Tragedy of the Raven Part 3, Chapter 5
By Prince Nightmare
The skies were lavender, not a beautiful violet color, but something twisted and wrong. The pale stars glittered menacingly, seeming to blink in time with his own heartbeat. Glenn watched his breath turn to frost. This wasnt right! It was spring in Guardia, not mid winter! It was then that he realized he wasnt in Guardia. He was somewhere totally different all together, somewhere sinister where the light of the sun never kissed the sky. Darkness ruled here for all eternity.
Gleeeennn a voice hissed softly from all directions. The knight wheeled around, trying to see who, or what, was calling his name. There was only an unnatural darkness that held not even shadows. He began to walk over the barren hill, seeing the bones of a hundred different warriors, all with strange crests on their shields and breastplates. Their bones were old and clean, pure white against the dark ground. Gleeennn.
Glenn nearly jumped as one of the skeletal warriors slowly stood up and pointed to him. Glenn tried to run, but all around him the skeletons were beginning to rise, all pointing at him. "Join us. The first one said. You belong with us, you belong to the Masamune like we all do.
The sword! It hung at his side as always, its beautiful blade begging to be used again for vengeance. It thirsted for blood, for combat. All the souls of the dead men around him were in the blade, chanting to feel the power of the Masamune once more.
Glenns fingers trembled as his hand lightly touched the handle. He lifted the sword into the air, feeling the power surge through him like electricity. Vengeance, it said, Vengeance Forever
Glenn looked back to the skeletal warriors, who were all nodding in approval. When he looked back down at his own hand, he saw it, too, was nothing more than bones. The Masamune had drained his strength and his soul.
Glenn screamed over and over. No! I dont want to! I dont want to go with you! I dont want to kill anymore! And from somewhere a dark form was rising, with eyes that glittered like stars. A tall, dark figure with hands outspread rose up and was silhouetted against the weird, lavender sky. It spoke to him with a voice that was only heard in his mind
Glenn, would you kill me if you had to? Would you kill me like you promised them you would? Will you keep your oath, when the time comes? Glenn felt hot tears running down his face, now nothing more than bones.
He didnt sleep the rest of the night, too afraid hed have more dreams. He sat up against the wooden planks of the shack wall and listened to the steady, quiet breathing of Aria. He had no idea where Magus was at, he had disappeared before dusk, but Glenn knew he was somewhere nearby, watching over them.
They had found the old shack a few miles south of town. Glenn knew the first place the guards would be looking for him was at his cottage in the woods. He wondered if hed ever see his home again. He rested his head against the wall and sighed tiredly. He couldnt even find escape in sleep tonight. Those horrible dreams, what did they mean?
Finally dawn came. Magus appeared with the sun, walking slowly back across the field, his hair looking like it was ablaze as the bright morning rays formed a halo around his head. He sauntered up to the shack, not looking tired at all. As soon as he saw the knight, however, he looked concerned and weary. You didnt sleep, did you? You look like you had a rough night.
Glenn, grouchy from lack of sleep and deeply depressed from the loss of Raven and his wife within days of each other, snapped at the wizard, Of course I had a rough night! Ive been up for hours, wondering what the Hell Im going to do now. And Ive had dreams bad enough to make your skin crawl but someone like you who never sleeps wouldnt know or care about nightmares, would they? He knew he sounded bitter and harsh, and he was sorry as soon as the words came out of his mouth. Magus must be feeling horrible too, finding out that he had a son just to discover he would not ever see him
Magus snorted. Someone who doesnt sleep? Well, I am capable of going for a few days without it, but even I sleep sometimes. And you arent the only one plagued by bad dreams, Glenn
I know, Glenn said, rubbing his head sheepishly, I just cant believe all this is happening. He looked back to where Aria was still sleeping. Magus was looking at her too. What are you going to do? Will you go back to your old fortress or find a nice girl to settle down with?
Find a girl to settle down with? Not on your life. Magus said curtly, raising a brow as Aria murmured in her sleep, calling softy for her mother. As for my old haunts, they mean nothing to me now. Im going with you so the question is, where are YOU going, Glenn?
I dont know. I havent thought about it there really is no place for me anymore. Glenn was feeling more and more hopeless. What was there now for him anyway? His wife was gone, Raven was gone there was nothing, only Aria. What were they going to do with the small girl?! A wanted Knight and a former Blood Wizard running all over the country side with a small child what a mess they were in.
Glenn, I know what youre thinking. Magus said, putting a hand on his hip. He was still looking at the sleeping child. Youre thinking about what to do with Aria. She is in a dangerous position, traveling with us.
