Born in Chaos Part 17
"You're kidding... right?" Duo asked in disbelief as he stared up at the sheer rock face. "We have to climb that?!?"
Trill glared at the young thief. "I said we did, didn't I?"
"Yeah, but... how? There's nothing the even grab hold of." Duo pointed out.
The silver haired elf walked forward and looked up at the cliff. With a glance at her mate she lay both her palms flat on the rock and closed her eyes. Within a few moments he her hands began to give off a soft green glow that traveled slowly up the solid stone, then she leaned in and pressed her cheek to the rough surface. Sweat broke out along her forehead as she gasped.
Trill shot out an arm to stop Quatre from rushing forward. "Do not touch her!" He snapped.
"She's in pain!" The healer protested.
"No." The elf repeated firmly.
Trowa reached out and drew the blonde back to him, his eyes telling Quatre to listen to the man.
The group watched as the glow intensified and then started to withdraw, leaving small steps in it's wake, enough for them to be able to hold onto and climb with. As the glow faded away completely, Essylt stepped back and swayed.
Trill put an arm around her shoulders. "We'll rest here for a while." He said looking back at the group.
"No!" She cried pushing away from him. "We have to keep going! I'll be alright."
"Trill... something follows us. I've sensed it several times now. If we stop, it will catch us."
"Why hasn't any of us noticed it?" Milliardo asked.
"I don't know, unless it knows to hide it's presence from you."
"I'll go first." Trill spoke up. "When I reach the top I will secure a rope for the rest of you."
"I don't understand." Quatre said to his teacher as they watched the elven man climb the rock face. "What happened to her?"
"She can alter the shape of anything related to the earth." The mage explained. "But it's a hard power to use... it wears the bearer down. Basically, she's exhausted, but not harmed.
Trill reached the top and threw a rope down to the rest of the group. Heero climbed next and then he and the elven man assisted Essylt in climbing after him. After she reached the top, they had Milliardo go up after her, then Duo. After him, the blonde healer, followed by Trowa and leaving Wufei to climb the last.
Trowa had just pulled himself over the edge when he heard Quatre gasp.
"There's something moving out there."
Trowa drew himself to his knees and looked in the direction the blonde gestured, seeing something shifting in the trees below them. Something large and moving swiftly.
"Wufei!" Milliardo leaned over the edge. "Hurry! There's something coming."
The black haired boy grabbed the rope, looked out into the trees and then up at the assembled group above him. Something flickered in his eyes as a group of men burst from the tree line and he turned to meet them.
"Wufei!" Duo yelled as fire burst from the boy's fingers and he drove the advancing men backwards.
"You need to close off the steps!" He yelled up at them. "If you don't they will follow you!"
"Wufei! You need to get up here!"
"Just do it!! I'll find you some other way!" He crouched against the rock and encircled himself with a fan of flames that raced forward and ignited the two men closest to him.
Essylt knelt on the ground with Trill holding her up and sharing his strength with her. As the wall began to glow, Milliardo rushed forward.
"NO!! You can't leave him behind!" Already he could feel the resounding effects of the spell he had cast.
Duo stood at the edge of the cliff and shot streaks of light into the group of men, his eyes lighting with an almost perverse joy as he heard the agonized screams from the men he hit.
Trill stood with his mate in his arms. "Back!! Now!!" He yelled. "There will be more... and they are bound to have a way to reach us! We need to reach the Dragon's Teeth... they can't follow us there!"
Trowa and Quatre grabbed Milliardo's arm and pulled him away, the three of them running after Trill.
Duo yelled angrily, striking out with his light as hands grabbed him, dragging him away from the edge. "NO! I can help him!!"
"There's nothing you can do now." Heero told him. "We have to get away from here."
"We can't just leave him!!!" The chestnut haired thief yelled, striking out at Heero.
With a low growl the brunette slammed his fist into Duo's jaw, catching him as he fell. Tossing the slender boy over his shoulder he turned and followed the rest of the group.
Below them the black haired fire child put up a fierce fight, holding the soldiers at bay with his flame. He could feel exhaustion creeping along his limbs as he threw out his hand, sending streaks of fire racing into the men.
Not much left... I'm not used to using my power like this. He had started gathering the remnants of his strength for one last assault when the soldiers suddenly stopped advancing and started to move back.
Wufei dropped his hands and leaned against the wall, watching the men part to reveal a tall form standing in their midst. As the man strode forward the boy's eyes widened in recognition his heart slamming against his chest. He'd seen the man in dreams....
Tall, slender but muscular, his ginger colored hair swept back from his face, blue eyes that seemed to bore into your very soul. He cut a formidable figure as he came to a stop in front of Wufei, his gaze sweeping over the boy.
