Part 9: Byuu's Journal: Fourth Entry12th day, 4th month, 2 years after the fall of Kahna
After recovering from our battle with Zomberd's forces and gathering our forces back together, we found that the path north was more than a little bit dangerous. Matelite charged ahead heedless of the surroundings, but everyone else was a bit more reserved.
Even though we were reluctant, the battlefield salesman encouraged us to move forward. I suspect that he was anticipating the chance to sell us more weapons and armor, but it was the thought that counted.
I hadn't realized Sendak was sensitive enough to detect a Holy Dragon by presence alone. I had to wonder, though... given that the dragon was so close to civilization, why had Sauzer waited two years to bring Yoyo here?
Matelite dismissed any concern about what Sauzer might be up to. I think that his obsessions have caused more trouble for us than anything else.
Somehow the salesman had found a new supply of goods, although we could barely afford any of them.
I don't know what goes through Bikkebakke's head sometimes. Why would anyone want to be a mushroom farmer?
The dragons were clamoring for food, so I moved on to them next. I felt a bit bad about feeding these to Clyde, but he seemed interested in them...
Even after that he still had enough of an appetite to eat a few long swords. If it weren't for all the captured materiel from enemies Clyde alone would be eating us out of house and home.
Inky helped himself to a drawer thing as well as a few assorted weapons. He's finally beginning to warm up to people, although not very much.
Pinky underwent a dramatic growth spurt, and I think he's looking rather.. colorful. I almost think he looks like a tropical griffon.
After the trouble Sue got into in the last battle, I felt that an extra ration of food might do her some good. She's certainly looking better, and I expect that she can probably hold her own better in a fight.
The biggest change was probably in Flammie. He's become very... solid, and kind of scary. Although I treat him the same as always, I can't help but feel that I preferred him as he was. I'm hoping this is just a phase..
As I finished feeding the dragons Taicho and Matelite ran back crying out for help. The dangers of the swamp had been too much for them.
The swamps were filled with moving plants, vicious birds, and some kind of bat creature. I thought that I could see why Sauzer hadn't brought any troops... and then immediately thought that maybe he had, and they'd been left here with the monsters.
Far off in the distance we could see the hulking form of a dragon rising against the trees. I can't imagine how something like this remained relatively secret, even as dangerous as the swamp was.
It wasn't so much a battle as it was a seemingly endless hell march interrupted by occasional monster attacks. We used fire and our swords to force our way through.
A few flights of vampire bats troubled Inky, and I had to give some respect to their mad courage attacking a dragon several times their size.
The walking plants, which Sendak said were called Triphids, were very aggressive but couldn't do much harm to Pinky.
Lightning, needless to say, was also effective.
The confines of the swamp were so narrow that at some points the dragons couldn't help but come to rest in the poisonous waters.
I can't understand why some of them were sitting in the midst of raging infernos, but they didn't seem to take any permanent harm from it.
The chimera was the most formidable monster in the forest, with some truly incredible fire breath.
Eventually myself, Rush, Truce, and Bikkebakke had to finish it off ourselves. Thankfully the dragons had been able to severely weaken it before then.
A larger variant of the triphid still remained to bar our path, and wasn't above sucking the life from our dragons to keep itself living. Regardless, it wasn't long for this world when no other monsters remained to distract us.
As we approached the dragon, we finally caught sight of the person we'd been looking for the entire time. Sauzer, Yoyo, and the Emperor's general Palpaleos were standing before the silent hulk of the dragon.
As usual, Lukia summed up the situation neatly.
Apparently Sendak and I had been having the same thoughts. Sauzer was the undisputed ruler of Orelus... he had no need to legitimize his rule by a trick like marrying the princess of one of the kingdoms he'd conquered.
The only possible reason for Sauzer to have taken Yoyo was to exploit the ability of Kahna's royal line.
I think Matelite might have crossed a line when he said that he didn't want to hear anymore rambling. The line being between justified haste and being a huge ass, I'd say.
Sendak was actually thinking of the big picture, and the implications were troubling. It really seemed like Sauzer's actions were inexplicable.
By the time I caught up with the rest, everyone but Lukia had nearly been destroyed. I don't know how Lukia managed to escape, but knowing her I'm not terribly surprised.
Sauzer took exception to Matelite suggesting that Yoyo was a hostage, claiming that she remained with them of her own free will. I don't know what to think of that. Yoyo isn't the kind of person who could manage an escape on her own, and I somehow doubt that if she had asked to be let go they would have let her.
Still, she didn't run when the guards let her go and Sauzer simply asked for her help.
When Palpaleos mentioned a promise, I couldn't help but think that there might be some truth to Sauzer's story. Can it be that Yoyo gave in and was cooperating with Sauzer's plans?
I'm not sure if I agree with Matelite's words, since I don't know how talking to a dragon would be forgetting the spirit of the Kahnan royal family. On the other hand, his words somehow had an impact...
Yoyo was able to refuse Sauzer's demands after hearing Matelite's words.
To say that he didn't take it well would be a huge understatement.
After making a proclamation that he could become the "man of legend" Sauzer tried to destroy Yoyo with the same power that had destroyed her father. It's chilling, but I suspect that Sauzer could be completely insane.
Only Palpaleos' intervention gave us a chance, although it was a slim one. I was able to put myself between the Emperor and Yoyo, while Matelite, Taicho, and Sendak stumbled to their feet to stand alongside me.
Unfortunately I was the only person able to do even a bit of damage to Sauzer, and with each one of his blows another one of us fell.
The last thing I remember seeing is a bright light, and the outline of a dragon unlike any that I have ever seen before.
According to Lukia the Emperor gasped a few phrases about the power of the holy dragons and then collapsed in front of Yoyo and the dragon.
Lukia pulled me to my feet and pushed me toward Yoyo, despite the fact that Palpaleos was still between the two of us.
After Sauzer's barely contained insanity, Palpaleos was certainly more pleasant to deal with.. although evidently he and Yoyo had discussed me at length. I wasn't sure how to feel about that. He told me to take care of Yoyo and left with Sauzer on the back of a dragon.
Just then there was another bright flash of light, and suddenly I felt as though the beating that Sauzer had administered had never happened. Immediately afterward Yoyo collapsed, and we all feared for the worst.
Fortunately we were wrong.