Bar’bou stood up tall on Ahir’s shoulder. “No longer needed? I am certain you are unaware, but this is Ahir Bohater, wielder of the Gladio Protegat! Only he is capable of defending this city. Whom of my people am I addressing?”
The hawk landed on the pavement in front of Ahir. “You are addressing Tor’jahd, former assistant of prince Lang’Kahn, son of Dar’duo king of the Aureus’aveum, and this savage’s use of the Galadio Protegat is tantamount to nothing short than murder of our people!”
Bar’bou jumped off of Ahir’s shoulder and tackled Tor’jahd, attempting to pin him to the ground. “Time is of the essence. Ahir, I’ll hold him down, you pursue whoever it was that Tor’jahd has partnered with. We have too numerous unanswered inquiries to permit his retreat!”
“I’m not sure what you said, but if you have the bird, I’ll go after the other guy!” Ahir took a step toward the corner of the building that the figure had darted around, his focus still on the wrestling forms of Bar’bou and Tor’jahd. A beam of light shot across the parking lot and struck Bar’bou in the shoulder, followed by a second beam of light that hit the parking lot. Bar’bou was flung from the top of Tor’Jahd and struck the spot where the second beam hit, and he struggled to get up, but it was as if some force held him there.
A man with a red shirt and blue jeans on reached up and pushed his glasses higher onto his nose with his ring finger, a bow held in his other hand, and walked toward Ahir. “That won’t be necessary, for he is here. Forgive me for shooting your monkey, but he was attacking my bird, and we both know that I couldn’t have really hurt him, only you possess the tool for that, Mr. Bohater.”
“What did you do to Bar’bou? Who are you?”
The man chuckled. “These are the pressing questions you had to ask me? This was worth attacking Tor’jahd over? My, my, you truly are just a violent young man, aren’t you? I am Milton Farlow, and I shot Bar’bou with this, the Powaga Jousi. It is Aureus’aveum for the “gravity bow”, and unlike your weapon, this bow has the ability to affect how gravity affects objects. I can free your monkey friend if he agrees to cooperate.” The man looked at Bar’bou, who was still struggling to get off of the ground, and waited for an answer.
Bar’bou stopped struggling, and nodded. Milton smiled, and the beams of light disappeared. Bar’bou got up off of the ground, dusted himself off, and walked back over to Ahir, glaring at Tor’jahd and Milton as he walked past them. “Regale me, Tor’jahd. In what manner did you procure the Powaga Jousi, another of Laz’krit’s masterpieces?”
Tor’jahd smiled, or attempted to do what passes for a smile for a hawk.. “It was given to me by Dar’duo of course. He has been monitoring your progress ever since you came over here and he is not pleased with how things have been going, with how many of our people you have aided this human in killing.”
Bar’bou scowled at Tor’jahd. “How can I place certitude in any utterance that originates from you? When last I was home, you were still Lang’kahn’s sycophant. What occurance could have possibly made you betray your master?”
“Please, I supported prince Lang’kahn and was responsible for his development, a task assigned to me by his father, King Dar’duo. I noticed the dark changes in him too late and was held prisoner by him. It was only recently that I escaped and returned to the king. He sent me over here with this to show that I am working in his name.” Tor’jahd held up his talon and showed a ring with the likeness of a hawk and a monkey resting on opposite corners of the shoulders of a dog.
Bar’bou gasped. “That is the personal seal of King Dar’duo, so either you stole it from him, or as is more likely, you speak without falsehood. So the King has reversed his judgement.”
“Yes, it pains him to see how easily you participate in the killing of our people. Now, as I said, you don’t have to worry about fighting anymore, you can do enough by just handing over the Gladio Protegat.”
Bar’bou’s hands quivered at his side. “It is undeniable that I am supporting the one who is responsible for the murder of our people, but only those that cannot be redeemed. The ones who have been corrupted and twisted into Lang’kahn’s puppets. If we had not freed them from their enslavement, thousands of humans would have been abducted and twisted into monsters as well, and surely numerous humans would have lost their lives due to Lang’kahn’s schemes At this point. The actions I have taken and supported are according to the plan that the King, his seer, and I agreed was best. There is no other course of action that we could have taken!”
