Chapter Eighteen: Death Chaser.

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“Drop the sword.” She hissed, through clenched teeth.

    He complied quickly, not wanting to test her nerves, and then slowly he stood. She stepped back.” I’m not going to hurt you; I and my friends were looking for you. You’ve been . . . asleep, for a long time, and we need your help. If we don’t get your help then there will be trouble, for everybody.” He replied through clenched teeth of his own, trying to ignore the pain as the dagger cut into his skin.

   She frowned at him.” What world is this?”

   “You don’t –“He began, but pressure in the dagger stopped him and he held up his hands.” Okay- please! You’re on Netheron!”

   She frowned.” What am I doing on Netheron? How did I get here? Who are you?” She demanded.

   “You were put to sleep by Arlon.” Tauren replied.” You and twenty four other relics where taken from twenty four important people. King Arlon knew that one day, if you were preserved, you would somehow save this world! Now that time has come! We need you!”


   She frowned,” How can I trust you?”

   Tauren sighed, how was he going to prove to her she could trust him? What did he have besides his words? Suddenly a thought occurred to him, and reaching into his pocket he pulled out that long forgotten, miniscule leather pouch his grandfather had given him the night he had died.” My grandfather gave this to me moments before he died,” he said thickly.” When he died I left my home, I was lost. Fate had a plan for me though, and that plan has led me straight through my life to this moment, I believe we’re both here for a reason, and I believe that without your help, my people will be defeated and crushed under a tyrant’s rule.”

      She stared at him, an odd look in her eyes, and then suddenly she sheathed her dagger and faced him.

   Tauren was amazed, was that it then?

   Suddenly a figure stepped around the edge of the castle, some hundred yards further along the wall, brandishing a sword.” So you found her” he said, looking the girl over.

    She took a step back, raising her head haughtily.” What are you doing to do with me?”

   Vajik quickly took charge.” Where are you from? Who were your parents?” He snapped quickly.” Answer quickly, we don’t have much time. I just saw something heading toward the castle from the caves at the edge of the sinkhole, I don’t know what it is, but I don’t want to find out.”

   She smiled thinly.” My name is Leaenya Sternven, of Azquel, daughter of –“She hesitated oddly, her haughty air breaking for a moment.” –of Halia Kormak and Nean Sternven”

   Tauren wasn’t sure he believed her, but he was impressed by his first Azquel, for sure. Vajik stared at her for a moment, suspicion obvious in his glare.” Fine,” he snapped.” We need to get to the nearest portal and get her home to her family. I do recall that the Sternvens oldest daughter did disappear during the war, made a big fuss about it, they did. Now come on!”

   He spun around and headed back the way Tauren had gone, Tauren sighed and gestured for the girl, Leaenya, to follow him, then picking up his sword he followed her. They had her, now what? Bring her to this ‘portal’ and send her home. Then they’d just go back for the others.

   They moved quickly, Tauren lost in thought, his hand on his sword hilt, Vajik standing tall and intimidating, and the girl pacing along, a half worried, half haughty look on her face. Tauren chucked mentally, he’d be pretty worried himself if his life had changed as much as hers had in such short time . . . no, it had. One moment he’d been a happy farm boy talking with his friends, next moment he’d been a friendless young man, running through the dark. He could only imagine the confusion she probably felt. If she felt it though, she did a marvelous job hiding it.

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