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A Sweet Treasure Hunt [Whispernight Quest]

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The time had come at last.
Lucas had been tracking a certain treasure hoard for weeks now, and he had finally found it. One of the objects he was looking for, along with a large amount of other treasure, was in Port City. However, after a scouting sweep of the place... It was clear that, even with the whole of Sector O together again, they would not be able to get to it. The resistance was FAR too thick, and while they were undeniably cool, they would not be able to get far all at once, and this would have to be a very long campaign that no one wanted to do.
So, against their better judgement, they put out an ad for help in this endeavor, knowing exactly what kind of person was going to volunteer.

They had touched down their aircraft a ways off, in a spot hidden from the monsters in Port City, and were waiting at the listed meeting spot.

"007, why'r we even doin' this? I still think we can handle this ourselves. We have the firepower for it, those black crystal thangs we found made our weapons stronger'n the weapons in Global Command. We totally got this."

Lucas looked up from his ruminations. That was 005 talking. Leo Bailey. The one Lucas had a desperate crush on, but was far too shy to admit it. 005 was Sector O's fighting expert, coming from Georgia. He was a hand to hand fighting prodigy, having become a blackbelt in both Karate and Tae Kwon Do by age 9. He always wore a dark blue tank top, and jeans ripped at the knees. He never wore shoes or socks, though not for the same reason as Lucas. Whether it was because he was a martial arts master, or because he was a Southern boy, Lucas did not know.
Lucas had to blink a moment to get his sense back. He just got lost in those blonde curls... and the sapphire eyes.... and-

Lucas blinked again.

"No, we can't. If I thought there was a chance we could do this on our own, 005, do you not think I would? The fact that we can't match those numbers even with our firepower is the exact reason why I had to swallow my pride and ask adults for help in the first place."

005 clenched his toes momentarily in irritation, and even that was enough to distract Lucas. How they were perfectly formed, the nails well kept, and care showing, despite them being as dirty as his own from-

Lucas shook his head.

"Alright, look. Im not happy about it either, okay? When I realized that we would need to ask adults for help, I threw up in my mouth a little. But this is how things are. Lets just wait, they should be here soon."


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"Alright, Jiana. We're almost there."

Jiana followed Vincent through the small forest, toward the hill's descent. The ex-first mate was treading carefully, checking his compass after a couple of steps and turn. His companion, on the other hand, wasn't so restrained. As far as she could remember, behind the woods there should be a full view on Port City, from the entrance gates all the way to the harbor. There used to be a spectacular view for anyone coming from the south.

Yeah, used to be...

She stopped, bemused by her thoughts. Vincent couldn't help but notice it.

"What's wrong?", he asked. Jiana averted her gaze, hesitant. 

"I... I'm not sure if I want to see this." 

In her memories, Port City was once a lively coastal town, one of jewels of Great North. Even though it wasn't the best coping mechanism, she has been attempting to keep that idyllic image in her mind since her exodus to Aelindra.

"It's in the past now." Vincent let out, "We both know we have to get over it."

The mage sighed and followed him. They both passed the woods and reached the hill's edge. A cold wind blew in their faces, filled with sea salt and decay. Jiana took a quick glance around and exhaled.


The image of a town had disappeared. Before her eyes was now a lifeless husk of Port City. The entrance gates have been destroyed ever since the invasion started. Most of the building were destroyed by fire, ravaged by invaders or just crumbled due to decay. And far from the hill two adventurers were standing, on an abandoned harbor, a giant wave-shaped glacier stood still. Inside that glacier one could see a silhouette of a ship...

La Gaviota. This name appeared in minds of Jiana and Vincent simultaneously. Jiana remembered the events of that day, like if they happened not too long ago - up until this point when a massive wave lifted the ship down on people's heads and when Jiana's mother---

"There's their ship!" - Vincent's words disrupted Jiana's thoughts. She lowered her gaze and noticed a small airship hidden within the city walls.

"Scavengers..." - she winced. The very concept of someone rummaging in her neighbors' house and even her own house was making her stomach turn. And to think they were about to do the same...

"There's a lotta folks gathering stuff from there." Vincent continued, "Some of them are from Port City... just like you. And they are coming down there to retrieve whatever's left in their former household. Perhaps we could dig up something that would help capta-- I mean your father with his fortune."

Jiana nodded. She knew how hard it was for her father to accommodate to a harsh new reality. He managed to show himself as a decent carpenter, but his income wasn't enough to provide a lifestyle close to what she had been experiencing in her hometown. By day Jiana helped her father in the workshop, while by night she had been practicing with spells - much to neighbors' dismay. She managed to refine her spell-speaking skills and learned to use all lesser elemental spells without overloading her focus stone. Yet Jiana felt she stagnated and was craving for more knowledge. Unfortunately, The College of the Elementals had been destroyed, and the only viable source of elemental magic would be---

"Jiana? Everything okay?" Vincent once again brought back Jiana into the reality. 

