Several days have gone past by without anymore strange events. Virgil trained relentlessly when the sun was up, and brushed up on the world around him through books at night. He learned of many creatures which called the Earth their home. Sarah was fitting in with the guild hall regulars without any problems. She followed Virgil to his training and tended to his aid by being taking the role of a cleric and a sentry guard, watching for any trouble that might interrupt his training.
Many rumors have passed through the large halls about a large shadow bull and a brilliant light which battled against it bravely. Many just called it a rumor, but the word quickly spread and it was soon the talk of the town and it continued to spread out to the neighboring towns. Several explanations have been given regarding the light and speculation continued to grow. Several drunkards claimed to bear tales of similar beasts and battles spread all around the Earth, from the far east shores to the western mountains.
It was not till a large caravan entered the local tavern resting up from their previous three day journey. They talked tales of their many jobs, and their lives before joining this caravan. The leader of this group separated from the group on the second day after rest and ventured into the guild hall. "Ello there, anyone there?" He said with a thick accent. Virgil was just stepping out of the main halls when he caught wind of the man.
Virgil sized up the man quickly. He was slightly taller than Virgil and held different colored eyes. One was a light blue, and the other hazel. His face held many scars which told many stories of the fierce battles he bravely fought through. One in particular started over his left eye and went all the way down to his neck. The man held short cut black hair and a slight stubble of a beard.
"Ello there lad, think you can get the guild master for me? I bring a request with hopes to be met."
"Sure, please wait here while I go get him." Virgil said as he turned on his heels and walked through the main hall and to the closed doors of the guild master's large door. Virgil knocked letting his presence be known. He was given the word to enter and the doors began to open wide.
"Someone is looking for you, he appears to be the leader of the caravan, and he has a request for the guild."
Steve looked up from his book and smiled as he began walking out of the room. "Very good, I have been expecting this. Please follow me back to the entrance hall."
They quickly retreated back the entrance hall where the man stood waiting patiently. "So good to see you again Steve! It's been to long." The man said holding his arms wide in a form of greeting.
He lowered the book and accepted the hug. "Yes, it has been to long. You have been on the road for a while. So what brings you back here?"
"We are in need of a couple of members for our next trip since a couple met a sad end protecting our delivery from rogues."
"Well I might be able to arrange something. Where is the next stop and what are you carrying?"
"We still have a four day trip to the capital Dessunna, the desert outpost. We are bring clothing and dried meat to them. Apparently the animals have grown more dangerous due to it being mating season in the desert."
"Ah I see, I forgot it is that time this year. How time flies. Well what did you have in mind to recruit?"
"Well a healer would be nice, and a strong hand to fend off anything that may try to cause us or our cargo harm."
"Heh, your in luck we have two well trained people that just recently joined us. One is a prodigy knight which will easily serve as your hired arm and a cleric which should be able to tend to your healing needs."
"You say they are new, how do you know we can trust them?"
"Well as you know I'm a good judge of character. Lets just leave it at that."
"Alright we will take your word. We are going to leave tomorrow at first light. Make sure they are packed and up by the time we leave. We will be at the west gate."
"You have nothing to fear, your going to be put in very capable hands."
The man simply turned around giving a slight wave. Once the entrance closed again Steve looked down at Virgil. "Well hope your ready for this. Its a wide world out there and your about to get another taste. I want you to go get Sarah and meet me in the debriefing room in five minutes." He turned opened his book back up and began to walk away heading towards the destination.
Virgil just shrugged his shoulders and walked through the vast halls till he reached the garden. He stepped out into the bright sunlit area and closed his eyes as he took in a deep breath. The aroma of the mixes flowers brought a relaxing feeling upon him. Snapping back to reality he searched the grounds finding Sarah reading a book under a tree next to the southern wall. He began to walk forward careful not to go off the pathways and trample the plants. As he approached she looked up from her book for a moment to see who was walking closer.
"The guild master wants us in the debriefing room. Seems we are going to join a caravan."
"Good, things have been a little dull around here. A little trip will lighten things up." Sarah placed a bookmark in her book and stood up and stretched. Slow she began to walk towards the debriefing room with Virgil following close behind. They reached the room within moments and upon entering they were greeted by a near empty room. On one side of the table Steve sat, his nose still in his book. Across from him was two chairs pulled out from the rest. They quickly walked over to the pulled out chairs and sat down.
