Zio walked away from the Ladea Tower, having recovered one of the two
holy items needed for his quest to awaken the Great Light. Draped around his
shoulders was the Frade Mantle, a cape and cowl made entirely of magic.
Created by the most powerful esper to ever live, the esper Tajim, teacher to
Noah, it's soft white glow served both as a protective magical barrier to
attack and as an amplifier of ones own magic. Zio could feel his increased
powers surging through every fibre of his being. He was now as powerful in
magic as he was when under the influence of Dark Force, yet at the same time
he was stronger. His magical prowess was much improved, yet instead of being
fuelled by his arrogance and hatred as it once was, it was now augmented by
his kindness, his sense of honour and justice. However, Zio was distraught
to learn that the other item he needed wasn't at the tower. He passed his
hand through his midnight-black hair in frustration, trying to think of
where possibly the Psycho Wand could be. If Rune hadn't put it back in the
tower, then that must mean he still carries it. But why ?
The Psycho Wand was a very powerful tool, not to be treated lightly.
According to Le Roof, not even Rune knew the true significance of the Psycho
Wand. Now, when the singular god had originally split into the Profound
Darkness and the Great Light, parts of itself also split into more minor
beings, demi-gods if you will. They were composed of Le Roof de Rykros, the
incarnation of knowledge and fate, De' Vars, incarnation of strength, Sa'
Lews, incarnation of courage and Re' Faze, incarnation of anger. However,
after splitting into these beings and the division of power that it implied,
there was still a part of the god that remained. Literally, what was left
was a fragment of the god's power. This final fragment of unimaginable power
became the Psycho Wand, the literal incarnation of the god's power. This
wand could counter any magical attack aimed at it's holder, even if that
attack came from a god, but it also magnified it's owners powers many times
over. It was this reason that Chaz, with the added power of Elsydeon, was
able to even get close enough to strike down the Profound Darkness, because
the Psycho Wand rendered any attacks by the Profound Darkness powerless,
even the most destructive magical power in existence, Megid.
But it wasn't in the tower.
The only other explanation for it's whereabouts was that Rune still
carried the wand. This scared Zio, for even in his current state, Rune
struck him down with the power of the Psycho Wand as if he were a gnat. If
he were to meet Rune, Rune could very well kill him, thus he would fail in
his endeavour. Rune wouldn't be entirely unjustified either, Zio thought
" Does Rune have the Psycho Wand, Le Roof ? " Zio asked the giant.
" Yes he does. " The Giant replied.
" Nothing is ever easy... " Zio replied ruefully.
" If this was going to be easy, I would have chosen some simpleton
instead of taking the time to take you away from your prison, Zio. Don't
think of it as an obstacle, think of it as a challenge. Then it shouldn't
seem so bad. " The giant replied, a large smile on his bearded face.
" Easy for you to say. You don't have to face someone that made a god
his prison bi... " Zio started to say.
" Now, now Zio. Stay focused. You'll find him in Krup. "
" Krup...Isn't that where...? "
" Yes, that's where Alys Brangwin is buried. You have your work cut out
for you. "
" It is true what they say, fate truly does have an obscure sense of
* * *
A few seconds, and a Ryuka spell later, Zio appeared in a flash of blue
light on the outskirts of the village of Krup, the hometown of one of the
greatest protectors to ever live, Hahn, and the burial site of Alys
Brangwin. The village was quaint and small, despite its fame of housing two
protectors of Algo. The people shied away from popularity, choosing to
retain their simple lives of farming, living off the land. The small homes
bustled with the laughter of children and adults, children playing games on
the cobblestone streets. The school of Saya, Hahn's wife, still stood, and
the children are still taught the basics of mathematics and history,
continuing Hahn's and Saya's legacy of education. A descendant of Hahn's
line still taught in this school. Zio marvelled at the beauty of this small
village, how happy these people were, who had no crime, everyone knew
everyone else. It was a tightly knit community. It was not hard to fathom
why this city survived the hard times of the Darkness. These people would
protect each other with the ferocity of family protecting their kin. The
small homes, really only dilapidated huts, housed large, but happy families,
all well fed and clothed. The school on the eastern edge of the town was
really only a converted barn, with small makeshift desks and chairs. But
these people were happy. They did not dabble in the politics of Aideo, the
scheming of the university in Piata, nor the now defunct cult in Kadary.
