Skylight

Newly fully-fledged warrior Sky has passed her last test in the Training Grounds and can set off on her journey to find the the legendary cursed blade Crucifix with childhood and best friend Blane Nobel. As Sky travels around the world and meets so many people while looking for Crucifix, her journey becomes much more personal and complex than she ever would have imagined.

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6. Castor

I sit on the windowsill looking out at the horizon. The town of Huban goes about its day like normal not knowing what happened last night. I didn't actually sleep much last night. That nightmare came back again and it came back even more intense so I couldn't get back to sleep. The flames felt so real and the scream sounded even more blood-curdling. The nightmare must have come back from the events of last night. Blane managed to sleep fine and I thought that I could sleep long. Blane starts to stir and I turn my head to the window rubbing my eyes feeling tired from the lack of sleep. I look down at the fragment and put my hand on top of it still feeling some strange surge in me but I don't know what it is.

“Did you sleep?” Blane asks.

“An hour. Maybe two.” I answer.

Blane already knows why I'm up or he thinks he knows. Blane thinks it's because of Leah but that's not the only reason why I didn't sleep well. Should I mention the nightmares yet? They aren't causing any trouble with me so I can keep it to myself.

“Don't worry. It's only natural.” I finish.

Blane gets out of his bed and stretches to get rid of some the fatigue from waking up. We can get an early start today as it's only eight in the morning. I feel tired but that's just from the lack of sleep.

“Should we get going then?” Blane asks.

“Yeah while the day's young.” I confirm.

 

Castor is north of Mizar and I didn't think I would be heading back there so soon. I don't know how long we're going to be in Castor for considering that Leah couldn't mention who we'll being seeing when we get there. Blane told me that Castor is a low populated town which I like the idea of as we've been in pretty packed towns the last couple of weeks. I still feel extremely tired. I know that I didn't sleep well but normally it would have passed by now.

“Are you okay? You look pale.” Blane frets.

“Yeah you know I didn't sleep very well last night.” I dismiss.

“It's still a while before we get to Castor. Are you sure you'll be alright?”

“Yeah no problem.”

 

Mizar has seemed to have forgotten about the scene we made down in the port which makes things easier for us but the feeling of fatigue hasn't gone away. In fact it's gotten much worse and now I can feel the world spinning around me and that feeling just won't go away.

“Sky, are you alright?” Blane repeats with growing concern.

“I'm fine.” I lie.

I take another step forward and my legs seem to fail as I nearly fall to the ground but Blane manages to catch me. Why am I feeling this weak? It isn't natural.

“Sky!” Blane shouts lowering me gently to the ground.

“I'm tired but I'll rest when we get to Castor.” I insist.

“Like hell! You should stop here.” Blane argues.

I put my hand on my forehead feeling a sudden pain there but it quickly seems to leave but my unnatural fatigue definitely isn't. I need to keep going. The sooner we get to Castor the better.

“I'll be fine. I can keep going.”

“Flame...”

I get back up feeling dizzy but my feet start moving forward again and Blane has a look of concern on his face but decides to follow me forward regardless.

 

Castor is definitely quiet. There aren't many people here but we haven't got pass the boarder fortress which I guess actually contains the town so this is a secluded town which only certain people can access. Maybe that's why Leah really gave me that fragment so we could get pass here. The entrance to Castor town itself is guarded tightly so there's no chance of being able to sneak inside. I wipe some sweat from my forehead as I keep on feeling worse and worse with each passing second. We approach the entrance and the guards stand directly in our way.

“What business do you have with our town?” The Guard asks.

“My name is Sky and this is Blane. We're here on behalf of a guardian known as Leah. She sent us here but she didn't say what for.” I start.

The guards look at each other not completely convinced by what I just said. I shake my head as my vision starts to blur. This is really starting to worry me.

“For security reasons we need prove of your claims.”

I pull out the fragment hidden underneath my top and they stare closer at the fragment trying to make out what it is to make sure they're sure about what it is.

“That's a fragment but...it's a different colour than the others. Get the sayer!”

I put my hand on my head feeling faint and the next thing I know, I'm already on the ground.

 

I wake up in this bedroom which is even better than some of the inn rooms I've stayed in. It's a normal room but it has more personal touches to it than the rooms I've slept in. Blane sits on the chair on the side of the bed relieved that I'm awake. How long have I been out? Where are we anyway?

“The flame rises. Are you alright?” Blane says.

“I think so. Where are we?” I ask.

