Chapter 95 = New Beginnings
Disclaimer: All characters here are of my own invention, but the original idea of Yoshies, Birdos, etcetera, are copyright of Nintendo, and I make no money from writing this.
29th of Eira, CD 2156;
Midnight had just passed in
the city of
The blue Yoshi came back through the nightclub entrance so as to avoid attention, his mind heavy with thoughts. He found Tsi-Lau waiting for him, lying on her side on the bed, still heavily swollen, though she had both her hands resting on her chest.
“Sk-… Manny.” She called to him. “Come quickly.”
“What is it?” he asked, rushing over to her.
“It’s… it’s coming…”
Yoshi eggs were generally laid within a day of their conception, but after that would take another two weeks or so before they hatched. The incredibly short gestation period served only to give rise to the idea that the child was living extremely early on, and so in Yoshian societies, smashing an egg was equated with murder.
A murder Tsi-Lau had allowed to be committed once before…
Skafria put a hand on her chest gently, moving close to her. “I can feel it… are you going to be alright?”
She nodded, allowing herself a smile. Exceptional circumstances would allow for a show of emotions, just this once… she couldn’t stay cold forever. Not now, not that she was a parent…
As soon as the order had gone out to the guards, it hadn’t taken long for the public to notice, and the city was in uproar. Noticing the sudden movements of elite guards and city guards, as well as messengers calling up as many soldiers as they could get from the barracks, rumors had spread, eventually confirmed by a slip of the tongue from the captain of the guard.
A war was most likely on its way.
This had caused a sudden rush of actions from both ends of the spectrum; there was a sudden rush of angry Yoshies picking up weapons and armour, so much so that the blacksmiths ran out and began to forge more, but there were many more who hid, mostly with their families, and refused to be any part of the war effort.
I don’t have time for this, the Baron thought, though the truth was exactly the opposite. He had time to wait while more arms were forged, basic training was given, and the army, such as it was, was assembled, rations and supplies were gathered, and they prepared to march. Rather, the Baron didn’t want to be the one trying to make people who didn’t want to fight come along, but they needed the manpower, however inexperienced…
Of course, while he had time to himself, there was overall almost no time to spare – barely enough time to tell fresh recruits which end of their weapon was the pointy one and how to put their armour on. But any delays would only jeopardize everything and everyone who was relying on their success.
Giving his speech from the roof of a building, since no plaza in the city would suffice, he read the ultimatum the humans had delivered. He hated to try and guilt the populace, but stressed the importance of what was happening, and prayed aloud to the gods, though for his efforts a comparatively small number of people turned their allegiance, and there was nothing he could do about that without introducing conscription, a last resort in his eyes.
He joined the army later that day as it assembled, preparing to march across the land bridge in the fine weather that seemed something of a blessing – had it rained within the last few days, it would be simply to dangerous to attempt, but it was dry and he had magic users go ahead to burn off the moss for good measure.
Even the horse they had taken from the human messenger had been pressed into service, infuriating the human a good deal – which was just as well, because it further delayed the return of his message as he shouted and swore for a while before giving up. It was pulling a cart, since there were no cavalry in the army – with bodies shaped to be ridden, Yoshies were not good riders, and a metaphor for clumsiness in the language was ‘like a Yoshi riding a horse’. Few ever managed to stay on a mount for over a minute.
“My lord!” a young lieutenant shouted, breaking the Baron’s thoughts. “We will be ready to march soon. We will have to go in single file, and with our numbers it will take a few hours to cross… we should arrive at the city in six days.”
“Alright. Get it started as soon as you can, but make sure nobody rushes. Anyone who falls off of there wouldn’t survive. And send someone ahead to look around the city and report back to us. Standard reconnaissance.”
The lieutenant nodded, gave a “Yes, my lord”, and ran off again as the Baron moved up among the commanding officers. He would walk, today, in the nice weather, as would everyone else, not that there was much of a choice. The only alternative travel in the army was by stretcher, and nobody particularly wanted to go that way because it required painful injuries to do so, injuries so bad that the medics in the army couldn’t treat them at the scene.
“My liege, we have word from the researchers.”
The king nodded, waving his hand so the messenger could stand up from his kneeling position in front of the throne.
“Apparently what the Dragon Slayers’ new captain was saying was true. Whatever he attacked was a vampire. We had some oracles look into the history of the sword and it was indeed a Yoshi.”
“Now that is a first.” One of the advisors assembled around the throne mused. “We’ve known the existence of a few vampires here and there, mostly renegade, but never a vampire Yoshi.”
“Regardless, the new captain was correct. He’s currently recuperating with the rest of his new unit.”
The king sat back in his throne and thought for a moment. “Let them rest and train the newest additions to their ranks. I want them ready to move as soon as our messenger gets back. If they surrender they can head to the enemy capital and take it, otherwise I need them capable of fighting. The entire Yoshian army couldn’t stop a battalion of those men.”
“…and the captain?”
“Tell him he’s been pardoned and may keep his current position, but needs to expect orders at any moment. That is all.”
Boundary of the Crelata Forests
Darkmark dipped below the clouds again. He’d gotten the hang of flying, tiring though it was, and after a day and a half of flying he at least had his target in sight now.
He dropped into a steep dive. The forest was very thick, the trees tall and close together, making it hard to get in and nearly impossible to get out by air. Very little light got through either, so Darkmark was opting to go in by foot.
He had had the fortune to pass by a small village on his way, purchasing some more food, though the price was elevated supposedly due to a raid on the supply caravans. However, in a town full of humans watching his every movement, Darkmark suspected otherwise. He paid for it nonetheless, trying to avoid any more trouble for the moment.
He flared his wings as he approached the ground, slowing down, though not quite enough. He landed hard and jarred his body from the force, forcing him to take a moment to recover before continuing. The filtered light from above cast a greenish tint over the forest, though as sunset crept across the lands, it became too dark for his liking and he held up a light ball, more to avoid walking into the trees than to keep away anything that might be living there… so far.
Skafria couldn’t keep himself from smiling. He had his arms around Tsi-Lau, who was facing away from him, and her arms were wrapped around a smooth, shiny egg, decorated with pinky-purple spots along its surface. It felt vaguely warm to the touch, though it was moderately heavy.
“Did I mention that I love you?” Skafria whispered, resting his head on Tsi-Lau’s shoulder.
“Mmm, you did.” She replied, abandoning her assassin’s guise entirely. It was too hard for her to stop herself from smiling. Fortunately they were alone in the room; nobody would know.
“Did you decide what to do?”
“We’ll keep it.” She whispered back. “I couldn’t bear to let it go. But we’re not having any more, you understand? We use contraceptive spells from now on.”
“Heh heh.” Skafria chuckled. “I understand. Do you have any plans?”
“Well… first we need to find somewhere outside of this building to live in, can’t be too hard… after that, we’ll need things for it… and we’ll need a name, of course.”
“I’m open to suggestions…”
“Stop making me do all the work.” She chided, though her smile betrayed a jocular mood. “It’s not urgent… we won’t need one until it hatches, after all… if it hatches.”
“Don’t be like that. We were given this… the gods wouldn’t take it away without good reason.” He gently licked at her cheek. “We don’t have to worry. We’ll take it at our own pace… after all, things are peaceful right now.”
To be continued…