The Light Wand and the Ice Blade Chapter 7
"Land ho!" shouted a sailor as Milama Village came into view.
Jane was pacing in her cabin when she heard the shout. She quickly ran out of the cabin and onto the deck. "Where?" she demanded as she looked at the sailor up in the crow's nest.
"There," the sailor answered as he pointed straight ahead. Jane squinted to see the strip of land. It grew larger and larger as the ship progressed with its journey. She saw the makings of a town as they pressed on toward land.
"Didn't I tell you we'll make it to Milama Village by sundown?" a gruff voice asked.
Jane scowled. "Yeah, sundown on the third day!" she yelled as she turned to the speaker. "You never told me that it will take three days to reach Milama Village! Be precise next time!"
Bartholomew stood tall as the sea wind swept his face and whipped his sleek black hair around. His hands were big and wide, his shoulders and chest were broad, and his neck was thick; all characteristics of a man of the sea. His face was stern but in his eyes was a kindness that glowed. He laughed, his booming laugh. "Well, maybe I was being too vague, but you haven't told me why we're travelling to Adlehyde and at such a quick pace."
Jane's face grew grim. "Let's go in your cabin," she said. "It's not for unknowing ears."
"Must be serious," Bartholomew whispered as they headed toward his cabin at the back of the ship.
They entered the small room. There was a desk in the corner of the room and a table with a map in the middle. There was a couch to one side, where Jane headed. She took a seat while Bartholomew poured two glasses of rum. He handed one to Jane while he gulped his down. He placed his glass down with a sigh of satisfaction. "Well," he began, "why are we traveling in such short notice?"
Jane looked at her glass, seemingly not interested in the drink. She placed the glass down on the map table. "Do you remember the war twenty years ago?" she asked. When Bart nodded, she continued. "Remember when t! he Photosphere crashed into the sea?" Again Bart nodded. "Well, someone is looking for it."
"Wait a minute," Bart interrupted. "Someone is looking for the Photosphere? Why would anyone do that?"
Jane shrugged her shoulders. "I don't know but McDullen heard that the Dream Chaser was looking for treasure."
"Treasure?!" Bart exclaimed. "But there was no treasure in the Photosphere."
"My thoughts exactly," Jane agreed. "So I think that the 'Dream Chaser' isn't looking for treasure but to revive the Photosphere. That's why I want to tell the trio about this. The sooner we get there, the better."
"I'll make sure that's a possibility," Bart said. "We'll stop over in Milama for a night and set sail in the morning. I'll make sure we'll deliver the message as soon as possible now that I know the purpose of our journey."
He looked down at the map. "Right now, we're here," he pointed at Milama. "We'll rest for one night and sail in the morning. Hopefully, we can make it to Rosetta Town in three days." He traced the path with his finger on the map. "It normally takes six days to reach it but I'll try to make it in half the time. Again, we rest for one night.
"If the wind is good, we could make it to Ship Graveyard in three days. If not, it could take as long as six days. After Ship Graveyard, it'll take two more days to reach Adlehyde if the wind is good. It all depends on the wind."
Jane nodded. "Sounds good to me except for that wind part. I just wish we had the Gullwing with us."
"The G-G-Gullwing?!" stammered the captain of the Sweet Candy remembering the time he test piloted the flying machine. "No way I'm going back to the skies. The sea is my home and I intend it to be that way. Nothing like the salty air blowing in your face. Besides I hate heights!!!" He took a deep breath and let it out slowly. "Enough about that. Let's go on deck. We're about to dock."
Jane stood up, smirking at Bartholomew's reaction to the Gullwing, and wa! lked to the door. Bartholomew held the door open for her, scowling at her smirk, and they both went on deck.
Milama was closer now. They could see the buildings distinctly. Milama was an oasis town, always filled with water. Jane felt the ship shudder as it dropped anchor. The gangplank was dropped ashore and the sailors quickly rushed into town, eager to hit the pub and party.
