Davydd Miljorn is a hunter living in Gor, a small town in the kingdom of Angweleth. One day, while hunting for game, he unbeknownst to him, saves the princess of Angweleth when her carriage is attacked by mysterious assailants. This singular act spawns a series of events which take both of them and the friends they meet, on a quest to retrieve an artifact that may just be the difference between humanity’s destruction or it’s salvation.
A god is here
The small room’s sole source of illumination was the oil lamp that had been set up on a high book shelf on the right most wall of the room. It cast its flickering light across the room, but left parts of the room poorly illuminated as well. An elderly man lay on the bed breathing shallowly. He was surrounded by three women and two men. Their facial expressions conveyed the emotions of sorrow they felt. One of the women was in a kneeling position beside the bed. She constantly dipped some cloth into a bowl of water, squeezed out the water into another bowl and then used the moist cloth to wipe the perspiration from the elderly man’s forehead. The elderly man was too weak to talk and any last words to be said between him and his loved ones had already been said. In this moment, it was a wait for death. The woman looked at the man’s eyes which were beginning to flicker underneath his eye lids.
“He’s… leaving…” She said in a tone that almost conveyed disbelief as it surely conveyed the supreme confidence of one who had seen this happen time and time again. She stood back and let the other women, a wife and a sister, along with the two men, a brother and a son come closer and mourn the loss of their loved one at the hour of his passing. The women held the elderly man’s hands and sobbed and cried on his chest, while the men tried to console them, scarcely able to console themselves as well.
“No! Stop! Don’t cry! I’m fine!” The old man practically yelled at his family and yet they sobbed on.
“Has false grief made you lose your hearing?” He asked slightly infuriated. The elderly man looked at his wife who was sobbing uncontrollably.
“Aga!” He yelled.
“The grief is not false.” The voice came from the left side of the room. The elderly man cocked his head to the left and his eyes beheld a beautiful lady in a green dress, with brown hair. She had wide gold bracelets on either hand, with gold and silver finger armor on her index and middle fingers, also on either hand. The lady got up and walked towards him. As she walked, her feet hovered slightly above the floor of the room. She stopped by the now trembling elderly man’s bed. He looked around at his still sobbing relatives and then back at the lady. No one seemed to be paying them any attention.
“W…What are you?” He asked frightened.
“I see. What you ask, instead of Who?”
“No human I have seen, does that.” The old man looked at the lady’s feet, which were still hovering slightly above the ground. She smiled dryly and reached out her hand towards him.
“You are dead. Your last breath was taking only moments ago. I have been waiting patiently while you struggled futilely with what little mortal strength you had left. Come, let us depart.”
“I can’t.” Replied the old man as he motioned to his family members, who were either holding his hands or resting their head on his chest. The woman let out a sigh of exasperation and pulled the elderly man up by his arm. The man felt himself yanked right through his relations who were still letting out loud cries and wails on and around him. He staggered on his feet and looked behind him, towards his relations. He beheld himself lying still and lifeless while his family shed tears around him. The wailing had quieted down to painful moans. He turned back to the lady in front of him.
“I can’t leave them like this.”
The brown haired lady stared at him for a little while before speaking.
“You’ve already left them.”
“But… what happens to them? Look! Look at them!”
“They will mourn, they will grieve and in time, their pain will ease and they will smile again.”
“They will forget me?” The elderly man asked as he was overcome with sadness.
“No Soma… They will remember you.” The reality of the moment crashed on the man with the force of a thousand oceans. He turned back to look at his family one more time. His gaze rested on his wife who was staring off into the distance, not really looking at anything. However in that moment, it was as though she was looking at him. He leaned in and his essence touched her lips in a final kiss. Her eyes closed as tears fell effortlessly and her lips slightly moved in an unknown response. Soma pulled back.
“Let’s go.” He got up and walked up to the lady, stopping beside her. The lady turned around to face the left most wall and lifted up her right hand, with her index finger pointing at nothing in particular. She used her index finger to draw a vertical line from a height about eye level all the way to the ground, bending down to complete the line as she did. Soma saw that it was more of a very straight tear than a line. The tear expanded as a bright glowing light emanated from the gap it caused. The light was a fast pulsating one that suddenly weakened and then stopped when the opening had completed its expansion. On the other side was a bare rocked muddy cliff that was battered by large rain drops. The woman began walking through the rectangular opening and was closely followed by Soma, who trembled at every sound he heard. Large bolts of lightning flashed across the sky, followed by immensely loud claps of thunder. Some lightning bolts struck the cliff side which opened up to a titanic gap in the earth. The gap was filled with what seemed to be boiling blackish water. Soma shivered from the sharp cold which he felt as he walked through the storm. As if reading his emotions, the lady spoke as she led the way to a swaying wooden bridge.
“Do not be afraid. Soon you’ll realize that it isn’t a chill you feel, but fear itself.”
“How do you know this?”
The lady stopped by the edge of the bridge and motioned for him to begin walking across.
“I had to realize it for myself too.” She finally replied.
The man approached the bridge cautiously and observed it sway wildly in the wind from side to side. He finally shook his head.
“There has to be another way across.”
“This is the only way.” The brown haired lady said calmly. “This is your test. If your wrong doings way heavily on your soul, the bridge will snap and you will live out the rest of eternity among the lost souls.”
Soma looked down and saw that there were numerous faces and limbs breaking the surface of the black boiling water. He heard the screams of anguish and pain coming from them and he saw some mangled and twisted bodies try to crawl out of the ocean. They tried to crawl up the steep sides of the cliff, but the slippery cliff did not cooperate and soon they were plummeting back down. However, they looked like they had lost all reason and sense and were more beastly in nature than man.
“Feona help us.” The man said, wrapping his hands around himself.
“Fear again. You are not cold.”
“What is happening down there?”
“They are caught in the hell of their worst fears, their worst thoughts, the most gruesome images their minds can conjure, and their worst regrets.”
“Walk.” The lady said in a stern commanding voice that still somehow maintained calmness about it. Soma stepped on the bridge and began to cross it. He was followed closely by the lady who seemed to be unaffected by the violent sways and unsteadiness of the bridge. He struggled to hold his balance and he stumbled this way and that, constantly. They walked for a long time in silence. Finally, they got to the other side of the bridge. The old man rushed unto the other side of the cliff and stumbled upon grass. He looked up and saw a lush green field that extended unto a downward slope. There were mountains in the distance, with snow caps at the peaks. A cool and refreshing breeze blew by gently from the right side of the land to the left. At the valley, which started at the edge of the slope, there was a small town, which looked to have inhabitants.
“Where is this?” Soma asked.
“This is Hovan. It is your new home.”
“This? This is paradise?”
