The most fantastic thing in the universe! Circulation: 91,590,388 Issue: 174 | 21st day of Sleeping, Y7
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Midwinter War: Part Four


by shadowcristal

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Whoosh! An arrow came flying through the fabric of the tent. The Scorchio rolled down on the floor, hoping that there wouldn't be more surprise attacks. He gritted his teeth and wriggled to the edge, listening for footsteps.

     A shower of arrows tore the whole tent apart as Charmond frantically tried to find a way to defend himself. Finally the Scorchio found a spear and a shield under his bed, after running around like insane. He immediately held up the shield as he tried to distinguish the dark figure that was releasing waves of arrows at him.

     Finally, when the archer had run out of arrows, the Scorchio threw the spear. The weapon pierced through the air and hit its target with stunning precision, making the Darigan Aisha fall.

     "Am I that good?" The question popped up in Charmond's mind before another wave of arrows approached. He had to get out of the open field! The Scorchio ran towards the forest, hoping to be safer there. He quickly flew up and sat on a tree branch. As more of those scary pets arrived, Charmond realized he had forgotten his metal shield on the ground.

     The pine tree's branches hid him and made him hard to hit, but it also hurt. The Scorchio analyzed and calculated quickly. It was better to be hidden up here, stuck by needles and harder to hit rather than get down, nab the shield and get hit by... 10 warriors? Charmond shuddered. He hoped that help would arrive very soon. He was just about to scream for aid when he realized that the enemy was shooting arrows randomly and didn't know which tree he was in.

     Something hit his head. The Scorchio looked up and saw several pinecones, vibrating from the force of hooves of those soulless Moehogs, searching for him. Charmond grinned. This would be fun! But he had to make sure that help would come, or it wouldn't end well. The Scorchio looked at the battlefield and saw some allies fighting at the border of the forest. Good, now the whole operation could commence. Charmond took a deep breath and yelled as loud as he could.

     "HELP!"

     Several heads turned and arrows began to hit the tree that the Scorchio was hiding in. He threw a quick glance and saw that help was arriving. Charmond grinned as he began to shake the tree branches above him, making the pinecones fall and knock out the Moehog soldiers below. When all of them were unable to fight, the Scorchio flew down and made a graceful landing on the ground.

     "Very good, matey," Philip said as five other pets arrived from their side. "We've won most of it. But this ain't very effective, we'll need to regroup and plan."

     "You're right, Phil," another pet said. "Let's return to the castle. The Lord is waiting for a victory."

     "And we'll give him victory!" a third pet exclaimed as Philip gestured to the Scorchio to start walking back.

     "Umm... Philip?" Charmond asked as they entered the castle yard.

     "Yeah, buddy?" the Zafara replied nonchalantly.

     "Did we really win?" The Scorchio asked, but all he got was a slap in the back.

     "Of course! Don't doubt us fighters!" Philip said, "Oh, and we're apparently havin' a meetin' too!"

     -

     "Now that we're all here, please let us begin the regroup meeting," Lord Faran said. Around the table, all the chairs moved as the pets sat and waited for the Lord to continue.

     "As you see, battling those pets doesn't work as they just come one after another. We don't know where she got them from but we can't waste time anymore. This means that we have to focus on the source of the problem and not just battle those pets. She... is the target from now on." The Lord's words seemed to have shocked everyone in the room except for him, Charmond noticed.

     "Who's 'she'?" the Scorchio whispered to the Zafara, who was sitting beside him.

     "She's a dark faerie," Philip replied curtly as Lord Faran coughed twice. Other pets were also mumbling and exchanging worried glances.

     "Why are they all so scared?" Charmond asked. He couldn't help but to feel left out, since everyone else seemed to know something he didn't. He looked at the table and was reminded of his position. He was only a guest, if not a prisoner.

     "She is very powerful and wants more power and land than she already have. She sends out armies of pets who are like puppets to mow down everything in their way in order to gain more ground. Don't make me tell more. Most people don't even dare to say her name..." The Scorchio didn't like how the Zafara was shuddering, and this time the Royal Kougra had to cough five times to get everyone to quiet down.

     "It is quite obvious that we cannot battle her openly, since she has more forces than us. We have to use our intelligence." The Lord gestured as all of them nodded solemnly. "Therefore, I propose that we use a small group to infiltrate the castle and disable the source of her power." The Royal Kougra sat back in his chair as he watched the reactions. None of them would like this...

     "Do you even know where her power comes from?" an old Korbat asked as he slammed his fist on the table. Lord Faran looked nervous as he gulped. The Kougra opened his mouth, but there was nothing to say.

