Chapter 27- Secrets of the Dreamblade Revealed
12,000 BC, Kajar
Finding things to do with herself while Jack was altering the Dreamstone TAG was not something Sarah found easy. Jack had been working for the past eight hours on reconfiguring the inside of the ancient weapon, trying to force technology to it's limit. He had taken a 30 minute break for lunch, but even that was rushed, and he didn't have time to talk to her. After a short while, she had ended up back in her room.
Sarah took the time to reflect on the trials of their journey. She thought about the larger scale of what they had intended to do. She thought that she knew the power of the Lavoid, and that it may be defeated. Yet, Sarah was never someone to take something for granted. Nothing would be certain until the group…no, Jack confronted the beast. That would be the only way to provide closure.
She had resigned herself to reading the Origin of Mount Woe. It was a wonderful story, full of intrigue and twists. But, more importantly, it let Sarah make an attempt at placing Jack into all of it. However, the story concluded before he was born, so she was left without answers.
The Story did leave her with a better understanding of this society that they were living in, and helped her understand the people in it a little better. Such a bitter and tragic history had this kingdom endured….
After the story, the spell book was left to be examined. Flipping through it, she soon felt that she was reading another language.
"Wind coherency?" she mumbled to herself, regarding one of the terms mentioned in each spell's entry. "Magic density index? Draw motion?" She stared at the book. "What does all this stuff mean?" She also noted something called the 'difficulty index.'
"Interesting…" she said, flipping to a spell that she knew in order to see it's difficulty. Finding the spell, Wind, she looked at the number. "Now, Wind has a difficulty index of 5.6…." Flipping the page, she found Wind II and Wind III, having an index of 10.8 and 20.2, respectively. She also noted that she had yet to completely learn how to use the spell Wind III.
"So, what would some of the spells that Jack used be rated at? I'd like to know just how strong he is…" She flipped through to the fire section, looking for the spell that Jack had called Mega Brando. Finding the entry, her jaw dropped open and her eyes widened. "Difficulty 304.6…." she whispered. She flipped through some of the other spells that she knew Jack could use. "Dark Bomb: 257.1. Dark Blast: 678.2. Shadow Flare: 956.85," she read the numbers aloud. "Holy crap…"
"He's strong, isn't he?" a dark voice came from behind her. Sarah spun around to find the image Magus standing before her.
"Jesus Christ!" Sarah exclaimed, jumping nearly a foot into the air and touching her hand to her weapon.
"Come, child," Magus said, a wry smirk on his face. "I have no intention of damaging you. You don't need to pretend as if you could defend against me."
"What do you want?" she asked, placing the book on her bed but still touching her hand to the hilt of her blade. "And how did you get here?"
Magus stifled a laugh, walking up to Sarah's bed and taking the spell book off of it. "I was looking for your friend, but you will do…" Sarah eyed him suspiciously, unconsciously gathering Force Tech energy.
"…And stop gathering energy," Magus said bitterly. "It annoys me." Sarah grunted, let out her stored energy, and released her grip on her weapon.
"Speak, wizard," she said, sitting down on her bed, trying as best as possible not to leave her guard down. Jack had explained everything about Magus and his charade as the prophet of Zeal. He had told Sarah that he wasn't one to be trusted.
Magus flipped through the book. "Did you know that Dark Matter has a difficulty index 1000?" he asked, seemingly randomly. "It's one of the benchmarks as a wizard. Most aspiring magic users die before they can cast it, though."
"And?" Sarah asked impatiently.
"And did you know that your friend, Lathain, can cast difficulty index 1200 spells after practicing magic for a mere few months?"
"I'm missing your point," Sarah said, trying to be as unnerved as possible. She could do it. She was strong.
"His power rivals mine," Magus admitted, "though he has far less experience." Magus dropped the spell book onto the floor haphazardly and turned away from Sarah. "Yet I don't know why…" he said. "And that, quite honestly, angers me." The wizard paced across the room slowly.
"Don't let him overdo himself, child," he told Sarah. "Someone has plans for him, and I'd hate to anger whoever that is." Lowering his head, he mumbled something under his breath and was instantly gone. He left no trace of his being there in the first place, aside from a slight after-image which lasted for a few seconds.
Sarah quickly picked up the spell book off of the floor and dusted it off.