"Enjoy this night boys because tomorrow we sail early," Bartholomew instructed as they rushed into town.
"I guess we should enjoy ourselves too, McDullen," Jane said as she walked ashore, "while we're still on dry land."
"Very well, my lady," McDullen answered as usual. He followed Jane as they proceeded into town. Bartholomew followed from behind.
"Our path is clear then," Rudy stated. "We must head to the Guardian Shrine
and ask for the Guardian Blade."
"But," Cecil objected, "didn't the Guardian Blade bury itself in the sand near Rosetta Town?"
They were in Anje's room in the abbey, trying to figure out where to head next. They left the castle at noon and reached the abbey an hour later. Rudy was glad that he decided to go to the abbey to study this prophecy. They were learning more things about it that they hadn't learned before. Anje had finished reading a passage from the book. It read:
The Ice Blade shall wield the Guardians' powers. It shall glow as blue as
the winter ice to serve as a beacon. Take heed when seeking this power
for it is well guarded in a sea of sand. If the Ice Blade's heart is as pure as
snow, the power will show itself unto him. Do not fear the power.
Filgaia depends on it.
Jill reread the passage as Rudy and Cecil continued their argument. Cecil was right about the Guardian Blade being buried in the sand for the past thousand years but the passage does not specifically say that it was the Guardian Blade. "How do you know it's the Guardian Blade?" she asked mainly to herself. She never knew that she voiced it out so loud that the others heard.
Rudy and Cecil stopped their arguing and looked at her. Jill noticed the stillness in the room and looked up from the book. Both of them were staring at her while Anje was busy heating up the fireplace. "What do you mean, Jill?" Cecil queried. "Does it not say in the passage?"
"It does not say specifically," Jill replied. "It only says that the Ice Blade shall wield the Guardians' powers. It's true that the Guardian Blade channels the Guardians' powers but my Tear Drop also has some of the Guardians' pwers. So there may be something else that could channel the Guardians' powers."
"I doubt that child," Anje walked over to them and read the passage quietly. She looked up and explained. "There's no artifact in all the! history of Filgaia that possesses the powers of the Guardians except for the Tear Drop and the Guardian Blade. The Tear Drop is to give life to the Guardians. I don't know why the Guardian Blade was forged except that it was to be used in the war. I believe it has the power to control the Guardians somehow."
"See didn't I tell you?" Cecil smiled triumphantly. His smile grew wider when he saw that Jill was ready to explode. She hated when she was proven wrong in a matter which made her very angry indeed. It seemed that smoke was coming out of her ears.
"So I was proven wrong," she growled through clenched teeth. Her hands tightened into fists in her lap. "You don't have to get so smug."
"Enough you two," Rudy interjected. "It's getting late and we don't want to delay in our journey. We'll go to the Guardian Shrine tomorrow morning and aske what the Guardians make of this. We have to work together if we want to save this world."
Jill's features softened and it looked to Rudy as if she aged. Cecil's smile diminished into a grim line. Bearing the role as saviors weren't easy for them. All of their childhood days were over. It's as if they had grown up too quickly. In a way, Rudy felt sorry for them. He knew that things would get more rough but they must press onward. And they would accomplish it.
A sudden thought flickered across his mind. "Anje," he said to the magician, "there was one thing that always bothered me."
"Oh?" she answered intrigued.
"Yes," Rudy continued. "When you came to the castle a few weeks after the twins were born to tell us about their destiny, it bothered me of how you knew Jack being from the Ice. How did you know?"
Anje chuckled a little. "I know many things, dear knight. I also know about you and your origins as well."
Rudy was at a lost for words.
"Don't worry," Anje reassured the knight, "your secret is safe with me." She leaned back on her chair. "About me knowing about the king's origins. . . You can say that ! the medallion he wore during the wedding gave it away."
"You mean this medallion?" Cecil asked as he flashed his father's medallion at Anje.
