Forums Stories (series) The Slate of Vale (book 1)

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    More mysteries

    “WOW!!!” Ham exclaimed

    “What is this place?” Pinna finished and held her breathe.

    The five walked out of the land Tripler and awed at the sight before them. They were standing on a nation of green vegetation, stretching out as far as the eyes could see. It seemed to be surrounded by beautiful orchards, and flowers, as tall as a Victorian house, standing elegantly, with trimmed edges almost as if they were taped. Hologram goal post, designed like fire rings, were hovering above, just ahead, and ten players in their H-Board, were battling to see the ball go through it. Just where the field had ended, were numerous Air Triplers, departing or landing, like swarms of bees making merry in a h---y hive.

    “This place is awesome” Matt exclaimed. Standing closely now, he could see the banner with the blinking character clearly, only that now, he noted that it was actually a hologram board.

    They were really taken aback. The environment itself was covered with myriad of sparkling buildings. The asphalt road had cobber stones pedestrian. Apart from the hero’s city, Jeff hasn’t been anywhere in Anadan that had so much beauty. The popularity of the school might have come from its beauty. There were many people too, all dressed in different colors of uniform. Some were marching like military trained solders, while others were playing different kind of musical instrument.

    “It’s a welcome party for us.” Pinna waved her hands to a guy who had been staring at her, probably bemused by her height.

    “Not for us alone, look there are others too” Ema said. They looked around and saw that others were also landing. It had been a five day’s competition.

    “Welcome children, it’s good to see you all made it here, alive and well.” Someone said from behind. It was a brunette woman that was slim and of the same height with Pinna, but not as tall as Mr. William. She wore a gorgeous spectacle which was resting on the bridge of her nose, and fitted into her body was a perfect white suit.

    “My name is Jessica April, the dean of studies” The woman said. The smile that painted her face came with little lines, which made her sand color aging skin, tempting to touch. “Hope you enjoyed your trip?”

    “Yea… it was fun” Ema replied.

    “I thought as much. William might have the hard looks all the time but he is fun to be with” Jessica said as she watched the air Tripler take off.

    “Here in the academy” Jessica continued, returning her gaze to the five “the first thing every fresh man should know is that there is only one rule, and that rule is for you to ‘always obey the new rule” Jessica’s smile widen “Now, your new rule for today is to do whatever you are told to do.” She sighed heavily and adjusted the collar of her suit “having said that, the five of you would follow me to the principal’s office, he would like to have a word or two with you.”

    What kind of rule is that? Pinna grumbled.

    Jeff and his companion followed her quickly into one of the tall building. The building was more like a museum. It had different legendary pictures, artifacts, plaques on the wall, accolades and monument of past heroes. The new students stared in wonder. Jeff on his own part saw his coming to the Heroes academy as a dream come true. He had read books about this school; seen pictures and watch it on the TV. He never thought for once that he would one day see these things physically.

    “I can’t believe we are in Dustin’s gallery, the pictures in the books had it all right.” Ham said.

    “That must be the Lady Hara, the wife of Lord Donald.” Jeff pointed at the statue of a woman holding a child with one hand and a sword with the other.

    “I will be like her someday. Brave. Fearless. Courageous.” Pinna said proudly, to the amusement of Matt and Ham.

    “What’s funny?” she asked.

    “Take a good look at that statue and the picture over there. Does any of it shows that Lady Hara was five thousand feet tall?” Ham asked.

    “AM NOT FIVE THOUSAND FEET TALL” Pinna defended angrily

    “Or does it show that she had eyes so large that it could see through a person soul?” Matt added and he and Ham burst into hot laughter.

    “Shut it both of you. We are here.” Ema warned.

    They had rounded a bend and came into a hallway. Mrs. Jessica knocked twice on one of the metal door and they all walked in. Their steps echoed through the room, which was very large and almost empty. Its wall was covered with artificial flowers, even the lining pillars were covered from top to bottom. The only part without flower was the floor and the open glass windows. At the far end of the room opposite the door, stood a semicircular table, on it sat six people. They were all dressed in White suit, like ancient scholars with expressionless eyes staring intently at the new comers. Two among them were ladies. With the way the hall was arranged, one could guess it, as a place where important meetings were held.

    “Welcome to the Heroes academy.” The man sitting in the middle said. Mrs. Jessica had left the children standing in the center of the hall, a little pace away from the semicircular table. Jeff stared at the table and recognized the one sitting at the left side. It was the same man from the Heroes city. The one he had admired. The man still had that gentle air about him. What is he doing here or are these, the people who had sent him to organize the competition? Jeff couldn’t tell for sure.