“Yes. What you see is only a small part of it. Follow me.” The woman grabbed the elderly man’s hand and they walked back towards the edge they had just come from. Instead of the unsteady bridge and troubling sight beneath it, what met them was a view much like that of a clear starry night. The sight was one to behold. The old man could see each realm as a gigantic spherical body moving slowly across the space of all that is. Occasionally, flashes of lights so long it would take eons to traverse them, would shoot from one realm to the other and instantly be gone.
“What are those?” Soma asked quizzically.
“Those are beings crossing over from one dimension to the next.”
“Beings? Not human?”
The lady nodded.
“They are so far… so far away. How is it that I can see them so clearly?”
“You are a creature of life herself are you not? You are a creation of one of the seven great gods aren’t you? This power has always been yours. You just did not know it.”
Soma stared at all before him, still in awe.
“Come. You are a free spirit now and an element of all that is. You have all of eternity to experience everything you wish to. Become whatever you wish to be. Eventually, you will find that everything you discover helps them.” The lady pointed at another realm hovering slowly, below the other realms. Though Soma had never seen it before, he instantly knew that it was Terrianus. The old man smiled at her and nodded. He turned around and slowly made his way to the town situated at the valley. The lady watched him for a while and then reached out her right index finger, drawing another tear from eye level all the way to the ground. The opening expanded as before, and she stepped through it. She emerged on the other side and stepped into a dark area with no apparent walls or edges around it. It was completely black except for a glittering path that went forward in a straight line for a few meters and then expanded into a large circular glittering floor. Standing there was a tall slender woman with long black hair that fell to about shoulder length. It was straight and glistened from the glittering lights on the floor. She wore a long sleeveless dark brown gown that fell all the way to her feet flowingly. Around her neck was a silver necklace with a diamond pendant attached to it. She wore a full gauntlet on her right hand. It was a black and brown colored metallic gauntlet with engraved patterns on the part that covered the wrist and the palms. She also had black metallic boots that were sharply pointed at the toe area.
“I see you are back. Did the guidance go smoothly?” The slender woman asked.
The brown haired lady sighed irritably.
“He was full of questions.”
The lady with the black hair turned around and smiled. Her skin was a bit pale and her bright red eyes beheld the brown haired lady for a moment.
“You were like that too when I came for you.” She finally said in response.
“My passing was not particularly pleasant.”
“It would have made little difference. I have guided souls for thousands and thousands of years. Have you ever been asked by a little infant why the world is so cruel?”
The brown haired lady gasped at the thought; while the other lady encircled her letting the notion sink in properly.
“Yes Jaynea. An infant killed by an uncle who should help protect it. Instead, greed made him dismiss to the afterlife the heir to his older brother’s riches. For if he could keep his brother childless, he and his family would inherit it all. Believe me when I say to you, that your death was a kindness compared to all I’ve seen of your kind.”
“You shouldn’t be so harsh with her Feona.”
Both women turned around to see a tall lady with golden colored hair and a glistening white and blue dress walk graciously and elegantly towards them. She radiated a warm light that while not blinding was glorious and brilliant at the same time. Jaynea stood transfixed and unable to turn her gaze away from the stunningly beautiful woman whose bronze like skin evoked an unparalleled strength and regality. Her light brown eyes beheld Jaynea lovingly as she walked up to both her and Feona. Feona’s face wore a slight expression of malice as she spoke. “Dear sister of mine. To what do I owe the honor of you gracing my chambers?”
“Your sarcasm knows no bounds does it? I come to converse with you sister. I have certain worries to share.”
“And what worries you Lynda?”
“Events that threaten to happen soon. There is a force of death heading Davydd’s way.”
“Oh how did you come about this? I was just on my way.”
“I have not the time for games Feona. I must warn them without interfering.”
“And yet you are divided for you have other pressing matters to take care of.”
Lynda looked away, unable to come up with a response. Feona sighed.
“Don’t worry Lynda. I go to do what you won’t do.”
“Feona, you know we have sworn not to steer the hand of fate.”
Feona, who had already opened up another tear and was walking towards it, stopped and looked back at Lynda.
“We all steer the hand of fate one way or another, gods and humans alike. What are you prepared to do?” And with that she turned around and continued to walk through the opening.
“Come Jaynea. This promises after all, to be the moment you have been waiting for.”
Jaynea nodded and followed suit. The opening closed behind them and the light was gone. All that was left was the goddess Lynda and the glistening floor lights that illuminated her sister’s rather dark chambers.
Davydd and Vannera laughed out loud as they lay in each other’s arms on the forest bed. The space above them was also clear of blocking branches and leaves and as such, they could gaze upon the night sky.
“All of my life in that castle, I never once did anything like this.” Vannera said still chuckling a bit.
“Of course you didn’t princess. You were too busy being betrothed to every prince and man of note in Terrianus.” Davydd said jokingly. Vannera sat up and observed him briefly.
“Is that jealously I sense?”
“Me? Jealous? Oh no. You haven’t made vows with any of them have you? Have you?” Davydd nuzzled her tenderly and she giggled, embracing him.
“You are silly aren’t you?” She smiled at him, rubbing his cheek with her right hand. Davydd leaned in and kissed her and in that moment they were again lost in each other. The kisses were long and passionate and eventually got frenetic as they clawed at each other, desperately hungry for more. Davydd rolled on top of her and the lower part of her dress fell to her waist, exposing her thighs. Davydd gasped as his eyes took in all of her. She rested her palm on his chest.
“Your heart.” She said softly. “It pounds heavily.”
“It is through no fault of mine.” Davydd said breathing heavily as his hips sunk slowly in between her thighs. “I know not a man’s heart that wouldn’t tremble at such a sight.”
Vannera smiled warmly as she pulled Davydd’s face close to hers and wrapped her lips around his in another loving kiss. She arched her hips up to meet his and the connection between their bodies further ignited the flames within them.
“Then let us see both hearts erupt in ecstasy.” She said, smiling seductively. Davydd could not resist any longer and they both began a slow and sensuous dance in rhythm to music that only they could hear.
