Drew managed to filter through most of Fei's talking to get the important points. "You can probably practice once we land. I'm sure you'll get the hang of making ice if you keep practicing. As for a shower... I meant more along the lines of somewhere private. Anyway, let's get going." He decided not to reply to her comments on his sleeping habits, wanting get out of the room as soon as possible.
Fei quickly got up and followed her brother out of the room, motioning for her shadow to follow. She didn't want to leave it in her brother's room all alone. What if she got lonely, or worse, started talking? Fei didn't want to miss that. She felt a little better walking with the shadow. It was like a friend already. "Do you like cranes? You can have this one~" she whistled. Of course the paper bird just floated to the ground, but she smiled nonetheless.
When they got to the top deck Fei pouted in disappointment. It wasn't very wet outside anymore. "Aww... I didn't use all of the water, did I? If there's no more water vapor, there's no more rainbows..."
Raven glanced over at the two dark figures still following both herself and Phebe. They didn't seem to be doing anything but keeping the pace set by the leaders. "I have no idea," she admitted to Phebe. "They seem to just be guarding us or something, but I haven't seen them do anything, or react or whatever. They're just...there."
They came towards the stairs and the smell of sizzling eggs was starting to waft up towards the upper floor. "At least it smells like they've got something edible down this way," she noted.
"I would like that very much. Thank you," Gabriel answered, falling into step beside the older woman. As they made their way over to the stairs Nydia had indicated - she was leading the way - Gabe considered asking about his strange dream now, or waiting until both he and Nydia were a tad more awake. Breakfast would help with that, depending on what was available. His train of thought derailed a little when he wondered whether the Kerbones people had a fully stocked kitchen and dining area... but he doubted they had an equal to the Academy's kitchens aboard a single airship.
Bringing his thoughts back to his earlier issue, Gabriel elected to wait until after breakfast to ask Nydia about the Divine Council. Such things were better discussed once they got to know each other a bit better, rather than working with simple introductions.
As Seth continued to walk towards the upper deck, his nose quickly picked up the scent of cooking eggs, and he made his way towards that. He was just slightly aware of Raven and Phebe being a small distance behind, but then he still didn't consider that too important. His rest had not been a particularly pleasant one, and until something more requiring attention happened, he wasn't planning on doing much.
Stepping down the stairs into the mess area, it was easy to see where the food was being served. There were just a few guards enjoying their meals, scattered about at the few seats here or there. All enjoying the basic meals that had been brought along for the trip.
The cooks, noting the strange faces that were coming to his food area, quickly served up plates filled with eggs and bread, and some water to drink, eyeing some milk that he had before deciding against it. Seth, seeing the opportunity to get some good food in himself, quickened his pace, thanked the cook, and sat with the eggs and got eating.
He glanced at his shadow as he watched him eat, and suddenly noted that there was something....different about him. He would look more into it later, but right now it was something worth thinking about.
So....you do change huh? Well, going to have to see what that means later....When I am more awake, and full. Maybe you should get something to eat too. But you won't, cause you don't need it, right?
"Guarding us?" Phebe considered that possibility, but dismissed it. "I don't need a guardian. I've survived worse situations alone..."
She could also feel the smell and followed Seth, which didn't acknowledge her or Raven.
I guess he's not in a talkative mood today, but he could have said hello...
She had days when she prefered not talking with anyone, so she didn't really hold it against him. He had been nice enough towards her yesterday.
She walked down the stairs, into the mess area. A few guards, but besides Seth there didn't seem to be any other mages gathered here yet.
She took a plate from the cook, with a slight nod of her head towards him. She wondered if she should take a seat next to Seth or wait for Raven to get her food. She decided to wait, since they had kind of come here together.
"Do you need that thing to guard you then?"
She didn't actually know how good at fighting the girl was and if Phebe were to fight, she would use her Pyromancer powers, as they felt more suited for that.
"Wonderful! Now we simply have to find the dining area..." Nydia said with a nod. Gabriel didn't seem to have much else to say after that, so she focused her attention on finding their destination. Thankfully it wasn't too hard to find as Aaron had said. A lovely aroma of cooking eggs was more than enough to guide them the rest of the way there even if the way hadn't been straightforward enough. She stepped into the dining area and spotted Seth and a few of their other companions who had already begun eating it seemed.
