The Hidden Key.

The faery world is in danger as a tyrrant takes over the lands... The elven lands are at their worst yet... The human world is ignorant as ever. Three worlds blur. Fates are entwined. Destiny holds the only key to survival. What do you do when there's nothing you can do?

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5. And Then There Were Three

Emrys

Washington D.C.

             I had used the very little magick I knew to dull the two figures senses and make them unconscious for a while. I eased the window open and jumped in. I looked around. There were only two people in the room. They were both lying on the floor, sprawled out. They both looked as if they would stay that way for at least a good part of the next 10 or so minutes.

            Great, Emrys! Now what exactly are you planning on doing now? I looked around. What had I planned on doing? I didn’t know. I just came along, as if I couldn’t be stopped. My amulet had glowed and I had known that I had to follow them. I didn’t know why but I just knew I had to do so. The two looked harmless enough. The boy, I think his name is Arthur, had been at the caged forest. He looked pensive about something when I was there. I had followed him and saw him meet the other lad. Arthur had been courteous and polite. He had actually cared about a guy he had never seen before. I felt as if I could trust him immediately. And then I followed them to here. What did I think I was going to achieve by following them? I think I had hoped that they would know how to get me home.

            I looked back down at them. They were still lying sprawled on the floor. I looked around as I waited for them to come round. As I looked around the large room, realisation dawned on me. Oh no, no, no! I thought. How am I going to explain why I made them unconscious? I was such a moron. I paced the room up and down worriedly as I tried to work out a way to solve this unforeseen problem.

            I remained pacing for what would have been minutes. I looked down. They were both still unconscious. I continued to pace. Oh God, how am I going to explain? I thought. I heard a shuffling noise from the floor. I looked down. There were both still on the floor. I looked around. What was that noise? I looked towards the window. I was pretty sure it had come from there. I slowly placed one foot after the other and made my way to the open window. My breathing had raced, as well as my heart rate. I subconsciously grabbed onto my amulet in my pocket. It had become an instinct. I edged closer to the window. There I stopped. I looked outside of the window. There was no one there. I visibly exhaled in relief. But then I heard a strange noise again. It was getting louder and louder. I looked outside. I froze. I saw a shadow coming towards the house. The shadow grew in size and came closer. I was nearly here. I was getting closer and closer. I wondered who it was. Or rather what it was. The shadow elongated as it got closer. I froze; ready to perform magick if I would have to. I took a step closer and I crouched. I stayed crouched until finally it came into view. I raised my hands, the magick already flowing through my body. I aimed at the shadow and then… Wait! Is that a person? I looked closer and indeed it was just an old man walking down the road. I kept my hands raised just in case. My hands followed his every move until he was well and truly out of the way. As soon as he walked round the corner I sagged against the floor in relief. I was on edge today. Not surprising really, when you manage to be pulled away from your world by an amulet. I sat down and drew in calm breath. I breathed in and out. In and out. In and…

            Darkness had washed over me as I felt pain shoot from the back out of my head. My eyes were heavy, demanding I close them at once. My hands reached up for my head. I held the sore sphere. It was throbbing. I struggled to keep my eyes open. But it was useless. The darkness was washing over me slowly I sank into a deep, deep sleep…

 

***

            I felt a dull throbbing in the back of my head as I lay there in the darkness. The first sounds I heard were the murmured voices in my head. I groaned and rolled around as the pain made my head feel like a ball of steel. The voices in my head stopped. I continued groaning as I tried to open my heavy eyes. I lifted them slowly, only to find I was surrounded by blinding light. Is this what heaven looks like? I thought. My eyes finally adjusted to the room around me. Where was I? I tried to remember. Amulet. Portal. Arthur. I groaned. It was useless. I couldn’t remember much. Just then I saw two boys, the same age as me, walk in front of me with sticks made of some sort of shiny black metal. I looked at the boy on the right. He had brown trousers with leather boots and a red tunic. The boy on the left had black trousers, black shoes and some sort of tight white tunic with buttons all the way down it. I looked at the second boy clearly. I know him from somewhere, I thought. I looked closer. There’s definitely something familiar about this boy. Then it all came flooding back to me. This was Arthur. I was meant to ask them for their help. Yes, but you managed to mess up and now they’re trying to club you to death. Great going, oh wise one. I mentally told that little voice in my head to shut up as I decided I was going to try and make a plea for my life.

