The Light Wand and the Ice Blade Chapter 1
Cecilia breathed in the crisp morning air as the west wind blew over her face, her short hair swaying gently with the breeze. She leaned against the battlements of the castle, her eyes scanning over the city. The people moved about to their business, getting ready for the festival tomorrow. She saw new visitors entering the city gates and checking into the inn. She expected as much for news travel far and wide in Filgaia. She watched as people smiled greetings to others and spoke among themselves. The shops were booming with trade as they sold their items to the visitors. It was like any other day in Adlehyde.
She looked towards the East Plaza where workers were placing the finishing touches on the banner. One of the workers was atop a ladder holding one end of the blue banner against a pole. Another, on the ground, motioned for the worker to raise it a little higher. The worker obeyed and the one on the ground signaled that it was fine. The worker then tied the banner against the pole and climbed down the ladder. He then moved the ladder to the other side and tied the other end of the banner to the pole. He then climbed down and both workers gazed upon their work. Both wore white shirts covered in blue overalls with white specks of paint splattered on them. They smiled and shook hands congratulating each other on a job well done. Cecilias eyes then roamed around below settling on Rudy, who was sparring with her son, Cecil.
I see that Cecil is practicing, Jack observed as he came to stand by Cecilia. He wore a simple white tunic, the symbol of Zeldukes embroidered on the upper left. Brown pants complemented the shirt followed by the boots h! e favored. Lines of age etched his handsome face, his long blonde hair beginning to streak with grey. His once alert brown eyes began to dim, losing their sharpness. He wrapped his arm around Cecilias shoulders. Like a Van Burace should, he added with a grin.
Cecilia placed her arm around Jacks waist, snuggling close in his embrace. Hes also an Adlehyde, Cecilia replied resting her head on his chest. And like all Adlehydes, he is also royalty, as you are also royalty.
Jack sighed and fingered the gold circlet around his head. He wondered why he had chosen to marry Cecilia, in turn, becoming king of Adlehyde. He had always wondered why ever since the day he married her and he got his answer when newborn twins were born, a girl and a boy. The answer was that he loved her, the twins a product of that love. His son, Cecil, was the youngest and his daughter, Jill, who will be returning home from Curan Abbey tomorrow, was the eldest and the heir to the throne. He couldnt deny that he was royalty even though he had detested it before, but he took his duties seriously maintaining the honor of the House of Adlehyde. He held Cecilia close. I am king and you are my queen, he said looking down upon the duel. He flinched when he saw his son falter and fall. But I think Cecil best serves the kingdom as a knight instead of a prince, he added with a wry smile.
Cecil blocked Rudys blows halfheartedly, his mind preoccupied on the festival tomorrow. Cecil, pay attention! Rudy warned as he rammed the pommel of his sword against Cecils cheek.
Cecil lost his balance and fell on his ru! mp, his sword clanging to the ground beside him. He looked up, staring at the point of Rudys sword aimed at his throat. Rudy sighed, lowering his sword and shaking his head. Thats the third time today, he grumbled. Thats not like you. Something on your mind?
Cecil nodded. His long dark blonde hair flowed down his back, between his shoulder blades, held together by a blue ribbon that was similar to Jacks. He stood up and stretched his tired muscles. He wore a sleeveless white shirt, blue pants that were a little baggy, and brown lightweight shoes. He picked up his sword and sheathed it behind his back.
Rudy smiled. Cecil bore an uncanny resemblance to Jack and that reminded Rudy of the old days when they were Dream Chasers. Now he was the captain of the knights, a job Cecilia and Jack had given him when the previous captain had retired. He accepted it and took full responsibility of his duties. He refused to wear the attire of the captain unless it was deemed necessary. He still favored his Dream Chaser attire, making adjustments to accommodate his size.
He had grown over the past years. His muscles were slightly larger and his voice was loud and booming instead of the soft and gentle voice he had when he was young. He was accustomed now in giving orders instead of obeying them unless it was from the king himself. His blue hair was kept neatly combed still wearing the red bandanna around his head.
