The Knight's Task and the Warrioress' Test Chapter 3
Knight In Check
By Elizabeth Whittaker
How did I let her talk me into this? Devur thought as he slowly walked from one side of the room to the other. I swear . . . if I fall one more time in these blasted shoes that she wears . . . it's not my fault that my foot barely fits into them . . . The heel of the shoe angled to the left again, making Devur fall. "That's it, Jerin! I will not wear those stupid . . . what are they, anyway?"
"High heels, Devur," Jerin said in an exasperated tone. "Geez. You think you could actually remember what they are."
"Well, excuse me," Devur mumbled. "You try walking in them and have your foot be three times larger then the actual shoe." He got up again, noting that if the heels were off balance, he would fall. When he made sure he was going to stand without falling, he walked over to the bed, slowly. "I bet you're enjoying this."
She looked away. "Not really. You think I am, but I'm really not."
Devur brushed the long violet hair out of his eyes. "I don't like this 'magic' you worked up. How long will the hair stay like this?"
Jerin shrugged. "Until they figure you out. If they do, the whole disguise will leave and you'll be in your normal clothes. So will Aguro, so there's really nothing to worry about." Yet there was doubt in her voice.
"But . . . what are we going to do about you two? We just can't bring you along or anything." He brushed the hair out of his eyes again and walked to the still form of Lufia. He took her still hand in his, clutching it to his chest. "If anything happened to her . . ."
"Devur . . . you know that she's okay. It's going to take awhile for her to wake up, that's all," Jerin told him.
But he shook his head. "No, Jerin. Take a look at her for a second." He let go of her hand and put his ear next to her mouth. "She's having a hard time breathing. There was only one other time that happened."
"When?" Jerin asked him, concern in her voice.
The look she got from him was a grave one. "When the Sinistrals just shocked her under the sea. That was the only other time. I just didn't say anything."
"Of course not. How could you? You were there beside her all night." She paused. "Well . . . what are we going to do?"
Devur looked out the window, seeing that they only had 15 minutes left before they had to go to the Shore of Sadness. "You're going to stay here with Lufia while me and Aguro carry out the plan. If you go with us, they'll find out."
"What about Demetri?"
"Keep him with you," Devur told her hurriedly. "We have to go." He walked to the door fast now, used to the shoes.
He turned around. "Yeah, Jer?"
She smiled. "Good luck!"
"Alright," he answered as he walked out the door.
"And don't . . ." A second later, she could hear him.
"Fall," she mumbled as she sighed. "Why does it seem like I'm always talking to the wall?" Jerin walked to the door and shut it. "Whatever you do, Devur," she prayed, "don't get yourself killed out there. Lufia couldn't make it without you."
Aguro and Devur arrived at the Shore of Sadness with only three minutes to spare. Demetri had done a good job at disguising the Lorbenian Commander. He looked just like Devur, which was scary to him. There were only two differences, though. His sword and his eyes. But Devur didn't think that would give him away.
"Devur," Aguro began, "what would you say if I told that we should kill Jerin when this is all over?"
Devur sighed. Some things never change, he thought sadly. Even if we want them to. Those two will always argue till the end of their days. "You can't do that, Ag. If you did that, what would happen to the Defenders of the Sinistrals?"
"Oh. I guess you have a point," he agreed. "But then again, don't you want to kill her?"
"Sometimes," Devur told him. "But then again, I also want to kill you at times."
He rolled his eyes in response. "But never Lufia, huh?"
"Yeah, her too. Her especially."
This surprised Aguro. "Why? I thought you were in love her or something." Devur gasped sharply. "What? Something I'm not supposed to know?"
"No, Ag. Just . . ." He stopped, wondering if he should tell him. He decided not to. "The reason I want to kill her is because she knows that there's certain things that I can't let her do. But what I don't . . . or should say didn't understand was this . . . why she followed me. But Lufia finally told me why . . ." He saw a green light dart in the sky. "It's time. Ready?"