Steve closed the book and stared at the two for a short while before speaking. "Alright, you are going to go on a double mission this time. The first mission Virgil already knows part of. You will be part of a Caravan delivering goods to the capital city Dessunna. The trip will take around four days from departure to arrive at its destination. Along the way you two are to protect the goods at any cost. Virgil will undertake the role of a guard and you Sarah will be doing the work of a Cleric this time around." He paused for a second to clear his throat and looked at Virgil. "I do want to make this clear, under only the most dire of circumstances must you utilize your gift with Celcia, or let the other members of the Caravan know of her existence."
"The second part of this mission begins at Dessunna. You will meet up with Joseph and Winter at the HQ there. Upon reuniting with each other you are to rest the night and the rest of the next day preparing. Once night fall hits you shall make your way across the desert and to a unmarked tomb, recently discovered thanks to the efforts of another group sent out to the desert. You are to search for any survivors of the last group, five people in all, find the cause which prevented them to report back. Is the details of the mission clear?"
"Yes" The two said in unison.
"Good, your provisions will be prepared. It will have enough food for ten days, and water for ten days, which should last you for the first initial travel, but is by no means suitable for desert travel. So you will need to restock at Dessunna. You are dismissed. Feel free to rest for the rest of the day as you wish. Just don't stay up late for you will to be awaked in time to go through your morning preparations as you are to leave with the caravan at first daylight at the west gates."
Virgil and Sarah stood up and pushed the chairs in before leaving. They walked in silence till they came to the door to the library. Virgil parted ways and entered the silent hall of books. Virgil liked the feel of the library. It was never crowded, and it allowed him to brush up on several things. He sat down after selecting a couple of books detailing the area of and surrounding Dessunna.
Several hours passed quickly. The library was not completely empty and Virgil decided this was a good time to have a slight brake.
"Hey Celcia, you have been really quiet recently. Its just not like you to inquire about what I've been reading. Is something on your mind?"
"I've just been thinking a lot. Because you have bonded with me you have been thrown into situations which no one should be forced to deal with. I just can't help I'm the one to blame. I feel it's karma back to me due to my past life." Celcia's voice echoed through Virgil's mind.
Virgil looked at the floor for a second. The conversation with Sarah a couple days past popped into his mind. "Don't worry about that. I'm sure you were a good person in your last life, and I'll stick by you no matter what. We will find a way to restore your memory."
Celcia seemed to get in a slightly better mood at the sound of this. "Thanks, its nice to know someone believes in me."
"Don't mention it." Virgil leaned his head backwards and rested it on the back of the chair. "So tell me, what is your take on the next mission. I can't get the thought of what could disable not one but five members."
"Yeah, that part is a bit unsettling, but one can only hope it was something not to severe and that there are survivors to return home with."
"Alright, so ye are the new recruits I take it." Jessie looked over the two people before him. Doubt filled his mind but he shook it off before he began again directing it towards Virgil. "You don't look quite powerful boy, but I'll take his word on your strength." The tall man said. "For this trip feel free to call me Jessie. I'm the leader of this caravan."
Virgil bowed down. "Nice to meet you Jessie. I'm Virgil, glad to be joining this caravan."
"As am I, its a pleasure to make your acquaintance Jessie."Sarah said bowing slightly.
The two stood up straight before Jessie began to talk anew. "No need for that formal stuff around me, alright. We should get a move on soon. Virgil I want you stationed up front. As for you Sarah, I want you to take refuge in the middle." With that said he began moving towards the front not waiting on Virgil."
"Well guess we will be out of contact for a short while. You will be alright?"
"I'll be fine, besides I'm sure this trip will be eventless."
"I sure hope so, I really don't want us to have to use our powers till we are in the desert."
"Well thankfully I can use my power easily. I should be able to alert us if an enemy approaches, but I do want you to send Celcia above to keep watch. Just in case something slips by."
Virgil looked over and saw Jessie signaling them to get a move on. "Don't worry about it. Just stay positive about this trip. I'll see you when we stop to rest Sarah." Virgil quickly rushed towards the front and took his seat in the wagon. He was not alone in there as there were three other guards sitting and talking about various things. Virgil sat back and listened as Jessie and a few other guards saddled their horses.
