"Remind me why we took a short way again?" Keith said as he ducked, moving back from the swipe of the chimera's paw.
I looked at him from the corner of my eyes, unamused, as I took another strike at the beast. Horn and sword clashed. He threw me back, but I managed to nick the side of its face as my sword slid away.
“Someone preferred to take the shorter way” Charm bit back as he dodged the dragon head's flame.
“Charm, switch,” I said as I avoided a near hit from the goat head. He obeyed instantly.
“Oh right. Why did you suggest that again Goldy?” Keith added as he aimed an arrow at the lion head's eye. The beast roared in pain as his weapon of choice hit its bullseye.
“Don't blame me for your foolish mistake, human” Charm hissed as he scratched at one of its wings.
“Hey!” Keith protested "don't pick on my race Lizard."
“Oh my apologies May, I shouldn't insult your whole species, Keith does that enough by existing.”
I sighed as I drew my sword back, lifted my flameproof shield.
Those two will never stop fighting, will they? I thought as the chimera cried in pain as I drew my sword across its tale, drawing cold, thick blood.
It drew back in pain, panting from the exertion of the fight. We regrouped slightly, protecting each other's weaknesses.
“I still do not understand why a Chimera is here, hiding in these valleys, anyway” Charm questioned, flying above our heads as he assessed our opponent.
“I hate to say it, but I was also wondering the same thing. There hasn't been a sighting from one for almost seven years. I heard the chancellors and the old arguing on whether to label them as extinct or not last week.”
He has a point... and why here, where there is not food for their kind?
The beast took form to pounce. Raising my shield, I took a defensive stance.
“Keith,” I said simply, in a low tone.
“Yes?” He said, alert, eyes focused on the movement of the beast.
“What happened to your father's new invention?”
“What?” He asked, faltering slightly.
“Your father's invention. The self-tying net.”
“What do you want that for?”
“It was made strong enough to tie up even a chimera, remember?”
“Right... Look May, I know you're under this delusion that my dad is this great inventor but, as much as I hate to burst your bubble, my dad's inventions rarely ever work, you know this."
“Just take it out, you fool” Charm hissed. Fire flew from his mouth, hitting Keith. He yelped, rubbing the flames of his burn resistant clothing, made for such a situation.
“Look, Goldy, even you know how useless they are. So why must you keep insisting on supporting May's claim that they are marvelous ideas? Though I guess they are just that. Ideas. Good ideas, sure. But actual working one? no”.
“Just... just do as she says” he replied. “I have faith in May to know what she is doing.”
Keith sighed. Grumbling, he took out the square-shaped device filled with a liquid to a solid solution that, as soon as it hits the air, should cage its victim.
“Do as I say.”
“Always” they replied in their strange unison as Keith drew another arrow.
They charged, going wild with attacks in a means to keep the beasts six eyes away from me. I prepped the mechanism, sneaked behind its forms.
I aimed to throw the device as it released its activating 'beep', but before I can a sharp whistle rang through the air. The beast halted in its jagged movements, no longer attempting to track us behind the unfolding weaponry. Instead, it looked to the skies, searching for the source of the sound.
What is going on?
Abruptly, its wings started to unfold.
“Get down!” Keith shouted as the tail swung in my direction.
Great, I thought as I followed through, ducking to avoid the near hit. The sound of the tail cutting through the air, just an inch above my head, met my hearing.
The ground shook as the beast took a jumping start on the rocky ground. Dirt and dust flew up from the dry ground as it took off into the air, flapping its large wings with trained, but rusty, movements.
Almost likes it's been here for a while...
Suddenly, the beast is gone. No, not like he flew off. He disappeared.
"Well..." Charm said with surprise, after a moment of silence, as he blinked at the plain, empty sky.
"Fly up there, Charm," Keith said as he walked towards me, his eyes still trained at the sky.
Charm listened without arguing, still seemingly in shock. He flew hesitantly, paws dabbing at the air. When meeting nothing, he flew forwards with certainty.
"He's... gone?" Keith said, looking every bit as confused as I am.
"It seems so..."
“What I don't understand is how it could have gotten here,” Charm asked, following in the air as I searched further into the rocky terrains. There is no source of water around for miles; one of the main reason the Monster Hunter squads avoided this path, instead favoring that of the forest. Though longer, it provided everything needed to sustain oneself, meaning a lack of luggage to carry.
The area around us darkens as large rocks blocked out the light. Reaching into my bag, I pulled out a magicked orb. With a shake, it lit up.
“Yeah, and why has no one ever come across it?” Keith added as he reached for his own orb.
"Hum..." I said as I walked further.
Abruptly, the sound of my footsteps changed. Looking down, I moved off the wooden piece I had walked on.
Reaching down, I pulled up the piece. It hummed slightly with power, but it was weak; possibly because it is broken away from its full form. One side held an obvious bite mark.
The chimera's doing, I am guessing.
Keith and Charm looked at the piece with curiosity but said nothing.
Throwing it aside, we walked further. The large rocks around us slowly started to merge above and around us forming the beginning of a cave.
More wood came into sight; more whole then the loose piece from before. They appeared to take the shape of that of a cube.
“What are they from?” Charm questioned.
“The council?" Keith answer with disbelief and confusion.
"What?" I questioned.
"They look like broken magic crates to me. The ones the council uses.” Keith said, kicking one of the loose fragments.
“And you know that how?” I asked raising an eyebrow.
“I used to do part-time work with the chancellors, remember? One of the things they used to ask me to do is fill the magic crates with any trading material hunters retrieve on our missions, like shedded dragon scale or unicorns horn.”
“Then they held something valuable” I mused out loud “So why would something valuable be on the forbidden path?”
“I am also curious,” Charm said, as he flew closer to a rotting piece and took a sniff.
He cringed in disgust.
“Fish,” he said bitterly.
“What?” Keith and I asked.
“They smell like fish.”
“Fish?” We said in unison, again.
“Someone's been feeding it?” Keven said in confusion.
“Apparently so... but who?” I questioned, walking further into the cave.
Now the fish smell started to hit my senses. Keith audibly dry heaved behind me.
“Once this is over, I doubt I am going to be able to touch fish again."
A glint caught my eye, from the corner of the cave.
What is that? I thought as I crept forward, still alert for any sudden changes in our surrounding. We found one chimera, there's no telling if we might find another one.
I reached for the stone.
Not, not a stone. A jewel; and a familiar one at that.
“Whats that?” Kim said, holding his flame closer.
I showed him the green tear drop crystal.
“Yes, a chancellor stone,” I said as charm closer for a better look.
“And who was missing a jewel from their necklace this morning?” Charm said bitterly, referring to our earlier meeting when we were given the mission to find the Medusa offspring.
“Who?” Keith questioned
“Chancellor Eric, you twat.”
“Zip it Goldy” He replied, hard toned, eyes narrowing upon the teen dragon, before shifting to the stone as he questioned, “but what would the chancellor be doing here?”
“That's exactly what we need to find out numbskull.”
“Shut up, flashy.”
"Will you two shut up?” I interrupted, annoyed.
They silenced immediately.
“Fighting between each other has not helped us so far, so why must you continue your constant bickering?” I questioned, pocketing the jewel safely.
They book looked away sheepishly.
“If we wish to find out what is going on then you need to learn to work together.”
They looked to argue, but I held my hand up, silencing them.
“I don't care if that means you become good friends, or simply sign a truce. Work something out” I added, before giving the room one final scan through.
Nothing else here.
“now, let's go. We have a mystery to figure out. And a mission to still complete”