It’s been three months since the Syria-Kenion war began, with many physical, hard fought battles that have recently gone in Syria’s favor, but the battle of will is almost on the verge of being crushed…on Syria’s side.
“….Why….sniff…” cried a somber Sachi as she tried to comprehend how the Thgil Mercenaries—Tyrande, Paragon, Catalena, and Lane, people she’s known for nearly a decade, people she’s made friends with-- could be taken away by the toils of war. Despite the fact that Syria should still have the superior force over Kenion, and as mentioned, Syria has won many battles that has got them deeper into Kenion territory, the losses were starting to mount as many important people in the force have perished from this war. While Shade, Commander Rice, Fayre, and even Jeannine, seemingly back to normal after the loss of General Thomas, kept everyone stable throughout these events through their own fighting spirit, any more important losses would most likely crush Syria’s hopes of winning this war.
It would be a huge psychological boost for Syria, however, if they manage to capture one of the two important strongholds Kenion has: Andrun Castle and Fort Pineiro. Andrun’s castle is large and sprawling, and stacked with 15% of Kenion soldiers, meaning that it they was to capture this castle, it could almost the entire day to get, but even so, the only way to capture this castle was to time the attack correctly; there could be no slipups here. As for Fort Pineiro, it may not be held in the same regard as Andrun
castle, but this fort was just as equally strong as the castle, as it housed the bulk of Kenion’s mages, and with their long range magic, just getting there unscathed would be nary impossible. Then add to the fact that there’s a bridge to get to the fort means that unless someone could fly or someone could sneak around the fort, then there’s no chance that they’d be getting past it, considering the bridge could easily be destroyed as a tactical ploy. It would be a stretch to see if they could capture both defenses, but no matter what, one of them had to go down.
It was night time when Fayre got up, washed his face and hair, combed it, ate a light dinner then grabbed a lance and got ready to head out with his Syrian group as they headed to Andrun Castle. It was decided that they would take different routes towards the castle and surprise them with attacks from all sides. They realized that Fort Pineiro, while they don’t have even half as many units as the Kenion forces in Andrun Castle, the long range spells would more or less cripple the plan of attack Syria had, and of course, if all else failed, they could easily destroy the bridge, leaving them no chance to capture the fort.
So Fayre and about 100 Syrian soldiers was positioned east of where Andrun Castle was, and were supposed to attack after 30 minutes once they got there. When the 30 minutes passed, they charged, coming out of nowhere from behind the trees and bushes, and took out unsuspecting or shocked Kenion soldiers standing in front of them. They then charged in the castle. Once inside however, it seemed like it was Fayre’s day as he was the best fighter in the area. He stabbed and decapitated numerous Kenion soldiers and employed regular uses of his magic, like for instance, he used fire and ice and infused it with his lance sometimes, and whirled around, damaging any and all opponents in the way. He dodged numerous slashes and swipes, and sometimes used the area to his advantage. He managed to be far superior to any opponent that stood in his way.
The problem was Kenion’s forces seemed to triple all too suddenly, far faster than Syria could have hoped. Once that was realized, there had to be a change of schedule as the retreat horn was sounded, and Fayre had no choice but to retreat.
“….I guess it’s time to go!” thought Rice as the situation was turning against them as wave upon wave of Kenion soldiers seemed to arrive faster than anybody could have expected, much less General Rice. “Jeannine!” Jeannine took care of a few Kenion soldiers before looking at him. “Retreat!” The two then ran, with a few Kenion soldiers chasing them, down the hall way. Rice blew a horn that’s loud enough to be heard all over the castle, and then they both went into a door and attempted to jump out the window. “All right, let’s go…Jeannine!??!” she was knocked out. The door shut suddenly. Then Rice fell on his knees, then to the ground, and while struggling said while blacking out, “W...what…d…damn…” his eyes closed. It only took five seconds before he woke right back up, and his eyes told you he didn’t have any idea what just happened. Once he stopped gasping like he needed air, he noticed an odd shaped figure sitting in a chair, with a shroud of darkness covering most of his body except his legs, and a loud snoring came from that direction. He quickly found out that he was chained to a wall nearby with hardly any light in the room, and an unconscious Jeannine also chained right beside him. “Jeannine! Jeannine!” Rice whispered, and after a few seconds Jeannine slowly came to, but she immediately realized that she was chained too.
“Ssh!” Jeannine looked to her left.
“Keep it down! Look in front of you.”
She looked to see a figure sleeping in the shadows, hearing the loud and sometimes abnormal snores.
“What’s going on?”
“I don’t know…we were fighting the enemy and then we had to retreat. When we tried to escape…we blacked out. Or knocked out. One or the other I guess.”
