TITLE: The Legendary Hero Ch.3
By C.E. Johnson
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The journey to the castle
After I equipped my weapons, Terrill opened the door for us. We stepped out and the most beautiful landscape ever greeted our eyes. There were distant green hills laced with a silvery fog. Crystal blue rivers flowed down from them into the lush green land surrounding it.
�Look at this place!� I gasped in astonishment. �It's so gorgeous!�
�Yes,� said Terril, �we have strived hard to keep it beautiful while our technology and knowledge grew. But, alas, all of our hard work will be in vain if Vortex wins.�
�About this Vortex,� said Beth. �How did he come to power?�
�He captured two powerful magical objects in a distant forbidden cave. Era�s ago two great rulers had put the Dark Orb and the Dark Crystal into the cave, and made a law against anyone or anything ever to go into it. It was then sealed by an iron door which was then fused into the rock by skilled craftsman at the time.�
�If anyone with an evil heart was ever to use them,� he continued, �the Dark Orb and the Dark Crystal will sense the evilness, and grow more powerful and transfer their evil power to the other until they fuse together and form the Dark Element. We fear this has already been done this for a scout has reported him holding a black orb with a red diamond inside. If it is indeed the Dark Element, he can use it to attack anyone who has a good heart. Unfortunately, since Chris is the Legendary Hero their effects would be stronger and would most likely strike her first. Therefore, they are very perilous and potentially lethal to Chris.�
The coachman got down, and opened the carriage door for us.
I stared at the circular coach that seemed to be made out of a dark blue material, but yet it did not seem to show any trace of dirt. In front of it was a team of pinto horses with flowing mains and tails. As they calmly waited for us to board, they regarded us with curious eyes.
We stepped into the carriage and sank down on the deep blue seats. The coachman then shut the door, and got back in the driver�s seat. Soon we started to move.
I looked around and saw dark teal drapes that shimmered against the midnight blue interior.
�Why does he want your kingdom?� asked Beth.
�There�s no real reason why he wants ours in particular,� Terril said. �He plans to take over the whole world. He will not stop until everything is under his control.�
�You say that Chris is the legendary hero?� said Beth, �and that there is a legend about her. What is it?�
�Ahhh,� Terril sighed, �the legend, yes. We have had it translated it to modern tongue. I�ll recite it for you.� He cleared his throat, and then began to tell us the legend.
�When danger is nigh,
the masses will cry.
No kingdom will be shielded
when the Dark Element is wielded.
The warlord shall create doom
that kills in the gloom.
Many people will suffer and die
when darkness covers the sky.
The prince and princess from this world will be gone
And from that time a light will dawn,
for when they come back
they�ll tell of a young hero�s attack
on the monster that would�ve slain them
if she, the hero, hadn�t saved them.�
�How do you know that this is the peril the legend talks about?� interrupted June, trying to find away to get me out of this ordeal.
�Well,� said Terril, stroking his beard, �the evil warlord, Vortex, has created �the doom that kills in the gloom�. His evil minions do that. They usually attack and kill when it�s dark or dusk. Many towns have been wiped out because of them. Five kingdoms have been taken over. All its inhabitants have who haven�t fled for safety have either been taken prisoner or killed.�
There was silence for a few minutes before Beth spoke.
�Terril?� she asked, wanting to change the subject. �Are there any magic users here- like wizards and magicians?�
�Yes,� replied Terril. �There are-�
�Are you one?� she interrupted.
�I most certainly am not!� said Terril, sounding offended. �I am a comzair. Though you may see us do things that seem to be magic spells, they are not. It happens to be a side effect of the atmosphere of this planet as well as the native minerals. It has strange side effects on us humans.�
�You�re human?!� my friends and I exclaimed in shocked.
�Yes,� he said, sounding surprised at our revelation. �Did I not mention that we came from Earth like you?�
�No, you didn�t!� exclaimed Beth. �How did that happen?�
�I shall tell you after I finish telling about the difference between magic users and comzairs least- I forget to tell you. As I was saying, the different elements on this planet have a strange effect on us- we call this affect lorai. Each human gets different lorai from the elements. The one�s that have a combination of elemental attacks and healing attributes are called comzairs.�
�Will we have some side effects like the others have here?� asked Beth.