“You are wrong Bar’bou, the ones you are killing are not lost. Lang’kahn is the only one that needs to die. After that, magic will be purified, and his slaves will be freed.”
Bar’bou looked up in surprise. “You are sure of this?”
“Yes, quite certain. It makes sense, does it not? After Lang’kahn’s heart turned dark, the magic he discovered turned with him. Get rid of Lang’kahn, and magic should be purified, and those enslaved by it set free as well. How many of our people’s blood do you have on your hands that didn’t have to die?”
Milton leaned on his bow. “That is enough Tor’jahd.” He turned to Bar’bou, “You now know enough to know that what you are doing is no longer necessary. I don’t have any more time to waste with you killers. You are done, you did your job and protected this city until I was called. Leave this to me and just go back to your life.” Milton turned and began to walk away.
Ahir hung his head and formed his hands into fists. “I can’t do that.”
Milton’s eyes opened up wide in shock and he turned to face Ahir. “What was that?”
“I can’t just stop what I’m doing and let life go back to normal. I didn’t know that the Aereus’aveum that were coming here could be saved, but I do know this: Bar’bou’s people have a prophesy that this sword is the only thing that will be able to save them. If it wasn’t for that, they would have destroyed this blade long ago. I can’t just stop protecting this city, and fighting to save Bar’bou’s people. They need this blade, and I am the only one that can wield it. I would like to avoid taking more lives if I can, but this blade only has the ability to kill them and close portals. I have no way to send them back through to the other side, but your bow does.Work with me, and together we can save our world and theirs.”
Milton laughed. “Me, work with you? I’m sorry, but that just is not an option. What use could I possibly have for you? You would just slow me down. As I’m sure you have noticed, I can deal with the threat and leave the battlefield before you even show up. Waiting for you would simply make things more difficult for me. If you want to feel useful, go and track this fool down.” Milton reached into his carrier bag hanging at his side and pulled out a newspaper, and threw it at Ahir’s feet.
Ahir picked it up and saw a picture of Captain Ember on the front cover. “Why should I do that? Seems like he at least is doing some good. Do you disagree with his fashion or something?”
“While I do question his taste in fashion, that is not the problem here. I would think it fairly obvious that this human is dabbling in something dangerous. Tell me Ahir, have you ever heard of someone having abilities like his outside of comics before?”
Ahir’s face scrunched up in thought. “No, I can’t say that I have. So what?”
Trixie looked over Ahir’s shoulder at the article and gasped. “Ahir, he must be using magic!”
Milton snickered. “Looks like your girlfriend at least isn’t as oblivious as you are.”
Ahir and Trixie both blushed, and Ahir said, “She’s not my girlfriend!” at the same time that Trixie said, “You think we’re a couple?”
“Whatever, the important thing is that we don’t know what using magic does to a human, but we know what it does to an Aereus’aveum. If it has the same effect, Lang’kahn could get a human puppet on this side of the portal that would blend in much better than any monster could. Why don’t you go and prevent that from happening? I’ll handle the Aereus’aveum coming through, without having to kill anyone. Tor’jahd, let’s go.”
Milton turned and started walking away, and Tor’jahd flew into the air and landed on his shoulder. Bar’bou reached out toward Milton and opened his mouth, but Ahir said, “Let him go Bar’bou, it’s obvious that we won’t win him over today. Right now, we should focus on finding this Captain Ember and preventing him from using any more magic. Do you have any ideas on how to do that?”
“It appears that this gentleman doesn’t shy away from theatrics, so locating him should pose no difficulty. Preventing any future practice of magic is a bit trickier, though. Perhaps discussing with him the consequences of keeping on this present course would be sufficient?”
Ahir sighed. “Bar’bou, English please.”
