Wow, rent a friend. what a great invention.
Gradually rising to his feet, Keo bent to scoop up his saber, smoothly attaching it to his belt. Another yawn escaping his lips, he turned to set off, figuring Ruby and Tranquil had gone ahead for some reason, so why not meet them? Heading out toward to the East, Keo kept his eyes locked on the sky, watching the birds fly high above his head.
He had been walking for about ten minutes, and thoroughly enjoying the great weather, when the silence of the morning was broken with a scream. One that sounded very much like Ruby's.
And I thought it was too quiet!
Pushing his chattering mind away, Keo ran in the sound of the scream, drawing his blade as he leapt over a small bush. Bursting through the last bit of underbrush, he came stumbling out into a clearing, just in time to see Ruby and Tranquil. Tranquil was standing, bow drawn, in front of Ruby. Ruby was carrying an assortment of berries, which were breakfast Keo assumed. It was a good thing he went looking for them. Following the direction Tranquil's arrow was aimed, Keo locked squinted eyes on the cause of Ruby's screech. Goblins, six of them. The Starlight Forest was always creeping with creatures, most of which Keo cut a swath through on his way to the Star Dragon Tower months before. Now it looked as though they had repopulated, and gotten a good deal stronger. He could take these, there wasn't too much danger. Keo couldn't help but smile slightly, as he looked over at Tranquil. Tranquil had backed up quite a bit, Ruby still cowering behind her.
"D... don't come any closer, or I will fire!"
As Tranquil continued to back-peddle, the Goblins moved in slowly, wooden clubs raised high. They weren't a smart bunch, and Keo knew they would just move in like that. Sword raised, Keo took off at a run, directly at the group of six. As he neared, the smell of them washed over him, reminding Keo of his last run in with them. Goblins tended not to bathe. As he neared the first on the right, the sword was held at his side, and he yelled. Keo leapt. In mid air he seemed to glow with a faint silver and blue light, as he engaged the first Goblin with a running tackle. Bringing his body hard into contact with the Goblin, it would be sent into the air, as Keo balanced himself for the others to attack him. It was a basic maneuver all members of the Guard were taught to throw an enemy off. The five remaining Goblins turned to Keo just as the one he struck hit the ground, and didn't rise. He must have hit a tender area in the monsters stomach, to take it out like that. Standing where he was, there were three on his right side, and two on the left.
Before any of the Goblins could react, Keo brought his sword up, and leapt at the first one on his right, bringing the gleaming blade around. It made contact with the Goblins body, and it fell back, as the one behind it came at Keo.
"For the Goddess!"
As his battle-cry was uttered, Keo brought his now fast moving blade around and into the Goblin after him. It fell as the other one had, and two more were coming at him from the left. Turning to face them, he crouched low, as a club was brought down on his shoulder. Keo wasn't wearing his armor, so naturally it stung for a moment, but just a moment. In the second that the Goblin had struck him, Keo had driven his blade up, and taken down the Goblin. Pulling the blade back, he hopped ahead as the other creature on the left lunged for him, club swinging around it's head like a propellor. As the Goblin brought it's club down with a powered up strike, Keo's saber met it, and sliced it clean in half. Spinning, he would bring the sword down, and drag it across the Goblins body. Finishing the turn, he had just enough time to see the last one swinging it's club toward his head too fast to block.
In the instant before it would strike Keo's head, the Goblin fell for no visible reason. As soon as it had hit the ground, Keo could see what was behind it, and saw Tranquil. Ruby was on her shoulder, gripping the leather on her shoulder tightly with tiny claws. Tranquil stood sweating slightly, a bow with no arrow in her right hand. Staring right at Keo, she half smiled, and yelled over to him.
"Are all members of Althena's Guard a bunch of showoffs looking for a fight?"
Grinning, she lowered her bow as, grinning, Keo sheathed his blade. Walking slowly toward each other, the two youths met in the middle of the clearing still smiling.
"Well, Mister High-and-mighty Guard. I guess I owe you."
"No Tranquil, you don't owe me, I just defeated them quicker for you."
"Well, either way, now you can't lose me until I have repaid the debt to you."
