Sayumi put the bag underneath her armor, and as she picked up the bag with the food, she smiled and cried with enthusiasm, “Come on, let's go save Rakelle!” Ruki nodded with a smiled, and all three of them shot into the air, flying directly north towards Feresat.
After they were in the air for a few minutes, Sayumi sighed blissfully, enjoying the feeling of being so far above the world. She felt so completely free, almost like she had no problems. It actually amazed her how unconcerned she was about what they were about to do, and scared her at the same time. She flew up next to Ruki and shouted above the wind, “Hey Ruki! How dangerous is this whole thing actually going to be?”
Ruki shouted back, “Well, I'll put it to you this way: why do you thing you're wearing armor?” Sayumi paused for a minute; she hadn't really thought about that before. Then she remembered fighting the thugs, and Ruki being stabbed by one of Eliah's knights, and how scared she had been that he would die. She was starting to feel uneasy about this whole thing, still wondering why she hadn't thought about this earlier, like when they were planning their assault. Sayumi swallowed the lump in her throat, and asked, “So, what will we do if one of us gets injured or needs help?”
Ruki shouted back, his voice becoming a bit hoarse, “Well, if you need help you give me a thought, and I'll tell you if we need a hand.” He flew closer to her and grabbed her hand, “Don't worry, we will be fine. We will get Rakelle out of there too.” Sayumi smiled, but doubts still lingered in her mind.
They made a quick stop after they reached the fork in the road with the three ways to Repremendant. They ate some of the food they packed, and Sayumi was even more nervous than before. She couldn't help but think of Eliah, and whenever she did she shuddered a bit. Ruki noticed, and after a while, he took her aside and asked, “Are you okay? You seem scared.”
Sayumi sighed unsteadily, “Of course I'm scared. I'm no soldier like you guys; I was raised my whole life as royalty. I know very little about fighting, and Eliah is the most crazy guy I've ever met. I don't want any of us getting hurt.”
Ruki hugged her, even though their armor got in the way. “Sayumi, believe it or not, we are scared too. I have fought before, but I've never stormed a castle. And since there is only three of us, it is even harder. But fear will only hinder us in our mission, you have to learn to control it. Don't worry, we have faith in you.” Sayumi nodded, and Ruki added as he walked away, “And don't let Eliah get to your head. He can't do anything against us.”
Soon they were off again, and Sayumi was still just as scared as before. However, what Ruki had said earlier had given her a new sense of confidence that they would be able to pull it off. As Feresat came into view, all the memories of that place came flooding into her mind; good and bad. She couldn't help but wish everything would have turned out differently, that none of this had ever happened. But there was nothing she could do now but fly faster towards the one place she had hoped to never return to.
As they got closer they flew lower to the ground, to make themselves harder to see. As soon as they could, they headed into a forest and Will got the dragon to gallop on the ground while Ruki and Sayumi kept flying through the trees. The foliage was thicker than they had anticipated, so Ruki and Sayumi ended up weaving through any space they could see, almost crashing into each other a few times. There was no way she could shout loud enough to get Ruki's attention, so Sayumi asked mentally, How much longer are we going to have to go through this forest? I'm getting branches stuck in my armor!
Ruki took a few minutes to reply as he was busy focusing on not crashing into the trees. We are almost there, but you have to be prepared for combat as soon as we get out of the forest. There are guards along the forest, and we have to make sure they don't signal the castle guards or we will get Eliah's entire army descended on us. Sayumi swerved around one more tree, and suddenly they were outside the forest. Sayumi scanned the area quickly, and saw a guard coming at her left side. Ruki got to him first, and made quick work of silencing him. Ruki tossed him into the forest as he cleaned off his sword, and pointed at the castle wall in front of them. Ruki shot over the wall, telling Sayumi before he was out of sight, I'm going to make sure we won't land right in the middle of a mass of soldiers. I'll tell you when you can join me. Sayumi agreed, and Will's dragon pawed the ground impatiently.
There was a resounding scream, and Sayumi flinched. Ruki growled Crap, I missed! Now they know we are here, you guys get over here now! Sayumi waved at Will to follow her as she leaped over the castle wall, and landed right next to Ruki. Sayumi bent her knees and drew her sword, and whispered to Ruki, “How many do you think we will face now?”
Ruki shrugged, and Sayumi gasped as dozens of soldiers poured from a door near the end of the courtyard. They marched into a formation in front of them, and Sayumi was very intimidated by how much armor they were wearing, and how many weapons hung from their belts. Ruki whispered to her and Will, “Don't be intimidated, they can hardly move in all that armor, and most of them probably can't use any of those weapons properly.” Sayumi wasn't sure he was right, but she was willing to believe almost anything at this point that would make this whole thing seem less insane.
A soldier stepped forward, and held his arm straight above his head. All the others did the same. Then, with a shout, the first soldier dropped his arm and charged forward. The others darted after him, forming an armored stampede. Sayumi watched, horrified, as they ran towards them. As they got close, Sayumi couldn't take it anymore. She dived in front of Will and Ruki, and she didn't even hear Ruki shouting at her as she held her hands in front of her and closed her eyes.
