4, Volume 10
Published by rhino, 2017.
Not in the Bloodline
(The story of an unknown Safani)
Copy right © All rights reserved to Shuffle Enterprises
Brospan Arterial (4, #10)
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I would like dedicate this book in someone that kept me going until the book was completed. I have not mentioned her name as that was her wish.
I would like to thank my very special friend, who I won’t
mention as she has requested that. She has kept me going
with the book thanks.
Brospan looked at the sky, the sky was beginning to get streaks of red through it. It meant that evening was on the way. He quickened his pace. His father had been in a very angry mood today. If he didn’t get home in time with two fish from the Makial River, he would be severely punished and his father would have to kill one of his pigs. He lived with his father on a pig farm. There was a short supply of pigs in the area. Brospan felt different tonight. Even as he looked towards the sky tonight, there seemed to be a feeling of unrest in the air. He reached the edge of the Makial River and sat down. He had to be quick. At night there were Equedras in the area, they were giant flying dragons that ate anything and anyone that they could find. They breathed fire and their saliva was poisonous. Aquatic Friandas, giant snakes with long fangs and glowing red eyes inhabited certain parts of the Makial River. The snakes would slowly coil themselves around your body until you couldn’t breathe. They would tear at your flesh with their venomous fangs, while you were still alive. He looked at his fishing rod, which he had made himself years ago. He put the line in. He carefully looked around to see that he was alone. He saw that there were plenty of Squintenta fish in the river. They were round, flat fish swam near the surface of the river. They were good eating fish. He looked around again. His instincts were telling him that something was going to happen tonight but he didn’t know what. He saw a flash of white light in the sky. He hoped it wasn’t a storm. Something deep inside told him that it wasn’t a storm. He wanted to go home but he knew he couldn’t go home without the fish, another flash of light came across the sky. The third bolt of light hit Brospan. He felt himself surrounded by this warm glowing flash of white light. His body lifted off the ground and floated up towards the sky. His body felt like a feather being lifted up by the wind. He looked up at the sky, he saw a glowing white stair case leading up to a huge hall, with people in long white robes gathered together. “There he is.” Brospan heard them say, “He must save this world from its destruction.” He heard their voices say. A very tall man with a grey beard came closer to Brospan.
“You have no reason to fear us.” The tall bearded man said. “You have been chosen to bring a new future to this world.” The tall bearded man said. “You will suffer much anguish Brospan, but you will achieve much greatness.” The tall bearded Man replied. A huge man in a glowing white robe came closer to Brospan. Brospan felt his immense power. He felt tears fall from his eyes. “I know you but I don’t know you.” Brospan thought.
“I have to do something now but don’t be afraid.” The Giant Bearded Man said.
He became a huge fiery ball of energy, light and electricity. He split into two smaller balls of light, one ball of light went into Brospan’s body. He thought he was on fire as the intense heat consumed his body which left him in excruciating pain. White light began to come from his body, and glow around him. “We must return him. We will guide him through his journey but he still might not make it.” The man in the white robe said. Brospan felt the wet cool grass underneath him. The sensation was soothing he thought that he might have fallen asleep. He couldn’t remember what had happened. He knew that his father would be angry with him. The stars in the night sky twinkled like silent witnesses to an ethereal visit. Brospan caught two fish and was about to go home when he heard horses galloping. He turned around, you could see the track where many a traveller had come through. He saw a young boy about the same age as himself and a much older man dressed in steal armour mesh and a long black cloak. The handle of his sword was protruding from underneath his cloak. They seemed troubled to Brospan. He began to walk over to where they had stopped. The closer he got to them the stronger the feeling came that he should hold back from approaching them. The older man and the young boy had glimpsed Brospan walking closer towards them but thought anything from him. They had just started on their journey again, when two hooded riders came up closer behind the young boy and older man on shiny black horses. One of them was holding a shiny silver dagger. The moon was bright and the dagger glistened in the moon light. Brospan was close enough to see the dagger. He knew if didn’t act now the young boy or the older man could be killed. He started running, he leapt through the air. He thought it was strange that he’d never been able to run this fast before and leapt through the air with such force. The hooded rider with the dagger raised the dagger to stab the young boy. Brospan flew through the air with his leg and hand outstretched ready to strike the young boys assailant. He kicked the assailant in the back with great force, and at the same time, struck the assailants hand that was holding the dagger. He fell off his horse and lay there. The other attacker put a poison dart in his mouth, ready to blow it in the older men’s neck, Brospan jumped onto the back of the horse and grabbed the hooded attacker around his neck with lightning speed. The hooded rider nearly choked on the poisonous dart he fell to the ground coughing. The young boy and the older gentleman had jumped off their horses. They both had their swords drawn. Brospan went over the attacker with the dagger. The hooded rider got up and went to strike Brospan, Brospan stretched out his leg behind the attacker’s leg and forced him on the ground. The other attacker went to punch the older man in the stomach, the older man punched him with one quick blow to the face.
“We must find out who they are.” Thought the young boy. He went to take the hood off one of the attacker, but the assailant was too aggressive. The attackers quickly got on their horses and rode off. Brospan quickly went over to the older man with the kind deep blue eyes and the young boy. “Thank you who-ever you are for helping us tonight.” The boy said. “I’m Prince Jallapen of the Vrictom kingdom.” Prince Jallapen said. Brospan looked a little surprised but he shook his hand.
“I’m Brospan.” Brospan said.
“You knew they were going to kill us tonight.” The older man said.
“Yes, I don’t know how but I knew something was going to happen tonight.” Brospan replied.
“My name is Vascillan.” Vascillan said. “I am the head safani for the Vrictom kingdom.” Vascillan said. “All our lives will be changed after tonight.” Vascillan said mysteriously. Brospan thought of his father.
“I must be going now.” Brospan said.
“Do you have a family?” Vascillan asked.
“Yes I live with my father on a farm.” Brospan replied. “My mother died eight years ago.” Brospan said.
“Do you mind if we come with you to see your father?” Prince Jallapen asked. “We want to tell him how you saved us tonight.” Prince Jallapen said. Brospan knew his father would be hostile to strangers.
“I think my father will be angry enough that I haven’t brought dinner home on time so it’s probably best if you don’t.” Brospan said, shakily.
“No we will come with you and explain to him why you came home so late.” Vascillan said.
“Alright Vascillan.” Brospan said. Slightly relieved. Vascillan and Prince Jallapen mounted their horses. Vascillan stretched out his hand to help Brospan up on his horse. Brospan gave him directions on how to get to the farm. The farm was about twenty minutes away. They saw a run-down wooden house in the distance. As they got closer they could smell the scent of pigs. Brospan began to get fearful, he knew things would not go well tonight. Brospan told Vascillan to stop on the side of the run down old house. Brospan got off the horse and went around to the back door of the old house. He knew where his father would be sitting, at the table with his bottle of Stelan mead. It was an alcoholic cider that was strong in taste. He walked into the house, five candles were burning on the small table. Shadows danced on the walls like reflections of hidden sorrow.
“I heard you boy, where are the fish?” His father asked.
“I’ve got them father.” Brospan replied.
“How are we going to see to cook em?” His father asked. He stood up and kicked his chair against the wall.
“Wait father, please don’t get upset.” Brospan pleaded. He eyed Brospan with drunken hostility. “Father two people came back with me to the farm.” Brospan said. His father lunged at him and pinned him against the wall with his arm.
“You know I don’t like strangers coming on my farm.” His father said. He was a tall thin man but very strong.
“I helped saved their lives tonight.” Brospan explained.
“You couldn’t save your own life, let alone anyone else’s life.” Brospan’s father said. “You are nothing, your mother was nothing, remember that boy.” Brospan’s father said. “Now let’s greet the strangers.” Brospan’s father said. A wicked smiled came onto his face. His father flung the door wide open, he walked quickly to the side of the house. Brospan ran ahead of his father so that he would be able to stop any fights that might happen between his father, Vascillan and prince Jallapen. Brospan’s father saw how well dressed they were, and thought that he could manipulate the situation to his own advantage. Brospan’s father eyed prince Jallapen with interest. “Hello my boy told me he help save your lives tonight.” Brospan’s father said.
“Yes he was a great help to us tonight.” Vascillan said. “I’m Vascillan and this is Prince Jallapen.” Vascillan said.
“Well are you going to pay my boy for helping you tonight?” Brospan’s father asked.
“Yes, we will pay him if he so wishes, but I have a proposition for you.” Vascillan said.
“I’m listening.” Brospan’s father said.
“Prince Jallapen needs a security person to watch over him in the palace.” Vascillan said. “Brospan showed a great amount of skill in his fighting tonight.” Vascillan said. “We would like Brospan to come back with us to the Vrictom kingdom.” Vascillan said. Brospan was shocked. He never thought he would leave the farm in his life.
“What’s in it for me?” Brospan’s father asked.
“I have two bags of royal gold currency.” Vascillan said. “It would be enough for you to buy what-ever is you need.” Vascillan said. Brospan’s father thought about all the things he could buy with two bags of royal gold currency. “Will my boy be safe with you?” Brospan’s father asked.
“Yes we will take good care of him.” Vascillan said. “He will live in the palace and be given a good life.” Vascillan said.
“That’s good enough for me. Let me see the gold coins.” Brospan’s father said. Vascillan untied two bags of coins from his waste. He handed them to Brospan’s father. Brospan’s father counted the gold coins. “Wait!” Brospan’s father said. “How many other bags of gold coins do you have?” Brospan’s father asked.
“If you want my boy I’ll take them all.” Brospan’s father said. Vascillan gave Brospan’s father a hard look.
“Alright you can have them.” Vascillan said, reluctantly.
“It’s not enough.” Brospan’s father said. “For every month he is gone I want two bags of gold.” Brospan’s father said.
“If you let your son come with us, you will be taken good care of in the future.” Vascillan said. “Future.” Vascillan said. “You have my word of honour as a safani that you will receive fair payment.” Vascillan said. “But this means Brospan will be with us for a long time.” Vascillan said. “Is that clear.” Vascillan said.
“If you’ve given your word of honour then you can have Brospan.”
Brospan’s father said. “You can take Brospan.” Brospan’s father said.
“You have my word.” Vascillan said.
“That boy doesn’t mean that much to me anymore.” Brospan’s father
“Just keep the gold coins coming, and everything will be good.” Brospan’s father said.
“But father I’m your son, why would you do this?” Brospan asked.
He felt tears swelling in his eyes.
“You’ll be of more use to these two then what you are to me.” Brospan’s father said. Brospan felt lost, he just stared at his father. Vascillan reached out his hand, Brospan grabbed it and climbed onto his horse. As they left the farm Brospan turned around to look at his father and the farm until he could no longer see them. Everything that was familiar faded in the distance.
“You have nothing to fear from us Brospan.” Vascillan said. Brospan nodded. He wasn’t sure, he wondered what was install for him now. They all headed for the Vrictom kingdom.
The two hooded riders. A flash of light reached across the sky. They stopped their horses.
“Are you alright Saphire?” The taller hooded figure asked.
“Yes Vallogmint I’m alright.” Saphire replied.
“Things didn’t go to plan.” Vallogmint said.
“We were that close, something always gets in the way.” Saphire said. Suddenly a flash of light hits Saphire, Vallogmint knew it wasn’t lightning. A fiery ball of light came towards them through the trees, it hit Saphire’s body, he convulsed, Saphire had never felt such intense pain before a white light glowed and radiated around his body.
“Why is this happening?” Vallogmint thought, as he witness what was occurring a voice whispered in Saphire’s ear.
“You will have choices to make you must make the right ones.” The voice said. Saphire felt himself being shaken. He opened his eyes and Vallogmint’s familiar face. “What happened?” Saphire asked, shakily.
“You have been chosen.” Vallogmint said.
“For what?” Saphire asked.
“You will find out in time.” Vallogmint replied. “We must be getting back to the Vrictom kingdom.” Vallogmint said. “What has happened here tonight could change everything.” Vallogmint said.
“I think I can keep on going.” Saphire said.
