Things Left Undone Book 3, Chapter 10
Yahgrem & Vyrela
Yahgrem sighed and toyed with the hem of his yellow robe. Ever since those sacrifices killed Rexus, his life had been boring. Yahgrem was once Rexus' trainer, master, and friend, but now Rexus was dead.
He sat alone in the council hall, awaiting the arrival of Jas-chu and Struk, the leader of Drexun's cult. Yahgrem glanced up at the statue of Trrankil. It glared down at him, and he quickly averted his eyes from the god's snarling features.
Just then, two figures of a startling contrast entered through the open door. Yahgrem stood as his hunched, olive-skinned master entered with the tall, handsome Struk. They preformed the ages-old greeting ritual, bowing to one another, then the statue of Trrankil, and sitting in the drab purple circles on the floor. There was no furniture in the Diamond mountain, none except Jas-chu's own throne, which never moved from its place in the center hall.
Struk arranged his knee-length blue tunic around himself. Sitting there, hands folded in his lap, he looked very powerful. His red eyes glinted.
Jas-chu sat, somewhat stiffly, and pulled his red robe closer around himself. He shuddered, and looked at Yahgrem. Yahgrem kneeled in the circle, since he was not of a high enough rank to sit. He looked at the floor.
In the melodious voice that seemed so out of place in his decrepit body, Jas-chu spoke. "So, Yahgrem. You wished to speak about your future here, did you?"
"Yes, master." He kept his eyes rooted to the floor. Making eye contact with a superior during a meeting was an offense punishable by death. "I wanted to become a priest in Trrankil's order. Now that Rexus is dead, I feel no purpose in my life."
"No purpose? How about you go and find those sacrifices that so annoyingly got away."
"But I thought you formed the alliance with the cult of Drexun in order to find them?"
Jas-chu laughed, and so did Struk, in a voice as deep as a well. They whispered between themselves for a moment, then turned back to Yahgrem. "The alliance is for a much greater purpose. We plan to take over the entire universe."
Yahgrem twitched in shock. He had never really wanted to become a member of this cult, but ever since his old teacher, Tryuiop, went insane, he thought it prudent to go in search of a place to stay in the overworld. The cult of Trrankil was the only place that he could find to go. He had actually begun to like it there, and Jas-chu had always been friendly enough. But Jas-chu seemed somehow different today. And with this news, Yahgrem's mind reeled. "What do you mean? When?"
"Now, boy. As we speak, Struk and I are rallying our forces. We will conquer the universe, for we are the supreme beings."
"But I don't understand."
"And nor will you ever. But I need someone to stay here, on Karandash, to find those alien sacrifices that ran away and return them to me, so I may... dispose of them."
"And you wish me to do this."
"Correct. Struk has one who is also remaining behind."
Struk, until then silent, spoke. "Yes. Her name is Vyrela. She is a prisoner of the state, on death row for treason. But we decided that she should serve a purpose." Yahgrem could imagine the savage grin covering Struk's face. It tinted his words.
"But why are you pairing me with a common criminal?"
Jas-chu sniffed. "You are a danger to our cause. Your heart is too pure. You could be the death of us all. I was tempted to kill you, but Struk suggested that I let you live, and find the aliens for me. And you are a perfect choice for the job, being the friend of the beast they killed- your Rexus."
Jas-chu stood then, with the aid of Struk's shoulder, signalling that the meeting was over. He whistled, and a Karandian with a spear got behind Yahgrem, and prodded him out of the room and down the hall with the butt of the spear. He was jostled into a small room, and locked there. He spent the next hour or so in confusion, thoughts ramming each other in the mad dash for understanding, each one so determined that not a one emerged victorious. Finally, he squeezed his eyes shut, and laid on the warm sand floor. He fell asleep as soon as he hit the ground.
* * * * *
He was awakened by the same spear-wielding Karandian, and lifted by the collar of his robe. He was escorted to the center hall, where Struk, Jas-chu, and a tightly bound female stood. Jas-chu approached, and looked up into Yahgrem's eyes. "This female is Vyrela, your companion. You two will be alone on this planet, with a single spaceship for your use if you have captured the aliens. Do not even dream of escape on that ship, though, for in order to start it up, you must use the videocom to show me the aliens. Alive. That is all I have to say to you." He turned to Struk, who shoved Vyrela into Yahgrem. They both struggled to regain their balance. "Shall we be off?"
Struk nodded. "We shall." They walked out of the chamber. For a moment, Yahgrem could hear nothing, but then, the war cries of hundreds of his people echoed through the mountain. Soon after, the roars of massive jet engines could be heard outside, and then there was silence.
Shocked and dismayed that his clan had left him alone on this planet, he sighed and turned to study his new companion.
She was taller than most Karandians, though not taller than himself. She had the typical long, thick black hair and onyxesque skin, and an impressively muscular, shapely figure. He noticed the light blue eyes, which he had as well, even though they were extremely infrequent in the Karandian species. Virus or whatever her name was stood with the grace of a female, yet with the confident slouch of a warrior. Yahgrem could not help but draw a low, appreciative whistle for the female before him. That's when he noticed that she was studying him, as well.
She smiled, and held out her hand. "Hello. We haven't been properly introduced yet, have we? My name is Vyrela. Yours?"
He hesitantly reached out, not sure if shaking the hand of a criminal was a good idea. Finally, he grasped her hand, and marveled at its smoothness. "My name is Yahgrem. Pity the circumstances of our meeting are so bleak, huh."