            “What’s your name?” asked the other boy gruffly. I wanted to make some retort back, and then remembered that I was trying to make a good impression.

            “My name is Emrys,” I replied. As I had their attention I decided to carry on whilst I had the chance. “I mean no harm to either of you. I’m stuck and need your help to get back home.”

            “What are you doing here?” the other boy asked me.

            “I got here accidentally. I have no idea what I’m doing here,” I replied.

            “Why did you attack us?” asked Arthur. Well, now. That was a tricky question to answer. Why did I attack them? As I took a moment pondering for the right answer, Arthur grew impatient. “If you don’t tell us why you attacked us quick, I will hit you with this baseball hat,” he threatened. Ah, so it was called a baseball bat, I thought.

            “I didn’t know if you were going to listen to me or not. So I attacked you so I could have your attention,” I replied.

            “And you thought hurting us would make us listen to you,” retorted Arthur. The other boy was silent. He was staring at me with curious eyes, pensive. I stayed silent. I looked at the floor - half because I was ashamed of what I did, and half because the staring from the other boy was making me nervous. After a few moments of an awkward silence the other boy spoke out.

            “What are you?” he asked. “When you attacked us, you used magick. It wasn’t very strong, but it was definitely there.”

            I looked at him scared. How did he know that I used magick? Humans didn’t know anything about us. They were ignorant. And they surely were not meant to be able to feel our magick, I thought. Arthur looked confused between the two of us. Then he decided to stare at me, curious for the answer too.

            “I’m an elf,” I stated matter-of-factly. They both stared at me. Arthur looked more confused than ever. The other boy looked shocked.

“How did you get here?” whispered the other boy both loudly and harshly.

Oh, so now they listen to me, I grumbled in my mind. I sighed. Facing the floor, I began my story. “That was what I was trying to explain before. I don’t know what brought me here. It was a portal of some sort.

“I was walking towards my friend, Gaius’, house when suddenly I heard a bird chirping as if it were in trouble. I went towards it and healed it with my magick. I set it off into the sky and stared. As I was watching it, I felt a cold chill run down my neck.” I saw the other boy stiffen beside Arthur. “I got scared and immediately ran off. I ran for a long time before I realise that no one was behind me. I stopped and looked around for it. There was nothing there. And then I tripped. I fell onto the floor. There I found this deep red amulet. As I touched it, I was pulled into this world.

“I ended up in that caged forest. While I was standing there trying to figure out what to do, you,” I pointed at Arthur, “came along. I didn’t know who you were so I didn’t show myself. I followed you and saw you help him,” I pointed at the other boy, “and so I figured maybe you could be kind enough to help me too. But then when I came to your house I panicked. I realised that of course you’d help a human,” the other boy snorted, “but you probably would be terrified when I told you that I was an elf.”

There was a long pause. They both looked deep in thought. Then they both looked up at each other. There was some sort of understanding between them. “So, it was you who followed us home?” asked Arthur. I nodded and he looked down.

He looked at the other boy and asked for his opinion. “Gwaine?” Oh, so his name’s Gwaine, I thought. I looked back at both of them hopeful.

“So, will you two help me?” I asked, unable to keep the hope from my voice. They both looked at me and nodded.

“I’m in need of similar help to you,” explained the other boy. I mean, Gwaine. “You see, I’m a faery.”

            I gasped in shock. How did I not realise that? I thought. It explained the normal clothes. It also explained how he recognised my magick. “How… How did you get here?” I stuttered.

