2008-06-25: A Short Time Ago

Global Edition

A Short Time Ago / 少し前

Author: Kilandra and Draconi Published: June 25, 2008

A short time ago...

“My Lord!” came the voice of a woman both poised and beautiful as she addressed her superior, while bowing in the proper fashion.

“Please, My Lord, send me to look for the information we need.”

As she spoke, she raised her head, and her long, deep red hair parted to reveal her beautiful face.

A massive dark figure - a Great Lord - nodded in approval.

“That's the last one, six is a good number,” the Lord thought to himself as the young lady stepped forward from the masses of others that were like her - but different. She joined the previous five that had been selected.

“Make your preparations, he will arrive in the hour and we will meet then.” The Great Lord spoke to them all with a smile of satisfaction.

Everyone else then took their cue to disperse - save the six.

“Valvakka, why do you smile so?” the woman asked one of her companions.

“Because, my lady Kealdia," his smile widened to display gleaming teeth, "My task has the highest of all honors: to destroy the weak ones that succumbed to... that human.”

He clasped his hands in a quiet, but powerful, show of anticipation, his words trailing off in a whisper. “Weak... Fake...”

“In that case I think I'll go in first,” another one interjected, breaking Kealdia's fascination with Valvakka's eagerness. She noticed this other of her new companions seemed to give off a magical aura, flickering at the edge of her vision in shades of scarlet.

“Myxkion, you are the youngest of us, do you intend to rob your elders of that privilege?” This voice was different from the others, the barest whisper of a shadow, like the wind calling forth fear through one's ears on the blackest of nights.

Myxkion smiled calmly, and replied, “Oh, Rivatach?, Vaector and Krysan are still your elders... If you care so much for privilege...”

“Silence! Our lord returns,” Vaector commanded in a firm voice, noting the arrival of their leader, who ignored the dying conversations in the room as he entered.

“You six will be the first, the first of us to go home in many years,” he began without preamble. Their eyes were fastened on him.

“You do not go for the pleasure of simply returning home, however. Each of you have a mission. Complete it quickly. Your time, our time, is short. You all know this.” Their master finished, and gestured to a cloaked figure to step forth.

The hooded one placed his hands, if they could be called that, together, and a swirling vortex of magical energies tore into existence before their eyes. Light and darkness suddenly existed as separate things, twisting and stretching into each other, spraying shadows and images throughout the chamber.

Their Great Lord's eyes now visible for the first time glowed in deep blues and purples. These energies were being summoned and manipulated from the Void itself. He saw the promise of the cloaked one unfold before him. It cried out to him, a world of chaos given voice, and he remembered. The gate would open soon, bending both time and space, feasting on the energies being unleashed. And so he fed it as well, adding to the technique of the cloaked one a power as vast as the oceans of the world he sought to return.

Energy erupted between these two entities, growing with a shockwave that forced the six strong warriors to secure their footing.

When the power stabilized, it was clear. A portal had formed by the combined forces of the Lord of the six and the nameless, shadowed one.

“You may arrive at different times, and in different places. Go, my chosen.”

One by one the warriors walked into the portal between worlds - Myxkion the first.

A few moments later...

The Great Lord of the Six contemplated his plans for the future. He was exhausted now - opening portals between worlds takes incredible amounts of energy. The dark one had left as quickly as he had come. That suited the Great Lord. He was already planning the fall of the three shadows anyways.

In a moment... barely a moment, a small flash of silver light flashed like the single twinkle of a star. The great Lord saw it only from the corner of his eye. The flash didn't even give off any magical energies. “Of course," the Great Lord smiled a bit to himself. "Braxyion. So, you know. That means they will now know.”



「我が主よ!」 美しくも落ち着いた女性の声が、その主に向けられた。



強大な闇が ― それが彼女の主なのだが ― 承知したことを示すように頷いた。

「これで最後か、6とはまたいい数字なことよ。」 主が考える中、彼女は他の者たちから離れ、前に進んだ。その者たちは彼女とよく似ていた ― そして違っていた。彼女は選ばれた他の5人に加わった。

「支度を済ませなさい、彼はすぐに到着するでしょう。面会の時間はすぐよ。」 大いなる主は満足の笑みを浮かべ、皆に伝えた。

皆はその言葉にあわせ、行動を開始する ― 「6」(ザ・シックス)を守るために。

「ヴァルヴァカ(Valvakka)、お前はなぜ笑っているの?」 女性は彼女の供に問うた。

「なぜなら、カエルディア(Kaeldia)、」 歯が見えるほどその笑いを膨らませながら、彼は続ける。「最も誇り高き我が使命のゆえに。ヒューマンに隷属する弱きものどもを破滅させるのだから。」


「であれば、わたしが先に行く方がよくはないか?」 ヴァルヴァカの渇望を熱く見守るカエルディアを遮る声がした。彼女は、新しい供である彼が魔力をほとばしらせ、視界の隅にほのかな真紅のオーラが瞬くのを見た。

「ミキオン(Myxkion)、お主は一番の若輩でありながら、年長の誇り高き特権を奪うというのかね?」 更に違う声、影が囁くような、真の闇に閉ざされた夜だけ風が運び耳に届く、あの空恐ろしい響きを持つ声が聞こえた。

ミキオンは落ち着いて微笑むと応えた。「おお、リヴァタク(Rivatach)ではないか? ヴァエクトル(Vaector)もクリサン(Krysan)もあなたより古いものであろう……。古きものの特権というからには……。」

「静かに! 主が帰還される。」 ヴァエクトルが硬い声で命じた。入室とともにうち静かに消えいく会話さえ無視し、主が到着した。

「汝ら6人は我らのうち最初に、故郷に辿り着くものだ。」 前置き無く彼の話は始まった。全ての目は主を注視している。

「ただの楽しい里帰りではないことは承知しているとは思うがな。それぞれに使命がある。速やかに遂行せよ。汝らの時間、つまり我らの時間は短い。これも承知の上かとは思うのだが。」 彼は話を終えると、外套をまとった姿へと目をやった。

フードをかぶったその者が手を ― もしそれが手と呼べるのならだが ― あわせると、渦巻く魔力の奔流が引き裂かれた。たちまち光と闇が渦巻き、引き伸ばされながら部屋と部屋にいた存在全てを分かち、影はその姿を現した。








すると……ほんの瞬間、銀色の輝きが、一瞬ではあるが瞬いたのだ。主はそれを視界の隅でしか見ることが出来なかった。魔力の輝きとは思えなかった。「もちろん。」 彼は微笑んだ。「ブラクシオン(Braxyion)。お前は知ったのだな。それは彼らもまた知ったことを意味する。」 彼は一人ごちた。