I couldn’t believe my eyes. What did that song mean? I looked at Gwaine. He stood there in awe. I turned to Emrys as I saw him with excitement in his eyes.
“What was that?” I asked.
Both Gwaine and Emrys looked at me as if I had sprouted an extra head.
“It was a prophecy,” Emrys said in awe. He looked at the golden ball in his hands again. “This is a Golden Veritas. It is from the old religion. Whenever there is a prophecy it comes to those who the prophecy belongs to. It’s a riddle, a solution to a problem. It comes to elves as they are the masters of prophecy. The Veritas only speaks when in the hands of an elven blood. It spoke to me. It spoke to us. This is it. This is the reason why we’re here.”
I looked at him weirdly. That riddle was about us! It made no sense. How could that be about us? It was talking of saving the world. I stared at the Veritas. How could I be a part of this? I didn’t even know that elves and faeries existed until an hour ago. There has to be something wrong. It can’t be me. It can’t be.
When I stopped with the internal monologue I looked up to see Gwaine and Emrys look at each other. They looked back at me. They had fear in their eyes. Why? My eyes questioned. Gwaine shook his head as if to clear his mind of his thoughts. He then looked back up with a determination.
“We’ve got to work out what the prophecy is saying,” he ordered. He looked around, with a resolved look. He was determined about not letting something happen, but I didn’t get what. I looked around; Emrys had recovered from his state of shock and was now looking at me and Gwaine with the same determination. I was confused. What did they know that I didn’t? Then Gwaine began to talk again.
“A world oblivious, ignorant, fragile. That’s referring to the human world, that much is obvious. The next line is Holds the key to the one in denial. I think that’s referring to Typhoon, but I don’t know what he’s in denial about,” pondered Gwaine.
Emrys replied, “Typhoon isn’t aware that he has led a life that will lead to his doom. The prophecy is about the death of Typhoon. That’s probably what he’s in denial about as he’s too arrogant and proud to see that he will be fought.”
Gwaine and I nodded at this. It made sense. I continued, having had remembered the next line. “Seven realms merged as one. That probably referring to the seven continents of the world,” I suggested. The other two looked at me confused and then Emrys’s eyes lit up.
“I remember studying that once,” he exclaimed. He turned to look at Gwaine and continued, “The humans have this weird thing where they split the world into sections, where each section is called a continent.” He said the last word with quotation marks in the air. I looked at them as if they were being ridiculous but then I remembered that this world was new to them and they didn’t know the way things worked here. Of course they’d be excited by something new. I shook my head and sighed.
“The next line was Hold the key to fight as one. What does that mean?” I asked.
Gwaine answered. “I think it means we will need to search each realm for some sort of object. We’ll figure it out as we go. The next line is Weapons, magick, sorcery, trickery; Forged together by destined tyranny. What does that mean?”
“That’s probably what we use to kill Typhoon. The magick you have, Gwaine. The sorcery I have. And the weapons have to be used by our fair human friend here,” Emrys mocked. I growled. Then a thought occurred to me.
“Where am I going to get these so called weapons from?” I asked. Emrys pondered as Gwaine spoke out loud.
“Maybe that’s what we will find in these continents,” he suggested. We nodded in comprehension. And so we carried on our riddle solving.
“The next line is Three shall fight and rise as one; The fourth shall see his death become. That probably refers to us three killing Typhoon. The line after that is The Green shall fight with bravery, reverence; And fight with him shall water’s benevolence. What does that mean?” I asked the other two.
They both smiled. “Green’s our nick name for you humans,” laughed Gwaine. I scowled. Why were we called that? I thought. As if he read my mind Emrys answered.
“Your planet is anything but green, so we call it that in irony,” he smiled. I cracked a smile. That was so true, I thought. We laughed for a while before sobering up with the situation before us. “The part about your bravery is probably your personality trait that makes you perfect for this job. I don’t know what the water reference is though,” Emrys wondered.
Gwaine carried on the riddle. “Then is goes The faerie hath no fear in love; And with him shall fight air’s winged dove. That refers to me and my inability to see the ones I love hurt,” he said with that determined look as he looked between Emrys and I. “Again, I don’t know what the dove reference is.”
Emrys shook his head. “It doesn’t matter. Let’s carry on. The line after that is The elf, so short, shall fight so tough; For he hath flames, harsh and rough. That obviously refers to me. The short comment is just plain rude and the flames comment… I don’t know what that means, but as I said, let’s move on.”
“Then is goes Four paths have this fate entwined; One shall die by strengths combined. That probably is referring to Typhoon’s impending doom,” Gwaine continued. The other two looked at each other funnily as I tried to remember the next line. I thought hard as it finally came back to me.
“Of the victors, one shall fail; One shall lose, the other prevail,” I remembered. And then I froze when I realised what I had just said. “What does that mean?” my voice wavered. Did that mean that only one of us was going to survive this? I gulped. I looked around and saw that everyone had the same fear in their eyes. It all came crashing down on me. We weren’t going to just save the world; we were going on a suicide mission. I looked around in stunned silence. Then I looked around with a fierce determination. Despite the risks, we are going to do this. I looked around to find the equal determination around me. We were going to face the risks and do this. We had no other choice.
