Chapter Twenty-One: Cheating is good
"So all we need to do is get to Virgo's holding place and open the dimension where the Clarus dragons are hiding so we can find Hjördis." Nightingale was sitting on the ground looking at the map. Her four fellow royals were crowded around, all contemplating what she had just said. Their bondmates were up to various things in the background so they wouldn't cause a distraction.
"It sounds simple enough," Nyx said with a slight frowned.
"Of course doing it is the hard part," Akio said as he flumped down on his back.
"Since Virgo and Hjördis are on the opposite sides of the map it'll take at least a year walking, to complete the mission." Aziz calmly stated.
Horatio's eye widened in response, Nyx gasped and Akio squeaked. Nightingale, however, sat with her legs crossed staring at the map intently.
She looked up at Aziz, who happened to be across from her, "There has to be a way to cheat."
"Cheat?" he inquired. It was a foreign concept to him, he was a unicorn after all.
"Yes. I'm not jumping through anymore hoops. I mean fudge! It's almost been a year since we started this stupid quest, and I'm tired of all the detours. I want to end it, and if the evil villain can cheat, we can do it too!" She slammed her hand down on the map.
Horatio, who was sitting to Nightingale's right, tapped her shoulder, "We may be able to harness Bob's unpredictable teleportation power. We do have a white mage, and a unicorn with us, I'm sure one of them could use some sort of power to help direct us where we want to go."
Aziz shrugged, "I can't do anything. My powers would most likely back fire since Bob's powers are purely Ittoki based.
Everyone looked to Nyx, "Well... I might be able to combine so Astral and Chiyu to create a controlling spell over the power, but it would have to be quite complicated since it would be a large group. I'm sure that Roberta is a higher level than me, but... if she gives me consent...."
"Then it's settle," Nightingale said with a rare smile, "it's all up to you."
*So you're finished?* Faia poked her head into the circle. Her tiara giving off a special "look at me" shine.
"Yep, as far as I'm concerned," Nightingale stood up and shot a look to Nyx. One that could easily be translated as 'fail me and I humiliate you,' or something far worse.
*Good! Then we can get going, yes?*
"Not yet!" Nyx squeaked as she scrambled for her shield, "I need some time to get the spell ready, and I still need Bob's consent!"
"Bob!" Nightingale called over.
"What?" She yelled back.
"Is it all right if Nyx combines her power with yours so we can go somewhere proper for a change?"
"Sure," Bob went back to play a mean game of Mahjong with Uzziel, Provocare and La Don.
"Now that you have permission get cracking."
Nyx sighed. Somehow pretending to be a dumb blonde was not going to work in this situation. Funny. It always worked before. "The closet place would be Virgo's. I'll start with a spell for that situation. I'll need to come up with a new one for Hjördis."
"Take your time," said Horatio, "we just don't want to be in two halves when your done."
"Thanks for the encouragement."
"I thought we were going to die!" Eyura Dera squeaked as he fell to the ground.
Nyx growled, for once in her life, "Well, I didn't see you helping out. And when did you decided to insult everyone all the time?"
"When I hatched..."
"Are you sure we landed in the right place," Nightingale asked as she looked around puzzled.
"Verdant!" Provocare yelled as if he had made a great revelation. He was pointing at an empty space.
Akio peered over Provocare's shoulder, "Is that supposed to mean something?"
"Well," Provocare explained while he was still pointing at nothing, "you all didn't like it when I said "shiny" all the time so I decided to change the word."
"Uh....huh," Akio said aloud what everyone was thinking.
"It means leafy green, and I'm pointing at the hole in the ground."
Valora was the first to followed the path of the finger, and when she made it to the end, she fell in the said invisible hole and landed with a meaty thud. "Um... Valora, are you all right down there," her bondmate asked with a tiny bit of concern in his voice.
"Why don't you come down her and--Holy mother Haken!" There was a loud crash followed by a woman's scream and a muffled yell of Valora's. Silence fell all to quickly or at least Adrastos thought to himself as he peered down the still invisible hole. He was quite surprised to learn that he couldn't really see properly since his lovely bondmate had so hastily "disconnected" her power of sight seeing. He could not even see through her eyes.
