Author: Melissa Norvell PM
Perhaps we'll someday wake from the dream, for if we sleep too long, death will befall us.Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Angst - Chapters: 13 - Words: 58,905 - Reviews: 223 - Favs: 15 - Follows: 5 - Updated: 03-19-13 - Published: 08-07-08 - id: 2555886
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
A/N: This took longer than usual. I wanted to build up a series of chapters so that I would have some cushion to fall back on with this story. Now that I have done that, VIRUS will be updated regularly again. I hope everyone enjoys the new chapters. Reviews will be returned from this point on.
Chapter 12: Quetzakotyl
By: Melissa Norvell/Revamp
"I should be asking you that, considering the fact that I was minding my own business before you came at me out of nowhere." The mysterious voice spoke to the two girls, revealing the fact that it was a male who had a normal voice, robust and young but holding the depth and wisdom of someone who has learned a great deal of life experiences.
Rosario ran up to the stranger, but stopped a couple of steps behind her friend. "I'm really sorry, my friend just…" She trailed off as her green eyes slowly fell upon the sight of the man before her.
She wasn't really sure if she could call him a man at all.
Everything about him was white, with minimal black accents. He had a large, round head with a needle-like beak and large, perfectly round eyes on either side of his head. It reminded her of one of those bobble birds that sat on the side of glasses and dipped their beaks into the water with a tipoff the finger. He wore a white top hat that was cocked sideways on his head in a way that defied gravity. Two feathers stuck from the black band on it. A large plume of luxurious, white feathers stuck out around his neck. The figure was also adorned in a Victorian, double-breasted coat with two rows of buttons in the front and white frills that cascaded out of the cuff links, nearly covering his feathery hands and from beneath the front. Two black belts were snug around his waist, one was tight and the other hung to one side. His pants were poofy and knee-length with ruffled, gathered ends, white socks were tight from his knees down and his black shoes were curled at the ends and pointed like elves' shoes. Straps of black leather stuck up in u shapes from the middle of his shoes and wrapped around his ankles loosely. The only gold part of his costume, besides the buttons on his jacket were two tassels that hung from the pointed ends of his long, flowing coat tails. A beautiful, bushy bird tail flowed out from between them.
However, the strange part about him was that he had mechanical wings composed of a metal rod shaped in a curved circle with blades cut into the shapes of feathers and painted white protruding from them. He was indeed the oddest character she had met in Versailles so far.
So much so, that all she could do was stare in awe at him.
"It's rude to stare." His voice brought her out of her stupor.
"Who are you?" Pippin asked. She had never seen him before. He was probably the only non-human character in their entire world, and she had been there since birth.
"I should be asking you that, considering you ran into me." He replied, a little peeved that these two girls just stood there with expressions of awe. Anyone that stared at him in such a manner was merely closed-minded and judgmental. Considering whom he was, they had no right to stare at him with such eyes.
"My name is Rosario and my friend here is Pippin. We're on a quest to look for a sword that we were told was in Majestica." Rosario informed the strange man on their reason for being in the town. Who knew? Maybe he could possibly assist them in their journey on obtaining the weapon…even more interesting; maybe he knew something about the sword. Even if that chance was slim, she could be hopeful that they had haphazardly run into the right person. Fate did have a strange way of leading certain people together.
"We're just gathering information." Pippin gave the white man a happy smile.
"You may call me Quetzakoyl." The bird-man said with a formal bow. "May I inquire as to what magical item you seek?" Of course it was a sword, but what kind of blade was it. There were many magical weapons in Versailles and Majestica. The weapon they told him about could be any number of those which preexisted in the land, waiting to be discovered.
"It's a sword called the Rose Sword." Pippin informed him on the name of the weapon as the rest of her group came running up to the two girls. Their footsteps could be heard as they got closer and finally stopped behind Rosario.
"What are you doing? We told you to keep an eye on the execution grounds." While Seishira didn't sound mad, Pippin and Rosario flinched. They knew that she was right about abandoning their post.
"Are you trying to kill us?" Kumoigi rested her hands on her hips. Her expression was marred with anger. It was a serious offense to leave your team mates unguarded while you go off and converse with some strange, bird thing. The people of Majestica could have figured them out and killed them on the spot. Rosario and Pippin never would have known about it, either.
