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Monday, August 15, 2011

Amadea and the Divinity Blade - Chapter 13

Chapter 13

Amadea and Zephyr waved goodbye to Notus as they parted ways. He had wished to accompany them, but was obligated to return to his kingdom. He’d already sent Jason back home much earlier.
The two of them were mounted atop their flying horses, but had been on the ground with Notus, and now took flight. The horses had bonded with the couple for some reason, and didn't seem to mind flying them all over the place.
Amadea gave a whoop of joy as her horse flew in loops for a few moments. Zephyr watched her with a groan; his stomach seemed to be doing similar flips at the sight of them.
"Where to first?" Amadea shouted. Since Zephyr was much better at planning things out, she had left things up to him.
"I figured it wouldn't matter where we went, since the monsters are attracted to us, but all the same, we might as well inspect the sites of monster attacks to see if we can figure out why they attacked there," Zephyr called out in reply.
Suddenly, they heard Notus' voice magically amplified. "Zephyr, Amadea! Please hear me and come to my aid!" Notus didn't have accessible magic – that they knew of – but apparently their own magic allowed them to hear a plea for help from several miles away. They didn't even waste time deciding, but simply flew to Notus' rescue.
What they came upon made Amadea scream in girlish terror. It was a long legged spider the size of a house! It had glowing red bumps all over its body, and exuded a sinister aura.
"Amadea, are you afraid?" Zephyr asked in some amusement. "It's just a spider." He made sure his brother wasn't too close to the enormous spider, and cast a spell to summon a boulder. The spider squished with a disgusting spray of ooze in all directions.
"Ew, ew, ew!" Amadea squealed and covered her eyes. She shivered with horror.
Zephyr chuckled, and landed next to his brother. "Are you hurt?"
"Nothing a good bath can't fix." Notus shrugged.
"I think I'm gonna be sick!" Amadea cried out, and steered her horse away from the scene.
Zephyr recited a spell to instantly clean Notus from head to toe.
"Perhaps we should travel together a bit longer," Zephyr suggested. "One of the places we intend to investigate lies somewhat near your castle anyway."
"Fine by me." Notus grinned.
"Where's your horse?" Zephyr asked.
"He felt such terror over the spider, he perished." Notus pointed to the spot where his horse lay with glazed over, unseeing eyes.
"What do you say; do you think you can carry him?" Zephyr asked his horse, whom he had decided to call Cirrus. Cirrus gave Notus an appraising look then nodded in assent. Zephyr gave Notus a hand up, and soon, they were closing in on Amadea and Cumulus, who had decided to descend next to a small pond.

*******

Later that day, after the four of them made camp for the night, they sat around a campfire chatting.
"Gods! This makes me feel like I am still alive! I'm practically doing the same thing I did all my life!" Zira jokingly complained.
"All your life?" Notus questioned.
"Yeah, well, my older sister and I were orphaned when I was still very young, and she took care of me as best she could. She can use magic too, but even though she is about as strong as I am, magic just didn't interest her like it did me. She was great at lightning though! She would hit me with a bolt of lightning anytime I angered her, which was several times a day, and so I left when I was about 12 to learn all I could about sorcery.
"Almost right away, I came across this ARROGANT, rude, pushy, self-centered ass of a man, and angrily challenged him to a duel. It wasn't until after I won that I found out he was considered to be the most powerful sorcerer in the land!" Everyone laughed at that for it was one of the many things Zira was famous for.
"After that, I traveled about, learning as much as I could. I actually was invited to study at the Imperial Sorcery College for a while, and I must have read at least half of the books they had in about two months. By that time, I was having too many differences of opinion with the other students. So I left." Zira shrugged.
"The Emperor had seen me at the college, by the way," Zira interrupted her story, then continued. "I resumed traveling the land for a couple of years, while my sister decided to become a knight for her local God's temple. I tried to go back and visit her at least once a year, you know," Zira interrupted herself again, wistfully. "But we inevitably fought, and she'd kick my ass!" Zira laughed.
"Anyway, I supported myself by hunting those who prey upon travelers. The Empire is just full of bandits, you know, and some of them have stolen quite a bit. I had quite a reputation by the time I met Gavin around age 15. He was 21, and so full of himself!" Zira laughed at the memory. "And already an excellent swordsman. We made quite a pair." Zira fell silent, lost in memories. These days it was rare for her to remember so much, but talking about it seemed to make it all come back to her.
King Notus was interested in hearing more, especially about what happened after Zephyr had joined up with her. "Well... then what happened?" He prompted.
"Well, gradually we had quite a few people join us. Mostly swordsmen who wanted to learn from Gavin, but then Zephyr joined us from time to time. He didn't stick with us – preferring to be alone – until about a couple of months before Sunny Day joined our group. I was hearing rumors of someone trying to free the source of all evil, and he figured that the places we traveled might have some clue as to how to get him back to normal. We did uncover a wealth of lost knowledge, but none of it pertained to his situation.
"About a year before we defeated the source, this young slip of a girl joined our group. She said she wanted to travel with us, and learn sorcery from me. She reminded me of myself a little, so I let her. I figured that 5 swordsmen, a sorcerer/swordsman and I could easily protect one little girl if necessary. She learned so fast, and had a considerable amount of power, even though it was nowhere near my level, at the time. She was forever making goo-goo eyes at Zephyr, but Zephyr just seemed to think she was staring at his... difference."
"I did not make goo-goo eyes!" Amadea protested.
"Yes you did!" Zira teased.
"Did not!"
"I don't know if you did or not, but I do remember you staring at me," Zephyr added.
"Fine, maybe I did," Amadea grumbled and blushed.
"I was too involved in my own problems to pay much attention to you," Zephyr admitted.
"Oh, I don't know about that." Zira waged a finger at him. "I noticed that every time we found ourselves in a fight, you'd try to protect our little Sunny Day."
"Did I?" Zephyr asked innocently.
"I can believe it!" Notus chuckled.
Zephyr blushed slightly, and changed the subject. "Did anyone else notice the hot spring just over there?"
"A hot spring? Really?" Amadea near demanded in sudden excitement. "We all used to have such fun in the hot springs."
"Come on, I'll show you." Zephyr grabbed Amadea's hand, and ran towards the naturally heated pond.
"Don't be shy," Zira admonished Notus. She grabbed his hand, and dragged him along.
"But you're a ghost!" He protested. "You don't need to bathe."
"Maybe not, but just like I can wear clothes if I want, I like to bathe just for the fun of it." Zira had dragged him to where Zephyr and Amadea were busy shedding their clothes. She let go of his hand, and began to remove her own clothing.
"This can't be proper." Notus covered his eyes.
"What kingdom do you live in?" Zira demanded. "Everyone bathes together!"
"Well yeah, but not with the future Empress!" Notus explained.
"Oh please! Notus, while we are traveling, I'd rather you think of me as Sunny Day, I get enough of people telling me what's proper back in the palace. Besides, I'm married now, even married noble ladies are allowed to bathe in mixed company same as everyone else," Amadea informed her brother-in-law.
"If you really don't mind..." Notus began to strip. "I do love a good hot spring."
"That's the spirit!" Zephyr congratulated Notus on his sensible decision. The four of them splashed each other playfully for quite some time, and Zira smiled over happy memories.

Go To Chapter 14 

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