Crisis

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic

Chapter 7 (v.1) - The Silver Mountains

Submitted: June 10, 2014

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Submitted: June 10, 2014

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Theme Of The Western Continent: Captivated By The Journey - by Motoi Sakuraba

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~~~The Western Continent Arc~~~

 

 

The Silver Mountains:

The Silver Mountains.jpg

(The Silver Mountains - A series of Mountains that run from the Western Edge of the Continent, to its Eastern Edge. With an Elevation of 35,000 Feet, it occupies roughly 500,000 Square Miles of Land. The highest point is Mt. Andes. It is home to hundreds of small Farming Villages and Communities, as well as a rich and diverse Ecosystem. Depicted above is a passage known as The Satus Pass, which was used many years before by the Pioneers that first arrived to the Continent long ago. In more recent Crisis History, it was used as a Natural Defense for the Diamond Republic's Capital City during the Great War. The Fortress Of Silver was erected upon the Summit of the Andes, and was critical in keeping an eye to the North to help the Troops fend off Eastern Invaders.)

Lance—

It has been about a day since we left Diamond City, and we had already ventured into the Mountains themselves. The Journey began just as I imagined it would be: Long, Perilous, and worst of all, incredibly boring.

“I’m hungry,” Millicent complained as we walked down a grassy path.

“I know,” I said.

“I’m bored,” she sighed.

“I am too.”

“Tell a funny joke, Lance,” Trinity ordered as she wiped her brow.

I sighed.

“A Priest, a Rabbi, and a Minister walk into a bar. The bartender looks up and says, ‘What? Is this some kinda joke?’”

There was a pause.

“That wasn’t funny,” Trinity complained.

“Hey, can you do better?” I challenged.

 “Oh!” Millicent exclaimed. “I’ve got a joke!”

“And I’m desperate enough to believe you,” Trinity sighed.

“Okay, why aren’t blondes good cattle herders?” Millicent asked.

“Uh, because they’re stupid,” asked Trinity. “I give, what is it?”

“Because they can’t keep two calves together!” Millicent yelled. “Ba-Dum-Splash!”

I paused.

“I don’t get it,” I said.

“You’re so dumb,” Trinity sighed.

“Okay, tell another one,” I said to Millicent.

“Alright, ummmm…oh, here’s another one! So, what’s the fastest way to a man’s heart?” she asked.

“Sex?” Trinity said aloud without even thinking

“What?!” I gasped.

“Not sex, but through his chest with a sharp knife!” Millicent delivered. "Get it?"

There was another pause.

“Millicent, that’s just plain dark," Trinity admitted.

“Yeah, that one isn’t really funny,” Millicent admitted. “But this next one is really funny: Okay, so, why are guys so obsessed with virgins?”

“There are plenty of reasons that I can think of,” said Trinity. “But why?”

“Because they can’t stand criticism!”

“Ha, that’s the truth!” Trinity agreed. "Haven't heard that one before!

"That was a low blow," Hunter and I murmured together.

Soon afterwards, we came upon a small clearing that provided enough space for us to settle down and rest.

“Man, my feet are killin’ me,” Hunter complained. “Let’s take a break!”

“Alright,” I sighed.

I sat down on a vacant rock and rested my sword down, massaging my shoulders as I did so. Next thing I knew, I felt a pair of hands stroking my upper back.

“You are totally tense,” said Millicent.

“Ah?! Millicent what're you...wait a minute, ohhhhhh that feels good,” I moaned. “Wait, up, up; oh yeah, that’s the spot. Where does a girl like you get magic hands like these?"

"From lots of places!" she giggled. "You probably wouldn't wanna know though."

"Now that I think about it, you're right. Anyways, keep this wonderful massage going as long as you can—

“Millicent!” Trinity screeched. “I’ll give him a massage, you go find firewood!”

“Hey,” she exclaimed. “I’m Certified in Massage Therapy, are you?! Why don't you get the firewood?!"