"Yes," Anje nodded, "that medallion."
Cecil was suddenly intrigued. "Do you know what it means? Father doesn't know what it means nor his father before him nor his father's father. He said that the meaning was lost in the course of time."
"Maybe I do know," Anje said seemingly uninterested in the subject. "Maybe I don't. But I do know this. The meaning will become very clear on your quest. It's only the matter of when."
Cecil groaned. "I've had it with riddles. Especially this prophecy." He stood up and stretched. "Well, I've had enough for today. I'm going outside in the courtyard to have some fresh air." He waved to the group before going downstairs.
"I guess I should be going too," Jill added as she stood up. "Wow! It's only been a week since I left this place but it feels like years. I guess I'll take a look around. Maybe I'll have a chat with Sister Mary." She smiled as she walked away from her friends as she too made her way downstairs.
"I guess this is too much for them," Rudy muttered. He looked at Anje. "May I ask a favor?"
"What is it?" the magician asked.
"I want you to make us a copy of this prophecy," he requested. "It seems this is our only guide in defeating the demons. I hope it's not a burden to you."
The magician laughed. "No. No, it's no trouble at all. In fact, I already made a copy. I had a feeling that you would ask for one." She stood up and went to her bookshelf that was above the hearth. She pulled out a small book and handed it to Rudy. "Here it is. I've added some notes of mine that would help clear things up if you are unsure of a passage. They may help you on your quest."
"Thank you," Rudy said gratefully as he took the book. It was small in comparison to the huge book that the original prophecy was written in. The blue cover was fresh with gold lettering in the m! iddle depicting the title of the book. Rudy ran his hands over the gold letters as he read it, "The Light Wand and the Ice Blade."
"Nice title don't you think?" Anje asked his opinion. "I made that myself seeing that it tells about the weapons." Rudy nodded absently as he flipped through the pages of the book, skimming through the passages. When he was finished, he shut the book and nodded in satisfaction. "This will do," Rudy said. "Thanks Anje. I know how much trouble you went through to copy the prophecy word for word and to add your own notes."
"That's quite all right," Anje waved a dismissive hand. "But before you go, do you have any idea who the 'rebel' is?"
Jane knew that they were making good time as she saw the sails fill with
wind. They were skimming across the ocean and she knew that the Guardians
had some role in the wind. She looked over the railing at the crystal clear
water. Fish were abundant in the Outer Ocean more so than the Inner Sea.
She watched the water pass by quickly until she was too tired to watch any
She looked up at the sky and saw birds diving into the water only to rise up again with a fish or two in their beaks. She admired the way they circle the sky as if they had nothing better to do. She envied their freedom and wished she had freedom such as theirs.
"What are you looking at?" Bartholomew walked over to her and looked up at the sky, shielding his eyes from the sun's glare.
"At the birds," Jane answered. "See how they fly? Such grace and beauty. They fly with nothing to worry about. As for us, we face life's challenges. I wish I had such freedom."
Bartholomew chuckled and looked down at her. "Seagulls aren't as free as you think. They must fish, build a nest, protect their family. It's the same for all who lives. It's all a part of life."
"But they don't have to worry about the demons or other dangers that threatens our existence." Jane gazed at the ocean. The vastness of it was breath-taking.
Bartholomew nodded in agreement. "Life is a precious thing yet some people take it for granted. It may do us well if we make the most of it. Live life to the fullest." He looked at the bow. He could see only the ocean but he knew that they were almost at Rosetta. The sun had reached its zenith and was descending to mid-afternoon. Soon the day would be over and hopefully only five days of sailing to reach Adlehyde.
"What do you think the Guardians will tell us about this rebel and this 'power'?"
Rudy asked curiously as he flew the Gullwing towards the Guardian
It was early in the morning when they left Curan Abbey to continue on with their quest. Anje had instructed them to go to the Guardian Shrine next to find out about the rebel. Rudy was curious of who the rebel is that would help them defeat the demons. Was he a strong man or a weak one? Wise or ignorant? Rudy was curious to find out and so he sped the Gullwing across the skies to the answers.