    The man in the middle who had spoken earlier, wiped his brow with clean white linen. He appeared to be the oldest in the group, with gray dark hair and clean shaved beard.

    “My name is Abel Manim. I’m the principal of this academy. Before we accept you into this institution we would like to run some test.”

    “Wait, TEST? Like in the lab?” Pinna asked.

    “Watch your tongue young lady, you speck only when are spoken to” Abel bellowed.

    “Excuse me sir, is that a new rule?” One of the women sitting on the table asked. She had papers scattered in front of her.

    “Yes, write it down” Abel replied.

    The new students stared at them with confusion. Was this how rules are made in the so-called, best Academy of Anadan?

    “You will be taken to your dormitories once you pass the test. Any question before we proceed?” Abel asked calmly.

    “Yes” Matt’s hands went up in the air. “What if we fail the test?”

    “You will be sent home” Abel said coldly as if bored.

    A small table was set before them by some uniformed ladies, and on the top of the table was a white candle. The flames were out and the thread of the candle signified that it had already been used. One of the uniformed women drew a circle on the marble floor, around the table where the candle was kept. She must have used a paint spray because, the white fluid appeared boldly on the frictionless marble.

    “Pinna Nin. Please step into the circle” One of the uniformed woman said. Pinna didn’t move an inch until she got a ‘try it’ looks from her friends.

    Immediately she stepped into the perimeter of the circle to where the candle was kept, the candle turned red and burst into red hot flames.

    “Cool” Pinna exclaimed as she watched the burning flames.

    “Eagles claw” Mr. Abel said with boredom.

    “Eagle’s claw, what does that mean?” Pinna asked with confusion written all over her sweating face.

    “It’s the house you now belong to. A house for the Red glowers, where you would be taught how to use the extracting power of speed.” One of the women took the protesting Pinna out of the hall. Pinna wouldn’t have gone with her had she not promise Pinna, that she would see her friends again.

    “Emazita Long” The other woman called. Just like Pinna, the candle turned red with red flames. Ema also was taken away to the Eagle’s claw. It was then that Jeff observed the five other people in the room. They were dressed in a well design uniform. Each bearing the color of the five glows of Anadan. There were the Reds, the Blues, the Silvers, the Grays and the magnificent Golds. Their uniforms were all black, but each has its own color trend running on each side of the uniform, on their arms and collars, and the uniform appeared to be more of a battle gear.

    “Harmzod Sylvester” Ham walked into the circle with boldness. The candle this time became blue, with deep blue flames.

    “A healer” whispered one of the uniform women standing behind Jeff.

    “Dove’s scale” The principal shouted with a tiny fragment of enthusiasm etched on his voice. He sounded as though he was happy to find a blue. One of the students with blue trends on his uniform took Ham out of the hall.

    “Jeffred peters”

    Jeff shivered with fear. He had been too busy studying other people that he hadn’t pause to think of what to expect when called upon. What color would the candle be? He stepped into the circle with eyes closed, as if expecting something to happen out of the blue.

    “A gray, take him to the Gray’s hoe.” Jeff opened his eyes when he heard that, he was disappointed as well as the principal, why are the grays treated with utter contempt. The candle appeared unchanged and dead. There was no flame to make it alive.

    Jeff shook his head as he walked out of the parameter. He was never happy being born a gray. When others would be out there learning how to extract powers from the sun, he would be in the garden tending crops. That’s what the grays were significant for. It really frustrated him that he might spend his years in this school studying plant and animal feed. Matt came out almost immediately and fell in step with Jeff. None of them said a word as they walked behind the boy who took the lead.


    Back in the hall, the six people in white suits sat alone with troubled looks plastered all over their faces and exhaustion too.

    “That’s the last group to arrive and the last for this year.” Announced the secretary; She wore calm posture different from the rest sitting on the table. The Principal stood up and paced the room. He seemed to be in deep thoughts.

    “We are running out of time sir” a man named Fred said. “For how long are we going to search for him?”

    “As long as there is breathe rushing through our lungs.” The principal replied not looking at either of them.

    “But sir, we have spent all our resources trying to find him” a woman named Stella said. She shrugged uncomfortably “Now am calling it him, we don’t even know the gender. I think it’s time we start looking for his touch bearer as well, or to create awareness so the people will engage in the search?” She finished.

    The principal paused for a second then shook his head.

    “No, we can’t risk that. What if we are wrong, it would only bring false hope. The revelation itself said they would come like a mighty twin star in the night’s cloud. No one knows what that means. But we should hope to find him first before any of the foreseen tragedy befalls him. What do you think Alex?”

    “Well” the man called Alex sat up and cleared his throat. It was the same man who conducted the competition in the Heroes city. “I have nothing to say, I only have one question. How are you so certain that he would come to the academy? He might be out there, somewhere.”

