Episode 8: Retirement is Never Real

          Vestria looked at Sionis for a long time.

          Finally, when it became clear the Flamecaller was done talking, she rolled her eyes.

          “What?” Sionis asked.

          “You aren’t done,” he said. “The wand. I purchased it from a vendor in Bounty Bay. He told me it was a valuable relic used by Sionis the Flamecaller of Stonehaven. How did he end up with the wand?”

          Sionis chuckled. “Right. Iliera held onto it after the confrontation with Evanor. She kept it for fourteen years, actually, and asked me the day we met what she should do with the remaining pieces. I told her to return them to the Baron in Bounty Bay. I figured he would get a kick out of it. I don’t find it surprising that he then tried to give it a remarkable value when, in reality, it had little to offer.”

          “Okay fine,” Vestria said. “Seeing as how much time has passed since you and Iliera met, tell me the story about your seemingly long-lasting youth?”

          Sionis paused for a moment. “You haven’t pieced it together from all those notes you have there?”

          Vestria frowned. “What? No, I have not.”

          The Flamecaller pretended to look shocked. “Well, the explanation is easy enough. During the last Legion invasion all those years ago, I was hidden away in the twisting aether by the warlock Kaellax. Our souls are eternal, you know this, but our physical bodies are the problem. In my case, my physical body was exposed to so much latent energy within the aether that I found myself to be quite… timeless.”

          “You’re immortal?”

          Sionis shrugged. “I don’t know. I know little of the circumstances, but I do know that despite the time that has passed living here in Patnah, I find myself no more aged than I was before. I doubt it’s the food or hard labor that have added these years to my life.”

          Vestria looked shocked. “So you’re an immortal Flamecaller, powerful ally, and you’ve decided you’re going to spend eternity working on a farm out here in Patnah?”

          Sionis shrugged once more. “I do not know what my future holds, no more than you do, I suspect. I know my place, at least right now, is here. Besides, you came here telling me you wanted the story of my wand, and now that story is done, as evidenced by the burned and broken remains you carry.”

          Vestria blinked a few times, then nodded. “This didn’t tell me how to defeat the Yunai.”

 “Hmm?” Sionis asked.

          “I came here to find the Flamecaller of Stonehaven because I was told you defeated the Yunai. This wand was supposed to be the key to that. I’m no closer to knowing how they’re pushed back!”

          Sionis looked surprised. “I didn’t mean to imply I was some special being that had the answers to defeating the Yunai. I suspect Kaellax is the best person to ask when it comes to that. She’s the one that actually pulled Keaira off of Evanor before the two could bond.”

Vestria groaned. “Sionis Sepher, you know that I came here for the secret to defeating the Yunai. Don’t you understand? This World Ship isn’t the only one that has these creatures!”

Sionis raised a brow. “Oh? And where, exactly, is it that you are from?”

“World Ship 4001,” Vestria replied, angry. “Our home had a single Yunai. A single one. It destroyed our cities, laid waste to our homes. We don’t have magic like you do here. Our best military couldn’t take down a single creature, and yet your world has dealt with hundreds, if not thousands of these things. We found your World by chance, and when I arrived here to gather knowledge, I discovered… magic and horses and fantasy lands. I learned of people who bond with Yunai spirits, and men who call fire from the sky… blades made of crystal! Yet after staying here for literal years, I’m no closer to knowing how to defeat one of these foul beasts.”

Sionis shifted in his seat for a moment. “Have you really been listening to me?”

“Yes! I took notes. I studied… I checked your facts.”

“Then, let me ask you, Vestria. Whenever we discovered a new world, ship or planet, that had a Yunai presence, what did we do?”

She rolled her eyes, fighting back tears of frustration. “You fought them.”

“So why would I stop now?” Sionis asked.

“You just said you were going to live here, on a farm, not fighting.”

“I didn’t have all the facts,” Sionis said, standing and making his way over to a cabinet. Inside he pulled a small glowing stone and squeezed it tightly. “Now I do.”

“What are you saying?” Vestria asked.

Outside, she heard the sound of crackling energy, footsteps, and voices. Sionis gestured toward the door and led Vestria to see the commotion. There were at least a dozen people outside of the home, many of them appearing through magical portals.

Vestria saw the Musfurin woman in the purple plate armor, Iliera. Next to her was Kaellax and Ailyn the two Shadowspeakers, and over from them was Christine and Fynn, holding large crystal blades. Syanna and Frosty, Macksyn and Jinghoo… old members of the Academy of Hope, and some faces she didn’t recognize at all. They all assembled here, looking up to Sionis on his porch out of curiousity.

“You know why I summoned us together,” Sionis said.

“Have the Yunai returned?” Iliera asked.

“This young woman has come from another World Ship. She said that her home as a Yunai that has told unspeakable damage, and they cannot defeat it. They need our help.”

“I can call to the Besherman and prepare a Traveler,” Christine spoke up.

“I don’t understand,” Vestria said. “You answer his call at a moment’s notice. You would really travel to another world, just for me?”

“I’m a Yunai hunter,” Kelynve said from the back of the group. “It’s in the job title.”

Vestria was shocked. Heroes young and old were standing here, a small force of them to be sure.

“You wanted to know how to defeat the Yunai,” Sionis said. “This is how. Us.”

“I cannot… I… thank you, Sionis.”

The Flamecaller nodded. “Alright heroes. You know the drill by now. The Yunai want to cause harm, so we’re going to put them back in their place. Kaellax, you know them better than anyone else. When we get to the new World Ship we’ll turn to you.”

Kaellax smiled. “One Yunai. We’ll be back home before winter.”

“Well?” Sionis asked. “You ready?”

Vestria nodded, still staring out at the gathered crowd. “Yes, of course. I’ll take you right away.”

“Good,” Sionis said. “Perhaps while we’re traveling, I might hear your story?”

She smiled at him, then nodded. “Fair enough. Let’s go save my world. Together.”

The End.

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