058 Those Who Watch the Sky - 58


58 – Children thrust Into the Sky 16



“Eh What is this What’s going on This isn’t the Beast’s darkness!”



Panic coursed through Link’s voice as she spun about taking in the light filled darkness around her. There was nothing but silence for company within that place and even her mermaid double did not accompany her.



“I don’t understand. I was just calling in the Beast’s Nectar. Where am I



Answers were not coming to Link’s desperate pleas but soon the darkness she occupied shook violently and crackled with light.



“Now what






“~ I stand equal to the task before me
 Bathed in the Light of Her Eminence, Lady Cardinal
I rise to face the darkness
Equalizer‼ ~”



As the incantation spilled forth from Elliot and in song from the very air around him, the cracks of light along the blade of his sword flared like the sun and his blade was shattered. In its place a blade of pure light, bluer than the sky, burned as though forged by the greatest blade smith to ever live. Spinning the blade around Elliot removed his left hand from his scabbard and took Link’s combat stance, sword tip facing the ground behind him and hilt in both hands.  He did not hold the stance for long and leapt up just as the darkness tore the elevator apart in a blink. As he cut through his foe and found footing within its flesh allowing him to ascend its visage, behind him Bellson blocked it and was flung from the elevator and towards the wall of the central shaft. In an amazing display of physical skill Cliff managed to get Clover onto his back and leapt from the elevator to the wall of the shaft. On his back Clover called out and invoked the name of Icarus to cast a spell of her own.



“~ Father Icarus, your faithful calls you
a pilgrim upon your face and traveler bearing your word
seeking your blessing wherever we tread
Blessed Path! ~”



With a golden pulse of light from Clover that washed over Cliff, a similar golden path soon extended before the centaur’s attempt to run up the shaft wall. Seeing the path opening before the centaur, Bellson swung himself free from where he had thrust his sword into the wall and flew through the air joining the centaur in stride upon the path.



“You’ve a powerful blessing at your call Sister. I request you put it to use and that you join me Sa·B·er in facing this beast.”



“As honored as I would be–”



“Do not sell yourself short Sa·B·er. I was struck by this beast whereas you evaded it while saving another. You are far more skilled than you credit yourself. Now come, we have little time to strike and distract the beast again before the boy strikes again.”



“What Elliot



Turning his gaze as best he could well above the darkness Cliff spied Elliot spinning over with a most cold and determined look upon his face. Gritting his teeth he looked back down at the darkness before Clover clinging desperately to his long coat.



“Sorry to put you through this Clover–”



“Don’t apologize to me Master Cliff. I joined you of my own freewill and now shall be the vessel of the Sister Goddesses and Father Icarus to aid the Saint’s Light in battling this darkness. Go forth Master Cliff and fight this Darkness as you would any other Foreigner.”



“By your leave then Clover. Lead on Bellson of the Red Army.”



Bellson did not verbalize a response to Cliff’s request and instead leapt forth from the golden path. Cliff followed suit with Clover desperately clinging to his back and the two Sa·B·er drove their respective blades into the flesh of the darkness. The darkness did not seem to respond to the two Sa·B·ers but it also did not respond to Elliot above it. Elliot cared little for if it did or not and tightened his spin accelerating himself as he descended downward and into the darkness’s body again. His spin was violent and carried enough force and power that he tore straight through it and into a freefall under it.






“KYA~–”



Link screamed out in pain as the darkness filled with a violent and terrible light that arced out all around her. Ducking down and wrapping her cape around her she tried to shield herself from the light and noted that even as it seemed to fade beneath her that it swelled violently to her left. Throwing her cape back as she rose, she spun about and brought her sword to bear against the fissure of violent light and struck it with all that she had. She could not cut it, but she did not relent and instead threw the light down into the darkness beneath her. Panting heavily, she watched it descend.



“*Hah* *Hah* Just what is going on here…? Why am I being attacked I didn’t do anything but try to help so what is this



The darkness held no answers for Link and she angrily swung her sword at it fruitlessly. She could move about the light filled darkness freely but could not interact with it. Pouting she kicked at it angrily but was still rewarded with the same lack of response.



“Hrm~! I don’t know what’s going on‼ It’s not fair‼”



Her temper tantrum did as little for her as every other action she took, and Link could only slump her shoulders and sigh in defeat. Looking down at the fading light she had little idea if it would return or not but knew she did not want to encounter it again.



“I should at least try to see if I can go somewhere else… If the light can go down, then maybe I can go up. But…”



Holding up her left hand, Link wondered if it was worth trying to call on the Beast again before simply shaking her head.



“No, I better not. Not until I can make myself more whole again at least. I’ll just have to try willing my way up. If I think about it like swimming…”



Looking up Link saw only darkness and had to fight back the fear that more of the light below her awaited her above. Taking a deep breath, she closed her eyes before popping them open and wearing a pout of intense concentration. Just as she willed it, she rose upward and could tell she did as her hair and cape trailed behind her in response. Just the slight recognition that she did erased her pout as her mouth fell open and her eyes sparkled with amazement.



