A Story Outside Time
“So, what happened?”
A boy asks a girl.
“Shouldn’t it be ‘So, what will happen?’”
A girl asks a boy.
Somewhere outside the grasping talons of time, Reflect and Refrain flitted about what one would have to call a ‘room’, but for lack of a better describing word. The constructed pocket dimension consisted of several interconnected cubes of magically maintained space where no space should rightly exist. The shimmering dimensions of each cube rippled ever so slightly on occasion, but never once suggested anything but the utmost integrity. Below the network of magical constructs was a small star, no larger than one’s hand. Though the celestial body shone with a pale and gentle light, there was an uncomfortable unevenness to it. Space contorted and light bent around the star like water down a drain.
“Can you two ever agree on anything? Honestly, whenever you open your mouths, you completely disrupt the entire conversation. Who are we going to send?” The slightly irritated voice of a third party, also present within the room, called out. The third entity was that of a monkey, though far taller and more upright. His face bore the creases of one who had seen far too much in a life that had already been far too long. His red hair and beard gave him a wild look despite his rather ornery disposition.
“The conversation is continuing perfectly fine. Don’t bother us, monkey.”
“Isn’t that right?”
“It really is.”
The strange twins nodded in unison as if to reaffirm one another.
“Of course this is the first thing they agree on, insulting an old man.” The monkey-man ran a hand through his hair as he sighed. “This is why nothing gets done around here.” He continued, grumbling. “These two ain’t natural and they aren’t even good at pretending they are.”
“That’ll do. I don’t think we need another argument.” A fourth voice joined the debate. “Wukong, I think it’d be best if you went this time. Reflect and Refrain were the last to go, and I’ve already gained permission from Adelbert.” The voice, it’s source still unseen, addressed the monkey-man by name.
“You’re sending me for a simple observation mission?”
“Yes, but one of more importance, so you may find it more interesting. There’s a concerning trend that seems to be following a certain group around and we’re going to need more information on them.”
“Can I punch anyone?” Wukong cracked his knuckles with a grin.
“I’m going to have to ask you to restrain yourself on this particular mission.”
“Heh, well that ain’t no fun at all. How’m I supposed to stay fit if I don’t get into a harmless little scrape every now and again? Can’t we just leave this one to the newbie?” Sun Wukong looked around the room for a moment, placing his hands on his hips. “Where is the newbie anyway?”
“I’m afraid she’s on a different assignment. This is a very delicate situation, Wukong. If something were to go wrong, I want the man who’s best equipped to get himself out of there quickly.”
“Alright, alright, I get it. Is this really as big a deal as you’re making it out to be?”
“Are you doubting my ability?” The voice questioned sternly.
“Just taking it with a grain of salt is all.” Wukong replied with a grin.
“Would you say such rude things to Xuangzang? It would do you well to listen when others are talking.”
”Are you kidding? I’ve said far worse to him. He’s made a hobby out of lecturing me. Anyway, I’ve been listenin' to at least half of what you’ve said. You can see the future after all. I figure I should give you at least that much.”
“My magic inscribes possible pasts and futures into my tome, ‘One Thousand and One Nights’. Whether they are from our time-threads, I cannot be absolutely certain. But there are always signs.”
“And? What happens in this possible future that’s so troubling?”
“That’s just it. There’s nothing written. It continues for a short bit, and then it just stops altogether.”
“You never make this job easy, do you? Alright, fine. So you just want me to go watch those guys?”
“Roger. Guess it’d be good if those idiots messing with the future don’t see me though. Come, flying cloud!”
Though it suggested no visible point of entry or exit, a small golden cloud emerged from the small star shining at the center of the pocket dimension. The cloud sped through the shimmering walls of the magically constructed room. Wukong leapt onto the cloud, standing on it as easily as one would stand on the ground.
“You’d best. This isn’t going to be easy, Wukong. We’ve never had this kind of irregularity before.” As Wukong rode off, vanishing into the small star the cloud emerged from, Scheherazade appeared, watching him as he did so.
“Alright you two, let’s get back on track.” Scheherazade turned her attention back to the twins.
“Yes yes, we’ve been waiting entirely too long.”
