Arc The Lad Fan Fiction ❯ Aftermath ❯ Chapter 12 ( Chapter 12 )
When Kharg opened the door it revealed a very aggravated Duncan. What is it?" he asked.
"I need to know what is going on, Kharg. Everyone is demanding answers from me and I don't have any to give them," Duncan complained nervously. "Can I come in?"
"I suppose," Kharg sighed, obviously not eager to talk to him.
"Some day Kharg you're going to have to learn to tell someone to go to hell when they annoy you," Darc sneered.
Kharg glanced over at his brother. "It's considered disgusting and rude to talk with your mouth full," he pointed out.
"Like I give a damn," Darc snorted.
Delma snickered. "You know this banana thing isn't half bad." She shoved the last piece into her mouth.
Kharg shook his head, caught between annoyance and amusement. "Sit down, Duncan, and I'll try to give you some answers that will get everyone off your back."
Duncan dropped into a chair. "That's not the only problem." He gestured to the Deimos. "It's also them."
"Now how did I know that was coming?" Darc muttered.
Duncan looked nervously around at all the Deimos. "Perhaps we could talk in private."
"I don't think that's necessary." Kharg returned to his seat. "Let's start with the problems that involves my brother......" He neatly ducked the banana peel his twin chucked at him. "And his friends," he finished. "It's also rude to throw garbage," he told Darc.
Darc snorted. "I could have thrown the apple at you instead."
"Throwing food is rude too," Kharg informed him with a smirk.
Darc rolled his eyes. " Humans are boring, you especially."
Paulette giggled before she could muffle it.
Maru didn't even try. He just burst out laughing. "You did sound kind of boring, Kharg ."
For some reason that struck everyone as funny and they all started laughing, even Darc had to laugh a bit.
Delma's mouth was still full, so while she was laughing she was spraying tiny bits of banana on the floor and bed.
"Spitting is rude too, Delma," Paulette giggled.
"It's also messy." Darc grumbled, flicking bits off the blanket. “Swallow already.”
At that remark everyone laughed even harder. They all knew they weren't laughing at the remarks, but more to release the tension of all they'd went through.
Duncan looked around like they'd all lost their minds. "Are you quite done? I have a lot of frightened, angry people waiting for me."
Kharg managed to regain his composure. "Tell everyone to gather outside the house in an hour and I'll...I mean we'll..... explain everything."
Darc folded his arms across his chest. "First I want to know what is being said about us." He stared coolly at Duncan.
Duncan stared at Darc's crimson hued eyes for a long moment then tore his gaze away. "They don't want you here. You should realize that.”
“It wasn’t my idea to come here, it was Kharg’s and as for how they feel I frankly don't give a rat's ass,” Darc snorted.
"Darc! That isn't polite!" Lilia said, she sounded shocked.
"Shut up, I don't give a damn if it's polite or not," Darc snarled at her.
Delma could have stood up and cheered when Darc said that, but she didn't. She swallowed the mouthful of banana and picked up the apple.
Duncan studied Darc then looked at Kharg. A reluctant smile tugged at his mouth. "He sounds like you though his language is a lot fouler."
"He's probably never had his mouth washed out with soap as punishment for swearing," Kharg chuckled.
Duncan turned to Darc. "I hated Deimos after Lloyd's death, but perhaps if Paulette can forgive than I can too." He stood. "I'll pass on your message, Kharg." He left the house, closing the door behind them.
Kharg glanced towards the rest of the group and shrugged. "No rest for the wicked I guess."
Kharg looked towards Delma, who was busy chewing a large bite from the apple, then grinned. "Don't eat the core where the seeds are. They can make you sick."
Delma nodded. "This is even better than the other thing," she said to Darc. "Wait until you taste it."
Darc tried the apple and nodded, it was good.
Ganz suddenly stood up. "I just thought of something that might come in handy. I'm going to go get it. I'll be back well before the hour is up." He left the house.
Finally dry, Lilia and Camellia joined them at the table.
"So why did you change from I'll tell you everything to we'll tell you everything?" Camellia asked.
"I wondered that myself," Volk agreed, taking a seat himself.
"They need to know everything that happened, to the Deimos and us. They need to understand that you were as much victims as we were," Kharg said.
Tatjana took a deep breath and stepped forward, looking straight at Camellia. "I know I can't take back what I've done, but perhaps I can help prevent it from ever happening again. Right now all I can say is....I'm sorry."
Camellia fiddled nervously with her sleeve. "I wanted to see you dead so badly. I wanted to kill you for what my tribe suffered, for what I suffered. I wasn't strong enough to do it alone and now...what's the use?" She slowly looked up into Tatjana's eyes and what she saw took her by surprise. "You really do mean it, don't you?"
"I've never meant anything more," Tatjana said firmly.
"Apology accepted," Camellia said and smiled.
"I think I owe you an apology as well," Volk grumbled, looking at Paulette. "Your father was a fine warrior and I am sorry for his death."
"And I'm sorry for the loss of your wife and child, Volk," Paulette said.
Just then Ganz came back into the house with something tucked under his arm. "I found them."
"Crutches?" Kharg said. "Where did you find those?"
Ganz just smiled and shrugged. He walked over to Darc. "I'll have to show you how to use these. This way you won't be completely confined to bed."