"What are you thinking, Magus?" she asked herself aloud. "And what do you want…
Same Time, Melchior's Workshop
"Ah dammit!" Jack cursed as a bolt of electricity shot out of the device he was meddling with, surging through him with a jolt. Jack brought his hand away from the device in shock, as small tendrils of smoke rose from his hair. "Ouch," he muttered. "Now why won't this damn thing work?"
"I have a theory," came the voice of Doreen from behind him. He hadn't known that she had come back from Enhasa so soon. Jack turned to greet her.
"Really?" he asked, somewhat sarcastically.
Doreen nodded. "While this may sound odd, I think you might be trying to push technology a little to far. You're doing this even though you know that your magic is far more powerful. Why do you continued to push technology past what it can do? Why won't you harness the power that is sitting before you?"
Jack looked at the creature oddly before turning back to his work without answering her. "So what about those new people in Enhasa?" he asked, finally breaking the silence.
"They're young," Doreen said. "Like you and Sarah. There's a boy with red hair and a girl with blonde hair, both about your age. There was also a…well, I think he was a frog. He was wielding a quite an interesting weapon, too…"
"What weapon would that be?" Jack asked, gently pushing aside some wires and inserting a small device that he had rigged up into the body of the weapon.
"The Dreamstone Blade's sister weapon…" Doreen said, seemingly shaken by what she was saying. "I don't know how, as the Masamune was simply a dagger, but…"
"Then how do you know?"
"Because Masa and Mune's energy signatures are all over it. The blade positively wreaked of them."
"How can you 'wreak' of a….actually, never mind," Jack said, cutting himself off and sealing the new addition into place.
"Anyway, it's peculiar." She paused. "What are you doing now?" She asked.
Jack shrugged. "I'm readjusting the energy flow system in the weapon. I'm just using a little bit of knowledge that Melchior didn't have," he smirked, basking in his own genius. "It will make the energy-" he cut himself off as he noticed something new on the handle of the blade.
"What?" Doreen asked.
"Come have a look at this." Doreen floated over to Jack and peered over his shoulder.
"What is it?" she asked.
"It's the activation matrix," he muttered. "I don't know how, but it looks like there already is a series of energy siphons in the grip."
"What does that mean?" Doreen asked. Jack could almost see a smirk on her face, but he didn't ask why.
"It means that this weapon was already designed to channel the energy of the user. All this time, I thought it just operating off of the Dreamstone, but these micro-devices would prove me wrong."
"It's highly probable that Melchior had designed it that way. It was supposed to be a magical weapon, you know?"
"So you think the blade was already running off of my own energies?" Doreen nodded.
"It would make sense," Doreen said.
"That would explain it's power," Jack mumbled. "No wonder it's power was greater then any of the other TAGs I've seen. And it's power would grow with me, then…"
"I'll also bet that you're having problems getting the energies to focus on the material blade, hmm?"
Jack cocked his head in surprise. "Yeah," he said. "How…how did you know that?"
"You're forcing technology to much, Lathain," she said with a smirk. "That wasn't what the blade was designed for. You have to realize at this point that the Dreamstone is not merely a power source…"
"Then…" Jack paused in thought before realizing what Melchior was REALLY trying to do with the weapon.
"A-h-h-h," Doreen smirked. "So you know now?"
"The Dreamstone…" Jack said, lifting the small rod from the table. "It's an amplifier." Doreen nodded slowly. Did she know? Had she just been leading him along?
"To be honest, Masa and Mune know a bit more about this then I do. I was merely informed by them as to the purpose of the blade."
"The power of…me…" Jack said. "That's what the blade was designed for. To…use my power."
"You were thinking along the right lines when you decided to modify it," came a new voice from the corner of the room. Jack quickly recognized it as Masa's.
"You," Jack said, turning to find Masa and his brother standing together on the far side of the room. "You knew too?"
"Yup," Mune confirmed. "We just wanted to know your thought process, Lathain. We wanted to know how you were thinking."
"But your problem was your use of technology over magic," Masa continued. "You were approaching it the wrong way. You didn't even consider the use of the Dreamstone as an amplifier." The two of them walked over to Jack. "You humans have such one tracked minds!" Masa said with a slight grin.
"Mind over matter!" Mune told Jack.
"But…why?" Jack asked. "What makes it so powerful?"
"It's YOU silly!" Masa exclaimed. "And you weren't even CONSCIOUSLY powering it. You thought it was powering itself!"
"My…power…." Jack muttered. "Was it….made to be used? Why do I have this…?"
