The Next Generation Part 21
A Debt Repaid
By Krazy Sam
Mio yawned loudly and twirled a lock of dark brown hair around her little finger. Another slow day in the palace personally, she didnt see how Layith stood it when she was still alive.
Mios head snapped up. Yes, Caira?
A timid blond servant stood in front of Mio, her dark maid uniform billowing in a sudden draft. General Laeri is here to see you.
Mio scoffed. Send her away.
Caira shook her head. She said its urgent.
Mio shook her head. I dont care. Send her away! she screamed, her pale face turning purple with rage. Suddenly, Flea appeared in front of Mio in a puff of smoke.
Oh, dear Mio how could you ignore an old friend? she cried out in mock indignation. Mio folded her arms across her chest.
Youre a traitor to the Mystic race. Youre not even fit to walk upon the deserts of Hell, she murmured. Flea smirked.
Oh, please, Mio. Do you think that your childish insults will even dent my good mood? You havent changed a bit still weak, immature, and completely helpless. In fact, Im sure you couldnt last in a fight against an imp!
Mio drew her sword and brushed back her long dark hair. Oh, its a fight you want? If thats so, then Ill be glad to use your blood as a dye for my carpets!
Flea shook her head. Not today. Id rather make things much more painful for you.
Mio grinned. Youre afraid.
I am not afraid! Flea cried out, her hands balling up into fists at her sides. You just watch, Ill show you whos afraid!
Mio grinned. Thats the spirit! she taunted.
Flea leaned close to her former friend. If its fear you want, its fear youll get, but dont come whimpering to me when youve gotten more than you bargained for.
Mios hand began to take on a dark hue. Enough!
Oh, so I see Ive struck a nerve with ye? Flea taunted. Mios face contorted into a mask of hatred.
Get out! she screamed. Flea snickered.
Oh, I do believe you challenged me, Mio and if its a fight you want, its a fight youll get!
Mio raised her sword above her head and cried out in sudden fury. Bringing the heavy weapon down on Flea, she screamed with rage. Fleas eyes widened as the sword dug into her left shoulder, slicing down to her shoulder bone.
Oh, I see you play rough now if thats the way you want it Fleas right arm shot out and a thin sword materialized within her open hand. Clenching down on the hilt, Flea swung forward with all of her might, connecting with Mios left elbow. I knew I should have killed you when I first had the chance, Mio! Flea screamed.
Mio grinned despite the sharp pain shooting up her left arm and stabbing into her chest. If I had known what a bastard youd turn out to be, I would have killed you before you even had a chance to become my first officer!
Fleas eyes narrowed. Why you she grumbled, her face contorting into a mask of hatred. Her right fist began to glow with a fiery hue, and Mios eyes widened, her left arm still dangling limply at her side. Fleas mood instantly changed as she began to grin crazily. Thats right, Mio cower in fear! she cried out. I dont give a damn about whats going to happen to this cursed planet! If you die, so be it! Thats one less annoyance to worry about! she screamed. Her lips curled further upward as she let out a loud chuckle. Cower! Fall to your knees and whimper like the dog you are! You wretched knave, kneel before my power! Kneel, last hope for the Planet, and show your loyal subjects how strong you really are!
Mios gasped in agony as another fiery jolt of pain ripped through her left side. Youre crazy! A lunatic!
Fleas right hand grew darker as a steady stream of deep red blood poured down her left arm. I may be crazy, but youre the one whos going to die!
Mios hand suddenly disappeared under a shadowy ball forming in her palm. Oh, really?
Fleas palm began to glow a fiery orange. Oh, please. Your puny power is no match for what I have achieved!
Both women thrust their palms forward at the same time, with the two beams of magic clashing with each other. The bright throne room reflected the gleaming orange light from the resulting explosion. Mio and Flea were both thrown backwards in an instant, hitting opposite walls. Mio hit the wall with a sickening crack, headfirst. Her vision blurred instantly. Seeing the shadowy figure of Flea slowly stand up and limp over to her, Mios eyelids began to close in silent resignation.
Lana shut her eyes slowly and put a cold hand to her forehead. Somethings not right
BTanya, Stal, Sari, Nika, Maro, Kash, Slash, Elena, Olana, and Spekkio stared at Lana, their eyes wide with shock.
Youre looking awfully pale, Lana Stal noted.
Are you sick? Elena piped up. Each other being began to offer their own personal advice.
Maybe you should get some rest.
Rest? Ha! She needs to get up and walk around- helps the circulation.
I think I have some healing herbs in my pouch
Better yet, we should make a fire! Does anyone have any dry wood?
Not on my cobblestones! Youre not going to char my beautiful cobblestones! Do you know how long it took me to set each one?
Gracious! Doesnt it seem like her skin is turning transparent? BTanya finally gasped, placing a hand to her mouth.
The whole room grew silent as all eyes were on Lana. Lana shivered and glanced around nervously.
W-what ? she stammered fearfully. My skins tingling and why is it so dark?
Maro gasped. Her skin IS transparent!
Elena screamed and covered her eyes. Whats going on?!? she cried out, sobbing.
Lana groaned as a sharp jab of pain shot into her left arm. Somebody please help! she cried out as she slumped over.
Maro stared, wide-eyed. Shes gone he murmured. Sari nodded, her mouth hanging open in shock.
Whats happening? she breathed. It is getting pretty dark
Maro glanced over at Sari. Not you, too!
Kash cried out in surprise. Sari, its happening again! What the hell is going on?
The time flow is being disrupted greatly Spekkio called. Slash narrowed his eyes.
Flea that little he cursed loudly.
Sari glanced down at her dissipating body. With every second, she became fainter and fainter until a bright light blinded her with its power. Pain ripped through her whole left side, and with one final anguished scream, Sari fell to her knees, covering her face.
