Renovations Might, Renovation
Hirtutila looked over the strange little contraption as Asher placed it into his hand. An earring? Yet it was capable of such feats? Why should it not, he thought to himself, it's not like anything should surprise him anymore. Accepting the small gift from Asher, he pondered over it for a bit more, before tossing such thoughts to the wind and placing the earring in his pocket for later. Piercing wouldn't be an issue. 20 years ago, a bit of a fad for earrings spread to Vandalia via Egypt, and a younger Hirutila was not immune to the peer pressure. Seemed like it id pay off in the end, this earring would be invaluable indeed.
Hirutila gave a small thank you to Asher, before turning his attention to Georgia as well. "If you're taking off, I better go get some sleep for the night," he uttered out, followed by a yawn, which the man tried to cover up. "I don't have your energy anymore". With that, he gave a quick bow and shuffled himself away. The old man was quick to scout out a moogle, to whom he inquired over the location of the bedrooms.
"Oh yes, kupo! The bedrooms are all set up just over that way and don't worry, as we told your younger companion, the pranks were already disarmed, kupo!"
Hirutila stared at the little animal with an expression that could only be described as a three-way mixture of confusion, disapproval, and relief all at once.
"Thank you, he spoke," once again shuffling out of the sight of the creature as he made his way to the room.
"But just a reminder, kupo! Tomorrow, Tocsax has informed us to ensure that everyone is present for his debriefing on the plan of attack, kupo! If you would like for one of us to wake you up, just let us know!"
"Oh," Hirutila spoke, unsure of how to take it. He was not that old, was he? Was the moogle implying that he could not wake up on time, or had Tocsax told them to do so out of a lack of faith in him? None the less, despite whatever reasoning was behind the creature's inquisition, he replied in the affirmative.
"Okay, Kupo! Be sure to get plenty of rest or tomorrow."
With that, the creature was gone, and Hirutila retreated into his new chamber.
A sigh of relief escaped from the old man's mouth as he reclined upon the bed. It had been so long since he had rested upon something other than loose hay over jagged prison stone. Hirutila began to remove the pieces of the armor he was given upon his arrival, unstrapping each component and laying it over in the corner of the room. With both the metaphorical and literal weight off his shoulders, the man began to pay some closer attention to the room. A small meal had been left, kept warm by some kind of magical force it would seem. Hirutila quickly took to devouring the food in such a fashion to put even Snopes to shame. Every flavor was held in his mind for what seemed like an eternity as he ate, returning to his bed satisfied and with a full stomach for the first time in years.
Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment
The words of the Buddha rang through his head as he relaxed. Despite what might come tomorrow, Hirutila took the current moments to enjoy himself. Before long, he was fast asleep.
Alexandria, Isaurian Egypt, Green Sahara, 1245 AD
Everything had been assembled for this moment.
Hirutila stood at the helm of the ship, sword drawn as he stared down the coastline. It was possible to see the collection of Egyptian soldiers gathering on the shores to face off with the pirates. The Egyptians were gathered in their formations, preparing for the assault, while Hirutila directed his men to begin the advance onto the shores. A previous battle had crippled their naval forces in Alexandria, and any retribution from their other naval divisions would not be able to arrive in time before the pirates had pillaged the city totally.
Egypt had brought this upon themselves when the Pharaoh ordered the raiding of their bases on Crete. He had picked a fight with the wrong pirates, as Hirutila and Rago were able to gather enough reinforcements and allied pirates to wage a full out war against Egypt. The Pharaoh stood firm against them, refusing all negotiations. Now the two forces met in the battlefield.
The two men had shown the power of their soldiers when they decimated the Alexandrian navy just a day earlier, while their own ships were left strong enough to press the attack on. Now, Hirutila lead the eastern division while Rago held command of the west. Rago encircled the harbor while Hirutila split his forces in half, sending a division of ships to attack the shores around the harbor, while Hirutila and his men entered into the heart of the city via the harbor to attack directly. The Egyptians had abandoned the Harbors defenses, simply retreating into the city and the shores to fight off whatever they could.
The pirate army was massive, its lines filled both by Hirutila and Rago's originally Corsican and Sardinian Vandal pirates, but also with men from the Saxons, Danes, Hausa, Fulani, Libyites, and with the fierce tribals of the Adriatic coast. Allied pirates also made their contribution, as the destruction of Alexandria would be complete by nightfall.
