LS Chapter Nine: A Thread of Light
A Thread of Light
The stars alone were witness to the struggles of the form that supported its weight upon its blade as if it were a crutch. Clothes tattered and bloodied, a single strip of blue cloth clutched in his left hand, he stumbled and fell as he scaled a grassy slope, unaware that the sight of burning Magi-Lights awaited him at the precipice. Undeterred, he pushed himself to his feet once more, dragging himself forward with a stamina that seemed almost mechanical, as if he were a broken toy that refused to die.
The lights brought him little comfort, for his hollow eyes recognized the ruined outskirts of Mysidia City, held together by the crude glue of magic and lumber. How could he not recognize it? It was his own handiwork, a part of him, a part that he would forever regret.
That he was here now proved that the-forces-that-be must despise him. Once again they had strung him along, given him hope, only to strand him here, in the one place in the world where people would be jus
Lunar Song Chapter Eight: Quisling
Above them extended the ceiling of the throne room, its dark arches shadowed in the dim torchlight. The runner down the isle was a rich scarlet, muffling the footfalls of the Dark Knight and his companions as they approached the throne. Golden statues of serpentine dragons and willowy winged women flanked either side of the narrow pathway, a silent, gold gazed audience for the young man's approach.
He was reminded of another hall, one not quite so grand, stone walls haunted with flickering shadows cast by torchlight, a simple wooden throne resting at its head instead of a gold monstrosity. It was in that place that he had been stripped of his last remaining freedom, his once proud wings clipped.
He could only hope this meeting would fare better than the last.
King Lao, it appeared, was an aged man with a severe face whose true nature was belied by the laugh lines about his eyes. Of course, no sympathy for the Dark Knight could be found within them, and Cecil could not say he b
Lunar Song Chapter Seven: Heart Steeped in Dark
The Heart Stepped in Darkness
"-A very brave man," drifted a voice that Cecil did not recognize through the fog of his mind.
"I'm just glad he's alive," he heard Rosa breathe, her voice wavering with apprehension. "When I saw him hit the rock wall, I thought "
He stirred, but movement was extremely uncomfortable, and he was reminded of the monster. Though the pain in his arm was gone and his stomach only throbbed, he felt like he was on fire all over. Gasping, he opened his eyes to see his companions surrounding him, joined by the monk from before.
"Cecil!" Rosa, who was kneeling at his side, cast her arms about his neck; he flinched as she came in contact with his tender skin, but wrapped his arms about her shoulders nonetheless.
"You are an honorable man, Cecil Harvey," said the monk, and Cecil shifted his attention from Rosa to find himself staring into a pair of kind, dark brown eyes. "I am Yang Fang Leiden; Master of what was once the elite of Fabul." His face fell, and his e
Lunar Song Chapter Six: Ice and Fire
Ice and Fire
Cecil woke to light streaming through an open window and the sound of Edward's soft humming drifting from somewhere nearby. Opening his eyes fully, he sat up and stared at the bard-prince, who was sitting on the bed adjacent to him, lacing up a pair of traveler's boots.
"Did you sleep well, Cecil?" the blonde man asked, placing his hands on his knees and smiling; Cecil thought he seemed different than he had the day before, far more confident.
"What time is it?" the Dark Knight asked, rubbing the back of his head and turning his gaze to the spacious room about him. He noticed his tunic and boots strewn on the floor, but could not remember placing them there. He supposed such was the consequence of being so physically exhausted the night before.
"Midday," replied the bard. "Get up. We are in need of supplies." Edward's honey colored eyes lighted on Cecil's frayed tunic and stained white undershirt, "It seems you are also in need of new clothing. You must be presentable befo
Lunar Song Chapter Five: The Sand Pearl
The Sand Pearl
All about them the city of Saffrom burned. Cecil had been to the city once before, as a boy of about eight years. His Highness had taken him along on a diplomatic visit to Damcyan, where he had encountered the royal family, the Muirs. Then, it had been a sparkling metropolis full of life. Beach white buildings extended to the ever-blue sky and the gold domed palace slept in the distance, keeping watch of the bustling desert city. Though it had been very hot, everyone was hard at work, their skin tan and care worn, their smiles bright and their laughter infectious.
Now, Saffrom lay in ruins at Cecil's feet, wails of despair rising from the ruins of the city. Uncontrollable rage and sorrow gripped Cecil in its throes. Everywhere there was death; the stench of burnt flesh filled his nose, ash from once beautiful trees stung his eyes, and the taste that fire brought sat bitterly in his mouth. They stopped whenever they could to help the injured and dying, but Cecil did not s
Lunar Song Chapter Four: Fire from Heaven
Fire from Heaven
Cecil had scarcely nodded off when he was jarred awake by the acute snapping of a twig and an utterance of surprise by Rydia. Frantically, he scuttled for his sword, but his muscles relaxed when he saw the girl splayed out on the ground, their scant pile of kindling scattered all about. It appeared she had only tripped.
"I didn't mean to wake you!" she exclaimed when she saw him sitting up, her eyebrows furrowed in concern.
The Dark Knight shook his head slowly and ran a hand through his hair, fighting off fatigue ", no, it's all right. We've already wasted a full day. I cannot afford to sleep any longer; Rosa's life depends on it."
Rydia walked toward him and took one of his hands in both of her tiny ones ", then let's go. I've already put away most everything except the tent."
He blinked at her a few times, surprised by her maturity, then nodded and stood, blinking into the early morning sunlight.
The pair set out again soon after, Rydia insisting that she walk on he
Lunar Song Chapter Three: Into the Darkness
Into the Darkness
He woke, and his first thoughts were numb as he struggled to sit. Reasonable thought had long since escaped him, and it was replaced by the most base of instinct. How long had he been unconscious? Where was he? What of his injuries? These were his very first thoughts, but as he came to himself he became aware of other things, such as Kain and the girl.
Suddenly panicking, he swiftly stood, only to sway and fall onto his buttocks, a wave of nausea threatening to overcome him. It took all of his self-control not to curse when he realized he'd suffered an ankle sprain, likely a very bad one, from the way it throbbed. He placed a trembling hand to his temple, realizing he could have been hurt more gravely as he surveyed the landscape about him.
What ever this area had been before, it was now a rocky cliff face. Trees had been displaced by the maelstrom of rocks and dirt, and were now waving goodbye to life with the gnarled fingers of their roots. Cecil trembled at the tho
Lunar Song Chapter Two: The Unwitting Felony
The Unwitting Felony
It was amazing to think that the city of Vangrad was alive this early in the morning. Its streets were already packed with silent, grey people, bundled up in drab cloaks to guard against the early morning cold. Cecil and Kain entered through the main gates. They were well enough known that the gatesman had no need to inquire into their identities; he simply opened the gates, which made nary a noise as they rose to allow entrance.
Vangrad was always characterized in the propaganda of Troia as a cold, impartial, and nearly vacant city of stone which slept under a churning gray sky. Really, nothing could have been further from the truth. Vangrad was colorful and beautiful, several public parks giving the city a lively and welcoming feel, and the river running through it became a symbol of its rhythm and vibrancy. Even this early in the morning, when everything really was a bit gray, there were flashes of color. The rogue smile of a dancer and the ruffle of her magenta