Fortunatus Light of Dark – Part 13

Fortunatus Light of Dark

by AJ Marks

Part 13

Ami made her way down the road along with the rest. She had gained some information from conversations going on around her. From conversations she knew a battle was going on, and they were headed towards it. She also got the feeling that it went against what Gregory wanted to do. His shouting carried across to where she walked.

Mary still walked beside her, seemed almost giddy with anticipation of an upcoming battle. She checked her gun almost constantly. Ami felt none of the anticipation of the others. The group start to slow down much to her relief. It seemed like they had walked for two days straight to her.

“The time is almost here, so exciting!” Mary said, checking her gun once again. Ami merely looked over at her unsure what to think about the woman. She had learned the woman had killed for the fun of it. She viewed killing as a game to her, bragging she had killed over a hundred people, but the authorities only found out about a dozen of them.

The tone of the woman caused Ami to shiver slightly whenever she spoke of killing. Mary seemed to like it so much that Ami wondered if the woman was even human any more.

“You’re not excited? Oh, that’s right, you killed differently, through explosives,” Mary said.

The group stopped, as several important looking people ran around shouting out orders Ami did not understand. She watched groups of people run off at the orders. Gregory then shouted over at them, motioning her and Mary over.

“Come on,” Mary said, forcing Ami to follow. She looked around figuring that she might finally have a chance to leave this group, she would keep her eyes open for her chance.

She walked with Mary coming to a clearing where a table had been set up. Ami noticed several faces that she wished she did not recognize.

“Those blasted scouts, I told them to avoid engaging,” Gregory said, pacing back and forth.

“How were we to know troops would be here,” Ben said.

“But now that bitch knows, and she is here! She somehow beat me here? Anyone want to explain that?” he raged. “Our task is now twice as difficult.”

“Maybe tell her that you’re heading back home,” Kelly said speaking up. “Perhaps they will allow us to go peacefully?”

Ami had to admit that sounded logical and wondered why they had not tried it.

“There is a catch for this, a side-effect for this world,” Gregory said. “It releases a creature that they fear. So they will do anything they can to protect it.”

“A creature?” Mary said. “What type?”

“Let’s just say it isn’t that pleasant for them,” Gregory said with a slight smile. “It’s this creature that will unlock the portal to our world.”

“Are you sure about that?” Kelly asked. “What if it goes and attacks us?”

“We are immune to it, don’t worry about it, it goes after magical beings,” Gregory replied.

Ami felt unsure about how all that would work, especially if this creature was the one she heard about not long ago. She had no idea how they were to go back home with this thing, as she heard nothing about any unusual magical side effects. Ami thought that perhaps Gregory hoped some sort of magical gateway opened up. She had her doubts about what might happen, however, the others believed in him.

“And we’ll be able to go back?” Ben asked.

“Yes, like I said, the release of this creature is a side effect that we won’t be around for,” Gregory said.

“Hmm, we go back and release a killing creature on this miserable world, I like it,” Ben said after a few seconds.

“Of course you would, but I think I need my head checked?” Mary said, from where she stood. Everyone looked over at her in shock.

“Why?” Ben said glaring at her.

“Because I agree with you,” Mary replied, flicking him off earning a growl in response.

“Enough!” Gregory yelled at the two of them. “We still have to figure out where it is.”

“Simple we look for where the Empress is protecting the most,” Ben said. Ami thought that as logical enough.

“That bitch has no idea where this place is, she lucky to be here,” Gregory said. “It took me years to learn as much as I have.”

They looked up as a Soulvier walked up to them. Ami recognized her as the one who seemed to be helping Gregory and had to think to recall her name, Teniv. The rumble of thunder rolled through the assemble group causing them to look up to the darkening clouds.

“Perfect,” one of them said. Ami had to agree, she would rather be inside, than out here doing something stupid like this. She was no soldier but wanted to be pampered by someone like Tess. That thought caught her by surprise. Was she pampered by Tess? She was a slave, but had been treated better than at almost any time in her life since her parents died.

