She was chasing me. The Dragon Marked One, girl named Shadelin was trying to stop my escape and capture me. My name is Sabgyn; I am the Tiger Marked One. Well it sounded way cooler when I first heard it, but after a while it got old. I don’t know what went wrong, and why my could be girlfriend is trying to turn me into barbecue. I knew something was wrong the minute she started getting angry and throwing fire ball projectiles at me.
I have to keep running. Everything was fine several days ago, all eight members of Marked Ones gathered to discuss our plan of action of overthrowing tyrannical regime of Demon Morphus and his brothers. It was a gradual plan that consisted of striking his subordinates, the Overlords, at unexpected times in order to weaken Morphus’s control over the kingdoms. But then, something began to change in my friends, their life force, I could sense it, was becoming cloudier and darker, as if some sort of poison has been eating them from the inside. I can sense slight changes within people I know well enough. Telling things based on people’s emotions is a straightforward thing for me. Yet, I am not sure what could have caused this type of poisonous change.
That’s it! Poison! No wonder the Snake-boy kept insisting that we should try his cooking, I politely refused because I happened to want to throw up. It had nothing to do with the food, I just happened to be feeling motion sickness from traveling by carriage. No wonder indeed. I suspected a member of our team was a traitor, but until now I didn’t know for sure. That damn snake. He poisoned all of them, and now I am the only one who remains out of the group, everyone else is now under Morphus’ control. There is no doubt about it. It was somewhat obvious due to the fact that they literally proclaimed their loyalty to Morphus as soon as the change took hold. When I realized their eyes were completely red I realized something was definitely wrong, and my fears were confirmed when my allies tried to restrain me.
Luckily, I was able to run away. Now the swiftest Marked One I know is chasing me. I leaped over trees, most of the city, now I finally reached the border, if only I could now slip through… But, my hope was gone when I saw a pretty girl drop down out of sky right on top of the other side of the waterfall.
It was Shadelin; dragon has caught up with me. She had a smirk on her face that might have been adorable if it wasn’t so terrifying. I hoped I would be able to outrun her, but I was wrong. Shadelin looked down in my direction and said: “Why run, I can always catch you, Tiger-boy.”
I thought to myself, why does she always have to flirt with her prey, does she have some sort of interest in playing with her food?
She paused, winked with her left eye and loudly yawned: “You can’t escape, so why not do yourself a favor and join us?”
I stood my ground and shouted: “And be enslaved to Morphus? Have you forgotten what he did to people, our families, friends, loved ones?”
Shadelin’s eyes briefly turned to their original golden color, before turning back to red. She laughed in a manner that made my bones chill. I was hoping that remembering something about her past could make her snap out of it. Morphus was truly responsible for so many deaths, be it direct or indirect way. She said: “You’re hopeless, now I have no choice but to kill you.”
I replied: “I would like to see you try.” Yep, now I knew I was doomed.
We both drew out our weapons. She flew down from the waterfall and landed on the ground near me, using the momentum of fall to her advantage as she clashed her sword against my staff. Staff absorbed the impact, but I could not, it caused me to fall and tumble. I quickly stood up. Shadelin wasn’t waiting, she immediately attacked, and I avoided being staked only by luck. I jumped away. She said: “Let’s have some fun, shall we?”
I murmured ‘Oh no’.
She unleashed her spiritual form and was now using its power to augment her. A golden glow emanated from her body, covering her body within itself. The glow was gradually getting brighter. She demonstrated her power by swiftly landing a side kick on my body before I could react.
I tasted blood; I think she broke my rib. The pain however was endurable for the moment because she was trying to decapitate me. I fell back and tried to avoid her sword. My best efforts resulted in me getting scratches on my clothes. And I just paid for them!
Shadelin’s spiritual form enveloped her like an armor of sorts, and strangely she didn’t seem to get exhausted using it, every time I used mine it drains me dry of my life force, but she looks like only getting more energy out of her form. Her attacks suddenly became stronger; one of her punches sent me flying away about ten meters, no less.
She jumped and tried to land a fatal blow on my heart. I had no choice but to use my own spiritual form. Luckily I was quick enough and Shadelin’s attack was negated. By own form was colored reddish brown and it was far smaller than the one she was using. But I sensed my form barely withstood the impact from her attack. The power of my spiritual form pales in comparison to hers.
