It was rather late in the Syrian building that they used as a camp, with many soldiers and medical people sleeping. Whether they slept soundly remains to be seen, as absolutely nothing has gone right lately. However, there seemed to be two people that was up, talking in one of the open rooms, and seemingly about to do something drastic.
“Sachi…” said Shade as he put both hands on her shoulders, “I think it’s about time.”
“Time?” questioned Sachi. “Time for what? Wait…are you…no way! You can’t use that! You might--”
“I know. I know what might happen. But we’ve had three chances to try and overtake Andrun and we’ve failed. We’re starting to lose the battle of the units as we’re running out each day!”
“But the energy’s not stable and you know it! You could get killed! You can kill us all!” Shade sighed.
“Well…we need to do something and fast…or else this war is lost…” In fact, Shade thought to himself, all of Bethumet could be lost as while this war drags on, no one can focus on the demon that is Fear. Information has already spread that Fear now has about four of the Orbs of Bethumet now, as he has destroyed parts of Aurol and killed The Queen of Aurol, Soria, and if he gets the last three, who knows what kind of hell he can put us in? Plus the fact that all these lands, from Kose to Aurol, are being destroyed, and I still haven’t heard about that mysterious force that destroyed Nagrun…plus the loss of Lane…Paragon…Catalena…and Tyrande…this is all such a surreal dream…
20 years ago, a baby girl was found in an orphanage teary eyed and seemingly frightened. “Tyrande” was the given name by her parents to the orphanage. That was probably the only good treatment they gave Tyrande as from there the orphanage didn’t treat her much after that as they mistreated her each and every chance they got, plotting slowly for some reason to get rid of her.
Shade Rivenwald, who just happened to pass by the orphanage to stock up on supplies, was appalled at the treatment by the doctors as they poked her with sticks at every part of her body. Clearly he could not stand for that.
“Hey, what the hell are you doing??!? Are you mad??” yelled Shade.
The doctors were a bit surprised anyone would care about what they were doing.
“This is of no-concern to you, foreigner! We’re just giving the proper treatment to a cursed half-demon! Luckily that we don’t kill it!”
Shade first thought, “Half-demon?” then he nearly laughed.
“I see…” Shade then ran outside the town, and then he did laugh as there was no way that they were capable of killing her. But still, treating her that way was an absolute no-no, half-demon or not. And he was curious to see more of the half demon girl. Considering that the demons have been exiled into Varusch Dungeon, and that humans and demons procreating in the first place is the ultimate taboo, he was stunned to see one in the first place. He wasn’t sure if he wanted to raise a kid while on his journey, however, until he decided the next day that he would rather not leave her in their hands. So he headed back to the orphanage to raise the child as his own. But while walking back towards the orphanage, he couldn’t believe his eyes as he saw the half-demon girl, ravaged and covered with small cuts, lying in a small pond.
“…Damn…those murderers!” he regretted ever leaving her there in the first place and underestimated what they could do to her as based on what the damage was, they hired an experienced soldier to kill her. As he thought initially, they were trying to see what kind of tolerance the half demon was able to take. Clearly, the experimentation ended. He walked up to the baby and silently said, “Forgive me…” then he began to walk towards the orphanage, about to make those guys pay, until he stopped rather suddenly, with him shaking in shock. He turned back and saw the child twitch. “My…god….” Shade immediately picked her up and ran back to Takneo Shrine. Then he laid her slowly and carefully in the shrine’s waters and steam shrouded her body. After 15 minutes passed, it disappeared, and she was sound asleep, with no cuts and looked happy and content.
Shade just couldn’t comprehend what just happened as he picked up the child.
“What…amazing resilience and courage you have…hmm….” Shade thought for a few seconds. “You know,” he said as he began to walk towards his room to let the girl sleep, “They had your name as Tyrande. Not a bad name. But from this point on, your name is Courage! Not terribly original. I’m sure my wife would get on me for giving you such a stale name…but I feel that you can special.” He then let her rest in his bed as he laid her down on his pillow.
