The Origin Of Mount Woe Chapter 16
Pieces Of Chaos
Vigo arrived back at his room and collapsed on the bed. He grunted, then pulled out one of the pearls that had fallen and threw it away. His body was aching terribly. He might be able to beat the Weapons, yes, but not if they kept attacking with this frequency. If Serges found a way to protect himself from Shadow, Vigo was toast. And of course, Vigo had no idea about the strengths or weaknesses of any other Weapons that may have been down in the earth. He yelled his frustration into a pillow. Then he heard a door open. Looking up, he saw Zeal quietly close the door.
"Things aren't going so well, are they?" She asked, immediately sensing his feelings. Many of the people in Enhasa were celebrating Vigo's victory at the moment, but Vigo knew they didn't see the big picture.
"One might say that."
Zeal sighed. "Okay, I know what you're feeling, but I don't know why."
"Look. Contrary to the show I put on for the council members, that was an incredibly hard battle. And against Serges... I don't even want to talk about it. The truth is, if I ever have to fight more than one Weapon at once, I'm dead. Its as simple as that."
"Now who's being the pessimist? For all we know, Serges may be the only other Weapon down there. And even if he isn't, you were magnificent out there. Your magic may be powerful enough to stop them."
"It isn't." Vigo said flatly, not looking at her. "No matter how powerful it is, I don't have enough experience. Let me explain," he said, seeing the puzzled expression on her face. "I learned all these spells from my father, who had learned them from his father, and so on. You'd have to go pretty far up my family tree to find someone who had actually used these spells in battle. So basically, I can dish it out, but I really can't take it." He smiled slightly when he saw she was still confused. "Look, I didn't earn the knowledge for myself, so I wasn't prepared to take any responsibility for it. Or even the knew spells I learned from the Weapons... I just saw what they had done, and took the next step. Those powers might fail me at any time, especially if the Weapons alter their magical wavelength, which is quite likely now." Zeal just shook her head and smiled.
"Only my father would understand what you just said, and he's not receiving visitors a the moment."
"I'm afraid I'm going to need his help pretty soon. I hate to say it, but we must start organizing battle plans. We should also set up some physical defences around Enhasa, because it can't keep taking beatings like this."
"Vigo, your councilors are already working on it. And needless to say, Melchior, Belthasar, and Gaspar will be up all night doing everything that can possibly help."
Vigo began to get up. "But still, I should go down to Melchior's workshop myself. They could use my input."
Zeal pulled on the tattered remains of his cape. He sank back down to the bed. "Vigo, will you just relax for a few minutes? Right now, there's nothing you can do that your underlings can't do without you. Why are you so jumpy?" She tried to look into his eyes, but he avoided her gaze. "Oh my. You meant what you said about dying didn't you?"
"Yes. I hate to admit it Zeal, but, I'm afraid. I don't want to die. Not yet."
"For and hour or two, could you try to put every worry out of your head? I know its hard, especially for a good leader like you, but you need to relax. There is nothing you can do at the moment. Nothing! Just stay here with me." Now Vigo looked at her, and gladly accepted her embrace. He kissed her deeply. "That' s better." Zeal grinned at him, and pulled the covers over both of them. "Now lets see if we can put some fire back in those eyes."
Vigo began to smile. He kissed her again. "I'm still scared Zeal."
She rested her head on his shoulder. "If you must know, I'm afraid for you too."
* * *
Violen: ..... Serges? Is that you?
Serges: Yes. I'm back.
Violen: How did it go?
Serges: There was nothing I could do to save him, but I did manage to gather all his spirit energy before it could mix with the lifestream.
Jade: So what does that mean, exactly?
Serges: He won't be the same, that's for sure. But since he won't be anyone else either, he will be very similar. He'll probably give Vigo quite a battle.
Jade: So do we have a definite time for attack?
Serges: I say right now!
Violen: Hold it Serges. Soon, yes. But both sides need time to recuperate.
Serges: Very well. We will launch the final attack in twenty four hours. And make no mistake, this is the final attack!
Jade: I will be ready sir! We will destroy Enhasa or die trying! We shall avenge Shivan!
Serges: Yes! Vigo will suffer like he has never suffered before!
* * *
Melchior knocked on the outer door to Vigo's chambers. A young guard stepped out. "I'm sorry, Master Melchior, but his majesty cannot be disturbed right now. Perhaps you should come back in-" He turned around as Vigo wearily stumbled out the door. A tired, yet happy look was in his eyes.
"Its all right. I'm ready to go." Melchior gave Vigo a long, piercing look, but could determine nothing from his odd expression.
"Is anything the matter Vigo?" Melchior couldn't help asking.
Vigo stepped beside him, and they began to walk down the hall. "Nothing at all." Melchior quickly turned his head and examined Vigo anew. "Er... other than the Weapon attacks, that is." Vigo began whistling uneaslily. Melchior laughed, as he finally realized why it was that Vigo had posted orders not to be disturbed.
