“Oh? Lady Stephanie! You’re becoming quite the regular visitor to the temple”
Said Jenna as she closed the door behind her on seeing the chief’s daughter praying in the center hall surrounded by her guards.
Looking around for who called, her eyes widen with recognition when she sees the AGU guardian. Brushing her platinum hair out of her face, she shooed her guards away with a gesture, who then proceeded to position themselves at the edges and doorways of the hall.
“AGU Jenna, it is most pleasing to see the face of the new hero of Serida.”
“Thank you but I’m just doing the job that had to be done. I noticed you’ve been coming to the temple a lot more recently.”
True enough lady Stephanie, the only daughter of the chief of Serida had been coming fairly regularly to the temple since the witch’s attack. She couldn’t blame her if she had certain complexes concerning the event. She was almost killed personally by the witch herself.
Staring at the Lady Stephanie, Jenna noticed that she seemed very stressed. Besides the obvious bags under her normally bright blue eyes, her hands bore quite a few scars the most prominent being a dark one in the middle of her right palm. What had she been doing to herself?
“Are things alright with you Lady Stephanie?”
She said as she quickly hid her hands in her dress. The young girl’s action perplexed the AGU warrior. Looking around cautiously the platinum haired girl asked.
“Where is the Elder? I have been coming to the temple for several weeks now and I have barely even gotten a glimpse of him.”
“Ahhh yes, He tends to be very busy in the inner chambers. Most Temple duties are held by brother Markus.”
Lady Stephanie let’s out an embarrassed sigh. Folding her arms Jenna couldn’t help but wonder what she wanted to consult with Elder Amerin that no one else could handle, though internally rolling her eyes at the thought of him doing any proper counselling.
“Just call me Steph. It’s easier isn’t it?”
“I guess so. Steph is there anything I could help you with?”
“Yes there is actually.”
Stephanie said as her face brightens up unconsciously brushing her hair away.
“You can help me meet the Elder. Ever since our town was attacked and I was almost killed, I been feeling the need to do something, be something more than what I am now.”
Raising her head to look directly at Jenna, her eyes sparkling with a quiet determination.
“I want to be an AGU like you.”
Meanwhile quite a fair distance away, Gaxis Mur the foreign AGU grumbled as he made his way into a damp, dark pathway several meters below ground.
“I admit that I did say that I am in need of power… But what exactly am I supposed to be encountering here?”
Adora’s voice echoed off and through the walls as he made his way through the large chamber that was dimly lit via glowing crystals that jutted out haphazardly. Being one with the entirety of the lair it wasn’t necessary for her to possess a physical form within it. She had only retained it in the upper levels due to Gax’s numerous complaints.
“The witch Y though not weak by any means was more into the transforming and merging of lifeforms into something different. The Duo that you fought W and P were not only trained but also had their bodies altered by her… Her prodigies so to say.”
“But you were also created or altered by her…”
Gax noted as he traced his hand along the rough wall of the underground pathway he was being led through.
“She considered me part of the furnishings… nothing more.”
Sensing the bitterness in her statement, Gax decided not to continue on that topic as he reached a massive doorway marked with various inscriptions. AGU or not, being buried underground wasn’t something he was eager to experience any time soon.
“Urck! ack…As I asked before Adora, where are you taking me?”
Gax asked as the massive door opened up releasing a putrid gas all around the chamber that caused him to gag.
“The completed failures. Those whose wills she couldn’t bend or didn’t interest her were locked here to die.”
Gax sighed as he entered the new chamber which slowly lit up to reveal an empty room with a large crater filled with pink, purplish goop in its center.
Kneeling by the foul smelling puddle, Gax brought out a small knife from his pocket. Intending to scoop out a small sample he slowly moved to dip the blade into the puddle but was stopped when a rocky hand stops him.
“Please don’t do that master. It’ll only anger him. It’s near impossible to talk to him when he’s mad.”
“Wait…Him? What do you mean…? Oh.”