They simply lived a natural blissful existence, in harmony with Nature. Zio
admired and envied their simple yet blissful life.
Walking along the cobblestone street, he came across a few children,
who were playing tag on the street. A small sandy-haired boy was chasing a
blonde little girl, both of them not more then five years of age. They were
beautiful children, with tans from aiding their parents in the fields, their
chubby arms and legs pumping in the run, enjoying every minute of their
innocent lives. Zio was startled out of his peaceful moment watching them
when the little girl tripped on a loose stone on the street, coming down on
her hands and knees, skidding on the suddenly unforgiving stones. She began
to cry in startled pain as the minor lacerations on her hands and knees
began to bleed. The boy stopped, and placed a concerned hand on her
shoulder, as she sat down and wailed. Zio walked over to her, a sympathetic
smile on his face.
" Do you need some help, young ones ? " Zio asked the two children, as
the rest of the kids gathered around in concern for their friend.
" My little sister tripped on the stone, sir. If you had some monomate
with you, we would be mighty grateful, and ma and pa will pay you back sir.
" The sandy haired boy replied.
" That is not needed. I have something better then monomate, and it
will be my pleasure to use it to heal her. "
Zio kneeled down beside the girl, who looked up at him with innocent
hope in her tear stained eyes. Cradling her small frame in his arms, he
channelled some magic, using a simple Res spell to heal the girl. Although
the simplest of the healing spells, Zio's Res spell was more powerful then
dimate, never mind monomate. As the healing power washed over the girl, the
startled children watching as the soft light of Zio's Res spell faded into
the girl, the lacerations closed before their very eyes. Taking his water
skin and the corner of the corporeal Frade Mantle, Zio gently washed away
the little bit of blood from the girls hands and knees. All the children
looked at Zio in innocent wonder. The little girl especially looked at Zio
with a wonder bordering on worship in her eyes, having never felt the
invigorating touch of healing magic. Wrapping her small arms around Zio's
neck, she placed a wet kiss on Zio's cheek, which brought a helpless smile
to his face.
" Thank you, mister. " She said sweetly, and then her and her friends
ran off, no doubt to tell their parents of the mysterious healer with the
kindness in his eyes, who wears a glowing cloak and commands magic.
Zio got up, happy that he had spared the little girl some pain and a
gentle scolding by her parents to be more careful, fixed the hood of the
Frade Mantle about his head, and walked further down the cobblestone street
towards the grave of Alys Brangwin. He walked along the street, seeing some
of the children who had witnessed his magic talking to their parents and
gesturing to him excitedly. One of the boys of the small group, a red-haired
boy, very pale of skin and with a cute freckled face looked at him with
longing in his eyes. Noticing him, Zio diverted from his path towards the
grave to the boy. Zio kneeled down in front of the boy, looking at him
square in the face, a kind smile on his own.
" What is wrong, young one ? " Zio asked.
" I noticed you healing my friend Sarah, so I was wondering if you
could help my pa. " The boy asked, a tear coming from one eye.
" I will try. Is he in your home ? " Zio asked, gesturing to the house
a little ways behind the boy. "
" Yeah, he's real sick. He was hunting, and he captured a baby
sandworm. When he was bringing it home, a Locusta attacked him. It poisoned
him, and now he's in a fever, and dying. Please sir, if you could... "
" Say no more. Lead the way. "
Following the boy, who ran to the house, Zio hurried after him, coming
through the open door. On the floor was a small pallet, where presumably was
the boy's father. The village healer was around him, but he was not equipped
to handle the Locusta poison. He looked to Zio, des[pair in his eyes at his
inability to heal the man. The man was gaunt, pale, and shivering. His body
was very feverish, sweaty, his mane of red hair sticking to his face from
the sweat. Zio knew right away that this man was at death's doorstep. Zio
was a good healer, but this far along, Zio knew that the man was at the very
limits of his power. Zio didn't think he could save him, but he would be
damned if he didn't try his best.
