Rhazin and Exceed took off down the docks before anyone aboard the Silver Heron could think to chase them. It wasn't a long dock, maybe big enough for four boats, and seemed very... withered. Rhazin looked at the boards as the ran. The withered wood looked unnatural somehow, as if it were done by something else.
Then, it clicked. An Air user had done this.
"Just ahead," Exceed said between breaths. Rhazin looked up and noticed, for the first time, the large wall that greeted them. He had been so busy looking down at the dock, that he hadn't even noticed it.
The wall of Fort Phillny, if Rhazin remembered the name correctly, was immense in size and had scars of battle covering it. A few of the markings on the wall comfirmed Rhazin's fear for the second time: large claw marks the size of a horse.
A Great Lizard had made it.
The gate into the fort was not nearly as large as what is cut through. In fact, it was not even as large as the castle doorways in Faerein's own castle. The guard standing at the gate was nearly as tall as the metal structure, and he was only just shorter than Exceed.
"Let us in!" Exceed yelled to him when they were only a couple feet away from the guard, "We we're kidnapped!"
The guard looked at Exceed and Rhazin, then behind them. Rhazin followed his gaze and saw that there was no one following them. The Silver Heron looked small from the distance, but Rhazin saw people on board. They hadn't even tried to chase them. Maybe they knew Exceeds plan?
"Follow me," the man said lazily, then called to someone named Guthro to open the gate. It creaked as it rose into the wall by some contraption.
Exceed smiled and followed the guard as he passed into Fort Phillny, prompting Rhazin to follow. Rhazin did, but he was getting nervous. Why did these guards act so lazy? Or could it be weariness? There had to be some reason.
The inside of the fort made Rhazin want to immediately leave.
The buildings, made from stone, were damaged and burned in several places and no one walked the streets, with the exception of a few guards. Rhazin looked for any other signs of life, but could find none. The strangest thing, though, was that all the guards seemed weary like the one they followed. Rhazin had confirmed it was not laziness, simply due to the state of this place.
"Was there an attack?" Rhazin asked the guard they followed. He looked back lazily, shook his head, then looked forward once more. What an odd reply.
Exceed, however, explained it. "It's always like this during this time of year," he said, his voice carrying the odd sound of sadness, "the Great Lizards attack most during the hotter months of the year." He slowed his walk. "You can slow down, friend."
Rhazin thought Exceed was talking to him, but it was the guard who nodded in thanks and slowed. Rhazin felt sorry for the men. Having to fight monstrosities like the Great Lizards must take a toll on-
"Exceed," Rhazin said quickly, "How could Great Lizards do this damage? It looks like the works of Mystic users, not of claws and teeth." Exceed just stared forward and continued his walk. He didn't seem to want to answer.
So, Rhazin allowed him his time and stared at the passing buildings. Yes, he could see it now. A burnt patch was perfectly circular on one wall, making it obviously a ball of Flame, and pillars in other structures looked like they were pulled from there place. It would take a powerful Mineral user, but it was possible.
Other signs came into view: erosion from Water, windows blown in from Air, even some marks that suggested Storm, the electrical Mystic. What was it that made these? Did the Great Lizards get in and the guards were forced to use the Mystics inside the fort? That made no sense though... The men would have to fix what they damaged, so they would have to be careful.
"The Lizards use Mystics, Rhazin," Exceed said finally. Rhazin nearly laughed, but stopped himself. Exceed noticed and continued, "They have used them since the ending of the Great War."
"Wha-what?" Surely the beasts could not do what every Mounseiken could? It was impossible. The researchers had already tried to see if any animal could do it. They even managed to capture a Serpent and study it.
"Enter and find Logius," the guard said, making Rhazin realize they were in front of a large building that stood intact, though damaged. Two guards stood at it's entrance.
"Alright," Exceed replied as the guard walked off, most likely to resume his post.
"Who's Logius?" Rhazin asked.
Exceed finally smiled. "Only a Specialist of Plasma and my good friend." Specialist? Rhazin had to think for a moment, but he remembered what his Master had told him about Specialists.
"Specialists," he had said, "Are Mounseiken born with only one Mystic. While that seems like an unlucky thing, they are extremely proficient in the use of their Mystic, even better than a Master once they learn enough. They never beat the Sovereign, though."
Rhazin was impressed. This was the first time he would meet a Specialist.