�Yes, if you stay here long enough,� replied Terril. �The first signs of the affects are so minuscule that you won�t notice it. But the longer you stay here, the more powerful the affects become. It usually takes a while to actually see what kind of lorai manifests in people. We classify each by the abilities the lorai give us,� replied Terril. �The types of lorai that we know of are Elemental, Healing, Strength, Mixture, and Transformation. There are probably more that we don�t know about.�
�What�s the Mixture Lorai?� asked Beth.
�It�s a mixture of the different types of lorai. For instance, I am a mixture of Elemental and Healing. Of course, people who have the Mixture lorai have advantages and disadvantages. The advantage is having more than one type of lorai ability. The disadvantages of having more than one are that neither of the types can be fully developed because our life spans are so short.�
�Now as I was saying before the lorai,� Terril said. �There are magic users here-even though magic is forbidden.�
�Why is it forbidden?� asked Beth.
�Don�t you know?� Terril asked surprised. �The Holy Bible warns us about it and says it comes from the devil himself. That is why Scripture emphatically warns us to stay away from it. We have had heard citizens describe horrible things that occur when people dabble in the dark arts. It seems that the magic seeps into the user and infects the poor soul causing him or her to have a feeling of continuing dread. Some start seeing demons, while others even become possessed by demons. Such people magically lash out at others near to them.�
�I�m surprised people don�t stop using magic just from seeing that,� said Beth.
�It seems that they think that by us putting up laws forbidding it, that they think we are trying to deprive them of something great and wonderful. So they keep on using magic, thinking that those who have had negative affects from using magic are isolated cases. They think that they will not become a statistic. �
�Another reason,� Terrill went on, �is those people who use it begin to loose trust in anyone who opposes them using magic. They become so enraged that they cause serious injuries and fatalities to their opposers. And those that don�t oppose them are either too afraid or don�t care that they use magic. The one�s who don�t care often end up becoming magic users themselves.�
�Are you enforcing the laws?� asked Beth.
�Yes,� Terrill said. �Once the authorities are notified about magic being used, they go after the people responsible and they flee-usually they end up joining evil forces. However if any of them remain in the kingdom, they will be escorted to special places while the authorities investigate their lives-to see if they really are magic users. If they are not then they are free to go, but if they are then they are killed.�
�That sounds awfully harsh,� said June.
�It is for the safety of the people,� said Terril. �There has not been one single magic user that has not become corrupted by the magical arts. In the end, they all use it for evil.�
�And now I must tell you how we humans came here, before I forget,� said Terril. �Most of our ancestors are those from the children�s crusades. There are others though that have ancestors that have come from earth, but we do not know how they came to be here.�
The carriage came to a sudden halt, and we all jerked in our seats.
�Dawqui! We're doomed! They'll kill us for sure!!� cried the coach driver.
�What the heck are dawqui?� asked June.
�Dangerous creatures that can stand up on two legs and have scales cover their entire body. They have sharp teeth and poisonous claws,� Terril replied. �The odd thing is that they are usually nocturnal. I don�t know why they are here unless��
�Unless what?� asked Beth.
�Unless they somehow figured out that the hero isn�t dead,� replied Terril. �In that case, they are here to kill Chris.�
Suddenly, we heard a frightful scream, followed by a ghastly crunch. Sinister laughter followed.
�Poor fellow, he was a very nice young man,� Terril said sadly.
�What... what happened to him?� Beth asked, hoping to find a different answer than what she thought it all meant.
�They ate him," Terril replied, shaking his head sadly.
�I was afraid of that,� she said, hugging her knees.
�And we're going to be eaten too, I bet,� fretted June, who was on the verge of tears.
�Not if I can help it,� I said, getting to my feet. I placed my right hand on the hilt of the sword.
�Chris, don't!� June shouted.
Ignoring her plea, I opened the coach's door and jumped down. I closed the door and looked around.
The dawqui were lizard like creatures with muddy green colored scales. Their hateful eyes burned like crimson fires. Their arms and legs were much longer than humans, and their fingers and toes were tipped with jagged talons. The spikes on the end of their tails glistened like daggers.