    The principal shrugged as if suddenly cold

    “Just instinct; I believe we would find him, if not we are all doomed.

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    I think the him are looking for is the first gray boy ur candle scanner thing scanned

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    marcus Victoria
    marcus Victoria
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    I think the him is Jeff
    And matt will help him on his mission

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    Four hard face sat quietly as they watch Anadan’s map revolve round and round on a projected film. Each of them had a jotter and a pen on the desk before them. They were heavily armed in black and white uniforms and emblazoned on their left b----t, was a silver snake in an eagle’s claw.

    “This is our home” said the captain general standing away from the four. He had a long fading scar under his left eye; though the scar curved down to his left ear, his long dark hair fails to cover it. He stood before the screen with a long thin cane. His muscular body fitted into a brown uniform, which stands him out from the black and white of those sitting.

    “But we are somewhere here” he continued. “Thousands of leagues away from our home, away from our city and from our world; History has it that our ancestors were once inhabitants of this world, but they had ran away to Anadan when a demon posed a threat.” He paused to look at the screen, checking to know if he had omitted something vital.

    “We can’t risk flying overhead with this mighty plane, that’s why we need to dispatch ourselves if we are to get good results. Team squad AB, you and your men should take the west. Team squad C, you and your men should take the southern part. Captain Rex, you take yours north. You all know the mission, survey this world as far as you can. If you notice anything out of ordinary; return immediately. I repeat, return as soon as you can. We have five hours to spend” The captain general said looking at his reddish bracelet. “I have spent forty-five minutes briefing you on what to do, we would need two to travel back to our world, so you have less than two hours to scout this area and bring me reports. Good luck.” The general finished and walked out of the room without looking at either of the men.

    You really are insane Zack. Rex muttered under his breath as he corrected something in his jotter. And this is a fruitless mission. It’s like sending a child to go fishing on sand. Rex could read the frustrated looks on each of the squad captain’s face. He didn’t blame them though; it had come to them as a surprise. Only few knew that Anadan wasn’t the real world. It was just a fragment of what was left from the power of the slate of vale.

    “I can’t believe I signed in for this mission.” Tina frowned and raked her dreadlocks with her left hand. She was trying to hold the locks into a ponytail but it would not just stay true. She was the only woman in the group, with cheek bones that were almost out of her skin. Her muscles lined her black suite that she could hardly be called a woman at first sight.

    “Not that we had a choice though, the general spat on my face when I told him I want out. He said I had sworn allegiance to my country and that it pays better to serve. Can you imagine?” Kelvin said. He was on his feet and was picking up his jotter.

    “Come on guys,” A dark hair boy was saying, he was the only one no wearing the uneasy looks “this is the easiest mission so far, besides we have seen worse. I for one like adventures, I -” he was interrupted.

    “- All the missions we have faced had been in Anadan. Never have we been in another dimension, the general usually sends us on missions as though we are pros, he should remember we are new Cadets.” Tina had finally managed to knot her hair but some locks still dangles in front of her eyes. “So Max, be careful what you wish for.” Tina finished. The boy she had interrupted stood calm not meeting her eyes, as though weighing her words.

    “There should be no cause for alarm, we should stay safe and try not to wander far. Like the captain said, there might be demons here.” Rex said for the first time. The rest of the group nodded their heads in respect. Rex was the second in command and the oldest among them. His rank was way far from any of them, but he was friendly and should have been Captain General, if his position wasn’t usurped by Zack, the current general.

    “See you guys in two hours’ time” Rex said as he stood up and walked out of the war plane. His robotic army called the keepers; were dressed neatly in white amour and were standing in an orderly formation, in front of the plane. The sun was at its zenith, and apart from the birds singing sweetly on the tree tops, and the rushing of tree leaves, when it catches the soft gentle wind, no noise was heard, not even the beeping sound from the keepers. Rex nodded his head as if pleased.

    “Okay boys, let’s get this over with” Rex mounted his air bike and zoomed north. His army of twenty soared behind him. They didn’t need the air bike as they flew, the exhaust under their metallic feet was basically meant for flight.


    The flight was only for minute but it seemed hours to Rex. The air was slapping his helmet but it was not enough to calm his nervousness. What would happen if they find life in this uninhabited world? Would the king order the people of Anadan to return here? What if the inhabitants of this world were flesh eaters, worst still, what if there were demons? Rex shook his head. There is no such thing as demons. Demons don’t exist. The beeping of his compass brought him back to consciousness and he started his descent.0

    “There is something ahead; you guys would wait here while I scout the area.” Rex dismounted his bike. Though he was in his early forties, he had fought many battles in Anadan with these Keepers. In truth, Rex really hates working with them. His theory against them was the fact that they could not give suggestions, or advice, they were stupid machines. One only needs to change their C-cards – control cards – and they would follow any order one gives. They are good in combat though, but to Rex, they were as rude as their maker, Dr. Jakins.

