|Ancient Prophecy IV: Reunited
by Vipers ©
was split into 7 parts. Jump to any of the segments from here:
"How do you know...?" Maya asked skeptically.
The man's smile grew wider. "I thought you still believe, Miss Murdock, that we thieves know more than any souls that inhibit this land..."
"Of course." Maya agreed. "It's a small world."
"The forest around those villages is now infested with foul folks. It is possible that those demons were the unknown attackers. They succeeded in conquering those villages and killed all peasants... except one village. The name is Whitewater. The elves called it Mantanadaria... or in their language... the Blessed Land."
The man moved his body closer to her and lowered his voice. "The village is located next to the Elven border. It's the farthest one from the kingdom, so it's really weird to know that it stays intact while the closer neighboring villages were destroyed."
Again the man glanced to his surrounding, then continued. "Rumors said that the village is protected..." The man stared at Maya's eyes. He looked serious. "It's protected... by an angel... Local peasants had seen a lone figure slaughtered a large band of foul folks by himself... They called him Bakara, or in their local language, the Wingless Angel."
Maya was drowned in her thought. A lone figure who slaughtered a large band of demons... There was only one man she knew who could actually do that... Atrus White Lion...
The man drank his ale, then stood up. "I know you're worried about your friend, but that's all I know. If you want to investigate this thing, I must warn you that the journey may be dangerous. Expect a tough fight on your way to the Blessed Land." Then the man turned around.
"Wait... I must pay you..." Maya stopped him.
The man looked back and smiled. "A smile from the daughter of a man I honor most in my life is the greatest payment I can receive."
Maya blushed, then smiled warmly. "At least tell me your name..."
The man turned around and wrapped the dark cloak around his body. "Don't hate him, Miss Murdock... Your father was a great man..." Then he made his way to the door.
Maya sat on her seat for a while. The thought of his father bothered her. Her father was the one who had taught her many things... who had equipped her with skills to stay alive... who had inspired her in many ways... But he had also made her lost her childhood... he had made her lose her virginity... he had made her lose... everything...
But this man was still loyal to him even years after his death... why...? There were many things about her father that she didn't know... For many years she had seen her father as her symbol of disgrace for putting her life in misery... She hated her father... but why...? Was it because he had caused her to endure the slavery? But she was just like him... Her skills... her attitude... her eyes... She could remember his charming eyes that had always soothed her when she was only a little girl... That warm and loving gaze she had always received from him...The care and love he had given her when she was small was the same ones she always wanted to give to Master Atrus...
But she quickly set the deepening conflict in her mind aside and finished her ale. Then she walked out of the pub and headed to the inn. She had to tell the happy news to Mistress Anna...
And Anna had the same thought with her, and it didn't take too long for her to decide. They left Lindenwood the next morning. The villagers had urged her to stay longer so they could plan a party, but she politely declined. The villagers insisted that she take the heavy leather backpack they gave. Maya had to carry the extra weight over her shoulder, but neither she nor Anna wanted to offend the kind villagers. After a few miles from the village, they opened the backpack and were surprised to find food rations that were enough for at least a week.
The weather was fine, although the sky was cloudy. The worst time of winter had passed, and the wonderful spring was coming. Birds from the south had returned and sang their beautiful symphony. The wicked snow was gone, replaced by vast carpet of grass. Flowers of many kinds had blossomed and filled the air with their fragrance. This was definitely the best time of the year.
The journey to the southwestern region normally took four days, but they could get a ride on a hay cart that was going in the same direction. On the second day, they arrived at the edge of the area of dispute. An army camp was built by hired soldiers at the forest clearing by the river. The soldiers were confused when Maya explained that they were going to go farther into the forest. They told them about the Army of Darkness that still roamed the forest, but it didn't stop Anna. Lastly the soldiers offered a shelter for them for a night, but again Anna declined and continued walking toward the forest. Maya followed her.
Deep inside Maya could understand her mistress' feeling. Mistress Anna hated hired soldiers and mercenaries. They didn't fight for the people; they fought for money and fame. They paid no respect to the peasants and villagers. Moreover, they had created a painful scar in Anna's memory, and the pain seemed endless. She had been brutally raped by those people. It seemed that she had been destined to hate those people for the rest of her life.
Until now Anna had only told this story to her and Master Atrus, her two most trusted friends. Slowly Maya felt happy that she had been treated as Anna's trusted friend. She ran after her and tried her best to cheer her up.
