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| Category: || Fantasy Fiction |
Posted:|| December 12, 2019 Views: 31|
Chapter 29 of the book Quest for the Neckulet
The quest tries to figure things out.
"Understanding The Translation"
Radolf's grandmother's death and the neckulet stolen sets him off on a search for it in which he makes friends and enemies.
“To begin with, I didn’t want to hurt the Holy Fathers. Any one of us could’ve easily overpowered them. Even Chrys, with a properly placed kick.” Jewelletta shook the straw pallet, trying to detach any vermin hiding within. “But I didn’t see any sense in hurting them.”
“So you let them imprison us.” Jahm spat and paced.
“Calm down, Jahm. We’ll get out of here. This place is in such bad shape, we could probably push on the walls, and they’d tumble down. Besides, we have two aces in the hole.”
She dropped the pallet and plopped on it.
“You and Anarra.” Radolf grinned as he slammed a pallet against the wall.
“Right. And speaking of Anarra, find out where she is. Let her know our predicament,”
Jewelletta said, “The Holy Fathers don’t know about her.” The sorceress paused and glowered. “Jahm, will you please stop pacing and sit somewhere.”
Scowling, he dropped to a spot in the corner.
Where are you, Radolf? When I got back to the library, it was empty.
We’re in a dungeon. Follow my thoughts and come to us. He explained what happened.
When she arrived, she stuck her head through the bar, and Radolf hugged her. Her pink tongue snaked out to give him a big slurpy kiss on his cheek.
I was worried about you.
What did you find out?
There’s a trail leading from the courtyard. It goes down the mountains toward the Olitta Plains. Isn’t that where the Veda Community is?
I think so.
You did good work as usual. He petted her, turned and relayed her news.
“Yes, Veda is in the Olitta Plains.” Jewelletta walked to the tiny window. The sky darkened from twilight into night. She spun around. “Might as well forget about escape tonight. I want to look over those runes. Tomorrow we will leave. Radolf, Chrystella, what do you have?”
Jewelletta strode back to her pallet. They pulled out the sheaves of paper and handed them to her.
She muttered a few words. A ball of light appeared, and she scanned them.
Reading aloud, she said, “Mageron’s Legend of the Starcastle.”
“But it’s just a legend, isn’t it?” Radolf sat back, wondering if what was really happening was more truth than fiction.
“Many legends are based in fact. Don’t dismiss something because you think it’s all a fairy tale. Only part of it has been deciphered, but this is how it begins.” She paused, dug out her canteen of water, and drank. Once she put it down, she continued, “At the start of time, Khlorae made the universe. Blackness prevailed, void of light and life. She created the stars, the moon, the planets, and the light of our life, Eletvalo.” She paused, trying to read what Radolf had written. “It gets kind of sketchy, speaking of Mageron, Susjed, Remalga, and the Vijanden. We’ve only managed to decipher bits and pieces. From what I can read, Khlorae was unhappy with the way the Vijanden were developing. They tried to conquer other planets. That’s when she created stars that form the Starcastle.”
“Stars making a Starcastle?” Radolf raised an eyebrow.
“Yes, but whatever they are we’ll never find out, at least not here. We weren’t able to copy that part. Anyway, it destroys Vijanden technology.”
“How?” Radolf asked as the others gave her a questioning look.
“The legend doesn’t say. It’s rather vague.” Jewelletta shook her head.
“Most legends are,” Vidad volunteered. “Please continue. You’ve roused my curiosity.”
“It can only be built every five hundred years.” The sorceress deciphered what she could, and read from the papers again. “When the time comes, specific signs appear on Mageron, Susjed, and Vijand to prove five hundred years had indeed passed for a confrontation. It gets kind of sketchy again. Three signs stand out from all the rest. First, a neckulet which has a Starcastle depicted in salstein on a herbonus background surfaces.”
“My grandmother’s neckulet.” Radolf fidgeted. “What does it say about that?”