    Giving it a second thought, an enemy, if one existed here, might spot the constant beep from their visor and run away or attack him unaware, so Rex shut them down with the control switch on his belt and walked to the direction his compass was pointing.

    He walked stealthy, avoiding twigs and dry leaves so that he won’t give himself away. The deeper he went the denser the forest and the colder or warmer it became. It was like moving from a cold temperature to a warm temperature and back again. Rex pulled out his gun smoothly when he saw something moved. He raked his gray hair and laugh off the sweat that had lined his brow when he saw the animal.

    “Just a deer” he relaxed and stuck back his shocker gun on his belt. He could have shot the doe for the fun of it, but he observed that the doe was pregnant and refrains from the thought. The funny thing there was that the doe was staring at him, as if daring him to shoot. Rex smiled at her. Women both in human and animal wore the same pride, especially when they are pregnant.

    Rex looked down at his compass and cursed; it was turning endlessly in all direction, and pointing to none. Rex angrily hit his palms on it and the compass broke to his disappointment. He stood in the middle of nowhere with confusion swerving around him like tiny water droplets suspended in the air. What was he to do? Going back would have been the best idea but he couldn’t trace his way back to the keepers.

    What will I do now? Rex asked himself as he tried to wander back the way he had come. He staggered randomly in all direction, sometimes running, sometime walking and sometimes stopping to catch his breath. He didn’t want to think of the fact that he was lost, or of the fact that the captain general would fly back to Anadan without him once two hours’ elapses.

    “D--n” Rex whined in pain as he pulled out a thorn from his arm. The thorns here were like nothing in Anadan. The leaves and grasses were strange as well, with leaves so broad like a plate that it was impossible to see through the other end. Even though the tall trees had broad canopy leaves, he was surprise to see that the grass below were as green as the tall trees themselves. Rex added pressure to the wound on his arm, just above his wrist, below his elbow. The wound wasn’t deep but it was bleeding pretty badly. He was confused and totally downcast, going forward or backward the four cardinal points met on his head.

    Rex lifted his head and felt chilled inside. The doe he had seen earlier was back again, staring at him more intently. It was odd. There might be demons here. His brain tried to warn him. It was as if the doe was trying to tell him something, as if it was telling him that he shouldn’t be afraid. It was comforting to Rex, which made him follow the doe like a sacrificial lamb.

    The doe walked slowly, but precisely as if it knew exactly what it was doing. Rex’s heart was racing with fear, a part of him was telling him to run away from the doe; as far as he could. But he couldn’t. It was as if something was pulling him. An unseen force; urging him to move on, urging his feet to have minds of their own, even though he tried to stop them. It was a long walk and the moment Rex thought they won’t stop, they came out in an open and a stone throw from the point Rex stood, was a mighty flowing river.

    Rex smiled and laughed, what was the point of bringing him to a river when he knows nothing about this place. He nodded a thank you to the doe and was surprised that the doe nodded back before it disappeared into the tick forest. Something about its golden eyes reminded Rex about a lost friend, but he knocked the thought out of his head.

    Standing alone in the middle of nowhere Rex decided to plan his next move. He would follow the trail of the river and prays it leads him to a better destination, to a place if he is lucky, where people would hopefully inhabit. He was about to move when he heard someone laughed.

    Rex turned immediately and sprinted to the direction. He looked over the dune in front of him, but could only see green vegetation, water and white sands. The laughter hadn’t ceased though, it was fervent and lovely and was coming from the other part, where the river had meander into the forest. Rex walked carefully and leaned behind a tree with a giraffe neck, to catch the sight of what was going on. All his life, the few stories in Anadan said that Anadan was the only surviving human race after the plague of darkness, centuries ago. But standing here in this unknown forest, all those stories were washed away from his mind. If these ladies bathing are not mermaids, then a new story would be written and his name would be on the front cover.

    Rex smiled to himself and watched with much interest. As he studied them, he realized that they weren’t actually bathing. They seemed to be performing some kind of ritual procession. They were all ladies. Some among them carried a bowl filled with unknown fluid, others with huge peacock feathers. They were all dressed in fine clothes, but in their mist, one stood out in terms of clothing and movement.

