Aerian was crouched on the rock pressed against another as she looked down over the ruins below, a city long abandoned but evidently dwarven in design, the wind whipped angrily through the crack she was hidden within as she smiled to herself, it had been a while since she felt so free, a chance to return to what she knew best.
She dropped her back pack and turned to root within rope and hook, with a grin she jammed the hook into a mall opening the metallic clunk signifying the lock into the solid surface, tying off the rope she tossed it through the gap and into the ruins below.
“This should prove fun, haven’t been here in….” She stopped and thought “About 15 years I thin, last time got my ass chased by the guardian that resides here, tough as rock but then he is a golem, got my prize though, so if we wanna get paid we need to stay out of his way baby” Aerian rubbed the scar just above her hip awkwardly and absently, it had almost killed her last time, she wasn’t about to part with the fact sheer dumb luck saved her “What we need is in the upper half, they said we’d be paid well”
At times Aerian nearly forgot that Virra was so close to her, due to her being incredibly silent and stealthy. Very light on her feet and it was a complimentary match. She was perched, still like a crow on the rocks then glanced to Aerian with a slither down of her body between the crevices that lead downwards. “Sounds like a challenge to me, Firefly. But, more than that. Fun. Let’s do this.” Until that moment, perhaps, Aerian had forgotten at exactly how dangerous Virra could be.
Aerian had far from forgotten but she was in her element having been used to working alone for so long “Our employer wants us to deliver the item intact, problem is” Aerian smiled as she handed Virra a second line finishing securing it “These orbs are unpredictable as hell, supposedly they can open dimensional rifts, honestly I hate putting so much ability in anyones hand but we will quietly render them inert before we hand them over”
She looked to Virra with a smile “That’s assuming our dear old golem friend doesn’t smash us into jam in the meantime”
Virra parted her lips on the mention of the actual item being able to open rifts, though a smirk formed on her lips in a coy and mischievous manner. “You know, that is a good idea. But, I wonder, if that is how Aishani got here…” She accepted her rope and winked to Aerian. “Last one down, is a rotten egg.” Virra released the tension and began to drop quickly.
Aerian watched Virra descend for a moment with a grin, looping the rope and she dropped from the edge and made her way down as she found her way down she grinned, abseiling the rock was always fun for Aerian. As she was at a height comfortable she simple let go drawing her blade as she flipped in mid-air landing on the ground with a cloud of dust.
A second later Virra landed behind her she smile kissing her cheek before adjusting her backpack “Stay frosty baby, he could be anywhere”
Virra lifted her own pack, while nipping playfully upon Aerian’s departing lips. A smirk formed upon her features, dark eyes surveying the ruins, especially rubble with a keen eye, a hand very near her own throwing knives at her thigh. She was prepared at a moments notice to move and act, while her muscles were controlled but prepared to spring like a panther beneath the dark leathers.
Aerian was light on her feet as she picked her path through the ruins, her eyes never once staying still as she scanned their surroundings. She slid between two buildings and dropped down into a second lower area, she stayed as she saw it, rising above them with a groan instinctively she grabbed for Virra pulling her down beside her.
“He is just doing his rounds, if we stay put he should go away” She whispered softly, the golem was at least ten feet in height and creaked as it moved the sound of rock grinding on rock.
Virra kept up with Aerian easily, never once did she have to look back, sensing her lover and that presence beside her like a shadow. But when they dropped down to a lower level, it was as Virra’s feet landed soundlessly that Aerian caught her collar in a pull lower. Peering in her direction, Virra’s eyes widened to the sight of the towering creature with the small dust kicked up by the grinding of the rock upon rock. “Oh…that’s fucking wicked…” She whispered barely above a breath, as those black eyes appeared fixed on the lumbering creature.
“Yea until he squishes you like pudding” Aerian grinned in reply as she mentally tried to work out a way past “The only thing in the world that my judgement blade barely puts a scratch on, fucking thing is insanely tough and may look clumsy but it can move”
Virra nodded, while indicating a wider birth that was to the backside of the golem, offering enough room to maintain stealth, the rocks high enough to offer cover in the process. “Then we have to be careful, if your judgment blade hadn’t put a dent and I have seen that thing…it has to be magic of otherworldly created to guard these…stones we are to retrieve.”
Aerian nodded as she slowly crept along the edge of the area they were in as the golem turned she moved behind the area Virra had pointed out. It was slow but they made their way along the area quietly finally far enough away she cut back between two more buildings and into a court yard of sorts the buildings stretched up above them, the trees exploding through sections, half reclaimed by the forces of nature.
