Throught the Night

A world on the edge of war. A boy who hosts a dormant evil on the brink of being unleashed. A tortured woman with a dark past. An ex-prisoner with an infinite stash of secrets. A blind assassin who knows nothing but bloodshed and darkness. All of these come together in an unlikely band to join the rebellion against the forces of hell itself. But when the skeletons in their closets come out to play, who will find themselves on heaven's side, and who will burn?

9Likes
7Comments
2278Views
AA

4. A Meeting With Truth

"No, killing him is out of the question. We need him alive," Sahra Restorvallé commanded in an authoritative voice. The war room was suddenly silent. A few of the officers exchanged frustrated glances, but everyone knew better than to argue directly with the princess.

"Your highness," started the general cautiously. "It's very risky to try using him. We don't even know what kind of power he can unlock. It could destroy both the rebellion and our armies."

"It's just one boy," piped up Kethan. "Me and my spellcasters can handle him. We'll figure out how to master the weapon. We can't just destroy him."

The king had been silent for some time. He sat at the head of the long oak table. The chamber was dim, lit only by the fire in the large hearth. This cast everyone into shadow, and made the king look even more menacing and powerful than usual. That was the room's desired affect. Arkuros studied each of his children. Sahra, supreme commander over Zaré's army, cut a strangely imposing figure despite of her slender frame. She was standing, leaning intensely over the table and gesturing to the small figurines that represented different battalions. Her violet eyes looked like they were aflame in the firelight.

"We can only send a few to retrieve him," the king began. "It's a race. He's being protected. All of our efforts have been in vain. Every time we send a team of assassins, they die. We're wasting resources here. It's our last resort, but we need to send Raven. He's the only one that I can think of that can do the job."

The attention in the room shifted to the kings youngest son, leader of Zaré's stealth unit, the Hunters. He was slouching in his seat, fiddling with two of the figurines, looking bored and uninterested. His scarred face looked gruesome in the dark. He didn't answer, but sighed and tossed the figurines onto the table, knocking all of them down.

"Well?" asked an impatient Kethan. The kings eldest son was Sahelleve's best spellcaster, but was also lacking the wit it took to be a leader. The king tried not to regret letting him become commander of the Caer Vexekci every day. But he needed all of his pieces to be close, and having his three children lead the three combat units was necessary.

"I say we kill him," said Raven finally. "If the legend is true, I don't think Kethan and the Caer Vexekci can handle what's living inside the boy. Just send me, I'll do it."

Kethan stood up in sudden anger.

"You think I'm incapable? What makes you more suited for the job?" He inquired dangerously. A low murmur filled the room. If there was something formidable about Kethan, it was his temper.

"Yes, I do think you're incapable." Raven leaned forward in his seat, suddenly focused. "If that...thing inside of this child is even half as powerful as the stories, and you mess up, it can wipe us out. Our armies can crush the rebellion as it is now, can't they Sahra?" All eyes turned to Sahra. She nodded reluctantly. Raven continued. "They're hardly a problem at this point. Just a minor irritation."

"But we don't know where they are, that's the problem,” Sahra said. ”We need his power to weed them out. They have potential to cause some damage. I don't want to let them grow. Jalen isn't an amateur. Even if we can win this war, it will cost us heavy losses."

"If we lose control over the demon, we will loose everything. Let me kill the boy," Raven's voice was low and filled with the cold bloodlust that he was notorious for. "He's the rebellion's last hope. They can't hope to win without him. If he's out of the picture, they will face us eventually and be destroyed."

"It's been fourteen years," Arkuros spoke, and the room immediately fell silent. "We have been waiting so long and watching the stars carefully. Last year, we were shown in the heavens who the vessel is. In one year, the demon's power will be at its peak. We need the boy alive. You will not kill him," the king spoke in the blind prince's direction. There was a slight pause as everyone in the room digested this decision. Then, Raven shoved his seat away from the table in annoyance. Before his youngest could protest, the king continued. "And furthermore, Kethan will not be the one to extract the demon's power. He is not capable. Neither is Raven. It is only I who can complete such a task." Kethan looked furious, red splotches blooming in his cheeks. But he said not a word.

"We know that the rebellion is also trying to find this creature, but I do not believe that they know who the creature is possessing. In that way, we have an advantage. They have no idea where to look. However, the boy is being protected." The king stood. "I believe I know who this vigilante is. Some of you may also have guessed it as well."

