|Battle of Pollame|
|Series||Vestige of Legends|
|Arc||Coming of Tripedal Arc|
|Air Date||November 11, 2011|
A Three-Legged Crow
The air is quiet; no birds chirp, no leaves whistle, no wind blows. Atrax allows himself to drift on the lake's water. He stares up blankly at the sky, dressed only in a pair of black swimming trunks. He lets out a sigh.
"Are you okay in there?" Masson asks from a nearby rock, large enough for him to sit on. His left elbow was resting against his knee and his head rested against his left hand, "You haven't said a word since you heard the news."
"I'm tired of all this...we know how everyone in the towns will react," Atrax responds to Masson. "They're going to blame all the Unorthodox for what happened in Gemma Rossa. It's the same damn thing as what happened to Foglia."
"But you heard what Master Ennoia said, we can now say with absolute certainty where they're gonna be next."
"Who gives a crap? It'll just be more repitition. Everyone will just see us as the violent Unorthodox Mages."
"Eh lighten up, wouldja? Listen: If we're lucky, Team Trilogia will be put on the job. You said you wanted to give them a good beating."
"It doesn't matter to me who beats them anymore."
"Oh c'mon! You're so damn negative all the time that it's just depressing!"
"I am who I am..."
Atrax then got out of the lake and grabbed a towel he left over a tree branch. He then walked over to the guild building. Masson shrugged his shoulders, jumped off the rock, and followed.
"Which group will go, I wonder," said Lukos Delesis. He was a rather large man, with long brown hair and a beard. He wore a large light blue overcoat and matching pants. Lukos was also the leader of Team Minotaur.
"Master said the meeting would be held in a few minutes," said Liros.
"Heehee, I hope weee get to go!" said Aemia Kalais. She was a somewhat short and energetic girl with light blue and white hair. She was also, like Liros and Lukos, a Team Minotaur member.
As the time came closer and closer to that of the meeting, the commons area began to empty as more and more members moved to the meeting hall. There, Ennoia Phroneo stood at the front. Unlike the last time they held a meeting, the guild members were dead silent. They kept a quiet air due to their knowing that the meeting was being held in response to the disasters of Foglia and Gemma Rossa. Ennoia, levitating in his chair, paced over to the mike at the front of the stage.
"Okay everyone, attention! As you know, the perpetrators of Foglia's destruction have attacked Gemma Rossa in a similar matter," Ennoia took a pause. At moments like this, in his speeches, the crowd begins to talk amidst themselves, remarking on the event under discussion. However, no one made a sound.
"While the attack was in a similar matter to the attack on Foglia, this time, the attackers have left behind some important clues as to who they are and where they are going," Ennoia said while typing on his magic keyboard formed by his Archive, pulling up images on a large monitor. "In this image, you can see that much of the destruction was present on the southeastern ends on the city. Though there is damage at every point in the city, it can be inferred that the lesser damage was caused by a collateral branching effect from the points where the must destruction occurred. With that, we can see the attackers were not moving north or west of the Gemma Rossa. For Magnolia, this is good news. I'll open the floor to questions regarding this before I move to the next image."
Drakōn stood from his chair in order to give his input.
"I don't understand how we can conclude that these mages are moving southeast, based on the damage of the city. Acting on such an inference may be irrational. They could be attempting to fool us. If they have long-range magic, they could destroy parts of the city from a completely different area. As well, if they have allies, they could have them destroy more of the city from one end, while they cause minor damage on their part, or vice-versa."
Ennoia listened to Drakōn. He did not take long to respond to Drakōn's questioning.
"That actually leads me to my second image. If you take a look, by the shape of the craters, and the directions in which the buildings are shown to collapse, there is only one point where they could have made such an assault from, which is atop this building..." Ennoia then points towards a burning building on his second image, enlarged by the size of the monitor. He then zoomed in on the building, "Looking at the roof of the building, you can see three different types of footprints, imprinted in the surface by the softening roof. You also can see the direction in which the footprints are turning, and the last point they face is towards the southeast."
"Doesn't it seem strange that the enemy would make such careless mistakes?" Drakōn questioned.
"Normally, if the enemy were trying to hide themselves. But I can't help but believe that they are actually trying to drag us out. Take a look. They're movement is towards the southeastern end of Fiore, towards those outskirts. We are directly south. I believe they actually have an idea on where we are located, and they're trying to close in on us."