“You know Courage,” said Shade sarcastically as he laid down on a nearby rock near a different area of the waters of Takneo Shrine, “You’ve made some great strides recently. I seriously think you should undergo the trial of Takneo Shrine in ten years!”
“W-what!? Gahhh!” Shade could only sigh while closing his eyes in disgust as a very young Tyrande fell on her butt pretty hard in the shrine waters, and since those shrine waters are pretty cold, she screamed rather loudly as she jumped out of her shoes… and literally into the sky.
“Um…” Shade acted coyly, “Forget I said that.” after Tyrande took off all her wet clothes while standing behind a rock, she yelled,
“W-why do I want to go through more ordeals? You making me lift all these rocks is my only concern right now!” Shade sighed.
“First of all, it’s only rocks, but anyways…I was just kidding…you have a long way to go before you’ll ever be able to handle it!”
“Then why even bring it up? Shade!” Shade got up.
“I just told you! I was kidding! And I know!” He began throwing her some clothes every 15 seconds.
“Well Shade…I just don’t think power is all that necessary. I mean it’s nice to have it, but…power can’t get you everything, right?”
“How right you are Courage…except you have to learn to control your power. When you do that, then you can harness more power as it can help you. It’s not a case of using it in necessary, like some power hungry maniac.”
“Anyways, what’s taking you so long? If I knew you were going to take time off my life, then I would have trained with you naked!”
Courage sounded furious.
“You dirty old man!” she stepped out of the rocks, with her shirt still in her hand
“Old man?! I still haven’t turned 35 yet!”
“Well then,” she put her shirt on, “How about we found out how old you really are?” she got in a fighting stance.
“No…you’re kidding me!!! Do I have to teach you a new lesson in the art of losing again?” he got up. “Well then, I guess it’s time to make you cry again!”
They had a meeting, which seemed to be the norm as they had nine meetings in the span of 48 hours. Shade, Sachi, and Fayre tried to come up with multiple strategies to finally capture Andrun, but none of them could come to a sound agreement. So when they had their tenth meeting in the span of 48 hours, the last thing any of them could have wanted to have happen was an interruption. But that’s just what they got.
“Commander!” said a soldier as he walked in.
Shade was rather agitated at his appearance.
“What do you want? I’m in the middle of an important meeting!”
“I’m sorry, Commander! But T-there’s two people that want to see you, they say!”
“BAH! This is what you bother us with at a time like this!? I’ll see them after the meeting!”
“But the two say they have very important inf-” Shade looked like he was going to explode, but Sachi stepped in front of him and yelled angrily to the soldier,
“Look, you imbecile! This is no time for a paltry message! Tell them to hit the road or wait! It’s that simple!” at this point Shade calmed down slightly.
“Y-Yes…please forgive me…” The soldier walked out in rather low spirits. After twenty minutes of heated discussions, the same soldier ran back in and said, “Commander,” with Shade nearly busting the soldier’s head. Just as quickly as Shade nearly spilled some blood, the soldier, sensing he was about to have his head reexamined, lied, “They come to kill!” while falling on the floor. Surprisingly, that just barely stopped Shade. And I mean barely. He actually seemed to believe it.
“They come here to threaten us!?” he said furiously, who obviously did not notice the lie, then stormed out of the room. Sachi and Fayre soon followed. After running down the stairs, there were a few soldiers standing next to a door. “Get out of my way!” yelled Shade as the soldiers obliged. This made a familiar soft-hearted voice very disheartened.
“War…can certainly change people…” Shade, Sachi, and Fayre stood transfixed near the door. “I can’t believe things had to happen this way...I think it’s time to change everything for the better…don’t you agree, Master?” Shade, Sachi, and Fayre slowly walked up to the door, then walked in to see a long yellow haired woman standing a few feet from the door looking directly at them with a confident smile on her face.
“T…T…” both Fayre and Sachi said shaking in disbelief. Shade could only be silent for a moment or two until he said,
“Courage…it’s nice to for you to come…unannounced…” With tears in their eyes, Fayre and Sachi ran towards Tyrande and hugged her, emotions spilling all over the place. Shade soon joined the hugging and suddenly angst and disbelief immediately turned into joy and hope.
