The old winger nodded. He managed to utter one phrase before Hawke touched the rune. "Thank you." As Hawke reached for the rune, a stillness came over the clearing. The wind didn't seem to be blowing anymore. When he touched the rune, a burst of light filled the clearing. It wasn't blinding, however. This was unfortunate, as Hawke was able to see what happened to the old man. He began to turn to dust in front of Hawke's eyes. In a few moments, he had disintegrated, leaving only a fine pile of dust. That pile disappeared as another small gust picked it up and scattered it. Then a mist filled the area.
The area around him began to waver, as if it was a mirage. A scene played before his eyes. The old winger, appearing as his younger self, was playing with a child. A village surrounded Hawke. The scene blurred, then came into focus. The winger village was fighting some strange combatants. All of the enemies were dressed in pure black and were incredibly powerful. Three of them were taking on twenty of the villages warriors. The scene blurred again, showing the aftermath of the battle. All of the warriors except one lay dying. The village was on fire and the attackers were slaying everyone in sight. They looked like they were searching for something. Another skip in time showed the lone survivor finding the Rune of Reverse on a rock. He touched it and a light blinded Hawke. He saw the village and everyone in it had been restored. The winger's right arm and left leg had withered, however, looking dead, though he could still move them.
Another shift. The Rune of Reverse was glowing, temporarily restoring the winger's arm and leg. The attackers returned but the tide shifted very quickly. The enemy's weapons became dull and heavy, their limbs becoming weak and fragile as if they had never used them. They were quickly defeated but before the wingers could unveil their faces, they turned to dust. The winger stared at it for a long moment, then held out the rune. For some reason, it did not work. The winger shrugged, scattered the dust, and returned to his family.
The scene ended, leaving Hawke along on the mountaintop.
The girl beamed at Nash and took the flower. "Thank you Mr. Mikain. My name is Bibi." She looked down the road and said "If we aren't going to go to them, they will find me. They will probably come tonight." She lowered her voice "You should be careful and make sure I can talk to them first. They are very protective of me and might kill you by accident. Especially my mother." Then she smiled again and yawned "Can I sleep now? I am very tired." She looked exhausted. If Nash's intuition told him anything, she had been awake for quite a while, looking for a chance to escape. And when she had, she had been fleeing for a long time.
Her eyes fluttered, she yawned again, and began to fall over. Nash was just fast enough to catch her. She began to snore softly. It didn't look like she was going to wake up until the evening, leaving Nash time to prepare. Then the hairs on his neck stood on end. A bright light made him turn and a dreadful screaming filled the air. It sounded like more than a hundred people were screaming in pain. All of the villagers stopped in their tracks and tried to block the sound by covering their ears. By their faces, it wasn't working. Nash had just enough time to turn around and see a rune high in the sky before it faded. He hadn't managed to see exactly what it was but he had an idea by the sounds. It was the dreaded Rune of Punishment. That rune had not resurfaced foralmost three hundred years but here it was. Something huge must have roused it from its sleep. Then the sensation of the earth being disturbed sent a small tremor through the town. Despite all of this, Bibi remained asleep.
Half a day's travel away...
The hooded traveler looked down at the bandit horde that had attacked him with distaste. He knew he was traveling in a dangerous area but he felt it had been the best choice of action. Still, he had hoped he wouldn't have had to use the rune. It never felt right to him, no matter how many times it was used. As of late, he found he had been using it even when he didn't want to. It was as if the rune had come alive and had gained a will of its own, a will that demanded its use. His eyes traveled along the gouge in the road the rune had created and at the fifty or so bandits that had been cut down. A few still remained alive. The Bearer of the Rune of Punishment turned to them "Leave and never reenter that trade." The bandits were too afraid to answer, they just nodded. Then the Bearer continued on his way. It had been a week since he had left the sea and he was already missing the smell of the salt air. He had heard there was a town not too far away. He decided he would go there. However, he was going to take a detour. He had no intention of being questioned about the rune so he would enter the village from another direction.
Tekai nodded. "Alright, your winning is here." He held up the map. "However, give me a second to rest. I haven't been beaten in a while and I'm still woozy. That was a great fight!" He splashed some water on his face and rested for about twenty minutes before he got going. He led Rig in the opposite direction Rig had thought they were going. In fact, they were going to where Rig had initially come into the town. "There's a forest not too far from here. The ruins are hidden in there."
After a few hours walk, they came to the forest. Another hour (and several battles with wandering monsters) delivered them to a ruin, hidden in a particularly thick grouping of trees. The ruins apparently led underground as there was only a tiny rock, barely big enough for one person to enter, poked out of the grass. However, it was blocked off by a huge block of some kind of strange stone. The stone was actually larger than the stone it guarded. "I tried breaking this thing on my own but I couldn't quite manage it. Then I did some research." He pointed to the words inscribed on the rock, barely visible from weathering. "The rock cannot be broken by one person, no matter how strong they are. A combination of the two forces in this world, natural and magical, are required here. I have absolutely no talent when it comes to rune magic. If someone without a rune had won, I'd have brought them to another rune I had planted, then moved to a nearby town to try again. Smart, eh?" He grinned at his 'genius'. "Now, when I punch this rock, I want you to hit it with the most powerful rune magic you can produce. Ready? Go!" Tekai backed up, then threw the weight of his entire body into his punch.
Sky nodded, impressed. "That is some powerful stuff. Truthfully? I can still smell you. However, I can only barely smell you and I am right next to you. You won't have any problems with other kobolds if they track you only by scent. Some of the humans have other ways of doing it, however, so I will provide them with another trail to follow. I won't get caught, however you might be if you do not hurry." Without another word, Sky darted off, heading in a direction that Zacharias wasn't heading when Sky had caught up to him. Zacharias heard others coming and saw lanterns through the trees. It was time to run.
Last edited by Geomancer
on Sun Apr 11, 2010 3:32 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Final Fantasy IX was the best Final Fantasy game ever and if you think otherwise you are WRONG!My fanfiction account
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