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Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Amadea and the Divinity Blade - Chapter 16
King Notus' relief over no monsters appearing was relatively short lived since a report came of a monster attack while Zephyr was plotting a course on a map. From the sound of it, the attack was right where they were going. The King immediately gathered a party of men to ride out and kill it.
"Brother, I wish to go," Boreus stated. "I have no desire to wallow in self pity for the next three days."
"Agreed, you shall -"
"Notus, if I may speak," Zira interrupted him only a little politely.
"I think Boreus should ride with Zephyr, Amadea, and myself."
"If you think to add to my punishment..." Boreus growled menacingly.
"No, I merely think it would be the wisest course of action," Zira explained.
"Very well," Notus agreed. "Boreus, you shall ride with Zephyr, and please behave."
Zira didn't wait for him to respond before taking Boreus' hand, and dragging him after Zephyr and Amadea, who were already halfway to their horses.
Zephyr gave Zira an inquiring look as he helped her mount behind Amadea. What are you playing at? Zira merely shrugged, and indicated that Zephyr should get mounted already.
Zephyr did so, then gave Boreus a hand up. He pointed the direction out for Amadea, and signaled that she should fly ahead a bit. He had a feeling that Boreus might not appreciate being overly close to the cause of his current predicament.
After Cirrus was airborne, and Boreus had quit cursing in awe and a slight fear of heights, Zephyr decided to speak. "I want you to know that I would never have done this to you, nor would I have allowed Amadea to do it had I known her intent."
"I admit I was shocked at first, but now I am of the opinion that three days is short enough to endure. I just hope that you enjoy your brief respite," Boreus replied.
"I'll try, but to tell the truth, I was just beginning to accept myself. This just doesn't feel right anymore," Zephyr admitted.
"Well, I’ll say this; you are a lot better looking than I remember you. Seems to me that wife of yours could cure you anytime. Maybe you should ask her to do so."
"Zephyr! I see them!" Amadea called out as Cumulus began to dive.
Cirrus followed suit, renewing Boreus' curses.
In nature, there are several different species of animal, every one of which has an evil twin, so to speak. Normally, hunting and killing demon animals – as they are called – is not any more difficult than killing regular ones. Today, however, a village was being attacked by a pride of demon lions. This area had never had lions before, let alone demon ones, and so they were nearly helpless.
Amadea and Cumulus were charging the lions one by one, Cumulus' front hooves bashing in their foreheads. This stunned most of them, but some were only knocked senseless. Zephyr knew when it was time for him to act. "Beasts, I strip thee of thy demonhood! Purify!"
"Purify!" Zephyr repeated. Still nothing happened.
Amadea was aware of Zephyr's lack of results, and so cast the spell herself. Immediately, the lions began to retreat. Next, she recited a spell to banish them to a home much better suited to them.
"Amadea, over there!" Zephyr pointed to a lone black cloud hovering over the woods not too far away. The party went to investigate.
They discovered the forest was infested with all kinds of monsters, not just demon lions. At the center of the infestation was a large black shadow that looked to be a huge hole in the ground, until they looked at it from the side and realized that it hovered a few inches over the ground.
"It's a doorway, similar to the one the warlock used to free the source, but nowhere near as big or powerful," Zira diagnosed.
"What do we do?" Zephyr asked, adding, "How do we seal it?"
"Good question, any ideas?" Zira asked in return.
"Well, Zephyr told us all about your battle with the source, what did you do to seal that doorway?" Boreus wondered.
"I died!" Zira answered sarcastically.
"Zira, don't, he's got a point. The same thing may work here, without having to die," Amadea defended.
"Well, the thing is, I don't think I did seal the doorway, I just killed the warlock, and... and I don't remember. I summoned power... I called upon the Gods to grant me enough power to prevail... I'm not really sure how it worked."
Zephyr chipped in a suggestion. "I could try to cast a barrier until we can figure out how to close this door. That should at least stop anything else from coming through."
"Good idea," Amadea agreed. Zephyr recited the strongest, and incidentally the longest, barrier spell he knew, which was powerful enough to barricade against an invincible army for at least a hundred years.
"My magic's gone!" Zephyr stared at his hands in horror.
"What? Why?" Amadea asked in concern.
"I don't know!" Zephyr answered in agitation. Just then a monster that resembled a giant mosquito – only much scarier – flew out of the black shadow, managing to stab Zephyr through the shoulder with its needle, and carry him off for lunch.
"Zephyr!" Amadea shouted after him.
Boreus had nearly been knocked off of Cirrus, but held on long enough for the horse to shift his weight back into stability. Amadea was already flying after the monster that had her husband. Boreus followed out of concern, and because Cirrus wouldn't have given him any other choice anyway. He watched Amadea unsheathe the Divinity Blade, kill the monster, and catch her husband in one seamless movement.
"Boreus, repeat after me," Zira demanded, and proceeded to recite a healing spell.
Boreus did as he was told, not realizing what he was saying. He instantly felt an unfamiliar surge, and suddenly Zephyr was conscious.
Amadea sobbed in relief, but two seconds later thrust Zephyr into his brother’s arms. She was glowing red once more, and Boreus was infinitely glad that her anger wasn't directed at him this time. She jumped from her horse, and ran for the black shadow of a doorway, killing monsters left and right. A foot from her destination, she stopped.
"Oh goddess, hear my plea, it is help I need from thee!" This was a spell for inspiration and or aid in times of need. She heard a voice inside her head.
"Oh Amadea, beloved of the Gods, I shall bestow upon you two gifts, and hope that you take more care of your actions in the future. The first is a spell to close and seal the doorways, and purify the earth of its miasma. The second is a small stone, ordinary by all appearances, but which will cure anyone of those poisons that come from any part of a monster's body. Hurry now."
Amadea suddenly felt a stone form in her hand, and a new spell enter her mind. It was long and complex, but she recited it carefully, and then watched as the black cloud grew smaller until it disappeared altogether. She sighed happily, and looked curiously at the stone in her hand. Why did the Goddess give me this?
"Amadea!" Zira called out in panic. Amadea ran back to them to find Zephyr on the ground, and Boreus repeatedly reciting the healing spell.
"What happened?" Amadea asked.
"I don't know, he just suddenly coughed up some blood, and went deathly still," Boreus said.
"He must have been poisoned!" Zira announced in sudden understanding.
Amadea immediately pressed the stone to the place where the monster's needle had been.
She knew the stone would cure the poison, but knew also that he needed another huge healing spell to keep him alive until it had finished its job. She recited the same spell as Boreus, and felt relief when some color returned to his face. Slowly, Zephyr regained his strength, but only enough to wake up, and move around some. He'd still need sleep, nourishment, and time to recover fully.Zira told Boreus how to cast a repelling spell so that the monsters would leave them alone until reinforcements arrived. The ground may have been purified, but the monsters that were already here remained, and would need to be dealt with. After finishing the spell, Boreus decided to begin the task of killing some of the monsters by himself. Zira let him, since he was now protected by Zephyr's "curse" and magic. Not that he knew how to use it.
Go To Chapter 17