrow won't be able to acquire easily."

“A weapon that slumbers,” Fres’han repeated thoughtfully.  Now he was growing cocky.  “Why are young mages needed to fulfill the job that a mere human can complete?”

. "I am not sure about this. I mean there's gotta be something huge going on that Ridley sends his top mage to have us young people go on an adventure to possibly die…"

Cassie sighed and rubbed her temples in frustration.

Fres’han slid out of his seat.  He directed his eyes to Cassandra. “You up for this?”

 

 

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"I am not a show off. Elves just know a ton of magic since birth. Or so they been telling me. Can't know if it's true."

She had heard his muttering and shook her head. Cassandra had really good hearing, though she had a few unique abilities, she was at the top of the class. Though as the two stood there, Gallus didn't answer Fres'han's question. Cassandra had noticed that as she then let her arms fall to her sides. How on earth were they even supposed to get there without a map. Archipelago was a huge city, the heart of Garuda-Scarab. 

"Even if we are up for this mission, how are we suppose to find the inner workings of some unknown cave in the area?" Cassandra asked as she was a bit annoyed. "Gallus didn't exactly give us a map."

"I didn't?" Gallus replied as he reappeared for a moment. He was definitely going on in age and his forgetfulness was showing. "Indeed, I was waiting for knowing if you two decided to go."

Cassandra shook her head again. Gallus needed to retire. She knew this but at the moment they didn't have many options. He reached into his pockets, pulling out three scrolls. One was a map, one was a letter to give to Wendelin and Vanilla to show they were approved to help. The third, however, he didn't specify yet. Time would come for that when it needed to. 

"The cave you'll find is in the northeast of Archipelago. Here located on the map." Gallus pointed on the scroll. "The area is called Archipelago-Scorpio. I am not sure why. Easiest way to get there is by train. Oh, and do be careful, demons reside in that cave. They will try to trick you."

With that, Gallus wished them good luck and disappeared once more. Cassandra picked up the map before reaching into her pocket, pulling out the bag of gold coins aa she looked at Fres'han.

"Do you have coin for the train? It's not that cheap. If not, I can pay for it. Call it a good deed for the month."

She chuckled then. They were classmates but she knew that Fres'han was above everyone here. He was bright yet didn't show off much. It was a good quality to have. And Cassandra did like him, even thought of him as an equal though no one else did. 

"Come on, I suppose we should get going." Cassandra reluctantly replied.

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@Rin

Fres’han turned his gaze back to the window, the sunlight reflecting on his hair, the golden mohawk glinting with light.  He kept his gaze out the window and chuckled.  “We don’t need a map. Aren’t elves able to speak the language of the creatures of this world?” 

“The cave you'll find is in the northeast of Archipelago. Here located on the map." Gallus pointed on the scroll. "The area is called Archipelago-Scorpio. I am not sure why. Easiest way to get there is by train. Oh, and do be careful, demons reside in that cave. They will try to trick you."

”Hmmm...  demons eh? I need something to practice my magic with.”  His gaze settled on Cassandra.

"Do you have coin for the train? It's not that cheap. If not, I can pay for it. Call it a good deed for the month."

“I can create coins to save you yours,” Fres’han said, and stood tall. He was about to approach Cassandra when he frowned .  That is like stealing,  he thought to himself.

Cassandra said they should take off.  Fres’han lifted his gaze to meet hers.  He knew she knew what he was. 

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"I offered. Don't worry about it." Cassandra said as she walked towards the door. "If it bothers you, you can always pay me back later."

Walking down the path, Cassandra had listened to Gallus. Wasn't there demons all around Archipelago? Plus the two coming to rage war against the island? She wondered about this as she stopped. She looked towards Fres'han and whispered softly. 

"Be wary, that looks like a demon…" Cassandra whispered as she eyed the woman. "They are tricky beings much like elves but more trickier."

The honeyed green eyes of the demon woman looked up and eyed the pair. She had long black-teal hair, curling at the ends, braided. Her form was voluptuously curvy under black silks. The robes covered these silks, a symbol of a griffin on a shield on the back of them. Her name was Emilia. 

