052 Those Who Watch the Sky - 52


52 – Children thrust Into the Sky 10

“You’re still upset with me aren’t you, Melody? I don’t know why though, I apologized didn’t I?”

“It’s not just that Link ~ It’s also your uniform compared to mine ~ My whole outfit changed while you simply got a jacket ~

With Link hanging from her talon Melody gladly complained about the differences in their Choir uniforms. Whether Link’s uniform could be called such was a different matter entirely as it was little more than a long sleeve bolero of cream color in the fashion of a blazer that couldn’t close. Link seemed less bothered by the whole ordeal than Melody however and discussed the matter with a detached air.

“Well it’s not like Balgun didn’t explain the spell before we left so you can always change it back to your normal leotard. And I bet mine is more distracting anyway since the Beast wants to eat it and I haven’t managed to convince it not to yet so keeping it in check is so much trouble.”

“The beast ate our last set of clothes too I believe ~♪ Those memories are harder for this one of us to wrap our head around ~

“I really wish you wouldn’t talk about yourself like you’re in so many parts Link ~ It makes it really hard to understand what you’re trying to say ~

“But we are in so many parts Melody ~♪ It wasn’t supposed to happen, but we weren’t allowed to become one and this is the result ~♪”

“Well I still don’t like it ~

Donning a pout Melody dug in on her opinion as Link’s mermaid self tried to get her to accept the reality of Link’s current state. Link was less concerned with convincing Melody and instead tried to alleviate her headache with a change of subject.

“Well, maybe finding Elliot will be simpler.”

“What makes you say that Link? ~ Look at the size of that city! ~ How can finding Elliot or your father be simple at all ~

“Hmm~. My father might be a little harder, but Elliot should be pretty easy. After all, Foreigners have blue blood but that thing is pure red so it must be Elliot’s power.”

“Huh–

Lowering her eyes from the city to the battlefield below, Melody scanned for the red thing that Link implied should lead them to Elliot. If not for Link’s own grip on Melody’s foot the harpy would have dropped the icaran girl as she took in the sight looming over the battlefield.

To call the towering humanoid construct of crimson hue unnatural, while not inaccurate, would have been to underestimate the power that formed it. Where a Dolmen stood only 25 meters or so on average the towering crimson humanoid easily tripled that height. Its long lanky form called to mind the malnourished, but it was anything but. With a swipe of it’s arm it tore apart any Foreigner beast in its path and many more caught in the displaced air that followed the attack. A cloud of copper blue blood exploded into the air and soon took on a crimson hue as it was siphoned into the body of the colossus.

“Li~nk… ~ Are you sure that thing is related to Elliot…? ~

“Yup. But just to make sure can you fly me close enough to touch it, or let me down and let me get to it on foot?”

“Li~nk! ~ Both of those requests sound crazy ~ There are Foreigner monsters everywhere and can’t you see the destruction that thing is causing? ~ Where did it even come from anyway ~ I didn’t see it from Balgun’s earlier ~

“It’s hard to tell with all of the Nectar in the air out here, but the most stable Nectar seems to be being drawn from within the city ~♪”

“Really You can tell

“Li~nk! ~ Please don’t ask yourself questions like that ~ It’s confusing enough talking to you as it is! ~

“Eh, heh, heh. Sorry Melody, but…”

The pouting face of the harpy looking back at her made Link laugh, but she still managed to stay focused on the task at hand and turned her attention back to her mermaid double.

“Do you think you could lead us along it?”

“It’s possible, but Melody may not like my instructions ~♪”

“It’s okay little Link. ~ Just keep me away from that thing for as long as you can, please! ~

“I’ll do my best! ~♪”

Aware that the mermaid could not keep with her flight speed Melody reached down with her other talon. As soon as Link’s mermaid double was within she folded her leg back tight against her body and brought her talon as far forward as she could. Grabbing hold of Melody’s clothes the mermaid Link easily made her way to the harpy’s neck. From there she grabbed onto Melody’s hair and pulled herself up behind the harpy’s ear and clung on for dear life. As secured as she could be in her new position she leaned over into Melody’s ear and began giving the harpy the directions to take the three of them into the Foreigner city by way of the Nectar trail that supported the heart of the colossus.

The flight of Link, her double, and Melody above the battlefield in the fractured crater holding the Foreigner city did not go unnoticed. Stepping out of the neck of the colossus Feast turned his eyes onto them. A smile spreading his lips he mused aloud about their passing.

“So, they’ve finally come as well. Looks like the old sorcerer wasn’t lying. Won’t you be so glad to know that Elliot? Hmm?”

