❯ Yasashii Yoake ( Gentle Dawn) – Epitath ( Chapter 9 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]

Yasashii Yoake (Gentle Dawn) By Sakura (aka L-sama no Miko) 9: Epitaph Dun Loireag “So that’s pretty much it,” said the blue and white painted merc. “Still there is some value in looking into to it,” the blonde angel countered. “Look, B.T., I already told you such an item doesn’t exist.” “Come on old man,” she teased, “Can’t you just try to believe for once? If you don’t believe it exists, then you wouldn’t be able to see it if really did and was right in front of you.” “Mmm…” he mused. “The Key of the Twilight does exist in this world Bear… somewhere.” ************************************************** ************ Field of the sleeping angel “Can you hear me?” the silver haired priest asked the sleeping cherub. However, the tiny angel continued to sleep on, with no signs of waking. “Aren’t you going to wake up? Am I ever going to talk to you? Are you… dead?” He sighed, talking to himself like that was a waste of time. “No, she’s not dead,” he said again after a few moments of silence, “that can’t be right.” ****************************************************** ********* “When I first learned about it, it had already become quite a legend,” the blonde angel said as she sat upon the giant conch watching the sunset. “You mean they stopped talking about it on the boards?” her blue haired companion asked. “I had completely forgotten about it until this whole mess with Tsukasa started. What about you, Crim?” “When I heard about it, it was all everyone could talk about. I first found out on a message board in Breg Epona. It was a popular debate subject amongst the scholars there. Those who said it was real and those who said it wasn’t… neither side would give in.” “So which one of them are you?” “I never got involved with that. I’m not a scholar, B.T. I just wanted to act, to do something. It was a waste of time to just sit and talk and talk about it so I decided to look for it. Besides, the time was right. The Crimson Knights had just been formed. A scholar like you should know about the Knights of the Round Table right?” “Of course I do. Everyone knows about that old story,” she replied, “The knights who served the human king, Arthur and searched for the Holy Grail.” “Right. The Crimson Knights under Lady Subaru were doing the same thing, except they weren’t searching for a cup, they were looking for a key. Doesn’t that excite you?” “You never did find it,” she taunted. “I’m not ashamed,” he said hitting the shell with the shaft of his spear, “If you learn from your failures, you can gain that lost ground and more. You just to make sure you don’t make the same mistake twice. What you should be ashamed of is being afraid you’d fail. Anyway, in our case, we searched the entire world and never did find the Key of the Twilight, so we all decided that there was no such thing. I believe we learned from that failure, which is more than enough.” “So, how come you and the knights went searching for it in the first place?” The blue haired angel made a noncommittal grunt, not knowing how to answer that. ************************************************************* Dun Loireag It was very early in the morning, the sun had yet to rise and the paths of the Highland City were completely deserted. The lone priest walked to a series of benches and frowned at the empty square. “Mimiru’s not here,” he said, disappointed. “Pardon me,” said a maroon haired and winged angel swordswoman. “Sorry to bother you so late, but can I please ask you for a favor? I’m in a bit of a fix and there aren’t that many people out at this time of night. I know you must be heading home yourself, but would you please listen to what I have to say?” “What time is it exactly?” he asked. “Um… a bit after four I think,” she replied. “I see.” “I’m going on a trip for a few days you see, and well…” There was a tiny whimper from behind her and he looked to see a tiny pink pig like creature standing next to the angel girl. “I’m looking for someone to take care of my grunty for me.” The grunty then squeaked plaintively and gave the demon the dreaded P.D.E’s (puppy dog eyes) “Don’t tell me you can’t do that,” the angel pleaded. “Pets are too troublesome,” he said attempting to walk away. She leapt in the demon priest’s way. “I know, but please! It’s only for three days.” The baby grunty whimpered again, coming over to him. “Daaaaaaadddy!” it whined, “I’m hungry. Can I have something to eat?” And for extra measure it let out a rather loud sneeze. Tsukasa sighed. ************************************************************************ &n bsp; “It appears that Crim’s not going to join us this time,” the blonde angel said leaning against the throne’s arm. “Then you should have gone to Mac Anu,” the cobalt haired woman replied. “I wasn’t needed. There’s