"Demi, aren't you busy?" asked Knight worriedly. He had a week to spend with the Diceon. There were about ten members he knew of. Nemesis, Mind, Psyker, Asura, Combat ranger, Demi, Veteran commander, Void princess, Yama Raja, and Night watcher. Knight's uniform had been changed into a red sweater top with baggy grey pants. A simple greatsword was given to him. He grew close to Demi and the Veteran commander.
Demi, Asura, Mind, combat ranger, void princess, veteran commander were in often. Demi was the leader of the Diceon group. Her schedule was random and erratic. A week off, gone the next four weeks, three days here, nine days out. Veteran commander was the cook. He was pacifist by nature, but in order to survive Ishmaels light he had to hide it. The reason why he defected was that he wanted to cook instead of kill. Pskyer and Mind were often in their rooms and never slept at night. You could hear their obnoxious laughters at 3 am in the morning and a following 'shut up!' from the others.
Nemesis had a steady schedule, out for a week back in for 3 days max. Mind and Pskyer's schedule changed according to Nemesis's. The combat ranger worked as a nurse and void princess was in quite often and always tried to challenge Demi and undermine her for the position of leadership.
"It's fine Knight." smiled Demi. She looked a bit more cheerful that usual. The two were walking along the halls with a nasod flashlight to guide them. They had teleported five times and Knight had lost his lunch. Now Demi was searching for an exit. She pressed a button. "Here it is."
The plate of metal slid open. It showed the outside work. It was extremely cold, almost freezing. There was swathes of mist, so dense you couldn't see anything. Knight stared, his breaths becoming visible. Demi grinned at his reaction. "Wow."
"I know, right?" grinned Demi smugly. She gestured to the outside. "It's pretty cool." then she closed the metal plate again. "You have to be careful. There was this one time Yama raja drew a mosnter's attention."
"Monster?" Knight repeated, staring at her as Demi closed the metal plate. Demi nodded as she turned on the flashlight again. The darkness was now lit up by a single white beam of light.
"Yeah, there are monsters and demons out there. I guess Ishmael's light teaches otherwise." shrugged Demi as she walked. Knight wondered a bit. Then Demi tackled him. Knight tried to shove her off, but it was too late. They were teleporting again.
Back at the base, Knight was on the ground groaning while Demi looked satisfied. Knight groaned out, "I hate you."
"You love me." grinned back Demi cheekily. Then she walked out. Knight was used to that, her just leaving. He overheard Rune's laughter. Rune was getting along ok with the others. He and the combat ranger made up and were fine friends now. He spent his time with the combat ranger and veteran commander. Knight followed his laughter to the pseudo infirmary. Rune and combat ranger were there exchanging jokes. Rune noticed him and waved him over.
"Hey Knight." he grinned and slung an arm over him. Knight smiled awkwardly back at him. "How was the visit to the outside?"
Knight perked up at the topic. Animatedly he began too explain to Rune. "It was extremely cold! And there was fog everywhere. And Demi said that once Yama raja once led a monster inside. And she also said that there are demons! Isn't that so cool?"
Combat ranger laughed, her laughter sounded like twinkling bells. She had a wry smile as she responded. "Ah, yes I remember. When Yama raja first came here she demanded to see the outside. She even stepped outside too, and not just stopping at looking at it."
"Really?" gasped Rune and Knight at the same time. Combat ranger nodded.
"She really wanted to go outside. Then out of nowhere a large red pig came charging out of the fog. Demi had to save her." said combat ranger in a matter of factly tone. Rune and Knight exchanged another set of glances. "Well, now? She still wants to go outside but she's a lot more careful."
"Awww, no fair I wanna go outside too." complained Rune. Combat ranger gave him a stern glare enough to make him stiffen.
"You are not going outside until you are completely healed." she ordered him with a imperial tone that mimicked Nemesis's voice when ordering around the tracer classes. Rune sighed and glared off to the distance.
"Rune calm down, you're not missing out on anything. The outside isn't going to move anytime." assured Knight in his own way. Rune muttered something very vague. "Besides, she's right, you're not going anywhere in your condition."
