The moon is at his peak when they arrived at Sunray Mountains. The army needs to be extra cautious that's why they need to walk with their sohers, the four legged wild creature domesticated by each nation with time and patience.
The troops are slowly creeping in darkness bathed in moonlight lest they'll be spotted by the Moon Watchers of Waisan. As they climbed the mountains, the rain starts to pour. It's a sign from their deity, Kal'Qyen that this quest will be successful.
They decide to stop near a cliff where they can see the city below them. The clustered houses and buildings were too huge to be a city. This thing can match other capital kingdoms with their armies and economy. Too bad it is under the ruling power of that Sun-cult-leader.
Droplets later, after they set their tents up and put their sohers far away so they can't be heard by the people below them. They regroup and held a meeting for this most important mission.
"We will stay here for two waves for my 2nd-commander-of-the-wave to infiltrate the city, alone" said by the man with long jet black braided hair equipped by a blue armor that resembles a Sea-Barara scales. "It is his idea that we should go here near that women-land kingdom."
An average height man stepped forward in front of the formed crowd. He wears clothes that resemble the one in the city. He looks like a rich man who was chosen to be the seed carrier for a Liharak from that sun-kingdom and was exiled here.
"I, Eau'Ran, 2nd-commander-of-the-wave will try to lock the city gates on their east side after 2 waves of spying and disguising as a guard. Men-guard is what they are called there." says by the man with a blue eyes and a pony tailed black hair.
"Our once in a life time mission will begin when their god rest and darkness starts to cover this land." Eau'ran continued "I will sound my horn as a sign, so be ready anytime to dive and get everything you want. Understand?"
Everyone agrees with their tridents held up with clutched fist. Usually they just shout and roar but this time, they must not.
Eau'Ran walks casually towards the gigantic eastern gate. He was halt by the men-guards.
"Where did you came from sir?" asked by the lanky man. 'I guess it is working, the disguise' he thinks.
"Ahmm *cough* I-I was getting some leaves for my cough" mimicking their accent while continuing to pretend to cough.
"Alone? You do not have a helper Sir?" another men-guard asks.
"I have!" Eau'Ran said smiling raising his hand pointing upward "Only one though, and he is my apprentice for I am a Doctor you see."
"I have an errand for him so I thought 'How about I get that leaves for my cough before he arrive since I don't have anything to do anyway!' a truly genius wasn't I?"
"Ye-yes definitely Sir! Truly genius of you Sir" The men-guard says while clapping their hands. "But Sir, please be careful when going outside of the city. There are rumors from Waisan that Gar-Suris were spotted climbing the Sunray Mountains. Maybe they are up again with their cultural games here in Sun-kingdoms. Moonbrain haha they have already made a mistake the moment they step their foot here. But still, we must be careful Sir."
"Will do, thank you for that warning" he continues to walk and finally Eau'Ran is now inside the trading city of Erinyth.
"Dirty waters! They've already found out?" He said to himself as he walk away "Good thing they forgot to ask where my leaves are. Shallow people"
"Wait up Sir!" a shout from behind. Eau'Ran was tempted to run but it will be too obvious. That is why he stops and turns around while trying to construct new excuses.
"You forgot your leaves Sir" the guard handed the leaves.
"Where- I mean thank you" He said with a confused smile. 'Where did he get that?' he said to himself as he tries to scan the area until he sees a man waving at him with an almost the same clothes but his face was covered by the shadow of his hat. 'So they send another spy?' he shrugged and start his mission.
It is the 67th ray and 4991st eclipse. My little sister and I were visiting the trading city of Erinyth near the slopes of Sunray Mountains, still in the territory of my country, Nyrios. We were trying to find the shop named 'Rusty Crafts' near the eastern gate in the first wall of the neighboring city.
This place is full of murmurs and different kind of noise. Some are shouting for recruitment to be men-soldiers, some are just selling things and so on. As our gig move forward, we stopped at the bakery at the corner of an alley way and our coachman says that it is too small for the gig to continue.
So, we walk through the narrow alley with our four men-guards at the back. Finally, as we reached the shop, our tiny army was greeted by the owner of this rusty something shop.
