|The Ancient Prophecy
Pt. X: Plague and Cure
by Vipers ©
was split into 12 parts. Jump to any of the segments from here:
small task." The wizard raised his hand and a vision of a figure hovered
in the air. "Do you know him?"
The figure looked like a normal young mage with fine appearance and handsome face, wearing wizard suit. "No." Atrus shook his head.
"Oh, of course you know him..." The wizard smiled. "His name is Gareth Lightbringer."
A sudden wave of fear and anger washed over Atrus. He remembered the name. In fact, he would be damned if he ever forgot the name. He was the renegade mage, the Lich... the very man who had taken Anna from him back in the Pyramid of Salthi. He was his marked man.
"I know all about it." Calem said slowly. "I know how he took your girl from you."
"That topic is not open for discussion." Atrus answered coldly.
"Ah... that young man... I still remember when he was young... An eager young mage he was..." Calem said dreamily. "Too bad ambition gained control over him. That man could live a better life as a wizard than as a Lich."
"Do you want me to defeat him?" Atrus asked.
"No. I want you to save him."
Atrus' eyes widened quickly. "You want me to save the man I want to kill?!"
"Yes, indeed." Calem smiled. "This is a worthy test for all the wisdom you've said just now. I want you to save him from his evil ways and bring him back to the ways of the good. I'm sure he can be a worthy ally for our cause against the demons."
Atrus was silent. He couldn't believe it. After what that man had done to him and Anna, he had to save him. He was facing the greatest conflict in his life, and his friends were nowhere near so he had to decide himself. That very decision might affect the fate of the realm.
"You might have the chance to save her, that is, if you're not too late..."
The decision was made. "Anna is my best friend. " He said. "I will save her no matter what."
"There is something you should know." The wizard held up his hand. "They're in the Void."
"The Void is the place of nothingness. It was the place where light and darkness fight an eternal battle for supremacy. You will have to navigate blindly inside to reach Gareth. It is the place outside our dimension, our perception and our comprehension..."
"Very poetic." Atrus interrupted, clearly confused. "What do I need to know?"
"It's a one-way travel." Calem continued. "Once a person goes in, he can only go out. But he is the one who holds the key. The mass equation works a bit stricter here. If he opens one entry portal, he can only reopen one exit portal. Those who fail to do so will be trapped for the rest of the eternity."
"So how will this work?" Atrus was even more confused.
"Gareth has opened two entry portals, one for himself and the other for your friend Anna. I can open one entry portal from here to let you into the Void. Yet, you have to convince him to return to the ways of the good and open the two portals he can open from inside."
"That means... only two out of three of us could escape the Void..." Atrus said slowly.
"Yes." Calem nodded. "They're Anna, and Gareth, and you. Two will escape the Void. The loser will be trapped in the Void until the end of time."
Again Atrus was silent. The choice was a hard one. If he had to save Gareth from the Void, then either Anna or he had to stay in the Void with no means to escape. He and Anna could never be together again.
Yet Anna had proven her true love for him. She had been willing to give her life for her friends. Atrus had never realized that love could be that strong. Now he understood everything, and if he had to suffer to see her live, he would do it. And then he would have no regret.
"I'll do it." Atrus said. "If I succeed, will you forget about the past and help us against the demons, even if I can't make it out of the Void?"
Calem chanted the spell and a large dimension door was opened before Atrus. The black swirling hole was indeed frightening to the eyes. And beyond that hole, there was nothingness. He knew Anna was inside, and he knew, one day, this hole might be his new home.
"Good luck, Prophet of the Guardian. Let His Spirit guide your path."
Atrus entered the hole.
Maya sat heavily on the stone floor of the Inner Sanctum. Her muscles ached. She had to admit that she was exhausted. A gate as grand as the Heaven's Gate was so heavy. The Fairies had finally installed the Gate again, this time closing it to prevent more trouble.
After helping with the gate, she still had to help with the Fairies. The situation was quite bad. Those trolls had managed to violently rape some of the Fairies. Now they were still sitting on the clouds, sobbing uncontrollably. She had tried every method she knew to cheer them up, but there was something she didn't understand about the Fairies. They valued their purity over anything else. And when their purity was gone, they started thinking about a quick, effective, yet fancy way to commit suicide.