The village healer, the boy and his mother gave way to Zio, who placed
his hand on the man's forehead, using his telemental powers to gauge the
exact extent of the damage the poison had done. Scanning the man, he found
that the poison had already shut down the man's liver and kidney's,
releasing even more toxins into his bloodstream, and was now systematically
breaking down the man's nervous system. This man was already halfway into
the realm of the dead. However, first things first, Zio had to cleanse the
poison from his system, as well as the unfettered toxins in the blood. Zio
unleashed the Anti spell, releasing a wave of magical energy into the blood,
immediately cleansing it of toxins. However, the liver and kidney's were
another problem entirely. He had to bring them back to working order. To do
that, he would have to use a very powerful spell, the Rever spell, which
would bring the shut down organs back to life. Using his power to activate
the spell, Zio began to glow white from the release of the Rever spell. The
healing power worked feverishly, draining Zio's magical store to correct
what would normally be irreparable damage, bringing the liver and kidney's
back to working order, and once again purifying the blood. Now, for the
people watching Zio, they were in abject shock. His whole body was glowing
white, as was the man, and they watched as he began to breath easier, no
longer sweating and colour returned to his pale skin. However, Zio, wasn't
finished. Now Zio had to rejuvenate the man's vigour and stamina, as well as
heal his ravaged nervous system, and with a final usage of magic, Zio cast
the Nares spell, the most powerful of the healing spells, which immediately
fixed any left over physical damage, including the man's nervous system, and
restoring his stamina. The man opened his eyes in full cognisance for the
first time in days, and looked up into the eyes of a tired, but smiling Zio.
" You have saved my life, great Wizard. I do not have anything of worth
to repay you for what you have given me, but ... " The man began.
" There is no need. Seeing a family happily reunited and spared the
pain of a lost love one is all the payment I need. " Zio replied.
" Please, noble Wizard. Remain here and dine with us, spend the night.
Our offer is humble, but it is the best we can give to you. " The man's wife
Zio looked to the brown-haired, beautiful wife, and the man who now sat
up from the pallet and looked to him, and found he could not refuse such a
offering. It would be good to finally speak to real humans, to know of the
comings and goings of this world he had not known for over five centuries.
He nodded his acceptance, smiling in thanks. The small family beamed in
happiness, that he, this great wizard, would accept their hospitality.
* * *
Late into the night, Zio left the small house. He had eaten with the
family, who spoke with him of all the recent events of the world. They were
at first in awe of Zio, for in their eyes he was a great wizard and healer,
but slowly, their awe faded away due to Zio's complete lack of arrogance,
and they spoke with him as they would a regular person. Zio found out that
Motavia now had a new government, centred in Aideo's Hunter's Guild, led by
the descendants of Chaz and Rika Ashley. The Hunter's Guild became the not
only the seat of power, but the military force, although they remained
mercenaries. Anyone could still hire a hunter, but they were much more
regulated as to what jobs they took now. He also inquired about their daily
lives, and he was happy to find that they were a peaceful town, rarely
troubled my monsters or the cult of Zio in Kadary. They were especially
happy to hear that the cult was destroyed, all its initiates finally
returned home. When they asked who had accomplished this, he simply smiled
at them and winked, and they all laughed, for they knew that it was he,
especially when he told them of the great and noble wizard. As he walked
away from the small house and it's sleeping occupants, he knew that until he
died, this house would forever be a source of happy memories for him.
However, Zio could still feel the presence of magic in the town. He
knew that Rune was still here, at Alys grave. Even though he had fully
recovered his power after healing the man, he knew that if Rune decided too,
Zio would not leave Krup alive. However, Zio needed the Psycho Wand. His
face set with determination, he strode up the grassy knoll towards the
grave. It was a small tombstone over a plot that had long since grown over
with plants. The writing on the tombstone was faded, but Rune knew well what
it said. He stood before the grave of Alys Brangwin, holding the Psycho Wand
in his hand. His robe weathered and travel worn, his hair, once a vibrant
blue now grey, and his worn boots all spoke of a well traveled individual.
His face was bearded and wrinkled, but still retained the sarcastic mirth in
it's blue eyes. The Psycho Wand glowed a soft green at his approach.
" I've heard a lot about you, ' wizard '. " Rune called out in a strong
voice, despite his apparent age.
" Good things, I hope. " Zio replied timidly.
" Well, from what I hear, you saved a girl from being crippled and you
raised a man from the dead. "
" A little exaggerated on the girl, but the man was almost dead. I was
barely able to save him. I'm glad that I was able too. His death would have
crushed the family. "
" Strange. I hear and recognize the voice, but I do not recognize the
man speaking them. You've changed, Zio. " Rune called out.