“Again, Radolf, it’s incomplete. There are a couple of lines not interpreted, but would have been had we not been interrupted. The quest must begin on Mageron. Second, it speaks of the dailam. All but two of their species die–a male and a female.”
“Anarra,” Radolf said.
Jewelletta looked up and rubbed her neck.
Anarra lifted her head up from where she laid down outside the cell. What about me?
Listen to what Jewelletta is saying.
“May I continue?” She glanced at the young man.
“Yes.” He nodded sheepishly.
“Thank you.” She smiled. “They must mate and travel with the leader to communicate with the central star in the Remalgan star system and build the Starcastle. That’s all I have. There’s another sentence or two about the dailam, but I can’t make it out. The third major sign is a female becomes heir to the throne.” Jewelletta hesitated and growled in frustration. “I can’t figure out what else it says, but there’s more.”
“But I’m not first in line,” Chrystella protested.
“I know.” Jewelletta changed papers to what Chrystella had written. “At that time, all planets, including the moons are in alignment.” She stopped and thought about that. “What havoc that would wreak on the ocean!”
They stared at her. They remember the Mavi Ocean, Radolf thought.
“Again, only bits and pieces here. Mass appearances of the unicorns appear in Rainbow Valley. Swans nest at Lake Saphir.”
Radolf’s memory traveled back to Rainbow Valley, seeing the swans and the unicorns that attacked the sorceress.
Jewelletta stopped, her eyes glazed over as she stared at the wall.
“Are you all right?” Jahm shook her and brought her from her reverie.
Regaining her composure, she continued, “Members of the five tribes unite for a common purpose. Work of the little people become crucial at this time. Chrystella’s work stopped there. Guess we were interrupted.”
“This gives us something to think about, doesn’t it?” Vidad’s voice broke the silence of several minutes.
“I need to reread and absorb this.” Jewelletta said.
“There are lots of coincidences happening.” Radolf petted Anarra.
“Too many to be comfortable.” Jahm grimaced.
Again, silence filled the room.
“We’d better eat and sleep.” Vidad pulled his pack over. “We can plan our escape in the morning. How does that sound, Jewelletta?”
“Sorry, Vidad, I didn’t hear you.” She looked up from the papers she had been reading.
“I gathered that.” He repeated it as he fished out food.
“At least, someone is thinking straight now. I’m sure not.” She shook her head as if to clear it.
Vidad and Chrystella unpacked the food and distributed it. After eating, everyone settled to sleep except Jewelletta.
Jewelletta spoke a few words, and her light vanished. Sitting alone in a dark corner, she mulled over what she had read. I need to confer with the experts in Veda, she thought. Maybe they’ll understand and explain it to me. Mageron’s twin moons had long risen before she fell asleep.
Jewelletta’s voice woke Radolf. “Get up. This isn’t a luxury vacation suite. It must be vacated soon for its new occupants.”
Rubbing his eyes, Radolf glanced up at her. “You mean they cheated me?” He grinned. “Why those double-crossers! They promised me I could sleep all day and from what I’ve been through lately, I need the rest. I demand to see the manager.”
“I’m afraid he’s unavailable.” Vidad climbed from his pallet. “Probably busy killing off unwanted visitors.” He smiled.
The rest laughed, dispelling the trapped feeling.
“We need to figure a way out.” Jahm propped himself against the wall.
All of a sudden, he lost his balance. The wall collapsed. Anarra howled.
“What the . . . ” Jahm cursed as he picked himself off the floor, brushing away crumbled stone and dust.
Anarra stood and shook herself. He woke me up. I was having such a nice dream about the male dailam.
Radolf relayed her information, and they laughed.
“I think you found our way out,” Jewelletta said.
“We need our weapons.” Jahm shook his head to get rid of dirt swirling around.
“Anarra,” Jewelletta asked. “Please try to locate our weapons. Stay away from the Holy Fathers.”