Aguro nodded. "Remember, Devur, make your voice high pitched and scream a lot. And try not to trip on those shoes. I know it's hard, but try not to."
The figure emerged, revealing itself. She had long, dark green hair and unforgettable gray eyes. It reminded Devur of something he'd seen before . . .
Meanwhile, Jerin followed the two to the Shore of Sadness. She couldn't wait there, knowing that Aguro was out there. She didn't know why, but she felt like she had to follow him. Even though Demetri was left there alone, she didn't care about him. Jerin knew that if Aguro were hurt, she didn't know what she'd do...
And yet . . . she didn't understand why she liked the stupid guy. He always argued with her . . . Well, she thought, I start them, just to see what he'd do . . . But he was also incredibly sweet to her. Somehow, Aguro always was nice to her. Even if she weren't in the mood to say anything, he would try to cheer her up to the best of his ability. Demetri was her childhood friend, but only that. She knew that in her heart, Aguro would be her only love. Even if he was a bit slow.
Without warning, something touched her shoulder. It felt cold, and Jerin screamed. A hand covered her mouth, and she bit the hand. The taste of blood filled her mouth, but the hand wouldn't move. "Now . . ." The voice made her shiver. It sounded like it was grating against something. Jerin was pretty sure that it was a girl's voice. "What's a little girl like you doing all alone?" It paused. "Well . . . let's meet up with your little friends."
Then they both disappeared in the light. Jerin hoped that Demetri and Lufia weren't caught. She wondered what it was that Demetri was doing . . .
Demetri looked out the broken window, thinking how foolish Jerin was to follow them. After all, they were knights! Of course they would be all right.
But no. She had to follow them because of that stupid knight with the green hair. He didn't see what she liked in him. I mean, he thought coldly, he's so stupid it's not funny! And what Jerin sees in him, I will never figure out. But she still shouldn't have followed them out there. The plan was for them to go alone. What if something happened . . .
Then, out of no where, came a flash of black light. It sped across the sky in the speed of light, then disappeared. What was that? Now alert the Prince grabbed his staff that he leaned up against the door. He grabbed it so hard that his knuckles were white. Demetri wished now that Jerin hadn't left. She would've been able to do something other than worry. I hope I'm ready for this. Hope, Demetri? He scoffed at himself. You better be ready. Your friends didn't teach you all those lessons with that staff for nothing.
The door was knocked down and in stepped a man with sky blue hair. His eyes were a chilling jade all on their own. They would've scared him had he not seen his mother's eyes. They were a fiery blue when she was out on the battlefield. Even though his mother was a Queen, she still insisted that she fight with her own people. The robes he wore were dark black, and were past his knees. "Where's your friends?" His voice was dark and cold.
"Meeting you at the Shoreline," Demetri answered calmly. One thing that he learned was never show fear. "I was left behind, and my other friend decided to follow to make sure there wasn't anything extra."
"You mean . . . her?" the man asked as a woman came in, holding a tied up bundle over her shoulder.
"Oh, no," Demetri gasped as the man with the sky blue hair came toward him. He wondered how Devur and Aguro were . . .
"You both are here," the woman replied in a rich, beautiful voice. "You have kept your part of the bargain. I, in return, will keep mine. Here," she answered as she pointed to the only tree on the shoreline. "They are there."
"They?" Aguro asked. Devur groaned. He didn't get the voice right. "Who's the other?"
But she didn't catch it, yet. "The old magician and the innkeeper. Surely you have enough sense to remember them, Knight." Then she smiled. "You aren't Devur, are you?"
Aguro didn't answer. With amazing speed, she pulled out a sword and stabbed Devur's stomach before he knew what was happening.
Demetri backed away from the man, careful to look behind him and at the man. He noticed that he was backing into the wall. He knew that if he was pinned, there would be no way out. Oh, man, he thought desperately. It's going to be over before it begins! What can I do!?
