Part 16: Byuu's Journal: Entry Eight22rd day, 4th month, 2 years since the fall of Kahna
The last few days have been simultaneously eventful and uneventful at the same time. There have been spikes of activity followed by long periods where not much was really happening.
As we were leaving Campbell I came on to the bridge and found Taicho and Matelite discussing how we'd soon be liberating Mahal.
I think Taicho might have been having some kind of hallucinations, as we weren't that close yet.
After about an hour of staring out the window Matelite got bored and asked me to watch for him while he went to talk with Sendak. He claimed that they were going to be talking about the plans for Mahal, but it seemed a bit premature for that.
Hornet was worried about the lay of the skies, as they were behaving oddly. How he wouldn't say, but it was enough to worry him.
When I tried to walk toward Sendak's door Matelite rushed out to tell me to get back to the window. What was he doing in there, staring out the keyhole?
After a while Yoyo came by. I took a moment to talk to Hornet... I'm afraid Ectarina doesn't have much of a chance with him.
I don't know where she found the time or the ingredients, but Yoyo had actually baked me cookies. It was oddly touching. She seemed really touched that I liked them.
For some reason she was curious about what I'd been doing up here, so I complied with her request and gave her a hand up. One minute I was pushing so that she could see...
And the next minute she was halfway across the room turning dragonfire red. How else did she think I was going to hold her up?
It was evidently my day for cookies, as Sendak came out a good hour or so later with some cookies of his own. While they tasted like death, I told him that they were good as a favor to an old man.
Somehow that must have encouraged him, although I can't say how. I.. feel kind of dirty now.
Shortly after that Taicho spotted enemy air forces heading for Mahal and we began to prepare to intercept them.
Sendak wanted to ride with me, but I just didn't feel terribly comfortable about it. To avoid him, I fed the dragons.
Clyde's appearing more streamlined these days, and looking distinctly lethal. I gave him some books to see if that would help him as well.
Note 1: The Glorius form is a result of having fire, ice, and poison above level 1 with strength higher than vitality.
Blinky has also grown considerably... I'm a bit worried about its diet, though. I can't imagine that eating that many cookies would be good for a dragon..
Nor washing it down with Vodka...
And too much medicine is probably as bad for you as too little.
By the time he was eating things I tried not to think about, I had pretty much given up.
Once the dragons were fed, Yoyo showed up to save me from Sendak. I've never been more grateful to her.
The next night I ended up watching the sky with Taicho. Facing away from each other he seemed to feel the need to talk about his past.
When the Granbelos empire invaded Mahal, Taicho was well enough known that the commander of the enemy forces knew Taicho by name and challenged him to come out and fight.
Taicho was ready to agree to the challenge, but most of his subordinates disagreed with him and said, quite logically, that attacking the enemy by himself would only result in his death.
I think even Taicho realized that a more realistic plan would be better, but he was too invested in his own personal desire to protect Mahal.
Even Taicho's own wife agreed with them, although it was a sting to his pride.
I think that from his story, Taicho was more concerned about protecting his own reputation than the people of his kingdom and wouldn't listen to any other ideas.
Although his wife had ways of making him listen.
Although it was third-hand, evidently Taicho's wife was an extraordinary woman.
With the rest of Mahal's troops behind her, she faced the leader of the Granbelos invasion force.
Gunso could only tell this much of the story because he'd been left behind to take care of Taicho.
By the time that Taicho awoke, it was too late.
His wife, home, and subjects had all been taken from him by that time.
He asked me if there was anybody I wanted to protect. I think that perhaps Gunso has misjudged Taicho... he may not be the same man he was, but I can't help but think he might have become a better man.
Even if he thinks harshly of himself, I want to see his homeland freed by his own efforts.
The next day we reached Mahal and prepared to take off. Matelite has an interesting way of reading Taicho's feelings.
Sendak worries that we might have to sink to the Empire's level to defeat them but for once I, and I never thought I'd say this, actually agree more with Matelite. It's possible to defeat the enemy without sinking to their level through superior strength and tactics.
Speaking of which, Truce had a plan to share with regards to Mahal. I decided to listen...
And I wasn't disappointed. Truce had carefully looked at the map and identified a possible opportunity for us to use the terrain against the enemy. I don't think I could be prouder of him, so I put him in charge of planning this mission. While he did so, we arranged a couple of raids on enemy fortresses to draw them off balance and obtain more supplies.
Sue has become much more intimidating, and is looking like she'll become a great dragon. At the very least she'll draw some attention.
Note 2: Earth Warrior is a simple one for Sue's type, requiring only points in thunder and strength as the highest attribute.
Flammie has compacted again, but I'm used to the way he changes now enough to not be disturbed. I'm sure that his next growth spurt will be something fantastic.
Note 3: The Gladiator Form is a result of having points in fire, ice, and thunder with vitality higher than strength.
Inky has also changed a little bit, but looks even sleeker and has a more regal coloring.
Blinky's odd dietary habits continue to astonish, but this time the transformation they triggered was something else entirely.
All I can say is that I think I much prefer this look to his previous one. If this is how mushrooms affect him, he can have all the mushrooms he wants.
Note 4: I think it's going to take more than a note to explain this one.
After completing our preparations, it was time to assault Mahal.