The early morning was filled with a thick fog that enveloped most of the forest floor and extended up high to some tree tops. The branches of the trees rustled as unseen figures landed heavily on them and bolted off almost as instantly as they had made contact with the branches. They could not be seen. The only evidence of their presence was the depression of the branches under their weight, and the way those same branches sprung back to their original position, when the invisible figures bolted off again. Flying just above the tree line, a figure could be seen, with its bat like wings spread out and flapping occasionally. Balek surveyed the blenders as they rapidly made their way through the forest. They had gotten more and more animated and it told him they were closing in on their prey. He swooped down low and flew speedily over the tree line, howling as he did. The blenders picked up their pace, and began to spread apart into formations of four. They were now very close. After days of searching for Davydd’s scent, they had finally found it along with that of Vannera’s. To think they had traveled this far towards the shores of Angweleth. Balek let his mind wander to thoughts of victory. He imagined the feeling of killing Rikard Miljorn’s son and finally destroying any lingering hopes the humans might have. He was still lost in these thoughts when instinctively, he barely dodged a black and brown metallic gauntlet that suddenly appeared in front of him, with the fingers pressed together to make a spear like shape. His eyes briefly caught the figure of two women and a glowing rectangular opening in the sky behind them. Part of the sharp talons of the gauntlet caught the top of his head, scraping of scaly flesh, arching his head backwards and drawing blood. As he was falling and spinning out of control, Balek flapped his wings violently, trying to regain control of his flight. He whirled around to see who the women were but was met with a punch to the stomach that felt like the force of an entire mountain of diamond, dropped on him. The air in his lungs was forcibly expelled from his mouth. His eyes, nose and mouth spouted blood as he plummeted to the forest ground. Balek, realizing he would not be able to regain his flight in time, retracted his wings and fell through a series of branches before hitting the ground with a resounding thud. He howled loudly and sprang to his feet, while unsheathing a wavy shaped serrated blade that was stored in a strap on sheath, on his right shoulder. It was then he caught sight of his attacker. A tall, slender woman with black hair and a dark brown flowing gown, descended steadily until her feet gently touched the soil beneath her. The early morning fog gave her a ghostly appearance, as her pale skin was barely discernible amidst the cloud cover and yet her bright red eyes illuminated in the dim early morning light. Balek took a step forward, his face wearing an expression of disbelief.
“In the flesh… as it were. I must commend you on your reaction Balek. I meant to take your head off.” She smiled.
“Why are you here?!” Balek growled. “Gods do not interfere with the fates of humans. Leave!”
“Do you say that out of concern for me or do you say that out of concern for yourself and your underlings?”
Feona started walking towards Balek. Her flowing dark brown overall began to constrict on itself and separate into different pieces. These pieces began to solidify into armor pieces. The chest piece formed first, conforming to her torso and cleavage, then the shoulder pieces. The boots however, remained the same. The rest of her overall formed a skirt lined all around with metallic adornments and engraved rectangular shaped metal slabs that bore engravings on them. They clanged with each other as she moved towards Balek.
“If it is indeed the former that concerns you, then you are foolish. However I think it is the latter. Your life was forfeit the moment you ran into me, Balek.”
Balek, regaining his composure, growled at her and laughed.
“You seem to underestimate me on the basis of a few lucky blows. I am one of the ten principals! And I have brought with me over a hundred blenders to erase that bastard son of Rikard from existence. Besides, it would seem you are still without your sword of power, and one of your gauntlets. Was it wise of you to come here?”
Feona smiled menacingly.
“Enough small talk. Your life is over.” At that moment, Jaynea materialized behind Balek with a dagger in her hand. She thrust the tip towards Balek’s neck. Balek bent forward just enough to make Jaynea miss her mark. Before she could react, his tail smacked her viciously into a tree. Balek had begun to walk towards her, when his jaw was caught by a ferocious kick from Feona. His body lurched upwards and fell to the ground from the force of the blow. Balek forced himself to his feet coughing up blood as he did. At that moment, Jaynea was forcing her way out of the tree trunk she had been slammed into. Her eyes glared in anger, as did Feona’s. Balek observed them both for a time. He wasn’t terribly worried about Jaynea, but he knew if he stayed and fought Feona, she would kill him and he could not imagine how she would choose to do so without wincing. Feona was the goddess of death after all, and her reputation preceded her in the world of the Dragol. Balek took a step back and growled at his invisible blenders.
“Move!” He yelled and immediately jumped into flight in the direction of Davydd. The chase had begun. Feona and Jaynea rapidly portal travelled in the direction of the Dragol, landing on branches and tree trunks, and propelling themselves forward with their legs on each landing.
“Get to Davydd!” Feona yelled at Jaynea. “Warn them about the impending danger and kill as many blenders as you can. I will handle the principal.”
Jaynea nodded and portal travelled ahead, fatally stabbing and slashing blenders as she did. Her immortal eyes allowed her to see them despite their disguise. She barely dodged a blender’s tail swipe by flipping over it and slicing it off with one of her daggers. Jaynea landed on her feet and subsequently dodged two otherwise lethal blows to the torso by the blender. She parried the third blow with her left hand and quickly stepped toward the blender, slicing it from neck to waist in rapid and vicious succession with her daggers. The blender shuddered for a moment and then fell from the high tree branch, already dead. Another blender was at that moment, closing in on her, its two three toed feet drawn together in a manner similar to an eagle swooping down to capture its prey. The lethal intent was clear, as the talons were fully exposed. Jaynea pointed her left dagger at the incoming blender, as her right pointed in the opposite direction of her left. A portal opened in front of the blender, enveloping it before it could react. The portal opened up on the other side half way up the blade of her right dagger, and the blender was immediately stabbed through the heart when it materialized on the other side. Jaynea flipped her blade and cut upwards, splitting the blender in half from the chest up to the crown of the crown of the head. She jumped away from the branch just in time to evade two other blenders who had crashed through it and used a tree trunk to propel her way forward in search of more to kill, and towards Davydd. She was moving faster now, seemingly as fast as Sam could move on the ground.
Feona rolled out of the way of a falling burning tree, and immediately arched backwards evading the tail swipe of a blender. She came back up and parried three simultaneous blows coming at her, and almost immediately punched a hole through the chest of the three blenders that had thrown the blows at her. She jumped away from a stream of fire bearing down on her from above, as Balek attempted to burn her with his flames. The principal swooped down and using his momentum, swung downwards at her with his curved serrated blade. Feona parried it with her gauntlet, while her right foot shot out behind her and slammed into the face of a blender attempting to impale her from behind. She pushed off Balek’s arm just as another blender launched itself at her, growling loudly. A portal opened up in front of Feona and she was instantly behind Balek. The blender hit the ground and Feona’s gauntlet, impaled Balek’s back. The principal lashed behind him and caught Feona on the right cheek. The sheer force of the blow knocked her to the ground. She tried to get up but was struck in the left rib by Balek. The force of the blow pushed her across the forest ground. Her body tore through the soil, ripping through giant tree roots, and earth in a trail of mud, dust and splintered bark. A large ball of fire descended on her, and engulfed her. The impact pushed her further back still, and into the ground a bit. It was then that Feona realized that the forest had gone up in flames. She slowly got up and glared at Balek who was staggering forward and bleeding rather profusely from the puncture wound in his chest. A trickle of blood fell from Feona’s lips as well and she smiled rubbing it off. Balek growled at her as he kept staggering.
“Come goddess of death! I shall put an end to you! I shall show you the power of a principal!!” Balek fell to his knees coughing profusely as he labored to breathe.
“Your kind was wise to declare war against humans and not against us… you pathetic lizard. While it would give me great pleasure to end your existence, I cannot. I believe we both know that. However, my work here is done.”