"Gurkn, stop," the woman commanded. Her voice made Demetri shiver. It sounded like it was grating against something. "Let me handle him. Surely you can take this half-elf and take her to Lord Arek. After all, you are only Third Disciple. I am Second."
Gurkn nodded, following the woman's instructions. He didn't turn his back to Demetri as the woman placed Jerin in his arms and he disappeared. Demetri felt anger and hatred boil up inside him. But he didn't let it show. He knew that was a weakness. To let anger and fear show.
"Ha, ha, ha!!" the woman's grated voice cackled. "I have one of you. Who is the girl on the bed? Surely that is not another one of your elf friends?"
She doesn't recognize Lufia! Demetri thought gleefully. "No. She's no friend of mine. I don't even know the girl." But why can't she see her and I can?! Unless it's that . . . it must be that necklace! That has to be it! It's going out of its way to make Lufia look like someone else. I have to keep this in mind to tell Devur later.
"You're lying," she hissed. "That has to be her. You wouldn't leave her alone, would you?"
Demetri twirled his staff. "Why should I care? It's not like I know her or anything." He was hoping that the stalling would work.
But . . .
"Aaaah!!!" Devur cried as the sword went through his stomach. He knelt in pain, trying to pull the sword out. It hurt him even worse when he tried and stopped, gulping in breaths of air. He knew he didn't have much longer to live. He also knew that the disguises had disappeared and they were in their normal clothes. Devur felt dizzy and wanted to pass out, but he knew that he had to defeat this woman before she got Lufia.
"You see," the woman told them precisely, "women walk a certain way, just as men do. You, unfortunately, don't. I can tell just by the way you were standing in those shoes." She sneered. "I'm the First Disciple, and I am no where near as stupid as you Mortals are."
Devur could barely concentrate on her words. Any minute, he felt like he was going to pass out and never wake up. Try, Devur! He thought pleadingly. You have to live. Live. For Lufia!! "I take it you are Vala," he whispered weakly.
"Of course," she answered, smirking at the predicament he was in. "I have accomplished one task. Killing you off. Now . . ." She reached for him, pulling him to his feet, pushing the sword into his stomach harder. Devur screamed in agony. Aguro pulled out his sword, but found that a minute later, he couldn't move. "It's only a matter of time before you leave, Hero."
Devur waited for Death. Death, who could make him leave this Mortal core of pain, torture and despair . . .
. . . the woman had already figured him out. "That is her!!" she screamed, making Demetri cover his ears. "You little hoochee!!" She came at him and hit him hard in the stomach. He groaned in agony as he fell to. "By the wraith of the Lost Souls themselves, I, Sarhakin, will take you down!!!" She hit him again and again, each blow hurting worse then the one before. When he got the chance, Demetri noticed that Sarhakin was wearing spiked gloves. "Take that, elf! And that! And that!"
He got hit in the face so hard it knocked his head in the wall. The last thing that Demetri saw was stars and the color of black before he went into a battle rage. Without warning, Demetri started hitting the Second Disciple as hard as he could with the staff he still held in his hands. He first hit her in the head, making her fall. Then she aimed for the legs, tripping her as she tried to regain her balance. "Yahhh!!" the Elven Prince roared before totally going berserk.
He didn't know how long it was before he regained control of himself, but Sarhakin laid there on the floor, bleeding and all a mess of wounds and bruises. "How . . . such power . . ."
Demetri grabbed her neck. "Die, you monster. Die!" Then he snapped her neck with the last of his strength. Sarhakin never made a sound as she met her death. He began to see blackness surrounding him and he had to check to be sure that Lufia was all right.
When he made it to the bed, worry filled him. Demetri fell to the floor, unable to walk. That was when Gurkn came back with a struggling Jerin holding her back. That was also when he noted something else.
Lufia was gone. And he had no way of knowing whether they took her or she ran off on her own.
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