Ruki watched with awe as Sayumi performed a variation of teleporting that he had never seen before: a bright light shone from her hands, and she seemed to open the earth beneath the soldiers, and they all fell in. Once most of them were in, the light faded, and Sayumi opened her eyes in shock. There were about ten soldiers left, who were freaking out and screaming at each other in a dialect that was almost impossible to understand.
Ruki was completely baffled by how powerful Sayumi was, and for a few minutes no one said anything, except the soldiers still trying to figure out where their comrades had disappeared to. Will made quick work of silencing them with a small crossbow that he had been saving for a time like this. Sayumi looked at her hands in bewilderment, and murmured, “What the heck was that?”
Ruki walked up behind her and replied, “I think that was a form of instinct. You are very powerful Sayumi, but you need to learn to control your impulses. We had them covered if you would have waited.” Sayumi sighed and asked in a bit of a daze, “So what is the plan now?”
Ruki glanced at Will and replied, “We continue with the original plan. You go to the dungeon to get Rakelle, and we will find and distract Eliah and his men. When you have Rakelle, we will kill him. Got it? Don't go destroying the castle please okay?” Ruki smirked, but at that moment, Sayumi didn't find him the least bit funny. Sayumi floated away, since running in the armor was not only difficult, but so noisy it was pointless.
Sayumi found it eerie to be back in her old home, but also was disturbed by how different it was. She saw bloodstains on the walls, and she didn't even want to know what they were from. All the tapestries that once adorned the walls were gone, the beautiful decorations gone as well. The lamps in the corridors were so dim she could hardly see, and she was thankful for that because she knew there were things in those halls that she didn't want to see.
Once she reached the door that led into the dungeon, she was mildly worried about opening it. She didn't want to try and force it open; one time when she was little she was locked down there as punishment, and she couldn't forget how loud the door was. She used her mind instead of her hands as she gently lifted the latch, and she opened the door just enough that she could fit through.
On the first level of the dungeon, she saw to her horror hundreds of people stuffed into the cells, and when they saw her, they barely even bat an eye. She wanted to cry at how frail they were; they must not have eaten in weeks. She set foot on the ground and walked up to one of the cells and asked, “What has happened here that you all are in here?”
A boney girl lifted her head and replied weakly, “The new king said we was a threat to him. We didn't do nothin' ma'am honest.”
“Some of us are accused of being witch-folk, but if we were, wouldn't we have already escaped this hell hole?”
Sayumi held the young girl's hand and she replied, “We will get you out of here, I promise!” Then Sayumi flew away to the stairs to the lower level.
Sure enough, the cells on the lower level were empty. Sayumi floated through the hall, and as she looked into the cells, she screamed a little when she saw they were full of corpses. The smell finally reached her nostrils, and she had to fight to keep from vomiting. But as she looked closer, all the servants she used to see around the castle were lying in the cell, even the pretty redhead that helped them sew their clothes. She finally let the tears that were welling up in her eyes fall, and righteous anger burned in her heart. She murmured, “Eliah must die for these crimes!”
“S-Sayumi, is that you?” Sayumi's mind was ripped from her anger when she heard Rakelle's voice. Sayumi leaped towards Rakelle's cell, and found Rakelle wasn't too much better off than the people upstairs. Sayumi grabbed Rakelle's hand, and cried, “Yes, we've come for you! We are hear to set you free!”
Rakelle smiled, and replied, “I knew you would come, but I must warn you: Eliah has been rounding up all the witch-folk in the surrounding areas, and at first he was just looking for the powerful ones and killing the rest. But now, he has taken all of them and made them into a small army, promising he won't kill them if they serve him well. I've seen them fighting, they are like animals! No emotion, no mercy. They fear nothing Sayumi! Warn Will and the warlock about them!” Sayumi nodded and quickly passed the message on to Ruki. Yeah, we are about to face them now. You should get up here and help us. Sayumi gave some quick affirmation, then set to work getting Rakelle out of her cell.
The door of the cell had pin-barrel hinges, so Sayumi figured she could just simply lift the door off without having any problems. However as she tried to lift the door, she discovered the lock on the door was attached to the rest of the cell. She grumbled to herself, and decided she would try to unlock the door instead. She looked into the keyhole, and started playing with the tumblers. Once she found the correct sequence, she took a piece of metal that was on the ground in her right hand, and the seal on the back of her hand glowed, and she melted the metal into the shape of the key she needed. Rakelle watched with astonishment, and asked, “What is that thing on the back of your hand?”
Sayumi replied, “The seal of the fire faeries; a fire faerie helped me find my powers, so she burned her seal on my hand. The seal gives me extra fire abilities, its actually very handy. I didn't know I could melt things in my hand like that and not be burned.” Sayumi turned the key, and the door jerked open. Sayumi got Rakelle to get on her back, since Rakelle was weaker than normal there was no way she could keep up with her. Sayumi flew out of the dungeon, and winced as she saw the people in the cells on the upper level.