Alethean Prophecy
Author: ~Kyle

Chapter 2
The Lost Return

'' Dear Journal
The weirdest thing happened the other day; I was sitting in the imperial garden when I felt myself drifting to sleep. Eventually I woke however instead of the sight of beautiful flowers of only the purest colours, it was a cold forest in contrast to the traditional green forest it was a ghastly blue with undertones of an ominous purple. I walk a bit until I found myself standing ankle deep in sub-zero water. I quickly stepped back only to trip on the root of a tree. I hit the ground. Suddenly a thick fog began to consume me. Swiftly, I jumped to my feet. The fog seemed to whisper to me 'beware, beware' I shook my head and kept walking, the voices didn't stop. I began to run faster and faster in a futile attempt to escape. Ultimately I halted in my tracks I screamed, "Stop!" I fell to my knees, "Please stop, please." I covered my ears, only to discover the voice was inside my head; my breathing grew laboured the coldness of the forest intensified, my breath became visible. The tears began to fall from my eyes however the coldness caused them to frost over almost immediately. It became harder and harder to breath. I lost all my strength and fell to the floor. As I lay there the roots of the trees grasped around me, I could feel their grip tightening but I was powerless against them. Just as I was about to closer my eyes and give in to my inevitable fate, a bright flash of blue light shot across the forest like a shock wave. The tree roots released their grasp and retreated back to their home in the underworld. Someone rushed towards me but before they reached me, I found myself in the imperial garden once more.

I'm so confused… Where was I? What happened? Who was he?''
"What you writing Rose?," Leo asked.
Rose jumped, "What are you doing here?"
"I asked first," He sat down next to her
"Fine. This is my journal," She said closing to book
"Did you write about what happened yesterday?"
"Yes," Rose stood up
"Well what happened," He followed. She simply gazed out of the grand arched window. It was a view of the Reiwel Mountains.
"Amazing aren't they," Malachi said, he had silently appeared in the doorway
"Seriously what are you all doing in my room," She said. Her room was a grand room with on wall covered in magnificent arched windows. Against the back wall was a four poster bed.
"We're worried about you," He said as he walked towards her
"Yeah Rose tell us," Leo added
"Fine," She handed them the journal.
"Rose! Hurry we need to go see the queen," Malachi grabbed her by the wrist, "You two Leo"

They all stood in front of the throne awaiting Kathryn's reaction. She stood and walked towards Rose once she reached her she put her hand on Rose's shoulder, "My dear you're lucky, the place you visited is known as the Glacial Plains it is inhabited by only a few, outcasts of the kingdom. Few still alive I would presume. The person who saved you is most likely Seth Hunter and young warlock who was banished for experimenting with forbidden magic"
"I knew it," Malachi ran out of the chamber
"What's up with Malachi," Leo asked
"Seth was his best friend. I suspect that he had only recently come to terms with the fact that Seth was dead."
"OK that must hurt finding out someone you thought was dead is actually alive," Rose said
"Rose, Leo. I fear that you ending up in The Glacial Plains was no accident. A haunter probably knows you are here and is trying to destroy you before you become a greater threat," She began, "Your training will have to begin immediately."

***

Seth walked slowly through The Glacial Plains kicking at the dirt as he strolled. The first person he had seen in almost three years and she just vanished. All of a sudden he halted dead in his tracks. He crouched to the floor closed his eyes and touched the ground with his left hand. Seth could hear something coming. In The Glacial Plains you need to sharpen each of your senses if you wish to survive, and usually even that isn't enough. The creatures that call this place home are the most vile, savage and ruthless being to inhabit Alethea. Seth had encountered many of these creatures before however there was one creature so elusive many hunters had deemed it a myth. You see although the Plains are unforgiving, they are the most popular hunting ground, But the hunters aren't always the ones hunting. Seth had developed the ability to sense the vibrations in the ground making it easy to locate any potential food sources or any threats. However, the thing approaching him was so strong it knocked him on the floor. The ground began to shake more and more it was getting closer louder and louder and then … nothing. Seth was afraid, he may be strong with talents that far surpass any other warlock of his age, but he is still a just a kid with no one looking out for him. His eyes darted across the forest searching for something. Abruptly a huge lion like creature burst from the trees, it let out a huge roar. Seth scrambled backwards in an attempt to escape. Eventually he hit a tree trembling in pure terror; He was witnessing the rarest living thing of the Glacial Plains. The Zargen. Seth knew he needed to do something, so he implied something he learnt back when he was an apprentice to the kingdoms best hunter. He slowed his heart rate and lowered his body temperature, he fell completely silent. This manoeuvre was risky, it could cause you to be undetectable or it can put you in a trance leaving you susceptible to attack. Seth could see everything happening the way the creature looked around, Zargens can't see or smell anything they rely on hearing and heat detection. Fooled into believing its meal had vanished, the hideous monstrosity vanished into the trees. About an hour later Seth decided that it should be safe to stand up. He thought to himself, ‘I can't stay here any longer, I need to get out.’ And with that thought he began to run North West, the direction of Sapphire.

