"We put them on our feet?" I asked looking at these golden wings questioningly. Something already was putting me off about them. Lara smiled.
"Yes for the last time, Marx. Trust me they'll get us there." She assured me. I returned that with a raised eyebrow. These were never used for a reason, one or all of us were going to find out soon.
Carrisa held the wings in her hands her face resembling my own doubts, "Lara I don't normally wear shoes." She said almost with a low growl.
"It's okay you won't have to get shoes, but they will form a shoe around your foot." Lara said. Carrisa look horrified with that fact.
I felt badly for her but started to smile. These things could be fun. Lara said they would work and she was usually really good with this kind of stuff so far. Putting my doubts aside I turned to adventure placing them on my battle worn boots. Maybe if I don't blow everything up and make some money I would buy new ones. A glow of gold began to cover my boots as wings sprouted from the heels. They looked sweet; almost as cool as the ones drawn in the story books.
"Lara these things are cool!" I smiled.
"Not so bad, huh."
"Yeah. How do you work them?" I said watching Carrisa gingerly place them on her feet. Her reaction was more disgust than before.
"I want these things off." She grumbled.
"It's really simple, just imagine focusing magic at your feet, and you should. RISE!" She said enthusiastically as she rose gracefully into the air.
"Oh that will be easy! I do that sometimes to increase my speed." I said excitedly.
"Marx just one.." Lara started but it was too late as I was careening off into the air spinning crazily. The world spinning far too much. To get a grip on what was happening. I stopped focusing my magic only to be flung into a wall like a ragdoll shot out the barrel of a gun. My chest sang in pain as my head joined in tune with a dull ringing noise. Lara landed beside me giggling.
"I'm sorry. that was funny though. I was going to say you don't want to put too much magic into them or they will get a little carried away."
I held my head nodding, " It's okay. An old friend always told me the best way of learning was just finding out for yourself." I smiled, letting Lara give me a hand up. I looked over to Carrisa who was still wearing a scowl but could have sworn it hid a giggle.
"Well that's one hell of a way to find out for yourself." Lara said, " Just use less next time but be weary of not using enough. You will find yourself falling out of the sky if you do that."
"Alright. I think I should be fine."
"Carrisa do you need to practice?" Lara asked.
"No. Let's just get this over with." She replied glaring at the wings.
Lara took off first and Carrisa followed afterwards having some issues but managing to stay in flight. I was next trying not to repeat what happened last time. I jumped into the air, and I tried again. I started accelerating way to quickly shooting passed Lara and Carrissa. At least I had a little more control this time, but just barely.
"Marx less magic!" Lara yelled.
"I'm trying I said starting to cartwheel back to earth." I stopped focusing again until my head was back over my feet. I tried less this time but I was descending. I applied more. Nope too much. "I don't want to play Goldilocks with you shoes!" I cursed cosining forwards. I'm sure the others were laughing at me. I couldn't figure these out. Who the hell thought putting wings on feet would be a good idea anyways. Birds don't have wings on their feet. Neither do dragons. The idea made me laugh though.
"Are okay Marx" Lara asked from above.
"No! These things are flying deathtraps from hell. No wonder no one trusted Hermes!" I shouted.
"You will get used to them." Lara said.
"Next time can we get ones that attach to our backpacks. I think Angels have the right idea about where wings should be. Hermes obviously has no clue."
Carrissa was a little better off then I was but I could see she also was having trouble channeling the right amount of magic. Plus her discomfort was probably making it worse. I stopped whining and focused on mastering these little bastards. The trip got smoother but by the end of it I was glad to say goodbye to the damn things. We landed just outside the entrance of Cirras. A place hidden in a nexus of steep narrow valleys. The two colours were grayish black granite covered in green moss, and evergreen trees. It was had not to have your breath taken away. Especially as we flew over the landscape.
"Lara. I will never wear these again. No matter how convenient." Carrissa said as nicely as she could.
"I'm not too fond of them either, but hey if there is a backpack version that's less fussy I would be all over it." I said carrying my smile.
"Sorry. I couldn't face going on the train today." Her face a little fallen.
"I don't blame YA. And hey we are here today. We gained a lot of time, and it was worth it." I said. I don't think I'm good at this cheering people up thing. Least I tried.
"Hey let's get thing going." Carrisa said.
"Yeah. I agree. It's about time we pull ourselves together and solve this thing." I said stepping forward with a bit of jump. This is the best part of a mission meeting new people, trying to troubleshoot what's happening, and encountering someone else's take on magic.