“Please…forgive me, Master! This is all-”
“This is not your fault!” yelled Shade to Tyrande as she tried to apologize for being missing for a good five months, after all the hugging and kissing stopped, and after they all moved back into the war room. “If I hadn’t sent you to face Fear-”
“Then what? Would I have been able to help out in this war? To save my friends?” obviously she was informed of what happened to Lane, Catalena, and Paragon, and informed of what happened to General Thomas, General Eisen, and General Rice. “War is a cruel reality, but we know what comes with war. We don’t know what Fear has in store for us! He needed to be stopped. And I failed!”
“We could have used your abilities and had fewer casualties! I have to take the blam-”
“Stop!” stepped in Sachi. “It’s not just anybody’s fault! It’s all our faults! We all have to share some responsibility in how everything has played out!” It became silent for a while.
“Anyways,” said Tyrande. “I have a personal mission to accomplish. Shade, the key.”
“Key? To what…oh…I see what you want to do!”
Fayre and Sachi seemed rather shocked.
“No way! Tyrande, this is no time to be training!” yelled Sachi. “We need you for this war!”
Tyrande had a slight smile.
“Don’t worry about this war anymore,” as soon as she said that, Fayre and Sachi looked disgusted, “With Pathan here,” She pointed to the old man sitting down rather quietly, “Shade will know what to do from here. Once it’s all over, I’ll finally defeat Fear, with Takneo Shrine’s power on my side!”
“You seem rather certain about everything,” Shade said. “But I’m intrigued…what can I do?”
“Pathan, please explain the situation in Kenion.” Pathan, while sitting down still, took about 10-12 minutes to say what he told Tyrande a week ago, and once he wrapped up his story, Shade had a look of gold in his eyes.
“Courage,” he held both of Tyrande’s hands, “I’m proud and glad to say that you will surpass me in every aspect of life. You can write that down if you like.”
“Why, Master…why so touched?” she said rather unconvincingly. “It’s just not like you! I think I’m ready to cry!”
“Well, how about when all this is over, we have another match to settle the score?”
“…You’re on! Hopefully this time I can beat you!!!”
It was about a month and a few days, but today a proper burial of the men who valiantly fought to save Prince Alvis took place instead of the yearly Forest Festival. Over 100 soldiers were buried in the Kose Cemetery. After that was over, the coffin of General Hamburg soon followed, and numerous odes and tales were spoken about him, before he was eventually buried with his soldiers. Then, the coffin of Ray soon followed, along with the coffin of Prince Alvis. Both of these young men were praised, before they too were buried side by side near a separate grave.
On an already sad and bitter day, it’s unfortunate to mention the mess that happens to be Kose. Ever since that black day, where Fear made off with their sacred treasure, the Green Orb of Bethumet, the people were unable to cope with the losses. With word of Prince Alvis eventually reaching other nations, and thanks to the spell being broken, they were saddened to be glad that the war right now and the destruction of all of Bethumet’s lands delays what could be an attack on their land. The spirits of the forest were no longer there to protect them. And Kose’s morale continues to be crushed each day when their most recognizable leaders, Lute, Princess Natasha, and Queen Karratha, continue to hide away…
Princess Natasha Rivenwald was unable to comprehend how the events took place: She left to collect Kose’s finest fruits opposite of where Fear made his appearance that fateful day. She did not know of the events that took place until it was far, far too late. Since then, she’s been mostly silent. She’s been stuck in her room, miserably staring in the clouds outside of her window in her small bedroom. Sometimes she’d neglect to eat. Slowly, but very slowly, she was getting over the loss of her older brother.
Queen Karratha was terribly worse. Like Natasha, she stayed in her room, lying on her bed while shaking occasionally in different positions. She rarely ate, sometimes had trouble sleeping, and every day she would either mumble something incomprehensible or speak so low that no one can hear her. And with numerous tasks as Queen of Kose, she ignored every one of them as she thought of a long ago promise…
“Karratha…” sighed a confident like voice, “If you keep holding my arm like this, this sword will destroy us all…”
“Shade…” cried Karratha. “W-what am I to do without you? I can’t…govern all of these people! Not…without you!”
