Nexus Fate - Chapter 17: Anxious Beat

Nexus Fate - Chapter 17: Anxious Beat

A Chapter by Piegoose

Everything is guided.


It's dark. Amazingly, the others decided to head for the end of this passage in this way... in the dark. I can still feel their finger tips... crawling over me.

The four of them were silent. There were no alternative sounds that could hide that fact. The faint echoes all around continued as they moved along. Teiy held his shield tightly against his chest. They could see much more than before, their eyes trained to the shadow. Teiy could see the others beside him, but couldn't tell who was who. Teiy could see the tile and wood that covered the floor. He could see the unknown liquid that spotted areas here and there. But no matter how trained they became to the dark, the thick, purple fog blotted out anything within fifteen feet. It was a heavy fog too, almost as if it was some type of smoke. The fumes coated Teiy's lungs, and he would cough repeatedly, every few minutes.

Tal'Von spoke, “Huh, the constructed floor seems to stop here. Watch your step.”

Teiy kept the shield to his chest, and placed each foot forward carefully.

Chaim approached him and sighed, “You know, it's a good thing you're so terrified, because I can spot you between us in a blink.”

Teiy stopped and hacked up, from the haze, “What's with this air?”

Chaim turned away, “Hey! Wait up a second Royce-hogs!”

Vensan hollered, “What was that?

Teiy felt a strange sensation on his palms, and looked unto them. Blood was laid out across them, and Teiy fell to the ground. “B- Blo-”

Tal'Von yelled, “How far back are you two?

Chaim took Teiy's arm, “Come on. The quicker we get out of here, the quicker we'll be out of thi-”

Teiy rose up to Chaim, “Chai-?”

Chaim covered his mouth and coughed into his shoulder, “Let's go.”

Teiy stayed by Chaim's side, and they made their way to the others. When Teiy fell to the ground, the surface felt of plain stone and rock. The structure of man, surely, had ended. The two, vague, Roycian figures made their presence, and the four of them continued together. The echoes of the passage began sounding more distant and diverse. Drips of liquids could be heard falling nearby. Some splashed in through a crevice in Teiy's greaves. He shuddered, and bumped into Chaim.

Chaim stayed silent, lightly pushing Teiy aside. “Are you feeling okay?”

Tal'Von coughed, “Is something wrong back there?”

Teiy hugged his shield, “I... I just don't like this... I don't.”

Chaim stared at Teiy's pathetic posture, “Those things aren't in here. If they were, somehow, we'd already be attacked by now.”

Teiy didn't respond, raising his blade to his eyes.

Chaim sighed, “Where's everyone from?”

Vensan chuckled, “I'm not a part of this!”

Tal'Von stayed silent.

Teiy moved his shield from his chest, “I don't know anymore... you?”

Chaim looked onwards, “Well, like I said before, I was a guard of Royce at one time. The place looked phenomenal, in honesty. I lived well for a good while too... I wasn't born in there though, I traveled to Royce later on. I lived far beyond this wide, marketing district.”

Teiy turned back to Chaim, watching his frail arm dangle by. “M... might I ask what happened?”

Vensan made a strange growl...

Chaim peered over, “It's a long story... but I can shorten it for you. Among the men I accompanied during patrol, I was one of the leads in combat. I knew how to work with rein stone. One day... my men decided my life wasn't as important as their... goals. My being there served as a hindrance to their goals... so, they ambushed me. I had a shield at the time, like you. It was a good shield, it was, but still not impenetrable. They bashed it like nothing else. Endlessly, bashing... bashing... they must've broken just about every bone there was to break, in my arm. The force of their blows just kept rising... and rising... they were merciless killers.”

Teiy looked back to his shield, “I see...”

Rein stone...

Tal'Von spoke up, “But you lived.”

Chaim stretched back, “That I did. I didn't win the fight by any stretch of the imagination, but I made my escape. I found myself a horse and escaped for the hills. I had to survive off the land, and away from the dark, for months. A long time later, I came upon the place you found me. I was threw with it all, really. I was ready to die... It was pitch black, the moonless night. I held my blade to my throat with my good arm, ready to finish it if those things made their move. They never did that night. I couldn't build the will to start a fire... I had no motivation to go on. But each night those things never came for me. One night I stood at the edge of the brush, listening. I could hear them, their cunning steps. They never showed themselves to me. Maybe they had taken me as one of their own? Mayb-”

Vensan laughed, “That was the 'backing' to your theory?

Tal'Von cleared his throat, not adding anything to Chaim's tale.

Teiy kept his eyes wary, “What is rein stone?”

Tal'Von sighed, “I thought we made that clear on the wa-”

Teiy jolted, “I mean - I mean, is it just ore like everything else?”