“So you came to slow me down Feona? It is one thing to fight against a god in such a condition and it is another to fight against the humans. I will still kill them.”
“Right you are lizard. As far as you know, right you are.” A portal opened up as numerous blenders descended on Feona. However, she was gone before they could reach her. Balek pushed himself up to his feet with much difficulty. He used his sword as a support while he looked on ahead. As far as you know, right you are. What did she mean by that? Balek was suddenly apprehensive about pursuing Davydd and his group, but he was even more reluctant to fail Omni and hence, incur his wrath. He forged on.
The sounds had spread towards Davydd and his group’s location. They had heard the cries, growls and clashes that had roused every forest creature that morning. The experienced men, Ergol, Ovar and Matilom had concluded that the sounds they all heard were that of Dragol. However, that was all they seemed to come to an agreement on, as they each bickered loudly about the next course of action. Sam, Leo and Max along with Ergol’s men and Segmiatus watched on unsure of whom to back with their own words. It was then that Davydd and Vannera appeared from behind the brushes with a look of worry on their faces.
“Something’s going on!” Davydd exclaimed.
The others turned to look at him with a look of exasperation on their faces. After a little while, they all turned away to continue their conversation. Segmiatus was the only one to come up to Davydd and Vannera.
“Where have you two been?”
Both Davydd and Vannera moved to respond.
“Well we… errr…”
“Look don’t worry about an answer.” Segmiatus shook his head. “As we speak it has been determined that Dragol are moving upon us. We do not know how many or what kind of Dragol, but you’ve heard the sounds.” Segmiatus pointed in the direction. Davydd followed his hand and his eyes caught plumes of smoke rising in the distance.
“And seen the flames.”
“Turn.” Davydd grabbed the back of Segmiatus’s head and turned it towards the direction of the plumes.
“We need to warn them and move.” Davydd said, walking towards the group. As Davydd walked up to them, Ergol flashed him a disdainful glance. Davydd noticed this, and looked back towards Vannera who smiled reassuringly. He remembered the words she had said to him the night before.
I don’t know how to lead these people Vannera.
Yes you do. It is inside of you. It always has been.
Vannera… being the son of a king does not make one a king.
Well then you are the son of a blacksmith and you are a thief. Davydd had looked at her quizzically and she had laughed at his expression.
You don’t have to be a king to lead, Davydd. A king can be a leader but not always. A leader on the other hand, can inspire much more than a dynasty of kings. So lead Davydd. Lead.
“Whatever plan is being devised can wait. We need to move now.” The bickering died down and Ergol turned to Davydd.
“And this is your plan. Move. Move to where if I might ask?”
“We move to the shores as we have been doing. There is a fire coming our way.” Davydd responded.
“He’s right.” Segmiatus chimed in as he pointed in the direction of the plumes of smoke. “Over there. As Davydd said, we need to move now.”
“And since when do we concur with the boy on what to do?” Ergol asked without bothering to hide his disgust at the thought.
“Go back to sleep princesses. We will wake you when we have arrived at a decision.” Ergol’s men burst into raucous laughter at the taunts. Davydd was enraged but he walked up to Ergol calmly.
“Do not approach me boy!”
“You can leave.” Davydd said without the slightest hint of passion in his voice.
“You and your men.”
“Who gave you the…”
“Silence! Can you wield the sword of Feona or wear her gauntlet? Are you the son of Rikard Miljorn? If I were not here, would this journey have purpose?”
“Facts you have known for barely a moon! We are in danger while you sleep and explore the false king’s daughter!”
“However long I have known them they still stand very true. If not, why am I here? And if you ever talk about princess Vannera that way again, I’ll show you what danger is.” Davydd walked up to a high rock above the forest ground and addressed the group.
“Many of you do not believe in me and neither does your leader, Ergol. However, there are those here that do and they have put their trust in me. I will protect Angweleth and Terrianus with just them if I have to. Rikard Miljorn was your king before his untimely death and he left me a task to do. If you do not believe in me, leave. I will not hold it against you. However if you choose to stay,” He turned and glared at Ergol “Do not attempt to make a mockery of me, make any decisions without me or divide my people. The choice is yours.”
Ergol turned to Matilom.
“Has he lost his mind?! Say some…”
“Ergol” Matilom said sternly. “My king has spoken. You will respect him, or you will leave and we will find another way.” Matilom left the shocked Ergol standing where he was, and walked up to Davydd. He leaned in and whispered.
“I hope this is a start my boy. If you want to win the complete trust of these men, events like seeking pleasure amidst danger will not help your cause.”
“It won’t happen again Matilom.” Matilom nodded and patted Davydd on the shoulder. It was at that moment that everyone heard Vannera scream. Davydd turned around and ran towards her.
“Vannera! Are you okay?” He approached her and his eyes quickly examined her for injuries or anything that could give him clues as to why she screamed. But there were no injuries that he could see. Her skin had turned pale and her face was white with fear.
“What troubles you? Vannera?”
Amidst heavy and frantic breathing, Vannera barely managed to lift up her hand and point it upwards towards the tree area right over where Max was.
“Has she run mad?” Ergol asked.
Davydd followed Vannera’s finger direction and her eyes. However there was nothing in the air above them where she was pointing.
“Vannera this is not the time for games.” Davydd said, still perplexed. It was then that Vannera found her voice.
“I’m not playing games! There… it’s her! She’s right there!!”
“I… don’t believe… this.” It was Leo’s voice but he could not be seen.
“Is that really you, Jaynea?”
There was a gust of wind in response and what sounded like a thousand voices echoing at once. Jaynea slowly became visible to everyone. To them, she appeared not as a fully solid being. There was something airy and light about her. Everyone there stood in awe of what they were seeing. While she could not be seen clearly by all of the others, Vannera and Leo in his invisible state could see her as clearly as she had been when she was alive.
Davydd’s eyes were wide with shock and amazement. He was looking at the very first sight of Vannera he saw. So this was the woman whose sacrifice had saved the life of the princess who tugged so greatly at his heart now. Jaynea descended slowly to the ground, but her feet never touched the ground. She looked at Vannera for a little while. Their eyes conveyed the numerous words that weighed heavily on their hearts. The pain they felt was unmistakable and almost unbearable. However, Jaynea did not speak to Vannera. Instead, she turned to the rest of the group.
“I have come here to warn you. As we speak, numerous blenders and a single principal are heading your way. If you do not prepare to fight, or prepare to run, you will die standing here. Personally, I suggest the latter.” She turned around and began walking off.
“How many?” It was Vannera’s voice. It shook and trembled as she fought against crying further. Jaynea continued to walk away from the group.
“Answer me Jaynea!! How many blenders are there? At least say a word to me before walking away into oblivion again!!” The tears had come now. Vannera fell to her knees and cried profusely, letting her tears soak the rock and grass beneath her.