"As a matter of fact, I am Certified!” Trinity yelled.

“I don’t remember you being no Massage Therapist,” said Hunter. "If so, then my Massage Monday's idea for the Bar would've become a reality—

“Hunter, not helping,” Trinity hissed. “Get your greasy palms off of him!"

“Greasy?! I am very hygienic, thank you very much!

“Oh, if by 'hygienic' you mean spending your days rubbing yourself against random, dirty strangers; then hey, I’m the god damn Tooth Fairy!”

“That was so mean, Trinity!” Millicent yelled.

“Hey, will you girls stop?” I asked. “This is only day two! I don't have the patience to listen to you bicker over the silliest of things! We have a lot of ground to cover, and it's gonna be a long trip! So cut it out!”

They both sighed.

“Sorry, Millicent,” Trinity grumbled. “I shouldn’t have said that to you.”

“Apology accepted,” said Millicent brightly. “Now, I’m gonna go see if I can find something to eat—be right back!”

As Millicent went running off and out of sight between thick leaves and heavy foliage, I folded my arms and looked at Trinity.

“What?” she asked simply.

“Could you try not being so mean to her?” I asked.

“Oh, I get it, so she can keep rubbing her hands all over you?!” she exclaimed. "Horny son of a bitch!"

“The hell is with you two?!” Hunter yelled. “Fighting over that little punk like two teenagers, what’s wrong with yall?!”

“I’m just saying that I was here first, and Millicent needs to back off,” Trinity argued. “That bubbly, annoying, talkative, pink haired little—

“Eeeeeeeeeeeek!!!!”

The three of us jumped up to our feet.

“The hell was that?” Hunter roared.

“It was Millicent!” I yelled.

I picked up my sword and ran in the direction I saw her head off in. Shouldering my way through the thick vines, I could hear Hunter and Trinity shuffling through the heavy plant life behind of me.

We reached another clearing, and saw Millicent trapped in the top part of a Leecher’s head.

“It's a god damn Leecher!” Hunter yelled.

Leecher.png

(Leecher)

A Leecher is a large, Carnivorous plant that consumed its prey by trapping them in the Cage of Vines on the top of its head. From there, it would repeatedly release Toxic Spores in order to kill its prey before sucking it into its lower, round stomach, and digest the body there.

The Spores were potent enough to kill a full grown man if inhaled in large amounts.

“Millicent!” I yelled.

“Lance!” she screamed. “Help!”

“How did it catch you?!" Trinity asked

“I saw some yummy looking berries and went to pick them up, and then, next thing I know, this thing has me trapped!  It smells kinda funny in here—

“Millicent, don’t inhale the Spores,” I warned.

“You know, I kind of have to breathe still,” she said smartly.

“Trust me, girl,” said Hunter. “Hold your breath as long as possible; you do not want those Spores in your lungs.”

“We’ll have you out of there in no time,” I said as I drew my Sword. “Just hold tight.”

The Leecher extended its Spiky Vines at us, eager to trap and capture more prey. I side-stepped its attack and brought my Sword down on one of the Vines, severing it from the Leechers main body. The plant could make no sound, but judging by the way it was flailing around its remaining Vines, it was pissed. It opened it mouth and upchucked a ball of green goo. It shattered upon impact of the ground, and an Acid like liquid splashed about.

Because there were so many droplets flying about like rain drops, we could do nothing to avoid the attack, and were sprayed with the Acidic substance that singed our skin on contact.

“Shit!” yelled Hunter. “This stuff stings!”

“Guys,” Millicent muttered as her head started getting droopy. “I don’t feel so good.”

Trinity leapt into the air and landed on top of the Leecher. She then grabbed the Vines that acted as a sort of Prison Cage to trap Millicent and tore at them with all her strength. She ripped the Prison Vines easily, but just as she was about to save Millicent, the Leecher wrapped one of its Spiky Arm Vines around Trinity’s legs and flung her against a tree.

