Noah's Past: Legacy of Egrigori (part 1)
"Prof. Darling! Prof. Darling!" an assistant shouted in the hallways.
Professor Noah Darling was an expert in the field of archaeology. He had spent many years studying the history of the Mystic Realm and Atlantis. After years of field work, he finally decided to give himself a break and settle down. He had been approached by Headmaster Magnus Nightstriker of Chronos Academy who offered Noah a position in his staff. Noah was delighted and took his old friend up on his offer (Magnus had been one of his former mentors years ago). During his teaching occupation at Chronos Academy, he had gained two promising students who shared his passion for archaeology: Dia S. Loth and Cordelia Aduella.
On this fine day, Noah was helping Cordelia and another student, Aeris Nightstriker, Magnus’ daughter, catch up on homework. He enjoyed helping his students and his students appreciated his help.
The door to Noah’s classroom burst open. Dia S. Loth rushed into the room, a letter in her hand.
“Prof. Darling, you gotta read this!” urged Dia.
Dia was a hyper student, not wanting to be bound to anything. She hated boredom and tried to occupy herself every second of the day. While she was a promising student at the Chronos Academy, she was also the lieutenant of Nirvanism Maester V. N. Vinealent.
Dia handed Noah the letter she had in her hand. The letter was from Noah’s brother, Lucas Darling, The Order’s Coordinator. While Lucas usually addressed his letters to Noah as “Noah” or “bro”, this one was labeled “Professor Darling, Chronos Academy”. Noah opened up the letter and read it.
Dear Noah Darling,
You would not believe what my second-in-command, Matthau Ashford, discovered today. While he was coordinating the construction of a base in the Southland, which, as you know, is Nirvanism’s territory, Matthau discovered the ruins of a giant kilsein (flying angelic warship). And you’re probably thinking “there’s a lot of kilsein ruins because of the Battle of Swawns” but here’s where it gets interesting: it’s made of rubies! I think this kilsein may be ‘it’ that you’ve been looking for.
If you want to come, send word immediately. Word got leaked to the Nirvanism Maesters, possibly by Mattahau since his sister is a Maester. Anyways, plans for an expedition team are on their way. You better hurry!
P. S. My wife went into labor last week. She gave birth to a healthy son. We’ve named him Sebastin Noah Darling, after you.
Cordelia peeked over Noah’s shoulders.
“What does he mean by ‘it’?” asked Cordelia.
“No time to explain,” said Noah. “Dia, send word to Coordinator Lucas Darling that I am on my way.” He then looked at Aeris who was reading from her textbook. “Aeris, you’re dismissed. Send my regards to your father.”
“Will do,” replied Aeris.
Aeris left Noah’s classroom, shortly followed by the running Dia. Noah then told Cordelia that if she wanted to come, she better get packed.
The following day, after Dia sent the reply to Lucas, Noah and his two students, Dia and Cordelia, were packed. Noah had already got his ‘field trip’ approved by Magnus but that didn’t stop Magnus from stopping Noah at the door.
“Good luck on your expedition,” said Magnus.
“Thanks,” replied Noah. “We’ll need it.”
“At least you got a couple of good students with you. That always helps. And Noah, take this.”
Magnus handed Noah a strange metallic gun.
“Why are you giving me this artifact you found at the Zombie Needle Forest?” asked Noah.
“I don’t trust all of those Maesters,” said Magnus, “that might just come in handy.”
Noah laughed. “You never were much for Nirvanism.”
Magnus laughed two. The two men shook hands and went their separate ways.
It took three days to travel to the Southlands and another day just to trek to St. Sutherland’s Peak, the location of The Order’s base in the Southlands.
Noah, Dia, and Cordelia arrived outside The Order compound. A couple minutes after Noah knocked, two people opened the door to greet them. The one of the right was a human named Matthau Ashford; the one on the left was a vampire from The Order named Darius Reono.
“Welcome to St. Sutherland’s,” greeted Darius. “It’s been a while, Noah Darling.”
Noah Darling knew Darius Reono when Darius has taught a term at Chronos Academy as a Self-Defense instructor. Darius left Chronos Academy to help The Order after the assassination of Count Sebastin Rac Darling, the Coordinator of The Order before Lucas and the person whom Lucas’ son was named after. However, he was thinking of leaving The Order as well to spend more time with his girlfriend, a woman named Kairi.
“It sure has,” replied Noah as the two shook hands.
Matthau made a fake cough. “Eh-hem, Coordinator Darling is expecting you.”
“Then let’s go see my brother. Dia, Cordelia, come on.”
Matthau and Darius led Noah, Dia, and Cordelia inside the complex. Most of the hallways were covered in construction but at the opposite edge of the St. Sutherland compound was complete. In a large conference room were Lucas Darling with Nirvanism Maesters Gretchen Ashford and V. N. Vinealent.
“Ah, glad to see you, Dia,” Vinealent greeted his lieutenant.
Dia gave Vinealent a polite hug; it had been a few months since the two had been in touch. Lucas stopped his conversation with Gretchen to greet his brother and the two Chronos students.
