Chapter 4 – Party Time

Hawke blinked in disbelief. “And who exactly are you?” she asked her unexpected rescuer, “From your armor, I’m guessing you’re a Grey Warden.” Athewen nodded. “You said Leliana sent you?” Another nod from Athewen. “And you’re here to help me fight that demon?” Another nod. “Wow. I forgot what it was like in the first game where the main protagonist’s dialogue wasn’t voiced.” Athewen frowned. “Oh, don’t mind me.” Hawke said with a grin, “I’ve been like this ever since that Spirit of Fourth Wall Breaking touched me. Let’s concentrate on the demon, shall we?” Athewen nodded and cast a spell on Hawke. She didn’t feel any different. “Wait a minute! A spell? You’re a mage?” Athewen nodded. “Okay, set up and punch are already done. You can start talking again, mam.” Hawke said as she eyed the demon. “Leliana will be sending us more help. We just need to stay alive until then.” Athewen said, “Stay behind me. I will draw its attention. With its mana depleted, the demon will be forced to use physical attacks. I should be able to take them without much issue. Champion, are you listening?” Hawke was not listening. She was looking around. “What are you looking for?”

“My weapons. I dropped them back when I made myself tranquil. If I can find them, I can help you fight.”

“You made yourself tranquil? To deter the demon. I see. But how are you still… normal if that is case?”

“I told you. A spirit gave me a therapy session and I’ve been like this since then. Hey, is that demon going to attack anytime soon or is it gonna wait till this exposition is done?”

“My Mana Clash burned up the demon’s mana to deal proportional damage to it. I also may have immediately cast two glyphs right under it that interacted with each other and caused temporary paralysis. I didn’t expect that combination to work. The fact that it did means that the demon wasn’t resistant enough. That is interesting information. What’s more interesting is… Your tranquility was broken by a spirit? I see, I see. This is similar to the Vigil undergone by the Seeker recruits before they become Seekers. Anyway, this is good. You should be absolutely resistant to the demon’s possession now. We just need to survive long enough… just until Leliana’s help arrives. I won’t be surprised if she sends in every force at the Chantry’s disposal.”

“What do you mean Chantry’s disposal? Since when does Leliana have that kind of power? Isn’t she just the Spymaster of the Inquisition?”

“I suppose you wouldn’t know. Leliana is now Divine Victoria.”

“What?! Alright! Way to go Sister Nightingale! Hehe. So the Divine is going to use the full force of the Chantry? All for little old me? I’m flattered.”

“No. It is true that she wishes to rescue you. But the reason she will not stop at anything to rescue you now is because of me. She will probably declare an Exalted March on the Fade itself if she has to.”

“Wow. You’re that important to her? Who ARE you?”

“I am Athewen Surana.”

“That means… You’re her! The Hero of Ferelden! Actually, that’s not the most shocking part of this! I’m more shocked the Chantry decided to get off its ass and elect a new Divine so quickly.”

“Quickly? It took them far too long. Corypheus was defeated before the election.”

“That can’t be right. Barely two days have passed since I made the cliche decision to stay back in the Fade to let Lavellan escape. She can’t have sorted out all of that mess in two days.”

“Two days? Years have passed since then. This is strange. Does this mean the rift I used sent me into the past? No. My sense of time was not disrupted when I walked through it. One other explanation is your Tranquility.”

“My Tranquility?”

“You must have spent a lot of time under Tranquility. But somehow, you recall that as a length of two days now. This has been known to happen. Mages whose Tranquility was broken often went insane because of this distortion of their memory. You are fortunate that your mind is still stable.”

“Yup. That’s me. I tend to not let the tiny things, like the passage of several years without my knowledge, bother me. Seriously, are we just going to spend this chapter talking? Where is the fight?! Give us the fight!”

“My dear champion, do not fret. The time for a proper fight is not yet. Two’s a company, three’s a crowd. Four’s a party and five’s not allowed.”

“Did you just… rhyme?”

“It’s a habit I picked up from an old friend in the Brecilian Forest. It pops up here and there when I speak.”

Hawke noticed several spiders heading towards them and said, “Don’t look now, but I think our guy is finally ready to get it on.”

“Took him long enough. But it’s nothing to be embarrassed of. I’ve heard it happens to a lot of guys.”

“Whoever is writing this must be all out of good jokes if he’s resorting to limp dick jokes.”

“Still, taking the form of the things I fear to attack me… that demon really is annoying.”

“You’re afraid of spiders too?”

“Spiders? No. Is that what they look like to you?”

“What?! Hey, that’s not fair! Now you know mine but I don’t know yours! Also, they’re getting awfully close. Do a magic.”

Without even turning her gaze to meet the creatures hurtling towards them, Athewen stretched her arm in their general direction and released a sphere of fire from her palm. It exploded when it hit the ground, turning everything caught in the blast to ash. Anything that survived the explosion was sent flying backwards by its force. Her sword and shield were still not drawn. It appeared as though she did not even consider the situation a battle. “Your Worship…” came a timid voice that almost made Hawke jump. She turned to face the newcomer. An elf dressed in light armor, carrying an ornate greatsword on her back and holding in her two hands, the Amell Family Shield and the Basrath-Kata. “Hey, that’s my sword and shield!” Hawke said as she took them, “Thank you. Are you with her? I’m Hawke. Don’t mind all this explanatory dialogue. If you’ll notice, I’ve given up and decided to go with the flow. This chapter will not have any action, folks.” Kana frowned and replied, “Er… It is an honor to meet you, Serah Hawke. I found those while snooping around.” She then turned to Athewen. “Your Worship, a package arrived through the rift. A certain Zevran Arainai claimed he had a gift for you. He said it was a token of good will from the Antivan Crows. He was joking, right? He wasn’t really from the Crows, was he? Why would they get involved in-” She was interrupted by Athewen reaching for the greatsword and grabbing it. “Oh, I never thought I’d see this one again!” she exclaimed with childish excitement, “This sword was forged for me by Master Wade from the bone of an ancient High Dragon. The sword is named Vigilance. The Crows stole it from Vigil’s Keep long ago. How nice of them to return it to me at this time… Leliana must have written them a very nice, non-threatening letter requesting them to do so. Zevran didn’t stay for the fight? A shame. This fight could really use another elf.”

Unbeknownst to them, one demon had somehow survived the blast. It burst out of a pile of demon corpses and ran towards Athewen. Out of the corner of her eye, Kana noticed it. She widened her eyes and rushed forward, blades drawn. By the time Hawke and Athewen could react, the demon had already closed in. “Am I going to make it in time?!” was Kana’s last thought as the demon fell forward and impaled itself on her blades. Kana blinked in confusion. A single crossbow bolt was buried in its head. All three of them looked in the direction of the shot. A cloaked woman with a prosthetic crossbow attached to her arm stood at a distance. Elven ears peeked through her blonde hair.

Next chapter (Nobody Expects)

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