“We must keep on going, you will be alright.” Vallogmint said. They mounted their horses. They pulled their hoods over their heads and road off.
Brospan could not help but feel that he should have stayed with his father but he was a little curious and excited to be going to the royal palace of the Vrictom kingdom. Prince Jallapen smiled and winked at Brospan.
“We’ll arrive at the palace just past the middle of the night.” Prince Jallapen said. Brospan looked at the changing landscape, the trees began to come closer together and their branches were like long outstretched arms beckoning the sky to reveal its secrets only the gods could keep in their ancient wisdom. They had been riding through thick forest, for what seemed like for ever, when they saw a clearing up a head. As they got closer, a massive towering fortress wall that seemed to reach up and touch the edges of the sky. The walls seem to stretch out for ever on both sides of the perimeter of the forest. They rode on a little further, when they came to the entrance of the Ten Fortitude Kingdom. There was a huge old solid wooden drawbridge with a round symbol of a palace carved in what looked like pure gold. Two crossbows formed a cross above the symbol. Brospan stared in amazement at the drawbridge, he had never seen anything like it. Prince Jallapen looked at Brospan. “This is the entrance to the ten fortitude kingdoms.” Prince Jallapen shouted.
“That’s good.” Brospan replied. The three guards that were watching from the drawbridge had seen Vascillan and Prince Jallapen. They began to lower the drawbridge. As they came across the drawbridge, they entered the city of Tentupaui. It was the city where traders would come to sell their goods. Fruit, vegetables and meats from the spinyards, fine fabrics, precious jewels and metals were sold in Tentupaui. Brospan was hypnotised by the market place. People were dressed in the finest silk and cotton fabrics. He smelt the rich strong smell of cider. The cider was made from apples and barley. The cider that was made in Tentupaui was the finest cider in the Ten Fortitude Kingdoms. People were giving Brospan funny looks as he only dressed in his farm clothes. Brospan face began to burn, he turned bright red with embarrassment. A young girl who looked to be twelve years old walked past Brospan and held her nose. Brospan smelt of pigs and sweat from working on the farm with his father. Everyone smiled to Prince Jallapen and Vascillan. Prince Jallapen belonged to the most powerful and prestigious kingdom. The Vrictom kingdom was also known as the kingdom of the heavens. Brospan felt so out of place, it would be a relief to get away. Vascillan and Prince Jallapen bought some food, some fruit and some bottles of spiced apple drink. They had freshly stoned baked bread and cheese for the journey. As they were preparing to leave, more people passing by gave Brospan nasty looks. These people were not used to seeing strangers. Vascillan noticed that Brospan was looking anxious and spoke to him. “Don’t look at anyone Brospan.” Vascillan said. “There are people from the Artual kingdom that are dangerous so just keep looking at me.” Vascillan said. Brospan nodded. He was still feeling anxious. They climbed on their horses, Vascillan gave Brospan a hand to get up on the back of his horse. As they left Tentapaui the scenery changed dramatically. There were green rolling hills and lush pastures surrounding them. Black birds were flying over the pastures searching for their next prey. The green pastures seemed to stretch on forever like a dream dancing on the mind of an unawakened dreamer. Their hunger have gotten the better of them so they to have some bread and cheese. They drank spiced apple drink it was a blend of brewed apple juice and delicate spices infused in the drink. It was what they needed to quench their thirst. They put the remainder of their rations back in the knapsack. Prince Jallapen and Vascillan were getting ready to mount their horses, when Brospan sensed something. He turned around and heard a low rumbling sound coming from behind. As it got louder it changed to a high pitched screeching sound. Vascillan turned around and saw the enormous scaly head of a sperolon. Its eyes glowed a menacing red colour. The giant reptile had four scaly legs with poisonous talons on each leg and razor sharp teeth, the size of small daggers. Its saliva was poisonous and it could spit at its victim from a great distance. If its saliva touched you it would burn your skin like acid. As it got closer, the sperolon lifted its ugly reptilian head and it looked at Brospan. It lunged forward, Brospan froze as this nightmare vision came towards him. Vascillan knew that he had to act fast. He reached into Brospan’s mind and spoke to him. “Jump Brospan as high as you can and flip yourself over the sperolon.” Vascillan said, in Brospan’s mind. “Land as far away as you can.” Vascillan said, in Brospan’s mind. Brospan’s instincts told him he must act quickly. Brospan jumped as high as he could and flipped himself over the beast. He landed a safe distance away. Vascillan had drawn his sword and got as close as he dared to, he stabbed the sperolon in the stomach as that was the weakest part of the giant reptile. Blood spurted from the beast’s stomach, a shrill high pitched sound of pain came from the reptile. Prince Jallapen drew his sword and stabbed the struggling sperolon in its side as it fell to the ground. Brospan saw the monster thrashing and rolling on the ground. Brospan wanted to help Vascillan and Prince Jallapen but he stood there transfixed by the morbid sight. More high pitched sounds could be heard in the distance, they were getting closer. Sperolons hunted in packs so the rest of the sperolons were closing in on them. They smelt blood so they were getting excited. Sperolons ate people and other sperolons if they could. Vascillan motioned for Prince Jallapen and Brospan to mount the horses and going quickly. Brospan jumped on the back of Vascillan’s horse, Prince Jallapen was on his horse, they all rode off quickly. There was sperolon blood on Vascillan’s clothes and Prince Jallapen had spots of blood on his clothes. They rode on as fast as they could, the screams of the sperolons were left behind. There was a sense of urgency as they rode on toward the Vrictom Kingdom. Prince Jallapen and Vascillan were bringing news from a meeting with the three kingdoms of the South. It was news that the Vrictom kingdom had been waiting for. An alliance would be formed between the kingdoms of the South and the Vrictom kingdom. The opposing kingdom, The Artual kingdom was a brutal kingdom where commoners had no rights and were treated with violence if they did not obey the laws of king Vasantina. King Vasantina would get the commoners to dig for precious metals and gold under severe conditions. They were given no pay but they were given food. If the commoners did not work hard they would be beaten and in some cases killed. Berentia was a rare and precious metal used in making weapons of war and battle armour, worn by safani’s, the knights of the gods. Weapons used by the soldiers of the Artual kingdom and the Vrictom kingdom to fight many a lost and lonely battle fought in fear, were made from Berentia metal. Brospan saw a huge towering coming up in the distance, he glanced at Prince Jallapen who turned and shouted to Brospan that they were nearing the Vrictom kingdom.
Brospan had conflicting emotions, he couldn’t forget the nasty, vicious looks he had received in Tentapaui. He knew instinctively that Vascillan and Prince Jallapen would make him feel welcome at the palace. He sensed that something big was about to happen to him. Brospan could not believe the turn of events that had lead him to this point. Brospan felt a stirring within himself, the beginning of an awakening. He didn’t know how he knew but something deep within told him this was a journey that he must take. As they drew nearer to the fortress wall surrounding the Vrictom kingdom, the size of the wall was intimidating. Golden arrows pointing to the sky lined the top of the wall. They came to the entrance. The guards looked at them. Vascillan motioned for them to lower the drawbridge. “It is Vascillan and Prince Jallapen.” Vascillan shouted. “We have brought a guess for dinner.” Vascillan shouted. The guards looked at them carefully. The guards recognised Vascillan and Prince Jallapen, they lowered the drawbridge to let them enter into the Vrictom kingdom. As they entered Brospan’s eyes widened with amazement. The road had precious stones of emerald, rubies, sapphires and diamonds embedded in it. The road consisted of large cobble stones. It was a clear night and the precious stones sparkled like stars fallen from the heavens to light the path of lost souls by the moonlight. There were not many people along the road as it was past midnight. Brospan could not believe the huge outline of the palace belonging to the Vrictom kingdom looming up a head. A huge water fountain with a statue of a soldier on a horse holding a metal shield in his right hand was behind a high imposing fence. A guard was standing on the other side of the fence. Prince Jallapen came up to the fence and spoke to the guard. “It is Prince Jallapen with Vascillan and a guest.” Prince Jallapen said. The guard eyed off Brospan suspiciously but he opened the gate to let them in. In the background was the Vrictom kingdom market place where they would hold markets every day. As they all past the gate there was a large pathway winding up to the palace that seemed to stretch on endlessly. They all kept moving on towards the palace it seemed at times they were getting closer but at other times further away from the palace. Brospan’s hunger was growing again and he was very tired. As they got closer Brospan noticed the manicured gardens with trees that had been perfectly sculpted to look perfect. The sprawling grounds of the palace gave the impression it was a world of its own. As Brospan neared the palace, he began to feel out of place again. This was a world he had never known existed before now. He thought of his father and what had happened. His father could be a cold cruel man but he did have moments where he would appreciate all the work Brospan did on the pig farm. They were approaching the front entrance, Brospan saw nine tall pillars made of marble with gold carvings on either side of each pillar. The heavy front two doors towered above them as they got closer. Brospan’s stomach was rumbling and he was nervous about meeting Prince Jallepan’s father, the king. The palms of Brospan’s hands were sweaty. The doors opened, the servant to the king bowed down to Prince Jallepan. Vascillan introduced Brospan to the servant, he gave Brospan a strange look as his clothes looked worn and dirty. Two other servants came and took their horses away to the royal stables. The servant stood back and motioned for them to come through. The inside of the palace had an opulence that could take your breath away. The marble floor was made of the finest marble of the Vrictom kingdom and the ceiling was so high it gave the impression that you could get lost quite easily in the palace. The ceiling had calved ornate figures finished in gold and decorated with more precious stones. Prince Jallepan led Brospan upstairs through many hall ways until they reached a room where there were hundreds of different clothes.
“You can change out of those worn clothes and wear something suitable for dinner.” Prince Jallepan said. “You can have a wash as well.” Prince Jallepan said. Prince Jallepan smiled wearily at Brospan and left the room. Brospan hoped they would be having dinner soon as his stomach was starting to hurt from hunger pains.
Brospan looked all the clothes that were made of the finest fabric he knew he would feel more out of place wearing those clothes. A servant came in with a bowl of soapy water and wash cloth.
“Can I give you a wash?” The servant asked. Brospan looked confused. The servant was an older man dressed in black pants and a black jacket with a white shirt underneath.
“No, no thank you sir I can do it myself.” Brospan replied. The servant smiled and left the room. Brospan looked at the soapy water with the cloth. He picked up the cloth and gave himself a quick wash. There was a bed close to the window Brospan laid on the window and gently fell asleep. There was a sharp knock on the door and the servant came in. He saw Brospan sleeping peacefully, he gently shook Brospan’s shoulder.
“Sir, sir you must wake up.” The servant said with urgency. Brospan opened his eyes and saw the servant bending over him, he immediately sat up. The servant brought over a set of clothes for him. “These must fit you perfectly.” The servant said.
“I will get changed quickly.” Brospan said. Brospan looked at the clothes the servant had given him, he selected the white shirt to put on and afterwards he put on a pair of white plain pants. He put on a blue jacket with gold circular emblem on the left hand side. It was the royal emblem of the Vrictom kingdom. The royal emblem consisted a shield with two cross bows made into a cross, it was an emblem that held many secrets that only the courage warriors could carry into battle. He felt different with the clothes on it was like he was a part of something he had never dreamed he would be involved in. Just then there was a knock on the door again, the servant walked in and announced dinner was being served. “Follow me.” The servant said. He turned and walked down the hallway. Brospan followed the servant, he noticed the further he walked, there were rooms on both sides of the hallway. They came to a long winding stair case which they started to walk down. As they reached the bottom they came to a large room where there was two doors. It appeared that there were different rooms in opposite directions behind each door. The servant walked to the closest door in the room, he opened the door. Each room seemed to be designed with the same opulence as when they first entered the palace. There were more gold carving on the high ceilings, this time portraying people dancing and joining festivities that Brospan had not seen before. They walked through four other large rooms before they came to a bigger room. The servant opened the door and announced Brospan had arrived. Brospan swallowed hard as he entered the room. Brospan looked around the room, there were a group of well-dressed strangers. A tall, older man dressed in striking clothes piercing brown eyes approached Brospan. Brospan shook as he was a little nervous about the approaching stranger. Brospan held out his hand to shake hands with the stranger. The older stranger looked confused at this, he bowed down with both hands clenched together.
