Beyond the Cutting Edge: Chapter eighteen

Tristan’s confidence diminished over the course of the first hour as he wondered through the many winding paths that all seemed to lead back to Dreagon, whose rather large meal seemed never ending, Tristan couldn’t help but think he was somehow being tricked. “What witchcraft is this now?” Tristan yelled approximately forty five minutes into his journey back to his friends. He began to run in panic, which only made the pathways appear more and more distorted as he went along. As he wandered aimlessly his mind began to wander too, he wondered what happened to Kaylie, Dragoon seemed genuinely surprised by her vanishing, and he was pretty certain Tristan would have been severely injured. His mind struggled to put two and two together despite his oncoming exhaustion, he had more than exceded his limits, the nights of limited sleep due to worry weren’t helping, but the true cause was that this had simply been a long night, filled with stress and violence a potent sleep serum if ever there was one. Tristan knew he would be free soon; he had given himself a day to escape that building before Dreagon would come after him and his friend’s probably enough time for a nap Tristan reasoned. His mind wouldn’t stop trying to figure out why he saw Kaylie before the swords switched to his hands, and how her scent could simply vanish, he had no idea what it meant or at least he didn’t in the first hour. The second hour was a bit different, at around ninety minutes into his journey he got it into his head that walking backwards would somehow help him find his way. SO he began running backwards quite certain he would soon trip down the stairs which would undboutably lead him to the exit. This persisted for Fifteen minutes, so at one hour and forty five minutes Tristan came to the realization that not only was this plan not working; he also looked like an idiot. Dreagon was laughing at him from his still warm meal. Tristan wondered what his friends were doing outside, if they though he had died in there, and if they had done something about the dead monster before them. Tristan tried to push these thoughts to the back of his head; he tried to focus on the task before him. How many paths could there be he reasoned. Everywhere looked the same; he couldn’t tell if he was moving forwards backwards or sideways. As far as Tristan could tell he was standing still. Then he decided to look down at his feet as he walked. Needless to say this wasted another ten minutes, and then began hour three.
Hour three was a colossal waste of time he spent it alternating between manically running on any given path and standing around looking sorry for himself, this was no more evident than at three hours and fifty five minutes when he had the grand idea of fusing the two concepts together. Dreagon’s red wine came out of his nose at this moment. The fourth hour threatened to be more of the same, but Tristan’s psyche was severely damaged by all this lost he had to deal with. His mind began to project, he was hallucinating now, Tristan was suddenly in the forest looking for something he couldn’t tell what at first. He ran to and fro searching far and wide. Never giving up never giving in, it was there he knew it was.
Tristan followed a crystal blue river, it was beautiful and pristine it lead through a strange metal platform people were discussing building plans, they crafted that platform to be a sturdy base, Tristan hated this vision and wanted it gone, suddenly he was standing in the same place but it was different, altered by time, that section of the forest was dead, the water was emerald green the platform now housed a giant factory, it was beautiful how decrepit things were. Tristan loved this world it was so ugly. He laughed like a madman as in the real world he walked past Dreagon again, but this time he knocked on a wall revealing a hidden pathway which led to another floor, though he didn’t see that, all he saw was his ancestor watching the factory emit strange smoke and the people running away from it in fear. Tristan laughed as the people panicked and many died. Tristan couldn’t fully understand what was going on, but it seemed the people were blaming the traveler who arrived the day before, despite his claims that he had yet to do a thing in that town. The traveler broke from the chains they put him in and threatened to kill them all for this. His Great Grandfather sealed him away for that, not for any crime, but to protect his home. Dragoon’s revenge was against Cutting Edge itself. Upon realizing this, Tristan broke from his trance, he was unaware where he was or how he got there, but it wasn’t the same floor he was on before, somehow he knew he was on ground level, the madness had faded all that remained was grim determination to save Cutting Edge, even if he was dead Dragoon’s plan had been created over the course of decades, it was obvious that he had the time needed to have a tragic plan b. Tristan had to stop that plan b, even if it cost him his life.
Tristan rushed about lost on this floor too, it took him only half an hour to find the door, which would have been long, if he didn’t compare it to the other floor he found himself on earlier. Tristan struggled to move the giant wooden doors in order to free himself from that prison, Shadows Blessing was the ultimate trap, but he had freed himself, and now he was ready to free Cutting Edge from Dragoon’s wrath, or at least that was what he thought before he opened the door. Once he was outside the world had changed, no longer a lush forest with questionable magic and a thousand secrets near an old half abandoned town, no not at all now Tristan found himself in a tall mountain, and had no clue how he ended up there. But he couldn’t let a mountain stand in his way, as he turned he realized Shadows Blessing wasn’t even there, he must have stepped through some form of portal. He reached into his back pocket for the soul gem, but it wasn’t there, he must have dropped it in Shadows Blessing or the Dark Forest, or anywhere else he didn’t care all that mattered was he no longer had it. “You’ve come at last child of destruction. A dark shadow said as it arose from the ground. “I am Violet Nior, the true Master of the Order of Shadows, welcome to my personal hell.” She said with cold laughter. “How did I get here?” Tristan asked pondering the possibility of his premature demise at the hand of Dreagon who could easily have been lying about falling for his stupid trick. “No don’t worry you’re not dead, I manadged to bring you here temporarily so you can help me with a bit of a problem I’m having, and maybe help me take that wonderfully inhuman body you pushed off the building earlier. That would be wonderful.” Violet said cheerfully. “No thanks just skip to the part where you ask me for the first favour.” Tristan said walking past her, he stopped in his tracks when he saw it, or rather when he saw her. “Kaylie?” Tristan said aloud before rushing over to hug her. HE was unable to make it to her before she was blasted back by some strange arcane magic. “She got herself trapped here, I can’t overpower her accidental spell without an outside force, you’ll naturally be back in the real world in a moment, I just needed to talk to explain what’s going on, at first I planned simply to tell My wonderful Gangar, but I can tell he’s no longer of any use to me, so you’ll have to do.” She said floating lazily in one spot. “I don’t know when my life went from stealing from old people tricking younger people into helping me and occasionally doing the odd job for a bit of extra cash to summoning rituals of demons and listening to imprisoned wraiths.” Tristan complained sourly. “Life does often take turns we don’t expect, like when I was stabbed to death by someone I trusted dearly.” Violet replied, sadly. “Obviously I’m going to help; She’s my friend after all.” Tristan replied. “I beg of you to consider that second task as well, I may not be the most trusted figure, but the Order of Shadows existed for centuries without causing any problems to this town your home has been our home, we cohabitate the land peacefully, or rather we did before the interlopers of steal, I can’t believe that foolish Gear really thought I wasn’t going to defend myself. He thought his Palace system would destroy me, I’ll show him true destruction.” Violet ranted. “that’s why I won’t, you’ve got your own men, they’ll take you back from me eventually, you can’ try to free yourself then, but for now you’re my prisoner and that’s it. I will however be so gracious as to get her out of your cell, you do deserve at least to have some privacy.” Tristan said with a bow. “Fine, but one final thing, he’s not actually dead yet, so get to that quickly.” Violet said as Tristan felt his world begin to fade, he knew he’d find himself just outside Shadows Blessing soon, and with the soul gem, he knew he didn’t have much time before Dragoon awoke, he had to move fast, he had to save Kaylie, he had to save Cutting Edge, he had to save everyone.

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One thought on “Beyond the Cutting Edge: Chapter eighteen

  1. Pingback: Beyond the Cutting Edge: Chapter nineteen | Echoshadow

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