Requiem of Souls Chapter 2

Lost Souls

By Artificer Urza

She was dreaming. She knew she was dreaming because she was a child of four in her dreams when, in truth, she was a young woman of eighteen.

Yua, Yua come inside. It's time for your nap
No, I wanna go see mama.
Yua, it's a good thing Ryu was able too save you from that monster. Did you really see your mother here?
Yeah, if I sleep here mom comes into my dreams.
If I had been strong enough you wouldn't need to dream to see your mother.
That's not true dad!
Yeah, your the strongest mage in the village, everybody says so!
Hey sis, if I sleep here do you think mom will come into my dreams?

Here came the part she hated, for she could not wake up, as her dream became a nightmare.

YOU WILL BE FORGOTTEN, NONE SHALL CARE THAT YOU EXIST; YOU ARE PRISONERS OF THE MIGHTY DEATHEVAN!!!
Run Yua, I'll hold them off, just run!!

And then came the confusion.

Who are you little girl?
I don't know who I am.
No, not again please don't leave me alone, father, and brother save me. Don't leave me...

"... ALONE!!" Yua screamed as she awoke, sitting upright in the bed.

Where the hell am I? She asked herself as she looked around.

The room was quite spacious, the walls made of some white stone, much to rough to be marble. Over near the door her clothes were hanging, cleaned and repaired. In alarm she looked at what she was wearing: a plain beige robe of wool. She examined her body. As always she was lithe and slightly muscular.

The picture perfect draconic specimen. But whoever got a look at me isn't gonna be seeing anything for the next few weeks when I get a hold of them. She glowered as though the culprit might be hiding in the shadows.

After she got dressed she looked around the modest dwelling. Everything seemed well maintained and tidy. As there was not much to see here she proceeded to the door. The landscape was magnificent. Green grass, unusual but beautiful trees and flowers of every type and color greeted her as she walked along the path.

"You might want to watch where you step: it's a long drop." A mysterious voice cautioned her.

The voice caused her to pause, at which point she looked over and down. He was right: it was a long drop. Buildings looked the size of toy houses, animals and people looked like ants and clouds floated beneath her. She could see now that the flying island was only big enough for the house with about a few hundred meters from the house to the edge on the other side. She cautiously stepped back and examined her surroundings. The island was circular in shape and seemed to be a part of a small flotilla of islands flying in orbit of one large landmass at the center. Yua turned to see who had spoken to her a moment before. The only figure there was standing up against the tree. He was dressed in a vest, knee length trousers and sandals. He looked to be in his mid-twenties and was quite muscular, she noted. He had a kind face framed by long purple hair.

"Glad to see you're awake. You were feverish up until a little while ago." He smiled as he spoke.

"Who are you and where is this?" Yua asks cautiously.

"My name is Draigan and this is the Skygarden of Dragonia, where you have been recuperating after you were found on the beach south of here." He looks her over appraisingly.

Yua took a defensive stance and approached Draigan.

"Are you the one who changed my clothes, 'cause if you are prepare for a black eye friend!" She shouts at him.

Draigan merely laughs and says: "Wasn't me. It was the healers, though I think that would be a small price for saving your life!"

"Yeah, well I wouldn't exactly call this place safe!" Yua growls at him.

Draigan sighed and took on a more serious posture as he replied.

"Perhaps, but it is more healthy by far." He stated with an air of sadness.

Yua again took a look at the ground beneath the flying island and she saw nothing out of the ordinary. She turned her gaze out to the west and sees for the first time a mass of gray buildings, all uniform in their appearance, which stood out against the desert landscape. She turned east and suddenly she shivered, feeling a cold malevolent presence in that direction. What truly frightened her was the fact that this presence felt vaguely familiar. She then glanced at Draigan and noticed he too was looking east.

"There has been a disease spreading down there. There have been many people who have been ill, but most recover if they are in an area where the air is pure. Those that don't recover… it's as if they become corrupted in body mind and soul. When I brought you here you had a high fever and were showing symptoms of the illness, but you should be fully recovered in a couple of days. The only other place people go is to the factory and many of them choose to move in permanently." Draigan said. He then smiled, the seriousness of the situation fading as his mood lightened. "Not me though," he laughs. "The factory is much too sterile for my tastes. At any rate I have to go to the Garden if you need me." He said as he nodded toward the main, flying island.

Yua looked at the main floating landmass he pointed to and snorted.

"How're you going to get there? Fly?" She sneered.

Draigan burst out laughing and said, chuckling: "Unlike where ever you are from, the Dragon Clan around here don't have wings."

He motioned for her to follow him. They stop at a small blue pad and he stepped on it and vanishes. Yua thinks about what Draigan had just said and comes to the conclusion that, despite her natural distrust of strangers, it might be a good idea to get to know Draigan.

He wasn't so bad or bad looking either. She thought

***********

Far to the northwest, there lay a great city surrounded by walls and towers. In one of those towers a young man watches the sun set out over the mountains. He wore a short robe over his tanned skin, with a scimitar strapped to his back and he carried a halberd in one hand. While not the strongest of the guards but what he lacked in muscle he made up for in faith in the goddess. It is in fact, religion he was contemplating as another young man intrudes upon his moments of solitude.

"Garr," the newcomer said, "Guard duty isn't for another hour. What are you doing here?"

