Tragedy of the Raven Part 3, Chapter 1
By Prince Nightmare
Glenns eyelids fluttered open and he looked around, slightly confused. Where was Lucca and Raven? They were usually awake before he was. Lucca should be making breakfast and Raven outside playing with his sword but it was silent . Glenn shook his head to remember what had happened. He felt so groggy that it took him a few more minutes to clear his mind. When he finally remembered the strange, horrible events of the past few days, Glenn moaned and closed his eyes again, not ever wanting to wake up.
He was drifting back off into slumber when he felt someone poke at his chest. Glenns eyes popped open and he saw the small, sad face of Aria above him. Are you hurt still, Uncle Glenn?
Glenn shook his head. No, I am fine now, Aria. Tell me, where is the man who helped me? Is he still here?
Aria nodded and leaned over to whisper in the knights ear. He can fly! I saw him fly!
Glenn smiled sadly at her. Yes, he can. Now, where is he? Did he go outside?
I am here, Glenn. Magus said from behind him. Glenn turned slowly and carefully to see the Wizard sitting a distance away, half hidden in the remaining shadows of the morning. His silver-blue hair shone like starlight and his eyes were glowing softly. His face was calm and peaceful, and expression Glenn could hardly picture on the mage.
I Glenn was at a loss for words. Not driven mad by pain anymore, he just stared at the man he had once hated with his whole being. Did Magus know that he no longer wanted revenge for the death of Cyrus? Did he know he had a son? Raven! Where was he?!
Magus! You must tell me if Raven came back! No he didnt, did he? If he had come back, hed be here right now waiting for me to wake up. Glenn looked down at his hands. Ive lost them both! Ive lost my wife and Ive lost your his voice trailed off.
Magus lifted a brow. Was he your son? Did he get captured when he tried to fight the barbarians?
Aria tittered like a bird. Raven can run fast! I bet hell be back just like my Mommy and Daddy! Theyll be back any time now.
Magus looked at her curiously but waited for the knight to reply. He stood up and began to walk to the bed that Glenn was sitting on, his long, red cloak fanning out in the slight breeze that swept in from the open windows. Magus sighed tiredly and put a hand on Glenns shoulder. Glenn, what has happened here? Glenn felt his head swim as he stood up, he was still weak. What made him even dizzier than his wounds and the medicine was the task that now stood before him. How was he ever going to tell Magus about all of this? Why did the wizard seem like a totally different man now? Was this a dream, or some sort of trap? He looked up slowly.
Magus, he began in a quiet voice, I dont know why youve come back., but I dont want to fight you anymore. Ive put that all behind me now.
Magus nodded. As have I. You dont have to worry about this being a trick, Glenn, because I
Glenn cut him off. Magus Raven isnt my son. Hes your son.
It was starting to rain and the wind was blowing harder. Liegh wrapped the thin cloak around herself tighter and shivered. She hadnt eaten anything besides a few orchard apples in three days and now it was getting stormy. She sighed, hoping she didnt get sick because of the whole ordeal.
The Blackskull was strapped to the back of her saddle. It had gotten so heavy after the first few hours it made her neck ache, so she had taken it off. People she met on the trail after stared at her like she were some kind of demon, they peered at the hideous helmet and hurried away without speaking at all.
Liegh urged Alheid into a quick trot, hoping to find some shelter before the weather got worse. She was truly on her own now she thought to herself as the rain soaked her. Shed have to ride to the nearest town and try to get some sort of job, she couldnt just live in the woods and eat apples all the time. The thought of food made Lieghs stomach growl and she sighed, wiping the raindrops out of her face. When she had left Lenstahn nearly a week ago she hadnt thought it would be so hard to find a friendly commoner that would offer her a hot meal and a place to spend the night but the notorious Blackskull made them slam the door even before she got off her horse. Liegh had thought about throwing it into a lake, but she knew if she did that the Einderesch would win. The Blackskull was a test of her strength and will power. If she threw it away it would be a sign of her weakness and inability to survive by herself.
I will not let you win! she said out loud, glaring at the Blackskull. Its empty eye sockets stared back as if mocking her weak efforts to live. Liegh gritted her teeth and urged Alheid on even faster as the rain kept pelting them, making the path muddy and slick. Alheid was a sure footed steed though, and didnt lose his footing. Slipping on the treacherous ground could mean a broken bone for either the horse or the rider or worse.
Towards nightfall the rain stopped and the mist began to gather along the forest path. Liegh had slackened their pace to a slow walk, it was far too foggy to let Alheid run. Even a sturdy, agile horse like himself would no doubt stumble in the murkiness. It was hard to see anything beyond a few feet, and there was no telling if a log or hole was just out of sight waiting to cause an accident. The air was so damp with the fog that Lieghs clothes didnt dry out and she shivered, wet and miserable.
Strange noises filled the murky night. An owl hooted, so close to Liegh she thought it was perched on her head. Alheid snorted nervously until his rider leaned over and talked quietly in a soothing voice to calm him. The big stallion didnt like the night any more than Liegh did. She hoped she was close to the town of Porre. It was almost as large as Guardia and Liegh was sure she could at least find a hot meal there. Rennard had told her once that it was simple to get to the big town, all one had to do was follow the trail north to the southern forest pass and take the right fork when the pass branched off. Liegh had taken the right path, but that had been hours ago and she still hadnt reached the town. She was beginning to wonder if she hadnt made a mistake somehow.
