- Pangaea -
Arc 1 - Vampire's Vengeance
Part II – You've Made Your Bed…
Every time we sleep; we dream. The people dream and the animals dream.
Do spirits dream? Perhaps they are dreams long forgotten?
Do monsters dream? Wouldn't it be something if they did? For a corrupt soul to reach out to the pure ones in an attempt to share their dream…or nightmare…
People have limited actions when it comes to dreaming; they can only watch. But there are few gifted individuals that lift the veil of this limitation and become self-aware, thus entering a state of 'lucid dreaming'.
In a lucid dream the individual is aware that they are dreaming and is able to exert a degree of control over the events of the dream and manipulate their experiences within the environment.
It is warned, however, that lucid dreaming may not always bring about a positive experience.
'Not all lucid dreams are useful but they all have a sense of wonder about them. If you must sleep through a third of your life, why should you sleep through your dreams, too?'
'A Custodian's Guide to Pangaea: Science – Volume XII: Lucid Dreaming' by Jeiden the Scribe.
There had now been two eventful days in as many weeks that Marcus and Louka had gotten themselves involved with the White Legion. This was an uncommon occurrence for them as Marcus kept himself to his father's union and Louka had a deep resentment for the White Legion ever since his father's death.
The warehouse that had served as the Vamp Gang's base of operations was now swarming with White Legion militia. The rainclouds had moved on and at the face of the warehouse, White Captain Tsuki of the Night Watch was speaking privately with Dockmaster Kaiousei whilst Nakata alongside Louka.
"This has been quite the evening." Nakata astonished as they headed back to the warehouse. White legion soldiers were everywhere, arresting and escorting the gang members out of the building.
"I admit this was not what I had in mind for a rescue." Louka concurred.
"It's nothing short of incredible how you managed to dispose of so many." He commented as they stepped into the warehouse through the large shutter door that had been opened in order to improve the efficiency of the arresting process.
"Give a bloodthirsty fighter with a magic arm an unlimited supply of mana and he'll wreck shop." Louka commented.
"Marcus certainly is his father's son." Nakata smirked to himself.
Further in the warehouse a group of White soldiers and watchers stood guard around the giant as it sat moping.
"Bob have headache." He complained to himself.
Near them, Marcus leaned against some boxes and overheard some Legionnaires talking;
"You see that guy over there?" The first soldier turned to the other.
"Yeah." The other soldier replied.
"I heard he's the one that not only took out all the gang members we're taking in, but also brought down the giant." He explained.
"No way! All of them?".
"I swear to you!"
"Woah," He astounded, "I wonder who he is-"
"The Prince of Thieves!" Marcus interrupted and turned away to see Louka stood there.
"Modest as ever." Louka commented.
"What? I deserve some credit, I kicked ass!" Marcus boasted.
"Not all the credit…"
"Oh okay, you helped." Marcus and Louka stared at each other a moment, "A little…" Marcus added.
"Mr Hotaru…" Nakata approached and bowed.
"Mr Isamashi." Marcus bowed in return.
"I want to thank you for your help. Your skills speak well of your association. You indeed match your father's combat prowess." Nakata complemented.
"Thank you, my father has told me about your history together."
"Has he now." He gave a nostalgic smirk. "Well you did great work here, both of you."
"What about the twins?" Louka nodded to Nathaniel and Ayla who were across the warehouse waiting to be spoken to.
"I'm not sure, to be honest. They misread the situation of my dismissing them from the White Legion and took up a delusion quest that should have gotten them killed. Instead their actions led to the disintegration of the Vamp Gang, an amazing feat that not even a dozen Knight's have succeeded in. This will be a decision for the Captain." Nakata explained.
Captain Tsuki and Kaiousei had finished their discussion and walked to Louka and the others.
"Baby Hotaru! Did you do all this?" Kaiousei seemed pleasantly surprised.
"Kaiousei." Marcus bowed, wincing at the 'baby' reference.
"You did didn't you! Look at that ugly beast over there." Kaiousei peered to the giant. "I must admit it's refreshing to see a Hotaru get his hands dirty these days." Kaiousei added a back-handed complement, referring to Tobias Hotaru's tendency to work behind the scenes in recent years.
"I hope the Mercenaries Union served you well in this instance." Marcus put up his professional front, making the rapid transformation from the adrenaline fuelled battle-junky.
"Aye you certainly did. I suppose you expect me to be indebted to you now?"
"Not 'indebted', just remember that we performed this favour to you."
"I see. And who are you?" Kaiousei shifted his eyes to Louka.
"Kaede, Louka Kaede." He introduced.
"Kaede huh? Well if you will all excuse me, it's late." Kaiousei bowed to everyone and took his leave.
"Well then," Captain Tsuki turned to the group. "I didn't expect to be seeing you two so soon."
"We didn't exactly propose the idea." Louka retorted.
"Of course not. Would you call it fate that throws you back into the fray?" She queried.
"Let's just chalk it up to chance."
"Perhaps, for now."
"Captain," Nakata stepped in, "have you given any thought to Nathaniel and Ayla?"
"I have." She acknowledged. "No doubt my brother, Taiyou, would have them tried for vigilante crimes."
"You can't be serious-" Louka angrily flickered.
"But!" She interjected. "But I understand they are working under contract from the Mercenaries Union, so any hearings will be annulled. I do, however, have an alternative method for dealing with them." She nodded to Nakata and he called over the siblings. They approached warily with the feeling of intimidation from seeing the Night Watch Captain herself.
"Nathaniel, Ayla." Tsuki acknowledged.
"Captain." They bowed.