Curiosity tool hold of Feast as he noticed Link looking pack at him with a puzzled expression on her face. His smile returning Feast pointed at himself and then down towards the city. With a laugh he then waved at Link sending a shudder down her spine.

“Is something wrong Link? ~

“Eh–­

Distracted by Melody’s question Link looked to the fore again to see the harpy looking down at her with concerned eyes. Not immediately sure if she could answer Melody’s question, Link looked back again at the colossus. There was no sign of Feast however and she was unsure of how to feel about what she had just saw. His appearance was too similar to Elliot’s and pointing as he did assured it wasn’t just something she imagined. Without Feast present though Link had no way of really saying anything. Shaking her head, she again turned to the fore and the city ahead of her as she answered Melody.

“Hm. It’s nothing. Besides, we need to focus on catching up with Elliot. Between him exploring a Foreigner City without us and Balgun saying he was going to get it airborne again we don’t have much time.”

“Ah, ha, ha, ha, ha! ~ And’ you’re mad at me for being upset Link when you still haven’t gotten over Elliot and me exploring places you haven’t yet ~

“Hrm~! I can’t help it! We’re supposed to be adventuring together!”

“Says the one who went into Ambrosia on her own ~

The only reply that Link had to Melody’s counter was to deepen her pout which simply left Melody laughing. For the joy they were having though the atmosphere of the Foreigner city was oppressive ad overwhelming. No sooner did they enter the city did silence fall over them.

There was little way that they could have ever guessed what lay within the ovoid shell of the Foreigner city, but Link and Melody were soundly disquieted by what they did find. There were signs of battle everywhere and the freshness of the copper blue Foreigner blood and still smoking holes from cannon rounds told them that the recent battle was likely between the Dolmen pilots of Foothold and the abominations within. Corpses were strewn everywhere throughout the city and numerous Dolmen were left torn asunder, the pilots dead with no chance to have ever received aid. But it was not the battle that so disquieted Link and Melody, but rather the city itself.

The people of Icarus had no idea where the Foreigners came from or what form they once had before only their aerial cities and ancient horrors remained. That they had razed the face of Icarus many times across the history of mankind was a known fact as well as the battles numerous ancient cultures fought against them futilely. Why and when the Foreigners attacked mankind was a mystery to all since they could have easily annihilated mankind at any time. Yet mankind was allowed to persist. The only change in the cycle that anyone knew of were the Foreigner parasites, the monsters that birthed the monsters of the world and from which Sa·B·ers were born from when mankind resisted their transformative abilities. Yet the city that sprawled out all around Melody and Link was unquestionable for human use. The technology was vastly superior to anything even Link with her training in the use of the Artificial Ambrosail Gate Generators of the Ancients had ever seen or could comprehend. How the city even functioned as it seemed to not have a up, down, or sideways as it spread across the tiered disks that made up the entire floating impossibility. Even then though the walkways, door sizes, structures, and just everything and anything they looked upon seemed ideally built for not just humans in general, but icarans and the chimeric races most similar to them.

“You don’t suppose… You don’t suppose Melody that icarans were slaves to the Foreigners do you? I mean, legends tell us that the nāti are the ones who sealed the Poltergeists who were the rulers of the Foreigners and that Cardinal’s Light defeated their dark god who threatened to destroy the world… And the nāti are older than icarans too, so maybe icarans and the chimeric races were slave races rescued from the Foreigners by the nāti…”

“I think you’re over thinking things Link ~ Sure it’s scary here and it looks like regular people lived here a long time ago, but we aren’t here to learn about that ~ We’re here to meet up with Elliot and save your father so let’s keep it that simple, please ~

“Hn… I guess you’re right Melody, but–”

“What do you mean but ~

Melody couldn’t believe that Link wouldn’t let it go, but the icaran girl’s laugh told her it was something more.

“Eh, heh, heh. Part of the fun of exploring ancient ruins is learning about what type of people lived there. We’re actually in a Foreigner city Melody! Don’t you see that How many did we watch drift across the sky back in Cross And now we’re actually in one and have learned at least that the Foreigners built this city at least to accommodate icarans and maybe a bunch of the chimeric races as well. I’m so excited I feel like I’m going to burst!”

“Please don’t! ~

Protest as Melody did Link’s potential explosion it was all in good fun and the harpy was grateful for her friend’s good cheer. The way Link’s eyes shimmered in excitement brought a smile to Melody’s face. It was not a smile that lasted for long though as Melody turned her attention back to where she was flying and knew from the signs of battle that Elliot was not having as good of a time as them.



Copyright © 2019 Joshua D Tarwater

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