“I am king Mirtile.” King Mirtile said. “I am pleased you are having dinner with us.” King Mirtile said. Brospan also bowed down and put his hands together. “Thank you for having me for dinner.” Brospan said.
“I hear you saved the life of my son and Vascillan.” King Mirtile said. There was a great deal of gratitude in King Mirtile’s voice as he said that. Brospan looked concerned. “I don’t know why anyone would want to kill Prince Jallepan or Vascillan.” Brospan said. “We tried to get a look at one of the attackers face but they ran away too quickly so we didn’t get a chance to find out. Just then two strangers came towards King Mirtile and Brospan. The older stranger came up close to King Mirtile. “King Mirtile, who is this young man here?” The older stranger asked. “As we are allies with the Vrictom kingdom I think we should know who he is.” The older stranger demanded. Brospan began to feel uneasy about this encounter. King Mirtile looked at Brospan and pointed at the older stranger. “This is Vallogmint and this young man with him is Saphire our best student at Almindint College.” King Mirtile said. “He is a Tentra Safani.” King Mirtile said. “This is Brospan, the young man who save my sons life and Vascillan’s life as well.” King Mirtile said. Saphire eyed Brospan suspiciously.
“Where do you come from?” Saphire asked.
“Near the Makial River.” Brospan said. A humourless smile came across Saphire’s face.
“Well I guess you can’t wait to get back home.” Saphire said. Saphire and Vallogmint looked at each other, they both sensed something different about Brospan and wanted out of the way as quickly as possible. Prince Jallepan came over to Brospan. He was surprised at how different Brospan looked with clean, good clothes. Brospan was quite good looking, he was tall with light golden colour hair and he had the deepest blue eyes that seemed to hold secrets as the wind that whispers its melancholy dreams to a solitary heart. He was solidly built yet toned from working on the pig farm all those years. Prince Jallepan spoke softly to Brospan. “Thank you Brospan for coming to help us when you did.” Prince Jallepan said. “You seemed to have lightning quick reflexes when you helped us.” Prince Jallapen said. Brospan was beginning to really like Prince Jallepan and his father King Mirtile. They seemed like honest and kind people and they carried themselves with a quiet unassuming dignity. “I’ve always been able to act quickly when it has been necessary.” Brospan said. A pretty little girl who looked to be nine years old came up to Prince Jallepan. “Brospan.” Prince Jallepan said. “This is my little sister Mancallina.” Prince Jallepan said. “Mancallina I would like you meet my new friend Brospan.” Prince Jallepan said. Brospan smiled and bowed down to Mancallina. Mancallina looked serious and bowed politely.
“We usually only have royals and royal officials come to dinner at the palace.” Mancallina said. “A your family royals from another kingdom?” Mancallina asked. Brospan shook his head.
“No Mancallina I come from a farm.” Brospan said. Mancallina gave
Brospan a stare.
“What do you grow on the farm?” Mancallina asked.
“It’s a pig farm” Brospan answered. Just then a servant came in and announced that dinner was ready to be served. King Mirtile came up to Brospan and smiled at him.
“I hope you like what we’ll be having for dinner.” King Mirtile said. “You must be hungry.” King Mirtile said.
“Yes I am hungry.” Brospan answered. They walked down a long hall way their footsteps echoed like ghosts speaking their warnings to Brospan. They came to two large doors with gold ornate handles. The two doors opened inwards into a long rectangular room. There was a long heavy wooden table with twelve chairs that were waiting for them with plates and cutlery placed with great care in front of each chair. There were napkins with gold patterns on them at each place setting. Brospan was in awe of the grandeur of the dining room, King Mirtile sat at the head of the long table. Prince Jallepan sat on left hand side of his father. Mancallina sat next to her brother and Vascillan sat on the right side of table next to King Mirtile. Brospan was seated next to Vascillan. Vallogmint and Saphire were seated at the other end of the table. The servants brought in a trolley with a big bowl. In the bowl was a rich stew with vegetables and spices and delicate meat. King Mirtile was served first. The servant, a pretty young girl aged sixteen gave Brospan some of the pleasant smelling stew. She smiled at Brospan. Brospan smiled back, a little unsure of the extra attention the servant girl was giving him. Brospan started eating right away, he hadn’t noticed that no-one else had started. Brospan looked around and immediately stopped eating as no-one else had started eating. Prince Jallepan looked over at Brospan and raised his napkin and placed it over his lap, Brospan did the same. Brospan had just used any folk to eat the stew. Brospan watched Prince Jallepan as he pick up the right folk. They all commenced eating. Brospan had never tasted such rich flavoursome food before. Vallogmint was looking intently at Brospan while he was eating. Saphire sensed that Brospan was not an ordinary boy. King Mirtile took his spoon and tapped it on the side of his glass. They were drinking a spicy apple cider drink.
“I would like to make a toast to Brospan, for helping save my son’s life and Vascillan’s life.” King Mirtile said. Vascillan looked at King Mirtile and spoke up.
“If we could find a security job for Brospan here at the palace he would prove invaluable.” Vascillan replied. King Mirtile looked at Brospan and nodded in agreement.
“I think I have a better plan for Brospan if he agrees but for now let’s enjoy dinner.” King Mirtile said. Everyone ate the stew quickly. The second course was being brought out into the dining room. A huge roasted Beu Fowler bird was brought out with roast vegetables and a dark coloured sauce which was being stirred by a servant in a large silver bowl. Four large pieces of Beu Fowler were placed on everyone’s plate. The fragrant sauce was poured over the meat with a large silver spoon. Brospan tasted the Beu Fowler, it was a delicate meat that was tender and good eating. Brospan loved the taste of the Beu Fowler. He bit into a roast potato which was roasted with special herbs and salt. Everyone enjoyed the meal. Mancallina had a smile on her face as it was time for the sweets to be brought out for dessert. The servant girl that had smiled at Brospan came out with another trolley. There were four large tarts and a bowl of fresh cream. One tart had baked apple and pear in it, with a honey glaze. Another tart was the fruits of the forest tart, with all the sweet berries found in the forest of the Vrictom kingdom. The apple tart with golden pastry on top looked mouth-watering as was the apricot tart with cherries in a honey glaze. As the sweets were being served to everyone at the table, Vallogmint raised his voice in an impatient manner. “What have you got planned for the boy?” Vallogmint asked. King Mirtile stared coldly at Vallogmint. And spoke in a serious tone.
“Brospan seems to be a boy of great courage and strength.” King Mirtile said. “I want Brospan to be a loud to join Almindint College if he passes the tests.” King Mirtile said. Vascillan smiled and nodded in agreement. Prince Jallepan was also please about his father’s plan. Vallogmint stood up and pounded his fist on the table.
“You can’t be serious about this Mirtile.” Vallogmint shouted. “Have you lost your mind Mirtile?” Vallogmint asked. Saphire also stood up. “There is no way a commoner can join Almindint.” Saphire said. Saphire felt an uncontrollable rage in him swell with in him.
“He wouldn’t have any dividends in his bloodline anyway.” Saphire shouted. Saphire’s eyes turned a dark blue colour. “If you dare to let Brospan do the tests, I’m telling you now there will be grave consequences.” Saphire said. Saphire turned to look at Brospan. “Your family must need you so why don’t you go back home.” Saphire said. “Leave, just go away before you get hurt.” Saphire said. Brospan felt a stirring deep within him, he felt this energy surge through his body and his fingertips. The plates on the table started to shake, they lifted up in the air and smashed against the walls into tiny fragments. The knives and folks and spoons flew off the table and landed on the ground. Everyone at the table shielded their eyes and face from the flying dishes and cutlery. Saphire kept on looking at Brospan, he knew Brospan was much more than he said. King Mirtile got up and angrily pointed his finger at Saphire. “I think you’ve said enough for tonight.” King Mirtile said. “I want you and Vallogmint to leave right now.” King Mirtile said. “It is up to me to say whether Brospan will do the tests or not.” King Mirtile said. King Mirtile got up and opened the doors. Vallogmint, Saphire glared at Brospan and angrily left the room. King Mirtile looked at Brospan and spoke in a kind voice. “I am sorry for what was said here tonight.” King Mirtile said. Brospan looked pale, he looked at King Mirtile unsure what to say.
“Maybe I should go back to the farm with my father.” Brospan said. “No I don’t think you should go back to the farm.” King Mirtile said. “I want you to go to Almindint College.” King Mirtile said with determination.
“You could be one of the best safanis that we have ever had.” Vascillan said. Prince Jallepan jumped off his chair and looked intently at Brospan. “I think we should get a good night rest and forget about what was said.” Prince Jallepan said.
“I think that’s a good idea, so go and get a good night rest.” King Mirtile said. Brospan nodded and followed Prince Jallepan as he left the room. Prince Jallepan wondered about the smashing dinner plates
and the cutlery that flew off the table. Prince Jallepan sensed that Brospan had something to do with what happened. Brospan seemed to read Prince Jallepan’s mind.
“I’m sorry about the dinner plates and the knives and folks ending up on the floor.” Brospan said. “I don’t understand myself what happened.” Brospan said.
“Don’t worry Brospan, we have plenty of plates in the palace kitchen.” Prince Jallepan replied. Brospan was still amazed at the richness of the interior of the palace. Brospan would have gotten lost without Prince Jallepan to guide him through the maze of rooms and
Hallways. They finally reached Brospan’s room. Brospan breathed a sigh of relief. Prince Jallepan turned to look at Brospan.
“My father will arrange a safani council meeting tomorrow.” Prince Jallepan said. “Get some rest and thanks again for helping us near the Makial River.” Prince Jallepan said. “You can start a new life here Brospan.” Prince Jallepan said. Brospan nodded. He was still unsure of what would happened. They both said goodnight Brospan entered his room and went to sit on the edge of his bed. Brospan thought of his father again. How could his father have taken the money and sent him away. Brospan felt more alone now than he ever
Had before. He remembered the look of hatred in Saphire’s eyes. Just then, there was a knock on the door, a servant came in and put a cup of hot drink on the bed side table. The servant gestured toward the bed clothes that had been laid out at the bottom of the bed. Brospan gave a smile to the servant and said thanks. The servant wished Brospan a good night and left. Brospan reached for the cup of drink. It was hot milk and other sweet smelling spices that tasted good. He slowly sipped the soothing hot drink. What if tomorrow there was more hostility directed at him. Brospan got a very strong feeling of uneasiness when he thought about the Safani council. He tried not to think about it anymore that night. He put the bed clothes on that were on the bed, they felt clean and warm. He pulled the bed blankets down and got under them. There was a distinct chill in the air. Brospan looked out of the large window and stared at the darken sky.
It was still early morning. Brospan looked around his room and couldn’t help but admire how beautiful his room was but deep down inside he felt lost. He felt like an inner calling coming from a dark mysterious place where shadows fall upon the mind, like waves from an ocean shore. Brospan new that there was something he had to do in the future although he didn’t know what, he sensed it was important. The bed felt soft, Brospan drifted off to sleep again. Brospan looked behind him he was walking on a rocky path with sharp jaggered rocks scattered everywhere on the path. Instinctively he knew there was something behind him. He quickened his pace “Must keep on going.” Brospan thought. He saw people up ahead. They had no faces but they were speaking in a strange language. Suddenly a piercing inhuman scream came from behind him, Brospan looked back, and he saw a huge ugly vicious looking creature with razor sharp teeth. The monsters hands had long menacing sharp claws. Brospan fell backwards, the faceless people crowded around Brospan. He screamed and awoke, a cold sweat covered his body. Dawn had broken through the sky, letting in beams of light into Brospan’s room. He thought about the dream that he just had, it meant something but he knew it also came as a warning. Brospan lay in bed and slowly drifted off to sleep again. There was aloud knock on Brospan’s door. A servant, a young man in his twenties came in and brought a hot drink with some bread rolls. Brospan looked up at the bread rolls. They smelt delicious. Brospan nodded his head up at the servant. The servant spoke politely to the Brospan.
