君の闇私の光 (Your Dark My Light) © 2015
Chapter 11: Guild of Earth
Agost knew he wasn’t finished just yet. Though the fight had taken a toll on his body, he knew he wasn’t at his limit. He still had a burning desire to catch up to Vincencio and Isaac. Besides, how else will they find their way around to the Guild of Six Seals? Agost was determined to end this with his next move.
Ripaa was enjoying himself, he hasn’t met a human who could withstand such punishment. He wanted to savor this feeling, but he knew if he stalled much longer, he’d lose his chance at capturing Isaac. He grinned with pleasure as he stood in close proximity to his opponent. The look in his eyes showed he wasn’t going to be defeated.
“I think you should give up. This is the end for you,” Ripaa mocked Agost.
“There isn’t a chance in hell that I’ll lose to you!” replied Agost angrily.
“Haha! I must admit, this fight has amused me for the time being,” Ripaa laughed, “But we already know where this is going to lead.”
“The last one standing will have the last laugh,” Agost said determinedly.
“Suit yourself. I cannot die, but you can.” Ripaa said in a serious tone.
Though Agost didn’t know for sure, he didn’t want to find out just yet. He only had one option to escape. “You make a likely story sound good, but I truly wonder how true it can be.”
Just then, Ripaa charges at him and delivers a punishing blow to his chest. Agost flew back like a leaf in the wind. There was no chance that he could survive that.
“It’s over.” Ripaa utters.
No sound came from Agost’s direction. He scans the area where he landed. The lack of movement confirmed his suspicion. As he began to walk away, he felt the breeze pick up. Or was it a breeze? The air around him started swirling furiously, whipping around everything within it’s wake. Small stones began to hover and swirl with the airflow. Ripaa was stuck in the middle. Then he realized it when it was too late. Agost had cast a blinding spell just before impact, which gave the illusion of a direct hit, as Rippa struck a rock formation near him. Though Agost narrowly escaped, he did not go unscathed. As Agost lay in wait for Ripaa to step into it, he finally activated the magic circle that was placed beneath his feet during their battle.
“Very clever. I appreciate the fight and acknowledge your strength.” said Ripaa. “However, should we meet again, it will not be the same outcome.” he added.
“I don’t expect it to go the same way.” Agost said smugly, “You have underestimated me and next time you will meet your demise.”
“I look forward to our next encounter.” Ripaa said. “It will be the last time we meet.”
~ ~ ~
Vincencio watched over Isaac’s motionless body. He was barely breathing, but he noticed there was something different about him. His eyes were very active, as if he were in dreaming. Could he be in a meditative state? It’s not possible. No one he knew of could accomplish this feat. Yet, it is undeniably true, Isaac has transcended his previous self in such a short time.
He began to prepare for when Isaac comes out of meditation. He knew that he would be pretty famished after going through such an ordeal. He also laid out some fresh garments and a leather coat, which Agost had been working on since they met. It harnessed his weapons perfectly and seemed to be trimmed exactly to match Isaac’s body type. It was eerily perfect, as if Agost knew his measurements without even using measuring tape. Agost did have a natural talent for using his hands after all, so it’s not beyond Vincencio’s comprehension that his long time friend would possess such refined skills.
Vincencio recalled the days he trained with his friend and former rival. He remembered his brother and how all three of them were so competitive with each other. His brother, Gualtiero, was the best fighter out of all of them. He was a protege in physical combat and excelled in weaponry as well. Agost, at the time, was closely matched his brother’s skill in weaponry and was slightly quicker. Vincencio himself, by comparison, was no match to either of them in the beginning. But with practice and determination, he quickly closed the gap to almost no visible difference can be seen. That’s what his most admirable trait was. He persevered through the most grueling and troublesome training, even though he knew he wasn’t as good as either of them.
Now that his brother is gone, he couldn’t imagine who or what could have bested him in combat. If these occurrences are any indication to what has transpired, then his brother would have been a a terrible disadvantage while having to protect his family. The sheer thoughts of how he must have suffered up to the end, gripped his heart as if it were being clamped and squeezed tightly. He began to have trouble breathing. The reality of his brother’s death must be starting to get a hold of him. Feelings of dread and remorse filled his heart. Why is this happening right now?
~ ~ ~
Isaac woke up as if nothing has happened. He felt refreshed and ready to go. He looked around and found his uncle caught in some sort of daze. Isaac shook Vincencio, but he gave no response. He shook him again, a little harder and longer. Same as before. Nothing.
“Uncle!! Snap out of it!” he yelled. Isaac then motioned for a back-fist, but was stopped midway.
“Sorry my boy.” Vincencio released in a short breath, “I don’t know what has come over me all of a sudden.”
Isaac looked into Vincencio’s eyes. He has never seen his uncle so emotional before. He instantly felt pressure in his heart as well. It was heavy.
“I think I understand uncle. You don’t have to explain.” Isaac said and added assuredly, “I haven’t taken the time myself to feel anything but anger since then.”
“You shouldn’t have to bear this all on your own.” Vincenio replies.
“This was all I knew before I met you. I didn’t know how else to feel.” Isaac sighed.
“The loss of your father, my brother, has finally caught up in realization.” Vincencio professed, “Let’s not let this distract us too long. We’ll make our peace soon enough.”
Agost stumbles in and catches the end of the conversation. He looks like he’s in bad shape and needs some medical attention and rest. Before they can acknowledge his presence, Agost asks, “What’s with the gloomy faces?”
“Don’t worry about us, you blow hard! You look like a train wreck.” Vincencio acknowledges.
“Let’s get you some help.” Isaac admonishes. “I’ll fetch Miss Rose. Maybe she can aid us.”
~ ~ ~
I was sure as soon as I woke up, she’d be here. Was I dreaming again? Was it all just another vision? But she seemed so real. As if I could reach out and touch her. She told me her name was Faith. She must be connected to this somehow, I can feel it.
Maybe tomorrow will reveal more answers, unless I get another vision tonight. I think we all need more rest. But for some reason, I feel more alive than ever before. Faith might have some information to enlighten me on this.
~ ~ ~
Agost didn’t get up until late into the afternoon. Adalina tended to his wounds and watched over him the whole night. She let out a sigh of relief when Agost finally opened his eyes.
“I wasn’t sure if I wanted to be your nurse or your executioner. I really wanted to strangle you.” Adalina told Agost.
“I’m happy you chose the former of the two choices. And I’m grateful for all that you have done for not only me, but for the three of us.” Agost replied.
“You gave us quite a scare.” Isaac noted.
“Oh?” Agost looked perplexed.
“It’s been four days.” Vincencio mentioned.
“I’m not really sure how I made it back here to tell you the truth.” Agost revealed. “The last thing I remember is both of your long faces.”
“Let’s not get into that right now.” Vincencio urged.
“Did you find anything out about the guild in this area?” Isaac asked.
“As a matter of fact, I did. It was my last stop before I returned here.” Agost admitted.
“Then we should be on our way!” Isaac exclaimed.
“Before you become too hasty, I want to warn you.” Agost paused for a moment, “It’s not what you think it will be when you see it.”
“What does that supposed to mean?” Isaac asked.
“Those who maintained the guild no longer exist.” Agost maintained his tone. “When I got there they were all dead.”
“WHHAAAT!!” Isaac let out.
“Wait What!?!” Vincencio urged.
“Either way, we still need to know what’s going on.” Agost replied.
“Agreed.” replied both Isaac and Vincencio.
“Let’s head out as soon as your belly is full.” Isaac told Agost.