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The Rescue Mission.
I turned to face him.
He quietly scanned the area, and then walked to the left of some tall bookcases and grabbed the princess. He took out a dagger and put it by her neck.
�Show yourself and surrender or she dies,� he stated.
�Don't do it! If he kills you, the whole kingdom will be ruined!� cried the princess.
Now what? I wondered, and then it hit me.
�Only if it takes place outside,� I said, trying my best to sound defeated. �Deal?�
�Deal,� Vortex said with beaming eyes.
�Noo!� cried the princess.
He flew up the stairs as if by magic. I quickly followed him. As I ran through the castle, I saw fighting everywhere, and bodies of both friends and foe were sprawled on the ground.
I have to find the princess, I thought. I have to make sure that she�s not going to be one of the victims.
I sped out of the castle, and when we were a good distance away from the castle Vortex stopped.
�Show yourself and surrender,� said Vortex.
�Let her go first,� I told him.
�How do I know you'll keep your word?� inquired Vortex.
�I promise that I'll show myself,� I said.
�And surrender?� asked Vortex, as if he knew I was trying to get out of
I paused for a while, and then spoke, �How do I know you'll keep your word?� I asked.
�I swear it on my parents' graves that I'll keep my word,� he replied.
�Do your parents have graves?� I asked, trying to see if it was a trick.
Vortex�s eyes narrowed. �No, but how did you know I was lying?�
�Lucky guess,� I replied.
�Hmmph!� Vortex snorted in
disgust. �Very well, I swear it as a villain.� He added.
A villain's word? I thought to myself. Villains don�t keep their words!
�Whatever just let her go.�
He laughed maniacally, and tossed the princess aside.
I took off my necklace and smirked. Then before he could react, I charged at him and knocked him down with the flat side of my blade.
�But�but� you agreed!� he stammered.
�Actually, I never did,� I said. �I would go in depth, but I don�t like to give my secrets away to villains.�
I unsheathed my sword and placed the tip of its blade on his neck.
�If you kill me now,� he said, smirking back at me, �you'll never know what'll happen to your friends, now will you?�
�What of my friends?� I snarled. �What did you do to them?�
�You'll never now unless you submit to me,� He stated, his sneer grew wider by the second, �And obey my every command as my slave!�
�Never!� I growled.
�Pity that,� he said nonchalantly. �I suppose their deaths will always be a burden on you.�
�Don't listen to him!� the princess said.
�That'll cause their death,� Vortex said.
I walked away from him, and took the princess with me, and then I asked her in a whisper. �How do you call the dragons?�
�You just touch the armlet,� she answered, �and say �dragons help�, and then they'll come.� she replied. �Vortex is getting away.�
I looked in Vortex's direction, and sure enough he was retreating.
�Princess," I said, not taking my eyes off of Vortex for a second, �go somewhere safe. I have some unfinished business to take care of.�
�You�re not going after him, are you?� she asked.
�I have to rescue my friends,� I replied.
�But father sent some warriors to save them,� she said.
�They could have failed their mission,� I told her. �I have to go and make sure that they are not in his castle.� I put on my griffon necklace.
�Be careful,� she said.
I chased after Vortex, and followed him to his castle.
The castle�s exterior was dark and foreboding. The entrance of the castle was like a mouth ready to swallow anything, with a rotten worm infested tongue for a drawbridge. The moat was covered with so much algae that you couldn't even see the water, and the stench of dead fish clung to the air.
Vortex walked into the castle, and I followed him into a dusty corridor.
�I know her weaknesses, now!� he declared. �Quag!�
�Yes, master?� a little goblin rasped, stepping out of the shadows.
�Tell eight of the trolls, to move the prisoners into the chamber,� he smirked viciously; his eyes gave a trace of a plan forming.
�Yes, master!� Quag squeaked, hurrying off to find the trolls.
�Let this be a lesson to that dull hero,� he announced to anything that would listen. �Once I tell her that I killed her friends, she'll be so shocked that I'll have a chance to order my skeletons to grab her and her weapons. Then I'll take her to the torture chamber, and when I'm finished with her, I�ll hang her mangled body on the outside of the castle wall to serve as a warning to those who would dare oppose me or maybe I'll plan something worse!� he said excitedly already tasting his triumph.