Pippin turned to her disgruntled team mates, who looked down on her with disapproving gazes. "We were. I just saw someone watching us and I wanted to talk to them." They couldn't blame her for checking out something that seemed suspicious.
"We only went off because it looked like you were done. We probably should have asked." Rosario looked down and frowned. Even if Pippin was right, one of them should have stayed behind to check on the others.
"It was in good intentions. We thought his guy might know something about the Rose Sword. His name is Quetzakoyl." Pippin introduced them to their new acquaintance.
The mage looked at him as realization etched itself on her visage. The two of them locked eyes as silent words were exchanged between them. Everyone stared at the two, who seemed as though they either knew each other or knew about each other. They were silent for a moment until Pazusu spoke.
"Do you two know each other?"
"It's you." Seishira said in a pitch above a whisper.
"It's been a while." Quetzakotyl's voice was friendly in tone. It inadvertently answered Pazusu's question.
"I thought you were in exile." It was rare to even see him in general, much less see him in a place like Majestica.
"I float around from place to place. I have the ability to be in several places at once." Her acquaintance explained himself. It had always been a talent of his, and one that he used to his advantage.
"Wait a minute…Who the hell is this guy?" Kumoigi asked as she crossed her arms over her bust and gazed at the mage. Undoubtedly, she knew more than she was saying.
"This is the strongest sage in Versailles." Seishira finally told them why she was so shocked.
Rosario could hardly believe it. "What?"
"You mean the one that was in exile?" Pazusu asked.
Sin glanced to the two magic users. "You said he knows about the Rose Sword, right?" This was the chance he was looking for. If anyone knew about the Rose Blade, then this guy would. He was an important key to their journey, and to his new role in the rebellion against those who served under Ambaralla.
"Those Rose Sword?" The sage questioned. He had a feeling that's what they sought. "It's a magical artifact, and the best one that you can obtain in all of Versailles. Why do you question to get that?" Before he told them anything regarding the weapon, Quetzakoyl wanted to know their reason for seeking it out.
"We need to get to Oscillo with it." Bunmei gave him the short explanation. That was all he really needed to know, anyway.
"That's all you want it for?" Quetzakoyl cocked his head. It was a simple enough goal. "You're not going to get anywhere like you are now. I take it that you were all digging in that execution ground because you thought it was there?"
"You saw us?" Bunmei cast the sage a skeptical glare. So, Pippin and Rosario were right when they said he had been watching them. His only quandary was why? Was he merely just bewildered on what they were doing, or did he have ulterior motives?
"Hiding in plain sight is my specialty." Quetzakotyl seemed happy about the fact that it took them so long to notice him. He was, in fact, there from the point that they arrived until now. His all-knowing eyes watched as they dug hole after hole, only to find Earth Stones and other relics buried over time.
"I heard that you know where the sword is." Pippin looked to him, even before this moment, Seishira noted that he knew everything there was to know about the weapon.
"Could you tell us where it is?" Kumoigi asked, expecting to get some sort of answer. Since it wasn't where everyone had rumored it to be, then it had to be elsewhere. Maybe it wasn't even in Majestica. Maybe they had been entirely wrong about its location.
Quetzakoyl could laugh at such a request. Did they truly think of him as a common informant? "Do you honestly think I give away free information?" They had some nerve indeed.
Bunmei was unamused. 'This guy is an asshole.'
"How are we supposed to get to Oscillo if we can't find the Rose Sword?" Kumoigi threw her hands out in an unspoken plea with the sage. Perhaps he would reconsider if he knew about their situation. She was desperate for something that would help her carry out Sin's rebellion.
"That's not my problem."
She thought for a moment, and then pointed at the sage. "I challenge you to a fight. If I win, then you spill the information about the sword." If reasoning with him wouldn't work, then she would beat him in a battle and gain the information herself. Either way, she wasn't going to just let the sage go without doing everything in her power to make sure that the only link with the information they had so desperately been seeking was not going to slip through her grasp.