Bar’bou grumbled under his breath before saying, “He’s flashy, so he’ll be easy to find, maybe if we tell him what will happen if he keeps using magic that will stop him.”
“Good idea, but I don’t know if we can afford to wait as long as it would take to track him down that way. I think we’re going to have to use magic to find him, I mean I’ll have to use magic.”
Trixie reached out and grabbed Ahir’s shoulder. “Ahir, no you can’t! If you do, you might be corrupted! Then who will save the world?”
“I have to do this, Trixie. Bar’bou has already used plenty of magic before he came to our dimension, there is no telling which spell could be his last, and without him I’ll have no idea where or when the portals open. I’ve only used magic once, so my soul should be fairly safe, yet.”
Bar’bou slowly nodded his head. “I agree, Ahir. I wish there were a better way to do this, but I think it is important to track this young man down now. There’s no telling how many spells he has already cast. Now what you are going to want to do is cast a locator spell, and you do that by…”
A man wearing a ski mask pointed a shotgun at a lady in a red top with a red short skirt on the other side of a glass tellers booth. “This is a robbery, fill the bags with money and no one gets hurt.”
A second man in a ski mask walked slowly, pointing pistols at the huddling people around the bank lobby, his trench coat swishing as he moved amongst them. Sweat beaded on his forehead, and he kept looking over his shoulder at the door. “Hurry up, hurry up! We gotta get out of here before he shows up!”
A pillar of fire erupted in the middle of the bank and a figure stepped out of it. “Evildoers, beware! The flame of justice is here to burn away the impurities of crime and violence from our society!”
The two masked men dropped their guns to the ground and walked up to the figure with their hands held up in the air. They dropped the ground on their stomachs with their hands behind their heads. “We’re sorry, Captain Ember, sir. Don’t burn us to a crisp and we promise to give ourselves up to the police and never harm anyone ever again!”
Captain Ember crossed his arms and glared down at the two masked men on the floor. “Scum like you wouldn’t hesitate to harm a defenseless person begging for their lives, why should I spare yours?”
The two crooks whimpered and made sputtering pleas for mercy. Captain Ember formed a fireball in his hand and prepared to throw it at the two groveling crooks. The door of the bank opened and two police officers walked in. “Thanks for your hard work, Captain Ember, but we can take it from here. If that’s okay with you.” The police officer who said this cringed and looked hesitantly at Captain Ember.
“Of course, officers. I am here to aid justice-upholding officials such as yourselves. Go ahead and take them away, I’m off to seek out more lawbreakers” The police officers and crooks gave a sigh of relief, and the people in the bank started cheering, applauding, and chanting Captain Embers name. He waved to the people and then walked out the doors of the bank.
He reached the bottom of the stairs that led up to the doors of the bank when a man grabbed his arm and stopped him. “Excuse me, Captain Ember, may I speak with you for a moment?” Captain Ember spun to face the man, panicking momentarily, a flame appearing in his hand. “Woah, calm down Captain, I just want to talk to you for a moment, about something very important. I believe that you are using magic, and you have to stop.”
The flame winked out from over Captain Ember’s hand. “I’m sorry, who are you?”
“My name is Ahir, and I fear you are dabbling with something that is very dangerous. How long have you had these powers? How much have you been using them?”
“I’m sorry Mr. Ahir, you must have me confused with someone else, I don’t use magic. Now if you’ll excuse me, I must go and search out other crimes.” Captain Ember began to push past Ahir when a monkey jumped onto Ahir’s shoulder.
“I had hoped to avoid this, but if you are unwilling to cooperate with Ahir, maybe you will take heed of a vocal simian. You are using magic, and you have to stop.”
“Get away from me, you and your talking monkey!” Captain Ember pushed past Ahir and a giant pillar of flame formed around him, and he teleported away.
Ahir turned and looked at Bar’bou. “What do we do now, Bar’bou?”
“It is essential for us to keep pursuing him. He is placing himself and the entirety of this city into danger. Let us commence our search.”