"I don't understand why."
"Their intent must be towards the Unorthodox, and we are claimed to be the most powerful of the Unorthodox guilds. I believe that the point they're leading us to is a trap and they expect us to find out their location fully after the next city falls."
"So then we just wait to fall into the trap?"
"No, because we are now a step ahead of them, thanks to their last assault. The next town they're going to hit is Pollame. Both Gemma Rossa and Foglia had one thing in common: they were major marketing cities. No mage guilds existed in the cities to defend them. Around the southeast border of Fiore, only Pollame is like Gemma Rossa and Foglia." Ennoia notes. He then turns to the last image, "This last image is the most interesting. On one of the buildings, burnt into the surface was this symbol, shaped like a three-legged crow."
Atrax looked at the image. His eyes widened, and then he said very quietly and with almost a tremble in his voice, "Tripedal..."
Masson looked at Atrax, sensing the troubled feeling in Atrax's voice, "Tripedal? What do you mean?"
"I...I'm not sure...that symbol just seemed to bring about that word...It's as if I always knew that the symbol and the word, 'Tripedal' were connected..."
Masson gave a somewhat skeptical look. To him it was farfetched, a word and symbol connected to each other without any past memory of it.
"Tripedal..." Atrax repeated even more quietly, his eyes still wide open.
"Anyway, this symbol may very well be connected to a larger organization that these attackers are connected with. Perhaps even, a Dark Guild of sorts. They expect us to fall into their trap at the walls marking Fiore's southeast outskirts. However, we'll intercept them at Pollame. For that, a small team is being called to engage them in battle," Ennoia was speaking from the mike towards the crowd, "Team Minotaur is the group that will intercept them. That is all for the meeting. You may leave."
The crowd fanned out of the meeting hall. Atrax walked slowly out with Masson close by. Masson noticed beats of sweat falling down Atrax's face.
"Hey Atrax, pull it together. You don't even know if maybe it's just a head thing. It could mean nothing."
"No...I don't know what memories put 'Tripedal' in my head. But, even when I try, I can't doubt the validity of the connection between 'Tripedal' and that three-legged crow symbol...Those mages, they're definitely Unorthodox. 'Tripedal' is also connected with Unorthodox. I know it."
Masson then took his left fist, and whacked it against the back of Atrax's head. Atrax then remained quiet, his face kept still.
"It doesn't matter what the word, 'Tripedal,' has to do with any of this. Fact is, and fact stays, they're enemies right? Don't let some crap in your head keep you from thinking straight about all of it," Masson said.
Atrax looked up towards Masson, his expression was blank, but calmer.
"Listen. When we're through all this, we'll know what we need to, alright? C'mon, let's eat. We never grabbed food," Masson said.
"Alright..." Atrax nodded slightly. He almost gave off a grin, but held it back, as they walked towards the commons.
"Heh, what a golden opportunity. We get to go find these jerks and waste them for what they did to Fiore," Liros said.
"Heehee, yay! I haven't been on a mission like this in a looonnng time! This is going to be fun, fun!" Aemia chanted, jumping up and down.
"Please be serious, Aemia. This mission is critical. We must attack it with the utmost care." Lukos said while Aemia was still hopping merrily.
"Ah, yes that's right, this is a good opportunity for you to prove yourself to be S-Class worthy, Lukos," Liros said.
"To stand up there with Masson and Atrax...since Atrax had joined the guild, they rivaled each other all the way to the point where they've become S-Class. They're immensely powerful when they're serious. Maybe even stronger than Master..." Lukos responded.
"That's kind of a stretch, don't you think?" Liros asked.
"I don't think so, Atrax, Masson, and Drakōn are all True Unorthodox Mages. They're rarities, and their powers grow quickly. I, too, am a True Unorthodox, but I haven't been good enough to be considered S-Class. I know that the Master expects so much more from me. It's frustrating to be so far behind Trilogia..." Lukos said.
As they were speaking, a voice shouted out from halfway across the dining area.
It was Masson, who was dissatisfied with the day's menu, again.
"There's only bread!?" Masson asked.
"I'm afraid so," Nuzumi responded.
"We've been so preoccupied with the attacks on Fiore that we haven't raised enough jewels for anything more expensive," Atrax said.