"Oh, it's nothing. I'm just... getting over it, you know?" She glanced at Vincent. He looked rougher and older - mostly due to his unshaved face - yet his eyes were as clear as a morning sky. He happened to be one of a few crewmen of La Gaviota who hadn't descended into the state of mind that is usually filled with depression, despair and cheap alcohol.

"I wonder..." She turned toward the cityscape, "About those monsters... What if they are still here?"

"That's unlikely." Vincent replied, "There are mostly wild beasts nowadays, I think. If we don't find anything valuable down there, at least you could freely practice your skills without annoying that old hag next door..."

Jiana couldn't help but smirk at Vincent's remark. Ex-first mate noticed a tiny spark in her dark red eyes. Somehow she kept her playful side despite all the hardships she'd endured.

"Let's not keep our "partners" waiting, shall we?" Vincent nodded at the hill slide.

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The boys were beginning to get restless. And not just because they were bored. Number 009, Sector O's ace sniper, was becoming increasingly paranoid about staying here. Lucas didnt much mind; Eric's paranoia had saved the team more than once. And he almost agreed. This was a very unsecured area, and every minute they stayed here was dangerous.

Number 008, however, their pilot, was more concerned about the ship. Making sure it was ready to fly at a seconds notice, and then triple checking his work. Lucas quite liked the little ruby-haired guy's drive, but the ship was fine. He'd landed perfectly, like he always did. 008 had left his sandals in the ship, as according to him "running and fighting in flipflops sucks."
Kind of made Lucas wonder then, why he insisted on wearing them.
008 ran his hand through his messy hair, tapping his foot on the ground and his finger on his arm. He always seemed to be moving something.

It was when Lucas looked at his twin, Peter, Number 006, that he realized that Number 009 was the only one wearing shoes here. Always insisting on his bright red high top sneakers. Eh.
Peter, naturally, was Lucas' second in command. While everyone on his team was exceptionally skilled in making 2x4 weapons, Peter was the golden child of it. No matter what supplies you gave him,he'd have a nasty weapon or gadget ready for you in minutes.

With 005 being the hand to hand master, Lucas was the all-rounder. Regardless of the situation, he was versatile enough to do what was needed. But, if he had to pick a specialty, Lucas was definitely the covert ops master. His entire team could do those missions too, but Lucas had never been detected on a stealth mission once, and passed with the highest possible marks in that category when he was in the Arctic Base training facility.

Needless to say, he understood why his team was so impatient. They were the specialists. Sector O, the Special Ops Sector. They were the best the KND had to offer, and yet here they were waiting on adult help.
Lucas understood the frustration.

But, he was, under no circumstances, going to lose teammates on his treasure hunt. Or anything else for that matter.

009 spoke up.

"Hey. Someone's coming."

Everyone immediately drew their weapons and looked in the direction Number 009 was pointing. They were unsure if this was a friendly or not; As Lucas had learned, you can't trust a lot of things in places where the Whispernight touched.

Lucas turned his voice amplifier up just enough to where he was pretty sure they could hear.

"Okay, identify yourselves. Friendly or no?"

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Jiana and Vincent walked toward the airship, while looking for whatever evil might wait them beneath the abandoned houses. For better or worse, the deserted streets were truly deserted. Not a single animal or bird or any living being had revealed itself to unwanted guests. Jiana, still entangled by fond memories of Port City at its peak, followed her partner in treasure hunt with little to no enthusiasm. Vincent sensed that, yet stayed silent. He knew he wouldn't be able to comfort her properly.

Vincent decided to break the silence and at least help her concentrate on the upcoming operation.

"It is very quiet around here," he remarked. Jiana raised her head.

"Are you sure we are well-suited for this?"

"Hey, just look at that thing," ex-first mate pointed at the airship, "Those guys sure are pros."

"I'm not talking about them," Jiana objected, "It's about us."

"Uh... well..."

Vincent pulled out his flintlock pistol, the thing he had been keeping and maintaining since the invasion. He looked at his weapon with a slight hint of pride. Jiana, on the other hand, was not impressed.

"Couldn't you find any more decent?"

"Come on, it's a nice gun. Very popular among the pirates of Great North. If this does not suit your tastes, I could "borrow" something from our partners."

"Now he's thinking like a scavenger..." Jiana thought with a slight regret.

"In any other case," Vincent continued, "I would always have you by my side."