people keeping an eye on things there.” “So why call me here?” “I want to find out what the Key of the Twilight really is. Where that little fairytale came from.” Subaru let out an exasperated sigh. “Forgive me. I was imagining you and Crim teaming up and I couldn’t help myself.” “I can imagine,” the other angel spat irritatedly. “However, I can assure you the reality is far different from that.” “Really now? Now as for where the key came from, our friend Crim said he went looked for it once, that I should ask you about the more complicated stuff.” “He always runs away like that, and before you know it, he’s disappeared.” “He acts that way about anything and everything doesn’t he?” “He’s a good man, but you’re right. There isn’t much any of us can do about Crim’s behavior. I had to exhaust all my resources just to find out where he ran to the last time. So, I would have to say he’s just as you were imaging.” “Tell me Subaru, have you ever though of tying a leash on him?” “No, why?” “Because…” “There was once a time,” Subaru interrupted, “he saved me, or actually the way he acts saved me,” she continued, giggling slightly. “Hmm.” “One thing I do know, is that the very existence of the key is itself wrapped in mystery.” “Naruhodo, (I see).” ******************************************************* *************** Hulle Ganz Cathedral “What’s up?” the scantily clad merc asked when her taller partner ‘hmm’ed to himself. “Hmm?” he asked, turning to her. “You were spacing out, Bear. Is this getting to much for you?” “No, that’s not it. Say, do you know what I do in my spare time?” he asked suddenly, surprising her. “No, but I did ask B.T., but she wouldn’t tell.” “Oh.” “So what do you do?” “It’s a secret,” he teased, chuckling. Mimiru pouted, but respected her taller friend’s secrecy. “I don’t think the Key of the Twilight even exists.” “Oh are you saying that it might now?” “It’s some kind of item that turns everything we know about this world upside down right down to its heart, right?” “Yes.” “That’ll be nothing but trouble for everyone. Why would such a thing exist at all?” “You’re finally getting it I see. There is a term some healers use called ‘apoptosis’.” “Apo what?” “Let me put it this way. We humans don’t start with five fingers on our hands. At first they look like spatulas, the shape of our hands is formed when the cells between the fingers die.” “They die?” she asked, looking at her own hand with newfound awe. “Basically, it’s a predestined death. Those cells were put there only to die, which would go against the normal flow of life. However, we gain fingers from that death.” “Let me get this straight, you’re saying that the Key of the Twilight, which goes against the laws of nature, is here to create something?” “It’s just a theory, Mimiru. But if you put your mind to it, you’d see that it’d be useless to dismiss it as nonexistent.” “But …” “The world has many strange things, this area for instance. I’m still trying to figure out why King Harald built it.” “Hey, didn’t we take about that before?” “I did some investigating.” “So you’re a spy in your spare time?” “Nope. Only two guesses left,” he teased. “Darn!” “Before this cathedral ever stood here, there was nothing but a small island in the middle of a lake. But as you can see, the lake is all dried up now. That happened just after a rather strange message appeared on one of the boards.” The mercenary girl gasped. ************************************************************ ***** “As far as I can tell, we were only able to go as far back as that post on the board.” “And the message was?” prodded B.T. “I have no idea. It was illegible in many spots, and it was in Dwarvish. So I don’t think there were that many who could read it.” Dwarvish was a rather difficult language to learn since it did have the habit of arranging sentences differently and those who could read or speak it had all but vanished from sight and memory. “And of course there’s the fact that it had gotten destroyed almost immediately. All that adds to the mystery and made it even harder to trace the original message.” “Still there had to have been sufficient information for that debate to get started correct?” “As for that, I don’t know if it was based on the original text or the hype it caused. Additionally, there is still the possibility that the original was just someone’s idea of a bad joke.” “That just makes me want to see it even more,” B.T. said eagerly. *********************************************************** * Dun Loireag “Psst!” the mage whispered to his sword wielding partner and prodding him with his staff. “Isn’t that the guy the Crimson Knights were looking for earlier?” The swordsman turned to see a silver haired cleric walking down a set of stairs not to far from where they were currently sitting. “Yeah, that’s him alright,” he replied. “Why not talk to him?” “Are