Sarah climbed settled into her wagon. It was rather empty except for several crates of supplies and one other passenger. He introduced him self as James, and despite his gruff battle-hardened looks he was quite friendly and opted to talk a lot. Sarah listened to James talk about the things he seen in his travels when she heard someone knock gently on the outside of the wagon.
"You would not by chance be armed would you miss?" A tall thin man said as he looked into her eyes.
"No, I just focus on magic, I have no weapon training." She said while standing up and giving him a good view to show him she was not lying.
"Well thats no good. Traveling is dangerous business and you never know when you are fighting up close." He extended his hand forward holding a blunt mace and a small belt. "Feel free to use these, just to be on the safe side."
Sarah took the mace and looked it over. It was lighter than what she expected, despite it being made out of metal. "What kind of metal is this made out of?"
"Aerolight. Might be lightweight, but it'll give them a good wallop or two."He cracked a smile as he seemed to recall a joke.
Her eyes went back to the mace. Along the sides it held several patterns which she knew were magic symbols to increase the power of spells for the user, as well as slight protection. After examining it several times over she looked the man in the eyes. "I thank you kindly, I just hope I won't need to use it."
"Thats all we hope for on these treacherous roads." He began to walk away getting back to his steed mounted post. "The names Alphonse by the way, but you can call me Al." He called back to her as he reached his horse which was right next to the side of the wagon.
"And you can call me Sarah." She replied as she put the belt around her clothing and secured the mace to her side. She looked outside as the reigns were cracked and they were off.
The setting sun was overhead signaling it as near nightfall. Virgil sat back in the covered wagon and continued to talk to the others. Tommas was the guard sitting closest to Virgil. He was the more well traveled person in the group. He held knowledge on just about anywhere people could venture on the Earth. The guard across from him, George, was a relatively new member to this caravan crew. He has only joined in three trips with them but he has already seen several battles, and gained his share of scars. He mainly talked about his family and how he was going to make sure his little sister and mother would be set for life with this job. The third person was not as talkative, but he did speak to let his opinion be known. He preferred to shy away from talk of battles and talk about the finer points of dining. His name was Dan, and his figure showed his enthusiasm for eating.
Eventually the conversation topic shifted over to Virgil. Tommas started the assault of questions regarding his training. Carefully choosing his words Virgil explained how he became a young knight at such an early age.
"Gah, I hear them giants are beasts they are. Able to crush a man flat with a single finger if he wanted to."
"While he was not able to crush anyone with a finger, he could have easily stomped me flat if given the chance. However I feel I got lucky and managed to climb the beast and slay him."
"Lucky you are. Not many have seen a giant and lived to tell the tale." Dan chipped in.
"Okay, so do tell what is it to fight for the king? Is he as kind as they claim?" Tommas asked his second question.
"It's interesting to say the least. It fills you with the purpose of doing something for someone. A nice feeling if I do say so myself. As for the second part I can't really say. I spent my time under difficult training and when I did get a look around the castle the servants were all working hard."
"Just once I'd like to meet the king." Dan said.
"Well you did have your chance that one time, you just had to blow it because of some bad food you ate earlier." George teased.
"Well if I recall it was you turn to cook for us. I am just thankful we were in the safety of a town or else I'm sure the enemy would have gotten us with so many of our men ill."
"Well how was I to know that batch of eggs were bad?"
Slowly the wagons began to slow to a stop. Without a word the three men stood up and stepped outside and stretched. As Virgil exited the wagon he looked around. Several men were gathering fire wood, while others tended to the horses. Virgil began to walk towards the woods to help with the wood gathering. Sarah gently stepped off the wagon with the help of James and walked over to Virgil.
"How was your trip thus far? Mine has been rather dull. I found myself catching up on the book I brought with me." Sarah said stepping along side Virgil.
"It was alright. I was seated with a talkative bunch, and I learned a lot of this world through their insight and experience."
"Well thats good at least. Learn anything useful of Dessunna and the surrounding desert?"
