ULTIMATES REWRITE: Book 3: The Artifacts of Electricity: (Chapter 16)
Posted July 1st, 2021 by QuartzMaster
in The Ultimates Galaxy
Here is the next chapter... this show thing is weird.
The show was… something. It left Kaze and Mehrunes blown away.
It was an array of lights, and summonings. They had a few skits - the Ringmaster had performed to be a samurai - They had slain Pharaoh, and then took their own life in the skit. The craziest thing was, the entire stadium seemed to have faded and it appeared as Kaze was the only onlooker. The Ringmaster stood in the water, on a horse, at the edge of the ocean. Boats were coming to shore, and the Ringmaster lit an arrow and fired it into the boats. It hit Pharaoh, and the boats caught ablaze. Then, the Ringmaster plunged a dagger into his own chest. The skit ended, and the stadium was normal again.
They had also shown many creatures. Kaze wasn’t sure if they were real or an illusion. There were goblins, and dragons that turned to tigers that turned to bone, and fell like paper into the crowd. There were massive pumpkins that opened into the heads of old, dead men, and hissed, fire spraying from their mouths and their teeth falling to the ground. Their teeth turned into small people, who ran in circles, chanting, and then turning to flames and smoke.
So much happened, and it had overwhelmed Kaze and Mehrunes. But finally the show had ended, and they could talk with the Ringmaster. They had come off the stage and were signing things and greeting people.
“Yo Mehrunes, we should go tell them to meet us outside or something,” Kaze then said to Mehrunes. “Since it’d be impossible to talk in this madness.”
Mehrunes nodded. “Go on then.” They pushed their way to the Ringmaster, and Kaze began to speak, but the Ringmaster cut him off.
“Oh hello my darlings!” They said. They stretched out their arms. “You’re so beautiful tonight. How may I help you, darling?” The Ringmaster bent down to be eye level with Kaze and Mehrunes.
“Uhhh…” Kaze was weirded out by being called ‘darling’. “We’re looking for an Artifact of Electricity, and all we know is that you have it.”
The Ringmaster lowered their arms and raised an… their only eyebrow. “Artifact of Electricity? I’m simply confused. What might you mean, darling?”
Kaze looked over at Mehrunes, trying to explain at the same time. “Uhh, it’s an item thing that belongs to the Elemental Master of Electricity…?”
The Ringmaster shook their head. “I don’t know what you mean, darling. Do you know what it looks like?”
Kaze shook his head as well. “Nope. But we really need it. It’s urgent.”
The Ringmaster pondered for a moment. “All right, darlings. Can you wait over there?” They pointed with a long, sharp finger to a door backstage. “I might know what you’re looking for, but I simply must finish greeting my lovely guests.”
“Kaze, we’re not gonna get any headway otherwise,” Mehrunes advised quietly.
“Okay, we’ll wait.” Kaze nodded, looking over at the backstage door. “Let’s go, Mehrunes.” They walked to the door, and stood just outside it. A few minutes passed and the Ringmaster came to them.
“All right, come with me. To the dressing rooms!” They said, leading them backstage into a white room full of mirrors and makeup. The Ringmaster turned to them. “Might what you’re looking for be a necklace?” they asked. Their voice had changed. It no longer sounded like a fancy drag queen. It sounded more like what people would think an imp’s voice would sound like.
Kaze glanced over at Mehrunes and shrugged. “Yeah, it could be a necklace.”
The Ringmaster nodded. “All right.” They began to take off their suit and pants.
“Uhh, what are you doing?” Kaze asked.
“Do you really need an answer to that question?” Mehrunes asked. The Ringmaster was completely undressed now. What weirded Kaze out, but slightly relieved him, was that they had no nipples or… anything else.
“All right.” The Ringmaster set their clothes on the makeup counter. “You’re looking for artifact - the only way I can really help is if it’s a necklace.”
“You forgot an ‘an’,” Mehrunes commented.
“I what now?” They narrowed their eye.
“Nevermind, grammar must not be your strong suit. The one you took off is. Anyway.” Mehrunes looked at Kaze. “You go first.”
“Okay uhh…” Kaze said, remembering the lightning bolt symbols on the axe that they had gotten from Abyss. “The necklace we’re looking for has lightning bolt symbols on it.”
The Ringmaster put their hands to their head. “Oh, uhh… Maybe, it’s been a couple hundred years so I don’t really remember.” They ran their hands along their ears and dropped them to their side. “Might the necklace have had a bright blue stone on it?”