The sun was halfway to its zenith when they reached the shrine. No one had bothered answering Rudy's question for they too don't know the answer to it. They stared at the building that may contain them.
Rudy took something out from his pocket that glinted in the sun's rays. Curious, Jill asked, "What's that?"
Rudy turned to her and held up the object. It was round and had a cross imprinted in the middle of it. Jill could see that it was gold in color. "It's the Holy Medal. It's necessary for us to use it to get inside the shrine. Cecil, get your lighter ready."
Cecil nodded and took his lighter out. "All right, let's go in," Rudy instructed. He walked boldly into the building while the others hesitated. Rudy turned back. "Don't worry," he reassured them. "It might look scary but in actuality it's just a holy place. We must not waste our time gawking at the building."
Cecil and Jill nodded in unison. Rudy lightly nodded his head and smiled in return. "Shall we get going?" He walked past the entrance into the shrine followed by the twins.
They stood at the entrance hall. The shrine was dark and stuffy as if it hasn't been inhabited for years, which is the truth. It used to be a place full of Guardian worship. There used to be priests, who were keepers of the shrine, but no priest has been around for nearly twenty years. There was a door in the middle of the room with a round indentation in the middle of it that seem! ed to be where the Holy Medal was placed. Two staircases rose on both sides of the door.
"We have to go up one level," Rudy said. He began to walk toward one of the staircases.
"But the door is right here," Cecil objected as he trotted besides Rudy. "It has a round indentation on it that looks to fit the Holy Medal."
Rudy stopped and said without looking at Cecil, "Who has been here before? I have. If you want to get into the shrine, just do as I say and we'll quickly find the Guardians." He walked past Cecil and climbed up the stairs. Rudy's words were harsh as if he reprimanded a child. Cecil glanced back at Jill who shrugged and walked up to him.
"You shouldn't look so downcast," she said. "Rudy is just trying to help. And besides he does have a point when he said he was here before so let's just listen to his instructions all right?" Cecil nodded slowly and climbed up the stairs followed by Jill.
They stood in another room. In the middle were twelve unlit torches in clock-like formation. Rudy stood in the middle patiently waiting for them. "I guess this is where I come in," Cecil said as he lit his lighter. He walked towards Rudy, who instructed him to light the torches at two o'clock, ten, six, and twelve; in that order. He obeyed without question and jumped back when all the torches lit of their own accord following the lighting of the twelve. Then they heard a rumble downstairs.
They followed Rudy downstairs. He took out the Holy Medal and placed it into the indentation. The door shuddered open, granting them entrance. Dust spurted forth making the trio cough. "No one has been around here recently," Jill coughed sarcastically.
"You think I didn't know that?" Cecil retorted. He coughed and waved his hand around, fanning the dust away.
"Stop complaining," Rudy spoke. "We still have a long way to go." Acting as guide once again, he entered into the deeper part of the shrine. The twins followed him through the twisted corridors finally ending ! up in a room with seven torches. There were three torches to each side and a torch directly in the middle of the room. The door was ahead of them but something blocked their way into reaching it. Cecil sighed and took out his lighter. "Which one?" he asked wearily.
"We need to light the torches in a specific order for the way to be opened," Rudy explained. "As we light the torches, a path will open and we must follow it to the end. I think we light the northeast torch first."
Cecil walked over to the torch followed by the others and lit it. Again, the twins jumped back as they saw a path form before them. "Relax," Rudy dragged out the word. "You guys are too edgy. Nothing could harm us in here. Shall we continue?" He told Cecil the sequence of lighting the torches.