After giving a polite wave to Seth, Nydia made her way to where the food was being served. Though she wasn't expecting anything extravagant, she had grown accustomed to having more options than bread eggs and water. Naturally, she would never be so rude as to say such or even let it show on her face, so she thanked the chef with a smile and took her plate. She considered asking for extras in case Shadow Nydia would actually eat, but it seemed unlikely and in that case she would be forced to eat more than she intended or let it go to waste.
Instead, she simply made her way to the nearest empty table, moving slowly to give Gabriel some time to get his food and catch up since they would be eating together.
"I didn't say they were guarding us from anything," Raven pointed out as she received her food. "It's possible that we are the threats that these shadows are meant to protect others from. Probably the Prime Minister and his lackeys."
She made a move towards an open table. "And I don't need for it to guard me even if that is the case. I can hold my own in combat just fine."
The bells' tolling awoke Cale from his much needed slumber. He rose like the sun, slow but full. He yawned as he put on his clothes followed by his earthly robes that met the metal floors. Shadow Cale stood there, silent as usual. He walked forward and into the hallways where he eyed the other mages moving towards the serving area.
Groggy from his sleep he walked there casually. Mornings were the worst for him as his "warm-up" time took much more and as a result grogginess and sometimes nausea set in. But he marched on as his stomach grumbled loudly.
Finally he arrived to where the crew had pointed out and set himself at an isolated table with his food. Making sure no one would notice him(which would be nigh impossible) he wrapped his scarf around his head leaving a hole to where his mouth his.
Gabriel didn't mind the limited selection available in the airship's dining area: his guess was correct in that they didn't have a fully stocked kitchen. A small smile on his face due to guessing correctly, he collected a plate for himself and filled it with a fair bit of food, accompanied by a glass of water. Once sure he had enough, he followed Nydia to a table, taking a seat opposite the Lightdweller once she had chosen her own place.
The younger mage took a few bites of food before speaking up. "Um, Nydia? I have a small question. Do you know much about the Council of Gods? I, uh... I had a strange dream just before I woke up. I think it might have something to do with..." He trailed off, pausing to look around the room. Gabriel's shadow was standing a short distance away. With that in mind, Gabe lowered his voice a little, just in case.
"I think it might be to do with these shadows hanging around, and the gods," he finished in a quieter tone. "It might be important, I don't know."
"That's quite the conspiracy theory." Phebe said and sat down at the table, that Raven had suggested.
A few more mages had arrived now. She took the bread of her plate and started eating. It seemed unlikely to her that the prime minister was behind it, but she didn't know much about the man. The shadow remained standing behind Phebe, since she didn't want it to occupy a seat someone else could take.
She would have liked some meat for breakfast. Bread, eggs and water was a pretty poor breakfast, compared to the academy and living outside, where she could at least get fresh meat.
She remained silent, while using her hands to eat with no thoughts about table manners.
As Seth continued his meal, he finally found himself actually waking up from his slumber. He noted Nydia waving at him, and waved back in greeting. The younger Gabriel was close by, which slightly surprised Seth. He also noted that Raven and Phebe were continuing...whatever it was that they had started. Sitting by himself, and having tore through the breakfast rather quickly, he took a look around, and couldn't help but chuckle. Someone had a scarf wrapped around his head, and it was the Earthshaper Cale. Seth gazed over the table at his Shadow, who had taken a seat and was looking back at him.
"So, what ya think? We almost there? Should I go bother Cale about looking absolutely ridiculous?" Seth asked his shadow nonchalantly. He didn't expect any sort of response, but watched anyways.
The shadow gave a quick gesture around the room, which Seth could only guess what that particularly meant. However, he took it as a clear enough sign that there were people to be talking to. He decided his first person would be Cale, if for no other reason than to figure out what exactly was behind this whole scarf over everything. So, he rose from where he sat, and went over to Cale.
"Hey, loverboy. Whats with the face?" Seth said with a grin as he sat across from him. He was already grinning widely as he said that, feeling better now that he had something to eat. And was now more awake, as his shadow followed and sat next to him as he went over to Cale.