Suddenly Shadelin started to manipulate fire; she manifested fireballs in her hands and started to throw them at me. I tried to avoid her offense, but I still got burned badly. Well not so badly, but it stung. Now she was doing a strange movement; it reminded me of octopus moving its legs. Then, a horrific realization hit me; this is the same movement Shadelin used to summon a lightning and it is pointed right at me. If she hits me, I am as good as toast. How can I survive this?
In a split second, I comprehended an important fact; as tiger I am element of balance, able to use the half potential of any element as long as I also use its opposite counterpart. But to do so I have to know the opposite power. It could have been much easier if it was matter of fire and water, but lightning? It’s pure energy!
Wait, energy, and it opposite is negation! Negation being opposite of lightning, was dispersing electrical energy instead of collecting and shooting it. Luckily my thoughts came to me as fast as lighting (no pun intended), because Shadelin shot a lighting at me. With no time to lose I blocked the lighting with my right hand; in order to negate power, it has to be absorbed, and contact is necessary.
My theory was right, I absorbed the power, but it hurt my hand so much it was numb, almost like Shadelin’s technique was full of her anger, burning coals of her temper, desperate to turn me into ash. Then, involuntarily, my left hand shot a weaker lightning toward the ground, I jumped in order to avoid shock but the dragon girl got zapped. She fell down.
Another part of my power, if I use power, I have to, no I must use its opposite, even if I don’t want to. This kinda gave me precaution about using power of water, for at any moment I could use power of fire. I ended up setting several buildings on fire because of that. And it happened mostly because my head turned to flaming torch.
Shadelin quickly came to her senses: “That hurt, you will pay pussycat.”
Her spiritual form began to change it became a 12 meter tall avatar of her spirit; a dragon. It was glorious, long serpent-like body, wings similar to bats, muscular legs, and many fangs, but I found it extremely scary because it had a blank stare and it was completely black and red. Her original form was golden yellow. Apparently, poison not only affected person’s mind but also her spirit. This worried me.
I assumed my own form of a beast. A gigantic tiger. But its size was almost half the size of dragon. I was worried. Both of us gave our avatars weapons, sword and staff. I floated inside head of my avatar, usage of this power was draining me, I was already feeling weaker. After a few seconds, the dragon swung at me. I made the tiger jump, and slash the dragon with staff, she blocked it. I kept trying to land a blow against her avatar, but it was just too fast for me to catch off guard. When I finally saw my opportunity and swung my staff at dragon’s head, she stopped me by holding tiger’s paw, and then she proceeded to restrain the other paw with her other claw. My tiger’s claws were trapped, I couldn’t budge. I hoped dragon would just use this opportunity to push me away, but instead she made her avatar get tighter grip on my avatar’s paws and was pulling them in opposite directions. She was basically ripping my manifestation in half. Because the spirit of manifestation is created from soul of user, it hurt like hell. My body was in complete agony. As my torn in half form of tiger was fading from sight, I fell down to the ground. My body felt so heavy, but if I don’t stand up I will be killed. I made an agonizingly successful attempt to stand up and raised my staff. Dragon was upon me in an instant. My staff got knocked away.
She chose to attack me by herself without usage of her dragon manifestation. Because my body was overflowing with pain I couldn’t react fast enough. She grabbed me by the throat and flew us to the top of the waterfall. At top, I somehow managed to release myself from her grip and landed on ground. She attacked me with her sword, I tried to move but I wasn’t fast enough; she chopped off my left hand, it fell down the waterfall. It hurt so much, only adrenaline and the thought of not dying kept me conscious. Then, she slashed at my legs, I fell to my knees. She was playing with me. I was so weakened that I couldn’t do anything when she inflicted scar upon scar upon my body, she destroyed my left eye, and my body was completely bruised. It was a cat playing with its prey. And ironically, I was not the cat. Letting a sigh, Shadelin inflicted the final wound; she pierced my heart with her sword. She whispered: Good-Bye, Tiger-boy
She took out her sword out of my body and pushed me into the waterfall. Last thing I heard was: How ironic, this place was a battlefield, how fitting that you shall rest here,
I went deeper and deeper into the water. My body was dying, but I can’t die, not like this, not now. I can’t accept it. Please body, respond, please! I begged and pleaded, but my body went deeper into the water. Please if there is anyone who can help me, help me live!