“Say, you think you can break these chains? Yanking them out doesn’t seem to be an option…”
Jeannine wanted to question why he said that, but remembered that all mages learn spells to break out of chains, and since this one was rather normal, she could break it easily without a sound. After a few seconds, she closed her eyes and directed her attention to her left chain, then instantly, the chain broke without a sound, even as it fell to the ground. She then did the same for the chains on her right hand and both her legs then did the same to get Rice out. After he was out, Rice entertained the thought of finding out the mysterious figure that slept so terribly, but Jeannine said,
“I think we should just let whatever it is alone. We are supposed to be retreating, correct?” With that in mind, they both tiptoed to the to a door about ten feet or so away from where the shadows lurked with the unknown figure sleeping, and when they opened it, they quickly got out and closed the door behind them quietly. They seemed relieved at first, but it soon turned to disbelief as they found themselves in the same room once again somehow, with the same figure in the shadows sleeping with its obnoxious and strange snoring.
“W…what is this!?” said Rice.
“…I…don’t…” whispered Jeannine. They then tried to tiptoe to another room, but a voice yelled around the room,
“J-just…w-what…*hiccup* doo you t-think ya d-doin?!” Rice and Jeannine could only look around in wonder, then curse internally because the lights went on, and the long red haired figure stood up rather drunk like as he moved to their location.
“What are you?” yelled Rice, who after saying that realized he was weaponless.
The figure ignored the comment.
“L-Lousy…*hiccup*…human…L-let’s p-play a *hiccup* game….GAHHH!” The figure then hit his noggin, which seemed to get him back on the right track, and actually startled Rice and Jeannine. The figure sighed, then continued, “Sorry for that… embarrassing moment….I never knew I could have such a wild dream…I pray it doesn’t
happen again...man, I can’t believe that happened…I didn’t know I was that interesting…anyways, since you two decided to go and try and sneak out, I think it’s time to play a game!”
“G-game?” yelled Jeannine. “This is no time for games!”
“Surely you jest…I mean, games are designed to be fun and informative and light hearted!”
“Who are you?” yelled Rice. “I’d like to know who you are, before I break your face with my bare hands!”
“Do you really want to know who I am? James Eirshen Rice, the newest Commander of the Syrian Knights? Jeannine Aya Lyn, general of the Syrian Mage units?” The figure walked away from them slowly, “Well if you must know…I mean, if I was in your shoes I’d want to know as well I guess…I am the one,” It looked at Rice, “Who took your relative…” Rice had a look of confusion on his face, because he had no idea was it was talking about, “And took your lover…” The figure said as it looked at Jeannine, who instantly had a look of despair on her face because she knew what it was talking about, “And left you guys to wallow over Thomas’s bloody carcass all at the same time! HAHAHA!”
As soon as they heard Thomas’s name mentioned in the same breath as dead, they was surprisingly close to delivering a blow towards him, but they were stopped as they were engulfed into an unknown purple world. They were far from done though as they routinely cursed him out for killing Thomas and tried to break out of the space but that was more or less impossible. After ten minutes though, they stopped, which then brought out three doors from the ground, then the enigmatic voice reappeared,
“All right, you have three doors. One door leads you back to your…banal and ridiculous world. One door leads you to a world of eternal darkness, where you never see the light of day unless I die. And one door leads you to a prison, where you will be chained forever without any hopes of escape, and be tortured and terribly mistreated until I die. Rather, uh, miserable fates…other than that first suggestion. At least in my opinion. Now Jeannine…I know you don’t want to be chained forever…lest you meet the same fate your mother did when she was chained by your father!” Jeannine looked aghast. “Yes…I know of your dark past, as I can read minds…ha, only Rice has a somewhat clean slate, considering what the other of you four Wings have done…such a goody two shoes! Well anyways, it would be ironic if that would be your fate, Jeannine…for your life to possibly end that way-”
“You despicable disgusting bastard!” screamed Jeannine, who had tears streak down her cheeks.
“Well!…So much for relieving past times…Usually remembering the past is great fun…anyways…I’m not so good with coming up with any games, so this one’s going to be so ridiculously easy that I’ll make you suffer pain in all phases if you screw this up!” From the ground formed numerous little bugs that at first didn’t move, “There’s a horde of little bugs that will come from all directions,” A lance appeared in front of Rice, “Destroy 500 of them in two hours. Now…let the destruction begin!” Once the voice ceased for two uneasy minutes, the bugs started moving all around the space, seemingly capable of annoying the two Syrian Wings. But they weren’t capable of doing anything of the sort as they both stabbed, burned, or shocked the bugs in droves and bunches, easily killing the amount of bugs in minutes. The bugs then quickly disappeared, and then the two heard claps from the background. ”Impressive…Impressive! I can see why you have been so famed by all in Bethumet….”
