057 Those Who Watch the Sky - 57
57 – Children thrust Into the Sky 15
Melody’s cries could not reach Link as it grew more and more difficult for her to even keep up with the crimson hued colossus. Plowing ahead as it did, the colossus’ path into the heart of the Foreigner city collapsed behind it preventing Melody from even following. She refused to give up though and continued to try to force her way forward, her song falling from her lips. Something was not right though and Melody couldn’t help but notice.
“Huh⁈ No, wait! I don’t want to go backwards! Link needs me! Please!”
Despite Melody’s pleas the wind would not listen and had taken her safety upon itself. Every time the harpy opened her wings the wind filled them and moved her further and further away from the colossus. Fighting to just close her wings and follow on foot also proved a vain effort for Melody as the wind did not cease with her song and the spirits she could not see filled her wings and tail feathers keeping them spread open and blew her back like a kite.
“Stop it! I have to help Link! I have to help Elliot! Don’t do this, please! My friends need me!”
The wind was unrelenting and Melody was powerless before it. She could only watch as the colossus disappeared in the collapsing superstructure it tore a path through. The colossus was not all that tore the ancient structure apart as it began heaving violently as it strained to return to the heavens.
Inside of the Foreigner city there was nothing to give warning to its rise. Outside was a completely different story however as Balgun stood upon the top of his mobile fortress parked upon the lip of the crater holding the Foreigner city. All around and within the crater those from Foothold who had survived this long were witness to the power and splendor of the old sorcerer as ribbons of light rose up from his fortress and soon burst into countless trails spiraling through and about the crater and all that surrounded it. No Foreigner beasts survived the display of magic, but more importantly the wizards and the Artificial Gate Generator they used to cast the spell that held the Foreigner city against the face of Icarus were completely annihilated.
Watching the Foreigner city tear itself from the face of Icarus, Balgun stroked his mustache pleased with his efforts. Two things brought an end to his satisfaction however. First there was an entire face of the Foreigner city collapsing into the crater below and likely killing all who had not escaped it, and then there was a voice screaming at him that was brought closer as it did.
“Balgun, you old fool! Just what did you do⁈”
“Ah, Bird, glad you could finally join me.”
Turning his eye to the sky above and beside his fortress, Balgun could hardly miss the galleon hanging from an armored balloon in the space above him. Leaning heavily over the railing Bird looked down at the sorcerer with an incredulous expression.
“Join you for what Balgun⁈ I was supposed to retrieve those three kids and head for Athecia! Where exactly are they and what is going on with that Foreigner⁈”
“It’s exactly as you see Bird. It’s returning to its rightful place in the sky above. I’ve merely freed it from the shackles that bound it to the face of Icarus. As for the children, I suspect they will soon be needing your airship lest they fall into the depths of Icarus.”
“Don’t tell me… Are they actually in that damn thing⁈”
“If you’re aware of that it’d be best you put that knowledge of yours to immediate use. Wasting that knowledge would be catastrophic.”
“Dammit old man, you don’t need to tell me that!”
Angered by the old sorcerer as Bird was, he did not linger on Balgun and hurried to the helm. A twinkle in his eye Balgun watched as the airship sped away, it’s propellers, wings, and sails working with the magically controlled wind to hurry for the rapidly ascending city.
“Best of luck Bird. I’d hate to see those children lose their lives because of your ineptitude.”
If anyone within the fortress needed Bird’s airship it was perhaps none other than Hazel Sycamore. Like Elliot and company well above him he rode in a glass capsule elevator and was descending the terrifyingly empty central corridor. It was so massive within that space that it was impossible to see the other side, but that was far from Hazel’s concern as he clung to the railing of his shattered elevator and saw daylight as a pin drop below him.
“I guess your little game is over now Melrin. Shame the city is falling apart since I don’t have a clue how I’m going to get out of this. Maybe I should have met the Poltergeist instead of leaving that farewell message for you. At least the temple would have been relatively solid ground. Guess it doesn’t matter if I you go down with me though. At least then I’ll be able to die knowing the world is safe from your ambition. I just regret not being able to see Mote and Link again.”
A strained smile revealed his gritted teeth and Hazel accepted his fate. Before he could let go though, a strange, blue, long eared mouse ran up his arm and looked him in the face. It was impossible for him to miss it even within the flickering light of the central shaft as the tips of its ears and tail burned with an Ambrosial flame. With his widening eyes on the other side of his glasses, Hazel stared amazed at the creature that appeared before him.
“A spirit…? I thought you things didn’t show yourselves to just anyone. Hm? What’s that? Link is here and help is on the way. I’m having a hard time believing that, but considering the circumstances… I guess a better question is why tell me? I’ve already helped save the world from mankind’s idiocy once… What do you mean I need to help save it from my idiocy now⁈”
Hazel grew indignant with the spirit as it wiggled its whiskers at him, but he had an idea what it was that it was talking about. He didn’t like it either but knew what he had to do and took the sledgehammer that joined him in the elevator by its haft. Securing a solid one-handed grip on the weapon he let go of the elevator railing and fell towards the depth of the shaft joined by the spirit.