He sheathed his own sword on his left hip. Are you excited about the festival tomorrow? he asked.
Thats whats on my mind, Cecil stated. Should I be excited that Jill is coming home?
Of course! Rudy exclaimed. Shes your twin sister. Youre also turning seventeen tomorrow. Are you not glad?
Cecil shrugged his shoulders. I guess I should be glad. Mother and father are happy and so are the townspeople. Yet I do not share their gladness.
Why? Rudy asked, not fully comprehending the boys uneasiness. He himself was raised as an only! child. His grandfather was the only family he knew. Rebuked by other children his age, he became lonely, the only comfort being with Zepet Roughnight. He lost that comfort when the old man died and he had wandered the world looking for a place to belong.
Wherever he went, disaster seemed to follow him. It was only twenty years ago that he found out his true origin and the meaning of his existence. He is not a human but he is also not a demon. He is a Holmcross, a weapon built by the ancient Elws to help combat the Metal Demons. He understood then why people feared his power and that helped him to understand his nature and that also gave him a sense of belonging. He was needed to protect, thus, his leadership in the knighthood. He has no family but he has a place to truly call home. He understood all of this but not the concept of being part of a family or of having a sibling for that matter. He awaited patiently for Cecil to answer.
Ive not seen Jill in ten years. I dont know how she will react and how I will react. Its been such a long time, groaned Cecil as he ran a hand through his hair. He turned away from Rudy and stared at the sky above. His eyes had a distant look as he gazed at the birds that flew towards the west. There was a light breeze that whipped his hair back.
He started as Rudy patted him on the shoulder, reassuring him. Everything will be fine. Just be yourself and youll get reacquainted with your sister quickly. I promise. Cecil turned his head and looked at him, unsure about Rudys advice. Rudy grinned, encouraging him. He looked up at the sun. It was almost noon. Well, I got to go. Just remember to be yourself and to practice more on your swordsmanship. Rudy began to walk away from the courtyard.
Thats another thing, Cecil called behind Rudys back. Ive been training for ten years awaiting the time when my sword will be used but that time has not come and I believe that it never will. No monsters roam the land and the demons from the legends have been defeated. Whats the purpose of my training?
Rudy stopped. Without glancing back, he answered darkly, There will be a time, my prince, there will be a time. He continued to walk, disappearing into the castle.
Cecil stared at his retreating form, surprised by Rudys dark tone. The west wind suddenly died filling him with a sense of dread. The west wind meant hope, he learned, and as long as there is hope, the west wind always blew. Rudys words echoed in his mind aware that they were not merely words but a prophecy, the west wind a sign of it. Why do I have the feeling that my first battle will be soon? he asked himself, feeling a bit frightened.
Twenty years, Bram muttered under his breath. He leaned against the charred throne, his fingers drumming against the blackened arm. His sword leaned on the side of the throne, its blade gleaming under the torchlight.
Razan, Bow, and Valta stood before him in the throne room of what was once Arctica Castle, now known as Arushan. Torches lined the walls at intervals, throwing shadows across the room. The banners of Arctica were burnt beyond recognition; the red and gold with the symbol of a lions head in the middle blackened by the fire that had engulfed the castle twenty-two years ago, hung on the backwall on each side of the throne. Two huge oak doors marked the entrance of the grand hall. The symbol of the lions head are carved in the middle of each door. The fire had only managed to scorch the outer layer of the six inch thick doors.
Razan took a step forward. Now is the perfect time to strike, Bram. I h! ave been informed that there will be a festival tomorrow at Adlehyde. They will be too busy having fun. Their guard will be down.
Bram nodded. Twenty years have passed since meeting those strangers. We have gained much knowledge about this planet and recruited some monsters. Now is the time to conquer starting with the festival at Adlehyde. Which reminds me, werent the strangers from Adlehyde also?
As I recall, they were, Bow answered. They should be no threat to us. Humans tend to grow old and weak. Theyre fragile little things.