“Set up the tent, and bring the maps,” Gregory said. Ami watched several people come running over, setting up the requested items. Soon enough there were several tents as a small headquarters was set up, hopefully providing some relief for the coming rainstorm.

“How long will this last?” one person asked.

“Most of the night probably,” a reply came back.

“Tell the troops to hunker down,” Teniv said.

“We attack,” Gregory said.

“In such conditions it would be suicidal,” Teniv said, this time not backing down from Gregory. “We have to act carefully in such weather and conditions, this isn’t like where you came from. Besides, our scouts can work better like this, helping us pinpoint our attack as you still don’t know where to attack.”

Ami watched Gregory grit his teeth staring back at Teniv. Neither one backing down which caused Ami to wonder exactly who was in charge? They both seemed to have their own agenda about this. That thought caused Ami to wonder what the Soulvier’s goal was.

“Well, come on, we’re going to settle down for a while,” May said to Ami.

She left quietly a bit glad to get away from the group. She really did not want to stay around and therefore looked around. The rain had not started coming down yet but it was only a matter of time before it did.


Tess looked out from the tent seeing the sheets of rain come down. The roof of the tent remained strong despite the torrent of water. She glanced over at the others who had grown quiet. The elderly couple remained under the tent. The side of the tent was brought down when wind started blowing the rain into the tent. She made her way over to where Lisa sat. Becca had gone over to another tent where some other captains were.

“Lousy weather,” Lisa finally said, looking out at the rain again.

“Yeah, the only real good part is Gregory has to deal with this as well,” Tess replied. She could only imagine him frowning at the weather. She had more of an idea about where this creature, Enokrad, was than he did though, so for now she held an advantage. Her biggest problem came from if he managed to resurrect the creature. How would she stop it then?

She liked to know everything about a battle before entering it. The many different outcomes and how she might handle it. She wished she had a plan in case Gregory succeeded in his plan. She had no way of planning for something so powerful and unknown.

“You worry about the creature?” Gallic said.

“Yeah, it’s the one part of the battle I can’t plan for,” Tess replied. “How do you defeat it?”

“Defeat it, you don’t,” the elderly man said calmly.

“Nothing is impossible to defeat,” Tess finally replied. “How did they stop it the first time?”

“That was lost to history I’m afraid, the cost was so great that it must never happen again,” the man said.

“But the creature will be awakened again, this I have foreseen,” Galllic said, looking at them.

“So if it is to be awakened then how do we kill it, what is it capable of?” Tess asked. Perhaps if she had some information about it then she might finally create a plan.

“It’s magic is beyond anything you’ve ever seen. Besides being able to use all magic it can absorb magic,” the old man said. “It is a terrible creature that has no master.”

“Then why do some people want to resurrect it?” Lisa said from where she sat.

“They hate life,” Tess replied. She could relate to that. If she had met Gregory ten years ago she might be the one leading that army. She did bother to say that to anyone and instead walked over sitting down.

“You think they will attack in the morning?” Lisa asked.

“If it rains all night, yes, it will make for terrible conditions out there,” Tess said. She always hated the weather as it usually benefited the defenders causing her to plan extra hard. “I suggest most of get some sleep while we can.”

“Sound advice,” Becca said, shaking water off her as she moved inside the tent. “All captains report their squads are mostly in position. It’s going to be a miserable night for the soldiers, but they know what’s at stake.”

Tess nodded knowing that it would be a long day.


Ami opened her eyes hearing her voice being called out. She glanced around frowning that the color had gone out again. She looked around spotting the strange man in a grey robe who she had seen twice before. The first time when she went though the wormhole and the second time that next morning after getting up from bed.

“Who are you?” Ami finally said, not seeing anyone else around. The rain had stopped and while she still appeared in the tent she had no idea where she might be.