With a smile that could paralyze, he held out his hand. "Child of shadow... we have finally found you."
"We have to go back." The platinum haired mage stated firmly.
Trill looked up from his mate. "We cannot. That was an entire army... there's no way we can stand against them."
"I had cast a spell on him... linking us... I can't sense him anymore." Milliardo sighed, sliding down a rock to sit on the ground.
"You know as well as I what that means!" Trill snapped.
"I suppose I do." The mage replied dully. "I'd just prefer to see it with my own eyes."
"And you'd be joining him."
Milliardo didn't respond, his cold blue eyes staring out from the jagged mountains that they had taken refuge in.
"Who were they?" Trowa asked quietly.
"Sanq soldiers." Heero replied.
"My sister's army." Milliardo added flatly.
Quatre looked up from tending Duo's jaw to stare wide-eyed at his teacher.
"A crown wrapped in shadows..." the healer whispered.
"Now we know what it meant." The mage stated. "It seems that the dark has gotten to the Sanq Queen, now she seeks to destroy us where once she aided us."
Heero scowled darkly. "I need to return to the kingdom."
"And do what?" Milliardo snapped. "Your vow would mean nothing to her now. If their control is this strong, she'd have you killed on sight."
"I'm sworn to protect her!"
"The best way you can aid her now is to help rescue the guardian." Trill pointed out. "Only that can break the hold they have on her."
"But, how?" Trowa asked. "We've lost one of our party."
"Somehow you have to figure out a way." Essylt spoke up weakly, struggling to sit. "You cannot stop!!"
The group looked at each other before Quatre finally spoke. "What do we do next?"
"Within these mountains is a series of caves... each one hold a talisman... each talisman must be retrieved." Trill explained. "While we are in these mountains, we must all stick together. Although we can safely enter... leaving is something different. There are creatures the like you've never seen here. They must be guarded against."
Quatre sat back from Duo and wiped his brow. "We should be able to get going in a few hours. She," he nodded at Essylt. "needs to rest and recover her strength and Duo will be unconscious for a while." He glanced at Heero and Trowa knelt beside him. "Did you have to hit him so hard?"
Heero scowled. "You'd rather I left him behind too?"
"No! But you broke his jaw! Do you have any idea how hard it is to mend bone correctly?"
The cobalt eyed boy snorted. "Maybe we can hope you didn't get it right and then we'd have some quiet!" At the healer's gasp he added. "He shouldn't have been stupid enough to try to attack me. He's lucky I didn't kill him!"
The blonde jumped to his feet, his blue eyes blazing. "You wouldn't have cared either... would you?" He snapped.
"Not really." Heero didn't even look up at him.
"What has he done that's so bad? Why do you treat him this way?" Quatre cried.
Heero just set his sword aside and crossed his arms, refusing to answer.
Trowa lay a hand on his shoulder and he shook it off, something dark and unfamiliar welling up inside him.
"Don't you realize that the two of you could very well destroy us?!?!"
"Quatre!!" Milliardo spoke sharply, feeling something different in the healer's anger.
Trowa grabbed his arm and jerked, pain knifing through his body like an electric shock, but he refused to let go. Gritting his teeth against the pain, he called out to the blonde.
The sound of agony in the brunette's voice called the healer back from his rage. He blinked and then fell away from Trowa. "Oh... gods.... what...."
"It seems that the healer has finally tapped into the rest of his power." Essylt commented from where she still leaned against Trill.
When Milliardo looked at her in question, Trill spoke up. "A true healer can be a double edged sword. The ability to heal can be returned and with a touch they can shatter bone... burst organs... there are very few healers that manage to find this side of their power."
Quatre backed away from the group, his eyes huge. "I... I could have killed...." He gasped.
Trowa's hand shot out and he pulled the blonde back, folding him into the protective circle of his arms, not caring who saw or what they thought. "You didn't... you stopped."
"I was so angry... I felt like I was losing control of myself." The healer shivered.
"You must guard this side of your power carefully." Essylt told him. "It can be very hard to control."
Quatre nodded silently already making a silent vow to himself to never release this thing again... somehow... he'd figure out how to block it.
"We need to rest." Trill said quietly. "Tomorrow, we start into the heart of the Dragon's Teeth and seek the first talisman."
As the group settled, Milliardo leaned his head against the rock and stared into the darkness... seeking. He knew that the loss of contact usually meant the other person had perished... but, somehow... he had a feeling that this wasn't the case with Wufei.
He was out there, somewhere... and the shadows had him...
*cough* I borrowed this name from the Terry Brooks "Shannara" series....it just...worked....they were exactly the perfect place to hide the talismans ^_^;;;
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