As Vigo and Melchior rounded a corner, Zeal poked her head out of the door. "Excuse me," she beckoned to the guard, not stepping out. "Could you please go down to the tailor's and ask him to make up another green dress? That new Algetty/Trann style he came up with last year. There was a slight... accident. Mine was unfortunately torn." The guard turned to leave, a puzzled expression on his face. "Oh! Could you also please send up a new set of bed sheets, the carpenter, and a fresh container of chocolate sauce?" Zeal said in a rush, then slammed the door. The young guard commited the items to memory, then wondered what they all could mean.
"Now Vigo, as you can see," Melchior stretched his arm in wide arc out of a second floor window, "There are already many defence systems in effect. Right here, we have three catapults trained on the exact spot on the mountain where Serges first appeared. Soon, all of Enhasa will be surrounded by similar devices. Next, as you can see far out on the field, we are constructing defense bunkers where mages can cast spells, and hopefully be at least partially shielded from any retaliation. The newest defensive measure (the idea is barely two hours old!) cannot be seen. Between here and the mountain, mages especially gifted in earth magic have blasted tunnels all the way to the bottom of Enhasa, and recovered the top with a thin layer of earth. Now, we know that a fall wouldn't kill something like Serges, but it certainly would slow him down a little."
"I wonder if that's wise." Vigo muttered.
"I was just thinking that Weapon in a tunnel like that could literally tear the mountain apart."
"We are prepared for that too sire. I've had my best men drop all other projects and begin making gigantic chains. They are not physically strong enough to hold the mountain together, but according to our research on the Sun stone, any object with a physical connection to something the stone is powering, no matter how weak, will also receive the stone's power."
"That would be very reassuring, if Enhasa was still powered by the Sun stone."
"That's the hard part. But this is just an emergency plan. I really doubt that an occassion will ever arise where we have to use these chains for any great length of time." Suddenly, Vigo and Melchior were thrown back from the window and into the wall by a huge explosion. As a deafening pounding thundered through their ears, they both saw a huge orange fireball rising from the near face of the mountain.
Vigo achingly got to his feet. "You just had to say that, didn't you Melchior?"
Vigo had run up to the mountain at full tilt, a company of twenty escort mages wheezing in pursuit, expecting to face Serges again, or at least another Weapon. But quite a different sight now met his eyes. He figured he would have a wait of at least thirty seconds before his most athletic mage caught up, and maybe a wait of two minutes before everyone arrived, so he stopped where he was. He suddenly had to jump back as Gaspar appeared right before him. "Huh? I didn't know you could teleport!"
"I didn't." Gaspar said, grinning. "Its a new device I've been working on. You know how we thought up that Stop spell?" Vigo nodded. "Well, now there's an item that does the same thing, and probably a lot better. I just used it, and walked over here at my leisure."
"Got any more?" Vigo asked hungrily. He could think of many ways to use this to his advantage. Surely if he had fifteen minutes to analyze their magical waves, he could beat any Weapon, no matter how powerful.
"Sorry, this was just a prototype. I hope to have several more ready by the time the Weapons launch their all out attack."
"Oh well. That's the future. Now we need to concentrate on the present. Can you see anything up there?" They both strained their eyes. Now that the fireball was diminishing a little, Vigo could see hundreds of small shapes running away from the massive blaze. Behind Vigo, the last of the mages were running up.
One of them exclaimed happily, "Nus! See, I told you they were real! Pay up!" Several of the mages around the young man squinted ahead, then angrily reached into their pockets.
Peering ahead again, Vigo saw that these creatures did indeed match the description of a Nu that some sleepy guards, or kids climbing the mountain, had given from time to time. They were all blue, except for one in the lead, who was a bright red. Vigo didn't know whether to run or fight, but while he was deciding, the red Nu slid to a halt barely ten feet from him. The rest of the Nus ran into each other, and eventually piled to a stop. The red Nu eyed Vigo, then, to his amazement, spoke. "Hello! I am Spekkio, the master of war! Pleased to meet you."
"Er... hello Spekkio. Do you know what happened to the mountain?"
"Not really. For the past couple weeks, its been warming up, and not very long ago, there was a fire in a few of our tunnels. But now, this huge explosion happened, and we were all forced out! We've lived in the mountain practically forever, and there's never been anything like this!"
Vigo thought for a minute. Suddenly, another huge explosion occurred, but this time deep in the heart of the mountain. They all felt the ground shudder under their feet, and the Nus scurried around, bumping into each other. Vigo saw the top of the mountain crumble away in a green fire. Cracks began to run down the side of Enhasa, and a green glow radiated out the sides. Sink holes began to appear in the plateau. Vigo tilted his head back, and everyone heard his shout above the chaos going on.
"MELCHIOR!!! BRING THOSE CHAINS AND THE SUN STONE, AND BRING THEM HERE NOW!!!!!!!!!"
"What a sorry state of affairs." - Melchior
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