“We were brought here when we gained access into Castor but they don't trust us so they locked us in this room in their church. They said they'll see us once they know what to do with us.”

“Well at least we're in here though.” I sigh.

I put my hand on my neck and realise that the fragment is gone and my eyes frantically search around the room looking for it hoping that it's somewhere here because I need to protect that fragment.

“Where's the fragment?” I ask frantic.

“They took it away to see it themselves. They also explained it to me that the reason why you passed out is because of that thing but they didn't explain how that works.”

That must have been what the strange feeling was. The fragment was draining my energy away but the fragment must have some power. Wait, it changed colour when I put it on. It didn't do the same to Leah or it didn't look like it. There are too many questions here.

“How long have you been waiting then?” I ask.

“A few hours now. I wish I knew why it's taking this long.”

I sit on the side of the bed feeling much better now that fragment is off. Still I need answers but I wonder why Leah would trust me with that thing if she knew what it would do to me.

“I need answers.” I sigh.

“Yeah don't we both? Don't worry if they're anything like Leah then nothing bad will happen to us.” Blane assures.

That's true as Leah despite giving us warnings didn't want to cause any harm and that's why I struggle to understand why someone would want to kill her that brutally. Blane was right about the person sending a message but I want to know who it was that's after Crucifix so bad that they're willing to kill.

 

It's evening now and I can see the full moon out of the window here. There's no town outside of here at least I can't see one from here. It's just a green field which looks blue with this night sky. They haven't seen us yet and we've been here all day. Being in the same four walls is really starting to get to me but it must be serious if they're taking this long but I hope that it's something I want to hear.

“How much longer can they take?” I ask pacing across the room.

“Relax. If they wanted us dead, they would have done something by now.” Blane says.

“That's reassuring but then what do they really want with us?”

“We'll find out.”

I sit on the bed knowing that making myself hectic isn't going to help my cause. I'll find out because it has to be important.

“When was the last time we were in a situation like this?” Blane reminiscences.

“I remember. We were in my room back home and you just started to talk to me and you were the first kid to do that because no-one really wanted to know mysterious Sky.”

“Yeah I thought that you needed a friend as no-one seemed to approach you because they thought that you would kill them or something. I was interested and I thought that I had nothing to lose so I decided to talk to you. You warmed to me fairly quickly.”

“Uh huh. I invited you round to mine and then the lock of my room broke and we were stuck in there all day until Liam helped with the lock. I guess after spending the day trapped, we became friends.”

That brings back memories.

 

We were only eight or nine at the time and we had been locked in for a few hours. I looked at it in a optimistic light like a kid would. I looked it like an adventure back then but now I wouldn't.

“When is he getting back?” Blane asked.

“Liam is at the theatre. He'll be there for a while.” I answered.

“Well what can we do then?”

I liked Blane already because I wasn't used to people being friendly to me so I didn't want to bother him in any way.

“I don't know. What do you want to do?”

“Do you have any games in here?”

“No. Liam says that games ruin my own imagination so he doesn't get them.”

“Wow. He sounds boring.”

I laughed out loud at the comment as Blane was rather blunt back then but it was something to enjoy. It wasn't very often that I laughed back then.

“He's alright.” I said recovering from my laughter.

“So what do your friends call you?”

“You know I don't have any. I don't have a nickname.”

I already made peace with people not really that nice to me. They didn't give me any grief but they didn't make the effort to get to know me either. Altar is a big town but kids have a tendency to hear of each other.

“Why is your hair so red?”

“I don't know. No-one's told me.”

“It looks like a fire. Hey, I just thought of a name for you! What do you think of Flame?”

“Flame?”

I looked at my red hair and smiled lightly really liking that name and it never got boring for me which is why Blane still calls me that when things are more casual than serious.

 

I have the same smile on my face right now. It's weird how much can change over time. I used to consider that being in the same place without a way out as an adventure but now it's a nightmare. I miss being a kid in that respect with that strange upbeat look on everything.

“Flame? Thinking about our childhood in that head of yours?” Blane asks.

“Yeah. Better times.”

The door opens and we both stand up eyeing each other briefly and we both see a female walk through the door. She has neck-short blonde hair and blue eyes with this tanned skin. Her hair reminds me of Leah's hair except Leah's hair colour was red and her cut was more elegant. She's also wearing a tight blue top showing her stomach and dark blue skintight pants with brown boots. She has a thing for blue clearly. I feel my heartbeat get slower because of the nerves and wanting to know desperately what they kept us waiting for.