Smiling, Keo locked his gaze on Ruby, who was still attached to Tranquil, mouth open slightly. She leapt up, and slowly began hovering in front of Keo, her small eyes scanning his face.
"Are you sure you aren't Hiro? You kick butt just like him!"
Laughing, Keo smiled at Ruby, and reached up to pat her head gently.
"No Ruby, I'm not." Turning his attention to Tranquil, he addressed both of them. "We should get out of here though, this forest is enchanted, and who knows what else might be around. There is a City not too far from here, and we can easily make it before night fall."
Turning, Tranquil locked eyes upon Keo, her face twisting. "You don't mean Larpa... do you?" As she said it, Keo could see Ruby look over, a confused expression on her tiny features.
"Yes, Larpa, what about it?" Keo asked, looking puzzled, and quite curious.
"Larpa was destroyed a month ago, and nobody knows why. The only survivor was a middle-aged sage, and healer under the name of Althena. His name was like... Rondo... Ronnie... something like-"
Tranquil was cut off as Ruby leapt away from Keo, her face turning shocked, as Ruby darted at Tranquil.
"Ronfar? Was it Ronfar?!"
Immediately Keo remembered what Hiro had told him about Ronfar, lived in Larpa, and was in the final battle against Zophar. He moved to another village to live with his love... Raculi, was it?
"Yes, Ronfar, that was the guy. You know him or something cat?"
"Yes, I know him! He helped defeat Zophar! He was a great healer, and I am no cat!"
Tranquil nodded slightly, as Keo frowned. Quickly, she carried on, and turned to begin walking toward the exit of the forest.
"But he said he saw some really big guy in a black cloak, who was "reeking with evil magic" he called himself the Magic King, or Magic Baron or something-"
Once again, Tranquil was cut off by somebody, and this time it was coming from behind them.
"Magic Emperor, and there hasn't been one since the days of Dragonmaster Alex, just as there has yet to be another true Dragonmaster..."
All eyes went onto the mysterious stranger, as he approached. Keo took in his features in seconds, and was puzzled. He had brown and white hair, the brown being a streak in the white. He looked young, but tall, and kind of lanky. He was dressed in what was obviously traveling clothes, and his teeth formed a sharp point in two places. Slung across his back was a long, wide blade, wrapped in white cloth. It looked as though it must have weighed a ton, and Keo doubted he could ever use something that big. Keo was trying to place him, the description coming to mind from Hiro, but before he could, Ruby did it for him.
"Nall? What are you doing waaaay out here? Shouldn't you be at Taben's peak with the kids?"
"The kids are being watched over by Jean and Lemina, who were both very happy to do so. I came to investigate Larpa. It's good to see you Ruby, I missed you..."
Blushing slightly, Nall made his way to them.
Lemina, Jean, Ronfar, and now Nall. How many of Hiro's friends are around here?!
He watched Nall as he reached them, shooting a look to Tranquil, who was mildly confused. She spoke up then, showing it.
"Nall the White Dragon?" Whistling, Tranquil looked Nall up and down. "Looks like we have two of the great dragons of Althena... what luck."
"Since I'm not sure if that was sarcasm or not, I will take it as a compliment, thanks!" Nall exclaimed, grinning over at Tranquil. "But this is no laughing matter. There is a serious problem arising here."
Turning his attention to Keo, he frowned. "So you're Keo? You do look sort of like Hiro."
"Yeah, that's me. We really should get out of this forest... we are wasting way too much time."
Keo kept his eyes on Nall, causing him to frown.
"Not as much fun as Hiro though... all right. Follow me, I am on my way to meet with Ronfar, and you all can see him too."
Nall turned, walking toward the grassland outside the forest. Following after him was Ruby, calling. She flew up and landed on Nall's shoulder, as Tranquil and Keo locked eyes, shrugged, and followed. As they walked out of the forest, Keo couldn't help but think of the Princess of the Blue Stars words, echoing in his head. Without thinking of it, his right hand slipped up to rub the round object under his loose fitting shirt. It was a gift to the Princess of the Silver Star, if he ever found her in time...
Jaide Minikus' Fanfiction