As usual, Magus, I dont know what to do about that either. If Desmona were still alive, Id take Aria to live with her. But Desmona is dead. Its ironic, the one man the whole kingdom wanted dead is still living while everyone else is dropping like flies. He looked back at Magus, who stared at him with a melancholy look in his red eyes. I didnt mean it like that, Glenn said, shrugging, But you still arent well liked by most of Guardia. Half the people wont even say your name out loud because they think it will bring demons and bad luck.
Aria, hearing the men talking, finally blinked awake. She stared at them with big, scared eyes. When can we go home, Uncle Glenn? Im hungry and I dont like sleeping outside!
I know, Aria. Pretty soon you will have a normal house to live in again. I promise. Right now why dont we try to go find something for you to eat? Do you like raspberries? I saw some yesterday he took her by the hand and helped her up. He knew what he was going to have to eventually do, for the sake of the young girl.
I know where they are! Aria laughed, scampering off a little ways. Hurry up! Or I will eat them all! she ran a few hundred yards away, where several berry bushes grew, heavy with fruit. Magus and Glenn slowly walked after her, neither feeling very hungry at the moment.
Magus, we have to find someone suitable to take her in, at least until we get this whole mess with the King straightened out. Its dangerous for her to travel with us. There are bandits, bears, crazy men Glenn paused, thinking of who might take good care of the child until he was able to take her back. I know a young Hunter in Lenstahn who could help us find her a safe place.
At the mention of the word Hunter Magus grew very pale and suppressed the urge to tremble. More than once, he had come close to being captured and killed by the skilled paladins of the Einderesch. The Hunters were absolutely dogmatic and bloodthirsty about their holy mission to destroy wizards and warlocks. They could sense a wizard ten miles away, and were deadly fighters who hated all magic users with a fanatic fervor except for themselves, that was. Every Hunter knew enough White Magic to heal themselves and their comrades. I do you think that is a good idea, Glenn? I mean they he couldnt get the rest out, his voice was shaking too much.
Glenn nodded. Its the only way right now. Rennard is a good man, Ive heard only good things about him and I met him a few years ago. Im not saying she stay with the Einderesch themselves, only that they find someone trustworthy who can take care of her until we get back.
Magus nodded. You know better than I. But if you really think I am going within ten miles of Lenstahn, you are as crazy as a wolf during a full moon. Ill wait for you in Porre. That isnt far from Lenstahn and it will be easier to hide my identity in a large city where there are so many travelers that no one keeps tabs on who is who. The idea of going to a city made Magus cringe, he still didnt like crowds but it was far better than a town full of Hunters who would sniff him out as easy as a dog could smell a rabbit.
All right then. We should get going as soon as we can. Weve got to get horses or else the guards will catch up with us. There are a few farms around, and I have money. I could probably persuade them into selling us some horses for a fair price.
And what if they arent selling? Magus quipped with a smirk on his face. "Are you going to become a horse thief? You know, I could get us there in less than a second
Glenn shuddered. No thank you. I still have a bruise from the last time you sent us flying through the air. Besides, if someone else sees you using magic, we could really be in trouble. Of course... that trick would be handy if guards ever surround us again Magus shrugged, amused at Glenns distaste for teleportation. Horses it is then.
Aria came running back then. She was a sticky red mess, her mouth full of berries. These are good! Why dont you come eat some? she asked her two guardians who stared at her with raised brows, hoping she didnt want a hug at that particular moment.
Ok, Im coming, sighed Glenn, taking one of her hands. Youve made a nice mess of yourself
Aria giggled a little and grabbed Magus by the hand, trying to pull both men to the berry patch. Glenn watched with a smirk as Magus tried to contain the look of horror on his face when he saw his favorite cloak getting stained from Arias affections. She had to hug them both at least a dozen times. And kiss them and shove berries at them in the end they were all a terrible mess.
Ugh! was all the wizard could manage to say as he tried vainly to get the sticky juice off himself. It was even in his silvery blue hair, now turned pink with stains. Finally, Magus gave up and stood there forlornly as Aria wrapped her raspberry saturated arms around him and squeezed tight. Magus pointed ears flickered a bit and he sighed, looking down at the girl who adored him and berries.
Glenn laughed for the first time in days. It felt good to find something humorous again. It was strange, he thought, how the one man whom he never thought he could like was making him laugh by humoring a small child. Whatever I do now, Glenn thought, I must go on. What is lost is gone forever Magus is right about that. I may never see Lucca or Raven again, but I cant give up. Not yet.
The thought gave him strength, and he managed to push even the memory of the terrible nightmare to the back of his mind.
Go To Part 3, Chapter 6
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