     "I say that we let our newest recruits do this mission," Retart said malevolently as he glared at Charmond and Philip.

     "No! They'll mess up the whole thing!" a Lady Aisha whined.

     "Of course they won't. Besides, our prisoner... our guest, has some excellent skills concerning trickery," the Grarrl continued.

     "Just like him, always too bad," Philip commented as he glared right back at Retart.

     "What do we do now?" the Scorchio asked, feeling quite confused.

     "Hope Lordy will think of someone else," the Zafara whispered back.

     "Well, isn't that a great idea?" the Royal Kougra said to the two pets' horror. "Why don't we have our newest member go on this mission?"

     "And the old good guide too. Isn't that right, Philip?" the Grarrl said with a menacing smile.

     "I suppose," Lord Faran said, "there is no other choice. They'll be an excellent force to take her down."

     No one said anything. Charmond just sat there, in horror... And just when he thought it would be over, new problems came... The rest of them seemed relieved that it wasn't them who were going. This operation would surely be quite dangerous, if no one had volunteered.

     The Lord clapped his hands. "Now that's decided, why don't we make a plan?"

     "I think we'll need to use some troops to distract her guards so those two can get in," the old Korbat said.

     "I'm a hundred percent sure that Retart planned this," the Zafara whispered angrily to Charmond. "And he'll pay!"

     Charmond listened to the group of pets bickering with half a ear. The rest of him felt unsafe, as if there was someone watching him intently. Oh well, he had to do it. It was pretty impossible to escape, and maybe he could go home after that.

     "I'll have to return at any price," the Scorchio thought as another shiver ran down his spine. This wasn't a very pleasant place to be in, and it seemed worse every second. He felt that someone was watching him...

     -

     "Hmm... I'd better not reveal myself to soon," the faerie told herself as she watched the sparkling crystal. Her cherry-red lips curled cruelly as she continued out loud. "That obnoxious little brat deserves an unpleasant surprise... But what should it be?"

     The dark faerie sat back in her chair and relaxed. She looked into the dark orb and the top of her staff. "It's almost getting boring in there. More marionettes!" She called out the last words and waved her wand.

     "At your command, my lady," a Darigan Eyrie said as he entered the room. "Your servant hear and obey."

     "Aw... You're such a sweetie, aren't you?" the dark faerie said as she touched the Eyrie's face. Her eyes turned dark as she moved her hand. The pet winced as the faerie struck him.

     "You know this, don't you?" She glared at him as she flexed her long nails. Dark clouds surrounded the faerie as the Eyrie walked backwards.

     "N-no... I don't know anything," he whispered.

     "You're lying," the dark faerie stated coldly as she moved closer, "And we both know that the pearl is needed."

     "W-what pearl?" the Eyrie croaked as he fell over a big pile of black books.

     "You know. Don't lie to me, or suffer fatal punishment." The faerie raised her chin arrogantly as she struck him again. "You're too curious for your own good."

     "L-lady, please s-spare me!" he cried out as he was hit the second time.

     "Third time's the charm?" The faerie stopped as she raised her hand again. "No, really... I'll need a better servant." She threw a quick look into the crystal ball, and her hand fell down.

     "T-thank you, my l-lady," the Eyrie stammered.

     "Don't you dare tell," the dark faerie hissed at the pet. "And I'll let you live..."

     "I-I'm grateful," he whispered.

     "But remember, this is the first strike. Another one, and it'll cost you an ear. Now go!" She brushed him away as if he was an irritating fly. He immediately withdrew to the shadows.

     The dark faerie looked at the Eyrie with a spiteful look in her eyes. "Fool... To think that he could match me, the Darkest Faerie. Perhaps I may not be the best now, but in the future..."

     "I'll need the item though," she said thoughtfully as she drew her hand over the crystal ball. "Show me his weak point."

     A yellow Kougra appeared among the mists, and a little dark-haired girl. "I think I'll take him. He'll be a good distraction," the dark faerie said and scratched the crystal ball's surface as she mumbled.

     The whispers of an ancient language, long forgotten, emitted from the faerie's lips as light illuminated the room. The curtains swayed back and forth as a pet stepped out of that circle of magic.

     "You've been called here, Felix, in order to fight him." The dark faerie pointed towards the crystal ball, where a picture of Charmond appeared.

     The yellow Kougra nodded solemnly. When he raised his head again, his eyes were in a color of deep red.

To be continued...

 
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Other Episodes


» Midwinter War: Part One
» Midwinter War: Part Two
» Midwinter War: Part Three
» Midwinter War: Part Five
» Midwinter War: Part Six



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