I was sure none would respond. But to my surprise I heard a distant voice. It wasn’t quite like a sound, it was a feeling, from somewhere, not this plain of existence, as I slipped further and further into the darkness, the voice turned out to be multiple voices, seemingly human of origin, but lacking corporeal form
One voice said:” To live you desire?” My spirit nodded. The voice replied: “Your body is beyond fixing, I am afraid you will die by yourself.”
I asked if there are no more options left. Voice replied: “Unless, we make a deal. We will heal your body, but you will give us your body as a host.”
I asked:” Are you going to kill my soul?”
“No, we are just going to inhabit your shell as our own until we finish our unfinished business”
“What if I refuse?”
“Then you go away into afterlife”, the voice paused and asserted: “Do you accept the offer?”
I had no choice; in order to live I would have to become vessel for spirits. “I do”
“Very well, come my brethren, come …” Dozens of spirits gathered toward the spirit with whom I spoke, hundreds, now thousands, all of them aiming at my body. They encircled me, and then entered me through my eyes and mouth. I didn’t feel a thing, only a feeling of being violated in so many levels. I was no longer alone in this body. I felt presence of thousand others, could see them inside myself. My body somehow began to change, the wounds were going away, and painfully my left arm grew back to its original form. I saw the surface through my eye, no, my eyes, my left eye’s sight suddenly returned! But I felt detached from my body, I felt its movements but it wasn’t me doing them. My body was being controlled by a ghost. My body, or should I say, I climbed out of river that the waterfall led to. The body was in perfect condition.
Well, at least I am alive, sort of. Those damned souls, every single one of them. I can hear their voices, even though I am no longer drowning. Somehow I am looking at world from outside view, like my body wasn’t being entirely controlled by myself. I mean, I could still feel the muscles in my body tensing when the body stretched, but the actions were coordinated but not planned. It suddenly occurred to me that my body started moving forward, which led me to notice that the ground was lower than before. Then I realized how idiotic my idea sounded, so examined myself, I was astounded- my legs were longer! I freaked out in the inside, but for some reason my body was still. I came close to a pond and saw my reflection upon it, and I almost thought it was an enemy, for this face did not belong to me. Well, after a mauling from dragon, and miraculous healing I didn’t expect to look one hundred percent myself, but this, this was too much for me to take in at once! My hair, usually dark brown and hard, was darker and looked spiky, my face was hollower, not like losing weight but similar effect nevertheless. But most striking were the eyes, my eyes are always brown, no matter the occasion; it frequently made me jealous of disguise magic user who could change their eye color for any occasion. But now, my eyes were blood red, and I am not talking about whites, but the pupil and the iris. It looked like the eyes of man who came from torture. Maybe, hell.
“Close enough” I heard a voice respond to my thoughts. It was a strong voice, I looked around myself but I couldn’t detect anyone, where the noise is coming from? Is he an enemy, then how far from me?
“Closer than you think” the voice was clearer. I felt a tug on me, but it wasn’t tugging my body, it was the same feeling when I unleash my spiritual form, but the reverse, instead of pulling out spirit from inside, my spirit is pulled inside. While my body dropped limp to the ground, I felt myself falling into the deepest part of my soul. I landed with a smack, who knew my soul looked like a barbershop filled with tables and chairs? Personally I would have preferred a rainy desert. In that instant my surroundings changed into what I desired. I wondered if this was heaven. “Nope” I turned around, now instead of a disembodied voice there stood a man whose reflection I saw on pool. He had an angry expression, but somehow he looked extremely calm. “Greetings Sabgyn”. I was shocked. How the hell did he know my name? Well, maybe better question would be why he is talking to me, not attacking me? Lately there are a lot of people who would like to see me dead. And that’s a fact, just ask the dragon-girl, or better yet, don’t ask her. So, who is this man?
“I can hear your thoughts you know, I would recommend not to wonder away.” Well that was embarrassing, he says he heard me thinking, is there no such thing as privacy here, wherever here is?