She slinked and sauntered up to the pair as she looked at them. She wondered if they were looking for the legendary bow and arrow, The Libra Archipelago. She smiled softly. 

H'llo, are you heading to Archipelago-Scorpio? I was on my way there but I have no idea where the train station is. My name is Emilia Zenith Ashlyn. Nice to meet you.

Cassandra moved behind Fres'han as Emilia spoke. She had a weird feeling about this demon woman. But for now, she kept her suspicions to herself. Emilia moved closer to Fres'han as she looked him over. He was adorable. But she held her hand out to shake his. 

I heard that something is going to happen soon. Garuda-Scarab is in danger. And we need those three legendary weapons to stand against the threat coming. I figure we can work together.

Emilia spoke. She eyed Fres'han as she looked at him still. She wondered if he would want to learn some of the old island's magic. But for now, she didn't push anything. Emilia knew not to go too fast with prey. 

"How can we trust you Emilia? You're a demon after all. A trickster--"

Well, what choice do you have? I mean why would you think I'd do something to you? I mean, how would that help me?

Cassandra sighed. Emilia was something she knew nothing about. And she knew Fres'han knew more than she did.

The writing in italics is emilia speaking out loud. Not her thinking. Just letting you know.

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@Rin

Fres’han walked along side Cassandra. He twiddled his thumbs , his heart beating rather fast. He could feel his own magical aura. 

"Be wary, that looks like a demon…" Cassandra whispered as she eyed the woman. "They are tricky beings much like elves but more trickier."l

A woman approached, her attention settled upon them.

My name is Emilia Zenith Ashlyn. Nice to meet you.”

Fres’han locked his gaze on the woman. He could feel his aura of his magic collide with shadows of the darkest beings.

Suddenly, Cassandra moved behind behind Fres’han. He felt this demon wanted to aid the two young mages but her to her advantage. Emilia spoke to Fres’han, then reached her hand out. Fres’han did not take it.

“You reek of dark matter,” her told the demon.  “I do not agree to aid you in OUR conquest.”

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Conquest you say? Emilia spoke as she remained, not listening to his request for her to leave. She moved closer as she eyed Fres'han but knew to be cautious. And who says I cannot join? I have no agenda here, I just want to help. You're both going to need a lot of training to defeat what's coming.

Cassandra listened as Emilia had a point. It wasn't a good one, but a point nontheless. They were probably gifted students, but even with the classes, they weren't merely ready to combat a Valentina. She pulled herself out from behind Fres'han as she looked at him, whispering low so Emilia couldn't hear her. She knew that demons had good hearing but she remained wary. 

"Fres'han, I know she's a demon but she's got a point. We're woefully undertrained and even though we have good training and gifted--" Cassandra paused a moment, glancing to see if Emilia was listening. She wasn't and Cassandra continued. "We need her to help us. Gallus obviously can't, he is too decrepit to even help us find a cave. But at the same time, I'm not sure we can trust her."

Emilia smiled softly, as she knew people that encountered demons were guarded and cautious. Not trusting their word, as a hidden agenda was thought of. Emilia had no such agenda. She did wish to help, as her arms crossed against her chest. She then looked up, her eyes piercing Fres'han's own. 

I'm sure an aspiring mage like you is tired of your companion there showing you up. And I'm sure you desire that treasure you're going after. I can help with that. I mean, who wouldn't want to know the most powerful magic in the land? Emilia asked as she stepped closer. Each step that came was not one of anger, but persuasion. Though, if not you can remain a meager unknown mage always under the shadow of your friend there.

Cassandra listened as she tilted her head. Emilia was a strange creature. But her attention was caught and the mention of Gallus and the hidden weapon, interested and intrigued her. Emilia was an inch away from Fres'han, the scent of jasmine wafting off her. Emilia held out her hand once more. 

What do you say?

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@Rin

As Emilia spoke, she moved slightly closer to Fres’han.  His eyes flashed dangerously as magic coursed through his body.