“Yeah! Yeah!” Kaze exclaimed, associating the color blue with electricity. “It probably does!”
The Ringmaster turned around, and kneeled down. Their tail hit Kaze’s ankles. “Might it be this?” On the Ringmaster’s back was a round, blue gemstone. It glimmered in the light.
Kaze scrutinized it. A smile then appeared on his face once he saw a large lightning bolt symbol on it. It was faint, but it was there.
“Yes! This is what we’re looking for!” he exclaimed.
The Ringmaster stood up and turned back to them. “Well bugger. That sucks. For you, mostly.”
Mehrunes rolled his eyes. “And why’s that, nameless one?”
They cringed momentarily at Mehrunes. “Well, it’s kind of bound and fused to me. I’ve tried gettin’ it out. I even used a spell. But the thing just won’t budge! It really doesn’t wanna leave.”
“Why not have Mehrunes try getting it out?” Kaze suggested.
The Ringmaster snorted and held up their hands, taking a step back. “Haha, no way. I just met you two. I can’t trust you enough to poke and pry at me.”
“But if we don’t get it, some powerful guy will come and probably rip it off you himself!” Kaze exclaimed. “You see, he’s after all the artifacts because he can summon a legendary creature using them, and he’s gonna steal its energy and have infinite power!”
The Ringmaster’s eye flashed black. “Look, kids. I don’t want you tearing this thing out of me. I’m not in the mood to die today.”
Mehrunes glowered at them. “Then you better backpedal with your words a little, because we’re the nice people coming to take that, and I’m not all too nice. You’re not wanting to die is either gonna happen later when the other guy shows up, or now, if you think you’re gonna tell us to mess off.”
The Ringmaster narrowed their eye. Their mood suddenly changed, and so did their stance. “What do you know, kid? You’re like, what, fifteen?” They growled, eye narrowed. “I’m eight hundred and three years old, and if you think you’re gonna mess with me, think again.” They walked over to a drawer, and pulled out some things - it looked like more trash. They snapped their thumb in their palm, and a jagged sword appeared in a puff of pink smoke, like the microphone had. “Get out, before I make you.”
Mehrunes drew his sword in an instant. “I’ve fought older,” Mehrunes said, glowering at the Ringmaster. He wasn’t in any stance to fight.
The Ringmaster raised their sword, but stopped. Their teeth chattered and they looked around wildly. “What are you doing?” They said, hushed and frantic. “What does it look like I’m doing? I’m stopping them from killing us.” “That’s not how you do that! Put the sword down!” “What do you know? Just up and let me do this!”
They launched themselves at Mehrunes, but dropped the sword and collapsed. The sword disappeared in smoke. “I said let me fight!” “No! Now shut up, let me deal with this.” They continued talking to themselves. Shaking themselves, they stood and looked at Mehrunes.
“Well. Sorry about that.” They put their hands on their hips. “We don’t like confrontation.”
Kaze blinked a few times. “Is there… two of you or something?”
They looked surprised. “Oh! God, yes. Sorry.” They held out a hand. “I’m Rose. The buffoon who drew the sword is Prince.”
“Mm,” Mehrunes replied, not taking the hand while Kaze just stood there. The Ringmaster gave Mehrunes a look and dropped their hand.
“Mhm… Okay, well you can just call us Kingston.” They scratched their head and brushed their ears back. “Look, if you find a way to get it out, great! But I don’t want you going all willy nilly on my back and ending me.”
“Well uh… I’m sure we can figure something out,” Kaze said.
“Are you gonna rush me with a sword again?” Mehrunes asked.
Kingston shook their head. “Hopefully not.”
“Good,” Mehrunes said threateningly, sheathing his sword. He then took out the book he’d been taking out so often, and opened it. “How do we get the pendant out of Kingston’s back?”
Kingston eyed the book carefully. “A book? What’s it supposed to say?” They took a step forward, as if trying to read it.
“It’s gonna answer my question in a second,” Mehrunes replied.
“Okay, sure. But how do you know it knows?” they asked. They hesitantly held out a hand and touched the book, briefly.
Mehrunes glanced at the hand. “Because while you may have been around for a few hundred years, you’ve not gotten around enough to know about the book that knows everything.”
Kingston looked at Mehrunes. “Does this book know my favorite… uhm… food?” they pondered, slightly sarcastically. “I mean, if it knows all, it would know that, right?”
Mehrunes glanced at them. “Probably. It doesn’t really listen to anyone other than me though. Give it a second.”