“Trin!” I yelled.

I jumped up and caught her as the Leecher swung it’s Vines around in anger once again. The Prison Vines grew back twice as thick on its head, cutting off Millicent’s chance of escape. However, even if they weren’t there, Millicent was growing weaker by the second. If the thing managed to knock her out and trap her inside of its stomach, she’d die.

“Screw this!” yelled Hunter as he took out his pistol. “I’m shooting the son of a bitch!”

"Hunter, don't!" I warned. "You might hit Millicent!"

"I aint got no time for this, 'Play it safe,' bullshit!" he roared

Hunter then fired five bullets into the Leechers stomach, sending its green, gastric, stomach juices streaming out like a faucet. It responded to Hunter my bringing one of its Arm Vines down on top of him and flattening his body on the ground.

By now, the creature had become so fed up with us that flailed its arms around one more time before hopping away through the thick leaves.

“Hey!” yelled Trinity. “It’s getting away!”

“Millicent,” I screamed as I followed the drops of green liquid on the grass.

However, as I pulled back a large, broad leaf to expose the path the Leecher took, the trail we were following suddenly stopped, leaving us completely stumped…

***

“Where would it take her? asked Trinity.

“I dunno,” I said as I frantically searched for the trail again.

“The Crystal Cavern!” yelled Hunter. “I heard that’s where Leechers like to hide out sometimes.”

“It’s a shot in the dark,” I said. “But it’s all we have to go on, let’s go!”

I ran down the path as fast as I could, but stopped when I heard Trinity yell out.

“Lance, wait! The Crystal Cavern is this way!” she yelled.

“Oh, right,” I said as I turned around and followed her.

We sprinted as fast as we could through the mountains towards the famous Crystal Cavern. Crystal Cavern was a Cave of Naturally Forming Crystals that was heralded as one of the Natural Wonders Of Crisis. However, given the danger of the Silver Mountains, people often could not see them in person.

crystal_cave_by_nerkin-d7g3jwa.jpg

(The Crystal Cavern)

In as little as five minutes we arrived at the Crystal Cavern, and we were shocked at what we saw. Leechers, at least fifty of them, plopped down and taking up roots in the stone.

“Oh my God,” Trinity whispered. “There’s so many of them.”

“Just keep quiet,” I said as I crouched down.

“Anybody know a Fire Spell?” asked Hunter. “Plant-Type Monsters are weak against Fire.”

“No,” I said. "Well, my Fire-Magic isn't very strong, at least. I can give out some badass tans though."

“Oh yeah, I remember now!” Trinity squeaked loudly.

“Trinity,” Hunter and I hissed, because she was being a little too loud.

“Back when we fought Stross, he dropped this,” she said as she dug into her pocket. She then produced a Red Crystal and held it in her palm.

“That casts Fire right?” asked Hunter.

“I think so,” Trinity whispered.

“But we can’t cast Fire until we save Millicent,” I pointed out. “She could get hurt if we use Offensive Magic on them.”

“Oh wait,” exclaimed Hunter. “Look, is that her?”

“Where?” Trinity asked.

“I see her,” I said. “Right there.”

Millicent was in the Leecher that was in the center of the herd, curled up into a ball, and trying not to fall asleep.

“Oh no,” Trinity whispered.

“Alright, here’s what’s gonna happen,” I said. “I’m gonna go in there, get the jump on it, and get Millicent out. Now, doing that is probably gonna get them all really pissed off, so, Trinity, I’m gonna need you to use that Red Crystal to cast Fire. You do know how to use Magic, right?”

“I mean, I sort of casted a Spell before,” Trinity said meekly. “But it was an accident.”

“Okay, here, for Artificial Magic Casters, you squeeze them, and think about something that's related to the Element. So in this case, you'd wanna think hot thoughts. Well, not in that way; but like, things that, you know, makes you feel all hot. Erm, I mean, as in something that reminds you of a raging Fire that makes you sweat so much that you just wanna take off all your clothes. Ah, I’m sorry, I'm terrible at this."

