Chapter twenty four- A Strange Magic

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Chapter twenty four- A Strange Magic

A woman sat upon a dark throne, several robed magicians standing guard around her. She wore a smile on her face, which faded into a scowl as the scene before her changed against her will, "Well...this is most unfortunate..."

"Shall I intervene?" Another masked man asked, although he was a bit different than the others. He had yellow hair and purple eyes; unlike the other Al-Thamen member's whose features were unknown and looked like carbon copies of each other.

"No. This is a good opportunity to see what kind of magic this 'Sinbad' possesses..."

~

A thick, green, smoke flooded the maze, covering its entirety in fog and halting any change in the puzzle's patterns. Any members of the secret organization were uncovered, the fog forcing it's way into their throats and lungs. One by one, the magicians halted their attacks. Several of them began screaming, while others were frozen in pure terror.

"Illiteus: Halting; Insanity," At the maze's entrance, a certain purple-haired, golden-eyed, master smirked, one hand outstretched towards the dark doorway, green smoke coming from his palm.

Inside the labyrinth, Saber had dematerialized, leaving Alibaba alone and very confused as to what was going on around him. The Al-Thamen members around him were all on their knees, screaming and clawing at their veils and other parts of their bodies.

"W-What the hell is this?!" The mages continued to claw at themselves hysterically until one by one they died, dropping to the floor as strange dolls.

Alibaba braced himself at the sound of approaching footsteps. Accompanied by those footsteps was the sound of several blades and swords skewering the Al-Thamen dolls, which shattered instantly.

"A-Archer?!" Alibaba panicked, instantly recognizing the strange power.

"Hello, Alibaba-kun," Sinbad smiled, walking to stand a few yards away from the blond. "You were in a bit of a pinch, hmm?"

"Sinbad..." The green fog surrounded them, enclosing the three in a small, unaffected, circle. Cautiously, Alibaba asked, "What is this fog?"

"My magic," Sinbad stated proudly. "I used this fog to stop the maze from changing shape, as well as kill all of the Al-Thamen mages."

"Right..." Alibaba was still uneasy.

"Don't worry," Sinbad assured, "we're not here to fight you. We-rather-I came here to get you out of here before you get yourself killed."

"Did you see Judar or Berserker?"

"No, but they are part of the reason we're here. Assassin noticed some fighting in the forest, so we were concerned Al-Thamen had begun their attack. Luckily, that's not the case."

"Why are you telling me this so freely?" Alibaba asked.

Sinbad shrugged, then smiled, "I'm still hoping you'll take me up on my offer for an alliance. But for now, follow me; we can speak privately at the Church." The purple haired master then turned back the way he'd come -Archer following silently, yet clearly displeased- forcing Alibaba to follow or be left in the darkness of the maze.

As they walked, the fog seemed to purposely avoid them, keeping them in the same circle of clear air. It was astonishing, to Alibaba, at least.

After a few moments of silence, Sinbad said, "So, Alibaba, where's your friend? Cassim, was it?"

Alibaba shivered as they trekked up the steep staircase and into the forest again. The forest floor was dusted in white, cold snow falling from the sky and onto their heads. "He...died. Judar killed him when we fought." He could feel a ball forming in his throat, but he forced it down as best he could.

"Oh, I'm sorry about that," Sinbad gave a small nod. "Judar got away as well?"

"Yeah... Saber said Berserker kinda went...crazy? He was giving off a weird, dark, energy or something," Alibaba reported, growing more comfortable with the other master, although the vibes Archer was giving off were unsettling.

"Hmm...then that's what Yamraiha felt." Sinbad spoke, mostly to himself. He sighed lightly and glanced over at his servant, "Archer, you can go for now."

The golden haired servant huffed, "About time. You made me waste several blades on those wretched puppets. I don't even desire their return."

"Sorry, but we can't afford them coming back. This will slow Al-Thamen's progress substantially." Sinbad raised his hands and shrugged, to which Archer rolled his eyes and dematerialized.

Alibaba caught a glimpse of Sinbad's Command Seals as the older man's hands rose. Did he...force Archer to help him with Al-Thamen? "Hey...Sinbad?"

"Yes, Alibaba-kun?" The pair began walking again.

"You used a Command Seal already. For what?"

Sinbad raised his right hand, "Oh, right. Archer isn't the most cooperative of servants, so I have to push him a little."

"He doesn't seem to like it." Alibaba spoke, worry evident in his tone and expression. "Are you sure bossing a servant like him around is a good idea?"

"Don't worry, he'll calm down."

Hey, kid, ask him what Archer's name is.

Alibaba jumped at bit, not expecting Saber to reach out so quickly. Saber, are you alright?

I'm fine, just ask.

"So...what's Archer's real name? If that's okay...to ask..." Alibaba started, then added, "He seems kinda king-like."

"He is, in fact. The famous King of Heroes, Gilgamesh," Sinbad answered. "You wouldn't by chance be willing to share Saber's name as well?"

"I don't know his real name, myself." The teen was beginning to realize just how far away the church was- his feet were killing him and they weren't even halfway there. The more they walked, the heavier his feet felt, and his mood gradually sank.

"Really? Most servants tell their master their real name as part of their pact."

"They do...?" Alibaba was dragged from his thoughts. He frowned. Hey...Saber...?

Saber yawned, Yeah, kid?

Why haven't you told me your real name?

The servant sighed deeply; he sounded just as exhausted, I'll be honest, kid. I thought you were too inexperienced to know. Recently I've learned otherwise, but I didn't want your late friend knowing, so I never had a chance to tell you. Sorry.

It's fine. Alibaba wrapped his arms tighter around himself. Snow was falling in thick sheets now, it was practically a blizzard. It was rather confusing, just moments before it was only small flurries, or so the teen thought.

Sinbad noticed the teen's discomfort and suggested, "Shall we stop for a bit and wait for the storm to calm?" He paused walking and shrugged his jacket off, "Here, we wouldn't want anyone getting spooked by your attire."

Alibaba looked down at his clothing, remembering the fact that they were covered in blood. He accepted the oversized jacket and replied, "Yes, please... Thanks. "

Sinbad simply nodded and changed their course, crossing the street and leading them into a small, local diner. He pulled open the door for the teen, letting a wave of heated air flow out, "Go ahead, I'll set up a quick warding so we can talk safely." Alibaba nodded and quickly entered the diner, eager to get warm again.

~

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