“Come with me then.” She tells us.

 

She leads us to a ruined church which looks like it has been this way for a while now. It's quite unsettling to be honest. The front wall has been knocked out and I can see outside into the dark night. It's freezing in here. Winter is definitely coming now. A young man comes out from the side door looking at the both of us with intrigue. He's pale like he rarely goes outside of this church. I don't know what to expect.

“So you two are the visitors?” He asks.

“Yeah.” Blane confirms.

“Welcome to Castor. I'm the sayer here. My name is Rio and you've met Kristi already.”

A sayer is another way of saying psychic but I'm always sceptical of psychics considering that some of them have predicted the end of the world many times and yet we're still here.

“I'm not really a believer.” I say.

“Is that your opinion as a warrior?” Kristi asks.

“You what?”

“A warrior. It's what you are.”

I didn't mention that as I was unconscious for most of the day. They've seen our weapons so it isn't that much of a leap to make. I'm still not convinced yet.

“Kristi's predictions might not always be precise.”

“Doesn't look like it to me.” Blane disagrees. “Keep on going.”

“You two come from so far away.” Kristi continues.

“She's pretty good.” I comment.

“Not just her. The pair from Altar?”

“What?” Blane questions.

This is really starting to scare me. How can they even know where I'm from? Word does spread easy about warriors but in a secluded place like this...

“The images are frightening, Sky. Your secrets are hidden in the flames of nightmares, aren't they?” Rio tells me.

I feel a shiver go up my spine as only I know about my nightmares but how does it connect to my secrets? I don't have any related to flames unless it's a secret kept from me.

“Sky?” Blane says just as freaked out by this as me.

“As for you, Blane. There will be no other way.” Rio mentions.

Blane and I look at each other not knowing in the slightest what that means. My heart is pounding like it's about to come out of my chest.

“Sky, you're returning.” Kristi tells me.

“Returning? Returning where?” I question.

They stop all of a sudden not wanting to reveal anymore about us. I don't even want to know anymore because I'm really scared by how much they know already although I still have so many more questions now. They've proven their point and that's all they needed to do.

 

I rest my head in my hands still really bothered by what happened just thirty minutes ago. How am I supposed to move past that? They haven't told us why we're here. I really want to get it over with now.

“Flame, tell me something.” Blane says.

“What?”

“What did Rio mean by nightmares?”

I seem to pause when he asks that. I can't lie as those two just revealed things about me that only Blane and I know and even things that we don't know anything about.

“I've been having these nightmares recently. They aren't a big deal. I just want them to stop and I don't know what they're about.” I explain.

“Why didn't you tell me?”

“They don't seem that important at least to me. Why? Is it a problem?”

“No. I just wish you would tell me this stuff. I'm your closest friend.”

I sigh feeling guilty that I didn't tell him now but with everything that I just saw, I'll be careful about what I should know and do. Kristi and Rio enter into the room and I feel nervous as I still can't stop thinking about what happened earlier.

“We're sorry if we scared you two.” Kristi apologises.

“We'll survive.” I respond.

“So why do you need us?” Blane asks.

“Truth is that Sky is the one we need to be sure of. We know what we need with you Blane.” Rio explains.

Me again? Leah said that I was the one that she wanted to be sure of? What aren't these people telling me?

“We have a test of your heart prepared for you that you have to take in your mind. Basically you'll be asleep while you're being tested so there's no danger of death but you will be highly vulnerable during this time.”

So I have a test while I'm dreaming? It sounds simple enough but it's definitely going to be harder than Rio is making it sound.

“And I'm here because...?” Blane asks.

“Whoever killed Leah might be heading here so I need help with defending the boarder just in case we're attacked. Also more importantly to keep her safe for a while. The test can go on for a long time.” Kristi says. “You have your own part to play as well.”

That makes me worried but I'm going to have to put that aside when I start this test. I want answers as much as info about Crucifix. I sigh deeply knowing that I have to do this.

“Alright. I'm ready.” I decide.

“Are you sure?” Rio asks.

“You better be careful, Blane.”

“I will be. You'll be safe.”

I nod my head and take another sigh feeling my heart beat much faster.

I'm not sure about this but I have to do it anyway. It's not like I have a choice in the matter. I can't keep that fragment with me if I don't. The one worry that I have is that I may not be the same person after this and that might be a good thing or a bad thing. One way to find out for sure. Rio puts his hands on both sides of my face and I take a deep breath as I feel myself drift away.

 

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