Tal'Von made a sound of intrigue, “I see what you're saying. Rein stone's place in history?”

Vensan spat, “Head captain, please stop telling him about everything!”

Tal'Von made a sound of disgust, “You're getting irritating, Vensan. Why don't you just shut you mouth for a few minutes?”

Vensan stood speechless, and stomped sharply in the silence.

Tal'Von waved his arm through the fog, “They fell from above.”

Teiy's eyes widened, “'Fell'?

They fell before our time, but not before recent history. It was a little over 100 years ago.”

One hundred?

Tal'Von continued, “Some fell over towns, some in open fields, some on mountain-tops. It was soon found that they were valuable. The rein stones, themselves, were impossible to break apart. They still are, very much, to this day... What was valuable was the fragments, the shards. They were hastily collected and, of course, conflicts arouse. These were no meager conflicts. Once Royce knew of their value, civil war broke loose throughout the kingdom.”

Teiy saw Gladius' face, through the invisible flame of the fire-pit, in memory.

Castles from many regions made factions and went at arms with each-other. The inclusion of the royal army led to the union of many of those regions. One-by-one, however, they all fell. It was only three years ago that the war finally ended. The city of Royce has claimed over ninety-nine percent of those shards. Even with their surplus, they are valuable and pricey. You'll be needing some shortly.”

One hundred years? The war lasted one hundred years... The Hundred Years War of England! There's no way this can be a coincidence! Both ending three years ago? What the hell is this? What the hell is Nori? Could this all be a dream? Maybe I knocked my hea-

Chaim broke thought with his sodden hacking, “The fog's getting brighter over there, to the left!”

Turning to the left, Teiy noticed the purple fog gradually sparkling. The feeling of worry left his chest, and Teiy smiled at the light. It made rays through the brume, blinding his vision.

Vensan coughed, “Is it d-”

Teiy burst excitedly into a sprint, “There it is! Light!”

Tal'Von roared, “Teiy!

Teiy kept running, his excitement getting the better of him. Odd formations of stone grew into his vision, and he brushed past them. The fog simmered down as he ran, and he could see the light, even more, ahead of him now. His legs ran into a jutting ledge, which lead him to a leap. Teiy motioned his feet for a landing, but the ground didn't lend a helping hand. He fell below, through where the ground should have been. Air built momentum, and he splashed in a bed of water. Teiy desperately worked to swim to the surface, but his armour pulled him below. The water was clear, but the world above it was obscure. Teiy noticed a wall of rock past where he'd leapt and paddled towards it fiercely. Grabbing the edge, Teiy pulled himself up a bit. The smoke from before tickled his throat, and he was on the verge of a cough. He placed another grip on the rock-wall, pulling himself up another section.

Something stirred within the dimly-lit pool. Teiy swayed about, noticing bubbles forming behind him. He looked down, his shield sinking below. His will was on the brink of breaking, but he took a third grapple up with his arms. Teiy pushed against an odd current, building himself up the side of the under-water cliff. He couldn't hold it any longer.

Teiy coughed, what little oxygen he had leaving him. He gasped, his lungs filling with water. Teiy put his hands against the stone and pulled again. He reached overhead, still only feeling water. He made another step, shaking in pain and fear. The bubbles carried up from below him, and Teiy reached higher again. But the tip of the pool was unreachable. He clawed his throat, drifting from the stones. Wafting in the water, Teiy perilously tugged against his shoulder-pads... He fought his consciousness... The luminance of the light above could be seen, and Teiy noticed the dim-light's origin was overhead. He closed his eyes tight. Sifting through the water, Teiy suffocated. The bubbles capped the small glow from his opened eyes, and Teiy turned below with his sword erect. Red floated past him, leading to a great smack in his chest. Whatever it was, it moved him to the wall. The thing lifted him past where he'd climbed before. Water level...

Teiy choked, and dropped his chest against some wet rocks. The stones punched his gut, and Teiy spit water from his mouth. He breathed in wide, and hacked up more blood. He laid limp, he eyes half shut and his mouth open. He was conscious, but his strength had left him.

Answer me!”

Teiy lifted his head, but it fell back down.

A voice from aloft, “Head captain! Where'd you go?

Teiy extended his arms and felt soil nearby. He dug his hands in and lugged himself forward. He reached out again and felt... grass.


Teiy pulled onward once more, and slid his armour against some out-of-place dirt. Teiy couldn't speak. He did light push-ups against the dirt, putting pressure against his chest. It didn't cough up much water. Teiy moved his arm to his mouth, and shoved his fingers down his throat. He felt it coming. He hurled against the soil, with plenty of liquids out, relieving his air-ways.

Teiy coughed, and held his breath. He prepared a yell, “I -

The soil ruffled by his side, “Stop! There's a drop!