Except for the boy in blue hair, Valta added. There was something inhuman about him.
No matter, Bram said as he stood up. He took his sword and slipped it into his belt. Razan, Bow. Go to the festival tomorrow and have a little fun. He smiled maliciously. I know youll think of something to do there. Valta, Seth, and I will be planning our next move.
He looked around. Where is Seth? he asked when he noticed one of them was missing. The three demons gazed around the room to confirm their leaders words. One by one, they shrugged their shoulders answering Brams inquiry. Find him and tell him that we will be planning our conquest. We will meet tomorrow in the war room, he instructed them. He turned to Razan and Bow. You know what to do. They both nodded. Dismissed. They all left the throne room, leaving Bram alone with his thoughts.
The time is at hand! he exclaimed, his black eyes suddenly flaring red.
Seth concentrated his energy into his axe. It started to glow a blackish color. Sweat beaded down his face d! espite the biting arctic winds that surrounded him. His eyes, shut in concentration, suddenly snapped open and with a piercing yell brought his axe down on the earth. The energy that was collected in the axe was released, dashing across the earth, splitting the ground in two.
He panted heavily, leaning on his axe for support. Thats the strongest one so far, he gasped. He straightened up, hefting his axe onto his shoulder and wiping his brow with his sleeve. He felt the scar across his right cheek, scowling as he remembered how he had received it. He clenched his fist. Ill get you yet, Jack Van Burace, Ill get you yet, he vowed.
He turned toward Arushan and began walking. His cape fluttered behind him as an arctic wind blew in his direction. He covered his face with the mask and pulled his hood over his head protecting him from the small blizzard that followed the wind. He squinted his eyes and pushed his way through the storm. Suddenly two hornbeasts rose before him, growling and slashing their horned heads menacingly at Seth. Seth squinted his eyes in menace as he jumped away from their shaking heads, avoiding the horns. He threw his axe, spinning and slicing the horns of one of them. The axe spun back toward its owner.
The other one charged at Seth, its horned head lowered to pierce him. Seth jumped into the air, waving his axe in an arc. Blue balls of light shot down from it, exploding upon impact in front of the Hornbeast. The Hornbeast reared back, swaying its horned head from side to side. Seth lowered to the ground, landing gracefully, his axe casually held onto his shoulder.
The two Hornbeasts maneuvered around Seth, surrounding him on both sides. They crouched low, ready to pounce on him. Seth smirked below his mask as he disappeared. He reappeared ahead of them, walking toward Arushan. The two Hornbeasts stood for a moment, then collapsed, their horned heads rolling on the ground, apparently severed by Seths axe.
Seth grinned at his victory. He had ! become stronger and faster within the twenty years he had been on Filgaia. He chuckled softly at first then bursted into laughter, the storm forgotten as he laughed into the wind. Oh, yes, Jack. Your head will be rolling as those hornbeasts and I shall hang it up on my wall as a trophy, he roared as he threw his axe into the air. He then disappeared and reappeared above the spinning axe catching it as it flew towards him. Then with a great burst of light, he flew towards the castle, plowing through the storm. He approached Arushan, its gates becoming visible. He saw Valta waiting for him at the entrance.
Seth, Valta waved when Seth was within visible range. Seth glided down and landed in front of Valta. What is it? he demanded as he threw his axe behind him. It spun and hung slanted across his back.
Bram wishes to see you, Valta replied. He held the gate open for Seth.
Seth frowned. He didnt want to confront Bram but he had no other choice. He remembered the time he disobeyed him. He shuddered at the thought, not wanting to relive the memory. He decided to go to him. Where is he? he asked.
In the throne room, Valta answered.
Seth entered the gateway that opened up into a square courtyard. Amazingly, the storm seem not to affect the castle as if there was a magical barrier that could shut the wind and the snow out. Zoa Zeins paced the battlements around the castle, their huge axes held in both armored hands. Many Fesel Zeins and Tzar Zeins were training in the courtyard. A couple of Black Sabaths walked silently among the Zeins, their sleek black fur blending perfectly with the shadows of the castle. They growled as Seth entered the courtyard but once they scented him, they walked away. Seth pulled back his hood and mask and shook the snow out of his hair. Valta shut the gate and stood behind Seth. Seth then crossed the courtyard and into the castle, leaving Valta behind. He navigated through the numerous hallways until he reached the throne room.
