Hello everyone, this is Asclepius, with another instalment in the thrilling tale “Rise of the Ravegers”, by Lendrick.
Background music is “Testing the Waters” by Smartsound
CHAPTER THREE BREAKFAST BLUES
Secluded Cave, Serpents Spine Mountains, overlooking Lake Equitas. Two Weeks Later… Glyndrel glanced up, the rain appeared to be stopping. Looking out of their makeshift shelter, Alexyius was sound asleep, and the rain had stopped the constant downpour to become a soft drizzle. Unfortunately, that just mirrored the sour mood Glyndrel was already in, and what he wouldn’t give for some sunshine to brighten his spirits. They had been on the road for several weeks now, following Slyphania south, moving through the Ogre Lands and into the human realms. This made Glyndrel very nervous, and it was officially now the farthest he had ever ventured from his forest home. They were almost out of food though, and would need to go on another hunt soon or starve. Glyndrel’s thoughts invariably always turned back to Slyphania and the events surrounding her departure. The slap had definitely confirmed Glyndrel’s suspicions that some dark force was at work behind the scenes. Although he never really got to know her before the book began its dark influence, Glyndrel just sensed that the carefree young girl he had first met in the market would not be someone prone to violence had someone hidden a book on them. Well, a normal book, the one in question was definitely not normal. Glyndrel almost could sense an evil presence about the tome, much like if it were somehow alive or possibly sentient. Glyndrel had heard folk tales about items that possessed a malevolence that could warp minds, and if that were the case here, separating her from the book would be much harder than first anticipated. However, to really save her, it would be something that must be done. Alexyius began to stir, so Glyndrel started to prepare a meal, fried back, the last pieces from a wild tundra boar they slew and three quail eggs that were pilfered from the nest. At the smell of cooking, Alexyius came fully awake and sat up on his elbows. “How long was I out?” Alexyius asked. “Better part of the night, the rain looks like it’s easing up”. Glyndrel replied, pushing the food around in a tin cook pot, the meat sizzling and letting out a fresh aroma that made them both sigh and drool threatened to escape their mouths. Standing up and stretching, Alexyius walked to the darkened rear of the cave and relieved himself. Whilst he was doing that, he spoke over his shoulder. “So, what’s the plan for today?’ “Well, we should reach Brittany within the day, I guess once we get there, we find what those humans call an “Inn” and stay the night there, it would beat sleeping on the hard rock. Then, once rested, we start enquires about Slyphania’s whereabouts”. Glyndrel said. Alexyius sighed and then put on a pensive look, as if he were about to repeat something that he had grown tired of saying. “Glyn, have you considered the possibility that she doesn’t want to be found? That she won’t appreciate or acknowledge the fact that for the past two weeks you have been dogging her movements?” Glyndrel gave Alexyius a sour look, as If the reply he was about to give was something he was tired of saying. “You know my feelings, Alex, I don’t have a choice. I must find her. Not only am I obviously concerned for her wellbeing, and promised her parents I would do everything in my power to bring her back safely, but my gut is telling me she is up to something. Something dire. And as it stands, we two are the only ones in the know and may have a chance of reaching her and preventing whatever it is that she is planning’. “And what if she isn’t planning anything? What if, she just wanted to get away, to have her life take a different path to yours and that she isn’t interested or feels the same way you do!?” Alexyius countered. “I don’t believe that, she’s in trouble, her mind clouded and she is not herself. She needs help, even if she doesn’t realise it herself”. Saying this, Glyndrels hand instinctively moved to cup the cheek she slapped, almost as if he could still feel the sting. “Glyndrel, you’re like a brother to me, which is why I am going to tell you this straight” Alexyius continued, accepting a plate of breakfast and sitting cross legged opposite Glyndrel. “As it stands, she is with this human Wizard, Rannick somebody.” Alexyius took a mouthful of bacon and chewed as he spoke. “Who is teaching her to be, I don’t know, a sorceress or something. This book she is obsessed over, must be some kind of spell book or some such, which she is therefore studying and learning the wizardry craft from.” Alexyius finished chewing and swallowed. Glyndrel just sat there, a forlorn expression on his face, picking at his food, but not interrupting and letting his friend say his piece. “So, for all intents and purposes, she has left with him to further her studies, the there is no danger to her and no nefarious reason for her to run off, hence why she would not care for you coming after her” Alexius finished, hoping his words had mollified Glyndrel. Instead, Glyndrel glared at his friend defiantly. “I am telling you, something is not right, I know I told you that I love her, and I do, but that is not the only reason for me going after her. It’s that book. It’s not just any normal book, spell book or otherwise. You weren’t there, in her room with the book. It was just me, and the book. It was then I knew without a doubt, that it was evil. Evil personified, I could almost taste it, like sulphur in the air, I choked back my saliva and stared at the book, and it felt like it was staring back at me. Into my soul, and I felt scared. Not just for Slyphania, but for the world, for all of the Novian Island. Wherever this book came from, it should never have been found. I can’t change that now though, she has it with her. You should have seen the expression on her when I had moved the book. It went beyond obsession into something indescribable – it was like she was possessed, maybe she is, maybe that’s what the book’s done to her. Either way, all I know is that I have to help her, no matter what. But to do that, we need to catch up with her and somehow get her, firstly away from this human’s influence, and then the book.” Glyndrel stopped, stood up and stretched, walking to the cave entrance and looking out over the green fields of Paladis Plains, farmland outside Brittany, the sun sparkling off the lake Equitas like diamonds. Diamonds like “Diamond falls”, back home in the forest, which only made Glyndrel all the more depressed. Far into the distance, Glyndrel could see the spires of Lord British’s Castle, in the city of Brittany, the majestic walls of the castle and the sheer magnitude of its parapets. Leaning against the cool stone, Glyndrel looked out and felt hot tears streaming down. Alexyius came up behind him and put a comforting hand on his shoulder. “What say we do catch up with her, that you do manage to convince her about the wizard and the book? And then, after all that, she still decides to continue on her path and ignore your warning?” Alexius spoke softly into Glyndrel’s shoulder. “What, after all that, given that you tell me that you love her, will you be able to just let it go? Let her go?” Alexius added. “If we do catch up with her and can’t help her?” Glyndrel replied, wiping the tears from his face and turning to face his friend. ‘Then let the great wood spirit save us. And save the World, for the Great Tree help us all!” Glyndrel proclaimed and walked off. Alexyius watched his friend walk away to start packing up their camp and then it struck him. Was he frightened that they would actually find Slyphania? Or that he would lose Glyndrel? This scared Alexyius. Scared him a lot. TO BE CONTINUED>