“Fres'han, I know she's a demon but she's got a point. We're woefully undertrained and even though we have good training and gifted--" Cassandra paused a moment, glancing to see if Emilia was listening. She wasn't and Cassandra continued. "We need her to help us. Gallus obviously can't, he is too decrepit to even help us find a cave. But at the same time, I'm not sure we can trust her."

Fres’han’s keen eyes remained on the demon, and as Cassandra whispered to him, he realized she had a point.  But, like her, he realized that the demon could not be trusted. He bit his lip in thought and ran his hand thru his golden mohawk.

 I'm sure an aspiring mage like you is tired of your companion there showing you up. And I'm sure you desire that treasure you're going after. I can help with that. I mean, who wouldn't want to know the most powerful magic in the land?

Fres’han sighed and glanced back at Cassandra. Of course he and Cassandra were always competing for best in class, but how did the demon perceive such a thing. He was very interested in what they were seeking, but how did the demon know anything of their quest?

Emilia moved closer, slowly inching towards the two young mages.

Though, if not you can remain a meager unknown mage always under the shadow of your friend there.

Fres’han watched the demon, whose trickery was luring him in.  He growled under his breath. He would be the most powerful mage in the history of ages!!

Still, he hesitated to touch Emilia’s hand.  He respected Cassandra and all the beings who didn’t lurk in the shadows. 

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Emilia was close. She heard the growl and knew that he knew the demon was right. She then enclosed the space, standing right near him as she took up the personal space. Cassandra worried now, as she knew the demons used trickery to gain the upper hand or take what they wanted. 

Don't you desire the power you have left umtapped? Emilia asked as she looked at Fres'han. He was still a young man and could be easily swayed should she do it right. Of course, Cassandra here doesn't want you to have it. She wants you to be in her shadow forever. Surpassing you--

"I do not!" Chimed up Cassandra as she growled low. Noting Emilia using her as the trickery against them. And they didn't even start the adventure yet. "You really think I'd want to keep him like that?"

I do. Emilia purred. Elves are fickled. They don't want others to surpass them here in Garuda-Scarab. And Fres'han's talent scares you. I can however help him rise to be the most powerful of mages. All he needs to do is let me do so.

Cassandra shook her head. This woman--demon could know things not said. She had a talent of learning about people just by meeting them. Not everything, but enough to get by. Emilia eyed Fres'han, her eyes peering into him, whispering sweet promises that might not be kept. Cassandra moved from behind Fres'han and towards Emilia. The demon tilted her head. 

"You think he'd believe a demon over an elf? You're delusional. Your tricks won't--"

But Emilia raised her hand towards Cassandra cutting her off. It was of no concern that the elf spoke. It was true these two needed to be strong enough to take on a Valentina. That's what Emilia offered. Power to save Garuda-Scarab from it's on-coming onslaught. Why didn't Cassandra know this? Unlike her twin, Esmil, Emilia didn't truly desire power. But she liked involving herself in human and other races affairs. 

Moving almost against Fres'han, Emilia leaned close to whisper in his ear so Cassandra couldn't hear her. 

The legendary weapon only reveals itself to those it deems powerful. You won't be able to save Garuda-Scarab as you are. And Cassandra will always hold your weak hearted weakness against you. Laughing at you, looking down. Emilia whispered as she continued. She wants to keep you shackled in your weakness so she can claim what is yours. And she loathes you, she desires to use you to gain what she wants. 

Cassandra glared at Emilia. What was she up to now? She couldn't tell and as she continued to whisper, the elf grabbed the demon's arm, pulling her from Fres'han. Emilia was shocked to see this. 

"Enough of your tricks Emilia." Cassandra hissed at her. 

You going to let her take away this chance to gain the power you desire?

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@Rin

Don't you desire the power you have left untapped?. Of course, Cassandra here doesn't want you to have it. She wants you to be in her shadow forever.Surpassing you--

Fres’han shook his head slowly, dipping his head down as he tried to block out the demon.  She was trying to make him a foul being as she spoke to him with a forked tongue.