“My love…you understand that I have no choice. I-I cannot stay here. I have to go to Takneo Shrine…and stay there…hopefully not too long.”
“No! Then let me come with you!”
“Then…who’s going to lead Kose? The forest spirits?”
Karratha shied away.
“It’s not possible. You are the only one who can communicate with the forest spirits. What would happen if you left with me? Disasters on the scale of what this sword can cause could happen. It’s imperative that you stay.” Tears ran down Karratha’s cheeks.
“DAMN! Why?!? Why did I get…sniff…cursed with…this…”
“Karratha!” Shade screamed as he grabbed her shoulders, “You know what we have to do! We’re capable of saving this world…just by doing…the simple…things…Even if we have…to be parted…”
“But…I might never see you again…”
“…It…is a possibility…” Karratha started to glance down sadly. “But there still is the chance that we can live together again. This curse that was placed on me will be tested!”
“….Damned sword…if only you never found it!” Shade let out a long sigh.
“If…only…Karratha…I think it’s time I go…”
“Shade!” she hugged him while saying, “I don’t care anymore! I just want to be with you!”
“I…I can’t live without you!”
“We have no choice! Please, just do this for me. Don’t make this tougher than it already is…please…” they both kissed. It seemed like it lasted hours, but only around 5-10 seconds. “Just promise me…take good care of Natasha and Alvis. Once this curse is lifted, I will return immediately and be by your side. And their side as well.”
She thought about that ever since Alvis’s death.
She broke a lifelong promise.
She never wanted to look in Shade’s red eyes to tell him that.
But as horribly depressed Natasha and Karratha were paled in comparison to how utterly defeated Lute became after Alvis’s death. It’s no secret that she loved Alvis. And of course, she and Alvis were supposed to get married eventually. That’s how strong their love for each other was and she looked forward to spending the rest of her life with him. Now, since he’s dead, Lute has been a complete disaster. She hasn’t eaten for over the weeks he’s been dead, she hasn’t drank since he’s been dead, and she hasn’t even changed her clothing by herself. The only reason she’s still alive is because she is in the hospital and has been forced to do these tasks by medical doctors and nurses. Granted, you would think that Lute would be tougher than this, but take this into consideration: first off, absolutely no one tried to console her. Doctors would try to talk to her, but give up immediately after a few tries. Second…she’s the one who came up with that hill training idea. Well, that’s where she secretly trained in the early days of spy training until Prince Alvis ran into her and discovered it. That’s when she suggested that soldiers and warriors should be here to hone their skills. She believes that she should have never suggested that idea in the first place, and continued to have kept it a secret. Third, she was the one who gave Alvis the supposedly work-in-progress warp powder magic. It was a decent experiment when worked on by scientists as it allowed a person to travel from any spot at will as long as it is let loose, but it still needed some fine-tuning. But she asked the scientists to come up with a powder to protect the Prince in case of mortal danger. Granted, she did not expect Alvis to use the powder to not protect himself from mortal danger, but she blamed herself for handing it to him in the first place. And four, the fact that her newest friend, Tyrande was lost also on that same day led her to her current mental state. She believed that Alvis’s death and Tyrande’s disappearance is squarely her fault and won’t admit to anything else.
“L…Lady Lute…you have a visitor,” said the nurse. Lute chose to ignore her. She didn’t even flinch when the nurse spoke.
“Lute!” said a familiar but also shocked sounding voice. This made Lute twitch. She slowly turned to the door to see a yellow haired, young looking woman walking in her direction, looking appalled as what she’s seeing. Lute feverishly mumbled, “T…T…Ty…ran…de…” tears began to flow out of her eyes as Tyrande and Lute hugged each other. Immediately Tyrande demanded food and drink, which the nurse ran to get, then she yelled at Lute,
“You numbskull!” she reached in her pocket and handed her an apple, “EAT.” She said it in such of demanding way that Lute listened and ate it, and enjoyed every bite of it. She looked like she wanted more, but was stopped when Tyrande hugged her again and cried, “I...I’m sorry…I couldn’t stop him…sniff…please…forgive me…” Lute remained silent. After Tyrande stopped hugging the room was silent for five or so minutes until the nurses brought a week’s worth of food into the room, obviously just fruits and vegetables for now. Tyrande helped Lute get to a sitting position then enjoyed seeing her finally have a good meal for once in a change.