“Breakfast will be served in the dining room.” The servant said. He bowed and left the room. Brospan ate the bread rolls, he got dressed quickly. Brospan was still not used to the clothes. There was a long mirror on the wall, Brospan caught a glimpse of his reflection in the mirror. He looked at his thick fair hair and deep blue eyes. Brospan had never actually seen himself look like this before. Brospan knew that there would be very hard times for him but he had faced hard times most of his life. There was a knock on the door, the servant came in. He looked at Brospan and announced that breakfast was being served. “I will show you the way.” The servant said to Brospan, they walked for what seemed like an endless amount of time before they reached the dining room. Flashbacks of Saphire and Vallogmint’s angry outburst came back to haunt him. The servant opened the two doors. King Mirtile was at the table he was drinking a cup of spiced apple juice. Mancallina looked up at Brospan a smile came across her face then it disappeared. Prince Jallepan saw Brospan and smiled. He waved his hand and motioned for Brospan to sit down. Vascillan watched Brospan as he sat down. Vascillan was impressed how Brospan looked in good clothes.
“We have a long journey ahead of us to get to the Safani council as soon as we can.” King Mirtile said. “Whatever happens Brospan always believe in yourself.” King Mirtile said. Brospan nodded as he looked to the ground. He had only ever had his mother say the same thing to him. Brospan felt a sadness growing within him. He looked at Vascillan, something stirred within him again. He felt a connection to Vascillan. Vascillan stared at Brospan. “One day Brospan you’ll know what it’s like to be a true Safani.” Vascillan said. Vascillan sensed that Brospan was doubting himself, he knew he had to build up Brospan’s confidence. Mancallina did not like Brospan. She felt that he was a commoner and had no place being at the palace. Mancallina’s mother had died when she was only two years old. She was a beautiful woman who had a kind heart and was gentle and softly spoken. She had passed away suddenly one night. King Mirtile grief stricken for many years afterwards. He loved his wife very much. After Mancallina’s mother past away, King Mirtile spoilt Mancallina, so she was used to having her own way. Brospan looked at the servant girl as she pushed in the food cart with many large plates of food. The servant girl brought a large dish of eggs to King Mirtile and put two eggs on his plate. She came over to Brospan and put two eggs on his plate. The servant girl smiled at him. Brospan smiled back, he then looked at the eggs. The eggs had been poached and sprinkled with herbs on top. After everyone had been served their eggs then came another tray with tomatoes and other vegetables that had been baked in the oven. As they started breakfast King Mirtile spoke of their long journey to the Safani council, it would take half a day to get there King Mirtile told Brospan.
“It’s a tough journey to the Safani council.” Vascillan said. “Do you still want to go?” Vascillan asked. Brospan looked at Vascillan.
“Will Saphire and Vallogmint be at the Safani council when I arrive there?” Brospan asked. Vascillan’s face turned serious.
“I believe they will be but we must focus on you Brospan.” Vascillan said.
“I’ve come this far so I can’t turn back now.” Brospan replied.
Saphire and Vallogmint had been riding for some time when they reached a cider house. Saphire got off his horse and went over to Vallogmint. Vallogmint’s horse had a bad leg.
“We’ll have to find another horse.” Vallogmint said. “We have to get to the Safani council as quickly as we can.” Vallogmint said.
“I think we have to go to the Artual kingdom and let King Vasantina know what’s happen.” Saphire said.
“You are so naive boy.” Vallogmint snapped. “We’ll go in and get some supplies and head off.” Vallogmint said. Saphire didn’t like Vallogmint’s plan, he wanted to go to the Artual kingdom and find a way to stop Brospan from reaching the Safani council. They both entered the cider house, they were greeted by a stale smell of cider and other unpleasant scents coming from inside. They bought drinks, bread, cheese and fruit. Saphire went to speak to the man who was serving cider to the customers. “We need a good horse to buy.” Saphire said, “Do you have one?” Saphire asked tentatively.
“I have one horse that I could let you have but it will cost you.” The man said. The man smiled at Saphire but it was a humourless smile on his face. His face was harsh looking, he gave the impression of being someone that you wouldn’t want to cross. “How much?” Saphire asked.
“How much have you got?” The Man asked. Saphire searched his pockets, he found one silver ruper. It wasn’t enough to buy a horse, Saphire thought. Saphire looked around to see if he could see Vallogmint. The cider house was full and every man in there had noticed Saphire. Some of them wondered if it was worth slitting his throat to get whatever he had in his pockets. Others just wanted to rough up his good looking face. Saphire had deep, piercing blue eyes and short dark brown hair. His skin was a colour of pale moonlight. Saphire saw Vallogmint coming through the entrance of the cider house. He waved at Saphire. Saphire walked quickly up to Vallogmint and told him that there was a horse that they could buy. They had spent most of their money on supplies so there wasn’t that much left to buy a horse. Vallogmint looked in his money pouch and found one gold ruper and three silver rupers. Ruper was the official currency used by the Ten Fortitude Kingdoms. The gold ruper was of the highest value, the silver and copper rupers was of lower value.
Vallogmint saw the type of men that were at the cider house, he knew they had to be careful. Vallogmint whispered to Saphire.
“Follow me” He said softly. They both approached the man serving cider. “We will offer you two silver rupers for your horse.” Vallogmint said in mocked friendliness. The man looked at them both and began to laugh.
“There’s no-way you can buy a horse around here for two silver rupers.” The man said. “You can have the horse for five gold rupers” The man said. The man thought about it and remembered the rugsack at the back of the side of the house. The man looked at Vallogmint. “I have a rugsack that you can have for two silver rupers.” The man replied. Vallogmint grabbed the man and pulled him close to him. “Don’t play me for a fool.” Vallogmint said. Vallogmint waved his hand and the man flew across the room, he hit the wall hard. Vallogmint’s feet lifted off the ground and he flew over to him. The man laid in a crumpled heap on the floor. Vallogmint put his foot on his throat. “We need a horse now!” Vallogmint said. The man started to shake as Vallogmint pressed down on his throat harder. The man knew that he was seconds away of his throat getting crushed.
“Alright!” The man yelled. “I will tell you the truth.” The man said. “I don’t have a horse to sell but I can give you the rugsack for nothing.” The man replied. “He’s around the back.” Vallogmint did not remove his foot from the man’s throat. Vallogmint kept on pressing harder on the man’s throat. The man screamed. “No! Please.” Vallogmint removed his foot. He put his hand up towards the man, he started to choke. Vallogmint kept moving his hand in an almost hypnotic way, the man passed out and Vallogmint waved his hand and the man smashed through the window of the cider house he landed on the ground outside. Vallogmint looked at Saphire. “I hate people that get in the way.” Vallogmint said. Vallogmint knew using Safani powers to hurt others was not in the code of honour of a Safani. Vallogmint believed that his Safani powers could give him the upper hand in any situation so he was never afraid to use them. Saphire thought about Brospan. “We must hurry if we want to get to the Safani council to be the first to tell them about Brospan.” Saphire said. Vallogmint nodded. They walked around the back of the cider house, although the smell in the cider house had been bad, the smell was much worst as they got behind the cider house. The smell of rotting flesh and urine was getting worst. Saphire heard this almost blood chilling inhuman sound. As they got closer they saw an ugly frightening beast. Its teeth were razor sharp, there was a mixture of blood and saliva dripping from its mouth. The creature had black fur covering its body and dark menacing eyes. The beast resembled a vicious dog, it was three times larger than the size of a horse. Rugsack’s were used as a form of transport, they were stronger and faster than a horse. The creature had smelt their scent. The rugsack had lifted his head and looked at them. The Rugsack started making a low thunderous noise. Vallogmint went as close as he dared to the rugsack he waved his hand and used his mind with his hand to calm the creature down. Safani powers did not work on Rugsacks. The beast sensed something about Vallogmint. The giant dog lunged forward to attack Vallogmint. Vallogmint lost his footing and fell backwards, the rugsack moved quickly towards him. The rugsack was inches away from Vallogmint when it was pulled by a heavy large chain and thick rope. Vallogmint got to his feet, he began to speak a strange magical language with words that were mysterious and powerful. The rugsack laid back on its head again, the creature fell asleep again. Saphire spotted a leather harness and saddle behind the rugsack. The harness and saddle was made for that particular rugsack. Vallogmint signalled to Saphire that they should go and put the harness and saddle on the rugsack. Saphire and Vallogmint watched the rugsack with great care as they inspected the saddle and harness.
“Vallogmint how did you put something like this to sleep?” Saphire asked.
“I am fluent in many ancient languages, which I will teach you one day, Saphire.” Vallogmint answered. Vallogmint slowly lifted the harness and saddle, he gently lowered the harness which fit perfectly on the rugsacks head. The saddle was placed gently on the rugsack back. Saphire and Vallogmint were sickened by the foul smell of the rugsack, Saphire nearly threw up from the putrid smell. Saphire grabbed the leather strap, he carefully pulled the strap under the giant creature’s leg and buckled it under the side of the saddle. They had safely secured the harness and saddle on the rugsack. Vallogmint went to climb onto the saddle, his boot slipped and dug into the rugsacks side. The beast awoke, it began to thrash around and howl. Saphire froze he tried to move but couldn’t the rugsack turned its head and opened its mouth ready to bite into Saphire. All of a sudden they heard a singing voice so beautiful that it could enchant the coldest heart and bring it to life. The rugsack stopped thrashing around and laid silently there. The girl approached Saphire, she looked to be ten years old and her flowing dress glowed like a ghostly portrait, painted by the ivory strands of moonlight. Saphire was mesmerized by the girl. She spoke to Saphire, her voice sounded as sweet as honey made from Duberri honey. “Saphire you must rub behind the rugsacks ear to make it obey.” The girl said. Saphire looked at the girl and asked who she was with his mind. The girl stared at Saphire with her deep blue eyes. “You know who I am.” She said, she turned around and her golden hair was flowing in the wind. Saphire reached behind the rugsacks ear, and started rubbing the beast as fast as he could manage. The rugsack bent down on all four legs and stayed there obediently.
Vallogmint had seen the girl come up to Saphire, he sensed that the gods had paid Saphire a visit. He came up to Saphire, Vallogmint said a silent prayer to the gods. Saphire saw Vallogmint standing there, he saw that Vallogmint looked troubled.
“We’ll be able to get to the Safani council a lot quicker with one of these.” Saphire said.
“I see you had some help tonight Saphire.” Vallogmint said.
‘I don’t want to talk about it.” Saphire said. “You must rub behind the rugsacks ear and it will obey you.” Saphire said. “Well then, I think it’s time we head off.” Saphire said. Saphire checked the harness and saddle again, he reluctantly climbed onto the rugsacks back. He tried to ignore the sickening smell of the rugsack. Vallogmint got onto the beasts back and pulled up reins of the harness. Vallogmint reached into his pouch and pulled out some dried leaves, he turned and gave one to Saphire. Vallogmint put a leaf in his mouth, they both couldn’t the notice smell of the Rugsack anymore. Vallogmint rubbed behind the rugsacks ear, he gave him an order to go. The huge beast, almost mechanical in its movements got up slowly and sniffed the air. Vallogmint applied the same principle as a horses reins, he pulled them so the rugsack turn around and follow the trail that would lead them straight to the no-where forest.
The large forest that Vallogmint and Saphire were headed towards was actually named the Nechmanel Forest. People in that area called it the Nowhere Forest, it was called that because many people that had gotten into the forest, had never come out. Those that had survived the forest, had gone mad. The little people and the forest guardian lived in the forest and protected it. They were said to be unpredictable, they could also chose to be visible or invisible. Travellers were very wary about going into the forest. The forest guardians were said to protect the little people and the forest. If they sensed evil, they would use their magic to attack that person. As they neared the forest, Saphire sensed they were being watched. Saphire and Vallogmint had reached the edge of the forest, they made the rugsack stop. Vallogmint stared hard into the forest, he knew they were at great risk if the entered the forest. They had no other choice but to go through the forest, if they wanted to be at the Safani council before Vascillan and Brospan arrived there. Saphire felt a surge of power go through him. Saphire sensed that there was powerful magical enchantment in the forest.