Young mage rolled her eyes.

"Am I supposed to be flattered?"

"No! I mean..." he stuttered, "Your sword skills are impressive. Moreover, you could fry anyone with your word chanting or whatever it's called..."

Jiana sighed. Obviously, Vincent was overestimating her capabilities as a elemental spell-speaker. After all, regulated training ground and monster-infested ghost town aren't in the same league.

"Anyway," she decided to change the topic, "About those partners of yours... What do you know about them?"

"Not much," Vincent shrugged, "All I know they claimed to be a team of professional bounty hunters looking for volunteers."

"Really? And how did you get in touch with them?"

"I just got an ad in the tavern and..."

Jiana stopped him short.

"Wait. So you're telling me that we are traversing into a forsaken city full of dangers... because of an ad, right?!"

Vincent noticed a glare in her eyes - she's getting annoyed. "Perhaps I should've told her this back in Aelindra," he thought. Jiana's focus stone, which acted as a pendant, did not flicker. Yet. It is remarkable how she is able not to burst into flames with the fiery temper of hers.

"Perhaps if you see this," he replied, "You wouldn't be so harsh in your judgement."

Vincent dived his hand under the jacket and pulled out a scroll, held by a knotted lace. He was going to unwrap it, when suddenly a high pitched voice rumbled across the empty streets like a mid-summer thunder.

"Okay, identify yourselves. Friendly or no?"

The voice was coming from the airship.

"I think they saw us." Vincent pointed at several distant figures gathering around the ship. He raised the scroll, waved it and shouted back: "Hey! Don't shoot! We came for the job! Here's the ad!"

As two adventurers came closer, Jiana noted that the figures were... inappropriately short for "professional bounty hunters".

"Dwarfs? No, they are too slim... Wait a sec... Are those... Are those kids?!"

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Lucas was convinced. These were definitely people who answered their call for aid. Though... the numbers were.... decidedly less than he was hoping for.

"Stand down, Sector O. Friendlies."

Weapons were put away. Lucas could tell they were still unhappy with the situation, but he knew his team well enough to know they could follow orders.
That said, Lucas also knew these adults most likely did not expect kids to be the ones who requested help on an expedition like this. They never did. 
Well, it was the pleasure of everyone in Sector O, and their organization as a whole, to prove adults wrong, and subvert their expectations.

"Listen up. I'll make first contact, then we can all get introduced, and get this started."

"Look, Number 007. I do respect your decision. But I want you to know that if those two attack you when you go down there, I will put them down."

That was their sniper, Number 009. 
Lucas nodded, and used his eldritch shapeshifting to grow two large black wings, and take off flying. He flew to the adults, and landed, flapping once to stop himself (and to show off)

"Thank you for coming. I am Number 007. Back there is my team, Sector O. We're ready to go when you are."

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After Vincent had screamed at the distant figures with a scroll in his hands, there was a short pause. One of those figures suddenly sprouted a pair of wings, then soared above the adventures and toward them. Vincent instinctively drew his pistol. Jiana spoke a quick preparatory spell, and her palms got engulfed in dancing flames. Meanwhile the figure had gracefully landed before them and spoke to them both with the same high-pitched voice they had heard before.

"Thank you for coming. I am Number 007. Back there is my team, Sector O. We're ready to go when you are."

Before two adults stood a young boy adorning a pair of enormous black wings.

Vincent was genuinely shocked - he had never seen such a grotesque image, not even during Whispernight. Jiana, on the other hand, kept her composure - after all, she had some basic knowledge about other kinds of magic before sinking her teeth into the elemental field. And yet she couldn't help but raise her eyebrows in surprise.

"A shapeshifter of such age..." she thought. "And in this part of the continent?" 

Moments later, the confusion had been worn off, and the newcomers lowered their guard. Jiana shook off her hands, and the flames disappeared. Vincent put back his pistol and approached 007 - truly a strange name for a strange kid.

"So..." he started, "I bet you were the one who left this ad, weren't you?" He unrolled the scroll and showed the contents to the shapeshifter. Jiana had never seen the contents of the scroll ex-first mate grabbed from the inn. She had to guess whatever has been written there to easily scramble Vincent's weary mind.

Vincent continued: "It's good to finally meet you at last. Although, I imagined you and your pals being... erm..." He stuttered.

Older? Taller? Beefier?

Jiana sighed. The age of their soon-to-be-partners was beyond poor sailor's comprehension. She had decided to take the initiative before he spits out another embarrassing nonsense.

"Pardon my friend. He clearly meant that he expected to see someone fitting to his image of mercenaries. But I can see that is not case." She cast her eyes at Vincent, hinting him at further "discussion" between them before they depart. Vincent gulped: that "discussion" would be anything but friendly and lighthearted.