�It's all set up, master!� he replied. �Can I kill one, myself?� he added hopefully.
�I don't see why not,� Vortex replied.
As he and the evil little goblin started walking away, I followed them.
When we entered the chamber, I stared in disbelief.
The floors and walls were strewn with mutilated corpses. I immediately focused on Vortex so that I would not see any more of their decomposing forms. My nose however was no so fortunate. Each timed I breathed through it, my nose cringed and my stomach turned.
As I went further through the gore, I finally gathered up the nerve to see where I was. To my surprise I saw my friends chained to a wall.
�Aahh! Smell the scent of suffering, isn't it wonderful, Quag?� mused Vortex.
�Yes, master!� squawked the goblin.
Vortex walked up to June.
�You won't guess who I didn't see at the castle,� Vortex gloated. �Oh, come on, guess!� smirked Vortex, having a tremendous amount of fun.
�Very well, I'll tell you, anyway,� he said. �It was your friend. I searched for her everywhere, but I couldn't find her. Although I did see a tomb.� He jeered.
When my friends still did not respond, he got irritated. �I see you don�t appreciate my reports so we�ll move on to the torturing.� he said, taking out a whip.
The goblin took out a dagger.
I walked toward the little goblin. Then I picked him up and threw him into a case that had holes in it. The case locked shut.
�Let me out!� cried the imp.
�Quag,� Vortex said, walking over to the case. �What on Lilwa are doing in there?�
�Help me!� Quag cried.
Vortex eyes widened and he swirled around. �Show yourself, hero, or I'll kill your friends!� he snarled.
I took off the necklace and pocketed it.
�Fool! Did you really think that I did not know you were following me?� he asked. �Why did you think I was walking so slowly? Grab her!�
No sooner had the words escaped his lips than five skeletons rose from the bone littered ground.
I drew my sword, as the first one sprang into the air. As it dove down toward me, I swung my sword upward. He came crashing into my sword's blade, and the blade glowed with a light blue hue. The skeleton let out an unearthly shriek as its bones started to disintegrate.
�What!?� roared Vortex, who shared my astonished thoughts. �How could this happen! Get her! Make her pay! And attack together so it'll be harder!�
They did as they were told and swarmed toward me, and before you could even blink, they had encircled me.
I raised my sword and was trying to get ready for them, but since I hadn�t fully recovered from my first encounter with Vortex, my strength was fading.
One of the fiends grabbed me from behind and put me in lock that was so tight I couldn't move my sword to slash at them. The grip tightened so much on me that I dropped my sword and shield.
�Put these chains on her!� ordered Vortex. �And one of you grab her sword.�
While several skeletons retained me and shackled me, another skeleton bent down and was about to reach out to retrieve my blade, when the light flickered around the sword once again, and shocked the skeleton. The bones immediately turned to ash.
�Well now, hero, it looks as if you're out of luck.� He laughed, ignoring the situation with the sword. �Bring her here.� They brought me to him. �Now you will be my slave!�
�I'll never be your slave!� I snarled.
�Then you'll entertain me by your suffering. Chain her next to her good friends, and we'll have fun after we have our victory banquet.�
They chained me up.
Vortex grimaced at my sword. He bent down to take it, but the energy from the sword lurched out toward him, and engulfed him in its light.
Vortex cried out in pain and jumped back. He glared at it.
�We�ll leave that here until we figure out what to do with it,� Vortex said. He walked over to the place where Quag was and banged on the top of it. The lid popped open, and the little goblin staggered out. Vortex picked him up by the scruff of his neck.
�Oh thank you, master,� squeaked Quag.
�Whatever,� said Vortex, tossing the goblin up into the air. Quag landed on his feet and ran off. The mob of villains ambled out of the dungeon, laughing and gloating all the way.
�Are you two ok?� I asked. �Did he hurt you?�
�He didn�t do anything to us,� said June. �A few times it looked like he was going to, but something always seemed to interrupt him.�
Beth examined me. �How �bout you? When we saw you last, you had collapsed onto the floor.�
�I was doing better. I was still
recovering when Vortex attacked the castle.�
�The castle was under attack?� Beth gasped.