It took them about five minutes for the task to be done. After lighting the central torch, the path was clear to the door. They walked along the path, past the doorway, into a small room with a mirror. Rudy stood in front of it and looked at his reflection. Do we have to go through that again?, he questioned himself referring to the tests that the original trio had endured. He placed a hand upon the cool glass. "Gurdijeff!" he shouted the Earth Guardian's name. "We have come for guidance! Show us the way!"
He felt the glass shudder beneath his palm. He snatched his hand back and watched the glass shudder and shift, his reflection wavering as if it was water. Thank you, Gurdijeff, he thought gratefully. "The Guardians has shown us the way," he said to the twins. Before any of them could reply, Rudy jumped into the mirror and was gone.
"What the---?" Cecil was shocked.
"Don't just stand there and gawk," Jill chided. She moved behind her brother. "Let's go!" She pushed him into the mirror, making him stumble towards it while she followed from behind. After a few moments, the mirror shifted once again to its solid form.
The ship sailed out of Rosetta Town after one night of rest. Its sails were
filled with the wind and the ship floated over the water ever so swiftly.
It was only after a few hours out to sea when they saw it.
"Captain!" the sailor in the crow's nest yelled below. "There's something in the water!"
"Where?" Bartholomew demanded. He took out his spyglass as the sailor answered, "There!" He pointed straight ahead.
Bartholomew took a look with his spyglass. Jane stood next to him, curious herself. "Wha---?" Bartholomew staggered back.
"What is it?" Jane queried as she looked at him. "Looks like you've seen a ghost," she added when she saw his pale face.
"Look for yourself." Bartholomew handed her his spyglass, his hands shaking.
Jane swiped the thing from his hands and took a look for herself. She adjusted the lens until she could see the thing clearly. It was a curious thing. It was shaped like a cat with white fur and a long tail but also had some distinct features of a man. It had hands and feet like a man's but they ended in claws, not fingers. Its snout was shaped like a cat's with three whiskers on each side of its face. It bared its teeth and Jane saw that they were as sharp as knives. It moved with incredible speed across the water---atop the water!---to its destination. Jane looked at the direction the creature was running and predicted its path. There was an island close by and she took a closer look at it. She dropped the telescope as she realized the place and what the purpose for that thing to go there.
"Madam, are you all right?" McDullen asked in concern. Like Bartholomew, her face was pale and she was shaking. Here eyes were as wide as saucers and her mouth moved to speak but no sound came.
When she finally spoke, it was in a whisper. "Forget the Photosphere. Ka Dingel may rise again and that would be a greater threat. We must hurry." She tried to speak in a firmer tone. "We cannot afford to stop over at Ship Graveyard. We must make it t! o Adlehyde at all costs!"
Bartholomew stood erect and nodded. "I think it's time to see if Professor Emma's invention works."
"What invention?" Jane questioned.
"You're gonna love it," Bartholomew answered. He turned to his crew. "Four of you, bring out the motor!"
The sailors stopped what they were doing, looking at their captain with haunted faces. "Are you sure, Cap'n?" one hesitated to ask.
Bartholomew glared at his crew. "What do you take me for? An idiot?" he barked. "Of course, I'm sure! Now hoist up the motor and place it at the stern."
The sailors grumbled to each other deciding to do it or not. "You heard your captain," Jane supplied. "Go get whatever and place it wherever or else." She took out her ARM and fired a shot into the air.
The loud bang echoed into the air and around them. That bang was a warning for them and they quickly moved about sometimes banging into each other. Four of them hoisted the motor from below deck. It was huge in size with two metal projections consisting of three blades each mounted on hubs in the back. "It looks like the EMMA motor," Jane said as she went over and studied it.
Bartholomew followed her and gazed at the device himself. "It is the EMMA motor but it's custom made for a ship, not for a flying machine. According to Professor Emma, it's suppose to make a ship sail faster with the help of these things." He pointed at the projections. "I think they're called propellers or something."
"How do you plan on installing it onto the ship?" questioned the famous bounty hunter.