“We have to be strong, we have to go through the forest.” Vallogmint said.
“Is there another way?” Saphire asked.
“No but I have Igflamon oil, which will protect us.” Vallogmint replied. Vallogmint took out a small blue bottle and put some on his finger, he touched Saphire’s forehead. Vallogmint whispered some strange words, he took his hand away from his forehead. He did the same for himself. “Keep your wits about you boy and you’ll get through.” Vallogmint said. Vallogmint rubbed the rugsack behind his ear and gave him the order to go forward. As they went deeper into the forest, every part of the forest seemed to come alive. Even the trees seem to have an energy of their own. Sunlight reached down from the shadows of the trees but the darkness seemed to descend into the forest. Out of the corner of Saphire’s eye he could see small lights flickering in the darkness ahead, like ghosts lighting the way for lost souls, to seek their morbid desires. Saphire felt a hand touch his shoulder, he looked but saw nothing. They had been riding for quite some time or what seemed a long time. The forest guardians had the power to alter a person’s perception of time. The little people had surrounded Vallogmint and Saphire, they sensed that they were no ordinary travellers. The little people decided to approach. The rugsack had been travelling at good speed but the little people had taken control of the rugsacks mind and willed the creature to stop. Vallogmint knew what had happened to the rugsack, he decided to be friendly to the little people. Five little men dressed in white robes and ten little women dressed in white flowing dresses appeared close to them. They were so small, they appeared to be miniature figures holding tiny lanterns.
“What is your business here?” asked the little man. He had a dark beard and dark hair. His face was small yet it radiated strength and power.
“I have an important matter I have to discuss with the council.” Vallogmint said. The little man gave Vallogmint a stern look.
“We know of you Vallogmint.” The little man said. “You’re a Safani with a ruthless streak in you.” The little man said. “As for the boy, we sense he is something else.” The Little man said. “We sense in him an awakening.” The Little man said, “He has much power but he carries too much anger in his heart.” The Little Man said. The little people could see many things and they had the ability to see in the future.
“Tell the boy he still has time if he can get rid of his anger and accepts change, he can have many great things.” The Little Woman said. She had brown hair and deep green eyes.
“As for you Vallogmint I don’t see many good things happening if you don’t accept change as well.” The Little Lady said. Vallogmint remained calm.
“I have always thought change to be good, but not when it puts tradition at risk.” Vallogmint said.
“You fear the boy they call Brospan.” The Little Man said.
“He could lead us into a new tomorrow.” The Little people cried out in unison.
“He will be our greatest Safani.” The Little Man said. Vallogmint and Saphire felt a burning anger rage within them.
“I have no doubt that Brospan could aspire to something but there are rules.” Vallogmint said.
The little people were getting impatient. “We will let you pass the forest for all you rupers.” The Little People said together.
“Do you know who I am?” Vallogmint yelled, outraged. “I’m one of the greatest Safanis in existence.” Vallogmint yelled.
“We must summon the forest protectors.” The Little Man said. Saphire looked around, there seemed to be movement all around the forest. He glanced uneasily at the trees. Saphire wished they could leave the forest and be on their way. Booming voices echoed around them, yet they could see nothing.
“Give us the rupers and you can be on your way.” A thunderous voice said. Vallogmint did not want to argue. He pulled out a small purple bottle from his leather pouch in his coat. He put under the rugsacks nose and began to rub the back of his ear. The rugsack obeyed Vallogmint’s order and they both quickly on and rode away. The forest protectors had surrounded them, Vallogmint waved his hands and started chanting a strange melodic song. A passage opened up between the forest protectors. Vallogmint and Saphire couldn’t clearly see the faces of the forest protectors but they could feel their hands like knives piercing their arms and legs. Blood oozed
From their wounds. They went through the passage that had opened between the forest protectors. Vallogmint and Saphire heard haunting tormenting voices whispering in their ears. Saphire wanted to scream but he tried to stay focused. The forest dwellers followed them, they showed themselves. They had strange enchanted faces with large dark hollow eyes. Their long thin bodies with grey pale skin, the colour of a ghost moon on a dark shadowed night. Saphire heard voices whispering his name, other voices were speaking in an ancient language that he did not recognise. He felt he was slipping into a dark place that was consuming his mind, body and spirit. Vallogmint felt the same, he summoned all his strength to stop
himself from losing complete control on his mind and spirit. Vallogmint saw visions in his mind of half human, half beast warriors waging war on him. The warriors were called Seclondas, they were the most ruthless and cruel fighters that had ever existed. Vallogmint felt a fever working through his body. Saphire was getting worst too. He was slipping into an insanity that was like falling into dark oblivion. They were close to reaching the end of the Nechmanel Forest. Vallogmint took a white cloth with white powder from his pouch. He put some on his tongue he began to feel slightly better. It was a powerful disenchantment powder. Vallogmint turned to look at Saphire. The Safani saw that Saphire was not doing well. Vallogmint’s mind began to clear, he gathered all his strength to reach into Saphire’s mind. “Saphire this an illusion Vallogmint said in Saphire’s mind. Saphire felt relief. He remembered Brospan and getting to the Safani council. He could still hear the voices echoing in his mind but he focused on getting through the forest and back to the edge of reason in his soul. The rugsack was moving at a rapid pace, it was as though the beast sensed that they had to get out of there as soon as possible. Up ahead was a small clearing and what looked like bright sunlight. There had only been filtered light through the forest. Saphire breathed a sigh of relief. They reach the sunlight, they made it out of the forest. Vallogmint spoke to Saphire
in his mind again. ‘You are safe now.’
Saphire heard the voices from the forest getting smaller. Saphire spoke back to Vallogmint. “Thankyou Vallogmint.” Saphire said in Vallogmint’s mind. Saphire wouldn’t let, what to happen them, stop them from getting to the Safani Council. It would be dusk before they would get near the Safani Council. Vallogmint could tell by the position in the sky that they had been in the Nechmanel forest for at least two to three hours. They rode through rocky, dry paddocks. Saphire was getting hungry. Vallogmint stopped the rugsack. They looked for a quiet spot under some trees they ate some bread, with some cheese a little fruit. “I believe we won’t make it to the Safani Council in time.” Saphire said.
“I have ways of getting what I want.” Vallogmint said.
“I know.” Saphire said, nodding.
“Let’s get going.” Vallogmint said. They climbed up on the rugsack and headed off. They went towards the north. They began to make good time again. Vallogmint and Saphire had gotten the feel of the rugsack. The scenery began changing, they saw mountains in the distance. That was a sign they were getting closer.
Brospan sat on the edge of the bed in his room. He began to feel strange. Prince Jallepan had told him that they would be preparing the horses for the journey to the Safani Council. The servant knocked on the door and came in. “King Mirtile and Vascillan are awaiting for you with the horses downstairs.” The servant said.
Brospan answered the servant. “I’m coming.” The servant bowed and left the room. Brospan got up, he felt the room spinning. He tried to find something to hold onto, He felt his legs give way, and Brospan collapsed on the floor. Brospan heard his mother’s voice, he looked up again. He ran towards his mother’s open arms. Her pretty face was smiling at him. He felt something pull him back. He turned around, His father was standing before him with his hand raised in the air. “You’re nothing you’ll always be nothing, just like your mother.” Brospan’s father said. Brospan started to run, he knew that he had to keep running.
Prince Jallepan looked to see if Brospan was coming. Vascillan was also wondering where Brospan was.
“I’ll go and see what’s happen to the boy.” Vascillan replied. Brospan looked at the night sky, he looked around and wondered where he was, Brospan saw a river up ahead. He felt drawn to it. As Brospan reached the river’s edge he looked in the river, he saw something sparkling in the river, he reach his hand and pulled out a glowing crystal cup, it felt warm to touch. A voice spoke to him. “What is it that you seek of yourself and others?” A voice said.
“I don’t know.” Brospan replied.
“Will you drink from the river of knowledge” A melodic voice said.
“You may not like the knowledge you receive.” The same voice said again.
“What is this place?” Brospan asked.
“The gods have brought you here.” The voice said.
“Why?” Brospan asked.
“You must have the knowledge from the river, because it will give you strength to fight.” The Voice said. Brospan felt himself being drawn to the river. He took the illuminous cup and gripped it tightly, and dipped the cup into the river. The water felt cool and refreshing, he drank the water, and it felt like ice going down his throat. He coughed. Everything around him changed. He was no longer by the river. He was in a hallway in what seemed to be a college, he saw Saphire there surrounded by what looked like other students. “We must get rid of Brospan, he is standing in our way. Brospan found himself on a cliff top. Down below were people being beaten by metal chains. They were dressed in dirty, torn clothes. They seemed to be digging for something. Brospan felt their pain. He had been in that dark place so many times himself on that farm. They were people without hope. Everything went dark. Brospan seemed to be in a huge room. A solid man with long red hair and a red beard dressed in royal clothes was speaking to someone.
“We can’t let anyone or anything change our way of life.” The man with the red beard said. “He must go.” The Man with the red beard said. A voice whispered in Brospan’s ear. “We are taking you on a journey to the spirit realm.” The voice said. The spirit realm was a place where people went to when they needed to be healed and restored. It was a beautiful place where everything shone with purity and light. There were planets surrounded by golden dust where you could travel to. As in the physical world you could breathe fresh air in spiritual world. He saw a circle of five older men with long white hair and long grey beards. One of the men raised his hand and motioned for Brospan to come closer to him. Vascillan entered Brospan’s room, he saw Brospan lying on the floor. He went over to him, he checked to see if he was still breathing. He was. Vascillan lifted Brospan off the floor gently and placed him on the bed. Vascillan put his hand on Brospan’s forehead. He closed his eyes. He reached into Brospan’s mind.
The five men sitting in the circle told Brospan to go in the middle of the circle. “We must heal you now Brospan.” The men said. “You have many wounds in your soul.” The men said. They each had a long wooden staff with a clear, white crystal on top. The five crystals started moving in a circular motion. Rays of light hit Brospan’s body. The light encompassed him. Brospan had never felt such warmth. He felt a tingling within himself. He experienced a sense of piece that he had never felt before. “We must let you go now Brospan.” The Voices said. “Remember never give up even when there is no hope left.” The Voices said. Vascillan took his hand away. He sensed Brospan had been taken to the spirit realm.
“Boy! Boy! Vascillan said. Vascillan lightly shook Brospan. Brospan did not respond. Vascillan gathered all his inner strength. He did a serious of moves and gestures over Brospan’s body. He laid his hands on Brospan’s chest. Only the oldest Safani’s did this to bring someone’s spirit back to their body. Brospan coughed and opened his eyes. He saw Vascillan’s face as he looked up.
“We nearly lost you Brospan.” Vascillan said. “The Gods took your spirit from the physical world and bestowed on you some gifts from the spirit realm.” Vascillan replied. “You just had some trouble re-entering the physical world.” Vascillan said. Brospan looked around the room, he felt light headed and confused. He remembered that he been waiting to go the Safani Council.
“Have I lost my chance to go to the Safani Council?” Brospan asked.
“Nonsense you could never lose that.” Prince Jallapen said. He had only been at the door only a few minutes.
“How do you feel now boy?” Vascillan asked.
“I feel weaker and yet stronger than before.” Brospan said.
“I’ll get the servant to bring you some food and drink.” Prince Jallepan said.
“Just rest for now.” Vascillan said. Vascillan closed the door.
“What happened?” Prince Jallapen asked.
“He was taken by the gods.” Vascillan answered.
“Why?” Prince Jallapen asked.
“All I can tell you is we were destined to meet Brospan the day he saved our lives.” Vascillan said.
“I feel a connection to Brospan.” Prince Jallapen said. “I know he can be trusted and that he would do anything to save someone in trouble.” Prince Jallepan said. “Do you think he can make it to the Safani Council?” Prince Jallepan asked.