Quetzakotyl closed his eyes, the shut lids making shapes like bolded half circles and stuck his pointed beak into the air. "If I win, then you leave my sights and do not question my further." Honestly, what did she expect to gain from this? Kumoigi had been informed that he was the most powerful sage in Versailles. It was a fight with a known outcome.
"You're on!" Kumoigi jumped back into a battle stance, ready to come at the sage with everything she had.
"I would be a much better choice." Bunmei closed his eyes. If they were going to battle the most powerful sage in the entire land, then why was she challenging him? She was just a ninja, and not even a famous one. If they were going to size things up fairly, then they should have used someone who at least stood a chance.
He sighed to himself and drug a hand down his face.
They were making a mistake.
"What is she thinking fighting the sage? I know he looks like a derp but-" Pazusu started but was interrupted.
"A derp?" Rosario questioned.
"Yeah…he's a special snowflake."
"Don't let his looks deceive you; he can lay waste to anyone easily. He could beat me without making a move." Seishira noted Kumoigi's brazen stupidity on challenging Quetzakotyl. Even she knew not to engage in a fight with the sage. It was like asking for a beat down.
Quetzakotyl pulled out a strange looking weapon from his back. It appeared to be a sword, but the blade was bent into the bottom half of a square, then bent up, was straight and the tip was bent down sharply. Of the side of the first bend, there was a circle and what looked like five spokes from the top of an iron-cast fence. Such a weapon didn't look functional at all. It was more like some sort of twisted form of modern art.
"Look at that sword! It's so strange." Rosario was in deep thought at such a weapon. She had never seen anything like it. It almost seemed other worldly.
"I've heard about that weapon before. It's called Abraxas. I didn't even know that it really existed until now." Pippin was in awe at the legendary sword. It was a weapon of myth. It was said in folklore that anyone who had laid eyes on it had not lived to tell the tale. She considered herself one of the lucky unheard of people who got a rare glimpse. However, she feared for Kumoigi's safety, especially if Quetzakotyl was using it in battle.
"What is it used for?" Rosario was a little worried. Everyone's reaction to seeing it said something about the weapon. They were all so enamored with it, or seemed like they were frightened by its very appearance.
"It can do lots of things-" Pippin started but was cut off.
"You really don't know why it's shaped like that?" Bunmei turned to the two girls.
Rosario chose her words wisely. When he asked it with that tone of voice, she knew that she could only expect grim results. "No, can you tell me?"
The assassin's face darkened. "It's for decapitating people."
"What?" The two asked simultaneously in shock.
Pippin knew that it was used for battle purposes, but she never thought about what Bunmei suggested. It made sense when she looked at it. With the shape of the end of the blade, Quetzakotyl could place someone's neck on top of it and pull upwards, or below it and press down. Either way would chop off his opponent's head.
Abraxas was even more frightening in that aspect. The small sorceress wondered how many people had been decapitated by the sage over the years he had possessed it.
"Are you sure you want to do this?" Sin asked, willing her to reconsider. After the information that Bunmei handed out about the use of Abraxas' oddly shaped blade, he worried for her safety as well. This was no sparring session; it was a fight against a master sage. "If you lose, our search starts from square one and we lose all of our leads."
"I'd rather take that chance than let all hopes of knowing walk away." Kumoigi's voice was full of passion as she struck a pose, her fist extended towards her opponent. She knew that she was in the presence of a legend. The only thing she could do was to give him her best effort. It was better than nothing.
Even if she lost, maybe he would see her potential and give her a hint at the Rose Sword's location. It was wishful thinking.
'Don't screw this up, Kumoigi. I'm betting my life on the outcome of this fight.' Bunmei could do nothing but watch at this point and hope against the odds that Kumoigi would scrape by with beating the sage.
"Are you ready?" Quetzakotyl inquired, establishing his own fighting stance.
"Let's do this!" The ninja shouted and charged like a bat out of hell at the white-clad bird. Her feet pounded against the ground below her as she drew back her fist to deliver a powerful punch, throwing her fist forward she swung for a blow that would never land itself. Her stomach burned. The searching pain caused her to call out in pain as she was blasted back with a ball of powerful, white light. It sent her body head over heels across the ground.
