by Juddy Anderson C. Punzalan
I am the shining star of Serestia. No other kingdom can outshine me.
King Orbius Galerna-Lynxer
We were running.
We ran past a fancy garden and across a wide courtyard before turning right and saw a fleet of soldiers and wizards that spewed fire.
Dash’s eyes turned green and conjured a powerful gust of wind that knocked everyone aside and even swirled them upwards, causing them to crash on their backs as they fell.
Then his eyes turned blue and summoned his torrential rainfall.
No one saw it coming. In the dead of night under the clear sky, clouds gathered and brought forth a thunderstorm that drenched the entire kingdom.
The rain was too strong that it obscured everyone’s vision, but it was necessary because we were in great, unexplainable danger.
I kept looking behind to see if we were being followed and true enough, we were.
We looked ahead and saw two huge metal walls that were slowly closing in. They were the gates of the main castle and we were about to be locked in.
A fleet of guards blocked our paths as two wizards hovered us.
“Stop!” One of the wizards yelled.
An entire fleet marched from our right as archers pointed their bows toward us from the watchtowers.
“We found them!” A man shouted.
“The general is on her way!” The other smirked.
My eyes wandered.
The guards were carrying a black kind of metal, silver black armor, while the wizards had white coats with cape paddings made of the same black metal.
“Dash,” I whispered. “Their armor is made of Finistil.”
“Armor renders them immune to magic,” Dash whispered back. “No wonder they were mining so much of it.”
I suddenly saw arrows raining from the sky.
“Watch out!” I shouted.
Dash’s eyes turned white as he turned to the sky and caused the pouring rain to freeze and create a protective layer of ice that caught the arrows. He then motioned his hands and caused the layer of ice to shatter and turn into shards that scattered towards all of them.
He then clenched his fists and conjured a blinding ice storm, then he leaned back and blew a funnel of icy winds that froze into a spiral which held open the gate.
We hopped on top of it and though I had imagined it to be slippery, Dash carved a rough surface for me to run onto.
“To the gate!” Dash shouted.
The punishing storm summoned a downdraft of frost winds that pushed back the guards who were recovering from his previous attack and pushed away the incoming fleet.
Three wizards blocked our path and summoned fireballs to negate the swirling frost.
Before I could even turn to look, two more wizards hovered us.
Dash’s eyes turned gray and transformed the ice storm into an even powerful sandstorm.
I felt his hand grab my wrist and ran through it. He pulled my shoulder and led the way around the wizards.
The archers spotted him and aimed at us but Dash moved his hand and summoned fire that was still crawling from the courtyard and the gardens to swoop around him and create walls of fire.
The fire surprisingly blended with the sandstorm and created a small tornado.
“Stop them!” The wizards yelled.
Dash stomped and caused the ground to quake and shook the entire wall near the gate, uprooting the watchtower to his left.
A stone spike emerged from the ground and destroyed the watchtower to the right and rammed through another wall.
He missed to immediately respond to three fireballs unleashed by the wizards but I held my hand upwards and created a magical barrier that expanded and knocked them over.
Dash cheered as we kept on running through the immediate village within the second border of the castle.
More soldiers and wizards were waiting for us. This wasn’t good, all of them were armed and ready.
Dash’s eyes turned yellow and from the sky he summoned a barrage of lightning bolts that practically drew around and carved a path for the two of us.
The wizards simultaneously attacked him but just as they were about to hit him, I summoned a barrier that dispelled their magic and another barrier behind us that blocked an incoming spear.
“Come on!” Dash yelled.
We ran through the streets and immediately spotted the second gate.
Suddenly, Dash was hit by a fireball and crashed into some barrels.
Before I could even rush to him, a second fireball hit me. I covered my face but realized nothing happened to me.
I looked to my left and saw two female wizards, different from the others and they were casting spells using both hands.
“Stop running!” They yelled and casted a flurry of fireballs.
I rushed to my brother and reached out my hand. He immediately grasped it and pulled himself up.
Raising my hand, I negated the fireball with another magical barrier.
The women stood in disbelief. In that short time, I withdrew the barrier and Dash clasped both of his hands together and caused the ground underneath two houses to collide, crushing the wizards in between. They immediately reacted by causing both houses to explode, but it was enough to buy us some time to run.
He blasted the soldiers manning the drawbridge and got to finally see what it was like outside.
“We’re out,” I gasped and turned to my brother. “We’re out!”
I panted and tried to catch my breath for a bit as Dash just stood there, stunned by the wide spaces and the fresh air.
Since the castle was atop a hill, Dash got a good glimpse of the surrounding land.
He stood up and grabbed my shirt as I watched his eyes turn green.
“Don’t let go of my arm!”
The sandstorm was dispelled but a gust of wind violently swirled in the area, knocking down everyone who was airborne except Dash who jumped high and soared towards the sky.
