Well, here we go again. Here is the first chapter to the Sequel to Advocate. I highly suggest reading Advocate first if you haven't, seeing as how this story will make absolutely no sense otherwise :) This first chapter takes place exactly where the epilogue left off, so I hope you enjoy! This is gonna be another LONG story, with plenty of surprises along the way.
"Dear Christopher…" she whispered as the quill in her hand scribbled down the same two words. More were quick to follow, the words just flowing onto the parchment. Whenever the ink began to run dry, she would quickly dip it into the small black container sitting next to her and continue her relentless jotting. A few paragraphs later, she was done. The page was full from top to bottom. Not a single speck of that piece of paper had been wasted.
Sarah sat back in her cushioned wooden chair, smiling at her work. She had finally finished it—her letter to Christopher. After months of laborious working and constant traveling, she had been given enough time to write something. It felt like ages ago since she had last written to him, and her previous letter had given him more than one shock. After keeping him in the dark for almost an entire year, she had finally come out and told him everything. She had spoken of the sorcerer's guild and Mr. Nivier. She had told him about Xiphias and the Sepfeer talismans. Most importantly she had told him about Reivin…and Atticus.
A sly smile crossed her face when she thought about that letter. The one she had gotten back from him still made her laugh. He had been angry at her for keeping so much from him. A lot of the letter had spoken about how irritating it was to be kept in the dark like that. He had yelled a lot, but yet he had still included a small "please write back" at the end. Even though it had taken about half a year, she had complied.
With a small sigh, she sat forward again, reading over her writing. There wasn't a single mistake, as it should be. However, after writing so much, she couldn't help but think about some of the topics she had expressed. Sometimes it was hard to believe that all of that had really happened. All the people she met, the places she went, the pain she had suffered—all of that was real. It was amazing and yet terrifying. Alone, she never could have survived such trials and tribulations. However, she hadn't been alone.
Sarah smiled and turned towards the doorway to her room, her sapphire eyes meeting a pair of jade. Those eyes were always able to capture her interest. They gave away everything about the boy they belonged to. There was a smile on his face as he leaned against the wall casually. Even though it had been a year, he hadn't changed. His strawberry-blond hair was still the same length, style, and still just as messy. His clothing was simple, nothing too regal or too flashy. That personality of his hadn't gone through too much of a change either. Even though they were together now, he still enjoyed playing with her mind.
"Good morning," Matt said cheerfully as he walked further into the room.
"Good morning," she replied, turning back to her letter. Soon enough he was right behind her, reading over her shoulder. She didn't mind. It's not like there was anything personal in that letter.
"Writing to Christopher again, I see."
"It's been a long time since my last letter. I just haven't had the time."
"You mean that's the reason?" He pulled away a bit, looking a little confused. "I thought it was because of all the yelling he did the last time. He sure was mad at you…"
"Hey, it's not entirely my fault," she retorted, glancing back with a small glare. "You never bothered to tell him the truth either."
He gave her a guilty smile, but he soon started laughing. She couldn't help but smile at the sound. He laughed a lot more nowadays, and his smiles were always honest. For the last year—despite all the reconstruction—they had been living peacefully. Originally they had been living in Vigil, but after the town was rebuilt, they had moved to Darik and stayed with Gariff. That hadn't lasted too long. Gariff and Matt were too much like a quarrelling father and son. Sarah had thought she'd go insane! So after Darik was rebuilt, they went out to the Argon Valley, and they had been living there ever since.
The two of them could honestly say that they were the only humans who were allowed to live there. When they had made the decision and announced it to Xystus, he had been elated. To their surprise, all of the dragons had. Not a single one had rejected the two humans. In fact, when they actually made the move, a house had already been built for them, and not just any house. It was huge! Of course, it could never compare to the dragon king's, but it was indeed a sight to behold.
"Hey," began Matt, drawing her attention. "Wanna get some fresh air?"
"Sure." She turned back to her letter and quickly rolled it up, binding it with a small ribbon.
"How are you gonna send it?" he asked her curiously. There had been messengers in Vigil and Darik that handled her letters, but there weren't any messengers that could travel to and from the Argon Valley.
