Chapter 38 = War and Power, Time and Space
Disclaimer: Although all characters here are of my own invention, the original idea of Yoshies, Birdos, etcetera, are copyright of Nintendo, and I make no money from writing this.
Groaning, Marcus heaved himself up off of the stone cold floor, taking some comfort from the fact that being here in a meeting with one of the deities probably meant that he wasn’t dead. Getting to his feet, he looked up and focused on the white Yoshi in front of him, who was hovering with her feet back like the others did, and was carrying two longswords. Her eyelashes were fairly long, and if it hadn’t been for the distinct lack of clothing and different swords he could have easily mistaken her for Xenly.
“I heard from Tivaro.” She said flatly. “It was… very bold of you to summon a meeting like that, but be aware that in future, it’s up to us whether to grant that meeting or not.”
“Whatever. Say your speech and let me go back.”
“Softly, softly, Marcus.” She replied. “Tivaro told you, I presume, that in order to defeat Foryo, you need a silver weapon blessed by myself…”
“Yes, something along those lines.”
She pointed one of the swords at him. “If you can find a blade of silver, I’ll enchant it, but you must prove yourself by obtaining either a sword like that, or enough silver to forge such a weapon yourself. Consider it a test of sorts.”
“Meh… easy enough.” Marcus said with a shrug.
“Are you taking me lightly, mortal?” She asked, half-closing one eye and giving him a questioning look.
“Well, why not?” He remarked, and sorely regretted it.
With an indignant snort and a wave of her hand, Laryshka blasted him with an immense amount of some kind of energy, making his skin sear and filling his head with a painful ringing noise. When she let up, he collapsed onto the ground and panted, trying to force himself out of the encounter in his mind, but failing to do so.
“Remember who you’re dealing with… and who you’re ultimately up against. We gods don’t take lightly to atheists… and I assure you that Klashkna will change your mind about being light-hearted, should you ever have the misfortune to meet him. Get up.”
Grudgingly, Marcus got to his feet and narrowed his eyes at Laryshka in contempt, clenching his fists in indignation. “Now listen to me, Marcus. All seven of us are counting on you to not succumb to the whims of Klashkna… you still have Miyala and Eirsir to meet, and they will prepare you in the event of an encounter with Klashkna… if you die or give in to the will of the darkness, all is lost, and Klashkna knows that. He would prefer to make you a pawn of his and use your power for his own devices, but he’ll kill you if it comes to that…”
“What power have I got?” Marcus asked. “I’m just a regular Yoshi with nothing special about me except for some weird eye outlines. Why would I be of any use in some great plan?”
“As Tivaro told you, you possess a great power that we won’t inform you of for your own safety…”
“My safety? Why would it be for my safety?”
Laryshka paused long enough for Marcus to grow suspicious, and he continued, “Maybe it’s not for my safety… but for yours? Is this power so great that if I knew of it, I could rule the world? Would I be able to overpower the gods themselves? If I knew of it when I met with Klashkna, would he be able to take it from me and use it himself?”
“Shut up!” Laryshka roared, swinging her swords for him in anger. Just as the blades were about to come into contact with Marcus’s neck, there was a bright flash, and everything stopped dead…
“He’s been out for a while…” Manny murmured.
“Yeah…” Shiala concurred, “It’s longer than he’s ever been with them before…”
Manny picked up Marcus’s saddlebags and looked inside of them again, pulling out the octagram with a gasp and showing it to Shiala. Between the purple gem and the whitish light, there was now a brown light shining from the gap, distorted by mist much like the white one…
Marcus stood where he was with his arms up, braced for an attack, but when the attack never came, he opened his eyes and lowered his arms to see Laryshka frozen in time in front of him, held in mid-lunge by some mystical force. Nervously, Marcus stepped back out of the path of her swords, and started to walk away before spotting another figure in a spotlight just off to one side.
A brown Yoshi was hovering above the floor, her skin a bit darker than Marcus’s, and she was holding her right hand flat with an hourglass balanced on the back of her hand, and Marcus was astounded to see the sand in the glass flowing upwards rather then downwards. Upon closer inspection as she came closer to him, walking a few inches above the floor, he could see that the sand was also frozen in time, but the direction of the sand still indicated that it was flowing upwards.
“A lesson for you, Marcus.” Miyala said calmly, gesturing with her left hand towards the frozen Laryshka. “When you lose your temper, you leave yourself open to attack from anyone.”
Miyala snapped her fingers, and the sand in the hourglass began to flow again, while Laryshka continued on her attack, striking only empty air.