"Not much. Apparently it is normally self-reliant on most things, what with being able to mine for mineral and gain all sorts of hides from the beasts hiding in the desert. However once every year the beasts go into a frenzy and begin to breed. During this time they claim it too dangerous to venture out and hunt them, so they import what they need to survive." Virgil said picking up several fallen branches. "As for the desert itself many old ruins are scattered throughout the sands. To date there have been seven different temples uncovered, and that is not including the one we are being dispatched to. The temples are trapped ridden and seems to go on forever and many say they are doors to the other side of the world into lands unknown."
"The other side... " Sarah tilted her head to the side. "Do you think there is anything out there other than this chunk of rock we walk upon?"
"It is an interesting idea. Many men have traveled in ships only to either be never heard from again, or return after a years worth of travel. It does seem unlikely, but with all the weird happenings going on lately I'd be open to believing it."
"Perhaps there are others thinking that on the other side of the world right now."
"Who knows, all I know is we should have enough fire wood, so lets head back and return to the caravan."
Time passed by and the night took over the sky. Most of the caravan have taken their leave to rest up for the next leg of the journey. A couple guards kept watch over the camp site and a few individuals sat around the fire which slightly danced in the wind.
"Virgil I think I'm going to go to bed now, you should consider doing the same." Sarah stood up brushing off the dirt and walked back to the wagon to gain some sleep. Virgil became aware of his own fatigue and excused himself from the conversation he was having with a few of the others and headed off to his wagon.
"Virgil can we talk for a small bit?" Celcia's voice rang through Virgil's head as he began stepping into the wagon. He took a quick survey of the wagon and found it to be empty so he walked inside.
"Only for a bit. Can't really risk being caught by the enemy with a lack of sleep."
Celcia appeared before Virgil. "I heard you two talking about the temples in the desert. Something seemed familiar about that. I'm unsure but I think it almost triggered a memory. Perhaps I had something to do with the temples, perhaps I was excavating one of them before I ran into trouble."
"Could be, perhaps this is going to be a good lead on your memories. We might intervertently trigger some or maybe all of your memories when we enter the knew temple."
Celcia looked at Virgil straight in the eyes holding a look of seriousness. "This might be the first leg of a long journey. Are you ready for something like this?"
"You know I've had plenty of time to think of that. I have said before that I would make sure you regain your memory, and I intend to stick by that. The idea of a journey, be it long or short does not phase me one bit. I intend to stick it through to the end. All I ask from you in return is to stick by my side till we come to the road in which we must part."
"Thank you, that helps calms my mind in these difficult times, and I do intend to stick by and assist as much as I can." Celcia quickly went quiet as footsteps could be heard approaching. A sentry walked past while yawning. It was apparently time for the second shift to take watch. Taking that as a tell of the time past, they said their parting words and settled down regaining their strength when they awaken.
Virgil stirred away from his rest by the help of someone's hands. When his eyes opened the sounds of people going to arms could be heard from out of the wagon. His eyes fell upon the person who had awakened him. Sarah stood next to him knelt down with a worried look upon her face.
"Finally, I've been trying to wake you for a few minutes. Rise to arms, the enemy is fast approaching, and there seems to be quite a few of them. Not sure what they are however, think you can gain some intelligence on them before they arrive?"
Virgil quickly got up and cleared his head preparing his sword and shield for battle. "Celcia, think you awake?" Virgil asked within his mind.
Celcia appeared in front of the two. "I'm awake, and I have already heard everything. Just give me the direction they are coming from, and I'll get back to you quickly."
Celcia quickly rose above the air and surveyed the area. Finding movement in the far off darkness she moved in quickly to see what they were up against and then returned to the encampment to tell what she saw."They seem to be coming from the south and the west. The enemy seems to be disorganized in their approach. From what I saw they seem to be nocturnal hunters."
That might give us an advantage. Virgil we need to report this finding to Jessie. I have a small idea that might allow us to fight more effectively." With a nod the two quickly set off the wagon with Celcia floating close behind and hurried to a battle ready Jessie.
"Find out which way they are heading Sarah?" Jessie said looking down while letting his arm get used to the swords weight.
"They are heading towards us from the south and west. They seem to be disorganized and to be nocturnal hunters."
"Not sure what to say, but I take it they outnumber us?"