Sari! Stal screamed. Sari uncovered her face and tried to scream back, but she couldnt move. Some strange force held her whole body back and suddenly, there was nothing but black. No feeling, no sights, and no smells her own agonized fear was the only clue that she could still be alive.
Is this what its like to die? Sari wondered.
Pain ripped through Fleas left side as if her arm had been torn off at the shoulder. Her heart was on fire, her torso moist with sweat or was it blood? It would take all of her power to heal this wound
Grasping her sword firmly, Flea stared down at her unconscious ex-friend. Suddenly a vision of long ago took over her senses
The attack began at dawn. As the new general of Mios squadron, Laeri personally led the assault on Dorino, but at the front line of the Humans side stood a Mystic, tall and proud
NO! Laeri screamed. It cant be!
But it was the Mystic fighting alongside the enemy was none other than Mio! Laeris heart felt like it was twisting into a knot. She couldnt fight not against her oldest friend as the battle raged on around her, she couldnt find the courage to even draw her sword.
Forward! Laeri heard Mio cry out. It couldnt be the fact that Mio was alive was surprise enough, but to see her on the opposing forces
Turning on her heel, Laeri began to head for the camp. As long as she was against her best friend, she was useless. Suddenly, she felt the cold of metal on her neck.
Whats the matter- too scared to fight? Mios voice taunted. Laeri slowly turned around.
Mio she murmured. Mios eyes widened.
Laeri she whispered back. Her gaze suddenly lowered. I know you
With that, Mio turned to leave.
Mio, wait! Laeri called, but Mio was running back for Human lines Mio couldve killed her with no trouble yet her life was spared Mio
Flea lowered her sword slowly. You had every chance to kill me, yet you didnt I cant do it
Mios eyelids fluttered in reply.
A life for a life but now were even and I have nothing to hold me back next time! Flea growled, vanishing in a flash of green light.
Ugh! Lana grunted, falling on the hard cobblestones of the End of Time. Another thud was heard behind her and the next thing she knew, her allies were surrounding her.
Lana! Sari! What happened? Maro called.
Are you hurt? Stal added. Lana shook her head.
Im fine, she grumbled. Sari nodded in agreement.
Lana suddenly whirled around to face Sari. A life for a life
Sari paled. But now were even and I have nothing to hold me back next time
Olana shook her head. What are you two talking about?
Spekkio lowered his head. Fate has smiled on these two young ladies. Laeris conscience has been cleared but if that freebie has been squandered
Lana closed her eyes. Nothing will hold her back now. Her debts have been paid.
Sari nodded. The next time we see her could be our last.
Screaming in agony and frustration, Laeri backed up against the wall of her Pandua retreat, clutching her left shoulder tightly. White light flashed between the fingers of her right hand, illuminating the dark walls and casting strange shadows on every surface.
Laeri gritted her teeth once more and pressed down on her wound even tighter. The burning she had felt back at the castle had intensified a hundred fold. If she didnt black out, shed consider herself lucky
Why? WHY?!? she roared, letting go of her wounded shoulder and knocking over a collection of tiny glass bottles. The colored glass shattered on the hard wooden floor, its tinkling a sharp contrast to Laeris wails. Shards clung to her skin, drops of blood already forming around the jagged edges of the glass. Suddenly snapping out of her rage, Laeri glanced down at her new wound.
Ohhhh . She whimpered, her eyes widening. Convinced that her shoulder laceration was at least half-healed, Laeri turned her attention to her right arm and proceeded to pick out the tiny bits of glass from her skin, white light radiating from her fingertips with every move. With her right arm healed, she could concentrate on her more threatening injury
Mio? Lady Mio, can you hear me?
Mios eyelids fluttered open. Caira? What are you doing here? she groaned. Caira grinned, her pale hair falling over her shoulders.
Youre all right! We noticed you laying here, bleeding, just about an hour ago. You were unconscious for the longest time we thought you were dead!
Mio tried to pull herself up, and promptly screamed in pain. Her whole body was either throbbing or was completely numb
Dont try to move we managed to stop the bleeding. Dont be alarmed if you cant feel a few things- we tried our best to numb some of the larger wounds.
Why didnt Flea kill me? Mio wheezed, leaning heavily on the stone wall. Caira glanced away.
I dont know. It seems she had an attack of conscience
Flea has no conscience! Mio screamed, even though her throat was raw. Pain ripped through her neck, forcing her next words to be little more than whispers. Shes the personification of evil someone mustve stopped her
Blurry images flickered before Mios eyes- images from the Mystic war smells, screams, faces and her own act of mercy. She did have a sense of honor, though Mio whispered hoarsely. Who wouldve thought?
Caira smiled as she placed a cold cloth to Mios forehead. Yes, who wouldve thought ? she murmured gently. Mios eyes drooped slightly. You need to rest, Lady Mio your body needs a chance to heal
Mio grunted in reply. She heard the shuffling of feet, the calling of voices, and a sensation of rising up. Before she could realize that she was being transported to a more comfortable location, she was already asleep.
Meanwhile, back at Pandua, Laeri had already curled up in BTanyas childhood room, clutching a faded stuffed rabbit.
Baby baby in the cradle you sleep Laeri sang softly, rocking back and forth, Each little sight in your mind you keep As you dream and you sigh, Mommys nearby, ready to hold you when the sun rises, ready to lavish you with sweet surprises. That had been BTanyas favorite lullaby when she was young Laeris eyes watered, reliving the dreadful reunion between mother and daughter. The coldness of it all the hatred Laeri pressed the stuffed toy even tighter against her chest, the button eyes and nose digging into her skin as she rocked. The front of her loose white shirt became stained with droplets of blood where the buttons dug into her chest.
Baby baby... in the cradle you sleep
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