    Rex fought the urge of taking pictures with his camera. The figure wore a silver bottled neck gown. Her transparent robe was decorated with crimson colored butterfly, which seemed alive when the rays of the sun cast its radiance on it. The only place visible on her body was her face and wrist; even her feet were covered by a red embroder, making her movement to be more of gliding than walking. Her face was as pale as the moon, her eyes, as bright as the scale of a fish, and her lips were as red as the crimson butterfly on her robe. She was standing away from the other five ladies, who were inside the river with their clothes on and were chanting.

    The procession led away from the river into the forest. Rex at that instant recovered from his shock and sprinted after them with all his might. The pain on his arm was forgotten. The only thought that fog his mind was the beautiful lady.

    I will give the whole world just to see her one more time, just to behold her beauty again. Rex ran after the ladies. As though enchanted, he forgot he needed to find his way back to the others before two hours’ elapses.

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    The Dreamers prophecy

    The road the women had took led away from the forest into a huge metal gate. The gate was ajar but Rex hid behind a tree and surveyed it for any guard. The rough wall surrounding whatever was inside was way taller than any fence he had ever seen. It was a gray wall, which might have once been white. The algae on it made Rex wonder how long the wall had stood. Not a part of it was affected by an agent of denudation. If these people were always here, where were they when darkness plague the world and sent the people of Anadan on their heel? Rex couldn’t place an answer to that question. Convincing himself that the path was clear, he sneaked into the gate quietly, with his right hands steady on his belt, where his shocker gun rest.

    To Rex, it was like travelling back in time, from a computer age to a stone age. Noise filled his ear and dust fogged his nostril. Rex stood by the city wall keeping a good distance from the busy street. The walls had different carvings and designs on it. Taking a closer look at the ancient white wall, Rex observed the reddish patterns of a man holding a tablet in one hand and another with a goblet of fire. The painting was vague and strange, but from it Rex was able to observe that the man was running away from a dangerous beast behind him. Maybe it’s a story, Rex couldn’t guess less.

    The people in the city wore jovial looks, making the dusty air smell with a mixture of festivity. Nobody spared him a second glance, the ones who did laughed at him like he was a fool. Most of the people wore different scary costumes as though they were celebrating Halloween. Some masked their face with animal skull; others were in animal hide and little skeleton tied round their waist. The noisy busy street was piled with masked men on horseback, carriages, and wagons. Along the road were different goods displayed for sale, ranging from fruits to sea food, skewed animals, caged birds of different spices and sizes. Beside a fish trader were two men in patched colored clothe. One of them was juggling four colored balls and the other was playing a harp. They had a cloth spread out in front of them, where people toss coins as they passed by or stopped to watch.

    Despite the oddity in this big city, the place looked beautiful and neat. At the center of the street where there was a cross road, was a huge lion, with fountain of fresh water pouring out of its mouth. The houses here were built with white stones and had intricate patterns, designed identically with the city wall. It was hard not to stare.

    Rex stood beside the old wall trying to hide behind a neat stable which was totally empty. Someone coughed behind him and Rex turned in time to see a masked face, supporting his weight with a strong cane. It was a man in a leopard vest, with wrinkles running down his whole body like the scale of a reptile.

    “Because we call this feast the iron feast, does not mean you should come with iron costumes.” The man laughed but his laughter roared like the cracking of a stormy cloud, making him to cough. The four remaining brown teeth on his mandible, made the animal mask he wore appear alive.

    Rex stared at him with confusion. He hadn’t understood the man’s language. The man was struggling with his cane to maintain his balance and his body convulsed at interval. A man at his age in Anadan was well taken care of by the government.

    Rex held his tongue tightly as it threatens to ask the man what the hell he was talking about.

    “Go to that building over there” the man pointed and Rex’s eyes followed the weak finger. The man spoke more clearly now but his ascent was an old Anadan’s tongue. ‘If these people are speaking my language’ Rex allowed his thought to wander ‘does it mean they are the lost blood line-

    “There are free costumes for block heads like you” The old man said, interrupting Rex who wasn’t paying attention until then. “Change into something less amusing before the king of kings throws you into the cell of the damned.” The man laughed again and disappeared into the growing crowd.

    “Wait…what do…who are you?” Rex stammered, but the man was already engulfed by the crowd.

    Rex didn’t know what to make out of the man. He strode towards the building hoping nobody had paid attention to their conversation. The building was piled with assorted attire. Some were hung to the wall, others in what appeared to be a closet, and some littered the clean wooden floor. The shoes and sandals here were made from animal skin. They were beautiful but Rex found them odd, he would pick his polished leather boot anytime.

    Two paces away from the door was a black dog sleeping peacefully.

