|The Ancient Prophecy
Pt. X: Plague and Cure
by Vipers ©
was split into 12 parts. Jump to any of the segments from here:
Elf took a previously prepared sulfur-smeared arrow and set it on fire.
Then she shot the arrow up toward the sky. Back in the castle, Maya quickly
saw the firebolt and recognized the symbol.
"Everybody, lie down!!" She cried. "Lie down, NOW!!"
All soldiers and citizens fell to the ground, ready for the outcome. In the battlefield, at Roberto's order, everybody also dropped to the ground. Only Atrus, Anna, and the zombies remained standing on the battlefield.
"Heavens and Earth, hear my prayer!" Anna cried. "I call forth thine power, undo the curse the land has suffer!"
Dark cloud appeared from nowhere and gathered over them. The clouds whirled madly over the sky, blown by invisible wind. Slowly it turned angry red as if the air was boiling. The wind twisted the cloud faster, making a large red whirlpool in the sky.
"Atrus, hit the dirt, NOW!!" Anna barked.
Suddenly the edge of the whirlpool slammed into the ground and began twisting around near where Anna was standing, creating a huge reddish tornado. The air around them turned incredibly hot as the steaming wind swept through them. Smaller specks of fire flew through the current, threatening those anything unlucky enough to be on their path.
And those would be the zombies. The tornado raged stronger, spitting fire and extremely hot air toward the undead ranks. The fire burned through the rotten flesh and the hot vapor melted whatever was left from them. The violent storm of fire raged, spreading mass destruction to the nearby land, slamming fire, burning rocks and shrapnel to the castle walls, rocking the structure and frightening the occupants, yet the purpose was clear. The firestorm decimated the undead army mercilessly as the ultimate wrath of the Gods came upon them, wreaking havoc the undead animation spell from the victims.
Anna staggered on her feet, struggling to stand firmly. While the fire wouldn't hurt her, the intense heat became unbearable and slowly weakened her. Her eyelids stayed close since her eyes couldn't withstand such heat. Her lungs were burning from total lack of oxygen. The powerful wind tossed her body from one side to another. She struggled hard to stay put, but she knew she was losing.
"I... can't... hold... it...!"
Then she felt a big figure pressing on her. A strong hand held her small waist close to him and another one supported her other hand, keeping it stretching up toward the angry sky.
"Atrus... hit... the... dirt...!!" She gasped.
"I've... lost you... once... I'm not... losing you... again...!!"
She completely let go her body, concentrating on the spell and the intense pain. Atrus held her tightly, refusing to give her up to the raging tornado before them. Unlike Anna, he was not the caster and therefor vulnerable to the fire, but he refused to give up to the pain. The flame around his body did little to soften the attack, but he didn't care. I'm with the girl of my life, and I will protect her to the death...
They lost track of time. The storm raged for a while, then just suddenly subsided. The tornado was lifted off and the sky returned to normal. Both Atrus and Anna staggered, but their feet refused to support their weight and they collapsed to the ground from exhaustion.
Hawk rose up first and yelped to find a skeleton staring at him. The zombies had been reduced into piles of bones scattered around the battlefield. The particular skull before him was smaller than normal Human skull, probably shrunk by the intense heat from the storm.
"It worked...!" He finally spoke up. "The spell worked! The zombies are defeated!!"
Holgreb curiously tugged the nearest skeleton with his axe, just to make sure. "Yep, they're dead all right!"
Soon the allied forces were back on their feet, silently staring at the horrible view of the battlefield, as if there had been a huge massacre here. But they were all cautiously pleased with the outcome. Their excitement exploded immediately after they heard a similar cheer coming from Castle Stoke. They'd never thought they would win this battle, but they just walked out victoriously, and alive.
"I'm happy things are working quite well." Roberto commented.
"Indeed." Aurelia nodded. "And we pulled this trick together."
"This event will definitely be remembered in our history for the years to come!" Hawk declared. "For the first time, five races worked together to defeat a common enemy!"
"Sounds good to me." Holgreb chuckled. "And I will get my own estate..."
"Let's greet our heroes!" Aurelia turned around. "Adriana Freesland, I have to congrat..."
The party was stunned to see Anna crawling over Atrus' body. "Atrus...! Atrus, answer me!"
The party quickly gathered around. Atrus was unconscious. His leather armor was totally ruined. His sword lay on his side, still hot and glowing bright red from contact with the firestorm. He had burn marks almost at every part of his body, except for his chest where he had held Anna close to him.
Anna was panicking, since her power was completely drained from the spell. "Atrus, hang on... We'll get help soon... Just... just don't you die on me..."
His eyes opened a little and looked at her weakly. Then he gave her a small, weak smile, then closed his eyes again.
"Atrus...! Atrus...!" The voice echoed in his head. "Atrus...!"
His head hurt. That was all he could think of. All the nerve endings around his body demanded the same attention for the same sensation, but he was too dizzy to give them any. It was dark around, and his first instinct when he was in darkness was to find some light. He slowly opened his eyes.
"Master!!" Somebody barked on his face.