“Did I not tell you to breathe and be strong the last time I was by your side? Is this as far as you are able to go?”
Vannera looked on in shock as Jaynea’s words sank in.
“Jaynea?” Davydd called out to her. “We still need to know how many dragol are on their way.”
“At this very moment, there are about a hundred blenders and one principal on their way here.” This voice did not belong to Jaynea. It was Feona.
“Matilom!” Leo screamed. “A god is here!”
Matilom, eyes widened in fear like he’d never shown before, quickly said some incantations and immediately disappeared from Feona’s and Jaynea’s sight. However, he was still visible to everyone else. He moved away from his location just as Feona dropped down there with thunderous force. Everyone could see the depression it made, but not her.
“Mat…” Davydd was cut off by Sam who had instantly closed the distance between them and put his hand over Davydd’s lips in one move.
“Do not give away his position.” Sam whispered.
“What is going on?” Davydd whispered back.
“Remember when you asked him why he could not use strong magic to retrieve the gauntlet?”
“Yes… he avoided that question.”
“Well there’s your answer.” Sam nodded in the direction of the depression. “He uses most of it, to hide from the goddess of death.”
“No matter.” Feona said as she made herself visible.
“I do not have time for the wizard’s games. I will have his soul soon enough.” She turned to Davydd.
“Well then. What will you do…king?”
Davydd turned around to face the rest of the group.
“Gather arms!!” Davydd yelled.
The command set the group in frenzy as everyone rushed to arm themselves with a weapon. Davydd walked up to Feona.
“What do you know of the blenders?”
“Davydd!” Baximus yelled. “That is lady Feona! The goddess of Angweleth. We do not…”
Baximus fell silent when Feona signaled him to stop. She looked at Davydd with her piercing red eyes and smiled inquisitively.
“Do you not know who I am? And what makes you think I know anything more about the blenders?”
“I know who you are well enough. You are the one responsible for my father’s death. And as for the blenders, you’ve fought them. The marks on your body say as much. The only beings I know capable of drawing the blood of a god are the dragols.”
Sam turned to Max and whispered.
“Do you see any injuries?”
“I do not.” Max responded. “I know not what he’s thinking.”
Feona smiled again.
“You are very brave. I wouldn’t expect any less from the son of Rikard Miljorn. Very well then. The dragol who chase you are called blenders, not just because they can remain unseen by becoming invisible, but because they can become anything and anyone that they touch. They are very smart when using this and unless you have a mortal with the gift of the sight…” her eyes darted to Vannera and then Leo “you won’t be able to tell who is a blender and who isn’t. But there is one thing that a blender does not like.”
“What is it?” Davydd asked.
Feona suddenly rushed towards him and thrust her gauntlet wearing hand at his chest. Davydd quickly unsheathed his sword and blocked the blow. The clang reverberated around the area and then became a high pitched scream. It finally died down and all that was left was the low hum of Davydd’s sword and Feona’s gauntlet vibrating in tandem.
“Sound… That sound.” Feona said. It is your fighting chance.”
“And the principal?”
“Oh… That?” Feona slowly lifted her left hand up and over the blade of Davydd’s sword and let her index finger gently rest on his heart.
“There. That’s your fighting chance.” And with that, both Feona and Jaynea began to fade away from visibility. As Jaynea dissolved away, she looked at Vannera.
“Be strong. Remember, here’s your new life.” She said as she vanished completely.
Davydd turned to Baximus and Matilom.
“What do we have that makes that humming noise?” Matilom turned to one of their horses and searched through a bag attached to its saddle. He came back a few minutes later with his hand holding a bunch of small daggers by the handle.
“These daggers are made of a rare metal that hums in a similar manner when it vibrates.” Matilom smiled mischievously.
“I can cast a spell on them that will make them spin faster and impale any blenders that come near.”
“And remember!” Baximus yelled to the group.
“Some of you have never fought dragol before. As such I tell you honestly that not all of you will survive this. The dragol are weak in the chest and stomach area. If you get a chance, do not waste it. And do not hesitate even if the blender is proven to mask as one of you. It means he’s already dead.”
“There is one problem.” Matilom added.
“To spell these daggers, I’ll need a dead blender.”
There was a murmur among the agitated group members. It seemed almost impossible. They had to kill an invisible enemy in order to gain the only advantage they had.
“They come! They come!” Vannera said in barely a whisper as the sounds and growls of the creatures filled the forest around them. Tears fell down her eyes as she began to relive the moments that led to Jaynea’s death. The sounds were nostalgic… as was what she could see. They were still at some distance but closing in fast. It was almost as though they could see through her soul.
“Matilom! Get your spell ready.” Davydd said as he picked up his bow and arrows. He walked over to Vannera and kissed her on the cheek, while gently but firmly pulling her up to her feet.
“Everything will be fine. I need your help. Point me to the one out in front. There is always a fastest one in a herd. Trust me.”
Vannera was breathing heavily but she closed her eyes and calmed herself. When she opened them, they scanned the forest area in front and her right arm slowly lifted up and pointed to an area high on the right. Davydd nodded and concealing his movements from the area the dragol were approaching from, placed the arrow on the bow’s string. He pulled the arrow back until the rope was taut and waited. It wasn’t long before he heard the distinct growl of a dragol coming from the direction Vannera had pointed in. The execution was instant. Davydd whirled around, his balance sure and his aim steady. His right hand was pulled back as far as it could go and his fingers uncoiled like a spring. The arrow flew with ferocious velocity, and whistled through the air. It stopped on an invisible target with a thump. What followed was a series of loud guttural noises with the arrow appearing to be yanked about. The blender slowly became visible as it fell lifelessly from a high tree branch to the forest ground below.
“Max!” Davydd yelled.
Max nodded and a portal opened up around the blender. Max grabbed the blender and opened up a portal in front of Matilom, dumping the body there on the ground.
“Whatever you need to do, do it now.” Davydd said to Matilom.
Matilom nodded and chanting out some incantations. He had laid the daggers in a row on the ground. As he lifted his hands the daggers were raised up from the ground by some unseen force. They all impaled the body of the dead blender and slowly began to glow with a bluish aura.
“That’s one unfortunate blender.” Max said to Sam who managed to smile at the joke. The growls had gotten closer and the group got even more agitated. However, Matilom’s spell concluded with the daggers pulling back out of the blender’s body and floating to each member of the group. They spun slowly at the back of their necks.
“Do not be afraid.” Matilom said.
“They will not cut you. However, if they spin faster and make a humming sound, there is a blender nearby. I hope the gods give you sight to see it before it sees you.”
“Angwelethean warriors!” Davydd called. “I am not asking you to lay down your life and fight for me. You are here because you believe in our land, our right to live and our freedom.”
The group responded with a chorused ruahhh.
“I believe in those very same things. It’s why I’m here. It’s why we are all here!”