"Father...," Sahra looked apprehensive. "It's not..."

"The Normann," finished Raven casually. A couple surprised gasps echoed throughout the war chamber.

"Oh, come on." Kethan slammed his fist onto the table, causing a few more figurines to tumble. "'The Normann' is just a stupid legend. He was just another traitor who died in the dungeons years ago. Don't be children. He's either dead or never existed. It's prob-" Suddenly, Kethan broke off, clutching his throat. His face turned an alarming shade of purple-red and a vein throbbed in his temple.

"Idiot boy." Arkuros cut off the spell, letting Kethan choke for air. "It is indeed the Normann, and he is indeed very real and alive. But I believe that Raven can handle him." Every head turned apprehensively towards the blindfolded prince.

"Yes, my lord." He stood. "When do I leave?"

"You'll be debriefed as soon as this council is adjourned. And bring him to me alive." The king gestured for all to stand.

"You're dismissed." Arkuros disappeared in a cloud of black smoke.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The silence was tense. Kimiko had tried to start a conversation a couple times with no luck. Jasper was apparently not one for idle chatter. And Hachi was completely cold towards her. She didn't blame him. They trudged onward in the dying light, the fields around them buzzing with insects and the occasional owl hoot.

"When are we stopping?" asked Hachi, the first words he had spoken in at least three hours.

"Next city," Jasper replied stoically. He led the small group, and Kimiko had had a full afternoon of staring at his broad back.

"Well, I'm glad the trip went so fast," she let the sarcasm drip from her words. "Time just flies when you have such interesting conversations, you know? And it just boosts moral like nothing else."

No one answered her. Hachi just cast a glare in her direction. Kimiko sighed. She stopped walking.

It took the other two a few more steps to realize that she had stopped.

"What the hell?" Hachi's voice broke in exasperation.

"We have to keep moving." Jasper turned and faced her for the first time since the assassin attack. Kimiko merely stood with her arms over her chest, one eyebrow raised in a challenge.

"Kimiko." She had never heard Hachi sound so angry.

"I'm not going anywhere until you explain more to us. We at least have a right to know what you know." She meant it, too. She hated being kept in the dark. Jasper still didn't say anything. He looked from Kimiko to Hachi, as if looking for help.

"You don't have to deal with a stubborn woman much, do you?" Hachi grumbled to Jasper. "It's best to just give in."

"He's right," Kimiko nodded. Jasper sighed once and looked impatiently around, as if expecting more assassins any second.

"Fine, but not here. When we find a place to lie low for the night in the capitol, I'll explain as much as I can." His voice was rough and deep.

"Your word," Kimiko demanded. Jasper exhaled sharply in annoyance.

"You have my word."

"Super." Kimiko marched forward, passing them both.

It was completely dark by the time the had reached the next city, Lonerry, capitol of Anglesia. The city was massive, and the streets were full of life despite the late hour. Kimiko had to struggle to keep up with Jasper in the surging crowd as they searched for an inn. Kimiko noticed that they passed by several nice-looking inns, but said nothing. As much as she hated it, she trusted that Jasper would know better than her where to hide. Finally, they came to a mediocre little building on a busy little street. It wasn't the lowest class, but it wasn't exactly nice either. The street was loud and bustling. The narrow alleys partly concealed suspicious figures. The buildings were crammed in messy rows and were covered in chipped paint.

They entered the small inn.

"One room." Jasper said in fluent Anglese. He dropped a sufficient amount of coins on the table. The clerk nodded and handed a key over without a word. Then the three of them made their way up the rickety, dim staircase.

"This isn't shady at all," Hachi whispered.

"Why did you only get one room?" Kimiko asked when they reached their door.

"It's harder to guard two. I'll stand watch." He nodded for them to enter.

Kimiko sat on the dusty bed. "Okay, mister. Start talking." Hachi sat down next to her and they both stared up at Jasper expectantly. He sat in a wooden chair by the window, the moonlight coloring his blond hair silver and casting his face in shadow.

"You're being hunted," he started. Hachi laughed.

"Like we didn't know that."

"By Arkuros."

This silenced Hachi. He gulped. The king of Zaré held power over every land in Terrestia. Kimiko and Hachi had both grown up in his empire, but they had managed to avoid running into his soldiers or assassins for the most part. Now, things had just gotten real. Once the king wanted your head, you were in serious trouble.

"Why is he hunting us? How many assassins are after us?" Kimiko struggled to keep the panic out of her voice.

