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Thursday, August 11, 2011
Amadea and the Divinity Blade - Chapter 12
This was the first sentence they heard clearly since they had joined hands. Amadea broke off the kiss to see if Zira was serious. She was.
"Zephyr, go on ahead, I'll be there as soon as I can," Amadea said. Zephyr nodded and ran off. "Lillian, help me out of this dress. There's no way I can fight in this!"
Lillian goggled at her incredulously, but obeyed none-the-less. With Zira's help as well, the new bride was soon wearing only a lacy camisole and ruffled petticoat. Amadea used the Divinity Blade to cut slits up each side of the petticoat to allow her to move freely, then ran to help her new husband.
"Zira, how do I fight imps?" Amadea asked at the sight of at least a hundred of them – the size of rats – biting everyone they could. Some of the people in the crowd were successfully killing the imps with daggers, blunt objects, or by stomping on them, but there were still too many for this to be particularly effective. Zephyr was casting spells left and right, but was still being overwhelmed.
"You could try several spells," Zira bit her lip in thought. "But I think you might have the best success if you tried to ensorcel them first. The problem is that you would likely ensorcel the crowd as well. Think Zira!"
Fragments from a lullaby surfaced in Amadea's mind. She sensed that it was important, and concentrated intently, absently killing any imps that attacked her. Finally, she remembered the entire song. She took a deep breath, and recited a spell to magically amplify her voice.
The lullaby caused all of the imps to stop what they were doing. Slowly, as if fighting the spell, they began to come to Amadea. She led them to a clearing, signaling to Zephyr to try something.
Zephyr recited a spell to turn them all into glass.
"It worked!" Zephyr cheered.
Amadea stopped singing, "Now what?"
"Maybe you could sell them as souvenirs," Zira joked.
"Actually, it would be a shame to waste all that glass." A nearby woman said. "Too bad you didn't turn them into sand instead."
Amadea looked expectantly at Zira.
"There is a spell for that," Zira mused.
"I know," Zephyr acknowledged then recited the spell. "...Change this glass back into sand!"
"Oh sand, hear my command, go to where you'll be at hand," the woman spelled. "Thank you, Imperial Highness, I am a glassmaker, and will make good use of it."
Amadea nodded gratefully.
Three days, and three attacks later, Amadea paced across the nearly empty throne room. Zephyr, Notus, Zira, her father, and his advisors were the only other occupants.
"It has become obvious that my presence in the palace is attracting monsters," she said.
"Not necessarily," an advisor argued. "We have had reports of monster attacks from all over the Empire."
Zira was studying a map intently as a different advisor was marking each place an attack had been reported. "Amadea, you should take a look at this."
All eyes were immediately drawn to the map.
"It can't be!" Amadea exclaimed.
"What?" Her father asked in concern.
"Each one of the attacks happened very near places we went as we hunted the warlock," Zephyr replied.
"So, they are attracted to my presence," Amadea groaned.
"If that were true, then why haven't they attacked you before?" Zira questioned.
"It seems to me that they happen to appear whenever the two of you start glowing," the Emperor remarked. Amadea blushed.
"You know, now that I think about it, he's right," Zira concurred.
"Well, I don't know how we do it, much less how to stop it," Amadea said in defense.
"You could try staying away from each other," her father suggested. Amadea felt as if her heart was being squeezed in her chest. She pressed a hand to it.
"Something still doesn't make sense," Zira thought aloud. "Why now, why not after you killed the troll?"
"Zira!" Amadea blushed. The Emperor looked from Amadea to Zephyr, who was also blushing lightly, and evasively not looking at the Emperor.
"Amadea!" He chided.
She avoided his eyes. "You do have a point, why is this happening now?"
"May I make a suggestion?" Notus asked. "Didn't you say, Zephyr, that the Gods spoke to you on the scales? What if they are behind this?"
"I doubt it." Amadea shook her head.
"I doubt it also, but they did try to warn me something would happen," Zephyr said.
"You didn't tell me that," Amadea replied.
Zephyr shrugged. "I didn't think they meant right away. Didn't they warn you?"
"No, when I was chosen as Heir, all they told me was that they had been watching us battle the source, and that I had proven myself very brave," Amadea informed them.
"Wait, the Gods spoke to both of you?" An advisor asked. "Records indicate that the gods only talk to maybe one person in a decade, why would they choose to speak to both of you?"