�Is everyone ok?� asked June.
�I didn�t get to see much of anything,� I replied. �Vortex had captured the princess, and I went after him. I was able to save her and follow him here in hopes of saving you, but�� I bowed my head in shame. �I�m sorry. I wasn�t strong enough to save you� I guess I�m still weak from the first encounter with Vortex; and the battle with that one skeleton wore me out-even though I didn�t do much of anything at all.�
�That was a cool energy trick though,� said Beth. �How did you do it?�
�I don�t know,� I replied. �It just happened.�
�Too bad something that cool can�t help us get out of here,� said Beth.
�Something that cool, huh?� I said, a
thought popping into my head. �I think I might just have the thing to help us escape.�
�What?� they asked surprised.
�June, can you touch my armlet?� I asked.
She reached over and was able to touch it with her fingertips. �Yes, why?�
�I'll tell you later, just keep touching the armlet,� I told her. �Dragons help.�
My friends looked at me as if I had lost my mind.
Just then we saw five small
silvery dragons fly in through the barred window.
They went over to where the keys were.
�What are they doing?� asked Beth, fearfully.
�They're helping us,� I answered.
Then the dragons picked up the keys, and started flying toward me. They shifted and moved around often in order to put the key in the keyhole. Then they all sat on the key and leaned downward, and I heard a click. I finally had one arm free.
I took the keys from the dragons, who were very that they did not have to carry it anymore. I freed the rest of me, and then my friends. The dragons chirped and flew off.
�Let's get out of here," Beth said.
�How do we get out with so many evil creatures in this place?� asked Beth.
�I�ll lead you to the way out,� I replied, picking up my sword and walked out to the hall.
My friends followed close behind. After walking a while in the dark corridors, we heard Vortex's voice.
�Stay close to me,� I whispered.
Fortunately, he was not blocking our path, but we hurried on our way, nevertheless.
We were going through some passageways when we saw two immense and ugly trolls heading toward us.
They both had massive muscular bodies with huge heads. As they smiled at each other with their yellow teeth, they mumbled things in a strange tongue. Though they had similarities, there were a few differences. One had a red beard and hair that flowed down its hairy back. He wielded a big rusted axe that looked about the size of its head. The other was bald, and he carried a spear.
They suddenly grew quite, and looked over in our direction.
�Halt!� the red-haired one ordered harshly. He poised his ax ready to strike at us.
Drawing my sword and readying my shield, I preparing myself for battle.
He hurled his axe down at me, and I dodged it just in time.
�My turn,� I said, plunging my sword into his belly.
�Aaaaaaarrrrrgggg!� he cried, falling over. The fall of the impact slightly shook the narrow corridor that we were in.
�You'll pay dearly for that!� fumed the other.
I don�t have much energy left, I thought. So I have to do this quick. I charged at him.
He managed to move his burly frame out of the way, and threw his spear toward me. I raised my shield to deflect it, and the vibrations from the impact shook me hard. My vision got all wobbly, and I staggered backward.
�Chris!� my friends cried. �Watch out!�
The fiend�s spear was soaring straight at me. I jumped out of the way, and the giant spear impaled the stone wall.
The troll snorted at me, and rushed over toward me.
I ran to my left and looked back to see if he was following me. I turned and gaped in amazement.
The troll was trying to stop, but its momentum carried him onward until he impaled himself of the spear�s handle.
�Hurry, over this way,� I called softly to my friends.
They ran past the dying troll and over the dead one. Then we sped down the corridor.
We continued until we came across a fork in our path. One lead to the left and the other to the right. Both were dark and silent.
�Which one will we take?� Beth
�The right one,� I answered.
�Not so fast!� hissed a voice, coming from the shadows in the left passage.
We gasped as a sinister creature lumbered out of the darkness.
Its armored body nearly filled up the room it was in yet somehow it was able to easily move around. Its black teeth sneered at me as its evil orange eyes studied us. It unsheathed its long jagged talons from its massive hand as its deadly muscular tail whipped around in anger.
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