“This is amazing! It’s like I can fly! Melody would be so jealous seeing me fly without wings! Ah–! I hope she’s alright and Elliot too. I was trying to share the Beast’s Nectar with his weird double before I was suddenly in this darkness so he might be hurt. Hrm~. I need to focus on getting out of here.”



Remembering that she was not the only one in potential danger from the darkness around her, Link concentrated and rose as fast as she possible could through the darkness.






“Well that wasn’t a particularly good idea.”



Feast couldn’t help but mock Elliot with a smile and his hands in his pockets as he stood beside the falling icaran. Elliot paid him little heed as he watched the darkness above and could see it spin in place a moment dislodging three others from it’s flesh. Watching it thrash about he wasn’t sure if he had hurt it or not.



“Equalizer…”



“What’s that Elliot?”



“Equalizer. That is the name of the Light Her Eminence, Lady Cardinal bestowed unto me. With her Light I can rise to any challenge and face even foes I should rightfully stand no chance against. Even then though I’m limited by the limitations of the flesh.”



“It sounds like an excuse to me.”



“Maybe it is Feast, but I can’t fight that darkness here. I don’t have the footing to. Perhaps if you had been able to hold on to all of the blood you had been controlling…”



“Could you provide that much Nectar and fight at the same time. Besides, I had plenty until that girl opened that gate and let that darkness spill out. I don’t know what it was, but it consumed everything I had gathered and gave birth to that. I can only guess that that girl is inside of that darkness. Heh. Isn’t that great? Here she was trying to get to you, and it looks like she’s doing so from the belly of a beast like that. I wonder, when you kill it will you kill her too, your whole reason for being. How would you break?”



“That’s enough Feast. If Link is within that Darkness then I need only wash it away with Her Eminence, Lady Cardinal’s Light.”



“Will it really be that simple?”



“Of course not, but legends claim that the seals on the Foreigners are guarded by giants of untold power. If we can get it to aid us, or even better if those legends are referring to a Dolmen–”



“And how would we take control of a Dolmen that apparently is autonomous?”



“The same way the Foreigners do it Feast. With your power and Equalizer, we’ll infect it and make it our own.”



A sinister smile spread across Feast’s face and he burst out laughing.



“That’s priceless Elliot! You’re going to take a legend that protects the world from the Foreigners as your own just for that girl! She should be elated! Overjoyed for the dangers you’ll loose upon the world for her! But I have to ask, can you even maintain the Equalizer for much longer? You’ve already struck twice and the strain on your body is obvious. You’ll kill yourself if you exceed your limit and you’ll need at least two more strikes to banish that darkness. Five if you intend to kill the Foreigner as well just to be safe. Can you handle that much Light?”



“It doesn’t matter. If it takes three more strikes, then I’ll make three more strikes. I won’t fail here, even at the costs of my dream. I am the Silver Lance, the one who will pierce the darkness and save Link!”



“How romantic.”



“You may be a part of me Feast but you’ll never understand.”



“Regardless, you’re going to have to do something soon. That Darkness is retreating further up this shaft and there’s an airship coming up behind you.”



“Wha–



Spinning around as he fell Elliot couldn’t miss the airship and panicked. Bringing his sword around he forced himself into a tighter spin to pull himself to the side and stuck his sword into the armored balloon to stop his descent. As he did Feast smiled as he watched the whole airship tilt over from the force of the collision. Under his breath he quietly counted the strike.



“That’s three.”



Feast’s count meant nothing to Elliot as he spied a figure thrown from atop the balloon. Reaching out he caught the icaran man’s hand and he and his sword of light were dragged another few feet down the side of the balloon.



“Grgh–! Dammit! Are you alright Hold on, please!”



“I can’t believe my ears. Is that you Elliot?”



“Wha– Is that you mister Sycamore?”



Looking down his left arm Elliot made eye contact with the hazel-eyed Hazel Sycamore who was just as surprised to see him as Elliot was him. He was quicker to recover though and offered the icaran youth a kind smile.



“I have to admit this is the last place I expected to encounter you. Is Link okay? Yourself? I mean I know I have a lot of explaining to do and probably don’t have the right to ask, but you can forgive a father for wanting to know, can’t you Elliot.”



“You really do have a lot to answer, and a lot to answer for Mister Sycamore. As for Link, I fear she is likely within the Darkness above us.”



Elliot could not return Hazel’s smile as he answered his question and could barely keep his own turbulent emotions under control. The smile that adorned Hazel’s face was quickly replaced by a serious expression as he received his answer and he hung his head.



“I thought as much.”



“How could you possible know?”



“Both my crimes and this little guy.”



Motioning with his head Hazel drew Elliot’s attention to the spirit on his shoulder. Before Elliot could question it however the airship was again struck from above and he and Hazel slid even further down.



“Well, this isn’t looking good…”



A nervous laugh escaped Hazel as he made eye contact with Bird who was leaning against the deck railing of the airship with all of his might. He did not recognize Hazel personally, but Hazel recognized the badge on Bird’s jacket identifying him as a member of Choir. As flabbergasted as Bird was though, he recognized the spirit for what it was and moved his left head to rub the back of his head.



“Somehow, I get the feeling you just might be Hazel Sycamore. You just had to have a spirit with you, didn’t you? *Sigh*”


Copyright © 2019 Joshua D Tarwater

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