“So, what do you think of the St. Sutherland complex?” asked Lucas.
“Could use some work,” teased Noah. He got serious. “So, who is going on this expedition?”
Lucas looked at Gretchen and Vinealent. “Maesters Ashford, Hyachi, and Kane have requested to go with you.”
“You’re not going?” Dia asked Vinealent.
“I have other matters to attend to,” explained Vinealent.
“Who else?” asked Noah.
“Abel Kane’s wife is a well-known archaeologist around here,” informed Gretchen. “His wife, Milliana Licayan, will be accompanying him. As will Abel’s lieutenant, M. N. Nairb.”
“As the commander of the Tarot Deck, Nirvanism’s security force, I’ve assigned Jack don Vich to aid in security,” added Vinealent.
Noah sighed. “Great, so it’ll just be Nirvayans.”
“Don’t forget about us,” said Lucas. “It was Matthau’s find so, of course, The Order is interested in this site. I’ve asked around and I’ve got Tia Cross, Akatsuki Rocain, and Chesed Stark. And just in case, one of St. Sutherland’s medics, Frank N. Stein, is tagging along.”
“Well, bro, if you don’t mind, it’s been a long trip,” said Noah. “My students and I would like to get some rest.” Cordelia was going to interject that she was fine as could be but Noah cut her off. Dia nudged her in the ribs and Cordelia finally got the clue.
“Well then,” said Vinealent, “may we meet again.”
It was around midnight when someone knocked on Noah’s room that he was staying at. Noah unlocked and opened the door where he saw Matthau.
“Your brother can see you now,” informed Matthau.
Matthau guided Noah to Lucas’ quarters. Noah had several files on his desk. Matthau then excused himself.
“So what can you tell me of the other group members,” requested Noah.
“I’ll start from the top. The first Milliana Licayan. Archaeologist. Wife of Abel Kane and mother of two children. She is openly active in the Akorun Cult, despite her husband’s ties to Nirvanism.
“Next is Tia Cross. Archaeologist. Named after Elder God Mystia. Wife of Kurasawa Cross and mother of Leviat Cross. Does not have any political ties to her brother-in-law Tiolee Cross, the Shinigami King.
Then there’s Jack don Vich. Tarot Deck soldier. Nicknamed “Black” Jack “Crackerjack”. Has been apart of Tarot Deck for five years. Loyal to V.N. Vinealent so since Vinealent’s lieutenant, Dia Loth, will be with you, he’ll not be a problem.
After him Ryo Hyachi. Nirvanism Maester and Vahashi. He holds a lot of power so keep an eye out for him. Thankfully his lieutenant, Karl Bates”
Vahashi, huh. Noah knew all about the title of Vahashi, or Elemental Lord. It was a title passed down from generation to generation from the noblest of elementalist families: the Hyachi. There was a recent fiasco concerning Ryo’s son, Tenkai, since the boy was a hybrid. Many scandals were circling around who the adultress might be.
“What about Mattahau’s sister?” asked Noah.
“Gretchen Ashford. Nirvanism Maester. Matthau’s sister. Cunning and vicious. Be wary of her.
“Gretchen’s good friend is Abel Kane. Nirvanism Maester. Husband of Miliana Licayan and father of two. Named after an angel of the same name. Abel, Gretchen, and Ryo are old friends so they’ll stick together. If you mess with one, you mess with all of them.”
“Noted,” said Noah.
“Then there’s Abel’s lieutenant, M. N. Nairb. Nasty temper. Avoid her if possible.”
“What of the Stark guy,” said Noah, “they aren’t known to be such social fellows.”
“Well this one seems to actually be nice, unlike his brother, Cridageus. I think he’s good, he was suggested by Matthau himself. Besides that, I don’t know much about this Chesed Stark.
“And lastly is Frank N. Stein. Hell of a surgeon in my opinion. He’s one of the best here at St. Sutherland’s so if anyone gets hurt, he’ll be able to patch you good and fine.”
“And if he gets hurt?” asked Noah.
Lucas laughed. “Then let’s hope it doesn’t come to that.”
Privately to himself, Noah said “I hope so too.”
They started out trek to the excavation site a day later. The entire team carried their own share of equipment except for Akatsuki Rocain who insisted on carrying the group’s food and water (according to Stein, Akatsuki was a great chef).
It took an entire day to reach the excavation site. When they neared Mt. Theo, one of the few mountains in the Southlands, part of an ancient kilsein was visible. A ruby kilsein.
“What is that?” asked Ryo Hyachi.
“That,” said Noah, “is Egrigori’s old flagship that was used in the expedition to explore other dimensions like the Death Dimension. That, everyone, is Azazel’s Ruby Kilsein: the ARK.”
Noah’s Past: Legacy of Egrigori (part 2)
Noah explained that Azazel’s Ruby Kilsein was the flagship of an expedition into other realms commissioned by Atlantis’ Elder Gods. It was called the Egrigori Multi-Dimension Expedition, or EM-DE for short (pronounced “m-d”). Azazel and Samyaza, along with the rest of Egrigori, went off to explore uncharted realms. The expedition led to the discovery of the Death Dimension and the corruption of Egrigori.
