A new day dawns. No incident has occurred on the Alumni of Grimwold. Not on Red's watch. He made sure the encampment close to the ruin entrance was not disturbed by inhospitable beasts and savage creatures. They weren't kidding when they are magicless. He more or less deduced they don't have the capacity to use magic thus they resolved to staying in the sidelines, investigating lost ruins and the likes for information.
Unfortunately, they haven't decoded anything at all from the scrolls of texts they procured from the library back in the ruins. Cross referencing texts and glyphs didn't help at all in translating the entire document. This is an entirely different language they're dealing with.
Red got up and prepared himself, immediately scouting the perimeter for any sign of danger. A bookmarked dot from his HeXcry could be seen just moving towards the encampment. It was Ozwald. He greeted hello at Red as the two of them faced each other. "G'morning brother. How was the first night?" He asked, feeling happy to meet his brother once more. "No threat lingered about the encampment. Don't think the collective is in any immediate danger." Red replied, crossing his arms. It didn't cross his mind that Ozwald was talking about him. "You wound me, brother. And here I thought your memories would come back."
He observed the midget elf is not with him. "He's not coming?" He asked. "Oh, Cinna? He is actually in Cedar for some other endeavor. Surely you must remember Cinna's passion for the arts?" He said as Red just gave him a blank expression. He does not remember anything. At all. "I don't."
He gives up trying to jog Red's memory and decides to focus on the task at hand. He ran to the researches to query their progress. By the looks on the researchers' faces, they don't look like they didn't have any progress in translating the texts. "We tried cross-referencing materials we have, but no luck." One of the researchers said in a very frustrating tone, and eventually calmed down. After pondering their next move, Ozwald finally thought of something. "Perhaps there are materials within the facility that might help? Mayhap we'll have progress there. I'll be assigning a team to extract these scrolls and send them to the facility for more research."
A few hours later, the team assigned in transporting the goods left the encampment, heading for their base. Meanwhile, it is time for another trek inside the ruins. Something doesn't sit right with Ozwald, however. Why is does the passages within the book all written in their common tongue? It was as if it was meant to be.
Red once more conjures a map in front of the group, stressing the fact that most of these rooms are empty. The researchers insist they take a look themselves. They can't trust information displayed by his magic due to their belief that 'One must bear witness to evidence, else it is no evidence at all', or so they say. They do have a point. Information relayed by magic can only do so much.
They pass through the rooms, and surprise surprise, nothing valuable rests within these desolate rooms save for furniture too old to be used. As the walk even deeper in the ruins to go towards one of the rooms that is assumed to possess artifacts, something felt amiss. To the researches, nothing seems to be happening. To Red and Oz, however, they felt their surroundings distort a bit. Red motions the team to a halt, stopping by at a rather large hallway. "Do you feel that?" He asks. "I do."
Suddenly, a tear opens in front of them. Creatures of rusted clockwork emerged from the tear, each with one distinguishing feature - they all bear the insignia of the Brass Seraphs. Afraid of being killed by the clockwork menace, the researches fled for their life before Ozwald even told them to run away. Red looks at Ozwald, wondering why he hasn't left yet. "What are you still doing here? You should go!" He says, concerned for his safety. They look outnumbered.
"I'm not leaving you to fight them alone."
Ozwald whips out the book he got from the library and opened the pages. The passages inscribed on the pages of the grimoire lit up. "Do you even know how to use it?" Red looks at him, concerned that he might mess things up with magic he does not even know how to use. "Oh, on the contrary, the magic inscribed within these pages fit perfectly for a scholar like me. This will be a piece of cake."
The clockwork lifeforms commences their attack against the duo. Red pulls out his pistol and fires against each of the rusted life form. Ozwald unleashes bolts of magic against their transgressors. However, for each creature they take down, more emerges from the tear. "There is no end to them."
As the mechanical lifeforms overwhelm them, the pages of the book flipped themselves towards one of the blank pages. Suddenly, a passage appears out of the blue, as if it was written. Inscribed on the formerly blank page seems to be a spell, what its purpose is and how to cast it. "I have a plan. Cover me!" He said as he starts to gloss over the texts.
Red conjures a barrier around Ozwald and provokes the rest of the mechs to attack him, drawing their attention away from the scholar. With his pistol's light weight, he was able to land multiple attacks and destroying them. Still, more machines emerge from the tear, and it seems to be getting a bit bigger. "You have to hurry with your plan or we're dead!" He yells as he is starting to struggle against the clockwork lifeform's continuous onslaught against him.
"O Needle of Time, mend the tears of tyranny that the unstoppable onslaught may be put to a halt." As Ozwald chants, the clockwork lifeforms stops their onslaught against Red and fixates their offensive against him.
"O Brass Cogs, unwind the gears that the passage of time moves backwards." As the creatures move towards him, they are stopped by the barrier that's protecting Ozwald. It's as if they didn't notice it at first.
"O Swift Seconds, move up thy momentum that the passage of time be swift." Unable to reach him, the creatures start to attack the barrier. As they successfully break it, Red casts another defensive barrier in place of the broken one, pushing away the creatures.
"O Ancient Hourglass, weave thy fates, as eon's bulwark against the future's great beyond!" Red starts to struggle and eventually runs out of magic power to protect him. "Ozwald!" He cries out, unable to protect Ozwald after all the spells he cast. However, the chant was already complete.
As he closed the book and the clockwork lifeforms all leaping towards him, a wave of magical energy surges across the room. Time seems to have slowed down, only for a moment, and then he chants the final verse. "Chronicle Script!" A magic circle comprised of diagrams that resemble cogs and scripts from the scrolls starts to appear beneath him. Time slows down even further until it comes to a halt, with only he and Red able to move. "Flow Reversal!"
The clockwork menace starts to move as the passage of time continues. At least, to them. However, they all appear to be moving backwards as if they were backtracking the actions they did. The destroyed ones reverted back to their undented forms and moved towards the tear. Eventually, the all the clockwork menace moved back towards the tear, and then it closed.
The onslaught stopped all thanks to Ozwald and his book. Before he could approach him, flashes of memories start to flood his mind. These flashes of memories appear to reveal the time he was still a child, hearing the tale of the Brass Seraphs, and sleeping with his other brothers. He starts to recall protecting the younger self of Ozwald and another brother of whom he does not know. He feels... warm. These flashes of memories felt painful, and as the flashes fade, so does the memories.
Ozwald eventually falls after unleashing a very powerful spell. He appears to have spent all the magic power he has for that one spell, to save the both of them and to stop the clockwork menace from pressing onwards. If it wasn't for him, the Cedar will have been taken over, though it would have easily been handled by Dies Irae.
Red moves to him and picks him up, and subconsciously gave Ozwald a hug. He falls unconscious moments later. The two leaves the ruins, with Ozwald being carried by Red as he is still unconscious. Something is amiss. The encampment is there, alright, but instead of being greeted by the afternoon sun, what greets them is the sun setting. The worried researchers ran towards him at the sight of their unconscious leader. He handed him to them to tend to move him to his tent. "How long have we been there?" He asks one of them.
"Sir... you spent 6 hours in ruins. What happened?" The man queried. "It... doesn't matter. You can ask Oz yourself. But... 6 hours? That's impossible. We've been there for at least 30 minutes!"
"But sir... the researchers fled towards the encampment 6 hours ago."
This can't be right. He has many questions to ask, but for now, he needs to rest. Being overwhelmed by a mob of clockwork golems took a toll on him. He is a little wounded, and thus returns to his tent to meditate. Alot of questions form in his mind and in need of answers, all relating to what just transpired within the ruins.
[ Word Count - 3807 / 1500 ]