“Fuck there’s no way up to the throne room from here, the other way is in from the roof but …” She sighed softly “We left the rope back there”
Virra followed her while taking the slow route with Aerian, then eased up to the roof with a natural prowess that was unparalleled to any that Aerian had known, she appeared to be a natural. A smirk formed on her lips at Aerian’s words, though, she moved her own pack down to remove a rope with the same fixings as Aerian’s previous. “You think, you are the only one that is prepared?” Virra tossed the items to her with a wink.
“And that’s why I love you” Aerian grinned as she took the hook with a grin, she took her bow from around her shoulder, quietly she drew the bow back and let fly, the first shot caught the very edge sending the hook back to the ground, Aerian grinned “Ok so I was off a little” she grinned picking up the hook, as she reloaded the shot with a little more precision she was on target the hook snapping into place above them, she tugged the rope for a moment then nodded “We’re good to go”
“After you, Firefly. I want something juicy to look at as we climb.” She winked to her while lightly swatting at Aerian’s bottom with a lift of her pack to be placed at her shoulders again, holding the loose end of the rope to keep it stead in an offer for her.
Aerian took hold of the rope planting her foot flat to the wall and hoisting herself up, her climb was confident and well-practised. It didn’t take them long either before Aerian was scrambling over the edge onto the rooftop and leaning back to grab Virra helping her over as well.
The view from this point was impressive the city spread before them, the golem still wandering in the distance “So far so good” she smiled and dropped back onto a lower portion “Now for the throne room” she stopped her head cocked to the side “Am I hearing things or I could swear I heard a voice” Aerian felt her spine prickle as instinctively she drew her daggers spinning them in her hand before looking back to Virra “Am I hearing things? Don’t exactly trust my senses at this point”
Virra looked around at the impressive sight, a smirk laced with awe upon the corners of her lips, but, easily followed Aerian on the drop down. She considered Aerian for a moment, then looked to the surroundings and back. Virra closed her eyes as though straining to listen for that which Aerian was speaking on.
Aerian shrugged softly as she slid her blades back into place, adjusting her bow then her back pack as made her way along the rooftop, finding the door she pulled before pushing and then pulling again until it gave with a crack, she pushed the remnants of the door aside and slid inside. The steps were steep and covered with moss, footing would be easy to lose as Aerian descended the stairs slowly.
The light dimmed quickly Aerian glanced around before releasing a small glowing ball into the air, the light was dull but enough to allow them to see, the air was stale and smelled of damp and stale water, but they continued down slowly.
Virra now, watched Aerian carefully, as the blades slid back into the sheaths. She kept close to Aerian, while her eyes kept scanning the area on their run along the rooftops and to door. But, when inside and the small globe of light was emitted from the red head, Virra couldn’t shake that something was wrong. “Aerian…?” She whispered, catching the girl’s arm, Virra tugged her closer. “Something is not right…”
Aerian stopped as she crouched looking to Virra “We’re almost there, though admittedly something doesn’t feel quite right, I would just hate to come so far and not get what we came for” It bothered her she couldn’t figure what was wrong, ever since her return from Z’ress’ grasp her powers had been hit and miss at the best of times, Aerian was unnaturally off balance, the only comfort she found in that fact was Virra would have her back
“We’ll go back if you think it best, but it’s just down here, what we need is hidden in a hole beneath then throne” Aerian pressed herself flat to the wall looking to Virra gently, the light ball hovering just between them.
Virra considered Aerian while in the crouch and squatted beside her, a hand pressed behind for support as soon she was in a mirrored position beside Aerian. Those dark lips and eyes stunning against the glow of the orb between them upon her porcelain complexion. “I’m not sure, Firefly. But, tell me, what it was that you thought you heard? Was it a sound? A feeling? Words? Think.”
“Whispers, but we’re in a city abandoned for centuries it could just be the wind playing tricks” Aerian replied softly “I would know if there was anyone here besides us, I don’t sense anyone other than us and that damn golem”
Virra nodded briefly, while lowering her backpack. She withdrew a few items to compile as flash bombs, but, there was a trigger instead of the usual combustible. A wire in her hand, after a few moments, it sunk in that she was situating a tripped booby trap to alert of someone following. “We can’t leave the same way we came. If in fact there is a matrixing effect, we have to be safe than sorry.” She straightened with a dust of her hands, then closed her bag to sling over her shoulders in a swift adjustment. “Let’s get done, I don’t like it here.”
Aerian nodded and started off down the stairs once more, as they hit the bottom Aerian pushed the door as it creaked open the room beyond would in its day have been magnificent, now it was dark and covered in moss several skeletons littered to room. Aerian stopped by one to look “Elf, and less a hundred years old, seems we’re not the only one who’ve tried for this”
She crossed the hall a wave of her sent the ball higher into the air with an eruption of light brightening the whole room, the moment she did she regretted it as the skeletons on the ground suddenly seemed to be so many more, as well as several fresher bodies, the stench of death was heavy, she shifted awkwardly feeling something wash over her for a moment before she pushed it aside. She set herself straight and made her way to the throne, looking to the skeleton for a moment before kneeling down, she drew her dagger to loosen the panel reaching in amongst the cobwebs, as she searched she couldn’t help but look at the skeleton above her “I’m sorry, but it’s not like you have any use for it now?”