Darc shrugged and nodded.
Delma got up and moved out of the way as Ganz came over. He leaned the crutches against the wall and helped Darc sit on the edge of the bed. "Help me stand him up, Delma."
Delma nodded and moved to Darc's left side while Ganz took the right. It was easy for the two of them to get him standing. Learning how to handle the crutches was a little harder.
After two near falls that forced Ganz to grab him Darc finally got the hang of it.
Delma smirked. "You look kind of ridiculous using those things."
"I feel ridiculous too," Darc grumbled.
"It's almost time and there's already quite a crowd gathered out there," Paulette remarked, peering out a front window.
Kharg sighed. "I guess we might as well get it over with. We'll go out together, Darc."
Darc narrowed his eyes at his twin. "Why should we?" he growled.
"You and I are the leaders of our groups," Kharg said. "It's only right we face the crowd first."
"Don't trip over something and fall on your face, Darc. It won't do anything for your image, or ours for that matter," Delma sniggered.
Darc bared his teeth at her. "Shut up, Delma."
Delma just smirked back at him, not in the least worried.
"Argue later, you two. Come on, Darc," Kharg said, taking his twin's right arm and tugging gently.
"You let go or you'll be drawing back a stump," Darc snarled.
"Relax, I just don't want you to fall and break something else," Kharg said, ignoring the threat completely.
Darc scowled, but didn't argue. He was uncomfortably aware of the stares of the villagers as they stepped out. He wanted to turn around and go right back inside, but he steeled himself. He was already showing enough weakness in front of the damned Humans as it was.
Kharg was equally aware of the stares and whispers running through the crowd. He was a bit worried about how they would react to this whole mess. Taking a deep breath, he looked over the crowd. "As you've already noticed, there's been a major change. We've stopped Emperor Darkham, he's dead, but we didn't get there in time to stop him from using the ultimate weapon inside the flying fortress to destroy Cathnea."
"Wait a minute, Cathnea is gone?" someone asked.
"I'm afraid so," Kharg said sadly.
The villagers were stunned into silence by the horrible news.
Kharg decided to continue. "In doing so we discovered that he wasn't the only threat. You all know Zev, the explorer. Well, it wasn't really him. He had been taken over by the divine ruler."
Murmurs sprang up in the crowd. "That's a fairy tale meant to scare children!" someone called.
"He is sealed away in the ark forever!" someone else called.
Lilia moved forward. "He escaped. He found a way to get free."
"How?" Duncan asked.
"Negative emotions evidently gave him the strength to break the seal only briefly. He was encouraging Darkham and he used the hate and fear that Humans and Deimos feel for each other to free himself," Kharg said.
Silence met those words as the villagers stared at him then at the Deimos.
"So why are the machines not running?" Morth asked.
Kharg sighed wearily then glanced at Lilia who shook her head. "He managed to break the seal on the ark and merge with the spirit of the dark which turned him into the lord of the abyss."
That started the murmurs all over again. "So what do the Deimos have to do with it?" Duncan asked.
Kharg looked at Darc and nodded.
Darc had no idea what to say and the scowl he gave Kharg made his annoyance clear. "We had no knowledge of this story about the divine ruler. I had plans to unite the Deimos to fight the Humans and destroy them."
Angry shouts rose from the villagers at that and many glared at Darc.
Darc glared back at them. "Don't look at me like I'm some kind of monster and don't bother to try and tell me that you wouldn't have been glad to destroy us if you could," he sneered.
Silence then Duncan shrugged. "He's right and we all know it. Go on."
"Darkham was hunting down and slaughtering Deimos. Those that weren't killed outright suffered a worse fate. We slipped into the Megist and found them. Some had been altered by spirit magic into mindless puppets that only lived to obey the Dilzweld, others were left in tanks to be used for dissection or spare parts." Darc gestured to Camellia. "She was one of those tortured. Ask her if you don't believe me."
Camellia nodded, eyes haunted and sad, "My entire tribe is dead. No one but me survived."
Kharg gave Camellia a sympathetic look and took up the story. "We entered the flying fortress at different times and finally agreed to join forces and fight together. We finally wounded the lord of the abyss severely enough to end the fight, but then we got an unpleasant surprise. As long as there was a bond between Humans and spirits the lord of the black abyss couldn't be destroyed, except for a way that had a terrible price."
Lilia touched Kharg's arm and shook her head once more asking that he say nothing of her gifts.
Kharg respected the silent request even though he thought she deserved some credit. "Then the spirits showed up and explained. If this was to end then they would have to leave this world, only then would the lord of the abyss be defeated. The spirits used their magic to send him away, but then they left too. So the spirits are truly gone now and this time forever. That should explain why our machines aren’t working."
There was dead silence for a long time then suddenly everyone was talking at once.
"How are we going to run our machines?" a woman called.
"How will we live without the spirit stones and the power they gave us?" a man said.
A man pushed to the front of the crowd, jabbing an accusing finger at the Deimos. "I bet they were the cause of this!"
Darc sneered. "Don't be a fool, we've lost the magic which was a part of us. If we were going to do anything we'd have busted up your precious machines." He made his way toward the house and the others followed.
Once everyone was inside Kharg closed the door and after a moment of thought, locked it. “That worked out well,” he grumbled sarcastically.
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