He opened one of the oak doors and stepped inside shutting the door behind him. He saw Bram sitting on the charred throne, stroking his chin thoughtfully. You wanted me, sir? he called as he walked towards him.
Bram straightened on his throne, nodding. You never showed up in my meeting and was wondering where you were.
I was outside, Seth answered choosing his words carefully, venting out my anger. Bram raised an inquisitive brow. Because of this scar, Seth explained pointing at the white streak on his face. I want to pay Jack Van Burace back for making this scar.
And for humiliating you, Bram added with a tooth-filled grin. Seths face darkened, his frown deeper. Too bad you wont have the chance. Razan and Bow will be going to Adlehyde having fun at their festival tomorrow. You, Valta, and I will be planning our conquest. That was what the meeting I called was all about. Bram finished, waiting for Seths approval.
Seth lowered his head. He clenched his fists, the knuckles turning white as he tried to contain his anger. How could he?!, he thought. I should be going to Adlehyde, not those fools! He calmed down a bit, remembering again the painful memory of disobeying Bram. As you wish, he whispered, bowing slightly at Bram. He turned and exited the throne room, slamming the door shut. Some loose rubble fell from the impact.
Bram was not alarmed by Seths behavior and so resumed stroking his chin, thinking of the days to come when he will rule this world.
Jill thought about home as she packed her things. She was in her room in Curan Abbey, a suitcase opened on her bed. The warm sunlight filtered through the window, brightening her flaxen-hair. She stood over her bed, folding her clothes and neatly placing them in her suitcase. She sighed as she finished, closing her baggage.
She sat down on her bed and looked around the room. A small drawer with a vase atop of it sat in the corner of the room. The vase was full of flowers, their fragrance wafting across the room. Jill closed her eyes as she breathed in the sweet fragrance.
She couldnt believe that she was leaving the place. Has ten years pass already?, she thought to herself. She was raised in the abbey since she was a little girl. They say it was a tradition in Adlehyde to send the princess to the school of magic, Curan Abbey. She had followed in her mothers footsteps. They even say that her mother occupied the same room she was in.
She smiled at the irony. She herself was the perfect image of her mother. She had long hair with blue eyes that dazzle with intelligence. She wore a tan dress that fell down to her knees with brown sandals. Her fingers, which were small and thin, moved towards her neck. She pulled out the Tear Drop, the ancient family heirloom, which was hidden beneath the collar of her dress. It was a small crystal that sparkled when caught in the suns rays. It radiated a subtle heartbeat of pure magical light as she held it. It caused her to wonder why it does that when she held it but she anticipates that all shall be revealed at her homecoming tomorrow. She gazed at it, remembering that it was given to her by Cecilia before she left to study.
She let go of it, letting it hang around her neck, and stood up. She looked out at the window. The sun was almost reaching its zenith. It was time to leave. She picked up her luggage and walked towards the door. She opened it, stepping out into the hallway. She gazed back at the room one last time and shut the door.
Ready to go?
Jill was startled and quickly! turned around to see an elderly sister standing calmly behind her. She wore a long black robe with a white collar around her neck. A black hood trimmed with white covered her hair, some gray strands sticking out beneath it. Sister Mary, Jill exclaimed, you gave me quite a scare!
The elderly woman smiled, her wrinkles creasing as crumpled paper. Im sorry to have startled you, she apologized. You must be anxious in returning home.
Jill nodded, clutching her pendant as she walked to her mentor. Its been ten years. I wonder if anyone has changed. She smiled at the thought. Well then, I should get going. She hugged the old woman. I shall miss you.
The old woman held her firmly at arms-length, gazing into Jills eyes. You are always welcome to visit us. Dont you forget that, she smiled. Remember what youve learned.