“For crying out loud, Lance, I get it! Quit overthinking things!" said Trinity.

“What do I do?” asked Hunter.

“Whatever Trin can’t hit with Fire, you shoot them,” I said.

“Alright, and hey,” Trinity added. “Be careful.”

I nodded before cautiously tip-toeing into the Cave, listening to the Leechers creek and groan as their roots fought furiously to burrow through stone.

“Millicent,” I whispered. “Millicent,” I said again.

“Lance,” she moaned. “Is that you?”

“I’m getting you out of here, hold tight.”

In one swift movement, I sliced open the Trap Vines with a single swing of my Sword. This immediately set all of the Leechers off, and they started swinging about their Arm Vines looking for me.

I hastily cradled Millicent in my arms and made a run for the Cave exit, angry Leechers hot on my tail.

“Trin, now!” I screamed.

She squeezed the Crystal and Casted Fire at the Leechers while Hunter fired random shoots into the fray.

“Die, motherfuckers!” Hunter yelled.

“You got ‘em,” I yelled. “Now let’s go!”

 Trinity and Hunter then turned around and followed me back into the heavy forest…

***

Millicent still didn’t wake up even after a couple hours. I rested her body down in front of the fire we built and watched over her.

“She won’t wake up,” I murmured.

“She must have inhaled too many Spores,” Hunter said. “I told that damn girl not to breathe them in!”

“Well, what’s done is done,” said Trinity. “I’m gonna go see if I can find some plants to make tea to help her.”

“Okay,” I said. “And be careful, we don’t want you getting trapped by a Leecher too.”

Trinity got to her feet and ran off into the forest.

“How much further till we pass through these damn mountains?” Hunter asked me. “I’m sick and tired of all these killer plants and shit!”

“We’ve still got at least two and a half days of walking,” I answered.

Hunter groaned as he pulled out a pack of cigarettes.

“God damn Mountains,” he complained.

“Since when did you smoke?” I asked.

“Man, you don’t know me!” Hunter yelled.

“Hunter, it was just a question. Just trying to make conversation.”

He paused.

“Oh, sorry man,” said Hunter as he lit the edge. “Anyways, I used to smoke a lot during my days in the Military, but I quit when Ariana and I got married. Dick gave me a pack of good luck Smokes before we left so I figured, why the hell not?”

“Oh,” I said.

“What about you? You ever smoke?” Hunter asked.

“No,” I replied. “That shit will kill you.”

“I don’t wanna hear that shit!” Hunter exclaimed.

“I’m back,” Trinity declared as she came back with a handful of dark green leaves.

“You find anything?”

“Here,” said Trinity as she placed the leaves down in front of me. “These are the leaves of the Jasmine Plant, known to heal the ailments caused by Leecher Spores…that, or it’s the Jade Plant, a distant cousin to the Jasmine Plant, but if consumed, causes Silver Fever.”

“What the, how in the hell can you tell the differene then?” asked Hunter.

“Well, it’s supposed to be something about how the ridges of the leaves are formed. I heard that it's a very subtle difference—

“Why take the risk?” I asked.

“The Jasmine Plant is the only Plant that is able to Cure Leecher Spores, and Millicent will die if she doesn’t get the tea. Look, I’ll drink the first brew to see if it’s the right Plant—

“Are you nuts?!” I exclaimed. “If you get Silver Fever, you'll die—

“I have to take the risk, for Millicent’s sake,” said Trinity. “It’s my fault, I shouldn’t have been so rude to her and pushed her away like that.”

“Trin,” I began.

“I’m making the tea,” said Trinity defiantly.

***

I set up a fire to cook some small cans of food we brought with us.

“Hey, Lance,” Trinity said, her back faced to me. “Remember the tea I told you I was going to make?”

“Yeah,” I said slowly.

She turned around to face me and showed me her puffy, red eyes and silver radiated face.