Rolling from the force of the blast, she recovered and rolled to her feet. Kumoigi launched herself into the air and turned her body, trying to land a spin kick on him, only to have her foot come down and clash against Abraxas' steel blade. Kumoigi flipped backwards and landed behind him, trying to kick him in the back, but her foot clashes with the weapon once more. Quetzakotyl hadn't moved, he merely placed the weapon behind his back.
"Damn it!" She cursed before being violently flung back by another blast of energy. Kumoigi flew backwards.
Suddenly, a hand reached from the ground and grabbed the sage's ankle, pulling him completely under. Quetzakotyl found himself up to his neck in hard earth. "A hidden technique? Not bad, I didn't see that coming." He commended her on catching him off guard.
Kumoigi appeared before him in a plume of white smoke. "For a sage, you don't exactly move fast or win well. I'm disappointed." The girl was cocky in her posture and tone of voice as she stared down the helpless bird.
"There is a method to my madness." Quetzakotyl noted simply as he appeared on the other side of the hole, hooking her around the neck with Abraxas with such sudden force that she had no time to react. Kumoigi immediately froze in position, not wanting to be decapitated as she felt the prick of the sharpened edge caress her. The bird's large, round eye glinted with mischievous nature. "Even if I don't love like I used to, there is no need to doubt my magic prowess."
"Are you saying that you let me win?" Kumoigi could tell that he wasn't playing around. Adrenaline raced through her body from the fight and fear that consumed her.
Her body shot up into the air, going higher and higher as if she were being powered by an unknown fuel. Then, suddenly, she spiraled into a free fall and was consumed in white light. Her form looked like a comet descending to the ground, as she let out a scream of terror. Kumoigi made impact with the ground and a blinding light bathed everything in a brilliant white, followed by a thunderous boom.
As the light faded, the ninja lay in a crater on her stomach with a burn mark on her back that ate away the netting of her ninja suit and scotched the skin on her back. Blood bubbled to the surface as she lay there in pain.
Quetzakotyl walked up to her, looking down on her battered body. "I believe that I've made my point."
"But why?" Rosario's saddened gaze trialed to her fallen comrade. Kumoigi wasn't moving. She wondered if she was alright or even if she was alive. Those wounds looked pretty bad and she fell from three stories up.
"I want to know that you have potential. I'm not going to give the information away to those who are naive and make rash decisions." Quetzakotyl rested his weight on the hilt of his sword, crossing one foot over the other. Everything he said had a snooty, pompous dialect to it, as if he were aristocracy, spitting down on the poor.
"That was a short session." Just as Bunmei thought it would be. Kumoigi was no match for the sage.
"He's always been like that. Quetzakotyl can learn all things about you from a few moves. He'll let you get a move in and if you brag, he'll show you what he can really do to get his point across." Seishira knew him better than anyone. If there was something to be said about Quetzakotyl, it was that he was very eccentric and he hated people who bragged in battles with a staunch disdain that made him come off as a prick.
"Ugh…" Kumoigi groaned, slowly pulling herself up from the crater. Her body resonated with pain, and trembled as the last bit of her adrenaline faded into weakness. "Damn…that hurt…"
"That's why I refrained from fighting with him." Seishira looked at Kumoigi. She knew that if they wanted to obtain the Rose Sword, fighting was far from the answer on getting anything out of him.
Kumoigi held her stomach and slowly turned to the white-haired mage. "Does this mean that we don't get any information about the sword?" Man, she really screwed up now. Pain struck her in a wave, and she closed one eye, tensing up in order to will it back.
Seishira walked up to Quetzakotyl, who turned his head to look at the younger being. "Master Sage Quetzakotyl, we've come a long way to get here. Surely, you can find us worthy of receiving your information. I beg of you, please tell us what you know. We'll do anything you wish in return." She didn't want to resort to this tactic, but she knew that the sage saw them as incompetent and unworthy from Kumoigi's actions. It was imperative that they have some hint of where the weapon was.
Quetzakotyl closed his eyes and pointed his beak down. "I will give away what I think you should know. It's common knowledge, anyway."