"I'm gonna give it to Arli. I already talked it over with her, and she said she'd be happy to deliver it. Besides, she's the only dragon that Christopher would recognize." She tucked the parchment into her cloak pocket and stood up, walking over to Matt. The two of them left the room, walking down one of the many hallways in their house. It was only a one level structure, but it spanned an incredible distance. At least twenty of the normal houses in the valley could fit in it. They had more rooms than they knew what to do with.
When they got outside, they were met by the bright light of the morning sun. It looked like a beautiful day, just like all the others that they spent in the Argon Valley. It was such a peaceful place, the perfect area to live in, surrounded by the kindest people on all of Daiya. The dragons were a warm race, almost as if they were all part of the same family. There was no hostility, no suffering, no hatred—it was astounding. So many people feared the dragons, and yet there was nothing to really be afraid of. Sure, there were a few other villages and some of the dragons in those were slightly hostile, but the majority simply wanted to be left alone, to live peacefully. How could anyone try to deny them that?
They stopped and turned toward the voice. They smiled when they saw Arli running excitedly across the field. She was waving to them, a grin from ear to ear on her face. It was the same everyday. She'd greet them as if she hadn't seen them in ages.
"Good morning Arli," said Matt.
"Good morning," she told them both as she stopped in front of them, panting just a bit from running so fast. "Isn't it a beautiful day?"
"Just like yesterday."
"Arli," began Sarah as she reached into her cloak pocket. She took out her letter and handed it to the dragon. "Could you deliver this to Christopher for me?"
"Of course," the dragon said, her eyes lighting up. "I'd be happy to." Instantly she began running again, heading in the opposite direction. "Tell daddy that I'll be back in a few days, okay?" With that said, her body began glowing. She grew larger, her limbs all changing shape. Soon enough, she was able to spread her wings and take to the skies, her transformation finishing when she was just a few feet off the ground. She flapped her massive wings and flew higher, quickly disappearing into the distance.
Matt and Sarah found that no matter how many times they saw a dragon do that, it would always be fascinating. Just by looking at them, it was hard to believe that they were actually supposed to be massive beasts. They all looked so human. Having two forms had to be incredibly useful. There would be no place for a herd of dragons to live if they were in their dragon forms all the time. Looking human was very convenient for them.
"Hey, Sarah?" questioned Matt, sounding just a bit irritated.
"Exactly why did you sign that letter using my last name? We're not married yet."
"We're engaged," she stated. "It's close enough. It'll happen someday, so I decided to just start using it now." She seemed so happy with herself. Matt couldn't blame her for that. It was nice seeing that she was happy with him, but there was one problem…
"But when Christopher reads that…he's going to think we got married…"
"I fail to see the problem with that."
"…and that we didn't invite him to the wedding."
Sarah didn't say anything to that. She was too busy watching her happy world crumble beneath her. She looked almost thoughtful for just a moment, but it quickly fell as she sighed in defeat. Suddenly, she found herself dreading his return letter.
"Looks like I'll be getting yet another angry letter…"
Matt couldn't help but laugh a little at that. Just after she had patched everything up with the young mayor, she would once again fall out of his favor. Hopefully Arli would straighten everything out, assuming she would wait for him to write back before returning.
"Matt!" called out a familiar voice, halting his laughter. A smug smile broke out on his face. He turned around, watching as one of the dragons came towards him. He had long blond hair, bound by a low ponytail, and dark blue eyes. There was a grin on his face as he walked over, his hands tucked casually into the pockets of his white robe.
"Lith, welcome back," Matt greeted. "How'd it go?"
"Just fine. Nothing out of the ordinary." He gave a small, depressed sounding sigh. "Man, gathering information has really gotten boring! There aren't any strange occurrences to report or anything. Everything's just normal."
"As it should be," stated Sarah. "We don't need any more disturbances. We had enough last year."
"I know," Lith retorted, feeling a need to defend his claim. "I'm not saying it's bad or anything. It's just boring. It's almost gotten to the point where I wish something exciting would happen, like a demon attack, or a storm, or maybe even a…"
He paused, a look of confusion crossing his face. He glanced down at the grassy ground beneath him, shifting his weight a little as he did so. It looked like he was testing something, trying to come to some sort of conclusion.
