The issues in the Deep
There are little moments about life that you may regret later, but there is nothing like same two events repeating themselves all the same way.
Adrian is pacing in his office, breathing out angrily; looking up and down in his head what went wrong. What might have went wrong. The “Echo” is going well, although there are disturbances that violate security of the whole operation, the Grande plan that had been executed part by part for so long. The so wanted documents, tech, all was going smoothly, but then the ripples began.
People he sent in were all admitted to where they must be, all have the information that needs to be right where it is, they play their parts well, but there is something causing ripples. Damn things do not work well! He swooped the table with a hand, crushing all that happened to be on it at that moment, with glass flying off and breaking against the wall.
“Muppets! Who on damn planet would pry on my plans!” – Flew in Adrians mind, just like dozens of questions and swearwords.
– Darling, you sure need a nice cup of a hot chocolate now, for all the crazy you are steaming out with. – Smirk and giggle, she stood next to the door.
– Merin, you should go and work out your papers. I don’t need you here now.
– Silly man. Let me guess, you are seeking that one person who is making mess, am I right? – Merin calmly looked at the mess dear husband made.
Adrian surely needs something to calm down, yet he angrily stares his wife down, with all the hate that his heart holds.
– My treat. – Merin says as she waves her hand to him.
Busy high street, buzzing with chatting and car engines; smells of coffee and street food are like an invisible fog hovering this part of town, giving it this special charm.
Teens laughing as they go after school, man passing by in their suits, ladies window shopping.
Floor two of the café, velvety seats, sand coloured walls with big canvases of pop art hanging, people chatting at few tables, couple sitting with coffee mugs at the window table. He is staring out the window, she is enjoying her large cappuccino, while she’s eyeing him.
– You were here often when in trouble. I thought that this time would not be much different. Mind sharing what’s bothering you this much? – Merin coldly looked in the eyes of the man.
– Why would…
-You better drop that attitude and spit it out, as I am that one person handling mess afterwards! – She harshly shut him up before he could brush her off.
He turned his whole body to her – opening up, taking deep breath.
Wind is rattling tree branches against the window, thunder is roaring beastly, rain is pouring like a river. Country house in mountains, forest all around, inside the house decorated by grandmother – all vintage and antique furniture, items, everything.
Sadly, at home was only a young man, in faint fear from darkness that is lurking behind the walls. Kettle is whistling jolly, as water boiled for tea. Youngster picked up kettle from brick laid stove, pouted water in tea cup.
Lightning shines up whole house, thunder shakes the ground, then all dies down for a moment of silence, as if the inside of the storm is passing over.
Footsteps are heard from hallway, making boy cringe and step back, closer to stove. His hand sought for weapon, so he grabbed fire iron. As steps got closer, a man walked out into the kitchen. His appearance was one of a king of a sort, with embroidered gown, jewelled crown, heeled boots, waistcoat with some crest on it. His face was clean shaved, hair blond, sticking but like ravens feathers, eyes cold, grey like fog. King looked at young man, furrowed his brows.
– Who are you? – asked boy in trembling tone.
King tilted his head a bit, squinting his eyes as he took good long look at young Adrian. Then King, by all he had opened his mouth.
– Put that poker down boy. You don’t want to harm yourself.
Adrian grabbed tighter onto fire iron, then he pointed it at the King.
– Who are you? – He asked again, now his voice steady.
King took few steps closer to the boy, then standing two steps away, at the edge of fire iron, he repeated once more: “Put that down”, his tone hard and cold, making Adrian succumb and put down this weapon.
– My name is Leon, King of Sopdar. Where am I and who are you?
– Adrian. And this is my house. How did you get in here?
Wind swished again, having weather outside rumbling hungrily.
– I was in throne room, then lightning flashed and I am here now. – King turns around, finds a chair to sit in and puts his body down on it.
Two spent three days together, before one more storm ranted the place. In those days Adrian shared as much information as possible, written schemes of inventions, mechanisms, literary overviews, ideas. All was out of this world. From a distant parallel. From then on, Adrian began creating and publishing things that were mind-blowing to people at the time. Alas he got sponsor attention to invest in his ideas, such interest helped create company, where on one side he produced items and advanced mechanisms, at the same time he got his own research going on, that was only known to few people. With all what he got during those three days, he was capable of visiting Kingdom Sopdar on and off for years, there he met with family of Leon, then the next king, next and next. Time difference between parallels was quite huge. Days in Adrians world equalled years in Sopdar. Throughout that time he met one more traveller, girl that was called Witch in Sopdar Kingdom.