They were grouped together, and had made strange sounds to each other when they saw me. Then two of the dawqui started charging toward me. I pointed my blade one of them. Once it saw that I had my sword pointed toward it, its eyes widened in fear. It tried to stop itself from being impaled, but it was too late, within seconds the blade had pierced its foul heart. The force of the impact knocked me off my feet, and the limp body of the monster pinned me down. I shoved it off of me. Before I had a chance to get my sword free, the other dawqui jumped out at me. I grabbed my shield and thrust it in front of me. The fiend slammed into my shield, and slunk down to the ground. While it was stunned, I tried to free my sword from the corpse. However, as I was pulling it free, the other came to is senses and slashed at me.
I had just managed to get my sword free, when I saw the attack coming. I swung my sword to meet it, and the blade sliced through one if its arms. It shrieked in pain, and with its reaming hand slashed at my face. I jerked my head back to try to avoid the attack. I missed the brunt of the attack, but its nails scrapped my cheek.
I gritted my teeth, and the creature smirked at me.
It lifted its talons again to strike another blow, but I plunged my sword into its evil heart. It screeched for a brief moment and then fell over dead.
There were three more, but not very close, so I took out my long bow and shot an arrow out to the nearest one.
Thunk! The arrow went right into its chest, killing it instantly.
I let another arrow go.
Thwack! Another bull's-eye, and it, too, died immediately.
I started to feel lightheaded, and my vision began to blur. Within seconds, I couldn't even think straight. I shook my head, hoping that it would clear sight, but that only made me feel worse.
Suddenly, something powerful rammed into me, knocking me down. The impact made me drop my bow.
A scaly hand clasped around my neck and started to choke me; its nails were digging into my neck. I could hardly breathe, and the demon's grip grew tighter by the second.
I was feeling really weak, and I tried to lift my sword, but it was too heavy.
�Fool!� it hissed. �Did you think you could fight us and survive?�
Then it tightened its grip even more, making it impossible for me to breathe this time.
In my last ounce of strength, I took out my dagger and stabbed at the demon. It howled in pain and it loosened its grip. Then I heard a thud.
I was still sprawled on back and gasping for breath when I heard Terril�s voice call me, the next thing I knew I heard someone running toward me.
�Here, drink this," Terril told me, taking out a potion. He poured something into my mouth. �That should cure you.�
A taste too horrible to describe assaulted my taste buds.
�Yuk! What's in this?� I asked.
�You don't want to know,� he told
�What happened? They just cut me a little, and I could barely see or concentrate.�
�Like I said, they are poisonous,� replied Terril. �One little scratch is enough for the poison to get to you and kill you within a day. Fortunately, I am usually well stocked with many types of potions.�
�I�m glad. We better get back to the coach,� I said. �My friends are probably worried.�
I got to my feet and picked up my things.
When we reached the coach, Terrill opened the door to it and let me in.
"I will drive the coach," Terril said. "Everyone stay in until we get to the castle.� Then he closed the door.
I slumped down into my seat, exhausted from the fight. I closed my eyes, hoping to get a nap in before we arrived at the castle.
�What happened to your neck and cheek?� Beth asked.
�Got scratched during battle,� I answered, not opening my eyes.
�You�re poisioned!� they cried. �You have to be treated right away! Call Terril!�
�It�s ok,� I said quickly. �Terril already treated me. Please let me rest before we get to the castle.�
My friends didn�t say anything more, and so I drifted off to sleep.
�We�re here!� Terril�s said.
Hmmm� I thought, slowly opening my eyes. Already? I got out of the carriage and stretched. My friends got out and stretched as well.
�Wow, look at that!� Beth said.
When we got out, we saw immense stone walls surrounding a silvery castle. The fortress in its entirety rested upon a grassy island that resided in the middle of a light blue lake.
Two heads appeared over the crenelation of the stone walls. They peered down at us.
�Halt who goes there?� demanded on of the guards.
�It�s me, Terril, and my friends!� Terril called to the guard.
�Lower the drawbridge!� the guard said.
�Don't they ever oil that thing?� asked June, covering her ears in a vain attempt to block the sound.
�We don't have any oil left,� Terril said. �Vortex's cousin took all of it.�
�Where is his cousin now?� I asked.
�He rules the far southern part of this continent in a country called Zeis. It�s a very hostile kingdom," Terril answered. �Fortunately, he is not as active as Vortex. So we can focus all our efforts in our current war.�
�Well, are you coming or not?� asked another guard, on the other side of the drawbridge.