"I hate mornings..." Cale coughed out. From his peephole he saw the Pyromancer who he's heard around the airship. He certainly sounded like an energetic fellow and what was to be expected from their ilk. Cale was the one to stick to the stereotypes that floated around the Academy as they sometimes were the truth.
"What do you want, Pyromancer?" He grumbled.
Gabriel joined Nydia shortly after she reached the table and the two began eating in silence. Nydia was just beginning to think about starting up a conversation when Gabriel took the initiative. She paused for a moment to finish chewing and recall what she knew about the Council. So that's what was on his mind. How fascinating.... The Council and these shadows may be related? Then that spirit may have been.... Well, I'll have to hear more about this dream before I attempt to draw any conclusions. Nydia thought, glancing over at Shadow Nydia. She was simply sitting there, staring off blankly as always.
When Nydia answered, she lowered her voice as well. It was hard to imagine such an unresponsive being as her shadow spying on her for some nefarious purpose, but Cale had commented on the possibility and now Gabriel seemed wary of the shadows as well. Perhaps she was being naive to think Shadow Nydia was as innocent as she seemed. "Well, I've spent a great deal of time studying so I know a good deal about them, though I am by no means an expert. Please, will you tell me more about your dream? I doubt I can fully decipher it's meaning, but surely my knowledge will help us get on the right track."
"I hope so... Okay. Here goes," Gabriel began. "I was chasing my shadow down a hall of stone, until he led me into a huge chamber. Like, easily bigger than the Great Hall at the Academy. It was different from the hall: no walls, no ceiling, and a floor of solid smoke, if that makes sense. There were stars everywhere... like I was standing in the middle of a clear night sky." Gabriel found it easier to keep talking now that he had started: the memory of the dream wasn't one of those that vanished within seconds of waking.
"Then somehow, lightning bolts just flashed out of nowhere, dancing from point to point, but I couldn't see where they started or ended. They were just there. The lightning revealed statues of the Council, all in a ring. Alainia, Dorrokan, Howleson, Jorrano, Loriot, and Sitheria. They were all looking to the middle of the ring, which was nothing but a bizarre blur.
"My shadow began trying to tell me something," Gabriel continued. "It pointed at the statues, the lightning bolts and the middle of the ring... then I realised something. There was a statue missing. The Reaver wasn't there. I don't know why that was the case, but I think, if this is important, our shadows might know," he concluded. Gabe then fell silent to let Nydia contemplate what he had described.
Nydia listened intently to Gabriel's recalling of his dream, making mental notes of things that seemed important. When he finished she took a brief moment to finish her bread and take a drink of water while she pondered the meaning of it all. She had read a little of dream interpretation, but it was a complex and imprecise art that she had never been terribly interested in learning. All the little details could be somewhat important, but there was one aspect that seemed of greater import than the rest. Thankfully, that was the part she was most familiar with.
After having gone over it again in her head, Nydia finally spoke up. "Well... I confess that I'm not sure what to make of all that. However, the statues of the council seem to be the central portion of your dream and I may be able to shed a bid of light on that matter. The fact that the Reaver was missing seems quite significant since it is said to be the most powerful of the Council. Which leads me to believe that perhaps it was supposed to be in the center of the statues. As for why it was missing... Well, I could only offer speculation." She replied, turning to gaze at Shadow Nydia.
"I think you are right about the shadows... They seem important somehow, but they are frustratingly silent on the matter. Perhaps your dream has something to do with the reason that spirit gave them to us to begin with?" Nydia continued with a slight frown. There was little more irritating than knowledge that was being dangled just out of her reach.
Seth shrugged, realizing that the Earthshaper was obviously quite tired, or didn't rest well, or something. In either case, he decided to keep going, if for no other reason than to pass the time. They had to be closing in, since he couldn't imagine them carrying tons of food on this ship for the speed they seemed to be going.
"I would imagine conversation to be beyond you? I can't help but notice how silly you look like this, and figured I would see why you did that. We no longer are at the Academy, so you can....I don't know, NOT do that so you don't become a joke or something." Seth explained simply, stretching as he did so. As the morning would drag on he figured he would awaken more to his old self.