"Welcome men and beloved Liharak to the greatest weapon store you will ever visit!" says the deep voiced old man. He wears ragged pants with a suspender while his upper body doesn't have anything. He is sitting at a stool and holding a smoker pipe.
"Oh really father? Still thinking that your shop has the finest weapon eh?" I said with a smile as I removed my helm to reveal my face.
"Jaxiel? Is- Is that you?" he says with a teary eye while making an effort to walk.
"Yes, it's me" I said. "It's been many eclipse since-"I never had the chance to finish my sentence as the old man hug me tight. The owner was trying to say something but it was too gibberish to understand because of his crying.
"Stop crying old man, will ya? It's not that I died or anything."
"But- But you never visit me here even you always go here in the city every 40th ray."
"How did you know that?"
"Well, I have spies" getting up and weeping his eyes.
"Spies? In the holy land? You'll get killed!" I said as put my hands at his shoulders with a worried face.
"Oh no, no, no. I knew that of course." He laughs and taps my head. "Only here in Erinyth, and maybe Keolux? But the thing is I always have information of you." He said with a smile, not just a simple but a very wide smile.
"So you see" he continues and walks backwards with a spread hands in the air. "Even I don't have the power to keep you because of your awful laws. At least from afar, I can protect you."
"I'm sorry father. Our mother is seriously obeying the laws of the sun. It's hard to escape with men-guards always eyeing every move we make."
"But, they're men-guards right?" pointing at the four men-guards we have bring.
"Yes! But they're different. They are the most trusted men-guards we have" I explain.
"A Liharak? Trusting men? That's new. And who's that little lass with scarlet hair?" Now she points at the small lady, confused at why I came with another liharak.
"Uhhmm well, she's your daughter, Jaika" I said nonchalantly.
"What? Really? I never knew!" He said with a gaped mouth and bulging eyes. The old man was shocked that the smoke almost chokes him.
"And here you say you have spies" I said with smile while he's still coughing.
"Yes *cough* I have but I thought she's from a different *cough* man. You know, you have my golden hair and *cough* the lass inherited your mother's scarlet hair so how would I know that?" still coughing.
Jaika removed her helm and let her sunset-like hair fall. My father, our father stares at her blankly yet I can feel the sadness and happiness in his heart. A moment later, he cried like a child as he hugs her and we need to calm him before we got to go inside his shop. We ate but mostly he showed us some of his 'finest' weapon and other gears.
"This gauntlet lets you heat your blade faster than usual "holding the gauntlet with long wires as long as his whole arm but as thick as his fingers. "But for now, it's just a prototype so it consumes more energy and there are tendencies for this thing to malfunction. Like sometimes it stops heating the blade and sometimes…" He hesitate "It explodes."
"It explodes?!" I said shockingly. I fall off my chair before I even get to sit at it.
"Well yes, it's a prototype what do you expect? hahaha" the old man laughs like no tomorrow.
"And here you say you have the finest weapons" getting back at my chair.
"May I ask something father?" Jaika cuts in.
"Yes my sunshine?" he turn at her with an excited smile.
"I was wondering if you have the new weapon that been rumored used by far countries? They called it like shooting wand or something."
"Oh you mean the Boomstick? Yes of course!" he said boastfully "I even have that kind of weapon but it's still a prototype. I can't make a fully functional one since I don't have the sample of that kind of rumored weapon, only rumors."
"It's a strong weapon you see." He continued "with a single pull of that button like thing, it explode too but a different kind of explosion" acting on what he's saying "It's more like it shoots pebbles like how bows shoots arrows but it's so much faster than arrow where you cannot even see the pebble, that's what they say but still a rumor so maybe it's not real." shrugging. "Or maybe they're just trying to intimidate Nyrios and their territories and if it's not real so I am the first one to have that kind of powerful weapon. Maybe I can conquer Nyrios for you two. " rising up his fist into the air like holding a sword.
"Intimidate Nyrios?" Jaika said "I think they are the one who's scared, father. The Final Setting of the Sun is near, only 9 eclipses left. Goddess Ny will come and saves us all from this nasty world called Derven." acting like a preacher with wave of hands.
"Well you see my sunshine. I'm not part of your religion and plus I'm a man so I think I like the religion from Umon better where people gets to be immortal." still with the silly smile like it doesn't matter.