    Rex walked deeper into the room. The ceilings were painted black, but the rays of the sun, was sufficient enough for him to see the sparkling jewelries, displayed adoringly inside a case. The walls had strange paintings too and hung on the eastern part of the room, were voodoo masks, Animal hides, ranging from antelope to leopard to lion and some others he could place a name on. The dog sleeping beside the door growled a little, stood up and walked out of the room.

    “What the hell” Rex gasps and reached for the gun on his belt. What he had mistaken for a dog was a huge wolf with deep brown eyes. Rex gulped and relaxed, the eyes of the animal were oddly familiar, but where had he seen something similar? He shook of the thought.

    Rex scanned the entire room quickly and his eyes fell on a brown hood sitting almost the position where the wolf had been. He wore it immediately over his amore, walked out of the building and followed the streaming crowd blindly.

    The crowd was heading to an arena and Rex who had been following them all this while, saw an empty spot and sat down on one of the spectator’s seat.

    Down below was a rectangular ring which was almost six feet deep. The surface of the ring was covered with black muddy sand. Its wall had old marks and scratches, which look like a rough painting when viewed from afar.

    The crowd cheered and stood up clapping, as two beast set down two thrones. The two thrones, made of gold, were escorted by battalions of solders on feet and on horseback. The solders had spares, swords, cross bows and were dressed like knights. Rex watched keenly as a handsome but old man stood up and waved his hands. Everything he wore was snow white, from the silver crown resting lazily on his white hair; down to his feet. His white robe was long but not long enough to sweep the floor. The crowd kept cheering as the man continues to wave his white gloved hands like a choir master. Rex’s heart skipped a beat when the other person on the throne sat up.

    It was the woman from the stream. She was in a robe-less white gown. Her face had colors on it now but her eyes still sparkled and twinkled like the stars of a silent night.

    She is heavenly beautiful, Rex admired just as the woman threw back her hair with her right hand and her dark hair fluttered in the gentle wind. She looked younger than the man in the white robe. Her simple white dress fitted into her body, making her attractive, both physically and emotionally.

    “LET THE FEAST OF BONES AND IRON BEGIN” the man in white robe shouted and took his sit. He had spoken with an old tongue, a language that is obsolete in Anadan. The crowd cheered in return, just as the dark muddy sand on the pit ring was disturbed.

    About twelve bare chest men in pants walked out through a gate at the southern end of the pit ring. They were skinny and pale, with hair shaved to the skin. They had swords which were blunt and rusty. They look weak and depressed and different emotion was plastered on their faces, but the one that was common was FEAR.

    Another door at the northern side of the ring opened with a loud cracking sound and what came out from it was a living dead. They were skeletons, with flesh scattered on their body. The sinus of their cranium was visible anywhere the dangling skins failed to cover. Their hair was bald and scanty, as though infested by hair eating worms. It was difficult to distinguish the tattered skin and the rag cloth, from what seem to be a wing, attached perfectly on their spine, just on the cervical and coccyx of the vertebra.

    Oh no. Rex stared in horror, trying with great attempt to force down the nausea. The two creatures were like nothing he’d ever seen or heard. As they attack the twenty men, he saw blood lust written all over their faces.

    Majority of the crowd were cheering, while about a hand full were mourning with red eyes. Rex felt the urge to do something. He wished he could comfort those crying hopelessly. He empathized with the twenty on the pit and wished he could fight with them. The urge in him was too intense that he sought for the familiar extractor power, but couldn’t reach it even though the sun was up. As hard as he tried he couldn’t. Rex didn’t know what was wrong, so he stared pitifully at the ring. He was of the red linage, the fastest in the history of Anadan. With the Extractor power he was sure he could kill those creatures on the pit ring, as fast as the rays of light on a plane surface. But now, panic filled him, when he realized that he couldn’t extract, he felt vulnerable and empty.

    “You shouldn’t have come here Rex Alba” Rex turned immediately to the direction. The words were tiny that it could have been impossible to hear it from the noise of the crowd. It was precise and familiar, with perfect intonation like a pure Anadan citizen.

    “How did you know my name?” Rex asked. The owner of the voice was sitting next to him and was in a leopard vest. Rex recognized him now. It was the man from the gate who had showed him the boutique.

    The man sat calmly not looking at his direction. His masked face was staring at the pit ring and dropping on his leopard vest, above his collar bone, was tiny droplets of tears.

    Rex Gasp, why is he crying? “I didn’t mean to offend you good sir, I was just curious about how you knew my name” Rex added, surprised at the old man’s strange behavior. Something about the man’s calmness was similar to the deer he had met in the forest and the wolf in the boutique.

    “The prophesy Rex, the dreamers prophesy” the man sobbed quietly not looking at him.