Bartholomew grinned as he turned to his crew. "Look alive boys!" he shouted. "I want this thing fixed onto the back side of the Sweet Candy, near the water where it can work. Do whatever is necessary to place it. Your lives depend on this machine."
"Yes, Cap'n!" some of the sailors answered as they started to make preparations for installation. A system of pulleys was set among the rigging of the ship and they started t! o haul the motor to the stern of the ship. They then carefully lowered the engine along with several sailors who were tied up in the ropes. "Steady, steady," a sailor said as he supervised the work. He kept on motioning to those who were holding on the ropes to continue lowering the ropes. "Okay! Stop!" the sailor ordered and the men held tight to the ropes.
The sailors that were fixing the engine to the ship began to work. Jane and Bartholomew could hear the clanking of hammers and shouts of rage as they labored as fast as they could. "She's ready!" one of them shouted back as they finished their work. "Just throw the switch next to the helm of the ship." The sailors at the ropes then began to raise the rest of the crew onboard before commencing the operation of the motor.
Bartholomew nodded his head when he saw all of his crew safe amid decks. "All right! Furl the sails!" he ordered. The sails were rolled up and the ship stopped moving. "Brace yourselves! We're in for a quick ride. Start the engine!"
The helmsman nodded as he pushed a red button at the side of the wheel. The propellers slowly started to turn. The ship began to accelerate and soon they were moving quickly across the water that the helmsman was having a difficult time steering the ship.
They were near the strait that led into the Inner Sea. "At this rate, we could reach Adlehyde in three days," Jane cried over the wind.
"What?" Bart yelled. "I can't hear you!" He struggled to move closer as the wind pushed against his bulky figure.
"I said that we could reach Adlehyde in three days!" She had to drag out each word since the wind had a tendency to carry her voice.
"Of course!" He laughed his booming laugh. "Nothing can slow us down!"
The ship sailed onward as the day neared its end.
"Stop the engine and hoist the sails!" Bartholomew instructed. "We're near
land now. The great city of Adlehyde awaits us."
"Wow! We got here faster than expected," Jane said.
"Nonstop, of course," Bartholomew added as they both gazed at the splendid sight. "I had to keep switching helmsmen. Poor Ben couldn't keep up with the power of the engine."
Jane nodded as she continued to stare at the city. No matter how many times she visited the city, which was rarely, she always gaped at it in awe. It was nightfall and the moon was bright. Moonlight reflected off the surface of the ocean giving it a silvery color. She gazed at the city which stood atop a cliff overlooking the ocean. Waves crashed against the rocky face sending silvery spume upward. The blue spires of the castle glowed radiantly under the moon's splendor. She felt the ship turn. She looked away from the sight and gazed at the beach that was approaching.
As the ship shuddered into a stop and the gangplank lowered, Jane ran across deck and unto the gangplank as quickly as she could. "C'mon! Let's go!" she badgered the others. "We can't waste any more time!"
"But it's nightfall," Bartholomew protested. "The town must be asleep. Can't you at least show any courtesy and let them be? We can go tomorrow morning."
Jane shook her head indignantly and said, "No. I'm going with or without you. McDullen?"
The wiry man came forward. Bartholomew slapped his face and groaned. "Don't tell me you're going with her?"
"I always obey milady unlike some ruffian," McDullen bluntly said. "Shall we get going?" He turned to Jane.
"The sooner, the better." Jane stepped out onto the beach. The waves gently lapped at her feet. She began walking towards the castle with McDullen at her heels, leaving two pairs of footprints in the sand.
Jack stirred in his sleep as he heard some commotion out in the halls. He
figured that it was some of the guards arguing about who's the better fighter
and why. He closed his eyes oblivious to the chaos occurring
The commotion intensified even more when Jack tried to go back to sleep. He then heard voices. "I'm sorry but you can't see the king right now," one of the guards said. "You have to come back in the morning."
"To the Abyss I won't!" a feminine voice retorted.