"What's wrong?" asked Matt.
"Did you feel that?"
"…Never mind. It was probably nothing." He laughed a little, looking slightly embarrassed. "For a moment there, I thought the ground was shaking, but it must have been my imagination."
"Wouldn't be the first time…" said Sarah.
"What was that?"
"Nothing." She just gave him a bright smile. He sighed a bit but soon perked right back up.
"Do you two wanna come with while I make my report to Xystus?"
"Sure, why not," said Matt. "It's not like there's anything else to do right now. After all, it's as you said." The three of them began walking towards the dragon king's mansion. "We live in peaceful times."
After an entire year, after two devastating blows, Vigil was finally getting back on its feet. The town of sorcerers had never looked better. In a few months, everything would be back to the way it was. The survivors were few, but they were mighty. All of them were working towards the day that they'd see Vigil thrive again. It had once been the largest city on the planet, but after Reivin and his massacre, they had been reduced to little more than a small tourist town. However, thanks to Atticus, they all believed that Vigil would one day return to its former glory.
Everywhere there were people working. They were hauling, building, and mending. Houses were being built, roads were being paved with cobblestone, and shops were being stocked with fresh goods. It had been a long road, but everything really was looking up again. All of the people were doing their best, smiles on their faces as they conversed quietly while working. It was an amazing sight to see.
"Hey!" called out one of the men as he and a few friends were moving a rather large load of wood. "Where do you want this?" His voice traveled to a place in the middle of the current construction sight, reaching the ears of the overseer.
"Set it down near that house over there!" he called back, pointing in the proper direction. The other man only nodded as he and the others continued hauling their load.
When he was sure that no one else had any current questions, Lloyd allowed himself to take a small break. He sat down on the ground, brushing away a few strands of his long, silver hair. He was exhausted, and the fact that this was a warm day wasn't helping any. He wasn't sure how long he had been standing in that one spot, observing the construction, but it felt like days. Since Atticus had left, he was now in charge of overseeing the rebuilding of Vigil. It was tiresome. They had thought that they'd be done months ago, but there was still so much damage. Soon, though. Soon everything would be finished.
"Good morning," greeted a familiar voice. Lloyd just smiled as he glanced back. Walking towards him was Vigil's only resident demon. None of the people minded his presence. He had been living with them for such a long time that it just didn't matter. Besides, he had played a part in the battle against Reivin. Such a feat was indeed praiseworthy.
"Raetus," Lloyd greeted. He could see a smile on the hybrid's face, his red eyes as bright as ever. His stringy black hair was matted against his forehead, most likely due to the intense heat and the fact that he had been working all day. However, even with all the sun expose, his skin was still a sickly color. Most of the people in Vigil were slowly becoming tanner. That's what happened to those who spent all their time working outside on days like today.
"I see you're still at it. Must be hard having to supervise everything," Raetus said as he came up and stood by Lloyd. The guard only sighed in response.
"Things would have gone faster if master Atticus had allowed us to use wood spells, but…"
"'It's better to rebuild our town with our hands,' or something like that, right?" The hybrid only smiled at the quote. "Besides, you know that wood spells waste about half of what goes into them. Rebuilding one house could take almost thirty trees, depending on the size."
"I know. I'm just a little tired is all." He stood up, stretching a bit while looking around at their work in progress. This town was truly amazing. All this time they had been living so diligently, going about their lives as if nothing was wrong, as if they didn't have a care in the world. None of them had known just how important this place was, now sacred these grounds were. They were all entrusted with a responsibility so large that it would crush a lone person. Below them, under the very dirt they were standing on, lied Xiphias. His powerful, massive body was locked away beneath Vigil. It was mind boggling.
"Astounding, isn't it," said Raetus, drawing Lloyds attention. Just what was he talking about? Had the hybrid read his mind? "All this time we were guarding something so incredibly precious, and not a single one of us was aware of it. Now that they all know, things are going to change. Our burden is going to be heavier." A smile crossed his face as he looked around, watching the people of Vigil as they continued to slave away, to rebuild their broken homes. "…That's what makes Atticus so incredible."