Kingston looked at Kaze. “What about you, does it listen to you?”
Kaze shrugged. “I never tried.”
Mehrunes then looked down at the words that had generated on the page.
You could try using your enchanted sword.
“Wait, enchanted?” Kaze questioned, looking up at Mehrunes.
Mehrunes couldn’t answer before Kingston interrupted. “Uh, excuse me? Take a sword to my back, why don’t you? We’ll see the havoc you wreak when that happens.” They scoffed, backing up a bit and looking at the book.
“So, Kingston’s favorite food…?” Mehrunes asked, in an effort to prove a point.
Moonlight from their first moon, on their home planet.
Kingston glanced at Mehrunes and Kaze. “Well… I still don’t trust a sword in me. Besides, it said try, not that it’d work.”
“Ask it if it’ll work, and if Kingston will be alive and well afterwards,” Kaze told Mehrunes.
“I’m sorry I’m so stubborn, but I would like to live a couple thousands years more!” Kingston exclaimed, crossing their arms.
“I can assure you I have enough control over my blade that you won’t perish,” Mehrunes replied. “And to be quite honest, if I wanted to kill you I’d have done so. So you can stop claiming I’m going to accidentally run you through, even if we don’t take this option.”
Kingston grumbled. “I… guess. Where uh… would we do this? I don’t think in a dressing room is a good idea.”
“Uh, maybe we can go out in the open where no one is around?” Kaze suggested.
“Pfft. There’s always people around on this planet. You’ll have to find somewhere else…” They waved their hand at the door. “I haven’t been off this planet in fifty? Or so years. So, if you have any ideas, spill.”
“I dunno. I think this room’s fine,” Mehrunes replied.
“If Mehrunes says so…” Kaze shrugged. “I mean, he’s the one doing it. So if he says this room works, then I guess it works.”
Kingston looked nervous. “Okay. Fine. Hold on.” They walked to the door, and poked their head out to check if anyone was coming. They ducked back in and closed the door, then went over to the drawer they’d gone to earlier and pulled out more stuff. In a puff, it turned into chains, nails, and a hammer. They went back to the door, hammered the chains into place so that the door couldn’t open, and sat in a makeup chair. They looked too big for it… it was an awkward position.
“Okay… So what now?” They asked.
“Even though I really want to, I’m not gonna stab my sword into your back without looking closer at the pendant,” Mehrunes replied. “So that’s first. Spent time convincing you, and it might not even turn out to be an option.”
Kingston looked down. “Sorry,” they murmured, standing up and walking over to Mehrunes. They turned away and knelt down again. “Okay, you gonna look then?”
Mehrunes didn’t comment, and inspected Kingston’s back where the amulet was closely. It was light blue, a faint lightning bolt symbol carved into it. It seemed faded. With his finger to it, he saw it was the size of his fist.
Mehrunes looked around the sides of the amulet, to see how closely bound it was to Kingston’s skin or whatever.
“Oh, by the way. That’s not all of it. There’s a whole chain in there, too. It goes toward my heart. Don’t worry - it isn’t touching it,” Kingston said softly.
“I’m thinking it’s bound too close…” Mehrunes said. “And believe your initial reaction was right, just trying to pry it out will do more harm than good.”
“So then what will we do?” Kaze asked, looking back and forth at the two of them.
Kingston turned around and sat on the floor. Even sitting, they were almost as tall as the two of them. “Well, we could always… uh… I don’t know where I was going with that. I’m sorry I’m such a bother - I’m just not in a mood to die.” They hung their head. “Does that book have any other ideas? Spells, or something?”
Mehrunes face flashed sad briefly, before returning to his normal, stoic expression. “Yeah, no, it’s not like stabbing you is the only option. There’s plenty else.”
Kingston look at Kaze and then Mehrunes. “Okay, well. I have one idea.” They stood up, now towering over them again. “We could go to this one moon, it has a real nice healing pool - I used to go there all the time before I became Ringmaster. We could perform a series of spells, I doubt it’ll take long.” They looked at the two boys for reassurance.
Mehrunes looked at Kaze. “I’m neutral. You?”
“Uhh… shouldn’t we tell the others first?” Kaze asked. “So they know where we are?”
“Who cares?” Mehrunes asked.
“I mean…” Kaze thought about it. “Alright. Then I’m good with it.”
“Right then Kingston, let’s do that,” Mehrunes said.
Kingston grinned with sharp teeth. “Lovely,” They said. “Just lovely.”
