Hello everyone, this is Asclepius, with the next chapter of a wonderful story from Belladonna Rose, entitled
Black Rose Chronicles
Background music by Smartsound
With the intent to make the best use of the daylight Bella moved out and down the road. But despite the time of day it was overcast and quite foggy. She could see the fog rise above the cliff edges from the river below. Whoever carved this place out was insane. Those cliff edges were very steep and jagged. Keeping her wits about her she could hear things rambling about in the brush and bushes. No telling what was out there to greet her.
In the short distance she could make out what looked like abandoned buildings. To the right was a burned-out husk of one building. That didn’t look good. Suddenly from out of nowhere one of those zombie creatures and two skeletons came towards her. Quickly she pulled her sword out and took a full swing at them all. Clattering of bone and the ill sounding smack of her blade against flesh made her wince. That sound is one she will never get used to. Wiping the blood from her blade on the grass she stood and proceeded down the road. Over a period of half an hour or so she dispatched everything that came forth. Even some of the lower ranked Cultists were taken out silently.
Weaving between two of the back buildings of the area she saw a bonfire glow. As she crept closer she could hear chanting from the three cultists moving around it. And suddenly something happened.
Quickly she pulled her bow out and lined an arrow up to fire. There in the midst of the fire stood a mishappened woman…covered in blood and bandage. Raising her hands to the sky and chanting some sort of spell. OH NO you don’t Bella thought to herself. Firing off a shot it hit the woman and she turned in Bella’s direction. Pulling out two more arrows she fired another volley and the woman collapsed into the flames. Blue light spewed up high in the sky and then vanished. She was gone. But that didn’t stop the cultists from making their way towards Bella. Coming out from the cover of the broken-down garden wall she fired off rapid shots at each one…taking them down quickly. Checking each cultist to make sure they were dead she found a few gold pieces and she pocketed them quickly.
As she made her way close to the bonfire she noticed that a strange color ooze was all around on the ground. There was no way she was touching that stuff. So she just moved on.
Climbing across the wall and heading towards the edge of the old town again she heard the chanting. Same sounds same set up. As carefully as she could she watched and waited. Again the woman appeared. Rapid fire shooting and down she went. Again she took out the cultists too. This must have been what Captain Kinsey was talking about. She would be sure to report this.
By the time she made her way back to the tattered road going towards Ackerley’s place the sun was beginning to go down. Picking up the pace she made her way to the shack. Fighting every step of the way with zombies, skeletons and wolves. Exhausted she was happy to see that broken down shack . As she started to knock on the door Ackerley open it and smiled.
“Knew you would make it back. I told ya so. Besides I heard all the noise nearby and took me a peek through the shutters. I saw you taking down some of that riff raff out there. You be a good one with that there sword. Glad to see you back.”
With that he took her by the arm and ushered her inside. Shut and bolted the door. Then went about his business. Shaking her head she made her way to the water basin and bucket and cleaned herself up a bit. Looking about there was nothing hot to eat so she grabbed a pot and rooted around for something to cook. Putting what vegetables she could find together she made a quick stew. After an hour or two it was done and Ackerley made sure he scooped himself a big bowl of food like it just magically appeared there. After eating he went back to his work.
Bella curled up on the smelly cot and quickly fell asleep.
Dreams took over as she slept. She was standing on the bridge of her ship. Tight grip on the wheel and Jack standing next to her. He looked out to the horizon and smiled as the wind blew through his tousled hair. Smiling to herself she thought back to all they had been through together. Always a steady hand on the ship and at the ready to jump into action no matter what. And his caring nature for her warmed her heart but scared her just the same. Looking at the horizon herself she shook off the thought of anything other than the job at hand, her ship and crew. No time for personal entanglements.
Then there it was….ahead. The Vortex. Glowing and pulsing and getting larger as they approached. Trying hard to steer the ship away it seemed to just suck them in. All hands were on deck manning the sails and doing there best to secure the ship. Closer and closer and then darkness.
She woke with a sweated brow. Looked about the room and saw the old man at his worktable. Did he ever sleep? Slowly pulling herself up to a sitting position she reached down for her boots. Pulled them on and stood. As she approached the old man he turned with a wary look on his face. Startled she took a step back.
“Ahhh tis you Outlander. Forgot you were in the house for a moment. Tend to get busy with my potions and work forgetting all else.”
He reached to the side of the table and turned to Bella. Handing her a flask with a slight green glowing liquid inside. “Here be the medicine Capn Kinsey be wanting. This should fix up any ills in the camp for sure.” Pressing the flask in her hand he returned to his business. Nothing else said.
Bella gathered up her belongings and went out the door. A slight overcast took the sky. She thought to herself she hoped it wouldnt rain today. She was tired of the rain. Stepping out into the courtyard she could hear the rustling in the bushes and surrounding forest. She would be happy to shut this place away from her and the sooner the better. Such vile creatures roaming about and she longed to get back to some sort of civilization.