“It was the Jade Plant,” she said.

“Jesus Christ!” I yelled.

“The Fever will spread all the way from my stomach, to my heart, and then to my brain. When that happens, I will die.”

“Oh my God,” I exclaimed. “We need a doctor—

“The nearest doctor is two days away,” Trinity sniffled. “But look,” she then said as she produced a bunch of purple berries. “These are Mantra Berries,” Trinity explained. “Which are known to counter the effects of the Jade Plant and cure Silver Fever…that or it’s the Trine Berries, which liquefies your insides when consumed—

“Trinity,” I yelled as I smacked them out of her hands. “Stop eating these strange plants!”

“Lance, I have to find both berries to cure my Silver Fever, and tea to cure Millicent’s Leecher Poisoning,” Trinity sniffled.

“But you’re gonna get yourself killed if you keep this up!” I yelled.

“Oh, Lance, if everyone died because they ate a bunch of strange plants, there would be a lot of dead people!”

“There are a lot of dead people who died from eating strange plants,” I pointed out.

“Oh yeah, that’s right,” she sighed. “Anyways, bottoms up.”

She tilted her head back and tossed a handful of the berries into her mouth. Trinity chewed them up, shivered a bit, and swallowed them.

“I really hope it doesn’t liquefy your insides,” I said.

“I am 75% confident that it’s the right berries,” said Trinity as she leaned back and closed her eyes. “I’d snuggle with you, but Silver Fever is incredibly contagious,” she sighed.

“Ah, that's too bad,” I said. “So what do we do now?”

“Well,” Trinity said. “I have to go find more leaves for Millicent’s tea and—

“Hey, yall!” Hunter yelled out suddenly. “Millicent is waking up!”

I got to my feet, turned around, and ran in her direction. As I got to her, I kneeled down.

“Hey, Millicent,” I said as she opened her eyes. “You alright?”

“My head feels a little a funny,” she mumbled. “But I think I’m fine.”

“Good, that’s good,” I sighed. “I’m glad—

“Still dying of Silver Fever over here,” Trinity said…

***

Despite the girls’ injuries, we were able to get to traveling by the next day. It turns out the berries Trinity ate were indeed able to help cure her Silver Fever, but she was still a bit weak. For the next two days, we continued through the Silver Mountains, traveling through the high cliffs and low caves.

After another two days of traveling, we finally arrived to the final stretch to Mythril Town.

“Finally,” Trinity sighed. “We’re almost there.”

Millicent took a deep breath before exhaling.

“I think my head is finally starting to clear of those Leecher Spores,” she said. “And look,” she exclaimed as she pointed at a tree that had a red liquid trickling down the trunk. “Ketchup!”

“I know what that is!” Trinity exclaimed. “It’s Red Sap. When the Pioneers set out to build the Colonies many years ago, they ate that sap and would be full for days from just a mouthful. No wait, or was it Blue Sap that did that, and Red Sap is the stuff that causes infertility—

“We’re not eating it,” I said. “We can stop for food in Mythril Town and—

As I was talking, from amongst the trees came a covered up woman armed with a Sword. She gripped the handle of her Katana and readied herself for battle.

“Alright, you have one shot at this,” said the Female Ninja. “Gimme all the Credits you have, or I’ll kill you where you stand!”

“Oh man,” Millicent sighed.

“It’s four on one girl,” said Hunter as he whipped out his Pistol. “Just back off—

She gripped her blade tighter and charged at us, throwing all words we could’ve used to talk out way out of the situation out of the window.

Hunter fired his Pistol three times, but each bullet was skillfully deflected by the swings of her Sword. She leapt into the air, twirling as she did so, and landed back on the ground right next to me. I drew my own Sword and clashed blades with her.

While distracted with me, Trinity took the opportunity to throw a punch at her, but she was able to backflip to evade the blow. Millicent casted an Ice Spell at the Ninja, but she cartwheeled out of the way.