" Yes, I have. "
" Tell me, though, how did you come back from the dead. I don't think
even I could do that. "
" He had some help. " A voice called out to the right of Rune.
There stood the giant, Le Roof de Rykros in all his glory, his hammer
at his side, his great beard and long hair flowing over his massive muscles,
a look of merriment in his eyes. He had his arms crossed as he lazily leaned
against an oak tree.
" Ah, Le Roof. Of all the people to bring back, why him ? Why not Chaz,
or for that matter, why not Alys. " Rune asked.
" Well, for one thing, you need a successor for your legacy. Zio was
the last esper powerful enough to bond with the Telepathy Ball and become
the next Lutz. No esper born since has been strong enough to receive the
memories and powers of five generations of Lutz. Second, he still has a
final part to play in the destiny of the universe. "
" Fate has a very strange sense of humour, eh Zio ? "
" Tell me about it. "
" Well, first things first. " Rune said, pulling out a glowing ball
from under his cloak. He looked intently at the ball, concentrating his
telemental powers, using them to imprint his memories and powers into the
ball. It glowed brighter for a few moments, then faded. Rune tossed the ball
" Bond with it. " He said.
Zio focused his own telemental powers, creating a telepathic link with
the receptacle of memories. With the force of a sledgehammer, the memories
of five incarnations of Lutz slammed into his mind, imprinting themselves
forever in his psyche. Zio came to his knees with the abrupt shock,
startled. However, quickly, he brought his chaotic mind back under control.
He returned onto his feet, a little unsteady, but alright. He marvelled at
the simplistic transfer of memories. No fanfare, no huge release of magic,
just a simple telepathic bond, and then suddenly, your Lutz. It was almost
" That's it? I'm now Lutz ? " Zio asked, not quite believing it.
" Well, yeah. What, did you expect the Great Light herself to come down
and announce to the cosmos that there is a new guardian of the known
universe? " Le Roof inquired.
" Well... " Zio began.
" Trust me Zio, Being Lutz isn't that great. You have the personalities
and memories of five extremely powerful espers in your mind. You also have a
community of people that worship you like you were a god, and think that you
are all knowing. Plus, you are the guardian of the universe. Think you can
handle it ? " Rune asked.
" I certainly hope so. " Zio replied, still shocked at the utter
simplicity of it all.
" Rune, I need to tell you something... I'm deeply sorry... "
" Zio, I've been around for 500 years, man. The Zio standing before me
is not the same Zio who killed her. I might never forget it, but forgiveness
is still in my nature, even though I loved her. If Le Roof thinks you're
redeemable, then who am I to argue with an incarnation of fate? "
Rune suddenly threw the Psycho Wand to Zio, who caught the glowing
green staff with one hand. The simple titanium rod, topped by a white stone
that glowed an inner green was beautiful in it's simplicity. However, Zio
did not feel any stronger now that he had finally gained it. He felt the
same as he had before. He looked inquiringly at Rune who simply smiled.
" You wondering why you don't feel any stronger with the staff in your
hands? Oh, you are stronger. Watch out though. The next time you use magic
with the Psycho Wand in your hands is when it amplifies your power. It has a
mind of it's own, the thing. You have to use your magic for it to recognize
the power of its wielder. Be very careful. The first time I used the wand
for a spell, I levelled half of the mountains around Termi with a Foi spell.
Be VERY careful. "
" I'll keep that in mind, Rune. "
With that, Rune waved to Le Roof and Zio, and walked away from the duo.
With simple motion of his hand, and he disappeared in the blue flash of a
Ryuka spell. Zio was still shocked. THIS was Rune Walsh, the fifth
generation of Lutz ? Zio wondered to himself.
" A tad irreverent, Mr. Rune Walsh, no Zio ? " The giant asked Zio.
" He must be the most laid back Lutz in the history of all the Lutz's.
" Zio replied.
Abruptly, four different voices voiced their agreement in Zio's mind,
with a fifth voice protesting feebly. Zio was shocked that not only had he
the memories of five Lutz's, but an imprint of their personalities as well,
something Rune mentioned but Zio didn't quite believe.
" Le Roof, having five different Lutz's in my head is going to be very
trying of my patience isn't it ? " Zio asked Le Roof wearily.
" Well yes. Now you know how the first god felt, having all of us
running around in its head. " Le Roof replied.
" Great....Just great... "