“This will be the first of many battles and challenges we will face, the first of many we will overcome!!”
“Whatever happens here today, you are all warriors of Angweleth. Warriors of Terrianus. Never forget that!!”
“So I implore you, to help me. Help me and by the name of Feona, FIGHT!”
Davydd walked over to Vannera and motioned for Max to come to him.
“Vannera. I need you to be our eyes. Matilom’s spell is reassuring, but I need you to watch over us.” Vannera nodded and turned to Max.
“You heard my king. Can you be in many a place at once?”
Max smiled at the question.
“My princess I am always everywhere.”
“Sam! You are in charge of seeing as many blenders on the ground to their deaths. You are the fastest.”
“It would be my pleasure.” Sam nodded.
“Leo. I leave you to your element.”
“We head towards the shores!” Ergol yelled. The growls were upon them. “Move!!!”
It had begun. Some of the men mounted their horses and began racing through the forest as branches fell around them. The fire had caught up to them and it engulfed the trees around them, including the roots and smaller plants closer to the forest bed. As they ran, they could hear the occasional whirring of the daggers followed by the cries of one of their own, being mauled by the savage blenders. Despite their fears, they turned to fight the unseen blenders, and the bloody clashes resulted in the occasional victory for one of Ergol’s men. Davydd ran after Sam, trying to follow the trail he left. His dagger whirled faster and hummed.
“Davydd! Behind you!” Vannera yelled.
Davydd unsheathed his sword and rolled to his left, dodging the slam of a blender’s arm and claws, aimed to rip him to shreds on the first blow. The whirling dagger was taking its effect, and the blender staggered and howled loudly, while it covered its ears with its arms. The dagger projected forward and pierced the blender in the abdomen. It wailed in pain and tried to rip the dagger from its belly, but Matilom had spelled them so that they could not be removed, once they had impaled their victims. Davydd seized the opportunity to plunge his sword deep into the chest of the blender. The dying creature wailed loudly and extended its claws in a last ditch effort to slay Davydd. However, its hand never made it that far. An unseen weapon opened up a deep wound on the blender’s arm, which quickly dug through the entire arm until it had been cut off from the elbow joint.
“Thank you Leo.” Davydd said as he sprinted away.
Baximus blocked four blows by four different blenders in quick succession. The blows forced him this way and that, and he struggled to stay on his feet. This wasn’t just an attack. This was meant to be extermination. There were still so many of them and all the while, he could see the figure of the great principal flying overhead. The spinning dagger behind him whirled loudly again. He arched backward as a huge scaly arm shot forward where his upper torso had been. No sooner than he’d finished dodging that blow, did he have to twist his body back up to avoid another one. He grabbed the first blender’s arm which was recoiling, to help pull him upwards and regain his balance. Baximus let go as that blender attempted a swipe at him. He bent low to avoid the blow, which caught the other blender behind him. The distraction gave him an opening and he pivoted on his left leg, slashing with his sword clockwise. All four blenders received deep gashes to their mid-sections and after a series of deep guttural sounds, they slowly dropped to the ground, with their insides spilling out. Baximus was already away from them, running towards the shores.
In another part of the forest, Matilom rode his horse as quickly as he could. He could not use any magic, as all of his concentration was invested in the enchanted daggers, and also rendering himself beyond Feona’s senses. As such, Matilom focused on moving through the forest as quickly as possible. He was the only one without a spinning dagger, for as much as it’s loud whirling noise upset the blender’s enough to make them lose their camouflage, it did not stop them from attacking and thus ripping their victim to shreds. All around him, he could hear the sounds of the battle ensuing. He could tell which side had earned a kill. It was always the blenders who let him know. There was a loud and powerful roar when a blender killed a human, while a shriek and cry of pain was heard when a blender had met its end. The deaths of the young men tore at Matilom’s conscience. He battled between throwing caution to the wind by helping them now, and believing in them and thus saving himself for the long haul when he would perhaps be more useful. He knew that if he even so much as revealed himself, Feona would claim his soul.
“Coward!” He cursed at himself under his breath. His breathing was heavy and labored now, and as the horse galloped on, he lurched over and wrapped his arms around himself. He didn’t even notice that he had let go of his staff which fell on a tree root and made a noisy thud as it did. Matilom soon followed. The horse neighed loudly and galloped away through the forest. Matilom got to his feet and held his breath as the blenders closed in on his location. He could barely make out two of them. Their figures just barely distorted the things around them as they moved. He could hear them and feel their stares on him and yet he did not move or make a sound. There was a loud growl and then the figures prepared to attack. Matilom took a deep breath and lifted up his palms. If he was going to die, he’d rather it be by Feona than these monsters. He dispelled the magic that hid him from Feona’s view, as fire began to form and encircle his hands very quickly. The fire did not touch or burn him, even though his hands shone bright red and the heat radiating from the flames was almost unbearable for the blenders. They started to pull back. Matilom let out a loud yell and released the flames. They rushed forward from his arms and engulfed the blenders, including their surroundings. The monsters let out loud screams of pain, running around helplessly as the flames burned through their scales and devoured them alive. Matilom took deep breaths of relief and bent down to pick up his staff. When he straightened back up, Feona was standing in front of him. In that moment, terror seized Matilom. He looked directly at the goddess of death. Fear would not let him break his gaze, though he tried his best to hide the dread that had engulfed him.
“Two decades and three years you have eluded me wizard.”
“O… Oh my. It’s been that long already? I really thought it was shorter than that.”
“Don’t worry wizard. It won’t be longer than this.” Feona reached back with her gauntlet and thrust it forward towards Matilom’s chest. Matilom held his breath and braced for the worst, but Feona’s hand never reached his chest. A portal opened up in front of Matilom and he was immediately dragged in. Feona slowly pulled her hand back and sighed heavily. Jaynea appeared behind her at that moment.
“He has evaded me once again. That mortal… Max, had to master one of the most useful powers of mine didn’t he?”
“You… could always take it away.” Jaynea said shrugging.
Feona looked at her.
“You know I can’t do that… without consequences.”
They both observed Segmiatus dive under a thick tree root that had risen above soil level to evade a blender’s blow. The blender took a step forward but one of Matilom’s spelled daggers whirled loudly and impaled the blender in the foot. The blender stumbled and fell beside Segmiatus on its back, exposing its belly. Segmiatus quickly got up to his feet and stabbed repeatedly, until the blender was dead. He heaved and panted, trying to regain his breath.
“Oh my Feona.” He exclaimed under his breath as he darted off again.
Feona sighed again.
“And I absolutely hate it when he says that.”
Jaynea could barely suppress a smile.
The portal opened up and Max pulled out a weakened Matilom.
“That was a close one master.” sighed Max in relief.
“Thanks to you I live to take another breath.” Matilom said in gratitude.