“Shut…up!” yelled Rice, somewhat winded, “So we’ve famed…for what we’ve done. But you ended it, you bastard! You’ve accomplished that goal!” The figure scoffed.
“Well, I didn’t have much choice. You’re essential to my well laid out plans!”
“Plans?” Jeannine yelled. “What bastardly plan do you have up your sleeve?”
“You see…that is for me to know…and you to find out…all I can say is…your powers are needed in order for me to accomplish my goal, and along with the deaths in this war…that goal shall be accomplished!” Jeannine and Rice looked shocked.
“You caused this bloody war?!” said Rice and Jeannine simultaneously. The figure sounded miserable.
“Damn…I sure love to reveal things! I can never keep any secrets…why yes…from the utter destruction of Nagrun…that was me…the Syria-Kenion war…that was me…from killing Thomas and Eis—oh you guys knew that already!” The two Syrian knights were about to explode, but remembered they could do nothing to get back at him. “So anyways,” The figure continued. “It’s not like I wanted to kill you all…I gave you guys countless opportunities…then again…ah forget it! I think I better stop before I tell you everything!” the space echoed with the sound of the snap of fingers, which caused the far right door to disappear, and the door in the middle to glow red. “The door not glowing is your ticket to your world, so please go on ahead!”
“You think we can go without stopping you?” yelled Rice.
“Well, if you tried that, then your stupidity would know no bounds. You have until the count of 20 to leave. Or else I will eat both of your souls. Quite delectable, however rather inhumane, though. Anyways, 20...19...18...”
Jeannine and Rice then quickly gave that up and wondered if he was telling the truth.
“I am by the way…if you don’t believe me…by all means…choose the red glowing door…just don’t say I didn’t tell you the right door. 14...13...12...11...”
Rice and Jeannine both sighed as they decided to follow his advice and take the non glowing door to the left. As soon as the knob was about to be touched,
Rice and Jeannine shuddered, then after they heard a wild panic and questioned what just happened, the figure shouted,
“P-please…forgive me! I…I nearly ruined the game!” Rice and Jeannine were furious.
“What? You mean it’s not over!?” screamed Rice.
“You still have more dark designs hidden under your sleeve?” screamed Jeannine.
“Look, I’m sorry, ok? I’m sorry! I…forgot…” The figure actually sighed, gathered itself for a few seconds then said, “Look, you see, this is the first time I’ve ever had two people in this space. I wanted to do a little experiment and see how things work. But my powers have been actually unstable with both of you in here. It’s really hard to hold two people with such power…oh, I’m rambling on! What I’m trying to say is…well…regrettably…only one of you can leave this place. HAHAHA!”
Both Rice and Jeannine dropped simultaneously to the ground in terror and despair.
“Yes! I know! One of you has to die! HAHAAA! And by the way, if neither of you go through the door, I’ll gladly eat both of your souls. HAAAHA! Again, please forgive me for my mistake! Mistakes do happen you know! HAHAHA! Now recount! 20...19...18...”
“Rice,” rasped a tearful Jeannine. “Survive…go on…I…have committed too many sins over my time-” While she spoke, the figure counted up to 14, “And without Thomas, I’m done for…now go and live!”
“…I understand Jeannine….”
He motioned towards the door then opened it.
“5...4...3...why…I don’t believe it…I really should seriously mind read some more!”
“…N…n…NO!” shrieked a terrified Jeannine as she was on the ground, with rain pouring down on her face, touching herself to see if she was really alive. “Damn you Rice! Why?!” Before she could ponder why, time suddenly stopped for her.
“Why? You asked?” replied the enigmatic voice, “Because he was much too much of a goody two shoes like I said he was…tsk, tsk, tsk…wanted to die so badly so you could see your beloved Thomas…oh well wretch…you’ll just have to wait. Now…I won’t kill you…in fact…you should be glad…you probably might not die in my hands…but…I’ll just…make you forget this event ever happened…because I’d rather not be known just yet…so I bid you adieu…until next time! HAHAHAHA!” Then once time resumed, Jeannine screamed horribly as lights of different colors flashed out of her mouth and eyes. Then in a sudden instant,
“…Nnine! Lady Jeannine!”
“Lady Jeannine!” said a somewhat relieved Fayre. “I’m glad…that you are ok…” she was back at Syrian base camp, resting inside of a tent, with some scars on her body. She would make a full recovery. But she soon learned that Rice would not make the same…as he was found dead.
….That marked the bitter end of Syria’s Four Wings….