As he drew closer, he heard screams. He pushed himself to run faster. Maybe he could help. The opening of the forest to his village came into view. He ran even faster, wanting to get there as fast as possible. He saw someone out of the corner of his eye, but he kept running.
“Richard!” Brianna shouted. She was running after him. “Don’t go there!” Richard ignored her and ran on. “Richard! Please stop!”
Richard ran through the opening and into his village. He stopped running and stood staring. His village was no more. The frame of houses stood, charred and broken. Any wood left on the houses was still on fire. Acidy smoke rose high into the air. People ran around with buckets of water, hoping to finally put out the fires. The village was destroyed.
Brianna came up behind his, panting and coughing. She stood next to him and lightly placed a comforting hand on his shoulder. Her own shoulders shook as she started to cry. Everything that she had put into her life here was ruined. Richard turned and pulled her into an embrace.
He was stunned. He didn’t cry, but he felt as if everything had been ripped away from him. Not only had they destroyed his home, they had taken his friend away from him. He vowed to give them vengeance.
“Come on,” he whispered, pulling her with him. He was afraid of getting separated from her. He didn’t want to loose her too. She followed his pull without restraining. They walked towards the last fire.
People ran with buckets of water. They doused the fire out. The area became dark once again. A few people light torches that were laying around. Everyone sat on the ground, most crying. They didn’t even bother trying to get away from the rain.
“Myles, are you okay?” Richard asked, coming to a stop in front of someone. He had dark skin and brown eyes. He wasn’t crying, like most of the other people, but he looked very upset and angry.
“Yes,” he answered, coming to his feet. “Are you guys okay?”
“Fine,” Brianna whispered. Richard nodded.
“But they took Katie,” Myles said sadly. I tried to stop them, but they were too strong and there were too many.” He gestured to a large gash on his arm. Richard hadn’t noticed it before.
“Which direction did they go?” Richard urged.
“They went North, but not by horse or feet. They rode a majestic creature like none I’ve ever seen before,” Myles said.
“A dragon,” Richard whispered. Brianna looked at his with wide eyes.
“But how do you know?” she asked.
“I overheard Sandorians talking about it,” Richard said. “They said that she was being taken to Hellio.” He rubbed his eyes. He was exhausted.
“Hellio prison?” Brianna exclaimed.
“Yes,” Richard said. He looked quickly scanned everything.
“You said Sandorians?” Myles asked.
“Yes,” Richard said, watching people. Myles nodded.
“What is it that you plan to do?” Myles asked.
“The only thing I can do: go to Hellio and rescue Katie,” Richard said.
“I knew you were going to say that,” Myles said. “And I am not going to try to stop you. In fact, I want to give you something that will help you.” he turned and walked to one of the only horses left alive. Richard was amazed that the horse had made it.
“I grabbed the things that meant the most to me when they started the attack. I kept my horse close and protected her with my life. I thought they were going to kill her when they took me down. I even thought they were going to just take her with them. It was obvious that they were only after certain things when they didn’t take her,” Myles said. The horse held many saddlebags and pouches.
Myles reached over the horse’s rump and pulled free what appeared to be a sword. It was wrapped neatly so Richard couldn’t see any of it. He knew it was a sword because of the shape of it.
“I want you to take this sword with you,” Myles said. “You have a fine sword, Richard, but I want you to take probably one of the only things that will help you fight against magic.” Richard stared at his like he was crazy.
“Magic?” Richard said, scolding because he thought that Myles was messing with him. “You know as well as I that there is no such thing.”
“You are wrong, Richard,” Myles said. “This sword contains magic that will help you fight off unwanted magic. It will protect you when you go to fight against Zarha. I don’t know how to bring the magic out of the sword, though.”
“I only want to save Katie. I do not plan on fighting Lord Zarha,” Richard said.
“But fight him, you will,” Myles said. He started to unwrap the sword. Brianna watched they talk without interrupting. “You may not know this right now Richard, but you will fight him.” Richard shook his head.
“How are we to get there?” Brianna asked.
“You are not going,” Richard said firmly.
“Yes, Richard, I am going. She is as much of my friend as she is yours,” Brianna said.
“But it’ll be dangerous,” Richard said.
“I know that, and I am willing to take that risk,” Brianna said.
“What about your wrist?” Richard inquired.
“I don’t think It’s broken,” she said, trying to move her fingers, but couldn’t. She squinted her eyes in pain.
“Let me see,” Myles said. Brianna set her hand in his. He closed his eyes and muttered something. A strange hum came from Myles. A sparkle of light came from his hand. The light enveloped Brianna’s hand. She gasped. A moment later the light vanished.
“Amazing,” she said. She was rotating her fingers and wrist. It did not appear to be broken anymore.
“There’s your example of magic,” Myles said, smiling. He looked a bit wasted, like he had used up a lot of energy.
“You healed me?” Brianna asked.
“Yes,” Myles said, rubbing his eyes.
“What’s the matter?” she asked, looking concerned.
“Even a little of magic drains me of energy. I am not very skilled with it,” Myles said. “And I have not used it in a while. Think of this as a treat because you were lucky I could still use it.”
“Thank you,” Brianna said. Richard stared at Myles for a long moment. He shook his head.
“You guys will have to walk,” Myles said to Brianna.
“What!” Richard shouted. “She is not going!”
“She has every right to go,” Myles said.
“Give me one good reason why I shouldn’t be able to go!” Brianna shouted at him.
“I...” Richard began. He thought for a moment. There had to be one reason why she shouldn’t be able to go. “You don’t know how to fight,” he said after a long pause.
“Yes, I do,” she said.
“But you don’t have a weapon,” Richard said.
“I can take your old sword, since you get a new one,” Brianna said, frowning at him.
“Excellent idea,” Myles said, handing the bundle to Richard.
“Please, Brianna,” Richard whispered. He didn’t want her to get hurt.
“I am going, and that’s final!” she said. Richard found it hard to think of any other reason why she shouldn’t come. Instead, he unwrapped the sword.
The sword looked just like any other sword . It didn’t look very impressive. The only thing that looked interesting was the single word that was engraved in the hilt of the sword.
“Divine,” Richard read.
“Yes, the Divine Sword,” Myles said, smiling again.
Richard pulled the sword free of his sheath. As soon as the tip was free, a voice boomed out, but in his mind.
You have been chosen. Do not fail for the world’s fate relies on you.
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