Hirutila made landfall, with his men firing off the cannons, spraying a dust of Gothic fire, that burned even as the waves of the harbor fell upon it. The Egyptians fled as the fire burned away their front lines, as Hirutila and his pirates departed the ship from the sides, landing beyond the flames and advancing like horns for a double-pronged attack on the Egyptians, trapping them between hostile enemies and uncontrolled fires upon the shores.
While Hirutila's men fought with their enemies, he kept a close eye on the shore, as Rago and his men began the attack on their shores.
All seemed to be going well, that was, until something raised its ugly head.
Over the hills, Hirutila caught sight of Egyptian reinforcements.
It was impossible, the Egyptians were caught off guard, there was no way they could have known, no way they could have advanced this far in such a short time.
It was like they had been expecting them.
The addition of Egyptian reinforcements and more allies, and the premature arrival of stronger Egyptian ships, and doom was spelled for the pirates. Bodies of the pirates were flung everywhere as the Egyptians surrounded them. Men riddled with holes as they were cut down by the spears of the phalanges as the encircled his division. Men fled the lines in terror, only to be cut down without mercy. As Hirutila went to try and recollect his army, he felt the sharp pain of a spear lodged into his chest, as he toppled from atop his horse into the dirt, before everything went black.
Renovation's Might, Ongoing World War II
BGM: Battle Strategy Conference
BGM: Battle Strategy Conference
Hirutila was awoken by the sound of a moogle.
"Good morning, kupo! You had better get ready to make sure you're on time for the debriefing, kupo."
The man groaned, guess there was no time for meditation this morning.
As Hirutila listened to Tocsax's plan, but was caught off guard by one thing. The city, Berlin. Where there even cities that far north? Europe was a hellhole, full of savages who barely knew how to use wheels. The idea of those people being able to construct cities and modern technology was completely incomprehensible to him. He knew not to be surprised by anything, but there was only so far that he would be able to suspend his disbelief.
When Tocsax said that one of the groups would be going to Britain, Hirutila burst out laughing uncontrollably.
"Britain!?" he said between his fits of laughter. "Oh, I don't envy you.".
Britain was the worst of places in the already savage continent of Europe. The people ran around hairy and naked, living in mud and straw houses and herding sheep and cattle. The men all had 7 or 8 wives, and they sacrificed children and prisoners of war to their gods in giant wicker men by setting the structure on fire. Or so he had been told, he had never actually once set foot on Britain. Though he imagined that even if the British here were different, they still had to be savages, same with the Germans they were about to meet. In his head, he imagined Europe as being just as backward and primitive as his own homeland. The people must be living out of metal shacks in villages. He would have to see. And with that, he boarded after the others, waiting for the arrival in Berlin.
Southend-on-Sea, United Kingdom, Ongoing World War 2
BGM: Orchid Horror
BGM: Orchid Horror
It was absolutely necessary to be as vigilant as possible in these times. Two British soldiers, part of a division deployed to protect the little coastal town of Southend-on-Sea, were watching over the sea in the event of a naval invasion from the Germans. Though such an invasion had yet to happen, and in contrast to London, Southend-on-Sea saw more trouble from refugees from the rest of Britain, as well as Mainland Europe. Almost overnight the city had become full of Dutch and French speakers as well as those fleeing the chaos in the larger cities of the island, to the chagrin of the local inhabitants. Thus the usual fray was keeping the peace more than fighting Hitler's monsters.
The two men were drinking from a pack of beer and eating as they did their rounds.
"Hey, over there!" one of the soldiers shouted, pointing out a direction that his partner quickly turned to, binoculars in hand.
There, in the middle of the ocean, was a man upon some sort of raft, rowing his way to the shore.
The two men looked on in disbelief. Such a sight was not totally, uncommon, but the idea of it just being single person paddling his way to Britain on a shoddy raft that had them surprised. The soldiers seemed totally baffled as to where he could have come from.
"It's a black guy, looking like he came straight outta the bible, paddling in from the Dutch coast."
The soldiers drove up to meet with the man, as he arrived.
"You're safe now," one of the men told the stranger, "What's your name?"
"Zekaraya," he replied.
"I see, and what are you doing here? Where did you come from?"
The man ignored their question, instead, inquiring upon his own plans.
"How do I get to London?"
"London?" the two soldiers looked at each other, "You don't want to go to London, mate. The whole place is swarming with monsters. Safest place to be right now is here in Southend.