"Were supposed to meet an Olaf." Carrissa voice directed us sort of taking ownership of the thing. That was cool.
"Yeah I'll keep an ear and an eye out." Lara.
"I'll uhm, ask around the bar." I quickly added, " I won't be drinking. I'm not that much of a slacker." I said to the raised eyebrows.
"Lancer we'll meet at the town square in 30 minutes."
"Alright!" I sprung forwards. This town seemed a little mysterious there were few people on the streets. If there were they weren't talking and in fact seemed a little put off by the appearance of stranger. Carrissa would fit in nicely here. What also struck me as odd was there were no children playing in the streets. Maybe it's all related to the monastery? The Tavern was just up ahead precariously sitting over the river on stilted wooden legs. Awesome. The wood of the tavern seemed freshly carved as it was still yellowishy orange. The smell of sap also gave it that appeal. It must have been treated magically. In the wood is carvings of faces, and woodland creatures. It was amazing Inside was even better as there were accompanied by vivid paintings mostly of blue and green of supposedly other scenic points in the area. It was mostly empty though say for a couple of older gentlemen in the corner. A luscious woman sat near the front, something told me that she wasn't eyeing me up because of my looks. I returned a smile though and made my way to the bar. The balding, plump bartender was surprised to see a visitor but the surprise was replaced with an industrious smile.
"How can I help you young sir?" He asked.
"I'm looking for someone named Olaf. I'm from a ..." The women, and the older gentlemen were paying close attention to our conversation. Curious. My gut was saying I should be careful of what I say. Something wasn't right.
"Sorry it's been a long journey here. It's truthfully beautiful place you live in here."
"Yes. My family has been living here so long that there isn't any records of they're never being a Gennen here." He said proudly.
"Wow. I don't blame them." I laughed with the bartender, " Anyway's I am looking for someone named Olaf. "
"Yes. That would be my father. He is in the back if you would like to speak to him. He didn't say any visitors were coming though." He eyed me suspiciously.
"I would prefer to talk in private." I said quietly. I'm sure though that the woman had still heard that.
"Follow me." He said opening the counter door, " Can I get you a drink?"
"Not right now. Thanks though."
He led me through a kitchen and keg storage until we reached the far back wall. Where a bald man sat hunched over a table, reading a musty book.
"His mind hasn't been the same as it used to be. He used to visit that monastery on the cliff above north of here. Place drove him mad." The bartender explained.
"I see. I am a guildmage. I apologize for our tardy appearance. Your father left us a mission years ago, but it was buried and neglected."
"It is not your fault. He's the damn fool who wouldn't stay away." The bartender said.
"What goes on there anyways?"
" It fills the valley with a mind numbing hum. It's driven many townsfolk away. He says that in the night the tables set themselves. and a light comes from the kitchen. He says the doors lock and won't open despite every unlocking spell. He claimed he got in there once but every time he tries to talk about it. He faints."
"I see. I will speak to him. See if I can learn more." I said
"Good luck." The bartender patted my shoulder, " I'll be up front if you need anything."
"Hi there Olaf. I'm from the supernova guild. I'm here about the monastery." I started.
"I don't want it." He said.
"It. It's in my head. I always hear it now."
"The monastery?" I asked. He nodded.
"I'm here to help. Sir my name is.."
"Marx Lancer. I know. One of them is a seer."
"What is... It" I asked. He laughed.
"You can't help me. you must help them." He said.
"I will but I need more information. What is it? Who is them?"
The old man laughed again then stayed quiet.
"Who are you?"
" I am..." I stopped maybe it's his condition, " Marx Lancer."
"That's right. You were supposed to be coming here yesterday, and the year before. You always come, and so do your friends.I've seen so many tomatoes." He laughed. It was weird it was like he made sense but in loose grasp on reality kind of way.
"Is that right? Is there anything you can tell me to help them, it?" I said.
He laughed, " The skin has always been the best part to remove. They would agree. The way it sticks to the muscles, but yet it slides off." He said with intensity staring into my eyes, before laughing. I wasn't sure if he was messing with me or not.
"Uhm. Okay. Let your son know if you have anything else you would like to tell me."
"Maybe, the last time I did that. It didn't work to well for the onions. The soup was spoiled to."
" I see. Well if you change your mind. let him know."
Alright. With my skin still firmly attached to my body I left to meet with the others.