Old Friends, New GoalsMature

The inside of the Guild was far worse than the outside had led him to believe, and that was saying a great deal. Had he not gotten used to the Guild being destroyed, this might have angered him more than he was. After all, Juxon managed the feat several times when they were younger. Granted, Art was a young man and Juxon an adult, but the memories of the earthquakes and old guildmaster's anger at having to rebuild the place once more.

This time, though... 

Art could SEE the magic around, lingering like puss in a wound, and that... Well, Art couldn't see magic like anyone else unless it was in massive quantities. Just the fact he could vaguely see the stuff meant the battle here had been fierce. Luckily, he saw no bodies. But... there were pools of blood that he knew would cause death. Though he knew it was likely to be a foolish fancy, he hoped they were of the enemy.

What HAD happened? From the traces of magic, he gathered most, if not all, of the participants in this battle were wizards or at least magically inclined. Maybe a civil dispute? No, Juxon would have stepped in. A dark guild? Most likely... They had been active lately. His business had suffered from their thefts. Magic enhancers weren't cheap to produce. 

Another look around showed walls blown to bit from either water of ice that was now melted, floors ripped apart with burns and cuts... The list went on, of course. The hallway even looked like a literal hurricane went through it! Gah! What was Juxon doing? 

Art started to move towards the stairs and head to his old fool of a mentor's room, but the feeling of being watched stopped him. He was not gifted with magic, but he trusted his gut when it came to sensing danger. Right now, that's what he was in.

"Are you with Nightwing?" a familiar voice asked.

Art smiled and relaxed. Thirteen years he hadn't heard that man's voice. This was the last place he expected... wait, that wasn't right. This was the FIRST place he expected to see his old friend again. Just, not like this.

"I don't know any Nightwing," Art said honestly, wondering if it was the name of the enemy who attacked, if someone had. "Though, I should throw my spear at whoever speaks to me like they are my superior."

Turning, Art saw a grinning Grimlock perched on the second floor of the guild, only visible through the hole in the ceiling. Before his old friend could respond, however, a new face came into view. The boy, probably a fledgling member of Supernova, was a pale faced boy with a set of dark eyes. Nearly dead, honestly.

Of course, the only reason he saw the boy was because the fledgling had lunged toward him, faint traces of dark magic built in his fists and legs. Dangerous and powerful magic, since Art could see it. 

"No!" Grimlock yelled, though it was useless to do so. This Fallen was not listening. 

Art smiled and moved to the side of the boy's punch, tripped him with his offhand diamond spear, then used his other spear to place a point at Fallen's throat. "Is that any way to treat an ally?" Art asked the boy, showing off his guild mark, which barely moved. It proved his handicap, but... Oh well. This boy was... interesting.

Grimlock joined them down on the floor. Luckily, his presence and the guild mark Art had cause Fallen to calm down and allow Grimlock to help him up. But, with the boy's magic, he probably would have overpowered Art in a fair fight eventually. Very interesting... Art was almost giddy with the hope of a good challenge. 

"Art is a retired guild member, Angel," Grimlock explained. "He's actually an elite, despite his appearance." 

"Gah, you have no style," Artonus retorted, looking at his old friends armor and two swords. "This jacket costs more than your armor!"

"Oh? And that bandanna?" 

Art groaned. "That's to... prevent sunburn."

Grimlock blinked. "Wait... you went bald!?" The large man laughed loudly, even bending over like the fool he was. Bald was in! "Well, I'm just glad you're still alive, Artonus."

Art smiled and took his friend's outstretched hand. "I'm glad you're still alive as well." He looked around again. "I wish I could have arrived at a better time, though."

"We should probably leave before the dragon notices us, though." Grimlock looked toward the front door. "Or did you somehow kill it?"

"I put a claymore in it's back. Think that's enough?"

Grimlock shook his head. "No, you have to sever his head. You do that alone, though?"

"No, there was some kid helping me. Lively young man."

Fallen, the boy, spoke up. "He seems to have left a little while ago."

Art shrugged. "Oh well."

"Sir?" Fallen said, looking directly at Artonus.


"I don't mean to be rude, but... How are you an Elite with so little magic?"

It wasn't an odd question. Artonus had heard it repeated several times in the years before his retirement. But... seeing this kid ask it, with so much magic of his own, made that little hint of jealousy Art once had attempt to bubble up. He suppressed the foolish emotion, of course, but... 

"Artonus is called 'Cleaver' by the guild," Grimlock told Fallen. "He was never gifted with a lot of magic, so he worked on his weapon skills more than anything. In fact, he's among the few I would count as my equal in swordplay."

Art held his spears together and changed them both into twin longswords. "I also have a knack for transmogrification." 

Fallen nodded in understanding, but said nothing more. Would it kill the boy to smile?

Grimlock looked toward the door. "Seems we need to leave. Dragons waking up and I'm not risking Gates on that thing until I know everything about it." He reached his hand out and probably was gathering magic for teleportation or something. "I'll fill you in once we're back at camp."

"Alright, but I want to talk to Juxon first and foremost."

Both Grimlock and Fallen let their eyes fall. "He's... dead, Artonus."

"Once we're there," Art said coldly, no longer caring about his interests, "Tell me everything."

The End

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