More gunshots from Hunter followed, but with her incredible Dexterity, she was able to cartwheel and flip her way away from danger. I dashed forward and clashed blades with her repeatedly, our Swords creating sparks that danced and bounced off of the grass.

“You’re pretty good,” she complimented as our Swords connected and grinded against one another.

“You’re not half bad either,” I said honestly.

She redirected my next strike and leapt back up into the air, throwing Shuriken at me. Millicent spun around in front of me and casted Barrier to protect me from the spiky projectiles. Trinity then rushed forward and managed to connect a punch to her jaw, a punch that sent her flying backwards like a top before hitting the ground.

Though I didn’t want to kill this young woman, I had no other choice but to end her. I rushed forward, my Sword held above my head, prepared to finish her, but she held out her hands in defeat.

“Wait, wait,” she pleaded as she removed the mask from her face. “Please—

I stopped where I stood, hesitating. Despite my profession, I wasn’t a cold blooded murderer; a young woman surrendering isn’t one I was willing to kill.

“Why should we spare you?” asked Millicent. “You were going to kill us and take everything we had!”

“Yeah, you Ninjas are all the same,” Trinity criticized.

“Listen, I know it was, well, not-nice, but I just needed—

“Man, I ought to shoot yo ass!” Hunter yelled. “Lance, kill her already!”

“No,” I said as I lowered my Sword. “She surrendered, we don’t have to kill her.”

“I’ll kill her then,” said Trinity as she stepped forward.

“Please,” the Ninja pleaded. “It can’t end this way!”

“Should have thought about that before you tried to rob us,” said Millicent.

“Trin, Millicent,” I said. “There’s no need, let’s just leave her.”

Trinity and Millicent exchanged exasperated looked before straightening up and following me down the path. We were a good ways down the road before we suddenly heard the Ninja yell, “I bet you couldn’t take me one-on-one!”

We stopped and turned around and saw her running to catch up with us.

“What?” I asked.

“That’s right, a rematch, just you and me, spiky!” she challenged as she started punching at thin air, bouncing about as she did so.

“Is this little girl serious?” asked Millicent.

“Little girl?” the Ninja exclaimed. “I have a name! I’m the Great Amberlin, Amberlin Stealth! Scourge of Empires, Snatcher of Purses, Taker of Wallets, Seducer of Men! And don’t you forget it!

(Amberlin Stealth)

“Wow,” Trinity sighed. "You're an idiot."

“Come on, spiky, let’s go another round!” Amberlin yelled. I didn’t move, but continued looking at her. “What?” she asked suddenly. “You’re dead scared me aren’t you?! Or is it because I’m too hot for you to fight?”

I looked at everyone else and nodded before turning around and continue to walk.

“Hey!” Amberlin yelled. “Don’t leave!”

“Just leave us alone,” Trinity scoffed.

“That’s it,” said Amberlin. “I guess I’ve gotta tag along with you guys then!”

“What?!” Hunter exclaimed.

“Yeah, you guys look like you’re going on an adventure, it seems like fun!” Amberlin exclaimed.

“Like we’ll let you join us!” yelled Millicent.

“Well,” I sighed. “She could be useful,” I admitted.

“Lance,” Trinity hissed.

“You can come with us,” I said. “But try to rob us again and you’re out.”

“No problem,” said Amberlin. “Now that I get a closer look at you, you’re kinda cute!”

"Uh, thanks?” I sighed.

“I know a hot babe like me is hard to resist, so I won’t go easy on you, I like playing hard to get!” she boasted. "Nyuk-nyuk-nyuk!"

“You never tell a guy you’re gonna play hard to get,” said Millicent. “Let’s just get going.”

We all resumed walking again, leaving Amberlin behind.

“Hey!” she yelled as she ran after us. “I still don’t know your names yet! Well, anyways, it's nice to meet'cha!”


© Copyright 2018 S.R.B. Gray. All rights reserved.

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