    Prophesy? Rex was totally confused, he had not heard of any prophesy and the books in Anadan never mentioned any. Even the book of blood and feathers never said anything about prophecy. What is this old man blabbing about? Rex didn’t know the question to ask first.

    “What is a dream?” Rex asked. “And what prophesy are you talking about?” The words felt strange on his lips. He watched the old man, who flippantly ignored the question. Or so Rex thought. The old man only paused and lifted his head, trying to no avail to damp his wet masked face. But when Rex thought he would not answer, th man said.

    From shadows will he rise again

    When then the balance shall be altered

    And like a basket on sea water he shall destroy light

    But when the twin stars of the light comes

    Nature would harbor its own

    And so would the world of dreams.”

    Twin stars, Shadows, Dreams? What does it mean? “What in the Heroes city are you talking about? Are you sure you are sane?” Rex blinked with frustration. The old man had stopped sobbing now which was at least welcoming, but he was murmuring to himself quietly.

    “Am not mad Rex Alba” The man finally said. He stared directly into Rex’s eyes. Rex shivered. The eyes were brown, like the eyes of the wolf and the deer. Oh no, could it be that this old man was the deer and the wolf I met earlier?

    “I only mourn Rex” the man was saying “I mourn for the blood that would be shed here today.”

    Just like a puff of smoke, the man vanished into a thin air.

    Rex stood up frightfully. He turned in a three sixty degrees just to make sure his eyes weren’t playing tricks on him. The crowd was still chanting amid his confusion. Nobody but him had noticed the old man.

    “Where did he go?” Rex wondered. In his dilemma, his eyes went to the king’s throne which was at the opposite end. It was far enough not to make out the face of the person sitting there, but with the Extractor power, he adjusted his eyes for a long sight. At least my long sight didn’t go away with the rest of my speed. Rex thought. Just there, sitting next to the king, were beautiful copper eyes staring directly at him.


    Rex’s world melted away, the thought of the old man and the mysteries surrounding him had lost its track in his mind. He held the gaze with the queen, battling with a part of him that warned him to avert. He knew he couldn’t, even when he tried his eyes won’t obey. They stared intently at the beautiful queen. Rex felt some kind of connection, as though everything that had happened was meant to be, as though he was meant to fall in love with this woman the moment he saw her. The eyes of the queen were welcoming and encouraging, but behind the glamour of her eyes, fear and sadness were written boldly.

    All eyes turned to the blue sky as a troupe of air Tripler filled it. It came first like a humming song, like a fleet of birds migrating to a favorable weather, like a swamp of locust seeking for green vegetation. The sound became more fervent and loud as it came nearer. The people in the stadium all gasps, with a cloak of fear wrapping itself around them. Some who couldn’t withstand the noise fled to their respective abode, and others whose legs were too heavy to carry the weight of their body, watched with clapping teeth.

    The air Tripler, with an A-shape; all landed inside the pit ring, which was now empty. The wing creatures and the twenty men had all disappeared.

    Off all place to land Zack, you chose the arena. Why are you always a confident fool? Rex murmured irritably, he couldn’t tell if it was because of the fact that the general’s appearance had brought him back from his trance with the queen, or the fact that he was suddenly jealous of the captain general.

    The whole place was quiet and the people watched with fear. The king’s knight made to stop the intruders, but backed down when the king gave the signal.

    The captain general in his brown uniform stood tall, with his helmet covering his face. Three others in black and white stood beside him, and the keepers – the robots – stood behind them with shocker guns ready.

    “Greetings to you my lord” The captain general said as his helmet folded into a plate and covered his right ear. “How great is your kingdom, may your reign be forever.”

    The general and his companion knelt with one knee touching the mud, facing the king’s throne. The once tensed crowd was now returning to its state of rest, as it saw no course for alarm.

    Rex was impressed, he never knew the captain general as a lamb. They had fought together for years, but all those years that had forged them into men, the captain’s behavior today, was nothing compared to what he once was.

    “How dare you interrupt my feast” the king bellowed. He had spoken well this time in pure Anadan’s ascent.

    General Zack and his companion stood up and gave a gentle man’s bow. “We are sorry good king; we were only looking for -”

    “YOU ARE DOOMED” the king stood up with anger flashing its radiance in his white eyes. An icy scepter appeared in his hands out of the blue. “Summon the damned” the king roared.

    The crowd at that moment let go the cloak of fear that once held them captive and cried out in delight, but Zack and his companions were confused, not knowing what the pandemonium was all about.

    The southern door of the arena opened silently this time and people in black gowns, about three of them came out from it.

    Their skins were pale like the ash on a hearth. On their left eye was a lightning bolt tattoo which ran down to their check bone. Their hair was scanty, but they were more human than the last time.

