Title: Isle of the Lost (1/3)
Author: A Nameless Traveler (ANT-chan)
Rating/Genre: General/Humor/PG (for alcohol usage and foul language)
Summary: An older, more powerful, and only slightly wiser Draca has finally decided to travel to the infamous Isle of the Lost – and to the dark city of the Smuggler's Haven. It is a city built, run, and inhabited by the outlaws of society. Anything from killers to trinkets can be bought in its markets. Draca hopes for adventure and death in its shadowed backstreets, an intrigue he cannot help but explore. What he finds, however, is neither adventure nor death, but an unlikely reunion with the most unexpected man imaginable.
Not So Legal Disclaimer: These characters are mine. This plot is mine. Draca's song, however, is not. The song "Sora" belongs to Yohko Kanno! Also! This series will eventually be yaoi! You've been warned. I don't want any flames from poor, traumatized homophobes. I will, more likely than not, laugh at them.
Time Line: Spring of 2445 A.S. Fifteen years after The Meeting.
Ages: Sin – 445 years; Draca – 90 years; Gwen – 6 years; Kyris – 30 years
Isle of the Lost
"...Meeting for the Second Time is Coincidence..."
He could feel – with acute awareness – the intense spring heat of the southern port town, making his skin tense and uncomfortable. The sea of living Color that filled the market street seared his eyes. The relentless chatter of shoppers and storeowners assaulted his ears like piercing knives. A myriad of smells, some entrancing, some disheartening, invaded his nose. He could practically taste the smoke and oil used in some of the shops.
The Master Assassin, Sin, sneezed. He just wanted to go home, damnit. He'd been away for too long (god, nearly a month!). He wished for nothing more than to See those bustling market streets, so much more familiar to him than these; to hear her delighted laughter once more; to smell the scent of old parchment and leather of his study; to feel the polished wood of the bar counter beneath his hands; to taste the specially made drinks or meals that always were forced upon him.
A slight form of dark orange and green caught his eyes, heading towards him from within the bustling crowd. The boy brushed past him, and Sin barely acknowledged the sly hand making for his coin pouch before his hand had clamped around the little thief's wrist. He gave the young pickpocket a glare of pure ire, and felt the boy quiver and try to jerk himself free. Even as he stood there, an image flashed before his eyes – of another thief. But this one was not so slight, or timid. Cocky, infuriating, murderous…
Black, deep violet, red-orange, and bloody crimson.
There was a sickening crack and a muted cry. Feeling ashamed of himself for the momentary loss of control, Sin released the boy's now broken wrist. He watched him dash off, clutching his arm to his chest. He sighed, bringing a hand up to fiddle with the slightly tarnished silver buckle of his choker.
He still wore the damned thing. As to exactly why, that still deluded him. There was a fear there, he'd admitted that years ago. It was a completely different fear than that which spurred him to create the collar. He felt – irrationally, he always berated himself – that taking it off would be denying the incident had ever happened. To deny would be to eventually forget…
And he would not allow that to happen. He'd forgotten too much in his lifetime already.
"Excuse me, sir…? Yes, you sir." Sin tensed, and turned to the source of the quiet voice that carried on the wind. Between two nondescript stands sat an old woman, clothed in swirling silk. On the table before her sat a number of items: a deck of cards, a small crystal sphere, a mythril crystal dangling from a wire, and a small pile of stones with etched runes. All of these items were lit up before his eyes in luminescent shades of magic.
'A fortuneteller,' he deduced immediately. Such things were not uncommon in Viranus, due to the influx of dormant magic that seemed to cover everything. Psychics and fortunetellers could be found in almost any town, selling divinations to anyone who passed. This did not mean he put much faith in them, however. Sin was very much a man who believed that he, and only he, had the final say in his own destiny.
He felt the woman's smile directed at him in an almost motherly fashion, and fought not to shudder. It was a smile that knew too much, and it was not only that about the old woman that unnerved him. Her Core was painted in bright shades of olive green, aqua, dark blue, and brilliant, blinding white. It was an old soul, far older than the woman herself. It gave him the creeps.
"I'm terribly sorry to bother you, sir," she said, "but I saw you walking by and had to stop you. You see, there's something different about you, good sir, that has my intuition in a tizzy."
'Heh,' he thought, nearly smirking, 'something different about me? No kidding.'
"Would you mind if I did a Reading for you sir? Just to satisfy my curiosity? It would be free of charge." Sin's first thought was to decline, almost violently so. He did not like psychics and fortunetellers. While it was a bit hypocritical, he was not comfortable with the idea of someone analyzing his spirit. On the other hand, this was just about the most interesting thing that had happened on his little trip – and it did intrigue him. 'Oh hell, why not?'
He stepped up to the old woman's table, idly attempting to recall the procedures that the items used for Readings. He'd only read about them vaguely in a passing interest. As he stood there, the old woman studied him for a moment, and then said, "I think the Cards would be best, for this case." She picked up the neat stack of cards and placed it dead center between them, allowing her hand to linger for a moment before pulling away. This part of the proceedings he remembered, and he took a deep, centering breath before reaching out to cut the deck. As expected, the cards seemed to absorb some of his energy, becoming painted in his own Colors.