"It can't be said for sure. But they want you." He pointed at Hachi.

"Why me? I'm no one."

"That's not true. You're a vessel. You always have been, but the king just recently discovered who you are. And he wants your power." Jasper said this like it wasn't a big deal.

"What do you mean by vessel? I'm not powerful! I have no idea what you're talking about!" Hachi sounded terrified.

"You never told him?" Jasper asked Kimiko in an accusatory tone.

"I... It was against his father's wishes...," Kimiko couldn't meet Hachi's eyes. "King wanted his son to live quietly. We never dreamed that Arkuros would find out."

"Well he has," Jasper said. "He has more power than you think. He has knowledge of such black magic and evil spells that he knows the secrets of hell itself. Through some witchcraft, he has been shown the location of the demon who escaped from the underworld fourteen years ago. He has discovered its vessel, and he wants it. Wants you." Jasper let it sink in.

"Wait, you're not saying-" Hachi's voice cracked.

"You're the physical form that the demon chose. It was wounded when it escaped from hell, and so it has needed time to heal. It lies sleeping, dormant, in you right now. But the king will draw it out in a years time, as soon as it is ready to fight. He will enslave it, and use it to conquer the remaining armies who oppose him."

"The rebellion," Hachi whispered. "Why haven't they come for me?"

"They know about the demon. They have spies in Sahelleve. But they haven't yet discovered that it is you, otherwise the would have found you by now."

"They would have either killed him or dissected him," Kimiko broke in. "I couldn't take that risk."

"So that's why we left them? You knew this whole time?" Hachi looked at Kimiko, feeling betrayed.

"You stayed with the resistance?" Jasper suddenly sounded acutely interested.

"We knew about the demon as soon as Hachi was born. We don't know why it chose him, but his mother knew. She showed us the writings while she was pregnant. She knew the prophecies that a demon would escape from hell and choose an unborn child to inhabit. She could feel it in her womb. Shortly after she had given birth to him, she was assassinated by one of Arkuros' Hunters. Luckily, Hachi and I escaped and stayed with the rebellion. King disappeared soon after."

"Why didn't my mother just kill me?" Hachi asked darkly.

"You were her son. She didn't care what monster took hold of you, she was going to fight for you. She researched day and night about how she could exorcise the demon. But she died before she found a solution." Kimiko explained, feeling ashamed for some reason.

"And so you've been in hiding ever since." Jasper said.

"I left the resistance when Hachi was seven years old," Kimiko explained. "It was then that Jalen, the leader that took over King's place, found the prophecy and started looking everywhere. He was obsessed with finding something that could take down the Zaré empire. I needed to protect Hachi."

"So you have no idea where they are now," Jasper interrogated.

"No. I haven't heard from them since I left. They could be hiding anywhere."

The three were silent. Everyone was deep in thought. Jasper, thorough and calculating as always, was putting together what he knew of the rebellion and their former leader, King. Kimiko, full of regret and bad memories, was trying not to imagine the worst. Hachi, whose fragile innocence had just been destroyed, was trying to come to terms with the fact that he was the host for an evil entity from hell.

"Does this demon have a name?" Hachi asked.

"Yes," Jasper responded before Kimiko could lie. "It's called Shanda."

"And I have a year before it wakes?" Hachi looked worriedly from Kimiko to Jasper.

"Less than that if Arkuros gets his hands on you. And I'm afraid that he's done playing," Jasper said. "He's been sending assassins for a while now. I've taken out at least forty all in all. Soon, he's going to stop wasting resources and send his best. That's going to pose a problem."

"You don't mean...," Kimiko tried to hide the tremor in her voice. She had heard of him before. The Blind Prince. He was somewhat of a legend among the common people. He was the sort of nightmare that cruel older siblings told their younger siblings about to terrify them. The leader of the Hunters. "Can you defeat him?"

"Raven Restorvallé is Arkuros' best killer. I've only seen him fight a handful of times. But it was enough. He is evil incarnate, killing for the fun of it. I'm not sure if its a fight I can win," Jasper admitted. "I'm guessing that it's only a matter of time before Arkuros resorts to sending him."

"How do we survive this?" The hopelessness in Hachi's voice broke Kimiko's heart.

"We run," Jasper said, determined. "The Hunter can't kill us if he can't find us."


 

 

Join MovellasFind out what all the buzz is about. Join now to start sharing your creativity and passion
Loading ...