"So I'll start by congratulating you both. Your actions, as misled as they were, have led to the removal of a violent gang from within the royal city. On behalf of the King, I thank you." She bowed. "But if you were expecting to be reinstated for your actions as a White Soldier and a White Watcher, I'm afraid that cannot be. Your files still boast a history of recorded accounts where you have been unable to follow simple instructions and it is nothing short of a miracle that this latest venture did not get you killed."
"Captain…" Nakata pleaded.
"However after thinking through on the situation, I would like to offer you both something else. A position that would turn your shortcomings as a Soldier and a Watcher into an asset. Where instead of being expected to stand by and follow orders, you would be required to take proactive steps under the guidance of Nakata Isamashi." She paused a moment. "I would like to offer you both the position of White Scouts."
As soon as the title left Tsuki's mouth, Louka's eyes widened as his heart sank. His father was a White Scout before he died and it was the role that killed him.
White Scouts? Nakata was surprised as the title was rarely used anymore, especially when Nathan and Ayla possessed no more than a mundane level of abilities. He considered if this was Tsuki's act of revenge against her brother, especially as Taiyou had released most of her Vamp Gang prisoners a week before.
"What would be required of us under this position?" Ayla inquired.
"Simply put, you will be investigators. Your newfound jurisdiction will allow you to move freely across most of Laurasia and bring your findings to Nakata for evaluation. If you can handle that, Nakata?" Tsuki explained.
"Aye, sir." Nakata agreed.
"Good, now what say you?" Tsuki turned back to the twins.
Nathan looked at Ayla for mutual consent, she nodded at him with a smile and he bowed before Captain Tsuki. "We accept, sir."
"Good, take a few days to recover and I'll have your paperwork arranged." Tsuki advised. "That goes for you too, Nakata." She added, looking at his freshly bandaged wounds.
"Right yes, sir." Nakata accepted.
"I should thank you both for your involvement in this matter." Tsuki faced Marcus and Louka. "I wonder what circumstances our next meet shall fall upon." She speculated.
Behind them a commotion began to stir with the soldiers guarding the giant. The guards kept pointing their weapons at Bob, he pushed the weapons away from his face but they kept steering them back towards him and he became aggravated.
"Be still, giant!" Ordered one of the guards and they started to enchant their weapons. Bob stood up with a roar at the sight of their magic and knocked the guards away.
"Detain him, now! Without magic!" Tsuki commanded but the giant was taken over by fear and made a break for it. Marcus went to leap into action but Louka grabbed him by the arm, "This isn't our problem." He pointed out and Marcus relaxed.
The guards struggled to stand back up from the knock and Bob carried on charging out of the warehouse.
"Don't let that thing loose in the city, go after him!" Tsuki desperately cried out at all the soldiers around her and she started to chase after it as it escaped.
"I think we're done here." Louka expressed in an effort to tie the evening up.
"Marcus," Nathan initiated, "Ayla and I would like to thank you for everything you have done for us today." He thanked and offered his hand.
"Sure." Marcus accepted the hand shake.
"I'm sorry we can't carry on as mercenaries for you though, it's against the White Legion code of conduct for us to affiliate ourselves with outside parties whose interests may not align with the Legion." Ayla explained. Nakata looked down, knowing that rule all too well.
"Shame, you could have done well with us." Marcus lied. Louka rolled his eyes and accepted their handshakes as well.
"At least you have a real job now." Louka poked fun.
"What do you mean real job?!" Marcus snapped.
They said their farewells and Louka ushered an annoyed Marcus away.
Marcus returned to an oddly-empty Union due to the Great Monster Hunt and began to write up his report of the day's events for the records.
Louka went back home, collapsed straight onto his bed and fell asleep moments after his head hit the pillow. He opened his eyes and was welcomed by an environment that had become all too familiar now.
"Welcome back to Dream World." He muttered to himself.
He took a few steps in and was surprised to see the figure from before stood at the same place, no hide and seek again just waiting outside the glass window as before. Louka approached more casually this time.
"So we did it, we saved them." Louka explained. "Perhaps now you ca-"
"Shh!" The hooded figure cut Louka off as he did before. He turned to the shop and pointed at the box again. The screen on the box showed a hooded figure moving about the streets of Albus. They removed their hood to stare up at the sky and revealed a short bushy head of brown hair and mysteriously bright, purple eyes.
"…Kyros…" The figure beside Louka whispered.
Kyros? Louka repeated in his head. I guess I'm not done yet…
End of Part 2
Part II is now published. I'm having a lot of fun exploring the story and practicing my writing but as before I'm going to take a little time to collect my thoughts and reflect over the story so far. This should keep my perspective clear on where I am taking the story.
As always I love to hear from my readers and encourage constructive feedback.
Thank you for taking the time to read, now for a bonus:
Part III – A Turn For The Worst
As she ran through the forest she could hear her heart beating in her ears. The mixed roars and howling grew louder as her legs struggled to keep up with her determination.
Usually you wouldn't find anyone travelling through Midori Forest as the Wilderkin tribes of older generations used to keep regular folk out with magic that would confuse and disorientate them. Eventually outsiders would find themselves turned around and heading back out of the forest without realising it. But with Crescentia carrying Wilderkin blood in her veins she had a natural immunity to its effect.
She reached the top of the hill that her legs had been fighting against and stopped as the view brought her a horrific scene. A pack of wolves surrounded a giant in a clearing and took turns to viscously attack it. The giant screamed in pain as a beast latched onto its arm with an iron-like jaw.
"Leave Bob alone!" It cried out.
The intensity within Cressy was overwhelming and she couldn't witness the ferocity for more than a second before rushing towards the fight.