“While it is known that Egrigori became corrupted in the Death Dimension,” Noah continued, “it is unknown what happened during their time in the other dimensions. Very few facts of what happened during that expedition is known. Azazel’s Ruby Kilsein might hold those answers.”
“But what is it doing out here?” asked Abel.
“According to records, Azazel’s Ruby Kilsein was shot down during the Battle of Swawns where it fled to the Mystic Realm where it vanished,” explained Miliana.
“Is it safe?” asked “Black” Jack.
“Safe?” repeated Chesed. “Hardly. I wouldn’t be surprised if someone died in there.”
“D-died?” panicked Dia.
“No one is gonna die,” assured Tia.
“Maybe Chesed should save us the trouble and get himself killed first,” taunted Gretchen.
“Ha ha, very funny,” remarked Chesed.
“Enough,” ordered Noah, “we’re losing daylight.”
After a couple groans and complains, the group continued the trek to Azazel’s Ruby Kilsein. They were walking up a steep hill when Gretchen lost her footing. She slipped and fell.
“Gretchen!” exclaimed Dia.
Dia and Stein went down to help her. Stein examined her leg and deducted that it was broken.
“Just great,” complained Ryo.
Akatsuki offered to help but Gretchen refused. After Stein bandaged her leg, she took two branches and used them as crutches.
“There’s no time to waste,” said Gretchen, obviously in pain. “Let’s get going.”
The group made their way to Azazel’s Ruby Kilsein where they made camp. Akatsuki got the kitchen set up and began cooking right away. Stein went to recheck Gretchen’s wound.
“So, who wants to check inside?” asked Miliana.
“I do,” answered Tia.
“Me too,” agreed Cordelia.
“Not until everyone has tried my chili!” laughed Akatsuki.
Akatsuki finished making the chili and let it cool down. The vampire gave everyone helpings, which all except Miliana devoured their chili. Miliana hated spicy food so she handed hers to her husband, Abel.
When everyone was done, it was decided that those exploring Azazel’s Ruby Kilsein would divide into teams of two. Miliana teamed up with Abel. Noah teamed up with Dia. Cordelia teamed up with Ryo. Tia teamed up with Jack. And lastly, Nairb teamed up with Chesed. Gretchen was going to stay because of her injury and Stein stayed behind too to tend to her foot. Due to dishes needing to be cleaned, he had to remain at camp to clean the mess of a kitchen.
Noah and Dia walked down a hall. Their destination, Noah hoped, was the captain’s quarters. Finally, after much frustration and confusion, they found it on the floor under the command bridge.
Dia translated the plaque on the door.
“Room of Daniel, Egrigori captain,” read Dia.
“That should be it,” said Noah.
Noah opened the door. Dia rested an arm on Noah’s shoulders.
“I don’t understand,” said Dia. “Does it mean Daniel from Epitaph of the Holy Lord.”
“Possibly. A few scholars back at Chronos debated once about whatever happened to the brothers Daniel and Francesco. In Epitaph of the Holy Lord, they get separated from the rest of the group and that’s that. I wouldn’t be surprised if Daniel was actually an angel and once commanded this kilsein.”
“Why do you think Daniel was an angel?”
“The suffix ‘-el’ means ‘shining angel’ in some ancient language. I think it was called Atlatin or Latin. Something like that. Come, let’s check out the captain’s log.”
Noah and Dia went into the Daniel’s cabin. It was dusty just like the hallways. On a table that had long since rotted and turned to mush, was a leather-covered book: The Captain’s Log.
“Shall we have a look?” said Noah.
Noah opened the book. They read the first page.
Entry: Day 1.
Our journey to another realm was successful. In a dimension right next to Atlantis we found one. It seems to connect Atlantis to the Mystic Realm. Elder God Eon and Ppelono always wondered what connected the two realms and now we know.
I feel so happy that our first trip was successful for had it not been, I dare say I would be in trouble with the two commanding officers of this mission: Azazel and Samyaza. Personally I don’t like them but they still hold the power.
Azazel decided to name this newly discovered realm after a fictional land in one of Pererun’s books- the Mu. My brother, Francesco, has returned to Atlantis to inform the Elder Gods. We hope they’ll colonize the Mu; it’s such a barren wasteland.
Our next trip is going to be, again, in uncharted territory. I worry for myself, the crew, and this kilsein. We were lucky before but our luck won’t always be good. Sooner or later we’ll get to some nasty stuff. Personally, I hope for the latter of the two.
Noah flipped the page.
Entry: Day 2.
The realm we went to after the Mu was a water world. Thank the Elder Gods that the kilsein can operate as a normal ship too. Even though the crew is tired and the realm hasn’t even been named yet, Azazel wants us to move on. Why the rush? It’s not like we’re in a hurry. I’m going to try to persuade Azazel to lax up a bit. I hope he doesn’t get angry.