"You should be able to fix the weapon now," Mune said. "And the material blade will work, but the reason you couldn't set up the arc-waves to flow properly is…"
"Is that you weren't telling them to," Masa finished Mune's thought. "That blade," Masa continued. "That weapon, can be whatever you want it to be. It's entire power is based on the will and energies of the user!"
"That was the purpose of it's design!" Mune said. "You don't need a fancy system to channel it through the blade. You just need to know that the blade will cohere to your will!"
"Melchior…" Jack muttered. "There was so much you could tell me…" Then, to himself, he thought. But what about Sean? Why was he able to use it? Was he harnessing the power the same way as me? And if the blade was only supposed to work for me…then why would it work for him? What wasn't he telling me?
"You look confused," Doreen said. "Now you understand how it works. What is wrong?"
"It's nothing," Jack said, waving away his thoughts. "I was just…thinking of an old friend…and an old mystery."
After a long pause, Masa finally spoke. "So what will you do with your weapon now, Lathain? What will you do with your Dreamblade?"
"I…I don't know," Jack admitted. "I still liked the idea of the material blade…but I don't think I need to rig the weapon so the arc-waves will surround the blade." He paused. "It should…well, shouldn't the blade channel the energy if I simply focus it there?"
"That's the idea," Mune said. "And think of it's abilities when you consciously channel your energy!"
"Well, then." Jack said, spinning back in his chair and lifting the weapon. "I think I shall give this weapon a blade. And then…"
"Yes," Doreen said. "I will anchor to it."
"Mind over matter," Masa repeated. "Mind over matter."
"Thank you," Jack said. "I'm sorry I bored the three of you with all that technical description of what I was going to do to the blade. It seems that it's all in void, now."
"No!" Doreen argued. "It was interesting to see how you were thinking things out. It was all part of your mental development, I think."
"You're amused by me?" Jack asked, taken somewhat aback.
"More like….fascinated," Doreen admitted. "You fascinate me, Lathain. You fascinate all of us. It has not been since Vigo that a human has captured our attention such as you have, with the possible exception of Schala. To be honest, your entire family and it's lineage seem to be different from the others that inhabit this world. There's good blood in you, even though you're not Vigo's son. It's probably from the Queen. That must have been where you and you're siblings gained your unique personalities from. Unfortunately, that's also were you gained you dark abilities from…"
"The Black Wind," Jack said, tightening his grip on the Dreamstone Blade. "I can feel it…it howls…"
"Louder and more harsh every day…" came a new voice from the entrance to the room. A dark presence became suddenly prevalent. Jack and the others spun to see the hooded image of the prophet stand before them.
"Prophet…" Masa mumbled.
"Get away from here, Finori," the Prophet spat. "Leave me with this man."
Masa looked up at Jack. Jack gave a nod of approval and the Finori quickly vanished from sight.
"What do you want, Magus?" Jack asked. "Or have you come to make idle chat?" Jack smirked, ignoring his brother and leaning back over the workbench.
"You've got balls, kid," Magus admitted. "It's not easy to just rub someone like me off."
"And what does that take?" Jack asked rhetorically. He slowly began to reassemble the weapon which he had been fiddling with, hoping that he didn't cause any damage to the device. "And anyway, I thought you 'had your own agenda'," he said mockingly.
"I still do," Magus said, pulling back his hood and revealing his pale face. "Don't mistake this meeting for a sudden showing of brotherly love. I'm simply here to go over the facts with you."
"I'm listening," Jack said, not turning his attention from the Dreamstone Blade. He was sure that he fixed everything the way he had found it, save for some minor modifications to the energy flow system. Technology could be pushed to a certain extent.
"Hmph," Magus muttered. "Anyway, I have to say that I'm a bit intrigued by you, Lathain."
"Jack," he corrected him.
"Jack, then," Magus said. "Anyway, as I was saying to you're blonde-haired friend a few minutes ago, I'm not quite sure how you managed to increase your magical capabilities to such a high level in such a short time."
"Sarah?!" Jack said, finally jumping up and spinning around. "What did you do to her!?" he demanded.
"You certainly have the Zeal temper, kid," Magus said. "Relax. I didn't touch her. She's not my type anyway…" Jack was about to shoot out a remark about Magus's 'type' but refrained.
"What do you want?" he said.
"All I want to know, is how much you know," he said bitterly. "I'll spell it out for you, real simple. Do you know why your magic is so powerful?"
"I'm sorry…" he mumbled. "I-I don't know. I wish I had an explanation."