“Now now, Laryshka…” Miyala scolded as the white goddess regained herself and cast a hateful glare over to Marcus, “It’s not good to try and kill the next saviour, is it? Particularly when you’ve just finished telling him how much he means to our plans…”
Laryshka gave a resentful grunt of acknowledgement, before raising her swords up into the air, touching the tips together, and vanishing in a bright flash of light. Miyala shook her head despairingly, before turning back to Marcus and nodding in greeting.
“All brawn… anyway, Marcus, I am Miyala, the Goddess of Time and Space, as you probably already know. I don’t have much to say to you by the way of an important message or speech like the other deities… however, I do still need to warn you of your future… and inform you of your past.”
“I see…” Marcus replied. “Well, go ahead, but I think I can predict most of what you have to say…”
She gave a gentle smile, before flipping the hourglass on her hand up, catching it with just a single finger the right way around, and keeping it balanced there for a moment as the sand fell from the top down to the bottom half of the glass. “I have seen many futures… and your futures have been like grains of sand on a beach compared to all the futures that I see. However, those grains of sand have recently become shiny pebbles, standing out from the others, as they are intertwined with the fate of the world and all those upon it. In some futures, you bring about the end of the world, in some, you simply exist to destroy, and in some, you recover things you’ve lost and help the deities… those last futures are the ones we are attempting to direct the fate of the world towards.”
“I still don’t see how I could possibly become powerful like that…”
“You will see, in time…” Miyala said softly, throwing the hourglass up once more, and catching it on the palm of her other hand, with the sand flowing upwards again in its irreversible flow. “Something very important happened three generations ago, when ferals were still being hunted down and killed with more fervour than they are today. After the destruction of one feral village, a single feral escaped his fate and ran, making it to the city of Sansata, through grievously injured… there, he captured a female Yoshi and raped her with the intention of conceiving a child to preserve his bloodline… for feral heritage, as you’ve been told many times, is a key part of the powers you may obtain. He died shortly thereafter from his wounds, and the female Yoshi returned home, shaken by the event even though he had told her about why he was doing it. Marcus… they were your great-grandparents. She laid an egg as a result, your grandfather’s… and you know the rest from there; he had two sons in Lince city, then one died from an infection and the other moved to the Shoreside Village, meeting your mother, eventually resulting in you… where your feral bloodline first showed up since your grandfather, displaying itself with those prominent eye outlines of yours.”
Marcus swallowed heavily, taking it all in. “And that makes me…”
“That makes you a distant descendant, like all those with feral lineage, of the goddess Karshina.” Miyala confirmed.
“That explains what Tivaro said… how Shiala coming along was good for your plans… that mating with her would produce a ‘more powerful effect’ than if Alziana had stayed alive…”
“That is correct.”
Marcus dipped his head and gave a deep sigh. “I don’t know how I can tell her this… or if I should…”
“That is your decision, Marcus.” Miyala said flatly. “You need to be heading back now… just remember what we’ve told you, and you can shape your own future if you use that information correctly.”
Marcus closed his eyes as she gestured towards him with her free hand, feeling his consciousness float away as his vision went white once more…
Manny and Shiala were still by Marcus’s side when Dave ran into the room and started prying open Visali’s locker with the end of his quadra spear. “Dave, what…?” Manny started, but the human cut him off.
“We’d better get out of here. Visali’s killed Xenly!”
“He what?” Shiala asked, unbelieving.
“Well, I assume he killed her… she was seriously injured and they both ran out of the hall, and neither one’s come back… but it wouldn’t be like him to just let her go.” Dave murmured as he forced the lock open and grabbed his and Visali’s things.
“He may have gone back to his room…” Manny suggested.
“Good point. Tell you what, you come with me, and Shiala, you stay here… no, on second thoughts, you may as well take Marcus back to the hotel room.”
Shiala muttered something under her breath before hoisting Marcus’s unconscious body up onto her saddle, before the three of them left and headed their separate ways…
As soon as Dave and Manny opened the door to Manny’s flat, they spotted the red-orange Yoshi lying on his back on the couch, sipping a bottle of some kind of alcoholic drink. The moment he saw them enter, he gave a loud cheer and held up an unopened bottle, shouting, “Hey, c’mon and join me! I have reason to celebrate; I finally fulfilled my vow, and as an added plus Sira will probably respect me now!”
“Dude,” Dave started, “You’re in so much trouble…”
“They can’t lay a finger on me.” Visali replied, throwing a bottle to Manny and one to Dave. “Exiled assassins are outside the law… and so is anyone who kills them. I’m untouchable.”
“I hope you’re right.” Dave replied.
“I know I’m right. I’m always right! I’m Visali Lestan, and I’m always right, no matter what the-…”
“Alright already.” Dave interjected. “You quit the tournament, though…”
“Ah, this personal victory is better than anything they could’ve given me. Hey, Manny, you want to go with me down to Club Veils later on? I don’t think we have much more alcohol left here, and I want to keep celebrating.”