Noah was going to flip to the next page when both he and Dia heard a scream coming from outside. The ran into the hallway towards the screaming. They ran into Miliana and Abel.
The four ran outside towards the camp. Jack was by Tia, trying to stop the frantic shinigami from screaming.
“What’s going on?” demanded Noah.
Jack pointed towards the kitchen area. What they saw was not pretty: blood was splattered everywhere. Pots were scattered in the grass. A few tents were either shredded or burnt. And by the campfire were three bodies, belonging to Akatsuki, Gretchen, and Stein.
“Dear god,” muttered Miliana.
Noah’s Past: Legacy of Egrigori (part 3)
“Quick, check their pulses!” ordered Jack.
“Why?” questioned Tia. “They’re de-”
“JUST DO IT!”
No one dared question Jack’s order. They checked Gretchen, Stein, and Akatsuki’s pulses. Gretchen’s and Stein’s were gone. Akatsuki’s was faint.
“He’s alive!” exclaimed Cordelia.
Jack pushed Cordelia and Nairb away from Akatsuki. He tore the sleeve of his shirt off and wrapped it around Akatsuki’s injuries. He snapped at Miliana and Chesed to fetch watch water and other supplies he’d need.
Noah, his students, and the others watched helplessly as Jack preformed surgery on Akatsuki. After what seemed like forever, Jack was done.
“He needs to get to St. Sutherland’s for actual surgery or he’ll die,” said Jack, “we need to get him back now.”
“No,” said Tia stubbornly. “I have waited too long for this moment. I am staying here.”
“Me too,” added Miliana.
“Frank Stein and Gretchen Ashford are dead!” snapped Jack. “You really want to stay here!?”
“Jack,” said Ryo calmly, “I’ll bring Akatsuki Rocain to St. Sutherland’s. I can get there faster than any of you and even faster by myself. Jack, stay here and protect them.”
“But sir-” he began to protest only to be interrupted by Ryo’s repeated order which silenced the Tarot Deck soldier.
“Good,” said Ryo. “I’ll go now.”
Ryo picked up Akatsuki and sprinted up the trail back for St. Sutherland’s. Everyone else just stood silently.
“Until we know more, I suggest we stay here at the camp,” said Noah at last.
“You can’t be serious!” replied Miliana. “The ARK is a gold mine for archaeology.”
“Just listen to him, Mili,” said Abel, requesting his wife to listen to Noah.
“Fine,” she pouted.
“Now that that’s settled,” said Noah, “Jack, what do you think happened here?”
“Was no accident I can tell you that for certain,” answered Jack. “The shredded tent suggests an animal but the food wasn’t touched.”
“So you’re saying there’s a killer amongst us?” asked Nairb.
“If not us, someone nearby. Maester Kane, could your Crystal ability, “Radar Shockwave” help?”
“No,” answered Abel, “the ping that would come off of the kilsein would mess it up.”
Jack swore under his breath.
“We should get some sleep,” said Jack. “I’ll take the first watch.”
“But what if you’re the killer though,” said Dia quizzically.
“I’m not the killer but you made a point. We’ll work in pairs. Mr. Darling, you mind staying up with me for the first watch?”
“Sure,” agreed Noah.
That settled things even though it was obvious that no one liked it. Many were paranoid about the others.
Noah and Jack, as agreed, took the first shift. Noah decided to read more of Daniel’s journal.
Entry: Day 5
It worked, surprisingly. I confronted Azazel and Samyaza and they said that the crew could take a break. Azazel himself was wanting to check out a local island with Shamsiel, another Egrigori. Pererun was wanting to go with Shamsiel but was getting seasick. Poor guy.
We haven’t named the realm yet. Azazel wants to check out the island before doing such.
While I’m at it, I think I should mention that something weird is going on. A few of the crew got wild and started a fight. Nearly killed one guy.
It’s all strange. My first officer is starting to question my authority these days. It worries me. I can’t believe I’m saying this but I really can’t wait for Azazel to get back.
Entry: Day 6
We’ve decided to head to the next realm. Azazel got back last night with an estranged man. He was the only inhabitant of the island but by his cloths it looked like he wasn’t on that island for very long. Samyaza and I are very suspicious of this man. We won’t tell us his name; he just keeps repeating “… I can’t live without my dear sloth…”. What’s this sloth he’s talking about? Some pet?
Whatever. Azazel has ordered that the man be left alone. Thus, he’s been left alone. Not like anyone but the doc wanted to see him anyways.
Entry: Day 7
I can’t believe what we have done. When we traveled to the next realm, the portal wouldn’t close. Water is closing everywhere. I feel very sorry for the inhabitants of this realm which Azazel has dubbed Terra. It is sickening to know that where there once was desert and mountains now lays a vast sea of dangerous water. Luckily the man had suggested that we shelter anyone we could. Samyaza agreed so we’re harboring a few farmers and their livestock plus some animals we saved. It’s like a zoo on the lower decks!
The next few pages were small little notes about how the efforts to close the portal were not going well. Finally he filled through numerous pages until he finally got to something important.