Under normal circumstances, with his condition he wouldn't be able to comprehend the calling, but it was one voice he would never forget. Plus, the voice's owner gladly assisted him to clear his clouded mind.
"Stop slapping me, Maya!" Atrus protested. "I'm awake! I'm awake!"
"Get here, guys, he's awake!"
Atrus soon found himself lying on a double bed. There were bandages at almost every part of his body. Some of them still hurt, but most of them he could bear. Around the bed were his friends, except for Roberto, Holgreb and Anna.
"How do you feel, buddy?" Hawk asked.
"He's okay." Aurelia nodded to everybody. "He's saying the truth."
"You just pulled out another fine trick back there." Hawk said. "You held Anna's body steady during the spell, thus endangering yourself. You got plenty of burn wounds around your body. The girls spent four hours just to clean your body and bandage all your wounds."
"You never care of yourself, do you, Master?" Maya said.
"That doesn't answer my question."
"You won't like it." Hawk replied. "You've been unconscious for at least two days, and she's been staying next to you for more than forty hours in total." He chuckled. "We had to drug her coffee to drag her out and put her to sleep."
"She did that?" Atrus was surprised.
"She claimed her magic would work better if she apply it continuously." Aurelia offered him a glass of water. "Just like you, she's a very bad liar."
"I'm really sorry. I've been a trouble for you all."
"Yes, you have, Master." Maya smiled playfully. "But you've caused greater trouble before. We're getting used to it."
"Thanks, guys..." Atrus nodded. "I still need to thank Anna..."
Roberto and Holgreb popped out from the door. "Ah, Atrus, you're okay! It's good to see you alive" Roberto said.
"Same to you, Prince." Atrus replied. "What's up?"
"A simple scroll from my dad..." He lifted a paper scroll from his bag, and everybody in the room excluding Atrus fell on their knees. "Hmm... I'm still amazed at what a paper scroll can do..."
"It's a king's order!" Hawk said, annoyed. "Now spit it out!"
Had Hawk not been one of them, he would have been highly qualified for the gallows, but Roberto chuckled and opened the scroll. "Sir Atrus White Lion, Ranger and Royal Knight of Aragon, your mission in forging the alliance is a success. The king... my dad, has noticed your incredible dedication..."
"And injuries..." Aurelia added.
"And decided to grant you the entire southern part of Aragon."
"You heard the old man!" Roberto grinned. "You're no longer Sir Atrus. You're Baron Atrus, the ruler of Southern Aragon, and this castle will be your headquarters."
"Way to go, boy!" Holgreb planted a punch on his ribs, not enough to hurt him but enough to make him scream. "You're now ruling a country!"
"Despite the fact that most of your territory consists of burnt forest, impassable mountains, and dry wasteland." Hawk sneered.
"On the contrary," Roberto said, "My dad believes that under your leadership the southern Aragon will recover from its ordeal. You're very well known here anyway. It's good for people's morale."
"But I'm a fighter!" Atrus protested. "I know nothing about leading a country!"
"Uh, excuse me..." Anna's petite form appeared by the door. "I'm sorry, I just overheard the conversation... I just want to say... if you need help in managing a government, I can offer my assistance."
Atrus looked at her for a while. She was almost unhurt from the last battle, but he could know from her eyes that she hadn't had enough sleep in the last two days. He felt really guilty for troubling her, as always.
"Anna..." was all he could say, before uneasy silence covered them.
"Hey, guys!!" Maya suddenly spoke up. "I heard the... uh... dragons! The dragons are having a... a race!" That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard, Atrus thought. "That's right! A great dragon race! We should watch it, right?"
"Right!" Hawk agreed.
"Sure!" Aurelia nodded.
"A brilliant idea!" Holgreb declared.
The party quickly rushed out of the room with Maya dragging Prince Roberto along, who was still trying to figure out what was happening. The noise disappeared in the distance, leaving Atrus and Anna in a complete silence.
"Anna..." Atrus said again.
She sat on a chair beside his bed. "How are you feeling?"
"Better, thanks for your care." He hesitated. "Anna... about the thing in the Void..."
"I've talked to Calem." She cut him off. "I... I know everything."
"And I can say that would have been the stupidest thing you could have done!" She scolded. "You wanted to spend the rest of your life in the Void?!"
"Talking about stupid things, how about your decision to trade Maya's life with yours while I was determined to defeat the Lich at that very moment?! You think that's smart?!"
"Well, at least you could have been honest to me, like I've been to you!"
"Like what?!" Atrus shot back. "You wanted me to tell you that I was going to have to part with you, perhaps forever?!"
Silence covered them again, although the messages were sent.
"I'm sorry..." Anna said. "I suppose we all do something stupid in our life..."
"It's different." He replied. "It' not something you do to everybody everyday."
"I suppose you're right..."
Atrus took her hands and cupped them with his. "Anna... I've been wanting to tell you this."
"Anna... I know I've known you for a long time, but... I... I was so blind and... uh... and... Damn, I'm not good at this..."
"No, Atrus..." She gave him an encouraging smile. "Please do go on."
was split into 12 parts. Jump to any of the segments from here:
|Another top quality story by Vipers.|
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