The diviner nodded, taking the cards and beginning to shuffle them slowly. Sin watched as her aura began to expand outward, enveloping the cards as she entered her trance-like state. After a few moments she was finished, and laid three of the top cards between them in a line.
The rest of the cards were set aside. "It is done. We shall now begin the Reading." She then pointed to the card on his far left. "This card represents the past," she flipped it over, "The Queen of Wands. It is a card of survival. It shows that you have gone through many things in your life, but you have always overcome, and become stronger for it." Well, that was true enough, at least.
She flipped over the middle card. "This card is the present. The Reversed Hermit. In this case, it represents an uncertainty about the future or past that prevents progress." A frown tugged at his mouth. Too accurate. She gestured to the next, and final card. "This is your future." She flipped it over, but stopped before laying it down. It stood frozen between her fingertips, her form painted with confusion.
"What?" he asked, nearly failing to keep the sardonic drawl out of his voice.
"My good sir," she said, setting the card down finally, "you should be wary. You have drawn The Devil. This card can represent entrapment or enslavement. Or perhaps a person of-" He stopped listening. Once again a burst of wicked Color flashed before his mind's eye, infuriating laughter echoed through his ears.
"Thank you for the Reading, ma'am," he said in curt, clipped tones. He abruptly turned and stalked off, his patience gone. God, he hated diviners and fortunetellers.
The old woman watched him go, a cry choked off in her throat. Her Reading seemed to unnerve the man, the poor dear. Well, it couldn't be helped. She studied the card depicting The Devil again, this time for many moments as she tried to recall everything she could about the card. A wind blew through the market street, and the top card of her deck quivered before fluttering over to her. She picked it up. The Sixth Trump – The Lovers.
"Ah, that's right," she murmured. "The Devil is the companion card of The Lovers. Interesting. I wonder…" She shook her head. It was best not to travel down that long, treacherous path of thought.
"Win dain a lotica… En val tu ri… Si lo ta…"
The Vampyre Draca broke off into a soft hum as he stood, leaning back against the railing and staring up at the silvery moon. He stood on the deserted deck of a ship, bound for the Isle of the Lost – and, more importantly, the Underground city of the Smuggler's Haven.
The Isle of the Lost – located in the southern Virartic Ocean – was hidden in a barrier of magic. It was invisible to the naked eye, and impossible to chart on a map, unless one was equipped with the proper tools to find it. Much like the ship he was currently on.
On this Isle of the Lost was his destination: a place known as the Smuggler's Haven. It was perhaps the most infamous city on the face of Viranus. The natural barrier of the island itself, and probably some advanced man-made barriers, kept the city mostly an enigma. It was well known to be a colossal market town of the outlaws of Viranus and their descendents. Anything and everything both of the legal and not-so-legal realms can be purchased there. Assassins, thieves, smugglers – any kind of outlaw, and most likely the best of the breed – were present there. It was a dark city. Where murder and battle were frequent, practically a part of every day life.
It was there, in that lawless, dark city, that he was going to find the conquest of a lifetime. It excited him, made his heart pound at the mere thought. It was a challenge he couldn't resist.
Of course, to get there, there were guidelines – absolute secrecy being among the top on the list – and an initiation. He had tried to surpass the initiation all together with his skills, but he was quite shocked to find that the Smuggler's Haven took its initiation very seriously. He'd been caught almost immediately, and forced through a thorough soul searching – compliments of a talented psychic. It had been a very long, very boring process, but he'd passed (though how, with what he was, he had no idea) and had a new shiny medallion that acted as a ticket in and out of the city.
So here he was, only a decade away from the century mark (a great feat for a Vampyre in the prejudiced world of Viranus). He was stronger and wiser than ever before. He was finally strong enough to last a journey across the sea, even with the mythril beds that littered the ocean bottom, with only a lingering seasickness.
Draca tore his gaze away from the night sky as the guard passed, uttering a soft greeting to the Master Thief. The man spoke in a familiar accent that itched at Draca's mind. When he'd asked, the man had said he was from Omega, the advanced city of the Alchemists who also lived on the island, and that particular accent was common there. This man, too, was an Alchemist.
Even as he nodded in return, another Alchemist appeared in his mind's eye, summoning a silver scythe in a flurry of blue sparks and glaring at him with piercing ruby eyes.
It had been fifteen years since then. And even still he could not forget his one-time partner, try as he might. There were too many questions left unanswered from that time. It had taken him months to discover the odd symbols the man had used were apart of the art of Alchemy, let alone discover anything else about the man. He'd sometimes caught snippets of information – a rumor here, a murder there – but he knew no more about the man than he had fifteen years ago.
Perhaps there would be someone in the Smuggler's Haven would know something… something that could satisfy his curiosity. There was just something about the assassin that kept him wondering.
He noticed the time with a sigh, glancing back up to the luminescent moon. They would reach the port by morning, if all went well, and he would need his energy. Draca snuck back below deck, to his little cabin that might as well have been a closet.
Tomorrow would be the start of his greatest conquest yet.
End Part 1. Walk on, Traveler of Worlds.
I have to add a note in here. I'm in no way an expert on Tarot. All I own is an Aleister Crowley Thoth Deck and a book for beginners. _ If I made a mistake, don't be surprised.
So, liked it? Didn't like it? Have constructive criticism? Found a typo? Let me know!
Thanks for reading! ^ ^