He caught Vannera staring at him curiously, out of the corner of his eye. “Is something the matter other than my close encounter with death?”
“Well… there’s… this black aura around you… and it’s pulsating outwards. It is barely there and then it’s really there but it’s…”
Matilom took another deep breath and slowly began to sit up.
“…it’s fading away. What is it?” Vannera asked.
“I didn’t think you’d be able to see life energies this quickly. The stress of this battle must have forced a monumental improvement to your sight.”
“So I see your life energy?”
“Yes, and because you see it as a black pulsating light, it means I was close to death.”
“I… see… Well… it’s a blue-white now.”
“All mortals have a blue-white aura as the color of their life force, except for the dragol, who have a violet or purple aura. Blue and white are the colors of Lynda, the goddess of life.”
Vannera looked all around her, at the trees, their branches and leaves. She looked at the birds and all the other animals living on the upper canopy of the forest and those living on the forest bed. Vannera then turned her gaze to Max. All of them including Max had the same blue-white aura around them. However, the auras seemed to have different characters. Some were steady, while others seemed to move and shape shift the way tongues of fire do as they burn through an object, others still pulsated at different rates.
“This… is… incredible.” Vannera said as she was awestruck. She turned to Matilom.
“We have to move, my child.” Matilom said interrupting her.
“Max can you transport both of us and still cover the area.”
Max nodded and three portals instantly opened up, enveloping the three of them before closing up.
Davydd pressed his back to a tree trunk and slid out of Balek’s line of sight. He waited till he could no longer hear the flapping wings of the principal and bolted off again. At this point, he was certain that the principal was looking for him. He wondered if he was the main reason for this attack and for all the lives that had been lost. Davydd felt sick to his stomach, for he knew answer to those questions. One of Ergol’s men ran past him, but Davydd caught hold of the man’s left shoulder, pulling him back towards him. The man whirled around screaming, as he thrust his sword at Davydd. Davydd parried the attack and grabbed the man by the neck. He pulled him around and slammed his back into a tree trunk, fiercely but surprisingly quietly. His vice like grip had cut off the man’s air and silenced the scream. When the man had calmed down, Davydd slowly released his grip.
“How many of your men are still alive?”
They both coughed violently as the smoke from the fire thickened in the air around them.
“I don’t know. It’s been horrible. All I hear are screams. Sometimes I know who it is… sometimes I don’t. I’ve killed and killed. Yet they come.”
“We are near the shore my friend. Do not give up.”
“And when we get to the shore, what do we do?”
“We fight, we survive, and we live. But we do not give up.”
The man nodded his head frantically.
“Come. The whirling has stopped. Let us move.”
They darted through the forest once more, and soon the vegetation began to thin out. As they neared a clearing, they could see that it was the sea shore covered in white sand. They could also see that the other members of the group had made it there safely, including a few of Ergol’s men and Ergol himself. Davydd took a quick look at them and noticed the absence of Max, Matilom and Vannera. He wondered where they were and if they were safe and began to slow down.
“What’s the matter?” The man of Windhaven asked.
“Nothing. Go ahead. I have to look for some others.”
Ergol’s man ran ahead into the clearing as Davydd began to turn around.
Davydd did not think. He didn’t have time to. All he knew was he had heard Vannera’s voice and he had barely evaded the powerful swing of the principal whose aim had been to cleave his head off his shoulders. The sword had missed, and Davydd had rolled behind the dragol, only to get caught in the mid-section by his powerful tail. It sent him careening across the forest floor and into the clearing that was part of the long expanse of the sea shore.
“Davydd!!!” He could hear her footsteps as she ran towards him. Davydd rolled to his left side with great effort as he struggled to get up. Vannera reached him and embraced him as a mother embraces a child she wants to protect.
“No! No! Do not get up.” She pleaded. “Max, Leo and Sam will fight him.”
“He wants me Vannera. I can’t ask anyone else to fight my battles for me.”
“We are fighting with you!”
“Vannera…” Davydd said holding her firmly around her shoulders.
“What did you tell me to be?”
“Yes… So… let me lead.”
Davydd struggled to his feet, helped by Vannera, who still held on to him tightly. Davydd caught sight of Balek who was standing in front of Leo, Sam and Max. The trio had their weapons drawn, and had formed a defensive wall in front of Davydd, to keep Balek at bay.
“Take everyone to the ship. Make sure they are safe.”
Vannera nodded and fell back with Max, Leo and Sam, while Davydd stepped forward towards Balek. Balek stood still trying to regain every ounce of his energy, but also because he was caught off guard by Davydd’s striking resemblance to Rikard Miljorn.
“Incredible.” He finally said.
“You are just like your father… brave and foolish.” He stepped forward.
“You must think you have a chance because you see my injuries. Make no mistake human, I Balek, principal of the dragol, will destroy you despite my waning strength.”
Davydd stood still and did not utter a word.
“Did you really think you would succeed where he failed?” Balek continued.
“He was more worthy an adversary than you ever will be. You…”
“Balek wasn’t it?” Davydd said interrupting the dragol.
“Remember the name human. You…”
“Shut up.” Davydd said calmly as he broke into a slow jog towards the Dragol.
“Do something!” Vannera whispered to Baximus.
Her wide eyes betrayed her terror. Baximus put his hands on her shoulder and squeezed them reassuringly.
“Have faith princess. Have faith. This is his fight now.” Baximus looked down again at his chest and massaged it. It still hurt and he wondered why. It was a mild throbbing pain. He reflected on the kick once more.
Did it really have that much force?
He made up his mind to ask Matilom later.
Davydd ducked under a sideways swipe from Balek, rolled to his right, and pushed up to get behind the principal. He swung forward with his right hand from left to right with his sword, attempting to strike Balek’s back. However Balek was quicker, as he struck Davydd in the side with his tail. The blow sent Davydd straight to the ground once more. He rolled and tumbled across the sand before coming to a halt in the wet sand, where the foamy sea waters repeatedly soaked the shore. Davydd pushed himself up with his hands. It was a slow labored effort. He had only been struck twice, but he felt as though his whole body had been flattened by a boulder. Blood trickled from his lips to the sand as he struggled to his knees and feet. There was a ringing in his ears. The sound was muffled but he heard it still. It was the whooshing sound of something heavy coming down fast on him. Davydd arched and twisted his torso out of the way as Balek’s tail slammed down on the sands. The dust flew up in the air and caused Davydd to shield himself briefly. However, he still had the presence of mind to evade a forward thrust aimed at his head from Balek’s blade. Davydd whirled around and slammed his sword into Balek’s, causing the dragol’s arm to move up and out of the way, leaving the dragol open. Davydd moved in for the fatal blow, but had to block Balek’s tail once more, with his sword sheath. Balek moved in for a counter attack and Davydd blocked and parried equally with both sword and sheath. He ducked in and out of Balek’s blows and made to slash Balek with his sword. Balek prepared for a counter but was caught in the rib section by Davydd’s sheath. Davydd spun his sword in his hand, by its handle and switched to a downward slash. Balek was again open, but brought his tail to block the blow. However, Davydd’s swing was more powerful this time and the sword left a gash in the dragol’s tail. Balek let out a loud groan of pain as Davydd ran to his left side and leaped in the air. His right hand came down hard on the dragol’s face, knocking him to the ground. As Balek fell, he swept Davydd’s feet from under him with his tail, causing him to fall as well. The dragol spun on the ground, his tail a whip lash slamming down hard at where Davydd was. The tail struck its target, but Davydd had long removed himself from harm’s way. The dragol’s back was open. Davydd leaped in the air, his sword strong and steady, his intent unwavering. He came down on Balek with the tip of his sword aimed at Balek’s heart. Balek desperately swung his mighty wavy sword at Davydd’s sword, deflecting it just enough to miss and hit the ground near him. Davydd retrieved his sword and retreated just in time to evade another whiplash like strike from Balek’s tail.