"That's enough Jaika." I said while cutting her sentence "We must go now and go back to Nyrios before the sunset. We already got what we need and what we must do and that is to visit this old man while our mother is busy getting ready for the ceremony tomorrow." I said as I instruct my men-guards to start packing our things.
"I guess you're right, sorry. Tomorrow is the passing of the torch. And father, I'm sorry for not visiting you and not coming with Jaxiel when she visits you." Teary eyed Jaika hugs the owner of the shop.
"uhhgraahh isz oohgg khhaii"
"Oh stop crying will ya old man. We can't understand what you were saying" I said out loud because I'm annoyed.
"Jaika is sweeter than you walking snow, coldhearted Jaa-jaa"
One men-guard almost burst into laughter but Jaxiel stare at him with vicious eyes. The man-guard quickly covered his mouth.
"Don't you dare to laugh at me Orben, or I'll give you to the Flaremasters and let them burn you at never ending flame." pointing her hands into one of the man-guard name Orben. A little bit of lanky for a 36 eclipse man-guard. After that, she turns to her father. "And you old man, stop with the nicknames or I'll tell mother that you've tried to talk to us"
"But you are the one who-"he was confused.
"I'll tell her!!" I shout more loudly.
"Okay! Okay! I'm just joking you know. It's my way of saying I miss you two. Well I miss you only 'coz I don't know that Jaika is my daughter. hahaha" scratching the back of his head.
"We're going now father. Just wait another 40 rays before we visit you again here." I said like I didn't come from being angry.
"Yes, yes I will Jaa-J—err I mean my sunshine." He grinned.
I gave him a one last hug before leaving this rusty shop and so is Jaika. The four men-guards are already outside with our packs when the old man stops us and then says something.
"You know my sunshines" He said in a whispering voice. "There is another rumor that has been passing on lately two rays ago. That the Gar-Suris or the people of Suris, the barbaric country after the Capus Kios' Forest also known as Piercing mane in the north is said to be camping somewhere in the Sunray Mountains. A Watcher of the moon from Waisan just reported it to the Flarestress here in Erinyth."
"Why are they're here?" Jaika asked.
"They are here to kidnap women. They are known for bridenapping but it's the first time if I remember that they set their dirty foot here in Erinyth or Waisan." I answer.
"No, it's not the first time" My father's reply "In the 1456th eclipse, I forgot on what ray it is but they did that thing in here and Keolux. Waisan is not established yet. They even tried it at Nyrios hoping to bridenap the Ny's embodiment herself."
"Did they succeed?" I said asking, wearing a curious face.
"Of course, they didn't haha because they did it in broad daylight, with a sun overlooking the great bridge." He laughs for a short while then serious again.
"How about you two and your men-guards stay here for this night. Just this ray. Please? I'm too worried for you, especially Jaika my brighter sunshine than you. This Gar-Suris might attack anytime soon. I don't want you to get involve, lest she'd be taken away from me." trying to convince us.
"We cannot stay here for too long father." I answer. "The preparation for ceremony will end anytime this ray. Mother's only task is to make sure the stage where the ceremony will be held is under protection by the Sun-Guardians and by tomorrow early I, as a member of the Lunar-Destroyers will be needed just in case of dire situation." I said as I hold his wrinkled hand for the last time and turn around to leave.
"Don't tell me I didn't warn you two. It's up to you now for the only thing I concern is the safety of you." He said like a child pleading for someone not to go.
We are almost at the door when a hand stops me. He gave me the gauntlet from before, the proto-thing "Take this, you can use it for a while when you two are running away, just in case they attack Erinyth."
"Thank you father, I hope it will not explode on my hands." wearing the thing and connecting it on my battery at my back.
"And Jaika, This is for you, a shield that can withstand an explosion just in case your sister's hand goes BOOM!! At least you're safe" giving Jaika a round shield with the logo of Nyrios, a woman with a torch aloof in her right hand with a sun as a background "I know you're thinking ' Why it looks like an ordinary shield that the men-guard always carries?' but the this is"
Here he goes again, trying to advertise his invention.