Nearby, Haori knelt down inside of the dense underbrush of the forest. Her keen ears picked up the conversation between the sage and the group of travelers. 'This is going to be interesting. Maybe we can even find the Rose Sword before them and use it to care for our dying people.' It was an unexpected opportunity. Who knew that they would run into the sage? This made her mission all the better.
"If you're looking for the rose Sword, you won't find it in Majestica." Those words made the hearts of everyone in the group fall to the ground. It was the one thing they didn't want to hear. It made their journey futile.
"What?" Sin couldn't believe that he was lied to, and the myth of the sword being buried in the execution grounds was merely a rumor. What else had he been told that was false?
"Are you sure?" Pazusu didn't want to believe it, either. This sucked.
Quetzakotyl nodded. "In order to have the sword, it must be summoned from within."
"Does everyone have that ability?" Kumoigi inquired. Did this mean that everyone could summon the Rose Sword? Was it more of a summons weapon than one that needed to be quested for?
Had they gotten it all wrong?
"There is only one certain person who can summon it. The blade comes from the soul that was blessed by Iga." That was the one major factor that determined who was able to summon the Rose Blade.
Rosario's eyes widened as she remembered the angel that she met when she first woke up. Iga. He was the first person she met in Versailles. 'That angel I talked to when I first came here.'
"Iga?" Pippin asked.
"That person won't be hard to find. In fact, they are closer than you think." Quetzakoyl told them.
"Can you tell us who it is?" Seishira was curious, although she did have an idea of who it might be.
"Several people in your party have the ability to summon it. This will strictly be trial and error." Quetzakotyl kept his words cryptic. He knew who ultimately served as a sheath for the weapon in question, but he wasn't going to tell them by any means. It meant nothing until that person revealed themself naturally.
Bunmei arched an eyebrow. "So, we didn't have to waste all that time digging around in that place? That pisses me off." All of that wasted time and effort could have gone to something else instead of looking for a weapon that was located inside of one of their bodies.
"But, at least we know now, right?" Pazusu thought that was what counted. They could still be out there, digging up the whole city in search of something they would never find. Now, at least they knew that they didn't have to waste additional time.
Bunmei sighed in exasperation. "I guess…What can you tell me about the Castle in the Sky?" Since the sage was taking questions, he wanted someone else's opinion on it. Quetzakotyl was the oldest figure in Versailles; surely he knew something about it.
"It is known as the place where eternity dwells and the only escape from this world. However, it is heavily guarded by a gate keeper and Queen Ambaralla. Making the slightest move will entice her to use the Virus on you. Once that happens, your soul is doomed to be bound to Oscillo or Versailles forever. It's rumored that even in death, you are truly not free." The sage's words were ominous, as if he had known or experienced them in the cruelest of fashions. If there was ever a place that any of them wanted to end up, it was eternally stuck in the Castle in the Sky or in Oscillo in general.
"What is this Virus, anyway?" Sin had heard of it before, but he never really got a straight answer as to whom or what it really was. The only information that he had gathered on the Virus was that it was a highly dangerous thing and those who had run into it were stuck in Versailles or Oscillo forever.
"No one truly knows what the Virus is, although there are many theories. Some say that it is a person, a personal slave of Ambaralla who has mystical powers and carries out her orders. Others say that it is a power within her, or even within the castle itself. In any case, it's commonly known that it is a power that is feared by many of this land." In fact, there had not been a single person Quetzakotyl crossed who knew of the Virus and did not have an irrational fear of it. Many chose not to even have that word spoken around them.
A woman walked by the group, on her way past the execution grounds. Stopping, she noticed that one of them stood out among the rest. She held a look of skepticism before she realized who exactly it was. She released a small gasp and stepped back with her hand to her mouth. "It's the sage who was supposed to be exiled. He's in town and they're talking about the Virus. I must inform the queen that they are conspiring against her."
Turning, the young woman took off running, in search of a way to communicate with Ambaralla. She needed to tell her queen of all who threatened to smash the dreams of everyone in the land. All who came between the people and their queen would be eradicated.
"Will the Rose Sword kill this 'Virus' or whatever the hell it is?" Bunmei knew the sword was powerful, but if they got to the Castle in the Sky and they happened to meet this Virus, then they needed something that would defeat it.