Entry: Day 47
Why we didn’t think of it sooner I’ll never know. Shamsiel thought that maybe we should go get the help of a god. Well, my brother had returned last week had to go all the way back to get an Elder God. At least it was Elder God Rotoru.
Anyways, it wasn’t much of an effort for Rotoru to close the portal. It worked out well, I think. Rotoru returned the water back to the realm it belonged. The farmers and the other inhabitants we saved returned to their homes, or at least what was left.
To my surprise, the man we found on the island from the last realm decided to make life here at Terra. I thought he was crazy, Samyaza did too. To our surprise, an angel named Abel and an alchemist from the Kane family also decided to stay.
Their loss. We’ve left for the next realm. Rotoru decided to remain with us but I don’t know why. I think he wanted to spend more time with an angel named Danziel who was rumored to be transformed into a god once the EM-DE (Egrigori Multi-Dimension Expedition) is over.
Entry: Day 48
Our next realm led us too a prairie continent. Azazel has named it Anima Lucia. Apparently the last realm, Terra, had some language called Latin and Azazel was studying the language during those forty days. He’s quite good at it actually. Apparently “Anima Lucia” translates as “animating principle of light”. Still, it’s not too interesting. The natives are primitive. Neither threat nor interest to our mission. I can’t wait to get to the next realm.
Entry: Day 49
Oh my Elder God, we were so wrong. These people, whom call themselves the Kim-un-Kur, may be primitive but really powerful. They have the ability to change into other forms. The ship is barely managing to hold them off. One Kim-un-Kur managed to get on board. It attacked Pererun but Shamsiel drove it off. Azazel got the killing blow. Rotoru’s issuing for a retreat. But to where? I don’t know if we’ll survive this so I am writing as though this will be my entry. For any who finds this, know that I died with honor.
Noah flipped the page. He was surprised that there was no entry for the next page but there was one for the fifty-first.
Entry: Day 51
The fighting at Anima Lucia was tough. It took ten angels to assist Rotoru in driving off the Kim-un-Kur. Bodies, both angelic and those monstrous Kim-un-Kur, litter the floors. Azazel, strangely, had the doc take a blood sample from one of the Kim-un-Kur corpses. Said that his friend back at Atlantis, some angel named Barrel, would like to inspect it more.
The crew weren’t the only ones to receive feel sorrow from loss. Francesco died. He was killed by the Kim-un-Kur chief while trying to protect me and Danziel. I can’t stop myself from blaming me; I should have helped, then Francesco would still be with us. I… I think I’ll take Samyaza’s advice and rest. We’ve all earned it.
Entry: Day 53
We had retreated from Anima Lucia to another realm. This realm was void. An embracement of nihilism. Azazel named it Nihil. Apparently “nihil” is Atlatin, or whatever that language is called, for “nothing”. I think it names it perfectly. Samyaza shares my enthusiasm about going to the next realm now.
Entry: Day 54
The damages done to this kilsein were worse than we thought. We’ve decided to head back to familiar territory for repairs. While I wanted to go back to Atlantis, Azazel and Samyaza decided they’d rather see how things were going in the Mu.
In just fifty days, the Mu was ready to be inhabited. Elder God Kami, along with angels Mikael and Yaduri, were in charge of construction of the settlement. The dark fortress was named Shadow Imperia by Dominel of ‘Thorns’. Apparently ‘Thorns’ were going to station at Shadow Imperia.
While exploring Shadow Imperia, I spotted Azazel conversing with two angel twins, a ‘Thorn’ named Nathaniel, and some low-class angel who was apparently working as an assistant for one of the two twins. Azazel gave the blood sample he had doc make and handed it to one of the twins. I guessed he was Barrel.
Entry: Day 55
I am beyond angry. Rotoru, along with that stupid angel Danziel, transferred off the kilsein. To take his place, they brought on board the Elder God I am the Guardian Angel of: AndI! Elder God I am pissed. Who’s bright idea was it to bring him? He’s one of the worst Elder Gods ever… okay, maybe after Ppelono and Eleison but that’s not the point.
You know what, forget it. I’ll just stay away from him as much as possible.
To Noah’s dismay, several pages had been torn out. Jack tapped Noah on the shoulder. Noah noticed that Abel and Miliana were getting up.
“Get some sleep,” urged Jack, “we’ll need it.”
Noah went to sleep. An hour later, Dia was frantically shaking her teacher.
“I’m up! I’m up!” shouted Noah in defeat. “What do you want?”
Noah saw that everyone else was awake. Jack walked out of Abel and Miliana’s tent.
“They’re gone,” said Jack grimly.
Noah’s Past: Legacy of Egrigori (part 4)
Jack didn’t want anyone leaving camp. Regardless of Tia’s complaints, everyone had to stay up. Noah got bored easily and went back to reading his book.
Entry: Day 140
Realm after realm after realm. This routine is getting old. I can’t believe I let Pererun get a hold of my log. He was angry about some of the stuff I wrote about him and he tore them out. Thankfully they weren’t too important.