"Sadly that is the case, but we can even the odds by shedding some light onto weapons using my magic. That will allow us to gain some visibility and to hopefully blind the enemy long enough to win us the night. All I need is time to enchant the weapons and to get your archers into position."
"Might be our only chance, so be it. I'll get the archers to get ready to fire once you have finished enchanting."
"Thanks, Virgil I might need your help with this one."
Without a word of questioning Virgil followed Sarah to a growing stockpile of arrows. Kneeling down Sarah began to work fast. Light spreading out from the palm of her hand and enveloping the arrows one at a time. She looked up at Virgil and then to Celcia."You need to use your power if we are to survive."
"I said I would not use it unless it was needed for our survival. We don't even know much about our enemy. We might be able to take them with only the arrows."
"Didn't they teach you not to underestimate your enemy?" Sarah snapped at Virgil only to wish she did not. "Listen, we might be able to pass it off as some form of special magic, a high level self enchanting spell which I managed to teach you. If they question why you needed to be around me to cast it say you are still learning the spell, and needed someone who knows about it to help out if it went out of control."
"Thats not a bad plan, I'm sure they would believe that story. So lets do it Virgil, but only your sword." Celcia said vanishing back into her place within Virgil.
Virgil gently evoked Celcia's energy and enveloped his sword in a bright light which shown a large area around Virgil. Upon finishing the sword he looked down and noticed the pile of covered arrows in their quiver. Virgil could only be amazed at the speed in which she worked.
"Alright, now to just give the quivers to the archers then I can begin on the weapons." Sarah said brushing some sweat from her forehead. "Take a couple of these quivers with you and give them to the archers. Once you do take your place and await for them to arrive." She got up and shoved a couple of full quivers towards Virgil. As he quickly rushed away she called out to him. "Oh don't worry about me, I can take care of my self, just concentrate on the battle."
Virgil rushed to the front line giving the ready archers a quiver. At the front line the silence of the night was unbearable. Other than the footsteps of the horses and a couple of others nothing could be heard. Virgil looked out in front of him waiting for the moment the enemy could be seen, and the rain of arrows signaled the start.
After several moments of waiting the first signs of the enemy could be seen rushing towards them. The archers readied an arrow which shown brilliantly. They waited till Jessie gave the command and they released their grip and several enchanted arrows lit up the sky showing the ground which will be the battle field of the night.
Several arrows hit the mark, while others just filled their original purpose and disoriented the enemy. After a second volley of arrows the enemy was close enough to charge. Virgil quickly rushed forwards watching the other guards with their enchanted weapons follow suit. Within distance of the enemy Virgil began the fight on the south end. The arrows provided a light filled field, but their enchantment was slowly beginning to fade into the darkness of the night.
Knowing only his goal he skillfully felled one enemy after another. They were nothing but wild animals, which he recalled to be known as the Noc. The Noc were known to be simple hunters rarely fighting in a pack. Virgil quickly began to worry over this info as he sliced through several more of the beasts.
A small cry for help caught Virgil's ears as he spotted a fellow guard pinned and about to have his life cut short. Quickly rushing over to him he caught the beast off guard and tackled it off the body. Thankful for being rescued he returned to the fight as did Virgil.
The fight was long and eventually the numbers dwindled. Knowing the rest could be easily handled Virgil headed back to the encampment with a couple injured in tow and then to the west to check up on the rest. He quickly reached camp to find a couple of beast corpses on the ground. Searching the grounds Virgil came across Sarah using her powers of healing on a guard.Beside her was a mace covered in blood. Seeing the encampment to be safe Virgil headed off to his second destination.
The sound of battle was soft on to the west as well. All around enemy bodies could be seen, however all the fighting seemed to have ended. Jessie was spotted, his sword sheathed at his side, heading back towards the encampment. Feeling the battle won Vigil helped any one left on the battle field back to the encampment.
I personally liked this chapter. It gave info on a new place, a new character, and another battle. The battle however is only a small fight compared to what has yet to come.
This chapter also is the longest chapter in GS. I'm personally proud of that.
So hope you enjoyed this chapter and the first leg of this journey for Virgil.
This chapter also is the longest chapter in GS. I'm personally proud of that.
So hope you enjoyed this chapter and the first leg of this journey for Virgil.