"What a freakin' bummer..." Masson said, dropping his head in dissappointment.
Lukos looked over at the scene from where he stood.
Clash at Pollame
Atrax gazed over to the door to his room from his bed.
"It's open..." Atrax said, just loud enough to reach outside the room. The doorknob shifted, and the door opened.
"Hey,...we wanted to make sure you were alright," Masson said, walking into the room with Nukumi.
"Yeah, I'm fine...maybe a little tired," Atrax responded, turning a little bit atop his bed.
"I think everyone is..." Nukumi commented.
"Well, I say to hell with being tired!" Masson shouted with sudden excitement. He then runs over to Atrax. "...so how 'bout taking down those bastards who have been causin' us trouble?"
Meanwhile, Team Minotaur was already in Pollame, searching for the enemy.
"So far I don't see any signs of them," Liros said from a rooftop.
"Borriiiinnngggg, Borriiiinnngggg!" Aemia shouted as she looked around the town with no avail.
"We should keep searching. We don't know where or when they may show up," Lukos said.
"What is this? Arcanum brats already?" A voice emanated from a distance. Just then, a small man with red hair and a large hat, levitating on a giant orb revealed himself from under the shadows of an alleyway.
"We didn't expect you so soon."
"You found them, have you, Promēthus?" said a woman who followed in Promēthus's path. She was a tall woman with short red-violet hair and a sinister gaze.
"Ah, Nequitia, you didn't waste any time finding us. Monitum's on his way too?" Promēthus said.
"Yes, he'll be here soon. Until then, let's warm up," Nequitia said, raising her left hand, so her fingers pointed up, with her right hand directly below, fingers pointing down. Thinking Nequitia was about to cast a spell, Liros pointed his right hand's index and midde fingers towards her.
"Infernal Prompt!" Liros shouted, sending a thin ray of dense dark red flames towards Nequitia. Nequitia then turned her arms in a counter-clockwise motion.
"Indenri..." Nequitia said, casting her spell. The burst of flames then dissipated into the air, letting loose a mass of steam.
"What!?" Liros said in shock.
"This is my Lost Magic, Chroniker Cycle. I can change the state of any form of matter to whatever I please," Nequitia said. "Denri!" Nequitia changed the steam into a wide beam of energy that she sent hurling towards Liros.
"Coprire Cube!" Lukos casted a spell that created a giant cubical shield of energy around his team. Nequitia's blast of energy dispersed in several directions when it hit the cube, thus failing to cause any damage.
"This guy uses barrier magic, eh?" Promēthus said, "Why don't I give it a shot now? Repeat Magic: Confusion Zone."
Promēthus's orb refected the image of Team Minotaur. As it did, the blast Nequitia sent at them earlier, repeated itself from several directions.
"Apeirgō!" Aemia shouted, releasing a couple of sparks of electricity before repelling all the incoming blasts.
"A form of Magnetism Magic?" Promēthus said in the surprise, "Well fine, get a load of this one!"
Promēthus was preparing another spell. Just then, Lukos faced an open palm towards him.
When the spell was casted, a spherical force field surrounded Promēthus.
"This is pointless. Nequitia, if you'd please," Promēthus said.
Nequitia snapped her fingers and the sphere melted into a puddle of glowing liquid
"Now then, where was I?" Promēthus continued. Just then, a flaring fist with dark red flames slammed into his back and sent him flying into a building.
"What the hell was that!?"
"Good job, Liros," Lukos said.
"But how?" Nequitia asked.
Liros walked over with dark red flames aimed at Nequitia's back.
"Lukos's barrier magic is very versatile. He has a special magic called Apporting Realm. Whatever Lukos locks within the bounds of his barriers, Lukos can transport instantaneously to a separate location. While you were distracted, he transported me right behind you." The hand Liros was holding the flames with, locked into a fist, causing the flames the spew around Liros's arm, "We win."
Liros brought his arm back, and was preparing to send his spell at Nequitia, from point-blank range. However, just as his magic seal formed, Liros suddenly crashed into the ground, bringing up a mass of debris and rocks.
"What just...?" Liros was about to ask.
"So these are the Astrum brats they sent, huh? Not very impressive," a shadowy man stated, "Allow me to introduce myself. I am Monitum."
To be continued: Chapter 9 - Enter! Team Trilogia!