Chapter 56 = The Prophecy
Disclaimer: Although all characters here are of my own invention (with the exception of the Magikoopa in this chapter), the original idea of Yoshies, Birdos, etcetera, are copyright of Nintendo, and I make no money from writing this.
Much of the day had already passed by the time Darkmark and Manny left the church, and the sky was covered with dark, menacing storm clouds threatening to let loose at any moment. The two of them quickly moved through the grimy, run-down streets, noting the stench of fear associated with any town living under the iron fist of a tyrannical dictator. The sun was starting to set, and rising up out of a forest to the northwest was a dark, foreboding castle, though it was too dark to see much detail from the distance they were at.
They walked past many beggars of all races, steel-plated human city guards looking for any excuse to set upon any individual merely to relieve the boredom, scantily-clad women of the night starting on their routines, shady characters attempting to con people out of their money with gambling tables, and rats skittering in and out of all the dark side alleys…
“I hate this place.” Darkmark muttered darkly. “I have only been in this city for less than a day and I already want to leave.”
“For once, I think we’re on even terms…” Manny concurred.
They took a left turn and found themselves in a slightly nicer area, but it was only nice on a relative scale. There was a market that had closed for the day and was now being roamed by at least one gang, several barred and locked shops, more city guards, a few smoky-looking, dank bars, and a mercenaries’ guild. In fact, the only thing on the street that looked remotely appealing was a large building quite like the University in Corvan, advertising itself as a ‘School for the adept at second sight’.
“The famous oracle school…” Manny murmured. “They say that this is the third one that was ever set up; the first one was opened by Miyala in the city of Karnavéy, northeast of here.”
Darkmark nodded in silent recognition, taking a look in the first set of gates as they passed. Though most of the rooms were dark, there were lights on in a few showing that there were night classes taking place, and a few students were milling about, most of them carrying small bundles of equipment. As they passed a second gate, they saw a curious sight; a black-robed Magikoopa was reading someone’s fortune, but suddenly he stopped and looked over to Darkmark, staring directly at him even though he was hardly visible in the dark street.
The brown Yoshi stopped and stared back, and the Magikoopa’s gaze did not falter. Darkmark walked forwards, through the open gates, and strode towards the Magikoopa with Manny following close behind. As they approached, he called out to them in a deep voice with a Kooparian touch to it, giving a slight snarl to his words. “I sensed your aura from quite a distance… I believe it would be best if you would lend me but twenty minutes of your time, to read your fortune.”
Darkmark was sceptical. There was a small crowd watching them, and the Magikoopa was wearing dark glasses that covered his eyes. His black robes went right down to his feet, and in one hand he carried a short wand with an orange gem at the tip, which shone brightly in the light from the torches running along the footpaths outside the school. Darkmark was distracted for a moment and looked on towards the building, past a statue of Miyala, seeing a brightly lit sign above the main doors that carried only a single symbol; two small, half-closed eyes beneath a bigger, fully open eye, the symbol of the oracles.
“Come, trust me, I feel your power and I wish to read your fortune…”
Slowly, Darkmark walked up to the Magikoopa, and stood facing him, folding his arms. The Magikoopa waved his wand in a circle repeatedly, forming a trace of bright blue mist where it went, before three symbols appeared from the mist; a red triangle, a yellow circle, and a blue square. They continued to spin for a few moments before the oracle snapped his fingers and snarled something in Koopa, making the square stop above the other two.
The Magikoopa then stashed his wand in his robes and took Darkmark’s right hand, rubbing his chin in thought. “I can see your past… your name is Marcus Charris, and you hail from Yoshi’s Island far to the east… I see a blue Yoshi, that one behind you… I see you playing with him… I can see a pink Yoshi… her name; Alziana… I know all you have done with her; I can see you hugging her, I see you kissing her, I can see you mating with her…”
Darkmark suddenly grew indignant and made a lunge for the Magikoopa’s throat, but his hand passed right through the black robes as the body they covered melted into the shadows and re-formed just a small distance away. “Impressive, no?”
“Very.” Darkmark muttered in annoyance. “What other personal memories are you looking at?”
“Only similar ones involving a feral Yoshi…”
Darkmark’s eye twitched as he attempted to control his anger, clenching and unclenching his fists. “Go on…”
With a wave of his left claw, the Magikoopa spun the symbols around, shifting the circle up above the others. “I can see everything in the present, too… the flail you carry at your side, and the silver sword hanging in its scabbard… I can sense an enormous flux of ether around you; you have great psionic potential, do you not?”
“I do, want to see?” Darkmark replied, holding up a hand and making psionic energy crackle and buzz around his whole lower arm, making the small crowd behind him step back.
“However,” the Magikoopa continued, impervious, “I see greater potential not yet realised… a forbidden, awesome power, more powerful than your current psionics, waiting to be unleashed upon the world…”
“What is it? Tell me!” the brown Yoshi demanded, and the Magikoopa snickered for a moment before holding out a clawed hand.
“To do that, I will need to look into your future, and that is not a free service…”
Before he even fully realised what he was doing, Darkmark’s hand dove into his saddlebags and withdrew a handful of gold coins, which he dropped into the waiting orange hand of the oracle. Pocketing them, he snapped his fingers and spun the three symbols a final time, stopping the triangle at the top, before he took Darkmark’s hand again and closed his eyes, apparently going into a deep trance.
“I see much evil ahead… I see dragon wings, strong and powerful… I see fangs stained with blood… the mountains in the southwest… ruins sealed away beside the Underworld… I can sense vast waves of psionic energy… I see a marble temple… valleys of fire…” The Magikoopa’s breath steadily became more frantic, his words more erratic, “…flames… all-consuming flames enveloping the lands… many cities under siege…”
The oracle’s hand began to shake as he delved further into the future, and his speech became more disconnected than it had been before. “…seven children… the Koopas… seven fragments… the Lord of Darkness… the seal… a golden Yoshi… Sévar…!”
Suddenly the Magikoopa stumbled back, snapping out of the trance, almost tripping over his robes but still staying upright and gasping, “The seal will be undone within this era… and the great legend, the great prophecy, will come to pass…”
He regained himself and took out his wand again as silence enveloped all those present. Darkmark looked over to Manny uneasily, and deciding it was time he moved on, handed the Magikoopa another fistful of coins and strode briskly away, attempting to commit all he had heard to memory, though it was slipping away like sand through his fingers…
“We’re leaving here tomorrow.” He told Manny firmly. “I have had enough of this place…”
To be continued…