We just left a realm called Gaia, a realm similar to Terra. The kilsein has come to a strange land. Giant scaled winged beast roam the skies, everywhere that the eye can see. Azazel and Shamsiel have left to meet with their leaders. I hope this realm is peaceful but if they aren’t, I hope they eat Azazel and Shamsiel.
Entry: Day 141
The inhabitants are peaceful. Azazel and Shamsiel didn’t get eaten… unfortunately. The two Egrigori angels met with the residing ruler of the realm, King Draco Druaest, and talked. Azazel learned that the native species were called dragons. They seemed to have sheltered themselves in their own private realm.
During that meeting, Azazel learned that the dragons called the realm Lemures, much to Azazel’s disappointment since he wanted to call it something else. Ha! Finally I can rub it in his face.
Azazel talked to King Druaest about trading back and forth between Lemures and the Mystic Realm. The king was suspicious of the angels and requested to speak with a god instead. AndI.
Andi negotiated with King Druaest. Finally they signed a deal that both parties liked. There was a catch though. The dragon king made it that only dragons and gods could freely travel between realms. Species not dragon or god had to go through proper channels which would be established in the future.
Entry: Day 143
King Druaest guessed that the crew of Azazel’s Ruby Kilsein were exhausted. He let us relax on an island that was away from the cities. I think he was suspicious though since he had dragon guards watching our every movement.
We went to the next realm. I was so excited since there was only one more week until we would return to Atlantis and end EM-DE. However, that quickly perished.
The next realm reeked of death. This dimension was filled with darkness and despair. Azazel led a small team to explore the realm. They discovered that their were nine levels… what does he mean by that exactly? He wouldn’t say. Azazel found a strange stone he named ‘Hyroku’ but said he would have Barrel check it out.
Entry: Day 144
This is not good. The crew has lost it. It’s different than before when a few people got drunk and went crazy. Some of these guys have gone just plain berserk. Just last night Sariel killed my second officer, Mel. Damn that Egrigori! Killing my crewmate like that. Mel wasn’t even of Egrigori either. He was just an angel recommended by his friend Ael to work on Azazel’s Ruby Kilsein.
Noah turned the page again. He noticed that the writing was less legible and more scribbly.
Entry: Day 145
Everyone’s gone mad! Angels are turning on each other and killing one another. Samyaza, Pererun, and Shamsiel are trying their best to calm everyone but Azazel -one of the now insane angels- and his followers are apprehending all their moves. What’s worse, Azazel mercilessly killed Andi without a second thought. Andi was an Elder God but he was easily killed by Azazel. What has happened?! It’s as though their minds are being corrupted. I’ve decided to lock myself in my cabin, hoping Samyaza will find a solution but I doubt it.
Entry: Day 146
Everything is quiet. Very quiet. I think it’s finally over. I plan to check outside to find out. Just in case, though, I’m hiding this log in a secret compartment of this desk so that if someone finds this ship, wherever realm we are, it can be read and the answers to this madness might be solved.
Noah flipped through the remaining pages but all were empty. Noah guessed that someone, or something, got to Daniel.
Noah put the log to the side. He then thought of Daniel’s entries.
Ryo arrived at St. Sutherland’s where Darius Reono quickly took Akatsuki and brought him to the medical wing. Lucas summoned Ryo and Matthau to his office.
“Is there something you need to talk about?” asked Ryo. “If it’s not important, I’d like to return to the excavation site with Darius’ team so that we can safely escort them back.”
“It is,” said Lucas, “I was recently talking to Cridageus Stark last night and found out some disturbing news.”
“Hmm?” the Elemental Lord asked curiously.
“There is no Chesed Stark. The person in that team in a phony.”
“Who knows of this?” asked Matthau.
“Besides Cridageus, just the people in this room.”
Matthau grinned. “Excellent.”
Matthau took out a pistol and shot a bullet in Ryo’s head. Lucas quickly got up and would have bolted for the door hadn’t Matthau stepped closer to the exit.
“What are you doing!” demanded Lucas.
“Taking what should be mine,” said Matthau, “The title of Coordinator should have been given to me, not you! Once I cause an explosion to make it seem like Ryo used fire manipulation on you, it’ll look like you two killed yourself.”
“You’ll never get away with this!”
“I already have.”
Matthau tossed a grenade at Lucas’ feet then ducked down. The Coordinator didn’t have time to react thus he was killed in the blast. While it could be heard in the hall that Order members were rushing to the scene, Matthau snuck out a secret passageway. There he met up with Darius.
“He’s dead?” asked Darius.
“Yes,” confirmed Matthau.
“Good, Nemesis would be pleased. Now word won’t get leaked that Chesed is with Sephiroth. Now, there’s been some plans changed.”
“Lucas’ son, Sebastin, is the rightful heir to the title of Coordinator. Since he’s a baby, you’ll be temporary Coordinator but once Sebastin comes of age, you’ll have to step down.”
Matthau slammed his fist against the wall. “Damn. At least I can manipulate the young Sebastin. Come, we better help ‘find’ Coordinator Darling and Maester Hyachi’s bodies.”