The woods became less dense as they traveled, though the mist didnt fade at all. The moon was hidden behind a thick wall of clouds so not event the scant light it gave off could illuminate the path. As Liegh rode on she came into a clearing where the mist wasnt as thick as it had been in the forest. She patted Alheid and sighed, looking around the field. I dont think were going to make it to Porre, Alheid. I must have taken the wrong fork after all, so I guess well stay here tonight.
Liegh slid over Alheids back and landed softly on the damp ground and began looking around for the driest spot to sleep. Suddenly, Alheid snorted as if hed heard something. Liegh looked around but it was hard to see more than a few feet in the darkness. She waited silently, trying to hear whatever her horse had. For a few moments all she could hear was her own heart beating loudly in her chest. She hoped it wasnt a bear, they could be very dangerous and she didnt have her bow and arrows with her. Moments passed and she didnt hear anything. She looked up at Alheid who was standing with his ears pricked forward. Liegh rolled her eyes at him and was about to try to make a fire when she there was a low thudding behind her.
Liegh whirled around and brandished her short saber, waiting for an attack. Whos there? she called out into the darkness, hoping she sounded braver than she felt. It might be a bear, or bandits or worse. There was no telling what was out in the wild after dark.
Again, moments passed. Liegh gritted her teeth and crept forward, taking Alheids reins in her hand so the horse wouldnt get scared and bolt off into the woods. If she lost her horse now shed never make it to Porre. The low thud came again, this time a little louder. Liegh silently inched forward, peering into the blackness to try to make out whatever lurked in the shadows.
The moon sailed out from behind the thick clouds then, illuminating everything slightly. Long, silver shadows danced across the field and up the hanging sign that thudded every now and then in the wind. The moon drifted behind some clouds again and the silver luminosity faded, though Liegh could now make out the sign plainly.
Liegh began to laugh. Alheid! You have me jumping at path signs! She patted the horse on the neck and poked the sign with her blade. What was written on it made her jump with delight.
Yeah! Only half a mile to Porre! We made it! She swung up on the big horse and laughed. I knew wed make it if we tried hard enough! Ill show the Einderesch that just because Im a girl doesnt mean I cant survive alone! Come on Alheid! When we get to town Ill get you some oats!
I just cant believe it I have a son Magus sighed as he rubbed his temples. Tell me again why you took him in, Glenn.
Because I felt I owed it to you. Glenn smirked. Talk about irony. Once we inform the King of your return, Im sure hell agree to send the army after the Northmen. Well find Raven who knows maybe hell even escape and make it back himself. Glenn sighed as he laced up his jerkin. His wound had almost healed thanks to the concoction Magus had administered to him only a day and a half before. Now he was well enough to travel, the two were going to make a quick trip to Guardia if the barbarians hadnt destroyed it. He had no idea if the raiders had burned the town or if the Royal Army had defended the city or if there had even been an attack at all. Glenn was going to try to rally the king to send a search party out after the Northmen to find Raven. If he had been kidnapped, maybe others had too. The families of the captives would back him the King wouldnt have a choice but to employ the Royal Army would he?
Could he really do that, Glenn? Escape from thebarbarians by himself? Magus looked up at his companion. Dont tell me that he knows the Dark Magic?
The knight straightened himself and anxiously looked at the wizard, nodding a little. He he has shown signs he has the Dark Magic, Magus he needs a guide to show him how to use it. He cant control it right now but I know hes strong enough not to let it take over like it did to you Glenn rubbed his head. Sorry, I dont mean to offend.
Magus shook his head. You only speak the truth. It did posses my soul. Glenn, you may think that my son is strong enough, but once the Darkness begins to manifest itself it is a constant struggle to contain it. It feeds of anger and hatred like a parasite. It is a feeling only those who have experienced it could ever know. I still have nightmares only the most pure can wield the Darkness without agony. It has taken me years to learn how.
Glenn nodded, looking at the wizard with a strange, melancholy expression. He was about to say something when Aria stumbled down the loft ladder.
Are we going to get Mommy and Daddy? she asked, looking up at the two men. Glenn had sent the child up earlier for a nap while he explained to Magus the events of the past years.
When Magus heard of the death of Crono and Marle, he turned pale and shook his head sadly. Now he scooped up the orphaned daughter of his late friends and smiled at her gently. Aria, you will see your mother and father again someday, but not for a long time. They went to a different place where we all go someday.
The little girl looked at him curiously. She was still very young and didnt understand completely that her parents were dead. When will I see them? Why did they go?
Glenn cut in. No one knows for sure when you will see them, but they had to go. They are up in the Land of Light right now, watching you and smiling at you. So always remember that you will see them again someday.
Aria sighed and nodded. Ok, but I dont really know why I have to wait. I miss them. She turned back to Magus and threw her arms around his neck. The wizards eyes popped open in surprise. I wanna piggy back ride!! the girl squealed as she hugged him.
Well, Glenn said with a smirk on his face, It would be easier for her to ride than walk. Its a long way to town.
Magus sighed and nodded, not used to humoring children. He didnt want to admit that the little girls affection made him feel strange. Magus hoisted her up unto his strong shoulders and she clutched his head, laughing. Would his son run to him with open arms? Would they find his son at all? Magus frowned a little to himself. Fate had taken Schala, he wouldnt let it take his only child too! He turned to Glenn with a determined look on his face. Lets go find my son, Glenn. Tell me about him on the way to Gaurdia. I have ten years to catch up on.
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