“If you want to I can stop hearing you thoughts and we can have a conversation, well if you don’t mind starting to talk.” Okay, here it goes. “Who, what, where, how?” Well, I could have said it better, I guess. The man responded “No need to be alarmed, I am not here to kill you, in fact I can’t kill you, on the account that I inhabit the same body as you are.” What, is he serious! “Yes, I am quite serious, in fact I am the representative of thousands of souls that now inhabit you.
I finally found my courage to say “Thousands of them? Wait you’re a soul?”
“So, are you guys dead or something” I was afraid I made the question sound extremely rude, but to my surprise the man smiled. Well, at least that proves he used to be a human.
“In physical sense, yes, we are quite dead. But we were stuck on earth because we have not fulfilled our sworn duty. We have to complete our task to go to our final destination. Until this day we had no way of fulfilling our task, for we lacked a body. We tried to inhabit wonderers, but they were either spiritually deaf, resistant or refused the deal. Some of them even were too weak to house us. In fact I am surprised your body is capable of holding all of us, you must be someone special”
“I am Tiger Marked One” I replied. It used to fill me with pride when I said it, because I considered tiger a gallant and valiant beast. But lately, I am repeatedly shown how inferior tiger’s powers are in comparison to other animals. My fiasco battle with dragon is one more proof for it. It’s almost like the other animals could wield the true power, pure utilization of elements, while I only can use only half of true power, with humiliating drawbacks. When every other animal spiritual form used elements it seemed to empower them, but in my case it does the opposite, it drains me. I didn’t have to wait for man’s answer.
“That explains quite a lot, like the reason your body didn’t explode” I started freaking out, my eyes wide open with terror, and was that what happened with their previous hosts?
“Do not worry, if your body was too weak it would have given up the second we entered your body. Now the symbiosis is complete.”
“Symbiosis?” I asked. I knew what the word means of course, but didn’t quite get how it applied to this.
“Yes, you get to live; we get to fulfill our duties. Basically you get life, we get body. Oh, by the way, like your new arm?”
“Yes, thank you. You said there are more of you”
“Souls? Yes, tens of thousands of them. They were worried we would overwhelm you with our multiple presences, so they chose me as their representative while they observe.”
“Do you guys have names, or should I address you as spirits?” I know, not the best question to ask, but I wanted to know.
“We used to be humans, so naturally we had names. I used to be called Nayas.”
“Nayas. Well, at least now I can address you properly. So, can you tell me more, why did you choose to help me and how you guys ended up being spirits?” My curiosity got better of me, again.
Nayas seemed surprised, his expression showed his startled look for a few seconds. Apparently no one had asked him this in a long time.
“Well, I guess as my vessel, it would be prudent of me to tell about myself to you.” He paused, looked at me straight in the eye, and said “It was many years ago, approximately fifty years or so. We still had our bodies, we were alive. Back then, we led our last stand against the Demonic Trio – Morphus, Mracus, and Lariel. We fought well; we had to defend our people against enslavement. The three demons have conquered many kingdoms, now they were trying to add our land to their collection. We fought against all of the dark warriors; we thought we won, until the leaders joined the fight. They singlehandedly beat all of us, all of us, regardless of number of people fought; they seemed to never get tired. They brutally massacred us. The last thing I heard before my soul separated from my body was that maniacal laughter of the demons, all I heard was it, as I faded the laughter made me hear the cries of pain of countless people, if I wasn’t dying I would have lost my mind. After that, my body was dead, but my spirit lived on. So did the rest of the defenders. We saw reapers, angels who collect souls, but we were told that we can’t transcend to afterlife before we fulfilled our destined purpose. I had no idea what that purpose is and I still don’t know, but I only knew that I have not fulfilled it. For that, all thousands of us were condemned to this place, unable to move without a body, unable to be heard or seen, only able to communicate through dreams or ones close to death.” Nayas turned away. “We chose to help you because it was a perfect opportunity for us to gain a body. After all if you had a choice you wouldn’t have given us your physical form.” He was correct; there is no way I would have let any spirit inhabit me if I could survive on my own. “Yet, now we inhabit this form, and you can’t purge us.” That was alarming. “I also am here to discuss with you the terms of our cooperation”
Cooperation? That’s what he calls it? No big deal, it’s just thousands of souls controlling me, everyday stuff. Who am I kidding; none told me this was even possible. People always said “Sabgyn, if you encounter spirits, scram!” That’s about sums up their advices. Now I am doing the complete opposite of the advice, I am making deal with spirits, well I already made the deal, but discussing the terms is just as freaky.
