Glenn's Anguish Part XIV
Frozen Lands, Heated Gossip
By Hyper Angel
The snow had become to come down more thickly in only a short while, the citizens of the many villages around the area rushed about for shelter in confusion. None had been prepared for such a strange turn of the weather, and the local farmers were the most distressed of all.
Around one such of these towns, located barely within the boundaries of the Guardia Kingdom, a group of men stood crowded in a huddle at the town square. They were all simple businessmen, none of them ever really knowing much wealth beyond that needed to survive, even still they crowded around one another with a common topic upon their tongues.
"It's the damnest thing!" One of the group, a grizzled old blacksmith had remarked bitterly. His companions all nodded in agreement, each of them pulling their tired and worn cloaks a little closing in hopes of gaining more warmth.
"Snow at this time of year?! Another sighed, staring up at the clouded heavens with hateful eyes. "Makes no sense!"
"It makes perfect sense." A foreign voice muttered. A heavily cloaked figure, barely visible beneath the many shrouds of the dark green cloth, had only paused for a short moment to add the soft comment. One of the men vaguely recognized the voice and trotted off after the other.
"Hey!" He called ahead. "Hey you!"
The passerby merely turned his head as he walked at first, then reluctantly stopped to adhere.
"You're that kid. The one that was with Cyrus yesterday, right?"
"Kid?" The other echoed with a tinge of annoyance.
"Yeah, in that café down in Porre! Due south of here ain't it?"
"How would I know?" The gurgled voice snapped.
The man shifted his weight, leaning over as if to peer within the shrouds of the other's cloak. The passerby jerked back uneasily to avoid his pursuer's gaze. The old business man raised an eyebrow curiously, then stepped back once more.
"So, where is he?" He finally asked. "Cyrus I mean."
"Hard to say." The cloaked one replied quickly.
"Hard to say? What's that supposed to mean?"
The other shrugged in reply, and the businessman sighed heavily in annoyment.
"Well anyway, what's with the cloak? You sick or something?"
The former companion to the knight hesitated to answer. Then, turning to leave on his way once more he replied. "Yeah, something like that " And he sped off down the lane before another question could be asked. The man shook his head, bewildered as to what the rush was. Rubbing his hands together for warmth, he returned back to the gossip of the gathered group.
The unseasonable snowstorm continued on into the night, the temperature dropping to a deathly cold air as the moon reluctantly took the sun's place. Even it's dim light was blocked out by the dark storm clouds, which now seemed to choke the very heavens with their freezing touch.
Only in one small space did the moonlight managed to break free and touch the earth below. An ancient looking palace, still oddly proud in it's decrepit array.
The gentle moonlight only barely laced the roofs of this strange castle, yet it seemed the very walls seemed to suck the light away into complete darkness. This was obviously no ordinary structure, or no ordinary land. It was Medina, the secluded Island nation of the Mystic race.
Stranger still, within the walls of this dark palace, it was not remorse for the odd turn of weather that filled the halls, nor gossip of the cause of it. Laughter was the only thing to be heard, the joyous celebration of the woe that befuddled the outside world. Fires were lit, illuminating the grand hall of the palace's main building in odd colors. The shadows that usually held reign of the halls were pushed back by this light, and thus gave a feeling on unfamiliarity to the dark capital of the Mystics.
Hordes of goblins, ogres, specters, and a vast array of other creatures were gathered about excitedly in that huge room. Their numbers making it seem much smaller as they were packed in nearly from wall to wall. A dull blur of their conversations filled the air as they milled about casually, killing of the castle's usual grim silence.
Amongst the confusion of the crowd, a small speck of order was finally seen. Which came as the gathering slowly parted to two sides of the huge chamber, silence fell once more, some of the monstrous party even bowing their heads respectively. A small parade of the new zombie soldiers marched by, offering no looks whatsoever on their skeletal faces. Their burning eyes burned brightly within their hollow sockets, making it easy to see that they were slowly scanning the crowd as they walked. Though the gathering of demon-like Mystics still made a point to make mocking gestures to the skeleton soldiers. For they knew, and despised the fact, that this pathetic band of creatures had once been alive and human.
As the zombie soldiers receded from the chambers, some stopping to take guard at the main doors, the two awaited figures finally strode by. A perfect silence fell as they passed by, more than a few of the crowd bowing their monstrous heads respectively.
The Sorceress Flea and the Swordsman Slash, two of the three generals to the Mystic Lord Magus. And being given free reign of the palace in their superior's absence, they had taken full advantage of the authority. Flea grinned wryly as she slowly walked past the hordes of followers, her cape trailing at her feet as she marched on.
"You know, that was quite cruel of you " Slash muttered coolly to the woman as the two walked on. "Conjuring such weather as this, at this time of year. You know what will happen, don't you?"
"Of course!" Flea crowed, flicking her cape back from her shoulders arrogantly. "The human's crops will wither away, and come winter they'll be left to starve! Now won't that be a predicament for them?" She laughed harshly.
"Quite an amusing one." Slash agreed, a thin smile creeping across his dark face. He patted the magician on the back briskly. "Honestly woman, do you ever quit?" His smile broadened as he spoke. Flea hesitated at the comment, obviously debating whether that was a compliment or not. Slash laughed in seeing her confusion. "Well, no matter." He continued on, pulling the massive doors of the main hall open for her. "What's done is done, and the lord won't be back for at least-"
" A few hours?" A cold voice interrupted. And within a split second following that, Magus stood before them. The two froze in his presence nearly instantly. "Oh My Lord " Flea gasped meekly. "I didn't that is I mean It was and I "
"We'll discuss this later." Magus hissed. He pushed passed the stunned woman without another word.
"Nice going kids." Another voice chortled. Ozzie drifted past them lazily, grinning from ear to ear. "Well, you heard him. We'll discuss it later Heh."
"Prick " Flea muttered scornfully. Slash turned back to her uncertainly. "And just what was all that about?"
She shrugged nonchalantly as she walked through the grand doors. "Makes no difference to me." She said. "Though I do wonder what has our dear Magus so vexed."
Slash shook his head and sighed heavily. "Sure you would."
The gathering of Mystics looked to one another in confusion, no longer with any apparent reason to be standing within the main hall.
"Well Now what?" A perplexed young Imp murmured in the silence.
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