She rarely showed up , but when she did, things changed. Some said that she worked alongside Empire, for the great Emperor Mirai. Adrian spent time to get to know as much as possible about her, but nobody had anything serious to say. So he waited patiently and finally met her. That was the sort of the friendship between Adrian and Niko.
– If she is the one causing problems, then it’s a kind of problem that is really hard to deal with. – Adrian drank the last of his coffee.
Time had passed quite fast, leaving the two on their way back home.
Merin had said that she’ll deal with the issues that are at hand, and will find what the source of the problem is.
Actually she just needed something to go on to get her revenge on Niko. The reasons were only ones to understand for the Merin alone.
Old road, stone laid, moss covered and lonely, two people walk on this old path, which was not walked upon for years. They walked in silence, hands in pockets, heads held high, just one smile that gave the chills, made you think of something scarce that things were going insane.
Uphill with burned trees that turned to ash, barely standing, greens don’t grow in here, by the looks of it – nothing possibly would grow here for centuries. It’s Wasteland that stayed behind war. History had forgotten or did its best to chuck out that part of history, to prevent such horrid experiences to ever occur again. That was the massacre of creatures by the one Monstrosity, person with the name – “Light”.
– And here I was trying to never return to my old Kingdom. – Erick took a good long look at the castle Guille Rose. – Ruling kingdom was the harshest decision made by my sadness and loss.
– Overwhelming memories, dear Kings Rose? – Niko smirked. – Let’s hope that Ary won’t wish for your head on a spike.
Ahead – huge castle, partly in ruins, covered in ash, dried out rusted blood, bones scattered around it, and faint light with a smoke coming out of the far end of the Castle.
The bridge to the entrance of castle still standing and right at the inside end stands man. Short dark hair, hazelnut eyes, old armour, tall and bulky, giving off that “knight” feeling about him. He eyed the guests as they walked towards him.
– Long-time Gabriel, still looking after the house? – Niko smiled.
Gabriels face was stone cold, but the way he had around him was close to the aura of him being ready to murder without second thought. Silence hung up in the air, guard of the castle was ready to unleash hell itself upon these fools.
– Are you possibly immortal to come back like nothing happened? – Gabriel spoke up.
Niko took few more steps towards Gabriel, then few more, until she stood few inches from him, then she swiftly hugged tight the man.
– Oh what, an old grumpy talking back like this? Don’t you love it that we’re back? I missed you too my dear! – Niko pinched his cheek. – You don’t change do you? – She laughed then pulled closer to his ear, – Is he here too along with last Demon?
Gabriel looked at her, displeased with her manners, he already knew her attitude and ways of being, but manners were still disrespectful, still in his opinion.
After taking a breath, he was about to reply to her, but Erick cut in:
– Are you still in sworn oath to serve me, Gabriel, Knight of Kings Rose?
Hazel eyes looked at Erick, then Gabriel clenched his fists, smashing right hand atop armour on the left side, where heart is, fell on one knee, spitting out:
– Long live our Kings Rose! – then looked at Niko, – I still have not forgotten oath, but you are one person I owe death match to.
– All in due time. We’ll get to it. I promise. But right now, would you be so kind to lead us to Ary? – Nikos eyes glistened.
Gabriel frowned, but again, before he could express his anger, Erick got in a way:
– Gabriel, please, lead us to Ary.
Knight stood up, feeling like his Kings Rose is but a mere puppet in witches hands, then murmured “Follow me”, as proceeded into the castle.
Crumbled throne room, yet it had the oddity of having roses growing and blooming around “Hikaru was happy with these blood red roses.” – thought flashed in Ericks head.
Footsteps echoed around, as three of them stepped on rubble left after fire and explosions, war. Erick was looking around nostalgic, having memories float back bit by bit, recalling episodes that took place in these rooms, corridors. He was getting clearer picture of Hikaru, but there was someone else, who lead Hikaru to insanity, but it was still too foggy to see who.
Gabriel was oozing with hatred, as Niko walked beside him. These two fought endlessly before during multiple battles, during longest war.
Eventually they reached the far end of castle, part that forever belonged to single person, the one who was right now needed most. Gabrial stopped at a huge door, thick and heavy by the looks, having old runes carved in it. Knight looked back at Erick, waiting for some sort of reaction, hoping inside – his master will snap back. Erick just nodded. Knight grabbed handle and pushed door inwards, opening it.