“I know he will be able to make it but more importantly, he has to make it to the Safani Council.” Vascillan answered. “I must go and talk to your father.” Vascillan said. King Mirtile was in his favourite room. He called it the thinking room. Whenever there was a problem or something went wrong, he would sit in this room, to try and find a solution. It was furnished with four large chairs and five beautifully carved wooden cabinets. There was a huge antique desk in the room. Vascillan knocked on the door. He came into the room. “How’s the boy?” King Mirtile asked.
“I believe he will be fine.” Vascillan replied.
“We know he’s the one?” King Mirtile asked.
“Yes I knew from the moment I met him, that he was one.” Vascillan answered.
“No-one must find out that he is the chosen one.” King Mirtile said.
“I will try and protect him from our enemies but I will try and be vigilant.” Vascillan said. Prince Jallepan came into Brospan’s room. There was a knock on the door. The servant came in with a tray of food. There was piping hot bowl of fragrant stew with some bread.
“You’re looking much better.” Prince Jallepan said.
“I’m having visions in my mind that don’t make any sense.” Brospan said.
“Sometimes it takes time to really understand things.” Prince Jallapen said. Brospan ate the stew on the bread.
“I’m feeling much better now.” Brospan said.
“That’s good.” Prince Jallepan said. “I think we should try and get ready for the journey.” Prince Jallepan said. Brospan got up he was fully dressed. He caught a glimpse of his face in the mirrors reflection. He was still haunted by so many things but he felt more whole as a person than he ever did before. Just than the door to Brospan’s door opened. Vascillan came in, he stared at Brospan carefully.
“We are going now to the Safani Council.” Vascillan said. “How do you feel?” Vascillan asked.
“I’m good.” Brospan said.
“Let’s get going.” Vascillan said.
Brospan was walking with Prince Jallepan to the front of the palace. They went through the front entrance to the awaiting horses. King Mirtile was already mounted on his horse. He looked at his son and Brospan. “We better get moving, we’ve got a hard, long journey ahead of us.” King Mirtile said. The horse’s coats glistened in the sun. You could see that the horses were well looked after. Brospan looked every bit like a prince himself, with his blue coat gold buttons and cream pants. His blond hair shone like threads of gold in the sun light. He had hope in his heart for the first time. Vascillan had on his silver mesh top and over it he had metal breast plate with the Vrictom kingdom coat of arms on it. He looked like an eternal warrior fighting an ancient battle of good against evil. Vascillan was one of the most powerful Safani’s. He had not turned corrupt like so many other Safani’s had. His blue eyes reflected great knowledge and wisdom. Everyone had mounted their horses and they began their journey to the Safani Council. As the Vrictom Kingdom Palace got smaller, it faded to nothing as they gained ground. They went through thick bush land and then green pastures. They had left the Vrictom Kingdom grounds, they had reached great moment. The horses seemed to be going faster as if they already had been through this journey many times before. They had taken a secret way to the Safani Council. It was a much quicker way of getting to the Safani Council. They would be stopping soon to have something to drink and eat. The scenery was ever changing, so far their journey had been uneventful. Brospan felt something in his soul and in his mind. He didn’t know why but as they got closer to the Safani Council, he began to get a bad feeling, like he had never felt before. He tried to shake it off but he couldn’t. A few hours passed and they needed a rest. They found an area where they could dismount and rest for a short while. King Mirtile took out a large sack from his saddle and they sat down to eat. They each got four pieces of bread with cheese and slices of a dark coloured meat. They had fruit and nuts afterwards. Brospan liked the meat, it had been smoked. They all glanced at each other and there was pleasant silence as they finished to eat. Prince Jallepan looked at Brospan. “You seemed like you found a ruper but really have lost twenty rupers.” Prince Jallepan said grinning. Brospan faked a smile but the feeling of dread deep within was getting stronger.
“It’s just the journey ahead that worries me.” Brospan whispered.
“Nonsense, I’ve done this journey so many times before, there’s nothing to it.” Prince Jallepan said. King Mirtile broke off Brospan and Prince Jallepan’s conversation.
“We’d better get moving if we have to stop for the night.” King Mirtile said. “We will make it to the Safani Council by tomorrow.” King Mirtile said confidently. Brospan was beginning to think that life on the farm was a lot less complicated than this but he wanted to keep on going. Brospan felt a bond between King Mirtile and Prince Jallepan. He felt a strong connection to Vascillan as well. Everyone mounted their horses and they were on their way again. The sun was beginning to set and the landscape began to look eerie. Shadows began to appear amongst the trees like ghosts dancing to the rhythm of a sacred ancient song. They looked for somewhere to settle for the night. There was a clearing up ahead that would provide enough shelter for them. There was a chill in the air and they each had a blanket packed on their horses. Prince Jallepan gathered branches and sticks to make a fire for tonight. Brospan got the large sack with the food in it and brought close to where they would be starting a fire. Prince Jallepan had gathered enough tree branches and twigs to start the fire. Vascillan came up to the fire stack and brought a small bag from his pocket. He began to chant some ancient sounding words and sprinkled some powder from the small bag onto the stack of branches. A fire started and the flames rose higher and higher. Vascillan stopped chanting and put the rest of the powder back in his pocket. Brospan had watched what Vascillan had done. He was amazed and yet he felt the power of the words that Vascillan had used. It was though he had connected to the magic in the words. They gathered around the fire, they were all weary from the journey. Vascillan began to hand out bread to all of them. He then handed out slices of meat and cheese. Brospan felt better after eating some food. Brospan had just finished eating. He looked up into the darkness, he sensed something was out there. He turned around, he couldn’t see anything but he knew they weren’t alone.
“I think it’s time we got some sleep” King Mirtile said. Prince Jallepan nodded and covered himself with his blanket as he laid down. Vascillan tendered to the fire, it was still burning strong. Brospan covered himself and glanced again at the darkness surrounding them. He must have drifted off to sleep when something awoke him. Brospan lifted his head slightly, he saw that everyone else was sleeping. The fire was still burning. Out of the corner of his eye Brospan saw something flicker. He saw what looked like a grey figure of a man looking at them all. The figure moved closer to them. Brospan instinctively knew not to move straight away. The figure seemed misty in appearance. Brospan could make out that the ghostly figure was smiling. It was a purely wicked smile. The ghostly man saw everyone there. He looked at Brospan. He pointed at Brospan and spoke in a blood chilling voice. “You must go back to where you came from or all of you will be taken care of tomorrow.” The ghostly Apparition said. Brospan knew that what he had said was more than just a threat. The Apparition disappeared and Brospan sensed that tonight wouldn’t be the last time that he would be dealing with him. Brospan turned around to look at everyone else. Everyone was still sleeping. Brospan was glad that no-one had been hurt tonight but he knew this was a sign of danger that is yet to come.
Vallogmint was lying down near Saphire. They had stopped for night after eating some bread and cheese. Saphire was sound asleep, Vallogmint was very still. His body was lifeless. The ghostly apparition that Brospan had seen came closer to Vallogmint, it lifted in the air and went straight into Vallogmint’s body. Vallogmint awoke. He had taken some liquid that had a loud his spirit to leave his body. Vallogmint was than able to travel to find out how far Brospan and the others had travelled and how far away they were from reaching the Safani Council. Safani’s could separate their spirits from their bodies for a period of time before re-entering their soul into their bodies. Safani’s were more powerful than magicians. They could use their minds for many things. A Safani’s mind was the most powerful mind in existence as they could do anything with it. Vallogmint woke up Saphire.
“What?” Saphire mumbled.
“We have got a good chance to catch up to Brospan and the others.” Vallogmint said excitedly. “Brospan doesn’t know who he’s dealing with.” Vallogmint said. “I will destroy them all” Vallogmint said.
Brospan got up, he looked again in the darkness. The ghostly figure seemed familiar to Brospan but he wasn’t sure. He turned to Vascillan who was sitting up watching him. Brospan walked over to Vascillan and told him what happened.
“I know it could have been a Safani.” Vascillan said. “You must realize Brospan not all Safani’s are honourable.” Vascillan said. “Most of them are corrupt but there are still a few good Safani’s left.” Vascillan said. “We need you to become a Safani Brospan, so we can bring integrity and honour back to the Safani’s” Vascillan said. Brospan nodded, he was beginning to see Vascillan in a new light.
“Who was that misty figure?” Brospan asked.
“I will not tell you now but you will find out eventually” Vascillan said. They all awoke early in the morning. King Mirtile looked at the sky. There were heavy rain clouds forming. He was thinking of their journey ahead. There was a place called Traclycede. It was called that because when it rained it was notorious for landslides and boulders would fall from the steep cliffs above would fall down below potentially blocking the path. They would need to take this path to get to the Safani Council. King Mirtile knew they had come too far to turn back now. He said a pray to the gods that it would not rain. Prince Jallepan got up and saw the sky was getting darker. “We better have something to eat and be on our way” Prince Jallepan said. Brospan wondered if this was another sign that he should not have gone on this journey. They ate quickly and put their blankets on their horses. They mounted their horses and were on their way. A chilli wind had started blowing and Brospan felt his hands getting colder. Everyone had been riding for an hour when the rain started pouring down. Even though they were wet and cold, they kept on riding. Another hour had passed, the rain began to subside a little. They were getting very close to Traclycede pass. King Mirtile saw a small cave behind a cluster of trees. They all saw it and headed for the cave. Once they were inside, it was warm and sheltered from the winds outside which had turned icy cold. Brospan was in considerable pain. His hands were so cold that he had lost partial sensation in some of his fingers. Vascillan came over and looked at Brospan’s hands. He was concerned. Vascillan went over to Prince Jallepan. “We must build a fire and warm up Brospan’s hands.” Vascillan replied. Prince Jallepan gathered some branches and twigs from underneath outside. Vascillan quickly got the fire burning with incantation. Brospan put his hands near the fire. The warmth of the fire was soothing and healing to his hands. He felt a surge of heat go through his fingers. Brospan felt relief from the numbness. King Mirtile got his blanket and wrapped it around him. “I think we’ll have to stay here for a while and just warm up” King Mirtile said. Vascillan got out the spiced apple drink and warmed it by the fire. Everyone drank it and they felt better. Warmth began to return to their bodies and it felt good to be sheltered from the harsh weather. They looked further into the cave. It reached in far deeper than it appeared to. It was too dark to be sure if there was anything in the cave. Prince Jallepan got out a blanket and placed it over Brospan’s shoulders. Brospan nodded in gratitude. Everyone fell asleep. Brospan began to dream. He was walking deeper in the cave, he could hear soft screeching noises. He kept on walking further in the cave when he reached a huge cavernous area. He saw large black shadows hanging from the ceiling of the cave. These dark shadows seemed to come alive. Wings like leather started unfolding, teeth like sharp edges of a sword, glistened like flashes of white in the darkened cave. ‘I must warn the others’ Brospan thought. He awoke. Brospan could hear the low screeching sounds that he heard in his dream. “Wake up!” Brospan shouted. Vascillan, Prince Jallepan and King Mirtile awoke. “We’re not alone in this cave” shouted
Brospan. They all quickly got up and started heading towards their horses but the Lichtiens surrounded them in the cave. Lichtiens were large bat like creatures, they could inflict paralysis and death with their bite. They loved eating human flesh and they were always hungry. There were hundreds of them. They swooped down with their hungry mouths open. Brospan used his fits to knock them down. Vascillan and King Mirtile drew their swords. Brospan got one of the blankets and put it on the remains of the fire. The blanket lit up and Brospan waved the blanket near the creatures. The Lichtiens retreated for a moment. They all ran out of the cave and climbed onto the horses. Vascillan had several bites on his arm from the creatures. They rode on as fast as they could. They were getting closer to Traclycede pass. Prince Jallepan looked back at Vascillan. Vascillan looked like he couldn’t keep riding for much longer. Prince Jallepan stopped and looked concern “We should rest.” Prince Jallepan said. The rain had stopped. Prince Jallepan felt a great deal of affection towards Vascillan as they had been through many difficult times together. King Mirtile looked at Vascillan and walked over to him. “How badly were you bitten?” King Mirtile asked. Vascillan knew he would have to take care of the bites on his arms, as he could feel the poison weaken him. “I’ll be alright if we could rest an hour or so I’ll draw the poison out of my body.” Vascillan said. King Mirtile shook his head. “We’ll rest until you are feeling better.” King Mirtile said. Brospan came over to King Mirtile and Vascillan. “What were those creatures?” Brospan asked.