"If you possess the sword, then it makes you invulnerable to the infection. As far as abolishing it, I'm not entirely sure. The theory has never been proven." No one with the sword has ever gone against the Virus. It would be interesting to see.
"Have you ever seen the sword?" Pazusu knew that it might be a stupid question, considering the knowledge that he's heard about it, but he wanted to ask him anyway. Someone could know everything there is to know about something but never lay eyes on it in their life.
"Actually, I have seen it. I haven't seen it used against the Virus." Quetzakotyl put his question to rest with a single answer.
"I guess we'll have to try." Pippin was interested in seeing who had it and gathering information about the Virus and the Castle in the Sky. She wondered what the fight had in store for all of them.
"So, you know for sure that it will get us to the castle?" Bunmei didn't want to chance all of this on a maybe. If there was the slightest possibility that the Rose Sword could help them, he was going to go after it, but if it proved nothing but a useless weapon then he wasn't going to pursue it even if he was the human sheath for it.
Quetzakotyl nodded. "Without a doubt you'll get there. I can guarantee it."
Now he knew that there was only one thing to do.
The woman ran through the streets, alerting anyone that she ran into that conspirators were in the town, ready to make an assault on the queen. She wanted them to know and take action if they happened to come back into Majestica. Her feet tapped against the cobblestone streets as she approached the monument resurrected in her majesty's honor.
The statue stood tall in the rose gardens as the woman threw herself to her knees. She huffed and panted, trying to catch herself up on breath. "Oh my queen, please advise me in this time of need. The exiled sage has arrived here and I overheard that they are searching for a weapon to break into your majestic abode with. These horrible criminals must be stopped and we of Majestica are at your command. Anything we can do to help protect our eternal provider is appreciated."
Her brown eyes looked up to the monument, as if it would answer her prayers.
Her prayers had indeed reached the queen's ears. Ambaralla turned to her winged gate keeper who stood erect at her side. After gazing into her mirror for a while, she knew the course of action to take.
"It seems as though they have made it, and now they have a means to get here. The people of Majestica have been a big help to us as far as tracking them down goes." Ambaralla spoke, pink eyes glancing to the winged man.
"Of course, what is your plan of action, my queen?" Kagato awaited her orders.
"I want the townspeople to find them and kill them. We can't have them filling anyone's heads with their nonsense, nor can we let them get away with finding a means to come up here. This is my world and I make the rules. No one else should have access to the controls but me." Ambaralla's face, although emotionless, poured out commanding words of strength.
Kagato kneeled before her small form with an arm over his chest and his head bowed in submission. "I would have it no other way. This is a world of dreams, and you have done nothing but make sure that all of their dreams came true. That they live the lives they had always dreamed of. Anything that goes against those ideals will be taken care of. The people's happiness comes first. However, what should I do with Quetzakotyl?" The sage was another entity entirely. There was no way that Kagato could kill him, not on his own.
"Find him and make sure that he finds his way back into exile." Her eyes narrowed. That sage was going to screw up her plans with his knowledge. He already pushed it by telling the harbringers of the existence of the Rose Sword.
"Yes, my queen. I will descend to Majestica at once." With those final words, Kagato existed the castle, flying out of one of the open windows and straight down to Majestica, plunging himself into darkness.
Before him, he created a vortex and transported himself through a kaleidoscope of colors. The vortex shot him out on top of the statue's head, and the woman who had prostrated herself before it looked up at him with hopeful eyes. She could hardly believe what she had seen.
"You are-"She cut herself off. Her voice reflected the awe she felt by witnessing one of the queen's knights descend from the heavens.
"I've come with an important message from the queen." Kagato threw his arm out, gesturing to the woman. "I want you to gather all you can in the town and raise your weapons against those traitors you found. She wants them dead. A reward will be promised for those who help gain the happiness of Majestica's people."
A serious expression crossed her visage. "We can't have another rebellion. We'll get rid of them for her sake."
That group of people made the wrong decision by coming to Majestica. They would pay for their treason.
…To Be Continued
A/N: That took a long time to type but only because I kept getting interrupted. I hope that everyone enjoyed this chapter. Please review and tell me what you thought. Reviews will be returned!