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The Black Crow

By [Ankama]DOFUS - ADMIN - May 22, 2019, 16:00:00
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This was a first for Fax Mystheur and Nada Skelet. Never before had they come this close to the strange. Never had they been so deeply involved, so thoroughly caught up in a case. It was as if the roles had been reversed: as if the case had observed them, studied them, before gradually drawing them into its intrigue. Devoured them. Digested them. And in Agent Mystheur's case… spat him back out!

Astrub Eniripsa Center
11:27 a.m.

Fax's eyelids fluttered furtively between his bandages. Oddly enough, the bandages weren't there because of any real injuries, as would often be the case in a place of healing like this one, but in anticipation of possible future injuries. Xelors, you see, wore bandages to guard against the wounds that might result from their tricky little temporal transgressions. But Agent Mystheur hadn't been prepared for a trip like this, or for this type of treatment! He felt as though he had just crawled out of a meat grinder… or maybe the Giant Kralove's stomach!

"Hello, Mr. Mystheur. How nice to have you back."

The sweet, welcoming voice came from a feminine, almost feline silhouette. As Fax's eyes adjusted, he realized he was looking at a young Eniripsa with blond hair and dressed in white from her shoes to the Bow Meow ears on her headband.

"Have we... met before?" Fax replied hesitantly.

"Our paths have crossed, yes. In a very different context… But you're out of danger now," Odile Bile assured him.
"I'm completely wiped out…" sighed the Xelor.
"Not surprising, after what you've been through… But be that as it may, you've already got a visitor! Someone who's been patiently waiting for you to wake up…"

A smile instantly appeared on Agent Mystheur's dry lips:

"You really missed me that much?" he asked confidently, though without quite managing to sit up.

"The whole service missed you, Agent Mystheur."

His eyes widened. That wasn't Nada's voice, it was Retlaw Renniks! Fax tried to get up, but grimaced and gave up on the idea.

"Don't overexert yourself," his boss advised as he rose from his chair to approach the bed.

"Where… where's Nada?"
"Agent Skelet is in the field. Chasing a new lead."
"Ah…" (The Xelor's voice betrayed a hint of disappointment.)
"Let me know if it's too difficult for you, but… I'll need you to tell me what happened to you, Agent Mystheur."
"I'll try…" (He groaned as the Eniripsa adjusted his bed to put him in a half-sitting position.) "Thanks…"
"I'll be back in a minute for your decoction," said the radiant Odile before leaving the room.

A silence.

"Where… Where do I start?"

"At the beginning…"
"Everything was black… I saw a light. I followed it. Then an Eniripsa grabbed me and pulled me out of there. I was naked. I was cold, soaking wet… She turned me around to give me a slap on the butt and I started crying, and then she put me in my mother's arms. Good timing, too, I was starving…"
"Don't waste my time, Mystheur!" Renniks growled impatiently. "Tell me about your kidnapping!"

 

*****

"I remember a buzzing noise.

Then that feeling you sometimes get like you're falling, right before you wake up, you know? Until I realized that I was floating across the room, at Skelet's place. That flying machine was there: the Proto-Noxine. Good old Wahn Jolsh had warned us once again… I felt like that mechanical insect was probing my mind, and that it was obeying orders from that… Xelor."

"Noximilian?"

"Yes… the Clockmaker. But I was surprised to learn that he had more questions than I did. He knew that Skelet and I were investigating temporal anomalies – and by the way, he didn't know what they were before that, we were actually the ones who put him on the trail – and he was watching us, from the other side of the Zaap, to try and understand… what he was. What he and all the others were.

"When I reached him, when I went through that strange mirror, things got a bit fuzzier.

"I remember I was lying down. Sometimes he was alone, and other times, he had… guests with him. I saw Leorictus's horrible grin, smelled Agony's sludgy smell, felt Julith's cape graze my skin. All I can remember are little snatches of conversation and that awful sensation of being examined, spied on in my sleep. Some voices said: 'He doesn't know anything! Let's kill him!' Others defended me: 'Don't touch him! Let's try to learn more, or else… let him go!' I was able to identify those voices. They seemed almost familiar. Except… one."