To clarify, this is my body, my physical existence is what we’re talking about, I mean I am grateful for not being sent to Heaven, or Hell for that matter, but now I have to live with them, yikes! This is way worse than the time I cooked a cobra in a pot and took a bite of it. Well, it did taste slightly like chicken, slimy, long, ropelike chicken with no feathers. When I realized my mistake, I found myself throwing up pieces of the tail. Naturally, I freaked out.
“What terms do you declare?” I just needed the info, so it’s best to hear out the man, the spirit, or apparition, or whatever he is.
“Glad you asked. Well, first of all, all of us will have turns using this body as our own. And apparently as an additional side effect, when specific soul takes charge your external appearance of body will change accordingly, taking on the form of the soul’s original body.” He paused, put his hand under his chin as if in thought. “But, if there were fewer spirits or a different vessel this result wouldn’t have been possible. You see, we- souls act as an energy source for metamorphosis, while your body is malleable to change because it has tiger spiritual form. Oh, don’t be frightened you can still guide the body, but you will not have total control.”
“Am I supposed to agree to this?” I was shuddering, at least what I thought was my essence did
“Well, fortunately, you already have.” The Nayas, or whatever that thing is continued. “ The moment you said yes, the deal was made, and it will not be unmade until we fulfill our duty-Stopping Morphus, Mracus, and Lariel.”
“The Demon Brothers?”
“The lords that have totalitarian control over everyone, and are rumored to be descendants of the Satan himself?”
“It’s no rumor, it’s a fact. And they are no simple descendants; they’re devil’s offspring, his children”
I felt like I would have peed my pants, if I was controlling a body anyway
“The devil! The one who unleashed, no, created all calamity, he has children?!?!”
Nayas had no reaction. “Why do you seem so surprised? It’s obvious.” After seeing my dumbfounded expression, he explained. “You already knew of the Demon Brothers, I have read through your life in your soul recording. You tried to organize rebellion against them by gathering group of warriors possessing strong spiritual forms in order to challenge their rule. You probably assumed that the trio is group of warlocks, didn’t you?”
“Well, warlocks are so much easier to take care of, just pour them with silver powdered water and they will burn down. Unfortunately, those three are true to their name. You know, every demon is made by Satan, but the brothers are different. Way different from other demons. I suppose you know Satan’s history?”
I shook my head, how am I supposed to know about someone who torments people in their nightmares and practically does not exist in material world, but instead exists in mental plain to torment everyone with his voice.
“He is a fallen angel. Archangel to be exact”
“Say what? Aren’t angels supposed to you know, help people? Not destroy them! How in the world the biggest baddy in the world is one of pure celestial beings!? In fact he can’t be an angel; this gotta be some sick joke!”
Nayas stood still, but his eyes slitted in a very scary serious expression, which told me to shut up and listen, which I did, and I admit I hated doing so
“Unfortunately, that’s the truth. Devil is not his real name by the way. His true name is Lucifer. The Light Bringer. What an ironic name, because he now despises light and his sole ambition is to plunge the world into darkness.”
I didn’t say a word, the information was too important to miss.
“Lucifer used to be the best angel. He excelled at everything and he used to be the Great Creator’s favorite being. But then, Creator made mankind. People peacefully developed. Creator paid a lot of attention to them, for they were in a sense his children. As the elder son jealous of the attention given to the younger, Lucifer grew in hatred.” Nayas took a deep breath and continued” He attempted to annihilate the mankind. And he almost succeeded; he killed all but two-Adam and Eve. Fortunately, Lucifer’s elder brother Michael happened to be watching over the creations. When he saw the atrocity his younger brother was committing, he flew down to stop him. Lucifer didn’t want to stop; he lashed at his elder brother, which resulted in an epic fight for the fate of last humans. While both opponents were archangels, and both were almost evenly matched in terms of power, Michael managed to win because Lucifer lost control due to his own anger overwhelming him. Michael then proceeded to seal him away, into the pit underworld, which would become known as Hell.”