“The question is who are you?” the figure replied. “You don’t even know yourself. The time is approaching where you must figure it out.”

“Me, what are you talking about?” Ami replied, now thoroughly confused about the conversation. This figure kept talking to her and she wondered exactly who this person was.

“Yes, you, figure out who you are,” he repeated to her.

“I’m just me, a no one who came here by mistake,” she finally said.

“There are no mistakes,” the figure finally said. “Only those who don’t think there are mistakes think that.”

Ami thought he made no sense in that last sentence. He seemed to make no other move.

“The time is at hand for you to choose,” he finally said.

Ami opened her mouth to reply when everything changed and she looked up into the eyes of Mary. The woman looked down at her.

“Come on, wake up, let’s get going,” Mary said to her. “We’re moving out.”

Ami glanced around confused by what happened. Had she somehow dreamed that just now? She stood wiping the sleep from her eyes seeing that the rain had stopped, and the first glimmer of dawn had come. She wanted to turn around, crawl into bed and go back to sleep.

“Here,” Mary said, thrusting one of the guns into her hands. She took it but only reluctantly. She wanted nothing to do with what would happen but had found no way to get off this crazy adventure ride.

She walked outside, feeling the muddy ground under her feet and took care of where she stepped. She looked around seeing a lot less people around than before.

“We’ve engaged the Empire’s troops,” Ami heard someone say. She looked over seeing Gregory standing with a person in armor.

“Good, we’ll push them back a bit, the entrance must be on that hill,” the Soulvier, Teniv said. “There is no other hill that is protected except for the neighboring one which our spies say has the Empress on it.”

That information caught Ami’s attention. Tess was close by. If she could break away in the fighting and get to that hill she would be reunited with Tess.

“Mary, take the newbie with you,” Gregory said.

“All right, let go,” Mary said.

Ami walked silently not wishing to anger anyone. So far she had no way to get rid of her holder. Mary had done a good job of keeping her eye on her for the most part. They trudged along the wooded, damp terrain which only made Ami miserable. She wanted to go home!

She looked around seeing no one but she could hear the sounds of battle, metal clanging and explosions going off. She wondered what a battle with magic looked like before she realized that to see it she would have to be there. That she did not wish to encounter.

Ami stopped suddenly when a figure crashed though taking out Mary. Ami froze in fear, hoping that she had not become part of the battle. She looked at the two people in front of her suddenly realizing that one seemed very familiar to her.

She watched until they both seemed to stop moving. Ami wondered if they were both dead? She cautiously approached realizing that her first instinct that the woman was familiar was right.

“Janice!” Ami said quickly, moving to the woman. She rolled her over seeing a large stain across her chest. The woman looked up at Ami before finally speaking.

“Finally caught up with you, heh,” she said with a slight smile. “My magic is almost all gone when that happens my wound will kill me. The Empress is nearby, I have done my duty to the Empress.”

“Hang on please,” Ami said.

“No, if what they say is true, go find the Empress, she’ll believe you,” Janice said.

“I’ll drag you if I have to,” Ami said, not wanting to give up on anyone.

“I’m glad I believed, glad I didn’t think you were one of them, believed in your heart,” Janice said.

Ami felt Janice go limp. “No, come back,” Ami said. She finally had a friendly face only to lose it again.

A massive wall of flames followed by the rumble of earth broke her back to reality. She was pretty much in the middle of a warzone and needed to get out. She had no idea where to go and looked around, before deciding that she would head off in a direction away from both Gregory and the battle. Taking off at a run she broke through the underbrush in front of her using the gun as a way to beat back bushes.


Tess looked down at the map seeing the different groups of soldiers moving around as she gave orders for counter moves. Couriers moved rapidly quickly, using their magic to carry out the orders. She looked over seeing a few eating quickly as they rested knowing that they might be the next.