Two hours after being rudely awakened, Cordelia spotted someone emerging from Azazel’s Ruby Kilsein. It was Abel!
“Abel!” Noah shouted.
“Abel?” asked Jack quizzically before looking at the kilsein ruins and seeing the Maester himself. “Maester Kane!”
Everyone ran over to Abel. The Maester was injured and weak.
“It was a trap,” muttered Abel, “Mili and I wanted some alone time but we met…” Abel coughed up some blood. “… and then we were attacked… and… and… Mili was killed. I couldn’t… save… he… he… her…”
Abel closed his eyes and he was dead.
Noah’s Past: Legacy of Egrigori (part 5)
Jack was whipping orders left and right. He had everyone pack up to leave immediately. Nairb took upon the task herself to cremate Abel Kane’s body.
“Jack, we’re low on water,” informed Tia.
“Fill up the containers and quick,” said Jack. “Chesed, go with her.”
Chesed went with Tia to get more water. Jack then helped Noah finish packing up the tents.
“Jack, where’s Tia and Chesed?” asked Cordelia.
“At the pond,” answered Jack.
“No they aren’t.”
Jack and Noah shot off on a quick sprint for the pond. Cordelia was right: Tia and Chesed were gone.
“Dia, have you seen Tia or Chesed?” asked Noah.
“I saw them heading towards Azazel’s Ruby Kilsein,” replied Dia.
Jack scratched his head. “Now why would they do that?” He sighed. “We need to go look for them. Prof. Darling, Ms. Loth, go with Lieutenant Nairb. Ms. Aduella, you’re with me.”
Everyone nodded in agreement. They went inside. Jack and Cordelia went left while Noah, Dia, and Nairb went right.
“Tia Cross!” yelled Dia.
“Chesed Stark!” yelled Noah.
Dia sighed. “This is hopeless.”
“No it isn’t. Isn’t that right, Ms. Nairb.” No reply. “Ms. Nairb?”
Noah and Dia turned to find Nairb gone.
“Chesed Stark!” yelled Cordelia.
“Mistress Cross!” yelled Jack.
Jack and Cordelia took the stairs down to the cargo hold. There they spotted two individuals: Chesed and Tia.
“Ah, Mistress Cross…” said Jack.
“GET OUT OF HERE!” shouted Tia. “IT’S A TRAP!”
Chesed took out a wand and instantly the door behind Jack and Cordelia welded shut.
“You shouldn’t have come,” taunted Chesed.
“Who are you!” demanded Jack.
“Like I’ll tell you.”
“He’s a Sephiroth from Organization V!” blurted Tia. “He’s come to kill everyone.”
Organization V? wondered Cordelia.
Chesed slapped Tia across the face, knocking her to the floor. “Shut up, woman! If Heavenly Ruler Phaethon ordered me not to harm you, you’d be dead right now so shut your trap.”
Jack took out a sword.
“Activate, Sinnestäuschungswiederaufleben,” commanded Jack.
Jack’s Crystal ability activated and his hair began glowing. Then, right away, he charged at Chesed. Chesed grinned.
“Fool,” laughed Chesed.
Chesed chanted a sword and a replica of Jack’s sword materialized into his hand. He then chanted a binding spell, immobilizing Jack.
“Now die,” said Chesed.
Chesed lunged his sword at Jack.
“NO!” screamed Tia.
Tia jumped out and put herself in the sword’s path. Before Chesed could react, the sword ran through Tia’s heart.
“Ru… run…” muttered Tia.
Tia’s eyes closed and she was dead.
“Damn, Phaethon will punish me for this,” cursed Chesed.
Chesed slide the sword out of Tia. He was about to stab Jack when Cordelia jumped on top of Chesed’s head then kicking him in the face, throwing the wizard into a wooden crate.
Cordelia went to help Jack. With Chesed distracted, Jack was able to break free.
“Ms. Aduella, get out of here,” said Jack, “finde Prof. Darling and the others. Leave while you can.”
“But-” Cordelia was about to protest.
Chesed enchanted a nail from the crate and shot it at Cordelia. Jack noticed it just in time to push Cordelia out of the way. The nail shot through Jack’s head and continued until it hit the wall.
“Jack!” screamed Cordelia.
“Foolish girl, you should have taken his advice,” laughed Chesed menacingly.
Chesed fired another enchanted nail at Cordelia. The nail pinged as it bounced off Cordelia’s skin.
“Impossible!” panicked Chesed.
Cordelia revealed the skin underneath. She had used alchemy to harden your skin.
“Alchemists can’t do that!” exclaimed Chesed. “They don’t have the power to do so.”
Cordelia began morphing into a centaur.
“What… what are you?!” demanded Chesed.
“I am Cordelia Aduella, a Kim-un-Kur,” informed Cordelia.
“A Kim-un-Kur… oh crap!”
Cordelia charged at Chesed. Suddenly the floor froze and Cordelia’s footing became wobbly. She grabbed onto a pole to keep her balance.
At the other exit a new person had entered. It was Nairb.
“Phaethon told you not to kill Tia Cross,” commented Nairb as she walked down the stairs.