It was not a long fall from his perspective as the rising city and even faster ascending airship conspired to place him atop the armored balloon. It was exactly where he wanted to be as well as the airship soared under Bird’s command to where both men desired to be. Where they desired to be was not where the event that stirred the spirits was however.
“You are a stubborn girl, just like Elliot”
“You’re one to talk. Keeping this thing together when you have almost no Nectar left to draw on is amazing!”
“It makes us desire to know the size and strength of Elliot’s gate ~♪”
“It’s not just his gate little girls; it’s the light granted to him by the Saint.”
Having stepped out of the trunk of the neck of the thinning colossus, Feast stood with his hands in his pockets looking at where Link clung to her sword, which was thrust into the lateral segment of the neck, and her mermaid self which clung to her hair. Neither one seemed aware of the direness of their situation and Link’s eyes shimmered as she looked upon Feast with a huge smile on her lips.
“That’s still amazing! I’ll have to have Elliot tell me all about it when we get there. Well, it may take a little time if you fall apart before then.”
“I’m not the one who will fall apart. Just this weak blood at which point I’ll return to Elliot with no difficulties.”
“Hm~! That’s not fair.”
Pouting at Feast, Link earned an amused laugh from him.
“Isn’t that why you abandoned your other companion though? To make sure I don’t leave you two behind?”
“I didn’t abandon Melody; she just wasn’t able to keep up. We’ll go back for her as soon as we can.”
“And how far will Elliot get ahead of us in that time.”
“You’re quite terrible ~♪”
Link’s mermaid double gave voice to Link’s feelings as she simply pouted, both of them eliciting Feast to laugh again.
“You’re absolutely right. I am everything that Elliot hates about himself given form. Admittedly though I normally could never manifest like this without enough Nectar and blood, and as the Nectar has all but run out soon even the blood will be gone.”
“I’m not going to let that happen. The Beast can provide more than enough Nectar to hold this colossus together, and then we can all join Elliot and rescue my father.”
“The true you, you mean. Not this broken doll of icaran flesh or drop of what you actually are.”
“The Beast is us, but it is no more the true us than every other part of us ~♪”
“I wonder my dear little drop…”
“It doesn’t matter! Getting to Elliot, all of us and every part of us, is all that matters.”
“Is that so?”
Meating Link’s pouting glare with a smile, Feast gladly welcomed her challenge. Link had no reason to bluff though and adjusted her footing as she braced herself against her sword to rise to her full height. Holding on with only her right hand, she extended her left and her cape blew forth from her back like a wild black flame. Preparing to snap her fingers Link answered Feast’s question with unwavering confidence.
With a snap of her fingers a tiny sphere of light swirled to life within Link’s upturned palm and quickly swelled. First to the size of a small fruit, and then to the size of a melon the sphere of light grew without stopping. As it continued to grow it began to spill forth liquid darkness that burned with a flame of equal darkness. As the first of those drops of liquid darkness fell upon the colossus, Feast’s eyes widened in shock and pain as a question rose from him in desperate need of an answer.
“What is this⁈”
As Feast was a part of Elliot it was only natural that he felt the other’s pain. Falling to his knees within the elevator capsule he braced himself with his sword and gritted his teeth as he looked back up to where they had come from. His reaction was not provoked by any in the elevator and naturally prompted questions in search of an explanation.
“Is something the matter boy?”
“That tone is inappropriate Master Sa·B·er. Master Elliot could very well be–”
“Suffering the ill effects of some evil that has felt fit to join us.”
Returning to his feet and pushing Cliff and Clover away from him, Elliot braced himself to meet whatever it was that had returned Feast to his side. Feast did not find Elliot’s bravery commendable however and wasted no time letting him know.
“You can’t possibly fight that Elliot. Even throwing yourself from this elevator would be a better fate than to be consumed by that darkness.”
As only Elliot heard and saw Feast within the elevator it was easy to ignore him. It was especially so as Bellson questioned the evil that Elliot spoke of.
“Do you mean not the Poltergeist boy? If so, you are facing the wrong way to meet it.”
“No rogue, the Poltergeist has fallen quiet before the darkness that is descending upon us. Even it quivers in fear before this darkness.”
“Could it be…”
Hoisting up his great sword, Bellson took it from his shoulder and took it in both hands. Taking up a battle stance he too turned his attention to above. Cliff could feel the tension filling the elevator and drew his dual sabers and took a battle stance, positioning himself to defend Clover. Within the glass capsule though it all seemed a wasted effort as the darkness that descended upon them was not of Icarus.
Copyright © 2019 Joshua D Tarwater