"I hate you both." he complained without very much heat in his words. Combat ranger shrugged. Rune drew back his arm and Knight used this change to slip away. He walked to the kitchen of the Diceon base. There was always a smell of something delicious. Unlike Ishmael's light where food didn't have any smell and subtle tastes far too delicate to taste without concentration. Knight learned about food with smells and the tastes. There was savory, crispy, sweet, sour, bitter, bland, salty and some more without words to describe them. There was always this delicious smell of food, liveliness that seemed to give life to the kitchen, something Ishmael's light never had.
"Hey." called out Knight as he walked in. The stove was on with a large pot boiling on it. He guessed there would be soup today. Veteran commander was skillfully cutting potatoes with his nasod arm. With modifications Nemesis made, the nasod arm could convert to two forms. There was Battle function and Life function. In Life function the nasod hand was reduced to the same size as a normal person's hand. In Battle function it would return to it's nasod state. Nemesis was considered a genius by the tracer classes for doing so.
Veteran commander had hair that reached his shoulder with a red streak in his black hair. He had bronzed skin with some scars. His golden eyes were sharp and tired. He was solider, Knight could tell by the way he moved and talked. Strict and strong. He wore a black long sleeved shirt and grey pants with a floral print apron on. "Welcome, I'm making some potato soup."
"Never heard of it." replied Knight. He discovered heavenly creations like steak and grilled pork chops. He didn't know how veteran commander changed the dull tasting meat at Ishmael's light to become this awesome creation. He walked in.
"Can you hand me some potatoes over by the bin?" he asked. The metal bin was filled with strange vegetables and fruits. He picked out brown lumps that veteran commander was cutting up and set them on the cutting board next to him. "Thank you."
"No problem." replied Knight easily. He watched as veteran commander added the sliced potatoes into the soup and started to add other chopped up vegetables or fruits to the mix. Then he put the lid on top and changed the stove's heat. Then he turned to face Knight. Veteran commander was fairly tall, about a head taller than Knight.
"So what brings you to my nest?" joked Raven giving Knight a small twitch of his lips. "Hoping to steal a bite like last time?"
Knight blushed slightly and turned his nose up. He muttered out, "It was just ONE time."
"It's fine." Veteran commander laughed.
"I went to see the Outside today." grinned Knight excitedly. His eyes and face were glowing like a child's and his excitement was almost tangible.
"Huh, how was it?" asked veteran commander with some amusement. He was watching Knight closely with one eye and the other on the stove.
"It was amazing! It's unlike Ishmael's light or like the tunnels." smiled Knight. Knight knew that it was only mist, but unlike the stagnant airs of the tunnels or Ishmael's light it was fresh, and there was temperature and mist.
"You should see it when it's not cloudy, there is a real sun out there." veteran commander informed Knight. Knight's eyes grew large and wide, he started to tap his fingers on the table.
"A real SUN?" he gasped loudly. Veteran commander nodded.
"I was a wee bit like you when I first saw the Outside. It's got the same, I'm alive sort of feeling, huh." veteran commander mused thoughtfully while watching the water start to simmer.
"Yeah!" agreed Knight. He didn't know why he loved the Outside, it wasn't particular or special. In fact it would probably kill him given the chance. Yet it called to him, just like veteran commander's food. It was something inside him that just moved along to his heart. It was a sense of something he could never name. It was there but it disappeared sometimes. Under the tunnel is was a whisper, during battle it was a roar. It was sense of power he could never name, a balance that ran in his veins and pulsed along with his mind and being. Veteran commander called it the sense of truth. He had it too, and so did Yama raja according to him.
"Well want me to tell you a story?" he asked, even though he knew Knight's answer. Knight always said yes. He didn't wait for Knight's reply and started anyways. "You see Solace became Solace the traitor because he envied the System. He knew the System was far greater than him and he wanted to steal the Patron. However he could not steal the Patron without help. They say one of the Master thrones helped Solace steal the Patron. Of course all our current Patrons are alive, but some say he killed all the Master thrones and the Patron and left. Some claim he used the Patron's body to build Paradise. Paradise is a floating castle in the sky with power to live and breath without the El warrants. He lives there and picks up the rebels of Ishmael's light to offer a way of life outside it's laws and rules." Veteran commander's eyes became more dazed. "But no one knows if it's true."