It had taken all her effort to convince them that it wasn't nice to commit suicide at night, because you couldn't see where you're stabbing. Now she was left with a number of aching muscles and terrible headache. At least they would survive until tomorrow...
"You never give up, do you?" A voice called out.
"No." Maya answered firmly.
Lynn came into view and sat next to her. "You're very kind... yet stubborn."
Maya chuckled lightly. "You're not the first one to say that."
"Your... uh... owner... said that?"
"Yeah. Master Atrus used to be very angry if I did something stupid just to protect him."
"Then why did you do that?" The Fairy asked.
"Because I love him." Maya answered firmly. "I care for him. I would do anything to please him. If I should... I would even die for him..."
Lynn stared at the view of her sisters around the courtyard. "Then I suppose you love us."
"Yes." Maya smiled. "We do. That's why we're here to help."
"Ironic, isn't it?" Lynn continued. "We could do nothing in return."
"We are dirty." Lynn replied. "We have been tainted by demonic seeds from our enemies. I'm still surprised why the Gods haven't ward us from Heaven, for we deserve it."
"No, you don't! You just lost one fight! It's a normal event in a war!"
"I know, but we're tainted!" Lynn insisted. "You don't understand it..."
"Nothing is dirty forever!" Maya said.
She stared at her sadly. "Yet there is something in our life that stays unforgiven..."
Agar the dragon descended from the clouds and the view of the Great Forest came into view. Numerous smaller cities appeared as small dots, dwarfed by the forest. No wonder why this area was the best lumber producer in the realm. No wonder why the Elves wanted to secure this area so much.
"Yea, I can still remember..." Holgreb said dreamily. "The crushing of bones... the sound of the triumphant cry... how the great Jesse lifted his axe and..."
"Look!" Hawk pointed at the large city spot on the ground. "The town of Tiras! I can't believe the town survived the onslaught!"
"Agar, fly closer to the city." Aurelia ordered.
The dragon obeyed and approached the largest city in the southern border of Aragon. For a moment Hawk enjoyed the long chains of Impassable Mountains, a Forbidden Land, south of the city. There he had lead and lost an entire army detachment to a giant fire-breathing lizard. There he had been trapped in the mountain maze for almost a week, each day having to see one of his troops fried alive by the lizard. There he had met Atrus, Anna and Maya for the first time. They had once been only a group of lowly mercenaries looking for fame and wealth. It was impressive to think of what they had become now.
"This town surely brings back memories... bad ones, unfortunately..." he mumbled.
"You'll have to tell me that later." Aurelia grinned. "It's getting dark. I'll say we stay in the inn for now and begin our investigation tomorrow."
"Don't you think we should report to Prince Roberto right away?" Holgreb frowned.
"I propose we stay." The Elf insisted. "We can learn more from rumors in pubs and inns."
"I will stay in town with Aurelia." Hawk concluded. "Holgreb, can you ride with Agar back to Stromgard? Just tell Prince Roberto that Tiras survived the fight."
"Sure." Holgreb replied.
The dragon landed at the edge of town to avoid too much attention. Hawk and Aurelia dismounted the beast. They made sure they had all the equipment. The Elf even brought her bows along.
"Agar, go directly to Stromgard. We may still need your help." Aurelia said.
"Understood, Princess." The dragon grunted.
The dragon lifted off and flew to the north toward the capital. Hawk and Aurelia walked toward the city. The city hadn't changed a lot. A few new houses had been built at the outskirts of town. The usual city hall, markets and inns still retained their original places. The biggest brothel in town, Maya used to call it her former home, was still there. This place surely brought back memories for Hawk, but for Aurelia this was just another Human town. She tried to think of something.
"The town of Tiras..." Aurelia announced. "It is every Elf's dream to conquer this town."
"If this town belongs to us, we thought we could hamper the Human's careless destruction to the nearby forest."
"Nah... most of the people here are clay potters." Hawk said.
"Right. That's why the invasion never happens. We don't want innocents to get killed."
"That's very noble." Hawk smiled.
The Elf smiled and circled her arms around his and began walking slowly through the town. Lately, with all the wars going on, they had lesser time together. Now was the time. "Funny, isn't it?"
"I mean... Humans and Elves hate each other... or used to hate each other... But when I see both of us..."