you nuts?! I heard that you shouldn’t mess with him.” “Oh come on. You’ll be able to brag how you know the guy who fought against the Crimson Knights. What the?!” During all that, said priest had walked past them and into the grunty stables. “That couldn’t have been him. A guy with a rep like his would never be raising grunties.” “Yeah that’d be as weird as us,” agreed the mage laughing. “WHAT DID YOU SAY!?” Meanwhile, Tsukasa sighed as he approached the last stable in the back. He gasped when he saw how poorly the tiny pig like creature was doing. He could practically count every rib as it was extremely malnourished. The grunty was whimpering and tears had been leaking from its closed eyes. Kneeling down, the demon priest began to gently stroke the poor thing’s back. The grunty opened its eyes and gave a few coughs as it weakly tried to wag its tail. Seeing that it was too weak to even stand it began whimpering again. “Why?!” the silver haired boy asked, fearing for the little one’s health. “Why hello there,” said the ranch’s owner coming into the stables. “Welcome to Dun Loireag’s grunty ranch. How can I help you?” “What’s wrong with that baby over there?” the silver haired boy asked. The man looked over at the tiny baby and gasped. “This is very bad!” he exclaimed. “He’s got distemper!” The poor thing then sneezed as if to say, ‘Well, duh.’ “Unfortunately, it’s much worse than it sounds. Was he ever vaccinated for it?” “I-Is there a cure?” “Yeah, a Purple Cherry should work like magic.” Thanking the man, Tsukasa ran out of the stables and headed straight for the Chaos Gate. ************************************************************** ********** Moments later, the demon priest was standing in a snow covered pine forest. His eyes darted desperately in search for the elusive fruit. They fell briefly on the gigantic mammoth encased in ice, but quickly moved away as a large gust of wind rose. He shivered at the severe cold and wrapped his arms around himself. Deciding that the fruit he was after was not in the immediate area, he began walking along the frozen river. He paused after a few minutes to warm his hands by blowing into them. He glanced around briefly, then started walking, this time into the trees. His eyes darted from side to side every few seconds and he gasped when he saw two lone round berries sticking out from a snow laden bush. Dashing over, he promptly brushed the snow off of them only to sigh in disappointment. These were White Cherries, not purple. Tsukasa rose to his feet and went back to his search. He walked and walked for what seemed like hours, the cold slowly seeping the energy from his body in the form of little puffs of smoke as he breathed. He was now forced to lean on his staff for support as the wind once again began to pick up. *************************************************************** Meanwhile in another part of the world, a trio of adventurers was having a discussion around a nice cozy fire near the hollow of one of the many giant trees surrounding them. “Are you going to search for it too?” the blonde angelic mage asked. “Not exactly,” her blue and white painted friend replied. “There is that thing concerning Tsukasa, so I can’t just forget about it either.” “Why, Bear, I didn’t know you were that interested in the boy.” The human merc, Bear, chuckled. “Well, I don’t give a darn if it exists or not,” piped the other human merc, “It really doesn’t matter since we don’t even know how to look for it, or even where to start for that matter. We haven’t got a single clue!” “Mimiru,” the blonde angel said, interrupting the girl’s ranting, “The world is indeed a huge place.” “So?!” “So, according to the last census by Lios, we know there are twenty million souls, angel, human, and demon, living in this great big world of ours. If we play our cards right, we may yet find someone who saved that first post.” “I can’t believe you’re just going to use the boards to get information!” “Don’t be silly!” reprimanded B.T. “We have Lady Subaru and Crim. Who could ask for better connections than that?” “I see,” Bear added, “What about him?” “That’s where Mimiru comes in. I believe it’s time for her to act.” “Him?” the tanned merc asked, getting nervous. “Don’t tell me you mean him!” The angel smirked and nodded. “Aww, jeez why does it have to be me?!” “Are you up to it?” asked Bear. “We’re counting on you, Mimiru,” added B.T. The youngest of the trio sighed in defeat. ************************************************************ *********** A short while later, Mimiru found herself in a ruined forest. Sensing she was being stalked, she whirled around, swinging her sword. There was the clang of metal hitting metal as the enormous blade was blocked by a matching pair of blades. “Greetings!” chirped the green haired demon. “Urusai (Shut up) you freak!” she spat. “Your name is