The dailam ran from the dungeon.
“When she finds them, Radolf, you, Jahm, and Vidad get them. I think I know how to get out of the dungeon, know the path Anarra told us about. Chrys and I will meet you down the trail a bit.”
“How far down?” Jahm asked. “And how do you know the way out?”
“Remember, I’ve been here before. We’ll meet in a grove about a mile down and have breakfast there.” Jewelletta stuck the papers in her voluminous robe. “We don’t need the Holy Fathers to spot us.”
I’ve found the weapons.
Once Radolf relayed the message, Jewelletta said, “Go and stay as far away from the Holy Fathers as possible.”
The men disappeared from the cellblock.
“Come. Stay close and be quiet.”
Jewelletta led as they climbed over the crumbled stone, leaving the cell and following the way the men had gone. Stone steps leading up had only a few chipped pieces. Nothing like the rest of the monastery, Jewelletta thought. At the top, she crept down a corridor, peeking each way when they came to a side passageway. Moments before she stuck her head around one corner, Holy Fathers’ voices floated in their direction.
“Into that room.” She shoved Chrystella in without even looking to see if anyone occupied it and shut the door.
Empty of people, boxes filled the library sized room.
Once the hallway became silent, Jewelletta peered out, and they continued their escape. A booming surf greeted them as they ran from the monastery. They darted down the path into a pine copse, heaving a sigh of relief. Chrystella and Jewelletta flopped on the ground.
“Wonder how the men are doing?” Chrystella asked.
With Anarra leading, the men found their weapons.
“Glad they’re not under guard.” Vidad strapped on his sword.
“Would not have wanted to go against Jewelletta’s wishes.” Jahm, too, put on his. “But if it came to them or me, I wouldn’t hesitate.”
“Me either,” the others whispered as Radolf got his on.
How do we get out of here?
Follow me. Anarra ran to the right.
“This way.” As Radolf led the way, a thrill dashed through him. It feels good being in front.
Right where you should be. Just don’t get too cocky and go off on your own.
Some of the excitement slipped way, like air from a balloon.
Anarra looked both ways before she continued. Several voices rang ahead of them.
“In here.” Radolf indicated a room to their left.
Barely large enough to hold him and Anarra, the two larger men took deep breaths to squeeze in.
Vidad let his out. “Maybe we should all consider going on a diet.”
Radolf fought to keep from laughing. Jahm nodded.
Sounds of the Holy Fathers faded. Anarra looked out and left the room. The trio followed. Two robed Holy Fathers rounded the corner then. Their eyes widened.
“They’ve escaped,” one yelled. “Recapture them.”
Follow this corridor to the door. It’ll take you to freedom. I’ll distract them.
Not in any mood to argue, Radolf motioned to the men. They ran down the hallway.
Anarra growled, baring her teeth. Through their link, Radolf heard what was going on.
“A dailam. Where did she come from?” one asked.
“No time to ask. Come. Let’s get them,” his companion said.
“That’s not going to be easy with her between them and us,” a deep voice said.
Several Holy Fathers appeared.
“She doesn’t look too friendly,” the first one said.
“They’re getting away,” another said as the men disappeared out the door.
Come on, Anarra, we’re outside now.
Minutes later, she arrived and hid in the trees. The three men and Anarra dropped on the ground, carpeted with pine needles and gasped for breath.
While the men caught their breath, everyone ate. They traded escape stories. Once finished, they packed everything and began the trek down the cliffs.
The sound of the ocean diminished as trees marched on both sides of the path. The setting sun found them almost on the plains.
“We’ll camp here.” Jewelletta found a clearing hidden by tall bushes. “I rather doubt the Holy Fathers are following us. We’ve been in danger before. I think we’d better be ready at all times from attack. Too many unfriendly forces would like to see us dead.”
|The book continues with Savaecus Village. We will provide a link to it when you review this below.|
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