“Would I?” Manny replied, his eyes lighting up.
“I thought so. What about you, Dave?”
“Nah, I’m good. I think I’ll stay here if it’s all the same to you… I’m pretty tired from all that fighting.”
“Suit yourself.” Visali muttered, before turning to Manny. “Hey, where’re your buddies?”
“I dunno, probably getting their tongues tied into knots, if I know them…”
“Ungh… oh, my head…”
Marcus didn’t need to open his eyes to know that Shiala had just thrown herself on top of him and was hugging him tightly, on top of what felt like the mattress of the four-poster bed at the hotel. A little weary, he hugged her back, opening his eyes as she pulled him up into a sitting position and tightened her grip.
“Shiala… ah, I knew you’d be here when I woke up…”
“Well, what else could you have thought, Marcy? I hope you’re not still angry at me for what I said earlier…”
“No, no, it was just a joke… in very poor taste, mind, but still… I just thought for a moment that you were serious, and… never mind.”
He continued to hug her for a few moments before letting go of her and looking around. She had drawn the curtains around the bed, but it was still fairly light under them, though a little bit too warm for Marcus’s liking… though maybe that was just from being with Shiala…
“Are you okay?” She asked, looking into his eyes.
He smiled and replied, “Yes, I’m fine… a little tired, but otherwise okay…”
“Aww… hey, lie on your front and let me help that…”
He did as she instructed and lay flat on his front, with his head resting on a pillow, and she pressed her fingers gently into his back, before moving them in circles as best she could, and he let a low groan escape him as he felt her soothing his tired muscles.
“That feels so good…”
With a high giggle, she whispered, “Anything for you, Marcy…” as she continued, pressing a little harder and moving up his back towards his shoulders, shuffling further up the bed so she could reach. She began to gently but firmly caress his shoulders, and he closed his eyes from the feeling it gave him, letting a sly smile creep onto his lips as she started gently massaging the sides of his neck.
“Roll over.” She said sweetly, taking her hands away, and he did so, flopping onto his back and watching her as she put her soft hands on the top of his chest and started again, rubbing the flesh over his ribcage. His head sagged back and he stared at the fabric top of the four-poster as she moved around to his sides, then back over his stomach, before making a start on his leg muscles, still aching and sore from the tournament. He felt very relaxed and much less tired as she carefully rubbed the sides of his legs, before she stopped suddenly and he felt her warm breath on his skin as she leant over him and was about to give him a tender kiss…
Knock knock knock.
Shiala paused with her lips only but an inch away from Marcus’s, holding the position there and waiting for the visitor to leave, but they both heard Manny’s voice as he knocked again.
“Marcus, disentangle yourself from Shiala and open the door, I know you’re in there…”
“Don’t you have a key?” Marcus called back indignantly, sitting up and putting an arm around Shiala.
There was a pause, before Marcus heard something very quiet, followed by the lock on the door being opened and Manny stepping into the room. The blue Yoshi promptly stepped up to the bed and whipped back the curtains, saying, “Me and Visali are going down to a local bar… club… uh… whatever it is, it serves drinks anyway… and I’ll be back later, okay? I came to drop off my knives and sword… I probably won’t need them and I don’t want to carry them around.”
“Sure, whatever.” Marcus replied, waiting as Manny let the curtains fall back before dropping down his sword and knives with audible metallic clanks, then making his way out of the door and slamming it. Marcus waited until he heard the lock click before turning back over to Shiala and stroking her fins tenderly.
“Now, where were we?” He asked brightly, and she responded by pouncing on him, pinning him down on the mattress. “I won at that tournament, so you know how it goes, right?” She said seductively, with a sly wink.
Marcus narrowed his eyes at her a little, and she gave a sigh. “Marcy, you know I’m only messing around, right?”
“Yeah, but I still don’t like you joking about that…”
“Look, Marcus… do I need to tell you why I love you? It’s not for your strength, or power, or muscles… that may be a factor in a feral village, but we aren’t in a feral village, here. I love you because you’re kind to me, because you care about your friends, and because you’re selfless! You mean so much to me because you’re sweet, and gentle, and you care about my feelings! You worry about me even when there’s no reason to, simply because you love me so much that you don’t want to see me hurt! You’re the nicest, most perfect person I have ever met, and that is why I love you!”
He smiled broadly and blushed a little, before replying, “And I love you because you’re always there to help me… you always want to be with me, to hold me and make me feel like you do… because you want me to be happy, as well as you, and because you want my personality, not my body… that is why I love you.”
“You’re so sweet…” She murmured as she pulled him close to her.
“Don’t leave me, Shia… you’re all I have, and all that I want, so don’t leave me with nothing…”
“I won’t, Marcy, not for as long as I live…”
To be continued…