***
Rose and Leo were lead to the training ground almost immediately. Kathryn hadn’t gone into much detail on why it was so important to begin, but from the general sense of urgency around the castle, they dared not question the motive. They entered a field, it looked like a standard sports training arena, except it was medieval. People were training with swords, bow and arrows, axes and double ended spears.
“Clearly health and safety don’t exist in this world,” Leo said trying to be cool, but his fear was obvious
“Health and safety will never get you anywhere,” Malachi said mockingly, Rose giggled
“So what do we start with swords, axes?,” the enthusiasm in her voice was unmistakable
“Are you really a girl?,” Leo teased, she ignored him
“Well you can pick what you want to try first, we need to see what your talent is,” Malachi said as he led them to the far wall, it was littered with weapons, “take your pick”. Leo went to take the sword but Malachi stopped him, “Let’s start with something a little less dangerous”
“Fine i’ll use that sharp stick thingy,” he point to a double edged spear
“Ok,” Malachi handed him a 3 foot wooden pole
“This isn’t sharp,” Leo said, disgusted
“I know that,” he raised an eyebrow, “I don’t want anyone to be killed on the first day”. Rose tapped Malachi on the shoulder, he turned she was already holding a bow and arrow
“I pick this,” she was telling him, not asking
Now that they had selected their weapons, they moved on to actually using them, Rose already knew how to use a bow and arrow; she easily got three arrows directly into the centre of the target. Leo was a loss; he was ok with the pole he was given, apart from the occasional mishap. Malachi had decided to try some other weapon that was a mistake. He was a complete disaster with bow and arrow, planting several in the ceiling. Next he tried some throwing stars, only to get one directly in someone’s leg. Now he was attempting to use a flail, “I’ll, get this one for sure.” Malachi gave him thumbs up from behind a wall of sand bags him a Rose and built to try and gain some protection. He swung the flail knocking over the targets Malachi had set up for him. Then he lost control and slashed the sand bag wall, causing it to slowly collapse on the floor.
“Defiantly not that one,” Malachi said eyes wide with terror
“Have you got any hidden blades?,” he asked
“Any what?,” Malachi was completely puzzled
“Leo this isn’t assassin’s creed,” Rose said looking like a disappointed parent, “They don’t actually exist”
“If you know how to use these blades, I think we could try and make some, it’s better than having you kill someone,” and with that sentence he grabbed Leo and pulled him away, taking him somewhere.

They left the castle grounds and began to walk through the town, they first street they walked down was full of people, who parted like the red sea for Leo and Malachi. They would stare and then whisper to each other, he was used to attention, but the gazes he was attracting were far from to adoring looks he was used to. They turned into a narrow side street, Leo let out a sigh of relief, he felt more comfortable, having lived in London his whole life he knew all the shortcuts through the side streets most people would pay to avoid. They entered what Leo presumed was a blacksmiths. There was a man hunched over the fire. Malachi cleared his throat, the man just grunted; once again he cleared his throat again louder. The man stood up with starling agility, he must have been about 7 feet tall, he dwarfed Leo and Malachi. He was clearly angry at Malachi’s behaviour. He glared at them for a split second, until he registered who it was. A smile widened across his face, “Oh, hello there mally,” He instantly put Malachi into a headlock, and began to ruffle his hair.
“knock it off,” Malachi wriggled in an attempt to escape, to no avail the large man was obviously too strong. He began to laugh at Malachi’s struggle; he laugh was as intimidating as he was, a deep throaty sound.
Content he released his hold, “always funny to watch you struggle mally”
“Yeah, yeah,” Malachi fixed his hair
“So then, what can I do for you?,” Then man was surprisingly soft spoken
“We need a new weapon, this is Leo,” Malachi pointed to his trainee, Leo extended an arm to shake the man’s hand, as he did his own hand seemed to disappear and his shoulder was nearly pulled right out of its socket
“Nice to meet you, my name is Marcus”
“Marcus here is the best blacksmith in all of Alethea, if anyone can replicate the weapon, it’s him.” Leo began to describe the weapon to Marcus who seemed more interested in the game the weapon came from.
After an hour or so Marcus decided he had heard enough, and wanted to begin the creation immediately. He was so excited, acting like a child in a candy store as he danced around his shop getting all the materials he needed. Leo and Malachi said their goodbyes, but Marcus was oblivious. They started their walk back up to the castle; Leo was dreading returning to the mains street, all those looks were really getting to him, although his thoughts were soon interrupted by screaming. Everyone in the street was fleeing as fast as their legs could carry them. Malachi and Leo attempted to see what was causing the commotion; they saw a hooded figure at the bottom of the street. There was a black bandana wrapped over his nose and mouth, He was wearing a blue hoodie pulled over his head. “STOP,” yelled Malachi, there was no response, “I warn you failure to obey the laws of our city will have repercussions” The person continued to walk towards them, “If you do not halt immediately I will be forced to attack!” With a flick of the figures wrist Leo was sent flying into a nearest wall. By this time the figure was merely a meter away from Malachi, he stopped. First he removed his hood, it revelled black hair that was long and shaggy and moss green eyes; Then the bandanna covering his face that is when Malachi realised who has entered Sapphire. He spoke softer than Leo had ever heard anyone speak before, “Seth.”

 

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