"I have a meeting," Zekaraya spoke, attempting to leave, only to be held in place by a soldier. He responded with a swing of his sword, taking the soldiers head clean off.
As the other went to attack, Zekaraya simply raised his hand, as the man combusted, burning in flames.
Zekaraya took a look around, noticing the vehicle in their possession. The angel had made him aware of these things. Rummaging through the soldiers' belongings, he came across the keys, commandeering their vehicle and making his way to London, to seek out his two targets.
The mixture of lightning and fire nipped at Audry's face as Rago pushed his blade harder against her own, the weapons coming dangerously close to her own face. Thinking quickly, Audry reached for her gun and fired a few shots into Rago's stomach with her free hand. The other stepped back, furious at the wounds, giving Audry time to position herself back. The opportunity gave her a chance to hurl a fireball of her own at the attacker. The spell connected, lighting the silken garment Rago wore on fire, as it burned away, revealing the man's chest and abdomen.
Audry looked on in surprise and horror as she saw the gunshots begin to close off, and the burns heal, as if by magic. Tendrils of blood whipped their way across the wounds, interlocking with themselves, as flesh grew over the mesh until the wound was as if it had never been there at all. Audry gritted her teeth, firing another bold of flames, however, Rago responded this time with a barrier, destroying the fireball as it crashed onto the ward.
In turn, he manifested a black orb before him, which exploded into a flurry of needles, all of which were directed at Audry. The girl held up a ward of her own, but the strength failed to stop at least some of the needles, which dug into her, prompting the young woman to drop her weapon and fall upon the ground. Rago jumped forward, swinging his blade upon her, however, the magicite instinctively threw up a barrier, which Rago slammed his blade against angrily, unable to break through. Audry felt the magical needles burn as they released a cocktail of poison into her body, leaving her in silent agony as she began to feel herself begin to fade out of consciousness. Audry managed to stand herself up, throwing the barrier off of her to meet Rago in battle again, blades welling up with electricity as she shot it at the swordsman, leaping into the air to attack as he toppled over.
The two blades met once more, as Rago forced the woman off of him with a casting of Aero. Audry cringed as she fell to he feet, the poisons increasing in intensity as she fought.
Rago smiled watching the girl slowly succumb to the poison. "You have the bug too, don't you. I can see it in your eyes." Rago taunted, pointing out his own eyes, that now glowed with the same sickly green as her own. "And yet you don't even know how to heal yourself with it yet?". Rago manifested another dark orb, this time, however, instead of breaking apart into needles, the orb simply coalesced into a single dark blade, that rushed forward at Audry, barely giving her enough time to escape, but grazing her off arm, leaving a deep, painful cut, that burned further with the poison it left on her wound.
Audry cried out in pain, as Rago continued to taunt her, "You can't heal, can't use any spell more complex than beginner magic, I bet you can't even teleport yet." he muttered, advancing towards the injured woman. But Rago wasn't completely right about that last one. As he came closer, Audry's blade disappeared in a flash of green light, in its place, a shotgun manifested. Audry may not have learned how to teleport herself and other large objects to specific locations, but she knew enough on how to make use of 'hammerspace'.
As Rago rose his arm to attack, Audry's eyes flashed out of the darkness as she perked up, and fired the gun into Rago. The shot, augmented with fire magic, cut a large hole into Rago's body, causing the man to fall back in agony, and as he tried to heal the wound, another was blown into him just under his shoulder. Audry stepped forward, firing another blast at his leg, directly into Rago's knee, leaving him unable to move back further. As she stepped forth to deliver the killing blow, Rago desperately waved his arm over himself, teleporting himself away from the battle.
At that moment, Audry caught sight of her allies, Capella and the would be sacrifice she had saved. Capella seemed to be taking care of the Heartless. The man was moving in to attack the giant beast that the army was trying to contain. She would give him a hand.
Malachi was gritting his teeth in anger as the Soldier's were unable to simply detain the creature. The army had sustained enough losses.
"That's it, we're pulling back immediately!" he shouted, as the creature was distracted by the arrival of another. "We've taken too many losses, we need to regroup in Sana'a. We'll prepare to return and take Mecca afterward." Malachi gave the order for the army to begin the return to their base, where they would take portals back to Sana'a, and then march onto Mecca once they had replaced their loses. The lost soul beast was fighting with Ezra, giving him just enough time to do so. Malachi gave the beacon for the Heartless to follow.
"Do not think you have won just yet, for you have simply made me aware of what you can do."