As the mists seemed to have stopped their thinning, the guards and Aaron seemed to calm down slightly. With a different set of nerves, they continued their tasks, only for another airship to finally seem to appear out of the mists.
"About bloody time..." Aaron muttered upon seeing the new company. He paused, making sure that he recognized the colors of the ships flags, and nodded. They were Kerbones flags, which meant they were not only close, but now they could relax somewhat. They were not out of the dangers yet, but at least they were close enough to walk if they needed to land.
For a moment, Aaron contemplated calling to the mages to check out the view, but ultimately ended up deciding against it as he figured they were already unhappy about being awakened, but he knew well enough that they were close, and at least wanted to give the mages the chance to see the city from an incoming view rather than in some castle or tower.
"I don't think so. The spirit said that our shadows were a gift for telling it the truth. And I don't understand why it spoke to us the way it did," Gabe answered, finishing off one of his eggs before he spoke again. "Its advice was not particularly plain, but I wrote down what it told me all the same. And something else that bugs me a little... it answered Seth in private, but when it answered everyone else, it was for all to hear. Why did that happen? Is he special in some way? I don't even know what he said to the spirit..."
Gabriel quickly realised he was bombarding Nydia with information and questions to which he doubted she had the answers. He shut himself up by taking a bite of bread, giving her time to respond.
Cale smiled a bit at the pyromancer's slight mock of Cale's nature. As soon as he was done talking, Cale took a chunk of toast and put it in his mouth.
"Does this satisfy you, pyromancer?" Cale said with bread bits spouting from his mouth. He put his scarf down revealing his face whilist still chewing quite loud. "If I want to be a joke then so be it. It's not like our benefactors are going to throw me overboard if I chew with my mouths open or wear a scarf over my head. Unless you fire shapers care a thing or two about look that is, then I'll be happy to oblige."
Nydia turned her gaze from her shadow and back to Gabriel as he continued to speak, taking a bite of bread as she did so. The conversation seemed to be steering away from the original topic, but that was just fine with Nydia since she was just as puzzled by the meaning of the dream as Gabriel. "Hmmm. Yes, it was quite the cryptic and mysterious being. Although it's advice to me was quite plain, if not a bit... disturbing. I wish it had stayed just a bit longer. It provided more questions than it did answers."
It hadn't seemed like much at the time but now that Gabriel mentioned it, Seth and the spirit had exchanged words privately. Whatever the reason, it seemed likely that they had good reason to keep the conversation private. "That is quite interesting. I'm afraid I don't know enough about Seth to say if he's special somehow. I'm sure if it was important that we knew, he would tell us. Although.... Now that I think about it, did you not also have a private conversation with the spirit? I seem to recall the wind picking up and masking your words, then dying down around the time you had finished." Nydia said, the memory coming back to her mid thought. Once again, it hadn't seemed important at the time but it was unlikely that the wind's timing was a coincidence.
"Oh, of course I have no intention of prying into your private affairs Gabriel. It was simply an observation. You might have a better idea of way Seth was spoken to in private than you think it seems." Nydia continued, quickly catching herself before she came across as nosy.
"The conversation was only private on my end, rather than both myself and the spirit hushing it up. And that was because I imagine some people would like to have me thrown out of the Academy for what I said to it," Gabriel explained. He was of the mind that some of the mages aboard the ship would not take kindly to his goal of peace. "When it answered me it spoke so all of us could hear... though honestly I don't think many people listened to what it said to anyone besides themselves.
"As for why Seth was spoken to in private... I have little to no idea. I don't know him all that well. Perhaps his goals, too, are ones that he did not want to be heard by others," Gabe mused as he looked down at his half-eaten breakfast. "Um... if you want I can tell you what I said to the spirit when it asked."
Seth's grin only widened as Cale proceeded to eat with his scarf still in place. He found the Earthshaper to at least be humorous in the approach. If not a little bit crude. Not that he could blame him, since he was out of the Academy he felt a lot better about not being too concerned about the color of his robes. Maybe he could pick up some more suitable clothes upon entering their destination.