�We're coming,� replied Terril. �I can answer your questions later.�
We went inside the giant castle, and stopped in front of a guard who wore sterling silver armor.
�Follow me,� he said.
We followed him along the argent walls until we came to a circular building. We stopped at a pair of cherry wood doors. "Wait here until I say you can enter." He added before going through the doors.
Time seemed to have stopped as we awaited his return. We were so nervous that we didn�t even think about talking to each other. When the guard came back, he told us that the King and Queen agreed to see us, and he led us in.
We walked into the room. It was gigantic in width and length as if three football fields could fit inside it. The room was decorated with banners of all sorts of colors. Stern looking knights were lined up against the walls of the room. A red velvet carpet trailed from where we stood to the back of the room where the king and the queen sat in their cherry thrones.
The king was a large man in a silken purple robe with golden lining, royal purple shirt and pants. His gray hair seemed to match his gentle yet diligent eyes. His face seemed kind and stern at the same time. He was holding a golden staff that had a large light blue gem on top of it.
Sitting on large golden throne right beside him was his wife, the queen. She was a slim lady in a beautiful violet ball gown. Her mahogany hair draped to her elbows as her russet eyes studied us. She was holding the same type of staff as her husband.
�Ah, Terril,� the king spoke, �Who have you brought to see us?
�Your Majesty,� began Terril, �I have the legendary hero.�
�Wonderful!� exclaimed the king. �Which one is she?�
�Right here, Your Majesty,� I answered.
�My, you look young! How old are you?�
inquired the king.
�Fifteen years old,� I replied.
�Terril, are you sure she's the hero?� the king inquired. �She's awfully young!�
�She is the hero of the legend,� Terril replied. �She is able to hold the sword, and she said she saved some children near the area of the warp point.
The king motioned to a guard.
The guard walked over to the king, and knelt down. �Yes, My Liege?� asked the guard.
�Go to my children,� the king replied. �Tell them to come to the throne room immediately.�
�Yes, Sire,� the guard said, rising from his kneel. He rushed off.
While waiting for them, my friends stood beside me. They looked uneasy about everything that was going on.
�Who are they?� asked the king, looking at my friends with interest.
�They're my friends,� I replied.
�What are their names?� the queen asked.
�I'm June,� said June, fidgeting around the room nervously.
�I'm Beth,� said Beth, looking as if she wished she could disappear.
�And yours?� the queen asked me.
�Chris,� I replied.
�Your friends seem uneasy,� said the king, making my friends even more troubled. �Why?�
I looked at them for the answers, and they looked at me with frightened faces.
�It's just that we've never been to a castle before,� said Beth, who was still very uneasy.
�Didn't your king ever invite you to his castle?� the king asked me.
�We don't have a king�� I replied.
�Don't have a king?!!� exclaimed the king in disbelief. �Who runs your country then?�
�A person called a president,� I replied.
�Ah,� said the king. �Very strange name for a person in charge. Sounds like present.�
The guard entered the room, and bowed. �Your Majesties, your children are here,� he said, as the children walked in.
�Ah, my beloved children! Come and tell me if this is your rescuer,� the king said to them.
The children looked at me, and I looked back.
They look like the same children. I thought. But are they? And what if they are, but they don�t remember what I look like?
After a couple of tense moments, they spoke.
�Yes, father. This is our rescuer,� replied the prince.
�This is wonderful!� exclaimed the king, �but will you fight when you're outnumbered?�
�Sire, she just fought five Dawqui,� replied Terril.
�Amazing!� gasped the king.
�Weren't you hurt?� the queen asked, sounding concerned.
�I was,� I started to reply, but before I could say anymore, the king interrupted me.
�Take her to the healer, immediately!� the king ordered two guards, who instantly took hold of me, and started taking me out of the room.
�I'm fine,� I insisted, struggling to get free from their grasp.
�No, you're not!� the king said. �Unless if you consider being poisoned fine. Then you're just plain dandy.�
�Your Majesty, I cured her from the poison,� Terril spoke out.
The king sighed with relief, and told the guards to release me.
�Your Majesty!� A guard ran into the courtroom. He gasped for breath. �Vortex is approaching with his unearthly band of fiends!�
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