“They are Lichtiens and they are only found in this region.” Vascillan replied.
“They bit you didn’t they?” Brospan asked. Vascillan nodded. Brospan remembered the dream he had about finding the creatures in the cave. Vascillan saw the serious expression on Brospan’s face.
“If it hadn’t been for you to wake us up none of us would have gotten out of there.” Vascillan said.
“I wish I would have had a sword so I could have protected us more.” Brospan said.
“Nonsense, you fought like a true warrior.” King Mirtile said.
“Let us have something to eat and we will rest until Vascillan feels stronger.” King Mirtile said. Vascillan looked pale, he laid down on his blanket. Vascillan took out a clear small bottle from his pocket, he drank the liquid. He took out a white powder and put it on his wounds. Brospan sat near Vascillan and watched him as he slept. Prince Jallepan brought some food over to Brospan. King Mirtile ate with his son. Prince Jallepan looked at Brospan sitting near
Vascillan. “I think Brospan really thinks highly of Vascillan.” Prince Jallepan said.
“Yes son they have a lot in common.” King Mirtile said. Vascillan seemed to be getting worst. Brospan knew he would have to do everything he could to help Vascillan. Vascillan started sweating and his body began to tremble. Brospan looked inside Vascillan’s coat and found some bottles of mysterious liquids, there were also little pouches of powder. ‘How interesting the life of a Safani must be,’ Brospan thought. Nothing that he could use in Vascillan’s pockets would have been of benefit. Brospan knew that instinctively. He looked over at King Mirtile and Prince Jallepan, they had both closed their eyes and were resting. Brospan moved closer to Vascillan, somehow he felt a great weakness taking hold of the Safani. Suddenly Brospan heard a voice calling his name. It was the most beautiful, hypnotic voice he had ever heard. The voice called to him again. He looked in the direction of where it came from and saw white and blue glowing lights in the distance. They moved closer to him. They moved like leaves dancing to the winds restless hands. As they got closer Brospan could see that the balls of light were actually fairies. They were beautiful to look at. Their flowing white clothes gave them an ethereal appearance. The fairies sang out to Brospan as they flew up to him. Brospan was amazed, he gazed at the fairies beautiful face. She had long golden hair and deep, crystal blue eyes. She smiled at Brospan. “Do not be afraid” The fairy said. Her voice sounded so kind and enchanting. “We have come to help Vascillan” the fairies said. “He will die soon if we do not save him” she whispered. The other fairies gathered around Vascillan. The fairy that was near Brospan whispered in his ear. “I am the queen of the blue forest fairies.” The queen of the Blue forest fairies. “My name is Atherenia” Atherenia said. “We have often visited with Vascillan” Atherenia said. “Vascillan is the last pure, noble Safani left.” Atherenia whispered. “He must guide you and help you become a Safani” Atherenia said. Brospan sensed that they wanted to help Vascillan
“What do we do to make Vascillan well?” Brospan asked. Brospan was transfixed by the fairies.
“We have sprinkled our fairy dust on him” Atherenia said. “That is all we can do for now” Atherenia said “It is you that must search within yourself and find the strength to bring forth your power and heal him.” Atherenia said. Brospan laughed with fear.
“I haven’t got any power” He said. “I can’t heal him” Brospan said. The fairy queen flew up to Brospan’s lips and put her hand on his upper lip.
“You can do anything if you just believe in yourself” Atherenia said “I will guide you” Atherenia said. The queen of the fairies smiled at Brospan. “Now close your eyes and search your soul” She said soothingly. “Find that power deep within that you keep running from” she said. “Feel the power within you and feel the bond you have with Vascillan” She whispered. Brospan went deep within himself and felt that stirring in his soul, that he was always trying to deny was in him. He felt a warm sensation move up through his body and into his arms and hands.
“Now go and place your hands on Vascillan’s chest and let that warmth and strength heal him” Atherenia said encouragingly. Brospan felt afraid but he knew he had to do this for Vascillan. Brospan knelt down beside Vascillan and place his hands on the Safani’s chest. Vascillan’s breathing was shallow. Brospan went deeper within himself and connected with his soul. He felt a tingling, warm sensation in his hands. Brospan willed all his strength and his essence to go into Vascillan’s body. Brospan felt an immense power surge through his hands and into Vascillan’s body. Brospan connected to Vascillan’s soul and felt Vascillan’s body healing. He kept concentrating than he fell to the ground next to Vascillan. Brospan was very weak but he knew Vascillan would now be alright.
The fairies gathered around Brospan. The queen of the fairies came closer to Brospan and whispered, “You have saved our friend Vascillan” Atherenia said. “You will be protected by us now” Atherenia said. “All you have to do is call my name and we will appear” She said. Brospan watched them as they left. He focused his attention on Vascillan. He was breathing in more deeply and had stopped shaking. Brospan laid there next to Vascillan, he knew he had done something incredible but he decided not to tell anyone about using his inner power to heal Vascillan or seeing the fairies. Brospan must have fallen asleep. He felt a hand shaking his shoulder. Brospan opened his eyes and saw Vascillan looking at him. “Are you alright now?” Brospan asked.
“I’m feeling much better” Vascillan said. He smiled. “You look a little pale” Vascillan said concerned. Brospan shook his head.
“I’m fine” Brospan said. King Mirtile and Prince Jallepan walked over to the both of them. “We were worried about you” King Mirtile said. He looked at Vascillan.
“I’m much better now and Brospan stayed with me while I was recovering” Vascillan said.
“Well, we should have a drink and be on our way” Prince Jallepan said. Everyone agreed that they should get going as they had lost too much because of the Lichtiens attack in the cave. They mounted their horses and were on their way. They were close reaching Traclycede pass.
Saphire and Vallogmint had been riding most of the day. They had briefly stopped twice to eat and kept on riding as fast as they could. The rugsack was faster than a horse so they were getting closer to their destination. They were getting Traclycede pass. Saphire just kept on thinking how he could become the greatest, most powerful Safani after he left Almindint College. He then had an afterthought, what if they let Brospan join Almindint College. Saphire vanquished the thought. He knew there would be strong opposition in the Safani council to Brospan joining Almindint. Vallogmint looked back at Saphire and shouted, “We’re making good time so we’ll rest soon” he said. Saphire nodded. Saphire’s clothes all smelt like the rugsack. He had become used to the smell so it wasn’t as sickening as before. They found shelter at the end of the day at a clearing beside a small lake. They climbed off the rugsack. Their supplies were getting low so they would have to be satisfied with lower proportions. They had to keep enough food for the rugsack as a rugsack could become unpredictable and aggressive if it didn’t get enough food. Saphire went to the lake and saw what looked like large, grey fish swimming beneath. He recognised the fish, they were called Retussia fish. They were good eating fish. Saphire placed his hands in the lake and closed his eyes. He connected with his inner spirit and felt a fish move between his hands. He carefully lifted the fish out of the water and snapped its neck. He went over to Vallogmint and held up the fish. Vallogmint looked at the fish and smiled at Saphire.
“Well done” Vallogmint said. The fish was large enough to feed both of them. Vallogmint started a fire going. Vallogmint took out some white powder from its pocket and spoke some words that seemed to make everything around them come alive. The fire rose higher. Vallogmint put the fish to cook on the fire. Saphire took out some bread and some cheese to have before the fish. Vallogmint took some food to the rugsack. The rugsack had gotten used to Vallogmint and Saphire. They sat down by the fire and Saphire divided two even equal portions of the fish. The fish tasted good as they thought of what their next move was going to be. After the meal they laid down on the cool grass. The air had gotten very chilli and both Vallogmint and Saphire had wrapped their coats around them. “I have to try and stop Brospan and the others from reaching the Safani council” Vallogmint said. Saphire looked intently at Vallogmint.
“How do we do that?” Saphire asked.
“I know a way” Vallogmint replied. “It means I may have to leave my body for a period of time” Vallogmint said. Saphire felt fear creep into his heart.
“If you do that you could perish.” Saphire answered.
“Nonsense.” Vallogmint snapped. “I’ve done it so many times and nothing has ever gone wrong” Vallogmint said, confidently. “I am one of the greatest Safani’s in existence” Vallogmint said, proudly.
“I know you are” Saphire, replied. “Things can still go wrong and I need you” Saphire said. “Don’t do this” Saphire said, pleadingly. Vallogmint stared coldly at Saphire, his eyes two icy reflection of a dark emotion. Vallogmint could not stand anyone disagreeing with his logic. He had sent others who did not agree with his ideas to an unfortunate end but he had a soft spot for Saphire. He could see Saphire becoming a great Safani. Saphire had the same ambition he possessed at that age. “There’s nothing to worry about” Vallogmint said. “Just trust me” Vallogmint said. Saphire nodded in agreement even though he did not feel so assured. “I have to go and lie down so please come with me” Vallogmint said. “I have to give you a small orange bottle of Elixer that will bring me back into my body” Vallogmint said. “If I do not return in the first hour give me two drops of the Elixer” Vallogmint said. Saphire found a grassy spot under a huge Nufrelliga tree. Its thick trunk reached up high towards the sky. The branches were long and thick with leaves. The tree would provide enough shelter for the both of them. “Reach into my pouch” Vallogmint said. “Look for a small white cloth with blue string tied around it” Vallogmint said. Saphire found it and handed the white cloth to Vallogmint. “Take a pinch of this powder and dissolve it in your mouth.” Vallogmint said. “This will protect you while I’m gone” Vallogmint said. Saphire took a pinch of this powder and put it on his tongue. Vallogmint searched in his pouch for a bottle of blue powder which would allow him to leave his body. He found the orange bottle of Elixer and gave it to Saphire. “If I do not return after the set time has passed than, put the liquid on my tongue.” Vallogmint said. Saphire took the bottle and put it in his coat pocket. Vallogmint laid down on the grass, he put two pinches of the blue powder on his tongue. Saphire had never felt so alone than at this moment.
Brospan and the others were making good time. King Mirtile told the others that the Traclycede pass was up ahead. The pass on either side began to get rocky and it seemed like they were headed up a steep incline. Up ahead five large boulders and fallen trees block the track ahead. They all stopped. There was no other way around the boulders as it was a sheer drop straight down on one side of the pass. The other side was completely blocked off. It would be impossible for anyone to get through.
“What do we do now?” Brospan asked.
“We only have one other choice” Vascillan replied. “We must go down through Subtasaria valley.” Vascillan said. Prince Jallepan looked concerned. “We’ve never been through that valley before” Prince Jallepan said. “We have always gone back and taken the longer way through the Malielia forest” Prince Jallepan said. King Mirtile paused to think about it. “No son, we’ll have to take a chance by going down through the valley” King Mirtile said. Prince Jallepan knew they had to get to the Safani council so he thought better of it, than to argue the point.
“Let’s head back and find the best way to get down to the valley” Vascillan said. They came across a path that looked safe enough to go down. Brospan thought there was danger for them waiting for them in Subtasaria Valley. He sensed it. Vascillan also felt uneasy about travelling down the valley but said nothing. Prince Jallepan had heard horrible stories about Subtasaria valley. He had heard that hideous Trolls lived in the Valley. They were said to be the most viscous, largest trolls in all of the Ten Fortitude Kingdoms. They started down along the path, Prince Jallepan said a silent prayer that they would be granted safe passage through the Valley. They all had fear in their hearts.