Mimiru, right?” he asked, slightly put off by the insult. “Yeah, so what?” “You’re acting rather different today.” “That’s because I’ve decided to stay strong if I have to keep dealing with you,” she said pushing the sword against him, “Not that I really have to!” Sora quickly stepped to the side, making the human girl stumble and force herself to lean on the enormous weapon to prevent her from falling flat on her face. “Well, this is a nice change of pace.” “I need to know if you know anyone who deals with information,” she said, straightening up. “Information?” the demon assassin parroted. “I’m looking for a message that was posted about a year or so ago,” she explained. “Ooo, what kind? What kind?” the sneaky demon asked, his curiosity extremely piqued now. “It’s none of your business,” she replied, waving him off. “Wonderful! I’m joining up with you!” he beamed. “The hell you will!” she yelled, brandishing her sword. “Oh, but I thought you wanted info,” he taunted, “I can’t share if you won’t let me join.” “For your sake, you’d better not be lying,” she warned. “Oh I’m not. By the way, I’m looooving your new attitude.” *************************************************** ************************ A silver haired boy walked dragging his hobby horse alongside of him. His amethyst eyes were reddened from the tears that were still falling in rivers down his marked cheeks. He stopped suddenly when he was blocked by a group of children on hobby horses. “Hey! What do you think you’re doing here hanyou (halfbreed)?!”one of the two demon boys demanded “Yeah!” said the other boy, “This is our turf. Beat it crybaby!” “Isn’t he the lord’s son?” the human girl whispered to her playmates. “Huh?!” the first boy asked. “Wait a sec,” the second boy said, “He is wearing some pretty fancy stuff, so maybe he is.” “Well, guess I’ll let you go with a warnin’ then,” the first boy spat. He had been planning on teaching the shorter demon a lesson for ‘trespassing’, but if he really was the village lord’s son, he’d be in major trouble if he did. “Just don’t let me catch you around here again, ya hear me?!” The three children then ran off into the village, not bothering to look back. Tsukasa sighed, wishing he’d hadn’t gotten yet another vision of his miserable past. ************************************************************** *************** “You’re back,” the blue and white painted man said as a scantily clad human merc came up to the camp site. “I take it, it didn’t go well,” the blonde angel said upon noticing Mimiru’s angry scowl. The human girl huffed indignantly. “Wanna bet on that?” she spat angrily. “Oh?” “Sora said that we may be able to trace the message back to someone named Helba.” “The demon empress?!” Bear asked in amazement, “Did he really say that?!” “Yeah, he said she had ‘talent’.” “You know who she is?” B.T. asked, curious. Every few years or so, the many demon lords fought against their current leader in a bloody and all too often fatal tournament. Whoever defeated the current emperor or empress, would immediately be declared the new leader of the demon race. It just happened that the current leader was a direct descendent of the first empress who was also named Helba, hence the name for their empire. “I’ve only heard rumors of someone named Helba,” the taller merc explained. “I’m rather surprised he would have connections with someone like that.” “That’s not what he said,” Mimiru piped up, “He told me she was a friend of a friend.” “Is she really the current leader of the demons?” B.T. asked. “From what I’ve heard, she was the one who won their last tournament a couple years back. She won without getting a scratch.” “She won the demon tournament without a scratch?!” Mimiru asked in utter awe. “Is she really that powerful?!” “That’s what I heard,” he replied. “Now, I’m REALLY interested,” said B.T. “That’s really some luck, you’ve got there Mimiru. If you were so lucky, how come you’re in a bad mood?” “Because he made me let him join us as payment for contacting her.” “Surely a strong girl like you should be able to handle him by now, since you two are such good friends,” teased the blonde angel. Mimiru huffed, utterly insulted, then strode away from the camp. ********************************************************** &nb sp; She warped back into Dun Loireag. Mere seconds later, a familiar silver haired priest warped into the town as well. He hadn’t seen the irritated merc standing there, so intent with his own problems was he that he immediately dashed off in the direction of the grunty ranch. Upon seeing the fleeing demon, Mimiru gasped and began to run after him. *************************************************************** ***** Meanwhile, a certain blonde angelic mage warped into the field where Mimiru had met Sora. “Why hello, miss pretty angel,” the black clad demon assassin said in greeting. “I thought