"Anyway," she turned back to 007, "I'm Jiana, and he's Vincent. We were raised in this town, so we know every corner of it... Well, at least those corners I could recognize here. I do hope we could be of some use here."

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Lucas smirked.
"Yep. That was me. And my team. We-"

Then they kept talking.

"You expected something different than what? Kids? Happy to surprise you. We're not what you would call "mercenaries". More like... Special Ops agents. A pleasure to meet you Jiana and Vincent. Let's go meet up with my team, and we'll get started.
And as far as being of use, if you sort of know you way around, can kill stuff, and not die, you'll be plenty helpful."

With that, Lucas spread his wings, and lifted off, before flying back to his team.

"Alright, we're about ready to go. Get ready, mission is about to start."

Sector O picked up their weapons and gear, and prepared to move out.



Sorry its so short. But nothing was coming to me this time.


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Vincent and Jiana were left alone for a while after 007's departure to his team. They had a little time for themselves to assess the situation and have a private conversation before joining the ranks.

They started moving at a slow pace. The mage was walking beside ex-first mate with her arms crossed and casting her fiery gaze onto him. She demanded an explanation - a solid one, a reason not to burn him into a crisp. Vincent acknowledged that the sooner he deliver it, the sooner they would just move on. Probably.

"Okay, look," he started, "I know what you're thinking. But, in my defense, I didn't know they looked like that either. On the other hand, they have an airship, and that guy could transform, and..."

"Vincent," Jiana cut him short, "I'm not mad because you got himself into this venture with complete strangers - who are suspiciously young, by the way - and went out into the ruins of Port City, of all places. I just don't understand, why did you have to drag ME into this?!"

"B-because you're a decent spellcaster. And I thought we might find something that might help you and your family."

"And that's it? You think my skills would be enough for that little adventure of yours? Haven't you heard the story of those who ventured there yet never return?"

"As a matter of fact, I do," Vincent parried, "And I do think there might be something that is heavily guarded and therefore extremely valuable..."

"That's know how the things work, Vincent! And besides," the mage pointed at the crew ahead of them, "Just look at them! They may be gifted, but they are just kids. What if the evil that had wrecked our home is still there?"

"Oh, here we go again," Vincent groaned, "JIana. Since when did you became so cautious? I've told you, there are NO monsters out there. I checked several times."

"How would you know?" Jiana was as hesitant as ever, "Besides, if there are no monsters, so why are people disappearing?! And who guards the treasure then?!"

Vincent stumbled. Jiana had just caught him lying. In a desperate attempt to reason with her and calm her down, he had made a contradictory statement regarding whether or not the vile force awaits them in Port City. He tried to correct himself, but they were getting close enough to the airship, so 007's crewmates could hear their conversation. The time for a heart-to-heart was up.

"...Nevermind," Vincent sighed, "We'll just come back to this topic next time."

"If there would be next time," she replied grimly.

Finally, they approached the group and made a short acquaintance with its members. Despite of their age, the kids under 007's command had a decent equipment. While both Jiana and Vincent weren't familiar with the tech they've been using, they assumed that 007 and the company knew how to properly use it.

While Vincent was attempting to cut the deal with the kids for a spare gun, Jiana decided to ignore him for a while, get herself together and talk with 007. She was still impressed by the boy's shapeshifting abilities. But right now she was more interested in what they are going to do, now that the "cavalry" has arrived.

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When the adults arrived, the team bristled. However, they became a lot friendlier with a look from Lucas.

Number 005 tapped his bare foot against the ground.

"Are ya ready to go? We ain't got a lotta time."

He then saw Vincent talking with Number 008. About guns. Great. Now they won't get him to shut up for half an hour.

"Oh, ya want a gun? We got plenty!"

He spread out several weapons, all of which, to one who doesnt know 2x4 tech, looks like it would never work in a million years.

"We got heat rays, laser rifles, I also have a prototype laser gauntlet I'm workin' on-
Hey 007!! Can adults even use these?!"

"Yes. We've seen The Patriarch use them before."

"Oh yeah! You should be good then! We've also got rapid fire gatlings, they've been modded for more eh... Lethality, as of late... We dont like using those if we dont hafta. But we hafta, so...
Oh! and I have a high powered shotgun I'm lookin' to field test!"

Lucas retracted his wings and shifted them inside of himself. He was happy 008 was having a good time. He just hoped this would continue, and they'd be in and out as fast as possible. He'd dealt with zombies before, when someone stole a Nicol Bolas planeswalker card from a group of nerds... He doubted this experience was going to be any more pleasant.

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