"You never know, maybe at the city they have a strict dress code. Tossing you out of the ship might be customary. I just noted that you look absolutely ridiculous with it on while eating like this." Seth said, wondering if he was hungry for more. Though, he was more interested in what their new destination offered.
"Random question for ya Earthshaper. You plan on going back?" Seth asked suddenly, realizing that he really didn't know what to make of most of the people here. Even less about if they had plans to wander about now, or head back. Nydia would head back, as would Drew and Fei...but what about everyone else? And maybe he was wrong? He never really considered what everyone would actually do.
And would my shadow keep me company wherever I went? Light seems to not bother him, nor the dark, so I imagine he being rather resilient. I wonder if he'll learn things?
Aaron waved at the crew as they turned about and proceeded to fly next to the much larger command ship. Giving the sign that all was well, Aaron sighed. That was a relief, and it meant that the view would be impressive if the mages came up to see their approach to the city. It wasn't far now. He could already faintly see the walls, though he figured his eyes much more used to the mists than the mages apparently were.
"Almost there! Almost back home everyone, so keep frosty! Almost doesn't mean we are there yet! Keep a sharp eye, and be prepared for landing!" Aaron shouted, walking along the decks, noting the Prime Minister also seemed relieved upon the all clear sign.
In fact, the Prime Minister, upon seeing the ship, went off to his rooms. Likely to change into his more formal attire with robes of his own and more loosely fitting clothing. Course, his family would probably be the happiest to see him.
Aaron shook his head, releasing the thoughts so that he could concentrate on keeping the rest of the crew sharp, and make sure they were prepared for the quick landing that the Prime Minister most likely wanted to be as speedy as possible.
It seemed that after all their musings, Gabriel and Nydia had little to show for it. On top of that, she had misremembered things which was quite unlike her. As Gabriel had said though, it seemed likely that she had just been preoccupied with her own brief conversation with the spirit. "Well... I suppose only Seth could answer these questions. And I don't think it would be proper to pry into his affairs unless it's important. Although, if you decide to ask him about it then I leave that decision up to you." She replied, having finished all she intended to eat of her breakfast. It was more filling than she had expected.
Gabriel's offer to tell her about his answer to the spirit's question both surprised and intrigued Nydia. It was odd that he would tell her about it considering that he had said it may have him thrown out of the Academy. She was quite curious as to just what Gabriel would do that could possibly lead to such punishment. "Well... That's up to you. I must admit I'm a bit curious, but it would be improper of me to expect you to reveal such an important secret to someone you just met."
"Know that if you do wish to tell me about it though, I give you my word as a Lightdweller and a Freecs that I shall keep it a secret." Nydia swore, giving Gabriel a gentle smile to assure him that she would keep her word and that she would understand either way.
Gabriel was a little conflicted. Nydia was correct that they had just met, and he was not one to openly share his secrets... but she did seem like the honourable type, one who would understand his point of view and maybe even help him a little. And he might have overexaggerated when he had said that he could be removed from the Academy for his ideals. People would look at him with disdain, for sure, if the word got around. There were some older mages, Gabe theorised, who were dead set in the past, who thought that the old ways still held true.
To give himself a little more time to think it over, he took one of the few remaining mouthfuls of food on his plate. Seven hundred years of distrust would not be changed easily. But Gabriel wanted to put himself in a place where he could do his best to help people adapt to it. And who better to begin with than someone who could potentially help him to help others? Nydia might be able to put him in contact with people higher up the food chain.
"Um... I guess I can hold you to that," Gabe eventually answered. "One of my three major goals, the answers I gave the spirit, is that I would seek lasting peace between mages and the non-magical. I want to help break down the distrust between the two, and create an environment in which we can all live in harmony. I figure an ideal as large as this is still a long way off - I'm only nineteen - but I think this is something that would be better for all of us, in the long run."
"No." Cale said without hesitation. Once he said those two words, he shocked himself at how quickly he said without any thought in the matter. It was more out of impulse than thought but something inside him did speak out and it yearned for him to stay.
"Unless of course, I'm forced to leave. Kerbones is something that I don't want to pass up and even if it means not seeing my friends forever then I'll carry on. That's what I do. Just carry on." Cale said, partly solemn.