Halfway through the jungle they arrived at a large clearing. A large ruin that had used to be a village was there. It was utterly destroyed. The houses had been burned to ashes, and only a few scorched pillars stayed erect. The thick scent of smoke and burned material filled the air. Slowly they made their way through the ruin. On a clearing outside the town were rows of stones put on the ground disorderly; probably a small cemetery built carelessly by the soldiers for the villagers. Anna approached the graves, prayed for the poor souls, and then blessed the graves. Suddenly her muscles grew tense. Maya saw the change in her expression, and unsheathed her long dagger.
"I sense something." Anna said slowly. "We're being watched..."
Maya tried to listen to her surrounding, but she could sense nothing.
"The village of Whitewater was only a few miles west from here. We had better arrive there before dark. Keep your eyes open." Then she reached for her mace and held it tightly in her right hand. Slowly she made her way through the dense forest before them.
The forest was dark and gloomy. The small path through the woods was covered with weeds and wild grass, giving hint that the village of Whitewater didn't have a good relation with the neighboring villages. They met several deer around the forest having lunch. They watched the two girls carefully as they made their way through the bushes. Suddenly one of the deer ran away toward the darkness of the woods, followed by others. Anna signaled Maya to stop and quickly observed the land with her spell.
The forest turned silent. Occasionally there were strange sounds coming out of the thick bushes along the path, but the light wind made exactly the same sound. Maya couldn't recognize anything hostile around them, but her feeling told her otherwise.
Without warning Anna loosed three quick bursts of firebolts toward the bushes ahead. Several loud groans were heard, and suddenly several angry roars were heard from every corner of the woods. A pack of orcs appeared in front of them, blocking the path. Another group appeared behind them, pinning them down. Anna faced the first group, her mace was ready in her hand. Maya faced the other group, covering Anna's rear.
The pig-like creatures were staring at them. Wicked-looking axes were in their hands. Their thick leather armor provided them with extra protection. Instead of boots, their feet were wrapped with thick cloths, enabling them to advance around the woods without causing too much noise.
"Ah... humans, you seem to be in the wrong place and the wrong time..." One of them said.
"I disagree. We are here to teach you all a lesson..." Anna responded.
"Alright, gang! Let's have our lunch!" The orcs roared and approached them.
"MAYA, COVER MY BACK!!"
A huge orc dashed at Maya, but he was not a match for her superior speed. Two throwing knives found their marks on his forehead, sending him down. Another one charged at her, but again she was faster. Before he could eves swing his gigantic axe, Maya tackled him down, sat on his back, and slit his throat. Then she spotted an orc tried to throw his axe toward Anna. Again she dashed while screaming. The orc was surprised, but prepared. He successfully blocked Maya's knife. The rest of the orcs lost interest on Anna and tried to surround Maya. Maya readied her long silver blade and began dashing from one orc to another, trying to score a kill.
Anna, on the other hand, had an easier fight. She created an invisible force that pushed her opponents backward. The orcs fell on the ground, and before they recovered, Anna had begun her counterattack. She jumped from one orc to another along the path, bashing their skulls with her mace. Soon the path was once again clear. She turned around and loosed several firebolts toward the group that pinned Maya down, giving her a chance to escape.
"Quickly! This way!"
Despite her fierce fighting, Maya was wounded. A stray axe swept through her leather suit, creating a long cut on her left shoulder. Behind her the angry group of orcs were still pursuing them, throwing smaller axes blindly along the path. Slowly she retreated, following Anna and keeping the flying axes away from them. Anna later came to her aid, bashing the axes away with her mace and shooting firebolts at the pursuing party.
Maya led the way through the thick bushes in front of her. Her wound was bleeding and she had many smaller cuts around her body caused by the shrubs along the path. Her vision began to blur as fatigue overcame her body. Suddenly she found out that the ground underneath her was collapsing... It was a trap! But it was too late. Her body fell down into the pit trap. Anna involuntarily joined her shortly.
They were trapped inside a pit that had been dug on the path, concealed by the thick bushes. The pit was dug deep enough so that it would take a while to get out of there. Anna got on her feet again and found out that the pit mouth was now surrounded by a dozen of orcs. The creatures sneered at them.
"Look at them humans... Trapped like animals..."
Anna was about to loose some firebolts when she saw Maya's figure lying on the ground, unmoved. She quickly ran to her and turned her body around. She was groaning in pain.
"My... my ankle..." Her left ankle was sprained.
Anna tried her healing spell, but it could only soften the pain. Her power was drained already. Meanwhile the enemies were still around. Healing Maya completely wouldn't save them anyway.
"Well, how can we cook them...?" The orc sneered again. "We can rain fireballs into the pit... It can be an interesting show..."
"How do you like your meal? Do you like it well done or medium?" The other orcs laughed lavishly at the joke. Anna could only stare at them.
"Mistress... leave me... Save yourself..." Maya's voice was weak.