Then he turned to the pot and went to tend it. Knight knew that veteran commander was too busy to be bothered again. So he left to join Rune again. As he walked across the main room, he saw the door open. It was Nemesis who was easily carrying a four metal box tied together with a rope that totaled the size of a boulder. She hefted it in. The door to the tracer's lab opened and Psyker came out.
"Medical, rations." she reported to Psyker who stared to undo the bands and boxes. Knight started over to help him. Pskyer gave him a odd look which Knight ignored. Unlike Mind, Pskyer wasn't too bad until he started talking. Mind was always an irritating presence. Three of the boxes were filled with food packets. The fourth one had bandages.
"I'll takes these to veteran commander." Knight hefted up two boxes to make one trip then the last one to make two trips. Veteran commander was adding milk to the pot and was too busy to notice Knight. As he came back he overheard Nemesis.
"Yama Raja says that she'll come visit tomorrow. There was a sign of an El beast, but it seems to have retreated with no visible damage." Nemesis told Pskyer as a purple diorama popped up recording her words. "She states that there are strange impulses around certain areas of the tunnels."
"Alright, I'll send that to Demi and Asura, maybe they'll analyze something out of it." sighed Pskyer. The diorama disappeared. Then Pskyer noticed Knight and gave him a glance. "You said that the 'Ain' was being chased by an El beast right?"
"Yes. . ." Knight responded defensively. Nobody really believed in the strange Ain except Demi and maybe veteran commander. Nemesis was kind of hard to tell if she believed it too or it was just her poker face.
"Do you think he lived? Yama raja says there isn't any sign of anything that happened." Pskyer asked. Knight shrugged. If the El beast was attacked and returned then more El beasts would be sent out. If the El beast disappeared then more El beasts would come. But if the El beast tracked down Ain and brought him back then more El beast would be sent out to check. It had been a week and Yama Raja didn't say anything about more El beasts. That must have meant that Ain got away and the beast returned without alerting Ishmael's light. Strange.
"Maybe, it would make sense though. . ." trailed off Knight. Pskyer nodded and Nemesis gave him the same blank gaze as always.
"Thank you for your input." Nemesis told Knight, then she walked away into one of the halls. Psyker and Knight were left in the main area.
"Why not, anyways, do you er, want to go, uh." Pskyer was griping for words. Knight sighed and decided to put him out of his misery.
"No it's fine." replied Knight with a smile. "Nice of you to ask."
"Oh, alright." Pskyer replied. Knight shrugged and left.
The quiet tunnels bothered Ain. He looked around. It was pitch black. Looking around the Ain slipped his fingers into his coat pocket and fished out a small blue metal device. It was round and had a glowing orb in the center. The light was a soft orange but very weak. Ain could read the tiny letters imprinted at the very bottom of the circle. It read, Eun Pt.14488.
"Eun, can you hear me?" whispered Ain. His voice echoed off the walls slightly. The orb just continued glowing softly. He sighed and continued talking, "At least hear me out, please? You know what'll happen if we don't hurry!" His voice was urgent and pleading, but the orb continued glowing, unaware or uncaring of the person who talked to it.
Ain sighed. He walked down the tunnels, his footsteps barely audible. He pocketed the orb again and summoned a glowing red diamond. The light was much brighter and showing the tunnels more clearly than the orb. He stopped at the side. A Yama raja was passed out, leaning against the metal wall. Her head was slumped and her black hair was draped over her shoulders.
"Listen to me very carefully, tell them that Ebalon is coming and you have to rescue Eun. You have to gather all pieces no matter what. Understood?" the Ain whispered to the Yama raja. She didn't react in any way. Ain sighed and set the orb down next to the Yama raja. Then he walked away leaving the body behind in the darkness.
The plot thickens. After chapter 15 I'm planning a side story, (name is spoiler). I hope you can bear with me till then.
Thank Ishmael for pre-written chapters i forgot were laying around :)