    This is not good. Rex thought as he ran down the stairs and let go off the brown hood. He jumped and spin in the air landing smoothly inside the pit ring, in front of the general. This brought silence back to the growing crowd.

    “Give me one reason why I shouldn’t fry your brains with a ball of electricity.” The general asked angrily.

    “Because you would use my skill to battle those” Rex pointed with his shot electric gun. The general frowned and typed something on his control pad. He hadn’t seen the creatures until now.

    “Great king” the general said “We came looking for one of our own, we would return in peace and tell our people how kind and great you are. Call off your men and there would be no bloodshed today.” General Zack warned but the king only stared. The general pushed a red button on his control panel and the keepers turned their attention to the three creatures advancing.

    “I said call of your creatures now.” The general repeated. But like before, the king kept adamant with boredom. Without much ado, the killing started. The keepers’ rain down balls of electricity at three creatures and in a flash of seconds, the three creatures were down with smoke popping out of their body.

    “IMPOSSIBLE.” The king shouted in rage; with a tiny fragment of enthusiasm written somewhere in his voice. The crowd watched with mouth agape, not even an ant was moving at the moment, for they had not seen a damned army defeated before.

    “I warned you” general Zack said proudly “but now you have tasted my patient, and left me with no choice.”

    “What do you mean? Let’s get out of here.” Rex said to the general, he couldn’t believe his ears.

    “I won’t leave until I raise this place and these barbarians to the dust.” Zack chuckled and typed something on his control pad.

    “No” Rex said aloud. The people in the arena might have heard that as they started running helter-shelter. Mother’s calling out to their children, brothers calling out sister and wife calling out husband. The whole place was in total disarray.

    “You can’t do this”

    “Watch me Rex, just watch and learn” the general said and Rex stared at him thoughtfully.

    “Now I understand. You wanted to destroy this place all along, it was never your intension to report back home that this place actually exist.” Rex pointed accusingly.

    “Bravo. Look who’s finally gotten smart.” The general said “Anadan is the only place where life is meant to be and should be. I was born to keep it that way.”

    Rex stared into the eyes of his co-solders standing next to the general; they were new cadets who would do nothing but to follow orders. None of them met his gaze, they were in the same league with the general and Rex knew he could do nothing, they must follow orders. Rex for the second time that day missed being captain general.

    “I won’t let you do this; I don’t mind to die trying.” Rex pointed his gun at them with determination.

    The general chuckled. “This is hilarious; can’t you see you are outnumbered?” Rex stared around him. The keepers under the general’s command were all pointing their guns at him.

    Rex cursed and regretted for once in his life that his keepers were not with him.

    “You don’t have a choice but to surrender, even with your speed glow you can’t defeat all these keepers. The extractor power has limits.” Rex spat angrily at the Generals words. He reached out for his powers again but like before, he felt empty. If only he could glow, the general’s warning would have been meaningless. Rex was about to drop his shocker gun when the sticky dark mud swallowed up the whole keepers, about a hundred of them.

    Rex turned behind and was surprise to see the queen in the pit ring. Her eyes were ablaze with a desert sun and her dark hair was now white and was dazzling like a pure diamond.

    “Run Rex. Run.” whispered a soft voice in Rex’s head. Rex was sure that those words belong to the queen, but he hadn’t seen her moved her lips, her lips were locked when she said that.

    “How did…you…, what…are” Rex stammered and stayed put. “No I won’t.” He said firmly. Just then, an icy spare pieced his black armor and embedded itself in his heart. Rex shrieked with anguish and held the icy spare.

    “Why?” he asked the queen who caught him before his kneels could reach the ground. “It wasn’t me” Rex heard her sobbed. From the corner his eyes he caught the king making another spare out of the air.

    “Where you go I go. We die together.” The queen whispered. Before Rex closed his eyes to darkness, he saw a vague image of the queen stabbing herself with a dagger.

    “Kneel” the king’s voice thundered and the crowd shuddered. The whole place shock as the king’s whole body disintegrated into white smoke and floated down to the pit ring.

    “I have waited for this day” the king was saying “now that it has come you would serve my purpose” he finished and laughed wickedly, just as General Zack and his companion, held their throat and struggled for breath. Misty air surrounded their head and chocked them to death

    #1298749 Reply
    • "Posts & Comments"4692
    • ☆☆☆

    Maybe the general and those solders would be become “the damned soldiers”

    #1298750 Reply
    • "Posts & Comments"4692
    • ☆☆☆

    Hope Rex did not die

    #1299080 Reply
    • "Posts & Comments"1871
    • ☆☆

    this story is really making sense

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Reply To: The Slate of Vale (book 1)

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