"No. We came here together, we'll go through this forever." Anna answered.
"But... Master Atrus... you must find him..."
"WE will find him... I'm not leaving you here... We will..."
Her words were interrupted by a long wail of one of the orcs. The group left the pit mouth, and a battle was happening outside. Suddenly an orc's head, cut from its body, fell into the pit, right beside Anna. The eyes were staring at her in agony. Despite her battle experience, Anna still didn't really like that kind of surprise. She yelled at the top of her voice, then quickly ran to the corner away from the head and dragged Maya's body with her. But the battle was not finished. One by one the enemies' body parts fell into the pit. An orc hand fell right on her head, making her scream. She ran from one corner to another, dodging the corpses that fell from the pit mouth.
While she was still terrorized by the corpses around her, she heard the sound that raised her spirit as well as gave her chills...
Atrus White Lion!!!
Both Anna and Maya were paralyzed by the voice they just heard. Lightning slash was one of Atrus' fighting style. It couldn't be wrong. They had found him!
But the forest fell silent again. No angry groan was heard from outside. They were alone once again. When Anna recovered from her fright, she began calling him.
"Atrus! Atrus! We're down here!"
There was no answer.
"Atrus! Maya was hurt! Please help us!"
But the forest was silent. He had left... He didn't hear her... or he tried to evade them... The bitter memory of the battle of Gideon came back to her mind. She still remembered clearly how she had betrayed his trust. She had accused him as a fame-thirst ranger. No matter how many times she had apologized to him, she knew that her words had hurt him deeply.
"Atrus... why haven't you forgiven me..." She sobbed softly.
"Mistress... I'm sure he just didn't hear us..."
Anna approached Maya's lying body and helped her to sit. But when she held the back of her neck, she could feel that she was sweating... cold sweat... When she looked at her, her gaze was weak. Her breathing was heavy and her voice was faint.
"Maya... Are you alright?"
"I'm okay, mistress..."
She touched her neck with her fingers. Her pulse was weak... very weak. Cold sweat now covered her forehead and her lower body was shivering.
"You have a fever... Oh no... You've been poisoned..."
"No... I'm o..." Suddenly she coughed hard. Blood tricked from the corner of her mouth.
"Oh my god... hang on... I have to take you to the village..."
Anna drained her spell power on the healing spell, but it could only ease the pain. Despite the corpses around her, she walked to the nearest pit wall. It was well dug. The roots had been cut, making it impossible to use them to climb up, but she tried it anyway. Climbing was not her specialty, and no matter how hard she tried, she couldn't get out of the pit.
Meanwhile the sky was getting dark. She checked Maya's condition once again. It seemed the cut on her shoulder caused the poisoning. She picked one of the axes and studied it. The tip of the metal had been smeared by strange substance, and despite her wide knowledge of poisons and hazardous substances, she couldn't recognize this one. Maya's body was getting weaker. The poison had been spread in her blood veins. Her condition was very... very bad.
"Oh no... Just hang on there..." She began to panic.
As if her prayer was answered, she heard footsteps from the bushes. It could be Atrus or more orcs, but she didn't care. Maya needed a shelter, even in the enemy's custody.
"HELP! PLEASE SOMEBODY! WE"RE DOWN HERE!"
Her scream was noticed, and soon the pit mouth was surrounded by several figures holding torches. She let out a sigh of relief when she noticed that they were humans.
"Please help us! My friend is gravely wounded! She needs a doctor!"
"Who are you, priestess?" One of then asked sharply. "If you're from the government, I have to ask you all to leave at once!"
"No, we're here at our own will! I can explain later, but please help my friend!"
Two men jumped into the pit and looked at the corpses around them. "Bakara was here..."
"The orcs attacked us on the way. My friend was poisoned by their axe."
One of the men sat next to Maya and examined her closely. "She's telling the truth... The girl is dying! We must bring her to the village!"
"Very well." The leader said. "Hurry! We must return before dark!"
The village of Whitewater was a small farming village next to the Elven border. It had been founded as a military outpost to deter the Elven menace a few years ago. However, the lack of ample transportation system around the village had urged the royal army to change the plan. Whitewater was just a poor hamlet in the west border of the kingdom. The lack of transportation granted them a privilege of not having to send any resources to the government. But the same reason resulted that they received little attention from the kingdom, especially during this conflict.
But the main reason the kingdom abandoned the hamlet was because the villagers had made
a peace treaty with the Elves. The locals had helped a lone elf who had been injured near
the border vicinity. In response, the Elven kingdom had declared that if they decided to
attack Aragon, the hamlet would be spared from their wrath.
This story was split into 7 parts. Jump to any of the segments from
|Another top quality story by Vipers.|
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