Rise of the Grand Golem Chapter 1
By Sabin Guy
King Bastion sat on his throne in the capital of the Pharstatia Kingdom thinking over the information he had just been given. Spys reported that Nordilain recently uncovered a new excavated ATAC. The word was that it was really strong. Maybe even stronger than the TIC-TAC that had just been built by the young engineer Puck. Nordilain, like all the other countries, has been an ally of the Kingdom since the death of the Imperial General Faulkner, but with the recent death of Duke Logan the new ruler of Nordilain, Claire, was not in the best of moods. After all Duke Logan was her father and they were very close. Relations with Nordilain were now a little touchy. If Nordilain had the chance to take over the continent there is no guarantee that Claire wouldnt take that chance.
"Messenger," Bastion called, "send a message to Queen Sadira of the Empire. Ask her if she would like to accompany me to Nordilain to check on some rumors. Oh, and have Puck prepare the TIC-TAC."
"You do not wish to take the Ultragunner, Sire?" asked the messenger.
"No, it draws to much attention. Plus, it might indicate aggression. We want this to seem like a friendly visit not and attack. Claire isnt in one over good moods and we dont want to set her off."
"So I assume you do not wish to have your bodyguards accompany you."
"Correct. Now hurry and dont dodle, this is important business."
"Yes, my lord. I will make haste and return as soon as possible."
Thinking about Sadira reminded Bastion of all the other changes that had happened in the last few months. The most obvious being that Sadira had become Queen of the Empire. Her brother Duwyere was next in line, but gave up the throne to his sister. After being controlled by Faulkner, he didnt think he had what it took to be the leader of an entire country no matter how hard Sadira tried to convince him other wise.
Another recent change was the engagement of Claire to her long time friend and advisor, Shion. They had obviously had a deeper relationship than they tried to let on and after the war ended that relationship finally had a chance to grow into something more and Shion proposed.
Duke Logan was happy that Claire finally had someone. He was especially happy that that someone was Shion. Shion was the one of the only men that Duke Logan would have allowed Claire to marry. The other being Bastion, but he knew that would never happen. Bastion liked Sadira way too much to go for anyone else.
The saddest change of all was the death of Duke Logan. It was sad that such a great man had died and it was also sad that it happened only days after Shion and Claires engagement. At least it had been painless. He died of a heart attack in his sleep. Claire was depressed for weeks and the wedding was almost canceled, but Claire wouldnt have it.
As Bastion thought about all of these changes, he began to grow tired. He rose from his throne and went into is room. He changed into is bed clothes and went to sleep.
The next day Sadira and Bastion set out towards Nordilain. They were both good at battling with their ATACs so they didnt bother bringing any guards. As they traveled on they were stopped many times by bandits hoping to make some money off of selling ATACs on the black market. Some of them recognized they ATACs and were lucky enough to get away with their ATACs intact, but others werent so lucky. As they were making their way through a forest their scanners picked up on some ATACs of to the west.
"Maybe we can avoid conflict this time," Sadira suggested. She was getting annoyed by the number of conflicts they had come across on the journey. "But then again maybe not," she muttered as Bastion ran of into the distance babbling about having the audacity to attack the Imperial Queen and the King of Pharstatia.
When Bastion arrived with Sadira close behind, they found quite a few more enemies then they had expected. There was around ten as opposed to the four or five they were expecting. They others had been hidden inside the ruins of and old building hiding them from the scanners.
Well, at least this will be interesting, Sadira thought to herself as she advanced on the group of bandits.
"Bbboss, aint that thhe TIC-TAC and the Sssylpheed? Wwe should gget outta here," stammered one of the bandits.
"Its ten on two you idiot. We can take em." the boss yelled back "Now go get you bunch a wusses."
As the bandits advanced on the pair of ATACs, Bastion was planning his first move. Once the bandits stopped their advance, he walked up and slashed one of them, knocking him to the ground. Then he thrust his sword into the gut of another, this time disabling it. The remainder of the group surrounded him.
Bastion was being struck from every side. He countered or evaded most of the attacks, but soon his ATAC would overheat and he would have to shut down for awhile. Just then Sadira shot a blast of energy at one of the bandits and it was disabled.
"Need some help?" Sadira asked with a smirk. "You should know better than to rush in without help."
"Me? Need help?" Bastion asked. "Never. I was just going easy on them. Now its time to die!"
Bastion held out his sword and sent a wave of water at his enemy smashing his ATAC in to the ground and causing major damage. It would be a long time before that guy could use his ATAC. Then he turned to face his next opponent. The bandit began to back away, but Bastion held his sword high over head and slammed it down on the head of the ATAC. Bastion immediately realized his mistake as his ATAC began to overheat. He had to shut it down.
The bandits beat on him relentlessly. The TIC-TAC couldnt take much more. His ATAC would soon be pummeled to pieces. Puck wouldnt be happy about that. Then out of the blue he heard "Spiral Dive." As Sadira shot into the air and dove down into a bandit, demolishing the ATAC.
"Thanks," Bastion said with a sigh of relief.
With that Sadira began attacking Bastions attackers. Sadira was more careful about the battle and therefore never got close to overheating her ATAC. After the cooling system fixed the overheating problem, Bastion joined Sadira in dispatching the rest of the bandits.
"That was tougher than I thought," sighed Bastion. "But I still kicked their-
"Who stopped them exactly, Bastion?" Sadira questioned.
"OK, I guess you deserve a little credit."
"A little credit?! Why you little-"
"Calm down Sadira. I was just kidding. I know I wouldnt have been able to take them down without you."
With that, Bastion and Sadira continued on their journey. After more traveling and more confrontations with bandits, they finally reached the boundary between the Kingdom and Nordilain .
"Halt," said a border guard, "You are about to enter the country of Nordilain. Duchess Claire has ordered that no one is to enter Nordilain unless cleared by her or her fiancé Shion."
"But I am Kind Bastion of the Kingdom and this is Queen Sadira of the Empire and we need to talk to Claire about something very important. We have come to speak to Claire about the new ATAC that has been found. If you let us through to talk to Claire Im sure we can clear this up."
"No one enters by order of Duchess Claire. Now leave or we will be forced to attack. And further more you will address the Duchess with the proper title or be jailed for disrespect, you scum."
"What did you call me you disrespectful bastard!? If its a fight you want, then youve got one. I just hope it will be a challenge."
"Bastion, I really dont think that its a good idea to start trouble in Nordilain. It wont make our conference with Claire any easier. Maybe we should send a messenger and get clearance."
"No, Im not going to wait just because some little soldier boy has to follow every order hes given and cant even bend the rules for an important mission. Sadira prepare yourself for battle."
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