Dash grabbed my hand and flew towards an unknown direction, but we didn’t even travel very far as his grip on me suddenly slipped when he felt a head-splitting headache and numbness of his hands.
A soft breeze blew against the trees as we landed onto hay stacked up near a stable.
My body became a cushion for his entire weight and I pushed him aside and felt the hay poke another hole and sent us rolling on the ground.
It was still dark and no one noticed our sudden intrusion.
“Sorry, I lost control,” Dash whispered.
“Don’t worry about it.”
I reached out my arm to help him get up as we cautiously exited the stable.
I spotted some workers who were enjoying a drink from a distance and I knew that we could be seen.
“I-I tried to bring us elsewhere but…”
“It’s alright Dash,” I repeated.
There was blood coming out of his nose. He felt it and wiped it with him arm.
“It’s happening again isn’t it?” I asked.
“There’s a different time for that,” He grunted and motioned me to hide behind a wall. “This is bad.”
We heard a horn from one of the watchtowers by the gate.
“I think we have to get out of sight. I have a bad feeling about this.” Dash whispered.
A lot of people were gathered outside and was just pointing at the castle courtyard which was still on fire.
“They’ll be here soon,” I whispered back and tugged his arm as we ran through an alley.
A memory hit me.
“This is bad,” I gasped.
“What is it?”
“I think this is Glacestone, the capital.” I whispered.
“How do you know these things?” He grumbled.
“I don’t know,” I answered and gently shoved his head downward as we both ducked when a man paused and glanced at our location. “Maybe I learned it somewhere.”
Dash’s eyes turned blue and caused the clouds to gather over the city and rain upon the people.
We used it as a distraction once more as we snaked through the huge city.
Small magic markers were at the boundary of every territory and it senses magical energy movement in the area. Every time a spike in magic power is detected, it sends a signal to the mages of Rasfera.
They caught wind of this power spike and immediately informed Sorcera through telepathy.
“So they’re in Glacestone.” She grinned.
She marched towards the castle grounds and moved her hand to signal the Magia to follow her as she soared in the sky.
It was a huge place with maze-like roads but we kept running anyway.
“Do you know where we’re going?” Dash asked.
“We’re going on instinct here,” I whispered.
He stopped my arm.
“Winzer, I can get us out of here,” Dash suggested as he panted heavily.
I turned to him and saw that his nose was bleeding again.
“No. You used way too much power already,” I replied.
“Winzer, we need to get out of here, I can still do it!”
I turned to him once more, held his shoulders and gave him a stare down.
Dash tried to look fierce, but he was shaking and looking really tired.
“You know your magic consumes your energy, then it starts tapping your life force. You know this, we’ve dealt with this before,“ I muttered. “The last thing I want is for you to bleed to death.”
“We’re trapped here,”
“Nobody has seen us yet, we just have to hide and let it pass.”
Dash shook his head.
“I can fly us out of here,”
“I don’t think we’ll make it far in your condition; we might just make things worse.”
Dash gave it a thought and agreed with me.
“Reserve your strength. I need you alive Dash.”
Dash stared at me.
“Okay, let’s get out of here alive.” He smirked.
A strange sounding bell was struck, and everyone in Glacestone came rushing to their houses.
“That doesn’t sound good,” Dash remarked as we could hear the sound just as loud from where we were.
The four corner towers of Glacestone were glowing and military was swarming the city streets.
We stole some garments along the way from the clothes that were hanging in the alleyway and kept running deeper in the streets.
“These don’t fit me!” Dash complained as he snuggled under the hood of what seemed to be a child’s clothing.
I laughed and playfully tugged the hood that was already tight on him.
He tried to elbow me, but I dodged it and turned my attention to the next alley.
We sneaked in the back alleys with our backs pressed against the wall and heard more and more people screaming in panic followed by footsteps of what could definitely be soldiers.
“They’re coming,” Dash whispered.
I turned towards another alley and pulled his shirt.
Sorcera hovered over the northern gate of the city. She was greeted by two wizards and ten royal guards who had just arrived Glacestone.
The watchman mumbled, “That’s impossible milady, nothing sneaks past-”
She looked at him and sighed, “I said, they’re here. Were you not watching? Watchman?”
He trembled in fear.
“Take him,” she commanded as one of the wizards shackled him and pushed him off the tower where one of the royal guards immediately jumped high and grabbed him.
“Milady have mercy!” He screamed but Sorcera ignored him.
The woman clasped her magical staff.
She gazed at the crowds of people who were awakened by the commotion brought by the distant attack. Looking at their numbers, she knew there would be casualties if the Elementalist chooses to fight back.
“Make sure the people are off the streets. They could be blending in the crowd.” She replied as the wizards in charge of the city dispersed and left her with one other wizard by the gate.
action & adventure
sword & sorcery