"I think your records may not be accurate," Zira commented. "They talked to me about once a year since I was a child."
"The Gods didn't speak to me when I was chosen as Heir," the Emperor informed them. "So I can vouch that they don't speak to everyone who gets chosen by the scale."
The advisor who was well known for his skill in mathematics spoke up, "Inaccurate records or not, the odds of there being one person spoken to by the Gods in a room are very slim. That there are three of you tells me something inconceivable is about to happen."
"We figured that out, thanks," Zira replied sarcastically.
"In any case, what should we do?" Amadea asked.
"Perhaps we should travel the Empire killing these monsters, and try to figure out why they are attacking in such unusual numbers lately," Zephyr suggested.
"I think that is a great idea!" Amadea agreed.
"Absolutely not! Zephyr is certainly welcome to do so, but you must not endanger yourself until you have been told your future, and -" The Emperor fell silent at the sight of Amadea. She was visibly glowing red, as if a raging fire emanated from her skin.
"You want me to let him go fight monsters without me just because I don't know if it'll kill me, and I haven't had an Heir chosen yet! I refuse to allow him to go into danger without me!"
"Amadea, my beautiful Sunny Day, calm down," Zephyr soothed. He was across the room from her since that's where her pacing had taken her. The redness around her faltered as she consciously tried to regain control of her temper.
A spot of darkness wavered next to her, and a blood red dog about the size of a mule appeared. It growled menacingly. Amadea's anger died abruptly, and she stared at the dog in puzzlement. Was it here in response to her anger, ready to fight her enemies? Or was it here to attack her?
It lunged for her throat, knocking her to the ground, and answering her question. Immediately, it was repelled by a shield expanding from her body. It lunged at her several more times, trying it's best to kill her, but unable to penetrate her shield.
"...With chains of air. Binding!" Zephyr shouted. The demon dog began to struggle, as if against invisible ropes. Amadea withdrew the Divinity Sword, and used it to slash the dog in half. After a moment, they had two big red dogs to attack them.
"Great!" Zira congratulated sarcastically.
"Why isn't the Divinity Sword working?" Amadea asked.
"It, or rather they, must be-" Zira's explanation was suddenly chorused by both Zephyr and Amadea. "The corrupted dogs!"
Amadea groaned in frustration.
Zira caught the Emperor looking to his advisors, and quickly explained. "The God that the Divinity Sword was created all dogs, but one particular breed was his most loyal companions. They felt betrayed when their master died, and were lured to the dark side, becoming blood red monsters, but since they were created by the God, his sword won't hurt them."
Amadea was doing fine in her impenetrable shield, but Zephyr – who was being attacked by the second dog – found that his binding spell wouldn't work a second time. He froze one, and quickly turned the other to stone. All was quiet for a few seconds, then both dogs shook off the spells.
"Oh no! They're resistant to magic!" Zephyr gasped. The dog attacking Amadea decided to join its brother rather than continue his useless attacks. Zephyr used his sword to wound each, and was defending himself very well. King Notus joined the fray, but both were careful not to sever any pieces from the dogs. Nothing they inflicted killed the beasts, and they were becoming tired.
Amadea stared at her glowing hand. There had to be something she could do. "You who have come to me, sword of great divinity, if I cannot slay them by my hand, then place them under my command! I name thee Rage and Anger!"
The dogs stopped attacking Zephyr and Notus, and growled at Amadea menacingly. She slowly stepped closer to them, reaching out her hand. They grew more fearsome but did not attack. Finally, she had a hand on each of their heads. Still they resisted.
"You will submit to me!" Amadea told them. They tried to bite her, but were shocked by tiny bolts of lightning coming from the glow in her hand. The dogs yelped, and backed away.
"Submit!" Amadea demanded. Both dogs bowed their heads in defeat. Amadea nodded her head in satisfaction. "Now then, what to do with you... Oh I know! Zira, didn't that book about the corrupted dogs say something about them living in his shadow?"
"Yes, but I always interpreted that to mean they were always one step behind him," Zira replied.
"Well, what if it was literal? The writings about the Gods are often literal, especially when it sounds impossible." Amadea tapped her head, and absently chewed on a thumbnail. "Oh I know! Rage, Anger! Return to my shadow!"The two dogs sighed as if they would like to disobey, but stepped onto her shadow none-the-less. They dissolved into her shadow, vanishing. Amadea swept her hands past each other three times and nodded as if she had just cleaned up a mess to her satisfaction.
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