“Where do we start first?” I asked. “There are seven continents, which do we search in first and where? It will take us forever to find our first place,” I sighed frustrated. Gwaine and Emrys realised how big of a problem this was going to be. We all looked down as we tried to come up with a plan on where to go and which places to search. I raked my brain through. Where would we go? I stood there trying to think of a continent we could start at when suddenly I heard Emrys laugh out loud. Both Gwaine and I looked up at him in anger. Here we were stuck on where to go to do our job and he was laughing. I glared at him, when I realised he was holding some piece of paper in his hand.
Emrys looked up and smiled. “I think we have a clue,” he smiled. “It was in the Veritas.” We walked over to see that he had indeed had a clue in his hand.
As the snow falls on the ground;
Stand they will until they’re found.
Ice so large, a palace build;
A first for all, the magick begins.
We all looked at each other. What did this mean? I was beginning to get frustrated. If the world needed our help so much, why weren’t we just getting jobs to do, rather than have all these riddles? What sick psycho sat there and made these riddles to torture us. I racked my brain to think of something. Gwaine snatched the piece of paper from Emrys’s hand. He looked at me.
“What is ASIA?” he made it sound weird, like aa-see-a. I looked at him confused.
“You mean Asia. It’s a continent, why?” I asked. Gwaine smiled. He gave me the paper in my hand.
“What does the first word of every line spell?” he asked, still smiling. I sighed frustrated and looked down at the piece of paper. I smiled wide. It spelt Asia. It spelt Asia. Wow! I laughed out loud. The feeling was euphoric. We had found out the first continent. I looked at Emrys and laughed.
“We found our first continent,” I gushed. It felt amazing. We were on the right track. I looked back at Emrys. He still had a worried look on his face. I stopped. “What’s wrong Emrys?” I asked. He looked up at me worried.
“You said it yourself, the continents are large, and where will we go there?” he asked. I looked at him. He had a point. Where would we go? I turned to get the paper from Emrys’s hand. I pulled it from his fingers and read the riddle again. I smiled.
“The riddle’s talking of an ice palace. And not just any ice palace. The first ice palace ever built,” I gushed. Gwaine and Emrys looked at me confused. I looked back at them and then all but shouted out loud, “It’s the ice palace in St Petersburg, in Russia!”
The others looked at me. First they were confused as to what I was saying but then they cottoned on to the fact that I knew where we were going and smiled in ecstatic relief. We all looked at each other and smiled. We were relieved. We knew the first part of our journey.
We looked at each other as I tried to formulate a plan in my head in order to get away from my parents for some time, without them getting suspicious. I took a deep breath in and began packing. I took out a few shoulder bags I had and ordered the others to grab some clothes and essentials. They both looked about my size, although, maybe my clothes would be slightly big on Emrys, but that wouldn’t be a problem. We all silently packed our stuff in a bag before I motioned for them to be quiet as I walked over to my door. I opened the door and walked out. I told the other two to stop there and then walked down. I realised that the coast was clear so I called the others down and then quietly opened the door and let them out. I gave them by shoulder bag and whispered instructions.
“Go to the end of the road and wait for me there,” I ordered. They nodded and turned to leave. I closed the door quietly and then took a deep breath in. I turned around and walked towards the living room, where I could hear my parents talking. I felt really guilty but I knew I would have to do this. Come on Arthur. You know you can do this.
I walked into the room and stood by the end of the couch. I shuffled from foot to foot. My parents stopped watching television and turned shocked at my sudden appearance. They continued looking at me that way before recovering their selves and then smiling widely.
“What’s wrong honey?” my mother was first to ask. I looked at her and then took a deep breath in.
“Mother, you know how stressful work has gotten over the past few days. I was wondering whether I could have a break. I mean, there are no exams until a month from now and in school we are doing nothing but studying through everything we’ve already learnt, in preparation for the exams. I was thinking that studying for the exams in a relaxing holiday would be a great idea for me to calm down and distress before the exams. I wanted to ask for your permission to go,” I explained calmly.
Both my parents let out the air they had held in, in relief. They smiled genuinely in relief. They were happy I was trying to aim high. Why had they held their breaths? What did they expect me to tell them? I mean, really, I do nothing but try to please them from day one and you get no trust, I sighed mentally. Mother looked at father, before smiling.
“We have no problem with you doing that. As long as you are studying well for your exams, we have no problems,” my mother cooed as I visibly relaxed. Both my parents smiled at me before I took a really deep breath in.
“Mother, father, do you mind if I leave for my holiday tonight?” I asked fearfully.
They both looked at me worriedly. “Why tonight, Arthur?” father asked. “What’s the rush?”
I looked at both of them and breathed out through my nose. “I thought that if I went on the holiday tonight then I could reach by tomorrow and start studying. That way I get more time to study and get ready for my exams,” I lied through my teeth.
My parents smiled, pleased with my answer. Oh, if only they knew the truth. “Do you want me to book the tickets, Arthur?” asked father. I panicked and answered, all too quickly.
“No!” I shouted. “I mean, I’m not sure as to where I want to go yet, so I’ll decide when I get to the airport.” My parents seemed to buy the lie and nodded. I told them that I had my bag packed and was ready to go. I picked up the last bag that I left in the hallway and walked towards the door. I looked back to see my parents waving at the door. I swallowed back a sob. I didn’t know if I would ever see them again. I waved goodbye as I picked up my bag and turned around. I closed the gate and felt as if I was closing the gate to the world I knew. I was stepping into the unknown. A world full of dangers was out there, and I knew that if I survived or not, life was never going to be quite the same again.