Okay, this posting every two days idea dosen't work. My internet keeps crashing.
Also, anyone spotted any cameos, quotes or similar yet? Keep looking!
Right, here's the next chapter. Like it or not, comment!
Shade woke up with a headache. Having a pile of rocks dropped on your head can have that effect. When he tried to open his eyes, he found that only one of them worked. Looking through it, he observed the scene.
He was lying on the ground in the square. Someone was standing over him. As his senses returned, he heard voices.
Hey look, hes coming around! Give me some room! hands gripped his shoulders and helped him to sit up. His whole body ached. The figure spoke to him. Dont worry pal, we got the sorcerer who did this to you. Hes going to be hanged, and his daemon blade purged and then destroyed. If you can get up, you can go watch if you want to. It should be satisfying for you to see the old ******* killed.
Shade felt his muscles returning to life. He had no idea how he had survived the stone pillars with only bruises and minor cuts. Then it struck him. Mathew must have healed him after he blacked out. He looked around for the scholar, but he was nowhere in sight. He must have gone to get food.
Yeah, sure Ill come. I need to make sure Dragon doesnt escape again. With his power, who knows what he could do. Where is the execution?
Its just over there, on the other side of the square. So his names Dragon eh? Weird. Why did he attack you?
Shade got painfully to his feet. Its a long story, and Id rather wait so that my friend can fill in the bits Im not clear on. Do you know where he is?
The man led him in the direction of the gallows. No, Im sorry. What does he look like? Ill ask around later if you want.
Okay, lets see. He was wearing a brown robe, he had a staff, hes starting to go bald, but dont tell him I said so, and he has a short white beard. Ring any bells?
The mans face went white. He sped up, then started running. Despite his injuries, Shade followed him to the foot of the gallows. Standing on the platform with a rope around his neck was Mathew.
As Shade arrived, the man who had come over with him was in earnest discussion with the executioner, the hooded figure who would pull the leaver to open the trapdoor that Mathew was standing on. A priest was standing next to them, listening in.
Shade! Im sorry! Mathew shouted. Go after Dragon, I think he headed south. I would have liked to come with you, but the priest is adamant that all magic users must die, and after what Ive done to you
Shade looked on amazed. Mathew had healed him, not hurt him, so why was he apologising? And what was this crap about magic users being evil? You havent done anything to me you idiot! Ill have a word with the priest and see that he lets you go. Dont worry.
I havent done anything? Then you obviously havent looked at your skin since you woke up. I bungled the spell, and now see what Ive done.
My skin? Shade slowly raised his hand and took a good look at it. The skin had turned as black as coal, so dark that it looked like someone had painted it. He started to laugh, quietly at first, but getting louder and louder. After he had finished, he turned back to Mathew.
Look, I dont mind. This is no problem in my profession anyway; in fact its an advantage. Im going to get you freed, so hang on! Shade walked over to the priest, and looked him straight in the eye.
Right, lets get a few things sorted out. That man up there is my friend, without whom I would be dead. I am aware of the fact that he can use magic, but it is white magic, the magic of light. He is also a learned scholar and could contribute much to society. And if you hang him I will personally rip apart the one responsible. Got it?
The priest looked taken aback. But surely you want revenge on him for your, well, skin?
This? This is no problem for me. But I have I vital mission that involves the safety of all Narlkant, and I need him with me. All I can say is that you do not want this mission to fail, because everyone would suffer. So Im going to let him down now, whether you like it or not. Suddenly, Shade jumped up onto the platform, drew his still unbroken sword and cut through the rope. Then he cut the rope that bound Mathews hands together, and removed the rope from around his neck.
The priest ran up to them. You cant do this! He must be hanged! There is no evidence to support your argument, so it has no value. Max, arrest these men! The executioner grabbed a scythe from under the platform, and advanced on them. He swung the scythe.
The priest looked down with an expression of mild surprise on his face. Then he fell to his knees. Max withdrew his scythe from the lifeless priest and swung it around his head. People who had gathered to watch the execution scattered. He spoke.
I answer to none but the great Dragon, Servant of Earth! Submit to his rule, or feel my wrath! The executioner slammed the butt end of his scythe into the ground. Submit!
By this time, the crowd had cleared a large circle around Max, Shade, and Mathew. They started shouting encouragement. If you defeat him, well accept your argument! Max! You traitor! Kill him, go on!
Shade drew his sword and crossbow. He pointed the crossbow at Max, hatred burning in his eyes. I bet it was you who came up with the idea of execution. Dragon is an idiot, he cannot hope to triumph. And neither can you!
Your beliefs are groundless, you will rue the day that you resisted me!
Groundless they may be, but Ill stand by my beliefs till the end! Die! Shade fired a bolt at the hooded mans head. With blinding speed, Max spun his scythe in front of him, blocking the bolt and sending it spinning into the crowd. A man screamed as it crashed into his arm. Max sneered, Is that all youve got? Pathetic!
Mathew started chanting under his breath as Shade put away his crossbow and pointed his chipped and battered sword at the enemy. Youre going down! He charged at the executioner, jumping sideways at the last moment to avoid a fierce downward swing of the scythe. He slashed at the other mans face, but he attack was blocked by the scythe shaft. A lightning fast swing sent the butt of the scythe into Shades stomach. Only being able to use one eye was not helping his balance, and his muscles were already starting to ache.
Mathew finished his spell. Light! Burning gaze! Intense light surrounded him, then shot off at Max. When it hit him, the heat set his hood and cloak on fire, providing enough of a distraction for Shade to thrust his weapon through the traitors heart.
Max let out a roar of anger and blindly swung his scythe. He got lucky and the end of the shaft slammed into Shades head, knocking him unconscious. Then the executioner staggered towards Mathew, still with Shades sword through his heart and on fire, and raised his weapon. Before he could bring it down on the scholar, he collapsed to the ground, dead.
Mathew let out a sigh of relief, and ran over to Shade. The assassin had only been knocked out temporarily, and was just coming round. Mathew thought for a moment, then healed all of Shades wounds, including those that he had been too tired to heal earlier.
A few people stepped slowly forwards. One of them kicked the still burning body of the executioner, and cried out as its arm crumbled into dust, the sacred fire having burnt right through the corrupt body. Another knelt beside the unconscious assassin, checked his pulse, and looked up in surprise. He seems to be in good shape. Maybe the priest was too harsh on mages, although you did incinerate Max
Who is Dragon anyway?
He is an evil man who has a fascination for the power of Earth. He has obtained a jewel that allows him to control it, but he himself is under the control of another. I need to hunt him down and take the crystal from him, by force if necessary, so that he can cause no more harm. This man has agreed to help me. He gestured to Shade. Now, wheres that daemon sword you were waving about as proof I was guilty. I have a feeling that I can use it to locate Dragon.
One of the citizens ran into a small chapel. A few minutes later he returned carrying a sword wrapped in a piece of white cloth. He dropped it beside Shade, then backed away. Mathew picked it up and examined it. It was the sword that he had forced Dragon to drop after the fight. The sand katana.
Seeing as I now have three short stories posted, I figure I may as well put all of them in my bio, so go there for links to "The Lab", "Daemon" and "Afterlife". Additionally, you should read my fic, The Crystals of Narlkant