"The metal used on that one is special. It's the same metal used on Heatblades you guys using so it's expensive and strong of course."
"Thank you father. We need to go now" Jaika replied with another hug. Hesitant, but she still manages to walk through the door.
"And Jaxiel" The owner said, stopping me again "Please take care of your sister, always, and take care of your mom and yourself of course" He wave his hand goodbye with a bright smile.
"Yes, I will. I promise." I said as I go outside and join my men-guards and Jaika.
After a while, we pass through the southern gates of the city yet it is still full of tents outside with merchants from near and far countries. The road is still passable enough that we use our gig going home. I can almost see the gate of the long bridge.
A horn sounded at my back. Suddenly, people are screaming. Tents are burning. Merchants and buyers running to the gates of Erinyth hoping to go inside and be save by the men-guards which going outside so it causes a road block and stamped. Too many people are running everywhere but I manage to grab a man who's running like mad.
"What is happening?" I asked.
"The rumors are true! They're here, taking women and such! You must run milady and please, let me run to my wife too. I need to get her. She doesn't have feet to walk to." trying to get out from my grip.
I let him go and the man run as quick as soher. The screams are getting nearer and nearer to our position and so is the galloping. Moments later, a group of men riding sohers with spears and bows in their backs are running towards us.
I hold the hilt of my heatblade. A big sword almost haft of my height and same as my leg's width. The metal was wired to the hilt where the battery heats it via gauntlets. The blade can be heated to certain temperature but does not make the blade soft like other metals did. The metal is called Fierium, from Fieron.
This country provides knowledge in weaponry and armory. Fieron is a neutral country where every kingdom in Kairmea can trade knowledge and new discoveries. That makes Fieron immune on invasions.
"Charge your blades men-guards!! They are coming!!" I shouted as I use the gauntlets to heat my blade.
In a blink of an eye my blade is hot. I can feel it in my scabbard, so I quickly unsheathed it. My men-guards are still charging their blades. This gauntlet is blazing!
"Jaika!! Run towards Nyrios if you can or hide somewhere else, much better." I shouted as I run towards the Gar-Suris that are coming.
"I can fight!! I have a plan!" She shouted "I already gradu-"
"No please, I know you can but your safety is my priority. I already told our father that I will protect you no matter what." I stop running and commanded her, more like a request.
"O-okay… if you say so. I'll just hide there in that tent, okay?" She put back her heatblade and gave me her shield.
I tapped her helm and take the shield, 'Hope this helps' I said to myself. As I turn, I was greeted by a spear to my shield. I was knocked back by the force of soher, not by the person riding on it of course. I quickly stood up just to check Jaika but I can't find her anymore. I hope she's in that tent.
The market place turns into a battle field, well not really because oddly, the Gar-Suris are just taking women and not killing anyone. In the midst of chaos I saw my sister being carried by one of the Gar-suris.
"Orben! Yukan! Did you bring any soher?!" I shouted, my body's vibrating in anger and fear.
"Yes my sunstress but it's the old soher we've bring, only for short travel and pulling the gig." says by the gray-haired 74 eclipse man-guard Yukan, with bowed head.
"For Sun's sake!! Moonbrain!! Ugghhh, Make haste! Let's chase that guy carrying my sister." pointing at the guys who galloping away fast.
"Sunstress Jaika?" Avertin ask, one of the men-guards. Almost the same eclipse with Orben. 35 eclipse with a jet black hair. His uniform is unfit cause of his constant munching.
"Of course!! Lunarpest!! Go! Go!" I shouted angrily.
My men-guards and I run to the east, circling the city where the Gar-Suris are regrouping. The darkness at last is entering the field from the east. I have no time, so I speed up and try to catch a glimpse of my sister. I saw her with the man before. Her hands are tied and being carried away. The Gar-Suris troops are moving with their soher and women they had been abduct. Their mission was planned carefully because the eastern gate is locked while the southern gate was blocked by the people from the outside so the men-guards cannot respond immediately.
I was a fool for not taking the warning seriously. The only thing that I can do is to kneel on the grassless ground while watching the bands of barbarians take away my little sunshine, my little sister.
"I'm sorry father. I'm sorry mother. I'm sorry Jaika, I cannot protect you."
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