Jill nodded firmly, staring right into the nuns hazel eyes. I will. Sister Mary released her hold and Jill turned away without glancing back. She went down the stairs and out into the gates of Curan Abbey. Another sister was waiting for her there. I pray for your safe journey, Princess Jill, the nun said.
Jill merely nodded. She looked at the gates and the land beyond it. She had never set foot outside these walls for ten years. A breeze blew over the landscape pushing sand and tumbleweed across the barren land. She had learned in history class that the war with the Metal Demons one thousand twenty years ago had did this to the land. The Guardians had lost their power and, therefore, were not able to keep the planet green. She took a deep breath and prayed a silent prayer to the Guardians as she walked toward the gates and outside the walls towards her home of Adlehyde.
From her window on the second floor of the abbey, Anje watched Jill walk away from the abbeys walls. She watched until she lost sight of the princess. She turned from her window into the warmth of her room.
A fire was burning low in the hearth. She walked towards a round table located in the middle of the room. She murmured soft words and a book appeared in the middle of the table.
The book was old and dusty. The brown cover was worn, the title faded. She opened the book. The pages were yellow with age and the words were barely visible. They were very fragile, some crumbling at the slightest touch. Anje carefully flipped through the pages until she found the page she was looking for. She scanned down the page, looking for a certain passage. Ah! There it is! she exclaimed as she came to it and silently read it.
A plague will fall upon Filgaia. This plague will sap the earth of energy and a third of its inhabitants will vanish. The plague will be weakened but not cured. It will wait to rise up again and wreak havoc.
The Light and the Ice shall rise from the ashes that the plague had left. They will become a powerful force. The plague anxiously waits for the time to return. The Ice shall fall first to the plague but not all. Two cubes of Ice remain.
Later, the Light will be crippled by the plague but not fallen. The Absolute Power shines from the Light. Guardians will gather unto the Light.
An ancient power roams around the earth. It will stumble upon the Light. A cube of Ice will stumble upon the ancient power. These three forces together will cure Filgaia of the plague.
A new plague will fall again unto Filgaia. This plague is much worst than the first. By then the Ice and the Light had joined to become one. Out of this union, they will forge two weapons, the Light Wand and the Ice Blade.
These two weapons will be stronger than the Light and the Ice. The weapons, together with the ancient power and the rebel, will cure Filgaia of this new plague.
Anje had read the passage several times before. She had a clear interpretation of it. It was a chronology of the war with the Metal Demons. The Metal Demons fell upon Filgaia. The planet was weakened and the inhabitants that vanished were the Elws. The Light and the Ice were the kingdoms of Adlehyde and Arctica. The Metal Demons did attack and destroy Arctica. The two cubes of Ice might have been the only survivors. Anje knew one of them but did not know the other.
It continued to say that Adlehyde was attacked but not destroyed. The Absolute Power was from the Tear Drop and the Guardians gathered around the Tear Drop, which was held by the Light, Cecilia.
The ancient power was Rudy. Rudy was a Holmcross, a copy of the Metal Demons, built by the Elws a thousand and twenty years ago. Rudy came upon Cecilia and the cube of Ice, Jack, came upon Rudy. Together they got rid of the Metal Demons.
Soon after the fall of the Metal Demons, five balls of light shot through the sky and landed somewhere in the northern reaches of Filgaia. Anje saw their arrival. This was no doubt the new plague. The passage said that by then the Light and the Ice had joined to become one.
Anje smiled at the memory of Jack and Cecilias wedding. The Light and the Ice did become one that day. The two weapons they forged out of their union was their children. Cecil, strong-willed and quick like his knight father, was the Ice Blade. Jill, innocent and intelligent like her mother, was the Light Wand. Rudy will fight by their side once again. Anje was puzzled, however, about the identity of the rebel. She had no idea who it was but knew that the rebel will also fight alongside the others and together will they cure Filgaia again of this new plague.
She sighed as she carefully shut the book. It begins again, she lamented.
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