Seth nodded at the answer which seemed...horribly quick. It seemed he had not been the only one planning on simply getting out of there. Though, perhaps he shouldn't be so surprised, as that might be why they were chosen. Maybe the Prime Minister had learned that they would be more than willing to leave given the chance.
"Carry on huh? I don't find that to be quite what I was expecting. Even the headless chicken carries onward. I would prefer to do something a bit more...creative." Seth replied, wondering if Cale was more connected than himself.
"Though, I get the feeling that we won't exactly be given free run of Kerbones. They are isolated for a reason, and just because we were invited doesn't mean we get access to the underground."
Aaron nodded to the Prime Minister as he came back to the front deck. The Prime Minister almost seemed like another man now, with the much larger robes covering him completely, and flowing naturally as they blew in the wind, with the unique magical symbols and signs of the kingdom of Kerbones (A pair of wings with a gear in the middle) along the sleeves. The large blue robes seemed to suit the Prime Minister excellently, and he seemed better for it. The Prime Minister turned to Aaron, and nodded.
Knowing what that meant, Aaron raised his fist, and a soldier pulled a lever, letting out a high pitched whistle, signaling to all aboard, and the town coming into view, that they had made it back home.
Kerbones itself was appearing from the mists to be massive. Twenty foot tall walls with a combination of steel and stone all around them, with multiple towers in multiple locations. The city itself seemed to be built into the side of a mountain, which seemed to provide an excellent defense by itself. It did not take away from the sprawling size of the town itself. First to be seen were the general districts, which seemed to largely be a more merchant area, with some small towering shops, with multiple towers around the area. What was most interesting is that it seemed to be separated from the next layer by a wall, and the next, and then the next. The next seemed to be filled with even more guards, with more towers, and some smoke or steam coming from several towers. The levels continued onward till the top where it seemed a fortress was, with large walkways and ornate decorations all around it.
As they got closer to the city, the other ships that had been with them for a time broke away, going to different holes in the mountain which seemed set aside for them. The main airship which the Prime Minister was on was heading right towards the fortress, where there seemed to be a spot waiting.
Nydia waited patiently while Gabriel thought over his response and was quite pleased that he seemed to trust her enough to confide in her like this. She was also relieved that what she was imagining wasn't quite as dangerous as the truth. She didn't think his goal would be as ill received as he seemed to believe, though judging by the uproar that occurred when it was announced that mages would be taken to Kerbones she came to realize it would likely be frowned upon by many.
"Well... That's quite the noble goal you have, Gabriel." She finally replied after thinking it over for a bit. "I confess that this is my first time ever leaving the Academy, so the distrust between those with magic and those without is something I have only read about. But... I think it may not be as far off as you think. The fact that we're being invited to Kerbones seems like a good step in the right direction. This could be a wonderful opportunity to prove that the two groups can coexist peacefully. In fact, when I went to see the airships after they landed I was quite well receive rather than being met with distrust and fear."
At the time that hadn't been odd at all but now that she thought about it, it was quite odd given the circumstances. Perhaps Kerbones was the exception rather than the rule since it was such an isolated nation, but that was a thought better kept to herself. "But I digress. I think it's quite admirable that you've taken it upon yourself to do this thing, but it seems like a large burden for one man. If you find yourself in need of assistance, please know that I am at your disposal and will do anything in my power to help you."
After saying that, Nydia was cut off by a whistle echoing through the ship. "Oh... Have we arrived?" she wondered aloud.
Alexander had followed the others and eaten quietly until the whistle had sounded. Once he had finished and heard the sound he decided to get up from the table and walk onto the deck. Spotting the prime minister in his new attire Alexander couldn't help but raise a quizzical eyebrow, but thought better of asking any direct questions. Instead he walked along the deck to a spot where he could get a great view of the city and leaned on the railing. He was interested in seeing what this city would look like compared to his family home.
He was amazed by the sheer size and grandeur of it all. He had never seen anything like the tall steel and stone towers in his life, and had in fact never seen a city of this size. He had thought that his home and the academy were fairly large, but they were nothing compared to this. Alexander couldn't help the amazed whistle that he let out.
