Darkness Reformed: Part III.5 - Travel Agency

Luna cocked her head.

Shun tried to force himself between her and Bruno, but Luna stuck an arm out, holding him back.

“I take it by how you’re pointing that at me, and my companion’s reaction that that’s a weapon of some sort,” Luna said.

“I’m not going to ask again, get out of my shop!” Bruno called.

“Really, it would be easier if you just helped us along...”

The shop fell silent, save for a few drops of Luna’s blood hitting the floor. Luna and Bruno locked eyes like a violent storm raging against a sheer cliff. Shun found himself nearly paralyzed by the dread menace that was filling the room.

Energy crackled on Luna’s hand, and for a split second, her wings were visible. She quickly swiped her hand in front of her, leaving a trail of blood floating, marking its path. At the same time, the room rang with the sound of a gunshot, but neither fell. When the sound faded, the gun and bullet had disappeared into the void - Luna’s void - and Bruno stood there, stunned. All he could do was stare at the faint outline of Luna’s wings.

“A b- black dragon! Then you must be Queen-”

“Ultima!” she said. “I am the most powerful black dragon in the world and I have earned-”

“You haven’t earned shit!” Bruno spat. “You’ve been imprisoned for so many lifetimes that anyone else’s name would’ve been forgotten. But you, one akin to an archdemon, one so vile as to scare everyone away from most magic, we remember you. And now you’re back and propping up your insecure ego with a fake, and asinine, title that means less than shit!”

“Maybe. Maybe I haven’t earned the title, but it’s mine. Just as the first of my kind held the title, so too must I.” Luna sighed and unballed her fists. “I know you, and most people hate me and see me as a queen of villains, but I’m not a threat right now. Xipil is.”

Bruno sighed and turned his back on Luna and Shun. “Can you really do it?” he asked as he considered every aspect of what was happening.

“I will need to see the situation first hand, however, I conquered Djastra’a in but a few hours, so I have confidence I will be able to surmount any protections it has.”

“I’ll help you...” Bruno said, without looking back. He had a knot in his stomach but he forced himself to continue. “I’ll help you, but I- I want to come with you. My grandparents live there and I need to make sure you don’t hurt them or anyone else!” he looked over his shoulder and saw Luna grinning at him with relief and quickly looked away. “This is only temporary, ya hear. Once my grandparents are safe, I’m heading back here.

Luna smiled and placed her still bleeding hand on the counter. “We’re glad to have you with us,” she said.

“So can you send us to Fensburg now?” Shun said, butting in.

“Sure,” Bruno replied. “Head down the stairs at the end of the hall. I need to pack a couple things, I’ll meet you down there.”

With Shun and Luna waiting down below, Bruno set to packing. He’d never done something like this before, but he did his best. He packed some food, a waterskin, a couple changes of clothes, two of his remaining pistols along with some ammunition, and, before he joined up with his new companions, he stared at a portrait of his grandparents, trying to memorize every detail of the people he had only heard stories about. Once the ram felt as though he could waste no more time, he flipped the sign outside the door to “closed” and joined his comrades in the basement.

The basement consisted of one large, dimly lit room. The beams for the wooden floor upstairs were visible. The floor of the basement was smooth black stone adorned with a bright white 15 pointed star glyph in the center. Wooden chairs were leaned against the far wall, and a small red X had been crudely drawn in the center of the glyph.

“Are you two sure you wouldn’t rather walk?” Bruno asked as he entered the room. “The station in Fensburg was destroyed as part of the evacuation, so this’ll be a one way trip.”

Shun squeezed his eyes shut and took a deep breath. “Yeah. I think this is the best way. Luna wouldn’t- couldn’t carry us anyway.”

Bruno glanced at her for confirmation.

“I cannot let myself be seen carrying to brutes such as yourselves. No offense intended. Also yes, both of you are too heavy.”

Bruno chuckled to himself and took his place in the middle of the room. “Stand in the circle. Doesn’t really matter where, oh, and make sure your tails and clothes are inside too. Wouldn’t wanna lose em, eh?” Once Shun and Luna were situated, Bruno began to chant in his deep, monotone voice, the words more for him than for the spell itself. As he continued, the glyph lit up, filling the room with light. As Bruno finished his incomprehensible string of magibabble, his final word echoed throughout the blindingly bright room. “Fensburg!”

As the light dimmed, the trio found themselves standing in the dilapidated remains of a wooden cabin. The scorched wooden floor showing only hints that it once held a transportation circle. The air was still and smelled of old fire and smoke. It was cold, colder than Luna had expected. As the group exited the rundown travel agency, the looked north, towards Djastra’a. The overcast sky was tinted gold with an unearthly light. Almost there.

Maybe this chapter getting split was for the best, both halves combined might’ve been too much. Hope you’re getting all psyched up, only two parts left (if everything goes according to plan).