"The voice of someone who isn't on our list yet?"

"Yes… He didn't come near me. Turned his back on me. He had an impressive build. His dark feathers gave him a sinister look. But the worst part was his voice. Hollow, cavernous… a voice from beyond the grave… it seemed to come from the darkest place that could possibly exist; darker than a Taur's rear end on a moonless night…"

"Spare me your poetry, Mystheur… Anything else?"

"Yes, actually! There were these words he kept constantly chanting, but never managed to finish… The others kept interrupting him. I think it annoyed them. Something like:

'Fear the fiery shadows! I am your worst nightmare! Tremble before the power of…'"

"The power of who?"

"I can't remember. He must have said the whole thing at least once. Uh… 'Tremble before the power of the Dark Feather!' or something like that…"

"Charming… but what did they all want from you?"

"I think… they wanted answers from me. Like they had amnesia or something… like they'd forgotten a part of their lives. Forgotten… what had brought them there. I didn't feel like I was really in the presence of the actual Crimson Dawn Champion, the real Percimol, or even the voluptuous Dathura. That whole time… I felt like they were just reflections… faded copies."

"That doesn't really help us much…"

"Outside of their own times. Excluded from reality. Trapped on the other side of the Zaap. Now it's all clear to me, clear as day. In a way… they are anomalies. Temporal anomalies."

"All these metaphors of yours, even the less rude ones… They're not getting us anywhere, Mystheur."

"He's the one who threw me into the gears of Xelor's Clock."

"Who?"

"The Dark Feather! At some point, it seemed like they were surprised by some higher authority… A being that was… superior to them… or at least, impressive enough to really scare them. He didn't know I was there, and they tried to hide me from him. Like a bunch of kids caught pulling the wings off a fly. It was that dark Crobak that had the idea… Apparently they had access to another breach: it led directly to the pendulum of the God of Time. They tossed me in there in a hurry, like a chewed-up piece of peach Gobbagum, and for a minute I thought I'd be stuck there forever. It was hot and damp. An incessant tick-tock sound. Gongs. A tolling bell… And those demonic larvae!

"Calm down, Mystheur. Your fever is back… Something tells me we haven't heard the last of this… Rest now, I'll come by again later."

*****

"Mystheur? It's me…"

His eyes slowly opened. Then his lips.

"Skelet?"

"Yes…"

The wild-haired Sram was there, leaning over him. The sight immediately gave him a boost of energy. But not as much as what she did next: she pinched his arm… and twisted! Fax sat bolt upright with a cry of pain.

"That'll teach you to ditch me, you slacker!" roared Agent Skelet. "Now get up! I'm not about to let you lie here taking it easy while I run this investigation by myself! … Here! Look at this…"

She handed him a large sheet of paper folded in half. He opened it, then went pale beneath his bandages.

"It's him!" he exclaimed.

"Who?"
"Sit down, I'll explain…"

There, on a page torn roughly from a newspaper, was a picture of the shadowy Crobak who had thrown him through the portal! The headline alongside it read: "Adventurer's guild tries to clip the Black Crow's wings!"

"The Black Crow, that's it!!!

"Did you notice the date, Mystheur?" Agent Skelet prodded.

He looked at the bottom of the page. His surprise soon turned to a smile. The article was dated Javian 14… in the year 981!

"It was found nailed to the Zaap in the Snowbound Village"

"In Frigost?!"
"Yep!" she replied, tossing a parka with a fur hood at him. "Let's go! It'll do you some good to chill out a bit, right?"
"Oh nooooo… Not Frigost…" groaned the Xelor as he pulled the covers up over his head.

To be continued…

Have you faced the Black Crow yet?

Tell us your story in the comments!

 

Check out the Eliocalypse: Resonance update now in DOFUS!

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Why is he so strong? He just one shots me, I don't know how to beat him.

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