Not too long passed. They had arrived at this moon - Kingston had flown them there. They had made a special helmet for Kaze, because apparently Mehrunes hadn’t needed one. For a weird creature with wings, they were a surprisingly fast flier. Now, Kingston laid in the pool and was waiting for Mehrunes to perform the spell.
“So how’s this work, doc?” Kingston said. On the ride through space, their voice and mood had changed. It was like they were a different person - maybe they were. They were being more sarcastic and aggressive. “Or do you even know?”
“I thought you said you had a spell,” Mehrunes replied. “But I have something, if nothing else.”
Kingston had their legs crossed while they waited. “I mean, I guess I could think of some spells if you’re too insecure about yours.” They grinned, and splashed water at Mehrunes. “Eh?”
“Which spell would work the best?” Kaze questioned. “Does it even matter?”
Kingston snorted. “Of course it matters. It’s life or death - for me, that is.” They shot Kaze a look.
“In which case, no. It doesn’t matter,” Mehrunes said, passive-aggressively. Kingston grumbled.
“Well, we should hurry up and try a spell. We still have one last artifact to find after this,” Kaze said, looking back and forth at the two of them.
Kingston rolled their eye and sighed. “Okay, okay, look. I have one spell that might work - liete latuparietos ulos aleaslos balolietolie. Repeat that spell and, hopefully, it should work…” Kingston turned around again, exposing their back with the glimmering amulet.
“So you’re not even sure yourself. Riveting,” Mehrunes commented sarcastically, bending down to look at the amulet. “Here goes nothing, I guess.”
Despite the situation, he didn’t look like he could give less of a care about what he was doing.
“Oh! I negated to mention, and here’s the kicker - you actually do have to kill me first, and say that after. The necklace can’t hold onto my life force if it isn’t there. Uhm… I’ve died like at least once I think, so I’ll be fine - I know I made a big deal about not dying but-”
“Yeah, got it,” Mehrunes interrupted bluntly. “Let’s just get this over with before Kaze tells us to hurry again.”
“Okay… Don’t take too long reviving me.” Kingston grumbled, their mood changed again.
“Sure,” Mehrunes said, taking in a breath. It seemed he was steeling himself a little.
He then swiftly moved his hands, reaching to his sword, moving his hands away from its sheath and back all in one swift motion.
Then, a few moments later, a stab wound suddenly appeared in Kingston’s upper back, just missing the amulet. Blue liquid spilled into the pool.
After a few seconds, Kingston kinda just fell over. Kaze just stood there and watched with wide eyes.
“There, dead as a stone,” Mehrunes said calmly before quickly tearing the amulet out of Kingston’s back with one hand. “Now, liete latuparietos ulos aleaslos balolietolie.”
As he finished speaking, the moon pool glowed and so did Kingston’s wounds and what seemed like blood. They stirred as the glowing wound on their back began to close up, as well as where the amulet had been. They jolted, taking a sharp breath. “Oh, wow. Death is not easy for a flower,” Kingston commented.
“At least I made it quick for you,” Mehrunes said, cleaning the amulet in his hand with a cloth of some kind.
Kaze blinked a few times, surprised by what had just happened in front of him. Mehrunes had killed them in like, an instant. And then casually revived them like it was no big deal.
“Well… we got the artifact, right?” Kaze then said, looking over at the amulet that Mehrunes was cleaning. “So we can go back to Vivo’s ship?”
“Unless you wanna go sightseeing for some reason,” Mehrunes replied, handing Kaze the now cleaned amulet.
“Er- do you two need a ride back to CXE? Or shall you hail a cab?”
“Whatever is easier,” Kaze said, looking down at the amulet. “It doesn’t matter to me.”
Kingston sprouted wings promptly. “All right, let’s go then. You still have your helmet, just show me where to drop you off, I guess.” Kingston grabbed them both in his large hands, and they flew back to the Freakshow planet.
Soon, Kingston had landed on top of the hovering vehicle with a bang, and dropped them both. Kaze’s helmet poofed into smoke.
“Alright, thanks Kingston,” Kaze then said with a smile, holding the amulet in his hands.
Kingston smiled sheepishly. “Yeah. I would touch that amulet one last time, but… I’m scared it’ll reattach itself, haha.” They held their arm.
Kaze chuckled. “Well, we gotta go… We still have one last artifact to find.”
“Okay,” Kingston said. “Bye, I guess! Good luck uhm… defeating an evil wizard man or whatever?”
“Yeah, thanks again!” Kaze waved before Mehrunes teleported them back into Vivofit’s ship.
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