It was a dance with death. Davydd knew that one more direct strike from that massive tail could shatter every bone in his body. However, he could also tell that Balek’s speed was decreasing with every passing moment, and the blow he had delivered to his tail had taken off some of the power it possessed. The other wounds the Dragol had sustained in his fight with Feona were also beginning to take their toll. Balek was up to his feet now and he was breathing heavily.
In the distance, Matilom and the rest watched the battle unfold. Ergol walked up to Matilom.
“Is this the same man I saw fight with fear and hesitation in Windhaven? Wizard… I know he is the son of Rikard Miljorn, but Rikard was a trained warrior and tactician, who honed his skills in combat from the very moment he could walk. A moon ago, Davydd didn’t know how to swing a sword. Yet I see him here fighting, seemingly on equal strength with a dragol who has centuries of experience.”
“The dragol is badly wounded Ergol.” Matilom replied.
“Don’t play with me Matilom!” Ergol said angrily.
“That is a principal. Even wounded he has the power to wipe out portions of an entire army. Yet I see this Davydd strike a blow hard enough to take him off his feet with his bare hand Matilom!”
“Ergol.” Matilom called in a tone that bordered on menacing.
“I implore you to keep your words and thoughts to yourself. Right now, all we can do is to give him the strength of our prayers.”
All the while they were talking, Baximus massaged his chest but not because of the pain. It was fast receding. He massaged unconsciously and deep in thought, absorbing the words of his friends and comrades. He was not alone in this. Vannera was also in her own world, her eyes fixed on the man after her heart. The man who in one moon had been her savior, protector and lover. Who was he really? She understood that the fault was not Davydd’s. He barely knew who he was himself. Her gaze shifted to Matilom. His face was plain, though his eye brows were squeezed together in concentration. His aged face betrayed no other emotions and yet she knew that in that mind of his lay buried all the secrets of Davydd Miljorn and she was determined to get to them. She turned back to Davydd and watched him as he dueled on with Balek, and fell back into her own little world of thoughts.
All mortals have a blue-white aura as the color of their life force. That is what Matilom had told her. That is what he had said. If that was true, then why did Davydd have a golden aura instead?
Davydd blocked Balek’s attempt to cleave his head off and made contact with his sheath, slamming it across the dragol’s face. Balek staggered back and took in a massive amount of air. Davydd saw the fumes seep from Balek’s clenched teeth and immediately ducked when the Dragol opened his mouth. A ball of fire shot out, lighting up the vicinity briefly. Even though his body was pressed completely to the ground, Davydd’s could still feel the searing heat of the fireball prickle his skin. Davydd got back up to his feet as Balek took in another deep breath. As the dragol prepared to bellow once more, Davydd broke into a dash towards him. Balek was caught off guard. He had expected Davydd to run and avoid getting burned rather than charge into the heart of danger. He unleashed his fireball, but it was less powerful than the first one. Davydd dodged it easily and plunged his blade into the Balek’s chest, right below the gaping hole left in the wake of his battle with Feona. The dragol looked at Davydd as he continued to plunge his sword deeper, until it pierced through the other side. Balek slowly fell to his knees. He tried to move his hands but they would not move. He tried to whip his tail at Davydd but it merely shuddered. He was dying. It was a death dealt to him at the hands of a human.
“Unbelievable.” He said as he looked at Davydd, his fast fading consciousness recalling Feona’s words. As far as you know, right you are.
Balek laughed as his eyelids flickered.
“That… Rikard… he definitely left… behind… a relic…” He chuckled some more.
“Your words hold no meaning.” Davydd responded.
“Ah… I know… Shame… you do not know who… who… you are… what you are.” Balek looked up at the sky.
“Well played… Feona.”
His eyes, weary, fell back on Davydd.
“You… should… have… that.” His eyes fell to his sword.
“And… proof… that you are… the slayer of Balek… one of the ten principals.”
“Omni… will avenge me and reclaim my sword. For now… use it… well.”
The dragol’s head dropped and he was finally silent and still. Davydd slowly withdrew the sword from Balek’s chest. The dragol’s body remained in a kneeling position. Davydd slowly closed Balek’s eyelids and picked up the principal’s sword. He staggered back up to his feet, taking deep breaths as he did. His entire body throbbed in pain. He was so lost in thought that he barely heard the chants all around him. Davydd slowly and wearily turned around to face the men screaming and cheering. They had placed their trust in him so completely, in the direst of circumstances. Davydd stood in awe at his men, taking it all in as they continued to chant his name.
In the air above, the goddess Feona and Jaynea watched on.
“Finally… his legend is born.” Feona said.
“Was all this for that? To make sure Davydd killed Balek in front of everyone present?”
The goddess of death nodded slowly.
“I must admit, it was not the original plan.” She explained.
“I see… if they didn’t believe in him before, now they will follow him to the ends of Terrianus.”
“Yes… and this feat will spread like wild fire. It should inspire.” Feona added.
“You are terrifying.”
“I know.” Feona said, smiling.
Down below, Segmiatus heaved a sigh of relief and looked up at the sky. Though he could not see them, he happened to be looking in the direction of Feona and Jaynea.
“He shouldn’t be able to.” Feona Interjected. They both watched Segmiatus’s lips form the words…
Oh Feona, thank you.
Feona threw her hands up in exasperation.
“Shall we go Jaynea?” She said amidst chuckles from Jaynea.
Down on the ground, amidst the cheers, Baximus had taken Matilom aside.
“Certain things weigh heavy on my mind wizard.”
“What things?” Matilom asked, knowing the answer to his question.
“It’s about Davydd.”
“Ask away Baximus…”
“No lies. I deserve to know.”
The wizard nodded and Baximus returned the gesture.
“I’ll begin by asking this. Where is Davydd’s mother?”