            “A lot like you, actually,” he replied. Great, well that clears everything, doesn’t it? He stopped and stared out of the window before turning to Arthur. Arthur nodded his head at him in encouragement. Gwaine sighed. Then he took a deep breath in before starting to talk.

            “I was at school when it started. I had been put in detention. As punishment I had to clean the hippogriff stables.” I couldn’t help myself but start to laugh. Uh oh. That was not a smart move as I now had Gwaine giving me death glares. “What do you think is funny?” he growled.

“Uh, nothing. It’s just; you must have done something really bad to have to clean the hippogriff stables,” I lamely replied.

Gwaine grunted in disgust. “I did nothing,” he spat. “It was that Eric. He tried to get me into trouble.”

“Looks like he did a pretty darn good job at it too,” I spoke quietly to myself. I looked up to see a smirk on Arthur’s face. Darn, they heard me, I thought. I slowly turned to look at Gwaine, afraid of his response. He looked as if he was being physically forced to stand still there. I knew that if he had his own way he would tear me apart into small pieces. “Sorry,” I murmured. Gwaine stood there seething. He paused before he continued explaining his story.

“Well, long story short, I got chased by some cold chill and ended up falling down a black hole. It was a portal to the human world.”

            I stood there speechless. He felt the chill too. What does this mean? My thoughts were frantic. I was confused. I looked up to see the rest. They all looked pensive. Arthur stood rubbing his chin. He looked at the floor deep in thought. It was quiet as everyone stood trying to link the two events.

            Finally he looked up and stared between me and Gwaine. He rubbed his chin and then began to speak. “Isn’t it weird how both of you ended up here? It seems more than just a coincidence. I mean, what are the odds that both of you meet an evil spirit that scares you into a forest and then throws you down a portal? One of you, I can understand, but both of you together. There’s more to this than just a coincidence. And what’s even weirder is that both of you end up with me. Somehow, both of you managed to trust me of all the people in Washington. Why? There’s more to this than just a silly mess up. Something, someone has brought you two here. I don’t know who that someone is but there is definitely something fishy about this. It could be that old man that brought you here, Gwaine. And Emrys, it could be the same person or another, who is in cahoots with him. They have brought the three of us together and for a reason. The question is what is the reason for bringing the three of us together?”

            Both Gwaine and I stood there watching Arthur with our mouths hanging wide. He was right. This wasn’t just a coincidence. There was more to it than just that. But how are we going to find out? We stood there looking between each other. We all had the same question in our eyes. Why us? We all took a seat as we thought this through.

            As we sat, we all stared at the floor, deep in thought. Just then a cold breeze rushed through the open window. A small, golden ball came flying through the window. I stared at it in shock. What was it doing here? I stared with my mouth wide open and stood up, watching it. It whizzed round the room, crashing into the wall once, before carrying on its journey. This isn’t right. This can’t be right. The other two ducked and crouched on the floor as they stared at the Golden Veritas in horror.

            I heard Arthur shout, “What is that thing?”.

I didn’t answer. I walked closer to the Veritas. Awed by it I raised my hand for it to rest. The Veritas slowed down and gracefully waltzed into my hand. It lay there with its marks dancing around its shell. It was beautiful. It had a hard golden shell. The shell was engraved with the markings of the old religion. The markings moved around the shell as it sat in my hand. Then the shell broke open and out came its beautiful song.

“A world oblivious, ignorant, fragile;

Holds the key to the one in denial.

Seven realms, merged as one;

Hold the key to fight as one.

Weapons, magick, sorcery, trickery;

Forged together by destined tyranny.

Three shall fight and rise as one;

The fourth shall see his death become.

The Green shall fight with bravery, reverence;

And fight with him shall water’s benevolence.

The faerie hath no fear in love;

And with him shall fight air’s winged dove.

The elf, so short, shall fight so tough;

For he hath the flames, harsh and rough.

Four paths have this fate entwined;

One shall die by strengths combined.

Of the victors, one shall fail;

One shall lose, the other prevail.”

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