"Well, the hostility served us no good, right?" Hawk said.
"We Elves think that we can't live peacefully alongside Humans." Aurelia said slowly. "They think that Humans and Elves just don't mix together, just like water and oil. I'm afraid..."
"Afraid of what...?" Hawk looked at her.
"Afraid of us..." Aurelia stared into his eyes. "I mean... you're simply just not like what my brothers and sisters have told me about Humans. You have great care about people around you. You're unlike them... You're... different..."
"I don't think so." Hawk smiled. "You can say so because you've been around with me and Atrus and other Humans. You can see things that other Elves can't. If they're willing to give it a try, I'm sure they'll think differently."
"I'm just thinking about us..." She replied softly. "I'm sorry, I'm just being selfish... But I'm really afraid of... us... I mean... d...do you love me...?"
Hawk, who had never heard a question so direct before, blushed in red. "Uh... what...?!"
"Don't ask me to repeat the question!" She blushed as well. "You heard me."
Hawk looked around them. Some people had stopped on the street to watch the couple. This time he lowered his voice.
"Aurelia... this is not the time and place."
"What do you mean?!" She protested.
"There's a brothel at the end of this street! If the people see us like this, they will think that you're a... sorry... a prostitute..."
The Elf stared at him innocently. "What's a brothel? What's a pro... prots... a what?"
"Uh... never mind..." Hawk took her hand and walked toward the nearest inn. "Let's find a place where we can have more privacy."
When they entered the inn nobody paid any attention. The room was packed with customers. Hawk approached the innkeeper and had no problem in getting a room for the night. The room was on the second floor and was quite cozy. It had been mainly built for new couples who wanted to spend the night in complete privacy. Hawk approached the window and peeked outside.
"Funny." He muttered. "There is a war going on in the nearby region, yet this town is as peaceful as ever. Don't these people realize what fate awaits them?"
"I don't know." The Elf joined him near the window. "I mean, telling them about the war will cause widespread terror and chaos. I'll say it is wise not to tell them right now."
Hawk watched as the sun disappeared beneath the mountains and sighed. "I wonder if this war would ever be over... Who the winner will be..."
"The good guys, of course!"
"We're outnumbered. Our hope lies on the Ancient Prophecy, yet the promised Champion of the Guardian has not yet been found. Now I'm getting worried..."
"Don't worry!" The Elf circled her arms around his, drawing him closer to her. "I'm sure Atrus knows what he's doing. If Lord Guardian has a plan, we should let Him finish it."
"I wonder... what would happen later..." Hawk said dreamily.
"Simple. We're going to win this war. Then," Aurelia drew closer to him and whispered in his ear, "if Lord Guardian allows it, we can be together..."
Hawk's face turned red. "I thought Humans and Elves can't... you know..."
"Say no more..." Aurelia whispered. "You're different. I trust you."
The Elf kissed him fully on his lips. The knight staggered for a moment, then regained his composure and accepted the kiss. She could feel his hands holding her waist and drew her slender body even closer. After a while she broke the kiss before losing her breath. She looked at him lovingly.
"I... That's wonderful, Aurelia..." Hawk panted.
"I know..." She planted a light peck on his cheek. "I'm glad you're happy."
Suddenly his arms grabbed her lower body and lifted her off the ground. She clung to him as he carried her in his arms toward the double bed. He's so strong... so handsome... There he lay her down on the bed and knelt on the floor. She smiled at him while he stroked her long hair. His touch was so gentle, as if he was afraid of breaking her. Deep inside she could feel her rising passion for him. She had to say it.
"Hawk... do you want to... uh... I don't know how Humans call it... mating...?"
The knight chuckled. "No... we humans call it... making love."
"Making love?" The Elf looked puzzled. "That's odd..."
"You'll understand later."
"Okay, then..." She blushed. "Will you... make love to me...?"
This time he kissed her first, savoring her wine. Then he moved toward her most apparent detail: her long extended ears. Softly he licked and nibbled her ear playfully. The Elf, who was highly inexperienced in sex, was quite confused with the sensation she was receiving, yet she fully accepted him.
"It feels... odd..." She whispered.
"Don't you trust me?"
was split into 12 parts. Jump to any of the segments from here:
|Another top quality story by Vipers.|
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