[Vol.3] Quest 235- Remnants Of The Apocalypse
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In the afternoon, on Orario’s outskirts.

Cirrus is sleeping in his chair after sparring with Finn and Beta.

“Cirrus.” Said Artemis with her bow on Kalion.

“Hm?” He groggily opened his eyes. “Art? What’s the matter?”

“It would seem a problem has occurred.” Said Kalion.

“Hm?” he gets up from his chair. “What problem?” he says as he stretches.

“It would seem Ares kidnapped Hestia and both she, Bell, and Ais have gone missing.” Said Artemis.

Cirrus stared at Artemis blankly for a second, waiting for the punchline.

“…. Art, you know jokes have punchlines, right?”

“Sadly, it’s true, sir,” Kalion said.

“…” Cirrus looks at Artemis and she nods her head. “Hestia… well… I um… don’t really know what to feel? I think I’m more… impressed and disappointed, if anything.”

“Well, you are off for today, so you’re coming with me!” Artemis said, smiling.

“What of Ai?”

“She has to remain in the city for protection. You are to protect me as we find them.”

“Alright. It has been a while since we traveled together, Art.”

“Like old times then!” she said with a smiling ear to ear. “But what about those guys?”

She points up ahead at Finn and Beta sleeping back to back scuffed up.

“I’ll splash a High Potion at them, so do you wanna ride or me?”

“You know what I want.” She holds out the reins.

“Please don’t flirt on my back, sir, Lady Artemis,” Kalion said, disgruntled.

“Tell that to Artemis. She’s the one who keeps flirting.”

“I do not!” Artemis said, a bit flustered.

 

After getting on and taking the reins, Cirrus splashes a High Potion onto Finn and Beta before heading out.

“Bwah!” They both wake up.

“Hey sorry waking you two up, but something came up,” Cirrus said, looking down at Finn and Beta. “So, could you two watch over this spot for a bit?”

“Hmm…” Finn said, stretching. “No problem. Beta, could you crack my back?”

“No problem and you better come back quick! I wanna have another round!” Beta said with a cocky smirk.

“I make no promises, but I’ll try to get this little request quickly finished.”

The three of them then galloped away.

“So any idea on where they could have gone?” Cirrus asked Artemis.

“Somewhere down Southwest, Asfi is searching as well,” Artemis said, looking at a map with some x marks on them.

“Hmm, and you said they went down a raging stream, yes?”

“I did. Are we going to follow it?”

“That is the best way to find them.”

“Then turn left.”

After a while, they arrived at the place they fell from Asfi’s report and followed the stream.

They quickly rode following the stream and found Asfi high up looking at a 3-way fork in the roar or stream in this case.

“Oy!!! Asfi!!!” Cirrus shouted.

She turned her head and came down.

“Cirrus, Lady Artemis.” She gave a slight bow. “You have caught up quickly.”

“Hm, anything on Hestia?” said Artemis.

“No, I have searched, but the stream diverges into 3 ways.”

“Hmm… here.” Cirrus reached into his clothes and tosses her a hand-sized staff with an orb on it. “It’s called a Communication Staff.”

“Communication Staff?” Asfi said with an eyebrow raised.

“Yes, the name and magic tool is still a work in progress. Press the red part and we can communicate from a long distance.” He got off Kalion. “I’ll take the left side.”

“Then I’ll take the middle.” Said Artemis.

“Hm, then I got the right!”

She looked happy to use a new magic tool. The five of them left in three directions.

 

Kata-Kata!

Kata-Kata!

Kata-Kata!

Kata-Kata!

Running through the land, Cirrus felt a sense of nostalgia, the feeling of roaming the world on his own.

“… The wind running through my hair, the moving landscape… it's nice.”

“Found them!” said Asfi, calling in.

Cirrus took out his Communication Staff and pressed the red part of it.

“Understood. We’ll regroup and… hm?”

“What’s wrong?”

“… I feel… something is… it’s nothing.”

“Alright, well, see you soon.”

Cirrus puts away the Communication Staff into his clothes and looked at a mountain range.

Looking at it, Cirrus could feel a presence, a powerful one.

“How interesting. There is no sign of life besides the flora… Let’s see what this can be. (Exousía, Adorn: Ceryneian)!”

Cirrus quickly ran to it. As he ran towards it, his instincts told him to run, and with each step, his instincts sharpen more and more until he made it to the spot.