Virra narrowed her eyes as the light exploded to reveal the different bodies in states of decay and to those recent. She caught a glance to Aerian, as the red-head shifted awkwardly. She followed her gaze to the skeleton seated above at the throne, suddenly Virra grasped Aerian’s wrist to pull it back from the pannel. “It’s a trap…this is all a trap, Aerian. The amount of bodies, this is ridiculous.”
“Gotcha” Aerian grinned as Virra pulled her hand clear the moment she grasped what she had come for, the bag held the crystal ball, beneath the glass surface swirled a mass of purples and black “Better not drop it” there was a groan behind them as Aerian quickly pushed the ball into Virras pack “Don’t lose it for god sakes I plan on getting paid”
Aerian was quick to her feet as the skeletons began to rise Aerian halted drawing her blades “You have got to be fucking kidding me”
Virra glanced to Aerian at her expression, meeting that with a smirk and watched with curious as to the stow of the crystal ball, though, tilted her head at the sound of a groan. Then, stood slowly, withdrawing her throwing knives in a fan upon her fingers. “I knew it. This is rigged.” Virra flicked her wrist at the skeletons taking shape to snap the spin and took Aerian’s hand with her other, beginning to pull her after her in the rush from this room. “We have to move quick. When I say jump, jump. The booby trap will flash or explode, I can never tell. It’s a roulette.”
Aerian chuckled softly and yet did not lose step behind Virra, already mentally prepping her move to slow the skeletons the light ball had dropped ahead of them and dimmed so as not to blind them as they raced back up the stairs.
“JUMP!” Virra called to Aerian while easily leaping over the trap that was set, pausing to ensure that Aerian was close behind and quickly rose the stairway, being cautious of the moss on the ledges.
Aerian jumped the moment Virra spoke clearing the trap with ease as the exited the stairway out onto the roof she turned the ball erupted into a burst of crimson flame covering the entrance they had come through, for the moment whatever had survived the trap was now stuck behind the wall of flame.
“It won’t hold for long, and sure hell not long enough for us to get down the rope” Aerian circled the edge of the rooftop for a moment before looking to a building a few feet over, the roof was collapsed but would get them to the ground, she took a step back and swallowed “We need to get to that roof, we can get down from there”
Virra glanced over her shoulder as the entrance was engulfed in brilliant crimson flame, then to the roof that Aerian was circling impatiently contemplating the building a few feet over. She nodded to Aerian. “Good, you go first. Push on the edge of the roof with your last foot to get the oomph needed. Go!” She urged Aerian. “I’ll be right behind you.” Virra insisted, such was true because as soon as Aerian leapt, she caught Virra from the corner of her eye in the process of making the same leap and jump.
Aerian landed and tucked into a roll skidding to halt moments before a plunge to a lower level, a smile when Virra made the landing perfect “Show off” she grinned before she dropped off the edge to the lower level and then down another to the ground. The building had been burned but afforded a little cover just as she heard the screams of the skeletons above them
We need to reach the out skirts I’m hoping whatever reanimated them has the same limitations as that golem as in it doesn’t extend outside the city limits. It wouldn’t take Virra long to figure that’s how Aerian had survived her last encounter with the golem, no sooner had she finish the train of thought than she saw motion a blade that would have cut Virra in two, it merely froze and collapsed to the ground behind Virra the judgement blade vanishing back into the world around them as Aerian remained silent and still her hand outstretched.
Virra stood with a dust off and a triumphant smirk to Aerian’s comment, though, she guided herself off the ledge to the lower level and down to the ground. She looked back at the building, then nodded to the red-head. “I have a feeling what reanimated them lies within the crystal we hijacked.” Virra commented just as Aerian stared, glancing over her shoulder to the fall of the judgment blade then to her, confusion and hurt written on her features. “Aerian…? Aerian! Snap out of it. We have to get out of here.”
Aerian shook her head clearing the cobwebs “It isn’t what’s in the ball it’s the asshole that sent us here” She replied as she looked out of the doorway in thought for a moment “We can get across town, back the way we came”
She smiled to Virra “Couldn’t let them take you from me, hard to sense them though, I feel a lot and yet nothing because they are dead” she shook her head again and point to the building across the street “We’ll have to go building to building?”
Virra furrowed her brow while inspecting Aerian briefly, then following her gaze to the indicated building across the street. “Then we go building to building. Which asshole sent us here? I can count on more than one hand and yours those that would be out for me…or you.” She began to follow Aerian. “What was up with the Judgement Blade? Were you cutting something down? Because, I figure it would easily splice me in two.”