"Gods, and I thought the city of my youth was large. I guess I'll have to see if I can't walk around here." It was then he realized he didn't actually have any money on him to speak of. In his excitement and haste he had only packed clothes and a few books on light magic on top of standard amenities to be expected on a trip. He hoped his healing magic might be something of a pliable trade here as it had at home. If only to go to the market and actually be able to buy some things from this strange land to take back with him if and when he leaved.
"That's my fear, pyromancer. If they do say no then I'll guess I would have to resort to being 'creative' as well." Cale said the his ears picked up a whistle that was heard throughout the ship. Several of the other mages noticed this as well with Nydia among them.
"It appears we are here..." With that Cale got up and headed for the deck. What awaited him above deck was awe-inspiring.
The fantastical descriptions seemed to pale in comparison to what could be seen. Pillars of stone and marble rose to the horizon wrapped in eye-catching flags and banners. Steam rose from the furnaces and towers far away. Myriads of people could be seen with fantastical clothing going to and fro the city like ants in a great burrow. Ants, they all seemed like that from high above. Cale pumped his fist in the air in joy.
"Yeah!" Cale shouted. "Kerbones here we come!"
While Fei had ran off to talk with the others, Drew snuck back into the room to get some more sleep, and got up later. He emerged to where everyone else was, his eyes half-closed and slumping even more than usual. He then took a look at the city and stood right back up and his eyes opened wide. "Well holy crap." He was awestruck, hoping they could land quickly. "I gotta take a look around this place. I mean if they could create something like THIS, imagine what other things they've got down there..."
Gabriel looked up at the sound of the whistle. There hadn't been one for when the airship was heading into Magick's End, and the battle with the dragons. He took that to mean that it meant something different. "Possibly... I guess we should get ready to disembark. Thank you for hearing me out, Nydia, and for the offer of help. Should you need something yourself, I will be happy to assist you. One good turn deserves another."
With that, the younger mage got up from the table and sketched a short bow of farewell to Nydia before collecting his empty plate and depositing it in the small pile that already existed. His ever-present shadow following in his wake, Gabe retraced his steps to head back to his cabin. There he donned his robes despite their size, and did his best to straighten out his slightly messy hair... the latter action was not all that effective, however, as Gabriel's hair often messed itself up sometimes. "Argh. I'm trying to make myself presentable here..." he grumbled to the mirror image of himself, who simply stared at him. As usual.
After a couple more attempts Gabriel gave up. The mess would have to suffice; it wasn't going away any time soon. After repacking the few things he had taken out of his bag, he placed the bag in question on his bed and took a moment to look out the window. The sight was incredible; Kerbones was a city built into a freaking mountain. Towers were everywhere, as far as he could see... it was a fantastical place to Gabriel. He thought he would enjoy walking in such a place, taking in the sights and maybe talking to citizens to try to understand what life was like in Kerbones.
Fei didn't notice her brother sneak away. Her shadow was kind of fun to be around. It always listened, and never seemed disinterested or lost when she started talking. "So are you from Oublie too? I am. My mom and dad are merchants. Are your parents merchants? Are they like... shadow versions of my parents? Do you live in a shadow-y version of this world? Can you talk there?" She wondered what Drew, Gabriel, or Seth's shadows did. Did they think the same as her shadow?
A shrill whistle interrupted her thoughts. "Huh? Are we here? Drew? Drew?" She looked around, spotting her older brother coming up from below. "Dreeeew!" She ran full speed into her brother, but she barely moved him. Her shadow ran behind her. "Drew look! Kerbones! Let's go see the city!" When they were smaller, before the Academy, they had sailed around with their parents. She had seen a lot of exotic things, but this was still new for her.
Seth watched as Cale bounded up the stairs, obviously interested in what had caused such a unique sound from the ship to happen. He figured they were indeed here, but was in no hurry to get up the stairs. He made his way up slowly, and was greeted by the sight of a city built into the side of a mountain. The city itself was massive, with a huge palace that they seemed to be heading into to match. Seth looked about, taking in anything and everything.
Now THIS is a sight to see. A city built into a mountain. I wonder how they managed all this? Must have been pretty incredible....and the mists still linger. Is that the thing for this place? Mists?