 

The area was old and eroded, but Cirrus could still see the visage of battle, if one could even call it that. Desolation was the only word that came to mind for Cirrus with melted swords and various other broken stuff an adventure would have.

“… Why the fuck is this here in some mountain range? This little open plain…”

Cirrus looked around, and he felt something. He quickly turned to see 14 black rocks giving off an aura that puts the intimidation of several monsters to shame.

Cirrus slowly walks up to it and touched it.

‘This feeling and texture… scales? But what could have it—!!’

“The Black Dragon.” He looks at the top of the scale to find it was taller himself by at least 6 more feet. “(Sing your Vespers, Swords of Damocles) [Dia Dikastí̱s: Logia].”

Crack!!!!

The crack of lightning could be heard from all around.

“Cirrus! Cirrus was that you!” called Asfi.

“Cirrus, I heard a loud boom! Was that you!?” Called Artemis.

Any words said to Cirrus went out of the other ear. He was zoned out as he looked at the rock with not even a scratch on it.

He took out his spear and donned his Cretan armor and slashed it.

Clang!!!!

Not even a scratch.

“… Interesting… maybe you will be the material I used to make a replacement for Brilliant Nightmare. Hecton.”

From his shadow several bulky arms the size of buildings came out and grabbed it, a head then popped out.

“Sir.” A deep voice rang in his ear, its baritone quality and refinement from years with Cirrus was music to his ears. “This is a scale of the Black Dragon; I do not know if we can forge it?”

“Doesn’t matter, I’ll wait until I either I can melt it down or two. I find something to melt it with.”

“Very well.”

Hecton’s arms then lifted the scale with great effort and absorbed it into the shadow. Cirrus walked ahead and Hecton grabbed 3 more, and then eventually Cirrus took all 14 of the scales.

“By the way, sir, you have ignored Lady Artemis and Asfi’s call.”

“… Fuck… seems I was too preoccupied.”

He called back and informed them it was him and not to worry.

They kept searching for a while before Asfi found Bell with Hestia and Ais in tow.

 

Back in Orario. Late at night at Cirrus’s workshop.

“So why did you ask us to come here?” said Eupheme. “I was working on something.”

“I can say the same, with your new businesses we have been busy with various stuff now!” said Circe.

“And I still wanted to spar with Ottar some more!” said Ai.

“Does it have to do with why you ignored my calls?” said Artemis.

“And I was enjoying some nice cake and tea!” said Nox.

“Yes, while we were looking for Hestia, Bell, and Ais, I felt a… aura more or less, and I followed it.”

“… Okay?” they said.

“So I followed it and it eventually lead me to a—“

“Cirrus, can you show us?” said Circe. “We are really busy.”

Cirrus made a slightly annoyed expression.

“Fine… stand back a bit.”

They all stepped back as Cirrus turned and reached into his shadow and pulled out something.

“Hnnng!!!”

They could see the veins in his arms bulge, and his clothes could barely stand it, but what he took out made it clear as day why he brought them here and why it was so heavy.

Cirrus pulls out and places the scale down, causing them to jump up from the force of him putting it down.

“Cirrus…” said Artemis. “You… found the scale of the Black Dragon.” She walked up and touched it. “Even after so long… it holds its such a presence.”

“…. Cirrus, I don’t want that in the house.” Said Ai. “It puts my senses on edge.” Her ears were pointing straight up into the air, even her eyes narrowed in.

“Hm? Really?” said Eupheme. “I don’t really feel anything?”

“It could be because they're a higher level than you, when one levels up their senses sharpen and with these two being so high leveled… it’s easy to find this.” Circe looks at it with discomfort. “Unpleasant to be around.”

“So… this is part of that damn Apocalypse.” Said Nox. “Did you test how strong it was?”

“I used my magic and tried to slice it, but nothing, not even a dent.” He then grips it, and they could see how hard he was gripping it. “Trying to crush it with my grip is like a level 1 trying to crush pure Adamantite from the Deep Floors.”

“That damn tough huh?” Eupheme said, examining it. “What of your bull armor?”

“I used that to try and cut it, nothing.”

“Then shall we experiment?” Eupheme said with a smile. “I really wanna try to make a weapon out of this!!”

Her passion quickly flared up.

“I’ll put it in your workshop’s basement. I’ll also see place some stuff to help hide its presence.”

 

Eupheme would try to and fail to process it for a long time.

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