I was awed. Then said “So why we don’t just find this Michael dude and ask him to take care of those three, I mean he beat the Devil, surely three demons are a piece of cake for him!”
Nayas stood with his eyes lowered. Does this guy ever stop looking sad, it’s making me mad!
“If he still existed, he could easily have stopped those three fiends. But as you may have deduced by half a century of tyranny at the hands of demons, Michael is no longer part of this world.”
“What happened to him?”
“None knows, Sages say that he feared he could become corrupt like his younger brother, and one day his life force vanished. None has heard or seen him since”
Nayas continued “Like all angels, Lucifer has wings, but his wings changed after he was banished. They now are more reptile-like, with no feathers. And unfortunately, I suspect that his children inherited wings as well, although they rarely use them”
“What’s so important about wings anyway? I mean, big deal, they can fly.”
“It would have been fine if it was just that. You see, wings are partially source of angel’s power, while angel possesses immeasurable power without them, wings allow for perfected control and manipulation. They’re in a sense key to great power.”
I asked “So those three, are they archangels too?”
“What? No! Their old man was one, but they are half-bloods. They probably possess power equivalent to seraphs.”
“Seraphim. It is the second highest rank of angels based on power. Archangels are their superiors.”
Nayas looked annoyed” Don’t overjoy, although their combined strength is inferior compared to an archangel, there are no more archangels present on earth. All of them are gone. I have no idea how or where. So, the demons technically are the strongest ones in existence”
“Wait, you mentioned the Great Creator, the God. Can’t God stop them?”
“God never interferes in affairs of his creations. He creates and observes, he never tries to change the world.”
“So, God is only an observer.”
“Then what chance we have of beating them?”
“There is always hope, hope that keeps us going. We can feel that we will succeed. I am sure you feel it as well.”
“I do feel it, in my heart.” It was true, that was the reason for me gathering my allies in the first place, to have the chance for victory, no matter how slim
“Nayas, if you wish to stop demon brothers, I am your ally.”
“What we should do?”
“Now this issue has been settled, we can finally take action. Have you heard of town named Jambol ? And have you baked bread before?”
Chapter 1- Fallen Country
We people of the city of Jambol, now frightful Ashu
Desired only peace thru all the ages, you can confirm it from history at any pages
All our enemies were done, gone, left us alone
Unexpected threat, Fire king of dread
Nightmare became our life, losing many lives for what? King’s ceaseless desires!
Why to pain us so, we are your people after all
You overthrew our queen, under whom you served, who gave power to you
How have you betray us for sake of your desire
We saw the people starving, dying regardless old or young
Resisting you we started, formed a Rebel group, loyal to queen and people
We tried to overthrow, your so called highness, yet we failed, we tried again
We simply lack the power, to resist you at this hour, all the fine people you destroyed, you robbed us of all hope
Yet we continue fighting, hoping that with age, fire would cease to exist
It might stop us now, incinerate all around us
We tried to find allies from countries beyond Ashu, but were too late for king destroyed them too
Our leaders’ only hope, to find the right moment to strike, we will be waiting to get rid of your kingly head!
Oh king can’t you see, you’re tormenting us, you are no friend of your people
So why can’t you set us free, if we were birds we want to fly away, none wants to stay and die, while you eat your pie!
We’re people of Jambol, never giving up on hope to rebuild the lost glory of our city!
So if we get the chance, we wouldn’t show you pity!
Chapter 2- The Attack
Started the meeting in palace, as smoothly as king had hoped
Surrounded by his warriors, ruthless fighters with intention to kill, making more blood spill
Black Knight and Silver Noian, both utterly loyal and dependent on his whim, both with powers granted by him
Aldan’s decision to kill leader rebel, demoralize others, with his head on a pike
Preventing future problems, to rule as he would like
“Oppose me, loose everything including your head” was the words he used and abused
Moved all members of council to the place where more souls were let away, the place of beheading
King’s favorite place to go, thinks to himself “the more times I come here, the less I see opposition”
Looking over ten meters away stood the unfortunate victim in chains, bruise marks all over the place
He took the beating so much, he could barely stand, all to protect his family and land.