Light and warmth were inside, as two shadows sat beside the fireplace, chatting, not noticing guests right away.
Gabriel closed the door behind, right after Niko and Erick walked in. Then knight walked towards the shadows, across the massive room.
The ceiling was around 3-4 metres high, walls were stone, but had drapes hanging, windows were tall and narrow, alongside walls were hanging chandeliers with candles in them, outside was dark, tree branches of the castle garden were poking in the sight of the windows. Dining table was around middle of the room, with just 6 chairs left at it, originally it was made for around dozen of guests, but these “guests” ceased to exist. Marble floor, with animal skins used as rugs here and there, this sparkled little memory in Erick. As he sat at the table, with many important personas – it was right in midst of first war. There was one man who rounded everyone up at the time. The most insane person in existence, but even he… Erick had tears swelling up slowly, but he held back as he could.
Gabriel got to the two massive chairs that were beside fireplace, with two hosts sitting.
– They arrived, just as you said. – Murmured knight, then shifted aside, to let the shadows take a look at the guests.
Shadows turned to see who dared to appear once again, then one tall shadow stood up, taking few steps away from chair, then just stood there, taking a good long look at Niko and Erick.
– After all these years you finally decide to show up again, acting like nothing ever took place. Quite the audacity, my dear friend. – Spoke shadow.
– Ary, I… – Erick was about to speak, still holding the tears, but another shadow stood up, walking towards Erick.
– You are bloody despicable! Do you know how long you were gone for? I have waited for you to pull me out of here, yet you never showed up! I had already forgotten how it was on the other side. Really can’t start to imagine the time that had passed in there, the time I won’t be able to retrieve, to get my life back! How dare you leave us and disappear to fuck knows where?! We were looking for you. Searching for hundreds of years. And you know what? We had no bloody trace of you! Not even a single hair left! Nothing! You better make up for all the fucking time right now! – As this rampaging tantrum finished, he stood just step away from Erick.
Manly figure, quite thin, yet with muscles, his blond hair glistening red from the candle light, dressed in shirt and pants, so reminding of the old school classics. He was too from another parallel. Erick no longer held back tears, because he couldn’t, he took last step parting them to hug this blond man tight, tears flowed down his cheeks.
– Yuki, I’m so sorry. I can’t believe I could forget you… I knew I was missing something dear to me. – Erick said partly whimpering.
Yuki frowned in misunderstanding, unsure what was wrong, but hugged back Erick.
– I’m sorry to disrupt this dramatic reunion, but due to timing of events, things got to be done fast. Ary, we need your help. Another war soon might be upon this realm. Not that I’m here to protect anyone, but we have to move quickly before some stupid brats get to sacred weapon and break sovereignty to bits. – Niko looked at Arys red eyes, – Can you be so kind to lead us to the sacred weapon in Mavur?
Ary pulled his sleeves down, having his priest like gown in black and gold, making swooshing sound, then crossed his hands on his chest, doing best to be more menacing. His ash grey hair glinting like silver in the lights of room, eyes red and white, just like centuries ago seeing more than human can.
Gabriel gripped swords handle, having a slight nod exchanged with Ary. They did not forget simple fact that it was due to her , that last war was in rampage and King lost his sanity. Darn witch had no rights to even stand here, let alone ask for anything.
– You drove our King to death, – Ary began, – you took away Kings Rose, you burned lands, got few good species extent, you were “merciful” enough to spare me when fifth realm came to us, but that does not let you ask favours of me. Witch descendant from Fifth realm. – Cold expressionless face, voice sending shivers down the spine, he has stance of one who is ready to kill.
She kept slight smile all this time, but now her eyes had no emotion, smile erased from lips. Niko grabbed Arys face, her fingers pressing hard on his cheeks.
– Don’t get me wrong boy, if I were up to it – you would long ago join the dead. I was kind enough to revive Kings Roses memories, reunite you fools, but I am not here for all this sweet dramatic show. You’ve seen how I make obedient dolls out of creatures, yet I asked you nicely to play along and help me out. Or are you foolish enough to try and go about it the hard way?
Silence hung in air. With all said and done Erick now grabbed onto Yuki hard, he had remembered the whole history in this castle, in these lands, and his memory of this treacherous woman had returned. She was worth being feared of. Gabriel was about to pounce on her, but his body somehow was frozen, shaky and not willing to listen.
Ary was slowly breathing, as he felt pain that was in her powers to control in him.
– I suggest you all to cooperate, before this realm is ripped to shreds by one greedy student of mine.