"Figures…" Magus snorted, turning around and facing the door.
"Wait," Jack said as the wizard was replacing his hood.
"Why don't we do this together?" Jack asked.
"Do what?" Magus asked
"Don't be dumb," Jack said with a sly grin. "You know what I'm after and I know what you're after. Why do you persist on doing this alone?"
"You mean Lavos, I assume," Magus said. Jack nodded. "Kid, if you knew what Lavos did to this place. If you knew what Lavos did to…" he trailed off. "Forget it," he cut short. "This is my victory. I'm not letting anyone in on my revenge."
"He destroyed my home!" Jack argued. "He killed all the people I care for! He destroyed everything important to me! Doesn't that warrant something?!"
"Twice…" Magus mumbled under his breath.
"What did you say?" Jack asked.
"Sorry, kid. I didn't say anything." He fastened his hood and turned back around. "I will fight Lavos at the only time at which you can fight a Lavoid. I have a feeling that you already know the significance of this time. If I see you there, then so be it. If you are there to fight alongside me, then that is Destiny's way. If we are to be merely destroyed by a force that we cannot combat, then I must simply laugh…"
Then, with a slight blur, he was gone.
"Damn you," Jack mumbled. "Why won't you listen to reason…" Magus's words echoed in his head. Kid, if you knew what Lavos did to this place. If you knew what Lavos did to…
"What did Lavos do to this place, and what was he talking about in his second point," Jack asked himself. "Was it a person? Is that why he trailed off? Who would it be…?" Jack paced up and down the room, temporarily ignoring the Dreamstone Blade. "It could only be…" he paused, then exclaimed, "Schala!"
"I've got to meet this girl," Jack mumbled to himself as he wandered through the Palace of Zeal. He touched his hand into his cloak, making sure the Dreamstone Blade was still there. He didn't know if it would work. If even one piece was out of position, it's functioning was dubious at best. He just hoped that he wouldn't have to try it out.
He had originally wanted to bring Sarah along with him, but something told him that time was running short. He didn't have time to go to Kajar. His sister was waiting, but she wouldn't be waiting for long. Instead, Jack tried to think up how he would manage to introduce himself, without seeming weird. He didn't think it was possible, though.
Running wasn't really an option, as he still didn't want to look funny. It wasn't helping, though, as he could notice the whispering around him regarding the 'blue-haired man' and 'the return of Lathain.' It was creeping him out, to be honest. He began to pick up his walking pace until he found the room which Schala supposedly resided in. Peeking into the room, he saw the room was empty.
"Now where could she be?" Jack asked out loud. Quickly ruling out the searching of every room in the palace, Jack decided on a more conventional method. Halting his walking, he closed his eyes.
If only I could feel her out with my mind, Jack thought to himself. I don't really know how, but… Oddly enough, as he was saying this, he sensed a deep flux the Winds of Magic. How he knew that this was Schala -a person he had never met before- he was not sure of, but he knew that it was her. It was not a feeling he felt was easily explainable. He just….knew it.
"Now let's try Doreen's little trick…" Jack said to himself with a smile. Quickly flashing back to the energies that coursed around the Finori as she cast the teleportation spell, he raised two fingers to his forehead disappeared in a blur of light.
He was a little thrown by his first self-induced 'port, let alone the fact that he actually did the spell, but as the spell resolved he found himself in a room that he had seen before. It was 'his' room, or his other persona's room. Raising his head and opening his eyes, he saw her.
Schala. He would have considered her beautiful, if she wasn't his sister. Her long blue hair glowed in the same shade of his. Still, he admitted to himself that she was quite good-looking, as bizarre as such a feeling about a sibling seemed. In her arms was the baby, Lathain. She looked as if she was comforting him. Her purple eyes quickly locked with his as she examined him.
Looking at him, Schala's gaze traveled down to the child in her arms. She looked into it's eyes and the baby gazed up at her with the same enchanted stare. She shifted her head back to the man standing near the doorway. There was suddenly no doubt in her mind. The explanation was missing, but the facts were all there. Even their energies were the same.
"L…Lathain?" she asked, unsure of quite what she was saying. Her voice seemed troubled, almost helpless.
Jack looked up at her in shock. Then with a smile on his face, she dipped his head in a nod. They would have a lot to talk about, that was for sure. And maybe, by the end of this day, a plan for Jack's destruction of the Lavoid would come into view.
"Mind over matter!"
"That's like, mucho metaphysical, man!"
-Masa and Mune
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