Gax gasps as the gelatinous goop began to twist and shape itself into the form of a massive ten foot humanoid towering over Him and the pile of rocks which were assembling into Adora’s shape who made a bow.
“Hello Andros, meet our new master Gaxis Mur. Be polite now.”
Andros lets out a puzzled expression as bubbles form and burst on its skin.
“No. I cannot allow it. ”
Elder Amerin stated as he sat writing on his desk in the inner chamber of the temple. In front of him was the young Lady Stephanie who stood shocked and annoyed with a confused Jenna who simply had her hands on her hips.
Stephanie cried out, her platinum hair now having a greenish tinge under the chamber’s emerald light.
“You’re the only daughter of the chief of this community. You have your own responsibilities to the people to lay a good example for them.”
“What example?!! I’m just a walking puppet! Everyone’s always making decisions for me. But when we were attacked they either fled or died. The only reason I am alive right now is that a strange AGU saved me. And no one knows where he is now.”
The elder stared at her during her outburst and slowly shook his head.
“Even so, I cannot answer your request. I am quite aware of your recent aptitude in magic, but it is obvious you are pushing yourself too hard. Return home, be a good child to your parents.”
Stephanie silently glares at the elder, tears streaming down her face as she turns around and stormed out of the chamber.
Sighing loudly Jenna shrugged as she took a look at the elder.
“Was that the right thing to do?”
In response to the question asked, Amerin placed his head in his hands as he considered what had just happened.
“Like you it seems she is a prime AGU material especially with her affinity for white magic… But It cannot be so. Her father would never forgive me if I made his only child into an AGU.”
He sighed loudly as he looked up at the ceiling.
“She is right though. We have spent far too long not knowing who or what that strange AGU is up to. Jenna, you are going on a hunt.”
“Oh… I see now.”
The goo like creature referred to as Andros sighed loudly as it heard the story that Gax and Adora had told.
“So, that witch is dead, and you’re the new master of this lair. And you need my help to protect a town named Serida while you research means of increasing your powers in order to fight a deity that’s after you? And what do I gain from doing this?”
It said as it eyed Gax coldly.
“A relative amount of freedom and a shell to contain your body.”
“Hmmmm? Freedom? A shell?”
Transforming into his AGU form, Gax shows the creature his palm. Immediately a small ball begins to form changing shape between a table, ring, mask and back to being a ball.
“My AGU form has to a certain extent the power of creation, meaning I could make a container for your body that would allow you to leave this place. As long as you promise to protect the town of Serida from all harm, you will get a frame and freedom to do as you wish.”
“How generous…Extremely tempting in fact. However, I am not the only entity chained in this depths…”
Its gooey body points to an adjoining wall.
“If you can convince my cell mate… that individual that howls every night of your intentions, I’ll do whatever you ask.”
“Cellmate? I see…”
Gax murmured noticing the looks exchanged by the two artificial creatures. Adora’s quick grimace and Andros pleading expression.
As she sighed loudly, with the merest of gestures in a nearby wall a hole is created quickly forming itself into a doorway.
“This way master Gax.”
Making his way towards the newly constructed doorway, Gax was about to enter when his eyes widened and his body froze in shock. Sweat beaded on his brow as his insides began to churn. In a dimly lit corner of a dirty, blood stained room sat a figure that was chained head to toe.
Adora reaches out to him but he doesn’t respond, just staring at the bound figure.
For a brief moment he no longer saw anything but himself in the dim dungeon. Burnt, scarred and broken he had dangled from large heavy chains on nights when ‘she’ was displeased.
“Unchain it immediately.”
“Are you sure master?”
Adora asked with her brows furrowed as she watched her master Staggering away from the door and sitting on the floor with his head in his hands. Catching his breath, Gax simply nods.
However, as soon as Adora releases the lock, she is hit by a massive scaled fist that shatters her to pieces.
In a blur Gax is knocked off his sitting position onto his backside. Looking up at his attacker, Gax could only see a crazed set of bloodshot eyes under a mass of dirty scraggly hair.
It says as its hands shift into claws and it leapt at Gax.