“Undead Shade behind you, must have been laying in wait for us, undead vs judgement blade is kind of an unfair fight but it had the advantage” Aerian slid into the building with ease pressing into the wall as Virra joined her, several skeletons had now began to appear wandering the streets, they made it through two more buildings without incident.
Virra curled her hand around Aerian’s, keeping her close to her but not impending the ease of movement. She kept alert, it was a waiting game of passing skeletons in the streets and manoeuvring through. Virra stopped a skeleton or two from sneaking up on Aerian when she peeked out a doorway, severing the spine from the skull with a flick of her throwing knives.
Aerian was always thankful for Virra though she made her return of saves including sending one hurtling through a window as it tried to jump them both from above. They finally found the final stretch and it was solidly blocked by the golem stumbling them as it slammed its club into the ground before.
Aerian looked to Virra then to the golem “Hello again Rocky” she called playfully she pulled Virra aside as it swiped at them, the wind of the attempt brushing past them and several skeletons sent flying as it hit them square, that prompted a smile from Aerian before second slam at the ground sent both Aerian and Virra diving for cover in opposite directions, Aerian was able to roll back to her feet as the golem tried to stomp her “Is it me or is he really pissed off at me?”
Virra managed to recover from the initial stomp of the might rock monster, a smirk on her lips while that mischief was brilliant in her black eyes. “I just think, he needs some good ol’ lovin’.” She made a splitting gesture with her hands and indicated a small vial in her hand and a higher peak to a building that if hit properly would come crumbling down over the golem if positioned properly to give them just the time needed to escape.
She worked with Aerian, to position the golem just right, it was a dance between the two lovers and this ghastly creature made of stone, finally at the right spot, Virra threw the phial and it exploded upon contact, causing the building to crumble and essentially fall upon the golem. Virra snatched Aerian’s hand, while running with her. “Work those legs, Firefly! When Mr. Sunshine wakes up he is going to be in a foul mood.”
“He’ll just be mad you dropped a house on his head” Aerian giggled as she slid past Virra to kick a Skeleton out of their path as they finally found their way to the city outskirts the skeletons in pursuit exploded into a cloud of dust and Aerian fell to the ground flat on her back in a fit of laughter.
“Damn that was hard work, but you make a pretty good thief yourself” She sat with a smile “As for your previous question his name is Ragon Dargain, a trader of materials that are difficult to acquire, even harder if you don’t know a good thief or two, which is why he came to me, despite my reputation of late” She sighed softly “He hired us for this, and I’m fairly sure his plan was to kill me and take the ball once he dropped the reanimation spell, I don’t many who can do it on that wide a scale but he is a necromancer, or at least rumoured to be, so now he’s gonna be real pissed off he has to pay us”
“Well, let’s get the fuck out of the open and fix this crystal. While I am all fine and dandy with pay, it really isn’t needed and he fucked us over. Besides, I don’t want a fucker like that to get a hold of a rift crystal…that shit is dangerous. Unless…” Virra hesitated with a thought. “…perhaps, if we can get it safely to Dentarius and Elcarus mansion, it could be of use to Aishani. I’m sure that in this war it could help…right?”
Aerian stood as she made her way to Virra retrieving the crystal from her backpack “You don’t send someone like me after something like this without a backup plan, which evidently failed when we forgot to die” she sat on the ground as she pulled the crystal from the bag again the swirls of purple and black bounced from the glass that contained them “This is contained rift magick, like the one mom used to get us out of grandads place, but she can call them directly, but this is essentially the same stuff, a similar one was opened years ago and brought the dragons and we all know how that turned out”
She stood slowly and held the ball out “I can feel it, it’s weird it’s as if its connected to everywhere and yet it goes nowhere, but you’re right we need to get it to Dentarius” She nodded absently before tucking the ball away in Virras back pack once “We should rest” she pointed to the forest “We’ve been busy for a while now, we should rest before we head home”
She watched Aerian in silence, while glancing to the surroundings with a suspicious eye but lowered her gaze to the ball in Aerian’s hands, while the dark hues reflected the swirling hues. “No, Aerian. This is powerful, you said it brought those scaly bastards here, just think of what else could be brought. We have to move and move fast to Elcarus only then can I rest. I got some fuzzy bees, if you want. Helped me out of many sticky situations back in the day.” Virra dipped her hand into her pack and revealed a small bead, appeared to be a candy, Aerian knew it was a naturally infused caffeinated pill that would pep up an individual for hours.
Aerian smiled softly as she took the pill, not even hesitating to swallow it down she kissed Virra softly “It’s a long walk we should go” Aerian made her way toward the darkness of the forest now feeling a little more alert.