Fres’han lifted his head as Cassandra spoke, but her words were garbled. He began drawing magic from nature, the smallest of molecules heeding his call.  He realized that the demon gave him silence as she attempted to lure Cassandra in her dark magic.

The legendary weapon only reveals itself to those it deems powerful. You won't be able to save Garuda-Scarab as you are. And Cassandra will always hold your weak hearted weakness against you. Laughing at you, looking down. Emilia whispered as she continued. She wants to keep you shackled in your weakness so she can claim what is yours. And she loathes you, she desires to use you to gain what she wants. 

As the demon spoke to him, she leaned into him, and a stroke of skin touched him as the demon whispered in his ears.  Fres’han spoke under his breath.  His powerful gift of summoning took to nature. As he waited for the magic to build, he found his gaze wandering to meet Cassandra.  He was impatient to rid the two of this demon.  His eyes closed and Fres’han stretched his arms out, his magic seeking out a point of release. Suddenly, the earth swayed under their feet.  The earth ripped open as Fres’han continued to call upon nature.  Out of the ground rolled tree roots,  slithering toward Fres’han and coiling like a serpent, awaiting his instructions.

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Many things have happened to Jack during his 3000 years of lifespan but certainly this was the most shocking and unexpected thing, he has ever experienced, period. However, he is starting to have doubts. Doubts as if this was the right choice or not, if it was all worth it in the end. Because Jack wasn't in control of his own body, no. It was Sebastian the Demon of Old. The Half-Demon remembered the stories his Father used to tell him, about the Demons of Old, how they were powerful and incredibly hard to beat. Though, how long will Sebastian hold onto his word? Would he let Jack free after one month?

Certainly like any other person, even though he is a demon, well half technically. He always feared about being controlled, he is a wild and free soul but now he feels like he is in a cage. A cage which he cannot get out, he is trapped inside his own body. And for what? Just a Sword...and a damn Shield? The more he thought about it, the more he realized that it may have not been the best of ideas. JAck wanted power for powers sake, but what came to his revelations was that there are other ways he can gain power, instead of giving up his body to gain it. 

And Salsa...well what about her? Oh, she was a pawn to Sebastian as well. He didn't really trust Sebastian's words. Hardly anyone could, Demons are supposed to be deceiving, tricksters. How is Sebastian any different than any other Demon? Only because he is powerful that doesn't mean that his characteristics are different. He promised Salsa a better life but was this a better life for her in the end? No it wasn't. Jack can see that eventually, her own power hungrying will overwhelm her. She will die because of her own decisions, because there are other ways to receive power. 


"I'm not licking this." Jack told Sebastian. "I think I've changed my mind....about this whole thing." He said, his tone holding a genuine tone. 


@Rin

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Cassandra watched in confusion. Demons did like to trick those they interacted with. But if Emilia was here, where was Esmil? That question was answered shortly as Emilia's sister appeared right behind Fres'han, wrapping herself around him, whispering in his ear. 

That's a mistake. Your nature magic won't be that huge, effective, but not as much as you think. Still you should let us show you magic, better than the elf.

Esmil whispered as she looked at Emilia. Cassandra gasped as she looked at the two demons, their magic unsurpassed. 

----

Well, that's unexpected and unfortunate.

Sebastian said as he appeared out of Jack and held Salsa in his arms. He eyed the man as he shook his head, though it was to be expected. Sebastian sighed softly. 

Though what to do with this one? She did agree to my shard as well. Hmm.

Sebastian then looked at Jack quizzical as not sure how they were going forward.

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@Rin

Fres’han backed into the demon behind him, shaking her off.

That's a mistake. Your nature magic won't be that huge, effective, but not as much as you think. Still you should let us show you magic, better than the elf.

Slowly, he lifted his hand in the air. He would prove to her that his magic is powerful. The earth ripped open and tendrils of roots old as time itself shot out of the earth.  Fres’han directed the roots to wrap around the two demons.

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