“She tried to save Jack don Vich,” replied Chesed. “Not my fault.”
“Whatever. I heard from Kira that one of Valentine’s Kim-un-Kurs went to Chronos Academy but to think she came with us. Chesed, take care of Noah Darling and Dia S. Loth. I want to destroy this Kim-un-Kur.”
“Okay, I’ll leave you to your little game.”
“Like I’ll let you,” said Cordelia.
Chesed walked off. Ice began to form over Cordelia’s legs, all four of them.
“You won’t get away with this,” said Cordelia.
“I already have,” said Nairb.
Cordelia could sense that she was not a match for Nairb. Escape was also impossible. There was just only one thing she could do, a little trick she had heard about from Dia that Nirvayans had banned years ago.
“If I’m going down,” said Cordelia, “I’m going down with me.”
With all her strength, she summoned a ball of light.
“You think that’ll beat me?” mocked Nairb.
“Maybe, maybe not. Still, you’ll suffer all the same. Living Nightmare!”
Cordelia fired the ball at Nairb. Nairb had been startled when she learned the name of the attack and was momentarily distracted. It was long enough to allow Living Nightmare to hit her.
“Gah!” Nairb screamed as she fell down.
Living Nightmare was a spell created long ago when Nirvanism was at war with the Black Circle. The spell only affected Nirvayans in which formed psychological nightmares in the opponents head which caused trauma, mental infliction that could lead to insanity, and messed with one’s ability to control Crystals.
With her energy gone, Cordelia closed her eyes and rested in peace. As she died, a new Kim-un-Kur succeeded her. That hybrid’s name was Tenkai Hyachi.
Noah and Dia heard an explosion come from the cargo hold. They were racing down a hall when they saw an shortcut through the mess hall. Halfway across the room, Chesed appeared.
“Time to die,” said Chesed.
“I agree,” said a voice.
Suddenly there were two angels standing by the kitchen door. Chesed chanted a spell but the blindfolded angel easily deflected it.
“Why, you-” Chesed began.
Noah pulled out the antique pistol Magnus had give him and fired. The bullet struck Chesed in the head.
“Check… mate…” muttered Chesed.
Chesed collapsed, dead. The second angel used magic to incinerate Chesed’s corpse.
“Who are you?” asked Dia.
“I am Shamsiel, or rather, Leonardo now,” introduced the blindfolded angel. “This is Pererun but you may call him Wrath”
“You’re from Egrigori?” asked Noah.
“Yes, that is correct,” answered the other angel, Pererun. “However, I cannot allow you two to return to your world now that you’ve learned the secrets of Azazel’s Ruby Kilsein.”
“What secrets? Are you talking about what happened between Days 56 to 139 of the Egrigori Multi-Dimension Expedition.”
Wrath took out a sword.
“Wait, I sense that these two have no evil in them,” said Leonardo. “I feel like I’ve met the man before.”
“So. We can’t let them return.”
“I know.” He thought for a moment. “I think I have an idea. We’ll have to get Cardinal Dominic and Elder God Luke to approve it though.” Leonardo faced Noah. “Mister, I cannot allow you to return. Your friend there, however, does not appear to have much knowledge into what happened during the EM-DE since she did not read Daniel’s Journal so she may leave.”
“I won’t go without Prof. Noah!”
“A professor, huh? Well, Prof. Noah, I’ll make you a deal. I shall spare your lives if you promise to become a Sinner for SALIGIA.”
“A Sinner for SALIGIA?”
“SALIGIA is made of individuals who embody a sin and become a Sinner. Currently Dominic has been searching for someone to take the last Sin, the Sin which was never occupied: the Sin of Sloth.”
“Will I be able to see my student ever again?” asked Noah.
“Well, there is a way,” said Wrath, finally agreeing to Leonardo’s idea. “If the miss here becomes his lieutenant, Sloth, then she would be allowed to travel between here and the Mu anytime.”
“What do you say?”
“I would. Prof. Darliing, you’ll accept, right?”
“Of course I will,” agreed Noah. “Leonardo, I have one condition.”
“A condition?” asked Leonardo.
“I want this kilsein, the ARK, taken with me to the Mu so that no others may find it and find a grave end.”
“If that is your wish. Wrath, get to the bridge. We’ll have to fly it to the Mu.”
“Roger,” acknowledged Wrath.
Nairb stumbled as she walked on the path back towards St. Sutherland’s. She had lost Chesed’s Ka’Dai signature so it only meant he was dead. Since no one besides Jack, Cordelia, Tia, and Chesed knew of her involvement, she could return. And now that Abel Kane was dead, Nairb was now a Maester.
Suddenly Azazel’s Ruby Kilsein came to live. It took off and flew into the sunset. A portal appeared and it vanished.
“Good riddance,” commented Nairb.
“You need to be kinder,” said Jack.
Nairb threw a rock at Jack. It went through him.
Jack was just a mirage, an illusion caused by Cordelia’s Living Nightmare.
“Don’t worry,” said Jack, “we’ll always be together.”