Teiy slid his head to the right, and Tal'Von laid beside him, face-up. Tal'Von's armour was missing, and he sat wearing only noble leather.

Tal'Von held his shoulder tightly, “You sure do freak-out don't you?”

Teiy slid his head back down, and pressed his palms against the soil. He rose slightly, but fell back down, coughing up more water.

Tal'Von got up, “Guys! Find a way down here, and watch your step! There's a small ravine! I'm going to be diving in and retrieving our supplies! Don't fret if I don't respond to you!

The water spattered, then quieted down with soft ripples. Teiy pressed himself up again, and got to his knees. He rubbed his eyes and looked around him in awe. He sat on some kind-of island with a soaring, old tree. Above, a hole opened up to the outside. The light came from there, and the tree nudged through it from the many years. A tall ledge laid where he'd jumped, and it lessened as it went around his aspect. The purple smoke didn't drop, yet floated up beyond the opening. Here, on this small, grassy isle, the air was fresh.

Tal'Von burst out of the water and tossed two shoulder-pads, and a sheath, over. After a grand breathe, he dunked back in.

Teiy rose his head calmly to the light. He opened his eyes and thrust forward in a cough-spasm.

Wait a minute! There's light out there?

Teiy examined the angle of light through the opening above him. It was angled as far to the side as it could be to be able to be witnessed at the top of the ledge. None of the light dropped below, and the island itself was somewhat dark. What could be seen of the sky looked a dark-orange.

The sun must've risen within the hour.

The water spattered somewhere to the right, out of view. Chaim yelled out, “Hel-”

Teiy got to his feet as Tal'Von emerged from underneath the water-bed. He tossed over his greaves, and took in a deep breath.

Teiy beat his chest-plate, “Wait! Chaim might be having trouble!”

Tal'Von got back to land, “Where is he?”

Teiy and Tal'Von ran around the edge of the island and climbed over some high stones. Chaim could be seen struggling to the surface of the water with his good arm. Tal'Von dived from the stones, and splashed in near him. Teiy looked about the side of the ledge, and Vensan could be seen farther off making a careful way down. Tal'Von lugged Chaim to shore, and looked over to what Teiy was peering at.

Tal'Von dived back in, “Vensan, it get's pretty shallow here! You can get in, with your armour, fine!”

Vensan climbed down a bit more, then hopped into the water.

Teiy descended from the stones and got back to the ground.

Chaim was back on his feet, and leaning against the grand tree. “We've been walking up-hill for some time, but... do you think we're at a high enough altitude for Royce?”

Teiy looked up the tree, “We might be close, but I'm no-”

A fist smacked Teiy in the jaw, and he rolled across the dirt. Teiy got up to see Vensan approaching with a kick. His foot smacked Teiy across the head, sliding him over to the side of the tree.

Vensan pressed his foot against Teiy's chest, “You little cur!

Tal'Von slid Vensan away, “Calm down! He's got a point though, Teiy! Don't run off like that! That kind-of stuff will get you killed! Not to mention I'm still not positive about you.”

Vensan pat Von Baron's shoulder, “That's right! I'll be watching you Teiy... really close!”

Tal'Von looked over to Chaim, who was examining of the tree. Chaim held onto a branch, and hung from it. He wobbled up and down, and the branch stood strong.

Tal'Von scratched his head, “Don't tell me you're planning on climbing this thing?”

Chaim dropped down, “How high do you think we've gotten? This might bring us right beside Royce.”

Tal'Von took off his soaked shirt, “Well, this passage takes us in Royce.”

Chaim leaned against the tree, “It wouldn't matter much, we'll make it inside fine as long as it's this dark. We need to conserve time. This path doesn't seem like it was finished properly, or they dug it deep, only to break inside an underground cavern. I say we climb.”

Teiy held onto his face, “... What about Royce's wall?”

Tal'Von turned, confused, “Wall?”

© 2013 Piegoose

Author's Note

This is my first attempt at writing a full story.
Also the chapters are at a short length because I posted them first on DeviantArt, and people will never read your stories if they are too long there (which is why I moved here).

I'd appreciate any type of criticism as this is my first writing.

*By the way, I will very likely combine chapters to lessen the total number after I have completed the book (as with chapters of this length, the amount will very likely enter 3 digits).

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Added on November 1, 2013
Last Updated on December 31, 2013
Tags: Nexus, fate, fantasy, medieval, story, castle, mind, arc, 1, 2, reality, original, space, cat, mouse




Hoy there! I'm new to writing and am testing my, current, writing capabilities. I've recently finished High School and am going to college now, so i'm trying to see how my abilities with the pen will .. more..

Nexus Fate Nexus Fate

A Book by Piegoose