"What do you mean?"
"To be able to carry the soul of the devil…to shoulder such a heavy responsibility…and yet he can still stand, as if there's nothing bogging him down. He doesn't see it as a curse at all. Wouldn't it be great if we could all live like that?"
Lloyd had to smile at that. It was true. The Devil's Advocate really was something. He was powerful in so many ways. No one could have done what he did a year ago. No man alive could have killed Reivin. Of course, he hadn't done it alone.
"Well, time to get back to work," Raetus announced as he turned around and began walking away. "There's still a lot that needs to be done."
He suddenly stopped dead in his tracks, a brief moment of confusion filtering through him. He glanced down at the ground curiously but eventually just shook off the feeling and continued on his way. For a moment there, I thought I felt the ground move, but it must have been my imagination. With that decided, he left Lloyd, heading back to his own duties. They still had a lot of work to do.
The sound of frantic footsteps echoed through the hallways of the castle. They bounced off every wall, carrying all the way to the main chambers. The voice carried even farther, reaching the office of the castle's owner. He slumped in his desk chair when he heard the shouting. Yet again someone needed his attention. He began to wonder what the problem was this time.
"Mr. Allen!" the voice called again, this time sounding like it was right outside his door. Soon enough that very door was thrown open, slamming into the stone walls, startling the mayor a little. He only sighed before sitting back up, giving the frenetic man his attention.
"What is it, Jeoff?" Christopher asked, almost uninterestedly. He had a lot of work to get done, and all these messages were starting to bother him. None of them today had been very significant.
"S-sir…" the man began, his voice and his body trembling. His glasses had fallen halfway down his nose, hanging crookedly. He obviously had no intension of fixing them right now. "Th-there's a dragon!"
"It's approaching the town! What should we do?!"
"What color is it?"
Christopher leaned back in his chair for a moment, a smile crossing his face. Finally he would have something to do. It had been months since he had last had a guest in his castle, let alone such an important guest.
"Jeoff," he began as he stood up.
"Please prepare a guest room."
"Right away…wait, what? Sir, the dragon…"
"Don't worry about it." He walked over to the door, placing a hand on his servant's shoulder. "Just get a room ready, and have the cook start making lunch. I'm sure she'll be hungry after flying such a distance." And with that said, he left the room, hoping that Jeoff would snap out of his trance and do what he had been told. There really wasn't any reason to worry about a dragon attack. Thanks to Matt, he was on friendly terms with the dragons. No one from Xystus's tribe would attack a human city anyway. The contract stated that as long as the dragons were left alone, they wouldn't harm the demons or the humans. So far they had kept their part of the deal. It was the demons that seemed to ignore it.
As he walked down the hallways, he glanced out every window, watching as Arli slowly approached the city. She was a beautiful dragon, sleek and graceful—very different from what most people would think of when they saw such a creature. When she got closer to the city, she began to descend, soon landing just outside of the walls that surrounded Meril. He could see her body start to glow and shrink. After all, she couldn't enter the town as a dragon. It looked like he wouldn't be able to meet her at the entrance, so he decided to just head to his own front door and wait for her.
"Christopher," called out a soft voice from behind him. He stopped and glanced back, smiling at the woman behind him. "Good morning."
"Good morning, Stephany," he greeted. "You're just in time. We have a guest."
"Yep. How about we go greet her?"
With a smile, she walked over to him, and the two of them began descending the long spiral staircase that would lead them to the lower floor. It didn't take them too long to reach the front door of their castle. From there, they could see people walking around, going about their daily lives. There was a single road that extended from the castle to the entrance of the city. They could almost see all the way down it.
As they looked out into the crowd, their smiles grew. Running down the road was none other than Arli. She was dressed all in white and ice blue. Her silver hair caught the sun, making her stand out even more. As she drew closer, they could see that she had a smile on her face, her golden eyes shining with anxiousness. She seemed so happy to be back in Meril. It had been a long time since her last visit.
"Christopher, Stephany!" she called out, waving to the two of them.
"Hello Arli!" called Christopher. It didn't take her too long to reach the front door to the castle. She was panting just a bit from running so far, but she recovered pretty fast. "It's good to see you again."
