Eternity is a Long Time Part 1

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The castle rose up high above the surrounding countryside, its gorgeous spires piercing the skies. The stone that had been used in its building caught the caught the rays of the sunset, and the walls seemed to be aglow with pink fire. The clouds that the largest spires caught almost perfectly matched the spires, with a slightly darker pinkish-reddish hue. The view immediately silenced the crew of the airship; they were afforded a fine view from the deck of the craft, a large and powerful sleek ship, proud and beautiful, that cut through the skies at a swift pace. Two masts protruded from the sides of the craft, and formed a wing of canvas on each side. A powerful propeller at the rear of the airship slowed slightly, and the craft lost some speed.



Aboard the ship, the crew, soldiers of the kingdom of Angoral, were moving about doing various things, but even with all the activity, a place on the deck remained silent, unmoving. The left secondary mast, which supported the secondary wings on the port side of the ship, was eerily silent. Leaning casually against it was a young man, calm and quiet, of about 19 years. He was tall, and exceedingly handsome, with icy calm blue-grey eyes, and a black feathered cap, with a single white swan’s feather. At his side was a falchion, and wicked curved blade seemed to radiate fear (the crew obviously avoided him, but if he was not scary enough, the sword alone was). The falchion’s hilt was carved with plain quartz, but added with a ferocious dragon’s head. In his arms, he carried a bow, and across his back was a quiver. His outfit was an inky black cloak that consisted of two zippers, and a chain stretching across the collar. Two tassels were swept by the wind, blowing with the cap’s feather and his white-blonde hair. He surveyed the bustle of activity around him, and then returned his eyes to the horizon. One of his eyebrows arched slightly, and then they his eyes narrowed. Fluently, he drew and arrow to his massive bow, and let the shaft fly. It pierced the rosy sky, screaming like death, and then striking a small dot on the horizon. The small object gave a cry, and the seemingly small creature was carried towards the ship with remarkable speed, tumbling through the sky. It would have smashed into the deck of the craft, had the young warrior not expertly caught it in his arms.



It was a humanoid figure, except with two large wings. Her hair was a dark color, almost black, but not quite, because it seemed almost brown in some light. It was a girl, and her aforementioned hair was a little past the middle of her back. Her eyes, a piercing green, were shocked, and hurt, and she stared at him with a mixture of pain, shock, and anger. He was silent for a moment, and then said, “Aoi.” It was a statement, and all present knew it. She paused, staring at him for another moment, and then nodded. He slowly and carefully set her down on the deck. The crew of soldiers continued to stare at the pair with looks of absolute surprise and bewilderment. The young man then said, “Continue to the castle, Captain.” The captain hesitated, and then nodded to the rest of the crew. He himself only had a few years on the young man, and he knew that it was the best thing to do. Maybe something could be uncovered about this mystery at the castle. “Fine, Luster.” He spoke quietly and matter-of-factly. Luster’s eyebrows arched, and he stared at the captain. Then, “I see that we both know the seriousness of this situation, Emrin…” he began, hesitantly. “Of course. This could mean war.” The crew, who had been making sure to do their work around the center of the deck, let loose an audible, simultaneous gasp, all though for their sake, we will call it a sharp intake of breath, because they’re tough soldiers and they don’t gasp.
As if on cue, a spear protruded from the deck, just inches from Luster’s head. He stared at the Aoi girl, who was probably around 18 years, and then nodded to the crew. They manned the cannons on the sides of the ship, and the remainder drew bows or crossbows and began taking up defensive positions all over the deck. Luster drew his bow, and then questioned, “What’s your name?” the Aoi responded quietly, “Lark.” He nodded, and then drew the shaft that he had pierced her with out of the beautiful feathery wing. Another spear pierced the deck, near the two masts. He dove, and loosed an arrow. It soared through the sky in a perfect arc, and then crashed into one of the warrior Aoi’s wing. The Aoi tumbled out of the sky, and then managed to regain his balance, because he abruptly soared up, even with his wounded wing. With a sigh, Luster put another arrow through the same wing. The Aoi crashed into the deck, but hadn’t been too high up, and so only knocked himself unconscious.



Luster sprinted out from behind the mast, and rolled and shot a single arrow into the formation of Aois that had been speeding towards them in a phalanx formation. While on the ground, the phalanx was extremely efficient for slow and steady defense of offense, in the air it was a piece of death, cutting the air and smoothly causing fear in the enemy. Luster, however, fired an arrow at the oncoming ranks. It shot towards the main approach, and then exploded. The first rank of Aois simply dropped out of the sky, crashing into the deck, or missing it, and shooting towards the earth below like small meteors. They slowly recovered, because the arrow hadn’t been fatal, just enough to badly stun. But it was all in vain, because at that moment, the airship’s sizeable crew had drawn pikes out of somewhere and pinned the unfortunate Aois to the wooden planks. Lark rose, and, with some disdain, walked over to a groaning Aoi. He was dressed in some red armor, which was a sharp contrast to the rest of the group’s which was midnight blue. “So, Commander…” she began, kneeling next to the unfortunate, “why did you have us seem so hostile? As far as I knew, our mission was to scout the area to see if there were any dark elves or other creatures that we are at war with.” He scowled, and then drew his blade. “Traitor.” He murmured, and then lunged with the blade. Lark was completely taken by surprise, but, fortunately, Luster wasn’t.
Fluently drawing his bowstring, he loosed an arrow even before the commander knew what had hit him. The blade, which the commander had deemed to slay the young Aoi, simply scratched a small streak in her armor. He never had enough time to truly put any force into it, as an arrow was protruding from his neck. It was very lightly armored, and was thus no match for a shaft or bow of that size at any range, but at the 7 or so meters that Luster had shot from, there was no way to live. Lark stared at the corpse for a moment, and then it vaporized into a million tiny sparkles, which were a glorious red, before being blown away in the wind. The rest of the Aois surrendered… a cool wind blew, and the castle rose gloriously upward. Emrin quickly had the remaining Aois tied and taken to the sides of the ship. Luster told him that it would not be necessary to tie Lark. Amused, Emrin told him that this was just fine and that it could definitely work. He smiled a know-it-all smile at him. Luster sighed and shoved him playfully, showing the true nature of their friendship. Then, the airship began its descent. The princess and her elite dark knight brother and his entourage were there to greet them. The Aois are proving to be quite a surprise...





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