After an hour passed, Lute began to get in better shape after eating and seeing Tyrande again. After she let out a sigh, she looked at Tyrande and said, rather emotionally drained,
“Tyrande…please…you’re the…last person that needs to ask for forgiveness…”
“Please forgive me…for being so weak!” she started crying again, “I...I was too weak…I failed…I couldn’t do anything!”
“Lute! What are you saying!?”
“I…I gave him…a powder…” Lute finally seemed to control herself a bit more, “I…thought it would protect him. I was…wrong…”
“Why are you blaming yourself? His decision was not your fault!”
“It is my fault! How can you not tell me so!? If I never gave him that powder in the first place…he would still be alive-”
“If he had used it like he was supposed to use it, he would still be alive! You refuse to understand that?” Lute was silent. “You can’t blame yourself for something you didn’t do! You tried everything to protect Alvis. You only did what you felt in your heart was right. I…I don’t have any right to say this…but Lute…you’re stronger than this! You can’t let his death haunt you forever! You have to move on!” Lute’s eyes told you how shocked she felt when she said that. Tyrande quickly held her hands together and looked at her. “I understand that it’s not going to be easy for you to do…but there are so many people who care for you. They don’t want to see you like this. Please Lute...for me…for the Queen…the princess…for Alvis.” After the room was silent for a few seconds, Tyrande told her that she had to leave.
“…Stop!” yelled Lute. “Don’t even dare…if you think taking him on will help me feel better it won’t! I…I don’t-”
“You idiot! I’m going to see your Queen.” Tyrande said with a smile on her face. Lute wasn’t very happy about that.
“Grr…this is why I don’t like you! Think you’re so creative!” Lute smiled as she headed back to sleep. “But…if you do get yourself killed, I will never forgive you.”
“…I don’t plan on getting killed. Not this time…not when I finish what I should have started long ago…” she walked out.
“T-Tyrande!? Tyrande!” yelled Queen Karratha as she was informed by Princess Natasha that Tyrande has arrived back in Kose. They both hurried out of the Queen’s room and down to the Cathedral of Kose to see her standing up with a confident air about her.
“I’m glad…to be able to see you all once again.” Tyrande said happily as she bowed to them.
“Oh…how wonderful it is to see you…where have you been!?” demanded The Queen. Tyrande explained the situation of where she was, and what has happened since.
“I see…so, maybe things are finally going Bethumet’s way for a change!”
“Not yet, Queen Karratha. If Bethumet is going on the upswing, the only way to make it happen…is for me to defeat Fear!” Just one mention of Fear’s name brought chills to Karratha and Natasha.
“Don’t do it!” yelled Natasha. “We can’t lose you as well! We’ve lost enough as it is!”
“Princess Natasha, please, don’t worry about me. I know of a way…to beat Fear now. I can handle him.”
“…Tyrande,” said Karratha, “You believe that you can beat him, but don’t you have to beat Takneo Shrine first?” Tyrande seemed mildly surprised.
“My lady…how did you know-”
“About Takneo Shrine? You must have forgotten…I know all about Takneo Shrine…that’s where my love has been all this time…” Natasha was stunned.
“I’m sorry Natasha. Please…forgive me for lying about your father.”
“But…but…” she cried, “Why did you lie to me!?!”
“…It’s Kalgorith, isn’t it?” said Tyrande somberly. Natasha didn’t know what that was. Karratha obviously knew.
“Shade told you?”
“Yes. But…I didn’t know he was careless enough to get himself and you cursed…”
“W-what?!” said Natasha while even more shocked than before. “You and father were cursed? What in the world is going on here?” Karratha seemed inclined not to explain the situation, but once Tyrande said,
“Well, if you don’t explain, I will. I believe that she has the right to know now,” she gave in.
“All right, all right…I will explain to you Natasha…how terrible our luck turned out to be when Shade eventually found that sword…”