"Same here," she said brightly.
"How long will you be staying?" asked Stephany.
"A few days, if that's alright."
"How long did it take you to get here?" Christopher questioned curiously. The distance from Meril to the Argon Valley wasn't a great one, but it was a few days on foot.
"Not very. I left only a short while ago. I flew as fast as I could too. I didn't wanna draw too much attention."
"You must be exhausted," Stephany said as she turned and began heading back in. "Why don't you come in? I'm sure we can find you a place to rest and something to eat."
"Thanks." She began walking towards them when she suddenly stumbled. She quickly caught herself and then looked down at the ground accusingly. Christopher just laughed a bit.
"Maybe you're more exhausted than we thought," he told her in good humor. "Aren't dragons supposed to be graceful?"
"It's not that," she told him, still looking at the ground. She shifted her weight a bit, but nothing seemed to be out of the ordinary. With a sigh, she just gave up and began following Christopher and Stephany into the house. I know it wasn't my imagination. The ground definitely moved. I'll have to be careful.
She followed them through the castle, going down hallways and up stairs. She didn't really need them to lead her anywhere. She had been here enough times to know her way around. There were a few things that were different, but for the most part it was just as she remembered. She smiled softly when she thought about some of the fun things she had done in this castle. It held a lot of memories for her. That was just one more reason why she wanted to stay here for a while. There were things to do, places to visit, sights to see…but first she had an errand to finish.
"Christopher," she called out.
She held out her hand, showing him the bound piece of parchment.
"I have a letter from Sarah."
Sarah and Matt stood with Lith as he relayed his report to Xystus. The details were just as boring as he had said. There just wasn't anything going on anywhere on the continent. He hadn't even heard anything about problems on the two other continents. It was as if all of Daiya had gone into a state of piece. Of course, that wasn't a bad thing, but it was only natural to want something exciting to happen…until it actually happened. Hearing about a demon attack would be fun, but experiencing it could be frightening.
Despite how average the report was, Xystus still listened intently, as if this message held some great importance. He treated all of his information like that though, probably out of respect for his messengers and info gatherers. It was obvious that their jobs had gotten pretty boring over the past year, but just in case something was to happen, the dragon king wanted to be aware or it.
"And that's about it," Lith said as he thought through what he had just said. "Everything's just as peaceful as it was the last time." Xystus only smiled at the disappointed tone that clung to the dragon's words.
"Thank you," he said. "Let us hope it stays that way."
"…Sir, can I ask you something?" He seemed a little worried, so Xystus nodded, giving him permission. "Just a little while ago, I thought I felt the ground move. I'm sure I wasn't imagining things, but Matt and Sarah didn't feel anything."
"I see…" Xystus glanced down at the stone floor. He shifted his weight a little. "I felt something a while ago as well, but I didn't pay it any attention. However, if you felt it too…"
"But I didn't feel anything," Matt said, interrupting the two dragons. "Besides, this continent has never been through a quake. Why would there be one now?"
"There is some truth to that statement," the dragon king began, but he obviously had more to say on the matter. "However, it's not wise to ignore something like this. We should approach this at least with some caution."
"Please. Nothing's gonna happen, least of all a quake."
"Those words are like a curse, Atticus."
"I don't believe in curses. Besides, what's the worst that could…" He never got the chance to finish that sentence. He bit off the word, his eyes going wide. Beneath him, he had felt something ripple, and this definitely wasn't his imagination. The look on Xystus's face proved it. Even Sarah had felt it that time. What's going on? He barely got the chance to finish that thought before the quake worsened and the very foundation beneath them—their calm and peaceful life—was shattered.
Well, here's another authors note for you. Yes, Matt and Sarah aren't really married yet, and that's because I decided to write this sequel, and I thought it'd be more fun if they weren't. This way I can write the wedding scene :) But anyway, there was something I wanted to address. Are there any other characters in the story that you'd like to see in a relationship, cause I can do it. I have some ideas, but I'm not sure. (keep in mind that there will be at least one new character, a girl.) I do plan on doing other relationships as well, but are there any that you just really wanna see? I'm not making any promises since it is my story, but I'd like a little input please :)