“No no, we’ve barely been waiting at all.”
Scheherazade shook her head and opened ‘One Thousand and One Nights’. She began to read from a recently recorded passage.
“Because of the illusory moon, Lunya was able to awaken and return to her true self, Nyarlathotep. With her new strength, she was able to defeat Mercurius, the Seven Luminaries witch from Altea. Millium and the others were able to rescue his aunt Lumia, who was the key to purifying the Earth, which had been converted into a demonic object of dark power. At the same time, Kaguya and Fiethsing met the mysterious vampire, Mikage Seijuro and a few members of his family. The groups tested their strength against each other, and stopped just before the great floating ships that comprise the nation of Altea appeared from a rift in space.” Scheherazade paused for a moment as if she was considering something. Whatever it was, she seemed to think it better not to say, and instead turned the page and continued reading.
“Fiethsing and Kaguya could immediately sense a powerful entity approaching with Altea, and Fiethsing decided that once again the wisdom and strength of all Six Sages was needed once again. However, many of the sages had been sealed away as magic stones after the great magic stone war. So, Kaguya and Fiethsing decided to part ways, each seeking out different sages. Kaguya found Grusbalesta sealed in his stone without issue, but Fiethsing’s efforts to find Moojdart only turned up evidence that someone else had found her first. Someone clever and skilled enough with magic to sense the location of the powerful stone.”
“Could there really be someone like that?” Reflect whispered to his sister.
“How could there not be?” Refrain answered.
Scheherazade continued after a moment of interruption by the twins.
“With Lumia rescued, Millium’s team made a hasty return to the Light Palace. However, they were met with another obstacle. The second of the Seven Luminaries, and Mercurius’ fellow student; Mars. Skilled with long range, wide area explosive spells, this fearsome user of fire mana managed to take on the entire group at range. Using his explosive magic to keep them separated and distanced from him. With the illusory moon gone, Nyarlathotep had returned to Lunya in a weakened form, unable to help. Millium was already defending his aunt, still recovering from her ensorcellment, and Charlotte was now tending to Lunya. Zero, skilled at swordsmanship though she was, found herself at a strong disadvantage. However, help came in the form on a mysterious silver knight. This hero, known as Glorius, aided the sage and together they turned the tide against the pyromancer. However, it was Millium who ended up defeating the wizard. The mysterious stone given to him by Lunya suddenly activated itself again, dissolving Mars’ mana based magic effortlessly. Though the group was still unsure of exactly how it happened, they took advantage of the situation and at last defeated the...villain.” Scheherazade paused for a moment on the word ‘villain’, as if trying to think of a more appropriate word.
“That done, Millium’s group continued back towards the Light Palace.”
“I see, they returned safe and sound.” Reflect spoke up again.
“No, their return is just starting ” Again his sister contradicted him.
“Alright, I think that’s enough for today.” Scheherazade closed her great tome.
“Aww.” The twins pouted in unison.
Though they did not realize it, Scheherazade had reached the end of that timeline’s recordings. Nothing else had been recorded in a while, and even the battle with Mars was unusually difficult to decipher, murky or perhaps...fuzzy? It was a very alien sensation to her. Sifting through the words felt like trying to keep yourself awake after they have gone far too long without sleep.
“This timeline is becoming more and more unstable, this last thousand year interval in particular.” Scheherazade whispered to herself as she stared at the blank pages that, under normal circumstances, should have been filled. Someone was behind this. Of that, she was certain. But who? No one, not even she or her constituents had the ability to cause such a disturbance.
One thing was certain though, whatever was supposed to happen next would certainly be incredible. Whether terrible or triumphant, she could not say. But incredible? Yes, without any doubt.
-Lore written by Rajadeem the Seer, last of his order
Part 10 Legacy Lost
The gang recounts their encounter with Mars and makes for the Light Palace with an unconscious Lumia in tow.
Kaguya and Fiethsing go their separate ways to search for the other Six Sages who are still sealed in magic stones, the result of a war ending decision 1000 years ago.
The body stealing demon of Attoractia makes her move as she attempts to claim the wounded Alice with the help of a corrupted six sage.