Saphire was watching Vallogmint. He had been lying down for quite some time. Vallogmint had fallen asleep, his spirit had separated from his body and he felt himself watching Brospan. Vallogmint saw
Brospan descend into the Subtasaria Valley. ‘Now let the games begin’ Vallogmint thought. Brospan saw something flicker out of the corner of his eye. He felt someone or something was watching them. He remembered Vallogmint and how angry he had been that night at the palace. He had sensed in an in compassing darkness in Vallogmint. Brospan looked into the bushes ahead. The feeling that they were being watched was getting stronger in Brospan. They were going down a narrow path which was taking them deeper into the Subtasaria Valley. The path was lined with trees on either side. As they descended a misty white figure was watching them. Vallogmint had left his body and was now in spirit form watching them. ‘When the time is right I will strike’ Vallogmint whispered. Brospan looked up again towards a tree nearby. He could make out a cloudy white figure standing close to the tree. The figure turned and vanished. Brospan couldn’t believe it. His sense of danger was getting stronger. Prince Jallepan felt uneasy. He sensed that they were headed for trouble. Some Gustlets stirred in the trees and flew away as if startled by something. Gustlets were small birds that inhabited this region. King Mirtile and Vascillan were on their guard. King Mirtile was carrying his sword of battle. It was a sword of enchantment and great power. It could only be used by King Mirtile and his son Prince Jallepan. The sword had been used through many battles but it remained as striking as the day it had been created. The handle of the sword had rare moonstone emeralds embedded in it. Ancient carvings of words that could not be understood in meaning by anyone but the maker of the sword. King Mirtile had two other swords that were just as powerful. The sword of honour and the sword of peace were powerful swords that kept the Ten Fortitude Kingdoms safe at all times. Vascillan looked at the sky, it had turned an eerie green colour. They had reached the end of their descent into the valley. Brospan had also noticed that the sky was a strange colour. King Mirtile looked at the others. “We’ll make good time if we keep riding along the perimeter of the valley” King Mirtile said. Prince Jallepan agreed with his father. “I think its best if we stay on the perimeter of the valley” Prince Jallepan said. “We can’t be sure of what’s in the valley” Prince Jallepan said. The terrain was rocky, there was a thick gathering of trees up ahead. If something was in the valley, there were enough trees to conceal anything. The horses seem
nervous, it was as though they sensed something was not quite right. Brospan looked up, he thought he saw something move in between the trees. A loud inhuman roar echoed through the valley. Vascillan and King Mirtile quickly drew their swords. The sky had gotten very dark yet as King Mirtile looked up he saw at least a hundred pairs of eyes looking at him from within the trees. The others looked up and seen them as well. Illuminous eyes like reflective mirrors of evil kept watching them. Vascillan closed his eyes and concentrated. He opened his eyes and a look of horror came across his face. He looked at the others and shouted to them. “Trolls, get out of here as quickly as you can” Vascillan shouted. Everyone took off as quickly they could. Brospan wondered what trolls were. The region where he was from didn’t have trolls there. Brospan paused to look at the multitude
of eyes. Brospan hadn’t noticed that everyone else had gone. Curiosity had gotten the better of Brospan. There was another blood chilling scream, the trolls decided to attack Brospan. There was a rush of movement they grinded their sharp teeth together in preparation of the kill. Brospan saw the creatures coming towards him. They were the ugliest creatures that Brospan had ever seen. Their skin was blue and their hands were like wicked long claws intent on causing intolerable pain. The troll’s mouth was shaped in a mock grin, huge fangs dripping with poisonous saliva made the trolls face look like a hideous mask of horror from the underworld. Brospan saw the other trolls surround him he knew that he would have to think fast to get out of this situation. The trolls made grunting noises as they moved closer and closer to Brospan. One of the trolls lunged at Brospan. He summoned his inner strength and punched the creature as hard as he could in the face. The troll fell backwards, stunned by the punch. The other trolls crowded in around Brospan. He began punching one troll after another. Brospan used his mind to lift himself off the ground. As he lifted himself off the ground, he used his legs and feet to knock the hideous beasts unconscious. In the distance Vallogmint in his spirit form laughed. “You can’t escape this time” Vallogmint said. Vallogmint had all his safani powers even though he was only there in spirit. He waved his hands and spoke some mystical words which changed the fragment particles in the air. Sperches were released in the air. These tiny air fragments were known to excite trolls which makes them extremely aggressive. Brospan thought of Vascillan and the others as he fought off the trolls. Brospan heard a voice deep within him. “Find your inner power and you can defeat them.” The Voice said. The trolls clawed at Brospan with their deformed fingers and sunk their teeth into him tearing his flesh. Brospan had now been exposed to troll venom. He reached deep within himself, he used all his strength and every part of his body to hit and punch the trolls. Brospan raised himself in the air and kicked every troll that went to attack him. Brospan had become a warrior fighting for his life.
Vascillan, King Mirtile and Prince Jallepan stopped their horses. “Where’s Brospan?” Prince Jallepan asked.
“I thought that he was behind us” King Mirtile answered. Vascillan shut his eyes, he focused on Brospan. “He’s being attacked by the trolls” Vascillan said.
“We can’t lose him” King Mirtile said. “We have to go back for him” King Mirtile said. Vascillan reached within himself and connected with Brospan’s mind. “We’re coming back for you Brospan” Vascillan said in Brospan’s mind. “Keep fighting you can defeat the trolls” Vascillan said. Brospan heard Vascillan’s voice in his mind. He kept fighting as the trolls began to more aggressive. Brospan began to feel the troll venom weakening his body. He had been badly bitten but he felt exhilarated. Brospan felt like a light force was coming from his body. Two more trolls tried to jump on him, they sunk their claws into both sides of his body. He punched them in the stomach and they both collapsed in a heap. The troll’s most vulnerable spots in their bodies was their stomach and face. Brospan fell to the ground and looked up as he heard galloping hooves. He saw two familiar faces coming towards him. Brospan tried to get up but he threw up blue liquid, which was the troll venom building up in his body. Vascillan and King Mirtile went up to Brospan, they could see that he was badly hurt. The Safani took out a small white bottle and gave the liquid to Brospan to drink. “This will combat the side-effects of the troll venom.” Vascillan said. “You will feel sicker and then you will start to feel much better” Vascillan said. “It is a strong potion so as soon as you start to feel better we must get you on the horse so we can ride to a safe place and treat your wounds.” Vascillan said. Prince Jallepan looked at all the troll bodies sprawled everywhere. He looked at Brospan and thought what courage he had to keep fighting. Brospan had blood everywhere on his face and on his body. Prince Jallepan saw a young boy who looked scared and vulnerable when he looked at Brospan. Vascillan picked up Brospan and put him on the horse. Brospan was too weak to sit up. Vascillan held onto Brospan and they set off. They rode as fast as they could, leaving behind a sea of crumpled troll bodies. Once a troll was knocked unconscious, it would take hours before they would awake. Vallogmint had seen everything, his smile turned into a grimace. “I will not let Brospan live” Vallogmint said. “He must be destroyed” Vallogmint replied. Vallogmint waved his hands at the sky and lightning reached out across the strange coloured sky, like a hand outstretched to release its dark intentions upon an innocent soul.
Vascillan watched as the veins of lightning filled the darken sky. ‘I know that something has been following us for some time’ Vascillan thought. ‘I don’t know who or what is following us’ Vascillan thought. They had to get out of the Subtasaria Valley. It was just too dangerous to stop until they were away from there. Brospan was lying face down with his stomach pressed against the horse. He was drifting in or out of consciousness. He saw his father coming towards him, then his father disappeared. He then saw his aunt and uncle, they were talking to him but he couldn’t understand what they were saying. Most of the time he knew he was with Vascillan and the others but sometimes he would still think he was on the pig farm doing his chores. Vascillan placed a hand on Brospan’s back and started chanting words in an ancient language that only the most powerful Safani’s could use to try to save some one’s life. They rode on through the valley. Lightning flashed across the sky again. Vascillan saw a track that would lead them out of the valley. Brospan was still fading in and out of consciousness. He kept seeing the trolls faces they attacked him. The troll venom was making Brospan’s skin turn a light blue colour. As they ascended up the path, King Mirtile kept on looking up at the sky. He had never seen the sky look like that before. They reached the top of the valley. The four of them left the valley. Vascillan motioned for the others to keep on going. There were some trees up ahead. Vascillan knew they had to stop and rest so they headed for the trees. Brospan would have to have his wounds attended to. Vascillan stopped underneath the trees. King Mirtile and Prince Jallepan dismounted their horses. Prince Jallepan helped Vascillan to get Brospan off the horse. Brospan’s clothes had been badly torn by the trolls. Vascillan took Brospan’s shirt and coat off. Some of the wounds were very deep. Vascillan took out his pouch, he took out a brown bottle with brown liquid inside. He dressed the wounds by applying the brown liquid to each wound. The brown liquid would make the cuts and bites heal quicker. It had started raining. Vascillan put a blanket on Brospan as he had started shaking. The rain felt like ice as it fell on their skin. Vallogmint was a spectral figure watching them from a distance. He smiled in an insane, spiteful way. He believed now he destroy all of them. Vallogmint had caused the unusual weather conditions. He felt empowered by the situation now. Vallogmint was one of the most powerful safani’s in existence. If he could get rid of Brospan and the others he would one day have control of the whole safani council. He could do anything and no one could stop him. Vallogmint clapped his hands twice. Lightning began flashing more violently than before. Vascillan looked at the lightning in the sky, he knew this was more than just a storm. Vallogmint clapped his hands again and lightning struck the ground near where Brospan and the others were. The ground shook and trembled. Another lightning bolt hit the ground even closer to them. Vascillan put Brospan back on the horse, the others got on their horses and rode off immediately. They all rode as fast as they could. Bolts of lightning flashed and struck the ground around them. Vascillan concentrated, he connected with the gods. ‘This storm was sent to kill us’ Vascillan thought. Vascillan reached into the gods, he drew the power from them that he would need to stop the storm. Vascillan opened his eyes, he stopped his horse. Brospan was lying quietly on the horse. Vascillan quickly off the horse and reached his hands up towards the sky. White bright light radiated from his hands and reached into the sky. The light from Vascillan’s hands penetrated the lightning and encompassed it. The light threw all the lightning in the sky into a huge ball of electricity, it disintegrated sending small balls of light everywhere in the sky. The balls of light disappeared, there was no more lightning. Vascillan put his hands together and spoke some words of ancient knowledge to return the power back to the gods. Vascillan always gave back the power that he took from the gods. Vascillan always connected to the real gods who were sleeping. The other safani’s drew their power from mortals who had stolen a great deal of power from the real gods. The heavens were in conflict between the real gods and mortals. The sky was still dark but the rain had stopped. King Mirtile and Prince Jallepan looked at Vascillan in awe. They had experienced Vascillan’s power many times but they had never ceased to be amazed by it. “We are being attacked by someone” Vascillan said, seriously.
“Who could be doing this?” King Mirtile asked.
“I’m afraid to say it but I believe that it is a Safani that is doing this to us” Vascillan asked. “I believe some Safani’s have forgotten what it means to a knight of the gods” Vascillan said. “Safani’s are there to protect and serve with honour” Vascillan said.
“I say it’s someone who doesn’t want us to reach the Safani council with Brospan” Prince Jallepan said.
“At this point it doesn’t matter who because we are still in danger” Vascillan said. Prince Jallepan looked at Brospan, he had stopped shaking and he looked to be resting peacefully. King Mirtile knew they should be riding to get to the city where all the Safani’s were and organise a meeting with the Safani council but Brospan needed to rest. They would have to find shelter to rest for the night. Vascillan seemed to read King Mirtile’s mind. “I think we should find a place where Brospan can rest” Vascillan said. “Brospan will be alright but his body has taken a shock from the troll venom that has entered his bloodstream” Vascillan said. They all looked at the sky again. There was no sign of any more lightning or rain. They found some shelter a little further on. Vascillan lifted Brospan off the horse and gently placed him on the ground. He put a blanket over Brospan. There was a strong feeling of uneasiness, every one prayed
that Brospan would be well enough to ride tomorrow.
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