you liked, Mimiru,” she shot back. “Oh come now, don’t make me choose,” he mock pleaded. “As if I’d care. No flashy entrance today?” “It’s raining,” he replied. “I’ll never understand you.” “By the way,” he said, smirking triumphantly, “I got in touch with Helba today.” “And?” “She already knew what you guys were up to. Her majesty said, she’ll contact you later.” “So why bother call me out here, you could have sent us a message.” “True, but I needed an excuse to see you. I’ve heard you’ve been hanging around Crim the Red Lightning lately. Better watch yourself.” “Oh and why is that?” “You want it, don’t you? Me, however, I just want to be the first to find it before anyone else. What you do with it is no concern of mine. But, what about Mr. Crim hm? He may be helping now, but he was once one of the Crimson Knights after all.” “Are you saying his code won’t allow such an item to exist for long?” “Bingo! If he finds it, he’ll just hide it somewhere and say that it never existed in the first place. If you find it first, then he’ll just take it from you.” “Thanks for the useful advice.” “See, I told you I’d be good for you,” he said, winking. “I’ll think about it.” ********************************************************* ************** Dun Loireag – Grunty Ranch Tsukasa came running in and headed straight for the sick grunty. The poor thing whimpered expectantly at the demon priest, tears pooling in its glassy eyes. “Here little, guy,” he said holding out two Purple Cherries, “Eat this, it’ll make you all better.” The sick baby whimpered as it sniffed the fruit. A scantily clad merc watched the demon priest from the stable door. “Don’t!” cried the boy as the grunty baby tried to stand. “You just eat that, don’t move.” The baby fell over, too weak to even stand. He gasped as it gave out one last whimper and began to glow. Soon there was nothing left of the poor pig like creature, just an empty box filled with straw. Mimiru attempted to console the now devastated boy, but thought against it. The grunty’s owner came into the stables just as the last of the golden sparkles that was her pet faded into the air. She gasped and came running over to them. “Oh no! My grunty!” the angelic merc cried. “I thought I asked you to watch him for me?!” she yelled at Tsukasa. “What did you do to him?!” “I don’t know what’s going on,” interjected the human girl, “But you can’t talk to him like that!” “Stay out of it!” shouted the other girl. “The hell I will!” Mimiru spat, “Didn’t you even know your grunty was sick?!” “Who are you to talk to me like that?!” “I’m his friend!” “Oh is that it?! So my grunty died because of your fooling around?!” “NANDA YO?!!!!!” “Yamero (Stop),” pleaded a very saddened Tsukasa. “I was too slow. Please forgive me.” He then walked away, leaving behind two utterly stunned mercenaries. ‘Tsukasa,’ Mimiru thought, staring after him. *************************************************************** A little while later, a human merc and a demon priest sat together gazing at the two moons. “So why did you bother accepting her request?” asked the tanned girl. The silver haired boy started to rise. “Wait! Stay, please. Just for a bit more? That is if you’d like to.” “Why me?” he asked after sitting back down. “Why am I the only who can’t remember?” Feeling sorry for the amnesiac demon, Mimiru gently placed her hand in his. He stiffened slightly at the sudden contact. “So warm,” he murmured. “Just like that poor little grunty. He was even warmer when it was well.” He held back a sob that threatened to escape his throat. “I never knew such a little thing could be so warm. So I decided that I didn’t want it to die. That’s why I tried so hard. I tried.” He began to repeat the last sentence over and over as tears began flowing down his marked cheeks. Mimiru couldn’t say a thing. She just continued to sit there and let him hold her hand. She decided that she would stay with him for as long as he needed her. ~TBC!!!~ Sakura: Waaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!! En-sama: What’s wrong Sakura-chan? Sakura: T-That poor baby grunty! It was sooooooooooo kawaii. It reminded me of my last dog. Waaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!! Haseo: A pig reminds you of your dog? Sakura: It was me who found out she was sick. I was there when we rushed her to the vet and they said there was nothing they could do for her. Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!! En-sama: There, there, dear. Sakura: A-Arigatou En-sama. I-It’s that I miss her as much as I do my dad. T_T Silabus: Um… since Sakura-san is unable to talk anymore right now, I guess I’ll have to tell you what she had planned to say. She’d like for all of her readers to tell her how she’s doing so far with this fic, so please don’t be afraid to leave her a review. She loves getting them.

Yasashii Yoake
Yasashii Yoake