She laughed, a sound like windchimes. "Yes, quite." Though she sounded happy, Yahgrem could see the reflection of worry in her blue eyes. She got a look of seriousness, though, in the next second. "Please do not believe the things that Jas-chu and Struk said about me. I was thrown in prison for my blue eyes, not for anything gruesome. I was locked away all my life." At Yahgrem's look of horror, she added, "Weren't you 'disposed of' as well?"
"No, I wasn't. I was born in the underground, and only recently came up here. Otherwise, they might have locked me up. You poor girl! Your whole life?"
"Yes, I'm afraid. I have had no contact with anyone until now, except for blessed old Frett. He was an old one, the jailkeeper. He treated me like his own daughter, and taught me how to fight. I loved him so, until one day he passed away. The next thing I knew, I was dragged up here."
Yahgrem didn't know what to say, so he told Vyrela about his life. "I was born and raised in the underworld. I never met my parents, and to this day have no idea who they are. Instead, Tryuiop was my father, and he taught me all about the glory of the book of Vytra, written by Saz, philosopher and teacher of the words of the Lightrunner. Anyway, one day Tryuiop started acting odd, and all of his students, including me, decided to leave and seek our fortunes in the overworld. I ended up here, and Jas-chu wasted no time in appointing me caretaker of Trrankil's demon, Rexus. It is my belief that Trrankil is the result of an overactive imagination, but Rexus certainly was real."
Vyrela was listening intently, and Yahgrem, pleased, continued his story. "Sorry I got off track, there. Ahem. Anyway, Only a year or two after I got here, these four alien creatures appeared over the communal supper table, crushing the second-priest's supper. Immediately, the guards grabbed the four arrivals, but they were unconscious. Jas-chu ordered them to be sacrifices for Trrankil, so they were sent to me. I tied them to the stone sacrifice tables, and kept them fed until the two week sacrifice date arrived. During those two weeks, though, I became attached to those four. They reminded me of something I had seen before, but still, I cannot remember... Anyway, I didn't want to sacrifice them but I had little choice. The day came, and Rexus ate the pretty blond-haired one, but she came back up a minute or two later, alive and well. She ran back and released her friends, and they ran into the center of the mountain. Jas-chu's men caught them again, and they were sent back in here, the main chamber, to do battle with Rexus. They won. They ran out of the building, and disappeared into a big sandpit. Jas-chu was infuriated, but in the bottom of my heart I was happy that they all got free. Although, I wish Rexus didn't have to die."
At that, Vyrela put a comforting hand on his shoulder and urged him to continue.
"Well, after Rexus died, I had no real purpose here, so I held a meeting with Jas-chu and Struk to see if I could become a priest. I didn't believe in Trrankil, but it was all I could think of to do. I've never been much of a fighter. In the meeting, I find out that everyone is going out to take over the universe, and I'm going to stay here with some criminal and find the escaped aliens. And here I am now."
Vyrela looked impressed. "What a life you've led!" She took his hand, and pulled him along out the door and over to the sandpit that Yahgrem mentioned in his story, the same one that the heroes dropped through. "I want to get away from this foul planet. Let's capture the aliens, and let Jas-chu do with them as he pleases. Then, maybe, we'll go off by ourselves and colonize a new homeworld, away from our warring people."
Yahgrem was swiftly falling for the beautiful creature before him, and so, he agreed. They stepped into the sandpit, and they fell through, landing on a hard, cold stone floor.
* * * * *
The eleven companions had finished their final preparations for taking on the Darkrunner and were getting ready to head out the door when they heard a distant thump echo through the subterranean labyrinth.
Robo stopped moving and set his scanners to find where the noise had come from. "I think... yes. My equipment says that the noise came from the sandpit landing room. We have company. Shall we see who it might be?"
Magus' eyes narrowed. "We should head straight out and fight the Darkrunner, but this might be serious. Let's go."
And so, they all made the half-hour-long trek through the lengthy corridors and finally emerged in the sandpit room. They couldn't see anyone.
Ayla cupped her hands, and yelled. "Hello!" The echo repeated the word five more times. They were about to split up and look, when a voice called back to them. "Who are you? Where are we?"
Crono drew his sword, and stalked to where the voice came from. He yelped and ran back when the two tall Karandians stepped out of the shadows. The tallest one spoke. "It's the orange-haired one. Please come along with us peacefully, you and your friends."
Marle and the others stepped out of the shadows on the other side of the room to back Crono up.
The smaller, feminine-looking Karandian looked surprised. She glanced at her companion. "I thought you said that there were only four."
The taller, yellow-robed one nodded. "There were only four, as far as I knew. Now there's... eleven!?! Eleven of them..."
"What's so special about eleven?" The female asked.
The yellow-robed one didn't say anything, he just dropped to his knees and bowed to the eleven heroes, who he only now realized he had seen on the giant mural in his old home, the temple of Aout. "Please forgive me, masters. I didn't know it was you."
Marle snapped her fingers. "I remember you! You're the guy who controlled that Rexus thing!"
"Yes, my lady. That I am. You may call me Yahgrem. My companion is Vyrela. We had come in search of you to deliver you to Jas-chu, before I realized who you were. Now, all I can do is beg your forgiveness."
Marle laughed. "That's unnecessary, Yahgrem. What you can do, though, is take us to Jas-chu so we can release him from the grips of the Darkrunner."
Yahgrem looked up. "The Darkrunner? He has Jas-chu?"
Just then, his companion, whom he had introduced as Vyrela, spoke. "Would someone please explain to me what is happening here? It's not my fault that I lived in a dungeon..."
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