"Adrastos, is something wrong?" Bob asked with a head tilt.
"Besides the fact that I can't see--at all--and my bondmate just screamed, I don't think anything is wrong."
"I guess if you put it that way it means, I can push you in the hole then," Bob said cheerily.
"What--no!" Before the sage new it he had hit the ground with a thud. He did not know how long it was or how long he was out cold, but he heard his companions' voices faintly in the background. Someone tugged on his upper arm.
"Are you okay Mr. Adrastos," Aziz asked.
He sat up slowly before speaking, "I landed flat on my face and you expect me to say okay?"
"No, but I decided to ask anyway. We found Virgo by the way."
"That was fast," he blinked a few extra times as Valora kindly gave him his eyesight back.
"She gave us everything we needed while you were knocked out. She was in quite a hurry to get rid of us."
Adrastos snorted as he dusted himself off. "It sounds like her all right. I guess she gave you the location of Hjördis?"
"Nightingale, Faia, and Roberta already went ahead." Aziz pointed to the rest of the group. Apparently the hole and evaporated and they were now on a deep incline. Adrastos was standing before a door that looked similar to the gate of time, but was much smaller and more ornately decorated. It was the entrance to Virgo's original house.
Adrastos sighed. Old memories were best left dead. "I think I'll have a cup of tea while we're waiting.
Faia growled. The Kippling fellow was not helping her concentrate at all. He was starting to get rather annoying. *Look, I can't get more than one or two flakes, so I'll just practice a bit later and for now I'll stick with my fire attacks.*
*That's no way to talk!* Kippling, the glass Clarus Dragon said from his safe perch in some dazzling roman like architecture.
*Would you like to FEEL my Dragon's Furry attack? Hum?*
*No, that's quite all right.* The shimmering dragon made a pop sound as he squirmed out of his perch. He revealed a large set of wings as well as legs. He looked somewhat like a Kangaroo. *I think I'll go find your bondmate and her friend. That way you can go and defeat that evil villain... whose name you don't even know.* In a flash he had fluttered away.
Once again the red Bishen growled. Why did that dragon enjoy rubbing things in? At least now they could finish this blind quest to save the world. It was curious though, what would Nightingale do after they finished? Faia was sure she could never return to a normal life, and it would be boring to stay in a cozy house after this great adventure.
Nightingale walked out of the Temple of Dea with Hjördis and Bob close behind. She looked as if something had decided to smack her in the face and then gloat. Hjördis, who was a brunette with peach colored skin and two mismatched wings, frantically tried to stop Nightingale.
"Not to burst your bubble Princess, but you can't run off with only your bondmate and Miss Roberta."
"Oh? Try and stop me!"
"I don't think you want me to do that," the elder woman said with a tone of spite in her voice.
The half breed princess stopped dead in her tracks. "Why can't you go with us. That way the rest of the group wouldn't have to be in danger.""I hate to say this, but the Clarus dragons can't take care of themselves." The magical creature guardian smiled, "You need them to defeat the true evil."
*True evil?* Faiamitsukai thought it was a good idea to make herself noticed.
"How is it, that no matter how many monsters and slaves you send the party is STILL ALIVE." The gray haired Ava threw her wine glass across the room. It shattered into a million pieces, creating a painful yet lovely shower over a small minion's head. "Why hasn't he killed them yet?" she screamed at the top of her lungs.
The little lackey squeaked, "Mistress! They've been able to teleport to several different places, it's becoming hard for the Dark Knight Oren to track."
"HOW can they teleport? TELL ME!" The woman was near hysterics, her striking features were all marked with fear giving her a look similar to a drowning woman.
"Roberta is helping them," the demon cowered waiting for his mistress to explode.
"I see. She's betrayed me just like her father." She slid to the ground her eyes were large, and her irises a pupil and shrunk nearly to pin holes. "Send a message to my Knight. Tell him to kill them all, including my Roberta."
The tiny demon skidded off to the find the mini-demon messengers at lighting speed.
All Ava could do was laugh at her self induced misfortune. She had sworn no one would get in her--their--way to glory. Yes, with her partner behind her she could never fail.
They would all die before they failed.