Noble cause it would be for human eyes, but the king lost his human side a long while back
And it doesn’t look like he will regain it, forever to kill
Victim stood helpless, watching with stone dead eyes, while the royalist recited the crimes the man was accused of.
It took three men to force the victim on execution table, head in the hole, to cut it off
The executioner raised his ax, prepared to slice the veins that hold together the body and brains
Making his last word goodbye, victim has closed his eyes, prepared to die
Suddenly, a flash of silver sweeps through, cutting the ax from its wood, just when it was lowered.
The deadly metal fell on the ground, in front of the prisoner, who saw his own reflection on it and screamed
The king’s servants went, to the place where daggers came from, only to find their own demise from the same weapons
The dark silhouette emerged behind the council, if it wasn’t for Black Knight’s keen eye, king would be dead on ground, from a strike of katana
Loyalty to his king unmatched by any other, Black Knight fought the intruder, forcing him back couple of steps
Clashes of swords followed by quick steps were only things heard; dust started covering everything from people’s sight
Then there was a sound of sword piercing flesh, dust cleared off revealing Black Knight and his fallen foe
Full of anger, the knight tore the mask away, only to reveal it was a dummy made of hay
The council of king soon realized, prisoner was gone, just like the intruder, leaving Black Knight to fight himself in the dark,
What a fool!
Dishonor branded in his name, knight swore revenge to intruder, whom he will roast on a stake
Meanwhile, the stranger and prisoner were running on top of buildings
No words exchanged, victim on stranger’s back stayed, until they reached the highest of towers
Then did the stranger untie the knots and chains that held the man down, but instead of attacking him head on
The man was awed, “What sort of man are you? To withstand the Black Knight and attack the king? What is thy purpose in this forsaken land?”
The stranger stood silent, and then replied “I am stranger of Midnight, I came here to help”
Disbelief settled in man’s eyes, the stranger was standing like he knew everything what was, is, and will be
His clothes were dark, with spiked edges and small golden stripes, the mask concealed his face was dark with golden angles, making the spots where his eyes should have been complete darkness
The prisoner bowed to the Stranger, and said “Thank you, kind man, saving my life from this vultures. I am Jon of Jambol. I am loyal only to the rightful ruler of this land. I …”
“Save your breath, I am here for the same cause. “ With his words the stranger pointed toward the people below them. “Your friends are there, crying of your demise, I think you should stop their suffering.”
Mystified Jan was surprised to see that Stranger’s words were true indeed, his comrades were losing hope, and he could stop it fast
“Thank you, Stranger” said Jan second time, bowing with respect, and left toward the comrades
When Jan looked back, there was none on top of the building, he felt only a breeze thru the air, and words “Help your queen”.
Jan and his comrades rejoiced for their leader was alive, yet Jan was preoccupied with wonder who or what was his rescuer, and why did he help?
When Jan returned to his queen, Ellis, the rightful ruler of land, he bowed to her
Queen beckoned to him, “It is wondrous that your are alive, sir Jan of Jambol, Your escape would encourage people not to give up our cause, all thanks to you”
Sir Jan kept his head low; sensing the disturbance his queen asked him what happened and how he got free
Slowly and calmly, sir Jan spoke “A man strong enough to hold down the Black Knight and fool him, brave enough to alone attack the king, fast enough to escape with me on his shoulder, wise enough not to reveal his identity. He called himself Midnight Stranger.”
The queen remained silent, but her face betrayed her innermost thoughts
“What are your thoughts about this my queen?” asked Sir Jon, aware of how this news would affect her
“I think we have an ally” was the only words she said before she called the council of Jambol, leaders of opposition
The council was filled with awe of the tale of Midnight Stranger, some were jolly- with realization that a strong person has joined their side, yet some where suspicious- he was an unknown ally, could he be trusted.
Finally the queen spoke “What should we do about this?” by a majority vote council decided to contact the Stranger
A voice within the crowd, said “He also is too swift to follow”, it was none other than Sir Jon himself
“So what” asked Sebastian, the elderly member of council
“Even if we find, which is doubtful, I don’t think we can follow him, his speed is so great he was gone out of sight when an eye blinked”
“All right then, if we can’t contact him, we will act independently of him, but if you encounter him don’t harm him.” Said the Queen Ellis, confirming the meeting as done.