Jack groaned. Who could that be?, he thought. She can wait. He shut his eyes for a moment when suddenly a big bang was heard. His eyes snapped open at the sound of the explosion.
"What is going on out there?" Cecilia yawned.
Jack turned towards her and said, "I'll find out. Just go back to sleep, all right?" He gently kissed her on the cheek and slowly rose out of bed. He put on his robe and slippers and reached for his staff at the side of the bed. He then groggily limped towards the door. He yawned and stretched before attempting to open the door.
He opened the door and shut it silently behind him. He limped towards the corridor, near the stairwell, wherer the voices seem to be coming from and was met with a curious sight. Two guards were fending off a young lady of about Rudy's age with curly blonde hair and an ARM in her hand. She was accompanied by a wiry man, who seem to just hover around the scene.
"Guards!" he called out.
The guards looked back and when they saw Jack, they quickly straightened up in attention. "Your majesty!" they replied in practiced unison.
"Well, it's about time," the young lady muttered.
"You should show to speak with respect to your king," one of the guards scolded.
"My king? I don't even live here," replied the young lady. "But I'm here on official business." She started towards Jack but the guards crossed their spears in front of her, not allowing passage.
Jane placed her fists on her hips. "Do we have! to go through this again?" she scowled.
"Guards, guards, it's all right." Jack came to her rescue as he recognized the bounty hunter. "You may leave us."
The guards lowered their spears and went back to their posts, casting wary glances at Jane. "Nice fellows," Jane smirked.
Jack chuckled. "They are, if you get to know them." He then yawned and remembered why he had awaken. "If you are looking for Rudy, he's not here." Jack went straight to the point.
Jane blushed at the mention of Rudy's name. She then shook her head and replied, "He's not? That's odd. He was always with you guys. Where did he go? When will he return?"
Jack yawned and stretched. "It's a long story that has to wait until morning. But by the way you interrupted my sleep, I figure that it can't wait until morning."
Jane nodded her head. "We have to talk and we have to talk NOW!!! With or without Rudy. Let's go to your room. It's the closest one." Without waiting for a reply, she started marching towards the king's room followed by a silent McDullen. She stopped when she noticed that Jack wasn't following her and turned. "Well?" she asked a little edgily.
Jack was shocked at her tone of voice. "All right," Jack said a moment after. He began limping towards his own room. Only then did Jane notice his condition. Her voice softened as she apologized, "Oh, I see. I'm sorry to have rushed you but it is urgent business."
"I can see that," the king answered as he reached the door. "Please enter." He motioned to the door. "But do be quiet about it. I don't want to wake Cecilia. She needs her rest."
"Really?" Jane wondered as McDullen held the door open for her. She quietly stepped through the portal followed by the king. McDullen was the last to enter the room as he silently shut the door behind him. Jane stopped when the light that was shining from the doorway was shut out by the closing of the door. "I can't see!" she whispered loudly.
"Lower your voice!" the king chided. "Stay ! put. I'll light a torch." He limped carefully to one of the four torches. He felt around the torch for a flint. When he found none, he went to the next torch and felt around it also. He found the flint and began the task of lighting the torch.
Soon a small fire was burning throwing eerie shadows around the room. "Come," he beckoned both Jane and McDullen to the table where he was seated. Jane and McDullen followed the king's example and sat down as well.
"Do you want anything to drink?" the king asked as he saw them settled.
Jane shook her blonde head. "No thank you. I know you're tired but I must tell you this." Jack motioned for Jane to continue wanting to go back to bed as soon as possible. It was hard for him to not think about it since he was just a few steps away from it. "Well," he yawned before continuing, "let's hear it."
"All right," Jane nodded. "I'll begin with the encounter McDullen had with a Dream Chaser. Want to tell him McDullen?"
"Why not?" the wiry man replied. He then turned to Jack. "A Dream Chaser came to Court Seim about a week ago asking for information on the Photosphere."