The newcomer was dressed similarly to Garr and looked to be the same age, in his early twenties. The only noticeable difference was the halberd the newcomer carries: between the haft and the blade there, embedded, was a red jewel; it is also marked with runes making it a familial halberd, sacrosanct and blessed by the goddess. Garr turned from the sunset to look at the intruder.

"This isn't even your post Gaist, so I should ask: what are YOU doing here?" Garr asked.

"I was looking for you to tell you some news. Gaw and his brother, Gatz, have been accepted as Guardians." Gaist sighed.

Garr raised his eyebrows in disbelief. "So there are going to be Guardians, besides the two of us? Are we not sufficient for the Goddess' purpose?" Garr asked incredulously.

"You take things too seriously Garr. Don't get jealous but they are going to undergo the ceremony before we do! In about a month or so the Patriarch will perform the ceremony for Gatz, after that it will be Gaw. I shall be the last one to have it performed on me before all the citizens leave the city. You shall be the only one to have it done in the new city." Gaist laughed.

"So we are truly abandoning this city, Gaist?" Garr asked turning to his friend.

As Garr said this Gaist moved over to the window watching as another caravan departed, turning south for the port at the Factory.

"It's been expected for a while now. The city is near Angel Tower, a holy place. It's called Urkan Tapa." Gaist stated a little sadly.

"Urkan Tapa… That means 'People's Hope' in the old tongue doesn't it?" Garr asked as he descended from the watchtower, Gaist following behind.

"Very good. There aren't many who remember the old language anymore." Gaist smiled, and then considered testing Garr on the language further. "Fru ec dra Erchin*?"
(* Who is the master)

Garr smiles and replies; "Uin Kut ec dra Erchin vun cra ec sanlevim*!"
(* Our God is the Master for She is merciful)

When the two exited the tower and headed to the armory, Garr stopped and turned to his friend.

"You didn't come just to quiz me on languages and tell me who is first in line to become a Guardian did you?" Garr spoke, his voice becoming grave with impatience.

"True, we are going on patrol for ship-wrecks for the next four weeks. Not exactly my idea of a good time, but Patriarch Sudama gave the order and he gets his orders from the Goddess Herself." Gaist said as he sat down on a nearby bench.

"Patrol? You mean near the Factory? That means we have to interact with THOSE people!" Garr snorted, barely able to contain his disgust of the notion.

Gaist burst out laughing. "'THOSE people'?" He mimics. "What a tone. You really don't like them do you? Heh, it's not like they're the legendary enemy that the priests are always preaching about! If they were, the Goddess would never have let them stay on this continent." Gaist laughed at the thought.

"It's possible that they are the brood that the priests speak of. I mean, look how secretive they are. It's possible that the reason for the return of the Guardians is because we have to fight them!" Garr said, no longer bothering to hide his frustration with Gaist's carefree attitude.

"You can't judge a culture by its practices. Besides we're a pretty secretive society too you know." Gaist smirked, mocking Garr's seriousness.

Garr looked shocked. He had never heard such a blasphemous statement. He turns glaring at Gaist, then stops. Gaist was leaning against a wall laughing silently, clutching his side with one arm and banging the wall with the other. Garr's face turned red, both from anger at Gaist and embarrassment that he let Gaist mock him like that.

"Oh come on! Don't look at me like that it's not my fault you take things too seriously! Look, maybe we'll get lucky on patrol and find that monster that's been howling away night after night and shut it up permanently." Gaist managed to say between laughing fits.

Garr shook his head in frustration and walks towards the armory his laughing friend in tow.

***********

Night has always been and ever shall be a time when few monsters and fewer men dare tread. Near a beach there stumbled a robed figure. His robes are so stained with blood and other substances that the original color is no longer discernible. The flesh that shows through his robes was in various stages of decay. He was covered in a stench of death, decay and pure corruption. Had anyone been able to stand the smell long enough to get close to the figure they would have heard him speaking.

"The key, the key, where is the key? It is close I can feel it, so very close. Soon it will be in my grasp and then I'll get my revenge! Oooooh yes!! The dragon-boy, how we shall amuse ourselves when we find him. And what shall we do when we find him? We'll rip off his scales one by one, we'll boil his flesh, and we'll render his meat for our experiments. And, at the last, when we present his head and the key to the Master, and then we'll be rewarded, oooh yes. The Master will give us the dragon-boy's still beating heart to eat."

At this point the figure began to laugh maniacally but suddenly stopped as another presence intruded upon his musings.

WHAT ARE YOU DOING WORM?

It was a calm voice, but it filled the figure with unparalleled dread.

"M-Master!!" He cried pitifully.

Frantically he began to search in the shadows for his unseen master. Then his head came up as though grasped in someone's hand. He brought up his own shaking hands trying to pry away the invisible fingers from his skull.

NOW IS NOT THE TIME TO CONTEMPLATE REVENGE, WORM. I DID NOT BRING YOU BACK FOR THAT. YOURS IS TO GET ME THE KEYS. PERHAPS I SHOULD REMIND YOU OF THE CONCEQUENCES SHOULD YOU FAIL ME AGAIN.

With that the figure began to howl in pain and agony, the noise reaching even the most distant places. Those frightened awake clutch at their loved ones, praying to any god or goddess who would hear, to protect them from this damned soul, whom they are certain is coming to devour them all. Unfortunately, they aren't wrong.


Author's Notes:

Jichan is Japanese for old man or grandfather, I think. I'll also be using some Japanese terms through out the story, most of them will be attacks, so you'll know what they mean through the description, any others I'll tell you what it means.


Chapter 3

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