“He’s trying to thrust through here,” Lisa said, pointing to a spot on the map. Tess looked at the spot seeing the same thing. So far their defensive positions had held, but Gregory seemed to have an almost unlimited supply of men. Tess wondered how he gained such a large army.

The sudden vibration of her bracelet caused her to look down. It detected Ami closing in on her. Tess felt a bit nervous that Ami was heading into the battle. She could be hurt or worse in Tess’ mind.

“Send this group to reinforce here,” Tess said, pointing to two spots on the map. Becca quickly wrote down the message handing it to one of the couriers who sprinted off as light as a feather.

“They don’t seem to be impeding our messages?” Lisa said quietly.

“Hmm, you’re right,” Tess said thinking about that. She had to assume that Gregory would know about the way they communicated, despite his adversity to such items of magic. He hated all magic, but she could not imagine him not wanting to use it to destroy it. He would have no problem doing something like that.

“What’s wrong?” Becca said.

“Lisa’s right, he isn’t intercepting our messages, and he has to know where we are,” Tess said, looking over at Becca.

“You think he’s up to something?” Becca said looking up from where she stood at the table.

“Yes I do,” Tess said. “We’re assuming that he doesn’t know where the Enokrad is and that he,” Tess pointed to the elder man, “is the only one who did know. What if someone else knew, who wanted this creature alive and passed that knowledge down as well.”

“The Enokrad Cult, they do not know, nor have they known,” the man replied, obviously listening in on the conversation.

“Why is that?” Tess said, looking at the man wondering why she had not thought of that before.

“If they had then why have they never moved against us before?” the man replied. “It’s not like we could move the creature.”

“He’s got a point, if this creature has been here for thousands of years, why haven’t they?” Lisa said, speaking up in the conversation.

“They must need something to break the enchantment,” Tess said, now pacing around the table thinking to herself. “Why would this group probably work with Gregory? What did they each have to gain for this? ”

“Do we have a way to know where he is?” Becca asked, making Tess think about that. She finally realized she might have a way as she looked down at the bracelet.

“I might have a way, but I’d have to go,” Tess said.

“You? Why you?” Becca asked looking over at Tess.

“Because it would require me looking for Ami,” Tess finally said.

“That slave that ran away?” Becca stated in disbelief.

“I don’t think she ran away, not according to the reports,” Tess replied. She held onto a slim hope that the girl had not betrayed her.

“She is a Zero-Mage, it’s what they do,” Becca said.

“She’s a Zero-Mage, they are all evil,” Lisa said.

“Never trust a Zero-Mage,” the elderly man said.

“She isn’t like that, and I know more about them than you do, a lot of information that isn’t made public,” Tess said, quickly as they looked at her. She realized she needed to give them all some brief details about the Zero-Mages. “They seem evil because they are all mass murders or criminal masterminds from where they come from. I met the first one, he was imprisoned in the dungeon when I took over. No one ever talked to him. He wanted to speak, say he was sorry for their mistake.”

“I doubt that,” Becca said as the others agreed with her.

“She isn’t like the others, I won’t argue about this, but she is different,” Tess said.

“You like her,” Becca said.

“Yeah, she’s been the best slave I’ve had in a long time, so you bet I like her,” Tess said angrily.

“Then find her,” a quiet voice said causing everyone to look over in that direction. Tess noticed Gallic standing there looking rather feeble and ancient, but steadfast.

Tess looked over at the others then looked down at her bracelet. She worked it a bit as it gave more information being closer to her now.

“She’s headed here, if I can find her she might have information about what Gregory is doing and his troops,” Tess stated. “If nothing else we can gain some information, she obviously never took off her collar.”

“Or it’s a trap,” Lisa said. Tess looked over at her for a second before replying.

“Then send a few people with me, but I’m going,” Tess stated, checking her armor to make sure everything was all right.

“Fine, wait a second and I’ll get a squad,” Lisa said, heading off to gather one of the Royal Guard squads.

End Part 13

Continued in Part 14

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