Aaron nodded as all the mages seemed to take in the large city that he called home. He had seen the same view many times in his lifetime, but each time it was enjoyable to be back. As he made his rounds, making sure that everything was still going according to plan, the ship finally made its way into a cove that was located very close to the palace.
As they floated into the lit tunnels, it was apparent that a lot of prep had been done for their return. All sorts of engineers and workers were rushing about, parts and tools and things in hand. All seeming to have a task, be them male or female, mechanical or not.
As the ship finally settled into a set of pads that were apparently made to cushion the landing, down came the landing ramp, and a few soldiers were the first to step off, each seeming to give a sigh of relief as they touched down.
The Prime Minister, in the meantime, walked to the front deck where the mages were, and laughed. It was easy to discover where his mirth came from, as a young girl, possibly no more than ten, was running and jumping towards the airship, waving her arms around. In tow was a well dressed woman, with bright and heavily designed robes, some of which seemed to have glowing ruins inscribed upon them. The Prime Minister waved, and proceeded towards the gate, where it seemed the initial rush of soldiers leaving was done for the moment.
"Go on mages. Get back on solid ground! The Prime Minister will direct you from here." Aaron said, waving to the mages as he proceeded below the deck to make sure all had made it out, shouting "HEY! ANY MAGE WANTING OFF HERE SHOULD GET THEIR SORRY GEARS MOVING!"
Seth gave a shrug as they finally arrived into the slightly darker cave, and marveled at the odd lights and torches that seemed all over the place. People running everywhere with....things. He couldn't tell what half of them were, but he figured there was a hell of a lot of importance to them. Noting the Prime Minister laughing, and considering that it might be family, which was kind of odd to think about, Seth proceeded to follow the path of the Prime Minister to get off the ship, and ultimately get back on solid ground...well, he assumed it was anyways.
"Come on, Shadow. We got a world to see, and you better be able to explain yourself when we get a chance to actually settle down." Seth muttered to his shadow, drawing a few looks from the soldiers around him, but they ultimately continued about their business.
As Gabriel rose from his seat to leave, Nydia rose with him and returned the bow he gave. "Ah, I do appreciate your thoughtfulness. I shall keep your kind offer in mind. It was a pleasure meeting you Gabriel." She said as he left. After placing her dirty dishes in the proper place and checking to make sure Shadow Nydia was still with her, she returned to her own quarters to gather her things before she had to depart.
Once she arrived, Nydia pondered for a moment whether or not the robes she was wearing would be sufficient or if she should change into something nicer. Eventually she decided against it, not knowing what exactly her agenda for the day would be. She took a few more minutes to make sure her hair was how she wanted it and that her glasses were clean and then grabbed her heavy bag and made her way up to the deck. "I wonder what Kerbones is like... I don't believe I've ever even read about it before. This should be fascinating." She said to herself as she climbed up to the deck.
What she saw was more fascinating than she had imagined. Though the Academy she called home was a large and impressive structure, it paled in comparison to this massive city built into a mountain. "And to think they built all this without magic.... Their technology must be quite impressive indeed." Nydia gasped in wonder as she took in the sight of Kerbones. "Well then... Shall we? I suspect that a plethora of exciting new sights and experiences await us." She asked her shadowy companion, who remained silent as ever. Taking that for a yes, Nydia stepped off of the airship and followed after the Prime Minister and the soldiers who had departed before her.
It all happened so sudden, the lurching forward, the calls from above. It had completely interrupted Raven's breakfast, and for that she was most displeased. "Can't even let me finish my meal in peace. Bastard."
She arose, simply leaving the meagre food on the table as she briefly returned to her room to scoop up her belongings. It will be good to depart from this wretched flying machine anyway. The shadow being still followed her, not once breaking from her stride. Still don't know what the deal is with this thing.
Eventually, Raven arrived at the doors leading off of the airship, rejoining the group of mages who had already departed. The mighty Kerbones that they constantly spoke of seemed to be nothing more than a cave. While inside she chided the government officials for their misguided bravado regarding their homeland, one thought hit Raven's mind at the same time. This is actually much nicer than I expected from these bastards. She silently observed the rest of the party, seeing what exactly their next intended step would be.