"The Photosphere?!" Jack exclaimed softly. "It's been twenty years since that thing crashed in the Inner Sea. No one may enter that lair of death anyhow unless they could somehow breathe underwater."
"My thoughts exactly," McDullen agreed. "That's why I told Jane about this Dream Chaser. This information was to be relayed to you as soon as possible. Luckily, Bartholomew stopped by and we booked passage. I guess milady will continue from there."
"We stopped over at Milama Village after three days of sailing from Court Seim," Jane picked up from where McDullen left off. "We rested there for one night before sailing on to Rosetta Town. We sailed for three more days before resting in the town. It was only after a few hours after leaving Rosetta that we saw it. A creature that looked more like a cat than a monster. It had white fur and sharp teeth. But it also ha! d some distinct features of a man. It had hands and feet like a man but they ended in claws, not fingers. Jack, this creature was heading towards the lone island south of Rosetta. You know what that island contains."
"The ruins of Ka Dingel," Jack muttered under his breath. "The way you have described the creature tells me that you have encountered a demon."
"Demons?!" both Jane and McDullen exclaimed a little too loudly.
Jack cringed at their outburst and quickly glanced at Cecilia. She stirred in her sleep but showed no signs of awakening which caused him to sigh in relief. "Keep it down!" he reprimanded them harshly. He sighed as he continued his explanation. "Yes, demons." He then told them about the balls of white light that came from the sky twenty years ago and the encounter with those lights. He continued to tell them about the prophecy that Anje showed and about the fateful homecoming. He then finished his story with the recovery of Cecilia and the twins' departure. "Now tell me," the king requested after finishing his tale, "how did this Dream Chaser look like."
Jane turned to McDullen as he tried to recall. "Well, one thing is certain. I couldn't see his face. All I know is that he was wearing white pants and a white long-sleeved shirt, a hood, mask, and cape. A huge axe was slung across his back."
"Then I know it is them," Jack said firmly. "So they have begun their quest as well. I just hope Rudy and the twins are well on their way."
"Are you sure your children will be able to defeat them?" Jane queried uncertainly.
"It is certain," the king nodded. "Look there." He pointed to Cecilia. "Without Jill, Cecilia would have died. And besides, their attacks were effective against them. We could not do anything but try in vain." He sighed as he leaned back in his chair. "I am too old to fight. I have a kingdom to rule and a wife to care for. My hands are full."
"So you're leaving the fate of the planet in the hands of your children," Jane said. ! "Looks like my journey to Adlehyde was in vain. I thought you guys would do something about them. I guess there is no stopping them from reviving both the Photosphere and Ka Dingel."
Jack nodded solemnly. "As we had failed in stopping the revival of Mother they will too fail in stopping the revival of the Photosphere and Ka Dingel. But in the end, they shall fall as Mother had fallen. I thank you for bringing me this news. You may stay at the guest rooms in the castle as long as you wish. You must be tired from the long journey."
They nodded and stood to leave when someone rapped on the door. "Sire! Sire! You have to come and see this!" a guard shouted urgently through the door.
"Now what?" Jack muttered as he stood up slowly. "If you would excuse me," he said to Jane and McDullen before heading to the door. He opened it and whispered to the guard for a few moments.
Jane couldn't hear what they were saying but later heard the slamming of the door and the echo of hurried footsteps in the hall. Curious, Jane followed the king out as well as McDullen. As they both stepped out of the room, they saw both Jack and the guard hurrying to the balcony and followed them there.
Jane and McDullen stopped at the doorway. The guard was by Jack pointing at a flying shadow above the Inner Sea, then at a faint light reaching into the heavens to the south. His eyes were wide and his face was pale as he shakily continued to point at them.
There was no doubt in Jane's, McDullen's, and Jack's minds. The Photosphere has risen and the magic of Ka Dingel has revived. "They have succeeded," Jack whispered as he continued to stare at the scene.
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